Full Version: Broken Wing
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It was late in the day, the golden orb of the sun making its descent towards the horizon as darkness overtook the landscape and what few animals resided here made their way to their hiding places for the night. Tendrils of light were forced back by the night, and a dark form with bright cyan eyes watched the ensuing struggle with mild interest.

Slowly she turned and began walking through the forest, observing the blackened husks that were once strong, living trees. She couldn't help but think it was a sad scene what with all the darkness and feeling of death. Certainly not the kind of place most would seek out. Almost nothing living seemed to be here, apart from the thin she-wolf who meandered with no real purpose and no idea where she was even if she had had a destination in mind. A soft sigh escaped her lungs as Harbinger eyed the surroundings, a pang in her chest acting as a constant reminder of how long it had been since she'd had someone to talk to.

The lanky hybrid plodded up a sharp incline, struggling to reach the top of a small hill that gave her a half-decent view of the deadened forest, her large feathered wings dragging on either side of her thin frame. Observing them through the corner of her eye, she noted how battered the once beautiful white wings had become. Oh well. With her lacking hollow bones and being unable to fly, what was the point of trying to keep them nice anyways? It was too late to think about that anyways though. Her spiked tail curled around her as she sat and glanced around. To be honest she was hopelessly lost in this dark maze of a forest, had been for some time now and if she thought about that too much she might get worried.
<center><table style="background-position:top; background-color: transparent; background-repeat:no-repeat; width:600px; align="center"><tbody><tr><td align="center" valign="bottom" width="150%"><div style="padding-bottom: 30px; padding-left:55px; padding-right: 55px;" align="justify"> Talons would wrap around and grip the gnarled and dead branches of a tall tree that dwelled within Mactibilis, amber eyes intent as he watched the sun slowly sink down into the welcoming arms of the horizon. It wasn't a spectacular sunset this night, not like it was further north but it was still his favourite time of the day, the time when day slowly turned into night. He was silent as he watched the scene, long pointed ears folded back against his plush neck, antenna quivering slightly in the wind. He was silent as he stood in the trees, a lone sentinel, an oceanic landscape brushed in the darkness of the forest. As usual his wings were limp, hanging at his sides with wing tips pointed towards the ground. He would stand there, motionless until the sun sun almost completely beneath the horizon and that was when the trance would be broken. His long ears would slowly prick back up and eyes that had scarcely blinked the entire time would slide closed slowly. It was then that he would notice noise, sound somewhere in the world below him.

Paw falls.

He knew that sound. Eyes would open and head would slowly turn in an attempt to pinpoint the source. Part of him expected to see one of his siblings approaching, probably Paradise or Widow but instead another was below, purple in coloration with magnificent wings that dragged limply across the ground behind her. Her tail was long, rat like but spikes protruded from both sides. And it's chest. His eyes would follow it as it walked below, neck continuing to twist to unnatural angles as he continued to follow its progress further and further away. And errant breeze would bring the scent to him, enough to pinpoint that his new company was female. A moment longer he would linger before the massive beast would slowly stride forward, long limbs reaching the next tree's pup limbs with ease. Talons would grip branches with practiced ease as he followed her from far above. As she came to a bit of a clearing with a hill his massive wing's would lift and spread, arching high above him before he would throw himself into the air. Like parachutes they would snap out, muscles straining as they caught a draft and allowed him to drift slowly to the ground. Haunches would curl close and stomach would tuck as he drew closer to the ground so that hind legs would touch down first. As soon as they touched the ground his wings would slowly fold to his sides and forepaws would drop to the ground. Eyes would fixate on the woman, studying her tattered wings before looking back to her. <b>"Are they broken?"</b> He would ask, his words bland and lack lustre. Ever the gentleman.

A violet ear flicked to the side as she became aware of nearby movement. How she had missed it until now she couldn't be sure, but nevertheless internally she kicked herself for the failure to pay attention. Whoever or whatever it was had come from above, and there was hardly enough time to pinpoint it's location before it began sailing down towards her. Instantly her posture went from fairly calm to curling slightly inwards, tail retreating to tuck downwards ever so slightly, lifeless and displaying her obvious lack of social skills. Discomfort and nervousness rang through Harbinger's body to the point of visibility in her outward posture.

