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Lionthrush

Flames, Ice, and Darkness.

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((ok I really have no idea how bird ankle chains work so just bear with me here.))

 

Jolted awake by a sensation of warmth and a growl from her stomach, Lucent looked around in confusion before remembering the events that had transpired. Breathing a small sigh of relief, she checked her wing injury... only to find it healed. Had she fallen asleep that long? Her surroundings were unfamiliar but peaceful. Next to her, the white osprey from earlier was sound asleep. She could escape now if she wanted. It was a perfect opportunity. Spreading her wings, she winced slightly as her newly healed wing protested against its use. Making all the necessary preparations for flight, she tilted her wings to catch the wind and... didn't leave. Somehow, she just couldn't bring herself to fly away. Cursing her own weakness, she fluffed up her feathers and looked back at the other osprey. His white feathers were startlingly noticeable against the lush green of the grass, making him an easy target for any predators that happened to walk by. She hesitated for a moment before hopping back, her ankles still shackled by the metal chains. Finding a few fallen branches from nearby trees, she draped them over the depression in the grass, creating a crude shelter. Unsatisfied with the flashes of white feathers still poking through, she pulled out a few bunches of long grass and covered the gaps in the shelter with them. Now that the other osprey was pretty much invisible, she could set out to find food. If she was lucky, some predator would have left a kill unattended, providing easy sustenance for her.

 

But first things first, she would have to figure out a way to get the chains off of her ankles. Scanning her surroundings for any large, sharp rocks, she was disappointed when she found none. Deciding to inspect the chains for any other means of removal, she found a small chink in one of them. Picking at it, she managed to pry it open with her beak. The left shackle fell open with a clinking noise and released her foot. Now, if only she could find a similar chink on the other one. Shaking her foot to rotate the chain, she soon located another chink. Repeating the process, she managed to rid herself of the heavy chains. Sucess! Nudging the broken chains under a rock, she paused for a moment to locate food. She could hear a river to the north and smell the distinct aroma of fresh fish. Salivating, she took off in its direction. Gliding to conserve energy, she saw a delicious, fresh-caught pile of fish next to the river. It was likely some other osprey's food stash, but they probably wouldn't notice a single missing fish, would they? Growling impatiently, her stomach made the decision for her. Diving down towards the fish, she grabbed one and swooped back up. Quickly looking around her, she confirmed that the catcher of the fish wasn't nearby. Grinning at the amazing success of her scavenging, she touched down back at the grassy depression. Tearing at the fish, she devoured it in mere seconds. She wasn't satisfied yet, but hunger was no longer gnawing at her stomach. It would be too risky to return for another fish anyway, so she merely fluffed her feathers against the brisk nighttime breeze.

 

She wasn't quite sleepy yet, choosing to occupy her time by looking at the stars. They emitted a comforting glow, twinkling cheerfully against a backdrop of smooth indigo. Now that she had time to rest and think about what just happened, she realized just how lucky she had been. The city had been attacked at just the right time to enable her escape, though it was at the cost of other ospreys being captured. It was also fortunate that she had been near the other osprey when the human dropped her, otherwise she would have surely been recaptured or burned to death. Even her wing injury had involved luck, if she had cut it any deeper or broken a bone it would have crippled her for far longer, maybe even forever. As it was, her wing still ached a little, not to mention the bare streak across the inside of her wing. It didn't affect her flying much, but it was less than visually appealing. She supposed she should be grateful to the other osprey, but she didn't even know his name. How was she supposed to feel grateful to someone who was little more than a stranger? Shaking her head to clear it of thoughts, she got up and squeezed under the shelter. It was pleasantly warmer under it, due to the reflected body heat of the other osprey.

 

((Dunno if you want to wake Hoary up again, Sugar-Free, if not I'll just edit this to make her fall asleep again. Also not sure if it would be logical but I guess they could be near Winter Flock territory? If Thunder Snow wants to do something.))

