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Hiibel Talcen

"You want me to do that? Hmm... Nope! Not interested!"

0 · 394 views · located in Aethes

a character in “Skinwalkers: Resonance of the Lost”, as played by Witless

Description

Hiibel Talcen (pronounced: Hĭ-ēb-ǝl Tăl-sǝn)

Image

Image


Role
Spy

Type of Changer
Miao (Dragon Li Tabby)

Nicknames
Bell, Tabby, Li, and whatever else people feel fit to call him. The main nickname, however, is Bell.

Gender
Male

Age
22

Personality
Hiibel is playful, friendly, whimsical, and easily excitable. Almost everything amuses him, and he gets fascinated with the smallest things. Anything from a remnant of "technology," or a feather falling from the sky, whether from an Aveis or a Mutant, or even something as commonplace as a simple ball of yarn. As a Miao, he delights in tormenting Murin under the guise of "playing" and tends to jump (quite literally) at the chance to play with any other Changer (his favorite game is tag). However, he also has a short attention span and is incurably lazy. He moves from task to task quickly, sometimes completing the previous one, sometimes leaving it for another day, for another time. Maybe. And almost nothing at all can force him to do what he doesn't want. He follows no one's orders (well, almost), though sometimes he just appears to on a whim. Many people know him throughout Aethe , and he is generally well-liked and accepted. Few, even among the Army, know of his job as a Spy. Most people believe that he just likes talking, hanging out with others, and generally just having fun. He is affiliated neither with the Army nor with the Rebels in most people's minds, though because of his job to search out the Rebels, his outward views verge on rebellious. To most people, he seems to miss human company, though he does not go out and say that he wants to bring them back, for that would be treason and liable to get him killed. Truthfully, he couldn't care less about humans. If they wished to live with the Changers, so be it. If not, well that's perfectly fine too. As long as they let him do as he pleases, he has no problem with them.

Hiibel enjoys his job, if for no other reason than that he rarely has to listen to someone's orders. He gets to play around and do things on his own time, even if he has to report every now and then to Liron. Though, that in itself is fun as well. He always seems nervous, though Hiibel has never done anything to endanger him. Liron is one of the few people that Hiibel will listen to and pay attention to, for reasons he keeps to himself. He claims that it's because Liron is a funny person, and he delights in watching his many different reactions, but there may be more to it than that. While he will listen to orders by the Army Leader, he follows them grudgingly, and only because it helps him get away with small things that would otherwise be taken as rebellious or anarchic. It's all for the sake of finding the Rebels, infiltrating, and rooting them out once and for all! Or so he says, and so the Leader takes it. It does give him greater liberty with speech and actions than most of the others in the Army though... Which can cause problems for those in the Army who don't know of his involvement. He's learned to watch his mouth, but sometimes something a little too anti-Army slips out...

Hiibel is outgoing and loves to talk, though at times he says a little too much. And most of the time he doesn't even realize that he has. A name which shouldn't be known, a thought that doesn't quite fit his perceived ideals, anything that pops into his mind, no matter how out of context it is. Most of the time he can cover it up, though there are times when his cover ups lead to even more suspicion. As a spy, he faces harsh consequences for failure, namely death. As such, when he notices that he's given away too much information, he finds a way to "take care of" the informed. He tries to avoid killing as it just seems base and unneeded to him, though if he truly does need to, he will do it quickly to save the person from the pain. And he prefers to take them by surprise, so generally, if it's someone he knows well enough, he'll try to kill them quickly in the middle of a normal conversation, with no warning whatsoever. If he has to lurk and stalk people, he'll do so, but it's boring, and he prefers to leave that to others. Conversations are much more fun.

His feelings toward the Changer-human dynamic is mixed, to the disappointment of many. They lived together for a short time, admittedly with some in fear, so they could do so again, if they opened their eyes. He feels that both humans and Changers are too close-minded. Sure, they are different, sure, they dislike each other, but they have no real reasons behind their animosity. Because humans feared change and difference, they alienated the Changers. And because Changers as a whole made no effort to change their opinions, even going out of the way to form an army, humans had no reason to stop fearing. Of course, the current society is great, so he supports it wholeheartedly. He just has some similar ideas as the rebels, which is one reason why he became a spy under Liron.

He has this tendency to lose focus and to miss details. At times, he's extremely vigilant and misses almost nothing, but he becomes more and more lax as time goes on. As such, sentry duty does not fit him, and he tends to just ignore it, going off to a roof to take a nap, or wandering around looking for someone to talk to. And due to his ambivalence toward humans and his attempt to infiltrate the rebels, some rebellious acts or presence of humans might just go "unseen." Many of the Rebels know him, and a few have seen him turn a blind eye instead of reporting a human and having him killed. While he doesn't know who specifically is a Rebel, his suspicions are slowly being confirmed, and Rebels are warming up to him, so they may even begin to reveal themselves in an effort to recruit him, which of course he would accept.


