IS THERE ANY LIFE ON MARS? // abandoned kit


Flower Child
Jun 10, 2022
She never should have gone back to her father. She shouldn't have waited when her mother had crossed the Thunderpath alone. She should've gone with her. She might've seen the car sooner. Might've saved her mother. Or at least gone to the beyond with her. Anything other than going back to her father. What had she expected? That he would suddenly soften to her? Allow her to grieve? Of course not. He only pushed her harder. With her mother out of the way he was free to try and toughen her up. Make an ideal man out of her.

There was to be no more crying, he said. No more whimpering, no show of weakness. Fighters never cried, he said. But she wasn't a fighter. Not really. She still cried. She just did a better job of not getting caught. She failed nearly every training session, and came away battered and bleeding. Her right foreleg had been clicking for the last quarter moon, and it hurt to put any pressure on it. She did it anyway. The beatings hurt worse.

But they'd been nothing compared to the current state she was in, what had happened when she’d told her father she was really a girl and not a tom after all. Not Thorn, but Sage. She didn’t want to “man up” anymore. His paw had made such a hard impact with the side of her head that her ears were still ringing. She’d tried to block out most of his enraged shrieking, to run away as he hit her over and over again, took her scruff between his teeth and flung her towards the biggest tree in the area.

At least it had put some distance between them. Enough that Sage could hurry away on injured feet, scurrying away through the forest and being too frightened to even look both ways before stumbling across the Thunderpath. She managed to limp a short distance before crumpling down into a heap. Short, quick sobs came from her muzzle, and the kitten buried her face in her paws and cried.

− ♱ ABOUT : his relationship with his family had been tenuous at best. raised in a feral colony on the outskirts of some poor patch of land overrun by twolegs and their noisy kits who left just enough food and scraps out for the poor, disease ridden creatures to keep them afloat and fumbling to gnaw at the last, splintering rat bone they could find. he couldn't remember much about his circumstance beyond his mother's over - protective violence or his fathers complete refusal of him and the blame that came with it. family was a near abstract concept to him, before he'd taken up with briar during the groups early days. they were as close to a familial bond as he'd ever gotten and, due to his own emotional incompetence, even that was.. lacking.

he didn't like to think about it much, admittedly.

the first sound of quick, heaving breaths caught his ears and his skull perked, sloped muzzle lifting tentatively into the air and rubber - black lips parting to taste.. soot. burning, rubber, blood. thick, molten iron scent that scorches its way down his throat like ethanol and the mottled tom is moving before he can think not to. the sharp, sobbing coughs could very well be a fox -- or any other wounded creature, really. pain receptors were universal, he'd found. lungs constrict, wheeze, convulse with agony and his skin crawls at the thought of it being a clanmate, what if its a kitten, what if theyre in trouble what if he doesnt know what to do --

the frantic pit - pat of snow - dipped paws slows as he enters the clearing from the veil of pine that lined their square of the land.

a child. crumpled, beaten, matted with blotchy red - black blend of dirt of blood. she'd curled into herself and cicada's chest lurched at the sight. she was so small, and oddly enough, seemed to have similar features to him despite her pale blond - mocha palette, " oh, sweetheart, no.. " the tom trails off, pale ice luminaries soft and frantic with the need to assist, velveteen vocals shaking just slightly despite the low, intentionally soothing timbre ; he knows she isn't okay. he didn't need to ask. slowly, keeping an eye on the kitten, cicada would aim to lower himself to her right ; crouching to make himself smaller, " my name is cicada, i want to help you. can you tell me what happened? "


Rust was merely casually roaming, his paws happened to take him to the outskirts of the thunderpath. Amber eyes first spot Cicada, the tall and curly-furred tom seemed to almost be hovering over something...

A child.
Pupils dilate in shock, large paws slowly begin to creep forward. This she-kit was not physically healthy, that was blatant to see! Almost from head to toe, he could spot blemishes, cuts, dirt, and or blood. Poor thing... good thing Cicada was here at the scene to do the talking and comforting. Rust was no good at it and wasn't the most emotionally intelligent.

He remains a few paw-steps back not wanting to overwhelm the crying child further, if there was anything to do to help, he'd move forward if and when needed.


╰☆☆ She'd crossed the Thunderpath once, on the run from her guilt and her cowardice. Blood on her paws, in her wake. She does her best to forget what came before Briar's group, does her best to assimilate, become the marsh cat she was meant to be, dwell in the shadows as though she's been born of them. But every now and then, a reminder comes through, like a thorn through her paw pad.

She's trailed after Cicada and Rust, not for any real purpose. Hunting is best done alone, and she'd initially left camp to do just that. But curiosity became sharper than even her ever-present hunger, and when she comes across the older cats gazing down upon a helpless pale scrap of fur, she freezes. Cicada is asking the poor thing if she's okay, would she accept help.

