Time/Date : It is currently 13:44 Pacific Time on Wed Jul 11 2007.
Place : Harbor Park and Umbra
Weather :Currently in Saint Claire, it's a sunny day. The temperature is 93 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the northeast at 8 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 29.89 and falling, and the relative humidity is 25 percent. The dewpoint is 53 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius.)
Moon Phase : Currently the moon is in the waning New Moon phase (3% full).
Harbor Park -- The Meadow(#194RJ)
One of the last bastions of green left in the city, mottled and withered grass and weeds covers the earth like a badly stained carpet, with the construction work turning what is left into just bare dirt. The vegetation seems marginally healthier the further it is from the river and much healthier towards the central area of the park around the fountain. Construction work is ongoing here: a raised earthen berm about five feet tall is being built all around the park perimeter, with two breaks each at the Bridge Street entrance and the First Street end. Wooden posts are being erected at regular intervals all along the earthen wall, while tasteful iron gates and fences are being added at the entrances. Overpowering the scent of living vegetation are the exhaust fumes from a busy street to the west and an unpleasant stench from the Columbia River to the east. From the street view or river view, the park is now isolated, as if it existed apart from the city. People in tall buildings have an excellent view of any goings-ons for now, though. In the center of the park, a small glade of six tall trees and a flower bed surrounds the fountain. The murky waters of the Columbia River flow swiftly along the east side of the park. Bracketing the park to the west is First Street and the city of St. Claire.
The body of the Fury Ahroun bulks up, stretching the clothes Nike wears to their limits. Her ears point slight as her jaw also widens. The changes are slight but the power is raised with her muscle tone. Slight fangs grow in with her teeth and her fingernails lengthen slightly. Her height moves up as well, almost hitting six feet as her lithe frame pushes out.
Over nine feet of white fur papered over solid muscle in the form of an enormous wolf-man-beast-thing, terrifying from the point of his jaw behind which lurk many razor-sharp predatory teeth, to the tips of his toes which erupt in a solid curve of menacing claws. His hands too boast these claws, and it takes little imagination to see them tearing into some hapless prey to end its life. The creature carries himself with poise and nobility, though this does little to offset the level of sheer terror which the sight of him would evoke in the average spectator, and his body has the kind of awe-inspiring beauty which traditional onlookers have used to describe other animals of the predator class. Unlike them, though, his golden eyes are not just filled with menace or hunger or even cunning, but with a definite intelligence as befits the possessor of opposable thumbs, even if those thumbs carry sharp, cruel claws.
Sometime over the last couple of years, a teen girl with a poor attitude and a hair-trigger temper has grown up, and matured into a young woman. With a poor attitude and a hair-trigger temper. KL is a little over five-foot tall - no late growth spurt for her - and slimly built. She moves quickly, and is rarely still for any length of time. Her natural balance and co-ordination are clearly evident in her movement, but any hint of grace is smothered with her air of irritation, hostility and restrained aggression. She manages to turn even simple activities - like ordering fries - into not particularly subtle attempts to provoke fights.
Her mousy-brown hair hangs loose around her shoulders, the front falling to frame her face. Her hair looks like it has been cut recently, and by someone with at least a little skill. She's really quite attractive, perhaps not a pin-up, but far from ugly, with a cute upturned nose and wide expressive hazelnut eyes. However, any level of appeal her physical appearance might have is swamped by the anger in her gaze and the sullen set of her mouth. She stares at people - particularly people she doesnt know - with a cold fury, as if trying to decide exactly which way to kill them.
KL has pale skin, and on her right shoulder-blade is a two-inch-square tattoo of a winged horse. There isn't much in the way of excess flesh on her, her cheekbones are clearly visible and her bare arms have a tight musculature that speaks of regular and plentiful exercise.
She is wearing a pair of blue jeans that look brand-new, and have a designer label clearly visible on the rear, a pair of combat boots that also look new. On her upper half she is sporting a rather snazzy black leather jacket over a clean new white t-shirt.
