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March 10th, 2012. 12:30am

Finding the Garou's lair had taken much more time and effort than Selene was comfortable with, though, in truth, she wasn't very comfortable with any of this. She knew this Garou, after all: her legs still bore the scars from his claws. It was because of him that she'd gained her meteor hammer, a weapon requiring great talent in acknowledgement of her escaping a Garou encounter alive while still so young. It was because of him, also, that she'd had to stand before the Nosferatu Council, the ruling body of all of her kind, and tell them that no, she had not culled the blood-mad Nachtweber, Charon. A Garou had. That Garou. Soren Shepard.

One good thing had come from this disaster... she was accompanied by none other than Chandra Moon-Seeker. Selene had known of Chandra her entire life: the Blood Weaver of remarkable skill, who operated within the Limiting but whose power was legendary even at her relatively young age. Much like Selene's own mother, in fact, though Diana was renowned for her metalsmithing abilities and the blood weaving necessary for the craft. And Chandra was younger still.

The woman was walking beside her now, perfectly calmly, considering that they were going to attempt to treat with a Garou. Phoebus was nearby, scouting for them; he would close in rapidly and attack, if they required him, but Chandra had been insistent: they were under parlay, and bringing Phoebus -- who was so obviously a warrior -- would send the signal that they were wishing to start a fight. Selene personally thought that she and her brother would rather fight the creature, but their hands had been tied by the Council. Chandra was in charge.

"'Tis close..." Chandra manipulated the direction spell she'd projected in front of them, dexterously pricking her finger with one of the small finger caps she wore to keep the blood flow steady; the item was similar to a thimble on the lower end -- except that it fitted tight to her finger and was secured with a tight band -- and the upper end was razor-sharp for quick and easy cuts. "Very close... but a few meters onwards, and--" she manipulated it again, spinning the compass-rose-like shape shimmering in the air before them, "-- above us, I think. There." She pointed to stairs leading up, and Selene barely resisted the urge to draw her sword, her daggers, any weapon. "Come."

They went up, and Selene was vaguely aware of Phoebus' location as he arranged himself on a nearby roof. Reaching the door, Selene's nose curled at the scent of the place. "Aye... this is the one. I can smell his stench." Chandra gave her a quick look, not disdainful but not very pleased either -- which rankled Selene -- and knocked at the door.

"We would parlay, Garou. Come forth."
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by: Aishe
A little over a month since Charon Demon-Claws met his end had passed and still Aishe remained with Soren. She was comfortable with him and growing more so every day. They'd begun sharing a bed, had talked of courtship, and were envisioning a future together.

Aishe's habits demanded that she left windows cracked open as she slept no matter how cold the night was. Scenting the wind was more important than being a little chilly. She twisted under the covers to cuddle closer to Soren and breathed a deep and contented sigh. They made each other safe and peaceful. She trusted him to protect her and he trusted her to do likewise.

Two days previous, the full moon had revealed to both of them how Soren's injuries would affect his wolf shape. He's done well despite his blindside. In a few months, he likely would be stronger than when he had both eyes. It was a good thought.

The wind shifted and carried a scent that caused the Silent Strider to tense. It wasn't a scent so much as an absence of scent...something was between the window and the pigeon nest on the building across the street and it smelled of nothing. What could mask its scent? Nosferatu.

A low growl rumbled instinctively out of her. Were they here to finish the demon's work? They should have come a month ago if they expected to end Soren easily. Even then, though, Aishe would have fought them to the death. But now...well she was prepared for this, wasn't she? A change in Soren's breathing indicated his awareness to the threat too.

Aishe's breathed a whisper to her partner.

"Nosferatu...I'll get my daggers and the garlic in the kitchen. If they attack us, we shall add their names to our victory song."

Quietly, she slid from the covers to fulfill her declaration. Garlic was to Nosferatu as silver was to Garou. It would keep the monsters at bay and allow the two Garou to fight quick and dirty with minimal attention from the human neighbors.

Clad in little more than one of Soren's tank tops and shorts, Aishe snuck into the kitchen, grabbed four bulbs of garlic, three kitchen knives, and her own curved daggers. She waited for Soren to join her in the flat's main room.
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by: Soren Shepard
Silence. Normally it would drive any creature insane. Lack of sound, an unsettling presence. This silence however, was of a comfortable sort for many reasons. For the first time in a while he didn't dream, as if his conscious was nothing more than a leaf left floating on a still pond. Soothing really. A soft tug of the covers barely registered but when he felt warmth press up against him he cuddled closer and breathed a content sigh.

Aishie. She was a blessing in disguise, sent by his totem to act as a protector and perhaps something more. Thoughts lazily drifted out of the stillness and towards his newfound companion. She was something special. His rage was tempered when she was around and the young garou found that he felt comfortable around her. Not in the same way he felt about the pack. No this was entirely different. It was as if she made up for all his short comings. Almost as if they were two halves of the same whole.

