InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ The Coyote Child ❯ Chapter Seven ( Chapter 7 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
The Coyote Child

By Terri Botta

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha. Sole copyright belongs to Viz and Rumiko Takashi. I'm poor so don't

Rating: R for later chapters.

Pairing: Inuyasha/Kagome

Summary: Inuyasha and Kagome are asked to adopt a coyote-hanyou baby from Arizona.

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Navajo words:
Belagana - white man
Hataalii - medicine man
Nali - grandmother

Author's note: Uranium mining on the Navajo reservation has a long and sordid history in the US.
Numerous incidents of ground water contamination have occurred, causing hundreds of Navajos to become
ill and many died. For a long time when nuclear power had fallen out of favor, the uranium mines were
forgotten, but now there is renewed interest. In 2005, President Joe Shirley, Jr signed a law forbidding
uranium mining on Navajo land. Currently numerous companies and a number of legislators are lobbying
to overturn the law. One of those companies is the Japanese owned firm, Itochu, Corp.

Navajo Uranium Mining resources:
http://www.sric .org/uranium/index.html

Chapter Seven

Inuyasha gritted his teeth. So far he had hated pretty much everything about this
damn trip. He'd hated having to travel over 2000 kms away from home. He'd hated
having to leave his youngest pup behind. He'd hated having to defer to a bunch of
humans who had no idea what they were getting them all into. He hated the fact that the
pup's father hadn't taken proper care of his mate. And most of all he hated the mystery
that had surrounded the entire thing.

As a general rule he didn't like mysteries. Kagome loved mysteries. She bought
hundreds of books and movies, and watched just about every mystery that came on
television. She was very good at solving mysteries and was often ten steps ahead of him
while he was still scratching his head and wondering if the butler did it. Those types of
mysteries were alright if all they did was prove that he had no head for solving puzzles.
But it had been his experience that real mysteries, true ones that his family had been
embroiled in, often ended with someone he cared about getting hurt or killed.

Now his eldest was guarding a nursing bitch and her newborn pup, an old woman,
and two Cree who had unwittingly gotten themselves tangled up in the whole mess, while
he and his mate practically dragged another young man, kicking and screaming, into the
deep wilds of Navajo Territory.
Add to all of that a silver-eyed coyote and a boatload of unidentified youki, and
he had the combination for a massive headache. At this point he didn't give a damn about
how the young Navajo felt about following a coyote. All he wanted to do was find the
pup's father, kill whatever it was that was hunting the reservation and go home.

Instead of leading them to anything that looked like it might be somewhere a
youkai family would live, however, their four-legged guide took them even further away
from civilization, leading them across an arid country almost completely devoid of

They traveled in silence, him keeping one eye on the coyote and another on the
fuel gauge. It was still 1/2 full and they had two extra containers of gas in the back, but
all the same he didn't relish the idea of getting stranded, and he hoped that they would get
to wherever they were going soon. Finally, about two hours out, but acknowledging that
they had been going at the coyote's pace, their guide took them into an area where the
rocks jutted out of the hard earth like towers and the ground sloped downward into a
series of gullies. The track became too narrow for the Jeep to pass through so they had no
choice but to park and get out.

"Oi. You ever been here?" he asked the young man.

The young man looked around, his face pensive and shook his head. "I don't
recognize it, but then we don't travel out this way much."

He nodded and turned to look for the coyote that was waiting for them at the
mouth of a narrow trail. It stood, yipped and looked behind it, panting. He took a sniff
and frowned when he noticed that the scent of strange youkai was growing stronger.

"If you want, you can stay with the Jeep," he told the Navajo. "You can stay with
him, Kagome."

His mate gave him a look that said `the Hell I will' and he gave in. It was better to
have her with him anyway. At least that way he knew where she was.

"If you're coming, bring your bow."

"Un," she agreed and moved to pull the weapon from the back of the Jeep.

"I'm ready," she told him, seating the quiver of arrows on her back as she slipped
the bow over her shoulder. He couldn't help but smile softly as she hurried to join him.
She looked so much like the young girl who had been naïve and strong enough to break
his Seal.

`Still beautiful... and still just as fearless. My Kagome. What would I ever do
without you?'

"Ready?" she asked, her scent tinged with excitement.

"Keh. Let's go," he snorted gruffly to hide his inward pleasure and they began to
follow the coyote down the trail.

The Navajo did stay behind and he was fine with that. The kid had been giving
him the same look he'd seen on condemned men being led to the chopping block and the
scent of his unhappiness had been distracting. If things were going to go to hell, he didn't
need the added stress of a stupid human panicking and mucking things up further than
they already were.

