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The Island

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Jace yowled back, his rump up in the air as he bared his own teeth at the civet, delighted by her playful attitude. He pounced at her, trying to imitate the graceful moves he'd seen Sauda make a dozen times before. He tried to pin her but was hopping around so much, it was nearly impossible. The excitement was evident in his eyes. It had been such a long time since he'd been able to rough house with someone so playful. Sure, Sauda was great fun but she was so serious all the time and hardly ever play fought with him and the birds in the forest only provided so much entertainment.

 

Jace was going for the civet's tail now, batting at it with his furry paws, yipping and scrambling away anytime she turned to counter him. He roared at her again, standing at his full height to try and make himself look more impressive, before leaping at her, trying to pin her as she had done him.

--

 

"No, my fault." Sauda replied instinctively, following the other woman's movements so she remained always in front of her. They were nearly of equal height, with Sauda having maybe an inch on her. Rum brown eyes traveled down the woman's body, noting the dozens of burns that marred her otherwise smooth skin. Sauda frowned and her gaze snapped back up to the woman's face. "You are wounded." she murmured, a slight concern seeping into her otherwise serious expression. The woman had to be of her same age, maybe a few years less, and Sauda was certain she'd been caught up in the fire.

 

It was not in her nature to outwardly offer help to anyone, given that Jace was her main priority, but the woman was hurting. She knew not what kind of a shifter she was but Sauda would not have judged her on that. Besides, she had brought Jace here so that they might work among the other shifters. It would do good to make alliances, even friends, among these people who were so like them. Her eyes flickered over the woman's strong features once more, as if she were trying to read into her mind or trying to get a feel for her. "Do you need help?"

--

 

Hale had left the main group, finding no one of interest there. He listened to the ground that crunched beneath his feet, eyes scanning the trees for any sign of life. It was soon that he happened upon him, the tiger shifter and a female he didn't recognize her. Her skin was...white. Very white. He'd never before seen such a thing. He slowed and approached them, eyes flickering between the two females. He waited until their conversation paused to speak.

 

"Tiger shifter." he greeted, inclining his head to both of them. "We meet again." he added, smirking just slightly at her. He'd only encountered her once before and she'd put him through quite the bout of physical exercise. He still wasn't sure how he had escaped the powerful huntress. "I pray I am not intruding."

Edited by crypticsoul

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An albino, that was a new word. She would have to ask one of the older shifters about what it could mean when the opportunity presented itself. She nodded in thanks for the serpent's offer, unsure how to respond. After a moment, she was distracted by a deeper, masculine voice. Her golden eyes focused on another stranger; he was tall, bandaged and incredibly manly. He was a lot taller than she was, which wasn't particularly difficult. Stripe returned the nod, subtly scenting the air for his smell. She wasn't sure what exactly he was, but it had the stench of canine through it.

"Of course not," the tigress replied, arching her brows at him. Then her attention was back onto the snake and the response was finally coming. "One of the others could direct you, especially Carnarl." With another tilt of her head, she indicated to the Alpha. "I'll go with you," Stripe informed her lightly. She could do things to help, too.

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"One of the others could direct you, especially Carnarl." With another tilt of her head, the woman indicated to the Alpha. "I'll go with you," Stripe informed her lightly. Mel nodded her head, but said, "Who issssssss thisssssss Carnarl you sssssssspeak of, Sssssstripe? And who isssss thisssss sssssssshifter? What issssss hisssss name?" Seeing how Stripe had reacted with confusion with the word albino, Mel decided to provide her with an explanation. "Ssssstripe, being an albino meanssss that my sssssskin is unnaturally white, along with my eyesssssss being thisssss color. It alsssssso meanssssss that I am unussssually sssssenssssitive to the sssssssun. About an hour underneath it, and I will be burned mosssssst harsssshly."

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"Carnarl is our Alpha, the big guy over there," then her eyes flicked to the man close to them. "I'm not sure who he is, perhaps he could tell us?" An eyebrow lifted at the stranger questioningly, before she looked away to listen to the snake.

 

"Ssssstripe, being an albino meanssss that my sssssskin is unnaturally white, along with my eyesssssss being thisssss color. It alsssssso meanssssss that I am unussssually sssssenssssitive to the sssssssun. About an hour underneath it, and I will be burned mosssssst harsssshly," the woman hissed.

 

Stripe nodded slowly, understanding a little of the condition. She was curious as to why the snake was like that, all white and pink, but she doubted any shifter on the island knew the mechanics of the anomaly. After a moment, the tiger shifter gestured with her hand, beckoning the snake to follow her. They walked over to where Feather and Carnarl were standing; the tall man inclined his head to them both.

