hazlogs: Glass Walker Glyph (Glass Walker)
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It is currently 20:01 Pacific Time on Fri Apr 28 2017.

Currently in Saint Claire, it is partly sunny. The temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the west at 6 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 30.32 and rising, and the relative humidity is 56 percent. The dewpoint is 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius.) For more detail, see: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=98501

Currently the moon is in the waxing New (Ragabash) Moon phase (18% full).

Harbor Park -- Fountain

Situated in the center of a large, open meadow is a clustering of six trees, a flower bed, a few steel-and-wood benches set firmly into concrete, and a flagstone courtyard that is dominated by a large fountain.

The fountain is a wide circular pool of water some fifty feet across and about five feet deep in most places. The sculpture in the center is a mix of old and new, traditional and modern: eight concrete-and-stainless-steel slabs about six feet high are set in a rough Stonehenge-like circle around the center of the fountain. Water flows from their tops, cascading in bright mesmerizing sheets to the pool below. Rising above the steel circle is a large marble statue of the Water Bearer, an androgynous figure draped in robes of flowing water. It bears a large jug carved with various Greek symbols, from which pours a seething torrent of water into the pool at its feet.

Cars on the nearby street have an excellent view of the park as do any residents of the tall buildings which line the waterfront.

The murky waters of the Columbia River flow swiftly along the east side of the park. Bracketing the park to the west is First Street and the city of St. Claire. Recent construction work is creating an earthen berm several feet high all along the borders of the park in all directions.

The evening is cool, the sky largely clear of clouds, and with just a bare sliver of moon peeking over the horizon, small enough that it can't rightly be called a crescent yet. Most of the park goers headed home over an hour ago, when the sun began to dip, but a few stragglers remain, and chief among them is a man strolling along the park side of the berm, humming to himself and seemingly entirely unbothered by the berm's extremely uneven footing. The tune is unfamiliar, but jaunty.

Salem slouches alongside the berm some further on, his hood up and his hands in his pockets. He's been watching Thomas for some time, and once the man's within conversational distance, he sends over a mild accusation: "Showoff."

Thomas responds with a beaming grin, and a tip of his battered hat. "And a fine night to you too." His humming ended, he moves to join the deceptively younger looking Walker.

Salem pushes his hood back; he's grinning a little, though there's a brittleness to it, and it doesn't touch his eyes. "How's things with you?"

"Fair," Thomas replies. There's a decided level of ease and sincerity about it. "Busy at points, 'specially with this whole Queen business wrapping up. You?"

Salem shrugs, his grin fading. "Also busy, I suppose," he says, turning to lean back against the berm. "But also... I dont know."

Thomas tilts his head toward Salem. "Ain't one to press," he says after a moment. "But if'n you feel like talking, I've got ears." He, too, leans against the berm, before fishing around inside one of his coat pockets for a flat tin. "And tobacco for that matter. Want one?"

"/Fuck/ yes." Spoken like a true addict. "I've been attempting to quit -- not for the first time, granted -- but... but." Salem's rueful expression says volumes.

Thomas selects one of the handrolled cigarettes inside for himself, then passes the tin over. "Got it into my head a few times to try myself, but ain't never gone anywhere with it."

Salem produces a lighter. "There are worse vices. At least, that's what I tell myself." He lights up and takes a drag with the ease that comes with decades of practice-slash-addiction. He exhales slowly.

"Far worse'n a bit of a smoking habit," Thomas agrees. "Long's you can run, it ain't even gonna do much against you." He pops out his own lighter just long enough to light up, and then both lighter and tin get tucked back into the coat's inner pocket--where such pockets don't typically exist on oiled canvas dusters. "Smell can be trouble, I suppose, in certain places."

Salem nods slowly. He takes another long drag, his eyes shifting away from Thomas and sweeping across the park. "Not to mention the rural types having a fit over 'evil Wyrm chemicals.'" He doesn't do air-quotes, but they're audible enough.

Thomas snorts softly. "I roll my own, and I like to think I'm fair discerning 'bout where I pick up my leaf. 'Sides, lot've rituals bound up in this little plant." A grin plays at his lips. "Suppose I'm pretty rural though. It's just folk keep rolling into the woodlands, and what're you gonna do? Run away or adapt."

"Survive and adapt," Salem says, looking back up at Thomas. "Cockroach's motto." He looks away, studying his cigarette, frowning. "You've seen a lot of history." It's not quite a question.

Thomas's grin is a little tight at the question, but the moment passes almost as soon as it begins. "Could say that, I suppose."

Salem doesn't notice; he's still looking at his cigarette. "Do you... ever lose track?"

Thomas, on the other hand, glances sidelong at Salem. "Suppose that depends on what you mean by losing track. Forget where I am? Get lost in memories? Megh." He exhales slowly, smoke trailing from his lips only to be whipped around in the light breeze. "Some nights're a lot closer than others no matter how long ago I lived 'em."

