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 Can't We All Just Get Along?

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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 21:55

The morning after the Prodigals set out from San Antonio, Rends the Gar woke up sore and stiff. His chest felt as though it was on fire, and his side still throbbed from taking the shards of silver the night before. Rolling out of his bedroll, he growled as he stretched away the stiffness.

Tearin' off that thing's head was too kind. Next time I'ma feed that son of a bitch his own wings.

Grunting, he shoved himself up and started getting ready for the day by gathering all his weapons and finding a quiet spot to meditate. After an hour to himself, he started disassembling and cleaning his various weapons, starting with his rifle. He wiped at it with a cloth perhaps a bit harder than he did his other weapons.  

Don't know why I bother. Damn thing cain't hit nothin'.

Putting the longrifle back together, he looked up and saw Zas Bul standing off by himself, apparently lost in his own thoughts he hadn't noticed Rends. Grimacing, Rends hesitated.

You promised Zoe you'd talk to him. Jest get it over with.

Making up his mind, he gave a sharp whistle to get his packmate's attention.

"Hey Zas! C'mon over here. I gotta talk to ya."
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 22:14

Zas had been plotting out the days trail in his mind. All too eager to be on the move again, he felt mildly happy-he would feel better if not for the after effects of the corrupted spirit, but for now mildly happy was good.

The road ahead was certainly familiar to the Silent Strider by now, and thus easy to navigate... at least the physical road. The part of the journey that involved dealing with the blood thirsty Fenris and the rabble rousing Bone Gnawers as well as the mystical Uktena and forging some form of peace was less easy to prepare for.

This however was his mission. This is what he'd intended to do ever since meeting his mentor. It was his destiny. The days ahead lay waiting in earnest, shrouded in danger and doubt and intrigue. Soon the time would be at hand...but not yet. First there was the matter of the Phoenix.

Zas to all outward appearances seemed somewhere between half asleep and dead, as his mind began running through the approaching days. Yet, at Rends call, his attention was brought back to the present. He spun towards and approached the ahroun quickly with a look of concern and worry in his eyes as he said in loud voice, "Yes, what is it? What's wrong?!?"
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 22:27

Rends shakes his head, taking apart his pistol now and giving it a once over.

"Ain't nothin' wrong. I jest wanna talk to ya."

He stops his work, considering his next words. After a moment, he blows out a sigh and a humorless chuckle.

"Ah Hell. May as well get to the point. Listen, we've traveled and worked together long enough to get to know each other a bit, and you and I both know that you and I got our differences. Our pack works damn good together, and I like the way things is fer now. But Zoe don't like us not gettin' along."

Still sitting, he motions for Zas to sit as well.

"So, it's outta respect for Zoe that I'm willin' to try this. I don't like you, and I reckon you don't like me too much neither. How do you reckon we go about fixin' that?"
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 23:00

At the ahroun's calm demeanor and explanation, Zas takes a seat across his packmate and listens as he voices the issue. At his final question Zas angles his head as he says, "I agree that we are different. Gaia made us this way for a purpose. We come from different backgrounds and different places, and were thrust together by Coyote's schemes."

Zas then rubs his chin as he says, "We do work together, but I am not sure we do so as a pack. A pack acts in unison. It moves as one. We each act on our own. We each fight our foes using our own strengths-but we do not necessarily fully use the strength of a pack as a whole. We have a shared vision for what must be done and do it as best we can. We protect and defend one another as packmates are called to do. This has worked for us. Yet I am not certain that we are as one. At least not yet."

Zas then looks curiously at the Get of Fenris and says, "You are mistaken however to think that I do not like you. I count you as a close friend. You have shared secrets with me. I would die for you.

I did not and still do not like Ford. He is an enemy. His days are numbered. I would hope that you do not think that I treat you the same way I treat him.

As far as your opinion of me is concerned-I do not know what We can do to change that. I know only what I can do...what I am willing to do. I see no reason to try to impress you. I see no purpose in making spirits intercede on our behalf. All I see or know to do is ask why you dislike my company and then do my part in attempting to correct the issue. I can do nothing else that would change your mind or your heart. That matter lies only in you."