The track was steep and narrow, the ground hard and rocky. He ended up taking
off his shoes to gain better traction on the loose gravel and he urged Kagome to get on his
back. The moment her legs settled around his waist, her knees hugging his hips the way
she used to do, he was back in the Sengoku Jidai, hunting Naraku with his friends and his
mate-to-be. He wanted to cast off his signet ring and take her away to a place where life
was simpler and responsibility was something relegated to other people, but the image of
his son standing guard over the coyote-hanyou pup stopped him. Life wasn't simple
anymore. It hadn't been simple for centuries. Life was messy and complicated and full of
decisions that he was never sure if he was making the right one. But he was lucky. He
had Kagome and his pups. It was a far sight better than a lot of others he knew.

`Stop your pissing and moaning. There's a job to do and the sooner we do it, the
sooner we get to go home,' he growled at himself.

The coyote led them into a gully where the walls were sheer rock and the wind
funneled down through the tight space. Kagome's hands dug into his shoulders and she
hid her face behind his head to protect her eyes from the blowing dust. The coyote made
a sharp turn and they found themselves at the end of a tight trail that led into the rock
face, presumably into a cavern or cave. He took a deep sniff and confirmed that the scent
of youkai was coming from the other side.

"I feel a terrible jyaki coming from that direction," Kagome whispered.

"Un," he agreed and took a step forward. The coyote sat down and watched them.

"Staying here, are you?" he said.

The coyote let out a soft whine and he rolled his eyes.

The coyote sneezed and shook its head, but didn't budge.

"Fine. Stay here then," he complained and moved past the coyote to head down
the trail.

The scent of youkai and the feel of jyaki got stronger the further down the track
they went. The trail did lead into the rock face and they found themselves at the bottom
of a tall cavern. Light filtered in from an opening much higher up to illuminate the high
ceiling with its sharp stalactites jutting down like spears.

They were looking up, their eyes scanning the rough-hewn cave when he stepped
on something that crunched. He stopped dead in his tracks and they looked down at the
cavern floor. Kagome gasped and choked back a cry as he cursed softly under his breath
and reached for Tessaiga.

The cave was littered with bones. Much of it was the skeletons of animals. He
saw dozens of sheep and goat skulls, some cattle, quite a few horses and even a couple of
coyotes, but what really drew his ire were the human remains scattered among them. He
counted at least six human skeletons and parts of at least four more. He growled, deep
and low, in his chest.

Kagome slipped off his back and covered her nose. She knew that he would need
freedom to move if he had to fight. She reached for her bow and had it at the ready, just
in case. Over the stench of decay and the feel of jyaki, came the scent of the youkai, but
this time it seemed somewhat familiar. He hadn't smelled one in a long time because he
and his brother had killed them almost to the point of extinction, but now that he'd
recognized it, the scent was unmistakable.

"Hyakki koumori," he whispered to his mate.

She gasped. "Terror Bats? Here?"

He grunted and nodded his head, all the while motioning for her to stay behind
him. He could almost hear her thinking and he knew she was asking the same questions
that he had. What were Terror Bats doing on the Navajo Reservation? How did they get
here without anyone knowing about it? And why were they here in the first place? Terror
Bats preferred coastal or forested areas because they originated from the Far East. An
arid, desert climate would not be a place anyone would normally find them.

`They're not here by accident,' he decided.

Kagome placed her hand on his shoulder as he picked his way deeper into the
cavern. It was still daylight so the bats should be dormant but that didn't mean that they
wouldn't wake up if they were disturbed. They passed through a narrow crevasse into
another cave where it was almost completely dark so he knew Kagome would not be able
to see. He placed his feet carefully; glad that he had ditched his shoes so he could feel
what he was stepping on. There weren't any bones in this room, but he could smell the
guano and the last thing he wanted was to walk in bat shit.

He stopped and waited for his eyes to adjust, extending his ears and sniffing. The
scent was very strong and he could hear the bats shuffling somewhere high above him.
He heard Kagome draw her bow and he put out a hand to stop her. They didn't need the
light from her purifying arrow to alert the bats that they were there. A moment or two
later, his vision cleared and he was able to see. He looked up and gritted his teeth. There
were dozens of them; a whole swarm, perhaps even an entire clan.

