Editors Note: This story started as a simple passage in my Livejournal and as I found myself updating it every week or so, I decided it deserved a LJ all of its own. So now it does, and that can be found here: http://www.livejournal.com/~lemurkat_studio . After the stories have been placed up there, I cut and paste them, rewriting parts of them to make it flow more smoothly and then will one day upload it to a special website, that is yet to be made. All characters and Furritasia are © Kataryna/LemurKat and should not be used without my express permission. However, if you do find yourself wanting to draw characters, email me - lemurkat@xtra.co.nz and permission is likely to be granted.

Thanks

Kataryna "LemurKat"

* * *

The World

Furritasia is a world not unlike ours - a world of forests, oceans and mountains. However, these lands are occupied by sentient races somewhat different from our own. You seen - these races are the Furrae - anthropomorphic beings. Meaning that they resemble a cross between human and animal.

How these races came into being is largely unknown - but what is known is that some many centuries before, echoed in the tomes of history, was a time known as the Great White, a time when the land was torn asunder and largely destroyed. Vast tracts of land still exist where nothing grows and nothing lives and none dare cross.

And so it came to be, after what is assumed to be a nuclear winter, that the Furrae arose and the land also became populated by strange, mutant animals.

The Furrae are divided into civilisations by great tracts of barren wasteland, known as the Death Lands. Thus three seperate kingdoms have developed - the Avian Kin that populate the mountainuous regions, the Ungutaurs of the plains and the Mammalae Kin. Within these kingdoms the civilisations are centred.

These stories concern mainly the Mammalae kin, who are anthro small mammals - primates, rodents, carnivores and lagomorphs and their greatest and most prosperous city - Eriwyn. Here they dwell in habitations not disimillar to their natural animaline counterparts - natural and self-made caves, tree houses and dens. Here they exist in a manner not unlike that of modern human-kind, except with somewhat less involved technology.

And here is where our story begins...

* * * *

It came to pass that one day Kataryna Delilah Lemusu turned on her magivision and saw, with strange clarity, that children were dying of starvation, the lush rainforests were being pilferred and pirated, and violence ran rife on the streets. Specism, race riots, robberies. Murder. Nothing was pure anymore - nothing was clean.

And Kat grew very sad. The world was no longer a beautiful place, but a place of tragedy and despair. Depression descended on her in a wicked dark wave. This was not the world she wanted to live in.

So, she drew herself a nice warm bath, filled it up to the brim, and lowered herself naked into the heat. With one hand she took the razor-blade from the bathroom counter, and drew it across her wrist.

The pain was immense, but Kat could no longer manage, the world was a greater pain. She could bear a little pain - but not that, not the pain of living.

Swiftly the water ran red, and Kataryna Lemur passed from the world.

She was met in the afterlife by a god with the head of a canine.

"You have taken your own life, Kataryna Lemusu," he said, and his tone was very sad.

"Yes, the world is a terrible place, I could not cope anymore."

And Anubis took her chin in his hands, and drew her eyes to meet his. "What did you do for it?" He asked.

"What do you mean?" Kat was somewhat perplexed.

"What did you do to help save it?"

And Kat realised, with grim certainity, that she had done nothing. Not a thing. She had merely sat back, watched it, and then, in depression, taken her own life. "There is nothing that can be done, the world is dead."

"You are wrong," said Anubis. A tear trickled down his cheek and he caught it on his finger. Bringing his hand to Kat's face, he ran the tear-stained finger down her forehead. "One person can change things. Maybe not save the world, but one tear is scarcely alone, is it not?" He placed his hands on her shoulders. "Kataryna Lemusu, I am sending you back," he said. "And you will not be allowed to die until the world no longer needs help. This is your curse. If you sit back, and just do nothing, then you will be nothing. You must take action, for every teardrop counts."

And so Kataryna Lemusu was reborn - cursed to remain on Earth forever, until either it was saved or dead.

