"Time for a meeting."
Felix was no stranger to hunger. As an apprentice, the motto of his life was work or starve; there was no room for slackers when each day was spent marching, training, fighting, dying. As a child he was tasked with following around the older apprentices, helping with odd jobs around the encampments, learning how to stay away from the wheels of carts and out of sight when someone made a mistake and an elder warrior was feeling particularly brutish. Delivering food to the ill or wounded was simple, mindless work — he'd learned how to mull over his thoughts as he cleaned weapons after a raid or hung up blankets to dry following a night of unwelcome rain. Until he was old enough to really defend himself, it wasn't uncommon for other kids to swipe from his daily rations. For a long time he was the youngest, which automatically made him the weakest, and as a kitten Felix also learned how to deal with having his food taken, and how to weather the wounded pangs of hunger which followed. Once when he dared complain, new to the workload after a month of being holed up in the medic's quarters on account of being too young to start training, he was met with unimpressed, annoyed stares at best and the ugly, sharp laughter of mockery at worst. Learn how to defend yourself was the message to be had. It wasn't until he knocked another kid down after their claws came too close to plucking up his dinner that Felix gained a taste for having his own food that no one could take from him.
Months and months later, there he was. An orange haze fell from the sky above, the smoky haze through East Sundran dense and dark. It almost looked like there ought to be a chill in the air; naive to the smell, the smoke looked like the kind of mist that rolled in after a frosty autumn rain. But everything still smelled of campfires and treerot, painful where it swirled in the lungs and seeped through the eyes, and it carried a sticky humidity which seemed to slow everything into a lethargic sludge. Hunger clawed at his stomach. Food already was scarce, though thankfully not dismal — between the alligators, the deer, and the odd forest creature offered by allies, there was enough to fill the bellies of the young and wounded, and then some for the rest of them. Felix ate just enough to keep himself upright and nothing more. Soon, though, they'd have to send out another hunting patrol.
Owlish gaze and pinpricks of teeth snarling at intruders turned to frigid stares and permafrost fangs, Felix was a mirror of the child he'd once been. Tumultuous thoughts kept him awake at night, their baggage scoring shadows under his eyes — conflict over his actions, his reactions, the fighting that it wrought. Anger from the Thunderlands grew more intense each day, and as they crept closer and closer to enemies, their presence was seen more at the border than they ever were as allies. It wasn't right. None of it was right. But at the end of the day, there were still hungry mouths to feed, regardless of the political strife which so many distracted themselves with. Even regardless of his own anger toward their self-righteousness, believing that compromise was possible even when Felix heard himself that it was never an option to begin with.
Almost feeling as though steam was billowing from his burning skin, Felix drew in a deep breath. Focus. He looked out his clanmates, tired and weary and hungry, and tried putting his best foot forward. "No newcomers this week..." To be expected, given the state of things. "Of course, always remember to be welcoming to those that do come to the border." A good reminder to give, but Felix was confident that his clanmates kept that in mind anyway.
The lynx-cat pressed his paws to the tree root he stood upon, whiskers twitching. His voice was tired and his eyes were tired and he was tired. But there was still a spark in his chest; a clearness to his announcements as he spoke them, a glimmer to his eye as he looked toward his clanmates. There was still good among the bad. He could focus on that. Shove aside the conflict rattling around his skull and distract himself through the days. "Good job on activity this week, everyone. If you're looking for something to do, Tim is hosting a night watch, Arya has a cleanup patrol, Drift is painting, and Luci is sorting rations." Felix said, kneading his claws into the bark absentmindedly. "Also, the Coven has a Solar Dance to celebrate the changing of seasons, and we were also invited to the Sanctuary's Harvest Ball. Don't feel like the climate around here should prevent you from relaxing — if any of you would like, I encourage you to attend some ally events." He knew that it was difficult, though. When hunger loomed a smiling demon along the smoky remains of their jungle, it wasn't easy to traipse around somewhere else and pretend all was well. But Felix knew, he believed more than anything, they would make it through. He was determined to see it happen.
another week another dollar! i hope it was a great one for everyone! :)
no newcomers this week technically, but welcome ylisse with THE BEAST anyway! this meeting is probs pretty tame so stick around for part two!