The First Age
Renovations - Printable Version

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- Hood - 07-09-2013

Continued here: Window Shopping

Once upon a time, huge Soviet-era apartment blocks stood in long, identical rows, housing thousands of low-income factory workers and laborers. Many still existed even in this 'enlightened' era of economic growth and expansion, but some had been knocked down to make room for newer, nicer, more beautiful structures. But, as with all things, money changed hands, companies folded, contracts were lost, and investors moved on, until all that remained were rubble-strewn lots shadowed by the great Garden Ring Road's overpasses and raised highways above.

Years passed, and eventually folks returned to these abandoned lots. Squat-er camps formed, and government funded housing projects were started up and abandoned, leaving stretches of close-packed cookie-cutter houses built by the lowest bidder and never quite finished. But it was a start, and improvements came sporadically as new city planners came and went.

Bulatnikovskaya block was one such area. Cloned housing and huts that ranged somewhere between ramshackle and whatever was a step up from ramshackle, lined the old streets. What was once a soccer field had been re-purposed into a communal garden, and up the block there was even a small open-air market where people sold fresh butchered goat meat, vegetables, salvaged junk and home-made crafts. The only evidence that this little corner of the world was actually a part of the greatest city in the world (so far as the CCD was concerned), was the not-so-distant skyline a public transit system a person could set their watch to.

Few folks who lived in the area could actually be considered land owners (as much as one could be when living in a city), but some folks earned enough to do more then simply rent. Hood was one of them. But rather then landing himself in one of the many 'mostly finished' housing units, he had one of his own built.

Sea-can construction had become rather popular in the 10's and 20's. Entire apartment buildings had been constructed of them. The metal boxes were abundant, cheap, and water-proof. At first glance, Bulatnikovskaya block's newest addition seemed out of place. A pile of sea-cans that were delivered to a run down residential neighborhood rather then one of the not-too distant train yards. Then came the electricians and plumbers, and even a government inspector. Of course, there might have been a greased palm or two to get the ball rolling, but two months after arriving in District I, Hood had a home.

In the months since he moved in, Hood had spent every waking hour spent at home on renovations. Sanding the outer walls of his new home of rust before he could start coating them with rust-protection. Interior finishings would come later, once he was comfortable his new home would weather it's first winter.

Much of the funding to build his new abode came from the Atharim. Beneath the sea-can cabin, another was burried. Excuses for the digging and dropping of the can into the open pit, was that it would serve as a solid foundation for the rest of the structure to sit on top of, and for the most part, folks bought it (or accepted bribes to make sure that part of the building plans were lost from records). That sea-can, hidden beneath the floor, provided access to the old sewers below; a bolt hole to a safe house for any Atharim agents that found themselves in a spot of trouble. The hidden room would also house Hood's personal arsenal, which was, sadly, still a work in progress.

At 0200hrs, Hood sat on the step of his recently finished porch, under the glow of the lone light fixed above the front door. At that late hour, there wasn't much activity on the street, but there were obviously people still awake. Loud music could be heard from coming from one of the houses a ways up the block. The windows were covered in bars and CGI, the door replaced with an expensive metal thing. A drug house. Teenagers and young adults could be seen coming and going all day, but so far they had left him alone and hadn't caused much trouble.

The occasional yelling couple, the distant wail of sirens and the near constant drone of the near by Garden Ring Road. On some level, he was consciously aware of all those sounds, but they were a distant thing. Sitting next to him was a toolbox, a pile of rags, and some oil. After each day's labor, he would spend an hour just sitting on the step, enjoying the cooling evening air as he cleaned and inspected the tools.

Not too far off, the local metro line could be heard coming to a stop at the station. This far out from the city center, their stop was above ground, but the tracks quickly dipped below ground again on either side of the platform. Minutes later, the sound of the train vanished as it went back under ground, and Hood finally packed his tools away.

