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WonderBubbles

The Island

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Ronan saw the shark-woman shifting and backed away from the lake. A shark-shifter, this is just getting weirder and weirder. He hooked his staff to the strap on his back. Drawing his blades he went into a tree to get some fruit before returning to his spot. He kept out of range of any fish that would try to snatch him. He snacked on his fruit, watching the shifting of the small waves in the lake moving. He felt a breeze blow and closed his eyes, absolutely loving the feel of the wind.

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This time, Roko didn't need to be aware of her physical hindrance. Her white teeth gnashed together, and rage contorted at her face. At her muddy, burnt, and furious expression, the woman was quite a wild sight to behold. But she wasn't worried about appearances- she was shaking with fury at the boy's words, at his sheer stupidity. If he "cared" so much about his fellow shifters, he'd know to leave her damn well alone. She didn't need anyone else interfering with her affairs, and then endangering the lives of those she actually held in high regard. Speaking of, the horses had seen the extinguished fire and were trotting back onto the land, but Roko's attention was sharp and scorching on the lizard-boy. "I don't need your goddamn help," she snarled, taking a step in the sand towards him. The pain in her body was ignored completely, as her anger fueled her body's actions. As she spoke, her voice grew in volume until she was shouting, or screaming, or a chaotic mixture of both. "You are possibly the stupidest creature I've ever met, who thinks that intervening with fire could ever solve anything! Your little "metal beasts" don't give a damn if I'm defending my territory or not, you disgusting little brat. You have the nerve of coming into my territory, attacking someone else out of the blue, and then blame me for your insolence and stupidity! If you think that half-brained monkey could kill me, then you're as useful to this world as your dead friend." No, Roko didn't feel compassion. The other shifters had all their fancy ideas of "love" and "happiness" and "togetherness", when all Roko cared about was surviving like the wild animal she was. She didn't give a damn about who died and who didn't- sure, tragic in the moment, she'd lost her equine family members before. And she would lose more, she knew. But at least the horses knew how to live, and not cower in fear from some blasted contraption that buzzed through the skies every once in a while. Roko didn't have blood family, or friends that she was particularly bonded to. She belonged to the plains, the wilderness, not some foolish society of human-shifting hippies. And she certainly wasn't about to go soft because some idiot decided his heart-felt attempt at heroism failed miserably.

The snarl remained on Roko's face as she watched the lizard disappear. "Good riddance," she growled to herself, brushing sand from her shoulders and sides. Now that her body had been invigorated with the emotional energy, she could see that the worst of the damage was done. The fire was out, and the "beasts" were gone- it seemed the other shifters were emerging from the waters and preparing themselves to rebuild their sorry little homes. Roo scoffed, obviously pissed from William's imbecility. Glancing harshly towards Stripe, she managed a curt, "Take care" before stalking across the beach, keeping to the shore in order to avoid the blackened forest. The dark figures of her horse herd had gathered on the edge of the meadow, as if searching the ground for something to eat. Unfortunately, the fire had burned it all away, leaving the creatures without food. More anger flared in the tall woman's body; she would kill him next time he showed his pathetic face.

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The tiger-shifter didn't pay much attention to the lizard's words, but she couldn't ignore the emotions that spouted freely from him. They distracted her, as the monkey on the shore did, but the odd shifter out in the lake was moving toward them. It was a smooth, somehow threatening movement, and it gave Stripe the chills. The face rose clear of the water and smiled a terrible grin at her. The woman's yellow eyes widened in surprise and she almost fell back. The thing had a mouthful of horrific, deadly teeth; another predator.

 

"I will be back, female prey," the odd woman called out to her.

That ruffled the shifter's fur and she glared at the other, fingers digging into the sand as an imitation of claws. The woman leapt up, giving Stripe a glimpse of her body - which was unclothed - and shifted into a large fish-like creature. She frowned when she realised it was a shark; it was dark brown, and much longer than Stripe was tall, but it was a shark. It dropped back into the water and glided away, her dorsal fin cutting the surface of the water.

 

Behind her, the injured woman's voice rose to a shriek and the tiger stood, turning around quickly. She was yelling at the lizard, who slunk away into the trees shortly after. The equine shifter glanced toward her, her expression harsh as always, and told her to 'take care', before walking away. Stripe's lips stretched into a rueful smile, but her eyes shone with concern.

"I'll be damned," she murmured, hardly believing the shifter's ability to walk after all her burns.

