Hunter’s Bad Day

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] When he entered, Lukas had been a wolf on a mission, focused and intense. Considerably more at ease now, he raises a hand in a quiet, courteous greeting to Adara and Kristen before turning back to Simon.

[Kristen Burke] She nods at Adara, and listens for Simon’s reply.

[Simon Zahradnik] He catches sight of Lukas and he nods in greeting to his elder and then a smile and a nod to the one accompanying him. His attention quickly shifts back to Lukas.”Nothin’ amazing yet. I’ve got Kristen and Kieran going out again soon, and I’ve contacted Last Watch to see about investigating Kristen’s mention of Radiation Sickness in town. If we can find someone who has either died from it or contracted it we might actually have a lead as to where these pricks are operating… Or getting their waste from anyway.”He says with a nod of his head.

“It’s a bit slow but we’ll get somewhere soon… We’re just a little blind at the moment.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Radiation sickness? That can’t possibly be sanctioned. Imogen Slaughter – I’m sure you’ve heard of her – is a forensic pathologist and an M.D. She might be able to get information from local hospitals, or check the morgues. When you find your trail, turn it over to our kinfolk in the police department. Let them run a bust and shut it down.

“What about the kin hunter situation? Any developments?”

[Adara Mires] She listened in silent to the Shadow Lords talking, about things she knew now. She had read the files from the flash drive, as heard about the kin hinter and was actually around for the vines attack. She had nothing to add for the moment, so she simply drank what was left of her beer. Her emerald eyes moving from Ahroun to Ahroun.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She makes her way up the stairs of the Brotherhood, into the common room. She seems more relaxed and at ease than she has been the last week or so. Sister’s back in town–not seen yet, but back and that’s something–and she’s feeling less alone than she has her entire life. There’s something soothing about that, and with relaxation comes the grin. Oh yes, the grin. She’s got that back in spades.

She looks around as she hits the common room, giving Lukas a smile. Simon gets a little grin and the rest get a general upward tilt of her chin. “S’up, homie G’s?”

[Kristen Burke] She looks over at Sarita. “Hello, I’m Kristen.”

[Adara Mires] She offer a warm smile to Sarita. She has seen the woman around but never were properly introduced. “Hey, how are you, I”m Adara” Of couse Sarita knew her name from the moot, but it felt more polite to actually introduce herself to the Strider.

She leaned forward to put her bottle on the table then look at Lukas “Rhya, I”m trying to find some time to talk with Rain of Brass Petals to set up some defense, but even if we can’t meet, I’d liek to run over soem ideas with you over the weekend or early next week if it’s convenient”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] ” ‘ Homie G’s’? What is that, protest against no longer being the baby?” Lukas grins. He’s leaning into the back of the sectional’s long arm, hands braced against the sofa, talking to Simon.

Out loud, anyway. Across the totemlink, a second conversation begins — Christ, that reminds me. Your sister called me earlier to let me know she’s back in town. She wanted to know if she could ‘help’ in the kin hunter investigation by being ‘bait’. I shot it down. It sounded like self-destructive behavior to me. Thought you should know.

[Simon Zahradnik] He nods his head.”It was Imogen I asked… But I don’t know her too well so I asked Kora to see if she can check things out.”He says back to Lukas.”I’d like to investigate the operations in case of any leads before we hand them over Rhya.”

“As for the missing kin situation I believe we are waiting on some tests to get back. I also brought back a sample with me from our trip that Ivan managed to procure… We’re hoping it will actually lead us somewhere.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Kristen, Adara, yo. I’m Sarita. Nice to meet you.” A little thumbs up, and she gives Lukas a smirk. “Naah, that’s a ‘I’m not in a shitty mood anymore.’ But it CAN be a rebellious teenager thing. Haven’t had the chance to do that in FOREVER.”

A mental sigh comes across the totemphone. Jesus, she’s not in town long enough to see me and she’s trying to get herself killed. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll track her down.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Contact Dr. Slaughter personally too,” Lukas advises. “Kin or not, the spirits nearly recognize the woman as an Ahroun in her own right. She deserves the courtesy of direct address.”

A nod, then. “Good. Glad you’re making progress, Simon.” A hand falls on his tribemate’s shoulder, and Lukas straightens to look at Adara.

“I’m available now if you want to shoot some ideas past me,” he offers.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Seeing as how you’re a creaky old lady now,” Lukas retorts to Sarita.

The mental conversation is more serious, No problem. I’ll try to keep an eye on her too. Why’s she back? Why’d she leave in the first place, if you don’t mind me asking?

