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Latarion
By Culpeo-Fox   |   Watch
604 15 3K (1 Today)
Published: December 23, 2018
© 2018 - 2019 Culpeo-Fox
He stops before they enter.
"Tirah, hold on for a second."
He rarely ever calls her by her name; rare enough to make her listen attentively. His whole UV-trace seems completely different, switched out. His gaze is steady and his voice turned serious; everything about him is at high concentration.
"Tell me my name", he demands abruptly.
"You're Mareios Santay", she replies.
"Who is Riseos Enestes?"
She looks at him, gives a sniff and shrugs. "Ri...who? Never heard of him."
"And who are you?"
"Velo Citas."
"Where do you come from, Velo Citas?"
"None of anybody's business."
"And how come that I'm stuck with you?"
"Again none of anybody's business. I'm only here to do the translating job."
The python nods, satisfied. "...that's my girl."
Then, he lowers his voice and leans towards her. "Listen, Birdie. Those blighters in there, you can all neglect. They're coyotes and they bark shriller than dogs do. The one you should not neglect under any circumstances, though, is Latarion - he is the brains behind this pile and thus also my... -our boss."
"Latarion...alright."
"If you're telling lies, he'll know. If you're afraid, he'll know. If you're talking bullshit or try screwing with him in any way, he'll know. He may be a coyote, but Syos above, he is smarter than any Raven. The good thing about it: He is absolutely sensible. Fair. Way more correct than some Serparo I know (which you can say about many of those people operating underground, which again is kinda sad). If you take him seriously and show respect, he'll do the same. Got it?"
She nods. "Got it, partner."
He smiles and for one short moment, it is Riseos standing there again. But then, his face straightens and he slips back into the role of the dubious contact person. Mareios Santay ensures all sides once more before he and Velo Citas disappear inside the building.

***

Latarion narrows his yellow eyes to slits and observes her with much interest from his desk. He seems almost vulpine this way, having blonde fur which begins to turn grey only on the tip of his snout.
"Well...so you're supposed to be this miracle girl that can open the doors to all those branches of business in Aramin."
The coyote at his side - a scrawny critter with slightly curled fur - wrinkles his nose, showing his teeth. "But...that's just a brat!", he huffs in a sneery tone. "A little snotnose, fuck it, a snotbeak!"
"Shut your face", his boss retorts and indeed, the curly one falls silent instantly. The python keeps a straight face and the falcon child also doesn't bat an eye.
"I don't give a shit whether she's twelve or fourty-two", Latarion says with his husky voice. "As long as she is doing the job well I don't see a reason why I shouldn't treat her appropriately. So, Miss Citas..." He leans towards her. "Can you do this job well?"
"But...but boss...", the curly one tries again. He is ignored by everyone.  
The falcon girl returns her counterpart's scrutinising look. Her traces radiate composure.
"Well, will you let me do my work now or do I have to listen to your minion's whimpering any longer?" she retorts and points at the curly one, who has been busy with noisily gnawing his lip.
"!! B-boss!"
Latarion's ears twitch a bit. Then, he bursts out laughing. "I like her!", he shouts and claps his hands. "Santay, I have no idea where you'd always get these contacts, but: I'm impressed! Alright, bring in the pigeons: this avian kid shall show what she's capable of."