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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The first thing Thunder Snow saw was the figure of an osprey. The second thing Thunder Snow saw was incredible light a little to the side of her. The raid. Her wings twitched, mind raced. She was seized by an impulse to fly and check up on her team, to see what happened.

Before she could take off, the more immediate problem held out his wing and prevented her. "Who are you? Where did you come from?" He asked of Thunder Snow. While no details could be seen, Snow was certain that he was Bland. "Err..." Unused to conflict, Snow hestitated a little. "My name is Thunder Snow. I come from the Winter Forest... or whatever you call that mostly pine forest way out yonder." She pointed to the mountains, visible only fromance the glow of lava. Her talons stood frozen for a second as she remembered, they don't go there.

The Bland osprey tilted his head. "The hills are almost a days flight from here." He suddenly narrowed his eyes and fluffed his feathers. "Have you been stealing fish? Why else would you be here?"

Feeling another osprey get so close triggered her instinct to fight. She enveloped the small region in cold, quickly throwing those wings of cold in front of her and interlocking them. She could feel the other bird pause and look around. Here was a chance.

"I've come to ask if anyone's been missing their chicks. Have-"

The Bland osprey hissed, "Not so loud! The vultures must be circling."

Snow was confused. From her own memory, vultures don't fly here. As she preened her wings, it clicked- "The cold? That's me. I'm not like you are." She evaporated her chill.

"What? You look a lot like a regular osprey." The Bland carefully reached out with a talon and touched the icicles on her wings, recoil ing immediately. "Uh... Sorry. I can't see you well, tiny vulture. I'm Ventus, I live here. And uh, for your question, I don't think anyone lost a chick. Don't know, don't know anyone, I don't really talk with my neighbors. We usually fight. Sorry, if that's not to your liking."

Snow internally facepalmed. As much as she wanted to correct, she spared him the confusion. Tipping her head, she cut off Ventus and flew off toward the human city.

I'll check more ospreys later.

 

-----

Clink.

The sound of metal reverberated somewhere below her. She brought them to our territory. Storm Cloud, I swear... The light from the burning city was finally enough for her eyes to register some details. Circling, she caught sight of an osprey. Relief flooded her, but at the same time something was creeping up.

"Wow, you guys really tore the place up. Did you get caught or something for that chain?" She glided lower, but kept a distance away. Anything could be a trap.

Catching a thermal and stabilizing, she took a good look at the osprey. They looked a little odd. Bland colors, but definetly peculiar markings. She flew higher, sensing a potential trap.

"Wait. Who are you?"

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Halfway through trying to wriggle under the shelter, Lucent heard a voice and froze. It was another osprey. Shifting clumsily backwards, she managed to remove her head from the shelter and preserve an ounce of dignity. "Wow, you guys really tore the place up. Did you get caught or something for that chain?" Pinpointing the source of the voice, she saw a whitish-gray bird with icicles hanging off their long tail. If she didn't know better, she would have thought it was another species with a tail that size. Glaring up at it, she put her wings in flight position warily. The other bird suddenly grew wary and flew up higher. "Wait. Who are you?" It demanded, hovering over her.

 

"That's none of your business!" Lucent snapped, fluffing her feathers up in an attempt to intimidate the whitish osprey. Of course, it probably wouldn't work, with her being so small. The other osprey had every advantage against her, from size to strategic position. She felt too exposed and cornered, the relaxing mood of the previous moments forgotten. With the stress came the visions, rushing in from a corner of her mind in an attempt to find a weak spot. She knew she was outmatched, the only thing stopping her from chasing the other bird away. The other bird wasn't necessarily hostile, but she couldn't afford to take any risks in her current state. Tracking its every movement with her eyes, Lucent narrowed her eyes at the osprey.

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They dare snap at a leader? Snow caught herself circling tighter and closer to the other osprey. The fire in the distance threw it's terrible light over everything. She glanced at the burning city, wondering what had gone on. Then she turned back to the stranger, and delicately alighted on a rock in the middle of the river. From this vantage, not only could she see the potential threat, but the raid as well, without turning her head too much. As a precaution, she threw up her chill to face the other bird.

