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by: Seren Weavers
" You forget: I'm not as stupid as your master must be."

The little sleeping form in the bed shivered, despite the comfortable temperature in the makeshift room.


Chains clinked in Seren's mind as her dream began to replay those painful events. The memories of the cold shackles and stretched, painful tourture caused a soft, heart felt cry.

She could feel Lord Williams' fingers twisted in her hair, pulling and tugging against her scalp. He tugged her towards the rusted out metal tub, icy cold water thundering against the tin as it filled.
" Sir please, PLEASE!" Her own voice rang through the dream, as the man tugged her close and closer to the rapidly filling tub.
" Sir please, PLEASE!"

The water was getting closer, her body was pressed against the clammy metal. He was going to force her head under. It didn't matter if reality had been different, in this moment, in this dream, Lord Williams was going to really kill her.
His hand forced her face down, closer into the liquid, her panicked eyes staring back at her.

A gasp ripped though the young woman as she bolted upright in bed. A shakey hand went to Seren's wild hair, as if to reassure herself that there was nothing (or rather no one) there.
Of course there wasn't. She was alone, just as she had been when she'd laid down to sleep. Half of her wanted to burrow back down and pray for dreamless sleep, but her body refused. The possibility of returning to the nightmare was enough to chase any hope of sleep from her mind.

Seren reached out and grasped the glass of water by her bed, but it was empty.


The warehouse was still as Seren's bare feet padded against the cold floor. She regretted not pausing to find socks before slipping from her little room. Her over sized shirt and flannel pajama bottoms weren't much defense against the dead night air.
Seren hadn't made a habit of venturing from little box room and especially without either Casey or Lucy stuck to her side.
But it was the middle of the night, she only wanted water, who was there to run into in the world felt so still?
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by: Tabora
(OOC there's no time stamp, so if we make this March 21st, Tabby should be a member of Isis by that point. I'm going to post under that assumption if that's okay.)

Tomorrow...tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Tabby kept feeling the word echo through her skin. the moon was nearly dark. Tomorrow, she would be hunting in her shadow walker's skin. Tonight though, she couldn't sleep. There was too much energy in her bones! So, instead of pretending to sleep, the Nagual woman was in the open part of the warehouse, practicing with La Llorona. The spear was a modern interpretation of an ancient weapon. The collapsible shaft went from two feet long to eight feet. The white blade added another six inches to the overall length. The construction was mostly out of a springy metal and carbon design, but the blade was a traditional obsidian. Well, mostly traditional. Nagual and wizard magics were fused into the weapon's construction to prevent it from breaking. The stone's crystalline structure trapped the thaumaturgical energy, turning a milky pearl color. The obsidian sharpness plus the unbreakable nature of the blade made it the perfect vehicle for a Nagual's strength and speed. Tabby had named her personal weapon after a Mexican urban legend: The Weeping Woman.

Tabora practiced her fighting moves. The shaft was wonderfully compliant, whipping through the air to jab, slash, an sweep imaginary opponents. Practice was good. It was necessary for a hunter to always keep their claws sharp. A thin sheen of sweat oiled the tanned skin that was exposed by her tank top and shorts. The air was cool this far north, but that was just fine. A small sound interrupted the woman's practice. Tabora cast her senses out to see who was up this early in the dark morning. Gold eyes pierced the night to see a girl. A smile lit the nagual's face as she called a quiet greeting.

"Good evening, young one."
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by: Seren Weavers
"Good evening, Little one."

For a girl as flighty as Seren, a voice coming the darkness was almost enough to stop her heart. She shrieked, her feet tripping over each other in desperation to back away from the bodiless words. It was just as well Seren hadn't made it to the kitchen yet, as if had the glass would have definitely gone flying.
Her back found the wall with a thump her eyes swept the room until they landed on a shadowy figure.

Baring Casey and Lucy, Seren had only met a handful of Isis members and the voice was not one she recognised. So was it either a member she'd never met, or an enemy who shouldn't be there.
Either way, Seren didn't relish the thought of either.

"I'm..." Seren's voice quivered. Suddenly it didn't seem to matter that she had every right to be here, that she was the guest of Casey even if she wasn't a real Isis agent. Right now she felt like a trespasser.
In an effort to steady her voice Seren swallowed and tried again.
"I'm allowed to be here!"
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by: Tabora
A cocked head indicated Tabby's interest. The young one was scared but defensive. Ah, she couldn't see clearly in the dark the way the Nagual could, nor could she scent or hear as clearly. Poor humans...always at such a loss with their natural bodies. Tabora unsheathed her wand and spoke quietly.

"That is good that you are allowed here. I am as well. Lumos rubens."

