=========================> Fast Eddies <==========================
Fast Eddies is the sort of dive bar popular with laborers and students, courtesy of its providing three key things: pool, karaoke, and cheap beer. The bar stretches out like a hallway from the entrance, with a half-dozen pool tables down the left-hand side beside the windows, and the bar running along the right.
At the very end it opens up into a wider space, where a small one-step dais is set up with a microphone and, in a back corner, the karaoke machine itself. Large speakers sit to either side of the stage, and four tattered old leather couches are set in a semi-circle around the front, though performers can be seen and heard throughout the whole open bar.
Entry is via a narrow flight of steps leading up from the ground level, the bar situated on the second floor of the multi-level building.
================================================> IC Area - temproom <
Most of the building is occupied by private businesses, but Fast Eddies is the most notorious exception. For those with an ear to the street, the whole building is on the brink of being shut down by the health department on account of having been struck the worst by the burgeoning rat population that's afflicting Moosetown. Most people blame the tourists and the increase of food waste over the summer months, but the local Uratha know better. There's a Beshilu nest dug in somewhere beneath the streets, and Shane has been putting out the word that he'll be investigating the premises tonight around 8pm, and more ears, ears and noses would be most welcome.
A small group arrives together; Marc, Free, Kharn, Effemy, Astrid, and.. Astrid's epilepsy dog? A large golden Labrador paces at her side, clad in a bright yellow service dog jacket. That'd be Shane, rocking it incognito.
There's a few people milling around outside, in particular one man who's obviously the bouncer: a large Samoan fellow with a heavy black jacket and a diplomatic smile on his face, though he's currently distracted talking to what looks like a trembling pile of rags a few feet from the door. Someone sits there so bundled up there's not much to see but his layers of ragged clothing, an upside-down cap set on the footpath in front of their feet, a few coins already gathered.
For the time being, Marc is following Shane's lead since he's the Guy With The Information. So with his hands firmly planted in his pockets, really TRYING to blend in a little with the others..well, at least Shane and Astrid and Kharn and Free, he clears his throat softly and murmurs, "And this place is still open? Nunna the sheep are running out screaming about rats? Interesting."
Yes, Astrid gets to help with getting Shane into the bar with his little vest on. He's so adorable! Ahem. The petite Icelandic woman keeps her hand close to the vest for the moment. Her eyes flick from one thing to the other and then to Marc, "I know right?" she whispers as she looks back to the place. When they pass the person that's huddled and has the cup on the ground, she pulls a few ones from her pocket and drops them into the cup before she returns her hand to run across the vest on her 'epilepsy dog'.
Keeping with their small group, Free is dressed in a black hoodie that is worn open over a dark crimson t-shirt, loose fitting black dickies, and the usual pair of sneakers. After Marc's question, he just gives a little shrug. "If it ain't closed it will be soon, if this problem don't get taken care of." He then casual reaches over to pet the golden Labrador behind the ears, with a grin on his face. The Cahalith can't really complain in his current form about it, unless he wants to bite at his hand. And besides, he's just too darned cute with the floppy little lab ears. When they approach Fast Eddies he nudges Marc and gestures on over towards the bundle of rags that the bounce is talking to, "What do you think is up with that?"
Kharn watches the Samoan and the pile of rags and narrows his eyes a bit. He sees Marc, Free and Astrid and says to Marc and Free, "I imagine a little money changes hands, or some other underhanded shit." He gestures to the tall blonde with him, "Effemy, this is Marc, Free, and my sister Astrid." He gestures to them respectively. Kharn is wearing his usual firehose pants, but these are grey, and a white t-shirt. No jacket tonight.
There was a period where Effemy, who introduced herself to the others as Namusdursagrik while in Urhan, had to disappear for awhile. When she returned, she was hardly dressed to go clubbing--or really dressed at all. She /did/ manage to spy a pair of flip-flops two sizes too small for her in a dumpster and with just moments to spare managed to meet the minimum requirement of shoes & shirt in the hopes of service. She has been, apart from introductions, almost completely silent, but particularly attentive to the others when they spoke of their concerns and the Beshilu. When her first name is shared by Kharn she offers a hint of a smile, but keeps her eyes low, not looking at any of the men in the eye. Astrid gets a larger smile and more direct eye contact.
Dragash gets around to coming from the parking lot after ditching the car, and spies the sizable group of mostly familiar people approaching the bar. Being last to show up he quietly slips in behind the group, tucking his hands into his pockets as he simply smiles and makes like a good moving garden gnome.
"Listen, you've got to move along. You can go now, or I can call the cops," the bouncer is telling the ragged man as the group arrive, sounding impatient. The man - for so it proves to be as he lifts his head, his gingery hair and unkempt beard visible beneath his hood - swallows back any argument he might have been about to make, as soon as he sees the group of werewolves. His eyes widen in fear, and he quickly snatches up his cap and coins and pushes himself up off the wall and to his feet with difficulty. He didn't look to hot when Marc and Free saw him the last time, and he looks /terrible/ now. Pale, haggard, and shaking like he's got palsy. But he's not sticking around, already starting to shuffle hurriedly away from the bar. He does not, it might be noted, fail to snatch up the coins Astrid dropped for him before he hustles off.
