Situated in the center of a large, open meadow is a clustering of six trees, a flower bed, a few benches, and a plywood wall barricade. The area where the fountain was, and presumably the new fountain will be, is currently enclosed by high plywood walls. There is a door in one of the walls, firmly locked with a stout-looking padlock. The walls enclose much of the flagstone area, now, only leaving a little around the edges of the old courtyard. Scraggly hedges line one side of the courtyard, just behind some mostly graffiti-free benches and a chain link fence. Cars on the nearby street have an excellent view of the park as do any residents of the tall buildings which line the waterfront. The park is almost constantly devoid of people as its reputation for being one of the most violent and dangerous places in the city spreads.
The murky waters of the Columbia River flow swiftly along the east side of the park. Bracketing the park to the west is First Street and the city of St. Claire. A meadow surrounds the small glade.
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.
Bernie is on the same bench as the night before, reading again. There are some differences, though; tonight, she's sitting crosslegged on the bench, the book open in her lap, and reading by the light of an old green plastic Scooby Doo flashlight. Beneath the bench is a battered army-green canvas duffle bag, and her backpack is beside her, full of candy wrappers again. She's currently sucking on a lollipop of some kind.
The metis has a slightly abstracted look on her face as she wanders into the park, as if she's following something no one else can see. Gaze slewing to the newcomer from LA, her eyes widen just a touch, and then she's grinning. A lot. "Hey Yi," she mutters. "Guess who's it?"
Yi silently follows Kaz's gaze over, and spots the girl from the night before on the bench, the light shining from the Scooby Doo flashlight making her features a bit easier to see. "Her?" she murmurs, also a bit surprised. She glances at the galliard a bit doubtfully.
K'z doesn't look even vaguely doubtful. "Shit yeah," she says, softly. "And it makes perfect sense. C'mon, I was gonna give her crash space anyways, this just makes it simpler."
Perhaps it's the muffled voices, or possibly the slight movement in the shadows, but the girl glances up from her book, forehead wrinkled, and looks about, head tilting slightly to one side as she peers through the darkness. It only takes a second before she thinks to shine the flashlight off the book and toward the area of interest, and its faint illumination is just enough. Bernie grins, and waves her other hand a bit.
Kaz waves cheerfully, and heads over. "What, you ain't done with that yet? Thought you'd be whippin' through it."
Yi nods and starts towards Bernie, keeping step with her partner in 'napping. She waves as well, and as the two reach the bench she smiles. "Hello again."
Bernie laughs, and lifts the book, shining the light on the cover -- It's not the same book after all. This time, the cover is black, but the light glints over the glossy printing of the title: Cryptonomicon. "Finished th' other last night... Howzit goin'?" A short pause, and she adds, looking to Kaz, "Girl last night said this was gang territory... haven't seen any, though. She pulling my leg?"
K'z peers at the black cover. "'s pretty good," she mutters, as she gets a fix on the name. "Oh, Stephenson, huh? Ain't read that one. The man's got a problem with, y'now, endin' books, though. Peters out somethin' fierce. Good characters, usually." Face darkening slightly, she says, "Huh. Gangs. Yeah. Used t'be. They ain't been around in awhile, though. It's why me'n my bunch kept watch, though."
Yi runs a hand through her hair, still smiling. "Well, I don't think we'll have much of a problem with them."
A slight nod, and Bernie agrees, "Yeah, I've been here for prolly like 16 hours in the last two days, an' I haven't seen any. 'less they dress a lot diff'rent up here than down there." A quick, negligent wave of the flashlight in a vaguely southerly direction. "'s a good book... very interwoven, y'know? Plus, codes an' cyphers and computers and stuff are cool. So whatcha guys up to tonight?"
"Eh." Kaz is all committal, really, "Just grabbed some dinner, figured we'd come see'f you were here'n all. Figured, din' wanna leave you waitin' f'nothin', y'know?"
Jay heads into view with lumbering ease, yawning loudly as he scratches the back of his head. Had fight with Rina.. Check. Ate Dinner... Check. Turned off the oven.. Check. Locked Nevada in the closet with a sock puppet to keep him company....check. The Ahroun groans slightly to himself as he makes his way towards Bernie and the others.
She shrugs lightly, her breath coming out in a small wispy puff of vapor. Yi's eyes stray off towards a different part of the glade and she spots Jay, waving at him, and waving him over. "Here comes one of my good friends," she comments to Bernie as she motions the girl's gaze towards the approaching ahroun. At mention of dinner her stomach gives an involuntary rumble. She blushes slightly, that run with Banecruncher worked her a bit.
A large black bird screeches as it flies overhead, crcling once or twice before landing atop one of the barricades around the still-under-construction fountain.
Bernie glances in the indicated direction, and grins, "Met 'im last night...." She waves at him as well, and adds, more quietly, "...only he ran off when the girl, you prolly know her too, Rina? showed up, so I didn't get t' talk to 'im a lot..." She closes the book on the lollipop wrapper -- apparently it's a tootsiepop -- and puts it away in her bag. The flashlight stays out, for the moment.
"Aw, he's cool. Rina's a whacked up bitch, mostly. Although she knows what's goin' on." The metis shrugs. "Mostly, was wonderin' you wanted t'take th' offer've crash space, y'know?"
Glancing up at the blackbird briefly, Yi returns her gaze back down to the girl as Kaz offers the crash space. "We can have a bit of dinner and...ah, what's the word... hang out?" She smiles a little sheepishly, just getting used to the slang around here still.
Bernie stretches, turning the flashlight off now, and letting it return to the backpack as well. "Oh, yeah, not denyin' he's cool, it was just kinda weird. He offered too, that was nice of 'im an' all, y'know? An' yeah, if y' don't mind, I'll take you up on that."
