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The flame is flickering

The potential exists that I might very well start writing for Juraj again, though I would much rather roleplay with him if those I used to play with or someone new were to surface.
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Thank you for reading

I just wanted to drop a note here to thank those who have found my journal and are enjoying what I've written...ill health and other things have put my writing on hold, hopefully one day I'll be back.
intensity

Continued Hiatus

This webpage will remain on hiatus due to my poor health, it will re-open when I can devote the time to it I feel it deserves. I apologize to those who follow it.

JD
bangs

Backstory 14

He sits with his book in his lap, turns the page, that seeming to be the only thing he's got to say on the subject at this second in time.

"So we play the guessing game and hopefully hit the right one?" His tone takes an air of annoyance but he catches himself towards the end.

"That's up to you.  I'll see if there might be other ways." Though he doesn't sound hopeful saying so.

He stands up and starts the restless prowling again.

He turns the page, sips his coffee, and continues to read.

"Then what?"  He tosses the question out without stopping the pacing.

"Then you have a direction, and a task for your life to work toward"

"Who decides what that "task" is?"

"It's decided when you're born.  We have no control over it. All we can do is tell you what it is."

"How can anyone plan for something that far in advance?"

"Because it's the moon you're born under.   You'll have an affinity for...fighting, the spirits, tale-telling, etc."

"So it's all one big circle...and we're back to the first thing which we have no clue on.."  He moves over to the bed and flops down on his stomach on it.

"At the moment, that is correct, for the moment"  He says, turning a page.

He grabs his pillow and for a brief moment contemplates heaving it across the room before simply throwing it to the other end of the bed instead.

He turns the page.

Seeing that it draws no response Juraj rolls onto his back after sliding down so he can put his feet on the wall again.  "You read alot...that all you do?"


He's actually staring at the scuffed toes of his boots as he lays on his back on the bed, rather then Vladik..what a change.

"Can you read?"  His tone curious.

He flicks his eyes over towards the man. "That a joke?"

"I rarely joke, actually." He then closes the book and holds it out to him if he wants to see it.

"You lock me in here all day yesterday with a stack of books and then today you ask me if I can read...shouldn't that have been the question yesterday?"  He does however drop his feet off the wall and get up to take the book from him before returning to the bed.

"I assumed actually.  Which I probably should not have considering the barbarians you came from.  I apologize"

He doesn't yet open the book as Vladik's words stop him.  "I went to school back home before the war, and some when I first came here to my Grandparents...by the time the Gnawers found me I was too old to be going anyway."

He nods faintly, takes his coffee and looks around the room taking a sip.

"I read better in Croatian, but I can read English well enough if I need to." He opens the book and flips through it.  (The Brothers Karamazov by Doztojesky) It doesn't take him long to lay it aside again.

"It's not light reading.  I found it easier reading it in the original."

"You been here a long time?"

"I've been in this country a few years, yes."

He stretches out on the bed again and returns his boots to the wall, pacing off the height heel to toe. "How long before you stopped missing it?"

"Missing what?"  He looks back toward him, curious.

"Where you came from...the sound of your language...everything?" He again isn't looking at the man as he questions him.

"I missed the place for less than five minutes. I missed the language only for as long as it took me to properly master the new one."

He grows silent, clearly not the answer he was expecting and for several minutes he does nothing more than watch his feet as he keeps up the heel toe pacing on the wall.

He sips the coffeecup again, playing with it in both hands. "You?"

He stops, then a moment later drops his feet but he doesn't yet look at Vladik, "It wasn't really the same place after the war started and my parents were killed, but it was still home, I guess it always will be."

"Many feel that way.  I've found if you have a family of any sort when you're very young, it's that way.  Especially if they genuinely care about you."

"We never had lots of relatives close by, I only knew about them from the pictures, it was always just the three of us."

"That's still something."

"Lot of good it did me."

"You survived.  You miss it.  So it did something good for you. Few people miss what was unpleasant."

"I don't think I'd call war pleasant...but I guess...even as hard as it was I knew I always came first with them, that they'd go without to make sure I had enough." He got up and began his restless pacing, obviously ill at ease with the direction of the conversation.

"There you go.  It must have been nice to know someone loved you." His tone is.... carefully neutral, looking down at the cup he's slowly turning in his hands, elbows on the chair arms.

"Yeah..but that was a long time ago...and they're both gone now..."

"But they're still with you.  You remember them."

"Yeah..."

He nods faintly. "Good."

He walks over and leans against the door with his hands on either side of it. "Can we get some air?"

He sets the cup down and stands.  Motions for him to get out of the way.

He catches the motion and backs off the door to let him over to it.

He goes over and whispers something, then opens the door without trouble.  Slides through, holding the door open for the other.

He follows Vladik out...again paying attention to the route they take.

He goes down another hall, up a flight of stairs, down another hall, to an elevator.  Going inside, it's obviously not the same elevator. This one is huge, like a service or warehouse elevator.  It doesn't move for long before the doors open again and they go down another hallway, all white walls, white tile floors, the occasional door with no marking.  To the end of the hallway ending in a heavy steel door. Which he opens for the other.

He keeps his eyes open for any other person, so far a rarity since the first night.

Nope, nobody around.  As if Vladik is purposefully taking routes that will take him far from anyone. "You memorize a new map every night?"  The question is quiet and
maybe not really serious.

"No."  He closes the door behind the other.  The yard is quiet and empty, concrete and steel.  From the light overhead and the faint glimmer of stars, it's very early in the morning.

He draws several deep breaths...clearly he is relieved to be outside and then he begins that restless prowling again, covering the perimeter of the yard over and over to expend the pent up energy that has been eating him up.

"If you don't calm down, you'll never make it here." He says as he takes a seat near the door, resting his back against the building.

"I'm just not used to being inside so much, I told you that." He cuts across the yard to where Vladik sits.

"You need to get used to it.  Or you'll be killed."

"Why do I have to stay inside?"

"You need to get used to it.  There will be times when you may well spend weeks in the sept building, and never leave it.  There are moots that sometimes last days, and are held inside for security reasons. You'll need to deal with them, too."

