Log:Finding the Doom Garden
|Finding the Doom Garden
18 July, 2017
A group of Lost find an interesting garden in the Hedge.
It's not a pleasant place that the Lost have chosen to investigate. It's gloomy, it's eerie, and it's no doubt extremely dangerous. It /is/ the Hedge, after all. They arrive outside of the hedge and the metal gate with the impression of a skull in it. It's closed, for now, but there doesn't seem to be a lock, just a latch.
They're not alone, though. A snake is coiled about the bars of the gate, apparently dozing. Several vultures are perched about, on the hedge, in the tree inside the garden, and they all seem to be watching the interlopers.
Isolde had caught wind of the garden and had offered to head out with the group. Because no proper adventuring group is complete without a healer! The Bright One is dressed down from her normal clothes. Wearing jeans, t-shirt and boots. A heavy leather jacket is over her frame as well, just in case. The snake and the vultures get a look from the beflowered one, "That's not ominous at all." she murmurs to herself.
Perhaps it is the description of the threat, or it is just that she is interested in doing something dangerous tonight. Either way Beatrice has decided to come with the group, wearing nothing more special than a zip up windbreaker with something padded under it, some running pants, and sneakers. She glances over the critters in front of them, not seeming concerned yet. "Is proper garden gate. Did not expect that."
Between C.B. and Mina, whose bright idea was it to come here again? Oh right, it was the Betweener with no tie to the Freehold. Because sometimes, Hedge-wandering results in some pret-ty strange adventures. And hey, someone (namely C.B.) has a keen sense of danger, which doesn't always mean you run AWAY from danger -- no, sometimes it means you run straight for it, because that's always fun!
So C.B. is here, and Mina too, the former wearing his usual messenger bag and some camo clothing that looks like it was meant for rolling about in the woods, along with his Red Sox cap. Y'know, for protection. Weirdly enough, there is a chrome megaphone attached to his bag, and, uh. A cat-shaped being, sticking its head out of the bag, blinking big yellow eyes at the metal gate. C.B. is blinking big blue-silver eyes at it. And at Isolde, who has just appeared. "Understatement of the century," he tells her. Stares at Beatrice, next, whom at least he recognizes. "Who knew this was some sort of party?"
Bright red hair pulled into a braid, and wearing a pair of army green shorts with pockets, a black tanktop, combat boots. There's, well. She's got a bow. Not the one for the hair that one might expect. But an actual short bow, complete with quiver of arrows. She lifts a hand, rubbing the back of her neck. Vultures. Snakes. Skulls. "Yep, looks like a party," she says with a bit of a quirk to her lip. "Isolde," Mina greets the other Spring, if not overly familiar, at least warm.
One of the vultures moves from its perch, landing atop the gate, so it looms over the Lost (and Fae-Touched). Once there it doesn't move, just stares down at them, like it's expecting one (or all) of them to die at any moment.
Isolde gives a look to the others that arrive and she dips her head in greeting, "Evening all." she tells them. There's a smile to Mina after that, "Nice to see you, Mina." she tells her. With all of Isolde's hours in the ER it was sometimes hard to socialize. But she remembered people. When the vulture moves there's a look back to it, "Wonder if these are guards or just squaters." she quirks an eyebrow as she looks to the other one.
Beatrice glances between the others before responding in turn. "Prevyet, Beatrice." She looks back to the snake and the vulture. "Is hedge, maybe both. Does not matter, they will let us pass."
The cat in C.B.'s bag hisses at the sight of the vulture. While similar to a Cymric cat, his fur is gray and white fluffy paper instead of actual fur. C.B. stares up at the vulture and makes a gesture, lifting and dropping his arms. "Yeah? What do you wanna make of it?" Is it wise to challenge a specter of death like that? Probably not, but while C.B. is smart, he is not always wise. He glances between the three ladies, lifting and dropping his brows. "Well. What now?"
The vulture doesn't seem to react to CB or the cat, just stares, waiting. The snake remains where it is as well, its sleep apparently not yet disturbed by the conversation.
A sideways glance to Yossy as he hisses, and then one to C.B. as well. Mina gives a little shake of her head, but there's amusement in there more than anything. "Well, Beatrice seems to think that they won't delay us. I assume we're trying to get on the other side of the fence? I'm no good with serpents, I admit." She looks to the gate, and the vultures, with a tilt of her head.
Beatrice eyes the snake on the gate. Considering the bird a few moments she sighs. "Snake is waiting for prey. Bird is waiting to steal snake's meal." She considers the ground for a moment. "Aim bow at snake. If it can speak, it will stir. If it cannot, shoot it. Bird will not care what it eats."