Now that she could see a little closer, the first thing that struck her was that none of the other bird's colorations fit Maple or Night flock. If anything, the patterns fit more to a Bland osprey, but more vibrant. More odd. They've created... this? Or this is a rogue, or the others hid something from me.

Snow didn't fluff up in response or even stick her wings a little out. Her feathers quivered, but otherwise laid flat as she spoke, "You've been caught by the humans. What Storm Cloud's little raid did is definitely my business."

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The other bird began to circle closer and closer, enhancing its aura of threat before landing on a rock in the river. A sudden chill swept through the area as it touched the rock, causing Lucent to fluff her feathers even more. No wonder it was so cold in the area, with this bird flying around. "You've been caught by the humans. What Storm Cloud's little raid did is definitely my business." It stated, almost arrogantly. How dare it assume she had been caught by humans! Granted, it was the truth and wasn't too hard to guess with the chain, but Lucent felt offended nonetheless. However, the bit of info about the raid caused her to momentarily suppress her annoyance. So that was what was happening. Some friend of this bird was starting a ragtag raid, in hopes of razing the city. Didn't they know the risks? From what she had seen of the raid, it hardly even seemed to be planned. What kind of rash osprey made the decision to raid? It had led to the capture of two of their birds, possibly even the one that had started the raid. Best to tell this bird that, then. "So that's what's happening? Seems awfully disorganized to me. Two of those friends of yours got caught as well, though I memorized the direction the humans took them in. I could tell you where... but only if you agree to give us food, shelter, and protection. I also won't answer any of your questions till you do those things I listed." she bargained, casting a sharp look at the osprey. She didn't notice that she had subconsciously stated "us" instead of "me", but she wasn't about to tell the other bird anything until she was sure it was friendly.

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"You're not Maple Flock or Night Flock? Everyone by the mountains knew of the raid... I guess it started when humans were trying to take one of my friends. We fought them off, but that friend, Storm Cloud, got it in her head to raid. Two of my flock went as well, but I don't know if Storm brought her flock or if the Maple Flock joined in." As the other bird calmed, so did Snow. She loosened her grip on the rock and fluttered to the bank, slightly away from the other osprey. From this angle, half of her body was in the deep shadow caused by the fire.

She cocked her head and leaned out a little. "Your deal is tempting... but you mentioned that only two birds got caught? I can confirm that at least three birds went, and perhaps a fourth or fifth. I'll return if I can find the rest."

Snow dipped her head, in a sort of bow. She turned to the river and gulped some of the cold water down, though her body didn't need it yet. Whatever lays ahead requires her to be prepared.

"I suppose we could set a rendezvous if the worst comes to the worst. There is a lake about..." Slight pause as Snow looked toward her home. "On the very foothills of the... Ah, you'll get lost. Just stay by a big lake. There's two, but I fish at both anyways.

She hopped and flew off, toward the light. Behind her, the sky was beginning to brigthen.

Edited by serce2

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The endless dark stretching out ad infinitum finally relented. Hoary released the last lingering strands of his dreamlessness and stared, eyes half-closed and deaf. He waited, patient in the knowledge that his vision and hearing would return. His sense of touch was still inhibited, but slowly, his ability to interface would return, hazy as it had gone.

 

He lifted his head slightly, feeling the thrum of a voice against his eardrums. It was nonsensical at first; Hoary decided to stay quiet and still, in case himself and his companion had been discovered. Unwillingly, as sound crept through the fading barrier, he began to eavesdrop. It was unlike him, as much of recent history had been, but the sound of a familiar voice solidified his reasoning.

 

"...but only if you agree to give us food, shelter, and protection. I also won't answer any of your questions till you do those things I listed."

 

Another piped in, completely unfamiliar. He did not try to reach for a memory--this time, he knew she was unknown to him, and himself to her. Apparently, other Ascended Ospreys had been captured besides themselves, and it seemed as if his fiery friend was bargaining for shelter. Before long, the invisible osprey relented to a point. Through a peek in his cloak, he could see light cresting outward.

