201003288 - Crocs and Wolves and Politics


cafe://Polychrome v2.0 - Navy Pier - Grand and Lake Shore

The Polychrome 2.0 is a serious upgrade in both style and function. Gone is the soft-industrial warehouse look, the walls repainted from their worn brick color to a more warm rich red adobe. The walls are adorned with old Sci-Fi posters and paintings by independent local artists.

The entire cafe is situated around a circular bar-like counter in the very center of the room which, in turn, surrounds the chrome and copper homemade monstrosity Frankenchino machine the only surviving relic of the previous Polychrome. Frankenchino billows steam and froth from it's masses of pipes and valves, the temperature and levels of fluids measured by gleaming old fashioned pressure gages and controlled by a plethora of levers and turn-gaskets. Comfortable high backed chromed stools with leather upholstery orbit the counter, which through it's thick Plexiglas surface into it's refrigerated interior can be seen sandwiches and pastries and other snacks in refrigerated. Above the counter is an outfacing circle of LCD TVs showing various feeds off the Internet.

Circular segmented couches surround low black coffee tables around the cafe, each one having a computer monitor on a swivel in the center and a cordless keyboard and mouse and allowing the patrons full and free net access. In one corner there are more dedicated semi-private computer terminals at high-mounted and a kiosk where one can rent a laptop. Another corner sports an Internet jukebox which has been built into the body of a full sized Robby the Robot replica. Another corner has a small stage from which patrons can enjoy independent bands or poets on certain nights. The last corner is set up with merchandise such as books, magazines, shirts, mugs and gadgets.




It may be cold and wet outside but inside the Polychrome it is nice and warm. And even then the owner, Dyson, is wearing a Snuggie(tm) and sipping from a hot mug of Chai. COnsidering the weather and the time of day, the cafe is rather empty. But thats not a bad thing.

Robert exchanges outside for inside, his dreadlocks damp as he shakes his head, scattering raindrops. He moves towards the counter, glancing around the cafe before he settles on a stool, giving the other man a steady look, followed by a slow nod of acknowledgement.

Dyson looks up from what appears to be a small netbook in his lap.. his red within pink eyes land on the newcomer and for a second they defocus.. as if looking through the man before they snap back to focus. HE returns the nod, even slower.. Not worried but wary. "Good Morning." he says, his voice deeply monotone with a dry rasp.

Robert hesitates only a moment before he moves towards the other man, moving with the grace of the wolf inside him, offering a hand formally. "Robert Moye. I think you must be the man I have been seeking." His voice is a low rumble, a deep sound that holds warmth. "Do you have a moment to spare?"

Dyson raises a brow.. sips his chai.. then sets it down on trhe small side table beside the couch. :If I am not the man you are looking for, there must be another albino with fabulous hair running around." he intones, sort of joking though it is hard to tell with the monotone. "I'm Dyson.. DYson Weiss.. And I believe I have more then a few moments to spare this morning. You are the one who has filled my voicemail box, yes?"

Robert moves to take a seat, settling opposite the other man, his expression impassive, neutrality in the lines of his body. "Unless you have a more persistent stalker." His tone is dry, a brief edge of humor that isn't reflected easily in his eyes. "I wished to invite you to join myself and some other heads of families as we meet to talk next week."

Dyson nods slowly. "Yes.. I had heard snippets here and there about this meeting." he admits as he lazily waves to Anya to bring the man a drink. "Intresting idea, that. DId you know I tried the exact same thing 10 years ago?" he asks.

Robert leans his elbows on his knees, watching Dyson's reactions closely, his gaze resembling his beast strongly in that. The arrival of his coffee is met with a quick nod of thanks and he reaches for it, holding it between his hands. "I did not. I felt it was foolish for us to be at odds."

Dyson smiles faintly, the warmth slight.. his body language is slow and liquid.. seemingly lazy, as if he were floating in water. "I felt the same way at the time as well but realized that the others didn't. Some, in fact, seemed to thrive on being adverse to others… Which is why I abandoned it. Do you feel this situation has changed?" he asks. "I always find it hard to guage since it seems the other families change their heads once a year or two. Your own family, for example, is a good example."

"Those I have spoken with are primarily in favor of this plan. Some more than others. Javier is suspicious but I have hopes that that will ease." Robert speaks frankly, although quietly. He takes a sip of the coffee, savouring it, clearly taking pleasure in it. "My family has not changed heads as a choice. The last head was murdered." There is barely a flicker of emotion as he makes that statement, the man's feelings well hidden beneath the impassive gaze.

