Logan arranges for everyone to meet at his house: an amazing mansion that's not at all far from the Wayhouse (reference: http://www.priceypads.com/castle-above-the-clouds-6900000/). He gathers everyone together into the library. While there, he makes everyone is fortified with at least basic supplies for a simple hiking journey, if they don't have the proper supplies with them already: a basic survival kit, food, water, proper footwear, and one blushberry each.
The Golden Boy is dressed pretty simply today, in a blue field jacket over a vintage washed blue t-shirt with a vintage-looking logo: multiple circles around the word '1976,' like some kind of stylized record. He's just wearing jeans and throwback blue and yellow Adidas on his feet, plus a small yellow backpack.
He has plenty of healthy snacks and drinks on hand for everyone, too. When everyone is here and assembled, he turns to them all with his ready smile, clapping his hands together once. "Okay, gang. Thanks for coming along on this expedition. Now, I just want to make it clear to everyone what we are and aren't here for today. Our primary objective is to make contact and gather information. We are planning to do this as diplomatically as possible.
"Uschi has provided us with some information on the Freeholders there," and at this, he smiles at the Ogress, gesturing towards her. "Uschi, would you mind telling everyone what you know? Just a brief rundown would be good."
How the fuck did Uschi end up in the library? The same reason she ended up wearing a long-sleeved and /clean/ flannel shirt under that rediculious leather battle vest. Punks, man. Currently the Ogress is ignoring the fact she has an absolutely exquisite glove of the finest Italian leather stretched over what some have described as her gnarled 'scaly baby Voldemort hand'. The Ogress is not preoccupied with her dead arm -- she is preoccupied with... Not staring at all the books, either.
Like their presence offends her. Is Uschi even listening?
Uschi only moves when Logan speaks to her; turning her difficult-to-track gaze from whatever and over to those gathered. Uh, presumably. The mountaineering sack on her back is adjusted via her not-dead arm. No, she is not wearing shoes. Nor has she washed her feet. Logan's housekeeping team can deal later. "...S'nice place. Shame if someone were to..." The Ogress, sucks at a tooth, then clarifies helpfully: "They seem like the kind what scare easy. Got their herd protected well, d'ja get me? If you wanna talk to 'em, get the scoop, don't come down on 'em like a wolf on the fold. Be... Not that."
Tryp is back in the back, with a strange looking silver object on her back, a pair of high tech (yet definitely Tokenish) looking, cover-your-entire-face goggles around her neck. She's got a contraption made of hedge materials that looks awfully like a 4 rotor drone under one arm (it is almost too hard for her small size to carry). She's got a pistol one one side and a sword on the other, and a large purple panther sits calmly beside her, leaning against her legs and flicking its tail back and forth. She is loaded and ready for bear.
"So," The pink haired cyber robot elf Tryp says after Uschi finishes talking, and assuming theyve all been introduced to each other "What is our goals then? Just make contact or something more something less?"
Poppy seems more than amused at the mansion, and the long wooden hallways are given a speculative look, a sharp grin crossing her lips as some thought flits through her head. The siren dressed in rather neutral looking clothing: black skinny jeans; a royal blue, tunic-style top with cold shoulders and three quarter sleeves; and black ankle-boots. She's also carrying a fitted backpack, idly slung over one shoulder. Duncan is likely about...somewhere. Hopefully he isn't experimenting with property damage. She tilts her head as she listens to Logan's opening, then glances towards Uschi. That odd glove is rewarded with an equally odd look, but she doesn't comment further, listening to the ogress' addition to things, giving it a thoughtful nod.
Logan listens patiently to Uschi, nodding on occasion, arms folded. "Right. But tell them a little bit more about the 'herd,' Uschi. I don't think most of them understand what we do about the Freehold. Just tell them a little more about what you saw there." He glances over to Tryp, continuing to smile. "Our goal is to make contact, preferably friendly contact. Like I said, we are just introducing ourselves and gathering information. We need to proceed rationally and with caution." He says all of this in the same chipper, pleasant tone he says most things in, not sounding terrible dire about any of it.
Uschi is gesturing, with her good hand, after those last words of 'be ... not that'. Wait. Is she pointing at Tryp? Catherine? Surely she's not motioning to their weaponry or something, right? The Ogress herself, well, she doesn't have any weaponry - not /obviously/, but maybe under all those layers there's something concealed. She think they're going to Market or something? After listening to Logan's explanation, the Ogress grunts; "Don't say."