[Kristen Burke] “Sarita! I have been trying to catch you. I’m working on the kin hunter thing. I have a bloody knife that Cassie dropped that I’m going to use to ask some spirits what they know of what’s going on. Dr. Daoi Gladecu is testing the blood for what she can find and going to get back to me as soon as she can. I don’t know if he’s caught you yet but Derek Anderson was there as well when we ran into Cassie and the invisible hunter. He’s working on finding out information in his own way as well.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She does a quick aside to Lukas, with a look of mock indignance. “If I wasn’t missing my stroller, I swear I’d wheel over there…”

It’s…a pretty long story. Short of it is, she got involved with what was more or less the totally wrong guy. Some shit went down that I’m still not totally clear on, she had to run off. I haven’t had more than a text conversation since she arrived, she wanted to clear her head a bit. I’m gonna talk to her to find out more, and when I know, you’ll know.

She then looks over at Kristen. “Derek texted me, yeah. I spread that information…he wasn’t too clear on the details though. Texts can be like that. To many smiley faces and tweets or twites or whatever. Just that the Cassie chick was a missing heiress. The hunter was invisible now? Do tell…”

[Hunter] The figure that emerges into the common room only minutes after Sarita, is barely recognisable as one Hunter Matthews. He isn’t disfigured, his gifts helped him survive the explosion of the ford escort, but beyond the fact that his features are all in the correct places, he is a different man. There are heavy shadows under his eyes, almost bruise like, a thick, scraggly mesh of facial hair that should have been shaved off a week ago — was burnt off a day ago — but still remains.

First it was Hedon’s Garden, the loss of his Willpower, then it was the every day struggle of living with Rage that far surpassed his will to control it, now this. This takes the cake, this pushes him over the edge. He isn’t blubbering or bawling his eyes out; there aren’t fresh tear marks on his cheeks. It’s worse than that.

He’s quiet, and he doesn’t look angry. Usually whenever Hunter Matthews is quiet it’s because he’s pissed off about something. Right now he’s quiet because it takes all the effort he can muster just to get himself in the door and up the stairs. He hopes Sarita is here, that is his sole purpose for coming here, to let her know so she can let her sister know. He still isn’t even completely sure she’s back in town, he hasn’t seen her or really heard from her at all. Even if he knew he wouldn’t want to tell her — couldn’t tell her — he just doesn’t have it in him.

His beloved dark mahogany jacket is nowhere to be seen, his Rage is almost negligible. He still smells like burnt gasoline and rubber, like molten steel and disintegrated Garou flesh. He walks with eyes on the ground that flick up at every sound that reaches him, eyes dilated. What has been seen cannot be unseen.

“Sarita?” He mumbles out, looking without looking. “¿Está usted aquí?” He very well might collapse.

[Kristen Burke] “Cassie Young.” She nods. “We could feel the presence, it felt like Rage, and heard it calling her name. However, we could not see anything. She had come to warn a man by the name of Cipher that it was after Kin. Derek’s been talking to him. She had blood on her neck that looked and smelled tainted like the blood on the blade. It sounded like multiple creatures. It may be feeding on fear but it terrified the girl and she dropped the blade and ran before she could be stopped. She did mention it couldn’t hunt her by smell. But it left with her.”

[Adara Mires] She nodded to him “Well, there are two things I wanted to ask you about. First the chain of command if there’s an attack. I was thinking that you of course would have command, then if you’re absent Rain of Brass Petals would be in charge. After that I was wondering if I would be or if you prefer that it’s always the highest ranking member of the nation present.

Also..should I post the plan once it’s solid on the board or talk one on one with all residents? Also I was tihnking that the kin residing here would be better off with some fighting skills. I have your kin Carter Roth agreeing to teach them how to shoot. He’s already helping me and is ok with sharing his knowledge with other kin”

She say watching Lukas. When HUnter arrive, looknig liek shit, she blinked but said nothing. She was talking to Lukas and shifting her attention to the Defiance Alpha would be, disresprectful

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] And then her head snaps around at the sound of her name. Her eyes widen, and she is moving to Hunter. “Holy shit.”

She grabs him, everything forgotten for a moment. If Hunter is looking for her, it has to involve her sister. She grabs Hunter, supporting him. “Estoy aquí. ¿Qué es?

[Kristen Burke] She tried to wait for the other woman. She tried to keep listening to what was going on but suddenly she finds herself very tired and as she begins to nod off she shakes her head. She’ll have to talk more with Sarita another time. She heads off to Room 3. “Night everyone.” It’s loud enough to be heard but not to interrupt important conversations.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “You.” No hesitation there. “Me, Rain of Petals, then you. Then the highest ranking Garou, preferably Ahroun, and so on. Post — ”

He trails off for a moment. He looks at Hunter, hollowed out, empty-eyed. There’s a short silence, and then he turns back to Adara.

