Place :Big Red Barn
Date :Evening, 11th June 2005
Big Red Barn(#3420RA)
The barn is built in the old style, a vast three level structure that is greater in height than a mere three stories, actually closer to five. Great wooden posts support the weight of the upper levels and roof, sunk into the hard-packed dirt floor of the first level like a sparse forest of regularly spaced, naked trees. The stalls and flagstones which once were here have been torn out to leave a rather open area where even crinos Garou may roam freely without fear of running into anything but the supports or the walls or the ladder at the back which allows access to the other two levels.
The first two levels are relatively open to each other, the second being only little wider than a catwalk going around all the walls but the front one, which has massive, twenty foot tall doors set into it. The third level is a true second floor except for a place cut out that allowed hay to be tossed down to the ground floor when the farm was actually worked. Now, it is a hayloft where Garou can sleep outside of the house.
It's late evening, a cold and clear night in St. Claire. From the big red barn at the Escrowe Farm the sounds of someone working the punchbag come, a rhythmic thud-wheeze, as blows strike and air is forced out of the bag. Inside, KL, dressed in her running outfit, is generating a serious sweat.
The barn's big door slides open to admit another athletic young woman into the barn, this one sporting blonde braids, a black jacket, and from her body language, an attitude. Her hands are jammed into her jacket pockets as she comes striding in, kicker boots scuffing up the dirt. When she sees someone working the punchbag, rather than walk up to them she remains at a little distance, watching the workout appraisingly and leaning against the barn wall.
The Fury flicks a glance at the newcomer, throws two more punches into the bag then stops, quickly wheeling to face the other women. "Who are you?" she demands, somewhat out of breath, but the challenge obvious in her voice. She reaches up to her face and pushes a sweat-socked strand of hair back behind her ear, her gazed fixed firmly on her target.
A thin Caucasian woman standing at some 5'8", Clemency Haynes somehow seems to look even taller than her true height. Perhaps it's the confident air with which she carries herself, perhaps it's her angular posture which suggests that one could insert a long straight stick into any of her orifices and still only have the effect of bending her out of shape. Whether standing, sitting or lying she somehow contrives to seem erect and rigid.
Her hair is blonde - bleached, one might suspect, given the darker roots that show through - and braided into long neat cornrows, a little unusual for one of her ethnicity. Her face is small, with a sharp nose, and intelligent grey eyes. Her left ear has several small rings through; her right ear sports only one piercing, carrying an earring in the shape of a crescent moon with a smiling enigmatic face. A larger ring decorates the right side of her nose. Her usual dress is a heavy black denim jacket, a size or two too large for her, and with two button badges in her lapel reading 'Crazy Diamond' and 'Get Your Filthy Laws Off My Body'. Beneath it, a scoop-necked black blouse, decorated with a white lightning bolt across the front, and below those, worn black jeans and a pair of equally worn and scuffed DM boots. She often carries a duffel bag that's also seen a good deal of wear.
She appears to be in her early to mid twenties.
At a little over five foot tall and with a slim build, KL is hardly awe-inspiring on first sight. She appears to be around seventeen years old and still carries a teenager's air of disenchantment and irritation.
Her mid-length mousy-brown hair is today held in a neat plait that hangs down just below her shoulders, and is held at the end with a brown leather band. She would be quite attractive - in particular she has a very cute, upturned, nose - were it not for the sullen and aggressive set of her mouth and the hostility of her gaze. Her hazelnut eyes look out with disappointment and poorly hidden anger, as if the world were a holiday villa that didn't match the travel agent's description. Her skin is oddly pale, and on her right shoulder-blade a two-inch-square tattoo of a winged horse is visible. Physically, she's well proportioned, and her bare arms show a tight musculature that speaks of regular exercise.
She's got a habit of slouching and of leaning up against any available support. When she forgets to slouch, however, she moves with a surprising degree of grace and compact poise.
She is wearing a white T-Shirt which has been freshly cleaned, a pair of white cycling shorts, white sports socks and a pair of white trainers which have seen better days. There's a large bandage wrapped around her left forearm.
