IMMORTAL COMBAT!! (open)
Morrigan came out of the Manor and headed towards the Cathedral. There were things she needed to look up in the catacombs about some musty old ruling that two vampires had decided to bicker about again.
She sighed; the night was so young. It was a shame to waste it down in the dark underground thumbing through old tomes.
Breathing in the crisp cool air, she looked out on the pristine white of the new fallen snow. It was so beautiful and peaceful and now she doubly dreaded the idea of going back to work.
A streak of mischief possessed her and she reached down and packed a nice neat snowball. Picking an unlucky clan mate, Morrigan lobbed it straight for their head.
Bulls eye! After all these centuries a good spear throwing arm still had its uses. She grinned and then blended into the background in order to watch what happened next.
((ooc: Yes, she's using her ability, blending))
"Oui, C'est vrai."
Bao returned from his charge perhaps less successful than he had originally planed.
"On the bright side. They have taken refuge in a less than ideal location."
She looked around to consider where they might find adequate cover from the pelting that was probably about to begin from the trees. Claire decided upon a nearby hedgerow that would give them some cover but be short enough to stand up and throw over.
Her compatriot in arms was doing a fair job of hitting the trees above Jin and Mara's perch but the limbs were being fairly stubborn. Touching him lightly on the shoulder, Claire indicated the hedge row.
Heading in that direction, she looked back over her shoulder to see several snowballs flying from a different direction at the pair behind the trees.
"And now we have new players. I think we should not wait to see if they are friendly to us. They might have picked out the best targets of opportunity, no?"
((OOC: Yes, this is true ))
"Well, if I can't have the lovely Genii then I suppose I will have to content myself with vast riches."
He leaned out from around the corner and threw a snowball at the retreating woman.
"Though all that wealth is rather lonely. It would be a shame to eat an elaborate expensive meal all alone."
Jin was going to further comment about dinner when he was interrupted by something hitting him, HARD in the side of the head. It knocked him over sideways.
His first thought from the ground was annoyance; putting rocks in the projectiles was petty whether or not the combatants could withstand them. His second observation was the smell of fuji flowers...Mai
Jin sat bolt upright and then grabbed for the thing on his head. Holding the stoat out in front of him. He scolded her.
"Mai-sama, that is -not- how you play this game."
She squirmed and bit him on the hand. Chittering with ferret laughter as she bounded off through the snow. Jin rubbed his head absently, reaching over to pick up his glasses and put them back on.
Reaching over to his pile of snowballs, Jin picked up a few and threw them at the running stoat.
A second snowball hit the tree in line with where Jin would have been were he not on the ground. And then two hit Mara in succession, one on the back of the head with more than a little force and the other slightly higher, knocking her hat off and throwing her hair into her eyes. She reeled forward for a second and then rocked back, quickly pawing at her face with her mittens and clearing her sight soon enough to see as well as hear Jin scolding... Mai?
She winced as Mai bit Jin and ran off. "Oh, my," Mara said. "Are you sure you want my company? Every time you get near me you seem to become a target for some sort of mischief."
She glanced back in the direction the new snowballs had come from; she didn't see their attacker. Somebody was being vewwy, vewwy quiet. And Mara did not particularly feel like playing wabbit tonight.
She grabbed Jin's un-bitten hand and grinned at him. "I don't think we're safe here anymore."
With Jin in tow and a snowball in her free hand she ran out from behind the shelter of the oak tree and angled them toward the line of trees that marked the forest's edge. It was farther away from their new assailants and hopefully away from where Bao and Claire were. Perhaps they could regroup for a moment.
Obviously Jin thought to make up a no flying stoat rule. Mai put forth her objection as a nip to his hand. It also convinced him that holding onto her was a bad idea.
She bounded off chittering her amusement as she went. Mai could feel and hear the two snowballs headed her way. Springing upward, she jumped onto one, pushing it downward at an odd angle as she used the little jump to push her up over the second one. Mai's long body twisted in the air and she landed back on her feet at a run.
Coming back to where Amir had moved to, Mai changed back into her human form.
"Good throw, Amir-san. Shall we find the others?"
((OOC: Nothing like gliding and agility to give you wire-fu effects ))
Mara grabbed Jin this time and the two ran off toward the treeline. Mai shifted back and Amir nodded his head at her with a mischievous smile. "Nice flight," he replied. "Both of them."
He stood, brushing snow from the knees of his jeans, and peered over to where Jin and Mara had originally fled from. "I think you're right," he said. Bending, he grabbed his stock of snowballs and offered half of them to Mai.
"Best we come bearing gifts, or armed to defend ourselves... depending on the mood of the natives."
He nodded his agreement, even if his efforts to dislodge snow had proven unsuccessful those trees would not be perfect.
