Sept 27th - Teas 'n Tomes
Ebon entered Teas'n Tomes, giving the hostess behind the bakery case a smile. "Good evening? Can I get a black tea with cream and honey, please?"
Katt had left, for a period of time, but returned to her table. The look on her face was blank as she stared forward, hand unclenching and clenching around a small object. She didnt even seem to hear the bell ring.
Taking the cup, he paid and stepped away, looking at the bookshelves as he roamed the little shop... and then he spied a familiar face, seemingly oblivious to everything around her. "Hullo, Katt."
She jerked in surprise and her sharp greens shot to Ebon as if he had spooked her. Surely not, right? "Ebon. Oh..Hey."
"You okay?" Thankfully he went on after a second, thus giving her an opportunity to avoid answering that. "How'd your meet-and-greet go?"
"Yeah I am okay. There really wasn't one. I waited but nobody really came by. Nobody that wasn't a friend, anyways and nobody with questions." She shrugged and leaned in her seat, a little chuckle given. "You know it is kind of funny...I set this meeting up for people to get to know me..not because of the election. I didn't even plan on making it past what I have.."
"Well, I think it's neat that you just wanted to meet with folks... you're a good one, Katt, and more people need to realize it." Beat. "I'm not just saying that because I voted for you, either."
She looked mildly confused. "Why did you vote for me?" She suspected he would of voted for Maggie.
"Because I think you would make an excellent Governor." Ebon took a sip of his tea. "There were a number of decent candidates on the ballot--Maggie, Andu, Ammy, Will--but you were my pick. You know that you don't know it all, you've got experience with the political side of Rhy'din after being on Fionna's Council and then backing me up more recently... and you listen to people. That said, I can't play favorites at the debate on Friday. Sorry!" He flashed a grin.
She was not looking forward to that. "It is fine. I never expected you to. I am not sure I would make a good Governor. I just..want to do good by the people. I do have to wonder, however...Why does it seem that this group is so damn hellbent on getting rid of all non-human. Rhydin was never really all human since its founding."
At this particular moment the door was crashed through by the big cat, now shirtless, splattered with blood, his hands covered with it, carrying an unconscious Sylva in his arms, already speaking as he turned towards a table. "I need a first-aid ki..." His eyes alighted on Ebon and Katt before he could finish, and he moved in their direction. One arm cradled Sylva to his chest while the other cleared a nearby table in a single sweep. "She's been shot!"
Hearing that, Ebon practically leapt from his chair and moved to Clayton and Sylva's side, all business. "Where?" As he looked over the unconscious young woman, one hand dropped to one of the pouches at his belt, opening it to withdraw some gauze padding that he placed upon the now-obvious wound. "Bullet or slug? Is it still in there?"
Her eyes turned to the door to see Clayton. The first thing she saw was blood. She shot up from her seat, the chair scrambling back to bounce off the nearby wall. "Clayton!" Wait..She? She spotted her younger self in his arms and she started to pale. "Shot.." Shaking her head she moved to the counter and shooed the pretty little thing behind it. Grabbing the first aid kit, some water, and a few rags. These were brought over to Ebon who seemed to take control of the situation. Her eyes? Were looking Clayton over. Making sure...
He laid her carefully on the table, on her back. A ragged field dressing had been applied to the wound on her chest, made out of a shirt that had been clean and was now soaked with blood. Stepping back, Katt could see he wasn't hurt, though some of the blood on him was clearly his own, showing the distinctive gold-red color, mostly on one of his arms. Reaching into a pocket, he came out with a bullet. "I dug it out." The long, sleekly shaped projectile appeared to be made of a polished silvery metal, scrimshaw-like designs etched into its surface.
"Good... it can't do any more damage." The gauze pad he'd applied was starting to soak through, and blood stained his fingertips. He pulled it away and gently lifted the field dressing Clayton had applied, spot-checking the injury. "Doesn't look like it hit an artery, it's not spurting, but we need to close that up ASAP. Katt, check the kit, see if there's any antiseptic wash or ointment. Clayton," and with his free hand he drew his cell phone from another pouch, "call emergency services."
