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Cora and the Mooncats
--Grandpa, grandpa tell us another story. Puhleeze, please, please!
--Huh, whazzat, whaddaya want? Oh, it's you lot. What is it now.
--Another story Grandpa, another story.
--[Sigh] Oh okay. What'll it be this time? Another account of my great exploits or those
of the legendary heroes I used to adventure with?
--Tell us another story about Cora Two-mouth.
--What! You little perverts, get outta here.
--[Angelic smiles] Ah, Grandpa, you tell the bestest stories.
--Oh okay, just send the youngun's away (chorus of disappointed younger children). These
tales ain't fit for tender ears. Go on, git! (Waits until the waifs are out of earshot).
This is another story about Cora that I heard from a Lunar officer a long time ago. One
Cora was in a big hurry. She hadn't planned on spending so much time
on lunch but a girl's gotta eat. Moonson himself was waiting for her and He didn't care to
be kept waiting. She remembered hearing about the last person who'd kept Moonson waiting
too long and she didn't like to ponder on such unpleasantness. She was currently Moonson's
favorite but she knew all too well how that was likely to change at the drop of a tasseled
pair of undies. (The sort Uleria Herself might have worn). She raced down corridors and up
corridors holding her gold sandals in her left hand running like only a farm girl (which
she used to be) or a whore in a hurry (which she considered herself now to be) could go.
Caution and decorum to the winds she thought I's just gotta reach the Silent Throne room
before Moonson does or my ass will be grass. She raced down the hallways yelling,
"Gangway, Moonson's whore comin' through!" Servants and functionaries scattered
left and right to get out of her way. Most of them, eunuchs excepted, stopped to stare
after her as she disappeared down the hallway. Finally she reached the hallway the Silent
Throne room was off of and the guards at the door yelled, "Halt, who goes
there!" She yelled, "No time to chit chat fellers, its me, Cora", and she
vaulted over their crossed rhomphias and through the open door. She slid across the
polished floor up to her spot beside the throne, slapped her sandals onto her feet and
tried to compose herself. Just in time, she thought, as she heard the sound of the
ceremonial cistras that always preceded Moonson wherever he went. She dropped prostate to
the floor and lay there panting, her chest heaving as Moonson's procession came through
the door. All the eyes that were free to, or at all interested looked at her as she lay
"Late again, Cora?" asked Moonson as He ascended to the throne.
"No, Your Imperial Majesty, just plum afire with passion at muh proximity to
Yourself." she replied quivering inside at the absence of the dear Moonson usually
tacked onto her name.
"Indeed," Moonson snorted, "We will talk about it later my dear, now stand
up and look as fetching as you can." He paused,"You know We think the sweat
actually helps. Be late next time as well."
Cora gave a deep mental sigh of relief and promised to let herself collapse later when she
got the chance. He usually asked her to attend an audience when he wanted her present to
distract some embassador or bigwig. She got bored at these things pretty fast. It wasn't
that they weren't interesting or nuttin', she thought, it was just that she really had no
input or say so it didn't really matter to her what happened. Things would happen or they
wouldn't and nothing a farm girl or a whore had to say would make the least lick of
difference. She just had to stand there wearin' a skimpy outfit and make googly eyes at
whoever Moonson wuz talkin' to. She was wondering who the fella was she was to flirt with
today when she heard a ruckus comin' up the hallway toward the throne room. She heard
guards shouting "You can't go in there!" followed by shrieks of pain and a deep,
rich, unmistakable female voice saying, "Oh really?" Moonson's left eyebrow
raised a fraction. In stalked Great Sister dragging a haggard looking man behind her. She
tossed the man to the ground and had started into the abbreviated version of the seven
prostrations and three salutations she was permitted as Moonson's relative when He
gestured impatiently for her to skip them.
"What is it? I have an important audience coming up."
"Moonson they are gone," said Great Sister.
"What's gone?" asked Moonson irritably.
"The mooncats from the Glass Menagerie."