The bouncer looks relieved for all of two seconds, until he claps eyes on the group. "Miss, you can't bring a dog in here," he tells Astrid, folding his arms over his chest.
Shane is probably tempted to bite, but it wouldn't look good for his whole 'trained service animal' routine. Plus, the floppy ears really are pretty cute. He remains close at Astrid's side, tail waving slowly back and forth and tongue lolling out one side of his mouth.
Marc considers the bouncer and the pile of rags and thinks for a moment, muttering under his breath, "Him. We know him." Then blinks and smiles, "DAVIS! THERE YOU ARE!" He taps Kharn on the shoulder and strides towards the pile of rags, grinning like he knows the guy, offering a wave at the bouncer, "Dont mind him. We go way back."
Effemy sniffs at the air a little, as if she might be able to smell the homeless man. She looks between the Samoan and the 'dog' and tilts her head just slightly to the side as she looks back at the Samoan. Her blue eyes narrow but she does not have a 'dog' with her, and continues into the club since no one is stopping her, still sniffing at the air the whole way. 'Davis' must be a stinky one.
Any edge Kharn might have had disappears when Marc conveys a relationship with the guy. He turns to Astrid and says, "How have you been? Wheres Freyr been lately, haven't seen him around." The last bit might even have a little bit of an attitude. Kharn starts to say something but stops himself, giving Marc a little bit to catch up with his friend.
Astrid had greeted Effemy when Kharn had introduced her to the new Werewolf, she was rather quiet when things got started. She watches the man go once the bouncer is shooing him off and then she looks back to the front. The bouncer is given a smile and the card that Shane gave her is pulled out of her pocket, "He's my service dog for epilepsy." she hands it over to let him check it out. Then she gives a look to Kharn and there's a smile, "I'm alright. You? Don't know where Freyr has gotten off to." she admits with a frown.
"Hey, isn't that the burg-.." Free begins to say, but then Marc is making his way on over to intercept the ragged bundle of blankets to keep the man around. Giving a shake of his head, he withdraws a pair of shades and puts them on. Sunglasses at Night, that's what the cool kids do. Besides, keeps people from looking at his eyes, which is useful right about now as he opens his sight to both sides of the gauntlet. Making his way over to the bouncer he looks the other guy over and flashes a smirk. "You guys still open for the night? We're looking to just hang out for a bit. And don't mind the mut, he's a service dog. Won't cause any problems."
Dragash everything is hunky dory and cucumbery until Marc makes for homeless dude. A brow is raised as he watches, getting slightly distracted when one of the women heads into the building. Not really sure if this is part of their plan or not, he just keeps on hanging in back.
'Davis' flinches visibly and continues to shuffle-shuffle-shuffle away as hurriedly as he can, which in his current sickly state is not very fast, and also involves some uncomfortably heavy breathing. Marc might have to push his walking pace a little, but there's no risk of a foot-chase. Shane watches in doggish bemusement, cocking an ear with a questioning whine.
The bouncer unfolds his arms and takes the card Astrid hands him, eyeing it over for a long moment, then eyeing the grinning Labrador over for a longer while more. In the end he just makes a small noise of exasperation and hands the ID back with a 'fuck it, not my problem' shrug and looks Free over. "Yeah, we're open," he allows, though there's some skepticism in his voice. He's talking to a guy wearing sunglasses. "As long as none of you lot are looking for trouble."
Marc glances back at the group and nods at Free and Shane, waving a finger in a very 'i got this, go on' guesture. Indeed, he does step up to a jogging step or two to catch up with Shuffles while the group heads inside, "Hey, gonna hurt yerself there, friend. I just wanna have a talk."
Kharn makes a sound when Astrid responds that carries a tone of 'typical'. He looks from Effemy to Marc and decides to go on in as well.
Astrid takes the card back and delivers a dazzling smile to the bouncer, "Thank you." she tells him as she looks up to him. There's a look over to Free and a smile for the backup. She then starts for the door in, making sure not to drag Shane or anything. But she was going inside!
Free glances back over in Marc's direction just to be sure, but when given that go on gesture he just shrugs. "Just holler if you need some help with Davis, alright?" Turning back to the bouncer with a grin he says, "Won't be any trouble at all." And then he looks around at those still outside the bar and waves then on in, just before making his own way inside.
Dragash looks from Marc to Free and back again, then shrugs. All part of the plan. He smiles and waves cheerfully at the bouncer as he follows the others inside.