Zas then leans in and says with a sigh, "The heart wants and does as it feels. Right or wrong. Actions however are what define us. Your actions do not proclaim that you dislike me. I hope my own actions do not proclaim anything other than my true desires."

After a pause, "Tell me what it is that I have done that has caused your dislike of me. I will take the steps to correcting myself, provided that my actions are not found to be justified in your eyes. This is all I know to "fix" this issue."
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 23:21

Rends listens to Zas pontificate, looking somewhat bemused at his comparatively long winded counterpart.

"Alright. So here's how it is. Like you said, actions speak louder than words. And from what I seen, I ain't impressed by you at all."

He sets down the cleaned pistol, leaning forward and looking Zas in the eye.

"See, each one of us has somethin' to offer to everyone else. I kill stuff and take hits for the pack. Mocks talks real pretty and can sneak like Luna's shadow. Eaton pulls his weight in fights, and tells a damn good story. Zoe handles the spirit stuff and keeps us all alive."

He ticks them off one by one on his hand, leaving the pinkey for last. He indicates the guilty digit to Zas.

"But you? I cain't rightly figure what it is you do for us. You're a terrible fighter; it took three tries to hit the Phoenix with that arrow, and don't even get me started on our first fight in San Antone. You cain't talk worth a damn; Karnes almost kilt you himself at the negotiations with the Comanche and blew the whole plan. You made that damn fool promise to Chief Bowl to watch the Cherokee when it was none of our business and made our jobs as Garou harder down the road. Worse, I never even seen you actually do anything meaningful fer them since the battle against Cordova, so it weren't worth nothin anyhow."

There's an angry twinkle behind his eyes, revealing a burried sense of... something. Betrayal, maybe?

"So tell me, Zas. What am I missin' here? Why should I respect you as an equal part of the pack?"
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 23:37

Zas nods at the reply and even at one point gives a quick cough. At the conclusion of the ahroun's complaints, the philodox looks at him and with a straight sincere face says, "I hear what you have said. I disagree with it, but I hear you. Before I respond to your words however, I want to know something first. In your own words and opinion, what am I supposed to do? What are the duties and responsibilities that I am to do? What is a philodox that serves a spirit like Coyote called to do? I want to hear you tell me your expectations for me. I obviously seem to not be meeting them, else wise we would not be speaking like this. I genuinely want to know."
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 23:45

"Follow and interpret the Litany to guide us. When we fight, pull your own weight at least. If you got an issue with somethin' like how we handled Ford, speak up and let us know what you think instead of jest rollin' over and lettin' us have our way without a fight if it's somethin' that's important. Don't be weak, and make as good a showin' as you can for us, cuz everythin' you do reflects on all of us."

He rattles off his list quickly, unblinking.
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Fri 18 Jul 2014, 00:49

Zas shakes his head in understanding and says quickly, "Ok. Your expectations are understood. I agree with them. You are correct. Everything I do reflects on you. Weakness is to be overcome. Upholding the litany, distinctly falls under the duty of the philodox. Meeting our enemies in battle with strength and courage is good.

Now that we have an understanding of your expectations, let me answer your claims. I am not an ahroun. Combat is not my strongest quality, granted. Yet, even you cannot say that my fighting has remained terrible. It has improved greatly-certainly since we first met. Our fight with the Phoenix did not go according to plan. A pack of Sicarii all higher in rank and more skilled than us fell before the spirit. Even Claws of--" Zas pauses and catches himself trying unsuccessfully to prevent his eyes from watering.
"We barely managed to survive. Though it took several tries, the spirit was brought down. To say it was difficult to slay the firebird due solely to my inability to hit her, is not accurate. That spirit was powerful. We were lucky. Some of us more than others."

Zas then clears his throat and says, "To say that I was not affected by the Sept alpha getting murdered would be a lie. I was. More than you know."