Late night, almost midnight, in Harbor Park. The sounds of St. Claire, still loud even at this time of night, fade into a background hum as the three Garou enter the park. Luna, half-full, on this clear night fills the area with an eldritch glow, echoing the orange of the city's sodium street lighting. KL looks nervous, her hands jammed into her pockets, but she grins at her companions. "Now comes the tricky part. I'm really not good at reaching, but here we go. Ready?"
"Concentrate. You can do it." As Nike looks to the other fury and then to Cedric. "I am glad to be a part of this." She speaks, voice strong.
Lightning appears cool and nonchalant, as he gazes back at the street and its sodium lights, which fail to cast any appreciable lucidity into the park. "If you get stuck I'm not pushin' you through from behind," he quips mildly.
"OK then," KL says, "here we go." She walks to the fountain, staring into the cool water and slowly...unbelievably painfully...she reaches through the gauntlet and enters the umbra.
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.
Lightning does a quick three-sixty scan and moves into glabro as soon as he's through into the umbra. "What're we looking for?" he asks KL.
Nike makes her way through as well. She shakes off the feeling of crossing over and bulks up to glabro. "Where is this Vex?" She questions, peering all round the way. She steps forward, giving a sniff of the air.
KL bulks up through Glabro and into Crinos. In the umbra, she seems somehow less substantial than normal, less of a presence. She growls at the other two. ~He will come~ she says. ~Be ready~ This is accompanied by a nasty grin, baring her wicked teeth. She looks around slowly, waiting for the totem spirit to present himself.
Nike gives a crack of her neck and shoulders, ~I am ready.~ She speaks as still looks around the area for the totem.
"Bear in mind," drawls Cedric, "that despite what you might see in Disney flicks, wolverines don't stalk the woods of Hertfordshire. So I wouldn't recognise one if it came up and bit me."
A Giant wolverine! There's a stirring on the surface of the river, near the bridge. A faint red glow becomes stronger, revealing a pair of angry red eyes set in a pointed, weasel-like head. The spirit leaves a wake as he heads for the near shore and slides out, fur plastered black-and-deep-cream against his bulky, bear-sized form. Standing proudly, he sniffs in the direction of the Garou, and bares a set of wickedly sharp white fangs.
~Vex~ Escapes breathes in a long slowly breath of awe. She ducks her head respectfully, and steps aside, gesturing to her two companions. ~I have brought two strong fighters, who wish to be claimed by you as part of your pack~
The spirit's lips pull back further still into a wide, wide, wicked grin. With no more warning than that, she spirit barrels into a flat-out charge, straight at Nike.
Nike pulls back her lips in a snarl as she bulks up to Crinos. She yells out, ~Bring it!~ As the totem charges at her. She breaks into her own run, headed right for the beast.
Cedric takes two steps forwards and then forces himself to halt. "Your battle, Nike..." he says in a rather strained voice, retreating to KL's side, but plainly willing the fighting Fury on in her struggle.
The smell hits at the same time as the giant wolverine-spirit, a stench of musk and oil and something foul. There's an audible thud as the Crinos and the spirit meet, the wolverine making no attempt to dodge, his gaping jaws lunging for Not-Dead-Yet's shoulder.
The Fury Alpha takes her claws and tries to stab them into the Wolverine's neck. If he's gonna get that close, she's gonna use the distance. If her claws make purchase, she will slam her head right into the beast's nose.
Escapes appears to be fighting the entire battle without moving from her spot. Both sides, without fear of favour. Her hands move in imaginary blows, and her jaw hangs open. She faintly resembles a spectator at an illegal prize fight. Which this is, in some senses.
Cedric wrinkles up his aristocratic nose. "Lucey, have you been eatin' curry again?" he drawls aside to KL by way of a joke... one assumes. He remains poised for action.
The night-black wolf's claws sink deep into the wolverine's neck, and as she lunges forwards to headbutt the sprit, its jaws gape wider, impossibly wide, and clamp about her head. Its breath is so foul even the observers can scent it. Its red eyes flare brightly with furious glee.
Not-Dead-Yet doesn't howl, doesn't cry out. Her legs swing wide to kick at the totem as her head is held fast. No doubt the teeth cause some damage around her neck as she moves her head to actually try and bite at the Totem's tongue and pull at it from inside his mouth.
