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[continuation] after 'if you want something done right', w/ Kyra

11833
Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter
 

Nero didn’t look back as he headed away from the gathering, feeling sick and trying not to let it show on the walk to Kyra’s tree. He just looked angry, his ears pulled back, his whole body tense as he walked, giving him a stiff-legged posture. He’d keep to Kyra’s side and let her set the pace. He wasn’t trying to get anywhere fast.

Following his parents and the Empress had been a game of sorts, at least at first. He’d thought that hearing the adults speak amongst themselves would be interesting. He hadn’t known that it would feel him with a troubling mix of feelings for which he had no name, causing his chest to tighten and his head to spin with the implications. He’d never expected to learn that his family was in danger, that they were being hunted. He’d never expected to learn that they would be leaving home.

None of it made sense to him. Nero replayed the conversation in his head, trying to remember everything he’d overheard, but it was hard to remember words and concepts that he didn’t fully understand.

He could see the tree ahead. The wind ruffled his fur, bringing with it the faint, faint scent of fox. He didn’t even lift his head, ignoring the smell entirely.


Feb 01, 2018 11:55 PM

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193002
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff
 

Kyra did not notice the scent of fox. Kyra barely even noticed as they came upon her special place, the hollow base of a tree. Her attention was on Nero, and went scarcely further than ehr brother, she was so upset.

Like Nero, she had enjoyed the cloak and dagger of it at first. Sneaking after her father and foster mother and grandmother, listening to their grownup conversation like she was one, too. But everything had turned horrible. She hadn’t heard it all, but she knew how it had all ended and it had her more upset than she’d ever been.

This was worse than when Cerys knocked her over. When her mother left. When her father refused to name a place after her. Worse than all of those put together.

With her tree in front of them, Kyra flung herself at Nero and buried her head in his chest fur. “Nero. I’m scared.” She whimpered. “I know I shouldn’t be. But I am. Daddy’s going to go away, we can’t let him go away, but what if we have to go too? It isn’t fair!”

She had no idea how to fix any of this.


Feb 02, 2018 05:51 AM — Post #1

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193478
Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter
 

It was Kyra who finally broke the tense silence. She moved in front of him and he came to a sudden halt as she pressed her face against his chest. Suddenly he wanted his mother, so that he could do the same- it was a very comforting place to be, he knew. Nero considered what she said for a moment, his expression unchanging from its tense look of concern.

She was scared, and though he didn’t want to admit it out loud, he was too. Papa was always telling him to be brave, that he was a little soldier. Soldiers didn’t cry and they didn’t show fear, but surely that didn’t mean he could tell Kyra, right? Nero wasn’t about to cry, but he couldn’t deny that he felt the same fear that Kyra did.

No, ‘s not fair,” he murmured. It wasn’t fair that anyone wanted to kill Papa, or to hurt his mother- it wasn’t fair that anyone would want to kill them. It wasn’t fair they’d have to leave home because of it. “I don’t want to leave home, but if we don’t someone’s gonna kill us. I don’t wanna get killed.” At this, his lip did poke out a bit, thinking about having to sleep forever when he hadn’t even gotten to see much in the world yet. “Mama and Papa can’t do anything ‘cause it’s only them. Everyone else is gone and we can’t help ‘cause we’re just kids.

Nero leaned forward a bit, resting his head over Kyra’s shoulders, taking comfort in her presence as much as she did from his. He was mostly thinking out loud.

If… if we go, maybe we can pretend like it’s just for fun. Like an adventure.

Maybe thinking of it that way would help, but he couldn’t get rid of the sick feeling in his gut.


Feb 04, 2018 11:32 PM — Post #2

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193581
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff
 

Kyra had a harder time grasping just how serious being killed was. But she understood the gravity in Nero’s voice when he spoke about it well enough. He was ready to go if he had to, and Kyra obviously couldn’t go anywhere without him. But what about Althea? What if she still wasn’t feeling well? They wouldn’t leave her behind would they?

“Me ether.” She snuffled about not wanting to get killed. She tried to think about the other grownups - Sikozu who had fed her a few times when she was little after Mama left. The small brown wolf. Hadn’t there been other grownups at the meeting? She wasn’t sure.