A red light bloomed at the tip of Tabora's wand, allowing the two to see each other but not offending their night-adjusted eyes. The ruby glow illuminated Tabby's smile, less predatory and more comforting as she introduced herself.

"I am called Tabora. I'm new to this outfit...were you headed to the kitchen?"

The jagur-shifter nodded to Seren's empty cup as an indicator. Water sounded good...she should drink as well. With a flick of her arm, she collapsed the spear she carried into its two and a half foot length and slid it carefully into the holster on her shoulders. It would do her no good to accidentally cut herself or this girl with the blade.
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by: Seren Weavers
Embarrassment, hot and prickly, spread up Seren's back despite the cold night air dancing around her feet. What on Earth had she said that for? She might not be guilty, but she certainly sounded it now. What was that saying about guilty conscience and loose lips?

The flash of the wand made Seren flinch, ready to dart before the harmless light shone from the tip. Even the red low light sent Seren's light eyes blinking a few times in surprise before she could focus in on the face. The woman she was met with wasn't quite what Seren had expected... The face was... Different..? Intense but not unkind. There was a smile too, not an unkind twist of a smirk but comforting. A friendly face was nice to see.

Seren nodded carefully at the introduction, "I'm Seren..."
She eyed the spears a little nervously, even in two the weapon looked heavy and sharp, completely capable to do damage.
He tugged her eyes away from the blades, having to remind herself to listen to the woman in front of her. Had she asked a question?
"Yes I was... I had a..." What? A nightmare? You're going to admit to being that weak? Seren bit her lip for a moment, silencing herself before she tried again.
"I wanted a drink..."
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by: Tabora
Tabora nodded. Tact was required for politeness. A Nagual wouldn't have gotten away with such a lie, but Tabby wasn't going to be rude to this Seren.

"I could use a drink as well. Tomorrow's the new moon, so I can't sleep. I'm what you humans call a Nagual, a were-jaguar. Tomorrow night at this time, La Llorona and I will fit each other better and I'm gonna be hunting...something. I don't know yet what."

She wasn't sure, but it would be fun. The Nagual woman stretched her neck left and right, popping her neck.

"So you gotta British accent. What brings you to America?"

Tabby was trying to change the subject to something innocent, not realizing the history Seren had with the place.
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by: Seren Weavers
Nagual... Well Seren hadn't heard of that, but then the list of her ignorance was hardly short. A six month education followed years of servitude was hardly conducive to an academic education. Sure life had taught her other things, the best way to avoid eye contact, to fold yourself up and look too pathetic to waste time on. Life had taught her to survive, even if she'd rather it hadn't.
Still though, Seren had a lot to catch up on.

The mention of the moon made Seren think of Cedric... He'd probably been sold half a dozen times by now. How many times would it take for the man so strong to break?
"I knew a werewolf once..." Seren murmured, more to herself than her knocktornel companion, "Well not a werewolf... He said he transformed with the moon but kept some control. Are you like that?"

The question would was innocent enough, Tabora couldn't have known what she'd been asking. It wasn't her fault Seren's story was a painful one, and a weird accent in a foreign land would always illicit questions.
"Casey. He saved me, How much should she say? Tabora probably wasn't asking because she wanted to know, more out of politeness.
"I was sold when I was younger... I see things and when my master thought I was withholding information he uh..." Seren swallowed shakily, blinking back the memories and forcing them out of her mind, " He almost killed me. Casey said that when he found me I was almost dead... He brought me here and..." Seren trailed off and shrugged. Her life story in 10 seconds or less, a snap shot from years of hurt and torture. It all seemed pretty bleak really...
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by: Tabora
A werewolf with control, huh? Most of the ones who called themselves werewolves were wizards, as far as Tabora knew. They had a disease. The Spanish had brought the disease over when they invaded. The Mayans quickly culled anyone who contracted the illness, so Tabby only knew stories from the outside.

"Can't rightly say. When I look like a cat, I think like a cat, so being in control is a relative idea. I don't kill randomly, and I don't attack people, if that's what ya mean. Give me access to dark creatures though and, aye mamí...like a kiddy in a candy store, tell you what."

She grinned and turned the corner into the kitchen. On an early hunt, she killed a lethifold once. The thing looked like an old blanket hung on a branch, but old blankets didn't smell cold in the middle of summer.

Tabora opened a cabinet to get a glass for herself, but stopped all movement when Seren implied that not only was she a slave, but a seer as well. The Mayan spoke quietly, but firmly.

"My people revere seers. If you were born a human in my culture, you would have been trained from childhood, encouraged to become a government leader, and taught all wisdom. If you were born a Nagual like me, you woulda been trained to be a high priestess...the highest form of leadership. And they made you a slave?"

