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by: Cedric McGarret
3:08am April 5th
Gravesend, Kent

How did he get here?

Cedric looked down at himself. The glistening residue on his clothes argued with his mind. That wasn't blood. Then why did it smell of blood? He didn't do this. Then where did it come from? He wasn't a monster. Then why was he covered in blood? Even his hands were covered in it...Cedric mutely stared at the backs of his hands, fascinated with the slight tremor pulsing through his limbs. They felt foreign, another thing his eyes and mind disagreed on.

Deep breath, close your eyes, count to ten, and...wake up

Cedric opened his eyes again, but the nightmare wasn't over. This wasn't a dream, then. A low moan grew in his throat at the sight of the mangle body in front of him. There was no denying the facts. He'd lost control and killed someone. Who would be willing to help him with this? Jake? Jake would put him down like the monster humans saw werewolves to be. Ilya? Would just congratulate him and pat him on the back. Soren? Soren might be willing to help, or rub his nose in it...Ced wasn't sure, but the Spiral felt like more of a safe bet than his crazy half brother or his backstabbing best friend.

A haze of red fogged his vision at the reminder of Jake's betrayal. The light tremors escalated into soul quaking muscular cramps as his body tried and failed to shift in rage. Ced threw his head back to the sky and yelled at the moon, certain that She alone saw his suffering. The half-blood dropped to his knees, torn between rage and exhaustion.

Soren. Need to get a message to Soren.

He couldn't focus on a patronus. He did have an origami, so he scrawled out a plea for help, oblivious to the bloody fingerprints he left on the paper.

Need help, Kent docks across from the fort

When the crane sped off to find its intended recipient, Ced allowed himself a moment to collapse full out on the gravel beach. The cool stones brought down the heat of his rage momentarily, but instinct drove him to go further up the shoreline and into cover under the dock. Something about safety, defensible, and cover...he couldn't think straight...how had he gotten to this point?
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by: Soren Shepard
The past few nights had been a lesson in patience. Soren had wasted no time in wrangling a few favors from some of the Wild Card scouts and had set them along the river in the specified area the seer had said Cedric would show up. The frustrating part was they had a span of days to work with and little more to go on than that. But he was a hunter, and Soren could play the waiting game as well as anyone. It was the night before the full-moon and his wolf was singing at the chance to be out under the night sky, even if it was in a human infested area.

The Spiral was currently running the circuit he'd set his scouts on. They were due to check in at the top of the hour so there was no point in finishing his current route. Soren was about to hunker down along a section of the river and wait out the last 10 minutes or so when a small origami thing bumped into him. The Spiral batted it away and gave it no more of a glance than he would a mosquito, but the little origami bird was persistent. Eventually Soren reached up to grab the curious thing and as soon as he touched it he could smell Cedric on it. Quickly he unfolded it and snarled when he saw the blood. Red eyes scanned the letter and Soren snarled out a curse. He'd been in that area an hour ago... how the hell had he missed the half-blood?

With practiced ease he bent down and scratched a few symbols into the dirt. Any of the Wild Card scouts would recognize it as a sign that he was ok, and a cardinal direction to point out the meeting place had chanced and where they needed to go. They'd be able to follow their noses this close to the moon to get a more accurate location. Once done Soren stood and took off toward the docks mentioned in the letter.

It was easy enough to find the docks but the metallic scent that drifted over the area made it decidedly more difficult to pin point Cedric's location. "Cedric?!" The Spiral called out as he kept his eyes peeled for any sign of movement. "Ced?" Soren highly doubted he'd get a response. If there was this much blood in the air it wouldn't be a stretch to think Cedric could be dead. Cautiously he moved through the shadows with the ease of something not human, following his nose to where the metallic scent was the strongest, though he paused once he noticed two figures. Once decidedly dead, the other possibly. Soren strained his hearing in hopes of being able to tell if the other was breathing but it was hard to tell, so he chanced another call out. "Ced, that you? It's Soren..."
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by: Cedric McGarret
Cover had salved the beast of instinct, but the scent of blood had awoken a hunger inside of the Garou half blood (and didn't the Garou half feel so much stronger than it ever had before?) that had his eventually returning to and kneeling by the bloody corpse on the beach.

