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App for [community profile] distantskies.


ABOUT YOU

Name: Joysweeper
Are you 18 or over?: Yes
Other characters played: Luke Skywalker, [personal profile] force_ful

CHARACTER

Name: Janine Farehouse
Canon: Dinoverse (AU)
Age: Around seventeen. It’s hard to tell how old she looks, because pterosaur.
History: On her father’s side Janine has a large extended family which tends towards being creative, eccentric, and boisterous. On her mother’s side the family is smaller, quieter, and more reserved. She was closest with her father, a photographer. He died overseas when she was eight or nine years old.

Janine felt like she had to be strong and seem fine, and somehow this would help her mother to keep it together. This started a kind of distance between them that only grew with time. Her mother was older, not very demonstrative, and Janine was a quiet girl.

She did have an older cousin, Margie, who she liked. Once while they were on the freeway, a blowout sent them into oncoming traffic. Janine went cold, analyzed the situation, and grabbed the wheel, saving their lives.

Soon after the death of Janine’s father, her mother inherited the Autumn’s Fest, a bed and breakfast in the town of Wetherford, Montana, so they moved there and away from family. It was hard on Janine. Most kids she saw had more money and didn’t start school in homemade clothes. One of her peers, Candayce Chambers, pretended to be friendly and welcoming when Janine first came to school, then opened an ink pen all over her to the amusement of many.

She did make friends with Sherilyn, and felt very close to the more popular girl, but when Janine was in sixth grade Sherilyn violently rejected her in front of Candayce and others. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Janine hardened her heart. When Sherilyn came by after school to say she hadn’t meant any of that, she’d just done it because people wanted her to and she’d still be friends with Janine if they were never together where anyone would see, Janine utterly refused.

From there on she embraced her pariah state and to some degree turned the tables - she abandoned all efforts to blend in and stopped caring what anyone thought of her. She developed a sharply knowing stare that would-be bullies were uncomfortable around, but she did not restrict it just to them. Anyone could turn on her, after all. She wasn’t enemy to everyone, she would sometimes come to the rescue of others being bullied, or offhandedly encourage them, but she avoided being friendly. Janine felt it was better to be an outsider, an observer.

It was around then that she started to sneak out some nights and engage in vandalism. Nothing that she personally considered destructive - no breaking glass, burning anything, or puncturing tires - but getting into restricted areas and adding soap to fountains, putting up graffiti. She had a few cans of spray paint, but she also improvised paints out of things like crushed sidewalk chalk mixed with water, and she would knot lengths of various kind of string together to wind around things or make nets to drape on them, hang items from streetlights and so on. As time went on she went out more often, going to increasingly more elaborate lengths.

She thought no one knew who did it, but her mother had seen the kinds of projects she’d made at home and must have figured it out before anyone else. Late in 1999, when Janine was thirteen, others started figuring it out too, and Janine’s mother started spending more of her time cleaning up and keeping her daughter from being busted. This of course led to Janine needing to fill in for her more at the bed and breakfast - she’d always had chores related to that, but now she started missing school for it, and she felt like this was all her mother ever wanted to talk to her about. Really, her mother was afraid to confront her, afraid she would run away.

In September of 1999 she pulled a fire alarm at school and talked her way out of being blamed. Later in the day there was a science fair. One of the bullied kids Janine had a vague liking for, the nerdy Bertram, had set up an elaborate machine. She gave him a casually encouraging look when he faltered while talking about it in public, and he went on with more confidence. It wasn’t supposed to do much, but thanks to a freak accident of technobabble and plot devices it zoned in on Bertram, Janine, Bertram’s jock friend Mike, and Candayce.

Their bodies fell into comas, and their “essences” were converted into “thought-energy brainwaves” - not my words, Bertram’s - extracted, and cast far back in time, into the Cretaceous Period. Each one ended up zeroing on to and taking residence in the body of a different large charismatic reptile, displacing the minds of their ‘hosts’. Bertram woke to the body of an armored Ankylosaurus, Mike to a young Tyrannosaur, Candayce to a Leptoceratops - a small semi-bipedal relative to Triceratops - and Janine to a Quetzalcoatlus.

She woke high in the air over the ocean, and being utterly new to this body she fell out of the sky. Janine managed to flash to calm briefly, long enough to connect to her host’s mind and turn a dead fall into a glide, but the calm evaporated when she hit the water and she panicked. If not for the timely assistance of another Quetzalcoatlus, her host’s sibling, Janine would have been killed, but as she swam for shore and got to the sand she worried about it and cried out, keeping an Elasmosaur confused about which target to pursue.

