26 April, 2017
A group of freeholders find another body, this time with a note, and decide to go find the culprit. (Part of Plot:Endurance)
The atmosphere in Stoneheart isn't as lively as it was a few weeks ago before the first body of a freeholder was found not too far outside it. And now a third woman is missing, according to Max. Which means that people are worried and some are more paranoid than they normally are. Which is saying a lot for the Lost, who are perpetually paranoid. So here they are now, gathered in the cavern, or wandering in, and the missing and dead women is the talk of many.
Having been discussing many aspects of this with multiple people, trying to attack this from multiple different directions. For the moment, though, Gisa is sitting on one of the crystals, rubbing the edges of her eyepits with one hand, as if she has a headache. Her shin on her forehead, and her eyeflames, are ebbed low, and she looks weary.
The very mis-matched pair of summers that is AJ and Damion are just existing the Summer caverns of Stoneheart. Damion is huge and muscled. AJ is short and foxy. She's dressed in a grey sweat shirt with an alien printed on it, as well as short-shorts. Its Summer already, in AJ's heart, ok?! Out of the caverns and towards the main chamber they go, until AJ gives pauses, to look to Gisa. "Hey... sup?" she asks. Damion will likely stay quiet for a moment!
A high pitched whine is audible from distance off, along with the percussive thrum of something cutting the air. A short time later, bobbing along like the bumbliest of bees, Nana's travel contraption comes scooting up the trod, weaving its way through the air maybe thirty feet or so from the ground. Its pilot, dressed in a comfortable overcoat and wearing both a silk scarf and ridiculously overlarge tinted goggles, is grinning a yellow toothed grin, her cackle lost to the wind. Once she spots Gisa, the little hob-copter dives down towards the stone face, the arms that had formed the blades tucking back into the side of the device, while the legs pop out in anticipation of catching the stone. Catch it they do, leaving Nana's chair holding onto the wall, perpendicular to the ground. "Oh, hello, dearies!" She pauses, considering her side-ways-sitting position for a moment. "I didn't quite think this through."
Max is there in the Hedge, somehow! Presumably, someone else brought her there, she spotted Gisa, and got permission to go talk to her favorite golem while aforementioned someone else went to take care of other business. As she approaches, she spots the unfriendly fox, frowning a bit in her direction. As was done to her earlier, she ignores the woman then glances over to Damion. Her demeanor visibly shifts to a much more friendly one. "Hey! Been meaning to pop over to your gym again soon," she says with a chuckle. Nana is give a light wave. Then the enchanted mortal's full focus is turned to Gisa. Her expression softens a bit, her brows furrowing some. "You okay?" Max is dressed casually, because when is she not? Hoodie, denim jeans, and sneakers, her messenger bag hanging from her shoulders and her hair worn down in loose curls.
Damion is wearing his full gear today, with the possibility of traveling through the hedge. He walks besides the tiny foxgirl, watching the subdued activity in the Hollow. Gisa is given a nod and a smile as they draw closer to her. "Hey, Gisa." He tilts his head as he hears something odd, trying to locate the source. He spots the source of it flying towards them, and stares blankly for a time. "Uh. Okay." This is his first experience with the mechanized grandmother. He finally shakes his head, looking over at Max. "Oh, hey Max. Good to see you again. Yeah, sure. Anytime."
"Shalom," Gisa offers to AJ in easy enough greeting, though her clay face looks worn and weary, the corners of her mouth drawn down. "Do you know Ma-- " and then she peers at the Enchanted Mortal for a moment, then AJ. "Ahum. Bubbe!" A gesture of greeting, waving the Wizened in her direction. "I had been waiting for someone who I was talking to about Market. Hopefully we can get ahead of the next catastrophe. If he travels by Hedge... " ... then hopefully a Baron of the Lesser Ones might have some luck, is her unspoken end to that sentence.