Flicker stands beside Rust, fiery eyes fixed on the beaten kit. Bloody, bruised, favoring a paw. She grits her teeth. Only cowards hurt kits. She lashes her tail. She does not take her cue from Rust, who stays back while Cicada talks to the kit in dulcet tones. Her temper has risen.

"Did another cat do this to you?" She asks. She's forgotten to be soft. Her claws flex in the mud. "Are they still around?" Her gaze shifts to the woods beyond, wondering. Her muscles itch with the need to fight, to punish. She doesn't know the child, but she doesn't have to. Cowards deserve what they get.
Sage stared, wide eyed at the three cats that had suddenly surrounded her. And then they were all asking her what happened, and she didn’t know what to say. What if they reacted the same way her father did? What would happen to her then? The kit heaved herself to her paws, staggering backwards before falling to the ground again.

“I…” Sage started, flinching as she spoke. “My dad got really mad at me. I told him I was really a girl and not a boy and he…he…” she trailed off, ducking her head in case she’d just opened herself up to more trouble.

“He’s not still around. I don’t think.” A lie. But what would happen if these cats tried to go after him? Would he hurt them too?
Cold anger flared in the molly's teal eyes. Her words dripped with fatal venom, "He is no father. That title was stripped from him the moment he raised his claws and denied you as his daughter." Once again, prejudice revealed one's inner self: a common theme displayed over the last few days.

"Flicker, Cicada... Please escort her to camp. It is safer there and someone might be able to help with the injuries." Though asked "nicely", her voice held firm and unwelcome to arguments. At that moment, she truly looked like Frog Croak's offspring. Unlike usual, Salamander wasn't waiting for orders from someone above her. There wasn't time for that. Instead, she issued the orders, and dared anyone with a sharp look to question her authority. "And.. Briar should be notified." Despite her authoritative tone, she was still aware of her place.

As for her role in this?

Salamander dipped her head respectfully to older tom, "Rust, shall we go hunting?" An "innocent" question that masked her motives for the sake of the battered kit. Her true intentions were evident by the way her icy glare scanned the horizons and her unsheathed claws that dug into the ground. It was clear as day, perhaps even to Sage, that Salamander intended to hunt down this so-called "father". Justice needed to be served - a punishment tenfold conducted.

ooc:// sal will leave to search for sage's father whether or not the others listen to her.​
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His blank expression does not change as the girl briefly tells her story unless you paid careful attention to his eyes, sorrow shone deep within them. He agrees with Cicada, that was no true father and they'd ensure he never got the chance to hurt his daughter again. They'd bring her back and get her on her paws.

As for Cicada's orders, Rust is hardly phased by them. He could be an authoritative tom himself when he wished to be, but despite that, he was still capable and fine with taking orders himself. There was no reason to get up in arms about that right now. Flicker and Cicada are asked to escort the child back to their camp, he is asked to go "hunting".

He grins.
"Sure thing, I'm quite hungry." He'd never let down a good fight... but they'd have to track this cat down first. Catch him first. A smart cat would've gotten his tail out of here quickly after doing something like that... but he may not be aware there are other cats in the area. Ones with some amount of decency.

All they could do is try, and try Rust would.

Sage blinked, confused at the lack of vitriol being sent her way. They were angry, but not at her. None of them so much as raised a claw to her, though the harshness in their voices caused her to flinch. They were talking about some sort of camp, and Sage wondered how far away it was. Soft blue eyes glanced about her surroundings, which all appeared much the same to her. She turned her gaze up to Cicada and Flicker and asked in a small voice, "Where is that?" She looked down at her small furry feet. "I dont know if I can walk very far."
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− ♱ ABOUT : heart that had lodged itself in his throat, esophagus clicking around the thickness of dread and sorrow, falls even deeper at the mention of a father. it embeds within his stomach, bringing feral venom to surge with the stomach bile such a thought spurred — that creature struck a youth, too small to defend herself, or too afraid. before he could say a word, the male’s harsh blue luminaries fixates on the now - speaking salamander, pupils flexing in newfound fury ; despite it he remains still, body lax and close enough to the girl to emit a comforting warmth from his swath of black - white curls. he draws a breath, deep and heavy and enough to weigh his sternum.. and slowly releases it, lowering his sloped skull towards the girl, “ she’s right. no one has the right to deny you yourself, dearest. “ he speaks, attempting to press a brief, friendly nose to her ear, “and regardless, no honorable cat would ever raise their paws to a kitten. “ the last part nearly spit, a single lash of his tail bringing it to curl neatly over his haunches.

certain events had made it difficult to avoid the topic ; the man had always assumed it was common knowledge not to hurt youth, whether the reason. an inclination alone to do so was despicable, case in point. red - hot rage boiled in salamander’s teal optics and he felt himself reflect, tipping his head to offer her a short, grim nod. please escort her to camp.