"This is Mel, a Boa shifter," Stripe told her Alpha.

He nodded, smiling, and announced he was pleased to meet her.

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Feather was tempted, severely tempted, by the man's mention of a flame in a bottle. How would it work? Did one feed the flame sticks through the mouth of the bottle? And wouldn't the fire make the container hot and hard to handle. She gave another worried look up at the sky. Night was pressing in on her, she had to get to shelter soon. She didn't know the tribe all that well, and she certainly didn't know the man with the strange interest in her mother. Her sister had a nest not too far from here. Feather finally made a decision. "I'll return in the morning," she said to whoever cared to listen. Then she melted into the trees and jogged away, occasionally stumbling over twigs and rocks.

 

Eventually, she reached her sister's tree, and luck of luck, it wasn't damaged. Feather started climbing up, using her knives to provide handholds when the branches were too far apart. Once she reached the top-most branches, she could see into the nest. Her sister was there, and gave a quiet little call in recognition. Feather stripped her clothes, folding them and placing them next to her sister's bundle, then she closed her eyes. It took her several moments to block out the worry about the night. But eventually she began her shift. She shrunk, mouth hardening and protruding into the yellow beak and her hair shortened, became feathers and turned white. Her arms lengthened as her legs got shorter. She got massively itchy as her feathers burst out of her skin. After several moments that seemed much longer, a bald eagle stood with mantled wings on the edge of the nest. Feather stepped down and snuggled next to her larger, but younger sister, who hadn't yet grown adult plumage. The bald eagle rested one wing over the juvenile Steller's sea eagle, and they both watched the last of the light fade and went to sleep.

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After a few moments, the tiger shifter gestured with her hand, beckoning Mel to follow her. Mel did so, swaying, and the two of them walked over to where Feather and Carnarl were standing; the tall man inclined his head to them both.

"This is Mel, a Boa shifter," Stripe told the man, and, he nodded, smiling, and announced he was pleased to meet her. "Assssss am I, Carnarl. Ssssstripe hear tellssssss me that you are an Alpha, whatever that meansssssss." Mel hissed softly, looking him up and down. "I have offered my asssssissstance, if you would like to have it." she hissed.

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Grey's bushy tail- seemingly like a raccoon's, only more slender and far less fluffy- moved playfully to the side, the civet's eyes tracing the cub's movements as he reached for the waving limb. A few times she felt his paw swat at the tail and it twitched in response, but she only gave a chortling squeal before leaping out of his range. Since the grass had been burned so severely (although less in this area than it was deeper into the trees, for the flames had been put out by the water before it had scorched the earth too bad) there wasn't much for her to hide herself in, but none the less, the civet scurried through the blackened vegetation with motions akin to a bouncing ferret. She was, in essence, just a very large one, as her face was almost a perfect replica in shape.

Both ears twisted towards the cub again as he let loose a roar- well, for his age, anyways, it could be considered one. Grey steadied herself against the ground and crouched, fangs bared and tail erect, cinnamon eyes widening at his rambunctious approach. Of course, he was smaller than her, since she was just about near her full-grown cycle of growth, but she allowed his tackle to knock her off her paws. The civet rolled onto her back with a screech and flung out her powerful hind legs to lock into position under his soft underbelly. Civets didn't have very sharp or long claws, thus there would be no damage when she tensed her muscles and pushed at his stomach. The mongoose-like creature gave a triumphant twitch of her large, round nose, as though she had crowned herself queen of their scrabble already.

 

 

 

Roko surveyed the other woman with slanted eyelids, her thick lashes framing her eyes so that they seemed to be narrowed in a glare. While this was not necessarily the case (for, noticing that the person she had walked into was not male, her stance immediately softened), Roko's posture was still tight and upset. This day had not been the best for her, and its consequences shone a deep, angered spark in both her rich mahogany eyes and the powerful tension in her body. However, despite the woman's hostile appearance, her gaze appeared to lighten as she trailed a quick study across the other's features. She noticed the sheen of the woman's copper-tinted hair and the almost identical colored eyes, though those were more brown. A brief glance downwards revealed that she sported scarce pieces of jewelry about the ankles, and for a moment Roo wondered how she shifted without them breaking apart. As her eyes returned to the woman's concerned face, Roko reached up and subconsciously pushed a raven lock over her shoulder, before touching the tips of her fingers to one of the hoof-shaped markings that trailed under her collarbone. "I'm alright," she answered, her voice unusually quiet. Then, as if her could no longer force back the exhaustion, it melted into her features and replaced her distinctly offensive air with one of tiredness and discomfort. "I just need to reach my herd and rest, that's all." At the thought, her face turned towards the trees, almost as if she were gazing through them longingly at the group of equines that stood nearly still a mile away.