Escapes is totally enthralled in the fight, possibly excessively so. She gives a little encouraging growl, but otherwise remains fairly silent, though her hands still claw at air. It's obvious she'd like to be involved.
The Fury's teeth find their target, and the tongue bulges grotesquely before bursting in a splatter of black ichor. More blackness oozes from the wound Not-Dead-Yet has made in the spirit's neck. The rank stench of its breath must be almost suffocating for the Fury, whose head is still almost engulfed in its mouth.
Cedric too is pretty much fixated on the fight. "Trip him, Nike," he urges under his breath. "Stop fighting like a girl..."
Not-Dead-Yet gives a mighty growl and she twists her body to try and disengage from her claws in his neck. Her head, however is still stuck in the mouth and not able to be pulled out without help. She does her best to try and grab at the totem's leg, pulling at it with her legs as they are pretty much all she can feel with at the moment.
Escapes takes an involuntary step forward, then holds herself, a look of concern coming to her eyes. Her muscles tense, as if she's about to leap into action.
The scent of musk has almost completely faded, overpowered by an odour of sewage, oil, and rotting flesh that's powerful enough to make the Garou gag. The spirit rears above the Fury, loosing its jaws from her head with a roar as Nike drags at a foreleg. Faintly, the roar is echoed back from the bridge as the spirit brings its free foreleg around in a hammer-blow full of claws.
Not-Dead-Yet rights herself as her head is released. She does gag, fighting hard that reflex to loose her stomach. One arm shakes, vigorously and trying to regain sensations in it. As the blow comes, Nike goes low to dodge the blow and come up under the beast, seeking to drive her claws into it's underbelly and rake down the stomach.
Cedric looks about him with a slight air of nervousness, as though he can't believe that even a powerful pack-spirit from a war-pack can smell /quite/ that bad, and fears that a toilet demon is lurking behind his shoulder.
Escapes relaxes slightly, as it transpires that her alpha has not, yet, been incapacitated. She settles back to watch, a look of satisfaction creeping onto her face.
Not-Dead-Yet pages to the room: I am just glad I didn't turn on Heightened Senses.
The spirit snarls again as the Fury blurs with speed and slips beneath its blow, the growl becoming a howl as Not-Dead-Yet tears a great gash across its stomach. More black ichor spurts from the wound, clinging to the Fury's fur. With an impossible speed that matches the Ahroun's own it body-slams her, its whole weight dropping on top of her. As Cedric's wary gaze slides away from the fight, he sees a second shape slipping from within the river, wet fur plastered to its sides, limping badly and leaving a trail of blood along the ground as it hurries as best it can towards the fight.
Not-Dead-Yet is beneath the beast and blindly she does her best to try and get out from under, legs kicking and trying to do a kick and pull motion to use the momentum to pull the upper half of her body out. Too bad she can only feel her legs and has no idea what her hands are doing, if anything.
Cedric turns his head and stares at the limping spirit. He nudges Escapes and points, then looks back at Nike and Vex.
Escapes looks like she might be about to attack Cedric, then realises that it was a nudge not an attack and looks in the direction of the point. She hisses warningly, and takes a couple of steps towards the creature, interposing herself between whatever it is and the fight. She leans slightly forward, peering for a better look.
The wolverine spirit rears back again, now ignoring the ineffecutal attacks by the Fury, and bellows a challenge. Teeth glittering in the moonlight, it turns and aims itself at the limping figure. Escape's enhanced vision sees another pair of glowing red, Rage-filled eyes glaring back at her, ears flattened above cream-striped cheeks, expression full of fury. And then the spirit behind Escapes comes charging through her from behind with the momentum of an express-train.
As the Fury Elder is released, Nike fights to get back onto her feet. Her arms wave at her sides, limp as he rolls about and does her best to get back to her feet. After a second or two, she manages it and shakes everything like a wet dog, trying to regain sensation in her arms as she then starts heading for the other fight.
Cedric looms up into his pure white crinos form. ~Attack from behind, would you, you bounder?~ And he charges the thing that's attacked Escapes.
Escapes leaps towards the other spirit, claws flashing in Luna's light. Her jaws gape widely, ready to close around...well...whatever she can get within them. She gives a howl of rage and fury, bellowed at the spirit that has had the temerity to interrupt the proceedings.
