Salem stares intently at the Fox, head cocked. "'Particular responsibility'. That sounds... dangerous. Or inconvenient."
Thomas grins again. "The definition fits. Dangerous to the Garou though...no. And I have no intention to inconvenience you folk, though...kids. They can be a handful even when they aren't Foxes."
Salem's eyebrows go up as the shoe drops. "You want to bring in some Kistune cubs?" He doesn't sound against the idea, just bemused at the very thought.
"One," Thomas clarifies. "Unless something drastic changes, in any case. Specifically," there's a beat. "Mine. Been thinking about it. Part've why I swung back this way was to see if the general friendliness--which is a real odd thing to say about anything involving Wolves, no offense intended--was still around. Foxes around here; there ain't many've 'em, as I'm sure is obvious. When it was my time, my father took me to one of the Courts--didn't much care for the experience, but it was valuable all the same--but around here, of course. No Courts. Could take 'em, but if they're like me, maybe they want to stay closer to their roots, in which case, you gotta learn to be around the folk who live here. Get used to 'em. Learn what they value, learn what drives 'em, learn their good bits and bad bits, learn how to be respectful'n also how to not get taken advantage. It's good lessons. Dangerous lessons. I'd like her to start to learn 'em here, 'cause by and large you folk are good folk, and got a lot to learn about."
Salem grins crookedly. "We try. Most of us, at any rate." He picks up a stick and pokes at the smoky fire. "I imagine she'd be welcomed, especially with you as her parent." He glances up. "I suppose I don't have to warn you to warn /her/ about stepping lightly on full moons, though."
"Nah," Turtle says, "but I figure that warning can never be given enough emphasis." He leans forward now, clasping his hands and resting his elbows on his knees. "Mind you, it ain't so different in the Beast Courts. You still got Ragey fuckers that'll tear you open if you do something mildly stupid, it's just some've 'em got stripes. Or scales."
"No scales around here, though we do have Stripes out in the city," Salem says dryly. "What /is/ it like, out in that part of the world? I've never been."
Thomas rubs his beard for a few moments before answering. "Different," he says, "but not as different as folk over there'd like to think. Don't get me wrong; Beast Courts are a step up from what we got over here, a step in the right direction. I've met folk who refused to believe they existed, 'cause they couldn't imagine us all cooperating to one degree or another. But they got their own flaws, their own shames, grudges, vendettas, and a great big heaping helping of arrogance. Ain't everyone involved with the Courts either, though by and large they're the power when it comes to anything following Gaia." He pauses. "Still. It's a thing to see. We do powerful things when we work together, it's just a matter've making sure those things're the right things."
Salem nods slowly. He leans back on the log 'bench', precariously close to toppling over. "Right. And maybe..." He sits back up. "This Sept used to be fairly hostile to other shifters, but then we used to have more of a population of, well. Real hardliners."
Brings-the-Pack has arrived.
<OOC> Salem waves. Got a lil' smokey fire going and Turtle and Salem sitting on the logs on opposite sides of it.
"If'n there's one thing I've learned in my life," Thomas muses, "it's that things're always changing. Just some've 'em take a whole lot longer than others. After all, I used to be a young hothead. Now'm an old hothead. Granted, I 'magine it's hard to be a hardliner when necessity knocks your teeth in."
Dryly, the young Philodox says, "It takes an extraordinary act of will and a lot of deliberate eye-closing to stick to the shit they stuff down your throat as a cub."
Thomas spreads his hands. "But we're all so /good/ at it, collective-like."
Salem flashes a toothy grin at this. "True. Maybe I'm just a mutant."
"Hello," says the cougar that is now present on one of the tree limbs up above. When did he get there? The voice is the usual Kylo Ren masking effect.
Thomas actually jumps a little at the voice; he masks his surprise, but not enough. Brings-the-Pack gets a dark look and a stern finger wag. "You," he says, not entirely seriously, "did that on purpose."
Salem startles as well, no mask on his surprise at all, then exhales a breath and shakes his head a little. "/Cats/," he says, getting more wood for the fire. Like Thomas, he's not really serious in his scorn.
Brings-the-Pack concurs with the others present. "Cats," he says with a hint of disdain. "An entirely untrustworthy family of creatures," he adds.
Thomas nods firmly, then leans over to fish up his own stick for the fire. "Well, by my reckoning you're a bit late. Since everyone else's even later though, you could bribe us not to mention it."
Salem tsks at Thomas. "I'm a /Philodox/. I can/not/ be bribed."
Brings-the-Pack inquires, "So what has been going on with both of you since the last moot?"
