The fury house is full of boxes and newspaper. Much of the stuff - almost all of it left over from previous inhabitants - has already been packed, and a pile of brown cardboard crates has been constructed by the door. KL is in the kitchen, doing a poor and very slow job of wrapping plates in newspaper. The look on her face says it all: one of dejection, miserableness, enlivened with occasional flashes of anger.
Leslie is rather less miserable, and seems to have taken the upcoming eviction in stride as she pulls down the contents of another cabinet for KL to pack up. She keeps up a string of relaxed chatter as she works. "So just picture the bankers when you pull down whatever the Wyrmfoe hunts down on Friday night," she suggests. "That'll help.
At the back door of the house is a loud meow, sounding wounded and sick, like a cat in pain. It seems louder than it has any right to be, so is quite noticable even if the house is all sealed up from the cold.
"Fuck off, cat." KL yells at the noise from the back door, before turning back to Leslie. "Yeah, you're right. And getting attached to a building is just being weaver-infatuated." She pauses, and blinks. "I've not seen a cat for as long as I've been here."
"It's weird for animals to come around here," Leslie agrees, brows furrowing as she sets her handful of bowls on the counter. "Unless it's us," she adds with a grin, stepping over KL and towards the back door. "Let's at least see what it is." Some of her veneer of cheer fades as she walks towards the back door, peering outside.
On the ground, outside the door in the snow is a patch of blackness. A black furred cat. It is a pitiful looking thing and when it sees someone at the back door it lets out another sharp loud yowl. The thing's fur looks matted and torn, and yet it seems quite insistent about something.
The Ahroun sets down the plate, along with its desultory wrapping, and follows Leslie. There's a tension about her, as if she were a coiled spring slowly being wound tighter. "Stray?" she asks, when she sees the cat.
"Probably, though..." Leslie trails off, puzzled, as she peers through the door and hesitates for a moment. "Careful. We've had some problems with possessed people and animals...if I start acting weird, kick my ass, okay?" Without waiting for an answer, she opens the door a few inches and tentatively offfers the cat a hand to sniff.
The cat gives another loud yowl then turns, starting to head off into the night. It pauses, glancing over its shoulder as if to give a 'You coming?' kind of look. As sickly as it might look, the cat clearly has the full cat attitude.
KL squints after it, a look of confusion on her face. "Why isn't it running away from me? Animals usually do." she asks Leslie, in a low voice. "And do I need to kick you?" Ultra-fake cheerful hope in this question, and a soupy grin plastered all over her face.
Leslie likewise stares after the cat, for a moment totally confused. She blinks a couple of times, then looks back at KL, seriously. "That's what I want to know. They usually do," she answers in a low voice. "I think..I think it wants us to follow. Grab our coats, would you? The packing can wait."
The cat keeps waiting, and as the two of you talk it sits, giving another yowl, again a sound that seems a bit loud for the pathetic looking cat. It clearly isn't in very good shape and yet... definately seems to want the pair to follow. It waits until at least one of the two starts to get close then will start off again, towards the road, around to the front of the house.
It takes KL moments to grab the two coats, and she chucks Leslie's to her, while slinging her own over her shoulders. "It's not a spirit, is it? I can't tell. Rubbish at that sort of thing." she asks. "Cos that would explain it's odd behaviour, I guess."
"No idea," Leslie replies, frowning as she flings her own coat over her shoulders and heads out the door, grabbing a housekey from the counter next to it. "I've got the key, so just shut the door behind you, but the last time an animal wanted me to follow it, I ended up trashed, covered in blood, and having killed a couple of fomori." She offers this to KL perhaps as encouragement.
The black cat seems some what satisfied now that it's being properly followed and starts off on a rather fast trott down the road. There's a light layer of snow on the ground and it's a bit chilly. It leads down the road, and on to the side of a larger road, not stopping but for traffic and the like. It appears to be headed towards the outskirts of St. Claire... which is admittedly far away.
"There better be something at the end of this." KL says. "Something to hit, ideally. Because this is starting to look like a very long walk." She shoves her hands into her pocket and studies the cat as the two Garou follow it. "It does seem to be leading us, though. Not just wandering about."
