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 Questions and Queries (Open)

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Mender Blake
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PostSubject: Questions and Queries (Open)   Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:07 am

Blake watched the Tigress leave her at the border with no direction, not even a clue. The new Baron understood why she had been given such a low rank. Her actions were suspect and borderline insubordinate. Had she dines such a thing under her fathers rule, she would surely have been beheaded. She had intended to ask for the rank suitable for a doctor. In the south they called it a medic, but perhaps here it was different. She would make an inquiry of that some time in the future. For now she figured it safest to walk in a different direction to the higher ranked female. On the ground beside her lay her fallen backpack. She picked it up in her powerful jaws and set off at a trot. She travelled through the forest, enjoying the sweet summer breeze.

The end of her tail twitched in delight at her acceptance into the clan. Was that what they called a group of shifters in these parts? Another thing she had to learn. She got the feeling things were very different here in the north. Against her instincts, she knew she would have to seek out another member of her race and ask these sorts of questions. But there would be time enough for that. The most important thing now would be to find shelter. Coincidentally, just up ahead she could see the beginnings of human dwellings, but the scent around them was all wrong. The scent was more animalistic, like that of a shifter. And they were still located inside the borders of these shifter lands. Hidden slightly in the shadows of the tree line, Blake stopped and surveyed the dwellings. Were they for shifters to live in? Another question to ask. Growing up as a feline princess in the south, she had always lived in the palace. Only when she was on the run from the Feline War had she spent time living in the wild. Even then it wasn't for long. She had spent so long in the human world, living in her human form, it had become natural to her. It was easier for her to sleep comfortably in a bed, than on the forest floor constantly on alert for danger.

The new Baron released the bag from her mouth, letting it fall haphazardly into the dirt. She quickly shifted and looked around, hoping no one had seen her. A cool breeze hit the air on a bare section of her stomach and she hurriedly tugged her shirt down to cover the scars. Quickly tossing the backpack on her back, she set off into the little hamlet that seemed eerily quiet. Perhaps the other shifters preferred to live in the wilderness. Perhaps she was the oddball of the bunch. Her head twisted about, marvelling at the quaint little homes. She spotted a little house that was just perfect. The outside needed a bit of work - fixing the gardens and the odd cracked stone along with possibly replacing the door - but it was just right. She thought she might enjoy the work. She could customise it just as she liked, make it the most beautiful home in huge shifter region. A delicate hand reached out tentatively for the door handle, but she hesitated. Was she simply allowed to choose a house and walk inside? Was this house already spoken for? So many frustrating questions and seemingly no one to answer them.
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Epror Niko
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:25 am

At the side of the house in the side path between the fence and the side wall of the house, lay a lithe, muscular leopard sitting on the ground. His amber eyes, curious and warm, stared at a tiny crack that had formed between the bottom of the wall and the top. There was something he had spotted, something metallic and shiny that had caught the morning light. His curiosity had made him pause his stroll in exchange for a momentary exploration. It wasn’t a common sight, seeing a leopard on its stomach, noble head on the ground while staring straight ahead at a wall rounded ears pushed forwards and rope-like tail waving in the air side to side. Niko had been here for half an hour according to the little clock he had spied sitting on the laundry table, entranced by the object as his mind was awash with what that mysterious object could be and how to get it. He had entertained finding a piece of string or twine to ease into the crack to hook around the object and pull it out. Then he had thought of getting a thin piece of bark to slide into the crack to force the object out. Then his mind had jumped to ideas of what the object could be. Just as an idea formed his head straightened. He heard something, the sound of careful footsteps on stone. He sniffed the air. A Shifter. The Epror seemed to grin, leopard lips curving upwards and his eyes shone, lighting up. He rose to his paws and headed for the side-door wooden fence. Nudging it open with his head, he glanced around for the Shifter finding her at the door with her hand outstretched towards the door handle. He was glad to see another Shifter here. She had a back-pack on which ignited Niko’s interest. What was inside? A playful glint appeared in his eyes as an idea struck him. Her attention was entirely focused on the door. She hadn’t noticed him yet. Quietly, stealthily and swiftly he approached her his head and tail lowering instinctively as he naturally slid into predatory mode making sure he was absolutely, completely silent. Not that he was hunting her. He was having fun. She seemed new, unsure. To him there was nothing to be apprehensive about. But it took time to get used to things, especially if you were new. The best he could do, was make her feel welcome. Like part of the family. He stopped when he was just behind her, morphing into his human form. His light tawny brown fur shifted into human skin, sun-kissed and caramel. Dark brown, curly hair crowned his head and hung down past his ears. His eyes shifted over to hazel, still retaining their warmth and openness. When the last of his tail disappeared inside his spine he automatically reached back as if he was searching for it without realizing it was gone. He reached out with the other hand, tapping the girl on her shoulder with a massive grin on his face and pulled out a pair of keys in his jeans pockets that he had found earlier. “Looking for this?”He said. “The door’s jammed on the other side.”

The keys actually belonged to another house. He had found them while he had been exploring. He was joking. The door was open but he wanted to have some fun. He wasn’t a scary guy, not really. He was tall, taller than a lot of other guys and had a fairly toned, muscled body with broad shoulders thanks to decades upon decades of exercise and hard work. But he had youthful, handsome features that were kinder, gentler. And it was the eyes that sealed the deal. They were expressive and open. And he usually wore clothes that were more down-to-earth. Like the ones he was wearing now. Blue shirt, black thread-bare jeans, a grey hooded jacket. He extended the keys to her, still grinning,“I’m the Guardian, Epror Niko.”
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Mender Blake
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:18 am

Just as she was about to make the plunge and grasp the handle, a tap on the shoulder spooked the female. She started slightly at the unexpected gesture. In the same movement she turned and jumped back, seeing a man behind her whom she was almost sure hadn't been there before. She gaped a moment in fear. Her senses told her he was also feline. Only she couldn't tell what type he was. This unknown sent her heart racing, he could probably hear it from where he stood if he made a little effort. Her chest heaved with shallow, fearful breaths that she desperately tried to calm. Her blue eyes darted, taking in his form. He was tall, much taller than she was. That wasn't very calming. Ok, focus on something else, she thought, maybe he doesn't want to kill you. Maybe he just want's to say "hi". Her eyes traced his skin next, appreciating the tanned beauty. It was dark, but not too dark - though a little more than sun-kissed. Next was his hair that she noticed. A thick, curly mop of dark brown, similar and yet different in colour to her own hair.

