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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A Drunken Phone Call

[Kieran Mondblume] And what is going to happen? What is the worst that will happen if she fights with us, Simon? She gets killed by the enemy. Or one of us. *He is clearly unhappy with the prospect.* But if we constantly try and force someone like that to be an obedient kin, only one of us is getting hurt. I like my balls where they are, sir, how about you? *He gets out a small grin.* So why the hell not? Let her tag along. If she fights, and is killed by the enemy. That’s how we all plan to go out anyway. Clawing, kicking and screaming, taking the biggest thing we can down with us.

[Starla] “When ya come across a big angry bear, ya don’t pick up a stick and keep poking at it until it gets annoyed, it ain’t fun. S’like constantly sticking yar hand in a candle repeatedly, and then wondering why ya get burnt. She keeps doing it.”

Ki says they should try to work with Amunet, Starla lifts her eyes to stare at the Uktena incredulously. The corners of her lips twitch, flattening into a thin line. Her nose wrinkles again, the freckles dusting her left cheek dance over smooth bronze skin. She is listening to the Garou, her attention moving easily between Simon and Kieran.

“I disagree. Why take her with ya and then risk yar life trying to keep her alive if she gits into danger. I know how some Garou are, they’ll put themselves in the path before letting a kin take the bullet they deserve.”

[Heather Payton] She bites her bottom lip, feeling sort of like the houseguest during a family fight.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He arches an eyebrow at that.* If a Wyrm creature attacks her, I should hope to the Mother that you attack it, no matter who it is going after. At that point, it wouldn’t be a matter of defending the kin, but bringing down evil.

*He shrugs, and smiles faintly.* But it shouldn’t be me deciding for her. Ask her mate. See what he says. I’m… not talking big things. Not like war. Or a huge battle, or taking her into a Spiral’s hive. I’m taking… patrol once with her. Let her work with us. See how it works.

[Amunet Knezevic] “I haven’t gotten a single Trueborn hurt, let alone killed.” She leans in the doorway to the hall, gaze on Starla now. “Not once, in all of the shit I’ve been on. Ask Stefan, or Joey. Ask Kieran. I hold my own”

[Simon Zahradnik] He shakes his head.”You don’t bring civilians onto the battlefield. If they’re not properly trained and equipped for the battlefield they are actually a hindrance to the battle itself. By equipped I don’t even mean trained… You can know how to use a gun all you like but if you don’t know and respect the chain of command you are a liability on the battlefield and more dangerous to your own side than the enemy. That kind of decision making gets garou killed… If I was stupid enough to bring a kin who was entirely unprepared for battle then I would be putting the lives of every garou on that battlefield in peril. As a result I would be doing the Wyrms job for it… By letting her set foot on the battlefield I would be serving the Wyrms end and as Wyrmfoe I would be obligated to kill myself.”He says with a hint of a smile on his face at the end there.”No… I don’t like this plan.”

“How about she learns restraint, and respect?”He asks curiously.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He looks curiously at Simon.* We restrain our Kin, we risk them becoming formori more than anything else. Turning to some other power that will give them that ability to fight. You leash all of them, and you are doing the Wyrm’s job for it more efficiently than if you bring one with you.

[Amunet Knezevic] “Then don’t take me. Rhya.” Her eyes move to Simon now, but are quickly drawn to Kieran.

John taught her to be quiet, and she puts that to use now.

[Simon Zahradnik] He shakes his head.”We’re not a democratically elected society… We are an army selected because we were chosen and nothing more. Tell me New Moon when and where did Gaia ever offer you or I the choice as to whether or not we had to spend the rest of our lives serving in this army?”He asks Ki curiously.”Freedom might be a pretty thing but it’s not what we were put here on this earth for. Freedom and Liberty are someone else’s ideal… We’re here to make sure there is a world in which others can practice it. To that effect we must stand ready with the wisdom and discipline to do whatever must be done in service to our cause. Without question, without fear, without hesitation.”He says back to the man with a little nod.

“Nowhere does it say we get a choice in our duties. We carry out our responsibilities… Period. We do what we need to do and we don’t care that we never got a choice. Right? Gaia didn’t create us as her little agents of peace and democracy. We’re Gaia’s defenders and that is what we do.”

[Starla] Never once has Amunet gotten a Garou killed for her actions, Starla meditates on those exact words. She redirects her gaze to the Strider kin, now mated to a Shadow Lord; something shifts in Starla’s demeanor, she is finding it difficult to snap back as quickly with witty retorts.

She shifts her body against the banister, wiggling and leaning to arch back, trying to alleviate an itch that doesn’t seem to want to go away. They continue to address the issue about restraint, how inappropriate it was to bring a kin to the battlefield as Simon put it so eloquently. She flicks her gaze over to the Ahroun, arching an eyebrow as she studies him quietly, mouth pursed together in quiet contemplation. He’s doing exactly what he does best, talking.

[Kieran Mondblume] Yes, sir, *he says with a small nod.* I know. And it is a pack’s responsibility to watch over one another. It is not freedom, however, that I speak of. It is the fact that by restraining our kin, we are risking them turning to the Wyrm. I have seen it happen before. An unsatisfied kin, feeling as if they were lower than their station, lower than the dirt on the ground, wanting power. Is almost as dangerous as one of us falling.

Nothing about democracy, or peace. We’re of war. I know that all too well. But we create an enemy of who could be an ally, another pair of sharp eyes, another pair of fists to draw them away. Another quick creature. I think in tactics, Wyrmfoe. I can’t help but see the merit in having more eyes out there to gather more information.

[Amunet Knezevic] She drifts closer, arms crossed around her middle. She stops next to Kieran, close enough that her elbow brushes him.

[Simon Zahradnik] He shakes his head.”If our kin turn to the Wyrm it is not because we told them what to do. If our kin turn to the Wyrm it is because they were too weak to turn anywhere else. Completely betraying everything your believe in and stand for is not something that happens when a person holds their head high and proud about who and what they are.”He says back to the New Moon.”There’s no shame in serving… In standing the fuck up and doing your part. There’s nothing wrong with looking at yourself in the mirror and being proud of who in the fuck you were born and the life that was decided for you. If you are weak and loathe your person then you open yourself to corruption.”

“I don’t think we need to be treating our kin as anything special. If they don’t have the nerve to step the fuck forward and do their job they’re either useless to us or a danger to us and in either case we can’t trust them enough to be a part of our society. So they should be removed from it one way or another.”

[Amunet Knezevic] “But what is their job, Rhya? If you ask some Trueborn, the job of kinfolk is nothing more than repopulating the Nation, on the rapidly shrinking chance that more True are born.”

[Kieran Mondblume] I disagree, *he says idly. He rolls his shoulders.* I do, however, need to get out. I have a bit of patrolling to do myself. I have no shame in what I am either, Wyrmfoe. Being uncertain of oneself, however, does happen. And if you prod that uncertainty, you open a wound. And any number of diseases can go into that wound. Not treating our kin as special. But getting them to help us. To get to those wounds before they fester.

Good night, sir.

[Amy’s Cell Phone] Don’t we just have perfect timing? Interrupting a debate Amy’s having with a Garou about the role of kinfolk. Of course, you would probably have to schedule time where you’re not interrupting one of those debates if you’re calling during her waking hours. But that’s why we love her. She’s spirited, is the word that they use.

Oh…uh, yeah. I mean, “Riiiiiiiiing,” or rather, “Insert Amy’s Ring Tone Here.”

[Starla] The no moon disagrees with the Ahroun, Starla flicks her gaze away, stepping forward to move from the banister. She tilts her head to the side, arching an eyebrow at Simon. “So how do ya feel, Simon, when a kin steps out of their place and threatens yar honor wit’ the actions that they take. What about the things we do, thinking we’re halping Garou, only seems to make’em think they’re weak, that they can’t do it themselves.”

She shakes her head, “I don’t know anymore what ya’ll expect from us kin.”

[Amunet Knezevic] She looks irritated when Kieran leaves, then even more irritated when her phone goes off. Her eyes flicker from Starla to Simon to poor, quiet Heather before she steps away to answer her phone.

“This is Amunet.”

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Amy.” Sarita is quiet, and she sounds drunk from the bit of slurring even in that short word. She actually sounds…somehow relieved to hear Amy’s voice. “Yer okay. Good.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “Why would I not be okay?” She tries to keep her tone low, brow creasing in a frown.

[Simon Zahradnik] He nods his head back towards Kieran.”Goodnight to you as well.”

He then looks back to Amunet.”When I walk around out there… People are terrified of me. I can’t get a cup of coffee without someone staring at me in terror like they are gonna piss their pants. Dogs fuckin’ attack me for no reason and babies cry when I walk into the room. That is how it is on the rare fucking break I have between having my face ripped off by freaky scaly skinned eight eyed maggot monsters. And the whole time… Every second of my life I am screaming in my head because all I wanna do is beat the holy living fuck out of everything I see!”He says as his eyes burn furiously.

“Maye you got the impression that that the life of the garou is all hugs and giggles but you might be surprised to learn that we’ve got a goddamn good reason to be a little pissed off.”He shrugs.”Our kin are the one thing in this world that isn’t running in fear us or attacking us constantly. Sometimes it’s nice to have people, and family, and friends you can trust and rely and depend on. That’s the kin’s job.”He says before a phone rings and the Full moon turns his attention back to Heather.

“You alright over there?”

[Because Simon would be pissed as fuck if she answered the phone in the middle of him answering her question I am gonna say this goes BEFORE the phone Rang.]

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Mmm…no reason.” A pause, and the exhalation that typically comes with a lungful of smoke being exhaled.

“Never mind, Ame. Ignore me. I’m ignorable. Jus’…had a bad dream. Needed to…jus’…”

She sighs, quiet a moment. A very long moment, in fact. “Jus’ needed t’hear your voice. Rea…y’know. Just needed to know you’re okay. An’ you are…so s’all good.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] The scowl deepens, and she moves down the hall for her phone call.

[Amunet Knezevic] “What the fuck, Sar? Are you okay?”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Heather Payton] She nods. “Totally fine. Just listenin’.”

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Yeah, yeah.” Some fumbling around. Amy might recognize the sounds from previous times that they’ve spoken. The enclosed area of the van just sounds different from anywhere else after you’ve slept in it for so long.

“Yeah, m’fine. Just chillin’. Like I said, woke up’n had a bad dream. But you’re good. S’all good.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “I’m fine. I promise. What was the dream about?”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Simon Zahradnik] His eyes narrow and he watches Amy disappear down the hall his fury shines through but he eventually turns his attention back to Starla.”I think that kin should do what their tribe or mate needs of them. If their actions actually shame that person in question then they should probably not be doing it should they?”He asks Starla curiously.

[Starla] Starla’s frowns; he was addressing Amunet before she answered her phone. Heather was quiet on the couch, simply listening to the conversation. The Gaian kin glances down at the suitcase sitting next to her leg, scrunching up her nose, she sucks in a deep breath, cheeks billowing out as she releases her breath.

“Guess this is the time for awkward silences.”

[Heather Payton] “Well. I’m gonna have to call it a night. Gotta work t’morrow. Have a great night!” And off she goes, to question whether or not she made the right decision. ((bed!))

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Don’n’t matter.” She says it quickly, almost short with Amy. Definitely a blunt cut-off of that line of conversation. She’s quiet for a long moment again.

“How”re you an’ Hunter? Y’still hate each other?”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Starla] Starla relaxes her arms, the left arm drops to her side, tucking her left hand behind her to rest it on the back of her hip. The right hand lifts to touch along her freckled cheeks, she squints at Simon’s remark, running her hand along the line of her jaw from left to right and back again. Her nostrils flare out, snorting softly in response.

“It sounds easy when ya phrase it like that, Simon, but then actually doing the act and then git’n caught for doing it, may go against the desire to keep doing it. Do ya jus’ stop all together or keep it up and not give a fuck. It’ll still look real bad.”

[Amunet Knezevic] She sighs heavily, then is quiet for a long moment. “I don’t hate him. I just wish he were dead.”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Simon Zahradnik] He looks back at Starla.”We all have to make decisions in life and sometimes the decisions you make will affect what others think of you. That doesn’t mean you have to make decisions one way or another just be sure that when you make a decision that there will be consequences for that you are ready to face the consequences.”

[Amy’s Cell Phone] That makes her laugh. It’s one of those sudden, wildly inappropriate laughs. It cuts off into something else. There’s something a little bit wild in it…something a touch unhinged, before it calms down.

“Sorry.” She coughs. “Had to be there.” There’s another long pause, before…

“M’sorry, Amy. That I didn’t do a better job keepin’ ya safe from…the last couple-a months. Y’deserved a better job from me than that.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Starla] She closes her eyes for a brief second, maneuvers her hand up so the first couple of fingers pinches the bridge of her nose, she listens to the things he tells her, her breath draws inward sharply, then slowly rolls out into a sigh. “Roman knows, Simon, he ain’t too happy wit’ me either, seems like for all the good I thought I done by halping out wit’ that usb flash drive, ‘cus I didn’t go to him or the Last Watch, ‘cus I thought it better to go to the Wyrmfoe instead. He said, it seems like I ain’t got no trust in ’em, me thinking I was protecting the Church by not returning there… I jus’ done nothing but stupid shit.”

She sighs now, dropping her hand from her face, letting it slap uselessly against her thigh, she tilts her head to scrutinize him, “It paints a whole different picture when ya got ya blood kin calling ya a whore for sleeping wit’ a man they don’t, and it turns dishonorable.”

[Amunet Knezevic] She’s quiet for a few seconds. “What the fuck is going on, Sar? Seriously”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “S’goin’ on is that I fucked up. And you got fucked up ’cause-a it. Over an’ over an’ over again. Just one on top-a the other, takin’ turns until…”

She cuts of suddenly, breath catching. There are a few moments before she speaks again. “That psycho fucker better be good to you. I know ‘e’ll to a better job’n I did. But if he destroys you, I’m-a kill ‘im. Jus’ hadta say that.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] Her voice is quiet and gentle then “Where are you?”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Simon Zahradnik] He looks back at Starla with his hands folding over his chest. He hadn’t even bathed yet, or cleaned himself up, and yet he didn’t feel the need to do so anytime soon either.”That’s funny that he’ll call you a whore and yet there isn’t a girl alive that boy isn’t trying to get into bed. That sounds more to me like anger than anything else. Your guardian shouldn’t be calling you a whore…”He shrugs his shoulders and looks a little bit angry.”As for how you deal with the matter… I suppose that’s up to you.”

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “M’in the van.” No shit, Sherlock. “I jus’…needed to get some me time, y’know? I like me time. I miss us time too, but me time is good.”

A sigh. “M’fine, Ame. I just…I didn’t sleep well. I had a bad dream an’ it just…don’ worry about it. Do your thing…go be you. Te amo.
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] She thinks about it for a minute. How easy it would probably be right now to talk Sar into coming and getting her, then pointing the van west and driving until there wasn’t anywhere to drive to anymore. How the first couple of days might be awkward, before it settled into their old pattern. When everything was how it was before.

“You didn’t do anything wrong, Sar.” Is what she says instead. “I’m a big girl. I made my own decisions. Why did you ask about Hunter?”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Starla] They standing at a distance from each other, Starla sags against the banister again, a weariness born into her features as wave of frustration watches over her. It builds a tension in the middle of her shoulder blades, runs down her spine to make her body go rigid. Her leg nudges against the suitcase at her side, his words make her gaze drop from him and back to it.

Her entire life was in that single suitcase, hadn’t taken her a long time to pack it up, to drag it out the door when she left the Church.

He hasn’t cleaned himself, he’s bloody from battle, wears it like it was just another addition to the mural of tattoos he already has. She clears her throat, swings her gaze back up to meet his, frowning. “I git the impression that Roman’s done wit’ me, he ain’t gone trust anything I say or do from now on. He mentioned something about me finding another protector, and I really am tired staying at the Church.”

She shrugs, “I can stand on my own two feet, I jus’ don’t know where I stand that one little private matter.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He shakes his head.”Well my car’s outside let me clean up and you can stay with me till I talk to Roman.”He says with a nod of his head. He looked as if he was looking rather angry at the moment but quietly he slipped back to pay a visit to a shower.

[Amunet Knezevic] Amy looks distressed, bottom lip having been chewed to bloody while she talks on the phone. Her eyes track Simon as he moves by, but don’t meet his now.

[Starla] Starla just nods her head, “Yeah, I’ll hang out here til ya get cleaned up…” he was looking rather angry and she couldn’t quite meet that heated gaze, just watches him leave when exits to go clean up.

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Jus’…no reason.” Even as drunk as she is, she knows how lame that sounds. “Wanned to make sure m’top was gonna fall over. Not keep spinnin’ on forever and forever.”

An Inception reference. Checking to make sure she was awake and not dreaming.
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “You should shift, burn the alcohol off. Then come and get me.”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Get you.” A moment as she processes. “Y’in trouble? Whassrong?”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “No.” She answers quickly, to avoid an incident “No. Not at all. I’m just at the Broho. I stopped in to check the board.”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Oh.” Amy can practically hear Sarita blink. They know each other that well. “Well…wha’, you wanna hang out?”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] Hang out. Run away. Whichever. “Yeah…”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Dunno if thassa good idea. Yer mate gonna be good with that?” A cough sounds. “An’…no ‘ffense, I always wanna be aroundja…but I a’mt good comp’ny right now. M’all grumpy an’ shit.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “He doesn’t own me, Sar.” It comes out sharper than she means for it to, and defensive sounding.
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Yer right…yer right.” She sounds immediately apologetic. Rolling over very quickly tonight, it seems. “M’sorry. Din’t mean that.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “It’s okay. I’m sorry. I know you didn’t mean that.” Her nose stings suddenly. She walks down the other bend of the hall, tapping softly on the door of room nine before opening it and slipping inside.

“You didn’t do anything wrong. Okay?”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “S’not the way I see it. But okay.” It’s pained, weary. Resigned.

“M’sorry. I didn’t mean to…drag you down. Y’know. Hope I didn’t ruin yer night.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “Do you ever think about what would be different, if we’d have kept going to Madison instead? All the shit that wouldn’t have probably happened? Your pack, and…”

She trails off, her breath hitching now.
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “Yeah.” She’s quiet a moment. “Think ’bout that a lot. Both good an’ bad.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “It might have all gone to shit. It might have turned out like fucking Dallas. It might have been really fucking horrible, you know?”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “It coulda been the worst shit ever, I know.” She sighs. “Here ain’t so bad, right? I mean, beyond the piles o’ fucked-up shit, there’s been some good?”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Yeah….” She sniffles, very quietly. “I should get back. I told him an hour like, three hours ago.”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “I love you. M’sorry. I din’t mean t’upset you.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “You didn’t. I upset me. I love you too. Come over, okay? Soon. Promise.”
to Amy’s Cell Phone

[Amy’s Cell Phone] “‘kay. Talk t’ya soon. Blame it on me. I give you p’mission.” A chuckle. “I’m blamable.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Amunet Knezevic] “Yeah, well. So am I.” She sniffles again, then sighs. “Bye, Sar. I love you.”

Hunter’s Bad Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pop.

He disappears.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Of course not — ”

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

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

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

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

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

[Hunter] [disappearing up!]

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

“HUNTER!”

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

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

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

So she ran, not losing sight of them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Adara Mires] (she skid to an halt…)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He shakes his head.

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

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

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

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

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

Lukas, does that make any sense to you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Christ. This is just about a fucking nightmare.

[Katherine Bellamonte] It’s disturbingly quick.

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

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

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

She straightens; smooths her clothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Hunter] Cannot trust you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turning to address the waiting wolf and humans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So yes, she stands there and watches.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He can’t be, not right now.

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

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

[Hunter] [wrap!]

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

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

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

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

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

Of Lineage, Shadow Lords and Buckets Of Cold Water

[Sofie Janssen] After an adventure back to the Brotherhood, which had her covered in snow and more than a few falls off the back of a sled, Sofie had showered, changed clothes and grabbed something to eat. That was hours ago. Now the Kinfolk was sitting on the couch, television off, taking advantage of the fact that plenty of Garou are out on a Saturday night and not lounging around like herself.

White ear buds sit in the young womans ears, strings sliding down to the mp3 player, not iPod, laying on her stomach. Blonde hair dried and falling over the arm of the couch, she’s resting the back of her neck over the arm and had her eyes closed. Sweat pants and a t.shirt is warm enough in the Brotherhood and bare toes tap to a regular beat, tucked up onto the couch with her, knees bent and looking comfortable.

“Unmade bed.
Makes me feel.
Like a failure…”

She’s singing louder than she realizes, and Hunter need not defend himself after hearing the Fenrir Kin’s voice.

[Hunter] At least there is that; at least Sofie doesn’t sound as bad as Hunter does. He of course thinks he sings perfectly lovely, which makes the Fenrir kin’s voice sound like an angel. Footsteps are heard on the stairs but they don’t come from below, they come from above and she sees his feet appear before his face.

He moves heavily, the grace of a predator but not the inhuman litheness that she had witnessed in him even in his drunken state. Something about him seems different, stronger, more resolved and it continues into his face when it appears. His eyes are perceptive, scanning the room even as he enters. It had been empty when he had gone upstairs, now there is someone sitting in it. He wears Jeans, boots, his rough and long brown jacket buttoned tightly around his body.

His hair is ruffled by the winter winds, flecks of snow can be seen in parts of it though he doesn’t brush his hand through it to remove them.

“Yo,” he announces, eyes narrowing for a second, waves his hand if he hasn’t got her attention yet and then unceremoniously dumps himself on the couch beside her. “Whatcha’ listenin’ to?”

[Sofie Janssen] Her eyes snap open when she feels the presence. It’s less about hearing anything or seeing anything, obviously, and more to do with a gut instinct. She looks around and then over to him as he’s strolling out from upstairs. Briefly she wonders what’s up there. By the looks of it just the roof.

Then she’s studying him, her singing ceased, as she tries to place what was different about him. It’s hard to pin point since she’s seen him once before only. She doesn’t move where she’s sitting, shoulder into the back of the couch and lounging back like that against the arm, looking for all the world like a girl tucked up at home in front of the television. Except for those eyes and that blood, and those features.

He can hear the music, pouring out with a lot of guitar, but she reaches up and tugs the buds gently from her ears with one hand and slides the volume lower with her other. “Veruca Salt. Earthcrosser.”

Sitting next to her has her shift to sit taller, and move her toes so that he doesn’t place his ass on them. They wiggle into the space between the cushions, forcing her knees to tuck higher and fold her more in half. “Want to listen?” she asks, offering him out the headphones.

[Hunter] He doesn’t sit on her toes luckily, that would be slightly awkward for both of them. It has nothing to do with his placement of himself though and more to do with the fact that she tucks her feet up at the last minute. He leans back into the couch, eyes closing after he asks that question with his neck curled into the top of the sectional. One eye peels open when she asks him if he wants to listen, he has never heard of the band but then again she had never heard of Bradley and Lou dog so all is fair.

The other eye opens and he nods with a tip of his chin. “Ya’ sure,” a hand reaches out, takes hold of one of the buds and he places it to his ear closest to her. He sways his head back and forth a few times, hmms, vibrating from between pursed lips and then he removes the ear bud, hands it back to her.

“Sounds aight, dunno if it’s my kinda thing tho. How’s this fine establishment been treatin’ ya’?”

[Sofie Janssen] While he listens, she sits there and merely watches him. Sofie doesn’t stare, but lets her gaze flit back and forth across his features as he absorbs the music not to his taste. There really was pretty foreigners in this city, she’s already decided, Hunter confirms this. Sofie’s beginning to firmly believe that Chicago must be an ugly place in dire need of attractive genetics and that’s why there’s a warm of handsome Garou in town, most of them men – who, no doubt, are around to spread their seeds like wildfire.

“Yeah,” she says, taking back the ear bud. “Screaming girls on guitars are an acquired taste.” Tucking the earphones up, wrapping them around her now switched off player, she seems content to be social for the time being. “You wouldn’t know how to play a guitar would you?” There’s a brief grin at that, before she goes on to answer his question.

“It’s alright. No complaints.” Yet. Her gaze roams around the room, then dart back to him. “I was expecting much worse.”

[Hunter] There are pretty men in Chicago, pretty girls. There are also troublesomely pretty girls, though Sofie doesn’t give Hunter that idea. The Fangs are the worst, socialite monsters each and everyone of them, even the nice ones. Apparently screaming girls is an acquired taste and Hunter’s lips quick into something of a grin. His hands start to unbutton his coat and he has to lift forward off the couch to shrug out of it. It’s warm in here for the Ahroun, toasty. Could make a man with as much Rage as Hunter Matthews feel drowsy.

Beneath is just a plain black t-shirt, fitted but without any apparent markings. He drapes his jacket over the arm of the chair while he’s listening to the Fenrir kin talk.

“What did ya’ expect? Like fuckin’ orgies n’loud idiot’s every night?” He grins, clearly joking. The brotherhoods loud idiot died last month.

[Sofie Janssen] A small huff is amused. She watches him take off his jacket, and while he’s leaned forward, takes the opportunity to shift the way she’s sitting so that her knees are to one side, resting into the back of the couch, and her spine is straighter so she doesn’t feel like she’s eating a kneecap. While there had been plenty of room for the Garou to sit elsewhere he had decided to sit right next to her, which doesn’t bother her as much as it might others, understanding that Garou have different boundaries to humans.

“Yeah, more or less. Some of the girls here give that impression to tell you the truth.” Shrugging a shoulder, she’s back to watching his face, his grin. Her own doesn’t come then, though, because she doesn’t think much of folks like that.

[Hunter] He raises eyebrows to that comment, lips curling with incredulous amusement despite the fact that hers do not. It has been awhile since he heard a kin-folk talking about the others around her like that.

“They ain’t so bad, I mean not all of em’. Some good ones n’here for sure. I ain’t ever seen not a single orgy in here before if it makes ya’ feel better.”

[Sofie Janssen] “Really?” The look she gives him is complete disbelief. Not at the orgy comments, but at the not so bad part. Her look is wry, and her low chuckle matches it. “Please. The first time I walked in here, you remember that girl giving you and John the eye? I know you saw her. Pretty as a doe.”

This sort of talk needs beers involved.

“But I’m glad to hear about the orgies. Even if there was, at least I have a decent headset here.” Lifting the player for emphasis then tucking it into her sweatpants pocket with a chuckle. Sofie certainly does not seem to be the type like plenty of others. She hasn’t given out a single come hither vibe to anyone. Then again, don’t Fenrir go about it differently? Probably punch someone in the mouth before kissing them.

[Quinn] It’s early yet for the owner of The Winchester to be returning to The Brotherhood, but then she went in earlier than usual. And on a slow, cold winter night like tonight, they didn’t need so many people manning the tavern.

So Quinn bundled herself up against the cold, and she made the trek north to the place that, for now anyway, is home. She’s been around for a while, has already showered away the smell of the bar and changed into clean, dry clothes. Voices in the common room, faint enough to be acknowledged but not loud enough to be understood, draw her out at last.

The two out there hear a door open, and then there she is, dark hair twisted up into a clip, dressed in a t-shirt and black cotton lounge pants. They can see the trail of birds winding its way up her right forearm. Hunter may notice that her ears are bare.

She stops in the doorway leading into the common room with a, “Whoa hey.” Then she frowns, wears an expression that openly wonders if she’s intruding, especially when she catches orgies. She quirks a brow at Hunter, an unspoken question there.

[Amunet Trujillo] She doesn’t exactly stomp, but she’s no graceful thing either. A career as a ballerina is definitely not in her future. Coming down the hall from her room, she glances around the gathering area and scowls deeply as something is muttered just under her breath.

[John] John comes up the stairs not like an ogre or another mythical beast but like a soldier, his steps controlled and purposeful, boots clomping but not crashing against the wooden stairs as he ascends. Behind him, there is little din from the kitchen. His Rage is half its normal strength, hardly the overwhelming wall of anger and nerves that it tends to be. It doesn’t cause the senses to scream and the ironclad to shy away, though humans, the majority of them, still cannot tolerate him.

This is nothing new. He cannot even understand humans, let alone begin to know how to tolerate them.

It’s cold as hell outside, cold enough to kill, and when John arrives at the top of the stairs, he looks somewhat frozen. Compared to last night, he does not look as though he wishes he were dead; his lips still have a bluish tint to them, and his skin is pale as the moon overhead. There are blisters on his hands that he popped hours ago, draining into the bathroom sink at the warehouse while he scowled, leaving flattened patches that would likely grow infected if he were human.

He didn’t bandage them. Rinsing them off with whiskey is the only thing he could have done to possibly make his own self-inflicted first aid manlier, but he hadn’t wanted to waste alcohol.

So, when John appears, he looks cold. He is cold, but he isn’t here to warm up. He’s here because he finally had the chance to look at his text messages and realize what it is that Amunet was going on about last night. Hunter, at least, is aware that his packmate has arrived before he has to turn around and find him with his eyes. The Modi doesn’t acknowledge anyone out in the common room, save for a cursory flick of his eyes and a shrugging out of his jacket. He tosses it over the arm of the sofa, revealing his uniform of boots and jeans and a tame-colored thermal shirt, and keeps walking.

Whereupon he nearly runs right into Amunet.

He doesn’t stop, and he certainly doesn’t speak. He takes her by the upper arm, the expression on his face hidden from the congregated by his direction, and urges Amunet to walk with him back down the hall. His grip is so light it’s barely worth mentioning; but he is also far stronger than he looks, now, which ought to be a frightening prospect for most people.

[Hunter] A Fenrir would most definitely be more likely to punch someone in the mouth than kiss them, a fury too perhaps, another reason why their tribes are not as different as they claim to be. This Fenrir talks about a girl and Hunter narrows eyes, trying to recall a girl who had made eyes at him. Truth be told he had been intently focused on recruitment rather than relaxation, the girl had probably escaped his notice. Maybe she had, but he has seen her since and he knows with a sudden realisation that blooms on his face of which girl Sofie is talking about.

“Ooohh.. makin’ eyes at me?” He blinks, “Really? Don’t remember that.. I seem ta’ recall she was–”

He pauses, Sofie can see the slightest motion of his nostrils taking in a breath before his head turns and his eyes fall upon the Fiann in the doorway. Whoah she says, hey. An eyebrow is raised at Hunter in question but he isn’t looking at her eyes, they have found their way to her ear and its lack of jewellery. She might notice a difference with the Gnawer too, the way his shirt bunches on his body and the strength of an arm that curls up along the back of the couch in her direction.

“Quinn.” He says in a rumble and seems lost in thought for a moment before he continues. “Was just tellin’ Sofie bout’ tha’ serious lack’a orgies here.” A smile that reaches his eyes, something warm yet amused. Just then there is another girl behind Quinn, scowling and muttering.

Hunter isn’t watching her though.

“Have ya’ met?” He flicks eyes back to Sofie then to Quinn, questioning glance. He barely even looks at John though he knows what is occurring outside his line of sight. They have a totem phone now, he doesn’t have to say anything out loud.

[Amunet Trujillo] Her mouth opens, then closes again. Scowling just slightly, she allows herself to be propelled down the hall without as much as a grunt of protest.

This is not good….

[Sofie Janssen] Giving a glance over to Quinn and Amunet who’s came in behind the tall woman, Sofie watches them a second and takes in both their expressions before giving a quick look to Hunter. Her voice drops, but it’s certainly not a whisper. “One of those your girl?” Unable to help herself, her teeth flash in a sudden and rather fierce grin.

Suppressing her chuckle.

Then John comes in, dumps his jacket and walks out to take Amunet by the arm and off down the hall. “Oooo,” she whispers softly, then does make a snicker of a laugh under her breath. “Someone’s got to tell that guy we’re supposed to have better taste.” We being the Get of Fenris, of course.

Quinn gets a nod and an actual smile from Sofie, though it doesn’t make her expression soft by any means. Gentle and soft doesn’t mix with this Kinfolks features. Her eyes aren’t the sort that can get all bedroom nor pleasant either. “Hey,” she greets.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The Strider comes from the hallway, freshly dressed. her hair is wet and somewhat tangled, having just showered and gotten her still-healing wounds from the other night cleaned up. She’s wearing a black tank top and jeans, and generally seems to be in a good mood. Even if she is walking a bit gingerly. She heads down the hallway to the common room, pausing only briefly when she sees John and Amy heading in the opposite direction. She locks eyes with her half-sister, an unspoken message passing between them before she smiles and nods to John and continues on her way.

