The City's a Stage

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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby kool kitty89 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:25 am

OK, sorry about the glut of posts, but this bit just caught me again:
Kusanagi wrote:I'm both amazed and delighted that Caleb is getting such hate :D . I've literally written murderers contemplating about rape who got more sympathy than him, or at least there weren't immediate calls for an ass kicking. :lol:

I think I realized some of the more fundamental issues going on with Caleb . . . granted, a lot of that's been touched on in one way or another above.

But, specifically, there's a great deal of several themes/tropes that come to mind:
abuse of power,
power corrupts,
with power comes responsibility (yes, I know, derivative of the Spider-Man quote)

He almost falls into the supervillain category in that sense, but not quite the typical one necessarily.
On further reflection, I'm certainly reminded of Ozymandias of Watchman canon. (also an intensely unlikable character with "all that and more" . . . being "the real deal" and such . . . but intensely offputting in his smugness and cynicism -almost like more of an antihero, but without the typical mixed/dark sympathy typically felt towards those types -in that canon, Rorschach fits much better, both as an antihero and as a complex, dark, yet fundamentally sympathetic character)


I think it also kind of hits close to home just how close one can come to being like that . . . and how much power is really down to a person's own integrity of character and personality (both fundamental and developmental -as in family/social upbringing).
I never knew anyone similar to this growing up, no "super smart, talented, popular jerk" types in high school, but I knew the other end of that, and I don't mean the "meek geeky kid" either.
I had several friends (at least one a very long time one too, though not super close) who fit all of those qualities, but also managed to be fundamentally nice and good people: tall, good looking, outgoing, popular, smart, studious, talented, >4.0 GPA taking accelerated classes, captain of the football team AND on a swim-team outside school, or in another case, similar but female, the cheer captain (for a while at least) and accepted into Stanford straight out of high school.
Sure, there were jerks too, and decently smart popular jerks too, but the truly exceptional ones were all actually nice people.

Going a step further, I myself am not all that far from being in that same area, and, again, personality is the main distinction. (if I was more organized, had more focused ambition, better work ethic, no weird anxiety conflicts, less scattered and conflicted general interests, more interest in sports, more an interest in self-image, etc, I totally could have been that -in terms of physical and intellectual aptitude, it's all there . . . tall, smart, reasonably good looking, etc -more focus, more ambition, more drive, and general inclination towards such etc and I could have been the "tall, well-built, popular overachiever" type rather than "tall, but kind of chubby/flabby, average looking, smart, geeky, weird, reasonably likable intellectual kid with above average -but far from perfect- academic performance" -which I was absolutely OK with, I mean no regrets or resentments, but just speaking hypothetically here)
There's also my odd "not quite outgoing, but not quite introverted" aspect that makes it feel like I'm walking in bother worlds at times, so to speak. (weird, situation-specific, and kind of complex to get a handle on, but enough that I can kind of understand the points of view of both really outgoing and super shy/introverted types)

Oh, and of course, in that hypothetical, part of that personality difference also could include being a smug asshole if I had the inclination and upbringing for that on top of the ambition/drive/desire for achievement and/or status. (and I'll say this much, my parents were ANYTHING but the types to encourage that sort of "holier than thou" smug, entitled sort of behavior . . . respect, tolerance, humility, and compassion are really big things with both of them, so pretty much polar opposites to that)
Hell, both of them (parents) kind of fit the bill of that same "potential" too . . . which I guess makes sense for me ending up like I did (genetics and all). Though, my mom actually was more the popular types of sorts in high school and college (certainly not a smug jerk, especially being the eldest child often responsible for defending her 3 younger brothers from bullying).

