No One Wins

May 13, 2011


Survivalist Compound: Front Entrance - Wauconda, Illinois(#1740RJL)

The road curves inward from the gate in the tall stone wall and through the trees, allowing privacy before opening into this quaint clearing. Here, a small, stone cottage rests on the far side of a large, graveled circle, only six feet of grass stretching from the gravel to the cottage's front wall. The little building faces north with a wide, diamond-paned window a few feet to the left of the sturdy, iron-banded front door. Another, smaller window lies beyond the first along the long, front wall. The shutters are more than decorative - painted green, they are also functional and can be closed as evidenced by the metal latches upon them. A climbing rosebush grows rather wildly up a white lattice arch in front of the door. Ivy climbs the eastern end of the building and has almost completely obscured the dark roofing from view all along the rooftop. Another curving road moves off to the west from the gravel circle, leading back into the trees. A few little sheds are lined up to one side of the road, doors closed and padlocked.
Fair weather clouds sail across the blue sky, propelled by light breezes from the south. It's warm in the sun, cool in the shade, and the air is clear and dry.



(Scene joined in progress)

A big blue Dodge truck pulls into the compound, then Forest hops out of the truck and heads towards the cottage, leaving Zack behind himself. His beast is high and it's quite obvious that the man is unhappy by the set of his face.

"I'm not going anywhere," Cale notes to Sable, glancing her way. "As to tossing people aside, the current exiles are ones that some of us tried to help. Didn't take, not for lack of trying various methods. But it isn't in my hands whether they get taken back in or not." He sighs and leans back, propped against his arms. "The Pard can be like a family, but it also has to be run with a certain distance. Warm, fluffy and cuddly only goes so far. When a hard choice has to be made, the leaders have to make it, regrets or no. Has to be a mix.. otherwise you've got a bad environment either way." He then says to Dylan, "Things are they way they are for now. I don't think you're thinking enough steps ahead." He's sitting on the hood of his hatchback in just shorts.

Zack gets out of the truck. When he closes the door to the pickup, he slams it so hard that it doesn't have a chance to catch and flings itself back open. He is already feet away and leaves the door open. Likewise his beast is riding very high, caught with the pull of the moon and his own emotions. He doesn't walk towards the cottage as much as he stalks towards it.

"Best you can do is try. Sometimes an fight is what it takes to remind you that you're strong." Sable says and shares a faint smile towards Cale. "I'm neither warm, nor fluffy. But I can take down a rabbit or a dear with the best of them." She rolls her shoulder, flicking her hair from her shoulder and looks towards the sound of the arriving truck, muttering something under her breath.

Cray blinks a few times at Dylan, a snort escaping him. "Okay, so you have a bad memory as well." He shakes hsi head slowly and lifts a hand, running his fingers back through his hair slowly. "We spoke about Pard and why it should or should not be family shortly after the episode in the Polychrome with Keith, Tripp and myself, then we spoke just a couple of days before I leveled my challenge, again on the Pard, though this time on it's function and how it shoudl handle things. Try using your fucking brain before you speak there kitten." He tucks his thumbs intot he loops of his jeans and eyes the man. "I find it rather funny though that you've resorted to trying to descredit what I'm saying because you have no response to it." He glances to Cale and nods a little bit. "A pard is a family. THe Raj has to be the father. Stern, hard, but fair. Willign to do what needs to be done to protect his family, both from without, and from within." He stops to arch an eyebrow as Forest, then Zack go storming past, curiosity written across his face, though the patnher stays wher ehe is for the time being." Sable earns a little smile and a nod, but no words.

Forest turns towards those gathered when he gets to the cottage, looking over them briefly before stating in a firm tone, "There have been two challenges against me for Nimir. Cray, and Zack have both challenged me. Gage was to stand for me against Cray, but I will stand for myself." A quick glance is given to Zack, something in his eyes, before he turns his attention back. It's pretty obvious that he just wants to get this over with.

Auranna wanders up the road from the direction of town, probably having caught a cab and then walked the rest of the way. She comes along and has her energy wrapped around her tightly. She almost thought about leaving a message and finding another place to go to wait out the moon, but she needed family, she has lost a lot of what was and she can't be away from hide away somewhere. She hears Forest and raises a brow.