Brief Description of Human Form
Hiibel is pretty tall and lanky. He is almost always seen with a smile on his face and a mischievous look in his yellow, feline eyes. His light brown hair reaches his neck and always blows with the wind. While he is rarely seen taking care of it, it never appears out of place. He makes an effort to trim his nails, but they grow surprisingly fast and sharp. When he doesn't feel like taking the effort to cut or file them, he covers his hands with gloves.

Brief Description of Animal Form
As a cat, Hiibel takes the form of a Dragon Li. His coat is a light brown with a Mackerel Tabby pattern. His eyes are a bright, piercing yellow, and he walks with a swagger. The end of his tail is a dark black. His ears stick up, and he always appears to be on the alert for something.

Human Skills/Abilities
Hiibel has great balance, agility, and speed. He is also very personable and observant. Of course, he's also extremely lazy and easily distracted, so these skills rarely show themselves. Other than that, he is skilled at searching for and finding information and seeming like he belongs where he is.

Animal Skills/Abilities
As a cat, he actually becomes smarter and more alert. He loses some of his easily-distracted nature, but it's still present and obviously so. He can jump well, has good balance, and is pretty fast. He is able to get into places which he normally couldn't otherwise. However, he loses some of the little fighting power he has, as he's a smaller size, even though he now has claws and sharp teeth.

Weaknesses
He is very naïve and often gets tricked. If someone were to find out his identity, they could continue to get information from him without him knowing. He generally tries to answer honestly, only lying when he knows the truth would get him into trouble. And when he does lie, it's often what he thinks the person would believe. However, his honesty often leads to problems, especially with his loose tongue. And once found out, he would be killed, either by the Army to prevent the Rebels from gaining information, or by the Rebels for being part of the Army.

Because of his aversion to fighting and killing, he doesn't practice. While his fast reflexes, balance, and speed (when he needs to, he can be surprisingly fast, though his stamina is very low) can help him survive for a little while, he is unskilled and can do little more than attack from behind. If brought into a fair fight, or even just one where he can't escape and was unable to take the opponent by surprise, he will almost surely die. Despite sharp claws and a powerful enough attack, he truly does need the advantage of surprise in order to win any of his battles. And while he attempts to gain it, it doesn't always work out...

His secrecy also works against him. He has to pretend to have anarchic thoughts, but it gets to the point where some people may want to kill him for them, under suspicion of being a rebel, so he cannot get protection from Liron or the Army. If he gets into a fight with the Army on suspicion of rebellion, the only thing he can really do is run and hope that it gets cleared up somehow. Hopefully it won't come to that, but if it does, he'll truly be in hiding from the city...


History
At around one, one and a half, Hiibel's eyes began to turn yellow, and they came to obviously resemble a feline's. While he had always learned abnormally quickly and easily, this was the first obvious mark of his feral nature, that he was a Changer, a Skinwalker. Unable to kill their child themselves, his parents sent him out into the Waste, the Desert, the Deadlands. Where another Changer might take him in. Where a hunting party may kill him instead. Where he may find his way to survive on his own. Where a Mutant could kill him. Where he might find his way back home. Where he might starve or dehydrate and die alone. But he wasn't sent with nothing, no. There was an object, a trinket, signifying their link with him, marking him as theirs, if anyone knew how to read it. It seems like they could not let him go completely, for he was their son, despite his mutation.

In the wastelands, Hiibel wandered and was able to find some food and drink, though he obviously couldn't last for long, especially as a young child. Luckily for him, the Leader of the Army happened across him in the desert, lying there unconscious, a silver ornament adorning his neck. He woke up at times during the trip to Aethes, but most of what he remembers is being fed water and mice during those instances. At Aethes, he continued to be nursed back to health, and a strong admiration for his savior, the Army Leader, grew.

In Aethes, Hiibel experienced his youth. He grew up with Changers and became the friendly person they all know and love today. He stayed near the Army base, watching the practices, wondering what it would be like to join and be part of the Army someday. While he spent his time wondering, years passed, and he met someone his own age there, a young Aveis named Liron, in training to be a spy. Despite a slight aversion to Hiibel due to their opposed natures, Liron and Hiibel warmed up to each other. Hearing stories from Liron, Hiibel became genuinely interested in becoming a spy and actually pursued something for once. When Liron became Spymaster, Hiibel gave him a small bauble as congratulations and worked even harder at becoming a spy. Under Liron's tutelage, he rose to the ranks of spy in the Army and enjoys following Liron's commands, though he does take the time to tease him from time to time.

