Xander killed the pichu; you are sure of it, so investigating the death is just a waste of your time. And you don’t plan on becoming dinner tonight, so you tell them, “I’ll be Flik’s mate.” Your father breathes a sigh of relief and so does Lady.
“Very well then. Release Lulu to us.” Boc says.
Lady leans in and growls into your ear, “Lulu, you lied to me, and if I wasn't in the right mind, I'd keep you to eat for myself. I would take my time and savor every... last… bite. And you would scream and squirm and wish the vulpix would have eaten you. Trust me, I can make it last a long time, slow cooking you bite by bite. So go ahead, make my dinner and just try to run away. You may run, but I am the best hunter in this forest and I will find you and return your head to the tribe. The rest of you will slide down this:"
You look up to see Lady's maw opened wide and hovering just above your head. Lines of razor-sharp pearly canines warn you what they were made for; her front fangs meant to snag prey and rip chunks of supple flesh while the back molars meant to crush bone and serrate meat into a fine paste. Her mouth drips with drool meant to help slather the meat and ease it's descent down the gullet. Her tongue hangs out the side, lined with little bumps designed to taste her savory prey's blood and flesh, sending signals to her brain telling her, “That’s good… Eat more!” A long thread of saliva drips off the tongue slowly, like it were tree sap, and lands on your face. In the back of her maw, a gaping gullet beckons and with each breath out, sends waves of sweltering heat that would rival the hottest summer's day.
The sight sends a primal shiver down your little prey spine. Never have the gods designed a more perfect tool for killing, maiming, and devouring. You would be the perfect meal for this maw and the stomach attached; not too big to leave any for the scavengers but also not too small to leave her gut unsatisfied - a perfectly proportioned pikachu picnic.
Lady smacks her jowls and licks her chops with deliberation. “Understood?”
You nervously nod your head yes.
“Good, one last thing…” Lady brings her snout down to your asshole. She presses her cold nose right into your sphincter, making you jump and yip in surprise. She takes a deep inhale of your scent. She finishes, brings her open, sharp maw into your line of sight, and tells you, “I never forget a scent, Lulu. Now go and live the rest of your life with the tribe...” Lady releases your tail and you waste no time dashing to the tribe.
You run directly to your father, embracing him. You hug and cry into his fur and he cries back. He holds the back of your head and tells you, “my baby, I’m so glad you’re coming home. I-I…”
Your father is interrupted by Dale, “not now, Wible; we are still in enemy territory. Get back in formation.”
“Y-yes, of course.” Your father runs back, leaving you in the middle of the V formation.
Boc continues, “then there is still the matter of who helped Xander.”
Tavein steps forward, "It was me; I helped Xander hunt your pichu." Another gasp comes from the crowd. Tavein pauses for a moment then continues, "Xander and I worked alone. He killed the pichu and I ran away with the body."
Boc shouts, "where is the body then?"
Tavein smiles then licks his chops, "I ate everything. It was so tasty and tender; my only regret is not walking off with five pichu to save for later. Your pups are even better eating than you. They’re like snack-sized pikas."
The tribe, infuriated by those remarks, begins to spark with electricity. "Hand yourself over, murderer!" Yells Boc.
Tavein walks, with head held high, right up to Boc. Boc’s cheeks spark with electricity, “pika-CHUUUUUUUUU!!!” Boc unleashes not a Thundershock but a Thunderbolt upon Tavein. Boc is one of only a few pikachu in the tribe that has mastered that move. Instead of an amorphous static ball, a single precise bolt, like a tiny lightning strike, jumps between Boc and Tavein, hitting Tavein on the head, crackling in an eerie manner. Tavein yelps and collapses to the ground in writhing pain. Sparks jump around his fur, the silver hair on his head stands up straight, and his muscles clench and twitch - even after the bolt has faded his body continues to writhe.
Boc shouts over the convulsing vulpix up to the hill of onlookers, “Let this be a warning to all you bastards. Eat our young and suffer the same fate.” He turns back to Lady, “we will execute them tomorrow morning. But for now, peace has been reached and vulpix may continue using the watering hole. But we will be keeping a much closer eye from here on out."
Tavein has now stopped twitching but is still alive. He slowly gets up, clearly in great pain. Pikachu circle him and force march him away, Tavein limping with each step. The tribe of pikachu leave back into the brush and you with them, saved from death for now.
You walk with the tribe in silence for about thirty minutes. Once safely away from the heart of vulpix territory, your father asks "Boc, can we stop? I need to talk to Lulu."
Boc and Dale stop and whisper to each other. Boc then responds, "sure. I and the lower forty will go ahead to make sure the murdering vulpix stays right where he should. And Dale and the rest will stay with you and Lulu and escort you back once you are ready. While we wait, we will prepare for the declaration of mates ceremony." Boc turns his attention to the other pikachu, "let's go!" He and the forty lower-status pikachu leave with Tavein as their captor.
The twenty top bucks stay and lounge around. Your father runs up to you and hugs you once more. You tell him, "I'm sorry, Dad. I shouldn't have left the tribe."
"It's okay, baby." He releases you from his hug but not his grip. He looks at you directly into your eyes, his shimmering with tears. "Lulu, the pichu the vulpix ate was…" his voice chokes up, "it was Jet."
"W-what?" You are devastated by this news. Jet was your favorite nephew and was one of the reasons you considered staying. He was a lot like you, both in temperament and physique: small, fast, and brave. But those characteristics made you desirable to males in your peer group but also made Jet easy to bully by those same males. Jet always had trouble making friends and loved sneaking off by himself. You kept a close eye on him while your sister was away and caught him more than a few times trying to run off. You wonder if you not being there at the watering hole led to this.
Hearing this news breaks your heart and you hug your father tight and cry into his shoulder. He whispers in your ear, “it's okay, baby. I couldn’t bear to lose another family member after you left. I’m so glad you're coming home.”
It’s been such a hard day that you just cry for a couple minutes until you sober up. Dale comes up to you and your father and says, “We should get a move on.” The pikachu gather in formation and begin to walk once more; you in the back of the group next to your father.
No chu is paying attention to you as they casually walk back. This could be your last opportunity to break free from your forced mating and still keep the hope of finding a Thunder Stone alive. Running north would just put you in pikachu territory so that would do no good and south would lead you directly to a hungry ninetales’ maw. As you see it, there are only two options… West would take you back to the forest you’ve already explored and put you back on the right track. It would be safe, or at least safer trekking, but it would also be easier to track you as well.
Or you could go east. To the east is what the tribe calls the Dark Forest. The Dark Forest is host to many tales of horrible creatures and myths of monstrous beasts. They say the trees are tall as cliffs and the canopy so thick that sunlight does not break, making it forever twilight, even during the day. And the ground is a bog that never dries and thick fog often drifts around like it has its own will and consumes all who enter. But those are just legends of old. No pikachu dares enter there. If half the legends are true, it would be certain death, but it may be your best option to shake the pikachu and Lady from your trail.
But do you really want to leave now? If anything, this day out on your own proves you aren’t cut out for Thunder Mountain. You’d be dead right now if it weren’t for a fluke. And Lady warned you what she would do if she caught you. Plus the tribe will despise you for betraying their generosity, and they will most likely want to hunt you down as well.
What do you do?