Shane bounces his way steadily up the narrow stairs with a cheerful huff, trying not to trip anyone up. For a Tuesday night in a bar on the brink of being closed down, there's a good-sized crowd gathered inside Fast Eddies. Further proof that students will drink anything if it's cheap enough. A couple of the pool tables are in use, perhaps a third of the bar stools occupied, and two rather tipsy-looking young women are just wrapping up s tone-deaf rendition of Ace of Base's 'I Saw The Sign' to raucous support from their friends spread across two of the couches.
Marc hurries up a few steps to cut Shuffles off at the corner, when he might have been able to make an escape, and nudges the man around it to where teh bouncer wont be able to watch. Leaning in close there, he grumbles, "You know I could have killed you already, so why don't you be a good boy and listen and tell me what I want to know? I might even have some money in it for you so you can huy whatever it is you want to drown your sorrows in. I dont have time for your screaming and you already know they arent going to listen to you, so wise up."
The man is easily herded, though the distressed half-whimpering noises make it clear he's not going willingly or happily. As soon as he bumps up against a wall he slumps against it weakly, knees shaking but managing to keep him standing as he turns his red-rimmed eyes on Marc. His lips move in soundless protest for several seconds, then a certain sharpness manifests in his eyes. "Money?" Slowly but surely, the one word of interest sunk in. "Don't know anythin' important. Don't know nuffin', not really. But I'll tell you if you want, if you give me money."
Marc grins toothily, "Oh, you know plenty, my friend. You're afraid of me, and that means you're a smart one too. I just wanna know about the rats. I know you see em. Do they talk to you? Have they been helping you?" He tilts his head curiously and fishes a bill out of his pocket, rubbing the ends of a $20 between his fingers out of the old man's reach.
The man hesitates, though it looks more from a bleary confusion than from an unwillingness to talk - especially when that $20 bill comes into view. His knobbed fingers flex at his side, but nerves keep him from the reflexive urge to reach out and try to snatch it. "Rats?" He rubs at his mouth with the back of a grubby sleeve, eyes wide again as he scours his mind for anything and everything. "There's always rats, they're everywhere. Worse lately, didja know? Even the fancy folk are talkin' about 'em, complainin' about 'em. Normally they don't see 'em but I always see 'em. They don't help me none, though. They bite me when I'm asleep, see?" He tugs a sleeve up, showing an unpleasantly festering wound on his lower arm -- that's a rat bite alright, swollen with pus. "I tried sharin' my food so they know they don't gotta bite me, but they take the food and they bite me anyway. You with pest control?"
Marc rumbles and grins, oh such a very not nice grin, "Oh yes. We intend to take care of all of those beasts. But you know how it works, we have to find the nest. We kill a few here, they breed like, well, rats, and a hundred more show up elsewhere. You see anything about where they come from? They been doing anything odd for rats? Swarming somewhere?"
The man grows more eager in his attempts to provide the right information, although that same eagerness only slows him down, causing him to mumble and trip over his words in his rush to get them out. "I seen, I seen, umm. Heaps of them around here. Heaps." He lets his sleeve fall back down over the injury. "Someone told me they're gunna, that they're gunna, umm, close down the whole block. I dunno what's odd for rats, though." He's practically cringing as he admits that, watching Marc carefully like he expects retaliation for his ignorance. "But umm, there's some alleys no one will sleep in anymore, not after, umm, not after what happened to Shirley. She's in hospital now, they say, umm, they say she might not come back. But I'll tell ya," and he does, detailing about a half-dozen nearby alleys that the homeless have been avoiding recently. "That's all I know though, I swear. But you, if you, umm. If you can get rid of 'em then a lot of people, umm, they'd be real grateful."
Marc nods slowly, committing to memory the alleys he mentions. Might be useless information, but you never know, and having a homeless contact, you never know, maybe this will work in the pack's favor later. "That's fine. Now, next time you see us, I don't want to hear you screaming about how we're killers. You got me? You see how nice I can be when you play along?" He brings the $20 down where the man can get to it, looking at his face meaningfully, "This place is our home too, and we dont like rats taking over."
The man looks practically horrified at the idea, as if it wasn't something he was already semi-internet-famous for doing. "No sir!" he insists immediately, and though he's still too nervy to outright snatch that money away, he gets it in hand pretty quick and stuffs it away into a pocket. The task is made more difficult by how badly he's shaking. "No sir! Mum's the word!" That's probably meant to be a convincing smile that spreads across his face, baring rotting teeth.
Marc nods slowly and backs up a step, giving the man an escape down the alley, though he himself doesnt move to head back to the club until he sees the man take off, "Go on then. Try not to spend all of it on booze." He sucks on a tooth as he thinks about that. Shirley in the hospital. Hmmm.