 

"I suppose we could set a rendezvous if the worst comes to the worst. There is a lake about...on the very foothills of the... Ah, you'll get lost. Just stay by a big lake. There's two, but I fish at both anyways."

 

He sensed her about to leave, but figured that he would await his friend's command before emerging. It seems she was kind enough to guard a complete stranger...hmmhmm, perhaps she is not as rough as she seems...

Edited by Sugar-Free

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Listening to the ice osprey speak, Lucent shifted about impatiently as she waited for it to leave. Quit chitchatting and leave already, I gave you all the important info. she thought, frowning. As soon as its figure was no more than a dot in the distance, she let out a sigh and flattened her feathers again. Turning around, she looked under the shelter inquisitively. The white osprey had woken up, probably due to the noisy conversation. Tilting her head inquisitively, she looked at him expectantly. "Well? Since you've probably managed to hear the last bit of conversation, let's get going. The other osprey doesn't seem to be hostile." Pulling her head out from under the shelter, she glided over to the river. From what she had heard, there was a lake on both ends of the water. Making a beckoning motion towards the other osprey, she took off in shaky flight yet again. As she followed the river downstream, she found it lead to a partially frozen lake. This had to be one of the lakes the ice osprey was talking about. Making a rather clumsy landing, she winced as her freshly healed wing protested again. Glaring at it, she snapped her wings sharply closed and scanned her surroundings for the white osprey. Might as well learn his name while she was waiting. Calling out in its general direction, she said, "Hey, white osprey! Since we're stuck waiting here, I might as well ask you for your name. Mine's Lucent Breeze, though just Lucent is fine. You can also call me Breeze or whatever, I don't really care." As she finished her call, she noticed the sky getting brighter. The fires of the city raged in the distance, painting a contrasting portrait with the peaceful sunrise. That meant nearly a full day had passed since her capture. A capture which would never be repeated. She would learn from her past mistakes to improve her future, however bleak it may seem.

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The sunrise reduced the city to only smoke. Over a pink backdrop, the city looked very different than what the distant lights implied. The gaps between the buildings empty, everything as twisted and dark as a human's heart.

She could feel a strong thermal rising from the dying embers. It fought her as she tried to dive closer, and she couldn't get the details on that hunk of black over there. Some gray blobs moved around, which she recognized as birds, likely Rock Pigeons. Something occasionally shined in the street, making her slowly more fearful. Two got captured, but what happened to the others?"

Despite the threat of humans, Snow's curiosity began to peak. She let out a single alarm call, still stuck in her thermal. Pigeons scattered underneath her, but otherwise not a single human came out.

Till sunrise, I wont leave until the sky's blue. She called again, but otherwise hung limp.

 

Her eyes were fixated on the fire, simply thinking, when something dark rose into the air. It didn't flap it's wings, but rather rided the air. At first, a panic spread over Snow. The dark figure could very well be the carrion eaters, ready with the memories of the dead to judge her. I could have stopped this city from burning us- from burning everyone. Maple Flock is too impulsive, they would've needed someone to control their powers.

The figure began to brighten as it hurriedly started to flap towards Snow. The beak was bright blue- River Current.

 

"Dear leader! I was looking for Storm Cloud and Frost Fern, ma'am! Lava Plume, didn't see her, think she went back to the volcanoes, ma'am!" Despite the well-rested appearance of River, Snow decided to just let that go. She relaxed her posture and simply flew around her fellow bird. "The sun's almost risen. If you've been here the entire night, I won't bother with looking. They'll get out. We're ospreys." She slouched her posture a little bit and finally got out of her strong thermal. The mountains loomed, ever so distant, and her stomach began to cry. I'll just catch two fish for the both of us. We won't be full, but at least I won't be sleeping on a completely empty stomach.

 

 

Despite having another bird to fly with, a final thought entered Snow's mind as she slowly shut down.

I wish I had a mate.

