On Patrol (Interrupted by Hounds) (2 March, 2012)

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On Patrol (Interrupted by Hounds) (2 March, 2012)

Postby Flint » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:18 am

2 March, 2012
Currently the moon is in the waxing Gibbous (Galliard) Moon phase (66% full).

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.

Kaz, grumbling about the snow, is in hispo, after warning Ky not to try and eat her. ~So you wanna go get some bad human food, or just get the hell away from Equinox f'awhile?~

Bad human food would be tasty, the cub admits in good humor. He ranges a few paces ahead of the Gnawer then circles back around, steps implying a distinct enjoyment of the snow. But True Arrow should stay close. Some away is acceptable.

Ears trundles through it, ears — too large ears — splaying a bit. ~Yeah. Tell you what. I'll bring some t'morrow and spring you to a big ol' batch've far eastern food. And meantime we can just patrol, and maybe spar some. If you're into that.~

Wildfire can be heard off in the distance, howling for permission to enter Equinox' land and to speak with Golden.

A chill, bitter wind picks up around the section of forest that the two Garou have reached, the looming evening shadow mingling with the shadows cast by the trees. As is not an unusual occurrence in these days, there is one of the eerie canid howls in the distance, to the west, a reminder of exactly why the Gnawer is helping patrol these woods.

True Arrow seems to think that would be fine. He bounds off several paces ahead, hopping and pouncing through the thin layer of snow. Before he's too far away, he pauses and looks back at Ears, tensing like he might bound back and trounce her. An ear twists toward Wildfire's howl, but it's otherwise ignored as he watches the Gnawer. Then, all thoughts of play are put on hold when the other howl goes up, ears snapping toward the sound and hackles rising.

The metis snorts at Owen's howl, and then stops short at the newer howl. Her nose twitches. ~Well, shit,~ she grumbles, and falls into speech more of the mind. She sends a brief warning that she'll be using her Gift to both Ky and Owen, then says, -Owen, dude, hi. Wyrm sign, shockingly enough. I think most've Equinox is further away than the Gift can reach — And I got Ky with me. What say you and me flank the critters — I can't pinpoint it exactly, but you heard them as well as I did.-

-What the… Oh goddammit,- is Wildfire's eloquent response. After a few moments, the only other reply is a simply -Running.-

True Arrow starts back toward Kaz, tail lowering and just beginning to tuck under toward his belly when suddenly the Gnawer's voice is in his head. He stops dead and gives her a look of question before sidling closer. Ears-rhya doesn't normally speak in True Arrow's head that he remembers.

Ears lolls her tongue just a touch. Out loud, she says, ~It is a gift of my auspice. And,~ she adds, with a cheerful bloodymindedness, ~It is fucking useful! So yeah,~ she says as she gallops, ~Follow orders, hit things, and if I tell you to retreat, retreat. Got me?~

The canid howl in the distance goes up again, but it's the shadows not that far away from Ears that coalesce into substance, first a pair of glowing green eyes and a canid howl, and then into the shadowy grey body of one of the hounds, and it's running straight for the cub.

True Arrow starts after Ears, hesitant at first and then following at a flat out run when the first howl calls out a second time. He stops in his tracks when a second replies, closer, and turns toward it though he backs away. Ears splay and he growls, form swelling into hispo with each step.

Ears, who's already in hispo, sends a message to Owen (and Ky, since she's not breaking the connection). -Found one closer. It's coming for Ky, so we're gonna do our thing here. Try and get over this way.- That said, she belts out a loud howl to the skies, as a low-tech GPS for Owen's benefit, and, rather than pausing, instead barrels right at the thing, clearly trying her damndest to knock it off its feet. ~C'mon, fucker!~ (This is said to the hound. Probably.)

The hound that Ears is referring to is nearly to the cub before Kaz reaches it, and it twists great, slavering jaws to attempt to bite her, a near miss across her foreleg as it is offbalanced. The hispo-sized beast thwacks a heavy paw at her as it rises, but it still seems to be attempting to get past her and towards Ky.

True Arrow darts around Kaz when she intercepts the hound, going low and wide to sneak in a bite at the hound's flank.

Ears belts more of a howl, just to keep the GPS locator going; something about how the creature whacked at her gives her pause, and rather than biting at it (as a well bred Child of Rat should), she goes with her Raccoon training instead and, as she clambers up from sprawling, rakes at it, and more specifically aims for its hamstrings and other nether regions, blurring with unnatural speed.

