the foot touches ground, but not for long

POSTED: Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:11 am

This is for Sophie's Fieldmaster co-rank! I'm sure there's a lot of options for others, though ;D

Sophie, the coydog yowled, dragging his feet. How far are we going?

I didn't ask you to come with me.

Nacho rolled his eyes, tailing at her heels. She hadn't, of course, but that didn't change the fact he had thought it prudent to accompany her. After his incident with Vicira, doing anything that possibly looked like work seemed prudent.

Besides this, Nacho liked Sophie's company. When he complained bitterly about his donkey she had understood his concerns, but reassured him of the same thing – Inferni was a place of plenty, and could provide for his animals. She knew what had made him so frantic, though, and that had been why she suggested he find something to keep him busy in the meantime.

Following her had seemed easy enough, though now that they were long gone from the moors he wondered if it might have been easier just to hide out somewhere.

She stopped on a bluff and sniffed at the air. Nacho, lagging behind her, panted to catch his breath.

His companion turned her head, and though her voice remained firm, she looked amused.

Maybe some walking will be good for you, Nacho.

POSTED: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:07 pm

It had been River's idea to wander, not her mother's, though the golden Key followed after her paler daughter on four legs as she chose to explore. Though Inferni was home to Lucilla, River had been born outside of it, and though River was old enough to care for herself, Lucilla was not ready to stand aside and let her children live without her presence in their lives. She still left to visit the rest in the den they had claimed, helping Carnivore hunt and keeping peace between Lock and Latch. Sometimes River joined her, but more often than not, she stayed behind. She wasn't one to drift far from home.

Conversation was what drew young River forward, though Lucilla – more attentive to possible dangers to the pack than what was going on around her in the safety of it – had yet to really pay any mind to the voices that came on the air. It wasn't until her daughter had stopped walking that she realized they were in the presence of others. Two others, for exact reference. A male, and a female.

Dark coyotes, though the male was not wholly of the breed and the female was stockier than Lucilla's typical clanmates. It was River, young and naive and terribly shy River, who broached the process of greeting the strangers with a tentative, H-h-hello! that her mother thought sounded too eager. Behind her daughter's two-legged form, she lurked on four, studying the others with golden eyes.

POSTED: Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:15 pm

Sophie saw them first. She pricked her brown-brushed ears up, oversize for her little nose and unremarkable face. Though she sat up almost at once, Nacho continued to hunch and all but drool from his open mouth and lolling tongue until the girl was practically upon them. He finally licked off his face and let out a heaving sigh, though his own body remained far less rigid than that of his companion.

Nacho looked far more like a dog than Sophie too, though her markings were perhaps more obvious – what with her white collar and dainty feet – if one knew what to look for. A black-mouth like Nacho's was a dead giveaway as to his line as much as his broader-than-average chest and thick thighs.

Hello, Sophie replied politely, and smiled at the young woman. I'm Sophie, and this is Nacho.

Ignacio, he drawled with a roll of his eyes.

Sophie pretended she didn't hear him.

I haven't seen you two before, are you new?

POSTED: Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:40 pm

The female was Sophie, and timid River replicated the smile that was offered as she listened to her speak for both of them, the only words from the male being a correction of his name: Ignacio rather than Nacho. Lucilla's ears turned forward to listen, and thought both Ignacio and Nacho sounded a bit silly to the ears – though Sophie was a perfectly nice name, similar to her own. Easy to say.

Are you new? asked Sophie, and the golden Lucilla shook her head, allowing her claws to dig into the earth that sat beneath her paws. She was not; she had been born within Inferni, but River was from outside, and that was just what her daughter admitted: I am. Mother brought me when she came back. Her hand, pale in color, extended towards her burly halfling mother, who lifted her head and fixed her golden eyes on the two strangers.

Lucilla. It was the most greeting she was likely to do, watchful of new faces, though she interrupted once more to correct a faux pas on the part of her daughter. She's River. Always introduce yourself, said her mind, When someone else gives you their name. There were exceptions, but that was a lesson for a different time.

O-oh, yes. I'm River, managed the paler, younger coyote, ears folding down against her head in a display of embarrassment. And then she sought to change the subject: What is it you tw-two are doing?

[wc: 250]

POSTED: Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:58 pm

The older woman – the girl's mother, as it turned out – was not a foreigner like the two coydogs. Sophie acknowledged this with a faint nod of her head, while Nacho missed the implication beyond its base. He didn't really worry too much about things like bloodlines or these family names that sounded like such despondent things.

He sat up a little, regaining control of his slobbering dog-tongue, and looked between the two women curiously. River was pretty, he thought, and looked far more approachable than her stern-voiced mother. This didn't seem to bother him either, however, and his bushy tail swept across the tall grass behind him.

Patrolling, Nacho explained with great importance.

It's not a proper patrol, Sophie corrected him. I planned on going through the fields for a bit, but not the whole way to the borders.