"Nana!" AJ says, with a bright smile. See, look how sweet and nice she is! Not unfriendly at all. "Hi! How are you?" she asks, as she starts over towards the elder Desrochers. "Do you need help..?" she asks. Then her attention shifts back, towards Gisa. "Oh, I... haven't been to Wild Roses but one time, and someone else took me," she says, offering a small smile. "Sounds like a good idea, though?" she offers. And then she glances over to Max, and squints at the woman for just a moment.
"Oh? The Market?" Nana's contraption climbs down from the wall, reaching for the floor like a clumsy spider. It finally reaches the ground, righing Nana's perspective to the rest of the room and probably making her a little light headed in the process. "Maybe I can help you, dear. With the Market. I have a stall there, you know. And an understanding with the white lady." Nana gives AJ a matronly smile and assures her, "Oh, I'm fine, you sweet thing. Just fine. But you're such a good girl for asking." Damion is examined for a time after Nana lifts her goggles to her forehead. "Oh! Won't someone introduce me?"
"What kind of market are you taling about?" Max wonders of Gisa, her brows raising curiously. Although she has no real idea of the goblin markets, she rightly assumes that the golem isn't speaking of some random mundane marketplace. A hand reaches up to brush some of her hair from her face, tucking a particularly unruly strand behind her ear. "Does your gym offer self-defense lessons?" she questions as she looks back to Damion, her head tilting some. "I've got John and possibly Billy Ray teaching me how to shoot, but, knowing how to defend myself without a weapon seems like a good idea too."
Who remembers George? The poor guy who found the /last/ body. Who knows what he's been up to since then. But he comes in at a run, looking pale. Again. Poor, poor George. "There's another one. A-another woman." But at least he isn't throwing up this time. Shaky, pale, but his dinner remains in his belleh. For now.
Damion looks between AJ and Max, his brows drawing together a little. He finally shakes himself and turns his attention to Nana. When the older Lost looks at him like that, he steps forward and reaches out a large, currently gloved hand. "Damion King, Ma'am. Nice to meet you." Then he looks over at Max. "Hmm? Well, I give boxing lessons at times... I've actually been wanting to get more instructors. But so far not much luck." He shrugs a shoulder at her. "So I can teach you to throw a punch at least. If there's something else you want to learn...we'll see what we can find." Then George shows up, and he turns towards the guy. "Another one? Dammit." He'd been there when the first body was found.
Saved by the ... discovery of another corpse? In response to Max's question, Gisa answers, well, nothing. She gets up and, with a face that looks nothing but blank and weary, she gets up, picks up her messenger bag, and slings it across her body. She can't even summon anything to say, just a gesture toward George that clearly means: 'lead us there. Let's go.'
AJ gives a winsome smile to Nana. Approval from the matriarch is always good. "Oh! Sorry, this is..." And Damion is already introducing himself. AJ follows up with a stage whisper, to Nana. "He's a famous boxer!" There's a touch of girlish excitement, and it's followed by a silly look sent over to Damion. Yeah, she's still not over it. And then she's left staring at Damion. "Hey, you never asked me to be an instructor!" she says, offended. For a moment. Then her eyes shift back to Max. "Goblin Market. You go deep into the hedge and barter fingernails and children's tears and your love of chocolate for weird shit. Nice place to realize you sold thirteen years of your life in exchange for shiny pebbles," she explains. Or maybe warns, really. Whatever she feels towards Max, AJ obviously feels it important to explain that. But then there's a George! AJ's eyes go wide. "What... where!?" she asks, on the tail of Gisa's gesture. She's ready to follow after.
"A famous boxer?" Nana coos, touching her gnarled fingers to her breastbone as though she were one quarter her age and a coquette to boot. "Oh, my, Mr. King. What a pleasure. I feel so much safer with you around, dear." Her little moment of twitterpation doesn't really fade even with the news that there's another dead body nearby. It's a reluctant sort of sigh that has her steering her chair about to totter along after the others. "Oh. I suppose we'd better go deal with that, then. Poor dear..."
