Two Natured Meeting

The moon is out tonight. And without the glare of streetlights and other sorts of visual pollution, it shines with an intensity that is almost eerie over the leafy canopy of the woods. The light halos above the foliage that suddenly dies out, breaking into a circular clearing. A couple of lit torches have been set up all around, casting its ominous glow over the authentic landscape of nature and flickering shadows too and fro. The majority of the Muea Tseena Pack is already in attendance, each wolf tending to their own duties. A handful of the more formidable warriors surround the area as wolves, keeping sentinel over the event, occasionally howling to let newcomers know of the precise location of the meeting, it having never been disclosed before. One is marking down attendance as a professionally dressed human.

And in the middle of it all sits Eli. Grizzled, solemn, the man is in his human form and smoking from a thick, hefty cigar. To his side stands a stony-faced brick wall of Hispanic heritage, his second in command known as Cinco. Without moving, without speaking, the presence that Eli projects is incredible.

As an Honorary Member of the Pack, Summer is suffering a bit of trepidation about the meeting. She bears no fear for the Pack, but rather what is so important that it will include Shifters in on its meetings as well. Since her father is unable to attend, she's making her presence here known; so that Toby's support will be known with Eli. The Houston's are not snubbing the call, and are rather proud to attend. Summer is not alone either, making her way to the meeting with another Shifter; Mischa. Her sweater keeps her injury from being seen at all, though it's still there and it hurts.

Sloane slinks through the shadows of the forest, not lost, but disoriented without her wolf form. She pulls back branches and clumps of leaves as though swimming through the foliage, eventually making her way towards the opening where Eli is, making herself known to the guard weres in the area before hand. She then crouches near the cusp of the light of the moon where the trees end and the lupine gathering begins. Uneasily, she balances on one knee and the ball of her other foot, hoping to stay unnoticed by the two-naured before her, but the jingle of her dogtag against her throat gives her away. Understanding that hiding is futile, not to mention suspicious, Sloane passes through the bush she was squatting behind and steps towards Eli. By some canine impulse, she tilts her chin up and her head back, submissively exposing her throat before the Alpha to indicate that she means no harm at all. With wary, green eyes she surveys the section of the forest that is being used as a shifter's agora. Their place of assembly is somewhat inconvenient to her, as far as location goes, but has plenty of 'seats'. Trying to keep to herself, Sloane finds a tree root to install her behind upon, relatively near to Eli. A front row seat.

Punctual as ever, Tasha arrives on the scene, following the howling as she navigates her way through the woods. Though she never really does 'casual', tonight there's been an extra effort to dress up, professional without being overly so. She arrives at the clearing alone, stepping free of the tree-line before pausing to look around, scanning the crowd for a moment to make her own mental notes of new and familiar faces. After double-checking that her attendance has been recorded, she moves off to one side, stepping lightly over the ground as she seeks out a spot to settle.

After an afternoon shift at work, Mischa scuttled right back to his apartment in order to prep for the 'big' meeting. One of the few he's ever been invited to, anyway. He's come dressed fairly casually, or about as casual as Mischa gets. He squeezes Summer's hand as he steps in with her, sighing very quietly. "Hmm." He murmurs quietly before he picks out the base of a tree not too far from where Sloane has sat herself. He puts his jacket down on the ground for Summer to sit on, offering her an arm to help her sit down if she should so want it.

Bumbling around in the middle of the woods isn't exactly Murphy's idea of a good time, so he's brought a flashlight with him to minimize the effects of his own clumsiness. Unlike Summer and Mischa he's a non-wolf Shifter that is attending alone - and he's grumbling all the way as he half-trips himself up every few dozen yards. However, following his ears and his nose make it relatively easy to find the place he needs to be, especially considering the torches that the wolves have set up, so in no time at all the man is striding into the clearing, his windbreaker held shut at the neck with his free hand. To say the least, he does not look thrilled to be here, and nor has he made any special effort to make himself more presentable.

Young's steps are slowed and casual as he paces himself towards the clearing; no car, no motorcycle, guided by senses and howls alone, but the now-off-duty officer at least carries his main sidearm concealed beneath the right flank of his leather jacket. His boots help in that traveling though, too, good boots. His steps only pause when he's come to have his attendance marked, but beyond that and a mild glance skywards to the heavens above he shifts to walk to the side of things and look to the forefront. In the process his hands are buried into the outer pockets of his jacket, quiet, waiting for what's to come next.

