C103

Chapter 1: Scene 3

The pups have been left alone in the room for about 45 minutes. While they didn’t hear anything specifically engage, they quickly discovered that they had been locked in the conference room. The food had gotten a bit cold, and the drinks had gotten a bit warm.

“Well, that was… interesting.” Joseph sniffs at a cold piece of meat, shrugs and chomps on it. Swallows the bite and gestures with the slice of meat still in his hand, “Well looks like we’ll be together for a bit. Looks like I travel further and further from home the more I know about Garou.” Takes another quick bite. “Well, anyone know anything about the New York cairns?”

Tinny: “Not a damn thing, Joe.”

After eating his fill, AJ begins to pace. "Look, I get that we are here to do “whatever it is” to be recognized, but I’d like to say,for the record, dat it’s this kinda ‘hazing’ shit dat made me stay out of the gangs in Chicago. Kidnapping, locked in a room with little to no info, about to take a test which we don’t know what we need to do to pass, but failure could be fatal; there are so many more important things to deal with!" AJ emphasizes the last part by hitting the wall with the palm of his hand.

AJ acknowledges Joseph, “No mon, I barely learned anything about the Chicago stuff, let alone dis place.”

Shay: “Home was interesting.”
Shay sat up, perking up a little.
“So Royce rolls into town and we decide to take him out for some pizza.”
Shay furrows her brow remembering how events took place.
“Some asshole rolls in and demands money from the owner. First thing you can think is “fuckin’ mob” before he calls in all this screaming rats. We attack him, I attempt to brain him with a glass, and shit does nothing to him."
Shay telling the story seems to perk her up and even make her smile
“Tin and Royce take the front and I got the back, which means I have all these rats. Now these are not Father Rat’s kin. These are monsters. So Tin and Royce put the hurt on this asshole while I go rat hunting. The motherfucker jumps the window, I notice some chick taking video, so I swipe her phone and give chase, while Tin and Royce take the Rainbow Road. So the Rat dude goes down this dark alley. Shit is quiet, almost surreal quiet. Dude sneaks up behind me and tells me he is father rat, that is when I go full on doggie and bust his spine. Chick shows up out of the umbra and says he is a leech, nosfer-something. I guess there was a Dracula problem in the city.”
Shay laughs.
“Fucking Draculas.”

Royce nods along with Shay’s story, then looks to AJ.

“I kind of think, maybe, that’s what this is all for. I think we have to do thus because there’s so much more important stuff. I guess you never saw anything like what we saw in that alley. It barely looked human before Shay hit it… But afterwards… God. It was like roadkill, mewling like a shattered animal, but at the same time a horror movie monstrosity.”

He shudders, “And the thing is, while we were standing around just trying to figure out what to do, another Werewolf came to help, and she didn’t even think. She knew exactly what to do and how to do it. If that’s what they need us to be…”

Joseph: “We’ll learn. We’re still ‘pups’ and we will be considered that for awhile I guess.” Joseph pauses in thought. “You met one of the vamps, huh? Is the video still on the phone Shay?”

Shay shrugged.
“I gave the phone to Pops Banion. I trusted that he would know what to do with sensitive materials. People aren’t suppose to know who or what we are, video like that on the internet would have been shit hitting the fan bad.”
Shay shrugged again.
“Also, I’d rather not have people know me by face. So if I do good, no one can follow me, if I do badly, no one can find me.”

Joseph: “Too bad. I wouldn’t have minded seeing it.” Joseph shrugs. “Oh well.” Joseph leans back and stretches. “Sometimes my brain tells me this can’t possibly be real. Ya know? Moments of really? Am I in a movie? Hmph.”

AJ exclaims, "DAT! Right there! Dat is what I’m talking, Shay. I’m not surprised that there are blood sucking fiends out dere, but how much else don’t we know??? How can they expect us to pass some test if we don’t know what to expect, or what to do when we encounter it. It’s like dey think “beginners luck” is going to get us through."

AJ leans over to pick up a chair he knocked over, and sits down, arms crossed over his chest. He closes his eyes, and looks like he us visibly try to breath deeply to calm himself.

