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Looking Glass
Sierra had been too far gone from humanity. The wolf threatened to take over, but unlike her brother she would not succumb to it's call. She would return to Moscow, and to the initial reason for going there in the first place. She was without Snow, but she was certain the wolf lived on in the dream. She would see him one day, see him again.

The voices of the wolves grew dim as she neared the river that would take her into Moscow. It was the safest yet least traveled area she could manage. She would have to be careful for a few days. Until she could afford to replace her contacts. That was the thing about living in the wilderness. You'd lose yourself if you couldn't keep your bearings. Losing small clear things in the depths of the snow, well that was even worse. Down one contact it was odd to just wear the one. It's not like she needed them to see or anything, only to hide what she truly was.

Sierra was glad the weather was slowly warming up. The snow still was found in the shadows, but down by the river, the water flowed freely, at least in most places. Sierra stopped and sat on a log that had drifted to the shore from down stream. She would take in the last moments of the wilderness, the last bit of home and the wolves before tracking down the man who killed her brother. That snake tattoo biting its own tail was etched into her memory. She would never forget his Russian accent as he said, "He'll trouble you no more." It played out in Sierra's head like an old black and white horror show. She laughed at the thought and it could have probably been heard for miles in this open space. At least it wasn't the cry of a lost wolf.

Edited by Sierra, Apr 29 2015, 12:50 PM.
Helsingør was by no means small, but compared to Moscow, Elyse's home city was nothing more than a town. Elyse found it to be stifling at first and although she knew she would adjust, Elyse needed some fresh air. That was why she decided to go no a walk outside of the city proper.

Elyse packed her pistol - the crossbow a little to bulky for just a hike - and some beef jerky for a snack in case she got hungry as well as a few bottles of water for thirst, and headed off. She kept close to the river. This was just a hike - strange to do in the winter, but she was used to the northern cold.

Elyse allowed her mind to wander. She could sense the wolves nearby, but didn't bother them. Right now, she desired solitude, which was easy enough. She had no friends in Moscow yet, and she still hadn't contacted the Atharim here. Her parents noticing her changes had put a scare in her regardless of the fact that they were still ignorant that she was wolfkin.

Elyse wasn't sure how long she walked, but a laugh drew her out of her thoughts. Elyse stopped, and looked ahead, seeing a woman sitting on a log beside the river. Someone out here must have wanted solitude, so Elyse moved to pass her by, giving only a polite greeting as she passed, but Elyse caught something - a glint of gold in the woman's eyes. Elyse wondered if it was a trick - something that she just thought she saw. As she continued walking, she reached out to the wolves, sending them an image of the woman - asking about her. The response she received confirmed it - the woman was another wolfkin.

Elyse had caught the scent of her and she smelled of travel and the forests, but reading emotions from scent was something she still wasn't good at. She did notice that this woman didn't smell like the wolf-man in the cage. But still, this was the first time she had seen someone like her other than the man. Elyse had to say something.

"Excuse me,"
Elyse said turning to face the woman. "You aren't lost are you?"
Elyse was aware of the potential double meaning of the question. The woman could be lost in the woods, or lost to the wolf. The answer should have been obvious, but Elyse's curiosity of meeting another wolfkin brought the question forth.

((OOC: Elyse is wearing hazel colored contacts as she usually does. For obvious reasons, she won't be caught off guard by seeing unnatural colored eyes as well.))
As Elias shifted the straps digging painfully into the thin muscles of his shoulders, the idea dawned on him like some shocking revelation. I am an idiot, he thought to himself. In one fell swoop he pushed the straps backward, and a heavy bag of gear fell to the snow. The relief from the sudden weightlessness immediately straightened his spine, and he stretched. A week hiking along the Moscow river, bearing camping gear, and it only hit him today that he had no need to actually carry it.