Unable to shift unless it at a full moon - and even then it would not be the best idea - Kira is already here along with most of the pack. Her own duties have been taken care of earlier and so she has just managed to get herself a seat and glance around at those coming later than she and the others. Dressed in a skirt and a nice top, it doesn't exactly lend itself to sitting down cross legged on the ground. Instead, she's brought a picnic blanket that she spread out on the ground and sits with her legs folded next to her in a lady-like position. Though she looks relaxed, she's attentive, her eyes bouncing from shifter to shifter before always ending on Eli - waiting for him to start.

The chatter of curious shifters fill the air as more and more of their kind trickle in. Noticeably though, the volume is, in general, rather low and hushed, although no actual order to keep down the volume has been given. The air around them is cool and brisk, but almost comfortably so. After a certain period of time, however, it seems as though Eli tires of waiting for stragglers and procrastinators alike. He makes himself to his feet then, a very simple motion devoid of pomp and circumstance, but strict and rigidly executed, with military precision. And then, the chatter begins to die down, until an artificial silence falls over them all.

Eli inspect this odd amalgamation of shifters, his eyes running over every single person present. And with a smile that doesn't detract from how formidable he looks, he removes his cigar from his mouth. "Well, aint you all the prettiest little furries I aint ever done see." He drawls in a semi-teasing, semi-insulting fashion. "Welcome, everyone. Welcome on behalf of the Muea Tseena Pack, and on behalf of Dallas. Now, I bet you're all wonderin' what this here meeting is about, aren't you? Well. Recently, I've come to notice that there's a good number of outsiders pouring into our fine territory. Now, this is fine, of course. Provided you know the Law, and that I am the Law. So I want you all here to bear - heh, get it? - witness to the fact that I've made the Law abundantly clear to you all. That way, their aint no excuse. On my lands, every man is accountable for his or herself, you hear me?"

The jacket on the ground is given a smile, and Mischa's hand is taken to help her get settled atop it. Summer shifts to one side of it, giving her guy enough room to sit beside her if he'd like. Otherwise, she just sort of curls her feet up under her, and waits for Donato to begin speaking. When he does, she falls completely silent, focusing all her attention on the man so that she can relay everything to Toby later. A nod is all she offers by way of response to the man, not wishing to interrupt him too much as of yet.

Sloane digs her heels into the earth as she sits, keeping her knees raised so that her elbows may sit against them comfortably, seeing as this place lacks arm rests. Her head turns ever so slightly to glance back at the others that seem to grow from the forest's darkness, appearing mostly in singles or couples, she sees. Her gaze switches back and forth between glancing at the others, and Eli at the front. Of all the faces, Tasha's is the only one she recognizes, and for a moment Sloane looks like she might get up and relocate just to be near someone she knows, but the girl deliberates. Finally, she decides to head towards the doctor, walking quickly to Tasha's side. "Hi," she breathes lowly, her voice almost a whisper but a touch too high. "There are more than I figured there'd be," she murmurs. As Eli speaks, Sloane shuts her mouth promptly, eyes glued to the alpha and her brows tugged tightly together to form a concerned, yet interested, crease.

Tasha has just sought out a space to settle when the whispered greeting catches her attention. A light gaze flickers over, taking in Sloane and then nodding in acknowledgement and recognition. "It's a good turn out," she confirms, glancing over the gathered crowd. She adds nothing more, for even if she were so inclined, the meeting gets underway and she has no desire to speak over the alpha. Instead, with a slight nod of her head, she indicates the tree she'd been headed for initially, and continues along the short distance to it, settling on a bit of the root before it disappears under the earth. It's done quickly and without fuss so that her attention can return to Eli, and she listens intently, nodding slightly, as though in agreement with all he says.

When Eli begins his speech, Mischa grimaces in concern. When the Laws are brought up, the young man reaches out and takes hold of Summer's hand. He sits down beside her and motions Kira over once he notices her, offering the free space on the jacket beside Summer. He leans over and murmurs quietly to the coyote shifter: "An acquaintance. Met her earlier today at the library." The librarian looks around a bit warily although for the moment he's trying to keep up a rather unconvincing poker face.

In search of a seat Murphy starts wandering in Tasha's direction once Eli starts to speak - that tree looks fairly comfortable, at least in comparison to the other seating available. He plunks down on the ground in front of it and leans back against the trunk, propping himself up and immediately taking it upon himself to appear as disinterested in the speech as possible. In fact, for a couple of moments he finds himself enraptured with Tasha. But that fades, and a couple of blades of grass become more fascinating.