Years later, he is devoted to the Army, to Liron and the Leader in particular. Trained as a spy (though not as skilled as Liron would like, despite his best efforts), he is often sent out away from the Army camp, out to investigate trails, to find out information, to determine who harbors rebellious thoughts. He sporadically wanders into the desert by his own volition, sometimes gone for hours, over a day even, sometimes gone for only minutes. Sometimes he brings back a recruit, sometimes he's empty-handed. Sometimes he comes back injured and exhausted, at other times he's barely winded. No one knows the reason for his exploits, but many assume it's just on a whim. There's no rhyme or reason for his trips, though there is one day of the year during which he always seems to be out there for some amount of time...


Rumors:
Almost everyone in Aethes, except for the very new people, know that Hiibel is a friendly, enthusiastic, playful Miao. Not much is known of his past, but there have been guesses made about his hometown and the like, but nothing has been confirmed.

He is often seen near the army base (well not very often, but definitely more often than he hangs around any other part of the city), so some believe that he has a connection to the army. These people believe that he wanted to be a soldier but gave up due to his lack of fighting ability. Of course, this is only a select few people... The majority believes that his real reason is to collect information because of a grudge. They know of his great intelligence and believe he watches the practices, so he can figure out what fighting styles and techniques they use. And the fact that he is seen harassing (or so they see it) a kestrel Changer there only supports this assumption. While they have no idea what grudge this could be, they assume that it is the root of his on-the-verge-of-rebellious ideas. And his "angry" looks toward some army officials behind their back helps to support this assumption.

No one, really, not even those in the Army, other than Liron, the Leader, and a few others, know that he is in fact a Spy working for the army. They assume that he's a lazy, laid-back person who's excitable and fun to be around. There's nothing wrong with him, but they know he'll get into trouble with the Army at some time, once they decide that they won't put up with his rebellious actions anymore, or if he takes it a step too far.

The only other thing worthy of rumor is his trips to the desert. No one can make heads or tails of it or figure out what in the world he's searching for. Some assume it's just a whim, while others are determined to find out what specifically makes him go out. However, there is no pattern for his ventures, so few realize that he's gone until he's missing, or until he comes back with some new object, Changer, or information.


Attitudes:
For reasons stated above, Hiibel feels obligated to the Leader, and he is one person whose orders he will most likely follow. Likewise, he is close friends with Liron after spending so many years working with him. He is the only other person that Hiibel will listen to, though he may pretend that he won't, taking the time to tease Liron about something small instead.

Other
Transformation is slightly painful, but not problematic for him. It does, however, take him a full 7 seconds to transform, which does not help in most situations. No one knows why his transformation takes so long, but it may have something to do with his near-death experience in the desert. Since he grows smaller, his clothing does not rip, though it does hamper him at times. He does keep sets of clothes buried or hidden around the town for emergencies, as he cannot use the special material that would link him to the Army. So far, changing clothes has not been a problem for him.

So begins...

Hiibel Talcen's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen
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#, as written by Witless
Hiibel Talcen; The Fortress


It was a hot day, as usual, and the sun was beating down on Aethes, cooking all the inhabitants and causing general discomfort. And speaking of generals, one was making a speech today! Mr. Tenko Kieran, the big boss himself, presenting something-or-other or maybe it was that-other-thing-that-couldn't-be-bothered-with... or was it the public-speech-of-all-is-well? Well, at any rate, whatever the speech may be about, he, Hiibel, had been assigned to keep watch from within the crowd...

But it was too hot for that, too ugly of a day for such trivialities. It was a speech, and there was little more than that. Sure, there were supposed to be rebels around, and they may or may not be there, but was a speech really what was needed to bring them out? And would they really wish to come out of their den-of-hidingness that would definitely be cooler than the great outdoors? Ah, a den... that would be nice... Hiibel was in the mood for a nap, and it would be so much better to do that than listen to yet another not-quite-original, of-course-it-couldn't-be-boring, amazing speech by the sure-he's-great-and-all-but-does-he-have-to-sound-so-rehearsed leader from up above?

But orders were orders, and from Liron no less... But Liron expected less than perfection (or was it no less? It was good enough, anyway...), so that was what he would get. He could watch, listen, do whatever to monitor the ceremony from above on the roofs, right? And if it was just too hot, too cool, too loud, too quiet, that he just so happened to fall asleep, could he really be blamed? Or at least, could he really be blamed that much? He'd be paying attention, at least as much as he could. They could ask for little more than that from him!

