Aerie; Clipping

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[Faerie] Wings

Not all faeries are born with wings. After all wings weren't made to fly. They were made to flee.

~~Part 1~~

[Aerie, Ember, Rain, Petal, Cinder]

Royal Guard of the Haven

She perched atop the silver spire. Up there, the air was cool and crisp. Beneath her, the gleaming, polished, marble building was nothing but a cloud. From her roost the whole of Haven was laid out like an intricate map. Every winding street, every brick-paved courtyard was a simple building block, every simple cottage was a indistinguishable russet cube. A gentle gust swirled around her, the voices from below catching in each sinuous strand. She leaned back until she was precariously close to toppling over in to the streets below. She gazed up into the azure sky, the tips of the sun lighting the opaque canvas. With each ray, the sky blended into a faint periwinkle.

"Aerie!" she turned around, cerulean hair whipping into her face as she tried to locate the voice. Spinning around she released her grip on the pearly spike, her feet slipping off the slender foothold. She fell gracefully to the ground, clouds of dust rising into the air as she landed on the balls of her feet, cushioning the impact.

"Such a dramatic entrance," drawled a voice to her left. She turned slowly, rolling her eyes as she did so.

She ignored him pointedly and walked down the street, turning her back to him.

"Take it easy, I was only kidding," he hurried to catch up with her, his ashen hair trailing behind him in the breeze.

"I'm not in the mood, Sterling," she replied without turning to face him. She heard him huff, irritated and quicken his pace to keep up with hers.

"Stop, Aerie, please. Just listen to me," he whispered, putting himself in front of her and the Cores' building.

He was a good head taller than her, his skin pale and glimmering with sweat. His eyes bore into her, cold iron against pale sapphire. Silver hair collected in a high ponytail, the pearly white leather tied in a knot at the top of his head. The gray tunic with embroidered of silver hung loosely off his thin frame, the steel blade at his hip.

"Sterling, I have to go. I'll give you my answer later," she averted her gaze and slipped behind him, leaving the awkward tension behind.

Sterling extended one hand, in half of mind to pull her back into his arms. But he stopped half way, watching her lengthen the distance between them.

She walked into the oak doors of the Core. The waiting room was a large cavernous area, the ceiling as tall as any redwood. Glass panels allowed fragments of light to sift through the sky light. She stopped, her palms flat against the door as she saw a small poster hanging on a small pin swaying on the breeze. As the paper tore on an especially strong gust of wind, her hand flashed out to catch it. Looking closely at it, it was a Wanted poster.

The face staring up at her was captivating, even for a faerie. He had shaggy black hair with streaks of silver, the ends barely reached his shoulders. A sheaf of hair fell into startling golden eyes, and he bore an earring on his left side. It was about one inch long and clamped along side the outer edge of his ear; the mark of an Outcast. According to the paper, he was on the run from the Haven and he was extremely powerful. Aerie bit back the urge to scoff, leave it to Sterling and he would be caught within a few days. Crumpling the poster into a ball, she let it drop to the floor, pushing open the doors. As the doors slammed against the wall, all eyes turned to stare at her. They were standing up; all facing each other, their pale faces flushed red. The tension was palpable, they quickly turned away from each other at her arrival. Glaring, Water asked her,

"What is it, Captain Aerie?"

She opened her mouth, but Air cut in swiftly,

"Peace, Water. She was called here by me." The Core were the four Faeries that oversaw the entire Haven. Water, Air, Fire, and Earth were the masters of their elements; the title of being a Core is passed down from Faerie to Faerie, dependent entirely on their Whispering skills and leadership qualities.

Each Faerie, when they turned around 50, were subjected to going to the Academy; a place of learning to control their Whispering. Whispering was the term used for using their powers, it's said that their souls whispered to the elements to gain trust and control. However, only the best got to keep their Whispering.

As Aerie turned to face Air, the door banged open behind her again. Cries echoed off the marble walls as a Littlet, barely over the age of 70 was dragged through the doors. She was screaming, her eyes blood shot, tears were pouring out uncontrollably. Her small fingers were grasping the edge of the doorframe, her fingernails gauging out chips of wood.

The Faerie holding her gave her one last yank she was hauled away into the right corridor. As the door closed between them, their eyes connected. One thing was shared between them.

Fear.

"Aerie. Aerie honey? Are you listening?" Air waved his hand in front of her face and she snapped out of her reverie.

"Yes, sir," she replied breathlessly.

"How is the mission going with the disappearances?" Fire asked, tilting his head questioningly.

"We're still researching," she answered shortly, "there's not much information after Blaze disappeared. No one saw him leave. The last person to see him was... Sterling. But he said he didn't notice anything strange."

"Ahh... Well, we have a new assignment for you," Earth changed the subject abruptly.

"Word from the other Guards is that some Walkers are closing in on the Haven. We want you to go undercover and lead them off the trail. Do you understand?"

"Yes," she bowed and turned around. One hand on the doorknob, she turned back to face the Core.

"Where's she going?" she asked softly, eyes locked on the closed door.

"It's Clipping time," Earth responded quickly. She nodded silently, feeling slightly sick. She took a deep breath, pushing away the bile rising in her throat. The Clipping.

She stumbled out of the oak resin doors a few minutes later, her feet sliding on the tiled surface as she walked dazedly, back to her humble abode. Although they didn't have towers of steel, the Haven was well off. They preferred to use natural furnishing, houses of wood, and if you were richer, marble. She threw open her door and narrowed her eyes at the sight.

"Ember!" she roared, "Get you lazy butt out of my bed before I throw you out the window!" It was said in one breath, her pale face turning red in anger.

Her childhood friend had his lanky arm stretched over her bed, his long torso laying sideways on the comforter. His fiery red hair was splayed in different directions, crimson eyes glazed over in sleep. She usually found him here. After all he knew that the spare key was hidden under the daisies. He came over a lot, even if he was her superior, because before all that, they were still friends.

"Keep it down will ya?" he yawned hugely, ruffling his hair and propping himself up on his elbows.

She held up three fingers,

"I'm going to give you three seconds to explain why you are here."

He threw her a sidelong glance before explaining,

"See. I was got in an argument with a bobcat. It challenged me to race it around the Haven. Let's just say bobcats aren't the best sports ever." He gave her a wide smile.

She merely glared at him,

"Three."

The red-haired burglar was unceremoniously thrown out of the house, landing face first in a pile of mud. She wasn't in the mood for his playful antics, she bit her lower lip and fingered the gold circlet that usually sat, nestled in the wooden chest on the side of her bed. She held it in the palm of her hands, willing the tears not to come.

Shaking his hands above his head he screamed at the small house,

"I won't forget this!"

His legs were promptly swept from under him with a harsh gust of wind.

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