Yi smiles and offers her hand to help up the girl. "It's a bit of a walk, but we can also talk along the way." The quirk of her smile touches around the edge of her cheek.
K'z snorts. "Jay's a lil' pushy, but he means well. Anyways, rawk. C'mon, I'll show y'over there."
Bernie leans down and drags the big old military surplus duffle from under the bench, swinging it up so that it lands beside her on the bench with a bit of a thunk. "Brought my bag this time, too," she comments, grinning. She stands, lifting both bags, and eyes Yi and Kaz mock-warily, lifting a brow. "So, promise not to turn out to be psycho axe-murderers or somethin'? 'cause I promised my Mom I'd avoid 'em, y'know," she jokes.
Rina stalkes into the park, her head lifted to glance occasionally at the sky. She catches sight of the group and pauses, mild surprise touching her expression. "Heya, Bernie, Kaz," she calls out. "W'sup?" Both hands rest easily in her jacket pockets, and her posture takes on a trace of tense readiness.
Yi laughs, the soft tone fading into the night air. "We're nothing like that," she assures the girl. "Looks kind of heavy," the gnawer notes gazing at the bag. "What do you have in there?"
"Don' worry. An axe murderer, I ain't." Kaz grins, and then Rina's call attracts her attention. She loses most of the grin once she figures out who it is, but she calls, "Yo, Rina! How goes?"
Bernie looks down at the duffel in her hand, and shrugs, with an easy smile, "Oh, that's where I keep the bodies... nah, just stuff, y'know? Other clothes, couple books, food, random crap like that." She waves her free hand toward the appraoching Rina, and shakes her head slightly, "This place turns inta Grand Central Station after dark, I swear. Not that I don't wanna see y'all, but it's weird after it's deserted all day."
"Well, some places, and people, are more active in nighttime," the raggie gnawer offers as an explanation. With a glance upward, she waves to Rina though a bit hesitatively, stealing a look to Kaz before turning back to Bernie and leaving up that mask of warm smile.
Rina flashes a tense smile to Kaz, a little softness coming to her eyes. "Not much," she answers. A glance to Bernie, and she says, lightly, "See, I /told/ you it was dangerous around here. You gotta watch out for these chicks.
Kaz heads over to the Kin and mutters something to her, quietly.
You sense Rina looks like she's in quite the awful mood when she walks in, and then seeing you and Kaz seemed to soften her expression a bit.
The large black bird screeches again, spreading its wings as it launches from the top of one of the wooden walls, quickly disappearing into the dark night.
Rina tenses, drawing a quick breath and then letting it out slowly. Her expression sobers a little, a touch of wistfulness coming to her smile as it fades. She lowers her eyes, glancing down at the ground. "Sure," she answers quietly, nodding. "You want me to call anybody for ya, or d'you have it covered?" When she looks up, she studies Kaz's face for a moment, searching.
Kaz actually seems fairly casual about this, though the Kin's slight wistfulness is echoed in the metis' face. "Neh, we got it covered. Sig's ain't too far t'walk, after all."
Yi waits for the two to finish talking and then gazes at the metis. "Are we all ready to go?" she inquires with an eyebrow raised.
Rina's smile comes back, a little quieter than before. "Cool. I'd come and hang out, but I gotta get home soonish." Her dark eyes shift to Bernie, and she offers a quick, lopsided grin. "Don't worry, they're not axe murderers."
Kaz tells Rina, fairly sincerely, even, "Y'welcome whenever," and then erks a thumb out of the park. "Thattaway, cap'n, yeah." She starts leading the way, since, well, she's the one that lives there.
Bernie shifts her weight from one foot to the other, rebalancing her bags as she watches the conversation out of the corner of her eye, but she replies to Yi, in a terrible faux transylvanian accent, "Creachah uv da niiiight, mmm?" She pulls the lollipop from her mouth, and grins at Rina, "Oh, good, always nice t' have someone vouch for people... mind, if it turns out they are after all, gonna hafta sue you for, like, false advertisin' or somethin'."
Kaz mutters, "No axes, see," as she starts walking.
Bernie waves her sucker at Rina as she begins to follow Kaz away.
Kaz unlocks the various locks and ushers people in. "Feel free t'grab whatever y'wanna eat or whatever."
Yi waits for Bernie to head in before entering herself, following after the big duffel bag with legs. On their way in she gives Kaz a small smirk before heading towards the kitchen.
Bernie drops her bags onto the floor near the door, and pushes them out of the way of foot traffic with the side of her boot as she looks around. "'s nice," she comments, "Thanks..."
Grabbing a Coke from the small fridge, Yi calls out from the kitchen, "Would you like anything to drink?" to the both of them.
Kaz relocks the locks, carefully. Hey, proper procedure around here. Then she fetches herself a Coke. "Yeah, it ain't my place, it's m'friend's. Her name's Signe, and one word -- do /not/ piss her off. Anyways. Couch's comfy, it's all pretty good." Flopping onto said couch, she adds, "So I gotta question, though."
"That's five words," Bernie notes cheerfully, flopping inelegantly on the couch as well. "Ooh. Yeah, 's comfy. Nice leather, too...," She turns and leans over the arm of the sofa, calling toward Yi, "Yes please, anything's good..." before settling back into the corner of the cushion and adding, to Kaz, "A'ight... shoot."
Kaz leans against the end of the couch. "Well, ok, two words, Don't, and piss, I guess. Anyways." She shoots a glance at Yi, takes a breath, and starts. "So it's an odd question or three, but... You been feelin' restless? Annoyed? Pissy? Havin' weird dreams about wolves? Wantin' t'kinna be one?"
Yi walks back in from the kitchen with three Cokes in tow, one opened and two others balanced easily in her left hand. She bows slightly as if a waitress serving drinks, and offers the both of them their drinks with a smile of service. Too much table-waiting at the local restaurant.
