“In many tales, the person who quests for the Firebird is already a fledgling. Someone’s first wish can be the beginning of their journey. This is even supported in some historical documents- although their authenticity is dubious. And while the Firebird can appear to anyone, there’s the belief that it can only be found by a fledgling. If that’s true, then there must be a reason for it. The Firebird might be waiting for someone worthy enough to give a second wish to. Maybe more.” He smiled at her, though something about it was subdued.

Image: A stylized illustration of the Firebird and three fledglings with canine aspects. All figures are rendered in black with no facial details. The Firebird is perched on a small tree which sits on a rocky outcropping. Its wings are raised and its long tail flows behind it. It’s looking down at a fledgling, who is reaching towards it. That fledgling is also standing on top of another fledgling who is laying on the ground at the bottom of the outcropping. On the other side, the third fledgling is also laying on the ground, but reaches up towards the Firebird’s tail. End description.

“That isn’t Quill’s goal,” Cat continued. “We’re here to observe the Firebird at the end of its cycle, bringing as many fledglings with us as we can. It’s an academic endeavor which has gotten sidetracked by Connell’s murders. Normally I wouldn’t agree with someone joining Quill to try and get a second wish–we don’t even know if it’s possible–but your circumstances are special.”

“It’s those ‘circumstances’ that I’m worried about,” said Asmeret. “Silver is dangerous.”

Phoebe's ears drew back further. After the incident, her contentment and retching had quickly twisted into something else: Simmering anger. On the record, Silver had killed one of the gunmen in self-defense. But everyone involved knew the truth. And if it hadn't been that man, it could have been anyone else. Would have been. She'd asked for his help, she'd wanted him to attack- until she saw the brutality of it up close. Phoebe knew this was another fuckup on her part, but did Silver care about anything other than getting his claws bloody? Who did he think he was? He could have just incapacitated the gunman, but he chose to be cruel.

And then he'd turned that cruelty on her, and she'd enjoyed it. It made her want to strand him on the little island for real this time. Made her want to pin him to the ground like he'd done with her- she couldn't possibly-

“With some training I’d consent to you joining us,” conceded Cat. “You’re right that we need more people, and we have the budget for it. But you'd be prohibited from using Silver to aid you in anything Quill-related, and prohibited from releasing him unless under Yuli's supervision.” He turned to Asmeret, and they nodded in agreement.

“I won't. He can stay asleep forever, for all I care,” Phoebe spat. The feathers above Julia’s eyes raised.

Image: Phoebe pushing herself up off the armrest of the couch, her mouth open and her eyes glaring as she yells. Beside her, Julia has an arm around Yuli who has moved down to stand on the other armrest. She looks at Phoebe with a surprised expression. Julia’s outfit is also slightly different; she’s wearing her usual jacket, but with a dark t-shirt and lighter colored high-waisted pants. End description..



Chapter IV has begun!! I’ve been excited to get to this chapter (and the next) for ages now. It’s been enjoyable to work on, albeit challenging at times. CK did a great job with the editing as per usual. I don’t really know what else to say about it… Thank you to everyone reading this, Katabasis is still something that I’m very passionate about and I hope to cut down on between-chapter hiatuses in the future.

Things have been good on my end. I’m planning to move soon, which may cause some delays- fingers crossed it doesn’t!
A while back I mentioned that my mom had gotten me into Star Trek TNG, and then later I mentioned that I’d finished it and was watching TOS. Well I forgot to keep the updates coming, oops. Since then I’ve finished both TOS and DS9, and am currently 9(!) novels into the DS9 relaunch series. I plan on reading more of the litverse in general and have been keeping track with this amazing flowchart. I’m also on season 2 of Voyager and having fun with that too.

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