[M] Sic Semper Tyrannus

For the Cartel

POSTED: Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:56 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Do not cry out or hit the alarm
You know we're friends till we die

"And you think you could do it better?" Redtooth's admonishment was spit with rare vitriol and wounded pride. He defended Vicira to the death, unwilling to relent even when the argument had been lost. Inferni was spiraling out of control and Boone could no longer stand by with tight lips and watch his home go to hell with his mother at the helm.

Boone only doubled down against his father, folding his arms and sneering. "Of course I do," he snapped. It was obvious to Boone that Redtooth was blind to Vicira's shortcomings. Try as he did, he could not make the man see.

It devolved into a shouting match of equal parts ego and anger. There was no winner, only losers, as both were equally entrenched in what they believed. Boone could only watch his threadbare relationship with his father crumble away in ignorance.

***

No longer could Boone stand idly by and watch his mother lay ruin to his claim. The following morning, he set his plan into motion. He could call no formal gathering, as such would be treason -- however, Boone could rely on his most trusted. They were few and far between, but enough to enact real change. In whispers, he arraigned a meeting for sundown in the concrete jungle. Meet at the building with the sweeping staircase. The torch will burn in the window.

The setting sun cast swathes of orange across the ruin. The time drew near, so Boone lit his torch and waited for his fellow detractors to arrive.

OOC text here.
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POSTED: Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:45 pm

He heard Ignacio talking in his native tongue sometimes, exchanging conversations too quick for Jethro's understanding to fully grasp. What he did understand made him suspicious, but Nacho never acted very different. When they talked it was about the bad weather, the deaths of the animals, and all the terrible things happening now. They breached the topic of family, of the future, about all those what ifs, and Jethro began to realize that each time they talked it was circling.

That was why when his cousin came to him, spitting mad and talking big, Jethro had not told his friend about the matter.

Jethro didn't tell his siblings either. If this was all talk, if this was nothing, no one needed to know about it. Adina and Credence valued things differently. He suspected they had already decided that Antioch's absence was temporary, and that they could find him, but as the days stretched on even this must have worn thin. Faith was all they had left, and Jethro had very little to give.

Prompt, as always, he was the first to arrive. There was his cousin, burning a low light in the dark. Jethro lingered in his approach and folded his arms over his chest when he finally stopped nearer Boone's gathering place. There was ash on him from the earlier parts of the day, and dried mud discolored the lower halves of his legs. He thought it particularly lucky there was not rain, though the gathering clouds suggested this would not last for long.

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POSTED: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:43 pm


Close as she was to her father, it was impossible for Merari to ignore the argument that transpired between him and Boone. Uncharacteristically, however, she didn’t go to sit in her father’s arms and talk shit about her sibling until he shushed her and laughed and cheered up. Normally she bitched when Boone was inconsiderate in little ways, just enough to ruffle the family’s fur—but this was something far more serious.

People were leaving. The clan was dying. Whether it could last through the summer had yet to be seen, but this was meant to be their recovery period; would they last another winter in the territory?

Merari disagreed that Boone could do shit about Inferni. No one would follow him. They were puppies.

But something had to be done, something other than coiling them tighter and defending a home gone rotten. There was terrible anger in their mother that scared Merari, because she didn’t understand it, but she understood stubborn pride.

When Boone came to her, she simply said that she would be in the city that night.

===========================

A flame wavered in the window of a gutted brick house, the street in shambles around it. Once-melted asphalt pooled in odd shapes that felt hot on Merari’s paws as she trotted to the gathering place. She passed new overgrowth spilling over the curb, then opened her mouth to shriek when a hand clamped on her shoulder.

“Done better keep yer mouth shut, chica,” the molasses-slow voice grumbled at her, and Merari snapped her jaws closed.

Her blue eyes flickered over the soot-marked face. What was Laurel doing here? Boone wouldn’t have trusted to bring him here, not one of the remaining higher-ups in the clan. He advised their mother and was close to some of the loyalists. She opened her mouth again to make an excuse or demand answers, brow furrowing and teeth flashing.

“I followed you,” Laurel answered before she could say anything. Lo que sea que seas, y’ kids ain’t subtle.” He smiled, and for the first time Merari thought the jolly old man looked frightening. Vamonos. Lessee what yer brother has t’ say.”

He walked behind her a couple paces, marching her toward the building with the torchlight where Jethro already was. She quickly reached her brother and, with widening of her eyes and a petulant jerk of her head, suggested that he had caught wind and that she’d tried to send him off.

Laurel went to lean against the brick, crossing his arms and drawing his tongue over his dark lips, languid and patient. Hunger had taken some of the fat from his stomach and face, and Merari realized that he was narrow-faced and tough beneath this.

