[P] choking on a rattlesnake bone
#1
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PP approved.

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Messiah sprawled at the entrance of his cave, his chin on his paws and tattered ears pulled down against his skull. He stared at the marshland in the distance and heaved a sigh -- melodramatic but justified in his eyes. He was a bit thinner even than usual, pelt scraggly from a lack of self-care. If one found it hard to believe he and dark Nephilim were brothers -- they would look it now, both tattered and thin and hungering for something the world wouldn't let them have.

I don't understand, was the singular thought that itched at his brain. And he didn't. He'd tried to do good for Inferni time and time again -- do what he was supposed to do, like Stigmata was supposed to preach. He was the soldier, and so he was meant to kill wolves, save their souls. Expiation, the one word that echoed in their family again and again. Expiation by blood.

But Messiah bore fresh scars on his rump and a bigger scar in his heart. He tried to adjust, forcing Nephilim to do things for him, forcing Sparrow to take pity on him and stay with him, too. Other than Olivia -- dearest Olivia -- she was the only one who he'd call a friend. She was the only coyote he could call a friend, anyway.

Discouraged, Messiah sighed again and shut his eyes -- then opened him a moment later. He spotted a hunched form approaching, leaning on a staff, something bundled under their arm. He squinted then stood on all fours, big ears strained forward and mouth tugging in a half-grimace of disbelief. Prophet? he yapped, and stepped tentatively from the cave to greet her.

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#2
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Word Count → 557 :: Out of Character text


Prophet had already been to see Stigmata then had gone to check out the Greenhouse and the Hospital. She had putt off seeing her other siblings until the gift had been prepared. Well, she had brought nothing for Nephilim. She doubt her addled brother would even notice though. It wasn't like he would be able to make use of what she had brought with her. But then again Messiah might not choose to use it either as he lived a more feral lifestyle than Stigmata and herself did. Still there were times that he would stand upright and so he could use it more than Nephilim ever could. Besides Nephilim just broke her heart. She had gotten over what ailed her, not that she was keen on anyone knowing that, but Nephilim still remained broken. He still remained as a reminder of the sin contained within their blood, and within their name as she had come to find out.

A grin spread momentarily over the female's features at the sound of her name before it disappeared into a fit of coughing and wheezing. Her body shook and trembled as she sought to get her breathing back under control again. She acted as if she was still afflicted with the same thing that had made her puphood living hell. She had grown out of it but still pretended that she was still sick even now. It was easier to do what she desired to do without being questioned when others thought her too ill to participate consistently.

"Messiah." She spoke her brother's name and remained where she was so that she could shift the bundle she was carrying with her in order to free up a hand to wave. "I have brought you something." She said and held up the bundle to show that what she was toting around with her was meant for him. With the greeting out of the way Prophet contained on in her hobbling manner to reach her brother.

Once she finally got close to him could she actually present her gift of the wolf pelt to him. "Stigmata got it cured so it should last you." She said as she made to drape the pelt over her sibling's body. She figured that he would at least appreciate the gift, and what it symbolized, even if he didn't get much use out of it. A wolf had met his salvation at her hands even if she hadn't struck the killing blow. She had paid attention to their parents's teaching even if she had been laid up. She knew what it was that they must do and the gift that she was presenting to Messiah attested to just that. While they were all taught to be warriors in their own right it was also expected of her to continue their line and raise up an army of their own. Her task was simply, in fact it could be said to be a task all of them shared, but it was drilled into the girls of the litter more than it had been drilled into the boys. Her path was to be fruitful and multiply. No matter what else she did she was expected to bear young throughout all her days, so long as she was able to do so.

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#3
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--I forget if it has a skull like Stigmata's.

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He struggled to push his worries and recent memories out of his mind, trotting four-legged out to greet his ill sister. She had more wits about her than Nephilim did, though he still thought her weak. She wasn't as pliable as Nephy, whom Messiah could force to do whatever he wanted, and she was not so respected as knowledgable Stigmata. But fond memory did well up at the sight of her, even as his muzzle wrinkled at her wheezes and coughs, and he wagged his tail tentatively as she produced a furry bundle.

Me? Messiah pressed, and his chest swelled with pride. He was insecure and uncertain behind his bitter words and lashing out -- but the gift she presented was worth a great warrior of coyotes, and he accepted the weight on his head and back with wagging tail. It was full, cured, a beautiful thing, and he spun in circles to look at it, grinning.

