Bonded jackals are otherwise normal jackals who have attuned more closely to their life force, or Aura. This gives them a sixth sense, and some are able to use it as a weapon. A Bonded jackal is capable of detecting other living beings around it.
Not all jackals are born Bonded jackals. To become Bonded takes years of practice and of honing one's Aura. Once a jackal gains Bonded status, its fur changes from its original shade to a single colour all over that represents their personality. A fainter or simpler version of their original patterning remain, as well as a band of fur around the upper left arm, which is called the Bond. These markings glow when the jackal uses its abilities.
Siber is an original character, and a fantastical species of anthropomorphic jackal called a Bonded jackal. He is very meditative by nature, partly due to his quite isolated childhood, and partly due to his cultural teaching.
Siber was born in the wilderness of the Caena Region, ordinary in all ways except for his lack of markings and his uniformly white fur.
His parents were both Bonded jackals, both of whom had been outcasts of the local pack, and lived at the edge of the pack's territory ever since before Siber was born. The pack held a certain fear of Bonded jackals.
Siber's mother was highly protective of Siber from the beginning, as she was aware of the threat posed by the rest of the pack due to their suspicion of Bonded jackals in general. Despite the stresses of her situation, she formed an excellent symbiosis with Siber and this meant that they had a strong, safe, and trusting bond from the start.
Siber's parents were devoted to their Bonded lifestyle and saw great value in it, not just for themselves but for Siber too. They sought to teach it to him from as early in his life as possible.
His life was quite sheltered, as there was little good to be gained (and potentially great risk) in introducing Siber to the rest of the pack. Instead his parents gave him the broadest range of experience and stimulation they could: his father would take him on walks in the immediate vicinity of their den, and made wooden toys for Siber.
For his part, Siber quickly came to prefer the books in his mother's extensive collection to the wooden toys, and would spend time looking through them, even early on when all he could do was look at the pictures. He also liked following his father around the dean.
Siber's father also taught him meditation from as early in Siber's life as he could. This was to help Siber to prepare himself to become a Bonded jackal in later years.
All of this made for a gentle and thoughtful environment in which to grow up, and Siber's emerging personality reflected this. He became a relaxed child, to the point that he rarely either smiled or frowned.
With all of this happening, Siber became a cooperative toddler. His parents had little to do (when they weren't hunting or keeping house) but attend to his needs, and given their own natural thoughtfulness, this led to Siber having little in the way of conflict in his life. What conflicts did arise were quickly resolved in a thoughtful manner.
Siber's energy was already unusually well-balanced by the time he reached young childhood. Many children of his age would have been highly energetic. He had already learned to moderate it to the point that it did not feel excessive. In fact, he was so used to moderating his energy levels (and having them moderated by his parents) that he was unused to being energetic and would have found the experience stressful.
However, that is not to say that he was lethargic either. It was an early example of his attunement with his surroundings, and with his parents - the only company he had, who were not, by nature, overly energetic jackals themselves.
Occasionally, Siber would have some small dispute with his parents. This had more to do with the natural need of a jackal pup to identify himself as a separate being from his parents than out of any fundamental problem with his relationship with them, but it was enough for him to get a taste of the feeling of guilt. Guilt is the feeling associated with breaking one's own rules, and Siber already had a strongly held value of keeping harmony with his parents. Indeed, as a family, harmony was important to them as a group.
Once he had had a taste of guilt, and felt satisfied that he could act differently to his parents if he so wished, he settled back into a life of harmony with his parents.
He continued with his Aura development. He felt proud of his achievements related to this. Furthermore, he had become keen in his own right on the idea of becoming a Bonded jackal one day, just like his parents.
This would often be the time of life when a child learned how to cooperate with others with a view to becoming productive. Siber's self-development in this area was less-rounded than may have been ideal. First of all, the work of Aura development was something to be done largely alone, so did not require teamwork. His parents were effective teachers so in a sense he developed an ability to work as part of a student-teacher team, but this did not appraise him of the lesson of how to be a team player. He had no opportunity to work with others as an equal.
His parents also had very good cooperation and teamwork skills, so Siber did not have to learn how to manage team-mates who were passive, over-eager, dealing with issues outside of the group, aggressive, nervous, over- or under-qualified to help, nor did he have to learn how to keep himself safe and continue to perform under conditions where alliances were made within the group.
The teachings he got from his parents became more distinct at this stage of Siber's life. His father had always been the one to teach him the more active side of Bondedness: of using it as part of exploration, and of using it as a passive form of self-defence. His mother had looked after him since birth, of course, but now the more philosophical, ethical, and moral side of the discipline became apparent in the way she taught him.
The physical and mental changes that come with adolescence happened to Siber. Despite this however, Siber found that his overall lifestyle was calm, consistent, and thoughtful, and that his parents had the wisdom and understanding, to learn to take these changes in stride.
He neither needed to learn how to negotiate the difficult politics that came with being in a group of other teenagers as he simply never met any.
With no other role models to choose from, Siber's role model was his father. However, he was content with this.
One day around Siber's 16th birthday, an unknown enemy attacked the pack. Siber's parents left him behind in the den to join the fight, but they never returned.
Deeply alarmed by this in a way that he had never felt before, Siber went to the location of the pack to find out what the outcome had been. Whatever the enemy had been, it was powerful enough to have decimated the pack, and only a few stragglers remained. The enemy itself was gone - and Siber's parents were dead.
Siber himself stayed with the remnants of the pack for a while. However, all was not well. The pack still distrusted Bonded jackals. However, they took him in, however reluctantly. They did not distrust him due to his fur colour - this, at least, was a small mercy.