He shifted to lean against the a post on his porch, and picked up a bottle of Alexander Kieth's beer. An expensive import, but old habits died hard. He brought the bottle to his lips then paused and frowned at it, noticing a moth stuck to the condensation on the lip. A couple huffs and puffs blew the insect clear, then after another moment's hesitation he shrugged and took a swig.

Soon enough a trio of shaggy mutts wandered into the pool of light around his porch, and Hood stared at the three dogs for a long moment. None seemed particularly excited to see him, and just scooted around him onto the porch to lay down or partake from a bucket full of water next to the door.

"I wake up, and there's a single puddle of piss on this deck, the lot of you are getting shaved and baths." The three mutts glanced at him. They didn't understand him; they recognized some Russian, unsurprisingly, but English was beyond them still. More likely, they were trying to decide if he had mentioned anything about food. He stared at the largest of the three, then just sighed and stood up, collecting his tool box and setting the empty bottle of beer on the step. Someone would collect it by morning to recycle it.

The dogs were a explainable but welcome addition to his new home. They had just shown up one day and started living on his deck. They'd leave in the morning on the metro, heading into town where they could beg and scavenge for scraps of food, then return at night to sleep there. They stayed out of his way, and had proven themselves as an efficient burglar-deterrent, so he put water out for them, sometimes some food, and generally put up with them. When winter came, he'd have to think of some sort of more permanent arrangements.

Hood went inside, stopping in the doorway long enough to toss the three strays some leftovers. The interior of his stylish new home was still fairly spartan. Plywood served as the floor, and a wooden frame skirted the walls. Eventually, drywall and insulation would be installed. The tool box was put away, the door closed and locked, and he did his rounds to make sure the windows were secure. He wasn't worried about people trying to break in. Hell, let them try it. He just didn't want to have to explain to the police why had he killed someone.

A quick trip to the fridge found another bottle of beer in his hand, and he popped the cap just as the phone rang. He frowned briefly; there weren't many who had his number, but those few knew he would still be awake at so late an hour. It would either be his day job, or his night. One payed over the counter, and the other was the reason why he had a tunnel into the sewer under his house.

He let it ring a few times, then finally answered in fluent Russian. "White."

"Sorry for calling so late..."
Hood rolled his eyes and took a sip of beer. It was the over-the-counter sort of work then.

"Don't worry, you knew full well I'd be awake. What's the tasking?"

The man on the other end of the phone chuckled, "If you had a Wallet, I could just forward it to you you know. You really should get with the times."

"Yeah well, prefer doing things the old fashioned way. What're the particulars? I'll come in to the office in the morning for the packet."
Another sip of beer then he set it aside to take up a pen and line up a pad of paper.

"There is a grand opening of the the Baccarat Mansion in a few days. Lots of high society types will be in town for it, and some are travelling under the radar. Without their usual entourage or bodyguards. There are a few parties requesting our operatives, and you're one of our top guys, so you will get first dibs."

Hood nodded, and noted down the relevant details his boss had to offer over the next few minutes. This could well work out to his advantage. Barely five minutes after he hung up, the phone rang again. He made this one wait a few rings too, sipping his beer. It was already getting warm because of these bastards and their long-winded phone conversations. This time, he answered in Arabic. The conversation was shorter, and held no surprises for him. They spoke in code, of course; innocuous, inane chatter. It was a long distance phone call, from a 'cousin' in Dominance III, talking about family and the like.

He scribbled down the important points, and knew which of the high-profile visitors he would choose to serve as bodyguard. An Atharim....were they investors? Owners? The particulars of their organization still eluded him on the finer points, but they did good, so he hadn't been too interested in poking around too deeply.

He'd probably have to buy a suit. A nice suit, anyway...he had suits, but nothing quite fancy enough for something like this. And of course, a new suit meant a new shoulder holster. So at least there was something interesting to be done tomorrow.

Edited by Hood, Jul 27 2013, 06:45 PM.

- Hood - 07-28-2013

(A few days after the events of The Baccarat Gala )

It was that same night that Hood found his lighter missing. And not much later that he received word that someone had tried to gain entry to the Atharim compound under the mansion. It wasn't hard to guess who it was, and that suspicion was confirmed later that morning when he received his next task. One of a half-dozen Atharim hunters tasked to tail the fellow for the foreseeable future.