"Weeks?"  His tone says it all as he takes a seat on the cement. "What's a moot?"

"A moot is a meeting of the tribe, usually including the kinfolk for at least a part of it, to talk about the state of the tribe, the Sept, and the nation"

He smiles, realization dawning..."Oh, an Orkin..."

That gets a raised eyebrow.  "Excuse me?"

"An Orkin...Gnawers would come from all over..lots of booze, lots of food...a pretty big blowout."

"Oh."  He's obviously unimpressed.

"They're not all the same?"

"No"

"They had some pretty good ones.  So, when's the next one of these Moot things?"

"One week. You will be presented to the Elder then.  Whether or not you are ready, I will have to present you."

"You don't think I am."  It was clearly a statement, not a question.

"No, you're not." It's obviously a certainty to him.

"I told you when you first asked me I wouldn't let your life be put at risk because of my behavior, I meant it.  If I need to work on something then tell me."

"You are what you are.  That we have no control over.  I accept that.  I have no choice."

"I may not be thrilled with this but it's one thing to fuck with my life it's another to do it to someone else's."

He shrugs and looks away noncommittally "I'm a metis."  Said like it doesn't'  matter.

"It matters to me, so quit saying that."

"I will speak the truth.  Metis, in the grander scheme of things, are more expendable than even kinfolk.  That is one of the things you must learn.  You will be expected to behave like they do, if you are to fit in and be successful."

"That's fucked."  He for once forgets that the giant hand might come down and thump the crap out of him.

"It's the truth.  Metis are the product of two Garou who broke the Litany.  The result is a mule, born in Crinos and trapped in that form until it's first Change.  Reviled by the Nation, and surely the tribe, another part of the Litany almost never applies to them:  Respect those beneath you, for all are of Gaia.  Remember this, always.  When I present you, you will be expected to behave in this way."

"But that's not right." He stands up, clearly he is having a hard time with this part.  If I'm supposed to follow the Litany and it says respect those beneath me, why is it okay to break it with you..that doesn't make sense."

"Because I'm Metis. My existence, the existence of all Metis, is an insult to Gaia.  The fact that there are so many of us, and our numbers are growing, demonstrates that we are losing the battle to save the world, and who wants to see a walking abomination?  A living symbol that their cause is likely doomed?" He keeps his voice neutral, might well be talking about the weather, as if this is a fact of life that's very deeply ingrained.

"I don't see an abomination when I look at you...I see someone you might see anywhere else...who cares how you were born?"

"The Nation.  All they see is a Mule"

"How does anyone know to look at you?"

"Because everyone knows what I am."

"So why not go somewhere where they don't know what you are?"

"Because I'm obligated to tell every Garou and kin what I am. Breed is part of the announcement"  He finally looks back to the other with those pale, sunken eyes.  "You do remember yours, right?"

He blows a breath out loudly. "Yes..."

He nods faintly, then sits back, folds arms and looks away.

He takes off across the yard again..the sound of his combat boots echoing on the cement as he makes his rounds.

He is not followed, Vladik just sits there and waits for him to digest this new information.

He makes a good half dozen circuits of the yard before coming back to Vladik again.  "What else will I have to submit to?"

"Those of higher station.  Always."

"I remembered that one."He rubbed his shoulder without thinking.

"Don't eat like an animal.  Don't look sideways at any kinfolk.  Keep your dick in your pants - just because you can sire children doesn't mean you're ready or will be allowed to, even if you find a kin you like. Follow the litany.  Don't speak out of turn.  And..."  He pauses, glancing around briefly, speaking more softly and in Russian "Show as little of your emotions as you can.  Tell as little of yourself as you can. Give no one reason to fear you, or to feel you are a threat."  Then he goes back to normal volume, and continues in English "If you can do these things, it's a start to your continued existence among your tribemates"

He nods then it's his turn to speak and he raises his voice slightly."I'll give you no reason to be ashamed of having been the one to have instructed me."

He shrugs.  "I was assigned.  It was beyond my control."

In broken Russian he adds..."Even if it is fucked."

Answers in Russian, softly "The world is fucked.  The nation is fucked.  We're fucked.  So either get used to it or bend over and take it up the ass.  But stop complaining.  Be happy you are not a mule.  PB doesn't matter.

He smiles to Vladik...before taking off to get a couple more rounds of the yard in before he has to head back inside.


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Backstory 13

Juraj comes out of the bathroom looking much more at ease in jeans then he ever did in the sweats, he's definitely more in his element, and he heads for the table and the breakfast.  You can't help but get the impression watching him eat that he's used to fighting to hang onto whatever he gets so it's get it while you can and eat fast or lose it.

He sits reading his book and doesn't look up.  Though there is a second cup of coffee from which he does take a sip, saying in a soft voice "You realize no one will steal your food.  We are not animals here. Eat so that you aren't nauseous in twenty minutes, please."

He's definitely taking no chances on having someone take things here though he does pause in mid bite as Vladik chides him.  "How do I know that?" He swallows the bite and does actually take a breath between forking another in his mouth.

"Because we are Lords"  As he turns the page, not looking up. As if that says everything.

He almost rolls his eyes then catches himself and shifts as if expecting the arm to smack him out of nowhere, but when he goes back to eating he does slow down somewhat.

Vladik, sitting stiffly straight and formal in the uncomfortable chair, carefully takes another sip, sets the mug down, and turns another page.

As before he cleans every plate leaving nothing behind before calling it quits and sitting back to savor the end of his own coffee...fuller then he's been in quite some time.

"You see, we are not animals.  We have our own food.  We eat our fill.  We don't wolf down our food like it's our last meal.  When in the field and there is any question, we follow the Litany.  It is the Law."

"Maybe so, but it's not like I have any idea when I'm likely to see the next meal again it's kind of catch it as I can right now."

"So long as you are here with us you will be able to eat whenever you like.  Though obesity is discouraged, a little pot belly is not uncommon"

He finishes off his coffee and sit the cup back on the table. "I've never had that problem,"  He doesn't mention that it's been more the opposite.

