Time/Date :It is currently 15:57 Pacific Time on Tue Jan 15 2008.
Place : Greek House: Courtyard(#2280RJh)
Weather :Currently in Saint Claire, it is partly sunny. The temperature is 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius). The wind is calm today. The barometric pressure reading is 30.63 and steady, and the relative humidity is 43 percent. The dewpoint is 21 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius.)
Moon Phase :Currently the moon is in the waxing Half Moon phase (51% full).
Greek House: Courtyard(#2280RJh)
A walled-in Greco-Roman courtyard exists here in the clearing behind the house. One section of the columned wall has fallen and vines clamber skywards up and around the sides of other columns. The courtyard is more or less open, in a sense, the columns created more of a border than an actual wall. There are four actual arched gateways that provide entrance into the courtyard, one at each principal direction. Near the house, on the northern side, there is a small fountain that adds the soothing sound of water to a calm, almost serene atmosphere. The pond around the fountain contains a few waterplants along and a handful of orange-gold koi fish swim lazily about. Diagonally across from that, on the western side, is a statue of the "Winged Victory of Samothrace", more popularly known as the "Headless Nike." Three archery targets, set up at the far southern end of the courtyard, seem in need of some repair and attention.
A sulky youth in tattered jeans and a grey hoodie scuffs at the ground with the toe of his sneaker, his hands in his pockets and utter hatred in his eyes. He flips a lock of his perpetually attractively-tousled blonde hair out of his eyes, each a crystal blue beauty under furrowed brows, although one is marred by a very nice shiner that swells it nearly closed. His form under his loose clothing is built and powerful, especially for a 13 year old, and he glares about him, daring the world itself to get in his way.
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.
On the back of her right hand, the legend "Be Nicer To People" is etched in black pen.
St. Claire is bitterly cold this afternoon, despite - or perhaps because of - the sun breaking through the clouds at regular intervals. Which makes it all the odder that KL is dressed the way she is - a short skirt, knee-length boots with heels. She's wearing a leather jacket as well, over a black vest top. Her hair is pulled into two bunches. She's just dragged a suitcase out into the courtyard where River is waiting for her. "We're going on a little hike," she says, brightly. "Would you be a dear and carry my case for me?" she asks, smiling widely at the cub.
River's eyes are wide as he sees...woah, short skirt! Woah! Legs! "Yes'm, sure ok," he mumbles, forgetting to hide his stare as he ogles his newest acquaintance. He grabs her suitcase, huffing to get the awkwardly large (for him) package situated in his arms. When's he's ready, he beams up at her. Maybe this won't be so bad...at least the view will be nice...
The suitcase really is quite heavy - surprisingly so, even for its dimensions. KL sets a significant pace, heading east out of the courtyard. "So, River, tell me about yourself," she says. "Where are you from? Do you have parents? What do they do?"
River puffs along, arms hurting already but determined to keep up. "Umm...uh, 'm from Mt. Shasta, California, to begin with...I have parents, yeah. My dad's an unemployed *puff* bum who kicked my mom and I out. My mom used to run spiritual circles or something...I dunno what she's doing now. *ergh* Jesus, lady, what'd you put in this suitcase?"
KL looks happily back over her shoulder. "Just some absolute necessities. And that'll be KL-rhya, if you don't mind." She almost bounces along, setting a fairly difficult pace for the cub, laden down as he is, to keep up with. "Come on! Gotta lot of distance to cover before nightfall. So how'd you end up here?"
River groans to himself but picks up the pace, his legs aching already...he pushes past the pain. "Ergh...my mom drove me up here to be a Garou up here instead. I dunno why we didn't stay at home, but she didn't tell me nuthin' 'til we were here already. Where are we going anyways? And why don't we switch forms to make it easier?"
"Because I like walking on two legs," KL says, back. "And because you can't carry my suitcase in Lupus, and all the other forms are a little bit conspicuous." She seems irritatingly cheerful. "This is a good place to be. I like the woods. Don't you like the woods?"
River rrrghs, what's wrong with her? "Umm, I guess so. Do we have to go very far? This is more difficult than it really should be."
"It's as difficult as I want it to be," KL says, still cheerful. "We have about ten miles to go. We've done about three-quarters of a mile. So I guess that makes...um...I'm not very good at maths." She turns around, walking backwards. "Can you work it out?"
River grumbles. "We've gone less than 10% of the way. That's all I need ot know." He looks up at her. "So you plan to give me just difficult shit to do? You want to see how far I'll go before I break?" He grins. "Good luck. It will take a while." He forces himself to stand up straighter and walk a bit faster, keeping up with her.