“Post it on the boards. Let them come to you with questions. As for teaching the kin to fight — I’m pleased to hear Carter’s offered. Everything I’ve heard of him thus far has been less than positive, so it’s good to know there’s a flip side.”

[Hunter] “Have ya’ seen–” He croaks, alarmed, fearful. He’s cut off though when he catches his reflection on the surface of the coffee table. He blinks, his mouth opens to speak in a hurry. “IT’S JOHN! I KILL–”

Pop.

He disappears.

[Adara Mires] She nodded to him “Allright Rhya, it will be so”

She pause “And Carter can be difficult, is difficult most of the time. But I actually manage to get along with him. Right now, I’m the only true born he has agree to teach how to shoot.” She shrugh “He’s a good man. Something happened to him to make him hate us. But he will help any kin. He did help Amunet then Neda. I think he’s also going to help Dr Gladecu. There’s hope in him. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on him”

She say those things matter of factly. Stating her opinion, nothing more. He was Lukas’s kjin and not her responsability, nor would hse pretend to tell the Adren how to act with those under his protection. She liekd the man, but she had her own things to do and her place in the Nation. She might be a friendly and caring person, but she wasn’t the mother of sister of everyone. The way the Nation worked, it made it impossible. There will always be someone higher up or teibe business to think about.

She wasshocked to see hUnter pop out liek that. The man was clearly in shock and not in control of himself. She look at Sarita, wondering if she’ll follow him. He seemed to want to speak to her after all.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her eyes widen a bit and she looks around, then moves to cross. She may not be able to find him straight-away, but she’s gonna keep looking.

Lukas, if I heard that right, this could be very bad. I need to find him and find out what happened.

And with that, she moves to cross the Gauntlet after him, using the reflection of the TV to ease her transition.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [crap! it wasn’t refreshing again!]

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “I want him to come back to the Nation,” Lukas replies to Adara. “I want him to take up his rightful place in the war again. I won’t crush him unless he forces my hand. But we’re Shadow Lords, and I won’t coddle him either. He’ll have to put in the work — at least some of it.

“For what it’s worth, I’m asking Nathalie to — ”

and that’s when he’s interrupted. A shout from Hunter; a pop, as though the Umbra simply ate him. Lukas’s head whips around, suddenly alert, suddenly sharp as a razor. He looks at the spot where Hunter was. He looks at Sarita.

I’m coming with you. If he’s half as unhinged as he looked and sounded just now, I don’t want you to go after him without backup.

” — to help him. Adara, I’m sorry, but I have to go. We’ll talk again, all right?”

[Adara Mires] She was up in a flash. SHe didn’t seem to approve his choice of person ot get to Carter but if she mention it ot him it will be another time. “Do you mind me coming? I know Hunter too. I’m worried about him” She say looking at him

She wasn’t going to force her presence upon them, but she was concerned about the Bone Gnawer.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Come on along. I just really need to…fucking hell.

As soon as she’s on the other side she’s looking around for the Ahroun. A sign of where he went from here, if he’s not there still. The way it looked, he could have easily just sat down and started headbutting the ground while speaking in tongues.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Of course not — ”

— and then Lukas is across as well, not so much slipping across silent and swift as a Theurge as tearing his way through with raw rage, raw spiritual power. For a moment he stands there. Then he gives his head a single hard shake and looks around for Hunter.

[Adara Mires] She slipped through using a reflective surface. She wasn’t as good as others at slipping across the gauntlet but she could do it. And there she was, not too far from Sarita and Lukas, looking for the disturbed Ahroun, walking barefooted to reach the two Unbroken

[Hunter] Luckily he didn’t travel far when he crossed into the Umbra thanks to that horrible flaw of his. He has been doing it every hour or so since the incident and he’s beginning to get a little tired of it to say the least. Sometimes he would pop out miles away, other times he would just be stranded in the same area for an undetermined amount of time.

The latter seems to be the case this time. Sarita probably saw him first, though it would have just been a flicker of a boot disappearing the image of the stairwell.

On the roof, that is most likely where he is.

[Hunter] [disappearing up!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s off like a shot up the stairs. There isn’t a moment’s hesitation…as soon as she sees the boot, she’s tearing off after him to the roof.

“HUNTER!”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] And Lukas is on her tail – wolfshaped now, claws sinking into the quasireal substance of the stairwell.

The Brotherhood is not entirely a manifested shape here. The walls are faintly translucent, though growing more solid by the day. Overhead, and passing through the rooms, they can see spirits of rage and war, honor, blood; gafflings of various tribal totems lingering near their own.