"I noticed"  He looks back to his book.  Turns page.

"You read alot."  He makes the observation more for conversational then anything else.

He closes the book and offers it to him without looking up.

He shakes his head."That's okay...it doesn't bother me."

He returns the book to his lap, but doesn't open it "Then why
comment on it?"

He gets up and rubs at his shoulder, working some of the stiffness out of the muscles from the night before's blow. "Just something to say."

He returns the book to his lap and opens it. Turns page. "Do you have any other questions?"

"About what?"  He pulls his arm behind his back and stretches it, still working on that shoulder.

Anything. "reading, turns page"

"Probably, I just don't know what."

"Well, when you figure out what you want to know, ask"

He releases his arm and returns to the chair, turns it around and straddles it so he can rest his arms on the back as he watches Vladik.

"Who was the guy running the show the night they hauled me in here?"

He turns the page.  If being watched bothers him it doesn't show.  He turns another page. "Hears Hungry Shadows, Adren Ragabash of the tribe."

He the same one knocked me across the yard last night?

"No" He turns the page again.

He studies him a moment. "That you?"

"No"

"Then who?"

"Stalks The Wyrm's Shadows, Athro Ahroun, Beta of the tribe."

"They decide what I am yet?"

"Only you can decide that."
 


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Backstory 12

After breakfast he prowled the room for a good twenty minutes before returning to the bed and the comic, he'd lay on his back with his feet on the wall, then roll onto his stomach only to change positions again omitting heavy sighs each time he did.

.........and that's how the day will pass for him. punctuated by the recessed lights dimming......

After a couple of hours he throws the comic on top of the others and begins to prowl again, upending what little furniture there is as if he'll find something he overlooked on his first inspection. He manages to pick up or touch every item in the room no matter
how small or seemingly insignificant before moving to the bathroom and repeating the process there.

He'll find nothing out of the ordinary.....and eventually the lights dim to what might be dim moonlight, and stay there. He continues to prowl for another hour before finally coming to rest in the corner of the room directly opposite the door, on the floor.  There he sits with his arms wrapped around his knees and he waits, his eyes on the door.

And time drags on...........and on............and on............

He doesn't seem to move, but neither does he sleep, he just seems to be willing to wait them out as long as it takes.

Eventually the lights start to come back on again, slowly brighter and brighter, until they're a normal brightness again. It's requiring quite a bit of his focus to keep his vigil but he's determined not to let himself fall asleep, his posture appears more rigid in compensation and his eyes a bit more intense as they remain on the door.  The door eventually opens and Vladik stands there silently.  Motions for the other to follow him.

He isn't really sure if the door has really opened of if he just thinks it has and there is a momentary delay as his mind has to check itself for the verification, once assured it is happening he release his knees and stands.  He's not quite sure how to read the other man so he doesn't immediately speak as he walks over. "Back to the yard?" The question comes once in the hall.

He nods, turning down a different hallway, ending at a stairwell.  He removes keys from his pocket, unlocks the door, and trudges up what turns out to be at least four flights of stairs, before coming to another door, another set of keys, and opening - to find it's pitch black out. The air is thick and laced with the stench of exhaust, trash, and urine.  It's the yard again, another door, which he closes silently behind the other as he exits.

He follows him outside, relieved despite the conditions.  He stops and draws several deep breaths, letting the air fill his lungs.  "What's with the silent treatment?"

"Nothing you need to be concerned with." With that he turns to open the door again as if to leave him out here.

"It does concern me though."  His levels his eyes on the man. "You people kidnap me, tell me you have to teach me all this shit for my own good then lock me up and ignore me.  What kind of sense does that make?"

"It's not my choice.  I'm a Metis."  With that he slips through the door again unless stopped.

"Well then get the fucker whose choice it is...this is bullshit. BULLSHIT...DO YOU HEAR ME YOU FUCKIN' MOTHERFUCKER WHOEVER YOU ARE AND I KNOW
YOU'RE FUCKIN' WATCHIN' ME RIGHT NOW!"  He storms around the perimeter of the
yard as he rages, making sure his voice carries despite their surveillance. "THIS IS BULLSHIT!"

Suddenly, right beside him, something tall and black as the shadows seems to be born of them, a long clawed arm sweeps out and backhands him strongly across the face and shoulders, sending him flying a good distance, and a gravelly voice speaks "Shut up. Or I kill you."

He hits the ground hard and it takes a minute more before he gets his wind back, he does however climb back to his feet as he wipes the blood off his face. "Got someone's attention." He comments quietly before growing silent again.

The voice is the same.  He might note a pair of large eyes nearly ten feet in the air, the Crinos hard to distinguish even knowing he's there, in the deep shadows with the few stars glimmering overhead. "Yes. Now shut up.  Hear word word les-son. for Cub. Learn or die.  Behave or die. Simple. Cub understand?"

He does squint upwards trying to discern features in the darkness..."I have been."  He starts to protest then stops himself when he realizes the thing probably won't care. "Yes." The word is almost a hiss.

"Good."  Then...the thing seems to fade away into the darkness before his eyes, and he's alone again.

"This is so fucked."  He mutters the protest half under his breath as he walks back across the yard, rubbing at his shoulder as he does.

The door opens slowly as he approaches it.  Someone stands in the doorway, the light behind him making it a silhouette.  It motions to follow, and as it turns and enters the light it's obviously the whip thin and slightly greying homid form of Vladik.  The astute might note he's walking a little oddly.

He takes a final look around and draws a deeper breath of the outside air before reluctantly following the man back inside.  "So what's with all this shit, I thought you were supposed to be teaching me, not leaving me cooped up for who knows how long?"

The door closes behind him, as if a gentle wind closes it with a soft click.  Vladik leads him another way back to the same room. There's a cheeseburger, laden with veggies and cheese, curly fries, a small bowl of chili and can of soda on the table.

"How am I supposed to get anything from that?"

Vladik shrugs faintly, shaking his head.  "I'm just a metis."

"What's that supposed to mean, and what happened to you anyway?"