George draws in a deep breath but he nods and turns to head back the way he came, no longer running. The trip to the body is shorter than the last two. The body is essentially in the freehold's back yard. As the last two times, there is a white cloth wrapped around what is probably another woman. It hasn't been disturbed this time, though. However, there /is/ a heavy-weigh envelope laying partway out of the last fold, so it's visible, but just barely.
Damion blinks over at AJ. "Yeah. Sorry about that. What styles do you know?" He glances at Nana and smiles faintly. "Thank you, Ma'am. I'll try not to ruin that." He follows with the rest of the group after George, keeping his pace brisk. When he spots the cloth-wrapped body he sighs heavily. "And no visible blood stains." He stops near the corpse, glancing at the others before peering at the envelope. "Could be a trap." So, if somebody is going to do something... he moves closer to the corpse, bending down to pull out the envelope.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Gisa has a folded flat white sheet in her messenger bag now. Max did tell her there was someone missing, and while Gisa had hoped to get out ahead of the next body, and prevent them becoming a body, she was prepared for the worst. (To paraphrase Jon Stewart: she's a Jew, her bag's always packed for the worst.) She follows George, and stops a short distance away, taking a deep breath and pointing toward the envelope. "Nana, can you do your thing with that?" Her feet plant flat on the ground, and she takes a deep breath, focusing herself inward for a moment -- her eyeflames flicker.
There is no explosion or anything when Damion takes the envelope. And once pulled out of the cloth, it's clear that someone has written, in pretty writing, Lost of Stoneheart on the outside.
"Oh neat they left a letter this time," Max says with a frown. She has followed along, sticking close to Gisa. "I can try to see where he is, " she offers.
"Oh, it could be a trap, so let's grab it," AJ says, narrowing her eyes at Damion. AJ considers a moment, then starts to work on looking around, carefully. Looking for tracks!
Nana's contraption blooms open rather like a flower. She unfastens her harness and carefully climbs down from her machine, carrying her purse with her. Out of said purse pokes a little mechanical terrier's head, which lets out a yip. She produces a fold out cane from her purse and snaps that into shape before carefully crossing the distance between her device and the corpse. Without interrupting Damion per se, she leans his way and begins mumbling quietly to the envelope the man is holding. When she's done, she wobbles a bit on her feet, trying to clear her head of what she's just experienced. "Does anyone present know the first clause of Four Directions, by chance? Or perhaps Lost and Found? If so, we might be able to find this bad person and peel their skin off with tweezers and hot wax."
"I know it," AJ says, distracted, as she turns off away from the body. She starts to walk away from the little group, then. "Don't know that I need it, though..." she mumbles, mostly to herself, as she continues to walk away. "Went this way!" she calls, over her shoulder. "Looks like... wagon wheels...?"
"Is it dangerous for you to try?" Gisa asks Max sort of absently as she scans the area around the body. AJ's commentary gets one corner of the golem's mouth turning up just a bit, despite the horrible circumstances. You laugh or you cry, one guesses. She clears her throat, and gives Nana a sort of wry look. "I had meant -- " And as she The grass literally bends out of her way as she carefully leans one way or the other, flattening out of her way to show her a set of footprints. "Here. He went this way -- and there's a scrape-mark, here, something dragged on the ground. Which... wasn't the body, maybe." Apparently she and AJ found the same footprints, and she nods in agreement with the Beast; as Gisa starts to follow them, the Hedge conveniently makes it easier for the footprints to be seen, the wild area being kind and convenient for the Elemental.
"Not necessarily dangerous, but, I'll be really high," Max informs Gisa with furrowed brows. Obviously she doesn't think it's the best idea but she's willing to help how she can. "What does the letter say? " Then she glances to AJ and nods. "We saw that last time too."
Well, that's a good question from Max. Damion finally thinks to actually open the envelope, pulling out whatever note is inside and reading it. "Hmm."