 

Then, as if suddenly remembering the company, Roko's attention shifted back to Sauda and she blinked in realization. She had never seen this woman before, which would be a little strange, considering Roo traveled these parts quite often- she knew many faces, but this one was entirely alien in appearances. A slender brow rose faintly on her wary face, but the exhaustion was momentarily paused as her curiosity piqued energy into her features. "Are you lost?" Roo said after a moment, her natural tone flowing back into her voice. It wasn't so much haughtiness as it was guarded and brash- almost-, but she had been careful to keep her usual rudeness from the other's ears. After all, the last thing Roo needed was to offend someone who could possibly kill her in her current state. Of course, there had been genuine concern leaking somewhere into the question, as covered as it may have sounded, as Roko wasn't as heartless as she might have previously let on.

 

(I felt descriptive today xd.png)

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Wesley had sat under his tree for quite a bit before deciding to head out. It was close to nightfall, but he planned on being back before dusk fell. He lumbered over to his den. After closing his eyes for a moment, he began to shift. His spine changed, and he rose to his hind legs. His limbs elongated, and now sported digits. The fur and colors on his body retreated to the small spot on the base of his neck. His trunk shrunk into a normal human nose. In less than a minute, he had become a young man. He reached into his den and felt for the soft fabric of his makeshift clothing. He found his shorts and tee shirt, and donned them as quickly as he could. He grabbed the leather handle of his small, silver blade and walked into the woods.

 

As he walked, he smeared a bit of mud onto his exposed skin. It was just a thin layer, just noticeable against his tan flesh. However, it would mask his scent well enough. It was far from perfect, but it served its purpose. As he walked silently, a small green parrot flew to a nearby branch and chirped. “Hello,” Wesley whispered, a ghost of a smile on his face. He loved the parrots of the island. They were his only company since his parents were killed. The parrot tapped his arm with its talon and then flew off, foraging for food. After a few minutes of walking farther, he came across some scorched land and many animals and humans alike. Shifters, he thought to himself. They seemed at least somewhat friendly, but Wesley would not take a chance. He quickly darted behind a nearby tree, hoping that he wasn’t seen. He took a step forward to catch another glimpse of the charred earth and made a fatal mistake: He stepped on a large, brittle branch. His eyes widened as the snapping sound echoed across the area. They’ve heard me, he thought, frozen with fear. They’ll find me.

 

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Jae rolled for a bit on the charred ground before righting himself, giving a shake of his small head. He took up his fighting stance again and went back at the civet, bounding around her, yowling in excitement. She was good at this! A very good playmate indeed and the cub's tail swished back and forth rapidly, showing off how good of a time he was having.

 

When Jace faced her again, he tried to imitate the way she'd twitched her nose and ended up going cross-eyed trying to get it right. He shook his head and looked at the civet before turning and dashing away. He stopped and turned back to her, roaring and stamping his front paws against the ground. Chase. He wanted her to chase him, to play tag. Jace ran back and past her, trying a different direction.

--

 

"No, not lost but I have traveled far. I am from the southern part of the island." Sauda answered, watching the woman's fingers lingered on one of the marks on her skin. Her shifter marks, Sauda was certain, and, if she had to guess, she would say it looked like a hoof print. A horse shifter, maybe? She wasn't certain but she knew the woman was too exhausted right now to be of any threat to her. She was separated from her herd, from her family, and Sauda could imagine how she felt. It hurt, to not be with the ones you cared about. She sensed a hardness in the woman, a strength that she could identify with, and felt an urge to help her. She looked away for the moment, back to where Jace play with the creature from before.

 

Sauda had been young when Jace was left in her care, so, she had grown up. She had left the easiness of her younger years behind and become a guardian, a mother and a huntress, all for the life of the cub. It had turned her into the strong, serious woman she was today. Jace was her sole responsibility, the sun in her otherwise empty universe, and Sauda could not imagine being separated from him now. She had never accepted help from anyway, as no one could be trusted, but the concern, however subtle, in the woman's voice had touched her.