"Nothing.  Eat, then sleep.  I'll return later, if I can."

He closes the door quietly behind him.

Juraj pounces on the food like he hasn't eaten in days, manners be damned he might as well be starving...not to mention that it's hot and fresh. Old habits die hard.  He does however pause with his cheeks packed to acknowledge the man's words with a nod.

The door clicks and then he's alone again.

As he leaves he goes back to eating or rather inhaling the food...finished he strips the sweats off to access the damages left by the blow across the yard.  He cleans off whatever blood was left behind and wets a towel to use as a compress for his aching shoulder before retreating to the bed, once more sleeping only in his shorts.

Some time later Vladik returns, bringing a tray of omelet, home fries (laden with green peppers and onions and other good stuffs), coffee, etc. The works.  Sets it down on the table, takes his chair and sits in the chair nearby. He starts reading a book he brought with him.

As a precaution before sleeping Juraj hid his boots beside him in the bed, not sure how they get in the room without his hearing them while he's sleeping but taking no chances with them disappearing.  The smell of food eventually rouses him and he wakes with a groan, his shoulder a nice blue/black where he took the hit as is the place on the side
of his face.  He rolls the stiffness out of the shoulder as he sits up. "Mornin."

Turns pages waiting for him to wake up.  There's a new set of clothes on the bed today. jeans, t-shirt, etc.  Normal clothes, rather than something vaguely prison-y.

He pulls his boots out from under the covers without comment before getting up and grabbing the other clothes.

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Backstory 11

Unless he's somehow gotten a wake-up klaxon he most likely sleeps in, the luxury of a real bed with mattress and all a welcome change.  Sleeping in boxers alone...

Returns, likely heinously early.  Looking a tad older than he was the last time.  Carrying a few books and pamphlets under his arm.  He snorts, dropping the pile of books onto the little table with a rather loud BANG!

Comes awake with a start. "What the fuck?" He sits up suddenly.

He turns to the almost naked homid, puts hands on slender hips, the smell of incense starting to fill the room "I've been up two hours already, paying respects to the spirits.  And if I'd been an enemy - you would be dead now.  He grabs a new set of clothes laid on a chair and throws them at him casually "Get clean, and put these on. I'll be outside"

"An alarm clock works just as well you know." He flops backwards onto the bed for a moment.  He lays there a minute more before reluctantly sitting back up, grabbing the clothes and his boots and heading into the bathroom.

In response to the comment, the door slams shut rather loudly, too.

He spends a good fifteen minutes enjoying the comforts of a hot shower before dressing and coming out to take a seat on the bed to wait.

Nothing happens.  There's the room, magically arranged in painful cleanliness and neatness, despite the little time he'd been in the shower, and not a peep heard the whole time either over the water.The books and pamphlets sit on the table neatly stacked too.

"OK..I get it, the least you could do was leave me coffee..." He gets up and picks up one of the books before flopping back down on his stomach on the bed, the soles of his boots striking a tone on the wall as he thumps them against it while he flips through it.

It's some thing of history.  No history he can remember from school.  Told from the point of view of the Shadow Lords.

It takes him quite some time to work his way through the text...while English is his second language his education in it was limited to less then 4 years of formal schooling.

Time passes...and nothing happens. The room gets a bit colder though....

He struggles with the text for a good hour and a half before he reaches frustration and pushes it aside, he flips through the others then browses the pamphlets, before his stomach starts rumbling.  "Food would be nice...and coffee." He prowls the room looking under furniture and just being basically nosey.

Some seem to be picture books, almost comics, basically the same history over and over again from a different point of view....but all with the Shadow Lord rhetorical spin.  The temperature in the room gets...colder...

Finally he stands in the middle of the room.."For fuck's sake...is it to much to ask for a cup of coffee?  I'm reading your damn books..the least you could do was bring me coffee and food."

The temperature not long after starts to rise.

He goes back to the table and picks up a comic.  "See, this is me reading."  He flops back on the bed.

Not long afterwards, Vladik comes in with a steaming mug, and a small plate. Set them down on the table, turned around, and left again shutting the door behind him

He tosses the comic aside and immediately goes for the coffee and takes a drink, not even waiting to see if it's been spiked.  He drinks a good half the cup before even looking at the plate to see what's on it.

The coffee's rather hot, strong, and hazelnut.  The plate's got an omelet and croissants of all things!

He wolfs the food down like he's not eaten in days once he gets started, the first hot meal he's had in who knows how long and he's eating like it might be his last in just as long.  He cleans the plate to even wiping a finger over it so he doesn't leave anything behind before calling it quits.  He finishes off the coffee before returning to the bed and the comic, deciding it's the least difficult of the histories.

Nothing else happens.


To be continued...
side profile

Backstory 10

He glances back to Vladik as the man speaks.  "Yeah...thanks.  I hate being cooped indoors... my grandfather had me stuck in a hospital a couple years after I first got here, said my being in the war might have made me crazy." He made the admission quietly, another of those meant only for Vladik's ears.

His expression turns more troubled..."May I ask why?"

The younger Shadow Lord had folded his arms and was resting them on his knees, gazing across the yard but at the question he turned his head to the other man.  "Why he had me locked up?"

He nods faintly.

He releases a breath and looks away a moment but then looks back.  "They were my mother's parents, they never approved of the marriage in the first place, my father was Catholic, and a Croat..when I came here to live with them, I started having dreams, I guess it was all more then my grandfather wanted to deal with, so he'd smack me around and I'd get pissed and take off and do shit I shouldn't do.  It was easier to blame it on the war, so he did and they locked me up for awhile, when I got out I took off."

"I see."  He looks away. "Allow me to guess it was the threat of your first Change coming."

"I don't know, I don't think he knew anything about it...the Gnawers said my mother probably wasn't Kin."

That gets a rather confused look.  "The chance of someone not Kin and not trueborn to have a trueborn child are......incredibly small. Almost a miracle."

"Could they have been it without knowing? I mean, if my father didn't know, or hadn't told me?"