in seconds, his features burst with life. a small smile dances on rubber - black lips once he looks back to sage, “ of course! ” trills he, forcing his tone to remain steady, lengthy tail coming to sweep over the girls side, careful of potential wounds. she’d been severely beaten, injury marring just beneath her light coat, and while he couldn’t tell just the extent — he knew he could tend them enough. a scrape, some bleeding.. cleaning blood from a wound, he could handle. he didn’t know what to do for anything further, but he would not be leaving her side until she was in camp, away from whatever monsters that lurk within the shadowy planes. salamander seemed intent on catching this tom and recruits rust, and flicker is ordered to come with him. icy gaze flits over the massive, amber - coated tom for a moment, and.. yes, cicada had no qualms about him being the one to accompany her. he was large, sturdy, and cicada could hold his own — but his willowy, bird - boned figure bore its own difficulties.

suddenly, the girl speaks up.

his ears twitch upward. she speaks gentle, timid — riddled with fear, and too young to know anything but. her words bring a heavy pang to his chest, aching for her. she couldn’t walk. a grown feline attacked a kitten so badly she couldn’t bear to walk. suddenly, tears well ; heavy against the lining of his lower lid, pinprick aching at the back of his tonsils with the effort to restrain a snarl of frustration on her behalf. perhaps it was best he didn’t go find the father himself — he would rip the toms ears from his skull single - pawed and thrill in it. his ribcage shudders with suppression, forcing his features into an expression of comfort. kindness. something she’d evidently never been shown,” oh, it isn’t far. although..” cicada pauses, vocals trailing into a high, lilting question. the marsh group was crawling with life and he worried for her, the fear of new surroundings. new faces. he remembered being young, somewhat.. fuzzy and blackened with repression as it was, he remembered venturing out on his own for the first time. in the midst of fear, tragedy, horrors he hadn't known possible until it seeped deep into the veins of his former colony. suddenly, he perks.

how about we play a game? ” his head tilts, still couched next to her, eyes alight. he lowers his head a little bit, exposing the length of his neck and back,” mother used to call this ‘ playing ‘possum. ‘ she’d have me cling to her shoulders and coat for as long as i could, just to see the world from a different perspective. “ he purrs gently, offering a brief wink to punctuate. it wasn’t, really — she’d been carrying him somewhere, after he’d gotten too big to be carried by mouth. his memory was foggy, muddled with things he couldn’t quite place, and his family life had been.. complicated. he didn’t know where she’d taken him, didn’t know anything beyond the joy — beyond clinging to her coat and giggling, tired and hurt and terrified but happy,” and i won’t let you fall, don’t worry. ” he hadn’t even asked her name, not yet. fear of overloading the poor thing keeps his mouth shut.
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╰☆☆ She curls a lip at the little kit's admission. Fathers. Flicker has never known them to be good for anything. Memories of her own are entirely blank; her mother had not deigned to give her daughters his name, his location, or any defining trait he might carry. He'd been that useless, that meaningless. Perhaps if he'd had any worth, he'd have been there to protect her mother and sister from what had come for them.

She gives the she-kit a furious look. She's not angry at her, of course. She's flexing her claws, thinking about how she'd like to tear into a lousy--

"Flicker, Cicada... please escort her to camp. It is safer there and someone might be able to help with the injuries." It's Salamander, voice commanding.

Flicker gives the older molly a furious look through blazing orange eyes. "Huh?" Does she think Flicker incapable of hunting this fool down? She begins to protest, but her eyes fall onto the battered child again. In any other circumstance, she would have gotten into Sally's face, argued her fool head off... but even she knows it isn't the time.

Stuffing her anger and her pride down, Flicker looks at Cicada, who offers a game to the small kit. The tortoiseshell lashes her tail and swallows. "It's not far," she promises. "And Cidada's right. We won't leave you behind. Nothing's gonna hurt you now." She gives Salamander a look that communicates her upset but otherwise begins to pad back in the direction of camp. "Come on, then. Let's go get you cleaned up and fed."

She waits for the kit to make her mind up, gesturing forward with her tail. They will walk together, kit on Cicada's back if she accepts the game. Flicker hopes she makes her decision soon; she's getting antsy just standing here.

// edited slightly because I'm illiterate
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There was silence for a moment, and the black tom looked down at her. Sage flinched beneath his gaze, as though cowering enough might make her shrink away from sight all together. And then he spoke. A game. Sage liked games. She'd played games with her mother all the time, but they were the most fun when they'd been on one of their trips away from Father. They hadn't had to worry about him ruining them then.

She craned her neck to peer past the older cats, as though her father might come charging across the Thunderpath at any moment, to continue what he had started. Sage frowned, and then let out a small sigh. In any other instance, she might deny the offer, free to run if it was indeed a trap, but what choice did she have?

So she managed to scramble up onto Cicada’s back with only a small nod, peeking over his shoulders to see what lay ahead.