Cat Scratch Fever
May 22th, 2015
Old ARU Campus
xxxxxFor months now, since the early weeks of his arrival into this reality and once again taking up residence in the old KEG house, Skip has not been oblivious to eyes that watch him. Some who pass through the campus might have mentioned seeing a rather large and rather ratty looking old Maine Coon cat, but notably Agatha has never mentioned such a thing. Or maybe she's just not noticed the creature at all. He would feel himself being watched while moving across the campus, day or night, he would feel himself being watched working outside around the house. He would catch sight of the cat's eyes watching him through the windows of the house at odd hours, usually when Agatha was asleep or somehow indisposed. And Dante's gaze was always disapproving and angry. But now recently there is more than just watching. Now a rather unpleasant odor has started popping up, the pungent aroma of something not unlike cat urine that has, just recently on an occasion when Skip was away for an extended period of time been sprayed on the KEG house.
xxxxxThe wolf inside Skip has been growing, the layers of his commitment to just being a human gradually merging with the ancient impules of his blood -- making him a Man and a Wolf, a being of flesh and a being of spirit -- a child of humanity, and Urfarah and Mother Luna herself. So he understands when something is trying to mark territory - particularly *his* territory. He never liked that cat - not since the first time it had pissed in his closet after he and Prescott had saved Origingal Recipe Agatha from her apartment in the Alter-Apocalypse. So this was a different version of that cat -- but it was still that cat.
xxxxxSo when his keener lupine senses indicate his house... his *den* had been anus musk sprayed by that damn cat -- rather than run for a masking solvent or make something to counter it in the remnants of the chemistry labs, he settled this up the old fashioned Pangean way. He simply walked up to the areas so demarked, unzipped his jeans and wrangled his equipment from within the confines of his jockeys... and he began to urinate where the exterior had been marked. Not long standing one place draining, no... just a few moments of cascading golden showers and then with a clench of his buttocks to cut off the stream, he slipped the appendage back into concealment and moved to the next location to repeat.
xxxxxNot being a complete fool, he was aware there was a chance might take this opportunity to try for an ambush, with is more tender bits in jeopardy, so he stayed well alert and while he applied his chemical marking counter weapon.
xxxxxWolves Rule and cats... better stop waiting for a rhyme and better start remembering they are the ones who are domesticated and if they don't want to be snapped like a pretzel and worried until they look like a plucked chicken, they had better re-grasp their place on the food chain.
xxxxxThere's thankfully no one out and about to see this display of territory reclaming, not even Agatha is anywhere to see and wonder "WTH". It's not until the third stop that he might have the sense of watched comes back, from deep shadows across a yard near the ruins of another structure but the cat is well hidden there. A rolling growl emanates from the darkness, it's a fractured sound as though the source weren't entirely committed to delivering the warning, and it sounds a little deeper than natural the sound made testing how the wolf reacts.
xxxxxThe wolf reacts by using one hand to guide his genitals so that the urine stream writes the name "SKIP" across the wall in calligraphy, while the other is upraised, back of hand toward the building where the warning comes from, thumb and middle fingers extended. There may be a little shaking of his ass to add punctuation, both nothing overt.
xxxxxThe show of taunting earns a disapproving yowl from the cat that is punctuated by a hiss, but the source still remains hidden. No doubt the cat is looking down upon the wolf.
xxxxxWhen he is quite finished, and he doesn't rush by any means, Skip puts his tackle away and zips up his fly before turning about and considering the ruins of the Theta Kappa Epsilon fraternity -- those who tried, and failed, to be the Fraternity of the Party in excess of Kappa Epsilon Gamma. The chodes. Skip slips a smile by feral and patronizing on, aiming it toward the shadowed recesses of the ruins.
xxxxx"I'm not surprised that mangy cat is in there, that place was always a litter box if you ask me. The should have called the place Kappa Kappa Kappa for kolo kapelo kentriki, but even they werent' douchey enough to have KKK placed right outside on the front of the building." Skip muses to himself. He slaps his palms to his pecks and calls out, "Well? You going to come and start something, or are you going to hide in the litter box and be a little *Gib* all day?"
