Into The Woods

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Into The Woods

Postby devwolf » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:32 am

Synopsis: There are hunters hunting in the dark hours of the night, and treading on territory well protected.
Starring: Tim ~Golden~ / Shelby ~Bright Eyes~ / Djehuti ~Long-Path~ / Mitzi ~Weasel~ / Andrei ~Breaks-the-Circle~
Cameo by: Ky ~Bends-the-Rules~

The Scarred Forest (North of I-90)(#2354RA)
The forest is thinner here than it is south of the highway, though it is still difficult to see for very far. Signs of human habitation break the stretch of woods every few miles; roads, paths, farms, and the occasional out-of-the-way home remind you that civilization is encroaching, though in this area, the battle is not yet decided. Hardwoods mix with towering firs and smaller trees, still concealing some of nature's hidden places from the nearby humans. Streams and small pools are scattered throughout the forest, some large enough to swim in, some small enough to freeze solid for most of the winter.
Fresh stumps dot the woods, and almost all of the trees still standing are disease-scarred around the bases of the trunk, some only superficially marked, some deeply wounded; not a few are dead.
Once hauntingly quiet and sparsely populated with wildlife, these woods have fully come alive again. The scents and sounds and glimpses of animals, birds, insects are now as rich here, among the scarred trees, as they are anywhere.
This region stretches almost 50 miles north from I-90 into the Sun Lakes area, where the disease that scarred the trees appears to have been at its worst.

Murky shadows stretch out from the already dark trees that still stand sentinel. It's a watery darkness, filtered down through bare branches and evergreens, creating uncertain light on the damp ground below. In hand with the rain is cold. A deep, bone chilling cold. Cold enough to make the breath steam instantly and cause the wet ground to feel more like a semi-solid mush rather than a sodden mucky mess.

Surprisingly, scents and smells of the forest haven't been entirely washed away or replaced with cold. Clean earth and dormant trees, the teasing scent of prey animals, and the occasional whisper of something larger all mingle. The thrum of the highway can be heard here as well, cars and trucks cutting over wet asphalt, but hidden from view in this part of the woods.

Golden slips through the trees, pausing here and there to scent along their scarred roots or paw at some of the brambles that have crossed the highway. He seems better rested and more alert than he has in days.

Bright Eyes's path intercepts that of the Strider's, drawn unerringly to his side. Cold, she indicates with an irritated lift of lips, her coat fluffed and bushy against the weather. One ear flicks toward a late squirrel's chiding.

Long-Path is coming in from the north; perhaps he'd been on a trip to explore Sun Lake, and is now coming back to look for Tim. Whatever the reason, he's running through the underbrush, at a speed that eats ground, but does not strain for speed.

Weasel is out on her own, wandering a bit further then usual. She avoids any obvious scent markings, instinct telling her to avoid another wolf's territory.

Golden flicks an ear in agreement. Cannot wait for summer. His coat twitches. Then we'll laugh while the cold Garou whine about the heat. He lolls his tongue in anticipation of much shit to be given.

Bright Eyes laughs with him before her attention's caught by the oncoming Philodox. Something approaches.

Djehuti deviates from his path (which had been straight toward Equinox territory) and gravitates toward the packmates. Something is happening, he whuffs, with slight but not immoderate urgency, as he comes into sight range.

Weasel continues following her own path, pausing to sniff at an old scent trail. She hasn't been up this way since her first change and her scent, unfamiliar in the area, is carried by the cold air.

Golden huffs a greeting to Long-Path, then his attention drifts, and his head turns. Someone else comes too. His now-wary posture says he doesn't know this other.

From west and south, closer to the highway than the thickness of the woods, between those hunting the woods and the ribbon of asphalt, an eerie howl carries to lupine ears. It's not a sound of greeting, no announcement of a newcomer to stranger lands, instinct would inform those who hear it of a hunt, of prey possibly being near.

Bright Eyes's coat gets positively puffy at the Striders' announcements. Too /many/. The Fang spins to face the howl, ears and nose working. After a moment she adds, Wyrm, and bulks into Hispo.

