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day after ‘reckon’

Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter

Nero was beginning to hate it here, though running away no longer seemed to matter. The worst had already happened, and the reapers had generously spared him and his sisters.

He hadn’t been able to bring his mother across the river, hadn’t wanted to risk losing his grip on her in the water and losing her forever. At least he had something to bury- that which hadn’t been picked over by scavengers.

Foolish of him to think that the birds and other little creatures wouldn’t eat her, just because she was a wolf- a real person. Just because she was important to him. That was death, it seemed. Turning something that was once alive and vibrant into little more than meat.

That was why you buried the dead. So that you didn’t have to come back to see them chewed up like prey. He hadn’t been gone very long- after the tragedy that echoed back at the caves, he’d returned here, to where his mother had fallen.

Her eyes were gone. Having them stare at him the first time he saw her was bad. Seeing the bloody, empty sockets was infinitely worse.

He’d dug the hole beside her and pushed her into it, covering her body with dirt. It was the second time he’d done it, and his paws ached from digging in the hard soil. He didn’t even know if burying her would help. Wolves buried their food in a cache and dug it up to eat it later. He felt that he shouldn’t leave her alone, even now, in case some scavengers tried to get to her. What of his father’s body, buried near the place where he’d died? Did he need to watch that grave as well?

After his mother was covered, there was no more to be done. Hunger gnawed at his stomach, but he didn’t feel like eating. The sun was still high in the sky, with several hours of daylight still. He didn’t move, only stood and stared, hollow-eyed, out across the terrain.

Being vague on events after the ‘reckon’ thread.

Apr 12, 2018 08:36 AM

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[ Edited: Apr 14, 2018 05:48 PM by Nero ]
Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff

Kyra had taken the first opportunity to leave behind the mass of adults who had invaded her home. But that was all right because it wasn’t home anymore. The paradise where she had grown up was now the place her beloved father had died.

She had afforded Nero the privacy he wanted to bury Manson, but she had been nearby. A part of Kyra’s mind noticed, in a detached way, how strange it was to cover a wolf body with earth. Like that changed anything. Like it made it better.

It didn’t.

After swimming the river, the exhausted, grieving puppy spent a long time grooming her fur. The compulsion had come back in full force, and even after it was dry she fussed and twisted and licked some more. She was doing this now, sitting on a stone beside the river rank, immune to the patchy sunshine. But one ear stayed up, listening for her brother. He would call, or come to her, when he was ready.

Soon, they would have to try and figure things out, Kyra knew. But she was scared, and so she withdrew into herself and she groomed and groomed and groomed.

Apr 12, 2018 09:10 AM — Post #1

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Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter

He stood there for a long time, ostensibly watching the shadows shift on the ground as the clouds rolled across the sky above him, largely oblivious to his surroundings. Nero saw little of what was around him, mulling over the same thought that had first crossed his mind when Nima had come to deliver her warning, reiterated with each new development that befell his family. What now that we have to leave, what now that Mama’s dead, what now that Papa’s dead too. 

He was no closer to an answer. He and Kyra were alone. Some of his siblings still lived- they hadn’t been harmed, as he’d naively suspected. They had only gone somewhere else- to a pack that had sent wolves to kill his father.

It was the spike of anger and outrage that finally sparked him into motion, the sound of that yellow bastard telling them that their parents deserved what they got. Offering them a place in his pack, like they would want to live in the shadow of wolves who would never see them as anything but the spawn of criminals.

Nero wanted to strike out at something, but there was no point in that useless expense of energy, and he was so tired already. Instead, he turned and walked back toward where he’d left his sister. He paused after a moment, knowing there was dirt lodged in the fur on his limbs and stuck in his paws. He hadn’t bothered to clean himself, but he didn’t want to take the time to make himself presentable. Maybe Kyra would forgive him for that this once.

He was silent as he approached, walking toward the rock she’d perched on. There was a weight on him that seemed to drag him down with every step he took. The boy looked forlorn, but Kyra looked worse. He could see that she was grooming herself again- or still. Had she been doing that when he’d gone to bury mother?

We shouldn’t stay here anymore,” he said, voice flat.

Apr 14, 2018 05:48 PM — Post #2

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Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff

Kyra scented her brother coming, and finally the dark-furred girl stopped her grooming and turned to face Nero. He looked awful, she thought, her mind immediately beginning to detail every ruffled patch of fur and every splattered bit of dirt upon him.  She sighed and gestured for him to step down into the river, which she then did herself. He could wash his paws, because she didn’t want to groom dirt off him, then she would fix his fur.