xxxxxThere's a flicker of movement in the shadows in response to Skip's taunts, an off-pitch angry growl sounds off and gradually the cat who has watched the man so closely makes a few steps out of the darkness as though it were stalking him. Skip has caught glimpses of the cat a few times over the weeks, from a distance and always hidden, or at least half-hidden. Dante looked mostly the way that Skip would remember him looking in the alternate reality, a bit more mangy and maybe a bit larger, but overall it looks like that terrible cat looked. But the cat that starts to emerge from the shadows doesn't look right, and certainly only barely resembles the cat that Skip knew. It looks like it has more than tripled in mass and it's long hair is missing patches. It's whiskers are curled at the end, almost look singed, and it's eyes are blood red in the current lighting. As it hisses at Skip, it's mouth is open to reveal yellowed teeth and there's a tear on one side of it's lip that gives it a permanent snarl as it paces a few more steps forward but doesn't move beyond that as though it tries to gauge the wolf.
xxxxxSkip doesn't blink in surprise, and the wry comment he never makes dies on his lips unspoken. What was a smug, taunting smile turns to a tightlipped lin and mockery turns to a deep potent expression of disapproval. Skip doesn't even have to sniff the air to know that this isn't just a case of Feral Cat Syndrome - a plague on Aleswich to be sure and if it weren't for them sufferers of FCS keeping the rodent population in check, a reason to add cat to the menu. No, this is *Something Worse.*
xxxxxIt isn't Skip’s habit to verbally spar with "Something Worse" or any of its collaboraters, "Obvious Threat", "OhHellNo" or "Clear and Present Danger". His back foot slips back smoothly as he adjusts his weight preparing to charge or take one with equal facility. His own eyes smolder with animosity and a growl vibrates out from his chest. In this Skip is demonstrably more than a mere mortal - the animus of the Destroyer Wolf itself seems to reverberate from his bones and out his pores.
xxxxxThe Rahu extends his left hand -- not that it matters due to his natural ambidexterity and he turns it palm up, fingers outstretched. Then he curls the index and middle finger toward himself and out several times.
xxxxxAn invitation to come and get some.
xxxxxAs the Rahu makes his gesture of invitation the cat that is probably Dante, frequently referred to as Demon-spawn by Agatha's brother if not by other members of the same pack, crouches low to the ground while it slips forward another few paces. As the cat moves it hisses but the sound cuts off with a sickening sort of splice of skin and crunch of bone as the cat's face seems to seeth and blur and the rest of the cat's muscles beneath its fur seem to roil and bulk. As Skip watches, the cat's face splits down the center so that its mouth separates and contorts into two separate mouths filled with yellowed teeth and its appearance becomes truly hellish.
xxxxxThe single hiss is now a pair of feline voices, one hisses, the other yowls in answer as the cat suddenly lunges forward in a pounce that is supernaturally fast. Faster than the cat should be, larger than the cat should be, and the two mouths than snap towards the wolf with all intention of taking bites out of him are certainly not right.
xxxxxSomewhere, deep inside Skip, the part of him that had grown up human starts to gibber as What-May-Or-May-Not-Have-Been Dante swells and tears and yowls and hisses its way from *Something Worse* directly into the aforementioned *OhHellNo*. The Wolf part of him inside Howls, a howl of delight because the Hunt is On -- and maybe because now there is not question that he can kill What-May-Or-May-Not-Have-Been Dante without fear of recrimination. The Rahu inside him ignores both of those useless perspectives and instead works out a math problem.
xxxxxIf a Hell Cat suddenly massing the size and speed of Bull Mastiff is accelerating at 35 miles per hour from position A, at the stationary position of Incredibly Splendiferous and Mutha-Fucking Majestic KEG-man at B -- then when does said Keg-Man leap at a sharp angle of ascent so he can bring his entire mass down with a pile-driving fistload to the top of the hell cat's head?"
xxxxxHe is in motion physically even as his mind is concluding, "Now."
