Settled in a corner of the bar, Mintaka is quiet, but observant, a plate of wing-bones near to hand and an almost empty beer to serve as indicators of time. Hearing someone mention the back, the Irraka watches, then rises, intent on shadowing the taller male into the part of the building that serves as a safe haven for the local Uratha.
The big Rahu pushes through the door and doesn't notice the shadow wolf behind him until he's in the room and growing a handful of inches and twice as many kilos. He strides in and seems very irate about something. The big Rahu looks as if he's about to flip a table and eventually turns around. He notices the girl and his angry breathing subsides. "Oh, Hello." Kharn smirks, fangs showing through one side of his open mouth. "I haven't met you before? I'm Kharn." He extends a hand, huge and calloused.
Smaller than the Rahu before, the shift just makes that size difference even more noticeable. Sticking to her five-foot-six Hishu form, Mintaka is unflinching when she takes the offered hand and gives him a firm sake. Confident, but cautious, as well. "Mintaka el-Hashim. Known as Trace Route, Farsil Luhal Irraka and member of the Lodge of Wires." A glance to the room and then back up to his face. "Rough night?"
He is an imposing figure, but all the aggression seemed to melt the moment he saw that someone else was in the room. The shake is firm and Kharn responds, "You probably heard me talking in there. Things in this city went from bad to worse while I was gone. One threat has been dealt with while the other we've invited into our home, ready to kill us in our sleep if they so choose. And they are our sworn enemies." Kharn's gravelly tone has hints of latent fury, only barely kept at bay.
"We have a lot of sworn enemies." Mint points out, lifting one shoulder slightly. "And bad to worse is just the way our lives roll. But I'm new, so I don't know what was bad, OR what the worse is. Care to fill me in?"
Kharn's food is delivered, and even the waitress can sense the rage coming off him in waves. He sets the steak and whiskey down at a table and nods, "I can. It started a year ago, when they struck one of ours in the woods. Along with two friends of mine, we attacked them and killed their Alpha and took the other as prisoner. We got the information we needed and let him go. Since then we've gone to war with them. Two of my friends were murdered. I blamed the Pure, but apparently it was the Bale Hounds who were responsible." He is speaking while eating and drinking, doing only one of them well at a time. "We killed all of them, but only after the Pure offered us an Alliance." He growls, "We didn't need their help, they act as if we need them. Those who are promised to slay us for our ancestors' transgressions. They turned their back on Luna and now we are 'friends?'"
The news is absorbed in silence, the girl's lips pursed in thought. "Bale Hounds and alliances with the Pure." Eyes briefly close and she turns towards the bar, exhaling a heavy sigh and ordering another plate of spicy chicken wings. "How the hell did the locals get suckered into an alliance with the lost brethren?" she asks, looking over, bros furroowed - not judging, but seeking understanding.
"I have no idea. I was gone for one month and this is how things end up without someone to remind the rest of our history." Kharn shakes his head with disdain, "Some of them were once Uratha and had their brands stripped to join the fight against their former brothers. I can't kill them, but there are fates worse than dying in glorious combat." The big Rahu is half done with his food and just looks at his hands for a moment, "I hope I don't have to do it myself, but I will if I have to."
"I just hope the locals aren't daft enough to actually trust that the Pure won't turn on us as soon as it is convenient to do so." Mintaka offers, turning her back to the bar and settling onto a seat, crossing her legs and leaning back against the edge of the counter. "We do what we must. But some of our burden must fall to the blooded to save our own souls."
"I trust the Anshega about as far as I can throw them," comes a voice from the door. Specifically, the voice of Deborah. Oddly dressed tonight, in a BLUE-blue dress... long sleeved, but only going to her mid-thigh, and heels? No utility in that at all. "Sorry. Got dragged to a party by my sister," she explains to any JUDGING glances that come her way. "They will be offered the chance to take on the brands of the Lunes... to take back the blessings of Mother Luna. Or they will be crushed." She says it as though she does not care much of which of the options occurs.
"They will and they have before." Kharn sighs, eating the last of his steak and drinking the last of his whiskey. "A friend of mine follows behind my wake of destruction and finishes off the broken bodies I leave behind." As Deborah begins speaking from the doorway, Kharn is already rising. He likes what she has to say. "I think these are reasonable terms. I hate to leave just as you're getting here, but I have to go pick up my puppy from a friend's house before he keeps her up all night." That's all the explanation he gives as he nods to both of the shewolves and begins to leave.
Mintaka looks to the doorway and the latest arrival. "It's a hard burden for the blooded to bear." she murmurs, then collects the plattee of hot wings. "I'm glad one of the locals has some sense. Two, now. Have a good night, Kharn. And welcome to the madness, Miss. I'll be your conductor on this journey. I'm Mintaka el-Hashim, Farsil Luhal Irraka with the Lodge of Wires."