Hiibel quickly scaled a building near the fortress, near the performance spot, a building just high enough to make him just-about-level-with-the-speech-platform but not quite high enough to make him above-the-leader-and-thus-a-rebel... He scaled it quickly, finding footholds, handholds, and making his way up methodically. He was up in little time at all but was quickly down again in the shade, shaded by the sloping of the roof, the only one down there with some protection from the increasingly hot heat from the sun.

He gazed up into the air, watching the kestrel-who's-not-just-a-kestrel in the air, wheeling around and keeping watch. Ah, Liron. He grinned up at him, purposefully showing a little more teeth than would be expected for a smile. See what his reaction for him being on the roof would be. Well, he could always do what he would instead be doing down there up here, right? Left. All that's left is to make it seem like he's actually doing something, at least from above. He crawled near the edge and propped his head in his hands, watching the crowd form below, watching the smaller residents mingle, chatter, talk about oh-how-are-you-I'm-hot and whatever else was meaninglessly important... And just for the enjoyment (surprise or fear, really, but they amounted to the same thing, and at any rate, he'd be enjoying it!) of those below if they just so happened to look up and see him, he began to look, almost hungrily and licking his lips. See what they make of it!

Ah, this could be fun, but he probably shouldn't fall asleep. But lookout duty was so boring, and there were other spies situated every-which-way and who-knows-where, keeping watch on the probably-normal-but-maybe-not happenings of the crowd down below. Well, he could always make it more exciting for them, give Liron something to laugh about in their reports! If there happened to be a boring point in the speech (there always was, it was a rule with speeches, rule 37, wasn't it?), he'd jump down from his hiding spot and make a grand entrance, figuring out what to say as he needed to and then reacting in response to whatever their response was. What use was a plan if you had no idea how they would respond? And what fun was a plan anyway?

Hiibel leaned forward on his hands and continued to watch the scene unfold below him, awaiting the speech of that oh-so-awesome-leader-of-ours-who-always-appears-above-the-gates-of-the-fortress-for-his-speeches-and-could-beat-any-of-us-in-a-fight. Ah, this would be fun!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Kora Neverwinter Character Portrait: Sevrin Massengale Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri
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#, as written by Witless
Hiibel Talcen; The Fortress


Oh, look! Motion from the walkway! General Man was arriving with his posse! Heh, pussy... Oh well, like it or not: speech time! "My fellow Changers! This harsh world we have been born into..." ...and boring already... Surprise them all! Catch them by surprise! With such a boring introduction, well, who wouldn't lose interest immediately?

There was the introduction-of-yes-we're-awesome, followed of course by the here's-what-should-happen-next-which-we-already-say-we-do. Then the remention-of-awesomeness that has to be inserted everywhere throughout... And it finally ends with the plea-of-let's-all-work-together-for-the-benefit-of-all... But don't forget that in order to show others that he's done, he must do the wait-for-applause-because-we've-all-seen-how-it-works-out-when-you-don't position, hands raised, egging them on... Been there, done that.

Hiibel sighed and stretched his arms, waiting for that general dude to say something not-quite-rehearsed-sounding... Or maybe one of those minions from behind would do something? The lieutenants, what's-their-faces, Fairy and Coral, right? No? Whatever. Oh, hold on a second. One of them wasn't there, but she was sure to come rushing in later, making it seem like she wasn't late at all, or that she had a good enough reason for it... But it was a boring speech, so... he couldn't quite blame her.

Also in the background was the wifey, something-or-other. Mrs. Lordly. And the spider-someone-or-other was there as well. Arty. Oh, and another cat. Umm... what was his name? Something Mace-something. Well, Mace would do if they ever talked. That was probably all, he didn't recognize anyone else up there. Just Mr. Man up there with his squad of supporters. There to make him look better, more important. There to hold him up in case he collapsed from the hard work of making up something original.

Well, the good news was, the speech was short. No hey-I'm-saying-something-to-say-something-so-you-think-I'm-saying-something-important-and-hey-don't-I-sound-cool-saying-my-speech-thing-all-long-and-such. Nothing long and winded, but nothing interesting or attention-getting either. Which was pretty obvious by the long pause where they think 'wait, is he done now? he is? wow, that's fast... are you sure that's all?' followed by the over-loud applause of hey-let's-cover-up-our-inattention-by-sounding-even-louder-and-more-enthusiastic!

They were obviously bored, and as a loyal member of the Army, it was his job to give them something to be excited about, make them walk away feeling satisfied with the whole speech thingy. Quench their thirst for excitement, draw their attention away from the heat of the afternoon and leave them satisfied with the day's events. Even if the speech didn't quite speak for itself, the town clown would leave them excited for the city they were in, or at least not dissatisfied. Well, he would try his best to make it so, see how they all reacted.

