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 Questions Got to be Free

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Kefka

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PostSubject: Questions Got to be Free   Thu 28 Aug 2014, 17:19

Mocks the Night shook himself furiously as he shifted from Lupus to Homid, still dusting the rubble off his now tarnished clothes. He looked around at the gathered Garou. Some leaving, some collapsing, others just wandering incoherently waiting for orders. He turned and looked at the collapsed pillar and gives the rubble a swift kick as he begins to laugh in victory. He stopped laughing and shook his head running his hands through his hair. He looks around and spots Hears the Song. He approaches her slowly and sits beside her.

"Now I know we weren't properly introduced or nothin'... But I like that armored fella. I intend to keep my word and buy him a drink. He earned it after blowing the eye off the Storm Eater."

Mocks paused as he looked at Zoe. The smile slightly fading away.

"How did you ask him for help? I thought in your letter to him you were talkin' about San Antonio... you learn some new way of sending messages?"
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Thu 28 Aug 2014, 18:19

Upon exiting Akna's realm Zoe quickly reverted to homid form from her war form. She shook her head in disbelief that she had managed to exit the firebird's lair without a scratch. Kairmode was to thank for most of that, though the Get and Talons would probably think less of her for not taking any damage during the fights. That was no longer a concern of hers. She knew she made the best decisions given the circumstances and felt no need to defend herself. Let them think what they will of the spirit-savvy urrah, she had her pack and apparently she still had O'Toole.

Kefka's appearance brought her back to the present. She shook her head laughed.

"No, the message I sent him first via Ebony, that she may or may not have delivered, bid him help us in San Antone. The letter I asked her to deliver simply told him I was doing well but that I missed him and would like him to visit in Nacogdoches and perhaps consult with the Iron Riders on some new fetish weapons. I certainly did not summon him to Akna's realm beyond the horizon."

With pursed lips and narrowed eyes, she shook her head again, exhaling sharply. "I truly have no clue how he found me there. I am certainly glad he did, though. Seeing him made me realize just how much I've truly missed him."

Her puzzled face grew bitter as Shrike's bone-pierced form caught her eye in the distance.

"I could be talking to him now if it weren't for the Litany and those blood-thirsty Talons. I have no clue how long it took him to find me there or how long it will take to do so again. I would go to Galveston in a heartbeat, but there's no telling if he even went back there. Not to mention we need to figure out what's going to happen to this potential caern here."
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Kefka

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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Thu 28 Aug 2014, 19:09

Kefka smiles at Zoe weakly as she talks of O'toole. His gaze follows hers to that of Shrike as his mouth turns downward.

"Honestly I think the sooner we leave the better. I ain't sure if you noticed but I didn't do a lick of fightin' in there and I don't think others will take kindly to that. There is also the fact that now I just ain't cursed, y'all are all cursed too. Eatin' Akna was supposed to be a last resort, but the Stormeater changed that. I can't blame the others much as I would like to. A caern might be hard to make with no spirits willing to work with us. We are a liability now if we don't leave they may run us out. Things may have worked out for the best in there, but we still got the short end of the stick. We are the scapegoats here."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Thu 28 Aug 2014, 20:36

Zoe's face grew grim as she slowly nodded. Despite the achievement of their ultimate goal - the permanent destruction of Akna - the Prodigals all knew that their success would be shunned by the nation at large. She snorted out a curt laugh.

"I suppose that's the nature of being a child of coyote - accomplishing the task the best way we know and being looked down upon by everyone else."

Zoe's eyes flitted up toward the empty sky, to the right, and then the left before returning to Kefka. "The Bible has a verse that says something about whether Christians are seeking to please men or to please God. I suppose that could apply here as well. The final authority of whether we did well or not is Gaia, not other Garou. Sure, they get a say, but we seek to please the Mother above all, don't we?"

A thought seemed to let the air out of Zoe's confidence.

"Do you think she is pleased with our actions? If she is, why would she allow us to be cursed, and you more than the rest of us? That doesn't seem fair. We should be rewarded not punished."

She shook her head and glanced around at the Get, Gnawers, Talons, and Iron Riders all recuperating from the endeavor.