In his sleep filled daze it was hard to decide if it was a general feeling of wrongness, or if it was Aishe's almost silent growl that woke him with a start. Eyes flared red as his mind sought to focus on what it was that had caused that reaction, and it didn't take longer than an instant to settle on Nosferatu even as his partner confirmed it with a whisper.

He nodded once and used his natural grace to slide out from under the covers, dressed only in a pair of sweatpants. Even in light of the situation a grin swept across his face at the site of the tank top and shorts clad woman. Quickly he grabbed the enchanted brass knuckles he had tucked under his pillow and then picked up a rumpled t-shirt off the floor and threw it on. As much as he enjoyed showing off battle scars liking nothing more than to flaunt them in front of any and all Nosferatu, he opted fr caution in this scenario.

He moved with the poise and precision of a killer as he made his way from the bedroom into the living area where Aishe was armed to the nines. Soren gave her a toothy grin and positioned himself by the door, angling his body to keep himself clear of the door swing should their visitors decide to force their way in.

After a deep breath and a silent count to three, the beta drew up all the bravado and arrogance Black Spirals were know for a responded to the offer of parlay.

"And why would any Nosferatu in their right mind think a Black Spiral Dancer has the word parley in their vocabulary?"
"And why would any Nosferatu in their right mind think a Black Spiral Dancer has the word parley in their vocabulary?"

Chandra looked at Selene, and Selene swallowed hard. "... 'tis him." She recognized the voice immediately, and it made the scars on her legs seem to itch in recognition. She half-hoped the marks she'd left on his back would burn when he heard her voice, at some point...

But the door didn't open.

Chandra sighed, drawing herself up to her full height: she was a tall woman, even for Nosferatu, who ran taller than humans. She towered over Selene, who was very small for her kind, and not likely to grow anymore. "Why would any Nosferatu in their right mind call for parlay without good reason, O Dancer of the Black Spiral?" she answered back, speaking in a conversational tone: both she and Selene knew that the Garou within could hear them perfectly well, even with the door in the way. Chandra waited a beat, then went on. "Since you will not face us directly, Soren Shepard, I shall tell you why we are here. I am Chandra Moon-Seeker. I am accompanied by Selene Nightshade, whom you have faced in combat."

Selene wasn't sure how to feel about being brought into the conversation like that, but when Chandra went on, it was somehow even more terrifying than the thought of what the Garou might do at her memory. "But this night is not a night for such. You have culled the demon of Nachtweber. By our laws and Limiting, he was to have been slain by young Selene. You have taken that kill, but in so doing, you have gained our kind's..." Chandra searched for the right word. "... gratitude. Do not take such lightly, Dancer of the Black Spiral. No Garou has done so within living memory. And in our honor, in upholding the laws of our kind, those who cull blood-mad demons are to be rewarded, regardless of kind or affiliation." She looked sideways at Selene as she went on. "We lay down our weapons at your feet, now--"

"No--!" It slipped out without thought, quiet but urgent. They were to be unarmed? Was Chandra mad herself??

"Aye, we shall, or at least I shall. I am not without honor." And Chandra removed the sword at her back, making sure the metal rang against the steps so that the Garou would hear. She removed the throwing knife pouch at her side, likewise setting it down loudly. And she even removed the finger cap, setting it atop the weapons; Selene knew that she could still draw her blood forth with the edge of a fang, but it would be far less fast. Lastly, she knelt, resting back on her heels, and tipped her head to the sky, baring her throat completely, her arms resting at her sides, leaving her belly likewise unprotected. "I kneel before you. I uphold the honor of mine kind..." she murmured to the sky, "If you slay me here, Garou, you do so with me unarmed and unresisting. You may not speak the word 'parlay' among your kind, but you do have honor. Such a kill will not bring you that."

Selene stared: she had never witnessed anyone display that level of bravery before... or was it foolishness? She didn't know, because what it wound up being relied entirely upon the Garou behind the door. But looking at Chandra, who she had admired for so long, staring patiently at the sky with her weapons just out of reach... she decided it was bravery. "I-I shall remove mine weapons, as well..." she announced shakily, and knew that the Garou would know her, would remember her. "I... I honor your skill, Garou, and your kill..." It was just about the most terrifying thing she'd ever done, besides look into the eyes of the blood-mad Nachtweber, but she too unsheathed her sword, setting it down audibly. She removed each dagger on her person, dropping them with a clatter apiece on the steps: one, two, three, four, five. She unstrapped the meteor hammer from her hip, letting it and the chain slide and pool beside the other weapons. And then she knelt, adopting Chandra's pose, though where Chandra appeared perfectly serene, Selene was trembling. She knew the bite of this Garou's claws, after all.

"... I... I kneel before you... I-I uph-hold the honor of mine kind..."
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by: Aishe
Aishe withheld a bark of laughter. Based on the stupid blood-drinkers' conversation, they didn't know she was with Soren. Rather than give up their strategic advantage, she merely smirked and cocked her head quizzically at her partner in a 'can you believe their idiocy?' gesture. Disarming themselves in front of an enemy who was known for killing the worst of their kind and then talking about gratitude in front of his den was something to be marveled at. Perhaps even told to the Nation as proof for how insane Nosferatu were. But then again, for a foolish Garou, this would be a prime trap. After all, there were more than the two in the hallway. Hadn't they not-scented one outside as well?