Ced tilted his head to look at the body. It had been a man, but not one he recognized. The body was dressed in jeans, boots, wool sweater, and presumably a knit cap, but the face was so disfigured from Cedric's abuses that he couldn't discern any features. And yet despite the gore, something was attracting Cedric to the meat-person, not meat! He blinked and shook his head.


A familiar voice broke Ced's reverie, making him snap to a crouch over his prey...victim...whichever. Gold eyes blazed in the night, reflecting the brilliant glare of the moon. Movement up the beach caught his attention; was it Soren? Merlin, he hoped so...he needed help.
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by: Soren Shepard
The Spiral continued to follow his nose and eventually, Soren figured he was in the right area. the metallic scent of blood was thick in the air. Cautiously he continued forward, using shadows to mask his movement when they were available. The scene he walked into only a few moments later would have been enough to have his fur stand on end had he been in his shifted form.

Something was couched over what appeared to be the remains of the thing unfortunate enough to have been ripped to shreads. Gold eyes shone back at Soren and the beta instantly go the feeling that the creature crouching over the remains was putting off the vibe that the kill was his and no one was going to take it. Soren's eyes flared red at the unintentional challenge. He risked moving closer, angling himself so he could get a better look at what he quickly come realize was very Garou he had been searching for. "Ced snap out of it!" There was enough of a snarl in there that he knew it would catch the wolfs attention and the Spiral made sure his bearing screamed that he was in charge.

It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Cedric had fallen into a wild rage and hadn't been able to tamp down on his newly awoken instincts. Bloody stupid Get... how the hell Ilya and his rag-tag bunch hadn't figured out Ced had never dealt with any of this, he had no idea... What Soren had stumbled upon was almost a normal scene when Black Spirals were training the newly shifted how to control their rage. Of course having a corpse ravaged the way Ced had done was greatly frowned upon, accidents did happen. Rage, especially for a Spiral was a temperamental thing, but after a couple runs the Spirals would have a grasp on it or the pack would end them. It was far safer for the tribe to kill one of there own than risk a full blown rage incident.

Soren moved in as close as he dared, body tense in case nobody was home but the wolf. "Ced it's time to go home. Stop acting like a bloody pup and pull yourself together."
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by: Cedric McGarret
The scent coalesced into the familiar musk and woods of Soren. It summoned memories in Ced's mind that battled for prominence. The dominance fight, the first time they met, the warehouse...

Rage spiked again at the memories and evoked a growl from the Syndicate's wolf. The snarl Soren gave was returned with interest; Cedric wasn't home, but his long ignored wolf was here and ready to draw battle lines.

Wait. No. That wasn't okay. He needed to pull himself together and stop this!

Soren had gotten closer, could see what he'd done, would kill him from losing control, would...would what? Cedric skittered backwards and caught his boot on an uneven scuff in the rocks. He sat heavily and curled, gripping his hair in a fight for control against his wolf.

"I-I'm trying. F-f-f-f#cking h-hard b-b-but I'm trying!"

The words came with difficulty. His mind was thinking like a wolf and wolves didn't speak with words, they spoke with fangs and claws. Ced was panting with the effort to tamp down the raw instinct driving him to attack and defend what was his. His? A bloody scrap of humanity that had gotten in the wrong place at the wrong time? Well, you pick some stupid stuff to fight about, boss.

Ced looked back at Soren, not ready yet to go full maniac or full submissive. He needed space and coaching, but didn't know how to ask for it yet. Staring was probably a bad idea, but just seeing the Wild Card acted as a tangible reason to not go full idiot with the corpse. It was something real and outside of his head to focus on.