***

"60 per cent", the coyote says. "This is my final offer."
Tirah nods and translates to the pigeon man wearing a white suit. He replies with a flattering voice and talks insistently to her, but the falcon girl shakes her head resolutely and crosses her arms. The pigeon man turns around, discusses with his colleagues. Then, he again starts talking to her, gesticulating. She wrinkles her feathered forehead.
"Mr Latarion", she says, "the gentlemen suggest a new deal."
"And that would be?"
They offer taking care of the trade alongside the coast and borders of Aramin themselves. No risk, you wouldn't even have to lift a finger, he says. For 45 per cent of the deal. And..."
She asks again. The pigeon nods and blows a short whistle. One of his comrades steps up, having a suitcase with him.
"...he says, he would add up an exclusive product to make this deal happen. Being of the best quality, he claims. It is about...uh", she hesitates for one moment, hoping that she nails the translation right away. "...Quetzal Dust...?"
Latarion raises a brow. "Quetzal Dust!" He grins. "Now we're talking."
The pigeon opens the suitcase. There are several little plastic bags inside, containing something that resembles green powder. One of Latarion's men exhale sharply. "Not on your life", he whimpers. "These bird brains just carried a fuckin' fortune with them!?"
"Shut it", the old coyote snaps at him. "We're all professionals here, aren't we? You better follow the example of Miss Citas here and behave appropriately!" Tirah tries her best not to be overtaken by her pride.
"Santay", Latarion says and clicks with his clawed fingers. Riseos, who had kept himself quiet in the background all this time, watching closely over the trade, reacts. He steps up to the desk, observes the suitcase and takes one of the bags. The python tips some of the powder out and on the back of his hand, examining it with a flickering tongue. Shortly after that, he snorts the bit, screws his face for a moment. Then, he confirms the quality with a hand gesture. "Untainted", the Kon Sy says.
Latarion seems satisfied. "Well then; let's summarise. I offer you Fox Fire from Canissia and diluted Venom Bliss as well as weapons from Sylang. Everything being of some excellent quality. The transaction is handled here in Canissia, same goes for the payment; it's up to you how to get all this stuff over the borders. 45 per cent. So far, so good. Only the Quetzal Dust remaining now...how much is it we're talking about here anyway? Just this little suitcase?"
He gives Tirah a sign. She obeys and again turns to the pigeons. The pigeons nod eagerly. A little too eagerly.
Latarion gives her another sign. The falconet understands instantly and yet again discusses with the pigeons. What follows now is quite an interesting turn of diplomatic events: At first, everyone speaks calm and matter-of-factly in tone. But then, the falcon girl's voice slightly changes its trace, her face turning into a cunning expression. The pigeon man falters and comes to a standstill; some of his cohorts start revolting with loud and angry cooing, while some others noisily rustle their feathers, being very obviously nervous. Latarion turns the more sceptical the more he observes the growing discontent in the room.
"Miss Citas...-"
"Don't." Riseos subtly intervenes. The python appears completely calm. "Let her."
On cue, the white suited pigeon man suddenly let's out a deep, despaired sigh. He raises his hands in defense, nods. Tirah gives a smug grin and faces Latarion.
"There is more of it", she simply says. "Much, much more."
Latarion says nothing at first. Then, he smiles. "Excellent work, Miss Citas", he remarks. His voice-spoor is full of acknowledgement. Now, his eyes turn to the pigeons.
"Tell 'em that I want it all. That I will find it if they won't give it out freely. And that I'll get them into some big, big trouble if they decide to keep more secrets from me." He squints at them deviously. "For 70 per cent."

***

"...this went better than I thought. Much better." The coyote's gaze is fixed on the falcon girl. "You earned my trust and respect today, Miss Citas. We're obviously dealing with some serious talent here...can I still count on your for future cooperations?"
Tirah hesitates. For the first time this evening, she looks up at Riseos, waiting for his reaction with a questioning look. The Kon Sy nods unobtrusively.
"Yes, Mr Latarion", she then replies.
The old coyote grins. "Well, it's settled. Santay", he then addresses the python. "Where is Miss Citas living? You got her from an orphanage or how am I supposed to look at this? You hopefully didn't kidnap her, did you?"
"She is well cared for, sir."
"Is that so. Because in case she needs shelter somewhere, I still have some contacts to a decent Siakan family - all Kestrels -, where she would be well-"
"The kid stays with me", the python says. "That is a non-negotiable matter."
The coyote stares at the Kon Sy with a critical look for quite some time. Then, his yellow eyes wander to Tirah. "And do you also agree with that, Miss Citas?"
The Siakan girl steps up to Riseos. Unwittingly, she immediately searches for the serpent man's contact, seizing his sleeve. "I stay with him", she says, putting some emphasis on her voice. "That...that is a non-negotiable matter."
The coyote watches her attentively. He nods. "Alright then. In this case, I just have to trust in that your protector can handle the responsibilty that he clearly has taken over here."