 

After a moment, she began to leave, glancing toward the water one last time. Carnarl would have to be alerted of this; the cubs couldn't go swimming in the lake anymore, now the knew of that creature. Then she stepped into the trees, walking around the burnt spots and gazing at it with sad eyes. Their home had been burnt to a crisp, and it would probably be hard to find food. She padded into the scorched clearing and was glad to find not all had been incinerated. Some shelters had been left, but half of them were smouldering ashes. Carnarl was ordering several shifters about, holding his mate close by his side.

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Dante grimaced as he moved back, charred flesh crackling as he rolled his shoulders. Unfortunately, the burns on his legs all but negated his ability to walk, but he dragged himself to the water. What a stupid shifter, he thought to himself, this is all his fault. Anger almost flooded his thoughts before it subsided quickly, like a wave on the sand. He must have his own reasons, but his actions implied that his is much more than slightly retarded. Perhaps mentally impaired? He shook his head as he slithered through the mud, the murky substance blurring his features as he shifted to his fish form. To his dismay, his burns carried over from his previous form, stinging him despite the soothing effect of the water. He could barely make out the form of the horse-woman through the water, but was not sure whether or not to approach her. In addition to being aggressive, she also seemed extremely violent. He drifted closer to the beach as he pondered his decision.

Edited by mapleleaves288

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Feather didn't react to the shark's appearance. She had often seen its, her, shadow beneath the water, and made a point not to fish from her section of the lake. In eagle form strafing the water surface, Feather was pretty fast, but it only takes one stroke of bad luck to turn hunter into hunted. Then, the horse-lady stomped off, and the tiger-lady padded away, leaving Feather to look back and forth between them, blinking. Which one to follow? There was a man sitting by the lake, but he wasn't doing anything interesting. After a few moments, Feather decided that she should head towards the forest, to check on the nest she had built in one of the trees. So the eagle-shifter jogged after the tiger-lady. "Hey! Wait up!" she called out.

 

As Feather passed by a section of burned trees, she looked up. Nestled in the highest sturdy branches of the tallest tree was a large nest made of sticks, dried mud, and leaves. From the angle she had from the ground, her primary shelter looked to be in good condition. But those keen eyes of hers picked out a steady fall of material, and the supporting branches themselves looked rather fire damaged. She would have to build a new nest. Easy come, easy go was her philosophy on most material possessions. Feather picked up her speed again, entering a clearing a several moments after the tiger-lady. She stopped, both to show herself nonthreatening and to look around at all the new and possibly interesting things and people in the settlement. Her golden eyes flickered constantly, moving from one thing or person to the next.

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Leo felt immense pleasure at ruffling that female shifter's fur, having stirred up fear so easily. Those pathetic shifters that relied on each other with mutual feelings and things like 'trust' were despicable. Only the weak banded together, or the foolish. The bird-shifter had not reacted, but Leo was not surprised. That female was at least intelligent about the ways of the hunter, and had avoided fishing in the territory Leo had marked out. Hmm... perhaps the air-dweller wasn't so pathetic after all. Her dorsal fin cut through the surface of the water again as Leo propelled her shark form through the now-clear waters. The other female shifter, the one with all the injuries and who had shouted at the strangle male who had leaked water out of his eyes was walking close to the shore, obviously in a foul mood, by the looks of it. Curious, Leo half-shifted into her half-human, half-shark form, quietly swimming alongside the female. It was impressive how the female could even move, with injuries such as those. From her appearence, the shifter female had come in contact with the Red Flower (Leo doesn't know what 'fire' is, lol) and had somehow survived it's destructive abilities. Clearly she was strong and fierce. Sticking her head above the water, Leo asked, "Female shifter. Why did you show such anger to the lizard-shifter who had water coming from his eyes?"

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There were faint splashes of water that sounded in her ears, but amongst the gentle lap of the waves, Roko didn't pay much attention to the lake. The sand felt cool beneath her sore, burned feet, and briefly she stooped down to slather more of the mud over the blackened and raw patches of skin around her ankles. Her wrists were the least burnt, with her bare abdomen and feet taking the worst damage. Despite having been physically drained from the day's "activities", she was almost numb to the sensation of pain and exhaustion. If Roko had known was a robot was or felt like, she certainly would have likened herself to one.

 

As she left the others behind, the cool wind brushed against her skin and pulled a tired sigh from her lungs. Her footsteps became a little more sluggish, but the need to see to her herd's safety and ease kept her moving. At one point, her coffee-colored eyes flickered towards the water's surface, feeling as though something- or someone- was watching her. But, after a moment, she discarded the queer feeling and focused on the stretch of land that still separated her from the bank that the horses had collected on.

