The old church is dark, dimly lit by outside light coming in through scum-encrusted windows during the day, and tomblike during the night. There is a coatroom in the back of the nave, with separate doors leading off to mens' and womens' restrooms, and two staircases, one going up to the balcony and bell-tower, and the other leading down to the basement. The double doors leading out to the street are at the back of the coatroom.
The hard wooden pews in the sanctuary are, for the most part, still intact. There are even Bibles and hymnals left in the shelves along the back of each row, although many of them look rather chewed on. The altar on a dais at the front of the church is empty, and the lectern that once stood next to it has been knocked over. Rotting red cloth hangs at the very front of the church; there might once have been a design on it, but it has long since faded or been eaten away.
The song goes on. Bright light cities, souls on fire, and women mom warned you about. The tenor trails off as the clocking grows louder, nearer. The doors get a booming three knocks. More for testing the actual structure than politeness. The doors open, creaking with appropriate drama as light streams in from outside.
Imagine, for a moment, a go-go dancer that awoke suddenly to discover himself naked on the roof of a Goodwill store. Envision an earthquake, not unlike the one that shook Seattle not so long ago. Picture the roof caving in, and the surprised nude scrambling, half-dazed, to clothe himself all of a sudden in whatever he could find in the wreckage. Add in a sunburn, and a black eye. Put him in fucking huge cowboy boots. This is Nevada. He sways a little in the doorway, squinting hard to let his eyes adjust. "Hell happened here?" is the first thing he says.
Kaz just starts grinning, quietly.
Well heck. Like out of Shanghai Noon, Yi drops down right beside Nevada and /almost/ yells, "RARR!!" Instead though, she barely contains her excitement, evident in her very lit up Las Vegas glint eyes. "You happened to come back." At this, she splits into a wide grin. Only now, she looks at him up and down.
Perhaps some in the room can see past Nevada, framed so artistically int he doorway, setting sun's rays illuminating the street behind him, to the cub coming -up- behind him, a wide, mischevious grin growing on her face as she pads gently up the stairs and toward his wonderfully presented back. Something glinting at his sleeve catches her attention as she nears, and she tilts her head a bit to get a better look. When she's right behind him, she reaches out and snatches it, simultaneously tickling his side with the other hand and casually remarking, "Boo," right beside his ear.
Kaz nods to herself, as if all is right with the world, calls, "Hey, and hi, and heya," and flops into a pew.
That something so interesting appears to be metal, and cold, and red, and yet.. fuzzy? Something clicks dangerously close to Bernie's wrist as ("Huh'fuck!") Nevada wheels around, turning a black-eyed look at Bernie. The surprise melts into an affectionate grin as he leans in to swamp the cub with a noogie. "You goddamn Ragabash," he whines, grinning at Yi over his shoulder. His right arm doesn't move all that much, not with the fur-lined red heart-shaped handcuff clamped to it anyway. It's starting to chafe.
Kaz levers up at the clink, and peers at Nevada. "The fuck?"
Bernie squeaks, ducking away from the noogie with an ever-widening grin, and bursts out laughing completely when her prize becomes apparent. "What, you got apprehended by th' fashion police?"
Yi gives the handcuff a curious blink, moving to get a closer look. "What's that?" she queries, slowly reaching for the cuff. Once she realizes just what it is, her look changes for just a moment. It's a short minute before the cuff clicks loose, thanks so much Joey. Then, her eyes shift up to Nevada. "Ok talesinger. You've got quite a story."
Thanks to the Canto-Gnawer, the cuffs clatter to the floor. They're hinge-style, no chain between them. Crimson red, glittery. Brown fur inside, looking soft. The keyhole on the right bracelet has a shard of metal jammed into it. Nevada looks grateful, immediately, sighing slightly as he rubs what must be one hell of an ache. Ahhhhh. A grin goes to Yi. "Thanks, Mulan. And yeah, you bet." Gray eyes flick to Bernie.
"I don't think so, Bunny. Apprehended," Nevada intones,"Means you was CAUGHT." He punctuates with a pimplike pull on the lapels of his outrageous 70s two-bucks jacket.
Kaz levers out of her pew entirely, and starts towards Nevada, staring at his clothes. "Man. You're makin' the room swim."
Bernie leans down and picks up the cuffs, sticking them in her jacket pocket. "Yeah, well, you sure -looked- caught, even if y'got 'way 'gain..." She slips past him, into the church itself, and drops into a less than elegant but comfortable position on a pew.
Yi just gives Nevada a curious look again, along with the almost but not quite award winning smile. "Well, what are you waiting for? Regale us with your tale, Flyboy." She laughs, ducking over to the side out of Nevada's reach.
