(2018-08-04) Negotiation and Vengeance
Negotiation and Vengeance
Summary: … with a sweet takedown thrown in. Brier and Callisto deal with some vandals in their cat house.
(NOTE: There's copious usage of bad language. Heads' up if that's not your bag.)
Date: 2018-08-04
Related: NA
Scene Runner: NA

Maple Drive, Shady Cove
Sat Aug 04 2018

This area of town has fallen into disrepair, there are a few abandoned houses, a large broken down hospital that is no longer in use and an old park. Next to the park there is a skating park in surprisingly good repair, local kids see to the upkeep of their skating playground. The street has several potholes and the grass on the sides of the road is tall and unkempt.

It is a summer day. The weather is warm and fair.


As far as Saturdays go, it's been your typical happenstance kinda day. Like, seriously: if you're eighteen or under you're either planning a shaker of a party at your parents' house while they're away on a wine tour, hunkering down on a beach with your booze hidden in a Gatorade bottle, or just being your typical teenager on Saturday afternoon. But if you're Callisto, you're hefting up bags of newly-purchased cat frue-frue and marching your pretty faerie ass over to Maple Drive to feed said cats. Of course she will have sought Brier to come along to join in on the efforts to look in on the house and make sure all was set to rights for the weekend.

So, here we are: Saturday afternoon, the heat of the day tempered by clouds lumbering in overhead with glimpses of sunlight casting itself across the cracked pavement and neglected sidewalks. Callisto is outfitted in her typical (designated) clothing of black tights and a fitted navy blue tanktop, quicksilver hair pulled up and behind her head to keep the long tresses out of kittys' reach and less of a bother. She looks sideward to the hippie as they stroll, "Some clinics offer a free spay and neuter program. Do you think we should enquire?" Asks the graceful girl as they pad along, the mid-afternoon sun a glaring eye on the horizon, sluicing itself around abandoned structures.

Brier had brought his backpack to help carry some of the supplies, carrying others in his arms just to help Calli not have to haul it all herself! "We can definitely check it out. Maybe some of the workers would be willing to volunteer and even come out to see the cats?" Or maybe that would just lead to them being rounded up by the pound! Oh no! As they get closer to the house, the hippie looks over to his friend "Cletus has really helped keep the place running when we're gone. Keeping the younger cats in line. He takes his job very seriously so I brought him some tuna today to thank him for all his hard work."

The faerie smiles with obvious pleasure. It is easy for her to let her guard down where Brier is concerned, "It's a double-edged sword. But I would be there, if we to ask. I am able to… push.. if need be." Says Callisto a bit mysteriously. Meaning: if anyone so much as entertains the thought of breaking up this cat colony, she may or may NOT have the ability to tweak some mental dials. But ahem; she tries to go without that tact, whenever possible. c.c

They approach the modest two-story house from the ground level and Callisto's long-legged gait slows, "As for Cletus, I suspect that he knows us to be of aide. It cannot be easy keeping a passel of kittens in order and he recognizes good help when he sees.. and smells it." Callisto smiles then; she looks nice when she smiles. Not in a superficial way but just… it suits her.

She rounds the side of the house and is just about to push open the entry-window when…

There is a crash within, and what sounds like a boy's voice, braying with laughter. Callisto freezes, turning to watch Brier with a look of alarm upon her face.

"He handles the responsibility with dignity!" Brier agrees, grinning. Then, they are at the house and…the crash. The hippie's brow furrows as his eyes stay on the window, but he speaks back to Calli, "Stay here…and get your phone out." Just in case. With that he'd move up to the window, trying to quietly gain entry into the home.

Her phone? Check. She has members of the Unit — at least Daxton and Felicia — readily on speed-dial but Callisto, honestly, hasn't a huge contact list to boast. Nor does she have much patience for simply waiting when there is somebody infringing upon her project. A project that is shared. Not quite widely known about her ilk, but they are very protective of what is 'theirs'. If that which is 'theirs' is compromised? Vengeance. But to Callisto's credit, when bid to do so, she waits. But the moment Brier carefully slides open the window to enter their cat sanctuary, one of Callisto's long legs is already over the sill the moment the hippie is out of view.

To enter the house's ground level is to see the cats scattering, incensed. They eye Brier, recognizing him, but fear makes them amnesiac to personal ties. Their bodies scatter lithely beneath the odd piece of blighted, rotten furniture.

Glass can be heard shattering in an adjoining room; a girl's voice hollers raucously.

