CLAW HQ: Foyer - Sears Tower - Jackson Street
An elegant, understated lobby, this is the headquarters for the Committee for Lycanthrope Acceptance and Welfare, otherwise known as C.L.A.W.. The receptionists are seated behind a desk, and there are a few seats placed neatly around small tables with the usual magazines laid out. The floor is made from that mock marble, and there are some choice pieces of art on the walls. Closer inspection of these reveals them to be done by artists known to be preternatural of one kind or another, and they are displayed nicely against the subtle tones of the walls here. There are several doors leading off this room, and an air of discretion to the place.
Evening on the Sunday after the explosions and Robert's car pulls up outside, parking on the CLAW spaces, to release him and another man. He leads the way up the stairs, ignoring the fact that it is on the tenth floor without losing his breath. On the landing outside, Richard is helping to clear the rubble, and the intent is to help him. Robert glances at the man following him, introducing him abruptly. "Rex. New wolf." He nods over at Richard, "Richard, Leopard." The abruptness reveals very little about his thoughts as he too works on clearing the lobby.
Jack too has pitched up to help, the Brit attempting to whistle as he works and failing dismally. He's found some cardboard boxes to fill and is busy doing just that, careful not to overload them with rubble - and there's even bubblewrap for the glass.
The young man out of the car follows behind Robert, doing well to keep pace with the dreadlocked male. Inside, a slight nod and a smile is offered towards Richard, and the young man gives a look around the lobby, a slight frown worn now. The expression of 'what happened here?' is obvious enough, but the thoughts are kept unvocalized for now, moving inside to start helping out. "Salvaging whatever we can?"
Elizza wonders up the stairs and after a bit gets lazy, plus with his right ankle already wrapped its kind of hard for him to climb. Taking a moment he finally makes it and peeks in. "Um… Mind one more? I saw the stuff on the news and figured I might find Zack or Keith here?" He smiles and pushes his glasses up as he looks around.
"Bomb. They hate shifters, Rex." Jack gets a nod and a warm look from Robert, the men obviously familiar with each other. "This is C.L.A.W., works with us for us." The flicker of a look towards Jack has a brief moment of humour as Robert works, a reference to the name for some reason. He pauses at Elizza's arrival, turning to face the man. He nods abruptly, "Take the stuff, put it in the piles for the dumpster or for cleaning."
Richard, the leopard, is working with them, quietly at first, but he speaks softly, "Humans First. They hit four places in the city with bombs. Shocking."
Jack grins up at Robert, then straightens with a lump of concrete he couldn't carry if he were human. "Hi, chaps," he says. "If you're human, avoid the glass and watch out for the potholes - and the engineers reckoned that wall there was unstable." He points at it. "If you aren't, don't cut yourself to ribbons, 'cause I can only point and laugh." And then he's glancing at Richard. "Shocking? Only if you've never dealt with terrorism before."
Rex doesn't say much in response, keeping the frown worn. Turning back at Elizza, Rex offers a faint smile with a "Hey." Jack's comments earn much of the teen's curiousity, and comments in return, "Kinda different though, seeing it on the news, and then being at ground zero, so to speak." Looking down to a large chunk of debris, Rex bends down to pick it up, and his face simply lights up when he lifts it up. Then bouncing it slightly in his hands, manipulating the object with ease.
"Yes Sir." Limping over barely noticeable he takes obvious garbage and puts it in one pile, questionable's in another and the 'duh its still good' in a third. Listening he gets a sad look on his face. "People fear what they dont understand, its sad really cause you guys can be pretty cool. I mean look at Superman and Spiderman and all the super hero's. They have power beyond belief and people worship and love them… But even they can have a bad day and with their abilities? Man that could get ugly." Yes, the kid just com paired you all to super hero's, can we say nerd? Looking at Rex he smiles. "Oh, hey… Um, I'm Elizza just to get that out there. I mean I dont think I know any of you…" Slight blush inserted here.
Robert keeps silent, working with an energy that is from anger at the sights before him. He too lifts things easily, tossing them into the pile, leaving the few salvageable pieces to the side. "Very." His single word is to Rex, with a look at the younger wolf that is perhaps a little stern. "Una was under the rubble, Jack." Elizza's explanation gets a glance, and a cocked eyebrow, the impassive face barely changing. "Robert. I am Robert Moye. This is Richard, Jack, Rex." He nods at the three before he returns to his work.