Dyson nods yet again and shrugs. "Murder and death seems the primary motivator of advancement within the wolves.. Not that I am being critical.. It is the same among minem most of the time, though we tend to be more civilized about it these days." hecloses the netbook and slides it to the side. "I would not worry about javier. he is young and new at what he is.. But not completely stupid.." This may see funny because Dyson appears to be JUST entering his mid twenties.. even if the way he moves says he is a bit older. "The problem I see is the LACK of stability within the families themselves. When One leader is replaced with another, the new leader does not honor any pacts made by he predascessor.." he says this with some bitterness, as if he has burned by this more then once.

Robert gives the other man's words his full attention, the slightest tilt of his head wolf-life as he does so. He considers them before he speaks, soft and slowly. "It is an issue to discuss when we meet. It would not be resolved were we not to do so." He speaks as if each word is considered, picked carefully. "You obviously know I am new to the city, but I have made pacts in my time already. I would hope that, when I die, those will remain binding for the family. Along with other things that I have put into place for them."

Dyson listens intently to the young wolf's words, nodding in agreement as if he belieeves the sae way, but still looks a little unconvinced. "It has been my driving urge to be completely neutral, Robert. SOmething which I have been succesful on all counts but one. This Peir.. This establishent… I have named it neutral territory to all so long as everyone followed the rules. BUt one didn't. The Rodere are the only family I will not allow on this peir. We were once friends, me and their queen, but when she abdicated and the new king came on the scene he rescinded out pact and told me my territory as no longer my own except for the peir itself. And I had no choice since the rodere outnumber us probably a dozen to one. Between that and him manufacturing insults for me have given him so he could string arm me into compliance.. you understand how I feel now?"

Robert listens thoughtfully, taking a moment to take a sip of his coffee as the other speaks. He also takes a moment to consider his reply carefully. "I understand your caution, Dyson. But I do not believe that wounds of the past can be repaired without examination and treatment. My understanding is that the man who did this is not the Rat King of today?" His voice is soft, thoughtful. "If we can form lasting agreements that bind our groups in peace, or nonaggression at the very least, and agree that they will bind our successors as strongly as ourselves…"

Dyson is silent for a moment. "No.. it is not the king of today.. But the king of today was the old kings right hand and let it happen. He stood there and helped him…." he settles a bit into the warmth of his dark green snuggie, his cold blood relishing in the trapped heat. "I never said I was unwilling to make thinsg better. But it was not my place but theirs. But if you are really so keen to go through with this… I can at least try and help and support your effort. But you must know right now… I do not make pacts or alliances. I am neutral and will help everyone equally if I help at all. And where is this meeting going to be?"

Robert tilts his head once more, nodding slowly, an acknowledgement of the words rather than agreement. "I believe it is the only way forward. We are not in competition for resources here. We are not a threat to each other." He leaves the topic of the rats behind, letting it sit for the moment. "I had planned it for a neutral place, to be lead by nobody. We merely meet in the room and we talk. As people of good sense. There is a lawyer's office, a meeting room they are willing for us to provide. My thought was that each of us brings one security detail so that the security are as neutral as we can allow."

Dyson is quiet as he comtemplates and then nods. "Okay." he says simply. "I will give this a chance. So long as everyone realizes that nothing about this gathering is binding." he tells the wolf. "SOme families have to realize that their.. power.. by which I mean superior numbers does not make them the Police Force of the Therians."

"For my people, we have no intent to be the police force or to lead anything more than my family." Robert's voice is quiet, thoughtful, but the agreement is met with a flicker of warm approval in his face and he offers his hand to Dyson, offering to seal that small agreement. "We meet and we talk. Merely neighbours with things to discuss." He comments.

Dyson takes the hand, sliding his out of the snuggies's sleeve. His grip is strong but not trying to prove anything, just the byproduct of the sinewy strength of his inherant beast which always floats just below his surface like some stygian reptile beneath the lapping murky waves of some primordeal waters. And it is cool to the ouch, much cooler then a mammalian therian or even a humans, but not the cold of the dead. "We meet and talk." he agrees.

Robert's hand is warm, calloused, his grip firm but not making any point with it. "We can share information, perhaps offer each other resources where it is needed." His hopes show in that brief sentence, and he tempers them by adding, "But we start with our first step, and we meet and talk." He takes his hand back, reaching for the coffee. "And if with that step, we can clear the matter between your people and the rats, it would be a success in my eyes."

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