Well, damn . . . I guess she's actually one of those sources of inspiration for my liking the whole "strong female persona" thing, well that and reinforced by some of the female friends I had growing up.
Huh, good thing I'm not super introverted and shy about sharing that sort of thing. 8)
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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby TendoTwo » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:48 am

Really loving how the already humorous writing has been made significantly even funnier in this chapter :lol:

kool kitty89 wrote:Oh, and either I've been missing it or you put a lot more detail on exactly defining the relative sizes of the non-tiny characters here. I seem to recall Tendo (maybe someone else) posing a question as to how much smaller foxes (or Kelly) were compared to wolves (or Kate), so perhaps that spurred it. In any case, that's nice to see and it adds a further layer of depth. (I assumed you stuck with the general "proportions somewhat related to real-life animal counterparts" direction with the setting, but actually having that detailed makes a lot more sense -then again, given how much of the story if from Jake's PoV, that relative scale would naturally be harder to gauge . . . given it's all "really big" to "really, really big" and so on ;) )


Yeah, that was me, and funny you mentioned it here because I was thinking about that again when the wolves and bear's heights were mentioned in this chapter. So far we know the rodents are obviously tiny, rabbits were shorter than Kate and bears and elephants are larger (and judging Jake's reaction safe to assume elephants are larger than bears here like in real life) but most others, especially other predators like felines (and house vs "jungle"), other canines and even just plain canids etc are somewhat vague, especially Kate, Kelly, and the calico. (I remember a new hire being listed as coming up to Kelly's shoulders, I think it was a dingo but don't remember)
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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby kool kitty89 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:18 am

TendoTwo wrote:Yeah, that was me, and funny you mentioned it here because I was thinking about that again when the wolves and bear's heights were mentioned in this chapter. So far we know the rodents are obviously tiny, rabbits were shorter than Kate and bears and elephants are larger (and judging Jake's reaction safe to assume elephants are larger than bears here like in real life) but most others, especially other predators like felines (and house vs "jungle"), other canines and even just plain canids etc are somewhat vague, especially Kate, Kelly, and the calico. (I remember a new hire being listed as coming up to Kelly's shoulders, I think it was a dingo but don't remember)

It might be the case that Kelly is unusually tall for a vixen too . . . that'd probably make enough sense to avoid weird retconning too. (she's clearly smaller than Kate, though, and I could have sworn her size/appearance was at least vaguely referenced as being less imposing even from Jakes point of view -might have manufactured that, though)

I'll admit that I did this with Christy in my story . . . except I'd intended that from the outset (or, at least before I started drafting the first chapter). I decided to go for the "most/all animals are going to be at least somewhat proportional to scale based on real-life/"feral" counterparts" rather than being totally normalized around human size.
Hence the point being made for Christy's 5'8" being "tall for a cat." (though what "normal" is for a cat hasn't yet been established -then there's the detailed implication of there being mouse-sized anthros as well)

This trope isn't that uncommon in general, but in the context of stories including humans, it seems quite rare. (let alone those including a parallel set of "macro scale" anthros as well . . . )

Actually, given the lack of introduction of any other species of anthros (with personal interaction), I'm not sure what direction Arbon took with that in Jack and Jill.
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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby TendoTwo » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:35 am

kool kitty89 wrote:Actually, given the lack of introduction of any other species of anthros (with personal interaction), I'm not sure what direction Arbon took with that in Jack and Jill.


IIRC in a flashback from Jack there was a human guy with a mouse/rat tail, suggesting he was a hybrid; and Jack didn't find it anything odd when Jill described herself as being a fox anthro over the phone. I forgot what species the other micros that were introduced were but I remember one of them was I think a cheetah, or at least some kind of large jungle cat. So I guess it seems likely the micro anthros are more or less all human sized since it seems likely there are human sized mouse, fox, and jungle cat anthros.

I would assume the macros are the same thing, although I don't recall any elaboration on that other than mentioning that Jill once dated a cow anthro, and size wasn't brought up. (Although disturbingly, the pred/prey relationship of a cow and fox WAS...)
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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby kool kitty89 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:18 am

TendoTwo wrote:
kool kitty89 wrote:Actually, given the lack of introduction of any other species of anthros (with personal interaction), I'm not sure what direction Arbon took with that in Jack and Jill.