Wildfire makes his way through hese lands, finally getting within sight of Ears and the cub. Apparently the GPS worked. His skin is already thickened and warty, his claws glinting in anguishing silver as he barrels through the area in hispo, only just now shifting up to crinos now that he's near. He still has a small distance to cover, however.

A second shadow gives way to the shape of one of the hounds as well. It obviously intends to get in between the oncoming Ahroun and the beast's brother, lumbering towards him.

The hound that Kaz and Ky tangle with twists, clawing out at both of them but managing to rake claws across the Bone Gnawer's chest and shoulder in return for the injuries that she has caused it. The large jaws scrape the cub's shoulder when it lunges towards him as it tries to pin Ky to the ground.

True Arrow whines, a high whistling sound, when teeth and slobber scrape into his shoulder. It's distraction enough to have the dog nearly upon him. He just manages to get himself out from the hound's pinning paws, twisting back to bite at the beast's throat.

~Oh, great,~ growls Kaz, who (since Ky is occupied with the throat), again goes for the thing's underbelly, claws blurring as she tries to rake at it in concert with Ky's attempts.

Wildfire approaches post-haste, until he's near striking distance. But he doesn't attack, instead snarling at the creature from his vantage point.

A very sharp, shrill whistle passes through the air, twice in rapid succession, emanating from somewhere in the shadows, as the second hound pauses in the lumbering gait towards the Ahroun. The second hound turns from the Ahroun to watch its brother, making way across the short distance to flank Kaz.

The other hound struggles, paws raking across Kaz's front shoulders and down her chest and then makes a final lunge past her to end up on top of the cub, sinking claws into the cub's shoulders and jaws snapping right above the cub's neck.

A howl, colored with pain, rips from the cub when claws tear through his shoulder. It lowers when the hound presses him into the ground, becoming a growl that in turn warps into a red-flagged snarl just seconds after the teeth nearly miss his throat. It happens too fast to be intentional, the hispo snaps into Crinos, furiously and without control, claws and teeth trying to tear into the hound and shred it.

Rather than attacking it again, Kaz frowns, clambering to her feet as close to it as she can — which undoubtedly means she gets knocked into by frenzying cub and/or flailing hound. A moment later, frown over, she's backing up quickly.

Wildfire snorts, attention quickly turned from the one hound to the new arrival. That creature gets a howl full full of hate, more of a blood-curdling scream, as every muscle in the Get strains as though to pull more into the sound itself.

The one hound on top of the frenzying cub heaves a dying, gurgling cry as the frenzying attacks tear it to pieces. But the dying cry is cut off as something tears the hound apart from the inside out as well, flames continuing to burn for a moment in thin air. The second hound paces almost in place, shadowy black fur and green eyes glinting.

True Arrow continues for seconds longer, every last identifiable piece not burned is turned into a pulp. The flailing, snarling cub gets himself up again in the process, and once finished with the first hound throws himself recklessly at the second.

-High low,- the Get mentally speaks to the metis. Ears gives the briefest of nods as she charges forward, knowing just what her former packmate intends. She rushes the other hound to harry the beast, diving before it to snap at forequarters before letting her rage propel her past it. Wildfire, for his part, pauses only for a brief moment as he times himself before lunging at the hound, rage ovious in his actions as he lunges high.

The remaining beast smacks the frenzying cub aside with a heavy forepaw, turning to charge it until it itself is attacked by the two Adren. But the hound's focus is on Kyler, charging to knock the cub over and off-balanced even as the cub's claws tear into shoulder and flank and neck.

True Arrow snarls and spits, toppled but not without laying into the hound with untempered fury. Claws and teeth flash and dart in, biting and tearing at whatever is within reach.

The hound falls underneath the claws of both Wildfire and True Arrow, the Ahroun's attack shredding the shadow-furred beast into a grisly mess. It falls near Wildfire's feet, dangerously exposed to those silver claws of his. Again in the distance now, there is a sharp, grating whistle blowing, like someone calling to the hound, but the slavering beast doesn't respond.