Hiibel stood up on the roof and took a running start, jumping off the edge and flipping in midair before landing, tumbling, and getting to his feet to make a proclamation of the leader's awesome abilities! ...well, that's how it was supposed to be. But there was this piece of rubble, you see? It was on the roof, and, well, it was small... So it became this awesome-jump-that-turned-into-a-trip-and-fall-in-which-he-somehow-righted-himself-and-landed-on-his-hands-and-knees-crumpling-to-the-ground-in-a-heap. Getting up and wincing slightly, he spoke loudly to cover his mistake, projecting loudly enough that he'd be heard above the dying applause.

"Ladies and gentlemen, an appendix I do give! For we as Changers live in peace here, united in our goals. See those humans, flighty, warlike, scavenging. Watch them struggle amongst themselves for comfort when what they want is right in front of them. And what we want is right in front of us as well! Water, food, shelter. Friends and family. Those who accept us as we are, who do not fight us in an attempt to get what they do not need. We work together, not against each other, in order to survive in this harsh world, in order to build a community, a nation, a world. Killing each other for no reason? Goodness, no! We're not savages, like those who birthed us! We don't send out our own family simply because they appear different!

"No, we accept each other, for our differences as well as our similarities. We fight as one, and together, we can change the world, make it adapt to us instead of the other way around. Thanks to our all-powerful leader, the great Tenko Kieran, we can live in safety from the grudges of those savages. Thanks to him, we can support each other and make our world an amazing place! With his protection, with his help, we will not scavenge. No, we will thrive in this city of ours, in this kingdom. Please, applause, applause for our city, for survival, for dominance! Applaud once again for our leader!"

He brought up his hands, applauding for his speech, for the reprieve from boredom that he had tried to provide. Whether alone or with a crowd, he would continue applauding until someone else broke the calm.

He applauded, hands facing, raised up to the platform, the walkway. Where the leader and his posse had retreated. Sure, there was a slight mocking tone to his voice, sure, he was being theatrical and trying to draw attention, but... what he said was true enough, and it gave a positive light to the army. Well, if anyone took offense, he'd deal with it, react as needed. If someone came back out onto the platform, he'd applaud up to them, applaud them for their great work in actually attracting the interest of the crowd. Well, for his work, but whatever. Let them react as needed, for today at least would not be boring. No, he would do his best to make it as interesting as possible! Well, maybe not that interesting... He had his own welfare to take care of as well...

So he continued with his applause for the leader, applause for us all, and the hey-join-with-me-and-praise-our-all-powerful-leader-who-can't-quite-speak-as-well-as-me!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri Character Portrait: Kiarna Elmm
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Kiarna returned Atra's wink with a dry smile, revealing rather sharp teeth. She rather liked the Ariad; although he seemed to be intent on killing himself with all his training, he wasn't stupid by any means. Besides, he was the type she would rather not have as an enemy.

Kiarna's attention was barely on the speech. Why should it be? Yes, it was 'exciting' and 'uplifting' (Tenko was doing surprisingly well today), but it was nothing new. All the information presented in it was common knowledge. 'Brilliantly' phrased, perhaps, but still common knowledge.

But then again, all speeches were common knowledge. Interesting stuff was never shouted from a platform for the city and whoever else might be around to hear. Interesting stuff was picked up when those speaking thought nobody else was listening. Not that she went looking for that information; delirious mumblings of the sick or wounded, whispers outside her tent while she stitched a soldier up and his companions waited to see if he was okay and discussed the mission he was hurt on or their newest assignment, people talking because they either thought she wasn't paying attention, or didn't care.

She was no spy, though. Not for either side. Any interesting tidbits she picked up were stashed away to be used only for her own private purposes, which was usually as small as asking for extra bandages or salve during a week she knew many changers would be on special missions. Honestly, she could do without the data, but since she had it, why not make it useful?

Realizing by the applause about her that the speech was over, Kiarna gave a polite bit of clapping herself, and was then startled by a figure leaping from a roof and beginning to speak. After recognizing the changer, she immediately wrote this off as normal behavior. Such things could be expected from Bell. She crossed her arms and watched his performance with carefully measured amusement and apathy in her expression.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Liron Aldaine
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Liron Aldaine ; The Fortress

There was nothing of interest so far. Maybe the Rebels had decided that they wished to give in to the superior morals of the Army - they were the ones who wished to help the Changers, after all. Unfortunately, he doubted it. A group of idiots who were so stubborn as to reintroduce humans, the bane of Skinwalker life, into our Aethes, would not suddenly understand the truth and agree to helping the population of people as a whole.