Then she doesn't say anything. The Fairest goes on about being friendly, and Uschi isn't nodding, although after the mention of 'proceed rationally and with caution', the Ogress ... grunts again.
"Place we're all goin', s'real nice-like. Like the little image on the side of a butter wrapper, d'ja get me? Green hills, fat cows, milk and honey. S'precious. Folk who tend a herd like that, seems like they aught to be precious too. What's the word... Delicate." Uschi delivers this with a deadpan explanation, moving to take something out of her backpack. It's a laborious process when done one-armed'ly. "So be careful where you tread when them northerners, else you might crush it all underfoot." A beat. "Ain't friendly, that."
From her place, Clarice holds up a hand briefly. Before being addressed, however, she interjects, in a voice at a reasonable volume: "Are we bringing them a gift?" Then she drops her hand, and waits for a response to her seemingly-innocuous, odd question.
"Nice, we're going to visit the fucking Stepford Wives," Poppy murmurs dryly. "That's not going to be creepy as shit." The siren then falls silent again, glancing towards Clarice with a wry smile before turning her attention back towards Logan and Uschi.
"Right." Duncan may be the only one to look disappointed at the need to take a quiet approach to this first contact. The storm-elemental is already dressed and geared for travel, with a olive drab rucksack over his right shoulder and a pistol holstered under the opposite arm, the later mostly hidden by his black pea coat. Otherwise his clothes are fairly basic -- black t-shirt, worn denim jeans, and hiking boots. "Reasonable Caution is my middle name," he says with a grin that may not be entirely reassuring.
With a nod of her head, Tryp accepts this answer. She settles down cross legged, taking the strange silver backpack off her back and setting the hedgespun drone on the ground in front of her. She unbuckles the sword belt and leaves it on the ground behind her. The pistol is repositioned to be hidden by her hoodie when she zips it up. Then she begins to fiddle with the device, preparing this and preparing that. Her attention seems to be taken up mostly by whats in front of her, though the purple cat at her side certainly keeps an eye about them. One hand occassionally and absently scratches at the cat. "If we're not going through the Hedge, then mind if I leave this here?" she asks, gesturing to the sword behind her. "And if you don't want to scare the poor fucks, then Ill call up something, or use Fly Boi here," she gestures to the automaton in front of her "To ride overwatch from a distance. I can keep a look out and keep things quiet without being seen as too much of a threat."
"I can bring some of my own stuff." Catherine says, "Jerky, clothes, basically anything that's made of an animal and acceptable if rustic when viewed in civilized terms." she notes, "Still, I do think that caution is wise too. Anything that looks too good to be true usually is."
Logan flashes his grin at Uschi. "Right. Exactly. Thank you, Uschi." He turns back to the others. "These people are bucolic, and probably not used to outsiders. So, anyone who is going as 'security,' I ask that you hang back and not flash your weapons. We'll have some of you on the perimeter, out of sight, just in case they try any funny business. I will act as the primary diplomat, and anyone who thinks they can make contact in a reasonable way, feel free to accompany me. Really, though, it's about being friendly, which I don't think Fate's Harvest always excels at." He pauses to glance around at the others, still smiling, not addressing /all/ the comments, though his blue eyes do lock onto Clarice's face. "Yes, Clarice. Excellent question. We will primarily be bringing the gift of knowledge, but I'm also bringing something symbolic." Logan smiles to himself and picks up something off the desk behind him: an olive branch. Yes, he's extending a literal olive branch. Then he nods in Tryp's direction. "Go ahead and leave that behind, Tryptych, yes." The rest of what she said, he must feel like he's already answered. "If there aren't any other questions, let's go ahead and head out. I've got a small bus chartered for the occasion, because Hedge travel is too unpredictable for this. So we've found."
No questions from the Mouse, but she does make a face. It is one of half-disbelief and half-chagrin. Logan's answer clearly does not inspire confidence from Clarice, who otherwise responds with a long sigh, and a head-shake. Bearing no weapons, she just carries on as directed, into whatever Otherworldly Bus they will travel in (like something out of Persona 5).