First my breathing, then my heart rate. Get control and keep it down

His panting slowed and deepened with sustained efforts, but the metallic gold of his eyes stayed wolf.
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by: Soren Shepard
Soren gave a dismissive snort at Ced's insistence that he was trying. He was certain the human was trying but there was no doubt in his mind the wolf wasn't. "Then try harder," he snapped back as he moved close enough to Ced's kill to nudge one of the arms with his boot. Bloody hell his friend had done a number on the poor sod, and in all honestly, it was hard to tamp down on his own wolfish desire to do the same. Humans were such easy prey... Soren crouched down beside the corpse to get a better idea at the extent of the damage on while still keeping one eye on Ced. "Try focusing on someplace your human considered safe. A house, a field.... somewhere that elicits a feeling of calm."

The Spiral continued to eye his counter part, waiting for the moment the wolf overpowered what remained of the human. It was a bit of a drawn out process but eventually the wolf would tire and the human would regain control. Sometimes it took minutes, other times it took hours. Each Garou was different, though Soren had a good feeling this would be over and done with well before the time it would normally take for a Spiral to be brought back from the edge. Once he was done his cursory examination of the body he turned his full attention to Cedric. "What set you off?" That would be a good place to start and should be easy enough to pry out of the Get.
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by: Cedric McGarret
Someplace safe? There were no such places left. Ced stared blankly at at Soren as he went through a mental tally of places. The Syndicate had betrayed him. Muggles were hunting him. Even the fields and wilderness weren't safe for a packless, homeless Garou. Africa had been fun, but fun wasn't safe. Safety was a lie. Peace was a lie. Only in combat could he make himself safe.

Thebhalf blood had unintentionally worked himself up again, following the logic of the Fenris in that combat equalled safety. The trembling started again, this time the eagerness for a fight rather than the adrenaline overcharge from one. And a Spiral wouldn't be so easy to overwhelm, would he?

Ced's hands dropped to the ground, taking through the cold stones as he attempted to formulate a response to Soren. An answer came, spoken softly. The wolf spoke the words, borrowing the talent from his human half.

"He knew about he betrayal and laughed, so I killed him."

A statement of pure fact without remorse. The flat tones were eerily like his brother's. The human inside was burning away under the heat of the wolf, soon to be gone completely. The wolf grinned at the thought and at the other Garou. It felt so good to be alive for once instead of chained up and choked on restraints. He had years of catching up to do, didn't he?
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by: Soren Shepard
Soren "tch" sounds when Cedric had mentioned betrayal. now wasn't that interesting... but betrayed by whom? The corpse wasn't Garou... A devious grin crept slowly onto his face when he realized the only other source of betray could have come from the human and Nosferatu he ran with... now that was interesting. The they were delivered in however... even though the death itself wasn't something to get excited over, the fact the Get didn't seem to understand that you couldn't do something like that in the open... that couldn't stand.

The Spiral stood, still keeping his posture as relaxed and nonchalant as ever and eyed his friend with a red tinted gaze. "As much as it thrills me to see you've finally manned up enough to not take that poison the humans kept feeding you, I can't let you or that immature wolf of yours go running around killing things like he owns the place." Soren made sure his words dripped with the unspoken challenge. The beta in him wasn't scared of a fight, and a fight was exactly what Ced needed to a point. He needed to get enough of the human back before they would make any progress.
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by: Cedric McGarret
He didn't even growl a warning before lunging at the Spiral. Immature wolf? 'Finally manning up'? No, Soren didn't know what he'd suffered through to force him off of wolfsbane and into his heritage. He didn't know what it was like to be unwanted and discarded.

"Hey McGarret! Finally out of that intervention Sullivan put you through?"

Fucking intervention of all things! As if he didn't take his role seriously, or that he needed a reminder of why they did what they did! At least Jake had the balls to apologize to him, even if the other agents were gossiping that it was an intentional act.