"You dig?" Nevada beams at Kaz, gesturing at his punchdrunk ensemble. There's a pop! and a grimace as he puts his thumb back in its socket. "I," he says, letting the grimace fade into a dumb little-boy grin,"Am waiting for my welcome back hug. Any takers?" He opens his arms wide.
Yi rubs the underside of her chin a moment, "Hm I don't know... I mean, you left with barely a 5 minute answering machine message, a fixed Mystery mobile, and cleaned up the apartment. Do you deserve one?" She grins mischieviously, then launches herself towards Nevada to give the Hatcheteer a full on near-bone crushing hug.
Kaz says, grumpily, "No. You're burning my retinas out." She sounds grumpy, but her grin belies her tone. She waits a bit for Yi to give him the bear hug he so very much needs, and then slips in to give /both/ of them a hug, briefly.
Bernie had just gotten comfortable, but hey, what the heck... she bestirs herself and joins in as well, making it a full fledged group hug. "Group hug!" she exclaims, noting this fact, "...mind if I kiss the monkey? Ewww, hairball..."
Finding herself enveloped in a Gnawer Group hug, Yi laughs at Bernie's comment. "What color is the hair?" she asks, almost anti-climatically.
Nevada appears surprised to find so much hugging in so little a lady. No disappointment here. He hugs the bejeezus out of all of them, grinning happily. Up close, he has the scent of kerosene, ashes, strawberries, the wild scent of leather, and not to mention pepper spray, which may explain the watery eyes. "I missed you scum like crazy!" he says. "Story time, sistas. This won't take long. I don't remember half of what the fuckety fuck I been up to. Your guess is as good as mine."
Kaz lets go, and flops onto a pew, on her stomach, hands on her chin. "Go to it, Nev-ster."
"Chartruse," Bernie remarks to Yi, "with pink polkadots," and she reclaims her pew, getting comfy again. "Nevvie, tell us a stooooory!" she requests in her best little kid voice, giving him the full big-eyes treatment. Even with the glasses, it's fairly impressive.
Yi is the last to let go, and she does with a bit of reluctance, settling back down into a nearby pew. The handkerchief on her head comes off with a smooth movement, and she affects the traditional 'Gnawer sit' as described by Rotem, bringing up one foot to rest on the pew with her arms wrapped about her shin. "Shoot, cowboy," she chuckles at the oddly dressed galliard.
When the European explorers first stumbled upon this wide roaring territory, they called it Nevada. It meant "snow-capped" in their language, for the ice that sharpened the ruthless Sierra mountains. There is irony in the name, you might say. Who would name a kingdom of sand and scorpions after snow? Tired men from Spain. Maybe, with their bold spirits and their insatiable wanderlust and the fervor in their Spanish hearts, they understood this land, truly did, with its irony, its dual nature, its balance. It is a place of extremes, where unruly mountain ranges upset the flat void of vulture-drifting desert, where razor cold meets consuming heat, where opposites clash and crash together, where --
Forget it. Those Spanish guys were probably drunk at the time.
Our story begins on a lonely gray road that stretches for miles and miles, slipping away into the horizon. The desert is wide and dead, end-winter ice scattered here and there like so much uncombed cocaine. A dark blue '99 Honda Accord is stopped in the middle of the road. There is no driver. It does not matter. Traffic is a laughable concept here. Sagebrush and a waning gibbous moon provide an audience for what is happening here. A boy is singing as he shakes a jar. Ashes unravel onto the lonely breeze. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
"And this is as angsty as it's going to get," Nevada says, shrugging a shoulder as he glances over the cathedral. "Except for them handcuffs. I been havin' angst over them for a week. But anyways."
Kaz mutters, "I'd imagine. I been in somethin' a little less... Bright, an' I din' enjoy it f'even like, an hour."
Yi gives a quiet sigh at the mention of those ashes, nods, then glances towards Bernie at the mention of handcuffs with a small, wry grin before gazing back to our resident fashion alert.
Bernie just listens quietly, said cuffs poking slightly from her jacket pocket as she draws her legs up and wraps her arms about her knees, the double-barreled version of Yi's position.
Every last speck of ashes flown away on the wind, Nevada stands alone. The hymnbook is still in his hand. One from the church, battered, dog-eared, rodent-gnawed. The words in this book are not worthless to the boy who holds it, only inaccessible. The sheet music within it is not as elusive. But he has brought it here in lieu of a bible for this swift and solemn ceremony. The humans' God still lives in his heart, though changed -- a mask of Gaia for the apes. But Nevada has come here for another kind of religious experience entirely.
