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Zaphyr Stone

Katheeri

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Zaphyr Stone    17
Zaphyr Stone

CHAPTER 1


 

The metropolitan core of Corneria City mid-afternoon was something akin to the inner workings of a clock, a complicated arrangement of components–the intricate network of highways snaking through a steel jungle of towering skyscrapers, the herds of pedestrians and vehicles moving together in tandem–all managing to knit together as one functioning mechanism. The streets hummed with the engines of automobiles and trams, civilians going about their day. Floating monitors high above the city displayed advertisements and the occasional news brief. The latest newscast showed an attractive anchorwoman commentating on a low-quality image of what appeared to a belt of immense asteroids embedded in planetary rings. The broadcast had the attention of a few, but not many.

A young wolf stepped out of a nearby tram station, dressed in a well-worn street attire of dark jeans, sneakers, a graphic tee showing off a colorful screen print of a feather, and an old jacket. A wireless headset filled his ears with a smooth electronic beat as he merged into the connecting sidewalk. Noticing a few people watching a floating monitor with intrigue, he looked up to see the image in question.

It was as if he had seen himself on that screen, the sense of recognition was that strong. He was rooted to his spot in the middle of the walkway. Reaching up, he pressed a few buttons on his headset to tune into the frequency of the monitor, the woman’s voice coming to life in his ears.

“–cent reports. The startling likeness to mythological belt of floating islands has led some to believe it could have been the inspiration for the story of Aiolius. Some have taken this belief further and have set out on pilgrimages to find the fabled islands and the source of power the stories claim they hide. How accurate these claims are are purely speculation at this point.”

“Ai…olius…” he mumbled, aqua eyes staring past the monitor in deep thought.

“What a buncha hooey.” he heard a construction worker growl over his sandwich as he walked past.

Normally he would be inclined to agree, but something about this was very different. He felt as though he had seen a memory from a dream. A beep from his headset startled him back into the real world again. He quickly tapped a button resting by his temple.

“What’s up?”

“Hey, where are you?” the voice was male, as rough as grinding gravel, and very out of breath.

Zefran stopped and lowered his head to listen better. “I’m at the North Station. What’s going on?” He jumped as he heard blaster fire, “What did you do?”

“Job’s done, but I hit a little snag.” he huffed, “The buggers followed me and now it’s a whole thing. This is the last time I do a job for gangs, buncha trigger-happy hooligans.”

“Where are you?” Zefran asked, moving with a purpose through the streets.

“Coming up on Fourth–no Fifth Avenue. DO NOT come find me. Stay right where you are, and I’ll–“

The call suddenly dropped with a ping of blaster fire. Zefran growled and sped up to a brisk run. Like he was going to just sit around while his friend was in danger.

————

Antoine cursed loudly as his phone was blasted out of his hand by a lucky plasma shot. The wiry coyote ran his motorbike down the alleyway for all it was worth, using whatever he could to keep as much distance between himself and the raggedy jeep barreling after him.

He supposed this was what he got for being greedy. The job wasn’t a favorable one, stealing guns from one gang to give to their rivals, but it payed fairly well. In hindsight, he wasn’t exactly hurting for cash either. Maybe he was hoping to show off to the kid. He had no idea.

He spilled out into the open road and took as many sharp turns as he could to try and lose them.

Edited by Zaphyr Stone

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Arminius H O Fiddywinks    206
Arminius H O Fiddywinks