Djehuti's ears splay, as he glances toward the new scent, and then the howl. His attention immediately goes to Tim, but then Shelby answers his unasked question for him, and he makes it clear simply by sidling backwards and to the right a bit that he intends to help, and also that he will take orders from either of them.

Weasel's head snaps up at the hunting howls, ears pressing forward and her body going rigid. She's very interested, but hasn't the slightest clue that anything is amiss.

Golden's ears pin briefly. Howl and scent might be the same thing, might not. He blows out a breath and starts to move forward, following the scent as it travels along the wind. His own falls away as he goes.

A responding howl lifts further to the west, this one joined by a third. All goes silent when the last echoes fade, no sound of prey in the undergrowth, no birds calling. Just the ambient undertones of the freeway.

Bright Eyes flicks an ear toward the Philodox. Come with me. She heads for the cub's unfamiliar scent, head lifted and seeking. Golden is kept in sight as long as possible, though she doesn't make a particular effort to keep in touch.

Long-Path stares briefly toward the west, dancing with slight nerves, but at Shelby's order, he follows her, senses strained.

At the Shadow Lord's camp in the scarred forest, though far from the others at the moment, Andrei has heard the hunting howl and the answers to it as well, pushing the makeshift camp back under the cover of leaves and fallen branches. Things have been hidden and traces of the presence of cliath and cub cleared as well as he can, before he resumes, this time, the hispo form, pacing as he waits.

Golden keeps moving forward, favoring cover over any animal tracks, and when he can see the young wolf, he halts and chuffs at her in what's more warning than greeting, and demands she identify herself.

Long-Path stops just a bit behind Golden, bristling a bit.

Closer now, the howls cry out again. First from the south, then two and three more nearer to west. The calls, haunting in their neither wolf nor hound voices, seem to be flanking the gathering Garou.

Weasel's head swings to face the other wolf, as her ears lay back and she bares her teeth, legs going stiff. Who are you? She responds in turn, the fur along her spine standing on end. Weasel-Follows-Omens, she snaps in reply. Full-Moon cub of the Uktena. The howling distracts the young cub and her ears perk up again.

Bright Eyes comes upon Weasel from the other side, her teeth only reluctantly settling over her teeth. Cub? Cubs should not be here. Her ears swivel and twitch at the howls, the Ragabash trying to pinpoint their location.

Golden bares his teeth. Cubs don't make demands. This is Golden Jackal. His introduction is cut short at the next series of howls, and his ears and head go up. He stills, listening and smelling around them, then howls out into the frigid air. Breaks-the-Cirlce must come! Follow Long-Path's scent! The Wyrm's dogs are here! Then he's flashing his teeth at the cub again. Our territory is north and west of here. Go to it--you will smell us. There is a snake there which can keep you safe, in the oaks.

Long-Path tells Weasel, ~Long Path. Silent Strider Philodox,~ and then asks, bristling further, ~Should we summon the Lo--~ and stops as Tim does instead. ~Come!~ he adds in his own howl, and readies to follow Shelby again.

Breaks-the-Circle had started, already, to move in the direction of the uncanny howls, cub close behind him, but the Shadow Lord breaks to a full-fledged run, his own howl coming up in answer. The Ahroun slows slightly before he approaches, though, lips pulled back and teeth bared as he glances to the cub behind them. ~Bends-the-Rules,~ he addresses the cub. ~Remember what I told you.~ The hispo nudges one of the trees, before Ky does just that, clambering up into it as the Shadow Lord turns towards Golden, Bright Eyes, and Long-Path. ~Yes.~

Weasel's body language becomes more submissive, as the other wolves identify themselves. Then she hears the word Wyrm and her eyes go fever bright, as she starts to bulk up in to Hispo. ~Have killed Wyrm-things before! Kill again!~ She's practically aquiver with excitement.

The one in the south breaks into view first, a massive, hispo-sized beast of short fur the color of shadowy smoke. Eyes of green stare, unsurprised, at the gathered Garou, a growl rumbling just as a second and third canid show more from the west, both alike to their brother in fur coloring and eyes. There's no preamble, no greeting of strangers from one to another in the way of wolves, the first barrels straight for Mitzi while the second and third loop around for Andrei.