The faint ripple of the water met Roko's ears, but she ignored the sound. Only when a voice projected from the lake, did her face then tilt towards the speaker with a weary and dark expression. The girl-fish thing spoke in a strange dialect, but Roo was too tired and annoyed to make anything out of it. Instead, she answered in a biting, sour tone, "He's an idiot, like all male variants." Her fist clenched slightly, but the flexing motion disturbed the burns on her arm and the movement ceased with a slight grimace in her eyes.

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Stripe heard the call behind her and had paused for a moment before continuing to walk. The woman would catch up easily enough, for she could hear the hurried footsteps behind her. It sounded as though she was jogging. The tiger shifter glanced back to the other woman, a small smile curving her lips. The woman's eyes were darting around the clearing, appearing to take in everything that there was to see.

 

The tigress noted that the woman's eyes were close to what her own were, although Stripe's were slightly darker. The other had jet-black hair, darker than the sky at night; it was a rather pretty shade, but out of place in the jungle, much like Stripe's auburn hair. Her eyes fell on the odd weapon fastened to the woman's belt and she admired it curiously. After a moment, her eyes flicked back up to the yellow orbs in the shifter's face.

"Greetings," Stripe said quietly.

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Intrigued by the fellow aquatic shifter, Dante followed the female through the water. How did she master her form so gracefully? He attempted to partially shift, but only managed to make the light of his lantern flicker slightly. He would have to attempt this feat again some other time.

 

"... he's an idiot, like all male varients..." The words piqued his interest, and he almost felt offended. That mentally disabled child had little to no similarity with him. But should he reveal himself? Knowledge of him meant power over him, which was detrimental to his survival. However, the female seemed to know how to survive on her own, despite ignoring her injuries. He shifted to his human form, grimacing as his burns were irritated again, and popped above the water.

 

"Well not all of us anyway. At least we know when to nurse our wounds and when to storm off in anger."

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Ah, now the shifter female was speaking Leo's language. "I agree with you, female. Males are pathetic, weak scum, who pretend to have courage but run out on their friends because they are spineless cowards. My name is Leo, and part of the lake is my territory. All who enter are either killed or driven away. I know no mercy, especially to males". This finished, Leo kept swimming, almost lazily, easily keeping up with the female shifter. Those wounds looked even worse up close, and the female's feet seemed to have taken most of the damage from the Red Flower. Leo's too wide eyes flicked back to the patch of shore where the other shifters had been. The bird-shifter female had followed that other female Leo had ruffled into the forest, where they were untouchable, at least to someone like Leo. At the sound of a voice nearby that was not the female shifter, Leo turned around, faster than the eye could see, her predatory instincts reacting to the sound. She halted inches from the water shifter, her sharp shark's teeth only inches away from digging themselves into the male's shoulder. Snapping her powerful jaws together for effect, Leo straightened up again and gave the shifter a warning. "Male shifter, it is very unwise to try and sneak up on me. I happen to react on instinct, just like now. Never underestimate a predator, fish, even if she is half-human."

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"Sneak up? Who ever said anything about that? It's not my fault that your senses are not acute enough to sense when someone is nearby. Instinct will get you far, but logical thinking will take you the rest of the way. Why would I speak if I had been relying on stealth? Let's not be hasty, now." Ugh. Another one. Just because she had teeth, she could exact authority over him. But then he had to consider the other side. He was naturally quiet, and she may have taken that as a predator stalking prey. How ironic, as they were both predators. "Of course, males are pathetic and spineless. Of course. I neither care nor want to know about your personal experiences, yet your antagonism of males seems to root from something that does not apply to everyone. But of course, pathetic, weak scum are not worthy of speaking to such a superior gender as yourself, do we?" Sarcasm dripped into every word, as he was exasperated by the immature reaction of the other shifter. He almost dodged the bite, but decided not to move after judging the probable area where her jaws would close.

 

Another one. Another one who thought they could act they way they did just because they felt like it. He almost felt upset, but dismissed the thought. He had no business with this shifter, yet found their conversation intriguing. "I should really leave..." he thought, but the company was actually comforting after years of solitude.