Her palms sweat. She rubbed them against her fur and muttered a curse.

POSTED: Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:35 pm

Johnathan Winthrop

ooc

Andrew came to him, a while later and the two sat and smoked and talked about things. John had the same misgivings, that the place was going to hell and they should leave or move or do something. Anything other than sit here and starve and die from illness. Culling their mother's animals had been a tipping point for him.

John coughed and heaved several times during their conversation, a sickness that still hadn't truly departed from him. If it weren't for the ties that bound, John would have already packed up his shit and hauled ass away to somewhere less disease riddled, maybe the bar.

Other words had reached him, small whisperings and so John heard the shufflings of those up ahead that his sense of smell told him were Merari and Laurel. He came in behind them, already lighting up and showing his easy, selfish grin from behind the smoke.

"Sup."

John had always been inclined to leanness but now the bones were poking uncomfortably when he leaned against the wall. Wintergreen watched Boone carefully, the young man was seething in an outward way that was easy to see, he practically oozed dissatisfaction.

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POSTED: Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:02 pm

Do not cry out or hit the alarm
You know we're friends till we die

Boone sat along the stairs as he waited for his sympathizers to arrive. The gathering would be small, he supposed -- as he went only to those he trusted with such an incendiary and divisive plea. It was mostly family, those bound to him by blood, but this in itself was a risk Boone had to be wiling to take. Family to Boone was in turn family to Vicira. He saw to rely on their discontent rather than their loyalty to his mother. Coyotes by nature were opportunistic beasts after all.

They trickled in slowly; the cousin, the sister, the uncle, and the fat buffoon. So would be the revolution. "Well," said Boone, pushing himself up the stairs with impatience to start. "Shall we begin?"

He had no pulpit, no stage, but Boone made due with the space the ruin provided. He stood tall and confident. Nations were not built on the backs of weak men. The strong followed the strong. Catching Merari's wary glance, Boone was resolute. He could not be construed as weak, not now, it didn't matter if his call for insurrection reached his mothers ears.

"I'm sure most of you are aware of the rot that has settled over our home, are we not?" Death. Disease. Poverty. These were the markings of Vicira's rule. "The war with Salsola took so much from us," Boone began, recounting things he could hardly remember. "Our dignity. Our true home."

"Look around you," exclaimed Boone, raising his arms in emphasis. "My mother brought us here under the false promise of prosperity, renewal, and hope. Tell me friends, where is our hope?"

"Under Vicira, there is only death and stagnation!" Boone's eyes were wild with fury. He found himself easily whipped into a fervor, but he used it to his advantage, weaving powerful emotion into every word. "Our fire fades, our territory shrinks and our families die."

"It's time to say enough and demand abdication!" Boone shouted, "We must take our land back from the clutches of negligence or secede and form anew. There is no other way."

OOC text here.
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POSTED: Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:14 pm

That's your plan? Jethro spat. He rolled one of his shoulders, as if discomforted. His scowl lingered, though it shifted between the assembly – a miserable, motley assortment.

His cousin had robbed strangers and made his voice known before this, but what did they really have here? He didn't see opportunity, only sparks trying to find a reason to live. That was the problem with living without faith – Jethro could fall back on believing. There had to be a plan, even if that involved suffering.

God was cruel.

God was really fucking cruel.

Save your speeches, Boone, it's only us, the blonde went on. He frowned, then unfolded his arms. There was lingering tension in his body, all that pent-up rage from the miserable life they now endured. His cousin sure spoke the way people in charge ought to sound, but it sounded like a pipe-dream. What do you really think you can do, huh? Fight your mom? Leave your family?

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POSTED: Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:43 pm

Boone launched into a theatrical tirade about their mother's rule, demanding that they rise up against Vicira. His speech, peppered with words the simple farmgirl understood through only context, might have made her cringe – if not for the raw passion behind it. Her brother believed his own nonsense.

And he was right, wasn't he, about most of it?

Loyal to her littermate and rebellious, Merari was surprised to find herself hesitant. She wrapped her arms around herself and chewed on the inside of her cheek, thinking.

Laurel stepped away from the brick wall where he leaned. He adjusted the antler pendant at his throat and dusted sooty hands together. Fancy speech, amigo, the fat coywolf said, but y' sound like yer full'a hot air. He put a hand on his hip and gestured carelessly at Boone. Ain't nobody gonna listen to a mocoso like you. La jefe has gotten desperate 'n' it's made her stupid, yeah, but no one's gonna do better with Inferni.

He smiled his disarming fool's smile, but his molasses drawl carried on. What's there t' do with the clan? Steal shit 'n' bring wolves down on us? Uproot the entire place again? Who you reckon is gonna lead us? You?