It had proven a simple task so far, although the Atharim hunters weren't quite as used to tailing someone as Hood was. Another valuable skill he was now forced to impart on them. At least they were quick learners, watching for any sign of illness. A worrying thought, that was...they had assured him that it wasn't some sort of bio-weapon gone awry, and he was prone to believe them as it didn't fit their MO, but it was still odd.

Then he received word from some other Atharim big-wig. They had too many of those...too many Chiefs, not enough Indians, as some would say. It was another example that he needed to fire up his old clunker desk-top more often, but it wasn't that often he had any need to bother with the world-wide-web.

Naturally, there was more to his computer set up then just some simple old desk-top. He knew enough how to throw off the trail, so to speak; even if someone managed to track his IP through a dozen or so countries to Moscow, they'd still end up at one of the near-by apartment complexes, where he had installed a laser-comms-link between that router and his home. If someone came hunting him, they'd end up in an elderly Russian couple's home, who had no idea the device was even there. Of course, if it came to that, it wouldn't throw them off for long.

The email was straightforward and to the point; two Atharim hunters, new to Moscow, would be jumping in the deep end, after a pack of Rougarou. The odd part was the desire to take one alive, and odder still, that he was asked to find a safe place said creature could be stored, alive. Too many Chiefs. Luckily, he'd already done some exploring of the service tunnels that were left in the area from when the massive apartment blocks were still standing. The sub-basement of one of the demolished buildings was both still intact, and still accessible from those tunnels. A fine place to store some damnable abomination for whatever it was they had in mind.

Knowing that he would have company coming was less then appealing, but a necessary was, after all, why the Atharim had set him up with so fine an abode to begin with. He had little choice but to grit his teeth and bear it.

That day, he put some small effort into organizing things for the two new arrivals. Cots were set up; he slept on a cot himself, so if they were expecting beds, all the better. Didn't want them getting too comfortable, after all. Next, and more important, was sectioning of the fridge. And more importantly, the security of his beer fridge and liquor cabinet...not much effort there, as he left both locked anyway. Metro dogs could only dissuade so many would-be burglars after all.

Once the main floor was squared away, he lifted out the floor panels to reveal the trap door to the basement lock-up and bolt-hole. Down the ladder he dropped, and flicked the light switch to reveal another, less purposefully finished sea-can. Work benches were installed along one wall, with bullet press and ammo station, neatly organized tool chests for all his gun-smithing tools, and small locked cages with all the bells-and-whistles to mount onto firearms. Forward grips, collapsible stocks, laser sights, reflex scopes, etc.

The wall opposite the benches were floor-to-ceiling lockers and weapons racks. They were far from full, but he made a point of acquiring something new every few weeks. A variety of shotguns and smgs, a small selection of long-arms and assault rifles. The place smelled divine (of weapon oil and gunpowder). And in the floor at the far end, was another trap door, which dropped down into the old service tunnels, where motion sensors and CCTV offered early warning against anyone moving around down there.

Locks were inspected, as was the booby-trap on the trap door from the service tunnels, then he headed back up. He had no idea when these visitors might arrive, and had no intention of letting their schedule rule his life, so he locked up and made a short trip to a nearby market, where locals sold home-raised chickens (live or butchered) or garden-grown vegetables. These were stocked in the fridge.

With those last few loose ends tied up, he let the team tasked with following that Jaxen twit know he would be indisposed, then took up sitting on the porch, a beer in hand to await either these 'guests' or the damn dogs that had taken to living on his porch.

Edited by Hood, Aug 3 2013, 08:10 PM.

