knowledge is power

p. Element

POSTED: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:44 pm

Nathaniel didn’t know how to read. He wasn’t exactly ashamed of this fact - it just happened. He never saw the use in reading, since it wasn’t what he was supposed to do in his Clan, so he never did it. Besides, reading didn’t make any sense to him whatsoever. Words were what you spoke with - the were out loud, and you couldn’t really talk to someone unless you could hear them and they could hear you. So how could a word also be something you see? The concept was alien to Nathaniel - it was like someone had asked him to see music, or hear color, or taste blue. It was foreign.

However, lots of the people in his Clan did read, and so he wanted to fill the library a little more at a time. He knew that many in his Clan gained their knowledge from books - various knowledge that could be very helpful to Inferni. Not only did the medics use it for their purposes, to know which herb did what, and which ailment could be cured, but he also knew that books were used by the weaponry masters to help them determine what weapons did what... or something. He also knew that people read books for pleasure and fun.

He had traveled down to the large city in only a short amount of time; he wasn't in a hurry, but he was curious to see what he had heard about. He knew that Halifax housed a decent library with many books, and although many Luperci took those books, there were still bound to be hundreds left in the shelves. He couldn't read, but he still wanted to see it - he'd never seen such a large collection of anything before. He wasn’t sure which ones were interesting or not, though; that might be a dilemma. He would just take whichever ones were the biggest and hope that Inferni would like them.

He stepped into the library, and was overwhelmed at first by the sheer amount of volumes stored inside. He enjoyed that it was dry, however; outside, it had been drizzling, and slowly but surely his fur had gotten soaked. He shook the excess moisture out of his fur, but then realized that that was not the best idea, as most of the books were made of paper. Ensuring to be more careful next time, he began to slink through the shelves, the scent of paper infiltrating his nose. What books did people want to read?

437+ words

by Miyu!

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POSTED: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:49 pm

Element got some visitors a day to his library on some days, and some days he didn’t get any visitors at all. He didn’t mind either way; he liked it when he had company, and he liked being alone with his books and his thoughts as well. It was peaceful in the library, and quiet, warm, and dry - safe from the outside elements, mostly, especially in the inner sections that had stood even the hurricane that had ravaged many of the books one year.

The ebony feline stretched out his paws, yawning and revealing tiny sharp teeth. Although he was small, he could be formidable to others his size, and even to canines - he had gotten into a fight with a canine once and had lived. That was good enough for him - surviving was, after all, the point of life and everything. He looked at his numerous shelves of books and felt content. It was a good day to be a cat. He padded out into the open area quietly, his paws making no sound against the wood floors, when suddenly he was splattered with tiny droplets of rain.

He turned; the window was still closed… he turned back around and realized that a Luperci had entered the library. He slunk back into the shadows, only his green eyes peering out from the darkness while he observed him. He was orange and red on top, and seemed very scruffy; his fur was fluffy yet also damp-looking. He was the one who had shaken and gotten water all over Element… and some of the books, the cat realized with slight irritation. He looked back to the Luperci. He had begun to walk the shelves now, and didn’t seem to notice the black cat staring at him from underneath the table.

He didn’t really look like he knew what he was doing. He was ambling aimlessly through the aisles, scratching his head and making strange noises in his throat. He didn’t seem destructive or dangerous to the cat - although he could merely run away if he was - so he slunk out of his hiding place and sat in plain sight of the Luperci. ”Do you need help?” he asked, his low meow smoothly rolling off of his tongue. Although he didn't usually find Luperci in his home that needed help, he was always glad to assist any who needed it, and it was fairly clear that this canine did.

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POSTED: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:59 pm

Nathaniel looked through the books, taking his time about it. It dawned on him that maybe the largest books weren't necessarily the best ones - after all, he wouldn't want to read such large books. It would, to him, be the same as listening to someone talk on and on and on for hours. Nathaniel was many things, but he was not very patient, and he couldn't imagine sitting down and reading even one of the smaller books for any great lengths of time.

Still... were the most colorful books the best? The widest books? Maybe this trip wasn't an extremely fantastic idea after all. He picked up a book and opened it. It had some strange pictures; weird wiggly lines all around the page, colored in with browns and greens, and bordered by blues on the outside. To him, it looked like perhaps a map of some kind, although he didn't really know what the map was of. Maybe an island? He tilted it sideways, hoping for it to provide some perspective. Maybe a human pack territory?