On shore she met up with the others and they tried to get their bearings. Janine was very quickly able to figure out the little they knew already. She was by far the calmest about it, the first to see humor in this situation, and the least awkward in adjusting... though not seamless. A one-way message beamed in from the future, or an alternate future, informing them that in that future reality the versions of them native to that reality had been comatose for sixty years, but they might be able to get back to their own times and bodies, soon after leaving them, if they got to a site called the Standing Stones within a few weeks. Candayce was in a stupor, Bertram and Mike stressed over thoughts of their families, but Janine broke them out of it with relentless practicality, telling them that thinking about it wouldn’t help and they had to figure out their next move - which as it turned out was finding food.

The herbivores split off to go into the woods and Janine, though noting concerns about predators, took Mike fishing. Very quickly she picked up on the psychic element of being a dinosaur - none of them knew how not to broadcast, and Mike was not just unhappy about the situation, but about something happening at home. She got past her own squeamishness and ate, encouraged him to do the same, and deflected the question about how she was adjusting so well.

The group started to travel. They were somewhere around what would be South Dakota and had to get to a point in what would be Montana, but they knew how to get there thanks to a kind of map that the message had given Betram. Mike made enemies with an unusually large Tyrannosaurus he named Moriarty, which began to stalk them from a distance.

When they stopped for the night Janine split off from the others and used vines and shells to create something similar to the keychain she’d had at home, which she could flick to make noise. When Candayce tried taking out her misery on Bertram Janine stopped her, but seeing that Candayce felt naked, she took pity on her old tormentor and helped her make a kind of modified seashell bikini - no shoulder straps, and the ‘bottom’ was basically a belt with a shell hanging on the underside.

They had a few fairly uneventful days of travel, splitting away from the coast to head inland. Sometimes Candayce’s shells would mysteriously come off at night, and she was constantly followed by numbers of dull-colored Leptoceratops, especially in the mornings when she split off for a bit to sun alone. Janine was always the one to fetch her back. She noticed Bertram gradually going from excited about the events and their surroundings - he was a paleontology buff who could ramble at length about every aspect of the landscape - to increasingly apathetic and cranky. She divined that it was because he hadn’t been eating, because he knew he’d get flatulent if he ate, and alternated teasing with common sense to get him to eat anyway.

It was the other Quetzalcoatlus who was stealing the shells during the moonlit nights, following them from a loftier distance. Due to its comparatively more subdued markings - mostly golden brown, but with hints of gray and slate blue, not nearly as flashy as her dark cream, red, and black - Janine assumed it was male, and named him Loki.

Soon enough Bertram’s digestive processes started to kick in and he became incredibly gassy. Janine, who barely had a sense of smell, was not much affected, but the others were. Candayce’s insults finally tipped something over the edge for Janine, who snipped her top off and ran away with it, was pursued to the edge of a cliff, and flung it over the edge.

Janine railed against Candayce for being so awful in these circumstances and didn’t relent when the other girl went quiet, then let drop something she’d known for a while, that Bertram had a crush on Candayce. Candayce found this hilarious, which infuriated Janine - she hated that Candayce’s response to vulnerability was always to mock and attack.

Exactly what she would have done will have to go unknown, because now that Candayce was away from the more dangerous dinosaurs her Leptoceratops stalkers showed up and cornered them. To Janine’s credit her first instinct was to try and help Candayce get away, but it didn’t work, they abducted Candayce and drove Janine over the cliff edge. Janine almost flew on the way down.

The Leptos were hard to track, especially since Bertram was too smelly for Mike to be able to pick up a scent, so Janine threw herself into trying to learn to get airborne; she would be a much better tracker from the air, but mostly she wanted to fly, now that she felt sure she could. In the process she crashed a lot. Eventually, around sunset, Loki came to circle around, distracting her from the fear and effort and then maneuvering near her, showing her how to do it. In the distance Candayce called, so the boys went in that direction while Janine kept at it, feeling strange, knowing she would grasp flight soon enough.

The others had had to contend with larger predators and a forest fire by the time she caught up with them in the morning and directed them to each other. Reunion done, she dropped her keychain at their feet and flew away. Scrawled on two of the shells were “Good luck” and “Goodbye.”

Janine spent days out there, becoming comfortable in flight, following Loki, meeting other Quetzes, watching the world. She was happy, and fully intended to just stay out there, stay a Quetzalcoatlus, forget humanity. Sometimes she had doubts, regrets, guilt, but she pushed them aside, feeling like for once in her life she was at home.

