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 😦 ]

[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. “Lukáš, 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, “Lukáš 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*]

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Loft Party!

[Katherine Bellamonte] She had spent most of the previous night at the Caern, well into the morning hours.

The day rising with knowledge of Katherine Bellamonte’s new standing among her peers did it, for a large part of the day, without her. She slept, deeply, and only arose as dusk sank the day into brilliant reds and pinks across the horizon. Opening her closet, the Half Moon studied a collection of white, of black, of sparkling silver and a vast embassy of footwear.

She selected a pair of black kitten pumps, and came to a decision.

I am throwing a party, the declaration rang over the totemic link to her pack-mates. Tonight, at the Loft. Bring whoever you like, bring swimwear, bring wine and champagne. We’re going to celebrate.

The same general message is broadcast to her tribe-mates; to those she knows of, those she can reach. Word of mouth spreads, Honor’s Compass slips into a slinky silver cocktail dress, that sculpted itself to her frame and left very little to the imagination of any observing her. She pinned her fair hair from her neck, and left tendrils to frame an aristocratic chin, high cheekbones and a long, thin nose. Her mouth was painted bright, blinding red.

She was quite well pleased.

When the doors open for the guests, it is not simply Lucille who is there, but Asha’s former Herald, Thomas, also. Not in his usual role; the Kinsman looked pale, and aged by the death of his Mistress yet details not sorted, Katherine had, being the ever-diligent hostess and Alpha of his tribe, invited him to stay with her as long as was needed for him to decide what was next to occur.

For tonight, however, he is beside the elder Kinswoman to greet arrivals; and assist with coats. Honor’s Compass had not demanded his aid; but it was given without rancor. Perhaps being useful helped the Herald, and Katherine was not one to interfere in another method of grieving.

Still, they enter to the sound of quiet harmony; classical music pumping through speakers; discreetly planted around the Loft’s interior. The pool has been cleaned; and fresh towels lay upon deckchairs for daring visitors. There are trays of food, carried around by waiting staff; champagne chilling in a bucket of ice upon a stand. The black sofas pushed well out of the way so the floor was opened up; all white and minimalistic and utterly elegant.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita’s been more or less staying regularly at the Loft since Amy left at the end of February. Even when he sister return, Sarita remained. Things were different between them, and even more so now. So for her, it’s not difficult to be ready. She just needs to come downstairs.

She isn’t dressed up at the moment. In fact, she isn’t dressed in any kind of regular attire…she’s gotten into her one-piece swimsuit early and is chilling in the pool. It is relaxing, being able to just float in the water or do laps. It allows her mind to stay in the moment and not drift. Drifting is bad…there’s a lot on her mind.

[Sinclair] Perhaps to some it might seem wrong, disrespectful to hold a celebration such as this so soon after Asha’s passing. Those some are not Garou, nor are they Unbroken. Savage, wild wolves lurking in such civilized skins, using money and the cut of a sweater and laughter and technology to smooth over the fact that not a single one of them is even close to mortal, even close to Normal.

Sinclair shows up (comes downstairs) in dark bootcut jeans and bare feet, her toenails painted metallic purple. She’s got a v-necked sweater on, form-fitting and pink. The piercing in her upper arm nudges against the fabric, the sleeves pushed up show the tattoos on her inner forearms, her hair being up in a messy bun — this passes for an updo, with Sinclair — reveals the mark of Earth on the back of her neck.

Passing a server she grabs a slice of cucumber with some mushed-up creamy liver substance artfully swirled onto it, and pops it in her mouth. Goes up to Katherine, glomps her arms around the newest sept Adren from behind, and chews as loudly as she can possibly manage right next to her ear.

[Derek Anderson] He enters the loft and present himself ot Thomas. He never had met Asha’s former herald and introdiced himself. He was allowed in. Tonight, the tall, musucula young man with blond hair was dressed in a dark suit, shoes, a blue shirt matching his eyes and tie. Over the suit was a long dark trench coat.

It was a night for celebration it seem, so he dressed the part. Still he had a bag in his right hand with his swimming trunks in. No wayt he wouldn’t come to the loft and not use the pool. He offered Katherine a warm smile when he saw her “Good evening Katherine. How have you been?” He say in his deep warm voice. “I might appear totally clueless if I ask it, but I will anyway. What’s the special occasion?”

He noticed Sarita in the pool and offer her a nod if she look his way, if not, no big deal. He offered a smile ot Sinclair when she came by Katherine “Hello SInclair, how are you?”He say, looking at her directly for once.

[Adamidas] If you are having a party, you have to expect gate crashers, you see. Because spirits are chatty, chatty things. Adam, however, is not a gate crasher. She’s actually fairly easy to get ahold of, and-

she found herself thinking of what it was that you bring to an Adren. You can’t bring Kate anything pretty of bauble-ie. She had all of that. She had prestige and a title and a nice house and things. She had a pack. She had a family. She had all sorts of things. We digress.

Adam shows up at the front door. Her hair is windblown, but it looks like she’d put some effort into doing it before she hit the road. She’s finally wearing that cocktail dress Harmony gave her… with the same boots she always wears because, let’s face it, she doesn’t own any other shoes aside from her platforms. She’s not sure what she’s going to do when she gets there, but she’s there.

With a messenger bag.

[Adamidas] (or bauble-ie, oi!)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She does note Derek and gives him a little wave in the midst of a backstroke. The grin is faint, but there.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] A little over twelve hours ago, there was a impromptu mini-celebration in the Caern itself, moments after Kate passed her challenge. Since then Lukas has gone home, gone to bed, zonked all day, woken up only the message comes across the totemphone.

Kate passed her challenge, he told Danicka, buttoning his shirt as he ducks his head into her study where she was cramming for her continuous-time linear systems final. She’s having a hoedown. You’re invited, but do you want me to tell her you’re trying to unlock the mysteries of the universe?

And also:

Have you seen the bottle of Wyborowa my dad sent last month?

And not too long after that, he’s parking the Beemer and coming up the walk, giving the door a perfunctory knock before simply using his key. He’s wearing a black shirt, charcoal slacks. He’s also wearing swim trunks under his clothes. He’s carrying a bottle of fine Polish wódka, with which he bumps Adamidas’s back as he follows her in.

“Hey,” he says. “Nice dress. Almost didn’t recognize you.”

[Alejandro] Alejandro doesn’t have many fancy clothes. It’s not that he couldn’t have got them growing up, it’s just that looking good hasn’t been a focus of his. Ever the student; ever the Garou; ever the boy and never the man.

Which is at odds with how he is dressed because his suit just does not fit. It’s old, that could be gathered from the fact that it isn’t last seasons style or even the seasons before that. It isn’t so old that it’s back in fashion, but it isn’t so flamboyant that it could ever been completely out of fashion, either.

This suit is grey, not quite silver but not quite bland, either. There is a little matching waistcoat beneath the jacket and a black tie upon a white dress shirt. The problem is that the sleeves only reach halfway down his wrists. The garment bunches at his elbows, pulls at his shoulders, rides too high at his ankles and reveals thin black dress socks above worn — but clean — leather shoes.

Under one arm there is a cardboard cylinder, tucked up into his armpit and he shuffles towards the front door with steps that announce his pleasure to be here. The cylinder is large — even more so because of his diminutive figure — and when he reaches the front entrance he slips in beside Adam and Lukas.

A little spastic wave is given to both of them, a grin for Adam too. He falls in step beside them. “Hello!”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [FINE, change it to:

Kate passed her challenge, he told Danicka, buttoning his shirt as he drops in on her watching The Fifth Element on BluRay. She’s having a hoedown. You’re invited, but do you want me to tell her you’re burnt out from unlocking the mysteries of continuous-time linear systems? ]

[Katherine Bellamonte] It is understandable that Derek might have received a formal invitation — not a demand, not these days — to join Kate at her home, but the circumstances may well baffle the young Detective. Katherine Bellamonte did not strike many as a woman of easy whim, not when it came to parties.

Sinclair throws her arms around Katherine, and chews noisily in her ear and her sister is bracing an arm over the other woman’s hand, chiding politely: “That is very expensive dip, Sinclair,” as if she expects this to make some sort of difference in the long run. “I am pleased you came, Derek. We are celebrating my achievement of new rank,” a moment, one can feel the gleam of pleasure in Katherine as she says, with quiet pride.

“I am now an Adren in the Nation’s eyes. Please, help yourself to food and drink.”

Thomas, straying from the door, nods to those who acknowledge him, and retreats to seat himself with a cup of tea, he will not drink, and there is a certain somberness surrounding the Herald’s black attire; though he had pleasure enough to greet the Silver Fang with when she first returned home, triumphant. Lucille, ever watchful, however, fusses with coat collars, and hangs each with care. She argues with the hired waiters, and demands they be more careful with the silver and crystal glass ware.

Still, with each newcomer; the sense of celebration grows.

There is something cathartic in it, for the wolves of Unbroken. They have lost someone; there must be balance to their grief.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Hey Kate. Hey, Kate. She’s been doing this every now and then throughout the day over the pack link. You’re an Aaaaaadreeeeeen…

It helps put the grin on her face, and there’s one on there now as she treads water, watching all the arrivals.

[Sinclair] “Everything you have is very expensive,” Sinclair counters, giving her a squeeze around the middle before letting her go. “Except for that bag of Sam’s Best brand Mini Peanut Butter Cups you keep in the freezer. Yeah. I found those,” she adds warningly, getting out of arm’s reach.

[Derek Anderson] He blinked at Kate’s words then strated to say something, couldn’t then smiled sheepishly. He felt very dense right now. That was something incredibly important and he had no clue about it. He took a few seconds to recover and smiled warmly “Congratulation Katherine.” Was all he saud and all he could say. He could tell her it’s amazing, but she knew that already. Beside what used she would have for praise coming from him? She had peers who understood better her pride and joy.

“Thank you for the invitation” He said “Enjoy your evening” Sinclair ignored him, no great surprise here. So he ignored her back and moved away to let Adamidas, Lukas and I guy he didn’t know meet with Katherine

“Good evening Adamidas” He say, remembering the young woman from a short encounter a while ago “Good evening Lukas” He say smiling to both and nodded to Alejandro “Good evening to you as well.” He drifted away for now. Moving toward the pool but not quite. He looked in Sarita’s direction ofr a few seconds as he took off his coat then kept his attention on the Garou surrounding Katherine.

[Adamidas] There’s vodka- wódka- poking her and she turns around. Finds herself looking at a very familiar chest. She grins.

“Harmony’s got awesome taste, he got it for me for Christmas,” of course, she missed Christmas, but that was beside the point. She is walking, and is fine to pass on until she notices Alejandro. The female perks up immediately- you’d think they were childhood friends the way she perks up.

“Hey!”

And Derek gets a wave, “hey Derek. Look at you cleaning up nice… I think this is a little classier party than I’m used to.”

[Amunet Knezevic] One should, in polite society, at least tell your sister in person before vacating town for any amount of time.

She failed to do this last time, which is what brings her to the loft tonight to seek her out

[Katherine Bellamonte] It’s such a strange thing, she has replied with, more than once to Sarita’s reminders, on the hour like clockwork; a quiet chiming of Adren, Adren, Adren. I do not feel any different, but the spirits must see the change, if nothing else.

When Lukas, Adamidas and Alejandro arrive almost sequentially behind each other; Katherine, a shimmering vision in silver and black heels moves forward to greet them, casting a decidedly pointed look over her shoulder at her sister as she reminds her she found the Silver Fang’s top secret, low budget snack storage area. “Those are for guests,” she protests lightly, with entirely too much defensiveness creeping through her voice.

“Not me.”

Then, champagne flute in one hand; she moves forward. “Adamidas, I am so pleased you are here!” A press of red lips to the air beside a cheek, Lukas gets a radiant smile, a brush of a hand to his sleeve and Alejandro a neat little dip of her head to one side.

“Welcome, Seeks the Horizon. Is your brother with you, tonight? I fear he is building mystique in avoiding our meeting.” Her lips quirk. Then: Amunet appears; moving toward the door to the brightly lit complex and Katherine’s fair brows rise in clear surprise.

Sarita, your sister is here.

[Amunet Knezevic] She is dressed for a red eye flight to Sin City, which means she is NOT dressed for this type of party. Looking horribly uncomfortable, she makes her way into the loft and tries to stay out of the way as she sends a text.

Where ARE you? I’m downstairs.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns when she hears that. Yes, when Amy comes around, Sarita tends to think something’s wrong. Do you blame her? No, something usually IS wrong. FInally, you’re on my side. Yep.

Oh wow, the Strider sends through the link, getting out of the pool. Thanks.

She climbs out of the pool, grabbing a towel and drying off quickly as she comes out to the main area, looking for her.

[Amunet Knezevic] She would be the one off to the side, looking uncomfortable and entirely out of place…

[Sinclair] There’s laughter in the room that only Katherine and Lukas and Sarita can hear, because outwardly, Sinclair doesn’t let it loose. It’s in response to some mention over their link, something Katherine said that made her… well. Happy. She wanders around mostly, bumping purposefully into Lukas as though they’re in lupus before she continues on, giving an upward nod to Adamidas and a curious glance at this new kid that stinks of Fang just as much as the rest of the Loft does. She does happen to ignore the kinsman. She doesn’t even give him the little wave of hello that Sarita offers. And it might be that she hates him, for reasons he can’t fathom.

That is something he is free to believe if it accords with his nature. Sinclair, ignoring him, can’t help him interpret her behavior. She glances over at Amunet, tipping her head to the side. So that’s Sarita’s sister.

[Alejandro] Derek gets a cheery smile from the Theurge and a greeting in passing that goes something like: Hi! I’m Alejandro! But then it’s on to meet Kate and the look on his face is nothing if not ecstatic. He seems proud of her, happy for her, pleased to hear of her success.

“Honor’s Compass Rhya! My brother should be arriving, he is not so mysterious as he seems. I once had to wait seven hours for him to cross to the other side once. But he’ll be here!” He beams, using her Fostern name because the spirits know not of any other. “I know that you said you didn’t require any gifts, so please don’t feel I have ignored your wishes but..”

He looks positively giddy.

“I made this!” And he holds out the cylindrical device to her. “It’s that picture — map — of the Umbra! It has all that which is there and not there and sort of almost there marked in different colours because I find it so much easier to read maps when there are colours. Don’t you?”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled back at Adamidas “Thank you. And you look lovely tonight” He reply to her “And don’t worry about it. Later everyone will be in swimsuits probably and make it a lot less classy or formal”

He move slightly away from the young Fury to let her speak with whoever she desire. He noticed Amy, recognizing her from the only encounter and nodded to her. Well at least he wouldn’t be the only kin in a Garou party. Not that he was uncomfortable being the only one surrounded by true borns, especially the Unbroken. For some reason it seem to happen that way.

He folded his trench coat over his arm and then Thomas appeared to help him with it. Once his fellow kinsman was away, he took a champagne glass from one of the waiters.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Because obviously,” Lukas says drily, “you’d serve economy peanut butter cups to your guests.”

Then he breaks into a grin, side-hugging Kate briefly before pressing the Wyborowa into her hands. “Congrats, Kate. This is my last bottle until I nag my dad into sending more, so make the most of it and get smashed.”

[Adamidas] She’s seen this in movies. She knows, in theory, how this air kiss thing works. She doesn’t necessarily understand the entirety of it, but in her mind she chalks it up to Katherine being classy and somewhat French. Sinclair gets another nod in return which, while somewhat urban in its nature,doesn’t look quite as cool when she does it.

“I haven’t seen the place on this side of the umbra, it’s… huge, and you have a pool,” given her inflection it’s quite clear that the Fostern approves.

[Sinclair] “We have a big pool,” Sinclair says, though Adam is really talking to Katherine. She says ‘we’. This is, in a way, pack territory after it is Katherine’s. “It used to be smaller. We begged her and made puppy eyes til she had it expanded. That pool is a triumph of teamwork.”

[Gabriel Ferreira] He doesn’t look nearly as uncomfortable or out of his element as his brother does. When the Cliath of Honor’s Compass’s auspice arrives, it’s with some sort of gift for Lucille that the lower-class writer of this post can’t be fucked Googling but it’s expensive and classy; the grieving herald is given condolences, and once he actually makes his way into the domicile, far more expansive and luxurious than it appears on the outside, he makes a quick sweep of the room to map everyone out.

Once he’s located his brother and found that nothing has been set on fire, his shoulders relax.

The first person he approaches isn’t the triumphant hostess, or his perpetually cheerful brother, but the kinswoman standing off to the side, isolated and irritable. Without any in hand, no champagne glass or hors d’oeuvres, without having met before, the immediate question that comes to mind as he walks up to Amy is What does he want?

His hands are in the pockets of his dress pants as he casually comes to stand by the wall beyond arm’s length from Amy.

“It’s a party,” he says, lightly, in a voice that lacks an accent, “not a tribunal.” A beat. “Unless I read the invitation wrong. That would be embarrassing.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little and makes her way to her sister, coming up next to her. “Hey you.” She smiles to her, and then looks to Gabriel to give him a nod. “Hola.”

