but unto the silence, i'll bring you a song

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POSTED: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:59 am

Somewhere in Ontario. Fall 2012. Whatever month works for you??

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If he was honest, he didn't think he had really been surprised. He had been fool enough to not consider the worst, but he was not naive enough to think, looking down at the long burned remains of the village, that it was something that couldn't have happened. It was not until after he had found his daughter's note in the abandoned cottage that he actually went down to Thornloe proper to rummage through the skeletal buildings and see the extent of the damage. A lot of time had passed. There were bones in the streets and the scent of death was old and overpowered by the dust and mold. The cottage, too, had been musty and damp. Rain had blown through the windows recently, but no life was there. It was a wonder even that the note survived.

The old seat by the fireplace had been mostly dry. He had stayed a few nights, burning wood and memories in the hearth. Kharma felt impossibly old. He had lived many lives, carefully segregated by events over which he had little control. A million years ago, he had been a child. And then he had grown up very suddenly. And then he had wandered. He had become a father, and then stopped when he failed to protect his children. He had wanted to go home, but he should have known that he had not a home to return to, and had not for a very long time.

Thornloe was never home. He had been dreaming, and now he had awoken once more. Or, he had awoken the day he lost his daughters, and he had not really accepted it until now.

And now, and now what? There was no where else for him to be.

Kharma leaned against a large rock. He didn't really know where he was, and he didn't really know where he was going in the short term, but it was difficult to purposefully lie to himself. He was going west, southwest. He would get there eventually. Probably. What if he died out there? He was older already than his father had been. His mother was apparently immortal, but. The grey hybrid sighed and sank into a sitting position. He didn't want to think about his parents. They had been strangers. He didn't want to him about his family. They had betrayed him, and he had betrayed them in turn. He didn't want to think about where he had been, or where he was going. He was hungry.

This was something he could focus on. Hunger. Physical need and instinct. No emotions. He stood again and walked on.

POSTED: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:42 pm

Sometime in November. :3

The weight of the draw is familiar. He knows exactly what the wood feels like under his palm, smoothed and worn by years of use. He knows how the bowstring feels against the rough surface of his fingers, when it digs into the pads. Every part of the weapon is familiar—the smell of the wood, the color of the feathers that form fletching, the way the same tips have been used for half a century. Each of these things he knows because it is how the scout/sniper must know his weapon; intimately. These are pieces of him, and at the end of the day, the failure is not in the weapon but in its user.

Ezekiel does not fail often. He uses the bow daily and has for many years now. He will be five when the season turns. He has children now, as peculiar as that seems—three of them, tiny things. They are among the hoard that has become a would-be pack, though none of them speak of rank and none of them obey anything more than the group interest. At least for now, circumstance had forced their hand. A part of Ezekiel resents this fact, but he is willing to conform to it. It is not the first time he has chosen compromise.

The scout/sniper breaths out and sees the mark.

In a flash of red and brown the arrow flies, sailing true and striking the fat body of the goose. It gave a squawk before trying, and failing, to fly. The bird fell dead as the remaining members of its flock took wing, noisy and fleeing. They should have been south by now. Their fault would feed the hybrid more than enough, and give him energy to go after something larger. This was selfish, he knew, but he could not forgo his own hunger any longer. With easy steps, he padded towards the great bird with the arrow sticking from its chest. One hand grasped, wretched, and pulled the weapon free. He cleaned it in small pond that had attracted the birds and slid it amongst the others in the wolverine-pelt quiver.

POSTED: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:19 pm

The crisp November air was still and scent did not carry far. Kharma did not know that he was really hunting as much as he was moving and focusing on his own quiet hunger and all the pieces of the external world. The sky was grey. It was not yet dark, but the sun had not shown its face since before noon, opting to hide instead beyond dozens of layers of brooding clouds. The forest was unfamiliar, but he liked that. It was just a space, a place void of meaning, of memories, and of ways to recall.

The flock of fleeing geese caught his attention easily. The slight sound of a falling, dying bird came after, though logically, the events would have happened nearly together. The coywolf approached slowly, cautiously, hearing footsteps now amongst the brush. The air was dead and his nose was cold. Kharma had thought a lot about dying in the wilderness with no one to be wiser. There was a silhouette between the trees, half-hidden by the slope of a hill. The figure shone pale gold in the dimming light and moved away from him.

