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Leo’s thoughts were cast back to his parents. His father had the ability to see and hear things that were taking place at a great distance. If someone happened to be fighting several miles down the road, he knew it was happening. He saw every detail as clearly as though he was standing right in front of it. He wouldn’t be surprised if his father had witnessed his outburst this morning. He wouldn’t be surprised if his family came marching back in on his life now. His mother was different. Her abilities were linked the mind. It was something he hated growing up, how she could alter someone’s mood or even put thoughts into one’s head and even though she had promised she would never use it on her family, he knew that she had used it on him somewhere down the line. As for his siblings, he did not even want to think about them.
Instead, he forced his attention back towards the woman who was escorted him back to the station for the safety of himself and others. He looked up when he heard her voice, pushing any remaining thoughts of his family out of his mind and he found himself listening to her intently, keen to learn more about this [I condition.] At least he did not appear to be alone with the pain. He did not remember his parents or siblings ever warning him that there might come pain with any ability he might acquire. Whether that was because they did not believe he would ever get one, he would not know. The woman stopped speaking after a moment and he was confused as to why.
[I Her hands and what?] He thought to himself but he did not know the full extent of the female’s abilities yet and she was not in a position that suggested she simply [I had] to tell him. However, she seemed to explain herself, telling him that it was simply something that she would explain to him once they were off the streets. He nodded quickly, showing that he understood and listened to her calm him worries about the pain.
[b “Well, I’m glad the worst of it is over. I honestly did not know what to do with myself. I suppose that it was worse because I did not understand it. I was not sure if this was something else but I can prepare myself for it next time…if I learn to control it of course.”] As they arrived at the station he looked it over. It was a building he had walked passed many times but he had never had cause to go inside until now. [b “I wanted to thank you by the way. I don’t think anyone else would have listened to me or taken the time to understand.”] He followed her inside, shaking his head at her comment and observed the structure of the building as he was guided through. She seemed to stop when she got to an office that was clearly her own and he followed her inside, waiting to hear more about his inconvenient powers.
The female was thankful she could at least bring a little comfort to Leo, hearing him laugh as she had been getting the humans away from where they had been. Now, as they were walking towards the station on one of the more important roads, she waited for a reply from the tiger. After all...she had asked a question, which needed an answer for her to continue the conversation. She glanced back towards him as he spoke after making sure the path ahead was clear.
[b "Ah, so the pain you feel is like that of a growing pain? That's what happens to most people when they are developing or have developed a newly formed ability within themselves. For me, it was my hands and my..."] As the cow spoke, she realized it may be inappropriate to say the other part out loud in public. Even if there weren't many people, perhaps waiting until they arrived at the station would be a good idea before explaining that part. It always made her a bit uncomfortable...
After the short moment of silence where Ushira did not talk, she pulled herself together. [b "S-sorry...maybe the other part could be left out until we get to the station. It's touchy to mention in public."] She apologized quickly, sighing gently for a few moments. [b "You'll probably feel those pains at least a couple more times as you develop and learn to use your claws like how they did at the time of the incident a few minutes ago. As time goes on, at least for me, the discomfort caused by it lessened each time. No one has ever told me it gets worse as time goes on, either. So I'd say the worst of the pain is over. The most important thing now is controlling your ability."] The woman explained to the best of her ability, hoping Leo would understand.
Within a few minutes, they finally arrived at the station, as Ushira glanced at its walls and architecture. It wasn't anything spectacular, but still gave off a comfortable yet strong sense. She liked that about the building, really. [b "Well, we have arrived. I do hope I didn't bore you along the way."] The female chuckled for a moment, opening the door and leading him inside. Inside, there was some kind of feline running the front desk, who looked up and waved gently towards both of them. [b "Good evening, Pearl."] Ushira said with a smile, before looking back at the tiger once more. She continued to lead him through a couple halls, before reaching a room labeled with her own name on it. Once they entered, it looked like a little personal office, and she sat down at her desk. There were a couple seats in front of the desk, for guests such as Leo to sit.
Leo might have found himself laughing at the way the men seemed to attempt to solve their problems. He had no doubt in his mind that they would likely find themselves in another altercation later and if that was the case, they certainly wouldn’t be able to blame anyone else. Maybe it would be for the best if they did find themselves in trouble so that they could be taught some sort of lesson, but not one that would end in a near-death experience like this one. He sighed to himself with relief when they had finally skulked away and he found himself rubbing at his paws again. The pain did not feel as prominent as if had done earlier that day but there was still an echo of the aching that would surely return next time his claws decided to make an appearance without warning. Maybe the pain was his warning.
