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))

Mara 13 years ago
Mara watched Jin descend to the ground his way, sorry that their respite would be short-lived. She hadn't expected it to be long though. Amir would be upon them very shortly if not within the next half a minute or so. The snow was not good for moving around unnoticed; their tracks were painfully evident.

She waited for Jin to be on the ground and then leaped lightly from the tree herself. As she landed she heard the familiar eerie yet comforting sound of Amir in his jackal form. The comfort swiftly disappeared as she realized he was very close, and making no attempt to hide himself.

Glancing up at Jin, Mara raised herself up on her hind legs and patted his shoulder with her front paw to get his attention since he was looking toward the garage that Bao and Claire had run to.

They could make a stand against Amir here, or they could allow themselves to be herded toward the garage where their opponents were. Either way, Mara was very aware that Amir would have no trouble finding them and, once he'd found them, she was fairly certain they would not be able to outrun him. Or, at least, not quickly enough. Amir was very fast in his jackal form.

Mara bounded out across the snow a few steps to see if Jin would follow. If they could get the drop on Bao and Claire, they might be able to lead Amir onto the other pair. That had potential for chaos, and Mara thought chaos was what snowball fights were supposed to be all about.
Mai 13 years ago
Mai talked over a bit of strategy with Amir and then shifted form and ran around the Manor. She went into the Japanese Gardens and then entered her room. Careening through the hallways at breakneck immortal stoat speeds, Mai nearly caused injury to several servants. She squeaked her apologies but she doubted they understood.

Coming upon the kitchen, Mai resumed her own form and found one of the cooks. She spoke with him and asked if he could make some hot spiced cider. He smiled and said that he had some wonderful cider if she would wait just a moment he would make her some. Mai clarified that she wanted more than just a cup. She then explained the entire strategy with rapid economy.

He blinked at her for a long moment and then smiled.

Mai then watched him quickly move around the kitchen. She resumed her stoat form and hopped up on a nearby counter to watch, while also keeping an eye on what was going on outside through the kitchen window over the nearby sink.

The cook whistled some tune while he worked. He turned to her and gave her a fond pat on the head and said.

"Mele Kalikimaka"

Mai remembered the cook's name, Lono. He was Hawaiian. She sat up on her hind legs and gave him a bobbing nod and then bounced around in a turn. Lono smiled at her and went back to whistling and making the spiced cider.

((OOC: That song got stuck in my head for days. Hawaiian for Merry Christmas. ))
Amir 13 years ago
It wasn't difficult by any means, finding the trail Jin and Mara had left when they'd run through the snow. Amir bounded along, saving his speed, traveling plenty quickly as it was.

It looked like the two had traveled in toward the treeline and then stopped. Amir wasn't surprised to see the footprints stop. He found the spot in the tree where Mara had rested her mittens and hat and then from there he followed the paw prints again.

They couldn't have gotten far. Judging by the trail they'd left, they hadn't gone off at a dead run. They'd taken their time a little bit. Amir kept his eyes peeled for attacks from both above and below, not supremely concerned about either really. He opened his jaws and gave his typical jackal-laugh, the series of high ghostlike yips that were trademark of the species.

Jin and Mara were close. The only question was whether they would choose fight or flight.
Bao 13 years ago
Ever orderly once inside the garage Bao did his best to brush himself free of snow. If he had known there was going to be a war he would have dressed more appropriately. At the very least he would have worn white, instead his dark clothing made him quite conspicuous. Not for the first time he wished for abilities that were more useful in combat situations, even a situation this frivolous.

Looking about the garage he found a trash can and took the lid to use as a shield. It was bigger than his briefcase, and he didn't have to worry about it getting wet. Nodding his agreement they left by another door.

It was once again far too quiet.

"I do not know. Ordinarily I would say higher ground but that tactic has been tried."Â?

Amir was far too pleased with himself as evidenced by the laughs. Bao rolled his eyes, but almost affectionately. He also saw tracks that had to be Mara and Jin. He held his hand to one of Jin's tracks and raised an eyebrow.

"Two cats."Â?

Not wanting to be caught between The Hunt and The Night Bao, made a snowball before returning his 'shield' to a defensive position and then doubled back attempting to get in front of the feline contingent. It had to be hard to make snowballs without hands. Of course given the size of the tracks Jin could simply plow him into a snow bank, but that didn't seem at all sporting.
Claire 13 years ago
Claire considered the tracks in front of her and Bao's suggestion of higher ground.

"Le problème est étant visible."