His initial assessment that the bats were not there by accident was nearly certain
as the sheer number of them could not be explained by a few outcasts relocating. Kagome
gripped his forearm and he could feel her trembling. Just a handful of these youkai could
be a challenge; taking on this many was an all out battle. With just him and Kagome, they
had no real hope of winning, even with Tessaiga and especially in the cave. If he tried to
seal the cavern by causing a cave-in, there was good chance both he and Kagome would
be trapped with them. Besides, there was no telling how many entrances there were to the
cave. Just sealing one off might be a futile effort and result in the swarm coming after
them enforce. As much as he hated to admit it, the smartest thing to do was to withdraw
and consider their options.

Swallowing a growl, he took a step back, slowly pushing them both out of the
cave and back into the cavern with the bones. Once they were there, they turned and
hurried for the exit. As soon as they were back in the daylight, Kagome took several deep
breaths and crouched down with her back to the rock wall.

"Oi, you okay?" he asked, keeping his voice low.

She nodded. "Just... the jyaki. It was so strong. There were a lot of them, weren't

He huffed. He had suspected that she hadn't been able to see in the darkness.
"Yeah. Looked like a whole clan."

He saw her swallow and calm her nerves. "What are they doing here? How did
they even get here?"

He grunted. They were the same questions he had.

"What do we do?" she asked, looking up at him. "There's too many for us to

He raised his eyes to the sky and took note of the long shadows. "Sunset is
coming. It'll be dark soon. I say we wait until nightfall. When the bats fly out to hunt, we
go in and see how many entrances there are. If there's only the one, we can come back
after dawn and seal the bastards in their own cave."

Kagome nodded in agreement. "I can make temporary ofudas to keep them from
breaking out, but we should call Sesshomaru. He will want input on a more permanent

He growled. He hated calling his brother in for things but in this case his mate
was right. Getting rid of a swarm of terror bats this large was going to take some help and
he knew that if he didn't call his brother, Sesshomaru would be put out, and the last thing
he needed was the Lord of the West sulking because then he'd get vindictive. Knowing
him, Sesshomaru would do something nasty like short stock and severely curtail his
family's assets or put out bad press about the safety of his architectural designs. All
things considered, he didn't need the aggravation not calling Sesshomaru would cause.
Still, he felt he had to make even a token protest.

"Keh. We don't need that bastard's help."

"He'll want to know about this. You know he will."

"So? We tell him after."

"And then have him angry that we didn't tell him sooner? You know how well
that worked out the last time. It took years for you to rebuild your client base in Hong

He pretended to give in with a snort. "Oh all right."

"We should get back to Michael and let him know what we've found. Maybe he
could go back to the hogan and get Yukio."

He shook his head. "No. I want him guarding the girl and her pup. We can handle

They walked back down the narrow track through the gully and found the coyote
waiting for them. He scowled at the animal and it had the decency to look chagrined.

"Oi, is your master in there? Did the bats get him?"

The coyote barked a negative.

"So you just brought us here to see the bats. You want us to take care of the
bastards, don't you? That's why you led us here. Why not get rid of them yourself?"

The coyote responded with what amounted to a canine shrug and he gritted his

"Cowards. Your master's newborn pup is in that hut. You know those bats will
scent him out. You know he's in danger."

Now the coyote looked worried and whined softly. :Small pack. Too many,: it

He sighed.

"Then why not call for help? You know the carrion eaters are outcast," Kagome

The coyote's silence spoke volumes.

`They did ask for help and none was provided.' He growled. `Did my brother
already know about this? Did he know terror bats had made a Cave in the United

"You don't think Sesshoumaru already knew about this, do you?" his mate asked
in Japanese.

"I don't know," he answered.

Kagome shook her head. "No. Your nephew Shirokan is in Las Vegas. Your
brother would never tolerate them so close to his son."

He nodded. He'd forgotten about Sesshoumaru's youngest taking over some
failing casinos on the strip. There was no way his brother would allow a clan of terror
bats within a thousand miles of his son. In that respect, he and his brother were of like
minds: no one threatened, or even hinted at threatening, their family.

`So that means Sesshomaru doesn't know about the bats.' He frowned.
Sesshomaru knew everything. If the bats got here without his brother knowing that meant
that they had help, probably from a very powerful, high-ranking demon.

"Someone wanted these bats here," Kagome said, a note of disbelief in her voice.
"But why? Why would anyone want to move a clan of terror bats into this area?"

He shook his head. He had no idea why anyone would want bloodthirsty,
ravenous killers living anywhere, but he was certain that he'd be finding out just as soon
as the battle was on. If the bats had a patron, it was sure to show itself once he and his
brother declared war.