However, in time she saw Candayce, who’d gone through some character development in that time, accidentally getting on the wrong side of a Triceratops herd. Again her first impulse was to help, but when the danger was over she was very harsh to Candayce, who wanted her help. An earthquake had hit and disorganized the land, and the boys had gotten trapped at the bottom of a mazelike set of crevices, so the faster-moving Candayce had gone in search of Janine. Eventually Janine did agree to come help on the condition that Candayce was quiet on the way back.

On that journey Janine flew above, unloading her grievances with the other girl and thinking that they were, like the rest of her human life, just “old tapes” that would be better erased. When it started to rain Loki tried to signal something and was anxious, but a distracted Janine kept going, was soon hit by lightning, and crashed.

Her wing was injured, dislocated, and she didn’t want to move, especially since Loki flew away and she felt abandoned. Candayce stayed around and they had a dramatic storm-lit heart to heart, in which it came up that some people knew about Janine sneaking out for graffiti, and what that was doing to her mother. It also came up that, in a way, Candayce admired Janine. She was selfish in some ways, but she also did the kinds of things Candayce would be afraid to do. They reconciled into a tentative truce and spent time walking, but ended up lost and going in a circle.

An earthquake hit and they found the same Triceratops herd from before. Their eggs had dropped into a ravine, and Candayce wanted to help, urging Janine to follow her. To rescue the eggs Janine had to trust her - Candayce clung to a Triceratops leg and held Janine’s ankle in her mouth like a ball joint, Janine climbed down and retrieved them one at a time. In the process her shoulder re-located, though it was still sore.

The two of them oriented on the vague sense they had for where the others were - it was how Candayce had known where to find Janine - and traveled a day or so, bickering in a friendly way, before they found Mike and Betram. The two had fought off Moriarty, and the reunion was happily optimistic. Loki even showed up again, and Janine was able to get into the air and fly, briefly, despite her sore wing.

Soon they were all traveling together again, following a river. Everyone studiously avoided asking about Janine’s side trip, not sure what would happen if they brought it up. While Candayce and Bertram danced and sang to psychic music, Mike and Janine talked about time travel and Moriarty.

A flash flood came up. The most physically fragile of the group, Janine just barely got into the air in time and watched as the others were swept away. She followed for hours and helped them to regroup when the waters had subsided. Bertram had made possibly-romantic friends with another Ankylosaurus whose mate had died in the flood. He named her Beanie, and she tagged along with them despite the presence of Mike.

The flood had washed them to within a few days of where they had to go - a place that, in human times, would be called the Standing Stones and would contain a fossil that Bertram had incorporated into the M.I.N.D. Machine. Currently it was a plateau. Janine flew out to see it, and did not find the rock formations that would give it its name.

She spent the night there with Loki and flew back in the morning, but because Bertram slept late she attached a bunch of red flowers to his tail and scrawled “WIDE LOAD” across his backside - equating him to a truck. She was then worried that he’d be mad. He wasn’t, and she came out and told him - the Standing Stones weren’t standing. This provoked debate over whether the location was actually elsewhere, if they should go to that site or try to find others. Janine and Mike wanted to scout out other plateaus, Bertram and Candayce wanted everyone to go together to see that one for themselves.

They ended up flipping a shell over it, and Mike then stated his faith in Bertram and the message. Janine conceded with bad grace and led them up a path into mountainous territory. When they were well on their way and didn’t need a guide she left to go eat, and came back as they reached the plateau top.

Here’s where the AU starts. In canon, Moriarty was waiting and confronted them, and after he was dead they dealt with the M.I.N.D. Machine. Here, he wasn’t.

They examined an illusory projection of the machine, which was insubstantial and hovered. The image on all its monitors was of the Standing Stones as they looked upon being excavated in the human era. The group decided to erect and carve those, which took most of the day. It was an artistic endeavor, and Janine had higher dexterity and a better idea of what to do than the rest. Once the Stones were completed and correctly positioned a way opened up through the illusion of the machine.

Mike and Candayce went through right away. They’d had some good experiences with the whole thing, but were not at all tempted to stay. Passing through removed their “thought-energy brainwaves” and sent them back to their own times and bodies, leaving a pair of dinosaurs that had been doing weird things for weeks for reasons that no longer made sense. The Leptoceratops just fled, the Tyrannosaur backed away but stayed on the plateau, baffled.

Bertram wasn’t sure about leaving Beanie. Janine debated that with him, telling him that she would have an Ankylosaur to take care of her, his host would be there and he had so much to go back to in his human life. All along she was trying not to think about how that conflict also applied to her, how she really wasn’t sure if she wanted to go or not. Eventually he decided to go home, and his host milled around and nuzzled Beanie, wary.

