20111107 - Keith gets punished


Survivalist Compound - Ivy Cottage: Front Room
The little cottage faces to the north, letting in the best light through the diamond-paned picture window in the northern wall. Centered beneath that window is a claw-footed, camel-backed sofa upholstered with emerald green velvet. Tapestry pillows rest at either end of it for comfort. A colourful rug extends from the front edge of the sofa to end where the kitchen begins. A pair of leather armchairs bookend a pedestal table across from the sofa. Holding down the middle of the carpet is a massive coffee table that displays a collection of candlesticks. Books are stacked up beneath it. Near the northwest corner of the room is the sturdy wooden door that leads out to the garden and the road.
The small fireplace in the west wall has a blackened interior and a smoke-stained mantel. Nothing clutters the mantel's surface between a matched pair of silvery candelabra. Just beyond the fireplace, the south side of the room holds the kitchen. Dark cupboards line the southern end of the western wall. They extend along the southern wall as well, but are broken by a double window above the deep sink with its old-fashioned hand pump. A black, cast iron cookstove sits against the southern end of the eastern wall. The door to the bedroom is nestled between it and the armchairs. A small, round table with four chairs sits mostly in the kitchen atop the polished, wooden floor. Cheerful, golden curtains hang on the kitchen and living room windows and stained glass suncatchers add a splash of colour to the floor in the daytime.



Zack nods, "Well, Forest works with wood, so he could help with that… granted it is mostly furniture and cabinets and the like." He pushes off of the fireplace as he walks back over to where Lucas and Cale are. He picks up his cup of coffee, pouring more of the precious liquid into his cup.

Cale nods his head once and finishes off his own, though he puts his hand over top as he sets it down. "Details for later. But that'd be fine, yes." He breathes out and says, "I don't think there is too much more to say, besides speculation and details that could change over time." A pause, then he says, "Well, there is this. I'll be keeping communication when I head down. If something does happen, it shouldn't be a secret." He settles back into his corner of the couch. "I might be a bit daring, but I'm not foolish. Or not too much so, anyway."

Lucas settles into a chair, still holding his coffee. He looks over at Zack the man gets more coffee, then looks towards Cale. He considers for a moment, then shakes his head, "For what it's worth, man… stay safe. I've seen more than enough friends hurt or killed to last a lifetime. Let's not add to that count if we can help it."

Driving up the driveway is a blue Civic, not too fixed up. Mostly stock minus the spoiler on the back. When the car is parked off to the side, Keith slowly emerges from the car. "Well, here we are. Home away from home…" He sniffs about before trotting up to the steps knocking for lack of being around for a long while. "Hey, is anyone there?!" He then slowly cracks the door open to see the three men in the cottage. "Hey, mind if an old friend comes in for a visit? I needed to get away from Chicago for a while…"
"Human's First is a mixed bag," Cale says, then he pauses as he hears the car coming. But only briefly. "I don't plan to get into any dangerous situations, but I'll be as prepared as I can be for them. I have been working on self defense. Not so bad at it now, as I was before." He grins, then looks towards the door as Keith comes in. He nods his head towards the man, offering a simple, "Welcome back."

Zack looks between the two, nodding in agreement with Lucas about not needing to loose anymore. He turns his gaze to Cale, "I want you to call me regularly. You can pick the times, but I want to know that you're okay down there." He smiles over at Keith, "What, you're hips going to dislocate if you spend anymore time with Elizza without a breather?"

Lucas can't help but laugh at Zack's dig at Keith. He shakes his head and chuckles. He looks at Keith and gives him a nod and a smile of welcome, then looks away, using his coffee cup to cover more laughter and an uncontrollable grin.

Nodding at Cale, Keith beams a smile. "Thank you, mate. I am glad to be back… well as glad as I can be at the moment." He then looks around to look upon Lucas, nodding his head. He then looks upon Zack physically nodding his head before sending his beast to properly greet the Raj. "Certainly need to ensure I have enough healing time to recover… yes." He then looks down, seeming guilty of something. His energy extremely more submissive than previously. "Zack… my Nimir-Raj… I have been meaning to find you…" He looks scared for some reason. He closes the door behind him promptly seeming to be readying himself to be screamed at it seems. What did he do?!
From afar, Zack hrms, "I'm just trying to figure out how to work it that wouldn't have had Keith lying to Zack, cause he would have noticed it and questioned him about it… and yet the other option is to have Zack be completely disinterested and not ask where someone that he thinks of as a brother had been for months. And you do realize that this is going to get keith into serious trouble, right? if it comes back on the Pard…"

"That was the plan," Cale notes to Zack. The ribbing prompts a faint smirk from him, but little more. And Keith's ways after ensure that Cale dips into quiet for the moment, his expression relaxing itself into ambiguousness,

Zack raises a brow as Keith suddenly becomes noticably uncomfortable. His posture suddenly changes, his first thought going to the vampire that was discussed earlier. It is kind of funny how someone who is barely five and a half feet tall can seem to stand up so noticably. "What's wrong, Keith?" His voice is noticably deeper, already laced with his leopard's.