Aishe nodded her head to the window of the living room and put her back to Soren's to indicate that she would keep watch for the other blood sucker while he dealt with the two crazies by the door. In an effort to free her hands, she crushed and then slipped some garlic into Soren's pocket and into the cleft of her breasts so that she could easily grasp her daggers in a fighting position. The smell of the herb burned her nose, but it would play hell with the Nos, making it worth the intensity.
It was hard to believe what he was hearing. In fact, had his place not reeked of Nosferatu vermin, Soren could have sworn he was dreaming. What Nosferatu would willing disarm themselves and offer what he thought was a really formal thank-you to any Garou? He offered Aishe a skeptical look and slowly made a motion to signify he though their visitors had gone completely insane. As his mind processed what was happening and tried to put in in a frame that was sensible, it dawned on him that they probably didn't know he had anyone else with him in his flat... He offered a silent prayer to his totems. If that was the case he had a very large ace in the hole.

He watched intently as Aishe moved to a move advantageous position, placing her back to his. By the fury he missed being around his own kind and it brought a huge sense of relief to communicate efficiently without the use of spoken words and the fact he had someone he trusted to watch his back meant more to him than he'd ever admit.. A soft chuckle broke free and Soren scrunched his nose to prevent from sneezing when his partner dropped some crushed garlic into one of his pockets. Better to be safe than sorry he supposed. The thought that this could be some sort of elaborate trap had crossed his mind, especially since that smallish hellspawn - what was her name again?- was apparently outside as well as a yet to be named third. He had a long memory and he remembered the day she had attacked him without cause... the bite of her silver blade was a wound that had yet to be repaid.

Soren's grip tightened on the knuckleduster and he changed his position slightly so that he could open the door yet not give away that he had an ally with him. He knew Aishe would read his body language and intent. The door cracked open just wide enough so that he could see the two Nosferatu, taking great care to wedge a foot by the door so if they tried to force their way in it wouldn't be easy. At first glance his visitors seemed like they weren't armed and he couldn't sense any hostile intentions from the presumably older Nosferatu. When his eyes settled on Selene though, they flashed a deep red and it took most of his will power to bite back the snarl and wash of rage that followed. There was a history between the two and there was no doubt their paths would cross again and with a very different outcome.

"As much as I like the look of you down there in your natural place you shouldn't be here. What do you want?"
The door cracked open, and both Nosferatu promptly coughed: the scent of garlic was strong, and for a species that was universally extremely allergic to it, the smell alone was enough to make Selene's throat feel tight and itchy. But, in the moment that the door opened, another scent slipped through first... Garou smelled of meat, of moonlight on grass, and a scent very close to burned hair, but... there was a slightly spicy scent as well--

"Th-there's... -cough- Th-there is another within--!" Selene blurted out, not sure if Chandra had caught it: she only had because she knew Soren's scent already, and so the different scent had stood out, only to be overwhelmed by garlic.

"I know it..." Chandra answered quietly; her eyes were watering, but she looked unwaveringly up at the bit of Soren showing through the door. Selene's shivers grew stronger as the Garou stared down at them, her chest heaving for air as his eyes went red at the sight of her. She had known he would remember... The desire to reach for her sword was almost overwhelming, but... the Garou hadn't attacked yet... had Chandra been right?

"As much as I like the look of you down there in your natural place you shouldn't be here. What do you want?"

"Chandra--!" Selene's trembling was closer to anger than fear, now: how dare he say that, when they had disarmed themselves for his benefit?

"NO." Chandra's voice was as iron, and she deliberately looked away from the Garou, lowering her gaze in deference, and outright glared at Selene, blue-hazel eyes almost glowing with the intensity of her stare. Selene flinched, and darted a glance toward Soren, making sure he wasn't taking advantage. "No," Chandra repeated more softly, "We bring the honor of our kind, for the first time in three hundred years." She too glanced at Soren. "Call off your brother, Nightshade. I refuse to give them a reason to doubt us."

"... but--" Selene felt close to tears, which almost never happened: the garlic was making her eyes and throat burn, now.

"Now. If you please." Chandra bowed her head to Soren, even as Selene let out the quavering whistles that would signal to Phoebus, Retreat, we have things under control. "Take these weapons here, Garou, take them through the door into your dwelling, so you have no fear of us reaching them. Do not touch the blade of that sword--" she indicated Selene's, "-- for it is silver-spelled and shall burn you. Wrap your hand in cloth, first." She looked up slowly. "I have told you why we are here. You have slain the Nachtweber. We, by our laws, are bound to honor such." A whistle came from somewhere in the nearby vicinity: Phoebus was questioning the order. Selene bit her lip, then carefully repeated the string of notes. After several moments she too managed to look at up Soren.

