buddy_icon.gif tibby_icon.gif

Scene Title Unsanitary
Synopsis Buddy takes Handbag to see a professional.
Date June 1, 2018

Ruins of Staten Island

The greenbelt.

The diesel chugalug of Buddy’s old truck is the type of sound that can get to be familiar, in the way where people learn to make themselves scarce when they hear it. And Tibby will. The growl of the engine carries through the trees for miles, this early in the morning, oversized tires chewing a length of burnt fence deeper down into the dirt

The engine cuts first. Then the lights, just enough sun on the horizon to see by.

Princess the wonder dog flings herself six feet out the open passenger side window and vanishes into a pocket dimension of knee-high grass, fwumph. Buddy Arrowood slings a shotgun up onto his shoulder as he throws the driver’s side door shut behind him.

There’s something else, with them — a garbling, otherworldly growl that rises up from the bed of the truck that isn’t man or dog, or anything in between. It pitches up into a howl as Buddy strikes off for the treeline, and levels out into a guttural moan against the scrapey-scrape-scrape of Princess’s claws raking the tailgate as she tries to jump.

Buddy whistles sharp for her to catch up.

“C’mon, Princess, you don’t want that in your life.”

There's a rustling in the trees and a shape bounds into view, a large caracal tilts his head as his amber eyes travel up and down Buddy’s buddy, back stiffening at the sight of Princess, they know each other now though and Adze relaxes and sits on his hind legs, tail swishing side to side. There are glimpses of other dark shapes beyond the tree line but only a big golden cat is seen coming to sit next to Adze, Oya’s face turned toward Princess as she meows in greeting to the old dog. Play time?

“You bringing me gifts now eh? Didn't take ya for the lovey dovey type.” A childlike voice carries down from the trees and if Buddy were to look up he would spot her, lounging lazily on a large tree branch, feet dangling over the edge. Tibby’s bleached blonde locks are tousled and spiky. Dark eyeshadow causes her emerald green eyes to pop even more than usual.

Her tan legs are on display due to the black short shorts she wears, her combat boots are dirty from trampling through the green belt. Her tiny hand rests easily on the grip of her AK-47, it's reminiscent of their first meeting but she's not hiding this time. Just in plain sight. She knows what's in the back of that truck, growling like a beast from hell. Her mind could feel the wild nature of the cat back there. Nagging at her senses.

A lazy smile crosses the feline woman’s lips, “Heyo Buck.”

Princess cannonballs out of the grass only to stop dead at the sight of the caracal, jowls locked shut, tail stalled out of a wag. It only starts to swish side to side again at Oya’s entreaty, a little unsure. Adze’s a lot of cat.

But Princess doesn’t have a whole lotta brain to worry with.

She lunges hard to the side of Oya’s vigil, out of Adze’s reach, one paw squared out to plant in the smaller cat’s face on her way to tearing helter skelter back into the grass. Tag.

Buddy spits.

“It ain’t a gift, it’s a favor.”

Saying so out loud gives him a moment’s pause. The turn of his thoughts back to the last help he asked her for and how that’s paid off is a visible process, traced in the crinkle between his brows and the slide of his jaw sideways on its hinges. He’s in a t-shirt and jeans, already sweated through despite the early hour. The shirt says Camel Towing on it. There’s a picture of a truck underneath.

“She belongs to Astrid, but she’s part super soaker five-thousand. Just, you know. Pissin’ on everything all the time.” This is a conversation he’s having with a crazy evo cat lady in a tree, he realizes, and his enthusiasm peters out into a sigh. “I thought maybe you could talk some sense into her.”

The cat, he means.

There’s no ‘talking sense’ into Astrid.

The golden cat responds in kind by hissing and bouncing forward after the dog. Trying to swipe at Princess’ tail. Adze tilts his head and worms his way over to the tree that Tibby sits in, awaiting her inevitable descent to the ground.

Oya and Princess’ game of Tag is noted with the smallest of smirks and Tibby is tilting her head at the two. They get along great, she thinks I'm her mind as Buddy goes on to request a favor.

