Time/Date :It is currently 13:20 Pacific Time on Tue Dec 18 2007.
Place : Farmhouse: Kitchen and Dining Room
Weather :Currently in Saint Claire, it is raining lightly. The temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). The wind is calm today. The barometric pressure reading is 29.47 and falling, and the relative humidity is 93 percent. The dewpoint is 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius.)
Moon Phase :Currently the moon is in the waxing Gibbous Moon phase (61% full).
Farmhouse: Kitchen and Dining Room
Homey is the first word to come to mind when looking at the farmhouse's kitchen. Dark, wood-paneled wainscoting covers the walls to about waist height, dark beige wallpaper continuing to the ceiling. Twin refrigerators occupy the north wall, facing the large six-burner stove on the south. The kitchen counter runs the length of the eastern wall, broken only by the double-basin sink. Cabinets run above and below the counter and a twin-pane window is set in the wall above the sink. A small pantry is set into an alcove alongside the refrigerators, presumably holding the deep freezer as well as shelves of dry goods.
Some twelve feet above the floor, a large chandelier hangs from the ceiling, lighting the dining room and casting long shadows over the bar to the kitchen. A long table occupies the center of the dining room, three chairs setting along each side, and one on each end. On the west wall, a large window looks out on the trees alongside the western pasture. Set into the north wall is a large cabinet, its glass doors closed on shelves containing a full compliment of fine china and glassware as well as a few decorative nicknacks. On the east, a wide bar separates the dining room from the kitchen.
An opening in the southern wall allows passage to the front entryway of the house, while a sliding glass door in the kitchen opens to a clearing behind the house.
Looking at Felix:
Standing at some five feet nine inches, and aged perhaps in his late teens or early twenties, Felix Szkarpiak has a monochromatic air about him that's only enhanced by his longish sable hair, pale face, and entirely black outfit. He's dressed in a black polo-neck, black jeans, black socks and even black sneakers, with the only variety to this outfit being a silver-colored metallic chain round his neck that carries a diamond-shaped piece of transparent material, with a musical note engraved upon it. He often wears wrap-around sunglasses which only add further to the monochrome style he affects. With them, he looks like a mafia hitman; without them, he bears an odd resemblance to a 1950s beatnik. His eyes, when not hidden by the sunglasses, are grey and cold. But his most obvious distinguishing feature is the fact that his jaw and chin are a mass of ugly red scars, and his lower lip is gashed open revealing teeth in a permanent snarl, whilst his lower jaw appears to be off center, as though he's survived some disfiguring accident in the not too recent past.
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 doesn't know - with a cold fury, as if trying to decide exactly which way to kill them.
KL has pale skin decorated in two places - on her left upper arm is a largish tattoo of something that looks a little like a bear, with its jaws spread wide and slaver falling in droplets. It has the words "No Mercy" written with gusto beneath it. On her right shoulder-blade, if visible, is a second tattoo, two-inch-square, 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.
Around her neck hangs a pendant, an oval disk made of some kind of bone. It looks like it's been decorated with carved designs, which are somewhat hard to make out on casual inspection. The pendant is hung on a leather thong.
This boy stands just over five and a half feet tall, his green-brown eyes easily visible under close cropped bangs. His hair is two to three inches in length, choppily and unevenly cut, a dark brown with shocks of blonde throughout. He weighs a hundred and thirty pounds at most, tanned skin pulled tight over a wiry frame. He is obviously young though his face seems somewhat harsh for a child, weather beaten with sharp angles and without a trace of fat. His clothing is plain and worn, a dark green t-shirt and frayed, dark blue jeans.
In colder weather he is generally seen wearing a worn discount suede leather jacket, brown in front and black in the back and along the back of the arms. Without his jacket half of a leather knife-sheath can be seen at his waist, the other half covered by his shirt.
Early afternoon sees everybody's favourite, or second favourite, Fury Ahroun at the Farmhouse. In a moment of public-spiritedness, KL has decided to do the washing up. Her leather jacket is slung casually over the back of a chair, and her arms are deep in suds as she cleans plates, humming quietly (and largely tunelessly) to herself.
In through the back door comes stalking, like his namesake the cat, Felix the Shadow Lord. He's returned to his usual attire of coat and shades since KL saw him last, but his face still bears distinct traces of dried blood round the nose and mouth, whilst his lank black hair is dishevelled, and has pieces of straw festooning it here and there in a garish manner.
A few moments later the front door creaks open and the screen door swings shut with a crash before the door closes heavily once more.
KL looks up from the sink as Felix enters, her eyebrows raised in a welcome that fizzles almost instantly into a look of disappointment. "Oh. You," she says, with the kind of tone that is usually reserved for finding an unpleasant mess in the middle of your new carpet. She turns away from the washing-up, and puts foam-covered hands on her hips.