Finally, came his eyes. They were a soft hazel. A little bit green, a little bit brown. Perhaps even a little blue. They were warm and welcoming, so unlike the many feline shifters she had grown up around. She was almost certain he couldn't be from the South. No one with eyes that spoke like that could be. Her breathing finally returned to a more normal rate, though her heart still thrummed. He was reasonably attractive after all, despite the constant element of fear. "Uh-uhm Blake. Baron Blake." She managed, looking down. It was a little easier talking to his shoes than his beautiful eyes. Now that she looked upon it, he was quite well dressed, even if it was rather casual. It was less revealing than her jean-shorts and t-shirt, paired with some light canvas shoes. Not the greatest hiking outfit, but certainly the cooler option. She tugged at her shirt, ensuring it hid her scars, so self-conscious about them.

The lioness looked up at him, making a second attempt at speech. "H-how-how long were you standing there?" She stood with her back partially to the wall so that in her peripheral vision she could see the battered old door. She wondered if it really was jammed from the other side. If he did attack, what was her chance of escape through the house? Sometimes she hated being so distrustful, but it was easier than being hurt. She reminded herself that though she had no love of fighting, she could if it came to it. She fingered the strap of her backpack, the repetitive motion soothing her as she remembered the items within. One of which was her old retractable staff. It was more a keepsake than a weapon, she hadn't used it in decades. But she still knew how to use it.
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Epror Niko
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:41 am

Niko blinked in surprise when she jumped back. He hesitated, wondering if he had gone too far. She was visibly edgy and scared of him so he wondered if it was because he had startled her or she was expecting someone to attack her any second. Her eyes had darted too quickly and her breathing was coming out too fast. If he had to guess, he'd guess that her heart was pounding hard. He wrapped his fingers around the keys, retracting his hand and slipping the keys back inside his pockets deciding to abandon the joke. He had probably gone too far. She wasn't comfortable yet it seemed and that was okay. He cast a swift glance around to see if there was anyone else in the vicinity. Or the gleam reflecting off a gun. He thought that the chances of a Shifter in here with a weapon like a gun here were slim to none but there was always a possibility. But he guessed it wasn't a Shifter she was running from. Maybe. He had yet to know what her circumstances were. But whatever she was running from, whatever danger she was running from it didn't matter. Because she was safe here. No one could hurt them here. Not on his watch. It was his duty to make sure of that. He took a step back to create a little more distance between them, hoping that it would make her feel more at ease. Then he noticed she was looking at his eyes. Niko shifted on one foot slightly. It made him feel strange. Not that it was the first time someone had appraised his eyes. He was usually one to go with the flow so he didn't mind. He smiled at her when she relaxed, relieved that she was doing so. He said, "Nice to meet you Baron Blake." When she looked down he was surprised again but waved it off. He started to step towards the door, walking past her when she actually looked up at him this time. For a moment he wondered what her primal form was. Another feline maybe? It seemed like it. When she tugged at her shirt to cover more of her skin he wondered why too. Was she ashamed of something? Past wounds maybe? Niko was no stranger to scars since he had one himself but he supposed scars were more of a badge of honour for guys than girls. Niko wasn’t a female, a girl or woman, so he couldn’t really understand why she was embarrassed if that was the case but he knew it had something to do with feeling beautiful. So he said nothing, waiting for her to get her clothes adjusted and was glad when she finally looked up at him though she still stuttered. He reached past her, his hand placed on the door squarely but he didn’t push it open completely because she was partially resting against it and would fall or stumble if he did.

“I’m a Guardian remember?” Niko grinned at her.“You don’t have to be scared. I’m the one that’s going to protect you so I promise you, I’m not going to hurt you. Unless you count having fun as hurting you. But people have told me I’m a loveable teddy bear.” He leaned against the wall on the side of the door casually, putting his free hand into his pockets and replied,“Just a couple of minutes. I’m sorry I scared you. I didn’t mean to.” When she fingered the strap of the backpack he became even more curious about it. Whatever it was inside she seemed to clearly value. Precious, cherished items that she loved dearly. He knew that kind of feeling, having done it himself. When how someone was on the run the only important things were the ones that were the most treasured and beloved. Like a photo or something that was given to you from someone special or important. Niko would’ve asked her what it was that was inside her bag but now didn’t seem like the right time. He would however keep an eye on it. Just in case his instincts were wrong. One could never be too sure with people. But Niko’s instincts were usually right and she seemed like she just needed a place to stay. Maybe she was in some kind of trouble but she was okay for now. He pushed open the door just slightly but enough to show that the door was completely fine, making a creaking noise and held onto the handle so that she wouldn’t topple inside. Winking at her, he said,“It’s open. No problems. You can go inside. It’s just a regular, normal house and it's unoccupied.”
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Mender Blake
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:59 am

Blake stepped back quickly as he approached the door, having noticed him pocket the keys once more. She held her breath tight in her throat as he reached around her. But his hand rested on the door handle, making no move to open it just yet. She focused on her breathing, trying to calm herself in this nerve-wracking position. Being in such close quarters with another feline shifter did not come easily to the lioness. She fought back against the instinct to push him and run off screaming. Her hair fluttered slightly as a breeze sprung up, washing his scent over her. It was clean and earthen, soothing, almost. His eyes of human hazel seemed to wait so patiently for her, she could not help but feel a little remorseful for having reacted in such a way. She didn't know him, nor did he know her. She had no right to judge him based on the familial scientific classification of his primal form. Wasn't that what she had hoped everyone in this clan would do? She needed to give what she hoped to receive. So when he smiled at her, she offered a small smile back. A little childishly, she wanted to reach up and ruffle her hands through his curls, but she held her position and allowed him to direct their encounter.