xxxxxIt’s not a high, vaulting leap -- but at the speeds they supernatural beings are going, it doesn't need to be. Its just enough, and as the demonic feline begins to realize the evolving situation's new parameters, its already too late as the Brass Knuckles, bound with a spirit for Skip when he first won his dead name, come vanguarding the kinetic force of the Blood Talon's mass + torque resulting in a bone-cracking, brain wracking, teetch clattering, ground-diviting concussing blow squarely atop the skull-plate of his foe.
xxxxxAs Skip how does he feel -- 'bout the crack from the blow dealt by springing -- Well sir, all he can say is if Dante was a bell he'd be ring-ing...
xxxxxThe creature that is Dante had channeled all of his seething hatred of the wolf who encroached onto a place that the cat associated as it's own, rightly or wrongly so, so that it's launched attack was made without anything held back. To have that attacking lunch knocked off it's course, as happens when the man he is lunging for leaps upwards and drives his fist as a piston to the feline's deformed head, stuns the creature. The sound it makes is a gurgling hiss and pained growl as it spasms and it's entire body seems to convulse where it is driven into the ground and continuing to yowl like a cat that is being tortured. It's a lot of ungodly noise.
xxxxxThe convulsions and writhing slows, the tortured sound of pain dials back to an agressive sound of anger and hatred that are growled while the creature spits from both mouths. It might be reflective of the amount of pain felt, or having been stunned, or simply some indication of the actual cat overcome by what possesses it being terrified, but as it was driven into the ground the cat has pissed itself. There is a bristle of its hackles as the creature begins to muster itself for a second attack, without quite the arrogant assurance of self that the inital lunge towards Skip had, the cat has slowed considerably.
xxxxxNormally in a situation like this, Skip's first blow would have been followed up by packmates ending the situation while the bell rung was still ringing -- but today Skip didn't enjoy that luxury, so, as he landed, a perfectly mundane sort of Greco-Roman move, he moved over the back of the tiny-poney sized cat and looped his python-like arm around its neck and squeezed as he braced one leg into the ground and another on its spine to bend it while he applied pressure to the windpipe beneath the yowling and hissing mouths.
xxxxxSqueezing it onto unconsciousness, a plan was rapidly manifesting behind the Rahu's furrowed brows, his lips pursing as he exhaled a "Ssshhhhhhhhhhhh" to send along with Dante to slumberland.
xxxxxThere are a few last squirms of the creature in Skip's tender grasp. The cat makes odd croaking noises that are muffled as its air supply is cut and it blacks out and it's paws twitch before it sags limply in his arms. Whatever it is that possesses the cat can't seem to make the cat obey it's will when the cat hasn't had enough oxygen to function.
xxxxxSkip's plan was to kill the Cat. And whatever was inside of it. It suited his Blood Talon nature to not offer surrender or mercy he would not himself accept... but a thought niggled in his mind. Were he possessed, would he not want the thing inside him to be driven out, rather than to just die? Were he capable of making that choice -- wouldn't he accept that? But could he drive the being from inside the cat?
xxxxxThe answer was obvious -- not *here* he couldn't. The cat was clearly claimed - so the spirit could voluntarily leave -- if given a choice. He needed to deal with it directly though, and that meant going into the Shadow. The cat woudln't stay unconscious for long, he couldn't dick around, so he had go to the closest Locus he could reach -- unfortunately *that* locus loved this stupid cat and would be unlikely to listen to reason if she saw him choking it - no matter how much it deserved it.
xxxxxHe considered just killing it again, to save time and effort -- but no -- killing without cause was the way of madness, right now the cat was only a threat if it was allowed to wake back up.
xxxxxAnd she'd be happy to have her stupid cat back.
xxxxxAnd he could always kill it later when it provoked him again -- and it would surely provoke him again.
xxxxxHe groused mentally for the waste of time this would all be just to make the girl happy, but, what else did he have planned for the day anyway? Plus, the other spirits would see this going down and pick up a valuable lesson in D.N.F.W.S. Do Not Fuck With SKip.
xxxxxAll the porch steps in a single bound, and he banging the door open while he hid the cat behind his back, fingers poised to cut off the air if it started to stir, he called out, "Agatha, where are you, I need to to into the Hisil *right* *now*!"