His thoughts were rapidly interrupted when he heard a voice behind him. He whirled around, but saw no one there; the voice had distinctly said something, though it was strange. It was almost like the one who spoke had an extremely weird accent, or they were from another land. He sniffed the air - there were no other canines there, although the voice did have a somewhat familiar quality to it, like he knew the creature that would say such things. But where?

He sampled the air again, this time broadening his perception of the world around him. There was another, although he hadn't realized it before, as he had only been looking for canines like him. Now he realized - a feline was there. He immediately looked down and found the cat. He was black, from his ears to his tail; that was why it had been so hard for Nathaniel to notice him at first. The surrounding areas were cast over with shadows, and he wouldn't have seen him right away. Nathaniel now focused on the cat, looking closer at him. He wasn't too large, as cats went, and he would have struck Nathaniel as completely ordinary had it not been for his brilliant green eyes - they almost shone.

Nathaniel scratched his head and looked down at the cat in surprise. "I didn' know cats could talk," he said, the bemusement showing on his face. He wanted to get closer - the only cats he had really met had been ones where are the ones that Sepirah had kept on occasion. He sometimes looked at the cats but he never really interacted with them, mostly since he found them somewhat boring. Mostly, they struck him as somewhat dumb creatures that couldn't talk or say much and liked to hunt vermin. He supposed he appreciated them for the work that they did in Inferni chasing away rats and other pests, but he couldn't say he had ever really liked them as much as some did. A cat that could talk, however, was an entirely different story to him, and was quite fascinating indeed.

He slowly knelt down in front of the cat, careful not to startle it away. He knew that cats were timid creatures, and he knew from experience that they would run away the very first sign of trouble. He didn't blame them; they were so small and fragile looking that any threat, he imagined, could be completely lethal at that point. He knelt down now in front of the black feline and smiled at him - maybe he would think he was friendly - and spoke again. "Do yeh live here?" he asked; maybe the feline could tell him which books were the best and which ones he was better off avoiding.

653+ words

by Miyu!

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POSTED: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:01 pm

It took a while for the canine to notice Element. He was used to it, however; it was rare that canines of any kind, be they dog, coyote, or wolf, to have encountered a cat that could talk. Any other creature that could talk, perhaps a fox or even certain species of birds, could be said to be somewhat common in the area, but Element now had yet to encounter any High Speech talking cats in the land for years now.

He was pushing seven years of age now - it seemed that the high concentration of canines in the area drove all of the feline company away, at least in his experience. He was alone with the wolves and coyotes now, separated from his own kind. He didn't exactly mind; the canines could be somewhat fun and pleasurable to have as company in their own way, and he could speak with them perfectly well, even if there were sometimes words that he couldn't grasp, or accents that were very hard to understand.

The canines were fine by him, and he didn't mind being alone a lot, either. He had come to terms with the fact that he was likely never to see another feline in more than fleeting passing again. It was just the way things were for him. Maybe some cats would call him a traitor to his own kind to fraternize with dogs and be content without cats, but he didn't care. But the point still stood - if he didn't see very many cats at all, much less one who spoke the High Speech, it was unlikely that this canine would have met many either. It was really no wonder he was surprised.

"Yes," Element said simply to the coyote's question. His style of speech was somewhat strange and hard for Element to understand, even for a canine, who always spoke in harsh guttural tones. It was like he had an accent. That was very possible to Element, who knew that there was a very large number of canines who came to 'Souls from other lands. He was certain that his own lilting meow, though devoid of heavy accents, was somewhat challenging to the reddish coyote to understand, after all.

He watched warily as he began to approach him closer. Element was somewhat wary of all canines; he couldn't much help it at that point. He could talk to them, but they could be very dangerous to him as well, and he didn't want to take any chances with his life. He knew that there were very dangerous and even unhinged Luperci out there - but he didn't think that this particular one would harm him, so he stayed where he was for now.

He was right; the coyote merely knelt down in front of Element, somewhat slowly, as if he was trying hard not to scare him off. He smiled slightly at him, and Element returned the gesture, although he was sure that the two smiles looked worlds apart.

"Yes, I do live here," he said smoothly. Throughout the good and the bad times, he had always loved his library home, and was proud to call it the place that he lived. He considered the orange canine for a moment - he didn't really seem to fully know what he was doing, and Element felt that it was only polite and proper manners to offer assistance. "Do you need help finding something?"