Janine kept away from him and couldn’t make up her mind. She didn’t know if she wanted this kind of isolation. Loki was in the area, but not in sight. Maybe one last flight, maybe if she found him she could decide. She was unwary, used to having the others watch her back, and so was utterly surprised when Moriarty crept up and seized her. He didn’t bite down, but she nearly blacked out. Then he flung her over the plateau’s edge so he could fight Mike’s host and she managed to glide, but collapsed and lost consciousness as soon as she had landed.

She woke up in the dark and could hear fighting, but was poorly adapted to navigate at night, plus was weak from blood loss thanks to minor cuts from Moriarty’s teeth. Janine managed to get to a more sheltered overhang and waited until dawn.

Up above, Moriarty had fought and wounded Mike’s host until that dinosaur fled, but had been injured himself in that fight and was then killed by the Ankylosaurs when he got too close, accidentally being driven off another edge to fall to his death. Additionally, the image of the M.I.N.D. Machine was gone.

She’d been left behind.

Loki brought her food until she had the strength to fly again. Janine spent weeks in the area, only leaving the plateau to catch stuff to eat. No matter what she did, the machine did not reappear. Eventually she became resigned and tried to live as a Quetzalcoatlus, as she’d originally intended, but found she didn’t want to go all the way.

There were no further clear narratives. She traveled, off and on; she made art, she watched and made friends or enemies with the wildlife.

Janine circumnavigated the world three times in four years, and took many more shorter trips. The first time was just to see if she could, and she had to rely on the vague sense of where the Standing Stones and the host bodies her friends had taken were in order to find her way back. Things happened on each trip - storms, predators, weird-looking dinosaurs, experiencing different climates - but since she could fly so high and fast, and for so long, these journeys were all far less eventful than her trek with the other time travelers and left little impact on her.

Every time, she always came back to live within a few hours’ flight from the Standing Stones. Loki and the other Quetzes could fly intercontinental but most were content to stay in the area. The hosts of the other travelers no longer contained them, but they had some odd residue of fellow-feeling for her, rather than tolerating her at best like all the other dinosaurs. As lonely as Janine got, that became important. It was hardest to connect with Mike’s host, the Tyrannosaur, who had been wounded and eventually lost most of an arm, but she taught him not to think of her as food in part by leading him to carrion and water.

Sooner or later she decided to make the effort to improve her relations with some of her saurian neighbors. It wasn’t easy. She was a threat to young, potential prey to large predators, could draw predators to the area, could chase off prey... Still, over time she got them accustomed to her presence and her voice, warned prey of predators, brought food or led them to it, and brought separated groups back together. Her relations with tyrannosaurs were less friendly, since she was happy to tease them. Janine may have started a reptilian equivalent to the monkeys which wash sweet potatoes in seawater by showing some small beachcombing dromaeosaurs a better way to bash crustaceans open with rocks. Eventually there were many different dinosaurs that seemed happy to see her whenever she visited.

Art became her last big link to humanity. Things that are only visible in their entirety from the air became a recurring preoccupation, blending flight and artistry, and she found a wealth of ways to make such pieces, but she also worked at smaller scales and dabbled in a wide range of mediums, including etching words into shells or small stones and arranging them. How prolific she was came in stages, cycles, as inspiration struck or waned.

At some point she really struck on the idea that something she did might be fossilized and found in some later era, which was the impetus for one of her around-the-world trips, in which she made some stops and arranged shells and bones from different regions, carved pictures into rocks, and sank crude wooden sculptures into a swamp. Since the local dinosaurs didn’t know her and it would have taken months to befriend them so they would alert her to danger, she never stopped for long or got too absorbed in her work.

There were several points in those years she went a long time without talking, just because it wasn’t necessary, then realized she hadn’t spoken in a week or more and talked almost constantly, as if afraid of silence. More than once she decided to stop completely in the hopes of forgetting language and that she was ever human. Each time, after a few weeks the idea panicked her, so she took up speech again. Sometimes these coincided with periods in which she didn’t make art, sometimes they didn’t.

Point in canon: Just about four years after Janine is marooned in the Cretaceous Period.
Window Location: A cave in some cliffs by the sea. A larger Quetzalcoatlus, Loki, sleeps there too, off and on. Exactly where this is is tough to reckon due to continental drift and a lack of countries/states/etc, but it’s within a few hundred miles of where the state of Montana will be.
Universe: (The name ‘Dinoverse’ is actually taken in this canon and refers to one of its parallel universes. But since they are unlikely to overlap, Janine doesn’t know about it, and her universe at this time has dinosaurs in it, Dinoverse is as good a name as any.)

