[personal profile] kiananlogs
Saturday, 4 February 2017
The moon is in the waxing Half (Philodox) Moon phase (56% full).

There is the crunch of footsteps on gravel on the path from the Fury's driveway, and a little bit thereafter a knock on the front door follows, just one, quiet and not at all forceful.

It takes a moment for there to be any sound at the door. Instead, there's the sound of footsteps coming in from behind Yael, 'out of nowhere' enough that it seems like an announcement in and of itself. A 'hey there, don't freak out, but I'm right behind you', as further evidenced by a lanky black and silver wolf sitting rather placidly near the front gates. She cants her head, posture and manner visibly curious and non-threatening.

Yael shoulders her pack a little bit and draws the headscarf back from her face so it falls to her shoulders, and raises one brow in a slightly querying expression. "Good evening," the philodox offers, her brows furrowing in a moment of concentration, followed by a slight smile. "I bear a message to this house from Karla Stares-Down-the-Enemy of your tribe, but it's neither important nor urgent." The words carry a soft lilt in English, an accent marking the woman as decidedly foreign even if her appearance and dress didn't do so.

The wolf takes a couple steps forward, then raises to her feet, the woman in her place appearing just as curious as her lupine variant. "I'd heard we should be expecting company," she says. "Just didn't know when you'd arrive." She approaches, then, offering an easy smile that contradicts the stealth approach that was made. "Monica Turner," she says, offering her hand once she's within range. "Hides-in-Whisper, Fostern Ragabash of the Black Furies, and elder to the tribe. I'm the Sisterhood contact you've heard all of jack squat about, I'm sure." This, added with a grin. She nods to the door, then, "Come on in," offered, the Strider bypassed to open the house up, and gesture for her to step inside.

Yael returns the offered handshake, firm but brief. "I am Shai-Nefer," she says, nodding. "I've had more well, specific, directions than this set that's for certain. Otherwise known as Yael Lender, or you can call me YL, I don't mind," she continues as she steps in, "Gathers-Strength-to-the-Trials and adren and half-moon of the Silent Striders." A few steps in past the door and the Strider sheds her backpack, setting it down against a wall and bending to unlace and slip off her shoes, and her headscarf follows, lifted over her shoulders and set on top of the backpack.

"It's a pleasure," Monica says, with what seems like genuine sincerity. Hard to tell with these shifty types! "I don't get a chance to rub elbows with too many Striders these days. Not a whole lot of them in the Midwest, and a chronic lack of 'em here." She nods towards the couch, then, gesturing in that direction. "Sorry for the odd introduction, by the way," she says. "Politics happened. I like to make sure anyone looking that intent to reach us gets a good once-over before I make up my mind to say 'hi.'" Beat. "You want something to drink, by the way? Anything to eat?"

"I would love that," Yael responds, with a smile. "Food, maybe tea, anything of the sort. I think my last good meal was probably yesterday…" She shrugs her shoulder and walks over towards the couch, flopping on to it. "And I suppose that means I have you at a slight disadvantage, as I've grown up around your tribe almost as much as mine at least while I was amongst the Nation." She purses her lips. "Lack? I guess that means I'll likely be staying longer than anticipated."

"Yesterday?" Monica's brows raise. "Seems like we should remedy that." She makes her way towards the kitchen, gesturing towards the solitary table as she goes in case Yael wants to take a seat. "I hope I'm not being untoward," she says, then, "or like I'm making too many assumptions, but it's always better to ask— does the food need to be halal?" She opens the fridge. "I've got a friend— a Fury— back home who still eats kosher," is amended by way of explanation. "She's non-practicing, but, at this point, it's just a force of habit."

The response is a gracious shake of her head, followed by an appreciative nod. "I appreciate it," she says, "but no, it's not necessary. Though I do try not to eat pork, because I'm not used to it, but I'm also not actually very picky." She grins. "We kept kosher growing up, but I learned very quickly after my change that we ate what food was offered to us in whatever community." There's a moment of pause and Yael glances over towards her pack, and her headscarf, and her mouth forms into an 'oh' shape, followed by a brief giggle. "Probably the same force of habit as to why I wear a scarf and dress by the principles of hijab even though I'm not actually— well, at this point I'm Garou first and foremost anyway— outside of Israel, it is easier to go about as a woman, by yourself, with your hair covered. And then eventually it just became habit and I am used to wearing it."