Richard returns Jack's look, tilting his head, "I don't hang out with people who are in the habit of posting bombs in coffee, dude." The comment is casual as he too moves blocks of rubble, passing close to Elizza on his return. He pauses, glancing at him, amused by the comparison. "I don't wear my shorts over my pants."
"I went to Northern Ireland," Jack replies quietly to Robert, and then it's back to his standard warmth and humour. "I'm Jack. Just in case you're trying to work out which one I am." Something Richard says has Jack glancing at him, and then away again, Jack continuing to shift stuff that needs moving with more care. "Posting bombs? But…" He's not nearly as detached as he's trying to pretend he is, and to preternatural senses it's even more obvious.
Elizza nods and waves to each when they get mentioned. "Cool, well… would be if it was under happier circumstances but, its nice to meet you all regardless." He smiles at Richard and points "Ah, of corse your not wearing your shorts on the outside, this is your secret identity plus you have fasion sense." Nodding as he continues to pick up what most of you would consider 'tiny' things. Then looking at Jack his smile becomes something sweet. "My Fiance's from Ireland… I'm a sucker for accents." Though he talks as he works and seems pretty cool with the pain.
"Though, it's typical American behavior," Rex offers back quietly. "Hate the differents, feel bad decades later." The chunk of melded debris held is carried over to the growing collection of rubble. And looking to the slab of concrete Jack recently deposited, and lifting it up slightly himself. Amused now, with the newfound ease it's done. "And I'm Rex," turning towards Jack and Elizza.
Robert shoots Jack a look, a faint air of puzzlement in his face before he straightens, turning to face him. He lifts a hand, rubbing the back of his neck. "I meant only that. Nothing at you, Jack. I did not realise she was in the offices." He narrows his eyes very slightly, shifting his weight, a silent question in his eyes.
"Yeah, posting bombs. If it was me, I'd not stick it in with the delivery, I'd get some pretty girl to take it in." Richard is almost cracking a joke, glancing at Elizza. "I don't have fashion sense at all. This lot is all picked out by what was left in Robert's house here. I didn't mean to leave Mexico at all."
Jack's eyes flick to Robert, and then he's dropping off more broken bricks, using the movement to try and hide sudden, obvious anger. That done, he straightens, turning to face Richard. "Sorry, Elizza, but I was wearing combats back then, and working for Her Majesty. I learnt a lot of things, though, and one of them was that the police don't release everything they know about a bombing so that people get the chance to drop themselves in the shit." His eyes focus on Richard, and if eyes are windows to the soul then Jack's soul is nothing but a shard of ice-cold rage.
Elizza nods and the comment about the girl does make him feel bad. "Um… did she make it? The news tends to say what gets the best ratings which is annoying." Everything being said makes sense so far and from the look of things he's the only human, lame… "I'm American, but I dont really fit any molds…" Then looking at Jack he bites his lip and shakes his head. "So you were fighting with Ireland than Jack? I mean… your here now? I think it just taking getting to know a person as the person and looking past the… well the what are thy and seeing the who are thay."
Rex moves back from the pile, heading off a little ways to a less tended corner of the room. There's a slightly wary look in Jack's direction, and the young man falls real quiet for the time being, gathering up an armful of various concrete rock chunks cradled against his chest.
Robert too follows Jack's gaze, his eyes narrowing on Richard's face. His reply to Elizza is absently spoken, "She will be fine. We heal well." His gaze flickers from Richard to Rex, and then Elizza. He doesn't speak though, the man's gaze wolf-like, unemotional and practical.
Richard takes a second to grasp Jack's words, and he turns towards the other man, catching that look. Then, with a burst of that preternatural speed, he is by Elizza, grasping the younger man in front of him with his hand shifting and claws pressing against his throat. "And I'm going to walk out of here, nice and quiet, or your little human collaborator gets a throat full of claw." The smile is nothing like the friendly one before, a snarl, "Fucking bunch of fucking freaks."
Elizza is more shocked and looks up. "Um… Calab-a-what-er?" He sounds more confused than scared. strange given the situation. "Awe, this cant be good… Richard whats going on?" Even his voice is calm and gentle, nothing about the boy makes sense.
"No, Elizza, I was fighting *in* Ireland." As Richard moves, so does Jack. By the time Richard's got Elizza, Jack has a businesslike semi-automatic aimed at Richard's head. "Put the boy down, Richard. Even if he thinks the IRA are saints, he's not a fucking freak. Unlike you. This is your first and only warning." Jack's lips part in a humourless smile, baring his teeth. "I 'ate terrorists."