Bohdan, Elizabeth, Sandor, and Korben stood in front of the windows to the restaurant of a luxury hi-rise residential building, located on the top floor, which towered for almost a mile above the city streets. The four of them looked out onto the city skyline, adorned with shimmering skyscrapers that seemed to pierce the clouds, and indeed they did. The occasional commercial hovercraft flew by the windows along a designated flight zone, as did a CDF patrol vehicle, armed with mounted heavy automatic blaster. Bohdan, his arms crossed, took in the gorgeous scenery with a stoic demeanor. Elizabeth had her hands on her hip holster containing her sidearm. She looked here and there, admiring the city-scape as well. Sandor was sipping on a Geza, a very strong Magyar alcoholic beverage. His right hand held the glass close to his snout, and his left was dug into the pockets of his faded jeans. His fake ID worked wonders for him. Korben stood neatly and patiently, holding his hands behind his back. His black tie contrasted with his white dress shirt, the sleeves rolled up. He decided to go for a loose business look today, even if the shoulder holster he had on made him look like a government goon. The four of them watched as a television monitor the size of a blimp went by the window slowly, and only several dozen feet away. The monitor announced that the mythological place known as Aiolius might have been discovered, or at least, the species hailing form Aiolius: the Katheeri.

"Aiolius," Bohdan began softly. Elizabeth turned and looked at the large dragon cynically. She then turned back to the city.

"Not many people believe in that Theo," she stated.

"In the Sacred Texts," Bohdan began to explain, "it is written that God showered the Katheeri with great wisdom and power, on two conditions: that they live in a chain of floating islands in the rings of a planet, named Aiolius, forever, and that they follow God's word, and nothing else. The Katheeri upheld only one part of the bargain. They did, indeed, reside in Aiolius, but they turned their backs on God. God, displeased after watching the same people whom God gave powerful wisdom to, only to see them dismiss God, struck them down with great fury. God cast the Katheeri out of Aiolius, and forbade them to return, and causing the islands to disappear into the depths of the ring system. Their creations, however, remained hidden amongst the floating islands to this day." Bohdan looked to Elizabeth. "Those creations include weapons of unimaginable power. Power no mortal can possibly control." Elizabeth rolled her eyes in disbelief.

"That's a bunch of hokey-pokey, Theo," she replied. "Old legends to explain a technologically advanced civilization. An interesting tale, but a tall tale nonetheless."

"It is fact, Elizabeth. It is historical fact. How else would there be such a tale? It is not simply imagined by a camp fire."

"It's true," added Korben. Elizabeth looked to the quiet beaver in surprise.

"Korby, come on," she said, almost pleading. "Don't tell me you drank the Cherry Chelios." Korben chuckled, not even making eye contact.

"Well, if it's real, what's stopping us from going to Aiolius?" Sandor leaned forward, and eyed Elizabeth.

"The million-credit question," began Sandor, "isn't 'Is Aiolius real?'. The million-credit question is, 'Where the fuck is Aiolius?'. Do you know where it is, Erzsebet?" Elizabeth broke eye contact, not knowing the answer. "Bohdan, where's Aiolious?" Bohdan looked down onto Sandor's glossy eyes, and then looked back at the city skyline, with no answer. "Korben?" asked Sandor, eyeing Korben, who did not even look in his direction. "Therein lies the problem. We don't know where the fuck Aiolius is." Sandor took a sip of his Geza, and sighed in satisfaction.

"Perhaps we should ask the Katheeri," proposed Bohdan. "After all, those reported sightings have been confirmed."

"The same problem, Atya," butted in Sandor. "Where the fuck is the Katheeri?"

"Let's find him," announced Korben.

"Agreed," replied Bohdan.

Edited by Arminius H O Fiddywinks

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Zaphyr Stone    17
Zaphyr Stone

Antoine gunned the throttle mercilessly. These guys were good, or he was getting rusty. Just when he thought he'd finally lost them, they'd reappear. He had bigger problems however. He was running out of empty road and was in danger of running into more populous areas of the city.

Zefran's legs were burning when he heard the familiar hum of Antoine's bike. He quickly made his way up the ramp of a nearby building and shimmied his way up to the roof for a better vantage point. He could barely see the warping of the heat waves coming off the bike when all of a sudden they were zooming right past him. First Antoine and then a battered jeep. He scanned the area and saw where Antoine was headed.

"No, no no!" Zefran growled anxiously.

Antoine only saw the closed road barrier briefly before his bike collided with it and launched him onto the empty road ahead. He tumbled roughly on the hot twisted metal still under construction and managed to stop himself before falling off into the crater left over from the Aparoid Invasion.