"... mine brother should have left this place... have your second check such: his scent will be removed from this place..." she muttered, and then drew in a shaky breath, remembering things she wished very much to forget. She... she had fed from this one... "'tis not only gratitude we bring," she told him quietly, and both she and Chandra knew he would be more likely to believe her than anything Chandra said or did. "You have made a kill that was meant to be mine own, Garou. You... you will not have done the work in its entirety: you know not of how a blood-mad one is to be culled..."

"There is a chance the Nachtweber will have left a Leech behind," Chandra cut in, getting to the point, "We must have the telling of how you culled him, so we may finish the job, seeking out any and all things he left behind. If you wish it, you may have the glory of the kill once more... such is your right, for slaying the master: any servants left to serve him are likewise yours for disposal, if you do not give such right away. We... we must gain your permission, o honored one, to assist you in this kill, for you do not know our ways." She coughed again, and added wryly, her voice hoarse, "You have much poison with you, Garou... you have another of your kind at your back, and you have all of our weapons. There is only us two, here, now. We have no reinforcements. Do you still refuse to accept the trust we lay, with our very selves, here at your feet?"

"I have no need of more marks from you, wolf..." Selene muttered, almost to herself, though the Garou would hear. She flopped sullenly backwards, landing on her bum, and stretched her legs out before her, showing him the thin, reddish, line-like scars that criss-crossed over her legs from his claws. "I have no desire to be here. But what you possess, we must know." She looked up at him, hazel eyes challenging, but also showing a weariness and a fear that he would immediately recognize as having nothing to do with him. "I have seen what you saw, in the warehouse..." she murmured almost inaudibly, and Chandra glanced sideways at her: the older hadn't known this, this other connection to Soren that Selene had. "The destruction, the desecration, of that pack of your kind, the White Rats. I saw through the eyes of memory... the memories of Cedric McGarret, whom you know. You know him, do you not? He is..." She paused, choosing her words carefully. "He is the only of your kind I can claim an acquaintance with, for we have long served the same master. But I know what you saw that day. I know what you have slain. And I tell you now, Soren Shepard, that if you believe our kind to share anything in common with that demon... then you know nothing at all of this earth. You must tell us what you know, for if there is even a chance of a Leech... that desecration shall continue, and spread, and take many lives of both of our kinds." Her scent, the literal pain in her eyes at the memory of what she had seen in the Pensieve that day, showed her current honesty.
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by: Aishe
With every word from the Nosferatu girl, Aishe became more and more tense. The tone these abominations dared to take was arrogant and domineering. If their mission was was to express gratitude, they had an odd way of expressing it. Her lip curled at the distrust of the younger one...it was a fear or anger, but whatever it was caused the whelp to question this 'Chandra' who led them. Nosferatu were already unworthy of disrespect, but this lack of discipline only made it more clear to Aishe why they were disdainful creatures.

Aishe looked over her shoulder to take a cue from Soren on whether he wanted her to check on the third nos or not. She took her orders from him, not some jumped up quasi-ambassador. And still the thing outside talked! As early in the morning as it was, the Strider was having a hard time following the chatty woman. At least, she had a hard time until the name 'Cedric McGarret' was dropped. The half blooded Get of Fenris that was friends to Soren consorted with Nosferatu and served the same master as them? Nosferatu only served themselves, which meant that, at best, McGarret was under some compulsion to aid them. At worst, he was a traitor to his kind and needed killed. Aishe snarled and looked at Soren to see if he knew this about his so called friend.
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by: Soren Shepard
He could have dealt with the older of the two Nosferatu. She seemed to have her wits about her and was genuinely not looking for conflict. The confirmation that there had been a third was more than enough to keep him on edge. He grabbed onto Aishe's wrist and gave a sharp movement of his head to convey he did not want her going to confirm it had left. For all Soren knew it was a ploy to split them apart. Together the two Garou made a formidable team. Apart, it left them weaker and vulnerable.

Soren was about to take Chandra up on her offer to take their weapons but the thought was driven away by Selene's words. Her insistence that he had stolen her kill infuriated him. How dare she. How. Dare. She! He'd damn near died because the Nosferatu couldn't keep one of their own under control and as usual it was up to the Nation to clean up the mess. Never mind it had galled him enough that his own kind had never meant him to succeed. And now to have some fang face wannabe warrior tell him he had stolen her kill and then hadn't done it right?

"Your kill?!" It was hissed out between clenched teeth as he flung the door open in a rage induced fit. "YOUR KILL!?" A red tidal wave of rage washed over him at the insult and Soren moved forward and crouched down until he was nose to nose with Selene. He wanted so badly to lash out and end her life and it took all the restraint he could muster to prevent himself from doing so. "The minute you delayed to act was the minuted it ceased being your kill. I did what my nation charged me to do and that was to clean up your mess. YOURS! Fitting that a garou was able to do what you couldn't. I set the natural order back on track!"

He grabbed the silver enchanted weapon with a slight grimace and looked Selene right in the eye before hurling the offending thing down the hall. "I'm not afraid of you."

