Briefly, the Brotherhood of the Mime are a secret society among the humans of Lemyes, it consists of a group of people who are capable of creating invisible structures and objects (and, yes, I purposefully used the name Mime). They have a multi-leveled ranking system, a Hafitch being over a school/society center for a region.
The Clamon are a race based loosely on sugar gliders, the getier specifically look like this. All Clamon control either fire, ice, electricity, or some combination thereof, some being more powerful than others. Clamon are capable of asuming their full or natural form, a half form, and a human form, though full-blooded Clamon cannot conceal their black markings.
I think the rest explains itself, or at least will.
The Hafitch sat behind his desk, waiting for the Transom to begin his run-through of possible new students. The search had apparently gone rather well as the stack of papers held in the thin man's arms was quite thick. The Transom placed his load on the edge of the Hafitch's rather large desk.
"Quite a few in this run, sir," The Transom began, starting to sort the papers, "and there's one in particular that I want your opinion on," he fingered a particularly thick file, "but I'll get you through the others first," he set it aside. "We could spend quite some time on that one."
"Go on," The Hafitch encouraged.
The process of screening through the potential students took several hours. After a meal break they sat down again, only one file remained. Its contents were stacked high between the file's sleeves, pieces threatened to slip out of their folder if not carefully watched.
"And what is so special about this one that you've waited until the last?" The Hafitch questioned. He'd been eyeing the file throughout the whole ordeal.
"Well, sir, this one I handled myself after the initial report was filed by the scout."
The Hafitch sat up, interest increased, it was virtually unheard of that the Transom took over the check on a potential student, usually he just oversaw the others that gathered the information. "And it appears you've done a rather thorough job by the size of the file."
"I had to! You won't believe it, sir," his voice dropped to a whisper, "a half-breed."
The Hafitch shot up, nearly toppling his chair. "A half-breed?" His gaze was intense, dark eyes riveted on the Transom's face, looking for any doubt.
"Look at the file yourself." The Transom pushed the file towards his superior. "I did a full search into both her and her family. There's no denying what she is, nor the fact that she can perceive Mime structures."
The Hafitch sat again and looked up skeptically at his companion before pulling the file towards him and opening the first page. A photograph stared back at him, a light-haired young woman with intense, pale eyes and a firm jaw line. There were four other photographs secured to the top one, he removed the top photo and his brows shot up, the eyes were the same, but the face that held them couldn't be more different. The unmistakable look of a Clamon, with bold facial striping, the pale jaw and lower neck, two-toned mane, the squared muzzle, broad forehead, defined stop, and black-tipped, triangular ears. The third photograph connected the first two, showing the young woman again, slightly turned away, but this time displaying the same inky black markings as the headshot of the Clamon.
"Amazing," he breathed. "How'd you manage to get these?"
"Patience," the Transom replied. "She was quite hard to follow and was actually one of the first ones found this round, shortly after the induction of the last group of students."
The Hafitch looked at the other two images, one of a middle-aged woman, who appeared to share some features with the younger one in the other photographs, the second photo was of a full-blooded Clamon, the markings were slightly different from the young woman, but it was evident that they shared some blood. The Hafitch looked up again at his companion.
"Surprising isn't it? They're still together and this girl, Sray is her name, is not their only child."
"They've managed alone what all the years of experiments failed to do." The Hafitch stated, then laughed softly, "Funny how things manage to do by themselves what we can't force to happen."
"What do you want us to do about her, sir. I know what this could mean for the Brotherhood, in both good terms and bad. Clamon are not exactly enamored with Humans anymore, and I'm not alone when I say that the Clamons make me a little nervous."
"It's dangerous either way, Kenbin. If she's left alone she might discover her ability on her own, then, surely, the Clamon would have her, unless her father has broken all ties to his people, but even so, I doubt they'd stay broken long if he found that his daughter can perceive, and possibly even create Mime structures. If we take her in," he paused, reflecting a moment, "we could run the risk of inciting the rest of the Brotherhood against us, or worse, she could master her ability and return to her father's people, even more dangerous than if we'd left her alone." His fingers drummed against the desk as he thought. "I'm going to contact the Gordieen. The benefit of having this half-breed on our side should outweigh the possible downsides."
Kenbin nodded. "Let me know, sir, and I'll act accordingly."
"Not a word to anyone, Kenbin." The Hafitch warned.
"The only ones that know are yourself, the scout, and I. No more will find out."
Sray was never as strong as she thought she should be. She always found herself falling short of what she felt was her true capacity, or, rather, what she thought she should be capable of at her age. She was constantly and bitterly disappointed in herself, but went ahead anyway, pushing herself harder and straining towards her goals.
Although Sray’s father told her many times she should be happy with what she had, for it was more than most in her position possessed, Sray wouldn’t believe it. She had brushed against the greater strength and power too many times to be satisfied with what she was currently capable of wielding. It was there; she just wished she knew how to access it.
She sighed and blew at her bangs as they tickled her brow, threatening to block her vision if allowed to grow much longer. She shifted the basket of fresh breads and fruits higher on her hip and continued walking down the main street into the town's center. Just a few more deliveries to go and then she could get on with other errands, like finding a job. Although she helped out at home, at 21 she figured it was high time that she find work outside of the family farm. Granted, most young women were married with children at her age, but given her family, marriage was not one of the things she figured to be a possibility for her. Who would marry a part-bred? The word "Clamon" alone was enough to send most people into a string of foul words or to look fearfully over one's shoulder. Simply put, her father's people were not well liked.
She stopped at a small residence above a bookseller, the older man nodded and smiled, asking to send greetings to Sray's mother. No one ever had anything to say to her father. She smiled back and bowed out of the little home.