Ears growls, as she slides claws down to slit the hound's throat, just in case. Looking up, she fixes Owen with a look. ~We goin' after Mr. Fuckin' Annoying the Houndmaster, or are are we going to let discretion be the better part of valor?~

Like Kaz, the cub seems intent on insuring the hound is well and dead, leaving little recognizable as what may have been an animal - even a Wyrm-tainted animal at that - lying on the ground. With his last raking strike, he collapses, body returning to that of his birth.

~-MOVE!-~ Wildfire commands, both in a barking, verbal command and mentally. There is suddenly power in the Get's motions, moreso that usual, as he runs forward to scoop the cub up and then distance themselves from the bodies.

Ears says, ~Whoa,~ and scrambles after Owen.

Wildfire and Kyler get away from the body of the dead hound far enough with ease, but Kaz is only steps away from it when the body of the hound explodes with enough concussive force to send her further on her way, slightly singing fur in the process.

Kaz goes sailing through the air; when she hits the ground she rolls over, basically turning it into a somersault-through onto her feet, though she then takes two paces and thunks on her face. ~Dammit,~ she mutters, and scrambles back up.

Wildfire sets the cub down of the ground none-too-gently, his hands kept balled up into fists to keep his claws of him and making the motion a little clumsy. He stays standing over him, crouched, ears fully open as he scans for what may still be out there.

There is the growing shadow of night, but further away from them, the whistle goes again, followed by rasping, loud laughter. "I will. Be back," the voice grates against the ear, growing further away in the last few words. "Stop protecting them."

Ears glares in the direction of that voice. ~-Yo. Asshole.-~ She says it both out loud, snarled, and with her mental gift. The mental 'words' are very, very flat; the spoken ones burn with anger. ~-They ain't yours. So fuck the hell off. And you will get the same reception every damn time you try. Because the Walk takes care of its own.-~

Wildfire simply snarls in the direction of the grating voice.

It's further away now, but the words are taunting. "Not mine, oh no," it says, laughter of a sort, if a painful laughter to hear, in its voice. "They're his."

The metis snaps, ~-Not that, either. Ours. And just as important, they're their own!-~ That said, she melts into homid, absently flashes the finger to the north, and finds, in her coat pockets, some string and a Coke. Tying the former around the latter, she chants Gerik's name quietly under her breath; it takes some minutes, but soon, the Coke is pointing to the south (and a bit to the east). Not at all the direction the hunter went in. "OK," she mutters, "Hunter's not his uncle. Hunter's just an asshole. Jesus fuck, I do not like that… entity."

Ky grunts rather disconnectedly when he's summarily dumped on the ground. He groans, mumbling against the ground. At first the words are intelligible, hard to make out. But as the boy presses his hands against the ground and tries to push himself upward, some can be made out. "Don't know… Don't want to…"

~Cowards. Can not even fight their own…~ Wildfire starts to slump as all the strength he had just possessed leaves him, causing his crouched form to fall to one knee. ~…battles.~

Ears's hair is a bit singed, face bruised. "Don't know what, kid?" she asks, as she crouches by him (and then falls onto her butt).

"Don't know," Ky repeats, though he doesn't seem to be entirely answering Kaz. He gets onto his knees, seriously favoring the shoulder that quickly stains his jacket with a dark wetness. One hand raises and rubs at his head, eyes still fairly squinted while he looks on at the ground.

Kaz starts rummaging in her pocket and discards a flashlight, t-shirt, and several books before finding a first aid kit. "What all don't you wanna do?" She seems to have taken his mutterings as meaning something, even if they're primarily purposeless. She adds, briskly, "OK. Jacket off. Shift into a healin' form now. I can get you swathed up."

Wildfire stays as is, partly kneeling, catching his breath. He doesn't say anything for the time being.

"No," the boy says, and for a moment it really does sound like he's responding to Kaz. But his fingers fumble at the zipper and he soon manages to ease out of his jacket. His shirt is already long gone. After freed of his jacket he looks up at the Gnawer, slightly confused as though catching up to the rest of what she'd said. "What?"

Kaz starts putting things back in her coat, studying him. She seems to decide he's just incoherent, not troubling, as she says calmly but firmly, and a touch louder than necessary, "Shift. Healing form. Now."

Wildfire looks up, giving Kaz a queer look before he realizes she's ordering the cub. He does, however, fall down into the wolf-form.

Ky looks past Kaz to Owen as he shifts, though only to Glabro. "When did he get here," he asks, looking back to the Gnawer. "Is he the one who howled?"

