ArchivedLogs:Apex Predator

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Apex Predator
Dramatis Personae

Scramble, Ion, Kay


"You can't throw a god damn stone without hitting someone's baby."


<NYC> The Mendel Clinic - Lower East Side

With its sharp crystalline edges and sleek lines knifing up into the sky, this building is one of the most /distinctive/ new additions to the neighborhood. An angular structure in glass and steel, the tall tower has a deceptively slender look to it that is belied by the heavy security as soon as you enter the doors. The front doors are frosted with the Clinic's logo -- a rising sun over a rod of Asclepius -- a motif echoed in many places throughout the building.

Visitors to the clinic must first pass through a small mantrap, guarded by some of the Clinic's security guards; once they make it through the metal detector and airlock's double doors they emerge into the much more hospitable lobby. With dark wood floors underneath and comfortable black and red couches at its edges, the high windows give the room an airy feel. A bank of elevators to one side carry visitors to the many destination floors, while the wide welcome desk at the other side is manned by a security guard ready to help point visitors in the right direction.

It's expected, with Eridani's late night arrival, that Kay'd come, at some point. And Kay'd /gone/ again, not long after - hanging back and mostly thin-lipped and quiet, picking at his knuckles or, if it didn't complicate matters, cupping a warm long-fingered hand over Eri's brow. Kinda… mushing around the skin of one tiny eyeridge with a thumb. Not exactly helpful. His furrowed brows wouldn't have suggested he thought it /was/.

His exit, an hour or two after arriving, hadn't been particularly dramatic - a hard wordless thump to Ion's back, probably anyone ELSE'S back that'd been in the room, a tight smile preoccupying his features. You might almost have thought he was just stepping out to find some early morning coffee and coming right back, an arm around one of the doctors for a quick chat first in the hallway.

Except that was hours ago.

He's returning NOW, anyway - still wearing the rather NICE heavy-duty leather jacket with its discrete MMMC patch on the breast pocket, skull and crossbones sporting its coronet of flames and a rather large cardboard box with a handle built into its lid under an arm. His grin still tight, but with a few more TEETH and lively briskness, he ruffles the rapidly melting snow out of his hair and says, still a little winded from his rapid-walk through the building, "What I miss?"

Ion is still in his jacket, too, unbuttoned over a lined black-and-white flannel, tall boots, jeans. Sort of /hovering/ over Eridani’s tiny bassinet, a deep frown etched into his face as he looks at the leads and wires and IV tube attached to the too-thin gargoylebody. “Sleepy-Egg,” he answers Kay, a little gruffer than usual. “I don’t know what’s this helping or not. Ain’t got no gargoyle-doctor around. They trying, though.”

Perhaps roused by their parents' voices, Eridani stirs and cracks their bleary eyes. One long droopy ear swivels toward Kay and a slow clicking issues from their throat, probably too faint for anyone but Ion to hear. Their mouth opens in a massive, sharp-toothed yawn.

"{Trying's all we got, huh?}," Kay's spanish is rough, as is the initial seizing of material his free hand snags in the collar of Ion's jacket, dragging him nearer for a moment to knock foreheads with him. One shaky exhale, and he's releasing him soon after. To free up a hand to lightly pinch Eridani's ear with a thumb and forefinger knuckle, swiping thumbpad along the outer edge of the ear shell, "Hey, toughstuff." The box under his arm sounds like it makes a soft - shuffle? Inside? Kay swivels the hip it's braced on to adjust it, eyeing all the tubes and wires cluttering around the bassinet, "So. I brought a thing."

“{Ay, yeah, that and a team of doctors, brother.}” For a moment there’s a crooked smile that flashes across Ion’s face. Just a moment, as his head bonks in against Kay’s; then it’s gone. He slumps down into a chair beside the crib, eyes ticking between Kay and Eridani, knuckles passing across his eyes, but in the next instant he is up again, bouncing to his feet and pacing across to the other side of the bassinet. “Thing-huh? {What’s that tell me you didn’t steal someone’s baby.}” Probably he’s joking. Maaaybe probably. His head tilts to listen to the shuffling sound, curious.

Eri twists their head around and makes a truly feeble attempt at biting Kay's thumb. The clicking noise gets louder momentarily, and then stops altogether as something else seems to draw the infant's attention. Their tiny body goes rather still, and their eyes open wide, pupils dilating. Though less intense and more wobbly, the effect cannot fail to recall Isra's not-infrequent spells of predatory focus. Their other ear flicks back and forth, now clearly in response to the noise from the box. Nostrils flare and tongue darts out to wet black lips.

Box propped on the edge of the bassinet, Kay works his fingers under the folded lid, "Hey, it's pediatrics. You can't throw a god damn stone without hitting someone's baby, they're just /giving/ them away -OH hell, you're soft. C'mere." He's not addressing Ion - or if he /is/, he's doing so while sinking arms into the box's interior and hauling out a large rounded… WAD of animal.

