No Really, We're Sheep
The group stands in a room with a small feast laid our before them, which they’ve been told to eat.
Joseph cautiously eats what’s laid before him. Realizing that he has not eaten in some time. “My apoligies for being so inquisitive, but there seems to be a bit of secrecy here, and some nervous folk here. Is there anything you could tell us as to why we are here in New York?” Direcring his queztion to the older woman who seems to be in charge. " Knowledge is the basis for reason, and I would perfer there be no misunderstanding here."
Tinny: “Joe, looks to me like our sept and this sept have some kind of exchange agreement going on. Their Garou for ours. According to the old lady here, it is some kinda unification thing. Kinda progressive idea if you ask me…you know, if you’re willing to overlook the whole kidnapping aspect.”
He shoots the old lady a look that simultaneously seems like a wry smirk and a scolding. Tinny stuffs a roll into his pocket, then shoves another whole into his mouth. He looks around and pockets another roll, then looks toward the elderly lady.
“You guys got anything for the less, uh, meatily inclined?
He turns back to Joseph.
“I’m not sure we need to worry so much about these guys. That one can’t even keep his face from leaking. We should be more worried about what she means when she says we’re not gonna eat for a few days. I know I can deal. Been on the rails a while, plus I got my old tin can. But you guys don’t.” He shoves a roll at Joe’s pocket, and one at Shay. She knows what to do.
AJ snorts in anger, grabs a chair and spins it to stradle it backwards. He grabs some food and starts eating and says with heavy sarcasm to no one in particular, “Really nice of ya to give us da choice of moving half way cross da country. I feel like my opinions are valued and respected. Don get me wrong, I mighta said sure, I’d love to go to New York; but it’s nice to be asked.”
AJ continued to chew a slice of meat and looked at the other ‘kidnapies’ and says "It looks like we are all in da same boat. TC, you sounded like you might know a bit more of what is going on. Is dis “move” a bad ting? And is NY our new home? My Uncle Carlos didn’t tell me anyting about dis."
Tinny:“All I know is what Larissa told all of us just now. The rest is just surmised from what I’m seeing, what I’m reading between the lines of Larissa and the other guys’ words, and what little I can piece together from what Miranda and Banion taught me.”
Tinny looks around the table.
“Anyone see any potatoes? From the looks of that suited chap in the other room, there’s gotta be a bowl of potatoes in this room somewhere.”
He looks at AJ again.
“Ya see, she’s using the right language. That means she’s my kind. And what that also means is that all of you must be my kind, too. So there’s that answer. She’s an ally at the least, and possibly a friend, though kidnapping is a strange way to start a friendship. As far as what I know about what is going on, I must admit that I know a lot less than I’d like. Miranda explained that we ‘cubs’ gotta go through a Rite of Passage. That’s what I had assumed we were getting led into at the beginning of this, but to be honest, I thought it was gonna be something more akin to some indian visionquest or some shit like that. I was just as surprised to find out we were in New York as any of you, though maybe not as upset. I’d have gotten here eventually.”
He manages a third roll into his pocket.
"And as far as this being our ‘home’ is concerned, all I gotta say is that we’re all free to go and do as we please. Ain’t nothing tying you to this place as much as any other. But I will say this: Gaia brought us here. If this is where we’re tested, then this is where we’re tested. I know we’re all young. Hell, I’m probably the oldest of all of us and I can barely grow a beard, [OOC: need clarification on this, since all the PCs are pups and TC was a “late bloomer”. I’m assuming everyone here is a teenager, as per the Garou norm] but there’s something that Gaia needs from us and it is time to man up and do it. We were given gifts, and it is time to pay back. Someone from our sept sent us here for a reason. Let’s find out why. After this, we can go to Chicago or New Orleans or back to high school or whatever."
Tinny sniffs at a piece of the meat and shudders slightly. He doesn’t seem to be that hungry yet. Ahh, there’s the taters!
Joseph: “Back to school? Yeah, right” Joseph follows the lead and stuffs what he can into his pockets, making room for a potato. Looking for an apple or two if they’re available. "It would be nice to be asked, wouldn’t it? I wonder if it’s because we don’t really have any status yet that we weren’t given a choice. Either way now that we can see each other, and it looks as though we’re safe for now, perhaps proper introductions?’ He extends his hand towrds AJ (rolled randomly) “Joseph Jacobs, Cresent Moon.” He says with a wry smile.