Merari twitched her ears at Laurel's words; surely Boone wasn't so vogie and conceited to believe that. She shot her brother a look, and finally unfolded her arms.

Our mom didn't mean for this to happen. The war crippled us, and she just wanted a safe place that had meaning. It isn't her fault shit went bad. She sighed. But she's too proud to admit that Inferni won't get better. That's what you mean, right Boone?

The girl stroked one of her dark pigtails. Inferni is over. A lotta folk already figured it out 'n' left. We should just go too. Mom will understand then.

Laurel leaned back against the wall at this, relaxed but completely unreadable, but his gaze darted to John – probably curious as to what the only other adult with real life experience would say. Merari found herself looking at her uncle, too. She knew John was fed up with the storms and hunger that fell over the clan, but she didn't know how deep his loyalty ran to Redtooth – and by proxy, Vicira.

POSTED: Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:21 pm

smoke the night away

The scout made himself home in the shadows beyond the doorway of the hollowed structure, tan ears twitching as he listened to the discord of voices rise and fall within. He knew they were blood, most of ‘em -- maybe Laurel and John less so, but family all the same -- and he could not bring himself to wrap himself in the easy warmth inside. He stared dully out into the crooked landscape, once-fiery eyes dimmed by the most recent torrent of rain.

Blood was thicker than water but this time it seemed mud would swallow them all.

They doubted the pup, that much was clear to see, and part of Ichabod did too -- the same part that still clung onto the blackened shell of a mansion and the little grave it guarded. But Boone spoke of rot and disease and death and Ichabod made himself believe. God would cast no more mercy on the defeated -- thus was the glory of war. The victors reveled in their spoils while the vanquished crawled home to their graves.

“An’ if we go, what then?” he croaked out at last, dehydration and exhaustion exaggerating his usual rasp. “How’re we gonna survive out there?” Ichabod cast a scornful look out into the recesses of the Concrete Jungle, eyes straining as if he could see what was beyond the crumbling structures of stone and brick. “How’re we gonna make sure we all get fed? How’re we gonna make sure we’ve got a roof t’ sleep under at night? How’re we gonna fend fer ourselves if them folk out there get testy?”

The Scintilla rubbed at his temples with a mud-flecked palm. God only helped those who help themselves, that much was true, but how?

“How’re we gonna make sure you an’ Merari grow up right?”

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POSTED: Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:27 pm

Johnathan Winthrop

ooc

He watched them all; Boone with his impassioned but hollow speech, Jethro with angry words and Merari's attempts at moderation, Laurel's condescension. Heads turned to him and he sucked deeply on his blunt, well aware of how desperately low his stash was getting.

Ichabod spoke though before he could and the coywolf's green gaze found the ceiling as he rested his head against the wall. His throat was dry again, he coughed quietly.

"Over the mountains, there's better hunting grounds. Its lusher and we might be able to trade with the wolf packs for shit. Or we can kill some of the horses for food." He shrugged his shoulders in a languid way, family loyalty had kept him here whilst his bones pushed out and his face grew gaunt but would it stretch into death, for starvation? Not while there was a better choice. His head rolled back to look at the motley assembled bunch,

"If we stay, we're fucked. That much is obvious. There ain't enough food here, look at you all!" His hands flung out his hands to encompass them all and himself, all of them were thin and ragged looking. He sucked in the rest of his blunt and it crumbled to pieces, he flicked the end onto the ground and crunched it out with his foot, ignoring the small spark of pain from the ember.

"I get that Vicira is doin' her damn best but.. best ain't good enough when the kids are starvin' and we can't barely walk or hunt cause we're so fuckin' weak. We say here and we die. We go and we might still die but at least there's a fuckin' chance at life." He blew out a long, slow breath.

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Johnathan Winthrop
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POSTED: Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:37 pm

Do not cry out or hit the alarm
You know we're friends till we die

Perhaps it was Boone's own delusion, but he half expected thunderous applause rather than the reaction he received. Lukewarm, bordering on hostile, it was. It took him aback and put him on the defensive. Everyone had their piece to say; some accused him of being a turncoat with no loyalty to his family. Others, that he was misinformed at best. Boone's heart was hardened -- his gaze stony and resolute.

He let them speak, every last one them, with clinched fists.

He sighed. "Perhaps I misspoke. I'm not going to fight my mom, if that's what you think," he started. "I don't want us to abandon her either. 'Cause if we go -- Inferni dies. Mom. Dad. My little brother too. No one would want that." Visions of power aside, even Boone was beyond that level of heartless.

"But sometimes, we're going to have to do things we don't want to to ensure our own survival." He grimaced and looked to his uncle who spoke truth. Wisdom from the mouth of one he did not expect. "John is right. Either we all move south -- or just we do."

"Or we die like the rest."

OOC text here.
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