"Ezekiel?" The man had made his way up just in time to see the other's face as he turned. Surprise must have come to his face, though he felt distant from the feeling. He was still far from Inferni, and he liked to believe that that was the only place he would find a once-relative. Something gnawed at his stomach, and it was not hunger.

POSTED: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:32 am

This was a month of gray skies and smoke. November was for the grave. Ezekiel wondered about these things in the vague and distant part of his mind that recalled literature, that knew stories and mythology and a thousand things that might have been lost to the ruins of time. Under these trees, clinging stubbornly to their leaves, it was cold. The cold could touch his fingers and his exposed skin, but they were hot under the touch of thick down and feathers.

Someone said his name. It was not Sirius’ voice, but a man’s none the less. His ears swiveled first and when his head followed, it found a sight he had not imagined possible. There was a pause—an eternity—as he dredged through the memory of a life left behind. A thousand years ago he had met this man on the shore of Inferni’s beach, standing by the grave of a dead man.

“Kharma?” He asked dumbly. The golden hybrid rose, but did not move to greet the dust colored figure.

Last edited by Ezekiel de le Poer on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

POSTED: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:54 am

This is like the lamest reply ever, omg.

More than a year ago, it had been, which meant that it had really been eons. When he thought of his half-nephew, the image that first came to mind was still a child first and a man second. For all the physical and emotional distance he had tried to put between himself and his blood, the time he had spent on Inferni's first skull-lined beach was still what he remembered most readily. He frowned and slowly made his way down the slight slope, stopping when they stood on the same level, a few feet apart.

"What are you doing here, so far from Inferni?" His voice was colder than he had intended, but he thought that it sounded like that frequently now. He still remembered a different voice, as he remembered everything old and gone and lost. He remembered when he had been kinder, but he didn't remember when that kindness had ever done him any good.

POSTED: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:18 am

Amber eyes tracked the shape of the gray coyote’s body, the swish of his cloak and the dry-dust smell of old mint. It was still potent enough to trick his senses, but Ezekiel recognized him for what he was well enough. Lykoi. Healthy male, solitary. His musk reminded Ezekiel, in a muddled and peculiar manner, of his daughters. One red hand moved, bringing the bow up and over his shoulder, tugged the bowstring and let the curve of the bow slide atop the thick wolverine fur. It was tight against his chest, but his muscle tone had gone lean again, now that he was no longer comfortable and well-rested.

The blonde man’s face turned into a plastic smile. Even now, he pretended. He had pretended for so long that he had lost a part of himself to that mask. “I left it,” he admitted, and thought of saying abandoned or fled instead. When he had broken down and given into that overwhelming desire to run, it had taken him. Others had followed. Others he had found.

Maybe they were all destined to such fates. “To your daughter,” the de le Poer man added, lightly, and bent at the waist to pick the dead goose from the ground. He held it by the neck, wings open and limp, and looked for familiar shapes in his half-uncle’s face. “You hungry?” He asked, and then his smile did turn malicious. Eight months ago, he had asked another red-eyed stranger the same thing.

POSTED: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:36 am

They were a family of wanderers, coming and going, returning and leaving, around and around. Some stayed a while. Some were luckier. Some were smarter. Some were madder. Kharma was not especially surprised to hear that Gabriel's son had left his post -- that was what they did sometimes -- but he was surprised to find...that he also wasn't surprised at who had been left in charge. The feeling gnawing at his stomach gave a last biting stab and fell away into nothing. He had not been there to witness it, but he had no doubt that Myrika had joined Inferni following his departure. And the endless possibilities that could have happened from there, he had fantasized about and obsessed over more frequently than he would ever admit.

Of course Myrika would stay. Of course she would stay, and love, and care, and give herself ever more reasons to stay. She was like her mother, with a heart too big and a deep curiosity for family, for history, for parts of the whole. Of course Ezekiel would leave things to her. Of course it was this, of all the things that could have come to pass, that was what happened. Kharma was not naive enough anymore to be surprised.