Bernie snags one of the colas, popping it open with a quick, "Thanks," and considers the question, looking just slightly taken aback. "So, yeah, that's kinda odd t' ask... but I guess it beats 'if you were a tree, what kinda tree wouldja be'... lessee, in order... yes, yes, yes, I don't usu'lly remember my dreams, an' I don't think there were any with wolves per se, but I did have one where I was inna cage atta humane society, that kinda sucked, and never really thought about it." A beat, and she adds, with a half-smile, "My favourite colour is green, I like roleplaying games, and I plan to spent my reign as Miss America raising consciousness about the plight of youth in Asia."
Yi quirks her head curiously at the chatty one, even more interested as she mentions the continent her hometown is in. "So, do you have, mm... feelings for them? Dogs, wolves... like you wanted to become one of them?" Her questions grow a little cautious as she glances at the more language proficient Kaz.
Kaz takes the Coke with a smiled nod of thank, and then snorts, while she's opening it with a fssht. "Miss America ain't in your future, Bernie. Neither's a lotta other things. Welding, say. No weldin' for you. See, you're a werewolf. Garou, we call 'em. You're gonna turn into a wolf, or maybe more like a giant dog, and you're gonna become part of th' Garou nation. And /yeah/," she admits, "Now's the part where you stare at me and tell me I'm fuckin' cracked and insane, but I got kinda tired of that ten years ago, so. I've arranged for a demonstration." Glancing over at Yi with a small 'if you please' gesture of one hand, she says, "Lupus?"
Bernie blinks at Kaz several times, mind attempting to parse that information. What comes out of her mouth, meanwhile, is: "Well, Miss America wasn't ever in my future anyhow..." She shakes her head once, as if to clear it, and then looks warily over at Yi. "Werewolf. There wolf, there castle..." she mutters, and shakes her head again, "Kinda late for the Hallowe'en ticks, innit?"
Yi nods, stepping back and moving over to a wall to set down her Coke. Then she walks over to the center of the room, gazing at Bernie. "Your life, changes from now." With that, her form begins to blur right in front of Bernie's eyes, as if her glasses were suddenly of the wrong prescription. Yi grows larger and larger for a just barely a second, and if one were to look closely, she looks almost half human, half wolf. Then, she begins to shrink, becoming smaller and smaller until the form finally focuses and before the two stands a dark brown furred wolf, or more accurately a wolfdog, sporting black furred ears and a slightly longer mane of black where the human hair would be, fading into brown again between her ruff.
Yi contorts and blurs as she is transformed.
Yi shifts into Lupus form.
Kaz says, smugly, "No Halloween tricks," and watches the cub very carefully.
Bernie squeaks, eyes widening, magnified to near saucer-size by her glasses, and scrambles back into the corner of the couch, half-climbing the arm and back of it. The soda can falls out of her hand, spilling dark fizzy liquid all over the floor. After the initial moment of panic, she sputters, voice quite a bit higher and faster than usual, barely intelligible, "How the, what the, but she, wha... fuck!" Ripping her eyes from the wolf, her gaze darts frantically around the room and its occupants.
Jay bangs his fist on the door, shifting from left to right as he sighs heavily. Hearing the yell from within, he grips the handle and gives it a twist, hoping its unlocked, if not, grrr.
Kaz mutters, "Immersion method," and scrambles off the couch herself. Never taking her eyes off the cub, she unlocks the deadbolts, and yells through the door, "Get in quick, you got shitty timin', Jay." As she edges back to the couch, she says, trying to soothe -- and she does seem to know the kind of movements and intonation that would -be- soothing -- "It's ok, Bernie. It's ok. The world just ain't what you think. THere's a lot more out there than you know, and this is just some of it. But we're family, all of us, and it'll be ok."
Jay steps into the house quickly, shutting it behind him as the locks go up. He's carrying about four pizza's in his arms, balancing them. "Yo.. I got some din din'. Someone, help snag a box before I fall on my ass." Boy, what an ice breaker. Your a werewolf kid, don't worry, so dig in an grab some sausage!
Three-Blades decides to keep silent for the most part. Barking might upset the girl even more than she is already. What to do now, Kaz? Try and convince her to change? Her head whips about at the smell of pizza. Without much thinking, she shifts back to her breed form and helps out Jay with one of those boxes, shifting again right before the poor girl's eyes.
Three-Blades contorts and blurs as she is transformed.
Three-Blades shifts into Homid form.
Kaz shakes her head. "Ain't wanta force no one to shift when they ain't ready," she says, still watching the cub and, for once in her life, ignoring food completely.
Ordinarily pizza arrival would be a source of great joy, but food is about the last thing on Bernie's mind right now. Still half-perched on the back of the corner of the couch, her mouth goes on ahead without waiting for her mind to catch up. "My family," she protests, pointing at Yi, her voice still strained, but clearer now, "are NOT that hairy! Even Clarence!" Anything she might've said next is cut off by another yelp as Yi tranforms back to her original shape.
"It's a new family, doncha know. You ever read Richard Bach?" The metis is, apparently, doorguard, since she stays between the cub and the (locked again) door.
Jay hands over a box to Yi, casually traveling to Bernie, plopping another in her arms. "I hope ya like combination. I wasn't sure what everyone was cool with." Reaching out with a free hand, balancing the other two pies, he pats her on the head, then plops down next to her, placing the boxes to the side. "Anyways, welcome to the flock lil cub. Your about to have a lot of fun, its a cool job with lots of perks, but shitty medical and dental benefits. Now eat."
Yi is about to protest about that hair being some rather nice and warm fur, but thinks better of it. She glances at her ahroun brother, pizzas still warming up her arms. "You should calm down," she comments rather calmly. "Bad for blood pressure." Her smile reappears, though it probably is taking a bit of will on the girl's part. "You never thought your fantasy books would come to life?"