Once she makes it through the door into the common room, she looks around at those present and grins. “Hola, chicos and chicettes. What’s shakin’ like bacon?”

[John] Now, he hadn’t made a scene last night though there are plenty of other men, let alone Garou, who would not have taken kindly to being toyed with, whether it was merely his perception or whether there was anything rooted in reality to substantiate the notion, nor being walked away from. John, however, is not a hot-headed young buck who has something to prove. He does not attempt to intimidate or dominate every other male Garou he comes across, though with his height, his breeding and his presence he would likely be capable of it without much trouble. Beyond that, he actually seems like he has a decent sense of humor, takes very little that doesn’t require seriousness seriously, and actually has respect for someone other than himself.

It’s a rarity, given what has been blowing through Chicago in recent years, but given that he can’t talk, he doesn’t do a lot of blowing up of his own ego.

So, last night, John had just laughed at what had happened because he didn’t understand it and walked out. It wasn’t until after sobriety hit him like a bucket of water that it occurred to him that wires were crossed, perhaps. Lord knows what he was thinking.

Passing by Sarita, John looks somewhat amiable considering he’s pedaling her sister down the hallway towards their room. He gives her a lift of his eyebrows and a nod, the light in his eyes seeming to say Oh hey what’s up! as though they’re in a park in the middle of June on a sunny day and not the halls of a hostel.

They continue around the bend of the hall, and a moment later, a door opens and closes.

That’s when he lets her go.

[Quinn] She laughs when Hunter says he was telling Sofie about the lack of orgies here. The sound is low, more of a huff through her nostrils than anything so defined as a hah. “Hi, Amy…” is all she gets before Guy strongly insists the other kinswoman head back down the hall with him. She steps out of the doorway, fully into the common room.

“Is that a bad thing?” she asks, and heads for one of the chairs rather than the sofa.

“Quinn,” she gives as introduction.

[Hunter] Eyes follow the movements of Quinn intently and it wouldn’t be an illusion if she saw his jaw clench and his lips press together in a flat line when she drops herself down into one of the chairs. But he doesn’t say anything and although that eyebrow of his threatens to raise questioningly, it doesn’t.

Sofie has a question, a low murmur as this is all happening, not a whisper at all but not normal tones either. She wants to know if one of those girls is his and Hunter just straight up does not answer her.

“I dunno, depends on ya’ point’a view. Orgies in here though? Ain’t no place for them sorta’ games.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay, seriously. If I’m getting left out of orgies, I’m gonna start kicking some serious ass.” She grins and moves toward the couch. “S’bad enough that my sister gets laid more than I do, but I gotta at least have the opportunity to be competitive.”

She sits carefully down on the couch and sighs. “So we’re all exciting, being shut-ins on Friday night, huh?”

[Sofie Janssen] “Well met, Quinn.” Sofie doesn’t move from where she’s sitting in the corner, back to the arm of the couch and knees pressed together, resting against the back of it. The t.shirt she wears is a simple navy blue and it’s loose enough to sleep in. Her sweatpants are a lighter shade of gray. Bare feet are tucked in with toes curled between the cushions, separating herself and Hunter.

Looking back and forth between the two, and then to the woman that enters calling them names of another language and talking about shaking bacon, Sofie decidedly stays out of any further talk about orgies and sex, especially with the more explicit talk about being laid. There are some lines she doesn’t cross, though these aren’t clear cut.

[Asha Singh] Someone is coming up the stairs. Two someones, actually. There is the sound of some – crazy foreign tongue, that sounds functionally like nothing anyone in the room has every heard before. Like a spider-scrawl of a tongue, seventeen accents and an extra umlaut per vowel that you cannot even tell from the consonants.

One of two people is stomping.
The smaller one of the two.
Actually.

[Quinn] “Nice to meet you, too, Sofie,” she replies with a polite incline of her head. Quinn draws herself up into the chair, wraps an arm around upraised knees, curls a hand around an ankle. She’s friendly, open, not exactly gregarious, but she tries not to leave people out.

“Ah hah, yeah, if any orgies break out spontaneously, Sarita, you can have at it. I’ll be the stick making a beeline for the door.”

Someone is stomping up the stairs. The Fianna kinswoman lets go of her legs, lets her knees drop down so that one presses into the arm of the chair, and she twists to get a look at the stairway. Before anyone appears, though, she looks back at the gathered, casting about a confused Do you know what that’s about? kind of look.

[Asha Singh] And soon enough: a girl emerges. Dark-skinned, slight, with coils of crisp black hair falling in elegant, shampoo-ad worthy waves around her exotic features. She’s wearing a strapless gown of bronze sequins that falls perhaps four inches above her knee, and a single gold bracelet liquid around her wrist. Her feet are bare.

She is carrying a doughnut.
It has sprinkles.

In her other hand, a plastic sandwich bag, the kind that ziplocks closed, smeared with a gelatinous red. It could be cherry pie filling oozing out of a deep-fried crust. It could be an ear.

God only knows.

Behind her a tall, well-dressed man in a tailored suit, crisp lines, black and white. A cravat, subtle diamond cufflinks through the cuffs of his monogrammed white shirt. He has a stick.

At the top of the stairs, she takes a survey of the people in the room, checking them off against some mental list. She pauses when she sees Hunter, waves, rather peppily, and turns to the tall, dignified gentleman with gray curling at his blond temples. Says, leaning as if she were whispering, for all that she is perfectly audible to all. “He’s one of the ones I need a proper introduction to!”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs a little to Quinn’s unspoken question. She seems intensely curious as to who it might be herself, and she glances to the stairwell before she looks back to the kinfolk.

“No clue, but we may wanna call an exorcist. And suggest that they put split pea soup on the menu for tomorrow.”

When Asha and her companion arrive, she looks back, examining the two. Each of the participants in the room are summarily dismissed by the newcomers, except Hunter. That brings a cock of the eyebrow, and Sarita leans back a bit to watch with a grin that can only be described as Cheshire-like. And possibly worrisome.

[Hunter] “Yo’ Sarita.” He throws it out casually with a nod of his head.

Stomping is heard, voices, or what are presumed to be voices. The only thing that marks them as such is the phonetics that vaguely resemble some unknown language and the audibility of it all. His eyes drift past Sofie, past Quinn to the stairs and he actually steps up off the couch to wander over to that exit almost protectively of the kinfolk.

He doesn’t get very far though and he stops before she even emerges. Ancestry strikes him like a blow to the head and causes his lip to curl but it relaxes a moment later into a smile for the woman when she makes her way into the room. There is someone at her side, someone Hunter has never seen before and he looks the man over.

He’s one of the ones I need a proper introduction to!

One brow lowers, the other rises and his lips quirk at the corners, he crosses his arms over his chest. This is unusual. He waits to see how it all plays out.

[Sofie Janssen] There’s little talk that follows the new arrivals into the common room, where Sofie had been listening to her player not but ten minutes ago, alone. Now coming up the stairs is someone speaking gibberish to someone else equally qualified in the language, and moments later Hunter is up to go and see what it’s all about after Quinn’s partially worried glance and Sarita’s quip.

Sofie merely glances over and watches the woman enter along with the man, both of which are dressed in a set of clothes that costs more than her whole closet stuffed in her closet. Its this she notices more than anything else, and the way the woman speaks to the man. Brows raise. Eyes stare.

And her mouth quirks at Hunters stance.

[Asha Singh] “His name’s Hunter,” Asha tells Thomas. The kinsman – whose blood is rather less fine than his rather young mistress’ own – has a certain dignity of purpose about him that makes up for what he lacks in raw breeding. He inclines his well-groomed head to listen as Asha “whispers” to him. “Burnout.” And gives her a smile of approval when she manages to refrain from informing Thomas that Hunter Burnout is very common.

Good girl!

The gruesome little package in her hand is sealed firmly, dark against the striking brilliance of her dress, which sends dancing motes of light all across the floor around her as she moves. “Yes ma’am,” Thomas says, pronounce it mum in his oh-so-posh British way. Then he smiles, magnanimous, toward Hunter.

And raps his stick, once, against the wooden floor. (Asha loves this part, so much.) As if everyone in hte room were not already staring at her. “Mr. Hunter Burnout, sir. I believe you have been casually introduced before. However, do allow me to make an informal introduction.

“I have the deep, abiding, personal pleasure of introducing you to Her Eminent Highness Arundhati Sunyana Elevarisi Asha Priyamvada Natajaran Singh.

“Daughter of Alexander Harrison, Vision of the Fall, Scion of House Wyrmfoe.

‘”Great grand-daughter of Sri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma Dharma Raja Kulasekhara Natajaran Singh, Svatantrya to the Nation, of the Sept of the Broken Sky.

“Descendent of the Maharahajadhiraja Bahadur, Great Prince of Princes, Elder Philodox of the Silver Fangs, House Blood Red Crest.”

All this for a “Cliath Ahroun, House Blood Red Crest, kalaratri to the Nation. Which means both night of death, and death of night, in your own human tongue.” Asha beams at Thomas, all approving. Apparently, that’s all she wanted.

Flashes a glance at Hunter. “Hi!” And takes a bite of her doughnut, the ear swinging casually from her hand, blood contained, but dripping against the sides of the bag. Then, she glances back at Thomas. “I’ve been thinking about moving in here.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her mouth drops open. There’s no other reaction that is remotely attainable for the Strider than a jaw-dropped, googly-eyed stare at the pomp and circumstance of the whole thing. It’s not pure shock, though…the corners of her mouth are upward turned. Her eyes are both disbelieving and glittering with mirth. Either her usual grin has been sublimated by the stunning introduction, or the whole sequence that just unfolded is so funny to her that the wires in her head have crossed and she can’t quite express it.

It takes several moments before her voice finds her again. “Holy fucking hell, I gotta stop doing drugs. Or at least the ones that cause flashbacks. Because I swear, it looks JUST like that actually, seriously happened.”

[Sofie Janssen] The Kinswoman looks like she’s swallowed a fly. Her features do this weird contorted sort of thing, where she’s really trying to stop her eyes from bugging out their sockets, while trying to keep her tongue from flapping and all the while trying not to do what she really wanted to do and bust out laughing. She is going to give herself a hernia with the effort, to be sure.

She can’t be serious. He can’t be serious. Sofie looks between them, and sure enough, they are.

Leaping off the couch, like her pants are on fire, Sofie pads barefoot around the back of the couch and takes a direct path towards and through the hallway door. The moment she’s out of sight, she’s jogging down the end of the hall, biting the heel of her hand as snorting starts to come out her nose.

[Quinn] There is no worry, no concern drawn into the kinswoman of Stag’s face, merely confusion. She doesn’t recognize the language, not even enough to say that it’s one or another. And she doesn’t recognize the young woman who steps into the common room with an escort, though she does recognize what she is.

Hunter rising is noted, drawing her attention pointedly away from the girl in the pretty dress that’s probably worth more than her bar. Blue eyes travel over the Ahroun, lingering a touch longer than necessary before shifting back over to the girl and her announcer.

An intro begins. Quinn turns in her seat to watch. Though she knows she and the other females in the common room have been dismissed with just a glance, she is patient and respectful and not at all wishing to get up and walk out of the room to read or break into a bottle of bourbon.

Her eyes, though, are starting to glaze by the end of it. These aren’t names she needs to know, and yet the kinswoman will remember them, the ones she hears anyway, the ones she pays attention to.

Asha’s looking to move in here, well fantastic. “I must’ve inadvertently shared whatever you had,” she quips to Sarita, unfolding herself from the chair and rising. “I think we’re having the same hallucination. I think I’m going to go walk it off.” And the third kinswoman of the evening makes her exit. This one reappears a few minutes later, bundled up for the winter cold despite the hour and the neighborhood and all of it. She bypasses the Fangs, heads down the stairs, and disappears into the night like a goddamn ninja.

[sorry guys, it’s 2am and I can’t handle life @_@ thanks for the play!]

[Lukas] The thing about Asha’s introductions is — even if you’re, say, in your room, kicking back in your bed, reading a book or writing a letter or something — you still have plenty of time to get up and get over before it’s finished.

So by the time Thomas is done, Lukas is leaning against the doorway that leads out to the halls and the rooms. His arms are folded across his chest. Or well. They are, until he raises one hand — very gradeschool — and asks in apparently utter seriousness:

“I’m sorry, your Eminent Highness, but I’ve forgotten my table of genealogies. Could you remind me of the full ancestry of His Royal Majesty Maharahajadhiraja Bahadur?”

[Simon Zahradnik] Have you ever stabbed your own mother in the back with a rusty knife again and again while listening to her scream I love you so much why are you doing this to me?!? all the while twisting the knife around and laughing? Well neither has Simon and yet why does he feel dirty. Like the kind of dirty that doesn’t wash off? The kind of dirty that clings to the soul and cannot be erased. Simon has always done what was necessary… He has always stood ready to put his duties and responsibilities before himself. Yet the stench of betrayal hung heavily around him. Rage coursed through him and yet it was an entirely unsettling kind of rage. A kind of bitter self hatred that he still couldn’t seem to chase away.

He could still taste the chill of frost upon his tongue. The kiss of freedom… Of boundless, limitless power wanting to be unleashed only to watch it whimper and fade as the Garou turn their backs upon the very forces that feed their inner rage. Their boundless destructive potential, the churning belly of the mother who gave them life… Her skies, her seas, her beautiful mountains.

Funny… Simon has never been a part of such an impressive victory and yet was left feeling like it was a complete failure. In the end though this was the kind of thing that hardens the heart and helps awaken the Shadow Lord to the true nature of the world right? He was learning that sometimes you had to destroy hope cause… Your elder doesn’t like it? What the fuck does that even fucking mean!?!.

“Before you can truly understand what you are fighting for you must stab it in the face Simon! That will teach you the value of… Something something…”He mutters as he swings the door open and makes his way upstairs.

He needed something to calm himself, so why in the fuck did he come here?

Eyes scanned the area. Looking about the Common area. Pool… Pool will help. Right? The darkly clad Ahroun made his way towards the tables. Who in the hell knows what he needed. He should be out smashing something evil’s face in that’s what he fuckin’ should be doing.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over when Lukas is suddenly there, and he asks Asha to go through this full ancestry. Her eyes widen to silver dollars, and she looks back. She looks back at Asha and Thomas, smiling like a little kid on Christmas day. It’s not often she looks this giddy, ’cause it’s not often she gets to be this amused.

…no. No, she’s not normal.

[Hunter] A commoner takes part in something he has never before been subjected to in all his years under Luna’s smiling face. If there are words to describe the thoughts that run through Hunter’s heads in this moment then they escape this writer like sand through a sieve. Outwardly he smiles at first when it all begins, this ageing gentleman speaks like it is an honour for Hunter Matthews to receive this special attention and effort from the undoubtedly royal Ahroun at his shoulder.

But it all begins to fall apart because let’s face it, Hunter is no member of the court, he is no Prince of Persia or even the stable boy of such a man. He is a Jackal, a Gnawer of Bones both proud and yet without the restraints of believing that pride is worth anything. His arms go slightly slack, one falls to his side before the other and he stands there lop sided with a hand tucked to his ribs and his mouth slightly open in shock.

It doesn’t end, it really never ends. He wants to scream out HELP HELP IM BEING OPPRESSED , but he really doesn’t have the energy or the cognitive ability to form words right now. She is the daughter of some Indian dude with a name consisting of more letters than the alphabet and all Hunter got out of it was that somehow this is meant to mean something, that this doesn’t happen for everyone.. surely.. she surely doesn’t do this to every person she meets. His eyebrows raise in alarm and confusion How does she get anything done??

About halfway through it he stops looking at the man and starts studying the female at his side, she preens and beams and smiles like this is exactly how things should be all the time. No Asha, this is not how things should be all the time. The look is written all over Hunter’s face and he barely gets a chance to react before all the kinfolk in the joint go running for the hills, hiding faces and bellowing out their sudden disarray at this assault on their senses.

“I..” He stumbles and then Lukas is there, goading her on. The look Hunter flashes him is not one of kindness at all, it is a look a bro might give another bro when he just set him up with a particularly disgusting blind date in order to score the hottie. Hunter growls and his lip curls but his eyes go back to Thomas.

His face says one thing to Thomas, I swear ta’ god if ya’ keep talkin’ imma’ rip ya’ god damn throat out. But somehow it is without simple anger, more frustration and amusement and a totally dominating sense of pleading. He begs, don’t do it!

[Asha Singh] Asha snorts, part-way through her bite of the doughnut. Which is sugar: with sprinkles in multicolors scattered over lavender icing. Then she chews, with a sort of prim precision, like she were listening to some childhood governess in her ear telling her that it’s not polite to slip treefrogs into the folds of your obnoxious sister’s sari before she’s meant to go meet the the eligible young men of whatever is the latest Sept to which she has been paraded for the purpose of Catching a Man’s Eye and Making New Babies for a Dying House while she sits there trying to figure out how to produce more fucking tree frogs now that all the cliath Ahrouns in the Sept slew the ones she had with their stupid little swords (which: mind, were not nearly as cool or bejeweled as her own pata.)

“-rhya” says Asha, with that bored emphasis on the word. “I only wanted an informal introduction. Why, Thomas has his stuck, but he doesn’t have his sword OR his hat.” Neither of which Lukas himself has ever seen. “Anyway, it takes like three days and nights to recite so it’s not very practical, is it? If you want, though,” conceding, at last, something to Lukas’ greater rank. “I can have Thomas write it down for you so you won’t forget. Or he can come by, uhm, if it’s three hours every evening, it will take one turn of the lunar cycle, so maybe 8 p.m. tomorrow?”

Then she wiggles the bag at Lukas.

“Has you see the other one of these? I had a matched set.”

“Maybe you left it in the car, ma’am,” Thomas suggests. Steers, giving Lukas as much of the eye as he dares. “Shall we go have a look?”

“Oh, bother,” declares Asha. “I did not. I suppose I’ll have to get another one.”

AND before you know it, our heroine and her entourage are trooping back down the stairs!

[Sofie Janssen] Down the hall, room seven has busted its door open and partially shut, and a Kinfolk has barely made it to the bed when she’s howling out laughter, with sinuses burning from the previous, snorting effort. She knows don’t laugh. Don’t laugh in front of Garou, which is why she had tailed it out of there the moment she felt it coming on. It’s that bewildered laugh that has turned into something hilarious because of the effort of being suppressed. At least she has mind to roll and bury her face into her pillow to muffle anymore and tries hard to get it under control, while practically crying.

What the fuck was that!

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She watches the whole thing with a look of amazement. This is the most surreal thing that’s probably ever happened to her, and considering that her half-sister likes to pretend she’s a Garou from time to time, plus other random misadventures, that says a lot. She blinks when they bloody ear is waved about, and she looks around the room, as if asking them if they’re seriously seeing the same thing. Then she looks back.

And then, like they were never there, except for the dumbfounded faces, Asha is headed back down the stairs. Sarita is speechless for a couple of moments until finally she nods.

“Yeah. Totally gotta stop doing the flashback drugs.”

[Lukas] “I — ”

before Lukas can tell her that no, no, it was quite all right, he doesn’t need the full introduction, and no, he hasn’t seen the other severed ear she left lying around someplace, Asha is turning and trooping out again.

“If you want to move in,” he calls after her, “I think the only room left is nine!”

Also, following her in mind if not in body: Weren’t you Her Exalted Highness before? Did you get demoted?

[Asha Singh] Stupid Anchal had a baby. Asha grumbles back in his mind. Maybe she has been demoted. It looks like a wizened monkey’s shriveled head.

Then, moments later when he can feel them wandering through the kitchens.

Hey! Do they have a blender down here!

[Hunter] After that storm of names that mean nothing to the Gnawer it is in a flash that her Highness leaves the building. She talks about swords and hats and ears and all sorts of other things before stomping off back down the stairs with her entourage.

Hunter is left with a foul taste in his mouth and a headache.

“What tha’ fucks’a Pad man asa Dasi fuckin’ Vanny Vichi anyway?” He shouts rather belated and confused like.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Hunter’s exclamation causes a spout of laughter from the Ragabash. “Wait wait…I know this.” She pauses, as if to think. “Vinny Vichi V.D.. I came, I saw, I got gonorrhea.”

[Sofie Janssen] After collecting herself and wiping tears from her eyes, Sofie flings her legs off the beds and sits up. She breathes out and double checks she’s got herself under control before she gets up and leaves the darkened room, thankful she hasn’t even seen signs of her supposed roommate.

In the bathroom she takes a moment to splash cool water on her face to help get rid of the flush on her skin, and wonders where it is John and Amunet had ran off too. At first she’s thankful she couldn’t hear anything down the hallway, until she reminds herself, with a snicker, that John’s a mute. The imagery after that is best left unsaid and even makes herself shake her head and stare at herself in the mirror.

“This weather is driving you crazy,” she tells her reflection in a low voice, cautioning.

[Lukas] Over in the doorway, Lukas’s eyebrow flicks up. He shifts his weight, straightening. Rage pushes ahead of him like a storm front as he comes across the room to drop down on the couch — his usual place facing the TV.

“Asha is one of the last scions of a dying House,” he says mildly. “Rather than hiding in her ancestors’ palaces counting kin and waiting to go mad, she’s chosen to dedicate her life and honor to a war she knows her House won’t live to win. For this, her House considers her a deserter. And because of her perceived shame, she’s sacrificed every ounce of renown she’s earned to her tribe’s totem for the last year. She’d be most of the way to a Fostern by now if she hadn’t.”

A beat of pause.

“Laugh at her ways to her face if you want. She’s not so proud that she’ll mind. But don’t mock her when her back is turned.”

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon watches Lukas, and listens to his defense of his packmate. Simon isn’t about to say anything… Lukas has the majority of the Silverfang tribe under his boot. That means the Shadow Lords run the show in this Town. But he gets so defensive when you say anything about his pet Fangs! Simon’s learned the best thing to do is keep your mouth shut. Besides Asha was pretty goddamn nice to look at and Simon… Well Simon is shallow as hell!

“Honestly the Romans were pretty damn clean by comparison to some soldiers… I mean sure they caught their share of diseases off the locals but that’s what happens when you let soldiers do whatever they want to the locals as a reward.”Simon finally says as he lifts a pool Cue and begins to examine it.

“Hey… Anyone know anything about history?”He asks as he wanders over to the table and begins collecting balls.

[Hunter] Simon is ranting in the corner by the pool table and it bashes on his senses, his eyes are for Lukas though.

“Couldn’t fuckin’ laugh even if I wanted to, she do that often?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s still grinning a little, her mood not dampened by Lukas’s shift in conversation to a much more serious tone. She dials back a bit, just as a natural reaction, and looks Lukas over. The man is of course her superior, and she respects that. But she’s not not the kowtowing, tail-between-the-legs type, especially when she doesn’t think she did anything wrong.

“Couple things, with all due respect. A, I wasn’t sayin’ anything that I wouldn’t say to her face. B, I ain’t judging her, ’cause I don’t know her. I don’t make fun of people until they know my name.” Admittedly, the fact that she may have well not existed in the room to Lukas’ packmate irked her, and a bit of that shows on her face, but it doesn’t factor into the situation.

“And C, I wasn’t mockin’ her. I was mocking Hunter for his mispronunciation of the names.”

She grins, sitting back. “But your point is noted.”

[Lukas] “No,” Lukas puts his bare feet up on the coffee table. Wry, “I think she was actually honoring you with a proper introduction, since I gave you two an improper one the other day.”

He yawns, then — a big, jawcracking ho-hum, as though his late night was finally winding to a close. With both hands he scrubs his face, then directs his glance over to Sarita. “You ever manage to track Gina down?”

[Hunter] Thoughtful, far too thoughtful for an Ahroun but he is a Gnawer after all. He is still standing there, now with his back to the stairs though both his arms have managed to fall back to a reasonably comfortable state.

“Fought tha’ fuckin’ Naugh wit’ her, she crushed it like’a champ.”

A ponderous pause, he licks over a canine then closes his mouth like he has come to a decision about the whole matter before he speaks again.

“Ta’ each their own ye’? I’mma grab somethin’ ta’ drink, any takers?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over at Simon when he asks about history. “I got a high school education in it…that’s about all, though. Why?”

Lukas then grabs her attention, and she looks over at him. She leans back, wincing just slightly, and nods. “Yeah, couple days after. I’ve been working on her…it’s slow going. Pretty understandably considering her history, she’s not too trustful of her own.” A shadow passes over her face then. Sarita is not serious too terribly often. You don’t earn the Deed Name ‘Echos of Laughter’ unless you know when to laugh at life. But something there is distinctly unpleasant as she mentions Gina’s history. And one might pity those others of her tribe that have contributed to that history if Sarita ever found them, if one pitied those who earned their spots in hell.

The shadow is gone quickly though, and she smiles again. “But it’s going well, all things considered. Long as I don’t get shot in the face by her at any point, I should be fine.”

[Sofie Janssen] “Yeah, I’m coming,” says Sofie as she appears around the corner, having come down the hall from the bathroom with impeccable timing. She’s glad to see Asha is gone and that there’s none of that lingering around, because she’s not sure how she’d handle it. At least she’s composed now. Right back to normal.

She makes a bee line for the stairs to head down.

[Simon Zahradnik] He smiles back to Sarita.”I was just wondering if anyone knew how that whole Nazi thing ended. I mean… Of course they lost blah blah but what happened with the rest of them? You know all the soldiers who were all like… “We were just following orders!” how’d that turn out for them in the end exactly?”He asks with a hint of a smile finally taking shape on his face as he lines up his first shot.

He waits, gives anyone who wants to a chance to answer.

[Lukas] A ghost of pride over Lukas’s face. “Yeah,” he says, “she’s a lot deadlier than she looks.”

A nod then – to each his own. Hunter and Sofie head down for a drink; Lukas turns his attention back to Sarita. “I don’t know exactly what went down with her,” he says, “and it’s not my business. But she’s not the same woman that came to town a year and a half ago. It’s good that she’s got someone to keep an eye out for her now, even if it’s just temporary.

“If you need a hand getting even, let me know.”

Simon’s question makes Lukas quirk an eyebrow. “Strange thing to ask,” he comments. “What’s really on your mind, Bone Grinder?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ooh, ooh. I know this.” She does, actually. She loves pissing off skinheads, and pointing out that you know more of their history than they do is a great way to do it. Especially when you’re darker-skinned.

“Three got acquitted. The rest got ten years to death. And one of them was found guilty of asking a rhetorical question. Don’t remember his penalty, though.”

She looks to Hunter. “Rain check. Totally wanna go drinking with you some day. But on a day when i can get into a bar fight and not have a couple strikes against me.”

[Hunter] She is a lot deadlier than she looks, Hunter learnt that when he was hanging from the fist of a giant and she near cut it in half with one bite. It gave him the slightest window of opportunity and that’s all it takes. He rumbles a confirmation and agreement of Lukas’ words then starts heading towards the stairs though he is looking over his shoulder at Sarita as he does so.

“Ya’ sure thing, Joey’ll come lookin’ for ya’. Night boss.” He lazily salutes the Shadow Lord without bringing his hand anywhere near his forehead and then disappears into the stairwell.

[Simon Zahradnik] He smiles at Sarita and nods his head.”You and I gotta go out to the Hangar to test your your skills one of these nights soon lady.”He says with a little smile and a nod of his head before taking his shot.

His attention then turns to Lukas.”I am just curious when a man is supposed to know if an order is something he is supposed to carry out and when he is supposed to know to stick his middle finger up and say fuck you ya know?”He asks curiously.”I mean… We don’t challenge our elders in the heat of a battle. I would kill someone for putting peoples lives on the line cause they don’t feel like listening to me. But when is an order the wrong order to follow?”He asks, maybe Lukas knew. He’d been around the block a few times.

[Lukas] For whatever reason, this line of conversation seems to strike a chord in Lukas. The interest is immediate and apparent – flickering through his eyes like a shadow. His eyebrows draw together. He sits up, putting his feet flat on the floor.

“When you feel it in your bones,” he replies. “When you know you shouldn’t follow because the cost of blind obedience is higher than the cost of honorable disobedience — not to yourself, but to everyone around you. That’s when you stop following orders. But the Litany is still the Litany. And if a wolf didn’t catch his leader’s weakness before battle began, then I say he deserves to be punished for rebelling even if his rebellion was just.”

A pause. Then he asks again, quieter, “Why? This can’t be just idle speculation. What happened?”

[Simon Zahradnik] He smiles a little and shrugs his shoulders.”The Snow has ceased falling… The ice no longer collecting on our rooftops. No longer keeping people from wasting their hard earned cash on useless goods. We’ve opened the way for commerce to continue and for parents to buy their kids junk food to get fat… Everyone can go back to their lives because the threat has passed.”He shrugs his shoulders.”And yet you don’t get to come back from that…”

“The storm is a gift… It brings destruction, and renewal. Standing in the way of that…”He trails off and looks down at the table for a second.

He shrugs his shoulders.”Would you stand before Thunder Himself and demand he stand down if it was he who decided our city must be wiped off this earth? Would you fight nature itself in the name of this scab whose very existence is an insult to our creator?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks at Simon, talking in metaphors and then generalities and then like he’s composing the Charge of the Thunder Brigade or some shit. It is plain on Sarita’s face that while she gets what Simon is saying, she is completely lost on the path of conversations…like, walked into the La Brea Tar Pits behind the Bates Motel levels of lost.

“Okay…did I forget to eavesdrop on a meeting and did the Incarna decide the city needs to be wiped out? Just checking…I need to make sure I got gas in the tank and enough Twinkies to last Amy and I a few days.”

[Lukas] Lukas’s eyebrow flicks up. He thinks for a moment, eyes flicking briefly to Sarita. Her comment makes the edge of his mouth tug upward for a moment, but then he’s serious again, looking at Simon.

“Yeah,” he says, “I would. Because Thunder and Gaia put me on this earth to protect it. To fix it. To fight in it, and for it. So if something that looked like Thunder or Gaia showed up and told me to stand aside because he was going to level this city, this city that I know has worth, whose worth I’ve seen, then I’m going to question who the fuck that actually is and what their true motives are.

“On the night of the eclipse, Simon, I met a spirit that called itself the embodiment of Gaia, and she was powerful. And good. And she gave me a gift that I didn’t think I could get, and I am thankful to her. But was she Gaia? I don’t know. I don’t … think so. Not really.

“Not too long before that, you and I stood before spirits that called themselves the archangels of the Judeochristian god. And they were powerful. And maybe not so very good. But were they truly angels? No. Probably not.

“My point is this, Simon. When you stand before the Earth-Mother and the Sky-God, I believe there will be no doubt in your heart, none, that you stand before your creator. The fact that you even have to ask this question tells me you doubt. And that tells me you already know whether or not you should listen if whatever you met told you to stand aside.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She listens to Lukas talk. Her head tilts to the right, watching him and taking in the words. She smiles a little…not her usual snarky grin, just a standard sort of amicable smile. She’s not huge with the spirits, herself. Being on the road for years, either alone or just with a kinfolk, means that you don’t get to spend a lot of time with Theurges, and Sarita didn’t have the greatest grounding in Umbral knowledge herself. But it’s always nice to hear perspective.

“And knowing is half the battle,” she says when he’s done. Somehow, it sounds more like a compliment than a joke.

[Simon Zahradnik] He glances at Sarita and shakes his head.”It’s not that complicated… Bad.”He says with a smirk. Had Thunder, or Twister come to this city to destroy it Simon would not stand in its way.

He then listens to Lukas, and once more he hears Adamidas… A different face, and yet he heard Adamidas no less. He drew in a slow and deep breath.”So then we’re all heroes then… We saved the day and we protected the innocent denizens of Chicago against the wrath of nature. Go team…”He trails off. These were not the kinds of answers he had hoped to hear.

He lowered himself to take another shot before sighing to himself and standing up tall.”I should excuse myself Rhya.”He says before offering a bow to Lukas and then Sarita and settling the pool cue on the table before him.