[Adara Mires] She start running after Lukas and Sarita, moving at a pretty good pace even on two legs. She could shift but not all of her very limited wardrobe would shift with her and well finding herself naked possibly on the roof, wasn’t high on her priority list.

So she ran, not losing sight of them.

[Hunter] Hunter doesn’t stop, not to the sound of Sarita’s voice, almost like he doesn’t hear it whispering through the ghostly landscape of the half-imagined brotherhood. The spirits are ignored too, though more than a few spirits of rage casts their eyes on the Gnawer as he passes, others too. A water gaffling glomps and swirls, greeting those that follow the Ahroun. It wooshes past them, through them, then back around and hovers near Hunter where he stands motionless upon the image of the rooftop.

He doesn’t turn, and the smells of his escapades would be all too evident to Wyrmbreaker in his wolf form. The scent of death, burning: fire, one of their natural weaknesses. Mixed in with it all is the smell of dead and charred flesh, fur and skin.

“I..” His voice is almost lost in the Umbral winds on the rooftop. “I killed him.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She skids to a stop, just out of arm’s reach. Obviously, it could be even further out of arm’s reach if he shifted, but she looks fairly unconcerned for herself at the moment. It’s not stupidity, but it’s not like she can’t Rage shift if need be.

“What happened, Hunter?” She looks upset–not as much as the Ahroun, obviously, but there is pain there. Both for the loss of a Garou, and what this is going to do to her sister if she can’t handle this situation just right. “Just talk. I’m here to listen.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] Wyrmbreaker’s hackles go up at the stink, the confession. The question is there, just behind his teeth, a single snarl of an accusatory word: why!

He bites it back. Head low, eyes wary, the black wolf lingers a stone’s throw away, waiting and listening.

[Adara Mires] She skip to an halt not because she was getting too close but because of his words. I killed him. She didn’t know Hunter a lot, but with what he said before disapearing, the name he uttered: John. Well she made the connection.

She was silent, looking at him wide eyed. She felt sorry for the Ahroun, noticing the pain in his voice, at the confession. She had met John briefly twice. One afternoon with Dr Slaughter and Roman, and the night he dsiapeared with Amy after the thunderwyrm event. She knew Hunter was the Fenrir’s alpha, they had talked about, Hunter and her later the same night she had seen John for the second time. So could only fathom how hard it would be to kill a packmate.

Somehow the words I’m sorry, coming for an acquintance wouldn’t really do much good. She heard the rage and accusation in Lukas’s single word question. On some level she understand it. Garou shouldn’t kill Garou unless they have a damn good reason. And Lukas being Elder, couldn’t afford compassion, certainly not yet, not before hearing the story.

So she stood there, silent, shocked, beside the Shadow Lord Adren, waiting to hear Hunter’s story

[Adara Mires] (she skid to an halt…)

[Hunter] He turns towards them and despite the fact that his Rage is unusually low for the Gnawer, there is still a snarl in his Homid lips. It fades almost as quickly as it distorted his face, leaving him looking hollowed. Eyes flicker briefly between Adara and Wyrmbreaker then snap back to Sarita.

“Where’s Amy? Have ya’ seen her? I think she’s dead too..”

The way he says it is almost completely void of empathy or sorrow. Just words. Just thoughts.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Amy’s not dead.” She better not be, anyway. Sarita puts her hands up and slightly out, a calming motion. Lukas behind her is angry, and probably rightly so. Adara is shocked–also, rightly so. Sarita…is trying to hold it together against the panic that is starting to encroach. “She’s okay. Just tell us what happened.”

That panic is starting to creep into detectability via the totemphone. You said that she talked to you just earlier, right? As in…today? Not long ago?

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [btw, just to be clear! lukas didn’t actually ask ‘why’. he’s letting sarita speak.]

Soft as velvet, a low growl rumbles past the Shadow Lord’s closed teeth. He begins to move, pacing heavy-pawed in a broad semicircle, tail held low and swept behind him.

Today, he confirms — whatever comfort this may be. A lot of hours between then and now. Before dinner.

[Adara Mires] She didn’t know what the btwo pack members said to each other so she didn’t know they had more recent news than her “She was alive last night when I saw her” She say softly. She was aware that a lot could happen in 24 hours, but it was the best she could offer them right now.

She crossed her arms under her breasts and watched Hunter and Sarita, silent again, listening.

[Hunter] “She’s not?” This seems to confuse him more than relieve him at first, then it slowly sinks in and his shoulders sag. “She’s not.” He repeats and his eyes follow the movements of Wyrmbreaker, lip curling instinctively then closing an instant later when he addresses Adara. “Last night.. I think..”