She didn't get violent, didn't raise her voice or get tense, or even grip he wood hard, but a hunting Hunger awoke in her. Seers were spirit touched. They were chosen to see into the shadows of the future. They needed training and protection to keep the darkness from twisting their souls. This girl...she was a seer? Then Tabby would protect her, as was her duty as a Shadow Walker.

"Tomorrow night, when the sun slips under the horizon, if you wanna come see me shift, you can. After that, I wanna start training you so that you don't have to call anyone master and you don't have to fear any shadows. Would you like that?"

It was okay if the girl said no. As long as Tabby was in America, she'd watch out for the girl. When the time came to go, the Nagual would go. Until then, the spirits clearly put her in this girl's path to train her.
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by: Seren Weavers
Well it had been a long shot... Seren had felt the need to ask. It wasn't even as though she had seen Cedric transform, she could only go by what he had said and the man hadn't been overly descriptive. It seemed Tabora would be far better for her education that Cedric had been.
"You sound like you enjoy it?" Seren cocked her head, curious not accusing. There was nothing wrong with that of course, if Tabora did enjoy it. If being a shapeshifter was part of her as it seemed then it was good that she accepted it. There were so many people who rejected parts of themselves they didn't appreciate - it was refreshing to see someone who accepted all of themselves.

As Tabora froze in her search of the cupboards, Seren felt the familiar churn of unease rise in her stomach. Had she said something wrong? She licked her lips nervously, wondering how on earth she had ruined this conversation. Maybe the woman didn't like seers, or slaves, or Casey... Maybe...
But then Tabora started talking again and Seren relaxed back against the counter top. Thank God.

The weird, round about, compliment made hear rise in Seren's cheeks. She wasn't special. She couldn't even control her visions... Sure it made sense for proper Seers to be respected, but that wasn't her. Seren doubted it would ever be her.

"I was only ten when I was given to the slavers..." Seren mumbled, unsure of why she was defending those who had done that too her, "They didn't know, well I didn't even know. My dreams didn't start until years later..."

The idea of training brought her up short. Training... Something in the way Tabora's words left Seren doubting that that the woman meant magic, more... Physical training? Which sent the young girl's heart beating faster.
"I should ask..." Ask who? Casey? He would tell her to do what made her happy, and Lucy may offer advice but never tell her what to do. Neither would force her into either decision... They'd leave it up to her.
So what did she want to do?
"I... I think I'd like that?"
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by: Tabora
Tabby looked the girl over with a smile. She had a bit of a backbone, then. It was good. Real good. Tabby's eyes shifted to the tap. She turned the faucet on and filled her glass, drained it, refilled it, and then turned the tap off.

"Bueno. That means 'good' in Spanish. I'm sure Casey or someone else can teach you more magic than I can, but ain't no thing gonna build your confidence like knowing you can smash a man's jaw so bad he can't eat for a month if he touches you without permission. Now...I can also teach ya to move stealthy like a cat so you're never in a position to NEED to smash a face in, but it's a comforting thing to know."

Nagual were social creatures, but only on their terms. Much like their smaller feline cousins, Nagual went where they pleased and did what they wanted so long as it was within the bounds of their job duties and the laws that governed the Maya. Tabby had grown up surrounded by her cousins and the humans that populated the empire. Everybody taught everybody. It made the empire stronger, but it also forged interpersonal bonds that Tabby honestly missed. Isis was an interesting organization, but everyone typically kept to themselves. Tabby just wanted to pour out attention and caring on this girl, wanted to treat her like she would a fellow Mayan, wanted to train her like she would a cousin.
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by: Seren Weavers
Seren had been accused of having an array of things over the years, but never backbone. Perhaps once upon a time, back when her parents were alive and Seren could still live innocence of the harsher methods of this world. Perhaps then, but not no.
Still... Making a decision for someone other than Casey felt good. Sure her stomach twisted nerves, but there was something else in her chest too. Pride.

Seren reached forward and filled her glass of water after Tabora. She stole a few sneaked glances of the woman from behind her glass as she spoke. She wasn't as old as Seren had origionally thought. Older than her sure, but not as old as Lucy and no where near Casey. Twenty's maybe? That was young to have so much skill...

The idea of being as powerful as Tabora seemed to believe she could be sounded impossible. Seren wasn't strong, wasn't powerful, she was just... Her...
"Stealth seems more... Possible..." Seren took a sip of water, a thoughtful look slipping over her face, "If not... There is Spanish?" The attempt at humour suprised even Seren. If Casey had been there he would have been proud.
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by: Tabora
Tabora liked this little girl. She was a survivor. That alone deserved recognition and admiration. On top of that, she had a quiet little wit...it was subtle and cute. Tabby smiled, her eyes wrinkling in appreciation.