Chandra's words drew him out of his rant and his attention fell on her at the mention of a leech. Why the hell would she think he'd care about some vampiric spawn? It wasn't like he'd had time to do a proper track and recon. If his pack happened across it they would kill it the same as any vampire. And then there was mention of Cedric and Soren felt his control waver. He had placed his trust in that half-blood mutt and here he'd been consorting with Nosferatu willingly? Not to mention the stupid Get had shared the desecration of the Rats with the very creatures that had spawned the one that had done the deed.The desire to kill, maim and kill flared again at the mention of the Rats and Soren snarled and dug his clawed hands into the hallway floor, blood red eyes fixating on Selene's throat. He could kill her. One lunge and he could taste her blood. Something in the back of his mind whispered that this was a bad idea and that he should use his human words, but it was snuffed out before it ever had a chance to grab hold.
"Your kill?! YOUR KILL!? The minute you delayed to act was the minute it ceased being your kill. I did what my nation charged me to do and that was to clean up your mess. YOURS! Fitting that a garou was able to do what you couldn't. I set the natural order back on track! I'm not afraid of you."

Selene let out a tiny, involuntary scream as the Garou so suddenly slammed open the door and got right in her face, every muscle in her body going tense to the point that it hurt. She couldn't figure out how to move, let alone what move to take: Get away from him? Attack him? What?? Chandra, beside her, likewise froze, eyes darting back and forth between them; she was very careful not to intervene, since Soren hadn't actually made a grab for Selene, but she was on the highest alert she could be at the moment, in case things went farther south. Selene watched her sword get thrown down the hall and shivered all over: the Garou might not be afraid of her, but right now, she was terrified of him... but, just like last time, the sight of those Rage-filled red eyes left her paralyzed, helpless to look away, and not only because she was afraid: there was something about them that drew her in, a kind of darkness she'd never seen before that some part of her wanted to understand.

"Selene was charged with this kill, just as you apparently were by your own kind," Chandra spoke finally, quietly and calmly, as though to a wounded beast though without the sort of patronizing tone that could set the Garou off farther. "You merely beat her to it. 'Tis your kill, right enough, and well done, 'twas. But you would not have had to do such at all, if but another few days had passed on. She is right to speak of the kill as having been set to her. But she does not claim such as her own, do you, Nightshade?"

"... n-no..." She shook her head. "You made it. 'Tis yours." She couldn't even breathe properly as the Garou practically ravened at the mention of McGarret; she could hear the other Garou within snarling, now, too, and it made her tremble so badly that she could barely stay seated upright. Unlike Chandra, Selene was not prepared to die this day, to die for a Garou's honor as well as her own.

Chandra, seeing and hearing the two Garou's reaction to the name mention, made a decision. The tiny cut on her finger had not quite closed over all the way, and with the last drop of blood available to her from it, she flicked her hand hard in Selene's direction, sending her flying backwards across the hallway, just out of Soren's immediate reach. Selene shrieked aloud, not understanding what was happening until Chandra spoke: she'd thought for a moment that her sudden movement had been due to the Garou charging. "I see and respect your Rage, Shepard," Chandra told him, quietly but intently, "And I shall still honor the parley, if you contain it now. But I tell you now: if you lay a hand upon this unarmed youngling, you shall have defiled your own honor, and I shall have no shame in protecting our own." She lowered her hand, deliberately wiping off the last of the blood from her finger: she now truly had nothing, unless she used a fang to reopen her skin. "You are missing part of this tale, it is clear to me now. I do not know this... this McGarret, save by name and association. The Nightshade clan, and Selene especially so, are indebted to an old friend of McGarret's. A human. This is the master of whom she speaks, none other."

"... aye..." Selene managed hoarsely, every fiber of her being still fixed on Soren, "Jacob Sullivan is our master. Or... or mine. McGarret takes his orders, but as a friend does, not... not else." She shivered. "'Twas the human McGarret meant to show the memory to. Sullivan showed such to me, as well, for I am at his right hand. 'Twas not McGarret's idea." She barely resisted the urge to say that it was her that had figured out that the being doing the attacks was in fact a Nosferatu and had been the one to tell Sullivan that it was a blood-mad creature... but with those red eyes on her, and no weapon in her reach, she wished more to preserve her life than to taunt the Garou again.
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by: Aishe
Much was amiss this night. The nosferstu came to Soren's very den, sending a clear message that they knew where he was and could attack at any time from here forward. They came armed, implying that they expected a fight instead of expecting the parlay they wanted. They came with filthy words claiming their own desire to have killed the demon and implications that Soren didn't do it right. And, worst of all, they now threatened to lift the Veil.

Aishe squeezed into the hall and stood beside Soren. She needed, now more than ever, to be the messenger and ambassador that Owl represented. She spoke with quiet command, entreating her partner to consider her proposition.