He shakes his head.

“No, it was this morning. I’m sure of it.” He doesn’t sound sure of anything. “John he crashed his car.. I found him and..” Brows furrow like none of it makes any sense at all, because it doesn’t. “He attacked me and I took him down.. I didn’t mean to..” Wide eyes on seemingly nothing. “I killed him..”

That doesn’t add up and it shows in the Ahourn’s face. “I mean I should have, but he didn’t die.. his hand..” He face distorts into a snarl and he spits as if he can still taste the dead flesh in his mouth. “I bit his head clean off I swear to fuckin’ god I did, I’m sure of it. He kept on goin’..”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “He turned?” There’s skepticism in that low snarl when Wyrmbreaker finally speaks. Skepticism, and wariness, and his eyes burning into Hunter. Dead men tell no tales, after all. Easy enough to pin the blame on the Fenrir. “He was Wyrm. So you kill?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She winces at Adara’s words. Dude, has everyone seen or audibly spoken to Amy but her? But she doesn’t have time to focus on that, and her attention snaps to John as he starts speaking. She listens, frowning…that doesn’t make sense at first. John attacked Hunter? She’s thinking a frenzy from the car wreck, and she starts to look down…

And then he kept going. She looks back up to him, blinking. “He was still fighting…after?”

Lukas, does that make any sense to you?

[Adara Mires] She jsut listened now. The tale was getting pretty strange. She could tell Hunter that Amy was with Stefan this morning but, maybe they parted ways later after she saw them. She wasn’t sure so she shut her mouth.

Now there were talk of John being Wyrm? That was bad, really bad. Yet it wasn’t her place to talk right onw. There was the Elder here and one of Hunter’s friend. She was jsut a witness for now.

[Hunter] “I..” He looks at Lukas and the doubt in Hunter’s face is completely transparent. He isn’t sure of anything he says and he doesn’t expect them to believe it either. It is completely unfathomable what the Gnawer has seen.

“I don’t know. I had’ta’ fuckin’ blow him up.” His had reaches into the pocket of his jeans and he pulls out a Zippo, previously silver, now completely black.

“He chased me to his car, I didn’t know what else ta’do. I just blew us both up.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] If John was turned, god knows what he turned into. If. There are stories of deathless creatures of the Wyrm that only fire can destroy. Could also be the ravings of a madman descending into taint himself. Until a Philodox hears his words, I don’t dare trust him. Goddammit, we need a Theurge.

The black wolf’s hackles have yet to lower. He moves a circle closer though, a yard or two away now.

Cannot trust you.” There’s this to be said: even now, Lukas is honest to a fault. This isn’t even Garou tongue, high speech — it’s fragmentary and choppy, a feral language of wolves. “You come back, stink of death, smell of taint. Brother dead. Story make no sense. You wait here, packmate come, listen for truth. If you not lie, we help. We Cleanse. We keep safe, make sure you not turn too. We help.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs, chewing on her lip a little. She looks at Lukas a moment, worry evident, and then looks back. She’s doing her best not to let her mind wander to what this is going to do to Amy. She’s got something else to think about at the moment, and an emotionally-empty Garou to try and keep talked down, at least until Katherine gets here.

“We’ll do everything we can, Hunter. Soon as we get the story sorted out…we’ll do what we can to help.”

Jesus Christ. This is just about a fucking nightmare.

[Katherine Bellamonte] It’s disturbingly quick.

One moment, there’s a black wolf snap-snarling in their thick tongue about his Philodox and stink of death and listening for truth and the next; right there on the rooftop there’s a shhhrrip as the fabric of two realities are torn apart and a slender female steps from mid-air. First one foot, and then another.

Despite her dedicated clothing being casual to the eye — jeans, T Shirt beneath a soft pink and white hoodie with piping, sneakers — there is such breeding coming from the Silver Fang as to cause all present to pivot and regard her. Her with her aristocratic features and that mane of shimmering gold hair. Were it not for that cloud of Rage and otherworldly dread she brought with her — some might have thought her lovely.

There was a necessary dread though, to be purchased with such a creature as Honor’s Compass.

She straightens; smooths her clothing.

[Adara Mires] She stayed silent. What else coudl she do really? Lukas didn’t believe the man right now and asked for them to wait. Sarita was trying to comfort him. She was jsut there to…what really? Help restrain Hunter? She was confident Lukas could do it on his own. But she was here and she would help in any she could

When Katherine appeared suddenly, she nodded to the Silver Fang. Proper presentations will have to wait.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] Why does he ask about Amy? The longer Wyrmbreaker is in this form, the more primitive, the more straightforward his thoughts become. Across the totemlink, his presence is a crackling dark heat now, narrowing down to pinpoint foci. What is his concern with your sister?