Thomas flashes Salem a brief grin, before answering. "Eh. Learned something new. Took about three trips out've state. Got nice'n drunk."
"The usual," Salem says, propping a heel up on the log bench and resting his arms on that leg. "Seems like every full moon I find a new part of the city's shadow I hadn't known about before. I've been also working on -- /again/ -- rebuilding a network of contacts within the city." He wrinkles his nose, looking rather put-upon, an expression that suits his newfound adolescence well.
Brings-the-Pack offers, "I finished making preparations to aid in unworking or lessening the effects of the magic the mage from the Queen's Tower might employ against the garou when they attack him. Or her." He adds, "And I dreamwalked Ghost with Alicia about a week ago. That proved to not be terribly productive, but it did all but confirm a suspicion I had that a different mage was likely influencing some of her actions on a very subconscious level, likely steering her back into this area from where she'd been previously in Europe."
Thomas pokes idly at the fire as he listens, frowning here and there. "It's a real mage convention, sounds like. And not the politest ones either."
Salem grimaces and picks at a rough patch on the knee of his jeans.
"It is unusual. Especially that they're in prominent, open roles," the cougar concurs. "Although the Tower mage is likely evil through and through, I don't believe the mage in Hanford is. He's trying to fix things. Even though he seemingly has no fondness of the garou, he does see them as useful--yet dangerous--tools. People are quick to blame the Hanford mage and advocate killing him even though he was not the one to release the Ooze. And yet, correspondingly, no one seems to be clamoring for the death of the city father spirit who did stur the slumber of the anti-ooze."
"I'm in the dark," Thomas points out. "But what little I'm getting, ain't Hanford a real particularly unpleasant place to be these days? Which, I'll add, s'a real feat considering. This mage, you think he's actually there?"
"I don't know," replies the cougar perched on a branch up above, speaking English and in a voice that sounds like it came out of Kylo Ren's mask. He eyes Thomas and Salem, the latter who stepped out for a moment, likely to address a call of nature, who are seated on benches below. "I should see about establishing contact again once I complete a side project that cannot be delayed further."
Samantha makes her way to the compound, her steps slowing more and more as she gets closer while leading a new face towards the gathering. Hey, it's a hell of a walk from Rainbow Lake. You try gauging time and making the trip just right to arrive on time. She grins towards the one she leads before approaching a little more, her eyes looking to those already gathered as she seeks to take it in.
Mohe is walking along a step or so behind Samantha. The man has a pack on his back where he has been traveling. The man will follow along with her, loking over the new faces he has not seen before. He will keep an eye to Samantha though to see if she motions him someplace.
"Well," Thomas says, even as he tips his hat toward Samantha, "If he is, mayhap he could give you some tips about how he's managing that particular stunt. --Evening, Makuryaq. Ain't too many of us, it looks like, pull up a log."
"Hello," the cougar higher up in the tree offers in greeting as the two newcomers arrive. "Salem is here as well. He just stepped out momentarily."
"That's a shame," Samantha murmurs before looking up quickly at the cougar. "OK." she adds before looking back to Mohe. "Have a seat." she tells him before moving to claim a spot on a log herself. "Really thought there would be more people here."
Mohe's brow raises a bit and nods. He will point at the cougar, and quietly ask Samantha "Totem spirit?"
Thomas tips his hat to Mohe as well as the newcomer sits down. "There're benefits to a small, informal gathering though." A brief, blink and you'll miss it grin. "More marshmallows for us."
"Perhaps the weather? It's much chillier this time, and the rain earlier today has made things wet and muddy and wholly unpleasant," the cougar suggests as an explanation. "Brings-the-Pack," he says, introducing himself to the newcomers. "An ally of the sept. Warper," he offers, "and not Pumonca."
Samantha giggles at Mohe and shakes her head. "Looks like a cat to me." she adds after the cougar introduces himself. "You should introduce yourself too, you know. They all pretty much know me." An elbow seeks to nudge the man in the side.
Mohe nods and offs just a bit and says "I am Mohe Talltrees, kin to the Wendigo, and recently arrived with Samantha to try to aid those of the area in any way I can." He will nod to each in turn in greeting.
"Thomas Lee," says the man in the battered hat and duster. "Uktena kin, among other things."
Brings-the-Pack says "Any news to share?" the cougar inquires of the no-moon Wendigo? "Or deeds that were done?"
Samantha shrugs her shoulders. "I'm back and brought that guy." she motions towards Mohe wherever he wandered off to. "Not too much more to report really. Had some fun in Colorado and such, sabotaging mining equipment."
[...but everyone had to sleep.]