Tinny: “Not beginner’s luck, AJ — destiny. You think it is an accident that Luna shone full the day you were born? Listen to you, man. You are what you are because this is your purpose. Like it or not.”

Tinny turns to Joe. “Though the fight seems cool as a story, it was actually kinda scary. We didn’t know anything about that creature. What if there are more powerful things than a teenager with an identity crisis? I’m betting there are, and the method of our arrival here seems to back that up.” Tinny pokes at the cold meat on the table. “What if this is part of it? This locked room?” He grins at AJ.

Still with his eyes closed, AJ says, "TC, you almost sound like you believe we can’t fail. I don’t mean to be skeptical, but my Uncle Carlos taught me dat the rules of being “us” are hard and harsh. If we don’t do dis right, we don’t got a second chance. If dis “fight” to save everything is so dire, and I believe it is, how dare dey leave anything to chance of failure."

AJ opens his eyes and looks at the others with sincerity and says, “I have never believed in anything as much as I believe in dis. If we fail, it’s not my fault, it’s there’s. I swear to all of you here that if it us by my strength that we succeed, you will have it. Dat is all I ask of you.”

AJ sits back and closes his eyes again, but his breathing seems calmer.

Tinny: “We could fail. But what’s the point of focusing on that? Rather try, and do, and will it well, and deal with failure if it comes.” He smiles. “Besides, we have a bad motherfucker of an Ahroun, and even our No-Moon cripples wyrmbeasts like breaking toothpicks. How can we go wrong?”

Joseph: “It is that big, isn’t it AJ? Gaia, I never thought I would be a warrior. Some sort of student. Ha I guess I am at that!” Joseph shakes his head softly. “Well, if we need to run cross country I’m your man.”

Tinny: “I dunno what I bring to the table, really. If the Wyrm needs its ear talked off, I guess I’m the guy. I’ve never really been in a fight, except with the leech, and even then I really didn’t do much except keep a level head and plant my foot in the thing’s face for minimal effect.”
He sighs.
“Whatever the role, I’ll play it, and whatever it calls for, I’ll do it. Heh, it isn’t like I’ve got anything else to do.”

Enjoying listening to everyone ruminate on how cool this all is, Thoma leans back in his chair, crossing his legs and folding his fingers together on his knee. “Maybe we’re thinking too big,” he says quietly, not very concerned if no one pays him any mind. “Maybe it’s simply a matter of getting out of this room alive.” He flicks an olive across the table, watching it roll and bounce it’s way along the length, then looks sidelong at his companions.

Tin: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as simple as that, but that’s what I was trying to tease AJ with a little bit ago. Test part one: get out of the room.”
TC relaxes in his chair.
“Who wants a go at that door,” he says with a smirk. He shoots a wink to Thoma.

Jo: “Patience is certainly not a virtue among this group. Just wait a little bit. What is there to fear in this room? Unless Thoma… there is something you’d like to share with us?”

Royce finger-drums a complicated beat at the end of the table.

“For what it’s worth, Connor said he’d come back for us. I mean, it’s be kind of weird to say that and not come back.”

He stops drumming and fiddles with a friendship bracelet with a small metal charm, “But how long has he been gone? They took my watch. And I think they turned the air off. It’s getting stuffy…”

And sure enough, the room is starting to feel a little stale. Still pleasantly cool, likely because the room is underground, but the lingering smells off the cooked food have definitely worn out their welcome.

Joseph again tests the air with his nose. “If it comes down to breaking out of here, I’m with you fully. But we are all a little edgy. Just stay calm.” Joseph pauses and looks to Royce and AJ. “If it comes to a fight, I’m with you all the way. Serious. But I don’t think that’s the case here. Why would he talk so easily with us then try to trap us?”

Tin Can sits bewildered that his joke, even though explained, is missed for a second time in five minutes.

Thoma’s smile is almost acidic. “Yes, the people who drugged us, threw us into the back of a truck and locked us in a room are trustworthy.” He flicks another olive across the table. “The servant waits…” while the master bathes.

Tinny chuckles.

Joseph nods in agreement at her words. He doesn’t like the situation any more than they. But a clear head is needed for now.