Back in the bar ----
There might as well not be another single person in this bar with her. Effemy, in her bicycle shorts and too-tiny flip flops wanders the edges of the bar, hands on the walls, eyes searching down and up, nostrils flaring incessantly. She checks for drainage and she checks for ducts. She looks for, well, any little bolt hole and when (if) she finds the smallest mousehole behind an amplifier, she memorizes the spot. There is a loose smile on her face, teeth bared. Her hair is uncombed and tangled and she does not wear the least bit of make-up. Apart from being naturally stunning at her height, she does not particularly look like she belongs here.
Astrid finds a place to stand off to the side with Shane for a second before she's moving around the edge of the bar as well. She was following what he'd told her so she didn't get distracted by anything. She looks to the others that come in as well, making sure that her brother and others are in.
Kharn enters and looks around, apparently seeing nothing out of place. He sort of just waits for someone else to hint at what they should do next.
The open layout of the bar makes it easy to get a good look around, at least in the main areas. The only drainage is the sink behind the bar, though ventilation shafts line the walls just below the ceiling, and the double-glazed windows are loose and drafty in their frames. The walls are heavily cracked, although there's only a couple of places - one of them behind one of the amps - that one could imagine a rat squeezing through. There's a worried air hanging over the bar-staff, though they make every effort to put on their best face for their customers -- it's hard to have to wonder if they'll be able to pay rent next week. Still, the place seems very clean overall, like there's been considerable extra effort put in recently, which is no doubt the case. There's a 'Staff Only' door behind the bar, likely leading into the kitchen, and two side-by-side doors off the karaoke area leading into the bathrooms.
Shane begins to discreetly sniff about, not tugging away from Astrid but certainly trying to discreetly lead her along the scenic route to ensure he gets a good sniff at everything. The girls step down from the stage and a guy gets up there - stout, balding and paunchy, likely a dock worker or similar line of work. He proceeds to belt out an incredible version of Mack the Knife.
Dragash decides to stick with Astrid, being the one person he knows more than passingly in the group, the poor girl, but this is done only after procurring a bottle of beer from the bar. He gives teh place an attentive look over just like everyone else, but he pays more attention to teh people.
After doing her round of the bar's perimeter, excluding the doors leading off in other directions, Effemy comes back to Kharn's side. She stands just behind him an inch or two, and laces her fingers together at the small of her back, slipping her dumpster flip flops off and back on again. She lowers her voice, which is surprisingly high-noted and girlish for a woman so tall, to a whisper. "Can you distract some of the staff for me? I'm going in there." She does not point, but her sky-coloured eyes are locked on the Staff Only door as she speaks.
Astrid keeps a look out on things and lets Shane lead them as he sniffs about. He was a dog to everyone else, so not too out of the ordinary. Her eyes go to the doors and things. Making a note of them as she continues to let the Cahalith lead for the moment. She was just letting him do his thing.
Free casually makes his way over to the bar and settles down. He waves down one of the bartenders and orders a whiskey, sliding them the needed bills. When his drink arrives he casually sips at it, a slight grimmace on his features, damned cheap stuff, but hey.. whiskey. He continues to keep a look out, his eyes still look between both sides of the gaulent from behind the sunglasses, as he scans the main area of the bar, while he divides the rest of his senses across the barrier between worlds as well.
Kharn doesn't wait a beat after Effemy says something in his ear. He spots the guy he thinks will make the biggest deal about it, the one who won't try and mollify the situation, and walks right up to him. He's got only about four inches on the guy, but he carries all of it and tries to cow the other guy. He goes to shove a table and doesn't realize it's bolted down...all the wind out of his sails, his threat would be overshadowed by humor. Fuck it. "What the FUCK are you all looking at?!" He walks to the bar angrily and orders a drink.
Shane is currently doing a tour of the room with Astrid, though the pair are managing to make it look like she's the one leading the way, and not the curious hound whose sticking his nose all about the place. Kharn's just started trying to pick a fight, and Effemy is sidling towards the bar and the 'Staff Only' door beyond. Up on the stage, a stout, balding fellow is belting out an incredible rendition of Mack the Knife, and the people on the couches are already cheering and applauding.
The guy Kharn's approached at the pool table takes a step back with a 'what the fuck?' look, then stares as the werewolf heads over to the bar. He exchanges that 'what the fuck?' look with his companions, then slowly starts to line up his shot again -- but every staff member in the join is watching Kharn closely now, the kitchen door not so closely monitored as a woman steps up with a forced smile to sort out the ordered drink.
Astrid's silvery gaze flicks to her brother for a moment when his voice is heard and there's a frown at the Rahu. What was he doing?! She then looks to Shane and the door and there's a bit of a look down to her trusty companion. She gives a little nudge to his side to get him to go towards the kitchen door. Going to make a break for it.
Dragash has found one of the darker corners to set up a post and help the building remain standing. The successful distraction gets a glance, but he quickly looks away to keep watch as he drinks his beer.
Marc makes nicenice with the bouncer at the front door and eases his way in, pausing at the entrance to peer around and catch where the rest of the impromptu pack has gotten to. He eyes some of the individual players and then decides to head towards the bar and wait to get a better idea of who is playing who for what. Besides! this gives him the perfect excuse, "Hey, barkeep. Guinness dark in a pint."