Keith inches slowly toward Zack, all the while shrinking to kneeling by the young Raj. "Zack, I know I told you I was in Ireland… which I was for a fairly long time. And there was a small conflict there I was stuck in the midst of there… though that only lasted for a night… Zack," Keith slowly looks over to set eyes upon Zack's feet. "I have heard people talking. Talking about someone in Chicago responsible for the mass killing spree going on in New Mexico." He coughs, clearly upset as his beast literally cringes by Zack's powerful voice. "I was in New Mexico and there was a conflict. It wadged on for a long while not allowing be to come home or call for a long while. Though when it ended, there was not nearly as many dead as the public is claiming now…" He smells like he's telling the truth. "Zack, I /beg/ and /throw myself/ upon your mercy. I was not responsible for anything more than an eighth of that death toll they're reporting!" He seriously doesn't know how the death toll is so high in New Mexico.

Cale arches a brow slightly at Keith's admittance. THen his brows lower and he frowns faintly. There is a certain angry spark in his own energy, but it remains held, if not quieted. "Maybe you ought to start at the beginning," he says slowly. Though he glances at Zack as he suggests as much and dips his head slightly.

Lucas's eyebrows climb at Keith's little declaration. He looks a little ill for a moment, considering the conversation they wre just having, and what his own earlier comments. That smile of his is gone, and he focuses entirely on his coffee for the moment, very much wishing he were elsewhere.

Zack blinks at Keith. The shock of the statement disappears as instantly as it had filled the young Nimir-Raj's eyes. Snarling, he is in front of Keith faster than the human really could track. His hands, much stronger than most would ever suspect, grab hold to the larger man and propel him backwards, slamming him into the heavy door. There is an audible crack as the wood buckles under the pressure. Growling, Zack looks at him, "Do you understand the harm you might have brought to us? I have already heard a description that roughly matched you.. I just couldn't believe you would do something so stupid. I have been talking with people from down that way.. the numbers aren't inflated… Humans First has wiped out nearly every leopard and lion in New Mexico, and you could have very well brought them to our doorstep." He snarls and punches the door, next to Keith's head, splintering the door further.

Being gone for so long, it seems Keith's beast and himself won't argue with Cale in the least. "Yes, may… maybe… I should…" His voice is shaking at the best as it's clear Keith is getting upset. "Zack, I beg of you. I never meant to bring this back upon the Pard…" This is when Zack slams Keith against the door to the compound. A pained noice comes from Keith's mouth as he closes his eyes. "Zack, /please/ I never meant to disobey or bring shame upon you! /I'm/ so sorry!" He slowly crumples to the floor tucking his legs into his arms on the verge of tears after Zack strikes near his head.

Cale shakes his head slightly and grunts to himself. He'd like to say something, surely. It's i his eyes, a subtle shift of his posture. But after a few moments he flushes the urge for it and settles on a sour look. His eyes close and he lets his head settle back, remaining quiet where he's settled.

Lucas says nothing, just looks away and lowers his eyes. He doesn't want to see what might happen here. He keeps staring into his cofee, like if he looks at long enough it's going to do something other than sit there and steam at him.

Zack steps back from Keith. Cale's words do register in the back of his head. It just takes a bit of time to work their way through his anger. He moves back be fire, knowing that the heat often helps cool his nerves, as ironic as that might be. "Cale is right. Explain yourself, Keith." He is not calm, nor are his words, but it is precise.

Keith slowly ascends as the Nimir backs toward the fire. "I… I…" He seems nervous as ever as his eyes do begin to glow from his innate beast wanting to get out. It's only natrual that he fears death. "I went to Ireland where I met a man. His name is not important…" He looks down, trying to keep from any challenge it's clear, he just stating his opinion and side of the story. "Anyways, he gave me a package I needed to bring to a leopard in New Mexico. When I left Ireland to New Mexico, there already was a disagreement brewing in the region. Though when I got there, the package was being fought for and I had to hide it until it was safer to deliever…"

"Please tell me you didn't agree to deliver something you didn't know what it was for someone shady enough that you don't want to tell us who he is," Cale says, his eyes snapping open. "That's rarely a care package for the loved ones and usually trouble. Do you know what it was? And why isn't the name of this man important? Sounds important to me if he has something worth fighting over."