 

Sauda's eyes traveled back to the woman, watching the slightest of winds dance through her dark hair, blowing it from her bare shoulders. "I am Sauda." she said then, returning her careful gaze to the woman's face. Their eyes were similar in color, she thought absently.

--

 

Hale had introduced himself and now lingered a few feet away as the boa shifter, Mel, talking with the tiger shifter and two people he didn't recognize. It was none of his business to interfere there but he would around, see if the boa shifter returned. She was a most curious sort indeed. He watched them now, forest green eyes shifting from face to face, committing their looks to memory.

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Grey made a squeal-like sound and ducked low into the charred grasses, her striped and spotted pelt giving her quite the advantage in camouflage. However, her white-lipped muzzle was a dead give away, as was the swish of her tail as she watched the cub. He was certainly amusing, which delighted Grey to no end- company that enjoyed playing! This would be a day she wasn't likely to forget.

As the cub bounded away again, the civet shot from her hiding spot and scurried after him, having taken his hint easily. She sharp yips sounded from every which direction as her slinking movement brought her quickly across the earth- short legs of the civets weren't great for speed running, but the bounding movements they were capable of really made up for the distance. When he turned, Grey twisted and jumped after him, letting loose short and excited chatters along the way.

 

However, after a few moments, the civet's motions started to grow sluggish. She continued to race after him, but her eyelids were dropping and her pants more labored, until, finally, she stopped to regain her breath. Only, instead of jumping again after the cub, the civet flopped down onto the earth and closed her eyes, a yawn revealing the wide range of her pointed jaws.

 

 

 

 

As Sauda spoke, Roko's eyes never left her face. Analyzing, maybe, but her gaze had gone from hard and guarded to slightly more curious. There were two oval-shaped marks above the woman's eyebrows, which drew her attention- Roo had never seen such a symbol on any creature, thus was at a complete loss for any guess that might've presented itself with the find. This didn't bother her too much, since this woman made Roko feel more at ease than with any other shifter she'd yet to meet. Which was odd, considering it was the first time she'd ever encountered the woman. Perhaps it had something to do with Roko's weariness and lack of better judgment, which she would have possessed had she not been so tired and physically drained.

"From the south?" She thought aloud. Roko didn't go to that part of the island often- in fact, had only traveled there once before when she was little. She much preferred the plains where the other horses are; where she felt safe and at home. Turning her thoughts back to the woman, the equine-shifter added, "That's quite the distance for just a simple walk." Her eyes examined Sauda's face again, searching for some clue as to why the amber-haired woman might be trudging through her lands. Not that Roko minded too much- despite not being very friendly towards all shifters, she much would have rathered females over males.

Speaking of... Roo's dark eyes followed the other's as they glanced towards the small clearing by the lake. The two furry things were still jumping around in the grass, and Roko suddenly had a sneaking suspicion that this woman had a connection to one of them, if not both. She decided not to ask, though, given it was none of her business and she wasn't one to inquire where her nose did not belong.

Instead, she took the chance to take another impression of the stranger before her. Tall, as she herself was, and muscular, also like herself. It was almost impressive to find someone as similar to her own physique as the woman was, nevermind the hair color. And, almost, Roko almost thought the personality was similar, too. Of course, she couldn't judge based on a few exchanged words alone, although it was her nature to do so. She was simply too tired to really make much of a character out of this woman at the moment. Sauda? She thought. It was definitely not a name she had heard before, uttered in praise or in disgust. Which is a good thing, I suppose, Roo thought.

Finally, after a moment of silence had passed between them, Roo's eyes still fixed to the woman's calm face, she answered, "I'm Roko." A short answer, if anything, for Roo was certainly not one to divulge more than the necessary of personal information. Instead, she looked back to the playing creatures in the grass and commented casually, "Where is it you are planning to visit?" At least the conversation was giving Roko a moment of rest to rejuvenate her senses so that she might clear the remaining distance before she collapsed again, which she had a feeling would be a sooner occurrence than later.

Edited by Shiny Hazard Sign

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Michael watched as the girl left, looking crestfallen. I blew it again, Willow. he thought to himself. The tiger-man was sensitive to his surroundings and could hear the sound of another, not from the tribe approaching. "Intruder," he growled at Carnarl. Plunderers were common for tribes and was one of the core reasons he never commited himself to any groups. He turned to the two girls- Stripe and the boa. They were chatting with Carnarl and ignored him entirely.

 

Shifting, he slipped away, turning around the tribe's area in a search for tracks. Then, his eyes fell on a snapped branch and a scared-looking boy. Prey. He lunged.