“You’re right.” She agreed, scowling. This was her birthplace, but she felt no attachment to it. “I never liked it here.” It was where that wolf had killed Manson. Besides. The scents of the intruders who had killed Daddy were here, everywhere here. How many days had they walked over land that belonged to the Kingdom? Except..

There was no Kingdom. Not anymore.

“But Nero, where will we go? I mean..” She gulped. “Nobody else knows we’re royalty.” She pointed out in a small voice. It was a silly thing to fuss over. But they were meant for great things, her and Nero. Surely… a prince and a princess couldn’t just go anywhere could they? But what choice did they have?

Apr 15, 2018 06:37 AM — Post #3

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Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter

Nero almost refused Kyra’s insistence that he get into the water, but after a hesitation of a second or two he moved to follow her. Although it might not have been a natural inclination of his to keep himself immaculately clean, he’d learned the habit from Kyra. It might have been difficult for her to disregard cleanliness, but Nero hardly had the energy for it just now. Still, his plodding gait took him to the riverside, and he held a paw over the water as she spoke to him.

She agreed. He felt a moment of relief at that, the memory of their anguish at having to leave their home fresh in his mind. This was their territory too- part of the Kingdom that had fallen. But no one had respected these borders, and he’d found intruders in or near the caves more than once.

He stepped into the water, walking out until it was up to his elbows, the current tugging lightly at him, though he didn’t sway with it. He stood near the center, immovable as stone as he pondered the advantages of anonymity.

He turned broadside to Kyra, looking introspective and troubled.

That ugly wolf said that our siblings are with his pack, but I’ll be damned if I ever seek help from them.” There was undisguised animosity in his voice as he said this, though it lessened somewhat as he continued. “And Nima has a place in the mountains and wanted us to go there. But she’s dead now… even so, she had a paw in this too.

So their father had implied. He still didn’t know what had happened between them, but she had cautioned them to leave. Nero didn’t know what to make of her involvement, or her sudden death.

Where would you go?” he asked, focusing on Kyra’s familiar brown eyes. “If you could go anywhere you wanted?

Apr 17, 2018 11:06 PM — Post #4

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Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff

Kyra debated over this. “Do you think he meant the ones that vanished… ages ago? Or Cerys?” Not that she cared much about Cerys, who had always filled Kyra with a fear she uncomfortably couldn’t put a name too. But she was Nero’s sister, his proper, full sister too. He might want to find her.

“I think… I don’t know where Althea went. She always did keep to herself, not talk to me as much as you did.” Sure, they had called hello to one another in the leadup to the past few days, but they still didn’t spent heaps of time together like her and Nero did. “But I want to go back just once to check if she’s still there. All those murderers should be gone now.” Kyra gulped suddenly. She’d wanted that to come out tough, but tears threatened instead. She washed her face in the river so her tears wouldn’t be obvious. It hadn’t really sunk in - her father dying. Once she was in control she spoke again, adding her own thoughts to what Nero had next said.

“I don’t… Daddy didn’t trust Nima. So we shouldn’t either.” She told him earnestly. “So not there. I don’t know where, Nero. Somewhere you and I can be Prince and Princes.” She looked into his eyes, almost a mirror of her own. “We owe that to Daddy.” She finished, firm in that belief.

She looked east - where East Eden lay - then south to the mountains. “We should travel… That way.” She pointed northwest with her muzzle. Not because she knew what was out there. Because it was simply away.

She sighed, then since Nero was already elbow deep, Kyra waded after him. “Come on, let’s cross.” She murmured, but she waited for him to do so first. Nero was everything to her now. Until she could get back to East Eden and see if her sister was still there.

((If Nero does swim cross, feel free to powerplay in your post and have Kyra follow him to the opposite bank <3))

Apr 18, 2018 04:29 AM — Post #5

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Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter

I don’t know,” he admitted. “Mama said that the others left because they didn’t like how we live. So maybe that’s where they went. And Cerys…

He gave a convulsive shrug. Who could say, with her. She’d been born unimpressed with the world around her, or so it seemed to him. Maybe she’d just decided to go somewhere else.

Kyra mentioned wanting to go find Althea. She dipped her face down into the water, and Nero respectfully pretended not to notice her grief, lowering himself somewhat so that water could sluice over his shoulders, waiting, trying not to think of the killers who might still be prowling around their home. 

I’ll help you look for her- she might not have gone far,” he said, when Kyra lifted her face from the water. 