[Adamidas] She looks at Sinclair, and her eyes widened. The Glass Walker might as well have said Katherine got the pack their own individual ponies. It’s sheer amazement, “those had to be some pretty intense puppy eyes. I tried to convince Alec once that we needed a pool, and it didn’t happen. I can’t really talk the Coltranes into getting a pool, because it wouldn’t really be practical.”

And the lake is right there. But a lake isn’t a pool, you see.

[Amunet Knezevic] She laughs in spite of her complete unease, fingers running in her hair. “Well. You got an invitation, which puts you a rung above me here.

Oh hey. There’s Sarita. Fresh out of the pool. This is handy, should anyone need the super secret access point to fucking Bizarro land, she’ll just direct them to the loft.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Gabriel hands her a map of the Umbra, and Katherine seems genuinely fascinated as he points things out on it. “Look, Lukas, Adam, Gabriel has drawn an Umbral map for me.” As if he were her toddler, presenting his first finger painting to his mother, her beaming and proud.

The Cliath Fang’s brother makes an appearance, then, and Katherine, carefully passing off Lukas’ gift to Lucille to tend after, finds his figure with her pale eyes and watches him, intently. She glances side long at Alejandro and her eyes ask the question without ever parting her lips to speak it.

Waiters bring around fresh offerings in the shape of colorful seafood snacks; trout and salmon with caviar, more of the same cucumber and avocado relish Sinclair had plucked from a tray earlier; other fanciful combination with names that involved things such as a side of or a sprig of to complete them.

Despite the press of combined Rage in the air around them; the atmosphere of the Loft is airy; pleasant. There is no demands being placed on either of the Kinfolk there; Amy is offered a flute of champagne by a waitress dressed in black slacks and a white collared shirt. There is also sparkling cider and wine on tap.

The Theurge Elder is impressed by the sheer mass of the pool; Honor’s Compass smiles. “I am quite convinced I have the happiest water spirits in it second perhaps only to the lake itself.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You’re here. That’s awesome.” She looks from Gabriel to Amy. “Um…Alejandro’s brother, this is my sister Amy. Amy, this is…Alejandro’s brother.”

Isn’t she good at introductions? “Kate made Adren,” she explains to Amy. “Thus, the party.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] [oops, I meant Alejandro. Shut up, there’s a lot of you.]

[Derek Anderson] He walked around, watching everyone but no one in particular. He knew everyone except two right now. At least by sight. He drinks from his champagne glass, not mingling right now. Everyone was congratulating Kate as they should, people were getting acquinted with others.

He put his bag on one of the benches, for later, when it’ll be time for swimming. Right now, Sarita was the only one dressed ofr swimming and after their last discussion, he won’t go in the pool alone with her if she gets back to it. She mgiht get the impression that he didn’t understood what she said that night. And he did and respected it.

So for now, leaving them alone was ok with him.

[Gabriel Ferreira] “Look on the bright side–”

Whatever that bright side is, he isn’t afforded the opportunity to impart it to his unwilling audience.

Hola, Sarita says, and he leans slightly past the kinswoman to regard the Ragabash. Given his height compared to hers, he could have looked clear over the shorter woman’s head to address her–guardian, sister, cousin, he can’t tell–tribeswoman. As he’s glancing over, that universal sense of being watched creeps up his spine, and his eyes wander across the room to find the source of it.

Spotted!

Olá,” he replies, the accentuation different, the accent on a different syllable. That said, he steps away from the wall to form a lopsided sort of triangle between himself and the two females, extending his hand to shake should either of them feel inclined to do so. “Nice to meet you. My name’s ‘Gabriel’ but I’ll answer to ‘Alejandro’s brother,’ too.”

He steps back.

“If you’ll excuse me.”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Amunet. It’s nice to meet you, Alejandro’s brother.” Not that she has the slightest idea who Alejandro is, but….

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “New Fangs,” she says as Gabriel walks off, and she takes a lean next to Amy. She’s content to be at the side of the party with her sister, though she’s keeping her packmates in view.

“I’m glad to see you here. How’d that meeting go?”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Good. Really good.”

She has the same irrational panicked thought now that she did after she lost her virginity to Ox. Can they tell? Does something seem somehow different? Is she marked in some invisible way? Nobody seemed to be paying any attention to her, which she took as a good sign.

[Alejandro] There are things to point out on the map, things that Alejandro make sure they see because they’re fascinating. His index finger darts across the surface of it once it is unfurled and they read labels that are formal and artsy like: Where Water Spirits Whisper, The Windy Peak. There are other labels though, less formal and more personal – notes and edits too.

Fun times with Fire spirits! Caution: Take sunscreen!

Warning: Hole in the basement, unsure where it leads. I totally understand how Locke felt though! I want to open the hatch!

Once he has taken up enough — too much — of her time, he wanders off. It’s in Sinclair’s direction that he seems to meander, a thin youth with a too small suit. He doesn’t say anything yet, though he’ll flash her a sheepish smile if she looks at him. He just sort of.. loiters.

[Adamidas] She peeks along with, but there’s quiet recognition and genuine pleasure on her features.

“Oh wow,” she looks from the map to Alejandro, “how far down does it go? That’s seriously handy.”

She then addreses the rest of the Unbroken, or whoever else could muse about the pool. She grins, “more than likely? It’s a well loved, well-tended place. And nothing is going to mess with them in here. It’s a good, safe place to be. ”

[Sinclair] Sinclair is by the food. She’s not as face-stuffing as a Bone Gnawer’s best stereotype, but she’s making pretty good progress on some finger foods with more of that avocado stuff on them and looks to be considering bringing in a bag of tortilla chips and some bean dip to round out Katherine’s impromptu spread, which would take most people two weeks to set up.

Alejandro wanders over. She’s chewing, and slows down a bit as he loiters. Stares at him. “What?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives Amy a weird look. “Well, awesome.” It’s said in the teasing tone that they used to use with each other. Amy and Sarita can bicker and snipe at each other like there’s no tomorrow, and they can have some of the biggest knock-down, drag-out sister fights this side of a Cops episode. But there hasn’t been much of that lately. Just quiet words, no less frustrated, and hugs and the occasional tear.

“Y’okay? You seem a bit…off.”

[Adamidas] “Oh! Kate! When you have time!” she half lifts up her bag, “I have stuff for you. But I didn’t wrap it.”
And, apparently, it’s personal enough that she doesn’t want to take it out yet.

[Amunet Knezevic] “Um. I wanted to let you know I was taking off for the weekend. You know. Not by text this time.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh.” She nods a little bit, reaching up to brush her hand over Amy’s hair. “Well, that’s cool. Just the weekend?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Honor’s Compass does seem very pleased with her gift, she holds it carefully against her side; one arm folded over her middle, the other holding a flute of no doubt very expensive champagne. She’s sipping from it idly, every few moments and smiling around at her gathering of guests.

She has to stand, one should note, rather carefully in her gown; while lovely and light-catching; it was rather on the short side, and dipped into a daring V that bared a great deal of flesh without becoming cheap about it. Still; Katherine wore it elegantly, as was to be expected of her and as Alejandro’s brother crosses toward her she quiets, and sips from her flute, watching him through pale eyes; her lids painted a smokey gray.

“You must be Gabriel,” she greets him, voice quite amicable. “I wondered when you would surface into the light.”

Adamidas has things — but she didn’t wrap them. Katherine’s eyebrows rise. “What have you brought me, Adamidas.” There’s a lightness to that, she’s teasing.

[Amunet Knezevic] “Yeah.”

Wow, this is uncomfortable.

“We’re going to Vegas for a couple days”

[Alejandro] She stares at him and he stares back. The question has his smile shift from sheepish to comfortably cheery. “I’m Alejandro. Do you live here?”

A small hand reaches out and takes up a carrot stick or celery stick if they are on offer, stabbing it into some nearby dip before he chomps on the end of it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Good.” She smiles and nods. She is picking up on Amy’s discomfort, and that is affecting her, but mostly because she doesn’t see why it’s so weird, and she’s concerned. That worry for her sister will always be there, whether she has a mate or not. And in addition, there is joy for her sister. She may not be convinced this is her best course of action, but she’s keeping it down.

“That’ll be awesome. You guys can have a blast, get away from all this. It’ll be good for you. I’m happy.”

[Derek Anderson] He stop somewehre between the pool and the lobby. His kind bluee eyes moved from Garou to Garou, his glass f champagne almost empty. He’s not mingling right now. If it was only the Unbroken, it would be easier, but right now, he kept his distance.

He would probably stay there only for some time nd leave finally. Politly representing the Fang Kins and then let the Garou to their celebration. He move to the food, grab a snadwich and move away again.

[Gabriel Ferreira] Alejandro’s brother isn’t wearing anything quite as eye-catching as Miss Bellamonte, which both ought to go without saying and fill everyone in the room with gratitude. Considering that this isn’t exactly a formal tribal affair, he is not wearing a tuxedo. He wears a three-piece suit, because it’s cold as the devil outside, but it fits better than whatever it is that Alejandro is wearing, and he doesn’t look as though he’d rather be outside rolling around in a mud heap.

There is quite a bit to look at, but she’s his elder, and his eyes behave themselves.

She wondered when he would surface.

“Wonder no more, -rhya,” he says, taking his hands out of his pockets for etiquette’s sake.

Then the Adren is addressing the Fostern, so he waits his turn.

[Amunet Knezevic] The pod people were here. Awesome. Her eyes flicker around the room quickly as if expecting an uncomfortable surprise.

“So…. I guess I should say congratulations and get out of here, hey?”

[Sinclair] What makes Sinclair intimidating — and she is, in fact, very intimidating — is not her rage. That’s eclipsed quite neatly by other Garou in the room. Gabriel and Katherine and Lukas all have more of that internal fire to draw on, to carry with them, to endure. With Sinclair, it’s something else entirely. She looks at Alejandro, another wolf, as though she is gauging whether he is higher or lower on the food chain — literally — than she is. The fact that it takes her little more than a moment to determine just how far below her he is, how quickly she could eat him, how many bites it would take,

unnerves every mortal she meets. Makes Kinfolk uncomfortable. Makes her a little less than popular even among other wolves. She’s not a woman, purple toenails and piercings and human trappings notwithstanding. She’s savage thing made only more dangerous, not more civil, by opposable thumbs and technological intelligence.

She blinks at him, slow and lazy, once. “I’m Sinclair. And yes.”

Over there, people are giving Kate presents, like it’s her birthday or something. Somehow, something completely bizarre seems utterly natural just because it’s Kate. “I’m Kate’s packmate,” she adds.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] Soon after showing up, Lukas disappeared into the kitchen to…

…mix drinks, as it turns out. While Katherine sips on champagne, Lukas reemerges with some eight or ten collins glasses of distinctively blue liquor. It’s not often that he plays chef or bartender, but one supposes tonight’s ample justification for an exception.

So he passes that tray around – to Kate, to his packmates, to the guests. When everyone who wants a shot has one, Lukas raises his voice enough to cut momentarily through the conversation.

“I’d like to make a toast,” he says. “Here’s to Katherine, who proved today what everyone already knew: that she’s a badass Adren Philodox. Here’s to my pack, my brothers and sisters past and present and future.

“Here’s to booze and pool parties. Here’s to friends. Here’s to celebrating us, and the savage joy of our lives.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, you can hang out if you want. It might be fun.”

She gives a little shrug. She wants Amy to be comfortable, but there are a lot of people here she doesn’t know. And it’s not exactly the best time for introductions.

Lukas comes out, and he has shots. Sarita takes one and gives one to Amy.

[Amunet Knezevic] Ohthankholygod alcohol. She gratefully takes the shot, eyeing Lukas and trying to stay invisible.

[Sinclair] Sinclair takes two shots. When the toast is given, she clinks them together. “Hear, hear!”

First goes the left, then goes the right.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine doesn’t offer her hand to Gabriel, or do much of anything but look at him for a good few moments. It’s not challenging, per say, that stare, but rather more curious; considering. She does add, after a long pause of silence, broken by the soft classical music, tinkering from the background. The lapping of water in the pool, as the cleaner is activated and hums along the bottom; greedily eating anything daring to pollute it.

Were Sinclair’s spirit with her; he’d no doubt be EEEing over the machinery.

“It’s nice to put a face to the name, Resurrection. I am obviously Katherine, Honor’s Compass. I am your tribal Alpha, and your auspice Elder in the city. I look forward to seeing you show yourself to be a worthwhile addition here, along with your brother.” A beat, Lukas brings out that dreaded blue mixture of his; Katherine clings to her champagne.

A corner of her mouth flicking with the toast, she raises her glass, eyes gleaming.

In the corner; Thomas and Lucille, sharing conversation among themselves, also toast.

[Alejandro] The only response to Sinclair’s undeniable predatory nature is the fact that Alejandro waited for her to initiate conversation before speaking. After that he is smiles, he seems comfortable. It might be ignorance or innocence or the fact that his spirit soars so high compared to his human nature, but he doesn’t shy away from her despite the fact that yes: She could eat him all up, one bite perhaps two if he were lucky.

Just like her intimidating otherness, there is something strange about the boy – and he is most definitely a boy, not a man. It isn’t strong enough to pin-point, but it isn’t weak enough to be only revealed in the Umbra either. She might get a sense of the elements, perhaps a familiar one because it strikes each individual differently. It’s masked beneath his breeding, but it’s still there.

Her name is Sinclair, she lives here and his smile broadens. Before he can respond, however, there is a toast. He has no drink, no glass, so he takes one of the shots. He’s not entirely sure that he should be allowed to have one but he raises it anyway along with what’s left of his celery stick and joins in the cheer with everybody else.

Once it’s all over and the cheering has subsided along with the speeches he looks again at Sinclair. “I’m going to be living her too,” he says, like that is wonderful news. “I heard you have a friend,” his tone has shifted, something more secretive, something that excites. “I would love to meet him.”

EEEing indeed!

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Okay,” Lukas explains the rules with great patience, “you can’t get Sinclair to take your shot by proxy, Kate.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles and raises her glass. In another time, another day, she would have given some kind of ululation, an over-the-top cheer or the like. She’s certainly that pleased for her packmate, and the warmth shows in her expression. The response however is more restrained. She just raises her glass and winks at Kate, giving her a nod that is both congratulatory and grateful.

And then the shot is knocked back.

[Derek Anderson] He took the shot from Lukas “Thank” He say to the man. He raise his shot like everyone else and down it after the toast. He let the strong mix of liquors burn down his throat. It was really good and wondered if he shold get more. Then again being drunk here mgiht not be the best thing. He had to look respectable in front of Katherine after all.

He handed the shot to a passing waited and took another glass of champagne.

[Amunet Knezevic] “I should go.”

Sarita belongs here, not her. Her fingers brush in her hair again, then she reaches to squeeze her sister’s arm.

“I’ll see you Monday, hey?”

[Gabriel Ferreira] A tray of glowing-nuclear liquid is passed around by a larger, heavier wolf, and it would be terribly rude to not partake in a drink prepared by his elder. The Cliath flicks a glance to Katherine, standing cool and poised with her flute in one hand and the Umbral map in the other, and he suppresses a smile as he reaches out a hand to take one of the Collins glasses.

There’s a ring on his left hand, visible only because that’s the hand he uses to pick up the glass.

“Thank you, -rhya,” he tells the Lord.

A toast, and then Katherine is being teased. Gabriel thinks about tossing his back, but holds onto it while his tribal and auspice elder is reminded of the rules of engagement. There is no verbal teasing, but there is an air of expectation about the taller Philodox.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns. “You sure? I know it’s a lot of people here, but…”

She sighs, and then nods. “Okay. Listen, when you get back Monday we’ll hang, okay? Just you and me?”

[Sinclair] Sinclair’s eyebrows flick up a bit. “A… friend?” is all she can give Alejandro, since the cheerful little poppet doesn’t get more specific than that.

[Amunet Knezevic] “We’ve got a flight to catch.” The words tumble over themselves in a rush to make it out. “I mean, it seems like a great party and all, but we’ve got a flight. Yeah, Monday. It’ll be fun, right? ” She smiles, taking a couple of shuffly steps toward the door.

[Alejandro] The poppet nods his head and takes another bite of his celery stick. The shot remains untouched but he eyes it now and then, like he wants to drink it all the same.

“Yes,” he confirms once he has swallowed the vegetable. “Names are.. not meaningless, but I find trouble in translating them. A spirit, or so I’m told. Is he truly your friend?” He asks the last part in a hushed tone, like he doesn’t want to have the hope that such a thing could be possible. The spirits love him — at least the nice ones — most assuredly. But he doesn’t have that; he has never had that.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs. She knows when Amy’s coming up with bullshit excuses to get away. She rubs at her eyes. “Yeah, totally. C’mon, lemme walk you out.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] “I already have a drink, Lukas,” she primly shoots back at him with an expression of great forbearance. Then, as eyes watch, and wait she heaves a sigh and gestures for the tray. “Very well, but I drink under protest. This is peer pressure, hm?”

She holds one up, studies it, and then swallows it out with her eyes closed.