On his lonesome, Young's gaze drifts from one figure to the next in an idle fashion, small and mere points of interest compared to the center of the clearing. Some of them are familiar faces, seen once or twice, perhaps more, but most are unfamiliar and at some the werewolf's gaze lingers. By the time Eli has begun to speak, even at the rising, he has lifted his chin and inclined his head curiously to the side, listening. His arms are folded over his chest soon enough and his jaw sets itself but in the end he's no intention of speaking up or otherwise interjecting with his own voice.

Of those present, Kira knows many of the faces gathered, though she knows fewer by name and have actually talked with. Seeing Mischa nearby with the girl she assumes to be his girlfriend, she smiles and waves, scooting her picnic blanket over so that she can be close enough to talk to him. "Hello," she greets both Mischa and Summer in a friendly manner. Her voice is hushed and she quickly stops herself from adding anything else as Eli stands to start talking. The Alpha has her entire attention.

"It's a real simple logic to follow. Know the Law, follow the Law, and it'll all be fine." Eli continues on, crossing his arms over his expansive chest as his eyes cross over the two-natured present. "Know that these Laws are not arbitrary. They aint stuff I just made up, because I felt like it - even though I could do that if I wanted to. They are put in place to protect us, and our kind, and if necessary I will act as your judge, your prosecutor, and your defender. My pack, the Muea Tseena Pack, are your police officers. If they come to you with an official message from me, you will respect them as you would me. Or else face the consequences of your actions. I'd have no problem banishing you from this land, or crippling you, or, if your crimes warrant it, even executing you for the sake of the public. Remember, you might think of yourself as the most important person in your world - but I don't. Don't give me a reason to be harsh, because I will be harsh."

There is a pause in place, for dramatic effect. "There are, really, three cardinal rules to follow. This will be your Bible from now on. Number one," and Eli's gaze travels over to Mischa in particular, "Do not, for the love of God, go out telling people about what we are. We operate in secrecy for a reason. If I hear you're out usin' your two-naturedness to pick up chicks and impress your boss or whatever, we're going to have problems. And unless you have a damn good explanation, you're going to have my foot in your ass. Secondly, attacking humans are strictly forbidden. I do not want to see any new shifters made." His gaze travels over to Kira now, almost sympathetically. "It's hard. But if you make a child or whatever in that respect, you will be held accountable for their actions. And you will pay for it, as well. Finally, follow human laws. At least enough so that you fly under the radar. If you draw too much attention to yourself, and to us, I'm going to be upset. And you wont like me upset."

The murmur is a nice confirmation, but Summer is not the jealous type anyhow. Mischa's hand is given a squeeze, and when Kira joins them, the woman is given a gentle smile and a hushed, "Nice to meet you, I'm Summer." Really, she's doing her best not to interrupt Eli, or upset him at all. Though at the mentioning of the LAWS, she shoots her hand up. Granted, she's not right up front but eventually she'll be called on or acknowledged, and when she is, she'll ask, "What about the rumors that are floating around in regards to the wolf attack in a residential home?"

Tasha sits forward on her tree root, elbows propped on knees to keep her posture alert, as well as impeccable. She's not unaware of Murphy watching her, and it earns him a thoughtful study in return, though brief, as she's not willing to take her attention from the actual crux of the meeting for long. If any of the speech comes as a surprise, she must have a very good poker face. To all appearances, she agrees and supports this mentality whole-heartedly, and the only time she looks away is to glance at the rest of the crowd, looking for those who might feel differently, so that she might make a mental note.

When Donato's gaze travels toward him, Mischa slinks down against the base of the tree a little bit. He looks between Summer and Kira in a nearly helpless manner before he just manages to turn a nice shade of beet red. Upon hearing Summer's words, he turns an even brighter shade of red, slinking down just a little bit more. He gives her hand something a squeeze before letting his gaze travel around those in the pack that he hasn't met before. His gaze stops on Young briefly — he tries to place the man, but finds himself at a loss. At this point Mischa looks more likely to shrivel up and die than anything else. He has one of those looks on his face that reads loud and clear: 'Please let me evaporate into thin air.' Especially after he sees Donato's gaze travel towards Kira.

