If Silver drowned, then she wouldn’t have to worry about him or what she’d just asked him to do ever again. She considered getting in the boat and running away. But the thought made her stomach lurch with guilt, and now Julia was down there, and- Her resolve washed away with the ripples.
She swam to where Julia was. He was panicking, flailing and trying to latch onto her. Phoebe nudged her over and grabbed him from behind, restraining his arms. Any attack on her was manageable.
Strong kicks carried them both up towards the island, and she let him go when they reached a tangle of roots that stretched out of the lake. He clung to them and gasped for air as he scrambled onto land. Resting on his hands and knees, he coughed and shook his fur. She collapsed a few feet down the shore. Julia drove her boat over, next to the one Phoebe had taken, and stepped out with the gun.
“Why’d you try to save him if you’re…” Phoebe averted her gaze, resigned.
“It’s only a dart gun.” She pumped it and took aim. “He’s beat but I wanna make sure he don’t send me into the mud like last time. Now please tell me you weren’t gonna kill him.”
Phoebe heard a click. “I wasn’t. I messed up.” She stared at the dirt.
“Come on,” Julia said, her voice softening, “Let’s all just go home. I’ll take care of this guy.” After Silver had succumbed to the tranquilizer, they both hoisted him into a boat. Phoebe was silent for the duration; when she got in she tried to sit as far away from him as possible. Even so, she still felt the prickle of his tail brushing up against the small of her back.
And that's the end! Chapter II is finished! (If you came to this page first, remember to go back and read 32 since I uploaded both of them today.) Thank you everyone who’s been reading along + those of you who plan to catch up.
Like at the end of chapter I, Katabasis will now be going on hiatus while I work on chapter III. More info will be announced about it once it’s further along, but plans are also up in the air and subject to change. This next year is going to be a weird one for me. I have (hopefully) one semester left before I get my Master’s, which actually started yesterday. Plus, I’ll have to start job hunting. So I’m going to be busy with school, and then my availability art-wise will depend on how long it takes me to find a job and how demanding that job is.
I definitely want to keep working on Kata, and I’d love to have a shorter hiatus between II and III than between I and II. If you want progress updates, follow Katabasis on Twitter!