An eyebrow raised to her hairline at the mention of Astrid, a rough bitch for sure. The cat though, “Fine. She's a loud bitch ya?” And Tibby is slinging the rifle over her shoulder and skillfully descending to the ground with a light thud as her feet hit the ground. Rubbing Adze’s head as she passes by and comes to stand at Buddy’s side, looking up at the man. She's so small compared to most people.

“Well let’s see the girl eh, I’ll make sure she doesn't piss on your boots.” What a friend.

Buddy waits for her in his cowboy boots like he’s standing outside a corner store while she runs in to buy cigarettes, scuzzy and stinking and sleeved up with tattoos. Some of them are shitty — spider webs and skulls and flags and a few conspicuous patches of grey-black where things’ve been covered up unsubtly over time.

Tibby is little, once she gets to him. She looks up, he looks down at her and her AK-47. Mostly at her, awkward in the time span he might normally use to clap her on the ass if she wasn’t holding an assault rifle.

“Yeah — if you could tell her to shut the fuck up that’d be helpful, too.”

He turns to lead the way.

Back at the truck, he drops the tailgate to reveal Eileen the ocelot in a Princess-sized dog crate. The bed already reeks of wildicat piss, and Eileen herself is a mottled roil of rage and wrath, long fangs bared in a velociraptor hiss that prickles the hairs on the back of Buddy’s neck. Also in the back: a toolbox, a set of steel manacles, a heavy black bag about the length and width of a human body (currently empty) and a cattleprod.

Princess is still out there running circles with Oya — a shadow cutting long tracks through grass too tall to see her through.

“This is Handbag.”

“Handbag? Ag man the smell,”

Tibby waves her hand in front of her face but leans in nonetheless to get a look at the cat. First spotting the body bag, “For another job?” Green eyes study the thing and Adze leaps onto the tailgate to peer at the cat in the cage. His gaze is lazy as it flicks to Tibby before curling up and staring back at the cage expectant he briefly regards Buddy with a cool stare.

Her mind reflexively reaches out to Eileen’s mind. “Jislaaik, she’d be a beaut if she wasn't so wild and mangy.” The woman tilts her head as she presses around Eileen’s mind with a firm but gentle grip. “Usually I try to bond with em but this one might try to take my hand off so.”

Her expression tightens as she sends waves of peace and sedation through the link to the cat. Adze and Oya both feel it as well. The golden cat stops its chase of Princess to turn her head towards where Tibby and Adze are currently. Both cats tails swish in time with the other and Tibby begins to hum softly. Hello. She says in the cat’s mind. Relax.. you're safe. Tibby sways a little as she grips the edge of the tailgate with small hands.

Safe. She echoes as she establishes a link to the cat’s mind.

Out in the grass, Princess wheels around, snuffs back along her own trail, and plows into Oya with paws outstretched when she finds her, chain chomp jaws slobbering soft around her golden head.

“What, the bag?”

Buddy’s backed up half a step to square up behind Tibby’s shoulder — near enough to bump her with his hip. Very helpful. Very centering, what with the focus she needs and all.

“It’s mostly for show. We wind up with bodies, we cut ‘em into pieces with the chainsaw.”

He could be joking.

In the crate, Eileen (Handbag?) lets loose a warbling growl that mounts into a throatier snarl, more wolverine than wildcat, pupils swollen wide in the semidark. Her mind is jagged and broken, glassy edges and disjointed memory boiling to the surface against Tibby’s telepathic touch. Buddy, booting her into the crate with a bullwhip crack of the cattleprod at her hocks. John Logan greeting the entire Arrowood crew as they crowd into a rain soaked and stained hotel room with boarded windows. Rex picking his nails with a knife. The stench of rot and mold mixing with fear in the air — Eugene’s massive dog and his hot breath. A white hot shock of pain and anger as Sylvester kicks her full in the snout. And piss. Lots of piss.

It’s all in pieces.

Seconds later, a jumble of boots and shoes as seen from beneath a sagging mattress and rusty springs — familiar boots, familiar voices. Wooden chair legs rocking with the force that Logan’s thrown down into it, rope fastened tight around his fancy ankles. Astrid’s clawed fingernails and the F U C K blocked out across Buddy’s knuckles.

They’re talking — humans negotiating, threatening, arguing with each other. None of it makes any sense to Eileen.