Now that you can see him Joseph has some Native American blood in him, and a runners physique. Not very muscular but what he does have is fit and tone. (OOC: JD, I assume I have had a chance to change clothes since my… lol, change?) Standing at 5’6" with a dark brown head of hair trimmed tight.
Shay pushes food around, being in the back of a truck and the smell of exhaust has killed her appetite. She takes stock of everyone now that she can see, still feeling ill at ease.
“So on average, how many come out alive in this rite?”
Shay places her hands in her pockets, rocking in the chair.
“These pockets can’t hold anything…” She says under her breath.
AJ takes Josephs hand in a rough hand shake, squeezing a bit to much. "Call me AJ. Ya mind calling my high school and letting them know I’ve “transfered”. AJ snickered at his own joke and let go of Josephs hand.
Gesturing with a hunk of bread towards Thoma, AJ said “Awful brave of ya, climbing dat ladder first. Props to you.”
Shay: “You know from all that’s happened, you really don’t get to choose much. You get to pee when you want to, maybe sometimes. Sometimes you get to kill a leech without even knowing it, that was a mindfuck right there.”
Shay grabbed her beverage and started to drink to settle her stomach a little.
“Right of passage seems to be a way to weed out the weak among us. Kinda Darwinian if you think about it. I’m half afraid we paint ourselves in the blood if there is a loser and then we bbq them afterwards. But really, I am hoping for a party afterwards if we do succeed with gusto.”
Thoma, initially guarded and distrustful, has been standing stiffly near the door they came in through. However, listening to TC seems to have set him at ease slightly. He might’ve originally worried about the integrity of the food, but is drawn toward it finally, searching for any sort of red meat. He is reaching for some steak when Shay mentions ‘weeding out the weak’. He frowns, trying not to feel worried, and retrieves the steak, sitting slowly.
The food is good, not amazing, but certainly beyond what most of you usually get. As the group indulges, and contemplates the logistics of saving some of this for what’s to come, the exasperated ginger in a suit enters, trailed by the formerly bleeding twin. At their arrival, the giant leaves.
The redheaded man sits say the head of the table and spreads a set of manila envelopes. He looks around the room, taking everyone in.
Just as Joseph begins to ask, for the third time now, if they were allowed to know what’s going on, the red haired man speaks, his voice gently Irish, as though he had lived in America for many years, but not all of his years.
“Joseph Jacobs. Cross Country Regionals, top finalist in the mile, three years in a row before going on a very long road trip with Daniel Jacobs, adoptive father. Uktena born, but of unknown lineage, which’ll likely stay that way given Daniel’s unfortunate end. And the fact that no Uktena claim a kin named Daniel Jacobs. Born under the Crescent Moon, your inquisitive nature has basically turned you into Bear Grylls.”
He looks next to Shay, “Shayanna Fenton, daughter of Fangjumper Brian Fenton, hero of the battle of White Smoke Valley. Bone Gnawer Ragabash, born under the new moon. Chicago native, but too impulsive to keep away from the mob, so you ran until you got picked up by father Banion. I hear you got a thing for crippling vampires.”
He looks to Royce. "Royce McGovern, son of Veronica “Banshee’s Song” MacEntire nee McGovern, envoy to the Dark Continent. Born under the gibbous moon, you are Fianna and galliard, which shows by the guitar glued to your hands. You were sheltered from your identity because your father wanted to leave it to your mother, who had to be away far too often to teach you anything useful. Essentially only fit for the college you were accepted into last week."
Next, he looks to AJ. “Andras Santiago, going by AJ. Child of Gaia, Ahroun, born under the full moon. Your parents taught you that violence wasn’t the answer, but we both know they were wrong. They were right to teach you that helping folk is most important, though.”
To Tinny. “The Tin Can Kid, our very own barefoot bandit. Bone Gnawer, Philodox, born under the half moon. We know you’re been hopping rails for about two years, making your way generally south and west. What’s interesting is that no one has claimed you as missing, you aren’t in any databases that we can check.” At this proclamation, the unbleeding twin crinkles his lip into a bit of a sneer.
Finally, the red-haired man looks to Thoma. “And finally, Thoma Delacey Lisborn, the fourth. Trust fund baby, Silver Fang pure blood, born under the gibbous moon. Seems you’re not much into tale telling, you just like to tell people what to do. I recommend that you consider that these people don’t want to be told what to do.”