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POSTED: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:28 pm

Nathaniel grinned at the feline, glad that he hadn’t run away yet. He knew how skittish small creatures could be - in his experience, it was the smaller, the more scared and upset they would get. He had never really interacted much with the cats, but he had some experience with other small mammals. Foxes almost always ran away from him as soon as he looked at them; he knew their reputation for being sly and sneaky was well-earned, after all, and he wanted to chase them away from Inferni just in case they “tried” anything. Other creatures, like squirrels and mice, seemed to have very little ability to even think, much less speak, and scurried frantically to and fro whether they were being followed by something or not.

The animal spoke - yes - and Nathaniel pricked his ears forward. Truth be told, he had never had much experience with other animals speaking before. In fact, he had never spoken to any animals other than canines, both inside and outside his pack. He had never really considered the possibility of other animals talking to him, but now that he did think about it, it was very strange indeed. The cat’s voice was low-pitched for a cat, but it remained high to his ears. His voice was smooth and flowing, rather than the barking tones of canines that he was used to. It was a bit hard to understand him, but just a bit; it wasn’t too difficult. In fact, it was very similar to speaking to someone with a thick accent, like the Cajun coydog that had stayed in Inferni. Remy, he remembered. He had liked the coydog a great deal, but he had to admit that it was sometimes hard to pick out the words from his mouth.

Then again.. Nathaniel was one to talk. He had his own unique accent, and he still wasn’t sure exactly where it had come from. When he was little, it had just been a lazy way of talking, which slowly formed into his way of speaking in general. What had started out as slurring his words together and slight laziness, had turned into something that he couldn’t seem to shake off. He didn’t really mind. He assumed that it was hereditary in the end - after all, he had never met his biological father, and his biological mother wasn’t really one for strong accents.

”Tha’s really neat,” Nathaniel exclaimed, wagging his tail. He didn’t ask more questions about the cat; he didn’t really want to know anything else about him, really. He wasn’t a fan of asking too many questions, or having too many questions asked of him. He was a simple coywolf, truly, and he didn’t need to know the feline’s entire life story. He could talk - he was interesting - and that was really enough for him. Besides, he assumed that he had learned the language just as all the canines Nathaniel knew learned it - through his mother and father.

Did cats have mothers and fathers that taught them? Nathaniel wasn’t sure. But before he could lose track of himself and begin to wonder too much (and eventually get off task), Element asked if he needed any help. Nathaniel immediately brightened, his trademark grin now plastered on his face and his tail wagging even faster. He hadn’t expected any help and sort of expected to get the wrong books, in the end - but with this help from his own personal librarian, he could ensure that Inferni got some useful books!

”That’d be great!” he barked loudly. He stood up, his tail wagging, and looked back out to the shelves. He didn’t really know if the cat could read - if Luperci could talk and he could talk, and Luperci could read… probably - but nevertheless, he needed the help in that moment. He turned back to the cat, looking in his bright green eyes. ”Can yeh help me fin’ some books about medicine, and maybe some interestin’ books for fun?” He pointed to the shelves, although he was sure that the cat didn’t really need help in pointing those out. He just wanted to be able to take something home to Inferni; after all, he wanted the best for them, always.

726+ words

by Miyu!

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Luperci Multiple Co-Ranks Mate to Brumaire Level III Immunes
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POSTED: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:45 pm

Element smiled as the large red canine complimented him, but said no more. It was refreshing to him to not have to answer a multitude of questions and have to explain himself - he just was the way he was. It got tiring, each time he met a new Luperci, to have to answer himself and tell them that he could talk, how he came to talk, how he came to ‘Souls… every conversation started the same, really. Eventually it usually devolved into “so what’s it like being a cat?” and other curious questions from interrogative Luperci.

He didn’t mind answering the questions, and usually did so without any protest, but he couldn’t say that he especially liked it. It was repetitive - boring - and although Element was truly a creature of habit (most cats were) he didn’t like the repetition, day after day, of the only social interactions he truly had being the question and answer portion of all of his conversations. However, this canine seemed content with just knowing that Element could talk, and he seemed rather happy and somewhat bemused about it as well. Element didn’t mind that. In fact, he was quite content with his new - albeit somewhat silly - companion.

He had been right before as well. the large red canine did have something of an accent, although it wasn’t really one that Element recognized. Many canines who had an accent around the ‘Souls area had one due to the fact that they had traveled from far away lands. He had spoken to those from Russia and Italty - their accents had been thick and had affected their sentence structure, sometimes so much so that Element could not understand what they were saying at all. After all, he was on a different level from them; they may speak the same language, or close to it, but they certainly weren’t the same species, living in the same world inside their minds.

