Ouroboros Spine Simulatte brawl.
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#1
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Where the stream met the lake in the heart of the territory, there was a small spit of land festooned with evergreens. They gave way to hundreds more sweeping along the western shoreline. Towhee spent the whole morning wandering these woods. She discovered a few places that could serve as a den, though did she really need one?

She came across a large fallen spruce. It had tumbled onto several other, smaller trees, which bore up its weight and created a sort of ramp. Towhee sniffed around the unearthed roots a moment before deciding the angle wasn't too steep. She bounded up on the trunk, finding purchase in the rough bark, and climbed a few feet upward to peer around the coppice.

She took a seat and breathed in the piney air. There were hundreds of other scents, including the familiar odor of estrus. Towhee's ears flicked backward. She wondered when hers would come and what would happen. She'd told Kukutux she didn't want children but would she change her mind when the time came? Would she be able to control herself?

That made her think of Meerkat and Towhee shifted her eyes eastward, though she couldn't see the distant glacier from here. She really wished she'd seen her daughter one last time before they'd returned to the spine. She had no idea how she was doing. Maybe in a few days, after she felt more settled in, she should go back and check on her.
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#2
Nyra had returned to the Spine after he spicy dance with the small, old man in the Glen. 
She felt confident that his seed had taken, and hoped strongly tensest she would begin to show signs of pregnancy soon. 

On one of her patrols, she caught sight of the woman she'd begun to meet back in the Taiga. 
She remembered the young man's anger and the woman's defusing the situation. 
The behemoth paused, watching Towhee explore a fallen tree and climbing on it, looking off to the east. 

The white woman tilted her head a little and looked around. She wanted to try and start over, but it would be exceptionally difficult if she didn't have done sort of...gift. A meal to share, or something. 

Nyra sighed with some defeat, and sniffed around for a renewed cache of food. There was...nothing, so far. 
An irritated grumble emitted from her throat as she stomped a paw harshly on the snow.
"Damn it." 
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#3
Movement in the trees below grabbed Towhee's attention. The instant her eyes clapped on the scarred figure and recognition registered, she found herself practically assaulted by the scent of the woman's heat. It riled something in the former Sovereign's blood. She wondered if Kukutux was aware of her condition and whether she had been given the blessing to breed. Towhee found the thought agitated her greatly.

She exhaled through her nostrils as she carefully picked her way back down the sloping spruce, then bounded back onto the forest floor. She wondered if Nyra had noticed her. Even without hormones muddling the situation, Towhee really wanted nothing to do with her, not after what Rye had told her.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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Nyra looked in Towhee's direction again as the somewhat-older woman jumped down and began walking again. 

The Shieldmaiden sniffed harder, more determined, and eventually some yards off found a newer, not desecrated cache with a plump hare.
Picking it up with a mental note to replace the hare later, she trotted off to find Towhee again and attempted to come up to the former alpha from the front. 
She swayed her tail at her thighs and slanted her ears back a bit, slowing and lightly aiming the hare to try and land in front of Towhee's paws. 
She also knew that just food wasn't going to settle some sort of truce here. 

"I really don't remember who that guy was or what I did to him..." Nyra began, still unaware Towhee was deaf and wouldn't catch her words if she wasn't looking right at her face. 
"Will you hear me out, please? You don't have to, but I'd like to explain myself..." The Shieldmaiden requested. She didn't expect Towhee to stick around. Really, she was fully expecting the older She-wolf to either attack her or ignore her, something along those lines.
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She wondered if she could slip away into the trees, though something stayed her paws before before Nyra even approached her with a rabbit in her mouth. What was a low-ranking female doing wandering around unaccompanied while in estrus? Towhee really did wonder what Kukutux would think. Maybe it wasn't her business, though any litters born in Moonglow would affect everyone in the village.

When Nyra laid the rabbit at her feet, Towhee stiffened. Her head arched and her tail rose, assuming a posture of dominance. Her eyes zeroed in on Nyra's lips as she spoke, catching some of her words. It seemed like she wanted to discuss Rye, though Towhee had less than zero interest in talking about that right now.

