Meeting Melody and Ivan

[Melody Drake] Lukas suggested she make herself known to Sarita, so she is making herself known to Sarita. A little communication leads her to the loft where the Ragabash Elder usually stays. She’s dressed in a grey suit today, feminine, her hair wound at the base of her neck. Immaculate, since she has no idea what Sarita is like, and one should always make a good impression.

Adjusting her purse over one shoulder and tucking her phone away, she heads up and rings the door, clasping her hands politely in front of her as she waits.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] After returning from her Auspice challenge Friday morning, Sarita spent a good part of Friday just sleeping. It was a long, grueling test and she had barely been able to make it to her bedroom before passing out. The weekend was taken to recuperate–and meet a new kinfolk to her tribe in the city–until today.

Today, she’s been very in and out. Her rest accomplished, the Strider is now in work-mode. And while it may surprise some, she’s been very industrious, making phone calls and running in and out to check on various things. The always-joking Ragabash is taking her role seriously, it would seem. She’s in at the moment, taking a little bit of time from her running around and networking to relax. Which means that she’s out in the garage, working on her Bus. Working on her vehicle is a calming thing for her.

Her head pokes up when she hears the knock, and she rolls out from under the van, wiping her hands on a rag.

Melody finds Lucille opening the door. The stout, mature Hispanic woman lets Melody in, telling her that Miss Katherine and Mister Lukas are unavailable, but Miss Sarita is in the garage if that is who she is looking for. Well…until that moment, as Sarita is just walking in while Lucille explains such.

[Carter Roth] Life in the Loft, or as Carter preferred to refer to it privately, the gilded cage, was a life of routine for the wayward kin. He would wake, swim, exercise and go to work. He had just returned from the lab infact, returned from the job that did not suit the look of the man but none the less he held too it, pushed on, it was really his style after all.

His time at the loft had not been an entire loss though, Sarita could attest to that, when he had first arrived Carter had been mean, twitchy, vulgar and outright aggressive one might have compared him to a wild dog, the cunning nasty type that you didn’t want to turn your back on. But in the weeks he had been there, he had softened, certainly not the point where he was friendly and joking with all the big furballs, but he gave them a grudging respect, conversed without being cornered, and even partook in meals and any cleaning that might be necessary.

Infact that was what he was doing now, in his old ratty leather jacket, made of far to many patches of leather. He was taking the garbage out, doing the old maid a bit of a favour it seemed. He was out the side when he heard the doorbell ring, and his eyes narrowed as he wondered who was here now, as he stepped back in through the side entrance and slowly made his way towards the front door.

[Melody Drake] “Yes, that’s who I’m looking for actually,” she answers Lucille quietly, thanking her for letting her in. her eyes drift though when Sarita walks in, her head inclining ever so faint. “Miss Ecos de la Risa, I presume?”

The name isn’t lost on her, not at all. But as of now, it’s a last name, and unless Sarita indicates otherwise, she’ll keep calling her that. She’s not been entirely invited in yet, so she remains in the entryway, amber eyes focused on the Strider.

[Daoi Gladecu] *Daoi came. She had not visited her employee in his new inviornment. And was suitably impressed when she left her car and limp her way over the pavement. In one hand was a black cain with a gold wolf’s head on it. She used it to balance out the face that one of her legs didn’t work to well. On that same hand was a large gold ring with another head of a wolf, two twisted tounge came out , above which two yellow topaz eyes watched accusingly.

She was dressed in black slacks and lofters, under her sturdy peacoat was a white pressed sure. Everything she wore was pratical and of good quality. Dark grey eyes watched the place. Scaring along one side of her face pulled a little bit as she turned her head. The scaring looked like claw marks to those who knew what to look for. It broke an eyebrow into two and made an eyelid sag. She limped up to the front door and perceeded to knock*

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s just coming around the corner when Melody mentions her name to Lucille, and she grins when Melody addresses her. The Strider is in a black tank-top, with a couple of spots from oil on it and a pair of jeans. She’s always careful not to leave any mess around–the last thing she needs is Katherine freaking out on her–but you can’t do a little work without getting dirty.

“Oh god, please…it’s Sarita. Miss Ecos de la Risa makes me sound like a Spanish teacher in San Antonio or some shit.” She looks Carter’s way, giving him a smile and nod, then looks back to Melody and extends her hand. “I’m Sarita, yeah. Nice to meet you.”

She looks at the door when the knock is heard, and she waves Lucille off. She can answer a door right in front of her, she says to the woman in their native language. Lucille rolls her eyes and heads back further into the house as Sarita heads to the door with an “excuse me,” to Melody. The door is opened for Daoi.

[Carter Roth] As was so often the case, Carter tended to stay in the distance, stay at the edge of the room when the Garou congregated, it was his way of feeling out what was going on, he very rarely asked if he could join, instead waiting for someone to call him over, or to feel it was right. It wasn’t timidity, it was simply wariness of the creatures he lived with.

He did however nod in return to Sarita as she acknowledge him, and he took a moment to lean against the wall and watch the new comer for a few long moments.

[Daoi Gladecu] *The door was opened and Daoi looked at Sarita and Melody in a bit of supprise as the rage from the two billowed out.*

Ah thank you ma’am, I’m looking for Mr. Roth?

*She sais her head tilted to the side and her good brow up. Her voice was light and polite with just a bit of a Slavic accent*

[Melody Drake] “Melody Drake,” she answers, taking Sarita’s hand with a faint smile. “I’ll make sure to stick to Sarita then, it’s nice to meet you as well. Lukas-rhya said I should make myself known to you.”

Amber eyes looked over at Carter when he came into her field of vision, scrutinizing if only for a moment. Then there is a nod, an acknowledgement, before she looks to whomever Sarita let in. She takes in Daoi as well, staying quietly out of the way for the moment. Truthfully, while there’s Rage from her… there’s not all that much of it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey…yeah, come on in. I’m Sarita.” She doesn’t know Doai, but the woman’s Shadow Lord breeding speaks plainly to the Strider, and she smiles as she steps aside to let her in. “Hey Carter, you got a guest.”

Once Daoi’s passed by, she smiles to Melody. “Lukas said you should say hi…I’m gonna guess that’s cause you’re along my particular moon phase lines?”

[Carter Roth] Melody scrutinized him, and Carter scrutinzed her back. Perhaps it was a mutual thing, maybe…maybe they thought of each other as predators, or perhaps they were just unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar setting trying to understand each other.

Carter of course sang with the feeling of thunder in him, Melody could feel it, Sarita could as well, but it was to Melody that it really called, really struck a blow in deep personal places. Of dark mountain tops and storms that spoke to the primal side of the trueborn.

Carter is polite, and he returns the nod, but his attention is drawn away as Daoi makes her appearance and Sarita tells him that he has a guest. “Good eye Sarita.” He says with a droll tone as he stepped closer and nodded to Daoi.

“Hey Doc, whats brings you by?”

[Daoi Gladecu] Daoi Gladecu…thank you agian.

*she says to Sarita as she walks in and limps past her to Carter*

I got bord, though I would come and see your cage.

*she gives him a half smile. House is quiet without you cursing the air blue.

[Melody Drake] … it seems there were a lot of Thunder’s Children here in the city.

There is, perhaps, a small shift when Carter’s breeding becomes readily apparent, that kind of call she’s still not used to. She wonders, briefly, if that was what she used to do back in Seattle and then dismisses the thought; she doesn’t have time for it. Briefly, she watches the kin interact, eyes narrowing at Carter’s statement to Sarita and Daoi’s talk of a cage, but she has business to attend.

Snapping her gaze back to Sarita, she smiles faintly again. “Correct. To be specific, Cliath Shadow Lord Ragabash, also known as Sweet Whispers.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The comment from Carter rolls right off her back. If anything, she takes it as teasing. Of course, with Carter it could be more, but Sarita’s been very good–as she usually is–about no-selling any potential barbs. She gives the man a grin and a wink, then looks back over to Melody, taking in her name, her rank, and such. There’s a little nod.

“Nice to meet you, Melody. “arita Echos-of-Laughter. Cliath No-Moon of Owl’s brood, Unbrokenite, and Silent Strider and Ragabash Elder in the city.” She smiles. “C’mon, let’s get out of the doorway. Anyone want a drink?”

It’s directed to Carter and Daoi as much as it is Melody, as she makes her way toward the kitchen.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Add an S in there as appropriate. ­čśŤ ]]

[Melody Drake] “Water would be welcome.” She murmurs to Sarita, following her out of the entry way, eyes flicking around the loft curiously.

[Daoi Gladecu] ((Hey all just got a call from work, i gotta go, sorry!! Just say Daoi got a phone call and had to runish))

[Carter Roth] “We still have that whiskey hanging around.” Carter asks as he looks at Sarita with a questioning but guarded look. He then returned his gaze to the Doc and grinned rakishly at her.

“Well ain’t that sweet of you Doc taking time out of your busy free to go anywhere schedule to see the locationally challenged.” He said with a light laugh. “Besides, i think I was killing the refinement of your place with all my swearing.”

He actually moved to follow along behind the garou. It was then that Daoi got her call and Carter waved her off. “Thanks for stoppin by Doc.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “One water, one whiskey.” She waves to Daoi when she has to run off, and goes to get the drinks. For her part, she makes a mixed drink and brings the other two’s drinks out to them in the living room. “Just arrived in the city then?” she says to Melody as she takes a seat.

[Melody Drake] There is a murmured thank you to Sarita at the water, and she sits down after the other woman has. “Yes. I’ve been here about a week now.”

[Carter Roth] Carter for himself seems to consider what to do. He could go off on his own, do some more exercises. Or he could hang around the pair of garou who were surely going to talk business and ignore him for the most part. Amazingly, perhaps in particular for Sarita, Carter sticks around, finding himself a chair that gives him distance between Melody and Sarita, but sit he does, taking a drink of his Whiskey.

[Carter Roth] Carter also accepted the drink with a nod and a gravelly thank you. [just so you know.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, a week? Hell, you’re practically a veteran, chica.” She says it with a grin. “Seriously though, it’s a young sept still, very up-and-coming kind of place. So you’ll be considered old hat in no time. My sister and I got here in the beginning of the year and…”

She pauses, then shrugs. “Well, it’s been an eventful 2011. Carter is one of your tribe’s kinfolk,” she said, switching the subject and nodding at him. “You’re involved in the whole alliance thing Ames is working on, right?”

[Melody Drake] Her eyes slip to Carter, nodding faintly. “… I can tell. And Stefan mentioned a kinfolk alliance, that his mate… Amunet? Was involved in.”

She makes no effort to hide the approval in her voice. Kin taking the initiative? Absolutely a wonderful thing, and she agrees whole completely. Even better that one of her own is involved in it.

[Carter Roth] Carter looked between the two of the garou and then nodded as he let the whiskey roll around in its tumbler. “Just so you know, thats one in the same person.” He said in that gravelly voice before nodding.

“Yeah I am…I’m currently…well, I was planning the paramilitary and physical training of the kin involved. Until well…I was told to stay here.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yep, that’s my sis. Gloriously awesome and aggravating handful that she is.” She says it fondly. There’s no other way to say such a thing. She looks back at Melody.

“Did you come by yourself, or bring a pack along for the ride?”

[Melody Drake] “Noted,” she says to Carter, her gaze intensely curious as he says he has to stay here, but she doesn’t ask why. Even if it kills her, because it’s in her nature to ask. There is a flicker of a smile though as Sarita explains her sister and a small nod, accepting the information.

As Sarita asks about a pack though, she shakes her head. “No, I came alone, though I’ve already found a pack here, something I’m grateful for.”

[Carter Roth] Carter reclines back into the chair and put his glass up on the armrest as the pair of women talked. Melody simply said noted, which got a slight creasing of Carter’s eyes, perhaps an annoyed look, something that didn’t quite sit right but he took a deep breath and it rolled off him like water.

They speak of packs, of things that Carter has no business in, and he simply tries to relax in the presence of their rage, taking a sip from his glass as he reached up into the dreadlocks on his head and scratched an itch.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh yeah?” She smiles. “Good to hear. You’re getting settled in, then…very cool. Getting the lay of the land too?”

[Melody Drake] A pause, and then a wry smile. “Slowly. Chicago and Seattle aren’t very similar and I find myself relying on GPS a little more often then I like. Someone told me I had to get lost in the city to actually learn anything.”

[Carter Roth] Carter smirks at their conversation, ahhh the mighty garou reduced to using a GPS system. In his days before the loft he might have said something openly insulting to the pair something deriding their natures and questioning their capabilities.

“Getting lost is the best way to get found. At least in the city.” He said with a shrug in an offhanded manner. Man how times had changed.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins. “I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I came in and just straight started wandering in my van. Always seems to be the best way to learn the layout.”

She lets that lie there, moving on. “So, you’re gonna have to forgive me. I’ve been Auspice Elder for all of about four days so I’m still getting shit organized a little bit. But it would be good to know what all you have experience with, where I might be able to call on you if I need to for the Sept.”

[Melody Drake] “That’s three votes for that method now,” she says, glancing at Carter with an amused look. “Perhaps I’ll have to try it then. Have you been in Chicago long, Mr. Roth?”

Her gaze turns serious though again, as Sarita asks her what she can do. “I have familiarity with the law and politics, and I currently rent and buy properties in Chicago so if someone needs a place to stay, I’m more then willing. I’m very good at speaking to people and gathering information that way, and I currently speak four languages besides English if that’s ever needed as well.” A pause. “I’m also passingly familiar with mental illness healthcare.”

A tap of her fingers on her glass, before she continues. “I don’t know if this has bearing, but I feel it’s relevant. I was kin for twenty four years, and believed to be kin all my life, until my more recent change. It gives me a unique perspective at times.”

[Carter Roth] Carter had been sipping casually on his whiskey, not wanting to have to get up it seems to go fetch another. He looked at the glass with a slightly displeased look, apparently he should have asked for the bottle to come along.

Melody asks him a question and Carter shrugged. “Maybe three months now?” He says, musing to himself over the timeline. “Yeah, three months seems about right.”

But then Melody drops a bombshell, something Carter had never heard of before, something he could never have even imagined. Melody HAD been kin, and Carters eyes almost bulge wide, and he actually chokes on his whiskey for a moment or two before coughing to clear his throat.

“Excuse me, the hell did you just say? How the hell is that even possible?”

[Melody Drake] Carter’s sudden exclimation actually startles her, just briefly, and her hands tighten on her glass for a moment before she arches an eyebrow. “Your guess is as good as mine. My twin brother changed ten years before me, and we went through much of the same life events up until that point. I was twenty four years old when I had my first change.”

A small shrug of her shoulders, bright. “My father thought I might change, but once he died, I was told that I was kin, to forget such notions, and go on with my life that way. And I did.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little when Melody says that. There’s something…it’s not quite kinship. Sarita isn’t all ‘OMG ME TOO’ or anything. But there’s…an appreciation. Maybe a certain cousin to understanding. Empathy, at least. “Yeah?”

And then she chuckles a bit as Carter chokes. Not AT the choking, obviously, but the surprise. “It’s surprisingly common these days compared to how it used to be, Carter…which is not to say it’s common, just more than a ‘once an era’ kind of thing. They’re called Lost Cubs by some. People who don’t change until well after most people do. It’s a term that’s sort of interchangeable with people who grow up outside the Nation and don’t know much of anything ’till they change, ’cause the two sometiimes coincide.”

[Carter Roth] Carter recovers at last as Melody explains her half, and then Sarita explains hers. He rubs his neck for a moment and coughs one last time to finish clearing that burning sensation of alcohol from his throat before he takes another deep breath.

“Huh….well thats something new for sure.” He says as he looks between Sarita, and Melody. When his gaze falls upon the newcomer, the woman who had been treated as a kin all of her life until the day she had changed many many years after most, something seemed to stir in his gaze, perhaps it was curiosity, it was hard to tell with the man keeping his thoughts and feelings so tightly guarded here.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I actually grew up outside of the Nation myself. Had no idea until I was sixteen, I changed and my father showed up to tell me the score. So I have an idea what it’s like, though obviously it’s not the same.” She nods. “That gives you a unique perspective. I can appreciate that, for sure, and it certainly could have its uses.”

She pauses, and leans back, sipping her drink. “How are your recon skills, if any?”

[Melody Drake] “It was certainly something new for me,” she admits, smiling faintly to Sarita in understanding, before her gaze flicks back to Carter. “It was… interesting, to see the changes in attitudes towards me.”

There’s a a nuance in her voice, something how she says interesting that gives away it was less just interesting and more a really really severe change.

Her head inclines as Sarita explains that she had no idea until she changed, nodding every so slightly. “… it must have been a shock. And… my… recon skills are passable, if you’re discussing legitimately sneaking around in the shadows. Walking into a building and talking to people and gathering information? That, I’m often very good at. Words… come easy to me.”

[Carter Roth] “I could imagine…one minute your a liability, the next your one of the soldiers.” He said casually, but it held a hint of heaviness, of something sour or hurtful in it.

“So what did you do…what did you feel when you made that change. How did others react?” He asked, suddenly pointedly interested in the woman who when she had just arrived he hadn’t really seemed curious about. He was also asking very personal questions, but the look in his eye said he wouldn’t stop.

He could also talk a good turn about recon skills…but that wasn’t his place either.

[Melody Drake] Unlike most, maybe, she doesn’t seem to mind the intensely personal questions. Instead, she seems to encourage it, shifting so she can face both Carter and Sarita. “… I was angry. I was being forced into a situation at the time that I didn’t want, and I remember feeling like I didn’t have any control. I can tell you the three Garou there at the time were completely shocked, and it probably didn’t help that I was laughing hysterically once I came to.”

A sip of her water, to wet her mouth before she inclines her head. “You’ll have to be more specific then others though, Mr. Roth. There were varied reactions.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods a little bit at Melody’s self-assessment of her recon skills, both physical and social, absorbing the information and filing it away. When Carter speaks up she lets herself fall silent, sitting back and listening to the conversation between the two Lords. Sometimes you learn the most not by asking questions, but by observing. That’s what she’s doing now.

[Carter Roth] Carter nodded slightly as if piecing something together with the woman’s words. From Sarita’s point of view, this was the most engaged anyone had managed to get Carter in a conversation, the reasoning was obvious, or maybe it wasn’t eitherway…it was something.

“I meant the other kin, as well as the….trueborns.” He says it like he had meant to say something else entirely. “What was their reactions to you after the fact…how did it change from before when they all thought you were kin?”

[K gotta step out…will only be 15 minutes or so, so keep going!]

[Melody Drake] “I wasn’t very close to any other kin at the time, so I regret I don’t have a truly good base reading for that. As for the trueborns…” She pauses, as she figures out how to say it. “When I was kin, and I asked why, the answer would be ‘Because you are kin, and we said so’. When I was suddenly trueborn, and I asked why, it became ‘Oh, because of x, y, and z. It’s good you ask questions!’. That is the best way for me to describe it.

[Carter Roth] Melody answered the mans questions, very personal questions that most probably would not have. It is a testament to Melody’s character, her openness and her willingness to learn and adapt that she did so, especially to a complete stranger like Carter.

However her answers do not evoke a smile or a expression of enlightened understanding, instead it darkens the look on Carters face and he nods.

“Yeah….that sounds about right.” His eyes briefly flicker over to Sarita then before returning to Melody. “Aint trying to interrupt buisness and all.” A hand gestures to Sarita to emphasize. “So one more question if you don’t mind….what caused you to shift?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You’re not interrupting at all.” She smiles and shakes her head, looking to Carter. “By all means, ask away.”

She looks between the two, finishing off her drink. There’s something discerning in the way that the Strider watches and listens…picking up the details, watching their reactions. Every detail of how someone behaves reveals something, they say, and Sarita seems interested in how both kin and Ragabash are reacting, both to each other and even to the fact that Sarita’s observing.

[Melody Drake] “I’m of the belief that questions should be asked,” a faint shrug. “No one learns anything if no answers are given.”

A nod is given to Sarita, in thanks, for allowing the little Q and A. She is aware she’s being watched and assessed, but that was bound to happen- Sarita was an Elder after all. Still Carter’s question gives her pause, a flicker of something in her face that’s very hard to discern. She’d be a hypocrite though, to say he should ask questions and then not answer them.

Using a sip of water to cover her pause, she finally answers. “… I had moved to Canada, and my former sept had sent a pack to find me and bring me back. I asked why, after some arguing, and was again told ‘because you’re kin’… I’m told that’s when I shifted, though I have no exact recollection of that moment.”

[Carter Roth] Carter blinks for a moment, looking at the shadowlord woman, this ragabash who was full of surprises and then nodded before looking down at his glass. Something passed over his features as he did so, almost a look of sadness, but certainly one of understanding.

But something shifts then, and Carter rises from his chair and says quietly. “Thanks for that, excuse me…I need a refill.” At that Carter moves towards the Kitchen slowly, obviously planning on returning, but well…he needed more booze.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Of course, Carter.” She nods, watching him head off to the kitchen, and looks back. “Yeah, so to recap…definitely gives you a unique look at things. Which is good for our Auspice. We’re supposed to be keeping people on their toes, and challenging them to look at things in new ways.”

“Who are you packed with?” The change in subjects is abrupt, and perhaps purposely so. She looks at Melody casually though, as if it were natural.

[Melody Drake] She watches Carter go as well, eyes narrowed, before Sarita is talking and all her attention is back on her Auspice Elder. A nod, agreeing about challenging people with a flicker of a smile. If the abrupt conversation seems odd to her, she doesn’t show it.

“Honor’s Forge,” she answers smoothly, “with Stefan Knezevic, Nathalie Bystrov, and Bronwyn Montgomery.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow. “Really.” Her head cocks to the side, definitely more intrigued now. “That’s an interesting pack. What do you think of them?”

[Carter Roth] [Go ahead and skip me this round]

[Melody Drake] She watches Sarita. “… they have their kinks to work out, as I suppose is with any newly formed pack. They however follow a totem and a cause that I believe in and when pressed, they do have the cohesiveness right now to follow their Alpha. I think, I will be good for them, and then will be good for me.”

[Ivan Press] [christ… DSL no bueno.]

[Carter Roth] It takes a few minutes, but Carter eventually wanders back into the living room from the kitchen, his glass now full to the brim with the amber liquid that constituted whiskey in this household. He glanced from one Garou to the next, his gaze lingering curiously upon Melody as he returned to his seat and eased into it with a tired sigh.

“I miss anything exciting since I went looking for the good stuff?” He asks as he looked from one to the other.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods a little bit. “Yeah? S’good to know. I don’t know Bronwyn–I think she’s another new arrival–but I’ve met Nathalie once or twice and Stefan’s my sister’s mate. I’m sure you’ll get the chance to meet her.”

She smiles slightly. “It’s an interesting pack make-up. A lot of times those work for the best.” She speaks from experience. About the last Tribes she every expected to be packed alongside are the Shadow Lords and Silver Fangs and…well.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Okay, apologies, the submit puttong was being a bitch.]]

[Melody Drake] A small shake of her head, and a smile to Carter- no, he didn’t miss much.

“It is different than I expected, what little I knew of packs to be fair, but I think the dynamic works well,” she agrees with a small nod. “And I do hope to meet your sister soon, after all I’ve heard.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh?” She can’t help but grin at that. ‘After all I’ve heard’ can go many different directions when dealing with her sister. “What have you heard?”

She looks over at Carter and nods to him as he returns.

[Melody Drake] The makes her arch an eyebrow, amusement on her face. “I’ve heard of her work with the kinfolk alliance, Stefan seems very proud of her, and Nathalie seemed to like the idea and actions as well.”

[Ivan Press] Presently, Lucille returns with a new guest in tow. Mr. Ivan Press, she announces, a strictly no-nonsense, no-frills introduction. Hear to see Ms. Sarita de la Risa. Of all the packmate and its associates, Lucille might be the only one to give the liquid beauty of that last name justice. She seems to like dropping the ‘Ecos’, though. Maybe she thinks it fits better: Sarita of the Laughter, simply.

Lucille goes off to do Lucille-type things, then, leaving Ivan standing in the Loft, looking at its occupants with as much interest as they might show in the newcomer himself. That he is of Katherine’s tribe is unmistakable; even if the breeding didn’t give it away, the effortless grace of his posture and stance does. That, and the scent of money that all but wafts from him.

“I’m not interrupting, am I?” It’s more practiced courtesy than genuine worry.

[Ivan Press] [HERE to see. my god.]

[Carter Roth] They both nodded, or shook their head, either way they let him know simply that Carter had not missed a damn thing, not all that surprising, he hadn’t been gone that long.

He took another drink from his glass and seemed pleased with the make of his whiskey. But then the alliance was spoken of again, it is something that has been on his mind since he had been incarcerated here, something that he had not been able to partake in at all.

“Not everyone seems quite so thrilled.” He said roughly.

But then there was another Garou, someone named Ivan Press, Lucille just let everyone in didn’t she? Carter regarded the man blue green eyes narrowing slightly, not out of curiosity this time, more warriness then anything.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods at Melody’s response. Inwardly she’s thinking oh good, none of the insane stuff, but outwardly it’s just acknowledgment. “Yeah…she’s definitely got some good ideas going with that.”

Then she looks over at Ivan, smiling as he sees him come in. She stands up, thanking Lucille, and looking the man over. “Ivan, m’man. Good to see you. No, you’re not interrupting. How are you?”

[Melody Drake] Melody arches an eyebrow, turning to look at Carter as if to ask ‘Why not?’, the question on the tip of her tongue. However, the introduction of Ivan causes her to stay her words instead; business to be discussed later perhaps.

Placing her drink on the table, she folds her hands quietly in her lap and watches, a faint smile on her lips and her expression pleasant. Sarita seems to know the new guest and she quietly watches them interact, trying to decide if this is her cue to leave.

[Ivan Press] What can be said of Ivan, except that he is tall, golden, lean, privileged – a new-millennium sort of Fang?

Well; plenty, to be truthful. Depends on how much they’ve heard, how much each of them are plugged into the rumormill. The Presses are fabulously wealthy — the sort of wealth that’s accumulated past a critical point where it compounds on itself, becomes almost impossible to entirely lose. An empire of commerce rather than land, there are those amongst the old guard Fangs who mutter that these flashy Russians, who disguise their heritage behind a much more Fortune 500-friendly last name, have utterly forgotten what it is to be a Silver Fang. They mate with Glass Walkers now; they even dally with Shadow Lords. Sold their pride out for money and human influence. How despicable.

And then there are the rumors that surround Mr. Ivan Press himself. Popular on the club circuit; something closer to notorious in high society. Known for dropping tens of thousands of dollars on impromptu parties at various swanky locales around town. Never did a day’s work in his life; spends his family’s money like it grows on a tree, or falls from the sky — which for him may as well be true. Frequently seen with models and dancers and aspiring starlets on his arm, though some vestigial shred of modesty — or just pragmatism, or perhaps threats of getting his allowance cut off by mom and dad — keeps him from getting too far into the celebrity spotlight.

Not known for fidelity. Or faithfulness. Or any sort of commitment whatsoever. Can’t even bear to be in a steady pack for long. Is tagging along with some Shadow Lord pack. What sort of Silver Fang, what sort of wolf…

This is the creature that smoothly shakes Sarita’s hand. “Doing rather well, thank you,” he replies. “My congratulations on the Eldership.”

He turns his eyes toward the others, both Shadow Lords. “Ah, the dreaded and esteemed ‘enemy’,” he quips. “Never fear, I’ve a cousin twice removed who’s a Shadow Lord. Ivan Resplendent-Dusk, by the way. Ragabash Cliath of Falcon.”

[Mad Maddox] He’s been here before. Presumably, Maddox was given some sort of key. It’s also entirely possible that he used said key to get into the beautifully renovated loft. It’s also just as likely (if not moreso) that he didn’t. However the mangy Fianna got inside, he makes his way down from the upstairs, tall and gangly and passingly attractive. There’s a cigarette tucked behind his ear, dressed in jeans, a yellow t-shirt that emphasizes just how thin he is. Like a beanpole, or a scarecrow, especially today with his dark hair askew. His feet are bare.

He comes shuffling down the stairs, stops at the bottom just in time for Ivan’s introduction, and smirks.

“Really, that’s it? I thought your lot had intros so long they could wrap around the world thrice.”

[Melody Drake] More new people. There is a glance back at the new voice, but her attention is on Ivan; introductions are at hand.

“An example of keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” She asks, though the lilt of her voice at the smile shows it is meant in jest and she holds no animosity. A nod is given at his introduction and she replies, “Melody Drake, also known as Sweet Whispers, Cliath Ragabash and child of Thunder. A pleasure to meet you.”

[Carter Roth] Carter does much like melody. He falls silent and watches, watches the Silver fang as he introduces himself, this guy was as slick as oil on a sea otter, how knows the guys family might be in the oil buisness for all the money he reeked off.

The look Carter had was slightly unimpressed, sure he had money, sure he had connections but he looked…soft.

He nods to the man, he plays the civil game and even responds with his name. “Carter…” He says in his own gruff way before returning to his drink. Or he would have, when from behind them another Garou arrives, a long lean almost bean pole like fellow. Carter was now surrounded by Garou, from all sides, and their combined rage made his skin crawl.

The grip on his glass grew greater and his eyes slid shut for a moment as he tried to breath,, tried to stay in control.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles a little bit and reaches out to take Ivan’s hand. “Thanks. Nice to see you.”

Ivan’s entrance, he’s expecting. Maddox just popping out of nowhere from the upstairs causes her to snap her head around. It’s possible that she’s one of the prospectives, and it’s entirely possible that he’s not. Sarita doesn’t know one way or the other. The Strider gives the Fianna a long stare, looking him over.

“Uh, hi.” The ‘Uh’ part doesn’t seem to be a loss for words. Too much time passes between Sarita noticing him and the words for that to be the case.

[Ivan Press] “Actually,” Ivan explains offhand, “no, an example of business over personal pursuits. Her family was the controlling shareholder in PNA Telecom, and we wanted to buy them out at below-market price. She got a nice purebred mate to make lovely blackhaired cubs with; we got the shares. Good deal for everyone, and besides, she’s actually quite personable. Quite pleasant company at family retreats on the Black Sea. And Cousin Yuri’s branch of the family always had an unfortunate tendency to turn into drooling idiots at age 40, anyway.

“And I,” now he’s answering Maddox, “always thought your lot was typically too drunk to notice the difference. At any rate, if I gave my full introduction, I’d have to explain all the other scandalous little crossings in my family tree.”

[Mad Maddox] “Oh really?” he asks, sliding his hands into the pockets of his jeans and coming forward. It really is a bit of a shock for a stranger to show up right in the middle of what passes as close to a packhouse as the Unbroken have. There are things that could be assumed here, if the people chatting in the living room were the assuming type. Apparently, one of them is.

Maddox flicks his brows upward. “And what lot is that?” he asks, curious. There is no breeding that calls out to the Garou in the room, no features of some long-gone hero of old shining through Maddox’s countenance. They can’t even tell, at least not right away, that he’s Garou. Except, of course, for the kinsman who actually knows.

[Melody Drake] There is a slight vibration from her purse and she glances down, pulling out the phone to see the number. Eyes narrow and for a moment that pleasant expression is blank. And then she’s sliding the phone away and standing up, gaze moving to Sarita. “I’m sorry to leave so suddenly Sarita, there’s something I need to take care of. It was an honor to meet you.”

A glance at Carter, a faint smile. “You as well Mr. Roth. Resplendant-Dusk, I regret leaving so soon after our meeting, but it was still nice to meet you. I wish you all a good evening.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks at Melody and smiles a bit. “No problem, Melody…we’ll catch up more later. If you want to leave your number, I’ll give you a call, or I can probably get it through Amy.”

She looks back to Maddox and clears her throat, then speaks…slower, and louder. “UM. HI.”

[Danicka Musil] [a/s/l?]

[Mad Maddox] [23/m/your pants?]

[Danicka Musil] [you are unhelpful and shall be summarily beheaded]

[Carter Roth] Carter watches as Melody gets up and states her intention of leaving. He nods to the woman before his eyes flicker to the others in the room before he speaks.

“It was good to meet you Melody….catch ya round.” His gravelly voice follows her as she heads for the door. Carter for his part, wishes he could follow, there were to many garou for his tastes…or at least too many garou he barely knew.

[Melody Drake] [And I just lol’d. Nice.]

“Of course,” she says, pausing to pull out a card and hand it to Sarita. “Thank you, again.”

With that done, she gives another nod to those in the room and moves to head out the door, already reaching for her phone.

[Ivan Press] “Pleasure to meet you,” he says to Melody, stepping a little ways out of the way to allow her an unimpeded path to the door. Not that there’s much impedance possible in a space as spare and open as the Loft.

“Think she’s talking to you,” he adds to Maddox helpfully.

[Melody Drake] [Thanks much for the scene!]

[Mad Maddox] It’s almost like a Mexican stand-off, excepting the noticeable lack of saloon, empty and dusty street, and ponchos. Maddox watches Ivan, Ivan pulls the Fang card and dismisses him to off pleasantries to the leaving Melody. All the while, Sarita tries to get Maddox’s attention.

Sarita…Oh right!

The Theurge’s attention snaps to the new Ragabash Elder, the Silver Fang forgotten. “Ah, my apologies,” he says, stepping toward the Strider with outstretched hand, angling his body in a half-bow. “Maddox Cartwright, Where the Sidewalk Ends. Luk├í┼í Wyrmbreaker showed me around the other night.”

[Danicka Musil] Shortly after Melody departs the Loft, a car that’s rarely seen there pulls up. She comes here more than she used to, but there has to be a reason. Usually, that reason is a swarthy black-haired Shadow Lord, all tall-dark-handsome, the sort of big bad Ahroun that the pretty blonde kinswomen usually swoon for,

siiiiiigh!

But he isn’t here. His name just came up but he’s not here and yet there’s his mate’s slate-blue Infiniti coming to a stop. Then the mate herself stepping out of it, all sharp-toed stillettos and flare-legged gray slacks and a navy blue sweater with a low v-neck over a fluttery pink tank top with some floral embellishment that peeks out through that low v-neck and a crop-hemmed, crop-sleeved peacoat over it all because Chicago can’t make up its damn mind, weatherwise. She’s still here, Lukas or no Lukas, slinging her purse over her shoulder and walking right up to the door and smiling at Lucille when yet another person shows up.

Hola, Lucille,” she says to the maid, and: “Is Mr. Roth available?”

And soon enough, she’s heading towards the living room, her heels clicking on those hard, shiny floors.

[Carter Roth] Melody was gone, which meant there was only one person that Carter had any real contact with, which left him edgy, which required him to control his breathing. Thankfully the new comers had largely ignored him, which at one point would have annoyed him. But hes trying to control that anger, trying to keep it just beneath the surface…it was turning out to be an interesting night.

Carter was considering his exit strategy, he was looking back towards his room, towards the upstairs, nope..that wouldn’t work it was blocked, his only option was the pool and to pray to god he could beat them off with wet pool noodles.

But then the clack clack of high heeled shoes resounded through the loft, and through the voices of the Garou Carter could hear someone speak his name. This widened his eyes in surprise, at least until the person made themselves known.

As Danika stepped into the room Carter let out a low, inaudible snort and nodded to the woman. Not really happy to see her given their last meeting…but civil…for now.

[Danicka Musil] [per/emp: this is how we show our love]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6) Re-rolls: 1

[Danicka Musil] […kbsdp.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ahh, right.” She nods a little bit, the irritation and intense look that Maddox is getting dissipating. Somewhat, at least. A grin covers the rest of it, and she takes the hand. “Sarita Ecos de la Risa. Strider and Ragabash Elder. Lukas mentioned you. Just didn’t mention you’d be coming from upstairs.” A little quirk to the grin, and then she looks over as Danicka comes in. Lukas’s mate gets a smile and nod.

“Hey, Danicka.”

[Ivan Press] If Ivan had intended to answer Maddox’s earlier question, it was derailed and derailed again. He’s probably forgotten by now; turns as Lucille brings in yet another visitor.

“I’m just running into you all over the city these days,” he says to Danicka. “Are you stalking me again?”

He invites himself to take a seat. Not quite next to anyone — but close enough to Sarita to make conversation. Which is what he does next: “So, you mentioned you wanted to talk.”

[Mad Maddox] He chuckles, shrugs a shoulder, but doesn’t offer an explanation as to why he was coming from upstairs. Or where his shoes are, if he even had any to begin with. For the record he must have them somewhere, his feet are too clean for him to have been wandering around the city with bare feet. Or he made use of one of the bathrooms.

“I think it’s far more likely that she’s stalking me,” answers Maddox, with a grin for Danicka. The wink he throws, however, is not for the lovely, prettily dressed Shadow Lord, but for Lucille. If she ignores it (and honestly, who would dignify that look with a reaction?), it doesn’t phase him. Before Ivan can get to comfortable, Maddox turns his attention to Sarita once again.

“D’you mind if I raid the kitchen a bit?”

[Danicka Musil] Pausing in the entryway, Danicka looks directly at Carter first, and for an eyeblink — a passing moment, a half-heartbeat — she just looks at him. It’s hard to tell; maybe she’s getting some idea of whether he’s about to go to bed or not, if he’s in a pissy mood or not. He huffs like that and she raises an eyebrow, but by then she’s already gotten what she needs to out of that glance. She looks to Ivan, Maddox, and Sarita, smiling at the last.

“Hi, Sarita.” She glances at Maddox; Lukas mentioned him to Sarita, he’s living at the Loft, but she hasn’t been introduced. “My name is Dani&+269;ka Musil,” she tells him, but that’s all. “Mr. Press,” she says flatly, a touch dryly, without looking at him, “I had a lovely glass of vodka at your penthouse once. Try not to ruin a memory of a decent evening with a Silver Fang by making it about your self-destructive flirtations.”

To Carter, then: “Mr. Roth, would you take a walk with me? Around the block if there are no terms from Luk├í┼í against it; around the pool if there are.”

[Carter Roth] Danicka had taken a moment to watch Carter, a brief moment, but a moment none the less and Carter had met her gaze. But unlike her, he took little away from it other then his own irritation. He listened to the garou make nice with the kinswoman, and why wouldn’t they? She was the mate of Wyrmbreaker, one of the most potent Garou in the Sept a princess with her prince.

The fact that she had asked for him had surprised him initially. When, having seen all the others in the room, it surprised him even more when the woman asked Carter to go for a walk with her. Suspicion flooded in at that moment but the Anti Kin did not immediately say no, instead he nodded slowly and pushed up from his seat and in one hefty gulp downed ever last drop of whiskey in his glass.

“I’ve gone for walks round the block and the spirits never got pissy before, lets get outta here. I need a smoke anyways.” He moves then, moves towards her without looking back. Infact he almost, almost seemed relieved to be getting out of that living room.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Guys, I’m sorry, Sarita finds a way to excuse herself for at least the next little bit. The scene’s gotten too big for and I’m still stuck working, I can’t keep track right now. Assume that Sarita says yes to Maddox raiding the fridge if he’s living here and is about to answer Ivan, but then gets a phone call and has to step away to take it. I’ll bring her back in when I can]]

[Danicka Musil] [Aww. Take it easy! Come back soon!]

Dude, Where’s My Van?

[Jocelyn Burkhart] As always, there’s no resistance when Gabriel urges her into anything. Her hand jams into her pocket, and she leans into the Philodox for a moment before offering her neck to Kora again.

[Imogen] he was all sad when his guts fell out – This earns a brief, sharp glance from Imogen, a shadow of reaction over her mouth. It is faint and fleeting. An acknowledgement of the absurdity of their world.

Her attention returns to her surroundings. She does not shift or fidget. The conversation merely flows around her, as if she were merely a facet of the scenery rather than a participant.

[Kora] “Stand up straight.” The Skald’s dark eyes cut to Gabriel as he intercepts Jocelyn’s half-chewed thumb, bats it away from her mouth. The corner of her mouth rises, minutely. The expression does not quite find its way to her eyes, though, which are steady and direct. She stands with her feet more than shoulder width apart, her shoulders pulled back to counterbalance the weight of her stomach. Glances back to Jocelyn a moment later.

“The rules are, Jocelyn, you don’t leave my territory or the Caern without my permission unless you are sent under leadership of another Garou to deal with a threat to the Caern.
“There aren’t cupcake exceptions. There aren’t sick visit exceptions. There isn’t even an exception for that fucking Rotagar stuck my kitty hat two feet beyond the boundaries and I want it back. Not without my sayso.

“If you want to visit Gabriel, or buy another idiotic hat and it takes you a half inch outside of those boundaries, you have to come find me first. You’ve earned yourself two more weeks of home confinement before I’ll even consider lifting the restrictions.” A brief pause, and here she flicks a look back to Gabriel. ” – but since you’re here you have my permission to stay until midnight, or until your host wants you gone.”

[Jocelyn Burkhart] Which she clearly expects to be now. Her posture straightens though, eyes still carefully avoiding Kora’s

“Yes Rhya.”

[Lukas] It’s a vaguely bizarre experience to catch an afternoon nap at the Loft and wake up to the sound of strangers downstairs. Some instinctive, primitive part of Wyrmbreaker is instantly alert, instantly bristling, the very second he becomes aware of them. The part of him that’s human, or at least raised amongst humans, keeps him from racing to meet the intruders with teeth bared and hackles raised. Snapping and snarling. Driving them out, out, out of his territory before pissing on the nearest tree to re-mark the boundaries.

He still comes downstairs to see what’s what, though. The Ahroun appears in degrees: bare feet first, then blue jeans. Comfortable and old, not at all the sharp designer gear he wears under tailored vests and button-down shirts sometimes. His t-shirt is logoless, dark brown. His hair is mussed. There’s a crease on his cheek where his face pressed to a seam on the couch.

