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It is currently 06:34 Pacific Time on Fri Apr 20 2012.
Currently the moon is in the waning New (Ragabash) Moon phase (7% full).


Pickup on the second ring. There's birds chriping in the background. "Hello? Dalton speaking."

"It's Shelby," claims Shelby, or someone who sounds a lot like her. "You aren't waiting for me at the park, are you?"

The question elicits a bit of a pregnant pause. "I could be?" comes a hesitant, not-too-sure, feeling-for-context/hints response.

The Ragabash laughs. "No - I was actually calling to apologize for not being able to show up today. Had an accident last night and I'm in no shape for running for a day or two. But I did want to talk to you. Is now good, or do you want to meet for coffee somewhere?"

Confidence seems to have returned. "Either would do, but I hate doing /business/ business over the phone. It's too easy to listen in on things. I'm actually in the Kent Crossing vicinity, if you're somewhere in that area and know a place we can meet. But if it's not /business/ business, the phone is fine."

Shelby ums, thinking. "We could meet at Edgewood - you know where that is, right? I'm about fifteen minutes away from there."

Nicodemus replies, "I'm afraid I don't know where that is. If you could give me an address, I'll just plug it in to my GPS."

"Naughty Mouse," Shelby says, and gives an address. "If you want to go inside, go ahead, or you can wait for me in the yard. /Front/ yard - don't go in the back. See you soon."

Nicodemus corrects, "Busy Mouse." Then, "I'll meet you in the front yard."

Edgewood House: Meadow

Nicodemus is waiting in the front driveway, his canary yellow roadster parked with the rear to the house so he can watch the road. He's opted to stay in the car as the weather is chill and there's a light drizzle falling from the sky.

It's about a quarter of an hour after the call when Shelby pulls into the Edgewood driveway, her older BMW covered with a faint layer of road grime. She is, indeed, limping as she hurries from her car to Nick's; she gives him a bright smile and beckons toward the house before heading for the door.

Nicodemus clambers out of his car and scrambles to get inside before he melts in the rain.

Edgewood House: Downstairs

Shelby shifts into Glabro and blows out a breath as soon as the door is closed. "Fire hurts," she says wryly. "Living room's through here, and coffee fixings are in the kitchen." She doesn't immediately head for either.

Nicodemus manages to skip a step and hesitate as Shelby shifts from homid up into glabro. Apparently he hadn't been expecting that, and now he gives her a little more distance--just in case. He doesn't head to the kitchen or living room either, seeing as it's his first time here. "I'm good, thanks. And, yes, fire is unpleasant when applied directly." Humor? Maybe a little. "I imagine you'll be fine fairly soon though, yes?" He seems to have figured out the part about garou healing fairly rapidly.

There's some creaking from the second floor, heading towards the stairs. Apparently someone is awake and moving about.

Shelby grins down at the kin. "Day or two," she agrees, her head tilting toward the sound of those footsteps. "Down here!" she calls, and limps for the living room to drop with a groan onto the couch and put her injured leg up. "Give me a few and I can see about coffee. There might be something breakfast-y, as well. Have you eaten yet?"

Nicodemus seems to relax a little after piecing together that Shelby wasn't shifting in order to visit great bodily harm unto him. And then, as she settles onto the couch to relieve her injured leg, he offers, "Want me to make you some coffee? Your leg's hurt and all. But I should warn you that I tend to make it on the strong side. Cream? Sugar?" He starts moving towards the kitchen, pausing briefly to eyeball the information board and its posts.

Dirk presently makes himself known, as he appears on the stairs. Thump, thump. He's been outfitted with relatively flattering, modern clothes since the last time either Shelby or Nico have seem him. He's now just another normal guy! Until he opens his mouth. "Aye, so there just be two a' ye?" he asks, after noting them both, accent still thick as ever. "Ye both be doin' well, I pray." He nods towards Shelby with all due courtesy with respect to her position as Elder. His glance towards Nico is slightly more confounded. A very 'What are you doing here?' look.

"Oh, would you?" Shelby says, grateful. "I didn't want to impose, but if you're offering... And yes, a lot of cream and two sugars if you're making it strong. --Just the two of us," she adds to Dirk with a nod. "Well enough - had an accident with some fire yesterday." Which would explain why she's in Glabro. "Have you two met? Theodoric, this is Nicodemus Dalton, Glass Walker kin. Nicodemus, this is Theodoric Duncan, Fostern Galliard Silver Fang."