* * *

The sunlight assaulted her vision, sending dancing bright spots across her eyes. For a moment there it all seemed like a dream - a strange, terrible dream. She couldn't really have taken her own life, could she? That was ridiculous, why would she do such a thing? The leaves were soft and wet beneath her hands - a bed of autumn leaves. But it was not autumn but spring. Her body felt odd - almost as though she had another pair of limbs. She rose, drawing herself into a crouch and saw with a start that it was not a dream - a long ridge of pink scar tissue crossed her wrist. She shuddered as tears sprung to her eyes. What had she done?

Daniel! She thought of her mate with a start. What have I done to you? She could imagine him now, returning home to find the house empty, but for the blood-stained water of the bath tub. What would he think? That she had been murdered? What would he do?

Her back seemed too heavy, as though there were something else there, something alien, a growth? She glanced over her shoulder to see a large pair of neatly folded white wings now sprouted from her shoulder-blades.

Wings? What had Anubis done to her?

Beside her in the leaf litter three items caught her attention, despite her new appendages - a handheld mirror, a neatly folded cloak and a tattered scrap of paper. It took her a moment to adjust her centre of gravity - the wings were definitely heavy, and pick up the mirror. As she held it up she caught not her own reflection, but the gentle face of Anubis.

"You have been reborn for a purpose, Kataryna Lemusu. Do not fail me." And then the image blurred and changed, but she could still hear the words, but not through her ears - directly in her head. "You are dead to him now, Kataryna. There is no return from the other side of Heaven." As the image gained clarity she threw the mirror against a tree, glass shattering.

For in the mirror she had seen him, Daniel, her beloved, holding her limp, damp and bloody form, brushing his muzzle against her cheek - as though begging her to return to life.

*

Kataryna hastened along the road. She seemed to have a knack of avoiding the other Furrae that bustled about their business. It was not that they moved out of her way, more that their way seemed to be around her. After a time she came to the house number. Twenty-Four Acacia Avenue. The house beside was a rather prim and proper affair, with an odd red light coming from beyond the curtains. Number twenty-four was a rather more elaborate affair, given that the entire property was dominated by an enormous tree. About this, set on a series of platforms, the house had been constructed. The garden, if you could call it a garden, had clearly not seen a lawn mower or a weed eater for many years, and indeed would not require a scythe to clear the way through.

Rather tentatively, she eased open the rusty gate and made her way through the wilderness. Something squeaked beneath her feet and she startled for a moment, only to realize that it was a rubber mouse.

A rubber mouse?

She stepped over it and to the front door. The porch was set at the base of the tree and it was fairly obvious that a staircase weaved its way up the trunk, to the first platform. Set in the middle of the door was a lion-head doorknocker.

Kataryna rapped on the door.

For a long moment there was silence, and then a soft, yet deep voice called out, "come in, its open!"

Well, Anubius had sent her here. Surely it must be fine. She opened the door. The lion-head winked at her, causing her to jump in startlement.

Clearly things here were not quite as they seemed.

She hung her cloak on a hook in the foyer. A spiral staircase lead up from one side and this she followed. The walls were uncomfortably close about her wings. It was odd having wings, she contemplated, she was fairly certain she could use them to fly, but had, as yet, been too nervous to try. They got in the way and tended to bump into things.

The staircase opened up onto a landing. Much of the wall was tinted glass, providing easy view outside, but no view inside. Whomever lived here must like his privacy, although admittedly not enough to answer the door himself.

She tore her gaze away from the view and around the room. A pale ginger feline regarded her from his recumberent position in a padded armchair. He was utterly sprawled, one leg dangling over the side. Not a particularly civilized position - especially giving he wore nothing but a black silk robe. Parts of him, rather personal parts, were visible. He made no effort to stand up, nor to cover himself.

"Hey Babe, what can I do you for?"

"You are Titus?" She asked.

"I believe I am. And who are you, petal?"

"I am Kataryna. I was sent by Anubis."

The change was miraculous. Titus jumped to his feet and hastily retied his robe. "My apologies," he stuttered, "I didn't know you were an angel although," he chuckled dryly, "the wings should have been a dead give away. So you have come at last to claim what is yours."

"Err yes, I guess."

"Come with me." He led her up another flight of stairs and to another landing. "Do you know whom I am?" He asked.

"I was told naught but that you are a friend."