He ponders, sitting back a bit and folding his arms "It's hard to hide that you turn into a seven or eight foot tall death machine, my friend.  My personal guess is that you were adopted somehow."

He shakes his head, clearly this is something that was never ever a remote possibility.   "I would have known...they were always there." He stands up suddenly.

He glances up.  Shrugs.  Looks away again. "If you insist."

The matter has definitely raised some agitation in him and he rakes his hands back through his hair before circling where the other sits searching for something in his memory that vaguely suggests any truth to what he says...his face takes on a look of grim seriousness as he chews at his lip but the end result is the same and he eventually retakes his seat, his efforts in vain.

He doesn't move, and is polite enough not to watch him wrestle with this difficult issue.  The grey-streaked brows twitched together a bit.

"There used to be pictures..."  His words come quietly after some time of silence.  "I remember them keeping them in a black album...they were very old..."

"And how old were you, in them?"  Curious.  The astute might note some genuine concern in the tone.

"I wasn't in them...my father would show them to me.  He said they were family from a long time ago, dark like he said I would be, he was dark...I never understood why he didn't say he was dark like they were too."

Which gets a few moments thought...and then another small shrug.

With the question still unanswered he again looks across the cement slab.

"I'm sorry there really isn't a way to make this easier for you.  If  I knew how...I'd try."  Is all he says, then stares off a bit to the left at something, head tipped slightly as if listening to something on the wind....

"I know..it was this way with the Gnawers too..they tried.." His voice has the quiet tone of accepted defeat to it.

...he doesn't seem to hear him at first.  Belatedly he looks up and blinks at him blankly. "hm?"

He's still looking across the yard at the building ahead and simply shakes his head. "Nothing."

He frowns, knowing a lie when he hears it and looks not terribly pleased, but doesn't press.

He finally stands again and begins the restless pacing of earlier.

He watches briefly. "Let me know when you get tired."

"I'm not tired, I'm just bored."

His head tips slightly "What would you like to play with?"

He stops and cants his head slightly.  "I'm not a little kid, it's not about playing with things...I'm used to being out places and doing things...not being in a cage like an animal in the zoo."

"I assure you this is hardly caging.  If you like, I can get the kinfolk to stand around the fence to stare at you - then you can say you're on display at the zoo"  His tone perfectly serious.  "Some prefer...balls or jump ropes or something to do"

He waves his hand around at the fence.  "If this isn't caging what is it?"

"You want the shackles back?"

"No, I don't want the fuckin' shackles back...fuck."  He paces off to the far side of the yard to stew a bit.

He actually smirks faintly, refolds arms on his knees, resting chin on them.  Someone slips out with a small cooler then - exchanges a blink with Vladik, then disappears again.

He burns off some of his anger by placing several solid kicks into the fence, despite the eerie feeling they leave behind. "Fuck."...kick..."Fuck."...kick..."Fuck"...kick...

A haggard voice calls "I've found kicking the medicine ball more...rewarding.  If you keep that up you'll lose what little touch with the spirits you possess"  As if he doesn't believe the other has much connection to them to begin

He follows through on his final kick just for the hell of it before walking back over.  "What are you talking about now?"

He has the cooler open and is rummaging around in it "The spirits, you fool."  Said in a gentler tone than it reads "They're all around you.  Though I suspect you're not a Theurge to know it, you still have Gnosis and they still not notice you"

"Oh...no...I don't think so", he takes a seat on the ground and looks towards the cooler.  "I don't suppose there's beer in there?"

That gets him a "you must be shitting me" look from Vladik.

He shrugs and squints up into the sky for a moment. "Had to ask."  When he looks back his face has grown serious again.  "How long they going to play this game?  I mean, I figure they're trying to wear me down, am I right?  Once they decide I'm properly tamed the big guy from the other night will probably take his turn at me.  Then what?"

"You make assumptions, Cub.  Stop it.  Make no assumptions when dealing with Shadow Lords.  And treat everything we say as if we lie - everyone else does"  with sad resignation, as he passes over a sandwich.

He almost opens his mouth to yell but stops himself and instead takes the sandwich with very little enthusiasm. "Don't call me Cub."

"Then stop talking like one."  As he offers a can of soda, then takes a sandwich and soda for himself and closes the cooler.

"It's a fair question..."  He takes the can and sets it beside him. "Thanks."

"However, the way it was put, showed that you are likely neither a Galliard or a Philodox.  You have a great deal to learn. Refinement.  Restraint.  The proper use of this language, nevermind your native tongue, and you're welcome"

"I remember my native tongue....not for lack of my Grandfather trying to get me to stop using it."

"I know you do.  As I said, I recognize it but don't understand it.  You need to be at least as eloquent in this language as you are in your own."

"I've been here as long as I was there....plus..."  He smiles for the first time. "Girls like the accent, they think it's sexy."

"It isn't the accent that I'm chiding you for, but your use - and thus seemingly your command - of the language.  You speak like a street urchin.  You have no culture.  Your speech has no finesse. You'll need these to live in the political machinations that are the tribe of the Lords, as a trueborn that can breed."

"I don't know anything about political whatever they ares...but yeah, I do know the street because that is where I've been most of my life."

"Well then, that's another thing you'll have to learn, or you'll be eaten alive within six months."  He takes a careful bite of the sandwich, then a sip of soda.

"I'll die of boredom before then..."  He pops the end of his own sandwich in his mouth before stretching out on the cement.

"No, because I'll present you to the tribe before you die of boredom.  The first rule you need to learn - as a Cliath, you need to keep your eyes and ears open, and your  mouth shut. Learn from the others, who've been raised as Lords, watch what they do.  And stay away from the Kin.  All have guardians who tend to look unpleasantly on any who might be seen as courting their kin without their knowledge"

He cracks an eye open at that and smiles slightly..."How bout a little recreational foolin' around?"

"That could well get you killed. I'd advise against it.  At the very least, you'd lose your balls.  And those don't always grow back."

"Shit...I thought they wanted me for stud, then they want me to keep it in my pants..they gotta make up their minds."