xxxxxThere is a room in the house, on the first floor in what used to be a back bedroom, that Agatha has deemed The Bunny Room. Because there are rabbit hutches in there, not for any other reason surely. It's from that room at one end of the house that Agatha's voice calls out in answer, "Taking care of the rabbits!" It's that time of the evening for her to give the furry things food and fresh water. "Be right there!" Which could take a minute or two if she's got her hands full of a rabbit, and she does tend to spend a lot of time cuddling those fuzzy things. (She might be doing it on purpose, to make herself smell like rabbits.)
xxxxxIn Skip's hands the cat stirs, making it necessary to give his neck a squeeze once again.
xxxxxAnd squeeze he does, as he takes long strides down the hallway. Into the Bunny Room he goes, cat still clutched firmly behind his back. There could be questions, the cat might mewl, that could be a complication.
xxxxxSkip was not a fan of complications.
xxxxxThere was nothing to it then but to act as quickly as possible, so, one hand firmly on the cat the other is moved forward, fingers splayed so his forward momentum can push against Agatha and with only a minor flexing of his excessively developed biceps, Agatha is lifted off the floor a few inches so - bunny in hand or not, he can push her gently but firmly against the wall and... ... kiss her -- physical contact seems to be the best shot at passing through her, his eyes boring into hers as their lips meet with an almost electric shock -- sounds of protest from her won't have time to register -- its not a question of if he is into her, he's falling into her, through her.. and emerges on the other side in the Hisil representation of the K.E.G. house -- with is sad and forlorn trapping of celebrations past that once heralded the presence of Cho-Cha-Cho, and its scents and suggestions of a wolf den -- including bones stacked up in the corners.
xxxxxTurning with surety, Skip heads "outside" meaning he leaves the Den home and emerges into the Hisil that represents the campus -- now a shattered and somewhat barren landscape compared to its former glory perhaps, with the Court of Light brought low by The Book who had become Mr. Book. The TKE house was still standing here, and looked to be a foul and blackened thing beneath a candy coated shell of welcome and perfection that could not conceal the darkness within.
xxxxxSkip expected to see the spirit he assumed had possessed the cat visible here - this is how these things worked -- but the cat was still a cat. Had the cat been possessed so completely that the spirit and it were merged? Why would a spirit stoop to a cat? Something was amiss -- so to sort it out, Skip extended a finger and flicked the cat in the center of its forehead.
xxxxx"#Hey feces-pucker. #Warrior-Who-Knocks-Down-The-Walls speaks to you. #Stop hiding in the Cat-flesh. #I/Me wants you out -- you heal the cat-flesh and you leave, I let you go. #You make me drive you out, I will shred the Power from out of you and feed you to the Spirit-of-the-fresh-cut-groomed-grass." Skip growls out in the tongue of spirits.
xxxxxInside the Bunny Room, Agatha has a rabbit tucked in her arm while she was filling the food dish inside its hutch with her free hand. She was sort of hurrying about it, since having said she would be right there, but she only just got the scoop set aside as Skip is arriving quickly into the room and approaching her. She seems surprised by his arrival there, Wolf tends to frighten the rabbits so it doesn't tend to be a room he spends a lot of time there. But there he is and Agatha is just about to ask, "Wha..." When he's giving her a lift and push against the wall and she is making a noise of protest, mostly because of the rabbit that gets squished into her chest, and his chest. He successfully keeps her from seeing the cat behind his back, too distracted by her effort at not dropping the rabbit and his passage through leaving her sagged against the wall and she gives a little sigh. "Well. I wonder what that was all about, Midnight Snack." She pushes up off the wall, making a little lip smacking sound and returning to her rabbit chores, putting the stunned rabbit back in her hutch.
xxxxxMeanwhile in the Hisil, Dante the cat starts to rouse with the flicks in the forehead, and it starts to growl as the demon within the cat begins to regain some control of the cat. There is a frantic sort of flailing of its clawed paws, digging at the man's hand with furious movement as it begins to yowl in a deep sound, "Die wolf."