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"Sneak up? Who ever said anything about that? It's not my fault that your senses are not acute enough to sense when someone is nearby. Instinct will get you far, but logical thinking will take you the rest of the way. Why would I speak if I had been relying on stealth? Let's not be hasty, now." Leo cocked her head to the side, partially confused the male shifter's words. "Of course, males are pathetic and spineless. Of course. I neither care nor want to know about your personal experiences, yet your antagonism of males seems to root from something that does not apply to everyone. But of course, pathetic, weak scum are not worthy of speaking to such a superior gender as yourself, do we?" Sarcasm dripped into every word, and Leo began getting angry. Oh, how it would be worth it to transform, to challenge his snide words and make him eat them. But one thing confused her, something that the male shifter had said before the rude words.

"Logical thinking? What's that? This is a world with no mercy, and it is the survival of the fittest." she asked, her too wide gray-blue eyes focusing in on the male shifter quizzically. Leo had never heard of such a thing. Perhaps it meant planning ahead, like she did when hunting, or storing food for later on? Or was he refering to the human side of this life, which was practically useless, since Leo would never entrust her true feelings to another being, until they had proved themselves worthy beyond all doubt.

((As I've said. Leo definitely isn't one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. I love her for it. X'D))

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"Survival of the fittest is exactly my point. Emotion gets you nowhere. So please think before you feel like threatening me again. It doesn't matter how fit you are unless you have the brains to use it." To tell the truth, Dante didn't really want to lose a chunk of his body, but he could go without. Then he could just survive as he did for the past few years, lurking in a mud puddle near a lake and eating small creatures that came to drink. He had learned that he could never catch them by chasing, he had to wait and lurk until the time was right. He quickly turned his head. He wasn't used to talking this much, and his throat was feeling dry. He quickly gulped down some water and studied the other shifter. His large glassy eyes focused on her gray-blue ones, and decided that this shifter was not a waste of life. She could teach him some things, despite her discrimination against males. "How do you partially shift? Did you learn to or were you born with the ability?"

This quick change in subject was not uncommon for Dante, he often was not aware of this, being absorbed deep in thought. Another thing to improve on, he noted.

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The sight of the male rearing his head from the water didn't surprise Roko- she had the feeling that someone had been watching, and not just the strange fish-woman who was interested in her anger. Feeling her anger simmer into a bitter annoyance, Roko stopped and watched, only a slender brow raising at the boy's comments. She would have spoken when he'd first addressed her, but the girl was suddenly dashing at him with her teeth, and Roko watched with faint interest as the two aquatic shifters shot remarks at each other. Now that her exhaustion was attempting to creep up on her again, the tall woman sat down in the sand, her knees bent and legs slightly splayed, elbows resting on her legs in a comfy, almost lazy fashion. While Roko understood the sense behind the other female's ridicule of men, she was a little surprised at the ferocity in which she spoke about them. Weak, spineless. There was a little disagreement with Roo there- she'd met formidable males in her time before, but their arrogance was their ultimate downfall. She'd yet to meet a sensible, level-headed boy who could hold his own. On the other hand, females seemed to generally be well-rounded.

Her dark eyes made a quick scan of both creatures. The boy, she realized, had been the one to face-plant on the bank by her and Stripe earlier. There were burns on his back, that much she remembered- with a short, harsh laugh, she said, "Yes, nursing your wounds seems to be quite your area of expertise." With a snort, she raked the sand onto her ankle again, her eyes fluttering closed when the cool goo soothed the burns. As their conversation struck up again, Roo found her gaze wandering back towards the meadow; it was still a ways away, which caused a frown to deepen on her already permanently scowling face. She could probably make it to the crispy plains by sunrise, but she wasn't sure what she'd do once she got there. Everything in her territory had been burnt almost to unrecognizable standards, which meant both her bed-grass had vanished and the nutrients that fueled her body. Irked by this recollection again, Roko's snarl curled at her lips again and she gave a short growl of contempt.

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Seeing an argument going on, Ronan shifted to his monkey form and climbed into the trees. He snuck his way over. Listening to the words being transfered between the two water shifters and the others. He made a few funny noises at the horse-woman shifter, he had to apologize for what happened back at the fields. He shifted back into his human form, still sitting in the tree. "I need to speak with you, and I don't want to fight you. If you will allow me I'd like to make a full apology for what happened back at the fields." His voice itself sounded truthfully apologetic. He may be just a -man- as they were saying mockingly, but unlike most.....he had a heart.