"Don't know and don't care. Let's get back to the Jeep," he answered gruffly, but
his voice betrayed his uncertainty. `There must be something here that's worth risking
discovery and an all out massacre. Something that's worth facing my brother's wrath.'

Kagome nodded and climbed onto his back, pressing herself close as he made his
way up the trail. The silver coyote trotted ahead, a happy bounce in its step. His mate
hopped down briefly to get his shoes when they passed where he had discarded them. He
scowled because he had been hoping that she would forget about them and just leave
them where they were, but no such luck. She did not, however, insist that he put the hated
things back on which was a relief.

`Five hundred years of progress and technology and they still haven't designed a
pair of shoes worth wearing,' he complained to himself.

When they emerged from the gully they found Michael waiting for them by the
Jeep. The young Navajo started when the silver coyote came bounding out of the
trailhead and moved several paces away. The coyote grinned mischievously and moved
to give chase, but Inuyasha stopped it. The last thing they needed right now was for the
animal to spook the man even more.

"Oi!" he barked, then spoke in inuyoukai. :Alpha meet Alpha. Bring Alpha to pup
den,: he ordered.

The coyote paused in its chase and lowered its head. :Pack-male obey.:

He grunted in approval and watched as the animal turned and headed off in the
opposite direction. As soon as the coyote was out of sight, Michael came back to the

"Oi. Is there anything of value on this reservation? Anything someone might want
badly enough to kill for?" he asked without preamble.

"We have many antiquities. Belagana grave robbers are always desecrating our
burial grounds," Michael replied.

He shook his head. Youkai weren't interested in stolen grave goods.

"No. Something bigger."

"There are many gold and silver mines."

"Anyone can get silver and gold. What do you have that no one else does? What's
on this land that someone might be willing to risk everything for?" `What do you have
that someone would bring in terror bats for?'

The young man looked thoughtful, considering the question carefully.

"It would be something very valuable. Something that maybe someone wants but
can't get to," Kagome offered. "Maybe something Whites want that your people won't let
them have."

Michael gasped and his eyes opened wide, but then his face darkened and grew
still with anger.

"What? What is it?" he demanded, resisting the urge to grab the man by the
shoulders and shake it out of him.

"Uranium. We have uranium. Belagana businessmen have been trying to force us
to let them open new uranium mines, but Chief Shirley has forbidden it. We had many
mines in the past and hundreds of people were poisoned by the runoff. There are still
wells that are contaminated. For a long time, people forgot about our uranium because of
the stigma of radioactive waste, but recently there has been renewed interest, especially
in New Mexico."

`Uranium for new nuclear plants and bombs. That would do it all right.'

"Why do you ask me such things? What did you find?" the young man questioned

"We found a cave of demon bats," Kagome answered.

"What?" Michael blurted.

"They are most likely responsible for the dead sheep and the burned hogans. It
also looks like they've been feeding on your livestock. There are a few human skeletons
in their cave as well," his mate continued.

"Oi. These things aren't native to this area. They're from Japan. Someone must
have moved this clan here. My guess is they've been killing anyone who has discovered
them," he said.

"My people are widespread and solitary. If anyone had gone missing, it might
take days, if not months, before someone noticed, especially if the person was reclusive
to begin with. Unless there is a family member who checks on them, many lone Navajo
can go a long time without any visitors," Michael admitted.

"Well, you've got at least ten in there that the bats have gotten, and that was just
the bones we could see," he said.

"When we get back to my grandmother's hogan, I will go to the trading post and
spread the word that friends and relatives that have not been seen in a while should be
checked on. I'll also tell the Navajo Police and they can send someone out to investigate
this cave."

"Oh no. You mustn't do that," Kagome warned. "It's very dangerous. These
demons are very powerful. You wouldn't have a chance against them. As it is, we're
going to bring in help from Inuyasha's brother. For now, we're going to wait until sunset
and see if we can trap the bats in their cave when they come back to roost for the day. If
we can contain them for even a short time, it will give us a chance to bring help."

"What do you want me to do?" the young Navajo asked.

"Just wait here. When the bats leave the cave for the night, we will go in and see
if there are any other exits. If there aren't, when they come back to roost at dawn, we'll
be waiting and we'll seal the cave," Kagome explained.

Michael didn't seem to be too keen on the plan and he frowned slightly. "I don't
like it. While you are in the cave, the bats could be out killing more sheep or burning
more hogans down... or worse."

