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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

    [open]  alone between the heavens and the embers
    Myrna had been dreaming of hyacinths, so when she wakes she is a bright shade of pink like the flowers she’d been exploring moments ago. She’d been a bee in her dreams, and it had been springtime, with the scent of countless blossoms so thick in the air she could taste them on her long, flicking tongue and the sunshine warm on her furry back.

    But autumn nights in Hyaline are bitterly cold, and the young mare shivers now that she is truly awake. She stands out of the driving wind, shielded in the shallow cave where she most often spends the night. The pink mare shifts to the shape of a northern bear after a particularly long bout of shivering, becoming an off-white bear with blue-grey eyes and a curiously twitching nose.

    There is something out there, beyond what she can see from the bright glow of her curling horns. Something she could not smell with her equine nose, but that the more honed senses of the predator she now embodies can detect.

    Is it something dangerous?

    Her heart leaps for a moment, and then she chides herself for being silly. Not only is she in the heart of a kingdom protected and patrolled, she is not defenseless. Not with these heavy paws and their sharp black claws, even if she’s not entirely sure what to do with them. It’s always been enough to look fierce, in Myrna’s experience. None of the dangers in Hyaline wanted to mess with a bear, and she’s never met dangers outside Hyaline.

    Perhaps it’s one of her siblings, unable to sleep. The snow is shallower here but the trees are thicker, which makes it hard to see far at all. “Hello?” She calls. “Is someone out there?”

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