Leslie shrugs as she starts kicking the dusting of snow off the ground. "Oh good, so it actually does snow here in St. Claire. I was starting to wonder." There's a bit of forced cheer in the Philodox's voice as she walks after the cat. "And we can't even go down to four to make it easier," she laments, though she is much more relaxed than she has been around anyone else lately. "Oh well, I just hope this is good enough to explain to Helen."
As the cat leads on it starts to snow lightly. The air has chilled a bit. Big fat flakes fall, but they are few and far enough between that it will only likely lead to a small accumulation unless it increases. The cat leads the pair for a long walk, eventually leading past some strip malls and convience stores and starting to head towards a ratty subdivision.
"We were packing, but there was this cat, and so we thought we'd follow it about for a bit?" KL asks, incredulously. "I wouldn't buy it, you wouldn't buy it and I know Helen's easy-going, but she'd have to be comatose to accept that." She looks around. "I'm not too familiar with this area. Havoc's territory is further north than this. Just as fucking seedy as the rest of St. Claire, though."
"Definitely," Leslie answers, looking around at the area with nose wrinkled. "Well, it was my idea to follow it, I'll take the heat. Hopefully I won't have to. I'm up all night these days anyhow, and I'll do the rest of the packing if I have to." She shrugs eloquently. "I don't know this area at all. I know it about as well as I know the rest of St. Claire, which isn't much. I still get lost in the city a lot."
The part of town the cat leads to is a low end tract housing. Each house on this street seems like a minor copy of the next house with only a few changes. Most of the houses are only one story on small lots. There's a few inches of snow on the ground and Christmas lights are hung on most of the houses. None of the houses look new, all of them are run down in some way or another.
The cat heads in something of a wobbly path but eventually vanishes through the front door of one house in particular. This house has only one string of lights around the front door and no other Christmas lights. There's an old beater car in the driveway that looks half rusted through. The house in question is on the lower end of houses for how it looks on the outside, with some of the siding curling back here and there and generally a feeling of disrepair when you look at it.
There's a large front window that must open on the living room, as a tree is in front of it. Lights blink on and off but other than that there's no sign of motion or activity in the house in question. The street is relatively quiet, a light snow is deadening the sounds of the street.
KL stares at the house for a while, standing on the sidewalk. "Now what?" she asks. "Do you think we could pretend to be carol singers or something? Or shall I just kick the door in?" She cocks her head on one side, considering this option. "It doesn't look like it'll take more than a kick or so."
Leslie is silent for a moment, considering. "Let's see what's inside, first." Dropping down to a crouch, she sneaks up quietly to the window and peers carefully inside.
The christmas tree is in front of the window, blocking some of the view but the rest of the room that can be seen consists mostly of a tattered sofa. No one seems to be moving around inside. In fact the place seems oddly quiet from what Leslie can see considering all the lights are on.
The Ahroun, who has snuck up behind Leslie, crouching down below the window ledge, after having had a quick look through the glass herself. "Can't see anything." she whispers. "What do we think's in there?"
From afar, to the room, Alesia nods, "First line of the second paragraph: The cat heads in something of a wobbly path but eventually vanishes through the front door of one house in particular.
"Looks like nothing, but let's see if we can find that cat. Doesn't look like anyone's home." Leslie purses her lips and draws a deep breath, then stands and walks over to the door, trying it.
The door is in fact unlocked, which makes things far easier than expected.
Inside the house the front door opens on to a cluttered living area. There's a living room, dining area, kitchen area all open together so that you can see through the entire front area of the house at once. There's no sign of anybody here. The furniture here is shoddy, frayed. The Christmas tree is now noticeably fake and there are no presents under the tree. In the kitchen there's a faint smell of something burning that's still on the stove cooking on low heat for far too long.
A closer look and some odd things are noticed, such as the lack of a TV in the living room. The house is warm, the heat at least is on. One open door leads to what is obviously a bathroom. There are two closed doors and no sign of the cat at this point, the cat seems to have vanished completely.