"I agree with your assessment of the situation. Whether Gaia is pleased or not, we are not the conquering heroes. We're the ones who sacrificed our glory, honor, reputation, and wellbeing for the greater good of destroying Akna. If the caern wishes to succeed, it does not need our name tarnishing its reputation. And personally I don't want to stand around to hear the Get condemn us for not getting bloody enough or the Talons berate me for aligning with my papa. We should gather the rest and head back to Nacogdoches or to Jack's forces. Though with Akna handled, the Skin Ripper numbers should eventually fizzle out as Jack's Get tear them down."

She sniffed out another disgusted laugh.

"Here we should be celebrating a victory against a great foe, but instead we're having to gracefully bow out in hopes of retaining what little dignity if any we may have left. And this damn curse is going to make my job exponentially harder than it used to be."
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Kefka

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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Thu 28 Aug 2014, 23:15

Kefka nods in agreement at everything his packmate is saying.

"I think Nacogdoches would be a safe bet. If possible I want to visit the Forked Path caern as well. See how the rebuilding is going...see if Malkizadek is still willing to work with us. We don't know who our allies are going to be anymore, and I have a bad feeling Jack will be one of the ones not pleased with us."

He chuckles

"The Garou world is finally getting what they may have wanted from the start. To treat us like the rest of Coyote's Children. Maybe it's for the best though. We have been loud and destructive. Perhaps we need to take some steps back, sink back into the shadows. Serve Gaia but a little quieter. Stop drawin' attention to ourselves. They will realize they need us at some point and come looking for us."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Fri 29 Aug 2014, 06:45

At Mocks' mention of Jack, Zoe threw her hands up in defense then thumbed over her shoulder at Talons of Rime. "We kept his kid alive this time! What's he got to be upset about?"

Dropping her hands back into her lap, Zoe shrugged her shoulders half heartedly. "As far as allies are concerned, your guess is as good as mine. Mal's umbral tactics may not fare well to be associated with spirit eaters like us. I know Red Oath won't turn us away though. We haven't done anything to jeopardize her interests. McLeod hasn't expressed any reason why he wouldn't work with us in the future, has he?"

Zoe smiled reassuringly as Mocks-the-Night. "Perhaps you are overreacting. I agree our new stigma as ones who eat spirits would not contribute positively to a new caern, but I believe you are too hasty to believe that all of our former allies will forsake us due to what happened in Akna's realm."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Fri 29 Aug 2014, 15:59

Mocks gives Zoe a hard stare .
"I could be overreacting. I accept that, but you have to accept the chance I am right. Roaring Jack gave us a cold reception after San Antonio, you think this helps our case? Talons of Rime was sent to get us and take us back to the war effort. Instead we fought back, convinced her to stay and destroy Akna, possibly build a caern. A caern which more than likely will end up in the hands of The Red Talons. That dear sister I believe sums up what Jack has to be upset about."

He pauses and stares out.

"McLeod will probably still help us out when needed. Possibly more out of pity though. If anyone knows what it is to be shunned...well it's the Gnawers. Mal may still be able to help us even though we can't be his spirit warriors. Perhaps he can give us info. What spirits we should really avoid summoning. If any would be okay with how we handled the situation. Surely the spirits knew the threat we have destroyed... Maybe Mal has heard stories of Garou removing this curse. Or maybe he has a vision of us breaking the curse and can point us in the right direction. I don't know. He is wise ...He may be able to help. It is worth a shot. Nacogdoches might be safe. They were planning on expanding and growing soon though. That takes spirits...we could be a hindrance there. Again I could be wrong, I sincerely would like to be. But best worse case scenario they let us all walk away alive..."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Fri 29 Aug 2014, 18:03

"Whoa whoa whoa! Now I know you're overreacting."

Zoe stood up and began pacing as she spoke, her frustration growing apparent.

"Sure the others may have reason to be pissed at us for one reason or another, but you tell me one justification they have for killing any one of us. Destroy the Wyrm wherever it dwells, right? That's what we did. We took care of the Skin Ripper problem at the source. It was messy, I'll give you that, but like you said, the Storm Eater didn't give us another option except to let her escape and regenerate yet again elsewhere."