Lucas looks up at the explanation he's hearing from Keith. From the expression on his face, he's inclined to agree with Cale, at least about the transporting unknown packages for shady characters. He downs the last of his coffee.

Zack sighs and looks at Keith. He nods with Cale, "What was so damned important that it was worth the lives of dozens of people?" He moves in a bit of a pace in front of the fireplace. His beast is very aggitated.

Keith looks horrorstruck as everyone seems to be bashing him with question. "I… uh… I had a mentally inferior decision?" He says looking around at the others slowly picking himself off the ground, though cowering as Zack and the others all the same. "I… I was carrying a package rumored to enhance shifter abilities. It was a gift from what I could tell was a very highly ranked Irish alpha…" He looks down at the ground seeming to be growing with guilt.

Cale shakes his head again and stands. "I have to get ready and get in touch with the wolves. I'll keep you updated." The last direct to Zack, Cale looking towards him a moment. He considers
Keith, then just turns and heads for the fractured door. Careful with it to not damage it more as he moves out. HIs car will pull away soon after.

Lucas stands, slowly. He moves over to the kitchen and puts his coffee cup in the sink. He walks back across the room towards the front doo, watching what's going on with Zack and Keith as he does. Waiting for a break in the conversation, he puts in, "I think maybe now's a good time for me to go for that run. That OK, Zack?" He pauses, then adds, "You can fill me in later, if you want…"

Zack takes a deep breath and nods to Cale, "Take care." When Lucas also takes the opportunity to head out, he nods. "Yeah, Lucas… sorry to kept you longer than I intended. Be careful out there." As Lucas moves to the door, Zack looks at Keith and walks towards him. He stops a couple feet away, "I know you didn't think that this could come back here." He growls softly, "You probably didn't realize the repercussions that could have happened… but the rumors out there is that you were one of the ones that set off Humans First.. What exactly happened that caused this?"

Keith quickly scoots out of Lucas's way as he hears the man is going out for a run. Though he doesn't speak, all he does do is send out his beast slowly to lick at Lucas's hand in a beast-based apology in metaphysical sense. He then pulls his beast inward quickly, it's fear of Zack is nearly radiating now. When Zack approaches again, Keith literally cowers in fear. Which must look weird to anyone sane enough to see that Keith is quite larger than Zack in size. "Um… I am not entirely sure I was the one that set off Human First… though I do agree of your correctness on not understanding all the repercussions." He then lowers himself to cower on the ground shaking now. "Honestly Zack, I don't know how it became such a large mess…"

Zack watches Keith cower in front of him. A frown stretches across his lips. He lowers himself down, so that he is kneeling in front of Keith. He reaches and runs his fingers through the man's darker hair. There is a mixture of gentleness and force. "For now, I have to hope that this storm will blow past My Pard, and we will hear nothing more than the distant rumbling of its thunder. But remember, Keith, your actions might bring the same death here that it did in New Mexico, and every drop of blood will be on your hands." He takes a deep breath, "I can't let that possibility go unpunished though. I hereby strip you of any standing you had in this pard until which time you prove to me that you are worthy of being so acknowledged. The rest we will deal with if it comes to it."

Zack's reach startles Keith for a moment, that is before it proves to be gentle yet forceful in energy. "Thank you Zack. You are a very gracious leader for not killing me on the spot." He then nods listening to Zack's lecture. "Yes your Nimir-Raj…" He then slowly looks toward Zack once again. "I understand Zack, and I surely won't impose any previous standing hereforth…" He seems upset for losing all his standing he worked so hard for, though it's certain in Keith's energy that he thinks he'll be able to earn it back.

Zack rolls his hand so that it cups Keith's cheek, the fingertips resting just behind his ear. His energy washes over Keith, as he lifts the man's eyes up. There is still a fair bit of anger in Zack's silvery blue eyes, but there is also compassion. "Come on and get up. It's obvious that I'm not going to hurt you more than I already have."