Zas then shakes his head and says, "To continue: the negotiations were designed to fail. We all knowingly walked intentionally into a trap willingly. Had Eaton and I not done our part, our Bone Gnawer and Red Talon and Get of Fenris allies may not have made it  in time to aid us in the fight with the hordes of Skin rippers. Caerns' may not have liked what I said, but many don't like the truth."

Zas then takes a breath and says, "As for Chief Bowls people, and the promise I made to him...I did what needed to be done. The Nacodoches caern was in jeopardy. Cordova and his forces as well as Stern's betrayal-they were dealt with. Chief Bowl offered his help and in agreeing to help him we probably saved the lives of the majority of the Garou who still run that Caern. If I had to do it all over again-I wouldn't change a thing.

Now I am truly sorry that a little while later down the road our jobs got a little more difficult, but you tell me...how much are the lives of an entire caern worth?

I did what I was asked to do. I protected his people from an immediate threat. As time went on, I acted as an emissary ensuring that further violence was not stirred up in the aftermath of fighting. While I was still among his people in Nacodoches there was no further bloodshed. Yet, while I was away during our travels I began collecting the ingredients I would need to make a powerful defensive fetish to aid in protecting his people. It was only when Chief Bowl himself released me from the very vow he'd agreed to, that I ceased my actions. My deeds did not reflect poorly on you-in fact for all I know our actions in aiding Chief Bowl may serve as a strong quick path to convincing the Uktena we meet in the future to accept our aid because one of their own tribal elders trusted us and more importantly continues to do so."

Zas then pounds his knees with his fists as he says, "I made my opinion of Ford known clearly multiple times. I heeded your Tactical advice on the chances we had at killing him and made a decision. Had we fought and killed Ford, based on the information we know now...all of us would be dead. Say we managed to kill him-and his men...at least some of whom you clearly pointed out were armed with silver. Let's say we were extremely lucky and none of us died at his hands, we'd all have still been on the mend for the next few weeks. We would have had no chance of surviving let alone winning the fight with both the Phoenix and the Skinrippers-not with the sheer numbers they had on their side."

Zas sighs and says firmly, "No. I did not just let you all roll over me...I made a choice that resulted in us killing more servants of the Wyrm than we ever have, aided in saving the city of San Antonio and the Caern, and living to hunt down that arrogant flea bitten Gaia betraying bastard another day."

Zas then stands to his feet and spits on the ground as he says, boldly "You want to see me fight you, thereby weakening ourselves and showing our divisions and weak points right in the face of an extremely dangerous servant of the Wyrm-I refuse! Call me soft! Call me spineless! Call me the little whipped Injun boy that cries! I don't care what you call me--I made the right choice. I will continue to make the right choices, Gaia willing and see to it personally that our pack continues to remain true to Gaia-alive and willing to take as many Wyrm beasts to oblivion as we can before we fall-RIP Ford included!"

Zas then forces himself to sit down and try to wrangle in his temper. After a moment, he says in a clenched jaw with gritted teeth, "You say that my deeds do not honor our cause, and make me look like a fool. I argue that what I do may look foolish in the present moment, but in the long run will bring great honor and glory to you and this pack.

You are an ahroun. You are focused on the here and now-if you do not keep yourself planted firmly in the moment, we die.

I am a philodox. I must be mindful of the future. When I make a ruling or a decision it is permanent. Saying one thing today and a contrary thing tomorrow makes my judgement null and void.


You ask why you should respect me as an equal member of this pack. I tell you-you do this because I watch our steps. I lead us safely when we travel down the dark roads that are full of sharp briars and thorns that are just waiting to pierce our skin. I see and reveal the hidden foes we must slay. If you are the claws and fangs of Gaia, I am her eyes and ears.

I am worthy of your respect for I draw the attention of our enemies, in order for you to strike true. I steer us to where we must go. I shed the light of truth amidst the shroud of ever growing lies we find ourselves in.

I tell you why I am worthy. Why I deserve your respect. I can give you justifications and reason for all that I do. Yet only you and you alone are able to determine whether you respect me or not."