"I still think I should have kicked it in." KL mutters, as she follows Leslie into the house. She sniffs, frowns in concentration, and turns her head from side to side very slowly. "I can't hear anything." she says, shaking her head. "Though someone's left something on the hob."
Leslie nods to KL, though she doesn't answer immediately. She does glance back at the door, eyeing it suspiciously before closing it quietly behind her and beginning to prowl around the house. "We don't know who's here," she murmurs as quietly as she can, "and I don't want to raise a ruckus if I don't have to. Let's get that off the stove before it burns the house down and see what's in back. I don't like this," she adds, a tinge of worry creeping into her tone.
The pots look like someone had dinner cooking. It's easy enough to get them off the stove, turn off the electric burners and dump the pots in the sink under some water, removing the threat of burning down the house. Looks like potatoes were cooking in water and perhaps some green beans in another pot. The oven is on as well, but not burning, there's something that looks like a meatloaf in there and it is definately ready to come out but not burnt. Looks pretty tasty actually. "Hmm." KL says, turning off the oven. "Someone was here not long ago, and now they aren't. Worrying." She peers at the back door, and checks to see whether or not it opens.
"Yeah," Leslie agrees, glancing at the stove to make sure it's turned off and following KL to the door to the back. "They obviously weren't planning to leave. Let's get this over with."
The first door leads to a bedroom. There's a king bed, dresser and night stand. This room seems like it has the 'best' furniture even though none of it is particularly fancy or special, just less run down. Again there is no sign of anybody actually in here at the moment. Of some note is the TV that is sitting on the dresser so that it is easily visible from the bed.
"Nothing there." KL says, leaning over to check underneath the bed, just in case, before moving on to try the other, closed, door. "Someone likes watching TV in bed."
Leslie frowns, peering at the television. "A lot of people do," she remarks absently. "If there's nothing here, why did that cat lead us here?" she asks of no one in particular, looking around for any other rooms and then peering out through a window.
KL stops, moments after looking under the bed, and blinks. "Leslie. Look under the bed." There's a low and dangerous tone to her voice, and her hands clench into fists.
"What?" Turning from her perusal of the door leading into the next room, Leslie drops to one knee and peers under the bed, carefully.
Under the bed is stowed a selection of tapes and DVDs, all looking like they are of violent porn, some BDSM and the like, all with the male attacking the woman, none at least with a 'mistress' figure. There are a few unmarked DVDs and tapes as well.
"I don't think I like whoever lives here." KL says, through gritted teeth. She strides out of the bedroom, and rips open the other, closed door with force. She does remember to depress the handle first, but if it's locked it may be in some trouble.
The snarl that Leslie lets out on seeing that is definitely words, but it's only about half in English. The other half would be recognizable to most Furies as sailor's Greek, and foul language at that; the English words aren't any more appropriate for polite company. "Somebody needs his ass kicked so hard he flosses with his piles in the morning," she agrees, standing and following the Ahroun to the other door.
The second door leads to the basement and opens smoothly as it has no lock. A set of creaky wooden stairs head down. There's a sheet over the doorway at the bottom of the basement steps, like a cheap door. It is cooler down here and before the sheet is pushed out of the way there's already a some what odd and sickly sweet smell in the air, along with a faint drip drip dripping sound. There is clearly a light on down stairs, illuminating the sheet from behind but it's a faint light, like from only one bulb.
KL climbs down the stairs as quietly as she can, which is reasonably quiet, though the stairs do give off a few creaks as she descends. She pauses at the sheet, and raises an eyebrow in a wordless query to Leslie.
Leslie's descent down the stairs is likewise fairly quiet; sticking to the place on the stairs that has the supports helps with that some. As KL looks up at her, she sniffs at the air, frowning intently. For a moment, her eyes glaze over, then she bares her teeth in a rather feral expression and nods once.
