[seven] witness.
August 7th, 2013

Champion of Honor rises from his bed in the infirmary. His eyes are still rolled back, their whites showing. His caretakers are asleep. His packmates hear his voice for the first time since he was taken from them, calling out to them.

But it is not his voice. It is not the voice they know, and the words rend their minds asunder. Still: they come, slipping through the penumbra and coming up the elevator and leaving traces of death behind them, traces that are not seen or felt til it is too late.

On the 43rd floor before the shrine of Luna, they gather. They strip their clothes down and take their birth forms and their war forms and listen to the voice in their minds. Though: their minds aren't really there anymore. That voice is becoming their own voice.

Four unfortunate Cliaths bear witness to what happens after that.


The fire begins in the infirmary. Maybe someone lingering downstairs near the Dancer kin is the one who grabs her and gets her out. The person who was supposed to be watching Champion of Honor gets others going and sounds an alarm but the fire takes them, merciless as all flame is merciless. The Warder tries again and again to communicate with the other floors but their systems are broken. The elevator doors ding open out of nowhere

and fire pours through the floor, eating at the flesh of kin and garou alike. He calls for the guardians. He calls upon his packmates, the other elders, until every hand on every floor is bent towards getting everyone out alive.

Not everyone, though.


Suddenly, the gouts of flame expending themselves to toxic-tasting, sickly air, the sprinklers come on. Water pours over chemical burns and screams echo through corners of the building. Healers summon the falling water with all their remaining strength to carry some measure of peace to those afflicted.

Hiding in an office several floors down, broken into because though it is technically a humans-allowed floor, it is leased by kin,

the unfortunates who live in the sept huddle and hide. Among them, an infant wails and hiccups. Among them, the infant's mother sits mutely against the wall, staring at nothing. Among them, a man with eyes as dark but skin several shades lighter than the Warder's closes his eyes and wills himself not to think that maybe tonight is the night his brother dies.


Outside, a ghost beneath a tarp stirs his bronze hand, and is still. It is too late. He is almost always too late.

He slumbers again.


Word gets around soon, because it has to:

the Guardians of Cold Crescent are dead. The Guardians of Cold Crescent slaughtered each other. Champion of Honor is in pieces. Four Cliaths witnessed it and came down the cables in the elevator shaft when the fire was out, injured and healing and sick from what they watched happen. What they tried to stop, but could not.

Perhaps even: sickened by what they were able to do.


The Warder closes off the 43rd floor completely. The other floors are Cleansed before anyone attempts to clean, and hotel rooms nearby are taken out and the Sept is almost -- but not entirely -- evacuated. Of kin and cubs, at least. Every Theurge who can help is asked to do so: to soothe the spirits, to attend to the wounded, to begin performing final rites upon the maimed, mutilated corpses of the Guardians that

no kinfolk, family or not, is allowed to see. By the Warder's declaration.


The next day, the entire building is closed for an emergency fumigation on all floors. Everyone is really pissed about it, they couldn't have given notice? What the fuck is an 'emergency' fumigation?

Plus they don't even get the day off. Fucking remote work. Ugh.


The question everyone wants to ask is what the fuck happened.

But the Warder is not taking questions.
my whole life is thunder.
Keisha is probably one of the gentler of the Goddess' warriors among the Garou of Denver. She always has a warm smile for people and a kind word; she is of the "turn the other cheek" philosophy and even those who scoff at her vow against killing don't get angry words from her. She understands that everyone has their own way. She understands that hers is a difficult path to follow. She thinks she understands a lot.

That night, she is not warm and she is not smiling. And she doesn't understand anything. Because along with the two Shadow Lords who helped her rescue Champion of Honor and a Fianna who helped save her life this night, she emerged from the wrecked elevator bleeding and covered in the unholy burns caused by the unnatural chemical-flames. Her dedicated clothes are seared and practically falling off, but she doesn't pay it any heed. She's quiet, moving slowly with a quiet and almost vacant expression.