She lunges full force at the crate door, talons raking steel, teeth spiked through the grating.

“Why not feed em to the animals?” Is she joking? The reply is absent as she does the work of enclosing the cat’s mind. She is.. ferocious and untamed and while Tibby has gotten the likes of an African Golden Cat and caracal to hang around her.. the need to bend this cat to her will or even attempt to do battle with her doesn't seem like it's worth the trouble. The poor thing seems traumatized.

She's hit with an overload of memories and sensations. Anger runs supreme and Tibby shakes from the weight of it all, bumping into Buddy’s side. Tibby is thrown back to her mind with a gasp and her body rocks backward. “FOR FUCK’S SAKE,” she looks over at the man in horror.

… “YOU JUST LET THE THING PISS ON ITSELF ALL THE TIME.” The expression of anger and yelling about not taking care of the cat masks her anger and terror at noticing Logan and his fancy ankles being tied up. She hadn't seen him in a bit, word on the street.. As Tibby mulls this over Oya yowls and swipes at Princess blindly since her head is in.. his mouth.

Wincing at Eileen’s snarl and hiss, she rubs the back of her head. “Oy, Handbag here is useless to ya. She will not be calmed.” Placing her hand in her back pocket and the other on the strap of her rifle to steady it of course.

“‘Cause it’s unsanitary.”

Speaking of, Buddy pushes a piece of gum up out of his pocket and unfastens the foil wrapping with both dirt-streaked hands. He lifts his eyes from the crate once he’s pushed it into his mouth, checking out the sunrise somewhere off behind them over the bombed out horizon.

Kinda pretty — all the oranges and blues.

He’s still squinting that way when Tibby thumps back into him and he catches her, only to push off a little ways when she rounds on him — hollaring and shit. Horror’s met with confusion, dense in the hood of his brow and the grind at his gum, his hands raised away like woah, bitch.

“Well yeah — “ he can get loud too, “that’s the whole purpose behind me bringin’ her out here!” The cat pissing herself all the time!! Wasn’t she paying attention? “Can’t you just tell her to piss in a box or somethin’?”

Hands still raised on the defensive, he swivels his head to the sound of a shrill doggy yalp from the grassy patch where Princess is gumming Oya.

That doesn't seem like a very reasonable answer to not feed the people to animals but she doesn't feel like arguing that point, they’d be here all night. And then Tibby is getting yelled back at and her hand is on her hip. “Well she ain't pissing nowhere you want and everywhere she wants. Made that bladdy clear to me alright!” Jesus the shit that cat has seen. She sends of waves of peace and content to the cat, trying her hardest to gently bend the cat.

“Ahhh fuck this one is not.. is very strong. She ain't doing shit unless you knock her out with a tranq or something.

It's her final assessment and she looks closely at Eileen before rounding on Buddy. “At least hose her down, Jesus!” Tibby is midway to telling Buddy off when she notices Princess and Adze, “Oh my days your mutt is about to eat my girl.”

“Oy Oy! Princess get your slobbering jaws off my friend!” Oya is hissing and trying her hardest to claw her nose up real good.

Handbag the cat lays her ears back flat and, fury rumbling nose to tail in a growl frothy with spittle. This is calm as it gets, her short tail lashing in the shadow at the back of the crate, fangs parted at the subtlest movement in her direction.

A tranq?

“Be cheaper to use a bullet.” Muttered.

But there’s other animal drama afoot.

Princess is already rolling away before Buddy can belt out an even louder “Princess!” behind Tibby’s order, and the big grey brute of a pitbull comes pelting out of the greenery, tail tucked. She flips like a dirty pancake at Buddy’s boots, paws kicked up, tongue flap-flopping over her bloodied nose, piggy little eyes slanted shut.

Buddy stoops, crouches, sweeps her up into his arms and onto his shoulder with a grunt.

“I fuckin’ told you, dummy.”

She licks his face, his ear, his hair — whatever she can reach.

“Sorry,” he what he tells Tibby on her behalf, strained under the weight of fifty pounds of pup on his shoulder. “She’s just bein’ playful.” He jogs her weight, pitbull butt curled in the crook of his arm, blood dribbled down the collar of his shirt. “I’ll hose her down when I get her back, if you think that’ll help. Probably just piss her off more.”