[Sinclair] At that, Sinclair blinks. “Oh. Tripoli,” she says, like she might actually be talking about a two-legged, five-fingered sort of friend. It isn’t that Sinclair doesn’t understand or respect what it means to have a familiar like the one she does, that she’s received something special in the little metal gaffling’s affection and devotion. But it’s Tripoli.

And Alejandro talks in hushed, awed tones and Sinclair just looks at him like he’s grown a third head. Yes, a third. Two wouldn’t quite cover the weirdness she’s attributing to him. “Uh, yeah.” A beat. “Dude, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re really giving off this desperate freshman vibe. Have a shot and chill out.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] And move to walk Amy out she does. She stays outside the Loft once Amy heads off, going into her van and changing out of her swimsuit. Yes, she keeps clothes in her van. You would too if you lived out of it cross-country for ten years. Once she’s dressed she lights up a cigarette, hanging outside and smoking for a bit.

[Adamidas] No one can be quite sure where she went, possibly off to the bathroom (which meant that Adam got lost on the way there) or possibly to the umbra to check out and see how the water spirits actually felt about Kate’s pool (pretty damned good. They like the pool, yay pool!) but what matters is this.

The Black Fury comes back and she’s adjusted herself. she’s got chalk dust in her hair again. Just a little bit of it. Enough to be telling. She snags a drink on the way.

[Alejandro] “Oh..” Colour flushes his cheeks then drains just as quickly. He turns his head down for a moment. It isn’t the first time such an opinion has been expressed and it won’t be the last time.

“I should.. I’m sorry, I just..” Resignation at first, then something else: Nervous courage. He looks at the shot glass again then throws it down the hatch with the awkwardness of someone who is probably doing this for the first time.

[rolling stam for his first drink! +1 dif newbieness]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 1, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 7)

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “I applaud your courage,” says the Ahroun who, some time ago, gave a cub a semi-serious lecture about the booze of the tribes. The corner of his mouth tilts, “Now have another one.”

Lukas picks up another one himself then. A moment or two after Sarita escorts her sister out — long enough to let them say their goodbyes — he follows the Strider. Finds her smoking outside, which is one minor sin he’s never really picked up.

“Those will kill you,” he says wryly, taking a seat beside her on the van’s floor, legs hanging out the side sliding door. “But if you’ve got a toke, I’ll share that with you.”

[Sinclair] The Galliard smirks as Alejandro downs the AMF. She glances up as Lukas and Sarita head outside; there’s a flicker of something in her eyes. Maybe longing. She doesn’t go to join them, though. She stays inside the party. There have been times when Lukas has gone to her when she’s down, too. Times when, really, it helps to just have some one on one conversation with their brother.

She goes to find the tray and gets another shot. “Hey, Brass Petals-yuf,” she calls out. “Have a shot! We’re toasting Kate’s awesomesaucesomness.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Hostess goes and perches herself on a black leather sofa; crossing her long legs at the knee and balancing at once a flute of champagne and another of the bright blue death drinks her Alpha seems to be intent on her consuming until she falls on her head and has the Grand Elder appearing to strip her of Adren on account of being a drunken dolt.

She tries a second one, however and finds it not quite as eye-watering as the first.

A discreet cough goes unheard beneath a palm and she watches; quite amused as the Theurge re-appears, looking a little dusty. Katherine waves Adamidas over. “What did you want to give me, Brass Petals?”

[Gabriel Ferreira] There’s no triumphant whooping or raucous encouragement as Katherine breaks down and gives into the double-fronted peer pressure from the males. The corner of the Philodox’s mouth quirks into what almost becomes a smile, and then he tosses back his own shot without much effort. The fruitiness of it surprises him, and he blinks.

“I wouldn’t call it ‘peer pressure,'” he says, once he’s recovered.

Her Alpha applauds her courage, bids her take another one, and Gabriel fixes her with another look. She can’t pussy out in front of the Cliath, now, can she?

Then he spares a brief glance around, as if trying to see what his brother is up to. He’s downing shots. Fantastic. A second shot is taken, and Gabriel wipes his mouth before ambling over to collect Alejandro.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over at Lukas and smiles, exahaling a lungful of smoke. “Lots of things that’ll kill you, mi capitan. Whole mess of ’em.” She stubs out the smoke on the fender, and then leans back into the van to pull up a piece of carpet next to the wheel well. It fit seamlessly enough that you wouldn’t even know it was separate from the rest of the laydown carpet in the place if you didn’t see it get removed. There’s a little compartment there and she flicks a combination, then opens it and pulls out a baggie with a several joints. It wasn’t the only baggie in the compartment.

“The key…as I’ve learned…” She pops the joint into her mouth and lights it up. She takes a drag, holds it in and then slowly exhales before she passes it over. “…is to do the things that you enjoy, whether it kills you or not. Odds are, it’s not the thing that’s gonna.”

A pause. “‘sides, if you live denying every joy you’ve got? You ain’t really living.”

[Adamidas] “Weeoo!”

Don’t have to tell her twice. The female trots over and grabs a shot, only to hear Kate calling her name. She stops about mid step and turns, “the hostess doth beckon. Prost!”

The shot goes back, and it’s sheer force of will and a fair bit of practice that keeps Adam from gagging and looking dazed. She lives at the brotherhood. She drinks. She pays tribute to grain (or maybe it’s potato… she didn’t look at what she drank and the female isn’t experienced enough of a drinker to notice the burn in her throat is distinct depending on what she’s drinking.)

She sidles up and sits herself beside Kate. Or, rather, near Kate. She’s got a grin on her face, and her voice drops to the tone of conversational. But not entirely openly so. Shotglass in one hand, she finds something in her bag with the other. It’s offered to Kate.

[Matthieu] Matthieu was not the kind of man to make a casual appearance. Every thrum of his heart was another beat of a living legacy in the making. Pulsing through his veins wasn’t just the blood of the Heroes of the Garou but the blood of the greatest heroes the world had ever seen. The Silver Fang wasn’t simply born into luxury despite the filth the Shadow Lords would attempt to spread about them. Each and every one of Matthieu’s ancestors was a Hero in their own right. Whether they were eradicating the Black Spiral menace from much of France or helping to draw the Wendigo into the Garou nation in a glorious reunion of cousins removed by countless millenia Matthieu’s ancestors were anything but lazy. Each life was a story all it’s own. Each one leaving behind a story to be shared before all. Some would end in tragedy and some would end in triumph but one thing that could never be said about this ancient family was the fact that they had not earned the greatness that pumped through their veins.

Matthieu was not great… Matthieu was not amazing or incredible. He was smart, he was cunning, and he was charming but he was young and inexperienced. Yet he knew that the weight of his own families greatness rested firmly on his shoulders. It wasn’t just that they wished him to be great, no no no these were Silver Fangs. House and Tribe depend on that greatness in both character and strength. A Silver Fang must be faster he must be stronger and he must be smarter because the fate of the nation, and through the nation the world, rested firmly upon their shoulders.

Others would complain, they would boil with discontent, and they would throw themselves against his people again and again. It has happened time and time again and it would happen again several times in his lifetime. The Silver Fang’s life was a double edged sword. They carried the weight of an entire nation on their shoulders and in turn they carried the contempt and hatred of the enemies of that nation as well as their enemies within. Yet there would be no complaint, and there would be no tears.

The wyrm comes and it tears its way through their world it falls upon the weak and the strong alike but against the walls of the Silver Fang’s ancient fortresses is where it is halted like a bull charging against a brick wall.

The Silver Fangs don’t know they are strong because they were born to rick parents. The Silver Fangs know they are strong because their enemies have thrown anything and everything you can imagine their way and still they stand tall and fast. By the Shadow Lords, their ancient rivals, own reasoning it is the strongest who rule. Well so far the Silver Fangs have ruled for how many Hundred Millenia? Longer than any kingdom of man… Longer than science, and agriculture, longer than man has had fire the Silver Fangs have ruled and still to this day they continue to rule.

This is the legacy Matthieu carries to the door of the Loft. It was an ancient legacy and one which swelled his heart with pride. He might not be great yet but he belonged to a tribe who was judged solely on the merit of their greatness. He would be great in action and deed because he, like every other Silver Fang, will accept nothing less than that.

Patient, and quiet until the time came to speak, the Galliard, and now Elder, stood outside the door biding his time. So much to be done in this city and with this city. So much was going on, and so much needed to be fixed. Ten thousand things might cross his mind on any given day but he was a Silver Fang he would address each one individually, if he has to, and confront them all.

[Alejandro] Alejandro takes down whatever was in that glass, he’s not entirely sure. Then Sinclair’s gone with no promise to introduce him to her spirit friend. “Nice going Alejandro,” he mutters to himself then stuffs the rest of the celery stick and a second one into his mouth, much more uncouth now that he’s alone. He mutters again while he chews. “Desperate freshman vibe.. I’ve never even been to college!” Like the statement makes no sense to him at all.

His brother wanders over and Alejandro hastily hides the empty shot glass amongst a pile of bread sticks.

“Hello Gabi.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “I’ll drink to that,” Lukas says quietly, and then does just that: downs his second adios like nothing.

It’s not nothing, though. It’s one of the more potent mixes on the face of the earth, and when Lukas sets his collins glass down on the pavement between his feet he can feel his head lightening. Sitting up again, he grins — a little lazy, a little crooked — as Sarita pulls a joint out like magic.

“I knew you had a stash.” He sounds satisfied. “Anyone who lives part-time in a van has a stash.”

Lukas takes the joint over, then, taking a long slow hit. They don’t see their Alpha indulge in illegal substances much, and the truth is: he doesn’t. He popped a tab of ecstasy with Danicka the night they got — well. Married. Married in front of a city clerk, in a tiny tender ceremony witnessed by exactly three people, all parental units. Married, and then off to a reception that consisted of a club, groundshaking bass, and a harajuku girl that sold them MDMA; then off to a honeymoon of sorts that consisted of holing up in one of the more exclusive suites in the city for a week.

Before that, the last time he touched anything on the DEA schedule was… well. The week before Mrena died. The week he was too busy tailspinning for his own personal reasons to tend to his pack.

He smokes like he knows what he’s doing, though, passes the joint back and lays himself back, stretched out on the floor of the van with his feet still on the ground outside. His eyes close for a while. Then they open and he looks over at his newest sister.

“So how come you’re so quiet tonight?”

[Gabriel Ferreira] The kid is muttering to himself as his brother crosses the room to join him by the table. Gabriel frowns, curious, and casts a glance back over his shoulder at the barefoot blonde who had been speaking with him a few moments ago. Lips form words, and while he is hardly adept at parsing words out of noiseless movement of the mouth, what he can see on the boy’s face tells him that it didn’t go as well as he’d hoped.

That shot glass isn’t tucked away as quickly as he might think it is.

“Jano.”

He comes to stand beside the Theurge, keeping his eyes facing the rest of the room, hands in his pants pockets again now that he’s devoid of a glass to keep them occupied.

“What happened?” he asks, and it’s hard to tell if he’s asking because it’s in the Decent Concerned Brother script or because he actually wants to know.

[Alejandro] “Nothing.” He grumbles, swallows down the vegetables in his mouth. It’s a moment of brief silence and then: “I just wanted to be friends with her and her stupid spirit buddy.” He says, childishly and low to Gabriel. The way he says it makes it clear that he thinks her spirit friend is anything but stupid. A beat later and he’s proving this when he says:

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. No spirits are stupid. Not even concrete is stupid, Adam really likes concrete. It can be quite clever.”

[Derek Anderson] His second glass of champagne is empty, he pick another shot of AMF151. He start walknig again, picking up a carrot as he pass near the food table. He downed the shot, feeling a nice buzz by now and keeping it at that. He leave the empty shot glass on the tray and munch on the carrot.

Lukas has left for the moment, possibly to check on Sarita and Amy. Katherine is talking to Adam with Sinclair nearby and the two unknown Garou were talking together. And now another unkown has stepped inside. He looked at his watch and wondered if he should head out. Maybe text Kristen and see if she was still awake and wanted to go out for a late snack or something. Probably not though. The Fianna was probably asleep right now.

He drifted closer to the entrance. He’ll stay a little while longer than get home.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Mirror’s Whisper enters into a glittery — and strangely eclectic in terms of those present — party in full swing. The Galliard Elder has his coat taken by Katherine’s dutiful maid, Lucille at the door, she nods to him and points him inward hanging it up carefully on a hanger.

Down the corridor; the space opens up into Katherine Bellamonte’s white washed dining area. Large black sofas have been pushed outward to make room for guests and three or four waiters are doing tours with trays of food and drink. Asha’s herald, the Kinsman known as Thomas is here, too. A respectable fellow sitting quietly near the hostess, herself. Honor’s Compass, newly minted Adren, is listening to something the Theurge Elder is telling her, her eyes on a bag that seems to contain something of importance.

Katherine notes Matthieu, he gets a bright smile, and a gesture to enter, and make himself at home as Rain of Brass Petals offers Katherine over a beautiful, if broken necklace. Honor’s Compass frowns at the delicate thing in her hands, setting her glass down so she might better cradle it. Her pale eyes quite focused on what the Theurge is attempting to convey.

“Thank you, Adamidas. It is … beautiful. I am very moved you should give this to me, but are you quite sure you wish to part with something so dear to your heart? It was your friend’s, your words are enough.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins. “Of course I have a stash. Shit, Lukas, how do you think I keep myself in gas, smokes, fast food and cell phone service?” A little chuckle comes forth, fairly dry as he takes the joint. She’s never been blatant about how she and Amy scrape by, but she never really hid it either. Patrick knows; Hunter and the rest of Defiance know. It’s a psuedo-living, nothing more.

She watches him take the hit, surprised when he handles it like a pro. “Well, ain’t you just hardcore? I’m impressed, boss-man.” She takes it back and takes another hit, eyes wandering up to the sky. She always finds herself looking at the sky for some reason when she doesn’t have anywhere else to go. She’s never gotten why, and she rarely even thinks about it. She’d attribute it to Luna if she did. It’s not why.

And then he asks why she’s so quiet. Her eyes drop from their upward cast and look over at him. She lets the smoke out in a sigh and brings a foot up to rest against the fender, knee against her chest. “Lot on my mind, I guess. Lotta changes, and I know change can be good. Some changes…obviously…very good. I’m ecstatic over. Others…” She looks down the road where Amy’s cab took her. “The two don’t correlate and the reasons behind Amy have little to nothing to do with the rest, but it feels like I traded a sister for four (three) siblings.”

[Sinclair] It’s easy to interact with Sinclair — or even try to say hi to her — and end up feeling like she just isn’t interested. That her pack is enough for her, thanks, she doesn’t quite want or need to get to know anyone else. She ignores kinfolk to the point of it seeming as though she despises them — and she wouldn’t be the first Garou to get to the point of just not wanting to deal with them anymore. Alejandro comes over because he’s heard she has a spirit familiar and he’s really, really interested in being introduced, and Sinclair tells him to chill out and goes to get another drink.

This apparently meant, to Alejandro, that she wasn’t coming back. That she was blowing him off. Hardly. She gets her shot, yells at Adamidas to get one, and then she’s coming back to the food, blinking as she overhears some of what Alejandro tells his brother. She looks amused, downing her third — fourth? — shot and laughing as she comes up, slinging an arm around the wee Theurge.

“See? Desperate freshman vibe. You like the shot?”

[Adamidas] “Wouldn’t do it unless I meant it. And I wouldn’t give it to you unless I’d thought about it, besides I don’t think Hera’s gonna be pissed about the regifting,” she says. Can’t be too serious but… well, the first statement is serious enough to carry her weight, “and if she is she’ll just kick my ass in the homelands and we’ll call it good.”

Because even though Adam’s outlived her friend by a fair bit, Hera will still be able to kick her ass in the homelands.

[Gabriel Ferreira] The look on the older Garou’s face becomes one of enlightenment, as though the word Nothing contains everything that he needs to know. Nothing. Just talking to an older, higher ranked, more experienced Garou and she wasn’t impressed by what she saw. No big deal.

Without waiting to be pressed, without Gabriel even looking over and down at him, Alejandro explains. There’s a snort when he calls her familiar ‘stupid,’ and that’s when Gabriel looks over at him.

“Which one’s Adam?” he asks, looking back to the room.

The tall blue-eyed kinsman is slowly sneaking towards the exit, and Gabriel watches him a moment before yet another tall creature joins the fray. Matthieu, too, is watched a moment, and by process of elimination, he comes to the tiny teenage girl speaking with their elder.

Before he can start teasing the younger Cliath about his choice in female companions, the Glass Walker returns, slinging an arm around him. Gabriel watches, and though he’s being introduced as the boy’s brother, there is not even a whiff of hypermasculine overprotectiveness in him.

Must be the age difference meant he never had to slam another kid into a locker for fucking with his brother growing up.

[Alejandro] “That one,” he points her out just as Sinclair is wandering back over to them. Her laughter is noticed before anything else and he’s half prepared for something that just isn’t there. She’s amused and it isn’t mean-spirited, not that he thought she was being mean just dismissive. There’s none of that though, just an arm around his shoulders and he tilts his head to look first at his brother with a surprised twisting of his lips into that boyish smile of his and then at Sinclair.

See? Desperate freshman vibe. You like the shot?

