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Wonderland, Scene II (Daphne, Erin, Underwood)

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthsprite View Post
"Pray Cinder comes alone."
"We should be so lucky!" Erin replied, with black humor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
“…Atta-GIRL!”
"Oof~" Erin had all of the air forcibly expelled from her chest. It had the odd side-effect of making her feel like she had strong lungs, kind of like how muscle ache after exercise made you feel stronger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Why don't you go, then,"
"Ah, Erin lass. I'm not your enemy." Isengrim said, his voice soft and regretful. "You'd do well to remember that. Come on Rey, we've a mad werewolf to find."

And they left.

*******************************************************************************

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Well, it is your choice, Mary. Just keep in mind if you swear, you won't be able to help even if you really wish to."
The vampire was still perched on the roof of the wagon. She looked rather better than she had before, sharper and more alert. Whatever black trauma the pain-cloud had inflicted on her, it disappeared in the glory of blood. Even so, she seemed pensive, biting her lower lip.

"I want to go after Othello..." Mack said, hopping down from the roof. Or rather, she sprang from the roof, jumped a good twenty feet, and landed rather neatly next to Erin. She didn't even seem to notice that this was supposed to be hard. "But I don't know how to find him."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Digit!" Erin called out, like one would for a dog. "Digit, it's safe to come out, now!"
Soundlessly, from upper reaches of the Hedge, something fluttered down towards Erin. Even by the very high standards of the Lost, it looked absolutely freakish.

A severed hand, young and masculine, with peculiarly golden flesh, was born aloft by three bat-like wings that emerged from the stump. It flitted through the air without grace, more like an over-active bumblebee, clumsy and inelegant, than like any bird. It landed neatly on Erin's outstretched hand, dancing from side to side on its sticky fingers (for some reason, the thing looked like it was covered in honey). Then it folded its wings, and curled into a half-open palm, and was still.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like I could use a mug of that faerie wine," she added, clapping her hands together. "How about it? Wine and stories, until they come back. Who knows when that will be? And tea for anyone who wants a clearer head. Though, Heather, we'd better move that barrel of poison away from the other four if we're going to drink from them. I don't know why anyone would want it, anyway."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphne
"Faerie wine might be a good idea,"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"Pour me a double, folks, and I’ll drink the first one to the little lady with the wingspan."
"Drinks. Beat up a werewolf, celebrate." Heather lifted up the small barrel of poison and then rolled it a few yards away. She grinned. "I love this so much."

"Where could we go, in any case?" Sergei said, lowering his rifle. He was rather glad it hadn't proven necessary. "May as well stay here, if we are pledge-bound to it. I will have a little wine, and then tea."

"Okay, hold up guys. That's a double for Underwood, Captain's Tea for Sergei..." Heather said as she picked up the tankards from the last puzzle-guard and started pouring. She must have been learning drink orders from Sasha these days. "Erin's our hero of the hour, she drinks firsts. Mack, want-- oh, right."

Mary Mack just smiled sadly, then went back to watching Erin like a hawk. The little moth-fey had done what she had for some reason. Mack was just having trouble fathoming why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"I want to go after Othello..." Mack said, hopping down from the roof. "But I don't know how to find him."
"And we are hoping not to find him," Erin said, smiling sadly. "Beat could point you in the right direction, but it would only be a direction. Or you could find Mr. Morgan, he might be able to find Othello. But I don't want you lost in the Hedge either, Mary. It doesn't follow normal rules, we might not find you again." The moth frowned and tilted her head in concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
It landed neatly on Erin's outstretched hand, dancing from side to side on its sticky fingers (for some reason, the thing looked like it was covered in honey). Then it folded its wings, and curled into a half-open palm, and was still.
Erin had, fortunately, been prepared with a napkin, and been spared being slathered in honey (and presumably Hedge Fruit). "There you are. Into the jar with you, now. We don't want anyone sniffing you out, my pretty pet," Erin said, getting a mason jar of honey out from her picnic basket. She scooped the hand into the jar, screwing the lid on tight, and putting it beneath the basket blanket. "Sleep well, Digit."

Erin balled up the napkin and tossed it into the Hedge Thorns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Where could we go, in any case?" Sergei said, lowering his rifle. "May as well stay here, if we are pledge-bound to it. I will have a little wine, and then tea."

"Okay, hold up guys. That's a double for Underwood, Captain's Tea for Sergei... Erin's our hero of the hour, she drinks firsts."
"Somewhere less convenient for them. Not much point, though. It would just make them annoyed, which will make anything we try to do with them harder. You don't have to stay, though, leveret. Just can't shoot them with your big guns." She stroked the side of his cheek with her thumb.

"I think you guys are our heroes of the hour. I am more a hero of the minute," Erin replied, but still took the wine. It made it easy to forget that, in the next twenty-four hours, she could die, and have no control over it. "Cheers to you all, our werewolf stoppers."