Monica nods, not seeming to be too down on herself for the assumption, but she at least offers an apologetic smile. "Like I said, I prefer to ask," she says, opening the fridge to rummage through. She pulls out two wrapped items, both of which have a nice mix of garlic and various spices on top of the tell-tale whiff of freshly cooked venison. Should there be any reaction, the Fury gives a facetious 'shh' gesture. Wouldn't want the boys to know the Furies are decent cooks, now would we? One of the cuts is unwrapped, and she says, "You originally from Israel, then?" the meat shuffled onto a broiler pan as the oven is switched on. No microwaving, kills the flavor. "Oh— and I'm afraid I'm not really stocked up on tea. I think Karin had the last of it." Beat. "Karin— Avenges-the-Past," she explains. "A Galliard. You'll run into her eventually if you end up sticking around."

Yael leans against the frame of the doorway to the kitchen and watches the Fury get the food out, an appreciative grin soon settling into her expression. "That looks amazing," she says, "especially after a week of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And that's okay, water will be fine. Maybe I will be able to find a market in town where I can get tea, at some point." There is a nod. "A small sept, in the north of Israel, is the only sept on that side of K— of Egypt," Yael corrects herself and continues, "although I was rited and completed my rank challenges at a bigger sept, in Morocco. And travelled a lot, but I guess that goes without saying."

The sudden halt and self-correction earns a curious tilt of Monica's head once the meat is placed into the oven to broil, the lid closed. She did say she wasn't particularly well-versed when it came to Striders. "Never been, personally," she says. "Only ever been to Canada and Mexico, if I'm being honest." A lopsided smile, at that. "Traveled to septs outside the continent, sometimes, but only ever to the sept itself. Makes me the least well-traveled of the Sisterhood, so far as I know." She turns, then, fetching a couple glasses from the cupboard.

"You know," she says, "if you'd like something stronger to go with that water, there's always cocktails." She smirks. "Not sure how much of a drinker you are, but I've always been partial to a mixer or two after a long day's travel."

Yael snickers a little bit at the first bit, and nods. "Until now, I had been to Africa and Europe, but never North America, and so far I've only been through three states here," she tilts her head to one side, "and they all looked so much the same to me." The adren tilts her head to one side. "Not a big one, usually," she admits, "but it's been a long walk and the moon is being a— how do you say it?" She purses her lips and shrugs, muttering something in what sounds like Arabic. "Also, I do in fact have a message for you, but not one that can be delivered aloud."

"Start heading east," Monica replies, "the whole landscape starts to look a lot different." She offers an amused smile. "And I think the phrase you're looking for is 'a bitch.'" The smile widens. "Your face broke the language barrier." She opens one of the cupboards, and starts withdrawing from what looks like a wide range of alcohol, most of which has been stocked in order of least expensive to most, likely for the sake of what counts as a mixer, and what doesn't. She goes for midrange with a bottle of gin, and pulls a couple ginger beers from the fridge, as well as what looks like lime juice, and a bottle of dry vermouth. "Any way you want to deliver the message is fine by me, by the way," she says. "You've been vouched for, several times over. In fact," she reaches into the cupboard again to pull out a metal mixer, "if you need a place to crash, we've got some spare rooms you can use."

The philodox offers a wry smile and says, aloud, "Well, I warned you," she says, waiting at least until Monica's hands aren't full of anything glassware before she continues, but when the Fury hears the Strider's voice again, it's not aloud. Some people react badly to mental speech, she 'says', so I find that if time is not of the essence, I warn people first. Gauging the other's reaction, she continues, I was bid to tell you that the coming confrontations will require things you will not be counting on and that there is hope you have found something worth looking for. She finishes the message, and shrugs her shoulders. "Once again, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm sure soon I will miss sleeping under the stars, but right now what I have missed is a bed, and pillows, and not being rained on. It rains a LOT here."

Monica's expression doesn't actually change that much, but, to someone who knows what's going on, it's hard to miss the look of someone struck with a terrible, sinking feeling in their gut. For what isn't surprise so much as a kind of creeping horror (such horrible timing, goodness!), though, she's doing a damn good job of projecting an otherwise calm exterior. The observant sort would notice the slightest furrow in her brow, and a tightening of her shoulders, until she seems to identify Yael's voice. She looks over at the Adren, and seems to mute the response, at least— up to and including any defensive, or indignant reflexes, her rage bitten back.