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The presence of the other osprey left him, her form blocking the faded sunrise for only a moment as she passed. Hoary became unusually inquisitive as she faded from sight, becoming only a shivering speck against the horizon. Another has given me passage...but why for? Simple goodness can only go so far in our world... As he gazed outward, a sense of lingering emptiness wafted through him, cold and foreign and wholly not of himself.

 

The brush around him shifted, and a familiar vanilla-blonde head pushed through, brusque enough to shake Hoary from his ruminations. "Well? Since you've probably managed to hear the last bit of conversation, let's get going. The other osprey doesn't seem to be hostile." If he had wished to do so, the osprey left him no room for complaints, retracting her head out of the shelter and taking a short glide to the river bank. She motioned, with a glint of impatience, for him to follow, and Hoary took notice of the resistance in her damaged wing as she lifted off. It seemed her impulsive aloofness had not and could not be cured.

 

A warmth spread through Hoary's breast, driving out the cold within. He eased out at his own pace into the eldritch glow of breaking dawn, careful to walk the stiffness from his legs. He stretched out his wings and feathers, feeling the moist chill settle about them. It was a morning like this that he so loved, one where the very essence of light seemed to stem and flow from each particle of light, every stretch of gentle shadow against the blooms and blades. He closed his eyes to the weight of visual stimulus and breathed.

 

Somehow, the light reached him from here. The world felt quiet, even in this era of strife. The ground and its soil and clay hummed their subtle hymnal, and chirruping echoed from all manner of insect and early songbird. All was calm in the slumber of receding night.

 

 

The light drew ever distant, and Hoary respectfully excused himself from the choir. He loosed his joints with a few test flaps, then took off for his partner's position.

 

 

Below, some ways from their temporary home, glinted a frozen lake among the conifers. Dawn would arrive momentarily on her chariot of vibrant crimson. Hoary angled his feathers for descent when he spotted the osprey on the bank, and made an arc just past her as he landed. He took just a moment to close his eyes, feeling the tickle between his eyes.

 

"Hey, white osprey!" Hoary turned toward her, a lilt of contentment settling the odd sensation. "Ah, yes?" His voice was pleasant, a reflection of the harmony between the world and himself.

 

"Since we're stuck waiting here, I might as well ask you for your name. Mine's Lucent Breeze, though just Lucent is fine. You can also call me Breeze or whatever, I don't really care."

 

She looked off to the side with flippancy in her stance. Hoary struggled to suppress a light chuckle. I'm certain "breeze" is a misdirection of some sort. He strutted up toward her a bit, careful to keep a comfortable distance. "Yea, for we are able to speak in comfortable quarters...I am grateful, beyond what I can express." He tilted his head at her, feeling a sudden pressure of emotion against his face. "And I am glad to see you of no mortal harm. I am most blessed, certainly." The headiness of this emotion was secure and true. He closed his eyes and smiled a bit, as best a bird could manage; it was whole and warm, affecting him at his very core. This feeling...is it more than mere gratuity? Perhaps Aurumque's word had more depth than he had forseen.

 

Trying not to prolong her attention, he dismissed the sensation to the best of his ability. "Excuse me. I was lost again, it seems..." He bowed his head and body to her, expressing harmlessness. "My given name is Lustre Hoarfrost. If you prefer, I accept 'Hoary' and other abbreviations as a substitute. A name is but a temporary identity..." He rose again, meeting her eyes. "It's Fate's will that we would meet on such terms. I am honored that we could awaken to another morning, Lucent." Her eyes had moved beyond the clouds, and he observed an insecure heaviness fall upon her.

 

Slowly, he reminded himself. There is time for inaction.

