HELL AND HIGH WATER [SEIJA] Jan 10, 2015 14:37:01 GMT -5
Post by JOCELYN on Jan 10, 2015 14:37:01 GMT -5
Time was an elusive, petulant creature. Jocelyn had decided long ago it was something that defied logic, arrogantly charging forward without waiting for anyone, or slowing to a crawl until each second that ticked by seemed like torture. It’s only consistency, was that Time never went back. Reliably it went on ever forward into the setting of the sun, the rising and setting of the moon, and the rebirth of the sun the next day - over and over - no matter what.
This is what she focused on, depended on when Time turned yet again into another creature called, Waiting. Waiting was something Jocelyn had come to accept and work with, and use to her advantage. Others, however, obviously thought it was time to do what they wanted.
“There is a difference between ‘I didn’t know‘, and ‘I didn’t think about it‘,” she said tonelessly to a new Hunter. Seija had been gone for three days, and while the older hunters and scouts kept to their rounds, some of the newer members thought it was a good time to goof off. Obviously, they’d not tangled with Seija.
“You can’t tell us what to do,” sniveled an older Hunter next to the one she now confronted. He’d never have been so brazen without a buddy to stand behind, and beneath Jocelyn’s unemotive, porcelain face her patience faltered.
“No, but you should be doing your job regardless,” she spoke softly, the underlying threat and shaming needless past her accusation. Joss’d had a reputation for favoring action above words, and she was broaching the point that she knew Seija would have backed her in an altercation. The Hunters should have been a well oiled machine, and slackers were not going to be happy when she returned. She’d know who was to blame. Seija was creepy like that.
Regardless the two’s chins rose. Proud enough to hold their ground but cowed enough not to reply, and Jocelyn’s stoic expression pinned the two where the stood. They felt their right as surely as they would later feel Lead Huntress’s wrath that they had not done their round on the border. Seija didn’t do sloppy.
“She will arrive today,” Jocelyn said pragmatically, though no one’d had news of her whereabouts in days. “You will find me when she does,” she said definitively and turned on her heel to walk away. She could feel the breathes the two released when she left, but felt no pleasure in their fear. Those types did not last long in this line of work. Worrying over them would be wasted effort.
The border was compromised to the south west, and now she felt a harrying need to be sure it was secured once more. The next shift had been sent out, but they were on foot … Jocelyn would be faster.
Rounding the corner of the last warehouse, Jocelyn’s pace picked up from a walk to a strut most would have had to lope to keep up with. Once she cleared the cracked concrete into the dead and scrubby field behind the line of buildings she picked up a jog, lowered her front end until she looked as if she would tumble, and between one stride and the next, shifted.
The wonderful feel and ease of ready muscle and taught sinew poured over her form into an agile clouded leopard. No more than forty pounds, she loped along until the astounding spread of wings she possess unfurled from her back and she lept into the sky. Immediate the current took her and a great rhythmic boom echoed from the warehouse walls as her span of eight foot wings lifted the feline high into the air.
The skies were irrevocably different from the earth. The winds were ever moving, ever unpredictable, ever dangerous. Catching a hot gust, the draft lifted her upwards as her wings locked, and her tufted ears pinned to her skull against the roar. By now the ground had been left in mind and body, and her focus was wholly on reading the currents. It had taken practice and time, but luckily the DNA of the Eagle Owl had also been transferred into her instincts and with that practice she had learned to hone the flying skill never meant for a feline body. Her legs tucked tight to her chest and belly, and her triple lidded eyes narrowed against the dry winds.
Below, she could see the landscape beneath her, passing mile upon mile that only those that flew could revel in. The Hunters that had set out to check the border were farther along than she had anticipated, and a small knot in her relaxed that at least not everyone had forgotten their duties. Catching another updraft she soared even higher, until she could see the vast layout of desert in the distance. The peace between the Fallen and Carna were no existent right now, and they needed to make sure their territory was uncompromised. Reaching the border she circled, banked and swooped low to catch the landscape as a whole.
There. She spotted movement in the underbrush, and her blue eyes glimmered with excitement. Minutes later the wandering Rouge was dead. She'd not wanted to kill her but the Rouge had been a particular type of style Jocelyn could never appreciate. She hadn't even hidden when she'd landed then acted as though Jocelyn were some monster for protecting her own. She talked too much, and backed it up with slopping fighting. Joss had been kind to her and made the kill quick, wiped the blood from her machete on the girls sleeve, shifted, and returned to the skies. By that time, the hunters were on the border again and Joss headed back home. There was a twitch in her claws that said she needed to get back, though she was unsure why.