xxxxxSkip understands the Thing inside Dante's confusion, he really does. He isn't sure what it is, but its clearly operating under the misperception that the slap of carved marble-like muscle and sinew of Skip's human shape is the limit of how threatening and scary he is. The fact that he dropped it effortlessly while it charged him in full aggro? Well, things that possess other things aren't always the brightest bulbs in the light show, and in Skips opinion stooping to possessing a cat as ratty and frayed as Dante in the first place is sign of poor judgement and desperation.
xxxxxSo Skip laughs, as his flesh peels under the lacerations of the cat claws. Oh sure, it hurts, but the pain just feeds the furnace. Skip shifts, laconically, so his human form swells into the caveman version, his clothes magically stretching to accomodate the increase in size and muscle mass, his laugh getting deeper and developing a huffing sound.
xxxxx"#You had your shot. #I beat you like you stole the last Beer. #It only gets worse from here. #Heal the cat-flesh. #Leave the cat-flesh. #I let you run away. #Stay in Cat-flesh, I kill the cat flesh, and then I rip apart what comes out and feed you to the spirits here. #Leave the cat flesh without healing it, I rip apart what comes out, and feed you to the spirits here."
xxxxxAs the claws scratch at his denser and bigger hand, Skip lowers his torso so he can press the cat into the ground of the Hisil, and with it pinned there, he shifts past his Gauru form -- lest he lose his temper and HulkSmash everything and he adopts the pony-sized form of his Dire Wolf shape, pressing the cat down heavily with is mass and opening his terribly wide mouth to show his dagger long teeth -- the markings of Fenris-Ur's favor upon him like a banner.
xxxxx"#I am the Son of the Destroyer, Little Thing. #The song of your destruction calls to my blood. #Last Chance." He snaps his teeth inches away from the cat's head to illustrate his is not playing around.
xxxxxThe demon cat doesn't immediately submit to the threats. It continues to flail, to look in mild panic around it's unfamiliar and strange surroundings, looking for an out and testing the grip that pins it, looking for a means of escape. It's panic flaying doesn't get the desired results of freedom, only the continued threats and the drastic changes of the man into the Dire Wolf. The cat's panic is apparent as the animal is so terrified that it is frozen while from the creature's tiny (by comparison to the mouth that looms down, willing to gobble it up) a black goo begins to leak in a thin stream, and then gushes in a sickening wet plop of noise that looks like some manner of liquid that would be difficult to hold let alone rip apart. But it does seem to heed the threat and obey, in a fashion, leaving the cat's body in a seemingly functioning state as the animal begins to shake and flail with its control of itself kicking in as what had possessed it leaves.
xxxxxHolding the squirming cat down, Ur-sag Su Giri snaps once at the goop, his teeth nipping it and metaphysically marking it as "prey" should a Hunt need to happen in the relatively near future. Then he growls, low, in the back of his throat. "#Go. #Leave my terroritory. #If I/Me sees you/prey again, you die."
xxxxxThe shift back to human form is as fast as a blink of an eye, and he squeeze the damn cat holding it down until he can get his hand around to the back of its neck with the other then he stands up. He lets it thrash and howl and spit all it wants from that position where it can't hurt him and he keeps an eye on the ooze until it clears off.
xxxxxIt being ooze, this may take a while.
xxxxxBut when that time is past, he heads back to the glowing, feminine halo outline of energy that is proximate to Agatha's position in the material world, and concentrating upon her, and leading with the cat, he pushes stares himself back into the world of men... and rabbits and cats.
xxxxxAnd so, standing there quite suddenly, arm outstretched, wretched cat in hand, he says quite blandly all things considered, "I think I found your cat."
xxxxxThe Ooze that had complied with his demand of it doesn't seem to be particularly pleased by the snap of wolf teeth into it, it froths angrily as it seems to be torn between continuing it's retreat or taking some other action. But it does, soon enough, seem to make up it's mind and it moves away with mercury speed across the "ground" of the Hisil to leave the man, and the disapproving cat, behind while it tries to figure out what to do and where to do now.
xxxxxDante fights against the hold of the man who has him by the back of the neck until he is worn out from it and then he curls into a heavy, uncooperative ball of feline anger giving incredibly long, deep growling sounds that stretch out to an impossible length.