[Lukas] “That’s not quite what I said,” Lukas says — not quite willing to let Simon leave on that note. “What I’m saying to you is: I don’t think it was even ‘Nature’ you faced but the Wyrm by some other name. Even if the spirit itself did not realize it, to call for the blind genocide of millions of souls, every human in the city, is an act of mindless destruction. And what is the Wyrm, if not mindless destruction?

“Simon, I think it’s easy to hate humanity, seeing the havoc they can wreak, seeing how lazy and weak they have become. But if we were not part human, you would not have the drive or the ingenuity we need to win this war. An animal would gnaw its leg off to escape a trap. But a human would dismantle the trap. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking humans are worthless and evil. That’ll open you to precisely the sort of temptation you faced from … whatever it was that masqueraded as the storm.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Some people might expect Sarita to be bored by the conversation. After all, she’s known more for spouting off pop culture references and the seventy-five different variations of her grin than getting involved in deep, overreaching conversations about the nature of the War and the philosophy of evil. The truth of the matter though, as one who looks closely enough to her expression as she listens to the Shadow Lords debate, is that she finds the conversation deeply intriguing. Not only does it give her different perspectives on the deeper questions that the Nation faces, but it gives her a lot of perspective on the two children of Thunder in front of her. And that is information that Sarita finds far more valuable than any game of banter or “So how do you like the city so far” conversations.

So instead of popping in with a witty quip, she stays quiet for the moment, listening and learning. Her attention shifts to Simon, watching him closely for his words and/or reaction.

[Simon Zahradnik] “It’s not about hating humanity… It’s about shattering their misconceptions. I bound to twister because I understood why Twister destroys. I understood that Twister shattered the safety and the silence… He brings destruction. But in the wake of his destruction he leavers a shattered world torn to pieces. A world where people had given up and lost hope…”He shrugs his shoulders.

“Don’t you see? Twister takes… But in the process Twister renews hope. He takes from those who have nothing to fear and he teaches them not to give up and not to become complacent and to always push and struggle. The destruction Twister asks us to bring is not blind. It is beautiful… It reawakens the dying soul and instills hope. It refreshes and invigorates…”

“Twister isn’t about hurting people… Twister is about teaching people to live every moment to its fullest because any second it could be snatched away from you.”

“That is what I saw and that is what I felt… It wasn’t a Wyrm Creature… It was a force of the Wyld. It did not hold malice or contempt in its heart. It only wished to do what it does. What it brought was a gift, for in the wake of the Wyld’s destruction there is new life, there are tears but there is new hope. The weaver doesn’t offer hope… It doesn’t offer anything but an empty soulless meaningless existence. Nobody deserves that fate.”

“I’m not some bloody mindless vengeful asshole… Twister chose me because I understand and feel this. In the wake of destruction… New life arises. These buildings were not intended to last forever. Nothing lasts forever.”

[Lukas] Now it’s Lukas’s turn to listen, and if Simon looks between them, he’ll see a startlingly similar expression on the Shadow Lord’s face and the Strider’s. Interested. Intrigued.

Perhaps it’s ironic that of all the wolves in this city, the ones having this debate — discussion — whatever it is, are Shadow Lords. Are Ahrouns at that, often accused of being blunt instruments. Blind weapons, rising fast and dying young, brutal and mindless tools for smarter garou to direct.

Simon rebels verbally, explicitly against this. I’m not some bloody mindless vengeful asshole, he says, as though aware — painfully so — that that’s sometimes his exact reputation. There’s a look that skates across Lukas’s face then, part wryness and part empathy, gone almost too quick to catch. Nothing lasts forever, he finishes, and Lukas nods.

“I can agree with that,” he says. “All of it. I don’t … follow that creed myself, life out of destruction, but I see its worth. But why the doubt, then? You sound so sure of what you’ve just told me. Why the questions of right and wrong, when to follow and when to rebel?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] And her attention shifts back to Simon. Sarita has her own input that she could offer here, her own opinion. But it is her decision to hold back. Her contribution would probably derail things a bit, and she’s intensely curious to see how this plays out.

So she remains quiet, looking to Bone-Grinder, to see what his volley back consists of.

[John] Without warning the trio in the common room, minding their own business, in the midst of a conversation, become aware of a muffled thump as what sounds like something bigger than a breadbox is pushed–not slammed–against a door on the other side of the wall.

[Simon Zahradnik] He was a little surprised that Lukas did take the time to listen. It’s not like full Moons to do that. He ponders the question himself and shrugs his shoulders.”I followed my orders… And yet I am left feeling as if I should have gone the other way. The Weaver won and what do we get to show for it? Nothing… The weaver will hunt us and give it a reason and its minions will actively destroy us without hesitation. We are its enemy…”He shrugs.”The Wyld is not our enemy and it is weak… It is our hopes and dreams, and the fuel that makes life possible. It doesn’t hate… And next to Gaia it is one of the only pure things left in this world. It might not be our friend and it might never learn to appreciate anything we do for it. But in the end strengthening it weakens the hold of our enemies on the world…”

“People are going to die in our war one way or another… People are going to die. But without the Wyld… No one will truly get to live. With out the Wyld there is only stagnation and death.”

“The Weaver won because we took it’s side. Now we go back to our lives as if nothing happened… Whatever that thing brought to our city for good or ill it brought change. Nothing more, nothing less. We helped the weaver and the weaver destroyed it without mercy. Whatever potential was there… Is no more.”

“I followed my orders and yet… I feel responsible for destroying what could have been. I feel I intervened in a step that could have helped crush weaver and wyrm and open this city up to us and ours.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her head jerks up at that sound, and her eyes narrow. She looks to the wall…she knows what room that is. Her jaw clenches and she shakes her head, before doing a literal facepalm.

“Fucking A, bitch,” she mutters. It’s not a pleased sound. She rises and looks to the two. “Excuse me for just…uno momento, por favor.” She slowly, carefully walks back into the hallway, with a purpose.

[Lukas] The thump doesn’t even make Lukas look up. He’s lived here a long time; is used to odd noises and occurrences at all hours. He does, however, glance briefly at Sarita as she gets up — offering her a half-smile as she goes.

“We should talk sometime,” he says.

Then, leaning his elbows on his knees, he presses his palms together for a moment, thoughtful. When he looks at Simon again he says, “I think first and foremost you need to figure out what it is you’re feeling guilty about. If you’re feeling guilty because you feel you did the right thing but at a terrible cost — well, sometimes that’s how this war is. You’ll learn that again and again as you gain rank, and believe me,” there’s a raw note here, like a recent wound scraped up again, “every single lesson is a cruel one. We give so much for so little gain, but in the end, it’s worth it. It has to be.

“For what it’s worth, I think you did the right thing, because even if you let the Weaver destroy a Wyld creature, you probably saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives. The Wyldling might have had the best intentions, but you know what they say about the road to hell. It might have wanted to break the denizens of the city from the grasp of the Weaver, but that storm hurt far more than it helped. Maybe it’s because of our idealistic differences, but … I say destruction in the name of good ends where innocent lives are lost. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t have hesitated to stop the Wyldling however I could.

“That said … maybe there was another way. However I could doesn’t imply letting it die. Perhaps there was a way to stop it that didn’t involve destroying it, a way that your war-party overlooked. And if you do feel guilty because you did the right thing but paid too high a price, then you need to take that lesson and learn from it. You need to learn how to avoid that price in the future. How to do better, not do differently.”

There’s a small pause. Then — and this is ironically gentler:

“But if you feel bad right now because you feel like you did the wrong thing, and you did it simply because you followed orders … well. Then you have a tougher question in front of you. You’ll have to weigh whether or not you should have done differently. Whether you should have disobeyed orders in a battle, broken the Litany, and suffered every consequence you reaped, all in the name of your principles. You’ll have to take yourself and your own self-interests out of the equation entirely and weigh whether or not that course of action would have resulted in greater devastation to your allies and to innocents or not. And ultimately, you’ll have to ask yourself, too, if you backed down from that because you decided the cost was too high — or because of cowardice.”

Another short pause. Then — because this is difficult to say — “Simon, I hope to god there’s never a battle when I lead in such a way that compels you to act against me for the sake of doing what you believe is right — because if you rebelled mid-battle, I will not hesitate. I will cut you down.

“At the same time, we can never know whether our course of action is truly right or not. We can only follow our conscience and our deepest principles — selflessly, and faithfully. So while I hope the day never comes, if there ever comes a day when your honor truly and genuinely compel you to rebel mid-battle, I do hope you have the courage to do so. No matter what the outcome.”

On that note, Lukas gets up. “I have to go,” he says. “It’s almost dawn, and I want to see my mate before the new day begins. Will you think on what we’ve spoken about and let me know what you decide — whether you were right or wrong to destroy the Wyldling?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Footsteps sound, for those who are paying attention and has good hearing, along the wall on the other side of the common room. The footsteps are not stomping, nor are they particularly light. They continue all the way along, until they reach the approximate location where the thud came from. Coincidentally, it is the wall near the pool tables, where Simon currently is. Anyone who might be fanciful might imagine something terrible, like Michael Myers walking along instead of a very pissed-off Silent Strider.

The footsteps stop suddenly, and after a couple moments, there are three loud pounds upon the door. “No está permitido tener relaciones sexuales en la sala! Y no a todos hasta que hable con nuestros familiares, perra! No creo que no voy a entrar con un balde de agua fría!” A pause.

Then three more pounds, and the footsteps make their way back along the hallway. Sarita appears back at the common room door, smiling again. “Sorry about that.” She moves to take a seat.

[Simon Zahradnik] He listens to the words of his elder… Nodding. Call it a lesson. Lukas always seemed a little softer hearted than he which wasn’t necessarily bad for a Shadow Lord, after all he was stronger than Simon. Well… Simon wasn’t about to challenge him anyway. Simon… Believed Lukas was stronger so it didn’t matter if Lukas was softer hearted or not in the younger Full Moon’s mind what mattered was that Lukas has strength Simon did not. That meant there was always something to be gleaned from him.

He nodded his head slowly.”Always stand up for that which you believe in… Noted Rhya.”He says with a nod of his head.”Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I will think on the matter.”He adds with a nod of his head and a little smile.”I will do what I can to put the matter behind me. You take care.”He says with a nod of his head before grinning a little and turning his attention on Sarita.

“No problem… Glad to have you back.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Sarita is almost back to the common room before there’s any sort of answer, which comes in the form of a fist slamming back into the door, then it’s quiet again.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Have a good evening, Lukas.” She nods to him, giving him a little grin as she moves to take a seat on the couch. “Or….morning. Or whatever.” She’s still got that underlying pissed-offness to her, but when Sarita gets angry, the snark just comes out a bit more. She’s not so filled with Rage that people cringe at her presence. Maybe they should, but compared to the other two in the room, she’s freaking mellow.

She leans back, wincing a bit, and looks to Simon. “Sorry I missed the end of that conversation. I was enjoying it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] And then she frowns when she hears the bang. “Do me a favor, Simon? Hit the wall there for me, right about lined up with the the far corner pockets?”

[Simon Zahradnik] He smirks a little at Sarita’s request. With a roll of his eyes he walks over and hits the wall with enough force to send the noise straight through the wall. At least so it is heard.”There happy?”

[Lukas] Perhaps there’s some truth in that: Lukas has gentleness in him, rarely seen by outsiders but present.

Though, two years ago he didn’t ever show it. Not to anyone not of his pack, anyway. Not to his family, even, except maybe his sister — certainly not to the woman who became his wife. He was a harder, more vehement creature then, filled with the fearless conviction of youth.

Those harsh, cruel lessons he spoke of has tempered that. Made grey out of black and white. Given him a sort of depth and patience, too, that he didn’t have before.

He returns Simon’s faint smile, and the nod. “You too, my brother,” he says. Then, to Sarita on his way out, by way of goodbye — “Hope things work out with your friend in there.”

His footsteps thud down the stairs, not so much noisy on purpose as by simple dint of his size, his height, his breadth. A little later the kitchen door opens and shuts; a little later that, the BMW starts up in the parking lot, then departs through the predawn blue.

[thanks for the RP, guys! really enjoyed it!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No. I probably just pissed her off enough to make my bed the one with the wet spot.” She shrugs. “But if she’s smart she’ll come out soon, before I go in.”

A little smile, and she looks at the man. “So how you feeling after the other night’s festivities? Sounds like you’ve been extra busy since…”

[Simon Zahradnik] He watches Lukas leave before looking back at Sarita.”You want me to go in there and…”He glides his index finger across his neck while asking the question.

He then ponders the rest of her question.”I’m great… How about you? All healed up and shit?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Dude, that’s my sister. No offense, ’cause I like you and all…but you kill my sister and I’m gonna have to kill you. And then someone’s gonna have to kill me. And it’ll be a whole big killing…thing.”

A pause. “And John would bleed all over the room. I don’t want that.”

She shrugs in regard to his question. “Not yet. I still got a little ways to go.” She grins. “Pain is good, though. It reminds you that you’re alive. And more importantly, that you can say, ‘Yeah, but you should see the other guy.'”

[Simon Zahradnik] He chuckles.”I’m just extending the offer… Fuck don’t kill the messenger lady.”He says with a little laugh before shrugging his shoulders and leans against the pool table.”You should see the other guy… What is left is worm food.”He says with a shrug of his shoulders.

“I don’t dick around with Wyrm creatures… They wanna play in my court they will learn that I have one rule. There ain’t no rules. I am bigger, meaner, and nastier than anything they got to throw at me. I have no problem playin’ Doctor with some asshole who thinks it’s funny to chop up little kids or drag folks off into the woods to… Do whatever.”He says with a shrug of his shoulders.”When I make war it’s total and absolute… Gimme time and I will teach the minions of the Wyrm they have something to fear. There ain’t nowhere the Wyrm can run or hide… If I were them I wouldn’t worry too much about Hell cause it’s right here and it’s comin’ to get ’em.”He says with a little grin and a flare in those eyes.”No mercy, no surrender, no forgiveness… I am coming for every last motherfuckin’ one of them and when I’m done with them I will hunt down their friends, and family and their fuckin’ dogs and chickens and every piece of shit who ever thought it was funny to back their asses up.”He laughs a little.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, aren’t you just Keyser Soze.” She gives a slight chuckle. The woman doesn’t look surprised by Simon’s words, and her comment may have humorous intent, but it’s not meant to be insulting in any way. Quite the contrary.

“I can’t say that I disagree as a rule. You have to hit them where it counts, after all. Do what you can.” She pauses, and the grin widens. “You know…just think. Not long ago I was trying to convince you to kick my ass. Now we’re hanging out and chatting. That’s why I love this city. So far, there’s no end to the surprises. I’m a fan of the unexpected.”

She looks over at the wall, and checks her watch. She seems to be timing something. That time is drawing closer.

[Simon Zahradnik] He shrugs his shoulders.”I am a Full Moon… I get in a lot of fights with a lot of folks. Doesn’t mean anything most of the time. I get pretty goddamn pissed off sometimes…”He laughs softly.”It’s nothing personal.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, totally nothing personal for me either. If it was personal, I would have thrown the first punch. Or, more likely, knee.” She waggles her brows.

Another check of the watch. She pauses, looking up as she does some math, and rises. “So what else have you been up to? Besides killing and pool and awesome conversations with your tribal Elder, that is?”

[Simon Zahradnik] He grins a little and laughs.”You knee me in the balls and we might not be on such friendly terms anymore!”He says with a little grin as he looks her over.”That’s about the extent of what I do around here. I am either talking, killing, or…”He rolls his eyes a little and choses not to finish that. There’s a lady present.

“Pretty boring guy most of the time.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “If you were gonna say ‘fucking,’ don’t feel the need to hold back. I am very fluent in George Carlin-ese, believe me. The seven words are like the ten commandments to me.”

She walks over to the wall and pounds four times, loudly. “Esta es la última advertencia antes de que consiga el cubo!

[John] [Alertness+Perception: DOO DOO DOO… -1 pool (2A), +2 diff (out of sight).]
Dice Rolled:[ 3 d10 ] 2, 4, 8 (Success x 1 at target 8)

[Simon Zahradnik] He laughs a little and shrugs.”You seemed like a… Refined and sophistocated woman I didn’t wish to…”She pounds aon the wall and screams a little and Simon folds his arms over his chest as he listens.”El Cubo… That sounds pretty serious.”

[Amunet Trujillo] TXT: Back the fuck off, please? I really like him…
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her phone lights up, playing a snippet of “Pocketful of Sunshine,” and she slips it out of her pocket. Simon can actually see her shoulders bunch up on frustration. She stabs at the keys, typing a message back, and puts it away before looking back.

“El Cubocapra. It’s like the bloodsucking bat, but plastic and with a handle. And walruses often get them stolen and then are sad.” The snark is definitely kicked up now. “Anyway. Yeah, I’m one sophisticated bitch, that’s for sure.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] TXT: You shouldn’t have fucked him in our room. You realize that I’ll be smelling that all morning now? Thanks for making me sleep in the van. You get this one time. I’m not pleased.
to Amunet Trujillo

[Simon Zahradnik] He nods his head.”I see… This is like some important cultural shit or something?”He asks her with a little grin. He then looks at whatever she is typing a message into.”Careful those things break way too easy.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, don’t worry. I’ve only broken, like, seventeen since I met Amy.” She shrugs, coming over and hopping up to sit on the pool table. “Three more and T-Mobile owes me a set of steak knives.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He grins a little.”Steak knives are pretty sweet. I mean for steak or like… Whatever… I dunno.”He says with a little grin.”She pisses you off a lot? That like a sister thing? Or is she just a bitch?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Mmmm…” She runs her tongue over the edge of her teeth while she thinks. “Right now? I would say it’s because she’s just a bitch. But the truth is, it’s a sister thing. I piss her off as much as she pisses me off. I wouldn’t be pissed if I didn’t care, y’know?”

And in truth, there is a deep caring for her sister underneath Sarita’s anger. The bond with the kin is the thing Sarita has that is unbreakable, and that hasn’t been able to be taken from Sarita. They’ll fight and they’ll argue and irritate from time to time, but there’s a definite sense in the way Sarita talks about Amunet that she’d move heaven and earth for the girl.

As long as she doesn’t let guys pound her in a room where Sarita will be smelling it all day, anyway. Details.

[John] One of the occupants of the room, it seems, has some semblance of sense: the noises from Room 10 stop.

Of course, a shower turns on in the bathroom a few minutes after the last assault from Sarita’s fist against the wall, but that’s a minor detail. She isn’t disturbed again, and when she goes back to her room tonight, there won’t be a tall, apparently-attractive-to-Simon Modi anywhere near the place where she lays her head.

[Simon Zahradnik] He nods.”I see… So that’s like something from your DNA like binds you and shit? Some kinda magical DNA power or something?”He asks her with a little grin. In the back of his mind he thinks John is a pretty attractive Modi and if he were a kin and into dudes there might be somethin’ goin’ on… Unfortunately chicks still seem to have that unhealthy hold on him. Damn… If only!

He then forces a little frown back up when Sarita mentioned not being pissed if she didn’t care and Simon nods his head.”Right. I get it now.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs when she hears the shower. “I better go check and make sure I’m not getting stabbed in my sleep or anything. And possibly get some sleep. It’s been good talking to ya though. We should go kill shit again some time.”

She throws Simon a wink as she heads for the hallway, Room 10 her destination. “Hasta.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He grins and enjoys the view as Sarita walks away. A little grin showing before he turns and heads for the exit with a bitter little smirk. If Gaia didn’t want you to fuck ’em… Why’d she make ’em so goddamn curvy? Bitch is crazy.

Chainsaw Charlie and the Wolfie Boys

[-dogs of war-] [1. OK, let’s do a quick hunt! 10 min posting rounds. If/when we’re dicing, declare in 2 min. Roll in 2 or I’ll roll for you and/or skip you. If you want to post ICly during combat, keep it to when you’re not actively declaring/rolling, or else keep to the 2-minute deadlines.
2. If you happen to be multitasking, make sure you can keep up with the deadlines. Otherwise, I’ll ask you to stop your other scene.
3. No posting order, but please post ONCE for every post I make unless I say otherwise.
4. Keep track of your own health and tempers.
5. Questions in the chat. Don’t IM me. If I don’t see the question, repeat it until I do. If I don’t respond for minutes on end — I’m probably posting. You should wait, unless it’s absolutely urgent, upon which you should PM me once.
6. PM me your applicable flaws. This includes stuff like nightmares and phobias and hatreds and compulsions!
7. If there are any off-limits themes, imagery or events you do NOT want to see in a scene, PM ’em to me now.
8. I’ll start us off! ]

[-dogs of war-] Last night’s blizzard had hit with such ferocity that the lakeside is shrouded in ice and snow. Even now, with the brunt of the storm past, Grant Park is abandoned. It looks like another world altogether: the lake indistinguishable from the land, the paths buried, the buildings prehistoric dark lumps in the snow, all of it cloaked in white.

Across this surreal landscape comes the unmistakable, equally surreal sound of someone revving up a gasoline chainsaw. And someone else screaming, muffled.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Why Patrick is anywhere at any given time is like asking why people put cigarettes out on the sidewalk when there’s a rubbish bin two feet away — it just is, and he just is. Right now, the taciturn Fianna Galliard is doing a round of the park grounds with a — surprise, surprise — cigarette between his fingers.

He’d been at one stage watching the fountain, and ignoring the creepy as fuck faces that smiled at random. Everything is white, white, white — and frozen. His breath mists, sounding louder in the quiet. His boots crunch over frozen ground and in the distance — a chainsaw revs.

Someone screams.
Patrick stops, and exhales.

“… the fuck.” Such an eloquent soul.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Why Patrick is anywhere at any given time is like asking why people put cigarettes out on the sidewalk when there’s a rubbish bin two feet away — it just is, and he just is. Right now, the taciturn Fianna Galliard is doing a round of the park grounds with a — surprise, surprise — cigarette between his fingers.

He’d been at one stage watching the fountain, and ignoring the creepy as fuck faces that smiled at random. Everything is white, white, white — and frozen. His breath mists, sounding louder in the quiet. His boots crunch over frozen ground and in the distance — a chainsaw revs.

Someone screams.
Patrick stops, and exhales.

“… the fuck.” Such an eloquent soul.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] […ahem. ]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She just came from a bar in this general vicinity, and considering what may be coming, it’s probably a good thing that she didn’t drink too much. She is in a semi-pissy mood for some reason or another, and is just making her way into the park for some introspective time. She has a cigarette dangling from one corner of her mouth, having just lit it while walking along the pathways.

And then there’s the metallic rip of a chansaw buzzing in the night. And what should come after every good chainsaw rip…if you’re Leatherface, that is.

Sarita should be surprised. She’s not. She just narrows her eyes, shakes her head, and starts walking toward where sound came from with an exhalation of cigarette smoke into the air.

“Fuck February,” she says, patting her duster where Harry lies. “Stupid bullshit wanna-be month anyway.”

[Burnout] Hunter decided to take a stroll on his way home since the weather had begun to clear. John had been waiting in the car for him and now they walk through the park taking in the eerie white blankets all around them. Cigarette in his hand with his coat pulled tightly around him.

They had found Patrick, talking to him briefly(well hunter did LOL SOZ JOHN) before that chainsaw noise shook through the empty park.

the fuck Patrick says.

The fuck indeed.

“You got any fuckin’ talens on ya’ Patty? John? Fuck it.” He flicks his chin, autobots roll out.

[Simon] Simon was out for whatever stupid reason that honestly made no sense to him. Something something… You should go outside! That is what he said to himself and here he was out and about. Still the boy was smart enough to wear light colored clothing. White hoodie, even white jeans, and a heavy white scarf with a white coat over the top. The surreal wasteland worked well to cover him up in the event he actually had to hide in this all. Simon was out to keep an eye on things as always… His patrols never stopped even if the rest of his pack slept!

His car was a pain in the ass… Luckily there weren’t many out on the streets tonight and so he didn’t have to worry too much about causing an accident. Besides there was no way in hell he was walking in this shit. The main streets were opened, partly, and he was making use of them.

Luckily the muffled sound that accompanies heavy snowfall made it easy to pick out the screams of someone. His car stopped slowly and the sounds of a motor were heard. A familiar sound… The kind of sound that lit the full moon’s eyes up with a hint of glee. Someone brought a chainsaw out to play… Simon found a spot to park his car and immediately stepped out and opened the hatchback and immediately began to rummage through the tools he kept piled in the back.

[Drawn in Blood] Even if he can’t talk, the Modi doesn’t appear as though he’s made too miserable by the fact that it is zero degrees Fahrenheit outside, and the wind slices off even more warmth, and steam is rising from his body as he walks through the park. This isn’t an aberrant weather phenomenon compared to what life further north is like, but considering the freakish storm that had passed through several nights before, it’s still not exactly enjoyable.

So, he’s hunkered down into his jacket as they move through the park, unable to communicate with his hands pushed into his pockets in lieu of suitable gloves. When that scream pierces the night air he looks up, sharply, his nostrils attempting to flare even though they’re practically freezing together every time he inhales. Breathing through his mouth makes his lungs burn.

He’s used to this, but the lack of sunlight makes it near-intolerable.

John?

The Fenrir nods, tersely, and with that flick of his soon-to-be Alpha’s chin, he breaks off running down the treacherous sidewalk in the direction of the scream. It’s too fucking cold for a full-out sprint but this isn’t something to leisurely stroll toward, either.

[-dogs of war-] In the distance — over by the manicured trees, the shaded paths where people walk their dogs on nicer days — the chainsaw revs again, that distinctive coughing, cycling noise.

And then it’s not revving anymore, just roaring. The muffled screaming reaches a fevered pitch of terror. The tenor of the chainsaw changes, becomes wetter — the screaming shifts abruptly into the sort of shrieking, inhuman noise most people never hear in their lives, much less make.

[Burnout] This is not okay, the screaming sounds out again in his head and this time his body is shifting after a quick glance around him. He does it on the move, running through the snow and he stretches down into all fours long before he loses arms in favour of front legs. He lopes in crinos, then in Hispo, then finally in Lupus. Still unsure of who is around, still not willing to risk it.

His head turns to John as he runs along beside him and he let’s out a little snarl. Soak please. Is what it asks, and he holds his mouth open briefly.

They head in the direction of the manicured trees.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Sólo mi maldita suerte…” She breaks into a run, hauling ass that way. She’s not stupid, though…she doesn’t know she’s not alone in heading that way, so she pauses a moment to activate Blur of the Milky Eye (or as she likes to call it, “Predator Mode”) before she heads that way.

[Predator-Mode: Engage]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6 (Failure at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] [wanna try again at +1 diff?]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Always! And WP this time, ’cause she thinks she’s stopping psycho chainsaw men alone as of yet]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 3, 6, 10 (Failure at target 9) [WP]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Fucking February,” she mutters under her breath again, as she can’t get the concentration right and just gives up.

[Drawn in Blood] The scream hits again, this time accompanied by the sound of a chainsaw chewing up flesh, and John nearly wipes the hell out skidding to cut off the walkway and onto the snow-covered lawn. Like the Bone Gnawer, he shifts to a form better suited for covering long distances in snow, morphing through bodies until he hits his wolf skin and runs, quickly but not so quickly as his fleet-footed companion.

A bit of rummaging, and he deposits a small granite wafer stone in Burnout’s maw. It leaves him one from the scant supply of bound Earth Elementals he had commandeered for the journey south. He readies his own, and picks up the pace.

[-1G, +3 soak from talen!]

[-dogs of war-] No go for Sarita. Her body tries to blur, but the spirits slip from her reach, leaving her starkly visible. At least the moon is dark. Her moon.

[Sarita, Burnout and Simon, roll 1d10! Highest roll gets there first. Burnout’s roll counts for himself, DiB and Patrick]

[Burnout] [rollin]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 5

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [C’MON KAHSEENO!]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 7 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Simon] Simon began to whistle to himself as he pulled out a tool suited to the occasion. It was rare he got a chance or reason to make use of the thing so why not? A small gas can was also lifted and gas was poured into the engine. He primed the engine and before long it was wrapped up neatly in a little blanket and gently settled into a duffel bag.

When he is ready he closes the door and begins in the direction of the sound. Taking the time to begin activating Talens!

[-1 G BB, -1 G Soak Talen!]

[Simon] [Rolling!]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 1

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Prayers to Broken Stone never claimed to be an elegant man.

He hears those noises and there’s a guttural, unnatural snarl. He starts running and leaps over the snowy ground at one point — when he lands, there is no more man — only beast. Huffing, paws pounding heavily against the snowy ground. It flies away from his progress as if blasted by the sheer weight of his on-coming.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [FYI: Patrick gives not a single fuck and is in Hispo. :D]

[-dogs of war-] It’s the Ragabash, scout and forerunner of the Nation, that makes it to the scene first. She knows she’s near because she can hear the chainsaw coughing and snarling just over the next rise. She can smell the sharp, acid tang of fresh blood. The screaming has died down — a sort of snuffling, sobbing noise now, spiking now and then into a fresh wail.

She can hear another voice, too. It’s a boy. He sounds young, no older than fifteen or sixteen. “C’mon! Make some noise! Don’t fuckin die yet you fuckin pussy. Your sister lasted longer than you. You wanna know what I did to her? Huh? Well, first I —

— what he describes then, and in extreme, gleeful detail, chills the blood.

[Sarita, roll me a percep + alert or percep + PU, whichever is highest, diff 6.

Hunter’s crew, roll the same thing at diff 8.]

[Burnout] [percep+alert dif 8 -2 lupus]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 3, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Well, if she’s not gonna be all yautja (that’s the name the Predators have for each other. Shut up, Sarita’s not a geek, and she’ll kick your ass with her steel-toed boots if you suggest otherwise), she’s at least gonna be armed. She pulls out her .44 Colt Anaconda and she approaches the sound of flesh and bone being split like cord wood, pulling the hammer back.

She keeps low as she moves, going as fast as she can without being obvious by yelling or, you know, setting off Piccolo Petes along the way.

[[Both the same, so I say Alertness just because]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [PU+Perception, -2 diff (lupus).]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 4, 7, 7, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6) Re-rolls: 2

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Per + Alert]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 4, 7, 7, 9, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [There might be more than that one voice over the hill.]
to Burnout, Drawn in Blood, Prayers to Broken Stone, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [oh fuck the fucking diff, man.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] That’s why they make guns with more than one bullet, she thinks to herself as she approaches. She crouches lower when she gets to the hill, gun at the ready as she comes up and getting a quick look at what she’s shooting at (and how many) before she shoots.

[-dogs of war-] [sarita, roll wits + stealth to stay hidden while peeking!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[SNEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAKY]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 3, 6, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [percep counterroll – diff 8 cuz i’m SAWIN AWAY]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 3, 5, 6, 6, 7 (Failure at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] [i’m not sawin’.]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 4, 4, 5, 7 (Failure at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [nor i.]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 2, 6, 8 (Failure at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [nor me.]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 3, 6, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [there are four. one’s got the face of a snotnosed kid and the body of a steroid-pumped bodybuilder. he’s got a chainsaw. the other three are mangy, starved-looking wolves. i’ll probably put better descrips into my pre-init post, but there you go!]
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[-dogs of war-] [whup – pause a sec for me to get a post in!]

[-dogs of war-] It’s not that Sarita’s particularly loud, or clumsy, or inexpert. Quite the opposite. The Ragabash moves smooth as silk as she pops up and over the crest of the hill for a look. She’s just unlucky.

On the other side of the hill, there’s massacre. There’s a body that used to be human tied — with razor wire — to a tree trunk. The tree’s in the way, sparing Sarita from seeing what inevitable gore was wreaked on that unfortunate. Standing in front of him, bare to the waist in this weather, is a kid. At least, he has the face of a kid. Towheaded. Freckled. A little goofy, like some sophomore class clown. That face sits on the towering six-three body of a professional bodybuilder, though, bulging with steroid-driven musculature.

There’s a chainsaw in his right hand. It’s red. There’s a bowie knife in his left. It’s red. His face is red too, his chest, all of it splattered with blood; there’s red all over the ground, exploding outward from the near-dead thing tied to the tree.

And he’s chewing, as though on gum. But it’s not gum. It might be an ear.