Keith looks over upon Cray with interest. Keith nods a long as everything the other says seems to be true. The expression on Keith's face says it all is true, though that he might think it all is coming off a bit harsh off Cray's tongue. Keith then winces as he hears Dylan doesn't believe Pard should be family, it almost looks as though it gives Keith physical pain to hear. Keith then looks at Cray with a nod, "I never said Zack was not a baby cat nor that he shouldn't be in the position. Though questioning his position questions Forest's choice. I am not powerful or strong enough to deny the appointment." He then looks over at Dylan with narrowed eyes. "You're god damned right I'm teacher. Speaking to me like I know not what I say is completely against the Raj as well. I'm teacher and although I don't know everything all the time. I know enough to know you're wrong about the social order!" He then looks beside himself growling. "I am not going to kill you myself. I will leave that to our leaders…" He's holding back, but it's clear the taunting is not helping. Keith's sight moves to see Forest's truck arriving. He backs away from Dylan though doesn't bow his head. That would be submitting and that clear is not in his plans. He listens to Cray and nods. "Yes, we sure did try to help." He then falls silent as he listens more.

Dylan shrugs and says to Cray, "I'm not interested in debating with you. It's not my problem anymore after tonight. You can be as wacky as you want to be with your social theories, man." He watches Forest and Zack arrive, folding his arms over his chest in a defensive, closed-off posture. Forest's announcement gets a more wide-eyed expression and he just grunts once in surprise apparently. He waves Keith off. "Later, Princess. The grown-ups are talking."

Cale goes silent as Zack and Forest emerge and he gets a clearer sense of their energy. His lips purse and a soft tension touches him. Curious? Yes and he doesn't really try to hide it. When Forest speaks, his brows snap upward, caught a bit by surprise, his attention shifting to Zack. He doesn't seem inclined to comment verbally, however, his expression schooling into a quiet neutrality.

Jin follows Auranna perhaps he is stalking her or perhaps he had to pay the cabbie and is just loitering a bit slower then she is now as he walks along. He finally catches up to her and snags her hand into his, head tilting as he approaches now. Listening.

Sable holds her arms tighter about her form, not interjecting anything more. She offers a polite, respectful nod towards Forest. Her gaze trails back to where her keys and purse rest in the car.

Zack stands as calmly as he can with the energy that is boiling under his skin. He watches both Forest and the others, though to a lesser extent. The young blond tenses just slightly, as the muscles can be seen running up along his jaw tightens.

Keith growls deeply at Dylan. It's clear Keith is angry, though going off the handle would to nothing and he knows it. "-Don't- call me -Princess-!" He then looks over toward Forest and Zack, awaiting their orders and thereafter what's happening. He glances over to Auranna waving. His energy is on the surface and it's clear it's not happy!

Cray waves a dismissive hand in Dylan's direction as his eyes follow Forest and Zack slowly. The man doesn't show any emotion other than curiosity at them, though his eyes do flicker around to the rest of the pard present, judging and gauging thier moods.

Forest looks over everyone briefly then motions for them all to clear an area for the challenges. He pulls his shirt off over his head and tosses it to the side as he looks to Cray, giving him a brief nod as he steps into the cleared area.

Keith looks around seeming to be frustrated with recent situations. His energy hangs around him, though he is able to pull some of it in to control. When Forest motions Keith steps out of the area, joining Anna at her side that Jin is not occupying. He then watches intently at Cray and Forest. It's that time and really, this might be for the best.

Cale is on his car, so he lingers where he is. He always parks it a bit out of the way. Though once it seems things are beginning, he slips back a bit, his back against the windshield. His arms cross over his chest and he makes himself quiet. Physically and otherwise, as much as possible.

Sable slips away from her rental, thankfully it too is out of the way. She doesn't wait for an invitation, crawling up beside Cale on the hood of his car to watch the challenges unfold.

Zack moves slowly back and forth around the area, like a cat spying a mouse on the otherside of a window. His expression is very somber and very focused. He watches the fight with vested interest.

Auranna squeezes Jin's hand and then moves up into a position to watch. She is still a bit unsettled and just watches leaning against Jin a little.

Jin wraps his arm around her and well lets her lean against him now as he watches.