Leo looked up towards Ushira as she started to joke about the men who were now in the distance and already beginning to laugh and joke about their antics in the bar they would be making their way too. Leo also permitted himself a moment to laugh as did Ushira. There were definitely better coping mechanisms that alcohol but they seemed like jerks anyway and he doubted that they would find a better way to cope.
At least now there was nothing to distract them from the task at hand. He would make his way to the station with Ushira and try to figure this whole thing out. He nodded as the female motioned for her to follow and he obliged willingly and with haste. He let out another sigh and started to follow her in the direction she was walking in. He had not been to the station before as there had been no need for it, so he barely knew his way but it did not matter because she did. A comfortable silence feel between the two for a moment as they walked through side streets and soon enough it seemed the female had become bored of the silence and wanted to fill their time with conversation.
[b “That’s fine.”] He said as they continued to walk and she began to ask him questions which felt slightly more like the kind of questions police would ask rather than normal conversation but he answered them anyway.
[b “Nothing peculiar but my paws have been painful for quite some time. It kind of felt like growing pains which I thought I was well past at my age.”] Leo allowed himself to laugh for a moment before looking down at his paws. [b “They seem to be alright for now at least.”]
Ushira almost breathed a sigh of relief when she could tell the victim's friends were listening to what she had explained. However, their use of booze as a coping mechanism didn't seem like the best idea. Anything that would get them out of her way was at least good, nonetheless, although unhealthy and/or risky for the few men. Luckily alcohol wasn't the most prominent thing in the town, which did keep crime a bit lower than it could have been.
Once the tiger spoke up and the men were leaving, the female finally put her attention towards him rather than the nuisances who had been there mere moments before. [b "Yeah...boohoo, the only cure for sadness is beer."] She said with a bit of a chuckle. [b "There are much better coping mechanisms than that...but I guess that's their choice of what to do."] The cow went quiet for just a moment, before Leo had began talking once more.
[b "Don't worry about it, I completely understand that accidents happen. Thank you for being compliant, I'm sure that those guys will forget about you by tomorrow, at the rate of their drinking habits."] Ushira replied kindly, still sensing the compunction within the tiger. He definitely meant what he was telling her, which gave her no reason to be rough on him. [b "Just follow me and things will be dandy. When we get to the station I can try to help you out with this...ability of yours. If you can't tell, I've had experience with abilities as well."] Now that the few men had left, she also smiled towards Leo, motioning for him to follow.
Finally, they were on the move. It was at a leisurely pace, but not so slow that they wouldn't get anywhere. The woman led him through a few side streets and then onto a road that was a bit more open and wide, being one of the more prominent areas of the population. Still, this was near the outskirts of town, so even at that there still weren't too many people living there yet. [b "The station is right down the street if we keep walking straight for a few more minutes. Might as well chat until we get there, if that's okay."] She mentioned, before continuing. [b "Was anything peculiar happening to you before your powers showed themselves? Figuring out a few things might be able to aid me in helping you out."] Ushira asked calmly, looking towards him as she strolled down the street with him.
All he wanted now, was for the humans to take their leave and simply leave him alone. Whether he had to go to the station or not was of no concern to him. It was evidently the best place for him to be because these 'abilities' had come on so quickly and he had no idea when they might happen again and he did not want to be responsible for someone's death. Instead he waited patiently for the female to try to appease the humans. It might have taken some time but somewhere down the line they started to listen to her. Or at least, the injured man's friends started to listen, not wanting to cause any more trouble than they already had.
[I "Jon, let's just let the woman deal with this freak. He is her problem now. She healed you up. No harm done! You are not dead."] One of them spoke up and placed his hand on Jon's arm, giving him a look that told him this was not worth arguing about.
[I "Yeah, we can just go to the tavern and drink away the afternoon and forget any of this happened."] Apparently the mention of alcohol was enough to get them moving and with only a single glance spared in their direction.
[b "It doesn't look like they are going to keep you arguing. It seems that they have already decided to drown their 'sorrows' in booze."] He might have laughed if he wasn't still distraught about the whole situation. Hopefully she could convince the female that she shouldn't feel the need to call any of his family, especially since they would make such a fuss about the fact he finally had some abilities come to him. In their mind his new found claws would be useless and too little too late and he knew that they whole situation would make him angry and that was an emotion he dared not to feel just yet.