Effemy was doing what? Maybe that was a figment of the imagination because Effemy is clearly not here. Sure, those Staff only doors might be swinging closed gently, but there is no tall, blonde in bicycle shorts anywhere to be seen.
Kharn is just sort of nursing that drink. Brooding.
When Marc joins him over at the bar, Free glances over at the other guy before leaning in to whisper something in his ear. Finishing off his drink in one long pull, he disguises an off handed gesture made in the direction of the kitchen.
As the last few notes of Mack the Knife ease out and the man steps down from the stage to riotous applause, the shrill scream from the bathrooms is almost drowned out. Almost.
Surprisingly, it's not the womens' door that comes flying open soon after but the mens', and the fellow who comes running out in a panic hasn't even bothered to fasten his pants again. "What the fuck what the fuck what the fu-" he's babbling as he staggers drunkenly down the middle of the bar, one hand clutching at the top of his jeans to stop them falling.
The doors come flying open a second time, and this fellow has managed to get his zipper up, but he's looking even more freaked out than the first guy. "There's something fucked up going on!" he yells out, nominally to the bar staff but really, anyone and everyone.
The door hasn't had time to swing shut before a dark mass comes pouring out through the gap, the force of it keeping the door held open.. as the teeming, furry bodies continue to pour out. Rats. So many rats. Scores of them are flooding the karaoke area within seconds.
Dragash eyes widen as the shit starts hitting the and splattering everyone's face, but it's WAAAAY on the other side of the room, so he's all...like... 'Really?'
Knowing the clandestine stuff Effemy is doing, Kharn stands in an instant at the sound. He realizes it's coming from the wrong direction and his gaze falls on the hordes of rats. He bares his teeth instinctively and he looks around to see the placement of his impromptu pack.
Marc nods slightly at Free and looks for all the world like he's about to confide something to Free and Kharn when the doors push open, and he blinks. Muttering under his breath, "So much for a casual drink." He slaps both men's arms, JUST in case they didnt see, and nods at the host pouring into the room, immediately on his feet.
INTERNALLY SCREAMING! Astrid's eyes go wide when the writhing mass of black bodies start to push out the swinging doors. But she doesn't let go of the loose grip she had on Shane and run. She stays calm for the moment and doesn't abandon the group. "It's about to get messy, Sunshine." she states to Shane. Impromptu nickname. He'd live through it.
"Motherfu-.." Free blurts out, shakes his head in frustration. "No one ever checks the fucking bathrooms!" A quick glance to Marc and Kharn is given before he says, "The larger mass is manifested, but we got another smaller number, less than a hunrder or so ephermerals caught up in the rush that you won't be able to hit or see just yet. But I can.." And with that he crushes the glass in his hand, then uses his own blood to mark the back of his hands and his forehead with glyphs.
The rats continue to pour out in truly ungodly numbers. Most people know that swarms of rats can number in the thousands, but there's 'knowing' something, and then there's seeing it first hand. There's not thousands here.. yet. But scores soon becomes hundreds, the entire floor of the karaoke area soon carpeted in vermin that spread like a ankle-height tidal wave along the bar. People are standing on the couches, including the beefy fellow who was singing Mack the Knife. Throughout the rest of the bar, chairs and tables are being ascended for safety, or abandoned entirely as the people closest to the door make a break for it -- and that's going to get nasty out in that narrow stairwell.
The bar staff look completely flabbergasted, and who can blame them? Two are already clambering up on the bar as well, but one has the wherewithal to pull herself together and start calling out an ineffectual, "EVERYONE GET OUT! THERE'S A FIRE EXIT AT THE BACK!" A few more people make a break for the door, but more than half are paralyzed on their makeshift high ground. Two women on one of the couches starts to scream as a small number of the rats split off from the rest of the group to climb up onto the furniture, biting wildly at bared ankles.
Without missing a beat, having already decided that he wanted to burn all the rats he could find, Kharn hops easily over the bar and grabs a bottle of 151 in each hand. He throws them one after the other, the first hits the ground just in front of the bathroom, surely killing the rat it hit, and the other at the wall. The vile liquid sprays over most of the rats who've already emerged. Now, he hopes one of the others smokes.
From the walls, and reverberating through the room comes a deep, horrible howl and then there is an eighty pound reddish blonde wolf that was not there before in any capacity leaping from the bar area. Did she come out of the air, from the kitchen, behind the bar, a bottle of Don Julio? Who can say? But the she-wolf howls loudly and leaps into the fray, directly amongst the rats: fearless.
Dragash puts his beer down on a table and moves to a spot not far from the exit and starts to try and usher people out. "Everybody out! Rats are scary! dying in a blazing inferno is scarier! Hurry the fuck up! And feel free to stomp on rats on the way out!"