The combatants move in after a few moments of respectful silence towards eachother. Forest and Cray both ready, but there appears to be no ill will or harsh feelings between the two, both of them simply following the call of thier beasts as they circle. Once combat begins and the challenge commences the blows are quick, hard, and some brutal. The thud of flesh on flesh as they two fight is loud int he clearing, blood spilling from split skin on both sides a few times, though more on Cray's than on Forest's. After a good few minutes of rapid strikes and misses the advantage becomes clear in favor of Forest, quicker than Cray, and stronger. Cray doesn't back down however when that difference becomes apparent, just continues the fight, slowly beign worn down by the Nimir Forest. Towards teh end though the challenge is clearly lost for him, even if he does fight on until a viscious blow from Forest levels the panther and leaves him laying, broken and bleeding, at least for the moment, upon the ground.

Jeremy watches from the sidelines. He grumbles softly at the fighting and when it looks done, moves forward to look at the combatents. "I can heal you if you need it Forest….and then I can help Cray if he's in too bad a shape. If you will allow it." He swallows but holds his ground waiting for the Nimir to make his decision.

Keith watches the fight with awe and amazement. It's clear he's torn as he watches, his beast making his eyes glow brightly. He's not willing to change and know that both parties aren't out for death. At last not yet…

Zack watches the fight. There is no joy in his eyes as he does so. After the fight is finished he looks up at Forest with a sad resolve.

Forest moves over to crouch down by Cray, a tired smile on his face which he turns into a grin, "Good fight man." He nods and offers his hand to help the man up. He then turns to Jeremy, a hand moves out to rest on Jeremy's shoulder, "Heal Cray." He then leans in to rub his cheek against Jeremy's before looking to Zack, his expression difficult to read for the moment.

Auranna just watches from the side, leaning into Jin, her eyes empty.

Cale watches the fighting in silence, his expression firmly neutral throughout. he doesn't speak when its done, though as it seems the second fight is progressing immediately, he cocks a brow slightly. His head tilting just a bit before he shakes his head and settles his expression again.

Cray turns his head, spitting some blood from his mouth onto the dirt, then turns his head back towards Forest, a tight smile on his lips, though he does grunt in pain as he reaches upt o take his hand, rising to his feet, though he has to stagger over to his motorcycle to lean back against it as his body stitches the wounds cloed, both internal and external. "Don't need the healing, thank you Jer. My body will heal itself over time and it is part of the lesson learned in a challenge. I made the challenge, I lost, and I'll deal with the pain from it.

Sable slides from where she perches on the car, padding towards Jeremy and Forest. "I can help also, if you like," she says quietly. Though she doesn't look back towards the waiting challenges that may remain.

Zack steps forward into the clearing as he looks at Forest. Rather reminescent to David and Goliath, he sighs then takes a deep breath.

Forest watches Zack closely as the blonde approaches him, and actually let's Zack throw the first punch. It's a fairly even match for awhile as the two men circle each other, fists and feet flying, blood oozing from various wounds, and healing nearly as quickly as they're given.

Cray watches as the next challenge goes on, his body still pulling itself back together. He shakes his head though, eyes going over to Keith and the others. He speaks, but doesnt' bother tryign to hide what he says. "I don't understand this challenge. I don't know of anyone that will follow the baby cat.." He purses his lips, then pulls his concerned eyes back to Zack and Forest, pulling in a slow breath, body slowly loosening up as the damage heals.

Jeremy stays by Cray, just hoping that being close to him will help the healing. He shakes his head a little. "I don't know why this challenge is being fought either. I'd follow Forest no problem. But…." He sighs and pets Cray a little. "Will you stop movin so much. Yer gotta rest."

Cale doesn't exactly seem too certain on things either. His eyes flick towards Cray as the man speaks, but he gives no sign of his opinion, save for a softly troubled expression that lingers as his attention returns to the fight.

Keith watches intently, clearly even more torn about this match than the last. He winces and cringes as each blow is exchanged by the pair. It's bloody and they seems to be quite even matching. "Oh damn…" He then looks over at Cray nodding. "Well, having a new cat would be quite odd ruling. Though that's what next challenges might apply."

Zack lays into the fight with a determined energy, though his heart being divided as he does. He slams into the larger man and is slammed in return. He takes a staggered step back, blood trickling down his nose and lips. Though he looks worse than Forest, he spits blood down on the ground.

Sable leans against Cale's car, once more watching the fight. She seems almost thankful that her help is needed and she can fade into the background.

