20110406 - A Slight Friction


Yellow Bungalow: Living Room - Taylor Street: Little Italy

This likely used to be a small living room and a smaller dining room, but it has been opened up to a single space. The floors are old wood that, though recently stripped and waxed, show years of wear. Windows face the drive to the south and open west to the front porch. At the east side of the room, an arched opening in the south corner leads to the kitchen, and a hallway on the north side runs to the back of the house. The walls are painted off-white, almost cream, and show signs of having been patched.
A Mission-style hall tree with mirror, storage bench, and hooks for hanging coats stands next to the front door. Beyond it, a brown leather couch and matching oversized chair form a sitting area around a red and green Oriental-style rug, with a side table for the chair and a low green chest serving as a coffee table. These face the shelving unit that holds a television, audio equipment, a sparse rack of CDs, and a few, mostly practical books. A round table set with four ladder-backed chairs sits in front of the bay window at the west side of the room. One picture hangs over the couch, another over a shallow table holding a cordless phone that is set against the east wall.




Etana has come to see Robert face to face rather then talk over the phone. She seems to think that her problem is a serious one. So it is she shows up after the call, knocking.

Robert answers the door, his jeans resting on his hips, his chest and feet bare. "Etana. Come in." He makes a gesture towards the livingroom, "I have Jack with me. A social matter." He comments as he closes the door.

Jack is sitting in a comfy chair, a glass of whiskey in his hand and his legs stretched out in front of him. He looks up at the knock, and when he sees Etana he nods politely to her. "Oba."

Etana nods her head as she comes in. "Thank you for meeting with me before the moon." She says. She nods her head torwards Jack, eyes turned to Robert. "The hospital you had suggested the woman who was infected by a hyena go to? There was a incident." She tells Robert. Straight to the business.

"Take a seat. Would you like a whiskey?" Robert's questions are asked as he moves to refresh his own, glancing at Jack questioningly. "That hospital is the one in the city able to manage someone with the fever of the infected." He comments mildly. "Has she changed and lost control?"

Jack's posture doesn't change; he takes a sip of whiskey, looking calm enough. But something about the man says that suddenly, he's all ears.

Etana sits down. "No, but when I showed up I was turned away. I was there to collect her for the full moon." She shakes her head. "No, but thank you for the offer of the drink." She watches them. "A man named Jacobi eventually met with me. I had asked the Clan to come meet me there, and when I called tem to me Erin heard. She was there, I asked her to not involve herself other then to call Riley incase. The moon is near full, that place smells of blood and death like all hospitals. I was on edge. This man came down stairs to tell me that he would not let me near his patient. That I had no right to 'pet' her and tell her things were going to be different if she changed. This petting was me petting her hair, like you would a frightened child. I could sense what he was. He claims to answer to no one, but is a rogue. He then pushed a button on a device. Many guards showed up and he told me the police would be there soon. He said I assaulted him. Erin told me that the words I had used meant that men like Jack would put a silver bullet in my head because I had broken some law." She is frowning more as she explains. "However one of the Clan's assets was able to speak to him after I left. Before I changed, before I tore the cats head from his body for kidnapping what, until the moon says to be true or false, is one of the Clan's. The beast pulled strongly at me. But the man was finally able to speak to this Jacobi ,to see my cub. He finally agreed to release her and to let me see her. I had planned to ask someone to pick her up closer to the moon since I can not return there for fear of my beast at this time. This is over, she is out of the hospital and I think this rogue cat realized it was wisest to back down. This committee we are forming. What does this meen for the rogues? For those who refuse to participate, who answer to no one?"

Robert listens and a flicker of a frown forms on his forehead. "Forgive me, but I do not understand where my wolves came to be involved in your people's business? I do not see how that is appropriate." His voice is low, as he picks out the points that he feels necessary of clarification. "I am not familiar with this man, beyond his role as a doctor. He is not a wolf, and therefore I am not policing his presence here. However, the committee has nothing for rogues. We are not the police, Etana, and I do not mean to create a police force. If he is a cat, speak to the cats and find his position with them. If he was a wolf, you may come to me." He shakes his head, a frown on his forehead.

Jack nods. "And as far as my role's concerned, I only execute warrants. They have to get you convicted of a felony in a court of law. If that helps at all?"

Etana shakes her head. "Erin came when she heard me call the hyenas, so they knew where I was in the parking lot. I told her to not get herself involved other then to call Riley. I knew he could pass information on to you if something happened." She hms. "You answer my question perfectly. He declared himself a rogue, independant of all. If the committee has nothing for them then I know my answer." She looks to Jack. "Yes I know. I had not meant you would come right away. I meant that they said my words were considered assault. Erin told me it was true, that I could be executed for it. I fail to see how this is true. That is the word that they used when I was staked to the ground with silver, assault. I don't understand how words are the same as those actions."