Nicodemus nods to Shelby. "Not a problem, and no imposition." He looks towards Dirk, apparently recognizing him despite the clothes--though it took him half a second. "You're the guy that fell out of the sky in Harbor Park last week. And are from a different time. Right?" He steps closer, offering his hand to shake. "Would you like a cup of coffee, too?"

Dirk's brow crinkles a little in an expressive concern for Shelby, though Nico grabs his attention with hand and offer. "Oh, aye," he says, offering the kin a firm, calloused handshake. "That'd be when the Wyld dropped me from the Umbra," he adds, trying to limit the thickness of his accent for everyone's benefit. "'Tis my pleasure t'be meetin' ye, Nicodemus Dalton."

"Coffee for everyone," Shelby agrees - or decides - with an airy flick of one hand. She doesn't move from her spot on the couch, though, taking up nearly its whole length with Glabro-long legs. "Dirk, I talked to one of my packmates about your problem. Hopefully he'll come hunt you up to talk about it, and then you can make decisions about staying or going."

"Just 'Nick,' please," Nicodemus says, inicating the informal is perfectly fine. "Hope the 21st Century hasn't been to rough on you." He heads off into the kitchen to make some coffee and let the two garou catch up.

Dirk begins to take a seat across from Shelby, nodding towards Nick as he does. "Nick, then," he amends. He leands back some, thoughtful, arms against the armrests. "'Tis been... full a' challenge," he admits. Though, before he has the opportunity to dip into the melancholy of memory, Shelby's news brightens him considerably. "'Tis a true possibility, then?"

Shelby shrugs, though 'rueful' doesn't really look the same on Neandertalish features. "Maybe? That's about all I can say. He said something about a... hole, I think? But it also sounded dangerous and unlikely to go where we wanted." After a moment she calls into the kitchen, "Coffee pot should be to the left of the fridge, beans in the freezer, and mugs over the sink."

Nicodemus goes about making coffee in the kitchen. There's a couple clinks of glass on glass or metal on glass, the hiss and pop of water being heated within the machine, and the sound of cupboards and drawers and fridge doors being opened as closed as he navigates about the business of making the beloved hot and bitter beverage.

"A hole?" Dirk echoes, glancing upwards to formulate the image in his mind of how this might work, ultimately shaking his head and dispelling the thought. "If he be a packmate a' yours, then I trust it be true. But. I nae be keen on the idea a' bein' lost in the Umbra again." Apparently, he has a lot to think about.

"No," she agrees whole-heartedly, and after a long moment to process the Scot's words, "I don't think you would. Or anyone would. But we can't make plans without information, and step one is you talking to Xander. --If Mouse or Zosia were available you could talk to one of them, but they aren't. So." Then, louder for Nick, "Are you finding everything?" She looks about ready to push off the couch and go help anyway.

Nicodemus seems to be fairly proficient in coffee-making. "No problems at all, though the decor in there? Wow. Very 1970s. Here we go." He reappears wielding three mugs among his two hands, stopping first by Shelby to allow her to collect the one that obviously has the most cream (and sugar) in it. The two remaining straight-up-black coffees look to be destined for the manly menfolk in the room.

Dirk tips his head concisely towards Shelby, apparently understanding well enough. He thanks Nick for the coffee as it is offered, taking a tentative sip before resting it against his knee, hand still around it. "I owe a debt t'all who be helpin', so if any a' them be needin' a thing, just tell them t'ask."

The front door creaks open and the sound of someone brushing off dirt from shoes can be heard. As voices carry to alert the Ahroun of inhabitants, she calls out a pre-emptive, "Heya, morning." Then she's stepping into the front room, all smiles and carefree as can be. It takes a moment, just a half-tick of one really, for her to double take and stand there with a look of confusion on her features. And while one might assume it's for the thickly accented Scots, her attention is set on Nicodemus, mouth dropped in total uncertainty.

Shelby settles back onto the couch as Nick returns. Her nose-wrinkle (and accompanying smile) of thanks really does look better on homid features, but she uses them all the same, and cradles the adulterated coffee to her chest. "Thanks. No point in remodeling when the house is full of Garou," she starts, only to crank her head about to see who's coming in. "Good morning - Emma, right? It's been a while."

Nicodemus looks towards Emma as she steps through the door, blinks, straightens, and utters, "You have got to be shitting me." He does, however, manage to not spill his coffee.