Dylan watches the fight, face still as impassive as he can make it, though he's growing more and more nervous and tense as things go on. He glances at Keith at his words and shakes his head, "Too young. Even if he wins, he can't lead. Doesn't know who he is yet."

Auranna just watches the fight and leans into Jin. She looks over at Dylan and almost says something but doesn't. She shakes her head a bit and glances back to watching.

Keith looks at Dylan seeming less angry as his energy is nervous. "That would be quite right Dylan. He is a new kitten, though as you said earlier. Our beasts require order and that order is might. So if he can back-up his mouth, what are we to challenge him?" It's clear Keith is trying to come to a proper conclusion. That is what Dylan has been telling Keith about his teachings. That if you can back-up the postion with might, you win.

Forest slams his body into Zack's, his expression a turmoil of anger and pain, trying to knock Zack to the ground with all of his weight. He doesn't really seem to hear the comments going on around him, his mind completely on the fight, so much more into this one than the previous.

Jeremy says, "The other factions won't respect a child leading the pard. He came ta strength early, but he lacks the finesse and etiquette that comes with being a shifter fer a while. We'd be askin to be jumped by the first group that he pissed off. I…I don't want to be hunted again."

Dylan shrugs at Keith. "Getting is one thing. /Holding/ is another. Both the position and the people that make it mean anything." He watches the fight, wincing at the force of some of those hits and then nods when Jeremy speaks.

Zack pauses turning to snarl at Cray and Dylan. "I know who the fuck I am. I am the one that less than two weeks after my first change took on a vampire that took out several members of this pard with little effort. I am the one that held this Pard together when the Raj was taken. Who the hell do you think you are Cray? You haven't been here and you think that gives you some god given right to rule. Maybe if you don't disappear for weeks at a time you can talk. And Dylan, you don't know who I am. I have bled for this Pard, I have killed for this pard, and I'm certainly not going to let someone who hasn't been here long enough or given a shit to find out about those here tell me who the fuck I am."

Keith nods at Jeremy seeming to agree. "I don't want to be hunted either. It's clear we'd all need to figure out something if he wins." He then watches intently at the fight. He hears Dylan and nods, not willing to take his eyes off the two fighting. "Exactly, as we all know. He'd have to be able to /hold/ the position." He then clears his throat, "Maybe this will be the first time the Pard might need to /vote/ on a new leader… who knows…"

Cray gives a slow shake of his head to Dylan's statement. "I couuld care less about his physical age. Only his age as a shifter. He's still a baby shifter. He could be sixteen and I would follow him if he had been a shifter for 4 or more years and proved himself a wise Ra. But he's a baby, and I won't follow someone so inexperienced with his beast. He's a good kid, has promsie,a nd merit, but doesn't have the experience." He turns his head, his eyes settling on Zack. "I most certainly have been here. I backed away for a bit, but I was still here, anyone in the Pard could call upon me. I have been here since Lenore and Jacobi were kicked out. I backed away once, never dissapeared, so mind yourself kid. I was bleeding for this Pard before you were even infected. And, I never said you didn't know who you were. i said you're too young as a shifter, nothing more. But if you wish to keep proving you don't possess a level head keep talking the way you are."

Cale continues to hold his silence, his eyes flitting back and forth between those who talk with a carefully cultivated impassiveness. Though thought rolls slowly behind his eyes. But he refuses to let the thought be expressed in any tangible form for now. Though there is a vague air of disappointment.

Dylan shrugs impassively at Zack. The new alpha might be angry with him, but Dylan doesn't seem moved for the moment. "Well, we know you can dance /and/ sing, now. Doesn't make you worth following. Or able to lead. Especially given that you can't even stay loyal to the pard over your exiled friends." He snorts at the idea of voting, giving Keith an amused, sardonic look. "Yyyyaaaa. You do that." He nods at Cray's words. "Probably the first time I've agreed with you with evening."

Forest snarls a bit as he listens to the words spoken now, giving a shake of his head, then he turns back to Zack, waiting to see if the young man wants to continue the fight or not.

Keith nods at Cray as he agrees. "Yes, his age and familiarity as a shifter is the only thing I'd call to question as… culture expert?" He then shakes his head at the beginning argument. "Oh godess please… please…"

Auranna sighs and has had enough, "Every one, shut the hell up, silence. They are not finished and you are being inconsiderate children with your tirades." she stands up straight as she does and has other things she wants to say but holds them, and she seems to be speaking to almost everyone.