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Mel cast an eye at the man who now introduced himself as Hale. What an interesting scent he had, this man. She had never smelled anything like it before, but her thoughts were interuppted by the arrival of another shifter, who growled, "Intruder" and then disappeared into the jungle. Mel cast an odd look at the man's retreating back as he plunged into the jungle, but then focused her attention back on Hale. Maybe after speaking with the leader, she could have a nice interesting conversation with him. It wouldn't hurt to make a friend, after all. "I know the location of many medicinal plantsssss and herbsssss that thissssss.... tribe could make ussssssse of, sssssir." stated Mel, since it was the truth.

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"UGH!" The rhinoceros grunted as she watched the spectacle unfold before her. It was mildly annoying when that fluffball decided to hide under her, but now this became irritating. She stomped the ground a few times, her huge feet thudding and kicking up small clouds of dust, and slowly started lumbering toward the two small animals. But instead of keeping a constant pace, the rhinoceros started going faster, faster, faster. As the gray outline blurred with speed, so did the actual features of the animal. The stocky, thick legs stretched and strained, as the face flattened out. Soon, only a powerful, tall woman was running across the field. Reaching the civet first, she gave it a good hard punt, releasing any annoyance she had with the creature. "STOP." she said sternly.

 

[sona is extremely petty tongue.gif]

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[whoa, that was way harsh, mapleleaves. poor grey was just laying there...]

 

Jace had stopped and turned back, blinking at this fallen companion. He padded over to her and flopped down beside her, snuggling up close against her larger body. He nuzzled her neck with his head, giving a quiet yowl of appreciation for her playing with him. He very much liked this shifter and he yawned loudly, settling down beside her and closing his eyes.

 

When the ground beneath them started to rumble, his ear twitched and perked forward. Jace raised his head and his gaze snapped to the woman charging at them. He yowled loudly and scrambled out of the way, tumbling over his own paws and landing in a heap a few feet away. He shook it off and turned in time to see the woman kick his new friend-hard. Running over, he put himself between the civet and the nasty, mean woman. He roared loudly, the squeaky sound echoing, before baring his fangs at her. He looked more cute than intimidating but Jace was not going to let the woman hurt the civet again. He yowled again, louder this time and swiped a paw at her foot, hoping to scratch her.

--

 

Sauda had felt a little uneasy when the woman's eyes didn't stray from her but she calmed herself, realizing she was only studying her in the way Sauda had done her a moment ago. The discomfort faded, leaving only a slight curiosity about the the woman. When the woman had looked over at the civet and Jace, Sauda had followed her gaze, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. She could hear him screeching from where they stood, his excited squeaks and yowls filling her with happiness. He was having so much fun and Sauda could only hope that things remained that way, for Jace so deserved a life with other people, as opposed to the life of solitude (save for herself) that she offered him.

 

"I'm Roko." The woman's introduction brought Sauda's attention back to her and she found herself repeating her name, finding it slid easily off her tongue. Roko. It was a name she'd never heard before but not a bad one and, the more Sauda studied the woman, the more she thought it suited her. "Where is it you are planning to visit?"

 

This time, Sauda drew back a bit from the question, unsure if she should be truthful or not. It wasn't like she was hiding anything and her intention in coming here had not been evil, so, what would be the harm in telling her? She found the thought of lying to Roko particularly vile and did not think she could manage even if she tried. Strange. So, she drew a deep breath and motioned toward Jace and the other creature with a slender hand. "His name is Jace. He's...my cub. I had no destination, only the knowledge that I could no longer protect or provide for him on my own. We came this way only on rumor that more shifters inhabited the area." she explained, dropping her hand, the slender appendage bouncing off her thigh. Her gaze drifted back to Roko, for she'd been intently focused on Jace, and she searched the woman's face, trying to gauge her reaction to what she'd just told her. It was the honest truth but, even then, it burned her up to admit it. She never sought help. Ever. She was independent to a fault, so, the knowledge that she couldn't care for Jace without an outsiders help was devastating.

 

The silence that followed was interrupted by a loud, angry yowl from Jace and Sauda's head snapped to toward him. Instant anger flashed in her eyes when she saw the tall woman in front of him, Jace yowling again at her, the noise like fire to the instinct in her, and she bared her teeth, her muscles tensing. Jace swatted at the woman's foot and that's when she took off, powerful legs making quick work of the distance between them. She put herself between the large woman and the two smaller ones, Jace between her feet briefly before he had ran back to the civet, nudging her gently with his nose. Sauda's mind flickered briefly back to Roko before she closed out everything but the woman before her. The one that had threatened her cub.