"Now and here are not the best time and place for this discussion. Soren, forget the nosferatu for one moment and consider the humans on this floor. We must not lift the Veil from their eyes. And you, Chandra,"

Aishe hoped that the nosferatu would understand the honor just given to her by the Garou even remembering her name,

"do not consider yourself safe yet. It would be wiser to beg Soren to meet you outside of his den in a neutral location where all parties may be clear headed and free from territorial protection and free from human interference. Two of you, both of us. And do not mention McGarret to us again unless it is necessary for us to deal with him further."

Gentle though her words were, Aishe showed a fang through her spiel. These bloodsuckers were enemies of an ancient and storied past; they deserved respect as was due to one who was dangerous. But then, so did Soren. He was the fighter while Aishe was the diplomat. Hopefully, he would let her do what she was best at.
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by: Soren Shepard
He was losing control and probably the more worrisome part (if his human self would have been more vocal at the moment) was that he didn't care. Soren wanted nothing more than to unleash all the pent up fury that coursed with his veins. The sudden movement of Selene and her cry had the Spiral skittering back into a crouch with a snarl. She hadn't attacked...? No she had be moved away. His attention swiftly fell to the only other in the hall and he saw red. She talked of a rage she couldn't understand and then had the gall to tell him to check it. His breath was coming in short gasps as he struggled with the urge to kill and yet they just kept talking, and talking, and talking. The wolf inside firmly decided Cedric would get his teeth knocked in before being forced to explain who the Jake was and why the man was still breathing after sharing information with Nosferatu. Even more damning was the words coming from Selene. How bloody closely linked was McGarret to these Nosferatu? Had his desire to become a Wild Card all been a ploy to gain an in for an enemy that would obliterate any Garou pack they could?

Soren stood with the intent to fight. He'd had enough of this idle chit-chat but he didn't make it more than a step forward before Aishe was through the door and by his side. At first he thought she was attacking with him but then her words registered through the red haze that had taken over. She was being diplomatic. She wanted him to play nice. His body tensed and at first took her actions as challenge and was about to knock her out of the way when the last part of what she was saying finally made it through. They were in a human dwelling. Granted it was in a sketchy part of the city, and most would just ignore what was happening out in the hall now, but Aishe was right. He had spelled the inside of his flat to be soundproof, but not the rest of the building... If he went against the Nosferatu now he'd make their kind known. A death sentence he wasn't ready to face.

The young Spiral took a step back, shut his good eye, took a deep breath and proceeded to silently count to twenty. By the time he reached the end of his count he had enough of his human self present to recognize the face saving out that was being offered. They could meet on neutral ground. A place where neither would feel as threatened. A safer place away from overly curious eyes...

"There's a park north of here in a wooded area. Be there in 10 minutes." The words come out in a barely restrained snarl and Soren didn't even wait for a response before stalking back into his flat with purpose. He'd spelled it with soundproofing spells for occasions such as this and if he was to treat with the Nosferatu civilly he needed an outlet. The Spiral made it as far as the living room table before the damn holding back his rage burst. Needless to say they'd be getting new furniture this week.
The other Garou suddenly revealed themselves -- or herself, rather -- and Selene scrambled back as close to the wall as she could get, thinking that the female was joining the male already before her in attacking. Chandra tensed, only to get one good look at the woman and, to Selene's deep surprise, actually smile, wide enough to show a hint of fang. Clearly there was something about the woman that pleased the bloodweaver, even in the midst of this terrifying situation.

"Now and here are not the best time and place for this discussion. Soren, forget the Nosferatu for one moment and consider the humans on this floor. We must not lift the Veil from their eyes. And you, Chandra, do not consider yourself safe yet. It would be wiser to beg Soren to meet you outside of his den in a neutral location where all parties may be clear headed and free from territorial protection and free from human interference. Two of you, both of us. And do not mention McGarret to us again unless it is necessary for us to deal with him further."

"Aye, 'tis well thought," Chandra answered, keeping her voice quiet as Shepard closed his eye, apparently trying to contain his Rage, and -- shocking Selene yet again -- bowed deeply to the female Garou, her hand upon her heart and her forehead nearly touching the floor in her obeisance. "She who Strides in Silence... fellow one, like I, who is chosen by and serves the Lady -- whom you name Owl -- we thank you for such." Selene looked back and forth between the two women, utterly bemused. Chandra thought this woman, this female Garou, served Lady Peace, one of the six patrons of her kind? Could Garou even serve the same ones as her own kind? Was such blasphemy to say? She didn't know: she'd never thought of it before, save that they were said to all, as a kind, be governed by Lord Death himself...

... and what did "She who Strides in Silence" mean?

"There's a park north of here in a wooded area. Be there in 10 minutes."

Soren's voice startled Selene out of her musings, and she looked at him nervously, only to see that the red had faded somewhat in his eye. Chandra immediately bowed to him too -- though not as low as she had to the woman -- and placed her hands at his feet: Selene recognized that gesture, too, it was one that was given to someone you were allowing to have power over you. She'd done that very gesture to Sullivan when she'd sworn into his service before her clan... was Chandra truly allying herself, or was it merely a symbol? "We shall. Gather your things, Selene." Selene pried herself away from the wall and scrambled over, hastily gathering up her weapons and stowing them away even as Soren disappeared back into his dwelling. Chandra led the way down the hall quickly, and Selene grabbed her sword as they went, sheathing it quickly and glancing back at the door they'd left behind.

