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“In nature, animals find it in their best interest to stay wherever is the safest place. Outta reach of predators, away from pryin’ eyes.”

“For the birds, this safe place is high up in the branches of trees in nests crafted for comfort.”

“See, these birds, they gotta stay high because what lies below? At the roots?”

“It’s more than just dangerous.”

“It’s deadly.”

“Now, I knew a lil birdie that stood up in the branches lookin’ down at the roots below. It was living in luxury, chirpin’ happily. It had everythin’ it could ever want.”

“Until it chirped too loud.”

“Grated on the nerves of the biggest birds in the nest, ya see.”

“So what did the bigger bird do?”

“Kicked the little birdie out.”

“And see, this birdie had grown used to its luxury.”

“Could barely fly.”

“It relied on the branches for safety.”

“So when it fell, it fell far. Hit the ground hard and left in a heap.”

“It was defenseless.”


“No matter how loud it chirped or how high it tried to fly, it weren’t any use.”

“The beasts on the ground already had their next meal in sight.”

“And then?”




“See, Narcissa, you’re one pretty birdie, ain’t ya? Or you were when you were up in the sunshine on top of the nice big tree we call Arcadia. Sittin’ at Zeus’ side, usin’ your fashion skills to prune his feathers and tidy up his nest to make it as comfortable as possible?”

“Only issue is? You were too loud, you chirped a bit too much, said some things the big eagle who ran the nest didn’t agree with.”

“And like the naughty little sky rat you are he kicked you in the rear and sent you tumblin’ down the floors until you landed in a heap in the darkest, nastiest parts of Arcadia.”

“Down where the nastiest mongrels live.”

“Right where me and my brood call home, Narcissa.”

“Now, like that bird, you were too used to living up high. You thought so highly of yourself that even while you were at the roots of the tree lookin’ up you couldn’t stop yourself from making noise.”

“Chirping your pretty little head off and garnerin’ attention of all sorts of nasty folks.”

“Of beasts like me.”

“Now, when I plucked that blueprint from your hand, that was all I wanted at first. I was content to let you flutter away with a few feathers missin’.”

“But then you just had to come back and give me a peck.”

“And now? Well, now, I’m hungry.”

“You may not be much of a meal, but you’re more than enough to sink my teeth into.”

“There ain’t nowhere to go once we get in the ring, girlie. It’ll be you, me, and a whole crew of hungry Blood Runners.”

“Nowhere to run.”

“Nowhere to hide.”

“And I’m about to ring that dinner bell.”