• The thick mist of dust and ice hung undisturbed over the rough, frozen terrain. The landscape was uniformly white in every direction. A figure, barely conspicuous in the vast sea of fog, crouched behind a large formation of stone and ice. A deadly set of daggers were drawn and keen eyes shifted from side to side suspiciously as the figure crouched and waited. For painfully long moments he attempted to contact his companion through the delicate telepathic link that was a signature trait of his people. The light was fast dissolving, and to remain out in the austere terrain while in the dark was simply suicide. Despite his unease, the figure lingered in hope that his fears would be proved to be misplaced.
    “He’s late,” the figure growled. His large, acute ears pressed flat against the hood of his thick cloak of skins and fur. His tail twitched irately from side to side. The strong urge to pace proved to him his agitation, but he wisely remained in place. To be late, in his plain of existence, meant certain death.
    As the moments passed, the figure began to lose all hope. There was no evidence that his companion was coming, nor were there any hints of attempted communication. In fact, the figure couldn’t sense his companion’s brain activity, a very ill omen. At last the figure had to accept that his companion wasn’t coming. Silently, the figure moved forward. The thick cloak was patterned in patches of various tones of white and grey to allow him to blend with the landscape. Cautiously he crept along, his every sense on high alert and his muscles tensed in anticipation.
    To one who knew nothing of the hostile Tundra, the world around them would seem void of all life. He knew better. The area around him was teeming with life from gentle creatures that sustained the needs of the rest of the population, to the large monstrosities that skulked in the shadows, ever watching and always waiting for the mistake that would create vulnerability. He knew every nearby threat, heard every heartbeat, saw every form; but he knew he far exceeded the capabilities of any other being lurking in the deadly tundra, for he was the deadliest of all. He was the hunter, the rouge, the courier of death.
    A sly smile played at his lips as he thought of his undisputed rank as best of the best. Nothing could defeat him, at least not on even terms. However, even he was aware that rank mattered little in the face of death. None-the-less, a high reputation did help dissuade most from attempting a lone attack.
    The rouge continued his slow and precise path through the dense fog laying over the frozen waste-land. He one or twice attempted once again to communicate with his lost companion, but it was futile. His companion’s brain activity had simply vanished. This was a sure sign of death.
    Eye’s followed his every step, and the pressing stillness cut him deeper than any blade ever would. It seemed that everything around him was holding its breath, as if in anticipation. This, the hunter knew, was a seriously pressing problem. Nothing was coincidental on the small satellite of stone and ice that was his home. Though honed in on the apparent presence of impending doom, he continued forward.
    He spun round as he caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of his eye. As he neared, the scene of major battle began to loom from the thick gloomy mist. He paused to watch the onslaught. After observing a few moments, he came to the conclusion that the event he was witnessing was no battle, but a massacre. His eye’s widened slightly as his sensitive hearing detected the screams of his dying people. Every inch of his thick, marble fur stood on end, and his lips pealed back to reveal his sharp, canine-like teeth. A feral snarl escaped as he recognized the insignia of his people’s greatest enemies etched onto the shield and uniforms of the attackers. Resisting the powerful urge to charge headlong into the fray and certain death, the rouge began to retrace his steps. With a low growl and a vow to wreak his vengeance upon the offenders, the rouge turned his gaze from his doomed fellows and dissolved into the vast ocean of swirling mist.