His dulcet tones leaked soothing words into her ears, mellowing her soul. He was a guardian, a protector. She had had guards once, in the palace. Yet they had failed to protect her, both from her father and from the tigers who stole her. But she wanted him to be different. If she was to prove to her new Shifter-Queen that she could surpass this ranks of "Baron" and become the Healer she was, she would need a friend. She nodded as he said he had not been there for long. She breathed a sigh of relief, he had not seen her shift. She smiled further as he winked at her and pushed the door open. She chewed oon her lip a moment before turning and entering the domicile. It was clean, albeit a little dusty. All it needed was some light and love. She turned around to face the male in the doorway. "Can I really live here? All to myself? I don't have to get special permission?" She waited silently, allowing for his reply. Whilst he spoke her eyes darted about, drinking in the foundations of the home and wondering just what she could do with it. In her minds eye, ghostly apparitions of potential rennovations, furniture and decorations sprung up about the foyer and into what little of the adjoining rooms she could see. A couch over there. A little table with flowers just here. It was all so wonderful, a little project for her to consume her time with. She looked back at the Epror, a slightly playful look in her eyes. "A teddy bear?" she asked. "Is that your other half? A bear, I mean." She was only half joking, but it wouldn't necessarily surprise her. Perhaps his form was that of a bear, only he was mated to a feline. It would explain the scent that surrounded him so if it was not his own. But only his thoughts and his words could confirm or deny her suspicions.
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Auxiliary Jagara
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:55 am

Jagara was preparing to close up the library, as it was the day that she only worked a short shift and was free until her next patrol. After all, there was very little to do, and few visitors actually entered the library in the Monet Quarter. Most of the time, Jagara was left alone with the books, quietly studying in her office with some indie rock playing in the background. On her breaks, she would recline in her chair and sing along, closing her eyes and thinking of a variety of things in her life. It was a calming day job, much less demanding than her duties as the Auxiliary and her personal training that she put herself through to remain in top shape. There was little time for other things, but every now and then there was a chance to explore the world. She froze suddenly, remembering the last time she went on an adventure. After a moment, she sat up and shook herself off. It was all justified, and she did not regret it. The blonde woman looked to the clock and sighed, getting up to straighten her desk and shut off her radio. Closing the blinds, she went into the main hall and locked her office. The library was of a decent size, considering it was in Monet Quarter – an area rarely visited. Jagara wondered why they even built this library. Perhaps it was a repurposed building. She was not sure.

Finally, she walked out of the library and shut the main door, locking it with her key before she shoved it in the back pocket of her jeans. The summer rays of sun hit her skin unpleasantly as she turned to walk back to her den. She did not care for this hot season of the year, being more accustomed to the frigid weather of winter. The heat made her a little uncomfortable. The auxiliary was in her ash jeans, black converse high tops, and a dark grey tank top which fell loosely around her leanly muscled body. Jagara ambled along the street, looking around at the seemingly empty territory. It was then that she heard voices coming from the street to the right. It appeared that the male was trying to convince the female to go into the house with him, for intentions that she was not quite sure about. The Auxiliary went towards them, catching the last bits of their conversation. They were standing near the open door of an unoccupied house, which was fine if they wished to use it for the reason she first thought they were there, but the unknown female’s words made it clear that she was mistaken. Jagara approached them quietly, her posture straight with confidence. She interrupted with an authoritative tone that fell flat and low, “No, not really. The houses in Monet Quarter are reserved for temporary escape, if someone needs some ‘human time’ in one of the houses. It is nice and private. Or sometimes, we come here to relax and visit the few operating buildings that are in the quarter. One of these is the library I run. But no one is allowed to live here permanently. You are a shifter, and a shifter can make its own den.” Her blue-grey eyes glared at the woman before darting to the man sharply. The overwhelming mixed scent of feline told her that they were all cats here. Was he a bear? The real question was if this new female an idiot. Had she lived among humans so long that her senses had dulled? It did not really matter anymore. The man was the next one she spoke to. “Who are you?” Jagara briskly questioned him, not sure if this was the new Epror she had heard of. If it was, he had a lot to learn. She stared at him, awaiting an answer. She did not appear aggressive, but her voice had hints of a warning. Jagara, after all, had interfered to prevent a mistake from happening. It would be easier to deal with this now than later.
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Epror Niko
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:40 am

He was glad when she started to smile more because it showed that she was getting more comfortable and relaxed. He laughed in response to her joke, pocketing the keys and grinned at her.“I wish. No my other half is a leopard. A Persian leopard.” He paused at her next question. He was still new himself, having only explored this area the first time. They were all family here. A family of Shifters. Sharing was a part of family so staying in a house such as this, on that basis, wouldn’t have been troublesome. Re-modelling it was another story altogether.“Well I don’t know about living here. You probably can’t but if you really wanted to re-model the place you need to ask permission from our leaders. Don’t know what they would say,” Niko said. Slipping inside past her, he gave a brief, 360 scan to see if there were any tell-tale signs of people that had been here recently. He knelt down on his hands and knees to look underneath the couch to check for morsels of food or drinks that had been spilt or dead animals that other Shifters may have brought in. Spying nothing, he stood up and stretched idly raising his arms in the air to work out some kinks in his shoulders and arms. As he did, his form changed again in fluid motion. His features morphed into the face of a leopard’s, tawny brown-white fur replacing skin and jaw extending outwards then tapering into a magnificent, powerful snout with jaws that could crush bone. And his head grew larger. His ears crawled up the sides of his head to rest on the top until they were rounded and curved in a U shape. Black rosettes blossomed over his face except for his snout. His torso lengthened until it was thicker and sleeker. His chest deepened. A tail shot out from the base of his spine, curling upwards. His forearms and biceps bulged and he dropped on all fours, hands and feet morphing into massive, sturdy paws. When he opened his eyes they were deep, brilliant amber. Sharp but soulful. It was easier to tell if someone had been here in his primal leopard form and it did feel better most of the time. And it was more fun. Besides being able to clear fences and being more flexible he could see things, smell things that he wouldn’t have been able to in his human form. It’d saved his life more than once. He strode here and there, sniffing the air and looking around keenly. He went to the stair-case, walking up until he reached mid-way and sniffed again. The only thing he smelt was worn-out furniture and the faint musk of wooden floor-boards. He was curious as to see what was up there. He raised his voice so that the Baroness could hear him, chuckling to himself, “Area is secure! You may proceed.” As he stood there, he wondered what animal she was. He could smell something from the feline species so maybe a tiger or a lion?