"Antoine!" Zefran barked, leaping the gaps in buildings where he could to catch up to his friend.

Antoine breathed a shaky sigh of relief as he looked down into the crater. His dread soon returned upon hearing the jeep stop, a small pack of hyenas cackling as they hopped out of the car. He could hear the click of their gun clips, and he rolled over to face them with his blaster, still catching his breath.

"You stole from the wrong group, penny-pincher." a particularly gnarled and bat-faced man took the lead, watching the coyote through the gun sight.

Antoine licked a small trickle of blood from his lip and said nothing.

"Don't worry, we'll make sure you don't become a bother for us again." he grinned, his friends joining him as they each aimed their firearms and prepared to fire.

Antoine took a sobering breath. So, was this it then?

"NO!"

Zefran leapt down from a fire escape nearby and rushed over to his friend. His visage fractured, light pouring through the cracks, and with a snap of something leather, what was apparently a holographic projection shattered like glass, and a large pair of wings curled around Antoine protectively just as the gangsters opened fire. The plasma rounds bounced off a pale green barrier in front of the wings and were redirected back at the shooters. Shocked by the sudden change in dynamic, those who survived the sudden onslaught of their own fire retreated back to the jeep and took off.

The wings peeled away, leaving Antoine untouched, but what stood behind him was no wolf. He was unlike anything seen in Lylat, an alien by Cornerian comparison. He was still somewhat wolf-like but stretched out, his appendages long and thin, his tail closer to a cat and thickly plumed. A leather harness lay ripped apart nearby, presumably what had been keeping his large wings neatly tucked away.

"God DAMMIT, boy! What the hell did I say!?" Antoine barked furiously.

"Uh, 'Gee, Zefran, thanks for saving my life' would be a good start." the boy snapped.

"Don't you sass me, boy; I said stay where you are. Look at you, you broke your projector. They already spotted you earlier, what the hell were you thinking!?"

"I couldn't just leave you to die!" Zefran countered defiantly.

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Arminius H O Fiddywinks    206
Arminius H O Fiddywinks

As the group admired the shimmering city through the window, they received an alert from their ship, the Szabla, which was patched into to the CDF security systems for the whole of Corneria City. There were shots fired at Holcolmb Crater in the Doria District of the city. Security cameras discovered a large, vaguely wolf-like figure with feathered wings shielding a coyote from the blaster fire of members of Nealcha 95, a notorious street gang. "You readin' this?" Korben asked to the group.

"Yes", replied Bohdan, looking at the situation via a small monitor. "We shall take the express way down. Follow me." Bohdan then bolted to the door, followed by Elizabeth, Sandor, and Korben. They shot up the stairs to the roof, where two parachute bags were awaiting Elizabeth and Korben. "Sandor, stick with me," Bohdan ordered as the four of them approached the ledge of the roof. Elizabeth and Korben put on the parachutes, while Sandor stood beside Bohdan. "Is everyone ready?" he asked.

"Yes," answered Elizabeth.

"Yup," replied Korben.

"Let's go!" yelled Sandor, leaping onto Bohdan's back. Bohdan then jumped off the roof, extended his wings, and flew down to the crater. Elizabeth and Korben then looked to each other and, after giving each other a brief nod, jumped. For what seemed like hours, the duo fell from the top of the skyscraper. Their fall was as if two angels were cast out of heaven. After only about a minute, the two of them pulled their parachutes open, and safely glided down a block from the crater. They discarded the chutes and dashed to the Katheeri and his coyote friend. Meanwhile, Bohdan, with Sandor in tow, flapped his wings and flew under his own power above the city. He would occasionally capitalize on an updraft, but for the majority of the time, expended his own energy. His high stamina, however, meant that this activity was relatively easy, even if Sandor was clinging onto his back. Sandor, comfortable riding on Bohdan, began to sit up, outstretching his arms. He screamed out in utter adrenaline-fueled joy. Within a few mintues, the two of them landed in the middle of the street, moments after the jeep containing the gang members drove off. The two of them stumble upon the Katheeri and coyote arguing among themselves. Bohdan motioned Sandor to approach cautiously, and to avoid using blasters. When they were within earshot, Bohdan opted for communication.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," he began, casually walking up to them. Sandor was a little farther behind, taking a position behind a parked car. "Do you require assistance? I heard shots."