"Is Kukutux aware you're in heat and that you're wandering around by yourself?" Towhee demanded.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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#6
Nyra felt the air tense up as she dropped the rabbit. 
Watching Towhee, she saw the dominant posturing and forced herself not to do the same.
Nyra was a low ranking wolf right now, and had to remind herself of that. 

Damn my pride.

"I haven't told Moon Woman yet. It hit me before sunrise this morning and I didn't want to disturb her so early." She replied coolly. 

Stay calm she ordered herself, forcing her fur to stay flat.
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Nyra replied, though Towhee couldn't make out nearly any of the words this time, since she was still low to the ground. This irritated her more than it normally would, especially given the circumstances, but she would rather Nyra's eyes remain lowered until she bade otherwise.

"I'm deaf, so look at me when you speak. I didn't catch what you said, so repeat yourself," Towhee commanded evenly, "please."
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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#8
her blackbear sister had held sway the first year, and the second there had been no competition, for she had given the cloudberry wife and the former sivullik her blessing.

nyra flaunted herself upon the wind.

only shikoba and sialuk had an assured path to wanted children in moonglow this year.

moonwoman, not normally an aggressive creature, felt her naked hackles flaring in alabaster spikes as she followed the warmaiden's feral scent. the massive woman was crouching before towhee, but the duck slashed her tail high and stalked forward to stand over nyra herself.

"did you share a sleeping-place with a man?" kukutux demanded in a far harsher tone than she usually utilized.
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Pride quickly overflowed her still-slowly-evolving cup, so when Towhee gave her an order, Nyra was about to rise to her full height when Kukutux herself stood over her.

Fuck.

Nyra avoided Kukutux's gaze and melted further into the dirt with a meek series of nods. 
She admitted to her crime without words and tensed her body for the physical violence she fully anticipated was about to occur. 

"The Glen." She added, ears melding into her skull.
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Before Nyra could repeat herself, someone else strode onto the scene. Towhee rumbled her surprise, then adjusted her posture and sidestepped when she saw it was Kukutux. A quick intake of breath told her that the Alpha female was also in season. She didn't catch either her question or Nyra's reply, though the body language at play told a hell of a tale.

She could see clearly that Kukutux could handle her business, yet Towhee didn't go anywhere. She was morbidly curious what might happen between these two, with surging hormones at play. Although oblivious to Nyra's confessed crime, Towhee was happy to play enforcer if Kukutux asked, even if it involved dogging Nyra's every step until the end of her heat.

Towhee wondered if there was a word in Kukutux's language for "the sex police."
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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perhaps it was the ruined caches and the insult of them, or the fire plaguing every vein. perhaps it was towhee close at hand, her dominance and then her deference reestablishing kukutux as moonwoman.

or perhaps it was the mention of the glen. it was a place of loss, a sacred place surely roamed by the spirits disallowed from leaving. 

whatever the reasoning, the duck felt her bad humour rise tangibly. a snarl showed her small and sharp teeth. 

you are not an issumatar

when nyra had come to moonglow with her companions, they had been wounded from a war that the woman had brought upon herself. she had been given medicine and the healing of the woman's own ulaq.

the white wolf had understood that she was to be punished upon arriving at the spine once more. kukutux had spoken of each choice affecting each member of the village.

she thought of the choices she might give the other even on this moment, and how it once more would be far too fair.

and now the iota groveled and kukutux felt only that it was an act. 

nyra did not respect her.

the moonwoman lunged forward. her teeth aimed for the pale scarred hindquarters. get out. and if nyra was unable to outrun herself and towhee, then kukutux would add more wounds to her hide.

there was no place in moonglow for those who took so much.
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#12
exit post for Nyra if that's ok!


As she expected, Kukutux lunged at her with a loud snarl. 
Letting out a loud yip as teeth clacked for her hocks, Nyra lunged upward and sprinted for the borders of the Spine. 
She wasn't as fast as she could be, but fast she would definitely try to be. 
She'd call for @War with a brief yet booming howl.

Time for us to go. 

The Warmaiden continued to surge quickly for the borders. 
Once she made it out, if she made it out, she'd confide in War on where they should go from here.
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She didn't see whatever triggered Kukutux's attack, though Towhee didn't particularly need a reason to spring into action. When Nyra took to her feet and began to run, the Alpha female in hot pursuit, Towhee didn't hesitate to flank the white she-wolf. The objective was clear: chase Nyra out of the spine.

