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POSTED: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:00 am

     He hadn’t brought much with him, upon deciding to return home. The pack he had carried was full of several odds and ends, and it was one of these he was currently toying with. When he had come across a band of would-be gypsies somewhere between the here and there, they had shown him an extraordinary thing. The pipe in his hand was elk-horn and metal, crafted by some stranger he had never met. They had explained how to use it and laughed at his novice hits. By the end of the night, he had been far from that. By the morning, when he had been alone, he had carried this thing with him.
     Laying cross-ways in a larger chair, the coyote-hybrid had a lighter in his hand and his hair in his face. He sparked up, inhaled deeply, and held his breath. At the exhale a plume of smoke filled the room, which was only warmer then outside because of his foresight to light a fire in the well-crafted fireplace. A number of medical books were scattered about, one opened and on his leg. Another hit and he smiled dreamily, just starting to feel the effects.

POSTED: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:29 am

She would have never thought that in light of everything that had come crashing down that she would have picked out the word composed to describe herself. Or maybe it was shock that had settled down over her thoughts. Or maybe she didn't care, she couldn't say. Either way, the days had bled together and she had continued doing what she did before. Reading, studying, speaking with whoever crossed her path. That was how things went usually and she was fine with that routine. She could pretend everything was just as normal as it had always been. But his words still rang in her head. She meandered through the mansion and revelled in the silence that had taken over in the morning. It had been unreasonably windy and every crevice, crack, and exposed opening seemed to let the cold in. It creaked, it whistled, it popped and groan. She was far used to the sounds that it made, but was thankful they were gone when the wind had abated. But what drew her down the hallway of one particular part was the smell of smoke. It wasn't just the smell of smoke, there was something else there, something saccharine in nature that she didn't dare put her finger on just yet. So that was why when she reached the heavy door of the room and shoved it open, she was surprised to find Ezekiel beached out in a chair with a pipe. She didn't ask him what he was doing — it was far too obvious. Instead, she only leaned against the door frame and folded her arms across her chest. A frown punctuated her expression, but her eyes said it all. Maybe it shouldn't have surprised to see him lighting up surrounded by books and in a warm room, but it didn't stop her from seeming a little dismayed… and intrigued to see just what he would have to say, if anything. She hadn't seen much of him since he had come home; the same went for Talitha as well.

POSTED: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:25 pm

     The door opened and Ezekiel, mid-breath, choked. He coughed heavily, dropped the pipe, and scrambled to his feet. A half-hearted grin broke over his face, dreadlocks falling around his head, and he wondered suddenly why he had though this would be a good idea. “Oh hey Aunt Corona,” he said, coughing again, and looked around for an excuse. At his feet, the book he had been reading lay upside down. Zeke quickly grabbed it and continued to babble. “I was just reading about uh…anatomy…and it mentioned something about smoking and how it effects that and uh…uh…”
     Then, realizing how he sounded, the yellow-eyed boy grimaced and looked to her, eyes pleading. “Please don’t tell my dad.”

POSTED: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:53 pm

It was that composure (or lack thereof) that stopped her from smiling at how badly he fumbled to cover up what he was doing. It was amusing, especially from someone who had never had a need to really reprimand someone; someone who more or less didn't care what someone did. But sometimes, she had to care. “I probably won't have to,” she remarked, wandering into the room and towards the books that he had piled, “you pretty much reek of what you've been doing. He'll smell you a mile away.” Using her foot, she nudged the stack of books further away from the fireplace. “Of course, he'll probably know either way if you go about burning the place down too.” The whole time, she didn't bother to make total eye contact with him, just to act nonchalant as she read the side of one of the many things he had gathered and pulled. She recognised some of the books as ones she had thumbed through before, though their absence from where she had left them had obviously gone unnoticed until just then. “Does medicine actually interest you, or is it a convenient excuse?” She let the question hang for a second, before gesturing to the discarded pipe and meeting his golden gaze. “Or to aid you in finding things to experiment with?”