With that done, she just listens, the Strider given a nod of acknowledgement, signaling that it's all right to continue. Her brow furrows subtly once Yael does, of course, the resonance of it decidedly foreign to her— and a bit troubling, still— but she listens to the message and the furrow only deepens. She seems to know what it means, at least, and looks just a little troubled by it, but shakes it off, offering another nod of acknowledgement, and moving on to pour liquor and vermouth out into the mixer, as well as the lime juice. Ice goes in after. "There's a perfectly nice lawn out back," she says, then, seeming perfectly all right with moving the conversation forward. "Or— courtyard, I guess." She offers a lopsided smile, more halting than perhaps intended, but she's easing up a little. From… whatever that was. "I'm still getting used to how ritzy this place is."

And in return, Yael watches Monica's response and reactions closely, for all that she doesn't move from leaning against the doorway. There's an slight shift of her weight to her feet, a slight increased readiness and guard while the message is delivered. The younger woman, for all of her youth, holds herself with a calm and poise indicative of her rank, and a nearly unflappable expression of her own. Whatever she is expecting however does not happen and after the last nod of acknowledgement Yael leans back against the door frame again.

Then finally she nods once as well. "Now that the business is out of the way," she says, easily enough. "It is a very nice house, from what I have seen so far. It reminds me of a Silver Fang manor I once visited, although the hospitality is much more good than that time."

Monica never quite seems on the verge of a meltdown, to be sure— if anything, the flash of rage had more to do with… well, god only knows what than the Adren herself, but she seems to be pretty quick to rebound. She takes a moment to mix up the cocktail with the ice, the rattling making speaking less of an option (and giving her a moment to calm down the rest of the way), and, with that done, starts to measure out the ginger beer in both glasses, until each one is filled up about half way.

"I'd certainly hope so," she says in response, uncapping the mixer to start straining out the contents. "Haven't had the 'pleasure' of dealing with many Fangs, either, but the ones I have weren't what I'd call 'my kinda people.' Tell plenty of interesting stories, though, once you get 'em talking."

There is a snort of laughter in response. "If they'll even talk to you!" Yael says, shaking her head. "Of course, this was years ago, at the end of my cubhood and I'd just spent a month walking through France, I probably looked like a migrant more than a messenger. Most of the time now, I try to at least wash up a bit before presenting myself to that sort."

That said, Yael does go and take a seat at one of the chairs next to the table, leaning on the table slightly. "So this is Washington. I already talked to one of the Guardians, on my way here. What is the closest city? What is the sept like? Who is in charge? I'm afraid I'm actually a little out of touch with the manners and politics thing. I spent a lot of time in Africa among the Ahadi, which might have been why I got given this message run, for a change of pace and scenery and to make me interact with wolves again."

"Only ever heard bits and pieces about the Ahadi," Monica replies, topping off both glasses with some icecubes, and bringing one of them over to the table. She retreats back to the counter after a glance is shot at the oven to see what the timer's doing, and she reaches over the sink to nudge open a window, the pack of cigarettes pulled out of her pocket giving reason for why. Lighting up, she breathes the first plume to the side so it goes more out the window than anything, and lightly ashes it into the sink. "Sounded— pretty incredible from stories I'd heard, actually," she admits. "Born out of a raw deal, sure, but…"

She takes up her drink, then, for a sip. It's one of those not-too-sweet, generally-pleasant, and not overwhelmingly gin mixers that's quite nice, the cocktail tinged slightly reddish from a dash of bitters that got snuck in somewhere along the line. "As for the sept, the closest city is St. Claire," at which point she goes into some more details about the city itself, which she'd know better than the player. Oops. "Alpha's Thane Armitage. A Shadow Lord. Consumes-the-Shadows-of-His-Enemies. The Warder is a Child of Gaia named Alicia. And the politics…" She pauses. "The politics are strange. And a bit hair-raising, at times."

"It's very… different," Yael eventually settles on, tracing the rim of the glass with her finger and turning her attention to it for a moment. She raises the glass to take a sip, next, and swallows carefully, not sputtering but it's clear that if she does have vices, alcohol is not one of them and not something she's used to. "I mean, for the most part, it is a day to day fight to survive just like everywhere else. Sometimes more, sometimes less."