- Rune - 08-01-2013

Rune spent the majority of her time following the meet-up with Aria and Thalia studying the message sent from Tehya, the high-ranking Atharim who'd ordered this next mission. She holed up in her hotel room eating Big Macs, scanning the news, and reading everything she could find about the doctor, hospital, and the attack. None of it struck her as odd, of course. A wounded rougarou talking about eating its nurses and doctors totally made sense. But the one thing that really got under her skin was the fact that someone, or someones, dropped it off at a hospital. It was hurt to start with. Which meant someone had hurt it. Probably another Atharim. "Vaya con dios," Rune said to herself once the death was confirmed. It had been something Uncle Seth always said when people died, and the habit stuck with Rune.

So she felt prepared, at least regarding the backstory of this rougarou, and was fairly confident she could pick up its trail. Beginning with the last known location where the Atharim had hunted it. The hospital was obvious, but Rune hated going to hospitals almost as much as she hated going to cemeteries and churches.

She had the location for a safe house up on her gps, and used it to find Hood's trailer. She heard lots of cat-calls on the way, but generally ignored the comments and insults about her appearance. At the moment her hair and brows were still cotton candy pink and her eyes and lips were thick with pretty, flattering makeup giving her expression a fierce look. Her clothes pretty much never changed otherwise, only plus or minus their warmth. As it was still summery out, she had only a short jacket over her black tank top. It was snug, but roomy enough to hide her pistols, one holstered on either side of her rib cage. She also had on good high-caliber black magnum boots. Waterproof and steel-toed. Footwear was very important.

She had circled the block twice before going straight up to Hood's front porch. She wanted to get as good a view of it and the feel of the neighborhood before centering on in. She walked through no less than three distinct disturbances in the atmosphere. All of which were thick with fright and horror, but as that element of shock, fear and misunderstanding was absent, she assumed the crimes were more mundane than monster-mashings. One of which, however was fresh. Only hours ago.

She made no effort to hide herself when she approached the right tin can, though. Only raised a slender pink brow at the dogs. One of which came pawing up at her, and Rune knelt to say hello. She glanced at the man on the porch. He was drinking a beer and looking rather bored. "You Hood?" She called, occupying herself by scratching the dog behind its ears, but didn't push up to approach any further without invitation. She wasn't stupid after all.

- Hood - 08-02-2013

The dogs arrived a littler earlier then usual, probably a sign of a successful day of scavenging for food. The three had arrived without ceremony, as per usual, just waltzing onto what passed as his porch, within inches of him, and laying down. No hellos were shared, they didn't even really seem to acknowledge each other. Hood just sipped his beer and studied the people who walked or drove by.

The colourful punk was doing a good job of drawing attention to herself. He ignored the catcalling and swaggering punks that tried to catch the girl's attention. Most had learned to leave him the hell alone, and to keep their antics out of his line of sight. He watched the girl waltz past his humble abode of refurbished sea-cans, much as he had everyone else that walked by.

At first glance, she could easily be assumed to be a prostitute. The boots, the flashy style. Or a rave kid. Or a raver prostitute. But the boots were laced up, rather then flayed open with the laces dragging. She was fit too; not just skinny, but actually fit. Which meant she probably ate more regularly then the average prostitute. The way she walked was off too; less streetkid more real confidence.

It was on her second pass that he came to the conclusion she was one of the Atharim hunters that would be making use of his place for the next few days. His frown deepened; the hell was this about then? Was he supposed to be babysitting now? Maybe some sort of public image policy change? Appeal to younger audiences with working-girls turned hunters. Of course, that was probably exactly the image the kid was going for; pretty hard to mark the kid as a member of an ancient cult that hunted monsters.

There was also something off about how her t-shirt and jacket hung down her sides. Pistol holster with ammo pouches? Or two pistols, maybe.

He continued to nurse his beer as she walked up, then frowned faintly when one of the dogs suddenly stood up and wandered over to her. Bloody turn-coat. They were supposed to chase off unwanted guests, not go say hello. "Don't pet the dog, he might expect it from me."
Hood's tone was flat and dry. Sure, he was quoting Al Bundy from Married with Children, an old American sitcom that predated himself by a decade or two, but it was also a statement of fact. The dogs weren't pets. They were strays, that in this case just happened to like sleeping on his porch.