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Dr. Orange    1,515
Dr. Orange

Tom was on the same tram but paid no attention to other passengers that didn't qualify for the suspicious level. He was more focused on the doors opening and the time. Why he was is beyond reason, he wasn't in a hurry and there was no meeting to attend. He was focused on the time, however. Something was not quite right but it was nothing that could be labeled and reviewed. He left the Tramstation and sat on a nearby bench. Just relaxing and beginning small talk with other commuters who took a moment to savour the individual moments with a "It's a lovely day." Tom took a semi-conscious note of the news. "Mystical floating islands..." He heard the tales and was fascinated maybe years ago but what could back those statements up? Nonetheless he was curious, as all thrill seekers are. "Maybe this would be a fun venture in the future..." he thought to himself. 

That's when a gunshot was heard. Then another. And another after that. Time was of the essence. Tom slowly got up and moved in the direction of the sound, contrary to the comments by the slightly worried commuter who insisted on going the opposite way. The weak skin of some people! He was behind a young casual looking wolf who was the only other moving in the direction. "Probably in some gang." Tom thought, as he continued with caution; staying close to the walls and never in direct sight. But then there was the light. The green flash accompanied by aches and the screech of a getaway. 

Tom lost focus. Oh he seen that light before. Where did he see it? When did I see it? I've ... I've seen it before. It's not military, no they'd never progressed that far. Time was starting to slip as he was every more focused on the being.

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Sylono    169
Sylono

Shepherd didn’t really enjoy all the restrictions and rules that came with being anywhere near or on the planet Corneria, when you get used to constantly having a blaster (Or rather, her more powerful, yet not very legal blaster.) on your hip and now suddenly had to follow traffic laws (Not to mention, having to leave your personal ship at the port.), you start missing the freedoms you get when hanging around on less civilized worlds like Titania or Papetoon. Things like that, as well as many others that haven’t been mentioned made going to the capital world almost not even worth the fuel to get there, yet here she found herself obeying the laws of the road in a rented vehicle while half-listening to the radio.

Only for today that is, as the light-blue vixen had just finished playing bodyguard for a very unsavory character, in fact, had that person been on a wanted list even for just something as simple as vandalism, she’d likely have jumped at the chance to make the bastard a little more humble. In the end money was money, and right now the vixen was hurting for it, bad, at the rate she was losing it the clone would probably have to look in to more… legally peculiar methods of acquiring funds.

Whoa, hold the phon-?” Shepherd voiced aloud as she moved to turn up the volume to hear about this new development, only to turn it down immediately, “Aiolius” huh? Outside of the odd fortune hunter, who did they expect to be fooled by that story? It was like, what? One out of a million or so ‘precursor’ tales in this galaxy, that in itself, made the vixen question the validity of those claims.

As she made a turn down an alleyway, the clone’s mind went back to her money troubles; her ship’s mass regulator was in dire need of a better more advanced cooling system and the proton torpedoes were getting expensive (In fact, the last time she even used one was more than three months ago.), living expenses were constantly rearing their heads and it’s been too long since she actually slept in a bed.

With a sigh, Shepherd figured she couldn’t possibly write off the myth as a means for money just yet, and who knows? Perhaps being a fortune hunter was the Cerinian’s calling in life. First things first, the clone figured she’d have to get her paws on a larger ship, and to do that she’d likely have to get a loan,  and for that to work, she’d likely have to go through her more… questionable channels of “help”.

