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Mar 21, 2019 10:42 AM
some children wake in a strange place
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"Rain Wolf, so's she can fight anything that's tryna threaten us, then me, then her?"

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"Whatever floats your boat."

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Then they'll line up, after a quick confirmation from Malen.

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"Doggy first."

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They'll all line up in order, though the wolf pulls her teeth back from her lips at being called a doggy.

Up the chute they go.

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They awake under a thick canopy, even more dense than in the Spooky Woods. Patches of perfect, noon blue peer through the leaves, but otherwise it's dark enough that it could be night.

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Malen's a bit spooked by this, climbing to her feet and looking around for anything weird.

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"Hoooommmmeeee!" Silver declares, stretching and still in his furs. He glances over at Malen. "Hey, it's cool, Rain would've caught anything dangerous and scared it off, she's big even for a wolf."

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"I guess. What's you guys' deal?"

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"Well, we're the shifter garden, you know that. Rain can be a human shape if she wants, but she doesn't. I like having thumbs so I'm only sometimes a wolf, but i can also be a girl shape. You can tell what pack someone is by their name - everyone does a word and then their thing. So I'm Silver Wolf, she's Rain Wolf. Hawks have names with hawk, dolphins with dolphin... The fish-deer haven't made up a word yet last I heard, but they're pretty new for a pack."

"You'll stay in the human village while you're picking. All the packs will want to court you, and then you pick, and then there's a ceremony and you die and come back as part of your pack. Can't tell you how, everyone does it different and it's a secret from outsiders."

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"Okay. To the village, then."

'Village' is an unfamiliar word, as were a few others, so she asks Silver about some of the new words in this Garden as they walk.

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And then a deer foal scampers out from the trees, stopping in front of the children and looking at them thoughtfully.

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Silver is full and and such doing the wolfy equivalent of lounging nonthreateningly, so he just grins, waves, and says a short, "Hi!"

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The deer proceeds to turn into a boy. "Hi?"

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"I'm Silver Wolf! She hasn't picked yet, she's from another Garden, so I was taking her to the human village. What's your name?"

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"Someone started calling me Deu-dea-Deucalion. But that's hard to say so they call me Dewie."

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"That's neat! What tribe are you from? Are you a fish-deer - do they have a name yet - or is there a new tribe?"

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"Deer-deer."

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"Cool!"

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"Going somewhere?"

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"I was gonna take her to the human village, but didn't have a lot of other plans."

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"...You wanna play?"

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"We can! What about you, Malen?"

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She hesitates. "I dunno... I need to work on getting back to my friends..."

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"People work better when they're happy."

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