Young follows after Eli's gaze and in the wake of the words being spoken he looks upon Mischa and those around the other man. Whatever he is soon thinking, well, he allows it to continue resting within the forefront of his mind while directing his attention back towards their fabled and most illustrious speaker.

From the corner of her eye, Kira notices the way that Mischa is reacting and it puzzles her. While it's not enough of a reaction to get her to completely focus on him while Eli is talking, she does put a mental flag on it to talk to him later. The greeting from Summer is taken with another friendly nod, unwilling to speak out of turn. The focus of the group on her when Donato gestures in her direction is enough to make her blush. But, she meets it with a proud tilt up of her chin.

"Speaking of," Eli drawls once again, the southern in his voice becoming more pronounced as his words grow with intensity and harshness. "A crime has been committed in our fair community. I will not, I repeat, I will not tolerate lawlessness in my state. For those of you who has not heard of it, an attack on a a pair of humans had been committed a couple of days ago by a two-natured who took the form of a wolf. As a result, a father died, and a widow was turned. Their family is desolate, and if we had not been informed of the possibility of the transformation, there was a good chance that the mother would have gone on a rampage, jeopardizing all of our livelihoods during the full moon. I urge you to come forth with whatever information you have regarding the attack and the Austin pack. If you are among this crowd, you will be caught, so surrender, and I promise to be lenient. Somewhat." After a brief pause proves no one is willing to reveal themselves, he continues. "If one among you finds the culprit, bring them to me and you will be rewarded with my gratitude and service." So, while vigilanteism isn't outright required, it's definitely encouraged by the way he eyes everyone. "We must work together as one unit, one community, to ensure our survival. Bring me the Cornett attacker, and I will be in your debt."

Ahem. "Notice, as well, that the vampires are going through a minor state of unrest. Their government is being shifted around a bit. Nothing ought to change between our relationship with them. They are still our tentative allies. But, proceed with caution around their kind. The Austin pack was subsequently used and eliminated for their efforts by vampires. We are not that unintelligent. Do not represent two-natured in a poor light before their kind." Another pause, this time more contemplative. "Bah. That's all. Do as you wish." With that noncommittal dismissal, the chatter begins once again as Eli returns to smoking.

Cornett. It clicks then, why Mischa is reacting as he has. That must be the neighbor he is always speaking of, the name was seen on the building at any rate. Summer waits until Donato is done speaking, before she turns to Kira once more. "It's a pleasure to meet one of Mischa's acquaintances." Her eyes finally scan the crowd, and she takes note of Tasha with a nod of her head. Her arm is held up to show that she's taking care of it, but other than that, she figures that meeting one of her boyfriend's friends takes precedence at the moment, and since Eli answered her question (and subsequently Toby's question), she can leave well enough alone on that front.

Tasha remains silent through the rest of the speech, though the ready agreement and absent nodding give way to a more thoughtful and introspective intensity as Eli moves from general rules to this more specific occurrence. Even as he wraps up, she's still mulling that over, a little slower to withdraw from the silence of the meeting, until she finally draws in a breath and leans back against the tree trunk again. Now free from the fixed attention on Eli, she catches sight of Summer, giving a little nod of understanding as the woman lifts her arm. Still scanning the crowd, Young is also noticed, watched for a moment, before she turns her attention to those nearer to where she sits.

Young keeps quiet but with the meeting coming to a close his gaze shifts along to those around rather than he keep his focus on Eli. The chatter's picking back up. It's as good as time as any to begin roving about in order to find his own bit of chatter to strike up and join. In the process, he notes Tasha and inclines his head into a brief nod towards her, matching a smile alongside it. His hands shift into the pockets of his jacket and with a deepened inhale he strolls off in said Tasha's direction.

Abbey sits quietly in her spot near the back of the group, pale gaze drifting around slowly to take in the others while the meeting seem to be coming to an end. She shifts some a hand lifting to pull free her packet of cigarettes and lighter. While other start to strike up conversations she doesn't look to eager to, the thought of leaving crossing her mind but she rather not just get up and leave with the meeting just ending. A cigarette is pulled free from the pack and she flicks her lighter a few times to get it on, it takes about three times before she is able to keep a flame and she grumbles faintly to herself before lighting the cigarette.