Astrid for the moment backs up, taking Shane with her, because getting set on fire was not her idea of a good night. She looks to Kharn as he starts throwing flammables and then there's a wolf that's jumping into the fray. Yeah, this was going to be hard to explain.
After Kharn starts chucking bottles of liquor at the swarn Free thinks to himself, 'Sure would be a shame for all that to catch fire.' But then he gets a mishevious smirk as he pulls out a pack of smokes, casually lights one up and brings it to a cherry. "Hate to waste a good cigarette, but.. Alright everyone away from the pool of acohol!" And then after only waiting a second he flicks the lit cig into the waiting alcohol.
Marc grumbles, "Godsdamned rats. Burn em all." He angrily grabs Free's lighter to set a coaster aflame and flings it like a little minature frisbee, watching it arc and wheel into the splashed mess Kharn created. With a glance at the fleeing people, he grumbles at Free, "Keep an eye on WHERE the ones that get away, escape to."
At least a couple of rats go down at the bottles smash into the swarm, though the rest don't even slow down -- they just run right over the broken glass and their deceased brethren. But no matter, because Kharn's achieved his goal, and a number of alcohol-soaked rats are now dispersing like little time-bombs among the rest of their soggy brethren.
Panicked people are not easily moved, but Dragash proves to be an effective people-person in an emergency situation. There's no easy way to help the people already under attack from the swarm, but with a few shrieks and cursing he's able to herd the majority of the room out of the door and into the narrow stairwell, getting jammed but moving in the right direction. There's eight people left in the room -- three women and the guy under attack on the couches, another guy who refused to budge from his 'safe' spot on a pool table, and the three staff - two guys, one woman - who've clambered atop the bar. One guy is on the phone, shouting frantically about, "Some kind of fuckin' horror movie shit man, I don't fuckin' know, just get the police or the fire department or what the fuck ever in here jesus christ I think they're eating that woman!"
Two lit cigarettes and a lighter land down in the spreading swarm, and with an audible WHUMP three separate fires burst into life, and the room is filled with the sounds of screaming rats as well as screaming people. The flames don't spread fast - this lot came up through the toilets - but they do spread, and panic even faster. The swarm is confused, its steady flow across the floor of the bar growing more disorganized, though they're still coming thick and fast, starting to teem around and over the feet of the werewolves.
A certain golden Labrador has placed himself firmly between Astrid and the approaching hoard, head low and teeth bared in an angry snarl.
Effemy is only one wolf, but one wolf has claws and teeth, and--avoiding the little fires--she tears and snaps at any rats in her path while she makes her way across the room to the toilets--to the source of the swarm, snarling all the way.
After the alcohol has proved effective, Kharn realizes the mistake, that the alcohol doesn't work that well on wet rats. But having worked in a mess hall, he knows what does work well on wet stuff.
Kharn charges throuh the STAFF ONLY door and begins to look for one of those big buckets of grease. He has to be careful to not splash the stuff on himself and he makes his way back out of the kitchen. He then has to be a little bit careful setting the damn thing down.
Dragash finishes getting the reasonable people outta the bar, then looks back to scan the place. "Yep. Hell in a hand basket." And oh! Hey! MOAR PEOPLE! He starts doing the shakey-leg dance to knock off the rats that try to climb him, and decides the people can stay or go, for all he cares: there's rats to kill! He rushes to the nearest decent sized table and flips it over forcefully onto a patch of rat-carpet, then stomps and jumps on it for good measure.
And this is why Astrid didn't get dressed up for this evening. Old jeans and a t-shirt with heavy boots. She kicks at a few of the rats as they start to flood over the floor and she tosses a beer bottle at the group that's incoming. Stupid rats!
Marc sees the rats beginning to spread, and despite the efforts of fang and claw, recognizes they arent going to stop the tide. So what does Marc do? Growls, picks up the nearest chair, and narrowly misses both Free's and Kharn's heads as he flings it into the bar's back wall with a resouding crash of broken mirror and alcohol bottles.
In short order Kharn's got his bucket of boiling-hot grease ready to add to the mayhem, still with a few scraps of browning french fry floating in the murky mess. Effemy is able to bite and snap and lunge and wade her way to the bathroom door, against the steady flow of outgoing rats. Hundreds is now verging on thousands, forming a carpet of shifting brown-black-gray across the bare linoleum floor, covering most of the bar. All four of the people on the couch are now screaming and shouting, desperately trying to shake free the mass of rats that are biting at their legs or trying to climb higher. The screams drown out the sounds of hundreds of bodies crunching beneath the overturned table that Dragash is stomping about on.
Though the flames spread only slowly through the toilet-water-sodden rats, they are spreading. Another burst flares up where Astrid's bottle smashes into them, setting a good number more ablaze, and leap up in a literal wall of heat Kharn's back as multi-hued shards of shattered glass rain down like a waterfall. The cost of the damages is going to be diabolical.