Kaz starts looking mildly alarmed. But then she realizes, "Oh, frenzy." But she nonetheless says. "No — what all do you remember've past 20 minutes or so?"

Wildfire continues to let the two of them talk, keeping his attention focused outward for now.

Ky looks to one side, a truly questionable frown fixing into his features, much akin to hearing a third person questioning or interjecting. His head shakes and a sigh follows. "Howling, hound attacking…" He looks at Kaz again. "You were in my head too."

"Oh, yeah," Kaz says, mildly abashed, as she starts unwinding gauze. "That was a Gift. It's handy. OK. So yeah, Owen howled, the asshole dogs howled, then they attacked, you frenzied, we all of us beat them up, and then their Master of Darkness Annoying Dude said things I disagreed with vehemently, the end." Then she stops. "The houndmaster guy was in your head, too? I mean, other than when I was using my Gift? What'd he say?"

Wildfire swivels an ear then turns to look back upon the other two, thinking that whatever this is, it has countless hounds to dispose of. If this is a punishment rite or a summoned being, it is more than time we learn what it fully is.

"I know." That definitely seems directed elsewhere, though when Kaz questions him, Ky only shakes his head. "No. Only heard him when you were there, too," he says to the Gnawer. "I'm sorry, he offers, both to Kaz and Owen, apparently prompted from something else completely.

Kaz says, "No shit," to Owen, but she's regarding Ky with a distracted worry. "For what?" she asks him, not actually moving to wind the bandages around him.

Wildfire attempts to stand on somewhat shakey legs, seemingly ready to go scouting, but his body makes up his mind for him. He instead just lays down, grumbling.

Ky winces, childishly pulling away from the bandaging. Or partially trying to anyway. "Frenzying," he answers. He looks at Owen, mouth opening to voice a question, then closing again without speaking.

"Oh." Kaz blinks. "Dude, you helped us rip shit up. No apologies needed. You ain't got perfect control, but you ain't supposed to, you're a cub. You're learning. It's cool." Then, apparently less disquieted by this response, she reaches up and noogies him. "Lemme bandage you," she says, and starts applying gauze pads.

"It hurts," the cub half whines. He glances at his shoulder as it's poked and pressed and bandaged, nose wrinkling slightly. After a moment, he glances at Owen again. "I'm Ky," he offers a bit hesitantly, "True Arrow Finds His Mark. Ragabash cub and grandson of Thunder."

"Yeah, yeah, so does bleeding out," Kaz says, and proceeds to wrap him efficiently, if a bit messily. (Which could describe Kaz's life, at times. Efficient but messy.)

Wildfire looks at Ky for a moment, a quizzical look in his features making his head tilt to one side. Wildfire. We have met. He looks to Kaz then and asks her to give his homid name.

Ky looks equally confused, to the point that his head shakes at the Get's assertion that they've met. "I'm sorry, I don't remember…" He trails off, glancing at Kaz. "Yes," he answers, a lilting of his tone changing the answer into a question.

Kaz blinks at him, stopping her wrapping abruptly. But then she thinks it through. "…Someone that ain't there usually, I meant," she offers, tentatively.

Ky shakes his head, rather sure of the answer now. "No. Unless you're still there. It's just me."

Wildfire yields a wry look for the cub, reasserting that they have, indeed, met. He then lays his head down on the ground with a sigh.

"'Kay. Just you an' your ancestors, dukin' it out in y'skull," Kaz says with a slight smile. She finishes her ministrations and swabs bactine on some of the smaller cuts. "Anyway, so Owen, way I'm figuring it is, couple of Raggies and a couple of bruisers should hunt down Gerik and see where the fuck he is. Not an assault party, just scouting. Then we can go from there. I should see if Mouse has that spirit identification Gift…"

Wildfire looks up briefly. Tell me when, is his simple reply.

Ky flinches and jumps when Kaz starts dabbing at the smaller cuts. "I don't remember," he repeats to Owen. He waits until Kaz is completed with her ministrations before testing the bindings around his shoulder, wincing at his own movement. "I should go back to my uncle. And… clean up. Here… and myself."

"Yeah," Kaz says to Owen, firmly, and then nods to the cub. "Yeah. C'mon, I'll come with. I can fill him in and you can kibbitz. Works?"
Characters: Linnaea, Jeremiah, Sue
Formerly: Flint, Samuel
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