I found it.. interesting.” A beat and then: “I may require another before I can truly give a fair judgement.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “That’s me. Hardcore.” Lukas laughs quietly. “Truth is before we came out here we used to run under Kate’s brother Ed. Total prodigal son, a charming wastrel. My best friend for a long, long time … it’s a long story. But he had the hookups. Silver Fangs, nothing but the finest green.”

And then that quiet, and then he’s asking her why so serious, and she’s … telling him. He turns to look at her as she does; follows her eyes down the road, lifting his head to see. Then, laying back again:

“I don’t blame you for feeling like that, but I don’t think it’s quite that. It’s true that with you getting packed up, she might feel a little like what used to be you and her has become you-and-your-pack, and then her on the side. I think it’s always going to be a sort of tension in our lives. We’re not like real wolves, whose families are their packs. We’ve got pack-family. We’ve got blood-family. I think it takes a lot of work and balance and understanding to make it work, and the sad thing is I think a lot of us … don’t really make it work, ever.

“But I don’t think that’s the only reason she seems to be drifting farther away. You told me from the start that your sister’s a wildcard, and even though you love her you don’t really think you’re capable of protecting her and warding her the way you’re ‘supposed to’.” He doesn’t have to make air quotes for Sarita to hear them. “She’s like a kite. As much slack as you feed out, if there’s too much strain the line’s going to snap. And a whole lot of shit went down for her, fast. It wasn’t your fault and there wasn’t anything you could do better than you did.

“I don’t think there’s anything you can do better than you’re doing, either. Try to keep her close. Try to protect her, but … ”

Maybe it’s the booze. Maybe it’s the pot starting to unfurl. Either way, Lukas’s thoughts are loose and languid, drifting easily from one subject to the next.

“I heard from my tribesman that he’s claiming her as a mate. Is she happy with that?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Silver Fang laughs; a light, tinkling sound rather like windchimes and honey, it is all sweetness, that noise. You would never believe that the creature making it could rip your heart from your chest while it was still beating with her claws in another form; she is entirely too much of a lady; too demure and composed.

“Well, let’s just say I’m only looking after it for the time being, before one day, it is passed along again.” A moment’s quiet, Katherine looks steadily at Adamidas. She had done a rite of reawakening with the Theurge, once, not so long ago. They’d brought back the new season; seen much.

“In the spirit of honesty, Brass Petals, accept my words to you. You’ve grown a lot since I’ve seen you last, I know there is much that we do not know of one another, but what I have glimpsed makes me quite proud to know of you, to introduce you as the leader of our Theurges in the city. It is not an easy thing, being the one looked to, to make the choices.”

[Sinclair] “Yeah, you totally need more,” Sinclair says, hearing that. She pulls back, clapping him on the shoulder. “Get some more, get trashed. It’s a party and if you’re gonna live here then it’s not like you have to worry about getting home safe.”

Nothing more is said about Tripoli, her stupid spirit friend. She actually heads off on her own again. Adamidas is giving the defiantly sober Katherine a gift, something shiny. Sinclair doesn’t seem terribly invested in getting to know the latest and greatest Silver Fangs in town, and in general she gives Matthieu a wide berth in case he either thinks being a Galliard means she wants to hear him regale her with tales of his ancestors or that being a Glass Walker means he can snit at her. So far he has never done either, so she’s perfectly happy to keep it that way.

And, with a brief moment of eye contact with Kate to let her know she’s slipping out for a bit, Sinclair heads outside in the direction of her only brother and her newest sister.

There is a knock on the van’s door. “OPEN UP!” she hollers. “I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING IN THERE.”

[Adamidas] “You get old, you grow up,” she says. The situation she’s in right now isn’t that different from the one that she was in a year ago. All things considered, though, it’s a world away and a different place in time. She’s not as… well… she’s different now. She’s learned from failure.

“And someone has to make calls, it’s not easy but… ya know… gotta do it,” she says, but she smiles anyway. It’s something sincere and she bites back that little bit of failing to accept a compliment graciously. She mulls it over and reaches up to push some of her own ahir back, “that means a lot to hear, thanks.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She listens to Lukas as she looks down the road. Her eyes don’t leave the path that the cab left down, but she is clearly listening to him, He’s telling her things she already knew, but they haven’t come from anyone else yet. They’ve been in her own mind–rationalizations and blind optimism that she did everything they could, or platitudes from Amy, who is far from reliable lately at being open with how she really feels. So the words from the Shadow Lord are comfort. They reinforce her.

However, it’s not all true. Not to Sarita, and she shakes her head. “I shouldn’t have lied to her about what happened with Hunter and John. I mean, I know that it was for the best. I know that if I’d told her right then and there, I’d have had to keep her on a damn suicide watch for…hell, days, weeks. But she would have trusted me, at least. Now…that’s broken, because I sat there and smiled while she talked about how he was going to be back soon when I knew he was fuckin’ charcoal.”

She shrugs. “I know what you’re saying. Things…they’ll normalize. I just don’t like the way it is right now, and I don’t like how she’s uncomfortable when she comes here. Which isn’t anyone’s fault, really. I’m worried about her and I hate that I can’t help her.”

The van door gets knocked on, and Sarita hears Sinclair yell. She smirks and shouts through the open back door. “Come around, dork. I an’t crawlin’ through the damn thing to open the door when we got a perfectly good open one here.”

She looks back to Lukas now and nods. “Yeah, it’s true. She’s…yes, she’s happy. I personally don’t know that she’s ready to move on after what happened? And I’m still worried for her. But when I talked to her last night…yes, she cares about him, and he cares about her from what she says. That makes her happy, so…” He shrugs.

“I’m gonna make you kick his ass if he hurts her, though. Just FYI.” A faint joke.

[Sinclair] “WHAT?” Sinclair yells back, as though she didn’t hear. But then she’s laughing, and it’s clear that about four AMFs have got her more than a little buzzed. “Fuck me,” she says, and tromps around to the side door, crawling in like her legs stopped working right as she got to the carpeted edge. She sniffs. “You guys are smoking weed.”

Nevermind that they have the joint out still. She is only using her keen powers of nasal perception. Yup.

[Gabriel Ferreira] “Try not to get too drunk, huh?” Gabriel asks the Theurge, after the Fostern has left to find the rest of her pack. It’s a rhetorical question. “As cute a story as it would be for the grandchildren, if I have to clean blue vomit off of anything I will not be happy.”

The entire time they’ve been in each others’ presence, Resurrection hasn’t shown himself to have much of a sense of humor. Granted, when they first met after however long their previous absence had been, the Philodox had been half-starved and definitely crazed after spending Gaia knows how long hunting the Umbra for a creature of whom he only had scent memory to guide him. He wasn’t cracking a whole hell of a lot of jokes after that.

Tonight it’s a full moon. That certainly isn’t helping.

He claps his ring-bearing hand on the shorter boy’s shoulder, then picks up a pair of champagne flutes from wherever the booze station is. Apparently he’d learned that the best way to approach wallflower Kinfolk is with alcohol in hand; he approaches Derek slowly, careful not to make eye contact least his Rage give the kinsman the impression that he’s undergoing trepanation.

“Here,” he says, handing one of the flutes to Derek before he can sneak out. “This will make the entire affair less painful.”

[Alejandro] He totally needs more, so he totally goes to get more. It’s with a grin to his brother and a nod of his head. “I’ll try not to! But I also may try to get a little drunk, I’m awful curious.”

And he scampers off to collect a pair of shots. These ones he eyes like they’ve got promise rather than any unknown threat. He takes them both over to Adam and Kate, offers one of them to the Theurge.

“Hi Adam!” He beams. “You can have one of these if you would like.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “No, you shouldn’t have lied to her.” There’s this, at least: his blunt honesty has a sort of gentleness to it. “That’s what I think, anyway. But at least you lied because you loved her, not because it made your life easier.”

Sarita talks about Stefan, though, about Amy being happy, about Stefan caring about her. A flicker goes through the Ahroun’s eyes. He’s on the verge of answering when Sinclair bangs on the door and then crawls in the back, making him laugh quietly, reach out, grab her in a bearhug and tumble her down.

“You bet your ass we’re smoking pot in here. Here, let me have another hit.”

And taking it, exhaling it, he goes back to the subject — not bothering to backtrack for Sinclair, figuring she’s bright enough to pick up on the gist even if she’s packed down godknowshowmany AMFs.

“The thing is,” he says, “I am a little worried that Stefan might hurt Amy. Maybe not on purpose. Everything I’ve seen and heard about him says he’s an upstanding Garou, does things right. Does things by the book. But that’s sort of the problem. My mate — who reads people like I read books — thinks maybe nothing’s really there under the surface. Like he’s just … cold and barren inside, just going through all the motions the way he was taught without feeling any of it. Without feeling for any of it, maybe.

“And then there’s this whole business about him apparently doing something so shocking and hush-hush that Defiance might not want to pack with him anymore.” Lukas shrugs the best he can, flat on his back as he is. “I don’t know. I don’t want to smear a Garou’s good name on nothing but conjecture and rumors, and I haven’t had the time to followup on anything yet. But she’s your sister, and you’re my sister. I just think … maybe for a while at least, keep a bit of an eye on her. Even if she’s not technically your concern anymore.”

[Derek Anderson] He had been about to move toward Kate, thank her ofr the party and get out when one of the three unknown Garou stopped near and offered him a flute of champagne. Now, he could be impolite and refuse, bid good night and run home or he could be the proper Silver Fang kin, smile politly with a nod of the head and say

“Thank you, and yeah, I guess it helps” He took the flute

“How are you doing Sir?”He say very polite. He didn’t knew the man, so he didn’t dare being too friendly “My name’s Derek by the way” He say offering his hand to him. He didn’t need to tell him of his tribe. He knew the man could msell him and beside that, he was the only kin, obviously not one of ladies mate, so technically he must be of Kate’s tribe.

“Are oyu new to the city or we just haven’t crossed path?”

[Adamidas] “Oh kick ass,” there is a shot brought to her and she perks up. Half flesh, and she’s content to live in it. Pay homage to it, attempt to beat her liver into submission with whatever Alejandro has in his hand because it goes straight to her lips and down the hatch. Pride keeps her head from swimming but pride also tells her to drink more, which is usually how you end up playing chicken fight in swimming pools and waking up bound to a completely foreign totem.

“Thanks. You having fun?”

A moment.

“We should play, like, Apples to Apples or something. Best game ever.”

[Sinclair] Sinclair has no idea what they’re talking about in here right now. She has only the barest knowledge of Sarita’s troubles with her sister, she never met Drawn in Blood that she can recall, she has only dim awareness of what happened to him and as a rule she avoids thinking about, talking about, or dealing with the pack that is now Defiance, was once the Vanguard. She crawls into the van on her hands and knees, is grabbed,

“Ack,” she says blandly, “ack. Ack.” And flops down.

Lukas leaves her there, gets another hit. Sinclair rolls onto her back and stares at the roof of Sarita’s van thoughtfully, her knees bent and her feet akimbo and her hands on her belly. She listens. “You should talk to Kate about Gabriella,” she says, after Lukas has finished talking for a minute.

Her arm lifts. She snaps her fingers. “GIVE A GIRL A JOINT. Joint. Jointjointjoint.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Theurge brings over more shots, and Katherine accepts one with a little smile from the Cliath. She clinks the glass against the Theurge elder and downs it; grimacing briefly.

“Oh,” Katherine says with pink-cheeked enthusiasm. “We have a great mass of games somewhere. On those machines upstairs that Sinclair yells at frequently when she uses them. I also purchased — ” A little hiccup. Katherine covers her mouth, apology never looked so sincere. Continues. “Some gear for the pool so they can play water tennis or something in there. The net just needs affixing.”

[Alejandro] “I am!” He says and tips his own shot back, albeit slightly more delicately so than his Auspice Elder. There’s a brief moment of silence where there’s confusion and indecision on his face before he blurts out:

“What’s Apples to Apples?! Let’s play. It doesn’t matter what it is.” A pause and he fidgets with his ill-fitted suit, plucks at it like it’s constricting him — which it is — followed by: “We must.”

And then there’s more games. Upstairs apparently. “Let’s go explore, Adam.”

[Matthieu] Matthieu enters the house with a pleasant smile. He was a naturally charming individual, he did not necessarily radiate the intense heat of rage that so many others did. Make no mistake those eyes burned with passion and fury alike but that smile showed control. Matthieu was not some savage wild beast he was a beast in complete control of his faculties. This was part of what made one a Silver Fang the ability to exert complete control at all times. To never let your temper flare past a certain point, to never lose your cool unless it was warranted. Matthieu might as well have had a red carpet rolled out before him by the way he strode across the floor and greeted his host with the warmest of smiles. In his hands a small box was held firmly and close to himself. The box itself was hard wood and polished, it was quite decorative but likely not what the Galliard had intended as a gift for the eldest of his tribe within the city.

He came upon his hostess and took the time to greet all in the room with a polite and friendly smile though his intention was in greeting the hostess first. She was his direct elder and was this not a celebration of her achievements? Silver Fang achievements were special affairs. Not to belittle or speak down to the other tribes but when a Silver Fang reached a milestone in their life it was simply grander than that of the average garou. Certainly the other tribes would argue otherwise but if there is one thing that a Silver Fang is used to it is resistance from the other tribes. It doesn’t mean the other tribes aren’t impressive in their own right it is just that Silver Fangs hold themselves to a higher standard than the other tribes. Matthieu has tried to lecture the others in these matters but rarely do they seem to hear him. No only a Silver Fang can truly understand.

He waits until she turns to face him or greet him or otherwise acknowledge his presence. He does not with to impose or intrude in the middle of his elder’s party! When she does turn her attention back towards him he finally speaks in a proud and carefully practiced voice.”Katherine Bellamonte, Truth’s Meridian, Honor’s Compass there are few in the region who have not heard of your ascent. Allow me to honor you Rhya with a gift sent by my own father to celebrate this momentous occasion.”He says this while presenting the box, which was roughly five by five inches on a side and roughly four inches high. The hard wood was held together by hand crafted metalwork and the box itself looked as if it could be older than Chicago itself. A tiny latch held the box closed, and the top of the box held two markings denoting the Silver fang tribe as well as the glyph of the Half Moon.

“We all work hard in our lives Rhya but the rise to Adren is a symbol that few achieve. No longer are you a young woman working to make her way in the world your voice will carry itself within our tribe and nation. For when an Adren speaks even the most stubborn of elders will stop to listen and those cliaths foolish enough not to hear the wisdom spoken from her lips will soon learn to regret their decision.”He adds in the warmest of tones to his elder. His smile shows through and he allows her to take the box before stepping backwards and folding his hands neatly before him.

Matthieu was dressed surprisingly well. It was hard to pick out the designer, however, unless one was familiar with local designers. Everything he wore was custom tailored and each and every thread was carefully placed to fit his figure perfectly. Simply looking at him revealed that he must have spent two hours getting ready for this affair. Appearance was important it showed honor and respect for ones peers. To appear disheveled and worn in the company of others showed a lack of respect for oneself as well as their peers. Matthieu was old money, tradition, well bred and trained. The last thing he would ever wish to do is appear as anything less than who he was.

[Gabriel Ferreira] The flute changes hands, and the strange, Rage-heavy Garou lifts the one remaining in a silent toast before taking a sip. Sir, he calls him, and this doesn’t strike him nearly as strange as it likely ought to. It’s analogous to a civilian referring to a Private First Class as ‘sir,’ but Gabriel doesn’t correct him, or mock him.

He folds his lips to get the moisture off of them and answers, “No complaints, yet.”

His name’s Derek, by the way.

They shake, the Garou’s hand dry yet powerfully warm.

“Gabriel,” he says, yet it is not pronounced as though he was born in America, to American parents; it’s a rounder ‘a,’ stress on the last syllable rather than the first, though he himself does not seem to have much of an accent. “Pleasure, Derek.”

In the scant amount of time that Derek spends asking his question, the slightly shorter male takes another belt off of his flute. He doesn’t have the typical Full Moon’s social awkwardness or the typical Gibbous Moon’s propensity for long-winded speech, yet his Rage would suggest he could easily be either of those auspices.

“Both, it seems. My brother–” He turns towards the rest of the room, briefly, to point out the floppy-haired blond who’s about to disappear with the Theurge Elder. “–and I just arrived this week.” He turns away from the room again to ask, “So which one’s yours?”

[Adamidas] “No no no, that’s water volley ball. If it was tennis then you’d have raquets and the ball would have to bounce and I don’t think I wanna play water volley ball with Lukas because he looks like he has a seriously good vertical leap and spiking the ball could cause a concussion and I don’t want to, like, drown while playing volleyball. It’s not that important.”

She grinned, and her expression is surprisingly mellow. She’s not a very heavy person, she didn’t eat much today and despite her bravado, Adam doesn’t do this often. It seems that her ability to drink, much like a lot of things about her, happen to be directly tied to her strength of will and her strength of purpose. Her purpose tonight, it seemed, wasn’t to look like a badass while drinking. It was to celebrate Kate and get shitfaced.