"I am the Guardian of the Gate," he said. "And this is the Door."

She stared at him blankly. It was a door. There was nothing spectacular about it, nothing demanding of the capital letter. The woodwork was a little scratched and the keyhole needed a polish. "The door to what?"

He sighed, "the Door to the Rainbow Lands," he explained, "I see you have truly not been enlightened. Here, I'll show you." He reached out and swung open the door.

Kataryna's jaw dropped and her forehead creased, puzzled.

"Also," he grinned, "the broom closet." He removed a coat from the hanger. "It's all in the way you open it." He swung the door shut and brandished a silver key, hung from the collar about his throat. Crouching down, he unlocked the door and swung it open.

A staircase, weaved through the sky and into luscious forests below. The sky was a myriad of colour, vivid and breath-taking.

"Behold the Rainbow Lands," Titus grinned, and closed the door.

*

Kat lay on the enormous bed, her head at its foot, her feet resting just below the pillow. Melancholy stirred within her, an immense loneliness. One hand trailed, stroking the inch-long carpet. So much like a pelt. Daniel's pelt.

The longing inside her gnawed hungrily away. She missed him so - how could she have done such a cruel thing to him? She loathed herself. Again she stared at the great, engraved cabinet that dominated the room. Within those carved doors was the Scrying glass, capable of revealing anybody's past, present or current future could be seen in it - all it took was something implanted with their psychic "scent". A piece of fur, a cherished toy or an item of clothing... It would not be hard for her to look into Daniel's future - or his present.

Did she really want to punish herself that badly?

She pondered the puckered pink-white scars on the inside of her wrist, running her finger along the ridge. Forever marked for her crime - inside and out.

"Hey babe!" A banging at the door stirred her from her funk. "Wanna come to the party with me?"

"I don't think so," she muttered, not moving an inch.

Titus swung open the door, resplendent in knee-high boots with inch long heels, and a gown that would be revealing, had he anything to reveal. "Come on, it'll be fun - or do you just want to lie there and ferment?"

She chuckled. Almost. "Leave me alone."

"Oh no my dear!" Titus stepped towards her, his tail swishing in a rather disturbing manner. "I'm afraid I can't allow that. I can't leave you here to drown in your own self-misery, can I just?"

"Why not?" Kat grumbled and rolled over, burying her head in the pillows. A moment later she felt a warm paw on her shoulder.

"What has happened to you?" He asked, his voice tinged with sadness. She looked up at him, distorted by the tears. His face radiated concern and compassion. "Once you were so filled with life."

"And I was foolish," she grumbled, her hands balling at the pillow. "I lived in a fantasy world. Nothing is good and clean and pure anymore."

With those words, Titus reached across her, grabbing another pillow from the bed. Before she had time to stop him - to even realise what was happening - he struck her across the shoulder with it. Kataryna yelped, in surprise more then anything, and pushed him away with her hands. He shoved her back into the bed and sprang up beside her - short skirt and all. Casting the pillow aside, he proceeded to tickle her into submission.

Kataryna lay there, breathless from giggling.

"So, are you coming with me or not?" Titus asked, brandishing the pillow, "or should I pummel some reasoning into you?"

"Okay, okay," she gasped, "I'll go with you, just please, please don't do that again!"

That elicited a grin and a flashing of teeth from the feline. "Oh, my dear, I'm afraid that is a promise I would surely have to break."

*

Kataryna halted, overwelmed by sudden phobia. She did not want to go in there, wanted nothing more then to crawl back into the recesses of her tree. Titus locked his arm about hers, and although she welcomed his support, he was not Daniel and nothing could ever full the hole she had tunneled from her own heart.

"Come on," he said gently, "it'll be fine, you'll see - only the most civilised people get invited to these things."

Kat rose her eyebrows at him quizzically. "Civilised?" She asked.

The Tabby shrugged. "I can be most persuading when I try," he grinned. And placing one hand on her shoulder, he led her into the premises.

