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 The Forked Path

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Rends the Gar

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Join date : 2013-08-29

PostSubject: The Forked Path   Mon 28 Nov 2016, 23:55

Chill predawn mist lay thick on the air, muting the lapping waves where Rends the Gar stood his lonely vigil. He sat in the sand, long coat fanned out behind him and wide brimmed hat casting a lopsided shadow over his face. His fists were clenched tight and he spoke in a whisper, though there was nobody nearby to hear save Zas-Bul alone in his own torment.

"What did you jest say?"

Across from him Omega's eyes glowed fiercely. The whorling patterns of color swirled and danced in the fog, casting dancing patterns up into the air with their alien colors. The fleshless skull seemed almost to be smiling.

"You wanted options. I have presented the only two that have any chance of producing desirable results."

"Ain't neither of them ideas gonna happen!"

Omega sighed, eyes flashing pale green for a moment.

"Your reaction is expected. Will you allow me to explain my rationale before throwing out my suggestions out of hand? I now have somewhat of a better grasp on your situation after our talks and more observation, and you would do well to at least listen to my input."

Rends hesitated before stuffing his pipe and striking it alight. Once he'd taken a couple of calming drags, he nodded to the Ambition spirit. Omega took his cue, and above him the mist and lights from his patterns blended and mixed to show ghostly images moving above him as he spoke.

"You find yourself at an impasse. Not only have your recent actions cost you standing among the Get of Fenris, but whether or not your pack is successful in their errand for Robert it will only serve to elevate him further while casting you lower still. Your next move will determine what options are later available to you, and when you will be able to make your play."

The images above Omega resolved into likenesses of Rends and Robert, standing nose to nose and glaring at one another.

"First, you might continue much as you have been. Call Robert out on every perceived mistake. Question his authority at every opportunity. Exchange verbal barbs until you are of sufficient rank to issue a formal challenge, then escalate the issue to a formal duel."

The two forms warped into their War Skins and tore into one another with reckless abandon while phantasmic Garou cheered them on. They disolved into mist.

"Possible outcomes: you may prod Robert into making some critical mistake and exposing a weakness which can then be exploited. By undermining his authority you may win over more support within your own Tribe, thereby making any future plays for power easier to make. There is also a great chance of alienating your Tribesmen. You could be percieved as weak yourself; a beaten rival who refuses to accept his betters out of petty selfishness. Robert may also decide to take more decisive action against you, and you will not be able to take action directly agaist him. Exile is possible, as well as crippling you or quiet execution."

The colors swirled again, resolving into a proud Robert standing with arms crossed, and Rends the Gar kneeling before him with his hat doffed. A quiet snarl escaped the real Rends' lips at the sight. Omega continued as though there was no interruption.

"Your other option is to embrace the path that the Pattern has placed you on. Accept Robert as the Eldest, support his leadership, and dedicate yourself to propping up his reign earnestly and enthusiastically. Ingratiate yourself to his court. Don't merely play the political games, give him your support because it is his right as Eldest and be a model of your kind. And wait."

His eyes flashed a chilly blue and his voice dropped to a hungry whisper. Above him, the figures stood together, shook hands, and the misty Rends took his place at Robert's right hand before fading away.

"Watch him. Make yourself his most trusted ally. See where he makes his moves and where his designs lie. Then, the moment he betrays any sign of weakness; the very second he falters or stumbles you will be right there to cast him down and extract your revenge. But it will not be seen as revenge. It will be seen as justice metted out swiftly and righteously. In one moment you will throw him down and cement your own rule without the possibility of question."

The hungry light faded back to Omega's normal facade as the ambient light returned to normal.

"Of course there is the possibility that he will not betray such weakness for many years. You will also inevitably give him much credibility by joining over to his side after being his most outspoken opponent since the start of his reign."

"Damn right! Not to mention it ain't gonna fuckin' happen! He's a murderin', greedy son of a bitch!"

"And by the laws of your own people, he is in his position by your god's will. Who are you to question god?"

Rends' jaw snapped shut, snapping his pipe stem. Omega stared back at him as the green light swelled again.

"Whether the challenge where he won his current title was perfectly fair or not is immaterial. He abided by the ancient customs and struck down the Eldest before witnesses. The legitimacy of his reign cannot be questioned. So you stop questioning it. You embrace the Spirit's chosen leader. Instead of making your move first, give him the rope and watch him hang himself!"

Rends shook his head, taking the splintered pipe out of his mouth and considering them. After a moment he pulled the stem free and threw it away before replacing the intact bowl in a coat pocket.

"I jest cain't do it, Omega. On one hand I can keep doin' what ain't been workin'. On the other hand, I'd be humiliated and mocked fer as long as... well maybe forever."

Rends stared off through the mist as the gray light started to creep up over the unseen horizon. Omega was silent for a long moment.

"There is a third possible option."

Rends perked up.

"Really accept that Robert was right all along. Give up on revenge. Put your grudge in the past and focus on making a better future."

Rends stared at the skull until the sun's rays finally burned through the mist. The morning's light did nothing to brighten his eyes, though. He whispered a single word as he turned to meet the dawn, scarred face tormented...
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