Agradecidamente, the cur muttered. Sophie's ears twitched.

POSTED: Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:05 am

River's red eyes, inherited from her grandfather, come alive with life and interest as the bulky cur uttered the word patrolling; her mother patrolled, though River knew no joy from the practice. Mother does that! she exclaimed, stating her obvious knowledge. Lucilla merely snorted in response; it wasn't a true patrol, only the fields, where the golden coyote herself didn't often linger in the protection of the clan's borders.

Both of the women looked to Ignacio – a name Lucilla still found to be silly and difficult to say – when he spoke a foreign tongue, but it was only River who tried to repeat it: Agradessidaminty? she echoed, looking to pretty Sophie in the hopes she could translate such a thing. I've never heard that word before...

The younger of the two approached the strangers, glancing back at times to look at her mother for approval or denial of the choice. Maybe I can come and see the fields with you? she offered, having never patrolled the clan's lands herself. It was an interesting prospect: seeing the fields from a new point of view, rather than just as tracts of land that were there and could possibly be rolled in.

POSTED: Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:01 pm

Another nod came from Sophie, who looked pleasantly between the mother and daughter. Even to untrained eyes, like those of her dark-faced companion, it was apparent that the darker woman was the protector of the two. She looked capable of it – and her slightly standoffish behavior had made Sophie a little more attentive.

Nacho grinned sheepishly and wagged his tail as he pushed himself to his feet.

It's Spanish, he explained, and winked at the pale coyote. I come from a place far from here, and most people speak it – if you see my friends around, they speak it too, Nacho indicated the spotty ash streaks still lingering on his legs. He had encouraged Sophie to mark herself too, but she had not. A few people do, actually, so it's somethin' good to know, in my opinion.

Of course you can come with us, Sophie answered, all but ignoring her companion. He seemed like he was used to this, and stretched in an exaggerated and doggish fashion as she rose. It um...might be easier, if you shift, she said this quickly, almost as if nervous about suggesting such a thing.

Ooh, the darker coydog yawned. If you're lucky you might find some snacks along the way too!

POSTED: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:06 pm

Spanish. That was something she didn't know, and that Lucilla had never bothered to teach her. In truth, River's darker mother saw no value in it – everyone spoke the language she did, so what purpose was there to learn another one? It wasn't as if they were surrounded by those with no ability to communicate. Lucilla Key was a woman of function over knowledge, and Spanish, as interesting as it was, was not functional to her.

To her red-eyed daughter, however, it was fascinating.

Can you learn Spanish? she asked, enthused by the possibility that she could know something different, something she'd never heard of, sheltered as she'd been during her youth. She and her siblings hadn't been exposed to much but their mother's ferocity, which likely explained why some – like Latch and Lock – were aggressive bastards that the gentle River struggled to spend true time with.

And then they were rising. Her eyes darted from Ignacio to Sophie, focusing on the dainty four-legged female instead of the doggish male, to listen with attentive ears. Her mother prowled behind her, bearish form imposing if only by silhouette. She was still a small woman, lean rather than fearsome, but she could damage just as well as any other. It was in her blood, and in her muscle memory; she'd learned from the best. She'd learned from Hybrid.

Sophie agreed that they could come, and it left the paler of the two women in a tizzy of delight, even as it was suggested she morph into something better suited to long-distance travel. It was good advice, and River took it, adopting her small lupus frame that showed her coyote lineage over anything else that cohabited her genetics. It was only because she wasn't yet ready to let River leave the nest that Lucilla followed, grunting a dismissive sound and eyeballing the strange Hispanic mutt.

[wc: 325]

POSTED: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:26 pm

Of course! Nacho barked, and wagged his bushy tail behind him. He picked up his feet a little as he walked, obviously pleased to be the center of attention for the moment. This was something that he had always enjoyed, and clearly took delight in being surrounded by company. His nature was to be social, and having lacked this for what felt like a long period, Inferni was making it easy to find others to socialize with.

I can teach you if you want, absolutamente! Here, an easy one is hello – repeat after me, ¡Hola!

While he continued to rattle on common words – most of them greetings and farewells – Sophie stuck her nose to the ground and sniffed at various scents. The fields were broad places lined by little trails, some of them barely notable, others so frequently used that they had cut trails into the grassland itself. The gray coydog slowed here and there when things seemed out of place; she pointed these out to her companions.

She relied on her eyes almost as much as her nose, though, and around the larger boulders nimbly climbed these with ease. Nacho watched her do this with delight, tried it once himself and slipped on the way up, but encouraged River to do the same despite what he thought were unapproved looks from her mother. From this higher vantage point, even in the low-lands, they had a good view for miles out. The mountains in the distance were colored masses that faded against the sky, but the most notable things were all the trees sprawling out towards the east. They were too far out to see the Mansion, though.

Sophie pointed out other landmarks (few and far between as they were) and indicated the areas that she thought were best for hunting. She seemed more at ease when she was talking about things that didn't directly involve her.

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