On the surface it’s similar to Earth-standard; if there are aliens or magic around, none of the characters in the books know about or believe in it. Past the surface - way, way past - it’s possible to travel from this universe to alternate ones, or to see into and communicate with people in alternates, with the help of technology developed around the year 2000. Several of these alternates have highly sophisticated saurian civilizations in place at that time, and one of them is looking to invade other realities. There seems to be a mysterious connection between these universes, bound somehow to a collective unconsciousness, encouraging different people in different realities to stumble upon this technology all at about the same time.

But that would only really be relevant if this window opened in that era. Instead it opens up around sixty seven million years before that. There are tons of dinosaurs, aquatic reptiles, and pterosaurs around, flowering plants are new to the area, the air is thick with insects, and in this region there are no mammals larger than a beaver. It’s mildly warmer than modern Earth’s Montana, the climate is a little different, but there are still seasonal temperature variations.

The dinosaurs and pterosaurs in this universe aren’t quite the prehistoric animals of our Earth’s fossils, though they are similar enough to be recognizable and have some of the same names; here’s a Quetzalcoatlus, this is a Parasaurolophus, that’s a Nanotyrannus. The main difference is that they are just about all inclined to be very intelligent. Not fully sentient, but many predators are able to understand gratitude, repayment, the point at which teasing goes too far, rich social lives, and grudges. Basic tool use is not unheard of. Except for the Leptoceratops, most herbivores aren’t as smart, but they still have humanlike emotional responses and can enjoy music. Anything with fingers has some grasping ability and a range of arm motion, too.

Many of the creatures within a hundred miles of the window may be able to understand a little English thanks to exposure to Janine - mostly tones of voice, “Yes”, “No”, “Good”, “Bad”, “Food”, “Run”, and “T. rex”. And the names she’s given them. Most would be cautious around humans but somewhat soothed by English spoken in the right tones. Most tyrannosaurs would go from cautious to annoyed.

And all kinds of large animals are very slightly psychic. Just enough to make interspecies relations, when those aren’t hostile, easier. Close allies/friends/what have you send “fireballs of warmth” at each other. A mother crocodile can communicate that she will let you go if you stop struggling and immediately retreat from her nestlings. And of course fear, anger, and hunger are easy to pick up on. Hatchlings don’t have this skill, but they develop it before adulthood, and quickly learn how to not broadcast emotion, saving it for deliberate displays.

Abilities: Janine's human body resides in the human era, but her mind and presumably her soul with it was rendered into “thought-energy brainwaves”, capable of existing as Janine without her body and brain, and cast back in time, where it latched on to the body of a creature that was subconsciously appropriate. She’s been using it for four years and is comfortable, but it is not her original one - she may be somewhat vulnerable to being possessed or exorcised.

If she is killed, then judging from a later book and another character, her thought-energy brainwave self will return to her human time, universe, and body seconds after it collapsed. If anyone has died at about the same time and they feel some connection or bond with her, they get rendered into a similar form, carried along, and installed into her body too. Since I don’t think the PHS can come along, she and any others would then be as out of the game as if they were just plain dead unless a window happened to open in the right time and place.

She’s observant enough to have some ability to detect lies and perceive the relationships between people - or between animals - by watching how they interact, which is inherent to Janine rather than something the M.I.N.D. Machine gives her. It’s not wholly accurate, especially after four years among beings not as complicated as people, and she does better at it the longer she’s known someone. She has a rather penetrating stare that is repeatedly called “soul piercing”, but doesn’t actually do anything beyond making people uncomfortable. It’s not used much anymore.

The pterosaur body she’s in is of some kind of Dinoverse analogue to Quetzalcoatlus; Dinoverse’s Quetzes have much more flexible necks and somewhat less compact, rigid bodies than their counterparts in our world, as well as grasping fingers. They’re also able to feed on a wider range of animals, including fish and carrion. But they are still huge quadrupedal pterosaurs. Her standing shoulder height is five and a half feet; at fullest neck extension her eye level is around eleven feet off the ground, though since an S-curved neck is more comfortable it’s more usually eight or nine feet up. Her body is male; females like Loki are larger.

She is of course quite flight-capable and good at flight, able to quad-launch and achieve almost-vertical takeoff without the help of a tailwind. An advanced lung system makes her capable of breathing easily even at high altitudes which would cause difficulty for mammals - she can get to and still function well at fifteen thousand feet.

Circumnavigating the Earth isn’t something she could do casually, but assuming no catastrophes it would take maybe six weeks - spending a week mostly in the air and being helped by winds to cover eight thousand miles or so, taking several days to rest and refuel on whatever she could catch, then repeating as many times as necessary. Quetzalcoatlus is an intercontinental traveler with a global range.