Chainsaw Boy’s not alone in that copse of carefully tended trees. He’s attended by a trio of wolves, or what might be wolves. They’re huge, bristling. They’re also so emaciated that their ribs show through their mangy pelts, the points of their shoulders and hips jutting through their winter coat. Two of them are snarling at each other, fighting over a

severed arm

but the third is looking right at Sarita. He sees her. He gives a single, low, powerful bark. The other two drop their toy immediately, heads swinging around to face Sarita, hackles coming slowly up. Chainsaw Boy looks up, too, and his bloody mouth splits into a wide grin.

“Well, damn, baby!” he crows. “You’re the hottest thing I’ve seen this week! Mm-MM! Why don’t you come on down!”

Behind him, the first of the wolves begins to rise to its hind legs, growing as it moves.

[Okay, one more round of reactions! Inits will come at the end of your posts. Hunter et al can be at Sarita’s position by the end of this round, but Simon will need to run for another round to get there.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her eyes widen, and she utters many curses directed at several Catholic saints and gods of capricious luck as she does. Amidst there is a brief “Help me out, Jude” as she takes aim at one of them. Hopefully she can cap one and play hit and run with the rest. That’s just about the only way to play odds like this.

Well, you know, except to get help. But that would be expecting FAR too much from Sarita. She’s more concerned about saving who’s whoever might be alive than silly things like self-preservation. You know who was into self-preservation? Joe McCarthy, Osama bin Laden, Lex Luthor and Satan. Do you want to be like them? Sarita doesn’t. And that’s why she’s not a self-preservationist. Because if you worry about keeping your own life, the terrorists and Satan win.

Somehow, in some way, that made a disturbing amount of logic, but Sarita doesn’t have time to think about that. Instead she just grins and takes aim at the nearest wolf. “Oh, sweetie, trust me. You couldn’t handle me…I play too rough.”

[[Init +6]]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 4

[Burnout] Hunter skids to a halt when he starts to hear those noises, smell those scents. Wait up, he wags, hold. The human,or what is most likely human, is still alive. This means the veil, this means he either has to die which he probably will anyway, or.. Well John is here, not a problem.

The other problem is that there are more of them, perhaps many more of them and there’s some animal quality about the others. Nostrils flare, teeth crunch the soak talen that had been given to him and he pauses to think.

I have had it with this shit, let’s break some heads boys.

His body shifts again, a short way up into a bulky Hispo wolf with slavering jaws and feet that dig into snow, compacting it beneath a vastly bigger weight.

You ready?

Green eyes flick between the two then he’s rushing forward to meet Sarita and the abominations.

[-1G +2 soak! -1 WP Resist pain INIT +13]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 3

[Prayers to Broken Stone] The Galliard doesn’t speak; his teeth are bared; his gums drawn back at the scents and sights before him. A claw dances in the snow; impatient. Vengeful. He licks his chops, and when the Bone Gnawer speaks, he simply whines in anxious need to be out there. To destroy.

It’s not even a question of Gaia’s War.
It’s what is right, and what is wrong.

They are wrong.
The Fianna will decimate them.

He runs after the others, yapping in exhilaration before he morphs, swarming up into his Hispo form.

[Simon] Simon keeps coming. He fully intends to join this fight… Though he is oblivious to the fact that others are already there he gives a warm and affectionate little smile when he gets into the tree line and lowers himself to set his bag on the floor. Unzipping it… He pulls out the contents. Priming the engine once more to be certain then slowly his form shifts upwards to his war form. With the Chainsaw in hand he begins towards the Scene… The massive black furred creature pushing through the brush and snarling as it races towards the scene of the crime or… Whatever it was. Readying himself for a fight! A violent bloody fight…

Don’t bring a gun to a Chainsaw fight motherfucker… Bring a fuckin’ chainsaw!

[-1 WP Resist pain]

Runrunrun! Through the trees… Leap, dodge, jump, swosh… Gonna get there before all the fun is over…

Somewhere in the distance the sound of another Chainsaw is doubtless heard revving up. More allies perhaps? Or something far far more sinister?

[Drawn in Blood] Drawn in Blood cannot snarl. Fury fills his eyes, golden in this form, and he nearly bristles with the driving need to rush down there and bury his claws in something, but no low growl of warning leaves his throat. He does not slaver or snap his teeth. They are bared, glistening and sharp in the moonlight, and they flash like knives in the darkness as he waits for a cue from the Bone Gnawer beside him.

No one back home would believe him capable of following an urrah into battle. He had this realization the other night: he will not survive in this forsaken city if he practices exclusion based on tribe.

Burnout shifts, the Fiann whines, and the Fenrir, his blood notably pure for being as thick in the End Times as they are, just explodes into his war form, charging into battle alongside the two strangers, whetting his claws on trees and buried stones as they go.

[-1R, activate Razor Claws!
-1WP, activate Resist Pain!
+7]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 7

[Drawn in Blood] [HOWARD’S GHOST IS GONNA ROLL FOR PATRICK
+8]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 8

[-dogs of war-] War Wolf 1: White Fang +7
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 6 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] War Wolf: Balto +7
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 6 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] War Wolf: Buck +7
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 4 (Failure at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Handler +8
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] The Handler 17
Hunter 16
Patrick 16
DiB 14
Balto and White Fang 13
Buck 11
Sarita 10

Declares in reverse, please!

[Simon] [Init! +9]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 8

[-dogs of war-] [Simon has top inits when he gets here next round!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [1 Rage spent. action 1: shoot a wolf, action 2 run]]

[-dogs of war-] White Fang
1. Bite Patrick
R1. Claw!
R2. Special Maneuver: Dread Howl
R3. Tackle DiB!

Balto
1. Fur Gnarl Burnout
R1. Bite Burnout
R2. Bite again!
R3. Bite DiB while he’s down

Buck:
1. Bite Sarita
R1. Hamstring Sarita
R2. Bite Burnout!
R3. Bite DiB while he’s down!

[Drawn in Blood] [1a:
1b:
R1:
R2: all claws on White Fang, switching to Balto if he goes down.]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [1a.
1b. Biting on White Fang
R1
R2. Same again! Fianna don’t give a single fuck.]

[Burnout] [1a – spur claws Balto
1b –
1c –
r1 –
r2 – bite white fang switching to balto if he goes down]

[-dogs of war-] Handler
1a. Kill guy on tree
b. saw Burnout!
R1. saw Patrick!
R2. saw DiB!
R3. saw Sarita!

[-dogs of war-] The Gaians bear down, rushing over the hill into that shallow basin full of churned snow, sprayed blood. Almost as one, the tainted wolves grow to meet them — dim, primitive, hungry intelligence in their eyes, snarls of foul challenge spat from their maws.

Their handler isn’t angry. He’s delighted, crowing and laughing, giving that ripcord on his chainsaw a good hard tug not because the tool — the weapon — needs it, but because it’s just fun.

Without batting an eyelash he plunges the chainsaw into the chest of the gurgling, bound man. The tenor snarl of the chainsaw hits a lower, labored pitch as it grinds through meat and bone and organ, into wood. There isn’t even a scream this time. Just fountains of blood, hot, melting snow with soft sizzles. The boy gives a shriek of delight, then wades through the blood to meet the largest and strongest of the wolves on the field.

[1a. KILL!
b. saw burnout, -3 dice. Chainsaws: diff 8 – really unwieldy.]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10 (Success x 1 at target 8) Re-rolls: 1

[-dogs of war-] [chainsaw damage: str + 3]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 6, 6, 8 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Burnout] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 2, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Burnout] [1a – spur claws on balto -3 split(WP Because this is important)]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 5, 5, 5, 6 (Success x 1 at target 6) [WP]

[Burnout] [dmg ;(((( COME ON KAHSEENO]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 4, 7, 9, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [Balto soaks!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, 6, 7 (Failure at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [+2 diff to Balto!]

[Burnout] [1b -4 bite white fang!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 (Success x 4 at target 5)

[Burnout] [dmg+3]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [WF soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 5, 5, 5, 7, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Burnout] [1c -5 bitin again!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 4, 5, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 5) Re-rolls: 2

[Burnout] [dmg+3]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7, 7, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [WF soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [1a. Bite WF! Don’t laugh at my puny totemless stats. -2]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] [WF soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Damage + 2]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [1b. RAR.]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 4, 6 (Success x 1 at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] [WF soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 3, 6, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Damage + 0]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 2, 5, 5, 5, 6, 7, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [1a: claw White Fang, -2]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 6, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [+2]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [WF soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [1b: -3, DO NOT FUCK WITH ME TODAY KAHSEENO]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 3, 4, 6, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [WF soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 5, 5, 5, 8, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [+1 I WILL TAKE YOU OUT BACK AND BEAT YOUR ASS WITH THE WATER HOSE OR SOMETHING IDEK I AM FOR REAL]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] The would-be Alpha charges first, claws swiping at one of the wolves before turning on another. His lunges directs the storm: one after another, his packmates-to-be follow his attack, snapping at the ugly, misshapen beast that had first noticed Sarita.

It’s a tough kill. It takes all three of them biting in tandem, one after another, to finally bring it tottering down to the snow. Even there it growls feebly, paws struggling to move.

The Handler wails — a petulant sound of pure peevishness. “You’re not FUN!” he accuses.

[WF: x_O]

[-dogs of war-] Balto 1: Fur Gnarl on Burnout! 7d10, diff 7
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 8 (Success x 1 at target 7)

[-dogs of war-] [Claw Damage str +2. Every succ /2 = -1 soak to gnarled spot.]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [ignore that! fur gnarl fails. +2 diff!]

[-dogs of war-] Buck 1: Bite Sarita!
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 3, 5, 5, 7, 7, 9 (Success x 4 at target 5)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Autoshift to Crinos]]

[-dogs of war-] [Bite Damage str +3, +3 from suxx]
Dice Rolled:[ 14 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[GO GO GADGET SOAK]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 5, 5, 7, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Gotta change action since I don’t think she can shoot–finger guard don’t fit anymore. Claw time]]

[-dogs of war-] [+1 diff, and go!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[CLAW +1 Diff]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 3, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Sorry, Buck]]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [{DIE!!!!]]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 3, 3, 5, 6, 6, 6, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [buck soaks!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 8, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [Handler: saw patrick!]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] [whoops, the 10]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 7 (Failure at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +2]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 3, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Soak]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 2, 4, 5, 5, 5 (Failure at target 6)

[Burnout] [R1 bite Balto!]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 7 at target 5) Re-rolls: 2

[Burnout] [dmg+6]
Dice Rolled:[ 14 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 7 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [ack, soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [x_O]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [R1. RAR bite, uh, that dude that done sawed me. Yeah. -2 Guts Hanging Out.]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 10 (Failure at target 5)

[Drawn in Blood] [R1: claw… whoever’s up! Buck! Yeah!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 3, 5, 6, 6, 7, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [+2 KAHSEENO WHY DON’T YOU GO BACK TO YOUR HOME ON WHORE ISLAND]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 3, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [Buck soaks!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] The second war wolf goes down faster than the first — its throat torn out by the Bone Gnawer, its heavy body puffing powder snow up as it falls.

There’s just one left. He’s barely nicked Sarita; meant to tear her hamstring out. But she’s facing him now, scratching for his throat. His tail hangs low. He gives a single uncertain whine. Then it shifts. Strengthens. The single standing war wolf throws back his head and howls.

[R1 changed: special ability – Rallying Howl. -2 Rage. Each succ/2 restores 1HP to war wolves in earshot. Charisma + Survival roll! +1 diff for action change.]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 3, 3, 5, 7, 9 (Success x 2 at target 7)

[-dogs of war-] [WF and Balto teeter up to 6Agg!

WF – +1 diff, clawing Patrick — Burnout takes this hit!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9 (Success x 6 at target 7)

[-dogs of war-] [damage +5]
Dice Rolled:[ 15 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7, 7, 8, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Burnout] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 6, 6, 7, 7, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [Balto’s biting Burnout at +3 cumulative diff next]

[Burnout] The claws strike down his flank after the two war wolves rise from their twitching half-graves. They look broken, destroyed, utterly ravaged but still they continue. Hunter snarls low and gruff to the two wolves at his side.

The first target! TAKE HIM DOWN! LEAVE THE SPURRED ONE!

[-dogs of war-] [balto, bite!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +2]
Dice Rolled:[ 13 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Burnout] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 7, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Claw claw claw clawy claw on Buck. Fucker]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 4, 5, 5, 6, 8 (Failure at target 7)

[-dogs of war-] [I’m gonna let Simon join combat now so he doesn’t wait the entire thing out. Declare for R1/R2 (or just R1 if you wanna spend just 1 rage!) — we’ll assume the main action was running]

[Simon] [R1:Chainsaw Chainsaw Man!
R2: Chainsaw Chainsaw Man More!]

[-dogs of war-] [Roll R1, Simon!]

[Simon] [Chainsaw +Wp]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 7) [WP] Re-rolls: 2

[Simon] [Str+3+4= 15]
Dice Rolled:[ 15 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [Handler soaks!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 5, 7, 7, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Handler, R2: Saw DiB!
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 6, 7, 9 (Success x 1 at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] [dam]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10 (Failure at target 6)

[Burnout] [Hunter r2 bite buck!]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 7, 7, 9 (Success x 3 at target 5)

[Burnout] [dmg+2]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 4, 7, 7, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Regen!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 1 at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] [we’ll save that for end of round]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [R2 Bite on, uh, the handler! -2]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 5)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Damage + 2]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [ack! soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [R2: WHITE FANG]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4 (Botch x 1 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 4

[-dogs of war-]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 8 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 6 (Success x 1 at target 6)
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Drawn in Blood] [*siiiiigh*]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 4, 6, 6, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Burnout] [soak]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 4, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [WF: Dread Howl. Succ/2 in damage (soakable) — plus, if you get damaged, you’re deafened and can’t hear commands for a round.]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [FUCK YOU WHITE FANG]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Soak]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 3, 6, 6, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 8, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Burnout] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 2, 5, 6, 6, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [Balto: chomping Burnout next.]

[Simon] [Soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [Soaking the rest of the hits on Burnout!]

[-dogs of war-] [biting at +2 diff!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 4, 5, 5, 8, 8, 8, 8 (Success x 4 at target 7)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +3]
Dice Rolled:[ 14 d10 ] 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [You fucking asshole.]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 3, 3, 4, 5, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [And Buck: same!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 3, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 6 at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +5]
Dice Rolled:[ 16 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [Come at me bro.]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 6, 6, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Simon] [Chainsaw Chansaw Man!]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 3 at target 7)

[Simon] [Str+3+2]
Dice Rolled:[ 13 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 8 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [ack!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 5, 8, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [rageback!]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 7, 7, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] Handler: Frenzied! Drops chainsaw, commences stabbity.

R3. Changed to: Stabbing Simon! +1 diff
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 3, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 6 at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +5]
Dice Rolled:[ 13 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Simon] [Soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [roll stamina vs diff 8 as well!]

[Simon]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 5, 5, 6, 8, 9 (Success x 1 at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] WF: R3 – tackle DiB!
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [sorry, diff 7 – same succ though]

[-dogs of war-] [dam +4, bashing]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 6, 6, 7, 7, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [Soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Balto: bite while down! -2 diff, +2 diff from spur claws
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 4, 4, 5, 8, 10 (Success x 1 at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] [dam!]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 7 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [buck’s next action is also to bite while DiB is down]

[Drawn in Blood] [I swear to god Damon if he dies because of Bashing damage again John will haunt your fucking sock drawer.]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 6, 7, 7, 9, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [Buck: chomp!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 4, 4, 7, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 6 at target 3)

[Drawn in Blood] [ZOOM]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 9, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +5]
Dice Rolled:[ 16 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Burnout] [Hunter +13!]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 8

[Drawn in Blood] [IT IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE
+7]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 2

[Simon] [Init +9]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 9

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [Sarita +7]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 4

[Drawn in Blood] [PATTYCAKES
+8]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 2

[-dogs of war-] Shit happens. People die. Then they bounce back up! And more shit happens. And now two of the war wolves are clinging to life; the Handler’s frenzied; Buck’s still doing all right. Not great, but all right.

On the Gaian’s side, Patrick is pretty badly sawed up, but he’s healing. DiB’s kinda nibbled at. Hunter and Simon are scratched. Sarita’s still good.

The fight rages on!

[-dogs of war-] WF +7
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 3 (Failure at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Buck +7
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 8 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Balto +7
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 5 (Failure at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Handler +8
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 8 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Hunter 21
Simon 18
The Handler 16
Hunter 16
Buck 15
Balto 12
Sarita 11
Patrick 10
WF 10
DiB 9

[Drawn in Blood] John
[1a:
1b:
R1:
R2: all claws on White Fang, then Balto, then Buck. Fuck.]

[-dogs of war-] WF
1a. chomp Sarita!
b. chomp Simon!
R1. chomp DiB!
R2. chomp Burnout!

[Drawn in Blood] Patrick
[1a:
1b:
R1:
R2: same as John.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[1. Grab Buck by head, throw him AT the Handler]]

[-dogs of war-] Buck
1a. chomp burnout!
b. tackle Simon
R1 chomp DiB!
R2 chomp Sarita!

Balto
1a. chomp DiB!
b. chomp Simon!
R1. chomp burnout!
R2. chomp sarita!

[-dogs of war-] Handler
1. knife simon!
R1. knife him again!
R2. knife burnout!
R3. knife DiB!

If Buck actually gets tossed onto him, he may accidentally stab buck a few times.

[Simon] [1a: Reserved for a Chainsaw Parry!
1b: Chainsaw The Handler
1R: Chainsaw TH, Balto, Buck, WF
2R: Chainsaw ” ”
3R: Chainsaw ” “]

[Burnout] [1a – bite WF
1b – bite WF
1c- bite Buck
r1 – bite buck
r2 – bite balto]

[Burnout] [1a -3 bite WF!]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 7 at target 5) Re-rolls: 1

[Burnout] [dmg+6]
Dice Rolled:[ 14 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 7 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 7, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [rage!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 2 at target 8)

[Burnout] [1b -4 bite WF]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 3, 4, 4, 5, 7 (Failure at target 5)

[Burnout] [1c WHAT -5 bite buck!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 5) Re-rolls: 2

[Burnout] [dmg+4]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 7, 7, 7, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [buck soaks too!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Simon] [First action reserved for parry straight to second action! -3 dice for split action WP!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 4, 6, 7 (Failure at target 8) [WP]

[-dogs of war-] [handler: knife!]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 9 at target 4) Re-rolls: 3

[Simon] [Chainsaw Parry! -02.000 Dice]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 (Failure at target 8) Re-rolls: 1

[-dogs of war-] [dam +8]
Dice Rolled:[ 16 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[Simon] [Soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Simon] [Staminaz!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] Buck: 1a. chomp burnout! -2
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 4, 10 (Failure at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] b. tackle simon! -3
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 3 at target 7)

[-dogs of war-] dam +2 bashing
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 1, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Simon] [Soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 4, 4, 8, 9, 9, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Balto: 1a chomp DiB!
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 3, 5, 5, 8 (Success x 3 at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] dam +2
Dice Rolled:[ 13 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [Soakage!]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 7, 9, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] b. chomp simon while he’s down!
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 5, 7, 7, 9 (Success x 4 at target 3)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +3]
Dice Rolled:[ 14 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Simon] [Soak]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 2, 4, 7, 7, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Simon] [Stay standed]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 2 at target 9)

[-dogs of war-] [buck: don’t fall!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 6, 8, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She reaches out and grips the wolf code-named “Buck” around the head and proceeds to pivot, intending to use her momentum to fling the thing directly into the handler. As she does, she bellows something in High Tongue.

~ht~ “BOOM-LAY, BOOM-LAY BOOM”

Forgive her. Someone’s been watching The Expendables far too much. And been pissed there’s no female member of the team. What the fuck is that shit about anyway? Was Milla Jovovich, Linda Hamilton or the like too busy with their shitty Resident Evil sequels and…whatever Linda Hamilton is doing these days? What about Uma Thurman with some Bride revenge shi–ahem. Sorry. Oh yeah, attack.
[GRAPPLE!]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 5, 5, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[WP, need 2 to get to 8]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 3, 6 (Botch x 1 at target 9)

[-dogs of war-] [buck’s pretty heavy. bashing damage!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 4, 4, 6, 7, 7, 9, 9 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 4, 7 (Failure at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] Pattycakes
[1a: -4 (first split/4L).]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 (Success x 2 at target 5)

[Drawn in Blood] [+1]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 1, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [WF soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 4, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [annnd incap!]

[Drawn in Blood] [1b: -5]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 3, 5, 6, 6 (Success x 3 at target 5)

[Drawn in Blood] [+2]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 1, 4, 7, 7, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] balto soaks!
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] John
[1a: -2]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 5, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [+2]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [nooo i want to liiive!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 4, 4, 6, 6, 7, 8 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [rage!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 4, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 5 at target 8)

[Drawn in Blood] [1b: -3]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 1, 5, 7, 8 (Success x 2 at target 6) [WP]

[Drawn in Blood] [+1]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 5, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Burnout] [Hunter r1 on balto]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 5) Re-rolls: 3

[Burnout] [dmg+3]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [balto soaks]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 3, 3, 4, 4, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [er, buck. buck soaked that]

[Simon] [Chainsaw Handler!]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8 (Success x 1 at target 8)

[Simon] [Str+3]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10 (Failure at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Handler
R1 – knife Simon!
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7 (Success x 3 at target 4)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +2]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 7, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Simon] [Soak]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Buck
1. chomp DiB!
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7 (Success x 3 at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +2]
Dice Rolled:[ 13 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 7 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [WHAT IS THAT]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] Balto
R1 chomp burnout!
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 5, 6, 6, 9 (Success x 1 at target 7)

[-dogs of war-] dam
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Burnout] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 7, 7, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] here are 3 soaks for wolves, plus one for chainsaw man. i gotta get noms!

wolf soak vs patrick
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 4, 4, 6, 6, 7, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] vs DiB
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 6, 6, 7, 8 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] vs Burnout’s R2
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 4, 5, 5, 6, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] and Handler vs Simon
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 7 (Failure at target 6)

[Simon] [Chainsaw Handler!]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 10 (Failure at target 8) Re-rolls: 1

[Burnout] [R1 bite ]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 7 at target 5)

[Burnout] [that was actually R2+6 dmg]
Dice Rolled:[ 14 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] Patrick
[R1! -2!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 5)

[Drawn in Blood] [+2]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 7, 8 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON
R2
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 9 (Success x 5 at target 5)

[Drawn in Blood] [+4]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [hold on!]

[-dogs of war-] Handler R2! stabbity burnout.
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 7 at target 4)

[-dogs of war-] [dam +6]
Dice Rolled:[ 14 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 6, 6, 6, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Burnout] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 6, 6, 6, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] buck, chomp sarita!
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10 (Success x 1 at target 5)

[-dogs of war-] [dam]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 4, 9 (Failure at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [balto’s also chomping sarita]

[-dogs of war-] [balto’s still at +2 diff]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 4, 4, 4, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 2 at target 7)

[-dogs of war-] [dam]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 9, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Burnout] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 4, 4, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [dog soaks against pat’s earlier attack]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 4, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Simon] [This is the Final Fucking Chainsaw… Only cause if I don’t chainsaw I get +1 Diff anyway so why the fuck not!?!]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7, 7, 8 (Failure at target 8)

[-dogs of war-] Hunter 21 – 5Agg
Simon 18 – 2Agg
The Handler 16 – 5Agg
Buck 15 – 5Agg
Sarita 11 – 4Agg 2Bash
Patrick 10 – 4Lethal

[Drawn in Blood] Patrick
[1a:
1b:
1c: OM NOM NOM]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Fuck the fancy shit. 1: CLAW BUCK MOTHERFUCKER!]]

[-dogs of war-] Handler:
1. Stab Simon. QUITE SWIPING AT ME.
R1. Stab again!
R2. And again!

Buck
1a. Bite whoever bites me first
b. bite whoever bites me second!
R1. first guy again!
R2. second guy again!

[Simon] [Okay here’s what I’ma do Handler!

1a: I’ma Bite you to hold your ass still with my Mouth(And kill you a little)!!!
1b: Then I’ma jam the Chainsaw up through your rib cage as I hold you still and dead!!!
1R: Then I’ma throw the Chainsaw and you aside and Claw the living fuck outta anything still standing]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 4 at target 5) Re-rolls: 1

[Burnout] [1a
1b
1c
1d
1e – all bites on handler changing to buck if he goes down will spend WP in there because this shit is ridic.]

[Burnout] [1a -5 bite handler]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 3 at target 5)

[Burnout] [dmg+2]
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 3, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 3, 3, 3, 5, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] x_x

[Burnout] [1b -6 bite the buck I WANT MY FUCKIN’ CORNERS]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 7, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 6 at target 5) Re-rolls: 1

[Burnout] [dmg+5]
Dice Rolled:[ 13 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 2, 4, 4, 6, 6, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[-dogs of war-] [Final tally:

White Fang 7A
Buck 7A
Balto 7A
Handler 7A +1 overkill

Hunter 5A
DiB 7A
Patrick 4L
Sarita 4A 2B
Simon 2A]

[-dogs of war-] [I’M TOO TIRED TO WRITE A WRAP! but y’all were great. thanks for participating, and thanks for sticking it through!]

[Drawn in Blood] [THANK YOU DAMON]

[Simon] Simon will make sure everything is alive… And then he will make good use of that chainsaw to get the parts shredded and when they are properly hacked up he will see to it that the bodies are disposed of… With the help of anyone who is standing around…

When the matter is dealt with he will keep the second chainsaw. You never know when you will need two!

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita helps Simon with the body disposal and so on. She’s good-natured, despite being fuckered up, and makes lots of jokes. Until it comes do dealing with the victims, at least. She puts away the humor for that.

[Drawn in Blood] [WAKE UP MODI
PU+Wits I want to fail another roll before bed]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 (Success x 5 at target 4)

[-dogs of war-] It should be mentioned:

During cleanup, they might stumble upon more bodies in the snow. Some are decayed; others are frozen so solid they didn’t get a chance to decay. All have been terribly mutilated. They put down a real monster tonight.

[Burnout] A Gaia’s breath to John, just the one and then Hunter waits patiently for the Modi to rise so they can help with clean up. Back to bronze, he might stop on the way and pick up a street walker since his Rage is so low, or maybe a kinfolk or two.

[Drawn in Blood] [WHAT’D I TELL YOU SON]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 3, 3, 4, 6, 6, 8 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Drawn in Blood] [+2]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 6, 7, 7, 8 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Burnout] [block]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8 (Success x 3 at target 6)

A Fight With a Wurm

[Cracka’Jack] *Snow drifts lightly on the streets of Bronzeville, dusting the slums magical for a few spare hours. Darkness is falling over the ghetto, and the predators are coming out to play. Thugs loiter on corners, breath puffing as they speak in low tones, eyes slanted wary at each passing car. There are things out tonight higher in the food chain than those in gang colors.

One of them is a scrawny ghetto diva, a pink bubble popping loudly between her lips as she cases an abandoned parking lot. Once upon a time, this had been a park. Lou’s little sister had chipped her teeth on the metal monkey bars years ago. Now it was 2 stories of cement and exposed rebar. Hoop earring flicker in the dying streetlight as she shakes her head.*

[Tongue Twister] Somewhere between bronzeville and chinatown is a hidden little apartment building that once was a packhouse for the Bogeymen. Now it holds only the lone Bogeman left, by the generous donations of a certain Shadow Lord Kin, who digs skinny, shy redheads. Said redhead is currently headed home from whatever mischief she’d gotten into today – which is to say not much, as sometimes she is not very much like her Tribe, at all.

Battered boots, tattered jeans, a light jacket and all those vibrantly red curls turns the corner in the form of Rory. Her pack is on her shoulders, her hands shoved deep into her pocket, her lithe form keeping close to the shadows, as all good Bogeymen do…

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s walking down the street, having absolutely no problem with the slums in which she finds herself. The woman is used to traveling through the scuzzy parts of society, and she walks along like she owns the place. It’s a level of confidence that would be considered foolhardy on anyone but the most capable of individuals. Is she that level of capable? We may find out soon enough.

A hand-rolled cigarette is pressed between her lips as she walks along, having just pocketed some cash. The Strider needs a place to ply her trade, and there’s no shortage of pot buyers around here, she’s learned in the last three weeks. She rolls her shoulders, setlling the duster a little better on her shoulder as she moves along.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] As a matter of fact, there’s a familiar figure talking to one of those pot dealers right now. Well, familiar in breeding at any rate. Familiar if the broad shoulders and back were remembered from times glimpsed around the Brotherhood of Thieves, around the city. Patrick Llewelyn is standing, hand in one pocket, hood drawn back from his blond head and lit cigarette between the fingers of the other, talking in undertones to a young Hispanic kid.

The kid has a cigarette between his lips, and neat cornrows; running over his skull and ending at the nape of his neck. There are more tattoos on his body than many people ever see at once in their natural lifetime. A handful of bills emerge from Patrick’s pocket, and to Sarita, or anyone else who knows what to look for can glimpse the baggie that’s handed over and that the Galliard tucks into his coat.

He starts away from the kid with a brief nod.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She glances over when she sees Patrick, doing a double take. She grins a little and hops playfully off the curb, then back on as she makes her way over to him. The expression on her face is mock-hurt, the upturned lips belying any actual hurt feelings as she walks toward Patrick with arms going a little wide.

“Dude! How am I supposed to run my perfectly legitimate business when my potential customer base is out shopping at my competitors?” She smirks. “That’s just straight out harsh, chico. S’up?”

[Cracka’Jack] *There was an electricity in the air that seemed to war with the whirling frost. It was what had drawn the gnawer here, though she hardly knew it. The tingle of wrongness that set her teeth on edge. Dingy leather boots scuffed across cracked cement. Lou snorted at the fault lines underfoot. This was no doubt the reason this place had been abandoned in the middle of construction, something in the concrete hadn’t set, and rather than do it right, the company had just slapped a for-sale sign on the ruined structure and walked away.

Dark eyes skate across the street at the low murmur of voices. The gnawer’s hit by one shock of celtic breeding followed by another. A strider easing up the street as though this was her regular haunt.
A snort as Lou leans from the second story of the car lot, elbows braced on concrete as she hollers to the pure blooded garou beneath.*

Sheeyit, what we got here? Got us a fuckin’ party?

*Behind her, a sign vibrates unnoticed*

[Cracka’Jack] [will be faster now. Had to deal with baby!]

[Tongue Twister] Someone calls out at her, and she looks up, almost expecting to be hit… She blinks, once, twice for good measure, then ducks her head away, curls sliding over her face to hide her expression. She sees Patrick, and Sarita, and hesitates a moment, like she’d like to go say hello, but isn’t sure if she should.

She scuffs her foot against the walk, and stops, just watching them…

[Prayers to Broken Stone] The Cliath doesn’t seem fazed as he’s hollered at from above; then again, he clearly had some familiarity, at least in passing, with being in the neighborhood. Mostly, the Galliard found if you projected an aura of confidence you were left well enough alone. It helped, naturally, when you felt as unnatural as Patrick did, with his highly potent Rage.

Just like the shy Fianna noticing them; she was cute and curly haired; but she gave off the impression of lethality none the less.
Of wrongness.

Sarita calls him dude, and the Fianna lets out a snort of smoke; it curls from his nostrils, the corner of his lip. “I was in the neighborhood,” he defends without much in the way of caring, one way or another and his blue eyes flit upwards to the Bone Gnawer, leaning over the edge of the second story lot. “Depends,” he calls back; his voice betraying his youth, the lack of a definable origin outside of American.

“What sort you looking for?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks up when the shout comes from on high, head cocking sideways. She grins a little, looking at Lou. “I got some disco balls I can bust out of we need, and some Abba burning up my glove compartment. Come on down, we’ll party like it’s 1979.”

She looks over at the Fianna watching them, nodding a little bit, and looks back to Patrick. “You are quite possibly the best deadpan foil in existence, you know that?” The unsmiling man’s refusal to give into her sense of humor only seems to spur her on more. It’s like reverse psychology, only probably not intended. “I like that. We should be our own two-man comedy team. How well do you know ‘Who’s on First’?”

[Cracka’Jack] *In the world of garou, there was seldom room for coincidence. Four of Gaia’s warriors gather in the shadow of the carlot, the pulse of their righteous anger enough to herd away even the most street hardened gangbanger. That sense of the strange is growing. Helped along by a tickle along the spine. A tenseness without reason.