Keith slowly acsends at the command of Zack and nods. "Well, I expected more bruises to be honest… you're actually taking this news better than what I'd find typical…" He then narrows his eyes skeptically, "Are you saving beating my ass bloody for when we're outside? Cause I could just go out there now so we can get it over with…" It's clear Keith is not happy with himself either and the fact that the Nimir is being as calm as he is scares the leopard even more. "Honestly Zack, don't give me any favor. I don't want to be looked upon as playing on your sympathies with our previous relationship… you will always be my brother…"

Zack shakes his head, "No, Keith… I'm not planning on beating you up." He moves to sit on the couch, as he looks at you. "The sentence I issued is assuming that no harm befalls the Pard because of this. If it does, expect me not to be so generous, Keith." He looks at you, and silently orders you to come to him. There is something that is in his countenance that makes him look like he could be a king. "This isn't favor… if you want to take your place back, you're going to have to prove to me that you deserve it. It is not just a matter of challenging and winning by force."

Keith looks shocked at Zack seems to be serious. "You're really not going to beat me up? God, you are a saint!" He seems quite surpised, but definately happy about the situation. "Right, I expected that one too…" Feeling the order, Keith trots over promptly to join his Raj. "Right, which I surely accept with knowledge that I dishonored our Pard by my actions…"

Zack looks at Keith, "What good would beating you up?" He pauses, "Honestly, if the Pard was here, I probably would. Make an example of you, show the pard that I am capable of being tough. But honestly, Keith I knew that stripping you of your rank would hurt more than breaking a few bones. It's something that you pride yourself on."

Keith shrugs at Zack sitting on the couch gingerly, trying not to distrub Zack. "Um, I guess nothing?" He seems wary of his answer, not wanting to offend the Raj. "Yeah, well you do know me nearly better than anyone else. I mean the only one that knows more is Elizza, and that's because when it comes to me, he's like a human knowledge addict…" Keith finally chuckles a bit nodding his head. "Though you are right, stripping my rank is the worst punishment I've gotten in a long while…"

Zack looks at Keith, "Now that doesn't mean that things are going to be easy for you. You should be prepared to be the whipping boy around here. If there's a shit job to be done.. It's yours…" He glances at the cracked door, "Fixing the door to the cottage is the first one."
You paged Elizza with 'Hey, I was just talking about you! :D'

Keith looks at Zack, somber to the fact of his announcement. "Damn, I knew I fucked up. This is going to be a shit storm now… please at least tell me that Dylan is gone. To be bottom ranked is one thing. To have shit shoved in my face would be another…" He then looks yonder toward the door sighing. "Fuck! I better getting an advisor from the local Home Depot or Lowes…. I'm going to need some might advice!"

Zack snorts slightly, "No, Dylan left some time ago. Before Gage flaked out and walked out on us even. " He looks over at the door, "You might just have to replace it altogether actually."

Keith looks encouraged at the news of Dylan not being in the Pard any longer. "Well at least I know most of the others won't actually love my head into the metaphorical shit pile I've made… at least I hope they wouldn't…" He then nods at Zack comment about the door. "I was afraid you were going to say that. I'm starting to think I should open a private credit card at a low-cost department store at the rate I seem to break things…"

Zack sighs, "Actually most of the Pard is gone now… our numbers are almost non-existent." He looks over at Keith, "You can also count that as one of the reasons that my anger was tempered." He sighs, "Gage ran off Ahikam, Crystal, and John… Frank and his crew left, as have most of the others." He shrugs, not really encouraged by what he says next, "Though on the bright side, Cale is about to head off for New Mexico to see if he can bring any of the refugees back here and offer them a home here."

Keith gasps in shock at the words Zack speaks. "Non existent?!" He then straightens his face in fear. "Right, well then…" He then listens intently, "Oh, well that would be encouraging… I'm sure some of the New Mexico residence would be pleased to come… though I also have a feeling it might spell horrid things for me if they at all blame me for most of it…" He cringes again at the thought. "I really fucked up… didn't I?"

Zack nods, "Yeah, after Gage took over, he had nothing to do with the Pard, pretty much no one but Grace and Frank. Everyone felt very unwanted and a lot of people just left. I realized then that the Pard actually needs its Raj… I just hope that I can be the Nimir-Raj that the Pard needs." He looks at you, "Yeah, you fucked up.. majorly fucked up.. and yeah, I imagine that if any do come they won't be too fond of you." Yeah, that was something that Zack had already considered when he made the decision to strip Keith, he realized the possibility.

Keith seems increasingly interested in what Zack has to say as he listens closely. "Really?! That's shocking." He then nods a few times before saying, "I've always knew we needed our Raj. Hence why I've always been quite polite and respectful of our leaders." He then shakes his head with a grin. "Zack, of course you can be the Raj we need. You're one of the most smart leopards I know… and you're only how old?!" He then clenches his teeth as Zack agrees with Keith. "Yeah… that's what I thought…"
You paged Persephone with 'Yes, going fairly well. I claimed that I had a package to deliver from Ireland it started a large conflict. Is that alright? The players were pressing me for the reason I went to NM… I thought it would be one of the more logical reasons conflict brewed…'

Zack sighs, "Well, I had to learn a lot real quick… and I had a good teacher." His eyes get a little lost at that. He gets up and goes to the fire, trying to encourage it to burn more. His energy coils tightly around him, but even still there is still a deep sensation of loss.