IIRC in a flashback from Jack there was a human guy with a mouse/rat tail, suggesting he was a hybrid; and Jack didn't find it anything odd when Jill described herself as being a fox anthro over the phone. I forgot what species the other micros that were introduced were but I remember one of them was I think a cheetah, or at least some kind of large jungle cat. So I guess it seems likely the micro anthros are more or less all human sized since it seems likely there are human sized mouse, fox, and jungle cat anthros.

He was a Jaguar or a Leopard, not Cheetah (not going to dig it up right now), and it was Jack's friend . . . the one who was implied to be the guy in Jill's cousin's mouth in that other scene.

I would assume the macros are the same thing, although I don't recall any elaboration on that other than mentioning that Jill once dated a cow anthro, and size wasn't brought up. (Although disturbingly, the pred/prey relationship of a cow and fox WAS...)

Right, they also mentioned macro mice/rats and the context of being omnivores and eating micros too when Jill mentioned being concerned over Jack possibly being of a "prey" species.

And, actually, in the previous post, I meant to imply I wasn't sure if the anthro's sizes varited significantly by species . . . but in the context of there being macro and human-scale examples of each case (ie mice and rats being "small" giants). But, given the rest of the context, yeah, it seems the sizes are more or less "normalized" in this respect, or at least only moderately biased by species.
I was partially thinking in this vein as it's exactly what I ended up doing in In the Valley, and it's a really interesting direction to go for the "really wide range of shapes and sizes" scenario, without having more than two "scales" (normal and giant) as such. (well, vaguely like that, at least . . . at least as far as "normal" anthro mice being pretty tiny, cats being noticeably smaller than humans on average -hence Christy's height being noted as exceptional- though with some room for flexibility on my part -also means the giants will have a pretty wide range of sizes too, at least assuming they comprise as many species as their smaller counterparts)


Edit:
I'm also kind of wondering how Berserker worked the sizes in No Man's Land. Dex is (and bulls in general) way larger than the other micros around, and Rey seems to be somewhat on the smaller size too . . . but the exact size differences involved have been fairly indistinct as of yet. (Dex is big/strong enough to physically injure an average macro though, so that implied something -still lacking enough detail for me to quite visualize him though)
Actually, one of the biggest things I've been wondering on that front, is exactly how much bigger Alice is than Rey. (her being a Lynx, his being an Arctic Hare -also makes me slightly curious if the -beyond friends- period in their relationship had any diffcultied related to their species or size -would seem particularly ironic given Rey's current situation with Fiela)

OK, enough off topic stuff. :p
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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby Kusanagi » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:45 pm

In regards to size I’d say some of these have been mentioned but others have not. The thing with a story universe that’s several years old now it’s easy to lose track. I do know Kate and Kelly’s heights were compared in Center Stage but probably not since.

There Kelly comes up to about Kate’s chest. Kate can comfortably look down on her. From there we know Kate comes up to about Georgina’s waist, Lenton coming to Georgina’s shoulder. Really for the big characters the differences are smaller.

Without going into specifics the main cast size chart would like this, biggest to smallest. Note this is strictly height and does not take into account muscle or mass.

Johnny > Georgina > Trace > Lenton > Bennie >> Kate > Kelly >>>>>> all the mice.

The mice of course have different heights, though to the giant characters they’re unnoticeable. Grey > Jake > Derrick > Karen= Willow

With side characters the house cats are smaller than Kelly, Glory is about = to Kate, Carrie is slightly bigger than Kelly. The skunk from …Heart of gold would be smaller than Kelly, maybe a bit bigger than a house cat. Your average rabbit is going to be comparable to the average house cat, some bigger some smaller.

Haven’t really touched on it, as none of the house cats have become main characters but they don’t have it easy. While not having it rough as most prey species they can be subject to predation and the same can be said for most small predators. However given the wealth of options for prey, bigger preds are less likely to go after something that will fight back as such despite comparable sizes a rabbit is more likely to end up on the menu rather than a cat or ferret.