He frowned down at the lump in the snow. Of course, there was a trade off. If he used power to carry the pack along, the power might scare off the thing he was trying to track. His theory was the creature that lived in the waters of the Moscow River was frightened of powerusers. Perhaps that was why it attacked when Elias came close to the water's surface and why it abandoned them when that power was actually turned upon it. The other disadvantage was more practical. If he used power to lift the bag alongside him as he walked, he could not simultaneously use the power to warm the air around him as he progressed. An hour into this dogged adventure and he was cold to the bone. Five days later and he was sure he would never know warmth again. The sun was thin and distant overhead, like it laughed at his predicament.

"Screw it,"
he muttered to himself. He seized his power, and with its light came the heat of an erupting volcano, yet simultaneously he was much more aware of the painful cold. His toes ached inside thick black boots laced up his calf, although those laces were obscured by the length of a heavy black coat, but at least his feet were dry. Trudging through knee-depth snow for a week tested the seams of one's shoes.

He closed the furred edges of his collar snug around his throat and used that power to lift the gear so it would float alongside him. There were spaces around the water bank, frozen in the shallower depths although the center of the river flowed more freely as they neared the city and traffic kept the forces churning, so he had no need to navigate the floating bag under or through low-hanging branches. Yet once in a while an ambitious tree made him duck beneath a giant barked arm.

Soon he grew hungry. Jerky and tuna grew old after so many days, but he was never a finicky eater. He sat for a break on a stone slab that stuck out over the water like the diving board into the pools of the wealthier among their congregation growing up. He was digging through the pack for a canned meal when a whisper was carried on the wind. He was sure he would never have heard voices otherwise if not for the heightened senses given by the power. Surely, he peered across the water and saw two women. The river was far too wide to hear what they were saying, but Elias smirked at himself anyway, imagining what they were doing out here. Certainly not on the same journey as himself? Russians were insane with their competitive drive to out-perform others in extreme sports. Ice swimming, glacial-climbing, cage-diving.

He shrugged to himself, assuming he would never find out either way. Besides, keeping to himself was the best for everyone anyway. Although gloved, cold fingers fumbled with the tuna, so now that he and the pack were seated, he used the break to warm the air around himself with nettings of fire power. He immediately relaxed, loosened the fur around his collar and peeled off the gloves. His skin was terribly white against all the black, but at least it was warm.

He dug into the tuna and watched the girls. Eventually, if one noticed him, he would wave a subtle hello, even against his better judgement.

Sierra had hoped that the woman would keep walking, but she stopped to ask if she was lost. The city of Moscow lay within walking distance and the river a perfect guide to the city itself. Lost in the world hardly. Lost in her own self, yes, but that wasn't what the woman asked.

Before she could say anything the scent of food drifted to her nose, tuna, travel food, preservable food Sierra scrunched her nose. She turned her head in the direction of the new scent and saw a man dressed all in black sitting across the river.

What was the coincidence that she would find two people sitting by the river on her way back into Moscow. Civilization had a nasty way of throwing itself at her before she was ready. Sierra pulled her camera out of her deer skin coat and started fidgeting with the lens and shutter speed.

Sierra didn't look up at the woman, her eyes never leaving her camera. Her golden eyes were too hard to disguise at this close distance, not without contacts. "No I'm not lost."
Sierra told a half truth, "Just taking a break from shooting a few shoots before heading back into the city."
It wasn't the whole truth, but it wasn't a lie, she was always snapping shots of things. But technology was one such that she had several small cards full of pictures and no way to read them except to put them back in the camera. And that was always a pain.

Sierra snapped a few shots of the man across the river. The ungloved hands ash white against his dark clothes, she wondered how long he'd been out and about, he seemed travel weary, but it was cold. Sierra smiled as she took several other shots before asking, "What brings you out and about in the snow and cold this far from civilization."
Sierra could feel the gentle whisper of the wolves in the distance. But Sierra was trying to ignore them trying to be as human as possible, the wolf called to her and she didn't want to give it any purchase today. Today was about returning to humanity, not the wilderness she'd been in all these months morning the loss of her best friend.
The woman wasn't lost, but Elyse hadn't really meant that. She had her answer though. The woman was fine, but didn't look up at her. Elyse could only assume that she was trying to hide her eyes.