Bernie shakes her head mutely, eyeing the locked door over Kaz's head, and glancing around again as if for a route of escape. Even the ducting gets an appraising look. The pizza box dropping in her arms pulls her attention, startling her, and at the pat on the head, she suddenly bursts out laughing uncontrollably, looking 'round at the three of you incredulously. She slips back down the sofa, to the corner cushion, and leans over the pizza box, cracking up. That can't be good for the cheese.
Jay blinks and idly glances over to the girl, quirking a brow upwards. "Yah... um..... Hey guys... should I do stand up? Am I that funny?" He puffs up a bit, grinning, then smirks at Bernie. "Hey... um... your smooshing the pizza."
Yi raises an eyebrow in an exact mimic of the ahroun. "Stand up?" her question truly innocent of knowing what that slang term is. The second question she does understand, though. "You can be, Wakes-to-Nose-in-Back." The no-moon obviously doesn't have a grip of american humor yet.
Kaz's tense expression melts at Bernie' s laughter. "Aright. You got the right stuff, kid, t'survive /these/ guys. You wannan explanation, once you're done breakin' up?"
Jay's admonishment does nothing for Bernie's composure, sending her into fresh gales of rather hysterical laughter. Which, in turn, probably does nothing for the pizza. She gasps a few times, nodding in response to Kaz as she attempts to regain her voice. "Hell yes," she manages after several seconds, "I figure either I'm dreamin', I finally lost it, or she's," a quick gesture to Yi, "trainin' t' open for Penn an' Teller, but I gotta hear this..." Her eyes are still full of disbelief, but less terror; after all, you all seem more inclined to feed her than eat her, so far... and it doesn't look like leaving's an option, regardless.
Jay reaches over and takes the smashed pizza out from under Bernie's death grip of tum tum, then clears his throat, grinning a bit. "Can I tell the story? I'm good at this, I think... " Wetting his lips with a swipe of his tongue, he brushes away the long bangs from his face.
Kaz shrugs. "Hey, don' let me stop you." Heading over to the Ahroun, she adds, stealing a few slices, "Specially if you gimme some damn /pizza/. Talk away, Mr. Jay."
Yi gives the metis galliard, then her bro before finally deciding to approch the couch. She hugs the wall for a moment, bending down while balancing 2 mega-size pizzas, and picks up the Coke she'd left sitting. Nestling that in her hand, she scoots on over to Jay's foot, lowers herself into a cross-legged sitting position on the floor next to the fullmoon's toes, and sets the two other pizzas next to her. She sips her Coke and gives Jay a smile and a nod to continue, stealing a slice for herself as well.
Jay hands her the full box as he stands up, clearing his throat slightly, then cuts his dark, opaque orbs back down to Bernie fiercly, a stare that could surely scare the fur off a cat. "Ok kid, listen up, because I don't have much time ta' tell you twice, and this shit is important for *your* survival." Kneelng down in front of her, he leans his head in close, poking her right in the chest. "You are a werewolf, what we call "Garou". In another language, it means 'the people'. Got it? You, me, She, an Mulan over there, an many others, are hand picked by Gaia, not that chick from Cap'n Planet, but "Gaia", the goddess of the earth. Now, before ya stop laughing, take in mind I may rip yer' lips off, because I hate being interrupted, now nod yer head if ya fallow me ok?" He's right to the point.
Kaz says, very very dryly, "/Some/ of us ain't into rippin' limbs off, Jay."
Jay cants his head over to Kaz and winks, of course he wouldn't rip of a 'limb'..he said lips!
Signe comes down via the lift, pulling the cage back and entering with her usual grunt.
Yi turns her head towards the grunt, and blinks. This, she guesses, is Signe. Her eye strays to the spilled Coke the cub had dropped, and she holds her lips shut, uttering a soft "Hello" before doing so.
Being glared at by the huge man does cut down on the laughter quite a lot, and the giggles that still escape have an even higher-pitched, more hysteric edge. The cub's lips quiver between attempting to smile and attempting to frown with distress, independent of what she may want them to do. She bites the lower one, forcing them into submission for the moment, at least, and nods, eyes wide again, inching her torso back from the poking.
Signe eyes the collection of Gnawers and the spilled soda. She remains silent, but her look asks what's going on.
Kaz glances over at her now twice former packmate and calls, "Yo! Want some pizza, Sig? This here's Bernie, she's in the freakout stage. Bernie, this is Signe, she's in the 'don't piss me off' stage. It don't ever end."
Kaz sounds quite friendly towards the Get, really.
Jay grins slightly at Bernie and cuffs her playfully. "You know I'm just kidding right, feel free to asks questions at will." Glancing over to Signe, he waves a large hand to her, then turns back to the cub. "Anyways, as I was saying. Gaia is this spirit of the earth right? She lives in pretty much everything. Now, as I was saying about this job stuff. We..as..Garou... we are kinda like Gaia's warriors, y'know, like ass kicking planeteer's. With that in mind, you gotta ask yer'self. Well Jay.. since we can grow 10 feet tall an rip things in half, what could we possibly be fighting?" Well, I'm getting to that part. Its called the Wyrm. Thats with a Y, not an O. The Wyrm is kinda like the evil entity of all that shit around ya. It comes in all forms.. Pollution, rape.. um....Forest Fires..but it also takes the form of monstah's and shit. And thats where we come in."
Signe's eyes flick to Kaz, and again she grunts. Moving toward the kitchen, she grabs a beer. The offer for pizza is thanked as she takes a piece. The cubs and other Gnawers get mostly ignored. "Kaz, where's Max?" The ragabash cub's name gets a heavy accent, proving Signe would dearly like to know the answer.
