[AW] Even in the darkest moment there is light
Set December 4th sometime in the night, light snow, New moon 

Lyra felt itchy, but not in the way one would if they had an actual itch to scratch. She couldn’t explain how she was feeling. Part of her thought, maybe she was just feeling upset about mama being gone. The feelings that ran down through her limbs were annoying. As the day had progressed they had felt more and more annoying and made the already grumpy child more annoyed. Curling up with her grandfather and siblings for bed Lyra struggled to fall asleep. 

Pushing herself up and out of the warmth she pushed out into the cold night air. Snow danced in the air as she stepped onto the worn pathway. Her feet leading her, to wherever they wanted to take her. For some reason she found herself in the garden, winter now claiming it. Where the moon would normally illuminate the night there was no light to be cast. The night of the new moon a new cycle was to begin. 

Her rump found cold earth as she looked up to the stars, pale eyes gleamed with wonder at the brightness of the stars. She took in a breath and reached a paw out to the sky stretching herself up on to her hind feet. She wanted to reach out and touch one even though she knew they were so far away. The tingles she had felt all day grew stronger as she stood there on her hind legs. As she moved to lower herself she felt a strange urge, as she felt the first of the stretching and popping. 

Confusion flooded her mind as she took in a breath. Fingers elongated from toes as her boy contorted slowly to its new shape. Each limb didn’t ache but the new shape each one took felt needed as she began to lower herself to the earth. She felt exhausted and cold in the night air minutes seemed to pass by as she leaned there, open hands on the snow coated earth. Pale eyes looking at the ground as red hued locks dangled brushing the earth. A smile slowly crept across her muzzle as she began to stand again. The wind ruffled her fur and hair as a shiver ran up her spine. 

Standing fully she reached to push the hair from her face as she looked up to the sky again. The night of the new moon was the start of a new chapter of her life. A clawed hand reached up for the stars wishing she could grab one.

She got to witness something incredible.

Restlessness had kept her awake for many nights now, but it was only that night that the Feriqi found herself incapable of simply laying in bed and staring into nothingness until her brother stirred awake. Carefully, she rose from the furs, and when her hermano groggily question where she was going, the sister assured she only needed to go pee. 

The borzoi mutt padded trough the sub-level of the Courthouse, no clothes on her besides a big cloak draped about her shoulders. The family's current accommodations were miserable in comparison to the Yurt, out in the Silverado Fields of Del Cenere Gang. There, they had space, freedom and privacy. Here, the snoring of strangers came trough every door, their room was barren, and cramped, and had but a strip of a window. It was no wonder that the child-turned-adult found it hard to sleep. Casa di Cavalieri felt like a prison.

Up the stairs she went, out into the night, light snow making the dark patches of her fur starry. She had no specific place in mind. Nothing within the territory felt comforting or safe. She chose to round the Courthouse and enter the gardens at random, hugging herself tightly for warmth.

Maybe she'd freeze out here. That'd show apa for bringing them to this place.

Even the gardens of the Cavaliers were different from the ones back home. There was no lingering scent of the El Corazon, no opium or tobacco (even though they wouldn't grow in this season). They didn't even have the rusted skeleton of an ancient greenhouse encasing the area. No comfort could be found here. Not that she expected to find any.

The former Ashen leaned against a barren apple tree and watched the sky. There was no moon out that night, only a splatter of stars showing like raw flesh upon a scarred sky. She watched her breath rise towards the winking lights, imagining some of it managed to reach them.

A shape entered the gardens. It was small enough that her heart skipped a beat at first, thinking a coyote had appeared in their base form. But no, soon came the realization that it was most likely a pup. She saw many of them running around the Fort, so many more than there had ever been in the Gang. These ones would certainly have a more social childhood than she and her twin did. The asocial Feriqi didn't envy them.

She observed the silhouette of the pup. They sat in the snow, and Mahigul thought they'd get a frozen rump if they stayed that way any longer. The little thing then attempted to rise onto their hindquarters and reach out with their front paws. Were they catching snowflakes? Dummy, they still hadn't the hands to do that!

And then she got to witness something incredible.

Over the course of several minutes, all the while intently observed by the dog, the little shape slowly enlarged, taking on a more jagged form. It was not a graceful shift, much slower than normal, and Mahigul connected the dots - or at least came to her own foregone conclusion. 

Her jaw went slack as she watched what she did not doubt was a pup's first shift.