Tinny begins fiddling with his own bracelet, mirroring Roy.

The Tin Can Kid disappears.

Thoma sits forward so quickly the chair skids and a horrible screeching sound fills the void. “What-?!”

AJ stands, knoncking the chair back. He looks at Shay and Royce in alarm and says “Da Hell just happened? Where did he go?

AJ moves towards the nearest person, either Thoma or Joseph, looking all around the room with almost wild, wide eyes.

It seems they are closer than they thought as they all have the same reaction, Joseph getting to his feet, knocking his chair over backwards. “Did he just slip into Umbra?!?” Joseph’s calm is now broken. He looks to the others to see if they have answer. Hearing the questions repeated back at him, he has his answer, they know just as much as him. “Do we sidestep ourselves, or are we taking the more direct approch?” He asks with slightly more calm directing AJ’s attention to the door.

Shay’s eyes were wide. “Fucking horror movie, that’s what this all is!”
She latches onto who ever was sitting to her right.
“If I get snatched I am not going alone!”

AJ looks from Joseph to the paniced Shay and then to the door. As he moves he says, “Why choose? I’m not good at it, so you step, I’ll handle da door.”

He quickly strides to the door and slams the butt of his fist into the door several times and yells through the door, “Hey! What da hell is going on?!?! Open the fucking door, or it’s coming off!!!” Punching the door hurts. Not bad enough to make him stop, not even bad enough to make him wince, but bad enough to tell him that this is a well reinforced door, and it’ll probably be pretty hard to take down.

Shay calms down just a little.
“Okay, lets think. This is all an initiation, most of us have been into the umbra and Tin and I have even done a round or two against something called a Bane in the umbra.”
Shay let go.
“You have to be brave and ready to use what Luna gave you to over come whatever challenge they throw at us.”

When Shay grabs him, Thoma slaps at her hands until she lets go. “Would you stop? Ech.” He tugs at his shirt. “Westwood,” he mutters. “Now, anyone care to go after him, if you’re so certain of where he is?”

Punching the door hurts. Not bad enough to make him stop, not even bad enough to make him wince, but bad enough to tell him that this is a well reinforced door, and it’ll probably be pretty hard to take down.

And just like that, Tinny reappears, now standing directly next to where AJ is rallying the troops.

Tinny looks a little shaken, but seems like he’s trying to tough something out and appear strong for the sake of the group. “OK, guys. That way ain’t the way to anything.” He clears his throat. “We have some choices to make. On the one hand, we’re six impatient teenagers stuck in a stuffy room with nothing to do after a lifetime of sensory overstimulation. We all want to get the fuck outta here, and none of us can blame the others for feeling that way. On the other hand, we were told to wait and that Connor would be back soon. For all we know, the guy is taking a massive dump right now and is short on toilet paper, causing a delay. Who knows?” He walks over and taps on the door handle. “My money is on getting through this door in a timely fashion. Not because I’m getting antsy, but because we’re in a new culture now. Let me explain: Think of a wolf pack. How does a pack work? It works by one wolf showing the others how strong he is. He asserts his authority and backs it up with muscle — or in our case, perhaps brains. At any rate, his action leaves no question to his right to rule. We need to send a message, pups. We will not be locked up. We will live by the law of the pack. Now if that means we do nothing but open this door and sit back down, then we can do that. If it means we open this door and go take our rightful place upstairs with our kin, then we do that. But let me make it clear that this will probably be one of the last democratic decisions we make. We will not always be afforded the time to sit back on our haunches and contemplate every choice that Gaia presents. In times of peace, this may be possible. But in war, we act as one and we are led by one. We are not high school children anymore. We are a pack, and we live and die by that rule.” Tinny places his palm flat against the door, thinking. “Who can open this thing?”

Joseph listens carefully to the words. “Questions later.” he says softly to himself. He looks to AJ, “Agreed, I would rather apoligize for a broken door later than be locked in now. Ahroun, shift. You are the strongest amongst us.”

