Originally Posted by C'nor
Somewhere on the edges of the city, a pair of dragons had managed to reduce much of a clearing to ash. Not that they had anything against it, really, or even disliked clearings on general principle, nor were the sisters dueling, but they did need the practice.
Fortunately, to avoid burning them as well, the long skirts they had been wearing had been set out of the, quite literal, line of fire, as, despite the clear impossibility of their doing so, a pair of girls, plainly siblings, often known as "The Mirror Girls" for their opposite colorations, stepped out of the patterns on the clothing, smiling at the other two as they did...
Specimen's withdrawal has made it difficult to ascertain details about her history, especially the period after she received her squad assignment, and the other members of said squad, as such questions generally lead to a near-complete shutdown, often followed by at least a day of total inactivity, including eating and drinking; attempts to force answers, whether with pain, physical enticements, or emotional lures, simply caused her to retreat deeper into her shell, with each attempt having a longer period before she returned to her normal state, likely progressing towards a permanent state of effective catatonia.
The one exception to this was when one of the specimens taken with her (#1251) was subjected to intense pain each time a question was not answered, or was answered in a deliberately unhelpful way; however, as the variance was such that it resulted in the examiner having numerous bones broken, with #1257's attempt to eviscerate him only being prevented by the timely intervention of several guards (some of whom were also seriously injured while attempting to subdue her), and no new information was forthcoming as a result, the method was deemed overly hazardous, and likely to, if continued, especially in such a way that #1257 would not have access to her interrogator, cause her to become, at best, prone to fits of violence,
As such, all lines of questioning as concern this period more than obliquely have been discontinued, in order to maintain the specimen's viability as an object of study, and for the protection of staff and other specimens.
Despite the infeasibility of direct interrogation on this period, we are not entirely without information; #1257's increased reticence seems to indicate that her general withdrawal is tied to events that took place during this time, likely related to her squad because of her reluctance to talk about them even as regards the time just after she joined, when, from the few useful answers she has provided, she was quite happy. What the nature of the trauma that seems to have occurred her, and possibly continued until the time she was brought here, as nothing beyond the cut-off point has yet been found which she is willing to discuss, save for events that took place within this facility, is unknown, and current theories do not account for the multi-year nature of the gap.
"Hey, Rei!", Kessia called, grinning at her, and, when the dragon got in range, darting over to hug her friend. "We weren't expecting to see you out here either, though admittedly, it's probably a good thing you were this far out, considering how we got here..."
Merani, meanwhile, had headed over to Keika, going to hug her as well, since the second of the twins seems to be fond of such things, though likely for less time than Kessia, being less comfortable with physical affection than her half-sister; if Keika tries to hold it, she won't mind, but otherwise, she's uncertain how long is appropriate for such things, and thus will make it quite brief. "Nice shot. How have you two been doing? Pick up anyone interesting lately?"
Kessia laughs as well, snuggling into Rei's arms, and resting her head on the dragon-girl's shoulder, nodding. "It can be a bit disconcerting, yeah, even for us... But it's a lot more convenient than it would have been to track you down normally, so it's probably still worth it."
"Oh? We've got a few pictures I could take you into, set you loose on a city or two, if you like... It's been a while since I did anything like that too, so we could even go together, if you're up for some company,"Merani replies, grinning at Keika, and bringing a small portion of the flames on her arm to life. "As for why we're here, we wanted to see what was up with you two, and if you wanted to hang out for a while or something."
Deireadh smiles as she slips into class, the afternoon sunlight gleaming off the silver raven skull at her throat, and takes a seat next to Kurt and Reika, looking over at Keiko and Darren with obvious amusement as she does.
"You know, I've never gotten what your sister sees in people like that... They're so boring, and usually prudes, too. You can't even get anything good out of them in the way of work. I mean, it could be fun to get them to break all that training, I suppose, but with all the effort you have to spend, it's just not worth it...
Anyway, how are you today, Rei?", she asked, her faint Irish accent, something she'd only acquired just before she came here, when the Morrigna chose her, somewhat more pronounced than usual.
"Day-re-aad-hah," she corrected coldly, glaring at him; as Reiko was likely well aware, getting her name wrong, especially when it seemed deliberate, was one of the best ways to anger her. "In the future, I would appreciate if you at least attempted to get it correct. Or if you feel incapable of doing so, you could try asking if I have a preference of nickname, rather than assigning me a ridiculous one.