When the sheet is grabbed and ripped out of the way a scene of horror is revealed. The basement has clearly been converted into a partial bedroom. There's a throw rug on the floor covering half the room. A small single bed is pressed up into one corner and there's a dresser as well. The walls are uncovered cement though, making the place not look very friendly. The basement is clearly unfinished and not intended for use as a bedroom, the water heater and washer and dryer are in clear view as well as several piles of cardboard boxes on the other side of the room from the bed.
The source of the dripping becomes fairly clear as you take in the scene. The only light comes from a bare bulb on the side of the room that doesn't look like a bedroom. It creates shadows across the grotesque scene. The lamp that was on the night stand is shattered across the floor and laying in the several places are parts of what must have been a fairly large man. An arm is on the ground just past the sheet, the torso looks like it's been thrown across the room and is resting against the dryer. Both legs have been torn off the torso and one rests against the far wall while the other sticks out a little from under the bed. The head has been shredded but what's left of it rests at the base of the water heater. Blood is dripping from several areas and slowly flowing towards the drain at the center of the room.
In a far corner, away from the bedding, a huddled form can be made out. At first there might be some question as if it's a person or a large chunk of body, as it's flesh covered in blood, but with a soft sob it's clear that it's a girl, curled up against the wall. Her body is bare, her back towards the room. Her pale flesh is marred by a series of older scars, looking like she's been burned by something circular repeatedly as well as some horizontal scars. All the scars look old though.
KL hisses angrily as she surveys the room. "We're going to need transport, and some method of cleaning this mess up. Not to mention disposing of the body." she says quietly to Leslie, before moving over towards the huddled girl. "Heya." she says, crouching down next to her. For KL, this is the height of touchy-feely counselling.
"Some fucker got exactly what he deserved, looks like." Leslie's voice is low, controlled, a calm contralto with a definite New England accent. She comes a little closer, picking her way through the blood with an unconcern that would chill any watching human. "Are you all right?" she asks, then, standing a little behind KL, watching the girl intently.
As the pair gets closer to the girl it is clear that she's clenching one hand as she's curled up. Anyone noticing the busted bit of what used to be a thick silver ring on the floor to the side might have a clue as to why. As KL gets close, crouching down next to her there's little warning as the girl lashes out, fingers curled up as if in a non-existant claw as she tries to scratch KL's face. Her eyes are wild, and appear a bit haunted and sunken at the moment. Blood is smeared across her face and torso leaving her looking very red.
KL is surprised by this, and the blow comes close to landing, but her reactions are quick and, at the last moment, she rocks back to avoid it. That does end up with her sitting on her ass, flat on the floor, however, before she scrambles to her feet and takes a couple of steps away, looking up at Leslie. "We're friends." she says, evenly, crouching back down, but this time a more wary distance. "We're going to take you somewhere safe, somewhere away from here."
"Uh-oh." Leslie steps back as well as KL nearly sprawls into her. "You OK?" she grins briefly at KL, adding, "Somehow I think I can convince Helen-rhya not to kick my ass for this," before turning back to the girl. "You're hurt, aren't you?" Her voice changes audibly, now, from the slightly forced cheer she addressed KL with to a patient, low, encouraging sound like one might use on a wounded animal. "Here, let's find you some clothes. Where are they?"
Alesia definately seems to be a bit of the wounded animal right now. In fact from the looks of it she's really got a messed up finger. Still that seems minor compared to the scars that were first seen on her back but clearly continue around the front, as if placed only on the torso where they wouldn't show in public. The girl is nude and scoots back against the wall into the corner staring at the pair. At first she's looking at KL, but then her gaze turns to Leslie and her eyes go saucer wide. She blinks a few times then stammers, "M.... mother?" The girl looks like she's just seen a ghost as she stares openly at Leslie.
"I don't think so," KL says, "but we are friends." A stress on the repeated 'friends'. "I'm KL, and this is Leslie." she explains. "And we'd really like to take you away from here. Do you have some clothes upstairs?" It's as reassuring as she can make it, which probably isn't that effective.