“She knows her master.” Is said shortly, Handbag does not. Tibby eyes the cat, “I usually would offer to take her..” she allows that sentence to finish itself as she crosses her arms and looks over as Princess is licking all over Buddy at the same time that Oya trots over to rub herself on Tibby’s leg, “Ah eww dog slob.”

Making a face Tibby shrugs over at Buddy. “Not your fault your doggie is wild Buck. Or is it.” Her mind wanders to the memory of the cattle prod being used on Eileen. Other animals can't be treated that much better and it's taking everything she's got not to shoot him in the toe for that feline abuse.

“It will,” piss her off that is, “But she’ll smell a hair nicer that's for sure.” She's stroking her chin thoughtfully as she regards the caged feline with a sympathetic expression, “Why don't you let the poor thing go?” She's not worth the trouble, “Clearly she can fend for and protect herself.”

Why doesn’t he let the cat go? Temptation crosses his mug in a look back over his shoulder, and Princess sets to spiking up the thin scruff of his hair with licks on that side, too.

“She belongs to Astrid…”

…is a pretty good reason to hang onto something of value.

He paws his free hand over Princess’ wounded snoot, probing through sliced fur, and she moves right on to licking the dirt (and now blood) off his fingers instead. With her ears laid back and just the tippy tip of her tail wiggling, it’s difficult — but certainly not impossible — to imagine her on the business end of a cattle prod.

“And I think she aims to keep her.”

There's a hellish shriek of creaking metal from within Buddy's truck, shuddering on its frame as the passenger seat from within is levered from its flat recline into upright. It didn't do that on its own, either, when a hissed curse flutters out through open windows, and then, the door is flung open, and a third bipedal creature is joining the scene with an ungainly stagger.

Astrid Nyström does not greet them save to put her hands on her knees and retch at the ground, a loud dry heaving without much result, maybe a spatter of saliva as she spits, dotting the ground between her boots.


Cut-off shorts, hiking boots, and a bulky leather jacket, studded at the lapels. Her blonde hair is wild and making curtains around her face, indicative of the kind of night she's had. Day she's had? What the fuck time is it. Slowly does it, she pushes all that hair back from her face and slowly regains her posture, fingers still caught in yellow locks and janky extensions of similar Barbie sheen as she pivots to look for the source of all that yelling that woke her up from her

beauty sleep.

There are scratch marks, here and there, on her exposed thighs, and a couple on one forearm.

"Hey," she says, her voice hoarse. There are probably only a few seconds to this grace period where she tries to figure out where she is and what is happening and who Tibby is, eyes immediately wandering to the other woman in this triangle.

Hearing that she won't be getting Handbag the cat anytime soon makes Tibby frown and she’s about to ask what she has to offer before the woman herself practically falls out of the truck. Emerald green eyes take in the other blonde and Tibby raises an eyebrow. Ah, Astrid. Adze pops an eye open from the tailgate as the truck makes all the noise from Astrid leaving it and the caracal leaps down to slide in between the South African woman’s ankles. “Ag shame,” She says with a smile on her face, “The bladdy dop did you in?”

The tiny woman thinks back to her cousins over in Africa getting shitfaced, she with them. She didn't always lose but her size.. well she took to alcohol a lot quicker. At that thought she digs into her pocket to pull out a spliff and lighter. Lighting the joint she puffs on it a few times while looking at the two. Oya trots over to rub herself on Tibby’s leg as the woman tilts her head.

“I think I can help poor Handbag out yea? Are you sure you wanna keep her?” Passing the joint to Buddy.

Buddy freezes at the sound of the passenger seat hinges shrieking behind him, brow hooded low, the whites of his eyes gone wide in a sideways look away from Princess’s kitty scratches to queen of the kitties herself. Shit.

“Shit,” he agrees with himself out loud, voice a rusty rasp in the pit of his throat. Shit shit shit.