[b "I will follow you back to the station as you asked officer. Once again, I am sorry for causing such a disturbance."] He massaged his knuckles and let out a sigh, noticing that some of the pain had been relieved now that the claws had released themselves. He could only hope that the pain had now subsided and he would no longer experience it. Leo just wanted to learn what had happened now and hopefully learn to control the situation so that he didn't have to adjust his lifestyle completely and apparently Ushira seemed to have the resources to help him.
Ushira silently listened to the tiger and the human victim argue, waiting for a good moment to speak up. Eventually, there was finally a good break of silence, so she took her chance and made sure to say something. [b "Sir, I know that you were almost killed. However, I also know when someone is genuinely sorry for an action and that they had never meant to hurt someone else. However, the fact that he did almost kill you is a very important thing that needs to be taken into account. I am taking him back so that I can make sure he doesn't hurt anyone else right now. Everyone is equal in this situation and thus gets equal treatment. So please...go home peacefully and without argument. I'm terribly sorry if my methods are against your own, but I'm just trying to be as fair as possible to everyone here. If I take this tiger back with me and do find anything suspicious or deceitful, I will enact proper punishment. However, as I do not see him in the wrong here as of now, I do not plan on fining him or imprisoning him. Understood, everyone?"] The cow sighed after she finished, knowing she had rambled for far too long. Still, maybe it could at least help the humans understand. She felt that her word choices had ended up being awkward but the female had at least tried to make things seem more clear.
Turning to Leo, the officer looked at him, hoping he would understand what she had said. Even if he wasn't the person who had been the victim of physical pain, she could tell he felt like a victim emotionally. She knew he didn't mean to. Dealing with liars compared to honest people long enough made it easier and easier to differentiate the two in various situations. [b "So...as I was saying...coming with me would be a good idea for now. If you couldn't tell, I have my own...abilities...as well. I do believe I could help you understand your own if it really is something that just came out of the blue and caused this."] Ushira told him, breathing for a second or two. [b "Anyway...I can lead you back to the station if you're ready, as long as...the other men don't keep me stuck here arguing."] She said quietly, making sure the victim and his pals hadn't heard her.
Leo wanted nothing more than to wish away the events of the morning. He didn't want to be here and he certainly didn't want this to happen, mostly because his discovery did not exactly allow him to be excited by them. If he were at home he might have been able to limit the damage to his own possessions but for now he was simply grateful that there was someone around to limit the damage done. He looked away from Ushira for a moment as she seemed to process and contemplate what he had said. He would accept whatever the consequences were.
It wasn't until he heard her voice again that he looked up from the floor. His lips parted to speak but the victim of his new ability spoke up. [i "You seriously can't be more interested in his ability than the fact he almost killed me?"] The man shouted as he rose to his feet with the support of his two friends. He scowled and looked towards Leo and he simply continued to look at Ushira so that he did not provoke any further abuse. He ignored him and interjected with his own response.
[b "I...I guess so. I don't know what triggered it or how it works. As I said...it's never happened to me before."] He let out a sigh and continued to avoid looking at the humans as the female spoke towards him again. It made sense to him to be taken somewhere for the sake of safety. The last thing he wanted to do was administer any more deadly penetrations to anyone who walked past him.
He nodded. [b "I think that would be for the best."] He said as he moved to follow the female wherever she might be taking him.
[i "You're not going to charge him with criminal offences? Seriously? He nearly [b killed] me!"]
The female almost wanted to sigh in relief that someone even spoke up after some silence passed, and she looked towards the tiger. Ushira stood up and gave the man who had been wounded mere moments ago some room, as she continued to keep her eyes locked on the male talking to her. Just from the sound of his voice, she could easily tell he was being quite honest. The cow had been in situations like this so many times that simply hearing the voice of who she was talking to could give her a hint at what kind of person they were, and the amount of honesty present within their voice. For Leo, truthfulness definitely was in there somewhere. She could also sense fear...stress...other negative emotions that seemed to sprout from what had just happened.
Ushira continued to listen to the feline's explanation, nodding in understanding towards his words as she took them in and thought them through. However, when he was finishing this description, her attention was caught by a phrase he mentioned. [b "So these claws...shot out from your hands? Like how a cannonball is shot from a cannon?"] She inquired, desiring to confirm that what had been heard had been understood correctly.