Tryp nods, pulls the silver bullet shaped thing over her back, and then stands, reaching down to grab the drone by a handy handle. "Then when we get there, I'll setup in the bus." she says as the purple panther pads after her, following to the bus.
"No rifle if I'm coming in close. Gotcha." Catherine says, "I'll leave my rifle in the bus if it's being parked at the edge of town, come back for it if trouble arises." she notes, "I have enough faith in my own speed on foot for that." she says.
Uschi's expression may be kind hidden under that Mantle of Moon which is no doubt reassuring to practically nobody -- but she wrinkles her nose in Tryp's direction post-sword-removal, it's obvious. "Yeah, 'cause s'all real friendly when you see an eye in the sky peepin' down on your territory." So full of judgement, this one. From her bag, she seems to be moving around some oily, juicy looking fruit that ... smells fucking awful, but maybe the scent is just her? When Logan brandishes a literal olive branch, Uschi says absolutely nothing -- but she does turn, and grunt in Catherine's direction. It is not a grunt of approval - is it?
Pack on her back, the Ogress starts to lumber off in Logan's direction -- jabbing her hand out, to give him something. "When it's time to talk to 'em, eat that." No further explanation is given, she just moves to stand near the doorway and... Looms.
Duncan glances sharply aside at Poppy, as if she just jabbed him in the ribs or something. He chuckles under his breath and turns his attention back to the discussion at hand. There's a quick nod to acknowledge the instructions, and then he shoulders his pack, ready to move bus-ward.
Poppy gives Duncan an innocent look, then turns her attention back to Logan. The siren's expression is again thoughtful, but it seems she deosn't have much to add at the moment; likely she's counting on the lack of weapons on her part to mutely attest that she isn't there to do anything /but/ talk. Once it's clear it's time to board the bus and head back to the land of crappy modern art, she starts after the rest of them.
Dross watches Uschi dig into her backpack. What's in there? But when Logan begins to speak, followed by the others, his attention returns to the conversation at hand. He nods at Logan's suggestion, though his gaze pauses a moment on Clarice's look of disbelief mixed with chagrin, rather thoughtfully.
Logan takes whatever it is from Uschi, glances at it, and grins, pocketing it again. "Thanks!" Then, if there are no further questions, he ushers everyone out to the bus, which is...well, it's a small blue Mercedes bus, actually, and it's very nicely appointed. This should be a comfortable journey He has a driver, Fritz, who no doubt has been told something completely different about this little expedition; Logan's always going off on strange adventures as it is.
At least Logan doesn't make everyone sing songs on the bus, right? Though he does play an awful lot of Kansas, Boston, Journey and the like over the stereo. They make the hours journey north, to a gate under the Missisquoi river bridge on the VT-100, where Logan lets everyone know is the loop of trod they're looking for.
The water of the river is high, the hula hoop almost half submerged, and covered in assorted greenery which has caught itself on a tangle of thin, dead grass and waterlogged branches. If it weren't a metal hoop, it would have broken by now, but someone took great care that their Hedge gate would remain in place. Granted, it is corroded, but it's still there.
Catherine's just sitting back, occasionally nibbling a piece of venison jerky. She's reclining in a seat, and waiting throughout the trip though she does occasionally flick one of her ears as a bug comes by or else a sound can be heard outside on the road.
Tryp spends much of the trip in silence, one hand on her cat, the other with her phone out, browsing whatever app meets her fancy (lots of Imgur and Reddit, it looks like). When they get there, she piles out, looking at the hedge gate and its half flodded state with a sigh. "This is going to ruin my boots." she says to no one in particular, before looking toward Logan and his pet ogress for the next step.
The water is easily chest deep on a short person. Belly deep on someone of average height.
The windows roll down on the bus, right? Crack open? Exist? That's where Uschi is -- if anybody wants to fight her for the seat, they are welcome. But who wants the trouble? For the whole ride - literally, the entire way - the Ogress sits still and stares out the window. There is no humming along to music, no fidgeting, no nothing - only stoic observation, occasionally interrupted by a dense sense of ... silent disapproval.
Uschi remains silent, once the rag-tag group of weird Changelings make it to the rusting metal hoop under the noisy urban bridge. It is now that she grabs something from her pocket. Is that a snack? None is offered to anyone else. She merely observes the waterlogged hoop when they get there, then turns and stares at ... Poppy and Duncan. Oh. Like she thinks somehow they're going to handle clearing the debris and opening the water logged Hedge Gate for the others? How presumptuous.