And KL ups the pace again. "Oh no," KL says. "There's all kinds of things! For example, what should I get my boyfriend as a present. You're male, you should be able to help. He's quite rich, so I can't really get him anything valuable that he can't afford. He's great. Big strong muscles, and a really nice attitude. And he has nice eyes and he's fabulous in bed. He likes drinking though and that's not always great. I have a fantastic alcohol tolerance so he always gets drunk ahead of me and that's not any fun. So, yeah, did I mention that he had nice eyes? And I need to get him a present. Definitely a present. What do you think?"
River feels the creeping horror starting to crawl over his mind. Why is every fiber of his being telling him to run far, far away? "Ummm...I dunno. Power tools?" He instinctively keeps an eye on his surroundings, in case he needs to run.
"Oh," KL says. "That's an interesting idea. Men usually like something that buzzes, don't they. Or whirs or sands or something. I don't know anything about that sort of thing. But maybe he'd think I wanted him to come over and put up shelves, and I don't really need any shelves, just more wardrobe space and maybe a dressing table. So, important question. Do you think that a pale pink or a darker pink suits me better? I mean for nail varnish. Melodie wears purple a lot, but she's much darker in complexion to me. It's the mexican ancestry. I don't think I would get away with purple, it would make me look trashy and that's a bad idea. So, which shade of pink?"
This being River's first real encounter with someone of the feminine persuasion (Riot not withstanding, for obvious reasons), he is perplexed but otherwise tries his best to answer her questions. "I dunno. A darker pink would probably be scarier, though pink ins't that scary...Maybe you should go with a black. That way you could be all "Rawr! I claw your eyes out! Grr!""
"Black?" KL asks. "It's a bit gothic, isn't it? I mean, I don't particularly want to drink absinthe and talk about death. I'm not sure that Alex would like going out with a goth. Or Dre. Or whoever I'm going out with at the moment. Sometimes I forget." She looks at the trees around them. "Perhaps green would suit me. It seems to suit the trees quite a lot, don't you think.?I mean, not the ones that have shed their leaves, but the other ones."
River says "Dark green? Sure, I guess. Then you could be more camoflauged. Though I dunno why you'd want to camoflauge your nails..." He adjusts the suitcase in his arms. "And what's wrong with being goth? Some of my best friends were goths!""
"Oh, nothing wrong with it," KL says. "But it's so dull to only wear black. I mean, I know my jacket is black, but that's classic not gothic." She pauses, and stops. "OK, let's get a bit of a move on. I saw some cute soldiers do this. Make sure you keep up!" She takes off, running ten paces, then walking ten paces, then running ten paces.
River sobs a little to himself, and tries to pick up the pace with her. Though instead of running, then walking, then running...he just keeps up a constant jog behind her.
After about five minutes of this, KL stops in a clearing. "Have we been here before?" she asks. "All these trees look the same to me." She looks around, confused. "Oh dear," she says, sitting herself down on a handy log. "All this exercise has made me thirsty. See if there's a stream in that direction and fetch me a drink." She waves at, oh, about half the bawn.
River stomps to a halt, dropping the suitcase greatfully to the ground. He rolls his eyes behind the back of the "leader". Still, when she suggests he get her something to drink, he shrugs. "Ok, what with?"
"I didn't tell you to put down the suitcase," KL says, petulantly. "Pick it up again. I don't want it getting muddy." She looks at him, expectantly, her arms folding across her chest. "Surely you came prepared? With cups and plates and things?"
River picks up the suitcase again, sighing. "I had to leave my full kitchen set behind to carry your suitcase, ma'am.
"Oh dear," KL says. "We'll just have to cope without food or drink then." She smiles sweetly at him. "Has anyone taught you the litany yet?" she asks. "And don't get snippy with me, even if you do call me ma'am. I don't like sarcasm."
River closes his mouth and his lips harden to a tight line. He says through gritted teeth, "Sorry, ma'am. And yes, I have been taught the litany." He shifts the suitcase to one arm, gesturing to it with the other. "You said there were necessities in here. Is there anything we can use for a drink container?"
"Oh, not really," KL says. "Well, time to get a move on again. Nice rest. Miles to go." She bounces to her feet and sets off, though fortunately just at a fast pace. "Well, why don't you recite it to me as we go. And then you can tell me all about your tribe and the people in it."