When they'd successfully exiled the scarred woman, Towhee came to a halt to catch her breath. She padded closer to Kukutux to make certain she was okay, then glanced at Nyra's retreating figure. Good fucking riddance. She felt a thrill go through her, a bit of a justice boner not just for Kukutux but also Rye.

She turned to face Kukutux and offered, -"If you tell me who does have your blessing,"- unlike Nyra, -"I'd be happy to take it upon myself to enforce the breeding chain of command."-
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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the howl that summoned another one of moonglow's wolves incensed kukutux further. it was reinforcement of how nyra believed herself a leader.

it was why moonwoman pursued nyra for a mile outside of the village's expanse, biting and shearing, and when she had slowed, she spat white fur from her mouth.

"sialuk. lótë. shikoba." she faced towhee as she spoke, breath slowing from angered breaths. she did not say herself, believing it to be assumed.

kukutux turned back to watch nyra's figure swallowed by the undergrowth. "i will not be so kind again."
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The first name from her lips was her daughter's. Towhee smiled knowingly. She didn't recognize the second name, though by now she was familiar with the third. She nodded her understanding, taking Kukutux's response as implicit acceptance of her offer to police any wayward genitals.

That included her own, of course. Towhee rolled her shoulders, wondering again what might happen once her own season came. She wondered if Kukutux's final warning was directed at her. She had told her she needn't worry. And Towhee had felt in control of herself last year, so there was no reason to think it wouldn't be the same this year...

-"Do you have a preference about that, by the way? When I go into heat, what would you like me to do?"- It felt strange to ask, not because of its nature—Towhee wasn't shy about sex—but because she had never been in this position before. It kind of put a bad taste in her mouth, though she tried to ignore it.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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"come to me then. i will speak with aiolos and with shikoba." honesty was precious to moonwoman. it was why she had meant such directness in her life.

the greenstone eyes were appraising. towhee had not wished a man before. but kukutux understood that these months often shifted the thoughts in one's mind.

"moonglow is large. we have many hunters. there is room for more children." she still did not know if her raindrop would take a mate, or if her cloudberry sister might leave the status of her marriage to aiolos for another.

"it is my want that you have a man in the village," kukutux said softly, but the roll of her shoulders indicated that she knew it would not always be this way. "if nyra had made a path to me first, i would not have forced this way for her." but that was not all of it. 

carefully kukutux went on, telling towhee of nyra's confession to war and to killing, as well as the long-held misgivings of aiolos as nyra was the leader of those saints. "moonglow is a place of new beginnings. new names. but you must be true after this, and she was not."

moonwoman turned, setting a slower pace back to the spine as she waited for towhee's response.
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The request was simple: "Come to me then." Towhee started to nod, though there was more Kukutux meant to say on the matter. She stilled, eyes lingering on the "moon woman's" face, drinking in every word and then taking a moment to mull before replying.

-"I'll admit that when I smelled you and Nyra, it made me reconsider my stance,"- Towhee said slowly, -"but I think I'm past all of that stuff. Though sometimes I forget that it's better to never say never, you know?"- She huffed, then quirked an appreciative smile and added, -"I'll keep that in mind."-

Her brow furrowed when Kukutux explained her actions toward Nyra today, then went on to reveal more of the scarred woman's war-mongering past. She thought again of Rye. Towhee would never forget Nyra's peculiarly apathetic response to her friend's damning accusations.

-"I don't think Nyra has any respect for anyone,"- Towhee thought aloud, recollecting the way she'd treated Rye like he was some mosquito whining in her ear and nothing more. -"She attacked a friend of mine. When he confronted her about it, she acted as though she couldn't remember trying to murder him..."- She shook her head.

