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Okay so. #thread for this concept, working title Broadway Demons.

It starts with a bit of real history and goes from there.
During the Great War, Fr. Francis Duffy of the 69th Infantry Regiment met a soldier in his unit, an Armenian-American, who was "Irish by abbreviation" ("Father Duffy's Story," page 66). This is the soldier's one mention in the entire memoir.
This will be a #microfiction thread, just fyi!
(NYC, the near future)
Midtown Manhattan pulsed with life outside the cafe windows, despite the threat of gathering rain from the east. Huri was early today, but then she preferred to be early when it came to things like this. More time to think; more time to collect herself.
Perched on the edge of the barstool, she burrowed deeper into the protection of her leather jacket, the fleece steadying her, a balm to her inner flame. Rain always did seem to dampen her spirits some.

A glance at her phone. Still 20 minutes early.
She sipped at the double espresso, then pulled up Photos and idly browsed. If she was early, then it wouldn't hurt to stop and think. To remember.

Had it really been a century, since this all began?
Since her birth at Nemrut, aeons ago, she'd watched over her people-- the ones called Armenians by the Greeks, but which she called by their own name for themselves: Hai, the children of Haik, their legendary progenitor.
She'd taken many names and many forms for them. Some had known her for what she was, and feared her. Others respected her and her fire. Nobody had worshipped her since the Children of Haik had turned to a new god in 301, and that suited Huri just fine. She was no god-- just a Tev
When the Ottomans slaughtered her people, everything changed, and she followed them into exile- and it was at the start of the Great War that she'd found herself in New York, a mountain Tev with a new home in the urban cliffs and steel mountains of Manhattan.
She was hardly alone. So many like her, spirit folk of a dozen different lands, had come here to keep watch on their humans as they tried to start anew. Unlike many of them who kept a distance from direct involvement in human wars, she joined some of the Hai who became soldiers.
And so, in the guise of a blacksmith, a man named Keleshian, she first enlisted in the 69th Infantry Regiment, and followed it to war in France.
It was funny. The Hai used the word Tev interchangeably with their caricaturish concept of Christian demons, but it was the humans who were the real monsters, from all she saw on the field in France.

But she was there all the same for her misguided humans. Someone had to be.
She swiped through the photos, some quickly, lingering on others. Some of her boys were still buried in France. Others had made it all the way home. And while the humans in the unit today had lost some of their names, Huri still remembered them. All of them.
She could still pick them out, in these photos-- once brittle prints, now digitized-- frozen in time in black and white. The ones who'd fallen, the ones who'd survived, all of them now long gone to dust.

Setrak. Levon. Hovnan the barber. Apraham from Bitlis.
Nersess, Ara, Ani-- born before a time that would've recognized her as Ani-- and her brother Andranig, and all the rest.

And so Huri came back from the Great War changed. She'd found her calling, and so she remained in the 69th, even as she drifted from one civvie job to another
It wasn't until the Second World War that she realized she wasn't alone. A banshee and several of the fair folk, better than her at camouflage, revealed themselves at a field exercise prior to deployment.
They'd all been in for longer than her, but Padraig and Siobhán, in particular, had been in under various names and guises since Fredericksburg and the glory days of the 69th's participation in the old Irish Brigade.
They became close, very close, through Okinawa. Though Huri kept particularly close watch on the Hai who passed through the regiment, *all* of these humans were hers now, so she and the other spirit folk worked together, watched each other's backs, & brought each other home again
Through many names and many guises, across the latter 20th century, she watched the unit change, just as the humans' world changed. She was in HHC on 9/11, and went with the colonel to lower Manhattan on one of the first rides down, reeling in horror anew at humans' monstrosity.
It wasn't long before her humans went abroad again, and irony of ironies- not far from Nemrut, just a stone's throw away in Iraq. And on Route Irish, she fought shoulder to shoulder with them, cheek by jowl in reeking, hastily up-armored Humvees, & held some of them as they died.
Now she was at the beginning of a new cycle with a new name, and for the first time, much to her relief, she no longer had to take a male form. Even shapeshifters had preferences! The 69th hadn't gone to war in a little while, but humans were fickle. It'd only be a matter of time
"Look lively, Staff Sergeant Margossian!"

Huri gasped, then chuckled despite herself as she turned to rise and greet the source of the piercing interjection.

"First Sergeant O'Halloran," she replied. They exchanged salutes, then the tall, pale banshee woman smiled.
"Melancholy doesn't become ye, lass," replied 1SG O'Halloran-- Siobhán-- who'd clocked her all the way back in the buildup to Okinawa in '45. Coffee mug in hand, she looked over her shoulder, then turned back to Huri. "Now," she said, voice hushed. "Ye wanted to talk, then?"
They shot the breeze for a little while, about unit gossip & the latest subway outage, & the Yanks' recent lackluster home game series. Then Huri took a steadying sip of espresso & leaned in to whisper to her old comrade.

"I have. Suspicions. About the new kid in Bravo Company."
Siobhán's ruddy eyebrows slowly rose. "That so?"
"/Amaaan/," Huri rolled her eyes. "You have no idea how long I've been holding my tongue about her, but after the last training run at Knox, I swear--"
"Oh?" The banshee chuckled. "What'd she do?"
"No human can get all the way up to the top of a tree that fast, Siobhán, and besides--" Huri paused, reined in a voice rising to nearly loud, and then resumed. "Besides, she did it about four times in a row. I had to stop 'er before anybody *else* got hurt."
Siobhán turned to look out the window and gather her thoughts. The rain had begun falling in a little drip-drip staccato that was slowly growing as the banshee watched.

"SPC...Balmanoukian, wasn't it?"

Huri nodded vigorously. "Yep. Nora Balmanoukian. 2nd PLT of B Company."
Siobhán turned to look sidewise at her. "What are you thinking, Huri?"
Huri paused, pursed her lips, and then threw caution to the wind and said it.
"I'm thinking...I'm thinking she's a Peri."
Peri, winged and mischievous spirits, had a history as long as a Tev did.
"Does she know about you?"
"She knows me as a Hai woman. I dunno if she's clocked me as a Tev."
Drinking deeply of the cooling coffee, Siobhán sighed, then set down the mug. "Alright. Alright. Let's get the others together and talk about this."
"Do we bring her in to the fold?" Huri asked.
"Not yet." Siobhán shook her head. "But if she's one of ours, lass...aye, ye can bet there'll be others. We'd best be ready."

(/Scene)
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