“And it’s a word game! There are cards and you have a hand of them, right? And someone throws down a word- an adjective specifically, and you have to throw down nouns that match that adjective. It’s really, really fun and I promise it’s not half as lame as it sounds.”

He wants to explode. Can they explore?

“It’s Kate’s house!”
Ergo, Kate’s call.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s already had another hit by time Lukas calls for it, and she passes it over. Sinclair gets a grin when she makes her keen observation. “Good call.”

She looks at the Ahroun when he says she shouldn’t have lied. She doesn’t take it as reproach, just as agreement. She gives a frown though, when Lukas talks about Stefan. Well, he is a pretty crazy sunovabitch. Yeah, but Sarita doesn’t know that. Dude, it’s right on his freaking sheet! You mean that thing that Sarita doesn’t have access to? Oh…yeah, right. Exactly.

The Strider listens, and she shakes her head. “Thaaaat’s encouraging.” She considers. “She seems to think he’s good for her. I can’t say I trust her judgment right now, but she seemed to trust him before this whole shitstorm of doom fell on her like a freaking Rube Goldberg-esque Jigsaw trap of melancholy and Fall-Out Boy songs. Thanks…I’ll keep an eye on her.”

She pauses. “But then, I was gonna keep an eye on her anyway. Assuming we both make it that far, I’m pretty sure I’ll be keeping an eye out on her from the nursing home. Metaphorically speaking.”

[Derek Anderson] He shook the hand firmly and briefly “It’s a pleasure as well”He drank some more from the flute, listening to Gabriel talking. “So ALejandro is your brother?”

His eyes look in the same direction as Gabriel, watching them too. “He kind of told me his name in passing earlier”he say with a lgiht shrugh. The young Garou seemed energitic. His attention return on the older brother

“Which one’s is mine what? Family? None, I come from Pittsburgh, mate? None either” After all one was taken, one was either possibly gay or jsut kin hateful and another was crazy…maybe two of them were. Adam seemed to be in her own world sometimes. “Katheirne is my guardian as she is tribe elder”

He simply say, drinking some more champagne.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “And that’s why you’re a good sister,” Lukas concludes, laughing, “even if you feel like a shitty one right now.”

Serious again, “I mean that. I got lucky with my sister. A lot of Garou with siblings end up a lot worse off. Kate, for one. Rebellion, self-endangerment, heartbreak, you name it. Most of them handle it by either severing all ties or locking their loved ones up. It’s nice to see that you have the courage to just let her make her own mistakes. You’re just there for her if she wants you. If not, you don’t push it, and you make it clear that her mistakes are her own responsibility.”

Lukas doesn’t know where, exactly, that train of thought is going. He lets it go, tucking one hand behind his head. Quiet now.

After a while, “Is Kate still entertaining in there?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Honor’s Compass takes the box from her Cousin with a due amount of tenderness. The Galliard’s father had sent it, and Katherine admires it from every angle, sweeping a hand over the carved Glyphs atop it before raising her head to listen, head slightly tilted to everything the newly anointed Galliard Elder says to her.

Pink cheeks, flushed with drink and accomplishment, further color and she offers a hand up to her Cousin in thanks.

“Your father does me great honor, Mirror’s Whisper in sending such a token, please do pass on my most sincere thanks to him for this gift, and thank you for coming tonight. I am glad to see my tribe doing so well in Chicago. It brings me a great amount of happiness. I hope you will stay, and meet some of our new Cousins.”

Katherine inclines her head at Alejandro. “This is Alejandro Seeks the Horizon, his brother is over by our Kinsman there, his name is Gabriel, another Half Moon as myself.” They want to explore, Katherine smiles. “You are welcome to adventure where you do, but be careful on the stairs.”

[Gabriel Ferreira] So Alejandro is your brother?

The noise Gabriel makes is quarantined to his throat, an affirmation that doesn’t seem to believe it needs to validate the situation with an actual verbal response. Perhaps he’s just loathe to admit it, yet there is nothing outwardly wrong with the Theurge that would garner such a reaction. His renown, endowed with it as he is, is impressive for someone so young. One would think the teenager’s family would be pleased with him.

The rest of the family isn’t present, though, so all Derek has is his older brother. He looks, more than anything else, weary, as though Alejandro is seven instead of seventeen.

No family present. No mate. Katherine is his guardian, as she’s tribe elder.

“So I hear.”

He’s putting a mighty rapid dent in his champagne.

“How’s a guy like you get away with no mate?” he asks.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Thanks. Kinda just the way it had been. I could only get away with zip-tying her in her sleep once.” She’s grinning. But she’s serious, too. It’s a long story.

She scrubs at her face, then looks at the house. “I haven’t seen anyone come out, so either she’s entertaining, everyone passed out or everyone drowned in the pool. Those are about the options I see.”

[Sinclair] “I don’t have any brudders or sisters,” Sinclair informs them, slurring a bit. “I have cousins, but they’re not as bad.” She might be talking to the van’s ceiling. Nobody has given her a joint so her hand has flopped back down on her stomach.

“I think the pack-family is more important for that,” she muses, but she wasn’t here earlier, she doesn’t know that Lukas talked about pack families and families before. “For that… siblingish thing. S’like brothers and sisters, they’re s’posed to know you, nobody else in the world has really had a life like you’ve had or somefing, an they know you or somefing and so they get it. You know? They just… get stuff.

“But we aren’t really gonna have that same kinda close thing with Kin, even if they’re like, our twin. You wanna know a sad story I’ll tell you ’bout some twins an one of ’em changed and one of ’em didn’t and it’s just… ”

There are tears in her eyes. She closes them for a moment. Opens them again. “I dunnow,” she says, quieter. “There’s definitely stuff you can’t get from pack, though. Can’t get from anyone but Kin, anI’m not just talking bout sex or something, I’m not, it’s… y’know there’s reasons.”

A beat. “There’s reasons we have em and need em it sure isn’t to clean up our messes or be all badass with us in battle or be our stupid heralds and servants or babydaddies or something, it’s just something else and so I’m really meaning it when I say you should talk to Kate because if you don’t wanna lose your sister, if you don’t –”

Sinclair is crying now, the tears rolling out of her eyes and down the sides of her face, off her temples, hitting the van’s carpeting. “If you don’t wanna lose her. Cuz it’s so easy to lose them.”

She squeezes her eyes shut, and opens them after she’s pushed out the rest of the tears that came so quickly and so unbidden. She takes a breath, and exhales, and seems to be done.

“Alcohol makes people sad,” she concludes.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Amendment:

Katherine then does open the box.

[Alejandro] “Hello!” Matt gets from Alejandro, just as cheery as usual. He’s a short boy, hair that isn’t so much floppy as it is unruly. But it flops in places, so there is that. He would say more; maybe he would give Matt a proper introduction, he really would like to but Kate told them they can explore [explode].

“I like the sound of this game Adam, this apples to apples. Let us see if we can find it in this wonderful home.”

He scoops up another shot and drinks it rather clumsily before literally running off into the house. He’s a menace, he’s going to break something, he is definitely not going to be careful on the stairs.

[Derek Anderson] He tilted his heaad at Gabriel’s comment “Ha, well either I”m too fragile or just ont the type for some people.” He grinned “It’s ok really. I’m not comlaining at the moment. Seem like I just haven’t found the right person or more probably haven’t been found by said person.”After all usually kin don’t choose, they are chosen.

He drank some more “Also, maybe my work keep peopel at bay. I”m a detective. Many memebers of the Nation are doing dubious things related to mortal laws. Maybe some think I”ll actually try to arest them or I”ll be offended or something” He shrugh “Whatever it is, I guess eventually i’ll change and I”ll be mated. Or I’ll die doing my duties first. Whatever happens, happens right?”

[Gabriel Ferreira] Whatever, his hair is floppy.

[Adamidas] “He’s going to break his faaaace and it’s not my faaauuult-” she says as she’s standing up and heading off to follow Alejandro. She’s decidedly less graceful at this moment, but she’s also loud and-

Oh, wait, being loud isn’t a good thing.

[Gabriel Ferreira] “Don’t run in the house.

He doesn’t yell, but the Philodox’s voice carries quite a bit further than one would suspect it to be capable of doing. It’s the clapping of Alejandro’s shoes that has him briefly turning his head to issue that matronly warning, and then Derek is answering him.

What he says has Gabriel watching him a bit longer than might be comfortable for the kinsman, or for anyone who happens to be looking over at them at the time. He’s silent, mulling this over, blue eyes drifting from blue only when champagne flutes are lifted, and Derek continues on.

“Right,” he confirms. His flute is becoming dangerously empty, and that AMF is starting to creep into his veins like a pernicious reminder that he isn’t impervious to a few things: balefire, silver, and drinks mixed by Shadow Lords. At least he’s not crying, yet. “You said you’re a detective?” A pause for confirmation. “I can see that intimidating certain females.”

[Matthieu] “My Great great great great great great great grandfather was Joseph Louis II known to the nation as Judgement’s Hand a Half-Moon like yourself though he died an elder, something which I look forward to seeing you achieve. He was a staunch believer in the Garou nation and it’s merits but he could also see it’s flaws.”He says back to her before turning his attention to the other two and greeting each with a polite bow.”Well then I shall have to take a moment after we are through here and properly introduce myself to them all!”

“Judgement’s Hand was not a warrior like his father he was a thinker, and a planner. He knew that we could not rule this nation by might of arms alone. He would be the first to tell you that our laws must be held sacred as the unifying force of our society and as a result there should be no one individual above those laws. Whether he be your king or your own mate justice must be blind to personal opinion.”He continues.

“In this he helped to forge the strength of my own house and sought to open himself up as a judge, not just to Silver Fangs but to all tribes.”He says with a nod of his head.”As Europe head forcefully into the reformation he too helped to reform our own peoples ways and to make certain justice was blind to position and tribe. All garou must have faith in our laws or our society cannot function.”He speaks of his ancestor with such pride, and why shouldn’t he be? Each one has his own stories and tales to tell. So much to share.”You may not be his descendant but he would be proud to know you share his moon, and I am sure one day when you too pass from this world he will be glad to welcome you as a friend.”He says with the warmest little smile.

Inside the box she would find tiny white carvings, each individual piece was rather smooth, and shaped with enough imperfections to imply it was indeed crafted by an artisan who did not have the machinery of today on his side. Half the pieces were red, and the other pieces were white. Anyone familiar with the game of Chess would recognize these pieces as exactly that! Only very very very old pieces.

“He loved the game of Chess, it’s current incarnation came into being within his lifetime and he liked to believe that while it was the Full Moon’s place to rule the battlefield it was the Half Moon whose careful mind saw what the, often brash, full moon could not. In that sense he regularly challenged his peers in order to challenge their minds… In this way garou might become greater for stopping to utilize all their strengths.”He adds in a softer tone.”So in that sense I feel this would be best gifted to you. Might you continue to improve strength of mind, body, and spirit to honor your own ancestors as well as my own.”He finally concludes.

“You will need to find your own board. The original board was destroyed almost three hundred years ago.”He adds with a little laugh.”His granddaughter was not so even tempered as he.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [fuck, i misread sarita’s post. i thought she passed the joint to sinclair, not lukas. lukas woulda passed it to sinclair! ohwell. *rolls with it* apparently he’s just TOO DRUNK AND STONED.]

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Hey.” Lukas pushes himself up on his elbows, alarmed. “Hey, hey.”

It’s somewhere between awkward and natural, the way he pulls Sinclair against him. He doesn’t tell her not to cry. That seems at once pointless and insulting. He just — hugs her. Sidehugs her, and lets her to cry it out. The joint is still smouldering in his hand. He’s forgotten about it. It’s possible he thinks he passed it to Sinclair already.

“No it doesn’t,” he disagrees when Sinclair concludes that alcohol makes people sad. And this sounds very wise to him right now: “It just makes you stop hiding the sad.

“You should, though.” He’s talking to Sarita now. “Talk to Kate, I mean. She has a sister, Gabriella, who was one of those nightmare kin siblings I talked about. It was … hellish on all of us, but especially on her, to go through that. I think you’re doing better with your sister, but you should still talk to her. She probably has insight I don’t.”

[Derek Anderson] He blinked when the man yelled at his younger brother then the man stared at him. And osmehow, Derek seemed almsot entirely comfortable during that time. After all, he’s the one who enjoys the companie of a crazy Strider Ragabash and actually is fascinated by Sinclair and the predator feel about her. If he could, and it would never happen, he would sit and talk with the Glass Walker for hour despire the feeling, or play vdeo games or what not.

Maybe he wascrazy himself but he didn’t mind danger or feeling fear or discomfort. Maybe that’s why he was a cop or maybe being a cop helped him dealing with those feelings, then again, maybe he was starting to feel drunk and had those crazy thoughts and rationalization.

Either way, he didn’t squirm or look away. He wasn’t bold enough to look the man in the eyes, but if allowed, he probably would “Yes, I”m a detective”He confirm to the man before chuckling at his next comment

“Seriously, my job can’t be intimidating ot a woman who can turn into a 10 feet killing machine and withstand bullets, blades and jsut about everthing else”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her face falls when she hears Sinclair’s voice start to go in that direction. It’s not just the voice…sometimes, there’s a feeling like something in the air. Like ozone before lightning strikes, the hair on the back of your neck. And most of the time, you’re as powerless to stop it as you would be to stop a thunder storm.

And then the tears come. And much like Lukas, Sarita hugs Sinclair from the other side. She doesn’t say anything. She just nods in agreement to Lukas and Sinclair’s advice.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Gabriel’s voice carries a warning and Katherine’s eyes flick his way instantly as it issues such; there is caution enough in that. Her eyes on him; the pale blue conveying the silent reminder. My house, my rules. Yet she does not openly reprimand him, for it does not demand such, yet. He is a brother, cautioning another — she cannot openly fault him for it.

She returns her interest to Matthieu, and carefully extracts a chess piece to admire its craftsmanship before setting it back inside with sincere regard. “Thank you, Matthieu, they are — ” a moment, she cannot find a suitable way to word it, settles, rather than finds.

“Quite lovely. I shall treasure them.”

[Alejandro] Don’t run in the house.

He doesn’t look over his shoulder, but he does suddenly turn his frantic bounding into a very fast paced and awkward walk. He tries on the mask of innocence, like he had never been running in the first place. Adam catches up and then he’s off again, up the stairs and he trips but that’s okay, and he hurts his knee but that’s also okay.

Up and onwards. It would be easy to think that if he scraped himself on the concrete he’d laugh, but if he fell over on the grass he would definitely cry.

What he emerges to is.. well it’s: “This is awesome!” He says to Adam, “Look at all this stuff.” There’s couches and bean bags and gym equipment he’s not really sure what to do with.

“Where do you think Apples to Apples would be?”

[Matthieu] He nods his head back to her.”I did not feel it appropriate not to measure this milestone in your life without something worthy of that moment. I am sure Judgement’s Hand will be honored to know they are safe in your care.”He adds with a little nod of his head.”But enough of that, I suppose I should run and mingle. Seems we’ve had quite an influx of newcomers and I should like to have to chance to meet each and every one.”He continues in a soft and controlled voice. He was practiced so far as speech came. Though he could be wordy each word was spoken in a manner intended to invoke emotions or lead a conversation in one way or another.

He so loved to invoke the names of heroes, or dreams, or beauty and passion. He was a Galliard and his voice was intended to inspire the hopes and dreams of a tribe lay with him and the hopes and dreams of a nation lay with his tribe.

[Gabriel Ferreira] Katherine attempts to shoot a look of warning to the male nagging his younger brother, but for the brief amount of time that the Cliath’s head is turned, he only spares her a few seconds of eye contact.

There is no challenge in it, but neither is there apology. Blood precludes property.

If Derek gets the impression that the Philodox isn’t used to the amount of Rage he has to carry with him, or that he just doesn’t care what sort of effect it has on the Kinfolk with whom he speaks, he wouldn’t be that far off. It seems unwieldy but nothing he can’t handle, like an extra weight slung across his shoulders. He isn’t a broad man, yet Gabriel looks as though his strength is belied by his build. It’s in the way he carries himself versus the muscle strapped to his bones.

“Not your job,” he says. “What it takes to do your job. Garou don’t know what to do with smart Kinfolk, man. They exist, but they’re so uncommon they’ve almost been classified as myths by now.”

He drains his glass.

“Plus, you don’t seem like you take a lot of shit.”

[Sinclair] The truth is, to some extent it makes her feel weak. Like when the moon wanes — as it will again, soon — and Lukas and Kate tend to flank her, subtly and thoughtlessly, as though they don’t even realize they’re doing it. But this is worse, because she’s not actually weak, she’s just drunk and she wants to tell Lukas he’s wrong, that she doesn’t give a fuck if she can’t be around Kinfolk — her own parents, even — for more than a few minutes, she’s over that, it’s fine, she left that behind after the solstice because she just gave up

but the truth is also this: she’s trying so hard not to give up, and now Asha’s dead too and she’s just getting so goddamned tired of being miserable.

It doesn’t mean that when Lukas and Sarita both end up hauling her up off the floor of the van and hugging her, one to either side, that she doesn’t just bawl that much more, suddenly renewed when a minute ago it looked like she was going to stop at the conclusion that alcohol can be blamed for just about anything.

