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Animal Instinct

 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:55 am    Post subject: Animal Instinct Reply with quote

Based on activities in the Red Dragon Inn, 07/15/2007, approximately 11pm-1am
It was a quiet night in the Dragon. S'jira had turned in already but he was feeling restless and had gone out wandering about the city a bit. The common room was about half-full when he returned, and he spent some time just watching for a bit. There were so many new faces of late, so many new scents.

Jewell had wandered in, glowing from a battle in the rings, and from her mood it was a victorious night for her. As he followed her across the room towards the bar, she was intercepted by one he had been watching earlier. He didn't seem to speak, and just radiated heat.

"He uses hand words like Danae... " he called over to Jewell after a couple of failed attempts by her to talk to him in different tongues.

She replied with a questioning look "But I don't know that."

He started to turn and order a drink, his gaze shifting to Des and Gav behind the bar when she made a third attempt, speaking in a sort of high-pitched whistle that was like a mix of bird songs... and something he had never quite heard before.

And it sent a piercing, sharp pain right through his head.

His ears fell flat to his head, trying to shut out the sound, but it wasn't working and his head started swimming. A hand reached out to grab ahold of the edge of the bar, even as the fingers on the other hand reached to rub his temple. Slow deep breaths were taken, pressure point near his temple was stroked and his eyes closed as he tried to shut out the ... no... not the sound, he was beyond hearing the sound from without. It was the sounds from within that were rising now. He tried to calm himself, but he knew it was already too late. He could feel things changing.

"Panth..you okay?"

He heard her, smelled her, then felt her as Jewell's fingers brushed his shoulder. He could also feel the muscles under her touch moving of their own accord. "What's going on..." she quietly asked.

He reached out, fingers fumbling to untie the band of braided leather at his wrist, he nearly shoved it in to her hand...

If she answered, he no longer heard it, the sound of blood rushing through his body was all he could hear.

He tried to speak, and it was harder than it should be. "Tell 'jirrrrra...." it came out as a rumble... "back as soon as can... " He pried his hand from the edge of the bar, the gouges in the wood left as an indication of his tight grip. That hand clenched to a fist as he turned. "watch herrrrrr...."

His eyes no longer truly saw, but he smelled, and as he turned a past Jewell the female felines scent hit him.. full on and right before him. All he could manage was a guttural snarl before he was moving for the door. By the time he was halfway there, a chair or two had been knocked aside and he was nearly running. As he hit the door way, he practically lept out in to the night on all fours. And a second after that he was swallowed up by the darkness surrounding the Inn.
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Panther - Overseer of the madhouse that is the Red Dragon Inn.
Tales of the Cat
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Shriss
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shriss got to the Inn that night with her fur already ruffled, mostly from not being certain if she'd be welcome there or not. Therefore, she came in wary and claw-ready, though it didn't take long to determine she could keep them sheathed. Still, it doesn't pay to let down your guard too soon... and she let it show that she hadn't. Besides, she was annoyed enough herself to broadcast irritation. The sight of the cat-man didn't do anything to alleviate that annoyance.

The bar seemed as good a place as any, and the stools were better suited to somebody with a tail than regular chairs. The overt - even aggressive - friendliness of the two servers who were working behind it set her teeth on edge further, but as far as she could tell they didn't mean any harm. Maybe they were just really desperate for somebody to serve. He was certainly eager to take her order. She had a question for the two, as well, but other events distracted her before she could ask it.

Claws on wood, the pluck and tear of hard fibers beneath the assault of weaponry designed for tearing through hide and flesh. Slanting a glance toward the noise, she locked her gaze on Panther. He looked.... sick. Or, perhaps, distressed... and it was a look that she found all too familiar. Not so long ago, it was a look she'd worn herself, in the weeks after she'd proved herself. Hopefully, he'd get himself under control. But she'd be ready, in case things got... violent.

Her overt interest turned back to the male behind the bar. Faster than anticipated, he had fixed her an iced tea... though he didn't seem to know what sekanjabin was. Some nights, it's better to leave the alcohol in the bottle.

It looked like the cat was getting some help from one of his friends. Maybe that would settle things down. Though by the sound of his voice, it wasn't likely. Iced tea in hand, she abandoned the stool for open floor. If he went feral, she wanted to be where she could move. And too, sometimes the scent, sound and sight of another Beastwalker would calm one of the newly proven. Whether that would work with other breeds of shape shifter, she didn't know, and she wasn't going to put herself too close to his claws and jaws, if it didn't.

It didn't. At least he was able to pass off some of his gear to the friend, and offer a bit of explanation. And he had enough presence of mind to head for the door, enough self-control to remove himself from the Inn. Apparently, her presence worked more to irritate than to calm. As soon as he noticed her he let loose a snarl. That was more than enough to put her on the defensive, tossing the glass aside and ripping herself into Beast form as quickly as she could.