He stares at them, the Fang and the Fenrir and the cub and the kin. Unsmiling and unblinking, a thoroughly feral regard.

[Gabriel Ferreira] [FYI: we’re outside on the sidewalk.]

[Lukas] [what the hell, liz told me you were in the loft! *kicks* okay, well, he’ll just go stare at them on the sidewalk.]

[Kora] (You said are they AT the loft. not IN the loft!)

[Lukas] [i’m still too lazy to change my post. *LOL*]

[Gabriel Ferreira] [We STARTED with Gabriel in the Loft and Joce at the door. YOU GUYS KNOW I CAN’T BE FUCKED CHANGING MY TAGS.]

[Lukas] [BACK IC. *punts everyone*]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The Strider hasn’t been seen around the Loft since Wednesday night when she, Kate and Adara fought off some nasties together. She had made sure that Adara was back to the Brotherhood, headed home with Kate and then that night, after waking up screaming an hour after she went to bed, she headed out on her own. She’s been quiet, over the pack link as well. No one at the Loft has seen hide nor hair of them.

Until now.

She’s walking down the street. No van. Who knows where the Bitchmobile is. She looks very, very tired. But she’s not drunk. She’s chain smoking, one of her other sets of clothes that she keeps inside the van on as opposed to the ones that got torn up fighting the things two nights ago. And her steps slow, brow furrowing when she sees a coalition of Garou around the front of the Loft.

“What in Loki’s asscrack is this?” she says, more to herself than anyone else, and she stops about a quarter of a block down to get a gauge on the situation before she comes closer.

[Kora] A brief flicker of the Fenrir’s dark eyes as Lukas appears in the hallway behind Gabriel and Jocelyn. It’s chilly, the threat of rain hanging in the air, a bank of orange clouds overhead. Kora’s left her coat behind in Imogen’s car, and stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the chill. Or the fact that she is standing here, eight months, eight and a half months pregnant, on the stoop of some Silver Fang’s swank residence, disciplining a Modi who was wearing a kitty had until a Silver Fang philodox swiped it off her head.

“I’ll leave that to you,” says Kora, flickering a glance back to Gabriel. “Her charming company for another few hours, or blessed silence in which to enjoy your cupcakes. And heal.”

[Gabriel Ferreira] Wednesday night is about the time that a Fostern Bone Gnawer and one or the other Cliath–Shadow Lord or Child of Gaia, Kate’s tribesman can’t damn well remember; it could have been any of them–carted Resurrection back to the Loft with his head half-caved in and his memory thoroughly obliterated even after healing. Though he himself hasn’t kept a room here, they had been looking for his brother, the Theurge with the bizarre countenance and affinity for the spirit world, with whom he has been staying the last two days.

‘Staying,’ in that he avoids leaving his brother’s room unless absolutely necessary. Were not for the fact that someone at some point alerted Honor’s Compass to the fact that she had company, they might not have even realized he was here. Resurrection doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of noise.

While he isn’t facing that direction, the press of Rage, the niggling of breeding, from the Adren Lord behind him tugs at his attention. Gabriel doesn’t turn; he’s looking at the Fostern of his student’s tribe as she addresses him.

There aren’t a lot of people out this time of night, and the handkerchief is blowing bloody breath back in his sinuses. Gabriel reaches up to yank it down away from his nose and mouth, revealing the hamburger mess that is the left side of his face, and rubs the back of his neck.

“It looks like we have a makeup lesson to tend to,” he says, without looking at the Cub.

[Jocelyn Burkhart] “Yes, Rhya.”

Because, really, it’s the absolute safest thing that can come out of her mouth, and she’ll limit it to that and shift to heal her tongue from being bitten nearly through later.

[Kora] “Midnight, Jocelyn.” Kora says, fixing the young modi with another look. Her voice brooks no disagreement. “No later.”

Then, at last, she lifts her chin in acknowledgment of Lukas’ presence behind Gabriel and Jocelyn. “Wyrmbreaker-rhya.” Her voice is low, clear and direct. The name is both greeting and leavetaking, so it seems. “Apologies if we interrupted you sleep. Goodnight.”

And with that, the Skald turns around to take her leave, cutting a look to Imogen as she does. “Thanks for the ride, Doc.” That’s even more quiet than her usual low tone. “Do you know if there’s a Dairy Queen around here?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She flicks her cigarette out into the street, pulling out another one on instinct but hesitating and putting it back. People are dispersing and she approaches, giving nods to Kora, who she knows, and Imogen, who she doesn’t as she makes her way to the door.

Gabriel and Jocelyn get passing nods as well. The Strider doesn’t look very talkative today. She only slightly double-takes at Gabriel’s new look.

[Imogen] Imogen glances briefly toward Lukas, appearing in the hallway beyond, somewhat sleep rumpled. The touch of her eyes serves as a greeting, before she offers a brief ‘Enjoy yer evening’ to both Fang and Cub, glancing at Kora as she turns with the Fenrir.

“I believe you’ve mistaken me fer someone else,” is the response to the question regarding Dairy Queen. In more words than necessary, then, she means: No, I have no idea.

[Jocelyn Burkhart] “Midnight, Rhya. Not a second later. Thank you.”

[Lukas] None of the three Garou gathered near the front of the Loft look at Lukas for more than a split-second. Two of them don’t look at him at all. It’s impossible to ignore his presence there though — dark, towering, rumbling with understated rage.

It always seems overcast and stormy over the Loft these days. Umbraside, falcon gafflings wing overhead, surfing thermals, cutting through the wind. Cockroaches with faintly metallic sheens — possibly to Kate’s great dismay — skitter along the cracks and the crevices. These days, on occasion, owls roost under the roof overhangs.

Kora addresses him eventually. That’s when he steps down from the stoop, crossing the distance out to the small gathering. His footsteps are quiet; leisurely. He returns Kora’s greeting with a nod.

“Aren’t you going to greet your elder?” This is to Gabriel and Jocelyn. His tone is low, uninflected. Hard to tell if it’s meant at all in jest. “What’s going on here?”

Whatever the answer is, he seems only mildly interested. He speaks to Kora instead, “You see the land developments near the Caern?”

[Jocelyn Burkhart] She’s going to keep her goddamned mouth shut as much as possible is what she’s going to do. The tilt of her head changes just a bit, so that her neck is offered to Lukas instead of Kora now. Just in case.

“Good evening Rhya”

[Gabriel Ferreira] Aren’t you going to greet your elder?

When Resurrection turns around to face Cold Victory, no one would blame the Adren for not recognizing him. Those are his shoes, and he’s dressed like he typically does, in well-tailored monochromes, but–yeah I’m done describing the fact that he’s fucked up if it isn’t abundantly clear by now it won’t be with another repetition. He doesn’t look familiar, unless one only focuses on the right side of his face.

“-rhya,” he echoes Jocelyn.

What’s going on here?

Lukas is only mildly interested, and ends up addressing Kora before the Silver Fang can summon the inner fortitude necessary to make his face move to answer. No matter. He turns to Jocelyn, and says, “C’mon, walk me to the Caern. I’ll carry the damn cupcakes.”

He says ‘damn’ with some fondness.

“I’m keeping the hat, though.”

[Jocelyn Burkhart] There are so many things that would usually cause a protest in that. She’s walking a tightrope right now though, so instead she sucks it up.

That’s two kitty hats down, two to go now.

“They’re red velvet.” This as she takes his arm, nodding to Lukas without looking at him, so that she doesn’t irritate anyone else any further.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] After a moment, her nerve gives out for whatever reason and instead of hitting the door, she just continues on down the street.

[Gabriel Ferreira] “Really?”

And they’re off, Gabriel walking more or less of his own volition. Letting the Fenrir teenager hold his arm seems to be more for her benefit than for his, but he doesn’t have as much pride to swallow as her tribe does.

“Have you been talking to Hanna? You’re the best student ever, don’t let anyone ever tell you different.”

[I’m being kicked out of the cafe, I’ll see you assholes when I get to work tomorrow! Thanks for the scene, all!]

[Kora] When Sarita comes around the corner, heading toward the loft, the Skald lifts her chin by way of acknowledgment. The gesture is accompanied by a brief touch of her dark eyes on the Silent Strider’s face. Kora steps out of the way, clearing the path for Sarita to head toward the pair on the stoop.

“I mean – ” to Imogen. “if there was a Dairy Queen close by, you might’ve been there. Probably would’ve been a half-dozen murders there over the years. Ice cream headaches. Fucked up orders. Robberies gone wrong. Blood in the soft serve machine, yeah? Marshmallow creme in the butterfinger Blizzards.”

Here, Kora flickers a look back to the contrite Jocelyn. She is about to say something when Lukas steps around the pair, past them, down the stoop. So the heavily pregnant Skald’s attention swings, lifting upward to match Lukas’ walk toward her. She turns, pivots, hands finding their way back to the front pockets of her low slung jeans. The gray cotton maternity tee pulls over the swell of her stomach, and is long enough to reach her hips. Her elbows are narrow against her body, framing her stomach.

He asks about the land developments. Kora shakes her head, “No. What land developments?”

When she goes to the Caern these days, she walks through the umbra. She cannot fit through the chain link fence. And somehow it seems a helluva lot more suspicious with a pregnant woman ducking into abandoned docks than a teenager in worn cloths and combat boots.

[Lukas] The Shadow Lord’s presence follows her, brushing her mind-to-mind, pacing her a while before offering a quietly curious: Where’re you going?
to cricket, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Imogen] “They all blend together after a while,” she answers Kora – and had been, perhaps, about to say more when Lukas addresses the Fenrir Jarl. Kora turns to speak, and Imogen’s gaze moves once more around their surroundings.

An unknown Garou starts toward the door of the loft, but then, for whatever reason, changes her mind, turning and heading back down the street. Imogen watches absently, a hand lifting to push hair back from her face.

This time, her attention is not quite so deliberately averted. Though she keeps her awareness to their surroundings, there is no impression of her ignoring the conversation between Shadow Lord and Fenrir.

[Carter Roth] The Loft, to many garou it was a place of safe harbour. A place that was worth your time to come in, have a seat, have a chat with the those who lived there, if of course you were invited. Carter for his part, had recently if perhaps not entirely of his own volition, become a resident there. And as was so often the case in such places, smoking was strictly forbidden within the loft itself. Or at least Carter like to imagine this was the case so he could take a bit to step outside and stroll the neighbourhood, never wandering to far.

It seemed that it was time for a smoke break, as the door to the loft suddenly swung open and Carter stood framed in the doorway, combat boots, combat pants, his old leather jacket and a cigarette hanging from his mouth, the lighter just lit so that he could light up.

The presence of the garou just beyond the confines of the loft gave Carter pause, a momentary lapse in his step. But he recovers quickly, and perhaps to the surprise of those gathered there. He steps out and closes the door behind him, lighting the smoke as it clicked close. He grins crookedly at the gathered individuals and let a puff of smoke clear through his nose before speaking.

“Huh, its a convention.”

[Lukas] “Go have a look for yourself next time you’re there,” Lukas says. He’s — distant for a moment, his pale eyes drifting past the women to his packmate. Then back. “In short, there’s some land development company breaking ground to put in a ‘waste repurposing site’. Last month one of the kin – Starla – stole a USB drive that turned out to contain some pretty sensitive information. Apparently the mob’s behind new toxic waste dumpsites along the river and the shore. Seems like this might be one of those sites.

“I’ve no doubt the Garou of the Sept are going to want to go in there and break some heads, but I’m not entirely sure that’ll help. I’m going to keep a lid on that, at least barring any emergency we have to respond to immediately. It’s best if we let our people pull strings and play this in the mortal arena for now.

“That angry kin of yours. Izzy Montoya. I had an interesting discussion with her the other day. She’s hardly anyone’s sweetheart, but she seemed hardy and willing to help. It might be useful to put some police pressure on the Scarpescis. Keep them distracted while others look into throwing a wrench into their plans. Could you ask her to look into it, and get in touch with Dani&+269;ka or Matthieu to keep the kin on the same page?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s closed off. She had been told once, before she had joined the pack, that she had a tendency to keep herself at a distance, about her sister for example. Over the last month since she’s been packed, that tendency has slowly evaporated. In the last thirty-six hours though, between her taking off in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday/Thursday and her guardedness now, it’s back and strong.

I’m just taking a walk. Thought I’d stop by and chill for a bit, but the place seems crowded and I still need some air, I think.
to cricket, Lukas

[Imogen] Imogen glances up briefly toward Lukas, though she’s not been addressed. Her eyebrow arches slightly at the description of Izzy. “Yeh make her sound a bit like a goat,” she says, offhanded, more observation than anything else.

“S’likely better t’get any interested kinfolk t’gether to talk about their plans and get them on th’same page rather than askin’ our liaisons t’play operator in a game o’ chinese whispers. Ha’ a concentrated plan tha’ the liaisons can then pass on t’the Garou.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She disappears around the corner, throwing a quick glance back at the people assembled just before she does.

[Lukas] There’s a sense of thoughtfulness, quiet. Then:

Everything all right?
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Lukas] There’s a sense of thoughtfulness, quiet. Then:

Everything all right?
to cricket, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Kora] “You mean the Black Hole Sun people, yeah?” There’s a spark of recognition, then, in the dark-eyed Fenrir woman’s gaze. The light sheens across the surface of her eyes as she cuts a to Imogen, then back to Lukas. “Roman’s been in and out already, monkeywrenching. He took out most of their heavy equipment, made it all look like pretty juvenile vandalism. Still, it’ll delay the work by a few days. Maybe a week or more. Hell,” Kora shrugs, narrowly. ” – maybe longer. Depends on how deep their pockets are.”

The Skald cuts a sideglance at Imogen as the kinswoman speaks, then lifts her chin as she sweeps a look back to Lukas. “I’ll see what Izzy can spark in the Police Department. She’ll need whatever information you have on the Scarpesis. Though she’s in homicide, not organized crime. Won’t have as much control on where things go from the outside, I imagine,” here she looks back to Imogen to confirm or refute her assumptions. Kora’s entire knowledge of the criminal process comes from reruns of Law and Order on Icelandic television.

In Icelandic, natch.

[Kora] In Icelandic***, natch.

*Which she doesn’t actually speak.
**Badly dubbed, no less. Icelandic Iron Chef was her favorite. Translated from Japanese to English and English to some godforsaken –

[Carter Roth] Carter had gone unnoticed so far, but then…he was simply standing at the door, and his words had largely been for himself. He took several steps forward then, feeling the rage pushing against his skin, and for once….it didn’t bother him quite so much.

But that of course doesn’t undo years of problems, and as Carter addressed the gathered individuals it was made clear that that was the case. “Sounds like your planning a full blow puppeteer campaign.” He said in that gruff, rumbling voice of his as he stepped up to the group.

“Sounds like fun.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A mental shrug. There’s a sense of weariness, some paranoia creeping in to boot. But even that is slight.

Just not sleeping well since the other night. Run-in with a…thing on guard duty. Kate knows, she was there.
to cricket, Lukas

[Lukas] “I’ll put a copy on GW.net’s secured FTP, courtesy of my packmate. We’ll get her a temporary passcode so she can download it. Tell her to watch her back, though. Starla apparently got threatened.”

His kin — by far his most troublesome kin — is coming up the path. The hesitation at seeing Garou is less than one might expect. Lukas notes this; he notes Carter as well, and nods him over.

“Carter, why don’t you listen in. Maybe you can offer some insight.” That’s unusual. For the past couple weeks, Lukas has been keeping Carter away from other Garou and kin whenever possible.

Imogen addresses him directly. If this surprises the Shadow Lord — the Adren, the Ahroun that even other wolves don’t look directly at for long — it’s only in the quickness with which his glacial eyes flick to the kinswoman.

“I work with what I have,” he says. He’s a different breed of Ahroun: there’s a measuredness to his words, a steadiness in his manner. “I’d love if the kin could get themselves organized enough to turn out a single coherent plan, but the last progress I heard of the coalition was at that meeting the other night. As far as I know, there’s no leadership and not much of a coalition to speak of, and I can’t wait for them to get themselves sorted out before putting people on this issue.

“The Grand Elder spoke well of you that night though,” he adds. “There was some expectation that you’d spearhead the coalition after that. To tell you the truth, I’m surprised that you haven’t yet. Did no one tell you?”

[Lukas] [gah! i didn’t see carter’s post. delete the part that addresses him, i’ll rewrite.]

[Lukas] “I’ll put a copy on GW.net’s secured FTP, courtesy of my packmate. We’ll get her a temporary passcode so she can download it. Tell her to watch her back, though. Starla apparently got threatened.”

Imogen addresses him directly. If this surprises the Shadow Lord — the Adren, the Ahroun that even other wolves don’t look directly at for long — it’s only in the quickness with which his glacial eyes flick to the kinswoman.

“I work with what I have,” he says. He’s a different breed of Ahroun: there’s a measuredness to his words, a steadiness in his manner. “I’d love if the kin could get themselves organized enough to turn out a single coherent plan, but the last progress I heard of the coalition was at that meeting the other night. As far as I know, there’s no leadership and not much of a coalition to speak of, and I can’t wait for them to get themselves sorted out before putting people on this issue.

“The Grand Elder spoke well of you that night though,” he adds. “There was some expectation that you’d spearhead the coalition after that. To tell you the truth, I’m surprised that you haven’t yet. Did no one tell you?”

His kin — by far his most troublesome kin — is coming up the path. The hesitation at seeing Garou is less than one might expect. Lukas notes this; he notes Carter as well. He’s lived at the Loft a while now. Seen enough of the pack, and of Lukas, to know that sometimes the Shadow Lord is amicable. Friendly, playful with his pack, almost gentle.

Not when he wakes up to strangers congregating on the lawn, apparently. Not when he wakes to heavy machinery banging on the proverbial walls of the Caern. There isn’t much patience in him tonight as he regards Roth.

“Carter, if you’d like to contribute to solving the problem we’ve got on hand, I’d gladly welcome whatever input you have. But if you’re just going to snark, go bother Lucille.”

[Lukas] Another few seconds of thought. Then, Well. If you need us to stay close, we will. If you want to hang out with us, we’re here. But if you need space, I get that too. I won’t push, all right?

Just … we are here for you. I know you’re still not really used to that, and maybe can’t even trust it 100% yet, but we are.
to cricket, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Imogen] Kora glances in her direction and the doctor nods. “She won’t be able t’investigate them fully, but there are undoubtedly several ways we can mire ’em in paperwork. Slow them down, inspect their property, invalidate their permits.”

When Lukas speaks of his surprise, Imogen’s mouth twists into a narrow smirk. “That is likely not the first nor the last time I will ha’ disappointed a Full-blood’s expectations.”

The irony of that – speaking of disappointment that Garou may have in her, in the same moments he speaks of the Grand Elder of the Sept speaking well of her.

“But my comment wasn’t idle advice. Half-bloods ha’ gotten together t’come up wi’ a coherent plan before, wi’out the word ‘coalition’ applied. I imagine we can do it again. I’ll need as much detail as possible, and some assistance in gettin’ the word out, but it’s better than everyone runnin’ off individually.”

[Imogen] The kinswoman glances briefly at Carter when he speaks, when Lukas addresses him, but she does not speak to him yet.

[Kora] Kora shifts, pulls her shoulders back, stretching her back to relieve some of the burden the weight of late pregnancy puts on her spine. Her hands slip from her front pockets, long fingers splay over her hips as she stretches. This is her only concession to the discomfort. After, she crosses her arms beneath her breasts, over the swell of her stomach, watching and listening to Lukas, a subtle frown tugging the corners of her mouth downward.

A flicker of a look toward Imogen when she speaks, is followed by a supple twist of her mouth. “I’m not sure you need all the kinfolk involved, either. Just those who have something to contribute. There’s that proverb about cooks and soup, and chains and weak links.”

[Carter Roth] Carter laughs at Wyrmbreakers words, and to some, it might sound sour and unkind, but then that just might be Carters way. He looks at Wyrmbreaker directly, something he has never been afraid to do, looking the man in the eyes before he speaks once more.

“What snark? I was being honest…it sounds like fun.” He lets a crooked, some might say rakish grin cross his features as he regarded the others. “And a Puppet Campaign has never been a laughing matter. They’re deadly, effective, and only dangerous to those who are doing the immediate string pulling.” Of course…this meant the kin, but amazingly Carter says nothing in regards to that.

“It targets resources, infrastructure, and specialized personnel offensively, while using politics and figureheads to erode the support of the enemy.” He looks up at Lukas like he should know these things.

“I prefer to slash and burn…but thats just me, and I don’t think explosives are readily available in Chicago.” He looks directly at Kora then and shrugs. “Every person has something to contribute, even if its just a body. That being said, it all depends on what exactly you want to do.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] There is a moment of wavering indecision.

I’ll be fine. And I know…thanks. I just gotta sort some shit out.

A pause. …and find my van. I don’t remember where I parked it.
to cricket, Lukas

[Lukas] “Not everyone needs to contribute in the doing,” Lukas replies, “but I want everyone in the know. Otherwise you get redundant or counterproductive efforts.

“Keep the Liaisons in the loop, whatever it is you end up doing.” This is to Imogen. “They’ll do the rest and spread the word amongst everyone else, and I’ll check in with them occasionally. As for the information, Dani&+269;ka has the files if you don’t want to download them off FTP. Simon was spearheading the investigation last month, too, but it may have stalled a bit since.”

It takes some amount of trust for Lukas to even consider letting Carter — he who was not so long ago banned altogether from Kora’s territory, amongst other things — join the little discussion. He watches Carter cautiously when the kinsman starts to speak. When it doesn’t turn out to be another rant against the tyrants, Lukas’s shoulders relax a notch. He seems faintly surprised.

“I think most the Garou would agree with slash and burn, but the problem with that is then they come back in greater numbers. And with guns. Or worse, lawsuits. We’ll fight this one on human turf as much as we can. Which reminds me, Sorrow — Roman’s little sabotaging mission might have been a success, but it’s a temporary measure at best, and will likely just make them increase their security. Tell him to hold off on that until we really need him to cut some wires.”

[Lukas] A moment of something like worry, and then Lukas puts it aside. Sarita’s a grown-ass wolf.

Try the junkyard, he suggests helpfully.
to cricket, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A faint mental smile, maybe a hint of amusement. Slightly forced…but only slightly. That’s something, at least.

Don’t worry, boss-man. I was parked. Only way it’s junked is if I parked in a no parking zone, which I don’t think I did.
to cricket, Lukas

[Kora] “If they aren’t involved in the doing, –rhya,” the Skald returns, a subtle twist to her mouth. “They won’t be creating redundant or counterproductive efforts. Respectfully, this sort of thing should be restricted to those who will or can contribute. Keeping everyone in the loop just erodes the loop. You want a comprehensive plan and a group willing and able to implement it, not a flash mob of half-informed, questionably skilled people with a step by step knowledge of our plan to deal with the enemy.

“One foolish slip of the tongue, one wrong turn, one well-meaning but poorly trained ally,” a supple, half-made shrug. “One kidnapping, and all bets are off. They have not just everyone, but everything, and therefore the means to counter it. You need an open call to those who have the time, energy, and skills to contribute. If they need bodies, they can reach out and pull others in.”

To the last, Kora offers a narrow shrug. “I’ll talk to Roman.”

[Lukas] [sorry bout the silence – waiting on imogen!]

[Imogen] She is quiet briefly, her gaze moving aside, touching the street. She is a delicate woman, slight in height, but strong, supple, the power of her body clear in the flat plane of her stomach, the set of her shoulders, the arch of her back. She does not, nor will she ever, look quite like a warrior, though some of her grace is born from the same root of strength. She is economical. No extra moment of energy is wasted. No movement is unnecessary.

When she looks away, it is a moment to think. Kora speaks, and Imogen hears her, though she does not look.

“I suspect,” she says, “tha’ the group o’ us could talk technique until the sun came up, and th’only benefit we will get from it is th’lack o’ sleep.”

A turn toward Lukas, “I would appreciate th’same password and details yeh intend fer Detective Montoya t’make their way to me as well. I will get th’word out tha’ I am lookin’ fer kinfolk o’ a specific skillset or tha’ are already workin’ in this manner. If yeh ha’ passed directions on t’others, I’d appreciate their names so I can make sure they are included.

“I will make sure the liaisons are invited, as i am familiar wi’ their intended role in the Sept. My view in this case would be tha’ they would pass on th’details o’ the plans to you, and those o’ the Sept who must know, and tha’ if they discover a kinfolk or Garou makin’ efforts toward the same goal – namely the slowing or the haltin’ o’ the work near the caern – they will direct them t’me, so I can keep track o’ who is doin’ what, why and how.

“The goal will be t’coordinate and share ideas and provide a forum fer communication. Make sure everyone knows what everyone else is doin’ so they can work together or keep things separately as necessary. I expect t’be able to do tha’ with a minimum o’ lecturing and interference.”

A pause.

“Is that agreeable?”

[Carter Roth] “Wrong type of Slash and Burn.” Carter says as he folds his arms infront of himself. “Burn refers to the acquisition or termination of enemy resources. Slash refers to the speed at which you do so. Which is fast. Puppet Campaigns take years to set up and execute.” He explains it casually like its something common for others to know.

“The methodology differ’s massively, explosives are fun, but bribery, blackmail and hostage taking aren’t bad ideas either.” He pauses and looks about one more time as he inhales on the cigarette. “My professional opinion? Target the these peoples families, it doesn’t have to get messy…but a few key hostages can pave the way for all kinds of fast, clean solutions. You just have to do it right.” He offers in counter point to Kora’s words as he tossed the cigarette asside.

“Eitherway…your going to do what your going to do….I’ll just be headed back to my cell, I mean my room.” He says with another grin as he turned to walk away headed back to the Loft.

[Lukas] […er.]

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon arrives at the Loft quietly enough. He stands just outside the door, and he knocks three times before waiting to be let in. Things were heating up a little at the moment and Simon’s eyes flared with anger to reveal what the Full Moon was thinking. He had come out here intent on speaking to Lukas in person and so there he was standing just outside waiting… Being patient. However the patience of the Full Moon was wearing thin. The sheep have come knocking at the wolves door… And still they must continue to wear their pretty woolen coats. Somewhere the line must be drawn and this was where the discussion needed to go. He was here to speak to the war leader of the sept because so far as he sees it the Mob has declared war on their sept. These are not your typical men… They play in the Shadows.

In the tribal homeland they were known by names names and in many regions. The Russian mob had crossed them, the KGB had crossed them, all manner of local criminals and rogue military forces had crossed them. These were people who knew… Perhaps not what they were dealing with… But they knew that there were certain people you simply did not cross. The kinds of people who made people disappear. The kinds of people who made the most battle hardened soldier tremble in fear screaming when forced to confront the memory of what it was forced to witness. In their homeland they were known by many names to many people but among themselves they were known simply as Shadow Lords.

The mob has not known them. Perhaps they have not crossed them? Perhaps they simply do not know… Whatever the case a lesson must be taught. There are those people in this world who no one crosses and Bone-Grinder stood ready to remind them, or at least teach them in the first place.

[Lukas] [BTW, we’re out on the porch!]

Before Carter takes off — “Hold on a second, Carter.”

He listens to Kora and Imogen, then. Something about what Kora says sends a frisson of rage through Lukas. He controls it. He always does. Almost. Imogen is attended to as well. Heard, even after Kora — her warder — has spoken. Afterward, there’s a beat of thought.

“You and yours aren’t the only ones who’ll want to do something to defend their homes, Kora,” he says, then. “Imogen – if you manage to get some kin together to work on this, then I’ll make sure the liaisons and whoever else is interested show up at your planning session. I’m more than willing to do that.

“But the bottom line is others will jump to help, Kora. And they won’t all fall neatly in line. Imogen didn’t make it to the sept kin meeting the other night. Who’s to say Simon might not make it out to whatever meeting Imogen plans? That’s not even taking into account differences in personality and approach. If no one knows what everyone else is doing, we’ll have a dozen different approaches and nothing will get accomplished.

“I understand your concerns about security. Unfortunately, they don’t outweigh this Sept’s need for unity against a threat. I’ll take your thoughts into account when deciding how to distribute information, but at the end of the day, I want your kin keeping the Liaisons informed. I’d ask nothing else of anyone else working on the problem.”

— and there’s Simon. Lukas nods him over as well.

“You see the mess outside the Caern?”

[Carter Roth] Carter holds up, and looks back over his shoulder at Lukas with a momentary sense of annoyance as he waits.

[Simon Zahradnik] He takes in a breath and nods his head.”I had hoped we’d be able to stop this before it became a problem, but they’re going to push ahead. So far we’ve found no evidence this is anything more than coincidence… Whatever the case they’re going after the Brotherhood now and soon enough it’ll be the Caern. I can’t allow that to happen.”He says back to Lukas.

“These people aren’t your usual sort. If they can’t get their way one way or another they’ll use something else. Whether that means hiring thugs to beat up our kin… Burning down our territory… Or anything else. They will neither bend or break and will not hesitate to break the law to get their way. Even if they’re using the law at the moment.”He says softly.

“I don’t give a flying fuck what they wanna do… But people need to know not to fuck with the docks in this city. Someone needs to teach them a lesson.”

[Lukas] Moments ago, there was a mental laugh — somewhat distracted.

Then, a burst of uncharacteristic irritation: If the fucking Fenrir don’t want to be a part of this Sept, why don’t they just make their own damn viking longhouse Sept?
to cricket, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Kora] “You misunderstood me. I never said that anyone should be excluded. I said that the planning sessions should be self-selecting. Those people who want to do something and have the skills and contacts to be involved should come. But the rest of the Sept, the kin who look out the window at the site and have no idea how to help shouldn’t attend. Clearly, the liaisons should attend the planning meetings as well. I’m sure I have no intention of excluding them, and I’m not sure where you got that idea.”

[Kora] (also with mei, I need to sleep a half-hour ago!)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] There’s a pause, and the randomness of that rant is enough to bring the Strider out of her shiny new shell for a moment.

Wait, what? I’ve heard of Fenrir separatists before, but that’s a new twist on it…

It’s said as a joke, clearly. The No-Moon’s instincts are kicking in, and she has a need to lift her Alpha’s mood. What are the GrrSnarlSmashers griping about now?
to cricket

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] There’s a pause, and the randomness of that rant is enough to bring the Strider out of her shiny new shell for a moment.

Wait, what? I’ve heard of Fenrir separatists before, but that’s a new twist on it…

It’s said as a joke, clearly. The No-Moon’s instincts are kicking in, and she has a need to lift her Alpha’s mood. What are the GrrSnarlSmashers griping about now?
to cricket, Lukas

[Lukas] “If I misunderstood you, Kora, then that’s my mistake.” A pause; then, “Your tribe’s never been the open sort. I can empathize; the same could be said for mine. And to be sure, there’s a hell lot of resentment and distrust between our people. If I wrongly mistook something you said as some sign of insularity or possessiveness, then accept my apology.

“The bottom line is this. I want anyone who wants to help, who can help, to get in on the action. They’re talking about possibly putting a toxic waste dump next to the Caern. The Caern. I want everyone we have working on this.

“Which includes you, Carter. You’ve been on house arrest for … what, two weeks now? Semi-miraculously, you haven’t blown the place up yet, and you sound like you have ideas, whether or not you have the means. If you want to pitch in, then I’ll clear you to go to this meeting Imogen’s planning.”

[Carter Roth] Carter smirks at the words Lukas offers him and he nods in agreement. “I’ll see if it fits into my oh so busy schedule…but I might be able to make it.

He looks to Imogen and gives her a nod before turns to walk back to the loft, done with socializing for the evening it seems.

[Sorry guys, outta juice I’m out! thanks for letting me play.]

[Lukas] Ugh, just —

— growling. Then, calmer:

I just told Kora about the issue with the Caern and the dumpsite they’re trying to put next to it. Wanted her to bring her kin on board, especially the grumpy cop. First thing she does is think of ways to shut people out, keep information locked down, when we should be worrying about how to make sure everyone knows and gets to work. She’s backing off now and saying that’s not what she meant, but forgive me if it’s hard not to consider her a bit of a recluse given how rarely I even see her.
to cricket, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Lukas] [night man! thanks for coming in!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] You know…if someone told me three months ago that a Shadow Lord would be arguing inclusiveness, I’d have laughed my ass off. Stop fucking with my perception of the world, dude. That’s MY job. Do you see me going around, leading the charge into battle and being all grumpy and shit? She pauses, before adding, …wait, don’t answer that.

The old Sarita is back, at least for the moment. Some people are gonna be bitches, boss. Ain’t nothing you can do against that. Best way to change her mind is to get her to get her people in, even if she’s all bitchy about it, and show her that it works. You can argue ideals. You can never argue results.
to cricket, Lukas, mantis

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon’s attention turns on Carter as the man walks away.”There are plenty of kin who actually have a use to people. A kin without loyalty and a respect for authority is as dangerous to us as any enemy. I can’t recommend putting Carter on much of anything Rhya. It is, of course, your choice but I have no faith in a man who is incapable of accepting and respecting authority. Especially in the middle of a war.”

[Kora] (gah, Sorry. I was kinda waiting for mei, I think, and she was waiting for me.)

[Imogen] (sorry you guys, I’m like. Dead over here. This was completely my bad.)

[Simon Zahradnik] [This makes me a very sad panda ­čśŽ ]

[Kora] Kora’s dark eyes flicker once toward Simon as he opines on the enemy’s mob connections. The look is spare, passing, reserved. When she looks back to Lukas, her expression is mostly unchanged: still. The faintly curving mouth, the clear dark eyes, the sharp lines of the bones of her face underneath her pale, northern skin.

“I think we were saying nearly the same thing. In different ways. If you’ll excuse me, now – ” here she stretches, stiffly. It’s cold outside, and her coat is still in Imogen’s car. Kora holds her shoulders firm against the chill so as not to shiver, but the tension in her frame leaves her muscles pulled tight, and aching after standing so long outside. “Good night.”

There’s no grace left in her when she turns; it’s hard to see the wolf in the way she walks. Everything thing about her body is thrown off by the weight of her late pregnancy. Still, she glows with it; her hair is longer, gleaming, her skin pale and clear. She has gained weight, a new fullness even to her cheeks and jaw. Halfway back to the car, she stretches again, plants her hands in the small of her back and arches her spine, not luxuriously, but thoroughly so that she draws in a sharp breath near the end.

“If there was a dairy queen,” she says, as they walk back to Imogen’s car. A bit mournfully. ” – I bet they’re closed by now.”

[Lukas] You’re right. And believe me, I know it. One of the first things I learned was to keep my eye on the ball. Ignore the minor B.S. for the bigger problems. And believe me, I’m not snarling in her face, as much as I want to. Just — letting off steam in here so I can deal with her fairly ‘out there’, even if she’s not quite giving me the same benefit of doubt.

Not yet, hopefully.
to cricket, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Lukas] [thanks for the RP, sleeping ones!]

[Imogen] The kinswoman is still now – after Lukas’s comment, she had no reply. There is none necessary. She is quiet as Kora and Lukas speak, Simon as well, her attention briefly resting on Carter’s departing back.

Kora turns to go, and Imogen does as well, offering a brief, “Goodnight,” to no one in particular. She does not stop as Kora does, apparently not all that solicitous of her late pregnancy and in fact, quite the opposite. She glances up from finding her keys in her handbag, an eyebrow arching slightly.

“I imagine so,” she says, as if it were not strange that a Fenrir Skald was lamenting the lost chance at a blizzard.

The Aston Martin doors open, and both women step inside, entirely different in the way they move and get into the low-sitting vehicle. The engine roars to life, and a moment later, pulls away from the curb headed – elsewhere.

[Imogen] (thanks for the RP!)

[Simon Zahradnik] He watches Kora turn to leave. He didn’t know the full extent of their discussion so he didn’t bother to interject into whatever it was they had been addressing. Simon had come here for a reason and that is what he would see through. THough he does take the time to watch both women depart before returning his attention to Lukas.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She turns around the corner she came from not so long ago, making her way back toward the loft. She’s got a cigarette between her lips, and she looks a bit less twitchy than she did before. She glances at Kora and Imogen’s car as they leave, then over to Lukas and Simon.

“Man, I love my van, but that is a NICE car.”

[Lukas] The Fenrir contingent departs. Lukas turns to Simon then.

“I agree,” he says. “But I’d like to think Carter’s coming around, and this is his trial by fire. Whether or not he admits it, he came here of his own accord that night. He could have made me drag him kicking and screaming. He didn’t. He allowed himself to be put in solitude to reflect. I think his hostility comes from a sort of fear so intense it mutates into hate. These days, he fears us less. He’s still bitchy, but bitching isn’t quite the same thing as rebellion and disrespect. Maybe I can even get him to respect us a little more.

“To do that, though, I have to show him some amount of trust. And this is a good opportunity. He came up with his own plan. He’ll be there under Dani&+269;ka’s eye, and under Matthieu’s. And Imogen’s, for that matter. Whatever else that woman is, I doubt she tolerates bullshit.

“If he can prove himself a contributing member of the Nation, then that’s better for all of us than a liability we need to keep locked up. And if he can’t, and he proves that all this time alone hasn’t changed the intrinsic way he thinks and behaves, then — maybe it’s time to give up on him.”

A pause.

“Anyway. I heard what you said about the Caern issue earlier. And I know you want to break some heads. But now’s not the time. If you kill one man, someone else will take his place next week. And the human authorities will protect them against the murderers and criminals we’ll become. But if we get their whole operation rooted out, exposed before human courts and shut down by human law, it’ll not just solve this problem — it’ll take away one of the Wyrm’s tools in this region. Permanently.”

[Lukas] A low laugh, then. Lukas is still barefoot, looking like maybe he got up from a nap not too long ago. “The Aston Martin? Yeah. I wouldn’t have expected Imogen Slaughter to drive a James Bond car, but there you have it.

“You find your van?” He starts heading for the warmth of the Loft, nodding his pack- and tribemate after him.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Naah, didn’t make it far enough. I have NO fucking idea where I parked the damn thing.”

She looks after the car as she follows Lukas. “That’s Imogen, eh? Hmm. Thought she’d be taller somehow.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He turns his attention on Sarita.”I ran into your sister the other night. I just wanna extend a little warning. I understand that she’s your tribe and your flesh and blood and all… But she challenged me directly. I’m not telling you how to deal with your own kin, and family or anything. However I would advise making sure it never happens again. I don’t wanna have to be the one to do that for you. I’m not trying to make a threat or anything… I am just saying that it’s best someone who she knows and cares for deals with it. Rather than someone she doesn’t.”He says back to Sarita calmly.

Too many concessions are being made for these kin. Too many garou bending backwards to appease kinfolk and somehow make this war more comfortable for them. Someone had to be the voice of reason. Someone had to stand ready to keep the kin in line. If he had to be the bad guy that is what he would be. Dissent must be addressed at it’s source, after all, and it seemed easier if Simon left Sarita to handle her own kin.

He then turns his attention back to Lukas. Green eyes focused and a nod of his head given.”We stand ready to give our lives for our kinfolk… Most of us would not hesitate to do so. I honestly do not feel a Kin should have to be given the chance to prove whether they have the same loyalty to as as we do to them.”He says with a shrug of his shoulders.”You are kind to give him a chance rhya and I strongly hope that he proves my doubts about him wrong.”He adds.

“You are correct Rhya someone will take his place… Someone who will understand what happens when you play on our turf.”He says.”If we have the local authorities deal with this matter it will address the Scarpesci family… But the power vaccum will be filled in a matter of days. If not from one of the local mob families then from the Russian Mob or one of the other groups. However if a few of the leaders of the most prominent crime family in the city wash up in the lake Rhya. The other families… And the other groups will understand the message. That we do not care how rich or powerful you are. There are some who simply should not be crossed by anyone. If you’re worried about the local authorities I wouldn’t be… They’re as crooked as the criminals who are paying their paychecks. The Scarpescis wash up in the lake someone else will just buy up their “contracts”.”He says back to Lukas.

“A message is something that will ripple from the top all the way to the bottom. No one is gonna cry for a couple crooks who built their lives off exploiting others. If anything those cops who aren’t crooked will thank us for handling the assholes who they couldn’t touch for lack of evidence. We do this the legal way… Someone under them will just step forward and plead guilty to everything.”He says softly.”I am not attempting to challenge your decision Rhya but I would like you to know where I stand on the matter before a final decision is made. I’ve spent my entire life dealing with shit heads like this. Jail is a joke to them… But they all understand strength Rhya. All animals understand force.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a sigh, rolls her eyes a bit. “Simon. Buddy. Bubbie. I’m sure she did so. She’s workin’ on being better about that kind of thing. Even if she did act up, she handled herself pretty well at the meeting, I thought, with everyone piling shit on her. One of two times she snapped out of line, it was to argue the point that everyone thinks she wouldn’t, that kin are not equals to us in the Nation and thus cutting in line was fine.”

“That being said,” she adds, brow raising. “I ain’t makin’ excuses for her. An’ I can talk to her. But you need to deal with her mate, Stefan. She’s your tribe now, Simon, and she’s under his protection.”

[Lukas] “Seven feet tall,” Lukas quips, “lightning bolts out of her eyes and fireballs out of her arse? I’m afraid you’ve been disappointed. We’ll go cruising for your van later, though.”

He listens to Simon then. And he does listen. The argument’s compelling, for what it’s worth, and it appeals to the violent, animal core in Lukas. Still, in the end, he shakes his head.