Kaz shrugs, seemingly unconcerned, although there's a slight tightening around the eyes. "Around. About. Want I should tell her you're lookin' for her?"
Yi's gaze flickers amongst the activities, first to Jay and his lecture, then to Kaz, then to Signe and back again. With a quick munch, her first slice of pizza disappears and she sips her Coke, making sure it won't spill over the floor.
"No," Signe answers, the word too quick, too strong. Purposeful. She devours the piece of pizza during the pause, and then, with a mouthful, asks, "You've seen my room, right?"
Any grin Kaz might have had over that has long since been used up. "Yeah. I did." She is, at least, not hastening to /blame/ the cub.
"What... happened in your room?" the ragabash Gnawer asks, her curiosity winning the battle of will to be quiet. Just briefly she glances at her fellow no-moon cub, but her eyes are drawn to the imposing Get with right cause to be wary.
Bernie's laughter has finally subsided, and she listens to the man's explanation, interest and disbelief warring on her face. "10 feet tall?" she ventures in a weak voice, pulling her knees up toward her chest, and glancing toward the newest arrival to the room. "Uh... hi," she manages to greet her politely, though she seems somewhat dazed, "um, thanks for... having me..." She waves a hand vaguely at the apartment, and looks back to Jay as if she isn't completely sure he _was_ joking about the lip removal.
Signe is still mostly ignoring the newest cub and the other Gnawers, her gaze on Kaz exclusively. "Uh huh. Now, Rach didn't do it. Owen couldn't even have thought of it, let alone done it. /You/ wouldn't do it." She apuses, glaring at KAz, "Would you? Now, who does that leave who has a 'key'?"
Kaz sighs, as she studies the Get. "I don't like getting my brains bashed in, no. Unlike certain Maxes I could name. But you got one thing wrong. The key part. 'Cause once I figured out she did it, she kinda doesn't have a key anymore."
Jay chuckles slightly and nods his head. "Yah... I bet Signe over there can hit at least 13. Us Garou, we're kinda split up inta' lil groupings. Kinda like Native Americans, we got tribes. And in each tribe, we all have different views on things and stuff. Most of us don't get along wi' each other, but y'know..sometimes, we kinda gotta. Y'know...unity is the key to success, blah blah blah." He waves his hand a bit. "I'll prolly let someone else get inta' dat. But, the point of being a Garou, is that we gotta big job to do. Protecting the Earth, helping clean up the streets, keep the forests safe from stupid shit like deforestation, all that good crap. Its not a fun job..we don't get paid for it, the world doesn't know about us, so, that means you can't call Saturday Night Live or anything, but its a job that you are ganna have ta' take seriously." His voice has dropped from playful to calm now, still serious. "So...go ahead an fire a question or two at me so I can see where ya at right now." He quips to Bernie.
Signe lifts her chin, eyeing Kaz still. "You took her key?"
Yi slowly makes her way up onto the couch, her Coke in hand. She pokes Bernie softly, her eyes watching her carefully. "You ok?
Signe eyes Jay, her mood not great right now, but it's been much much worse. "Hit 13 what?" she barks.
Kaz says, glumly, "Yeah. She gonna do shit that gets her caught, and that f'sure was gonna get her caught, she gonna deal with consequences. You want it gone f'ever, or'll a month're so do?"
Jay glances back over to Signe. "13 feet, we are talking 'bout how tall a werewolf can get." He states simply.
Signe grunts, relaxing at Jays explanation. "Oh," she says, to both he and Kaz. She touches her chin, thinking. It's a scary thing, too, to watch the Get think. "Keep it for now. But I'll find her on my own. I promise only this, Kaz, I won't kill her."
Jay winces slightly as he over hears Signe talk to Kaz, then turns his attentions back to Bernie and his teachings.
Kaz nods. She seems to think this an eminently reasonable comment. Maybe she /really/ hates pink, or something. "Rock on, Sig. Thanks."
Bernie blinks, and considers this slowly. "...you're...a lycanthropic service club?" She shakes her head slightly, and marks the air with a finger, "Okay... so, taking it as given that y'all turn into huge beasties one night a month and run around fighting evil... what makes you think I'm... like that? I'm pretty sure I'd know it if I ever turned into a dog. Wolf. Thing."
Signe finally eyes Bernie, asking, "New cub?"
Jay glances over to Signe and nods his head. "Yah..she's a new cub... I believe she hasn't...changed yet." He hums slightly, then looks to her again. "An we can change any time we want ta' kiddo. So will you soon 'nuff. That is, if ya think you got the guts for it."
Jay is pretty sure that Signe wouldn't want a new cub raging in her living room.
"Ayup. Brand spankin'. You mind we keep her here? Figured it's easier that way -- but I won't give this one a key, yah?" Kaz shakes her head slightly at Jay, restraining a grin.
Signe takes a step toward the cub, and the tension in the roo---for those that are perceptive enough--rises just a notch. "I can do that for you."
Yi stands up and gives the Get a right bow of respect. "I believe that I am new to your house. I am Song Yi Ling, Three-Blades to Gaia's children, cliath ragabash of the Bone Gnawer tribe," she rattles off like she were identifying herself.
Kaz tells Jay, rather firmly, "Signe's better at it than you are."
Jay smirks at Kaz slightly. "Hey, I got Nevada ta' do it didn't I? So I'm still 1 fo' 1. But, if ya think the unkillable mountain over there wants ta' do it, thats cool. I'll just step right on back over here." He says, crossing the room. "An... watch the show."
Signe eyes Yi, her gaze astutely studying the small woman. "Fancy intro for a Gnawer. I like the name, though. Howd you get it?"
Kaz says "She's from Hong Kong. They do things different, there."
Yi keeps her gaze steady, unchallenging towards the fostern Get. "By killing the head of a gang and two followers in Hong Kong," she states simply. "A long story."