xxxxxAs Skip makes his way back to where Agatha's proximity creates the thinnest barrier between the material world and the Twilight, it's to find her still in the rabbit's room. She's just finishing up with the last hutch being closed when Skip pushes through cat-first, causing the blonde to gasp - because of the cat as well as because it's his second time into the Bunny Room in a single day!
xxxxx"You found my... Dante?! Where was he? I've been looking for this damn cat..." She's rushing forward to scoop the Maine Coon out of Skip's grasp with an odd mix of relief and confusion, "Was he in the Hisil?!?"
xxxxxSkip looks at the gashes on his arm, already starting to scab and heal over, and rolls his sholder with a shrug, removing himself from the bunny room to spare the lun-- ur -- rabbits any undue stress. "You know cats," he says with a neutral inflection, "Always going places they don't have any business being. You wouldn't believe how glad the show spirit were to see him going after all the pissing on them he had been doing..."
xxxxxNo reason to upset Agatha with tales of Evil Ooze and Hell Cats... save those tears for when Dante finally provoked Skip into killing it for real, that's what he told himself.
xxxxxThere are already a few tears, it's a weird girly-thing no doubt that makes her cry over the seeming recovery of one of the things lost to her during the EotW events. But it is only a few tears, and she seems happy to see the mangy creature who yowls his displeasure over many things (thankfully which Agatha understands nothing he says) as she pets and cuddles the cat and follows Skip out of the room as well. Doubtless the cat would upset the rabbits as well, after all.
xxxxx"You look terrible!" She declares about the cat. "And you stink, jeeze cat you need a bath... But probably something to eat first... I'll put him in a room until he can calm down. He's shaking so much. He must have been terrified. I think we have some chicken, I'll give him some of that..." And there she goes giving his leftovers to the cat. But then they don't really have any cat food on hand these days. As she rambles about these things she gives Skip a big smile. "Is this why you had to go in there in such a hurry? To get him out? How did you know he was in there?"
xxxxx"I was in a hurry to rescue your cat, yes." Skip offers. "How? He called me out -- I mean, he was calling out to me. Well out, maybe not to me, but, you know." He grunts then expressively and follows this up with a shrug. "You're going to give the cat chicken? Can't you just let him catch his own dinner. Like mice or grasshoppers or something. He shouldn't eat people food. Hell, these days, people eat cat food. And I wouldn't wait on that bath, he's nasty."
xxxxx.oO(You have no idea how nasty.) Skip thinks to himself.
xxxxx"He might need to see a vet. I heard talk that there is some vet clinic being set up in town, that was the word around the people clinic anyway. Maybe you can take him in to get dewormed and definitely get a flea bath. Speaking of baths, I should probably go take a shower, I got Dante stink all over me."
xxxxx"He called out to you? Wow... that's a thing? Well, until I can go see about trading for something more suitable for him to eat... and the only place I can put him to catch mice or grasshoppers is to stick him outside, you just found him and he looks like he's starved." Agatha points out as though these are clearly significant things he should have realized. "A vet... Oh, yeah that seems like a really good idea, I'll make some calls and track the place down to have him looked over." She agrees, "They might be able to trade me something appropriate for regularly feeding him, too. But I need to keep him away from the rabbits, and yeah, he's nasty... wow..." She continues to rub the cat's ears and head, but doesn't brave anything more like cuddling.
xxxxxTo his last she chuckles, "So you're saying you scared the piss out of him, because that is kind of the prevailing odor here... I'll go give him a quick bath and get him set up in a room with some food and let him get some rest. Then I'll probably need a shower, myself. And then you can tell me more about what happened, I gave up on ever seeing him again so I'll probably be very appreciative and tell you that you're awesome." The wry smile suggests humor but her tone suggests maybe a touch more sincerity that might be expected. Though she might not be completely appreciative if she knew some of those particulars, the fact that she's extremely pleased to have the cat back is very clear.
xxxxx"Well, one never tires of hearing how one is awesome," Skip agrees with a diffident sniff while buffing his nails on the front of his shirt. Then he winks, "Especially when it is true."
xxxxxHe doesn't wait for the cat to glare at him to start laughing.