Bright Eyes lunges at the cub, teeth snapping. No. ~Do as you're told. Now.~ She whirls on the Shadow Lord pair, greeting them with fangs before recognizing them and turning away again. ~They come,~ she adds in warning, just as the first enemy emerges. The Fang leaps at - no, over - Weasel, aiming for her attacker.

Long-Path snarls; he doesn't whirl on the Lords, having expected them, but instead dives on the attackers just after Shelby does, aiming for the one attacking Weasel as well; he's clearly intending to land on it once Shelby's done her part in getting it off balance, tearing at it in concert with her.

Golden shifts to Hispo and his form goes indistinct, teasing the eye to look away; of the two dogs which have gone for the Shadow Lords, he bolts towards the one closest to him, aiming for its belly.

Breaks-the-Circle pulls his lips back in a full fledges snarl as he lunges for the dog that is closer to him, at a full run to knock the thing off balance before he begins to attack with teeth and claws.

Weasel doesn't do what she is told, like a good little cub. Instead, she with a excited howl, she bolts after the Fang. She's aiming for the belly of the creature that had barrelled towards her, a ball of Rage and flashing teeth.

The beast confronted by Shelby and Mitzi shoulders into the Silver Fang and nearly runs over the cub. Both canid and Fang stumble and stagger while the Uktena's claws seem to do little damage at all. Djehuti finds his efforts likewise thwarted, teeth and claws finding little purchase to rend into flesh. The beast is fast to pick himself up again, turning to sink teeth into Shelby's shoulder.

Tim manages to tangle himself up in sturdy legs, and the warm flow of blood reaches his claws. Target diverted, the hound's head drops and sinks its own teeth into the Strider's neck.

Andrei meets his attacker head on, tearing a chunk of ear and cheek off the canid. The hound in turn manages to grab hold of the Ahroun's foreleg just below the shoulder, holding fast.

Bright Eyes twists away from the dog-thing and lifts her voice in a distracting, disconcerting howl. Rather than attack it with teeth again she seeks, this time, to ram it with a shoulder and knock it over, away from Weasel.

Long-Path growls and tries to follow up on Shelby's (hopefully) knocking it over by seeking its nether region, the fleshy and more vulnerable parts of its stomach.

Golden grunts when the dog's teeth sink into him, and he lets go of the dog's belly to tear at its now-accessible throat with his teeth and claws.

Breaks-the-Circle snarls in a flash of rage at the hound, twisting to push the hound away with a massive paw against the beast's throat. Claws dig in to rend flesh, the Ahroun tearing and biting now to free himself and do as much damage as possible, relentless.

Finding that her teeth are unable to pierce the creature's belly, Weasel turns her teeth to one of the creatures' back legs. The intent is to bite down hard, hold on, and shake violently.

Though it's looking straight at Shelby, the hound's next attack is temporarily stopped as though it's not sure if its target is still there. It opens the door for the Fang to knock the creature off its feet. Like a domino effect, Djehuti is given access to tear into its belly though not without receiving a snarling mouth clamping down on his muzzle. The Philodox's claws just manage to make a small tear into the soft hollow of the beast's belly while Mitzi's teeth teeth temporarily bite into a hind leg. She's a beat later sent rolling and tumbling when the hound kicks her free.

Tim's claws tear deeply into the soft throat of the hound he's wrestling with. His teeth find purchase amidst an ear and side of its face. Slavering and snarling, the canid swats and smacks with heavy paws in effort to get away.

The Ahroun meets shoulders where he tried for throat, the canid lunging itself forward and knocking Andrei off his feet. A massive paw drops down, claws raking down the Ahroun's face.

Bright Eyes continues to howl, the sound thrumming like the beat of wings against glass. With no warning she's abruptly in Crinos, ripping and clawing at the dog's belly while it's occupied with Long-Path.

Rather like a deranged jack-in-the-box, Weasel springs back on to her feet as soon as she stops rolling. Undeterred, she goes barrelling for the creatures hind leg once again, teeth seeking blood.

The be-hispo'd Philodox drops into crinos in the blink of an eye, twisting a bit as he does so, apparently hoping to use the shift to try get the beast's teeth off him. Once the Rage-speeded shift is complete, he also takes advantage of crinos claws to rip at its throat.