Shay makes a face as she is smacked away and stands up.
“I might be able to pick the lock, given the right tools are around. Brute strength should be our last resort in a situation like this. We might need to prove that we are as smart as we are strong in this so called initiation.”
Shay eyeballs the table looking for whatever she can use on the table, from forks to knives to toothpicks.

Shay finds several implements that will serve as lockpicks, in a pinch. However, when she approaches the door, she discovers that the visible locking apparatus is on their side of the knob.

She still tackles the task of unlocking the door, first feeling out where in the frame the door feels mostly firmly rooted. This ends up being disappointing, as she can’t get any budge out of the door. She next sets to the visible locks, which are not set. She then handily disengages the door latch, but it does not release the door either.

The hinges of the frame are on their side, so Shayanna next sets to freeing those up. They are well secured, beyond her strength (in homid at least), but she thinks that perhaps they can be extracted.

The group watches as Shayanna takes to the door with practices and meditated ease. She works around its frame, prodding, then produces a set of reading utensils that she’s mangled into tools. Sher carefully works her way around the frame, sometimes eliciting a satisfying click, but always followed by a disgruntled curse.

Finally she pockets the “tools” and begins to paw at the door’s hinges.

“Fuck.”
Shay turns with defeat facing the group.
“The lock is near impossible. What about the umbra?”
Shay turns to Tin as she thinks about the situation.

“I don’t think that is the way we are meant to go, Shay. At any rate, that is not the way I am meant to go. Still trying to sort out what happened there.”
Tinny’s gaze meets the floor. “Of course, I’m no theurge. There is the possibility of our crescent-moon speaking to the security spirit or technology spirit or whatever it is that keeps the door.”
Tinny takes on a thousand mile stare.
“…the lion?” He mumbles.

Joseph feels slightly defeated as his suggestion is turned down, but realizes that Shay’s answer is the better one. He watches curiously as she works the door, with some sidelong glances at TC.
“Ok, I am the Theurge here, but first I’d like some information. Tinny? What happened? Who is the Lion?” He looks gently at TC, “We need to know what happened.”

Tinny: “The long and short of it is that I don’t really know. The umbral reflection of this room is a sort of cavern with a very secure looking door at one end. When I arrived, there was a spirit lion with bloody paws in the center of the room. It spoke to me, and its words were…upsetting and confusing. It spoke of me, and nothing else, and I cannot say for sure even what it meant, except that it was pertinent only to me. It had no advice about you guys or our situation.”
Tinny runs his hand through his grimy hair.
“I don’t know if the lion was the guardian of the room or not, but the thought occurred to me just now. It is possible, I guess, but I think the guardian is probably part of the door. What that makes the lion, I dunno. I hope it wasn’t there just to confuse the shit outta me about my life and my place in the world. Anyway, you are more than welcome to try and use your talents to get us out. But if we go, we go as one.”
Tinny holds up his wrist to show a bracelet with a locket. He opens the locket to expose a mirror, then places his wrist into the rough center of the group for all to use it.
“Here’s your ticket, guys. I’ll go last.”

“Is this what we want?” Joseph asks the group at large.

Tinny: “Seems as good a grasp at straws as any, to me. We don’t even know if there is a guardian spirit at all. All that is your realm, Joe. I was just speculating. Is there any actual logic to it, brother?”

AJ looks at Joseph and says “I think I could throw everyting I have at dat door and it would laugh at me.”

Looking beyond to the rest of the group and gestures towards TC, "I tink if we are gonna go dat route, we should all go. Are we really sure that “dis” is the test? I mean, are we gonna look like “puppies pawing at the kennel” to the others? Not dat I’m a fan of being locked in here…"

Thoma, from where he’s standing, wonders about the hinges on the door and Shay’s attention to them. But he is distracted by the talk of Tin’s trip and when the bracelet is provided, he is one of the first to reach for it. “An exit is an exit is an exit, and the least attention we draw to ourselves is probably best.” He’s been through once or twice, and can’t deny the draw of returning.

“Then we go through, it’s a big riddle. The Spirittalker looks like he is up to bat when we are on the other side.”
Shay slinks over to Joseph patting him on the back.
“It’s your job, if we are to be a functioning pact then you are our spirit diplomat. Opening the door wasn’t meant to be a test for me or we would have been out of here by now.”
Shay giggles like a child. She looks to the locket, concentrating, she pushes her way into the umbra.