Element was startled by the large red canine’s loud and sudden outburst, but he quickly allowed his fur to lie flat once more. He was merely asking for some help - there was nothing wrong with that. After all, some Luperci couldn’t read like he could (although why one would be in a library if they couldn’t read was mysterious to him, really). Nevertheless, Element curled his tail around his paws and watched and waited for the red coyote to detail what he wanted.

Medical books, and simple fiction books. That wouldn’t be too hard. ”That won’t be a problem,” Element said smoothly. ”Follow me, then,”, he meowed, and he stood, quickly licking a paw before setting to his feet. He allowed his tail to curl once, and then he disappeared into the aisles, meowing occasionally so that he didn’t lose the canine.

The medical books were in another section than he as in entirely. He walked and walked, allowing himself to go slowly so that the red coywolf would be able to follow him. Sometimes he had to go slowly to show someone a book; it was how it went. It wasn’t hard for him, and he didn’t really mind it. To be honest, he liked helping out people discover books and learn how to read. Not only was it inspiring for them, it inspired him - inspired him to read more and learn more, and reminded him that everyone had something to learn, including himself. There was nothing in the world that he could know all of, and it always reminded him of that fact when he showed someone something new.

They finally arrived in the medical section, and Element sat down, looking at the books on the bottom shelf. ”Here are books on medicine,” he said, ”but I think you want a book about herbs - is that correct? Try this one,” he said, pointing his tail to a small, short book with a leaf on its spine and the title, “Herbs and their Healing Properties”. Element had assumed that the coywolf didn’t really want to read books about human medicine techniques, and would rather have something more useful and more natural to their own day and age.

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POSTED: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:34 am

Nathaniel grinned when the cat said that it wouldn’t be a problem. That was good - he was glad that he had someone to help him navigate the somewhat confusing library. Element seemed knowledgeable about it - that would be strange if he wasn’t, considering he lived in that library in the first place. He wondered how long he had lived there, but forgot to ask him; he wondered what it was like to live in a library. Element must be smart, he realized, if he lived in such a place filled with mountains and mountains of knowledge. Nathaniel didn’t read, and he didn’t particularly even want to (the concept still didn’t make sense to him) but he knew that books contained a lot of knowledge, and it was interesting (to him) to think of what could be.

He nodded when the cat said that he wanted medicinal books, and he looked around. Perhaps this wasn’t the best place to find them in what he presumed to be the map aisle. The cat began to slink out of sight, and Nathaniel had to jog to keep up with him - he was fast and somewhat sneaky, that cat, and he could never quite see him except for when he turned the corner and he saw a flash of black and green before disappearing once more. He was glad that Element had decided to meow every once in a while to let the red coywolf know that he was there, or else he would have lost him and had to find the medical books all by himself. That.. would have been difficult.

Thankfully, they arrived at the medical section soon, and Nathaniel knelt down next to the cat and toook out the book that he had said. He weighed it in his hands; it was somewhat heavy and small, and felt rough in his hands, as if someone had made it out of tree barks instead of the cool plastic that covered so many of the other books. It had a leaf on it, which he guessed stood for some sort of medicinal plant, although Nathaniel had no hope of deciphering those kinds of markings, anyway.

He nodded, and then looked at the rest of the shelf; some of the rest of the books had other markings of plants on them, and he took two more before deciding that that would probably be enough. After all, he didn’t want to take too many from the library, just in case others needed the books, and he didn’t want to make his load home too heavy, after all. He leafed through the books, but didn’t really understsand many of the things that it said (or at least the things that he think they said). Most of them had diagrams and pictures of plants he had seen around Inferni, though, and that was good enough for him. He slammed the books shut and a bit of dust flew up into his face, much to his chagrin.

”Thanks!” Nathaniel exclaimed, tucking the books underneath his arm. He wagged his tail before standing up and looking down at the cat. He really was small when he stood this tall - he wondered how he wasn’t even a bit scared of Nathaniel, even if he of course didn’t intend on harming him. ”Can yeh show me some more interestin’ books? Some people in my pack like to read them,” he siad. He began to wonder if cats even knew about packs - he knew that they didn’t have their own, and before he thought that it was because they weren’t intelligent enough. Now, however, he knew that they were; perhaps they just preferred to be left alone after all.

653 words

by Miyu!