"I am not certain that Erin is correct and I will remind them to remain aloof from other's family business." Robert is firm on that point and he moves to his seat, taking a sip of his drink, before he continues. "If you threatened him, you may certainly have broken a law." He comments mildly, glancing at Jack. "However, the committee is aimed to support those members within it, and to provide PR to those humans to enable them to understand us. Not to police every creature in the city."

Jack shakes his head. "I can't think of a judge in town who'd give a death sentence for words," he says. "And that warrant, personally, I'd refuse."

Etana nods her head. "I was unsure of some things. I knew you would have this line to call for trouble. This is what made me think to speak to you." She looks to Jack with a nod of her head. "Then I understand the law here better now. I do have one request?" She says, her eyes looking to Robert.

"The line would provide legal advice in the situation you describe but Oba, we must have an awareness of the human perception, and the laws where we live." Robert's voice is almost gentle and he nods, a brief inclination of his head as she asks.

Jack doesn't move from his chair, but he does sip at his whiskey. He looks curious about what Etana's going to ask.

Etana nods her head. "i had thought to bring this forth. Now I know it is un-necessary to alert the committee. But my request. You seem displeased Erin showed up, and I told her myself to not become involved. You will remind them to . .. I assume this word aloof meens to stay out of, yes? If you are to find another who is possibly a infected hyena do not send them somewhere other then me. My Clan can oversee them until the change. This would have been avoided if you had not encouraged her there. You interceding nearly caused a large mess. You feel the pull of the moon, yes? This situation nearly became a. . flight or fight. My beast was strong with the smells and the stress, as were those of my clan." She frowns and leans forward. "Where I am from the way things would have worked is to change, to kill the humans in the way and to take ours back before harm was done. To not let others claim them, to keep us from our own. I fought against this and did not do it. But the closeness of the moon did not assist me in this. Do you understand why I request this now?"

Robert considers Etana's words and he lifts an eyebrow. "I did not encourage her, as you say, Etana. I merely gave her the options when she approached me, including your name, and since she selected that one, I took her with me when I visited one of mine. Are you suggesting that I remove a person's choices, merely because they are infected with the strain that is your family?" His words are not that gentle now, and his gaze is heavy. "I note that the moon does not cause me to lose my temper, nor threaten others. You place this in my lap, the whole situation, blaming me for your lack of control over your beast, instead of taking responsibility for your actions." He takes a sip of his whiskey, adding softly. "The only thing I would do differently, Oba, is to inform you that one of yours was there."
"Are you unaware that one may die from the fever of the change? Are you set up to handle that level of sickness in your home?"

Jack contributes a quiet, "Act like you would have done where you're from, Oba, and I'll hunt you to the ends of the earth. At the moment the girl's a human, a *very* ill human, who might possibly turn into one of yours; you've collected her ready for the moon, that's fine, but she still has choices. I'll thank you to keep your temper and your Beast under control."

Etana shakes her head. "No, but if you are to give options perhaps speak to me. Guide them to me. If she was not there this would not have happened. I had wished to avoid these places. No, I do not place it in your lap. I say that it could have been avoided. The fever? Yes, it kills. it kills many. Those who will not shift, whos bodies are burnt out from it. It happens when their bodies are to weak, there is nothing you can do for it. If you care for them and they would live one way or another, they will live. I ask that as you wish yours to stay uninvolved with others I wish others to remain uninvolved. A series of events performed by those outside the Clan have chained together. I would like to have this not happen again." Her eyes turn to Jack and she nods. "The laws here are different. They are strong and it brings more safety to us. I seek to abide by them. I am here talking. I am not settling with blood to show strength. Do not misunderstand me, I wish peace with others. I am still what I am, the moon calls to me strongest around this time and even I avoid feeding its pull when I can."

"You are incorrect. There is much that can be done to aid people with that fever, Oba." Robert's reply is firm, and his gaze rests on her face. "I offered you as an option to her and she did not wish to meet with you. Do you ask that I ignore a human's request and decision about her life, override her choice with yours? That clinic is one chance that those with the fever have to aid them, Oba and I will not cause a life to be lost. One of mine was set there by another, and I do not protest. It is the correct thing for that individual." He is firm, and he glances briefly at Jack. "The medics there are skilled in keeping those who may not shift alive. I will not allow a person to die for your request."