Lou smirks down to the Fianna as smoke coils from his mouth, her chin jerking in his direction as she bawls to he and the strider.*

Baby that chronic you fuckers doin up? Shit boy, don’t you know sharin is carin? We don’ need no disco, just do a bitch a solid! None for homegirl there though, she spooky as is.

*The gnawer is nattering from her higher perch, a bubble popping obnoxiosly. The advantage of perspective however, is to those on the ground. The edge of something coasting past the roof’s lip, like a shark scenting blood.*

[Per alert! excluding lou, as she’s mine! :P]

[Tongue Twister] Something feels off – and she tips her head slightly, her brow furrowing as she searches for the source…

(percept+alert! I SEE U)
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 5, 6, 6, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Strider Senses, ACTIVATE!]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 7, 7 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [Whats segmented and grey and probably bigger than lou? Whatever the hell that was!]
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Per + Alert!]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 6, 8, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [roll inits if you’re leaping into action. *laughs* Lou’ll be a step behind to keep things fair.]

[Tongue Twister] She swallows, hard, and then is moving, heading toward the (wormwhyWORMSwhywhy) grayish segments yelling as she does “Patrick?!”

Because surely he sees it too.
She doesn’t hesitate. Things like that aren’t natural. Of course, neither is she…

(Yeah, boy! GONNA SERVE YA UP FRIED! er, inits. How close is it, by the way? +8)1
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 10

[Cracka’Jack] [for expediency’s sake, lets say you can get to it this turn.]

[Tongue Twister] (my favorite answer! 🙂 )

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She doesn’t get a good look at it, but whatever it is, it’s big and not good. “HEADS UP!” she shouts, pulling out…is that a gun? The Garou is using a gun? Oookay…

[[Beat-Down Order Selection Roll FTW! +6]]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 5

[Prayers to Broken Stone] “Hey, man, I–”

There’s a loaded pause; the Fianna’s blue eyes narrow and then widen. He tosses his smoke aside with a sharp intake of breath, and then he’s tugging at the Strider’s sleeve and starting to jog: “Fuck my life.” As Rory falls in as well, the Fianna is already beginning to change; his eyes glowing, his voice dropping into something more like a snarl than speak.

“I see it.” He doesn’t even hesitate; the Cliath. He just yells: “Sarita, see if you can distract it with the gun,” well, she’s already on it. “Rory, you see if you can flank this… whatever the fuck it is. I’ll take point.”

Why? Because it was Patrick, that’s why.

[-1 Instashift to Hispo!
+8 (boo, no totem any more)]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 1

[Cracka’Jack] [Lou -2 penalty due to surprise +5]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 1

[Cracka’Jack] **Declare slowest to fastest. Roll Fastest to slowest. Order as follows!

Twister(18)
Sarita (15)
wurm (11)
Pat (9)
Lou (6)

—-

Lou might be oblivious to the creature overhead, but she is ~not~ deaf. Everyone starts flipping shit and running towards her, and the ghetto diva does what she figures sensible. She runs out of view and pops fur, boiling to crinos near the stairs to the roof, snarling something that might have been FUCK! but is now more of a high pitched snarl.**

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Patrick is gonna:

1a. Bite the Wurmy
1b. Repeat and Rinse
R1.
R2. — both bites!]

[Cracka’Jack] *Rippling grey skin marks the Worm’s movement towards the stairwell, girth scraping slowly across chipped cement. All the sudden movements and yelling having made it through to even its limited senses, and its tactics are now simple. Snag whatever jumps out of the concrete burrow. Eat it.*

[1a. Grab! 1b. Bite!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] To call it a “gun” would not be the most accurate thing in the world. Instead, it’s more like a hand cannon. Ever seen Dirty Harry? Yeah, that’s it. She takes aim at the thing, a little smirk curling the corner of her lips as she intends to shoot the fuck out of it.

[[Shootie shootie, Single shot]]

[Tongue Twister] (grossgrossgross

-1R to insta Hispo shift, split first action, 1 rage action

1a: flank
1b: bite
1c: bite
1R: OMNOMNOMNOM)

(1a flank, rolling 1b bite:
split 2: Dex + Brawl + Hispo = 3+4+2= 9 -4 for split = 5 diff 5-1 for flank – reroll 10s)
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 3, 6, 6, 7 (Success x 2 at target 4)

[Tongue Twister] Str + Hispo + Bite + (suxx-1) = 4+3+2 = 9 + (1)
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 1, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Tongue Twister] split 3: Dex + Brawl + Hispo = 3+4+2= 9 -5 for split = 4 diff 5-1 – reroll 10s
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 8 (Success x 2 at target 4)

[Tongue Twister] Str + Hispo + Bite + (suxx-1) = 4+3+2 = 9 + (1) DIE.
Dice Rolled:[ 10 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 4, 5, 5, 6, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Dex+FA]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 2, 8, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7, 7, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[That was damage]]

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm soak]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 2, 4, 4, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [1a- wurm – snag Rory! Grapple!!! dex/ath dif 7]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Tongue Twister] ERK! AVOID! dex+ath per st request…
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [Wurm – oof! NO! grab again!! Dinner!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 4, 5, 5, 6, 9 (Failure at target 7)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [1a. Bite! [Dex + Brawl + Hispo, -2 Split]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 (Success x 1 at target 5)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Damage + 0]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 9, 9 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm soak]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [1b. Repeat! [-3] Split]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 2, 2, 2, 7 (Success x 1 at target 5)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [What is with this lack of damage, Kahseeno?]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 3, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm soaaak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Tongue Twister] RAAAAAAGE! DIE YOU SOAKING BASTARD!

Dex + Brawl + Hispo = 3+4+2= 9 diff 5-1 (flank) – reroll 10s
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 8 at target 4) [WP] Re-rolls: 1

[Tongue Twister] DONT YOU DARE SOAK THIS BITCH!
Str + Hispo + Bite + (suxx-1) = 4+3+2 = 9 + 7
Dice Rolled:[ 16 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 9 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm soak. dur dur dur.]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [RAGE AGAINST THE WURM, take 1.]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6 (Success x 4 at target 5)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Damage + 3]
Dice Rolled:[ 11 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm soak. I AM SPARTICUS!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 3, 5, 7, 7, 8, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [AGAIN!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 3, 3, 4, 6, 8, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 5)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Damage + 4]
Dice Rolled:[ 12 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [I SOAK IT! I AM WURM?]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 3, 4, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 6 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] *There was no way this situation wasn’t going to be a huge veil clusterfuck if it wasn’t kept contained. The deserted street is all that saves them as Patrick boils into his powerful dire wolf form, surging into the shoddy concrete structure and streaking up the stairs behind the lightning quick form of his Metis Tribesmate. Lou’s skinny frame is bulking up as the Fianna dashes past her, all teeth as she tears into the rubbery outer skin of the wurm’s.. well.. she’d suppose it was its flank? IT all seemed the same really.
Sarita’s gun goes off with a blast that would have the cops out in force were it anywhere else in chicago, though the bullet seems to sink harmlessly into segmented blubber.

Enraged, clear foul smelling plasma spurting from bitten fles to steam in the frosty air, the wurm lashes at Rory, its tentacles clinging and slapping to no avail against thick fur, finding no purchase as a lampry mouth sucks at air.

Patrick bounds up the steps, and lights upon the wurm, teeth snapping and splitting segments apart with no small amount of effort, he and Rory coming at the abomination from either side, Lou belatedly bounding up the stairs behind them.*

[Declare slowest to fastest. Roll Fastest to slowest. Order as follows!

Twister(18)
Sarita (15)
wurm (11)
Pat (9)
Lou (6)

*Lou dives into the fray, clawing at seeking tentacles, attempting to distract the maw.*
[1a – claw tentacles. 1b. Claw tentacles. Rage1- claw tentacles! Rage 2-Claw tentacles!]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [1a
1b — same as before!
R1.
R2. — yep, same deal.]

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm – ORLY?! 1a- Grab at Pat! 1b Grab at lou! R1-eat Pat! R2. eat Lou! r3. Eat who ever didn’t get ate!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] It takes everything that the Latina can muster not to rush forward and join in with her fellow Garou in hand-ripping it to shit. Christ knows that it’s gonna be a pain to shoot around them. But she contents herself with the knowledge that she would probably ruin a perfectly set of new boots if she did. So instead, she takes aim, letting her Rage speed to get an extra shot off. [[1. Shoot. R1. Shoot]]

[Tongue Twister] Split first action, 2 rage RARSHAMSH DIESTUPIDWURM!

1a:BITE
1b: BITE
1R:NOMNOMNOMDIE
2R:YOUDIENOW

NOMNOMNOM!

split 1: Dex + Brawl + Hispo = 3+4+2 = 9 -2 for split = 7 diff 5-1(flank) – reroll 10s
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 3, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 7 at target 4) Re-rolls: 1

[Tongue Twister] YUMMYWURMCAN’TSOAKTHIS!

Str + Hispo + Bite + (suxx-1) = 4+3+2 = 9 + 6
Dice Rolled:[ 15 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 7, 7, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [I can totally soak that.]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 3, 4, 6, 6, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Tongue Twister] NOMNOMNOM! YER MAKIN ME MAD!

split 2: Dex + Brawl + Hispo = 3+4+2 = 9 -3 for split = 6 diff 5-1(flank) – reroll 10s
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 4, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 7 at target 4) [WP]

[Tongue Twister] SUCK IT, BITCHES!
Str + Hispo + Bite + (suxx-1) = 4+3+2 = 9 + 6
Dice Rolled:[ 15 d10 ] 2, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 9 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [I’m completely soaking that too. eat it carrot-top.]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 2, 4, 4, 7, 7, 7, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[BANG BANG]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 1, 1, 7, 7 (Failure at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[FUCK OFF KAHSEENO]]

[Cracka’Jack] [Wurm! 1a Grapple PAT! (wp, I’ma eat SOMEONE)]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 3, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 5 at target 7) [WP]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Gerrof me. Dex+Ath to avoid!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9 (Failure at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [Muahahah! I’ma also grab Lou! go go gadget tentacles!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 6, 6, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [or FAIL, as the diff should have been 7. >.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Re-declaring!
1a. Break free! +1 Diff for Grappled
1b. Again!]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [1a. Break Free! Strength roll!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 10 (Failure at target 7)

[Cracka’Jack] [KEEP the MEAT!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 8 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [1b. This is so gross. -3, oops. Forgot that on 1a. DURR.]
Dice Rolled:[ 3 d10 ] 4, 4, 9 (Success x 1 at target 7)

[Cracka’Jack] [NO! stay! I will love you and pet you, and call you george]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 4, 6, 6, 6, 7 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [Lou – claw tentacles! ugh! + 1 dif called shot -2split]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 8 (Failure at target 7)

[Cracka’Jack] Lou 1b SERIOUSLY NOW.]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 2, 4, 6, 9 (Success x 1 at target 7)

[Cracka’Jack] [thats more like it. DAMAGE!]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [wurm – i soak!]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 4, 6, 6, 9, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Tongue Twister] NOOO! YOU CAN’T HAVE PATRICK! DIE YOU MOTHERFUCKINWURM!

Dex + Brawl + Hispo = 3+4+2= 9 diff 5-1(flank) – reroll 10s
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 6 at target 4) Re-rolls: 1

[Tongue Twister] DIE RIGHT NOW! NO SOAK FOR YOU!

Str + Hispo + Bite + (suxx-1) = 4+3+2 = 9 + 5
Dice Rolled:[ 14 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 5 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [I soak?]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 7, 7, 7, 8, 10, 10, 10 (Success x 7 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[FUCKING FUCK OFF YOU FUCKING WURM FUCK! BOOOM!]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6) [WP]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Go Go Gadget-Damage Pool!]]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 3, 3, 3, 5, 6, 6, 8, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [I eat guns for breakfast?]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 (Failure at target 6)

[Cracka’Jack] [WURM… is dead!?!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[In Soviet Russia Guns Eat You!]]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [WOOHOO!]

[Tongue Twister] (WHOOOHOOO!)

[Cracka’Jack] **The roof of the shoddily constructed carport is not up to supporting this much weight, it cracks and groans under the claws of the collected garou, Sarita can see pressure fissures appearing along the columns beneath. Above, rory is a tornado of toothy destruction, biting until her teeth sink into something more solid, a writhing rope of bone.
Sarita’s gun fires wide of the mark in all her careful aiming not to hit the other fighting gaians. Tentacles slither around the back of furred hocks, tightening and dragging Patrick off his feet, worm creature suddenly seeming more like a terrible squid monster from a horror flick, albeit one intent on consuming itself a Fianna galliard. Lou manages to avoid being entangled, but only one lonely tentacle is shorn from around Patrick’s body as the worm writhes and slithers across the crumbling rooftop. Quick as thought, Rory is on its hind quarters, stripping, peeling off thick insensitive hid from the beast in great mouthfuls – and still it seems the thing is unaffected. PAtrick can feel an unwholesome circle of suckers and chitinous teeth working through the fur of his hind-quarters, feel them scrape with stinging acidity against now bare skin – and then a single shot rings out, and he’s dropped hard to the floor, a worm-creature half crushing him, oozing sicklly yellow fluid as it tremors in its death throes.*

[Cracka’Jack] *Lou is quick to shift forms, perhaps only so she can better bawl.*

Well Sheeyit. Ain’t that a bitch. You okay dawg?

*A black ooze slicked hand offered down to the crumpled galliard beside her. A boot toeing a tentacle as she does so, ensuring ts a fatality.*

[Tongue Twister] She is poised to tear another chunk out of the thing, only to skid to a stop and fall against the worm as it crashes down in death. Ears flick forward, head cocks to the side, and she makes a confused sound deep in her throat… even as she noses it to make sure it’s dead…

When she has assured herself it is… she scrambles up and over it to see if Patrick is ok, panic clear in her eyes… the last of Caldera’s own that she befriended died. Everyone leaves, everyone dies. She’d prefer it not happen again… let alone so soon. So she scrambles, sliding in the ooze to get up and over and find the man who’d promised to teach her guitar..

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins as the thing drops from her bullet, and she can’t help it…she brings the barrel toward her lips and blows for effect. You gotta have style, after all. Of course, she’s doing it AS she runs toward Patrick to check on him. “Yo, chico and chicas!” She yells to the group, putting her gun away. “Y’all wanna get your culos off that carport. Trust me.”

[Prayers to Broken Stone] The tawny Hispo beast on the ground beneath the creature gives a half-disgusted snarl as it collapses upon it; sensitive nostrils flaring at the stench of the liquid oozing sluggishly from its hide. With the Bone Gnawer’s aid, he is pulled free of it and rises to his feet; shaking off a massive fur coat with a bristling.

When Patrick changes forms; he becomes a tall, blond haired man with black ooze coating patches of his clothing where the creature had grappled him in another form. He looks around for Sarita, and Rory; and finding both holds up a thumb in a clear signal of s’all good.

Rory clambers toward him, and the Galliard flashes her what passes for a grin. “Nice teeth work, killer.” Sarita gets another. “Look at the aim on you, thanks.” Then, sniffing, coated in sticky crap, the Fianna starts patting down a pocket in search of his cigarettes.

“Christ, I think it ate my smokes.”

[Tongue Twister] He’s fine. He even almost grins at her, and if the Hispo form could blush at that coupled with the compliment, then it is almost certain that she is. She ducks her head, and settles back into herself, sliding into Monkey skin with a little shake that turns to a shiver, her pack settling on her back again, her slender form crouched by the wurm.

She blinks at Sarita, and tries to figure out what a culos is.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smirks a little and shakes her head, chuckling. “I’m just upset I didn’t have time to say ‘Are ya feelin’ lucky, punk?’ Also, this is why you get to be happy I got smokes on me.” She reaches into her duster and pulls out a pack, holding it out to him.” She plays it off well, but Y’sure you’re okay?”

[Cracka’Jack] Think it pissed all over you, hommes.

*The ghetto diva is teasing a strange sucker out of her hair, flinging it to the ground as the building groans underfoot. A wide eyed look to Sarita and the Fianna, before the Gnawer is jogging down the stairwell, hollering*

Shit, bookit!

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, like I said…abandon ship.” She gives a wide grin and moves to follow Lou. “The slimy suckery thing can be the captain that goes down with it.”

[Tongue Twister] The building groans, and Rory snaps her head up, and looks around at the carport, and the thing on top of it, and her brows furrow slightly, as she glances to Patrick. “..burn?”

A legitimate question – if he thinks it can burn away all the evidence, she’ll see to starting the fire to do so, before the building collapses…

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Sorry guys, phonecall! 🙂 Patrick will abandon ship too and suggest burning seems the best option!]

[Tongue Twister] He nods, and turns to run. Rory gives them a head start, and then settles her nerves with a breath… and

[Create Element – GN diff 6)]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 2, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6) [WP]

[Tongue Twister] …sets the wurm on fire – stands, and runs to catch up with the others.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Gaah. Stupid chat not updating. :P]]

Once she gets off the thing, she turns around from a safe distance to look the ruined carport over, and then looks back to Lou and Rory. “Soooooo, hi.” She extends a hand to them in succession. “I’m Sarita. I shoot things, but you already know that.”

[Cracka’Jack] Aw see? Don’ be trippin, gurl Got this.

*Croons Lou to Sarita and Pat, as Rory makes with well timed arson. Narrow shoulders jog as though she wasn’t the one who’d yelped and ran the hell away, as though she’d been cool and calm and – *

That some nasty assed wyrm shit up in there. Knew I smelt some bad ass bizniz.

*Lou snorts fishing around in her pockets for a peice of gum. *

You bussa cap in that thing like a gansta, Sari-baby. I’m Lou. Cracka’Jack, full moon howling original BeeGee. So who you fine fianna fuckers? You done tore that shit UP.

[Cracka’Jack] *Sar’s hand is slapped in a ghetto handshake, before Lou pops gum back in her face and chews thoughtfully, going hipshod.*

[Tongue Twister] Rory is shy. It’s odd – as even with the rage spent, she burns with the fire of the full moon, her cheeks warm still with the simple delight in Patrick’s compliment for her. It’s not hard to imagine she doesn’t get such kind words often.

Lou introduces herself, as does Sarita. Rory looks down at the offered hand, then back up again, before she slips her fingers – pale and delicate looking – into Sarita’s briefly. She never quite meets their eyes, never quite that daring, or strong. She offers her name, softly. “Rory.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins at Lou, thoroughly amused by the woman. “You, I like.” When Rory takes Sarita’s hand, the Hispanic Strider smiles, her expression softening some, and nods her head. She tones back her usual larger than life attitude for a moment.

“Nice to meet you, Rory.” She doesn’t grip the Fianna’s hand too tightly, just a light squeeze before she lets go. “Nice going up there.”

[Tongue Twister] Rory’s grip is stronger than one expects – one of the many surprises in the soft-spoken Fianna. She flushes with pleasure at the compliment, ducking her head to hide behind her hair as she tucks her hands into the pockets of her jeans.

Not one for many words on the best of days, she sums it all up with “you too.”

Because some things are easier said than others.

[Cracka’Jack] Tyeah. Shit, you HAD that fuckin crawler done the fuck in, till the Strider here gots all Doc Holiday on a mother fucker. BAm. one shot one kill. What?! Fuckin bullshit.
What that piece you got on you anyway? Let a bitch see that shit….

*And no. She doesn’t seem to ever shut up. Quite a contrast to Rory as Lou shakes out dragon lady fingernails and begins to clean them, grinning madly as she gestures the group into an alley with a shake of her head.*

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Rory gets a little smile, before Lou starts in again. The Strider grins and reaches into her duster as she starts for the alley, pulling out the .44 Colt to show the Gnawer. She doesn’t hand it over, though. There’s no wariness toward Lou…it’s a thing for her. “Lou, meet Harry. Harry, meet Lou. He’s my oldest and best friend. More reliable than a boyfriend and he only shoots off when I tell him to, which is another way he’s better than a guy.”

[Tongue Twister] She looks around, making sure things are burning well, and even if – no, when – the carport collapses, there will be nothing left of the thing that attacked them. She follows into the alley, though a bit behind, a little more timid. This is not the rage machine they saw just moments ago against the enemy – no. This is the shy girl, who’s been hurt far too often, far too much, far too recently.

She remains quiet, looking at the gun curiously.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [back! Typing!]

[Cracka’Jack] *A bony shoulder jostles into Rory’s pushing her off-balance as Lou grins a shit eating grin. Lips work a moment, before a bubble blows large in the Fianna’s face. For all its obnoxiousness, its a playful sort of harrassment afforded the Metis. Then Sarita brings out a gun, and the gnawer is eyeballing it with a smirk.*

How many papers that cost you? Shit. Dirty Harry?

[Cracka’Jack] [heads up! my power just flickered, usually a sure sign its about to ditch me! If I disappear, assume Lou hears sirens and bolts.]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Lou asks who they are, and Patrick shakes her hand, his grip around her wrist more than her hand itself. It seemed a strange action, but then — Celtic, who knew. “Prayers to Broken Stone, Cliath Galliard Fianna, you can call me Patrick, though.” He’s taken up one of Sarita’s earlier offered cigarettes, and lights it with a cupped palm over the flame.

It dances over the Galliard’s face, revealing the cheekbones, brow and eyes of his tribe; his features were not those of the Sons of Stag to Ireland, or Scotland but those of the Welsh born.

[Ack, noted! Thanks for STing if you drop, Punkin!]

[Tongue Twister] (ditto! 🙂 )

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Indeed, thank you!]]

Sarita chuckles to Lou. “Got it off of this fuckstain scumbag selling meth to eight-year-olds way back when, in Arizona. He wasn’t using it anymore once I was done with him.” She puts the gun away and looks back to Patrick. “So how’ve you been? You and Bridget get shit sorted out from the other day?”

[Tongue Twister] Patrick introduces himself, and he and the other girls talk, while Rory does what she normally does – takes a step back and listens, her hands shoved deep into her pockets.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] It doesn’t take a scholar of human behavioral patterns to notice the changes that have been born in the Fianna, Patrick. He’s hanging around Bronzeville, buying weed from the same dealers as Howard had. He’s wearing some of his pack-mates T shirts around, beneath his jackets — the rare few he can fit into, that is.

He’s smoking not sometimes, but all the time. The scent of it clings to him 24/7.

At the very least, he’s shaved in the last day, so he doesn’t look entirely scruffy and without means. But he’s still hurting, that is evident and clear whenever he’s not killing monsters, or sleeping with near-strangers, or getting into arguments with Kinswoman who had been physically intimate with his Alpha. Sarita mentions Bridget, and for all that he’s burned through his rage — there’s a flicker of agitation the trembles through him — he drops his head forward, grimaces and turns away a minute, blowing smoke.

“Same old, same whatever. Night falls, daylight follows it.” A beat, he twists back, and shrugs. “Don’t think Bridget knows how to sort out what’s wrong, not sure there’s a way to fix how she feels.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She winces a bit. “Sorry…I do have a wee bit of a taste for my own boot soles from time to time.” She gives the man a light cuff to the shoulder. “You can only try, man. Don’t let it get to you. There’s more’n enough other shit that’ll pile up on top of it, you know?” She looks back at Rory and smiles giving her a friendly wink as if to include her as part of the conversation without actually forcing her to get involved, and then gives a quick sigh.

“Okay, peeps. That was fun…what do we do for an encore?”

[Tongue Twister] Patrick turns away, twists back, brushes off the thoughts, and Rory watches it all through lowered lashes. She was there when he buried his brother. She helped, once Joey pulled her over to do so. She mourns Howard more than Patrick can ever know – and she will not tell him…

She doesn’t say she understands the loss, either, though she does. She simply watches, quietly, and understands far deeply than any could imagine.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] The Strider cuffs him on the shoulder, and he endures, rather than responds to it. His tendency to become despondent, and withdrawn apparently was making itself known and Patrick remains a silent figure frowning away into the distance for a long moment after the Strider asks after an encore.

He taps at the end of the cigarette in his fingers; flicks a blue-eyed glance Rory’s way.

“Think I’m gonna head off, back toward Lake View. Maybe grab some beers on the way.” He can hear the distant whine of sirens, as the carcass of the animal burns behind them; and the Bone Gnawer lets out a yelped shit, gotta go! and sets off like the cars were about to take the corner in pursuit.

“We should get outta dodge, anyway.”

[Tongue Twister] She nods, slightly, then lifts her fingers in a little wave, before she ducks back toward the back of the alleyway.

Bronzeville streets are her home. She knows 15 different ways to get home withing being detected, losing any that would follow in the meantime. She looks back once, just before slipping out of sight.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A faint look of irritation passes over her face, flitting through like the shadow of a bird passing overhead. Blink and you’ll miss it. Luckily, she doesn’t give up that easy and doesn’t give a shit if she earns someone’s enmity. She gives a little nod, grin ratcheting up a good ways. “Sounds like a plan.” She nods and starts to walk along in that direction.

“Safety in numbers, after all. Right?”

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [thanks for scene, guys! switching up for LV! 🙂 ]

[Simon Zahradnik] He watches the other two leave with a silent and Empty look on his face and then he watches Lukas through the window. He wasn’t going anywhere… He would wait and do as he is told/directed by his elder.

LAKE VIEW

[Oliver] [woo thanks for the scene, ya’ll!]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] People in Lake View are accustomed to seeing some strange things.

Sometimes, usually when there’s a full moon in the sky some really odd occurrences happen, too. Tonight there’s barely a sliver of one left yet it didn’t stop the Ahrouns having a fist fight in the middle of the Cafe. It also doesn’t, apparently, prevent a Fianna Galliard from appearing around the corner of a block covered in drying black goop; it dots his coat; the shirt beneath which was some lurid colored abomination that set off the uncanny blue of the Fiann’s eyes.

He’s broad-shouldered, bares the breeding of a son of Stag and is accompanied by a Silent Strider who, while not as coated in grime as he, also bears the signs of a recent battle. The blond has his hands in his pockets; his eyes downcast; though every now and then he raises them to glance at his companion and frown.

He does not slow down, as they come upon the Cafe. Or seem to care, particularly, if he gets the odd glance, an up and down of uneasiness.

[princess] Asha is napping in the backseat of Lukas’ car. It’s almost sweet. Her dark head is pillowed in a cloud of gleaming back hair, and she’s curled up in a fetal position – sleeping the sleep not of the dead, but of wolves – which is to say, she’ll be deeply asleep until she’s startled awake by movement outside.

And then she will be immediately, utterly awake.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s walking along at Patrick’s side, in a much better mood from the looks of it than the Fianna. “…don’t worry. You loosened the lid of the jar, so to speak. I just finished it up.” Whether Patrick was worried or not about that may be a completely different story, but she’s putting it out there anyway as they walk along. If Sarita is worried about what people think of her and Patrick’s odd appearance, she sure as hell isn’t showing it. In fact, when someone on the corner gives them a strange look, she pauses turns her head in their direction.

“OIL! Go tell J.P. Morgan, we struck black gold! Texas tea, right here in River City!” The now thoroughly-wierded out person gets the excuse they need to escape their rage, and Sarita grins and speeds her steps to make up the small amount of lost ground.

[Lukas] Lukas is back outside in record time. It seems no one in the cafe wants to delay his order. He’s fasttracked to the front of the line, and then his drink is fasttracked past a row of empty waiting cups. Two, three minutes tops and he’s coming back out with a steaming cup of joe in hand. If he’s surprised to see Simon still waiting, he doesn’t show it. He tilts his head toward the car, holding his hand out for his keys as he goes.

The front doors unlock. Asha comes instantly awake, and then Lukas climbs in, depressing the car on its shocks.

“Have you met Asha? Asha, this is Simon Bone-Grinder, my tribesman, fellow Ahroun, and current Wyrmfoe of the Sept. Simon, Asha K&+257;lar&+257;tri, my packmate, also an Ahroun.”

[princess] Too bad Thomas wasn’t asleep in the front seat. He’d introduce Asha properly. Instead, she’s to be contented with two names and a moon-sign. The creature straightens, pushes a hand through sleep-tousled hair and yawns once, revealing perfect rows of sharp white teeth before she snaps her mouth closed and shakes free of the lingering hints of sleepiness, chasing them from the edges of her consciousness like cobwebs burned from the darkest corners of the room.

“Hi.” Asha says, making a mental note that they’ve not been properly introducted. Keeping it mental so as not to shame her Alpha.

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon follows… Why Lukas would be surprised if at all would be beyond him! The Full Moon had asked him to stay so they could speak! It would actually be rather impolite to disobey his elder like that would it not? Still he walks to the door and glances in at the sight of Asha. He smiles a little and he nods his head…

“She distracted a dragon for me once… But Adam scared it off before I could strike the killing blow. Ruined what woulda been a great story to tell my eventual children about their father. Still we made it out alive so it’s all good!”He says with a grin.”It’s a pleasure to meet you Rhya…”He did not know if she was his elder or not, the rank was not mentioned but she was Packmate to his alpha so he opted for respectful.

His smile showed as he looked her over. Cautious and curious to see if she recalled that little bit of history.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] She’s trying to comfort him about the gigantic garden worm from Hell they just slaughtered and set on fire in Bronzeville; and the Fianna walking at her side slants her a rather incredulous look, and punctuates it with a snort. It’s good natured, though, at least as good natured as you were likely to receive from Patrick right now.

Ahead of them, a blaze of Rage in the form of the current Ahroun Elder walks out of a Cafe with coffee in hand, and gets into a car where another two Garou sit — he recognizes the passenger in the front seat, and one of his eyebrows crawls upward a little. “What the Hell,” he says under his breath; a mixture of genuine bemusement and irritation.

“They conduct meetings in their cars, now?”

Patrick comes to a stop outside the Cafe, slouches his back against the brick facade and promptly pulls another of Sarita’s cigarettes out — he’d held onto the packet, what a prince — he lights up; fostering nothing to disguise his interest in what was going on inside the car. “Whose the guy in the front seat with Bone Grinder?”

This, an aside to Sarita, like she’s expected to know.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The semi-sorta good-natured snort from Patrick gets a little twinkle in the mischievous Latina’s eye. She’s making headway. She pulls out another couple of cigarettes and passes Patrick one before she lights up.

“Who, what?” She looks ahead, squinting a bit at the car. “Oh…that’s Simon–obviously–and Lukas. Simon’s tribe. Ahroun. Master of the Challenge’s packmate, and I think he’s the tribe elder if I remember my conversation with him right. I was a tiny bit stoned at the time, but I think I got that right.”

[Lukas] It’s still warm in the car — lingering effects of the heater. It gets warmer when Lukas fires up the engine, but they don’t go anywhere. He thumbs down the window on his side a little to vent. Too much rage, too much body heat.

“You’re both Cliaths,” Lukas says, sips his coffee, and then passes into the back in case her highness wanted some. “Anyway, Simon, I wanted to talk to you about taking on a more active role. For a long time Wyrmfoe’s been largely a ceremonial role, but you’re a Shadow Lord, and we’re pragmatists. I doubt you would have taken it on if you didn’t want to do something with it.

“So this is the first thing I want you to do. I want you to go around to each pack and assess their combat ability. I don’t care if this means fighting them, taking them out to fight with you, or giving them a questionnaire — as long as you get answers and those answers are reliable. I want to know how good they are, and I want to know if you’d classify them as scouts, warpacks, or something else altogether.

“Then I want you to start training Garou who need training. I don’t expect a Child of Gaia Theurge to be at the caliber of a Get of Fenris Ahroun, but I want everyone in the Sept to be competent.”

A pause, another sip.

“I know you wanted to take a bigger role in actually getting packs to mesh, too, but I’m going to put someone else on that. Maybe Joey, if she wins her challenge. It’s not that I doubt your conviction, Simon, but you’re a warrior. A weapon. Social graces aren’t your strong suit, and you’ve got a strong, polarizing personality. Someone like Joey, someone who gives off the impression of being laid-back and easy to talk to, will ruffle feathers much less as she goes around sussing out conflicts and how to mend them.”

[princess] Naturally, Asha assumed that Simon addressed her as -rhya out of natural deference to her breeding, her blood, her tribe. She nearly tells Lukas that when he mentions it, but thinks better of it when he passes his coffee back to her highness.

Lately, she’s preferred her eminent highness, thank you very much. So: her eminent highness takes a deep drink of coffee, mouth curling. It is perhaps here that Lukas might rethink giving that girl caffeine.

