Ciro & Callista
The thirteenth in the series of descriptions paints pictures of two more background characters: Ciro, who stole Amanada from Anatoliy in Year Two, and Callista, the six-armed bartender, friend of Ioanna and Kept by Ib. Feel free to weigh in on the forums, if there's someone in particular you'd like to see described.
Ciro, Midnight Dawn
First Cohort, graduated
Ciro, it has been posited, turned more than a little evil because, when one spends most of one’s life looking like an unhappy rooster, one can either kick ass or give in to being a laughingstock.
He’s not all that rooster-like with his Mask up, luckily: he’s a lanky, somewhat scarecrow of a man with drab brown hair that is generally allowed to grow shaggy and unkempt in between haircuts. His eyes are brown, as well, his chin and nose both pointed, his smile thin and nervous; he tends to slouch in on himself, as if trying to make himself smaller. He generally has a fluorescent tan, his pallor the result of spending most of his time indoors.
He wears button-down shirts that fit loosely, khakis or dress pants that, likewise, are not fitted to his lanky frame, and shoes designed to hide the Change “deformity” of his feet. After Amanada resigned herself to Belonging to him – so, for the second half of Year Two and all of Years Three and Four – the clothes are still loose, but tailored now, so they look less as if they’re hanging off a scarecrow and more successfully camouflage his skinniness.
With his Mask down, he looks so very birdlike, so very much like a wet rooster. His nose points further, until it’s very nearly a beak. His hair isn’t really hair anymore; it’s closer to feathers, which shade from very dark red on the lowest layer to bright yellow on the top; when he shakes his head, it looks like fire dancing.
His hands are deformed into chicken-claws, the knuckles knobby, the fingers ending in thick, slate-grey claws instead of fingernails. His toes and feet are similarly deformed, though no-one but Amanada and Dr. Caitrin could attest to that one. His bones are, while not as fragile as a true bird’s, lighter-weight and less durable than a human’s.
On the other hand, when he lights on fire, he is majestic and beautiful. He’s startlingly quick on his feet, and fire just doesn’t hurt him, although it hurts everyone around him pretty handily. Being a phoenix is almost payoff for spending most of his time as a sad rooster.
Callista cy’Pelletier oro’Ib
It’s not really possible, at the beginning of Year Five, to sort out Callista’s original personality from the person Ib has made her. There are flashes, here and there, when she’s most in her element – the times he allows her with Ioanna, when she’s tending bar – of the person she will be when she’s free, dryly cynical and ruthless when she needs to be, but with affection and sympathy for her friends and others in a bad place – but most of who she is, at the current point of the story, is Ib’s creation. It’s easier on her that way.
Even her body is, to some extent, his creation: when she came to school, she was a dark-haired girl with wide eyes, an easy, generous smile, a rich tan and an athletic build. She liked to play beach volleyball and field hockey.
Now, two years later, she’s skinny to the point of emaciation, her hair dyed magenta (or sometimes turquoise or lime green). Much of the strength has left her limbs, three pregnancies right on top of each other coupled with barely-adequate food leaving her knobby, with deep shadows under her haunted eyes. Her skin is pale, almost unnaturally porcelain-white.
Whatever she’d wear if given the choice, what she tends to wear are little scraps of halter tops with low-cut tight pants or equally tight skirts; she rarely wears shoes but when she does they’re heeled sandals. Masked or un-Masked, every wrist and ankle and her neck are encircled in steel bands, each one with an O-ring dangling from it.
Her Change adds four arms below her extant two, and a series of muscles along her back to support and move them. Her torso grew about six inches along the rib cage, with an additional three pair of ribs; her legs grew, as well, to balance her out. The bottom four arms aren’t as strong as the top two, but all four are amazingly dexterous. Her speed and ability are amazing, and she can multitask in ways that seem nearly impossible.
The limbs do make an amazing spider impression when she crawls, too.
Pronounced "key" or "kay-uh," cy' means "student of;" and is used as a surname to mark the step from Mother-Child relationship to Mentor-Student (considered the necessary middle stage in Ellehemaei development between Child and Adult). Since Ciro is no longer a Student, he doesn't have a cy' after his name, but he does have an Adult Name.
oro' means "belonging to;" Callista is Owned by Ib.