He didn’t know much of Althea, had never been close to her. But Kyra wanted to look for her, and while Nero felt little for the other pup, it was enough that Kyra still had a bond with her. He would help her search, if she wanted to find her errant sibling. Perhaps he ought to care more about finding his own littermates, but they’d wandered off on their own and had never wanted much to do with him- or each other. Why should that change now? 

Kyra was of the same opinion regarding Nima and her pack. When she did make her suggestion on where to go, it was away from those looming mountains. He did not disagree with her. But she wanted to go somewhere that they would be treated like royalty, and Nero didn’t know if that was a possibility. His lips pulled back into a frown as he considered what she’d said, meeting her gaze with his own. They owed it to their father to keep his legacy going.

We’ll find a way,” he said firmly, sounding much more confident than he felt over the matter. It was hard to feel much enthusiasm for it, when he stood unsteadily on the crumbled remains of the Kingdom that had fallen around them.

Kyra prompted him to cross the river, and he moved to do so, wading out until the water was halfway up his neck, then kicking off and swimming the rest of the way. When he stepped on the opposite bank, he moved a short distance away from Kyra and shook out his fur, sending a spray of water flying. He started to look over his shoulder, back toward mother’s grave, but he stopped himself, fighting back the wave of grief that was always threatening to take him. He wished he’d been able to bring her and Papa back together, though there seemed little point beyond his own sentimental whims. The dead didn’t long for company.

Papa said something about a lake in the north,” he said, licking water from his lips. “We should follow the river. That way, we won’t have to worry about getting lost.

Apr 19, 2018 08:35 AM — Post #6

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Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff

How they lived. What in the world was wrong with living like Royalty? But Manson had been smart, and even though she was gone Kyra trusted she knew what she had been talking about. She could barely remember the older puppies, or Sikozu’s face who had nursed her. Like her own blood mother, the memories had faded into a fuzzy, mostly scent-based haze.

Find a way. They were prince and princess. They could find a way. Just like they struck out together over this river, towards whatever life awaited them somewhere new.

“Okay Nero, we’ll follow the river.” Like with most things, she was willing to follow her brother’s lead. Elliot had told them ther were packs, dangerous packs, to the north and northeast, but Kyra wasn’t familiar with topography or distance, having never ventured very far from home.

“We can leave once we’ve been back to East Eden.” Gulp. She didn’t want to go back. In her heart she worried something awful had happened to Althea despite Nero’s words. Daddy, her invincible King, had died. Manson, so unstoppable, had died. How could her unpredictable, often ill but still dearly loved sister have escaped the wrath of those strangers?

She shook water form her coat and reached for Nero. “Let me fix your fur first.” She insisted.

Apr 19, 2018 11:15 PM — Post #7

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Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter

Although he had no more idea of what awaited them out there than Kyra did, Nero maintained that his decision to follow the river had been a good one, and was not surprised to hear Kyra agree with him. It stretched far into the distance, and he could only hope it took them somewhere that they could live. He wanted his sister safe, and he wanted a place that didn’t remind him of here.

Away. Yes, that was good enough for Kyra, and it was good enough for him.

They just had to go back to the caves one last time. A lead weight seemed to settle in the pit of his stomach, some combination of all the negative emotions that had bombarded him since his world had changed. But he would go. He wouldn’t leave Kyra to search alone despite how anxious he felt. At least it didn’t show in his expression. When Kyra stepped toward him, intending to groom his fur, Nero turned and gave her his customary long-suffering look. 

It was almost normal. He flicked an ear and said nothing, turning his head to fuss with a cowlick just behind his shoulder.

He’d known she liked to keep clean, liked to keep things in order. There was nothing that seemed out of the ordinary to him- that was just Kyra. But he recalled her obsessive grooming when he’d knocked her down the last time they were here, and even in his agitated state, he’d known something about that was odd.

I’m sorry I knocked you down the other day,” he said quietly, giving her an apologetic look before continuing: “But you… you started grooming, after you fell. For a moment it looked like you wouldn’t stop. And.. you were doing it when I came back just now, but your fur looks fine.

There was a question in his voice, though he wasn’t quite sure how to ask, or even what he was asking about. It was a habit of hers he’d sometimes noticed but typically disregarded as a quirk, but now he was unsure, and his young mind struggled to understand why she did it.

Apr 20, 2018 09:09 AM — Post #8

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Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff

She expected the look he directed her way. It was normal from Nero, who didn’t care as much about cleanliness as she did. But she didn’t blame him. That was how he was. The same as being fussy was how she was. She set to work nibbling dirt out of his shoulder fur.