Salem takes another drag, slow, and exhales. "I saw the Apocalypse happen," he says, his voice quiet and bland. "Luna shifting from her orbit to throw herself against the Wyrm's Hammer. The woods burning and the city going to shit. Riots, Wyrmthings practically boiling out of the ground, the Ratkin coming out of nowhere like a fucking tidal wave... and then after. It was cold, it was dark... but life went on. Mostly." He takes another drag. "I got old fighting there, helping keep people alive, and then, suddenly... it was gone. I was... I don't know. Here. Wondering what the hell was real, some days, but I was still old, and I still had my scars, so even when things... faded, I had those things to remind myself."

Thomas listens quietly, without a single attempt to interrupt. He's quiet for a little while after as well, slowly puffing at his cigarette. "...Well," he says, finally. "I'm hoping for Her sake you saw an Apocalypse, rather'n a direct preview of /the/ one." A long beat. "I ever tell you 'bout how Hengeyokai look at the Sixth Age?"

Salem looks up at Thomas, one eyebrow raised. "No?"

"Well," Thomas says, and he makes himself a little more comfortable against the berm as he speaks. "To the Hengeyokai, time ain't a straight line. It's a great big wheel, and you can mark out the ages on it between the spokes. And like all wheels, it turns. Seeing as how it's so damn big, the turning's real slow, and ain't nobody who really knows just when or how a new spoke is going to roll in. The Sixth Age's what we call the Apocalypse. But time being a wheel, it ain't the end've everything. Just the worst Age, the one where the Wyrm gets his teeth into things and tries to tear the wheel right off. Stop it from ever turning again. But provided we do our bits, we hold on tight, 'n we chip at his teeth as much as we can, well, so long as the wheel's still attached, it's gonna turn. And one day it's gonna turn to the seventh age. Ain't no guarantee we'll all make it. Figure lot've us won't, whole species've shifters going the way of the ones we've already lost. But some've us'll manage to hang on and keep kicking, and that's what matters. Life's a tough old bastard. If there's anything left of the Wheel when it turns, things'll go on."

Salem nods. "That... actually makes sense. Because Gaia didn't end. She was just... wounded. Badly. Most of the Garou I knew were dead, and I never saw any new ones born in all the years afterward. But the Wyrm was decimated, too. The future, as I saw it, was humanity's." He grimaces. "Not that I'm certain anymore if it was real, any of it. Shit."

"Real enough, I figure," Thomas says, "that if'n you're alright with it, I'd like to tell a few folk I know. Get a few watching the sky, mayhap. Dunno. You said it was real enough for scars'n memories. That's real as far as I'm concerned."

"My scars are gone and my memories..." Salem trails off, shakes his head a little, takes another drag. "But, yes, fine. If it helps, everything started going to shit when the Red Star became visible in the Realm and turned out to be a big goddamn planet-killing rock. Which is why we started calling it the Wyrm's Hammer."

Thomas shakes his head. "Dunno if it'll help. Just know it's something I think a few've my folk here would like to know. 'Specially seeing as how it concerns the Lady." He nods at this title, toward the barely visible sliver of moon above them. "In any case, so far as memories are concerned, I get 'em all jumbled sometimes, and one comes rolling out smelling sharp and fresh. The oldest ones, well. Sometimes I wake up'n wonder just how much've that was true. Sometimes."

Salem makes a grumbly little 'hmph' noise. "I know that feeling. It's not pleasant."

"That's why," Thomas says solemnly, "some nights I invoke the ancient ritual of getting very, very drunk." He chuckles to himself.

Salem gives a tight smile. "One of the few advantages to being... the way I am now." He sucks down another lungful of smoke and exhales it through his nose. "I'm a /much/ cheaper drunk."

Thomas chuckles a little more at this, and for a minute or so he stays quiet, smoking in an amiable sort of silence.

Salem lapses into silence as well, his eyes returning to the park at large -- keeping a habitual eye out -- and otherwise focusing on enjoying the Fox's excellent tobacco (which is far better than the cheap shit he usually smokes, when he can).

Eventually, when they've both nearly finished their cigarettes, Thomas produces the tin again, and offers Salem a wordless second.

Salem takes it with a murmured, "Thanks," lighting it on the end of the first. "Anything you need, by the way?"

Thomas smiles as he lights up his own again. "Nah. Pretty well set out there. Suppose I could always use some real nice paper, if'n you have any lying around."

"Not lying around, but I'm a fair scrounger," Salem says. "Any particular kind?"

"More natural the better," Thomas murmurs. "No laminates, magazine paper...that don't work so well. Like I said, it ain't a big priority, but I can always use more've it."

Salem's eyes half-close, his expression turning thoughtful. Or sleepy. "Might be able to scavenge some cotton rag or something from the art building at SCCU. Semester's close to ending, lots of scraps from people's final projects."

Thomas grins. "Don't put yourself out, but I'd appreciate it if'n you find the opportunity."

Salem waves his cigarette hand in a mildly dismissive gesture. "It's no problem. Least I can do."


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