Dirk glances over his shoulder and tips his head towards Emma, obviously about to offer her a greeting... but respectfully deciding to abstain for the moment when it appears Nick and Emma have some history.

Emma casts a quick glance to Shelby, but is caught absolutely speechless. Her brows furrow slightly as she mentally works through the scenario, attention returning to Nick. That sense of cheerful at ease she entered with, is long gone now, and a tension enters her posture as her mouth clamps shut. She turns around and, with a shake of her head, is heading right back out the front door.

Shelby sits up a bit straighter in order to get a better look at the newcomer - and when Emma turns straight about she pushes off the couch entirely. "Emma? What's the matter?" At least she doesn't look like she's about to go chasing after the Ahroun - rather, she turns to Nick for answers.

John Smith, on his way in, almost crashes right into the departing Get, but manages to backpedal hastily enough to avoid collision. His blurted, "Hello!" is more exclamation than greeting.

Nicodemus, eyebrows raised in surprise, seems to be turning to Shelby for answers. "Emma is garou? Or kinfolk?" He acts as if he had absolutely no idea of this knowledge, even though he did.

This young man -- somewhere around twenty years old by the look of him -- appears taller than he actually is. It's not that he's short, perhaps a touch under the six-foot mark, but he's skinny and gangly and his clothes are just a bit too small, leaving his wrists and ankles exposed. To this is added a long neck, a long face, and a great shock of dark brownish auburn hair that piles up in an almost gravity-defying mass on the top of his head. His face is bony, with prominent cheekbones and nose, deep eyesockets, small brown eyes, thin lips, and almost no eyebrows to speak of; it's an unusual face, appealing in some ways and just weird in others. Definitely not what one would call conventionally handsome.

His clothing is that of a college professor with little money and no real fashion sense: dark trousers, shabby brown shoes, an off-white button-up Oxford shirt, and a tweedy brown blazer with patches on the elbows. He seems to have forgotten to put on socks, but his dark red bow tie is very neatly knotted.

"Garou," supplies Dirk, lifting a hand to the Talon in greeting. He decides sipping at his coffee might be the wisest course of action, presently.

Reluctantly Shelby sits again. Her attention remains upon the doorway and the newcomer, save for a single flick of eyes toward Dirk. "Family?" she asks of the stranger, shoulders graced with an invisible cloak of indigo and ermine.

John Smith has been craning his neck around to watch Emma go, eyes wide. He whips back around when Shelby speaks, takes the others in with a look and offers up a cheerful smile. "Hello. Yes, family! John Smith, Fostern Philodox of the Red Talons. Also known as Monkey-Brain, Talks-to-Apes, or Two-Leg-Wolf." His fingers twitch like they want to do something but are forced to just hang from his dangling hands.

Nicodemus eyes the doorway, the stranger, and waits until the newcomer identifies himself before speaking again with Shelby. "We'd been meeting in the park to work out for nearly half a year now, and had no idea." Wait a second. What the hell was that? "Monkey-Brain?"

"Aye, I met John Smith of the Talons when the new Fianna Firsted--Vari be her name," explains Dirk, glancing from Shelby, to Nick, then the Talon. "Y'seem very comfortable in the skin a' humans for a Talon. Be that the nature a' your name?"

With an 'ah' of understanding Shelby finally remembers to put up her injured leg again, though it means she must twist to keep John in sight. "Shelby Zaleski-Leveque, Fostern Ragabash and acting Elder of the Silver Fangs. Called Bright Eye Sees to the Heart of the Ambush. Come and sit?" In a lower voice, to Nick, she adds, "Red Talons are all lupus-born, and most hate humans."

John Smith ambles over to join the group. "Yes," he says, answering Dirk. "I am a member of the Whelp's Compromise, as my mother is." He must have caught Shelby's explanation to Nicodemus, because he looks to him as he elaborates. "We do not believe in the killing of humans and recognize that they, too, have a place with Gaia." His gaze bops back to Dirk. "Although most don't take things, ahh... very much as far as I do. I have studied them very extensively."

Nicodemus opts to simply purse his lips together and not add to Shelby's comments, but his facial features soften as more information is forthcoming. He sticks a hand up to wave mutedly. "Hi. I'm Nick Dalton. Kinfolk to the Glass Walkers. Thanks for recognizing I have a place with Gaia."