Another cautious sip of the drink follows, and Yael purses her lips. "That is… a lot of tribes in one place. Shadow Lords, the Get, a Child of Gaia, Furies." She furrows her brow a little bit. "A lot of working together to do and from the way you say that, I have a pretty good idea."

"Add a Mage into the mix and you've got dynamite, yeah," Monica says, her brow furrowing slightly, the look serving in contrast to the faint amusement at the care being taken in taste-testing the alcohol. "Most of the 'let's all hold hands' vibe has to do with necessity, though. Wasn't until recently that we had two major threats on our hands, and, so far, only one of them's been dealt with. The other one's—" Beat. "Well. We're getting to it, I guess," she says, shrugging. "There's not much to be done until we go consult a rock for some advice, though." She raises her own drink to take a sip at it. "Which," she says, nudging herself off the counter to look at the timer again, the oven door opened to peek inside, the smell wafting out from it likely just short of heavenly to anyone who hasn't had fresh meat in some time, "is a long story in and of itself."

Yael drums her fingers on the table, and raises her eyebrows more than slightly when Monica says the word mage. "There's a mage here?" she asks, although the tone of her voice has not shifted from level. The inflection, however, lends to the fact that the Strider might be slightly incredulous. "A human mage. Not just one of the humans who can do a few things that are touched with spirit, but a full-out mage." Apparently, this is enough of a thing to warrant her taking another sip of the drink, and a bigger one at that.

"I've often lamented the fact that nothing in the litany obligates cooperation with each other, and that those who are being—" There's that language barrier again, and the philodox thinks for a moment before continuing, "stupid about it are too often breaking no law, and too often listen to no guidance."

Monica's expression sours slightly as she nods to the question regarding the Mage, though she prefers instead to sip her own drink than offer an immediate response. Another hit is taken off of her cigarette, and it's ashed again into the sink, the tap left alone until such time as the ashes need to be washed down. "Fairly certain the Litany came into being when we were all 'one tribe,'" she says. "And god only knows what that was like. After that, the words get codified, and, unlike the constitution, there's no such thing as offering amendments." Beat. "Not that the Constitution counts for much these days," is added with a bit of a dry tone, but, then, there's little doubt Yael of all people is painfully aware of what's couched in that sentiment.

"But yes," she says, "a full-on Mage. One that's apparently helped out the sept for going on fifteen years now, without ever having revealed his identity to more than a handful of people. Calls himself 'Brings-the-Pack,' which is about as arrogant a name as I can think of, off the top of my head. Walks around the place as a big cougar." Beat. "He petitioned Thane for territory recently, and Thane agreed." This, put forward with no opinion of her own, though one doesn't really need to wonder what that opinion is. She'll, instead, wait for a Philodox's take on it.

"Has he asked ever asked an actual cougar what they think of his 'disguise'?" Yael says, first, shaking her head in what has subsided into apparently only moderate disbelief. And instead of continuing, for the moment the adren picks up her drink and takes another sip— back to the moderate, careful sips now— while she waits for the answer.

Monica smirks. "You'd think I'd've thought to ask that question, myself, by now," she says. "Pretty sure most of them don't speak in perfect English, though— and I have my doubts as to whether or not he's up to speed on their language, either."

"Maybe I'll ask him, when I get the chance," Yael muses. "In any case, the thing that bothers me the most," which would imply that there's at least a few other things in the circumstance that bother her that she isn't getting into yet, "with that, is that a lie of omission is still a lie. There are times where perhaps information should not be shared freely and far, but even at that point, you should not lie about it."

She leans halfway back, lifting the front feet of the chair off of the ground. Carefully though as to not break the chair or end up on the floor behind her. "And the willingness and ease with which someone tells one lie begets the lies that they will tell in the future. Is this mage capable of tending a piece of land? Does he honor Gaian spirits? What does he intend to do with it, and why does he want it in the first place?" Clearly, Yael is offering more questions at the moment than answers.