Ced poured out all of his rage onto Soren, looking as much as possible to attack from the Spiral's blind side. The fact that it was also his nondominant side didn't please Cedric since he was beyond any pleasant emotion. All that he had in his heart was searing, white hot rage. He wasn't as well trained as Soren, so he tried his best to use his weight advantage to tackle and pin the prickly beanpole who KNEW he was pissing him off more!
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by: Soren Shepard
Finally! Cedric's charge hadn't caught the Spiral off guard. Soren had been waiting for it and as such, wasn't surprised the attack had come form his blind side and gracefully dodged his friends rage induced charge with a side step. He followed the Get as he fell forward onto the ground and was rewarded with a face full of dirt and gravel as a reward. The Spiral snarled and staggered backward as he tried to brush the grit from his eye while bracing for the attack he knew was coming. Knowing Ced had him by weight easily Soren centered his body and turned a shoulder toward the raging Garou in hopes it would take a majority of the hit.

It had, but he'd also left himself open and the strength behind the upper cut to his gut cause the Spiral to yelp in pain, just as his breath left him. Still he refused to go down. He felt his own control slip on his rage and welcomed it, using it to block out the pain as the Get level a hit to his back that drove him down to one knee. Once at the lower level Soren lashed out, striking at Cedric's right knee aiming to inflict as much pain as he could with minimal damage. He was rewarded with a howl of pain. even then his wolf was already telling him to get out from where he was and to create some defensible space. When Ced dropped expectantly Soren scrambled backward just far enough to see the punch coming at his face and jerk his head out of the way at the last minute. He then dropped to his back and leveled a two footed kick to Cedric's chest, using the momentum from the kick to do a backward roll so he could get his feet back under him. "Knock it off Ced, you're stronger than this, take control back."
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by: Cedric McGarret
Breathless. Was that an emotion? Probably not in the context that Ced was feeling...damn his chest and knee hurt...and his face. His face? Had Soren hit his face? A warm trickle of blood from his eyebrow testified to the impact cut he'd received from being kicked back.

Knock it off, you've got more control than this!

Dammit, the Spiral was right. The Rage was still hot in his bones, and he'd proven himself, but he'd called Soren here to help, not to thrash.

"You're right...I do, I'm just having a hard time ignoring the fire song in my bones..."

He stood slowly and wiped the blood out of his eyes, staring at the glistening fluid. He'd come full circle, then, save that now he blood was his own and he'd earned the pain in his body. He knew where he stood, and that was well enough, wasn't it? His wolf had proved he could give blows as well as take them, so it was slightly easier to shut the beast back in his kennel...there was no lock on it anymore, but such was compromise, right?

He looked over at Soren, contemplating apologizing. No...he baited me into fighting him, so I won't apologize, but he did it to help me get control, so I can say thanks..."

"Thanks for responding quickly...I'm ready to talk more about joining the pack...after we get this cleaned up..."

His eyes were still gold, but the bright eagerness for blood was gone. Ced's breathing was still ragged as well, but he was tamping down the instincts bit by bit.
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by: Soren Shepard
Soren was breathing hard but he remained couched and ready to fight. He wolf wanted to hurt, to put this upstart get into his proper place. It was hard to push those feelings away but the human knew that this wasn't all Ced's fault. His rage was another story though and it took the Spiral longer than it should have to calm himself down. Once he was certain Ced wasn't about to try another attempt at pounding him into a pulp, Soren stood, a hand pressing up against where Ced had punched him with a slight grimace.

"Yea well i was in the area already so it wasn't to hard to find you after that letter. Now what the hell is all this about betrayal and joining the pack? I had a chat with your brother and he told me you we're going to run with them..." The last was said with a snarl. There were more questions the Spiral wanted answered. He needed to know about Cedric's involvement with the Syndicate and the Nosferatu and everything else for that matter.
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by: Cedric McGarret
Ced tamped down hard on his newly restrained temper. The mention of the betrayal was still raw. Still, if Soren asked, he would answer. Ced allowed himself a growl as he took several steps away from and then back towards the water's edge.

