The walls are bare cement block and red brick on three sides. The fourth is covered in plywood painted black and covered in a variety of supposedly decorative distractions. Even with them, the basement apartment is not much to look at. It is, however, extremely functional. Despite the plumbing overhead, and the central duct grates, the space is surprisingly cozy. The Current Occupant has furnished it with a beat up leather couch, in black, a few throw rugs, and a recliner. There's no television, but a decent stereo sits erected on a cinderblock shelf, four speakers mounted around the corners of the apartment. The kitchen is small and does not appear all that well stocked. A good portion of the room is dedicated to a makeshift home gym. Free weights, a mat, and other such equipment mark it off, culminating in a suspended, full weight boxing bag.
Jamethon Ethan Black is a good size of a man, an inch or two above six feet and looking to have about a hundred and seventy-five or so pounds on him as well, a good amount of this being bone and muscle. The thick and unshaven face of this one is a mask of concentration, dancing black eyes always peering forward, though seeming to see what is all around him. Long pure black hair cascades down his back, wild in form and hanging to just below the bottom of his shoulder blades. He isn't too fond of dressing stuffily it seems, for all that James wears is a slightly dirty white t-shirt and a pair of loose but well-fitted gray sweatpants, the shoes on his feet are but cork sandles. Under his t-shirt, mostly covered up and only visible when the fabric of his shirt has been moved or removed, on his chest is the image of the Get of Fenris' tribal glyph, scarred into him long ago. A good collection of other scars adorn his visage at other various points as well.
The metis is, evidently, just coming off patrol, as she clunks the keys against the door, trying futilely to open the thing without having to try three times for each lock. Grumbling to herself, she pushes in the door and heads directly to get a large glass of water.
Bernie is not, currently, visible; a bookmarked book sits on one cushion of the couch, by her flannel and jacket, her boots and socks on the floor with her backpack beside the sofa. A soda can and a few carefully piled food wrappers are beside that.
Kaz gulps down her water quickly, and then refills it just as quickly. After drinking half in one gulp, she finally slacks off somewhat, and heads back into the living room. "Yo!" she calls generally, sounding, actually, fairly cheerful.
A garbled, growly noise, completely unintelligible but probably a greeting, from the tone and cadence, seems to come from behind the closed bathroom door, followed by a rather frustrated sigh. Shortly thereafter, the door opens, and Bernie emerges, barefoot in her tank top and jeans, fastening and tightening her belt. "Hey," she greets you, "'sup?"
"There's morons in my turf, and Elan ain't around t'tell 'em how to shut the fuck up, so I hadda do it. Christ." Shaking her head, she grabs a Ding Dong from her pocket and starts to unwrap it. "S'how you doin'?"
Bernie wanders back over to the couch, and plops down on it inelegantly, picking up her flannel to slide it back on. "Pretty decent... I think I got that turning into a big monster thing pretty much down, an' I walk okay now... but didn't you say there's a way to talk when you're like that? 's driving me nuts. Also, that thing to make it so I don't hafta strip to keep my clothes whole, any chance of that? 'cause somehow I'm not thinkin' I can always change in the bathroom..."
Kaz leans her foot on the arm of the sofa, and watches the cub with a slight, small grin. "There is, and there is. I c'n teach you the talkin', mostly just by hangin' out with you in glabro, and I can't do that other one 'cause I don't know it yet, but I'll be learnin' it soon! But I'll also see if I can get Elan t'do it for you. 'Kay?"
"'kay," Bernie replies, with a grin, "Thanks. Brings up a new question, though. Where's Glabro?" She rummages in her pack a moment, coming up with a Ding Dong of her own.
Kaz climbs up on the couch arm and perches there. "Well. You got Crinos, which is all the big and growly shit. Then you got homid and lupus. Glabro's the neanderthal version of homid, nearer to Crinos, and hispo's the same thing, for lupus. You've seen me in glabro, when I showed you my ears. Hispo and glabro're harder to get into, 'cause when you use Rage, you're just kinda automatically goin' to ginsu heaven, aka Crinos. Th' other two take thinkin'."
Bernie thinks about it a moment, and then nods, "A'ight... I get that, I think. I guess I oughta try those.... do you just think partway, or... how do you do that?" She glances down at her soda, and picks it up, drining the last remaining drops from it.
Kaz says, "Well. Y'visualize. We should maybe try it when you got a model other'n me, 'cause them ears of mine're distracting. An' I'm thinkin', you'll get more models if I spring you the fuck outta here, so what say we finish the Litany, huh?"
