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It is currently 18:49 Pacific Time on Tue May 10 2016.

Currently in Saint Claire, it's a sunny day. The temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the northeast at 9 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 30.18 and falling, and the relative humidity is 22 percent. The dewpoint is 34 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degrees Celsius.) For more detail, see: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=98501

Currently the moon is in the waxing Crescent (Theurge) Moon phase (27% full).

Shaded Inlet(#2273RJ)

Here the trees open up only enough to allow for a small inlet off the river, but the forest is still thick and looming, with branches criss-crossing overhead like reaching fingers, seeking to fully enclose the area. An old, gnarled weeping willow sits at the end of the piece of land jutting out into the water with its roots half exposed, and this coupled with the other, younger tree growth serves to mostly shield the place from the eyes of anyone or anything looking in from the river proper at any substantial distance. Beyond these ancient guardians, the Columbia stretches wide, and on her opposite bank can just be seen the distant outline of the city.

A very tiny portion of the ground cover has been cleared away for a camp site, enough for a small, well kept firepit, a wooden frame for stretching hides, and a partially covered stack of firewood.

This is a relatively nondescript, 35-foot houseboat that has seen better years. Judging by the faded designs on the exterior, it looks to have been made in the late 60s to mid 70s. The colors may once have been vibrant and loud, but the sun has bleached the life out of the paint. Rust stains flow from drain-holes on the side of the craft, another indicator of its age and use.

Despite its age, the craft still looks sea-worthy. Twin 80HP Yamaha engines ensure the boat can still move, even if one of these normally very reliable engines breaks down. Combined, the engines should be able to move the craft at about 15 MPH, which is fairly fast for a small houseboat. A small V-hull metal dinghy, 10' in length, with a 10HP motor and an electric trolling motor is tied to the rear, ready to ferry passengers from ship to shore or vice versa.

The houseboat's interior is completely shrouded by heavy curtains, making it impossible to peer within. The small foredeck has a couple mounted-in-place chairs, a small table, a charcoal BBQ grill, and a sliding glass door that leads to the interior. The even-smaller aftdeck has only enough space for two chairs (likely for fishing), and a door leading inside. A ladder leads from the back onto the roof, where there is a combination of solar panels and heating/air conditioning units.

A plaque on the bow and fresh paint across the stern label this vehicle as "The Falcon," despite there being absolutely nothing falcon-like about the houseboat.

Brings-the-Pack sends a text message to Thomas: "Anyone kept you in the loop with the latest developments? Mind if I swung by to touch base?"

Thomas replies simply: No. And no. Come visit.

Roughly five minutes later, a cougar saunters out of the nearby woods and then pulls up short. A paw raises and then steps on a handy, nearby twig, which snaps loudly, announcing his arrival.

Rabbit is perched on one of the chairs on the boat's foredeck, hunched over the little table with a book, a piece of paper, and a pencil, diligently and carefully copying the words letter by letter. At the twig-snap, she looks up sharply, animal-alert and utterly still.

Brings-the-Pack spies the motion on the foredeck of the cabin cruiser and looks the young girl over briefly before taking a couple steps in reverse, preparing to exit the area it would initially appear.

Rabbit tilts her head a little, then grins -- an expression not too different from the kind Thomas makes, except her tongue pokes out between her teeth a little. She calls out in a little sing-song, "Helloooooooo..."

Brings-the-Pack halts his slow exit, taking a moment to re-eye the youngster on the boat and then the area in general, as if perhaps noticing it for the first time. His head then pivots back towards the girl. "Hello," comes out a digitized voice that sounds like Kylo Ren. "I was expecting Turtle and did not realize he had company."

"Oh," says the girl, leaning forward in her chair without leaving it -- a precursor to climbing onto the table itself. "Strange voice. Strange cat." She grins. "Hello, strange cat."

"Hello, strange girl," the cougar responds, though not with a miffed tone at having just been called strange. "Are you here to see Turtle?" he inquires curiously.

Rabbit looks impish. "Many days I see Turtle. Many." This seems to amuse the heck out of her. "Rabbit and Turtle. But he is always faster."

Brings-the-Pack changes directions once again, this time moving forward a few steps so he's back where he'd been when he'd snapped the twig. "Turtle is fast and clever. Who is Rabbit?"

A lower voice calls out from inside. It sounds roughly like Turtle, maybe, but whatever language he's speaking in isn't much like anything Nick has heard before. That sounded like a hint of Japanese there, and yet the next syllable was practically a squeak, and not a sound human throats usually make. Who are you talking to?

Rabbit looks back over her shoulder and calls over in the same language. A strange cougar that speaks with an odd human voice!