"Well, AJ. Catch. Imbibe with care. It will give you a memory of the man who is doing all of this. His features, his expression, a glimpse of where he lives. Or where he keeps his shrouds, in any case. Use it to track him." Nana reaches down the front of her blouse and plucks out a dram vial filled with a smokey swirling liquid. This she tosses towards AJ for her to catch. "First one's free, kiddo. Now let's find this bad bad man."
The letter reads: Lost of Stoneheart,
You don't understand what I'm doing, and so you condemn me. I am not a monster, I am not evil. I am a scientist, seeking to make us all stronger, better. These women gave their lives for a noble cause. Give me time and I will show all of you the joys that I have seen. But do not condemn what you do not understand.
It isn't, of course, signed.
"Cheater," AJ whispers, as Gisa comes up beside her. It's said with a sly smile, and a playful glance aside. That is, of course, in response to how much easier the Elemental has finding those tracks. AJ then turns, when Nana says her name. "Huh?" she asks, reaching out to catch the vial out of the air easily enough. She holds it a moment, eyes it, then eyes Nana. "Yay..." she says, with no enthusiasm. Her attention shifts, to Damion. "What do you think, King? We ready to do this right now?" she asks. "Not sure if we'll get another chance later..." she says, shaking the vial. Entirely unsure waht's it. Finally, it's back to Max. "Please do not get high on this side. You may get super duper fucked up, then the hedge will grab you and..." There's a quick shake of her head. Bad things.
Damion reads over the note, his brows raising, "Hunh. A scientist, is it. I think we're dealing with a crazy one." He glances at the body on the ground. "Well, I guess we already knew that..." He sighs, fodling up the note and returning it to the envelope. He offers the note to....Nana? Somebody. Then he looks at the fox. "Yeah. If we have the opportunity to find them now, we should take it."
Max will take the note! Just to read over. Then she gives it over to Gisa. A glance to AJ. "Just an offer. At least it'd give us an idea of where he currently is," she explains. However, she seems totally fine with not being inebriated in a dangerous place.
Nana waves off the letter from the killer, letting Max take it from Damion. Instead, she turns back around and hobbles her way back to her craft. She carefully folds her cane back up, tucks it into her purse with her dog, and takes her sweet old time climbing back up into her travel globe. She sets her purse down, puts her pup back into her lap, buckles her harness back in, and begins flipping the toggle switches that close the orb around her and lift it back up onto its strange pointed feet. She adjusts her scarf, lowers her goggles, and turns on the flood lights at the head of her craft, lighting up the path Gisa and AJ have uncovered through the brambles. She's voting yes, apparently.
"Hmph," answers Gisa, looking sidelong at AJ. "I am only using what was given and done to me. That is not cheating." She sniffs slightly, and when Max holds the note out to her, she doesn't take it, just looks at it. The shin on her forehead flares really brightly, and her eyeflames do, too, filling the pits of her eyes like a furnace about to break its bounds and light the world on fire. A brief, sharp torrent of Yiddish is spit from the golem's ceramic lips, and she growls, the sound like a handful of pebbles being crushed between two massive diamonds. "Do not get high on this side." She looks at the path ahead, and then back to the freehold. "Max, I cannot be responsible for you to go with us. I do not feel comfortable with you even being on this side, much less coming with us on a pursuit." She didn't bring the Enchanted Mortal over in the first place, after all. "If someone else wants the responsibility, they may take it." She follows the tracks a little ways, to see which direction they go, and make sure they are clear enough to follow.
"Thank you," AJ says, to Max. Of course, that unfriendly bit is gone now. She's got a task at hand, and seems entirely pleased with it. Nevermind the corpse! Sheriff Fox has a case! AJ turns to look to Damion, to watch the man a moment, before she nods, and smiles to him. She's looking at him when Gisa's anger's flare. AJ whirls back, and watches, wide-eyed. "Woah..." she whispers out. Then there's a moment's consideration, and AJ undoes the cork of the little bottle. "I'll take responsibility for her," she says, and before that look on her face can be read, up goes the bottle, and back goes her head. Drink down those messed up memories!