One by one, the group steps sideways, and ultimately they all arrive in the umbral reflection of the conference room.

The room looks more like a sealed off cavern than a room. The wall resembles granite or concrete, and shows wearing as though it were slowly being grated away by some natural process. Where the door stood, there is a rough outline of a door on the wall that projects an aura of obstinence, as though it should have a doughty face. The can hear a staccato chatter that some of them have come to associate with communication spirits, but the noises come from beyond the walls of the room.

None of the furniture that was present in the conference room has any reflection in the umbra. The room is barren.

AJ shifts nervously and says to Joseph, “Nothing against what you do, but I am not a fan of any of this. Spirits may like you, but I always feel like I don’t belong.”

AJ, glancing around, says to the group, “Any good ideas?”

Joseph surveys the room. Searching for TC’s Lion. Begins walking towards the door.

AJ watches his compatriots disappearing into the umbra, one after another, having apparently adopted this as their plan. Royce pushes a chair on rollers to AJ and drops into one himself.

“If Tinny didn’t find an out the first time, probably isn’t one. I’ll stick here with you.”

Meanwhile, those who reach the umbra notice only the room as previously described: conspicuous lack of lion.

IC: Tinny looks to the center of the room where the lion was sitting and points.
“He was right there, all spooky like. Waving bloody paws and telling me I am what I am and that I have things to do and whatnot. Do you, uhh, sense him or whatever, Joe?”

Shay shifts down to her lupus form, she starts to sniff around the room even doing a little digging if she can find soft enough dirt, even eyeballing the door on this side. She whimpers and makes growling noises as communication.
“No lion. What exactly did he say to you Tin?”

IC: Tinny looks to Shay.
“Like I said, the lion said nothing that pertains to our current situation. Mostly just mysterious hints about my true nature and hidden strength and all that kinda crap. Didn’t say a damn thing that is useful here and now.”

Joseph again surveys the room, curious as ever about the differences here.
He approaches the door slowly, senses extended, waiting for a shift in their surroundings.

The room remains as it was, seemingly static. The only scents to either human or lupine nose (other than that of the group itself), are those of the city, snag the slight twinge of ozone commonly present with technology spirits and city spiritscapes.

Shay plops down on her furry behind. A series of barks, growls and whimpers come out of her.
“Spirits don’t speak like we speak. Everything is a riddle or they like getting paid.”
Shay gets up and looks to Tin.
“I’m going to the other side to sniff things out.”
She force of wills herself out to the other side in her wolf form with a POP!

Unlike the others, Joseph hears more than just electric chatters. He also hears a grumbling granite voice that, though somewhat unrefined, saying, “Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe.”

In inspecting the room, Joseph has occasion to more closely inspect the outline of the door, and therein finds that it appears to be conscious, and that it may be the outline speaking.

Thoma steps sideways into the Umbra and the change in air pressure and temperature surround him comfortingly. Like flying. He takes in the area, noting the lack of decoration. Frowning, he crosses his arms and closes his eyes.

As Thoma leaves Shay pops out in her lupus form and immediately plops down. She looks between AJ and Royce. Her body stance, tail and ear positions along with a melody of growls, barks and whimpers, or simply put wolfspeak.
“They are digging at something, but spirits are not where I shine. It might be up to Joey to get us out of here. It’s that big test you never studied for and you show naked to kinda test.”

Joseph listens carefully to the spirits.

OOC: Using Spirit Speech

IC: “Spirit, are you trying to say we should remain in the room?” Joseph tries to keep the question as straight forward, as he has been taught. He also knows that the spirit will probably ignore him.

The spirit simply repeats, “Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe.” It’s unclear whether this is in response to Joseph’s question.

Joseph ponders the spirits message and walks up the the door frame itself to inspect it.

Tinny watches Joseph for a few moments, then sighs.
“Joe, like I said before, I’m not sure this is the way. Not that path I’m -we’re- supposed to take. All I hear is chittering sounds, man. Are you getting something that I am not? If not, I’m just about ready to go back.”