“Believe me, Simon, if and when we need to send a message, it’ll be you I think of first. But we don’t know how far up this goes, or who really pulls the strings, or how many crooked cops and politicians they carry in their pockets. You’re right. It’s possible they’ll respond to a show of strength by backing down. But it’s also possible they’ll respond by turning more against us than we can handle. By driving us into the lake with warrants, eviction orders, legal action and police raids without bothering to show their faces. You might be able to crush one human, but more will come. You can’t kill every cop they send against you. Sooner or later you turn into a public enemy and the whole city will turn on you — even the innocents.

“We can’t face an entire city’s resources pooled against us; we just don’t have that sort of influence. So in the end it’s not about putting one guy in the grave, or in jail. It’s not about putting one family out of business. As far as power in this city goes, there’s the Wyrm. There’s us. But the vast majority of the power lies in the hands of the sheep, and the Wyrm already has some strings in hand. Now we either get in the game with them, or we get overrun eventually. This is about turning human power against itself so it doesn’t turn against us en masse.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He nods his head slowly.”Then I will defer to your judgement Rhya.”He does not like it. He was a warrior and these people had declared war on the sept. Still he was not about to go out of his way to challenge his elder directly even if he felt strongly on the matter. To be honest the Full Moon often felt himself surrounded by a softness… It wasn’t a bad thing, in fact it was a good thing, but it was something that could be seized upon. Emotional tethers, altruism, tending to the kin’s hurt feelings. These were all technically good things but someone had to stand ready to be the ruthless heartless motherfucker who would burn the enemies houses to the ground. Someone had to be ready to hunt down their enemies and kill them… But not before killing their wives and family, and children, and dogs… Someone had to be the hard ass son of a bitch who would show these motherfuckers the kind of hell that war truly was.

So he accepted his Elder’s decision because he was his elder and he was not about to challenge the decision but he remained the firm and heartless motherfucker who would not hesitate to hunt the mob in this city to extinction.”Say the word and I will hunt them down one by one… I will find them wherever they hide and I will teach them what happens when you make war with the Garou. In the meantime I will continue with the investigation and I will push harder to see to it we redouble our efforts in the matter. Garou, and Kin… We will find what we need to put these people away for a long time.”He says back to Lukas. It was apparent he was still iffy on the idea that this would work. Then again considering where he was born and raised… Sometimes the Garou of Detroit had to be just as harsh as the Agents of the Wyrm. War is a bloody violent son of a bitch and if you’re lucky you die a quick and painless death… War was in his blood and in his eyes. This full moon would spend each and every second granted to it to make certain the enemies of the Garou learn the meaning of that term.

The Wyrm was not the only enemy of the Garou but that didn’t make them any less dangerous. Sometimes the most dangerous were the “Innocent” because you find yourself holding back and restraining yourself. Until it’s too late… But then… It’s too late… Duh!

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Apparently the matter is settled between Simon and Sarita, since he dropped it without comment. She shrugs, listening as they get inside, and she makes her way to get a drink. She does enjoy listening to the two talk. It’s always fun philosophical time.

[Lukas] A nod returns that statement of deference and support.

“You just missed Imogen, actually. I think she might try to rally the kin. Pool resources, come up with a plan of action. She’ll need whatever information you’ve already come up with, so I told her to come to you. Word has it she’s not the easiest person to deal with, but she’s not honorless or witless. Nor is she a god. Treat her frankly and fairly and demand the same from her, and the two of you should get along fine.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He nods.”Of course Rhya I will speak to her first thing in the morning.”He says with a nod of his head.”Do you have a number I can contact her at?”

[Lukas] “Somewhere,” Lukas says, a faint and crooked smile at last breaking the surface. “It’s probably on my phone or something. I’ll text it to you later.

“Now,” he fetches his keys from the kitchen counter, then backtracks to find a jacket, “Sarita and I are gonna go hunt for her van. You’re welcome to stick around at the Loft or ride along if you want.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Fun times.” She grins widely from the kitchen. As it turns out, she decided against the drink. “It’s like playing ‘Where’s Waldo’ except that Waldo is a big Volkswagon with a fancy mural on the side.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He shakes his head.”No you two go ahead I gotta head back home.”He saysd offering a wave to the both of them before turning to head off into the night.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well hell. Have a good one, then.”

She looks at Lukas. “We gotta find someone else so we can be like the Wolfpack in The Hangover. I’ll be Phil and you can be Stu. Whoever we pick up can be the guy who gets punched out by Mike Tyson.”

[mantis] [that’s obviously Kate]

[Lukas] “See you, Simon,” Lukas says, shrugging into his jacket.

“Sadly,” he replies, “I haven’t seen that movie. So that pop culture reference is going to have to fly over my head.” He holds the door open behind himself — out they go ahead. Lukas’s Beemer, a six-year-old M3, is chilling on the driveway. “So where’d you last remember seeing your van?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] You can practically see her mentally adding something to her bucket list. ‘Make Lukas watch a lot of movies.’ She sighs as she slips out behind Lukas, shutting the door and making her way toward the Beamer. “Last thing I remember about the van was being inside the back. I was really damn tired and just needed a place to sleep where I wasn’t…waking people up.” She frowns and shrugs. “I semi-woke up at a hotel near the University of Chicago, so that’ll be a good place to start.”

She gets into the car. “I think I might have called Amy. I don’t really remember, it was all that sort of half-place where you’re not asleep but still semi-dreaming.”

[Lukas] They get in the Beemer, and Lukas is a little more somber when he looks at Sarita. His seatbelt slides over his shoulder, clicks into place. “Waking people up?” he repeats, slowly. “Semi-woke up? Semi-dreaming? Sarita, what the hell is going on?”

The engine turns over. The car’s not new, wasn’t new when he bought it, but it runs smoothly. Lukas wouldn’t buy a lemon; he’s far too careful for that.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s quiet for several moments, before she looks out the window. She slumps a bit, the grinning, cinema-referencing Ragabash slipping easily away. That wasn’t going to hold up forever anyway. She looks tired again. Physically and psychically.

“I just…we fought some thing the other night. Kate, Adara and I.” She’s quiet, staring at the pavement outside the car. “In the middle of it…something happened. I saw some sort of…vision, maybe. I dunno. Things that might’ve been if not for fate. Don’t ask what, ’cause I’m not telling.” There’s a finality to that. “I just haven’t been able to sleep since longer than the amount of time it takes me to hit REM before I wake up screaming.”

[Lukas] Things that might have been if not for fate.

“Wha–” Lukas begins, but Sarita’s final. Not telling. Nope. He glances at her a moment, then shrugs. “Fair enough.”

Couldn’t sleep after that, she goes on. He puts his hand on the back of her seat to back out of the driveway, turning the wheel, dropping into gear. As they cruise toward the university — Lukas is familiar with the area because Danicka goes to school here — he’s quiet, thinking.

“Kate mentioned that battle. She mentioned some sort of psychic attack, but it didn’t seem to hit her nearly so hard. Maybe you ought to get Cleansed, just to make sure there isn’t some lingering taint in you causing these visions. Other than that… I don’t know. You say you saw things that might of been if not for fate. Maybe part of exorcising your demons is going to have to be trying to make sure those things never happen because of what you do, not because of blind luck.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She listens, frowning. To her credit, she looks apologetic when Lukas reacts to her refusal to tell him. Some things you just can’t talk about. If only because voicing them aloud might push you right over that edge you’re tap dancing along.

She actually chuckles a little when Lukas says she needs to make sure the things never happen. “Yeah, I’m on that. Been on it for a while now. I just gotta do it better. Or let it go, one of the two.” She sighs and nods. “Getting Cleansed might be good. Carter’s twitchy enough, he doesn’t need his sleep getting interrupted every half-hour or so by the crazy bitch in the next room.”

[Lukas] There’s a sort of fondness in the way he glances at his newest packmate. “I know you have. You’re not the sort to let crap fester and just cry about it without doing anything. I just meant — maybe that’s a way to put this to rest. I know if I’m hung up on something, usually I just need to do everything in my power to make sure things go the way I hope. Then even if it doesn’t, I know I’ve done my best, and I’m at peace with myself.

“Maybe it’ll be something similar with you. Maybe things won’t right themselves immediately, but eventually.

“As for Carter — I think he’s actually getting a little better. He hasn’t burned Kate’s house down yet. He even showed some interest in protecting the Caern today. I’m letting him go to Imogen’s meeting. If he doesn’t completely implode there, maybe he’s not a completely lost cause after all.”

[Lukas] [bbiab, shower!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, that’s good. Massive smoke inhalation isn’t good for my complexion.” She smirks a little, then sighs.

“If you can fix that one, I’ll be impressed, I’ll tell you.” She shakes her head. “He’s definitely improved. But in all honesty, I’ve found that it takes just a little twitch, something minor, to send them way over the edge. They try to do something good–maybe the wrong way, but they’ve got the right idea. And everybody freaks out over it because it’s not the way it quote-unquote ‘should’ be done. And then when their attempt to reach out and try what we’re guiding them to is rejected, they have a poor reaction, which gives the some of the Trueborn who have been predicting all along that they would fail every little bit of ammo they need to show that indeed, it’s all fucked up and there’s no point in trying. Which just sends the kin further over the edge.”

She looks at Lukas. “What I’m saying is, Carter’s headed in a good direction. But the first step isn’t the hardest by a long shot, no matter what the old adages say. It’s the first step that they lose their footing on. That’s the hardest.”

[Lukas] “True,” Lukas says. “It’s not an easy path he’s on. And I even understand the argument that it’s not all his fault that he’s on the path at all. He turned out this way because he was brutalized. But the problem is that that’s like arguing we should let serial killers walk because they were abused as kids. Plenty of kids get abused without turning into murderers. Plenty of kin get brutalized without turning into rabid racists. It can’t all be nurture; some of that is nature. And I suppose from my perspective, that sort of nature is weak.

“I guess all of that is just me saying: I know every step of his life is going to be an uphill battle. But then so are our lives. And if he’s strong enough he’ll save his hatred for those that really deserve it.”

They’re down around the UoC’s vicinity now. These streets, so bustling and busy by day, are quiet at night. Used bookstores, cafes and quirky-trendy little shops pepper the streets. Flyers for parties, clubs, organizations and demonstrations flutter on lampposts.

“Any of this look familiar to you? Any memory bells ringing?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, I get what you’re saying. I’m not making any excuses for what he’s done…because you’re right, you can’t blame it all on what’s happened to you. Or that he should be coddled for the whole of his existence. What I’m saying is, right now is critical. If he’s starting to make overtures, he’s testing the waters and waiting for someone to prove his old instincts right. Just like Kora and her insularity, he needs to get a bit of reassurance that when he trips and falls, we’re not just there waiting to give him the big ol’ boot party he’s waiting for.”

She looks out the window and frowns. “Vaguely, but I’ve been here before. Amy and I were gonna get a…” She pauses, and blinks.

“Oh hell. Make a right at the next light, go down the street. There’s an apartment complex down there. I think that’s where I parked it.”

[Lukas] “Huh.” There’s a quiet; it’s obvious Lukas is mulling this over. “A second second chance? I can see the benefit there, both from a compassionate and a practical standpoint. But I suppose the way I was taught, you give one warning, and that is the second chance. After that it’s time for discipline. The philosophy there is that they should be expecting a boot party if they falter again. And if you don’t give it to them, then you’ll have nothing but empty threats ever after.”

Sarita says make a right. Lukas gives her a look of some skepticism, but complies. Around the corner they go.

“My mate goes to school here,” he comments. “Funny thing is, I think once upon a time she gave me similar advice. About second-second chances.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Your mate’s a smart woman.” She smiles a little. “And you’re right. Most people, you give one chance to. After that one chance, they fuck up again, there’s an ass-kicking coming. Either figuratively or literally if warranted. But then there’s other people. The people who have every reason not to trust you, who are trying to find their way onto the path again. They have to be handled differently. And I’m not saying that if he tries to shoot one of us that we should take the gun and gently explain ‘No, we don’t do that.’ But when–and I ~do~ think it’s a when, not an if–when he is given a reason right out of the gate by some idiot cliath with a power trip that justifies everything he thinks and he reacts badly, he needs to see there’s a different side.”

A little smile. “Different strokes for different folks.”

As they approach the apartment complex at the end of the street, the one with the big ad for new places, she groans and facepalms. “God, I’m a fucking idiot. Yeah, we’re gonna be here, inside the parking lot. I must have been trying to pull some fucking Elm Street/Inception shit. Change the dream and all, do what I thought I should have.”

[Danicka Musil] And standing outside those apartments, those big ads for new places, is a slim blonde woman in ankle boots, cream-colored tights, a knee-length leather pencil skirt, and a somewhat loose silk blouse in pink. And there’s jewelry and there’s her pulling on a trench coat and a Dunhill held between her lips, releasing a faint curl of smoke upwards. She’s got a bright yellow satchel, some dainty Kate Spade bag, and is talking to a woman about her own age.

That woman is white, barefoot, dreadlocked, hair-kerchiefed, pierced, hand-tattooed, bangled, broomstick-skirted, handwoven alpaca cardigan’d, and incensed. And shivering. She’s doing most of the talking.

[Lukas] “Huh,” Lukas says again.

He doesn’t say anything more than that — not I’ll think about it, and not maybe you’re right. He doesn’t need to say that. Sarita can tell by the sound of his voice, the faint furrow to his brow, that he’s heard her. She hasn’t known him that long, all things considered, but she knows him well enough already to know he will consider what she’s said. Counseled. And the next time Carter trips up, he just might find a little more slack in the figurative rope. Maybe.

He’s turning into that complex then. Sarita’s referencing two more movies. Lukas, amused: “Do you just sit in your van and watch movies or something?” The headlights wash over Danicka. Lukas blinks. “What the.”

That frown isn’t a thoughtful one. The Beemer comes to a stop a little harder than necessary. He barely knocks the gearshift into neutral and pulls up the handbrake before he’s out of the car, barking.

Hey!” Camera pans over: Lukas standing in the V of his opened car door, one hand on the hood, the other on the door. Glowering. “What the hell?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She laughs. “Hey, I had a good solid sixteen years before I had any freaking idea about this shit. Had a lot of bad habits I built up during that time, and a fascination with pop culture was one of them.”

And then all of the sudden, Lukas is up and yelling at someone. Sarita doesn’t ask questions; she just hops up and takes the same pose on her side of the car. Instant back-up, just add Strider.

[Danicka Musil] The woman in the alpaca sweater and long, swishy skirt startles when Lukas jerks the BMW to a stop and glares, glowers, barks. She blinks, deer in the headlights, then glares right back.

Danicka takes a drag of her expensive little cigarette and exhales smoke to the side a moment later, relaxed as she was before. “Sometimes,” she answers, “I smoke,” as though this is what he’s barking about. Which it might be. She gestures to the woman next to her. “Luk├í┼í, this is Kumari Dawson. She’s working on her PhD in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Dr. Whitby introduced me to her after I heard about the groundbreaking over by the docks.”

She doesn’t raise an eyebrow or inflect her voice pointedly as though to say hint hint, honey. She just introduces the woman calmly, then: “Kumari, this is my partner –” god, she knows her audience, doesn’t she, “Luk├í┼í Kvasni&+269;ka, who only likes it when I smoke earthier fare.” Smiling, she drops the cigarette, crushes it under a bootheel, then picks up the butt with a tissue from her purse and tosses it into a wastebin as though making a peace offering. “With him is our friend Sarita.”

Kumari has stopped glaring. “Dani,” and she doesn’t say Danny as Sam Modine or Ilari Martin would, calls her Dahni, merely leaving off the harder-to-pronounce part of her name, “says the whole thing sounds shady as hell,” says the woman, speaking with the sort of clarity that compensates somewhat for her urgency, her passion, her anger, “and I think she’s right. They’re not even pretending to care anymore.”

[Lukas] Well, at least the anger, so defensive, so ready to defend, is gone. In its place is bafflement. She’s talking about earthier fare. Her — not attacker, it turns out, though it’s vaguely absurd to even worry about someone like Danicka, with glory notches on her belt and a mother who was literally legendary — new friend starts right into something being shady as hell. And she agrees. And ‘they’ don’t even pretend to care anymore.

“Uh,” says Lukas. Great first impression. Now the Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Science and Public Policy thinks Danicka’s partner is a great lumbering lummox. Who’s wearing old jeans and a t-shirt under his jacket, at that.

“Uh.” The penny drops at last. “Of course they don’t even pretend to care. The Republicans are back in Congress. They don’t have to pretend anymore.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita can’t help it. She’s very good about hiding her grin at Lukas’ reaction. Even if dark brown eyes sparkle with laughter, forgetting all the trauma of the last forty-eight hours for just a moment, her expression is calm, relaxed nodding. She’s a freaking pot dealer, for Christ’s sake. If she doesn’t know how to deal with environmentalists rebelling against THE MAN, then she’s in the wrong line of fucking work.

“No shit, dude.” She nods a little bit to Lukas, head bobbing just a touch. “We’re deep in the shit now. Fuckers are gonna turn it into another chance to bulldoze our children’s future into some kind of fuckin’ landfill for a few extra bucks. Fuck that shit.”

Yes, she’s playing the less-educated one in this group. Every rant against [b]THE MAN[/i] needs one of those. Meanwhile, inwardly she’s laughing.

[Danicka Musil] Uh, says the Adren Shadow Lord, Alpha of his pack, Alpha of his tribe, Alpha of his auspice. Driving a Beemer and wearing scruffy clothes under his jacket. Christ only knows what that hippy thinks of him now. Except that he has it backwards. Kumari sees someone not worried about labels or the newest car — though really he could have chosen something a bit greener, people are so lazy — but also someone who’s 420friendly and not so macho to mind being an equal partner with his legally defined companion rather than some patriarchal husband insisting on her changing her name.

After another Uh, he grouses about the Republicans, and Sarita starts tossing all kinds of F-bombs and acting like a moron. Danicka, for her part, doesn’t mind wearing leather around her hippy acquaintance. She’s aware that Kumari may try to convert her to unshaved legs and a SmartCar if she works too much with the woman, but she’s confident that once Kumari starts talking to other students and once Danicka starts giving classmates of hers Kumari’s number

there’s going to be one hell of a protest at the construction site for that reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times to cover. After all, the weather’s starting to get tolerable.

Kumari’s eyebrows flick a bit at Sarita, but she nods to the two newcomers, and Danicka’s speaking up again, reaching to shake the woman’s hand. The woman hugs her. Over her shoulder, Danicka rolls her eyes at Lukas — and Sarita, really. But then she smiles, and Sarita, who has never seen how effective a liar Danicka is, may indeed be surprised at how smoothly, how quickly, how convincingly her expression changes, right up to the light in her green eyes as she draws back, hands on Kumari’s shoulders.

“I’ll be in touch,” Danicka says. “I have some friends who live in that area who started looking into all this business and then soon as they did, bam. Suddenly the place they live needs a state inspection.”

She and Kumari both shake their heads, angry and weary together. She squeezes the hippy’s shoulder, says her goodbyes, and tells her to get inside before her feet freeze. Then she’s striding over to the Beemer, raising her eyebrows at the Unbroken.

“I’m going to pass this along to Matthieu, too, but just in case cameras arrive, I think the Kin and Garou should stay away from the protest. We don’t need our people’s names and faces in the media; it just makes them targets.”

[Lukas] Kumari departs. Lukas holds up a hand in farewell. Then Danicka is coming over to the Beemer, and Lukas is stepping around the door to give her a quick hug.

“You got a protest set up in twelve hours?” He looks a little gobsmacked. And impressed. “I talked to Imogen Slaughter and Kora a little earlier. Imogen she’d try to get all the kin together to hear everyone out and get a plan to Deal With This. Obviously, you and Matthieu are invited. I’m letting Carter go too. He had some ideas. Not sure if they’re feasible, but he’s actually trying to protect the Caern, and I think I should probably encourage that. Let me know if he actually contributes or if he tries to start another anti-Garou rally.

“On the way over Sarita and I were talking about unexpected acts of mercy, by the way.” A quirk of a smile, “I told her you talked to me about something like that once.”

[Danicka Musil] “No, I talked to someone who will set up a protest,” Danicka corrects, cautious as ever to Lukas’s sometimes surprising optimism. “The wheels are in motion, though. I have one semi-influential person angry and one semi-accessible reporter interested. It’s going to take time for that to turn into something concrete.”

She is hugged, and she stands on her toes and gives him a kiss on the cheek. She took exactly one drag of that cigarette. She doesn’t exactly smell like Essence of Lung Cancer quite yet.

She nods to the rest, though, about the meeting and Imogen and Carter and so forth. Glances over at Sarita to smile at her, give a little wave, then raises her eyebrows at Lukas. “What?” she asks, clearly clueless as to what he could be referencing.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, keeping our peeps away from any kind of public action is probably a good thing. No need establishing a pattern of behavior that a paid-off court of law can come in and persecute over.” Some people might assume she used the wrong word and really meant to say ‘prosecute.’ They’d be wrong.

When Lukas mentions the unexpected acts of mercy conversation, she just grins a little and shrugs. “Great minds think alike, I guess. Hola, by the way.”

[Danicka Musil] [put my post after Sarita’s!]

[Lukas] The light in his eyes, the sort of surprised-pleased-happy look he gets when he runs across Danicka unexpectedly, dims a little. There was a reason he never got into the details with Sarita — though it wasn’t secrecy. Something more like shame, a willingness to forget the specifics.

“It was a long time ago,” he says quietly — unflinchingly honest, “when I told you not to lie to me again or else. And you told me sometimes positive reinforcement works better, because negative can only escalate to stay effective.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey, that’s the best kind action,” she says with a grin when Danicka speaks of what she has and hasn’t done. “Actions with built in plausible deniablity. That stuff doesn’t happen every day, so take it when you can, y’klnow?”

[Danicka Musil] Not anything recent, then. Not when he talked to her about Ray and Marni, not when they argued about Martin, nothing like that. Back all the way to the Blue Chalk Cafe, a place he doesn’t even like to go anymore because of some memory, some shame. And her brows flick together but not in much of a frown

because Sarita may be Lukas’s packmate but so was Sam, backhanding her in the Brotherhood, stalking her to her apartment and following her around Grant Park. So was Kate, when Kate was the monster appearing out of nowhere in Danicka’s home, chasing her roommate around, snarling at him, tying him down. So was Mrena, who saw the slightest subterfuge and convinced herself it was a plot to destroy the pack from within, not just an attempt to hide the fact that she wanted to do something nice and make Lukas happy. So was Theron, foolishly thinking Danicka could tell him how to stop chasing tail and get the sort of bond she has with Lukas, as though there was some secret to it she could unlock for him.

Sarita doesn’t have Danicka’s trust. She’s the devil Danicka doesn’t know yet.

So that frown is a flick, and then it’s gone. She puts her hand on Lukas’s face for a moment with a gentle smile. What she wants to say, she doesn’t say in front of Sarita. Her hand slides back and she smiles again. “I was going to take the El back to my place, but since you’re here,” she implies, waggling her brows.

[Lukas] Danicka doesn’t know Sarita yet. Lukas hopes she’ll get to, though. Because — let’s be honest — Lukas knows that this pack has its core. Its true, dependable brothers and sisters. And then at any give time it has some assortment of wolves that run more on the fringes, that never quite dovetail with the unspoken ideals and vision and character of the pack. Oftentimes there’s no way to tell just which side of that line a Garou will fall on until they’ve joined.

With Sinclair, they got a winner. With Sarita, they hit the jackpot again. And Lukas wants his mate to get to know this Ragabash — this smart-alecking, playful, ineffably wise Ragabash. Who knows how to love her sister without smothering her. Who knows how not to pretend she’s Danicka’s best friend the second or third time they ever meet.

Sarita doesn’t really comment on what Lukas and Danicka talk about. She keeps her response aimed toward the more public, less raw part of the conversation. That’s wisdom, too, and Lukas is thankful for it.

And then — grinning again, a little crooked, covering his mate’s hand on his cheek for a second.

“I suppose you won’t be taking the El after all,” he says. “Sarita,” he nods to the painted van parked inconspicuously in the corner of the lot, “is that it, or are there two vans that look just like that in the city?”

[that’s my last post! i’ma stick around for a bit to see if Sam is awake enough to post again, but then i’m zonking!]

[Danicka Musil] [zonks are imminent here, too]

[Lukas] [OKAY, time to pile drunkfrend into back seat.]

[Danicka Musil] [*SIGH*

*helps Damon carry Sam to car*]

[Lukas] [*opens door, stuffs in*]

[Danicka Musil] [*tosses keys over to Damon*]

[Danicka Musil] [THANKS FOR THE RP! :] ]

[Lukas] [*slams door, zooms off*!]

[cricket] [ACK *exits*]

[Lukas] [thanks for RP! *LOL*]

He Clears The Air…Kinda

[Leon Davenport] It was friday evening, a night to go out and have fun. Instead, he had called a meeting he dreaded going to. He had been given the loft’s adress when he had contacted Lukas and drove the black Lexus there. He stepped out and made his way inside. The tall, athletic blond man was dressed in a dark suit, with a blue shirt and no tie.

He was greeted by lucille and lead to Lukas’s location. He was nervous, ucomfortable and partly afraid of how things will turn out. He had no real hope it’ll go well ofr him, but sometimes things had to be said and done no matter how hard they were.

He stopped, looking serious, offering a small bow to the Shadow Lord when he was in his presence “Good evening Rhya, thank you for seeing me” He says in a polite tone

[Wyrmbreaker] Might not help that there’s thunder in the sky tonight. A sudden and humid warmth in the air, almost oppressive in its abruptness and in the contrast to month upon month of ice and snow. Even now, driving up to the Loft, rain patters against Leon’s windshield. Leaves the shoulders of his suit faintly damp as he enters Katherine’s home; is shown upstairs by Katherine’s maid.

Lukas is in the rumpus room, feet bare. No restaurant service for him. He has a weapon in hand that no one in this Sept has ever seen him use in combat, and no one outside of his pack has ever seen him use, period. It’s a longsword: the cross and pommel unadorned, the blade long and gleaming-dark, indicative of carbon content in the steel. It looks old, but it’s not an heirloom. Not judging by the way he uses it, slamming it through quick straight cuts, blindingly fast.

Leon comes into sight and Lukas comes to a stop. He’s casually dressed – a plain white t-shirt, grey drawstring pants, swordbelt crossing his wide chest. He sheathes the sword over his shoulder, grabbing up a towel to blot sweat off his brow, the back of his neck. “No problem,” he says, gesturing Leon toward the cluster of couches and beanbag chairs near the entertainment center. “Thanks for coming out to the Loft.

“What’s going on?”

[Danicka] Lukas’s iPhone, lying — perhaps — on top of an end table where he left it, chimes. Or buzzes. And a picture of a rather lovely blonde woman, smiling good-naturedly (patiently) at the camera appears on the screen with big friendly letters: Danicka

[Leon Davenport] He watched Lukas handling a weapon. Great, jst great. Well this is the night I die it seem, he thinks sourly to himself. Well there’s no time like the present for it no? He took a deep breath “I have three things I need to talk with you about. Some not really..enjoyable for me.”

He walk and sit on the couch. He was nervous and tried notto show it. He was here to do the honorable thing after all, and also do things properly. Too bad ofr him, the honorable thing will probably put him in more trouble and then the proper thing will be denied. He knew it but will go through the motions anyway.

“The first thing I wanted to talk to you about was your impression of your tribesmate Nathalie. A kin of my tribe is living with her. Nathalie gave me a good impression, if too eager when I met with her. I jsut wanted to know if you think it’s safe for my kin to hang with her”

Ok, first subject on the way. The most innocent one too.

[Wyrmbreaker] Quick, a faint frown sketches it way across Lukas’s brow. “Nathalie generally means well,” he says, “but her rage sometimes exceeds her control, and her better intentions sometimes lead to worse ends. She’s sworn to do better. If nothing else, I believe she’ll try, and Shadow Lords don’t often make futile attempts. But in the end it’s your call, and you’ll have to make it based on your best judgment. As far as I can tell, you’re the one standing for the Walker kin now.”

His phone goes off. Lukas turns his head unhurriedly, then reaches over to pick it up. “I have to get this. Can you give me one minute?” He slides the accept button, raises the phone to his ear. “Ahoj, l├ísko. I’m at the Loft meeting with Leon right now.”

[Leon Davenport] He considered Lukas words about Nathalie. Well that was interesting. Seem liek Mickey went from the frying pan into the fire. He’ll have to talk to her about that. Then again, he’s not the one the kin wants to bed, so she mgiht ignore his warning and stay with the Shadow Lord anyway.

He nodded to Lukas “Thank you Rhya, I wanted the opinion of someone who knew her some. I’ll decide what I’ll do about it”

HLukas’s phone rang and Leon watched the Adren pick it up. He nodded to him when he asked for a minute and looked around. His pericing blue eyes looked at the room, not sure if he was grateful for the interruption or not. Part of him want this to be over as quickly as possible. The other part, wants to get the hell out and move ot Hawaaii

[Wyrmbreaker] Whatever the response is, it gets a brief smile out of Wyrmbreaker. Brief, but it’s genuine. Warm. And not an expression one sees often on his face; not quite the same way he smiles at a friend, or a packmate.

“Sounds good,” he says. “See you.”

After she hangs up, he does as well, locking the screen on his phone and setting it back face-down on the endtable. He turns his attention back to Leon, his expression expectant.

[Leon Davenport] He exhale slowly when Lukas’s attention came back to him. Here goes nothing “I have something I want to ask you, but first I need to tell you something that happened in february, something that was settled but keep popping out. So before you hear about it from someone else, if you haven’t already and because I well I need your approval and don’t feel I’d be worthy of it if I hide something like that”

He paused, what he has to say doesn’t seem like it will come out easilly “When I arrived in Chicago, late january, I met Amunet, Sarita’s sister. We started seeing each other, with her sister’s silent consent. It didn’t go very smoothly and after quite a few incidents, that i won’t mention unless you really need me to, I frenzied briefly on her and hit her quite hard, in Crinos. She got a commotion and broken wrist from that blow”

it was hard for him to confess, and his shame was apparent in his face. “I talked to Sarita after the incident, to apologize and set things right. Later, she had a talk with my Alpha to set conditions for me. Maybe our inital agreement wasn’t enough or maybe I was wrong and only thought weagreed. Anyway, they came with three conditions that I”ve been following: No contact with Amunet, no pursuing kin from another tribe without that kin’s Elder’s consent and take anger management lessons with a Philodox”

“He tilt his head “I don’t agree particularly with the last one but I’ll do it. I messed up and will take my responsabilities. I was hoping I could talk to Honor’s Compass about it. I think it would please Sarita if somone she trust and respect was supervising those lessons.

I’m not proud of what I did, and still feel the guilt for my actions. I have learned that, despites the saying anything worth having is hard, well sometime you just have to let go.”

He look at Lukas “So there you have it. This is what I needed to confess before getting to the other reason for this meeting”

[Wyrmbreaker] “I’ve heard about it,” Lukas says simply. “I’ve heard about why you lost your temper, and to be frank, I’m surprised you didn’t mention that yourself. It’s a mitigating circumstance, if nothing else.

“I have some questions, though. First: ‘silent consent’ — does that mean you asked her and she didn’t say no? Or that she found out otherwise and didn’t stop you? Second: you frenzied and hit her? Or you bit back a frenzy before it took hold and hit her? When we descend into frenzy, Leon, we use tooth and claw.”

[Leon Davenport] He seem to relax a little. The weight was off his shoulders and Lukas already knew. Now the hardest would be coming, once the hitting Amy subject was over. “I could hav talked about those circumstances but in the end. I made a mistake. I should have walked away sooner instead of waiting till I snap”

He paused before answering Lukas’s questions

“Silent consent is that we didn’t hide from her. She was with us the first night Amy decided to sleep with me. Ishould have asked her directly I guess, but he knew where Amy and I were gonig and didn’t say anything. Then on the next few days, we hanged the three of us. She neversaid no. So considered that she wasn’t against it. We laso had a few talks about what was happening between me and her sister. She gave some advises and all. To me, it meant that she accepted what was happening”

Another pause as he consider Lukas’s question “Did I frenzy? I odn’t know for sure. I mean I know I saw red, my brain shut down for a while, almsot liek a black out. I found myself towering over Amunet sprawling on the floor with parts of a broken bed in hands, ready to stab her. I stopped there, shifted back to homid and left. Maybe I jsut lost it in a purely human way, or had some kind of flash frenzy. I did care for her, maybe that stopped me fron killing her. Though Iheard about other frezying and once it was over, they had killed loved ones.

I wish I could tell you with certainity. I know I went nuts, lost control and got it back at the last moment”

[Wyrmbreaker] Totemphone!

Sarita, Leon says you gave implicit acceptance of his relationship with your sister before he blew it. He also says after he hit Amy, you and he settled it on the condition that he stays away from Amy, asks tribal alphas before pursuing another tribe’s kin, and learns to control himself from a Philodox. He says on those conditions, the two of you put the matter to rest. Is that true?
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A pause. Like, a couple of beats of dumbfounded pause.

Oh, you gotta be shitting me. Honestly, no that’s not accurate. The first part is true. I let them see each other. The second part is true with several details changed. The first time we talked over it, he threw two grand at me like that was gonna cover shit. At the time I was more worried about my sister who was acting like an abused house wife and we had a shattered bed that he almost stabbed her with as well as medical bills, so I used it to pay for those. Later, after I talked to Sinclair I realized that I wasn’t looking out for those other kin he might be around, so I talked with Matthieu. He and I came to that arrangement, yes. I don’t think he’s completely met it, since it’s been a month and he’s made no attempt to contact any Philodoxes, but yeah. I’ve still held up my end.”
to Danicka, Wyrmbreaker, Katherine Bellamonte

[Wyrmbreaker] There’s a pause on Lukas’s end too, so long that Leon might wonder if the Lord had somehow gotten ahold of a philodox’s gift for seeing truth through lies. It’s not that, though. It’s something at once simpler and more complex: astuteness, intelligence. Thought.

And connection.

“If you want to put this behind you,” he says finally, “then you need to own up to your faults and rise above them.

“It’s true that you came to me; you told me what had happened. You didn’t necessarily have to. This matter was settled, and even if it wasn’t — I’m not a Philodox. But there’s a defensiveness about the way you’re telling me that makes me think this isn’t just a fit of conscience. You spin the story to make yourself look better. Less guilty. More victimized. You didn’t tell me that Amunet cheated on you and that’s why you lost your temper, true. But nor did you tell me you tried to buy Sarita’s silence first, and only later, at her insistence, went to the mediation of Matthieu. You imply that because Sarita never protested, you didn’t need to seek her permission in the first place. You quibble over whether or not you actually frenzied, when — let’s be honest, Leon — if you had, Amunet would be dead.

“Now, you keep alluding to a third reason you came here tonight. That makes me think the reason you came to me at all, confessed at all, is an attempt to look good so you can ask me for something. And I’ll tell you this. The appearance of honor isn’t going to cut it. If you want me to think you honorable enough to trust, you need to show me genuine remorse. And you need to show genuine reformation in your actions.

“Whether or not Sarita protested, it was your duty to go to her as Amy’s guardian. To tell her of your intentions, and to fulfill whatever condition she asked of you. That burden is on you, the suitor, not her, the warder.

“Whether or not you were angry with Amunet, you didn’t lose it entirely. If you did, she’d be dead. You had the presence of mind not to rip her apart. You chose, on some level, to go to warform and hit a kinswoman.

“Whether or not she deserved punishment for what she did, you should have sought the price from another Garou. The other one in her bed, or the one that warded her. It’s dishonorable to take that price out on a kin.

“Whether or not you agree with this … anger management deal, you made it, and you must abide by it. You must pay that debt.

“And you need to own up to all your other faults. So long as you slink about defending your actions and your wrongdoings, you’ll never leave them behind completely. The only way to restore your honor is to stand up and say, yes. I fucked up. I courted a kin without permission. I took a bloodprice out on her when she was disloyal to me. I tried to buy off her warder. I haven’t paid my dues fully. I know it. I won’t do it again, and I’ll prove it starting today. Starting this moment.

“When you can do all that, you’ll start winning back your honor. Until then, the deeper you bury this, the more it’ll rot and stink.”

Pause.

“Now, what was your request?”

[Danicka] A little while later — she must have already been in her car driving around when she called — Danicka’s Infinity pulls up to the Loft. It’s been a long time since she’s been here. She didn’t come for Katherine’s celebratory party. She’s been here to pick up or drop off Gabriella after spending an evening contributing to the deliquency of a minor. She’s been here to meet with Katherine about maybe doing the exact opposite of contributing to the delinquency of that particular minor.

Truth be told, she has little knowledge whatsoever of what became of Gabriella. And truth be told — it tells you a great deal of what sort of woman she is — Danicka has never cared enough to ask.

The Infiniti parks, and Danicka gets out, wearing a pair of sheer black stockings with a flocked pattern of widely latticed ribbons creating diamonds of sheer within bands of velvet black. Her feet are slipped into patent black heels with electric blue soles, but the color of Shadow Lords ends there. Her dress is a lighter blue than the undersides of those heels, a rather shiny wiggle dress straight out of the 60s that ends just below her knee and is cinched about her waist with a silver belt. There’s a silver bracelet around her left wrist, a white gold ring around her third left finger, and a thin chain around her neck that might be white gold, might be something even more fine, ending in a small pendant that rests atop the shiny blue dress. It’s simple, really, a diamond set within an infinity knot.

She strides to the front door, is allowed in by Lucille, and soon enough her heels can be heard tapping quietly on the floorboards as she makes her way towards Lukas’s voice.

[Wyrmbreaker] [wait! um. reword: “But nor did you tell me you tried to buy Sarita’s silence first, and only later, at her insistence, agreed to the present terms.”]

[Wyrmbreaker] [i am too lazy to transcribe that into totemspeak but you can all assume Lukas gives an abridged version of what-all is going on across the totemlink!]
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Leon Davenport] He blinked. Ok..not exactly what he was aiming there. He frowned slightly but stayed silent for a long time.”

“I didn’t come here because of the third reason. It just happened to be timed well with the decision to come to you. You may or may not believe it. It’s fine.” He say and shook his head

“I could probably argue all night about what you told me. The gist of it is true. And I”m willing to own up to what I did. But a lot of what you know might be incomplete. And that’s not the point. I didn’t come here to blame Sarita, or Amy or myself. I just wanted you to know what happened.”

His piercing blue eyes looked at lukas “As ofr the third reason, your words told me your answer. I pretended, I ‘haven’t paid my price, so no matter what Isay, until I’ve done so, t’s not even worth wasting your time and ask it”

He had a feeling Sarita gave him her version of events over the totem phone. It didn’t matter. “I’m sorry I took so much of your time Rhya” He said, getting up

[Wyrmbreaker] “Ask me anyway,” Lukas says, “so I know what it is you want.”

[Leon Davenport] He stop in his movement and sat back. He took a few breaths “I wanted to ask your permission about seeing one of your kin, Luana Kirchmann. Not claiming her or anythign like htat. Just the right to spend time with her, talk to her and see where things will lead.

I met her around the time I met Amunet. We spent some time together, and learned only recently that she was kin to your tribe. We had a falling out for some time but things are better. She knows about everything I told you. So I was wondering if I could be allowed to be in her presence. ”

He say, politly. He hand his hands on his knees and tried to look relaxed. But he knew Lukas’s next words will probably hurt. He cared for Luana, more than he did for almost everything else. He knew that being denied the right ot be around her will kill him. He expected both..the refusal and the death.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] They can feel it. That self-control…holding back and trying not to say anything. She clearly wants to but she doesn’t want to sound like the defensive woman who’s sister got hurt and now is just lashing out.

The resolve doesn’t hold, and it bursts out of her mind like water out of a dam that’s been blown up in some James Bond film. “Oh MY GOD he’s so full of shit about just wanting to let you know! He and Matthieu both were both specific about keeping you two out of the loop.” Meaning Lukas and Katherine. “I’ll bet you a gajillion dollars that he’s pissed because I saw Gina playing footsie with his knee at the Kin-Elder meeting, and I told Matthieu that if Matt was going to court Gina that it was his responsibility to keep my kin away from Leon, Gina included. I may be letting the matter rest, but I’m still not cool with any of my kin being in his presence unless there’s someone around to keep them safe. Stupid cockpunching shitribbon cumdrizzling little fuckstain of…” This goes on for a few moments before she drifts off
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Wyrmbreaker

[Katherine Bellamonte] From Katherine — where was she, anyway, they have the impression of a car, flashing scenery of Chicago at night somewhere nearby — Wait, what? Matthieu said he wished to deliberately keep me from knowing about this matter? Why? I am a Half Moon, if anyone, I should be the very sort he is seeking out.]
to Danicka, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker

[Sinclair] It’s Sinclair’s voice now, for the first time in this conversation. Sarita… hon, I love you. But you’ve gotta calm down a little here. I don’t like Leon either. I was wary of leaving Chicago because he seemed kinda keen on representing the tribe if I wasn’t going to. But take some deep breaths, trust Luk├í┼í — funny, how she pronounces his name correctly in her head, at least, — to handle it, and accept that however this ends up, you probably won’t be perfectly satisfied.

That said… Luk├í┼í, I don’t trust Leon any more than Sarita does, to be honest. Just… be wary. He seems like the always-the-hero-or-victim-never-the-villain type you’re always referencing.
to Katherine Bellamonte, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Okay, sorry…I’m pissed, that wasn’t spoken well. I’m breathing now. Leon wanted to keep you out of the loop Kate…Matthieu just was specific about Lukas since it was ‘none of his business’ and wanted it resolved privately without being known Sept-wide and hurting the reputation of his pack and their purpose of working with humans and dealing with kinfolk.
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Wyrmbreaker

[Wyrmbreaker] Not that I’d put it so bluntly, but the Fang is more or less right about me. It wasn’t my business. I’m not his tribal elder, nor hers. I’m not a Philodox. The only reason it is my business now is because he wants one of my kin, and if nothing else he at least had the balls — or at least the cunning — to tell me before he asked.