In regards to wild cats, those are going to vary by species of course, but hypothetically Bennie’s Tigress would be Lenton’s size maybe a bit bigger, while a Lynx would be around Kate’s size.

But yes, as has been mentioned, since the bulk of the story is from Jake’s perspective it mostly looks like big, bigger, fucking huge, fucking huge huge as even house cats are giants compared to him, even if that same cat would be considered tiny to someone like Trace or Georgina.
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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby kool kitty89 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:02 am

OK, cool, seems like a similar thought process to what I ended up with . . . except I had the whole "giant" scale to work out too, and then figuring out how all that fit in with humans and normal animals existing as well. Yeah, so your case is actually a lot cleaner. ;)

And yes, the "weaker/easier to catch prey choices among others of equal size" thing makes perfect sense . . . actually something that applies in general to physical attributes/advantages of characters like these, regardless of the whole predation context. (including the point made of how most are effectively superhuman . . . when compared to . . . humans :p -obviously some more than others and in varying ways -and then size differences coming on top of all that)

The only thing that caught me there was the rabbit comment . . . it makes reasonable sense, granted, but I hadn't quite been picturing things like that. (then again, if you actually went the gamut of rabbits and hares, you'd have a pretty big range of shapes and sizes there too)

Well, that and the mention of the Lynx being Kate's size . . . would have thought she'd be a tad smaller. Then again, it's been shown that Kate's not on the particularly large size as far as wolves go (kind of average), and if you're going by the European Lynx . . . yeah, pretty big. (still, I'd think something like Lynx would be closer to Coyotes, but they're all probably close enough to have some overlap anyway . . . and bobcats would probably overlap more with red foxes, but larger on average -more like ranging from larger-fox size up into medium sized coyotes)


Oh, and tons of room for artistic license, of course. :p


On a side note, aside from the small carnivores you already mentioned . . . there's also a few, quite small, predatory rodents as well. Moreover, that includes several that are known to prey on other small mammals. (that and "scorpion mouse" is just a cool name -though, note, that's not the species of grasshopper mouse known to "howl like a wolf" . . . pretty sure that's only the Norther Grasshopper mouse) That and being immune to scorpion venom. (I've said it before, but I can't help associating it with the honey badger :p )
http://www.mnh.si.edu/mna/image_info.cfm?species_id=234
http://www.mnh.si.edu/mna/image_info.cfm?species_id=235

And . . . to be quite honest, that makes for some pretty graphic, potentially disturbing imagery, if you think about it in this sort of context. (I have a strong feeling Arbon is going to end up doing something with this at some point . . . and in a considerably darker manner than I'd consider doing)
Damn, now I'm trying to imagine the mindset of typical mice/voles/etc regarding those little predators. (more so from the PoV of the characters in this story) Hell, would a less cultured/learned mouse not actually be able to realize they might be standing right next to a deadly predator?

Oh, that, and the kill-bite (on other vertebrates) is similar to that of a cat: aims at severing the spinal column rather than going for veins/arteries or by strangulation . . . and they stalks their prey similarly to cats too. (damn, now I'm getting all sorts of weird character personality ideas tied to that)

I've seen mixed info on what their teeth are like, though . . . more so either a lack of info or claims that they somewhat resemble the dentition of larger carnivores. (couldn't find many good pictures either . . . I think one showing just the molars -definitely more pointed and serrated that typical herbivorous/omnivorous rodent teeth)
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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby Kusanagi » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:57 pm

As far as threats on his life went, with everyday activities scoring a 1 and being tied up and left in a bowl to be an appetizer for a starlet rating a 10, Jake would put the current action at a solid 3. It didn’t mean he was comfortable, he wasn’t even comfortable during his day to day activities, but it wasn’t the worst situation he had ever been in.