Clemency arches one eyebrow and saunters over towards the other woman. A gentle saunter, as though her peremptory words are not seen as sufficient cause to make her hurry. Once she's finally within conversational distance she speaks. "Clemency Haynes, Fire-Burns-Forever. Cliath and ahroun of the Silver Fangs, and petitioner for admission to this sept. Daughter of Gavin Keen-Ears, direct descendent of Amelia and Pyotr Tchigorin, and... all that jazz." Pulling her hands out of her pockets she folds them across her chest. "And I have the pleasure of addressing...?"
This gets a grin from the Fury, not the most pleasant of ones. "KL Cole. Escapes-From-Money. Cliath Ahroun of the Black Furies." The smile suddenly becomes more wolfish. "I've heard about you." Unconsciously, she mirrors the stance of the Silver Fang, her arms folding across her chest and her feet moving to be a shoulder-width apart.
If this were a movie, the Enrico Morricone soundtrack would be playing now. The two women stand facing each other for a silent second or two before Clemency arches her eyebrow a second time. "Is that so?" she says, coolly but with more than a hint of darkness bubbling under the words. "Might I ask what you've heard and from whom?"
"I heard that you are 'a raging jerk' and that you threw a cub over a couch, after grabbing her by the throat." KL says, her voice steady and level. The grin slowly fades, to be replaced by a small frown. "The cub seemed quite upset about it."
Clemency's expression becomes rather peculiar; as though she's not pleased at what the Fury's response is, and yet as though it's not what she feared hearing. "Well, well," she replies. "I don't deny my actions. All I'll say is that when it comes to being a raging jerk, that cub could give lessons to an athro. She is going to get her throat torn out one of these days if she doesn't lose her damn attitude, and I told her as much."
"She sent me off to get her ice with mint in." KL comments, unable to deadpan for much longer. "I mean...ice with mint in! I know being a cub is difficult, but it looked like she was intending to stay in the bathroom _forever_." Her mouth twitches into a much more natural grin. "So, yeah. She's massively in need of a reality check. Who _does_ she think she is?"
Clemency relaxes too. "The Great Grand Duchess of Snotty Botty Land, from what I can tell," Clemency grunts in reply. "She's a lost cub, I understand, and with that attitude she's damn well going to stay lost, because no tribe will have her till she learns some manners. And before you make any jokes about the First Tribe's attitude," she goes on preventively, "she's not one of us. We can back up any boasts /we/ make."
"Hadn't thought about it for an instant." KL says, in a voice that indicates that was precisely what she had been thinking about. "Ah well, she'll come round eventually. Or get culled." Less cold than it might have been, this - she sounds like the latter option would be unfortunate. "So, you new in town?"
"Few weeks," Clemency responds, letting the comment about culling lie there between them twitching and unregarded. "Made my intros at the last moot. Unfortunately my rep's come before me, it seems. The Elder and the Keeper and the other position holders are avoiding me, so I can't get chiminage sorted out and can't become a sept member till I manage to catch one."
KL heh's. "It took me ages to meet with Megan. Don't sweat it too much, she's a bit difficult to get hold of sometimes." She shrugs. "Most of the tribal elders can get in contact with her, as can most of the pack leaders." She relaxes her stance and pushes at the dirt floor with a trainer. "I'm probably still only a probationary Sept member, but as I'll be a permanent one or I'll be dead, the difference is a bit arbitrary."
Clemency grunts discontentedly at the mention of tribal elders. "Our tribal elder is a Ragabash kid who's younger than I am. In the last month, not one but two of our elders have fallen fighting the Wyrm, and our ancestral home has been foreclosed on by Big Bastard Bank Inc. and we've been chucked out. Which is why I'm mooching out here at the farm."
"You've been evicted?" KL says, raising an eyebrow. "So much for the great wealth of the Silver Fangs." Another shrug. "We're under threat of the same. The Fury who owns the 'Fury House' died some time ago. For some reason, she's not been paying the mortgage."
Clemency looks blank for a moment before letting loose a sharp, barking laugh. "That'd blow a hole in things, yes. Did she not make provision for it in her will or was her death... unofficial as far as the authorities are concerned?"