She moved on to her next stop as her mind retreated back. A self-mocking laugh escaped her, if the people of this town knew what her father was, she wouldn't be able to even deliver goods to people in the town, let alone find a job. Fortunately, most humans were rather ignorant when it came to the Clamon, or else her heritage would be quite plain to those who paid any attention to her eyes, which being pale lavender in color definitely wasn't a human trait.
Shaking her head at the thought the young woman bounced up the steps of another residence that sat beside a small smithy. A brief exchange with the smith's wife and Sray emptied the rest of her load.
She flipped the empty basket and set it over her shoulder. With a sigh she again blew at her bangs, returning her attention to the street that opened before her. She moved off and spent much of the next few hours seeking possible work. Mid-afternoon found Sray walking down the dusty road that wandered its way out of the city and towards her country home. No luck, but perhaps it was for the better, all the openings that she did find were the types of jobs reserved for men and most weren't desperate enough to employ a woman.
The sun was hovering just above the horizon as Sray made the last corner and headed down the path to the house. She stopped, there was a man standing on the porch. He was facing the door, but turned as if he could feel her eyes on him.
"Hello!" He called and waved before stepping off the porch.
Sray didn't recognize the man, but moved to meet him halfway, if a little stiffly.
"Sray Hillenbohn?" He questioned.
"Yes," Sray replied.
"Ah, good. I have a letter for you," he pulled an envelope out of his vest. "Strict instructions to have it delivered to you personally."
Sray took the letter, unsure of how to react. She muttered a brief thanks and fished in a pocket for some change.
"Thank you ma'am." He nodded farewell and strode past her, off, perhaps, to deliver another letter.
Sray was reading the letter in her room when her younger sister peered through the door, announcing dinner was ready and Sray better explain why she didn't so much as say hello to let the family know she had returned.
Sray sat down to dinner, re-reading the last few sentences of the letter before folding it and placing it in her pocket.
"Is that what had my daughter so occupied that she couldn't bring herself to say so much as 'hello?'" Sray's mother questioned, sitting down herself.
"Sorry, Bema, some messenger was waiting when I came home and gave it to me."
The older woman looked puzzled. "Who sends letters to this family?"
"Some school, apparently," Sray nudged her food idly, "Eniegema, or something strange like that."
Teigan froze, spoon hanging in the air. “What was the name of this school?” He questioned tonelessly, slowly letting the spoon drop.
“RohshShur!” Eyes turned to him. It wasn’t often that Teigan dropped into the Getier clamon’s native tongue.
“What is it, Dad?”
“It’s the Mime.”
“The Brotherhood of the Mime. They’re …" his features softened as he rethought his words, "they were not kind to the Clamon.”
All eyes were on him, questioning. Unlike his children, even when he took on a human appearance he could not mask the dark markings that followed the pattern of those in his natural form. His pale violet eyes were intense in his darkly tanned face as he fought his emotions.
Kayrin, his wife, finally broke the silence. "You've never mentioned them before."
"They didn't need to be mentioned. They are a concern for the Clamon and to themselves."
"Being half Clamon wasn't enough to make them a concern for me?" Sray asked.
Teigan opened his mouth to speak, but Sray pressed on, standing now.
"Apparently they've made themselves a concern." She left the table, knowing that if she stayed she would say things she would regret.
An hour later Sray was sitting in her window, staring out at the plains beyond that slowly rose into the distant mountains, nothing more than ridges on the horizon. She was relaxed now, in her natural form that showed both her human and Clamon ancestry. The human body blended with Clamon features showing soft, reddish fur contrasted by the black markings that traced her face and body as well as the white that covered her muzzle and jaw, traveling down her neck and chest and stretching to her shoulders and thighs. Her hair normally held up and blonde while fully human, fell midway down her back, fading from a rich, silky black to white. The letter was crinkled in her hand, held securely by the fingers and thumbs of her right hand; Clamon have three fingers and two apposing thumbs. Sray showed this trait as well as a residual of the flight membrane that in a full-blooded Clamon stretches from wrist to ankle and ankle to mid-tail. Hers stretched only from elbow to the base of her ribs and then from her the back of her knee to a smaller portion of her tail.
"Tell me about them." Sray said, still staring out the window. She could feel him standing in the doorway, it was hard for her not to notice the way her father unconsciously lifted the temperature around him. "What could they possibly want with me?" She questioned, looking to him, he was in his half form now, very much the same as Sray's natural form. She returned to the window. "What did they do to the Clamon that you loose your temper at the mention of them, despite being twenty years removed from your own people?"
Teigan stood silent for a moment, mulling over his thoughts. "They are a secret society among Humans. The Clamon only became aware of them shortly before the wars began. They have power, but not like the Clamon. They can create invisible barriers; no scent or shadow is cast by these things to warn you of where they might be. Some of the Mime are quite powerful and others comparatively weak, but all are dangerous. We don't know how long they have been around, but they kept themselves secret from all the Clamon and even their fellow humans.
"You will remember from your schooling that humans claim the Clamon started the wars. It's true that we did attack first, but--"
"You've always told me the humans started it."
"They didn't give us a choice."
Sray turned again to her father and searched his face. Conflict was written there, whatever was done he didn't want to reveal it.
"They were doing experiments," he finally began again. "They were trying to ... create Humans with the same capabilities as the Clamon. More specifically, they were trying to get a combination of the Clamon's and the Brotherhood's own talent."
Sray's brow furrowed as she digested this. "Create." She said flatly. "So they ... part-breds?" She looked to him again. Teigan nodded.
"The letter means that you are what they spent so long trying to make. You are why the wars began."
Comments and critique always appreciated and questions concerning characters, species, etc. are welcome.