The woman took out a camera and started taking pictures of a man across the river. She couldn't understand why the man had removed his gloves, but she gave him a shy wave. The camera and the fact that the woman was wolfkin reminded Elyse of some pictures of wolves that she had seen in National Geographic a few years back. They were very well done.

Elyse turned back to the woman as she asked her question. "The city is a little more stifling than what I am used too. I needed some fresh air."

Elyse moved down, bending at the knees and began doodling in the snow. The wolves kept sending her images, and Elyse thought they were trying to tell her the woman's name. She still wasn't very adept at conversing with them, it often took awhile for her to decipher their meaning.

It gave her courage to ask though. The woman was the same as her - Elyse doubted she would hurt her for it, and the man across the river couldn't hear them. "I didn't mean lost lost. I meant to the wolf, but I guess you're not. I'm glad."
Elyse shrugged. "I think they are trying to tell me your name, but I'm having trouble understanding. It has something to do with your camera though."

Edited by Elyse, Apr 30 2015, 01:22 PM.
Lunch devoured, he discarded the can to the ground and returned the utensil used to eat it back to its place in the pack. Water was too heavy to carry for long, but given the abundance of fresh supply stretched out at his feet, it was readily available. He still had half a liter from this morning's refill, but at the next stop he'd never to treat a new batch siphoned from the river. At least it was cold.

A few minutes of rest and watching the water was welcome. It wasn't the same sort of peace he'd known in New Zealand, but it was immensely better than sand and cement. Soon he pulled out his uncle's Wallet to recheck the various specifications in the area. The trace that brought him and Tony's group to the water was miles away, and there was no sign of activity since then. When Elias came upon the spot itself he kept an equal lookout for the old man yammering on about disturbing the spirits as he did American presence poking around the scene. The bodies they'd found previously were gone and in a way that did not suggest dinner for a wild animal. Did that mean the Americans abandoned the site altogether? What did they know that Elias didn't? Irritating.

He took a drink of water and watched the girls chat. He idly wondered what they were saying, but the narrative in his own head was certain to be far more interesting.

Sierra blinked at the mention of them. The wolves had been trying to communicate with her but she'd been blocking them. Sierra sighed and opened herself to the wolves. There was a flurry of images. A young pup, he sent over and over again bees stinging his nose and Sierra laughed, then he sent a wolf with long fangs in the shadows being all stealthy like, Silent Fang. Sierra grinned up at the woman, "Stinging Nose tells me you are Silent Fang. I am Long Eye. I was born Sierra."
Sierra stood up and offered her hand.

Sierra heard the tin can hit the ground over the water, probably because she had been trying to listen to the strange man and the woman at the same time. Other frantic images came from Stinging Nose. Images of the man and colored filaments extending from him like some type of octopus or squid or something. Stinging Nose couldn't expand and when she asked other wolves they shut their connections down with a quick image of danger.

All humans were a danger, this Sierra knew, humans had killed Snow. Sierra had to close her eyes and take a deep breathe. "Excuse me a moment."
. Sierra opened her eyes and started for the shore opposite the man. She stopped across the river from him and shouted. "I and the animal kingdom would truly appreciate you picking up your garbage and finding it a proper place to decompose. It's not enough we destroy their homeland with our cars and pollution we don't need to destroy what they have left."

Edited by Sierra, May 4 2015, 10:54 AM.
Elyse smiled at hearing her own wolf name and Sierra's too. Going through the images again, you could now decipher the wolves meaning. The sound of a tin can hitting the ground came to her ears and Sierra stood and told the man to pick up his trash. Elyse stood by her in a silent agreement to her statement.

she said offering her own birth name. "Sierra is a pretty name."

Elyse adjusted her pack. Sierra kept her eyes uncovered, although she was trying to hide it. Elyse could surmise that Sierra usually did wear color contacts like she did - perhaps because she was in the wild, she allowed them to show. But did Sierra know that she was in danger, but for some reason she felt scared to do so.