The Hunters weren't necessarily suppose to guard the border, but with things so chaotic, Joss had made the decision and few had argued with her. She was sure Seija would have approved. If not, she would take punishment and correction in each hand and welcome them.
As she spiraled into the same field she had left perhaps an hour before, she came in too hot. Her brow furrowed as the ground flew up too quickly, and her wings billowed at the last moment, her feathers buffeting against the decent and her shoulder muscles screaming as it took on both her weight and force of her stop. Instead of landing on four feet, she landed on two. Her hind legs touching down and her front end dropping heavily as if a mother cat had held her by her ruff and dropped her unceremoniously to the ground. She landed on her feet, but not as she wish she had.
Taking a few breaths from the work it took to keep from crashing completely, she stole around the side of the warehouse and between one breath and the next she shifted. As a human, Jocelyn was serene, almost severe in her expression. Her almost military rigidity was clad in a black long sleeved shirt with a high collar, black corset, and black pants. She owned no other color of clothing. Her gaze was sharp, her blue eyes ever bracketed by black that crept around her lash line. Daggers were hidden at her wrists, her machetes housed in their sheathes; the shorter curved blade on her hip and a longer over her shoulder from her back. Her long blonde hair was lose, waving behind her as her tall boots ate up the yards between her and the commotion ahead.
"She just came in we have to find Jocel-" started a hunter that had overhead the conversation Joss'd had with the two miscreants earlier. As she spotted the huntress in question, her sentence faltered and fear shone in her eyes. Jocelyn did not smile as she passed her, but her eyes took in the girl's face and her hand went to her shoulder briefly in acknowledgement as she passed.
They were having problems with Surma again. Covered in mud, a barely conscious Seija was being lowered to the ground slowly by the dragon-like shifter's tail with the care of a newborn, but each time someone moved forward his tail lifted again, his massive head lowering with his ears pinned as his giant hoof shot out to strike. Those legs of his had claws, and sharp ones, as a man standing a further distance away could attest. Jocelyn herself had a few run-ins with the Ice Dragon and she knew she'd never be the winner. He was massive, deceptively quick, mistrustful, and utterly deadly.
"Give them some room!" Jocelyn barked without thought. Some backed off but not enough. Her eyes swept the crowd and saw a brunette girl that looked familiar. She wanted to say her name was Violet, but she was probably wrong. A feeling swept over her suddenly. She knew her name, and without thinking she stepped forward. "Vi, help me get them back. They need room!" she called, marching through the small crowd of Carna. Once she made it into the clearing and, dodging a strike from Surma, about-faced put her arms out to make a boundary.
The crowd consisted of Hunters and Medics mostly - and totaled maybe two dozen, but she figured to the war horse it looked like they were being besieged. He wouldn't release Seija until he felt she were safe and he'd already sent two people to the Medic warehouse with gashes, one with a black eye and possibly broken nose. The scary part was Surma was being careful with them.
People needed to report, see what happened, ask Seija where she'd been. As Lead Huntress she was never a warm or friendly person, but her people loved and respected her. Her absence was not something they had done well with, and each person had valid reasons to talk to her NOW. Well, that was not Joss's problem, and wouldn't be Seija's until she had rested.
Seeing that he would not be followed or harried, the dragon-horse clopped into the warehouse almost calmly and the movements of settling in the darkness once he was inside was followed by nothing but silence. Her head craned once he was inside, and without warning her arm reached over her shoulder and her machete swiped out. Carna were carna sometimes and needed a firm hand. They leaped back with wide and angry eyes until they focused on Joss. Her eyes darted to see that Vi had somehow managed on her own quite well. Catching the brunette's eye she gave her a nod, and stepped back from the crowd.
"Go. Home. Seija will be cared for and meetings will return tomorrow or the next day. For now, let her rest," she said firmly. Vi echoed what Jocelyn said, elaborating that she was tired and injured but would be okay. With grumbles people backed off and turned to leave. A few remained, but they had been part of the original party to go and find Seija. When Joss turned, Vi was in conversation with another Carna and she sighed, put her weapon away, and walked toward the warehouse were Surma had taken Seija. Most knew that it was their home, and because of Surma's utter intolerance for other's presence the warehouse was also a supplies warehouse. Extra security, and they didn't have to share.
"Seija?" Jocelyn called out. "It's Joss." Aside from a gust of air through Surma's nostrils there was silence. Jocelyn settled in to wait.