*Suddenly*, her vehicle lurched left as it was slammed aside by a speeding jeep, leaving her front end a totaled mess of crumpled and bent metal. Luckily they had come from the passenger’s side, so aside being a little shaken up the clone didn’t have any troubling injuries. After a second of pulling herself together, Shepherd kicked opened the door on the passenger’s side (Or what was left of it anyway.) and stumbled out to try get a look at the jeep that had caused the damage, her hand hovering over her blaster. Sadly, the offending jeep was already gone along with any hope of getting out of paying for the damages to the rental, the blue vulpes turned her head to examine the vehicle, silently noting that it was VERY unlikely that any of that was gonna buff out.

“Well that settles it then,” The Cerinian mumbled as she unhooked her communications device with the intention of making a call to set up a loan, “looks like I’ve gotta try my luck at fortune hunting now.”

She rubbed the back of her neck as she tried to figure out a way to explain why she’d need the money, without looking like some nut job space cowpoke.

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Zaphyr Stone    17
Zaphyr Stone

Antoine rounded on their new guests, blaster drawn and aimed threateningly at them.

"This doesn't concern you." he glared at the pair, his whole body tense.

Zefran felt exposed. He had no disguise to hide behind now, and it only served to intensify his anxiety. He started to back away warily, the desire to run and hide irresistible. Before he could even think about it, he was gone, booking it past the strangers and down the alleyway the gangsters had come from.

Antoine watched him go in alarm but didn't make a move to stop him. Good, if he could find somewhere to lay low, they could meet up again, fix his projector and haul it off this planet.

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Arminius H O Fiddywinks    206
Arminius H O Fiddywinks

Bohdan, raising his hands up to his eye level, took a pacifistic stance. "Sir, I do not wish to fight you," he said calmly as he stood still. "But if you actually put that down, my friends will do the same." Sandor, while hiding behind a parked car behind Bohdan, took out his automatic blaster-pistol from his hiding spot near his tail at his waist. Elizabeth and Korben turned the corner, only to find Bohdan with a blaster pointed at his head. They both ducked behind some columns of a nearby building's facade, weapons drawn. "Sir, I wish to talk to you about the Katheeri. Yes, the Katheeri."

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Zaphyr Stone    17
Zaphyr Stone

Katheeri? Antoine raised a brow. Were they talking about Zefran? Against his better judgement, he lowered his sidearm slowly and tossed it at his feet.

"You've got my attention. Barely." He was still on guard as he watched the group, "You're not the only ones suddenly so interested in the kid, you know. He just wants to be left alone. What exactly makes him so special?"

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Sylono    169
Sylono

With an exasperated sigh, the clone closed the call, well, that settles it then. The loan was possible, much to Shepherd's enjoyment, but there was a catch (As there always was.), she needed evidence that she could keep her word of paying back the loan (Obviously it was gonna have interest.). The problem was, how was she gonna give evidence for the supplies she'd need to find Aiolius, or at least something of substantial value? Show them a long lost relic? A galactic map with it's location? Or perhaps find some damn being of legend?

Needless to say, it was a tall order.

Setting in the location of the totaled machine for the company who had rented it out to her along with information to contact the light-blue vixen, she turned to go investigate the direction where the Jeep had come from hoping to find perhaps a clue or something that could lead to the bastard(s) who had now left her with an impending debt to pay off (Likely with interest, with how long she'd likely take to actually pay it off.). With any luck, when the young fortune hunter ended up finding the people they'd have someone who wanted them taken down for a healthy sum, but it was best she didn't get her hopes up.

It a voice of two or more people up a head that broke the Cerinian out of her thoughts, in response she made her foot falls softer until she got close enough to hear them (They weren't being all that silent, to be honest.) but far enough off to be out of sight, or to dash off if she was detected, for added measure Shepherd's hand hovered over the legally powered blaster pistol... Though not intending to rely on it if possible.