"Aye. Your English be quite clear," Dirk returns with a nod. "Cannae say I ever met a Talon who spoke as well as ye." Still though, he shifts a little uncomfortably about something, sipping at his coffee again. "Studied what, exactly?"

Nicodemus' phone goes off. He pulls it from a pocket, eyes a text message on the display, and curses under his breath. "Got to go. Business. Sorry. Shelby?" he says to her. "Give me a call later and we'll talk, okay?" He scoots for the door, giving the Talon an extra bit of room as he sneaks past, and heads out the front door. Shortly thereafter, the yellow Toyota MR2 parked out front starts up, hustles down the driveway, and disappears.

Shelby questions, "Vari?" but waves off further explanation. "Nick, I'll talk to you another time. But you might get a call from a kin of mine named Tristan. I suggested your name to him. --Hopefully he heard me," she adds with a shrug. To John, "Would it be easier if we shifted to lupus?"

"Everything," Smith says to Dirk. Then he scratches the back of his head and frowns. "Almost everything. But. Customs and language and behaviors." He's distracted briefly by Nicodemus leaving, but turns back after a moment to answer Shelby. "No, no, this is good practice."

Dirk also watches Nick go, half-done with his coffee by now, what with all the sipping he's doing. He regards the Talon with a wary interest, listening, respectful. But. "An' y'be intendin' t'use this information to... educate the rest of Griffin's own? Or somethin' else?"

"He is a Philodox," Shelby puts in, still studying the Talon. "--Forgive my nosiness, John, but do you speak any other languages? Human customs vary wildly depending on both language and location."

"To bring understanding," Smith tells Dirk, still standing. He unconsciously tugs at his bow tie, straightening it (not that it was especially crooked). "Teach humans, yes, but teach urrah about Talons, and teach Talons about urrah and humans." He frowns. "We are... more than our elders would have us be. Ah..." He considers Shelby's question. "No, not... no. It was a long time before I realized that humans have so many languages. Very confusing at first."

Dirk mulls this over for a moment. "'Tis a thing I can respect," he says at length, glancing up towards the Talon once more, coffee mug now held securely in both hands as the man leans forward. "Education begets wisdom an' understandin'. 'Tis an honorable path t'follow."

"I'm interested in learning more about both the Talons and wolf-born," the Ragabash says, nodding agreement along with Dirk's words. "I was raised as kin, so my education was limited. --It's not like anyone expected me to have anything to do with our wolf-kin, except perhaps send checks to support them," she adds, amused.

"Checks?" echoes Smith -- but this is a side note; he's clearly pleased with their reactions, especially Dirk's. "I will be happy to teach you," he tells Shelby.

The engine of a motorcycle rumbles briefly in the driveway, followed by heavy footsteps clip-clopping across the porch, and the front door of the house opening. Sue lingers in the mudroom a moment, but a small, reserved grin appears on his face when he comes into the living room, and he offers those present a deep nod of greeting. "Hi there," and then Sue makes his way over to a chair. Noticeably absent, perhaps, is the hiking pole he's had. Additionally noticeable, perhaps, is that the ankle-high boots the metis is wearing are fashioned to look a lot like hooves, complete with horseshoes on the bottom.

"T'was always known I was t'be Garou," Dirk states in Shelby's wake, lightly shaking his mug so the dark liquid swirls within. "So I be sent to learnin' early. A' the tribes, e'en the Talons. Wolfkin an' the like. But t'was all from tribes a' Falcon, Stag, and the Fenrir, an' none from Griffon's ilk. T'would be a curious thing, t'hear it again, from a new perspective." He might have had more to add, but then Sue arrives with his new and... interesting attire. Dirk is puzzled. "G'morn, Sue," he says, eyeing the boot-hooves. "All the better t'walk with?"

Shelby clarifies, "Money. For the upkeep of land, and to pay those who look after them. --Morning, Sue," she adds with a nod to the metis. His boots earn him a raised eyebrow, but not much else. And back to the Talon, "I'll have to show you where Equinox territory is. Teaching will go better there than on the Bawn. Easier to find me there than here, too."

"Oh! Money, yes, I know money." Smith seems quite confident of this. He turns to energetically wave a hand at Sue in greeting.

Sue moves over to take a seat on an armchair, then yawns widely, covering his mouth with one hand. "Much better, Dirk-rhya," Sue says. "Hurt less than regular shoes." John's wave earns a bigger smile, and a wave in return.