It seems to sound enough like Turtle to put the cat a little more at ease. He waits while the others speak, ears pivoting to better catch individual words and phrases.

Thomas seems to respond after a moment. Those might be words, but they include more strange, foreign, inhuman noises. That is a friend. I'm coming.

Rabbit grins and turns back. "Turtle comes, strange cat friend." She pockets the pencil, gets to her feet, and stretches.

Brings-the-Pack might have caught a word or two, because the cat seems to relax. He still keeps his distance though. Perhaps so as to not frighten or threaten. "You are a friend of Turtle, too?"

Thomas steps out onto the small deck looking a little scruffier than usual, and minus the battered hat and, surprisingly, that old coat of his. He's already at half grin, however, and appears to be dusting his hands off on his pants, leaving some white fingerprints. "'Ey. Sorry, I was making dinner. Mastincala, like I taught you. Introduction. He can hear it."

Rabbit finishes her stretch with a slight bounce on the balls of her feet and, clasping her hands behind her back, introduces herself. "I am Rabbit Digs Deep. I am Fox kit. Turtle is my father."

Brings-the-Pack raises his feline eybrows significantly at the introduction, and then appears to be on the verge of saying something to Turtle. He cuts himself off and returns his attentiion to Rabbit. Introduction give, so one is needed in return. "I am Brings-the-Pack. A mage. A friendly one," he adds, in case that might be useful information for Rabbit. "One of yours from the year before?" he asks Thomas.

"Pejula wacasa," Thomas says toward Rabbit. "A lightning man, or a Name-Breaker. Lots of words for mage, but a lot of them aren't very nice." His accent is decidedly lessened when he's speaking to her, or at least, it's a different accent than Nick is used to hearing. The mage himself gets a nod in answer. "That's her."

(Thomas pages: Basically, 'medicine man' in Lakota. It's got a good connotation to it, rather than the word for witch or sorcerer.)

Rabbit utters a long, "Ohhhhh," and regards the cougar with even more interest, even going so far as to head to the boat's edge and sit down, legs dangling, so she can see him better. She chatters a few words in the language she and Turtle spoke earlier. Father, he's so pretty!

"She grew up so fast!" the cougar-mage exclaims to Thomas, clearly a little dazzled by how little time has passed.

Whatever Rabbit says, it results in laughter from Thomas. He flashes Brings-the-Pack another grin. "Roko, fox-born that is, do that. The Scarred One was her mother. Her sibling's with another teacher. Well, a number of other teachers. She's here to learn, stay alive, and discover her Path." The slight emphasis he puts on 'Path' makes the capital letter audible.

Rabbit grins, the tip of her tongue poking out between her teeth, and swings her legs.

"Aren't we all?" the cougar replies with a bemused tone. "I wanted to share news that things seem to be afoot between the wolves and the Queen. They managed to kill the Queen's mage earlier, which in turn prompted the Queen to send Spirals and these invisible creatures that, if they touch you, suck years off your life.... to the caern during the last full moon. The garou slaughtered them, but they promised to destroy much. I felt the probably futures for many of the places the garou use, and the caern and Edgewood are likely to be attacked soon. Edgewood is being evacuated and everyone is on heightened alert. There is a half moon moot coming up this Friday. Allies of the sept are invited to attend. Be aware that tempers seem to be running hot, though."

Thomas rubs his beard, looking thoughtful as he uses that strange language again, presumably passing on the gist of what Nick said to Rabbit, in case she wasn't quite able to catch all of that. When he's finished, he shakes his head. "I'll see about being there, but if'n they're already worked up maybe I'll go alone this time. Too bad. Only just showed her the old place yesterday."

Rabbit grows solemn as she listens, first to Brings and then to Turtle. She murmurs softly to herself, takes the pencil back out of her jacket pocket, and chews on the wood.

"And this is likely not news to you, but it has been some time since we last spoke, and I have frequently been travelling. But Jacinta is no longer the Alpha. She left shortly after she was bested by Thane, a Shadow Lord." Brings-the-Pack looks as if he might say more, but he ceases after a momentary glance towards Rabbit. "He's been surprisingly reasonable."

"Yeah, so I heard." Thomas does not look thrilled, regardless. "Even met'm last time I was feeling social, before I brought Rabbit here. You should always be careful about surprisingly reasonable Shadow Lords. 'Course, you should be careful anyway, but especially when they're being chummy."

Rabbit yawns around the pencil clenched in her teeth, gets up, and heads for the boat's cabin.

Brings-the-Pack looks momentarily distracted and then offers, apologetically, "I planned to stay longer, but something has come up that needs my attention." He disappears back into the woods with a "My apologies."

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