She could already guess why his blood was on him and she reached out to his arm, squeezing lightly after everything was placed down. "Call the Tower, Clayton. Tell them it is an emergency, please. Tell them to get two bags ready as if I were coming for blood." A hand reached over to Ebon with a single tap to his shoulder. "Keep it staunched, Ebon." She did go to get the wash out of the kit as requested and forked it over.
"Batten Tower works too." Then he closed his eyes and a look of concentration came over his face. After a moment, the blood within the wound seemed to shift, moving aside as if sucked away from the ragged, torn flesh. "There." He opened his eyes and took the wash from Katt, dabbing some onto a cloth and applying it directly to the wound.
He felt Katt's touch on his arm, though his gaze was focused on Ebon for a moment as he took the cellphone, something in his gaze that looked like anger. Katt's touch distracted him, as well as her voice, and he did as he was bid before handing it back over. "Michael says he will have everything ready, and is sending a transport." At that moment there could be heard a mewling at the door, and a scratching sound. Turning, he went and opened it, coming back with a bedraggled kitten in one hand.
"Katt, reach into my pouch here," and he nodded his head to the left, towards the pouch from which he'd originally taken the gauze pad, "and there should be a small container at the top. Field sutures. If I can get this closed, that should stop the bleeding long enough to get her to the Tower."
She didn't know what Ebon did but all she could do was watch. Frustratedly. Her eyes tilted over to Clayton, a brow raised. "Do you think it was her that did this?" And did he have a kitten in hand? What the heck? "Err. Sure." As long as Ebon's pouch wasn't at his hip because that would just be weird! "Made yourself a new friend while out and about?" That to Clayton while she dug in the pouch and withdrew the container as Ebon requested.
It was at his hip, but on the side, not on the front. Damn it, woman, there's a life at stake!
Hey! Only one front she wants to grope around at, thank you! And it wasn't Ebon's.
"Thank you." Opening the container, he withdrew something that resembled an oversized staple... which is basically what it was. "Does anyone have a flashlight? That bullet may not have hit a major artery, but it came pretty close and I don't want to nick it myself because I can't see. If I let her die, Doran will likely kill me."
"If you are unsteady at doing this, Ebon, I can staunch the blood until she gets to the tower." Clayton might not approve on how that is done, however. "I doubt the boy would do that." Pulling out her pcui she fumbled around with it until she got the screen to brighten enough. Hopefully enough and she tilted it over. "Will that do? That is all I really have."
"It's her friend. According to her, the only companion she has had since the children's festival." He held the kitten in his hand, small as it was, cradled to his chest to keep it from leaping to Sylva. He held up the bullet in the other hand, his expression darkening. "Only my people use bullets such as these." His voice changed with his expression, a growl entering his tone. "And when I find her..."
"It'll do." He concentrated, and the now-lit edges of the bullet wound pulled together at one end. Inserting the suture so that it penetrated both side, Ebon focused and it crimped shut, holding that point of the injury closed. "One down...." Taking another suture, he began to repeat the process. "If you know who might've done this, Clayton, do NOT let my son find out. He's been worried sick about Sylva since the carnival, thinking that he hurt her terribly and that she hates him." Crimp. Two down. "If he finds out she was shot, he'll go ballistic."
She was silent on the subject of the festival. Instead she looked to Clayton, her lips thinning. "She's a sucky shot if she was trying to kill Sylva. Either that or she was very far away..." Probably to keep downwind of Clayton's nose.
Then a stream of invective burst from Ebon's lips. "Found another bleeder, nicked by some bone shards... vein, but still... let me close it out." Tug, crimp. "Okay, one more."
He thinks for a moment. "She had to be very far away. I did not even hear the shot, just the bullet going past my head..."
He wasn't really focused on what Katt and Clayton were saying, though he'd likely recall it later. The last suture was applied, and Ebon slowly released his mental grip to see if they would hold.
