Ravenshook Cliffs ...ready for it?
Private  June 26, 2018, 12:34 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Although Raven's delivery had not been without tragedy, the arrival of four healthy puppies helped to lift Towhee's spirits somewhat. She parked beside the whelping den, refusing to budge even as she heckled (mostly playfully, depending on the individual) anyone who approached. She didn't eat or sleep, instead pacing tirelessly around the general area, eager to meet her newborn relatives but ineffably patient.

As the sun slipped down in the sky and the horizon lit up like molten gold, Towhee eased forward onto her belly with a sigh. She was growing weary, though she still wasn't ready to close her eyes. It must've happened anyway, because suddenly the Beta started awake. It was dark and something sharp and cold had touched her shoulder. She rolled to her feet with a snarl.

When she saw X's familiar eyes bobbing in the darkness, Towhee silenced immediately. She squinted, trying to make out his shape in the gloom as he conveyed a message. Her orange eyes slowly widened as she processed what he'd told her. The Beta glanced at the nearby mouth of the den, then decided she was unwilling to disturb the new family.

-Get @Niamh,- she signed to X, -tell her where I've gone and to let the others know when they're awake. Ask her to guard Raven's den in my stead. Then meet me at the borders.- The hawk took off immediately and Towhee did the same, gliding away through the night, headed north toward the territory's edge and the wilderness that lay beyond it.

As soon as X appeared in the dark sky overhead, Towhee signaled for him to lead the way. He winged toward the neighboring thicket, then over the slough beyond. The she-wolf was grateful for her sharp vision鈥攚hich compensated for her hearing loss鈥攁s the bird guided her into uncharted territory. She lost track of him a few times but always managed to relocate him circling above.

By sunup, she arrived at the edge of large plain. The air smelled of salt. Taking a moment to shake off her exhaustion, Towhee galloped after X's shadow racing across the open grassland, curving slightly east as he led her toward the edge of the world.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

June 26, 2018, 02:03 PM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛
The air was sharp, it felt heavy with summer's growing humidity despite the late hour, and seemed to endlessly harass the surface of the sea as it coursed its way along. The waves boomed against the cliffside with an even tempo. Perhaps a storm was on its way - or something more volatile - but the stranger was oblivious.

He had found shelter in the dark. First, the cliff's rocky surface was pox-marked with many divots, small chasms, crevices, and assorted caves; these had been his shelter as he has rested through the daylight hours. Additionally to that, despite not eating much except what the gray wolf had found for him, he had discovered his energy level returning gradually.

He still found the body thirsting, starving, and weak - but there was something else. A certainty that this was not the end. A will to live, which the stranger found invigorating. With this in mind (and a strange desire to move, getting stir crazy perhaps), he waited until the light had almost entirely dimmed before ceeeping from his hiding place.

It was a quiet night - dark, moody, almost charming - and as the warm wind licked at the ragged body which he had stolen, he stared out at the blue-cast sea in silence.
June 26, 2018, 02:49 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
The plain stretched on forever and as Towhee loped across its breadth, she became abruptly aware of her state: she was dog tired and footsore. Although she wanted to keep pushing, she found herself slowing instead, tongue lolling from her muzzle as she rolled to a halt and waited to catch her breath. X continued without her for a moment before realizing she had stopped; he banked sharply and flapped back in her direction, circling a moment before dropping and landing in the long grass a few feet away.

-Are we close?- she wondered, her heart hammering in her chest when X bobbed his head.
Reluctantly, she had to admit, -I'm tired. I need to rest a bit. I want to have energy for this.- It would probably be impossible to fall asleep, though Towhee at least needed to stretch out and give her mind and muscles a break for an hour or two.

She woke hours later, unaware that she'd ever fallen asleep, much less so deeply. Towhee jumped to her feet, feeling wildly disoriented, her fur tousled as she swung in a circle, eyeballing her unfamiliar surroundings. She spotted X tucked in the grass nearby and she let out a breath. She padded over to the hawk, giving him a gentle nudge. It was almost dark again, yet she felt wide awake and energized now. In fact, she was thrumming with energy so volatile it could be called violent.

-Stay low,- she requested as X flapped his wings almost experimentally for a moment before leaping into the air. He climbed as she watched, then began cruising northeast again. Towhee trotted after him, oblivious to the sound of crickets in the surrounding brush and the distant pounding of the surf that grew louder with every swift step.

She ran toward the coast, unaware of the ocean sprawling endlessly through the darkness ahead. Towhee very well might have run right off the cliff had X not suddenly dropped in front of her to stop her. He conveyed some information to her with a few jerks of his head and wings, then bounced up to assume his perch on her shoulder blade. Now he nipped gently at her ears as he steered her forward, giving a sharp tug to her scruff that brought her to a halt about twenty feet from the dropoff.