The Epror lifted his head, glancing at the doorway as an unfamiliar scent drifted into his senses. He identified it immediately as a feline, a Shifter and one of their own so there was most likely no threat. But just in case, he loped back towards the girl so that he was ahead of her and close to her, peering up at the newcomer with wide, amber eyes taking her appearance in a split second as well as any signs of weapons. It was instinct by now and possibly an automatic action as a result of living in dangerous circumstances. And Eden had given him clear duties. He watched her curiously, his black lips curved into a painted smile. She seemed as if she were someone that was fairly high in rank, probably higher than him or somewhere relatively equal to his rank. His female version perhaps? He could pick up the authoritative tone in her voice easily. But she also seemed bored which made him wonder if this was something that she did often. So often it had become tedious enough for her to be apathetic and rude, which was a shame really. But he reminded himself that first impressions weren’t always 100% correct. Most of the time they were but not all the time. Maybe this was just one of those days. Maybe. He sniffed the air. He smelt something else now she was closer. Worn out pages of books. The musk of dusty tomes shelved in rows upon rows. It reminded Niko of a cavernous library he’d been in once when he’d been searching for anatomy books on eagles. And as she explained who she was, Niko’s suspicions were confirmed. His lips parted, showing pearly white teeth in an apologetic smile as she spoke. His tail swished the ground and he sat up, not quite reaching her height as her human form was naturally taller than him when he was in primal form but still managing to sit still. He answered,“My name is Niko, your new Epror appointed by Regina Eden. Baroness Blake simply wanted to enter the house and explore. And she was asking a question that was merely a product of a curious mind. Now that we know that this is supposed to be a place of temporary escape we will explore and nothing else.” He dipped his head to her slightly in a brief show of respect and rose to all fours, turning and walking back inside the house. He held no power over the other feline’s actions. She wasn’t a threat so he didn’t care what she did. This was, as she had put it, a temporary retreat for everyone. A place to relax and hang out with respect (in terms of not destroying anything, putting everything back where it belonged if they took it or removed it for some reason and not taking anything that didn’t belong to them) to the house they were in of course. Keeping that in mind, they were free to do anything they wanted. He headed for the stair-case, pausing at the bottom step and glanced back over his shoulder at her,“If you’re interested in reading I saw some books outside.”He turned back to the stair-case, long limber body stretching over the steps with effortless ease as he jumped up one step then another.
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Mender Blake
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:39 am

Blake was glad he could laugh at her joke. It meant she wasn't totally socially inept. But a Persian Leopard was what he was. She wondered if she might get to see it one day. Although that would be if their friendship could continue and if she could learn to be completely comfortable around other felines again. Then again, there had been no Persian Leopards in the south. So she had no history to fear with him. And it would be interesting to see a new feline form. Still he had more to say. She was disheartened to hear that she couldn't live here. At least not permanently. Living in permanent buildings was all she knew. She had never once lived in a den like an animal, the very thought was almost abhorrent. And that fragment of her mind was what set her apart as an oddity of the shifter race. In the south all of the shifters had lived in buildings - or tents during the war time. They knew what kind of abomination they were, how they were created in a lab by meddlesome humans. They hated that they had not evolved as the other three species had - for they were ignorant of the Moras in the south. But at the same time, they knew they were more powerful than the pitiful humans and wanted to enslave them for their folly. But even after her time in the south she had lived in the towns and cities of humans. Her need to be inconspicuous had required her to live as they did. She really didn't like the idea of living in a hole in the ground.

The Epror slipped though the door and her blue eyes followed him. It seemed he was scanning the residence for any other visitors. He returned to her, stretching gracefully before shifting. It shocked her a moment. For a few seconds she was hypnotised, watching his muscled ripple with each movement before suddenly they were covered in fur. The Baroness took an involuntary step back in surprised before internally checking herself and realising there was no threat.She admired his leopard form, but had to stop herself from reaching out and running her fingers through his fur. It just looked so soft. But she understood that he was on the job at the moment. If she were to surprise him, he could very easily hurt her without meaning. She wouldn't blame him, it was instinct. Better to ask forgiveness, than permission. His amber eyes took in every molecule of the place, his nostrils examining every scent while he padded about. He really did have this aura about him that made her feel safer. He stopped on the stairs and turned back, announcing the area was clear so far. She offered a small smile and was about to take a step forwards when a scent washed over her.

Blake turned to view the newcomer with her own eyes. Blocking the doorway was a very beautiful woman, feline by her scent. Is everyone here a feline? Her mind started to stress. An instant later the Persian Leopard had placed himself between the two women and instantly her heart rate could lower. She was grateful for the show of protection, especially considering her past encounters with felines. The female seemed of a high ranking and instantly the Baroness felt compelled to show respect to her superior. Instantly she averted her gaze, her dark locks falling about her face. As the woman spoke, the Baroness became even more disheartened. In her peripheral vision, all the ideas she had had for redecoration and renovation were rapidly disappearing. Despite wanting to appear strong in front of the female, she was glad that Niko had spoken on her behalf. To be quite honest she was slightly afraid of the feline. She finally looked up. Niko had left her side but offered her an out. One she was very grateful for. "My-my apologies, miss. But thank you for informing me." She turned back to the leopard. "Actually, Niko, that would be lovely. Thank you. But first I would very much like to continue exploring."