The cow rarely encountered anyone with such an...odd ability. Well...except for herself, but she didn't exactly count as [i another person]. If one thing was for sure, Leo would need to be investigated on his ability to make sure he can learn to control it, if he really did shoot out claws like that. Perhaps taking him in would also be good for his own safety too, anyway. The humans near him still seemed angry on the inside, although definitely in shock from what had just happened right in front of them.
[b "I won't take you into jail for criminal charges, but I think it would be safe to transport you back to my station to talk. I just want to make sure of some things and ensure everyone's safety here, so if you can just come with me for at least a few minutes I would greatly appreciate it."] Ushira tried to explain, hoping she had worded it correctly to where Leo would understand she meant no harm and legitimately just wanted to make sure things were okay.
Leo had no intention of fleeing from the scene. He wasn’t like that. He wanted to make sure the man was alright, even if he might have beaten him if the outcome had been different. He took note of someone coming towards them and he turned back towards the man who now lay upon the floor and he held his hands out in front of him, blurring the image of him into the background as he inspected his hands. This had never happened before, and it wasn’t exactly something that he was prepared for either and that scared him more than anything. Knowing that he had done this made him wonder if it was a one-off or whether it was a new ability that he had acquired and if that was the case he was worried that he would be unable to control it. He hadn’t been able to in the moment, what if this was something that would completely change his life?
Thankfully the new arrival seemed to be a member of the law enforcement and would perhaps offer more help than any other bystander. He watched as the female rushed to the man’s aid. He worried that it might have been too late for anyone to do anything to help him, but the man’s friends moved aside to help the dying man by stretching out her hand over the wound and his eyes widened as he saw some sort of glow come from her hand. Perhaps he was wrong. Clearly, she had abilities that allowed healing to take place and for that he let out a grateful sigh. At least he had not killed someone, even if it wouldn’t have been intentional.
When he was sure that the man was alright he allowed himself to step forward. [b “It was my fault.”] He admitted instantly, but he wasn’t about to give the female an abridged version of the events. [b “I’ve had pain in my fingers all morning and as this group of gentlemen walked passed me I growled because it hurt. They must have thought that it was aimed at them because when I tried to walk away he grabbed me.”] He said, using his head to indicate towards the man who had just been so close to death. [b “I have never done anything like this before…I didn’t even know that it was possible, but I got scared and angry and when I closed my fist…these…these claws came out of it. It’s never happened before so I didn’t know that I could…”]
He trailed off with his words glancing around at everyone before him, unsure whether any of it made sense or whether it was at all believable, but it was the truth. He thought to himself for a minute, wondering what his parents might say if they saw him in this kind of mess. They would probably look passed the fact he had almost killed someone and would just be glad that he [I finally] acquired some kind of ability but Leo doubted that even that would be enough for them. Throwing claws wasn’t exactly what they expected from a tiger.
[b “If you need to take me in, I understand.”]
It was hard to explain the thoughts running through one female's mind as a sigh escaped her lips. She glanced around...simple skies, an afternoon where the sun was already setting rather early but it still wasn't gone yet. An array of colors almost seemed to explode in the sky, due to whatever natural phenomena brought such beauty to the world. Unfortunately, one didn't get this much time to admire nature often, so it was always a rare occurrence to get to relax. Especially for a faithful soldier dedicated to protecting her town.
Ushira finally managed to let her eyes be pulled away from the sky, as she knew she most likely had duties to attend to before the sun would fully set. There would be no use in procrastinating something like such, unless she wanted to be up throughout the night longer than normal. Of course, a cow such as herself wanted to get proper rest. Too little sleep and she could be weak by the morning...and what if an attack happened then? The female would never be properly prepared if she didn't get proper rest at the appropriate time each night.
If she was off-duty, her schedule would be so much more casual. However, she had been assigned to her current fort near a quiet part of the town recently to ensure the safety of the people until more protective facilities and soldiers could be positioned there. Ushira did look forward to the relaxing days of not working that would soon arrive, but for now, she let the thoughts leave her mind.
After stretching for a moment or two, the cow finally made her way down some stairs and through a couple streets. "Back to the fort." She said to herself quietly, before suddenly hearing something faintly, then noticing someone shout for help. Unlike some other times she had been called for, directly or indirectly, this cry sounded rather serious about its importance of needing what it desired. Thus, Ushira listened to the shouting voice, letting it guide her to one particular alleyway.