After a few minutes of watching the upper echelon straggling in to the scene, it ought to be time for the speech to start. He caught a glimpse of a taller individual wearing a hat, in their city of shorter Aveis and Murin. Perhaps it was one of the Miao or Raposa that had been denied entrance to the Army. It was in Quadrant III, North corner, he noted.

Tenko began his speech, and still, nothing happened. The speech was better than he had thought, and it certainly was inspirational. Liron was getting a little bored of circling up in the sky, but the Pack might just appear - his coworkers were all too exposed up there on the stage of theirs. He banked again to the right, before scanning the horizon. It was just like a mutant to appear in the middle of this gathering to pick up some of the easier prey. It wasn’t everyday that Murin were gathered outside in the open - they were just making a target out of themselves.

Just to see Hiibel - his spy who was supposed to be on lookout duty - do some sort of half-fall half-leap onto the stage. He nearly forgot to flap his wings and for a few seconds, his wings locked, and he fell down towards the ground. What in the world was that Miao thinking? He was supposed to be there if anything happened - not being the one that they needed to stop. He - he certainly took things to extremes.

Liron caught himself just in time to escape becoming a mass of shattered bones on the ground, but even then, he was too far to the ground for comfort. Hiibel was on the stage with his normal cheery attitude, and started to mock Tenko’s speech, “Ladies and gentlemen, an appendix I do give.” Liron could already tell that this would be a disgrace to the Army and his other spies. A few minutes of his mindless drivel later, and when Liron was attempting to curtail the murderous intent in his eyes, “Applaud once again for our leader.” the idiot Miao started to clap.

He could’ve murdered him right then and there. Or at the very least, gouged his eyes out. Liron would be getting in so much trouble… he would be lucky if Tenko decided to keep him alive after this. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realized that this would be the best time for the Rebels to do something - there was nothing better than adding injury to insult after all.

Regaining his aerial grace, he swooped upwards, before affixing his subordinate with a glare. A glare that foretold of a lashing or other such punishment in the future. Ah, Liron was going to be killed… His subordinate’s action was a mar on his record… If they thought that he harbored rebels, then he would end up fighting in the pit for the rest of his life.

Maybe if he was lucky, he should not die in the first fight - but maybe not. Probably not.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Kuril Mindon Character Portrait: Sevrin Massengale Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri
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Sevrin Massengale - The Fortress

Sevrin stood there, a tight smile on his face and his arms casually folded behind his back. He respected the leader, yes, but right now didn't seem like a time to be stiff and stoic. He listened to Tenko speak to the crowd briefly before they lit up in approval. Upon hearing Atra's comment, he didn't plan on responding, mostly because his mind was kind of tuned into the speech (he liked speeches, for more or less obvious reasons), and secondly because there wasn't much to say. No matter how much it seemed to offend Lorelai, he had the feeling Atra's comment was at least partly true. The majority of them don't know what work goes into making the Fortress run the way it should. What it takes to keep them, at least, somewhat comfortable. Then again, with all they do for the soldiers and other changers underneath Tenko, Farren, himself, even, the least they could do was cheer for their leader when he made a speech.

That's what Sevrin would do.

And that's why he put on his best smile when their leader came back, relieved to have had his speech go over so well. Did they cheer out of obligation or a genuine like for their dear Tenko? It could be a mixed bunch, but it didn't matter. With that pack possibly planning a move, any Army soldiers who didn't particularly like Tenko could also try something with all the confusion.

"Mhmm, it went very well, sir," Sevrin nodded approvingly. At least Tenko got up and made a speech. Didn't falter or stutter. God, being who he was, he hated when changers did either of those.

Just after saying that, he heard the sound of someone speaking again - loud enough to address a crowd - and then start clapping. Who was idiotic enough to do that? Sevrin didn't want to think about that. Surely, someone would deal with him. Maybe not right now, though. It was a good enough distraction for someone to spot some pack members hanging around.

Or maybe hurl something at the speaker's head from a high distance. Sevrin wanted to go up to the railing and see who it was, but a very familiar voice turned his head in the other direction. So his one-eyed friend had made it to the party after all. His face turned into a grin as he walked over to the second interrogator and looked him over. He didn't look like he had been busy, he looked tired. He'd ask him later. "Morning, Kuril," Sevrin gave him a quick nod, then looked around him. "Glad you could make it, though, you should really work on your timing. You missed a brilliant speech from Tenko." Most would probably realize his teasing words towards the end, but he couldn't help but make a joke amidst the many distractions and less-than-serious behaviors. Like an unconscious thing. He glanced at Lorelai for a split second.

