Trials and Tribulations

Hopefully, Nolcha will have prepared herself, but if not, there is no helping it. It is Sunday, and the circumstance has been set into stone, prepared. Into the Grisly Bar, one particular imposing gentleman walks into. He seems to be of latin descent of some sort. His hair cropped short, he looks to be in his early thirties, though the most distinguishing feature about him has to be his left eye, a faded, milky white. Surveying the bar with a quick flick of his head, he proceeds to march up to the prospective packmember, grabbing her arm unceremoniously before tugging her towards the door. "Come," he barks, a foreign accent lacing his tone.

Nolcha knew what was coming and she'd prepared as much as you can prepare for such a thing. Though from the wary, yet expectant look on the young woman's face she's not sure what's coming and when it comes in the form of the half blind man she looks faintly surprised. Pulled from her barstool she manages not to stumble and she snorts slightly as she tries to collect her dignity. "Of course."

The stranger is not gentle, nor is he cruel. He is merely professional, almost militant in his behavior. He will not give her any slack. He will not lessen his stride or speed for her. If she trips, well, he will merely drag her along behind him by the arm. Parked directly in front of the bar is a black van of the 'surveillance' type, and the back has its doors wide open, beckoning. It is only when they're directly in front of the vehicle that the nameless man will release Nolcha, turning to stare at her with his good eye solemnly.

"Here." He grunts, holding out his hand palms up with a small, red tablet. "Eat this. Now. Then in."

Nolcha manages not to stumble but this could be because she's rather nimble to begin with. She still is a bit behind and the grip on her arm is a bit of a drag but as the van comes into sight she stares at it hard. There are no questions from her, not even when the pill is offered to her. She lifts her head sniffing air, first the man and then the van, possibly making sure to identify that she's going with those of the pack she's wanting to join. She's picked up a bit of wariness that she didn't have when she first came to this city. At last though she takes the pill from his hand and tosses it into her mouth before swallowing, her look one of determination.

"Do not worry," The blind man assures her gruffly once he notices her suspicion. "I have been sent in the name of Muea Tseena. I will protect you with my life until we get to our destination." Because once she's there, she's on her own. Once she's been shepherded inside the van, he proceeds to shut the door and subsequently lock it from the inside. It will be dark, completely and utterly black, smelling of rust and metal, and with the occasional wrench and the like on the floor.

Not that she will have exceptionally long to take all this in. The moment she is locked within the vehicle, even before the van revs to life and begins moving, Nolcha will find herself disoriented as the effects of the drug starts to seep in. Her senses will be blurry at best. Her mind groggy…and then, the suggestion and compulsion to sleep will be found in the back of her head.

Nolcha seems more at ease with the entire process with that simple assertion by the man. She nods shortly, climbing into the she settles herself in a place that seems to be mostly free of tools and such. Once the darkness and the drugs take affect though there's little she can do to keep her eyes open. "I'm not normally such horrible company." is gotten out thickly before sleep claims her for the remainder of the ride.

The first thing that will return to her is her sense of smell. The rust and inorganic metals have been replaced with the natural. Thick with the musk of the earth, the fresh scent of pine and other such foliage, it is a rich, comfortable scent, traveling along with the ghost of a fresh breeze. Then, sound will follow afterwards. The chirping of grasshoppers, and the resonance of a night…And then touch.

And it is only then that she will have the opportunity to waken and realize where she is - abandoned upon the soft ground in the middle of the forest, her shoulders sore from her arms being tied behind her back, her legs also knotted together. There is no one else around, no hint of civilization, or indeed, people in general.

Nolcha doesn't wake quickly, and its an unusual thing for her to come awake in layers. Laying with her head there on the ground she hisses softly, turning her head as she scents the various changes from the van. It is then that her eyes pop open and she looks around, only then attempting to move. Arms and legs meet with resistance and she is momentarily confused, the last of the drugs clearing her system in one fell swoop. "Damnit, what the hell." and she begins to struggle, pulling at the ropes and looking for weakness even as she tries to figure out if there is anyone else close.

Have you ever felt as though, just beyond the shadow, eyes are watching you? Well, this ought to be a sensation Nolcha will become quite familiar with. There is no movement around her, no one to assist or hurt her in the middle of this forest. She will find that it's quite possible for her to remove her left arm from her binds.

Nolcha mutters under her breath as she wiggles, perhaps not having expected this in the least. At least not after falling asleep, so she keeps at it working her hands and her feet until her left arm is free. Once that is done she spends the barest moment stretching it out, to test its mobility before she uses it to work on her other arm. "I'm going to frame these clothes when this is done. Frame them in a big pretty damn frame!" is called out to those unseen eyes. Her words are mostly fuel for her own fire though and she keeps at it until her right arm is free as well. "Just because I like to keep myself up doesn't mean I'm worthless." is muttered as she sets her attention to her feet which perhaps are a bit harder to negotiate.