Thank you, sister, he said, but his grin dropped from his lips and his brow furrowed. He deserved this, didn't he? -- but the growing confusion and anger in his heart, the looks some of the clan coyotes gave him... it wore on him. He was not one to confide in others, but Prophet was weak; he had nothing to fear from her.

I'm glad you're here with us. The small coyote smiled up at her, though his small paws fidgeted along the ground. I -- I think I might need guidance, he confessed. I think I've -- been led into temptation. He was not sure if that was the right word, but it fit in his mouth all right.

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#4
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Word Count → 667 :: Yeah, it would and you can decide what it looks like


"Of course you. Nephilim would never be able to use it." And there was the implied hint that Messiah should get some get some sort of use out of it or else it would have been all for naught. "Stigmata has his own as well. There simply wasn't enough to get one for Nephilim as well. I doubt he would even notice that a gift had not been brought for him as well." She simply didn't believe her younger brother had the mental capacity to realize everything that was going on about him but he was still family anyways. She would do what she could for him, just as she would do for any other in her family.

Prophet didn't mind herself being thought to be weak. It didn't matter what anyone else thought of her but only what she knew to be the truth. She wouldn't give anyone, outside of Stigmata for her already knew, any reason to think something different about her. She wanted them all to think her to be sickly and unable to do much of anything. None would believe her capable of causing any amount of trouble should any dare to actually speak ill of her, or at least that was the impression that she was trying so desperately to give off.

"You are welcome, brother." She returned his way of phrasing. She was subtly mocking him but the words were genuine enough. She was enjoying the recognition even if she thought it rather odd how he referred to her. It seemed as if he was trying to distance himself from her by not using her name. Had Stigmata told Messiah what had happened between them despite the promise to not speak a word of it? Or did he know of the leader's concerns about him that were hinted at during her joining?

"Where else would I be? You know our parents instructed us to come home to Inferni. Deacon and Bishop will be along when they can. For now they are busy with Crucible, Crucifix, Covenant, Antioch, Nex, and Silence." And just like that she had dropped the bomb that yet another litter had been born of Priest and Symera. More had survived this time than had happened in their litter nor the one that Nephilim had come from. Perhaps their obedience had led to the abundance this time. Prophet wished that she would similarly be blessed as that was path that she was destined to walk upon. She welcomed it with open arms and had aspirations to birth more than Kaena had, as Kaena was the only one that she knew to have a large amount of litters and surviving children from those.

Prophet frowned lightly at what Messiah had ended up confessing before she was coughing again. The robed woman eased herself down to sit upon the ground and placed her staff across her lap, keeping a hand upon it still. "Would you like me to pray with you?" She might not be as eloquent as Stigmata was but she still knew how to pray. It was something that all of them should be able to do since it was needed to guide them each along their individual paths. "What is this temptation that you speak of?" Stigmata had spoken of the same thing but he had been speaking of her. Certainly Messiah couldn't feel the same way. She didn't have it in mind to try to ensnare Messiah. She felt fairly certain that she could control Messiah if she desired to do so but Stigmata would prove to be a challenge for her, which was what had attracted her in the first place. She hadn't had much in the way of socialization with those outside of family when she was younger so when she had been told of the path that she must take in life she hadn't a wide pool from which to choose from.

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#5
Messiah smirked agreement and tilted his head, adjusting to the weight of the skull so much larger than his own. He looked a formidable creature, a soldier in the uniform of those he killed -- that would put some fright into the rest of them, make them realize how great and worthy he was! That his sickly sister had given it to him was inconsequential; Messy would be glad to claim it as his own, outside Prophet's earshot.

The small coyote nodded. All of his siblings seemed to be appearing in their own time, journeying at their own pace. He was glad to have family here, more who shared his morals, and he laughed aloud as Prophet mentioned new siblings -- six! "Soon we'll overrun Inferni," he said, only half teasing. It was quite possible; already Stigmata soared in rank and preached truth to the others, and Messiah fought on behalf of his coyote kin. He could imagine all the de le Poer children flooding the ranks.

His laughter and eagerness dropped when they mentioned temptation -- and Messiah crept a little closer to his sister as she settled down, wrapped in her robe. He sat and nodded, the skull shifting and nearly toppling from his narrow face. "It's -- there's a wolf," he stammered, and flushed under his fur. "I know she's... leading me astray," he said, the words clumsy. "I think. I don't -- I don't think that she's bad, a killer, like the others. She's a sinner -- of course -- but I don't know what to do with her. I don't want to kill her. I want to hurt her, and I want --" He fell silent there, biting his tongue with nearly enough force to draw blood, and it became quite clear just what temptation was in his reach.
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