We're but birds in a cage

Indi

POSTED: Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:54 am

Courthouse (Labor Head’s office), afternoon (+1,204)

TL; DR: The sisters wander into their mother’s Labor Head office and discover maps of Nova Scotia, and, so, they begin their scheming.

Hope all of the assumptions are okay since I figured this would be my first and last post for this super-short thread xD Sorry Teagan’s being a meanie up until she discovers the map-revelation

“I totally would have had you if the chickens hadn’t gotten in the way,” she argued over her shoulder as she rapped a knuckle against the door to the Labor Head’s office.

The two sister had just finished an impromptu game that had spurred from a simple shove and had ended in a hybrid of tag while trying to spar and trip the other. They had been fairly even, but, Teagan’s luck had run out when the pack’s rooster—having yet to return to the coop—had gotten underfoot, causing Teagan to trip over herself in attempt to avoid crushing the stupid bird. To make matters worse, the rooster had crowed at her like it was her fault that she’d almost fallen on him. Needless to say, her fall had left her open for attack, and Indi had pounced.

She’d lost, and she knew it, but, that didn’t mean she had to accept it, not out loud at least.

They’d made their way over to their mother’s office in hopes of catching the older Stryder for their training session with her. It’d be a few more hours until they could think about dinner, and, it being near the end of the day, the Mani should have been nearly finished with her duties. It was perfect timing to slip in a training session with the skilled fighter.

Teagan let out an irritable huff at Indi’s reply, silently willing Lyris to answer the door to her office sooner rather than later so that the Lotta could escape the embarrassment of further discussion of her unfortunate loss. Nothing came though, and, impatient, Teagan wrenched the door open without an invitation. The reason for the silent answer to her knock quickly became clear as her canary eyes swept across the office.

It was empty.

“Tch, I guess we’re waiting then,” she grumbled, stepping aside to let her sister in first. It wasn’t a request. At least if they were in the office, maybe Teagan could find something to distract them. As well, it was awkward to stand in the empty hallway that their low rank obviously made them stand out in, daughters of the Lune and Labor Head or not.

There was no telling when Lyris would be back, but, with there being many good hours of sunlight left in the day, Teagan had no doubt that she would return to the Courthouse sooner or later. It’d be easier to find her here than it would be to try to scour the territory for her. The house would have been the next best option—since their mother tended to use it more than her actual office—but, Teagan didn’t want to make it look like the sisters were homesick. They’d only moved out a week or so before, and the Lotta had picked up on the tenderness of the situation regarding their leave.

Teagan busied herself with browsing one of the bookshelves. A thin layer of dust had collected atop the books, a sign that their mother had yet to touch them since inheriting the room. She flipped idly through some, her nose wrinkling at the tingle it got from inhaling some of the dust that wafted from them when she removed one from its resting place. Eventually, she found one that was larger than the others and withdrew it. A few pieces of paper stuck out of it, bookmarking various pages.

She maneuvered the book so that the spine rested in the crook of her elbow. Teagan flipped through the thick pages, noting the great array of…maps. They were a little difficult to read, as they had nothing that was even vaguely familiar on them. Still, that didn’t discount the information the book held. It’s amazing the humans knew so much about the world, she mused, humming distractedly as her sister spoke up about something.

Finally she reached one of the bookmarked pages. NOVA SCOTIA titled the page in bold, black letters. Teagan’s sharp eyes drunk in the colorful map that was spread across both pages. Names she didn’t recognize littered the outlined landmass in a jumbled mess. Thin lines crawled across the map, sectioning off areas in ways that the Luperci couldn’t quite understand.

Her mismatched ears flickered as Indi spoke up again, and when Teagan’s eyes finally rose to look at her sister, she found her standing before a large map that marked Fort Kingsbury and a few outer lying areas. Absently, the Stryder turned her attention back down to the one in the book. She moved to the desk and laid the book out on a part that wasn’t occupied with anything. With her hands free, Teagan began unfurling an aged pamphlet that had been used as the page’s bookmark.

It was yet another map, though, it was much larger than the one in the book. Teagan idly let her canary eyes wander over the large, unfolded, thick, paper-like material. It had the same image as the book did, but, was blown up to where the finer details were more clearly visible. It too had various names scrawled about the documented landscape, but, with the larger space, they were less daunting to read all at once. As her eyes roamed, she couldn’t help but to notice that some of the contours were familiar…

She looked up to the large map of the pack’s territory, her sharp eyes squinting before darting back to the enlarged map before her.

WOLFVILLE. WINDSOR.

Even the way the land molded around the bay looked alarmingly familiar.

BAY OF FUNDY. HALIFAX. PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.

She knew all of those places.

“Woah,” she breathed, gingerly grabbing the map and moving over to the one that was of the Fort. “Look at this, Indi.” Teagan stood before the hand-made map and placed the pamphlet right next to it. “Here’s us.” She pointed with a claw to a shockingly small section of the larger map she held in her hands. Teagan then gestured to the rest of the map. “All of this? We’ve never seen before.”

The Lotta paused to let the notion of it all set it. They’d lived their whole lives in the pack’s territory. Even Teagan had only ventured outside the borders a few times, but, looking at the larger map now? Those “daring” adventures she’d had were mere child’s play. She hadn’t even scratched the surface of a real adventure. Their home was but a grain of sand in the world.

Teagan turned to look at Indi. “I want to see it,” she stated before turning to look back at the map, All of it.” It would be the greatest adventure she’d ever had, and her heart yearned for it. She’d thought her home to be large, but, now, it felt so small. Their great grandfather, their parents, they’d probably seen it all, if not more. They were wise, learned, adaptable, but, most of all, they had seen more than just the Fort’s walls.