It certainly helped that Trace’s massive self was front and center in the defensive line and that he had Bennie and Johnny’s, less imposing but still impressive, frames backing him up. Meanwhile Jake and Derrick made sure to stay in the center of the semicircle they were making. Derrick, being proactive, had already quietly pointed out two possible escape routes. Jake feeling a bit rusty had only noticed one additional. For now though they placed their faith in their bigger friends and the hope that music could bring them all together; which, in other words, meant the two mice were actively looking for a fourth escape option.

Probably the oddest thing though was the impromptu mob, for the moment at least, was civil; or as civil as any rabid group of metal heads could be. Aside from the fact that they were all midsized preds, which Jake was finding in his exposure to the big wide world to be disturbingly common, they were an eclectic mix of canids, felids, and the mouse was pretty sure he saw a wolverine or badger in the mix. Apart from the species the more eye catching aspect was just how many piercings, shaved fur, and the resulting tattoos you could cram into a group. That of course was nothing compared to the most disturbing aspect. The shirts, the tattoos, and multitude of signs they sported all had one thing in common: Kate.

A Kate that was younger, wilder, and certainly more…well eccentric would probably be the polite way to describe it. Still there was no denying that these were all devoted fans, if not followers, of his roommate.

“Look man,” The apparent leader of this little cult spoke up, a wolf adorned in a spike collar, chained belt, and an ungodly amount of leather. He normally would have looked terrifying to Jake but the wolf looked scrawny and malnourished when placed next to Trace, “we’re just wondering if you could do us a solid.”

Trace, the typically laid back and utterly passive of the two body guards, managed to keep the gathered rabble under this thumb with an incredulous glare. “And that favor would be?” He casually stared down the wolf while nonchalantly flexing his folded arms. They might have been easily outnumbered but it was clear none of the fanboys and girls wanted to be the one to point that out to the bear.

“Let us escort you to the stage. Caleb” and Jake would swear to heaven he heard some of the fangirls swoon just at his name, “wanted to get to know you as you’re friends with the mistress.” It didn’t take much deductive reasoning to realize he was referring to Kate.

Derrick, though still on high alert, shot Jake a humored smiled. “Not a word.” The older mouse grumbled.

“We’re kind of comfortable out here.” Trace passively shrugged his shoulders epitome of calm. “If he wants to talk he’s free to come out here.”

That sent some of the cult over the edge. Cries of ‘How dare he’, ‘grab them’, and far more colorful language erupted though it was worth noting they were typically the furthest from Trace.

The wolf that was closest held his tongue. “Well y’know,” he said no doubt feeling like he was caught in between a rock and hard place. Jake could almost feel sympathy for him, “he’s a lot more likely to get mobbed by fans.”

Trace tilted his head in brief acknowledgment but wasn’t swayed. “Still what’s in it for us?” Again those that were not within Trace’s swiping range were positively aghast that he could say such a thing.

“We would really appreciate it,” The spiked wolf’s voice little above a whimper as those behind him were urging ‘Duggan’ to slug the bear, “and having the facilities he does I’m sure Caleb would be accommodating.”

“Well ‘Duggan’, as nice as that sounds we still have a show to get ready for and we will have to politely decline.” Now came the question of would cooler heads prevail. Those that were up front were scarcely more enthused than Duggan. They weren’t fighters, they were fans, and no matter how much they wanted to please their favorite star a possible broken neck from a bear paw upside the head was asking a lot.

Still it wasn’t wise to underestimate star struck fanatics especially when they likely had much of the morning to imbibe as much as Jake had earlier.

“Two or three?” Derrick whispered next to him though it was hardly necessary. He was referring to their escape routes. Jake hesitated as it looked like Trace had it handled, and remembering his trip to the studio he wasn’t keen on the idea of splitting up. The mouse wasn’t even sure Caleb’s fanclub was aware of their existence yet, but at the same time if they rushed they could very well be trampled.