Isolde gives a look to the cat and then to the birds. When Beatrice speaks, she turns to listen to the woman and there's a soft nod of her head, "Well, I don't have a bow...but they do." she states. With that, she steps back to let the others aim at the snake.
C.B. frowns, brow furrowing as he looks at Beatrice, then Isolde. He pulls something out of his army jacket -- a Colt M1911 pistol. "Or I could do it. Mina," he says, more softly, brows raising as he looks at the dancer. "If you're not comfortable with that. I mean, I don't love the idea of you doing it in the first place, but if it really floats your boat, far be it from me to stand in your way..."
Mina looks between the two women - gaze lingering on Beatrice for a moment. But when C.B. pulls out his Colt, and makes his offer, a smile takes the place of what was starting to become a furrowed brow. "You're certainly more intimidating than me, Ceebee," she muses, as she steps out of his way. The dancer, far from a fight-hungry Summer, seems glad to not to have to take aim.
The snake still just lays there. It really does seem to be asleep, since it hasn't so much as twitched at the talk about aiming guns and bows at it. The vulture, however, does shift a little, but is still watching the people rather than the serpent.
Isolde didn't carry weapons so she wasn't much use for the long range game. She still steps back though, because she didn't really like guns. Bows were fine. Guns, not so much. "So we can kill the snake and let two dine or kill the vultures and let one dine on two. Hmmm." she murmurs to herself mostly.
Beatrice lifts a hand for CB to wait. "Guns are noisy, we are already unwelcome guests. I will do handle the gate." She cracks the knuckles on one hand then the other, slowly advancing.
C.B. looks somewhere between relieved and vaguely irritated, although Mina did get a sort of half-smile for her compliment, if one could call it that. He puts his gun back in its hip holster and steps back, brows raised as he watches Beatrice do...whatever it is she's about to do. "If you say so."
Mina seems to think that it's a compliment, considering the way she watches C.B. as he holds the pistol. "He's likely a better shot than I would have been, as well," the ballerina admits, with a little quirk of lips. "But, by all means, Beatrice." She makes a gesture, a graceful sweep of arm, towards the snake on the gate. Standing back. It's not that she doesn't /like/ snakes. It's just the bitey bits on them one has to worry about. And the venom spitting. Like those dinosaurs. Ok. Biologist, Mina was not.
Beatrice walks up to the gate, advancing slow and steady. The snake still doesn't stir. Lifting one foot, she drops it onto the snake's head and presses down until her foot is touching dirt again. The snake's head crunches like a cheap soda can, a little squirt of gore dashed along the dirt to one side. It looks effortless when the Miller Giant does it. Beatrice looks up at the bird. "Now we see if bird is smart. Takes meal and leaves, or becomes like snake."
Isolde watches after the Russian and she gives a nod of her head to that, "Hopefully the bird is smarter." she tells her as she starts forward, not getting too close though.
The vulture doesn't move, except to follow Beatrice's movements. It just remains perched on top of the gate. Watching. Like the other vultures do. Perhaps they don't like the taste of snake.
C.B. flinches and yells "Jesus!" when Beatrice smashes down on the snake like a normal person might kill a silverfish in a bathroom. "Should we head in?" His eyes move around to everyone in the group, but he's not necessarily the sort to lead the charge, unless he has to -- not when someone like Beatrice is here. He's not cowering, but why go crashing into a situation that someone else is probably better suited to, right?
There's a grimace from Mina as the snake's head is crunched in, and she slants a glance to C.B. and the papery feline he's toting along. "Seems to be the best way to get where we're going." She brushes fingers briefly against C.B.'s shoulder, then steps forward. Not to lead the way, but to let the way through the gates be made, and led.
Beatrice glances through the bars, giving a shooing gesture at the vulture with one hand while reaching with the other for the gate, flicking the latch so it can creak open.
Isolde gives a look to the vultures and then to the dead snake before she makes ready to follow Beatrice through the gate. She was hoping her pager wasn't going off for the ER as well.
The vulture remains on the gate when it's opened, staring at Beatrice like it's wondering how she'd taste. The inside of the garden is no more welcoming than the guardians at the gate. They may actually be some of the friendlier things to be found here, since so much looks dead inside. At the least. Just inside the gate though, there is a path made of stone, leading toward the half-crumbled cottage by the oak tree.
C.B. squeezes Mina's shoulder in return, stepping in front of her, but behind Beatrice. He removes his pistol from his jacket after all, taking off the safety and holding it a ready. Eyes move in every direction they can as he takes in the surroundings in the way only a true paranoiac could. "What the hell did this place used to be?" He stares around at the others in wide-eyed curiosity. "Anyone?"