The lioness, still in her human form, made her way to the base of the staircase. She turned back a moment. "If I wanted to fix this house up, renovate it, repurpose it, would it be allowed or would I need to speak with the Leader first?" And once the answer had come, she took her first step.
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Auxiliary Jagara
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:36 pm

((Sorry for the shortness and the wait. School and an out-of-town trip can consume one's time.))

Jagara’s burning grey eyes flickered back from one to the other. Of the two, she began to despise them both. It was not quite hatred, for there should be none between members of the pack, but she clearly did not think highly of either of them. A small laugh, having the dry tone of a scoff, escaped her throat towards Niko. “Epror? My replacement has come.” She calmed her voice back to her usual disdainful tone and continued, “I’m sure that next time, the baroness can answer the questions she is asked for herself. As for your purpose here, I am glad that it is now corrected. Carry on.” As he abandoned them and bounded up the stairs, Jagara’s attention turned to the female who was apologizing. At least she was respectful. Props to her then, the Auxiliary thought. “You are new, so don’t worry about it.” Perhaps she wasn’t so bad after all. Regardless, Jagara was done here. She turned to leave, as did the other. Hearing Blake’s voice call for her again, she glanced over her shoulder. Neutrally, she responded, “If, as an Auxiliary, I could give you that right, I would do so. But you need to run that idea past Eden herself.” Jagara turned back to the street. “Have a good day,” she called before she left the place without another word. Within minutes, she was gone from Monet Quarter. The snow leopardess shifted at the tree line and bounded home to feed Arthas and take him on a run.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:30 am

As he stayed in the middle of the room he wondered where she had come from. She still seemed slightly on edge, a little bit apprehensive though he still didn’t know why. He had caught her movements in the glass of the windows when she stepped inside the house then took a step back and it had puzzled him. His leopard form was a powerful predator, a muscled tank of claws and teeth wrapped in a lithe, sleek frame but he was in the neutral pose. For some reason she seemed scared when the other female feline would talk to her. That confused him too. She wasn’t carrying a weapon or seemed to want to attack them. So he had tried to help, just this once until she was more confident.“Don’t worry she won’t bite,”Niko said, winking at Blake reassuringly. He added jokingly, “Not sure about me but not to you.”

Epror? My replacement has comeThey were meant to be mocking it seemed but Niko just grinned wider at her, eyes shining warmly. Frankly, he didn’t care what she thought of him but he did think it was a shame they had to meet in these circumstances. He would of course, be happy to leave the two to their own devices to give them time to get to know each other. They were both adults who could make their own decisions after all, not children who needed to be looked after and given attention every second. To treat them otherwise would be demeaning. The Epror was sure that Blake could answer the questions for herself. Whatever gave her the idea that he wouldn’t was beyond him but he had to wonder, why was the Auxilary inspiring stuttering in her sub-ordinates? He walked back to her, rearing up on his hind legs and placed his forelegs onto her shoulders, paws draped over and squeezed her in a playful hug,“I’m sorry. Now will you lighten up oh wise and powerful librarian of the village square? I gotta tell you, you look nicer when you smile.”He chuckled.

He dropped back down onto his paws, intending on letting the two talk while he explored the house until she announced her departure. Niko stood, watching her leave. Strange woman. He wouldn’t have been surprised if something had happened in her past to make her seem as if she had a chip on her shoulder. He wouldn’t have put it past her that she’d been in plenty of fights just like him. Maybe she even had a scar somewhere like the long, diagonal one he had on his back. It was the normal thing it seemed, unavoidable. Shrugging, he looked up at Blake wanting to continue their exploration,“So you want to hit the attic upstairs?”
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:55 am

Blake breathed a very audible sigh of relief when the other female left. The air around her just screamed hostile. Blake had seen enough felines for one day. She feared if she met any more she might be reduced to a bumbling husk. Too many memories were being dredged up far too quickly. Nearly seventy five years had passed since her mothers murder and the beginning of the feline war. A little less time since her kidnap and torture. And less still since she managed to get out of the south. The scars on her abdomen started prickling with the memory of their creation. She wanted to swat them and scratch them to make the sensation go away, but to do so would reveal their existence to the leopard in her company. She had only just met him, she didn't feel much like explaining the origin of her wounds and discussing her distrust of the feline genus.

She nodded to the male, wanting to move their conversation and exploration forward. "Sounds good. I'd love to see what there is to work with up there." She hopped lightly over his furry form and walked her way up the stairs. With each step, more ideas materialised themselves into her vision. If this were her doctors surgery, then upstairs would be her personal living space. Here she could decorate exactly as she wanted. She was thinking colour and plant life, lot's of plant life. And natural light - a skylight perhaps? When she her feet planted solidly on the top step, she took stock of the area. It was damp, dusty and derelict. It seemed almost uninhabitable. But the keen eye could see. There were strong foundations and ample room. She would have quite a lot of freedom if she could renovate this place.

She stepped further in, allowing the leopard to join her. Blue eyes spotted a rotting old book case. One corner had given way some time ago and left it leaning up against the wall. The shelves were littered with old books. She grinned and dashed over, trailing light fingers over the old covers. There was an eclectic mix here: botany, biology, fictional stories, medicine, history. Medicine! Her face lit up with delight. The book was entitled, The Menders Guide to Basic Shifter Healing Practices. She rifled the pages for a moment, finding them dry and yellowing, but intact. The information was clearly a little old and outdated considering the state of the book, but it would be a good start. Despite being a book printed somewhere in the mid 26th century, it was bound in leather like something from the fabled Elizabethan era. She looked around the attic, wondering what other treasures it might hold.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:50 pm