Jin loosens the hold on Aura when she straightens and he sighs looking at Cray, Dylan, and then Keith and well he just sighs again and looks back to the fight.

Keith looks over at Anna as she seems to put her foot down. He nods his head seeming to respect her request. He then looks back at the fighting couple, surely interested on who will rein supreme.

Cale frowns faintly and shifts, slipping around to slide off the hood of his car smoothly. Things are too tense. And the moon is calling still. Holding it hard with the tension in the air and Cale doesn't want to anymore. He doesn't say anything or look at anyone, but he does start to walk towards the deeper trees quietly.

Cray flicks his eyes around the gaggle of people in the clearing out front of the cottage, watching each in turn, though Dylan's comment does earn a soft chuckle from him and a nod of hsi head to him. He turns his head then towards Aura with an arched eyebrow. "I do believe the first one to launch a tirade was Zack, and we are entitled to speak as we wish. There's no rule that says we have to be silent during challenges, it's a choice, and we chose to speak." He offers her a smile though and turns his eyes back on those in the fight.

Dylan snorts at Auranna, rather pointedly turning his back to her as he watches to see how things are going to play out with Forest and Zack. His expression is still stoic, but increasingly agitated as the night wears on.

Zack looks at Cray, "People chose to be quiet because they're trying to not influence the fight by distracting those fighting. It's more than just politeness." He turns to look at Forest, "Let's finish this and don't stop until I stop moving, cause I won't until you do or yield. I won't let the pard be in the hands of someone who doesn't deserve it."

Cale continues on his path, disappearing into the trees. Shorts will be lost along the way and further along he'll have his shift and dart off. Making for wilder portions of the compound. Though likely he'll find the others later once they too give in to the moon's wishes.

Keith looks at Zack at his claims and seems completely shocked! The expression on his face clearly paints the impression that Keith had no idea that's how Zack felt.

Auranna shakes her head and starts to say something else to Cray and then maybe Dylan, well for a moment she looks like she might go tackle Dylan but she gets stunned as she hears Zack.

Forest listens to the conversation then looks to Zack. He seems to think for just a few moments, mulling over the words that Zack said to him, the muscles of his jaw clenching and unclenching rhythmically with the emotions that are running through him. He steps up close to Zack, and suddenly he gives him a quick, fierce hug, before stepping back, "I know how you feel on this Zack. I step down as Raj, if you think you can do a better job, you're welcome to it, though I don't expect you to keep it long." With that, he turns to the rest of the Pard, gives a brief nod of his head, before heading to his truck.

Cray moves towards Forest as the man makes for his truck, his head shaking slowly. "Forest, if you care about this Pard don't do that." HIs voice is heated, angry, the first hint of anger at Forest the whole night, even when he was getting his face beaten in.

Dylan snorts again at Zack's words. And at Forest's statement, his expression is briefly stunned and then flatly contemptuous. He just watches the now apparently former Raj leave and then leans over to quite deliberately spit on the ground before shaking his head once and turning his back on Zack, headed into the woods on his own as well now, apparently not at all interested in hunting with Zack's pard.

Keith listens to Forest as he relents. Well, that was quite unexpected as well. This might not be well for the group, such a young shifter offered the position. Keith doesn't move as the shock is still settling into him. It's clear by Keith's energy that he's torn between standing back and attempting to fix this situation himself.

Sable shakes her head, stepping back towards the car and her waiting purse and keys. She doesnt' spare a word for the others, instead turning her thoughts introspective for the time being.

Zack looks at those around him. There is not victorious gleam in his eyes, no revelling in the outcome. He lets out a sigh. "If you don't think I have any place here, go ahead and say, or you can give me the chance to prove you wrong." His eyes looking more to Cray at the moment, as he is the one that shows the loudest actual concerns.

Auranna sighs and just glares at Dylan and him departing. She isn't happy with the results but his reaction was uncalled for. She almost says something but then just turns back and looks at the others for a moment Cray, the Departing Forest, and Zack, and Keith.