He was still waiting for that clapping to cease. Now that he remembered it, it kind of annoyed him.

The setting changes from The Fortress to Aethes

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran
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The Fortress; Lorelai


Lorelai almost twitched as she heard the mocking voice of the little spy. Tenko would kill him. The young woman shook her head slightly. She had talked to Hibel a few times and he was quite amusing. She would have to try to calm Tenko down. It was very insulting and she didn't blame him for getting angry... but Hiibel was still a good spy that did his job fairly well. She glanced sharply at the Liron at the sky. No doubt he would be almost as angry as Tenko.

She was about to head back inside when the most gruesome noise stopped her in her tracks. The noise made her cringe in pain as the loud sounds invaded her skull. She looked up and clenched her fists as she saw a large beast devouring the remains of its last kill. Who had it been? Was it one of them? She wasn't sure and that made her nervous.

There were children down there. The thought put her in action and she climbed down the ladder. The soldiers would surely be able to take the beast on. They had done so numerous times. But the young ones were defenseless. They weren't trained and were weak from malnourishment. It would be cowardly to watch safely from above when she could be down there helping. As she went down, she glanced at a couple of the younger soldiers around her.

"Get the young and the elderly away." She ordered, her usual gentle voice ringing with authority. The crowd was starting to panic and they would end up trampling themselves to death if they continued. As soon as she touched the dusty ground, she scooped up a small boy and handed him to a healthy looking woman. Children had to be protected. They were the future.

The setting changes from Aethes to The Fortress

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Liron Aldaine Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Caddie Hallow Character Portrait: Kora Neverwinter Character Portrait: Kaishi Futatabi (Kai) Character Portrait: Darvo Kaerd
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#, as written by Witless
Hiibel Talcen; The Fortress


Momentous applause, screams of excitement, roars of encouragement! What should follow any outstanding performance, no matter the kind! And which Hiibel did not receive. Sure, he got applause - from himself, a few Murin, a few Aveis, a stray Raposa or Miao here or there. Not from any Lupus of course. No applause for a mere, lowly cat. How boring...

As his eyes scanned the crowd, he noticed a few latecomers. Mr. Whats-his-face Care, or whoever he was. With a bandaged hand from something, and not looking quite happy to be there. He kept glancing up at Tenko and scanning the crowd, moving closer and closer to the front. Suspicious much? If something needed to be done, Bell had confidence in his speed. His continued turning and taking in the crowd.

Ah, another latecomer. Mrs. Koi Something-or-other clapping overly enthusiastically with a wide smile plastered on her face. And also scanning the crowd. Too late to hear Tenko's speech, she must have heard the end of his and was searching for the speaker. She at least recognized at-least-better-than-average improvised speech and acknowledged it, better than most people. Hiibel grinned wider than before (if that was even possible) and nodded his head in her direction before turning around (had there been a change in expression in that instant?) to continue his sweep of the crowd. And the minimal applause...

As he finished to take in the platform up above, he continued clapping and glanced up again for their reactions. Liron and Tenko glaring at him. Now this would be fun. A few others also seemed mad, while others were amused. But it didn't seem like anyone would stop him. And he was done anyway, so it was probably time to make an exit. How could he do it in such a way that it was grand-and-fit-for-his-performance and yet not so attention-grabbing that it detracted from the leader-that-they-were-here-to-worship?

Luckily for him, the reactions were not quite over! To conclude, there were the screams and roars he had been expecting in response! Finally! Well, now that he thought about it, they were pretty-much-too-delayed-to-be-focused-on-him, and they couldn't quite be attributed to, well, excitement or encouragement... Turning to face the newcomer-who-felt-important-enough-to-steal-his-applause, he was pretty surprised, as one might expect.

A mutant. A bear-like mutant. Mauling whomever was in its path: in this case Mr. Care... And then chaos broke loose, and it was getting too interesting for Hiibel's tastes... Backing up from the dining mutant, he watched the civilians flee for their lives as soldiers began to attack the beast. Well, Hiibel was not a fighter, and he was not going to let himself get killed by this monster. Once again, he scanned the crowd hurriedly, looking to see where people were fleeing, which places were open, where he would not be trampled. There was no time to spare. The noise from all around was deafening - shrieks, screams, roars, yells, complete chaos with a slight semblance of order imposed by Tenko, ordering soldiers to destroy it ASAP.

Mrs. Tenko projected her voice above the din, "Get the young and the elderly away." Yes, that he could help with, even in this chaos. There were a few passageways he knew of, not often used, that he could direct people to. And many people headed toward the same direction, not bothering about the other side passages.