"Oh?", said Moonson raising his eyebrow a fraction higher than it had been a
"Yes, this wretch," she said pointing to the man she had tossed to the ground
who Cora now recognized as the Keeper of the Menagerie , "tells me the cats have been
gone for two whole days!"
"Hmmm," said Moonson, "that's rather unfortunate considering their fondness
for human flesh. Can you tell Us why you neglected to inform anyone of their escape before
The keeper went through the seven prostrations and three salutations, timidly raised his
head and said in a quivering voice, "I was afraid."
"Afraid!" shouted Great Sister striking the man and sending him skidding across
the marble floor. "Afraid of what?"
Showing a degree of bravery that Cora felt was commendable but extremely foolhardy the
keeper whispered "That someone would do that." Unfortunately for him the
excellent acoustics of the Silent Throne room carried the sound to Great Sister's ears and
she was about to pounce on the hapless keeper when Moonson raised his hand.
"Enough. We do not have time for recriminations right now. The proper agents will
investigate the keeper's conduct and make a report to me.
The keeper turned as white as the prophesised Moon at the mention of the proper agents
investigating his actions and fainted dead away. Great Sister sighed in exasperation and
dragged the man away by an ankle just in time to clear the room before the expected
After the audience was over Cora walked back to her room thinking
about the afternoon's events. She'd never heard of these mooncats but then she rarely had
any time for such frivolities. She pitied the poor keeper having to be subjected to the
not so tender mercies of the Grim Soldiers, the proper agents Moonson had mentioned, the
agency responsible for the security of Glamour. She decided to pay the Glass Menagerie a
visit the following day since she didn't have anything on her schedule and see what she
could learn about these mooncats. The next day she got up bright and early (just before
lunch time), did her devotions to Moonson and Uleria and headed out of the palace towards
the Glass Menagerie. The Glass Menagerie was the place where creatures from all over
Glorantha and even from the Red Moon Itself were collected and displayed for the delight
of residents of Glamour and visitors alike. Not having ever been to the Glass Menagerie
she had to ask the gate guards for directions which they were more than happy to provide.
Cora enjoyed walking the streets of Glamour and never grew jaded at
the fact that in this of all cities a naked virgin with a sack of gold could wander the
streets in perfect safety. (She didn't really qualify for that description since she was
certainly no virgin, didn't have a sack of gold (on her person) and would have only
qualified as naked in the more uptight parts of the Empire). She marveled at the diverse
and colourful crowds she passed and thanked the Goddess yet again that she was lucky
enough to live in the most wondrous city on Glorantha. Fortunately she had been in Glamour
a while (not to mention having visiting the Moon Itself once, as well as having been in
the City of Dreams a number of times) so she was spared having to wander around jaw agape
like so many of the tourists she saw. Since she was thirsty she bought a fruit ice from a
street vendor and greedily gobbled it down. A little while later she regretted having done
that as she soon felt a strong need to empty her bladder. She hated using the public
facilities which were mostly staffed with broos because like most country folk she just
couldn't overcome her inbred aversion to Chaos and hated getting that close to a broo. She
hurried her pace and hoped that she might use the staff facilities at the Menagerie which
hopefully would be staffed by humans. After a brisk walk she reached the park where the
Glass Menagerie was housed and turned in at the gates. She walked towards a very bored and
oafish looking attendant leaning on a broom who suddenly became much more attentive (but
no less oafish) at the sight of a beautiful, scantily dressed woman in the colours of the
Imperial household and said,
"Pardon me fellah but could you tell a girl where the Menagerie is? Plus could you
tell me where I's could go and powder my nose around here?"
The attendant looked puzzled and said, "Huh, youse wants to put powder on yer
"No, no. It's a eu-phee-missim for using the facilities."
"What's a you-fee-whatzit? And wut's a fah-ci-li-tees?", said the attendant
looking even more confused and oafish.
Cora sighed and decided to try the direct approach, "Ah needs to take a piss."