Still, she flashes him a winning grin, all razor-wide, all white teeth – and bounces experimentally on the back seat. “That’s good,” Asha tells Lukas, opening the back passenger’s door already. “I’m gonna go get it in Super Extra Venti with a double-shot and some chocolate sauce. Be right back!”

[princess] (this is liz going to bed! night guys!)

[Simon Zahradnik] He draws in a little breath and he nods his head. You see there was a little glimmer in his eyes, and a nod of his head. The job of the Wyrmfoe was, in his mind, largely a position taken by young Ahrouns seeking to earn a name. So when Lukas offered him something to do for the sept with his position he nodded his head and smiled slightly.”I will assess each pack to the best of my ability.”He already found himself formulating opinions he also thought about all those who were not claimed or members in an active pack. They could be addressed later. For the moment he had something to do with his position so he wasn’t just waiting for a Moot.

He then nods his head.”If someone else can work on coordination I do not care. I am more interested in survivability… A pack can hardly claim a territory that is swarming with Wyrm creatures is truly under their control. Territory is something a pack can manage on their own and so long as this hive remains a threat we can hardly claim most of this city is ours. I have personally slain at least a Dozen of them and that hasn’t even dented their population. As I see it this is their city until we drive them out… I would rather we all work together to drive them out then we can start dividing the city into our own personal regions. It doesn’t make sense to fight over territory we don’t even own.”He says with a nod of his head. Something he has given thought to…

He smiles just a hint.”I am looking forward to reporting something back as soon as possible. I suppose I should begin assessing the packs strengths and weaknesses.”He pauses to think on this then smiles just a tad.”I am assuming you will be taking care of your pack? Or would you like me to assess them as well?”He asks with a hint of a grin. You see Simon was a Shadow Lord and so that meant that he could devise all manner of sneaky tricks if Lukas wanted his pack tested as well.

[Lukas] Their conversation is interrupted, albeit briefly, as the Fang princess — and she is, annoyingly enough, an actual princess — in the back bounces once and then rockets out the door for something sweet and caffeinated. Lukas watches her go, wondering if he’s making a mistake. Then he turns back to Simon.

“I’ll handle the Unbroken. If I don’t even know my own pack, I don’t deserve to be Alpha of anything. As for territory — I’ve never been a fan of packs claiming firm turf and nailing up KEEP OUT signs. It turns the Sept against itself. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want Garou to take care of patches of protectorate, as long as they realize they’re warders, not owners.

“The Caern comes first. But I do want Dark Sky and the Vanguard to work together cleaning Bronzeville up. It’s too bad Hunter had to leave so fast, but when you go talk to his pack, set some time aside to work with him on divvying up the patrols in the area. He talked about something afoot in the area too — Wyrm companies, maybe. Said he’d get back to me when he had more details. You’ll want to talk to him about that too so you can better mesh your efforts there.

“Sooner or later we’ll have to turn our attention back north. The Knights were doing all right for a while, but Mica’el reported pretty heavy losses the last two weeks. So I might send the Vanguard up for a look, or I might go myself. So get those packs into fighting trim for me, Bone Grinder. We’ll need them soon.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He nods his head at the mention of speaking to Hunter.”I will do what I can… We need to begin cutting off the Hive’s resources. You can bet they have allies and potential allies scattered about the city. I have been doing my best to root them out but better and direct coordination and communication would make this all work better.”He says with a little smile. His eyes follow Asha for a second before looking back at Lukas.

He Mentions Mica’el… Was he referring to that Angel Thing? It honestly did not matter. If they were fighting their enemies then that made them allies and a valuable resource for the moment. Honestly he hadn’t minded the one that… Worked with them.”I will make certain the packs are ready and those who are not will be pressured towards doing so.”He smiles just a little.”I will also look into classes or training of some sort… Perhaps hunter and some of the other Full Moons would be willing to assist.”He says with a little smile.

“I look forward to the day we bring this fight to the Hive itself… I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when we destroy that abomination and collapse what remains in around their heads.”His eyes spoke of delight. He would not rest… He might hide, he might run, he might retreat, when it was necessary but he would not rest until the Black Spiral Dancers in this city were hunted down to the last man and exterminated.”Give me time and I will teach them the true meaning of fear.”He says with a little nod of certainty.

He was delighted. The young Full Moon was getting a responsibility. Something more to pile on his plate and that meant he would be a very busy man. He’s been looking for more to do as Wyrmfoe anyway.”I will do the position, my tribe, and my sept proud.”He says with a nod of his head.

“Was there anything more Rhya?”

[Lukas] “I’m willing to teach as well,” Lukas adds, “but sometimes it feels like if I step up it suddenly becomes an inspection, not practice. I’m here, though, if you want me to help train our Septmates.”

Lukas takes one more sip of coffee, then sets it down. “Yeah,” he replies, “just one.” He looks Simon in the eye, solid and direct. “Thank you. A lot of others in your position have chosen to take the backseat, to be led rather than to take initiative. Or worse: to wait for their leaders to fail. I know I was hard on you before, but … I’m happy you stepped up. I’m proud to call you my tribesman and auspicemate.”

[Prayers to Broken Stone] “Huh.”

Ever the eloquent one, Patrick. The Fianna pushes off the wall in a surprisingly fluid motion; given his frequency for being a less than adequately elegant Galliard. He walks a couple of steps nearer, watches the Silver Fang dash back toward the Cafe with a strangely fixated purpose; then swings his gaze back on the pair in the car.

Staring; watching — he looks the picture of disapproving youth with his battle-smeared clothing, and rumpled hair. Smoke trails from his nose before he addresses Sarita again. “Figured he’d be bigger or something. I hear Shadow Lord I see the evil guys in Disney flicks, y’know.”

He sniffs again. Is he catching a cold, or is it a habit. “Probably the way they hear Fianna and figure we’re all drunks who can’t figure one end of a klaive from another.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He smiles just a hint.”We have responsibilities… One day I will be in your position. One day the weight of these decisions will fall in my lap. I can either reach for them and embrace what I am to become or I can run from it. I only run when it is necessary.”He says with a nod of his head.

“I thank you for your praise and I look forward to living up to it.”You see there were a lot of things to be said about the Shadow Lords. There would always be a chance that Simon might one day seize power from his elder by force. This was their way… Lukas must maintain his strength for his people if he cannot then it will be taken from him. But there was also an understanding that Simon came to as a garou.

“We will hope that it will be many decades before I have to step into your shoes. In the meantime… Someone must always stand ready to step forward. This is our life…”Simon was showing Ambition… It was a Shadow Lord trait but it was more than that. He knew that he would one day have to lead and he wasn’t shying from it. There was a slight glimmer though, it was nice to be acknowledged for ones actions.”I look forward to serving under you for many years if not decades to come.”He says with a nod of his head. Proud, headstrong, certain… Failure would not happen… Even if one day it would.

“You will make us proud when this battle finally is brought to the Hive. I look forward to the celebration when it finally falls.”He nods his head one final reassurance. He wasn’t being mushy, he was returning a compliment from his elder.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Mmm.” She smirks, watching both Patrick and the car. “Well, if you like I can buy him a black cape, a hat with a feather in it and a big mustache that he can twirl. I’m sure he’d love it. He does look like a traditionalist, after all.” She chuckles.

She takes a drag off of her cigarette and takes a lean against a stop sign. “You know, they’re probably gonna see us at some point and assume we’re spying. They may have to kill us if they think we know too much.” There’s just a touch of wryness to it.

[Lukas] The subtle reminder of the way of their tribe — the ambition, the constant temptation of power — brings a wry smile to Lukas’s face. He leaves it where it is: they both know how it works. In the end, all he says is, “As do I.

“I’ll see you around, Bone Grinder. Keep me informed.”

[i’m gonna put Lukas on semipause for now — gotta focus on challenge! if you guys are around in a bit i might trot him out again, though. thanks for the RP!]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] The Fianna lets out a bark of laughter; it is as darkly entertained by the notion as his answer is. “Yeah, well, at least we’ll be remembered for more than being another blood-smear on the ground when our time comes.” The Galliard finishes his cigarette; flicks it into the gutter where it sparks and hisses, and reaches a hand into a pocket; turning his back to one side so he’s facing away from late night Cafe patrons.

The plastic bag in his pocket rustles as he takes out paper, and a collection of herb, and proceeds to roll it.

“How many of these,” he says flatly; conversationally for Patrick; his blue eyes lifting to meet hers, “you think I’ll take before my head completely empties out.”

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [*It’ll, not I’ll. Tsh.]

[Simon Zahradnik] [Are you two watching Simon and Lukas chat?]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, that’s sort of a vague question.” She looks down the street a moment and then back to him, her lean against the sign post still present and casual. She gestures to the joint-in-progress. “I mean, let’s start with the shit itself. It depends entirely how good the quality is. Most of the dank I’ve encountered here is pretty shitty, to be frank. Barely above the quality of shake. But let’s assume it’s above that, you gotta ask what kind it is.”

She shrugs. “Blends are important. Some stuff, like hash, you can smoke more or less non-stop and it’ll leave you at a certain high, keep you there and just extend it the more you smoke it. Some shit will push you into getting sick. Some shit’s just flat-out weak and you’ll be lucky if you get a buzz off it.”

“And that aside,” she adds, “What terms are we talking about? The number of joints? Depends on how much you put in them. And do you mean just stone you out of your fuckin’ mind, or like, zombify you? The last…well, hate to break it, but I don’t know if you have enough money to get that much from someone.”

[Prayers to Broken Stone] “I mean reach a state where the next fucking person who says my Alpha’s name doesn’t make me want to do anything at all but laugh.” He lights the joint; and takes a hit, breathing out slowly as he passes it over to the Ragabash.

“I’d really like to get there.”

He leans his head against the cool brick.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ahh…that much.” She takes the joint and pulls a hit off of it, holding it down for a second. She seems like she’s considering for a moment, then lets it come out in a slow, lazy exhale and passes it back. “You know…I like you, amigo. You’re good peeps, even if you’re totally bumming me out by refusing to go to Improv Comedy night at the Charcoal Lounge next Thursday night. So here you go.”

She reaches into her pocket and comes out with pretty a sizable baggie. She holds it for a second, considering Patrick and appearing to do some quick math in her head. “Yeah. That’ll about do it for a good long while.”

She tosses it to him.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] “I’m a funny guy,” he says without inflection, and catches the baggie, stowing it away in a pocket. It’s minus three outside; they must be freezing. Patrick doesn’t appear to care much, if he is. Perhaps his grief sustains him; much as people suggest hate will preserve.

“I’d make you look better just sitting in the corner, alluding apathy.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] In Sarita’s case, she’s just too damn stubborn to recognize cold. The woman the doggedly obdurate type who refuses to acknowledge what she doesn’t feel like acknowledging. When something finally does her in, it will likely be because she was too stubborn to avoid staring death in the face, and she won’t even refuse to acknowledge she’s dead for months. But then, Silent Striders have that familiarity with the Dark Umbra, so maybe she’s just following the natural course of things into ghosthood.

“That’s what I’m saying, m’man. You’re hilarious. You make deadpan a fine art, the way Michelangelo made paintings transcendent.” She nods sagely. “It’s a gift, hommes, I’m telling you.”

[Prayers to Broken Stone] “Yeah,” he says without much in the way of feeling — that might be the weed kicking in, nice — and takes another hit. Then one more before he passes it to the Strider. “You know what, the only piece that’s missing is beer. You wanna tag along, or whatever?”

He straightens; and a passing couple deliberately speed up and avoid eye contact with him.

He starts off toward the nearest alleyway, slouching broad shoulders; a trail of pungent smoke following after his wake.

[which is Jacqui’s way of noting she’s kinda brain dead and exiting Patrick for now!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Always.” She smiles and nods, heading off with him. [[Yeah, it’s late…sounds like a plan.]]

Let’s Jam!

[Kora] “You’ve seen the mucus glands of a moose, have you?” Kora returns, casting her packmate a – deeply doubtful look – as she pushes her winter gear into the booth and folds herself in after it. There’s a certain ease to the motion, though she does not bend perhaps as deeply as she ones might, and her center of gravity has already started to change.

“Don’t tell me your grandpappy raises them on the farm,” she finishes with a doubtful expression that would be a smirk on someone else’s face. There’s something lighter though, about the expression, that keeps the darkest expression of irony at bay. ” – because that I won’t believe.”

The street outside is dark and the windows here are tinted. It’s such a cold night, with swirls of flurries fallen from a dull orange, that the cold leaches through the insulated windows, making these booths chilled and rather less popular with the patrons. She likes the view, though, the comfort of it. Her packmate can watch the entrance, and she can watch the street. She glances out, now, dark eyes lilting over their reflections to the street beyond before looking back at Roman. Quietly, a furrow of speculation between her pale brows.

“Heard from Sparrow, lately?” Her eyes remain fixed on the younger Garou’s face with the question, quick and watchful and sure.

[Bridget Geroux] [Cha+Perf + PB 3]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Roman Turner] “Raised Buffalo too. Steaks are pretty good if it’s a fresh slaughter and not over cooked.”

He got situated and started fiddling with the salt shaker while looking all over the place like he’d never seen such a place. Kora asked about Sparrow and for a split second something akin to pain flicked in those faded denim eyes of his.

“No, I guess she’s busy or something.”

[Izzy Montoya] Not many people would figure Detective Montoya for a music fan – let alone for Blues. Or Jazz. Or anything other than head banging screaming metal. Fact is, she has a healthy appreciation for all things music. So she’s hear tonight, already in a booth, not far from where Kora and Roman decide to sit.

She’s in the shadows of a booth, though it is certain that won’t hide her for long, as Kora has the uncanny ability to find her in any crowd. She has a beer in front of her, though she has yet to order anything to eat. Her hair is down, her dress business casual, as usual. Even off duty, she looks to be on alert.

She watches as Roman and Kora take their seat, and should they turn this direction, lifts her beer slightly in hello, before tipping it back to drink deeply of the icy cool liquid. Sometimes this is as good as it gets. sometimes that’s all she needs.

[Kristiana Coleman] The blond kin walks in dressed to impress in a shortish skirt and soft lightweight sweater. Maybe not exactly appropriate for the venue, but it’s not club wear. Her hair is pulled back with clips at the sides, and she strides in after being carded and once again successfully passing. Phone out, she texts Bridget rather than spend the time and energy to look for her.

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon takes the time to look them both Over. First there is Bridget, and his eyes slip all the way down and then back up before meeting her eyes.”I just got your call, sorry I am late.”He says before turning his head in the direction of Patrick. His smile grew and he nodded his head.”You like? I thought it’d be nice to dress up a little, you know look nice and pretty?”He asks as he holds out his arms and spins a little for Patrick. When he turns back around he looks in the direction of Bridget.

“I think I saw Kora and Roman but not too sure… I mean I was just passing through. Not sure who else might be on their way.”He says this with a nod of his head and a tiny little grin.”So am I umm… Too late? You already done?”He asks before glancing in the direction of the minibar.”I suppose I should get myself a drink.”He says.”I’ll umm… Be right back.”He says excusing himself for just a moment to wander past and grab himself a drink.

[Bridget Geroux] Downstairs, the next band finally starts in. They make a slow start, but maybe it will pick up. Some of the more inebriated patrons attempt to dance. The smell of fried southern food is mouth-watering. Soon enough, the waitress will return with their appetizer and ketchup.

Upstairs in the lounge, Simon finds the kinfolk and Galliard drinking bourbon and making small talk. She slowly sips at the bourbon, sets the glass on the table, and picks up her harmonica. The metal instrument gets polished briefly while the kinswoman looks off.

“I’m not going to even ask what you mean by Howard’s porn stash. So no, I haven’t seen it. He’s been acting weird lately, and I kinda lost my temper and said some shit that Hunter had to kinda kick my ass for. Figuratively. I deserved it. But anyway, I’ve been keeping myself busy working.”

She blinks a few times at her own rambling. Simon’s attire is… well, it gets quite the appreciative look from Bridget. She shifts a bit in her seat as she sits there. Bridget is a performer, but she doesn’t like to hear herself talk, not ramble on like this. The Canadian lifts the harmonica to her mouth and starts to play, following that same urge of movement as before.

Bridget starts to play a rowdy tune, George Thorogood’s Madison Blues. It’s quite the rendition, considering it was made for electric guitar. She leans into Patrick at some point, gesturing with her eyes at his guitar.

[Ivers] By the time he remembers he was supposed to be somewhere tonight he’s already had most of a pitcher of beer and Christ knows how many doses of drugs not worth mentioning in polite company; there’s no telling what reminded him, after all of that, but he looked at a clock or heard a song on the jukebox or maybe just took the world’s most head-clearing piss, but at some point he said to himself, “SHIT!” and then hauled his skinny ass out of wherever he was and started over to Buddy Guy’s.

Whereupon he realized that American assholes card for entrance into places like this.
Whereupon again he realized that breaking and entering isn’t terribly difficult.

Though he did not come in the front door like the rest of the world, Howard stumbles out of the bathroom as though he has been in there for some time, a curly-haired twenty-something Rip Van Winkle. Stumbling is never indicative of intoxication for him, being as he walks like a sloppy drunk even when he hasn’t touched a drop all day, and he looks worse than he smells; he does not reek, though he looks as though he does. He wears probably the worst outfit anyone has seen him in yet: black Converse sneakers, seafoam green twill pants, a bright orange t-shirt likely older than he is advertising Reese’s peanut butter cups, a black-and-blue scarf, and a black leather jacket. It goes without saying his hair is a mess, and his sunglasses are in place.

Patrick was late for undisclosed reasons; Howard’s lip is split.

He stands still a moment, looking around as though he’s attempting to figure out where the fuck he is, where the fuck he’s supposed to be. There are Fenrir everywhere, an underdressed Fang kinswoman nearby, and Howard starts aimlessly wandering in the blind hope he’ll find Patrick before he gets into another fight.

[Kora] “No way,” Kora returns, with a snort of disbelief. “There’s no way you raised moose. I’m pretty sure they’re like caribou, you know? Or reindeer in Lappland. They need cold weather to live, yeah? They’re adapted to it.” At the end of it, she offers Roman the slow, brief curl of a half-smile and drops her voice by a good ten decibels, finishing softly, ” – like Fenrir.”

The waitress has returned by now, with their drinks and the huge basket full of appetizers – chicken wings and fried oysters, fried okra and fried peas, fried pickles and fried twinkies.

Well, maybe not the twinkies.
Or the peas.

The woman has that harried look to her, bruises underneath her eyes, her hair flat from the heat in the room, from her sweat, from the long night of work. She puts the beer down in front of Kora and the milk down in front of Roman thoughtlessly. Kora does not switch them until the waitress leaves the booth, but switch them she does, picking up that tall glass of whole milk to return the quiet toast to Izzy.

Underneath the table, she bumps her toe against Roman’s calf; acknowledging that frisson of pain without indulging it.

[Patrick Llewelyn] [Per + Charisma: Guitar playin’.]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, 4, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6) Re-rolls: 1

[Patrick Llewelyn] [That was just depressing, Patrick.]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 2, 2, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 10 (Success x 3 at target 7) Re-rolls: 1

[Roman Turner] “Yessum, my family’s ranch has all sorts of odd things on it that ya don’t expect to find. Ostrich, Llama’s, even some of them fainting goats. Course, after a while I wasn’t able to get too close, so ended up shoveling stalls when they were empty.”

He might be pulling Kora’s leg on the Moose part but he sure wasn’t admitting it if he was. The waitress returned and got an even bigger smile when she absently put the milk in front of Roman. Though Kora snagged the milk before he managed to stick his tongue in it or anything. Still receiving a beer in exchange was a good deal in his head. About the time Kora saluted Izzy was about the time she bumped his leg beneath the table so he thought one had something to do with the other and was twisting in his seat to locate the recepient of the salute to which he saluted too with his beer. Izzy got a devilish smile with the beer salute.

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon finds himself watching. Settling in and watching when the two of them start to play. His eyes shifting as he pulls up a seat and settles his glass on the nearest table and just decides to watch. Patiently and quietly, let the Fianna do what the Fianna do best right?

I mean you wouldn’t want them barging in when you are torturing or betraying someone ruining your fun now would you Simon? So let them do their thing and they will let you do your thing and in the end everyone wins.

[Izzy Montoya] Kora salutes her with milk, which makes the corner of Izzy’s lips lift in the briefest, smallest of smiles. While she has no wish for ankle biters of her own, she knows Trent is excited – and that’s enough to have her at least appreciative of Kora’s condition. That devilish grin of Roman’s however – that twists the smile into a huff of amusement.

She must be tired to let it be seen like that.

[Patrick Llewelyn] Simon is twirling and speaking of feeling pretty and the Fianna glances at him and simply —

pauses for a moment, mid swallow. He stares at the Shadow Lord from under a furrowed brow and then simply nods, and samples what might once have resembled a friendly smile but honestly rather looks more like an awkward grimace. That might also have something to do with, truth be told, the large amount of whiskey he just imbibed. Bridget responds with something about Howard’s behavior and her own and then starts up with her harmonica.

And, well, it’s easier for Patrick to play, then try and figure out why an Ahroun would tell a Galliard he feels pretty. He takes up his guitar, and starts picking up the chords to accompany Bridget’s tune; it takes him a moment, perhaps two, and then he has it — he taps his foot against his leg in time to the beat.

Downstairs, his Alpha has arrived and Patrick feels the familiar tug at his senses telling him he’s nearby: We’re upstairs, man Howard hears, along with a mental projection of the room, and the staircase leading there.

[Ivers] “Whoa.”

This, out loud, as though Patrick had sneaked up on him and not projected an image of where it is he’s supposed to be going rather than yelling it in his ear. As tempting as it likely has to be for him to go over to the seated kinswoman who insisted he call her Detective Montoya instead of whatever obnoxious nickname he would have come up with for her, or to the pregnant Skald who had threatened to geld him when last their paths meet, the brightly-colored Theurge does not wander over and attempt to ruin their nights.

Either he can be taught, or he has simply reached the point of being inebriated where his perception of his surroundings is completely nonexistent.

Up the stairs he goes, grabbing the railing so he doesn’t wipe out attempting to ascend, and when Howard arrives at the VIP lounge he identifies himself in a relatively sober-sounding voice. Patrick and Bridget have started playing already, and there’s Simon, parked at a table dressed like a 70’s flashback in his denim jacket. A grin of forewarning comes over his lips, the barely-formed scab on his lower lip threatening to crack and bleed again if he isn’t careful, and he ambles over, bumping into a chair before hauling it back and dropping himself down right next to Simon.

“Dear Jesus are you handsome tonight,” he says, and reaches out to steal the Ahroun’s beer.

[Kora] Kora shakes her head doubtfully, somehow imagining Roman’s family ranch as a cross between Noah’s Arc and Dr. Doolittle’s lab. Her laughter rises underneath her breath, and disappears just as quietly – brief and charming before she dives into the giant basket of deep fried – well, deep fried anything on the table between them.

“The Sept where I fostered – Vindur und Ringing – it’s off on the north Atlantic, on this barrier islands, my people call it Hjaltland, right? And the only thing that could survive on that turf grass, in the winter conditions, was sheep. So the kin there raised sheep, and fished for a living. Winter was pretty much mutton or dried fish, dried fish or mutton in endless combinations. Every piece of both, too. It was – ”

There’s a brief, far away look – though her ruminations are interrupted by the vision that is Howard Ivers – and when she looks back to Roman, her dark eyes are shot through with a certain ironic light, the nostalgia subsumed beneath the surface of her pale skin, bleeding through only in the shape of her half-smile. “Stark. And so far north that winter was dark and long. Sometimes you could see the northern lights, though – scintillating across the sky.”

[Bridget Geroux] Indeed, Simon. Indeed.

The Fianna make child’s play of the song collectively. Even if it takes a second for Patrick to get into gear. Somewhere towards the end of the song, a cheap black cell phone on the coffee table buzzes, vibrating against the glass. It lights up with the name “Kris” on the outer screen.

Bridget eyeballs the cell but doesn’t go to pick it up until they’re done. Howard, man of the hour, stumbles in the VIP lounge in a drunken stupor, collapses on a chair, and starts flirting with Simon. This elicits a throated chortle from the young woman a few seconds after the last note.

She grabs the phone with one hand, then bumps Patrick with her shoulder lightly.

“You’ve got some mad skills there, Slick,” she says before punching some letters into the phone and clicking SEND. The phone gets dumped back onto the table, the glass of bourbon goes to her lips. A deeper sip warms her belly.

Bridget stretches her legs out, kicking off her black kitten heels. “So, what’s next?”

[Roman Turner] For his part, he was working on draining the beer as Kora talked about home and cold and fish and sheep. Boy he had some sheep jokes not fit for mixed company that he had to keep to himself. In the middle of talking Kora paused to look at someone and that had Roman turning to see who it was. He didn’t know Howard from Jesus, so wasn’t so sure that’s who Kora looked at when she did that little pause in her story before continuing.

“I miss flat land with an unobstructed view. All this traffic, snow and folk rushing around is just plum crazy. I would of likely ended up in love with a Sheep if I’d lived where you grew up and that would of been baaaad.

[Patrick Llewelyn] As Bridget’s song tapers out, the Galliard’s fingers soften on the chords; he grins despite himself when Howard makes an instantaneous bee-line for the Shadow Lord and starts hitting on him and keeps his head lowered so as not to distract himself from the riff he starts evoking out of the strings.

Bridget nudges into him and he mmphs, glancing across at her without ceasing in his gentle, aimless play. “Back at you, I don’t think I’ve seen someone elicit those sounds from a harmonica since — ” he looks momentarily blank — “Well, ever.” Patrick then returns to his bluesy playing, alternately his time with thumps of his palm against the side of the instrument for a dull, rhythmic backing.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The perpetually grinning one slips through the door, stepping into the establishment. Perhaps surprisingly, she’s not dressed in the same motif as she usually is. The duster’s been left at home tonight, with a brown leather jacket replacing it. She’s got a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses on, a white tank-top that reads “Destination: Grassy Knoll” with the o in ‘knoll’ consisting a crosshair target. Torn, well-worn blue jeans and a pair of cowboy boots complete the the ensemble.

She steps a few paces inside and then off to the side, so as not to block traffic to and from the door as she looks around the place.

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon was watching Bridget mostly, transfixed by the kin as she and Patrick play so he didn’t notice when Howard came wandering up to join him. His eyes shifted towards the Theurge and his smile grew a little. He pulled the hat off his head and nodded back to him before looking back in Bridget’s direction.”Thanks… I thought I would at least try to look decent seeing as how I got the invite and all right?”He asks before flicking his eyes back to Howard.

Simon wasn’t the kind to be weirded out or creeped in the slightest by comments like this.”You get your lip bit?”He asks him with a little smile as he watched Howard steal his drink.”It’s rum… I thought you kind were more the scotch sorts.”He says before looking back up to his face and finally back to Bridget.

“It’s nice just to get a chance to settle back and relax now and again.”He says, those green eyes just watching, admiring, the kin as she played. Quiet and reserved. The full moon wasn’t terribly talkative or speechy at the moment it would seem.

[Kora] “The dude with the bad fashion sense is Fianna,” explains the woman who wore the same blood-stained jeans for six-months straight, and had a no more than two other changes of clothes until a kinfolk espied the lack, and brought her a new wardrobe she usually eschewed in favor of her dedicated things. She further explains: “Loudmouth.” – with a brief, narrow little smirk.

“Anyway, I didn’t grow up there,” returns Kora, making that clear distinction between her fosterage and her childhood. She is making steady progress through all the deep fried treats delivered to their table, employing Roman’s hard-won ketchup only sparingly. “It was an accident of circumstance, really. I was in Edinburgh when I changed, and that was the closest Fenrir Sept. Linus and I, we moved around alot when we were kids. Sort of like military brats, without being in the military, yeah?

“Lived almost anywhere you can think of. Florida, Kentucky, upstate New York, southern California. We were in Missouri when I graduated high school. Then they moved up north somewhere. I think they were in Montana when Linus’ dad came looking for him.”

[Ivers] Here’s the joy and beauty of being in the presence of the Ahroun of this Sept: they will talk and talk and talk and eventually forget having asked Howard a question in the first place, eliminating the number of instances in which he could potentially be caught fabricating some wild story to be teased apart and dissected as his companion searches for the truth amidst all the bullshit that comes out of his mouth every night.

Simon asks if his lip was bitten, and while it’s a nasty cut, the Theurge doesn’t answer the question. There’s a question as to whether or not he was a scotch drinker, and Howard flicks his heavy brows up over the edge of his aviators before tossing back a mouthful of Simon’s drink. To his credit he doesn’t put his cut lip on the glass or straw, although that may be more due to a desire to avoid the sting of alcohol on exposed tissue than to avoid getting germs on the other man’s drink.

“You should do it more often,” Howard says, to the matter of settling back and relaxing. “Take that stick out of your arse, yeah? Although if you did that I don’t know what I’d do with myself. That whole uptight prick thing really works for you.”

[Izzy Montoya] When the waitress swings her way again, Izzy still does not order food, though the scents of the cooking are enticing enough. Maybe she’s already eaten, or perhaps the more plausible truth is she has decided to drink her dinner tonight. Thus, it’s another drink she orders – another beer, this time with a friend – whiskey, neat – to keep it company.

She doesn’t change tables, doesn’t move to interrupt Kora and Roman’s conversation, doesn’t move upstairs. If she saw Howards entrance – and she did, she misses very little – it doesn’t get more than a glance. Instead, most of her attention seems to be for whoever is on stage – right up until she grabs a file folder from the briefcase beside her, opening it up and littering her night off with work.

[Roman Turner] “I lived in Clearwater my entire life till I came with Sparrow to here. Who would of thought I’d still be here and she ain’t?”

For a moment his face screwed up like he bit in to something sour. The beer was polished off and he waved down a waitress to shove the leftovers in a box before he rose and started replacing his winter wear. One hand was held out to Kora to pull her out of the booth.

“Ok, back to the grind. Here, let me help ya with your coat.”

He made sure Kora was bundled and grabbed the box of leftovers with a wave to Izzy before the pair made for the door. They stuck close together, touching now in the familiar way of Packmates.

“I think we should get some ice cream on the way home, watcha think?”

His words soon swallowed by the howling wind and sound of the street as they stepped out.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She heads to a table as close to the stage as she can, taking a seat and taking the aviator shades off. She smiles at a waitress and orders a tequila sunrise, watching the stage for a moment before she looks around the room, looking for faces that she knows.

[Roman Turner] (( thanks ))

[Kora] (night folks!)

[Bridget Geroux] ((night))

[Simon Zahradnik] He laughs back at Howard and shakes his head.”Dressing to impress is for special occasions. Practicality is for most occasions.”He says with those eyes breaking from Bridget long enough to look back at Howard. His eyes focusing on that lip before he shrugs his shoulders.

“You and Patrick doing okay? No troubles or anything? Life is… Alright?”He asks, small talk was about the best he could hope for with these two. Anything more than that and there was likely to be fists flying and lots of yelling. Simon hadn’t come to fight, and for Bridget’s sake he would play nice with her Tribe tonight. It only seemed respectful.

[Bridget Geroux] The eyes of the Ahroun under the sign of his change–also sandwiched between the two other Garou– causes Bridget to fidget. Patrick strums his guitar, Simon’s eyes fondle the kin, Howard flirts behind his aviators.

The Canadian rises and takes a giant step over the coffeetable, then pads barefoot back to the bar. She grabs the bottle of whatever bourbon they were drinking before, two spoons, then returns with it in a similar manner, sits down, and pours herself another glass.

The bottle of Jefferson’s Reserve rests on the glass countertop before Bridget gets comfortable again. Her fingers clasp around the two metal spoons and she does a couple warm up excercises with them to keep herself from going nuts. Her eyes flick to Simon. The bumpkin is appreciative of his outfit and the way he wears it.

Bridget tries not to look at Howard, whether it is because she doesn’t want to provoke him, or because she might still be angry (which is unlikely, but possible), is uncertain.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She notes Howard at the table that he’s at with Simon, raising a hand to wave toward him before she looks back to the stage. She tilts her head when Bridget busts out the spoon, her usual smile becoming something a bit more intrigued. The tequila sunrise arrives and she thanks the waitress before pushing a chair out at the table she’s at so she has something to put her feet on.