Her eyes scanned the small space, taking in what she could. There was a tiger, and a small group of humans. The feline seemed very distressed, and was definitely the one who had been calling. Blood was upon his claws, but his hands were shaking with nervousness and fear. It was almost like he had no idea what he was doing or had done. The cow's eyes then looked over to the humans, where a badly injured man was now on the ground. He was bleeding out very fast, and Ushira instinctively rushed over as quickly as possible. "Excuse me, sirs. I'm here to fix this...and hear some explaining as to what has happened here." She spoke, her low voice echoing a little, before she finally had enough room to kneel over the dying man.
"Let's see here..." The female stretched a hand out, getting it as close to the major wound as possible but not to where she was touching it. Her eyes closed, and she focused greatly on what she was doing. In a few moments, a white aura seemed to grow out of thin air around her hand, and she guided it to cover and fill the injured citizen's cuts. She let the aura sit there for about a minute, before the substance dissipated and any sign of previous wounds had been erased from the man. "There we go...all fixed up. You're lucky I arrived here in time to save him." Ushira told everyone present, including the peculiar tiger who she suspected was the cause of this incident.
"So...what happened to cause this, gentleman? I do hope you are compliant with me. If not, I may have to end up taking somebody in." The cow requested and warned. Just simple law procedure to see if anyone was at fault for crime. If no one would respond, she could simply take them all in and interrogate them...not that she liked to enforce such methods. However, it sometimes was necessary for some criminals.
There was something about this day that felt different to every other day. He couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was but he was sure the feeling would explain itself at some point. It wasn’t as though he ever had a [I normal] day. Being what he was, was not exactly normal but it was easy to tell when something was out of place.
Leo made his way through the centre of town, avoiding the looks of everyone as he brushed passed those who looked at him with disgust. Whether it was because of who he was or what he looked like, he did not know; nor did it matter. He moved with haste to a quieter part of town, hoping that no one would notice him and he sulked into a corner when he thought no one was looking.
He let out a sigh and allowed his back to rest against the cold brick of the wall behind him and brought his hands together. The bones in his fingers had started to ache these last few days and he had no idea why. He had never had claws before, which was partly why his parents had always been so hard on him. He wasn’t exactly everything he was supposed to be in their eyes and a tiger without claws was hardly a tiger at all, or something to be feared and for some reason, one that he never understood, his parents wanted to be feared. To Leo, that always seemed rather lonely and he knew from experience that it wasn’t exactly fun being alone. He doubted that his claws were going to make an appearance now after all these years.
As he rubbed at his hands, his tail began to curve in on itself and finally came to rest behind him, wrapping around his thigh partially. He just wanted this day to be over as well as wanting the pain to stop. Surely growing pains should have been something that was a thing of the past. He was far too old to be experiencing them in his adult years. Although, he no longer had time to process those thoughts as he heard the sound of people walking passed him. He tried his hardest to remain in the shadows so that he didn’t draw any attention to himself but it seemed that his pain betrayed him and he growled as a new shooting pain ran through his fingers.
[i “Did you just growl at me?”] One of the passing people stopped where he was and moved towards him so that he was no longer standing in the shadows alone. Leo hadn’t seen him before but he definitely looked aggressive. [i “I’m talking to you kitty! Did you just growl at me?!”] The man’s hand was placed hard down on the wall next to his head and all Leo could do was shake his head. He wasn’t scared but he didn’t want any trouble either.
[b “No I just...it wasn’t intentional.”] Leo wasn’t the kind of person who enjoyed confrontation but people expected him to be because he was a ‘predator’. [b “I’m sorry. I’m just leaving.”] As Leo brushed passed him the man grabbed hold of his shoulder and shoved him back into the wall. His throat turned into a growl and his hand came up, turning into a fist but as soon as his fist closed up, something happened that he didn’t expect. Sharp claws thrust through the skin and released themselves from beneath and penetrated the skin of the man before him, ripping through his chest. He was absolutely petrified in that moment. It was the last thing he expected and he wanted to get out of there but he didn’t want it to look like he had done it on purpose.
Instead he started to panic. [b “I didn’t mean to. I...”] The man started to stumble backwards and his friends started to make a fuss of him. [b “Can someone help us?”] Leo shouted as he made his way out of the shadows, looking around to see if anyone could help them.
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