The insight that Summer gets isn't one that Kira is privy to. Maybe something to ask the next time she comes in to borrow books from the library. Once Eli has stopped talking, she finally feels comfortable enough to speak freely to those around her. "It was very nice to meet you, Summer. My name's Kira, by the way. I'm not sure if I introduced myself properly." Standing up, she brushes herself off from the ground and takes the picnic blanket she was sitting on, giving it a quick shake before rolling it up quickly.

Tasha returns Young's nod, a faint flicker of a grin breaking through the still-pensive expression on her face. As he strolls over, she rises smoothly to her feet, aided by a supporting hand against the trunk of her tree. She gives a quick brush to her posterior to get rid of any bark or leaves that might cling to her pants, and then leans a shoulder back against the trunk, affecting a casual pose that somehow is still marked by that impeccable posture. Her arms cross loosely over her chest, head canting slightly to one side as she glances at the crowd, her gaze flickering about before it returns to Young.

A business card for the Cerebral Deli is taken out of her purse, and offered to Kira. "You should come by some time for coffee. I'd love to talk to you some more, but we've got plans." Now that the meeting is officially over, it's likely best that they get to doing what they had planned for the evening. So she gets up, takes Mischa's jacket, and folds it over her non-bitten arm before they start to make their way out of the forest.

Young lifts his gaze to his surroundings once again in noting those who begin to filter out of the area and then he looks skywards once again, trying to gauge the time by sight alone. He ends up checking the wristwatch at his right anyway, just to be certain. With that all done and over with in checking the time, he comes to a stand a handful of feet away from Tasha; "And, looking as impeccable as ever, Miss Cox," greets the man, lifting his broadened shoulders into a simple shrug.

Abbey lets her gaze drift over the area, taking in the ones that are staying the ones that are leaving. The lighter is stuck back into her pocket as she stands up from her spot, the pale smoke curling in the air from the cigarette. Her head lifts slightly as she catches sight of Young, though with him moving off to talk to another she doesn't think about interupting anything. Once more her gaze drifts over the area, checking to see if anyone else is around that she may know.

"Of course," Tasha replies to the greeting, her gaze quick to return to Young once he's near enough. "And it's Dr. Cox, actually. Though you could just call me Tasha." The title is important enough to mention, but then dismissed just as easily. She studies him silently for a moment, before her gaze breaks away, taking in the larger crowd. "And, as promised, you made it." Whether to the meeting, or over to talk to her afterwards; perhaps both.

"I hadn't… well, that works," still, Mister Yong hadn't really known about the doctor part, or if it had come up James really did need the reminder. It's only now that he notes Abbey in all the folks lingering and loitering about and he opens his mouth to speak up before glancing back towards Tasha and giving a rise of brows. There's a quick flash of teeth in reply. "I think I promised I would, I think, would be horrible if I forgot something as - well - as important as -this-." He turns so that he can face in the direction of Eli while still talking to Tasha. "Though, I should be checking out from here soon enough. Still, going to hang back yourself?"

Abbey hasn't caught sight of anyone else she may know, perhaps they already left. A faint glance is offered back towards Young and Tasha and she watches them curiously for a few moments before a soft breath escapes her. Cigarette held between her lips she turns and starts to wander off, heading homewards perhaps. With others having left she figures it will be alright for her to leave as well, and talking among a group setting just isn't her cup of tea.

"I know you hadn't. Now you do," Tasha replies, practical rather than put out over the title. It just seemed the most efficient way to get him up to speed on that front, anyway. Not currently even on duty, she'd be half-inclined to just let it slide, except for the way it only becomes more awkward to correct the longer it stands. As he mentions the importance of this, her gaze quickly sweeps the crowds again, taking in the Alpha and the people around him, before returning to Young again. "I think I've done all I needed to do here," she replies after considering it for a moment.

Young sweeps his gaze back on towards Tasha with a lightened smile. As much as he'd love to retort, given the general populace around him he keeps anything smarmy from coming out and respectfully tips his head, briefly. He debates for a moment and then takes a half-step forward while gesturing out with his right hand, "If I'm headed out, and you are too, care to join me elsewhere for a bit? I'm thinking drinks, or something."

Tasha considers that offer for a moment, giving one last survey of the meeting space to make sure she won't be missed. But really, she was only here to attend, so her duty seems to be done, seeing as there don't appear to be any horrible injuries or illnesses. Her attention returns to Young and she gives a nod as she straightens up, pushing away from the tree trunk. "I think that sounds … enjoyable," she decides, with a faint trace of a smile before she turns to start heading out of the clearing.

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