Hitak, the leader of the iisadsu, sat on a cliff overlooking his men as they feasted on the butoo they had dumped on the beach.
He had taken his portion and moved to the cliff to eat undisturbed. The iisadsu were a very territorial species. They fought over everything, food, females, cliff dwellings – everything.
Now that he was finished he sat with his legs dangling over the edge grooming his wing feathers. The feathers were soiled from the oils and blood of the catch and the battle with the oacoco. He filled his hand with the sandy dirt of the cliff and rubbed it into each pin feather until it was pristine and ready for flight.
He finished up the right wing and had started on the left when his attention was drawn to several of his men fighting over the corpse of an oacoco. His eyesight was exceptional so he had no difficulty seeing the object of their argument – a shell necklace interspersed with bright red stones. He had to have it.
Hikat spread his enormous wings and launched himself off the cliff into a steep dive that took him headlong into the iisadsu holding the necklace. He struck the iisadus full force in the chest as he pulled up to land knocking the other man off his feet. He deftly snapped out his hand and caught hold of the necklace as his opponent fell. It was his as long as he could get off the ground before the others realized the precious object had changed hands.
He flapped his wings together in front of him to keep the other men away. Just because he was their leader didn’t mean he could seize such a prize without a fight, it just meant there would be fewer to challenge him. The fledglings would stand aside and let him have it.
Modar, the one he had taken it from regain his feet quickly and started toward Hikat. The two had fought before over far less than this lovely trinket. Modar picked up a stone from the beach and flung it at his leader. Hikat just barely sidestepped the projectile. He wouldn’t have a problem with Modar if it were just the two of them, but with the other men crowded around, his movements were limited.
The next stone caught him on the right shoulder and he almost dropped the necklace. Instead, he tossed it over his head for safe keeping and struck out with his wing defensively before using his strong legs to propel him up and off the ground into flight.
The third rock whizzed by his head missing it by mean inches. He was home free, or at least he thought so, when all of a sudden the ambassador was in his head demanding an audience. He hated the man. He hate his interference in what the iisadsu leader thought was none of his business. He hated the intrusion in his mind at a time when he wanted to concentrate on keeping his prize and remaining unhurt.
The ambassador was relentless. He wanted to talk now. Now was not a good time for Hikat. He shook his head and did the one thing he knew from experience could rid his mind of the treaty seeker, he started to call his mate in full voice. It made no difference that she was too far away to hear him his thoughts were on her and not open to the ambassador. The intruder’s demands faded as Hikat continued to scream for his mate. Eventually the ambassador grew silent and was gone.
Hikat looked over his shoulder to see that Modar had not followed him. No doubt something else had caught his eye that was more easily obtained. Hikat smiled, he would return home to his mate with his prize and when he was ready he would allow the ambassador back in his head and they would talk on his terms.