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Arminius H O Fiddywinks    206
Arminius H O Fiddywinks

"Well," started Bohdan, slowly lowering his hands and motioning the others to stand down. Elizabeth and Korben stepped out from their hiding spots, weapons holstered. Sandor also peeked his head out from behind the car, but kept his guard up. "The Katheeri might be privy to the precise location of Aiolius. And, if a deranged warlord or fanatical terrorist organization happened upon the Katheeri, they might take it upon themselves to forcefully persuade him to divulge the location of Aiolius, whether he actually knows it or not. Either way, it would not be a good day for him if that were to happen."

"We just wanna ask him where Aiolius is," Elizabeth added concisely. "I, for one, would really find it interesting if one: the place was real, and two: we can find it."

"We need not bother him anymore once the Katheeri answers our one and only question," said Bohdan, slowly approaching Antoine. "We can just find Aiolius ourselves. After all, we did find you and him." Bohdan stared apprehensively, yet hopefully, in Antione's eyes.

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Sylono    169
Sylono

A Katheeri? Shepherd blinked and inched her head out to get a better look, the little runt? Better yet, the Katheeri had something to do with Aiolius?

The clone fought the urge to shout for joy, she couldn't believe her luck right now and to just think she would have missed an opportunity of a lifetime had she not been hit by that damn jeep. Dumping the getting revenge plot aside the vixen made sure to focus on listening to the group, hoping they'd unknowingly give her the information she'd need without the need for any interaction.

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Zaphyr Stone    17
Zaphyr Stone

Antoine rolled his eyes in annoyance. "Aiolius, Aiolius, Aiolius, that's all I've heard about for the last few days. He doesn't know any more than you do, all right? And you and everyone else keeps calling him a Katheeri. How do you know that's what he is?" he huffed, "Just because he looks a little different from the rest of us? He doesn't even know what he is."

Something the dragon said did ring true, however. People were looking for him. They all believed he was one of these "Katheeri". Should someone will ill-intent manage to get a hold of him...

He sighed, picking up his blaster and holstering it. "All right, we'll go find him, and you can talk to him. If you intended to do him harm, you wouldn't have bothered talking to me. I, uh..." he patted his pockets down and sighed as he remembered his phone was lying in an alleyway somewhere with a plasma-punctured hole, "Any of you got a phone I can borrow?"

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Dr. Orange    1,515
Dr. Orange

The Katheeri ... There's the kicker. That could be one not too insane explanation. Well it was insane that's only a myth, they don't exist. The jeep drove sporadically away bumping into cars, he saw kids jump from the roof of another building and now the guy with the "possible old world myth tech" just bolted out.

"The hell was going on?" He thought, hand moving under his jacket. 

Tom considered chasing after but there was more opportunity in this group. He brought himself together and waited for some development. Then the words "Aiolius" came up. "Don't tell me these squirts are thinking of going treasure hunting..." he mumbled. They wouldn't last a week. Then again people are generally crazy, and considering the roof jump if he could make it to Aiolius, if it existed, there could be plenty of benefit from that to the locals. 

 He moved a bit closer, acting casual. 

Then he noticed others, mostly a vixen from the banged jeep and some of the base jumpers with pocket powder. 

He hoped he didn't look too suspicious. 

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Sylono    169
Sylono

*tap* *tap* *tap*

Foot steps? The clone paused for a second from her eavesdropping , quickly trying to determine where the sound was coming from, before realizing that the footsteps-...

Shepherd withdrew her blaster quickly as she spun, but didn't aim directly at who ever it was that had been behind her, the gun was merely a clear warning (She took care to make as little noise as possible). Though, had she been thinking about it, if the guy had intended to bring harm to her, he likely wouldn't waited till he got ten feet to do the deed.

The Cerinian waited to see the mans next move, not really sure if she had activated her PDS after she had gotten out of the smashed vehicle (Probably not.), but was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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Arminius H O Fiddywinks    206
Arminius H O Fiddywinks

Bohdan, upon hearing what Antoine had to say, gave him his cellphone, which was quite large in comparison to the typical Cornerian-built phone. "Here, you can use mine," said Bohdan. "Thank you for letting us do this." Sandor, meanwhile, had his eye on a nondescript-looking person closing in on the group. He grasped on his sidearm tightly, and quietly cocked it.