Running naked into the desert seemed like a good idea at the time.
Dust beneath his toes.. the wind in his hair.. the moon in his heart... the look on his face as he returned to the car and found his clothes missing.
Yi quietly facepalms, muffling her soft 'aiya'.
Kaz blinks. "That ain't good, Martha."
Bernie giggles softly at the image, not to mention the comment.
Yet, Our Hero is undaunted. Giving the desert the finger, he hops back into his ride. Granted, the seat tends to stick uncomfortably, but he takes it like a man. He always does. His beat-up duffelbag remains in the back seat, and the glove compartment still holds the usual maps, receipts, and the Glock 40 he fit in there. This is not his car. He isn't sure who it belongs to, but it sure has a nice stereo. That's all that matters. When you're in the middle of nowhere, in the driver's seat of Grand Theft Auto, and you're slapass naked, all that matters is the stereo.
Flying down the road, the screaming voice of Bob Segar drowns out shrill coyotes.
At first light, Nevada arrives at a small town in Washoe County. While a cross-country trip in his birthday suit would have been something else, all-over sunburns aren't what he was going for. He keeps the car out of sight, instead meandering into town in Lupus form. Being the incorrigible urrah bastard he is, Nevada pretends he's a dog. Piece of cake. And not just any dog. A poor, sad, confused yellow dog, with sticky uppy ears, a floppy spotted tongue, a brown'npink nose, and a terrible, terrible limp. Being so pathetic and in need of loving as he was, a kind, kind human was all too eager to take pity on him. Her name was Chrissy. Petite, redheaded, with sparkly eyes behind her glasses, gentleness in her soul, and soothing words as she lifted him up into her arms.
And dumped him in the bath tub.
This never happened to Zeus. Then again, Nevada isn't a god. Greek one, at least.
Yi stifles the bubbling giggles and politely looks, innocently at the talesinger. God is, after all, a dog. He is a very backwards man.
Bernie does -not- stifle her giggles. Nope, she goes ahead and giggles all over the place. Still quietly, though. Not to interrupt.
Kaz just snorts, and rolls over onto her back.
Anyhow, after the Evil Woman from Hell left for work after completely betraying his trust, and his dignity, what with the bows she put in his fur and the names she called him that he is not going to repeat, Nevada helped himself to her place. Now, other moon-dancers might leave out perhaps embarassing details of their adventures, but not Nevada. Oh, no. He takes it like a man. And if it gets too embarassing, even for him, he never remembers it. Mercifully.
"So, I'm ridin' for a few days, crossin' this great wide state I'm named after," Nevada says, spreading his hands. "It occurs to me that what the hell I gone to tell people my name is, if I met any what would ask. But I didn't meet any, not for a while yet."
A strange sight in a void of dust, Las Vegas shines like the last thing you'll ever see. It's a hallucination, offshoots of a brain's death throes from the onslaught of the desert. Like the land it spawned from, the City of Sin is a place of the extreme. Cheap, dangerous, too bright, too loud, too noisy, the city has a certain kind of charm. Like a dead hooker. Here is where the blue '99 Honda Accord parts company with Nevada. After removing his belongings, a CD or two, and wiping his fingerprints, the Galliard leaves the car unlocked and in the worst section of town he can find. It was a fun ride, but you never keep these cars for long. Besides, he had a whole city waiting for him.
Kaz seems quite fascinated, though she nods at the car thing.
Yi shakes her head, though the motion is accompanied with a smile on her face as she listens attentively.
The duffel-bag he stashed beneath a dumpster. It was mostly empty. He hadn't brought it along for the going-there as much for the coming-back. He left the gun in it. No danger. No bullets. He had with him only the clothes he carefully selected from the human woman, ones she wouldn't wonder about. Ones she wouldn't miss. Beat-up jeans. Shirt. He left the back door to her house open, scratch marks here and there. So, in this City of Sin, the young Galliard had with him only his wits, only his charm, and only womens clothing. Yeah, yeah.
"Ever since I was a kid," Nevada says, licking his lips. "I had me this dream. About cowboys. Rough, and tough, they was the heart and soul of America. And I wanted to beat one up. They was why I went... one of the reasons why. I was going to find me the biggest, baddest ass cowboy, and I was going to throw down with that mother fucker."
And he did.
Kaz sits up, and leans forward slightly, intent.
Yi grins at this, remembering the message she got from the galliard, which most likely still was on the answering machine in the apartment too.