Techically speaking, it was a treehouse, but to be more precise, it was many treehouses, strung together with platforms and rope bridges and small shelters. It was clearly the home of an arboreal family of high standing. A spiral staircase lead up the side of the central tree, leading to the first, and largest platform. At the base of the tree clustered a small group of Furrs engaged in social intercourse of the loud and gossipy kind. The moment titus and kat arrived on the scene, they all stopped and turned to stare at them and then whispered quietly to one another.

"What is it?" Kat asked, her desire to turn around and make her escape now increasing.

Titus's forehead creased. "Perhaps we should have hidden your wings," he commented. "Ah well, pretend they're part of your costume."

"You're sure it's not your dress?" Kat asked.

He shrugged, "possibly, but then again, they're used to me."

It was not that Kat hadn't been to parties before - she had, on many occasions. But then they had been friends of Daniel and her, not strangers in stranger costumes. She glanced at the Jack O Lanterns atop the gateposts, flickering lights illuminating their narrow eyes. Halloween had once been her favourite time of year, but now... Now was different. She was changed.

"Hey Titus, how ya swinging tonight?" A voice called, and an Ocelot lad attired in cav shirt and eye patch sauntered over.

"Whatever way you like, Olly," he grinned, "how about you?"

Olly winked. "Very sexy dress," he said, "it shows off your legs something dandy. So who's the pretty lady then?"

"This, is Kataryna. She's my new roomie."

"Hi," Kataryna said, rather shyly for her.

The Ocelot reached out and took her hand, kissing it lightly. "A pleasure to meet you milady," he said, making her blush furiously. "Would you care to come join the festivities?"

It was a barmy October night (being a southern hemisphere girl ^^) and a bonfire blazed in the wide space between the trees. Loud music pumped from speakers wedged in the tree branches and pumpkins blazed from every tree. The music was currently an old 80s hit, "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. With a sigh of despair, Kat remembered how she and Daniel had used to dance to that song, all close and cuddly. But, it was never to be again.

She was dead to him.

Titus lead Kat over to the fire. "The Monster Mash" blasted over the speakers, and about the bonfire danced a colourful array of characters - angels, witches, demons, nurses, nuns and the usual attire found in such places. Kataryna leaned against the tree, surveying the dancers. She saw Titus raise his hand and wink at a lean Hare, atop whose head perched a pair of antlers. They looked wildly out of place, but there was a certain sexiness to the costume. Titus glanced at her questioningly.

"Go," she said, "have fun, I'll be fine."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive."

He glanced at her a little suspiciously, then the Hare blew him a kiss and he shrugged. "If you need me, I'll be around."

"I told you," she replied, "I'll be fine." She knew she was lying to herself. Yes, once upon a time she had been a right royal party animal - but that was the past. Now she was ... different. Changed.

She may have been given a second chance, but it felt more like a curse to her.

For a moment she just stood there, watching Titus greet his "Jackalope" friend with a hug and a kiss. She sighed. How could she have done it? She had love, and she had thrown it all away in one instance. In one stupid, selfish act. Turning her back to the celebrations, she walked into the shadows. A part of her desired to dance with the abandon of youth, but she knew now that the innocence she had once experienced had failed into a bitter, seething angst.

There was someone else in the shadows, a woman not much older then herself. Far apart from the celebrations she sat, paintbrush in hand, easel before her. What she was painting, Kataryna could not guess, it was almost too dark for her to see. She felt an odd kinship with this female, who was also apart from the social reality.

Should she disturb her?

She was about to slip quietly away, when the woman looked up at her. Her species was not one the Ringtail girl had seen before, with her large batlike ears and pale eyes. Kataryna fancied she saw fear flicker behind those eyes for a fragment of a second. Then the woman applied a fake smile to her lips and spoke: "Enjoying the party?"

"No, not really," Kat admitted.

The woman nodded, but said no more. For a long moment silence reigned as they both searched for conversation. This was ridiculous, Kat concluded, she wasn't like this!

"Hi," she said, proffering her hand, "my name is Kataryna, I'm Titus's roommate."

The woman did not take her hand. "Aranaya," she said, "pleased to meet you," she didn't sound all that pleased - more guarded, "I live here."

"You do?"