Zas then turns and stares into Rends eyes as he says with a stoic, cold, and emotionless voice, "So which is it?"



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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Fri 18 Jul 2014, 21:31

Rends gives a half smile at his packmate's outburst.

"Well. I'm glad to see you care. Hard to tell sometimes when you get all stoney and preachy. But you do try, and that's somethin'. And for what it's worth, you're right about Ford. It would have been a tactical mistake to fight him then and there. I jest wanted to see if you still thought like you did, or if you'd come around to see sense."

He gives Zas an appraising look, considering the Indian before him.

"You're a hard one to read. Makes it hard to tell what you're really thinkin'. But I reckon you're doin' your best, and I guess the rest will come with time."

He starts holstering his weapons and putting away his cleaning tools.

"One thing I still don't get though. Why you so upset at Claws of Silk's death? I mean ya she's an Elder and all and it's a sore loss, but you seem to take it pretty personal. But she always seemed kinda cold and standoffish with us. We barely spent any time with her at all."

He looks up at his packmate, genuinely curious.

"What was she to you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Fri 18 Jul 2014, 23:32

Zas grows quiet as Rends shares his thoughts on the philodox and his reply. After Rends mentions that Zas was not easy to read, Zas forms a small brief grin, "Not every person has the same luxuries you have. Not every auspice has the same methods. I would ask that in the future, when or if the time arises where you doubt me, that you not hesitate to question my actions. Provided we are not standing before a foe or some new evil, I will do my best to justify myself before you."

At Rends question, Zas smile fades. His demeanor shifts rapidly from that of a proud warrior boldly declaring his worth to that of a broken and defeated man.
"She was my muse. My inspiration. She was the embodiment of what I one day hope to be capable of being. She was light. Life. Beauty. Purity."

Zas turns away as he holds his head in his hands and stares at the ground. When he looks back at Rends his eyes look slightly bloodshot, as if he had not slept for many days. Combined with his haggard appearance and demeanor, he seemed to be in very rough shape.

The silent strider came uncomfortably close to Rends' face as he said in an extremely quiet tone, "Do you recall when you told me of the story of your father, and how you asked that I keep that to myself? What I am about to tell you, I would ask-no demand the same of you."

Zas starts slowly, having trouble saying it aloud, "I--my heart...it is fickle. It does not care to follow or abide by Garou law, or what is socially acceptable. It does what it wants. You know that Eaton traveled with his wife, and that Kefka has a child on the way with his...well, I--my heart chose her. I wished for the sept alpha to be one with me. I wanted her to be my mate.

I never acted on my impulses, though given more time...I likely would have. It is this unshakeable thought that leads me to believe that in a way her death was my doing. Gaia took her to keep me from stumbling."

Zas takes a breath before he continues, "When she was brutally murdered before my very eyes-I lost a part of me. I forgot who I was. I lost total control of myself, however briefly. The only thing that gripped me back from the edge, was this pack.

It occurred to me that this is all I likely have now. You are my family. My own father, my tribe, everything I once knew or held dear now likely lays dead at the feet of the Comanche. I knew then that I had to reclaim who I was. I needed to avenge the deaths of the fallen. All of them. I knew that more than ever I needed to keep you all safe. I needed to kill the fiery death before us...or risk completely falling down into the pits of the dark fury that eats away at us, never to again rise."

Zas then steps back. "Freedom. Salvation. Suffering. Regret. Sorrow. Despair. That is what she was to me."
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Sat 19 Jul 2014, 00:11

Rends stares at his packmate for a long moment, something seething behind his eyes.

"Well. I weren't expectin' that."

Another long pause, and the Ahroun rubs at his chin, considering. Pensive.

"No, you ain't what I expected. Good to know there's a livin' Garou behind that wooden face. So you had a thing for Claws of Silk. I won't tell nobody. Ain't nothin' gonna come of it now anyhow, and it's what you do what concerns me."

He reaches down to his belt, pulling out the Dream Knife.