She considered the situation for a moment. They had three shape shifted people and the two of them. A defensible location would be the best solution; Claire supposed they could go back to the hedgerow. It had been ideal except for the roof but they knew to be watchful for that now.

However, They were pretty far away from there now. Claire pointed up to the trees.

"Seriez-vous disposé à grimper à l'arbre?" She smiled sweetly "Je serais heureux de vous aider. Sur la terre."

Bao seemed to get her plan, he climbed the tree and she crouched down and began making ammunition. The shield had been discarded before the ascent and Claire procured it for her own needs. Flipping the garbage lid over, she piled it full of snowballs. Once he was in place, she lifted the entire lid up to him with her telekinesis. Then she hid, blending into the background of the tree and waited.

((OOC: Permission to move Bao. Claire said 1: The problem is being visible. 2. Would you be willing to climb a tree? I would be happy to help you. From the ground. ))
Jin 13 years ago
Jin and Mara made their way towards the garage down the snowy slope from where their tree had been. He heard moving nearby and paused. Definitely footsteps on the other side of the ridge, moving away from them.

Multiple sounds meant Claire and Bao.

They could circle around at this point and come up behind the pair or they could move further away. He was coming to the conclusion that this fight could last forever, perhaps they'd win the conflict by sneaking off and finding a nice cozy fire to curl up peacefully n front of. The more he thought about the idea, the more he liked it.

Tipping his head towards the Manor, he padded off in that direction.

As they neared the building, Jin could smell a wonderful spicy scent.

Mmmm, apple cider.

He gave Mara another glance, certain she smelled it too, and then bounded through the partially opened side door to the kitchen. Jin landed from the short hop, sat and then used the momentum to spin and slid on the tile floor. He was now facing the counter, occupied by a familiar stoat.

Jin closed the distance on his creator and then sat up on his hind legs and put his head on the counter. He gave Mai a soft growl and then eyed the somewhat surprised looking chef.

The man recovered fairly quickly

"I don't think I've made enough cider."
Mara 13 years ago
Mara agreed with Jin's indications. She really did think they needed to move. She bounded along behind him, using his large footprints to leap into. The smell of spiced cider hit her nose and she licked her lips unconsciously.

Jin looked at her again and she nodded at him. When he bounded through the door she was close behind him, hidden by his larger body as he turned mid-slide. As he rested his head on the counter she gathered her haunches beneath her and hopped twice, once onto his shoulder blades and then onto his massive head, from there stepping delicately onto the counter herself. Sitting primly, she wrapped her tail daintily around her, letting it fall across her small paws.

With a lilting meow she greeted Mai and then turned to the chef expectantly, purring with amusement as he stared at Jin. She still didn't trust this situation... was Mai calling an end to their game, or was this some sort of elaborate set-up?

Well, either way... it was fun and that was the important part tonight. She reminded herself to retrieve Jin's glasses and her gloves when they finished though.
Mai 13 years ago
Mai was glad that it was difficult to look guilty as a stoat. She quickly forgot that emotion and chittered in amusement as Jin slid across the kitchen floor.

They came early, before the ambush could be set up and the cider brought outside. It would appear there would be no winners in today's snow fight. Looking at it philosophically, Mai figured there were lessons to be learned from the experience. Next snow, she would stock pile ammunition in secret stashes around the estate in order to be prepared for the combat.

Looking from one feline to another, Mai then bounced off the counter and resumed her human form.

"We are calling a cease fire, ne?"
Amir 13 years ago
Amir sprayed through the snow, following Jin and Mara's tracks. As he came up the ridge he found the tree they'd hidden in and the places in the snow where they had both jumped down. Their tracks led toward the manor, so he followed them for a bit and caught a glimpse of a small black and white form going through the doorway. Perfect.

He'd crossed the second set of tracks while following these, and now he turned around and followed them down with a series of jackal calls. The tracks led to a tree and he wasn't foolish enough to pass under it. Instead he gave it a wide berth and sat in plain sight, waiting to see if the inevitable snowball attack came. He could practice his Matrix moves.

He yelped at the tree several times in a tone meant for Bao alone. It was the no nonsense tone that was the signal to shit or get off the pot, as it were. He was telling Bao that the game was coming to an end.
Bao 13 years ago
Claire had proven quite helpful getting the snowballs up to him and Bao had done his best to hide amongst the dormant branches. He did have a good view of the goings on and something did appear to be up.

It was highly suspicious that Amir would be so obvious about his movement at this point. Still he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth and was preparing to throw at least one snowball when his creator sad down and more or less told him off.

Trusting that his father wouldn't use that tone to set up an unfair advantage Bao immediately half climbed down the tree and half jumped out of it. He managed gracefully and walked toward Amir.