Bernie sighs, and takes off her jacket, draping it over the arm of the couch, carefully. That done, she picks up a slice of pizza, and eyes it almost suspiciously a moment before she takes a bite. "Okay, so the moon thing's not applicable... I still don't get why you think I'm one. I mean, my eyebrows don't gorw t'gethr an' I don't have a whatsit, pentacle or whatever, on my palm, an' no one ever bit me... hey, and I bit someone, and he's not a werewolf, so..." She shakes her head, devouring the pizza rapidly. Possibly a stress eater.
Signe shrugs a shoulder beneath her leather jacket and nods at the explanation, taking it for its simplicity. "Signe, called Skadi's Defiant Storm by Fenris' children. Fostern, full moon, and JArl of the Get in St. Claire right now."
Yi bows her head again, this time with a quiet, calm gaze up at the Jarl. A gaze that's not challenging, just respectful. "You are the first Get of Fenris I have seen. It is an honor to meet you, Skadi's Defiant Storm," she says with a smile.
Kaz explains, finally talking /to/ the cub again, "Magic. We gotta lotta magic, around these parts, but this one's a spirit stuck on you when you were small, that goes off when you're almost ready to change and comes and bugs the hell outta us till we come get you an' make sure you don't tear off some asshole mugger's head."
Jay glances about the room idly, running a hand back through the thick mop of brown bangs which spill incessantly over his dark, opaque covered orbs. Yawning lightly to himself, he flops down on the couch a bit, glancing over to Bernie and nods. "MMmm Yup.... there's such things as spirits.. they just live on the otha' side of the looking glass. But its real cool, once ya step across it. Which, again, we'll get to later."
Signe nods to Yi, adding ruffly. "Signe'll do." She then looks again to Kaz, her earlier offer still haning in the air. The Get looks eager enought to do it.
Kaz tells Signe, almost regretfully, "I think we oughta get a few more of the basics into her, before we scare the shit outta her. Y'can do it later, though."
Bernie smirks slightly at that. "Asshole muggers aren't on th' Wyrm list, or whatever? So... some magician made a ghost chaperone me? Wait, then... okay, then why wouldn't he have _told_ me, or something?"
Jay smirks "Cuz ya can't speak to them yet chicky. Neither can I. Only a few of us can. Like I said, they live on th' otha side o' the mirror. They be there, prolly sitting right next ta' ya, an you never know it." He grins, bopping her in the shoulder. "An fucked up muggers are on the list too, they just.... aren't that big of a deal. Not like Nexus Crawlers or shit like that." He shudders slightly.
Signe nods to Kaz, just as easily, and then thinks of something else. "Did you know Rach has a Gaiain cub up at her place? Dante left him there."
Kaz shakes her head. "/Some/ muggers is on the list, but some ain't Wyrmy. And it could just be some asshole lookin' t'steal enough for a good meal. An'... Well, you kill someone durin' y'first change, it don't exactly make you feel real good afterwards. We tryin' avoid that."
Yi keeps quiet again. Her eyes mostly on the cub with interest, observing how she's taking in all this information. If anything, she'd probably teach this cub some things about being a no-moon as well.
Kaz blinks at Signe. "Yeah? I'll have t'go bug her, let her see how th' other half lives."
Bernie glances next to her quickly, as if half-expecting to see one sitting there. "Okay, but.. oh, wait, did it just latch on to me by itself, then? Like, it saw some mystical neon sign flashing over my head going, 'Werewolf! Werewolf!' and started following me around, or something?" Kaz's explanation makes her blanch for a moment; she hadn't really considered the actual killing someone aspect of that yet.
Jay nods his head. "Something like that, don't worry too much about it. Your in good hands now. A whole lot better then being out on the street an having some rapist watching ya or something." He bumps shoulders with her, yawning a bit. "Anyways, the only way ya can change, is ta' really focus on something... most likely getting 'real' pissed off an letting it explode inside you is the easiest, at least for your first time."
Kaz shakes her head. "Nah. Y'folks, or some Garou that knew y'folks, or whatever, they stuck it on you when you were a baby. So's they could find you when you popped."
Yi offers a less slangy explanation, "Your parents. One of them may have been a Garou. Or, they were kinfolk. They asked a spirit, called a kin-fetch, to watch you so when you changed for the first time, other werewolves like us could find you."
Bernie nods twice, once to each reply, though Kaz and Yi's explanations make her look even more bothered. "How come they wouldn't tell me about it, then? I mean, if I _am_, and they _knew_, why'd it be a secret? I mean,..." She pauses, as something occurs to her, "I got five siblings, wouldn't they all be also if I am? Or is it, like... recessive? And of course they're my kinfolk, I mean, they're my parents, right? They kinda gotta be relatives."
Signe takes another piece of pizza and claims 'her' chair, chasing out anyone who might have accidentally sat there. For now, she eats and simply listens. IT's hard for the fostern ahroun to 'fade into the background', but she tries.
Kaz takes several more pieces of pizza. Shoving Yi gently on the shoulder, she says, "I gotta go patrol -- you can cover her, right?"
Yi nods, giving the galliard a brief smile.
Bernie murmurs, more to herself than anyone else, "Cover me, I'm goin' in..." She loks even more lost for a moment as the two main explainers get up to go, and lifts a pizza-crust laden hand in a weak wave. "Um... later, I guess..."
Kaz gives Bernie a genuinely friendly smile, and says, "Back later. I just gotta make sure th' gang idiots don't hang out in the wrong places, and stuff." She locks the door carefully as she goes.
Signe puts her feet up, eyeing the two young Gnawers. Eventually she puts her beer down and gestures with a hand that they should both follow her.
Yi casts a brief glance at the departing Kaz, then up at Signe. Her eyes glance at Bernie before she moves to follow the Get.