She doesn't stop though. Her staff is held in two hands, wrapped tightly around it as if it's a tree keeping her from being swept away by a hurricane. She leans on it to facilitate her walk (One of the nice things about Iskakku, her teacher once joked, is that you have your own cane when someone else has gotten through it and crippled you.) She stops just long enough to allow someone to cleanse her as long as is needed, waves off attempts to heal her.

"I'll be fine," she says quietly. "Save it for those who need it more."

As soon as she's cleansed, she gets a bit of her psyche back (just a bit) and joins the Theurges if allowed. She helps to heal, but particularly to perform final rites. She doesn't ask, doesn't beg, but she does insist unless someone specifically orders her not to. It's important to her, she argues. She needs to help give them the dignity in their passing that they were not allowed in their deaths. Including Champion of Honor...especially Champion of Honor. Even if she isn't allowed to help with the final rites, she wants to be there.

Mostly, she needs to be doing something to help. It allows her not to focus what she's witnessed, and the implications of what her own actions wrought. People had been talking about how she was the one who figured out how to find Champion of Honor, and they may well be talking about in a very different manner now. It's safe to say that Still Waters is definitely thinking about it very differently now.

She doesn't sleep. Not the first night, anyway. Not until she is made to, or she gives in. There's too much to do, and Still Waters run deep. She's a little afraid of exactly how deep her thoughts run.

Her Iskakku staff is almost a part of her being (certainly a part of her identity), and it stays with her throughout the ordeal. The staff is, like her, scathed and charred in parts. But it remains whole. And like it, Keisha is not broken, whatever people may think after the whole (catastrophe) incident.

She certainly is showing some splinters though.
"The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules."
"Good men don't need rules. And today's not the day to find out why I have so many."
Dances With the Hurricane

Ingrid is an anomaly, an unknown. She goes to the moots, she sits with a Fenrir born Shadow Lord and a young Silver Fang, she participates in the Revel. And then she's on her way again. She disappears.

And then, quite suddenly and without rhyme or reason, she appears again. To take that Silver Fang to look for something on Colfax. To aid a Child of Gaia Theurge in testing a theory. To train on the 43rd floor of 1999 Broadway and to bear witness to the annihilation of the Guardians, to watch in quietly contained horror as they rip themselves to pieces.

There was no time to succumb to that horror. Her first thought had been to prepare her fellows, those other unfortunate Cliaths who happened to stumble into that ceremony, handing out talens that might offer some slight chance for survival should the warped and twisted minds of the fallen Garou turn toward them, the young and relatively inexperienced. Her second thought had been retreat. The Guardians are - were - strong Garou, with powers and skills and gifts a motly group of Cliaths couldn't hope to overcome. So, retreat then. Find the Warder, find someone, tell them all Hell's broken loose upstairs, maybe go check it out? But the others, the Ahroun, the Galliard, even the Theurge, they stayed.

Combat the Wyrm Wherever it Dwells and Whenever it Breeds.

They were going to stand and fight, so. Well then. Whatever she called it, tactical retreat, running, cowardice, wisdom...it would be dishonorable for her to abandon her pack-for-the-night. For a dark moon of the darkest tribe, Ingrid Kim is incredibly honorable. She stayed.

It's she who forces healing on Keisha. She smiles when the Theurge waves it off, and for once it's not sly and secretive. It's strained. It's pained. It's tired. It has an animal's sharpness that brooks no argument.

"Who needs their strength more than the healers, Theurge?" she asks as she cracks open a gourd and lets the faintly glowing dust from the talen rain down on the woman's injuries. Maybe Keisha then heals Thomas, maybe she doesn't. Ingrid doesn't wait. Waiting, stopping, hesitating, that'll get you swept up in the hurricane that Keisha fights against. Ingrid? She finds the rhythm and she moves with it.

She, the scout, heads down the demolished elevator shaft ahead of the others. Her sword has been returned to its sheathe in her sternum, her own clothes are tattered and torn along with her flesh. She's bleeding, and she feels the pain of it, grits her teeth against it and she soldiers on in spite of it. Leaning back, she gives the signal to the others that it's clear to descend.