Dirk nods at Sue, understanding. If he has any further opinions, though, he keeps them to himself. Otherwise, it appears that he's busy staring thoughtfully into his coffee, mug held between both hands, learning forward. The man has a lot on his mind.

Shelby's eyebrow continues its consideration between Fury and Talon. "Are you planning on joining the Hidden Walk, John?" she asks after a moment.

John Smith finally plops himself down into a chair and stretches out long legs. "Yes. My mother was a member of this Sept. She spoke highly of it!"

Sue settles into the armchair, curling up somewhat, and turns to watch the conversation. Nothing's said, but the Talon's words get a nod.

The front door opens, accompanied by four even raps to announce his presence. Thomas looks rather tired this morning, and just a tiny bit frazzled, though as usual he's wearing that battered old hat and his coat, and he has several books tucked under one arm. "Hello, the house! Just dropping off a few things."

Dirk, who seems to have fallen into a conversational lull, turns to glance towards the door. When Thomas arrives, his brows lift in surprise, but his courteous greeting remains the same. "G'mornin', Thomas," he says.

At the sound of the knocks Shelby remarks to herself in a wry undertone, "If I'd known this place would be so busy...." It doesn't stop her from twisting about to note the newcomer. He gets a half-puzzled frown, as if she's trying to place the face, and Dirk's semi-identification doesn't seem to help. Instead she turns back to the leggy sprawler. "Your mother? How long ago was she here? I've only been here a few years, so I probably didn't know her, but...."

John Smith waves his hand enthusiastically at Thomas before answering Shelby. "...Years ago. But not many many years ago. Not, umm, not generations."

Sue looks over at Thomas, and the Fury seems honestly happy to see the kin. "Morning, Thomas." And then Sue spots the books that Thomas carries, and grins a little wider, eyebrows raising a bit.

Thomas's expression goes distinctly colder the moment he spies Dirk, and his greeting, a stiff, "Morning," without the 'good', follows suit. Talon and Fury both serve as suitable distractions; the former gets a curious look, and a return wave, and the latter is offered two paperbacks. Even the titles are in Greek. "I might've cleaned the place out of actual Greek books, but there. Antigone and the Republic." He offers both toward Sue. "Two weeks, but I can check 'em back out easily enough."

"Human generations or wolf?" Shelby asks quite reasonably, and with a little smile. "Well, we can talk of it later." First, introductions for Thomas' sake. "I'm Shelby, this is John, and you seem to know Theodoric and Sue already?"

"Garou," says Smith, answering Shelby. He twists in his seat, angling and stretching himself to peer at the books Thomas has given Sue.

"Antigone an' The Republic both be fine readin'," Dirk says, particularly at Sue, and with a brief smile, at that. "The latter, in particular, challenged me t'think about life an' the way a' things. Let go a wee bit, perhaps." He then leans over, where his duffel remains even still, and he digs in it for a book. It seems to be a ragged collection of quotes from Greek philosophers... in Greek. There's also another big under it. Something about the history of colonial America and relations with the natives.

Sue takes the books, carefully, setting them down his lap after brief, excited inspection of each. "Thanks, Thomas," he offers. "This rocks, I appreciate it." The book Dirk pulls out gets an interested look, and then Sue asks, "{You speak Greek?}" The Fury speaks Greek clearly, with near-native ease.

Thomas's nose wrinkles, and he gives a faint snort. "You don't want to hear my opinions on the stuff." He tugs at the brim of his hat. "We've met, yeah," he says toward Shelby, and then, as Sue's attention turns toward Dirk, he looks more directly toward John. "Thomas Lee," the man offers. "Uktena kinfolk."

John Smith practically bounces to his feet to go over and shake Thomas' hand. "John Smith, Philodox of the Red Talons! Or Monkey-Brain, Two-Legs-Wolf, ehh... lots of other things."

"Nice to meet you," Shelby assures Thomas. "Shelby Zaleski-Leveque, Fostern Ragabash and acting Elder of the Silver Fangs, called Bright Eye Sees to the Heart of the Ambush." Talk of books and other languages slips past her as she stands, slipping into homid as easily as breathing. "I think I'm going to go while I can still move my car. It was nice to meet you, Thomas, and you too, Monkey-Brain. Dirk, Sue" she adds with nods of farewell for the others, and limps for the door.
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May 2012

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