Title: Rope
Time Period: IC Date Here
Characters Appearing:

Summary: TBA.

It's a cheerful day, somewhere that isn't here. Light falls outside the goal, a squat building made of stone and metal, half dug into the ground. It's a better destination than outside standing against its wall before a firing line, but that might be something of a low standard. Jain's hands and feet remain unbound, but he is firmly on one side of a door way made only of steel bars. It had been almost dawn by the time trackers overwhelmed an ability to deftly avoid an immediate fate, and by now, it's well into a bright, summery afternoon. They are close enough to the coast for Jain to hear the crashing of waves and smell the salt of the loch.

Without much in the way of ceremony, there is the sound of foot steps - heavy and measured, no one in any rush nor any reason for delay. Soon, a shadow falls on the barred off doorstep, although said door doesn't open. No need for that. It brings with it the smell of smoke, and indeed, the leaking stream of tobacco smoke comes off the end of a stunted cigar between his fingers. He is in black, and armed.

Marcus Rowntree is white haired, broad-shouldered, his mouth almost hidden in its beard although his dour mood can be read all over his face. Unknown to Jain, there'd be an argument, one that Marcus had come out the victor as he usually does when it comes to squaring off with either son. He doesn't say anything, at first, but does take another inhale of smoke, fingernails thick, blunt and yellowed.

Unarmed when captured, Jain didn't make the futile effort of fight when flight no longer became an option. The respect that Jain has for (some of) his captors hasn't waned with imprisonment. When Marcus stands on the other side of the door, Jain stands tall and straight, within the clan head's view, as though the former militia member was still in the service of the Rowntrees.

He is also silent, the only sound he makes is the deep inhalation of curling smoke as Marcus breathes out. It's sort of calming, and though he's been forced to slow down his own bad habits since he's been put away, he hasn't quit enjoying the scent of second hand when it comes around. Jain's jaw tenses as he clenches his teeth together, Marcus is in a foul state, which makes him somewhat nervous.

There is a grudging sort of approval when Jain responds as he does, although, as ever, it is not an easy thing to glean from Rowntree. Marcus allows a little silence to stretch on, mostly so he can think, before nodding once in what is partways a greeting, partways gesture that Jain can relax some. Not that he's opening the door.

"I don't like it, seeing one of ours in this place," Marcus says. The militia is, in the grand scheme of Dornie, a relatively new development, and Marcus is an older man. It came alive with his younger son's innovation. Still, he regards it as his, in the same way Edmund won't hesitate to utilise them himself, and he is better familiar with those who have been around a time. "Is it true that guilty men don't run, MacCruimein?"

Giving the small room a glance, the younger man shrugs. There's worse, is what it's meant to convey. The fact that Marcus still considers him 'one of ours' gives him cause to raise his eyebrows a little in hope.

"May I speak frankly, sir?" While Jain has never shown his more unpolished side to either Marcus or his wife, he'd be an idiot to assume that neither of them haven't heard of the attrocities he's committed in the Rowntree name. Usually it was on order, but those orders were always carried out without hesitation or question. And generally with a bit of zeal. "If an innocent man had seen what I've seen, they'd run. Likely, they'd fight to the death to avoid what's coming."

But they both know that Jain isn't exactly innocent.

He huffs out smoke with a narrowed look at Jain and his shrug. There's probably a correction needed, there, but he isn't finicky enough to pursue it directly. At the end of the day, Jain will still be behind bars by the time Marcus' cigar has finished and he's headed back out into the cheery light of day.

Flatly unimpressed, too, at this answer, but not enough that it rouses a temper. "Aye," he says, instead. "Innocent or guilty, you were a man of our militia, but from what I've heard, I'm unwilling to open this door." He taps ash off the end of his cigar. "This is the part where I ask if you've anything to say for yourself."

"Honestly speaking, sir, as far as I know, I haven't done anything to warrant— " Jain waves his hand to the cell. "When Wartooth and Fogg suggested I kill myself, after failing to ambush and kill me, I did run. Who wouldn't? Fogg's risen to a higher position in quite a short time, Wartooth… well." The look of disdain on the former soldier's face says most of what he's thinking but he does expand. "I s'pose a man who can turn into a bear at will comes in handier than a man such as myself."

Pacing a circle around his cell, he finds a cleaner space and slides down the wall to have a seat. His knees raise in sharp points as his forearms rest limp across them. "Though, truth be told, I'd rather be in this cell than out there. At least in here, I'd stand a chance at living."

As Jain goes to find a comfortable position, Marcus moves to lean against the cool stone edge of the gate, assessing the smoldering end of his cigar to see how much is left to him. He smokes as he listens, and breathes it out again through his nose, briefly bull-like as one silvered eyebrow raises. "You've hidden your nature from us all," he says, eventually. "We like to know the make of our men. Your creature stands accused of violent aggression, criminal in nature. You're a danger against my son's wife lot, so I am told. And you are here.

"I know little of Fogg save for that he is capable, but I know you are not the first man to notice his presence." Although the off-hand remarks of Baissingthwaite betray only petty irritation. "Understand that I trust the judgment of my son in these matters."

Jain's eyebrows quirk hooking in high arches as the charges against him are laid plain. He refrains from any other sort of visible display but he does study the smoke for a time before replying. "Then Fogg's nature is known as well? From the swift manner he drew his gun when I saw it, I'd have thought he'd been as secretive as I am."

Even so, his eyes drop to the ground, guilty. "I'd saved the young Missus Rowntree's life against her before, she don't like her… but I didn't know, I would've stopped her if I had." He looks up at the bars again his lips set in a grim line. "I've been loyal to the Rowntrees for more than half my life, anyone who carries the name is safe from me." Except he can't say the same for his familiar.

No traction from Marcus, who, despite his invitation for Jain to speak, seems unmoved by whatever is presented. Then again judgment won't come down on Jain's head here, at this moment, and Marcus is not inclined to give false hope even if he had any to give. He grunts in response to this final sentiment, casting a look down the hallway instead, thinking.

Then, a prod; "Fogg's nature?"

"He's magic," there's a lilt in Jain's voice as though he was asking a question as well, but a quick clearing of his throat ends it. "I couldn't recognize him when he'd killed me months ago. His face was clouded— grey— and there was a static that buzzed and roared in my head. I couldn't see him clear enough or else I might've left town even sooner." And probably still left Mairi behind.

"I'd put it to the back of my mind when Traa-dy-Liooar said she'd look for him."

"That's its name, is it?" Marcus says, in a way that doesn't actually sound like a prompt for an answer. He drops the cigar, then, and grinds it out beneath his heel. There's a degree of arrogance in whatever it is Marcus will do next, as there is in all things he does. "If Fogg's a threat to you, I'm sure it would; a creature never roams the earth when its master is rotting in the ground."

Remember that, says a glance to Jain. Matters of reputation alone seem to be the rope from which Jain hangs over the precipice.

Jain simply looks after Marcus as he makes his point clear. It is the course he, himself, would take if faced with a similar problem, but he really doesn't want to die. He just nods understanding.

Traa-dy-Liooar, are you near? Of course he's still worried, not only for his own neck but for that of the shrew.

A flood of something warm fills him up, nothing innocent enough to be pure joy, selfish pleasure maybe. I'm close by, there's something that keeps me from the boy.

Forget the boy, forget them all, he replies, the despair rising within him, even through her feelings. Concentrate on Wartooth and Fogg. If I'm going to die, I'll be happy if they go before me.