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POSTED: Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:24 am

Element watched as the canine sat down beside him and began to leaf through the books gently. It surprised him to see the male handling them like that; usually, many Luperci would handle the books so hard that they would accidentally tear them, or smudge the ink on the pages. The ones that couldn't read usually were the worst offenders, as they didn't know what the pages were worth or which markings meant the most, and so they handled the books clumsily, having never truly handled them before. This one was different. He handled the books almost too carefully, like he was overly afraid of ripping a page or damaging them somehow. Element supposed that that was the opposite effect that not knowing had on them; if they didn't know the exact worth of the books and the words in them, any mistake could appear as an egregious error and there would be no way to tell the difference.

The red coywolf seemed to almost read the pages, although he knew now that that was not the case. He was just looking through to make sure that those were the right books; after all, they did have a few identifying pictures of plants in them, and so the coyote could make sure that that was what the book was about. Plant books about medicine were far superior to the human books with the strange scientific symbols and the weird drawings and equations in them. Element himself had tried to read a few of those books and had failed spectacularly to understand even half of what they were saying.

Humans may be dead but there was no denying that they were certainly smart. It was like looking through a mirror to the past, and the mirror showed not the cavemen and the ancient humans of old who knew just about as much as the animals did today, but it showed a strange, future-like past; like it had mixed up the two and forgotten that the future was so much more advanced than the present. It had been the humans' great error, making the past so much more like the distant future than it should have been.

Element nodded when Nathaniel was finished and stood to lead him to the fiction section. This part was far more walked upon than the previous aisles had been; he went there far more often and therefore was a lot more familiar with its parts. He led the coyote to the classics section; they were always interesting, far more interesting than some of the "contemporary" section novels, and Element found that he always could find an extra hidden meaning in the books. "Choose any - all of them are good," he said, pawing his own choice of selection off of the shelf and opening it to a page.

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POSTED: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:48 am

He followed the cat to the section with the fiction books; to him, these even seemed more interesting, as their covers were much more detailed and interesting. Most of the depicted humans - humans sitting under trees, humans fighting with strange large swords, and many other covers that looked just as wild and fun. He spotted one with jagged letters - on the cover was a man holding what looked like a giant spear, with an enormous fish in the background. He picked it up and leafed through it. There were no pictures, but he assumed that the book was a fantasy book, full of things like magic and other fantastical elements. After all, there was no way fish that big existed!

Besides, he reasoned as he peered closer at the cover, the man was standing on water. That definitely wasn't real. He allowed his mind to wander and his eyes to glance over the other books in the section. He put down the book about the magic fish and picked up another curious book cover: this one had a human sitting in some sort of chair with giant wheels. He - or she? Nathaniel couldn't tell - was staring at a large flat bush with flowers on it. Nathaniel wasn't sure what this one was about, although it seemed quite a bit more boring than the one with the fish on it.. still, he set it down next to the fish story and continued to look for more books.

It was an amazing world, the world of stories and books, he was beginning to realize. The only thing he really knew about reading was that each group of small dots was a word. Each of these books had hundreds and hundreds of words, he could tell, although he had no idea what they were saying. He wondered what kind of stories they held, and what they were about. He put some back on the shelves if they were too boring-looking, of course, but then put two more back into the pile with the fish and the bush stories. He wondered if reading would be like listening to someone telling a story to you; he guessed that it would be more like someone whispering it to you, since you were supposed to be quiet when you were reading books, he guessed.

He looked over to what Element was doing - he was reading a book, it seemed! That was interesting to Nathaniel, and he peered over at the feline and watched him read. He was completely silent and didn't seem to be moving his mouth or making any sounds whatsoever. Nathaniel wondered briefly how he turned the page... but it seemed that it was easy, and all the cat had to do was slide his paw across the page and it easily yielded to his touch. He continued to read the next page. Nathaniel looked at him for a bit longer, and then focused back on what he was doing - sorting out books. He opened one book and peered at the tiny print, wondering what could possibly be so interesting on that page.

He shrugged and put it back; he thought that he had enough books, at least for now. He stood up and carried his stack of books with him - he now had seven in total, three of the medicinal books, and four of the interesting fiction books. He looked down at Element, who was still reading his book until he cleared his throat and the cat looked up to him. The black feline stood and smiled at him - or at least, he thought that it was a smile...

"Thanks fer helpin' me," Nathaniel said; he truly was grateful, as he would have been entirely lost without the cat's help. They said their goodbyes, and then Nathaniel began to set home to Inferni, his books in tow; he was sure that Vesper would be glad to see them, at least, and perhaps he could try to learn how to read, if only to see what the fish story was all about.

471 words

by Miyu!

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