"For goodness sakes, this is a city! Your city! Go different ways, different alleys! If you split up, more people can get out at the same time! Move quickly, but carefully! Let's move!" Lost in concern for others, all traces of amusement had vanished from Hiibel's face, now replaced by worry, fear. A flurry from above reminded him of what many others had apparently also forgotten. "Those who can fly, change and escape! Murin, change and hide in cracks where the mutant can't reach you! The rest of you, get on roofs if possible, and don't stop running until you're safe! Anyone who needs help, follow me!"

He turned and ran off to a side passageway, hidden from sight by rubble, ruins of a building. Directing those who followed into it, he glanced back toward the beast to see it was indeed being stalled by assailants: a Raposa, Lupus, and a few other soldiers. More were coming to take care of it, and the area around it was mostly cleared. Those trapped at the end of the mob fleeing the scene he beckoned over to the passageway, making sure he saved however many people he could. Once the last few were in, he led them through the winding passageway to a safer haven within the city, where they could wait until the mutant was dead or gone. And it would be dead, of course, right? There was an entire army against it, more than enough to take care of one beast.

And of course it would work out, of course they'd be safe, but what would be the price? Who would they lose? And would they be prepared when the next attack came?

The setting changes from The Fortress to Aethes

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Liron Aldaine Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Kaishi Futatabi (Kai)
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Liron Aldaine

While his attention was still focused on the irritating Miao, a loud roar and scream split the air. Hurriedly making a 180 degree turn to see what was going on, his keen eyes caught a glimpse of the largest mutant that he had ever seen. It was also the closest, and almost made him forget what he was supposed to do, out of fear. Its glistening fangs seemed ready to rip out the throats of the Changers that had gathered here. His heart was beating quickly, his avian form’s already quick heartbeat accelerating.

The Changers on the ground, mostly Murin or smaller Aveis, and therefore defenseless started to charge, crazed. Liron could only think that he had to escape before it was too late - he didn’t quite want to meet his end here. He still had to flush out the Pack for Tenko - where was Tenko?! He had to get out of her intact! Another roar from the mutant caught his attention, as the furred beast started to dig into his kill. At this moment, Liron hated his above-average eyesight, as it made the sight all the more gruesome.

Soldiers! Destroy that abomination before it hunts down more civilians! Now!” ordered Tenko, taking charge as usual. Feeling a sense of relief at that, as well as anger that he had missed the sight of this mutant, Liron wheeled again, to head towards the stage. He owed his life to Tenko, and if the mutant was to come close to him, he was willing to do anything it took to make sure that Tenko survived.

A sharp pitched bark and then a few seconds later, a pained-sounding yelp rang through the air. The soldiers were probably starting to destroy the mutant, on his order - but Liron couldn’t afford to turn his head and check. Not when speed was of the essence. He had to get there before Tenko was in trouble.

He was close to the walls of the fortress, not wanting to accidentally cause an injury if a kestrel flew at high-speeds into someone’s face, when he caught a glimpse of the kind wife of Tenko, Lorelai. With a firm, but kind voice, she ordered a few of the closer soldiers. “Get the young and the elderly away.” It was just like her to put the welfare of the Changers before her own life, and in a way, Liron was glad that she supported Tenko - the two of them were the best leaders that could ever grace Aethes.

Landing on the wall, he turned to see what was going on. A red-furred Lupus, he recognized that as the Second-Lieutenant, Kora, was hanging on to the throat of the beast, doing her job in the attempt to curtail the destruction that it would bring. Shaking his feathered head slightly, Liron flew carefully, until his talons touched the rough wood of the make-shift stage. There was no wind - therefore, he was unable to hover in the air as he wished to.

For goodness sakes, this is a city! Your city! Go different ways, different alleys! If you split up, more people can get out at the same time! Move quickly, but carefully! Let’s move! Those who can fly, change and escape! Murin, change and hide in cracks where the mutant can’t reach you! The rest of you, get on roofs if possible, and don’t stop running until you’re safe! Anyone who needs help, follow me!” It seemed as though Hiibel was showing his worth for once, and aiding the attempt to protect the citizens of Aethes. The Miao certainly was a troublemaker, and seemed to take adverse delight in tormenting him, but Hiibel was also the one spy that he felt was an acquaintance - almost even a friend.

Fluttering forward towards the leader of the army, Liron perched on the ground close to him, turning his keen eyes in the direction of the mutant. He let out a harsh ‘kee kee kee’ sound, notifying them of his presense - there was no other way to make his presence clear without the ability to speak - and opened his wings slightly, ready to take off at a moments notice. Maybe it was true that Tenko had a Bodyguard, and with all that Liron knew, he did his job well, but - Liron felt as though his being there would be helpful in some way.