As for you, Kate, it might feel like he’s gone over your head. But if he and Sarita worked it out to their satisfaction, there’s no reason it had to go to a Philodox, either. If he’s not keeping up his end of the bargain, though, that’s another matter.

As for how I’m handling the situation here, on hand, between Leon and my kin — truth is even if he hadn’t slammed a kin around I’d be hesitant to approve this little courtship. Kin aren’t tagalongs in the Tribe. Their spirits are tied to the totem. You take a kin out of the tribe, it’s as much a theft as taking a cub.
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Wyrmbreaker] “No.”

Expected or not, that answer – quietly spoken as it is – must sting. And there’s that in Lukas’s eyes, at least: a sort of sympathy.

“And I’ll tell you why. It’s not just your past behavior with Amunet, though that doesn’t help. It’s not that you’ve yet to fulfill your terms with Sarita. Even if none of that were true, I would still deny you.

“Kin are every bit a part of the Tribe as Garou, Leon. I realize ancestry and roots matter less to a Glass Walker, but even your tribe still has a Homeland where the spirits of your Tribe go after death. For my tribe — we may not measure a Garou’s worth by the worth of his ancestors, but we care about our family. Our blood. Some of our lineages go back to the very beginning. My line goes back hundreds, thousands of years; farther. All Shadow Lords. All my forefathers, my friends from other lives, my brothers and sisters from ages past — waiting for me in the Homelands when I die. I can’t tell you what comfort that brings me, knowing that I will die, and sooner rather than later. Knowing that when I do die, I can wait there, in the Homelands, for my own mate to come to me.

“Luana has her heritage too. She may not even know it in this life, but when she dies her spirit will remember. If you mate with her, the spirits will recognize her as a Glass Walker. When she dies, her spirit goes to Cockroach. All her children’s spirits, too. They lose the friends and lovers and family of a thousand lifetimes before. They are alone, separate, cut loose from their history.

“Even were she to somehow remain a Shadow Lord in spirit, the outcome is inevitably heartbreaking. When you die, you go to Cockroach. When she dies, she goes to Thunder. Your spirits remain apart with only the dimmest hope of finding each other on Gaia’s face again in your next lives.

“You’re not committed to this yet, Leon. You’ve spent some time together, that’s all. So I’m saying to you: leave off. This isn’t about ownership or possession of our respective kin. This is about mercy and the price you’ll pay — you and Luana both. Find yourself a mate from amongst your own tribe. Don’t take my kin from her people, and don’t doom yourself to losing her.”

[Danicka] my own mate to come to me

Lukas is saying, as Danicka is standing in the doorway to the room they’re in, her footsteps silenced now, her lean body leaning against the wall. She’s quite the vision, isn’t she? Leon can breathe her scent in. She doesn’t wear perfume. She smells soft. Clean.

But most of all she smells warm. Like… home. Like cubs resting nearby, like a full belly, like the security of hearth and pack all gathered close together. She smells, perhaps most intoxicatingly, like fertility. Verdant earth, crops ready for harvest, one’s female growing swollen with your litter. It’s a little distracting, but only so much as any kinfolk’s breeding is distracting. And it depends on the wolf.

She’s heard him talk about this before. The Homelands. What she once thought was a lie. She breathes quietly as she listens, standing in the periphery.

[Leon Davenport] His face is unreadable, cold, drained of all emotions. He almsot snorted but didn’t. Kin of his tribe. So far in this city, he had met one who seem to enjoy women…Shadow Lord Ahroun female at that, the other one was a high class escort no matter how she wanted to paint it. Yeah, kin form hsi tribe. Not likely. No kin ever it seem.

He got up “Thank you for youre time Rhya. And maybe oyu should have this talk with Nathalie since she is trying to have a relatioship with a female kin of mine. I’ll certainly talk to my kin.”

He nodded to him “Have a good night”

He doesn’t mention Sarita’s conditions. They aren’t worth shit to him anymore. Not seeing Amy, fine, no courtin kin of another tribe…fuck that, happening anymore it seem. He lsot the one person who could soothe his rage. He had no intentetion of wasting his time with someone else. Anger management? Well if she cross his path again, he’ll mamange his anger in the bloodiest way possible.

His blue eyes found Danicka “Good night” He simply tell the kin.

He walked away. Not looking back, heading toward the exit

[Leon Davenport] (*not happening anymore..)

[Wyrmbreaker] Levelly, “It’s Nathalie’s responsibility to go to you if she’s courting your kin. She should know that, but I’ll inform her. It’s your right to accept or deny her. If she doesn’t bide by your decision, let me and/or the Philodox Elder know.”

Leon turns to go. Lukas watches him for a moment, thoughtful. Then he descends the stairs, out of sight, and Lukas shifts his attention to Danicka.

She heard a lot of that. The last part, at least. He doesn’t have to explain why he crosses the room to her — smelling of exercise, war, sweat — and wraps her in his arms, bending his nose to her hair.

“Hi,” he says quietly. He sounds a little sad.

Big-Ass Meeting From Hell

[Balance Without Fault] [folks, clarification — sorry if this shuts anyone out, but of the Garou, only Tribal and Auspice alphas are invited. of the kin, everyone can come.]

[Balance Without Fault] Unsurprisingly, the Brotherhood of Thieves is the venue for tonight’s meeting. The restaurant has been closed, the front door locked and hung with a PRIVATE PARTY sign. The tables and chairs have been rearranged into a large circle.

Balance Without Fault enters alone, unaccompanied by his packmate or the Warder. In true Glass Walker fashion, he’s in suit and tie; he looks crisp and sharp, and it’s just a little jarring to see him like this. So normal, like a trader from the Chicago Stock Exchange coming for an after-work drink.

He takes one of the two wingback chairs. The other is immediately cleared away. That says something about how much this is or isn’t a casual discussion where rank does not factor in. Hint: it isn’t. He confers quietly with Jenny for a moment, then, who leaves the room and soon returns with … a magic eight-ball, of all things.

Those nearby can hear her ask, “Will this do?” They can see Balance Without Fault’s mouth quirk into an amused smile as he accepts it.

“Perfect,” he says.

And then he claps his hands together, three time, calling for attention.

“Welcome, everyone. Thanks for coming. Here are the rules tonight: one speaker at a time. He or she who holds the magic eight ball,” and he holds this aloft, “speaks. No one else.

“Keep a respectful tone, particularly to those of greater rank. For those of equal rank, the Auspice Council holds precedence over the Tribal Alphas. For kin, those with renown hold precedence over those without.

“In case of dispute, we will not go to challenges because of the mixed crowd. A Philodox will be called upon to mediate. If mediation fails, I am the final arbiter.

“Anyone violating these rules once will be given one warning, and one only. After that, you’re out of the meeting, and your viewpoint will be disregarded. The staff has kindly set up refreshments in the kitchen. If you feel yourself getting hot under the collar, go get a drink and come back when you’re calmer.

“Now — settle in, everyone. The meeting will formally begin in,” a glance at his wristwatch, “five minutes.”

[okay folks, go ahead and post in if you want to! otherwise we’ll just assume you’re here. BwF will open the floor shortly!]

[Balance Without Fault] [erp, change that to read: “After that, you’re out of the meeting, your viewpoint will be disregarded, and appropriate judgment will be rendered.”]

[Jackson Montgomery] [[Not posting in]]

[August Grant] August had arrived early. She wanted a good seat. By some reason – she thought that this might end up turning into a good show – and she wanted to be in the front row.

The Coggie kinfolk had dressed up for this evening. She wore a soft pink colored sweater with a V-neck, a pair of skinny jeans and dark brown heeled boots. She no longer attempted to hide her belly which was beginning to swell. There was no point any longer. And, against one shoulder, her little one, Ella, slept peacefully. {Who was gonna watch the kid afterall, all the kinfolk were here!}

She really had no intention of saying anything – she was just here to listen. And maybe eye a certain young man who she kinda had a crush on.

[Leon Davenport] Leon arrived at the meeting, not entirely sure if he should be there but being there nonetheless. He had annonced that he was gonig to take the Glass Walkers kin under his protection and no one challenged him. So, guess it means he was the tribe’s Elder in some way. If not, well Balance Without Fault will kick him out. Better to presume tonight than miss honoring your duties.

He was dressed nicely, in a dark, striped suit with a blue shirt and tie. He walked in, looking around, bowing slightly to BWF and Lukas, nodding to to Gina and Jackson, mostly ignoring the rest. Either he didn’t know them or..didn’t care to acknowledge them.

[Rain McKellar] August had company in the early arrivals. Another Unicorn, this one with dark hair and no babe in arms. The songbird is bereft of her usual company, no dark case at her side, no voice to share with the others. She’s wearing her best, dark jeans and a neatly pressed white button down. Though her warmth could be infectious, could spread to fill a room even this wide and this full of faces, Rain kept that charisma and that smile and that presence quiet tonight. She takes her seat with her Tribe, folds her hands in her lap, and watches the others filter in and settle themselves.

[Joey] [I won’t be posting Quinn in unless she has something to say, but she’s there!]

[Balance Without Fault] As soon as Balance lays eyes on August’s baby, he beckons Jenny over. The Fianna kinswoman bends as the Grand Elder lifts his chin, speaking directly to her ear. After a moment she nods, walks across the floor, and offers August an apologetic smile.

“Miss, the Grand Elder wanted me to take your baby upstairs for a few hours. There’s a lotta Rage in here and we don’t want your little one havin’ nightmares. I’ll leave her with Reuben; she’ll be in good hands.”

[Izzy Montoya] Unsurprisingly, it’s the goddamn Brotherhood Of motherfucking Thieves where they decide to have this little powwow. Izzy can count the number of times she’s willingly set foot in this establishment since her imprisonment here on one hand. Hell, on two fingers if she counts this time, though it’s not exactly willingness that has her here. It might be considered curiosity, but more likely it’s a simple thing:

Kora asked. Izzy came.

It says something, that. She’s a respect for The Jarl, (Not her[i] jarl, [i]the jarl. A minute difference that means something to Izzy alone), for the Last Watch. She’s dressed as she always is – business casual, with her weapon a bulge at the small of her back under her blazer, her hair down, her expression… well. Expressionless, other than a slight jump of the muscle at the hinge of her jaw, where she clenches her teeth together briefly, sets her jaw, lifts her chin and enters.

And gets a drink. No way is she sitting through this stone cold sober. No fucking way.

[Hunter] Hunter Matthews stalks through the door with his pack-mate and a certain bone-gnawer kin while everyone is still milling around. Seats are taken, Hunter remains silent.

[Balance Without Fault] [folks, it was pointed out to me that kieran was the only uktena in town, and ergo the default uktena alpha. if anyone has him in AIM, call him back in!]

[Gina McClaren] *Gina’d come home late, but that hadn’t stopped the pikey from being in the kitchen and underfoot since early morning. The more time she spent at Jenny’s elbow, the more likely it was the saintly blonde would let slip the secrets to her cranberry oat-muffins. As folks file in the Strider pickpocket finally emerges from the kitchen, long hair bound in a messy loop off her neck, floury hand marks on the dull black of her skirt, tank top askew, a smudge of icing sugar across a caramel shoulder. She hops up on a stool near the back, as far removed from those of her tribe as she can get. God knew her voice would carry if she had anything to say in earnest. Those she knows get nods of recognition, and a worn smile.*

[Carter Roth] Carter is present, but he remains close to the exit his hands deep within his pockets and his eyes wary and mistrustful, he didnt know what this was all about and he didnt like it one bit.

But he was here, as a test of himself and a test of the garou, to see what they were up to. He couldn’t very well pass up that now could he.

[Carter is here, but I may not be going to be on and off]

[Rosie] The certain Bone Gnawer kinfolk finds a seat near or by or somewhere in the vicinity of Hunter. She sits: quiet and unobtrusive.

[Amunet Knezevic] Amunet made her way in quietly, several minutes before the meeting was to start. She’s in her own jacket, and the iPad has been left at the condo. She remembers very few times in her life when she has been this nervous. When so much has been riding on a single night.

Moving to the far side of the room, she finds a spot where she can watch the comings and goings, back against the wall to protect herself from surprises. Her eyes flicker around the room as it populates, but the only one they rest on more than a second or two is her sister.

[Holden] A grizzly bearded Fenrir takes a seat out of the way, he doesn’t suppose he will have much to say so the distance does him well.

[August Grant] Oh good! Someone to watch the baby! August likes Jenny – afterall, they spent a lot of time hanging out in the kitchen when August lived here..

The young woman gives Jenny a smile. “Of course.. I didn’t have anyone else to watch her.. Thank you. Tell Reuben she might be hungry..” Ella gets a kiss on the side of her head and the baby is lifted from her arms and offered out to the kin.. a moment later, the diaper bag is also offered out.

[Starla Navarro] There is a painted Unicorn that has joined the others, Starla following on Rain’s heels easily, ducking her head down as she finds a seat next to her tribe mate. Dark head lifting to look around, skirting her eyes across the room at the faces that were familiar and not; the freckles dance across the bridge of her nose and her left cheek. She tucks her hands in her lap, leaning to the side to nudge Rain’s shoulder with her own.

[Kyle] (Not going to post for Kyle unless he has something to say or someone asks him questions other wise he’s just doing his usual watch and listen routine ­čÖé )

[Bridget Geroux] The Canadian Fianna kinfolk finds herself at this gathering in her usual state of confusion. She doesn’t look quite like she knows what’s going on. However, she doesn’t appear to be under the influence of anything. She wears a simple black maxi dress, gathered at the waist by a beat-up leather belt, a hunter green jacket covering her bare shoulders, and of course her combat boots.

Bridget finds a place to sit where she can stretch her legs: she knows she’ll probably want to fidget if the Rage gets a bit much. She also wisely follows Izzy’s lead by getting herself a small glass of whiskey. She returns and smiles at the few here she recognizes and is on good terms with: Hunter, Gina, Kyle, Sarita. The Fianna kinswoman does her best to control the feral urges to move around while surrounded by so much Rage.

[Kora] A cool spring evening; spring already, light lingering in the west far longer than she had remembered. The heavily pregnant Fenrir – eight months, perhaps more? – pushes past the private party signs, into the familiar restaurant interior. Her hair is twisted into a loose braid, strands pulled free by the wind. Kora is slower than she was; careful of her body. She walks with her shoulders pulled further back to balance the weight of her stomach. Which is all the more evident when she strips off her winter coat and sets it aside on a coat tree, wrapping a hand-knitted scarf around it in a winding pattern.

She finds her way among her kin, but does not take a seat. Instead, she remains standing at their back, her feet shoulder-width apart, her arms crossed – below her breasts, above the swell of her stomach. There is an expectant tension in her spine and shoulders, and a firm set to her jaw.

[Derek Anderson] Derek came in, dressed in pants and sweater, his kind blue eyes looking around. He bowed respectfully to Balance Without Fault, did the same for Lukas and walked around, greeting those he knew a little with a nod: Hunter, Amunet, Gina, Matthieu and Jackson when the last two arrive.

He nodded and smiled slightly at Sarita when he see her. Izzy received a grin when he pass her by “Hello Detective”

His attention then was on August and Rain, offering htem a warm smile and walking to them “Good evening ladies, I hope you’re doing well”

[Danicka Musil] [I’m totally making Damon post Danicka in with Lukas. I’m in the middle of eating. :p ]

[Wyrmbreaker] Punctual, Lukas arrives moments before Balance lays down the protocol for the meeting. And not in his own car but in Danicka’s, riding shotgun while scarfing down the last of whatever dinner they went out to. Looks like lamb-stuffed cabbage.

Getting out, anyone looking out the windows can see him stepping out of her car, buttoning his overcoat against the wind. He moves ahead to get the door; she laughs, running a few steps after him, which makes him turn around, which gives her the opportunity to lean up and wipe a dab of tomato-based sauce from his cheek. And kiss him.

Public displays of affection out of his system, Wyrmbreaker is somber and dignified, walking in the door. He sees that his wingback chair is taken, the other cleared away. He goes to sit by the bar instead, where Danny hovers with a nervous grin.

“No drinks here tonight, Mr. Wyrmbreaker. Grand Elder says all the food and alcoholic drink is to be served in the kitchen. Nothing but ice water here.”

Lukas huffs a laugh under his breath. “Not a problem, Danny.” He takes a seat on a barstool, shifting one a little closer for Danicka.

[Matthieu] Matthieu arrives on time, even a little early. Ever the peacock the lovely Silver Fang arrives just in time to display the finely crafted suit that he has doubtless poured six months of your average man’s salary into getting each and every thread just right. His entrance was as much a display of his tribes divine right as it was a display of his own natural beauty. Not only was he the representative of his Auspice on the council now but he also stood as Alpha of Harrier’s grace. He was a living representative not only of his tribe but his house as well. Ever regal and dignified. His skin was smooth and pale and his hair looked as if it had been kissed by the golden rays of the sun itself. Falcon’s child carried with him the legacy of a house, and the history and hopes of an entire nation.

He listened to Balances without Fault and nods in agreement with the rules. He was here to listen, and to speak when it was needed. Tradition would be the focus of his reasons for being here. Support of tradition and remembrance of ancient ways. His blood ran hot with the memories of a past tens of thousands of years old. A creature of the modern world and yet still firmly grounded in the wisdom of eras ling since passed.

He keeps his eyes forward most of the time. However, when he is finally seated his eyes do drift somewhere to the back. His eyes drawing in to focus on the Strider kin hiding in the back. Pausing to give his own acknowledgement of her presence. His eyes take the time to wander, perhaps linger, and the act brings a slight smile to his lips a smile which might or might not be shared by the both of them. None the less… His eyes were hard pressed to pull themselves away, and in fact he didn’t see any reason to draw them away until the meeting officially started.

[Joey] Joey enters with Hunter and his kinswoman, but once they’re through the door departs their company to sit closer to the rest of the auspice council. A smile is offered to those she recognizes, dim compared to what it used to be, an upward nod to Balance Without Fault, and Lukas.

Once she’s settled, she seeks out Hunter, meets his gaze, and grins.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He looks a little bit intimidated, all things considered, as he walks into the meeting. He finds a place to sit. His shirt is a lovely shade of light purple; his jeans are black. His flip-flops, a lovely shade of maroon. Lukas’ words make his head swivel, and his eyes widen. Food? No… ice water. He slumps slightly, disappointed, as he waits for everything to begin.*

[Balance Without Fault] [Sorry for the confusion – “no drinks here tonight” was spoken by Danny, bartender kid NPC kin! I’ll try to keep all my NPCing in this name.]

[Delilah Marciano] Back of the room, quiet as a dormouse; the Glass Walker makes an appearance. Dark hair gathered up from her shoulders, she sits alone at one of the tables in the back of the room, whichever was closest to the front. The phone in her hand muted as she set it on the table, dressed in dark charcoal pantsuit with red pinstripe. Silvery gaze focused on those around her.

[Kieran Mondblume] ((Ahh hell. *smacks forehead* My bad.))

[Balance Without Fault] When everyone has settled, Balance Without Fault picks up the magic eightball and speaks again.

“Okay, let’s come to order. Some of you might be wondering why this meeting was called. The reason is simple: over the last month, there have been more rumors and murmurs of kin discontent than in the past five years. Furthermore, there’s been a troubling trend toward Kin thinking of themselves as separate and distinct from the Garou when we are all part of the same Nation. I wanted to dispel the rumors, clear the air, set a basic infrastructure down, and move on from tonight as a re-unified force.

“With that in mind, let’s hear from the kin first. What exactly are your concerns or complaints at the moment?”

He tosses the eightball toward the first kin to call for it.

[Adamidas] Adam slips in and, for the time being, keeps her mouth shut. She doesn’t draw attention to herself, or the fact that she left the bathroom with a pop and keeps herself quietly nestled in.

[Balance Without Fault] [For latecomers who missed it, this was BwF’s protocol post —

“Welcome, everyone. Thanks for coming. Here are the rules tonight: one speaker at a time. He or she who holds the magic eight ball,” and he holds this aloft, “speaks. No one else.

“Keep a respectful tone, particularly to those of greater rank. For those of equal rank, the Auspice Council holds precedence over the Tribal Alphas. For kin, those with renown hold precedence over those without.

“In case of dispute, we will not go to challenges because of the mixed crowd. A Philodox will be called upon to mediate. If mediation fails, I am the final arbiter.

“Anyone violating these rules once will be given one warning, and one only. After that, you’re out of the meeting, and your viewpoint will be disregarded. The staff has kindly set up refreshments in the kitchen. If you feel yourself getting hot under the collar, go get a drink and come back when you’re calmer.”]

[Amunet Knezevic] [Dibs, unless anyone is going to claim it?]

[Balance Without Fault] [whoever types fastest, man.]

[Balance Without Fault] [and on that note, since we’re a scene of twenty-seven right now — let’s try to keep posts short and snappy. i know i’m one of the chief offenders here, but i’m really going to try to keep responses to

[Joey] [yeah that’s pretty short!]

[Amunet Knezevic] “Balance Without Fault Rhya.” Deep breath, Ames. “My name is Amunet Knezevic. I am that one that placed the notice on the board, and the one who has been organizing the willing kinfolk. I believe that this in part may be the cause of the perception of discontent. I would like to clear up any confusion, as our intentions may not be as clear as they should be.”

[Balance Without Fault] [okay, i changed my mind — go ahead and call dibs if you have a longer post to type so you don’t lose your chance. but i’m gonna say you have 10 min from the time you call dibs to get it out, just to keep things moving!]

Balance nods. “Let’s hear it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[She says she’s almost done, it’s a biggie!]]

[Danicka Musil] The Happy Couple — and frankly, they are, however smirkingly saccharine the nomenclature — comes in together, but they leave their more obvious public displays of affection at the door. Danicka is wearing a knee-length gray skirt and knee-high black heels, beneath which are a pair of stockings that extend a little higher than the boots themselves. Her peacoat is doffed when she comes in, hung over the back of a chair no one is using that’s been shoved over by the bar. Underneath is a casual, gauze-thin sweater of seafoam green, laid atop the hint of a camisole. There’s a white applique in some abstract pattern to one side of chest of the sweater, but all of this is just [window] dressing.

Danicka Musil is not the most renowned Kinswoman in Chicago. Not by far. But she is the most renowned Kinfolk here. The Garou, if they ever mention her to each other, if the spirits ever talk about her, don’t talk much about how many fomori she’s killed or that one time she shot a zombie or so forth. She’s known to be brave, to be a Good Kinswoman. Mostly, she’s known to be wise. Granted, when she comes up, it’s hardly even by name. Garou call her Wyrmbreaker-rhya’s mate. And they say that Wyrmbreaker-rhya’s mate is clever, isn’t she? Oh yes, I’ve heard she’s a bit of a bright one.

It’s childish. It’s condescending. But that she is known to be anything at all beyond the mate of an Adren who has not yet given him a child, and that her reputation is solid as a Good Kin is impressive at all. She can’t cast rites, she can’t learn gifts. She can just be… a clever little thing. Good job, Wyrmbreaker. Now stop dicking around and knock her up.

When the magic 8-ball is first offered to the kin, it’s Amunet — rightly so — who reaches for it. Danicka, perhaps there just as a show of support for her comrades, perhaps just because she’s supposed to be there and she’s obedient, turns her eyes towards the Strider she met with last night, her murky green eyes interested. Thoughtful.

[Amunet Knezevic] “My intention is to gather the interested kinfolk in a network that will help the Trueborn, not work against them. Among the first concerns that are being addressed are training and information.”

Her eyes flicker to Sarita, then back to Balance. “It is necessary for us to be able to contact one another easily, not only in emergencies but in everyday circumstances where one of us may need another’s expertise. One of the first projects will be a listing of the kin and their contact information. This will be heavily guarded, not because I don’t want the information to be accessible but because I understand the danger of this type of thing getting into the wrong hands. Cordelia and Jackson have volunteered to begin this process, and to make sure that the information is secure.”

Our second focus is going to be self defense training. We are human, at the end of the day. We can’t count on the Trueborn to be our protectors when they have a war to fight. Carter has extensive self defense training, and he has offered to run a boot camp of sorts for those who are interested. As with everything that we are working toward, it will be voluntary. I don’t want to force any kin to join us, or accept any sort of training except for the third focus.”

She stops for breath. “I would like to see every kin trained in basic first aid. This accomplishes two purposes. Should any of us be injured, there will likely be someone close by to help. Again, we are human. We don’t heal ourselves, and we are out in the world. The dangers that we face come not only from our enemies, but from the people that we are surrounded with every day.

I’ve seen an amazing number of Trueborn that are more than willing to step up and heal a kin that is injured. This is honorable, but wasteful. Again, we are at war. We could be attacked at any time, and should that happen, which of the kin would be responsible for sapping a Trueborn’s gnosis by being healed out of panic or unnecessarily. Prepared kin are kin that are not a drain on the Nation’s resources.”

Her fingers run in her hair nervously, and she licks her bottom lip before continuing. “I’ve been in a Sept that was attacked. I have a clearer understanding of what happens than some of the kin do. I watched kin die, because no one was able to triage them. I watched kin die, because they had all become complacent and lazy and spoiled by well meaning Trueborn. I have friends here. I don’t want to see the same thing happen again. That is why I’ve made this move. That is why these three goals are my first”

[Balance Without Fault] “That’s all well and good,” Balance replies as the eightball comes back to him, “and I’m glad to hear you’re trying to organize the kin. See to it that the Warder has a list of these kin and contacts as well. Areas of specialization, too, if possible. We had something like that for a while, but the parties responsible for its maintenance drifted off.

“Regarding self defense and basic first aid — that sounds like a wise investment. We’ve got a few kin who are accomplished physicians. You might want to get their input. As for self defense, Imogen Slaughter’s known to be a crack shot. Izzy Montoya and Derek Anderson are both with the police; surely they know how to handle a gun as well. You might want to seek their services as well.

“But all that aside — Amunet, you’ve told me everything that’s working. Or that you want to be working, at least. I’m asking why I keep hearing murmurs of discontent.”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Some of the kin that have shown interest are not content, Rhya. Trueborn have become accustomed to dictating to us, and the kin have become accustomed to allowing it. Not only here, but other places where several of the new kin have come from, bringing their biases with them. This has bred discontent. I am in no way suggesting that we should be treated as equals. The fact is that we are not. I would suggest though that we are kept informed, so that when decisions are made and passed down, they do not seem arbitrary and dictatorial. Your kin are willing to work together with the Trueborn, Rhya. We just need a path to follow.”

[Balance Without Fault] Balance Without Fault considers Amunet a moment. Then he sweeps a glance around the room.

“I don’t want to put you under a microscope this early in the night, Amunet.” Maybe that’s a joke. The half-smile says it is. He raises his voice, “Let’s hear from someone other than Amunet. Kinfolk of Maelstrom, this might be one of the few or only times in your life that the Elder Council and the Tribal Alphas of an entire Sept are gathered, silent, with open ears — waiting to hear from you.

“If you’ve got issues, bring them forward.”

[Jackson Montgomery] [[DIBS!]]

[Izzy Montoya] She hadn’t intended to talk. In fact, she hadn’t intended to make a sound at all, but at that, she snorts. Audibly. But that is all, as she starts the ritual search through her pockets for her cigarettes and lighter. she finds both – but doesn’t put them to use other than to keep her hands busy.

After all – smoking inside is against the law.

[Jackson Montgomery] He stands, perhaps unexpectedly, and goes to claim the magic 8-Ball. “I think, if I can speak to this, that a lot of the reported discontent is simple due to the fact that some of the initial ideas being brainstormed are coming out and they aren’t even formalized yet. And some Garou have been volunteering their involvement…which is great. There’s been an impression that this is quickly becoming Garou vs. kinfolk, and that’s not the case.

“The thing is, when a lot of Garou get heavily involved in this, even in the planning stage, it belies the fact that it goes right back to the idea that the kinfolk are relying on the Garou instead of standing on their own. I’ve been talking a lot with Amunet about this, and we’ve come up with some good ideas. And at no point are we trying to push this into two separate factions. But the old saying goes, too many cooks spoil the soup, and there are a lot of kinfolk even as it is with very different viewpoints. We absolutely plan to make this a thing where we’re all involved in the same mission, but we need an actual plan in place for what we’re doing before we start implementing that and integrating it with the Garou side.”

[Balance Without Fault] Balance Without Fault’s eyes swing immediately to Izzy. When he gets the eightball back, he tosses it toward her.

“You sounded like you wanted to be heard, Izzy. Let’s hear it.”

[August Grant] August shifted in her chair. It was slightly uncomfortable for her to sit in the same position for too long these days. A slender hand rubbed at the side of her belly – perhaps where a persistent foot was intent on kicking her. She didn’t say anything.

No matter the extent of her past issues with this Sept.. in her mind, all were resolved as well as they could be at the moment. And, given that her cheating, lying, deadbeat, no good, s-o-b of a former mate had fled, she was a happy camper. Her gaze did shift to her tribesmate as he stood, however.

[Nash] Oh crap when did he get here.

Nash, who most here don’t recognize but for the breeding that pegs him as one of Fenris’s Kin, slips in quietly as Amy is discussing her desire to see Kinfolk trained in first aid. He works his way around the room to stand near Kora and tries to get his happy ass caught up while his player does paperwork.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He watches, back and forth. From Amy, to Jackson, and then to Izzy. Waiting, really, curious about all of this.*

[Izzy Montoya] She arches a brow, ups both her cigarettes and lighter into one hand and still catches the 8ball with a negligent ease. There are some things that become inherrant when one works in a male dominated workplace – like catching random objects being thrown at her.

She waits a moment, then two. She doesn’t look to Kora for permission as some might. She looks to no one – which is not unexpected from anyone that knows her in anyway at all. She is, and always will be, her own person. He wants to hear it. So he does.

“It’s bullshit. You sit there and say you want to hear, you want to fuckin’ listen, and it’s all fuckin’ bullshit. Not a one of you give two shits about what we do or don’t do, unless it directly involves you. Not a one gives two shits about what we might have to do for you in our jobs, what we might have to compromise in order to save your fuckin’ asses in a world you think you’re above – even while declaring you want to fuckin’ save it. Not a one of you.. not even Kora, whom I’ve grown to respect, did shit all when I was beat by one of you, imprisoned here of all fuckin’ places, and sent to work with injuries so severe that half my department wanted to come after whoever had fucked me up with guns blazing. Not a one of you gives two fuckin’ shits – and this is all a fuckin’ sham.”

He hears it. Both barrels.

She points at Amy. “That bitch has been lookin to get her goose cooked since she got here. And the latest scheme? Good god. she’s gonna get us all fuckin’ killed. And likely not by the enemy. Discontent.” she snorts again. “I won’t fuckin talk for anyone else – and don’t you dare speak for me either, I can get my ass beat all by myself – it doesn’t matter what you say here. In the end – you all will do what you want, and I’ll do my fuckin job just as I always have, and do a goddamn good job of it. I’ll cover my ass, your ass, everyone’s ass who I can manage to cover – but don’t expect me to believe that – for one fuckin second – you give a good goddamn what happens in the world we have to travel through every goddamn day. You don’t. You haven’t yet – and one night won’t make it so.”

To her credit though – not once does she raise her voice. If anything.. she sounds… tired.

[Danicka Musil] [Dibs!]

[Balance Without Fault] “Keep your tone respectful,” Balance says evenly. “That’s your only warning.”

That’s all he says for now. He lobs the eightball toward Danicka.

[Gina McClaren] *Restless as Striders were wont to be, Gina hops down from her stool, sashays into the kitchen, and fetches herself a couple of deep-fried wontons filed with hazelnut chocolate and cream cheese.
She pads back into the room midway through the detective’s speech, and settles on her stool once more.

Izzy finishes up, and Gina’s expression darkens a moment.

Then the detective has to use those finely honed reflexes again in short order. As a pikey whistles sharply then overhand tosses a wonton to the weary Fenris kin. Whether in agreement or simply in a bid to get her to cram it – only the guttersnipe herself knows.*

[Nash] Nash claps a few times after Izzy finishes. Not a purposefully sarcastic Slow Clap, but it is a bit on the slow side anyway. He seems to be favoring his right wrist. It lasts a few seconds, and then he stops at the Grand Elder’s warning to keep a respectful tone.

[Hunter] Holden wanders through the room to stand next to Nash and the other Fenrir. He gives a nod to the equally tall man from the north [south] along with a grin of approval.

[Hunter] [OOPS]

[Izzy Montoya] She catches the wonton. Easily.

And manages not to point out that she WAS respectful. For her.

[Danicka Musil] Everyone in the room is free to judge according to their own perspectives what it says about Danicka that when Balance Without Fault lobs the 8-ball at her, she doesn’t even try to catch it. She actually flinches somewhat out of the way, and it’s Lukas who snatches the thing out of the air, handing it to her. Some will call her oblivious that she doesn’t seem chagrined or embarrassed as she takes it from him. She’s a slender sort, not remotely athletic from the look of her.

Sometimes Garou hear of what she’s done to minions of the Wyrm, see her, say, Her?

Holding the ball in cupped palms, she speaks up for the first time, her tone clear and level. She addresses Balance Without Fault. “A lot of what Detective Montoya just said is true. Amunet, as well. We aren’t… like you,” she says, though in a tone that suggests even she realizes how weak that statement is, how far it falls from encompassing the truth. “No matter how much we care about our families, about the world we live in, or about the war — and I think all of us do care, though to wildly different degrees and in different ways — we don’t form ourselves naturally into packs. We are not asked to give everything, a hundred percent, to fighting this war. For Garou, the war is everything. Anything else is marginalized, because it has to be.

“For Kinfolk,” she goes on, “it’s the opposite. We live our lives. I go to school, Detective Montoya goes to the precinct, August feeds and diapers her children, Gina dances, we all… have a life. The war, however important it is to us individually, often comes as an intrusion to the rest of who we are and what we do.”

Danicka quiets for a small pause, clears her throat, but doesn’t give up the 8-ball. “Sometimes when we get hurt, Garou come running. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes when there’s a fight on our doorstep, we have to fight it because there’s no way to run fast enough. Other times we have to give it up as though that’s the natural, only course of action.” Another beat, this one for effect more than to breathe. “The truth of what Detective Montoya says is this: most, if not all Garou, spend the majority of their time focused on things that have nothing to do with us. We are expected to carry on by ourselves without them, unless they show up. And if they do show up, usually without warning and sometimes even without need, we are expected to drop everything to obey them.

“-Rhya, all of us have our own prejudices and biases and differing levels of committment — as well as angst. All of us care. But the discontent comes when we are kept to the sides all of the time, then told to shut up and submit the moment a garou ten or twenty years our junior shows up and acts like they’re our protector. I think what Amunet and her alliance are trying to do is to increase our involvement so that at least the marginalization is lessened. But the discontent is already there. The frustration. The affront, frankly.”

She stops there. She could go on. But she’s talked a great deal, and she silences for now.

[Bridget Geroux] [Dibs]

[Danicka Musil] [Other times we have to give it up and let the Garou fight for us as though that’s the natural, only course of action. GAH!]

[Kora] Nash comes in; the Skald gives him a side glance. It lingers a long moment longer than it otherwise might; then her attention is back on the center of the room. The thin cotton of her extra-long tunic pulls over her shoulders, muscles bunching with a subtle tension, mostly withheld. Her long braid swings down the dip of her spine. A faint lift of her chin, watching Holden weave through the room to join the tribe; a brief glance in Gina’s direction follows after, before her attention returns to the center of the room, following the movement of the eight-ball to Danicka. Once, she shifts positions. Widens her stance, leans further back, relieving some of the unending pressure on her spine. Uncrosses and recrosses her arms.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget sighs when it comes around her direction, careful to look at the eight ball when she holds it up. “Balance Without Fault Rhya, thank you for putting it in the light that we are all a part of the Nation. My name is Bridget Geroux. I know that every Sept is different, and I don’t have any expectations, but the Sept I am from is much smaller. We know each other well, and there is structure. Here, I don’t see the unity. I see reluctance, pain, anguish, and I see anger and pride disconnecting us from one another. Kin from kin, kin from tribesmen… and I wouldn’t presume to understand what goes on among Garou, but if that same disconnect exists on that level… it worries me.”

“And despite the recent bonding efforts to organize the kinfolk, I see a disconnect there as well. It’s a great idea, a great application, a wise and honorable action, but even with the application, I notice those same destructive traits. Just last week, I noticed a separation when a well-meaning Garou was not trying to interfere, but possibly trying to bridge gaps between Garou and kinfolk within Amunet’s… organization, fellowship. Whatever it will be called. And the way she jealously guards it and some others have just jumped on without gauging the situation seems too much like a Jonestown situation to me.”

Bridget takes a breath, exercising great efforts not to swear or fidget. “Maybe this is my own experience, but since I’ve moved here I have never felt more disconnected to my tribe despite my attempts to bridge gaps. At what point should I just go about my business, despite everything my father taught me? I’m… going to open myself up here and speak as truly as I possibly can, but it hurts me to have such a tentative relationship with the other Fianna.”

“This is all perhaps touching on the path Amunet spoke of, but I wouldn’t presume to speak for anyone but myself. I’m not good with a gun or first aid, but I know how to survive in the wilderness with nothing… I know how to work crowds, to work a public social setting. I know I’m not useless, but I feel that way when it comes to the Nation when my offers and talents are dismissed so quickly and without regard to its usefulness. I know how to stand well enough on my own, and I’ve done as much as I can to contribute… but I feel as if there is no point when I’m told to stay inside, discouraged from doing what I’m good at, and still held at such a distance. It’s all too condescending.”

Bridget looks to Izzy now, then sighs. “In a lot of ways, I feel exactly like no one gives a damn whether or not we all rot, what we have to go through or put up with and barely even a hint of recognition, if any of that even matters. I feel like many of us are just a bunch of wild things kept in guilded cages. If you keep any living thing from doing what it’s supposed to do, that’s not a life worth living. I don’t know what else to do but be discontent when I’m expected to stay out of the woods, don’t go make music or connections, don’t spend so much time out in the world doing what I do. I can follow orders, do what needs to be done, but I’m not a machine.”

[Balance Without Fault] [dibs!]

[Balance Without Fault] “I want to take a moment to clarify the purpose of this meeting.

“Jackson, I heard you about needing to get the kin coalition in order before plugging it into the grander framework of the Nation. I agree. Bridget, Izzy, I’ve heard from you both that the way things are going in the coalition are not optimal at the moment. But we’re not here to discuss the kinfolk coalition alone. We should address it more thoroughly, and we will — in a moment.

“We’re not here to discuss how Garou interface with the world, either, Izzy. We’re not here to change the way Garou and kin interact, because that — as Danicka points out — has been set for thousands of years. As you yourself have pointed out, it won’t change in a night.

“As much as you may feel downtrodden and unappreciated, realize that every last Garou in this room, on this planet, will die before age thirty. And they give this sacrifice so that you have a human world to interface in, just as you sacrifice your job and career and human life to support these Garou. The sacrifice goes both ways. And while you might not like it, we are in the end Gaia’s army. There is a ranking order, and it is dictated, ultimately, by our renown.

“But I digress. What we can do, what I want to do here tonight — specifically, without speaking in broad terms and vagueries — is to address points of discontent amongst the kin. I have specific incidents in my mind that I want to discuss, but I want to hear from the kin first.

“If nothing else, no matter how she brought it up — Izzy has noted some sources of discontent for herself. For that, I thank you, Detective Montoya.

“She Who Offers Sorrow, your kinfolk has raised an complaint about the way she’s been treated in the past. She says she’s been beaten and unfairly imprisoned. See to her concerns. If you decide her past punishment was just, then so be it. If it was unjust, make amends as you best see fit.

“Before we move on to other topics, are there any other specific grievances the kin wish to bring forth?”

[Rain McKellar] [Dibs, please!]

[Danicka Musil] Her eyes flick to the Grand Elder when he brings her up, gives at least one interpretation of what she said. She doesn’t ask for the 8-ball again though.

[Balance Without Fault] [erp. “will MOST LIKELY die before age thirty.” seeing as how BWF is like… 45.]

[Carter Roth] [Dibs after Rain]

[Jackson Montgomery] [[“You’re all gonna die before 30…except me. For I am Elite.”]]

[August Grant] {Very short dibs after Rain + Carter}

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita could be accused, often, of not taking things seriously enough. When your deed name is “Echoes of Laughter,” it’s a natural course of people’s thoughts on how you will react. She’s stayed quiet here, sitting near her Alpha and watching…listening. She doesn’t give anyone a particularly strong reaction when they speak. Amy gets a slight smile; Izzy a little frown. The others, she remains even-tempered, thoughtful.

The Strider is doing her best to listen and learn. She’s not even tapping her toe to some sort of tacky dance pop crap.

[Rain McKellar] The girl who rises to claim the magic eight ball next has nothing in her blood that calls out to her Tribe. She has no renown among them. Cloistered as she is with the rest of Unicorn’s kin, this gives some suggestion as to her allegiances.

Catching the eight-ball is only part of the struggle, here. And before she addresses the Grand Elder, her glance slides sideways to the Fenrir Jarl. Her shoulders square, and she calms herself a bit.

“Mr. Grand Elder, sir,” she begins, and her voice rises easily above the gathering. Unexpectedly warm. Captivating, it calls attention to her in ways that might surprise them.

“My name is Rain McKellar, and before I was kin to Unicorn’s chosen, I was Lost.” She says this plainly. “The places I have been treated their kinfolk much differently than here, and I appreciate that you have called us together and allowed us to air our concerns.