 

"Do yourself a favor and step back." she growled, teeth bared and every muscle in her body poised for action. If she so much as suspected that the woman was coming toward Jace, or the civet, again, she would have her on the ground in a flash.

--

 

Hale had caught the woman's eye and offered a quick, small smile. She intrigued him. He found himself wanting to know more about her, about how she survived with skin so pale. He'd never seen anyone like her. And her scent...it was nothing he'd ever encountered, which both surprised and worried him. She was new. Was she a threat? What was she like? Where had she come from?

 

Perhaps, when she was finished here, they could talk. Yes, Hale found himself wanting that very much. When he gaze settled back on him again, he turned his head but his gaze flickered back to her. How strangely curious indeed. He hoped they finished soon.

Edited by crypticsoul

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The eagle-woman left, and Stripe called her farewell after her. Michael growled "Intruder", then stalked off toward the sound. Carnarl nodded and was about to brush the two women off, by telling them to go look for a few of the missing shifters, but Hale then introduced himself. The tall man gave a wave, then Mel was speaking again. The odd, lisping hiss made her speech difficult to understand, so it took the elephant a moment to understand her.

Medicinal plants? his thoughts echoed, and he gazed at her with new, curious eyes. "That could be useful," he said thoughtfully. "Would you be able to lead Stripe and-" Carnarl paused, glancing around for another, "-Hale, if he would go, to where they would be?"

 

~

 

Stripe bowed her head to her leader, accepting his request, and then turned to the Boa shifter to see if she would agree, too. If Hale didn't go with them, the tiger would have to find another. A cracking, rustling sound came from an unburned portion of the trees and she turned to see a young giraffe stumbling into the clearing. It was the cub who had been through their first shift at the lake, now accompanied by another, larger, giraffe. It was most likely their mother or another female relative. It was evident the tall creature was no male.

Edited by WonderBubbles

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Cub? Roo thought, looking again to the pair toppling over each other. Ah, so she was a young mother, seeking shelter. Odd, considering Sauda didn't strike her as a motherly type, but that was completely refutted when Roko saw the adoration in her eyes. "Well, there's a group of shifters the live deeper in the forest. They're probably what you're looking for." Disappointment? Perhaps.

 

Suddenly, a high pitched scream tore through the air, accompanied with a young roar. Roko's natural protective instinct twisted her towards the furry creatures in the grass- now, there was the young girl again, clenching her ribs and crying.

Roko didn't even seem to see Sauda anymore; with a a snarl, dark fur overcame her features and muscles rippled beneath her flesh. Her long hair traveled down her elongating neck and a similar tail whipped out from forming hind flanks. As the mare's hooves solidified, she lunged out of the trees and towards the children. A harsh, ringing bray echoed out from her ebony muzzle as she descended on the other woman, and unlike Sauda, Roko didn't give her a chance to back off- the mare's body twisted around and her hind hooves shot out, aimed for the perpetrator's stomach.

 

 

Grey shrunk into the grass, tears streaming from her eyes. One arm was wrapped around her side, where an ugly purple bruise was rapidly formung. The other covered her face so she wouldn't have to see the terrifying woman bending over her. Her sobs were soft, but quieted the moment she heard talking, and then the scream of a horse. She peered through her fingers to watch, but instead noticed Jace and pulled him closer with a shiver.

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Jace mewled softly and licked Grey's cheek, laying down beside her so she could hold him. He licked her cheek again before quickly removing his little pack and shifting, the tawny fur receding back to be replaced with smooth, creamy skin. Jace's hair fell past his ears and into his eyes, wild and sandy blonde. His bright blue eyes were filled with worry as he hugged Grey, mindful of the bruise on her ribs. "Shhhh, it's gonna be okay." he said softly, patting her head like Sauda did to him when he was hurt or frightened. "Sauda'll make her pay for kickin' you." he assured her, looking over his shoulder in time to see a giant, black creature aim a kick at the mean woman's stomach. Good, he thought, she deserved it for hurting his friend!

 

Sauda had had the sense to step back the moment she saw Roko charging. So, she was a equine shifter. A beautiful one at that. Sauda had only seen horses a few times in her life, and knew they were potential pray, but she could never imagine taking down something that looked as magnificent as Roko's equine form.