Duncan looks aside to Poppy when she volunteers him to play Moses, then turns to study the river with a contemplative expression. "The river goes where it will," he answers Logan with a shake of his head. "What I can control is a drop in the bucket." He looks back to the flowing river, gathers himself, and steps forth. There's a rustle of wind and the scent of rain as glamour wells forth from the storm-elemental, and the very shallow water at his feet diverts aside, leaving him standing on relatively dry mud. Success! Or not, as the size of the water-free area quickly shrinks to nothing as he continues to wade out into the river. Duncan only laughs and shakes his head, plowing on toward the hoop. "You're going to have to get your feet wet."
Tryp sighs, then moves into the water. "Less go," she says as she holds the drone up above her head. The water will most certainly come up to the middle of her chest, the short little thing sthat she is, and she grumbles about it the whole time. "Gotta get me some contract with AIr and fire and make a dryer whenever I have to do shit like this."
The purple cat, meanwhile, has no problem with the water, playfully splashing in it... right up until it has to start swimming. Then it yowls something feirce in annoyance and mutters a few more choice curse words to back up Tryp's. The pair of them follow whomever needs to be followed to the gate... and beyond.
Cars continue to drive by along the road, slowing, at times, to study the spectacle of bus, oddly-attired adults, and hula hoop.
Uschi grunts as she looks around -- around them, the city bustles; cars slowing, what with the bus being over there. Her dead arm remains neatly tucked up by her side, hidden underneath all that fancy clean flannel and Italian leather that almost makes her seem, damn, civilised. Is that why she's got an annoyed vibe around her? Charmingly annoyed! She reaches into her pocket, pulls out some bits of lint and a crumpled tag from the flannel, and crouches down low by the side of the river. Another pocket search produces a lighter. The tag is set on fire, and the Ogress fans the flames with her breath, sending smoke curling out over the water.
Moments later, mists start emerging up out of the ground -- a thick fog, if you will. It might not be the /most/, but it gives the group some coverage -- which is probably a good thing, what with... Them being in the centre of the city and all. Who knows who could be watching the group that's come out from the van. Uschi doesn't seem to be taking chances. ... She is laughing, though, when Duncan mentions the water. Sound like two rocks getting hit together. Is the Storm Elemental not gonna try again? S'not like Uschi has any electronics to worry about! She'll watch the others go through the water first, but she's ready to roll on, that's obvious by her movements.
"Such is life." Catherine says, wading down further into the water. "Into the breach, I guess." she says, following down into the hoop... Presuming the hoop is the gate of course.
"It's okay," Logan chirps brightly at Duncan. Semper paratis for the expedition leader, who unzips his pack and pulls out a pair of blue coveralls, plus some waders that go over his cool Adidas. "I've got more protection in the bus, if anyone wants some. Otherwise, I'm going to send Fritz ahead, so get 'em while they're hot." Logan's got a lot of money so it figures, right? He puts on said coveralls and waders and taps something on his iPhone X. A moment later, the bus starts up again. Yep, get 'em while they're hot. Then he, too, heads into the water, whistling to himself and holding up his backpack to prevent it from getting wet.
Clarice goes in without fanfare or protection. Silently. And with a look on her face of exasperation, for whatever reason. Mice are an inscrutable, cynical lot.
Poppy gives Duncan a sharp, unapologetic smile at that sideways glance, followed by a rather philosophical kind of shrug at that lack of effect. Her attention shifts towards the cars, then she shakes her head, mouth tightening for a moment. It's a good thing she isn't wearing her usual stilettos, but apparently the siren took 'river mud' into account when she was getting dressed. Either that or 'possibly running from things.' However, rather than starting towards the river, she asks, "Do we want to come back when it's darker, given that we're on the fucking muppet show, it seems? Might kind of piss off the locals if we show up after immediately drawing attention to their asses."
Dross doesn't seem bothered by the water, either. He walks into the river after the others and up to the hula hoop, on which he rests a hand. "Jetzt aufmachen," he says to it, quietly. Then glances back toward the others and steps out of the way.
Suddenly, at Dross's request, the gate opens -- and promptly begins sucking anyone in the vicinity toward it, along with the sudden influx of mortal riverwater draining into the Hedge.