"True enough, but I do not feel like risking another full frontal assault."Â?
Leaving his small stash of snowballs, after all it could prove useful to have resources available in different locations, he quickly followed Claire to the hedgerow. It would be safer there.
"I don't think we should count on any willing allies. Perhaps if we simply overwhelm them they will... see the wisdom of our position."Â?
Bao took a number of snowballs with him dashing from one small bit of cover to the next, looking for a good angle on the new comers. He was a little shocked to see Amir. But he threw the packed snow any way. This was war and not even his father was exempt.
Snow thrown he made back for the hedgerow with all possible speed, stopping only long enough to grab his briefcase.
She had watched Bao running for the hedgerow having used his ammunition on the new comers. Claire could just make out the two people headed their way. Mai was pretty unmistakable from this distance. How many small vampires wearing kimonos did they have at the Manor? Right this moment she hoped there were at least two and this was a less deadly one.
"Did you just throw a snowball at the Elder of the Hunt?"
Claire crossed herself and readied the ammunition.
"What are the odds that we come out of this not thoroughly soaked?"
((OOC: French Slang, literally, what a brothel! In meaning more like What a mess! ))
He replied to her on the way.
"Really, I get myself in trouble all the time. I am told that curiosity kills. I suppose it is good for me that I have nine lives."
Jin paused and pondered that for a moment.
"I wonder which one I'm on..."
Peering out from around the tree he was behind, Jin could see that Bao and the woman had moved to a hedgerow near the Manor.
"Hmm... Well we could sneak up on them."
Jin looked back at Mara thoughtfully.
"The cat ears would they happen to be more than a costume?"
He held his hand up, asking her to wait before she replied. Abilities were often times life savers and he didn't want to ask her to give up a secret without doing so as well.
"Remind me where I put these later."
Jin set his glasses down behind the tree and then stepped further back in the forest. He changed forms, and butted Mara in the hip with a big furry head. If she didn't also have an animal form then he could always be a big moving screen from which she could fire behind. The snow wasn't going to bother him much in either form but at least like this he wasn't getting his clothes all wet.
She beamed a smile at Jin and pressed her hand against the thick, white fur on his cheek. Bending down she gently kissed his nose. "He's willing to brave snowballs, wild flying stoats, and risk one of an unknown number of lives. So it seems a dinner date is the least I can offer in return." It was a shame he'd shifted, almost, although she thought he was a magnificent tiger.
She took off her hat and mittens, showing Jin his glasses as she slipped them into one of her mittens for safekeeping and nestled the little bundle into the crook of a tree. It was kind of Jin to show her yet another one of his abilities. And it told her her trust wasn't misplaced. "More than a costume, but not so much as all that," she said with a smile, gesturing to his several hundred feline pounds.
She shifted, herself, much happier in her comparatively tiny feline form. It was perfect in this weather. The darkness of the forest and the paleness of the snow gave her excellent camouflage. Mara wouldn't be able to keep up with Jin if he ran, of course, but she would be able to match him in stealth. In fact, she might be better equipped due to size, although both Amir and Bao would be looking for her in that form. Well, it wouldn't matter if she and Jin placed themselves correctly.
He came close enough to be within throwing distance and after a moment's hesitation fired at Amir. Mai giggled softly and then looked at her fellow Huntsman.
"The answer, it seems, is clear."
She watched him run back to the cover of the hedgerow near the Manor. Mai smiled and changed direction. Nodding her chin towards the building, more specifically towards the building's roof, Mai said to her companion.
"I believe we should take the higher ground."
The hedgerow was too far out to dump the snow from the roof directly onto the pair unless they got lucky with a really good shove. It did, however, give them a great vantage point to sneak up and pelt the pair unaware.
"He'd better keep that briefcase with him," Amir muttered, humorously threatening. "Or I'm going to nail him so hard it'll un-turn him."
His grin was wickedly playful. And then his attention was drawn to the slippery, ice-covered Manor roof. That was clear? Maybe when one was a tiny stoat with prickly little claws. To Amir it looked treacherous.
However, Amir was incapable of backing down from a challenge. Granted, it hadn't been issued as a challenge but Amir's interpretation of the term was loose at best. Just about anything was a challenge. Climbing to the top of the Manor covered in snow with inappropriate footwear was maybe a little more challenging than some would prefer but not Amir. Nope. He turned, loped around to the side of the building, out of sight of Claire and Bao, and leaped for the first balcony.
His hand slipped. He missed horribly. But, he almost thought proudly as the stars faded from his vision, he hadn't made much noise.
"You didn't see that," he hissed softly at Mai from his prone position on his back in the snow.
On his second attempt he reached the first balcony, then the second, and finally the third. Nothing horribly graceful about it but then, graceful was best left to those with agility. Amir was just here to get a job done.