 

The urge to shift herself rippled through her body but she didn't, instead remaining her human form, but she was ready. If Roko needed her, she'd shift and join the fray, especially if that woman shifted. Unlike Roko, though, Sauda would take pleasure in taking this woman down.

--

 

Hale looked up when the other male spoke his name, catching the tail end of the conversation. Seemed was going in search of some medical plants. "I would be happy to accompany them." he answered with a nod, walking over and standing just between the tiger shifter and the boa woman. Sure, why not, he thought, it wasn't like he was doing anything else.

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"That could be useful," the leader said thoughtfully. "Would you be able to lead Stripe and-" Carnarl paused, glancing around for another, "-Hale, if he would go, to where they would be?" Mel nodded in one fluid motion. "Yessssss, to mosssst of them I would be able to. Sssssome, though, are high in the treesssssss and might be hard for them to reach, yesssssss. I will do my bessst though. I have some bassssketssssss for sssssssuch a purposssse. If they will follow me, yesssss, I will ssssstart right away." she finished with a hiss, and beckoned to Stripe and Hale to start following her. Mel walked carefully over the forest floor, easily avoiding things that would stop her progress such as small pits made by animals, roots, and thorny plants that would usually rake across her white skin if she didn't already know where they were. She did not stop to see how the other two were faring, but just kept on going until they reached her tree. "Wait here, yesssss, while I go get the bassssketssssss" she hissed softly, and then shifted quickly and without a sound. In her place was a beautiful whitish-pinkish redtail boa, which quickly wound around the trunk of the large, ancient tree and started to climb it. Being more than seven feet in length, it was easy for Mel to do so. Boas crushed their prey by squeezing them to death, so she had very strong muscles throughout her body. Reaching her favorite branch, Mel cast a red-pink eye around, and then nudged the baskets over the branch and onto the forest floor, right at the feet of the other two shifters. Mel then spiraled up a bit more until she came to a small clump of plants growing on the tree branch. These were good to put on bruises and other similar skin wounds, so she grabbed them in her jaws and quickly came down again. Shifting once more, Mel took the herbs out of her mouth and put it into one of the baskets. "Let ussssss continue, then." she hissed, and began walking again.

~

Talio burst out of the trees, his herd remaining behind, as he headed towards the source of the scream he had just heard. He managed to register that Grey was lying down on the ground, clutching her middle area, and than two other shifters were threatening the woman who had done it, one of them as a horse already attacking. Ignoring this, Talio galloped towards Grey, who was lying on the ground, and next to some other, younger boy. She was crying, and Talio shifted to land right next to her. There was a rapidly forming purple bruise on her left side, and Talio didn't dare touch it. "Grey, calm down. You've bruised about two of your ribs. It's going to be fine, you hear me?" he said, soothingly. He had dealt with bruised ribs before.

 

 

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Her eyes were swimming with tears, and just barely through the blur could she tell that the cub she had been clutching was turning into something else. She could feel the creature increase in size and reluctantly loosened her hold so that Jace could complete his transformation without getting squeezed painfully. Small gasps and whimpers still rose from her lips as she curled up to the young boy and buried her face into his naked shoulder. She could feel something rushing forwards- the earth transferred the soft hoof falls well, and instantly her body seized with panic. However, when a soft thud alerted her to someone beside her and a familiar voice sounded in her ears. Hesitantly, the injured girl turned her head slightly to glance at Talio. "She hurt me," she cried, red-brown eyes filling with tears once more. The broken sobs hurt her sides and, despite the pain, her breathing became more rapid with her tears. She cut off a squeal of pain as it rose in her mouth and curled up tighter in fetal position, although her sides screamed in even worse pain than if she were stretched out normally.

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((YAY I am so happy >D today))

She hurt me," Grey cried, red-brown eyes filling with tears, and Talio looked over at the woman. However, Talio quickly looked back at the girl as her breathing rate started to increase, and she curled up in a fetal position. "I'm sorry, Grey. This will hurt, but it will help you heal. You have to get back on your back, and lie out straight. This will prevent the rib from taking any more damage, and I'll protect you from any more harm." Talio said, attempting to push the girl into a position that would cause less pain to her already. Who had done this to her? Earlier there had been a pouch tied around one of his legs; his medicinal pouch for both him and his herd. There was no choice. Talio would have to give her something to ease the pain. In his wanderings he had found a few poppy seeds, and now he held them out to Grey, trying to put them in her mouth. "If you eat these, part of the pain will go away." he said, wiping her tears with his other hand.