Aside from flight she has a few other physical skills. She can scale steep cliffs, use her tremendous beak with surprising speed and precision, sense air currents, and close translucent third eyelids while still keeping her outer eyelids open, letting her see but still protecting her eyes. She can carry one smallish human passenger into the air, though she can't quad-launch with them or fly as well, and they'd need some kind of harness. She can carve soft stone with her claws. Her eyesight's quite good in the daytime. Hollow-boned and unarmored though she is, she's pretty robust and heals quickly.

The minor psychic talent that comes with being a large prehistoric Dinoverse reptile is just a kind of projecting-not-receiving empathy. Her face is all but immobile, but it’s pretty easy to tell what she’s feeling if she isn’t choosing not to broadcast.

There are also some downsides to her body. The most obvious is her size - her shoulders are wide enough that getting through a doorway less than four feet wide is difficult, and she takes up a lot of space. Wriggling through something window-sized is certainly possible, but requires a certain degree of contortion. She has to eat frequently. She has virtually no sense of smell or taste, and has extremely poor night vision; in fact, darkness automatically makes her drowsy. While she has thumbs and some use of her hands, they're thickly padded, designed for walking on. Even when she stands awkwardly on her back legs her wing/arms are not jointed the way human arms are. Though she's endothermic and covered in insulating hairlike pycnofibres, really cold weather gives her trouble. She can’t speak out loud.

Instead, she has a psychic gift lent to her by being “thought-energy brainwaves”. Janine is telepathic. It’s a very limited form of telepathy, like the empathy - she can send an approximation of her human voice speaking, humming, or singing, but cannot receive. Someone not paying attention may not notice that they aren’t hearing it with their ears.

It does also mean she can “record” sounds and “play them back”, even music. Though since it’s been so long since she’s heard any of that, and she was a human and didn’t have figurative “recording” capacity then, it tends to be a little off. She may be able to play back what someone else said if it left enough of an impression to be “recorded”, but if she tries to imitate them otherwise, say something different in their voice, it “sounds” more like she’s doing an impression. And it might be a good impression, but there’s only so much a teenager’s voice can do. This has a “range” about like the sound of a human voice, so it’s possible to be too far to hear her shout but close enough to hear her Quetzalcoatlus screech. Psychic characters, particularly fellow time travelers, might be able to hear her raised voice from farther away.

Though it takes either more concentration or a sudden burst of emotion - say, a surge of fear or anger - she can also project images of things she can picture clearly. These are easier to focus on with closed eyes. Some animals can be fooled, others squint and see past this. It’s unlikely to work on people who aren’t very very distracted and not hugely bright. This has a “range” of under fifty feet.

In addition, she has a vague sort of sense for temporal anomalies and what direction they’re in. Other time travelers, time machines, artifacts, that kind of thing. She doesn’t know much about this sense, but when in Dinoverse she can always find the hosts of the other three, or the Standing Stones.

Possessions: A collection of knotted vines with large pierced seashells, crustacean carapaces, chunks of wood, a few bones, and a couple rocks threaded or tied into them.

Personality: Janine is observant, clever, and very quick to figure most things out, though she has blind spots here and there - things that at some level she doesn’t want to get. She’s capable of adjusting to strange circumstances with unusual speed. Though she finds it frustrating when she can’t get the hang of something difficult fast, that just makes her apply herself to it more.

There’s a level on which she is very pragmatic. “I don’t want to think about this, I don’t want to talk about this. It doesn’t do us any good.” She’s not really sentimental, doesn’t like to think about things that can’t be changed, and is entirely willing to leave things behind and abandon old plans when she sees better options. She also isn’t that good at planning for beyond the next week or so, though that week typically is thought out.

When danger rears its ugly head her first instinct is to stare defiantly, and try to get out of the way without showing fear. She’s stubborn and doesn’t like anyone to beat her. If she can’t dodge she may panic, but sometimes instead she reaches a coolly appraising inner state, in which she can evaluate her options and select for the best one. If there isn’t one, she can fall right back into panic. Sometimes the cool state appears when she’s in great emotional turmoil rather than physical danger.

The lesson she’s taken from a lot of her interactions with people is that liking someone, or starting to hope she is liked by them, just leads to loss, humiliation, and loneliness. She can’t really trust in anything or anyone. Keeping people at arms’ length, acting like she doesn’t care, and only showing affection in offhanded and slightly sarcastic ways is how she copes and tries to armor herself from further hurt.

Often lightheartedly sarcastic and irreverent, Janine enjoys giving out nicknames, snark, teasing, and sometimes provoking or watching someone else provoke, so she can watch the reactions. Genuine distress or pain isn't funny unless it's happening to someone she feels personally wronged by. Janine can nurse a grudge fantastically - but even to someone who's earned her ire, she has limits, she feels guilty for enjoying their pain, and she can forgive, with difficulty. Her anger is caustic and sullen, building and usually exploding as art or angry words.