The turn of events has Rex left far behind reaction-wise in the dust. Taking a moment to process what-all just transpired, the rocks slowly roll out of his arm into a scattered pile on the floor, color draining from cheeks. Rex is left speechless, eyes transfixed on Jack's rifle, and where the business-end of that weapon is currently pointed.
Robert too is suddenly armed, a browning appearing in his hand from a shoulder holster. He doesn't speak, simply aiming it at Richard's head with a look on his face that is empty and cold. He moves slightly to the side, and speaks softly, "Is the law on our side if we kill him, Jack?" The words oddly echo of a quote, and a glimmer of dark humour shows in his eyes.
"Collaborating little piece of shit, you mean?" Richard's words are harsh, muttered in Elizza's ear as he uses the man for cover to head towards the lift. "I'm going to walk out of here, nice and safe, Ratboy, and then your police can go fuck themselves."
Elizza isnt even shaking, just sort of pretending to be in an odd embrace, after all the guys just scared himself right? "I need to warn everyone I was home schooled and history and current events were my weak point. I can play the hell out of just about any instrument…" Looking around with just his eyes his glasses slipping down his nose which feels really annoying since he cant push them back up. "Um… Wait you think I am with humans First?" Anger touching his voice now.
Jack shrugs. The pistol lowers, and there's a pair of reports, one hot on the heels of the other in a classic double-tap aimed at Richard's more exposed knee and shin. The answer to Robert's question apparently comes in silver. "Let the boy go," Jack commands.
Robert's shot joins Jack an instant later, hitting the knee, as the wolf's lips widen into a grin that bares his teeth. He moves sideways towards the lift entrance, cutting off any movement towards it. He is silent though, following Jack's lead.
Richard has little choice but to fall down, the movement scoring his claws along Elizza's skin, opening up his shoulder with all four of them as the man falls. "Fucking stupid bastard!" The final insults for Elizza come as he lies on the ground, rolling in pain, his hands reaching for the leg that is healing already. "Human First wouldn't take you, we're fussy about our recruits!" Then he turns his gaze towards Jack, towards the guns pointed at him.
Elizza is used to pain and actually doesnt fall when his shoulder is torn open "Dont kill him…" There is worry and compassion there. "He's an idiot, a self loathing idiot but yeah…" Then the adrinilin is winding down and he gets dizzy. "Oh… pretty…" grabbing at shiny things only he can see.
"Robert, get Liz." The command snaps out, Jack very obviously used to being obeyed. One of his hands goes to a pocket; a cellphone gets fished out and flipped to Rex. "I need two ambulances and the police, A.S.A.P. CLAW Office, Tenth Floor, Sears Building, Jackson Street." And while he's talking, the semi-automatic takes aim at Richard's head again, an unvoiced promise. Jack's eyes are glittering with rage, but he's absolutely under control.
Rex snaps back into reality when the phone flies his way, fumbling for it and stepping back a few steps as fingers pound four buttons in rapid success, placing the phone hard against his ear. "I need the cops and two ambulance-ces," his own adrenaline starting to flow now, nerves hitting his tone. "Sears Tower, the CLAW officeonthetenthfloor…" eyes not leaving either of the two gun-wielders.
Elizza blinks and looks around, the wound bleeding real bad as it makes his dark clothes even darker. "Why's everybody so mad?" His voice soft and lost as his legs finally give way and he falls onto the ground, hopefully in a spot thats been cleared.
Robert moves swiftly, sliding the gun out of sight into the holster, obeying Jack. He kneels, checking Elizza's condition, putting him to the floor, trusting to Jack to deal with the fallen Richard. "He'll live. I'll get Zack out here." Brief and he tugs his shirt over his head, folding it and pressing it hard against that wound, the bleeding being the main problem.
The fallen Richard is giving Jack a look of pure hate, his eyes narrowed, "Go on, I dare you, rat boy. You haven't got the guts. If you had, neither of us would have come here." The taunt is low, but there is pain in his voice as Robert's shot heals, but Jacks burns him.
Elizza looks at Richard confused. "Why are you so angry? Your a shifter and… a cat one maybe? Why do you hate yourself so much?" The kid is pale which really makes the hair stand out. "Are you Cathlic?" The press to the wound causes him to breath hard but he doesnt scream or thrash as bad as he should be. "I want Keith…" Tears forming in his eyes, he's not scared he's confused.