Nevada looked everywhere for that match. Near, far. To, fro. Hither, thither. He combed the city, checked every last country-western hangout he could find. He found only wannabes, only frauds, only tourists who thought hats made a man. He got thrown out of a few places, too, being young, but mostly people kept out of his way. They sensed the Rage that burned in the veins of the Galliard, the warrior for Gaia whose heart sang for a battle he yearned to find.
Were there any cowboys anymore?
In the darkest recesses of the Silver Shootin' Star Bar and Lounge, Nevada found one. Found a cowboy. Found THE cowboy. But in truth, that cowboy found Nevada first. It had been almost like a classic western, the way the place fell quiet when that pair of boots walked in. Biggest fucking cowboy boots you'd ever seen. Their spurs clanked like the last sound you'd ever hear, and as they walked across the bar, you could almost imagine an ominous cliche western piano intro. Nevada only noticed him too late.
"Do you know whose seat you're in?" a deep, dark voice had asked.
Nevada turned and looked up. And up. And up.
And he saw the shadowed, frowning face of the warrior he would battle.
"I got your seat right here, fucker," Nevada had snarled, and splashing his drink in that shadowed frowning face, it began.
It was a horrible battle. A long battle. A throw-down, dragging-through-the-dust, kick-in-the-teeth battle. Nothing was sacred. They pulled hair, bruised ribs, cracked knuckles, bit, scratched, screamed, punched. Nevada clanged him into a dumpster. The cowboy crashed his boots into Nevada's skull. They hit sidewalk, gutters, dumpsters, brick walls, lamp posts. It was a long, horrible battle, the cowboy fighting for his honor, Nevada fighting with a pure symbol of America's wild past. It was a mighty battle, a glorious battle.
"But shit, that's the last time I pick a fight in a queer bar," Nevada says in a very sober voice.
Yi, as if the facepalming wasn't enough already, snerks and fights down that ever tempting urge to just simply burst out laughing. Her eyes twinkle with effort as she continues to watch Nevada and listen to the tale.
Kaz doesn't, quite, laugh yet, but her eyes are dancing.
Somewhere around the point of yearning to find battles, Max arrives with an absurdly non-existent amount of fanfare. She stands in the archway between foyer and sanctuary proper, shoulder leaning up against the chipped plaster of one side of the arch, one foot crossed over the other ankle, arms folded over her chest as she listens with a glimmering expression in her dark eyes.
Now that he had some new kickass boots, it was time to get them walking. He always wanted to see a casino. Thing was, kids weren't allowed, and popping in them was like how porcupines screwed -- real goddam carefully. Casinos were fascinating places. Here was where people could make or break their fortunes, where they could win all, lose all, where destiny outstretched her golden hand for the most fleeting touch of fingers. A taste of the absolute power that rules mankind. Money. Looking, at first, was enough for Nevada. But then it wasn't enough.
He can't play cards. He never could. It would be almost romantic to say that Lady Luck never loved him, that destiny scorned him from the start. But he's had enough of good and ill luck through his life not to be so sure. It's always been so extreme. Horrible things, wonderful things. A balance can be found there, as with all Garou. But if any had more luck than others, it would be his tribe. He had no eye for blackjack. No heart for poker. No chance at cards whatsoever. But he did have his own special gift.
He could apply Scotch tape pretty OK.
"You'd die how easy it was," Nevada says with a grin so big. "Doublestick tape, on the bottom a'your drink glass. You watch a bit, oooh and aahhh a bit, stroke the ego of the guy that's winning. Then you ask to tap his chips for good luck. You see where this is goin? Knew ya could."
Destiny outstretched her golden hand to Nevada, all right. And good lordy did she cop a feel.
He made some serious money.
But somebody else had other ideas.
"D'you know what it's like," Nevada wonders,"To be chased through a fake Roman palace by a shouting, angry Elvis? With muttonchops and flashin cape? 'Cause it's when you see the cape, y'know you're screwed."
Kaz says, slowly, half laughing as she says it, "Can't say's I do, no..."
Yi tries to picture that, but most likely fails in doing so because well, she's never seen a Roman palace, real or fake, and Elvis... well Elvis she could imagine. "Hounded you until you gave back his blue suede shoes eh?"
Max lifts one of her crossed arms to nibble on a fingernail as she listens, fascination glimmering in her typically smart-ass gaze. "A cross-dressing Cher impersonator count?" comes the ragabash's quiet reply to the rhetorical question.
Kaz hadn't noticed Max until now, and her own eyes go somewhat thoughtful at the image this brings to mind.