The way her company had approached coupled with the sound of feathered wings catching a draft were more than enough to give an impression of what had come flying down from one of the blackened trees above. The scent of this strange company told her it was a male who had come here, for whatever reason. When they landed before her she took a step back and sat, observing the blue hues of his coat and many feathers. By her standards he was quite the impressive feat of feathered success. At least he could make use of his eye-catching plumage and successfully take flight. A small seed of jealousy took root in her as she admired his appearance a moment longer. If only.

When the question was asked of her own lifeless ivory wings she couldn't help but frown slightly, turning to inspect them herself once more. Dirt and other odds and ends had darkened them from their original bright white. What did she care anyways, after all it was a subject of conversation from the tie she was young. Looking back into the eyes of... whoever he was, she replied, "May as well be. No, I don't think they're broken, yet. But they are quite useless." Her words came in spurts, little pauses interspersing here and there.
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                    <p>She didn't really seem to notice him at first but then all of a sudden her head would twist and she would turn slightly to face him, head tipping back so that she was looking up at him while he descended from above. He would not look at her, or stare as he dropped earthwards. He knew that staring was rude so instead he would look at the ground where he intended to land, massive wingspan working to allow him to drop at a steady rate. It was because he wasn't staring that he completely missed her tensing and rigid posture at his appearance. He missed her curling slightly away from him as if she was trying to fight the urge to run away from him. He wouldn't look up and at her until he had landed and by that point she had already relaxed every so slightly and fallen back onto her haunches and taken to studying him with mild interest. Though his words seemed to upset her slightly, a frown pulling her brows together as she looked over her own shoulder to inspect her wings.

<p>Unlike him her wings were a solid white, not matching her own purple cost color though they were slowly turning brown. He suspected that she dragged them through the earth quite often. After a moments she would look back to him and replied with some bitterness in her tone. Not broken but might as well be... He took a moment to attempt to mull that over but as always his mind didn't want to wait, he wanted answers. <font style=" color: #ffffff; text-shadow: 0px 0px 10px #ffffff; font-variant: small-caps;">"What do you mean?"</font> He would urge, now determined to get to the bottom of this prediciment. Maybe if he knew what was wrong he could give a logical and maybe even helpful opinion or advice. He had helped a few wolves learn how to fly in the past, though unlike her they had the wingspan, muscle density or at least the hollow bones to allow them to fly. He couldn't tell from where they lay in the dirt but her wingspan was too short to carry her without her having hollow bones. 
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Spiked tail slid along the ground, curling close toward her body as she again curled inward for a moment before letting out a breath she had not been aware she held in. The interest in her wings made her stomach want to do flips and her legs ached to leave the situation, but where would she go? There was no point in it, if this stranger wanted to they could catch up easily. If only they could talk about something else, to distract her from the thoughts that bubbled up from the depths of her mind and threatened to leaver her feeling horribly overwhelmed. Already she was feeling it, and she had to force herself to tune into what the bird-like canine was saying to her.

Violet head tilted to the side, she pondered how to explain how fundamentally wrong she was for her own wings, and how they would be no more or less useful if they were torn off her body right now. Sometimes when she was along she imagined doing that... But of course it was just a thought for the sake of being dark without fear of judgement or worry. She looked at him and replied, "I can't use them... I've tried, some of my family can fly, but I just... can't... W-why do you want to know, anyways?" her voice shook a little at the end, strangers were so dreadfully frightening to her at times. Perhaps if she was in a particularly more stable mood she would be less nervous, but at the moment it was evident she was unlikely to feel totally comfortable. Blasted wings. While she had to admit, the concept of soaring through the skies and feeling the air all around her was fantastic, it only made the fact that she was never going to do so herself that much more upsetting.
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He could honestly say that he was completely and utterly oblivious to her overwhelming sense of discomfort. Outwardly she looked a bit uncomfortable at best but then again he was terrible at reading or sensing others moods so he was left just ignoring it. Though the swish of her tail would momentarily draw his attention away like a bird spotting something shiny. Luminescent yellow eyes would slowly flip down to the spiked appendage curiously. How interesting... He would flip his gaze back to her as she spoke, telling him that they were useless and that only some of her family could successfully fly. He would frown before nodding slightly, some wolves with wings couldn't fly. Some by design and some by lack of practice... For the first time in his life he wouldn't pry further and instead focused on her question. <b>"Just curious, you were dragging them like you couldn't lift them."</b> He would say, motioning to the dirt that covered her wings. 