Yossarian, the cat sticking out of C.B.'s bag, sticks his head out a little further. Bright yellow eyes stare around, though not as wildly or even as thoroughly as C.B. He is watchful, however.
Beatrice uses her lurch-like power of being really tall to look around before answering CB. "Someone made this place. Do not assume it used to be anything else than what it is now. Is hedge, decay is sometimes normal." She inhales deeply through her nose, glancing to the snake again before looking around. "Does not feel like something forgotten. Feels like lure for prey." A chuckle. This amuses Beatrice, apparently.
Isolde gives a look around and there's a nod to CB and Beatrice, "Yeah...somethings funky." she agrees. She wasn't sure what exactly...but she had a feeling they'd find out.
In they go, and Mina finds herself in a garden not nearly as welcoming as the ones she's used to. She trusts C.B. at her back, though, and so while he looks /everywhere/ she looks to the front and sides. Weaving around the others, the little dancer balances on one foot, and uses the other to not so gently tap on the stone path - quickly pulling that foot back. Nothing happens! It's great. "Well, no traps set. I don't think." She crouches down, to get a better look, then nods with satisfaction.
Beatrice considers the area thoughtfully now that they're inside. She gives a small nod to herself, as though her appraisal of the place seems validated. "I suggest we leave, bring back barrels of gas. Throw inside, light, come back in a week." She doesn't look to the others, eying one of the oaks. "This is stupid risk. Still, we are in the hedge. That is stupid risk itself."
C.B. points to the cottage and frowns his mightiest frown. "Those vines are fucking carnivorous." He stares consideringly at Beatrice, tilting his head. "I sort of agree with you, but -- don't you want to know why this place is here? I know I fucking do." But as stubborn as he is, his brow is furrowed in such a way to suggest that he's not one hundred percent sure. Yossarian is leaning even further out of the bag now. He still hasn't said anything, but he seems very invested.
Isolde gives a bit better of a look around and there's a frown, "The vines that are dangling will string you up if you get too close, it's called Gallowsroot. Best to stir clear." she adds to the group.
Just as soon as she declares the stone path safe, something else catches Mina's eyes. "Stay away from the sand. The regular looking sand is probably quicksand, but the red stuff? They call it red sand. Because that stain to it is all that's left of anything that falls into it. Sort of acidic. Not a good way to go, not at all." As unpleasant as that sounds? She outright shudders at the carnivorous vines, and the Gallowsroot. Sliding herself juuuust a bit closer to C.B., not quite hiding behind him. "I agree this isn't the most pleasant of places, but like Ceebee said, don't we want to know why it's here, considering what it's so close to?"
Beatrice's expression clouds into a scowl as people take turns listing off things wrong with this place. "And something at the oaks kill people. Those faces are not accidents, and if you must have answers, they may give them. Or we may join them." She shifts her weight. "So the stone is safe. Vines, death. Both colors of sand, death. Trees, probably death." She bends down to pick up the length of now headless snake, slowly pulling it in and coiling it like a rope. "But birds are here and alive, so they have food. They can't eat things under the sand, they would be attacked by the vines." Her eyes go to the vulture a moment before looking back to the others. "And you want to see what else is inside. Very well."
C.B. glances at Mina for a long moment, and reaches for her hand, giving it a small, reassuring squeeze. He looks to Isolde, then finally to Beatrice. "Well. If we don't...who knows if someone else even less prepared than us /will/, before we come back and fucking firebomb the place? And then someone could get really hurt. As entertaining as that may be." This last part spoken in a completely deadpan manner. "So I'm inclined to see if we can get in there -- or at least to get the door open. If it's impossible, then we high-tail it for the fucking hills."
Yossarian finally speaks, in a deep, dignified, sonorous voice. "I can see some of the possible outcomes of your actions, should you wish to utilize me."
Isolde looks to CB and then to the cat that speaks, "That's a helpful thing." she states with a bit of a smile. "Stones are safe...everything else is death. Fantastic." the Bright One shakes her head.
Mina's fingers twine with C.B.'s, returning that squeeze. She takes in a slow breath, holding his gaze for a moment, then lets it out. "Right," she says, as if she's found her center again. "And if we firebomb the place, we learn nothing beyond what we already knew - that this place is bad news." She lets go of C.B.'s hand, and when the feline speaks, the succuflower can't help but smile towards him. "My dear Yossarian, that would be very much a help, yes." She turns her grin to Isolde, and notes, "At least we have a 'safe'."
Beatrice starts down the stone path obligingly, carrying the coiled snake carcass in one hand. Her pace is slow and unhurried, taking time to evaluate the surroundings.