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Feather noticed the tiger-lady sizing her up, but she didn't reciprocate. She'd already noted everything from on high in eagle form. "Pleasure to meet you, face to face. My name's Windfeather, but please, just call me Feather." Her eyes began another pass around the settlement, this time steadily evaluating the fire damage. About half of the huts had been rendered unlivable, and there were too many people to crowd into the remaining huts. She couldn't pick out where they'd kept their food stores, but they could definitely use more shelter until they could get those huts rebuilt. She gave a quiet suggestion to the tiger-lady, "There are sea caves near the volcano. The one my father claimed has a whole system sprawled out behind it, and he only uses the first cavern. If your friends need a place to stay, I'm sure he wont' mind as long as they stay out of his cave. Not that he uses it very often." Her voice took a slightly bitter tone for that last bit. She shook her head and continued, "I explored the system pretty thoroughly when I was younger. The passages and caves are all marked." Now a smile grew. Those were fun memories from before she became a shifter and gained the side-effect of nervousness in closed spaces.

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A young man sat under a large, leafy tree, watching a parrot crack open a nut. The slightly moist ground was warm and comfortable, and he was content sitting where he was. However, his throat was beginning to become a bit dry, and thirst overcame him as the parrot swallowed its nut and flew off to another tree. The man grabbed a small blade to bring with him to the lake. He would not use it to fight, as he was practically a pacifist. He mostly used it to carve, but always brought it with him, just in case it was needed. He stood up and stretched, then began to make his way to the lake. He silently wove to the trees until he eventually found himself looking at a vast expanse of water. He smiled and took a small wooden bowl that he had carved from a makeshift pocket, and walked over to the lake’s edge. He scanned the water for threats, but saw none. He then knelt down and dipped the small bowl into the lake. He rose the bowl to his lips and drank the water, savoring every drop. As he was about to get a second bowl of water, he saw something. About two hundred yards farther along the curve of the lake’s edge, he saw what looked like a human. He was not completely sure, as his eyesight had room for improvement, but he was fairly confident in his assumption. Even more shocking was the large amount of charred ground that the human was standing by. What could have happened there? the man thought to himself. He decided not to take the risk of the human seeing him, so he darted into the trees.

 

The man stopped when his den was in view. He bent downward, panting, in need of a break. He then saw what he believed to be an edible plant. He picked a branch and sniffed it suspiciously. He then bit off a leaf and chewed on it, confident that it was safe. Somehow, he felt… wrong, eating something so directly from nature as a human. He walked over to his den, set his knife down, and shed his clothes. He stored them in his den, a large hole in the ground between two roots. He preferred to be clothed, as he felt less exposed, less vulnerable. However, his loose-fitting clothes would not shift with them. He closed his eyes and concentrated for a moment, then dropped to his knees. His arms and legs became shorter, as did his body. He winced as his bones and organs shifted painfully. His nose elongated to a small trunk, and the patch of black and white at the base of his neck grew furry and expanded. In moments, what had once been a young man was now a large Malayan tapir. He lumbered over to the plant that he had found, and grabbed a few leaves with his trunk. He shoveled them into his mouth, and repeated the process until the shrub was nearly gone. He then walked over to his den and crawled inside. His eyes fluttered closed, and the strange realm of sleep soon overtook him.

Edited by satyr76

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Feather noticed the tiger-lady sizing her up, but she didn't reciprocate. She'd already noted everything from on high in eagle form. "Pleasure to meet you, face to face. My name's Windfeather, but please, just call me Feather." Her eyes began another pass around the settlement, this time steadily evaluating the fire damage. About half of the huts had been rendered unlivable, and there were too many people to crowd into the remaining huts. She couldn't pick out where they'd kept their food stores, but they could definitely use more shelter until they could get those huts rebuilt. She gave a quiet suggestion to the tiger-lady, "There are sea caves near the volcano. The one my father claimed has a whole system sprawled out behind it, and he only uses the first cavern. If your friends need a place to stay, I'm sure he wont' mind as long as they stay out of his cave. Not that he uses it very often." Her voice took a slightly bitter tone for that last bit. She shook her head and continued, "I explored the system pretty thoroughly when I was younger. The passages and caves are all marked." Now a smile grew. Those were fun memories from before she became a shifter and gained the side-effect of nervousness in closed spaces.

The shifter chuckled lightly, wondering if the eagle had seen her before, from the skies. It would have been creepy, but the tigress knew she wasn't exactly subtle with her hunts around the jungle. For a cat, she could be rather noisy.

"I'm Stripe," she replied simply, giving the woman another curious glance.

 

After a moment of silence, Feather spoke again; her voice was quiet and what she said caught and held Stripe's attention. Her dark gold eyes focused on the other woman and she listened silently. A small smiled graced her face once more at the kindness of the shifter; it was surprising, but welcome.