Yi thinks for a moment, Who is Cher? And then, as the face matches up with the name, she adds some male modifications, and grimaces at the thought.
"Oh no. He was after my ass, bad. I done broke the law." Nevada has a look of utter gravity. Max's voice causes a flicker to go over his suntanned features, and he sends a brief grin her way.
But Mr. Presley wasn't after him for the money. He was after him for the age. No kids allowed, and by damn, the King was going to enforce that. Besides he'd had a little too many Caesar cocktails. But it was the principle of the thing. And so it was for Nevada, who had never been caught in his life. For all the crimes he'd comitted, for all the wrongs he'd done, the cars he stole -- never once had the arm of the law been long enough. He was a wild one, a free spirit, and until his last day, Nevada and his outlaw heart could never stand to be tethered by the laws of mankind.
Besides, he was still wearing that woman's panties, and that wouldn'tve been very cool in jail.
Max snorts, her relaxed, leaning posture the very essence of scheming now. There's something of an impatience to the slight ragabash as she glances from Nevada to Kaz and Yi and back again.
Yi seems to catch Max's look of impatience, then glances back to Nevada. "So how did you determine when it was time to come back?" Then, she looks down at the boots. "And those boots..." her question trails, as if she tries determining how in the world Nevada got back to St. Claire in them.
While Kaz is still leaning forward, arms on the pew in front of her, something in Max's posture brings a slight wariness to Kaz's own movements -- but she's still focused on Nevada.
Nevada wasn't going to make the chase easy. He led Elvis through winding corridors, sharp-turned hallways, up flights of stairs, down flights of stairs, and arriving at the general opinion that he really, really wished he could fuckin' read. The words on the door were just a blur to him, really, but their meaning became pretty goddamn clear when he burst on through.
How it must have looked to the audience in the auditorium, as a (dashing and outrageously handsome) young man in funny clothes and cowboy boots skidded out onstage, a caped and red-faced Elvis roaring after him. Must have been surprising, to say the least. "Them magicians was pretty fuckin' surprised, let me tell you," Nevada says,"Shoulda heard 'em scream when we ran past, but I guess that wasn't anythin compared to the chick they was pretendin to saw in half at the time.. "
But he managed to escape his hunka-hunka-burnin-love of pursuer. Just how, he doesn't say, but he's got a grin that can't be described as anything but mildly in the range of evil. "It's after Mr. Presley's encounter that my recollecti'n... fades," Nevada says. "I guess I had a pretty good time there, though. If those handcuffs was anything. Let's just say that they made things that more difficult, though. You try hitch-hikin' with one of those things on. I ain't gotten so many funny looks by truck drivers in my life. Guess I'll never know where I got 'em, but I do know one thing. They chafe. Bad."
Kaz's grin entirely fails to fade. "Have I mentioned lately you're a /nut/?"
Yi snerks some more, then nods in approval as the galliard escapes the grip of the not-quite-dead king of rock and roll. "Now then... you're not seriously going to walk around in those, are you?" she casts the cowboy boots a wary glance. "Is this to get back at me for washing your jingle bell socks?"
Bernie says nothing, yet; she's still laughing too hard at all of that. Any moment now she might fall off the pew. There's some definite teetering going on there.
Other ragabi sense Max's wind-up. And Kaz. Well, Kaz simply knows the teen better than she knows herself most of the time. Max pushes away from the archway now as if she's stealing a base, tearing down the aisle low and surprisingly quickly, torpedoing straight for Nevada. She may have been intending to leap /onto/ the galliard, but as she hits his shoulder, Nevada was shifting his weight and hence the pair plummet to the church floor with a grunt, a scramble, and a thud or two. After muttering something beside the prodigal's ear, Max ends up sitting on Nevada's knees and tugging at one of his boots as if she expected after all that that he'd let her steal his boot, albeit temporarily
Kaz's tension relaxes once she figures out /she's/ not the target, and that grin turns into outright laughter. "Gotta be on y'toes, Nev, thass f'sure..."
Yi wasn't expecting that, for sure, but the laughter she had contained before now just peals out like Bernie. A hefty round of giggling, and she clutches her sides while trying to peek over the pew to see the result of the Las Vegas boot snatch.
....Thud. That's just too much. Bernie actually does lose her seat on the pew, now, landing on the floor beside it. "Ow!" she manages between laughs, and takes her glasses off. Watery eyes spotted lenses make.
"Walk around in these?" Nevada was in the middle of laughing. "Hell, I can barely even STAND in -- " Hence, the floor. He grunts, peering up at her with a blacked eye. He allows her to deboot him. The things are huge, and clash outrageously with his 70s tramp look. He whispers something to her, sounding suspiciously like "Yes, ma'am." Or "More ham." Either way.