***

"...Risi, that was awesome, wasn't it? Wasn't it??(...) Risi?"
He is nowhere to be seen. "...Dad?", she calls with a smirk. "Are you on the toilet?"
It is just when she arrives the couch, peeking over it, she discovers him beneath her. He is lying on the couch stretched out like a sack of potatoes, one arm bended over his face. Whatever inner tension it was that he had restrained so well inside as Mareios Santay, he now had released all of it. Still, it dances and swirls above him like a shadow.
"Oh, Risi", she says timidly, climbing over the couch and seating herself on top of him. "Are you okay? Did I...did I do something wrong?"
He takes his arm of his face and just looks at her.
"No, Birdie. You were great. Human child alive, how great you were. A real professional." Even though he hadn't doubted her skills not even for a second, he keeps quiet about the arsenal of weapons that every single of Latarion's men is dragging around, hidden beneath desks, inside cupboards and under clothing (just as he does, having his Venom Shock always ready and within reach under his jacket). He doesn't talk about the caprice of these deals and how fast they do escalate at times.
He doesn't talk about it yet. Not today. Today, it has just been some incredibly good piece of diplomatic work and the credit is all hers. Nothing went wrong.
"Go on like that and you may evolve into the boss's new favourite", he says, smiling. "You pulled a damn good performance today. I'm proud of you."
She chirps shyly.
"And? How do you like 'Miss Citas'?", he asks and strokes through her head plumage with his hand. She sniggers.
"Awesome! I think, I might get used to this new alias of mine."
~


Tirah and Riseos:

art, story and character (c)
:iconskia: & :iconculpeo-fox:
Image size
871x596px 623.03 KB
IMAGE DETAILS
Make
NIKON CORPORATION
Model
NIKON D5100
Shutter Speed
10/600 second
Aperture
F/5.0
Focal Length
52 mm
ISO Speed
640
Date Taken
Dec 20, 2018, 7:10:14 AM
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows
anonymous's avatar
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Comments (15)
Ravenroseserpent's avatar
Ravenroseserpent|Student General Artist
hey finally coyotes love them especially Latarion (love the name) I love it when the other canines used more I do love seeing my favourites wolves and foxes but 
its lovely when artist and authors used different animals that hardly been used as characters

love the father and daughter bonding that Riseos and Tirah have
Reply  ·  
J-555ART's avatar
interesting
Reply  ·  
Myugi-store's avatar
Myugi-store|Hobbyist Digital Artist
wonderful! 

Reply  ·  
eisnnlius's avatar
Quetzal Dust? 
Reply  ·  
Culpeo-Fox's avatar
Culpeo-Fox|Professional General Artist
Probably some very fancy drug.
Reply  ·  
eisnnlius's avatar
Oh you said it now. 
Reply  ·  
Combak's avatar
Well, that's a nice story there! Well done!
Reply  ·  
HavickArt's avatar
HavickArt|Hobbyist Digital Artist
really pretty style you have
Reply  ·  
Anastasiy's avatar
Anastasiy|Professional Digital Artist
Great work! The atmosphere is astonishing!!
Reply  ·  
ComradeK's avatar
ComradeK|Hobbyist General Artist
While the story is interesting, (and more mundane, but not in a bad way, than a lot of Peo fare) I'm mostly here to say yaaaay coyotes :P
Reply  ·  
Skia's avatar
Skia| General Artist
Predictable. ;)
Reply  ·  
ComradeK's avatar
ComradeK|Hobbyist General Artist
I know I know. My other favourite. It's sandy coats you know.
Reply  ·  
NikkiPikkiPencils's avatar
NikkiPikkiPencils|Student General Artist
Ahhh!!
I really enjoyed the storywriting!
A lot of wonderful development for the characters was expressed in this one, and it answered a lot of questions about these guys that I had in my mind.
This story here is a very charming and enchanting one and I love it!! <3
Reply  ·  
Veteran1972's avatar
Great story.😎
Reply  ·  
TheJuras's avatar
TheJuras|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome story! I haven’t seen coyote being involved in anthro stuff before, normally there are wolves and foxes, but never coyote.  This guy is also depicted as a boss too, something coyote rarely is associated with.
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anonymous's avatar
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