There was a silhouette crouched there. Towhee studied it, sussing out the details despite the gloom. She could now see that it was none other than Screech, his lanky body suspended at the lip of a precipice, his back to her. It was sorely tempting to simply rush him, pushing him over the edge, plummeting to his death. But Towhee didn't want to attack from behind. There was no honor in that and, besides, she wanted Screech to see her鈥攁nd his imminent death鈥攃oming.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

June 26, 2018, 08:58 PM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛
It appears as if he is contemplating a leap from the cliffside; he does not move, and聽Screech's body聽sways with the drumming of the wind. Whether the聽stranger聽is aware of the girl behind him or not, he does not shift or show any recognition 鈥 but then, would he? The darkness shifts in his vision. He can see, even from this vantage point, the grey-capped foaming sea.

The singular eye is glazed over; what he sees is not there 鈥 it never was.

Quote:His slumber was peaceful, and then he roused 鈥 not in his friend's den, but out beneath the beaming summer sun. Around him were the familiar ridges and crevaces of the Caldera; the central lake was perfectly calm, and he lay on his belly upon an exposed segment of plateau in the center of the lake; it was聽The Roost, which didn't belong within the Caldera but, to him, it was perfectly situated. Nothing seemed amiss.

He heard a voice 鈥 and, turning his two golden eyes towards the sound, he saw Niamh swimming through the water. Beside her was Towhee, Orca, Stoat, Phox聽鈥 trailing behind them was Gannet. He could feel himself smile, but he could not speak. A shadow crossed over his prone form, and he turned to look at it, but it was only Raven聽鈥 or, at first he thought it was Raven. Her eyes were the wrong color. Rather than being electric yellow, they were more like the color of sunlight-through-leaves. A vibrant green.

He thought, oddly, that he saw their bodies in the waves.

Something moved, claws clicked against stone, and while it was not enough to bring him out of whatever memory had taken command of his mind, the聽stranger聽finds that his body is reacting without his bidding; perhaps it is nothing but the wind that pulses across him, forces him to move lest he fall, but he聽wants to fall, and the聽body聽moves with rigid steps - an automaton - until it faces the darkness at his flank.

There, two sets of eyes stare back at him 鈥 the hawk's big, bright gold, and the girl's, filled with righteous judgement.
June 26, 2018, 09:11 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
She waited, infinitely patient despite her wrath. As he eventually turned toward her, Towhee wondered what she might feel when they came face to face. Would she regret the abrupt demise of the budding relationship they'd tentatively managed to forge lately, despite the rocky soil of its foundation? Would she hesitate to mete out the punishment Screech deserved? She wasn't left to wonder long. As their eyes locked, it was like looking at a stranger, one whose reputation preceded him. Every fiber in Towhee's being loathed him for what he'd done to Raven and the unborn pups. She was going to rip their connection out by the roots.

The she-wolf transformed in the blink of an eye, from a motionless observer to a bristling, snarling hellcat on the verge of pouncing. Towhee barely gave any warning before she sprang at him, a foreleg swiping directly at his face. It would've been more orthodox to use her teeth, though there was some insatiable desire to strike Screech dead in the mouth with as much force as she could muster.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

June 26, 2018, 09:39 PM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛
The girl moved swiftly and he, somehow rooted to the spot despite the clearly telegraphed attack before him, could not move. Towhee's attempt was fully effective and聽Screech聽was struck in the face with the full brunt of her loathing; his head was thrust aside and his weak limbs, his weak body, gave out. The聽stranger聽shut the eyes of their vessel as they careened, and nothing braced for the impact of the pathetic body against the stones.

A moment later (or less perhaps)聽Screech's body聽was once again trying to stand. There was frustration in his gaze, overshadowed by the darkness to a degree, and as the one-eyed gaze caught upon Towhee it went聽blank聽again; there was a war happening within him. The jostling of his brain in his head might've been what聽Screech聽needed 鈥 except that, whatever control he'd temporarily exerted seemed to have diminished.

The聽stranger聽reacted wildly once he was up; he lunged straight at Towhee with a snarl and a set of bared teeth, and while he might've been struggling after the initial hit (not to mention the malnutrition), a wildness took hold and nothing would come between the聽stranger聽and his self-defense.
June 26, 2018, 09:49 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
She truck him so hard that pain shot up her leg and a cry tumbled from her lips. She reeled backward and felt something cool brush her cheek. "X, no!" she screamed even as the bird swooped into the space in front of her, wings spread. It turned out, something could and did come between the two wolves. Towhee could only watch in horror as X took the brunt of Screech's counterattack. A spray of blood hit her in the face as the bird went crashing to the ground, bounced twice and disappeared over the lip of the cliff, all in the span of a second.