She nodded, "Evergreen Terrace Apartments, I'm from that one over there." She indicated a tree with rather more foliage then the others, so thick it almost covered all evidence of it being a den.

Shrieks of merriment drifted over from the bonfire. "Nice place," Kataryna remarked. She was sure she had been better at conversation once. Now even small talk evaded her. "Have you been here long?"

"A few months."

Again, silence.

"So you paint?" Kataryna finally filled up the lacuna.

"Yes."

This was rather hopeless, Kat felt as though she were clutching at straws. This Aranaya did not want to talk, clearly, and she should just be on her way. "Well, good luck with it then, I better make sure my roomie isn't getting up to mischief."

"Nice wings, by the way," Aranaya added as Kataryna turned to make her departure. "Very well crafted - one could almost think they might be useable to fly."

"Well they can't." It was intended to sound joking, but it came out a little too snappy. What point was wings if one could not fly? Kat had not tried it yet - the idea frightened her. Leaping from tree to tree was one thing - but leaping into nothingness was another.

"Kat!" Titus's voice hailed her almost as soon as she made her return, "there you are, I thought you were off running riot. Come on, there's someone you should meet, you'll like him, he's a ringy like you."

"A ringy?"

"Ringtailed Lemur actually," a man stepped in to stand beside the cat. He was clearly a ringtailed lemur, but unlike any Kataryna had seen before. Everything about him was pale - from his pure white pelt to his paler-then- pale blue eyes. It was his pupils that startled her, however, eyeing her from behind wire-framed spectacles. They were pink in color. He was an albino. He extended a hand to her, "my name is Arron and it is a pleasure to make your acquantince."

Kataryna grasped his hand and the vision hit her like a rock, instant giddiness overwelmed her. In her mind came a fleeting image, blurred almost beyond recognition. Something as black as sin itself dropping down and swinging a knife at her. She wheeled back, her knees giving way beneath her, and would have tumbled, had not Titus caught her.

"Kat?" He asked, "are you okay?"

She blinked, feeling her vision returning to normal and stood up, completely embarrassed. Arron's forehead creased in worry, his pale eyes regarding her with concern.

"I'm fine," she whispered, "I think the smoke has gone to my head." It was a feeble excuse as the smoke was nowhere near her.

"Are you sure?" Titus sounded almost like a dotting mother. "You better sit down."

She sat - it was easier that way. What had happened to her? Had Anubis's tear done more to her then give her wings? She shuddered, despite the warmth of the evening.

What was happening to her?

"Anyway," Titus continued, "as I was about to tell you before you had your little incident, Arron here is not only devastatingly gorgeous," (a clear exaggeration, but it made Arron blush, and when an albino blushes, he really blushes), "but he's also a bit of a writer. A pretty darn good one too."

"Thanks," Arron was a disturbing shade of red, "I'm not that good, Aranaya has the real talent."

"Aranaya?" Kat rose her eyebrows (being completely unable to raise one at a time). "We met."

"So you were off causing trouble then, Babe?"

"Please don't call me that."

"My apologies milady." He bowed in a rather exaggerated fashion.

"Or that."

Titus grinned. "Anyhow, Aranaya and Arron here are a bit of a team - he writes, she draws."

"Illustrates."

"Okay, illustrates. Same difference. At present they're working on a fairy- tale collaboration. I must say, I've seen the manuscript for their version of 'Billy Goats Gruff' and it's spectacular. Indeed, I'd drag our sexy, young friend here off for drinks in celebration if he'd let me"

Arron pushed his glasses up his muzzle. "Sorry Ty," he said, "I don't swing that way."

"Mores the pity," Titus grinned, "but there's only one way you swing, eh Arry-boy? And that's right towards the lass with the name-that-sounds-like- yours, yes?"

His colour had recently cleared, but now it flared up again. "I admire her,' he admitted.

The felid did a little skipping hop, "see, he admits it." He ruffled Arron's hair - not that it wasn't already ruffled quite enough. "So, do you think she knows, Katti-dear?"

"I have no idea," Kat sighed. "We didn't exactly have a scintillating conversation. So you live here too, Arron?"

"Live here? Arry only owns this delightful treetop retreat. Now would you like some punch, cos I sure think I would."