Except her sadness, which is very real, and isn’t going away, and will not be reburied. And it’s not like she didn’t warn Sarita. It’s not like Lukas hasn’t been there, unaware for the longest time of what she was dealing with or how profoundly it had affected her.

In any case. The long and short of it is that in a van that smells like weed, she cries her stupid heart out until she starts wiping at her face and at least tonight she wasn’t wearing a ton of eye makeup so there’s that, but she reaches over and takes the joint from Lukas and says,

“I don’t even remember how to do this,” she says.

[Derek Anderson] He finished his champagne and smiled “I odn’t know how smart I am really. Doesn’t seem like it some times” He shook his head “And maybe I don’t take shit much either. I learned to stand ofr others and it made me able to stand for myself as well. I mean, I know my place and will be respectful, but I will talk back some if a true born lack respect toward me for no reasons

I has happened last week, will probably happen again. I”m not pretenting I”m on an even keel that you or any others. But I refuse to be treated like I’m totally inferior either. I jsut know what I can and can’t do and think tht despite the fact I’m not a true warrior of Gaia, but I”m still a person and deserve to be treated as such

Might sound pretentious, but I know my own worth”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sinclair did warn Sarita. And that’s probably why she saw it coming. She doesn’t complain, doesn’t do anything except comfort her. That’s what Sinclair needs. Well, what she needs more specifically is to come back from the brink. But for now, Sarita is just here to comfort. So she does exactly that, silently and supportively.

She only pulls away when Sinclair is done, and even then only just.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] And Lukas laughs at that, gently. And gently, he takes that joint from Sinclair, holds it between thumb and forefinger, raising his eyebrows demonstratively.

“Like this,” he says. There’s an irony to this: the Shadow Lord in his fine threads, teaching the tattooed and pierced Glass Walker how to take a hit. But he does it anyway: fits the joint to his mouth, brow furrowing as he inhales

and passes it to her. A little choked, holding the smoke in, “See? Easy.”

[Adamidas] “Hey,” she says, once she gets a look at a window. They’re at a party, sure, but Adam’s a little tipsy. And the moon is so big… and bright… and pretty. And she just looks at it for the time being. She takes a few steps over and taps Alejandro with one of her arms. There’s a smile on her face, and it’s wonder whaen she looks at the moon.

Genuine wonder. Like she’s seeing it for the first time. It’s never been there before, so close. Like she could touch it if she tried.

“It’s a clear enough night,” she tells him, “the path will be bright enough, I think we can make it.”

She looks back at Luna. He’ll know what she means. She has faith.

[Gabriel Ferreira] Will wonders never cease: a Kinfolk speaks, at length, and the Garou doesn’t cut him off, doesn’t make faces or roll his eyes or seem as though he’d rather be balancing his checkbook or reading over his stock portfolio or whatever it is upper middle-class people do with their free time. Whether Derek is able to meet his gaze or not, Gabriel keeps watching him, right hand pocketed, left arm extended with the flute lazily dangling from his fingers.

“Yeah, well,” he says, glancing at his flute to reveal that yes, indeed, it is still empty, “piece of advice: stop giving a fuck if people find you pretentious. You spin it right, you’re confident. Confidence makes up for a lot, you know? You can be the dumbest mother fucker in the room but if you know what you’re doing and act like it, people respect that.”

He’s cut off; no more goddamn champagne.

“Here,” he says, and reaches for Derek’s likewise empty glass. “You leaving?”

[Sinclair] She’s no stranger to weed. But they’re more like distant acquaintances, struggling to remember one another’s name at a party. Oh right, you! Shit, man, how have you been? What you been up to?

Y’know, a little of this, a little of that.

She takes the hit, with a little bit of help to remember how to do this after a very, very long time. And she manages to get a nice long drag off of it, holds it longer than a virgin, finally exhales

and has a coughing fit. “Puddin’ and pie,” she responds, gravelly.

[Alejandro] He wanders over to the window beside Adam and he looks up at the moon that is just so close tonight. It’s right there, they’re both right here. He told her once that he has seen the moon from the other side, but there are so many sides he hasn’t seen it from. He hasn’t touched it and right now he just wants to crawl up inside it and just be.

She taps him on the arm, says those words.

“We can.” He agrees, without doubt. “We shall.” His hand takes hers, and —

woosh

They disappear.

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to the man and did meet his eyes. Nothing about Gabriel indicated that the Garou would take offense.

“I’ll consider your words Gabriel. It’s just that there’s a thin line betwen confidence and insolence sometime. I seen Kin coss it and seen true born having difficulties to make the distinction in kin behavior. Still you’re right. I’ll act how I see fit, the way I wasraised and if someone take slight of it, they can tell me about it or go over my head and seek Katherine.

Or they can be nasty and I”ll deal with it as it should be” He shrugh “Either way, I’ll know I wasn’t wrong. Hopefully”

Her grin slightly and let Gabriel take the empty glas “I think it’s time I should go. Seem like almsot everyone is gone anyway”He say looking around. Only Kahterine and the other guy were left beside Gabriel and him

“It was really nice meeting you Gabriel”

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Theurges vanish — nobody is surprised.

The Unbroken members are found together outside, huddled within a van — this is no shock.

Honor’s Compass does not, as her deed-name would suggest, deviate from her duties as hostess until every last one of her guests and hired waiting staff are long since departed, and in the latter’s sense, paid their due. She takes those precious gifts given to her inside her own bedroom and into her closet, pressing aside wall space to find her safe. They are put thus within, as important to the Half Moon as those things already within it.

Those those linger are welcome, food continues, as does drink until all are content.

Thomas aids Lucille and Katherine, in cleaning away dishes and glasses, the Adren gossiping with her maid as if she were still a child, and the elder woman her nearest notion of safety.

[Gabriel Ferreira] [Thanks for the scene, you maniacs!]

[Alejandro] [Thanks for the scene peeps!]

[Derek Anderson] (thank you all)

[Katherine Bellamonte] [thanks guys! :] ]

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [i’m out too! lukas is just gonna … like … pass out or something.]=

Ale, Alejandro

[Lukas] Air pressure suddenly bulges on their eardrums — the equilibrium of the building rapidly offset by someone phasing into reality somewhere. There are footsteps up above. Then Lukas descends from the third story, face taut, eyes glittering. It’s the first time anyone’s seen him since Asha’s Gathering. For some, it’s simply the first time they’ve seen him, period.

He looks at them a moment, nods voicelessly to the newcomers, and then turns out of the common area. A moment later Room 2’s door unlocks, opens, closes.

[Gabriel Ferreira] It’s a sign of self-preservation that the Cub watches the largest creature in the room as he moves. A few feet diverted and he would be going for her neck, perhaps, more likely her throat. As tends to occur, there is always, without fail, something larger and meaner and deadlier lurking beyond the limits of one’s sight; for right now, the taller of the males happens to be the largest, meanest, deadliest thing in the room.

Seeing that wince come across his brother’s face doesn’t make him let up immediately, but after a time, the larger male loosens his grip and rocks off of his haunches to stand at his full height. That’s about the time that someone steps across the Gauntlet, thumping down the stairwell with grief writ onto his face, splashed in his eyes. The Rage-heavy Philodox returns the nod, eyes downcast yet head aloft, and waits until he has left the room before he plants his hands on his hips and looks to Adara.

“Was she–” A jerked chin towards Jocelyn. “–in the Umbra with my brother for long?”

[Adara Mires] She frowned at Gabriel “Who Jocelyn? No, she hasn’t been there to best of my knowledge. She arrived a while before your brother did and she arrived through the entrance, the usual way” She look at him “She hasn’t seen your brother until he popped in”

She look at Joce “I asked you if you were ok girl. You’ve been terribly quiet.” She frowned and got up when she saw Lukas walking by without a word. She got up “Well people, you have jsut met Cold Victory Rhya, Shadow Lord Adren and Elder of the city. Now if you excuse me” She said to th Fangs and the cub “I might be back later”

She heaed into her room and changed into jeans and t-shirt. Meeting the Adren with sweats on and braless in a tank top wasn’t really her idea of being taken seriously. She stepped out of her room in jeans, t-shirt with a bra underneat and her feet were covered with socks.

She heaed to room 2 and gently knocked on the door “Lukas?”She say softly but loud enough to be heard “I don’t want to bother you, but I was wondering if I could have a few minutes of your time”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] She looks vaguely irritated. As irritated as she can, standing there all cute and vapid and wearing a kitty hat.

“I’m right here, you know. You shouldn’t talk about me like I’m not in the room.”

[Alejandro] “What?! I didn’t–” He’s cut off because Adara explains it far better than the boy sitting on the couch ever could. His eyes had followed the movements of the Shadow Lord through the common room, and he doesn’t exactly seem surprised when Adara tells them what his name is, what his rank is and position in the city.

“She’s right you know..” Alejandro muses, gaze drifting away from the door of room two where Adara seeks audience with the War Leader. “We shouldn’t ignore her just because she’s a cub Gabriel.”

[Gabriel Ferreira] He doesn’t whip toward her like a venomous snake, fangs bared and throat rattling: Gabriel turns his attention to her slowly, taking in her attire and her demeanor and her attitude and clenching his teeth, briefly, as he suggests what he sees. His brother is spared a brief glance to ensure that he’s going to stay put, or know where he is in the event that he does not stay put, and then the boy speaks up.

They shouldn’t ignore her because she’s a Cub.

“I ignored her,” he tells Gabriel, “because I thought she was suffering some sort of spirit world-induced madness. The noises she was making hardly qualified as speech.” Although he turns to regard Jocelyn now, he still speaks as though he’s solely addressing the other Cliath. “Now that it appears as though her tongue still works, maybe we can talk.”

He tugs at the end of his nose before planting his hands on his hips.

“You feel I disrespected you, asking another Garou if you were mentally present rather than asking you yourself… what did she call you? Jocelyn?”

[Lukas] Lukas is barely in his room a moment before there’s a knock on the door. He opens it — the tongue catching on the jamb, shuddering the wall. The Shadow Lord is half-dressed, his jeans on, his shirt and sweater off, a fresh wound bloody and red on his shoulder.

He quirks an eyebrow at her. Then he opens the door a little wider, nodding Adara in. “What’s on your mind?”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] He. Is mean.

She nods, the ears on the hat bobbing. Really, it’s probably most of the reason why she wears it.

“Uh huh. Joce. Full Moon Daughter of Fenris.”

Something about how she says it suggests that she may not be as dumb as she seems.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Almost, though not quite, an hour after the Adren Shadow Lord emerges from the third story there’s another pop; nudging of the two walls of reality apart so a pristine white wolf can dart through. She’s on the roof top of the Brotherhood in a moment; still licking her chops, shaking out her fur coat.

There’s a dim glow about it that is yet to fully fade; blood splatter on the tips of fur across her chest. The blue-eyed creature lifts a paw, snuffs at its nose and with a whine shifts forms until it is a crouching woman; lovely; blond; with a dab of blood on the tip of her nose. Katherine Bellamonte flexed, rolling muscles as if she’d been forced into an awkward box for several hours. The corner of her mouth had blood on it and with a fluid movement; the Silver Fang elder straightened and shook a handkerchief from a pocket.

It was dedicated.

She wiped her nose, mouth and shook back her hair. Then she pulled open the doors leading to the ceiling and began to descend them.

[Adara Mires] She watches him for a moment “Are you ok Rhya?”She ask eyes on the wound

“And when I said I needed your time, it doesn’t have to be right away. I know it’s pretty late so we can do that another time. I just wanted to set said time. I’ve spoken with Rain of Brass Petals and most of the defence strategy is set. I wanted your opinion before making it official.

Also since you’re here, I want to express my condoleances for your and your packmates’s loss. I never met Asha but the loss of any one of us is always a tragedy. Also the task you asked of me this weekend, has been compelted MOnday. I met with Hunter and Joey and told them a story that seemed to have helped them”

She was looking at him, not directly in the eyes mind you. Her tone polite, respectful, yet confident. He was imposing, he was powerful but she wasn’t quivering. She gave him simply the respect he deserved.

[Gabriel Ferreira] [Did AIM die? If so, Nomey, are you posting again? I’m waiting on you.]

[Alejandro] “Gabriel they’re really nice here.” He says to his brother with that tone of his that suggests he means a lot more than he’s saying. They’re of equal rank these two brothers, but it’s obvious that the Theurge is not an Alpha, doesn’t have the experience of hardships in his life to make him as such. His brain hasn’t even finished fully developing.

Eyes swivel to Jocelyn and he smiles at her again.

“We are both pleased to meet you.”

[Lukas] Almost as soon as Adara is in the room Lukas has turned away, sliding the top drawer of his dresser open. Effortlessly hard, that tug on the handle — the drawer bangs to the end of its track. He pulls out a box of squarecut gauze, some medical tape. As Adara asks if he’s all right, Lukas glances at her, a flick of pale blue. Laughs under his breath.

“Of course I am,” he says, almost dismissive. “This isn’t even worth a talen. It’ll be gone by this time tomorrow.”

There’s a stillness when Adara mentions his packmate: the Shadow Lord’s capable hands stilling on the box, the bandage, the scissors, the tape. Then he resumes smoothly, cutting out a piece of gauze large enough to fit the wound.

“Thank you,” he says quietly. “It’s appreciated. Tell me the strategy you and Brass Petals came up with.”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “He seems pleased.”

Her nose wrinkles a little, but she gives Alejandro another semi crooked grin.

[Gabriel Ferreira] Age doesn’t mean a great deal in comparison to rank. It’s a number, like anything else, but rank comes with it stories, tales, actions and histories that make up the entirety of a Garou’s experience here in the war. What makes Gabriel and Alejandro equal is not their age, but that they have attained the same rank. In some respects, it matters that Alejandro reached it faster, that he is closer to the next rank than his elder brother, yet in many, it does not. What matters in this instance is that Jocelyn has no rank.

Some Garou treat ‘Cub’ as a pejorative.

His equal, this stranger who shares his blood, tells him the people are really nice here, and he needn’t say any more. Gabriel takes a heavy breath, then reaches into the pocket of his dress shirt to extract a smart phone that his player knows too little about to describe in any detail. It tells time. He reads the time, then rolls his shoulders with a crackle and looks back to Jocelyn.

“I meant no disrespect,” he tells her, as though there is a gun to his head. “Forgive me.”

To his brother, he says, “I’m going to go find us a play to stay.” There is no point telling him to stay put, or text him when he leaves, so he doesn’t. Gabriel casts a glance toward the hallway, then tells the two of them, “Good night,” and starts towards the stairs.

[Gabriel Ferreira] [Thanks for the play, y’all!]

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “There’s another bed in my room”

What are you DOING?

[Adara Mires] She smiled softly to him “Well sometimes the wounds that look the most harmless ends up being the most painful or deepest” She say as she watches him cover his wound

“As for the strategy, Rain of Brass Petals with the help of one or two other Theurge will contact spirit and have a contract with them so they’ll watch the area and warn the occupants and also, the pack’s Alphas if something happens here. Why more than a Theurge, it’s simply if something happen to one of them, the contract will be valid with the remaining Theurges. So no spirits turning their back on us.

In this plane, things are trickier since enemies can pop in form everywhere. We could ward the place against unbral travelling but my sister was against it. So, the best thing we could do, is train the kin here in the use of firearms, Mister Roth has offered his help and it seem Miss Trujillo is organizing the citie’s kin, so maybe they will get more training from that organization. I will talk to her soon about that.

So, if something happens downstairs, everyone should come up, while those who can will delay the enemy. Fighting in stairs is hard so a good volley of bullets concetrated on the first ones in the stairs mgiht slwo them down enough for us to be ready and take them on as they emerge the stairs

Depending on how many of us there are. One or two should take hte kin away and out of a window, and stay with them to protect them. An open container with garbage bags filled with something soft, like foam should do the trick and not betray our exit point as stairs would. Once the kin are out, either we win, or strategically retreat if no reinforcements can come. If I”m present I’ll be the last one leaving,making sure no one is left behind

Why a retreat, because, even if I lvoe this place, better to regroup and take it back then die with no hope of winning. It’s an important place but I think it could be easilyl claimed back with some help form the packs.

If the attack happens upstairs, reverse strategy with people leaving in the back”

She pause and wait for his comments

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] And not very long at all after Katherine shows up, there’s a third… Oh god, don’t say pop. Say something else. You’re only using “pop” because that’s what the others used and you’re copying them. Am not. Plagiarist bastard. Fuck off. Blow me. Mom liked me better. …I hate you.

Anway, she comes out with a Seventy-Six Trombone Chorus! A POP, following making her way down the stairs. You’d think there was some kind of skylift to the roof that makes a Snake’s rattle! …a popping sound when it drops people off. She’s looking somewhat the worse for wear. She’s got a nasty scrape on her head and her clothes are vaguely torn, but the duster–oh, that ever-present duster, is popping? …no, it’s in fine shape. She gives a little look as she appears in the common room, taking stock of the three new faces as she comes in behind Katherine.

[Alejandro] “I will find you.” He offers to his brother cryptically with that smile of his and waves a hand. “Bye Gabriel!” After that he’s left alone in the common room with this cub, an adren loitering nearby in his room and a fury engaged in conversation with him.