Jack nods. "I've collected people from there, both my own and others," he says. "I've also taken people there when they wanted to be taken. And I sat with a girl in their concrete room, back when I wasn't King, to make sure she was looked after if she shifted, because her potential family didn't want to know. We have a duty to offer the best care available, and the duty to accept their decision. And have you worked out what you'll do if someone decides they don't want to join the Clan and want to be Independant instead?"

Etana nods her head. "Then what you say is that those who are infectedbut not yet turned do not fall under their group?" She asks. "This causes stress upon the agreements. i will have to think more on how I will deal with the others here then. Thank you for seeing me." She stands, looking to Jack. "For now? None are forced into the clan. Those newly infected I would insist for their protection. You see I worry. I have seen the wolves at the zoo. They are small, weak. Hyenas are much larger, much stronger. We all gain size when we change but I would worry greatly if things are built around the idea of a wolf and a hyena is placed within it. This is my concern." She looks to Robert. "There is no offense meant. i am sure the pack is strong, but we know our creatures are a factor in the shape we take."

Robert's eyebrows rise and he stands, giving the Oba a steady look, his power moving out into the room. "Oba, what I say is that each person has a choice. You put words into my mouth and you insult my wolf." He puts it bluntly, ensuring that she understands. "My wolves are not weak, and I assure you that should I shift, I am not smaller than one of your people." His voice has a low growling quality to it, as he continues, "That you have accepted aid from my pack to your people and then come to my home offering demands and insults certainly bring strain on the offer of an alliance that I made to you." His words are strong, and the other side of Robert can be seen, his wolf sliding across the back of his eyes. "I will still not force a person to leave a clinic where they choose to be, to go with you. Until the person shifts, it is not certain, and so I do not believe we have a right to force anything upon them. I do believe they have the right to the treatment of their choice."

Jack rises to his own feet. "Rats are definitely small and squeaky compared to hyenas and wolves," he says coldly, "And they aren't even predators or proper scavengers. But do you *really* want to take me on, Oba?" The usual mask of good humour has dissolved, leaving a cool, emotionless emptiness behind; if eyes are windows to the soul, then Jack's soul is a barren wasteland. His power, however, stays contained, and his inner rodent is nowhere to be seen.

Etana nods her head. "I have accepted your many gifts and have shown humility to you and thanked you. I have given what I can in return, to show my thanks for these gifts. No, I do not doubt your wolves are strong but a wolf is just not as large as a hyena in the best of circumstance from what I have seen. I am just worried of the facilities designed for the local species, like wolves. If they would be enough. It is why I would rather watch over Clan you see. All I ask is that you bring the infected to me. It is my responsibility. I would take any who say a wolf bit them to you without question. From there decisions and discussions can be had, you could even encourage and explain how perhaps the hospital is for the best and I would hear it out. You understand this request? To me first. To others second, if there is a chance it is one of mine." She looks over to Jack. "i am sorry that you have had to be involved in this conversation. Why do you think the need to offer yourself in some sort of fight? What have I done to the rats to deserve that?" She asks. her own beast is clearly agitated by the emotions and pull of the moon. She has it under control, but it is most obviously there beneath the surface.

"I understand your request and I have given my reasons twice now to explain why I will not do this." Robert crosses his arms over his bare chest, the movement showing the inflexibility of this point. "I have conceded that I will inform you that I met one of your kind and that they made a choice other than you. I would, should you bring one of mine to me, offer them the same options. I do not believe in removing people's choices, Oba. We call that slavery here. Freedom is important." The large man stares at her, his beast controlled but there, rolling around him in a metaphysical brush of fur. "I have told you why the hospital is one of the options I present. I have so far taken your insult of my beast. I do not believe there is much more to discuss if you continue along this route you are choosing."

"The Spirit Rock pack and the Chicago Rodere are allies," Jack says, voice still cool. "You insulted my ally, and you did it in a manner that implied my own people aren't even worth considering." There's still absolutely no sign of his Beast, and no roiling of his power. "Why wouldn't I let you know so you can apologise? It's not like I have a knife at your throat."

Etana shakes her head. "As I said, I didn't wish to offer insult. It seems simple fact that some may be larger then others." She frowns. "I should take my leave. My words are causing more trouble then I intend and my beast is unhappy. Enjoy the moon."

"I believe that is an excellent decision, Oba." Robert moves to the door, his movements graceful in the way that an angry wolf stalks, opening it for her. "I suggest that you reconsider this conversation when you have more control, Oba, and have an awareness of the history of this country when you do so." The growl in his voice is obvious now and his beast slides behind his eyes.

Jack inclines his head to Etana politely. "Oba," he says to her in parting, then resumes his seat as though Etana weren't there.

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