"You'll have to suggest it to Carnarl-" she tilted her head in his direction, "-because he's our Alpha. I'm sure he'll love to hear it."

A grin split her face and she thanked the eagle quietly.

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A large, white snake with pink-tinged scales lay coiled around the shady branch of a tall tree, so still a person would miss it if they weren't looking specifically for the snake. Mel was relaxing her scaly muscles, already well-fed from a couple of mice and birds. The day's excitement was already over, with the giant flying metal beasts and the forest fire. She was glad, however, that the fire hadn't consumed her favorite tree, the one she was currently wound against. If that had happened, even Mel's patience would have run out. The fire had been awfully near, but Mel had watched and waited, waiting for the moment to flee. There was no point fleeing if there was no danger from which to flee. Down below there was movement: two women were walking somewhere. Curious, Mel unwound her coils from the branch and dropped to the ground like a stone, slithering some ways back behind the two of them. Gods, did they walk fast, but Mel did her best to keep pace. Finally, the two of them seemed to reach some settlement, which had been severely damaged by the fire. "Pleasure to meet you, face to face. My name's Windfeather, but please, just call me Feather." Ah, so one of the female's name was Feather. What a pretty sounding name. The other woman introduced herself as Stripe, and smiled about what Feather had said quietly. Mel could not hear the conversation, and therefor slipped closer, her forked tongue shooting out and back in again quickly. This seemed better than doing nothing.

~

At the far end of the lake, near the herd of horses, a tall, majestic-looking stag stepped out of the trees, accompanied by a small, ragged looking herd of deer, both male and female, along with young fawns. Talio started lapping up his fill of the fresh, clean lake water, along with the rest of his herd. The fire had startled them all into a near panic, and it had taken all of his skills to keep them from bolting blindly into danger. Alas, one of the herd's youngest fawns had been lost in the ensueing pandemonium, and Talio was not sure the fawn was even still alive. The mother had been shell-shocked, and was in the center of the herd, surrounded by the rest of the hinds. Talio would have to look for him later. He shifted, and in his human form started splashing water onto his face. His herd was not alarmed, because he smelled so strongly of their leader, and he had taught them to get used to his odd transformations. He was sure the little brown fawn, still with it's white spots, was out there, bleating and crying for it's mother. He had to go find it, he just had too.

 

 

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A dark, shining nose pushed its way through the dirt, inhaling the musky, earthy scents that were pulled into the nostrils with each breath. White whiskers trailed across the dirt as the animal snuffled through the crisp undergrowth- despite the ground having been charred into fine, black ashes, the animal itself seemed to be unharmed or affected by the fire. That was mostly because her den was a little ways from where the fire had initially raced through, and since her home was an abandoned fox hole deep in the ground, only the smoke had been there to drive her from her hiding spot. She was investigating the remains of the meadow now, and was nearing the moist land of the lake. At one point, a round ear flickered at the thought that human voices were rising in the trees, but her curiosity about the fire had consumed her thoughts too much in order to be concerned about new playmates.

 

The spotted and striped mongoose-like creature lifted her head slightly and blinked out, her large nose twitching at the scents. She could see the lake clearly now, and what seemed to be a massive fish swimming near the shore. However, after a bit of commotion, the fanged animal decided that examining this other beast was not part of her interest for the moment. What had really caught her eye, instead, was the swollen flesh of a ripe fruit dangling from high in the tree tops where the fire had not reached.

A desperate whine rose from the civet's throat as she hauled herself back on her powerful hind legs and scratched at the bark with her stubby front paws- she was not built for climbing, as an animal or a human. But, perhaps she could coax the food to fall into her open jaws...

 

Movement snagged her attention, and the cat-shaped creature dropped to all fours, her masked face swinging towards the side with wonder. In the open part of the plains, a group of thin-legged and graceful creatures were walking behind a dark one with large branches sprouting from his skull. The civet slunk into a bush and pushed her muzzle through the leaves to watch; this camouflage was not necessarily effective, since her muzzle and inquisitive face was poking directly out from the plant. Grey was never too efficient with her stealth skills, anyways.

 

The black stag's musculature suddenly began to change. What seemed to be a smile-like reflex on the civet's muzzle flashed her fangs at the sight, and just as he started to fling water onto his face, Grey bounded out of the bush and directly for the human. Person person person, she thought, her long tongue hanging from the side of her jaws as she raced for him. She gave no second thought to the deer congregated around him as she darted through the group and dove madly for his lap, a sharp yip alerting all to her rambunctious presence. Person! She thought happily, aiming to snuggle her snout against his chest like an affectionate pet.