Golden snarls, bluring into the Crinos with the speed of Rage, and digs in: his claws seek the hound's windpipe even as he holds on with his teeth.

Breaks-the-Circle snarls louder, pain and rage and utter fury, this time, back on his feet and throwing himself at full speed to knock the hound over in turn so that he can tear at the beast's throat, shifting to crinos as he does. Sharp claws backed by the Ahroun's strength rend at the beast.

Combined effort between Shelby now and Djehuti seconds ago manage to rip open the beast's belly. It howls, an uncanny sound of wailing, akin to the cries of suffering souls in Purgatory until the Philodox's claws cut open its throat. Thin red lines appear though it doesn't seem to be mortally damaged from that. Mitzi's teeth grab and hold fast a rear leg, though it kicks and nearly knocks her loose again, claws from a rear paw leaving open gashes from ear to muzzle on the Uktena cub.

Though the canid with tim shakes its head to free the teeth holding it, its efforts only add to the damage to its own face. Slobber goes flying with the attempt, spattering on Golden and the ground around them. In a last ditch effort to escape, it slaps a paw against the Adren's mid section before collapsing, breath rattling in a hollow, death driven exhale.

Andrei and his opponent tumble tail over head twice with the Ahroun coming out on top. The Shadow Lord's claws find the deep heat of blood. And then further heat when the beast explodes, the concussion force enough to knock Andrei backward and toward Tim and to clear a small patch on the ground where it stood of leaves and other forest litter.

Weasel holds on with all her strength, eyes screwed shut as she pulls on the leg and shakes her head violently. Having regrown an eye once already, she has no great desire to do so again.

Bright Eyes's howl continues to rise and fall as the Fang darts in and out again, claws slashing. At the sudden explosion she leaps across the dog's body, somehow managing to turn 180 degrees and 'hover' for a moment in the air.

Golden sucks in a breath as he's kicked, and reaches for a different Gift entirely in an attempt to stave off the burning. He flinches at the explosion from Breaks-the-Circle's confrontation, and as his hound appears to be dead, makes to disentangle himself from it and takes in the sight of what's left.

Breaks-the-Circle lands with little grace near Golden, for a long moment snarling loudly in pain from the gaping shoulder and facial wounds, not to mention having been thrown by the explosion, and trying to take in what is going on around him. He catches sight of the Golden, and the dead hound, first, before starting to push himself back upright. It's not a quick process at the moment, however.

Long-Path yelps at both the creature's howling, and then the explosion, but he continues to dig at its throat, intently and savagely.

Once again, it's only by teamwork that Shelby, Djehuti, and Mitzi manage to fell their final canid. Claws manage to dig into the beast's throat until, like its brother, a final rattling howl escapes. Mitzi's savaging efforts earn her the feeble kicking of a dying hound, until that too stills.

Under Tim's vigil, the hound he'd fought remains dead. And those bits and pieces that had been the canid attacking Andrei don't re-materialize to become another monster looking to attack them.

As the leg in her mouth stops trying to pull free, Weasel opens her eyes. Blood dripping from a nasty gash on her face, the Ahroun drops the limb, allowing her tongue to loll, as her tail wags madly in clear pleasure.

The Philodox snarls one more time, glares at the creature, and then melts back into lupus and starts trying to track where the creatures came from, following their scent. Presuming they have any.

Bright Eyes lands a moment later, promptly rising onto her hind legs to look about. She snarls, ~Do as you're told,~ at Weasel and aims a cuff at the cub, looking as though she's about half a breath from leaping on her as she leapt on the dogs.
Something catches her attention, though, and rather than following through she turns to look where the first hound emerged.

Breaks-the-Circle glances about, moving then to lean heavily on a tree. There is still the wince and snarl of pain on the Ahroun's face as he looks to Tim. ~That was. Three?~ The question comes, along with an attempt to locate the Shadow Lord cub who lingers somewhere in the trees.