Other than the fact that the outline seems to be grumbling to itself, there isn’t much to see. The outline is not truly a doorway, but rather seems to be growing into a door. Probably, Joseph thinks to himself, this room is new and just starting to create an impression in the Umbra. The door in the physical world must be both strong and meaningful, as must the room itself.

Joseph looks back to Tinny, turning his head towards him, but his eyes stay on the doorway.
“The only message I get is ’Safe. Single word, no explanation.” Joseph studies the frame curious to see if he can watch it growing. This time he turns fully back to TC. “Sorry, I find things here facinating. It looks somehwat like our world and it’s as natural as ours, but it will always be somewhat alien.” He dusts his hands off on his jeans. “Yeah, I’m ready to head back when you are.”

Tinny smiles at Joe.
“I know what you mean, man. This place is pretty cool. Think of the deeper meanings, the philosophical side of this dual reality thing. Mindblowing.”
Tinny offers his wrist mirror up.

Joseph calms his mind as he has been taught and steps back out of the Umbra.

Tinny pops into existence near the doorway.
“OK. Joe couldn’t make much of that. AJ doesn’t think he can break through. Shay couldn’t pick it. And I’m stumped. What do Gaia’s two quietest Galliards have to say about all this?”
Tinny lays hands on the door and laughs.
“Open sesame! Hahahaha!”

The door does not move for the command. Tinny turns away in disappointment and the door clicks loudly and begins to swing open. Tinny turns in astonishment, and Royce speaks on behalf of the room, “No. Fucking. Way.”

The door opens to reveal Connor, a look of absolute amusement on his face, “Attention spans that short, eh? C’mon, it’s time.”

He turns on his heel and walks across the landing to the staircase, beginning to alight.

Joseph pops back into reality just as Connor opens the door. Moves to follow Connor, moving up next to TC. “Hey Tinny, nice idea with the mirror bracelet. That’s really smart.”

AJ pushes back from the table and stands to follow. He says to the others, “Go ahead, I’ll bring up da rear.”

Tinny smiles to Joe.
“It was a gift from our septmates. I think they might have been picking on me a bit. Anyway, the thing is damned handy, yeah?”
He heads through the door, tipping an invisible hat to AJ.

Connor leads the group up the stairs to the vault door they passed on the way down. It now stands open, revealing two things: 1) that the hall is double-fitted so that the door can seal the underground rooms off from the surface, and 2) that the opposite side of the door is camouflaged to resemble the plain concrete walls of the trench that lies beyond.

Beyond the door stand three people: Larissa, her giant attendant, and a disheveled young man in a bizarre patchwork leather trench coat.

Thoma: IC: He follows Conner, a little disappointed that their test wasn’t something as ridiculous as ‘Get Out Of This Room’.

Joseph dips his head in respect to those assembled.

“I believe I speak for us all when I say we are anxiously awaiting your test.”

Larissa laughs and reaches out to Joseph, pinching his cheek and clucking in a matronly manner, “Anxious? Don’t be anxious. You’re so young, all of you mere children, and so eager to dash into the face of the unknown.”

TC looks at Larissa, his smile at Joseph fading from his face.
“Our anxiety and eagerness to dash into the unknown might have something to do with being locked up against our will twice in one day. I trust that won’t be necessary again.”

Shay: IC : Shay followed in her lupus form, tail swinging from side to side. She didn’t want to shift back to homid only to find out that she had lost her clothing. After Tin’s statement about being locked up, she plops down on her fuzzy butt and snorts in agreement.

Larissa gives Tinny a patronizing smile, nods, and pays him on the head.

“But of course, because clearly a few hours alone didn’t make any of you do anything as silly as try to formulate a symbolic escape plan just to teach others a lesson. No, you’ve certainly demonstrated that you can be left unattended.”

She shakes her head, chuckling, “This way, now.” And walks into the tunnel at a surprisingly brisk pace."

Joseph moves to follow, his attention caught up in the bearing of Larissa and the giant. Seeing if the words match the bearing.

Tinny shakes his head and grunts as if to say that hospitality is clearly not the strong suit of the Sept of the Green. He shuffles toward the rear of the group.