Siber continued to train in everything his parents had taught him. This did not sit well with the pack. They were afraid of what he would become and what he might do in the future.
Because of these unpleasant circumstances, Siber was left to grieve on his own and was given little or no guidance in managing the pain that came with two, such close, losses. Despite this, Siber did not harbour ill will towards the pack. His parents had always promoted mutual understanding, and as Siber saw it, the pack had taken him in despite their fears about him, and for that, he owed them.
Siber continued to train, and finally became a Bonded jackal close to his 18th birthday. This tipped the balance for the pack and they began treating him entirely as an outcast. They took to ignoring him in the hope that he would go away, and he did.
However, he retained his conviction that he owed them for their generosity when he had needed it most.
The long-term results of Siber's extremely limited social circle during childhood meant that he does not affiliate well with others. He lacks the skills to work with a team and can have difficulty (at least in the longer term) accepting the leadership of people more impulsive, action-orientated, self-interested, aggressive, or even inexperienced, than his parents had been.
As a result, he keeps to himself and is very self-orientated.
When Siber was 20, a new jackal approached the pack. Her name was Luca. Siber and Luca got to know each other.
For Siber, having somebody be actively interested in getting to know him was a new experience. His parents had been interested in him, of course, but they had shaped him. Getting to know Luca, and experiencing the delight of her wanting to get to know him, and revealing himself to her, touched him deeply.
Siber had always been lonely, although he had not been particularly conscious of this. He had been aware for a long time of the discomfort of being alone, but his parents had avoided raising his awareness of loneliness, as much as they could, instead pointing him towards the values and virtues of meditation, peace, unity with nature and his Aura, and the development of the mind. With no experience of a sibling or friend who he could see as an equal, he had been distracted to a reasonable extent, but had always harboured a sense of dissatisfaction.
Luca satisfied it even as he became more consciously aware of it. When Luca made him aware of the ways of a more regular childhood - one of exuberance, fun, innocent wonder, and play, he grieved for them - he was a developed adult now and could never have those experiences to their fullest extent. Luca supported him through this. Siber went through a time of fear that his sadness (and yes, even rage) might drive her away, and was surprised and delighted when, at the end it all, she was still there for him.
The two jackals discovered a shared dedication to becoming stronger people. Luca took an interest in Siber's training to become a Bonded jackal, and in time, she became a Bonded jackal too.
They lived together for a year before the unseen entity that had attacked the pack before, attacked again. Siber went quickly to help defend the pack to repay his debt to them for their kindness in taking him in, but during the fight, he was mortally wounded and Luca was abducted.
Siber was able to use his Aura to regenerate himself faster than the natural healing rate of non-Bonded jackals. He also used herbs to assist with his healing. In this way, he recovered from the wounds he had sustained.
Once he had healed enough to travel, he went in search of Luca. He felt that he owed her for being his companion.
His search took him into modern civilization for the first time in his life. He had read about modern life, but had never seen it for himself. The city he visited was called Nessus, a huge, bustling city the likes of which Siber had never seen.
He met a few new people in this city, including a fox detective named Sarah who had a strong sense of justice, and her partner Crystal, a wolf who acted as Sarah's body guard sometimes. They became friends, and Sarah gave Siber somewhere to stay while he tracked down Luca.
When he wasn't searching for Luca, Siber helped Sarah to do off-the-clock work in catching white-collar criminals. The police department took exception to this as they could only accept officers, not unofficial helpers like him, and they tried - unsuccessfully - to track him down. Before long he developed the nickname of "The Golden Vigilante".
Long ago, his mother had taught him the value of empathy in justice, so Sarah's work resonated with Siber. To him, even if a person was not perfect (such as the pack that had outcast his parents) they still deserved justice. Siber was particularly happy to help with Sarah's field work even if she felt less happy for him to do so. There were ethical issues with it, but Siber himself was no stranger to the concept of ethics, having learned them from his mother so many years ago.
A year passed like this, and eventually Sarah and Siber succeeded in locating Luca to the headquarters of an illegal company based in the neighbouring city of Io. They travelled there but Sarah tried to keep Siber under control - she didn't want him to put himself in danger, and he was still unfamiliar enough with city life to recognise all dangers. Nevertheless, for the first time in his life Siber disobeyed orders when he became aware of Luca's Aura in the vicinity. He followed its trail and found her.
It transpired that the company had captured her in order to harness her Aura and use it for electrical power. Siber rescued her and they escaped back to Nessus.
Siber and Luca rekindled their relationship, and lived together in Nessus for a while after this, with Sarah and Crystal. As time went by, Siber and Luca became closer and closer, and in time, formed an unbreakable bond.
Although Siber has not reached this stage of his life yet, he values his contributions to the reduction of Nessus' criminal underworld and wishes to continue contributing for as long as he can. To him, inactivity when he has the time and resources to act, would be unethical. Sarah has told him to stop, but he continues regardless.
With all of this in effect, Siber feels that he has enough people to protect that he does not have any desire to have children, even with Luca.
Siber is indifferent about the idea of death. To him, it is worth giving his life to protect the innocent. He recognises that vigilante work is dangerous but continues it regardless, and, while he does not have a death wish, he will be happy to die if it is in the service of protecting somebody who needs it.
He is similarly indifferent about dying of natural causes. For Siber, living a life protecting the innocent is his life's work, and he has protected enough people that even if he were to die today, he would feel content with a life well lived.
Based on theory by:
Erikson, E., (1951) 'Childhood and Society', W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. chapter 7.
Siber is © TheGoldenJackal
Bonded jackals are © TheGoldenJackal
Artwork by ShortConcepts and provided with their kind permission
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