Part 1 – Planetfall

        Illiana perched, mourning, in the uppermost branches of the nest tree, her only kit now left for the scavengers, dead even before birth as evidenced by the fact she had flown to her current perch only hours after parturition. Had the birth been live, she knew she couldn’t have flown–couldn’t have even sent her dismay, for almost a hand of days. Either way, she’d failed the tribe. Already a near outcast, only just saved from a similar fate as her kit when born due to her unusual size and coloring, her failure now to bear a viable kit only confirmed many of her sisters’ beliefs that she should never have been allowed to live. Only the tribe’s elder Priestess had prevented that abandonment, declaring that the Goddess had a purpose for her.
        Still aching from the birthing process and weakened after carrying the kit almost to term, she stared into the deep, blue sky, longing to distance herself even more from her failure. A faint streamer of white cut high through the atmosphere, swiftly growing thicker and brighter as she watched. Traveling northwards, it fell towards the distant snow-capped mountains only barely visible from the height of the treetop. Focusing her eyes into hunting mode, she watched as a silvery egg burned through the air as it soared overhead, followed moments later by a report and roar that dwarfed even the loudest thunder for volume and endurance. Following it with her eyes, she stretched to her full height as she watched it fall to earth apparently right at the edge of the mountains.
        Springing forward from her perch, she snapped her wings out to full spread and glided down, twisting and turning to avoid the thick nest tree branches towards the tribe’s village below, recklessly shaving past hut-capped nests and open nests in her need to ground quickly. All the way down, she sent summons to her sisters and the tribe’s Elders about what she’d seen. Within seconds, three other vixens added their minds to the call, having witnessed the last seconds of the fall after the noise of its passage.

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