River rolls his eyes again, but gets into step behind her. When he gets to the same rank as Jacob, that galliard is getting SUCH a mouthful for putting him through this. "Let's see...Garou shouldn't boink other Garou. Fight the Wyrm wherever it is. Respect another Garou's territory. Show mercy when you defeat somebody..." He pauses to think.
"Come on, this should be second nature to you by now," KL says. "The next one is key." She smiles happily, almost skipping along. "And that last one was wrong. Accepting an honourable surrender doesn't mean showing mercy. I'm not allowed to, for a start."
River blinks, "What? Show mercy or accept an honorable surrender?" He guesses the former.
"Show mercy," KL explains. "I'm packed under Wolverine, and he doesn't allow us to do that. Show no mercy to a foe." She looks back over her shoulder and smiles sweetly. "It's never been much of a problem. Come on, more litany."
River gulps. He was right, she IS scary! "Ok...submission to those of a higher station," he rolls his eyes, knowing why she said that was important, "First share of the kill to the alpha. No eating humans. Respect the ones who are under you. Dont' break the veil. Don't make people take care of you if you're sick. Don't fight with your leader during wartime, but peacetime is ok. And don't violate the caern."
River puffs out his chest, he remembered all of them!
Challenge doesn't necessarily mean fight," KL corrects. "And take no action that could cause a caern to be violated doesn't mean only violating it yourself." She pauses. "OK, that was almost adequate. Now tell me about your tribe. The people in it, I mean."
River says "Well, there's Riot, Jacob, and Heather..." Before he goes on, he looks up at her, a thought on his mind, "Does 'Submission to those of higher station' mean that I cant' say anything bad about them at all? Even to other people or even if it's true?""
"Oooh," KL says. "No, it doesn't mean that, quite." She falls silent for a moment, and stops, leaning up against a tree. "OK, I have an important question for you. What's the difference between respect and liking?" She studies the cub, eyes suddenly keen.
River pants and takes the chance to lean against a tree as well, giving his arms a rest from carrying the suitcase by resting it on his knee. "Well...if you like someone it doesn't really mean you respect them. And...I guess some people think you can respect someone if you don't like them, but I don't think so. I think you have to like somebody before you can respect them. Otherwise it's not respect. It's just 'fear'." River feels proud of himself for being so deep.
"Ah," KL says. "You're wrong. I don't like lots of people, but I respect them. I respect their skills and their achievements." She looks at him. "That's quite an immature view you have. And a bit shallow." Her eyes harden. "So, why are you here?"
River's ire gets raised when she calls him "immature", but that stare makes him quail and think twice about commenting on it. "Ummm, where exactly? Here in the forest, or here in the sept?"
"Here with me," KL clarifies, eyes still fixed on the cub. "Why did Jacob drop you on me?" She folds her arms, again. "And to make it really exciting, why don't you see if you can hold that case above your head until you come up with a satisfactory answer."
River just stifles his urge to glare at her with hatred. He holds the case up and thinks hard. "Well...he's been training me to be more respectful. So far, you've been pretty rough on me, so I think he wants me to learn to talk abuse without blowing my top." Though I'm getting very close to losing that battle, he thinks to himself.
KL smiles sweetly. "Yes, but why me?" She pauses. "Keep it there. That wasn't bad, but we're not there yet." She shakes her head, making her bunches bounce. "Tell me about Riot."
River growls. "Well, I don't know! I don't know you! Sorry..." He calms himself. "Riot has a very high opinion of herself obviously, that's way overblown from reality." He smirks. "And she's not the greatest diplomat in the world either."
"I see," KL says. She reaches up and pulls the hairties out of her hair, smoothing the bunches out. And suddenly she looks a lot more like her twenty years of age. "And who are you to judge her? You're just a pissant cub, and a kid to boot. And I think you have a massive problem with seeing women in authority. You've been dismissive of Riot, the way that you spoke about your mother was hardly better." She smiles, though it's not pleasant, more predatory than anything else. "And you've been barely respectful of me." She pauses. "You can put the suitcase down now. Open it."
River's face turns red with anger and he looks like he's about to say something to her, but his curiousity grabs him back from that precipice. Open the suitcase? Ok! He's been dying to see what was so heavy in here. The 13-year-old drops the suitcase to the ground and pulls at the latches. He lifts the lid up, peering inside...
Inside, the "essentials" that KL brought are revealed. About thirty pairs of shoes. And that's it. KL still has her arms folded, but there's an alertness about her study of the cub that suggests she's very interested in his reaction.