Forest pauses to look at Cray, his expression grim, "The problem, Cray, is that I care too much and am not willing to do the things that a Raj needs to do." He gives one last look over his shoulder at Zack, before nodding his head and getting into his truck.

Sable looks up from where she is fishing for her bag. "You're the boss," she says neutrally. "It's becoming disheartening that we can't seem to have a moment to heal without musical chairs. Now, if you wish to kick my ass, you're welcome to it. I won't fight you. You're the Raj, until there's yet another fight." She sounds saddened by the outcome, but finally tosses the keys down again.

Keith looks upon Zack as he slowly approaches with concern. "Zack, you know I am only concerned about your infection time. We need a strong and knowledgable beast behind the Raj." He sighs before he kneels down, taking Zack as his leader. Brushing his face upon Zack's calf.

Cray turns his head, his eyes settling on Zack at his words. "I don't have the physical might to challenge you, not if yours and Forest's fight was that close. But that doesn't mean you are suited to the job Zack. You are a kid. Not in your physical age, that doesn't matter a fucking lick to me. But you are a baby cat, and you should not have even been allowed to challenge for the position. I didn't feel Forest was suited to the position either, but the manner in which you held yourself, and the manner in which you acted and replied to others only confirmed my belief that you are not suited to the position either. You are hot headed, and rash, not qualities of a good Nimir." He turns his eyes, dissaproving back upon Forest, then just shakes hsi head and makes his way to his motorcycle. "Someone give me a call when Frank or Gage beats the kid up and takes the position okay? Anyone is free to call me or anything. I'm not leaving, but I won't be around while the boy is in the leader position." He looks back to Zack then, a last look, and hsi ehad shakes sadly before he slips onto his motorcycle, pulling his leather jacket ou t of the saddle bags. "Notice the number of departing people Zack and ask yourself if you did right, or if you did wrong." He looks to Keith, then to Sable before asking. "Mind if I come crash at your place tonight? Some cat company would be nice if I'm not going to hunt."

Keith looks back to Cray nodding, though not moving from Zack's side. "As you wish Cray, as you wish…"

Zack reaches down and touches Keith, running his fingers through his hair. He looks over at Sable. "I have no reason to kick your ass, nor any desire to. I only want what is for the best of the Pard. Forest has been killing himself trying to do it, and he and the Pard have suffered for it. I take no joy in it… " He looks at Cray, "I might be young… but I was chided in the middle of a fight on the full moon. How many of us would be able to keep their beast in check without letting it influence our tongue?" He shrugs, "Forest accepted the challenge, I didn't make him. Those of you that wish to go, go ahead, I won't hold it against you this night. I do want to speak everyone in the Pard, at least until someone decides to take me down."

Auranna just looks at Cray and the departing Forest and then back over to Keith and Zack, and Sable too. She takes a deep breath.

"You're welcome to swing by," Sable says to Cray and nods towards Zack. "I don't have questions about where I stand, and I never have. But I will always be honest with you and any leader, if you so desire. At least it did not lead to someone's death. That is a blessing." She considers her keys and pivots on a heel to head off in the direction that Cale had gone earlier.

Keith looks up listening to Zack intently. "Yes, well the good of the Pard is good. You also make good points, shifting is hard even for us fairly long lived shifters…" He then grins as he listens to Zack intently. The expression on his face seems assured, so Zack does have realistic stance of his new postion. Knowing fully well he'd be challenged in short order. He then nods at Sable's words. "As I will be honest as well, I know you will understand that."

Cray glances over to Zack and he gives a soft snort, shaking his head. "Most everyone in the Pard would be able to hold thier tongue and thier beast back Zack. Most would have ignored those around them in the middle of a challenge. The fact that you were so easily distracted, and so easily allowed your beast to show is yet more proof of my belief. In 5 years, I could see myself following you as Nimir. But that's five years from now, not now. And no one chided you to begin with. I simply stated that I didn't understand the fight because as far as I knew, no one would accept you as Nimir. Keith has proven me wrong, but not by much." he shrugs his shoulders, and turns the key on his cycle, bringing it roaring ot life. HIs helmet is picked up, cradled. "You've got alot of growing up to do kid. I just hope someone takes you down so you can do it." He looks to Sable then and shakes his head a bit. "I'll leave you be then. stopping by wasn't what I intended. Have a good night Sable." He calls to her, then looks to the rest. "And the rest of you as well." With that he slips his helmet on and revs the engine on his bike, turning and pulling away from the house.