The swarm are losing significant momentum now as their numbers thin our to the fire and other attacks, but the remainder are biting, biting, biting as they go. For the werewolves the assault is only infuriating, but for the humans - and Astrid - the pain is more alarming. Even Shane's having a hard time of it, his proximity to the ground making him a popular target. He remains close to Astrid, trying to goad the worst of the attack onto himself, sagging under the weight of his second fur coat as his jaws snap left and right, keeping the worst of it at bay even if he's not making a dent in their numbers.
Picking his way across the floor and over to the couch where the four people are standing, screaming their lungs off at all the chaos going around, Free looks to each them them and speaks calmly, "I need you to relax, alright? I'm going to get you guys out of here, see the fire exiter over there..?" A quick gesture main in the exits direction. "We're not that far from it, so I'm going to carry you guys out on my back, one by one, got it? Ladies first. I'll get you all out, don't worry." After this he fixes each of them with a long, hard look that says they better stay calm, do as he says and keep it one by one. he then turns his back to the people and gestures for the first of their number to hope up onto his back before carrying them to the fire exit, after their safe and outside he returns for the another, and then another, until they're all out of the building.
Kharn looks toward the door. The moment Effemy disappears behind the door, he yells, "Effie, stay behind that fucking door or go out the window," and kicks the bucket over. He turns and, to get the hell away from what's about to be an all-but-inextinguishable fireball, hops the bar. Any flaming rats he sees would be stomped as he puts a little distance between him and the conflagration that is happening behind him. He doesn't want them spreading it all the way to the door.
The reddish-blonde wolf tore her way into the bathroom, and from within her snarls and splashing can be heard. Some of the water leaking across the floor becomes tinged red with blood.
Well, that was satisfying. Dragash stops jumping and looks about again while smoothing out his shirt. FIRE! Lots of it! And dumb people. He frowns and mutters to himself, but decides to help Free carry people out, moving to get the loner first and take him to the main entrance.
Marc roars loudly, "Keep them from getting outside! Let them fry! Get out!" He's not even remotely nice about this part, grabbing the two closest people at the bar and using them like a blocking line to push the third towards the door, if Free or Dragash don't already have them. Silly monkeys, fire is for rats!
Astrid shouts somethng in Icelandic loud enough for her brother to hear it. Or she hopes he does. She tosses another half drunk bottle of beer at the hoard and then starts for the exit as she is starting to be herded by the Cahalith in the safety vest. She was at least keeping up with them.
Once all the civilian and mortals who aren't wolf-blooded out of the build, Free glances around at al the ephermerals spirits around that to his knowledge only he can see and deal with. "Fun.." He mutters to himself silently. Locating the nearest spirit in question, he leaps at them, shifting mid air into a hulking mass of fur and muscle, caqtching hold of it between his tear and giving it a violent shake. After tossing it to the side he finds the next victim, leaps at the with claws tearing at what would seem to be able to anyone else, and then continues on to the next, and the next catching and rending apart as many as he can get a hold of.
The grease does it, alright. The thrown bottles and the wall of flame behind the bar had already been doing a good job of decimating the rat numbers and destroying the room.. but as the grease goes pouring out across the teeming mass, splashing across the already-burning living carpet, a wave of burning heat blows through the room like a furnace as the flames explode into an inferno. The floor, the bar, the tables are burning.. and the rats, squealing and shrieking and screaming as they roast alive, frantically trying to flee and only succeeding in setting even more of their company alight.
In the bathrooms, Effemy is leaving her own trail of slaughter -- in very short order she's got enough torn-apart rats to clog up the toilet bowl and prevent any further surge of rodent numbers. If she's inclined, it won't take her long to block the remaining two forms of ingress.. and fortunately there's also a couple of small windows through which she can break and make an escape afterwards, if she's not inclined to risk a run through the grease-fire.
The Labrador's now looking distinctly singed as well as belabored, but the fire has at least reduced the numbers that plague him, and he's using his own bodyweight to press against Astrid's legs to press her back towards the entrance with the others, though she's still being bit.
The rat swarm is in full panic mode now, down to a fraction of its original numbers, though that's still in the hundreds. They didn't look to have any particular goal in mind when they started surging out, but they have one now: the exit. They draw back into a smaller, tighter group and surge forward.
In the Hisil, the smaller number of rat spirits that had been caught up in the emotion of the swarming plague are just as confused and panicked, easy targets falling to the Ithaeur's snapping jaws.
With the blaze far enough behind him, Kharn sees that the swarm has been routed. Seeing how well it worked earlier. Expecting a little resistance from the table, he wrenches it free and slams it down on the nearest congealed mass of rats, getting as many as he can underneath.
The ripping, snapping, snarling and rat-screaming coming from the bathroom does not cease. The blood pouring out with the water only grows darker. That wolf must be having the time of her life--or else is dying horribly.