Eventually, the child rose. Mahigul saw the wind tug at their hair. She remembered her own first shift, and the glaring absence of hair, which had her whining that she was bald. How did this puppy feel, with the weight of a mane upon their head for the first time? Standing taller than ever before? With appendages more sensitive and dexterous than they were minutes ago?

Their hand reached out towards the sky, and she felt a strange sort of happiness for another.

Now, should she approach, or let them have their moment? In the borzoi mutt's head, dice rolled...

"Hey." She barked softly, parting from the apple tree. Nothing else was added. It seemed unnecessary.

671 // hi hi hi
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The world around her was calm, the cold night air barely but into her. Her soul filled with new life and drive. Hands that reached for the stars begging just to touch one. Green eyes filled with wonder and amaze as she stood there staring. If mama was here what would she say? What guidance would the sports have that today was the day she shifted? Or was this the day because mama wasn’t here? Was there meaning in that? Lyra didn’t know much about the ways of gods or spirits but there in the dark of the night she felt peace.

As she flexed her fingers and began to relax as a voice broke the silence. Tensing she felt her fur bristle as she turned her head. Coming her way was a newcomer, someone older than her, someone she had only rarely seen. “Hello.” Lyra spoke finally fully turning to the other. She straightened herself more. “What are you doing out here so late?” She was curious more than anything. Anyone new had become suspicious. Part of her still wondered who did this to them. She was unwilling to move past the tragedy that had befallen them.

Once again Lyra found herself awkward and not knowing what to say or do. She was asking the other what she was doing but what was she doing out here? Well she was satisfying the itch her body had felt the pulse that laced her soul. Now she stood in the cold of the winter night, the gentle breeze chilling her veins and shifting her new locks. “Can I help you?” She asked trying her best to sound friendly though her face showed little emotion.
Location: CDC, Fort Kingsbury, Fort Kingsbury Gardens Date: December 4th Time: Night NPCs: - WC: 393

Mahigul possessed only a meagre grasp of social subtleties, those small things which hinted at another's feelings. Most of them were taught to her rather than organically learned or logically determined. But, coincidence had it that she thought how, surely, she made for a surprising sort of stranger, appearing out of nowhere with her long, sloping face and much height, clad only in a heavy purple cloak and without obvious purpose behind being present. 

Mysterious tall strangers made for the best sorts of characters, heralds of oncoming upheaval and change. It fit the theme, for both of them. Her lips curled at the edges as she savored this fantasy. Could she whisk this girl away on some grand quest or adventure? What a fun daydream to have! What a strange reality it would be!

Eventually, Mahi became aware of the silence surrounding them, and recognized it as the awkward kind that followed spoken words. The borzoi-blood focused back on the girl before her, as of minutes ago in possession of such luscious red locks. She seemed unbothered by her own sudden verticality and additional hairiness. "...Mm? Oh. Oh no. I mean, yes - no." The Feriqi lightly shook her head, then nodded, then shook it fiercely. Her thoughts were tumbling over one another like startled sheep, rushing to order themselves into something resembling a proper stream of consciousness. What were the questions, again?

"Uh." For a moment she debated admitting that she had no reason to be out here, but then something else came to her attention. Golden-orange orbs narrowed. "What are you doing out so late? I'm an adult, you -" Hesitation. How much did she know of Casa's traditions? There was a something-something mentioned once, about some First Blood or something else, and from what Mahi understood, it meant that, when a pup killed a person, they became an adult within this weird pack.

Mahigul looked down at the girl. Did she... did she kill anyone yet?

"- You are not." Emphasis was used to cover her faltering conviction. 

Then, girl-turned-woman was silent for a long moment, a question nibbling its way out her throat. Finally, she asked.

"What's it like?" With her chin she gestured at the newfound biped, the dog's eyes filled with a sparkling wonder. "I remember mine, was real trippy."

OOC: -
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Lyra was admiring her hands and legs flexing parts of her body amazed how it felt. She loved everything about it and this moment well except for the woman who had joined her. The young woman stuttered and struggled to decide if she needed help causing Lyra to frown. “Yes or no it’s not a hard question.” She spoke, crossing her arms.

She didn’t understand why the young woman was questioning her, she had asked first. Green eyes glared at the woman she had yet to learn the name of. “I’m not an adult but my mother is the Sola and I’m about to get my mentor. I'm far from a child.” She retorted ice in her tone. She wasn’t outside the fort nor far from home.

The woman before her was beginning to annoy her though moving from one thing to the next. How did it feel to shift? “It’s normal I suppose. I don’t think I feel all that different or trippy” she spoke, her ear twitching. Was she supposed to feel weird? She felt different she supposed her body ached from the shift.

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