Though she’s perfectly willing not just to listen to other people talk about their feelings and inner lives, but to ask about them, she doesn’t want to talk about herself and redirects queries whenever possible. Janine doesn’t care about blending in, but neither does she ever want to be the long-term center of attention. Though she’s become great at not showing it, she is still affected by being picked on and insulted.

Her sense of right and wrong is strong and decidedly slanted towards the underdogs and disadvantaged. Janine is far more empathic and goodhearted than she ever wants to seem, and will put herself in danger if that’s what’s needed.

She’s able to see relationships between other people much more clearly than those involving herself. With hers she always takes the cynical view, seeing herself as basically too other and unlikeable, but she can tell when someone trusts another and doesn’t think about betrayal unless it’s there - actually, with other people she tends to be an optimist.

Three years without human contact have changed her. The pterosaurs and dinosaurs are intelligent and some count as friends, but they can only understand so much and don’t talk back. She really misses that and is lonely, even if she’s never admitted it.

Although she remembers the conversational nicety of pausing to let the other party speak, even though the dinosaurs she talks to don’t have much to say, she’s forgotten some social rules. Janine usually doesn’t make prolonged eye contact anymore. She doesn’t touch or like to be touched without permission.

Her whole life long she’s been creative. She found two majorly appealing things about going out to graffiti: one, that buildings and cars and so on were blank canvases calling out for adornment, two, that thrill that she might get caught.

Now, while she still enjoys making art, being caught by predators is a strong enough possibility that she’s become more cautious. Now she creates art largely out of a need to feel human. She dabbles in many forms of it. Her greatest joy, though, is flight, and she craves the sensation of it and the bone-deep certainty that whatever else her life is, she belongs in the sky.

Janine has become more inclined to second guess and find fault with herself, blaming herself at some level for becoming marooned. Her efforts to get along better with saurian neighbors have gradually taught her to be more patient and less impulsive, and to control her caustic temper.

The mind of her host, the Quetzalcoatlus whose body she’s in, has always been fairly passive. By now it has integrated with her mind, offering little more than a general set of guiding instincts and paranoia about situations that have been dangerous before. It causes a certain catlike interest in animals small enough to eat.

She can override that part of her, though it's more difficult when she's hungry or highly stressed. Janine’s come to stop feeling squeamish about eating fish, mammals, insects, non-dinosaur reptiles, small less dinosaur-like birds, carrion, and eggs, but she won’t eat dinosaurs or the eggs of dinosaurs she knows, however much part of her wants to. It doesn't qualify as a split personality.

Thread Sample: Here. It’s from a year or so ago. She was called “Above” in that game and had receiving-empathic powers as well, rather than purely projecting ones. I also went with greater-than and less-than signs for her dialogue, when I think now I’d prefer to use colons.
Prose Sample:
The day was fair, just cold enough to make her skin dance. Invigorating. Janine focused on the beach below. She talked to herself in a steady stream, the words divorced from her breathing, her ‘voice’ low.

:Kind of gray sand here, not gold. Minerals in the ground, probably magnemite... Magnetite? Dark rocks, anyway. There’ve gotta be shells in it, but not enough to really change the color. High tide, steep drop-off, a lot of undertow here, not a lot of fish in the shallows but the crabs are here... Oh, good, they’re there, I’m gonna stop and see.:

She made several passes over a stretch of sand, wheeling each time to fly over it again, dropping lower with each pass and slowing as much as she could without stalling and dropping out of the sky. The trailing edges of her wing membranes twitched and buckled and adjusted, but she didn’t flap.

On the last and lowest pass she stopped babbling and concentrated. Janine lowered the trailing edges of her wing membranes steeply enough that the air caught at her and flipped her upright. She dropped a few feet and started running before her feet had quite hit the sand, wings half out, trying to shed the last of her speed without letting the air just flip her onto her back.

Her weight shifted and she bled momentum. Finally she fell forwards, wing fingers tucking neatly against her thighs, onto her hands and stood on all fours. Janine shook off her head and tail, hearing the shells of her necklaces jingle and clack, and looked back at the tracks she’d left.

:Yeah, that’s pretty straight,: she noted. :Good landing. It’s always kind of tricky getting to the ground. Now, you’d think those guys would know by now... Maybe other Quetzalcoatluses try to eat them. Guys! It’s Janine!: The reedlike plants opposite the water - the plants weren’t grass, she hadn’t seen anything grasslike in ages - rustled here and there, but even when she lay down on her chest and belly, wings furled to either side, nothing came of it.