Yi manages to affect a calmer, though no less amused self as she rises up from the pew to gaze where Bernie was. Then, her glance goes to Nevada and his black eye. She's about to make comment that maybe he could shift and heal up that prize won at the wonderful bar in Las Vegas, but rethinks the question, dubbing that perhaps the galliard keeps it as a temporary momento. Instead she turns back to Bernie and offers a hand.
Max wears a mildly triumphant look somewhat before she realizes she's going to be successful in her boot extraction. When she finishes that task, she begins removing her boots, still perched upon Nevada's shins. Now, ratty, white sports socks are visible briefly before Max pulls on first one bronze, Mexican-patterned boot on and then the other, pushing to her feet she smirks down at Nevada and mocks a drawl poorly, "These boots're made for kickin' Siegfried 'n fucking Roy's asses /and/ stealing their panties too." She kicks at a pew experimentally and nearly loses the boot off her foot entirely. There's a strange combination of mocking and appreciating the galliard's exploits all tangled up in Max's manner and words.
Kaz mutters, "These boots are made f'fallin' down in, mostly..."
Bernie accepts the offered hand, though with the weight difference, seems almost more likely to pull Yi down than to be pulled up herself. A hand planted on the deat of the pew beside her makes all the difference, and she ends up standing -- briefly, before she drops sitting on the pew again, still giggling almost uncontrollably.
Nevada sits up, leaning his arms on his knees. He's barefoot. There's a very small black tattoo at his left heel. He grins at Max, watching her try out the cowboy kicks. "These boots are made for walkin'," he sings, then pushes a hand through his hair. "So. What the hell been up wit you guys? What'd I miss?"
Yi slides back down into the pew beside Bernie, tilted slightly against the edge of the pew. "A lot," she says enigmatically.
Kaz says, glancing at Bernie with a grin and then looking back to Nevada, "Rotem's a moron, there's a crinos skeleton in the SCCU museum, the Russian Mafia's comin' to get us, Matt's stuck in Portland, there's a new guy named Kurt, an' Max is Max. Um. I can't think've anythin' else right now..."
"But a somewhat more clueful moron," Yi adds to the first piece of news.
Bernie manages, finally, to get the laughter down to just little tiny fits of giggles, and nods, glancing over to Kaz and adding, aside, "Oh, yeah: Kaz, I'm remindin' you," as she indicates Yi with a movement of her thumb.
Kaz looks, briefly, blank, and then she grins. "Yi. I have to tell you about 20 billion times, you got the patience of a freakin' /saint/, workin' with that kid. Thank you immensely, because I ain't nearly that good. At all."
"Crinos skeleton?" Nevada blinks. That's the only part he heard. His grin fades to a wince. "Aw, shit. You kidding, right?"
Max continues practicing kicks. At one point a boot flies off her foot and lands down the other end of a pew. Max stops, looks after it for a moment, the murmurs a soft soccer-announcer expression. "Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal." She steps out of the other boot next to Nevada and goes to retrieve the other boot, returning with a glance to Kaz. "There's a fucking crinos hangin' in the 'seum?" She sounds dubious at the very least. Now she settles to the floor and begins putting her own boots back on.
Yi sinks her head embarrassedly between her shoulders at the compliment, only to blink as the boot flies by. "Yes, a skeleton. The news people don't have proof of it yet, but the professor who holds the authority did make somewhat of a press conference," the Canto-raggie nods. "But you others might have heard more than me about 'BigFoot.'"
Kaz says, glumly, "I /wish/. They're doin' tests on it and shit. They got DNA evidence, but they think it might be a bear, so Leda, this Fury chick, and her pack -- I think they're called Leda and the Mules or something. Or maybe Perseverance. I'm not really sure which. Anyway, so her pack, they're gonna try an' get more bear DNA in there somehow, not real sure how, so the scientists can get all confused and decide it must be a bear and not somethin' outta this world. I think they're also talkin' about stealin' the skeleton outright, but I'm not sure on that part."
"Lovely," Nevada says, putting a palm to his forehead. "Here's hopin' it works. Last thing we need is this to turn up on the X-Files or somethin'. Or worse, Oprah."
Kaz says, even more glumly, "There's already UFO morons comin' to town. But--" she adds, glancing to Bernie, "We're tryin' a new approach on this bit, yeah Bern?"