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Leo gave an unpleasant laugh at the other female shifter's words. It was true. After a fight, men usually just sat back and licked their wounds like dogs. Before, the male shifter had asked the question, "How do you partially shift? Did you learn to or were you born with the ability?" What did 'partially shift' mean? Was he refering of how she was able to blend her shark and human form together? That must be it, or else Leo would have nothing to say. "I do not know exactly what this 'partial shift' you are refering to means, but I think you mean this form." Leo indicated the jaws and the gills as she swam, easily keeping pace with the other two. Why was that so weird? It was natural to do so, but she had managed to do it a few years ago, after she had started living her life as a shark instead of a human. Humans were too much for her. All those complicated societies, the emotions, everything. Being a shark was much simpler, but at least Leo could answer this question. "This form was gained from a few years back, when I quit living like a normal human and started living life with the mind and body of a shark. To achieve this, I had to begin thinking like the animal I could turn into. Not just instincts, but actual thoughts, so much that it was natural to do so in both human and shark form. Somehow I proved myself worthy, and one day I could do this. I believe it involves accessing the feelings of the form you take, but you, fish-shifter, must prove yourself worthy first. How? I do not exactly know, but I am sure all shifters can do it."

~

Talio saw a flash of fur coming his way and almost fell over as a furry body cannoned into him, the strange creature snuggling it's snout against his chest, like some kind of long lost pet. What was the creature? Talio had never seen it before, and he turned to see if the creature had alarmed his herd. Apparently they had not cared to be alerted, since the creature seemed to present no danger to their personal safety, and continued trying to find some plants to munch on. Keeping one of his eyes on them, Talio started stroking the creature's fur, marveling how soft it was. "Hey there." he murmered to it, his voice sounding a little hoarse. Was this a shifter? If so, Talio wondered if he knew the creature, but in their human form. However, that didn't seem likely.

 

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A light green bush jumped and rustled as an ivory horn pushed it's way through, small insects being disturbed at every bounce. The ground slightly shook at a steady, regular pace, sending insects, birds, and small animals scurrying through the charred dust that once may have been vegetation. This was not expected. As the horn lowered, a full head came to view, as it was slowly but steadily followed by a pair of massive shoulders covered in thick leathery armor. An impatient tail irritatedly swatted away flies, as the lumbering beast sluggishly made it to the lake for a much needed drink. She had run quite a ways after seeing the bright red symphony of disaster on the other side of the island, and was both hungry and thirsty.

 

The rhinoceros's pace slightly slowed as it felt the ground under it becoming less dry. Seeing a large herd of stick-legs heading toward the lake, it lumbered after them. The leader was a majestic, dark stag, and seemed to carry an aura of leadership and authority. This was slightly off-putting to the rhinoceros, as she had been the leader of her own herd and was not used to following the leadership of another. Nevertheless, as they neared a lake the gray beast found itself a place suitably distant enough from the rest of the herd, and started to drink.

 

A blur of motion caught her attention, as a bolt of fur flashed past her legs. As to where that lump of speed was headed, it seemed that it was going for the... stag? As the male deer's features were marred by intermediate steps of shifting, the rhino flattened its ears in curiosity. "How... interesting..." she thought to herself. "Didn't know that there were shifters on this side of the island as well...

 

~

 

Dante raised an eyebrow at the comments of the shark shifter. This one did not seem to be the juiciest prey in the bush, or the sharpest tool around, or... well, that was irrelevant. Embracing his current form? Well, he had spent the past few years in hibernation, staying in his fish form in some odd mud puddle. Maybe bestial instinct was the only way to unlock the secrets of his forms. He looked off to the distance, and pondered his next actions. Well, he had nothing more to say, but the other ones might. There was nothing left to do, except... eat. His stomach growled loudly, and though the horse-lady probably could not hear it his enhanced underwater hearing sensed it being echoed ten times over. But... maybe he actually wasn't hungry. Maybe that was just a reaction to stress... what to do, what to do...