“Alright lets go-” Whatever Jake was going to say was muffled by a startled squeak as the ground gave way underneath him. His initial thoughts of a sinkhole or collapsed burrow gave way as a strong pair of paws gripped him about the waist and pulled him downward. Derrick reacted quickly grasping at his brother only to find whatever gripped Jake was more than strong enough to drag him in as well. Before the others even realized something was wrong the only sign of the two mice was the disturbed upturned earth where they had been standing.

<v>

Molly was a pleasant enough sort Kelly decided. Perhaps she liked Jake a little too much than what the vixen was comfortable with, the weed wolf was enough, but for the most part her endearment towards the mouse seemed to be strictly in the musical sense. So long as it stayed that way they’d get along fine.

Apparently the vixen’s thoughts of being a standout in this sea of people were unfounded. While Jake was never going to attract the type of support some of the brand backed names that were making appearances for the festival, his support, much to Kelly’s dismay, had not only a noticeable presence but seemed to be quite organized. That in and of itself was fine. The dismay was a result of her realizing the overwhelming gender disparity within his support.

She never noticed it in the club, and only had Jake’s brief comments on the matter which had dulled while he had been on tour, but the mouse had a lot of female fans. Worse it seemed this little tour had only exasperated the problem. It seemed bizarre to her, granted she had never truly focused on the music, but she always assumed it was gender neutral. There were some males about but they were in the distinct minority.

Some Kelly instantly recognized as those she had served at the club on a regular basis. They were made up of the typical ‘upper middle class business’ types and ‘college level artsy’ types that were Lenton’s prime audience.

However the majority of those that were congregating and mingling in what Kelly was thinking of as ‘Camp Jake’ were complete unknowns, running the gamut of ages and species, including the odd herbivore.

Still odd little collective or not they had obtained some prime real estate. A few of them had camped out possibly days before the actual event. The dedication was about as calming as the gender disparity for the vixen, but she tried to focus on the positives. The stage was easily in reach. There was no seating but this could easily be considered front row. The performers were so close it was almost as intimate as the club. Albeit with a few thousand extra people behind them, and a security line up that made the bears look as imposing as well, Jake.

“Turn out’s better than I expected” Molly said, discreetly tossing the licked clean carnival food stick away. Kelly thought about those in the crowd, and though she had been savoring it, made short work of hers as well.

“Expected?” The vixen said mouth still partially full.

“Oh yeah Diana put out the call on the net, really easy since that late show video went viral.” Kelly, it seemed, had more in common with Jake than she realized because she only understood bits and pieces of that. Still the results were plain to see.

“I can see why Jake finds it weird.” Kelly admitted, recalling one of their previous conversations.

“Huh never really thought that he thought about us at all. We’re the little folk, so to speak, he’s the talent.”

The feeling of being a little special helped brighten Kelly’s mood instantly as she suddenly had an edge on all these pretenders. “It’s all kind of different for him.” The vixen said honestly then realized she kind of painted herself into a corner. While Jake had shared this with her their conversations were so short it’s not like she could go further in depth.

“How do you know so much?”

“Oh we’re good friends,” which was really stretching the truth but on impulse she couldn’t leave it at that, “in fact you could say we’re more than friends.” Which Kelly’s mouth chose to blurt out without consulting her brain. Why?! What possible good could come from saying that?! Kelly internally screamed.

Molly gasped she looked positively giddy which didn’t fit her punk image at all. “Shut up!” She said in an excited whisper having gotten a choice bit of gossip.

“It’s true,” no it wasn’t, “but you know Jake’s the private type so try to keep it quiet.” The vixen quietly cheered as she managed to curtail that without too much of an issue. Of course this tactic might have been far more effective if their conversation had occurred in private, and not in the midst of a throng of fans of her supposed love interest.

“You might want to keep that secret from some of the others though.” Molly whispered conspiratorially catching Kelly’s attention. “Personally I’ve never thought like that, the mouse can jam, in a non-hardcore kind of way I mean,” She said trying to establish some amount of already tarnished cred, “but some of the others,” She hedged, no doubt looking to see if some happened to be within earshot, “are a little off.”