"Wagner. Deborah Wagner, the Sybil of Retribution. Cahalith of the Meninna, and moon-mad prophetess of the Lodge of the Empty Den," replies the blonde, introducing herself. "Saw you at the Solstice. Sorry I didn't have time to chat more after we hunted down that moose."
"Well met." The greeting rote and leaving Mintaka's lips easily. "Hot wings?" She asks, nudging the plate in the direction of the other woman. "I'm just glad they allowed me to join the Ritual. Half expected to get chewed up and rejected."
Deborah accept sthe offer of wings, picking one up and dipping it into a nearby ranch. "Thanks," she says, before chowing down. Quick enough, anyway. "The seasonal rites are a big deal," she says. "All are welcome. Even the Anshega, as troubling as that is. There was a pack presence at the right for the Equinox, though we were lucky that none showed up at the Solstice." She shakes her head. "You've the markings of Luna, so you are more than welcome."
Mintaka makes a face, licking her fingers and then rubbing them clean on a napkin. Curly hair is gathered and a plain black scrunchy is used to put her hair back into a thick ponytail. Eating hair is no bueno. "Why do you think this city seems to have so much to dow ith the Anshenga?" she asks, picking up her own wing and working the meat off with her teeth.
Levi strides into the back with a mug in one hand and a cigarette in the other, the Gypsy's usual rings clicking against the ceramic as he walks. The smoke smells of vanilla and spicy tobacco, something exotic and clearly far more expensive than he can afford given the worn jeans and holey tee-shirt. That mussed chestnut hair keeps his eyes partly covered, but he walks with confidence to the table under the vent, an astray filled with butts of the same brand he smokes. The tea is set down and he gives Deborah, a familiar face a pleasant smile. Mint being new gets a brief once over with intensely vivid green eyes, his gaze seems drawn to weak points by instinct - her throat, her ribs and any scars she might be hiding. "Evening. Er, don't usually butt in, but there are reasons if you want to know them."
"I am sad to say that, even though I am a lorekeeper... I do not know the answer to your question," Deborah says. "Specifically, anyway. It seems to me they often outnumber the Forsaken. Perhaps because their Tribal Bans are somewhat less of an issue. But more likely because they are bigger bastards who haven't been put in their place and dealt with yet." She shrugs, stradling a chair backwards.. awkwardly, given the dress she wears at the moment. She perks up as the Gypsy enters. "Please, do tell."
"Butt in, by all means. I want to understand the reasons before I get all judgey." Mintaka says, gesturing Levi towards the big plate of spicy wings. "I'll even offer compensation for your stomach." Humor creeping into her expression and tone.
Levi settles himself in that chair rather gracefully, the natural aura of the predator rolling off of him. Those eyes shift to Sybil and he smiles to the other wolf, crooked but it's there, "This story is true, and I tell it to you from the perspective of a blooded who only became a wolf for the final confrontations with the Bale Hounds." He pulls on his cigarette and exhales up towards the vent in a focused stream, "We had had several deaths in the community, a shadow-brother and packmate of mine as a blooded and then a close friend of everyone. We blamed the Pure, started hunting them. Before we could get a good scent, the Pure came here. They spoke with Ishmael first, he's a Shepherd, he thinks everyone is beholden to the Oath, Blooded and Pure alike. So he arranged a townhall meeting of sorts. There was just as much grumbling then as there is now. Blackheart and his pack brought evidence, proof that it wasn't them who'd killed the Forsaken. It was Bale Hounds. They offered to work with us, if only to clear out the Hounds that were plaguing us both. As a Night hunter, I will be taking my pack into the Wound now that we've cleared the Hounds. The healing has to start - but that's not why we tolerate the Pure. They have shown honor, they have shown a true desire to work together, I believe even they have realized their mistake in not caring for the Hisil. They lost more than we did in the Border Wars. Yet there are packs here that still won't come out of hiding because of the Pure's presence. Now? Now I do not know what to think. Things are quiet for now, but how long until the Firetouched reveal another plot to destroy, how long until the Predator Kings pick another Forsaken for a Hunt. How long before one of our brothers loses his cool and starts another war. These are questions I don't know of. But there are reasons why we let the Pure so close, why they came to Rites, why we honored their dead. Respect the Prey."
Deborah is quiet for a moment. Listening. Her fists are clenched, and she doesn't seem that interested in the wings any more. When she speaks, it is almost in a whisper. "How long until another Ivory Claw decides to kill a Forsaken pack, and steal their children away." There is a pain on her face, as she just sort of... stares at the table. She closes her eyes. Takes a deeeeeep breath, and looks up. "As I said. I will trust the Anshega little, if any. They will come back into the light of the moon, or perish." She says it so simply. So matter-of-fact. With a bit of a zealous look in her eyes, to be honest. "Some do not know better, and they may be forgiven. Some to not deserve to be called Uratha."