“I have no complaints about how I have been treated by my Tribe, nor by the pack that I live with. My Family has been good to me, perhaps better than they should have been by some of what others have said tonight. If I can help in any way, so that kindness and shelter can be extended to others, please let me know.”

Here she swallows and looks down at the eight ball for a moment.

“If I have any complaint it is that, in the intention of being helpful or showing their concern, some True offer up conflicting information. I am concerned about the thing that is hunting Kinfolk. I would like to know, plainly put, what best I should do to protect myself and to help your war efforts. If this has already been communicated to the Tribal and pack Alphas, then I will seek answers with Mr. Roman or Miss Kora.”

She walks across the circle to hand back the eight-ball.

“Thank you for your time, sirs and madams.”

And then Rain retakes her seat.

[Wyrmbreaker] [Quick dibs. And sorry, Lukas is pulling rank to get it for a sec!]

[Wyrmbreaker] Wyrmbreaker, who has thus far sat quietly except to catch the ball for Danicka, raises his hand after Rain speaks. The eightball comes his way.

“I can answer that for you, Rain. The specifics of what kin should be doing is up to each Tribal Alpha. Obey whatever order they give you. As a general rule, I’d strongly suggest getting to a place where you’re protected by the Garou of your tribe. If there’s no such place available to you, come to the Brotherhood.

“As far as I’m concerned, you can chance it on your own if you really don’t want to move. But I don’t suggest it.”

Carter’s hand is up. Lukas tosses the eightball his way.

[Bridget Geroux] Seeing as her concern over being told specifically not to do what it is she does, what she’s good at, was basically glossed over, Bridget goes and gets herself something to eat. She needs to gather her thoughts for a second, fidget as she needs to with all the Rage in the room, before the Fianna kin can take her seat again. There’s a lot to think over.

[Carter Roth] Carter had had quite enough at this point. If no one would take up that magic 8 ball and speak the voice of the malcontent then he would. He strode forward taking the eight ball for himself and turned to face the garou who were gathered all powerful, all alpha’s or elder’s in their right and he held the eight ball in one heavy hand as he spoke.

“I refuse to be ruled by those who will not see me as their equal.” He lets those few treasonous words sink in as he looks across the garou, his eyes falling upon kin in equal measure. “In many places, by many of your kind we are treated like Chattel, little more then servants waiting to be used. I will not argue that here I have seen generous activity that would enrage the masters of these places for that you should be praised. But it is not enough.” He shakes his head slowly.

“Unlike the detective, who will stand and do her duty even as she knows your disregard for the kin who work tirelessly beneath your gaze. I will not, not without equality.” He pauses. “Without it, we are susceptible to every monster of your kind, every garou who believes we ARE nothing but here to serve your whim. Tell me why we should accept our lot as it stands, tell me how it makes sense that such actions continue unabated against those you call your allies, your lovers, your friends. Is an ally told to be silent because you do not like his tone? Do you force a friend to become the mate of another simply because of what lies within their veins?” He lets that settle there, lets it hang, many knew of such instances, quite often they were regular occurances.

He takes another moment to look about. “We are all capable, we are all skilled in our own ways. But we are marginalized, we are shunted aside till we are expected to serve and we will hold our tongues and be greatful for it. I will not.” He looks at Balance Without Fault. “You have said yourself that these things will not change, that they have existed for thousands of years, change it, if you hold to any future that means something for all of us…change it. You wished to hear of discontent, there it lies.”

Carter lets the 8 ball go then and he takes his place against the wall once more. His gaze even and suspicious as it was when he first stepped forward.

[Matthieu] [If I can I’d like to call Dibs after umm August!]

[Kieran Mondblume] *He is waiting, listening to all of the opinions, and he is starting to look a little concerned.*

[Nash] [Dibs are for the weak! (I’m sorry!)]

Nash doesn’t bother with the eightball. When he speaks, after Lukas and Carter have gone, he has a heavy Southern drawl. His voice isn’t terribly loud, and like Izzy, he sounds tired.

“Kinda telling, ain’t it?” he asks. “You got two Kin waiting to talk but a Trueborn can just butt on in?”

[Balance Without Fault] [BWF takes the eightball!]

[Izzy Montoya] She says nothing more – but she does step to the side and light up that cigarette after all. Someone can call the cops if they’ve got a problem with it.

[Amunet Knezevic] “Because we are NOT equal!” She snaps it, then falls instantly silent again.

[August Grant] August swallows. Did she really.. really want to go after that? Geezus christ – she was rather surprised when there wasn’t fur flying.

Once the magic-8 ball was gently -passed- in her direction, the young woman stood. She cleared her throat just a little, trying to work up the courage to speak in a room full of this many important people. She never quite looked the Elder in the eyes, but.. was looking somewhat towards him, maybe at his feet. {oooh.. where’d you get those shoes?}

“Rhya.. s.. since you wanted to know about the discontent from us.. I figured I should mention mine. My mate, up and left me for another, knowing full well I was already carrying a second child for this nation. His child. He left with me with no one to protect me and my cub. The mere fact that no one at the time thought this a grevious act was insulting. It bred resentment.. and.. until I found allies within my tribe.. ” she motioned to those seated near by, “I wasn’t at all content. Things have resolved at this point and I am fine with my lot in life. But things like that – ignoring these big giant world tearing apart events – is going to drive a wedge between us.”

A brief pause. “That is all.. thank you for your time..” A hand smoothed her sweater over her belly and she again took her seat, passing on the ball.

[Starla Navarro] Starla’s head snaps up, she turns and twists in her seat to stare right at Amunet, her eyes narrowing on the kin that snaps out her words. The corners of her mouth flatten into a thin line as she glares at her.

[Balance Without Fault] [this comes before August — sorry, but BWF would immediately react!]

Balance Without Fault snaps his fingers for the eightball. He confers briefly with Kora, gets a name, speaks.

“Stick to protocol, Nash. You too, Amunet. Next time you two step out of line, you’re out.

“In case you missed it the first time around: don’t speak without the eightball. Rank and renown takes precedence. In the event that rank is equal, the Auspice Council takes precedence over Tribal Alphas, who take precedence over the Garou, who take precedence over the kin.

“And I’m sorry, Carter, but there is no equality in the Nation. We are not a democracy.”

It passes on to August.

[August Grant] {Damn, my bad – my screen didn’t refresh. Augusts posts AFTER BWFs}

[Gina McClaren] *Gina makes a noise in her throat thats something along the lines of a pissed off gurgle. Fingers scraping through her hair and across her temples as her head falls backwards in utter frustration. Talon hands coming away from her scalp and settling on the bar with some force. *

[Danicka Musil] [Dibs, when… okay I’m not sure what the list is for dibs, but! Put me on it!]

[Delilah Marciano] Delilah eases out of the chair she sat in, her hand drops to the phone sitting on the table, picking it up and stares down at the screen for a brief second, and then tucks it away inside the inner breast pocket of her suit jacket. She is tall, only because of the advantage point her heels provide her, she stands with shoulders squared back and chin tilted up.

The woman doesn’t exactly command authority, but there is a coolness in her demeanor. A calm, collected disposition that expresses patience, clearly her gesture to stand, instead of sit idly and listen meant she had something to say. She is an unknown face, a stranger to the kin that have served this sept in the past and now in the present.

[Calling DIBS!]

[Rain McKellar] Rain’s arms are crossed low over her middle. Her expression is somewhat anxious, but when she looks up to August as the other Gaian speaks it is with as much support as she can muster in this tense environment.

[Carter Roth] Carter frowns deeply at Balance Without Faults words and he shakes his head, an angry look flitting behind his eyes.

[Balance Without Fault] — and the eightball comes back to Balance.

“I’m sorry to hear you’ve been so ill-used by your former mate, August. Tell us the name of this Garou so that we all know his dishonor.”

The eightball goes back to August.

[Dibs list is currently: August, Matthieu, Danicka, Delilah.]

[August Grant] “Paul Kellogg. He seems to have .. left..” She’d rather use the word fled.. “the city.” And once again, the eight ball is passed on.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget stands at the doorway, listening to the conversation while munching on part of a sandwich. The tightness to her muscles and the smirk on her face expresses her discontent with the line of conversation. She takes a glass of ice water over to Carter and leans against his side. She offers the frigid beverage to the other kin, the corners of her mouth turning in a slight smile, an expression that simply says: here.

[Kora] Kora listens as Rain says her piece; her arms tighten when Balance Without Fault directs her to see to Izzy’s complaint. The look she gives the Grand Elder is direct, her expression ironic, but not wry. When Carter speaks, the heavily pregnant Fenrir audibly rolls her eyes (seriously, Nash can [i]hear/i] it). She flashes him a look when he speaks up. Except for the obvious tension, the expression is quiet, animal, unreadable.

[Starla Navarro] Starla clucks her tongue against the roof of her mouth, shaking her head. She looks over her should at Kora, catching the eye-rolling expression of the Jarl. She turns back in her seat, shifting closer to Rain and draws a comforting arm around the kin’s shoulders, hugging her.

[Jackson Montgomery] [[Add Jackson in after Delilah]]

[Derek Anderson] Derek listened, standing near Rain, August and Jackson. He owuld have loved to stand with people from his tribe but Sasha and Katherine weren’t there, Gabriel wasn’t invited and he didn’t rally knewMatthieu except glimpsing at him at the loft the other night.

He looked relax, hands in his pockets. He had nothing to say about all this really. He has been well treated by his Tribe, other Garou and kinfolks he has met. Well Remy was a jerk but even then, it went pretty ok when he met him. He knew some people had problems with Garou, that some had bad experiences in the past. He wasn’t one of them. Maybe it’ll come, maybe he’ll be like Izzy or maybe not. But for now, his life was good.Maybe he didn’t need much, or maybe it was his upbringing, butr he was..ok with the way things were.

[Joey] When the meeting first came to order, Joey sat looking slightly away from the circle, her head moving nearly imperceptibly to the beat of some rhythm in her head. As soon as the eight ball started going around, though, her attention was on the people in the room, her dark eyes moving from speaker to speaker. For the most part, she just watches, listening attentively. She’s silent, even when Izzy speaks up about her punishment, though there’s a tension to her brow, a slight downward turn to the corners of her mouth. The frown doesn’t leave her face, in fact worsens, especially when August speaks up, the kinswoman so obviously pregnant. Joey knew her mate, knew him for the filthy son of a bitch he could be, and not for the wisdom he supposedly held in the Nation. The fact that he would abandon his mate was hardly surprising to her, but infuriating. Wasn’t August the girl he’d once mistaken Joey for? What a prick.

[Carter Roth] Carter takes that glass with a nod to Bridget as great a thanks as he could give at the moment, and sips it, still looking displeased but for now…silent.

[Matthieu] When the 8ball comes his way he stands in his usual regal posture before kin as well as his peers. He takes the time to acknowledge all who choose to look at him with a smile before speaking up and addressing the others present.

“I hear kin speaking about unity, and about working together and about organization. So allow me to speak up and please do hear what I have to say.”

“Harrier’s Grace was founded under the idea that the Mortal world is an important one which we garou have little direct grasp upon. In the heart of a city as large as Chicago we stand in an awkward position where mundane threats could see us utterly destroyed without the means to address them.”

He takes the time to look over faces one by one.

“You wish to take part in the nation. You wish to take an active role in the pursuits of your own people then now is your chance. Harrier’s Grace was founded specifically with the Kin in mind and with time and your assistance we should like to see that all are both cared for, as well as allowed to take an active role in this nation’s happenings. We need eyes and ears, additionally we need faces and talented minds.”

“The Mundane World is your world and if “We” the Garou are to control it we need our kin to stand with it. So any who stand ready to take an active role in a pack who will share in it’s endeavours with all Garou and Kin who take part please step forth after this meeting.”He smiles a little to everyone present.

“I do not wish this to be a recruiting event for a pack but what I am hearing is that Kin would like a chance to take a more active role in their society. This is what Harrier’s Grace was formed with the intention of seeing through. So it remains relevant to the situation.”

He then looks around at the others involved.

“We are one nation, we cannot exist without the whole of that nation working in unison. Our kin are our support network, our homes, and our families. Whatever one feels of their unique and individual position within this nation know now that we are not oblivious to the plight of our kin. We live and die with the hope that our people will remember us and more than anything our people are our kin.”

“Perhaps we do not always show the proper deference or respect but we have a very difficult job.”He then turns his attention to Izzy.”When our kin stand and denounce us as if we have somehow broken some sacred vow it comes as a potent and dangerous blow. There are warriors in their graves at this very moment who have died defending the kin of this sept. I also promise you right now that if you were in danger there are at least one or two garou in this room alone who would stupidly rush off to their own deaths in order to rescue you. Remember this when you find yourself doubing the importance our kin hold to us.”

“In the end we ask of our kin nothing more or less than we ask of ourselves.”He says with a hint of a smile back at the kin.”In the end we must all stand ready to give everything for this nation if that is what we must. That cannot be negociated it simply must be.”

[Balance Without Fault] [Current dibs list: Danicka, Delilah, Jackson]

[Kora] (dibs!)

[Balance Without Fault] [and for the record – applying a -2 honor hit to Paul’s sheet for getting publicly denounced before auspice and tribal councils, plus half the city’s kin, reduced him to subcliath status. normally i wouldn’t announce minor renown tweaks, but in this case it’s a fairly substantial change in how other chars would perceive him.]

[Balance Without Fault] […if, y’know, the char ever gets reactivated *LOL*]

[Balance Without Fault] [last OOC note! if your character holds precedence and wants to use it, make a note in your dibs-calling so i don’t have to ask individually!]

[Danicka Musil] [I’m almost there! Sorry for the wait!]

[Danicka Musil] It’s as though she had mental notes. Danicka gets the 8-ball after the Galliard Elder and speaks up. Directly, in fact, to Carter Roth.

“I know what you can do,” she says plainly, and simply. Maybe even gently, though her voice is levelled directly at him in public. “I also know, and I am the only person currently in this room who knows as well as you do, what it means to be raised as a Kin of Thunder.

“The Garou will never see you as their equal. You may be able to heal with a touch, but you will never be able to fight as well as they can. You will never know what it is like to enter a new body and hunt on all fours. You cannot cross between worlds at will. You will never share a full measure of their power, and so you will never be seen as their equal.” She pauses a moment. “You say you will not work for the Nation without equality. You will never get it. And in this way — knowing what the stakes are, knowing what we all stand to lose — you are more selfish and dishonorable than any Kinfolk in this room.

“Even in human government, if you ally insults you and will not yield, will not compromise, those alliances end, often bloodily. So too will your connection to the Garou you want to treat you as an equal. Work with them or work alone, but do not get in their way or you will be cut down. We aren’t fools, Mr. Roth, not raised in our tribe. Amunet is trying to find a way to decrease our marginalization. And if you want to be involved, at some point you will have to submit to another’s leadership — and it might be Kin, but ultimately it will be to the Garou. Suck it up or get out of the way.”

A pause. She looks at Amunet. “You do guard the alliance jealously, Amunet. Bridget is right about that. You seemed secretive even to me, when I tried to show you nothing but support and interest. You need to work on that attitude, or all your efforts are going to be in vain. When you come to this meeting and then break the rules, you don’t show yourself as a very good leader for Kinfolk, much less someone the Garou might listen to. I want this to work. By god, believe me, I want this to work. But the Kinfolk have to grow up. We all have suffered, but not a thing is going to get done til we all get over it for the sake of the greater good. And those of you who can’t do that, whose angst and baggage is too much to let go of, I don’t even know why you bothered to show up.”

She takes a deep breath and exhales it slowly. “The last attempt at a coalition of kinfolk failed because the Kin involved wanted it to be some kind of perfectly equal democracy, and that will. Not. Work. Even Garou have to follow orders they don’t agree with sometimes. We do too, if we want to be of any real use at all.”

[Balance Without Fault] [delilah, jackson, kora, and then BWF is retaking the ball!]

[Kora] (drop Kora from the list, pls!)

[Carter Roth] Carter meets Danika’s gaze and he shakes his head at the woman. Before flipping her the bird, he might not have the 8 ball, so he won’t speak, but the message is clear enough.

[Delilah Marciano] When the 8 ball finds its way into the Glass Walker’s hands, she holds it up, gives it a good hard shake. She stares at the rubber triangle for a second; the curve of her generous mouth etches into a thinly veiled frown.

“Will this end well?” Delilah asks the ball, “Maybe.”

She turns her eyes up to meet the Grand Elder’s gaze for second, tilting her head to watch the rest of the room. “This, esteemed rhya, is the breeding ground for the discontent. You ask us for our opinions, you tell us to lay our grievances out into the open, so that we may be heard, so we may have a voice…”

A beat, her body shifts, rolls the plastic ball between her hands, “What is this all for? To what purpose will listening to our bitching serve you, in your judgment of us? They are unhappy, they expressed this, and yet, it will not change. We all know this – you said it yourself, it’s not a democracy.”

She shakes her head slowly, “Amunet is trying to organize an alliance, it has been said by Ms. Musil, it will not work. There is no organization, this is like trying to herd cats, they won’t cooperate without first laying a foundation. Training kinfolk in self-defense and first-aid will do very little against a monster breathing down their necks. If the Wyrm wants to kill us, it will do so.”

“The best efforts of the kin, if they wish to come together and organize, is to take a step away from the front lines, and work behind the scenes as we are meant to do. With our mortal influences, our skills, and our connections. We are the first line of defense in covering up the messes that the Garou like to make in the mundane world.”

With that, she shrugs her shoulders and hands the ball off to the next person that so desires it.

[Kora] (change my mind still keeping dibs!)

[Danicka Musil] Carter flips Danicka off. She shrugs at him and gestures to Danny that she’d like an ice water.

[Balance Without Fault] [bwf takes the ball!]

[Izzy Montoya] She looks around and finally grabs a glass of ice water, and taps her ashes into it. It’ll do for now. It also serves to keep her expression hidden for a moment.

It’s likely a good thing.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Did he cut or did I lose my turn? ­čÖé ]]

[Holden] [cutteR!]

[Balance Without Fault] [he totally cut.]

“First and last strike for you, Mr. Roth.”

Then, to Delilah:

“I was actually about to address that. I’ve got a few things on my agenda tonight, and we’re still on number one. I’d like to hear specific concerns from kin first and settle them as I can — so frankly, Garou and kin of Maelstrom, we’re starting to get a little off topic with all the philosophy.

“After that, I’ve got two incidents I want to go over. After that, I want to discuss and settle certain issues with the coalition itself.

“Let’s get back to the kin. Specific concerns, bring them forth.”

— and on to Jackson.

[Gina McClaren] *Gina’s heard enough, and she who had a voice designed – accent and all – for other’s pleasure in her speaking – had nothing nice to say. So like her sweet pikey mother had told her with a rap of knuckles across teeth –

“Effen ye’ve naethen nice tae say, fer christs sakes jes shut yer fookin crumbhole.”

She moves towards the kitchens, bumping past the folk in the door with a low sung “Oot the road please” – before moving to fuss with the food there, warming what had grown cold, cooling what had grown warm . Taking a hefty slug from a dented flask drawn deep from the V of dark cleavage. Liquor finally offered to Bridget and Carter in turn.*

[Carter Roth] Carter grimaces at Balance without Fault and shakes his head at the man, he does not however flip the man the bird. He simply looks to Bridget who was standing by his side looked back to Balance, and dropped his water letting it clatter to the floor loudly, maybe even shatter. He looked around at his fellow kinsman, all who had come here with the understanding that they would be free to speak…obviously that was not the case.

Before he turned and walked out a brief nod given to Gina and her alcohol.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] He takes the 8-Ball with a respectful nod. Yes, he is a good kin. Mostly.

“I had one more concern to bring up, Rhyas. It seems like…and I don’t think this is an endemic issue, but I’ve seen it a couple times now…some Garou try to instruct kin who…well, really shouldn’t be. And I know people may wonder what right I have to say that. But I grew up in a family that was blessed. Both of my siblings were Garou. My father was an Ahroun. I like to think I know a fair amount, though not everything, about certain matters. I won’t give a ton of examples…but one I specifically recall is that a kin, new to our city and rather wet behind the ears, was witness to a Thrall frenzy that took place here. I was present and got the kin to safety…after I left, said kin was told by a Garou that in case of a frenzy, playing dead was a good idea. As if a Garou who was in frenzy, especially Thrall frenzy, would just leave them alone if they were lying prone and pretending to be dead.”

He pauses, trying to figure out how to word this without seeming disrespectful. “To be honest, I was dumbstruck when the kin told me this. It’s…really bad advice, to say the least. I’ve passed it on to Roman, who has passed it further on…but it seems like some Garou could use some kind of instruction themselves before they’re taking kinfolk under their responsibility.”

He hands it back to Balances-Without-Fault.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Oh fuck. You know who that was supposed to be. ­čśŤ ]]

[Danicka Musil] [*points and laughs at samael*]

[Nash] [I for one am proud of Sarita and wish him all the best.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[I’m working and shit and it was bound to happen eventually AND LEMME ALONE! *mock cries and runs away* Okay nah, it’s funny, ngl]]

[Balance Without Fault] Over behind the bar, Danny suddenly blurts out a cough that sounds suspiciously like a laugh. He claps his hand over his mouth and holds up the other. “I know, Mr. Balance. First and last warning. Sorry.” And he mimes the zipping of his mouth.

Balance, for his part, takes the ball and answers Jackson directly. “Do you or does anyone know the name of this Garou?”

The ball goes back to Jackson.

[Quinn] So far, Quinn hasn’t had anything to bring up, no concerns or grievances to air. For the most part, she keeps out of the way, helping where she can but generally staying under the radar. But when someone says the advice given in times of Thrall was to “play dead,” her blue eyes widen, then her fine dark brows constrict.

When she rises, it’s not to intercept that passage of the eight ball. It’s to raise a brow at Carter Roth, the look simply How rude, trail briefly in his wake, and bend to retrieve the fallen glass of water. She gestures to Danny to bring a towel or something to clean up the water.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget writes something on a napkin and tucks it into Carter’s hand before he decides to shatter his glass all over the floor and make his way out. She stifles a tiny laugh– it’s not at all audible and she turns her face in Danny’s direction so she doesn’t disturb the conversation– but it’s there.

Gina thankfully offers up some booze, which the Stag kin thankfully takes so she can stifle her grin and shut the fuck up.

[Jackson Montgomery] He takes the ball and seems hesitant to name names at the moment. The information was passed along, but he was given a request. “Kristen. She’s a Fianna Theurge who stays here at the Brotherhood…I don’t know her last name or her deed name.” Handed back.

[Kieran Mondblume] *His eyes widen at that, and he looks back and forth. He frowns, clearly pondering.*

[Balance Without Fault] “Jenny,” Balance speaks directly to the woman watching quietly from over by the kitchen door, “can you get a message to Kristen? Let her know a Thralled Homid would sooner munch a dead body than ignore it, and that maybe she shouldn’t run around teaching the kin for a while.

“Unfortunately,” this is to all, “Garou rarely have time these days to be fully trained before stepping out into the world as Cliaths. The war’s too desperate, and we need soldiers. The downside is occasionally we get a good soldier whose education has been a little lacking in certain non-essential regards.

“There’s really no way prevent these things from happening. I can’t publish a manual of Everything You Should and Shouldn’t Say To Kin. All we can do is troubleshoot one incident at a time, so I appreciate your bringing this up.”

And the ball goes to Kora.

[Danicka Musil] There’s a glance from Shadow Lord Kinswoman to Shadow Lord Elder when Carter leaves. It’s hard to read, for those that don’t know her — for those that are, at the moment, invested in other conversations. He might understand. He might not, even as well as he knows her.

Danicka sips her ice water, and waits for the next blowup.

[Gina McClaren] *Gina’s expression at the breaking of glass is one of frank annoyance. She stands in the kitchen in her barefeet, and hisses irritation. Singing lowly to bridget – yes.. without the 8-ball.*

Trade ye tha sip o’ firewater fer yer gi’en tha broom, Bridget darlin. Dinnae fancy me bloody feet on account o’ foolishness, aye?

[Balance Without Fault] [wait, is Kristen there? i see her logged in. i know patrick’s the fianna alpha, but jacqui ain’t here tonight. well, if Kristen’s here, BWF would speak directly to her.]

[Balance Without Fault] Danny, meanwhile, is hurrying over with dustpan and broom. He shakes his head mutely at Gina and Bridget, forefinger to lips, waving them off. The message is clear: I got it!

[Kristen Burke] ((I was told that Kristen was not allowed to be here As such she has not tried to speak or rebut what was said about her.))

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget moves to action, sets her glass down on the bar, and helps pick up Carter’s mess despite her amusement. It’s alright, the movement gives her something to do. She shakes her head at Danny and helps him anyway.

[Balance Without Fault] [OK, I just saw Jacqui sign on, so I guess Kristen wouldn’t be there after all. Assume Jenny sends her a polite note repeating what BWF said, only a lot nicer and reflexively-apologetic!]

[Gina McClaren] *Gina remains in place. You know. So as not to step in glass with the bare feet. But Danny gives her the shush and she raises an eyebrow in a clear expression of “Oh Enough.” An incredulous shake of her head mirroring the Fianna’s.*

[Quinn] Quinn’s gotten most of the bigger chunks gathered carefully into one hand. When Danny arrives with dustpan and broom, she smiles warmly and rises to carry her burden to the nearest trash bin, which happens to be in the kitchen. When she comes back out again, she weaves around the outside of the circle to return to her seat.

[Kora] There’s something – implicitly feral about the heavily pregnant Garou tonight. She’s standing, not sitting. She should sit. Some of the people tonight are long winded – not telling stories, not remembering deeds, not discussing the dead – just talking.

Those closest to her can feel her restlessness like ozone in the air around her. It does not take much to bring it forward these nights, careful as she has to be now, pregnant as she is. Alone here tonight, her brother – her Godi – gone, her beta in another Sept, seeking his own tribe for challenge.

By the time the eight-ball comes her way, Carter is gone. Her dark eyes follow his path through the room; she catches the scribbing Bridget does on a napkin, watches until the kinsman has left the restaurant.

The creature’s generous mouth flattens then. Whatever she meant to say is distilled down to this: “I have kept my territory open to all tribes, Garou certainly, kin more so. It’s unreasonable to expect you to live in a city and somehow keep track of our changing, Balkanized territory. But, Wyrmbreaker-rhya, that man is barred from mine. I trust you will pass it on to him.”

[Kieran Mondblume] [Dibs?]

[Balance Without Fault] [back to BWF, then Kieran!]

[Honor’s Compass] Katherine and Patrick both here, somewhere, and their player is very apologetic for being tardy! She suggests Katherine is looking very pretty in white standing somewhere near pack-mates and as well as Balance Without Fault and Patrick is over yonder possibly looking confused — also in a very pretty way, albiet more masculine — or simply bored.

Carry on!

[Adamidas] She opens her mouth, then closes it. Her attention seems to be intent on what is going on, and before she can really say anything, the Fury turns her head in the direction of… something. Slightly to the left. She gives the Grand Elder a look and taps her chest with two index fingers, then gestures behind her with her thumb.

Whatever that look says, it must be important. If given the okay, she slips out as quickly as she enters. Just as understated, and punctuated with a pop.

[Balance Without Fault] Though Carter’s departure didn’t provoke an immediate response from the Garou named for his balance, it’s remarked on when the ball comes back into his possession.

“Wyrmbreaker, your kinsman disrespected this gathering again with his dramatic departure. See to it. And let him know that his antics only resulted in the very kin he professes to champion scrambling to clean up his mess.”

He nods to Adamidas, then, before continuing.

“At this point I’m going to make a last call for kin to bring forward their concerns. If there’s nothing else, we’re moving on.”

[on to Kieran! and if there are any more kin concerns, call dibs now cuz BWF is about to move things along]

[Quinn] [dibs because I gotta get something out in case I have to bail before the end!]

[Wyrmbreaker] Wyrmbreaker nods mutely to Kora and and Balance, the second nod deeper than the first. Then he gets up, leaning over to murmur briefly to Danicka before excusing himself from the gathering.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He pushes up, and then he takes the eight ball, shaking it idly.* Clearly, if he’s getting pissed off enough to drop a glass onto the ground and leave, something screwed up happened to him in the past. I think that’s part of the problem. We can’t fix these problems without years and years of therapy that we don’t have time for.

*He tosses the eight ball to his other hand.* But I will say, I’ve noticed every kin has their skills and talents. I don’t think I’m alone in saying, I’d like to hear about those instead.

[Quinn] The tall Fiann has retaken her seat now. It should be noted that she’s wearing clothes, and they’re probably pretty nice, and probably includes a shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal the tattoo on her right arm. Nothing fancy, just some cool looking birds.

Anyway!

She sits up a little straighter when there seems to be a lull, lifts her chin, and indicates she’d like the magic eight ball next. When it comes to her, Quinn doesn’t shake it to read her fortune, though she does smile a little down at it before standing to address the assembled.

“Hello,” she says, her voice warm, and still carries a touch of a Baltimore accent. “I’m Quinn, I own The Winchester tavern up in Lake View. Some of you might’ve heard of it. Like The Brotherhood, we’ve only got kin on staff, so it’s a safe place. If any of you are in the area and find yourself in need of a place to rest or otherwise recuperate for a while, the doors are open. To Kin and Garou alike.” After that, she rolls the ball from one hand to the other, says, “That’s it,” and passes it down the line rather than tossing it to the grand elder.

[Nash] The Jarl is understandably restless. On this side of the bar, the Fenrir are all standing; Nash looks like he probably ought to sit down, but for the moment, he’s still on his feet, his right arm held up against his midsection while bruised eyes watch the proceedings–silently, now that that first [and last] outburst is over with.

There is a lot going on, between Strider and Lord Kinfolk slamming out and slamming glasses. Nash, unlike many others, doesn’t have to stifle laughter. He glances around, then finds a place to rest his eyes when Kora starts to speak. He looks back at her when the Uktena speaks, as if looking for something, but he doesn’t lean over to whisper or anything else that might be considered disruptive.

[Delilah Marciano] Delilah sighs; she steps away from the table glancing around at the assembly one final time. She has heard enough, and the Grand Elder has yet to get beyond the first line of questioning. She turns away, slipping off in silence towards the back entrance of the Brotherhood’ hand retrieves her phone, texting her driver to come around to the back side to pick her up as she left the meeting.

[Kora] There’s something about the way Kora handled the eight-ball. Held it as if it were a cracked bone, as if there were marrow in it – rather than likely toxic water locked behind a window with catchy sayings on a plastic weighted die by children chained to extruding machines in some unlikely backwater of Guangdong province, China.

That sense of animal lingers around her. Her hair is pale, fine-stranded, her skin equally pale, winter-thing, dark eyes set above sharp cheeks made softer by the extra weight of advanced pregnancy. No matter: the wolf is still visible underneath. As now. Nash glances at her, and she lifts her chin, canting her head, dark eyes finding his with an unerring sort of grace. She holds the look for a quiet moment, then glances away.

[Balance Without Fault] The eightball comes back to Balance eventually, passed hand to hand until someone loses patience and tosses it. Catching it neatly, the Grand Elder takes a drink of water before going on.

“Let’s discuss that in a minute, Kieran, when we talk about the coalition some more. I have two incidents I want to go over. Unfortunately, Amunet, they both involve you.

“First up: the Brotherhood defense plans were posted up a couple of weeks ago, and you seemed to have something to say about it. Jenny mentioned you removed the original posting as something of an act of protest.” Over by the kitchen, Jenny looks mildly mortified. “What was that about, and has that been settled?”

[Amunet Knezevic] “It was less an act of protest than an act of frustration, Rhya. Again, the perception of being dictated to, rather than being acknowledged as being willing to work together. I apologize for my rash decision, and hope that my actions will not reflect poorly on those who can be held responsible for me.”

Her fingers run in her hair, eyes flickering away before meeting BWF’s once more. “It has been offered that there be a meeting with myself and those charged with the safety of the Brotherhood. I believe it is just a matter of finding a convenient time for everyone, and then the matter should be settled.”

[Danicka Musil] [Dibs!]

[Gina McClaren] *Her flask of corn liquor is reclaimed and settled back in her assets as she steps aside for the exiting Glasswalker kin. Strider kin maneuvering her way out of the kitchen with an eye to the floor, wary for any invisible shards lying in wait for small burnished feet. The kin moves to stand between Leon and Matt, dwarfed by a good foot or more by each. Curvy kin’s body language filling in the gaps where verbal communication was not allowed. She leans on Mirror’s whisper, floury skirt no doubt soiling his perfectly pressed suit. A painted toe prods Hostile Takeover’s knee, accompanied by a wry smile and a roll of eyes. Familiarity and Affection for both, mingled with no small exasperation at the proceedings. Her attention shifts to those speaking.*

[Honor’s Compass] [Kate has something to add! How do I — *hits the buzzer*]

[Danicka Musil] [Danicka yields to the ranked Garou present *gavel*]

[Wyrmbreaker] [dibs order is Kate, Danicka, then probably BWF.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita doesn’t fail to notice Gina’s brief interaction, such as it is, with Leon. Her eyes narrow a little bit, watching them, and anyone paying attention to her would notice a bit of bristling. She doesn’t speak out, merely watches for a long moment before looking back.

Yeah. She’ll be dealing with that later.

[Matthieu] Matthieu made certain to follow the kin across the floor. Whether Gina knew it or not those eyes followed her quietly. She drew closer and closer and even took the chance to squeeze herself between he and his beta. A slight smile grew and he peeked up at the woman with a hint of a smile. She had likely been drinking and was feeling pleasant. Which was surprisingly okay with the Garou who looked up at her with familiar eyes.

He didn’t speak however, simply welcomed her to join if she pleased.

[Leon Davenport] Finally something interesting happening to this meeting And no it’s not an angry kin storming out or incidents involving one with the Broho’splan or anything else. No, it’s the presence of a beautiful caramel skinned Strider kin, moving between him and his Alpha.

Shelean into Matt and that makes him smile, a genuine rare one from the Ahroun these days. Then she prds hm and the smile grew wider. He kept hi hands in his pants pockets, his smile turning into a grin. Then his piercing blue eyes were back on the meeting

There has been no GW kin here that he knew of. After all he knew Delilah only by her GWnet handle. He didn’t want any of his tribe’s kin getting into troubel tonight. He seem ot have had his wish granted.

[Kieran Mondblume] *His eyes, however, remain on Amy, and the Grand Elder. He looks, very briefly, worried, though it passes rather quickly. Nothing else in the meeting seems to catch his dark eyes.*

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget finally retakes her seat, glass in hand. Her brown eyes shift around the room as if for a second, she forgot where she was. The kinswoman shakes it off and sips the remaining whiskey, her eyes floating somewhere between Patrick and Kieran for whatever reason.

[Honor’s Compass] Honor’s Compass, who has, up until this moment been relatively silent, merely a formidable presence in so far as a regal Silver Fang of her ranking should be, standing to one side with her arms neatly folded over her chest; her coat open to reveal silk blouse beneath, the designer jeans and knee-high boots.

Immaculate as ever, she somehow managed to avoid it becoming ridiculous; her carefully arranged hair; her glossed lips. It was the animal grace in her that controlled it; the thrill of danger posed by those pale eyes of hers as they sweep the assembly, as manicured nails close over the eight ball.

Her eyes find Sarita’s sister.

“If I may, Rhya,” she says in her voice, rippling with its hint of french gentility, “I have some knowledge of these goings on. I was approached here at the Brotherhood by Adara, Song of Life, a Black Fury Galliard I believe my Alpha put in charge of the Brotherhood plans, along with Adamidas. She told me of the issues with the Kinswoman.”

A beat. “She asked my council, and two sides to this issue were brought before me, one from Garou and the other spoken on the behalf of the Kinfolk by one of Cockroaches Kin.” The Fang’s lip curves a little, inexplicably. “My sense was that they were working at cross-purposes, here. The Kinfolk, rightly enough, want their say in their own safety, but the Garou have their own notions on how Kinfolk need to be so protected.

My advice was to meet together, and discuss it. I believe this is the meeting Amunet is referring to.”

[Nash] With his left hand, Nash reaches up to scrub at his scruffy face when the tiny Indian woman moves across the room and proceeds to cause the blood pressure of at least four Trueborn to spike. He doesn’t sigh or stare, but when his hand comes away from his face and returns to his jacket pocket the kinsman glances over at Kora again.

That glance lasts only so long as the silence between active speakers; a few seconds after the regal blonde begins to speak, his eyes slowly drift away to acknowledge her.

[Rain McKellar] ((Rain will stay with the other Gaian kin until the meeting lets out, but her player must go to sleep soon. Thanks, all, for the scene.))

[Balance Without Fault] [night!]

[Danicka Musil] This time, the ball comes to Danicka more easily, since her mate has excused himself from the proceedings for the moment and it seems that Danicka doesn’t trust herself to catch the bizarre little toy if lobbed her way. She hears about the defense plan — something she’s only heard rumors of, not the story she just got. She looks at Amunet briefly when she takes the 8-ball, but in the end, doesn’t address the Strider kin as she did earlier.

“-Rhya,” she says, to Balance Without Fault, “the Kinfolk have tried before to establish leadership amongst themselves before, but in that case and in this one, there’s a serious problem with Garou being kept out of the loop.” She thinks a moment. “If the Kinfolk want to be heard by the Garou — to have a voice, for example, in deciding the defense plan for the Brotherhood of Thieves, to have at least some kind of vote in matters that affect them personally, then is there any reason why the Garou in charge of defense for this place should not have a Kinfolk — preferably a resident — whose counsel is sought in decisions about it?”

A beat. She blinks those round, green eyes of hers, turning to look at Amunet. “And maybe, if only to limit the amount of suspicion and paranoia and rumors of discontent, maybe an alliance of Kinfolk would have a better chance of success if there is a Garou involved in the proceedings and decisions being made — not to dictate, not to rule, but to communicate the needs the Garou have to the Kin, and vice versa?”

[Balance Without Fault] Balance listens to Katherine with clear attentiveness; then Danicka.

“It’s become increasingly clear to me tonight that some level of constant communication needs to be set up between the Garou of this Sept and the Kin. That’s part of what I wanted to discuss when we talk about the coalition a little more. I realize I’ve delayed the discussion of the coalition again and again, but I’m going to have to ask for your patience a little longer.”

He turns back to Amunet.

“There will always be some level of dictation, Amunet. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Nation is not a democracy. There is one Grand Elder. One Warder. One warleader. One Garou in charge of the defense of the Brotherhood, and one Garou assisting her.

“It’s not your place to rebel against that order. If you feel unheard, then speak. You may bring your suggestions up, just as anyone else can — and it seems that with Honor’s Compass’s counsel, you intend to do exactly that.

“You may not, however, display blatant insubordination to those who rank over you. And you must understand that the final say still belongs to those charged with the keeping of the Brotherhood. This isn’t a kin/Garou issue. It’s a simple issue of hierarchy. I would say the same to your sister Sarita, or even to the Philodox Elder.”

Balance turns the magic eightball over in his hands, then continues.

“The second point I wanted to address specifically is this. I’ve heard reports that you were seeking a Garou to … beat you? And that you would tape this as some sort of instructional video?

“What’s the story there, Amunet? I hardly know where to begin.”

[Amunet Knezevic] She looks very tired, very suddenly, tongue bitten to keep herself quiet as she waits her turn.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He flinches visibly.*

[August Grant] A brow rose.

That sounded like the single most stupid idea she’s heard in awhile.

Was that girl daft?

[Izzy Montoya] She’s wanting…. what?! Izzy’s head whips about so quickly her hair flies in a semi circle, smacking her in the face while she stares at Amunet with dropped jaw…. only to have it snap shut on the comment not quite bitten back..

“Motherfu…” snap.

She turns, and stalks to the kitchen. She needs a serious drink. Now.

[Quinn] Quinn actually does a double-take, and frowns at Amunet.Her thoughts are similar August’s. What would that even teach?

[Kieran Mondblume] *He raises one hand, however, before forgetting himself, and he holds his hand out for the ball.*

[Jackson Montgomery] He blinks as the idea for the original plan comes out in a horribly mangled, telephone version of what was actually discussed. He looks at Balances With Fault, then at Amunet and back, before he takes a [[DIBS]] after Amunet.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget tenses in her little corner of the world, and the nearly empty glass falls into her lap before she catches it. A slight amount of whiskey and ice bleed into the fabric.

“Shit,” she says under her breath. Looking directly to BWF with an expression of apology, she zips it quickly, gathers her skirts, and moves towards the kitchen following Izzy.

[Kieran Mondblume] ((Though I am willing to wait for dibs till after Amy and Jackson have had their say))

[Leon Davenport] Leon blinked a few times, eyes on Amy. Ok…now that was..well..totally crazy even for her. He actually had to look at Sarita with a brow raised as if asking her..what the hell? But he doesn’t say anything, doesn’t smile or anything. He was mostly, perplexed by all of this.

He had an idea why she’d ask that, but to him it dodn’t seem like the right way to do things.

[Danicka Musil] Danicka, in the face of people restraining the urge to curse, of staring, of double-takes… blinks at Amunet. There’s no anger, no sudden omgwtfbbq. But surprise. And definite, strong interest in hearing something other than the rumor that Balance Without Fault wants to be explained and clarified.

[Gina McClaren] *Wait – woah.. What? Gina arcs her back away from Matt, squinting at the better bred strider kin across the room. Expression caugt between disgust and disbeleif. She looks up to Matt meaningfully, as if to say “Didn’t I tell you? Crazy. Every fucking one of them.” That flask gets retrieved and sampled from once more.*

[Amunet Knezevic] “Okay. So” She takes a deep breath. Remember what Stefan said, Ames…

“First of all, it was an idea that was being batted around. Just that. I’m unsure why everyone seems content to run around asking everyone else why I’m doing what I’m doing, but that seems to be the trend. It was considered, it was discussed, and nothing has been done. There’s no reason for anyone to assume that it’s moving forward.