River is stunned for a moment, his hands out in a What-the-fuck-is-this gesture. Eventually, he finds his voice. "WHAT THA FUCK IS THIS??" He picks up one shoe, peering at it, then looks down at where it was in the suitcase. He picks up another, and another, and another...."THERE'S NOTHING BUT FUCKING SHOES IN HERE!"
KL is up off the tree, stalking closer to the cub. "That's fucking right and the one thing you fucking well need to get through your fucking thick excuse for a fucking head is that there could have been fucking rocks in there and you would still have fucking well had to fucking carry it behind me. Because you will do whatever you are fucking well told." Her voice is harsh, and she stabs a finger at him. "And the next fucking words out of your mouth will fucking well be "Yes, KL-rhya" or I will fucking kick you into fucking next week, you fucking misogynistic *kid*. Is that *fucking* well understood." She stands as tall as her five-foot-two plus heels will allow her to.
River's anger is immediately doused with cold fear and he stumbles back from the advancing Fury. He falls onto his butt and looks up at her with wide eyes, squeaking out, "Yes, KL-rhya..."
With that, KL's anger disappears immediately. "Better," she says. "Stand up." She folds her arms again. "OK, I'm going to explain something quite slowly. Any cliath is deserving of your respect, because they have done more than you have. Without exception. Some of them may be idiots. In fact, I can guarantee they are. Some of them may be arrogant beyond belief. But one of the good things about being a Garou is that it is your deeds by which you are judged. As I said, you don't have to like them. I'd be surprised if you didn't detest me at the moment. But you will respect me, not just because I can kick your ass - and I can. But because of the things I've done. Do you want to see proof?"
River stands up shakiily, leaning against the the tree still. He blinks...an elder admitting that someone is an idiot? Well that's a first for him... "...what kind of proof?" The cub drops back and puts up his arms defensively, his face afraid but his body ready if she attacks him.
"I'm not going to hit you...yet," KL says, trying to be reassuring. "And that's useless anyway." She smiles, and turns away from him, and lifts her jacket and top, to reveal a really nasty scar, a mass of keloid tissue, on her back. "There. My battlescar." She drops her shirt and jacket back down. "Proof that I have put my body in harm's way, fighting against our enemies."
River puts down his fists warily, but he is impressed by her scar. "Which enemies?" Again, his curiousity pushes all other emotions out of his mind.
"Banes," KL says, turning back. "They're like, really nasty wyrm spirits. I'm sure you'll meet them eventually." She shrugs. "Fighting things is my job." KL's dressed somewhat abnormally - she's wearing her leather jacket, as per usual, but she's got a short skirt on and knee-length boots. "OK," she says. "It looks like neither of us has bought anything useful for camping out with. I guess we'll just have to manage by ourselves." She grins. "Be fun." The Fury studies the cub for a moment. "Hmm. I'm really not sure about you. I'm fairly convinced that hitting you isn't going to help. So, tell me, who's the most impressive woman you've ever met?"
Tradewinds's lupine form is difficult to miss, as she slowly follows KL's trail through the forest. Nose to the ground, the brightly coloured metis sees nothing but the ground before her.
River chuckles a little. "Yeah, fun." Heck, it probably will be fun. He'll probably get to spend a good amount of time in lupus. He smirks up at her, friendly but mischievious. "I dunno...it might help. I tend to hit back though. Most impressive woman? Well, that'd be my mom of c--" He turns and blinks at Tradewinds, who he has just noticed. He looks up at KL, asking seriously, "Are there such things as were-parrots?"
KL has noticed the metis approaching. "Not that I'm aware of," she replies. "That's certainly not one. That's Tradewinds, or Sera. She's a metis Silent Strider." She raises her voice a touch, enough to make it audible. "Hi, Sera," she greets.
Tradewinds looks up ears giving a twitch and tail slowly wagging behind her. The wolf becomes a woman, as the Metis shifts through the form. "Good day. KL. I have a few things for you."
River blinks at Sera, speechless as he takes in the feathered woman. The teen stays sitting on the ground, in jeans, sneakers, and a warm hoodie, his wavy blonde hair falling into one eye.
"Oh?" KL asks. "Things?" She looks curious, and takes a couple of steps towards the Metis. "This is River - he's a cub of Jacob's. We're on a field trip."
Sera turns her head to look at River, her eyes rather emotionless and avian. "A pleasure," she greets politely. "My name is Sera Tradewinds, Cliath Theurge of the Silent Striders." The Strider offers KL a small paper wrapped package. "It's Dang Gui Four," the Metis explains. "And chasteberry. You should make tea with one tablespoon of the herbs twice a day. I have awakened them and they should help with the Rite you want me to perform in a few weeks. I'm afraid that the taste is rather bitter."