Opinions can be dangerus whent he moon is as full overhead as it is. And without a pack to back her, Mint stays quiet for a long moment - studying both wolves in turn, then nodding slightly. "Enjoy the truce while it lasts, but don't expect it TO last. Use these moments to prepare for when it breaks, and don't let yourselves be caught off-guard. Don't get -comfortable-." intaka says quietly, looking towards Levi and pursing her plush lips. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend. But that only works for as long as there IS an enemy that is shared."
Levi finishes his cigarette with another puff and exhales towards that ceiling vent rather deliberately. A glance to the clock on the wall and then to the two gathered here. He gives Deborah a rather pointed look as he speaks, "Sybil, I know the fire burns hot in you, but trust me when I say that Blackheart and his pack are like no other Pure. The rest around here I cannot and will not speak for. We all do as we must, some are driven by other things. But I encourage people to abandon age old grudges for the time being. There are more important things to tend to. Like the Hisil. If you want to throw your Rage at something go there and tear the Host that have infested this city apart." He regards Mint for a long moment and chuffs softly, "I believe that everything is a trap, that's how I'm still alive. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a few other things to take care of this evening. It was nice to meet you, and good to see you again Deborah." A flinch and he realizes, "Ah, name's Levi, or The Gypsy depending on who you talk to. If you need anything find me or Jackson or Roman, The Murder is here to help." With that he finishes his tea and stands to leave.
"I protect that which is most sacred. If these Anshega respect that, I can heed your advice and... /tolerate/... their existence," Deborah allows, through gritted teeth. "But the moment one of them steps out of line? The moment they put a child at risk - yours, your packs, even one among the herd?" She pauses, letting that sink in. "I will be the Retribution upon them. And when that day comes, I hope for your sake that you see reason, and don't try to stand in my way."
Mintaka quiets once more, taking in the tension and the words that repeat from what Deborah says. Hmm. "Levi? If you need help, call for me. I'll come to help cleanse the Shadow. I'm not the biggest fighter, but at worst, I'm an extra target to help distract the Spirits with." Offer made, she smiles at Deborah as she starts to rise. "I'm sorry for your loss. Losing children. A child? I can't even imagine. Some Wounds can't be healed."
A nod comes and he smiles for the Hunter, "When I was blooded I knew that well, Deborah. I heeded that call in my blood, but I cannot give quarter that I would not take myself. So contrary to my blood I became a Talon. All I ask is you tolerate. If they wrong you or our kind though? Tear them apart." he gives her the go ahead and encouragement on that. Mint gets another look and he offers her a smile, "I will take you up on that, watch out for a crow or a raven. It may well be a message from my pack." Because of course it is. The Murder? He could be a bit more obvious couldn't he. With that he fishes out another smoke and vacates the back room once more.
Levi did that.
As Levi leaves, Deborah... deflates. She puts on a show, and likely would have continued, except for how Mintaka... the NewWolf... showed her direct sympathy. Some wolves try to, but it seems a bit more sincere from the Irraka. Or maybe it's the moon playing tricks on her. Or maybe it's an Irraka trick! Whatever the case... Deborah offers her a weak smile. "No. Some Wounds cannot," she agrees. "And we must do everything we can to prevent them from happening to others." She sighs. "On an intillectual level, I understand what they're saying." She taps her head, for emphasis, before moving her hand down to her chest. "But here? In my heart? I know a different truth."
"Two parts of a whole that see the world in very different ways. One without the other is night without a day. And like the sun and moon, they are rarely in agreeance - or seen in the same sky together." Mint says queitly, offering a ghost of a smile - encouragement more than anything. "And the heart is always the slowest to heal. Always." She pauses and nods towards the door. "I should get back to the hotel and check on my sister."
Deborah takes all the encouragement she can get, and offers a smile back in thanks. "Hmm? Oh, yes! Don't let me keep you from your family," she says, sliding the wings back over. "Here, take some food back for her, even. I'm sure she's famished." After a moment, she stands, and follows Mint to the door leading to the front-half of the business. "And thank you, for earlier," she says. "If you ever need help working shit of your own out, or if you want to go on a hunt sometime, hit me up, yeah? It'd be good to get out and about to clear the head every now and again."
"I'd be glad to run with you on four paws. A good run can do a lot to help clean up a cluttered mind." The Irraka smiles warmly, pausing to consider the food before snagging a small box to take half of the wings home, then heading for the front of the building and the way out. "I'll see you around, Sybil."