It wasn't until they were safely outside that they both started to cough and wheeze, trying to clear the garlic from their lungs. "Wh-why... why did you bow so?" Selene managed after several long moments, "Who is that female?"

"Another tribe from Shepard," Chandra answered, gathering her weapons into a pile on the ground, "Dancers of the Black Spiral are ever-unpredictable, even among Garou, but Those that Stride in Silence..." She smiled a little again, which confused Selene all over again. "We may yet gain our tale, Selene. I have met representatives of but two tribes of Garou within my lifetime, before today, but one such was the Silent Striders, as they name themselves. We shall see what can be done today. Lay your weapons here with mine, swiftly now..."

"... we are to go without weapons entirely...?" Selene asked dubiously. She didn't like the idea of that at all. Chandra gave her a long look, then sighed and replaced her finger cap.

"Does such please you? I shall take none else, and 'tis more than enough for you, also, Nightshade."

"I thank you," the younger responded promptly, and gave a little bow: she hadn't meant to insult Chandra's abilities with her comment, she just didn't trust the Garou as much as Chandra seemed to currently be doing. She laid her weapons down, and Chandra drew a few drops of her own blood, spreading them in a circle around the pile and drawing a few quick runes. As the last rune was formed, the weapons vanished, and Selene gasped instinctively: she knew by the runes that Chandra had sent them back to the City, but she had never seen someone perform a transportation spell with so little blood. Chandra gave her a little smile, then rose.

"Come. We have not much time." She started to climb up to one of the nearby roofs, and Selene followed hastily, running after the older woman, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, searching for the park Shepard had mentioned. Selene was proud to show off her skill at such, but she also noted that Chandra's movements were infinitely graceful: she almost seemed to be floating through the leaps, and perhaps she really was, for her finger still bled and could be drawn from.

Spotting the trees ahead, they changed course a little, speeding up even more. Selene didn't hesitate at all: as soon as she reached the roof of the last building, she leaped straight out without fear, landing within the closest tree of the park, light enough to shake off only a couple of leaves. This was where her talent truly lay, for her brother had taught her this when they had still lived in the north of the human country England, in the ancestral home of the Nightshade clan. Chandra leaped instead to the ground -- though she did truly seem to float down this time -- and raced below as Selene darted from tree to tree.

Heading to the middle of the park, the trees got thicker. The two Nosferatu headed to a small clearing among the densest trees, and Chandra let out a whistle once they reached it, signalling Selene to descend. She did, dropping down lightly; they were both hardly out of breath. "That was well done," Chandra commented, and Selene smiled brightly, unable to keep from preening a little.

"I thank you~" She didn't want to sit, so she remained standing. Chandra, however, sat gracefully down, folding her legs one atop the other, to wait for the Garou. They didn't have to wait long: the Garou would be able to find them easily, by their scent. Chandra promptly spoke as soon as they were close enough to hear.

"We have left our weapons behind, this time. Servant of Owl, have you the knowledge of the tale we seek? I have been remiss in not asking you: 'tis the honor of your tribe to weave tales, is it not? I put the same request to you as I have to Soren Shepard, if you know such: We have need of such information, and would be honored by your telling." Her tiny smile returned. "'Tis custom among mine own clan that any tale told is to be answered with another... This tale we seek shall be answered by any of our own either of you may desire."
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by: Aishe
Aishe returned the blood sucker’s bared fangs with a baring of her own. In the Garou’s case, however, there was no intent to display pleasure or happiness. No, Aishe felt her Rage growing. Certainly, her embers were nothing compared to Soren’s ever-present inferno, but her own Rage was just as potent once riled. When Chandra displayed submissiveness, Aishe thought that she would be able to reign in her temper, but then nearly lost all control when the Totem of Wisdom misaligned and misidentified.

Did this one know nothing of her kind’s natural rivals and predators? Owl was not a peaceful totem…he was as demanding as Lion, as deadly as Whippoorwill…Aishe growled when the truth of her thoughts hit her heart. By comparing the vampiric lady of peace to the Garou totem, Chandra had demeaned Aishe herself by separating her from Soren. It would not stand! Inadvertent or not, meant as a compliment or not, it was over the line for the Romani woman.

Had the pair not immediately fled when Soren dismissed them, the woman would have demanded satisfaction and blood. As it was, perhaps it was better that the two left…if she, a Silent Strider, lifted the Veil, there would be no dismissing it to her Rage. She would be executed justly after she herself cleansed the earth of those who knew more than they should. With that in mind, Aishe closed her dark eyes and took a deep breath. The rage still burned in her bones. It grew instead of dissipating as she had hoped, leading the woman to quietly enter the apartment and prepare for the soon to come confrontation.