Brier was hopeful Callisto would stay outside, both for her own safety and also to call the police or some type of enforcement if it came to that. However, he also knew her tendencies…but he could hope! As he enters the home and makes his way across the floor, a sympathetic look is given to the scattering cats. Hopefully they had all managed to stay out of harm's way with…whatever was being done to this house by whoever is in here. Then, the shattering glass gets his attention from another room.

The hippie starts in that direction, careful of where he steps to avoid creaking boards or something that would give away his presence. Meanwhile, he tries to think of what exactly he's going to do once he encounters the intruders. Most of that would depend on how they reacted…and if they were dangerous.

Hey, she'll approach carefully.. that work? :D

The sounds in an adjoining room are loud and it sounds as if — not counting cats — there's about 3-4 bodies moving around in what must have been a den. THe typical ground-level entry point that Brier and Callisto use to enter the house is usually tied to what was either a small bedroom or office. Brier shall get accustomed to the lay of the circumstance, and meanwhile..

"Should just light 'er up." Grunts a boy's voice.

"People come here, y'know.. what if they hear us?" Asks a second male voice; clearly a more level-headed breed. They will laugh at him later.

Then a girl, raucous as a night bird. "Fuck 'em! They're part of that other school.. they can't do shit!" She hollers. To follow the voices is to indeed find three teenagers… indeed a rough bunch. They are not skaters; not the diligent souls that kept the skatepark afloat. They're straight-up thugs. Two boys: one a larger sort with surly dark eyes and the other a gangly thing. The girl has a mean-looking face, caked with makeup and an ill-fitting wardrobe. They're angry at the world, and they're taking it out on cats… though none have been physically hurt persay.

With the mention of 'light 'er up' Brier has decided enough is enough. His hand is reaching in his pocket for his own phone and he turns it onto video mode, pressing record and letting it get some more of the audio before he just steps into the doorway of the room the group is in. "I dunno', dudes…I can work a phone camera pretty well…and I can call cops pretty good too." He makes sure the have the camera rest on each one if only for a moment, if he's able and they are startled enough by his arrival. "It doesn't have to come to that though. Just chill and leave…I just came to take care of the cats. I don't want any trouble."

<FS3> Callisto rolls Stealth: Failure.

There's a certain mixture of emotion that always comes to the fore when people are caught red-handed. There are those who fall into regret and backpedal swiftly. But then there are others, accustomed to things being a certain way for so long, who balk. These three are from some rough part of town; even small, charming places like Shady Cove have a portion of underbelly. Could people still live in Maple Drive? Might there be a house or two, on the fringes, clinging desperately to life and inhabitation? Maybe so. But then again, some troubled teens travel far to seek places in which to vent their anger.

Case in point here.

At Brier's interjection the three turn; they are so attuned to the blonde that sound of a footstep falling short, crunching upon broken glass, is overlooked. It's probably one of these rats, hissing and scattering and pissing everywhere.

"No cops ever come 'round here. Don't even bother, mop-head." Snorts the skinny boy who was in fact the more boisterous of the two boys. It's the bulkier one who was calmer… and he is silent, looking startled.

The girl gawks at Brier, "What's it to you?! You don't got dibs here! These cats will go to another house and fuck it up! Why bother!" She barks out, posed jauntily with one foot up on an overturned chair.

"The cats have dibs here. Seriously, they aren't bothering anybody they're just trying to live…so why come into their home and mess it up? Does that really like…make you feel empowered somehow?" Brier keeps the camera recording as long as they let him, resting it on the skinny boy as he speaks and then the girl now. "I 'bother' because everybody deserves to know they're cared about…cats included. Now like I said…I don't want any trouble, but I'm not going to just let you keep breaking things and scaring my friends either…"

The bulky boy, the one who would be thought of as the initial shit disturber, looks troubled. The other two are in fine form. The skinny dude hauls back and kicks an ottoman, upon which cats typically like to perch. Luckily no cats were in the flight path of the kid's foot but they can be heard scattering in other parts of the room. "That what'd they're teaching you all over in that school? How to look after pussy cats?" The boy grates out, clearly not feeling badly. A lot must have happened to make him so jaded.

The girl is another story. She pulls her propped foot off of the overturned chair and scuffs the soul, catching a food dish in the flight path and sending kibble scattering. "Friends? Really? These cats wouldn't give a shit if you were to drop dead." She rants. Meanwhile, the source of the crunching glass strides into the room. It's Callisto, looking as if she is ready to murder. "Get out." Snarls the faerie, her eyes trained upon the two agitators of the three.

