Awakening: Those Left Behind

(This post focuses on what’s happening to some of the various NPCs in the Awakening chronicle in the time around the end of The Enemy of My Enemy, Chapter I)

It had been a bit of a strange day for Joseph Chases-the-Dream, all told.

After putting together a Litany Q&A for Amrita and having to call that to a premature conclusion, he had been left alone with Linda, the attractive yet mousy Kin woman that had recently been adopted into the tribe even though she was a creepy white girl formerly associated with the Black Spiral Dancers.

He had gotten a fair few minutes with Linda, a chance to follow up on their rather brief phone conversation the prior night. Things were going well, or so he had thought. She had taken his offered hand and started walking with him, though she had paused to grab Steve’s coat and backpack off the ground. Joseph was enough of a gentleman that he took these extra burdens, and would have taken her own duffel too if she had been willing to let him. As they had started walking along the trail that led down to and around Tehama’s Dish, he had thought that yes, this was going to be a pretty good day after all.

She was an awkward, shy, nervous woman who didn’t have a whole lot in the way of social skills, but she did have a quick wit. Joseph actually appreciated that about her. Girls always seemed to think that they had to be so smooth and charming to get his attention. Her painfully nervous frankness about being attracted to him a few days prior even as he could tell that she was terrified was endearing.

Then the grass and bushes around them had started flailing and waving in what could be best described as panic, and Linda’s delicate fingers had tightened in his hand as she looked around for the source of this. Amrita’s desperate, panicked screams for Linda reached them at about that point, and upon looking up they saw her running down the trail from the Crater. Linda swore blackly and volubly.

“Um… Joseph.. Ah’m sorry baby… Ah gotta go…,” Linda had said to Joseph, after which she gave a meaningful and apologetic look towards Steve’s equipment that Joseph was carrying.  She then had leaned over, given him a peck and started running to her terrified friend.  Naturally, he had moved to follow. When she and Amrita said something about Taylorsville and then vanished into a nearby tree, Joseph had scratched his head, taken a quick look at the tree and gone to alert the elders to what had happened as well as an update on the Warpath’s status, and suggested that the elders have somebody check to see if they could find out what was going on in Taylorsville. Then he had handed Steve’s kit off to Jared and advised the lad to put it someplace safe until Steve should return. The HSL people having cleared a bunch of their staff out of their campsite had worried him too, and he’d already advised Burning-Mountain.

So there Joseph was a bit later, walking down the mountain a ways headed to get in touch with the Warder again and give another status report, on events both in the field and at the caern. He was worried about his pack, and had been listening to their chatter all along, filtering it for anything that he needed to know or advise the Warder of.

Then he caught something through his pack link that he had dreaded hearing, from Mary Laughs-Like-Coyote. He could feel the shock and surprise in her mental communication: I’ve been made! After that, he felt her scream of anguish.

Joseph’s back stiffened and horror rippled through the entire pack: Laughs! they cried nearly in unison.

Mary, as she fell, warned the others: Silver!

Mingan ordered the pack: Get her out of there. MOVE IT!

They felt Silent Medicine’s determined repetition of Mary’s name as he rushed in and bounded upon one of his Ragabash packmate’s attackers, and his own inaudible cries as numerous silver bullets pierced him.

Joseph’s Rage flowed through him and he shifted into the Lupus form, threw back his head and howled with all his might to alert the sept: The Warpath was under attack near Cinder Cone, and the ambushers were using silver. Burning-Mountain’s return howl granted Joseph’s request to go to his pack’s aid, and to take any Garou that could be spared from their duties and the defense of the Caern itself. Spirits were ordered to be sent to provide further intelligence and to contact and alert The Black Wings pack, which was known to be within two hour’s run to the south of the battle: perhaps they could not get there in time, but an enemy using silver had to be hit with every available resource.

Before long, The Call of the Wyld as issued by High-and-Tight, who had been placed in the field as a reserve and watcher along with a few others, had reached the sept as well: Gunfire at Cinder Cone. Two Garou down, the pack has recovered their fallen but forced into retreat, then pinned down. Situation very grave. Moving to provide support.

*     *     *     *     *

Having seen Steve react to his several howls and dashing past to render his assistance, Guillermo got moving as well, though at first he was shifted to Homid form because he needed to in order to signal his sister through comms. She acknowledged and got moving as well: she was at a halfway point between himself and the target point, and he would catch up with her. She’d have his guns ready for him when he got there too. One more thing before shifting: he used his satellite phone to place a call to Linda’s cell using his headset so he could run and breathlessly explain at the same time.

“Linda?  (huff) Your Namer friends might wanna know…. (puff) … there’s shooting… at Cinder Cone. (pant) Warpath’s hit hard (huff) silver. Steve and I (gasp) are heading in.” at which point he disconnected and threw the headset into his pocket before assuming wolfskin and taking off after Steve as fast as his four legs would allow.

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