"There are laws.  Fucking someone elses' kin breaks the law "Respect the territory of another". Most view kinfolk as property.  If you think you're seen as a stud....find a kinfolk with strong breeding.  He'll be bred to everything --kin and Garou, until he dies."

He releases a breath but seems to accept the response and doesn't press it further. "So how do you find out who's line I'm from?" The question comes after a long delay.

"We don't.  It's probably lost to the sands of time, and the winds of change.  I would focus on figuring out what you calling is before Gaia."

"How do I do that?"

"The same way I said before. We find out what interests you, and work from there."

"I suspect the Mothers's touched you more heavily than most, though that doesn't necessarily mean you're a Galliard or an Ahroun."  He eyes the younger guy for several seconds more, then takes a sip "It'll be difficult"

He rolls over on his stomach and raises up on his forearms to look at the man,still shirtless, the sweat bottoms oddly matched with the old combat boots.

"Touched how?"

"By the Mothers Rage.  The easiest way to tell is to see how fast the mortals run away from you."

Gnawers said they ran in the park cause I was just bigger then most."

He starts to say something--then stops himself.  Shakes his head "Gnawers are to us like feral dogs are to prized hunting hounds.  Of course they would say such a thing."

He's not sure if he's supposed to say anything so he doesn't and instead waits the man out.

He sighs, crumples the wrapper up "do you like to fight?"

He shrugs..."Wouldn't say like is the word I'd choose, will if I have to, won't back down from one if that's what you mean. I can hold my own and have."

He shrugs "Any interest in law?"

"Not letting 'em catch me...yeah, that's been my plan."

He sighs, an expression of irritation. "Nevermind."  and puts the wrapper back into the cooler.

"What?  You asked me..."

"Forget I asked."  He stands "Are you done?"

"You mean have I had enough freedom for one day?"

"Freedom is relative.  We're all bound by duty.  So, really - who truly is free?"

He pushes himself up and to his feet before brushing any gravel off his skin and walking over to retrieve the shirt from where it's been laying. He walks back without bothering to put it back on. "Not me, obviously."

He gathers up the cooler  "Well, neither am I.  The Spirits watch us, always." With that cryptic statement, he taps three times on the door, quickly.  A few moments later there's a snap, and the door opens, and he goes through.  Leading him back to the room.

He follows, mapping out the walk in his head as they go.

He deposits the kid in his room, not entering, and goes to shut the door behind him.

To be continued...

watching

Backstory 9

He doesn't seem to be aware of what the other's done. Or is doing

If he thinks anything is going to happen Juraj doesn't show it as he lays across the bed with his legs hanging off the side.

He carefully sets the can on the table and walks slowly, rather stiffly out the door, closing it quietly behind him.

He glances to Vladik as he leaves , then frowns.  "Well fuck...FUCK!..."  He turns lengthwise on the bed and plants his combat boots on the wall as he lays there.  "FUCK ALL OF YOU!"

......some time passes.........

He spends a good half hour walking his boots up and down the wall, leaving black marks from the heels in their wake.  Tiring of that he tears one of the pop cans in half and uses it's ragged edge to cut half the sleeves off the sweatshirt he'd been provided with before putting it back on.  Finished, he balls the sleeves up around the crumpled can and starts to bounce it off the wall only to catch it as it comes back towards him.

Some time later Vladik returns, looking rather shaken.  Shuts the door behind him, retaking his seat, dropping an article of clothing on the bed as he passes it, of the same color as his shirt.

He glances over but doesn't stop what he's doing. Bounce...catch...bounce...catch...

He resumes his pose in the chair, elbows on chair arms, fingers knit before him, ankles crossed.  "Please put the other shirt on.  If you want something to amuse you, you could've just asked me"  His voice is a bit disconnected in tone

"I like this one."Bounce...catch...bounce...catch..."besides, you weren't here."

"I know you do, but you look like a derelict.  Do you want to eat trash and sleep in alleys and smell of piss, shit and decayed food all your life?"

He catches the makeshift "ball" and glances over with a rolling of his eyes but sits up and drops it beside him. "Well, fuck."  He strips the modified sweatshirt off and tosses it on the floor before grabbing the other and pulling it on."  Happy now?"  He goes back to tossing the "ball".  Bounce...catch...bounce...catch.

"No, but it will do for now, thank you.  Tell me, do you know how to play Chess?"

He actually stops a throw in mid toss to look his way.  "Not exactly the kind of game you pick up on the street."

"But you recognize what it is, which is better than most kids on the street.  Would you like to learn?"  Still doesn't quite look at him.

"I've seen them play it in the park...never thought about it much myself."

He nods faintly, stands and smoothly picks up the discarded shirt, heading for the door.  He leans out for a few moments, drops the shirt apparently and leans back with a wooden box with brass hinges.  He closes the door and goes to the table, opening the wooden box, which holds finely carved little chess pieces.  Then turns the box over, which is a checkered board.  Sets it up and turns the black toward himself as he retakes his seat, opening another can of soda and taking a sip.

He watches with more then a little suspicion. "Ok..what's the catch?  Whoever is watching me isn't keeping me locked in here to have me play games."  He looks to the ceiling again. "AM I RIGHT?"

"No catch."  He sits back, looking up and finally meeting the others eyes with his dull grey ones, taking small wireframe glasses out of his breast pocket--then nearly jumps out of his seat as the other shouts, dropping the glasses and nearly the soda as well, his voice a low hiss in Russian "Do /not/ do that again!"

He climbs off the bed and walks over to the table. "Why? They don't want me asking questions?"  He turns a chair backwards and straddles it before resting his arms across the back.

"If they didn't want you asking questions, I would not be here to answer them for you, you ignorant Cub!"  The tone an outright hiss, the dull grey eyes blazing at him with simmering Rage, jaw clenched tight.  "I, however, do not want to hear your screams anymore, if you Don't Mind!"

"Well, fuck..I'm sick of being locked inside...I'm not used to being cooped up."

"Get used to it.  The more you act unpredictably, the longer you will be here.  Now make a move unless you need me to explain the rules." His voice calms, somewhat.  Not much.  He leans down to retrieve the glasses and perch them on his nose, straightening to sit properly in the chair again.