“So..” He says awkwardly, places his hands in his lap and looks down at them for a brief moment– Wait, what? He blinks at Jocelyn, scratches at the back of his head and mumbles something of a nervous laugh.

“Oh no.. I think Gabriel shall find us suitable accommodation. Thank you for the offer though.”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] She looks instantly relieved. Really must get that filter checked.

Yet someone else magically appears in a fluff of smoke and pixie dust, and she watches the woman make her way through the room.

“They don’t seem very big on doors here.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] There are strange wolves in the common room.

This, on its own would be nothing to give Honor’s Compass pause on a normal occasion — there were always strange wolves in the Brotherhood, it was part of the charm in a very common way — except that two of them carried her blood and breeding. She pauses, almost long enough to allow Sarita, coming in behind her, smelling too like fresh battle and the remnants of whatever the Unbroken had been fighting, to collide into the Half Moon before with a fluid motion she steps out of the way and into the common room, proper.

Sarita and I made it back in one piece.

This for her Alpha; closeted away in his room, the whisper of totemic connection accompanied with what would, physically, be the nuzzling of one pack-mate in wolf form against another. Then, pale eyes are focusing in on Alejandro. He to her and she upon him, at least as far as vision and intention stray. “Bonne soirée,” a pretty, genteel voice greets, hands tucking a stained piece of cloth back into a pocket.

Flashes of blood against fine white cotton.

“You,” a slow, measuring sweep, a tilt of the head. “Are very new, for I do not know your face, yet we share kinship.” The Cub, for a moment, is ignored not out of spite or some Werewolf politic, but degree of immediate concern.

[Lukas] “Mr. Roth,” Lukas comments, the scissors in his hand making a crisp schhik! as he snips off a length of bandage, “has an unhealthy distrust of the Trueborn that he tends to spread to the kin around him. If you’re going to trust him to train the other kin, at least keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t secretly trying to convince them to stage some sort of uprising.”

Lukas covers the wound, then, and rips strips of medical tape to hold the temporary bandage in place. Gone by tomorrow, he’d said. It doesn’t need to be anything more than temporary.

“As for evacuating if we’re overwhelmed — that was always the plan, and it’s a good one. There’s nothing here that can’t be replaced or regained. We should have a plan to dump sensitive material, though. That bulletin board is full of contact info for our Garou and kin. At the very least, it needs to be torched if we need to bail. Every resident should be alerted to either take their sensitive information with them or pool them somewhere to be incinerated if we have to fall back.”

Welcome back, comes the totemic response. Couple of Fang-looking types out in the commons for you.

[Adara Mires] ‘She nod “I know very well about Mister Roth’s opinions and attitude. I mgiht be the only one of us he trust and that is barely. Ialso noticed some change in the peopel around him and I wonder if he has really strong influence or if weak willed kin are attracted to his presence. Either way, it’s not healthy for us and I’ll keep an eye on him. At least he has agree to share some of his training with me.

That said, if you hear or I do hear of anyother combat efficient kin who could train the others. I have no problems with that person working with Mister Roth or replacing him. The interests of the Nation before the individuals after all.

As ofr sensitive material, you’re right, I’ll include notes about that when I write up the plan.” She look at him “Is there anything more you’d liek ot add on the defenses or should I proceed with what we discussed?”

[Alejandro] He’s up out of his chair when Katherine enters the room, though his diminutive height and thin frame doesn’t exactly make him strike a very impressive figure. But that’s purely physical, there is something else about this Crescent moon. It’s in the shadow of his breeding, bringing to mind elemental spirits of varying types, as if they cling around him even in this realm. The fire is in his eyes and the wind is in his hair, his smile is cheery and excited.

“Honor’s Compass-Rhya” he knows her name, deed name even. The fact that he gives this instead of her socialite name might suggest he didn’t hear through other Garou. “I’m ever so pleased to meet you. My name is Alejandro Ferreira, Seeks the Horizon, Cliath Crescent Moon of Moon Lodge, House of Gleaming Eye. My brother and I just recently arrived. Oh dear, I hoped to have talens and gifts for you. I was going to draw you a picture.”

He smiles sheepishly then corrects himself.

“A map, I mean a map. Of the other side.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pauses, just long enough to keep from colliding with the Philodox. She comes into the common right after Katherine. Alejandro, she doesn’t know. Jocelyn, she also doesn’t know. And there’s no one else in here. She takes a lean against the wall at the door for a second, and lets Katherine do the talking. Since she’s focusing on Alejandro, Sarita gives Jocelyn a little smile in greeting.

Holy Christ in a Handbasket to Hell. Why do I suddenly feel like an grizzled old crone and a veteran of the city?

[Jocelyn Burkhard] Because you’re old, bitch.

She nods/bobs to Sarita, otherwise staying quiet and observant.

[Lukas] “If I hear of any kin with good martial skills, I’ll send them along.” The firstaid paraphernalia gets put back into the top drawer of his dresser — not shoveled in wholesale as one might expect of an Ahroun but neatly placed. Then he shuts the drawer, opens the one beneath it, pulls out a t-shirt and tugs it on. Turning away from his dresser at last, Lukas tugs the shirt out from under his armpits as he continues, “Truth be told though, I think most of the combat-capable kin tend to get embittered. Maybe it’s because sooner or later it becomes clear that all the training they ever put in won’t ever put them on a Garou’s level. Or maybe it’s the embitterment that sets them to violent pursuits. I don’t know; it’s just speculation.

“Regardless, go ahead with your plans. They’re solid.” A pause. “You’ve done a good job, Adara. You and Adamidas. Pass my compliments on to her.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Because, the Silver Fang responds without physically turning her attention from Alejandro. We are the grizzled old crones by comparison. Well, older, anyway. I moisturize too much to be grizzled. There also comes with Katherine’s words, the sweep of her amusement at the greeting the Cliath gives her.

Sarita and Lukas both knew their sister enjoyed the play acting of her tribe. There was something mildly hollow to her tonight, though. Her voice was a touch crisper, her eyes did not dance without a little determination to and her smiles, while sincere enough were tinged with a sadness at the corners.

Asha barely gone and here I am again

It’s barely a thought, but it brushes the Unbroken’s minds; the suggestion of their fallen sister’s face, some likeness pressed into their brains like flowers flattened in the pages of a book. There and gone, preserved but lifeless. “Your brother must be the back I saw slipping away down the stairs,” Katherine notes aloud, moving closer to inspect the Theurge. She, not the tallest creature at 5’9 but impressive regardless, lifts a finger and raises Alejandro’s chin lightly; turning his face one way and another as if regarding him for a fit.

“Hm,” she comments, and sits herself on the sectional, waving him to be comfortable. “It’s been some time since I met a Moon Lodge member, not since my last visit to the Court of King Calvin de Provence in Belgium.” A moment, Katherine’s fine teeth nip her lower lip thoughtfully. “Still, I am pleased to greet both you and your brother.” She allows a smile to take the edge of her mouth at mention of gifts.

“Do not worry about gifts, Seeks the Horizon. You do not need to ply me with tokens of good faith, I will judge on your actions and your manner of conduct, you and your brother, while you are here.”

[Adara Mires] She was watching Lukas “Maybe you’re right. I’ll do keep my eyes open around Mister Roth and make sure our kin stay respectful of us and don’t get the wrong ideas. I think that most wil lrealize things aren’t so bad if we do respect them back. After all we’re told to respect those of lesser status.”

She smile softly. She tohught kin were worthy of respect quite a bit, but the playon owrds usually worked on other Garou. Kin were of lesser status socially. They couldn’t hold ranks. So the law kinda forced true bors to respect them, evne if the reason wasn’t the best one. At least they had one

“And thank you Lukas, I”m just doing the duties I volunteered for. I will pass your words to Rain of Brass Petals”

She paused “And thank you for your time. I will leave you alone now”She offer him a bow and a smile as she turn to head toward the common room, waiting slightly if he has more to say.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] I’m New Mexican, she responds. Trust me, the more you moisturize there, the more you just look like someone tried to use shoe polish on an eighty-year-old armadillo.

The hoking, as toned down as Katherine’s play-acting, cuts off a moment when Katherine mentions Asha. It would have been easy to miss it since they were fairly close anyway, but there is a brief light touch to the Silver Fang’s arm. And then Katherine’s moved away and Sarita focuses her attention back on Jocelyn.

“Hola, chica.” A little grin. “S’up? I’m Sarita.”

[Alejandro] His chin gets lifted and there is no resistance, though his hands fidget where he holds them behind his back. Eyes look straight ahead, just like a good boy. It’s not until she waves him to be comfortable that he looks at her, a quick flicker of his eyes and then he relaxes. It’s carefully that he positions himself down on the sectional, hands once more being placed in his lap.

She doesn’t want his gifts and he makes a little oh face with his mouth before it clamps shut. She will judge them on their good deeds, he likes that. There’s even a little smile.

“I’m sure my brother will want to introduce himself properly, so I won’t do it for him. He has gone to find us somewhere to stay for the night.” There’s a short pause and his lips purse together, he seems to be fighting the urge to say something. It comes out anyway. “I’m sorry for your loss.” He looks down at his hands. “She was the first I heard about when I asked them.”

[Lukas] “With Roth,” Lukas remarks, “I’d settle for non-interference.”

He walks Adara to the door — all of two steps away. “Goodnight,” he bids her. When the door shuts behind her, it’s quiet. Lukas strips out of his jeans, changes into lounge pants, and drops down on his bed.

Over the totemphone there’s a quick blurt of amusement. Such things have been rare the last couple days. Ahrouns die — that’s their place, their duty — but the loss of a packmate, the first in years, still stings. You two are going to have to forgive me for not coming out and socializing, he sends to his sisters. I’m just going to hide in my room and read a book. And stalk the totemphone. How are the newbies, anyway, Kate?

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “Hi. I’m Joce.” She nods to Sarita, keeping half an eye on Alejandro.

[Adara Mires] “Goodnight” She reply to the Adren. She make her way back to the common room, noticing that Gabriel had left and was replaced by two lvoely ladies she had met on the same night: Sarita and Katherine. She stop nearby, offering them a warm, friendly smile “Good evening Sarita, Honor’s compass rhya”

Her tone had been polite ot both. She was of the same rank as Sarita and they actually have spoken to each other once or twice the night they cleansed Hunter. Kahterine, she jsut had been in her presence, so she got the respectful tilte coming with her rank.

She offered asmile to Joce and Alejandro as well, but didn’t say more, as it seem the Fangs were talking to each other.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Hermitize away, mi capitán.

“Nice to meet you, Joce.” She follows the Cub’s gaze to Alejandro, then back. “Been here long?” Hey, leave the Strider alone, she’s allowed to have been a bit unobservant. She’s been a busy gal.

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “A few days. I’ve been meeting people.” Because she’ll ask, right? EVERYBODY seems to want to ask.

[Katherine Bellamonte] The No Moon brushes the Silver Fang’s arm before she moves off, and Katherine turns back, briefly, sliding her fingers down the other female’s arm until she can briefly link their fingers; a touch and then gone. That is all it seems, outwardly. Katherine takes up her seat on the sofa, crossing her legs.

The picture of dignified ease.

One arm even slides across the back of the cushions, tangles into her mass of — tonight, at least — straight hair, a honey-gold shade, sun-kissed — she is looking across at Alejandro who, truth be told, strikes her as very young, in spirit perhaps not so much as in appearance. Small, and rather on the delicate side, as many Theurges tended toward, as if in exchange for wisdom they gave up the rights to physical mass.

You are not on Twitter, Wyrmbreaker. One wonders how Katherine Bellamonte knows of something as hip as Twitter, perhaps Sinclair showed her. You do not get to interact entirely via totem in 140 characters or less, if you wish to know, come and be miserable in public, like myself and Sarita.

Resolutely, the Fang turns back to the present. Adara, emerging from the very room she’s speaking with silently, is greeted with a slight turn of her head. Back to the Theurge, who gives her expressions of sympathy on her sister. There’s a flicker of real emotion in Katherine’s eyes, she frowns downward.

They all feel the strength of her pain; the way her flesh and blood sister is always in the background of it; the unknown, the panic she had shared with Martin. What if she’s dead, also? I would never know as I do Asha, Martin, I should never know! “Yes, it has been … very hard, for us. Doubly so, to lose a sister and a tribe member at once.” Her smile is brave, it fights back for its placement across her mouth.

“I look forward to meeting your brother.” A beat, she gestures for Sarita. “I am sorry, this is one of my sisters, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Echoes of Laughter, Cliath No Moon of my pack, Unbroken. You may have seen my Alpha. Tall, dark, brooding shadow of a man.” That is fond humor, no doubt. “Shadow Lord, Adren. Also our War Leader.” Then, finally, Katherine’s eyes absorb Jocelyn.

“Welcome to you, too, Cub of Fenrir.”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “It’s nice to meet you, Rhya.” Because Katherine looks like the Rhya type, really.

Nod. Ear bob.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Good to know,” she says with a bit of a smile, faint amusement, when Jocelyn said she’s been meeting people. “Lots of them around here. Where ya from?”

Is that what it is? I keep calling it Twatter. No wonder people keep looking at me funny.

She looks over at Alejandro when she gets introduced by Katherine. “S’up? Nice to meet you.” An amicable nod goes his way. “Welcome to Chi-Town.”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “Lots of places.” Because, see, specifics get her kidnapped to churches. She’s learning!

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh. nice.” She gives Jocelyn a nod. “Girl after my own heart. Ever been down to New Mexico?”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “Um. No?” She thinks, then shakes her head. “No”

[Alejandro] “It is a great burden, to be left behind. The spirits speak fondly of her” And it’s true, he does sound wiser than he looks. To get a real picture of the Theurge though one has to see him on the other side, dealing with spirits. Until then he’s just a kid, despite that something-other about him, despite his wisdom. “Your Alpha?” He raises an eyebrow and smiles. “Yes I saw him. He gave me a nod.” He seems quite pleased about that.

“Chi-town?” He speaks up after his lapse into Silence, eyes settling on Kate’s pack-mate. “Ohh, Chicago.” He grins, “very clever.” It seems genuine, he thinks that is clever.

[Jocelyn Burkhard] She giggles. She can’t help it. He’s just so damned cute.

[Lukas] Another burst of amusement across the totemlink. And maybe that’s deliberate on Sarita’s part — play the class clown, keep spirits up. It sure as hell isn’t the Ragabash being impervious to the pain: Lukas read it on her face the night it happened. He mulls on that a moment — they can feel his thoughts stirring in that direction, thoughtful, a dark warmth on the horizon. Then he comes back to them.

I think I heard you call it Twat once too. I have to admit, I deliberately kept my mouth shut because it was so much funnier to hear you talk about Twatting and reading Twats.

And no. I refuse. You can suffer in public. I have a book. I’ll just have to remain in the dark about the nature of your latest tribesmen.

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Philodox’s eyes flick over to the Cub, return to her tribesmate with a brief suggestion of mirth; her voice though, is quite serious. “I would like to hear about your plans in the city, Alejandro. You and your brother. Are you packed? Did you leave both leave one behind?

Also, I should lay out now that if you find the Brotherhood beneath your standards,” a beat, she smooths a palm over the worn cushion beside her with a slightly aristocratic turn of her countenance against it. “It is a fine establishment in general, but if you want comfort, or merely a place to take rest, my home, the Loft in Lakeview is always open to those of my tribe.

My maid, Lucille, is informed to admit any who come calling of our Kin. The house itself is also marked umbrally with our tribal glyphs for identification.” She rattles off an address, then, momentarily, seems distracted by some inward battle; her brows knit.

What are you reading, then, that is so terribly important that you ignore your own pack? Katherine, ever the dramatist, even in jest. Is it twenty-five ways to brood and be terribly mysterious? You have my tribesmate already mooning over you nodding at him. Nodding!. Honestly. You should come out here and dispel it at once, or else I’ll be forced to show him those pictures of you on my phone.

She nods at Sarita, then, her eyes twinkling with a little regained mirth.

Without warning, Katherine is then looking over the Cub: “Tell me, Jocelyn, was it, hm? Who is your Mentor?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] [*reverses ‘leave’ and ‘both’ around in that first paragraph*]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Too bad. You should go there some time. Fuckin’ beautiful country. S’where I grew up.”

Well gee, thanks. I see how it is, keep me hanging out there. Half the town’s gonna think I play for the other team at this point, and it’s not like I need the help keeping the guys away.

The tone, of course, is mock-offended but the humor is evident. It’s entirely possible–even probable–that the Strider is doing her damnedest to keep the amusement going. This is a time when it’s most needed and even when the Sarita’s had so much happen to her over the last couple of weeks–some of which she doesn’t even realize yet–she is determined to keep them going if she has to resort to taking God damned pies in the face.

It’s true. Kid was absolutely ecstatic. It was a little crazy. And it looks like she’s pulling out the phone now…uh-oh.

“Where did you grow up,” she asks Jocelyn, continuing the conversation.

[Jocelyn Burkhard] She sighs. Here it comes. “Georgia.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh yeah?” She nods. “That’s one place I’ve never been. Well, I passed through once, but didn’t stop on my way to Miami.”