And then, finally, there is movement. The rustling of a bush from her left, and then from the right, followed by what can almost be categorized as a wolfish snicker. Nolcha's feet are still tied together, and just beyond her vision, hidden behind the organic forest foliage are creatures of a numerous variety. There has to be at least more then two, judging by the simultaneous sounds around her.

Nolcha's head snaps up at the sound from the bushes, her fingers moving more quickly on the knots. "Ooooh no you don't, not going to catch me with my pants down so to speak." her words are flippant but there's a thread of steel in them, drive to be on her feet to face whatever comes. A few more colorful curses later and finally the knots slide free and she kicks free of the rope to hop to her feet and stare into the bushes intensely.

It's like she's being surrounded by a pack of hyenas, what with the doggish laughter and the sign of liveliness all around her. The sounds are becoming louder, more imposing. Now she can actually see the bushes rustle, and if she's quick enough, catch a furry tail from behind a tree trunk moving swiftly.

Nolcha narrows her eyes further before she drops into a crouch and begins the change. Never a pretty sight and it takes time, time she doesn't want to waste but she feels at a disadvantage perhaps. The sounds that escape as a result of it are the normal strange popping and slurping sounds of the rearranging of bone and muscle. At last though she is her other self and the darkness of her eyes has darkened further to near black, the fur of her body a blend of black and browns.

And once she appears as a wolf, her fellow four legged companions appear, one by one. There's at least half a dozen of them, all wolves of various colors and sizes, but they all hold the same grizzled, wild quality, as well as that distinctive intelligence shining in their eyes. Even though she is among them, the distinction is made between them and her - she is prey, not predator. They circle around her, darkly amused by this newcomer.

And then one, the youngest of the crew, strikes out all of the sudden, fierce jaws snapping in the direction of her front paws. It's not an honest attempt to bite her - but rather a warning of their intent, and an attempt to make her back up.

Nolcha's hackles are up, perhaps realizing that she is the prey as soon as they appear before her. A low warning growl is given as they begin to circle her, her tail twitching in agitation a result of not being able to watch them all at once. The youngest, the one she'd have least worried over surprises her with the snap and she does crow hops backwards before popping back to snarl at him. Its an instant action and reaction and while her attention remains on the young one her ears twitch as she attempts to keep track of the others.

They aren't so much gearing to attack as they are assessing her. Examining her demeanor, her reaction, and more importantly…herding her to the north. Yes, this is more planned out then it seems, there is much more behind this bullying. Another wolf strikes while her eyes are on the youngest, and out flies one powerful paw, claws sharpened and this time, very ready to sink into her flesh unless she jumps out of the way.

Nolcha still at a loss as to the purpose is living in the here and now and that is focused on being surrounded by a pack that she is not yet a part of. She doesn't snap at the young wolf again, the herding not really a subtle thing but given she has very little choice in the matter she moves that way as well. The strike aimed at her is a close one, so much that the claws catch flesh even if they don't sink into it. A strip taken off of her hindquarters that leaves her growling in a more menacing fashion, a warning that she will only be pushed so far perhaps.

But, that's their job. To make her snap - and beyond that, to get her running. The growling prompts another eruption of snickers from the wolves, who continue to advance, continue the paw on the land in a predatory, dangerous fashion. If Nolcha believes that they'll go easy on her, she will have another thing coming. On the heel of the claw, another wolf advances to snarl at the prospective member, lounging forward in a pounce that will, unless she sidesteps and runs back, send her crashing to the floor.

Having had enough apparently the dark wolf does take off this time. Though not without one more snarl in the direction of those harrying her. Its not something she's used to by any stretch of the imagination and for the most part there's confusion from her, regardless that she knew to expect a trial of some sort. Claws dig into the floor of the forest, tearing furrows into it as she runs to keep ahead of them to the best of her ability. Which well she's never been the fastest but she doesn't lack for determination.

Victory! The largest of wolves lets out an ear-shattering howl into the night, a warning to the rest of the pack, before the 5 creatures disappear into the night, as if melding into the darkness. But Nolcha is not to be left alone - no. This is a test, a trial to see how fast she is. And to see how she behaves while being pursued - because she is being pursued. The pounding of quick claws padding on the earthy, of shallow breathing behind her shoulder, pleased, set alive from the hunt.

There is a distinctive path she's supposed to follow, though she might not know. Whenever it looks as though she's turning to the wrong direction, however, additionally wolves pop out of the sides with their growls, herding her back on track.