“But it won’t be fun Nero. Even if we pretent, we’ll know.” She snuggled into Nero’s head over her shoulders. Nero snuggles really were the best.


Feb 05, 2018 05:19 PM — Post #3

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193636
Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter
 

He felt a little disheartened as Kyra answered him, bringing down his hopes that they might be able to pass this off as an extended trip of sorts. He’d been hoping she might play along, which would have helped him do the same. Nero imagined she would be worried about the wolves who wanted to hurt them, much as he would be.

Kyra snuggled up under his chin, and Nero remained draped there for the time being, staring ahead of him but not really seeing what was in front of him. He pressed his chin down a little more over her shoulders, applying a bit of pressure, hopefully reassuring her. He didn’t know what else to do.

We’ll come back one day, Kyra,” he said, though he didn’t sound quite as sure as he had hoped he would. Nero wholeheartedly believed that Mama and Papa intended for them to come back, certainly. But what if something happened to them before they could return? What if the Empress was right, and the wolves who threatened them managed to kill his parents? Where would that leave Nero, and Kyra, and his other sisters? What if someone took over them home before they could reclaim it?

He couldn’t do anything about that. But there was something he could promise her.

I won’t let anybody hurt us. Not ever, okay? If they try, they’re… they’re dead.” He said it with such conviction, not fathoming what that would mean for him, for the wolf in question. “Papa showed me how to do it.


Feb 05, 2018 11:49 PM — Post #4

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193661
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff
 

Kyra felt a tiny bit bad because she knew Nero hadn’t been cheered up, but she didn’t feel at all cheery herself right now. She felt like her entire world was crashing down around her ears. The life she had imagined for herself, of her and Nero and Althea growing up in the forest protected by Daddy and Manson, was now out of reach. Leaving home, to the young girl, was terrifying.

She had no coping tools for something this large. Outside of her brother, that was.

“Yeah? This will always be home?” She checked, pulling back form Nero’s embrace just enough that she could look into his face. Her brown eyes were tearstained. But she listened very carefully to what he said.

He was going to look after her, and the whole family. And he would make sure of that. “You mean it Nero? You know how to make someone dead? Can you show me?” It seemed like a useful skill to have. If somebody was coming to hurt her family, she ought to be able to hurt them back. Daddy had said that was okay, right?


Feb 06, 2018 06:23 AM — Post #5

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193671
Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter
 

At his declaration that they would return home someday, Kyra pulled back from him, and he looked down at her. She’d been crying, though he’d of course known that. His own expression was sullen, but his eyes were dry.

Nero raised his head slightly to look in the direction of the caves, where he’d been born. Where he’d expected he would grow up. He thought about what was ahead of them, the uncertainty of it. He might have been excited were it not for the looming threat of death, or the thought of losing everything and everyone he was familiar with.

Did he enjoy staying in the caves? Not really. But it was home, and this forest was home. Almost every moment of his life so far has been spent in this small sphere, and despite his curiosity for the world around him, it was nice to know that this place was his.

Always,” he said, and he had much of his confidence back. He even managed a fierce, lopsided smile. He stood up straighter, drooping tail raising up and over his back. He felt better that way. When Kyra asked him to show her what he knew about killing, Nero was quick to oblige. He was teaching her everything he knew, after all.

Papa told me that the throat is a lethal spot,” he said, stepping closer to Kyra. “Right under here-

He lowered himself, stretching out his forelegs enough to lean down, trying to grasp at the underside of Kyra’s throat with his teeth with a soft grip, seeking out the tender place just behind her jaw. He was just demonstrating the place now, and if she let him show her, he intended to stand straight again.


Feb 06, 2018 07:45 AM — Post #6

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193825
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff
 

Kyra was disturbed by Nero’s long silence, searching his face and finding worry and maybe even a little fear as well. In a way it made the girl feel less alone. To know that her big brother was worried too, so it wasn’t one of those times like when Daddy told her she was wrong for her feelings, that Princesses shouldn’t get upset.