"No, I'm not your mother," Leslie echoes KL, turning towards the dresser and eyeing it speculatively. "Though unless I'm totally mistaken, you're of our blood...KL's right, we've got to get you out of here, and quickly." She turns now towards the dresser, digging through for clothes appropriate to the weather. "Can you stand?" She turns back towards the girl, surveying her. "Sweet Athena, what did he do to you? Too bad humans only die once."
Alesia actually manages to gesture towards the dresser when KL asks about clothes, which is the very dresser Leslie heads to. It's at this point that it becomes very clear what Alesia was clenching, she's lost her left pinky finger to some really nasty looking burn, although she's holding that hand close to her body. She seems more than a little out of it at this point. Dazed would be a polite phrase for it. She tries to focus on KL but can't seem to take her eyes off of Leslie, the intentness of her stare probably more than a little disconcerting.
"Anji?" KL asks Leslie. "And her car?" She stands and takes a couple of steps towards the door. "I think there's a callphone nearby." She looks around the room closely. "I could get her to come down, take the two of you off then I can clean up?"
For a moment, Leslie seems lost as she looks back at the girl, at first baffled and then with intent and focus. "Perfect. I'll owe Anji for this. Quick and quiet, and we'll take her to the farmhouse. I'd take her to our place, but we just got the eviction notice today." A scowl creeps across her features. "Ring Anji, would you? It'll take her a few minutes to get here -- and in the meantime we can get this poor girl a shower." Her gaze returns to the blood-covered child. "I have no idea why you're staring at me, but now isn't the time for me to ask. What's your name? And let me see that hand."
Alesia seems unsure what to make of all of this, and there's still a haunted look to her eyes, some what ferral even. But for the moment she seems focused on Leslie and at the request she doesn't move from her spot in the corner against the cold walls but does hold out her hand. Either someone cut it off with a white hot knife, or it is silver induced, that much is clear to anyone who's seen silver wounds before. It looks nasty to say the least. Doesn't take a genius to figure that the girl was wearing a silver ring when she shifted. There's a little pause then she frowns and says, "Alesia." It's one soft spoken word. There's still the impression of the girl as a cornered wounded animal, scared and unsure.
"I'll be back in a moment, Alesia." KL says, cautiously. "Just off to phone a friend." She disappears off up the cellar steps, hurrying this time, her feet thumping loudly on the wooden stairs.
"Alesia. That's an interesting name," Leslie replies, a bundle of clothes still held in one hand as she peers at the hand, and winces sympathetically. "You had a silver ring on, didn't you." It's not a question. "I don't think that'll be permanent. Let's hope not. Come on, while we're waiting, let's get you cleaned up. How much do you remember of what happened?" She wears the look of one whose mind is racing fast.
Alesia gives a little nod, and then pulls her hand back close to her body to cradle it. She winces a bit, then says, "...father made me wear it..." Her voice is starting to shake a bit, as if as the feral element fades she's starting to crumble a bit. She looks around, the bloody mess around her starting to sink in more it seems. Even the poor girl's hair is matted down with blood.
"That's why, I bet," Leslie remarks, freeing one hand to offer it to the bloodsoaked kid. "Come on, Alesia. After you've showered, I'll explain what happened while we're waiting for Anji. And I swear to you right now that every word of what I'm about to tell you is true." She starts to draw the girl towards the stairs.
Alesia is more than a bit shakey as she tries to get to her feet. She does so, blood dripping down her body then starts to lose her footing, her legs going weak under her. She ends up clutching at Leslie's hand a bit tighter as she tries to steady herself. With help though she will regain her footing. The girl looks rather shell shocked to say the least. The stairs are the hardest part as they aren't horribly wide but the pair manage and can make it to the bathroom. The place seems to just have the one, with a shower/tub.
Leslie doesn't seem too bothered by the blood as she supports Alesia up the stairs; her body is strong and lithe, with a tension written beneath it that isn't visible in her concerned expression. "You've just done the world a favor today, Alesia. I assume your father is the one who owns those porn videos under the bed." She fairly spits out the last part. "The reason he wanted you to wear that ring is because you're a werewolf, though how he thought that would protect him when you Changed, I've no idea. Into the tub with you." The last is a kindly if firm order.