Elyse pulled out a bottle of water and offered it to Sierra. "Would you like one? I hope you don't mind me sticking around for a bit - I...I've not met many people like me."
Elyse's voice showed her nervousness. It was hard for her to accept that by revealing the Atharim to this woman would make her a traitor to everything she was taught growing up. She had a different perspective now though. Yet, she still needed the courage to tell Sierra.
Movement caught his eye, stealing it from watching the ribbons of water coursing down the unfrozen middle of the river. One of the girls approached the icy shore and shouted a message for him.

Girls did not come up to him. More, they went out of their way to avoid him. The few times he deluded himself into thinking a girl liked him they always stabbed him in the back in the end. Thus, he sat forward ever so slightly, intrigued, and wondering what she wanted. The feeling didn't last.

The insult in her demands briefly clenched his heart angry. Who was she to judge him? Who was she to assume he was going to leave the trash along the river? Who was she to assume the can wasn't biodegradable? Granted, it was regular tin, and she was right. He had no intention of carrying a trashbag on this trip. Served him right to think some stranger miles from anywhere was going to treat him civilly before getting to know him. They all judged. If he was some blonde rippling jock, the bite in her words would have been playful, not demanding and cruel. These girls, all of them, they preferred he leave them alone, or better yet, leave the surface of the world altogether. Screw them. He had as might right to walk the earth as anyone else, and a hell of a lot more right than a bunch of animals. And leave behind whatever he wanted in his wake.

With the self-reminder the insult released his chest of its former anger to the cold-air of country freedom again. He breathed resigned and glanced over the edge of the rock that served as his seat. The can must have hit a smaller one sticking out of the snow, which likely explained the noise of its fall before being caught in the icy fluff of powder.

He stuffed fingers down into the powder to retrieve the sunken can, which he shook off and raised into the air. He yelled back his reply, "You mean this?"
The sarcasm in the gesture was obvious, even if the look on his face was still as ice. An evil grin followed as he dropped the can back to its former spot in the snow. "You're welcome to come get it,"
he said, knowing she'd be unable to cross the river without an abundance of help - primarily on his part. He would have thrown it to her, but the distance was too great despite the memory of having hurled a football out of sight the day of his uncle's demise. He had no idea how he'd done that and he doubted the ability to reproduce the effect without practicing, and really, he didn't care enough at the moment to put in the effort.

Elyse. A pretty name as well. And a wolf kin just like her. But the wolves were sending Sierra caution as well, she didn't know if it was the man, or the woman that they meant, but either way she would be wary of either.

"You are only the third like myself I have met, and only one has been lost to the wolf."
She wasn't about to tell a stranger that her brother had given in to his wolf. This woman might fear her then, afraid it was contagious, some please just didn't understand. Some people might thing her kindred spirits with the wolves was contagious as well. Some people like this man were stupid.

Sierra sighed, "Men."
She pulled the bow that was strapped to her back and pulled the string from her pocket and strung her bow in a show of strength. The tin can sat at the edge of the snow, she could see the tin sticking barely above the crest of the snow. Otherwise it would be lost to the world until the snows melted.

Sierra pulled out a thin skein of rope, it was thin in appearance but it had the tensile strength of a few hundred pounds. She tied it to the ends of the arrow she pulled from her quiver and closed the lid on it to keep weather from her arsenal.

Nocking the bow, Sierra focused on the tin can's rim and let lose the arrow. It was a clean shot, it pierced the tin can with barely a hitch in the line. Sierra gave the man a wry grin and shouted over the water. "I don't mind if I do."
Sierra tugged the tin can and it pulled through the snow. And into the water sinking immediately to the bottom. Sierra sighed, "Some people have no respect for things that are not their own."
She was sure her anger was about to boil over, but she focused on pulling the tin can ashore. She could manage being around people, she could, she had to.

Edited by Sierra, May 4 2015, 01:42 PM.

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