Nolcha doesn't add her voice to the howl, though often times there would be call to. Instead she concentrates on moving faster, her head down as she navigates the unfamiliar forest and tries to dodge the wolves that seem to randomly pop out of bushes. After awhile she seems to get the pattern or at least from the way she purposely veers out of the 'zone', a yowl of triumph when she realizes she's moving in a certain direction. Perhaps merely because she's at least figured something out.

They're herding her into a sort of alcove, a ring of large trees that opens into a clearing. It takes a good while until they arrive there, a good twenty minutes of the chase, of hearts beating frantically, of nearly being bitten by strangers. But eventually, she does arrive, and the deeper she runs into the ring of trees, she'll come face to face with the rugged features of Eli, sitting upon a fallen tree as though it was some sort of throne, his chin lifted imperially. Behind her, the wolves that had been chasing her pull away, turning instead to surround her once more. There is something distinctly tribal about them in that scenario. "Welcome!" He booms, eyes glinting unnaturally thanks to the various torches set up around them. "Welcome…girly."

Never the fastest but she's got endurance and by the she's been herded into the clearing she's still got a bit of stamina left. Dark as she is there is little mistaking her arrival as she rumbles low in her throat, the wariness in her body not giving way just yet. If anything it is tenfold as she keeps her eyes on Eli and her attention on the sounds of others around her.

"Are you ready to give up yet?" Eli inquires, his lips quirked into a wry, mocking smile. Quirking his head to the side, cold eyes proceed to look over her form, taking in the intricacies of her appearance, judging exactly how fit she is. All the other animals are still, waiting for his beck and call, for his command to strike.

Nolcha gives a shake of her head, her fur dancing with the movement. Clearly she is not ready to give up for all that she's been harassed and harried until she arrived here. As if to prove the point she howls a challenge, the ringing tone loud and clear.

"Ah. I see." Eli claps his hands together, holding his hands in front of his face. "Your perseverance is impressive and heartening. But…Cinco. See if you can dissuade her." And he cants his wrist forward.

A black wolf jumps forward, regal and proud. The milky white eyes proves that it is none other then the man-wolf who had escorted her forward. This time, there is no bullying, no fronts - it's wolf against wolf. He doesn't even move in an aggressive fashion, only then inclining his head in her direction respectfully.

Nolcha doesn't incline her head, at least not so that her eyes are taken off her next challenge, but there is respect in the way she holds herself. Shaking herself all over like a fighter reading for a match she takes a steading breath and advances. Its not an outright attack but its a show of force, using her body to attempt to shoulder the wolf aside.

Cinco jumps to the side when shouldered, though this marks the beginning of a true fight. And unfortunately for Nolcha, he happens to be a professional. With a snarl, he pounces forward, claws out in an intimidating display of furry fury.

Nolcha has by no means any number of fights under her 'belt' so to speak and it shows. However what she lacks in experience she strives to make up for in avoiding being pinned down. Cinco is more than able to get his claws and teeth into her any number of times, though so far it seems she's still able to spin away before trying to get her own bites in. Its a losing battle but at the moment the younger wolf hasn't given up the fight.

Dozens of eyes watch the battle as it progresses. A veritable give and take of blows, during which Nolcha does more then stand her ground in face of an experienced warrior. But eventually, experience wins out. One massive launch sends the foreign black wolf above a fallen Nolcha, his one good eye fixed upon the foreign wolf as he bears his teeth, slowly lowering himself to deliver the final blow when…

"Enough!" Eli booms, standing to his seat with his arms out, calling for a ceasefire. Cinco glances upwards, before nodding his head in deference as he backs away from Nolcha's form slowly.

Nolcha doesn't move from her prone position at first, breathing labored as she accesses the damage that's been dealt to her body. A moment later though she pushes up, swaying with loss of blood and general batteredness. She's not up for long though, deliberately she rises and then drops back down to her belly before rolling over to expose her throat, a sign of submissiveness.

Eli peers down to Nolcha, something particularly unreadable about the way the light shines, flickering from the flames. "Well? What are you maggots waiting for. Help her. Now. She is one of us." He announces into the darkness, and he is barely allowed to announce this before a symphany of howls builds up from all around them, a warm, encouraging sound. Suddenly, humans flock forward, almost coming from the darkness found into the trees, with the clear intention of delicately aiding Nolcha, tending to her battle wounds.

Nolcha allows herself to relax, rolling back over to lay on her side once more and just be. Healing is quicker when you're a were but being hurt still doesn't feel pretty. Not trusting herself to a change yet she welcomes the pack with quiet yips of welcome and a warm whine or two as those in human shape reach her. Acceptance is a heady thing.

Eli quickly turns away, brows furrowed darkly as he begins walking away. Later, he will apologize. Later, he will commend her determination and her strength. But for now? Well, now Nolcha needs to be tended to. And Eli, he needs a cigar.

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