"Ja, ja, there is always Spanish."

Tabby finished her water and started washing the glass out. Being as flighty as she was, Tabora blurted out her next idea. After all, it seemed good to her, so why not?

"Wanna start now? We could head down back into the common area and I could show you exercises to do to start building the muscles you'll need for the balance and agility later on. We can start slow...stretches and muscle building, then basic stalking methods, then more advanced stealth techniques until you can hide in plain sight like a cat."

Her excitement bled into her voice. Tabby couldn't help it. She was naturally excitable, especially around the new moon. if that wasn't enough, Tabby liked to teach youngsters her craft. Back home, that was the difference between life and death. Hell, based off what Casey lectured her about, it could be the same here too.
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by: Seren Weavers
Now? Now?

Seren's initial reaction was to back out of the conversation and say no. She couldn't, talking about training with Tabora was one thing but actually doing it, she COULDN'T! What if -
Actually... What if indeed.
What would happen? What could happen?
Casey wouldn't care if she begun training, or Lucy, in fact they'd probably be happy if she began to branch out relationships to others within the warehouse. Of course part of her still worried over punishment, but that life was behind her, forever.
She could, if she wanted to...

And Seren did think she wanted to.

Besides, if she said no, what else would she do? Go back to bed to face the nightmare she'd fled bed to escape? Seren didn't feel quite ready for that.
So what was there to lose? And, more to the point, what was there to gain?

"If you had time..." Seren swallowed the last of her water, gathered the last few scraps of nerve, and set her empty glass on the counter top, "I'd like that."
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by: Tabora
Time? Time?! this was prime time! Tabby grinned and winked at Seren.

"You. Are funny. Midnight to dawn is the best time to go dancing if you're a jaguar, chica. And tomorrow, I'ma be a jaguar, so my body thinks that right now is the time to daaance!"

Tabby put a shimmy into her step as she sauntered down the hall. She felt good and wanted to help the little one feel good too. She turned and started walking backwards, evaluating Seren thoughtfully for training purposes.

"Okay...pretty much a blank slate...that's good! That means you probably have no bad haits and you can work evenly insteada tryin' to catch up your arms and core to your legs or legs to back and all that...also means that when you start puttin' on muscle, you gonna be really surprised with how good ya look!" Tabby winked at her again, obviously being playful.

Once they were in the open area, Tabby had the girl stand in front of her with her feet a shoulder space apart.

"Okay...here is important. Relax, and help your body remember what this feels like. Feet a shoulder width apart, toes face forward, shoulders down, natural curve to the spine. All our stretches and exercises start here. First thing we gonna do is hands up, up....and then up on our toes, back to feet flat, then take your hands down past your face and stretch down as far as you can go. Don't worry about how far yet, don't bounce, just let yourself ease on down..." Tabby demonstrated, letting herself stretch all the way down so her palms were on the floor.

"I been doing this for years and I'm part cat, so don't you dare ever feel bad about your own progress, 'kay? You measure yourself from where you were a month ago...that's who you're trying to be better than. Alright, now that we down here, we grab a leg and lean over to it, hold, then switch legs....good. Now stand back up to the starting position. How are you feeling?"

Tabby watched her trainee and waited for her reaction and feedback.
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by: Seren Weavers
Funny? Funny? Really?
The comment made the young woman blush, which she hoped would be concealed by the darkness. Sure Seren had been laughed before, plenty of times during her hours as a test subject, but she'd never before been considered funny. To be funny meant jokes, which meant having the confidence in a friendship to make them. Seren didn't think she was there with people yet. Maybe, maybe, Casey on a good day, but no one else.

As Tabora began moving away Seren scurried to keep up, feet padding against the cold floor.
She blinked awkwardly, trying not to be put of by the was the older woman scrutinised her. She was definitely being measured up, but not in a negative way, more curious. At least that's what Seren hoped.

The stance she was placed in sent a stab on anxiety into her stomach, memories of sales threatening to make their way out to the forefront of her mind. But Tabora's mater-of-fact words and easy demonstrations seemed to calm her nerves.
Seren shook her shoulders and began to copy. It felt awkward, not a fluid, natural movement like Tabora's. Seren let her body sag like Tabora suggested. Her fingertips didn't quite manage down to the cold floor.
"Should I be able to touch the floor?"

Seren did as she was told, and although she couldn't touch her foot she did manage her ankle. She repeated the motion on the other side then snapped back up to full height quickly.
She blinked, her head suddenly feeling rather light.
"I..." Seren blinked rapidly, scrunching her eyes up while her sight returned to normal.
"Yea, alright?"
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