"It's...complex. Short story is that the humans I used to run with thought that throwing me to some werewolf hunters to be interrogated for a month would be a good way to remind me of the loyalty they thought they were due. All it did was put me in position to see that I didn't need to rely on them for anything. And Ilya-"

Ced blew out a sharp breath. Where did he start with the Hand of Tyr? They were interesting, and there was certainly the echo of heritage, but there was too much history with his father having an affair on Ilya's mother. No matter what Skoll said, the undercurrent of betrayal had been passed on to Ced to bear.

"Get of Fenris don't know how to forgive, even after they killed my father, I still have to bear his shame of being the product of an affair...so, as much as Ilya would like me to join the Hand of Tyr, I have no interest in forever trying to gain honor that will be forever denied."

Ced rubbed his neck, oblivious to the tacky blood he was smearing on his skin. He continued, finding that talking was helping him ramp down from his rage.

"With the Wild Cards, I have a chance to be me, fully. No masquerade to live with humans, no stigma I can't atone for...just me. If you'll have me."

Hell, they could say no, right? Still, some pack out there would take him, even if the Wild Cards wouldn't. But what are the odds of that, then? He was Garou, even if nobody wanted him.
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by: Soren Shepard
Soren felt his eye twitch at the mention of werewolf hunters. That was about as low as you could go. Even when dealing with the abominations the human's created a Garou would never stoop low enough to let a werewolf hunter get them. Hell, his own father, had almost been killed by one of those bastards. If the Spiral ever found those that left Ced that fate he'd rip them apart personally. But right now Soren couldn't allow that to cloud his judgement on what to do with the half-blood. While the short story was good enough for just talking it wasn't near good enough to prove that Ced wouldn't betray the Wild Cards at his earliest convenience.

Still he opted to wait until his friend finished his spiel. What he said about the Get was true and it was interesting that Cedric had come to that conclusion on his own. Soren also understood the plea to belong to a family where he didn't have to hid who he was. It was the same for most of the non-Spirals that ran in the pack. For one reason or another they had left their original tribes but the one common reason among them had been the desire to feel like they belonged.

The Spiral remained silent for a long while after Ced finished speaking. It was clear they needed to talk and tonight seemed like a good as night as any... Soren let out a sharp whistle and shortly after two more figures could be seen approaching. He held up a hand, motioning Cedric to stand down as the two Wild Card scouts he'd brought with him closed. A few quick words with them and they both began the process of making it look like nothing had ever happened. With that issue taken care of Soren moved back to Ced and motioned that he follow. He didn't check to see if the man complied but if he was serious about joining the pack he would follow.

Once they were clear of the initial kill site the Soren turned back to Cedric. "Those two will take care of the cleanup. I'm going to apparate us someplace we can talk... I mean really talk Ced. If you're serious about being a Wild Card you need to know there is no turning back, and there is no half loyalty. When you run with Spirals and you run in our pack it's all or nothing, and you need to know that your former pack and mine aren't on the same side. So consider this your one and only chance to back out because you won't get a second chance."
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by: Cedric McGarret
Ced followed Soren. He jammed his hands in his pockets and clenched the thin cotton liner in his fists. The rage still wanted out, but he was in control....dammit, he was in control! He kept repeating that to himself as Soren laid out the facts.

The thing was, Ced already knew that by leaving the Syndicate, he'd be going to enemy territory. He thought long and hard about har before tonight. The implications of leaving were simple: he would have to declare himself an enemy to the Nosferstu clans, the goblin clans, and the humans. His only regret was that nobody would advocate for his werewolves...perhaps they'd step up to defend themselves, but the little ones like Maisie wouldn't have him to help them.

The world was a hard place, especially for a werewolf. If they didn't learn that on their own, then no manner of helping could keep them safe. Better he watch out for his own sanity, in the end.

"Jake broke honor. Ask what you want to know, tell me what you want me to do. I can think of several useful things that I know as former second-in-command that should prove worthwhile for you and...the pack."

He stumbled over addressing the pack. Was it his? Could he say "ours" yet? Did it matter? Ced waited for Soren to begin questioning, ready to take his first steps as a bretrayer.
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