That's the most emotion that Damion has ever seen Gisa display. He eyes the Golem thoughtfully, but doesn't actually say anything. He's a Summer. He understands anger. Checkins his sword in his sheath and gun on his hip, he adjusts the fastenings on his armor. Then he considers the Enchanted Mortal. "Max.... do you know how to fight at all?" He glances at the others. "If we don't take her with us, we'll have to send somebdoy back to the Hollow with her. She can't travel on her own."
Max is about to argue with Gisa, the mortal not wanting to be left behind when she thinks she can be useful. However, before she can even utter a single word, AJ offer to look out for her. Which obviously surprises her. She blinks a few times as she shifts her attention to the fox. Max stares at her for a couple of long moments before saying, "You and me need to have a talk after this." That is stated firmly, because Max will seek the wily fox out even if she refuses! Then she looks over to Damion, frowning slightly before shaking her head. "No, but, I don't plan on fighting. I can help track him, though. And if we find him and he touches me... well, that might help turn a fight in our favor," she states.
It started with the grass looking like it was dying. Then the colour being sucked out of the ground as shadows crawled like tentacles across the terrain. Then there was the Roach stepping out of the shadows looking like a nightmare coughed up a movie extra. The cherry end of his cigarette lit... a neon green(?) and he flicked it taking long, gangly strides that didn't exactly involve knees so much as an embodiment of forward momentum at its most malleable. Black sockets looked at the wrapped body and didn't ask but crouched down to peek under the wrappings. He signed upwards to Damion, and whomever might be dropping some eaves like a Gamgee. The mortal wasn't his problem and paid no mind. The carrion bug was focused on teh corpse.
"She can ride with me if the need arises, and I can fly in this contraption. Let's get moving." Nana's sugary sweet demeanor is wearing pretty thin by this time. The cantankerous and vicious side of the old autumn is starting to show through. True to her words, one of the side panels of the contraption opens up wide, revealing the cargo space inside of WEELS, situated on the back side of the craft, under the pilot's chair. It's cramped, but there's room for one passenger there.
Oh, and it's full of a Goblin Hoard. It's a regular yard sale in there.
The brief moment in which the Dawn might be mistaken for a Summer passes, and Gisa takes a deep breath in, though the sigil on her forehead is still glowing brightly, and her eyes are full of flame. She turns her attention to George, who led them out there, and says simply: "Can you move the body back? Or find someone to move the body back into the Hollow? I will return to prepare whoever it is." No, she's not even looking, because right now, the golem doesn't want to know. Rorschach signs, and Gisa answers him aloud, "George found the body again. If his footprints were any closer to these other ones, I'd be wondering about that." Elementals are always so, uh, straightforward. "We have a track forward, Rorschach. Let's go." And, following the track she found, the golem begins to, well, follow it.
"George." These words given to the bug when he emerges from the shadowes in that very dramatic sort of way. Damion holds out a fist to the scrawny cockroach. "Nice entrance, by the way." He looks at Max. "Do you know how to fire a gun at least? You might not get a choice if you come with us." He considers a few moments, then reaches behind himself, unfastening the sheath on his hunting knife from his belt, handing it over to her. "Just...flail if you need to until me or somebody else can get to you, alright?" Then he turns and starts to follow the others along the path.
George looks offended at Gisa's comment. "Excuse me?" he asks, before looking down to the still unwrapped body and paling again. "Are you guys seriously just going to leave...her...here? Are we sure she's the missing woman?"
AJ just swigged back a vial of... something. And then she winces. "Oh, fuck, Nana!" she coughs out. Horrible memories taste horrible. Her face is all scrunched up, and that's the face that greets Rorscach. She just makes that sour face as she starts to walk. "This way," she gags out. Then takes a breath. "And we can talk, fine, Max. Assuming you don't die," she says. And manages to send a saccharin smile over to the mortal. AJ starts to follow the mark of the wagon wheels, then suddenly stops. "Wooooah. Nope..." she pivots, and points. West, not northwest. "That way!" she declares. There's no stopping to deal with George, nor a body. AJ is going! And AJ walks fast!