Technically it's a rabbit, a massive white rabbit with big brown cow spots on either side of its body and overlapping one ear, propped under Kay's arm like a football. The fur all around the sides of its neck has been freshly shaved bare, exposing a soft powder pink skin. Its twitchy nose churns mechanically, one ear elevated more than the other. It looks rumpled and… pretty stupid, with its big dewy eyes gazing off in two different directions.

"So," Kay runs a hand over its flat brow, smoothing down its ears. "I talked to the doctors." Which should only be the beginning of a story, but no further explanation seems forthcoming. He's watching the shift in Eri's body, compressing the side of his upper lip with his tongue.

“Hoshit big /fuzzy/ baby you find.” Ion reaches out a hand to scruffle between the rabbit’s ears, his smile briefly returning. “{Look at those dumbshit eyes, he high or something?}” His hand drops to chuck a finger lightly at the top of Eri’s head, rubbing against a horn nub. “{You hungry, Scramble, some good /fresh/ juice just for you.} Christ this fluff-thing, he look bigger than Egg is. {Just remember,}” he tells Eridani -- sternly! “{who’s the predator, yeah?}”

Though they certainly cannot understand Ion's exhortation, Eri /looks/ determinedly predatory, huge green eyes fixed on the rabbit, unblinking. The tapered tip of their knobby tail twitches sporadically. They stretch out a wing to snag Ion's hand--not very /well/, only two of the claws catching, one on his cuff and the other on his skin--and use it to lever themselves up a little further. Ready to pounce, if by pouncing one includes /falling/ onto the prey with a sharp, random flailing.

"{This}," Kay pets the meaty ball of fluff again, "{is called a} /meat/ rabbit." And, because the information seems to baffle even himself, adds more deadpan, "Iiii got it off Craigslist." '/You/' he signs emphatically - just a jabbed finger pointed at Eri's shifting little form, helping to indicate just /who/ the predator is. He even now doesn't sound hopeful - just happy, for this one moment, grinning warmer, "Ffff, that's the most active I've seen you get, Omelette. You think it's--"

He hefts up the rabbit to his ear, its big hairy feet lazily bicycling. Listening to the furious-rapid beat of its heart, hammering away beneath its ribs, he soon enough shrugs, and lowers it towards the edge of the bassinet - for NOW, as far to the edge out of flailing-grabbing reach as possible. Even then, those weak-jerky wing movements make the rabbit extend 'no-no-no-no' forepaws and backpedal in the air before Kay squishes it down firmly against the soft blankets. The visible rapid-breathing at its sides picks up speed. "Help uh -" Arrange the gargoyle-vampire baby into optimal KILL position? " Line up a good -- uh, angle. We don't get a good solid bite in first-go, shit's gonna get weird."

“{Wait what? What the fuck is other rabbits made of then, play-doh?}” Ion seems somewhat confused by this statement. “{This mean I can cook him afterwards? I make a fucking excellent rabbit stew.}” He leans in against the side of the bassinett, watching Eridani’s patheticflop with a small side-skewed twitch of lips. One large calloused hand reaches out to nudge-guide the infant into place, steeeering Eridani so that their POUNCEflailfalling at least falls in a more /aim/ly direction. “{You keep those bigass feet aimed some-other-ways, yeah? Fucking clumsy ass monster.}” Like he’s /angry/ at the rabbit for… trying to avoid its impending… potential doom. Maybe just potential mess.

Eridani pushes off of Ion's hand and falls /at/ the rabbit, claws swiping wildly. One of their wings bat their prey along the side of the head, but fails to find purchase in its thick coat. They manage to shove forward with their misshapen hind legs and lunge for the rabbit's shaved neck. The rabbit, squirming and cringing, shrinks back just far enough that Eri's canines catch only its /nose/. This does not prove an easy body part to hold onto, and the rabbit pulls it free, bleeding and hyperventilating with terror. Terror that seems to subside far more quickly than it reasonably ought. Eri takes longer to re-orient themselves. The attack, such as it was, seems to exhaust them. They can barely even crawl back toward the now more-or-less unresisting rabbit.

