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    Assailant -- Year 226


    "But the dream, the echo, slips from him as quickly as he had found it and as consciousness comes to him (a slap and not the gentle waves of oceanic tides), it dissolves entirely. His muscles relax as the cold claims him again, as the numbness sets in, and when his grey eyes open, there’s nothing but the faint after burn of a dream often trod and never remembered." --Brigade, written by Laura

    all you ever needed was a meaning to the words that I said
    Myrna has been practicing her shifting during the long winter nights, expanding her capabilities beneath the watchful stars, traveling across the snowy slopes of her homeland wearing a myriad of pale shapes. This morning, the young shifter stands on a rocky precipice, watching with narrowed reptilian eyes as the sun begins to turn the cloud-heavy morning sky a pale shade of yellow. This shape is not a good one for winter. Myrna imagines she can feel the cold blood in her veins beginning to slow.

    The arctic bear that she becomes is much more at ease in this cold mountainous winter, and Myrna enjoys herself slipping and sliding and stomping down the slope until she finally arrives by the edge of the lake. This shape she wears could swim, she feels, and eyes the water with curiosity. It would certainly be very cold, even with the thick, pale gold fur that cover her broad shoulders. She does tap at the shallows with one broad, white-clawed paw, but does not wade in. Instead, she begins to walk along the shoreline. As she does, she trades her bear form for her equine one, becoming a nearly grown mare with a air of spiraling white horns like those of her mother.

    The light they cast grows less obvious as the sun rises higher in the sky, and Myrna watches with blue-grey eyes as the sky overhead glows with a brilliant sunrise. She smiles to herself as a chill wind pulls at her flaxen mane, and takes a deep breath of the clear mountain air. Ahead of her, she sees motion, but the wind is against her and she doesn’t see her younger sister until she rounds a massive boulder and nearly collides with the red filly.

    “Oh hey,” she says, neatly sidestepping the potential crash with @Valkyrie. “Are you usually up this early?” She continues once she’s stopped, her head tilted curiously. Myrna is usually gone by this time of morning, and the habits of her younger siblings are a mystery to her.
    Although Valkyrie tries to stay aware of her surroundings, she is so rarely truly on her own that it is not often a problem. There’s always another set of eyes nearby to assist her, to fill in the empty spaces of her sight. The day is so early that she has already forgotten that she is not alone, and so she is not paying attention until her older sister Myrna is right there on the otherside of a bolder she was also only half aware of.

    While her sister neatly sidesteps the almost-collision, Valkyrie shouts with both surprise and delight. “Myrna!” The haziness that had been in her mind disappears, fully waking her up and she tilts her head a little to look at Myrna with her good eye.

    “No.” She answers honestly - she normally sleeps until much later in the morning, preferring to be up late - and then there’s a small hesitation before the filly quietly admits the reason why she is up. “I had a nightmare.”

    It still lingers in her mind, though she hoped that the sunlight might chase it away like it does other shadows. Not sure if she can actually find the words to actually describe the nightmare itself, she asks the question she thinks might be behind it. “How old were you when you could shift, Myrna?”

    Although Valkyrie knows she won’t be turned away from Hyaline or her family if she is never able to shift, it still frustrates her that all her attempts to learn have shown no abilities of any kind at all. Even if it was just turning into a sparrow or a squirrel! She can glow at night like her dad, a wish she had made as a young filly and something she remains very proud of, but every now and then it is hard to not want to be as remarkable as the parents and siblings she admires so much.
    Valkyrie’s excited smile is mirrored by her sister, though it vanishes from Myrna’s face at the mention of nightmares. Her dreams are mostly pleasant, but they are not always so. She is about to ask her younger sibling if she wants to talk about it, but before she can Valkyrie asks a question of her own.

    This topic is much better than nightmares, Myrna thinks, replying: ”I was born with it.” Her shifting has always been a part of her, inherited from both of her parents. But in the silence that follows after, it quite suddenly occurs to Myrna that while she’d been very sure all of her family can shift, she hadn’t ever seen Valkyrie change shapes.

    Her brow furrows, but it is not in worry, only thought, as she tries to remember learning her own shifting.

    “At first I could only do one shape, a goat. I had to learn all the others and they took longer.” Perhaps Valkyrie’s shifting is just taking its time to emerge, the young mare thinks. Remembering her own lack of patience as a child (with all the omniscience of her own late adolescence), Myrna suspects that such a wait might bother her sister.

    Turning her head back to look at the lake, her eyes land on the package brought by the Baltian frogs. She’s been planning on going later, perhaps with a friend, but maybe her sister needs a distraction. “Hey Riri,” Myrna says conspiratorially, “Wanna go to the feast?”


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