“How do you mean off?”

“You know the type, the ones that can’t tell if he’s cute enough to eat, or if he’s y’know cute enough to eat.”

A fierce blush came to Kelly’s ears causing the calico to laugh assuming such a thought never occurred to the vixen. “W-wow that’s really weird, I mean you hear about hunger crushes sometimes…” Or have them, she thought to herself.

“I mean I can see why he’d be private. Every guy with talent’s got groupies, but normally the only thing they have to worry about is a STD. Surprised he talks to anyone at all with some of the nuts out here.” The cat shuddered, and Kelly fought not to break into a coughing fit as she thought back to her early days working with the mouse.

“I guess it’s kind of natural, instinct and all that.” Kelly said trying to justify her past intentions.

“Following instinct is one thing, having certain ideas for a guy you like is natural. It’s when you mix up those two up that you should seek professional help.” The calico snickered. “In any case my lips are sealed. Girls and guys like that tend to be the crazy jealous type.”

“Of course they are.” The vixen mumbled. She followed the feline as she showed her around their tiny enclave but was lost in her own thoughts. When she talked to Kate weeks back she was sure she had settled the matter with herself. Then there were the moments with Jake’s friends, the cravings, and oh yes the little bits of fried food still stuck in her teeth.

There was a time where she thought of Jake and admittedly she would start to salivate, which could be taken several ways, or her stomach would rumble, which could not. Now she just thought of the shy musician trying to be brave and playing for a bunch of bloodthirsty lunatics.

“At least I’m not one of them anymore.” She said to herself hoping that was the truth.


<v>

Instinct could make up for a lot of failings in the time it took Jake to think ‘Damn Derrick was right. I really am getting too comfortable, and now I’m going to die in friggin hole in the ground.’ His body had already latched onto its larger assailant and was trying its very best to take a chunk out of its fur with his teeth. The mouse was rewarded with a coppery taste that instantly brought a hint of joy and decided revulsion. All at once he his kidnapper flung him away and he painfully landed on the floor of what he assumed was some tunnel or burrow. Though he had a degree of night vision coming straight from the sunny skies of the park he would be as good as blind for a while. Time he clearly did not have.

Lacking sight, he focused his other senses, his ears trained on where he had been thrown from, his assailant was occupied with something else, his nose twitched and detected the familiar scent of family. There was a muted thud and a pained groan that alerted Jake that whatever resistance his brother provided had come to an end.

Fight or flight instincts began screaming at him. He could just make out the vague outline of what had pulled the two of them under. It was big, not his band mates big but big enough. It stood at least twice his height in the gloom. Running would have been the sensible thing to do, but he had no idea of the layout of these tunnels. He could just as easily be running into a wall as he could be making his escape. There was also the matter of Derrick, the younger mouse already reminded him of all his younger brothers and sisters he never got to know, and he didn’t want the brash mouse death on his conscious too.

The musician puffed himself up in what was sad attempt at intimidation. Trying to make his posture say I’m not worth it there’s easier prey out there.

“Now, now no need for that. Sorry that I gave you a bit of a scare, but it’s hard to get on your schedule. ”

His vision by now had cleared and he was all too aware of the prominent male rat that stood before him. Rats were hard to figure out for most mice. There wasn’t the abject fear associated with them as other species. They were omnivores for starters, but at the same time they had a reputation for eating anything and that most definitely included mice. They were so close to mice in many respects. A small rat or a large mouse could easily pass for the other species. Some rats were the nicest creatures you could possibly meet, others…well whenever there was a rash of deaths in the subs the phrase ‘smells like a rat’ was often literal.

Jake slightly relaxed but not fully. “What do you want?”

“An audience mostly, you see I’ve been feeling a little left out. Brand is the name and again I apologize for the abrupt meeting I just don’t like feeling slighted.” His manner of speaking immediately reminded the mouse of Lenton, and looking the larger rodent up and down the clothes he wore weren’t of some nearly feral would be predator. No the tailored suit he wore was probably finer than anything Jake had in his closet, or at least it would have been if they were stained with mud and earth.