"What take would that be?" Yi asks curiously. "And yes there are more people around who are looking for strange sitings than even now that that one Mr. Jerry McQuire decided to come out and say he found BigFoot. With actual proof." The newmoon's look darkens some. "The tabloids had him holding up a claw. A very big, very sharp claw."
Max fiddles with her boots in a manner that looks almost ritualistic before stretching out one of her legs and leaning back against a pew, one knee drawn up toward her chest. She looks between Bernie and Kaz.
Bernie nods to Kaz. "Yup, that's th' idea... 's s'posta be, we set up distractions an' disinformation t' get the weirdos lookin' elsewhere an' get everyone else thinkin' they're meganuts." She gets more comfy on the bench again, now that the danger of falling off it again has passed.
Kaz flashes a thumb's up. "Right, so y'know, you got any whacked ideas, tell 'em to Bern. Or Leda. Bern just ain't talked to Leda yet because Leda, like, don't exist."
Bernie nods solemnly. "I dunno," she muses with a definite hint of exasperation, "....maybe she went t' Portland. Anyway, yeah. What Kaz said."
Yi looks pensive, fiddling with the blue dusty handkerchief. "And I'm guessing, you're going to go in, posing as a student, and try to mess up the data?" She thinks for a few moments. "How long has it been since they found that skeleton anyway?"
Nevada looks a little relieved to hear that Things are Being Done. Not that he was too concerned in the first place (nope!) -- the Garou Nation's been around for thousands of years, one piddlyass bag of bones isn't going to bring everything crashing down around them.
Kaz says, "Us? No. Perseverance, mebbe. Bern, she's just doin' confusion tactics further from the scene of the crime, is all." She thinks. "I dunno, week or two. Things've been heatin' up this week mostly, though."
"Do we have kin in the univers--.." Yi pauses as a fact comes to her. "Tom." She glances at Bernie.
Bernie nods at Yi, "Yeah, Tom. 'licia had him checkin' shit out when we first found out 'bout all this. An' there's Dr. Nicholson, she's been fulla help... prolly mosta what we know, I think."
Kaz adds, "Also, Glissa. She teaches there. Striders."
"So we got a lid for this, then," Nevada says, licking his lips."I got a few ideas f'ya, Bernie, shouldja need some inspiration." Distraction? He's good at distraction.
Bernie nods, "Def'nitely, anythin' you wanna suggest, go f'rit." She reaches over to her backpack, which she left on the pew beside her, and which contains her handy notebook and pen, among other things.
"You know, seeing as we have this Jedi power, why not try that and get in more discreetly?" Yi glances around at the others, wondering if she's making her point of gift usages more clear.
Bernie glances over to Yi. "I dunno how th' whole politics works," she begins slowly, "but I'm pretty sure, seein' as a pack said they were gonna handle it, they'd be pretty pissed off 'f any-a us just sorta took over an' did it."
Nodding, the newmoon glances towards the rafters again, eyes narrowing with thought. "Guess we'll have to find out when we can find Leda, eh?" she says softly.
Kaz says, grinning faintly, "Yeah, prolly. Anyways, so Elan just freaked at me about Chris, so I gotta go help the dude out. See you folks later."
"Chris?" Bernie asks, tilting her head a bit, "Whozat and why's Elan freakin' 'bout him?"
Kaz shrugs. "Friend of Elan's. Get Kin, I think. He's apparently on the Mafia's good neighbor policy, so I gotta go, y'know, help out'n watch out f'him."
Bernie wrinkles her nose, and nods. "Got it... well, g'luck an' all, have a nice evenin'..." She smiles at the metis, and shrugs. "See ya later, I 'spect."
"Mafia now too? Geez. Anything /else/ I miss, or what?" Nevada shakes his head. "See ya later, Kazbo." He sends a weary smile.
Yi nods grimly. "See you, Kaz," she offers with a wave for the departing.
Kaz grins. "Yeah. Laters." She levers herself off the pew, and heads out.
Yi turns back to Nevada and Bernie. "So now that you're back, we can all rest easy," she grins. "What are you going to do first?" The question comes out sort of like those 'You've won such and such, what are you going to do next?'
"First... " Nevada stretches out on the floor, folding his arms behind his head a moment. "First, I'm ganna change my goddam clothes. And I'm ganna shift. I think my thumb's broke or something." He sits up, loose Indian style. "Damn cuffs, didn't wanna shift with 'em on. God only knows it'd pinch off my arm or something. Or it'd break them." He glances around. "Might need 'em again someday." He gets up.
Bernie does not, at present, mention that the cuffs are in her pocket. It's possible, though, that she's forgotten this fact. "Well, rest easiER, anyway," she comments, "I mean, there's still stuff yet t' deal with an' all."