— and then there were five; Katherine appearing on the roof, as different from her Ahroun brother as day from night. The black wolf does not look at her; his acknowledgment in only in the faintest lessening of his tension.

Sister here,” he says. “You tell story again.

[Katherine Bellamonte] [Truth of Gaia: Intelligence + Empathy vs Hunter’s Manipulation + Subterfuge]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 6, 8 (Success x 3 at target 3)

[Hunter] Cannot trust you.

Any other day and that would get a completely different reaction out of him. Now he doesn’t even blink, he just looks away. “Don’t trust myself,” he utters and it isn’t sad or pity-searching. It’s stated like a fact.

Lukas tells him to wait and it really doesn’t look like the Gnawer is going anywhere. He just sits down and loops his elbows around his knees. It’s quite fortunate that he spent so much Rage in the encounter. This would be a whole lot more difficult if he felt more like his own moon and less like a Crescent.

It could be minutes, or hours. Hunter wouldn’t notice. But sometime after the three of them have finished speaking, Kate arrives. He repeats his story without any embellishments. He makes it sound plain and boring and every day if not for the content. There is nothing left in him to give, especially not for a recount of these horrors.

She hears about the crash, how John attacked him when questioned. She hears how he seemed mindless but that they didn’t have a totem bond at the time so he couldn’t communicate with him anyway. Then there is the fact that he removed a limb, maybe two or three, the details are fuzzy. A head moved by itself beside a claw and both tried to kill him, teamed up with the Crinos formed Modi.

He says how he ate a frenzy and just stood there and took hit after hit, that he was scared after his will began to wane, so he ran away. This part seems to disturb the Gnawer. He ran away, the first time in as long as he can remember. He ran from a fight. Then the explosion, how he thought it would kill him too.

After all that his chin slumps down to his chest and he goes quiet.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine sets a hand to her Alpha’s fur as she steps nearer to the seated, slouching Ahroun. She has a nod for Sarita; the mental brush of mind to mind before she is before Burnout and lowering herself to her haunches so she is at eye level with the Full Moon. It would appear, that she has little fear of him — or assumes much of her own skills in defense.

Still; she sits, her own arms braced over elbows and tilts her head to one side; watchful; holding his gaze.

She listens; but she hears and sees with the aid of otherwordly assistance. When the story is done, and Hunter grows quiet again there is the curious — or perhaps not, for those who knew her better — sentiment of empathy from the Elder of Half Moons. She sets a palm over the Gnawer’s hand; briefly. A touch, nothing more and then rises.

Turning to address the waiting wolf and humans.

“There is no lie to be found in his words; what took place is what he believes, and what I gleam to be the truth of it. Whatever stole this warrior’s life — ” for she won’t call him Metis, not now, not here if she even knows him as such. “It was not this man.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She steps back as Katherin steps forward, letting her be the focus so she can do her job. She moves back next to Lukas, chewing idly on a fingernail as she listens. There is concern–obviously, uncertainty too, in case he has really lost it–but definitely pain for Hunter’s situation. She likes him. She likes John, too…and of course there’s worry about what may come next. When Katherine announces that Hunter is telling the truth she relaxes, but only by degrees.

Amy’s been working closely with Defiance…working on an information network for them. It’s been good for her…she’d chilled out some and wasn’t rushing headlong into battle anymore. She’s become friends with Hunter, too. She said he reminds her of one of her friends back at her home sept. And… A pause there, and then she sighs. She’d become very close to John. The guy who was totally wrong for her? She leaves it at that.

A little look goes to her new Alpha. Yell at me as much as you think I deserve, for not putting a forcible stop to it, or do worse. I’m okay with that. But…Amy’s in a delicate state right now. Very much so. I don’t have all the information, like I said. We only talked once or twice. What I do know is that her home sept–everyone she knew and loved from there–is destroyed. She can’t know about this; it will kill her.

[Hunter]
Dice Rolled:[ 3 d10 ] 6, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Adara Mires] She stayed in the background. The Philodoxhad passed judgement. Hunter was telling the thruth, as he saw it. Something else seemed ot have killed John. That was sad, but good in a way. It would absolve Hunter.

She didn’t take offense when Kahterine only acknowledge her packmtes, she had something important to do. Nor does she say anything as the Unbroken wereclearly talking to each other via their link. She was observing, hell she was a watcher right now. Call her Uatu.