Given the way Monica raises her drink and tilts it just-so, that's precisely her problem with it, as well. As for the rest— "According to the Alpha," she says, the words chosen deliberately, "the caern's totem spirits have spoken in his favor. I can't corroborate, obviously. I don't have the 'ear' for it." Sip. "It wasn't a fact I was even aware of, which— honestly, you think would've come up once or twice, given the number of times I'd asked about it." She pauses. "I've made it clear the local Furies won't support the offer," she says, "which is about the best I can manage. He wants to speak with me about it, see what my problem with it is, but I was pretty clear on the 'what' when I brought it up initially. Either way, the rest of those questions?" She shakes her head. "Didn't get much of an answer. And I don't know enough about Mages to say, one way or another."

The Strider nods, and lets the chair back down to the ground, in order to push at her brow slightly with the hand that doesn't hold the drink. "I see that in general I've got something to look into while I am here," the younger woman states, though her tone has reverted to a more professional neutral as to the offer to look into it, before she continues. "I would take him up on that conversation, though. We are… Garou are prideful creatures," Yael says, "but it stands to reason that this mage might have his pride he is trying to keep intact as well, and that being called out in front of many people was a wound to his ego? In private he might listen more, or at least both sides will get to say their piece."

She continues, "But reconciling differing belief systems into a solution that is acceptable to all parties is a little bit one of my specialties. I have never met a mage before, though." There is a slightly bitter laugh that follows, "Here I am coming from Africa and thinking I can impose African thinking and order and cooperation onto something in America, when usually too much it is people from America come to Africa and try to impose their 'civilisation' on us."

Monica can't help but smile a bit, in turn, her brows lifting subtly as she takes another sip at her own drink. It's set aside, and the cigarette is pinched off, the sink run for a moment or two before the short is placed back in her pack. The meat - finished now, presumably - is taken out of the oven, and set aside to cool for a moment as she gets a plate ready.

"Honestly," she says, "given how crazy this place is, imposing a different set of rules probably wouldn't hurt," a knife placed on the plate, the fork used to spear the venison and lift it onto the plate. Smells like it's been marinating for a while in whatever it is she used to prep. Taking up her own drink, she brings both it, and the venison over to the table, setting the plate down for Yael, and seating herself nearby. "I mean, it's clear the old ones aren't working out." She shrugs. "Either way," she says, "he's due to stop by here whenever I give the signal. If you'd like to be around for it, get to know the guy, you're welcome to do so. Figure it'll be the easiest method you'll have of getting as much information as you can in one sitting."

The Strider is significantly distracted from whatever she was going to say by the food, nodding a few times and picking up the fork and knife to cut the meat into chunks sizable to eat more easily. "This smells amazing," she says,murmuring something under her breath before beginning to eat. A few bites later, she nods. "Serve Gaia. Help each other. Cooperate. Respect each other." She grins, and then nods. "There's a longer form of it but that's basically what it all boils down to. Assuming I'm here, I'd happily sit in on that. I still need to check in with the Warder and the Alpha, at some point soon, find out if they want anything from me while I am here."

Monica can't help a small, self-congratulatory smile at the compliment, but, again, shh. If anyone asks, she's a terrible cook. "Anxious to get back?" she says. "Or just to keep moving?"

Yael shakes her head. "Not particularly, but it's the pattern of things, inevitable," she points out. "And if I had once harboured illusions of walking across the United States, well…" There's a disgruntled snort, "I certainly don't anymore."

Monica mn's, that smile fading slightly. "Well," she says, "on the bright side, don't have far to walk to hit Canada. Way I hear it, it's getting a lot warmer these days." Bit a dry aside, but a potentially depressing one, so— moving on.

Presumably, there's chatter back and forth about the sept in general. Recent events, the Queen's Tower, and the like. Monica will undoubtedly ask more questions about the Ahadi, and the various Fera that are members of it (with a noted interest in some of the various breeds of Bastet, with some stories exchanged about her own occasional dealings with Pumonca and the all of one run-in with a Qualmi). Past that, the room situation is figured out, and, lo and behold, there is indeed a furnished room with a twin bed, crisp sheets, and a lone dresser that looks in need of repair. The house is still under some minor renovations, it seems, with Monica as the solitary handyman.

Still, it's a roof. It's warm. It's got a nice fireplace, and, apparently, a decent chef hanging around. Add in the minibar, and it's got all the makings of a kick-ass AirBnB.
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Kianan Rowan Abrams

July 2017

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