Keith nods his head listening to Zack. "Yes, well I'm proud of you is all…" He then starts to blush as he thinks Zack is actually paying him a compliment. When Zack stokes the fire, Keith's energy finally comes out seeming curious. "Is everything alright your Raj-ful-ness?"

Zack sighs and shakes his head, looking into the fire. "Just thinking about Talen… I know that a lot of people think that I should just move on, but I don't think that I will ever love someone the way that I did him."

Keith looks at Zack with the eyes of a sympathic kitten. He nods his head as tears nearly enter his own eyes. "Zack, I never want you to forget Talen all together. We both know how much he meant to you, just remember that he loved you. Though you're not going to betray him if you love someone else since his passing." Keith slowly stands to walks slowly over to Zack. "Zack, I loved Talen like he was a brother to me. I don't like admitting that I might never think of someone so fondly as him again. Though you are a different kind of brother. Filling the void with you only goes so far… you're perfect in every way… though I also think no one will ever be as Talen was…" Keith hangs his head, seeming to somehow be mouthing a pray for a few moments.

Zack looks to Keith and shakes his head, "I'm not perfect. If I was perfect, I wouldn't have failed him and he wouldn't have killed himself. I should have made Lenore and Jacobi shut the fuck up… " His voice softens a bit, "I have to admit, there is a part of me that blames Forest for turning his back on him too… " He sighs, "I really don't need to think about this right now, Keith… I have enough to think about already." He pauses, "The door is your first task, your second is to research something for me… The wolves have a position in the Pack that is held for a human with powers.. it's called a vagamor or something like that. I want you to find out if there is any precident of it something like that being done in a Pard."
You paged Elizza with 'Oh I will, I just will be a bit heart broken as I lost all positon and rank among my people.'

Keith shakes his head, his beast reaching timidly out to caress at Zack. "Don't say those things. You might not be perfect, though certainly it wasn't your fault he's not with us. He did that on his own." He then looks saddened as he listens to Zack. "Oh, it's going to be alright. Lenore and Jacobi won't be in a position to ever do that again." He then looks down at hearing the blame thrown toward Forest. "Well it certainly didn't help the case…" He then looks back up nodding before saying, "Yes, don't think about it for now. You have more pressing matters that certainly need more thought." He then nods wiping at his eyes before saying, "Right! I will do both those thing."

Zack takes a deep breath, regaining his composure. He straightens up, "I expect the door to be repaired or replaced tomorrow. And I expect that information right after." He looks at Keith, "You know, Keith, you're right I do know you almost better than anyone else and that I know how to hurt you. Since you thought I was letting you off easy before," he glances at the door, "I don't like the idea of just leaving the cottage open all night… You're going to stay here until the hardware stores open up tomorrow… to make sure that nothing happens to the cottage." He pauses, "You were without Elizza for four months, what's another night, right? And you can think about how it would feel if you lost the one you loved, if something was to happen to him or how he would feel if something happened to you. Maybe then, you'll think more about the consequences of your actions next time."

Keith straightens up nodding his head, before standing rigid. "Yes sir. I will ensure that gets done ASAP." He then shifts his eyes to look at Zack, not moving his head. "Alright sir. If that is what you wish, I will stay here all night." Keith then nods, though his eyes say everything. Not being with Elizza, even for a night is going to be dreadfully painful. "I guess it's nothing sir. I will contemplate the idea Zack…" He then sadly nods once more.

Zack takes a deep breath. "There is food in the fridge and cabinets. Eat." He puts his hand on Keith's shoulder. "I have somethings I need to go do, hopefully to try to run damage control. I'll be back tomorrow."

Keith nods as he relaxes a bit and looks over at the kitchen. "Alright, I will eat then…" He then nods his head again waving to Zack. "Have a safe trip… do you have a car? I didn't pay attention on my way in. You can take my car if needed."

Zack smirks, "Yeah, that ancient Nissan out there… That's mine. She isn't much to look at, but she runs." He pauses, "Well, most of the time…" He moves to the door and starts to open it. Each time it has been moved it has cracked a little bit more, this time is no exception. Yeah, the door is as dead as a week old zombie.

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