He leaped for the decorations on the edge of the building next, hooking his hand around one and throwing his leg up. His foot slipped. Amir scowled, dangling, and tried again with no better luck. The third try was a charm and he hooked his ankle on the next one over. From there it was willpower and vampire strength and he was on the roof of the manor.
It wasn't pretty but it was success! Hah!
Right, now he was supposed to move. Fortunately the edge of he roof wasn't smooth, but punctuated here and there with stonework. Amir didn't want to travel the edge though; if he really wanted to get some surprise to this he'd travel along the crest. Bracing his toes on the edge of the roof he stretched his arms out, leaned onto his stomach, bounced a few times, and jumped.
That part was much easier. He easily hooked his fingertips over the top of the roof and pulled himself up, twisting so he lay lengthwise. On hands and knees, crouched low, he carefully crawled up toward the edge over the hedgerow Bao had ducked behind. Placing each hand and foot softly, he managed to knock very little snow off the roof as he moved. All for the best, that was their ammo.
Having gone as far as he could go without being seen he looked at Mai and raised his eyebrows.
"Yes... I believe I did. Although, in my defense I was aiming mostly for my creator."Â?
Of course, Bao hadn't stuck around long enough to see if he'd hit either target.
He smiled as Claire made up some more ammunition, but shook his head sadly.
"Slim and none I'm afraid. You may borrow my coat if you wish though."Â?
It was a very good coat and would keep her a bit dryer. Not that she would be able to catch a cold or anything, but still... manners.
Suddenly he was aware there had not been a snowball thrown for a while.
"It is rather quiet... perhaps, as they say, too quiet. I wonder if we need to find a different place to take cover."Â?
But, he looked at the stockpile. It would be a shame to waste all that.
She smiled demurely at her companion when he offered her is coat. It was a wonderfully kind gesture and she was pleased to see that she had allied herself with someone who had good manners.
"Merci beaucoup! Vous ÃƒÂªtes un gentilhomme."
Claire nodded her agreement; it was entirely too quiet. There had been no retaliation from either set of combatants. She felt like a target. Bao was right, sitting here was probably a bad idea. She followed his gaze to the snowballs.
"Oui, I suspect you are correct. Souris qui n'a qu'un trou est bientÃƒÂ´t prise."
Smiling, she pulled the fabric of her day dress out a bit and made it into a make shift bowl. Sometimes there were benefits to wearing more traditional attire. Claire had not expected to find any while in a snowball fight but one had presented itself just the same.
She quickly scooped the snowballs into the makeshift pocket of her dress and moved out from behind the bush. Claire nodded to the large garage and started heading that way.
((OOC: The second phrase is sort of like better safe than sorry. Literally, a mouse with one mouse hole is quickly caught. ))
Mara was just as lovely as a cat. She was perfect, slim, graceful... Jin nuzzled his nose against her side and added, soft to the descriptions. The large pearly eyes were luminous and he was quite sure he could stare into them all night.
And get hit by a barrage of snowballs.
The fight. Ducking his head, Jin rather reluctantly moved out from forest line. He faded into the background but still moved from tree to tree, knowing Mara could easily follow his tracks in the snow.
He found a stout oak with a good view and then hefted himself up into it. They'd have a vantage point from up here and could see what their enemies were up to. Mara would no doubt make his ascent into the oak look pathetically clumsy. Tigers weren't the best climbers, immortal tigers were at least somewhat better but he would still look like a lumbering giant compared to the delicate ease with which the Mau could traverse the tree.
Jin contented himself with gazing out on the landscape beyond. Was that Amir leaning over the edge of the roof? And his creator. Bao and his friend should not be far away. This could be interesting. He settled down on an enormous limb to watch, his tail flicking back and forth in lazy amusement.
When Jin found an appropriate tree and clambered up its trunk Mara followed, leaping easily onto the lowest branch and then working her way upward, delicate little paws dislodging very little snow. She could see him settle and padded out over him on the branch just above. Pawing a small amount of snow out from beneath her, she regarded him mischievously.
After a moment's thought she moved out a little bit more and then dropped carefully onto the same branch as Jin, landing between his massive front paws. There she hunkered down and lay against the snow-covered branch, almost invisible between her coloring and the night shadows.
It was not hard to spot the two figures on the rooftop. Keen senses including sight, Mara could easily make out Mai and Amir. She sniffed softly with amusement. She would have given anything to know how Amir had gotten up to the roof. He was athletic and very flexible, that was for sure, but he didn't have Mara's particular agility and it was very icy. How, she wondered, was he planning to get back down? It was quite a drop. Amir could be reckless at times, too. She hoped he didn't manage to injure himself for a silly snowball fight.
