Crystal Earns Some Freedom

April 18, 2011

Setting

Survivalist Compound - Ivy Cottage: Front Room - Wauconda, Illinois
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.

Cast

Auranna
Crystal
Forest
Frank
Grace
Johnothan
Keith
Zack

Scene

( Scene joined already in progress)

Crystal grins and nods "Alright!" she was leaning into him as they both sat in the bay window "Egypt went thru alot of strife. Parts were conquerd and taken back and for a long time there was upper egypt and low egypt, each with their own religious pantheons and beleifs, even their own pharohs if you take a look atthe crowns and read what they represent"

Keith nods at Crystal as she is leaning against his lap talking about his Goddess. They both seem quite close and content as they speak. The door has been promptly replaced and installed this morning. So it looks as though Keith went out of his way today to fix what he'd broken. "Oh wow, that's compelling! Two Egypts… that's intense…"

Crystal nods with a giggle "Yeah.. they had two crowns that latr under some deities were combined. One was the tall white almost cone shaped one? And the other was the red one that left the head bare in the middle, short in front and then on the sides and back it stepped up. Later depictions of deites showed the cone shaped crown within the step brommed crown thus depicting a united egypt under rule. Even greece ruled parts of Egypt for a time. Mafdet was worshipped from the beginning and her power lasted for a couple dynasties. Even after she was no longer revered she was still de[icted upon the carcofoguses and upon the beds of the pharohs in their final resting places as she was still viewed as their protector"

The door to the cottage opens and Forest walks in behind Zack, a big grin on his face as he laughs at something the little blonde said or did. He wraps his arms around Zack from behind and brushes his cheek over the blonde head, before picking him up off the floor easily, throwing him over his shoulder as he heads for the couch.

Keith nods as he listens to Crystal with interest. "Wow, so a Goddess of protection…" When the door opens and Keith sees Forest and Zack entering, he chuckles at their playful manners. "Well, Nimirs are home…" He then looks down at Crystal. "They both look happy, here's your chance." He taps her over to the Nimirs seeming to will her to do something.

There is a tone of mock irritation from Zack. "I am not a sack of potatoes… Put me down or the next time I'll throw you over my shoulder.." The thin blond laughs and is clearly not really mad. He looks over at the two and waves. "Hey guys." It is one of those rare times, almost non-existent, where Zack really seems like his is eighteen and not a little ancient sage in a boy's body.

Crystal smiles and nods "Yeah she protected them from their enemies and also from poisonous animals like snakes and scorpions" then grins faintly as the nimirs enter and takes a deep breath. Nodding to Keith she rises and walks over to the couch to kneel before them and nuzzle her head into Forest's hand first and then Zack's in greeting, her energy slipping out to lightly brush against them in order.

Auranna comes out of the bathroom, looking like she just had a shawer. She glances around a bit and then does move to offer greetings, cheek rubs to everyone, Forest and Zack first, and then the others.

Forest sits down on the couch, Zack settled on his lap, a happy smile upon his face as he seems to just enjoy the moment of playfulness with his mate. When Crystal approaches he accepts her greeting, then Auranna when she greets him as well. His beast brushing out over the two in a gentle manner.

Keith waves at Zack chuckling. "Looks like Zack just got his arse handed to him. Lets see how this unfolds… news at seven!" This all said in a very mock joking manner. He watches Crystal proudly. "That's the spirit Crys." He then stands walking over to reach for both Nimirs hands. He's to greet this at the same time. For they are equals under the current law of passage. He then cheek rubs Anna before standing back awaiting for something.

Johnothan comes out of the bathroom behind Auranna, toothpaste and mouthwash easilly detectible as he smacks his lips lightly, a bright gleam in his eyes as he follows behind Aura, "remind me to both congradulate and dispise Jin for being a lucky bastard" he says with a teasing tone in his voice, waiting quietly to greet Forest and zack with a gentle rub along each one's cheek and murmuring "it is good to see, and feel you both in such good spirits." before moving back and greeting keith then aura and finally crystal, though being a little more teasing with crystals greeting as he gives the petite little albino an almost inappropriate squeeze on her hip.

Zack smiles as people come over. Each one getting a bit of a rub both physically and metaphysically. He looks at Keith, "Don't make me take off my pretty kitty crown and kick your butt, Big Brother." He grins, "So everyone doing okay? Nice choice on doors, by the way, Keith…. "

Crystal blushes and cheekrubs John "Heh thanks Muncher" then looks to the nimirs "Raj, Ra, I was wondering if I could speak with you a moment? Unless you have other things to attend to…"

Auranna smiles, "Thinks are going well." she says and lets her beast back to caress when it is touched and then looks at John, "Just look, he is very protective of me when it comes to other men, especially right now." she says and giggles just a little.