"Their fault, usin' a bridge and not choosing something sensible like an old toilet. We're doin' 'em a favour, showin' 'em how to get their den in order." Uschi grunts in Poppy's direction, then gestures to the water with a jerk of her horns. Go on, get. Ogress advice given without it ever being asked for, the feral girl... Well it's not like she's wearing shoes -- because she /is not/ -- so with no boots to get wet, she can brave broken glass and terrible river slime as she heads after Dross, through the faintly mist shrouded water, and towards the Hoop Gate. Hey, at least her rucksack is waterproof, eh?
Wheee! Sucked into the Hedge unexpectantly via Earthen physics -- this isn't at all triggering for Uschi and the others. No seriously. Uschi seems fine. Right?
Duncan wades out into the river with no real sign of discomfort, glancing back to shoot a pleased grin at those following behind. Seeing Dross approaching the gate with a purposeful look, the storm-elemental steps aside. "Thanks," he says to the Darkling. Catching himself as the water starts to sweep into the now-open gateway, Duncan spares a quick glance back to make sure no one is in danger of being sucked in. "I think they know we're coming," he notes. Then the Elemental tries to clamber into the hoop, looking for a place to go inside that doesn't involve a nasty fall onto spikes, or the like.
The other side of the gate is, unsurprisingly, also very, very wet. The changelings who enter the gate are also, this being a river, quite abruptly moving with the current of the mingled Hedge and mortal waters, splashing down a drop of a good foot or two into the lower riverwater there. The land is subtly different, but looks more or less the same as their previous surroundings, albeit absent any sign of the hand of man, with a fair number of uncomfortable protrusions of stone in the water to divide the course into a rushing labyrinth all of its own.
The shores are green and grassy, and the arrival of strangers startles a group of deer-like creatures into flight. Were those antlers or extra eyes..?
Logan is sucked into the gate like the others, and in probably a far less graceful way than usual. Or that he'd like. For a few moments, at least, the golden Fairest's smile is completely gone; he looks flat-out annoyed. Good thing no one is looking at him, right? Everyone has their own problems to attend to.
But he's got work to do: swimming across the river to the shores. "Is everyone all right?" he calls out, glancing briefly behind him as he swims...again, apparently not as well as usual. As long as he gets there...
Catherine is swimming over to dry land, not speaking and more focusing on getting ashore. When she gets there however, she nods. "Yeah, fine... That was just unexpected. Water sure, but being dumped and a rushing river... Not so much." she notes.
The Mouse decides to go next and take the plunge. Into the hoop she goes, and then into the water.
Mice and water don't mix. Thankfully, Clarice is more than just a wee-mouse. Without particularly heavy gear to worry about, she manages to navigate and swim through the rushing water with some easy, eventually coming to emerge where the rest of the party ends up.
Of course, once out of the water, she looks like a drowned rat. Without hyperbole.
As soon as the river takes off, Tryp growls. "Fucking hate water," and then she is tossing the drone into the air. It takes off and hovers up above the water, waiting for direction as she and her cat make for the shore. The Metalflesh Levinquick certainly does not seem to be enjoying any of this.
Poppy just shakes her head before adjusting the backpack on her back and making her way out into the water, balancing carefully as she treads her way across the river, then waits to pass through the hoop after those who have already gone before her. Oddly enough, she doesn't seem to be getting all that wet. Once on the other side, she checks on the others before she even starts towards the bank.
The land around the river is relatively quiet, by Hedge standards. Oh, there are the calls of odd beasts and birds, but overall, it looks like a relatively well-kept path which just happens to be winding through unusually dense and, you know, sharp-thorned glamour-sucking undergrowth.
Uschi was going through the water all totally chill -- and once inside the Hedge? Has a moment to catch her bearing? She goes missing from the water. Oh shit. Did the Ogress get sucked under and promptly die, bashed against some stones and eaten by a minor kraken?
Hah, no. She just did some witchy shit, and now Uschi is stepping out of the water -- literally, emerging from the froth of a riverside wave, and stepping onto the riverbank like it ain't no thing. Sure, she's a bit wet... But who cares? Not Uschi. She merely moves towards the Trod she transported herself towards, like it ain't no thang. On land, she crouches down, starts to drip off, and begins to Observes Their Surroundings.
Typical Ogress business.