Typical Amir though. It was always a competition. Mara shrugged inwardly and glanced back toward Jin, hoping he didn't mind sharing his branch with her. It was always better to watch a show with your date, instead of being tempted to dump snow on their head from above.
Smiling innocently, Mai said.
"Of course, Amir-san. I am blind."
She waited for her companion to reach her and then followed him, lightly but carefully picking her way across the steep roof. The ice and snow did make the traverse more of a challenge than most things; Mai was tempted to see how fast she could cross it.
Coming up beside Amir, she also looked over the edge. Mai could see their targets moving away from them towards the shelter of the garage. They still had a decent vantage point to throw from but it would be lost soon. Then they would be the ones out in the open.
Mai quickly made some snowballs and started throwing them at the retreating pair.
"We've lost our advantage now and..."
Where was Jin and Mara?
"And the others are strangely quiet."
Standing up on the edge, Mai put a hand on Amir's shoulder.
"I can get us down quickly. If you trust me."
Once she received a nod, Mai then scooped him up and jumped off the roof. She was watching the retreating pair to make sure they kept going towards the garage and did not turn around and come back.
Letting Amir go quickly when they landed, Mai reached down and scooped up some more snow.
"It seems our opponents have all gone to ground."
She looked around and then turned to her companion thoughtfully.
"Perhaps we should do the same?"
It was much better to entice the fox out of the hole than it was to go in after it.
((OOC: Amir's ok to be picked up with permission. ))
He bit back a sarcastic comment when it seemed they (as in, he) had gone through all of that trouble getting up onto the roof for nothing. He scanned the area for any sign of Mara or Jin and of course saw nothing, which didn't surprise him. He knew something of Jin, having worked with him in the past, and between him and Mara, he realized, they made a treacherously stealthy team. That idea made him frown further.
"Far too quiet," he agreed.
Once on the ground again, with a glance back up at the roof as if gauging future climbing attempts, Amir scanned the area.
"Jin and Mara will be moving," he said. He'd trained Mara after all. She might have gone to ground briefly for cover, theirs having been blown by his and Mai's arrival, but he hadn't taught her to stay in one place.
"The longer we stay here the worse off we'll be," he agreed with Mai, "but our options are limited."
They spent a few moments formulating a plan of action, heads together, plotting and scheming, and then Amir broke away from Mai and shifted. Without making any attempt to hide himself he went bounding off through the snow toward the direction Mara and Jin had run.
((ooc: fiendish plotting permission, planned, schemed, whatever))
He quipped as they tried to find a new stronghold. He hadn't even thought about the language. As she was replying to him in French it seemed natural to switch languages himself.
Bao did his best to duck snowballs thrown most probably by Amir and tried to shield Claire when he could. But it wasn't easy. The snow was fresh, deep and wet enough for snowball making that did not make it easy to maneuver through.
They found a low wall with a good view of the roof. He had no idea where Mara and Jin had gotten to, but he could see Amir and the Elder of the Hunt and threw two snowballs, one at each of them.
"The other two are doubtless looking for us..."Â?
((OOC... red will be French for the duration of the thread))
They were being pelted with snowballs from behind and when Claire hazarded a look back she could see that the Elder of the Hunt and her companion were on the roof.
"We narrowly escaped quite the dusting. I expect."
Both of them would have been easy targets for a whole deluge of snow from the top of the Manor. Bao took most of the snowball hits in a valiant effort to protect her from them and Claire found that to be very charming. She was not sure they were winning this war but she was finding herself happy to be involved.
Nodding, She agreed with Bao's assessment of the situation.
"Oui, Je pense ÃƒÂ§a aussi."
Coming to the garage, Claire opened the door.
"Nous devrions sortir l'autre porte."
Luckily the building was large and there were other exits. It was not a place they wanted to get stuck in though. There was no snow for ammunition and Claire did not want to be the cause of damage to someone's favorite expensive toy.
The first pair of combatants were no where to be seen and the new ones saw where Claire and Bao had gone.
((OOC: Bao is encouraging her! She said 1. Yes, I think so also. 2. We should exit the other door. 3. Where now? ))
Mai picked up Amir and jumped off the roof with him, gliding down with slow grace. They paused for a moment, talking. Strategy was being hatched.
Now was not a good time to be lounging in a tree, even if it was nice to be sitting up here watching the action as a spectator with Mara.
Tiger claws weren't the best for backward climbing and it would take too long to maneuver such a decent. Instead Jin became faded and wispy and fell through the tree to land on his feet underneath. He looked up at Mara and then towards the garage.
They knew were Bao and Claire headed.
And they knew where Amir was...headed towards them, more or less. He was aimed toward where they had run to the tree line. They might be able to stay hidden and slip away once he entered the forest.