 

 

 

 

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If birds could raise their eyebrows, Lucent would be doing it now. What nonsense did this bird believe in? Names being temporary? Fate's will? Whatever he was prattling on about, at least he wasn't angry or scornful. "Whatever you say, Hoary. Thanks for saving me I guess." Turning away from him, she made a dismissive wing gesture as she finished her sentence. She wasn't accustomed to having time to talk to other ospreys, much less talking to them. It wasn't exactly a relaxing experience either. Her mind flashed back to the vision she had experienced earlier. Why had she felt warmth from this bird she had never met before now? Fidgeting slightly, she tilted her head up to gaze at the sky. Another thought entered her mind, as curious as the first. How had her wing healed so fast? She hadn't paid much attention to it earlier since she had been busy dealing with the Ice Osprey. Spreading her wing out, she carefully inspected it. It appeared to be slightly pink where she had cut it, but otherwise fine. That, and the fact that it still occasionally sent slivers of pain up her wing. Still, there was no way she could have healed this fast on her own. Had the other bird - no, not just any bird, she knew his name now. Did Hoary somehow do something to make it heal faster? Looking quizzically from her wing to Hoary and back, she checked it one more time to be sure her eyes weren't playing tricks on her.

 

Shifting slightly to face Hoary, she questioned him warily. "How did my wing heal so fast? The city's still smoking, so it couldn't have been that long since the raid. I couldn't have healed that fast on my own. Did you do something?" She couldn't help but feel a bit wary, even though she knew Hoary couldn't have meant any harm. Why would he go through the trouble of saving her if he wasn't going to help? Still, she had no way of knowing what he had done while she was sleeping, and that made her uncomfortable. True, he could have flown away and left her to starve with an injured wing, but he hadn't. No matter how much she didn't like it, she had to admit that she couldn't have survived without Hoary's help. She had repaid him by acquiring shelter and food. That was enough for her, she would leave as soon as she was fully recovered. Speaking of food, her stomach began to growl again. Turning her head ever so slightly to the side, she noticed a small pile of fish next to the lake and shifted backwards to reach it. She kept her eyes on Hoary as she quickly snapped up a fish, cautiously awaiting his response.

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"Whatever you say, Hoary. Thanks for saving me I guess."

 

She deflected any further conversation with a flick of a feather. Hoary observed as she turned, and watched her lift and expand her right wing toward the rising sun. He noted her shifting eyes, pinning between the pinkish cut and himself. He had expected a dubious response--the few who had received the blessing never quite could grasp what it entailed. When she snapped it shut, she gave him an intense stare.

 

"How did my wing heal so fast? The city's still smoking, so it couldn't have been that long since the raid. I couldn't have healed that fast on my own. Did you do something?"

 

She moved away in such a manner that it resembled a cowering hound. Before her, now as Hoary noticed, was a wayside mound of seemingly fresh fish. He took a quick look around his surroundings; the pines and frosted sheet over the lake indicated the home of an Ascendant. Is this...where Ice Ospreys dwell? He wasn't entirely sure, as his time in this world had very rarely brought him across the breed. No, I should not let it trouble me. It will come, in due time.

 

He allowed himself a few steps closer, still keeping away from the presumed area of her comfort. There was no need to be any less than upfront and truthful about it. She will hardly believe me, anyway.

 

"Ah, well...I had only hoped to ease you of but a portion your burden. Alas, though, as I am not strong enough to depart the pain entirely, and for that I apologize." He gave another careful bow. "My...'art', its preferences and effect are of little control from myself." An entire explanation was unnecessary, he decided. Though his inclinations deemed otherwise, he had grown comfortable with the prospect of their parting. Her eyes seemed to long for leaving, and he could not blame her--still, the fires raged beyond the forest, and there was little telling what her journey had brought her, or had yet to bring her. It is not my way to impede those flying their turbulent currents. He sighed, quiet enough to be near silent. My only hope...is that she take care. That I was able to help in the smallest way is enough for me.

"Do take care to rest yourself while we nest here. Though your wound is sutured, the flesh still holds the trauma, and I would like not to find you crippled before the maw of some wild beast." It seemed rather tart, he admitted, and he wasn't about to impose his rule upon her, but..."...I only ask for your safety. Feel free to do as what suits you, please."

 

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((DOUBLE POST YAAS))

((Also, Frost Fern is now mine. Storm, however...))

 

Uggggh...my head...