Forest looks down at Crystal where she kneels on the ground before the couch, hoping his good mood will be able to last a little longer. "What can I do for you Crystal?"

Keith chuckles as he greets John and then sees his greeting to Crystal. "Well well…" He then looks over hearing Zack, "Oh really little brother? You think you're -cat- enough for it?" He's clearly teasing. Why would he ever challenge Zack to battle knowing fully well Forest is right there watching?! He then nods as chuckles, "Thanks Zack-i-poo! I tried to assist in fixing the problem better than it was before…" He then looks around at the others before nudging Crystal assuringly. He seems to want her to talk to them now for some reason. When he hears Forest is willing to talk, a smile spreads to his face.

Zack grins, "Yeah, no when you throw Grace through the door… you can give her a concussion in the process." Hw winks at Keith. He leans back against Forest's shoulder as Crystal petitions to speak. He nods, as if his permission was even needed after Forest had already agreed.

Johnothan flashes crystal a grin then looks at Aura, letting a subtle darkness enter his look as he regards her, pink tongue sliding out to suggestively caress over his lips and leave a glistening sheen to them "Mmm, I dont blame him in the slightest. But very well Aura, I'll just look..I'll just make sure to do it when I'm blinded." A subtleness in his tone, then falling silent, watching crystal curiously and silently offering morale support, knowing she'd beeh having problems lately speaking her thoughts, worried about how they'd be taken and possibly getting her into trouble without intending to.

Crystal takes a deep breath anddrops her gaze "Not to question your judgement sir but I was wondering when I would be allowed to leave the compound here? I am getting fighting lessons from Auranna, Stuffy, Playboy too. Even Frank agreed to teach me as well as Jin and Muncher and even Johnothan. Frank has been helping me with manners training as well. Keith and are working on compiling a book of rules to give the challenges some structure and outline so we don't have another incident like there was between grace and Keith, but we both realize and were already planning on presenting it to you when it was finished for your approval. Also I am studying my goddess Mafdet as well and the occult. So that I could bless items if people chose to put their faith in her and start my own religion. That way the blessed items could protect people in the pard from vampires. With a religion of Mafdet we could set up a financial doo-hickey so that those in the pard could then donate to the church tax free and the church could then pay for our needs. I might even be able to learn enough to be able to summonspirits to help us. I already speak with the spirits and this, Mafdet willing, culd work. Some have voiced that such a role might be good for the pard it, could certainly lend some strength the pard and perhaps if the pard took up the beleif of Mafdet willingly it would give the pard a sense of history and culture" she was really hoping she didn't word anything wrong "Grace has only been around for training 2-3 times the last time she came she decided to teach by demonstration as she admitted she could not teach what to do correctly but only how to tick off those above oneself"

Auranna does turn and looks towards Crystal and smiles a little, getting the courage finally to talk to him. She looks back towards the others and then smiles at Johnothan and slips towards the kitchen.

Forest listens to Crystal speak, his expression slowly fading from one of happiness to one of tension. He seems to sit and think for a time over the words she says before finally saying. "Why did I restrict you to the compound Crystal? What is the reason I put you here?"

Keith chuckles and blushes at Zack. Clearly he find the man's implied joke funny. Though he doesn't speak quite yet. He wants to hear what they say about Crystal. He's close a hand, so if something starts going south he can chime in. Certainly being an instructor, he should take blame if this goes south. He then listens to Crystal's speech nodding his head. He then looks hopeful as Forest didn't exactly say no yet.

Zack listens to Crystal. This is the first time he had heard about Mafdet, which he has no clue as to what she is talking about, and that much is clear in his expression. Granted, public highschool really doesn't touch on obscure Egyptian gods these days. He feels Forest tense, and he wraps his arm around the back of the man's neck. He holds his tongue for the moment.

Crystal swallows and lowers her posture ebfore him as she looked down at the floor in front of her knees "Because my experience severely broke much of mytraining and I needed to go thru it again, to find the control of my beast I had lost so I would not be a danger to myself, the pard or the public, sir"

Auranna gets soemthing to drink and leans at the counter for a moment to watch and listen, not really wanting to be in the way or anything.

Forest nods a little at what Crystal says this time, his focus completely on her, though his hand does idly run over Zack's back. "And have you accomplished the task I have set before you?" His question seems simple enough.