Bernie snuggles into her corner of the couch, knees drawn up on the cushions, and sticks the soda can between them, nodding. "I LOVE that plan," she remarks, leaning over to pick up the various wrappers, and beginning to push them into the empty can with her free hand, the other busy with the snack cake. "We were on...." she pauses, brow furrowing, "...nine, I think?"
Kaz remains perched on the arm. "Yeah, we did Veil. Like, don't talk t'anyone, ever. So. Next one... Do Not Suffer Thy People to Tend Thy Sickness in Death', aka, if you don't got no more arms and legs, don't let someone feed you until you die. Most folks don't pay much attention to this one, unless it's a real extreme case, see."
Bernie nods. "...I'm assumin' the don't talk t' anyone ever is only about the werewolf stuff, an' not 'become a mute'," she grins, and adds, "...and no respirators and intensive care wards.... okay...."
Kaz snorts softly. "Right, don' talk t'm about Werewolf shit. Except Kinfolk, they's ok. Folks related t'the Garou, they are. Human. An' basically, you know who /they/ are 'cause people introduce 'em to you."
Bernie nods, chewing on a bite of Ding Dong thoughtfully. "...so, second before we go on to ten, all my family are related to me, so are they all kinfolk? Or does it not work that way?"
Kaz shakes her head, regretfully, and goes to get a Coke. As she wanders back, she explains, "Sometimes, they are, and sometimes, they ain't. It's kinda based on genetics, but it's genetics with magic mixed in. So it's kinda unpredictable. You want, I can see if we can have th' Gnawers down that way check 'em out, though?"
A few moments pause, and Bernie runs a hand through her curls, and then she nods. "Yeah, sounds good. I mean, I'm plannin' on stayin' here a while, but I don't want to never see 'em again or anything. So, okay. What's number 10?"
"Yeah, gimme contact info shit later. Meantime, the next two are kinda linked, so I go over 'em together. First one--" She stops to open her Coke -- "Is, 'The Leader May Be Challenged at Any Time of Peace.' Second one is, kinda appropriately, 'The Leader May Not Be Challenged in Time of War.' Matchin' bookends, kinda."
Bernie lifts a brow slightly, "Who determines if it's peace or war? An' come to think of it, who determines challenging, too? I mean, you don't just get leaders goin', hey, life's a war, and slappin' people down for making suggestions or anythin', do you?"
Kaz shakes her head. "Alpha of the Sept you're part of, they determine. An' it's clear -- they go, "Hey, guys, we're at war," and people spread the news, and then once the specific threat is gone, they stand down, and spread /that/ news." Moving back to her perch, she adds, "Challenging, well, someone just /Challenges/ you. It's good if there's a half moon around, though. T'make sure things go right."
Bernie's brow furrows again, though she smiles somewhat at the same time, "Who d'y'all fight, anyhow? Th' Prussians?" Before you can answer, she continues, "Kidding. I assume it's the Wyrmy things, right? But I still don't completely get that. I mean, you can't have a war with deforestation, can you?"
Kaz grins. "Some folks go for the 'solvin' the problems in this world' approach, but no, mostly, there's... Manifestations of Wyrm spirits, on this side, that we gotta destroy, or whatever. It gets kinda... Not fun."
Bernie finishes both the cake and the trash compaction, and sets the can back on the floor, stretching a bit. "So, like... trolls like Thistleboy mentioned, an'... whatever else? Orcs or gnolls or liches or stuff like that?"
Kaz considers. "Well, just last week, I fought this big ass moron with a gun who had, like, spikes growin' out of his back. And a week or so before that, there was this big ass thing that was mostly just tentacles, growin' in the water. So, y'know, it varies. A lot.
Bernie's eyes widen, and she breathes in almost awed tones, "Cooooooooool...." She shakes her head, shifting upward in her seat against the arm. "How come I've never seen any of these things just walkin' aruond or anythin'? They gotta Veil too?"
"They don' really got no Veil, but we cover it up ok, and basically people don' believe a lotta what they see anyways, a lot of the time. Plus, a lotta what we fight's really in the Umbra --" She stops. "I tol' you about the Umbra, right?"
Bernie shakes her head, "Nope. I'm guessing it's not what's left of a bumbershoot if you shake the 'ell outta it..."
Kaz says, blankly, "A bumbershot? Whassat?"
Bernie blinks, and pushes her curls back behind her ears, looking mildly embarrassed. "Oh. A bumbershoot's another word for'n umbrella...." she trails off, watching Kaz to see if that's enough explanation to make the earlier comment clear.