Something about Larissa’s demeanor reminds Thoma of his aunt Petra, and he takes an immediate, if cautious, liking to the woman. Carefully he tries to get to the front of the group, hoping, if only subconsciously, that he wants her to take some sort of liking to him.

AJ nods at Tinny as he walks over. Having at least vaguely meet the others, pays close attention to the person in the “patchwork” trench coat, looking for any clues or details about this stranger.

The man in the patchwork trenchcoat is the stereotypical bum: he’s unshaven, his facial hair patchy, the hair on top of his head long, unkempt, and dirty. The coat itself is clean, but off-putting, in someway unnatural, and partially, upon closer inspection, this is because the coat has been constructed from hundreds of small patches of varied-color leather. The patches largely seem to enjoy a consistent texture, though the hues vary from patch to patch. He waves the group through and then sets to resealing the vault door.

Larissa sets a brisk pace down a tunnel lined with long, thick cables and pipes. Her giant takes up the rear, a step behind Tinny and AJ.

As the group proceeds, there are occasional turns, and they reach a tunnel that is tight enough to force them to walk in single file.

Joseph hurries his step to catch up to Larissa.

“Madam. Forgive me, as I’m sure there is a method here, but perhaps you could give us some specifics now that we are on the move? I consider myself a patient man, but you must understand our unease.” Joseph asks with an expression that says yes I know I’m young, but please answer anyway.

As Shay follows she begins her shift back to homid, she readjusts clothing and pulls her hair back into a better ponytail.
Shay moves so that she is behind Joseph.
“If there is one thing that I have learned from my frail few months as a wolf is that no one tells you shit, until shit is screaming your name in your face.” Shay whispered into Joseph’s ear. “Anyway, you’re kinda cute, were you bred like here like Royce? Or was it just it just a fluke.”
Shay gave a mischievous smirk.

Joseph leans in to listen to Shay’s whispered words.

As she speaks he watches Larissa, curious to see if her eyes betray her ability to her Shay as well, which Joseph already suspects.
“Bred?!” His head whips around, taking in the torn clothes “Wha…” The words fall off as he catches Shay’s wink. He laughs in spite of himself. “Nope,”he shakes his head, “I’m a ‘mystery.’” Actually making the air gesture of slighlty waving his hands.

Shay started her shift back to homid and made it so that she was behind Joseph. She leaned in close to whisper into his ear.
“From what I know from my frail few months as a wolf is that they don’t tell you shit, until shit is right in your face screaming your name.”
Shay then gave a mischievous smirk and continued to whisper.
“You’re kinda cute. Do you have a pedigree like Royce is or is it just a fluke?”

Shay laughed before returning to whispering
“I should have said pedigree. Royce had his mommy chasing his wet butt till he was ready to be a big puppy.”
Shay started to muse.
" Werewolves can’t mate with each other anyway, I guess. Since we are following the archaic laws of wolves before the invention of condoms, the pill, the shot, and the big A world."

Thoma’s mouth is set into a determined line as he passes Shay, TC, and AJ to be at the front of the line. When Joseph passes him, an expression of defeat flits across his face. When Shay passes him, as well, Thoma tries to insert himself into the line anywhere that isn’t the end.

Joseph looks to Royce during Shay’s little info dump. He then raises an eyebrow at the obviously familar or possibly oblivious way in which she delvs out the message. Joseph’s half smile fades as Shay talks about Lycan love. “Damn, you just spit out whatever you’re thinking, don’t you?” He says with a laugh.

Shay seemed oblivious to Thoma’s line dance she was too busy giving her attention to Joseph, behaving like a teenage girl.
“I was born with a condition, there is no filter between my brain and my mouth. Well, that is what my social worker said to a few of my foster parents.”
Shay seemed as if she was bragging.
“So, do you even remember your first change? Was it bloody and horrible?”

As the cubs at the front of the line share stories, Larissa steadfastly guides then through labyrinthine tunnels, up a short staircase, and suddenly they’re outside under a gibbous moon, in a forest.

C103

No Really, We're Sheep darkmonkey13