 

 

(Indecisiveness- bringing you pointless character dilemmas since '11)

Edited by mapleleaves288

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It appeared as though her explosive affection was received well- a hand stroked through her grayish-gold fur and the civet made a strange sound, akin to a purr or gurgle. Which ever it was, it was obvious that the creature was pleased with his returned gesture. For a moment, Grey's muzzle snuffled curiously at his chest, prodding the bare skin with interest. He smelled interesting; at least, to Grey he did. Like grass and earth and...boy. Her long teeth were bared again in a grin-like fashion and she promptly helped herself to his lap, tightening herself into a ball in order to be as close to him as possible. Her paws tucked against her furry chest and she curled up against him with a content grumble, cinnamon-colored irises vanishing as if she were suddenly falling asleep.

 

Perhaps a moment later, the civet's spotted fur sunk into the smooth, golden skin a human. The creature's body became much larger in proportion, although somehow she miraculously perched on his lap still. Her arms were wrapped around her knees, which were drawn to her naked chest, and she didn't seem to be aware at all that she wore no clothes from her shift. As long, black hair traveled down to her hips, the girl tilted back her chin and blinked her eyes open to study the man's face. "Person!" She greeted cheerfully, her eyes bright against the darker patch of skin that marked her face. The voice was small and childish, but certainly woven with innocent and giggling tones.

 

 

-x-

 

 

 

Roko's dark eyes tilted upwards, hearing something strangely familiar- the moment she caught a flash of golden fur, though, her scowl returned at full force. There was that monkey shifter again, no doubt to give her a hard time. She didn't need his ridicule, and she certainly wasn't in the mood to deliver another ass-kicking. A pained grimace momentarily overtook her features as she staggered back to her feet and turned to face the man in the tree. She didn't remember his name, if he had given her one- not that she really cared in the first place, for Roko was certainly not one to give a damn about the others. As the conversation between the water-shifters continued (with faint interest from Roo, as she had also been curious as to how the feat was managed. But, not like she needed the ability that much, anyways) she reached up and pushed her long, dark hair from her face. Her glare remained on the man as she listened, impatient portrayed quite obviously in her dark and unfriendly expression.

"If you have something to say, then say it," she answered coolly, her smoldering eyes narrowing on her slender face. For a moment, however, the earth seemed to tilt beneath her and she swayed, but her usual adjustment to the lack of energy and health kept her upright and standing. Her abdomen, however, had started to bleed a little from the open wound, and she glanced down at it briefly to survey the damage. Perhaps she ought to have found some medicine roots earlier in the day, but now that the fire had destroyed much of the plant life, there would be little chance of finding any roots to crush into a soothing healing balm. Irritated by this, her gaze flitted back up to Roan, annoyance radiating from her stance and glare.

Edited by Shiny Hazard Sign

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((Hmmmmmm..... This is awkward. Neither Talio nor Grey are wearing clothes. Be gone, my inappropriate thoughts xd.png))

"Person!" Talio almost fell over when the beautiful grayish-golden creature that had curled up in his lap disappeared, to be place by a small, young girl that still was curled up in his lap, hands over her knees. With those words, the girl appeared to be personally delighted as she watched him. Not at all embarrassed by the fact that neither of them were wearing clothes, Talio's doe eyes softened at the girl's face, and he stroked her hair again. "What is your name, small one?" he asked, a little curious. He quickly took the chance to check on his herd again, which had moved back to the edge of the trees and were cropping some of the nearby greenery. There was no sign of present danger, although there was some sort of giant, gray animal down the shoreline, which didn't seem to be a threat.

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((Well, she'll be an adult soon xd.png /snickers ))

 

A small finger rose and tapped thoughtfully at her chin, as if she were genuinely perplexed at his question. Name name name... After a long, drawn out moment, she giggled, "Greeeey!" She had sat up to reply, but now fell back against his arms and dipped her head back, dark hair spilling out over his forearm. Her eyes investigated the lake for a moment in the upside-down perspective, but once she felt her cheeks flush, she lifted herself again and yawned. Then, as if suddenly noticing his face for the first time (which obviously, she hadn't, since moments before she had been studying it intensely) she reached out and touched his hair, almost as if it were an alien subject to her. Her eyes then flickered to meet his again. "Your name?" She returned, cocking her head to the side as the civet might have done.

 

Then, something large and hulking caught her eye. She leaned to the side to look past the man whose lap she was plopped in to stare at the Rhinoceros- not that she knew what it was, but with her wide, inquisitive stare, she had the sudden urge to leap onto its back and ride it. Suddenly, she threw her arms around Talio's neck and pressed herself against him like a child might to her father. Of course, Grey was aware that she had no family left- but that didn't stop her from throwing her affections around as they were due. "What's that?" She asked, continuing to stare at the Rhino with large eyes. Big thing...

Edited by Shiny Hazard Sign

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