[Ivers] Life is… alright?

“Lemme tell you somethin’, gat,” Howard says, his voice a little louder than is absolutely necessary yet not at a volume that will overpower the two playing, oddly cheerful despite the subject matter he’s suddenly decided to discuss, “life fuckin’ sucks. I don’t care how many times you go ’round sayin’ we have a purpose or the fuck ever. Either you appreciate the things that don’t suck–”

He turns his head towards Patrick and Bridget, his eyeline obscured by black plastic and thus the intended object of his attention uncertain; it could be his brother, it could be the woman he’s scorned this month, it could be the idea of them, the tribe, music, some other abstract concept he can’t possibly articulate at this point in his bender. Whatever it is, Howard only looks at them for a second or two before he looks back and steals Simon’s drink again.

“–or you end up wallowin’ and this whole thing becomes completely fuckin’ pointless. Yeah, sure, maybe you could do what you seem fond of doin’ and pretend life is amazing despite all the crap that goes on and go around wavin’ your pom poms tryin’ to get everybody pumped the fuck up, but that takes way too much effort and if you ask me it’s slightly fuckin’ delusional. If it’s workin’ for you though… cheers, mate.”

He’s got to be high on something. Howard never talks this much.

[Bridget Geroux] Howard’s brilliant and loud tirade makes the Albertan stop short in her practice. She grabs the drink off the table and downs a shot. The first, having been imbibed slowly, is slowly inching its way towards numbing her perceptions. Her eyebrows raise in protest at Patrick, and by the look of the slight clench in her jaw while she moves her lips into a smile, she’s stifling herself from chiming in.

Another flinch of her facial muscles and a slight noise of protest from her throat, and the expression is gone. She turns her head again over at Simon for a second, blinks a few times before looking back to Patrick. She puts the spoons down just as she notices Sarita made her entrance.

“Oh, thank God you came,” she says to the Strider.

Bridget is glad the testosterone quotient in the room is thinning out; she’s glad to know someone here might be holding MJ so that things will calm the fuck down before they even get started. The Canadian smiles and gestures to the minibar before picking up her harmonica again.

She starts to play an old tune, done several times by several people, but made famous by Mister Muddy Waters: I Just Want to Make Love to You.

[Patrick Llewelyn] Patrick is playing almost mindlessly.

Which is not to say that he plays without timing, or a degree of competency, but that his fingers on the strings seem almost a disconnected thing from the rest of his body. He’s listening now to the conversations going on around him; in particular to what Simon is asking and Howard is telling so that Patrick is in fact looking in their direction when Howard turns his head toward them and the Galliard frowns; and his eyes slip away, back down to his guitar and then across at Bridget as the fiery brunette downs a shot.

Picks her way cross the room to allow the Silent Strider entry.

Patrick gives up picking out tunes without starting, and sets the instrument aside in favor of finishing his drink, and venturing to the small bar to procure a second. “Hey, Doc, I say we outlaw talk of anything that is not related directly to getting drunk, or jazz music. Why don’t you play something?”

He gestures at his guitar, then at Bridget. “Do us proud.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He rolls his eyes.”If life sucks so much big guy there’s a way out…”He says this with a shrug of his shoulders.”I for one wake up each day, and take a breath and you know what that feels like? It’s pretty nice… Cause unlike you I have an appreciation for the fact I am still alive right? A lot of folks don’t get that luxury…”He doesn’t look at Howard as he speaks.

“You keep whining… See how far it gets you. I dunno it might be a good approach.”He laughs a little and sets his hands on his glass to take a sip and close his eyes to relax and focus.”Seems to be our approach anyway so what the fuck does it matter right? I’ll get my ass killed and everyone will say some shit and not a single one of you will have learned a goddamn thing.”He settles his glass down.

“It’s the way of the world.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Howard’s diatribe isn’t completely caught by Sarita, but she does hear just enough to get the gist. She looks over his way, her brows bunching into a furrow, before she looks back to Bridget and smiles.

“Wouldn’t miss it.” The tone is warm and friendly. She looks at the minibar that Bridget gestures to and nods in acknowledgment. She pulls a battered tin case out of her pocket and flips it open, pulling out a filterless cigarette and lighting up. Only AFTER she lights up does she go ashtray hunting.

[Bridget Geroux] Is Patrick trying to make a joke or is he actually inviting Howard and Bridget to jam? Simon and Howard are seriously dragging down the mood of things. Bridget stops playing, sets her harmonica down, and raises her eyebrows at Sarita. Wide-eyed, as if it is a cue for something.

Frustrated, the kinswoman falls back to one side on the couch. She eyeballs Sarita’s cigarette as she goes ashtray hunting.

“Best just use a glass. Hey,” she follows up. “You holding?”

[Ivers] Howard holds up a finger to indicate he hasn’t finished yet when Patrick comes over to intervene. When the Shadow Lord starts talking, the Theurge barks out a laugh and looks toward the ceiling, as though he’s attempting to figure out where he placed something that has no logical reason for being up there in the first place. He pushes his hand up underneath his shades to rub at his face, groaning loudly when Simon tells him to keep whining.

“Jesus Christ,” he says, sitting back up, “Now I’m whinin’. You people just don’t like hearin’ anythin’ that isn’t ‘GAIA IS BLESSED AND WONDERFUL’ or ‘WE’RE GOIN’ TO WIN THE WAR’ or ‘IF WE ALL JUST FUCKIN’ WORK TOGETHER…'”

Howard pushes back from the table, nearly losing his balance as he gets to his feet.

“Maybe if you tried listenin’ to other people they’d fuckin’ learn somethin’ from you you bombastic twat.

And there he goes, back towards the stairs.

[Patrick Llewelyn] I’ll get my ass killed and everyone will say some shit and not a single one of you will have learned a goddamn thing.

Behind the bar, Patrick’s lips twitch. “Careful, Simon,” he notes with idle flippancy and mouthful of whiskey, “you’re starting to sound like me.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks at Bridget and nods. “Chica, I’m always holding. It’s just a matter of what I’m holding that’s in question. Smokes, “smokes,”–complete with air quotes–“my collection of vintage Nelson and Heart CD’s, someone’s spleen…” She shrugs, then smiles. “I’m holdin’ what you’re askin’ about though, yeah.”

She pauses in the midst of picking up an empty glass for said ashtray purposes, hearing Howard’s rant. “Whoa. Hey, hombre…wait up.” She gives Bridget a little wink, as if to say Don’t worry…I got this as she follows behind him.

[Bridget Geroux] And that seems enough for Bridget to rise up from the couch, shooting Howard a glance. “Howard!” the voice isn’t angry or overly loud, but enough to get his attention.

“Come on, guys. I’d like to just chill with you guys and not think about this heavy shit for a while. This doesn’t help anything.”

[Izzy Montoya] She reaches for her whiskey, and tosses it back with a grimace. She doesn’t ruin the taste by being a wuss and following it with a beer either. She simply sets the glass to the edge of the table to be picked up by the waitress her next trip around, and goes back to the work in front of her.

[Patrick Llewelyn] “I’ll toast to that,” the Galliard murmurs and takes his glass back to the sofa; sinking down on it, the Fianna nurses the glass idly upon one knee, resting it on the coffee table and staring rather glassy-eyed ahead of himself at nothing and everything at once. Howard has wobbled his way back downstairs and for all the reaction his pack-mate gives to this, you’d wonder if they were truly pack-mates at all.

But then, how was anyone to know that they hadn’t been conducting their own conversation for the better part of the hour or so Patrick had been hanging about upstairs in the lounge with Bridget. They didn’t; they couldn’t. He does turn his head lazily to one side as first one, then another of the females call out after his Alpha.

The Welshman’s brow creases in bemusement.

“Gotta give him props, he knows how to make an exit,” it appears Patrick is addressing an empty room — or Simon — or his glass. Across the totem link, all Howard hears is his pack-mate’s amusement, and: they’re coming after you, run faster.

[Simon Zahradnik] “If there is nothing in this world worth fighting for. Then there’s nothing in this world worth living for…”He mutters before opening his eyes and meeting Patrick’s as Howard walks away.”We’re not the same Patrick. We’re not even close…”His eyes lock into Patrick;s own and he stares with such piercing, penetrating fury.

Simon was being quiet and reflective right now but there was no hiding a trace of contempt as it grew on his face. He listened to Howard’s footsteps carrying him away and he slowly shook his head.”Never… Ever… Ever run from a predator.”He mutters under his breath before going back to his drink.

Cold, quiet, and dismissive. He wasn’t here to fight.

[Ivers] [And let’s stay Howard somehow manages to evade capture despite being dressed like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade float. Thanks for the scene, all!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs as he makes it to the stairs before she can get to him, a chair blocking the more direct route between two tables that would have let her intercept. She watches him go with a frown, but it’s quickly wiped away before she turns her face back to the others. The smile is back on, and she makes her way toward Bridget.

“Just needs some chill time, I’m sure.” She shrugs, picking up a glass on the way and ashing into it. “Happens to the best and worst of us, so whichever of those he is I’m imagine he’ll be just fine.”

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget never really left the couch. She lets the Strider handle it and pours herself another glass. Simon grows suddenly… cold and dark, which honestly is to be expected but not something Bridget has witnessed firsthand from the Shadowlord.

She blinks a few times, slams back another shot, then goes to stretch herself out on the couch. There’s still plenty of room for others, and there’s additional seating besides.

“Tabernak,” she mutters an expression of frustration. She runs her fingers through her hair as Sarita comes back to save the day– or night, as it is.

[Izzy Montoya] She finally looks up, pushing her hair back from her face with her fingers. A last notation on the papers she’s working on, and she closes the file, and places it back into her briefcase. Moments later, she stands, slips on her coat, takes up the case, and makes her way out of the establishment.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Tabernak?” She chuckles, sitting next to Bridget and setting the glass down. She balances the filterless on the rim and pulls out the same battered tin case to open it. Once open she runs her thumb along the inside, pushing down in a spot which causes a click and the false bottom to open. Underneath is the far less legal smoking substance.

“Ain’t heard that particular curse word in a while.” She starts rolling a joint. “Not since I took a quick jaunt north of the border.”

[Kyle] (Mind if I wander in? )
to Bridget Geroux, Izzy Montoya, Patrick Llewelyn, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Simon Zahradnik

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[I don’t!]]
to Bridget Geroux, Kyle, Patrick Llewelyn, Simon Zahradnik

[Patrick Llewelyn] The Shadow is staring across at Patrick, telling this creature, of all creatures that if there is nothing in this world worth fighting for, there was nothing worth living for. He tells him they’re nothing alike and Patrick’s slumped chest gives a sharp exhale of bitter amusement.

The Galliard’s pale eyes glint as he stares back at the Ahroun.
He isn’t shying away, though unlike Simon, Patrick’s Rage is dim; diminished.

“Damn right we’re nothing alike,” he holds up his glass, peering through the amber liquid at the distorted reflection of Bone Grinder. “You care about this War, man. You probably have some great, inspiring spiel about where your deed name came from, hell, I could recite for you about a dozen different stories and make you feel a dozen different ways about our existance.

But it doesn’t change shit.”

He takes a sip, runs the tip of his tongue over his lips, tasting the bitter aftermath of the whiskey. “I care about people, if some dick came up and hassled Bridget, or Howard or anyone I’d fight to help them. But I wouldn’t do it because it’s what some higher than thou entity instructed for me.

I’d do it because it’s the right fucking thing to do. There’s things that I care about, what makes us Monsters, just isn’t one of them.”

[Patrick Llewelyn] [Shadow… lord. Hee.]

[Kyle] He’d intended to arrive a lot early than he has, but other things kept him distracted. Making his way into the VIP room he nods to everyone as he sets his guitar case and trench aside out of the way. It was the lack of sleep that made him look like he was wearig makeup. The black circles around his eyes natural and the pale skin was just how he looked. The traditional top to toe in black included a set of fingerless leather gloves tonight. The other odd thing he’s wearing tonight is a top hat. He’d forgotten to take it off and chuckled as he now realised why people had looked at him oddly on the wander over. Seeing Sarita and the others he makes hiw way over and gives that casual smile and wave as he looks for a spot to sit down.

[Patrick Llewelyn] [Charisma + Expression, for shits and giggles. +1 tough crowd, also slightly drunk]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 (Failure at target 7) Re-rolls: 1

[Patrick Llewelyn] [worst. galliard. ever. / ]

[Kyle] (LOL)

[Bridget Geroux] The click inspires the chit’s interest. She rises up enough to rest her head on the Ragabash’s shoulder. And maybe Bridget is just that friendly with people. It’s happened with her Fellowship sisters, the last time she tried with Howard he flipped a god damn bitch, and she went climbing with Victor’s help (although it’s doubtful anyone is aware of that).

So Bridget smiles like a cozy cat curled up in the sunlight, biting a pouty bottom lip. Patrick, the drunk at the bar talking to himself, tries very hard and makes a good point, but it’s just not effective. Maybe he’s slurring more than he things, but it’s just not the grand speech one expects from a Galliard.

A Strider kin not seen in a long time makes his way inside and takes a seat. Bridget’s eyes light up, but she doesn’t take her cheek from Sarita’s shoulder.

“Haven’t seen you in forever. Where’d you blow in from?” she asks, half-interested. It’s not because she’s not interested in seeing the kin so much as the illegal substance Sarita’s about to light up.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles at Kyle, waving him over. “Hey, you. Good to see you. Have a spot to place yourself wherever.”

She clearly doesn’t mind being a headrest for Bridget, looking over at her with a faint smile. There’s a friendly demeanor to her face, something akin to a protective big sister feel to the way she reacts with both Bridget and Kyle around her. She finishes rolling the joint and hands it over to the Fianna kin. “Here you go. You get the honor of first hit on this one.”

[Kyle] “Hey Bridget. Been around you know me.”
Grins at her as he leans back in the chair. His voice soft as usual as he looks at her to ensure she can read his lips.
“Would have bene here sooner but been helping a few guys out. Their drummer broke his hand and they had a performance to do tonight. How’ve you been doing?”
He then looks to Sarita and again that warm smile is given as he adjusts his top hat.
“Same to you. Having a fun night I hope?”

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon took another sip of his drink and his attention fell on Patrick. He waited quietly and he watched, and he waited, clucking his tongue against the roof of his mouth in thought. Those green eyes were so full of bitter fury as he watched the man quietly. He didn’t speak for some time but his silence made certain the heat of his rage radiated off him like a furnace. He took in every word and each word spoken to him was mulled over within his skull.

What he was hearing was more than upsetting it was downright heretical. Still Simon wasn’t a Philodox so correcting that wasn’t his job, nor was he a Galliard. What he was, was an Ahroun. That alone stood for something to him if no one else.

“My deed name came from the fact I took a man apart… Bit by bit. With a pair of pliers and some other fucking house tools. Plucked, cut, and slowly separated him from his body while he screamed in agony for almost two hours before he died. Terrified and trembling in agony. He begged me… He begged me again and again to kill him, to show him the tiniest hint of humanity. He begged me to be the better man… The honorable man… He begged me to be the thing that he never was to anyone.”He shrugs his shoulders and then looks back at his drink.

“I got my name because I show my enemies the same respect they show the weak and helpless. I’m not a man Patrick, I am hell made flesh and mark my word before long the night sky will reek with the smell of burning traitors. Let them cackle and laugh all they please…”He lifts his drink to his lips and takes a sip as his eyes settle back on Patrick’s own.”Hell will soon reclaim it’s own.”

“I’m not here for you Patrick I am here for them and I will die fighting them. That is all there is to it.”

[Bridget Geroux] Sarita… catches Bridget off-guard with her offer. She blinks, then reaches into her back pocket for a lighter. While Kyle is speaking, Bridget listens, but her eyes drift to the Shadowlord. She flicks the flame into being and smolders the tip of the joint.

Not the classiest thing out there, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

She inhales, holds onto the smoke, and offers the joint out to whoever. She tries to close her eyes, but the things Simon is saying are going to give her nightmares. Images float up of the man–No, Monster– who has been so courteous and has even served her coffee like a civilized, even hospitable human being, talks about dismembering a dude with fucking house tools like it ain’t a thang.

There’s something about his Rage, his burning stare at Patrick, or about his voice that makes Bridget believe him absolutely. She remains quiet and shivers without realizing it before she nestles against Sarita again.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins in Kyle’s direction. “Having as much fun as a barrel of monkeys. Unfortunately, in this case the monkeys are rabid, emo little fuckers that managed to get out of the barrel and had too much to drink, so they’re getting pissy, shouting, stalking off and shit.”

She glances in Simon’s direction, rolling her eyes at his story. “Or telling long stories and being especially emo. We gotta do something to lighten the mood around here before an All-American Rejects concert breaks out. As it is, I think we’re about three eyeliner strokes and a little cutting short of a Fall-Out Boy opening act at the most. It’s condition-fuckin’-critical.”

[Kyle] Smirks as he raises a brow and looks at Sarita.
“Well that’s no good. So do we need to play a game of twister or do we need to pick up the tempo of the music playing tonight?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey, don’t think I won’t. Bridget here was kickin’ some serious ass onstage with Patrick, but I am ~not~ afraid to get up there and bust out some bad-ass rhymes, Eminem-style.” Is she kidding? It’s kind of hard to tell, considering that she’s always grinning.

[Kyle] “So we going hip-hop or street base or do you have a specific request?”
That constant smile stays on his face as he stands and makes his way over to check on the instruments. Seeing what they had available to use.

[Simon Zahradnik] He hears Sarita and his eye twitches and his attention goes to his drink for a moment. He takes it and draws it to his lips taking a long drink before slamming it back on the table and standing.”Ridicule… Funny…”He says back to her with little more than contempt in his eyes.

He reaches into his pockets and pulls out his gloves, one by one he pulls each of them onto his hands.

“I suddenly find myself overtaken with an overwhelming feeling of disgust.”He says before turning his attention to Bridget.”Sorry I can only take so many insults and stomach so many cowards for one night. If you have another show I would love to come but I can’t stay here.”He says back to her before heading for the door. His hate bubbling up within him, raw seething contempt was all he felt right now.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles, watching Kyle walk over to the instruments. However, when Simon takes offense, she makes a sound like frustration. Not a growl–she’s not overtly angry, per se–more incredulous and annoyed. “¡Oh, por todo lo que es santo y profano en este mundo. ¿Estás bromeando?

She pats Bridget’s shoulder and gently but quickly extricates herself from under the kin’s head, rising to follow. “Dude. Seriously now, fucking STOP.”

[Kyle] And the spike of rage causes him to stop and simply stay out of the way. Absently watching as he keeps his eye on the situation. Waiting to get out of the way for good if needed

[Bridget Geroux] [Manip+Emp +PB. Dif +1 due to inebriation.]
Dice Rolled:[ 8 d10 ] 2, 4, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 7)

[Bridget Geroux] The girl can do nothing to argue with Simon, so she merely sighs and looks defeated. Since her talk with Hunter, she’s been less bold with the Garou. She’d probably try to say something if he hadn’t just regaled on how he took a man apart with a pair of pliers.

That, and his Rage is enough to make her leery of even saying much. Finally, she sits back in the couch, looks to the ceiling, and sighs.

She draws a shaky breath before a pained sound emerges. While not over the top, her mouth is drawn in a pout that could stop any mortal man in his tracks. Does she know what kind of power she holds over them? Simon thought once. She probably doesn’t most of the time, but that fact makes it no less effective. Her mother was a Class A Heartbreaker (unbeknownst to her), and Bridget definitely has had something of those traits as her birthright.

“S’il vous plaît. Un instant de paix,” the Albertan reverts to her native Quebecois. The inflection of tone is soft, pleading without being desperate.

“Simon,” she continues. “You don’t have to go.”

She looks at him with those brown eyes and whether it is her expression or the marijuana that has her eyes somewhat glazed, it’s just…

Unfair.

The little unpretentious charmer could probably lull serpents to sleep or sly away diamonds from a jeweler with that sort of pout. The thing is, it doesn’t seem at all devious, because it likely isn’t.

[Simon Zahradnik] “Stop…”He says when she gives him an order. He stops and he turns around and looks directly into her eyes.”You can’t tell me to stop. In fact after that passive aggressive bullshit a second ago you are lucky I haven’t put your skull through a wall…”His fury is shining through as he approached her. So much fury in those eyes as he met her gaze directly. So much loathing and contempt.”You don’t have the right to give me orders.”He says as his body tenses and he rises up into his full height fully prepared to lash out at anyone who gets too close. He was a full moon… Whatever he might say with his mouth it was with his fists he expressed himself most clearly.

Bridget, however, gets more leeway. She knows him, he knows her… Watching her, seeing her, hearing her all of these things pull his eyes off Sarita and back towards her. Her voice and the look on her face did appear to have a somewhat soothing effect and he looked back into her eyes. He wanted to put someone through a wall… He wanted to smash someone’s face under a very very heavy brick… He wanted to crush and smash and destroy. he wanted to unleash his fury like the primal force of nature he was meant to be. Yet he couldn’t… Because Bridget was pouting and it was fucking adorable! What a bitch!

“I came to listen to music… Not be insulted at every turn. If I had known this was the plan for the evening I would have opted out of showing.”He continues.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She doesn’t shy away from his stare, his fury or his words. For all that she’s a jokester–and make no mistake about it, she is–there’s something serious deep in those dark brown eyes. And, whether it indicates her insanity or not–she’s showing absolutely no fear as she returns the gaze. Her lips are still quirked upward in a faint smile.

“Listen. I don’t know who you are exactly, because we haven’t been introduced. My name is Sarita. But if we had been, you would know that I have a one storming-out per social event rule, and Howard beat you to the punch. And frankly, I am not willing to let you be unleashed on the world out there with the emotional state that you’re in, homeboy. So the way I see it, you have three options. A, you can sit down, realize that I meant no offense to you and was just trying to lift the mood and we can return to a state of semi-pleasantness. B, you can kick my ass and we can return to a state of semi-pleasantness. C, you can kick my ass and then leave.”

With that, she–wait, she didn’t, did she? Yes, she actually reaches out and puts her hand on his shoulder to stop him.

“Leaving without any of those occuring? NOT an option.”

[Bridget Geroux] “But I–” Bridget is almost dumbstruck by his Rage. She may be a part-feral, purebred, adorable bitch, but she’s still human. She blinks, looking hurt for about half a second before she takes another hit from the joint she’s been holding.

Okay, that’s better.

“Simon, I’m sorry. How could I know it would be this way? I can’t do anything to stop you all when you’re like that.”

The thing is, Bridget knows that Killer brooding in the corner has the capabilty of being civilized, or at least doing a damn good show of pretending. Now she’s hoping to call him on it, let him remember that rather than getting violent or leaving, he has a third option to choose.

[Simon Zahradnik] However much calmer Simon might have been, the hand reaching out to settle on his shoulder brings out a flare of heated passionate fury in his eyes. Whatever she had said, whatever she had intended went out the window with the sudden and uninvited gesture. Simon was a wolf and she had just invaded his personal space… She was a Stranger, an unknown, and she was in his territory, among his people and now she was in his face putting her hand on his shoulder. His eyes met her own directly and oh how serious they were.

“Take… Your hand… Off my shoulder and back the fuck away.”That was said between his teeth, that was said in the deep and slow tone that implied there was quite a bit of concentration pushing though him just to maintain that state. He looked into her eyes with all the seriousness of a warrior who was not asking, he was not suggesting, he was telling.

He was doing his best to be civilized but these were not a civil folk. Wolves in sheep’s clothing… Or rather men’s clothing. They were playing at the game of being men and right now one of those wolves was invading another’s personal space.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs, her expression not changing, and the hand is removed. She doesn’t back down, and from her posture, the look in her eyes and so on, nothing has changed for her. But she gives him that courtesy out of respect. Even if she doesn’t know who he is, she knows that she took a step too far and there is still no fear in her.

“Sorry, Simon. Again, ain’t no offense meant. I wasn’t trying to get all up on your ass and light a fire. I still ain’t gonna let you step out in your state. Wouldn’t be right. So do what you gotta do. No foul, no offense taken. If beatin’ my ass for a bit will chill you the fuck out, I’m okay with that. But again I tell you–and believe me when I say this–you’re not walking out of here angry.”

She spreads her arms wide, fingers moving in to her palms a couple of times as if to say ‘bring it on.’

“So get to throwin’ your punches, or come sit down and have a drink with us. I really ain’t so bad once you get to know me. At LEAST thirty-seven percent of people I’ve ever met can vouch for that.”

[Bridget Geroux] Simon doesn’t respond. This is the call for Bridget to look to Kyle and get up off the couch very slowly. The wolves are about to have a spat and they’re scaring the kinfolk. Bridget pads backwards towards the raised aisle. The back of her legs bump into it. She’s still holding the joint, but she climbs up onto the aisle and tries to put a lot of space between herself and the Garou.

Her bare toes press against the smoothed fibers of the reclaimed wood while the fingers of one hand guide her to the door leading to the recording booth. She doesn’t say anything. It’s gotten beyond words at this point.

[Kyle] Kyle has stayed well out of the way. If he could pass through walls he doubted that would get him away from them. Seeing Bridget heading out of the way, Kyle makes his way around to follow her. Silly really that he’s in fact putting himself between Bridget and the true borns but he’ll mentally kick himself later. That casual smile thrown to Bridget letting her know things would be ok.

[Simon Zahradnik] Sarita speaks and he looked back at her as if she was speaking Chinese the entire time. He just watches her, quietly, looking her over from head to toe. Quiet and rigid… He was powerfully built and his stance showed that he knew well how to carry himself. Simon was, after all, a full moon and this much showed through in everything that he did. He blinked several times before drawing in a deep breath to calm himself.

He notes Bridget skulking back, he also notes the way Kyle protectively places himself between them. Simon was nothing if not brilliant at reading posturing and body language. It was one of the talents of the True Born though with Simon that talent seemed to shine through impressively.

It was watching Bridget shy away that affected him more than anything and his attention shifted once more back to Sarita. Before he sighed and stepped around her making his way back to the Mini Bar while shaking his head.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She blinks, her expression changing to one no one in this city has yet seen, except perhaps her half-sister Amy. The expression is shock. She obviously expected to be crawling back to the couch trying to hold her ribs together…and apparently, she would have been okay with that. She lowers her arms and turns around, the smile ratcheted up a couple of notches and makes her way back toward the couch. A sidelong look is thrown at Kyle and Bridget and she gives them a wink.

“You da man, Simon. Muchas gracias.” She smiles his way, the tone of her voice having lost its usual tease. The girl may be crazy, but she knows when to not push her luck. Aside from that though, there is honest gratitude in her voice. “Now, back to chilling out.”

[Llewelyn] [Let’s play where is Howard?

1-3 Alley
4-6 Bathroom
7-10 Somewhere else]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 5

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget reaches out to Kyle with her eyes and gives each person in the room a long thoughful glance before she decides to drunkenly pad back over to the couch. She drops off the raised aisle onto the lounge inset floor, stops to get her balance.

Soon enough she passes over the remainder of the roach to Sarita and flops down on the couch beside her. The glazed bon bon finds a comfortable niche in the couch to chill the fuck out.

For the time being.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She takes the roach and gets a hit off it, holding it in for a good three seconds before letting the smoke curl out of her mouth and nose. Some of the tension that Sarita hadn’t noticed was there melts away, and she relaxes with a deep sigh. She rolls her head left and then right, a few popping sounds coming forth before she leans in to murmur quietly to Bridget, keeping it low so as not to carry past the couch.

“Sorry, chica…didn’t mean for shit to get intense. Better me than some poor shitbag on the street who didn’t have it comin’, y’know?” A little grin. “I mean…odds are, I have it comin’ for something I did.”

[Llewelyn] At some point after he’d lectured Simon about All The Ways Your War is Fail™ by Patrick Llewelyn, the Galliard had gotten up off his plush little sofa and wandered downstairs in search of his oft-missing Alpha. You would imagine, given their level of connection that locating Howard could not possibly be so hard.

Clearly, if you deem this accurate, you do not know our characters that well at all.

It takes Patrick some time — minus a break to linger outside in the alleyway and smoke a joint — to track down the Theurge, when he does, he finds him in the strangest place imaginable. Or perhaps not, when Howard’s tendency toward long-spanned visits to said plumbed facility was taken into account. Patrick smacks a fist against each toilet stall in order downward from the sinks.

He gets two fuck offs! before saying in an ever so slightly dreamy voice.

“Howard Ivers, get your skinny ass out here.”

[Kyle] Good thing he’s already pale or people might worry since if he had colour in his cheecks they’d have washed out thatnks to the micro rage fest that just happened. Seeing everyone move back to being relaxed he removes the top hat he’s been wearing and tosses it over near his stuff before heading over to the bar himself. That warm smile still plastered on his face as he looks to Simon. When he speaks his voice is just above a whisper and sounds a little raspy.
“Hey I’m Kyle. Nice to meet you.”

[Ivers] The roar of water rocketing down the pipes, and Howard emerges from the stall moments later, buttoning his pants and staring at Patrick with a smile threatening to burst onto his lips. Whatever he was doing in there would probably have him arrested if he were to be caught; he sniffs, wipes at his nostrils with the back of his hand, and plants both of them on his slim hips.

“Oh look at you,” he says, his voice marveling, “you’re so stoned.”

He wanders right into the Galliard’s space, leaning closer to inspect his eyes for redness or glazing, then reaches up to pop the collar on Patrick’s shirt, the action strangely loving considering he follows it up with a playful slap to Patrick’s cheek and a gum-chewing grin. Given how fat the moon has become he ought to know better.

“Last time I gave one of those meatheads the ole big-word-‘twat’ combo I couldn’t walk right for the rest of the night. Made out pretty good that time, yeah?”

[Simon Zahradnik] When he returns to the group he has a glass in hand. Half of which he has downed already. His eyes go to Bridget and then to the others. He stops, however, long enough to acknowledge Kyle and present his hand out to him.”Simon.”He says back to the somewhat shy lookin’ guy. Likely not a True Born… Not enough balls, but that wasn’t so bad. After Howard’s little speech Simon almost welcomed his company.

He then hears Howard and his eyes close a second or two as he draws in a few breaths. Then looks down at Bridget.”I didn’t intend to fuck up your get together.”He was apologizing not to anyone else. In fact he still looked like he could punch someone, but he felt it was appropriate to extend the little gesture back to the kin. If nothing else to ease her fears and worry.

[Llewelyn] Patrick stoned is not so vastly different from Patrick sober, only the stoned version tended to smile more frequently and cared less for controlling his mouth when it came to — well, everything. Howard comes out of the stall buttoning his pants and staring at Patrick, and his pack-mate stares back at him with raised brows. The expression is comically demanding until his Alpha tells him how stoned he is and loosens his black shirt.

It’s long sleeved, and pressed to perfection; though by this point of the evening it’s starting to rumple.

Patrick smacks away the cold hand that slaps his cheek; and grabs Howard by the scruff of his neck, forcefully walking him to the sinks. “Wash your goddamn hands you dirty fuck.” It’s as playful as the slap, and Patrick lets loose his pack-mate without causing him any harm but a few tugged out hairs.

With the amount he had, Gaia knew he could spare a few to rough housing.

Patrick leans against the sinks while he washes up, arms crossed over his chest, a smirk laying heavy over his lips; another stoned feature typically absent. “Yeah, try it now after I told him again how the war sucked.”

[Ivers] It’s almost a given at this point that Howard will shriek if he’s grabbed or punched and the effort does not result in grievous injury: it’s a truncated, quiet sound meant to convey false alarm, and he is easily marched over to the row of sinks despite his height advantage and Patrick’s fuzzy perception of the world around him. Once at their destination Howard sniffs again, then stares at the sink for several seconds before spinning the hot water tap and lazily rinsing his hands, which tremble slightly.

Before he can be reprimanded, he pumps soap into his left palm and scrubs both of his hands. It doesn’t last nearly as long as medical professionals insist upon in order to reduce the spread of bacteria, but he still makes the attempt.

“Again?” Howard asks. “Man, you tell him that story every fuckin’ time.” He rinses quickly. “Maybe you ought’a tell him you’re ready to be a–” Instead of paper towels, he wipes his hands on the empty seat of his pants. “–fine, upstanding–” A pause to flick residual moisture from his fingers. “–give-a-fuck member of the community, yeah? No more nay-sayin’. Bet he’d shit a fuckin’ crow.”