Keith nods at Crystal agreeing as he looks between Zack and Forest. Awaiting their reply. "I've been practicing control with Crystal off and on. She's shown major control even practicing some soothing technique like Ahikam…" He then quiets as his voucher for her is spoken.

Zack watches Crystal, not with the same scrutiny as from Forest. He listens Keith speak up for the albino as well.

Crystal nods her head softly "Yes sir, I beleive I have. I have once again found my center and control of my beast and I can watch a fight or have tense energies and emotions around me without losing control" then nods and smiles "And yes what Muncher said"

Auranna takes a deep breath as she watches between each in the room from where she stands in the counter sipping from her soda. She is waiting to see and trying not to push into the situation, this was something that Crystal had to do for herself.

Johnothan remains quiet through 'the proceedings' as he listens to crystal, kneeling before forest and zack on the couch, making her request/plea of knowing when she will be able to leave the compound again,
Keith and he mostly silent moral support, Aura leaning on a counter with a glass of water, watching nad listening to things from the kitchen area. He smiles gently at crystal, listening to her simple, soft eloquence without burnishment, offering his own nod of approval and quiet agreement as he looks carefully and thoughtfully at the Raj and Ra.

Forest listens to Crystal speak, the use of nicknames not seeming to approve of it, "I see. And how have you accomplished this? Have you been working yourself in stressful situations? You say that Grace hasn't been here to train you, yet learning by observation is a good tool to use." He sits there calmly as he speaks with Crystal.

Keith nods at Crystal in acceptance of her speech. He's seen her watch his and a few other battles without shifting. So clearly she has that under control. He looks between the Nimirs seeming to almost plea with his eyes. This has been good for Crystal, though clearly he can train her better now if she was outside the compound. When he hears Forest's questions Keith nudges Crystal and motions to himself, Johnothan, and Auranna.

Crystal nods "It can be sir and yes I have been forcing myself toward stressful situations. Sex and fighting I can now hold my form thru. And I have been getting training to fight from many people. I have watched Kith have challenges, as well as Grace, and John and Auranna. I did not shift during any ofthem nor come close sir"

Grace moves in to the house through the new door, yay. She notes, overing hearing that last part. "Yet you have not been stressed yourself." She nods her head low to Zack and Forest, no one else in here requiring a greeting, they can come to her. "Forgive me, I did not see that it was a formal gathering." She silences herself and simply moves to the back wall, closer to Auranna.

Auranna thinks for a moment and looks like she wants to say something and almost does or doesn't till Grace comes in and Speaks, "And yet she has. What greater stress than at the Pardanar, with the moon high and raging through our blood, to watch her mate put his life in the hands of another, and keep control, she did not shift then, and the stress was high."

Zack listens and smiles slightly, but he keeps his thoughts to himself for the moment, as this is Forest's call in the end. He nods his head to Grace, acknowledging her greeting.

Forest listens as others speak, but he seems only interested in what Crystal has to say. "The full moon is a powerful stress, it pulls at each of us, yet you have been enduring that stress for many years." A small shake of his head is given, "It seems to me that your inability to control your shift is related to more emotional stress, and that is difficult to assess. How do you propose to control your emotions Crystal?"

Grace waves a hand at Auranna for her to shh and doesn't comment further. Simply watching behind the sunglasses that now adorn her face.

Johnothan's energy nudges at grace once she's finished greeting Forest and Zack and either gotten acknowledged or shunned as was their want and will, his leopard rubbing softly up against the smaller woman, it's sensory form lowered as he greets her silently so as not to disturb the discussion going on, his eyes shifting to Graces however before sliding back to forest and then crystal in a silent statement of why only the metaphysical greeting, continuing to listen, a quiet calm waiting radiating from him.

Crystal shot a dark look at Grace at her condescension before nodding to what the raj said "It is knowing my beast sir, and each ingredient of myself trusting the other. Yes my shifting has more to do with emotional stress of late, finding something for me to do to help the pard, finding my center have been key in my beast trusting me. I was shifting when I felt frightened of attack, my beast rising up and out to protect me. We have both grown and do not cower when things get upset. What emotional stress could be worse then feeling afraid for a mate you only recently got, knowing people were threatening to hunt him, feed him to the pard and not being able to do anything. Keeping one's place and silence as one's newly found mate begs for his life. What could possibly pull at one's heart strings more then feeling one was about to watch their mate die before their eyes and not able to do anything about it, a mate that one has known since they were kittens and one whom had only recently come to such status. But going to him, doing anything, was not my place. I knew it and it hurt but I stayed and did not shift sir"

Auranna frowns for just a moment and then glares at Grace but she does stay quiet. She is thinking though, about her own words and for a moment she glances towards the door.