[Adara Mires] She stayed there for a moment, barely acknowledged by the Silver Fang and not even by Sarita. She lsitened to them for a while, leaning against a wall. She watched Alejandro introducing himself ot his tribe’s elder and doing a pretty good job at it. Joce wasn’t doing as well but it wasn’t too bad.

She pass a hand through her hair. She had a few things to do tomorrow including writing down her plan for the BroHo’s defense, hopefully also finding some time to talk with Amy about her kin coalition and how it could help here. Well tomorrow she shall know. Or the day after, there was no hurry. She yawned slightly. Well she wasn’t needed or terribly wanted here. Better turn in for the night and hopfully the scent of a certain rotogar was still on her pillow.

“Well night all”She say, not expecting replies. She pause for a few seconds then head toward her room.

[Lukas] They’re just intimidated by your badassery and the fact that you’re — how do I put this without Kate getting Philodox on my ass — slightly attractive. Just sit around crowing about your conquests someday and it’ll set them right.

There’s a thump from behind the door of Room 2. Then that door opens, and Lukas reemerges, book in hand. It’s not, in fact, 25 ways to brood. The title is in Czech, though. Without much ado or commentary, the Shadow Lord nods to Adara as she bails, then drops down on the couch beside his packmates.

There. I’m out in the open. And aloud, “Hi. Disregard anything Kate might show you on her cell phone.”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “It’s pretty nice….” She nods, the ears bob. While generally doing a good job of hiding her accent, now that the bag is catless there are faint traces that she can’t overcome.

[Alejandro] “No Pack..” He replies to her and his eyes drop away for a moment. “Gabriel had a pack but.. well it is no longer the case.” He scratches at the back of his head briefly. “I never had a pack.” Who on earth wants to be packed with the second coming of Jesus-The-Theurge?

Oh there’s the Shadow Lord again. Alejandro gives him a smile and a little spastic wave of his hand.

“Katherine just said I could stay at her loft.” He says to Lukas rather proudly. “I’m going to draw her a map of the umbra around it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Night, Adara.” She nods to the Fury, smiling a bit, and then grins when Lukas comes out. “There he is….”

She nods to Jocelyn amicably. “Well, cool. Nice to have a Georgian here.” Okay, it’s not her wittiest. She’s off her game.

[Jocelyn Burkhard] She blinks at Sarita, the confused expression settling in again.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine, phoneless, beams as her Alpha emerges and somehow manages to appear at once angelically innocent and devious all at once as she cries out: “Oh, Lukas! You’re here. I had no idea. This is Alejandro, known as Seeks the Horizon, Cliath Theurge, he and his brother are newly arrived. He was just telling me — ” Here the Theurge makes his own intent, and Honor’s Compass lets him as Adara retires.

“Good night, Song of Life.”

Then, Jocelyn again. “No Mentor, then, yet? I am surprised.”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] “No, Rhya. Not yet.”

[Lukas] The Shadow Lord smiles a little at Alejandro’s proud declaration. The hour’s late, even for him: he looks a little tired. He looks relaxed in the presence of his packmates, even if he’s restraining the urge to noogie Kate in retaliation for her oh-so-innocent look.

“That could certainly come in handy,” he says to the young Fang, meaning it. “I’m Lukáš,” he adds. “Called Wyrmbreaker, and Cold Victory. Ahroun Alpha, Shadow Lord Alpha, Unbroken Alpha. I didn’t catch your name earlier.”

[Adara Mires] She nodded to Lukas as he pass her by, smiling at the man. No need for goodnights, they were said earlier

She wiggled her fingers with a smile to Sarita and nodded politly to Katherine. She’ll have the chance ot get to know the two Unbroken later, she’s sure.

She entered her room and closed the door. Undressing, she made her way to her bed nad slid under the sheets, smelling her pillow. Smiling softly as it had retned the scent of her last night’s guest, she bury her face in it and shortly after, was sound asleep

[Adara Mires] (thanks for the scene all..have a good night/day)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives Jocelyn an apologetic look. “I’m normally much funnier. I promise. Ask them.”

She nods her head in the direction of her packmates. “Unless they say I’m not. Then they don’t know what they’re talking about.” She grins. She’s good at grinning, it’s her natural state. She just has to let auto-pilot take over in that respect.

[Jocelyn Burkhard] She nods slowly, eyes big and flickering to the others.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine gestures at one of the only free sofas left for the Cub; she seems kind enough by intention, though her smile is at once becoming and unsettling. They are wolves, with some, rather than others, that point is harder to forget. “Tell me have any made offers, yet? Or are you still settling into things? I know the elder of your tribe in this city somewhat, she is a competent, knowledgeable Garou.

I am certain she will guide you well.”

[Jocelyn Burkhard] She is, pretty clearly, terrified of Kora. With good reason, maybe. Her eyes flicker to the sofa, then to Alejandro, then back to Katherine.

Sorry kid. You’re on your own.

“I’m settling in well, thank you. I should settle in for the night, though.” She gestures to the hall “Room four. Goodnight Rhyas. It was nice to meet you.” She nods in the general direction of each of them, slinking toward the hall slowly.

[Alejandro] “Oh..” Now he straightens up in his seat — if that were possible, he was already straight as an arrow — and raises his chin a little. “Alejandro Ferreira, Seeks the Horizon, Cliath Silver Fang Crescent Moon, Moon Lodge and House of the Gleaming Eye. Previously the student of Whispers in War, Adren Crescent Moon, Rites Mistress of the Sept of Mornings Vengeance. It is a pleasure to meet you Rhya.

He sucks in a breath then lets it out, eyes on the Shadow Lord.

[Lukas] “Room two,” Lukas offers to Jocelyn as the girl — the cub, apparently — takes her leave. “Goodnight.”

Attention goes back to Alejandro, then. He listens to the introduction, which is long, but not nearly so long as —

the name is a hole in his heart. Lukas wonders in a brief, searing flash what became of Thomas. What he would do now, now that he was no longer the herald to the princess of a failing line. One less in that family tree. One more leaf fallen.

Lukas’s hand comes briefly to his face, mops once as though he were fatigued, bleary-eyed. Then he summons up a smile for Alejandro. “Pleasure’s mine,” he says. “I’ve never met Whispers in War, but I’ve heard of her even as far as Stark Falls and Maelstrom.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Nice meeting you, Joce. See ya around.” She puts two fingers to her brow and flicks them outward as if in salute. Then she joins her packmates in looking at looks over at Alejandro as he introduces himself. Much like Lukas, there’s a flash of pain from the Ragabash. Her first (and only live) experience with Asha was her introduction via Thomas, and that is her strongest impression.

And thus, the grin fades for a moment. Just a moment, though. Dancing with tears in my eyes…isn’t that how the song goes?

[Jocelyn Burkhard] She’s there exactly as long as it takes to not be rude, then she flees to her room and locks the door.

[Alejandro] He relaxes somewhat when Lukas gives him that smile, like he just did what he was supposed to do and he did it proper just like his mother taught him. “She is a great Garou, I’m sure she would be honored to hear that her name has reached your ears.” His smile wanes, fades, he knows of Asha, already gave his condolences to the Lord’s pack-mate. Why then doesn’t he give his condolences again? Maybe it’s the fact that the Adren looks like he’s had enough of everything.

The Crescent Moon goes quiet and looks down at his hands in his lap.

“I heard talk of you from the spirits before I even reached Chicago. They told me I would fall here too, but that I would make a difference in doing so.”

A pause and he only looks at the others with brief glances, otherwise remaining eye-locked on his own hands.

“I do not know what to make of death, for none of us truly die. All will be seen again, like the full moon after an eclipse.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine’s hand settles over her Alpha’s without hesitation, or motivation aside from what she gleans from his presence beside her and what it costs him to come out of his room. He is hurting, they all are. Death has finally, once again, collected from the Unbroken, and they are weakened by it.

She sets her hand over her Alpha’s, and links their fingers. It is as natural as breathing.

“Well said,” she accounts for, to Alejandro, with a brief smile. “We all wonder at it, when it calls and all we can do to combat it is be good, do good, and die looking exceedingly handsome.” A beat; she gleams at the room as only Honor’s Compass truly could.

[Lukas] Lukas — if he doesn’t look like he’s had enough of it all tonight, then at least he looks tired. Worn, if relaxed in the presence of his packmates. He’s leaning back into the sectional couch, slouched down in his usual place — feet apart, hands lax in his lap. His brow knits faintly as the young, too-young Theurge speaks of his own foretold death.

“You knew you would die here,” he says, thoughtful, “but you came here anyway? Why?”

[Alejandro] He’s already smiling at what Katherine had to say, eyes shining at his Tribal elder with humour and pride, but the smile becomes something else when Lukas speaks. The look he gives him makes the Theurge seem far older than he has any right to. It’s probably half the reason he has been without a pack, as he told Katherine earlier.

“Oh.. It seemed like an adventure.” A beat and then. “The Umbra called to me before I came here, it sought to swallow me whole and for a time I wished it to be so. But here..” A look between the Fostern and the Adren. “I believe their prophecy, in its entirety. Here I can make a difference.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] That little bit doesn’t seem to read well in Sarita’s head either. She furrows her brow, trying to comprehend it. Where Lukas is thoughtful, Sarita is bewildered. It’s like someone who is trying to grasp a language long-forgotten, and the words somehow register with her but she doesn’t grasp the meaning. It seemed like an adventure, he says. And she frowns.

Am I the only fuckin’ person for whom the idea of dying was never God damned romantic? Her tone across the pack link is incredulous. God, I ~am~ too old.

[Adamidas] Pop!

If there was anyone in the upstairs bathroom, they would be greeted by the sound of a theurge mid song. What she was doing is anyone’s guess. Or, rather, what she was going to do later was anyone’s guess. Really, the point is that Adam was in the umbra and the rest of what she was doing there is probably a you don’t want to know situation.

“-y started out in San-Fran-Cis-Co feelin’ mighty low and kind of mean-” she steps out into the hallway once she hits that word and begins to amble on in to the common room.

“Suddenly a voice said Go forth daddy, spread the… picture…”

there are people there.

She blinks. There’s chalk dust in her hair and her clothing smells faintly of smoke and burning metal.

[Lukas] There’s a wry nudge of humor over the link. When you no longer find it romantic, Lukas puts in, you’re ready for Fosternhood. Mentally, anyway. The spirits will probably disagree.

“Whether or not there’s a prophecy of doom hanging over your head,” Lukas replies aloud then, gently, “don’t chase your death too eagerly. You can make more of a difference alive than dead.”

On that note, the Shadow Lord gets up. He puts his hand on Sarita’s shoulder in passing; takes and squeezes Kate’s hand. “I’m off to bed,” he says. “Adamidas — I talked to Adara before you got here. You guys’ plan for the BroHo sounds good. I gave her the go-ahead.

“Night, everyone.”

[Alejandro] “I won’t!” He calls out to Lukas, probably a bit too eagerly, but such is the way of someone who is still effectively a child. “I mean I will! Alive, make more a difference. Yes. Good night Rhya–”

His eyes settle on the person that had just walked in, the young female who Lukas had just been talking to on his departure.

Rhya.” He says again, there are far too many Rhyas in this town. “You have chalk in your hair.” He says and it isn’t an insult, more like he’s pleased about this for some reason.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The sound that comes across the pack link is sort of a snort, but it’s not foul-tempered. This time, it’s the Ahroun lifting the Ragabash’s spirits. Yeah, yeah. The mind is willing but the soul ain’t ready. Story of my life. Have a good night, Cap’n.

She smiles a bit when Lukas gets up and she nods to him and lets him go. Her attention turns to Adamidas and she gives her a wave. “Hola. How’s it shakin’?”

[Lukas] [thanks for the RP, all!!!]

[Adamidas] Adara talked to Lukas; the plan sounds good.
“Cool, keep an ear to the ground? We’ll keep you posted. Night!”

Of course they will. He lives here. He is going to hear about it.

There’s a lot of people in here, a lot of things and people to pay attention to. She looks from the large, somewhat statuesque Shadow Lord (because she’s starting to associate people with scupture. Men and women with things like stone with just as much personality. It’s a good thing).

There’s chalk in her hair, and the female blinks. She reaches up. She’s probably the second youngest person in the room and… this is rare. She looks at the male, stares, and grins a little. It’s fond, “yeah, I was.. yeah.”

She doesn’t explain. Back to sarita.

“And I am fabulous, what about you?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Been worse,” she says with a shrug. That vague answer is probably the shortest she’s given to that question, but she’s still smiling, so it can’t be that bad, right? Right. So she decrees it and as the trailer for that terrible remake of a Harryhausen classic goes, “DAMN. THE. GODS.” Along with a heavy thumping soundtrack and “Release the Kraken!”

There was a point there. It got lost somewhere. Oh, right…so she decrees it, so shall it be. She grins at the Theurge Elder. “So what’s got you so fabulous then?”

[Adamidas] [this is a willpower roll!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 2 at target 9)

[Adamidas] DAMN. THE. GODS. Release the Kraken!
The sound Adam makes sounds very much like she’s choking on her snot, or coming very close to spitting something up. Of course, she’s not a spitting kind of girl, and she hasn’t eaten anything worth spitting up. Whatever her thought process was, it was reset by trying not to laugh and snort and other things to that effect.

[Alejandro] There is chalk in her hair, she’s reaching for it and grinning at him and he grins right back like he totally gets it. But she’s talking to Sarita.. he thinks that was her name.. he’s not sure now. Yes, Sarita, that was it. She’s packed with Kate. Who is packed with Lukas. Who talked to this girl.. who has chalk in her hair.

It all makes sense. He sits there and he doesn’t bristle with Rage, but he does seem different, primordial, like the core elements of nature are somehow part of him.

An outburst from the two of them startles the poor boy, but he’s grinning, all the way from his eyes. It’s that sort of humour someone has when they’re not really sure what is happening but it’s funny anyway.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins. “Seriously. Don’t EVER watch that movie. Not even the hotness of Sam Worthington makes it worth it.”

She chuckles and sits back. When all else fails, through out random pop culture references. People laugh, everyone smiles, you can join in.

“Seriously though, what’s gotcha in a good mood?”

[Adamidas] “Making progress with the tribute to Coatl. I think I’m getting the hang of this whole goldsmithing thing… which, by the way, do you know how hard it is to get gold? It’s a pain. It’s a pain, and.. ugh. I get that it’s dear to ‘im, but damn Sarita!”

A beat. And a bigger grin.

“And if you want hotness? Burn Notice.”

She heaves a sigh, and it’s overly dramatic and completely pleased. She looks at the sky like it was a gift from Gaia that Bruce Campbell exists. [because, let’s face it, it’s Bruce Campbell she’s squeeing over and not the guy who plays Michael Weston… sure… uh.. that’s it.]

[Alejandro] “Oh my god I hate metal work!” He blurts out and then suddenly goes red in the face. “I’m sorry. I am eavesdropping, why are you making a tribute to Coatl?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay, I’ll give you Burn Notice. Definitely.” She grins, leaning back. She’s about to ask about the tribute, but Alejandro does instead. Ooh, a couple of Theurges talking…this should be interesting.

[Adamidas] “Inorite?”

Alex blurts out and she replies. her eyebrows raise up and she half gestures out to the air. She still smells like burning metal and heat.

“I’m actually pretty excited, because first I was really frustrated with the terms of the challenge and the terms of our agreement-” she doesn’t elaborate yet, but her tone seems to hint that there is a a giant story that she is more than likely going to bombard them with eventually “-but working in gold is like mental preparation for being able to work in silver. So!”

She shrugs. She may as well have said that she was working with uranium so that, some day, she can work in plutonium.

“But I was taking part in a challenge once for a sept position, and th defender of the challenge set the challenge that we had to go approach a spirit of the challenger’s tribe’s brood. So! I had to deal with one of Uktena’s spirits and he had to go deal with one of Pegasus’. The only thing was, though, was that we weren’t allowed to actually negotiate with the spirit or ask anything of them or really do anything except tell the spirit “I’ll do what you want to gain your favor.” Which.. uh… ugh.”

She grunts.

“Long story short, I have to build a golden statue to a feathered serpent and give it virgin blood and BSD blood or else it’s going to bleed me dry. Coatl’s an angry, hungry thing.”

[Alejandro] [compulsion/curiosity!]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 6, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Alejandro] He seems really excited. He sits forward on the edge of his seat and he stares at Adam. Really stares at her. His mouth is open in parts and more than once he looks at Sarita and grins with a You hear that? Can you believe that? Oh wow!

“That is fascinating,” he states, and it is genuine.

“I would love to watch you.” He blinks, colour rises in his cheeks. “I mean, I would love to see you work on this statue. I assume you must build it in its entirety by yourself?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Okie folks, I just got hit with a wave of tired with a side order of falling alseep at my desk. 😛 Sarita will sneak away while the Theurge are talking shrines. Thanks for the scene!]]
to Adamidas, Alejandro

[Adamidas] [[thanks for the scene, lovely! Get some rest!]]
to Alejandro, Sarita Ecos de la Risa