The time traveler narrowed his eyes at the offering of goose. The hunger that had been there had been chased away by the return of thought and emotion. You've others to feed, I'm sure," he said, voice still as cold as his expression, though he did not think about either. Ezekiel had left his family, but he was not alone. There were others in the area. Not a pack, but something. "Myrika is leading Inferni, then? Did you give her a choice?" Not that it really mattered. "Is her sister with her?" Or was she dead, maybe? It had been nearly three years since he had seen her. Perhaps he had dreamt her up.

POSTED: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:53 am

It has to be a Lykoi, Kaena had said, and Ezekiel believed her. There was a spell over that place, some old blood magic that had kept it bound together while others had fallen to the wayside. It might have killed him, if he had stayed. Ezekiel had never wanted it. Gabriel had been the one who had led Inferni as it needed to be, and when the mountain had taken that from him it had been his son, by right of blood, who had gained his crown. Halo had wanted it, but she would have damned them all. Maybe that would have been for the best. Maybe the whole damn thing could have gone belly up and burnt in a cloud of smoke and hate like Boreas had intended.

It wouldn’t have, though. Halo had been blinded. Ezekiel would have taken her place no matter what. Destiny meant for him to become Aquila, though he had begun undermining his position as soon as he knew Myrika was capable of it. She needed the roots and the bloodline. She could bind herself there, and have children, and go on forever.

Ezekiel’s heart belonged to a Huntsman with poison in his eyes and silver on his tongue. Even now, after his children had been born, he knew that he would choose Sirius over Kastra in a heartbeat. He hated himself for it, but knew it to be the truth.

There was not enough anger in Kharma to make Ezekiel nervous. Besides, of the two of them, it was his body so riddled by scars and touched by war. He had been the soldier. Kharma was a hermit, a wanderer—Ezekiel had no reason to fear his cold voice or the imagined anger he saw in his eyes.

Hell, maybe Ezekiel wanted someone to punish him for what he had done.

“I don’t know where her sister is. I saw her, once, but that was all.” This was not a lie, and he had often wondered where the albino girl had gone. He supposed it did not matter. She knew where her sister was, and would find her in time. Talitha always came home…right until the end. “I prepared Myrika for it,” Ezekiel told his half-uncle, suggesting it had been his plan all along. “She belongs there,” he went on, challenging. “She has people there that love her.”

POSTED: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:19 am

He hated his blood. This was what he had taken away from the forest and the fire. Both forests, both fires. He hated their hatred, their ways, their madness, their undying love, their obsessions. He did not hate their carriers. He did not hate his mother or his father or his sisters or his brothers; he did not hate his children, or grandchildren -- for surely they existed by then -- but he hated Lykoi, he hated the name, he hated what it had long stood for, and what it continued to mean. He hated that he could not change it, that he had not been able to change even himself.

Kharma did not hate Ezekiel for leaving the clan to his daughter. Lifetimes ago, he might have even had hope that Myrika would be able to change things, but he was not this naive anymore. The anger he felt was close, but it was cold. There was nothing to do with it. There never had been. The dark hybrid curled his lip, but his tone did not change. "She belongs there as much as any of us belong there, which is to say not at all. She would have people everywhere, anywhere, that would love her, if she had gone there instead. She is all her mother's goodness and grace and she would bring any pack to its feet in adoration, but it had to be Inferni, didn't it?" He laughed without smiling. "It is always Inferni."

He turned away from his brother's son for a moment, then asked, "Is your father still there?"

POSTED: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:49 am

He saw ghosts in Kharma’s face, memories of what he had been before. Their blood was so close, wasn’t it? They had come from blue blood made that way by long wars and longer nights, and belonged—God did they belong to Inferni. A fire had not stopped them. Wars had not stopped them. Death and hate and pain had not stopped them. In the end Inferni survived them all, and would likely live beyond his immortal grandmother and long after they were themselves dead. It was a legacy, and as long as one of their hundred-thousand kin carried the name and the blood, Inferni would go on forever.

“No,” he answered, but did not allow the subject to linger. “We all go back, one way or another. You told me that,” the blonde man reminded his uncle, and shrugged lightly. “Come on,” he said suddenly, and gave the dead bird a little shake. “Share this with me. After that I don’t care if you go into the wind, but we ran into each other for some reason—you don’t look like you have anywhere to go, anyway.”

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