They continued their walk back toward the spine, her thoughts lingering with Rye a moment longer before a question popped into her head. -"Wait, are there any guys in the village you'd want to pair me with?"- Call it more morbid curiosity.
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kukutux snorted in annoyance to hear that nyra's tales were known even by those she had not met. "i do not think she wished to change. she wants to be chieftain. but killing follows after you," moonwoman went on. 

she thought on what towhee had said and smiled. "it is its own burden," she said of the inexorable cycle, enjoying the camaraderie of the moment. "there is one man," kukutux said thoughtfully, thinking of foxfur. "but he has gone to seek the end of a task. i do not know when he will return." and she did not know if sialuk wished this hunter.

"if one comes to moonglow who is suitable, i will tell this to your ears," kukutux said, jesting despite the heavy nature of their trek home.
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The moment after she asked the question, Towhee suddenly remembered: hadn't Ruenna once mentioned that Kukutux was a matchmaker? She vaguely remembered warning her friend, based on what Wraen had told her, though the specific details were lost to time. Talk about irony, though.

Kukutux did have someone in mind, though she didn't name him. Towhee very nearly asked and had just reconsidered when the Alpha joked about reporting any matches to her. Towhee clicked her tongue and shook her head, smiling despite herself.

-"I assume you and your sun dude will be busy making babies the rest of the week,"- Towhee quipped. -"If you need anything else while you're busy with that, just let me know. I'm always happy to chase bad guys. I was actually wondering, is there a word in your language for 'sex police'?"-
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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kukutux laughed aloud, shocked and delighted. but towhee was not wrong. "it is true," she said, chuckling gently. 

the other's words brought a teasing grin to her lips. "kisisak. it is "to close holes in glacier that flow away." the concept was lewd. towhee was an entertaining individual. 

"it will be the first time for sialuk. she will choose for herself. but any men who make a way close to moonglow must be kept far until she has made her mind." protect the village.
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The word Kukutux provided read to Towhee like "kiss a sack," which earned an arched brow and a guffaw. It turned into real laughter when the white she-wolf elaborated on the meaning. It suited.

Her expression sobered a bit when Kukutux talked of Sialuk's upcoming first season. -"I'll be happy to look out for her,"- the said. -"It'll be Meerkat's first this year too. It may have already happened, actually. I didn't see her before we left and was thinking of going to visit her soon."-

But if she was needed here, then her daughter would just have to wait. Towhee just hoped she was okay. Meerkat had seemed very mixed up about Issorartuyok the night of the feast. Towhee had suspected she would go into season soon. If Meerkat's first was anything like her mother's...

She blinked, catching Kukutux's eye. -"Just let me know if that's okay by you. In the meantime, I'll be taking both my new roles seriously."- Towhee, potential second hunter and proud kisisak, smiled.
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kukutux nodded quickly. "after these days," she said, alluding vaguely to her own state, "go to meerkat." she had already proved herself capable today. "speak with shikoba first."

the woman was willing to observe their hierarchy and their ways. she was amusing and respectful. the duck would not have guessed that towhee struggled being outside a leadership role.

the conflict, the chase, the words now; all enlivened kukutux. she poured her voice into the air, a boundary-line of warning sound, not only for nyra but for the lone wolves if they were close still.

she returned towhee's smile after that. "i believe you will do well in moonglow." moonwoman continued her trudge up the gentle slope.
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Kukutux wished her to stick around for the duration of her heat, which made sense on several levels. With the Alphas both preoccupied, they needed their comrades to hold down the fort. -"'Course,"- Towhee agreed readily, adding, -"And will do. I already tracked her down and introduced myself, by the way. Yesterday."-

The "moon woman" said she believed Towhee would do well here. Things were definitely off to a promising start, weren't they? She still felt a little out of place among these wolves, though the instant her paws had touched the spine's soil, she felt as thought she'd begun putting down real roots here. It was a bit weird, if she thought about it too deeply. She had certainly never expected to end up someplace like this and her past self would probably have balked. But Towhee supposed she was making the best of it.

-"If you wanna return to your sun dude, I'll take it from here,"- Towhee said as they plodded deeper into the territory. Kukutux could enjoy her mate's attentions freely, knowing the kisisak was on patrol.
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#24
<3

kukutux nudged towhee's shoulder with her muzzle, pleasure entering her eyes. she was happy to see that the other had taken such steps, even new as she was within the village. it was a good thing.

she would let the guardian make a path from her now, and grinned, turning away to find aiolos and let the world fall away for a time.
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