As she sighed, he almost laughed. Not at her. At the situation. To him, the Auxiliary had been entirely harmless. Maybe a little tense but harmless. Words were just words and generally couldn’t hurt you. He didn’t understand why Blake was so scared of the other feline. One day maybe she’d be able to tell him but now was clearly not the time. His ears perked up, the excitement in her voice piquing his attention even more than the sigh. I’d love to see what there is to work with up there. He watched her go, tail swinging to and fro thoughtfully. She was fascinating. A little closed and guarded like she was still running from something because he had trouble figuring out what she was thinking but that was okay. In time, he’d prove that he meant no harm and that she could trust him. He took a step forwards, then another. The stair-case smelt like polished wood. Pine and oak. Hard timber floors. It was a familiar scent for him. As he made his way up, he could almost see the forest he had once called home in the lounge area, trees scattered across the floor-boards and replacing what furniture was present. He could smell the rustic bark of willow trees and the crisp morning air, the leaves. And beneath his paws he could feel the wood as it had once been before. A part of him felt sorry but he had to remind himself that this was the world. Humans and animals lived together in harmony and that was what a Shifter was. The perfect mix of human and animal with all their strengths and at times, their weaknesses. Brushing the thoughts aside, he loped up the rest of the stairs, sturdy legs pushing him up and clearing steps at five at a time with ease. The closer they reached the closer more scents filtered through the air into his nose. The scent of moth-balls for one which puzzled him and made him wrinkle his snout slightly. Mothballs never smelt good. He moved towards a door on the left hand side of the corridor, hearing some noises inside. Like tiny wheels clicking and clacking on a rough surface. Approaching the door, he stopped as he heard something else. A chirping noise. Birds perhaps? Twisting around, he saw that Blake had moved further into the area and was scouring a book eagerly. Taking everything in, he came to the conclusion that it was a loft. The attic lived up to its name. As he started to move towards her, keen eyes skating over the book-case with interest as he was hoping there could’ve been some books on machines or mechanics a sudden clang split the air. Then a thunderous chiming noise rang through the air followed by a hair-raising ringing noise that clanged and rattled. Niko bolted upright, almost freezing.  

Once more the noise cracked the air. Then another and that was when Niko realized that it was coming from a grandfather clock in the corner of the room. It was just the pendulum swinging from side to side. Niko laughed sheepishly, lips pulling into an embarrassed grin.“I’m not scared. That just uh…startled me. Yeah.” He padded over to an ornate, dark brown chest near a pile of dirtied, stuffed toys ignoring the way his heart had just jumped into his throat and pushed the lid open with his head. There were wooden puppets fashioned in the shape of all kinds of animals like horses and cats as well children clothed in dresses, hats and shorts and porcelain dolls inside. A curious thing indeed. Glancing back to see what she had been poring over, he smiled. A medicine book. Or healing. One of them. For some reason he could easily see Blake as a healer. It suited her in a way. Or maybe he just liked that she seemed happier and more at ease when she was delving into the practices of healing. Whatever made her feel comfortable was fine with him.“Just remember to put the books back when you’re done,”He said.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:27 am

From where she knelt on the floor her blue eyes followed the movements of the leopard as he inspected the upper level. He hesitated momentarily by a door she had not previously noticed. Obviously it lead to another room, the question was how large said room was. If it suited her purposes, it was one less job she would have to do. Her head turned back to the book, perusing the old pages with delicacy. It all seemed rather elementary to her. It was indeed as she had suspected, a combination of her medical training as a doctor and her work as a veterinarian. Some things differed, like the rates of healing and affects of a local anaesthesia, but otherwise it was very much the same. Now she only needed some way to prove to the leader of their clan, the tigress Eden, that she could handle the position as their healer.

She continued looking through the book, searching for something in particular when the great bong of an old grandfather clock tolled in the time. The sound made her jump slightly the first time, but her brain could place it immediately, so the peals that followed did not worry her. It was a testament to her time spent around the humans that she could accommodate the noise so easily. She was far more accustomed to the traditions and trinkets of humans than she was to those of her own kind. A pity, some might say. Disgraceful, would others. But the sounds of a startled leopard, combined with the images formed in her imagination brought her lips to a grin and a bubbling giggle escaping their enclosure. Still she looked down at the book, having found the page she was searching for. She nodded absent-mindedly as the Epror claimed he was not afraid. She heard him move away, inspecting some other old relic the house had preserved through the ages. But his voice sounded in her ear, startling the Baroness and making her jump near a foot. In her haste she closed the book to hide what she had been reading. A page on the prevention and removal of tissue scarring. However, the information had been no more helpful than anything she had found in the books she had read years past. It was all about preventing scarring in fresh wounds. She nodded as she rose, replacing the book on the old shelf. "Of course," she mumbled.

Blake turned away from the shelf, approaching the door near the stairs. Pressing her ear lightly to the cold surface, her hearing picked up a chirping. Definitely animal, not mechanical. It sounded in distress. She tried the handle but it was stuck. No matter how she tried, she jiggled and shook, even daring to try to barge it with her shoulder to little effect. With the noise she was making, the distress calls grew louder and more fearful. She wanted to help the little creatures inside, not harm them. A sort of motherly instinct overcame the woman, one she found synonymous when performing a life saving operation on a dog. She stepped back, looking square at the door before swiftly kicking it down and following the motion into the room. In the corner sat two yellow canaries, one with a clearly broken wing. Her face softened immediately as she prepared to fly into action.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:13 am