He remained seated, showing no immediate interest in abandoning his place on the step. "Mr Snow to you. Or Sir. Two cots in the living room, pick one. Shelf in the fridge is yours. Market back the way you came. Grand tour when the other one shows up."

The interior was still mostly unfinished; the insulation and drywall was up, but the finishing touches were yet to be completed. Coverings over the outlets, paint, etc. It was livable, but would be comfortable once finished.

- Rune - 08-02-2013

If that was a reference to something, Rune had no idea what it was to. She just held the man's gaze, slightly amused and slightly ruffled by his gruff greeting. She'd done nothing but be polite, after all, and this was how she was repaid. Told not to pet his dog? Who pawed up to who now?

Just to spite him, she scrubbed the mutt's ears a bit harder and slid her palm all the way down his back and pat his ribcage good and loud. He whacked his tail against her, seemed satisfied then loped back to the shade of the porch, tongue out and panting.

Rune stood. She wasn't super tall, but with the rubber soles of her utility boots, she had an extra inch and a half on her. But the hair gave her real height, spiked up as it was. Frosty and pink.

She swiped her hands clean of fur and came up, since she thought somewhere in all that hot-air was an invitation to come in. But it was the grating edge of disappointment, or maybe annoyance, to his voice that made her reconsider about the time she was half way up the steps.

"Well, Snow," she omitted the honorific mister on purpose, and hooked her thumbs into the back pockets of her cargo-pants, slowly easing herself on up to the level of the porch itself. The posture gave him a decent look at her heat, and the taper of her waist beneath that cotton-black tank. Where she stood over him as he lounged about, eased back like a rattlesnake sleeping on a rock, and Rune gave him a good once-over; for the half-empty bottle in his hand, she was surprised he didn't have more of a beer-belly.

"Looks like only one'a us is working for the other one'a us 'ere. So I'll call yah Cuddles if I want 'n tell yah to go get me one'a those," she nodded at the beer, "'n drag out another craptastic lawn chair while's your at it and we'll sit and shoot the shit till Number Two shows up. Mm'kay?"

She smiled, glossy lips wide and dripping with the dare that he challenge her. It was important to get these sorts of things straightened out from the get go.

- Aria - 08-02-2013

Just getting to the door had been tough, but Aria was glad to feel the cool air brush against her skin in the back alley way her and Rune had entered headquarters through. Aria leaned against the wall and pulled every ounce of strength into her with a single breath. She leaned against the wall and closed her eyes. Aria thought of a single flame in her mind and pushed every emotion into that one little flame. She imagined pieces of paper withering and dying in the flame and then when all were gone there was nothing but her and the flame. It was peace and she was thankful her father had taught her the little trick. He had intended it only for weapons training. It was just an intense form of mediation but it worked wonders to still the emotions of others and her own when she was fried.

Aria pulled the cold technology from her pocket and started to figure out how it worked. She had never owned one personally and rarely did she have the chance to use one. Technology was not foreign to her, but she had never actually owned a piece herself. Aria found the power button and waited as it ran through it's start up sequence. Aria sighed when it was taking longer than she liked. She put it back in her pocket and pulled out the smaller packaged that was meant for her handler. She knew she shouldn't read it, but since she was her own handler now, why not?

Aria pulled out a pocket knife from her pocket and slit the packing tape. The emptiness started to shake around her as her nerves started to rise. What was there to be nervous about? Surely it was only instructions. A small envelope was nestled on top of a wooden box. Aria opened the letter.

<dd> </dd>
My Dear Colleague,

I do hope that Father Stone has discouraged you from mentoring Aria. She is far younger than her age and that is my fault, but she is a capable hunter and given the chance a far better use in the greater world if we could only just let her go. I am getting far to old to run this child around. My bones worry for her as if she were my own.

I have enclosed a tool to help you handle the child. She is more fearful of it than anything else I could ever imagine. The child thrives for human contact, but she cannot handle the mere brushing of your fingers against her skin. Use it to safe guard yourself from her. While it can destroy her control, touching her lets her know more about you than you will ever want her to know.