"It's hard to plan for everything," Logan says to Catherine, his smile returning. He waits to make sure that everyone is on the shore as he gets out of his coveralls and waders, stashing them back into his backpack, from which he's taken a packable towel to towel off anything else that needs it. "Everyone here and accounted for? Then let's trek on." He'll head along the path, happy to be in the lead, though if someone else wanted to go before him, he doubtless wouldn't complain, would he?
Finally making it to the shore, Tryp comes out, chrome skin gleaming from the wash. She is thuroughly annoyed but that is just part of the thing. Her cat comes out, the panther looking just as put out. Playing in water, fine. Swimming? No thank you. Tryp nods in agreement with the purple cat, before she looks about. "Well, I'm not good at talking to any sort of idiots, so I'll set up camp here and run overwatch. Hecate," she says gesturing to the cat "Can keep watch if no one else is going to stay here?"
Then Tryp is finding a place to lean her back against, pulling the silver bullet on her back into her lap and calling the Automaton over.
Duncan drops down into the river and braces against one of the rocks, waiting to see how the rest of the group fairs before he sets out for the shore himself. With no need for a lifeguard, he eases back into the water and breast-strokes for shore, keeping his rucksack relatively dry at least. Most of his clothes are fully soaked, but the Elemental doesn't really notice. Poppy's relative dryness earns the Siren a smirk, then he turns to give Logan a thumbs up. He's ready and obviously willing, as the storm-elemental moves up to the front of the group. Plowing ahead is his thing, apparently.
Dross swims toward the shore, too. He avoids the stone protrusions without comment or expression and climbs, drenched to the bone, out onto the green grass near Logan and Uschi. The former, he regards in silence for a little while before he starts to look around their environment, standing quite still at first, though he'll follow once Logan asks the group to trek on. The water running slowly off of him seems to cause no disturbance.
Clarice takes up a position near the rear of the column. Best to let others go first. After all, if there are mounted, hidden turrets, the leaders'll be hit first. Always wise to sit near the back, especially if you're of the sort of kith that would probably scream and run for cover.
Tryp nods her head to Catherine, but then pulls those goggles over her eyes and ... slumps. Her body goes prone, laying there without moving - just a slight breathing but her attention is clearly no longer in the body. The big purple panther seems to be aware of this and doesn't seem worried. It just settles in to watch the area protectively as it sits beside the chrome robot girl.
Then, the little drone comes bobby over to the group. Tryp's tinny voice sounds from it. "Ready to go bosses," as it floats around the group.
Poppy gives the area along the bank a rather paranoid once-over before glancing towards the others, shifting her weight restlessly. She seems somewhat pensive, for whatever reason, and content to remain quiet for the moment, even as they start moving once again.
The trod has no side-trods, and nothing visibly aggressive lurks nearby to attack the travelers. It is, indeed, a loop, and thankfully, unfamiliar as it is, the group hikes along without any apparent trouble. The twisting, winding paths carry the troupe of would-be diplomats through hilly forest and boulder-strewn fields before, gradually, the land begins to smooth, odd buildings popping up here and there like the Hedge's version of suburban mushrooms. The entire trip takes a good hour of walking, skidding, climbing and, occasionally, hopping over gaps between enormous boulders. It comes to a dead end at what appears to be an old, dilapidated barn with peeling, chalky red paint.
Uschi pauses her observation of their surroundings, once the others manage to make their way out of the water. When Tryptych emerges from the water and starts chattering and fidgeting with automatons, the Ogress' expression darkens. Literally, the shadows on the Farwalkers face deepen, and she looks from her to Catherine.
Does Uschi seem bothered that they will be leaving a prone, slumped, inattentive Tryp alone in unfamiliar Hedge territory? No. Uschi does not seem the least bit bothered. She carries on with the rest of the group, moving... Carefully along the trod - just a regular Ogress, nothing too menacing there. No weapons, no grandiose shows of might, just a lumbering gait that has no problem with walking for an hour uninterrupted, and keen senses.
Although Logan does glance back a time or two at Tryp, he, too, seems okay with leaving her there, for better or for worse. He keeps close behind Duncan on their journey, eyes sharp. Then he at the barn before them, then turns to the others and says, "It /seems/ safe enough, at least. Shall we venture in?" Ah, there's that big grin. He starts to head towards it, though he certainly waits for the others.