A giggle. Niko looked up at her as she giggled, surprised but finding the noise pleasant to hear. Had his actions made her laugh? He didn’t mind. It was something Niko enjoyed doing. Making people laugh. What was this world without at least a little bit of laughter after all? It’d be colourless and dull. It’d be negative all the time where no one ever smiled and everyone were emotionless robots. And most people didn’t want to live in a world like that. Not if they had a choice. So he liked doing that. He thought Blake could be a fun person to be around once he got to know her. One step at a time. She had found the page she was looking for but she’d slammed the book shut, startled by his voice and put the book back. He said apologetically,“Sorry. I didn’t mean that you had to put the book back right now. Only when you’re finished reading.”He peered inside, placing his forepaws on the edge of the chest. Plunging a massive paw inside, he rummaged through the knick-knacks and assortment of items inside noisily having spotted something. It was a small wind-up toy mouse. The grey paint had already started to peel off. It was chipped at some parts. Bits of the wood had been broken off. The wind-up key was burnished gold, faded and worn with time. Nevertheless, he slid a claw underneath the key and pushed it up to start its cycle. There was an erratic whirring noise, clicking and stuttering until the mouse gave a short hop into the air making an arc. Niko watched it happily. He was thinking about modifications, improvements and functions. Following it with his eyes, it rolled across the floor in a straight line until it reached the window and slowed to a stop. Frowning, Niko loped over and wound it up again to no avail. It’d ran out of energy it seemed. Disappointed, he turned back to the chest to see Blake had vanished from her spot at the bookshelf. He saw her at the door he’d previously went to, with an ear pressed against it and realized that the chirping noises had gotten louder. Those were birds.

But what type, he couldn’t discern. She was trying to open the door but there was something wrong with the door handle. He moved over to help her, his paws seeming to glide across the floor-boards as he moved with lithe grace and power. His eyes widened as Blake used her shoulder to try to ram the door open. He was concerned she’d hurt herself because of how frantic she was being. The chirping was getting higher too. The kind of noise birds made when they were getting anxious or frightened.“Blake stop you might be scaring whatever’s inside…”Niko called. Then she stepped back, looking at the door as if it were some enemy she had to defeat. He quickened his pace easing into a running gait, shouting,“Hey wait a sec-!” She kicked the door down. He skidded to a halt, staring at the fallen door in aghast. Thankfully, only some of the bolts had fallen loose from the hinges. He’d be able to put the door back in place later. He said jokingly, sliding up beside her,“Well I guess we can spend the night here.”He squeezed past her, finding the source of the noise. Canaries and one injured. They were in the corner of the room near an 8-figure train track with a toy coal train chugging along. Though, he noticed some tiny, canary-shaped feathers near the lever.“They must’ve flown in earlier and one of them must’ve hurt themselves hitting the lever,” Niko murmured. When he approached them, the one with the injured wing skittered, tiny legs scrambling to get away from him. The other one flew straight at him in an act of admirable valour and courage, dive-bombing him. Niko ducked. He stopped and sat down, transforming back into human form in one smooth motion. Glancing back at Blake, he said in human form with a grin,“I think they like me.”
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:19 am

She might have laughed at his jest had she not been so intently focused on the little birds. Niko shouldered his way through the door trying to assess the situation. It bugged her slightly, but she said nothing. He was doing his job as a guardian, he was assessing the crime scene in attempts to understand how events transpired. Those facts weren't important to her at the present time. She watched the leopard approach the birds, his massive form sending them into a frenzy. The Baroness sighed and approached slowly, her little canvas sneakers barely making a sound on the wooden floors. She made soothing sounds, encouraging the the birds to sshhhhh. Kneeling beside the toy train set, the veterinarian gently nudged the Epror aside. She sat quietly, arms outstretched and hands open to show the birds she meant no harm. First the vivacious male came hopping over, chattering lowly as her studied her. His head cocked from side to side, considering. Eventually he felt comfortable enough to jump into her hand. Slowly, she shifted him to sit solely on her left, while her right raised to stroke his belly. He raised his wings and took off, fluttering back to the little female. Having gained their trust, Blake crept forward to inspect the females wing. With the utmost care she took the canary into her hands. She appeared well, no scratches or marks, only her misshapen wing. The baroness inhaled sharply through her teeth. She wished she had access to a local anaesthesia, this was going to be painful. She had to work with what was available though. "Find me a bandage. And some scissors." She growled at the male without making eye contact. She breathed deeply through her nose, shutting her eyes for a moment. Her hands moved quickly in attempts to ease the birds discomfort. She shaped the little bones with delicate fingers, returning them to their rightful positions. The canary gave an alarmed squawk, her chest heaving. It was done, now all she needed was those damn bandages.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:20 am

His skin rippled like water being disturbed by wind, fur morphing back into human skin. Pupils rounding until they were human again set within warm hazel human eyes. Clothes appearing instantly back in place, covering his body as it had been before. His hair sprung back into place in dark brown curls, hanging down past his ears. He stood up from his position, staying where he was. The birds had been scared of him because he’d looked like a cat so he changed back to human. He stood up as she nudged him aside. Looking around for what she had asked, he spied an old first aid kit in the corner behind a rocking chair. Ambling towards it, he bent down to pick it up. It was old and dusty. Niko pushed the lid open, checking to see if there were any supplies. Almost nothing inside which was odd itself. He set the first aid kit back down, looking thoughtful. There was a pair of rusty old medical scissors in here but there wasn’t anything in here that could make a bandage. The bird’s chirping was getting louder. It was in pain. He clutched part of his sleeve and tore it off. He grabbed the scissors. Turning back to Blake, he approached her and handed it to her. He said, “There were no bandages. Sorry.”

Kneeling down beside her he watched the pair of canaries. They were fragile creatures really. Tiny things. But tiny things could have fire as well. The attic window was wide open. Glancing back at Blake, he put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it comfortingly. It had surprised him when she’d growled. It seemed she was getting slightly stressed about this whole thing. It would be alright. He had seen this before. Injuries and whatnot. Birds were a lot more resilient than he thought and he had a feeling that this one would be no different. She was fixing the bird’s broken wing, nimble fingers running through its feathers to feel for the bones underneath. Niko was curious about what she was doing. He had seen injuries before. Plenty of them from being out on the streets and when he had been training in judo. Though he’d never broken anything before had seen people who had-either of their own accord or because someone else had done it to them. There were very few that he had seen that had manually rearranged bones before so this was an interesting scene. He reached out to pat the female canary with a finger gently,“Easy little guy. I’m harmless see?”
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:22 am

There was a movement in the corner of her vision that made her look up. Niko had torn his sleeve and offered it to her. It was a sweet gesture and quick thinking on his part. A smile graced her face before it wiped again into a mask of concentration. "Thanks. She accepted the material and placed it over her knee whilst she finished reconfiguring the bones. They needed to be perfectly placed before she could bind them, otherwise the bird would never fly again, no matter how good her work was. His hand gently squeezing her shoulder was exceptionally calming and very comforting. For some reason it helped, which was odd since she hated people around her while she worked. She trusted the male. Ever so slowly with as much care as possible, she folded the wing naturally to the canary's side. She pinned it there with her left hand. This was the difficult part. She needed to tear the shirt sleeve into smaller strips so it could fit around the birds small frame comfortably. She looked up, soft eyes holding their question. "I need your help." She reached over with her right hand to grasp his and bring it where she needed it.

