I started to back up but my dad stopped me, "It...it..." I stammered. "I know" was all he said before he walked me into the middle of the clearing. The bear lumbered up to us, it eyed me then backed away. It walked to the edge of the clearing, still visible but not as much. Then the bear began to jerk and contort, there was the sound of cracking bones and the heaving grunts from it, as it fell to the ground. Once there was silence, the bear stood up, or now the man stood up. Where there was once a huge black bear, there was now a huge man with dark maroon eyes, black hair, and a beard. I stared wide eyed at the man, glancing back and forth between him and my dad, who was looking very relaxed. The man walked up to my dad and greeted him like an old friend, and my dad did the same. And I still stood there with the look of shock on my face, which I guess the man thought was pretty funny because he glanced at me then let out a big laugh. I finally snapped out of my shock and glared at the man, "What?" I asked sharply. "She's feisty! I wonder what her animal is." He said to my dad, laughing a bit. "I've been wondering that for years!" My dad said with a laugh, then his face went solemn, "Why have you chosen now? She has almost completed her training, and she's only sixteen!" he asked the man. The man then turned to my dad and said with a sad tone "There is a war coming, we are weak in numbers and the Gagers are starting to locate our allies and kill them off. We need all the support we can get, I have been watching her progress and she has been chosen to start her transition now". Upon hearing this I gave my dad the "da fuc?" look. He looked at me and said "Alice, this is Brammer, one of the leaders of our order." I stared at him blankly and said "What the hell is he? And what is this about a war and me being 'chosen to start my transition'?". Just as my dad was about to speak Brammer interrupted, "My dear, you, your father and I are a part of an Assassins Order called 'the Unified'. However, we are very different from other Assassins in the Order. We are a in a much smaller, um... specialized, group called the Shifters. And that group is split up into three smaller; air, water, and land.". I was dumbfounded, I had always known I was an assassin, but I had no idea that the system ran this deep. And I had no idea who the Shifters were, but it's seemed like I should have already known. Brammer spoke again "I'll build a fire and I will explain this in more detail". I dumbly nodded. We were sitting around the newly built fire when Brammer explained "Shifters are a group of special assassins that are chosen by the Moon and the Gods. When this assassin is born, they receive a mark that indicates that they will be a Shifter.". I pulled down my shirt just over my shoulder, "So this is the mark?" I said, "Yes. Now, when the assassin comes of age, the Moon and the Gods work together to find your spirit animal. The soul of this animal is then bestowed onto the assassin, and they are able to become both their human selves and take on the body of the animal." he said like it was no big deal. "So this transition I'm going to have to go through, is it painful?" I asked warily, "....Very...." was all he said. "Oh great..." I said exasperated. I turned to my dad and asked "Hey, just out of curiosity, what is your animal?" "Um.." he said, then his body started to contort and shrink until there was a great snowy owl. "Cool!" I exclaimed. I was about to say something else but then a sharp burst of pain shot up my spine, I gasped and fell to the ground, "It has begun" I heard a voice say.