"She's not getting any more dead, George. But talk back like that again, and you might." Nana swivels her chair and stares one hard, nasty, Baba-Yaga's backside stare at George. "Now do as the Golem says and I'll we'll be back to take care of her instead of you."
Upon spotting Rorschach, Max lifts a hand to wave a friendly hello. Then she looks over to George. "I only saw one body in his... lab, torture chamber, or whatever you want to call it," she tells him. "I think he only takes one at a time. Please, do what Gisa requests?" Those bright blue eyes of hers flutter a bit, the mortal doing a really great puppy dog look. Then she starts to follow along with the fox, smirking some at her words. And since AJ is the one that has volunteered to be the one to look after her, she sticks close to the foxy lady!
"I said: take the corpse back to the Freehold. Now I say please. Now I follow AJ." And then Nana speaks, and Gisa doesn't do anything but follow AJ, because AJ is following her instincts, and, well, goylomim exist to protect, so... yep. The Hedge provides the golem with shade and shadow as her eyes and shin dim, and she follows as discreetly as a golem can.
George looks stubborn, though. "She's not, but leaving her here, she could get taken or animals could get her. Doesn't she deserve more from us?" he insists. "I can't carry her by myself!" he points out to Gisa. "And you don't even know who she is!
Rorschach looked to George and seemed rather... well overall indifferent to teh corpse being there. He and Gisa had wildly different displays of Empathy on this. Max got a dead stare from dead sockets. He had no expression and if he was the same person Max rememebred. His head tilted up to George and pointed to himself and then he. There was... that horrible cicada sound that loved to make Damion's scales crawl and once having his attention, tossed him something. It was a mirror abotut 3" around. He signed <<I'll help George. I can catch up to you>> He looked to Max and was going to ask but people were off. He closed the flaps of the tarp. and upnodded to George to stop yapping and start hefting.
AJ cares not for anything behind her! She is a forward moving fox! Or at least, she is, for a bit. Until Nana is snapping at George. She winces, and pauses, the look backwards. "Aww, dammit..." she mutters, as she stares back at the poor guy. "Alright, let's... fine. Let's get the body back inside," she decides. "And then we can go find this bastard," she mutters. Of course, AJ doesn't understand bug speak. Or sign language. So that Rory just volunteered, well... She doesn't know! AJ pivots and starts back towards the body, and finally takes a moment to look at it. "So... uh. What was the name of the woman that went missing?" she asks, as she draws back the white sheet.
No more arguing from the golem, no more discussion. She takes two steps back, much, much quicker than anyone has seen Gisa move to this point, picks up the body, and carries it to WEELS, the versatile fae mount of the illustrious Nana. With care but without much ceremony -- which is a little strange for Gisa, let's be honest -- she puts the body into the cargo compartment. "I don't think we knew her name," she tells AJ. "We knew she was missing because Max saw it. I will say kaddish and wash her as I washed the others. I am concerned about there not being any more."
The woman, by the way, is clearly an ogre. Most like a Stonebones or something similar judging by the look (and weight!) of her. Some people might recognize her as a Summer called Mary.
AJ gets that glimpse of the body, and then she frowns. "Oh... Mary..." she whispers out. Clearly, this is someone she knew. And then with a glance over to Damion. "Mary," she echoes. He'd likely at least have heard there's a Summer named Mary! And then Gisa is handling it. "Kat what...?" she asks, dumbly. She doesn't actually need an answer. She's ready to get back on the trail.
The group sets off, with Rorschach and AJ leading the way. AJ acts like the group's compass, while Rorschach makes sure they don't wander into a den of briar wolves or something. It's not precisely an /easy/ trip, nor is it a short one. But eventually they reach a point out of the woods, in an area filled with large rocks jutting upward, and AJ's spidey sense zeroes into this one spot. Except...there's no obvious...anything...but large rocks and small rocks, all of them sharp and dangerous looking.
