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[Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Printable Version

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[Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Storyteller Dark - 09-01-2020

Like Cats and Dogs - Rusthounds

The day was overcast: an ominous gray, the shadows of the skyscrapers soft and blending with the darkness that ever pooled between the rubble at their bases. For the Rusthounds resting in this shade, it was a blessed relief: the heat of summer had been brutal, leaving many of them near starvation, it often being too hot for them to hunt, too hot for prey to show its face. The local cat colony had been their last-chance target; not that the dogs ever shirked from hunting them, but the pack's focus had certainly sharpened in that direction as of late. The cats lived close. They were not easy prey, but they were not the scuttling rodents or flying birds that were so much more difficult to catch. Water had been a problem, too; the dogs had to travel out to the river at least once a day to drink in the heat. But today was a reprieve from that. And today was... something more.

The dogs had drifted off to sleep--despite the sounds of the city, despite their wariness; sleep had almost forcibly, unnaturally, taken them. And then, the dreams had come: dreams of a peaceful, white place, where the light was a gentle embrace rather than the sun's deadly glare. Where pale hands seemed to sweep down, to caress their fur. A promise, love, a blessing; and in this dream, in this place of shivering white leaves and silver water, the dogs had felt loved, and safe.

When they woke, they could think.

And, as they would find, they could speak.

It was the small, fierce tan mutt--the one who would become known to them as Chief, when they learned their names--who called out first. "Um, boss-? BOSS? What's going on-?" he barked, his normally feisty nature distinctly shaken. At once, the rest--still awakening, some groggy--began to gather. Sandfur approached with caution, blinking around her: "Why do I know a name..? And--words? Did--am I still dreaming..?" she murmured. The young Rufus trotted up next, staring around himself with nervous alertness. "I dreamt, too. I dreamt-... of a good place. Of-..." But he didn't know how to describe what he had seen, and his voice drifted into silence as another--sweeping with that same awe-inspiring sense of love and kindness--took its place.

"Welcome, loyal hounds, left to the rusted city. Know this: you were not abandoned--your ancestors were not abandoned--deliberately. No-... you were loved; and I grant you now the capability to show mercy. I grant you thought, Rust-hounds, though it weakens me to do so; I gift you a way to find another path. Love, and be loved. Live, and feel the sweetness of life and light..."

The voice--and that sense of silvery, sweet touch--faded, leaving the dogs staring and trembling around them.

"...Did anyone else hear that" Chief asked, at last, hesitantly.

This thread is for the Chosen awakening of the Rusthounds feral dog pack. Other Light-aligned characters may arrive and meet them, but new threads (taking place after this one in the timeline) should be created for all other open interactions, for example with the Lionshadow.

New players may adopt the NPCs at any time; these, along with further plot information and a non-exhaustive list of pack members, may be viewed here: 'Like Cats and Dogs' Information Post. New pack members can also be made, or other Light characters may arrive to interact with them and take part in this event.

Players are encouraged to make and complete as many threads as they wish for this plot: Storyteller additions and NPC play will periodically occur. Remember: the OOC event rewarding thread completion is also on: additional exp can be claimed for each 10+ post-count thread completed through the end of September, with additional bonuses (see prior link) for three, five, and ten finished threads. (These three rewards can be claimed on any character.)

Have fun, and feel free to post any questions in that thread or in the Discord!

The Lionshadow counterpart to this thread can be found here: Click Here.

@Lorne @Moonlight @Nana

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Lorne - 09-01-2020

Lorne had woken up not really feeling all that different. He'd stood up, shaken out his dusty fur and then laid right back down. He either didn't notice or didn't care that he'd been Chosen, at least not right away.

That was, until one of his kids spoke.

His head raised and he blinked sluggishly, tongue jutting out and curling as he yawned. He mulled over what had happened, ear flicking and eyes narrowing.

"... Th' fuck did I eat last night..?", he grumbled, wondering if that rat had been sick with something. Either way it probably was, as most of the rats were, stupid little bitey things.

The dog heaved himself onto four legs and raised his head looking around at the pack, at his mate, at his children. He was calm, but on the inside, he felt... confused. What was speaking to them? Why could they talk, and why now of all times? Did they do something?

Maybe I ought to try to eat birds instead...

"Alright, stop yer panickin',", he said, voice a gruff growl, "And stop whinin' in me ear... I don't much appreciate it."

Lorne made his way forward to the center of the group and slowly worked his jaw, a thing he hadn't much thought of before, only used to really eat and tear. Now it could make words, a thing he hadn't much considered before. He had an accent, a way of speaking, even his lip injury affected his speech.

"... We're awake, now,", he said, "And whatever that means, we ought ta 'preciate it. Love or be loved, eh..?"

Shaking his head out, he frowned. Their ancestors... what did it mean by loved? Of course they were loved! By their family, their back, everyone hear would know that Lorne himself, the Alpha, the leader, loved them all very much.

"... Anyway,", he said, "Think about this fer a few minutes, let yer heads get used to it. Use yer words and figger it out. We can think alluv' a sudden, so I say we use it to get food and get comfortable first and foremost."