Alesia is quiet, listening but not saying anything as Leslie leads her along. She steps up into the tub, and just keeps watching Leslie. She spares an occasional look at her injured hand, holding her left hand with her right. As she walks her feet more shuffle than anything else. She is left standing in the tub and glances at Leslie, her face no longer as feral looking but rather a scary almost blank expression.
At first, Leslie is too busy locating soap and towels to notice Alesia staring at her. When she does, she sets them down and stares back, intently, without blinking. "Alesia. Wake up. Do I have something on my face?"
Alesia peers at Leslie and again says, "...mother?" Her eyes narrow a bit as she seems confused herself. "You... came back?" The towels are easy to find, as is the soap and shampoo.
A little while passes before KL returns, breezing through the front door as if she owns the place. "Hello?" she calls, though not perhaps at full volume. "Anji's outside waiting in the car, with the engine running. I thought it was safest if she picked me up on the way in."
"We'll be just a minute, KL," Leslie calls distractedly from the bathroom. "Can you grab all the clothes she's got that aren't bloodstained and find a bag or something? I've got a set for her up here, but I'm trying to explain a few things." With that, she turns back to Alesia, staring at her intently. "No, Alesia. I don't know who you're seeing, but..." She trails off, studying her. "Here, shower, and we'll talk when you get out. I've got your clothes here."
Alesia manages to turn on the water, only leaning against the wall of the shower stall a little bit. Then with mechanical motions she starts to wash herself, scrubbing and letting the blood flow off her body and down the drain. But she'll keep the water going and washing until someone stops her.
"Sure." KL calls in, and the sound of her running down the cellar stairs can be heard.
Leslie seems content to wait outside the door for about ten minutes before she looks back in. "Alesia?" she calls, peeking into the bathroom but not behind the curtain. "Come on, you've got to be clean by now. You okay in there?"
The bathroom is full of steam as the water is clearly on very hot. There's no sounds of washing though at this point and it looks like Alesia has sat down in the tub letting the hot water run on her, although she is very likely clean at this point. Alesia pages to the room: We're almost done I think but I more than understand.
With a sigh of annoyance, Leslie steps fully into the bathroom and peeks behind the shower curtain. "Alesia...Alesia." She lets out another sigh and, shaking her head, reaches over to turn off the water. "You're clean, and we've got to get out of here before the police find you and us. Come on, out of the tub and dry off and into clothes." Her tone is encouraging, but holds some urgency.
Alesia manages to get up with help from Leslie. KL can easily find some clothes for Alesia, although none of them are particuarly 'good' clothes, all look worn out or as if they were bought from salvation army and show it. With the blood cleared off of Alesia the resemblance between Leslie and Alesia becomes more obvious.
The sound of Ahroun on stair returns, and KL returns to the upper level with a bag full of clothes. "I grabbed everything that looked useable or important." she calls from outside. "I'll go back down and start clearing up the you-know-what." "Thank you so much, KL. You're a lifesaver." With increasingly quick and decisive motions, Leslie gets Alesia dressed in the clothes she'd brought up for her and grabs a nearby comb to comb her hair out. "KL, be careful getting out of here, and don't do anything you don't have to do ot get out quick and quiet. I'm going to get Anji to take us to the farmhouse."
You paged the room with 'Brief summary - KL will collect all the bodyparts and put them in a bag, clean away as much of the blood as she can, then weight the bag thoroughly, seal it, and then throw it in the river at some fairly deep secluded point. Then she'll make her own way back to the farm.'.
Alesia is passive as she's dressed, cooperating but not taking much inititive. Still it goes fairly quickly. As Leslie tries to comb out Alesia's hair Alesia fumbles with one of the drawers in the bathroom to get a bandage to put on her hand, a pad of gauze and some tape to hold it in place as she starts to fumble and struggle to get it to stay in place. It's about this time the girl starts to cry, as she fumbles with trying to bandage her burnt off stub of a finger.
"Sure." KL calls from outside. "I'll see you back at the farm in a couple of hours."