Chapter 1: The Slash of Inspiration
The whip crack breaks the early morning tranquility. It sounds again and again. Some times it’s single, other times it's in two's or three's. Freya is training her raptors again. Without a single word uttered, she has them perfectly under her control. They leap and roar at every crack of her whip, not once taking their eyes off of her. Her arm tirelessly Cracks the whip, yet it never strikes them. It's all in the crack. That sharp sound, and the patterns she makes it in, is her own personal code, with which she commands her mighty beasts.
Their scales glisten in the early morning light, as their muscles flex and relax. Their bright eyes constantly trained upon Freya, in what could only be called respect. They respect her, and look upon her as their leader. "All right, that’s enough for now." she calls out, making one final crack that stops the two raptors in their tracks. The two raptors relax, and head towards Freya. The eldest of the two nuzzles her paw insistently. “Now that’s enough of that Tyroan.” She says. “You’re a ferocious creature, remember?” Tyroan looks at her, head cocked quizzically to the side. “Then again, some would say the same about me.” She says thoughtfully, as she scratches Tyroan under the chin. He Coos and stretches his head out further. Tyrant, becoming jealous, nudges her other paw with his snout. “Fine, you too!” She says with a laugh.
They stood there some time, basking in the cool forest air and enjoying each other’s company. After awhile, Freya breaks the silence. “Alright you two, break times over. Why don’t you make yourselves useful and catch us some breakfast, eh?” At this the two raptors are suddenly alert, heads turning from side to side. In a flash, they disappear into the undergrowth, the sound of scales rasping on leaves all that they leave behind. Freya allows herself a quick smile before heading to her hut. Inside it’s cool and dark. She walks over to a water basin and splashes water on her face to clean up a bit. Gazing at her reflection, she can’t help but stare at her scarred eye and remember that fateful day.
It was seven years ago, and Freya was but a wild seventeen year old neko girl, eager to be out of the house and making her own paths in life. One day, she decided to go out hunting in the forest. She brought the simple bow her father had made her before he passed away. Her sister Frieda, who was eight at that time, packed her a lunch and gave her a hug before seeing her off. Freya ran through the trees, rejoicing in the wind running through her fur. She went on like this for some time, stopping only to analyze the occasional sign of animals. It was getting later in the day when she spotted it. A big beautiful boar, whose meat could feed her large family for a couple of days with ease. Sighting down her arrow, she let lose a single shot that went right into the boar’s eye and into its brain, killing it instantly. She took a moment to marvel at her own shot, then ran over to her fallen prey and began to dress it. Only after she was well into it did she notice something was off. She slowly turned around and saw it.
It was a great black raptor, almost half again as big as her. He stared at her down his long nose, his eyes cold and calculating. Freya froze, trying her hardest not to move an inch. The raptor leisurely walked around her and began feasting upon the boar. As Freya watched this, she began to feel something. Rage. Consumed by anger, she impulsively knocked and fired an arrow in one quick motion. Then watched in horror as it skidded off of the raptors thick hide. The raptor glanced at her, and then, almost as an afterthought, racked a single claw across her face, gouging out one of her eyes in the process. As she lay there bleeding, watching helplessly as the raptor ate the rest of the boar out of her one good eye, a change came over her. She no longer felt angry, nor was she fearful. Rather, she felt awe. Awe at the raw strength rippling under the raptors scaly skin. Awe at the ease with which it had wounded her. After the raptor had finished the boar and gone on its way, Freya got up and stumbled home. The entire way, all she could think about was the raptor. Even when her family came rushing out, shock and fear in their eyes, she still thought about the raptor. That entire week, that was all she could think about as she lay recuperating. Her sister Frieda, who was a healer even then, administered strange concoctions brewed from wild plants taught to her buy their grandmother. When she had finished recovering, that almost obsession upon the raptor had crystallized into a single thought. “I want to be a raptor tamer.” She said to herself.
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