He leans back, drumming his fingers on the files, then picks them up and passes them over his shoulder to the formerly bleeding twin who drops them into a steel wastebasket. He holds his other hand over the basket and mouths a few words, rubbing his fingers together until flame erupts out of the basket.
The redheaded man speaks again.
“My name is Connor O’Daille, also known as Run Like Hell, Galliard of the Fianna, Warder of the Sept of the Green, and it’s my job to deliver you to your Rite of Passage. Let there be no mistake, you’re all werewolves, Garou. You’ve been taught the basic skills that our species requires. You’re at a point where you must prove that you can wield those skills to the benefit of Mother Gaia.
“You are being tested for your fitness to fight the war that is killing the world. You are being tested for citizenship in the Garou Nation. We need good wolves. We need strong pups who can grow to be great heroes. But make no mistake, that doesn’t mean we need you. Prove to us that wert need you, and you will be welcomed accordingly. Prove to us that you’re nothing more than the apes walking the streets of this Weaver-ridden City, and we’ll treat you accordingly.
“I will not tell you what your test will be, only that you will face it on our terms. You will be free to exercise your discretion and demonstrate your skills in hire you meet these challenges. I will also tell you that I will not be administering the tests and that I do not know precisely what you will be called to demonstrate.
Joseph’s eyes widen at the sudden outpouring of information. His mouth hangs open a second before he clamps it closed and leans back, putting his hand to his jaw in thought, obviously digesting what just happened. It’s obvious from anyone watching that a multitude of questions are forming in his mind. He is however taking the time to apply the knowledge he has before asking any questions he could piece together himself. His eyes move back and forth as he sorts information in his head. After a moment he quietly asks “Which name do you perfer?” to the Irish gent.
He laughs loudly and sincerely, “Call me Connor.”
Tinny slumps a little and looks disappointed when he hears that nobody seems to be looking for him. His brow furrows for a moment, and then he seems to find some resolve. He straightens back up looking concerned, but not defeated.
“Thank you for your hospitality and for providing the most important information you could have ever given me, Connor. I have faith that we will represent both of our septs proudly, and we will pass any test Gaia throws at us. When do we begin?”
Connor looks at his wristwatch, “We will leave this club in about two hours. We’ll be using an underground path that will let us loose near our destination. It’s not a sewer, it’s a tunnel for city electrical and data wires, so no one will get wet or stinky. That said, anticipate that once we leave, you won’t get to stop for awhile. Eat your fill. Your next meal might be quite a ways away.”
Thoma twists his mouth, the first ghost of a smile to flit across his features. “You drink your own piss, too?” He asks Joseph.
This man, Conner, Runs Like Hell, Ginger, whatever, goes on to describe everyone around him, and Thoma listens and takes mental notes, if only to better remember their names. When he, himself, is described, Thoma frowns flatly. He told tales all right, if only to himself. He looks again at the group. They looked scared and angry and willing to listen to a calming and knowledgeable voice. Thoma could be that voice.
Joseph looks at Thoma slightly confused, his face scrunched up. He then shares a smile with Thoma as he gets the joke. “Never been that desperate.” He says with a chuckle. Some tension dispersed a little he presses on. " Perhaps Connor, you could share with us any parentage you know of us? Esspecially on the Garou side?"
It looks like Shay is hit by a pillow case full of bricks.
“You know my dad?! How?! I don’t even know my dad! And the fucker was a hero?!”
She blurts out nearly spitting drink at whom ever is sitting across from her.
Joseph, completely ready to press more questions, pauses to let Connor field this obviously important question. He looks to Shay, suddenly an unfortunate bond between them.
“I don’t know your dad, I know of him. And, yes, we consider him a hero.” He looks around the group noticing he has a somewhat rapt audience, “Okay, let me tell ya a story…”
Connor tells the tale of the Sacrifice of Fangjumper Fenton.
Shay looked down, anger written across her face, teenage selfishness couldn’t even begin to wrap it’s thought process around the story.
“Mom told me that he went to jail, that he was in Joilet. It’s like everything I have ever know has been one be fucking lie. I guess it’s easier to tell a kid that daddy is in jail, versus daddy just up and left us on our own. In some rights it’s the same thing.”
Shay shook her head.
“He’s alive right? I don’t want to go and meet him or anything like that, I just want to know.”