"Oh, fur cryin' out loud, why didn't you say that in the first place. Plenty of
bushes around here."
Cora's drew herself up straight, narrowed her eyes and looked down the length of her
perfect nose at him.
The attendant felt a chill and hastily said, "But mebbe a fine lady likes yurself
don't piss out of doors."
"Not anymore," agreed Cora.
The attendant quickly gave Cora directions to the proper facilities and much to Cora's
relief there were no broos in sight. She quickly attended to her business and feeling much
better left the facility to head over to the Menagerie. As she was leaving she heard a
faint mewing sound. She looked around and located where the sound was coming from a clump
of bushes. She crawled under the bushes and amidst the litter left by visitors to the park
she discovered a tiny kitten tangled in the string of someone's discarded macrame bikini
top. He, Cora quickly verified, was a scruffy looking little tabby covered with dust and
"What are y'all doing here li'l critter?" she cooed as she slowly untangled the
kitten. The kitten swiped at her with its paws and drew some blood.
"Goldarnit!", she yelped and dragging the kitten out of the bushes she stuck her
face right in its. "Listen here varmint, there's plenty more where youse came from so
smarten up! Anymore of that there nonsense and I's a gonna toss you back into them thar
bushes. Kapish? "
The kitten gazed into her eyes and perhaps sensing she meant business mewed plaintively.
At this Cora melted and put the kitten into her carryall saying, "When I's gets youse
home I'll fix you a right nice snack." Cora had a bit of a snack she'd packed for
herself in case she got hungry; two of the Emperor's favorite type of sausages, some green
cheese, a couple of tomatoes, a loaf of bread, some butter in a stoneware jar, another jar
of sardines, some potato salad, a bottle of wine, and another of water, as well as a jam
buster for dessert, so she gave the kitten some of the sardines to keep him quiet. He
quickly gobbled them down and promptly fell asleep.
Cora made her way to the Menagerie where she quickly spotted the
Keeper looking somewhat the worse for wear after his "interview" with the Grim
Soldiers. He recognized Cora from the throne room and made a great fuss of welcoming her
and showing her where his office was. He sat her down in his own chair and offered her
something to drink. She turned him down and offered to share her lunch with him. He
reluctantly accepted but his reluctance quickly disappeared when he saw the dainties she
was offering. The pair sat and ate and made small talk. Cora learned that the Grim
Soldiers decided that the Keeper had been stupid and perhaps negligent in letting the
mooncats escape without telling anyone but that he hadn't been acting in a treasonous
fashion in doing so. It had been decided that his interrogation was a sufficient
punishment for what he had done. (He said this while spitting blood out from between his
missing teeth so Cora guessed this was true).
After they ate Cora asked him if he could show her where the
mooncats had been housed since she was so interested. The Keeper showed her the enclosure
where the cats had been and she marveled at the height of the transparent wall.
"You mean they's jumped that ther wall!?! Why it must be ten meters tall!"
"I am afraid so. We quite underestimated their ability to jump. If only we had told
someone when the kitten had disappeared."
"Kitten?", asked Cora.
"Yes, we had moved the adults to another enclosure so that we could clean this one
and I guess we both, human and cat alike assumed that their kitten had gone with them.
Unfortunately it seems the kitten stayed behind and wandered off while the enclosure was
"What do these mooncats look like anyway?"
"Oh, somewhat like the cats the Orlanthi barbarians favor, but much more noble
looking and regal in manner. Their fur is a lovely shade of red. They're quite large,
about the size of a horse and their eyes have the power to drive mortals mad. Oh, and they
have a large, beautiful tail, not the ugly little stub the barbarian cats have.
