[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.
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.
[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.
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.