Time/Date : 07 March 2006
Place : Umbra : Harbor Park
Umbra: Harbor Park
The Umbral ground beneath your feet here is lush with vegetation, an oasis of life amidst the concrete and webbing of the scab. Trees stand proud and tall here, their branches full of leaves. Shrubs line the outer edges of the park, tangled with encroaching webs. The fountain stands out boldly from even the surrounding area, the sleek lines sharper and more pronounced. Clean pure water roars and cascades from the figure in the fountain's center, falling into a cold clear pool that looks quite inviting. Spreading out from the fountain, the rest of the park is a green veldt that seems to radiate life and strength. The river banks the east shore of the park, bridged by a massive rusty bridge. On this shore, the glade seems to have spread out on to it, vines winding around the supports. Further across the river, the bridge melds into the scab again, flaked with rust and covered in webs. The river itself is clean within a few feet of the shore, but black ooze seems to encroach menacingly from the murk of the rest of the river.
A walkway leads out of the Glade-like atmosphere of the park from just north of the fountain. Eastward, the dark span of the bridge stretches over the vile river. Dark streets lead west and southwest into the blighted Umbra of the city.
The Angels have seemingly left 'Charlie' at home today as they venture out into Harbor Park. Emma leads the group of women as the moon shifts in the sky- almost as if Luna herself were watching their progress. Once at their destination, the young alpha gives a nod to those gathered. "Go on, I'll come through last."
Clemency, characteristically, launches herself through first, the Silver Fang taking point with almost instinctive forwardness.
Laura takes a mirror from the pocket of her sweatpants and flashes it in her own eyes. Years of practise draw the theurge into the Umbra easily.
KL follows close behind the other Fury, her passage into the umbra somewhat slower and more labored. She grins wryly as she finally arrives on the other side. "I must get better at that," she says in a very quiet voice as she looks around carefully. The Fury Ahroun flashes a reassuring grin at the Theurge. "Good luck."
And at last, Emma brings up the rear, stepping through and arriving to meet her packmates, current and future. She rolls her shoulders back and looks around. "Ready Laura?" And even before the Fenrir can call out their presence to the totem, he arrives. The bear sized mustelid steps forward, nose working over the scents of his children.
Clemency shifts upwards and takes crinos form as soon as she's through the barrier, a process which like KL she finds a little awkward, compared to the grace displayed by the theurge. She gives Laura a (very gentle) pat on the shoulder as Vex lumbers up towards his pack.
The Fury Ahroun raises an eyebrow, and then matches the Silver Fang in her shift to war form. Escapes moves to stand behind and to one side of Clemency, her eyes fixed on Vex.
Laura remains in homid, raising her chin as the wolverine comes into view. She rolls out her shoulders, silently acknowledging both Clemency and Emma with a short nod. She faces the great huge spirit head-on, hands balled into fists at her sides.
Emma takes Hispo today, meeting the war totem in a shape and size similar to his own. She flicks her tail once before deferring her posture to the great wolverine spirit.
Vex meanders first to the alpha, sniffing over her and giving her a hard brush of his body. Then he mimics each greeting with those he has already claimed, coming to rest finally at the Theurge.
Fire-Burns stands her ground solidly as Vex rubs past her, the spirit's strong scent making her nose twitch just a little and spoil her otherwise rocklike motionlessness.
Escapes lifts her chin slightly as the totem greets her, and she lets out a growl that's fifty percent submission, fifty percent rage as a form of salutation to the giant wolverine spirit, before falling into an attentive and motionless silence.
Laura glances at her tribesister for a moment, then looks at the wolverine's eyes. Her feet scrape into more of a ready stance, and her jaw works steadily. "*Hello, wrathful Wolverine,*" she greets the spirit in the spirit tongue.
Emma watches intently as the theuge meets the gaze of the totem spirt. She grows tense, pacing two strides to the left and forcing herself onto her haunches as her tail slips to curl around one hind paw.
Vex gives a hissing snarl to the spirit speaker, snorting out a puff of strong breath as he examines her. *Another to be tested.* He circles her again, sniffing in against her and glaring at her as if reading into her soul. *You would fight me to show me your worth?* he asks, goading and cold. *You have the strength to fight the heart of the wyrm without fail!?* And with that no more time is wasted on talk; the mustelid lunges at the Theurge, maw open and teeth flashing.