She took a drink.

"Anyone hungry? I've food in the basket. Just stay out of the honey." She settled herself down near Sergei.

"I'll get that later," Daphne said to Heather, with a purple-eyed glance.

Daphne surreptitiously wandered up to Mary and took a seat. She bent her knees and wrapped her leafy arms under them.

"Mary, are you thirsty? There's no need to exclude yourself." Her arm loosened around her thigh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"Sleep well, Digit.".
With mild interest, Underwood had watched whatever it was fly down onto Erin’s hand, shrugging on his jacket as he did so. This was a man who had a phone-crab as a business partner. His weirdness goalposts were shifted a couple yards to the left on this topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"Anyone hungry? I've food in the basket. Just stay out of the honey."
“Sure. Something with chicken? I could do chicken.”

Underwood meandered over and sat down cross-legged near the incipient picnic, accepting his drink from Heather with a nod, then tipping it at Erin. “Yeah, you’re still getting toasted, sister. Na zdrowie.

The reporter knocked back a swig, exhaled in satisfaction, and leaned back a little. “Besides, I don’t know what fight you were watching, but as far as I was concerned it was Joe Louis and The Pittsburgh Kid, and I was Pittsburgh.”

Crickets.

…I got hosed. Far as I’m concerned, this one was all Karloff here, Miss…Mary, was it? And…” He looked sideways at Heather, again somewhere between incredulous and perturbed. “Pardon me saying so, Miss, but where in blue blazes did you learn to kick a wolf in the kidneys like that?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Beat could point you in the right direction, but it would only be a direction. Or you could find Mr. Morgan, he might be able to find Othello. But I don't want you lost in the Hedge either, Mary. It doesn't follow normal rules, we might not find you again."
"Oh." Mary said, biting her lower lip. She understood the dangers of the Hedge, and she had learned to navigate it to some extent. She could get to Othello's cottage or to Piccadilly, at any rate. But following well-established Trods was altogether different from tracking down a terrified Cheshire Cat. "What should I do then..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Somewhere less convenient for them. Not much point, though. It would just make them annoyed, which will make anything we try to do with them harder. You don't have to stay, though, leveret. Just can't shoot them with your big guns."
"We've had this conversation before." Sergei gave Erin a mock-severe look. "I am not leaving you alone with those people."

"Anyway, why can't I shoot them with big guns?" Sergei said. His expression, on anyone else, would've been considered a pout. "They are certainly doing their best to deserve it."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphne
"Mary, are you thirsty? There's no need to exclude yourself."
"Um." Mack said, very eloquently. The fact was that she was thirsty. She may have drained Cinder of a few pints, but she'd burned through it almost instantly. Healing wounds in seconds and breaking the sound barrier were draining of Mary Mack's reserves. "A little?"

Mary Mack considered just what Daphne would taste like. She looked like a rather attractive woman. She also looked like a tree. Mack wasn't entirely sure which half was more important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
“Pardon me saying so, Miss, but where in blue blazes did you learn to kick a wolf in the kidneys like that?”
"I did competitive-level gymnastics, and I spent about three years taking lessons in Uechi-ryu." Heather said, which probably would've meant something to Underwood if he knew anything about hard-style Okinawan Karate schools. "And Sashka's been teaching me a few moves."

The big Russian man smirked, and just made himself some tea. He'd had doubts about how well Heather would take to the more dangerous aspects of the supernatural world, but so far she seemed to be passing with flying colors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Harte
"I did competitive-level gymnastics, and I spent about three years taking lessons in Uechi-ryu." Heather said, which probably would've meant something to Underwood if he knew anything about hard-style Okinawan Karate schools. "And Sashka's been teaching me a few moves."
Underwood did not know anything about hard-style Okinawan Karate schools, thank you very much. As his two major reference points for Japanese culture were World War II and arguing with Sony electronics, his best guess was that Uechi-ryu was either a new model of fighter-bomber or a feature to be added in the next system update. Neither seemed likely.

Not that he was going to let on, of course. The reporter grunted with vague approval and nodded, as if giving Heather permission to continue her mystic female kicking-people thing. “Keep doing it.”

With that, he was able to focus on the Daphne/Mack exchange, which in this case involved raising his eyebrows at the dryad. “You offering what I think you’re offering? Huh. Better you than me.”

He punctuated this with another swig of wine, before looking at Mack. Underwood had seen a lot of horror movies. Some kind of preventative measure seemed in order. “…All respect for your biology, Miss. You seem like a nice kid, and you’re one heck of a woman in a scrap. But so you know, I taste like Robitussin.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Oh." Mary said, biting her lower lip. "What should I do then..."
"It is your choice," Erin reiterated, though she doubted Mary wanted the burden of it. She got up to rifle through Othello's wagon for something. "You can go find Mr. Morgan, though he may not find Othello. Or you can come with us, and be there for whatever happens, but you won't be able to interfere with those three, even if they try to harm Othello."