POSTED: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:57 am

     Had the color been able to fall out of his face, it would have. Instead, Ezekiel’s eyes widened to a nearly comical point. It was impossible for him to know his father had done his share of experimenting at this age, and the thought of Gabriel, all spitfire and stern as he was, catching him in such a compromising act scared him. If there was one thing he did not doubt, it was his father’s unpredictability. Gabriel had killed his own half-brother. His father was nothing less then dangerous.
     Sinking down into the chair, large ears folding back, he looked down at his feet and stared. The drug, still in his system, made everything seem just a little foggy. This was terrible, but it was funny, in some way. It was not until she mentioned the books that he looked up again and caught her eyes, and then remembered what he had been doing initially. “Oh! No, no, I really find it interesting. Fatin was teaching me about it while I stayed with them. I can’t do a lot, but I know basic stuff. See,” he put down everything and picked up the book he had been reading. “I was reading up on hypothermia. We never got to cover winter medicine since I left before then.”

POSTED: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:15 pm

It amused her in a way that he actually had an interest in medicine, maybe more because it was something she was well-acquainted with, but also because of the subject he was studying. “When it comes to hypothermia, humans were not as tolerable to the cold as we are,” Corona said with a tilt of her head to glance longways at the book. “Their bodies only had to drop around six or seven degrees before they died. Celsius, that is. Us on the other hand… our bodies are warmer, our hearts beat faster, and the obvious factor is that we have fur.” As for how hypothermia could take them down, she wasn't really so sure. It wasn't like they had willing testers or equipment to figure out everything down to more exact things. “What else did you learn? I know quite a bit about medicine myself. I might be able to teach you some stuff, if you want.” But maybe Fatin had taught him everything he needed to know. She couldn't have been for certain, but he had been gone quite a while from Inferni. Long enough where most of his focus could have been placed into something better and more worthwhile than trying to fight a war.

POSTED: Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:01 am

He listened with the bright-eyed intensity of a boy who was still growing into the world. This was, of course, accurate—Ezekiel had a lot of things he would learn in time. “I can bandage, set bones, and know a little bit about herbal medicine. I haven’t done much in practice,” he amended, shifting in the chair. “And Fatin always said it would be good to learn whatever I could, so I’d like for you to teach me.” Hey, at least that way she wouldn’t be tattling to his father.

POSTED: Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:52 am

What he could already do was much of a relief, mostly because in the event that things went wrong, someone could do the basics to fix someone up immediately. The fact that he hadn't done much in practice didn't surprise her either because she wasn't in the ranks of being experienced, only well-read. Minor things were generally the only things that needed to be done, but here on a home front where canine couldn't get along with canine, things were much different. They would get their experience in due time. “Other animals are good to practice on, if you can catch them and not get bit,” she said, going from the way she had learned herself. “And I would be happy to teach you. I'm sure Inferni could use someone else who's versed in healing. It's a skill that will take you far even if you don't stay here.” Everyone liked to have one of them around, that was a given.

POSTED: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:12 am

The only patients Ezekiel had practiced on were the carcasses of the animals they had killed. Tristan had shown little interest in the matters of medicine and that was where he and Fatin most often worked. While he was competent, Zeke was far from as skilled as his godmother. The fact that there was a need for this skill meant that even though he was smaller then his father and not as skilled in combat (at least, not yet) he could be of use. So he smiled boyishly, eyes bright and open despite being slightly glazed. “Yeah! That would be really awesome! I got really outta practice once I decided to come home. I mean, Siobhan had some cuts on her when I found her but that wasn’t that bad, you know?” Had he not been high, he probably would have not brought that topic up. Ezekiel was remarkably protective of the girl.