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Moonlight - 09-01-2020

The comotion nearby caused Moonlight’s ears to flicker, distant sounds in her mind gently shaking the female awake from her deep sleep. ”Mmmm!” She hums while stretching out her long legs, enjoying the warm feeling that followed. Taking her time getting up. Once Moonlight was finally standing she must have gone through almost all of the muscles in her body, but for once she found enjoyment in stretching! Oh? Enjoyment? That’s strange.

Tilting her head the sighthound mix realised that something had changed.

Upon finding the rest of the pack Moonlight saw the confused looks on her packmates faces and heard the low murmurs circling among them, it was clear to her. They were going through it too. She listened from a distance, observing the situation further. It was then that the alpha spoke, urging the dogs to calm down and let their thoughts settle down. After that, they would find some food and get comfortable.

Moonlight had no objections and breakfast sounded good right about now. Food hadn’t been plentiful in a long while and it was starting to take its toll on everyone. But maybe with these thoughts and voices they could hunt better? And plan ahead! Whatever the voice had meant by love would surely be revealed in time. Smiling to herself, feeling hopeful about this day, the female continues her quiet trot moving even closer to the rest of the pack.

If a hunting group was to be formed, she would be ready to move out as well. ”I’ll go ahead.” Moonlight spoke with a soft voice, her words almost too quiet to be heard. Icy blue eyes lingered on Lorne’s large frame, almost like she was asking for his confirmation.

The sighthound mix was planning to scout ahead, the rest of the pack were sometimes too loud and scared the rats away. She wanted to find them first for the others, maybe even discover some nice new hunting grounds.

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Storyteller Dark - 09-06-2020

Pie, the little black-and-white cat thought to herself, staring up at the faded, scratched decal in the bakery window. She'd long-identified with it: her own white coat, splashed with cow splotches of black, reminded her of this strange object, whose colors had long since faded into bleached and pitch.

Her black tail twitched, yellow eyes staring up at it. I'm Pie. A strange upwelling of satisfaction--of self--warmed her, and she turned, lurching into a trot to head back toward her home. She wasn't far--but she'd have to skirt the edges of the dog pack's home.

It shouldn't matter much; she was a cat, swift, agile. She could use the buildings for cover.

Pie was halfway across the outer courtyard to one side of the Rusthounds' territory when she realized they were there, distant voices rumbling--and she froze, dropping instantly and smoothly into a crouch, her eyes wide. As Moonlight turned, after speaking of hunting, her eyes met the dog's; and then Pie lurched into a racing sprint, back toward home. The other Hounds lifted their heads at the sudden motion, several of them raising loud barks and giving chase through instinct alone, Glasspaw, Chief and Rufus among them.

The cats had long been prey for the dogs. Would today be any different-?

@Lorne @Moonlight @Nana

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Lorne - 09-06-2020

Lorne sprung up at the sound of baying, his keen eyes catching the shape of cat. He took off running with not a sound from his mouth, right until he tried to slip in front.

"GIT OFF THAT CAT YA VARMINTS!!", Lorne snarled, head whipping from side to side, but the excited baying of his children was too loud to yell over.

He pulled back and snapped at tails instead, not to truly harm, of course, but to get the attention of his stupid kids from killing the poor thing. It probably had kittens or something, if not a clowder.

"YOU LISTEN T' ME RIGHT NOW!", he growled, "That thing ain't done nothin' wrong to you yet, so leave it alone! We'll find food for the whole pack, y'here me?! Now y'all better git b'fore I decide that your ears look better with a snag in 'em!"

Realistically, Lorne would never hurt his kids. Even before intelligence, they were his everything aside from his beloved Nana. Now? He had to figure out what his newfound smarts wanted him to do about treating them.

As if that's a question, he thought dryly, Well, o' course.

"Besides... you kids don' wanna end up lookin' like yer pa 'cause of that thing, right?", he threatened with a playful growl, snarling with his scarred lip raised.

Roll to catch his varmint kids' attention.


RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Moonlight - 09-07-2020

Excitement spread among the pack like fire and instincts took over their newly awakened minds, the cat would have been better had she stood still. Alas, she chose to run. Dogs love to chase after moving objects whether they were alive or not and Moonlight wasn’t an exception, she dashed after the feline with the rest of the pack with her ice blue eyes nailed at the poor cats rear. She would catch it and then-

And then what?

She would kill it for the pack to eat, there was no doubt in her mind. Until Lorne spoke up, barking at his kids to stop the chase and let the cat go as it had done nothing to them, nothing that would deserve to be killed for. Moonlight’s run changed into slow trot while her brain was going through her options.

Lorne was the alpha and what he said was what they should do but the excitement of the hunt and possibility to finally have food were competing against that fact, the cat would die for the sake of their survival and there would be nothing wrong about that. Yes, wait- no! Shaking her head, the female attempts to remember the words of love that the strange voice had whispered to them in their minds and be rid of the excitement, to gain control once again.