"You would be able to keep us safe from Cinder if she went crazy again," Erin did say. She quirked her head at Daphne, but seemed appreciative of the kindness, if not quite the exsanguiation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Anyway, why can't I shoot them with big guns?" Sergei said. His expression, on anyone else, would've been considered a pout. "They are certainly doing their best to deserve it."
"Because you promised. And you must keep your promises - at least, when bad things happen to you if you do not," Erin smiled, tapping Sergei on the nose. She kissed him on the lips, and then fished him out a sandwich, as well as one for Underwood (roast chicken with garlic and Dijon mustard sauce).

"Maybe some other time, leveret. Tonight, you may as well enjoy yourself." She clunked her mug with his, took another swig, and began to sing.

In the normal course of things, Erin was not a good singer, mostly because she sang too quietly to actually be heard. But she drew the power of the Hedge around her, and pushed that shyness aside for the evening, starting off soft but swiftly getting into the swing of it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
The reporter grunted with vague approval and nodded, as if giving Heather permission to continue her mystic female kicking-people thing. “Keep doing it.”
"Oh I plan to." Heather said, sitting down next to her huge, Karloff-ian boyfriend. Admittedly, Sasha was rather more handsome than Boris Karloff, but that was a side-matter. She smirked at him. "I can try and teach you if you want."

Going unspoken there was 'so that you can help us with the next rampaging werewolf'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
“…All respect for your biology, Miss. You seem like a nice kid, and you’re one heck of a woman in a scrap. But so you know, I taste like Robitussin.”
"Oh." Mary Mack said, her face falling. It was entirely possible that, like other predators, vampires could smell fear and unease. Either that or Underwood was just less subtle than he might have wished. Then the seemingly-young vampire furrowed her brows. "...How do you know? You sort of smell like cigarette smoke."

Mary Mack rather liked cigarette smoke. When she'd grown up, everyone smoked, and it was something of a comforting, familiar scent. It had mostly disappeared over the years, and vampires were generally unable to smoke (keeping a lit flame on your face was one of those things that was just never a good idea). But she liked the smell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"You would be able to keep us safe from Cinder if she went crazy again,"
"Okay..." Mary Mack said. It wasn't much of a decision. Go look for Othello, probably not find him at all. Go look for Rakesh, probably not find anyone at all. She may as well stay with whatever group would take her. "I'll stay here."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Maybe some other time, leveret. Tonight, you may as well enjoy yourself."
"Yes Angel." Sergei said, drinking from the tankard. He watched Erin sing, a slow, steady smile growing on his face. "You sing beautifully. You should do it more often... be with people more often."

Sergei was never going to get over his surprise and luck at catching a live angel for his very own. He was feeling really rather smug about it now. Peculiarly, Sasha also looked rather smug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Harte
"I can try and teach you if you want."
On the one hand, Underwood was vaguely suspicious of whatever act Heather had pulled out there. It had syllables in it, and seemed to involve hitting ladies with forbidden women powers. On the other hand, Underwood really didn’t like being shown up by people. On a third hand (Digit?), both declining Heather’s invitation and looking like a coward doing so, and accepting it and being kicked in the face by an angry brunette for three hours, seemed to qualify equally as “being shown up.” This was a problem with layers to it.

The reporter gave Heather a small smile that wasn’t sure if it was condescending or not, and shrugged. “Sure, I’ll do anything once. Take a rain check; once we’re out of this mess, maybe we’ll set something up. Maybe I’ll teach you some of my standbys while we’re at it.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vampire Kid
"...How do you know? You sort of smell like cigarette smoke."
“ ‘Cause I’m a bitter kind of guy, and I can’t get coughs on account of not having any lungs anymore? You tell me.” The reporter waved it off diffidently, clearly having just made his “taste” up on the spot.

“Tell you why I smell like cigarette smoke, though: I smoke cigarettes. Makes sense, right?” He held open his jacket to display a half-used pack in the inside pocket, raising his eyebrows at Mary as if to prove the point.

“In fact…” Here, he took another swig of wine, before setting his glass down and levering the pack into his unarmored hand. “Only thing I like better than drinking is smoking when I’m drinking. Anyone mind? I’ve got extra, if anyone wants.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Morozov
"You sing beautifully. You should do it more often... be with people more often."
“Listen to the guy, sister, he knows what he’s talking about.” Underwood smiled broadly at Erin, before looking around the group a bit.

“…We doing the ‘everyone sings’ bit? ‘Cause I can do that bit. And I’ll be honest, I’m curious to see which one of you’s got pipes.”




 

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