All at OnceThe news settled in slowly, Vivian taking each word as a piece weight to the mind. Casualties were normal in her previous job, sometimes in massive waves like today, but her terms were different than today. Three, sometimes four or six officers could've been easily lost to a shoot out. Here, the numbers were multiplied, but the variables were infinite. At least whomever made it was alive, that was the main thing her supposed "Grandfather and Grandmother" reassured everyone. She only barely listened to whatever else was mentioned, and watched Michelle help Habibah along to another room, most likely the Infirmary along with the rest of the hurt apprentices.All at Once by Paulagirl93
"...and the door will be locked tightly for the time being, same for all the windows right now. Until the bubble charm activates completely, it's wise not to try going outside."
"Excuse me?" Her voice cracked as she suddenly spoke, causing those within earshot of her to turn in her direction, stunned to hear such a high-pitched respon
Citlali grew up and lived within her small village within the vast vallies in the range of Totem Mountain. She was a rather quiet child, fitting in the social norm of women being seen and not heard, only spoke when spoken to directly, and followed others more domineering than herself. She found easier company with the other girls rather than the boys and was content in that lifestyle, all the way into puberty. Hormones came, developed, friendships changed all throughout and she found her once true-blue comrades marrying off as soon as they were able.
She had no interest in this, finding comfort in her solitude instead and worked on being self-sufficient. Not that it was a bad idea, it was less common for women to go through this lifestyle unless they wished to be spinsters and the token wise elders of the tribe when they neared their winter years. Citlali didn't care, as long as she was free to choose to do what she pleased. While her friends did associate with her when they could (until their personal family responsibilities distracted them away) Citlali found herself more and more learning how to provide on her own. How to hunt, craft, weave, and so on. There were whispers from within her village and their neighboring ones about the shamanism rituals of other secluded young adults, and she happened to join in on the conversation, deciding to try out the venture for herself. The meager skills she was learning then had helped, and she worked on them while living out on her own in the great wilderness. Being among the animals for years had given her confidence with confrontation, she learned to navigate from the starry heavens above, and at times seeked guidance from the elder of each village she passed on her travels.
One of them, she remembered from her initiation into Womanhood. The same shaman, who presented her guiding animal totem: The Snake, a spiritual animal usually alone but always near. Providing a whisper from their comfortable distance and slithering between the physical and astral planes of the world.
The older woman was quite pleased with Citlali's progress thus far, but warned--in her own eccentric way--that the woman's journey was not complete yet. While the snake was a shy animal, it's ability to travel between worlds didn't mean just this world alone. Citlali frowned at this, confused by what the woman was going on about since there were only two worlds they all knew: This one, and the Spirit world. The elder only mentioned to seek where the Lights Touch the Earth, and all shall be clear soon. Citlali left soon after, trekking high in altitude, carefully navigating her way through the colder plains. But when she reached to the top of the mountain, instead of the warm spring and comforting etheral lights she had heard from elders in her youth, she found nothing but darkess.
Utter and complete darkness.
Animals were nowhere in sight, she noticed was not a good sign. The air was cold with a chill but the ground was barren of frost and snow, giving the appearance of a late spring earth. Instantly, she turned around, ready to head back and break from her quest, ready to warn the nearest village for help. She barely made it past the bend of trees before she tripped, falling over the edge of the cliff, into the darkness waiting below. The villages' lights nowhere in sight, Citlali couldn't see a thing for miles, not even the mittens covering her own hands, as if the darkness itself was swallowing her whole. She briefly wondered if this was the out-of-boy experience that was common during a vision quest, although those usually entailed seeing something and not nothing. Perhaps she was dying and this was her fate to the world she knew. A quiet demure woman who failed her shaman initiation ritual with nothing left but footsteps and her pack back on the cliff.
Then, a bright light flashed before her, something resembling like a misshapened spear with stars and feathers appeared in her hands and guided her through the inky void. As her only visible tether, she held tightly, dragged by it's direction, and promptly passed out along the way.
She woke, hours later and completely dazed in a land of nothing but sunshine, grass, and a gleaming white metallic building.
The Mammoth of Endurance (mirrors strength)So far she is only able to summon within these six animals for right now, unable to project both at a time without having to cancel the first to summon the second. She also cannot choose which animal appears, as it is at a random luck of the draw. Sometimes it'll be a wolf, sometimes it'll be a bear--it just depends.
The Bear of Love (mirrors defense)
The Caribou of Agility - mirrors stamina
The Eagle of Guidance - Mirrors magic
The Wolf of Intelligence - mirrors speed
The Serpent of Spirituality - mirrors special