Zoe stopped midstride and exhaled as a damning thought occurred to her.

"My papa saw us, all of us, in our war form. The veil was beyond torn at that point. Shrike demanded that I leave him behind and let him die in Akna's realm, but I stood my ground and defended him - a human - to a Red Talon."

She slowly turned to Mocks, concern and distress apparent on her weary face.

"Would the Litany require the death of my father to repair the Veil?"
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Fri 29 Aug 2014, 18:56

Kefka sucked on the inside of his cheek to refrain from interrupting his packmate, when she is finished he spits on the ground and starts talking rapidly.

"Again I say I may be overreactin'. But Damn it, That's my job. I think what you all don't so we ain't caught unprepared. I think of the worst case scenarios and do my best to steer us away from those however I can. I don't want to be right, but until proven wrong I have to continue thinking I may be."

He takes a deep breath and slows down slightly.

"As for your Papa. I think his showing up saved the day, but may have damned us as well. I still like the guy mind ya. But look. He knew you. That was made clear. How did he know where you were? How did he even get to where ever it is we were? Why was he so well prepared to fight? If Akna and The StormEater weren't there who would he have pointed those guns at? These are the questions the rest others are probably asking. It's gonna look like we planned this out and kept it secret from the rest of the Garou. Unless we have answers or can think of some besides "well he is a mage", we are going to be in trouble. I don't know if they can claim litany violation on us though...I ain't the philadox. It definitely paints us untrustworthy though."

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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Fri 29 Aug 2014, 19:20

Zoe lowered her eyes to the ground and spoke softly.

"I am sorry, brother. You are right. Whether your fears come to fruition or not we must consider all the possible outcomes."

She sucked on her lips then looked up at the Ragabash with troubled determination.

"Unfortunately, bad reputation or good, we have a promise to fulfill to Noir Kaermode. We promised him this caern and the more Garou present the more likely it is a caern will be formed. Regardless of which Garou become keepers of this caern, we owe it to Kaermode to see this caern creation through to completion."

The young Theurge shook her head in disappointment. "If we receive any discipline for my father showing up in there, I will take full responsibility. He said he was there looking for me and I defended him being there to Shrike. I will not let the rest of you take the blame for that. Yes, he bought us time with the Storm Eater and even helped to end Akna, but most of the Talons were stupified by Akna's books, so all they would likely remember is the ape who made a sudden appearance in a spirit realm, not the benefits he brought with him."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Sat 30 Aug 2014, 01:07

"You ain't facing anything alone. We is in a pack so we don't got to be alone."

Mocks gives Zoe a genuine smile.

"I helped you stand up to Shrike remember? I think the 3 of us could have taken him if it needed be done."

He chuckles and sighs as a grim look again crosses his face.

"Lunestalker... we said we needed Kaermode to beat Akna. That is finished. She will be coming for him. That was the deal we made with her. That will be a problem as well."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Sat 30 Aug 2014, 09:46

At the mention of Lunestalker, Zoe grimaced and cursed.

"I had completely forgotten about her. What exactly did we promise her concerning him? To let her try her hand at healing and restoring him to his former state? I suppose the fear of him taking back the Camino Real caern won't be an issue if he has a place here, but dealing with Lune still makes me nervous."

Zoe slowly sat to the ground across from Mocks the Night, her brown hair a tangled mess and her eyes betraying her equally as convoluted thoughts.

"Lunestalker taught me every thing I know about being Theurge. She was my mentor when I came to Nacogdoches, knowing nothing at all of the Garou ways. So I feel a loyalty to her, but at the same time, she doesn't feel like herself. The Abyss has clearly changed her, but I don't know if she can be restored...or if she should be."

She smiled half-heartedly at her brother. "I wanted to thank you for standing up against Shrike with me. He wasn't wrong to insist that we not take him along, back to the gathered Garou. If nothing else, I don't know how well he would have fared against the packs of Red Talons. I guess I'll talk to Zas to see what the Litany says about all that."