Dragash looks about near the door after the herd has been evac'd and gives Marc an odd look. Did he say to leave the...but no, can't be. He shakes his head and says, "Ok guys, time to go. I'll get the door ready." And then he runs back out to ready the door to shut behind everyone.
Astrid lets go of the vest of Shane's that she was holding onto as they make a break for it. She didn't want to trip or be tripped by the adorable dog. "This is why we can't have nice things!" she quips on the way out. Because she was getting way too hot in this bar and she was from a cold country. Eff that!
Marc skids to a stop at the door, eyeing the others. He catches the look from Dragash and growls, "She'll fight her way out a window if she doesnt come this way. Dont let the host escape." And with a finishing growl, lets his form erupt into the eight foot tall monster, hunching his shoulders before tearing his claws into the congealed mass of Rat that tries to rush the front door.
During his dashing about, Free manages to spot -some- fleeing unmanifested spirits and heads on after them. Fortunately the window of the fire exit is still open so he launches hismelf out of it and jumps down the fire escape, hounding the escapees in a blurr of claws and snapping teeth.
The inferno is rapidly growing more fierce, and the implosion of the bottles that are still unbroken punctuate the sounds of shrieking and growling with irregular whumps. The swarm of rats don't even make it to the door before Kharn slams down another table right into the middle of them with an almighty crash, and the greatly-reduced numbers that actually make it to the door are shredded by the towering werewolf that stands guard. Their numbers remain unreplenished, thanks to Effemy's efforts having stopped them at their source. Today is not a good day to be a rat. Or a bar owner.
There's barely a trace of the linoleum visible beneath the blood and bodies, and the fire has spread across much of the bar and continues to rapidly expand. It's a good thing everyone's on their way out, because even werewolves don't do so great with fire. Barely audible beneath the racket, sirens start up somewhere in the distance. Time to go!
Despite the heat, Marc attempts to stand his ground, pulling off some sort of furry Gandalf YOU SHALL NOT PASS act until the rest of teh wolves have made a visible exit or are beside him. Knowing the Public is potentially five feet behind him, outside, when he takes a step back, he allows the rage to bleed into the fire and loses his form back to Hishu as he staggers back outside, conveniently now shirtless. Hey, he lost it in the fire, right? He does, however, still look around for the rats before glancing at the other faces, "Who're we missing? Where's Free and that new chick?"
Dragash is still standing at the door when Marc comes out, and just shrugs to him. "No idea. No one's come out this way." He looks behind him at the crowd of normals just in case.
Even as the swarm is shredded, Kharn begins to run, shifting into Urhan form to run around the back of the building and make sure that the girl he'd trapped in the bathroom wasn't consumed by fire.
Once the rats are taken care of, and there is a veritable inferno behind her, the timber wolf makes a flying leap through one of the windows and into the alley behind the bar. She slips into the shadows and pads her way toward the mouth, looking out for those she arrived with, but staying hidden.
The Labrador comes bounding through the doorway once he's ushered Astrid out ahead of him, shaking a last rat free from a hind leg for Marc to obliterate. As soon as the door is shut and he's glanced around to ensure they're alone, he gives himself a solid shake and in the blink of an eye, he's back in his usual seeming and straightening up to his full height, grunting in irritation as he disentangles himself from a service dog jacket that is very much not made for someone his size or shape. The straps are digging in something fierce. He gets it off quickly enough, but it's not fit for future use by the time he does. "Free went out the fire exit. Effemy was in the bathroom but I didn't see her come out."
Astrid gets a goodly distance away before she turns and looks back to the building. There's a concerned look on her face as she tries to take stock of everyone. She knew where Shane was. Then there's the others to account for. When Marc appears shirtless she gives him a nod, "I don't know. I think just Kharn and Effemy." she tells him. "Where did Free and Dragash go?" she asks. There's a look over to Shane and she almost makes a joke, but no time for jokes.
Off in the distance a long, loud howl is heard as Free let's the others know he's alright. Not having dedicated this set of clothes, he's just going to head back to the lodge, no need to shirt back to Hishu and wander around the streets naked.
When she is close enough to the mouth of the alley, but still clinging to the shadows, Effemy shifts back to a woman. She keeps low and whispers out to the others loud enough to be heard. "I am here."
Marc tilts his head at the howling and mentally tabs off names in his head, and then Effemy makes her presence known and he finally relaxes and nods his head, to no one in particular. Eyeing Shane and Astrid and then Dragash, "Alright, I know Kharn is fine. So lets get out of here before the police do and the monkeys start fingering us, shall we?"
Marc adds, "First round of drinks at the Hearthstone is on me, if you're interested."
"Sounds like a plan." Shane balls up the torn service dog jacket in one hand, glancing in the direction of the approaching sirens. A pleased nod when he sees Effemy, and he's quick to head off with the rest.
Dragash gives a nod and waves to people, the quickly ducks back and around to get back into his Porsche and hit the bar.