Unfortunately they also seem to have something of a taste for human flesh. Fortunately no
one seems to have been killed by them so far but I'm sure that can't last since it's been
quite a while since they ate. Again, unfortunately they're quite cunning, almost Lunar in
intelligence so it may take the Hunter Corps quite some time to catch them. The Emperor
has issued orders that they must not be killed so it could be quite the feat to capture
Cora thanked the Keeper for his time and he thanked her for the
honor of her company and for sharing her lunch with him. She left the Menagerie and headed
back to the Citadel for lunch. On the way back she heard from ahead of her an ever
increasing amount of noise which she soon realized included screams of terror and shrieks
of alarm. Curious, she turned the corner from the peaceful street she was on to a scene
straight out of some hell. The alley in front of her was littered with rubble and bodies.
Some street vendor's stalls had been completely flattened with all of their goods
scattered all over the alley. The vendor's bodies lay in the rubble and more body parts
littered the street. A small detachment of Grim Soldiers were gathered at the far end of
the alley. Three of their number lay on the ground in pieces before them and they were
visibly trying to steel themselves for another attack. Cora looked around for their
attacker or attackers and couldn't see them right away. One of the Grim Soldiers spotted
her and yelled at her,
"Flee while you can in the Name of the Goddess!"
"What is it," asked Cora, "what's gone and happened?"
Just then her question was answered when a giant reddish feline landed right in front of
her, lifted its head to the Moon and roared.
"Oh," squeaked Cora, "that's what happened."
Cora decided that she might as well die well as the giant cat was joined by its mate. She
spread her arms apart, threw her head back and said, "If you has to eat me then go
ahead and eats me. Just make it quick." The larger of the pair of cats had moved
closer, opening its massive jaws and started to swallow Cora's head when it stopped and
sniffed at Cora. It gave out an interrogatory rumble which was answered by a faint meow
from inside Cora's carryall. Cora said, "You don't mean..." and moving very
slowly she reached into her carryall and lifted the kitten out. The huge cat sniffed the
tiny kitten and gently picked it up in its mouth. Cora sighed and wiped the sweat off of
her forehead. The larger cat turned with the kitten in its mouth and went over to the
smaller cat. The pair seemed to communicate somehow with the kitten and Cora could have
sworn that the kitten looked abashed. The smaller cat picked the kitten up while the
larger cat turned again to Cora. Cora gulped and was bracing herself for destruction when
the large cat licked her face with its tongue which was the same size as one of the
imperial wash cloths. The larger cat squatted before her and she said, "Me?" The
cat growled in assent and she gingerly climbed on the cat's back. The cat gracefully rose
to its feet and accompanied by the smaller cat the pair padded all the way to the Citadel
of Halfway along the busy streets with Cora riding on the big cat's back. Crowds soon
lined the streets to gawk and cheer as Cora and the mooncats moved along the streets,
giving the foursome plenty of space of course. Eventually they reached the Citadel of
Halfway. The guards at the entrance moved to stop them but Cora's cry of "No"
and the great cats growls made them fall back. They walked past the guardsmen at the
entrance and strode through the hallways up to the entrance of the City of Dreams. There
waited the masked and grim Hell Sisters. The female cat gazed at the Hell Sister in charge
and some communication seemed to pass between the pair. The Sisters let them through and
they traveled down the hallways and through the streets of the City of Dreams until they
reached Moonson's presence. (Cora had no idea how the Mooncats managed to find Moonson,
they just seemed to know where he was). The two adults plopped themselves down in His
presence and looked expectantly at him. Moonson's left eyebrow rose up to his hairline at
"Well," he said.
"Your Imperial Majesty, I thinks they wants to go home."
"You know Cora I think you are correct."
Moonson issued orders for the Gates to the Silver Bridge to be opened. Moonson took Cora's
arm and strode with her to the Ante-chamber of the Moon. The mooncats rose up and followed
them. At the Ante-chamber the cats stared deep into Moonson's eyes and then gave out
mighty roars, licked Cora's hands and walked up the Bridge to the Moon.
Cora said, "I think they'll be happier up there."
Moonson replied, "So will we all We imagine."
--Okay kids, that's it story's over go away and let an old, old man
July 07, 1998
Last updated October 07, 2016
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