She took everything in, might be needed for a song one day.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] Katherine might not think much of putting herself face to face with a confessed killer, but Wyrmbreaker clearly likes it little. Beneath the Philodox’s hand, the Ahroun’s hackles bristle all the more — the coarse outer layer of his fur entirely on end now, spiking up from his neck and shoulders. A low growl rumbles in his chest

and dies as Katherine pronounces him honest, and guiltless. The black wolf’s sides heave outward in a deep chuff.

We Cleanse,” he says. “Keep taint from take root. Adara, you go down. Bring water, stick.

He turns on his haunches. Pauses only for a moment — a single piercing stare at Sarita. Then he’s planting all four paws, shaking his fur out, shaking his fur away, reemerging as his homid shape as he straightens.

I’ve got no reason to yell at you. She’s your sister, your kin, your responsibility. I’m … surprised that you allowed her to be with a Metis, knowing nothing good could ultimately come of it. But you must’ve done what you did for her happiness.

There’s a pause; a sense of ache. You do so much of what you do for her happiness. I … will not lie to her if she asks me directly. But if she does not, I will not speak to her of John.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] It was…yeah. Thank you. That’s all she says for now. She’ll talk more about it with him later. She owes him that much…she thinks, anyway. She leans back on her heels, presses the heels of her hands to her eyes.

“Fuck.” Yeah, that about sums the god damned day up, doesn’t it?

[Hunter] She tells him that it’s truth, that what he speaks actually happened as far as she can tell and Hunter crumples at her verdict. He half hoped she would say it is lies, that he is just going crazy, that he should be put down here on this roof to stop him causing any more harm to the Sept. There are no tears though, no heaving sobs. He’s in front of the leader of his Auspice and his pack-mates. A Fostern questions him, a rank he wishes to attain someday.

Maybe he should cry, and he probably will, but it isn’t here on this rooftop in front of friends and fellow warriors. Because they are just that and nothing more. Do not suffer thy people to tend thy sickness. “So he’s dead then.” He says, and it is tormented despite the fact that he remains otherwise calm.

The hand is felt on his and he doesn’t grip it, but he doesn’t shrug it off him like a young Fang he once knew would have, either. Words are said to him, or snarled or wagged, cleansing, water. He has no response.

[Adara Mires] She nodded to Lukas and was away in a heartbeat. She made her way down, to find water and stick. The kitchen weren’t really hard to find since she knew the BroHo well, better than most now having looked at te plans of the place. If she was to be responsible for it’s defense, she had to know every corners of the place.

1She came back with a bucket of water and a stick. She stop beside the Adren, letting him determine who would do the rite. She couldn’t not yet. But she’ll have to learn it. It’s twice in the same week that it would have been useful to know.

[Katherine Bellamonte] [Sorry guys, I need to crash and catch some ZZZs. Damon or Sam can NPC Kate if they need to!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita also doesn’t have the necessary rite. But she can howl like a muddafugga. She moves next to Adara, ready to shift when need be to howl her Stridery ass off. Which is different from a spidery ass. No Anasasi here. That you KNOW of! MUAHAHAHAHAHAH! Shut up, you. She’s not a Werespider. She could be! Could not, now shut up. The adults are talking and Rites are about to happen. Hey, you can’t do that to me! You can’t oppress me; I got rites as much as anyone! Bad pun for the loss.

So yes, she stands there and watches.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] The truth is, only one of them here knows how to do the rite, and it’s the one who asked for water. For a stick.

There’s a reason he didn’t go himself. It’s not that he’s too high and mighty now, Adren that he is. It has more to do with wariness. Precaution. Uncertainty of how long Hunter may have wallowed in this taint; how deep it’s sunk.

Lukas doesn’t waste a moment. He doesn’t answer Hunter either. It wasn’t really a question. It was a statement — Hunter already knows the truth. A moment later, water begins to fall gently on him, searing through blood and ichor where it falls, burning through to the skin. Cleansing.

“You didn’t kill him.” Lukas does say this much. “You heard Katherine, who is the highest judge in this Sept short of the Grand Elder himself. Whatever happened to your brother, he was already long gone by the time you found him. It must have just been some sort of … animated shell. You had no choice. You bear no guilt.”

Beyond what guilt Hunter might feel for letting John fall to that state, anyway. But that much, Lukas has the mercy not to say.

When the rite is complete, the Shadow Lord sets the bucket down, snaps the stick in half and tosses it over the side of the roof. “Why don’t you stay in the Brotherhood a while,” he suggests. “We’ll all help keep an eye on you, make sure what happened to John doesn’t happen to you. I’ll get word out to your packmate and ask her to see if she can find out how it happened.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [um. insert howl in there when appropriate! *forgot the damn rite*]

[Adara Mires] She nodded to Sarita when she came to stand beside her. When the time was right she swiftly took off her tank top and sweats wearing onthing else under and shifted to Lupus. Better to strip and shift than rip clothesand contnuing nakedness. She howled with the others, to clean Hunter, to make sure the man was free of taint, would be able to return to who he was once the grief has passed.