"Every mornin' I get up and spend an hour in my dreams. I see death, war, and the death of the Garou nation. I relive my best moments, and I see my failures. But most of all I see my brother torn apart by a Uktena right before me as I make my First Change. I see my father turning on his pack, his Kinfolk. I see my Ma and brothers die every night and again every morning. And there ain't a damn thing I can do to stop it."

His face is flush, angry, as his eyes start to mist up.

"Thing is, before I got this thing I could never remember my dreams. Dunnow why, but since I started using it I can. A little. And I replay them in full every mornin'. Every day it's the same except for a little at the end sometimes. So why do I do it to myself?"

His face grows grim, resolved but still pained as he flips the knife around and slams it back onto his belt.

"Because I cain't fail my pack like I failed my family. We are Garou. We live to die for Gaia, tryin' to kill an enemy who can't die. But I intend to die spittin' in the Wyrm's eye, and that means I cain't fail like my father did. So I relive my dreams every mornin', watching my Pa eat Ma's head like a damn cherry so I know every day what failure looks like."

He takes a deep breath, steadying himself and calming the Rage inside before locking eyes with Zas again.

"Maybe this is your reminder of what the cost of failure is."
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Sat 19 Jul 2014, 01:56

Zas nods solemnly at his packmate's suggestion. He says nothing for a long while, as he ponders the Ahroun's words.

Finally his eyes seem to regain a spark, and a new bit of life seems to overcome the strider. The defeated demeanor fades as Zas slowly sits up straight, eyes squinted but focused in the light of the rising morning sun. His shoulders fall into a more dominant position making him into a more imposing figure-not at all like what Rends had ever seen before from the usually humbled and inconspicuous philodox.
The new change was so drastically radically different, that for a fleeting moment Rends could almost see several ahroun like aspects seeming to poke through.
"Yes. I am Garou. The price for failure is great, but the reward for success is greater. This moment is a sign. It is now time to run instead of walking. Time to fight rather than flee. Time to beat down the demon that binds. It is time to remember but also to move on."

There was a quick pause as Zas seemed to momentarily recall something before letting loose a low growl and shaking his head to clear away the thought. He then gives a piercing look back to the Get of Fenris with his head held high and says with fierce intensity more common of what Rends would expect to hear from a Get of Fenris on the warpath, "The days of empty words and sentimental sermons are over. The season for seeking repentance has ended. Now is the time for the Reaping. There will be no mercy."
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Sat 19 Jul 2014, 15:35

Rends meets Zas' eyes, an eager gleam returning to his own. Then he lets out a loud bark of laughter, rough and deep. Clapping Zas on the shoulder maybe just a bit too hard, Rends makes his way back to camp.

"Hell, now that's more like it! Ol' Zas has some fire in him yet. Now we jest gotta learn you how to fight good, and we'll be a pack to reckon with. Look out, Black Spirals, Phoenix, and Skin Rippers! The Prodigals is here, and we're ready for blood!"
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Sat 19 Jul 2014, 17:24

Zas nods once, firmly in agreement with the ahroun. The clap to Zas's shoulder produces a subtle crack, but Zas does not wince-rather he turns to the unsuspecting Rends and haymaker punches him in the arm as he growls out, "All violators will kneel before us, or be vanquished! Such is the way of the bloodied claw. The path is clear!"
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PostSubject: Re: Can't We All Just Get Along?   Sat 19 Jul 2014, 21:20

Reflexively, Rends the Gar returns the hearty punch with a haymaker of his own to Zas' jaw, sending the Injun sprawling. He quickly reigns himself in, laughing as he helps a dazed Zas back up to his feet.

"Sorry. Guess I got a little excited there. Warrior reflexes and all that."

Still laughing, he leads the way back to camp.

"I reckon we'll make a proper Garou of you yet, Zas. You jest gotta stop thinkin' so much and let yer gut lead ya sometimes. Hell, now that we's all gettin' along, I reckon we'll have this phoenix put on ice in no time."
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