Whatever Golden was concentrating on, he gives up at, and his attention turns to Breaks-the-Circle long enough to assess the Shadow Lord ('not dead') before something else catches his eye. He looks back to where the first hound--now dead at the claws of Long-Path, Bright-Eyes, and Weasel--emerged. ~There,~ he snarls, pointing. (His fur smokes in a few spots, smelling of burned skin and hair.) Golden adds, almost as an afterthought, ~Three.~

Weasel's pleasure at having been in a fight diminishes when it looks like she's going to get cuffed and she cringes, anticipating a blow that never lands. And then she looks in the direction that Golden points out, perking up again. ~More?~ She asks, licking some of the blood from her muzzle and almost sounding hopeful.

Once all is relatively quiet again, Ky makes a careful, cautious way down the tree. He sinks into lupus as soon as he's on the ground, ears laying back and eyes wide at the sight of carnage. He takes a few hesitant steps toward the group, tail hanging low and slightly between his legs.

Weasel's pleasure at having been in a fight diminishes when it looks like she's going to get cuffed and she cringes, anticipating the blow before it hits. Knowing that the hit is coming doesn't make it land any more softly and the Hispo is knocked to her side and she lands on her side with a grunt.

Bright Eyes turns in a slow circle, eyes half-closed but nose and ears working overtime. ~Three more?~ she asks of no one in particular, and that eerie, distracting howl rises again from her throat. She pays no attention to either of the Shadow Lords nor the Uktena.

Long-Path disappears a bit into the trees; a few moments later, he reappears, but forebears from speaking while Shelby is howling. He's glaring south, still.

Breaks-the-Circle heaves, not moving from where he leans against the tree, faint acknowledgement given both of Ky and of Golden's words. Once he's steady on his feet, there's a faint exploration of the injuries, areas of burnt fur, and a testing of how much weight he can put on his shoulder as he seems to contemplate dropping down to lupus. The answer however, seems to be 'not much', if the stifled but loud nonetheless sound of pain is any indication.

Golden looks away from where he's pointed, then back, and snarls, irritated. As Ky comes down, he shifts to hispo and begins to move so he's between Ky and whatever he was pointing at. He's a menacing sight, between the burns and claw marks and his raised hackles and bloodied, exposed teeth. It's not clear *what* he's menacing, but he seems to think he's menacing, well, something. GET OUT, his demeanor says.

Weasel rolls on to her chest and shakes her head to clear it.

The Ragabash cub sinks until his belly touches the ground, shoulders edging away from Tim's snarling, growling demeanor. He doesn't run or back away beyond that, gaze going past the Strider and the rest of the Garou to the woods in front and around them.

The woods, perhaps tauntingly, seem undaunted by Tim's menacing. Nothing calls out to challenge the Adren and nothing else moves amongst the trees. No scents, beyond those that have always been there, linger in the air, and the only sound beyond their own movement is the distant hum of the freeway.

Long-Path says, ~I may have seen shadows of something in the trees. Or I may not have. There is no useful scent to follow. Nor tracks, though I am not an expert tracker the likes of some I have seen, who can follow single broken grass blades.~

Bright Eyes does drop into lupus, her scent fading away as she does. She spares a moment to lick her injured shoulder before limping heavily over to nuzzle at Golden. The watcher is gone, she decides, and settles with a heavy thump beside Ky.

Breaks-the-Circle sinks to sit, leaning still on the tree, ignoring the blood that flows from his chest, shoulder and muzzle to breathe heavily in and out.

Golden becomes decidedly less large-and-'get off my lawn' when his packmate nudges him, though he remains in the near-wolf shape. ~I think it's moved off. I can't sense the Corruptor now.~ His eyes move to Weasel. He considers her, then says, ~You helped defend our territory, and a cub you didn't know. That was brave.~ There's a suggestion to his posture that suggests he might be using 'brave' as a synonym for 'crazy'. ~But you shouldn't let the need to kill the Wyrm bring you to an early death. The longer you live, the more Wyrm dies. You're still a cub, still learning. Let your Elder teach you more fighting, first.~

Ky sidles closer to Shelby, still with his belly against the ground until his shoulder brushes against her foreleg. Then he dares to sit on his hind quarters, gaze moving from Tim to the Uktena cub, to Andrei and Djehuti.