“Will you come with me?”

Teagan Stryder

New Caledonia
Oeglir
User avatar
Songbird
City Watch II, Falconer I
You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

POSTED: Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:06 pm

INDI KNIGHT
[ 1150 ]

Everything is fine <3

“Yeah yeah, whatever ya say sis,” Indi drawled happily, mouth split in a permanent grin as Teagan whined and blamed her misfortunes on the chickens. She leaned against the wall at a slovenly slant and watched Teagan knock at their mother’s office door, making occasional chicken clucks with her tongue and grinning unashamedly at the huffs and glares that were sent her way; Teagan was almost as poor a loser as Indi was a winner. Her sister’s irritation and sharp words slid off Indi like water off well-oiled leather. Bickering and sniping after a game or competition was an old routine for them now, and Indi had long since stopped taking it personally. She had her suspicions over whether it was actually physically possible for Teagan to go for a significant amount of time without getting irritated with someone or something. Her guess was on ‘no’. “You nearly punted the poor thing out of the paddock,” she added impishly after a carefully measured pause, unable to help herself.

The inside of the office remained still and silent despite Teagan’s knocking, and she flung the door open herself just before a similarly impatient Indi went over and did it for her. What was behind the door was rather irritating; nothing. Their mother was nowhere to be found inside the office, and Indi rolled her eyes towards the heavens as she slinked in behind Teagan. “Joy,” she snarked, tail twitching restlessly behind her. Even with her new, more responsible attitude towards her training Indi wasn’t particularly looking forwards to a training session with her mother. They tended to be informative, yes, but also rather strenuous and very painful, and Indi’s limbs were still aching from a session of weights with Uncle Enzo the previous day. Still, she was in one of her restless moods and whatever tortures her mother could cook up in the name of teaching them to defend themselves still beat hanging around inside all day.

For now though, it seemed like they were waiting. Teagan made herself busy nosing through one of their mother’s bookshelves and Indi wandered over to the window. If nothing else was positive about the office - there really wasn’t much, it did truly show how little their mother used the place - it at last had an impressive view of the fort and the surrounding forests. “You think we’d have more luck going out and looking for her? She might be out hunting,” Indi asked absently, drawing a rough caricature of a wolf in the thick layer of dust coating the inside of the window. It was her turn to huff as Teagan just mumbled indistinctly, nose wedged firmly between the pages of some book she had fished off the shelf. Flicking an ear disinterestedly Indi wandered away from her sister, eyes roaming around the room until they eventually landed on the large map pinned on the wall, Fort Kingsbury and the surrounding territory displayed clearly in dark ink.

“Huh, cool,” Indi remarked to herself, wandering over to the map and running a finger over the aged paper. Finger moving through instinct and memory to follow a path leading out from the fort, along one of Indi’s favourite trails and down towards her hideout near the Weeping Lake. The finger trailed onwards from there, following along paths and roads until it eventually strayed - at though with a mind of its own - to a particular stretch of border to the south. Indi closed her eyes and shorted, shaking her head as though to clear out cobwebs from her ears. “Hey Tea, come look at this.” she called, trying to distract herself with her sister’s presence.

Teagan, though, had found something more interesting that Indi’s discovery. Padding over at her sister’s direction Indi looped am arm over one of Teagan’s shoulders and craned her muzzle over the other. “Woah,” she mimicked, eyes widening as she followed Teagan’s finger. It was hard to make out, but Indi could just match the curve of the coast to the one on the larger map. Indi’s eyes filled with the same sense of wonder as Teagan as she looked over the map. The pack territory, that slice of land that had once seemed so big that it encompassed everything, was revealed to be nothing. A tiny slice of land nestled amongst a much larger whole,which itself was only a tiny fraction of the true world looking at the way the edges trailed into nothing. Indi had always known that the world was a big place, but it was daunting and thrilling both to actually get a hint of the scale of it.

The excitement was tempered by fear though. Fear of dangers both known and unknown that might linger out in the vast expanses outside their cosy little slice of the world, for Indi had learnt the hard way that not all who dwelt in the unclaimed lands were friendly. More than that though, fear of the hungry, excited look that had blossomed in Teagan’s eyes as she poured over the map. Indi instinctively knew that look. It was the same impulsive, hard-headed look that bloomed in her own eyes when she dragged them off on some caper, or in Teagan’s when she decided that there was some wrong that desperately needed righting, and it brought a sinking feeling to her stomach. Indi knew what Teagan was going to say long before she said it, not the exact words maybe, but the thoughts that had lodged themselves in Indi’s sister’s head were as clear to read in her canary gaze as the places named on the map.

And there it was, the big question. Indi filled with dread and fear as she thought about who and what they might find out there. Monsters and murderers and raiders, lurking in the dimly lit forests between what little nuggets of civilisation dotted the land. Even before taking that into account it would doubtless be a hard, uncomfortable journey. Days, weeks on end on the roads, away from the warmth and comfort of their home, away from their family. There was only one possible answer that she could give.

“Of course.” Quietly, Indi was proud of the steel and confidence in her voice. Trying to talk Teagan out of this was futile, she could tell that by tone alone, and the thought of letting her sister go out into the world that Indi was so afraid of, with nobody to look after her, was inconceivable. Unforgivable. Scared as she may be, the monsters of the world would have to go through Indi before they got to her sister. “I’ve got your back sis,” she said quietly, one hand squeezing Teagan’s shoulder as they began to look over the map and chatter excitedly about the places they would go. The world wasn’t going to know what had hit it.

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