Venture past the fields of everlasting spider lillies

P. Dove

POSTED: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:54 pm

Oderint dum metuant

Lately, it seemed that she was stepping out of her bounds in order to heal those in the pack that did not want or feel the need to be touched. Perhaps it was a soldier's depression, survivors guilt, whatever it was, it seemed to pass from one Infernian to the next like wildfire. First, Prodigal with Silence. Second, Virue. Third, hopefully, it would be Dove. Harosheth normally gave Fang her orders, what she was to do that day. She was the one who ran the medical hut but Fang, at least in Fang's own opinion, was closest to the woman's guardian.

She took over when Harosheth could not do something due to the woman's arthritis. She fed the woman when she was ill or sick herself. She even cleaned up the woman's home when things got messy, from blood, dirt or even leftover food.

It was not her intention to get into the business of those who would have preferred the solace and company of their pain to being healed or coddled by someone who cared about their health. She'd heard whispers and talk of Dove more than once, how the woman was growing thin, how others never saw her eating or drinking. Fang knew inwardly how this felt. After her face had been disfigured and scarred, she hadn't wanted to eat either.

She had never really been nihilistic or narcissistic but the idea of her face being ruined, of her no longer holding some semblance of natural form had driven her first to depression and later to a state that she would have preferred never thinking about again. It had only been through Laurel's words that she'd come back to herself. Well, more than words.

The ashen woman passed the undergrowth of the borders on all fours, slinking hurriedly through the trees with her nose close to the ground. She listened to enough gossip that it was not hard to know guess where the girl might be. Talk said that she came through the area quite a bit, her scent trails leading every which way as if she'd been out more than once to search for her brother, the one who had gone missing from Inferni during the war.

It was only a matter of time till Fang found her. After all, Fang was well known for patrolling the borders two, maybe three times a day.

Fang's just beyond the borders, following their path.

Anita "Fang" Espinoza


POSTED: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:39 pm

The last of Saffron's blanket had been tied off completed a few nights prior, and it was perhaps by this peace of mind alone Dove had slept longer hours of the night than she had in a month. No longer was she forced to sleep utterly alone. With River Lark absent (and on the rare occasion Dorado would not see her under veil of night) Dove now had a companion in the blanket: Saffron's scent, just slight, clung still to dull and stiff yarn. The one-year-old acknowledged it was pathetic but comforting, bringing back memories of not so long ago when their family was one.

Around this time a year prior, the five siblings hadn't even shifted yet. The recklessness of youth had wasted no time to take advantage of them. Dove wished only she had the foresight then that she had now, and it was for that reason her hunt for River Lark stopped for nothing. Not hunger, not sleep. Not the occasional fainting spell or a plague of self-defeating thoughts.

Dove spent a part of the morning four-footed beyond the skull-tipped periphery, assured some level of safety while alone now that the war had ended. A month had passed since both the last of the Boreas and River Lark had been seen. She hunted for his trail with nose to ground and found nothing. She called his name and met no one. She made her way back home, discouraged and numb by persistent panic, and as Dove reached the borders she found herself face-to-face with Fang.

Or, rather, Dove had the distinct impression it was Fang who found her. The Sciens turned back her ears and frowned, the fur along her spine standing. Though intimidated by her elder's scars as she had been upon meeting Vesper, Dove feared more what she had seen of Fang during the last push against the Boreas.

"Fang," she greeted without smiles. "Excuse me." At once Dove picked up her pace to hurry along by.

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POSTED: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:58 am

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The whisper of the wind in the trees above brushed against the coarse fur at the nape of her neck, her tail stopping in its mechanical wave behind her. She could smell the other canine in the distance, a fresh scent that meant that she was near. She did not wait for to approach, not really. She knew inwardly that any one individual who was dead set on not eating for one reason or another would not just listen to her. She did not blame Dove for reacting the way she did when she finally approached.

Fang did not give off a friendly vibe. She never had. Part of it had to do with her scars, the rest in the way she carried herself in most situations. She was very driven by her duties. She didn't let friendships get in the way of that and she wasn't really the sort to allow herself to grow close to anyone. Things with Vesper were weird enough for her and yet, she allowed them because they gave some sort of purpose to her being in Inferni, aside from the obvious, her family.

She didn't want to be close to anyone else, not really. There were times when she paused to think about those she kept an eye on within the pack. Harosheth. Vesper. Diego and Laurel, even the wayward stranger, Elva, who found peculiar ways to be close to Fang's side.

Blue eyes found Dove as she came close, watched as she said Fang's name and then moved to continue past the sanitas ranked female. For a moment, she considered barking a warning at the girl. Instead, she chose to turn around, to move so that she stood before Dove. Wait. We need to talk, the ashen, rose woman managed when she finally did so.

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Anita "Fang" Espinoza


POSTED: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:45 pm

Respect your elders, said Micah's voice in her mind, and with a level of dread Dove halted as requested.

Dove did not think in terms of rank and corresponding fealty, for she was not raised in such a way. She and the tattered woman were more or less equivalent in that sense, but Dove thought nothing of it. She knew to be decent with others, and respectful and mindful to those more experienced than she in the walks of life. But it was out of trepidation Dove hesitated, thinking it best not to get on the sore side of someone she'd not only seen tear apart a Boreas with tooth and nail, but share a sweet and telling look with Vesper that Dove had glanced more than once in passing.