Zoe smiled wistfully as her thought traveled back to the armor-clad mage. "It was really nice to see him, though."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Sun 31 Aug 2014, 11:31

"What we said was we needed Kaermode as a death bear to fight Akna, after that she could do as she pleased. Regardless if we want to or not...we have to see her again. Perhaps we can talk her out of it, explain to her that Kaermode seems to be recovering on his own slowly just by being in the living world, or if she still wants to fight we could try a delay tactic about how Kearmode is to weak to fight right now. Of course her plan could have been weakening Kaermode and thus Mangai's grip on him, that way she would have an easier way of winning the fight. As long as Kaermode is set up as the guardian of the caern here we have no need to worry, our deal is fulfilled with him. We can leave and Lunstalker can do as she pleases. If something happens to Kearmode and we happen to be gone they can't really incriminate us. It won't be our problem. I am sure they would blame us anyway but I don't really give a damn."

Kefka ends his ramble and runs a hand through his hair.

"How could I not stand beside you Zoe? You would have done the same for me."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Sun 31 Aug 2014, 12:05

Zoe nodded silently while Mocks spoke. When he asked his question, she remained quiet for a solid minute, clearly processing thoughts and deciding on the best choice of words. When she speaks, her words are certain but her voice almost shakes with a combination of sadness and bitterness.

"You guys have been incredibly loyal and dependable for the duration of our time together, but...I have a knack for finding myself abandoned by the ones I thought I could trust..."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Sun 31 Aug 2014, 12:39

Mocks walked over to Zoe and gives her a hug.

"Listen. The only thing going to make me leave this pack is death itself. You have brothers now. I don't think you understand how vital you are to this pack. We would all lay down our lives for you. You are the heart of this pack Zoe."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Sun 31 Aug 2014, 22:55

Zoe leaned into her brother's hug and smiled.

"Thanks, friend."

When he released her, she cocked her head to the side quizzically.

"Now when you say 'heart' of this pack, do you mean the emotional center from whence gut instincts and irrational desires arise or the organ from which the lifeblood of the pack is pumped to the rest of the organism? It's an important distinction."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Tue 02 Sep 2014, 19:08

Mocks mimics her quizzical look before speaking.

"I more meant the weak squishy part we stronger parts protect."

He laughs and braces himself to be walloped.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Tue 02 Sep 2014, 19:27

Zoe gives him the expected punches to the shoulder and laughs. "Honestly, I'm alright with that. Even Garou women like to feel protected."

She smirks but her eyes become sad and distant.

"Harriet and Jana are lucky to have you and Eaton looking out for them and your children. I won't ever have that, you know? If I ever do mate, I'll be expected to carry on the role of Gaia's warrior while my weaker human counterpoint raises our child. I don't see how a Garou woman can ever feel protected by a kinfolk."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Tue 02 Sep 2014, 21:24

Mocks struggles to find his words before speaking.

"Well...uh you could always continue to be a child of Coyote make bad choices and made with another Garou."

He snorts.

"That can't be worse than what we just did to Akna."

He sighs.

"Between you and me I think if Rends were a kinfolk he could still take me... same as every Garou has strengths and weaknesses every kinfolk does too. So you could find someone to bash heads in like Rends, or you can find a kinfolk who has the brains to match yours. He might not be able to protect you physically he could help you be safer with inventions. Protection is more than bleeding for another person."
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PostSubject: Re: Questions Got to be Free   Tue 02 Sep 2014, 21:53

Zoe laughs aloud and it feels good. The sound almost feels wrong in the context of their current situation, but Zoe couldn't care less.

"As if being cursed spirit slayers was not enough, let's add Litany-breaking Metis-bearer to our pack's list of good deeds."

Mocks' closing words bring Zoe a great deal of comfort and encouragement.

"You're right, friend, and it really bothers me how many times I've said that to you lately. You haven't been using your Ragabash gifts on me, have you?"

She gives him a stern yet playful look.

"But in all seriousness, I suppose I can either go out in search of a strong and/or intellectual kinfolk man, or I can wait for Gaia to send one my way. Either way I should give kinfolk more credit. They do share our Garou blood, just not our Garou abilities."

Zoe grins a childlike grin that brightens her whole face. "I really can't wait to get back to Nacogdoches to meet yours and Eaton's children - I mean - your child and Eaton's child - not that you have children together."
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