In-N-Out moved through the Waypoint. He found a private place to cross over. Once through he gauntlet, glad that it was less thick in the caern he shook out his fur. Shifting to lupus he headed out and into the umbral landscape of Seattle.
The creature looked strange. At first glance you might mistake him for a giant raccoon due to his prey markings. Black legs, black bands on his poofty tail. Dark gray poofty fur, black ears and ‘mask’ over his eyes, but he wasn’t. He was wolf. Garou specifically but in lupus he ‘was’ a wolf. Just a rather peculiar looking one.
He headed away from the caern and towards one of the larger parks in Seattle. Lupus legs carrying him faster than homid feet could. Some might laugh. When he came to the umbral reflection of cross streets, the lupus formed metis was always careful to look both ways before crossing. Why? He’d grown up in the city. He’d found out the hard way that after years of love and attention. Weekly washing, polishing, buffing. After fuzzy dice, and fuzzy seat warmers, custom detailing and just pure love, that some of the human cars had awoken, and their spiritual reflections were surely here in the umbra. Not nearly as numerous as the vehicles in the physical world but if a car had a ‘name’ and a loving owner, it might appear here. Which was all well and good when they were parked, but if their owner was driving them in the real world, they moved around in the spirit world. It’d just ruin your day to get run over by a spiritual hummer or something. So Nameless looked.
When he got to the park he slowed. Sniffing the air there was one benefit in his quest. What he sought wouldn’t be terribly hard to find. A few rangings around the little urban glen and Nameless picked up the scent. Turning he approached, but slowly. Slipping over the umbral reflection till the scent got stronger. Eye wateringly so. Then paused. The spirit was there. Black with white spots. One might expect stripes but there were more than one kind. This one, spotted. It looked up at the strange creature and blinked.
Nameless blinked back waiting. The spirit’s tail rose and Nameless dropped to the ground putting his paws over his eyes. Presenting no threat.
Long tense minutes passed. Then the spirit calmed and looked over to him.
“What do you want? No Eat?”
Thankfully most city spirits spoke the language of their city. Nameless slowly shifted to his homid form. Laying there on the ground he looked to the black spirit with the white dots.
“No honored, Spirit. No Eat! I come in peace!”
The spirit turned side ways, still ready to flip that tail up and let fly if it needed to. “Why do you come here, wolf shifter? Or should I call you brother raccoon?”
Nameless smiled from where he lay. “An aspect of my birth, honored and wise spirit of the city… I am as you say, a wolf shifter. Son of Rat. I come seeking your immense wisdom”
The spirit turned and seemed to ponder that. Wasn’t every day that one of THEM came to IT for wisdom.
“Explain, Son of Rat”
Nameless nodded. “Among our people it’s been long known that you and your kind are very wise. You engage in chemical warfare against your enemies. You’re so special, that few other spirits can even approximate your talent and gifts. While beautiful, you do not use your astounding good looks. Black with white spots.. how cunning! Nay, honored spirit, you use your own defenses, to end fights before they began. Fearsome is your reputation. Even full grown wolves and bears would be fearful to attack you least they learn a lesson they would never forget. You intimidate creatures far far larger than yourself into full flight!”
The spirit was warming. That sounded good at least. Spirits rather liked it when you flattered them, and Nameless’ flattery had another aspect that spirits liked. Truth.
His words were true.
The spirit turned to look at him. “And you seek my wisdom, Son of Rat?”
“I do honored spirit. I do. I would love if you taught me such a gift. The wisdom of the wise! The ability to fight as you do, with mind and body. To end fights and incapacitate my enemies with out even lifting a claw or fang. “
The spirit sat up on it’s hind legs now and seemed to mull Nameless over. “This gift is as natural to me as breathing young Son of Rat… but not something I part with just on a whim.”
Nameless nodded. “Of course honored and wise one. A child of Rat would never come to ask favor, with out Chiminage.”
The spirit perked up it’s ears. Looking Nameless over and gestured with a paw.
Nameless slowly rose from the ground. Spooking a spirit was seldom a good thing. Spooking THIS spirit could be disastrous. He didn’t fully stand. 6’4” might be a bit much but he moved into a sitting position.