She had no idea what Ebon was really talking about and just like her conversation with One...she felt stupid. Dumb as a rock. "Clayton you aren't going to search for her alone." There were no if, ands, or buts about it.
After a moment, he stepped back. "I think the bleeding is stopped, closed up." He snagged another pair of gauze pads and some medical tape from his First Aid Kit of Holding, and began applying a fresh field dressing. "How long before that transport gets here?"
He growled in his throat, a sound that could not be anything but animal. "Search for her? No. I am going to hunt her. And then I am going to tear her to pieces." He took a breath, his eyes closing a moment. When he spoke again, his voice was calmer. "But we need to see to the little one, first."
Ebon's question appears to be the cue for the sound of a vehicle coming to a halt outside, followed by a pair of Batten Security men entering with a gurney.
"Nice work, Ebon, and thank you." She owed him. "It shouldn't be much longer." She glanced to Clayton. "Maybe you should ride with her to the Tower to cool off and see to her." Unless he wanted to stay. "Either way I think you should pass the kitten over to one of the medics when they get here. If it has been a comfort to her she may need it when she wakes. In which case...well..She had a few questions for Clayton. Oh. Speak of the people! Stepping to the side she gestured to the fallen girl.
He stepped back to allow the men to get next to Sylva with the gurney. Returning to the table where he'd been sitting with Katt, he lifted his tea cup and took a sip, then made a face. "Cold."
"Make sure they understand that the blood bags need to come from my private stock."
Tepid, actually. Still, it was better than nothing, and Ebon drained the cup in a long, slow tilt.
She gestured Ebon to go get him another cup. Heck it was on her already so might as well live it up.
Ebon nodded and went over to the counter, chatting with the hostess--who had been looking quite distressed at what was happening--in what seemed to be her own language. After a moment, she was serene as ever and he had a fresh cup of tea.
Clayton shook his head, though as the men transferred Sylva to the gurney he settled the kitten on her abdomen, where it promptly curled up on her, looking mistrustfully at everyone as though protecting the girl. He scitched it behind the ears and murmured something to it in his own rarely-used tongue. It let out a purr as the men rolled the gurney out, and as the door closed behind them he turned to pace a moment, looking as though he were actually trying to calm himself.
"Well... that was exciting."
That kitten was going to claw so many people, wasn't it? "What were you and Sylva doing, Clayton?" Katt called to the pacing cat in man flesh. No pacing like a caged animal. That was her job. Sharp greens tilted to Ebon and she sighed quietly. "Agreed."
Clayton paused as Katt spoke to him, shaking his head. "I was sitting on the fountain, waiting for you, and she happened along. We were talking...she was telling me she thought she had upset everyone and hadn't spoken to any of her friends since the festival. I was asking her what she had named the kitten when it happened."
"Didn't want to come and join me here huh?" She teased quietly. Her eyes glanced over to Ebon, no doubt hearing Clayton's words.
Ebon listened silently.
Her head tilted and she released a breath. "How busy was the market and fountain area, Clayton?" Crowd control and gossip control to think about. Ebon expressed how he didn't want Doran to know...
Clayton managed a smile as he looked at Katt, finally settling down somewhat, turning to find himself a seat. "You know how I feel about group gatherings." He settled into a chair with a sigh. "There was no one else around the fountain. The rest of the market was mostly quiet...I don't remember seeing anyone, really."
She needed a stronger drink than the teas could provide. Moving to Clayton she leaned just enough to kiss his temple once he was settled. "That should make things easy to clean up." She was glad he was safe. It eased a heavy heart, no doubt. Looking over to Ebon she flicked a half-smile. "So there you have it. You need not worry about your son finding out."
"Good. I'd rather he learned of this from me, rather than from rumors and gossip."
She blinked slowly. "I was under the assumption you didn't wish him to know at all."
Clayton leaned into the touch of her lips lightly, sighing softly. "He will find out eventually, even if no one was there. Most likely from Sylva herself."
Her eyes lower to Clayton. "I don't know. Felix has told me she has been keeping away from people. Crying..."