Duncan is not shy about going first, so when there's a question he simply steps forward. It's the Hedge and he can see the trod, so the path ahead is obvious enough. There's a glance back to make sure everyone else is ready to go, and a quizzical look at the Tryptych's fallen form, but Duncan clues in when the drone buzzes by and shrugs off any concern. Hopefully she knows what she's doing. And so the storm-elemental sets a steady pace, marching along through the Hedge until they reach the barn. "End of the line." As for Logan's question, Duncan only shrugs. He's game.
As for Clarice, she's quietly in the back. Holding up the rear. Making sure no one's asses get burnt. Insert all sorts of other posterior jokes here. Silent, but deadly, she is.
The drone hovers on behind them, just another flying stupid thing in the hedge. Its clearly hedgespun, made of shadows and lightning, metal and thorny copper wire. Not to mention the the captured lightning bolt inside. It clicks like dominos falling as it hovers just above the group, and Tryp's conciousness attached to it.
Poppy gives Tryp's prone body a sideways look, muttering something under her breath with a shake of her head, then she follows along the trod until they reach the barn. The barn gets an equally paranoid look to the one the bank received, but she nods. "It's why we're here," she says matter-of-factly.
"A barn in a hollow?" Catherine asks, then shrugs. She's sniffing the air, peering left and right, she's not drawn the knife on her person yet but she is trying to stay aware.
The barn remains where it is, barn-like and still.
After everyone has arrived, Dross takes a look at the gathered Lost, then at Logan, on whom his blue eyes linger for a moment. Then he lifts one shoulder in a slight shrug. "No one inside," he says. Steps toward the barn, opens the door, and stands aside to let the others through.
The large double doors are not locked, and the inside of the barn is dusty, as if it hasn't been used in quite a long while.
Tryp's little drone goes flying around the perimeter of the barn, doing a quick search.
The barn is a barn, empty and barn-like, with nothing of particular interest inside of it, unless one is inclined toward conversing with cobwebs.
Uschi ... says nothing. She merely observes the area, standing there in clothes which have become almost-dry over the past hour. They're, shall we say, damp. Also ... kind of smelly? Like wet dog -- yeah yeah, we all know this. When Lo and Dross move into the barn and investigte, she grunts. Then she uses her good arm, to try and user them back to the outside. "Ain't nobody been inside. Come outside, then use the gate." Use the gate? Oh. Uschi jabs her horns in the direction of the door again. Ugh. Why can't she just be more straightforward? All of a sudden, Uschi is laughing -- looking up at the drone in the sky, and laughing.
More or less dry after an hour long hike, Duncan waits around outside the barn while its examined and plans are discussed. The Elemental gives a nod once the all-clear is given. "Right." Then starts to head inside as well. Uschi's instructions bring him to a halt, however, and he gives an understanding nod and waits by the door instead. The ogre's laughter earns a quizzical look, and then he notices she's looking at the drone. "Is that thing going to work through the gate?" he asks the flying automaton.
The gate, when it opens, opens up onto...well, it's still a barn. It looks a bit cleaner, though, but still not something actively used.
Logan lets out a bright peal of laughter himself. "That figures," he says, and then he heads back out the doors to the other side of the gate. He knocks three times...then sings, "On the ceiling if you want me." And there they go. Another barn. The same barn. Whichever. He seems eager to head out the doors and to the other side.
The drone dips low, then looks through the entrance to the gate. "Should, yeah," Tryp's voice says with metalic tones. "But if you want I'll keep watch over the back trail. No skin off my back. Or metal." The drone bobs about a bit, then backs away from the barn. "The ogre is getting a pissy face anyways about me scaring these milk and honey dipshits so... whatever. I can keep a look out from here if this is your path back or ... whatever."
The Ogress - who undoubtedly has a name - keeps laughing: another bark for when Logan opens the gate, another when Duncan questions Wyrd physics, and a final one when the drone chirps out it's metallic chatter. Weird laughter, that; it's like a sound Uschi might not make often -- but there is, however odd, genuine mirth there. It's just... Not the brightest shade of mirth. Still. Uschi lapses into silence when folk start moving through the gate; turning to look at Dross as they pass on through, although she says ... nothing. Just lumbers on, turning her attention into being alert! and stuff once they pass through.
<< TO BE CONTINUED >>