Harbinger observed the world from behind her mask of constant fear and discomfort, her silvery eyes reflecting the constant and likely unnecessary worry she felt. Admittedly, looking at the wolf who stood before her, she slowly began to see just how clueless he was to her nervousness. Though her body language spoke volumes of her subconscious desire to flee he did not react in any perceptible way. Her mind briefly wandered and contemplated whether this was entirely on purpose or he simply did not notice. Perhaps this one was even more socially inept than herself, just in a different way. No matter the reasoning for his utter lack of observance, or perhaps just lack of knowledge of what to do with the observations, it strangely helped her to relax a tad and her muscles which she did not realize were so tight let go of some tension. Maybe it was mostly her family that was so terrible. Harbinger was not at all sad at the thought but instead relished the idea that just maybe not every stranger was going to be cruel and taunting of her flightless wings. Hope parked in her heart for a moment before she let it fade a tad.

Her ears twitched while she listened to his response, still not letting her cyan eyes quite meet his own yellow gaze. Smiling ever so slightly and sadly she responded, "Ah, I see. Well I do tend to do that. With them being so useless, it's not as if there's much strength in them. After all, what am I to do with such sad flightless appendages?" Her voice was soft and the question was a bit retorical though Harbinger wouldn't exactly distain a little advice on what to do to make use of her wings. They had been disgustingly ineffectual for so long and now could barely lift their own weight much less hers. She was grounded by design for sure, but what would she do with herself on the ground? It was likely time to start considering such things. Blinking in surprise she added, "I nearly forgot to ask, what is your name?"
It wasn't so much that he was clueless, he could see the tension and unease in her rigid form, he just couldn't comprehend that she would be frightened of him, or nervous about his presence. Why would anyone be nervous around him? He would notice the visible loosening of her muscles even and decided that maybe he had started her in his approach and that was why she was so tense. It was the only logical rational he could come up with at this point. He would blink slowly as he studied her, head tipped in silent pondering as she considered his words and replied a moment later. She seemed almost shocked that his reasons for asking were simply because she had been dragging them.

She would explain that often times she would do that, finding them useless and therefor simply allowing them to rot away at her sides. How sad... What use did she have for useless wings? <b>"There are a great many flightless birds in this world yet they still have use for wings. Look to the ostrich. They use their wings for balance when running, as a display of dominance, used for intimidation, for mating rituals. Just because they cannot lift you into flight does not mean they are useless..."</b> He would say easily. Head tipping curiously as he attempted to think of more uses for them. Though she would break his concentration by asking his name and slowly he would blink and look back to her. <b>"Indian Madar... Yourself?"</b> He would ask, having always been bad at remembering introductions.
Even having traded short strings of words back and forth and begun introductions, that nagging twinge in her gut wouldn't let her remain entirely calm. That loss of tension suddenly felt foolish; why should she give him the benefit of the doubt? Just because he hadn't done anything hurtful or mean yet didn't make this... Indian guy non-threatening. Her right ear tilted to the side in expression of the contemplation taking place in her mind at the moment. Somehow Madar sounded familiar and it teased her mind from the depths of her foggy memory.

Even though his words had been entirely benign that didn't mean much to her paraniod conciousness. Benign could turn in an instant, she could be threatened by him and just not know of the danger yet. A shiver ran up Harbinger's spine at the thought. Scary what-ifs streamed through her mind in a constant parade of haunting possibilities. Soon after an awkward pause in conversation she had assumed an even more fearful posture and her legs seemed to carry her in a random direction of their own free will. Glancing back at Indian she managed to squeak out a soft "I-I'm Harbinger-" before she went racing away, overwhelmed by the unexpected interaction and constant assault by her own mind. Perhaps she would be able to talk for longer than a few minutes at some point, but this was not that day.