The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are strong at the broken places. - Hemingway
Irrickthir had done good! Oh how proud his Hive would be! Five strong pups, two of which were Garou born! It was almost more good-fortune than the Ragabash Spiral could bear as he raced back to the outskirts of the city where his pack gathered. The pups bounced inside the cardboard box, but the Ragabash wasn’t concerned about jostling around his offspring – they’d have their heads bounced off much worse than cardboard when they were indoctrinated into their new family. He would never get back to his pack, though. A patrol of local Garou came upon the Spiral during a brief ‘rest stop’, making quick work of slaying the lone Dancer but failing to hear the whimpers coming from a box a short distance away.
Once the pups escaped from the box, the wild-born wolves were lost. They were mothered by a female of mixed blood, Wendigo and Talon. They had no time to even learn the wild in full let alone the world of humans. They had no knowledge of a city, things such as cars and streets. One of the kin pups and her Fated-Garou brother were quickly struck by cars and killed in their wandering. Two were found by honest, good-meaning folk and turned over to Animal Control. The youngest, a mottled grey, brown, and white female, was not so lucky. She was found by a young punk of a human, named Colton, who collected her up and locked her in the pen in his backyard among a small pack of mixed breed and unfriendly dogs.
Named Cinder for her pelt, the Garou pup barely survived Colton’s inexperience with raising a weaning wolf and was frequently and violently ‘put in place’ by the dogs who delighted in someone small to pick on. She learned quickly how to avoid their ire, simpering on her belly until she was old enough to topple them, abandoning her meals until she was fast enough to steal theirs. She learned to be quicker and more savage, but especially learned to outsmart them. She learned to turn the human’s attentions against his pets, lavishing Colton with her apparent love and loyalty so that when the dogs struck at her, their owner would drive them back. When he delivered food, she would be the first to his feet to beg of him the choicest portions. She learned to read the human’s emotions and tones as she learned the body language and growls of the pack and survived because of it.
When Colton was feeling particularly festive, he would have friends over and they would rile up the dogs, poking and driving them into a fury and seeing what of the dogs would wind up on top. In these ways the hierarchy of Cinder’s pseudo-pack changed often, and in her second year, she began to win them. All of them. The dogs, always her foes, became afraid and nervous around her. Cinder no longer has to flash her teeth to drive them off, they ran with a simple look. There was no need for Cinder to defend her food, they abandoned theirs to her. In time, Colton refused to come close, instead throwing food over the fence. She did not recognize this for what it was – the awakening of the Beast, her Rage. The spirits, however, did. Deep within, a spirit bound to her began to stir, awakening with her Rage and cackling with glee. The time was near, oh so very near, and when it came the violence would be glorious.
Kinfetches, however, are notoriously stupid spirits. When the time came, that little whippoorwill went off to find itself a Garou to alert. Except it picked the wrong side of the cosmic fence to land on. Instead of one of the Black Spiral Dancers, it honed in on a Bone Gnawer named Justin Statton. With the promise of food, real shelter, and freedom the cub was (mostly) quick to accept this sudden shift on her outlook and lived for a time above the Olympic Diner. Plans were for the cub to join the Children of Rat.
But she languished, progressing little in nearly a month of being present. Eventually she was attracted by commotion outside and broke out to make the acquaintance of Sandra and accompanied the Get of Fenris on her hunt. It ended with the Fenrir learning Cinder wasn't just a normal cub and electing to take over the youngster's training, which was later approved by Selene, though the Get of Fenris expected little other than sink or swim by Cinder's own merits. The cub's auspice as well as the presence of one of her unsavory ancestors has been discovered in the time since.
Black Spiral Dancers: They say you are my blood and one who claims she was kin hides in my shadow. I have never met one of you. Who are you?
Bone Gnawers: You found me. You showed me this life but only let me see it out of a window. I trusted you. I do not think I will trust you again.
Get of Fenris: You were not afraid of me. If I prove myself, you said you will call me sister. I would like that.