Propping her fists on her hips, Gisa stares at the rocks for a long moment, and that growl rolls through her throat again, a low, rattling sound. "Hollow door?" she asks ... well, probably everyone, just sort of bitterly, and then tips her chin up at Nana. "Can you talk to rocks, too?" Don't ask the golem to talk to rocks; only her bones are stone. Despite the teasing she gets, she's made of ceramic. And fire. And Talmud.
Foxes know a thing or two about intuiting directions! Granted this contract isn't exactly seeing the magnetic field of the earth, it's a close enough instinct that AJ's foxy brain handles it well enough. She lets Rorscach take the lead, and instead gives orders from somewhere towards the middle. Max is kept right at her side, and never allowed to wander more than a few steps. Poor Max!
Eventually. Finally. They make it to the spot and AJ can feel it. She can see it. Those odd lines in the sky pointing this way. Right at... that pile of rocks. "Hold up, Rory," she calls out. Then she tilts her head and stares at it. "It's... there," she says, pointing at rocks. "Somewhere in there...?"
Max doesn't want to wander far from the group. She's heard about how dangerous the Hedge is and certainly doesn't want to get lost in it. Or Lost! She sticks close to AJ, though she does occasionally glance over to Gisa since the golem is the one she's most familiar with out the group. When they're led to the location, she glances around, considering. "I can look into the past, maybe see the killer entering somewhere around here?" she offers, glancing around the group. There's a pause before she adds, "I don't need to get high to see this."
Damion took up the rear, just in case something tried to attack them from behind. ONce trhey arrive at the rocky area, he moves up with the rest, pearing at the rock pile. "Hmm. Well, I guess we should look. Maybe there's a cap somewhere that leads down?" Or maybe it is a Hollow door. But they don't know for sure yet. He glances up at Max on the robospider thing. "Sounds like an idea to me."
"I can talk to most anything, dear, it's just matter of it talking back." Nana, seated in the pilot's chair of her craft, is currently walking along the ground rather than flying. It's quieter, and makes her far less conspicuous. She is happy to hang back in the midst of the group, rather than hang out in front. Where you get eaten first. She doesn't move forward to try that out, however, deffering to the Harvestmen on how best to proceed.
Rorschach didn't even have bones OR crunchy parts. He really knew how to hide under rocks and how to climb up them and hang upside down like a bat. This is what bugs did. Bugs didn't talk to rocks either. On the trip he used pointing and clicking relaying back what was ahead and letting the team use their own senses to manage the directions thus. That he could sign to 2 of them was pretty awesome and saved time. He looked to Max and signed to her letting others translate if they wished. Really his attention was on AJ and her spidey-fox sense. There was a nod to her and he sized up teh rock before getting a ways back squinting and then running at the rock rather briskly as if to run... well up it like a bug. He left Nana's questions to Damion to field as the other Harvestman on the deck and more useful actically on that. For now he worked on getting a careful and stealthy vantage. information would be their weapon.
"Time doesn't really work right here, Max," AJ says, with a glance over to the woman. "You're just as likely to break your brain as you are to find something," she advises. Then offers a sweet smile. "I vote you do it," she says. Really, it could be the only reason she agreed to bring Max out is the hope that Max ... well. No, AJ would never! She looks back at the rocks, and tilts her head to the side, in a very dog-like (fox-like) fashion. Trying to understand!
Hidden -- sort of -- well, she thinks she is -- Gisa leans forward slightly, and her eyepits narrow slightly. Her hands stay planted on her hips, and she watches ... something. After a few seconds, some of the grass sort of casually leans out of the way -- oh, did you want to see this, Golem? -- and then Gisa points toward the eastern side of the largest grouping of rocks. "There," she murmurs quietly. "The wagon tracks lead right there."