Princess’s tail thwaps relentlessly at the side of his leg, until he bends over slo o ow and careful to spill her out of his arms. Like someone moving in such a way as to avoid attracting the attention of a bull in a china shop. Or a Tyrannosaurus. Astrid’s still dry heaving when he straightens back up, his eyes on Tibby, overly intent with the unspoken suggestion that she find a way to disappear. Quickly.

“Mornin’ Astrid.”

Buddy’s voice cracks. Tibby hasn’t gone anywhere. Instead, she’s offered to take Handbag off of Astrid’s hands and pushed a joint off on him.

He takes it and holds it like a clod of dirt between his fingertips, still staring too hard at Tibby herself to have realized what it is. Ixnay on the elpinghay.

"Hello Kitty?"

Disbelief colours Astrid's tone, a hand still pressed across her forehead as she looks this way and that, getting her bearings by confirming only that she is not anywhere near where she began. Her gaze snaps towards the larger of them all here, sharp accusation cutting through the haze as she barks, "What the fuck, Buddy?"

Just, in general.

She stalks on over, boots stamping across dirt and twigs as if they've offended her personally, ignoring excitable dogs and slithering cats in favour of getting to the back of the truck so that she can confirm for herself— "What the fuck, Buddy," she says, again, with greater emphasis, while Handbag backs right up into the depths of her cage, ears flat, demonic growl.

Astrid whirls around to face Tibby, now pointing one finger, a painted nail sharp and deep, near-black red, chipped to hell. "Stay the fuck away from my cat," she says, frank instruction delivered through a characteristic manic grin, all teeth. "Okay? She doesn't need help, she needs these fucking retards to keep their retard dogs away from her."

There's a tilt of her head and Tibby shows her own wide grin to the faux blonde. Her eyes narrow at the finger pointing. She tilts her head the other way. So she doesn't wanna give up the cat. Tibby takes care of her feline friends. Clean. Food. Shelter. Handbag is not being taken care of. This, doesn't sit well with the feline telepath and she gives the feral cat in the cage a long look before shrugging her shoulders. Fine. Not a battle to fight today.

“Bathe her.”

Shoulders turtled up on the defensive, Buddy shrinks a little at that first what the fuck, joint pinched up for a nervous drag. He holds the smoke in, taking as much advantage as he can before he leans to spit, coughs, takes another quick hit and passes it back to Tibby.

He looks up at her from under the furrow of his brow on his way to turning back for the truck, and the ass tearing he has in store.

Thanks. He’ll give her a bath.

“C’mon, Astrid, I didn’t let her mind whammy her or nothin.’ Just had her look to be sure there’s nothin’ wrong with her booty hole.” Like an issue in the booty hole might explain a case of violent incontinence. “Get back in the truck.”

He throws the tailgate back up and turns a crumply box of cigarettes up out of his pocket, already headed for the driver’s seat.

“I gotta make breakfast.”

It's probably true that much of Astrid's wrath would be better directed at Buddy than the cat telepath in front of her, and her temper is such that the other woman's mild deflection means that attempting to prolong the tension is a little like trying to strike flame onto damp wood. That, and her ride is about to fucking leave her in the woods, and she is not prepared to deal with a hike back when she doesn't even know what time of day it is.

That hand drops, posture straightening, looking down her nose at Tibby, jaw jutting aggressive as she licks her teeth.

And turns, with a flip of yellow hair, grazing her fingernails across the cage front of Handbag's transport in a way that could either be her version of reassuring towards the kitty cat, or, you know, gloating. What Tibby can tell, there is no particular affection from the ocelot for Astrid, save maybe a sense of her being a source of food, and doesn't kick her.

It's a low ass bar.

Astrid climbs in through the door she left open, and as soon as Buddy is in and closing the door on himself, she shoves him in the shoulder with the hard heel of her hand, hard enough that it might as well be a strike. Fucking idiot. She slams her door closed.

There’s a bump and a flurry of sparks from the open driver’s door when Astrid nearly shoves the cigarette right out of Buddy’s mouth mid-light, cut off with a swear as he fends her off with his elbow.

Hands off the merchandise, bitch.

He turns the engine over, slams the door shut and throws the truck into reverse without so much as a glance to his mirrors. Princess' butt topples over between them, blunt doggy paws digging for purchase as she wriggles into the back seat. Hasta luego.

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