"Fuck you, bitch!" Hollers the girl, clearly agitated by the arrival of the mentalist and their being recorded by Brier's phone. Her shrill voice causes Cletus to skitter out from his cover.

Brier takes a breath in and exhales slowly, keeping himself calm. The others were already worked up, him losing his balance wouldn't topple everything. He also pockets his phone, having enough footage to have their faces for identifying. "I'm not going to say it again…" But then he doesn't have to because Calli is here! So much for balance! Maybe he could find support from the third member of their group who seemed to be the calmer one. Maybe the hippie could get through to him.

Looking towards the bulky boy now, Brier frowns "Please. Just leave. These cats haven't done anything to you. We haven't done anything to you. Whoever all of you are angry at…it's nobody in this house so please stop spreading pain." As Cletus makes a run for it, Brier steps over to block the other two from being able to follow after should they try. "Please…"

To Callisto's credit, she's not rushing in. She's just making her presence known to show that Brier isn't alone! The sun, beyond the windows and walls of this lonely house, casts itself through broken windows… well, one or two that are broken. These louts have seen to such. The shadows are cast across the floors, long and ponderous and oblivious to the emotions in the room.

The bigger boy looks to Brier, and toward the other two. He only just got himself in the good graces with these 'friends'; to speak against them is to earn himself a big ol' dose of exclusion. "… what… whatever… it's a stupid thing to be doin' anyway." The big guy grunts uncertainly. The other two make up for it.

"Aw, two pussies looking after pussies. How about this, we make a new hidey hole for the rats—" The girl shrills, her anger unfocused and really without reason. Who is this granola and his Lord of the Rings freak bitch girlfriend to squawk at them? She hauls back and sends the front of her boot into the already weakened drywall, sending pieces of lathe flying.

The skinny boy snorts, sees the skittering body of Cletus, and does the worst thing: he tries to shove past Brier and throw a chunk of wood at the retreating cat.

<FS3> Brier rolls Taekwondo: Good Success.

Brier doesn't even give the skinny boy a chance to aim. As soon as he starts forward, the hippie's shoulders slouch to allow the backpack to drop to the floor. By the time skinny boy has the wood in his hand, the blonde is already ducking down and extending his foot out. Keeping one foot under him for balance, he rotates the other leg around in a sweeping motion to knock the boy off his feet.

Brier would then stand back up, making no other motion other than repositioning himself to again block any pursuit. His arms rest by his side, "Just stop…just leave…" His gaze goes to the girl again before back to the boy on the floor. "Please…"

Callisto spends 1 luck points on No upsetting Brier!.
<FS3> Callisto rolls Physical: Good Success.

WHUMP! Down does the chump, in a very Brier-like fashion.. no punch thrown but rather, a very succinct motion of the foot to send the wood-wielding (lol) boy tumbling. The chunk of rotten matter — likely part of the wall that they damaged — thumps to the ground and Cletus scurries, unharmed. Brier is pleading with the group to depart, to hold off; but the girl is already incensed by her.. friend? boyfriend…? whatever is being toppled. It affects both the skinny boy's bravado and her own and she's squalling angrily, about to hurl herself in Brier's direction with her hands ready to grab and pull and likely claw. "You F—"

Callisto doesn't even let the words leave her mouth. The slender fey girl is in like a streak and the motley girl's hands swing to find not Brier's face or arms but rather, the taller girl's presence. Just when she's about to nonetheless throw a punch, Callisto hauls back and straight-up levels her with a backhand. Her approach, incensed by Brier's worry, is enough to warrant this. The thuggish girl tumbles sideward, stunned…. there's a degree of power in a dark fey's physiology.

"OUT." Callisto barks out.. all that's left now is a very rattled third party — the meatier boy — staring outright at Brier, uncertain. Cats can be heard howling in adjacent rooms.

This was escalating. Fast. Next thing Brier knows, his would be attacker is sent back with Calli's strike. Brier's own expression remains the same calm level expression as he steps up to where the skinny boy is and he just looks down at him. "I have you on video. All of you. If you don't leave…I will post it. If you come back here…I will post it. If this house gets targeted again in the future by anyone…I will post it. Across every online outlet I can find so as many people see it as possible…"

Who knows if these kids had friends or others they could convince to come back and enact 'revenge' so he covered as many bases as he could think of. "The cops may not care about an abandoned house, but people will care about what you're doing to these cats…is it really worth risking it?" Brier looks between the three of them.