This was serious. Nero knew it. She knew it. Even as her brother vowed this would always be home. She nodded in agreement. But the subject shifted and she straightened up and wiped her face on her leg to brush away tears.

“Lethal.” She replied, testing out the new word. She let Nero grasp her throat, knowing he wasn’t going to actually bite her there. She trusted him enough there was something almost comforting in the pinpricks of his teeth on her fur. “What do you have to do Nero? Just bite there?”


Feb 07, 2018 07:04 AM — Post #7

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193904
Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter
 

Nero’s brow furrowed a little at Kyra’s question, and he stepped back to look her in the eye. Papa hadn’t really told him what he was supposed to do if he got someone there, but he imagined that biting down really hard wasn’t the wrong way to do things. He remembered the savaged carcasses of prey animals, and he’d already done his fair share of hunting small rodents in the forest outside of the caves. He knew how to bite down as hard as he could.

Yeah,” he said. “Papa didn’t say what happens. Maybe you make them bleed a lot.

He looked down, expression a bit grim. He’d never bitten anyone hard enough to draw blood. He looked up sharply at Kyra.

Try it,” he said, looking at her seriously. Then he raised his head to expose his throat to her. So she would know what it felt like to bite someone there. So he would know what it felt like to have teeth at his own throat. He didn’t know if that would change anything, or if it would make him less scared of it. But he was going to try.


Feb 07, 2018 05:42 PM — Post #8

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193907
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff
 

For a moment, Kyra hesitated. Something in her felt fundamentally wrong about this. Not the part about understanding how to take a life - the practicing on Nero part. They had wrestled and sparred of course. Sometimes in play, sometimes seriously trying to practice, likely in aid of impressing Elliot. They had probably chewed on one another’s necks a dozen times before. But this felt different. The weight of what she knew now made it different.

She told herself she had to learn how to be strong. That this was necessary so she didn’t grow up weak like her now-faceless Mama. But she wished it was Saelys or Cerys or one of those puppies whose names she barely remembered now, so she was less worried about hurting them.

Her lunge was good. Clean and quick. But she checked herself at the very end of course - she didn’t want to actually hurt Nero, but her baby teeth sought to hold him around his throat lightly.


Feb 07, 2018 05:53 PM — Post #9

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193981
Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter
 

Kyra hesitated only briefly, and then she struck. She was good at what she did, and though Nero didn’t flinch, though he’d been ready for it, he couldn’t help but be aware of how quick she was.

The feeling of teeth at his neck was not a novel sensation. During play, during their training, during scuffles with his siblings he’d had since he could remember, he’d felt the very same sensation. But it had never been accompanied with the knowledge that a bite there could kill him, not when he was aware of just what that meant. Not when he thought he was aware of what that meant. Nero felt the pinpricks of her teeth digging lightly into his neck and imagined her biting down and opening the skin there. He imagined bleeding so much that he fell asleep and never woke from it.

The smell of fox brushed against his senses again, carried there by a gust of wind. He tightened his jaw as he stood, head held awkwardly to one side, peering toward Kyra though he couldn’t see her face.

What if this was for real?” he asked, voice as serious as he could make it. “Could you do it?

They may as well have been playing. This was where training fell short- Kyra could just as easily have gotten in a lucky shot. But they couldn’t take it any further without doing damage to one another. How were they supposed to learn how it really felt?


Feb 08, 2018 10:24 AM — Post #10

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194051
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff
 

Kyra held on for a moment. Until the scent of fox reached her too, and she took it as some signal that she ought to let go. She did so with relief, even though she knew it was good, practicing. Learning.

She took a step back and looked earnestly up into Nero’s eyes. She didn’t think she’d ever be as tall as her Bestest Brother. (The fact that her other brothers seemed to have scattered and were all but faceless by this stage didn’t at all affect how Kyra thought of Nero and his title). “I don’t know, Nero.” She confessed, vulnerable but honest because it was just the two of them here. “Daddy say’d that royalty should kill wolves who are sick, or dio… diso… naughty. But it seems… it’s what we do to food, isn’t it? Wolves, they.. they aren’t food.” She wished she had a better way to express her muddied thoughts on the matter. But then the fox scent caught her attention and she turned her head in that direction.