Arron grinned, "yes, Kataryna, I own this place, and be assured that when you grow weary of cohabiting with that foul felid, I can surely find you a place here."

"Ooh," Titus drew back his lips to reveal his long canine teeth. "She's my girl, right, you're not to go stealing my heart and my girl."

Kataryna was beginning to wonder if she was caught up in some sort of argument or it was just an elaborate game. She sat down for a moment, she still felt a little faint over the episode that had occurred when she had touched Arron's hand. What had it meant? Her temples throbbed and she rested her head in her hands. The comforting sounds of Arron and Titus bickering in a friendly fashion washed over her head.

There was something special about the albino ringtail lemur - that was for sure. She could not guess what, but she knew that such feelings could not be mere hunches - for mere hunches meant something now. Why had this burden been placed upon her?

Why had she done it? Why had she tried to take her own life?

The sounds of "Farewell to the Crown" broke through her thoughts with clarity. She remembered that song too - and many parties spent dancing like a maniac. The urge stirred in her - but what was the point in dancing? Where was the joy?

A single tear trickled down her cheek, and with it the thought "one tear is scarce alone." Anubis had said that to her, hadn't he? She felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up to see Arron smiling down at her, his ruffled white hair hanging in his face.

"Wish to dance?" He asked.

Kat wiped her eyes dry and accepted his hand. She could not be with Daniel, but she should still embrace life. What was the point in moping? What really did it achieve?

He led her onto the dancefloor - well, the grass area that could be conceivably labelled a "dance floor". Luckily the weather had been fairly dry of late, for else the entire area would have been churned into mud. Titus and his "Jackaroo" friend joined them and the four of them linked their arms over each other's shoulders and kicked and jumped in time with the rhythm. With the action of the dance, Kat felt as though a weight was lifting from her shoulders. She had not realised how much she missed it.

"...farewell to the crown, we say farewell to the crown...." Voices joined in disharmony as Furrs leapt and danced and spun each other in mad circles. Finally the last chords parted, leaving the dancers panting and gasping in exhaustion. A slower song now, one she did not recognise. As she made for the welcoming shadows, Arron grabbed her, drawing her into a close dance. She did not want to close dance with anyone but Daniel, but there was something about his posture and expression that spoke to her. He was not grabbing her because he was attracted to her physically, it was more he wanted to talk with her.

"Kataryna," he whispered, "you are special, I can feel it. Like a guardian angel." He chuckled at what he clearly took to be a joke. "Something happened when we shook hands - what was it? What made you recoil?"

She shook her head, not wanting to talk about her oddities. "An image, like a dream - but fleeting," she finally said. "I think something attacked you."

He nodded, not seeming particularly concerned. "I think perhaps you have the Sight," he replied. Although he tried to keep his voice calm, it was betrayed by a slight quiver. "I fear I am going to need your help." He paused. "I know Titus would not allow just anyone to live with him. So, who are you?"

"I am Kataryna Lemur," she replied. "Noone of importance."

Arron shook his head. "I would beg to differ," he hissed, "I sense you are of great importance. Please consider telling me. Something bad is coming and it is not me that will get burned."

He paused, his pale blue eyes glistening in the firelight, the pink pupils almost seeming to blaze.

"It is Aranaya."

And with that he pushed her aside and strode away; long, purposeful steps. Kataryna stared after him, confusion creasing her brow. It was then that she saw, in the shadows, unnoticed by both of them, Aranaya standing there, staring in her direction.

And in her eyes - jealousy and anger.

*

Kataryna stared at herself, and herself stared back. She did not know if she really liked looking at herself, not this way. The changes were frightening, to say the least. Who was she now? Her fur had faded to the colour of starlight, an overall silver which seemed to sparkle under the lamp light. Her face looked the same - the same short muzzle and black patches, but the eyes.

Oh lord, the eyes.