~Yell or something. I am blind and need to find you!~ Not-Dead-Yet moves towards what she hears as the place to be. She uses her gift to help her get closer to where the fight is and. if nothing else, put in a swipe or two if someone gives her a heads up.
Lightning bellows at the top of his voice. Which is pretty darned loud. ~TO ME, PACKMATES!~ he howls, then seems mildly surprised at the term he's used.
Escapes suddenly slams on the brakes, stopping instantly and sniffing. She blinks, trying to work out whether the spirit that Nike has been fighting is, in fact, Vex. Given that the spirit has pissed on her in the past, and marked her with his scent, she does have a pretty good idea what he smells like.
Escapes has a split second in which to catch the scent of musk, wet fur, fresh meat and blood before she is stampeded from behind. Claws gouge into her back as the first spirit launches onto and through her on its way to attack the newcomer, and blanket the scene once more in a blanket of rot and excreta. Nike has little trouble hearing the spirits, as they rear up and snarl a challenge at each other, and can stumble in that direction.
Lightning's charge takes him leaping up behind Escapes, but not before the wolverine-spirit bowls her over. He reaches it just as it leaps clear of her supine form and rears up on its back legs.
The blind Fury stops for a moment, shaking her head violently. She gives the look of a person trying to shake out a buzzing in their ear. If she gains her sight back, she will head for the beast that looks to be attacking.
Not-Dead-Yet pages to the room: Attacking another, like KL or Lightning.
Lightning shoulder-charges the stinking thing attacking Escapes, trying to use momentum to carry it away from her and claw it while it staggers.
Escapes grunts as she's thumped to the floor, and somewhat unsteadily drags herself to her feet. ~Get it. It's not Vex. Vex's claws don't do that~ she yells, somewhat incoherently, attempting to throw herself at the spirit that until recently was fighting Nike.
Enraged by the shoulder-charge from behind, the first wolverine-spirit whirls, almost too quickly to see, black claws catching the moonlight light eerily as they slice towards the Fang, its white teeth flashing as its head lunges down towards him.
~FUCK.~ Nike let's out as a growl. Her hands go to her eyes to rub at them but still it's an odd thing that moves like. It's like her body is not all working as it should. ~Cannot... SEE.~ Still, she walks towards the fight... At least she can get closer.
Lightning is nothing if not valiant; he stands his ground under the onslaught of whirling claws, and his own go into action, while he jerks his own head back as the spirit's head comes down towards him with bared teeth. Then it moves sharply forward again in a good old Glasgow-style head butt.
Finally to her feet, Escapes staggers towards Lightning and the imposter spirit, intending to add her claws and teeth to the mix, hopefully catching the spirit from behind.
Lightning's claws rip into the spirit's wet near-black hide as the spirit's teeth and claws tear through the Fang's silver-white coat. One of the Fang's ears is ripped clean through as the wolverine's teeth scrape across his scalp, and he too can feel the chill numbness that seeps through him at each touch of the spirit's claws, and from each of the gobbets of black ooze that spurt from the thing's wounds. Then Escapes arrives, joining the fight, and both Garou feel the jarring thud of the second spirit as it slams into the first one from the other side. Nike can stumble in close enough to be bumped into in the struggle, and the whole melee becomes a mass of claws and teeth and blood and stench and clinging black ooze.
And when the white haze begins to clear, Nike sees, and more than that smells, her target. She leaps at it and does her best to claw the thing's eyes out from it's nose.
Part of the white haze may be Lightning. His fur is muddied and stained with blood and with worse things, but it's still pure white under it all as he hacks away at the spirit, snarling imprecations.
Escapes, having locked on to her target, transforms into a blur of claws and teeth, biting, rending and tearing the spirit with all the speed and ferociousness her rage and strength will allow.
The second wolverine-spirit joins the frenzy of flying claws and teeth and fur, snarling ferociously. The chill of the first spirit creeps into the Garou insidiously, until their movements become slow and clumsy. Eventually, as it seems weakness will claim them, the last shred of the first spirit is torn away and floats up to drift back towards the river through the air, fading into nothingness. The second spirit remains, hardly an inch of its pelt unmarked, bleeding freely but still standing. It stumps on three legs towards Not-Dead-Yet, whiskers bristling.