Jack's lip curls in contempt. "Tell them that Marshall Green's got a suspect for the bombings," he says loudly, though his eyes don't leave Richard. And then his voice drops to a low growl. "I've spent twenty-four years of my life fighting terrorists. You're going to have to do a lot better than that to make me kill you."
"Of course it's an emergency!" Rex snaps back into the receiver. "There was an attack and two people bleeding all over the place, and Marshall Green's got a bombing suspect so I *NEED THEM BOTH*" the young conscious male getting a bit more vocal with the operator on the other end. There's a small patch of silence, and an irritated sigh "*Thank* you," holding the receiver-end against his shoulder. "They're on their way."
Sympathy is not truly in Robert's nature and he speaks bluntly, "Save your breath, Elizza." He is leaning hard on the shoulder, causing pain without a flinch. "Rex. Call Zack, tell him I have a new cat. Tell him Elizza." He tosses his cell phone at the wolf, before he turns his head towards Jack, watching the interactions.
Richard does better than that, pushing up off the floor, using his good leg to leap towards Jack with a snarl on his lips. The intent is obvious, force Jack to kill him, or kill the other man, and the hate in his face is clear.
Jack doesn't hesitate when Richard lunges. Two more shots ring out and then, when Richard hits the ground, Jack's boot goes on his neck and another two silver rounds get put into his skull from a range of six inches. Jack doesn't seem to need to think about the sudden violence - or be moved by it.
Elizza closes his eyes. "Its just a scratch… I've been through worse Sir." Then the gunshots and he frowns. "Got what he wanted I guess…" Seems he is a bit to out of it to really say more, slowly starting to get sleepy, body relaxing under Robert and a smile touching his lips. "Nap time?"
"Ah—" Rex vocalizes, setting Jack's phone down and reaching out for Robert's. The phone grasped, and quickly scrolling through the contacts list. The number reached, and soon, this new phone pressed to his ear. The free hand reaches out to flip the other phone with the 911 Operator on to speakerphone, just in case.
The pressure Robert puts on Eizza's wound makes it clear that this is not nap time, and the sound of sirens coming closer hint at the cavalry coming, a little too late. "Stay awake." A command, unsympathetic, but firm. He barely glances up at the shots, no sign of surprise in his face and no real need to speak.
Richard…dies. His hand shifts to human, and he lies still. Dead. The silence is deafening.
Into his phone, Rex 's voice is definitely not Robert's. Much higher, and definitely a new one. "Hello, Zack? This is Robert's phone, but he's currently… occupied… and had me call you.
Elizza whimpers but thats it. "Im sleepy…" His eyes open and the green is moist with tears. "Its bad huh?" More a statement than question, he never looked at it after all.
Expressionless, Jack looks down at what had been Richard, his nostrils twitching at the scent of blood. He waits for a few long seconds, then tucks the semi-automatic back into the small of his back. "At least without windows it wasn't as loud," he says philosophically, and then he's heading over to help Robert with Elizza. "Not as bad as it almost was," he replies to Elizza. "Hospital for you. No talking to anyone until the police have a statement, okay?"
Into his phone, Rex holds for a moment, then speaks again. "He said, he has a new cat for you, and to tell you it's Elizza."
Rex looks over to Robert after delivering the basis of the message, looking to see if the man wants to input anything else into the phone conversation.
"You'll heal." Abrupt and not very reassuring, Robert releases that grip on Elizza's shoulder only as the police, followed by the ambulance crew, tumble from the stairwell. "Zack can handle him." He rises, stepping back to let the ambulance crew tend to Elizza, and holds a hand out for the phone with a clear expectation that Rex will just hand it over.
Richard stays dead.
"No talking… got it, and no sleeping." He smiles and looks at the pair over him. "Thank you… Want to come to my wedding?"
Into his phone, Rex is brief and quick, "I'm passing you to Robert now." Nothing more from the unfamiliar voice.
Rex hands the phone over to Robert.
Into his phone, Robert says, "Zack. I've got Elizza here, injured by a leopard shifter."
From your phone, Zack says, "Where is he? I mean primarily Elizza, but the other as well." There is the sound of a door slamming hard behind in the background, "I'm already walking out the door, just tell me where to go."