 

That was Frost's first though. It felt like he'd been sleeping for weeks on end, and his stomach felt queasy and compressed. Some sort of ...grating? Something like a grate pushed a pattern against his feathers, making him stir--uneven pressure was terrible on an osprey's wings. Frost groggily lifted his head, blood rushing to the textured marks in his face, and scooted his feet forward--

 

"Ng--OW! Ack!"

 

Something stubbed against his talon, pushing the claw against the base of the toe. He jerked his foot backward, ramming his back talon into something else. He screeched out and beat his feet against the rungs, stretching out his wings to take him away from the pain, anywhere but there! But the sleepiness stuck like glue to his brain, and he fell back as his feathers battered against and between unseen bars.

 

"W-what's happening?! Where, where...the forest?! Humans--!"

He continued to fuss against the metal cage he realized he was in, wracking the door against its lock and clattering his claws against the bottom, making as much noise as possible. He was too panicked to think, failing to notice the shadow falling over him from the front.

BAM BAM! Frost's heart leapt into his gullet at the forceful pounding at his enclosure. He flutter and snapped his wings shut at the back of the cage, trying to summon up something, any glimmer of his ice powers.

 

There was nothing. Dread sunk and dripped down his chest, filling every fiber of his muscles with bile. The human said something--he didn't care, couldn't understand it--and walked off, only to return shortly after. Frost was too manic to focus, an unfortunate side effect of overextension. He bolted toward the door, clawing at the lock on the far right before spotting a needle--

"NOOOO!"

He squealed and retreated, catching on the bars again and falling on his back, claws drawn up and pinning the human's hand. Did they do this?! Were they going to do this to him again?! Was he captured??--

 

The needle withdrew. The hands went to the lock and undid it, coming in to grab him in a foolishly open manner, completely unguarded. Frost saw his chance, no matter how much he didn't want to do what he was going to do.

 

The hand enveloped his legs. He was withdrawn--"Agh! It's bright..."--into a garishly-lit human dwelling, full of blinking lights and buzzing metal things. There were tables and other humans, dressed in scary white garb, and--

 

Storm???

 

The black beauty! She was unmistakable, feathers puffed up in defense against a female human, who was peering over her with some strange expression. It was weird--the human had a non-threatening stance and a submissive expression, like she respected her. Frost didn't have much time to make out just what that meant when he was about to be set down on an adjacent table. But that wasn't happening!

 

He reared up from his limp position, whipping his wings into a flurry and hooking his beak into the human's fingers. The skin split and blood let out, staining against his grey beak. The human wailed and whipped his wrist, slinging Frost with a loud CRACK! against the table. Metal instruments rang against each other with the impact, and Frost let out a startled peal.

 

His head spun and body ached. The room blurred a bit as the tinkling of chains invited clamps around his legs. He was twisted and turned around and around as mesh bands bound his wings to him. Frost was left lying on his stomach, weighed down, reeling.

 

But it didn't matter. His leader, his...queen...she was in danger. He called out, the sound reverberating painfully through his head: "Miss Storm!"

Edited by Sugar-Free

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Lava Plume stared out across the horizon, a bit sadden by what has happened, but nevertheless, she had a duty to her fellow ospreys. At first, she really didn't think she'd be saving a dark or an ice osprey, but she did. She mostly had kept to herself, but given the past couple days, it was a crazy tornado. Now, all she ever longed for was a mate. She saw so many of these other ospreys together and hardly any of them were a fire osprey. She looked back up at the volcanoes. She sighed and went dejectedly back to her nest.