Also, I didn't say this particular person didn't have better things to do than deal with Keika, or necessarily that he was typical of his kind, simply that I didn't understand the attraction that that type of person has for her. Does that clarify matters?"
"You're welcome," Kiran replied just as quietly, and, judging by the sound of his voice, smiling. "And of course, I will, Bianca. Guiding you but then not letting you know if there was something you could trip over would rather miss the point, wouldn't it?
Also," he went on, leaning in slightly, and dropping his voice still more. "If you'd like, I can take a look at the designs for your eyes, assuming you have them... I might be able to fix whatever's making them mess up, though obviously we'd need a way to test the new design without risking you losing what sight you have if I could."
The Wild Elves. Shapeshifters all, turning from beast to elf and back again, even in the most feared, taking on the flesh of others of their kin, or bodies harvested directly from their minds, and never seen in the world before they changed.
But, while it is true that, to some extent, that makes them more bestial, they are certainly not uncivilized; the changes are minor, or at least well hidden, and none who have truly visited them claim they are less than their kin.
The Wild Elves use Geisthounds and Barghest to hunt humans (and sometimes Outsiders) for enslavement, and have the idea of training animals now should it come up for other reasons.
Geisthounds: Large, sleek, dark grey and/or blood-red hounds, with serrated fangs. They are quite literally tireless, capable of chasing prey for any duration without stopping, have the ability to track near-perfectly, and can become ethereal.
Barghest: Great black dogs, with amazing endurance, and luminous eyes. Their howl induces intense fear in those who hear, and they are capable of sensing, producing, and feeding off of emotions.
Kansheri smiled gently at the young goddess in her arms, a thin flap of flesh growing from her body as she did, forming a soft, fur-lined, area in which Ceryna could ride, whether asleep or awake, as she did, and going to gently set her daughter in it.
"Bodies aren't the important bits, dear. They change, and anyone can make any kind they please for themselves. They're not entirely worth ignoring, but it's how the person thinks and feels that really matters, and your Witch-mommy loves you too, even if she isn't as snuggly as I am, and her beauty takes a different form from Joika's or mine. So give her a chance, alright?"
And then Vetasz spoke, words which made Kansheri shudder, and cling more tightly to Ceryna in unconscious protection, though there was nothing here that was truly a threat, for that very concept terrified her.
For now, though, she remained silent, forming a pair of new arms just under her existing ones, this time made of strange silvery wires, and night-black machinery, of a type that, by all rights, should be unknown for thousands of years yet, considering that electricity doesn't even exist yet, and going to slip one around her remaining sister, or at least take her hand, before she steps through the portal that Melaira created.
Kansheri flowed to her sister's side as well, reaching out to gently fold Joika into her arms even as Melaira did the same, concern plain on her face, and, when she spoke, in her tone.
"Do you require healing, sister? Or at least something to ease the pain? I could give either, I think, if you allow me..."
And then Melaira spoke again, this time from the mortal world, in response to which, Kansheri raised a finger to her mouth, and bit it off, a new one forming in its place even as she sent it winging its way towards her sister, growing a new body as it did.
Making a second head, that she might look at and speak to both Joika and Osramus without difficulty, she frowned slightly, liking his aesthetics, but disapproving of the intent behind his change of flesh.
"Forms are cheap, meaningless in terms of true power or wisdom. As you see, I have changed my own many times, just as you did just now, and could do so until the world ended, should I choose to. I would see more proof of your fitness as leader than impressive looks before I join you."
The Finger flew on, growing a body, and, eventually, raven-like wings, as well as overlapping plates of midnight chitin, musical when they moved, eventually coming to a halt next to the shard of Melaira.
"Greetings again, sister. Is there some purpose to this, or is it simply for our amusement?"
[The Heart of the Sun]
"At present, aside from us, nothing capable of becoming either of those exists, much less something that can be both. So it would likely be more fruitful to table such discussion until something is, which I suspect will be be soon."
Turning her second head back to Osramus, she smiled, and shrugged, with her lower set of arms, the ones not around Joika. "I have no tests for you, and as my sister has joined you, I will as well. I was simply informing those who might have been swayed for no other reason that appearance is not a good indicator of leadership abilities."