Zack looks at Grace. "Don't shush someone, when you can't keep a hold of your own tongue, yourself." He listens to Crystal's words and her conviction. He leans back against Forest.

Forest listens to Crystal as she speaks, seeming to consider things carefully before he speaks. "Are you willing to accept the consequences of your actions? If you shift in public, I will skin you and hang your carcass out to dry." Even though he may not mean it literally, the words hold a truth to them, a truth and a promise.

Crystal nods solemnly with a shiver at the quite real threat "Yes sir I am and I understand the responsibility that entails…..but….what if someone forces me to shift against my will?"

Grace simply nods again to Zack who apparently didn't hear her apology. The looks from the others are ignored and she crosses her arms under her chest as she leans back against the wall. John's beast was accepted and pushed back against.

Auranna raises her brow for a moment and then just looks at Grace and then look back to the situation as she takes another sip from her soda.

A slow smile finds it's way onto Johnothan's lips, his eyes upon Zack at his words..An amused and rather happy look from the young man for the little blonde, his energy drawing slowly back inside him at forests words, holdig his breath and waiting for the full outcome, though giving a silent surging cheer at crystals perceptive and valid question.

Forest leans forward a little, still holding Zack on his lap, his attention completely upon crystal as he speaks, "If someone forces your beast out of you, they will have to deal with me. But you better fight it with all your might." With that he leans back, "You may leave the compound, but only in the company of other Pard members, and only those that are strong enough to keep you from shifting if you start to do so."

Crystal looks at Forest as he leans forward and blinks with a nod, she'd be a fool to do anything else but when he says she can leave a sense of releif comes over her and she can't help but smile softly "Thank you sir!" taking a deep breath she calms herself, now was not the time for victory. "Would you like to discuss my religious idea or perhaps that can wait for another time sir?"

Auranna smiles a little and then moves to discard her can, breathing a small sigh of relief. She comes back to watch a little more.

Zack reaches down and puts his hand on Crystal's shoulder, offering a bit of a congratulatory squeeze. He nuzzles Forest softly. "Do you want anything from the kitchen?" He slides off the Raj's lap, stretching with a languid grace that is so far from human it isn't funny.

Forest leans back against the couch, nuzzling his cheek against Zack as he considers her request, then as Zack moves off he asks for a beer. "If you want to deepen your religious studies I have no problem with it.
But I won't force anyone in the Pard to follow your religion, nor will I be likely to follow it. Religion is one of those things that is up to each person to decide on."

Grace simply remains silent, watching the group and seemingly relaxed with her shoulders against the wall. Her breathing is neutral, eyes closing behind the sunglasses.

Johnothan gives a wide smile as he listens to the rough give and take of the discussion as the more open layout is nailed down and diagramed with the specific parameters. Hearing Aura approaching, he turns and heads the way she just came from to get himself a drink, mouth a touch dry from holding his breath for some strange reason, calling out before fully disappearing into the kitchen "Anyone else care for anything while I'm in here?"

Crystal nods "Yes I agree with you sir. Faith is something special to the individual and should not be forced upon anyone as I would never wish to push it upon anyone. Mafdet was a leopard goddess in anceint egypt, seen as a protector to the pharohs and of Ra himself. It was said that she would hunt down at night the wrong doers and rip thier hearts out to lay at Ra's feet. She did such to prove her actions and let him bear witness to how many had gone against him. She was worshiped from the beginning of egypt and thru several dynasties. She was protector most of all with an emphasis against snakes and scorpions. Religion I beleive is something each must explore and decide on themselves, it is a beleif that comes from the heart. each person must decide what in their own heart they put their faith in, what they beleive in. I think even the christians understood that as it was the basis for their religion, an older religion I think? was forced upon everyone and by law one was punished if one did not worship. It was the impetus of the pilgrims coming here to escape religious persecution in order to be able to worship as they chose to, in peace. Worship or not who one wishes is a fundamental right of all"

Auranna smiles a little as she watches Crystal start to talk about something that she believes strongly about. She moves towards the door.

Grace simply snorts, shaking her head and turning into the kitchen.

Zack moves to the kitchen and gets a bottle of beer for Forest and a Dr. Pepper for himself. "Thanks, Johnothan, but I needed to move a little anyway." He walks the beer to Forest, before leaning against the side of the couch next to Forest. He slides his hand across the back of the Raj's neck and rests it on his far shoulder.