POSTED: Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:34 am

Ezekiel's enthusiasm shone through the haze he was in and that much she could tell, though the more interesting topic of Siobhan came up. Corona did not know much of the strange girl, though she was ever bit as unique as everyone else that had sauntered in as of late. And as it were, she was by a defaulted extension protective of her as well, knowing good and well the naïvety of youth. “Where did Siobhan come from, exactly?” Maybe it wasn't right to ask him such a thing given his state (or lack thereof), but she was genuinely curious. “Does she have any interest in what you want to do too?” So it seemed right to make it seem like she was asking to get her involved, just on the off chance he would see through her nosy probe.

POSTED: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:44 pm

     “North. I don’t know exactly where she used to live,” he said, and stuck his feet up over the arm of the chair. His tail hung from the side, wagging slightly just because he liked the feel of it. “Her mom wasn’t at all happy that I took her,” the boy continued, idle hands flipping through the book pages. Ezekiel turned it over and over, studying the feel with his hands, and continued to talk, unaware he had just admitted to what he had really done. “I dunno. She likes to learn, but she still talks funny. She would probably pick it up; she’s done that with a lot of things.”

POSTED: Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:51 am

*likes your new set!*
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_____The fact that Siobhan still had some living biological relation didn't sit well with Corona. Especially if said relation wasn't happy over whatever circumstances had occurred. But given Ezekiel's upbringing and his heritage, she did not question his reasons, but rather put stock into them. She assumed that there was a good reason for it or he would not have acted on it. Perhaps denial was her madness; she believed her family would do no wrong because everything was justified. Everything could be and would be justified. _____“Perhaps she'd like to tag along,” she offered, figuring that if she was interested in learning, they could teach her many things. From the sound of it, she had a lot still to learn. “I'm sure there's a lot of things we could show her and tell her about.” Whether it was medicine or just the things that either one had learnt about life so far didn't matter to her. Education was important with the lifestyle that they were living, it was key to their survival if the walls of their guarded home ever fell.

POSTED: Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:00 pm

Thanks! And that is a hot table.
     He turned the book upside down, sideways, and tried to make sense of what it might have been like creating a written language. The possibilities were endless and mind-boggling, and drifted through his thoughts like a sunbeam off metal. “I’d like to do that. I worry about her, y’know? Like maybe her mum fucked her head up and me takin’ her didn’t help.”
     Incredibly, he laughed. It was a boyish thing, but peculiar. A secret madness carried in its tone, though Ezekiel had yet to experience anything more traumatic then a natural disaster—and that was only thunderstorms and blizzards, nothing remarkable at all. “I worry about my sister too. Do you do that? I mean, worry about your family, like dad and stuff?” Another star-bust flooded his vision, white light that made him close his eyes against the page and hold onto the darkness as his vision settled.

POSTED: Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:42 pm

Thanks!
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_____She watched him quietly turn the book one way or another, expression scantly changing as he did so. But he was very much inclined to have Siobhan tag along with them and that in turn pleased Corona. Her interactions with Siobhan had been limited and brief at best and if anyone would understand her the best, it would be Ezekiel. She listened with an open mind to his concerns, filing them away as things she would more than likely ponder over later. His next question however, provoked a faint smile to flicker to her face. _____“Always,” Corona said, not hesitating in her reply. “That's what family does, at least family that cares about each other. I wouldn't want anything to happen to any of you if I could help it.” Maybe she couldn't save them all or protect them all, but she would surely try, regardless of the consequences. “Siobhan probably has better chances here than she did where she's from. Just by the way she acts I can tell that she came from somewhere worse off.” What was it that the little girl had said? No food and warmth? “You watching over her is a very mature thing to do.” And she would expect no less from Gabriel's children.

POSTED: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:52 am

     Her voice soothed him because it reminded him of the things they had lost. He smiled an intoxicated smile and kept his eyes closed, conscious of his body’s lack of balance and at the same time not aware of such a thing. “I think that’s how it’s supposed to be,” he said slowly, opening his eyes once he was assured the room was no longer off kilter. “I don’t want people to suffer,” Ezekiel added, thinking idly of the stories his father had told him of the Man-Jesus and his long dead followers.

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