Rex complies immediately, passing the phone back to Robert, and scooping up Jack's phone in the process, "They're here now, thanks." and hanging up the 911 operator. Jack's phone is offered back to the man once the paramedic team arrives in and takes over. Beyond that, the new and frazzled wolf is silent, heart pounding.
Jack looks up and rises to his feet as the police arrive, greeting them with nods. "Casualty there," he says, pointing to Elizza. "He's probably been infected with lycanthropy, leopard, the witnesses're talking to the senior man of the local strain. I've a firearm at the small of my back, silver ammo, six shots fired. I'll be over there while you get the mess sorted out." And then he's putting his hands up and moving to somewhere clear and out of the way.
Into his phone, Robert says, "Hospital. The other is dead. Shot."
Elizza looks at Rex and smiles. "Hey, calm down ok? Maybe you can rid with me to the hospital? THe sirens sound cool inside." Trying to reasure the new guy who seems so freaked.
Robert too lifts his hands, tucking the cell phone into his shoulder, speaking to the officer who approaches him. "Browning in the small of my back. One shot fired." He turns slowly to allow it to be removed. "Rex, with me." It is a command, drawing him to his side with a glance. "He is a member of my pack. I am Ulfric for the area."
From your phone, Zack says, "Who was it?" Zack clicks the phone to speakerphone. For a second the sad sound of his car starting up can be heard, "You at the hospital too? Or will there be someone who can explain what happened to me when I get there?"
Into his phone, Robert says, "I believe the police require Jack and I to remain. I will send my wolf with Elizza, if they permit. He used Elizza as a hostage. We shot him. He died. He was one of the bombers."
From your phone, Zack says, "One of the bombers was a shifter?"
There's no hesitation or word spoken from Rex, moving to stand right next to his Ulfric. A nod of his head, affirming the statement that Robert just made. With what Robert says, he looks to the injured Elizza, and offers a good attempt at a smile, with a soft but short laugh. His eyes move on his body to the deep lacerations and that smile starts to fade.
Into his phone, Robert says, "Yes. Leopard from New Mexico."
Elizza smiles even as the paramedics work on him. "That would be great Sir, Rex seems nice." The kid stays calm even if everyone else is tense he's not so much. Trying not to fade as He feels a bit woozy.
From your phone, Zack is silent for a moment, as the sound of screeching wheels can be heard. "That doesn't make any sense… why would one of us do this?"
"You'll need to make a witness statement," Jack tells Rex. "You can have a lawyer present when you do, if you want." He stays where he is, out of the way of the police and paramedics - and he isn't at all tense. It's almost like this is just another day at the office. His eyes go to Robert, and he smiles ever so faintly. "I'll be using my phone call to get hold of Rian and let her know I'm in for a few nights again, so you don't need worry about that."
The paramedics do not permit, and Elizza is taken off, and Rex left with Robert. Robert isn't tense, and he speaks into the cell phone in low tones, his deep voice rumbling. His power reaches out, lightly brushing against Rex, a reassuring touch.
Into his phone, Robert says, "I do not know. I must go, Zack, the police require that Jack and I explain ourselves."
Elizza frowns and waves his hand at Rex and smiles. "Come visit ok?" A bit more awake now as he is rolled away. Looking around he see's Richard for the first time. "Ew…"
Rex smirks a bit when Jack informs the young man. A deep breath is drawn in, and he lets out a bit of a sigh. "Lot of excitement for one day…" he offers in a quieted voice. Looking to Jack, "Is that recommended? First time experiencing something…" looking around the interior of the room, and the blood mingled with debris. Elizza's voice distracts him, and he looks as he is carried off. "Sure, sure thing." Offering a little wave in return.
Jack shakes his head, with a faint but warm smile for Rex. "Shouldn't be. Remember you can ask for one, though. And if you need to throw up, no-one'll think any the worse of you for it. I did, the first time. The loos are that way." He points with one of his upraised hands, then pauses. "Sorry, bathrooms." But if Rex goes out, he won't be allowed back in again. Not that anyone else will be in the room much longer either - it's a chauffer-driven ride to the cop shop for all bar Elizza, a ride Jack appears to be expecting.
Into his phone, Robert says, "Robert Moye."
From your phone, Cherish rumbles into your phone, "Robert, why do I smell strange wolf in your house?
Into his phone, Robert says, "Cherish, I have a new wolf. His name is Rex. Come and bail us out. And Jack. Money in my desk drawer."
From your phone, Cherish is silent for a moment, then, "Be right there." She hangs up.