He levels his eyes at the man, not ready to admit he's right but knowing he is all the same.  "This still sucks...and I don't know how to play, I already said that."

He carefully explains the various pieces, their names and how they move and the history of the game, as much as the other can stand

Despite the annoying habit of kicking his boot on the chair leg as he thinks he's gives the game his best. He's a decent study, able to concentrate when he puts his mind to it, it seems.

He lets it drag out probably longer than he needs to, before moving a Knight and saying "Checkmate" in a neutral voice, sitting back and peering at the other over his wireframe glasses.

If Juraj is bothered by the loss he doesn't show it, and he simply shrugs in response after a shake of his head.

"Learn anything?  Other than how the pieces move and general tactics?"

He looks up from the pieces and to the older man's face..."You mean planning ahead kind of?"

"Somewhat.  You see..." He leans forward and sets the white King where it's supposed to be. "This is what you are ultimately protecting.  Lose this and you lose everything.  This is Mother Gaia..... He then sets up the Queen.  "This is the spirits, which are powerful tools and allies but must also be protected, once their alliance has been withdrawn, it's almost impossible to regain....

He folds his arms on the chairback and rests his chin on the backs of his hands as he listens, the boot begins it's bounce again without his even thinking about it.

Then he sets up the Bishops "These are the elders of the Garou nation.  Like the bishops in history they are rather remote, and can be powerful allies, or powerful enemies.  And like the spirits, once their patronage is lost, it's almost impossible to regain."  Then the Knights and Rooks are set in their places  "These are the other ranks and auspices within the Garou nation.  They can be packmates, friends, or those who are forced to work with us through necessity.  They are key to the survival of the rest, and vital to the cause in many ways"  Then he sets up all the pawns, one by one, speaking solemnly as he goes "And these are the Cliath.  The lowest ranks of the Garou nation. Many are lost every day, their songs ending as their spirits join the ancestors - if they're  lucky.  Some are lost to the corruption of the Wyrm.  Some breach the Veil and are killed by mortals, or by the Nation to keep itself safe.  Most die in combat, before ever attaining Rank.  Those few that do, however, manage to survive - as you've seen - can rise to greatness one day and have real impact on the world in service to the Nation, the Spirits, and Mother Gaia." Then he sits back and sips his soda .Watching the other for reaction.

"I still don't see what difference it makes where I am..I mean you're all working for the same thing aren't you?"

"Yes"

"But not in the same way."

"Think, if you want, as the pieces representing different tribes.  There are thirteen of them after all.  The pawns are the Gnawers, and the queens are the Lords - the tribe to which you belong."

He chewed on that for a bit before saying anything.  "I owe them though...they're the ones that were there...I mean, I didn't know what had even happened. They were the ones that explained everything."

"And that's fine.  You've run with them for...how long?"

"Five years."

"So, in exchange for their saving your life when you might well have gotten yourself killed otherwise, you've already given them five years of your life.  I personally would consider the debt repaid.  You may honor the spirits they do if you like, but you're a Lord by breeding - I'm sure they saw that also.  And it's with your own people that you belong."

"Then why didn't you just come and ask for me, why kidnap me and treat me like a prisoner?"

"I didn't."

"I didn't mean just you."

"Would you have just come, if they'd just shown up and talked?  Or even if I'd shown up and told you what I just told you?"

"I don't know..."He pushed his chair back and got up to pace as he considered the question.  "I should have been given the chance to make the decision myself though."

"I'm sorry, but honestly, I doubt you would have.  And I don't blame you.  But considering what I said earlier, the tribe needs everyone, and your continued existence without the knowledge you need threatened your own life and our safety"

"Did they talk to the Gnawers, ask them to see if I'd come willingly?"

"Why should they?"

"Because they had kind of become my family..."

He sighs quietly, sets the can down, rests elbows on chair arms, knits his fingers, his tone taking on a bit of a regretful note..."Ok, in wolf society, there's an Alpha, a Beta and an Omega.  the rest of the wolves don't get so much attention so we'll ignore them for now.  The Lords in our wolf society are the betas of the Nation.  The Bone Gnawers are the Omegas.  The Beta doesn't ask the Omega what it wants - he tells the Omega what he needs, takes what he needs, or kills the Omega wolf if it gets in it's way.  An indulgent Beta might just throw the Omega out of the pack.  That's just how it is."

"Who are the Alphas?"

"They are called the Silver Fangs.  And they are a long story for another day"

He released a breath but didn't press the issue.  "Do you think you could talk them into letting me out of this room so I can get some air?"

"Yes.  But you must promise me to behave yourself, and to not try to escape.  I don't really want to have to kill you."

"All right."  The promise has a reluctant, resigned tone to it.

"Thank you.  Come with me."  With that he stands, touches the doorknob, it turns for him and he exits, holding the door behind him for the other to exit.

He rakes a hand through his hair, draws himself up to full height and again pulls on that attitude of meeting things on his own terms as opposed to appearing to be the prisoner that he is. "Ya gotta talk to them about the clothes situation, their choice really sucks." He voices the complaint so only Vladik hears him.

The other leads him down an empty hallway to an elevator...which seems to go up for a few seconds, then the doors open again. To another empty hallway.  Vladik leads him down this hallway to a heavy steel door. Opening this, there's what looks to be a schoolyard with a high fence - were it not in the middle of several high buildings forming almost walls around him many, many stories up...

Stepping outside he can't help but squint to the brightness of it all as he looks around.

The sun isn't shining down fortunately, the sky is blue, the air laden with the smell of gasoline from traffic.  The fences are a dozen feet high and topped with razor wire.  If he goes close to them he'd feel an oddness coming over him. (silver bits in the razowwire)

"Nothing like the park..but it's air..." he does indeed walk over near a fence only to back off at the sensation.

Vladik stands near the door, hands clasped behind his back, watching the other wander and explore.  If Juraj were observant he might note the several little cameras around on the buildings...some of which were
following him.

He paces off the length of the compound, letting his legs work out the tightness in the muscles from the days in the van and the manacles.