"And actually," continued Bohdan, "I do know a Katheeri when I see one. I have seen them before, a very long time ago, when I was undertaking missionary work in Tollan. I visited a slum entirely populated by Katheeris. Most of them averted their eyes, not wanting to look at me. They were ashamed of what they had become, and I felt that I was rubbing it in their face with my sheer presence. Within their eyes, I saw their souls: saddened, tired, broken." Bohdan stared pensively at the ground for a few moments, but then snapped back to reality, and looked back at Antoine. "Your friend, from what little I have seen of him, is a Katheeri. He, however, does not possess the defeated look adopted by so many of his people. Although, I do understand that that is not the reason why he wants to hide who he is..."

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Dr. Orange    1,515
Dr. Orange

"Holy...!" Tom said startled as the gun whipped in his general direction. He put his hands up at chest area. A bullet wound would definitely ruin his style today. 

"Honey, baby ... is this really necessary? Buy me a drink first before you put a bullet in me. Doesn't hurt as much then." He chose his words lightly but there was always availability to dazzle. He kept his breathing light and calm. Nervousness shows weakness. He moved his hand over his forehead to mend some sweat.

"Okay, okay. How about we start off nice?" He, slowly moved his jacket showing his own holster, and then tied up his jacket. covering the gun up. Hands still flashed up. "Call me Johnny. How's it going?" Keeping a smile. Business helps when you have a smile.

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Zaphyr Stone    17
Zaphyr Stone

"Then you know I'd just as soon clip those wings of yours if I think things are starting to go south." He shot the group a sideways glance, "He's had enough people in his life taking advantage of what he is or isnt."

He dialed and brought the large phone to his ear, waiting for the kid to pick up. The silence was, to say the least, awkward, and he clicked his jaw idly. "So....you all do the group thing, huh? That must be complicated."

----

Zefran had found refuge in an empty nook in an alleyway and was frustratedly tinkering with his emitter to get it working again. He didn't regret breaking it for the sake of saving his friend, but he cursed its fragility nonetheless. His headset he forgot he was still wearing beeped in his ears.

Relieved that Antoine was calling him, he pressed the button to answer. "Go ahead."

"Hey, you got that contraption of yours fixed?"

"Define fixed."

"Knock off that crap, it's your own fault it's broke in the first place. Where are you?"

"Hey, how are you calling me, anyways?" he raised a brow in sudden realization, looking up from his work, "I thought your phone busted."

"Aaaaaah, yeah." Antoine took the blaster out of his holster and scratched the back of his neck with the barrel, "I, uh, well I met some...friends...who want to see you."

"Uh-huh?" Zefran could feel his fur prickle warily.

"Look, they claim to know what you are."

"So do a lot of people these days." he growled in annoyance.

Still, if Antoine was the one proposing the meeting, they must have been pretty convincing.

He sighed, "I'm a few blocks away hiding out. If they wanna talk, they're gonna have to do it here. I'm not going anywhere until I can get this thing fixed."

"That's fine. See you in a sec."

----

Antoine hung up, quickly holstered his blaster once he realized he had pulled it out, and handed the dragon back his phone.

"All right, we're gonna take a little walk and meet him. So follow me, and hands where I can see'em."

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Arminius H O Fiddywinks    206
Arminius H O Fiddywinks

Bohdan put his cell phone back in his jeans pocket once it was given back to him. "Very well," he replied, nodding in agreement. He kept his hands clear of his large sidearm and sword. He motioned Elizabeth and Korben to follow him, and to keep their weapons holstered. They did so. As the four of them left the alley, Sandor, meanwhile, annoyed by this man's sudden communication, put his left index finger up to his snout in a gesture that commanded silence. He then motioned the man to come to where he was, hiding behind the beige sedan.