"She needs her friends."
Her eyes swept up to Ebon. "What I mean is that he will likely not hearing from Sylva. It is, of course, your choice as his father to tell him or not." She would not try to change his parental rights of course!
Clayton nodded. "She told me something similar. She seemed to think she caused some offense, asking the questions she did that night, and that Doran would not talk to her."
She sighed, combing back her hair and rubbing at her neck. A throaty 'hmm' left her, likely her thinking to herself.
"Ah, the confusions and misperceptions of youth! He thinks he offended her, she thinks she offended him... but a mention that she is hurt, and I know Doran will forget all of that and try to rush to her side."
"Or be driven further away." Youths. Who knew. "If she pulls through...You will give Doran the condition that he may see her at the tower while she is in care...Only if he agrees to give his word he will not peruse whoever it is that shot her." A sidelong glance was given to Clayton. "If it is who we think it is...Doran would be in danger and I won't have that. He can trust to leave that to Clayton and I." Though she was sure Clayton would do it himself if given the chance.
He nodded his agreement. "Kathryn is correct. This...assassin...she is one of my people. And my people are not the type that can be handled by one person alone." He looked at Katt as he said this. He would very much like to track her down himself, but he knew Katt wouldn't permit it.
Her lips quivered at something Clayton said. Oh someone was amused.
"I suspect you underestimate Doran to a point, but in this instance I defer to your judgement. He's not ready for a trained assassin." Ebon nodded slowly.
"I do not doubt that Doran is a strong lad, Ebon. But set up against someone trained to hunt and can even keep downwind of a trained hunter like Clayton?" She craned her head slightly to the side. "If Doran ended up hurt I would blame myself for not taking necessary precautions..."
He shook his head at Ebon, though he caught Katt's look. That would be a discussion for later. "It is not only that. We have very specific traits which make us resistant, even invulnerable against all but a very few types of harm that can be inflicted upon us. We are evolved to a very specific purpose. There is a reason we take the shapes that we do."
He raised his hands, palms out towards them. "You're overselling, my friends. I've already agreed with you, remember?"
He eyed Ebon. "Actually, I was suggesting that you should not go looking, either. Of course, I cannot stop you, if you so choose."
"Not overselling, Ebon. Simply stating our knowledge and sharing it with you. But since you do not wish it, I will keep what else I have to say still." Idly she scratched at the top of Clayton's head as if he were in feline form. She didn't' say anything more on the subject. "If you wish I will make sure her condition is kept up and sent to you, Ebon." She didn't know how he wanted to be informed and so forth.
"Now you're on the verge of being condescending, Clayton." His smile was good natured, though. "I have talents that neither of you possess, just as you both have skills and abilities I don't. This isn't my fight, though... and I wouldn't want to get in your way." Then he nodded to Katt. "Thank you."
"I am well aware of that, Ebon. I think Clayton is more wanting this hunt as his own and didn't mean to insult." Her fingers stroked along Clayton's neck as she looked down to him. "His kind...and magic..I think that is what he is ...concerned with."
He smiled back at Ebon. "The first lesson my people learn as hunters is to know your target. I have a distinct advantage in this area, at least. If you will permit me, one day I will show you what I am talking about. If one hunter is targeting Sylva, after all, it would be prudent for Kathryn and myself to not be alone in that knowledge." He let out a purring sigh, relaxing into Katt's touch. "Also...yes. This one is personal. She was warned once."
"Understood... and in your place, Clayton, I would feel the same." Oh, prophetic words! "Now, I need to break the news of tonight's events to my son in a calm, rational manner. He'll probably stop by Batten Tower tomorrow."
Rising, he floated his empty teacup over to the counter. "Good night, Katt... good night, Clayton." Pause. "And good hunting."
She rubbed at her neck. "Ebon, please don't take what Clayton or I said to be offensive." Yes..she was concerned.
He offered a bow of his head to Ebon. "A good night to you as well."
"I don't, because it wasn't meant that way and I know that."
A final half-bow, and Ebon slipped out.