The cat must have been struggling to survive just like them, this season hadn’t been kind to anyone but if they thought like that with every animal there wouldn’t be anything left to eat. No meat at least, but what else would they eat if not meat? Plants? Never had she considered it. What plants could be eaten though? Maybe she should find a herbivore of some kind to follow around and ask them, taken that they too had awakened.

Thoughts were complicated and thinking was hard, this was what Moonlight had learned and so far her mind hadn’t conceived a proper solution for her current dilemma. Listen to Lorne and help him stop the others or follow her own instincts? Urgh! Moonlight growls to herself, feeling agitated, and once again speeds up to catch the others. It didn’t seem like Lorne’s words had reached her packmates so once she had gained enough speed to claim the lead of the group, the female attempted to save the cats' hide by catching her before the others could sink their teeths in them.

Maybe that way they could confirm her state of mind, if...if they were like the pack then Moonlight would definitely feel bad for killing them. Why had gathering food suddenly gotten so complicated?

Catch the cat without harming it?


RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Storyteller Dark - 09-10-2020

The cat named Pie turned with a screaming yowl, all panic and spite, clenching claws and teeth into Moonlight's snout and raking, kicking and biting for all she was worth. She was, to the best of her knowledge (and instinct), fighting for her life. She certainly was in no mind to stop and marvel that the dogs, too, were now sentient--or to hear much of what Lorne said at all (particularly over her own screaming). But she was no match for the dog with jaws clamped around her; bar clawing and biting, there was nothing she could do to save herself.

The other dogs rushing in skidded to a halt at their pack leader's words, some snarling at the cat, eyes fixed hungrily on her. Others turned, glaring, staring, or growling at Lorne; leadership was always a tenuous thing and to be told, at once, not to eat was an immediate erosion of respect. It was Oberon's ancient voice that snapped "Why not?" and Glasspaw loudly complaining, "But I'm hungry!"

They ate cats whenever they could catch them; so what had changed today-? The dogs waited, staring, for Lorne to explain to them.

@Lorne @Moonlight @Nana

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Lorne - 09-10-2020

Lorne's ear flicked and he darted forward towards Moonlight for a second, before stopping. The cat was alive, and though it was kicking and throwing up a fuss, there wasn't the scent of blood (of the cat's, at least).

"Don't kill it," he growled, "We've terrorized the beasties long enough. We go out to the plains t'day. We catch somethin' big. Big enough to feed the pack! There are horses out there, packmates! Horses and turkey and all sorts'a animals that are fattier and will fill our bellies up better than some ratty cat. That thing'll barely feed a pup!"

He turned to the plains and licked his chops, excitement in his veins, "We'll be like the wolves and the coyotes. We'll be proper predators, y'see."

His drawl lead the pace of his gait as he made his way through the pack, blue eyes darting from face to face, "We're smart now, family. Which means... we can be tricky. Which means... we don' hafta be hungry again if we're determined enough!"

Lorne's gaze was hard, but his shoulders were set with determination. They'd take their hunting to somewhere better. Hell, a horse or a cow sounded way more appealing than the stringy meat of a mangy cat.

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Moonlight - 09-10-2020

The cat was fast but so was Moonlight. With long leaps she finally catches up to the small feline and forces them down, growling and baring her own fangs at the screaming cat who was scratching the dog's snout with sharp claws. It felt like being stung by needles but despite that Moonlight managed to control the urge to snap her jaws shut tight around the cat's neck.

Ice blue eyes darted up to see Lorne standing nearby, his booming voice commanding everyone to not kill the cat for it wasn't the kind of prey they should be chasing after. He had set his gaze at something bigger and tastier, eagerly sharing his views with the rest. Saying that they would go from scavengers to proper predators. A tempting idea, one that Moonlight had no arguments with.

Slowly the mutt loosened her hold on the cat and backed away allowing Pie to catch her breath and flee if she so desired. A quiet whine left Moonlight's lips as she looked at the other Chosen with her ears folded back. "I'm sorry…" She whispers, hoping for Pie to at least hear it. The sighthound mix felt shameful for wanting to kill the cat but the instincts had been very strong. They could have let the cat flee without catching it…

From this day forth Moonlight promised to do her best to follow after Lorne's words and let the cats be. Only time would tell how well it would go but at least they had a new goal to reach. Sitting down, the female licked the small drops of her own blood from her lips and turned to look past the outskirts of the ruins they called their home. Somewhere out there would be a solution for their hunger, she thought to herself.

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] The Hounds of Rust - Storyteller Dark - 09-16-2020

Any other cat might have taken the time to speak, to note with awe that the dogs, too, had gained this sentience; but Pie was terrified, and simply bolted off into the forest of buildings, ragged but mostly unharmed.

The other dogs hesitated, then gathered closer to Lorne. Not all seemed happy, with Oberon flashing him a dour glare. "One of us could've eaten," he growled, irritably. He didn't understand why his pack leader was suddenly turning away the food they'd always hunted in favor of something less certain. "I guess that means you want us to run? In the open spaces..? Not all of us are pups anymore," he pointed out.

He could've used that meal.

@Moonlight @Lorne @Nana