The humid morning air touched my nostrils and my eyes opened slowly. Maybe it was tiredness, or maybe it was the humidity, but I didn't want to get up. Or maybe, just maybe, I didn't want to move from my husband's side.
I turned over to see Frank Halia sleeping and snoring up a storm. I smiled and got out of bed, Avealing slightly so that wings sprouted out of my back. I looked in the mirror to see wings that were mostly like a Northern Harrier's with a tint of likeness to a Red-Tailed Hawk.
"Buteo, you're up early." Frank said and I made my wings disappear.
"I'm going scouting today." I replied, starting to get dressed. "Plus I'm taking a class with me."
"Nervous?" He asked, getting out of bed so that he could wrap his arms around my neck. "You've been teaching for years, you're not going to fail with one class. You can teach them about the horrors of the Rethi and the wonders of Fang."
I slapped him playfully away.
"Many thousands of years ago, when Gaia was called Earth, these meanies called Rethi inhabited the planet. Though they called themselves the dreaded H word." Frank said in a playful tone. "But then they left the planet which soon encountered a plague. Only through the perseverance of Fang and his dealings with the demon from the sky did we get the process to Aveal. This made the survivors able to get through the plague and change into animals. They renamed themselves Drethiveal."
I shook my head.
Avealing nowadays was much harder than before. Back in the time of Fang, Dreth were able to change into three different animals. Now the ability to change into more than one animal was considered a miracle and to transform fully into any animal was considered near impossible.
Except for the Snow Leopards, the right hand Dreth of the Council of Ant.
"Maybe you should consider teaching," I said. "You seem to do a pretty good job at it."
"I want kids but...to actually teach them, no. Don't think I could." Frank replied.
"At least you'll be able to tell them good stories."
"But you'll always be the father that will tell the best ones. Any word on the adoption process going forward?"
I paused before continuing. I wasted time by walking over to the window, looking outward from the second floor. There was a small pond and across that you could see some of a training course. During the time of the Rethi, the training course had been a golf course.
Now there were different structures, Drethiveal-made and natural plant formations, that Dreth would have to run over and around. Sometimes even doing mock battles. Gaia was a harsh mistress and you had to be prepared for whatever it threw at you.
Some, like a former student of mine, were afraid of the Rethi returning and so went to a special school to learn how to fight against them.
"It's not going well?" Frank asked.
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