“That red not-wolf thing’s nearby.” She looked seriously at her brother. “Should we… find it? Practice on that?”


Feb 08, 2018 10:24 PM — Post #11

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194167
Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter
 

Nero turned his head to look toward his sister when she let go of his throat, and he could see how conflicted she looked when she started to answer his question. He wondered if the same emotion showed in his expression, though he needn’t have. His expression was still tense, almost stoic, as much as his young face could arrange itself in such a serious fashion. Could he do it?

Kyra continued, explaining a lesson Papa had given her. That it was their duty to kill the weak ones. Nero had a vague memory, of a boy with a bad leg who didn’t know how to walk properly. Was he weak, then? Should Nero have tried to kill him? Or was it different for family? Papa had hurt the Empress, and she was his mother. How could he do that? Why would he do that? The boy’s mind struggled with all he’d learned today, trying to make things fit into the shape of the world he knew. The more he tried, the more confusing things got.

No, not food,” he began, obviously thinking it through as he spoke, “But… Mama said… they won’t get up anymore. Won’t run. Just sleep, only… it’s not sleep. Won’t try to hurt you anymore…

He trailed off, frowning.

When Kyra suggested tracking down the fox, Nero was relieved, giving her a curt nod.

Let’s go,” he said, moving toward the scent, throwing himself into tracking with a will to find their prey quickly, following the scent that drifted toward them in the air. It wasn’t the first time he’d done this, but he’d merely been keeping track of the fox’s movements. Today was different. Today was the day he and Kyra found it, and then…

Then they’d see.


Feb 09, 2018 09:58 PM — Post #12

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194210
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff
 

She listened to her bestest brother, trying as hard as he was to make sense of things. The world seemed wider now in the discovery of new possibilities - almost too wide. “Sleep forever.” She replied, understanding what he, what Manson, had tried to say. And if somebody was trying to hurt you, and you made them dead, you made them sleep forever, Nero was right. That meant they couldn’t hurt you anymore. And that was.. okay?

He was quick to agree about tracking down the red thing that was so like a wolf. Kyra responded automatically to his greater authority and certainly, trotting beside him and lowering her head to sniff at the very strong smell. She was’t as good at tracking as Nero. But she would watch him, see how he did it.

Anticipation and nerves alike made her toes curl a little. What would happen when they caught up?


Feb 10, 2018 06:24 AM — Post #13

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194816
Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter
 

Nero moved forward quickly, determined to find their prey but knowing that moving too fast would risk losing the scent or alerting the fox to their presence before they could even get close. Sometimes he thought it taunted him when he tracked it, lingering close but always knowing it could get away when it needed to. He’d never chased the fox as he and Kyra had the first time they had met it, though. He hadn’t intended anything like what he was planning now.

But that was before. Back when he’d been certain that he and his family would live to see another sunrise, when tracking the fox had been fun. A game.

Kyra fell in step beside him, helping him track. The scent wasn’t difficult to follow, but it took some time to close the distance between them and their quarry. The wind stopped carrying the fox’s scent toward them, but Nero followed the ground trail the creature had left in its wake. Before long, when he went to push through some bushes ahead of him, he saw a flash of orange fur in the greenery not too far from him, and his body went rigid as he slowed to a halt. He turned an ear toward his sister.


Feb 13, 2018 10:43 PM — Post #14

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194854
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff
 

Nero was strong and certain as he led the way, Kyra stayed at his side, trying to stop herself puffing and panting too loudly as they moved. Until he was slowing, and he turned to look at her with his muscles tensing. Kyra knew he must have seen something. She inhaled again, checking how sharp and fresh the scent was here, before she spotted the same thing he had.

Strategy was a bit beyond her. She met Nero’s gaze and looked ahead to the red fur, hiding in some shrubs up ahead. Not wanting to speak up, she nodded her head, eagerness showing in her eyes.

She was ready.


Feb 14, 2018 05:40 AM — Post #15

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