Care for her and watch over her.

Father Dimitri

Aria read the letter a second time and her anger rose inside her as she read one sentence again. "My bones worry for her as if she were my own." Confusion and anger blended together and the emptiness that Aria had worked so hard to obtain came crashing down around her. Aria sank to the ground in mass of tears.

The world flew by as Aria cried in the alley behind the Baccarat Mansion. Aria was roused from her tears as her wallet beeped in her pocket. Aria wiped away the nearly dried tears from her eyes, there tears had stopped flowing but Aria still felt miserable. She pulled out the small piece of tech and looked at the flashing screens. There was a single message blinking back at her. But through the screen Aria saw the wooden box. Aria laid the wallet onto the large cardboard box and and pulled out the wooden one.

It was a piece of fine craftsmanship. It was made out of very old mahogany with gold hinges and clasp. There was a picture of an ourboros on the top. Aria ran her fingers over the top and undid the clasp slowly. The inside was lined with red velvet. Aria looked at the object that laid gently in the box. Aria started to cry as she picked it up. She hated that thing. The wooden stick used by her father. It was both a punishment and a reward. But it was the only means by which he ever touched Aria. On end was covered with a small rubber tip that was to simulate a finger. Aria smiled whenever her father use to use it to brush a stray hair from her check. But he wasn't her father and her anger rose wiping away all memories of fondness. She remembered being slapped by the other end as if she were bug under a fly swatter. It often reminded her of one. Aria threw the box against the opposite wall. The box shattered into several pieces but the little wooden stick just bounced happily on the ground.

Aria gathered her things in a hurry and left the alley way. Her wallet slipped to the ground in her haste. It danced on the ground and when Aria hurriedly picked it up found it to be humming along as if nothing had happened. Aria breathed a sigh of relief as she opened the message that sat waiting in her inbox.

It was her first mission but it wasn't solo, others were involved, but thankfully they had provided a location to work from. Aria was thankful for that, she punched the address into the gps of the wallet and started her journey. Technology was a great thing. It even showed her the train route to take so she didn't have to walk the whole way.

This time Aria carefully gathered her things and started for the nearest train. On the train Aria found a seat and pulled herself together before she got any where near people she'd actually be staying with. Aria was both looking forward to it and not. She had never lived with anyone before, her room consisted of a bed, a computer to work from and the accompanying desk and chair.

By the time she reached the end of her line she was not impressed with the neighborhood. People watched her every move. She could sense their disdain and their demeanor was not always pleasant. Aria took in a gulp of fresh air, but was saddened when it tasted stale and left over. It was going to be a rough night. But Aria had a hunt to look forward to. Even the bad things that had been happening surely could not overpower the thrill of the hunt. She smiled at the thought. The address blinked in her view, she had arrived. When Aria looked up she saw the back of the woman she'd met earlier and a man lounging on a chair on the porch. Aria could feel the air of discord. Aria didn't want to get in the way. She stayed at the edge of the street and watched. She steeled herself in her personal bubble and would wait out the emotions. Aria muttered to herself a prayer to help her through. She was fried, her emotions ragged in her own body, the entire neighborhood reeked of trouble. She took a deep breath and hoped she wouldn't pass out from the pain of it all.

Edited by Aria, Aug 2 2013, 07:07 PM.

- Hood - 08-02-2013

He had to admit, Americans had fought hard to earn their reputation. There was a reason why folks hated American tourists, even before the decline of recent decades. Arrogance and ignorance. Not everyone was guilty of it of course, but those that were made big splashes. This wanna-be prostitute was no different.

Hood tipped back the beer in his hand, downing the last of it, as if giving her orders fair thought. Really, he was just sizing up her stance. The kid was in serious need of an attitude adjustment, and he was perfectly willing to deliver. Besides, after the fiasco with the crew tasked to keep an eye on that Jaxen twit, her and her kind were pretty low in the poles, so to speak.