The right wing was broken, so her left hand was becoming increasingly uncomfortable in its twisted position. She placed his right hand over her left, sandwiching it for a moment. Then she tugged on his shirt lightly, motioning for him to come closer. His left hand she placed on the other side of the female bird. She looked up, his face very close to her own. "Ok. Now I'm going to slide my hand out from under yours. Keep the pressure on, I need you to keep the wing pinned to her side while I prepare the bandage." So she did as she said she would, removing her hand from between the bird and the boy. She slid across the floor slightly, moving away so she could work with the makeshift bandage. She took the material and held it up at eye level. With quick strokes she tore it into three long strips. She tied the three of them together, leaving two ends free. "Hold her up and let her left wing extend." She knelt directly in front of Niko, very close so she could reach the bird. She wrapped the bandage tightly around the body, pinning the right wing in place, whilst allowing the left wing to move so it would lose its manoeuvrability. Her little fingers worked their way around the males larger hands as she wound. When the bandage was wound as tightly as the bird could handle, she tied off the ends in a neat bow atop its back. She double checked her work, to make sure it wasn't pinching or too loose and satisfied, gave a little sigh. "I think we're done."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:13 pm

“No problem,”He said. He watched her work, rearranging bones as she saw fit and putting the wing to the side and tearing the sleeve shirt into smaller strips so that it could fit the wing better. She looked at him, asking for his help. It was probably to do with fixing the broken bones in the wing properly. The wing was tiny so it took gentle, careful, firm fingers and it was easier with two people. Niko saw no problem in assisting. As he started to take his hand off her shoulder, he was surprised to find her placing hers on it and brought it closer to the bird. Then he realized she was guiding it to where she needed it to be. He raised an eyebrow at her as she tugged at his shirt, caught off guard and slightly confused. Then he caught on. He inched closer so that it was easier for her to mend the wing and placed it on the other side of the bird. She looked up at him, telling him what to do next. Up close, Niko was struck by her eyes. They were somewhere in between the darkest blues and light blue and they stood out. Maybe it was the colour of her hair as well. Her brown hair made her blue eyes stand out. As she slid the hand out from underneath his, he couldn’t help but stare for a moment and almost didn’t feel her hand going out from underneath his. He nodded, keeping the pressure on the bird’s wing, enough so that he wasn’t hurting it but also enough to keep the wing secure. Blake moved away a little to prepare the bandages and came back with a newly made bandage in tow. Carefully, he slid his other hand underneath the bird and very gently, extended the left wing by taking it with three fingers and moving it. He could feel the bird shiver slightly. He said, “It’s okay. You’re going to be okay.”

This was new. He had never helped tried to fix a broken wing for a canary before. Blake was winding the bandage with methodical, purposeful motions and topped it off with a bow in the end and he wondered if she had a background in healing or if she had simply learned it by herself. Or maybe some of her family had been involved in it. Nevertheless, Niko was impressed. It wasn’t an easy task to mend a broken wing, especially one that was as tiny as a canary’s. Though her hands were small the canary was probably half the size so one had to be smart and cautious when doing it otherwise the wing could get even more damaged. It was a delicate operation even if it didn’t seem like it at first. But everything had gone well. He watched as the bird flew off hopped in place on his palm, chirping happily. Niko smiled at her, “I think we’re done too.” He lowered his hand, letting the bird hop onto the wooden floor-boards to join its fellow companion. He looked back at Blake. She seemed much more at ease now and he was glad of it. It may have been because she had been in her element and this was her natural environment. He stood up, reaching out to offer his hand to her and chuckled, eyes warm.“A wing saved, Dr Blake. How do you feel?”
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PostSubject: Re: Questions and Queries (Open)   Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:30 pm

Blake watched with a tender smile as the little canary hopped off Niko's hand and rejoined her mate. She would need to hang around for at least a week; the bird would need hand feeding until the wing was healed. The little bird would need to take some time to get used to the loss of her wing. The Baroness could already this see as its little yellow wing flapped frantically, toppling her over. Each time she fell the little male was there to help her up. It was such a sweet and beautiful moment to witness. It reminded Blake of that which she no longer had. A family, friends, people who cared about her. She had once known all of these, but her mothers mistakes had seen them lost. Her life in the human world meant that her numerous alias' had friends, but not the real Blake. The real Blake had only herself and her memories. The closest thing she had to friends were the animals she treated. They at least appreciated her. Sometimes the cats would curl themselves affectionately around her legs. The dogs would nuzzle her hand and allow her to pet them, even the mean ones. The snakes hissed at their entitled owners who demanded more than the veterinarian could give.

Blake breathed easy knowing her work was done for the moment. Animals seemed to hold a close affiliation with the Shifters. She knew that every animal she helped was another animal that might come to her aid should she ever need it. She looked up to see the Epror's hand outstretched, offering her assistance. She smiled, accepting his help to stand and pulling herself up. Dr Blake. She cocked her head slightly in confusion. "How do you-" It dawned on her that he was making a joke. He couldn't know she was a doctor. She chuckled. "I feel like I could do with a good meal and something to drink." She grinned. It had been almost a day since her last full meal. So much had happened she'd forgotten to eat.
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