Vladik slowly takes a seat against the building, knees up, arms folded over them.

His movements take on the restlessness of a caged animal after a while and he walks without really seeing more then where his feet are being placed. More then once he gets too close to the fence and it's that eerie sensation that jerks his attention back to the present.

He rests his chin on the arms, closing his eyes...suddenly looking a /lot/ older than the mid-thirties that he likely is.

As this happens again he actually fights the urge to back off and reaches a hand out to touch the fence.

(Drop some gnosis. the silver coats the tips of the razors top the fence so he won't be hurt touching it only a point or so, thru proximity)

When there seems to be no ill effects he goes back to his pacing.

He sits, the gentle wind ruffling his hair.  Close inspection would reveal the first traces of grey running through the blackness.

He pulls the sweatshirt off and tosses it aside, his efforts generating a sweat, and he rolls his shoulders, stretching sore muscles as he continues walking.

Continues to sit there, quite still, save for the ruffling of his hair....

After a good 45 minutes he's reached the point of fatigue and he returns to Vladik and takes a seat beside him, still shirtless.

He doesn't move, even then.

He uses the time to watch the other man but does not break his work and try to escape.

He doesn't seem to be remotely aware that the other has sat next to him.  Might be asleep, who knows?

His breathing comes a like heavy and his skin glistens with sweat, despite being on the thin side it is obvious that with proper diet he has the potential for good strength and muscle tone...his family line being very evident.  He uses the time to study the windows, looking for anyone watching him in return.

Vladik finally raises his head and looks over to him "Better?"

He glances back to Vladik as the man speaks.  "Yeah...thanks.  I hate being cooped indoors...my grandfather had me stuck in a hospital a couple years after I first got here, said my being in the war might have made me crazy."  He made the admission quietly, another of those meant only for Vladik's ears.


.To be continued

intensity

Backstory 8


"No, they're not, that's true.  So we can either sit here and try to work it out together, now, or you can continue to be uncertain about the course your life should be taking and throw that into the general confusion.  Your call."

His immediate hunger satisfied the younger Shadow Lord finds himself rubbing at his wrists now that he has nothing better to do with his hands as he listens.  "I thought I was doing something with my life until they snatched me."

"Well, what were you doing?"  The tone of the older turning from neutral to genuinely curious.

His leanness and the condition of his clothes on arrival, says that while he might have been living,  perhaps he wasn't exactly doing it under the best of circumstances.

He hesitates, picking at the edge of skin before saying anything.  "We were getting by...hanging with friends, you know."

He sits back a bit in his seat, knits fingers before him, elbows on the chair arms.  "I see.  So, no job.  No...direction.  No...raison d'etre, as they say.  You just...were there.  Yes?"

"You don't need a job to get money."  He makes the comment as if that much should have been obvious to the man.

"I see. So, you were a thief or some other sort of hooligan, risking the wrath of the mortal authorities, and threatening not just your own safety if you were caught but that of your friends and the fact that we exist."  His tone that of one talking to a bright but naive child that needs enlightenment.

"It wasn't like that, besides, it wasn't like there was a choice, I mean, not many places hire kids and then by the time you are old enough they want you to have all this education..."  He let's the end blow off with a pfft.

I see.  Well then....I suppose the Change was a godsend for you, since as a trueborn you will have Kinfolk supporting you financially the rest of your life.  That or the Tribe as a whole.

He looks up from peeling off the edge of torn skin.  "Why would anyone pay my way?"

"Because you're trueborn, and your task before the Mother is to fight the Wyrm.  That doesn't usually leave much time for a mundane job.  Which is part of what Kinfolk are for, to perform that duty for us.  Besides, you can shift, and are touched by the Mother's Rage.  Most humans can feel it, no matter how lightly we're touched by it.  That makes a mundane job more difficult, even if we had the time. It's hard to work with someone you're instinctively afraid of, when you don't know why."

"I guess I didn't really notice that with the Gnawers and their family, people look at them kind of weird anyway, so I didn't notice if it was different with me."

"I'm quite sure if you were to walk down any street with me, that easily 90% of the people will find a way to give you wide berth, whether or not they even realize why.  Even if we were dressed similarly - and I assure you that it wouldn't be because of anything about me."

He shrugs, then looks around the room.  "Not like we'll be testing that anytime soon. How long will they keep me locked up for?"

"For however long they feel you are a threat to the Veil." Said simply, with a faint shrug.

"What makes 'em think I was a threat where I was?"

"I don't know.  I'm just a Cliath, and a Metis.  They tell me very little--"  Stops there, glancing to the table beside him, finally reaching for a can of soda, pops it and takes a sip.

He climbs off the bed and begins to pace the room.  "How'd they find out about me?"
He doesn't look to the man as he asks the question.

"I don't know.  It's not really that hard, you know.  You have the breeding of old Shadow Lords.  One has only to look at you to see it." The older man stares at the can of soda before him, slowly turning it in both hands as if to give them something to do...

That stops him and he turns. "What do you mean?"

"Breeding in this day and age is rather rare.  I have some, so do others.  It's hard to define, it's more instinctive.  Like you know a cat is a cat and a lion is a lion just by looking at it.  Etc"

"So you're saying someone must have seen me and told someone else and they decided I didn't need my life anymore?"

"If you want to make that conjecture, it's possible.  As I said, I don't know."

"I just don't see what gives them the right to make decisions about what I do."  He starts the pacing only to stop as he realizes it's only wearing him down and he returns to the bed and sits again.

"That would be my personal guess, anyway"

"This whole thing just sucks." He looks up at the ceiling before yelling.  "DO YOU HEAR ME?  YOU ALL SUCK!!"

That makes him jump and look at him a bit wide-eyed.  He sits up in the chair, going a bit grey and looks around the room as if suddenly expecting something to appear and kill them both.....

He flops backward on the bed after the pronouncement.

He doesn't seem to notice, his free hand holding onto the arm of the chair, knuckles going white.  The can pops softly as he squeezes it, still looking around slowly... waiting....

To be continued...