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Wesley was frozen in fear as the creature lunged at him, its claws sinking into his abdomen. Too shocked for words, he slashed at the creature franticly with his small blade and then lunged with it. He preferred not to fight, but he had no choice. He still had no idea how he could have made such a mistake. He was usually one of the stealthiest shifters he had seen. It must have been the surprise of seeing so many others. Wesley scurried behind a large tree as quickly as he could with his injury, and shed his soft shirt to assess the damage. “Damn it!” he swore. There were moderately deep puncture holes just above his waist, on the left side of his belly. He then shed his shorts and closed his eyes, concentrating. He again fell to his knees as he became a tapir. His body filled out, and his nose elongated. Fur spread across his body. In just several seconds, he was a Malayan tapir. It had been one of his faster shifts. His injury prevented him from running, but the tapir’s strong jaws would at least give him a fighting chance.

 

Edited by satyr76

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Jace sat up with his legs folded under him, watching Grey in concern, wringing his little hands as more tears spilled down her cheeks. He looked up and over her at the man who had come to help. Or, he assumed he had come to help, since he had just offered her medicine.

 

"What is that?" he demanded of the man, pointing to the seeds in his hands, protective of his new friend. He didn't think this man would hurt her but he wanted to be sure. "It better not hurt her." he added and grasped Grey's hand in his, holding it tightly. "You can squeeze my hand, okay?" he told her. "If it hurts too much, just squeeze my hand. You can squeeze it as hard as you can and it won't hurt me."

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What is that?" the boy demanded, pointing to the seeds in his hand, and Talio gave a deep sigh. "It better not hurt her." the boy added and grasped Grey's hand in his, holding it tightly. "It's not going to hurt her, boy." Talio said, even though he was only older probably by at least seven years. "These are called poppy seeds. Poppy seeds. What these seeds are going to do is reduce the amount of pain she feels so that I can at least prescribe a treatment before she passes out from crying or the pain. Sheesh, it's not like the seeds are going to harm her. Put some trust in my medical knowledge, at least. I've been taking care of deer and humans for a long time." he said, waving the poppy seeds under the boy's nose. "Come on, eat up. This won't take long." Talio said, this time more gently, to Grey.

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He growled at the weight, rolling off and taking the pipe out from its hiding place. Holding the pipe securely in his mouth, the tiger waved it threatingly at the herbivore. "Don't you dare," The tiger's nostrils flared, as if to justify its point. The man-tiger was known to be merciless towards intruders and foes, so this herbivore was in for a tough fight. He placed a paw on the soft underbelly of the other beast, slitted eyes testing for lean meat. Looks yummy, he thought inside. Enough to fill him for a few weeks.

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...Shifting once more, Mel took the herbs out of her mouth and put it into one of the baskets. "Let ussssss continue, then." she hissed, and began walking again.

((Hello, everyone! Finally found a place to jump in rolleyes.gif It seems like the day should be nearing evening, but I can edit this if I'm wrong. Also, I currently have a headache, so sorry for any mistakes, but I didnt want to have the story move on before I could say anything.))

 

It had been a long day. A beautiful sunrise had welcomed the day, and Elle awoke shortly after the sun had just begun its ascent into the rose coloured sky. This was when the day started to go from 'alright' to just about awful.

 

Her plans were to find enough wood and wire to rebuild her shelter, which was in pieces due to a short scuffle with a wild boar. She had been putting it off for quite some time, but after a few days of sleeping in the open air, with nothing but the trees for protection, she had, quite simply, had it.

She was doing alright until she met up with the very same beast that had put her in this situation, because apparently, it had friends who were equally disagreeable.

 

The rest of her day was a blur of running from rage-blinded, heavy duty pigs, running from a brightly coloured parrot with a dysfunctional attitude, and running, period, just to be sure nothing else was coming after her. To say she was tired as the sky began to take on a violet hue would be an understatement.

 

She had no idea where she was, and by this point, the sea was merely a soft, far off murmer. Her heart sunk as she started thinking of the inevitability of another night of sleeping on the cold, hard earth with no roof. Dragging herself through the forest, she suddenly stopped as a strange sound met her ears. Voices. In the middle of nowhere, human voices were mumbling something just a short distance from where she was standing.

Her eyes widened. Others... like herself? She began moving a little quicker, a little quieter, until she could see two people standing beneath a tree. A sound from above made Elle look up, and she spotted a strangely pale snake nudging at a plant. When it contorted suddenly and became a girl, Elle's mouth fell open in surprise.

Reflexively, she blurted, 'H-hey..!'

Edited by xLunar

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