"Yesh, me. You were exshpecting Henry Kishinger?" is Felix's equally charming reply. He stands in the doorway, letting the cold winter draft blow in, coat flapping round his knees. "What were you after a theurge for?" he asks, then. "And did Adalyn shuffishe?"
Soft footsteps can be heard from the hallway and, before too long, Saul steps into the kitchen. He gives a wave to Felix as his eyes settle on the unfamiliar figure. "Hey there."
"Potentially tainted Silver Fang cub situation," KL says flatly. "Don't know how it resolved. Adalyn was no use." As Saul enters, she wheels to face him, a frown on her face. "Who the fuck are you?" she demands. The threat in her pose is, perhaps, tempered by the sud sleeves she's still wearing.
"Good morning, Shaul," Felix says, heedless of the fact that it must be well into afternoon by now. "I shee you don't know one another..."
"Hey, Felix," Saul says; a shadow of a smile freezes on his lips and his eyes narrow slightly as they rest on the Fury, "And nah, can't say I've had the pleasure. I live here though, so, if you don't mind. The fuck 're you?"
KL takes a couple of deliberate steps towards Saul. "KL Cole, Escapes-from-Money, Cliath Ahroun of the Black Furies, packed under Wolverine as part of HAVOC." She almost spits this, her voice hard on the consonants, her eyes fixed in a stare at the young Shadow Lord. "Now, again, who the fuck are you?"
Felix remains silent, glaring at KL but letting Saul speak for himself.
That smile remains fixed and the boy holds his place, looking at the Fury steadily. As she finishes her introduction one edge of that smile pulls upwards a bit farther and the boy offers his hand, "Saul Verargert, Ahroun Cliath of the Shadow Lords. Member 'f Stormfront under Thunder. Nice t' meet ya. Got a lot've respect for your tribemates. An' Havoc's the pack Emma was in before she left, yeah?"
KL is standing, glaring at Saul, in the kitchen. Her arms are covered with soap foam, and half-done washing up sits in the sink. Felix is standing behind her, in the traditional Shadow Lord position. The Fury Ahroun maintains her gaze, if anything hardening."Yes, Emma was my packmate. And my best friend," she says, not even looking down at the proffered hand. "Oh good," she says, her voice sarcastic. "A conspiracy of Shadow Lords. My lucky day."
"Yesh," Felix interjects, "we have nothing better to do than hang round all day conshpiring againsht you."
Melodie comes walking in, evening up the numbers. She stops at the kitchen door, and takes a deep breath, sensing the tension. "Hey." she says quietly, mostly to not sneak up on cranky ahrouns.
Saul tips his head slightly to the left, his tone wry. "Well, /I've/ got better things t' do, for one. Emma was one've my trainers b'fore she took off," he says, "Now. Not t' be impolite but you're bein' a little rude at th' moment. Y' mind stoppin' that so I can get a drink?" His smile widens to show teeth but the expression never touches his eyes.
"I am not fucking well being rude," KL says, rudely. Still, she does step back, and rather than drop her gaze, slides it sideways. "Hi Mel. Do you know Saul and Felix. They're Shadow Lords." Her distaste for the tribe is obvious in her voice. "Though I don't think they've killed anyone, or eaten of the flesh of humans, which puts them a couple of notches above their predecessors."
"Oh," Felix says coldly, "I have killed, yesh. I have killed the Wyrm. And will continue to do sho. I do not kill the innoshent. That would be abhorrent to me ash a philodocsh. Ash for eating the flesh of humansh," he goes on with a savage, cruel smile, "why don't you have a word with your packmate Shedric about that?"
Melodie grins up at KL. "Yeah, I've met 'em. Saul more'n Felix, but he's got an unforgettable face. I dunno what a precessor is, but Felix's a Philodox, and I'm pretty sure he's about as strict on the Litany as anyone here, isn't that right?" She frowns a little bit, "Yeah, Cedric got tricked by the Wyrm, and we're gonna do something about that, too. We don't need to go all, you know, mean and shit, right?"
Saul exhales slowly and heads right for the fridge, waving over his shoulder, "Yo, Mel. How're things?" Pulling open the fridge he starts to rummage around inside. Emerging with a can of something in one hand he closes the fridge and takes a lean against it before popping the top. He glances at Felix, then Melodie, "Sorry, this's new t' me. What happened?"
KL spins to face Felix. "What the fuck?" she asks, succinctly. "Oh, and some of our previous Shadow Lords had issues. Nothing out of keeping with tribal history." A nonchalent wave of her hand. "And I'm very familiar with Felix's joy in upholding the litany." She doesn't seem to think it's an entirely good thing.
"I do not believe Shedric has denied eating the flesh of humans," Felix goes on with the same cruel joy that he displayed before. "Of courshe, if you will conshort with the kin of Black Shpiralsh, and invite them into your very houshe, you musht not exshpect to emerge unshcathed from the exshperienshe."