Kaz looks blank for another brief moment, and then chortles. It's not a long laugh, but it's certanly there. "Aright, I gotcha. No, Umbra's the spirit world. Th' place where humans just can't go. But us, we can. Th' spirit an' the material used t'be connected, but that got fucked up a long time ago, so now we're the ones that can connect. It's a real cool place, too. I'll take y'sometime soon, y'can meet my Totem."
Little sound outside the basement apartment door prefaces the sudden knock on the door. "Y'in there Zee?" The muffled sound of Max's voice comes from the other side of the door.
And this is Kaz perking up. "Yo!" she calls, and hops off the couch to open the door. "I jus' got back from patrol," she tells her, once she's got the locks unlocked, "An' I figured I'd spring Bernie here."
Max slips through a rather small space between door and frame, gently elbowing Kaz as she moves past her to look about the room, only finding Bernie there. "Yo, Burn. You deep in a world of Get-shit?" She folds her arms across her chest and smirks not unpleasantly at the fellow cub. Pulling her pack off her shoulder she makes her way over to crouch beside the sofa where Bernie is sitting. "I broughtcha somethin'."
Bernie seems to remember as Kaz says that. "Right! How 'bout we do number 13 and get that done, then come back to this spirit stuff....?" She grins at Max's entry, and waves. "Nah, I been avoidin' th' fecal matter so far..." Leaning over a bit, she looks at the other cub's bag with interest. "An' really? Whatcha got there?"
Soon enough the sound of the lift moving it's way up the shaft is heard and it not to far up... a short half minute later and it is on it's way down again. As the noisy elevator settles in an irritated knock is heard on the door and the handle is jiggled as whoever it is trys to push it open futily for a moment, right before a second louder knock is heard.
Kaz says, "Amen," and finishes, "Last one, kid. 'Ye Shall Take No Action That Causes a Caern to Be Violated' -- Did I tell you what a Caern is?"
Kaz, right near the door anyway, unlocks it. "Yo, Jame-ster," she says, once she sees him, letting the door swing open as she moves back, "What's shakin'?"
Max pulls out a large, unopened bag of Funyuns chips which is tossed unceremoniously into Bernie's lap. After that comes a newish looking 8-ball fortune-teller (the sort you shake and ask questions). Finally, Max pulls a carefully wadded tissue out of her pack and offers it to Bernie, looking up at her as she does so. An integral moment, perhaps.
Jamethon growls, aggitated as he steps in rather quickly... almost forgetting to duck his head and his hair scrapes against the frame. He offers a quick nod to Kaz and says with a decent amount of speed, "My dick in a couple of seconds! What the hell took so long to open the door? Don't you know the 14th law is to never stand in the way of a pissy Get trying to go to the bathroom?" He actually flicks a smile in Kaz's direction as he opens the bathroom door and closes it behind him.
Kaz actually grins at Jame's departing back, but she calls, "Dude, ain't no one ever taught you to hold it?"
Too many things happening at once to focus; Bernie laughs at the comment, hands jerking to catch the bag of chips, split seconds too late as they land in her lap. "No, we didn't go over caerns yet... oooh!" She's noticed the magic eight-ball, it's probably the first time she's been directly distracted during the teaching. The presentation of the tissue grabs her attention away from it for a moment, and her head tilts to the side slightly, regarding it and the other ragabash. Well, when in Rome... she reaches out to accept it, a bit gingerly.
Jamethon yells from behind the bathroom door, "Just walked from the Crossing. Wasn't like I was just sittin' 'round. Oh... and I just healed a massive throat wound and was celebrating... you can say I've not only a little alcohol in my system right now." About that time the tinkling stops, toilet flushes, and the door opens again as James is tying off his sweats and steping back into the main room. "Hey Max... Bernie? Is it?" He greets as he looks at the others around.
Kaz drifts from door to somewhere behind Max, fairly close behind, really, and peers over her shoulder. "Huh," is her pronouncement, and then she's perched on the arm of the sofa again.
Max smirks crookedly at Bernie, then shrugs off anything that could seem touching about the moment. "Like, whatever." She stashes her pack on the other side of the sofa, then wanders over to flop sideways into Signe's chair, her eyes on Kaz again. "Shit, Zee. You look good enough to... patrol." Deadpan. Jamethon's arrival draws the low mutter from the cub, "Get can fight like a jack-hammer, but they ain't got bladder-control worth shit. Gotta watch where you stand," she notes to Bernie as if doling out innately essential wisdom. As Jamethon comes back out of the bathroom she grunts in response to his greeting.
"I look good enough to do a lotta things," Kaz mutters with a grin slewed in Max's direction, but then she drags her attention back to Bernie. "Want me to explain, yeah?"