"No idea. I set a kinfolk off on it, but I imagine it's difficult to get a death certificate for 'killed in the umbra by a bane'. Or something." The Fury says, shaking her head slowly. "I've no idea. Basically, I missed that bit of education - I've got no clue how that kind of bureaucracy works. It's urrah shit."
"You can fucking say that again," Clemency agrees in heartfelt tones. "I don't have much of a clue either about that kind of thing. So, yeah. Me and Jervis and our cub Andy are homeless bums at the moment, which is a fine fucking pass for the Silver Fangs to come to, isn't it now."
KL can't resist grinning at this. "It is a little bit of a turn up for the books, yes. I understand there's a decent copse of trees over there - " She waves a hand. " - very salubrious. Cold running water. View of a satellite. Just what you guys are used to."
Clemency fixes a steely eye on KL. "Don't fucking poke fun at my plight, damn it. I'm seriously considering digging a hole somewhere, going feral and living on mice and squirrels. At least I'd be out of earshot of Sophie's constant whines."
"Because you're the only people who've _ever_ been kicked out of their home. The only people who've ever had to sleep under hedges and living off mice and squirrels." KL returns, a bit more metal in her response than the serve probably deserved. "So, when are you going to start following the Great Trash-heap?"
Clemency's lips thin to a bloodless line. "I swear to the mother," she growls to nobody in particular, "what is with the ahrouns round here all shooting off their mouths like ragabashes? Listen, gal, I've nothing against the Gnawers, but their ways are not mine. Put those claws back in and let's be civilised just for fucking once."
KL sighs. "Bah. I can't be bothered." Not exactly clear what that refers to, but she unfolds her arms and takes a couple of steps towards a hay-bale and dumps herself down on it. "What other Ahrouns have had a go at you?" she asks, raising an eyebrow. "And have you met Brom yet?"
Clemency's body language becomes tenser yet. "I'm booked to fight that great meathead as soon as he's fully healed from the last fight with a woman he got himself into," she says tersely. "I was thinking of Basil when it comes to shooting the mouth off."
"Basil!" KL says with a laugh. "Now there's someone who really gets my goat. He had the fucking gall to explain to me that women weren't actually abused at any point, it was just that they were physically weaker than men, so of course it was natural that men rule the world." She looks proud for a moment. "I managed to resist thrusting him through a wall. Though it was a real effort."
"I've got him eating out of my hand," Clemency states complacently. "You just have to let him know who's boss and everything is fine. Like most Gnawers."
KL nods. "Maybe I should have just kicked him into next week." she admits. "I don't like beating up cubs, to be honest, but then I've never really tried to bring one up."
"Me neither," Clemency says. "Living in this farmhouse is driving me postal. I don't know how anyone manages it without turning the little bastards into cub pie. This is why I'm giving such thought to going and living in a hole." She sticks her hands back into her pockets. "I've got a lousy temper at the best of times, and at full moons... whoooah."
"Yeah. I tend to spend a lot of time running around the bawn, or practicing my archery, at full moons. Anything rather than deal with idiots." KL says. "Or cubs, which is often much the same thing. Anyway, my workout's done, and I ought to get home. While I still have one." She stands up and brushes the straw from her bottom.
Clemency holds up one hand. "Lemme stop you just a second, KL. There's a few big fights coming up," she says, "and from the way you were pounding that bag, you look like you're useful toe-to-toe. And if you're an archer too... Think you might be interested in helping nail a smog bane? Or the scrags who killed Jana, our fallen elder?"
KL laughs. "I'm always up for a fight, and I've already been enlisted in the Smog bane detail - Touch Deer-rhya ran me down earlier today. But yeah, I'll help you avenge your elder. Assuming neither Signe or Helen has a problem, obviously."
Clemency sweeps out one hand and thumps KL enthusiastically on the shoulder. "Attagirl!" she whoops. "Okay, I'll letcha go home now, and I'll sleep in the cold, cold straw here. Think of me when you're in your nice warm bed." She laughs. "Good to meet you."
"You too." The Fury says with a nod. "And good luck with the cubs." She walks out of the door, breaking into an easy jog as soon as she exits the building.