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Sylono    169
Sylono

A tinge of guilt made it's way through Shepherd, right about now she figured she must look like some psycho right now, perhaps living on the less civilized worlds hadn't been good for the vixen if her first instinct was to jump to the most extreme measure possible. Coughing quietly into her free hand (To hide any obvious sign of embarrassment), the clone quickly holstered her blaster.

"Shepherd, just shepherd." She said evenly and low, physically relaxing herself as best she could, as her nerves had gotten her fight-or-flight instincts all riled up, "Do you mind lowering your voice, mister 'Johnny'?"

At this point, the Cerinian figured they either heard "Johnny", or not... Though it wasn't like likely that they hadn't, but the vixen risked another peak around the corner just to be sure.

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Zaphyr Stone    17
Zaphyr Stone

The walk to find Zefran was tense and a little too slow for Antoine's liking, but it allowed him to keep an eye on the others. His mind was a veritable cavalcade of conflict. He believed they meant no harm, and yet something in his gut told him this was still a bad idea. He couldn't label what was wrong, but something was definitely wrong with this. Still, he had agreed to this.

Zefran hissed as a hinge on the contraption pinched the pad of his thumb. He sucked at the aggravated skin irritably, his attention turning to the alley as he heard footsteps. He quickly pressed up against the wall to avoid being seen and carefully peeked around the corner. Relief washed over him at seeing his friend leading the charge, and, without thinking, bounded out to meet him.

"Antoine!" his smile faded as he came to a halt, the others coming into view. He ducked away warily.

"Zefran, this is...." he looked back at the group, "Nosey people. Nosies, this is Zefran. Converse." he backed away with a dramatic gesture.

The boy watched the dragon with wary curiosity. "You...have wings." 

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Arminius H O Fiddywinks    206
Arminius H O Fiddywinks

"And yours is a fine pair, as well," replied Bohdan warmly. His voice turned to a softer tone. "My name is Bohdan. This is Elizabeth, and this is Korben." Elizabeth and Korben nodded accordingly as their names were being uttered by Bohdan. "We would like to ask you a few question about Aiolius, and then we will be on our way. No harm will come to you or your friend." As Zefran stepped out, Elizabeth's eyes widened.

"I've never seen a Katheeri in person," she commented. "I've only seen artists' renditions on Dastardly Artists and in textbooks." Korben simply tilted his head in curiosity, with his mouth slightly open and his protruding beaver buckteeth extending to the top of his lower lip. His sunglasses made various chemical and biological analyses on Zefran as he stared from behind them.

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Dr. Orange    1,515
Dr. Orange

"Fine by me." he said in a hushed tone. He motioned his hands now and more casual as he looked at the group now walking away. He also looked around the corner. Felling that he wasn't in any danger he moved passed Shepherd to keep a good distance from the groups but still close enough to hear them.

Switching away from one focus to another, he spoke over his shoulder, still in whisper to Shepherd, "I don't know your claim with them, but I'm going to keep after them." 

Pulling his attention away to focus on staying a good distance behind them. But he was still curious about the vixen's reason for the gun and the sneaking as well, having his peripherals open.

Then he saw wings...

(OOC: Two total ninja's. Wow)

Edited by Dr. Orange
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Zaphyr Stone    17
Zaphyr Stone

Zefran shrugged his shoulders uncertainly. "I would actually like to know about Aiolius too."

He turned his attention to Elizabeth as she commented on him, "Everyone says I'm a Katheeri, but they've never seen one in person. I've never seen one for that matter. So why are they so sure I'm one of them?"

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Sylono    169
Sylono

Not thinking to hard on what the dog said (Nor did she respond with anything other than hum.), the clone followed after him, though herself keeping a few feet distance from 'Johnny', not that she was worried that he'd become a threat anytime soon, she was hoping if they noticed the two tailing behind them and became hostile then she'd have a moment to draw her own weapon. Though, she did note the chance that she may have two red-herrings of danger in one day.

it didn't take long to get close enough to see the group once again only this time, they were with someone who she assumed was what everyone was after...

"Some sorta... winged deer?" The Cerinian mumbled the question to herself.

Edited by Sylono

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