Jamethon simply smiles at Max in a... well, relieved manner. "So... order of the day is cub teaching, eh?" He asks to no one in particular as he heads over to his usual spot on a throwrug on the floor, indian style.
Bernie peeks into the tissue, and grins, closing it back up again for the moment. "Cool," she comments, "Thanks, Max...." She puts the kleenex carefully in one of the pockets of her backpack, which sits beside the couch, and nods slightly as she sits back up, opening the bag of FunYuns, "Yup... Bernie's me all right. 'fraid I don't remember your name, though, if we met..." She offers the opened bag toward Max first, and picks up the 8-ball with her other hand.
Kaz's grin slews to Jamethon. "When is it /not/ the order of the day in here?" After a moment, she adds, "Well, I guess there's a lot of asswhuppin', too, come to think."
Max lifts up her hand in the universal signal to be tossed a funyun (yes, funyuns are universally requested aerially). She catches one and crunches on it, watching Bernie and Kaz with a apathetic expression that, accompanied by her sprawl in the chair, indicates satisfaction
Kaz says, "Right, ok, springing shit. Caern. A Caern, to put it briefly, is a place of Gaia's power that we alla us protect and, y'know, hang around. We build Sept's around 'em, so we can both protect 'em and, like, hang around and enjoy 'em."
Bernie nods, munching on a funyun herself as she offers the bag around. "Sept mean th' same basic thing as it does in other contexts? Sounds like it kinda does... so, okay, a caern is a Place of Power... an' I better not do anythin' t' let one get fucked up. Right?"
Kaz says, "Right. An' a Sept, well, it's just, basically, th' thing th' Garou call their community. We got, y'know, officers of the Sept, and shit. Our's called the Hidden Walk, 'cause, well, it's a Fog Caern, so it's good at hiding."
Jamethon nods to the cub and grins in a knowing fashion. "Hey Kaz, you are also teaching other important things right? Like for instance, the importance of a good fight every now and again? Or are you raising a softy here?"
Bernie grins, looking down at the magic eight-ball as she shakes it, and looksa t the reply. "Signs point to yes," she reads off, "So the caern is... a place of fog power? Like London?" She pops another chip into her mouth.
Kaz gives Jamethon a patient look. "Dude, I just finished the fuckin' Litany, we ain't into fightin' yet. Patience. You can whup on her later." Turning back to Bernie, she nods. "It's the Caern's Totem, see." There's a pause. "Have any of us explained Totems yet/"
Bernie consults the ball again, cheerfully replying after a moment, "`It is likely.' ...yeah, Rat and company, right? Kinda... helpful honoured spirits and stuff, right?"
Jamethon melts into a more serious and contemplative look now and just listens in a very theurge-like manner.
Kaz says, "Ayup," and rummages in her pocket. Coming up with some keys, she tosses them at the cub. With a grin, she asks, "Don't paint any rooms in here, huh?" Sobering a touch, she adds, "I'll show you some places we hang out, so you can bug more people for shit, yeah?"
Jamethon simply lays back on the floor now, looking a bit more tired then he did a couple of seconds ago. "Enjoy the scab, cub. Take care of yourself packie. Err... ex... whatever..." is all he says in a nearly unconscious stupor as he closes his eyes and drifts quickly to sleep.
Kaz twists a small smile, faintly touched. "Yo, sleep good, Jame."
"Woosh!" Bernie exclaims, managing to catch the keys, and grinning wider. "Free at last, free at last, thank god almighty, I'm free at last.... and I promise not to paint any rooms in here, scout's honour. Thanks!" She watches the Get falling asleep, and giggles slightly before putting the keys atop her jacket and starting to get her shoes on. Something registers as she laces, and she glances up, "...`enjoy the scab'?"
Jamethon just grunts softly as his legs uncross and he turns to his side, facing away from the door.
Kaz jerks a thumb at Jamethon. "He's mostly a Ranger. They tend t'call th' City th' scab, 'cause, well, they don't like it much. Anyways. Like I said, you can crash here when y'need to, an' I'll show you where I crash some've the time, too. Cuz, like, places where morons don't bug you, they're useful."
"Just one of the many cool features of your average Library or Museum," Bernie replies, adding as an afterthought, "...though you hafta hide in the toilet during closing if you wanna sleep there. And sometimes you hafta avoid cameras an' such. But they're gen'rally low on the moron concentration. AND they got interesting things in 'em." She finishes with the boots, and picks the keys back up before pulling on her jacket.
Kaz mutters, "Nice to meet you, Mrs Frankweiler," and leads the way out.