As for being secretive and not wanting Garou involvement in the alliance, that is simply not true. The Shadow Lord Nathalie has offered her assistance, and I have taken her up on that. I’m not hiding anything. I’m not trying to exclude anyone that would benefit the alliance.”

She gestures toward the departing Bridget. “She wants to talk, but she wasn’t there for the conversation. She’s referring to Adara, the Fury. She asked to be included in the alliance, and when reminded it was a kinfolk alliance, she compared it to the KKK. Jackson was there for the conversation. I’m sure he can back me up. My issue with allowing her to be part of this isn’t that she’s Garou, it’s that she’s a shitty excuse for a Garou.”

[Quinn] [dibs!]

[Wyrmbreaker] [Dibs is Jackson, Kieran, Quinn right now — though BWF might cut in line at some point!]

[Quinn] [WHOOPS! That was supposed to be Joey!]

[Amunet Knezevic] [I’m assuming she’ll be asked to explain that….]

[Wyrmbreaker] [joey –> jackson –> kieran]

[Kieran Mondblume] ((And Ki gives up his dibs.)) *He lowers his hand again, and then he goes back to listening.*

[Honor’s Compass] [Damn it, now Kate has to speak up. SORRY.]

[Wyrmbreaker] [kate –> joey –> jackson –> kieran]

[Matthieu] His eyes meet Gina’s own and he looks back at the kin though he doesn’t nod. His eyes say enough and he reassures her with a slight pat to the small of her back. Though the Galliard doesn’t wish to appear as if he isn’t listening and taking in every word. Indeed he was listening to everything that was said. Formulating an opinion on each and every personality that shows itself here tonight.

[Izzy Montoya] She’s not long. Long enough to have a shot and pour a second that she brings with her, in time to hear that it was just an idea being bat around, without nay explanation whatsoever. Her jaw tenses, and she finds a space of wall to lean against, setting the glass on the table and lighting another cigarette.

[Jackson Montgomery] [[Officially voicing a request to try to keep a bit closer to the 10 minute posting limit that was established for Dibbers.]]

[Honor’s Compass] Katherine’s eyes cut toward Amy.

“That is the second occasion I have heard, and the first directly from your lips of insult to Song of Life, Amunet. I do not care who you believe you are, who your mate is or how valid your cause — you will pay the respect due to a Garou or you will be sending your mate to every door in the Sept to make amends for your mouth.

I said it before, I say it again.

Respectful disagreement.”

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget returns soon after, patting at her skirt with a towel. She passes Izzy and takes her seat again, then offers her hand up to speak for the second time.

[Bridget Geroux] [Dibs when it gets her direction]

[Kora] Kora does not glance at Amunet. Her dark eyes track Izzy, though, as she weaves through the room. Then, the creature glances back at Nash. Fine blond brows arch eloquently over her shadowed eyes. Restlessness runs patterned beneath her skin. Even standing still she looks ready to prowl.

[Wyrmbreaker] [joey –> jackson –> kieran –> bridget]

[August Grant] Even though she really, really wanted to be here for this lovely conversation – the pregnant girl’s bladder could only hold out so long. So, carefully enough, she made her way to the ladies room .. and then to the kitchen, where she’d find a snack and linger in the door for a moment eating before returning to her chair.

[Joey] The magic eight ball starts to head toward another kin, but the Fostern Rotagar indicates the need for an interception. It goes to Kate first, and when it gets to Joey, she palms it, and inclines her head toward Amy.

“Just t’clarify, this idea,” she reaches up her free hand to pantomime air quotes, “was brought to the elders ’cause you’d already gone at least to Burnout lookin’ for a volunteer. And when I talked to you about it, everything you said told me you were set on goin’ through with it, despite warnings and consequences.

“So you’re not bein’ called out on it just ’cause someone’s followin’ some sort’ve trend.”

The eight ball is passed on.

[Kieran Mondblume] ((Ki actually gave up his dibs.))

[Amunet Knezevic] [dibs after bridget, please]

[Wyrmbreaker] [jackson –> bridget –> amunet!]

[Jackson Montgomery] He takes the 8=Ball and steps forward. “Just to provide my own perspective on this idea. Which, at least when we discussed it, was just an idea. It was brainstorming possibilities, nothing more. Amunet asked me, since I was a film student, if there was a way for us to be able to film…not a Garou beating the tar out of a kinfolk, Amy or otherwise. But potential sparring sessions. The reason for this would be that, if we were in a situation where combat was inevitable, we’d be more capable. This wasn’t ‘Beat the shit out of me and film it and you’ll know what it’s like to be in a fight. Hell, a Garou could spar with someone in homid and we could film that. These specifics weren’t even gone over because it was one three minute portion of one much longer discussion.

“The key was, and what we were discussing, was that if it was done, it would have to be done securely. No internet access to the video. Not multiple copies floating around. Again, this was a big if, and I felt it was conceivably possible, if not a sure thing. No one was setting up sets or anything like that, I wasn’t figuring out lighting and camera angles or what lens to use. As near as I knew, Amunet was checking with Garou to see if there would even be volunteers, because if not the rest didn’t even matter.

He frowns. “If there was some kind of telephone situation where it wasn’t properly communicated, then there you have it. But the idea was far saner and far more brainstorming than that I just heard. Obviously the Veil was our first concern and what we were discussing before any considerations came into play.”

[Hunter] [hunter taking dibs after bridget, before amunet]

[Gina McClaren] *Gina’s taking a fourth shot. Amazing how much alcohol can disappear into the little Indian woman in so short a period of time. The flask’s cap clinks metallic and resolute as its popped on tightly. Flask itself handed to Leon, a flat palm held up, then making an abrupt cutting motion. The fuzziness in her stomach and the hazy tingle behind brown eyes told her anymore would loosen her tongue, and no one wanted that tonight. So the woman who was rapidly becoming a lush entrusts her fire water to the Glasswalker , before settling back against the Silverfang’s comforting hand. Her eyes slip firmly shut.*

[Balance Without Fault] [bridget –> hunter –> amunet]

[Bridget Geroux] “That reminds me when Carter took your injuries last time. We all asked you about the bruises and you wouldn’t answer. I let it go because you seemed uncomfortable, but if I thought for a second you might want someone to beat you up… What the hell, Amy? How do you expect to display leadership among us with… whatever is going on?”

She stops and shakes her head. “I’m sorry, Amy. That got a bit too personal. But when I saw you talking to Song of Life, I just couldn’t hear it anymore. By the way, she has shown nothing but the utmost respect for my crazy ass ways and was one of the very few Garou who has encouraged me to keep doing my work rather than some Garou who have discouraged me from it. Maybe they’ve done it because they cared, but she is one of the few Garou I’d be more than willing to invite to my own house just to shoot the shit. I respect and admire the hell out of the Garou who treat kinfolk– even those not of their tribe– like the family we are. Family might be my whole grievance in the first place.”

“My other issue with the alliance is, like Danicka repeated earlier, that it is too jealously guarded, even from other kinfolk. My father, Meuric ‘Bear’ Geroux for those of you who care about the formality, used to tell me all the time how Septs grow weaker when not even the kinfolk can rely on one another as family.”

[Leon Davenport] He looked at Gina with a grin and took the flask out of her hand, making it disapear in his suit’s jacket. He nodded to her, letting her know it will be returned to her eventually. Not that it wasn’t a big deal if she had something of hers. She had something of him.

So it was with familiarity that he gently nudge her before looking back at those talking.

[Bridget Geroux] [First part got cut off:]
Bridget looks towards Amy with raised eyebrows as she takes the 8 ball, an expression of genuine concern.

[Balance Without Fault] [hunter’s up, then amunet, then BWF is taking the ball]

[Hunter] [oh shit browser didn’t refresh gimme a minute]

[Danicka Musil] At the bar, Danicka glances at the door, wondering about her mate, and frankly about Carter. She sips her water and returns her attention to the discussion. There’s no lightly thoughtful look on her face now. She’s quite serious. Bordering, in fact, on visibly tense.

[Hunter] The eight ball gets grasped in one meaty palm and he doesn’t stand to speak.

“Amy came to me first I believe, out of any Garou, sayin’ she wanted me to do it. I explained this to her at the time but I’ll repeat it because it seems ya’ don’t quite get it Jackson.”

A beat.

“For starters, Amy squarin’ off vs me in any form is just gonna be a beatin’ plain n’ simple. That’s just all there is to it. Secondly from what I was told the purposes for doin’ this was so that kinfolk could get some expertise on how to fight against a fuckin’ spiral — scuse ma language — n’that she’d want me to fight her not just in human form.

Now I don’t know what ya’ know bout’ spirals but fightin’ ya’ is about the last thing they’re gonna do. It won’t be in human form, so sparrin’ vs me in homid ain’t gonna teach ya’ shit. It won’t be to kill ya’ n’I don’t think I need to — nor should I try to, or am adequately able to — express just what they’d be tryin’ to do.

The flaws of this video been pointed out by my Beta quite clearly to Amy, but from where I stand there’s some seriously misguided ideas based on the fact that ya’ thought that me puttin’ a kin near death would actually help anyone learn anythin’ of value against that group’a devils.”

There’s a beat and then:

“The fact that ya’ thought me doin’ that could help is, quite frankly, god damn insultin’.”

[Kora] (going to bed folks. Kora’s still around looking restless and pregnant. Jamie has my permission to NPC her and directions for certain circumstances, cheers!)

[Balance Without Fault] [amunet–>BWF!]

[Amunet Knezevic] “I didn’t want to shame the Trueborn that gave me the bruises, Bridget. No one knew that he was going to heal them, and I certainly didn’t seek him out to do it.

And again, Bridget, you don’t know the whole story. Good for you that you get along with her. I don’t, and I have solid reasons why that is the case.

HOW am I being secretive? What kinfolk have I turned away? I don’t understand how not ramming an alliance down the kin’s throat turns into me being secretive. Explain.”

She flinches when Hunter speaks, eyes searching out anywhere to rest on but him. Her fingers run in her hair again, then move to scratch between her shoulder blades. “Fucking funny how you tell her fucking everything except the shit you’re ashamed of”

[Bridget Geroux] [Dibs if offered]

[Izzy Montoya] She felt Kora’s eyes on her, but she doesn’t meet her gaze. Not yet. Not right away. In fact, it’s not until Hunter’s clarifying that her gaze snaps up again, and there’s something.. something there. Something in dark eyes that’s clearly…

…well. Of all here, only Kora knows and only with passing details. Izzy tightens her hand around the drink, and pushes from the wall. She takes a step forward, and then shakes her head. Then, when she finally looks up and meets Kora’s gaze, her teeth audibly grind, and she turns, sets the drink down and heads to the door.

and if there’s a muttered curse or ten, well. No one who knows her is surprised.

[Balance Without Fault] [bwf is taking the ball!]

[Hunter] There’s a moment where Hunter simply stares at Amy with his jaw firmly set and then? He looks away, relaxes in his seat as much as the — sometimes high strung — Ahroun could ever relax under such conditions.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Prayers to Broken Stone has been lounging against a wall in his hoodie; arms folded over his chest; sniffing every now and then as if he had a cold. There’s been a beer bottle in one of his hands fairly steadily and at some point; he’d excused himself to raid the kitchen; he returns now, to discussion of beatings and video tapes and something about Hunter being ashamed.

He bites a hunk out of his sandwich, and shuffle-excuses his way back to his little spot like that annoying late-comer at the movies who blocks out the screen as the heroine and her man get it on finally.

[Balance Without Fault] “Enough.” Balance takes the ball back. “I don’t want to dwell on this longer than we have to. This is not a public lynching. I’ll say this, and then we move on.

“Amunet, videotaping a Garou is a very bad idea. Videotaping a Garou in non-Homid form is a worse idea. Asking a non-homid Garou to attack you so you can videotape is insanity. I realize this was a brainstorm. But that sort of idea should never even come to your mind. Not simply because of the threat to the Veil, but because it tells me that you genuinely believe with enough training a kin would have options against a Dancer in warform beyond running.

“Izzy Montoya mentioned earlier that you were going to get people killed. I’m starting to see her point.

“Let me be very clear on this: you can train if you want to. You can learn first aid, you can learn self defense. If the Warleader judges you capable, we are even willing to entertain the idea of an elite kin squad assaulting light targets to support their Garou brethren. But you are not equipped to fight a Garou in warform. If you’re so unlucky as to be caught by one, you should run. And you should teach your friends to run — not lull them into some misguided idea that they might be able to fight and win.”

Balance’s fingers tap restlessly on the eightball for a moment. Then he goes on:

“I want to move on to discussion the coalition, its leadership, and the idea of establishing a Garou-kin liaison to maintain an open line of communication between the kin and Garou of this Sept. Before we get there, I just have two more questions:

“Bridget, you mentioned something about a Garou forbidding you from something you want to do. Be more specific. What do you speak of?

“And Amunet, you accuse Hunter of not speaking of something he’s ashamed of. What are you speaking of?”

[Bridget –> then Amunet, unless she rejects it!]

[Kieran Mondblume] *He looks back to Hunter at that, and he sighs deeply. Looking back to Amy. And then back to BWF. Again watching. He wants to speak, but the words are not coming easily, it seems, so he keeps his mouth shut.*

[Matthieu] Matthieu watches in preparation for Amunet’s response. The Galliard was standing ready and keeping his attention on every word that would come out of the Kin’s mouth.

[Gina McClaren] *Curiouser and Curiouser. Gina’s eyes slowly open, and her gaze rests on Hunter, expression inquiring, her head tilted to the side. Not unlike a german shepard trying to puzzle out an algebra equation.

That is to say – hopelessly lost.

She looks from Leon and Matt back to Hunter, as though she might figure out whats shaking through some sort of elaborate half drunk social triangulation.*

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The Strider is watching with the most intense look of concentration anyone’s ever seen on her face. It is focused on her sister and the Grand Elder. It could be because she’s curious–tense?–to see what might be said, or it could be because she’s not wanting to look at certain individuals who might raise her ire. Her expression is pained. It’s clear to anyone who might look at her that although her protectorate obligations are over with, it certainly doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care. She knows how her sister must feel right now, what this is like for her, because she knows Amy so well.

She would rather it be her in that place instead of Amy, being questioned and having doubt heaped on by others.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget fidgets with the ball when it comes her way, taking a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Amy, if that got a bit too personal. Catch me later if you want.”

She continues quickly. “I have on a few occasions been told by several Garou. Forgive me, but one didn’t tell me his name. The other was Simon, who I think expressed concern over my well being. I should explain. The Sept I am from is in the Rockies, in the middle of nowhere. I’m not boasting, but I know I’m a skilled survivalist. It feels unnatural going for so long in the city without getting some fresh air. But on several occasions, without explanation, I’ve been discouraged from going outside of the city to… do my thing.”

The Fianna kin continues, “I don’t understand what the difference is if I’m alone in the city or in the woods. I can handle myself just fine out there, and I’ve gone out there on several occasions on my own before Simon and some others told me I shouldn’t.”

[Balance Without Fault] “And that’s all you’re doing? Just going into the woods to … hike?”

He tosses the ball back.

[Leon Davenport] His shift position slightly, watching Amunet, glancing at Sarita and then Hunter. What will Amy say? He hoped that Amy will decide not to tlk. For herself, for Hunter and maybe for him. He wasn’t sure what Amy meant, what Hunter did or didn’t do., but somethings were sad that didn’t make him entirely comfortable

Thongs has been dealt with and he had no intention to have them brought back to the forefront.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget catches it, “No. I hunt. I check the trails, get familiar with the landscape. Sometimes, I stay out there for quite a while with little or no supplies. It’s… no different from what I did back home.”

[Derek Anderson] (*things has been dealt..)

[August Grant] {Alright, gotta get to bed – August will stay through the meeting with the other Coggies. Night all.)

[Danicka Musil] [Night! Thanks for playing!]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Patrick will take a break from eating to pipe in at some point RE: Bridget.]

[Bridget Geroux] [Add: check the landscape, figure out the flora and fauna.]

[Balance Without Fault] “I see no harm in that. Patrick, you represent the Fianna. What do you think?”

Lob.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget seems quite pleased with BWF’s comment, but waits on Patrick’s response.

[Hunter] [if anyone wants a description post of hunter’s appearance etc right now let me know otherwise I’m just chillin’ LOL]

[Nash] [I don’t think I’ll survive without one.]

[Rosie] Rosalie has been very quiet. Nothing more than another small body among a wealth of very well bred kin and Garou. While the conversation continues between the primary parties, the kin slips her fingers inside the front pocket of her jeans and removes her cell phone. She is quiet and unobtrusive while her fingers move quickly over the Qwerty keyboard.

[Balance Without Fault] [angelina, since your post is pretty separate from this business with Bridget, you might wanna start pre-writing!]

[Hunter] [AHAHAHA, gina just got a trillion empathy suxx ;((( ]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Prayers to Broken Stone sets his beer down and catches the eightball the way a baseball player might; both hands. He’s finishing chewing his sandwich as he goes and holds up a finger briefly to swallow, then thump himself over his chest to help work it down.

Brushing crumbs from his mouth, the intensely-blue eyed Galliard of Last Watch speaks simply, without intention for pretty wording.

“Thanks, man — Rhya, man. Uh, look I know Bridget fairly well. I think I can say with an attempt at authority she’s not insane, girl can hold her own when fist comes at face. I have no problem with her hiking in the woods. I think of some of the Kinfolk here, no respect really, but I think of them, she’d do pretty well.

So, yeah.”

He nods at the Fiann, and lobs off the eightball.

[Kieran Mondblume] ((And I am passing out. The coughing has not ceased, so whatever he might say in response I can wait on for now, I think.))

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [no.. DISrespect. Hooboy.]

[Jackson Montgomery] [[Jackson: *Pitches a fit and storms out weeping*]]

[Nash] When his phone buzzes in his pocket, he does not whip it out to see who it is while still in the midst of the meeting. He hears it, and quietly steps out from between Holden and Kora to find some sort of an exit. Being as he’s never been in here before, it takes a moment before he realizes the kitchen is through the swinging doors and manages to make it that way, moving at an unhurried pace, keeping his right arm held to his ribs.

Whatever he sees when he ends up in the kitchen makes him laugh, and then the door swings shut behind him.

[Amunet Knezevic] She catches the ball, eyes on BWF and nowhere else. “I understand that it’s a bad idea, Rhya. I put more stock into Laughs in the Face of Death Rhya’s words than was evident at the time. I assure you, the idea had been abandoned long before this meeting.”

Her teeth catch the corner of her bottom lip for a moment, before her head shakes. “I apologize for the comment. To both you and Burnout Rhya as well. It wasn’t about anything pertinent to the discussion or the Nation, just something that my brother and I should discuss at a later time”

[Rosie] Blue eyes sweep over Amunet’s face but what – if anything – she’s thinking at that moment are not completely obvious. Her fingers ghost over her phone before she slides it closed and stands from her chair where she’d been sitting. There’s a quiet apology given to those seated nearest her before she edges away and manoeuvres a path through the proper area and into the kitchen.

[Balance Without Fault] [crap — this goes in before Amunet — ]

“I’d add only two admonishments to that. First: I’d keep that sort of solitude to a minimum until the kinhunter business has passed. You’ll be easy pickings on your own, miles from anyone else. Second: I hope to Gaia you’re hunting rabbits and deer, not Wyrm creatures.”

[Amunet Knezevic] [*scootches back to make room*]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Patrick watches as one by one, Kinfolk slip into the kitchen. He cranes his neck.

“What is there some secret door I don’t know of back there?” He calls at random, then grimaces in a ‘my bad’ way if looked at sharply for speaking out of turn. He does gesture at the kitchen to others though, in a what gives manner.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget shakes her head at that. “Oh, god no. I’m not that much of a moonbrain.”

[Derek Anderson] He lean against the wall, listening, not talking. He has been one of the few Kin who didn’t speak up and was still there. And he wasn’t going to leave until the meeting was over. He was Silver Fang and he would do things properly. Beside, it was somewhat interesting. He learned a few things, watching everyone, listening.

He offered Rain and August a smile as both kin were obiosuly tired, August understandably so, being prengant and all. He will offer her andEla a ride home after the meeting and Rain too, unless she leaves with one of Kora’s people

[Gina McClaren] *Dark eyes slide from Hunter to his Fenrir Packmate. Flick to Gina’s kinfolk tribesmate. Tipsy kin contemplative as she rests against Mirror’s Whisper, considering the garou of Defiance a moment longer. Leon’s tenseness is sensed in a peripheral, instinctive manner, and dealt with just as naturally. Gina tugs his shirt-sleeve in a gesture of comradery, before settling back in to listen. She’d leave to go to “work” once the meeting was over.*

[ok! I have got to sleep or I’m just going to start typing “Ale-Alejandro Ale Alejandrooo” over and over again. Or something equally inane. Good Night folks! Have fun!]

[Joey] [Do I want to know what’s going on in the kitchen? curiositah!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 7, 7, 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Balance Without Fault] [night!]

[Joey] It’s the laughter that has Joey looking back toward the kitchen, as the Fenrir kinsman disappears behind the swinging door. And it’s Patrick calling attention to it that has her curiosity piqued.

But this meeting is srs bznz. Joey manages to contain that desire to know. At least for now.

[Balance Without Fault] [typing, folks! sorry it’s taking a while!]

[Balance Without Fault] Balance considers Amunet a moment, then nods. “Fair enough. Let’s move on.”

A moment’s pause, reflective. Then Balance takes another drink of water, sets the eightball down beside him, and speaks.

“I think we got somewhere tonight. I think we addressed a lot of concerns, some minor and some major, that needed to be talked about. That said, I think there’s still a lot up in the air, and it’s pretty evident that we need a more permanent mode of communication between the kin and the Garou of this Sept.

“I’m taking a page from my tribesmen in southern California. I’m hereby creating two new offices in this Sept: a Sept liaison amongst the kin, and a Kin liaison amongst the Garou. Their task is simple. They represent the kin and the Garou, respectively, and they interface with each other to make sure there’s an open line of communication at all times.

“If a kin has an issue that requires the attention of the Garou, bring it to the Sept Liaison. He or she is the voice of the kin in this Sept. Whatever the issue, the Sept Liaison is in charge of speaking to the appropriate Tribal Alpha to find a resolution, or — if it’s a matter that affects all the Garou — the Kin Liaison. The Sept Liaison is also tasked with passing critical information from the kin to the Garou. I will consider allowing the Sept Liaison to stand witness at the Crackings of the Bone, though I want to hear the Philodox Elder’s opinion on protocol and precedent first.

“In complement, the Kin Liaison will attend coalition meetings — primarily as a listener, but also as a voice for the Garou when necessary. The Kin Liaison will have a direct line to me and the other Sept and Tribal Elders as necessary. It’s also my hope that the Kin Liaison will have the basic leadership skills necessary to independently handle minor issues.

“Now, as to who will fulfill these roles — Mirror’s Whisper, you spoke earlier of your pack’s role. It seems to me that you’re ideally suited to our Kin Liaison. If you’re willing, the job is yours.”

[Wyrmbreaker] It’s in the middle of Balance’s speech that the door opens and Wyrmbreaker slips back in. He takes his seat by Danicka again. He looks a little worn out, but — rather glad, surprisingly.

There’s no blood on him anywhere. He takes his mate’s hand as he sits, squeezes it once, and then turns to pay attention to the Grand Elder.

[Amunet Knezevic] Her breath catches and holds. There is absolutely no doubt how much she desires to be named to the newly formed position.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget pays a glance to Amy, her face grows concerned. Her eyes flick back to Balance Without Fault as she backs away towards the bar, making herself less obtrusive. Bridget won’t touch that with a ten foot pole unless someone beat her with it and tied it to her arms.

[Wyrmbreaker] [sorry to wreck your transcript, unbrokenites, but!

Lukas caught up to Carter outside and offered him the choice between getting exiled and going voluntarily into house arrest for a month. Carter agreed to house arrest, so he’ll be shacking up at the Loft. Sorry, Kate!

Lukas also stipulated that he’ll have a stormcrow following him around, and that he’s only allowed to be at the Loft and immediately surrounding areas or at work. If he wants a guest over, he has to get Kate’s permission.

Carter wanted to continue training kin, so Lukas said he’d ask Kate if it was okay for Carter to use the rumpus room. If not, Lukas will find him a dojo or something.

/end transmission!]
to┬áDanicka Musil, Honor’s Compass, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Honor’s Compass] [I’m typing!]

[Danicka Musil] [Sinclair sez: HAHAHA HOPE YOU GUYS ARE HAVING FUN OUT THERE WITH THE KINFOLK DRAMUHZ. I’M GOING TO TIJUANA TOMORROW TO GET FIREWORKS FOR MY BIRTHDAY. WERD.]
to┬áHonor’s Compass, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker

[Matthieu] He nods his head back at Balance without Fault and his smile shows.”Thank you, I should like that my pack serve as a representative not only of the Garou but as a display of what the Garou and Kin can accomplish together. I would proudly accept the role as I would never wish our kin in this sept to go without a voice. They are the heart of our society and I should like that we can repair any rifts between us soon enough.”He smiles and looks to the other Kin present.

[Honor’s Compass] Honor’s Compass has been frowning in consideration for some time as discussion and debate wore on; when Balance Without Fault calls for her opinion on the matter of a Kinfolk standing in attendance at the Moots, she stirs and tosses a wave of silky gold hair over a shoulder; taking hold once more of the ball.

“I see no true issue with the appointed Kinfolk Liaison attending Moots within reason. I do not believe that unless they have matters to bring forward, they need be present and when they are, it would be my advice, Rhya, that they speak only when other matters have been addressed — unless there is reason why they should speak before the collected Garou.

I would further suggest that bearing in mind whoever gains this position, that their tribal Alpha be held responsible for their safety and conduct during appearances at our Moots.”

[Honor’s Compass] [Kate has no issue with the naughty Kinfolk being chained to her house. She has a free room available for him, chains optional.

She’ll provide him with a spare key and inform him he is welcome to make use of the rumpus space as long as he’s respectful to Kate’s other guests and knows if he steps out of line she’ll put him down.]
to Danicka Musil, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker

[Balance Without Fault] [dibs list: kate –> BWF!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [Sarita says: “Long as I don’t have to dodge gunfire for using all the hot water in the shower, sounds like a plan.” Though she’s super-distracted at the moment, too.]]
to┬áDanicka Musil, Honor’s Compass, Wyrmbreaker

[Danicka Musil] [Sinclair sez: WEEE-OOO. TEQUILAAA.]
to┬áHonor’s Compass, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker

[Balance Without Fault] [i’m an idiot, it wasn’t refreshing.]

[Balance Without Fault] Balance Without Fault listens to Katherine; it’s readily apparent that her word is carefully attended to and weighed. Nodding, he takes the eightball back.

“Fair enough. The Sept Liaison may attend the Cracking of the Bone as a witness. He or she may speak if and only if they have a valid concern to bring forth on behalf of all the kin. The tribal Alpha of this kin is held responsible for the Sept Liaison’s safety and conduct.

“With that said, I’ll consider nominations for the Sept Liaison now.”

[Hunter] [dibs]

[Hunter] Hunter takes the eight ball for the second time tonight and by the way he keeps glancing over his shoulder at the kitchen it’s probably going to be the last time.

“Let me just say Amy’s eager if nuthin’ else. She wants to help n’despite all that’s been said tonight, I think her hearts in the right place which is more than can be said for some kinfolk.

In saying that, I spoke with Imogen Slaughter, she’s agreed to step in and help out the cause that Amy’s started n’I think we’d all be fools not to consider her for nomination. She couldn’t be here tonight cause she’s cleanin’ up the mess one’a our kind left behind, but I think she’d do this if it were offered to her.”

The way he looks at Amy is apologetic if anything, but having said his piece, he hands the eight ball on.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget makes her way quietly over to Patrick, then leans over and whispers something quietly to her Tribal Elder. It is the briefest of moments before she touches his shoulder and retreats into the kitchen.

[Nash] [Oh shit I’m supposed to be proxying for Liz/Kora!

Yes. Dibbage –> seconding of Hunter’s nomination of Imogen for Kora.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[DIBS]]

[Amunet Knezevic] Just remember, some people there will be skeptical. Some may even try to show that you is not ready by trying to entice your anger. Do not let them bait you.

She brushes her hair back, putting on her very best poker face. It got them out of San Antonio unscathed, it can sure as fuck get her out of this meeting with at least a shred of dignity.

[Balance Without Fault] [go ahead, sarita – jamie was just OOCing it!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita takes the 8-Ball. And believe it or not, she actually considers the thing for a moment before she speaks.

“I really like this idea of Kin and a Sept Liasons. It’s thinking outside the box, which is something our people don’t do often enough. And it’s my job…the job of all of my Auspice…to encourage thinking outside of the box, finding new ways to make the war work. This is exactly one of those things, so I’m a fan.”

“As to who…I’ve heard great things about Imogen. I have absolutely no doubt that they’re true. But I don’t know her. I’ve never met her, or seen her around the Brotherhood during my admittedly short time here. That’s not saying she’s negligent, and certainly I’m not here all the time. But we have a lot of kin that come in and out of here. Even the amount of time I’ve been here, I’ve seen a lot come and go. We need someone who’s regularly in contact with the kin and has their ear to the ground, and has ideas. Maybe not always the best of ideas, but that’s part of why they’ll be working with others, Garou AND Kin. Getting the right ideas pushed forward, and the well-meaning but not well thought-out ones squashed. Which, to be honest, seems to be what’s been happening.”

She twirls the magic 8-Ball like a basketball for a moment, staring at it, then looks up. “Amunet’s done the legwork. She’s got her ear to the ground, and she’s got the drive. She’s got the right ideas, even if some of the wrong are there too sometimes, and she’s willing to listen and hear other people’s opinions, take them into account, and learn from what hasn’t worked to make the right things work better. I think she’s the right person for the job.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[spins on her finger. Y’know, Harlem Globetrotter style. Since “twirls” don’t make no sense. :P]]

[Joey] [Dibs!]

[Danicka Musil] [Dibs, as well.]

[Balance Without Fault] [joey –> danicka]

[Joey] Joey holds out her hands for the magic eight ball, catches it easily if it gets tossed her way. Before she speaks, she grins at her auspicemate, would tip her hat if she were wearing one.

“My associate raises some good points. As for stickin’ around, Imogen’s a rock. She’s been here since long before I got here, an’ I’m pretty sure she’ll still be standing’ when the world’s finally fallin’ to pieces. That said,” she tosses the eight ball from one hand to the other, “Sarita’s right. She’d be a good candidate an’ all, but she’s not here. She’s out there, helpin’ clean up after our messes, but still.

“So how ’bout someone who is?” Holding the magic eight ball with one hand, once again she uses it to point, this time to the Shadow Lord kinswoman by Lukas’ side. “I suggest Danicka. She’s been around a long while, an’ though I don’t know ‘er much beyond her reputation, she’s always been nice an’ respectful.” When it seems the woman in question would like the ball next, Joey doesn’t toss it directly to her. Remembering the earlier incident, she instead lobs it underhand to Lukas.

[Joey] [oh god random apostrophe should make that “standin'” please don’t mistake her for Hunter!]

[Wyrmbreaker] Lukas catches the eightball and, since he has it anyway, speaks up.

“I second that,” he says, “and not because she’s my mate. Because she’s spoken sense every time she opened her mouth. Because she’s respected by the spirits, and pays them respects in return. And because a year ago she did the legwork and set up a coalition before handing it over to the leadership of another kin — who promptly disappeared.

“She’s proved herself. If she wants the job,” and he looks at Danicka for a moment here, considering, “I’d listen to her.”

He passes it over to her.

[Matthieu] [I need to AFK a little bit hopefully Matt isn’t needed for the next half hour!]

[Balance Without Fault] [see you in a bit dude!]

[Joey] [it’s so weird seeing “dude” next to BWF’s name]

[Jackson Montgomery] [[‘Homey’ would have been even better.]]

[Honor’s Compass] [CAN KATE SPEAK. …oops, capsrage.]

[Balance Without Fault] [danicka’s got it, unless kate wants to snatch it out of her hands!]

[Honor’s Compass] [*steeples fingers* …okay, not really. But Kate does want to add something.]

[Nash] [Rage, rage against the locking of the caps.]

[Balance Without Fault] [Fencing Fox just IMed me to check on the proceedings. She wants to say Daoi would have been present, but she has to go to work, and wanted to second either Imogen or Danicka. Also, she is vehemently against Amunet, Neda, Carter and Mickey. So. Consider her NPCed!]

[Joey] [Do not go gentle into that good caps?]

[Danicka Musil] When she initially held up her hand to signal that she’d like the 8-ball to be passed to her when it was her turn, Joey had not spoken yet. And Danicka had opinions on both Amunet and Imogen. The truth is, what she has to say about one was touched on — but not expounded on — by Hunter. What she had to say about Imogen has been said twice now.

And then Lukas joins in, because Joey the athlete decided not to hurl a hard plastic ball at Danicka’s head, and Danicka turns her head to look at the Ahroun Elder. Those who can see past the curtain of her hair over her cheek can see quite plainly that it is, in fact, a Look.

By the time the Magic 8-Ball that is representing the right to speak uninterrupted in this gathering comes into her hands, Danicka’s had to completely reform what she wants to say. Nice and respectful, the Rotagar calls her. The Rotagar who wasn’t here when she lied, smiling, to the face of the woman who is now the Philodox Elder and an Adren. The Rotagar wasn’t here when Danicka whipped around and reamed out a Modi in public

then promptly left town, lest he come after her. Eeek.

Danicka takes a breath. “I think Dr. Slaughter, if she’s willing to do a job she doesn’t yet know exists, would be a more than adequate choice. She’s abrasive at best, but she’s also proven herself more than any other Kin in the city. She would be capable, if not sentimental. One of the first times I met her, she turned and fired on Spirals so that the rest of us could run. As cold as she can be, it would be wrong to suggest that she hasn’t proven herself willing to fight and die for all of us. As dismissive as she can be, and absence tonight notwithstanding, she holds more respect in the eyes of Garou than anyone else.”

A pause. She does not address Amunet as a candidate — either what she wants to say has already been said, or does not need to be said. “As for my own nomination, I’m flattered.” A beat. She knew easily what she had to say about Imogen. It is not, however, easy for Danicka to talk about herself. Not with this many people, and so many of them Garou, listening. Not with her own reputation — and, frankly, Lukas’s — affected by what comes out of her mouth. She takes another deep breath. “I suppose I accept. I would be honored to do my best, if chosen.”

Chosen, she says. Not elected. Her eyes are on Balance Without Fault, but only meeting his for a moment before — ever so respectfully — dropping to his cheekbone instead. She offers the ball out to someone who can hand it to Katherine, who has lifted her hand. Danicka does not lob anything, thank you.

[Honor’s Compass] Perhaps in times gone past, Lukas might tense to see his pack-mate; her pale eyes firmly fixed on his mate request permission from the Grand Elder to address their peers and other Kinfolk alike. Perhaps he’d clench his teeth in desperate hopes she was not about to open her mouth and opine about — well, who ever knew — but while the Silver Fang Elder studies the Shadow Lord Kinfolk nominated alongside a Fianna Kinswoman absent tonight — she does not do so with apparent glorying malice.

Rather, there’s a certain amount of quiet reflection to be had, in all honesty.

“While I respect Doctor Slaughter’s capacities a great deal, I find that I do not believe, knowing her only, I admit, as passingly as I do, that she would willingly take up this position. Imogen Slaughter does not particularly revel in long periods of association around our kind.

My feeling is she endures such, as often as she may foster relationships with some.” Here Katherine’s eyes tick to Kora.

“So it would be my vote to elect Danicka Musil, and add that while she has suffered — setbacks, tonight — and needs to be more controlled in expressing her opinion, Amunet should not be ignored for this, either. She has put in considerable time and effort, and the last thing this Sept needs or wants are Kinfolk who, feeling excluded or resentful, get themselves into trouble.

Work together, please. I have seen too many Kinfolk of my tribe and without who wind up lost, gone or simply dead.

I do not wish to witness it again.”

[Balance Without Fault] [any more dibbers? i’m gonna start typing.]

[Balance Without Fault] The magic eightball makes it way around the room, sometimes passed, sometimes tossed. Eventually it comes back to Balance Without Fault, who catches it with a sort of ease that suggests once upon a time he might’ve played ball for his highschool.

Once he has it, he turns it over in his hands for a moment. Then he looks at the kin who have, by and large, stood so silent thus far.

“This is your representative I’m choosing. Any thoughts?”

[Balance Without Fault] [i’ma give people a couple min to call dibs, and then we’re rollin’ on.]

[Derek Anderson] Derek watched and listened, silent. He didn’t say anything or reacted to any of the nominated canditates. Whoever they chose was fine by him. After all, he doesn’t need much and if something come up, well he could always reach Katherine. He was sad for those whom the old ways weren’t working but it was for him.

So why change something that isn’t broken? No reason. He was just there as a witness, because all kin were asked to come. And he stayed in the main area for it was disrecpectful to go awya in the kitchen while business that touched everyone was discussed.

He hasn’said anything but he had been there and won’t be able to complain later if things turn out badly.

[Jackson Montgomery] Jackson looks up. “Since this is my chance to speak up…I would choose Amy. I only vaguely know Danicka, no offenser. I’ve been working with Amy, and so have others who weren’t able to make it here. And I believe that someone who is involved with the current make-up should be doing it.”

Not very wordy, but it gets his point across.

[Nash] [Thanks for the scene, all! I’m told I have to go partake in a threeway or something, idk.]

[Quinn] [I’m sorry, guys, I can’t stay up any longer, I have to be up for work in a ridiculously small amount of time. Both of my PCs would stick it out until the end, and then disappear into the night. Good night!]

[Balance Without Fault] Balance lets that silence hang, his eyes moving from kin to kin, all around the room. It stretches on. It gets a little uncomfortable. It gets a lot uncomfortable. Then the Grand Elder puts the eightball down on the arm of his chair again. Stands.

“I have,” he says, “the utmost respect for Imogen Slaughter. She very nearly has the renown of a Cliath Ahroun — and it’s no secret that the spirits do not pay attention to our kin as they do our Garou. To gather such a reputation under such odds is no small accomplishment, wolves and kin of the Maelstrom, and she is to be respected.

“However,” he turns directly to Hunter and Kora, “it must also be said that Dr. Imogen Slaughter, while faultlessly dedicated and loyal to our cause, has never been one to involve herself too deeply in the Sept’s politics. Or, as far as I could tell, one who wanted to do so. She’s not here tonight because she’s out there doing what she does best — working for the cause in her own way, on her own time, without our interference. And that’s fine. The work she does justifies that. Her renown stands alone.

“Bear in mind that I’m not dictating the leader of the coalition tonight. That’s up to the kin, and that’s yet to be decided. If you want my opinion, Imogen Slaughter would be a very fine choice. However, this role we discuss tonight, the role she’s been nominated for, is one of mediation, of elbow-rubbing, of talking, of listening, of liaising. And I agree with Sarita, and with the Philodox and Ragabash Elders. She may not be suited to this. She may not even want it. She’s not here to decide for herself, and I won’t pin this title on her in her absence.

“On the other hand, Danicka Musil’s name carries weight in this Sept. She is known for her wisdom, and for glory. She’s tried before to organize the kin, and she’s proven her ability tonight to speak calmly, and with sense, even in the face of controversy and dissent. I agree with the Auspice Elders who have spoken. She deserves this role, and I trust her with it.

“If you accept this duty, Danicka, it’s yours.”

A pause. Then he turns to the final contender.

“And that leaves Amunet Knezevic. Amunet, I agree with your sister, Sarita, and your friend, Jackson, when they say your heart is in the right place. You want this position, I can see it. You want to do well.

“I can’t ignore that you’ve caused no small amount of controversy tonight; that some of your ideas were flawed, and others were borderline insane. I can’t trust you to speak alone for the kin. Not when one kin has spoken vehemently against you; not when, at times tonight, you had trouble explaining your own actions. I’m sorry.

“But the Philodox Elder speaks with wisdom: we should reward those who try hardest. We are not,” a wry nod to the Shadow Lord contingent, “a Shadow Lord Sept, that counts everything by results alone. We do not disregard heartfelt attempts, no matter how futile. After all, it might be argued our entire war is one heroic, futile attempt.

“So here’s what I’ll do. While Danicka Musil is the Sept Liaison — if she’s willing, and if you’re willing — you may serve as her assistant. You may appear where she does, attend what meetings she attends. You can listen, and learn. In time, if your elders feel it appropriate, you may be given duties and responsibilities of your own interfacing between Garou and Kin.

“Will you accept this duty?”

[Amunet Knezevic] She waits. There isn’t anything to be said, after all, until Danicka has her say.

[Danicka Musil] A deep breath is taken before Danicka answers, and she is not surprised Amunet does not want to speak til she has. There’s no need to wait for the Magic 8-Ball this time; it’s done being passed around. She’s sitting up straight on the barstool she chose at the start of all this, and nods. “I would be honored,” she says, which is only what she said before. But this does confirm it: she’s willing.

“I would be glad to work with either Dr. Slaughter or Amunet, whoever leads the coalition Amunet’s reforming, as a colleague who will help me know what issues the Kinfolk need communicated to the Sept. I would also be more than happy to have Amunet as an… assistant, if she is amenable to it.” There’s a pause, and then she turns her head slightly, looking at Amunet. “But before you answer, I do want you to understand one thing very clearly. If you decided you wanted to assist me, I would need you to not only help me, but trust me.” A beat. She stops mincing words. “And frankly, obey me. Not as an automaton, not without a voice, not without respectful discussion, but ultimately, as a subordinate. If you don’t believe you are willing to place yourself in that position, then …be my colleague only as a member of, or leader of, the coalition.”