"Uooh! Get- yess! Get'm!" Kay tries to keep the rabbit wrangled within Eri's reach until its jerky squirming mellows. He smooths the fur back from the hairless band around it's neck, cautiously rolling its hefty body onto its side to more clearly expose the delicate throat and jugular. "Fffffuck that shit's potent." Said like he's /impressed/. "I dunno, some rabbits're raised for meat, some for… to be… pets?" Even he doesn't sound all that certain. "I don't fucking know, so maybe some're made out of PET. Like dog meat. Or hamster meat. I mean - Frittata here ain't gonna eat it, we may as well." Mm, pet meat. All the brisk single-mindedness of getting this far is fading, grinding the heel of his palm into an underslept eye socket and stooping to hang his weight on elbows hard, over the rail of the bassinet. His voice grows quieter, "...{this is good, right?}"

“{Dairy-rabbits,}” Ion suggests, deadpan. “Aw shit yo no no go for the -- {the /throat/ dude nose it ain’t going to give you the good stuff.}” He reaches to help Eri back up when the infant exhausts themselves, nudging them closer to the flopsy rabbit. “{Look it’s already nice and shaved for you, man.} Kay I think our vampire he kind of a dud.” He /whispers/ this sort of under his breath to Kay, even while still guiding Eri in over /top/ of the cringing rabbit. “{There there. Juicy neck. Just chomp it see.}” He makes little chomping motions with his own mouth. Demonstratively.

Eri flails their limbs drunkedly and tries--ineffectively--to bite Ion's hand as it helps them back toward the docile rabbit. Their attention goes back to the rabbit's neck once it comes into their reach, however, and they sink in their already bloodied fangs. Drugged into oblivion, the rabbit doesn't even flinch. The first bite catches far too much skin, so that Eri cannot quite even close their mouth to feed properly. They flop their head from side to side until their lower canines dislodge, leaving sloppy, bloody nicks in the rabbit's neck. The second time they get it right, and start lapping up the blood that oozes steadily out from the small cuts beneath their fangs. Their head settles against the rabbit's fluffy shoulder, and their wings curl clumsily around its body as if meaning to keep it from escaping. A feeble but satisfied clicking starts up in their throat as they feed.

"Pff, let's see /you/ vampire right when you're - whatever fucking age The Huevos counts as." Kay infuses /some/ bravado, but is mostly still just… slumped. And scrubbing his face. Watching Eri try to figure out how to go about their feeding and aborting his initial reflex to reach down and help their progress. Instead, he regards the tubes and IVs and machinery looming above in sterile spires, eyes narrowing. And he runs the back of his knuckles down Eri's back, pausing for a moment to see if he can feel the clicks through his fingers. "...we been starvin' you this whole time with all that second-hand blood, huh?" he mutters, "...'m sorry, kiddo."

“{I don’t know how to vampire right and I’m fucking grown,}” Ion admits freely, “{We’ll have to bring Dusk in for some proper vampiring /lessons/.}” He’s totally not saying this with worry, nope nope nope. Just fierce-determined. Maybe biting down on his lip a little as Eri flails and fumbles and finally latches on. He carefully reaches in, unhooking a wire from where it’s caught on their wing, exhaling heavily (relieved) as they start clicking. “Shit, man. You know any proper rabbit-farm? {Chickens maybe? Something. We get some steady-animals in here. Fresh and hot and good.} Grow-you-up big-strong.”

Eri's eyes drift shut, though their mouth continues to work, pressed up to the rabbit. For its part the rabbit seems unperturbed, but though its eyes remain open if not particularly alert. Given the relative sizes, it could probably survive even if the vampiric hatchling ate their fill, if its heart does not give out from fright. At length, the infant falls well and truly asleep, blood still oozing out into their mouth and dribbling down their chin to stain the blankets.

"These fuckers're cheap." Kay delivers a mindless pat to the side of the bleary rabbit's meaty haunch. "Lady that sold me this guy says they breed damn fast. May's well just try an' butter Regan up to us gettin' a hutch." And by 'butter', he probably means… researching the cost-benefit eventualities and presenting it to her like Rational Adults. His head thumps against the side of Ion's shoulder. " we get to wait an' see if rabbit blood'll do in the /long/ run." His laugh isn't false; tired, ragged, but game. "Then. If it's not. We'll move onto hobos n' tramps." Elbow-thmp. "Start with you."

“{What, no shit?}” The hook of Ion’s grin is crooked. “{You telling me they fucking} breed…” Waaait for it, “... like /rabbits/?” He looks down at the sleepy rabbit next to the sleeping infant, one hand lowering to rub gently against Eridani’s head. “{Maybe it’s not so hard to keep them? Already have the chicken coop out there, could set up next to that. Maybe.}” His chin presses down to the top of Kay’s head. “/Fff/.” He rasps out a rough laugh. “{Won’t find me so easy to /wrassle/ into submission, brother/.}”

"Who said anything about wanting /easy/," rather than withdraw from the chin-bonking, Kay works his head back and forth and presses into it competitively. Whose head is HARDER. He'll soon enough stand up fully again, to finally stoop over and gently nudge around Eri's mouth to make sure they do not still have /suction/ to their food. Then shifts them back to their original position on the bed, adjusting their wings. It's still a little sloppy; he either doesn't care, or just assumes Ion will Fix It, while he scoops up the dreamily drugged rabbit; deposits it back in its box to sleep this whole thing off like a bad hangover.