She gaped for a solid beat, sure she'd just witnessed the hawk's death, but remembered herself when she swore she felt Screech's hot breath wash over her blood-spattered cheek this time, repugnant. Towhee recoiled, dropping to the ground with a hiss borne partially out of pain; her leg throbbed in protest. Her ears pinned back to her head as she then immediately surged upward again, hoping to rise up and catch Screech by the throat.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

June 26, 2018, 10:01 PM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛
There was a flash of movement, the crunch of teeth through flesh, a scream 鈥 and focus returned to the beast, but only for a breath.聽Screech聽let a growl die on his own lips and he turned his head sharply to watch as X went tumbling; it was like seeing static, the image fragmented by the darkness, and when the wolf turned back to face their attacker it was the聽stranger聽who stared death in the face.

Towhee's assault was swift, filled with her anger, her hatred. Teeth sank in to聽Screech's聽neck and the聽stranger聽loosed his own roar 鈥

Quote:It was a shriek, a howling wind, higher than a dog whistle, higher still, until he was ducking back and feeling pain in his head.

The sound cut out. She was only eyes, now. Her body had become a wick, and had burned through; she fell as ash at his feet and those twin supernovas became dust motes, then nothing.

He was alone, until there was a bellowing voice, the sound of which seemed to boom through him like Tegan's Tears:
YOU 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽DO NOT 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽BELONG 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽HERE!

The聽stranger's聽instinct was to duck and swerve, but he had no mobility. Towhee was ignited by her anger and moved swiftly to meet her brother's body, and within seconds the flash of a memory was gone; there was the pressure of聽teeth.聽The聽stranger聽writhed and fought against it, but the body was weak 鈥 and then it seemed to lock up, a panicked expression taking hold of聽the stranger聽鈥

The pinch of being strangled. A knowledge, abrupt and confusing, that somehow he'd woken to聽pain聽and to聽death, and it was Towhee that was looking upon聽Screech聽with such loathing. The boy's eye seemed to catch the light of the stars and it was聽focused, he was聽present, and he was pleading 鈥 not for help or forgiveness, but it seemed, for聽the end.

Do it.聽He wanted to say 鈥斅please, do it.
June 26, 2018, 10:16 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
The image of X careening over the edge of the cliff replayed over and over in her mind as Towhee rushed upward, fangs digging into the fur and flesh of Screech's gullet. Despite this, she didn't think of their own proximity to the ledge overlooking nothing but a sea of darkness. As her jaws gripped his throat, then tightened, they slued together. His body weight retarded her forward momentum but couldn't quite stop it entirely.

As the two of them dropped over the scarp and into into open air, Towhee experienced an indescribable sense of weightlessness, though only for a heartbeat. In the next instant, Screech's weight began to drag her downward. Her jaws remained latched to her brother's throat for the first several seconds of the fall; they were, perhaps poetically, like two sparring eagles locked together, hurtling toward their mutually assured doom.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

June 26, 2018, 10:20 PM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛
The moonlight finally broke through the overcast sky, and it was in time to catch upon the greyblack of the two siblings; Towhee flashed a dim pumpkin orange as she took flight, while Screech's exposed belly contrasted with cream. Whether it had been intentional or not, the boy was suddenly feeling the same weightlessness 鈥 and a sense of relief descended upon him in that split-second. He felt at peace.

The ocean yawned, and the cliffside was bare again.
June 26, 2018, 10:32 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Luckily for Towhee, there was a stony, misshapen lip about ten feet below the upper escarpment. Although the impact jarred her to the roots of her teeth, knocked the wind out of her and sent a whole new pain searing through her injured leg, she wasn't badly hurt. Her breath hissed through her teeth as she rolled onto her belly and simply sprawled there, trying to process what had just happened.

Something brushed against her and she startled so badly she nearly tumbled into the same void Screech had disappeared into; he had not been so lucky. Towhee gasped when she turned and saw X in a tousled heap, one bent wing outstretched so that the flight feathers brushed against her. Careful not to move too quickly, the yearling shifted to inspect her friend's body, a thrill going through her when his breast rose and fell beneath the dry leather of her nose.

"We're okay, buddy," she whispered into his plumage, "we're gonna be okay." She brought her forelegs around to cradle her friend鈥攃lenching her teeth against the pain in the right鈥攁nd did not think of how the two of them were trapped here on this tiny overhang, in the dark, with no way to summon help. They were alive and, more importantly, Screech was gone.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!