Not really hiddin, Damion makes an attempt to hide himself behind something or other. But...he's not sued to that sort of approach, and anybody can spot him if they try. He peers at the tracks that Gisa points out, and the bug that skittered up the rocks to observe. Or...well. he tries to. Rorschach is much better at hiding than him, so he can't really spot him.
There's a long stare at AJ again. "Do you like, not /want/ me to help? Are only you guys allowed to assist the people of the Freehold we're /all/ pledged to?" Max shakes her head at the fox, muttering something under her breath. Then she steps forward, closer to the rocks. Her eyes close and she lets her hand hover over the small area as a look of pure concentration comes across her features. While she's focusing one of her brows raise. "He like, just disappears /through/ the rocks. Weird."
"Which rock did he disappear into, Max?" Nana asks in that strained-patient tone she's been sporting since spotting the body in the first place. "I can go see if it's a proper Door, and if so how to open it." She remains otherwise motionless. No one look at the gnarled old Wizened.
Rorschach looked slowly down the rock and peered at Max before writing a note. he waded it up and lobbed it down And with some irritation held a finger to his lips. Kinda stealthing here. He signed back to answer that question before turning back to Gisa to lend to her the info to hand down.
"I said you should help," AJ counters, as she eyes Max once more. "I was just warning you that you might fucking die for trying to play with time in the hedge. It doesn't work normal here. One hour in here might be five hours outside. Or half a second. I mean, probably not, but it's possible! And I figured I should at least warn you that it possible maybe your mind snaps to bits," she huffs out. "Should I not warn you next time?" she asks. The fox rolls her eyes away, and then goes to stare at the rocks. Gisa's pointing. Max is pointing. AJ shrugs. "I might be able to slip in," she offers.
Rorschach crawls up up and over and disappears for... a bit. Coming back he signed for Damion and Gisa to relay back with a faintly amused expression on his gaunt and drawn out features.
Damion watches the bug disappear and reappear, arms crossed. Then he finally nods and says, "The rock is hollow, and there's a tunnel. We should walk in. And watch our steps." He starts towards the rock himself, and if it's simple enough, will do as indicated and enter the rock.
"The rock is hollow, and there's a tunnel -- " Gisa breaks off when Damien translates before she gets to it, and nods once. Her jaw sets very solidly, and she clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth, an odd, hollow sound. "Yes."
Upon being handed a note by the bug, Max takes a moment to read it. There's a faint frown as she reads it. Pulling a pen from her bag, she quickly scribbles something on the other side and hands it back to Rory. THen she looks to Nana first, then the others, then back to the rocks. Max lifts a hand to point at the biggest stone amongst them all. "That one is the one that I saw him go through," she offers.
The one Max points to? Is the same one Rorschach just disappeared through. So odds are this is the right one!
"Smart boy," Nana says with a hint of pride when Rorschach returns to guide the way. Her vehicle resumes motion, starting forward towards the revealed tunnel with the others. "You be careful up front, young man. This is a prefect place to ambush us all and flay our skin from our bodies to display like dreamcatchers as a warning to others." She offers an aside to Max, "Thank you, dear. Just be careful inside." And off she goes, moving to follow the fighty types.
"Does everyone know sign language but me?" AJ asks, with a sigh. The thought of learning - even through a pledge - is just torture to the poor fox. "Let's go, then," she says, and starts to follow.
Rorschach was hanging out on the rock like bugs just do and signed something back to AJ pointing to his throat, her and shrugged giving her a faint, wry smile. His eyes drifted back to Max and one eyebrow arched over dark socket when nimble fingers went to pluck the note out of the air. He read the note and looked to Max and jsut shook his head. There was a look and the sockets squint and just shook his head again crumpling the note and tossed it back down to Max. He didn't write back. He glanced skyward itching the bridge of his broken nose and looked back to Max and the gestures were sharp, pointed to her and then put whatever it was behind him. he ducked back over out of view to the other side to join them.