His grip on the beer bottle reversed suddenly, and a snap of his arm smacked the bottle into the back of her supporting knee. He had been dwelling with the idea of just breaking her knee instead, but figured that would cause more trouble then it would be worth in the long run. With her knee giving out, his other arm snapped forwards, smacking the palm of his hand into her solar plexus, his arm extending fully to send her pitching back off the step and onto the walk way to the door.

He didn't bother following through to finish her off. He was just seeking to knock her on her shapely ass. And to see how she handled herself, of course. Besides, there was another one standing by the street watching them; had been there since before the little scuffle, and he hadn't seen her around the neighborhood. Maybe just a passer-by, but the weapons were a dead giveaway.

"Like I said, Aggressive Salmon. Cot in the living room. Shelf in the fridge. Market back the way you came. Grand tour to start now."

- Rune - 08-02-2013

Light a crapbag on fire and shove it in her face.

Rune had a feeling Snow was going to try something. The way he twiddled that beer bottle to his lips like that with his expression flat as Texas, well, she didn't let him crawl under her skin. He was just gonna have to suck it up and deal--

--A glint of glass and Rune's knee collapsed in a harsh twinge. Then a grunt barked from between her teeth and she stumbled backward, half-crashing, half-stumbling into the ramshackle front door. She stayed bent a tad, gasping for air and stars speckling her vision.

Alright, so Rune gathered her senses about her within a second or two, swallowed her angst and frustration and annoyance and focused. Her ribs hurt, but the body was secondary to the scent on the air. She was waiting for it, that irrefutable sensation of fury, violence and outrage. But nothing ever coalesced. Snow was just...nothing.

Oh. Ok, then.

She took a weakened stance and worked her hand around to the door handle behind her back, twisting and hoping it was unlocked. She leant forward, resting her hands on her knees like she were going to catch her breath, but the bend gave her ample chance to snatch the empty beer bottle which rolled nearby in the scuffle. The second the door gave, she shoved it open with her backside and snatched it up. In a breath she was backed into the interior of the trailer. Where she was sure to find at least some sort of better weapon. Non-deadly, of course.

Grand tour was starting now? She kept her cat-like dare and waved that he follow. Inviting Snow into his own little tin can, now that was her idea of getting things off on the right foot.

"Aggressive salmon? What am I? Floppin' upstream? That doesn't even make sense. Cuddles."

Facing reality now. Size really does matter. But it's not everything. Hood may be bigger, but that didn't mean he was faster or smarter or hotter than she. It also didn't mean she was immune to playing dirty. And she had a killer uppercut, and their height-difference put Hood's groin right in play.

Flipping the bottle 'round for better grip, she got a look at the label and cringed with awful recognition. "Seriously? We gotta get you out more." She jabbed at his tastes and stepped just out of being directly in front of him. He had to get through the doorway still afterall, and letting him have a head-on shot was just poor planning.

"Why dontcha pop your top bro-cifer and we'll round this ring right n' Holyfield."

- Hood - 08-03-2013

He sighed quietly and set his empty beer bottle aside; it would be gone by morning. He didn't bother to recycle, but someone in the neighborhood did, and they helped themselves to whatever empties he left on the step, and he had no problem with that. Presumably, whomever it was, needed the few cents more then he did.

He stood and offered a vague nod to Aria, whom remained at the sidewalk. It was both a nod of acknowledgement, and a 'this'll just take a minute' sort of gesture, before he turned towards the front door. Hood wasn't a huge man by most standards; just over six feet, and solidly built.

"Aggressive salmon. Pink."
Rune may have thought all this a grand game, but Hood's usual angry simmer was spiking. The kid clearly needed to be taught a lesson on how the food-chain worked around here. Sure, this was an Atharim safe-house. The point, however, was that he was what kept it safe. At least now that they were indoors, he could let loose without drawing too much attention from the neighbors.

He came through the door casually, clearly not judging her to be much of a threat. Sure she had good muscle tone from what he could tell, but that didn't mean he expected her to be able to use it. Especially not as well as himself.