:Skittish today. All right.: She couldn’t really sigh. It just wasn’t how her lungs were built. She could project the sound of it, and did, before calling up a memory. A song. There was a moment when she couldn’t remember how it went...

:’So no one told you that your life would be this way...’:

By the fourth ‘I’ll be there for you’ the plants were rustling a lot more, and she saw a few feathered heads. Soon enough the little raptor-y dinos were trotting out into the open towards her, though they wouldn’t get too close.

Three were smaller with brighter colors, though when it wasn’t breeding season it was less obvious, they just had rusty red in some feathers. Three were a bit bigger and not so pretty, more of a dusty brown. She did have to admit, the dull-colored males blended in better.

She ended the song and tipped her beak down at them in a Quetzalcoatlus smile. :Hi, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Rachel. Shy today, huh?:

Joey chirruped at her, tilting his dun head..

:We’ve all had days like that. So, guys, you hungry?:

Plans: Nothing specifically planned, but I’m hoping she can get an encounter with a morphing cube at some point. Her scale makes some things awkward.

DÆMON

Name: Rontu-aru
Sex: Male.
Form: A dromaeosaurid (velociraptor-like dinosaur), difficult to classify especially considering Dinoverse, but closest to being a Bambiraptor/Sauronitholestes. (Some believe that the Bambiraptor holotype is actually a young Saurornitholestes. Even if it’s not, the two species are closely related.)

This dinosaur is under five feet long from snout to tailfeathers, stands twenty inches tall at the shoulder, and weighs between fifteen and twenty pounds. Its feathers are a bluish slate gray, gray-white on the belly, with mostly dark markings.
Additional notes: As a dromaeosaur he is highly birdlike and covered in feathers. While some of these look like flight feathers and they are capable of generating some lift, he cannot fly, just flap for stability or slow/direct a fall.

His first and third fingers are mutually opposable - that is, he can pinch things between those fingers. The middle finger bears long wing feathers. Wrists are not as in Jurassic Park, though - no “kangaroo arms”. And even though a Dinoverse dromaeosaur is always fairly dexterous, it only goes so far.

Why this form: “a tooth of Saurornitholestes has been found embedded in the wing bone of a large pterosaur, probably a juvenile Quetzalcoatlus.” No, by itself that’s not enough, it’s included because I laughed when I saw it and went from “maybe this?” to “yes, definitely.”

In pop culture, “raptors” are extremely cool animals unlike anything alive today. Fast, intelligent, in possession of those wicked scythe-claws. But their portrayal in popular media does not match what they were actually like. Most were far smaller than is imagined, most species were less lethal, and they were extremely birdlike.

Janine likes to appear to be something too powerful to be threatened or hurt, something very other... and she is strange, but still more fragile and like others than she wants anyone to believe.

Dromaeosaurs are popularly assumed to be pack hunters, but evidence for this is quite sketchy. A few modern dinosaurs hunt in packs - hi, Harris’s Hawk! - but they’re the exception. There are fossil trackways proving that some of them traveled together at times, and several might feed at the same carcass, so some degree of adult social behavior might be assumed, but probably not tightly knit packs. Dinoverse dromaeosaurs live in such packs when times are stressful and large prey must be tackled, otherwise they prefer looser groupings.

In a lot of media, human kids are expected to have a group of close friends unless something’s wrong with them. Janine’s not like that. She used to bond closely with just one or two people; these days she's largely a loner, but does crave companionship sometimes. In stressful times she has to lean on others.

Since they’re just about the most birdlike of non-bird dinosaurs, dromaeosaurs can be assumed to have keen eyes for color and movement, like most birds. Janine’s an artist and an observer who sees many things.

Saurornitholestes is taller at the hip and longer than Velociraptor, but also leggier and more lightly built. Rather than being a stocky brawler like Velociraptor, willing and able to tackle animals larger than itself, it goes for small fry and can run faster. Janine comes at big things from the edges, tries to dodge trouble, and would rather flee than fight.

Bambiraptor is so named because the holotype is a fossil of a very young raptor. Even if it’s not a Saurornitholestes and more specimens are agreed to be of its species, its holotype is of a juvenile and its name reflects this.

Similarly, Janine is immature in how she relates to people. If Dinoverse had dæmons, hers would have settled soon after she was marooned in the age of dinosaurs. Because she was stranded and never got to make the choice to stay or go herself, it cemented her avoidant-insecure style of emotional attachment. She hasn’t really learned to trust again, unlike in canon where she goes back to her time and opens up.
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"Horizon" Janine Farehouse

November 2015

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