Jeremy is trembling as he stands there watching both Cray and Forest leaving. The way he's breathing looks to be a fairly good sign of a panic attack. He mrrrs softly to himself, a worried sound.

Zack looks to those few still around. He sees Jeremy with a sad expression in his eyes. He sends his beast to brush and wrap around him, trying to calm his beast and to reassure it that there is someone there still. He looks over at Aura and Jin, "Are you going to go as well or stay? The moon calls us to hunt, well at least me."

Keith stands up quickly looking at Cray with a sigh. "I only follow proper order. He won the battle as Forest yielded. I agree he's not shifter aged enough to stay leader for long. That should not be argued. I, myself, would be willing to help him with his beast and assist in ensuring he's doing a proper job. If Zack still acknowledges me as Manners Teacher, -I- could be advisor. -I- could be his checks and balances."

Jin rubs the bridge of his nose "I am more then willing to help Zack… he may not have been a leopard but he has a good heart and a good head on his shoulders and he does have the pard's best interest in mind from what I have seen."

Auranna shakes her head, "Pard is Pard, I am here," she says softly, "We need to hunt while we can. And see where the leaves fall tomorrow." She sends out her beast to Zack and nods, "And we can help brush up training if you need it too later."

Cray doesn't respond to Keith, just shakes hsi head lightly at the man, helmet hiding his face behind it's visor, and with that the dark skinned panther pulls away, motorcycle rumbling down the path out away from the house.

Keith looks upon Jin and everyone nodding. "Yes, we all can assist him. It doesn't have to a completely iron-clad ruling. He's young, though everyone says he shows promise. Why slam him before he proves himself in a leadership capacity?" He then looks at Auranna nodding. "Yes, Pard is Pard… lets hunt and see where the dice fall…" He then looks at Zack, "Just keep my offer in mind. Keep mine and Anna's offer in mind. We're here to train you, though clearly you can learn mental tasks quickly and physical tasks from Auranna progressively."

Jeremy sinks to the ground and just rocks a bit, staring after the ones who have left. He doesn't cringe away from the feel of Zack's beast. He just shudders, shoulders shaking as he quietly sobs.

Zack puts his hand reassuringly on Keith's shoudler, "I will always be willing to listen to council, even if I may decide to follow what's in my heart. I know that I'm young, hell too young, that's why I know I need advice when it's offered." He nods to Jin, silently saying thank you. He moves over to Jeremy, crouching down beside the empath. "You gonna be okay, my friend? We're gonna hunt, come with us…" It is not an order, it is a request.

Auranna nods and smiles a little and looks to Jeremy for a moment and then slips out of what little clothes she had on and moves to a clear space and lets the shift over take her.

Keith nods at Zack with a smile upon his face. "Yes, and I have plenty of council to give… plenty of council to offer indeed." He then looks around before tilting his head toward Jeremy. "Jeremy, please come with us to hunt. Getting some food in you will help, I assure you." He seems sincere. His beast clearly pressing lightly at his eyes as they glow. Almost twinkling as the energy seems to be flexing it's will upon Keith's control. Keith quickly strips as he awaits Jeremy's reply.

Jeremy is doing a good job of fighting the panic attack since he's not shifted yet. But its not a pleasant battle. "Everyone's leavin….They're all leaving."

Zack nods and brushes his fingertips over Jeremy's cheek, "Hopefully they will come back." There is something in his voice that he isn't saying. He smiles and leans over and kisses Jeremy on the top of the head, before he stands up and starts to remove his clothing. "Come on, lets go hunting." He steps away from the pile of clothing and begins to shift. The change is almost instant as he shakes his head, slinging goo about him.

Keith shakes his head at Jeremy as he reaches a hand out to Jeremy while his energy caresses over Jeremy supportively. "Jeremy, they're not leaving for long. I promise brother… they're just upset and want someone other to lead. We all want a proper leader, if it turns out Zack is the proper leader so be it. Though please Jeremy, join us…" He seems a lot happier since the issues seems to be resolving slowly now. He then follows Zack's suit not willing to tempt the destined. He shifts developing goo and shaking it off as he then brushes physically along Zack's shifted form.

(Scene fades to black with the remaining pard going hunting under the full moon)

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