Nodding, the Canto-Gnawer seems to make a mental checklist. "Veil breaches, escaped fomori, sewer banes, Russian mafia, totem quests..." She would almost slap a palm to her forehead. "Work's cut out for me."
Nevada wiggles his toes idly, apparently interested in them all of a sudden. "So, wah, what's been up with our little treehugger buddy?"
Bernie looks very, very innocent. "Treehugger buddy? Oh... you mean maybe 'licia, huh?"
"Yeah," Nevada says, nodding at Bernie, in that 'oh her' kind of way.
Yi glances from galliard to ragabash. "Well..." Her eyes slide over to Bernie. "I think Bernie knows more recent events around the farmhouse than I do. I've not visited in awhile." At that she makes a mental note to go find Alicia and catch up on things.
"I do," the cub confirms, "...like that she's not there anymore." She stretches a bit, and turns, lying on her stomach on the pew and propping her chin up in her hands, silent as she moves, just to leave them wondering. Right as one might get to feel the need to ask something, she continues, "They moved her to this place they called th' Sept Compound, 'parently, t' get her away from 'bad influences'. Dunno which ones they meant, but. Anyway I know where it is, so we c'n go find her sometime when y'want. An' she's a'ight, though she... well, she'd prolly wanna tell ya th' story herself, 'f she wants ya t' hear it at all. But yeah, she's a'ight."
Yi glances over at Bernie, the vague answer and beating around the bush perking the Canto-gnawer's curiosity. "Looks like I have more news to catch up on then," Yi murmurs before glancing to Nevada. "Shift?"
Nevada ever so eloquently just says "What?"
Yi explains briefly. "Your eye, your thumb. And I'm not sure what other bruises you might have on you. To heal up... you know?" She smiles at Nevada. "Or you'd rather wear them as prizes from your battle."
Bernie crosses her arms, and rests her head atop them, with a very quiet, tired sigh.
"No, I meant.. " Nevada gestures vaguely. "Whatever. I'll go change. Back in a flash." Not literally. At least this time. He ducks down into the basement, presumably to shift and find something less loud to wear.
Yi sort of looks apologetic for a bit, thinking once again she must have misunderstood or said something wrong. As Nevada goes downstairs to change, she blinks and sighs with another tired feeling similar to Bernie's, her gaze slipping back up towards the rafters which she seems to be at home in.
Bernie runs a hand though her curls, and sighs again, pushing up to sit again. "Tired," she remarks, sounding actually a bit depressed, as if maybe all her energy and exuberance had burnt itself out in the previous explanation. "...thinkin', maybe it's time for me t' go h-" she stops a second, blinks, and continues, possibly slightly quieter, "...home. An' sleep. Was up in th' wee hours patrollin' with Kaz t'day."
Yi also tightens a muscle or two at mention of home, but shrugs away that pang inside. "Then get some rest, na," she says softly. "A tired no-moon makes less joke." She chuckles softly, sparing a glance towards the basement.
Whatever moment of weirdness Nevada had apparently been experiencing, he left it in the basement when he went down. Reappearing with a pair of beat-up jeans, a plain white shirt, and no bruises or fat lips or sunburn on him, he recrosses the church. A disbelieving glance goes here or there. Looks cleaner. "Bad influences," Nevada breathes, a sarcastic twitch to his mouth.
Bernie nods a little to Yi, looking, briefly, as if she might start crying. "...yeah," she agrees softly, and shakes her head once, clearing the clouds from it. "Yeah," she repeats, a bit stronger and calmer, "thinkin', that's what I oughta do, prolly."
Yi glances from Nevada to Bernie, back and forth for just a few moments. She might not be able to empathize, but something is bothering someone. "Er. Something the matter?"
Nevada frowns. "Bunny?"
"Nah," Bernie lies blatantly, if reasonably convincingly, "peachy keen, jelly bean. Jus' tired, y'know. Been up, like, I dunno, 17 hours or somethin', I guess." She stands, and picks up her backpack, slipping it onto her shoulder in preparation to go.
"Try to get some rest, na," Yi says softly, watching her fellow newmoon shoulder up. She glances over to Nevada briefly.
Nevada stares at Bernie a little longer, before he sends a drowsy gentle smile after her. "Be seein' you, then, huh? Take care."
Bernie nods, managing a creditable smile back to the pair of them. "'course. Gotta show you where they're keepin' 'lish these days, right? So I'll see you guys, like, tomorrowish, or soon anyway, yeah? G'night..." That said, she turns and heads for the so recently reconstructed doors.