[Gina McClaren] *After an afternoon of pacing her hotel room and gritting her teeth, Gina had called Sarita. Resolved to the reality that the bothersome Strider female was going to find her anyway. The remote countryside of Italy had never looked better, if only for its remarkable lack of were-mutts. So long as Thoth did not, the pretty pikey would grin and bear the ragabash’s apparent good intentions. So it is that her pleasant singsong gives directions to the chess and checker tables in the middle of Grant Park. A place public enough to avoid altercation, but deserted in winter, so that the pair might speak privately. Its here she sits impatiently, mittened hands around a steaming coffee, (and a health dollop of whiskey for courage).*
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She is totally find with that environ. She shows up right on schedule, wearing a pair of sunglasses and being a little less cheerful-annoying then when she last met Gina. But not out and out pissy like she was near the end…just a wee bit dampened overall compared to then. She’s smoking as she walks along, looking around and then heading over to Gina with a nod. “Well, there you are. Howdy!”
[Gina McClaren] Aye. Allo darlin.
Ah’m here, aye. Pecked tha place an’ aul. Now wha was et ye wanned tae talk aboot, specific like.
*Cutting to the chase, our pikey. She was leaning heavily on one elbow against the chessboard, dark eyes tired as she watches Sarita through the steam of her drink.*
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well…” She takes a seat across from her, giving the other her space. The sunglasses come off. “I wanna know about you. I wanna know what our tribe did wrong that ruined your opinion of it. And, Owl willing, I wanna help turn that around.”
She shrugs, pocketing the shades. “I’m not a bad person once you get to know me. A little snarky, a little overprotective at times, and I have my mood swings like anyone who has two times of the month, one of which is based off la luna. But I promise, I have no intent of making the same mistakes others of our tribe has.”
[Gina McClaren] *Lips twitch sideways. Gina considering the woman in front of her for several long moments, before setting her drink down and sighing heavily. Long hair brushed back from her face, a tawny hand rolling in idle accompaniment to her words.*
A whole ball o trouble darlin. Reckon effen ye’ve been tauld anytheng aboot me, me word esnae gintae count fer much anyhow. But ah’ll gi’ ye the story asides. .. M’nae even one hundred percent certain ah’m ~en~ yer family club o thes point. Last warder said ee’d kicked me oot.
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, lemme know what the story is, and we’ll find out. And if not but I feel like you should be, and you want to be? I’ll raise hell to get you back in.”
[Gina McClaren] Mm. Aulrecht than. Strider number wan, tauld me ee’ ‘ad nae interest en matin me oonless ah was aul fer et, an tha ah could dally wi’ whoever ah liked, so long as they were o’ the Sept, n’Nae a Metis. (Whech ah figured was rubbish, on account o Metis are fine folk, but ah went along wi’ et anyhow).
Anyhow… Ah reckon ee meant “as long as they’re me” as when ee found out ah was bumpin hips wi’ a felly ee didnae care fer, ee locked me oop wi’ hes fookin wives, n’tauld me ah could either be hes mate, oor gi’ the fook oot the city.
Then ee kecked et. Good Fookin Riddance.
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay, wait.” She looks a bit incredulous. “So let me get this straight, because I’m ~hoping~ there’s something lost in translation here, or I’m getting your accent wrong. But he said everything was all good, then got pissed because you were screwing some guy, and locked you up…with his wiveSSS? As in, multiple wives, who were also locked up?”
[Gina McClaren] Felly had a full hand’s worth o em, aul wi’ wee wans on their hips.
*Gina nods, taking a sip of her drink before clarifying.*
But reckon ah was the only wan under fookin house arrest, oontil ah decided either tae mate wi’ hem oor fook aft out o tha cety fer good.
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, okay. Yeah, I woulda put a bullet into his head myself. That’s fucked up, chica.”
[Gina McClaren] Second Strider shows oop. Ah’ve nae warder. Says she doesnae wan tae protect me, but daes track toxic fookin muck aul through me house. Finally decides she’s me “co-warder” when an Uktena lass decides tae start daen the job fer her – an than promptly fooks aft wi’ oot a word.
Wha’ever. Striders come n’ gawn.