Signe looms over the other two, her voice commanding without being that loud, currently. "I lay the rules on you, in case no one else has. Rule number one. This is my place. Not yours, not Kaz's and not the Gnawers. Do not otuch my shit. Do I need to explain that any better than that?"
Yi nods, keeping silent as if she were being extolled the Litany.
Bernie takes her cue from Yi, for the moment at least, and pushes up off the couch with both hands, remaining bit of crust held between her teeth for the moment. She tears off a bite and chews it as she approaches the others. Mouth full, she responds to the question with a shake of her head, then pauses, swallowing, and asks, '...um, does sitting on th' couch count as touchin' your shit?"
Signe gestures with her hand again and then makes her way down to the end of the hall. It ends in the one walled off bedroom of the apartment. The back wall, behind the bed, is painted pink. The room reeks of fresh paint--so it's obviously new. "This," she says, "Is the work--apparently--of one of your sisters. She will, I /guarantee/ you, regret this little prank. When you see her, remember it, in case either of you get any wild hairs about pranks."
Signe answers Bernie then. "No, but adjusting the bass on the stereo or mixing up my tapes and cds does."
Yi raises an eyebrow at the pink bed but says nothing. Bernie's inquiries are more than enough to give Signe a response. Besides, the cliath raggie hangs out mostly at the Church by day. "Your possessions will not be tampered with," she affirms to the fostern.
Bernie's gaze darts about the pink room, and she presses her lips together, hard, until they're just a line in her face, the corners still threatening to turn up at the sight. She nods silently, and swallows, closing her eyes a moment, then reopens them. "Got it. No redecorating; no DJ practice." The words may border on flippant, but the tone is actually suitably earnest and respectful.
Signe eyes Bernie carefully, like a predator. Then, seemingly satisfied, she nods and gestures back to the living room. "Good, now out. I'm going to bed."
Yi does an aboutface and shuffles out, her eye catching Bernie's with an amused glint. "Good night, Signe-yuf."
Signe simply closes the door behind them when they leave.
Bernie smiles, looking rather less confused than she has most of the evening, and waves lightly at the tall woman. "Sleep well, thanks again for the loan of the roof..." She turns and follows Yi out.
Yi leads Bernie back towards the living room, where she automatically begins cleaning up the area of pizza boxes. For a brief second she disappears into the kitchen and reappears with napkins. Handing one to Bernie, she nods towards the Coke spill. "Questions?" she asks the girl not much younger than she.
Bernie looks at her napkin, and reaches over to pluck a second from Yi's hands before she kneels beside the puddle and starts mopping it up without protest. "Why is the sky blue?" she asks, idly, and then shakes her head. "No. I mean, yes, obviously, only I dunno what they are yet." She eyes the pair of sodden paper products in the puddle and adds, "...with the exception of, 'could I have a few more of those?'"
Yi hands over a stack of napkins, and leans down to pick up an empty pizza box. "What do you think of it all?" she asks softly, walking over towards the kitchen. "The whole of Garou took a while for me to understand as well."
Bernie tends to the soda puddle silently for over a minute after that, long enough that most would start to wonder if she even heard the question. She does answer eventually, however, with a quick shake of her head that makes her curls fly back behind her shoulder. "Dunno, honestly. I mean, it's all kind of... hard to believe, y'know? Sounds like maybe y'all are roleplayers who got just a leeeetle too far into character. But, uh..." She glances sidelong at Yi, and scoops up the wet mass of paper with a few of the dry napkins. "I -saw- you change into a wolf... or at least I think I did. So I guess I'm inclined t' see what happens." Hunting down a trashcan, she goes quiet again for a little before asking, a bit nervously, "...does it hurt?"
Yi pauses at the doorway to the kitchen, finger tapping softly in thought on the pizza box in her hands. She turns, looking over her shoulder at the cub. "No," she states simply, disappearing into the kitchen again and coming back out emptyhanded. She walks over and squats down, hugging her knees. "The thing that hurts, is when you find out what the Wyrm has done to our home. Gaia, the Goddess of the Earth. She is why we are here. She is we why fight. All the horrible things you see on TV, the cutting of forests, oil spills in the ocean, slaughter of endangered animals... those are just small symptoms of the disease. The Wyrm." She halts in her small teaching lecture, thinking perhaps it's too much for now. A small smile crosses her lips. "You know, when we say you can change... you can. The first time, it might be very surprising, but you will get used to it."
"Well, as long as I still have my other clothes I can," Bernie replies, intentionally misinterpreting, "and geez, it's not THAT surprising, I mean, I'm hygenic and all..." She breaks into a grin, and sits back down on the couch, fiddling with an edge of her jacket. "...they were talking about making me change... how's that work?"
Yi slides down into the couch alongside the girl, thought keeping a relatively comfortable airspace barrier about her. "The first change, we call the Firsting, usually comes from something very...exciting." She pauses, thinking over the use of the word. "Maybe not exciting. It is the Rage inside all Garou. We have a fire inside us, and when that fire grows large enough in a cub, like yourself, you change for the first time. Some cubs, they change because they were so angry they wanted to kill someone. Others have changed when they were very sad, and angry because they were sad. Some have changed, because they had to protect their loved ones..." her voice trails, but she catches herself before taking an involuntary trip down memory lane. "When Kaz and Jay spoke of making you change, they...were somehow going to do something to make you become 'excited' enough to change. The Firsting is the hardest of all, perhaps. But once the Rage is unleashed, the change comes easy to most." Her brown eyes gaze over at her sister cub.
Bernie mms, and ponders that. "So they're gonna piss me off," she proposes, glancing at the other raggie to see if that's a good translation. "...that sounds interesting yet incredibly unpleasant. D'ya kind if I ask how yours was?"