"I know. But sheep aren't killed every night and hogans aren't burned down all
the time, so they are probably only doing those things sporadically," his mate answered.
"They are most likely here for another purpose involving the uranium mines."

An idea struck him and he turned to her. "Could they be used to mine the

Kagome considered his question then shook her head. "Terror bats are strong and
they can see in the dark, but they aren't diggers. If someone wanted demon miners, there
are other species that are much better suited to the job. Earth youkai or mole-youkai
would be a much better choice."

"Keh. Earth youkai and mole-youkai wouldn't do it."

"True. Maybe the bats are the only ones who would agree."

His thoughts darkened. "Or maybe they were brought in to terrorize humans into
letting the mines go forward," he suggested.

Kagome's face mirrored his own and she reached into the Jeep to grab her cell

"Oi. Who are you calling?"

"Yukio, then Sesshomaru. They need to know about this," she replied, flipping
open the phone, then rolling her eyes. "Except that there's no cell service."

He humphed, knowing what was coming next.

"I keep telling you we need to upgrade to those new satellite phones," she

"Keh. The phones we have work well enough."

"Except when we're in positions like this where we need to make a call and we

"Oi. I wasn't expecting to be out in the middle of nowhere facing down a cave of
terror bats!"

She must have heard the stress in his voice because she backed down, which was
unusual for her, but he was glad of it. Their situation was really hitting him now. They
were on their own in the middle of the Navajo Reservation. There was a Clan of Terror
Bats about to take flight for the night to wreak god-knows-what kind of destruction. Their
eldest son was guarding a bunch of humans and newborn pup, and there was no way to
warn him of the danger. There was no way to call for reinforcements and there was no
way they could face the whole clan on their own.

Three hundred years ago he would have gone into that cave with Tessaiga
swinging, but the years had taught him the value of caution and planning. His mate and
son's lives were at stake, not to mention countless humans', and now was not the time for
recklessness. As much as it grated against him, he knew he had to wait for the right

Kagome's hand on his arm brought him out of his dark thoughts, and she looked
at him with an expression that told him that she was with him. He managed a small smile.

In all the years she had stood beside him, she was never more beautiful to him than when
they were on the cusp of battle. His mate was a warrior and she had felled as many
demons as he. In a crisis, there was no one he would rather have by his side in a fight.

Oh, it was great to have his sons fighting alongside him, and few could best
Yukio in a head-to-head match, but Kagome's wrath was glorious. When angered, her
power was breathtaking, and he stood in awe of it even to this day. He knew that
Tessaiga could bring down the cave, but it would be Kagome's arrows that would do the
purification and Kagome's talismans that would Seal the bastards inside.

"We'll get them," she promised, and he closed his hand over hers in silent

"So we just wait then," Michael asked, anger adding a rough edge to his voice.

"Yes. The sun is going down. The bats will leave the cave soon. Then we can go
in and see what we have to work with," his mate replied calmly.

The young man still didn't look happy but he did agree to the plan, and they
waited anxiously as the sun set. They moved the Jeep into the shelter of a rock overhang
so it couldn't be seen from above, and Kagome burned some ofudas to mask their scents
along the trail and in the cave.

It was still twilight when they heard the rustling of huge leathery wings, and they
crouched down by the Jeep to watch as the demon bats flew overhead. He tried to count
them as they passed, but there were too many to keep track of and he once again
wondered how anyone could have kept such a large population of Terror Bats a secret.
Then, to their horror, they saw the bats circle above their cave and make an abrupt turn
towards the east- heading right in the direction of Ruth's hogan. Kagome gripped his arm

"They're heading east," she whispered, her voice frightened.

He nodded, grinding his teeth.

"Yukio is out there. He won't know they're coming. They're bound to sense
him..." she continued, echoing his own thoughts.

The decision was made in a heartbeat as they were already moving. The plan to
investigate the cave was abandoned as they jumped into the Jeep.

"What's going on?" Michael asked as he grabbed the young human and
practically tossed him into the vehicle.

He couldn't speak. He was too angry and worried to speak. All he could do was
act, and a low growl escaped his throat as he shoved the key into the ignition and
hurriedly turned on the engine.

"They're headed east. When they pass near your grandmother's hogan, they'll
smell Yukio. We have to get back there," Kagome explained as he threw the Jeep into
gear and felt it lurch into drive.

Michael gasped. "Nali and Sara!"

"Exactly. We'll investigate the cave later, but right now, we have to move," she
said, grabbing the handle above her right shoulder as he spun the wheels.

He said nothing as he gripped the wheel almost hard enough to break it and raced
back to their son.