Weasel shrinks back down in to lupus, as the nasty gash on her face continues to bleed freely. Her tail wags a little when Golden calls her brave. I did good, she says, glancing over at the dead Wyrm-thing. Then her gaze shoots over to Bright-Eyes and her head lowers. Listen next time.

Long-Path snorts softy. ~Thank you,~ he says, before padding over to Andrei and licking his shoulder a bit.

It's clear, from Bright Eyes's flattening ears as she watches Weasel, that she doesn't think the cub did at all well. ~We couldn't fight as well because we had to watch over you,~ she growls. ~When you see your elder, you will tell him of your disobedience.~ Her ears pop up then, and her lips peel back. ~You are the one who ate the human. Here. Near our territory. Weasel-Breaks-the-Law.~

The Ahroun manages, even with partially shredded muzzle and jaw, a toothy smile at Long-Path, grotesque looking though it may be, cheered a very little by both the Strider and by the realisation of at least some sort of victory having happened.

Golden huffs a thanks to Long-Path, then turns his attention to Bright-Eyes. ~Packsister,~ he sighs, sounding tired. ~We will take it up with her Elder. She's not ours to punish.~

Weasel blinks, as her ears come forward, shock clear in every line of her body. I did what?!?

Long-Path noses Andrei again, but then starts at the Fang's assertion, body going still. ~What?~

Bends-the-Rules' own ears twist forward at Shelby's claim, his head tips to look up at her.

Breaks-the-Circle looks up as well, not even giving the Fang time to speak again, apparently noticing something in Weasel's posture. ~If it happened when she firsted,~ the Shadow Lord says, voice strained and tense, ~she may well not remember.~

Bright Eyes glances sidelong at Golden and subsides, licking with forced casualness at one paw. ~It is for her Elder to deal with,~ she echoes the Strider. ~Long-Path, Breaks-the-Circle, we should get this cub back to safety.~ She rises, deliberately facing Weasel to ask, ~What will you tell him, when you see him next?~

Weasel still seems to be having some trouble processing the 'ate a human' comment. If she were in homid, her jaw would be hanging open. Finally, she gives a full body shudder. Eww. The wolf changes shape, as the cub shifts in to the form of her birth. Her emotions are harder to read in this form, as she stands and looks down at her toes, blood dripping on to the front of her clothing. "I will tell him that I disobeyed an elder," she says. After she says this, her head gives this funny twitch and she squeezes her eyes closed.

Soon enough, Djehuti says, to no one in particular, ~Cub,~ and starts moving again, licking Andrei one more time before plunking onto his haunches.

Golden looks satisfied with that, and casts a look at Bright-Eyes that has 'that enough?' written all over it.

Breaks-the-Circle moves to start to push himself to his feet, but stops after not even very long of trying, leaning slightly against Djehuti after the failure, and seemingly winded from the exertion as well.

Kyler stands when Shelby does, still hanging close to her side. His ears fall back, splaying again, as he peeks past her to Mitzi.

Long-Path tells Andrei, with some humor, ~You will soon be bored out of your skull again. You can read trashy romances to keep your spirits up.~

~More than one,~ Bright Eyes agrees, but doesn't push things farther. Instead she pads over to support Breaks-the-Circle, offering mildly, ~Would you like some help?~

As she stands there, Mitzi starts to mutter to herself, a low angry stream of words in Spanish. Her eyes remain closed, her expression focused, and her words appear to be directed inwards. Crazy cub seems to be arguing with, uhh, herself.

With a last cast at what remains around them, Golden says, ~We will need to clean this.~ He doesn't seem to think right now, though, as he begins to make for the Oak Grove, shifting down to lupus as he goes. His steps are wobbly, but he moves in a straight line with some effort.

~Please,~ Breaks-the-Circle admits when Bright Eyes approaches. He does manage to get most of the way up without help, having realised that maybe it would help not to use the injured arm or shoulder, and there is a grateful chuff for both Bright Eyes and Long-Path.

The Ragabash cub hangs back after following Shelby a couple of steps, head turning to look back at the mess that remains. He seems on the edge of offering to see to it, though his gaze lifts to the south, ears twisting forward. It goes unoffered and Ky turns to skulk after the other Garou, back to the grounds held by Equinox pack.