First thing he saw was the beer bottle in her hand, and he frowned in annoyance. He didn't feel like having to deal with a floor full of broken glass. Another step into the room and she came at him again, bottle wielded like a club.

It was a feint, and he caught it at the last second. The kid was fast, but predictable. Her leg shot out for his crotch, and Hood quickly bent his forward leg down, catching her just shy of sending his boys into his stomach. The impact caused him to wince, and he tightened his grip on her leg between his thighs, then all his usual anger was gone. Calm, cool and collected; long drilled instinct and muscle memory kicked in.

One hand shot forward, making use of his longer reach and grabbed a fist-full of her ridiculously styled hair, his other grabbing her leg at the knee. She continued to be on the ball, the beer bottle coming around to crack against his forearm, but it wasn't enough to get him to let go. He gave her a shove to take her off balance before letting her leg go, and a quick spin, trying to hold most of her weight at the leg rather then the fist full of hair, and he tossed the brat into the wall next to the front door, hard. She manage to bring her other leg around to clock him one in the chest, but she just couldn't get the leverage to make it an effective blow. She had the strength, there was just no leverage to make the blows stick.

The drywall would probably be wrecked, but she should count her blessings that he had bothered to install it at all; otherwise she'd have been kissing the steel wall of the sea-can. Drywall and insulation was much softer, all things considered.

As Rune collected herself, having again proven that she was quick on her feet, Hood took a step away and a few deep breaths to wince off the near catastrophic blow to the crotch. "This is the living room. Note there are chairs, and cots."
The chairs were simple metal folding chairs. There was no television, and a few buckets of paint and rolls of plastic sat against one wall. Despite the work-in-progress nature of the place, it was all very neat and tidy. Organized.

- Rune - 08-04-2013

Cuddles snagged her hair, though it was pretty short. A curse leaked out between her teeth and she was shoved enough that she lost control of herself, and was thrown to the wall. She impacted sideways with the jut of her hip and shoulder absorbing the most of the impact.

Rune regained her footing and rubbed her sore shoulder, glaring while the A hole that threw her began with the tour. So he assumed she was ..... put in her place?? Her nostrils flared with each deep breath and more so with anger when she started patting her hair to get an idea of the damage. Instead of picking at it, though, she flattened it down with the palm of her hand, taming it a little bit.

The chairs and cots didn't get much reaction out of her. Rune was use to living in the back seat of a car, after all. She was hardly a pampered princess. Despite her fondness for pink things. "The box said this shade was cotton-candy pink. Not salmon." She corrected and dusted herself off.

She seriously considered drawing a gun. Not to actually shoot him, but just to show that she wasn't completely worthless. But Uncle Seth was a serious task master when it came to firearms. Don't draw your weapon unless you intend to use it. His orders pummeled frustration inside her skull. Cuddles here was pissing on his territory, not actually threatening her life. Drawing a gun now would only make her look retarded.

She wandered a few steps closer, seeming to look around but really showing off her lack of fear. "Decorate the place yourself?" It seemed half-finished, and the drywall where he chucked her was going to need spakling now. It was otherwise tidy and neat and clean, and she suspiciously considered its owner once more. "Let's get something straight, whoever ya'ar," she approached well within reaching distance, hands on her hips and jaw tight. Definitely unafraid that coming so close was putting herself in danger again. But he hadn't gone for head blows before when he could have landed one or two. But the scent in the room remained one of freshly sanded drywall, tape and paint, not the perfume of violence. He was calm and cold, calculated, not unstable. He could have seriously injured her before, so strolling up and getting all up in his face now probably wasn't going to end up with her unconscious and bleeding. Hopefully. If it did, well then Tehya was going to have to deal with whoever handled this guy.

"I'm the Atharim here, notcha maid, notcha beer bitch, and notcha call girl, and not. your. suboordinate. I don't know who or what you are, but you ain't in charge a this operation. Got it?"<strong>