[Amunet Knezevic] He would be so disappointed in you right now…

She nods once then smiles, directing her reply to BWF and sounding a little too much like her Shadow Lord mate in her perfectly enunciated reply. “I will of course serve the Nation in any fashion that you see fit, Rhya. Thank you for the opportunity.”

[Starla] Starla’s still there…. despite someone going to bed, this is still happening. It ain’t a dream. She blinks, looks at the proceedings that have somehow woken her up in the chair and sits and stares at all of them. The corners of her mouth twisting and flattening suddenly.

[Balance Without Fault] Balance shakes his head quietly. “It’s not an order, Amunet. It’s a duty that you can take up or lay down as you wish. If you want it — if you can live with what Danicka just said, and with the boundaries I’ve delineated — then it’s yours.

“Otherwise, you may reject it without dishonor.”

[Amunet Knezevic] Her eyes flicker to Danicka, then back. “I feel as if I should at the very least make sure that Miss Musil is up to speed on what’s being worked currently. Perhaps we should revisit the question of my continuing role once the preliminary details have been addressed.”

[Danicka Musil] Her brows draw together, her forehead wrinkled in a vague look of confusion, but Danicka doesn’t interrupt.

[Balance Without Fault] “As you wish. If you want the role, let Danicka know. Otherwise, I hope you do continue the work you’ve begun — albeit in a more moderated manner.

“Now then. Let’s wrap up.

“Matthieu Mirror’s Whisper, you are our Kin Liaison. I suggest you make use of your Galliard talent to announce this far and wide. Danicka Musil, you are our Sept Liaison. I’d suggest getting in touch with your fellow kin to spread the word.

“Together, the two of you are responsible for maintaining an open line of communication between Garou and kin, for keeping one another up to speed on the developments on both sides, and for being the first point of mediation in conflicts between Garou and kin. You should interact with individual Tribal Alphas, with the Philodox Alpha, with individual kin, and with each other. In dire circumstances, you may come before me, but it’s my hope that you’ll be able to settle most issues independently, or with the assistance of your Septmates.

“Furthermore, Matthieu, you’re responsible for attending kin coalition meetings as a listener and as a voice for the Garou. Danicka, you will be present at the Cracking of the Bone as a witness and, if necessary, as a voice for the kin. Your mate will stake his honor on your conduct and safety.

“I suggest the two of you meet with each other soon after this meeting and better delineate your working relationship. Here’s hoping it’ll be a long one.”

Addressing the gathered, then:

“If there’s nothing else, wolves and kin of the Maelstrom, thank you for coming. I think we’ve taken significant steps forward tonight, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this kin coalition pans out. There’s still food in the kitchen, if you want to take some home — otherwise, I’ll bid you a good night.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita stands and looks at the Galliard Elder. “Before you go, Matthieu…we need to talk.” The look she fixes on him is a direct one. It’s not angry, but there is something a bit…intense in it. “Just give me a moment.”

She makes her way over to Amy, reaching out to touch the other’s shoulder. “Hey…”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Hey” She smiles brightly, leaning to give Sarita a quick hug. “Thank you. That was very nice of you.”

[Balance Without Fault] [hey guys, i’m bowing BWF out. thanks to everyone who stayed for the whole, 9-hour shebang! @_@ that was a lot of fun and pretty intense at times, but overall reminded me why i don’t do the moots live *LOL*]

[Jackson Montgomery] Jackson waits until it looks like they’re getting ready to go, and he looks up. He nods to the Trueborn around and moves to head out with his fellow Gaian kin.

[[Thanks Damon!]]

[Kyle] He’s been quiet the entire time. Not that he’d have been heard clearly but he really didn’t have much to say. Casually he stands and while he walks stretches out a kink from his back. Stops near Amunet and gives that casual smile but the concern in his eyes is obvious.
“You doing ok?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, shut the fuck up.” She grins a bit, leaning into the hug. “It wasn’t nice, it was the truth.” She leans in, murmuring in Spanish.

[Matthieu] Matthieu listens quietly and nods his head.”I should like to speak to both Danicka and Amunet as soon as that much can be arranged. I look forward to seeing the direction this will head.”

[Leon Davenport] Leon looked at Sarita when he spoke top his Alha and he grinned. He had a good idea what the Strider want to talk to him about. Well, he didn’t care. There was nothing there and if hse pressed the issue, he hope Matthieu would tell her to be reasonable.

He doubted she would. “Have a good night Matthieu” he say to the Galliard and start to move away, unless his Alpha wnat him around for his talk with the Strider

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] ~sp~ “You made me very proud tonight. Don’t you dare let yourself think anything differently. I love you.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Hunter] [Hunter bailed for the kitchen awhile ago! I’m bailing now too, cya later all thanks for the scene.. or saga.. I don’t think scene does it justice.]

[Amunet Knezevic] “I’m fine, Kyle. Thank you. It’s good to see you again.” The smile doesn’t so much as flicker, turned from Kyle back to Sarita as she nods in response to whatever was said to her.

[Derek Anderson] The meeting was over, he needed to get home. He texted Kristen, asking her if she felt like joining him at his place. He bid farewell to Lukas and Katherine, as well as Danicka since she was beside the Shadow Lord Adren “Congatulation”he tell her

Sarita and Amy gets both a nod and he heads out

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs a bit, looking concerned. She gives Amy a hug once more. “I need to talk to Matthieu. Let’s do something in the next day or two, okay?”

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Thanks all! If nobody needs my PCs, I’ma say they both wander out. :)]

[Amunet Knezevic] “Of course. Come by the condo.” She hugs her sister, then lets her go and moves toward Stefan as he emerges from upstairs.

[Danicka Musil] Danicka nods, rather simply, to Balance Without Fault, a gesture of respect and perhaps gratitude, though not for the position so much as the trust it implies. When he closes the meeting, she slides off of her barstool and walks over to Matthieu before people can stir up and depart too quickly.

She takes a small pad of paper out of her bag and writes down her number, handing it over to him. “You can call me whenever you need to. Weekends and evenings are best, due to classes, but I’ll make myself available to your schedule.”

To Amunet, when she makes her way over there, she gives a small smile. “If you change your mind, let me know. But you have my contact information. It’s now literally my job to make sure you and the rest of the coalition are involved, informed, and heard. So don’t hesitate.”

Making sure the Tribal Alphas and other Kin know how to get in touch with her and even know who she is will wait another day, though, it seems. Danicka moves back towards Lukas and, catching Katherine’s eye briefly as she does so, gives the other woman a small smile, perhaps coming with a little more difficulty than the one she gave to Amunet. A small nod. The meaning there is even harder to read than the Look she gave Lukas earlier.

Katherine will understand, though. They haven’t always had the best and brightest relationship, these two.

She leans over to Lukas then and exhales as she gathers up her coat, saying something quietly to him.

[Matthieu] He stands slowly and nods his head back to Sarita. His attention on her before he looks to the others.”Let’s go speak away from prying ears then shall we?”He asks her as he begins to lead her in the direction of the Kitchen.

[Kyle] “You’re busy. I’ll catch you around the tracks I guess.”
Looks to both Sarita and Amunet as he casually makes his way for the kitchen to grab a snack and head up stairs.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods to Matthieu once Amy is gone, looking to him. “Sounds good.” He moves to follow along behind him.

[Matthieu] He walks with her into the other room and offers u a little smile.”What seems to be the problem here?”
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Wyrmbreaker] The gathering is breaking up; Lukas catches Sarita’s eye as she moves off with Matthieu. The look is — complex. Some touch of compassion; some hint of apology; mostly, though, just a sort of recognition and acknowledgment. Of their relationships, perhaps. To each other. To their kin.

Then he’s turning, bending to hear what Danicka is saying while he reaches for his own coat.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “The problem is simple.” She’s angry now. She’s letting herself show it. Not raging…she does not not even have the capacity to frenzy, except in odd situations. Not even furious. But she’s angry. “Why is one of my tribe’s kin playing footsie with Leon’s knee?”
to Matthieu

[Wyrmbreaker] Whatever it is she says, Lukas laughs quietly; murmurs something back, then takes her coat from her and holds it while she slides into it.

Then he’s lifting his own, sliding it over his shoulders. The gathering has dissipated; he nods to the few that remain as he departs with his mate.

[Danicka Musil] [Thank you guys — those of you still in the room! For the RP. :] I honestly had a blast.]

[Matthieu] “Miss McCalister and I are old friends… She and I are close. I cannot say why she and Leon might have been playing footsies though I do know they have had a short dialogue once or twice. He confessed this to me himself… In fact he’s been quite responsible even going so far is to get my permission simply to associate with other kin.”He smiles a little.”I don’t see the harm, I would not let my beta harm a single hair on your Kin’s head. He’s been careful not to cross any distinct boundaries. She and Leon, as I understand, are little more than passing friends.”He looks up at her.”If anything I suspect it was me Gina was visiting Leon happening to be by my side was simply a matter of fate. He is my Beta, as a result I would not let him do anything to break our agreement.”He says back to her.

“However I understood that it was only your Sister whom Leon was allowed not contact at all and required to keep a distance from. Leon has been doing quite well to tell me who he has talked to and his reasons for doing so and I assure you he is not up to no good with your kin.”He says with a reassuring little smile.
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Wyrmbreaker] [i’m out too! thanks again, folks! i had fun too :] ]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I know you’re close, Matthieu. Gina’s alluded to a Silver Fang who wanted to take her on as a mate. I can do the math, it’s either you, Kate or Ivan and she’s not Kate’s type. So I’m guessing I’m on the right side of the 50/50 odds here. And I don’t have a problem with that. Gina, Amy, Kyle…they can hang out with whoever they want, they can–and I’m not implying here–date and sleep with whoever they want. I’m okay with that. But sometimes, I have to step in. Because I wouldn’t be doing my job as tribal elder if not.”

She frowns. “I want to be clear here. I bet he’s doing a wonderful job of not assaulting kinfolk. Faboo. But until someone challenges me to claim her, she’s my responsibility, and let me be perfectly clear…she is not to be anywhere near Leon. Period point-blank. And if you won’t stop it, I will tell her so myself, which will force me to tell her why.”
to Matthieu

[Matthieu] He smiles just a Hint though he says nothing in regard to whether or not she might be correct in his guess.”Gina is my friend… We’ve been friends since before I met either of you, and I would imagine we always will. It seems like a near impossibility for me to keep Leon and Gina from, themselves, coming into contact. I can ask Leon to obey this but Gina is a social creature and likely to seek him out. It seems like I would be attempting to do the impossible here by only informing one side that the other is not allowed to see them. Still if you are going to be insistent on the matter I can attempt to speak to him and hopefully the matter can be resolved until such point as you change your mind.”He then continues.

“I should also mention a matter of some concern for me. It would appear that the Alpha of Defiance has caught wind of this little matter and he has set out upon a smear campaign against my Beta in relation to other kin.”He says before peeking up at her.”I would like that if this matter is to be buried it be buried… Having the Alphas of other packs walking around carrying judges does not put this matter behind us. It goes, both, against the spirit of our agreement and shows a lack of Honor on the part of another Garou. This matter ended with our arrangement and other Garou have no place involving themselves to any degree.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I agree with that. And I will try to talk to Hunter. As I told you in our initial talk, he knew before that point. I can’t make people un-know something. He hates Leon. Frankly, I kind of do, too, but not the point. I will talk to him and see what I can do. You talk to Leon and see what you can do. Hopefully we’ll both be successful.”

She frowns. “She doesn’t think so, but I like Gina. I care about her, and I worry about her. If she would let me in, she’d see that. But I get it. Just…” She shakes her head, frowning and looking away. “Take care of her, please. I know you will, but I have to say it.”

[Matthieu] “I am going to give you my honest opinion here and I know you are not going to like it but I must give it anyway. I feel that you are not willing to leave this matter behind… I hear in your voice a bitter deep seeded hatred for my pack mate for which you will never forgive him.”He shrugs his shoulders.

“I was not there to pass judgement on what he did to your sister but when we challenge or another suffers punishment in response to his or her crimes we leave the matter alone. When the challenge is settled the challengers leave the ring and their grudges behind them.”

“Neither you nor Burnout appears willing to do this. I have asked my Packmate on my honor to accept a deal which I felt was in the best interest of all involved. He has trusted me and done well to show by example that he is following through with his punishment. He is taking the high road and walking away with his punishment with his head held high. Where as you continue to brood and hold him in neglect for a matter which should no longer be a concern.”

He stops walking and turns to face her.”What you are doing here is not in Gina’s best interest. What you are doing here is attempting to use what power you have to hurt my Packmate to do just that. I do not like it, and I do not care for it one bit… But you are the eldest of your tribe and so long as you continue to be I will respect your wishes. This matter cannot be resolved until everyone involved lets go and stops holding a grudge. This is not honor it is vengeance and it’s only going to hurt everyone who is involved if it continues along this path.”

“If you want my advice, and you might not, what you need to do is let this matter go. This kind of thing happens in our society on a regular basis. Continuing to holda lapse in judgment against my Beta harms everyone it affects. It will breed his mistrust and dislike for you and it will continue to breed your own dislike and mistrust for him. In the meantime Gina is caught in the middle and Burnout simply has no place in the matter in the first place. Still it is not my place to decide. I will tell my Beta that he is to have no contact with Gina whatsoever and I will work to keep them from maintaining any degree of contact.”

“If that is all? I will be on my way.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, I’m not Matthieu. I’m doing it because even if you trust him, I don’t. Did you know that a kinfolk of his sat for like, two days before she got cleansed after being attacked by a Wyrm thing?”

She frowns and shakes her head. “Think I’m doing it for whatever reason you like. You can dislike me for it, Leon and Gina can hate me. It’s no skin off my fine ass. Leon made it clear that after our agreement? Yours and mine? His hatred of me was sealed in stone. He refuses to get over it. I don’t care about him as long as he’s not in direct danger of my kinfolk. If I wanted to harm him, I have ways, and you know I do.”

A pause. “Also, just to make sure…you said you would be asking Kate about giving him training under a Philodox. How’s that going?”

[Matthieu] “That is a failing of the society in which we live and not necessarily a matter that speaks ill of his character.”He then nodded his head.”My Beta feels betrayed… He feels the matter had been resolved and that it was not until much later that the matter was brought back up. Indeed if you and Leon had an arrangement, and I believe you might have, then it was a somewhat dishonorable manner to approach his Alpha later on in an attempt to see him punished again twice for the same crime. Now… he is being punished a third time by asking that he have no contact with a friend of his.”He says back to her.”That would make three times you have punished him for the same crime. I am not a Half Moon but I do not need to be a half moon to see the unbalance in this matter.”

“I belong to a house who has long prided itself on fairness and honor. I do not feel that my Beta is being given a fair shake in this matter. We are, however, and honorable pack and Leon will do as you command. You are Gina’s tribal elder and you have every right to ban them from contacting one another.”He then nods his head and smiles.”I will address that matter just as soon as I can catch her while she is free. In the meantime we are sizing up a few qualified candidates.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “We had no agreement. He threw two grand in my metaphorical face and said he’d leave her alone. I never told him we were all good after that. I’ll make that clear. And I don’t consider Gina being kept from him to be a punishment for him. I consider it looking out for my kinfolk’s welfare. When I’m satisfied that he’s been through his anger management training, then it’s all good. Until then, I’m sorry but I still don’t trust him because he hasn’t had the opportunity to improve himself.”

A little nod. “Let me know when you have. I’ll pass along the message that you’d like to talk to her if you like. I won’t say why; I’ll let you handle that. Other than that…yes, we’re done.”

[Matthieu] He nods his head.”Alright then if you could convey the message it would be helpful. She’s a very busy woman these days.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Will do. Have a good one, Matthieu.” A nod, and she makes her way out.

A Long Talk, Then Clubbin’

[Amy] More than half her stuff is packed into her bags which are piled on top of her bed. The bed she hasn’t slept in in a few nights, now.

When she slips into the room, she knows that it’s time to face the music.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita knew that this decision would involve change. When she came home last night to find Amy’s stuff packed, she realized that it was far more change than she was aware of. She’s sitting on the bed, staring at Amy’s. The Strider doesn’t look as if she’s slept all night; she’s dressed in a white tank top and jeans. An ashtray full of cigarettes sits on her bed. She looks…tired. Worn down…exhausted. A little bit haunted.

She doesn’t look up when the door opens and closes, just takes a drag off her cigarette. “Hey.”

[Amy] “Hey”.

She smells like him. Not in a ‘Broke the fuck out of the Litany’ way, but in a has spent several hours in contact with him way. It’s faint, and people wouldn’t notice. But Sarita isn’t people, and Amy comes to flop down on her sister’s non-luggage-laden bed with her. She’s not hiding anything in the brief minutes that she doesn’t have to.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over finally, settling tired eyes on the kiinfolk. The smell is obvious to her, and she takes a breath before looking back to the other bed. “So, when were you gonna tell me you were moving out?”

[Amy] “When I explained what the deal was.” She looks over her semi-packed things too. “It’s one of Hunter’s conditions. I move to Bronzeville, so that we have some sort of cover. I told him I wasn’t going without you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She snorts. “Wow. So my choice now is to move away from the rest of my tribemates that were currently living here, or go back on the whole thing and say ‘Fuck off, I’m not cool with this’ and be the bitch.”

Letting Amy go without her isn’t even mentioned as an option, because to the Ragabash, it isn’t one.

[Amy] “You’re going to fucking make me choose too? Fucking really?”

She hops up, favoring her still not entirely healed wrist as she searches through her bags for the Ace bandage.

“I already fucking picked him over Stefan, and him over fighting, and fucking Bronzeville over fucking indoor pool at fucking Katherine’s. I’ve picked him over every other fucking option there was, and now it’s going to be all for shit because you’re going to make me pick too?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Did I say that?” Her anger rises, at the same time that she rises off the bed.

“You didn’t fucking tell me this when you asked me. And you damn well know that this completely changes MY fucking life as well. You’re making me lie to my fucking packmates-to-be. At least you MADE the choice between Bronzeville or Bellemonte Loft. I apparently didn’t get that choice. Frankly Amy, I think you’d choose him if it meant that you got beaten within an inch of your life every god damned day. And you don’t care who else you hurt when you do it, you selfish bitch.”

[Amy] “Fuck you.”

She doesn’t look behind her as she wraps the wrist, trying to keep her breathing even and slow and getting even more angry when it hitches and gives her away.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her jaw is set, hands clenched into fists at her side. Some of the anger immediately drains at that tell-tale sign in the catch of Amy’s breath, and when she speaks again, it’s calmer.

“Tell me that I’m wrong, and I’ll apologize.”

[Amy] “If you don’t want to go, then we don’t go.” She briefly wonders how many conditions Hunter would let her wriggle around before he just put an end to it himself.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “It frankly doesn’t make sense.” She shakes her head and walks over to Amy. She wills her anger away and slips her arms around her sister, leaning on her. It’s most for support, but because the No-Moon is a but unsteady on her feet.

“Nobody gives a shit if you make trips to Bronzeville. That should be obvious by now. If we move out of the Brotherhood into Bronzeville, people will start wondering why. Especially when I’m moving into another pack’s territory despite being not being a part of them. Double especially if Hunter is right about the fact that they were looking at me first, and told Lukas that. That needs to be talked out.”

[Amy] “I’m just doing what he says, Sar.” She sounds exhausted, wiping her eyes with her freshly wrapped hand and leaning back into his sister. “There isn’t a fuck of a lot that I wouldn’t have agreed to”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, he’s being a fucking idiot. No one’s tailing you into their territory.”

[Amy] “Yet.”

[Amy] She pulls her phone out, texting with one hand and waiting.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Why would they at all?” She frowns. “You’re doing shit with the pack. That’s not news. Although, I guess you’re not now, which is kinda also stupid because it means ‘Okay, we’re going to throw away a perfectly valid cover and replace it with one that seems completely out of the blue.'”

[Amy] “No. I’m not doing shit with the pack. Not anymore.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I hate how much you’re changing yourself for this.”

[Amy] “I can still do shit, just not for Defiance. I can still do whatever Lukas lets me have.”

Which, from her tone, she doesn’t expect to be much.

[Amy] Her phone beeps, and she reads. “He wants to know what issues.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “We’ll have shit for you to do.”

She frowns when Amy reports what the text says. “Just tell him that I want to talk to him about the living situation.”

[Amy] Type type type. “Should I probably mention that I was a complete pain in his ass last night?”

[Amy] She winces when the return text comes through, handing the phone to Sarita and wandering back to the clear bed.

“nothing to talk bout she can live there or not live there, not my problem, your choice”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She scowls. “Fuck off, dickbag.” She dials the number and puts it to her ear.

[Amy] It’s a test. It has to be. The whole thing is just a sick fucking joke to see how loyal she can be. There’s no going back at this point, though. Stefan will join Defiance, and that’s the end of him. She still won’t be able to work with them. She won’t even be able to be friends with them.

Making her pick between any of them and her sister? They should have known that’s the one place she’d draw a big fucking line.

But then again, maybe that’s what they were counting on, Ames. Because you can’t take a fucking hint.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey, Hunter.” She starts to pace, putting on a smile and taking a good-natured tone. “We gotta chat a bit about this moving thing.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a bit at Amy and starts to talk. “So, here’s the thing. You’re going to draw a lot more attention to the situation if Amy and I move out of the Brotherhood out of nowhere and into your territory. Especially when I’m packing up with Lukas and company. And honestly, I don’t get how this works as a cover, since no one is questioning why Amy’s spending time in Bronzeville anyway. I mean, you’re talking about being worried about sneaking through the tall grass, so you’re instead having her set fire to the grass instead.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, yeah. She insisted because my sister and I don’t live apart.” It’s said fairly matter-of-factly, with a sense of finality to it. “We are a package item, and that’s something that needs to be clearly understood out of the gate. Now frankly, I don’t see the problem as long as they’re not showing up at the Brotherhood for their dates or hanging out cuddling there together, but hey, I can compromise. What I’m saying is having us live in Bronzeville as a primary residence is equally not an option.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns at what comes over the receiver, a look that says she’s not particularly pleased with what was just said.

“Like I said, a compromise. To find out what a decent compromise spot would be, I just need to know what you’re looking at for this living place. Are you expecting somewhere that they’ll be able to hang out and be a happy couple? Just a place where she’s not going to be followed leaving from, or what?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “None taken. And that’s what I’m saying…people wouldn’t bat an eye if Amy moved out into your territory, but me they would. And we’re a team.” She sighs. She hates this whole thing. She hates the way that it’s changing Amy and turning their lives upside down.

“Here’s what I’ll say. We’ll get a spot more or less halfway between the Unbroken’s loft and Bronzeville. I’ll try to get a spot within the loft itself too; she’s gonna be doing work with the Unbroken, it’s going to be necessary so that Lukas doesn’t just show up at her front door with ‘Hey, I have a job for you.’ Which I don’t think he would, but I’m being cautious here. That’ll give us a spot outside of your territory but a lot closer than we are now, with a private location that has no kinfolk or True eyes but mine. And it’ll also mean that I’m having to be a lot less dishonest to my packmates-to-be.”

[Amy] She hops up suddenly, shaking her head and heading out the door “I gotta pee. I’ll be right back.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s laying down on her bed when Amy gets back, the ashtray on her chest and a cigarette being smoke. She seems more relaxed, now. A little, at least.

[Amy] She’s gone longer than is necessary for a potty break. Her knuckles are scraped up when she gets back.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks up from her bed at Amy when she comes in, frowning a bit. “Jesus Fuck, girl. What the hell did you do this time?”

She gestures to Amy’s hands, to make sure Amy knows she’s talking about that and not something she may have discussed with Hunter on the phone.

[Amy] “Hit stuff” She leans in the doorway. “So?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “So, compromise accepted.” She smiles tiredly. “We got time to find a place between the Loft and Bronzeville. I’m thinking we can find something cheap near the University. I’ll hit up Katherine, see if we can claim a room at the Loft as well. In the meantime, when you wanna meet with your boy-toy, to quote Hunter ‘they meet at ‘the house’, whether she’s livin’ there or not.'”

[Amy] “How pissed is he?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I think he was okay by the end. He was kind of pissy about midway through…or he just doesn’t like a hell of a lot of talking being sent his way. But I think he’s cool.”

[Amy] “He’s going to think I changed my mind.” She drifts over to the first aid kit that they keep stocked, cleaning up the blood on her knuckles.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “About being with him?” She shakes her head. “I don’t think so. Seriously, I think Hunter’s fine.”

[Amy] “About agreeing to all his conditions.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, some of his conditions were bullshit and he put you on the spot. I’m your voice of reason, looking out for you.”

She looks over, watching Amy through shadowed eyes. “Can I ask something? What big changes is John making in all of this, to be with you?”

[Amy] “Putting his ass on the line, knowing that when the all find out, it’s not an unreasonable expectation that they may just slit his throat.”

She looks over at Sarita, challenging her to argue the weight of the concessions.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods, not arguing that. “And you could be fucked, too. My point is, you’re changing your whole life around for this. And there’s a shit-ton of risk for all involved…I just wanna know it’s not all you making yourself what he wants to be. Bein’ with someone is about loving who they are. Sure, tweaks might happen here or there, but…”

She shrugs. “You know what I’m saying?”

[Amy] “I know.” She at least has the good grace to look ashamed. Once her knuckles are cleaned, she comes to sit on the bed again. “How long do we have to find somewhere?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Wasn’t specified. I’ll go out looking tomorrow.” She sighs. “And I’m assuming by that look that it’s all you changing.”

She stubs the cigarette out. “I’m still not going to let you become something that the you before you met John would have hated. Just so you know.”

[Amy] “All I’m doing is not fighting with Defiance anymore.” You know. The only pack she’s actually been able to do anything with so far. “Nothing else is going to be any different.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay. I’m just putting that out there, so you know not to be pissed if I start giving you shit as needed.”

She gives a faint smile.

[Amy] “Can you do me a favor?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “If I can, of course.”

[Amy] “Don’t call him my boy toy. This isn’t something I’m going to just get tired of in a week. He’s not somebody to keep me company until a new somebody comes along. It’s disrespectful to talk about him like he is.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little, apologetically.

“I wasn’t trying to imply that. I’d call someone’s mate a boy toy. I know this isn’t just some fling for you, obviously.”

[Amy] “You know that dad is rolling over in his fucking grave right now.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs. “Why, ’cause you’re settling down, or who you’re settling down with?”

[Amy] “The who. He made it pretty clear that he expected me to be” She shifts into a deeper, gravely voice that’s a fair representation of the man “Hecho con toda esta mierda y actuar correctamente alg├║n d├şa.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A snort, and she shakes her head. “I loved Esteban…you know that, right? At least, as much as a girl can love a dad she knew for all of like eight weeks. But homey had no room to talk about doing the right thing. You know that as well as I.”

[Amy] “Well, I fucking hated him. So he can shove his right thing right up his ass”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Can I ask something?” She looks over at Amy. “If you hated him so much, what’s with the whole, ‘hunting down his killer’ thing? Was that just looking for a way to get in on action, or was it legit?”

[Amy] “I want to hunt down the fucker. He was still our father. Even if he was an extraordinarily shitty father.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A little nod. “Fair enough. Had to ask.”

[Amy] “Because I’ve been too busy seeing what I can beat up and who I can fuck”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, ’cause I’ve always kinda wondered.” She shrugs. “I know how much you hate him, so…the question was always kinda there in the back of my head. Probably shoulda asked earlier.”

[Amy] “I didn’t hate him until mom got sick, and they couldn’t find him.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s quiet for a little bit. “What was he like when he got back and found out?”

[Amy] “Pissed off. He wasn’t expecting to have to take me with him when he left again.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Was he upset?”

[Amy] “I can’t say he wasn’t, but I never saw it if he was. They didn’t like each other very much.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns at that, and nods. “Gotcha.”

[Amy] “Do you ever wonder what would have happened, if you were the one he was around, and I was the one that barely knew him?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “A lot actually, yeah.” She sighs and sets the ashtray down, turning to curl on her side toward Amy.

[Amy] “I don’t think that either of us would have been nearly as fucked up as we are.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Maybe. We might not know each other either, though.”

[Amy] “We probably wouldn’t. I wouldn’t have had any reason to come find you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “So thanks dad for that, at least.” She gives a faint, though somewhat strained, smile.

[Amy] “Fuck him.” She turns to her side to face Sarita now. “The other night at the house? The first fucking night we’re together and we don’t have to worry about anything, you know what he did?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] An eyebrow arches. “What?”

[Amy] “He asked me to tell him about myself. About where I came from and shit. Shit that other guys never bothered with.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little. “Very nice.”

[Amy] “I told him all about home and mom and wandering. About how I used to fucking hate you, until I found you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay, so I don’t want to beat his ass quite as much now. That’s good.”

[Amy] “He isn’t like other guys, that’s for sure. In a lot of ways that makes me crazy, but in some ways…”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs, and shuts her eyes. “Yeah. He seems great.”

[Amy] “You can fucking hate him if you want. You don’t have to like him just because I’m in love with him.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I don’t hate him. Not at all.”

[Amy] “I’m sorry.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs. “I’m disgustingly jealous of you. You know that, right?”

[Amy] “Because I’m in an impossible situation that is only going to get people hurt?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “’cause you got someone who makes you happy.”

[Amy] “It’ll happen, Sar. And fuck, you’re getting a pack. So we’re pretty fucking even in the jealousy department.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs a little bit, turning on her back to stare at the ceiling. “Fair enough, I guess.”

[Amy] “So we’re each getting something that the other wants.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A faint smile. “Yeah. Lucky us.”

[Amy] “It will be nice to have a place, though. Just ours, you know?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, that’ll be nice. Just keep the fuckin’ noise down, a’ight?” A little grin emerges.

[Amy] “Fucking bitch.” Her nose wrinkles. “Hunter said she’s not a friend or anything, so fuck her.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles. “I wasn’t talking about that. I mean that you’re loud, Screamer.”

[Amy] “Yeah, well, lucky fucking you. I guess part of keeping it on the down low is going to have to be me keeping quiet.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Naah. You don’t have to worry about anyone else finding out. You just have to worry about me turning the hose on you guys.”

[Amy] “We’ll probably be at the house most of the time. It’s kind of our place.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh. Well, okay.” She looks over. “Does that mean I’m never gonna see you?”

[Amy] “No, that doesn’t mean you’re never going to see me. Shit, you’ll probably see more of me now that I’m not going to be playing musical beds.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Sorry. I just remember when you were with Leon, you were here like one out of every three nights.”

[Amy] “Yeah… you know what he told me? I went to see him the other day.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Who Leon?” Her nose wrinkles. “What did he say?”

[Amy] She nods slowly. “He said that if I wanted, he’d claim me and then let me go to John.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She snorts. “Yeah, ’cause he’s totally all trust-worthy and shit. Fuck him and his fucking bullshit.”

[Amy] “He scares me now. Still… ” She shrugs. “It was sweet to offer. Unless it was just a ploy to get me to agree to let him claim me.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, it totally was. I have no doubt about it.”

[Amy] She’s quiet for a few seconds before launching in again. “Stefan said that if things don’t work out with John, that he’d like to try again.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She blinks. “Wait…seriously?”

[Amy] “Seriously. But he’s packing with Defiance, so…” She shrugs a shoulder.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “So who the fuck cares? If he’s supposed to be okay with John being with you, then John should be able to be okay if the reverse happens.”

[Amy] “Yeah, I know. Fuck, it might not even come up. Or he might be involved with somebody else when it does. I think it just says something that he even offered, you know? I come and tell him that it’s been fun but I’m going to go off and sneak around with a Metis, and he says that he’ll take me back if it doesn’t work out.”

She blinks hard when the words come out of her mouth, as if she hadn’t quite thought about it like that before.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over at Amy, blinking.

“Dude, seriously. How the hell do you fucking do it?”

[Amy] “It’s not as much fun as it might seem. I feel pretty shitty about it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m not saying it’s fun. I’m just saying I’d like to harness a fucking fraction of it.”

[Amy] “Yeah, well, you can have it. I’ve got the one that I want now”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Just write down your secret or, like, distill it into an essence. Then I’ll be set.”

[Amy] “Fuck, I learn to distill that shit and we’re fucking selling it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Potential Side Effects: May cause insanity and Obsession Over Metis”

[Amy] “Total fucking insanity.” She nods, looking thoughtful. “You think I wouldn’t be all like this if he wasn’t Metis?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, I don’t think it has to do with him being Metis, other than the fact that it makes sure you’re not relegating to being the baby-maker. I think you’d still be like this if you’d let him have a chance.”

[Amy] “Yeah. I told myself that’s all it was, too. But it was bullshit. I mean, the part where he’s had to work his ass off too, just to get a chance. That’s more it than anything.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods a little. “Yeah, I can see where that appeals to you.”

[Amy] “That, and he’s got a fucking HUGE cock.” She manages to keep a straight face for ten whole seconds before she cracks up

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She rolls her eyes. “DUDE. Did NOT need to know that.”

[Amy] “Which is why I said it. You can decide how true it is.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m not going to think about it.”

[Amy] “You believe me, right?” She’s more subdued now, moving to lie on her back and look up at the ceiling.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “About what?”

[Amy] “That I’d ditch him if it came down to him or you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A slight shrug. “Would you be angry if I said that I wasn’t completely sure?”

[Amy] “No.” She sighs. “I don’t get to be pissy over something like that. Not after all the other shit.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, not an issue now.”

[Amy] “What do you want to do tonight?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A little smile. “Something that doesn’t involve us sitting in here talking.”

[Amy] “She hops up, stretching.” Good. Where to?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Fuck if I know. A bar, a club, whatever. Just get me the fuck out of this room, I’ve been staring at your bed for since like eleven o’clock last night.”

[Amy] She winces, nose wrinkling. “Sorry…. So… Club?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sounds good. She sits up, sighing. “Lemme go shower, and I’ll be good.”

[Amy] “Yeah. I should probably do that too” She moves to dig through her packed clothes, half unpacking by way of dumping things on the floor.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A chuckle to herself, and she grabs some clothes before heading off to the shower.

Nightclub

[Amy] DJ turn it up
ItÔÇÖs about damn time to live it up
IÔÇÖm so sick of being so serious
ItÔÇÖs making my brain delirious!

She gets them shots as soon as they get into the club, wriggling her way back through the crowd toward where she left Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s taking a lean near a wall, head nodding a little to the beat with a bit of a grin on her face. Sarita is dressed to impress tonight, the duster changed out for a black leather jacket She’s in a short skirt and low-cut top…out of everyone in Chicago, only Amy has seen her dressed like this. She’d probably have a rare moment of mortification if anyone she knew did. She takes a drag off of her cigarette, looking over and reached for a shot as Amy comes up.

“Gimme gimme!”

[Amy] Amy should probably not mention that she texted Hunter and John to invite them along, then. Which she will not. The shots are set carefully on the nearest ledge, three for each of them. The girl should wait tables from all of this experience carrying multiple glasses.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles and takes a shot, knocking it back like it’s water. “Yeah, that’s the stuff. You’re awesome.”

[Amy] “Fuck yes I’m awesome.” She’s in jeans, boots, and a tanktop, but the jeans aren’t skin tight and the tank covers a lot more than most of her other ones do. She must have had to dig to find it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Another shot follows, and she takes a drag off her cigarette, looking around. “It feels good to get away from all the bullshit, even for a couple hours.”

[Amy] “I’m sorry that we didn’t get to do this the other night.” She does two of her shots to keep up with Sarita, feeling the slow burn in her stomach.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ehh. I needed it more tonight, so s’all good.” She leans against Amy, watching the crowd. “S’nice to get out though. I just need some downtime where everyone’s as much of a ship in the night as I’ve been.”

[Amy] “Think we can find some E?” She tosses it out casually, with enough of a flip tone so that she can say she was joking if Sarita responds badly.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises a brow, but nods. “Yeah.” She looks back out to the crowd. “Man, I haven’t done E since…like, I was thirteen.”

[Amy] She considers before speaking. “You want to?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I dunno.” She frowns. “I dunno what that shit would do to someone like me, you know? Do you?”

[Amy] “I don’t know. I mean, you can do pot okay. I think it would be about the same.”

She checks her phone, just in case.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I guess, yeah.”

She shrugs and nods, looking over. “Everything okay?”

[Amy] “Totally okay. So what do you think? Should I go find some?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks like she’s wavering a bit. It’s borderline with what she considers good versus not good in the way of drugs. Finally, she just shrugs.

“Yeah, sure. Why not?”

[Amy] She grins, knocking back her third shot before winding her way back through the crowd.

[Amy] [Cha+Street=Score?]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 6, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She settles back, an arm folded around her middle as she smokes. She looks just a little bit nervous now as she sits there against the wall, picking up her last shot and downing it.

[Amy] It doesn’t seem like she’s even been gone that long when she moves back through to Sarita. She’s carrying another set of shots, and is trailed by a tall, handsome, stunningly built man.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow when she sees her come back with a guy. She swipes her hand through her hair, giving Amy a questioning look.

[Amy] Grinning broadly, she sets the shots down before holding her hand out to him. He puts two gelcaps in her hand, and she gives one to Sarita.

“This is Corbin”

She gives her sister a meaningful look, stepping back behind Corbin and nudging him closer to Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives Corbin a friendly smile and leans in close to Amy, murmuring under the beat of the music.

┬┐Olvidaste que yo, dijo que las relaciones sexuales al azar con la gente normal no lo estaban haciendo por m├ş?

[Amy] Her eyes roll, and she shouts over the music “Jes├║s puta mierda, necesita tener sexo con ALGUIEN!”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shakes her head, sighing, and gives the man a smile. She leans in to speak to him, patting his chest lightly. He doesn’t quite know to make of what she said, but nods and heads off across the club. The Strider pockets the gelcaps and takes a drag off her cigarette.

[Amy] “What the FUCK, Sar?” She scowls at the departing man, then back to her sister.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m not into the fuck random…” She doesn’t know how put it in a crowded club, so she just waves in that direction, though it’s somehow more expansive. “People like them thing, anymore. It doesn’t fucking do anything for me. I appreciate the thought, but I told you that already.”

[Amy] She shrugs, leaning next to Sasha and handing her a shot. “Fine. Fuck. Where’s your pill?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Sasha? Where? ­čśë ]]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “In my pocket. I was waiting until Hottie Boy was off first.”

[Amy] “Oh. Okay.” She checks her phone again, scrolling through messages before putting it back in her pocket once more.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Someone call?” She adjusts the low-cut top, taking a lean against the wall as she takes a drag off her cigarette.

[Amy] “Noooo….” Check out that innocent look.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She arches an eyebrow, now starting to look a little nervous. She is TOTALLY not dressed as the image she likes to project. “Should I be worried?”

[Amy] “They probably won’t come. I don’t think that clubbing is their thing, really.”

But she’s not taking the pill yet, just in case

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her eyes narrow. “They WHO?”

[Amy] “The guys.” She smiles brightly and hands Sarita another shot.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “The gu–” Her eyes go from narrow slits to silver dollar-sized.

“You mean Defiance.”

[Amy] “No. I didn’t text Joey or Eve. I can’t.” She looks thoughtful. “I don’t know though. I guess they might have.”

She takes a tiny step back, just in case.

[Hunter] The club totally can’t even handle Defiance right now.

They emerge from the stairwell, easing past the bouncer and pushing through the doors to the main floor. John enters first, slightly more Ragey than he was the previous night but still remaining short of his potential. Hunter thrums a bit hotter, a bit heavier, though even he fails to bristle like he is known to.

He’s wearing a button up shirt. This never happens, does he even own a button up shirt? It looks nice too, relatively speaking, it fits him perfectly — though that is more to do with his body than any inherent value in the shirt — and beneath it are a slightly less stained but no less worn pair of jeans. His chin twists from side to side, checking for the peeps who managed to convince them to get out here in the first place.

“She better be here, if this was some fuckin’ trick..”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her teeth make a gritting gesture, a strangled sound coming out. That’s just before she launches a stream of Spanish vitriol.

Oh mi dios de mierda que usted perra loca, vas a ser la muerte absoluta de m├ş!

She looks around, suddenly self-concious, and looks back.

“What part of ‘I really needed to get away from all this bullshit’ wasn’t fucking clear, Amy?”

[Amy] “Jesus FUCK Sar. We’re fucking out. I invited my boyfriend and his best friend to come out too. That’s IT.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The normally casually-dressed Strider, rarely seen without her duster and boots, is looking VERY different than what Hunter and John have ever seen her. The duster is changed out for a black leather jacket, instead of jeans and a shirt of some kind she’s in a short black skirt and low-cut top. Hell, she doesn’t even have her gun…nowhere to put it. She’s not that chick from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, after all.

“Great. I’m going to feel ~totally~ not like an outsider here.”

[Amy] “Calm down. Fuck. They’re not going to even show up, and you know it.”

Another shot is taken, and she takes Sarita’s hand to tug her through the crowd to the dance floor. Amy is dressed very much like Taken Girl out with Single Girl. Jeans that fit but aren’t tight, a tank top that covers more than her usual tank tops do, and boots.

[John] This is not at all John’s scene.

Even without the mountain man beard, he still has the look of a big dumb farm hand that makes him look ridiculously out of place here. He had wanted nothing to do with nice clothing, and so he’s wearing the same damn ensemble he has on every night: shit-kicker boots, jeans that haven’t been washed since Friday night, a dingy white t-shirt that probably came out of a pack of three, and a brown Carhartt jacket, unzipped despite the fact that it’s cold as Hell outside. Though he doesn’t stare around at the cluster of bodies around him in consternation or confusion, neither does he step through the room with a powerful motion.