Forest rolls his eyes a little at Crystal's speech from where he sits on the couch. "Like I said, I have no interest in your religious convictions, but if you become one of those that is a religious fanatic and it comes in the way of Pard business I will have to put my foot down. There won't be any religious statues or such on the grounds. Worship how you wish, but keep it to yourself and those who wish to join you." As Zack hands him his beer, he pops it open and takes a drink, turning his attention away from Crystal, seeming to have said all he wishes on the subject.

Crystal nods her head respectfully "Yes sir, I would not do such without your express permission ahead of time sir" then slowly rises and backs up a couple paces before turning to go find something to drink in the kitchen

Auranna turns back towards the kitchen at the snort and shakes her head muttering a little and dips her head to Forest and Zack and smiles to Crystal before leaning next to the door.

There's the sound of a car outside; for those who've heard it before, it's Frank's.

Johnothan is looking through the fridge, deciding what he wants before pulling out a can of rootbeer and beginning to close it when he sees the others traipsing in "I Said I'd get it if you wanted anything..but thats alright" he says with a shake of his head at just having closed the door.

Grace comes back out of the kitchen with a drink, her face directed at Auranna. "You say you aren't going to challenge me, that you're still learning and such, yet the last few times I've seen you all you've done is sneer, give me looks and mumble under your breath. Which is it to be?" This is said with no hate or malice, just simple fact.

Crystal giggles and walks over to hug John and purr "Well I was a little busy to put in my request Unca Pervy" then opens the fridge to get some mint chocolate milk

Zack looks in Johnothan's direction. "Sorry, John.. maybe next time." Maybe, he rarely lets others grab and fetch for him. He sips on his soda, as he watches the others. His eyes watching the door as well.

Forest closes his eyes and leans against Zack, seeming to just want to sit and relax for awhile. He sips on his beer and nuzzles his cheek against his mate.

Auranna raises a brow at the sound from outside and moves to the side so she isn't in the way when Frank comes in. She knows the sound. She looks back to Grace, "What makes you think they were directed at you, and that it was some form of challenge Grace, you do the same and those of your betters here know you were not trying to challenge them. Are you that insecure? That you think every sound or remark is directed towards you in some form of challenge?" she is calm relaxed no emotion herself.

Johnothan leaves Grace and Aura to iron out their own differences, headtilts to rest hsi cheek on Crystals head when she gives him a hug and tips his soda towards Zack in acknowledgement. "Since you can now leeave home again crystal, if you wanna get out and stretch your legs, I can take you out to your apartment..Maybe suprise Ahi?" he suggests with a devilish grin. "Wanna give him a heart-atta—" he falls silent, listening to Auranna as she bites into grae with a nice bit of truth, letting a smile cross over his lips, eyes sparkling with the mirth of it.

The car door opens and closes, and Frank's heavy steps make for the cottage. The door does indeed open, with Frank in the doorway.

Grace chuckles a bit and simply waves her hand at Auranna, completely ignoring her words. "Forest, can I…" She hears the sound as well. "Well, wait a moment, I wanted to talk to you and Frank and seems he's here."

Crystal gets a glassand pours some for herself before giggling absoluted delightedly "Really?! Can we?!" she then chugs her milk before putting the container in the fridge

Auranna just turns away. She uses the opportunity of Frank's entrance to distract herself. She leans down as he comes in to brush her cheek against his hand if he

Zack looks up to see what it that Grace had to say to Forest. He leans more against the man, enjoying the contact. Though his mind also seems to be somewhere else at the same time.

Forest reaches his arms out to pull Zack back down onto his lap, nuzzling him greedily. He senses Frank's entrance as much as he hears it, a soft chuckle given yet he continues to sit on the couch, waiting for now.

Frank accepts Auranna's greeting while on his own way towards Forest to retrieve the Nimir-Raj's hand, and the Nimir-Ra's, and brush his own cheek against them if they allow it. He doesn't seem to think there's anything odd at all about it, either.

Grace , as Frank moves into the house proper, says, "Can I speak to y'all privately please?" And with that she moves to the back room. They will either come or they wont.

Auranna mutters and slips outside, almost slamming the door but doesn't quite.

Forest allows Frank's greeting, then rises to his feet, Zack still held in his arms, tossing the blonde over his shoulder as he starts to head towards the room that Grace disappeared through. "I think we're being called Frank." A grin is given before he disappears into the doorway.

Zack rubs Frank's cheek. "Hello Frank… Good to see you." He gets hoisted and thrown over Forest's shoulder again. He sighs, "I thought we had discussed this already…." He gets carted off to the back room.

Frank, his greetings accepted, gets back to his feet and follows Grace, Forest and Zack to the back room.

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