Yi smiles at the cub's translation. "That's what they might do," she notes. "My Firsting," her eyes turn away to the floor, "wasn't pleasant. To make the story short, the Rage was freed when I saw the leader of a local gang forcing himself upon my sister. Sister, in that she was a dear friend. Loved her enough, that I killed the gang leader and his two best men. It is also how I received my name, Three-Blades."
Bernie winces, and nods once in acknowledgment, silent for the moment. Changing the subject completely, she stands and heads toward her bags, opening the backpack, and pulling out a pair of plastic wrapped snackcakes. "HoHo?" she offers.
Yi glances at the snack cakes, then shakes her head slightly in polite refusal. "No thank you," she says quietly, smiling away the bad memory of her past. "It's a bit late, though. Perhaps you should get some sleep." If nothing more, her tone is quite a bit more motherly than Signe. "And you really shouldn't eat all of those sweets," she says with a teasing tone. "You will need the energy for later. Trust me."
"Hey," Bernie protests, "Sugar's concentrated energy, y'know. Plus, they're tasty. An' they come eight for two-fifty, so hey." A pause, and almost defensively, "...I got Slim Jims and Spam and some cocktail weenies, too." She does put both of them away, though, and wanders around the apartment slowly, almost pacing. "So," she asks, conversationally, "not that I'm gonna, but let's say I wanted to go out that door. You guys let me?"
The cliath raggie runs a hand through her dark hair, quietly musing for a minute. "I don't think I'm allowed to do that, no." She gazes at the cub, a bit apologetic. "It is for your safety, as well as ours."
Bernie nods, shrugging slightly, "Yeah... I kinda figured..." Both hands come up and push her curls behind her ears, one then dropping while the other shifts her glasses back into place. "Nyeh. This is weird."
"It can be," Yi agrees, peering at the cub. "May I ask... what brought you to St. Claire? An urge to run, perhaps?" A wisp of a smile tugs at her lip corners softly. "I came from Hong Kong at the bidding of an elder Garou who I call Grandmother Rui. A sweet old lady, and very wise. You will see, the Bone Gnawers, as your and my tribe is called, is much like a family." She imagines Jay and Nevada fighting over candy bars and chuckles, "In more ways than one."
Bernie stops wandering and plops back down in the corner of the couch, drawing her knees up and curling up a bit. "Basically, yeah. I, uh, got suspended, and... I dunno, I guess I kinda figured if I wasn't expected t' be at school _anyway_, I might as well go do somethin'..."
Yi pulls an unruly bang from her face and tucks it behind her ear. "School is important, no matter what," she intones, but not implying the system was worthwhile. "Now that you know you are Garou, you'll find you have much to learn. And, you'll be expected to learn it too." Her gaze falls upon Bernie with a soft light. "And I might be the one to teach you some of what you need to know."
Bernie nods, resting her head on the back of the couch. "I kinda liked sch- ...no, actually, that's not 'zactly right. I like learning stuff. Classes are mostly too slow though, and a lotta th' people..." She stops, and shakes her head a little, rolling her eyes. "I was kinda plannin' t' just take th' GED once I turned 16 and see if I could get a scholarship somewhere... no one in my family's ever been t' college before..." She trails off, sounding almost wistful. "So, uh... what'd you be teaching me?"
"Nothing like what they teach in school," she laughs, amused at the thought of her trying to teach chemistry or some other god awful subject. "Gifts," comes her simple reply. "Gifts are sort of, granted in a sense. They are taught by spirits, mostly, but Garou can help teach another how to call upon the right ones to help them. Rites, if I can. I know of the rite to bind things to you, so when you change forms your clothes will not rip off or something. That is why when I changed, my clothes are still here." Her laugh is soft, as she is careful not to wake the sleeping Get in the bedroom.
"Rip off..." Bernie echoes, eyes flitting down over herself, and then to her jacket. "...um. Should I be wearing clothes I don't like much until it happens? 'cause I don't wanna mess up my jacket, for 'zample..."
Yi chuckles again, nodding to her charge. "If you like it, you should probably take it off before you get mad. In time, I will try to dedicate the jacket to you, so you can change without it ripping apart." She takes a moment to turn away as she yawns involuntarily. With a quick shake of her head and blink of her eyes, she turns back to the cub. "Excuse me..." she smiles, rubbing her eyes. "It's been a long day, for both of us. Think we should sleep?"
Bernie nods, a hand flying to her mouth as she catches the yawn herself. "...yeah, prolly. Thanks..." She stretches a little, and stands, wandering back over to her bigger bag, and opening it to withdraw a rather thin, worn, but still usable sleeping bag. "Think it'd be okay to sleep on the couch, or...?"
Yi gets up from the couch and motions for the cub to spread her sleeping bag over. "Please. I'll be fine." Her smile is wry, her eye a bit mischievious. "Being of wolf has its advantages." That said, she steps back and shifts down into lupus, the same, blurry effect masking the shift. Once her form focuses on the canine fashion, she pads over to the edge of the couch and lies down, watching the girl with her jaws open in a wolven smile.
Yi contorts and blurs as she is transformed.
Yi shifts into Lupus form.
Bernie doesn't freak out this time, at least, though she does tense up a bit. She seems more curious now, and leans down to take a closer look at the other ragabash's four-legged form. "....huh," she comments after a moment, dropping her bedrool onto the couch, and then half-smiles. "Maybe I oughta cultivate Oz-ness," she murmurs, and sits to remove her boots.
Three-Blades whuffs softly and leans forward to lick the girl's hand once in a goodnight kiss almost. Her black ears prick as she gazes up in an intelligent, understanding manner before lying her head down at her paws and curling up to sleep, the brown furry lids drooping to a half-lidded state and finally close down.
"G'night," Bernie says tiredly as she finally finishes preparing, and slips into the sleeping bag, "...dream sweet."