Melodie shrugs a little at Saul. "One of those days." She looks up at KL. "Well, every tribe's made mistakes. You gotta judge people on who they are, or else we all gotta go apologize to the Wendigo." She turns to Felix. "And don't start in on someone's packmates unless you're ready to challenge. It's so... childish!" She's clearly more than a little annoyed at Felix herself, though not quite as close to her Rage as her tribesmate.
Saul takes a swig from his can before returning his gaze to the antagonistic pair. "Yo. Mel's right. You two got a point w'th this," he asks, "Or 're you just startin' shit? 'Cause if it's the second y' need t' get the hell out t' the barn an' get it over with. I'm not in th' mood."
Felix turns to look at Saul. "Are you telling me what to do?" The question is a slightly odd one. It's not irate and indignant, as one might expect; it seems to be a genuine question neither expecting a yes, nor a no.
The Fury Ahroun takes a deep breath and nods at Mel. "You're right," she says, lips curling into a grin, then looks back at Saul. "If you want to spar at any point, it'd be cool. You got a backbone." She doesn't even bother to look at Felix, but walks back to the sink and re-starts her washing up, as if absolutely nothing has happened...except the tension in her muscles is still there, visible in the set of her shoulders and the definition of the muscles in her arms and neck.
Melodie glances back and forth between the Shadow Lords curiously for a moment, before grabbing a towel and moving next to KL. Without so much as asking, she starts drying the dishes that the Ahroun has washed, a familiar chore.
The right corner of Saul's mouth pulls slightly downwards; he looks at Felix steadily for a few moments before shrugging. "If that's how you want t' look at it. I just don't want anyone flyin' through," he says, and points, "that back door again. Gets expensive. Nothin' personal, Felix, an' no offense meant."
Felix pushes the back door shut with one foot. "I wash curioush," he says to Saul, "to know where we shtood in relationship to one another, within Shtormfront. Moon Otter-rhya and Vera-rhya are above us both, of course, but..." He gives his packmate a meaningful look.
KL washes plates swiftly, and then leans over and whispers something to Melodie, a smug grin on her face, before returning her attention to the rapidly shrinking dirty pile.
Melodie giggles a little. "Still, I wouldn't mind watching a fight, would you? You can learn so much. Plus, I like the smell of blood." She smiles toothily.
Saul shrugs again, "Honestly, I don't care, Felix. Y' make a litany rulin' or give advice about th' laws're somethin', I'm gonna follow it. An' I expect you'll do th' same f'r anything battle related." He waves a hand at the kitchen, "Stuff like this, jus' follow common sense. Y'r' a Shadow Lord Philo. Y'r' smart enough t' see good advice an' bad an' I think the same's true f'r me." If he notices KL's whispers or Melodie's comment he shows no sign of it.
Felix, on the other hand, does note Melodie's comment. "I jusht like to know where I think I shtand, and where you think you shtand," he tells Saul, then moves round to face off to Mel. "Would that include your own? Or jusht other people'sh?"
"Fuck off while you can still talk," KL shoots at Felix, looking daggers over her shoulder. "I don't know what the fuck is going on in your head, but if you really want a fight, just say the word. You know which one." The final item is washed, and KL pulls the plug with a violent tug. Too violent. She breaks the chain.
Melodie turns to face Felix. "I ain't afraid of a fight, if that's what you mean. I know I'm small, an' I follow the path of the healer, but my Rite of passage wasn't to pick fucking daisies, hombre." Ah, there's the look in her eyes, the anger starting to seep through. "Don't go thinkin' I'm gonna just back down to everyone that's bigger'n me, KL'd beat me up, and she's way scarier than you."
Saul exhales again and looks upwards at the ceiling before taking another swig from his can. "Jus' take it' t' the barn 'f you're gonna kick the hell out 'f each other," he says, and his tone is mildly exasperated in a 'don't bleed on my kitchen floor' fashion.
Felix walks to join Mel and KL at the sink. He reaches out to take the newly-wet dishcloth that KL has just finished using. He wipes his face with this, then holds it out to Melodie. "Here," he says, "have shome of my blood. It wasn't KL who drew it thish time, but I don't shuposhe you care. Blood ish blood." The dishcloth does indeed carry distinct signs of the blood which was previously sullying his face.
KL doesn't know quite what to make of this, so settles for folding her arms over her chest and seething quietly, eyes locked on the Shadow Lord Philodox. The broken plug is still in her hand, which perhaps blemishes the tone rather.
Melodie looks down at the bloody dishrag, annoyed, but also a little perplexed. "I thought you followed Thunder and Lightning, not Smarmy Weasel." She then stops, thinking perhaps that was a step too far, but afraid to back down.