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((much sadness much drama poor Lucent))

 

As Lucent finished gulping down the fish, she carefully noted what Hoary said. Frowning slightly, she spoke to him again. "And what would this 'art' be? How can it be art if you can't control it anyway?" As much as she wanted to ignore it, she couldn't deny that the mention of some sort of "uncontrollable art" made her perk up. As Hoary continued his speech, she couldn't help but scoff at him. "Why would you care about my safety? I'm not the strongest nor fastest bird out there and I'm not important to anyone. If you think you can gain some powerful favors by helping me, you're mistaken." For a second, anger flashed in her eyes, before she turned away abruptly and looked out over the lake. Memories of her childhood flashed back into her mind, painfully breaking through her mental barriers. The moment when she was thrown out of her nest by her parents began to play through her head again, every detail perfectly preserved. The looks on their faces, the irritatingly oblivious way her siblings acted, even the exact position of the clouds at the time were all faithfully captured in her memory. She was lost in the flood of memories that rushed outwards, too absorbed to even notice that somewhere along the line, the memories had stopped and visions had begun. She glared at the lake but didn't register it, her mind preoccupied with the sudden rush of emotion.

 

She only snapped back into reality when the cold lake water washed over her toes. With realization came annoyance and resentment, causing her to growl slightly at herself. At this point, she barely cared about Hoary's presence. Instead, she continued glaring out over the lake in the direction of the sunrise. There were no deviations in her strictly regulated staring, as she refused to acknowledge anything else. She merely focused on the sun, ignoring how the bright light made her squint. Maybe if I stare long enough, the sun will engulf me and spew me back out as a Fire Osprey. Then I could finally have some useful powers. The thought made her laugh at herself, albeit in a bitter manner. She was too small and weak for anything like that to happen. The sun probably didn't even want to bother incinerating her, that's how insignificant she was. Her laughter grew louder for a moment before slowly dying down as she took her gaze off of the sun. Finally, she turned her head back to look at Hoary. "I could tell you more about myself, but you'd probably think I was crazy. Not that I doubt you already think I'm crazy, but if I tell you you'll consider me even crazier. Sounds hard to believe, but it's true." Her face was an unreadable mix between bitter and carefree, the most emotion she'd shown to any osprey for years. After all, she didn't have any more to lose. She had lost her dignity a long time ago, along with her honor and compassion.

 

((I might post with Storm tomorrow, but it's already like 11:00 and I should really be sleeping.))

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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"Why would you care about my safety? I'm not the strongest nor fastest bird out there and I'm not important to anyone. If you think you can gain some powerful favors by helping me, you're mistaken."

 

Wh...what was this? Some darkness seemed to blot the light from his senses momentarily, causing him to shake out his head feathers. The smudge remained, lessened from the initial impact, but just as disquieting. This bird had some reservations about herself, a trait he'd not immediately expected. It was a burden, bearing witness to the fractures of the self, and each time, he'd come out wishing he hadn't. It was selfish of him, and he prayed that Aurumque would not hold its weight to him.

"Not at all," he spoke in a gentle hum, attempting to quell her fears. "Not at all, my dear. All that I do, all that I am, is a vessel of only humble intents; were you of a thousand golden feathers and set upon a nest of diamonds, or fettered by the plague and fest upon by rats, I still would do good by you with no ill fare. I wish for nothing in turn; I gain when I impart, and only receive unto myself the assured health and safety of others." He tilted his head, attempting to convey his empathy. The trueness of his following words brought heat to his breast.

 

"And...yes, it goes without saying, Miss Lucent...that you are worthy and well-loved. These are indisputable truths..."

But she was far away from him, even as close as they were now. Her eyes were back to the sun, without him or this world.

 

He inched ever closer.

 

"Perhaps...if you are not opposed to it, we could take our time to acquaint ourselves with each other. I would like to know more about my kindly protector, ah ha..."

She seemed to shake back to life as the water shored against her feet. Something...something was wrong.

 

"I could tell you more about myself, but you'd probably think I was crazy. Not that I doubt you already think I'm crazy, but if I tell you you'll consider me even crazier. Sounds hard to believe, but it's true."

 

Painful, as if he could feel it himself. Deep within, there was a sensation of discontent, acute and chilling. He wanted so badly that his words were arcane, that he could speak with the assuredness of the Drifter. But...he could not. He could not get close. He could not reach her.

 

"I am here," he said. So quiet, as if it was in reference to himself, he whispered it. "I will not be dissuaded, I can promise that much. If you would like to, then confide in me--you need not force yourself."

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