Therd Strider, only drops en frem time tae time tae en order tae eat me food, n’tell me tha me friends are dead, an’ have tae a good laugh aboot me bein oopset by et. Ee fooks aft, wi’oot a word.
Fourth Strider – an thes es the fookin peach…
*A deep breath, Gina’s voice – previously exasperated, takes on a darker tone. Lips purse as she pauses long enough to dump a double shot of liquor from a pocket flask into her cup.*
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grows more and more troubled as the tales go on, and she’s practically gaping at this point. “Fuck’s sake.”
[Gina McClaren] Fourth fooking Strider, breezes entae town when ah’m en a bit o a bad way. Ah’d a nice lettle set oop o sorts. Tae Shadowlords an a Get, aul thenkin ah’m sweet as cherry cobbler, an’ more oor less agreeable tae tha fact tha ah’m everywan’s an’ naewans. Problem es, ah reckon ah’m en a bit o a childbearin way.
*An uneasy shrug, this part of the story she’s none too proud of, but it was a part of the story never the less. The Indian looking woman is teasing her hand through her hair, and taking a sip off her flask before tucking it away and settling on her coffee mixture.*
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her brow furrows…clearly disturbed, but looking sympathetic. “Um…mamacita, if this story goes into the mated, fucked and/or impregnated against your will territory, all you really need to do is tell me where he is.”
[Gina McClaren] Ah agreed tae be hes mate, n’ gi’oop me boys wha were keepin me safe, effen tha babe’ll be able tae kain et’s Da. Ee’ en turn says ee’ll protect me.
Ah should o kained the fooker couldnae dae et. Ee’ nearly let a dead theng mindfook me -whech ah’ HATE- when ah met hem. Uktena lass ‘ad tae save oos. Ah should o fookin kained. But nae, ah decide tae gi’ a Strider a chance, an’ head oot tae the woods wi’ hem. Where we run entae three fookin Fomori’s, what take hem down an’ … haul me aft tae the bushes.
*She doesn’t elaborate. She hasn’t the stomach for it yet, hands white around her coffee cup. Chessboard suddenly interesting as she sings.*
Ee didnae heal me oontil mornin. Was angry tha ah didnae wan tae keep on walkabout, when ah’m crampin an’ bleedin, an mayhaps losin a babe. Left me en the woods tae call wan o me Shadowlords fer help, an’ ee ran aft tae hunt down fomori… Ah went back tae me Lord, he healed me oop. Kept me safe.
*Lips licked sadly.*
Next time ah saw Thoth was weeks later. Ee demanded ah gi’ hem a second chance as a warder, sayin ah was bein’ cruel tae hem. Ah said nae. Ee’ said effen ah didnae let hem defend me honor, he’d ‘ave tae commit suicide by jumpin en a wyrm hive, oor soome sooch. Ah tauld hem tha was fookin retarded, but ee didnae lesten.
Sae.. ah let hem thenk ah didnae ‘ave any honor tae die fer. Tauld hem ah was being kind tae hem as a joke.
*The next seems a little random, rushed as she moves to sip liquid courage hastily.*
Sae ee’ threw a bag o dead dicks o’ me, called me a whore, an tauld me ah wasnae a strider nae moore.
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s actually quiet after that. She’s pretty much been stunned into it. There’s a couple beats, before she sighs and shakes her head. “Well, first of all, fuck that. Near as I know, unless he was pretty high ranking, he doesn’t have the authority to do that. More importantly, he’s a fucking moron. For many, many things. If you want, I will hunt his ass down and beat him silly. If not, that’s cool too.”
She looks like she wants to stand up and walk over to her, just to give her a comforting touch. But it’s clear to Sarita that wouldn’t go over very well, and she stays where she is. “I’m really fuckin’ sorry, chica. That’s a whole bunch-a bullshit. I think ~I~ might hate us just after hearing all that.”
[Gina McClaren] *Gina looks weary. She’d told her story a total of three times now. Once to the theurge who’d broken land speed records to get to her battered form in the woods that day. Once to the warders of the kin Thoth had tried to poach a month later. And now, to the Strider across from her. Her voice is a sad lullaby as she nudges a finger across the table and shrugs.*
Used hes fookin musk on me. Ah’m plenty enough a harlot on me own. Ah dinnae need wolf-magick fookin wi’ me mind on top o’ thengs. Hate fookin mind fookers.