"Well, guess they've got your blood then," Saul says, the corners of his lips pulling upwards into a shadow of a smile, "If that's what they were after." He keeps that smile as he slides easily away from the fridge and heads for a seat at the table, "An' Thunder's about brains, remember Mel?"
"Why do you Furiesh find me such a challenge?" Felix remarks. "Shticksh and shtonesh may break my bonesh... He doesn't rise to Mel's bait either.
"I don't need sticks or stones," KL says, definitely. "And I don't find *you* a challenge at all." The challenge that she doesn't find in him is obvious in her voice.
Melodie drops the rag onto the counter, and takes a deep breath. "Must just be the moon. Hey, KL, wanna teach me some new moves, out in the barn?" She's holding in a lot of tension, a tightly wound spring.
Saul leans on a chair but doesn't take a seat quite yet, taking another silent sip from his can as he watches the other three.
Felix's hand rises and traces along the lines of scarred tissue that mar his face. "No. No, you didn't need them," he says in a surprisingly subdued voice. "Lishen here, both you Furiesh," he goes on in a sudden burst of energy, as though he's talking against his own better judgment. "Why the hell we always at daggersh drawn? Gaia knowsh we're all on the shame shide. We even have the shame color /fur/, f'crishhake." He looks sidelong at Mel and KL as though he's already regretting making this overture to the women.
Saul raises his can into the air in a 'cheers' motion, "Here's to that."
"Because you're such a shit," KL says. "Because you don't seem to have an ounce of compassion or decency. Because all you're into is punishing people, and that's not...well... that's not all I think a Philodox should do. And because you chased a women across a fucking country, so you could stick your boot in."
Melodie listens to Felix's offer seriously. "I'm just in a bad mood, honestly, an' you wouldn't shut up about Cedric. Gee, though, I like you a lot more than KL does." She tries to smile, like it's a joke, and mostly fails.
"Not hard," Felix says curtly to Mel before responding to KL. "I chashed Lefty becaushe she wash a wrongdoer. It wash my /job/ to chashe her. Would you tell me I wash in the wrong to take my aushpishe's dutiesh sherioushly? What do /you/ think a Philodocsh should do? I'd genuinely like to know," he adds, in case KL thinks he's talking for the sake of making noise.
KL pauses, obviously marshalling an answer. "Guide. Resolve disputes, rather than cause them. Prevent, rather than just punish. Tell people what the law is, how it's going to be interpreted, rather than just walloping them. Spot and solve problems before they become problems. Care. It's not about duty. Duty is the fucking minimum." She flicks a glance at Melodie, and there's a sense that what is a fairly serious answer is partly for her benefit. "That's what I think. But then what do I know. I hit things."
Melodie listens to KL, and nods. "Si, that all makes sense." She smiles proudly. "That's why I think you're a good leader, KL." That sentence seems to carry some hidden weight.
"If I were to tell you that I would much shooner prevent a crime than punish one," Felix says, a spot of red burning on each cheek as his patience wears thin, "would you believe me?"
Melodie interjects, "Wait, wait, say that again!"
KL looks quizically at Mel, and waits for Felix, though she's obviously brimming with the need to say something.
Felix repeats, slightly more slowly, for Melodie's sake. "If I were to tell you. That I would much shooner prevent a crime than punish one. Would you. Believe me?"
"No, I wouldn't," KL says frankly. "Because I haven't seen anything other than delight in punishing from you." She pauses. "But if you did say it, then I'd give you a chance." She shrugs. "If you care." She finally notices that she's still holding the plug, and sets it down on the sink.
Melodie squints and wrinkles up her nose, as Felix speaks, and finally nods. "I think that's true, KL! Sorry, Felix, I used the truth gift, but you wanted us to believe you, right?" She looks a little apologetic, now.
Saul has drained the last of his can and sets it on the table; he raises an eyebrow at Melodie and looks mildly amused.
"I am a philodocsh," Felix says angrily to Mel, "and not in the habit of lying without a very good reashon. Forget it. If I am that untrushtworthy..." He turns away from the Furies with a savage scowl.
KL shakes her head, and stands up. "Well, I'm all done here. Washing up done. Nothing to stay for." She looks at Saul. "Good to meet you, Saul." A smile to Mel. "Coming? I can show you those moves, if you like." She doesn't even look at Felix, as she starts to head for the door.
Melodie looks a little guilty. "Sorry, clearly you're better'n that. I'll treat you better when I'm not feeling so jumpy, si? Or not, you don't hafta like me, I guess." She then follows along with KL, leaving the Lords to do what they will to the kitchen.
As KL turns to go, Saul gives her a wave. "Nice t' meet you too, KL. I'll take you up on that sparrin' sometime," he says, and he sounds genuine about it, "And seeya Mel." Then there is a scream, faint but obvious and the boy turns his attention towards the back door. "The hell?" he says, and moves away from the table and for the back door.