"I take it you are calling this a draw?"Â?
Claire 13 years ago
Claire heard the sounds of an animal not far off. Then the jackal appeared but stopped before reaching the tree. He made a different sound and, to her surprise, Bao climbed down from the tree. Her ally headed towards the shape shifted vampire.

Getting up from her hiding place, she held a snowball ready and stood a few paces back. Claire stood ready for ambush or treachery.

"Bao? Quoi est le problème?"

He seemed to believe there was a cease fire. Claire would believe it when she saw it. Mentally she grasped the lid of snowballs that was perched on the crook of two limbs. One good tug and they would go flying where she wanted them.

Narrowing her eyes suspiciously, she asked.

"Who is this?"

Bao had been aiming at a man with Mai before, his Creator. This was not Mai and the way her companion had quickly jumped out of the tree suggested that it was Bao's sire.

"I would say "Enchanté, Monsieur" but that would depend on whether you come in peace."

((OOC: Though I am sure everyone can easily sort it out,...She asked "What is the problem?" ))
Jin 13 years ago
Jin felt himself being used as a perch and would have chuckled at the situation if he could. Mara settled herself very primly onto the counter with Mai.

He blinked once in response to the making of more cider. More was definitely better. A movement caught his attention and Mai hopped off the table. Jin turned his head to watch her intently. She changed forms and asked if they were calling a cease fire.

Resuming his human appearance, Jin bowed slightly and gave her a smile.

"Yes, I think we've had enough playing in the snow."

He looked at Mai and asked.

"I am surprised you are not still out there. Would not a battle be serious business to the Hunt? Even ones fought with frozen water?"

It seemed odd to him that she would have given up on the fight to come inside for cider. She wasn't normally very interested in such things, even less so when she was doing something she loved, like hunting. Like...

Jin opened his mouth to say something and then just shook his finger at her.

"Clever, almost very clever."

Looking over at the feline on the counter, he smiled.

"So, now that we've made a truce. Shall I get us some mugs?"
Mara 13 years ago
Hopping back off the counter to shift into her normal form, Mara noted the respect Jin showed his creator and echoed it, albeit with a much deeper and more formal gesture. Fellow combatant or not, Mai was the Hunt Elder and Mara had been strictly taught to pay proper respect to her superiors. Amir would never have stood for her to show less than what was expected.

She looked back and forth between Mai and Jin, trying to understand the reason for the cleverness. Her mind, more than up to the task of making convoluted plots and plans, immediately came up with five or six different scenarios. Jin didn't seem worried so Mara continued to follow his lead although she was burning with curiosity to know which, if any of them, were correct.

She had shifted forms mainly to pay her respects to Mai but also to answer Jin, so she nodded her head, feeling shy in front of Elder Mai without Amir's presence there to bolster her.
"I'll help."

Mara accepted mugs as they were handed to her, placing them upon the counter. The jackal calls outside were in a very particular tone. She looked up, glanced at Mai, and said, "They'll be in soon. He's telling them their time is limited."
Mai 13 years ago
Returning the bows she received, Mai then nodded her understanding of Jin's reasons for coming inside. She listened to his question of why she was in the kitchen. Mai remained silent. He was a smart boy and he would figure it out. At least enough of it to understand that she had not, exactly, quite the game.

Mai's eyes sparkled in amusement when Jin wagged a finger at her but otherwise she feigned innocence. A little smile escaped once he turned his back and started moving towards the mugs.

She could hear Amir calling outside. Mara said that the others would be returning shortly. Mai watched out the window.


It would depend on how the others respond to Amir's ultimatum. She suspected that her fellow Huntsman could be convincing when he chose to be. Another movement, closer to the Manor caught her attention. Mai listened closely.
Amir 13 years ago
Amir's shift back to his human form was smooth and seamless, leaving him crouched in the snow some distance from Bao and his companion, just in case. While he was certain Bao wouldn't attack him he couldn't be certain about the woman, to whom he nodded and gave a slight, polite bow. His response was loud enough for them both to hear as it carried over the chill night air.

"A draw?" He lifted one shoulder. "Hardly." The corner of his mouth lifted up in a sly smile and he said, "How would you both feel about a little revenge on the person who started this?"

He eyeballed the trashcan lid in the tree and the remaining missile in the woman's hand.
"You might want to bring those along."

His dark eyes traveled to Bao again and he nodded at his middle child. The woman may have no reason to trust him, but Amir had a very strict sense of honor. He wouldn't make this offer and then renege. That wasn't how it worked in situations like these, with clan mates, in a play-battle.
Bao 13 years ago
Not certain how Claire would react to his own apparent change of sides Bao polity introduced the two.

