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Challenge #01364-C269: Here There Be Werewolves

Tidally-locked Lycanthropy Planet. Details here. -- RecklessPrudence

Rough seas, of course. Rounding the Cape to the trade winds inevitably involved rough seas. It took a good captain to deal with just that. But of course, things had to be trickier. Sailing the Cape had to be done in full daylight or not at all, because the Moon shone her full face on the southern hemisphere. Which left those dangerous lands populated entirely by werewolves.

And even with all these precautions, there was still a crewmate or two who found out that she had that peculiar gene. They could keep their wits - though barely - through their first change, if they had the help of the sun. And from there, they would become immigrants to the dangerous southern lands. Swapped for the few who could not or would not change under the moon's staring influence.

Captain Bernes glared at that malevolent orb a she rose above the horizon. Pale and blue, but still there. Still hypnotising good North crew to the deadly south. Still rejecting her own children to keep things balanced.

Bernes focussed on rounding the Cape. Shouting orders from the helm and praying that this time, there were no new crew who were going into the terrible Terra Australis[1]. The burning southern lands of poison, venom, flood, fire, and sharks. Sometimes, all of them at once. And the savage, tearing blood-roos[2].

Past the keel-scraping reef. Past the capsizing waves. Past the sail-tearing winds and into smoother sailing. Barnes hated this part.

"Sound off! Sound off! All hands say 'aye'!"

Five. Ten. Fifteen 'aye's. And one 'awooo' before the rest of the crew gave their 'aye'.

Damn.

Now they had to stop in at Perth.

Smitty submitted to the muzzle like a good kid. Let the others put covers on her claws. She padded up to Bernes with her new tail between her legs and her ears flat against her head. "...'m sorry, Captain," she murmured.

"Can't be helped, Smitty," Bernes sighed. She made a point to grip the kid's shoulder, and not pet her on the head. "Nobody knows until the crossing. You... you just try and keep your wits with you, eh?"

Smitty nodded, and waited for her new 'buddy' with the requisite leash. If she could keep her wits, she would never need it. But if they needed it, they needed it ready.

"Australia isn't as bad as they say it is," Bernes soothed. "If it was, there wouldn't be nearly so many Australians, right?"

Smitty had a shy smile. Too conscious of her new fangs. "Propaganda to keep us off their sheep," she said. "Not that we're that desperate."

Oh good. She was already at home with their comedy.

[1] Of course Australia is full of werewolves now.

[2] The first werewolves botched a few hunts. Now there's werewolf kangaroos. Fun times.

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