He apologized for knocking her over though. Kyra paused for a moment, then shook her head. “I forgive you.” She told him, going back to his fur. She had forgiven him the moment it happened, really. Because she understood. It was his mother. And Kyra hadn’t had any time to think things over, to use her words or explain or stop him from seeing the awful sight of a dead parent.

“It makes me feel better.” She said in a small voice, burying her nose in his ruff briefly, then licking at the same spot seven or eight times before she realized she was doing it again. She moved on to the next tangled strand. “I remember cleaning Althea when we were tiny. It’s my first memory I think. And I felt ill when I was little all the time, and when Mom groomed me, I felt better.” She wasn’t sure if that would make any sense to Nero. She wasn’t sure if it made sense to her. But like the way all her remaining early memories were scent-based, so grooming and being groomed was tactile as well as scent, and the only thing she remembered from before her eyes could really make out details. 

Apr 20, 2018 09:44 PM — Post #9

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Name Player
Nero Daniels Wynter

The exchange between them was an easy one, and though he hadn’t expected any hard feelings from his sister, it was still good to hear her absolve him of the residual guilt he felt for having treated her roughly. He’d been distraught, true, but she hadn’t deserved that from him. She’d been suffering too, and she’d only been looking out for him.

She explained that grooming made her feel better. He remained more or less still as she started to pick at a spot on his shoulder, trying to consider how it made him feel. Having his fur groomed was, despite his outward chagrin, something he’d become used to over time. Something he’d even become to enjoy, once he realized the benefits. It was a bonding experience he’d come to expect from his sibling, though he’d never truly taken the time to consider it- it was something the boy took for granted. Perhaps he should be more appreciative of it.

Nero frowned down at Kyra as she spoke of her mother, something he didn’t hear from her very often. Sometimes he forgot that she wasn’t Manson’s child as well, as close as the two of them were. She had already lost her mother, a long time before he’d lost his. It was something she’d had to experience twice. And if her sister was gone, then that meant he was really all she had left. Nero wasn’t hopeful that they’d find her- he hadn’t seen her around in a while. He would not say that to Kyra, however.

It makes me feel better too. Makes me think of Mama.

It felt suddenly childish to call her that, but he hadn’t shaken the name even once he’d gotten older. He couldn’t smile at the thought of her, not knowing that she was gone and that he’d never see her again, but for a moment he was able to think of how she’d been just the other day. Smiling. Hopeful. He put his head down slightly, but he was too exhausted to weep anymore.

She… she taught me how to hunt, a little. Rabbits. Small things. We’ll have to work together, but we can do it. And we have to look out for one another. If anyone tries to hurt us…” Nero scowled. “We’ll kill them.

Apr 24, 2018 09:34 PM — Post #10

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Name Player
Kyra Daniels Chris Staff

Kyra certainly didn’t mind Nero calling Manson Mama. Her brother was the most stable figure in her life, it never would have occurred to her to think of him as childish. She knew he was upset though when his head went down, and she briefly moved to lick his ear - not in grooming but out of comfort. She understood. She missed Manson and Daddy fiercely, with an ache she wasn’t sure would ever leave her heart.

Nero soon changed the subject though, coming up with a plan. Kyra’s face fell a little. She was old enough to be aware of her own shortcomings - she had lived mostly off the cache her father and mother worked so hard to keep stocked. “I’ll try Nero. But Daddy didn’t really have any time to teach me hunting.”

The largest thing she had caught was the fox. And that had damaged her enough she was wary of anything that size. Her resolve hardened for a moment and though she said nothing when he spoke about killing anyone who tried to hurt them she did nod emphatically in agreement to his plan. She didn’t say anything aloud because in her heart she doubted she could successfully kill somebody - she had never been taught to be like Manson. She had struggled with a fox, let alone a wolf. But that didn’t mean she wouldn’t try. For Nero, she’d do anything.

She looked towards East Eden, to where the trees grew tall and tangled and obscured the cave she had lived in for so many months.

“I don’t want to go back in there.” She confessed in a small voice, finishing one of Nero’s tangles and moving down to lick his back fur flat. He was very thick-furred around his neck and upper back. “But we need to look for Althea. Oh and we should find Saelys.” She pulled a small face though. She had picked up Nero’s minor intolerance for his littermate. But the fact she didn’t like Saelys anywhere as much as Nero didn’t mean she would ignore her half sister. They were still family.

Apr 24, 2018 10:00 PM — Post #11

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