River shakes himself out of his trance and stands up quickly, standing at attention. "I am River, Long-Road-Ahead, Ahroun of the Children of Gaia, cub..." He notices she's talking to KL already and he takes a seat again, letting the elders have their talks.
KL smiles, and accepts the packet. "OK, twice a day," she confirms. "Thanks. Anything else I need to do?" She looks nervous, and flicks a glance to River, as if checking he's not doing anything bizarre involving shoes.
Sera shakes her head, the feathers on her head standing on end, then resettling a moment later. "No. That should help prepare you for the Rite. I will come and find you in a few weeks. Gaia Bless." That said, the woman shifts back down in to lupus and trots away.
"Gaia go with you," KL responds, as the metis leaves. "Right, we're going to require some kind of bivouac," she says to River. "When we've done that, then I'll take you through some sparring moves. So at least you don't stand there like a lemon with your fists in front of you." She smiles, more warmly than she's managed before, at the cub. "Go and collect some fallen branches, and we'll see what we can build."
River frowns. Bivooack? That's a new one...he doesn't get a chance to ask a question before he's given orders, though. He salutes and runs off into the forest, very glad to be given something to do. In about 15 minutes, the cub comes back with a large number of branches under each arm.
KL hasn't been idle either - she's collected a fair amount of brush - leaves and small branches. "Right, they'll do," she says, and sets about constructing a little shelter, using the longer branches for structure, and then heaping the smaller stuff over it. "This'll keep any rain off. Heat, we'll have to provide ourselves." She grins. "It's better than sleeping in a gutter, which I've done a few times." An appraising look at River. "I think you're a good kid, you know. When you stop trying to be all attitude." A pause. "Don't lose all of it, just rein it in a bit, bite your tongue occasionally."
River smiles sheepishly when she says he's a good kid. "Meeh, I just don't get along with people, is all. And when I get along with people, I hit them. Well, usually..." He rubs the back of his head. "You Garou are the first people I haven't really gotten the chance to take a swing at, because I know you'll take my head off if I try. This is...new for me." He watches intently as she builds the shelter, occasionally asking question about what she's doing, where should this part go, why don't we use more branches in this place, etc.
The Fury nods. "I know what you mean," she says. "I was pretty awful as a cub. And as a cliath as well. But you've got to keep a lid on it, then find ways to let it out so that you don't end up having your face smashed in." A shrug. "How much fighting have you done? I mean, actually trained fighting, not just taking a swing at people?"
River says "None, really." He picks at something in his teeth, flicking it away. "But I've won a LOT of fights, at least at my school. The kids dont' expect you to throw dirt in their eyes after you've taken a hard fall. And a good kick at the groin will either down them or scare em quite a bit." He grins evilly."
KL flashes a grin back at him. "OK," she says. "One of those won't affect me." With the shelter completed, she steps away and turns to face him. "Take a swing at me. Try and hit me as hard as you can."
River laughs...then pauses. He peers at her warily, slowly getting to his feet. "Is this a trick?"
"Not really," KL says. "I mean, you can't do me serious damage. It's not a trick if you mean "are you going to kill me for trying?"" She shifts her weight, so that it's more on her toes, checking her footing on the floor of the forest.
River shrugs, deciding to go for it. This is the first time he's gotten a chance to really take a swing at someone, and by God he's going to get catharsis out of this for all it's worth. He drops low, bending his knees and bringing his fists up. He darts towards her and jabs a straight punch right at her chest.
KL attempts to sway out of the way of the blow, but doesn't quite manage it - the blow is slightly quicker than she's expecting, and as a result it glances off her chest. She instantly moves onto the attack, moving unbelievably quickly, launching a flurry of small jabs at the chest of the cub, then finally swinging into a roundhouse kick that has something of the martial artist about it.
River grins inwardly that he got a hit on her, and now he has an idea of how she'll befighting...or he thought he did, getting a series of jabs to the chest, most of which he's fast enough to block with his arms, although the roundhouse kick to his shoulder catches him off guard. He's up and ready to go though, looking barely bruised.
The lesson continues, with KL stopping occasionally to explain things about balance, and centre of gravity and so forth. When both are tired, and the sky is dark, the pair shift to lupus and attempt to sleep in the shelter. A cold and long night waits ahead of them.