"Miss Claire, this is my maker, Amir. Cha, I should like you to meet my ally and munitions expert Claire."Â?

Why he conducted introductions in the middle of a snowball fight Bao didn't know, but as always he remained polite, formal and well mannered.

Bao cocked his head, curious about this revenge idea. Especially, as to the best of his knowledge Mara had started this. It didn't seem like his father to plot revenge against his favorite child. Apparently, he was missing something. But he trusted Amir to fill in that gap.

"Is this the literal interpretation of revenge being a dish best served cold?"Â?

But seeing the game was still afoot he grinned and nodded before picking up his trashcan lid and a number of snowballs.
Claire 13 years ago
Bao was polite enough to introduce them so Claire felt obligated to be less mistrustful. She smiled and dipped the man a curtsey in greeting.

"Enchanté, Monsieur."

She listened with interest at the idea of getting revenge on the one who started the entire snowball fight. The one she thought responsible for the entire thing was the woman who threw the snowball at herself and another at Bao. She and her partner went off somewhere.

Bao went to retrieve the trash lid full of snowballs and Claire gently let it go. Her plan was the lid would have been coming with them one way or the other. Neither of her fathers raised a dummy. Talk of revenge was good but how long did this alliance last?

"Lead the way."

She gestured ahead of her and took up the rear to where ever it was Amir wanted them to go.
Jin 13 years ago
"What do you mean he's telling them their time is limited?"

Were they likely to understand the jackal? Bao might; it seemed Mara did. A prearranged sound was a good thing to have when one had an animal form. Mai's didn't lend itself very well to signaling anyone; stoats didn't make a lot of noise. He could make an impressive amount of noise but his form was rarely something he used on a mission. Tigers weren't exactly inconspicuous.

The mugs were all sat on the counter and the cook began to fill them. He was absently humming some song while he started another pot boiling. Apparently the man was serious about making more cider.

Jin watched Mai at the window and wondered what she was paying attention to. There were many times when he wondered about his creator. Even over several thousand years of acquaintance Mai was still an enigma.

He playfully nudged Mara with his elbow and then gave her a boyish grin.

"So now that the cold portion of the evening is over, would you like to do something... I don't know warmer?"
Mara 13 years ago
Mara raised her eyebrows at Jin, considering how to explain the particular noise Amir had just made. "We play games too, when we're all together," she said. "He's used them to help train us. We practice, we learn his noises, we learn some of our own so we can communicate with each other. He just told them that the exercise won't last forever; a 'time is nearly up' if you will. Bao will understand him."

Then she realized she hadn't properly introduced Bao and Jin; she'd only mentioned that Bao was family. "Bao was also turned by Amir," she explained. "After me. So, a little brother of sorts." Mara smiled. Of all her 'siblings' she liked Bao the most. He was a lot like Amir in many respects. "There are... six of us." She hesitated briefly. There were seven, but one didn't count as far as Amir was concerned. "The others aren't in America. Bao is number three."

It was a brief explanation for a reasonably large and long-lived family. If Jin was curious, she'd be happy to discuss it later. Mara loved her family and didn't mind telling her fellow Anantya about them if he wanted to know more.

Her short explanation filled a small portion of the time it took for the cook to set another pot on the stove. Mara leaned with her back against the counter and her chilly hands tucked into her pockets, giving a little grin when Jin nudged her. She nudged back, tossing her hair over her shoulder with a careless flip of her head.
"Something warmer. I could be persuaded," she said softly, glancing at Mai and feeling her cheeks flush slightly at the potential impropriety of flirting with the child of the Hunt Elder while that notable was standing right there.
Mai 13 years ago
Mai continued to watch out the window. The cook finished putting another pot on the stove. She could hear the others coming closer to the Manor and another much nearer.

The cook came over and held out a mug of cider for her. She looked over at it and then up at him. Favoring him with a smile for his thoughtfulness, Mai said.

"Arigato, Lono-san."

He shrugged his broad shoulders and looked embarrassed. Mai watched after him a moment, wondering why he hurried away. Was the cider not good? It smelled alright; she inhaled deeper from the steaming cup. It seemed fine. Taking an experimental sip, Mai found it to be quite good.

She turned to find that Lono was watching for her reaction. Mai smiled at him and nodded her head.

"It is... maika`i."

That should reassure him but now he seemed to be blushing. Mai took another sip; at least he seemed happy that she was drinking it.

Mai turned back to watching out the window.

((OOC: She said it was good. ))