After that she goes where she's directed. She passes out her meager supply of talens to those who can make better use of them. If someone offers to heal her she doesn't refuse, but like Keisha she feels healing should go to those worse off than she. And unlike Keisha, the Ragabash doesn't need the strength the healers and the spirit talkers will need to get through the night. When she's given leave, she takes it.

And she disappears into what remains of the night.


Siren of Persephone

Phoebe knows about the incident before someone contacts her. She hears about it from her sister. It's the sound of Keisha's spirit voice, the tremble of her spirit across the link the binds them that has her up and gathering her things before the call for Theurges goes out. By then she's already snagged Winona if the younger Garou was home, and the pair of them are making their way to the city Sept on Phoebe's Vespa.

It takes time, but they get there.

Soon enough her path to crosses Keisha's. Though her heart aches for what she sees in her gentle sister's eyes, she doesn't wrap her up in her arms so they can hug it out. She does reach out to her, though, takes her hand and squeezes it so that Keisha knows that she's here, they're here, all of them together even though they're about to separate. Her pack is with her. Keisha isn't facing this horror all by herself anymore. Then she releases her. They have duties to perform.

Her sisters tend to those that they will, the wounded, the dead, whichever. This is what Desert Oracle does, it's their purpose. Heal and defend and deal with the spirits. Phoebe's strengths and skills lie with that last. She sings and she soothes the spirits, bringing them to rest. She commands and she orders. She snares what hostile spirits she can and she banishes them.

Phoebe comes very close to burning herself out that night. She blows through much of her will, she drains herself completely of her Gnosis. When she can't do anymore she finds her sisters again. She gathers them to her and she finds a place where they can sit huddled close together. Phoebe wraps one arm around Keisha, the other around Winona. The staff falls where it lays, perhaps another guardian over their small pack. Whether they sleep or pass out from exhaustion or simply sit together, that's where they stay. For a few hours, at least.

[OOC: Phoebe has the gifts Spirit Snare and Command Spirit, which she will use until she drains herself out. If you want, Kai, I can toss out some rolls, otherwise I'm cool with leaving it cinematic.]
Quote:[OOC: Phoebe has the gifts Spirit Snare and Command Spirit, which she will use until she drains herself out. If you want, Kai, I can toss out some rolls, otherwise I'm cool with leaving it cinematic.]

[I'm fine with either! Though feel free to put up some rolls if you want to!]
my whole life is thunder.
[Never mind about Spirit Snare, apparently I forgot to give her Occult ;_; fml I'll never get to bank her XP ever ever ever. Anyway.

niko @ 11:06AM
["Go Away." Command Spirit: -1WP, charisma (captivating) + leadership, diff: variable, rolling until she's tapped.]
Roll: 5 d10 TN6 (1, 1, 1, 4, 8) ( success x 1 ) VALID

niko @ 11:07AM
Roll: 5 d10 TN6 (1, 1, 6, 8, 9) ( success x 3 ) VALID

niko @ 11:07AM
[4WP left]
Roll: 5 d10 TN6 (1, 4, 5, 8, 8) ( success x 2 ) VALID

Samael @ 11:07AM
That's better!

niko @ 11:07AM
[3WP left]
Roll: 5 d10 TN6 (3, 3, 6, 7, 7) ( success x 3 ) VALID

niko @ 11:07AM
[2 left]
Roll: 5 d10 TN6 (2, 4, 9, 9, 9) ( success x 3 ) VALID

niko @ 11:08AM
[Sing before you're all out! Soothe dem spirits wit'cher VOICE]
Roll: 8 d10 TN6 (1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 10, 10, 10) ( success x 4 ) Re-rolls: 3 VALID
niko @ 11:08AM

[And last Command]
Roll: 5 d10 TN6 (2, 3, 5, 5, 7) ( success x 1 ) VALID

Samael @ 11:08AM

niko @ 11:09AM
Done! All her Gnosis will go into the singing and soothing.]
[holy fuck. O_O]

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