Hunter is grumbling about she better being here, and John hands him a look that says Relax. Perhaps he himself is worried that this is, actually, a trap, but if he is it’s buried so deep that all the world sees is someone who strikes chords of cognitive dissonance into those who look at him.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She still looks like she’s frustrated, and particularly nervous and self-conscious. But she allows herself to get tugged toward the dance floor, albeit looking around while she does.

[Amy] She was a little irritated that her clubbing night got destroyed on Friday. On balance though, she’s happy that things worked out like they did.

There’s at least a subtle shifting of people on the dance floor when the girls arrive. Low rage is still rage, and before long Amy is dancing up a storm inside an area that’s been cleared around Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She is nervous for a bit still, but once she gets out there she lets it go for the moment. She starts to get into it and become one with the music. She’s actually quite the dancer, and while that and her look attract a host of potential hookups, she’s keeping them at bay. She’s not here for a random hookup, just to have fun.

[Amy] Hour and a half, six shots.

Each.

Amy is in her extended happy place, considering the E in her pocket now that she’s convinced her sister and herself that they’re on their own for the night.

[Hunter] “Let’s get a drink, I think that’s what we’re supposed to do. Fuckin’ girls.”

He mumbles the last part and the roughly shoves someone out of the way as he wanders over to the bar. A seat is vacated just as he arrives — make that two, no three seats and he drops himself down into one of them. They have to wait to be served, places like this are notoriously hard to get served in if you have a penis.

“Two Jacks, don’t fuckin’ skimp none either, fill em up.”

The drinks are poured and then:

“Fifteen Fifty.”
“What, you’ve got to be fuckin’ shitting me. Do you fuckin hear this guy John? Fifteen Fifty he says, like we’re fuckin’ payin’ in russian money or somethin’. You’ve got some fuckin’ nerve guy, some fuckin’ nerve I tell ya.”

But he hands the money over, these will be the only drinks the two members of Defiance get out of their own pockets.

“Fifteen fuckin’ fifty, jesus christ.”

[Amy] Amy…. needs more alcohol.

She grabs Sar’s arm, tugging to get her attention and pointing at the bar before starting through the crowd again.

[John] John doesn’t have any luck with male bartenders, at all, so he doesn’t even bother. He stands by, trying not to look too awkward as Hunter haggles and harangues and eventually hawks up enough money for a bus ticket to Canada. The Modi lifts his eyebrows at the price, as if he’s heard wrong, and doesn’t sit down until the drink is poured out in front of him.

He’s going to be nursing this mother fucker.

One foot flat on the floor in case he needs to stand quickly, John lifts the shot in his typical Thanks man gesture, careful not to spill any of it, and takes a sip rather than tossing it back. The expression on his face, once the gratitude has been handed over, echoes Hunter’s own: Jesus Christ…

[Amy] [Mama needs some money]

She wriggles through the crowd, touching and tugging just so.
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6) [WP]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She is easily tugged along, a big smile on her face as she slips her way through the crowd. She’s got a good, solid tipsiness going herself as she slides along through the crowd.

[Amy] She’s going through the wallet when she walks up toward the bar, her attention on what cash she can find rather than the fact that there’s a huge empty space in front of her.

[Hunter] They might notice the Rage, they might notice the space eventually, what they won’t be able to ignore at all is Hunter’s voice which is a loud rumble. He sounds annoyed and rather uneasy.

“Fuckin’ last time I was in a place like this I had to fuckin’ bail before I ripped someone’s legs off. You remember that Luana chick? Yeah, fuckin’ hell. Got all up ons, had to leave fore I did somethin’ I’d regret.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She skids to a stop when she sees the space, and hears Hunter’s voice. She looks around, seeing the two, and she freezes.

“Oh hell. They came.”

[Amy] Cash liberated, she puts her hand with the wallet to her side, going a few more steps before letting it fall to the floor and finally turns her attention to where she’s going.

Well goddamn…. Two thought occur to her. A. She’s glad she’s not rolling. B. Sar is going to KILL her.

[John] Though John’s eyes are cast towards his high ball glass, he’s well aware of the fact that his Alpha is uneasy. They both are like fish cast upon a sandy, filthy shore here. Though his Rage is waned, it still creeps under his skin like implanted embers, and he has to focus on something else so he doesn’t acknowledge that yeah, actually, places like this are foreign and not all that comfortable.

There are a lot of bodies. A lot of squishy, fragile bodies filled with liters of blood and lungs that produce piercing shrieks when said bodies are compromised.

He looks over at mention of ‘that Luana chick,’ and he has to think for a moment. The process is visible. John goes from frowning to blank-faced to having a light bulb moment in a matter of seconds, and then he flicks his eyebrows as if to confirm that leaving was the best of his options at that moment. Though John doesn’t speak across the totem link, or go for his journal, the sentiment is practically audible:

Fuckin’ women.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She swallows hard and runs her hand through her hair, before she pulls her jacket shut. Her jaw sets and then she takes a breath, gesturing.

“Let’s go, I guess.”

[Amy] There must be something wrong with the woman that marches up to the misfit pair that everyone else has left alone. Her eyes flicker over John briefly before she looks at Hunter, head shaking.

“Daaaaaaaaaaaym. Who died and made you hot?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pauses, blinking, when Amy walks up to Hunter and hits on him. The expression on her face tells the tale clearly.

What the fuck is going on NOW?

[Hunter] He frowns, it isn’t a subtle gesture. It’s more of a scowl, really, than an actual frown, but the confusion in the expression makes it appear more so towards the latter.

“The fuck?”

The words are simple, to the point. What the fuck Amy?

[John] John laughs that voiceless laugh of his, glancing over at Hunter as if to see what it is Amy is seeing that he isn’t. A quick glance up at down reveals that the Bone Gnawer is wearing nice, clean clothes instead of what John has chosen to wear out tonight, and when he looks back at Amy he cocks a thumb at Hunter and makes that falling-water gesture he’s cobbled together to express showering.

At Sarita’s arrival, he is somewhat guarded. The last time he actually stopped to converse with her, he ended up punching her in the eye. Since then, he’s barreled past her after talking to her sister, been in the same room with her while Amy fumbled through giving him a computer tablet, and fallen asleep in her sister’s bed without noticing the Ragabash’s presence.

Then she and Hunter both react strongly to Amy’s question, and it stops being funny. He puts his hand down, coughs, and puts it in his pocket.

[Hunter] Hunter looks at John, hears him laugh and he visibly relaxes. “Guess your girls got good taste afterall.”

[Amy] “Teasing. Jesus fuck. You fuckers are all way too uptight.”

She glances at John, smiling brightly before shaking her head.

“Yeah. We’re going somewhere else now, aren’t we?” She hooks her arm in Sarita’s, nodding to the bar top “You guys do your shots, we’re going to go change clothes back. I TOLD the bitch that I look better in that than she ever could.”

Sure, she wants the points for not dressing like a tramp in front of John. But she wants her sister to be comfortable more.

[Hunter] “What you mean change? Just in the fuckin’ bathrooms? We just fuckin’ got here.” He looks at John incredulously. “I knew this was a fuckin’ trap.”

He groans with exasperation.

“Fifteen fuckin’ fifty!”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shifts on her feet when the tension seems to be growing between everyone; she’s already completely off her game, and John being distant while Hunter doesn’t seem to even notice that she’s there in favor of his packmate and her sister have her about ready to melt back into the crowd. She is completely the outsider here, and she looks and feels it. More to the point, she looks like a girl who’s trying WAY too hard to get a guy by her clothes, and trying to cover the top with her jacket just makes her even less comfortable.

When Amy links arms with her, she tenses as if she’s about to be thrust forward face-first in the awkwardness. She relaxes a bit when Amy says they’re going to change, and she gives a little smile to the two man.

[Amy] “You bitch like a girl, Hunter”

She waves her newly gained cash at him. “I want to stay, but you two already look pissed off, so if you want to go somewhere else, we can go.”

[John] He knew this was a fuckin’ trap.

John holds up his hands, slowly flailing them back and forth while noiselessly shouting. Oh no! It’s a trap! It ceases to be amusing after a matter of seconds, and he stops, huffing out a breath as he plants his hands on his hips. Looking between the other three, an expression that ought to be familiar to them by now hits him.

Go on, guess.

[Amy] Oh! Oh! Is he confused??

She leans into Sarita, looking John over again before her eyes move back to Hunter for his answer.

[Hunter] “You fuckin’ shoot like a bitch.” Hunter retorts.

[Amy] “Fuck yeah I do. You want to go to the range sometime? Give me something ELSE to laugh at you about?”

There’s absolutely no question that she’s kidding, and even goes so far as to let go of Sarita to lean in and playfully jab at his side.

[Hunter] He snorts, then barks a bit of laughter, shortly followed by a twisting of his torso when she jabs at his ribs. “ACK! Quit it, go get fuckin’ changed. This club can’t even handle me.”

[Amy] “Yeah, nobody can handle you. Too sexy for your fucking shirt and all that shit, right?”

Grinning, she glances to John once more before dragging Sarita off to switch clothes.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] When Amy lets go of her, Sarita is already moving off to go change. Amy has to pick up the pace to catch up with her.

[John] Dear god.

John draws a breath, that confusion lifting into resignation and acceptance of things he can neither change nor fucking understand, then lifts his chin in a farewell nod and turns back to his drink. Fifteen fucking fifty.

He takes another bracing sip, then frowns and reaches out to take a swatch of Hunter’s shirt between his fingers, as if he can’t figure out what the attraction is. He isn’t going to sniff for pheromones, but damn that is nice material…

[Hunter] “Somethin’ like that.” Hunter smirks, then when they turn away he’s shaking his head, a look at John shares the thought.

Fuckin’ women.

[Hunter] [Hunter *lisp* “It’s Egyptian silk”]

[Amy] Amy looks…. hot.

She strides out of the bathroom a few minutes later, all low cut here and super short there and curves in all the right places. The leather jacket was left with Sarita, who’s now safely tucked away in Amy’s jeans and tank.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Hold off on that second part, Sarita may not be coming with. ­čÖé ]]
to Amy

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Hold off on that second part, Sarita may not be coming with. ­čÖé ]]

[Hunter] Hunter is about to take his shot when Amy strolls out of the bathrooms, it’s midway between the bar and his lips, nearing his chin when his head tilts to the side and his eyes go wide.

“Fuckin’ hell John.” He declares, just as the 7.75 shot cracks in between his fingers and goes splashing down the front of his shirt.

He doesn’t even notice.

[John] He isn’t the most aware-of-his-surroundings mother fucker to ever walk the face of the planet, so it isn’t until Hunter’s eyes go wide that the Modi figures out something is amiss. He sets down his shot and turns to see what the problem happens to be. It isn’t actually a problem, that he can tell, although Amy strolls out wearing a much more revealing outfit than the one she’d had on a few moments ago. For whatever reason, he doesn’t have quite the reaction Hunter does.

Maybe it’s because he would like to not die at the age of twenty unless he dies defending a Caern.

His gaze is appreciative, but not outwardly lecherous. Perhaps he thinks the Grand Elder or the Philodox Elder have nothing better to do than lurk in dark corners waiting for sin-born to eye-fuck purebred kinswomen from other tribes. He’s respectful, and while Hunter is giving his shirt his shot, John just flicks his eyebrow and tosses his back.

I know, that eyebrow flick says. He lets out a voiceless huff as the alcohol burns his throat.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Guys, can you give us just a couple minutes please? We’re trying to figure some things out.]]

[Hunter] [oh totally! no problemolos!]

[Amy] Some smartass tries to grab her as she makes her way back to the bar, and gets punched in the face for his efforts.

She arches a brow when they get back to the bar, looking Hunter over. “What the fuck happened to you?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She comes out alongside Amy. She still looks off…she’s not skittish like she is before, but she’s still got more make-up on than she’s comfortable with Hunter and John seeing her in, and she didn’t exactly get a warm, welcoming feeling from the two when she was out there before.

She walks up behind Amy, heading straight to the bar and ordering herself several shots, straight up.

[Hunter] “Huh?” He says to Amy, then looks down at his shirt. “Oh..nuthin'” A scowl, he turns back to the bar and wipes his hand on his jeans before brushing it along the front of his shirt.

[Amy] Either she’s oblivious, or she’s mercilessly fucking with him.

Placed in front of Hunter, she leans into and around him to grab one of the shots that Sarita has ordered.

[Hunter] Amy isn’t oblivious, he knows this. She is fucking with him, without a doubt. There is no movement from him – even to pull away – like she wasn’t even there, though an observant individual might notice his nostrils involuntarily flare and his jaw clench.

“You always such a big fuckin’ tease Amy?” He finally says when she has her shot. “Go fuck with John, I wanna talk to Sarita.”

[Amy] “Not always.”

She’s pretty obviously pushing it though. Drawing back from him, she glances at Sarita and scoots over to John.

[John] It’s abundantly clear that John, at least, is oblivious. After his shot is gone, he sets the empty glass down, stomach settling quickly, and leans against the bar with his arms crossed over his chest. It’s hotter than Hell in here and he’s starting to sweat beneath his coat, but he doesn’t take it off until Amy scoots closer to him.

Hunter isn’t the only person who noticed her when she walked out of the bathroom. The Modi sighs, the sound not even a sound at all in this loud room but still etched into his face and body, and shrugs the lined jacket off his upper body. Without gesturing first, he drapes the coat over her shoulders.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s already downed two shots in the amount of time it’s taken Hunter and Amy to have their exchange. Sarita looks over at Hunter, masking whatever has caused the strange self-consciousness in her to flair with a grin. It’s not overtly sincere, but it’s there.

“Yo.”

[Amy] She gives him an apologetic smile, leaning up to talk right into his ear.

[Hunter] “Waddup,” he’s still situated in his barstool , twisted around to the the side to face Sarita but when she gives him that grin he reverts back to looking straight ahead. She’s right next to him, they can talk huddled over their drinks.

“You’re all fuckin’ quiet tonight, what’s up with that? Usually can’t shut you up.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a shrug. “I just didn’t know you guys were coming out. If I did, I woulda…” NOT COME BECAUSE I WAS TRYING FOR A GOD DAMNED NIGHT WITHOUT BEING SURROUNDED BY THIS WHOLE DAMN THING 24/7 GOD DAMMIT AMY THAT WAS A DIRTY SNEAKY TRICK “…dressed a little differently.”

[Hunter] [ORLY]
Dice Rolled:[ 3 d10 ] 2, 3, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Hunter] [aaaaaaaaand]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 5, 6, 10, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[John] [… was that Empathy? Put that shit away it’s so tiny it’s not even worth it.]

[Hunter] [AHAHAH DON’T MOCK ME YOU HAVE ONE MANIP POOL]

[John] [I WILL BEAT YOUR ASS CLARENCE]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[YA RLY I LIE I LIE I LIE RELLY GUD]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Hunter] [oh you jerk you’re defender]

[Hunter] Hunter studies her face, for more than a few seconds. He looks her in the eyes, looks at her lips and the way she sits, the way her hand holds her glass — Hunter takes his god damn time with this. Probably because he’s terrible at it — as indicated by the fact that he comes away none the wiser.

“Oh yeah? S’wrong with that? Seems fine to me.”

[John] He isn’t monstrously taller than the kinswoman, but John still ducks his head to meet her halfway as she lifts up to speak into his ear. Eyes made nearly black by the dim lighting in here focus straight ahead at nothing, seeming to stare straight through a throng of scantily clad, barely legal college coeds gyrating several yards away. He isn’t paying attention to any of the humans in this place, other than to answer the question as to where they are in case of any number of scenarios in which they would become impediments rather than simple background elements.

There are far too many of them, but for now, they’re just there.

Whatever Amy says to him is lost to time and rampant cacophony in the background. He returns his arms to their crossed position over his chest once he’s divested of his jacket, and when she concludes whatever it is she has to say, John bobs his head in a nod. All the response she gets is him reaching out to solemnly yet playfully grip the top of her skull in one hand, then rest that arm on the bar behind her without touching her.

He’s about as sly as church flatulence, but he’s not exactly trying to be sneaky. He probably just wants his damn arm to rest somewhere. The Fenrir can’t lie worth a damn.

[Amy] She laughs when her head is grabbed, swatting at his hand before twisting around to watch Hunter and Sarita.

So what if it puts her back almost touching his arm? Girl can’t lean and watch the devastatingly handsome Gnawer talk to her sister?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a little shrug, downing another shot. “Yeah, this is. I don’t think you noticed when I was wearing what Amy is now.”

[Lukas] The last time Lukas went clubbing with Danicka was New Year’s Eve, and he ended up soaring on ecstasy, pawing indiscriminately and fascinatedly at the seats, the windowglass, the ceiling upholstery, and the woman beside him as they rode the cab back to the W.

Tonight’s excesses aren’t so … excessive. The only substances in his system are a jolt of red bull (disgusting stuff, but Sinclair swears by it) and two shots of turquoise-blue AMF. He’s laughing as he comes up out of the tumultuous sea of dancing bodies, though, fingers tangled with Danicka’s, hair mussed, one shirt-sleeve rolled up to the elbow as though he’d done that much before forgetting the other.

Wait,” he all but shouts — they’re passing near the wall of subs — “wait wait wait, hold on, my shoelace is untied.” And he ducks down to knot it by touch, looking bar-ward, shrugging a drop of sweat off his temple and onto his shoulder. “Hey,” and he nods in Sarita’s direction, “that’s Sarita. Have you met her yet?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Per+Alert: Do I see Lukas?]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 4, 6, 6, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Hunter] He reaches out his hand for one of the shots, a little sigh escaping his lips – twisted in the corners revealing perhaps a hint of amusement. The floor behind them pounds, though the speakers are deliberately setup to limit as much noise as possible around the bar. It doesn’t make it quiet, not in the slightest, but it makes it possible to actually order drinks and shout in each others faces in an attempt at communication.

John doesn’t have this problem, of course. Bastard.

“Fuckin’ glad for that too. Last thing I wanna be doin’ is checkin’ out some fuckin’ wolf.” He laughs, it’s probably lost in the noise around them but it splits his lips and tips his chin.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks up, eyes falling on the Shadow Lord and his mate. She pauses a moment, drawing up just a bit. It would be very difficult to see the change in her demeanor, because she’s good at covering it and…well, they are in a club and the duo are a bit away. She smiles and waves as she directs her words toward the others. She knows Hunter understands Spanish and can get the message to John, and Amy can as well.

Se├▒oras y se├▒ores … un Shadow Lord Elder se acerca. S├│lo para que tengan conocimiento.

[Danicka] “Nooope,” says the blonde next to Lukas, smiling benignly. Her hair is actually up tonight, a rather thick ponytail with tendrils curling around her face. She came to dance, maybe, and not whip her hair back and forth. She’s not exactly sober at the moment either, though she perhaps handles herself — ironically — better than the Full Moon beside her. Her pants are tight, the fabric and color hard to discern with the lighting in here. Her shoes are flats, which make her height and his more lopsided than usual. Her shirt is some body-skimming metallic blue thing with short sleeves that is held on by a series of ties over her shoulders. Her coat is checked.

“Why didn’t you wear loafers?” she asks him when he’s done re-tying his shoelace. “You have those nice ones from Aldo. Who is Sarita?”

[Amy] She can’t hear it, but she sees the look to someone across the room and reads “Shadow Lord” on Sarita’s lips plainly enough.

Fuck.

She leans back into John’s arm for a second, just long enough to let her make full contact with him before she shrugs out of his coat. It’s caught and handed to him, and a moment later she’s scooted just barely out of Tits on His Arm range of Hunter.

[Hunter] “Que bueno.” Is Hunter’s reply to Sarita and he quickly throws back the shot. This time it goes down his throat instead of down the front of his shirt. Then it’s time to swivel on his stool and look around the club like a blind man trying to find his reflection. It’s dark in here, there are far too many people, the only thing that helps him is the breeding and the Rage.

Luckily there is enough of it to fill a small truck. He passes the message down the phone to John and then–

There are tits near his arm. He sighs.

[John] John doesn’t speak Spanish, but he reacts to what Sarita’s said seconds after she says it, anyway. His eyes flick down the bar toward her as Amy is handing back his jacket. He holds it in his left hand for a moment, fighting the urge to look around the room to find the source of Sarita’s announcement, and drums the fingers of his right hand against the tacky bartop.

Fabulous.

Sniffing, the Modi drapes the jacket over the crook of his elbow and keeps his other arm where it is, looking nonchalant as hell with no drink nearby, nothing to chew on, nothing to smoke. He seems perfectly content to just stand here and watch the proceedings, so that’s what he does.

That and try not to exhibit schaudenfreude in Hunter’s anguish.

[Lukas] “See,” Lukas says, a little more loudly than necessary, “when your outfit consists of a buttondown shirt and jeans, how dressy or undressy you look depends entirely on what shoes you wear. And these,” he points at his shoes, old-school skate shoes in black and grey, “are appropriately casual.

“Plus,” he adds, getting back up, “they’re better to dance in. And Sarita’s a prospective packmate. A Ragabash Strider. I like her. Come on.”

If Lukas weren’t inebriated, he might have caught the little reveille that goes through the Cliaths and kin at the bar. He is, however, inebriated, and less of a fuck is given all around.

[Danicka] “Why are you giving me fashion lessons?” Danicka wants to know of her mate. She looks at him like he’s grown a third head. She doesn’t resist when he starts heading over to the Cliaths at the bar. She looks quite pleased with the world in general, Lukas’s shoes and inability to remember who he is talking to notwithstanding.

“Hello,” she says to the lot of them when they arrive, smiling and giving a little wave.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Lukas!” She smiles as he comes up, giving him an upward tilt of her head. “What’s shakin’, trial-run boss?” She grins to him. Her regular duster is gone and she’s wearing more make-up than he’s used to seeing her with. It’s more of an ‘I’m going clubbing in order to try and catch something’ look, although the clothes–tank top, jeans–don’t match. They aren’t baggy or the like, but they’re just more casual.

Danicka gets a warm smile from her as well, and a little nod. She doesn’t know the woman, but any friend of Lukas… “Hola. Funny to find you guys here. Club often?”

[Amy] She’s flirted with guys to get what she wanted for years. It’s gone beyond flirting more often than not, and the Owlet has never been above using any man when it suits her purposes.

After all, just look at Leon.

So why then, when she glances to Sarita in between big, flirty smiles for Hunter, does her expression shift to one of painful guilt before the expression is quickly wiped away?

[John] John’s player can’t be fucked rewriting what he looks like tonight. Typical Dorn Ahroun: hot dumb and doesn’t talk. Boom, roasted.

The Adren was a Fostern when one of the Cliaths met him. When they all met him, actually, but this particular Cliath met him when he was a mere step above him on the food chain, and he’d been bold enough to look at his cheekbones then. The Fenrir doesn’t look far past his throat as he and his mate mosey off the dance floor, though he does look over at the kinswoman and give her what is supposed to pass for a polite smile and doesn’t quite make it, as though the muscles responsible for smiling are so dusty and out-of-use that it isn’t going to happen. His eyes crinkle at the corners, slightly, but that’s about all she can expect tonight.

As if to make up for it, he lifts his right hand off the bartop long enough to give her a motionless wave. Hi, it says. He, however, doesn’t open his mouth.

[Lukas] “Because,” Lukas replies, and then just … kind of laughs.

They’re with the others by then, anyway. And whatever tension was brewing between Amy, Hunter, and John more or less flies right over Lukas’s head. Or at least he gives a very good impression of entirely missing out on it. Unmistakeably tall, dark, and rageful, the Ahroun returns Sarita’s grin with a slightly lopsided one.

“Sort of. Not really. This is Dani&+269;ka, my uh.” A blank; a durr moment. “Mine. My mate.”

He looks happy to say this. It’s a little absurd. A moment later Sarita can all but see him taking a breath, mustering some amount of respectability for the others. “Dani&+269;ka, this is Sarita. Hunter. John. And Amy, Sarita’s sister.” He turns his head, speaks into Danicka’s ear, then.

Talented lipreaders might catch it: John can’t speak. He’ll write instead if he needs to.

[Amy] Hey, did you hear that Sarita’s wayward sister is a slut? No? Well just look at her.

She isn’t as lean as Sarita, so the low cut top is clingier, and the short skirt is shorter. She’s dressed for clubbing, even though her makeup seems a little subdued for her clothing.

Because this goes SO far toward Lukas seeing her as an actual asset. Really it does.

[Hunter] “Yo,” Hunter offers in return to the arrival of the Lords once Lukas has done his introductions. His back is up against the bar, his feet perched on the frame-work of the stool. Raising both elbows, he lowers them to the surface behind him and flicks a glance at Amy – she’s doing that thing again. By the time he walks out of here he will probably figure it out, right now though she gets a look of annoyance from the Gnawer. But he doesn’t shove her off and a second later his attention is elsewhere, leaving her to smile devilishly and rub up against him all she wants.

Tension in the trio, perhaps, but beyond John looking bored, Hunter looking annoyed and Amy looking like she’s trying far too hard – there isn’t much to see.

“A club Lukas? Really?” He can’t help himself, his eyebrow raises. It’s like seeing your principal at the arcades.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, nice to meet you, Danicka.” She grins and holds out a hand to her. The whole thing that is going on behind her, she seems oblivious to. “Forgive the outfit…I usually travel in much less respectable clothing. Amy was nice enough to switch with me, though. I overdid it, I’m afraid.”

A friendly, grateful smile to her sister, and then she looks back at Lukas. “How’s tricks been? Keeping busy and up to no good?”

[Danicka] The first word that comes to Lukas’s addled mind is mine, which fits. His mate. Danicka looks thoroughly amused, turning her head away from the others to look at him for a moment. She shakes her head, not quite laughing, and then laughing quite out right when he does Very Serious Introductions. She puts her hand over her mouth to stifle it, nodding absently at whatever it is Lukas mutters in her ear. She’s holding his hand, too. She doesn’t have a drink anymore, but her green eyes are bright and it’s clear enough that she’s feeling loose and having a good time.

She extends her hand in turn to those that want it, greeting them in turn. “Hi. Hi. Hello. Hi. Good to meet you, Sarita!” That given with a flash of a smile, as bright as her eyes. Warm as her hands.

Then Hunter speaks up and she looks over at him. “What? I met Luk├í┼í in a club.” A beat. “You’re not going to get all weird because of his rank or something, are you?”

[Hunter] “All weird, what ya’ mean by that?” He tilts his head, curiosity in his tone. “He just don’t look like much the dancin’ type.”

[Amy] She scowls at Hunter when he flat out ignores her, though the look seems to be more exasperation than irritation.

Reaching into her prominent cleavage, she fishes out a lighter and pack of cigarettes as she yells to be heard by everybody. “I’m going out for a smoke. I probably won’t be killed or anything. Nobody go with me”

[John] He can’t read lips worth a damn, either, but John ends up watching the couple as the male turns to speak into the female’s ear. It isn’t that he’s ignoring what’s going on next to him, but he certainly doesn’t seem to deem it worthy of his attention, either. A kinswoman flirting with Hunter?

Woooo. Fetch a Galliard, that’s one for the record books.

When Danicka pulls away from the huddle and begins with the hand shakes, the tallest of the three Cliaths looks around as if waiting for his cue. His shaking hand is resting on the bar, which is crawling with Christ knows what sort of bacteria and filth. John glances down at it, then decides to spare Danicka exposure to whatever is clinging to his skin by holding it up again, acknowledging her Hi with a pan-flash of a smile. It’s like ripping off a damn Band-Aid, how fast he does it, but he makes the attempt.

Hunter’s observation makes him laugh. So he can smile, he just chooses not to. How atypical of his tribe and auspice. The Modi cants his head to indicate his Alpha, then gives a facial shrug. It’s true: he doesn’t look much the dancin’ type.

[Lukas] “I don’t think Hunter even remembers my rank half the time,” Lukas replies.

His eyes level on Hunter for a beat. There might be a veiled warning there. Then he pulls a barstool out with his foot — he doesn’t even bother looking over his shoulder to make sure no one’s sitting on it. No one ever sits on barstools near Lukas for long. That stool goes to Danicka. He doesn’t actually sit, himself — he turns away for a moment, leaning over the bar to call out a drink order to the bartender.

That accomplished, he turns back. “At least no more cannonballs into pools,” he replies to Sarita, that smile resurfacing, crooked now. “By the way — ”

he cuts off. Amy announces she’s stepping out, no one come with her, she’ll be fine, really. Lukas’s eyes, dark and straight, flick up.

“Do you wanna go with her?” he asks Sarita.

[Lukas] [er. Lukas’s eyeBROWS, dark and straight.]

[Danicka] “I think you just challenged him to a dance-off,” she informs Hunter.

Angelina yells that she’s going out. She won’t be killed. Nobody go with her. And Danicka bursts into laughter, forgetting — at first — to clap her hand over her mouth.

A barstool is picked out for her. She does not seem to notice it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles and nods to Amy when she steps out, and looks back to Lukas.

“Nope. Don’t need to smoke, and if I just followed her out there…it would get ugly. If someone snatches her off the street directly in front of the club, she’ll let us know. Or kill them.”

She says it with a chuckle. “She’s cool. She’s just…well, she’s Ames.” As if that explains it. “Now, what about cannonballs and by the way?”

[Amy] She can’t be killed. She’s tried fairly recently, and all it gained her was another hospital stay and another conversation that she doesn’t want to have to have.

She gives Sarita a smile when her defense is lept to, nodding and taking a few steps away before stopping and backtracking to John.

“Can I borrow your coat?”

[John] Watch this, this is how poor a liar he is: Lukas tells Danicka that Hunter doesn’t remember his rank half the time, and the Modi, who up until that point had been watching the Adren, lifts his eyebrows in something like disbelief, or surprise. Maybe he’s amused; it’s hard to tell with him. Whatever the case is, John slowly looks over to Hunter before lowering his heavy brows and squinting over at his elder. He pops the knuckle of his right thumb with its buddies, then rests his half-fist back on the lacquered slab of wood and crosses one boot over the other, continuing to lean his fine-ass self against the bar instead of sitting down like a normal person.

Amy asks to borrow his coat, and he doesn’t even think twice about it. He does manage to pull his attention away from their superior long enough to unbend his elbow, drop the coat into his hand, and give it to the kinswoman. With his head turned, the rest of them can’t see the exaggerated look of warning on the Modi’s face, as though there will be dire consequences if she gets killed while wearing his jacket.

[Amy] She just barely nods, pulling on the dirty Carhartt over her lovely club clothes and hunching into the coat as she goes outside.

[Hunter] Lukas looks at him, and unlike his Modi pack-mate, the Alpha of Defiance doesn’t look the Adren in the cheek bones or the throat, he looks him right back in the eyes. There isn’t much of a challenge in it, more like just how Lukas put it. He doesn’t put much stock in rank. Words are held for now though, because Amy is looking like Hunter just yelled PASS in her face, or at least that’s how it seems to the Gnawer.

She gets no response from the Gnawer, not at the hints of her dying out there and not when she wanders over to grab John’s coat. There’s something far more interesting that has him grinning.

“Dance off?” He laughs, “I just take em’ at his worth. Man like Lukas’ll get me yappin’ to his song regardless’a what titles are floatin’ over his head.” He smiles, Isn’t that right Lukas?

[Lukas] “Hm.” It’s a thoughtful sound, a little curious. He leaves it be, though. Not quite the first night he met Sarita but the second or the third, she told him what it was like for her and her sister. They were tight. She protects her sister. Two desperadoes back to back against the world, all that. Only at the same time — she realizes what she can and can’t do. Can and can’t change.

Gives her sister freedom, even if it’ll kill her.

Lukas can respect that. He doesn’t really get it — not with his protective instinct which sometimes, frequently, verges into over territory — but he respects it.

Anyway: the bartender slides him his drink. Dear god, it’s another adios motherfucker. The Shadow Lord takes it and gulps it down like nothing. Eastern European jokes abound. Setting the half-drained glass aside, he crunches an ice sliver between his teeth.

“By the way,” he picks up where he left off, “we should talk sometime. About the totem, the pack, philosophy, all that. Maybe later, when I’m less … y’know. Drunk.”

There’s talk of a danceoff going on over there. Lukas flicks an eyebrow up, doesn’t comment. He does pass his drink over to Danicka, though, sharing like they taught him to in kindergarten.

[John] Good thing John left his phone in his jeans pocket and not his jacket pocket: when the stupid thing buzzes for his attention, surprising him to the point that he starts slightly but does not jump like an electrified cat, he reaches into his pocket to grab the thing. The screen produces a light so weak it barely penetrates the darkness, the glow dying inches from home. Whatever it says makes John’s squint deepen.

He elbows Hunter in the side, lighter than he does when he’s horsing around, and shows the contents of the cheap prepaid phone’s message to the Bone Gnawer.

[Danicka] Danicka’s laughter does indeed die down after awhile, into giggles and a single demure sniff. Amunet walks outside and, frankly, they’re in a nice area of Chicago. They are in what counts for the upper twenty-five percent on Danicka’s mental spectrum of swank –> divey. If Amunet going outside for a smoke is something worth batting an eyelash for in anyone’s book, it’s a book Danicka’s not reading.

She’s eyeing Hunter as he opens his mouth again. A drink slides towards her and she looks at it, then at Lukas, wounded. “You didn’t get me my own?” she says, bereft. “Worst boyfriend ever!” she says adamantly, and leans past him to flag down the bartender.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hell to the yes,” she says with a nod to the Adren. “I am game literally whenever you are. Assuming, you know. I’m not in the middle of a deep sleep, dreaming that Javier Bardem is one of Owl’s kin and mine, ALL mine.”

She gives a Cheshire grin at that, though there’s something a bit…bitter, perhaps? That may be the word to describe what swims well under the surface. The woman had her opportunity to get laid tonight thanks to her half-sister, but Sarita’s not into the random lays that she picks up from clubs. She’s done the Coyote Ugly morning one too many time for that, and she’s had enough experience with it to know that nine times out of ten, she’s not satisfied with some random nobody who she’ll never see again. Still, she’s had kinfolk/Garou relationships swirling around her head for weeks now, and it’s starting to take its toll in reminding her that she doesn’t have that.

She picks up a shot from the five or six she has lined up in front of her and downs it. “Amy definitely wants to talk at you more when she can too, about seeing if there’s anything she can get involved in such as what you mentioned to her before. Scouting and such. I don’t know that there’s much at the moment, but I know she’d love to get active, when she can.”

[Hunter] If there’s any reaction to the text that John showed him, it isn’t expressed by the Gnawer beyond a glance to the Modi and another at the door. It shouldn’t be unfamiliar to anyone here — the sharing of information, silently, between pack-mates –, so perhaps it isn’t a surprise when both members of Defiance stand from their stools.

Sarita begins her talk with her to-be Alpha and Hunter is frowning, tight lips, tight jaw, there’s something in the look he gives both of them but it is fleeting, resolving into half-hearted wave of his hand – a twisting of the corners of his lips.

“Sorry to leave, duty calls, corners to clear n’all that. Cya Lukas –” eyes turn to Danicka and she gets a nod. Sarita’s farewell gets said over his shoulder as he’s turning to go.

“Later homie.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Later, Hunter. John.” She gives them both warm smiles and waves, then looks back to Lukas.

[Danicka] “You know, I’ve never been particularly attracted to Javier Bardem,” Danicka muses as she waits for her drink, leaning on the bar. She takes no notice of John and Hunter leaving, even managing to miss Hunter’s nod in her direction. “He looks like… a Cro-Magnon. A noble, philosophical Cro-Magnon.” She looks over at Lukas thoughtfully, as though mentally comparing, then picks up a bright blue drink identical to the one Lukas ordered and turns towards Sarita as she mentions her sister again.

There’s interest in her eyes as her lips close around the straw in her drink. She doesn’t slam it. Well, she’s a slender thing, and female, and closer to mortal than Lukas. Maybe she wants to take it easy. He looks like he’s at least on his third or fourth; this is probably her second, third at most. Chances are she can’t hold her liquor all that well.

“Can she shoot?” Danicka wants to know.

[John] [Sam, Ange, thanks for the scene!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh man…it was Vicky Cristina Barcelona that did it for me. Just…oh, Dios mio.” She grins and shrugs. “I was hooked. And he can be a creepy little fucker too.” That’s an attractive trait? Hey, no one said the sisters were normal. Speaking of which…

“Can she shoot?” She grins widely. “Better than me, and to be perfectly arrogant, I shoot well. Hell, just the other day she unloaded one to help Hunter and Joey take down a freakin’ Thunderwyrm.” She nods. “Yes, she’s insane…I don’t dispute that. But girl’s got some serious mettle to her.”

[Lukas] Lukas, downgraded to worst boyfriend ever, doesn’t seem particularly heartbroken about it. He huffs a laugh, drinks his drink, and then lays a thoughtless, gentle hand on Danicka’s back as she leans across him to order.

“Night, guys.” That, offhand, was to Hunter and John. Back to Sarita and Danicka, “There might actually be something afoot. One of my contacts forwarded me this from the paper today,” and it’s not actually a newspaper he pulls out but his iPhone, fingers flicking deftly over the touchscreen until he pulls up a webpage, which he passes to the females.

“One or two homeless folks disappearing into the cold isn’t unusual, especially with this year’s weather, but half the expected population is a bit much.”

[newspaper clipping is this one: http://www.chicagodusk.com/smf/index.php?topic=8172.0 — and Amunet’s already signed up for that scene with jacqui, so consider this your ic lead-up *LOL*]

[Hunter] [thanks for scene!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow and takes the iPhone, looking it over. She doesn’t actually own such a piece of equipment herself–she’s been considering snagging one like her sister is so adept at doing, but not yet–but she does have an iPod so she can navigate it fine. Bless the evil conglomerate Apple and their love of a universal iOS. She looks over the article, frowning.

“The streets take them? Jesus, that’s ominous. Like, some kinda Joss Whedon creepy prophecy ominous.”

Her phone chirps, and passes the iPhone along to Danicka as she pulls her own out to look at it. A little frown, and she texts back.

[Danicka] “I never finished that movie,” Danicka says. “Never even got to the point where apparently the two chicks made out.” She shrugs. “I can’t ever get into Woody Allen’s crap.”

She has called Lukas her worst boyfriend ever before. That time it actually ended up in a series of phrases that made him turn his head away so he could hide his glowing, beaming smile of pleasure, but this time he just scoffs it off. They do have a certain comfort with each other, less like an old married couple and more like people who have been dating long enough not to Freak Out over every little thing.

His hand on her back, for instance. She doesn’t suddenly flutter, or blush, or drag him to an empty restroom. She smiles, and he leaves it there, and so it goes.

Her eyebrow lifts when Sarita mentions the Thunderwyrm, and Amy helping bring it down. Danicka doesn’t comment on that, nor does she look terribly interested in the newspaper clipping at the moment. She listens, though — this is the first she’s heard of it. “I like Joss Whedon,” she muses aloud. “Sometimes. The longer he goes on the more it becomes clear he’s a self-indulgent sexist.”

[Lukas] Another small laugh. The ice cubes in his glass clink together as Lukas drains the last of his AMF. The iPhone — which truthfully was a gift, not a purchase he made himself, and is in fact a by-now-outdated 3GS — comes back around to him. He puts it away.

“There aren’t a lot of details yet. But I believe Laughs in the Face of Death, the Ragabash elder, is thinking of having a look. If your sister wants to poke around the storefront end of things, so to speak, we might be able to use her information.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A little bit of a nod. “Oh, well that’s perfect. Amy’s been hanging out with them a bit. Obviously, hence the Thunderwyrm thing. I’ll let her know.” She sends another text and slips the phone away.

[Danicka] For a few minutes there Danicka is the only one present who is not using her iPhone. Then again, where would she put it? She doesn’t have a purse on her, and her clothes are tight and pocketless, her left hand stamped with the insignia of the club, her drinks on Lukas’s tab. She’s finished her AMF.

Maybe not taking it so easy, after all.

[Lukas] “Great.” Phones go away. Danicka has finished her drink. Lukas’s is a pile of ice. Business set aside, he smiles, indicating the dance floor with a tilt of his head. “You guys ready to head back out? Maybe we’ll find you a Javier Bardem lookalike out there.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles. “I’m not here for a pick-me-up. I’m not that kinda girl anymore. Just here to have fun.” She downs her last three shots in quick succession and nods, standing. She’s weaving a bit.

“Hey Mr. DJ, put that record on, as the Queen of Pop said. Let’s do it.”

[Danicka] “You two…” Danicka informs them slowly, “…start without me. I’m going to get some water and… be… sitting for awhile.”

[Lukas] Lukas’s eyebrow quirks up at that. He looks from Danicka to the empty glass and back. Then, meeting Sarita’s eyes, he quips, “She probably won’t get killed. Nobody stay with her.”

Sarita’s not exactly sober either. Neither is Lukas, for that matter. One weaving, the other swaying a bit, they head out onto the dance floor with its legions of clubbers.

[oy, sorry that took so long — getting sleepy here! that’s probably gonna be my last post tonight.]

[Danicka] To that, Danicka snorts a laugh, bordering on derisive. She sits on the barstool Lukas originally tried to pull out for her, leaning back and watching Lukas go off with his potential packmate. She just smiles. Orders one more.

[Danicka] [Yeah, sorry I got so slow, too. I v tired and going to bed now! But thank you guys for the RP!]

[Danicka] [Night!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita grins and follows Lukas out on the dance floor to get down. Even intoxicated, she’s a decent dancer, and she is happy to forget all the bullshit flowing around her mind, the anguish that it’s brought down on her, and just enjoys the night until it ends.

[[Nini! Thanks for the scene!]]