Fire-Burns gives a little excited snarl as the fighting begins and she automatically adopts a stance that proclaims her poised for action, though she doesn't interfere in the test.
Escapes too gives a small grunt of anticipatory excitement, her own rage visible in the glint of her eyes and the curl of her lip into a teeth-revealing snarl.
Laura lunges at the spirit, rage surging through her. Black fur roils across her skin, her muscles bulge and twist. Bright white teeth flash and become dagger sharp as the small woman becomes a hispo-form Garou, her jaws angling straight for the spirit's shoulder.
Stone-Spirit remains tense and coiled as the test begins. She has seen this many times over now, but each fight renews in her a sense of awe and admiration for her totem spirit.
Vex rolls with the Fury now, trading blow for blow. His attacks come lightning fast and with a fury of rage that is overwhelming. The attacks may very well look unfocused- but the fire behind the wolverine is damaging enough. His teeth rake across the crest of her head as she angles for his shoulder, the lines from his canines driving two gouged lines down between her ears. But it isn't for naught, as the eager Theurge sinks her own teeth into the spirits flesh.
Child-Holder rips away at the spirit's shoulder with a deep snarl. She tries to bring her foreclaws into the fight, raking them at the wolverine's nearest limb. Meanwhile, she pushes forward with the considerable strength in her hind legs. Her eyes are tight shut against the pain of her injuries, but she carries on.
Fire-Burns glances sideways at her two ahroun tribemates. The Silver Fang's excitement is obvious, and she's clearly longing to be part of this fight too, but restraining herself.
The Fury Ahroun notices the glance a gives a quiet bark of laughter. ~I always want to be involved too~ she says, as softly as she can. ~If I did not, then I would think that the Garou was not fit to be a packmate~
Emma rises up in a hurr and gives a snarling snap KL and Clemency's direction, ~Do not distract her. Quiet.~ She returns her focus to the debate at hand, her own tensions and desires belied by her fidgeting posture.
The inside of his forelegs are met by Child-Holders claws, but it seems to do nothing to dissuade his forward press of an attack. The bear-sized ball of fury rolls into the Theurge with a burst of strength, trying to tip her backwards and get her to her side. They are nearly equal in size given their forms, but the wild frenzy of the mustelid is unwavering.
Child-Holder is strong, but not that strong. Her hind feet slip, then the theurge is slammed hard onto her back. She recovers in a blink, lashing out with jaws and hindclaws for whatever purchase she can get on the great beast. He's attacking much faster than she is, and so she is doing everything she can to make her own blows count.
Fire-Burns falls silent again at her alpha's order, but keeps watching the fight very keenly. When the black hispo is bowled over she gives a little twitch.
Escapes gives a slightly incredulous look at Emma, but resumes her tableaux-pose, eyes flicking from combatant to combatant, bright with excitement.
Emma grimaces as she watches, her mind racing and her instincts twitching at each turn. She does nothing though, stilling herself as if she were bound in granite.
Vex does not relent on his target, long claws tearing at the underside of the Fury Theurge. It turns into a four-legged furred version of a slap fight between girls, save that this ends with far more blood. The Garou lands a wickedly deep gash from the chin to the chest of the totem, his blood pouring out against her black fur. Still it does not slow him and he leaps heavier at this opponent, jaws opening to reach out for her own snout.
Child-Holder catches the motion of the totem-spirit's mouth and whips her jaws around to drive her snapping teeth right into his. Her front paws strive for his chest, her hindclaws for his belly, but neither set is as strong as they were. In particular, her back paws shake, more than claw when she tries to kick them up.
Fire-Burns seems barely able to keep watching as the theurge seems to start weakening. Her jaws have long since peeled back to expose every one of her crinos teeth in a silent snarl.
Escapes shifts in her stance, taking a half-step forward then immediately withdrawing it. She growls an encouraging note, obviously hoping that the Theurge is susceptible to voice control, or something.
Emma breathes through flared nostrils as the fight seems to be coming more to a close. She offers nothing though; no growl, look or shift in stance as she waits.