[Bridget Geroux] Simon does his best to be civil, to pass his Rage. It’s a struggle, and Bridget knows it. The expression on her face when he speaks to her with that edge of anger in his voice is somewhat like that of a deer in the headlights. A small thing that is keenly aware of a big thing.

That too, is adorable. The kicked puppy look is not something she gets very often, either. “You didn’t?” she replies quietly. “Nothing’s broken, no one’s bleeding. I think that calls for a toast.”

To that, the girl rises up again like Lazarus, grabs the rest of the whiskey, and pours herself another glass. This one will for sure push her down the sobriety staircase, but Gaia help anyone who tries to take it from her.

[Bridget Geroux] To Sarita, Bridget simply shakes her head. “No, I get it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] There’s a smile to Bridget at when she says that she understands. She looks up at Simon as he approaches, rising to stand. It’s not an aggressive move at all; she’s not moving toward him, just getting to her feet. However he may take it…for her, it’s a sign of respect. And that’s not something that she extends very often. (Coincidentally, it does slightly happen more often when she has an Ahroun potentially pissed at her. Complete and total coincidence.)

“We should probably do official-like introductions. Sarita Echos-of-Laughter. Cliath No-Moon of Owl’s Brood. She holds out a hand to Simon. “No hard feelings?”

[Llewelyn] Patrick seems sincerely thoughtful on this point, a palm flashes to cover his chest in abject despair. “Oh no,” he laments with very little real sincerity. “Am I becoming repetitive in my mockery and loathing of everything we were created for?”

The eyes widen theatrically.

“The horror.”

The Galliard pushes Howard out the door, and then starts toward the stairs, leading them back up to what is, by this stage, no doubt a full blown party — or something god awful. Either way, Patrick’s guitar was up there and he’d be damned if he left without it. “C’mon, cheesedick, upstairs, if you’re real lucky the Shadow Lord will still be around to flirt with.”

He trumps up the steps noisily.

[Simon Zahradnik] He smiles a little back at Bridget and his head nods a little, he lifts his glass to Bridget and nods his head slowly. The full moon joined her in his toast then downed the rest of his glass. When his drink was finished his eyes fell back upon the Kin. Heavy was the weight of rage especially as his moon rapidly approached. Thinking straight got harder and harder, and it showed especially as the moon drew fuller and fuller.

Sarita pulls his attention away, and his eyes look her over.”Simon… Bone-grinder… Cliath, Ahroun grandchild of Thunder.”He says before eying her hand a moment then reaching out to take it gently enough and shake. She wasn’t so much the focus of his fury as others were. Their faces, their smug little grins, the kinds of grins that would take more than a fist to wipe away.

[Ivers] “You do tend to repe–whoa!

With a jolt, Howard stumbles forward, his sneakers squeaking on the tiled floor as he’s ushered towards the door. He bursts through without pausing to see if anyone will be knocked over, and when he tried to go for the door, Patrick shepherds him in the opposite direction: the stairs.

Whaaat,” he moans, as though this is the last place he wants to go right now.

All it takes is the last nine words to convince him to hustle his ass back up into the VIP lounge, where he reappears with about as much bustle and boisterousness as he had earlier, which is to say, not much at all. He had been almost quiet when he first appeared, as though he was afraid of startling a creature of a moon that grows exceedingly touchy this time of the month. A pause to look around, and Howard rolls his head on his neck, once, before approaching Simon.

This is probably going to result in his nose being broken. He just doesn’t fucking learn.

“Simon, man, I’m sorry. Truly, I am. What do you say we kiss and make up, yeah?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her handshake is firm, far from ladylike. She nods a little, a bit of her good-natured mirth returning. “A pleasure and honor, Simon…”

The words trail off when she hears Howard and Patrick come up the stairs, and she quite literally facepalms as she heads Howard’s comment. It’s not tough to see that she’s not getting in the way of this particular ass-kicking. She’s not a peacemaker by nature, and calming down an Ahroun once is against her nature as it is. Doing it twice within the span of a few minutes? Not happening.

[Llewelyn] Patrick, coming in ahead of Howard is smiling, a strange sight in and of itself, when he steps to one side and flourishes the path toward Simon at Howard — all bets should have been well and truly off. He’s clearly not in his right mind, if ever he has been to date. Though generally, Patrick did tend to be the side of Caldera approached for more … rational answers.

Presently, the Galliard is leaning back on his heels and wiggling his eyebrows suggestively at Bridget.
Er, right.

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon blinked when he heard Howard. His eyes didn’t leave Bridget’s face, he tried to focus on her eyes. He tried to bite down on his own tongue for a second or two. He took the time to draw in his breath slowly, get his lungs nice and full before slowly exhaling. He tossed the ice around in his glass and looked down at it, before slowly turning to face Howard.

His eyes met Howard’s own, and he took that glass and held it a little closer to him, dumping the ice out at his feet.”I stepped out of my house this morning thinking to myself that today was going to be exactly like every other day and for the most part it was. If your hope is to infuriate me just a little more so I will beat the shit out of you once more… Forget it. Kicking your ass would mean I gave a flying fuck whether you lived or died. It would mean I gave a crap about your feelings or opinion. Kicking the shit out of you would imply you were worth raising my fist in anger.”He says with a shrug of his shoulders. His eyes met Howard’s own beautiful eyes(What? They are pretty!) and his lips curled into a little smile.

The words were spoken coldly and with such bitter contempt for the Theurge. He contained his rage, in fact just letting that out seemed to let out the steam.”Now if you will excuse me I need another drink.”He says once more to him before turning and walking away. Normally he wouldn’t present his back to someone he just insulted like that, but that too was it’s own little message. He didn’t even consider Howard a threat, and while that might not mean much to some any Shadow Lord would understand how deep an insult that was.

[Ivers] Anyone with a shred of shame, dignity, or self-respect would have been insulted or even hurt after what Simon said. He would have sat his ass down or turned around and walked out of there and made an effort not to cross paths with the Shadow Lord ever again. Heir of the Ruined Day has terrible impulse control and an even shittier sense of self-worth, but by god is he stubborn, and anyone who has known him as long as Bridget, or Simon, or Patrick, would be able to state with utter certainty that he just doesn’t know when to quit.

Simon starts off, giving his back to a creature who, were he taking his auspice role seriously, were he taking anything seriously, could have rained down any number of punishments upon him with the opportunity presented to him. There were not a great deal of Shadow Lords in Boston, or London, or wherever the fuck Howard was before either of those places, but he has to know the significance of one of Thunder’s grandchildren giving him his back.

Undeterred, without even pausing to do much more than execute an about face, Howard calls, “Infuriate you? Why would I want to infuriate you? You’re much cuter when you’re calm!” He starts after Simon, following him back to the bar if he has to. “Y’know, if I infuriate you, maybe you ought’a be askin’ yourself why that is, yeah?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Simon’s response to Howard draws an arching of her eyebrows, and a wide grin. “Nicely done,” she says to him. When Howard decides to push the issue, she rolls her eyes. “Hey, chico. You’re ruining a good party here, yeah? Dial it back down a bit, you mind?”

[Llewelyn] The Galliard’s flick to the Black Fury, he says easily, “Leave him be, he’s not going to do any harm,” a beat and the Welshman starts toward the sofa, and his guitar, to properly stow it.

“Unless Bone Grinder has any reason to be afraid of my pack mate.”

[Llewelyn] [Man, just [insert tribe here] I don’t even care any longer.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Kinda completely missed the point there, but whatever.” She shrugs and goes to make herself a tequila sunrise.

[Simon Zahradnik] “A bee…”He says with a soft tone as he approaches the bar.”Is born, and it like does shit. It doesn’t really know why I was born, it doesn’t ask. It was born and it does as is needed for all the other bees and a little while later it dies. In its entire life it processed as much in its tiny little brain as you think every second. Yet that bee stood for something. It believed in something and it might have very well died for that thing… That stupid fucking thing that meant absolutely nothing to any of us cause we just wanted her honey.”

“It’s funny… Cause I’m thinking on it just a minute ago. About the world and all the terrible things in it. Like Black Spiral Dancers.”He says this with a little smile.”You know traitors… They’re turned their backs on everything they believe in. They’ve forsaken everything and everyone in favor of their alien agenda. Yet even they are deserving of a brutal, painful, terrified screaming death. Cause at the very least they have the balls to stand up for something… Forsaken or not at the very least they hold on to something that you know… Means something to them.”He shrugs as he reaches the bar.”They fight for their hive…”

“I think it’s funny cause I mean… I don’t really like… Even pity the terrible disgusting thing you have become. Because you’re not even willing to fight for your fucking honey. You just bounce around in life callin’ people names until they drive your ass off for being a prick.”He pours his drink and tosses a couple more ice cubes in the glass.

He then presents the glass to Howard as well as a smile.”I don’t have to ask myself why you infuriate me… Because for all that everything inside your brain you don’t even have the dedication of an insect. You’re like a little mosquito buzzing around my face only you don’t even have legs or a stinger or wings… You’re more like a really loud earthworm.”He says with an almost warm little smile.

[Llewelyn] “Oh, yeah?” He snaps, the Galliard, not his moon, his personal moon, but the Gibbous none the less in the sky outside, at the Strider female. He’s stoned and his capacity for bullshit is at an all time low. “What was the point, then? That he should hold his tongue so you and Bridget here can play dress up some more about not being a),” a gesture at her, “a Monster in woman’s skin and b),” at Bridget, “in denial of pretty much everything?”

He snorts; snapping shut the locks on his guitar case and lifting it up, setting it against a wall.

“I’d rather be the asshole that ruins the fantasy, sorry to say.”

Then — then, there’s Simon’s speech to Howard and Patrick’s Rage — on a dull to middling simmer all night sparks and ignites. He walks up to the Ahroun and shoves him, without preamble. “Stop fucking presuming you know everything about us, Ahroun!”

He’s shouting, abruptly.

[Hunter] Hunter is late.

Not that kind of late, he doesn’t do shark week, he has a penis. But he is late for the jam night. So late in fact that he’s missed it completely. Except he doesn’t know this of course. He doesn’t know it when he comes stomping up the stairs with something disgustingly resembling a kazoo in his hand. It’s shiny blue, like the kind of blue that a stripper wears. It has sparkles on it.

He blows it loudly, puts it in his mouth and toots the descending melody for Rainy Day Women no 12 & 35.

br brp brp brrP Dooooooooooooo doooooooo doooooo dooo

[per+1dif]
Dice Rolled:[ 3 d10 ] 1, 3, 7 (Failure at target 7)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pauses, turning around and giving him a look. That ever-present grin of hers grows, to something approaching maddening levels…maddening both for others around and for her as well. She turns around from making her drink, leaving the half-finished sunrise on the bar. The effect will be ruined by the time she gets back. She makes a slow walk to Patrick, eyes not shying away from him, and something shifts in her, subtly. Without any noticeable or quantifiable change, she’s distinctly less human now. And she doesn’t stop walking until her face is inches away from Patrick’s, her finger coming up to rest on the hollow of his throat.

“And don’t you presume,” she purrs, there something distinctly threatening in the amused tone of her voice. “…to know a single thing about me, Patrick. It’ll be the worst fucking mistake of your life. Comprende?”

[Ivers] He doesn’t have a chance to offer a witty, homoerotic retort to what Simon just said to him. The fact that it took him so long, and so many words, to build up to calling Howard annoying and yet not even worth paying the slightest bit of attention to would only serve as a contradictory counterpoint to everything that the Shadow Lord has said just now, and though the green eyes that Simon finds so pretty are hidden by dark black sunglasses, the light in the room high enough that he would be rendered useless if he were to take them off. No one can tell, exactly, whether he’s stricken or distraught or hernia-provokingly amused.

Drawing a breath to respond, Howard is jostled out of the way by his brother, the buzz of the cannabis not enough to take the edge off of his Rage tonight.

Oi!!

Up the stairs comes Hunter, tooting away at his kazoo, as Howard darts between the shorter yet considerably deadlier Garou and puts a hand out on either side of him, not touching the Galliard or the Ahroun but prepared to–attempt to–push either of them back should they come at each other again.

At which point Sarita gets in Patrick’s face.

The Theurge groans, then drops his arms.

“What’s with all the fuckin’ cock waving? Christ!” He points at Simon. “That was the sweetest fuckin’ thing anyone’s ever said to me.” He points at Sarita. “You need to calm your tits.” He points to Patrick. “You… you.”

And then he sees Hunter, towards whom he bolts.

[Llewelyn] His fingers reach out, snap lock around that finger.

“Then make it the last one I make,” he (begs) taunts; his eyes dilated with drugs and adrenaline and Rage. “Finish me off, c’mon. I won’t even fight back.” He spreads his arms wide, beating his chest once at both the Shadow Lord and the Strider. Howard begins to — and then doesn’t — and Patrick’s voice catches in his throat, turning hoarse.

“He isn’t gonna stop you. Do it. Obliterate me.” He pants.

[Hunter] The horrible tune from the kazoo comes to an abrupt halt, dying off in a quick, wallowing and disheartening shriek that ends with a rather depressing sad little

toot!

He removes the ‘instrument’ from his mouth when Howard starts talking and puts it in his pocket. Something is definitely wrong here, tempers are high. Anger is almost palpable in the stale bar air. Patrick starts telling people to obliterate him and Howard starts running in Hunters direction.

He crosses his arms over his chest and frowns.

“The fuck??!”

[Simon Zahradnik] “You know my mom was a pretty tough lady. I used to whine about things and she would tell me to suck it up and accept it. She was one hardcore bitch… Then one day about this time last year I earned the rank of Cliath.”He shrugs his shoulders.”When that happened she cried for the first time in my life. Cause for all her hardcore tough love bullshit she was still a mom and her baby boy was about to go off and get his ass killed for some stupid war she never understood. But even she knew that this was who I was, and like it or not this was how things would be.”He says sideways to Patrick, his voice was almost soft.

Howard’s response gets a little smirk and he watches him walk away. A slight smirk taking shape as he makes his way away. He doesn’t bother to say anything more. He looks at Sarita and he smiles as he looks at Patrick.”Do not suffer thy people… Tend to thy sickness.”He mutters softly at the man in a dark and cold tone. He was not a Half Moon. In fact no Half Moon was present. In fact! IF EVER there was a Time for a Half Moon to be present it should be right now. He was simply reminding the Galliard.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The shift in the dynamic is so sudden, Sarita practically gets whiplash. She rolls with the punches easily, though, and just shakes her head. “I said worst mistake. I didn’t say last. I ain’t that nice.” She puts her hand on his chest and pushes him, gently, backward toward Hunter and Howard.

“I also don’t do suicide by Sarita, and you aren’t that good of a goader. Go…best you get out of here. You can thank me…well, probably never, but I ain’t used to being thanked, so you won’t be hurting my feelings none.”

[Ivers] As he’s done several times before, Howard tears ass towards Hunter and then uses him as a shield between himself and the rest of the world. His outfit is, in all likelihood, the worst one Hunter has seen him wear yet: sneakers, seafoam-green pants, an orange vintage Reese’s cup t-shirt, that blue-and-black plaid scarf that matches nothing he owns, and his leather jacket. When he claps his hands on Hunter’s shoulders, it’s the thickness of his jacket that keeps him from feeling how cold Howard’s hands are.

The fuck??!

His left arm stretches over Hunter’s shoulder, continuing to point as he explains what the fuck’s going on.

Simon. “I pissed him off–”
Sarita. “She’s snarkin’ up a storm–”
Patrick. “He’s stoned–”
Simon. “He thinks I’m cute–”
Sarita. “The Great Cuntrag Shortage of 2011 takes another victim–”
Patrick. “I’m about ninety-nine percent certain he’s tryin’ to commit suicide without actually havin’ to do it himself.”

At which point Sarita pushes his brother back in their direction. Howard sighs, quick and loud, and lets go of Hunter’s shoulders with a harsh sniff. For the first time… well, likely ever, Howard gives Patrick a command that leaves very little room for argument, if one is willing to ignore the fact that Patrick could beat Howard’s ass in a heartbeat.

C’mere!” he says, in a hoarse stage whisper, waving his arm. His tone, though his volume is disastrously low, has an edge to it that none present have ever heard before.

[Llewelyn] “My sickness is simply that I don’t want to fight for what you do,” the Fiann says, still panting, sweat dripping from the ends of his hair.

“You all… you just don’t want to stop and think that maybe, maybe I’m not fucking sick. I just don’t agree with with your principles. God forbid those chosen by Gaia stop and think for themselves.” He mutters, and as Sarita pushes at his chest he swings, grabbing up his jacket and guitar.

“I’m so gone.”

He confirms, and glances at Howard as he passes and he hisses c’mere in actual challenge.

Patrick keeps walking, down the stairs.

[Hunter] Hunter listens to Howard with a face that changes emotions rapidly. RAPIDLY.

I pissed him off — Orly? Feigned surprise.
She’s snarkin’ up a storm — Don’t be a dickhead Howard
He’s stoned — Contemplative.
He thinks I’m cute — Sigh. Ugh.
The great cuntrag.. — HOWARD!
Ninety-nine percent — Concern.

And the concern stays there when Patrick ignores his Alpha’s commands. Truth be told, Hunter Matthews doesn’t really care what happened at the bar now, he looks at Simon, looks at Sarita, sees no threat. His attention goes back to Patrick and Howard.

“You gotta’ make em do it man.. one way or another..” He says the words like he doesn’t really want to have to say them to Howard, but feels it’s necessary.

[Bridget Geroux] Like Lazarus, the Fianna kin suddenly takes a sharp breath in and sits upright. A few adorable blinks and wide doe-eyed looks around the room causes the Canadian to grimace. A blink pushes back emotionless tears– her eyes are watering from the case of Drunk.

“Jesus! the young woman cries, it’s not pained, but soft and high pitched.

“I can’t leave you guys alone for a second! What’s going on? Why is Caldera here, and Hunter?”

It’s damn adorable, that fucking Canadian bitch. She rubs her eyes and frowns.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She spins around and tenses, reacting to the exclamation from Bridget like it was a gunshot. When she sees and hears Bridget, all the residual hostility she may have carried and what was left of that other-than-human look she had flits away. She puts on a smile and sighs. There’s something about the kin being conscious that certainly invokes that change.

“No worries, chica. Things just got a bit intense. We’ll be good boys and girls, promise.” She heads toward the minibar. “Who needs a fuckin’ drink?” And she raises her hand. “That’s right…I do, I do!”

[Simon Zahradnik] He keeps his smile as Patrick speaks now. He watches quietly and he shrugs his shoulders.”Believe what you like… I am honestly past the point of caring. I put my life on the line because I believe in something. You choose not to believe in that thing. That’s cool it just means I can be a little more selective on who I put my ass on the line for.”He says with a nod of his head as Patrick storms out.”Night princess!”

He then turns his attention to Bridget.”I think they are leaving.”He says before giving a little smile.”Well I can’t speak for Hunter. You wanna stay man? Grab a drink?”He asks the Full moon, inviting him in. Hunter was… Well he didn’t know him well but one Full Moon can respect another usually.

[Ivers] This is the longest any of them have known Howard where he has been absolutely silent for this long.

Patrick not only doesn’t C’mere but he keeps right on walking, carrying his guitar case and his jacket without stopping to collect his Alpha, and Howard just watches him, skinny shoulders slumped, hands at his sides, lips parted as though he’s attempting to find the words but can’t get them to line up properly. There’s the totemphone, of course, but he utilizes that far less frequently than he utilizes, say, prophylactics or language appropriate for all audiences, and he’s silent there, too.

It’s shock. He’d joked about it, had tried to make light of it, but having Patrick walk away from him like this doesn’t seem to have any previous mapping in his brain. It isn’t as though they’re in the living room, or the common room, and he’s storming off to their bedroom after Howard has sufficiently annoyed him. He just attempted to goad two Garou from other tribes into obliterating him, and then ignored what was, effectively, an order.

With his back to the room, his attention on the empty space where his brother was a moment ago, when he answers Hunter he doesn’t attempt to hide, at first, the fact that he’s confused.

“I can’t… I’m not…”

A hand goes to his forehead, kneads the wrinkle-free flesh there, and then the realization that there isn’t a single person in this room who he hasn’t pissed off in the last twenty-four hours strikes him. He draws a breath, effectively pulling it together.

“The fat fuck just can’t handle his weed, is all,” Howard says, his voice a degree of cheerful that is so forced it bears no resemblance to his typical brand of not-a-single-fuck-given speech; he even adds a forced Hah, hah! as though it’s in the script and he just doesn’t feel the damned line during this particular rehearsal.

Without waiting for anyone else to speak, he starts after Patrick.
Unlike every other time this has happened, he doesn’t shout for him.

[Hunter] Hunter stands there looking at Howard, he sees the confusion, the hesitation and Hunters face falls. He shakes his head slowly and after a few moments he just claps the Theurge on the shoulder, gives him a friendly smile.

“Good luck.” And it sounds sad.

He can’t follow, he can’t help him, what would be the point? He has to do it himself, and if he can’t do it himself then he shouldn’t be the one giving orders.

Howard bolts out after Patrick and Hunter looks around the rest of the room. He sees Bridget, gives her a wave. “Guess I’m late ye? Shit. Night ladies. Oh you too Simon.” He sighs, gives a wave of his hand and then he’s heading back out. He won’t stop to find the Caldera’s, he won’t stop even if he walks right into them.

Home time.

[Bridget Geroux] It’s her own party and people don’t even say goodbye to her. Bridget is, however, strangely used to this. It doesn’t surprise her, but she does continue to blink and pout in her semi-conscious state. The poor kinfolk whose party was kind of ruined like a friggen tantrum of 6th graders from both sexes who have reached puberty just waves her hand at Caldera… you know… like they’re actually looking or like it matters at all.

“Bye guys.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She picks up the tequila sunrise, sighing as she sees that, indeed, the sunrise has already faded away. She swirls the liquid in the glass a little bit, mixing it all the way, and then heads over to sit down next to Bridget. “I’m sorry. Here I thought I’d made the whole thing better for half a second, and then it took a huge, Greg Louganis-style dive. Horrific head-smack and all…in a metaphorical way, anyway.” She looks at the kin, her expression apologetic.

[Bridget Geroux] It takes a few more minutes for the Canadian to actually wake up. She might go after them if she was privy to that whole Harano-filled tirade. No, she definitely would go after them if she knew about it.

Things being as they are, she doesn’t. Bridget wakes up bleary-eyed, gets up, goes over to the plate of finger food. The plate gets brought over to the couch and set onto the coffee table before her. She’s still drunk, so it’s slightly less graceful than she thinks.

“This sucks,” she mumbles. “If shit is always this dysfunctional everywhere but home, it’s no wonder you guys keep saying the world is ending.”

She doesn’t mean anything smart-assed by it. It’s wisdom from the Bottle that every one of the guests so far has indulged too heavily in.

“Can’t even… fucking… jam. I mean, goddamn.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He waves to Hunter and then glances at Bridget. He frowns a little and just watches her quietly and seemed to look like he wanted to say something. He even opened his mouth to start to talk once, and then a second time, and then a third. He holds up his hand then looks around. Then finally back to her.”You can’t umm… Jam… On your own?”He asks softly and so very cautiously. He wasn’t a musician and didn’t realize how stupid this question was. He didn’t realize there would be multiple people performing here. He just thought he was here to see Bridget and probably a few others!

[Bridget Geroux] [Cha+Perf+PB. Dif +2 drunk. Keep posting, I just want to know what I need to start typing.]
Dice Rolled:[ 9 d10 ] 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 9 (Success x 1 at target 8)

[Bridget Geroux] [Well fine. -2 dice then]
Dice Rolled:[ 7 d10 ] 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 9 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles, a sadder smile than she’s usually seen with. “You know…” She takes a drink of the cocktail, then sets it down before turning on the couch to face Bridget. “I grew up without any connection to all this shit. My father…more or less a one night stand with my mother. That kind of thing is fairly common among my tribe. You’re on the road a lot, you don’t really get into a lot of committed relationships, you know?”

Her words aren’t said with any bitterness. A trace of sadness, perhaps, but it’s faint and more for what she had and no longer does than what she never got the chance to experience. “Turns out, Esteban had a whole other family. Kinda makes him a shitty guy, in a lot of people’s opinion. He knew about me–they all knew about me–but I knew nothing about them until after my mom died and I had my First Change. I’ve had a lot of time since then, but I’ve really always felt like I had an outsider’s perspective, since I spent all those so-called formative years knowing nothing about all of us, and all of this.”

She pauses, thinking a moment. “There’s some fucked-up shit about the nation, and yes, there’s a lot of dysfunction. There are people I want to beat the tar out of sometimes…my own sister among them, and even a few people I’ve met here. But you know that all of that aside…we’re still a family. An enormous, seriously fucked-in-the-head family that sometimes tries to kill each other, but a family nonetheless. And when the chips are well and truly down, most of us will always have each other’s backs.” She looks at Simon and grins. “Hell, if I can end up on the same semi-side as this guy, anything can happen.” She throws him a wink, then looks back at Bridget. “Don’t get down. You’ll have your chance to jam…sometime soon, I bet.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [GO GO Gadget-Manip+Emp+PB!]]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Helps if I properly type the number in]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 2, 4, 7, 9, 9, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6) [WP]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[One More ’cause I’m dumb!]]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 3 (Failure at target 6)

[Bridget Geroux] To this, Bridget simply sighs and blinks. Simon doesn’t get it, but that’s fine. Sarita makes a pretty convincing argument, which inspires her to play. She clears her throat, looking quite serious while she searches for her harmonica, fingers floating through the crevices of the couch. Alas, it is there.

She holds it up to the dim light, then polishes it off with the corner of her shirt and brings it to her mouth. She starts playing. It is a pretty good job, but her heart just isn’t in it like it was before when she was playing beside a member of her Tribe, without tempers flaring through the room.

The song that starts is Wayfaring Stranger, and it is pretty convincing to the Garou. Bridget herself doesn’t hear it quite the same. She can’t see herself, so she feels disappointed with her own notes. She smirks when the soulful traditional melody is done.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The song strikes a particular chord in Sarita who seems clearly familiar with it. She smiles a tiny bit, silent as she watches and listens. When the song is done, she tilts her head a bit to the side. “Interesting song choice, chica. And nicely done.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He listens at first to Sarita and then he looks at Bridget wondering what she is thinking. He is quiet for some time and he just watches her standing still and quiet as he listens quietly and pauses just to think. She was a beautiful creature and just watching her perform was pleasure enough on its own. He is quiet and respectful and he let her have her performance before giving a little smile.

“We’re not a family… Not right now.”His eyes said he was thinking about other things. He was thinking about many things, and his eyes seemed to stare off just Past Bridget as a bittersweet smile showed.”We’ll get there… One way or another we’ll get there.”His tone was somber and somewhat annoyed. Even Bridget’s song couldn’t erase the pang of guilt that rolled through him as he settled back into a seat and wondered what the pair of Garou was up to.

Simon was still young. Still full of ideals, and hope… That little spark that this war could still be won still glowed within him. He could be cold and brooding now and again but the innocence of youth, that misguided sense of wonder still showed through now and again.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a suffering sigh, leaning back across her side the couch and letting her head fall backward over the armrest, so that she’s looking at Simon upside down. “Look at that…the Strider No-Moon and the Shadow Lord Full-Moon disagree on something. Someone get a Galliard, this rare occurrence needs to be transcribed into the Silver Record.”

Again, the words are gently teasing instead of having any malice behind them, the tone entirely good-natured. “Next thing you know, a Fury and Fenrir might start fighting, or a Fang might condescend to a Bone Gnawer.”

[Simon Zahradnik] He shakes his head.”It’s not that it’s… Something else. I’m just… You know. Being my usual asshole self.”He says softly even giving a little smile.”No you are right somewhere in the end we need to be able to depend on one another.”He sighs.”I’m just being, thinking stuff it’s complicated.”

[Bridget Geroux] Simon watches Bridget’s performance with his intense method of admiration. He wonders what she’s thinking. It’s difficult to read, perhaps because of her concentration, her current level of sobriety, or even because she’s too moonbrained to ever have one thought at any given time.

The song mentions family, so of course her thoughts stray there. Her father and his big hands, the sound of his voice, the way he taught her everything. The mother she believes is dead, who she doesn’t remember at all except in photos and the way her father’s voice pinched and strained when he thought of her. The stiffness in Meuric’s demeanor when he thought of Lily, the way he could communicate without words all his heartache.

Bridget is thinking about the lovely black woman in Toronto who she distinctly remembers taking care of her when she was very young. She vaguely remembers the faces of Mama Gayle and her foster children. She remembers Mama Gayle’s voice, remembers the kinfolk nanna’s lullabies, the way she sang the kids to sleep. She called the little wayward Fianna girl blackbird.

Bridget is thinking about how much she misses the deep mountains, the clear air, the thrill of hunting in the wilderness with a set of wolfish eyes watching her prey on rabbits and deer. The warmth of furry bodies in a winter dogpile, the smell of Wolves. These are all childhood memories, so she doesn’t remember the fighting, the negative.

Lastly, Bridget is wondering whether she will ever find a place where she feels at home. Even with her fellowship sisters, there is a virtual abyss between them sometimes. She wonders if she’s ever going to settle down (even though she doesn’t want to). She wonders if there’s going to be a point when Caldera leave and take a piece of her with them. If Simon is going to do the same somehow. And what of her fellowship sisters? They all have lives to return to when their time in Chicago is done…

Just like Bridget does. Did she ever think this was going to be permanent? Why then get attached to anyone? Is this why Howard pushed her away, basically? All these and more flash through the kinfolk’s mind in a matter of short minutes.

The kinfolk lowers her head in deep respect to each of her two audience members. She sets the harmonica down and picks up those two spoons again. She clanks them back and forth, trying to think of something. It takes a moment before anything comes to her. A succession of clinks and clanks and rattling noises come out before her eyes light up.

“Hey, this is a jam. So I’m eliciting your participation. C’mon.”

She starts clicking the spoons and tapping her feet to a certain beat, looking at the two of them to see if the Upside Down Ragabash and the slumping Ahroun will pick up on it. If they don’t, that’s their deal. She will continue with the song anyway.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little bit when Bridget calls for some audience participation, and she sits back up. “Silly rabbit.” She has no training with musical instruments…when she was 15, she had her legs pretty persistently wrapped around a singer/guitar player who thought he was the next Kurt Cobain and she picked up a trick or two from him, but that’s the last time she touched one. Still, she has been known to be able to follow a beat from time to time and she kicked ass playing Rock Band in a Best Buy once–until she had to run away for smashing the guitar against the ground at the end of her performance, anyway–so she’s not afraid to get involved. She starts to tap out the beat on her leg that Bridget is setting, the smile widening as she does.

[Simon Zahradnik] Simon wasn’t exactly feeling like making a fool out of himself by showing his total lack of musical talent but there was still guilt there. After all he did kinda ruin Bridget’s evening. So as the beat starts he does the best to join in with his own foot and hands. Tapping his foot and bringing his hands together.

[Bridget Geroux] The song goes on with a sort of chant feel. Bridget teaches children’s music lessons, so leading the two of them along is not overly difficult. Her bare foot slaps against the foor with the same rhythm, while the spoons vary a bit to polish up the chant a bit.

Eventually, she will chime in with some singing. It is light, soft, slow. The perfect ending song to this little fucked up shindig to end on a somewhat positive note.

“Why you wanna fly blackbird you ain’t ever gonna fly.
No place bif enough for holding all the tears you’re gonna cry
Cos your mama’s name was lonely and your daddy’s name was pain.
And they call you little sorrow cos you’ll never love again.”

A long stretch of the song goes between this and the next portion.

“So why you wanna fly blackbird you ain’t ever gonna fly.
You aint got no one to hold you you ain’t got no one to care.
If you’d only understand dear nobody wants you anywhere.
So why you wanna fly blackbird you ain’t ever gonna fly.
You ain’t ever gonna fly.”

At this the song tapers off and Bridget slows with the spoons until she stops altogether.

[Bridget Geroux] [And they jam into the wee hours of the uneventful morning.

End scene!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Yay! Thanks for scenes!]]