For now they were not the gentle blue of the ocean but a dark evergreen flecked with gold. This morning they had been twilight purple. The iris colours changed with her emotion. She shuddered. So what emotion was this? Dark, aside from reality. Lost. She stepped back, experimentally spreading one wing. They obeyed her muscular commands in much the same way as her arm would bend or her toes twitch. She had complete control over them. She spread them wide, white feathers glinting. Could she fly? They looked big enough and they responded to the commands of her brain. But how did one fly? Who could she ask about such a thing? Maybe she should try and find an Avian. They were rare in these parts, for sure, but if anyone knew, they would.

She folded her wings again - so bulky, so obvious. How was she supposed to go about her job subtly with these bloody great wings? Hell, she had to walk sideways through narrow doorways! Halloween parties were all well and good - but what about in everyday life?

She padded over to the bed, looking down upon her cloak. Reaching down she pinched the pale hair between her fingers, holding it up to the light. It was so pale it was practically translucent - one of Arron's. The mirror knew secrets, this she had been told, but Titus knew not how to operate it. Well, here she had a piece of Arron's DNA - maybe she could find out more about that odd vision.

Or she could just do nothing, curl up and go to sleep and pretend that there wasn't something weird going on.

No, of course she couldn't - Arron had asked her for help (hah, almost threatened) and she had been sent the vision for a reason. She must be required to help him.

Wit a deep, long suffering sigh she stepped up to the mirror. The wooden casing was carved in an array of faces, hands, paws, wings. She was sure it must tell such tales, but she knew not how to make sense of them. There was one hand reaching out from the wooden casing, palm open as though to accept something.

Well, there was no harm in trying - right? She placed the hair gingerly on the hand. Slowly, with a slight creaking, the fingers coiled inwards, closing about the hair, and her reflection blurred and changed.

She was staring at Arron, but not Arron as she had met him earlier - a much younger Arron, all pale fur and glasses. He was running, behind him, in hot pursuit, three Mustelids - a Badger, a Skunk and a Sable. Their lips moved - they were clearly shouting at him but whether it was offense or a warning, Kataryna could only guess. Mirrors did not have sound, merely picture.

Then the young Lemur stumbled on something, falling face first into the mud and instantly the three Mustelidae were upon him. He was picked up, flailing, kicking, struggling AND biting, but all to no avail. A moment later he was flung into a pool, fully clothed. He could clearly not swim, but floudered and struggled whilst the three Mustelidae laughed and clapped and mocked his struggles.

This was all very educational, Kataryna decided, but she could hardly change an event that had taken place so far in his past. No, she had to see the future as it was intended for him here and now. Surely the carvings must contain the means. She ran her fingers down the carved faces, and then found it. A dial - well, more an arrow that rotated really. She twisted it slowly and as she did so the images on the mirror flickered, fast forwarding through Arron's life.

She stopped at the image of Arron sitting on his window ledge, legs dangling outside, and gazing down at the aftermath of the party. It had been early when Kat had left and the merriment still plainly continued, but even though it was Arron's party, the albino was not appearing to enjoy it. He looked so sweet and sad perched there that Kataryna knew she had to help him.

Dare she twist the dial further?

She dared, twisting it slowly but dilligently keeping an eye on the mirror. As soon as she saw the tell-tale flash of black she stopped and twisted it back. It took a while for her to find the right position.

Arron and Aranaya were walking up to a door. They were talking amitably to one another, but paused as they saw the door. It was slightly ajar. This appeared to startle them somewhat and they had a heated, but quick, discussion. Aranaya nodded and dashed away, maybe to call for help? But Arron, with rather foolish bravado, pushed open the door and crept in. The house was a shambles - the couch had been slashed open, books torn from the shelf and flung in heaps on the floor. Some were smouldering slightly. Arron stepped back at the sight, jaw dropping, and would have bet a hasty retreat had something dark not dropped behind him, blocking the doorway. For a flash of a moment Kataryna caught a glimpse of red eyes and black fur and long fierce teeth. Then the mirror was spattered with red.

Even though albino, his blood was no less red.

Kataryna slammed the double doors closed across the terrible sight. She fell onto the bed, colour draining from her face so she was as pale as the albino herself.

He was going to die - murdered by a robber.

But when? And why? She needed more answers. Destiny, she was sure, would be hard to change.

But she would do it.