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The Koet

Dedicated to
Tsubame
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"I am the best tracker here, I should--"

"You will not do anyth--"

"There should be enough--"

"Where is Devon when she is needed?"

The voices of his Koet ring out around Jace. He feels overwhelmed; at a loss for words.  He feels the vitality of the previous find dripping out of his pores, instead congealing into thick apathy.  Lost in his own spiraling thoughts he is brought rushing to the present by a twig cracking on the perimeter. 

Another twig cracking, and the familiar gate processes for Jace just as a voice stands out above the babble, "What is going on here?!"

It shakes Jace from his revere.  Felix. Thank God. "Alright now! Shut up!" His voice is that of a commander calling an order. Felix may look and act like the even-tempered sandy blond cowboy he is, but everyone obeys and immediately falls silent, snapping to attention.  A different bearer would not get off so easily ignoring hierarchy and taking control, but this is Felix and Jace.  A history of hostility turned partnership into inseparable brothers makes them just slightly out of the realm of the norm.

Felix looks to Jace, his eyes, always lively, take him in questioningly.  Simple and straightforward may be the air, but there is a sharp sense of people hidden in the mild manner.  Making no reaction to Jace's apparent aloof stance toward his koets dissent, Felix just steps back to give the floor to Jace. 

Not bothering with an appreciative motion, Jace addresses his Koet. "There are others on our lands," outraged hissing.  Jace continues, "I have watched them since their arrival and have been intrigued and disgusted by what has been found."

Jace had a momentary gratification of power; his Koet was eating out of his hand and he had the reins entirely.  Only mildly startled by the appearance of this ego, Jace tells the Koet of the trio's strange dealings with humans.  Just giving a vaguer overview, careful not to mention the girl.  Another distantly analytical thought threatened to distract him: Why does the girl matter still to me? 

"What do they want with Humans?  Are they just asking for trouble?" 

Shaking off the thoughts, Jace met Ian's childlike expression.  Drawing on his patience Jace went for teacher mode, slowing it down, so that even the most inexperienced among them could understand.  "Yes, Ian.  What would a Bearer of the Mark such as you or I want to do with humans?"  He let the rhetoric hang for a moment,  "Puzzling until I realized what kind of humans they were meeting with.  You see, each of the humans had an unusually high power signature."  Jace smiled just slightly, musing on how much of an underexageration that was in the case of the girl.  He feels invigorating life once again breathed into him at the thought of her strange hidden in plain sight, of the scale, aura.  

Jace felt the light bulbs start clicking among the older members.  Both Tanya and Felix rocked back on their heels and exchanged a worried glance but the younger Ian and Alice still looked blankly.  

"So, what does that have to do with things?"  Ian played questioner again. 

"Come now," Jace admonished lightly.  "You are apart of this koet now, soon to be a Bearer of the Mark.  What is special about a high powered human?"

"They can be changed," Alice, the good student, finally speaks, looking troubled.  "But what could be the motivation..." She trails off, uncertain.  

"To change the human into a Bearer of the Mark?" Ziva pipes in caustically.  "Well there is that motive called..." she trails of glaring yet somehow still aloof and condescending.  "Power."  She spits the last word.   

Jace spirals once more into his revelry.  Power.  The girl's was immense for a human.  No one really knows what makes the Power within each human Strong or weak.  A strand of DNA maybe? or some crazy life experience?  Whatever the reason, it is only the power levels that matter, not the reasons behind them. Because the powerful humans are the ones the Bearers of the Mark are looking for.  It is typically a Bearer of the Mark's job to round up these high power humans as children and bring them into the world of the Koets.  The children are then raised in their ways and when they come of age they have the option to go through the rigorous training and risk of trying to accept the mark in order to become a true Bearer of the Mark.  Where the process can go wrong is when the power level is not high enough or mistakes are made in marking or training.  Really any number of things resulting in the death and mutilation of the human.  

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