Why they "needed" to talk, however, the Sciens didn't know. Nervousness turned to alertness, then suspicion in sequence with her words. "Have you seen River Lark? ...Or is this about the war?"

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POSTED: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:56 pm

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Everything that could be said to Dove in response to her question came together in one word. One word that probably needn't have been said, considering the look that crossed Fang's face when the question had been asked. She had not thought very much on the war since it happened, other than healing members that seemed to need the help and drawing together whatever strength she had to convince those who chose to ignore grievous injury and, or, infection in the face of going about their duties.

Neither, Fang replied in earnest. To be truthful, it was not easy bringing up one's habits. Fang knew inwardly the strife that depression brought with it. She suffered for what felt like years after her face was torn open by the stranger her cousin had set her path to cross with. She had stopped eating then, had only wanted to fight and withdraw into herself. She'd gotten through it with Laurel's help and with the rest of her family there to help her. Dove, on the other hand, had lost family in the process.

If her brother had gone missing in the midst of the war with the Boreas wolves while others were being lured into the woods by their people, he was probably dead or worse. She didn't have the desire to tell Dove that, though.

What I need to say is probably an offshoot of what happened during the war and what happened to River Lark but it needs to be said either way, Fang brushed forward, letting her four paws carry her closer to the girl, her snout hanging freely a few inches from the other woman's. You look weak and frail. Others have pointed out that they think you might be starving yourself, Fang ventured, her voice gruff and to the point as she called Dove out on her eating habits.

I want to know why, she requested, stalking around Dove, peering without shame at the young woman's body before finally settling back into place in front of her. Don't tell me you aren't hungry.

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Anita "Fang" Espinoza


POSTED: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:20 pm

Neither, said Fang. Dove's ears turned forward to attention, and an immediate skepticism possessed her features. If this wasn't about her brother or the war, then it was most certainly about Dove herself. Perhaps she wasn't pulling her weight. Perhaps her relationship with Dorado was unfavored. Perhaps she was not Inferni enough to call herself Inferni.

But like Vesper, Fang called to attention her health; unlike Vesper, it was Dove's weight that was cause for worry. Dove knew Fang to be an assistant to Harosheth and thought it wise not to doubt her, but regardless of if it was her youthful brashness or her insistent sleeplessness, the little Reverie became at once defensive.

"Others should maybe stop talking and mind their own business," she said, a bite of fire in an otherwise frostbitten voice. Dove turned abruptly to face Fang while she circled around her, her face in bitter folds. "I'm not hungry and I'll eat when I am. This is how I look. Okay? Can I go?"

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POSTED: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:37 pm

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It wasn't as cold out here as she might have expected it to be. While she still felt the bone chilling bite to it, it wasn't really all that fierce, not as much as the girl that stood across from Fang was. Fang could have cared less for relationships between the other members of Inferni. The only one that really mattered to her was the one she had with Vesper and, well, the one she had with Inferni as a whole. As a healer, as a medic, she knew the harm that undernourishment could do to one's body.

She had witnessed it before, the weakness, the fainting spells, the sickness that followed the weakness itself. The icy girl was brash in her response, quick to turn a biting tongue toward Fang as she spoke what she needed to, gave pardon for what she didn't. Either way, the girl's reaction brought a curl of Fang's lips over her teeth.

No, Fang replied, a clear crisp to her voice that made her sound demanding in her own little way. She was no higher in rank than Dove. The only difference between the two was that Fang had been here longer and Fang had more trust in her current position. Her eyes darkened as she drifted close to the girl. If she asked why and that wasn't answered, she doubted that it would do much good to ask again. She was simply here by request and that made it her duty to push the other girl to eat. I'm sure others have approached you for this as well. I doubt you look frail and weak, like you might drop at any moment, Fang offered, inching close, her pelt bristling in place.

Have you started fainting yet? Getting moments of dizziness? How are you when you have to run? How's your concentration? All these questions asked one after the next. Fang was pushy, there wasn't a doubt when it came to that. Inferni protects its own. It provides for its own. A weak link in its chain may not be able to break it, but it can certainly provide a foot hold for rust to rush in and finish the job, she said quietly, letting herself settle on the ground.

I'll bet underneath that rocky exterior, you'd die for a fresh kill. Something to eat. Starving yourself is like punishment in my eyes. Only question I have is -- for what? Fang asked, the ashy woman's snout contorting momentarily.

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Anita "Fang" Espinoza


POSTED: Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:35 pm

Fang curled her lips at her in retaliation and Dove did not mirror it. The young Reverie stood stiff in place, eyes thinned and defensive, her body poised as if ready to react. Fang would not hurt her—not for reasons petty as this. Dove did not know Vesper or Inferni well, but she knew the clan stood for much more than slaughtering those it perceived as the weaker of the links in its chain.

"Yes, yes, I don't run, and shitty," she answered the string of questions in hostile sequence, her eyes rolled up and away irritably as she did so. Dove knew she was going to be scolded anyway. What was the point in lying? She said nothing as Fang went on, voicing much of what had already occurred to the younger woman—at least until her final question.

Starving yourself is like punishment, Fang had said. For what?

Hostility and sarcasm drifted away, replaced by a troubled, almost fearful look when Dove connected their eyes. As if she'd been found out the flower-child looked down and away. "Because I... I haven't found him yet. And if we'd just gone home, he wouldn't be missing in the first place."

She stared at her claws. "Don't make me eat. I feel sick when I try. Please, can I go?"

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