Not-Dead-Yet comes to face the other spirit, eyes still not quite able to focus fully. She pulls herself up straight, not worrying of wounds. ~Are you Vex? Do we have the correct spirit to which we seek to honor us?~ Her arms still hand slightly loose at her sides. ~If you wish to fight as well, don't tease and simple let us get to it. I am Not-Dead-Yet and I seek to lead your pack!~ Her eyes try their best to focus on the other beast.
Lightning looks from Fury to Fury, to dead spirit to injured spirit. The Silver Fang says nothing, and is evidently in a state of either hopeless confusion or else is so severely injured he cannot comprehend his surroundings. On the whole, the former seems more likely.
Escapes is looking thoroughly embarrassed, and collapses into a small ball on the floor, partly due to the effects of the imposter spirit, partly exhaustion, partly misery.
Furious red eyes glare back into the Fury's unfocussed yellow ones, stiffly, the spirit turns, then lifts his tail, and another scent joins the powerful but fading mix that already hangs in the air as the wolverine marks Not-Dead-Yet. It limps past Escapes without acknowledging her, and snarls at Lightning. Baring its teeth, it sits back on its haunches- one hindleg apparently unable to bear weight- and aims a cuff of a forepaw in the Fang's direction.
Lightning may be confused, but he's not about to take even so feeble an attack in good spirit. He aims a meaty lupus hand back at the spirit, thwacking it once upside the head.
Beaten up as he is, Vex seems ready for another fight. His lunge towards the Fang is more of a fall than anything else, but it's backed by a growl and another swipe of a paw.
Escapes lifts her head, suddenly more cheerful. She scrambles on to all fours, watching the somewhat tired and inept combat, still breathing deeply herself.
Lightning backhands the wolverine totem this time. ~I am here to join your pack, spirit,~ he growls. ~Not to slay you outright.~ His other hand brushes fur back from his eyes -- even in crinos the Fang seems to groom himself excessively.
Not-Dead-Yet just gives a quiet smile to herself. She turns and watches the otehr goings on around her. She speaks, ~I speak for him as well. HE is a warrior... EVen a proper one. Those who would have trouble with him will go through me. He is pack, as Escapes is as well.~
Lightning's remark brings a sudden flurry of anger-driven attacks from the wolverine-spirit, its weight a match for the white-furred Crinos and its claws and teeth once more eager for battle. The spirit seems oblivious to Not-Dead-Yet's words as it somehow summons energy for the fray.
Escapes gives an enthusiastic growl as the spirit fights back. ~Go Vex!~ she cheers. ~Go Lightning!~ She pulls herself back - not steadily - to her feet, moving to stand near Not-Dead-Yet.
Overconfidence is a serious error of judgment, and it's lucky for Cedric that he displays in in these circumstances rather than in a battle to the death against minions of the Wyrm. When Vex comes up with the sudden flurry, he yelps, taken aback, and finds himself pushed over backwards and onto his aristocratic rump, his balance lost.
Vex stands over the Fang with satisfaction, and gives him the same treatment as Not-Dead-Yet. Then he snuffs, once, in Escapes' direction, turns, and stumps off, distaining to lick even one of his battle wounds.
~Havoc is once more!~ Not-Dead-Yet announces and lifts her head in a howl. She turns to look at the others, looking rather like something the cat dragged in, or better a wolverine. She nods to the other two. ~We are pack.~
Lightning makes a kind of explosive exclamation in Mother's Tongue which isn't exactly clear, though its meaning is obvious. Then as Vex stalks off proudly, he relaxes, remaining in the sitting position that Vex knocked him into. ~We are. Yes. We are Pack Stinky. Can we leave this place and cleanse ourselves, Escapes? I take it the spirit has accepted us in its way.~
Yes!~ Escapes exults, giving a howl to join her pack Alpha. She laughs, not entirely pleasantly, at Lightning. ~Yes, yes he has~ She seems entirely recovered from her earlier doldrums.
Lightning seems to take Escapes' merriment in good part. Either that or he doesn't realise the overtones of mockery in her amusement.