The Silent Strider moved quietly through Soren’s demolition zone. The precision and control she exhibited would announce to her companion her extreme agitation and anger. Aishe moved into the bedroom without glancing once at Soren. With the same intense focus on her internal pyre of Rage, she removed a box from under her side of the bed, removed an ornament of feathers, and affixed it into her hair by braiding the dark strands into a tight and battle ready coil. From the same box, she removed a small stone jar of black salve and applied it under her eyes. This Strider made poultice was designed to protect against illusions and against the ensnarement that Nosferatu could throw by locking eyes with their prey. Actual clothing went on net. Purposefully, she chose high leather boots, layered knee length boots, and a tight blouse that minimized the ability to be grabbed. Over this, she carefully strapped her daggers and prayed to Owl. Prepared as she was, there was still Soren to calm and prepare. Aishe moved back to the living room and gripped the door jamb in an effort to not clench her fists. She watched the man rage through lidded eyes. Her irises stayed their deep and mysterious brown, but any Garou looking into them would see the wolf looking back instead of the human half.

”Would, Soren that you prepare yourself as if we were yet again killing the demon. As always, I shall follow you into Hell itself”

A bitter growl tuned her words into the eagerness of the hunt. Her Rage was less than his, surely, but she would not need to stuff it down in the next few minutes. Her mind turned over the idea for how to humble the Nosferatu for their encroachment.

As she had told Soren, she waited for him to prepare himself and followed him in silence. The Nosferatu had come to him for an account of Charon’s death, so she would be his companion and his back up in this chapter of his story. Much to her surprise, however, Chandra addressed her instead of the more dominant Soren. Her reply was a snarl, then words.

”Do not presume to know me or my tribe, wyrm-spawn. I am not familiar to you, nor are my stories for your kind’s ears to hear. I bear the tales of how best to kill you and your kin. Would that you wish for me to add your tale to my list, for that I could do for you. You came to get an account of the Nachtweber’s death? That is Soren’s tale, and his right to tell it or no.”

Aishe left her teeth bared at Chandra, displaying how close the Garou was to losing control of her Rage.
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by: Soren Shepard
Soren stared blankly ahead as the rage finally played itself into a slight simmer. Truth be told he was exhausted. He glanced down at the splinters and fragments of what used to be furniture and snarled. Why did they have to come here? Why not neutral ground? Why had they felt the need to invade the only place he thought was safe? A flash of anger rose up but he pushed it down with a hard swallow. Perhaps the better question to focus on was why had they unnerved him so badly? The Spiral took a moment to reflect and use some of the meditation techniques he'd learned as a pup to help align his focus.

Truth be told this was his first interaction with the accursed Nosferatu since Charon and Soren knew deep down, masked by an ever simmering rage, he was scared. That fight had taken everything the Spiral had and it had barely been enough... if one Nosferatu could do that then it was only logical the two that had come to visit could as well, especially since once had the same powers as Charon and the other had tried to kill him unprovoked before....

Spoken words pulled him from his internal thoughts. He'd felt Aishe return earlier but he'd still been trying to get himself under control. He gave her a nod and moved to their bedroom, suddenly ashamed for his loss of control. When he looked at her he could feel her rage, tightly coiled and controlled. It was there but it wasn't her master. When she spoke he'd expected her to rip into him, to tell him that he was a monster and the nation was right about Spirals being rabid... but those words didn't come and he marveled at how she could see past the monster he was supposed to be.

It didn't take long for Soren to get ready. First was clothing that allowed for free movement in case a fight was truly coming and soft doe skin boots to allow him to walk in silence. He also took Aishe's words to heart about preparing as he had for Charon. it was rare to get a second chance at life and Soren knew his totem wouldn't give him a third. The Spiral slipped the Nos fang neck guard over his head and made sure the collar of his jacked kept it covered. He then pulled the twin of the enchanted knuckle duster he's received and.

Perhaps they had been a little longer then the ten minute's he'd specified but as soon as he was ready he moved knowing Aishe would follow without question. It didn't take the pair long to find the duo they were seeking. The stench of Nosferatu was hard to miss. Thankfully it was still two unique scents and the third was missing.

Again his rage flashed when the older of the two Nos chose to address Aishe rather than the higher ranking wolf first and he probably would have lapsed into a rage induced frenzy had he not been taken aback by his companions own showing. Any rage that was there was snuffed out by the killing intent that radiated off of Aishe. She'd had every right to take offense to the words spoken about owl. To Soren thought it only spoke of the lack of knowledge both species had of each other. To Soren, Owl was anything but the peaceful totem the Nos had spoken about. Wise yes. Cunning yes. Peaceful? That was like saying Grandfather Thunder brought gifts of sunshine and daisies. Likewise he never would have thought the Lady was a spirit that brought peace.

A laugh broke out from the Spiral at the image of Grandfather Thunder raining daises on everyone and Soren stepped up in front of Aishe. "Take a breath and let you rage slumber," he stated with a smirk before turning to Selene and Chandra. "Why are you so damn persistent in knowing how it happened. Isn't it enough to know he's dead and the body disposed of? If a vampire roams let it. My kind will deal with it as we always have."
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