The white-haired girl waits, not moving to make the situation worse but yet standing, every inch of her body taut and ready to strike. Tendrils of that hair — surely, it's just due to the air coming in through the windows — quiver between her shoulder blades. Seem to 'lift'. Yeah, it's just the air.

It's taking everything in Callisto not to tap into her birthright and really send things asunder, her lips pressed together whitely. Something about scaring these cats, and upsetting Brier just… no, she can't. Calm, calm. She's above this behavior. But deep in her guts, it roils; acrid, hot, angry vengeance. Callisto will later lament how ready and responsive her trigger happened to be… but at least it was for a worthy cause. She does not move a muscle.

The mouthy girl is quiet, scrambling over to get in proximity to the skinny thug who was previously out-matched in technique. Something finally reaches them.. or at least the one who has not come to blows.

"Shit.. ok man, okay.. we're gone… c'mon guys, seriously." The bigger fellow implores and the other two, chided by having been actually physically deterred, begin to lope out of the room.. but not without casting some dirty looks.

Brier watches as the group leaves, making sure they are in fact gone before closing his eyes and taking a deep breath in and exhaling through his mouth. His eyes then open and he looks over to his friend "You should check on the cats…" He could tell she was upset, far mores than him and he could see an anger in her stance and gaze. Kitty therapy! "I'll get the broom and start sweeping up the glass so they don't get hurt on it…"

If Callisto is upset, it's inwardly over how quick she was to go from zero to murder. Had the girl responded in a bad way, would Callisto have struck her again? Or stooped to…. no. That would be her mother's way.

She's breathing deep, and Brier's words pull her out. She, too, was also listening for the footsteps to retreat altogether and luckily, they do. She looks up at her friend, gaze troubled and somewhat sorrowful. "I am sorry that you had to see that. T'was not the way I wanted to respond, but when they moved… when she started in on you.." A gentle sigh, she touches her forehead lightly before moving for a corner of the room where shadows are twitching and whirling. Cats, immediately, break away from these shadows as if they themselves were a part of the house. Callisto kneels, embarrassed; a hand reaches out gently to coax the cats. "Were it not for you, I fear my eventual response.."

"You were protecting your friends…" Brier refers to himself and the cats. "You can't focus on what could have happened or what you could have done…because in the end…well it didn't and you didn't. You're okay…and I'm okay…and because of us the cats are okay. Those kids…" His attention goes to where the trio retreated a moment as he frowns "I hope they'll be okay. That's a lot of pain and anger for people so young…I hope their lives get better." He starts cleaning things up and does a visual check on the cats that do emerge. He'd check on Cletus once he was done cleaning up the immediate danger of broken glass.

And therefore, here is why Callisto hastened to backhand a brat: Brier's way. Even in the wake of their destruction to a space that they — Brier and Callisto — have been nurturing by the skin of their teeth (and minimal funds as students) … the hippie boy worries for them. Callisto could learn a lot from him, for she is still inwardly warring with her terrible desire to punish them—

All thoughts of hurting others departs the faerie girl. Out comes Cletus, nosing around for rubs in his rumbly, bumping way. The old cat's brawny skull eases into Callisto's palm and she sighs gently, all the fight leaving her; slender shoulders lower and she hugs the old tomcat to her chest.

"I.. hope so too. That they find direction." Ah, testament to her growth: Callisto agrees. She would hate to peer into their nightmares.

Setting down the broom, Brier comes over and knees next to Callisto and looking to Cletus. "You did a good job of protecting everybody, Cletus. You are a very strong and brave cat." The hippie reaches into his backpack, pulling out the tuna and opening the can…which brings a flood of cats! He makes sure to pull out a few good sized chunks for Cletus before setting the can down for the others. There were more in the bag anyways! "Here you go…"

As Cletus eats his reward from Brier's hand, the blonde looks over to Callisto. "We will make sure they feel safe before we leave…and stay for as long as we need to." His way of also assuring her that she could take her time with kitty therapy.

The cracking of the tuna can and the subsequent flood of kitties, undeterred by the invasion, is all Callisto needs to shake the doldrum. Cletus, the king of the clowder, dips his head to devour the bigger chunks and soon the two students are surrounded by cats that seem to give zero fucks over what just happened. It's interesting how the predominantly feral group seems to favor the much older cat, none daring to steal some of the choice pieces.

Callisto's hands move to stroke one ginger striped back, and another jet black haunch, only to end with a flick of a white tail as her favorite — 'Snowball' — dives into the fray.

"I am in no rush. I would like to remain, just to… wait." Kitty therapy well-received. There is still a mild edge of fear around Callisto's gaze, despite her overall calm.

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