The sun filtered through the fir trees, and warmed the dome of Putin’s bald head. He stirred, and noted the absence of Snowy’s gentle snore.
Jerking upright, Putin swept his gaze across the landscape, but saw no sign of his slave bear. “A runaway!” he thought, burning with rage.
Visions of hunting down and killing the treacherous bear filled his mind, but were interrupted by sounds of rustling branches and snuffling.
Snowy emerged into the clearing with two flopping salmon the size of snowshoes in her mouth. She’d been up early, catching breakfast.
Dropping the fresh fish at Putin’s feet, Snowy backed away, keeping her eyes on the ground as she did so. He nodded a curt acknowledgment.
“Have you eaten yet?” he asked her. Eating before the Master would be a punishable offense. “No, I’ll eat after you finish,” she replied.
Her answer pleased him, and he rewarded her with one of the salmon. The imposing she-bear waited patiently as Putin dined.
Once Putin was full, Snowy quickly snatched her shimmering fish, great jaws devouring the arm-length salmon in a savage gulp.
Glancing up, Snowy thought she saw a smile flash across Putin’s face. Lowering her head, she approached to remove his fish bones.
As her nose reached the scraps, Putin stopped her with a sudden command. “Look at me, she-bear!” Obediently, Snowy raised her head.
Their eyes locked. Putin’s weathered, sun-reddened face was a mere claw-length away. Neither spoke as they continued to stare, unblinking.
Neither noticed a persistent buzzing, growing ever louder, or felt the giant wings battering the air, or saw the approaching shadow.
Too late! A hideous Kaiju Demon Mosquito hovered over Putin and jammed its blood-sucking proboscis far into his shoulder!
Putin swung his head aside, but was unable to escape as the massive Kaiju pinned him to the forest floor and sucked his radioactive blood.
Putin grimaced and glowed brighter with the pain. Snowy took one look at his tortured face, then gauged the size of the hovering mutant.
Without hesitation, she lunged at the insect monster’s bulging eyes, pitching forward and ripping off one of its wriggling antennae.
The Kaiju twisted away but Snowy followed, slashing with her massive claws at its soft abdomen and swollen thorax.
The monster screeched and detached from Putin, dripping all the black stuff from its belly and spraying drops of blood as it flew off.
Putin lay limp, face down on the ground, bleeding heavily from the wound in his shoulder and gasping.
Snowy quickly rolled him over and saw that his eyes, though glassy, were tracking her movements. At least he was conscious.
Though too weak to speak, Putin knew that Snowy had just saved his life. He looked at her and decided: Snowy was to be his War Bear.