He’d run into many of this spirits physical brothers and sisters throughout his life. They tended to look for food in the same places sometimes. I.E. Trashcans, dumpsters and the like. Sure nameless was struggling to keep a job now, but he still augmented his daily caloric intake from the cast off’s of others. Urban members of this spirit’s type did so as well. Much to the horror of many they thrived in urban settings. Till they got hit by cars… but urban and especially suburbs were homes to many of their kind.
Nameless knew this and knew what they liked.
His hand slowly reached into a pocket on his BDU pants. They were big and carried a lot. In preparation for this quest, he’d had Hela hold onto his jacket. If he screwed it up he didn’t want to have to replace THAT.
The hand with drew and slowly moved forward. On the umbral ground the werewolf carefully opened up the box. Inside. Was a gastronomic pleasure. A potato roll, thick and fluffy held a full half pound patty of Angus beef. On it, aged Wisconsin cheddar. Lettuce from the valley and fresh cut tomato. It still steamed.
The spirit looked down and sniffed the air delighted, but looked to Nameless. “This is for me?”
Nameless nodded. “Totally for you. No others. I haven’t even taken a bite. Not trash. This is fresh. For you alone my wise friend”
The spirit licked it’s muzzle. It’s kind were content to eat from trash but here was hot steaming food. Nameless could have used his fetish, to magically get enough funds for this offering. He didn’t.
He had searched the city. A penny here.. a nickle there.. checking the coin return on the few pay phones that still existed. Looking around and under vending machines, etc. All across Fremont the Gnawer had quested. Penny by penny. Nickle by nickle. A crumpled dollar found at the bottom of a storm drain. It had taken some time. The burger there being offered was no O’Tolly’s gut buster. It was from a high end eatery. The spirit could feel the effort gone into it. Both in the actual Chiminage’s construction, but more over the effort and dedication that Nameless had put in to acquiring it for the spirit. The effort gone into it. Hours of searching for change to add up to the burger’s substantial cost. Sure a walker could have flashed a credit card in a few seconds, but Nameless had put hours, days into seeking out every coin. Every bill.
It came forward then, and sniffed it. Looking up at Nameless. The spirit weighed the offering. The offering itself, was not a massive thing. It was the effort put into it. The time spent dedicated to the cause. To appease the spirit, to show the importance of the wisdom being requested. That was what spirits loved. They liked to be respected and when asking for a favor, they wanted to ‘get something’ out of it. In this case a mighty Garou, one of Gaia’s on warriors had spent hours and hours, days, scouring the city in search of the components for the offering. Not so much he grilled it, but the search for every penny and every dime, bespoke the effort put in, for this act of appeasement and Chiminage.
The spirit nodded. “Thank you Child of Rat, you have put effort into this. I can feel it. I will teach you my ways”
The spirit, how ever… ate first. The offering slowly disappeared as the little creature took in the offering. Savoring it and relishing the taste and flavors. When it was consumed the spirit again stood on it’s hind legs. Looking Nameless in the eyes.
A connection was made, from the little thing to the garou. When it focused it’s will. Nameless focused his own and then… in a glimmer.. in an heart beat. The knowledge of the gift was transferred. Namless’ eyes flickered and blinked as the spirit bestowed it’s knowledge.
Nameless was very grateful. It’s why one went through the trouble of petitioning spirits for their aid in learning gifts. A garou “Could” Learn a gift from another garou but you learned it like… you learn to read. Slow and ponderous. Taking time. Doing it over and over and over again until you get it right. Try conjuring water in your hand if you’ve never done it before!! Hard work. But spirits ‘bestowed’, and that was magical.
With a gift like the one In-N-Out had sought to learn, doing it the other way, would have been solid torture, for student and teacher alike.
Smiling he bowed low before the SKUNK. “Thank you Wise spirit. I very much appreciate your aid”
The skunk patted him on the head. “Good wolf. Oh.. and don’t kill any of my people… for……. 6 turns of luna’s face”
Nameless nodded. No killin’ skunks for half a year? You got it.
Slowly as not to spook the.. admittedly excitable spirit, he backed away on all 4s… then departed the park.
Head to this artsy, waterside enclave to snap a selfie with the iconic Fremont Troll and to enjoy the neighborhoods delicious offerings and free spirited charm. This room encompasses Meni Dumpling Tzar, Pacific Inn Pub, HA! , Fremont Sunday Market, Show Poney, Fremond Brewing, MiiR, Fremont Abby, Norms, Browers Cafe, and George & the dragon Pub
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