The two combatants meet in an odd jaw-lock, each gripping the other by the snout and muzzle. Fangs clash with fangs as they tie up eachothers front end weaponry, leaving only claws and paws to finish the dance with. Vex unleashes another series of claw swipes at the Garou, no longer able to drive them as deeply as before, given the lack of mobility the jawlock creates. Likewise, Child-Holder thrashes out with weakening hind paws, claws catching the lower belly and thighs of the totem spirit with far less injury. With a steeled look, Vex locks his gaze upon the other, meeting her eye with that radiating fury of his.
Child-Holder glares back, her abdominal muscles thoroughly slashed to hell now. She grinds her teeth, one front paw trying for the wolverine's throat, even as her lower half gives up the ghost. Ever-so-painfully slowly, the Fury's reaching paw goes from hispo to crinos, dragging a growl of pain and rage with the change.
*Enough.* The stern command of the totem comes through quite clearly to the Theurge. Counting on her obedience, the large wolverine releases his hold on the Garou, hovering over her in a dominating fashion for a moment. A rise of his tail precedes the strong scent of his musk as he remains poised over the Garou, his nose reaching down to sniff at her throat more possessively now. Once he has marked her, he steps aside and rolls his body from nose to tail and turns away from the group.
This, of course, brings a wide grin to the lupine face of Emma. Her tail flags upwards and wags back and forth as she tips her throat up to howl a soft celebratory song. Then she bounds over to the Fury in two leaps, leaning her nose down to investigate her newest pack member. ~Can you cross back home?~
Fire-Burns relaxes at last and joins in the brief howl of congratulation.
With a bound, Escapes follows her Alpha, and adds her voice to the howl of exultation. To call her contribution a song would be a stretch, however. She stands over her new packmate and peers down. ~Yes!~ she says, and then more concerned ~can you even stand?~
When the spirit speaks, Child-Holder's grip goes slack. Her paw matches her form once again. When she's marked with musk, she finally slips down to glabro. It takes her a few seconds of breathing before she can answer anyone, and when she does, it's non-verbal. Just a shake of her head to KL, moments before a wide grin breaks over her thoroughly-chewed face.
Fire-Burns frowns and shifts back down to glabro. "Can't stand?" she grunts in worry. "Legs gone? Spine gone?"
Emma shifts to homid then, to better look her over. "We'll stay put for a while then. Think you will be able to move with a bit of healing? We have all evening yet." She smiles at the bloodied Theurge, "You did awesome." And then she turns her gaze to the others gathered, proud and fond.
Laura reaches into her own belly to check how deeply the wolverine's claws struck. Her legs twitch and move as she does, and some unbidden tears flow. "Not the spine," she mouths. Then her fingers explore more, and she eventually indicates that it's the muscles of her stomach that have been ripped up, leaving her unable to sit up, much less stand.
Escapes watches her alpha shift down, then again mirrors her. "Wow. Yeah," she agrees, when she's in her birth form. "It's going to be fun fighting alongside you all." She puts her hands on her hips. "However...getting you home is going to be an absolute pain. It's a pity we don't know any theurges that could come and heal you."
Emma nods to both of the Furys, "Maybe we should consider having two theurges in the pack.." she jokes. "There's no reason we cannot rest here. Vex is not far off, and the moon is still heavy in the sky. Once she's healed a bit, we'll go from there." She moves to land herself fully seated next to the Theurge, looking out over the horizon of the umbra.
Laura closes her eyes a moment, focusing on her breathing. She still smiles at the joking around her. "Could shift to lupus," she mouths after a few moments. Then, another wince as the movement pulls at something that's already ripped and bleeding.
KL grins. "There's plenty of time, don't strain yourself," she says sympathetically, before looking around the area. "There's no way out of here that doesn't involve leaving the Umbra?" she asks Emma. "No safe way, I mean?"
"Beats me. You'd have to ask a Theurge." She grins a little, "But I would wager no, we're in a relatively safe place in the middle of the city... like a clearing I would guess. Everything else is going to be knee deep in spiders and shit."
"Glade," the theurge mouths. "Safe, right now." Still breathing, still breathing.
KL looks concerned. "We'll stay here then," the Ahroun agrees, dropping to a crouch by Laura. "Don't expend any unnecessary effort speaking. Just try and get yourself a bit stronger." She smiles reassuringly.