She shifted back and put on her clothes again. She decidly need to have wore than 3 outfits that shift with her. It’ll come ot that..eventually. “He can sleep in room 4, it’s free, no one is there. I could keep an eye on him tonight if you need me. And if he doesn’t mind.” She offer to Lukas and Hunter.

[Hunter] Lukas tells him what he already knows and when Hunter tips his chin to look up at him there is understanding there of the unspoken. Whether he killed John or not, he was his Alpha and he let him get into that state. Guilt is abundant in the Gnawer despite the clearing of any wrong doing in the wee hours of the morning.

Cleansing. It’s strange, not something he’s used to. Death should find him before the taint, but such a thing is far too romantic to ever actually occur in the life of one like Hunter Matthews. It makes his nose wrinkle and his lips curl, his shoulders hunch up against the unusual assault. But it’s a soothing strangeness over time. Something that has him breathing out a sigh, which abruptly turns to refusal.

“No.” He says to both Adara and Lukas, quite seriously. He pushes himself to his feet. “No.. I..” His eyes narrow and his jaw clenches. “You’ve done more’n’enough. Thank you but I don’t..”

He shakes his head, makes to move towards the stairs.

“I can’t stay here. I just came ta’ tell Sarita.. bout’ Amy..” His eyes find the Strider with a swivel of his body. “Tell her I’m sorry.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The howl complete, Sarita shifts down too. She keeps her duster dedicated to her, so she’s still dressed. She looks at Hunter, watching him.

“Hunter…please, I know you’re hurting. And I wish I could take that away. But I need you to understand something. Amy…she found out her entire sept was destroyed while she was gone. She’s insanely fragile. She can’t know he died. It’ll kill her. It will drive her beyond the edges of what she can handle. Please.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] After a long moment, Lukas nods in acquiescence. As Sarita beseeches Hunter, he turns instead to Adara.

“You’re a Galliard, aren’t you? Search your histories and your tales. Try to find out what it is that might have happened to Drawn in Blood. If his surviving packmates want to hear it, tell them. An explanation might not bring any comfort, perhaps it will help them to at least understand.”

[Adara Mires] She listened to Sarita’s wordsand blinked a few times. Wow, Amy was one unlucky kin. She had a look of concern for the young woman but also for the Bone Gnawer. When Hunter said no to the offer to stay at the BroHo or her watching over him, she nodded to the man “All right Hunter. JUst..don’t be alone for a while ok? Stay near Joey or any of your firends, it will help you”

She look at lukas when he spoke to her and nodded “I will Rhya. Hunter knows how to contact me. When he and Joey feel ready, I’ll have something for them. As soon as tomorrow afternoon I”m sure”

[Hunter] If the news that Amy’s sept is now gone has any effect on the Gnawer then it doesn’t show, not beyond a silent parting of his lips, perhaps the dilating of his eyes.

“Couldn’t, even if I wanted to.” Is he agreeing to not tell her? Or the other way around? It’s hard to say because it’s hard for Hunter to even think about it right now. It’s taking all his effort to not break down in front of them all, what would staying here do? They might hear his screams in the night; they might hear him cry in a bed that isn’t his. Weakness.

Whatever is going on between Lukas and Adara, he misses it because he’s lumbering down the half formed image of the stairs. Where’s he going? He doesn’t know. Somewhere that people aren’t looking at him like they all did though, like he couldn’t be trusted.

He can’t be, not right now.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’ll give you a ride home, if you want.” She’s good, but she’s not a mind-reader. And she doesn’t even think about offering; it’s natural.

I’ll be back at the Loft in a bit. Even if he says no, I’m gonna follow him home, make sure he gets there okay.

[Hunter] [wrap!]

[Adara Mires] She watch Hunter go with concern more than distrust. She nodded at Sarita’s words. OnceLukas was done talking to her she headed back down, slipping back into the real BroHo and headed to her room where her best friend was sleeping and with a Utkena ragabash was spawled, snoring on the floor.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] Lukas watches Hunter go. Good. Even if you hadn’t offered I would’ve put another stormcrow on him. I don’t think he should be alone right now.

I’ll get in touch with Joey, make sure she knows where to find him.

He follows Adara down the stairs. A nod as they part in the hall, and then the door of room 2 shuts quietly.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [thanks for the RP, folks! *jetting*!]

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