“You mean the tour? You’re a club owner.” Jake said with a degree of revelation, and at the same time confusion. “…pretty sure there are easier ways to get in touch with me.” He said gesturing to the rat’s soiled paws and small bloodstain running across his cheek.

“Ah but they usually involve dealing with your boss and his normal paranoia. I’d imagine I would have received much worse than this.” He ran a finger down the wound and looked at the blood dismissively. “You see I’m just a humble rodent, and while I have my audience I don’t have much to offer your boss. And given the constraints of my establishment I doubt your security would fit so there would be no putting him at ease.” He said with a feral smirk.

“I doubt my band mates would either. Not much point really. I might have an ego but even I know I’m not much of a one mouse show.” He kept his composure. Jake’s eyes briefly darting to his brother; Derrick having made his way to his feet.

“You’d be surprised.” The Rat said with a degree of joviality. “After your appearance on the late show you can’t imagine the demand.”

“Still if this was a gathering of mice and rabbits I’d doubt Lenton would have refused.” The mouse said steadily waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“A solid point though admittedly that’s not my clientele.” The rat said with a shrug. Brand’s toothed smile not leaving his face. The implication of just what his clientele was hitting Jake right in the face.

“Well just how safe it is I clearly can’t say from just this. How about we meet at a more hospitable location, we can discuss it over drinks.” Jake said rather amicably considering he had just been dragged down a hole the moment before. Rather distressing this Rat would do it himself. He was more of hands on person than Lenton apparently.

“Rather charitable of you, but sadly I’ve already made commitments.”

“Bit presumptuous don’t you think?” Once again Jake puffed up slightly. While on the surface they were being polite the mouse knew a threat when he saw one.

“There’s a certain amount of risk and reward that comes with these things, and it just so happens I’m something of a gambler.” Jake amended his previous thought. Lenton while a bit of a scumbag was at least a classy scumbag. This Rat gave off more of educated thug vibe.

Jake was about to mention that his gamble hadn’t paid off. The rat was imposing, but he and Derrick could make it a fight not worth having. That’s when he noticed a large shape dart into the tunnel with them. It was barely a blur in Jake’s periphery. Too fast to make out what it was.

Derrick was more alert than he was, already looking at the blur’s approach, but he wasn’t ready for the speed. The younger mouse was pulled into an entirely unfriendly crushing embrace by the newcomer. While lanky it may have been bigger than Brand, and Jake realized with growing horror that it was a weasel that had his brother. She was running her claws tenderly across the mouse’s neck, a pleased grin on her face, as she admired her catch.

“I do like to hedge my bets.” The rat said with a smirk. Derrick was deathly still as the weasel kept a claw to his throat while beginning to stroke him.

“You could always say no, you’re friend looks delicious in more ways than one.” She smiled to Jake and it sent a shiver down the musician’s spine.

“Alright.” He said, keeping his tone civil, lest the weasel or rat take offense. “Where’s your club?”
http://www.furaffinity.net/user/kusanagi/

http://giantessworld.net/viewuser.php?uid=27873 (something new has been added :o)

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Kusanagi
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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby gadabout » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:30 am

Oh boy, now things are getting serious indeed, dang rats n mice all over the place >:I

Ah well, Im sure Jake and derrik will be fine, he just needs to sax it up or something, but anyhoo , good stuff :D
RIP Baggy52.

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Re: The City's a Stage

Postby Duct Tape Fanatic » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:44 am

Cats and foxes and rats and weasels, two matches seemingly perfect for each other. Kelly seems to be solidly on board with not obsessing over eating Jake anymore, but she's quite obviously not off mice. Kate being the "mistress" was an interesting development, apparently she has rank on her side. Poor Jake really can't seem to catch a break with someone threatening him at every performance, although for once it's someone else whose life is on the line.
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