Shifting wasn't normally an uncomfortable process for a Beastwalker. It was more as though they flipped a balance inside, as though they simply altered the reality of their body. Pushing it, though, that hurt. It felt like being twisted and stretched, until the sensation let go with a snap, and instead of two feet she had four.

The black cat bolted for the door, and more by reflex than not, the Spook went through it on his tail, in pursuit. Without waiting to see if he'd turn on her, she slid comfortably into the otherness natural to a Ghost Cat, shedding corporeality naturally. The sword harness, designed for these shifts, settles now with a blade along either side. She wasn't about to lose those weapons, but she also wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to observe Panther gone feral.

Scattered clothing, rich with the warm musk of the male's scent, pass beneath silent paws without notice. A pair of leather scraps, the tang of metal and throat-clenching scent of oil, do not - four paw prints are left in the dirt where they'd fallen, the first she'd left since departing the Inn, and with barely a hesitation she's on the cat's trail again with his bracers in her jaws. Now she has his scent anew... the rich, rumbling smell of beast, ruffling the fur down her neck and spine.

A sense of inquiry, the coldly predatorial maleness of her Beast, tickling around the edges of her awareness. Warning off, reassuring. The response, not in words, but instinct; No danger. Curiosity. Stay away.

A fragment of solid night melting into its' natural element, and, on silent paws that leave barely a trace, not quite fully incorporeal, a pale shadow close behind.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get Away. Run.

Those where the only things in his mind at the moment... and even then they were not thoughts in the truest sense, merely feelings... impulses... instincts.

The half-man, half-cat had barely made it to the tree line across the road from the Dragon when his body nearly doubled him over in pain as it started to change. Muscle, bone, flesh... extending, contorting, defining.

The loose fitting shirt was the first to go, ripped off before he even made it across the road. The leggings didn't slow him as he practically lept right out of them. The bracers, slid from his arms as he came to run on all fours rather than just two.

And all he could do was keep running. Chasing, or chased, it didn't matter. That was all that was in that feline mind that took over when ever he was in this form. No longer Panther in name, he was panther in form and mind, fully and completely.

After a minute, maybe two, his pace slowed to a gate. The thoughts of fleeing were slipping from is mind as if whisked away by the breeze blowing across his fur, to be replaced by other, more baser thoughts. Food. Drink.

It was dark, though the feline eyes had no trouble seeing under the ample moon-light cast by the dual moons overhead. Dark meant time for food. It did not matter that he didn't hunger, it was time to hunt.

Lifting his nose a bit and breathing in he slowly turned, getting aquainted with his surroundings. Something familiar tugged at the recesses of his mind, but that thought was interrupted as he tasted, then scented the water... nearby. Turning and moving nearly silent across the forest floor he followed the scent and soon heard the babbling sound of running water. A myriad of other scents started hitting him... all of them prey, all faint and old, nothing to be concerned with as he continued towards the water. Even with the faint scents about him, water meant not only drink but often food as well.

He approached the brook cautiously, ears up and turned outward as his listening for sounds to the sides and even behind as his eyes pierced the darkness for the movement of anything noteworthy, food-worthy. Even as he crouched slightly and lowered his head to drink his ears remained up and moving, ready to pick up the faintest of sounds about him.

He drank, his tongue lapping up the cool water, and drank some more... he just about had his fill when he smelled it. A scent both familiar and not. Not food... but what? He stopped drinking but did not lift his head as he tried to further pinpoint the scent.. a slight swivel of his head, it was getting stronger.
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"Even the maggot can serve a purpose in the right circumstance... "
Panther - Overseer of the madhouse that is the Red Dragon Inn.
Tales of the Cat
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pure cat. Raw, musky, wonderful cat. His scent was a fresh splash on the painting that was the forest. It wasn't track, nor even sound that led her on his path, but the fascinating scent of his living flesh. Not food, not unless she was truly desperate. Not necessarily friend, either... just primal Cat.

He got ahead of her when she went fully Spook and threw herself down the hollow between a tree's roots and some buried boulders. It was familiar ground - she'd spent a few nights in the old, abandoned den since her arrival in the area. The wrench of forcing herself back into a bipedal form, just long enough to drop the cat's bracers and wriggle out of her harness. Her Beast would guard them for her, until she came back for them. Another wrench, back into beast-form, and she was starting to feel the drain from too many shifts. It would be best to stay on all fours for a while, to let herself recover.

Back to the trail, and the vestigial tracks she'd left before resume. There's nothing to show for her side trip, but she can't track the black when fully incorporeal. She can't smell in that state. But the track is fresh, the scent drawing a low, throbbing rumble to her throat, and pale paws whisper across the dust in pursuit once more.