*She tongues her teeth, words suddenly dripping with pure poison. Anger more productive than sorrow as dark eyes roll up to Sarita.*
Ever woken oop aside somewan ye hate, Strider?
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Something gets real dark in her eyes, her demeanor shifting a bit. She doesn’t have a lot of Rage…she could never be mistaken by people who know the signs for anything but a Ragabash or maybe a Theurge. But what she has, it’s rolling. She keeps it in check enough that she doesn’t let it completely stray her thoughts though. “I can’t say that I have, no. I’m sorry that you have. I wish I could have been here and made sure you didn’t.”
She pauses there, taking a breath. Down, red killing feeling. Ain’t gonna help right now “And I don’t blame you for how you feel about us. I would be the same way if I were you.”
[Gina McClaren] *Breath exhaled steamily through her nose, the strider kin swallowing whatever words she had on the topic of her tribe with a gulp of cooling coffee. Gross. The cup is slid across to Sarita. Peace offering perhaps. A start.*
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She reaches out and takes the cup, giving her a nod of thanks. She takes a swallow, not minding–how many times has she had coffee left in the pot all night, after all?–and sets it down, sliding it back. “Listen, chica. I’m gonna lay out for you what I’m hoping for. You can take it, or you can not. I’ll be honest…if you really, truly don’t want to have anything to do with me because I’m a Strider, that’s fine. I kinda understand. Hell, I got reasons to be a bit bitter myself.
“My dad was one of those travelin’ kinds…you know, like 99% of us. I didn’t know him for a long time, ’cause my mom was basically a one or two-night fling. I didn’t meet Esteban until after my was dead. Turns out, he had a whole other family. Kinda makes him a shitty guy, in a lot of people’s opinion. He knew about me–they all knew about me–but I knew nothing about them until after she died and I had my First Change. I’ve had a lot of time since then, but I’ve really always felt like I had an outsider’s perspective, since I spent all those so-called formative years knowing nothing about all of us, and all of this.” She smiles a bit.
“There’s some fucked-up shit about the Striders, don’t get me wrong. Maybe being forced into being without a home makes us that way, but it doesn’t make what happened to you forgivable. There are people I want to beat the tar out of sometimes…my own sister among them…” She grits her teeth a bit, briefly. “…especially right now, and those Striders who fucked you over.
“So here’s what I’m gonna tell you. I would like the chance to get to know you. I will not promise you that I will make it all okay. I won’t promise you that I’ll always be perfect. I’m a very particular kind of bitch and I do have my flaws. But I can promise you that anything that happens, it won’t happen because I’m like those you’ve met before. And it won’t ever happen because I’m putting my welfare, my ego, my pride or my motherfucking-pretencious-false-si-te-follan-con-el-pretexto-de-que so-called ‘Honor’ above you or your well-being.”
[Gina McClaren] *Sarita tells a story that is all too familiar, and Gina takes her time in considering it, her head tilted to the side, eyes narrowed in suspicion. *
Ah’ll gie tae kain ye.
*A deep breath, and a decided nod.*
Stell hopin tae mate meself oot o thes fookin tribe o’ the earliest conveinance. Ah’m nae ‘avin a babe grow oop wi’ Striders around. Nae offense darlin.
But Ah’ll gi’ ye as mooch a chance as ah’m able.
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Thank you. I appreciate that.” A brief pause, and she grins just a little. “And you can be sure of one thing, at the very least. I’m not going to try and mate you. My fence swings decidedly in the male appendage-loving direction.” Said to lighten the mood, even if it is true.
[Gina McClaren] Well, reckon tha’s a relief o’ least.
*The last Female Strider had not been so decided. It had made for further awkwardness.*
… ye wannen yer piece back, than?
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She actually brightens a bit. “If you got it with you and don’t mind giving it back over, yeah…”
[Gina McClaren] *The contents of an overlarge leather satchel clunk and jingle, until Sarita’s gun is produced and slid across the table. Gina content to make unimportant chitchat a few moments longer, before the Striders part ways.*