Connor shrugs, “As far as I know. I wasn’t exaggerating when I called it a war. We’re dying everyday, and updates are scarce. But, yeah, last I heard, he’s still alive down there.”
Shay falls silent, now only taking sips of water as the rest of her group chats on, she seems to sink into her chair. This was her family now, even if her dad is still alive, he wasn’t family to her. That thought alone brought her some comfort.
TC enjoys the story of Shay’s father while munching on a potato. He seems most excited by the parts where the hero used ingenuity and guile to overcome his foes. Brains and brawn. Shay came from good lineage, whether or not she wanted to claim it. TC looks at her with a little awe, then with a little disappointment as she seems to misunderstand the point of the story. She’s just bitter. She’ll come around. He puts his hand on her shoulder and gives a squeeze, then offers her another roll with a brotherly smile.
Connor looks to Joseph, who had asked if he could tell them about other lineages.
“I can tell you a bit about Thoma’s uncle, I can tell you a bit about Royce’s mum, and I can tell you a bit about Andras’ great-grandfather, but that’s the extent of it. You and the Kid are mysteries because you’re both, apparently, displaced.
“Daniel Jacobs, for example, as best we can tell, wasn’t connected to the garou. Since you took his name, that cut us off. We know your moon and your tribe because an avatar of uktena claimed you in Chicago when you met with Miranda, who also appealed to a Lune to come in about your moonsign.
“Same basically goes for the Kid. Neither of you are on missing person lists. Means that either your families want you gone, don’t know you’re gone, or they’re dead. But so long as they aren’t looking, we just pick up where the spirits picked up.
“I appreciate that Connor. But I was asking for any of us who don’t know our Garou liniage. Yes, I have assumed that my father was kin. Knowing that he is… was… (Joseph clears his throat) only makes me respect him more. And it does not change who I am.” He pauses to that a sip of water. “AJ for example. You have mentioned your uncle a few times now, and he is obvious that he is your connection to the Garou. Would you like to know about your line? Or am I over stepping myself?”
AJ, who has been quietly listening to the back and forth, tosses a bit of food back onto his plate and says, “I don mind hearing about where I came from, but unless my ancestors actions affect me; I’m far more interested in what I need to do.”
IC: Tinny slumps again when Connor mentions that his family might simply not give a damn that he has been missing for two years. Wouldn’t his parents want to know that their seventeen year old son is alive and living as a homeless drifter, eating gray mush out of an old tin can? Wouldn’t they want to save him? Maybe not. Though he doesn’t know how two loving parents might come to feel that way, he has to accept the harsh truth and move on. Of course, there’s also the possibility that his family knows what really happened in that gas station — that he is a monster — and they are as frightened of him returning as he is frightened of himself turning back into that ravenous thing. He stuffs his dirty finger into his mouth and starts nervously chewing the grime out from under his unkempt fingernails.
Tinny looks to Connor, hoping he has something inspiring to say about AJ’s uncle that might help him ignore the thoughts running through his head.
Connor first looks to AJ, “I already said I won’t tell you what the test is, so if all you want to hear is what you’re supposed to do, then enjoy a lot of wasted breath.”
He then turns his attention to Joseph, “Who were your birth parents? See that’s the thing, we don’t know who either of the two of you come from. The only reason I know what I know about you is because when you got set up with Miranda, she asked some spirits to look into you, and they came back saying that Uktena claimed you under a Crescent Moon.” He gestures towards Tinny, “Just like how I don’t even know the Kid’s real name. I know that Rat took notice and claimed him as a Gnawer. But I also know that his coat doesn’t fit a normal Bone Gnawer fur pattern, so he’s probably adopted. Not sure where from, with the black and white he could come from the Shadow Lords, Black Furies, or even the Silent Striders. Could even be a Get of Fenris, though he doesn’t look as Aryan as most of their black-coated wolves.”
“I could tell you quite a bit about Thoma here, but, frankly, I don’t think that the King would appreciate me airing Silver Fang business in front of uninvolved pups. Ms. Fenton was easy, because I used to know Fangjumper, back in the day. I know Veronica, Royce’s mum, but from what I hear, she’s told him plenty. And it’s for the best that all Mr. Santiago wants to know is what he’s supposed to do, because I don’t know anything about his Uncle.”
Connor looks at his watch, “Time to get ready. I’ll be back for you soon.”
Connor stands and leads the Twins out of the room.