Long-Path stops, regarding Mitzi. He tells Tim, ~I'll burn them later,~ while waiting to see if Mitzi's problem fades.

Bright Eyes tilts an ear toward Mitzi, then Golden as she helps get Breaks the Circle to his feet. She continues to limp obviously, though keen eyes might suspect she's dramatizing. Once the Ahroun is standing she hurries to Golden's side, casually falling in beside him to provide a bumper.

Golden pauses to watch Mitzi, then heaves a sigh at her. Come. He shoulders against Bright-Eyes briefly. Cub shouldn't be alone. One of us will take you back to Uktena's place, but for now, come with Long-Path or us.

Mitzi stops muttering to herself and sighs heavily, as her eyes finally reopen. She looks around with a faintly glazed expression, before shrinking down in to lupus. Head and tail low, she appears to be quite ashamed of her actions now.

Long-Path helps support Andrei back to their camp, and then comes back to burn dead Wyrm things.

Breaks-the-Circle follows the Strider with little protest, a chuff to Kyler that he can go with Golden and Bright Eyes if the cub so wishes, or he can follow them. ~But you should not be alone right now, either.~

Bright Eyes pauses to let the Ragabash cub catch up. ~You understand Mother's Tongue?~ she half-asks, half-states.

After a glance toward Andrei, Ky quickens his pace to catch up to Shelby and Tim. He slows briefly, angling a glance toward Mitzi, then hurries up alongside the Silver Fang, a glance going to her stating he does understand.

Weasel follows after Golden, head and tail remaining low.

Bright Eyes, magnanimous now, doesn't so much as send a hairy eyeball Weasel's way when she passes them. ~Give me your introduction,~ she orders Ky with a good-natured shoulder-bump (of her uninjured shoulder, of course). ~And tell me what you saw today. It will be practice for you.~

The cub, for an instant, looks confused by the question or as if he's hearing something else instead. Though the shoulder bump rattles him out of it, tail offering a small wag. His form swells into hispo before he speaks, profile still that of a well respectful pup. ~I am Bends-the-Rules,~ he replies, haltingly, the language foreign and still being learned. ~New moon cub of Thunder's children. Today I saw Garou working together, when the enemy attacked. And learned why I should stay close to my elders, and do as they say.~

Bright Eyes skews one ear in what might otherwise be a patient sigh. ~No, what you -saw-. What did I do? What did Golden do? What did Breaks the Circle, Long-Path, and the other cub do?~ She continues right on without giving him a chance to actually /answer/. ~Think about it, and tell me later. Also say what you would have done if you were not a cub, and allowed to fight.~

Bends-the-Rules's ears slant back further, if it's possible. ~Yes, Bright Eyes-rhya,~ he replies in a quieter rumble. ~I'll think on it and tell you later. All of it.~ It's offered with a lilt of his tone, putting it into a question rather than a statement.

~It will be good practice,~ she says again, still limping. ~Both for Mother's Tongue and tactics.~ His putting off until the nebulous future is acceptable enough that she doesn't comment. ~After we are back I will see about bringing you supper.~ The Fang slants him another look, this one dry. ~There are only so many rabbits, after all.~

This time, the cub's head lowers as well, tail tucking under again, shame shadowing his posture. His assent is non-verbal this time, going in hand with a return to lupus.

Bright Eyes stops at that, forcing him to do so as well if he's to stay near her side. ~This trouble is not /your/ fault, Bends-the-Rules. Nor was it /your/ idea to remain on Equinox territory. So do not slink. Besides,~ she adds with a chuff and another shoulder-bump as she moves on again, ~Nothing but rabbit is tiring.~

Bends-the-Rules does stop, half twisting in ready offering of his throat. When only talk comes, his cringing subsides and he falls into step again, alongside the elder Ragabash. He's quiet for a time, thoughtful, as though inwardly conversing. He /will/ make amends, is more noticeable especially after the cub snorts at seemingly nothing. It's followed, a beat later, by a request of pizza and milk shakes.

Bright Eyes says, ~We will see,~ but it's clear she's pleased by the request. And when, after the necessary duties have been taken care of and she goes away and returns, it's in the company of two large pizzas, one cheese and one everything, and two chocolate milk shakes.
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