Water. The soft, velveteen scent of liquid ripe on the night air, that peculiar mingling of mud, grass, insects and amphibians signature to a woodland water source. She circles, phasing back into a fully solid form as she washes the wind with her scent. Upwind, then across, to come at her quarry from the other side of the stream.

Quietly, belly low but tail calm, she whispers through the reeds to the waters' edge. There, at the verge - a shadow too dark, a form that doesn't quite mesh. The glow of wide, feline eyes catching stray shards of light. In mirror, the pale echo slips from concealment across from him, slanted eyes remaining fixed upon the panther as she lowers her head, whiskers flattening back fastidiously, to barely taste the water with a curled tongue.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seconds rolling on toward minutes, as black mask and pale mirrored each other across the gurgling melody of the water. She drank slowly, and he, having already quenched most of his thirst, watched her with a beast's stare. In that glare, she saw the death of a small, unlikely hope - the desire for a hunting companion, friend, a cat other than her Beast who ran upon four legs with a mind greater than that of an animal. Not here, not now, not in the creature who crouched opposite her. There was nothing home in those wide, luminescent eyes. Nothing that would recognize her as being anything other than competition and threat.

The hot scent of deer, rich with panic, pain and blood. A wounded doe, evidence of some hunters' poor skill and carelessness. Desperate for water, the doe had been following a low ridge, and it was only in cresting the slope to head for the stream that the wind caught her scent.

It was in reflex, in the nature of her race that she failed herself, her beast, and her training. Ghost Cats are, by nature, solitary and suspicious creatures - not so Beastwalkers. Designed by nature to not only desire, but need the presence of other shapeshifters - their own kind, preferably - the scent of the deer struck a chord in Shriss that it didn't touch in the beast across from her. What greater pleasure than to hunt beside another great cat, to share the stalk, the chase, the kill with one of her own? But that only works if your companion shares your pleasure in the partnership.

The scent of the deer hit her in a wave, bringing unsated hunger to a peak. Consciously, she knew that the other was no friend. Subconsciously, she still thought of him as Panther - and, though not a friend, still an intelligent companion. Pale paws sent diamond spray to bedew her coat as she struck down in mid-stream, on a jutting stone that she knew would be there. A surge of velvet-sheathed steel, and her next impact was on the bank, not far enough from the black beast.

For Shriss, the target was the deer - the hunt, the pulse of hot blood across her tongue and teeth, the salt sweetness of warm meat sliding down her throat. For the panther, the target was a competitor encroaching too near, too fast, when prey that he would have as his own was at stake. Surprise struck her, but didn't slow her, as she heard the snarl. Not a sound of warning, but of attack, a form larger and heavier than her own lunging at her from too close to avoid, too fast to go incorporeal.

She dropped, flattening herself in hope that he would overshoot her and miss. It kept him from taking her throat, but it was a charge, not a leap, that he'd made. Powerful jaws hit her neck, locking onto the side and back. For just a moment, shock freezes the Spook in place. Not that he would attack, or even that she was in a very precarious position. It was her own, instinctive reaction that left her passive, flat on her belly as jaws locked onto her neck. It was the overpowering sensation, not of fear, but of peaceful resignation.

A moment, no more, as instinct surged to the fore. A bare second, before she tore herself from the shock and from her primal reaction, aided by not only fear, but the sensation of sharp fangs sinking deep into the heavy muscle of her neck. Yet that second was all it took for his claws to find purchase, shearing through fur, skin and muscle in a savage rake from shoulder to hip on the side away from him. The damage would have been worse, had she not dropped as fast as she had.

A second, more than long enough to die in. But she hadn't. She was hurt, yes, and possibly badly. But she was alive, and reflex took over now to keep her that way. As his claws came loose from her flesh, she twisted herself around, mud slathering the long wound as she rolled to her back beneath the panther. Hind legs slash at his belly, jaws rake at his shoulder without finding purchase, in her efforts to get loose from the hold on her neck. Neither does harm, though. The beast apparently knew enough about fighting not to hold on, when doing so would leave his belly exposed to her claws.

Again, it was only a matter of a second, as he sprang aside and prepared to come back at her - but this time, she was ready. Prepared, that second was time enough - barely - to force herself incorporeal. Still, she wasn't done Spooking when he came back in, though the claws that rake at her hip find only a thickening of the air for purchase. Deep welts rise along that flank as she goes fully Ghost.

To her feet, and away. Already hurt, there was no way to win this fight, and she wasn't fool enough to stick around and try. She fled, he stayed - there was still the doe to hunt, and she'd gone away from it. As well, she left no prints, made no sound - but scent, yes. Blood was shed freely from her wounds, and where it fell from her body, it returned to solid form. No sign of paws to tell her path. Only a crimson rain, rapidly cooling in the night air.

Gone. She would not bother him again while he walked upon four legs – not this time, and likely not any other time.
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