Tom is known to downplay some things about himself, believe it or not, despite the larger than life attitude he usually adopts. His tendency to prophecy is one piece that slides under the radar, and even more than that is his comfort in the Hedge and small facility at coping in it. He doesn't spread it around. But here we have these two things intersecting with a cat's curiosity. Tom woke up this morning and said to himself: "Hedge jaunt. Market. Something in the air." He followed his nose, you might say, and still is, sniffing his way toward the Market that so intrigues him.
Rorschach woke up at the afternoon and remembered to dress and came tofind Damion showing him teh message he got from Tom that simply said "The Time to Hesitate is Through". Funny enough this wasn't a call to action but the Bug who was prone to dream not prophecy tried to go back to sleep and was bothered that Tom might be quoting Mike Myers and not the Doors. Either way there were things he needed. Stuff to hunt. Tom was kicking out to teh market and honestly the Dream Trapper had theory that he might find missing pieces on trade. Damion was good enough to not let the Roach get into too much trouble unsupervised. Also? It was a hell foa day for a trip outdoors.
In hood, jacket, hoodie, and welder's goggles did he go, Dragon in tow looking for a cat and a road. The good news was he was a professional stalker so Ton-cat wasn't too damn hard to find. Before hand stopping at Stoneheart to see if anyone else needed to go. Market was no place to fuck around with. Hobs... though unerestimated, were ruthless in their natural habitat. Travel in numbers was sometimes a plus.
After spending the day at the Freehold Garden, Oberon was about to hit the mortal world when Rorschach and Damion appeared and after a little chat, he decided to get along with the other two lost to the Market to get a Contract he was looking for for a long time now. With a worn jeans, sneakers and a simple t-shirt underneath a leather jacket (all dirty with mood and leaves), he does. His hands, though, turned into weapons. Long, menacing and sharp thorns.
Of course, Damion couldn't let Rorschach go into the Hedge alone. Birds, or dogs, or god forbid, squirrels might eht him all up. So, he got all his gear together and travelled with the bug into the wonderful world of weirdness they'd all escaped from. He let the roach take care of the tracking, and was there to take care of anything that required hitting things hard or moving something large. He's wearing his organic dragon plate/riot armor, with his sword on his backa nd his gun on his hip.
Squeak-thump, rattle-rattle, scraaaaape. Squeak-thump, squeak-thump, squeak-thump--
- CR-RRACK!* Something suddenly snaps, the sharp retort echoing through the tangled trees and thorns.
"No, no, no no no," a quiet voice pleads, alarmed, an instant later. It is a male voice, hoarse, weary, thin and worn, the voice of one well-accustomed to hardship, yet not inured to its unfortunate results.
The loam underfoot cushions the sound of .. well, MOST approaches, but not this one, that's for sure. Birds and insects hush immediately when the snap occurs, and should the intrepid heroes approach, they find a small changeling, spined and thorned, busily ducking beneath a cart with a distinctly broken axle. He doesn't appear to have noticed the travelers, and he is smack dab in the middle of the trod, evidently -leaving- the Market area, himself.
Rorschach was an insect and likewise also hushed. There were these instinct things. They compelled him to crawl under things, dig through cupboards, and be very very fucking still when trange noises occurred. Antennae stretched out slowly and there was the slap of the back of his hand twisce into the plate on on Damion's chest to get the guys' group attention and signed <<Holy shit that cart is eating some dude>> Okay that wasn't the case and he might... might... be rolling a bit right now. Also it was a bit bright for details. Bugs man. He didn't go fo his knife though, that horror of rust and nightmares, but reache for a stick from the ground. It wasn't a very formidable stick but hey, any stick in a storm. He looked from Oberon to Damion to Tom like dude, I don't make noise. YOU see what's up.
Oberon stops too and waits for the bigger, muscled guy to take the lead and check on the strange man and his cart. He glances at Tom and Rorschach and shakes his head in an attempt to say that it was not his fautl. Flowers are not, after all, that brave.
The crack and voice in the distance causes Damion's head to tilt, the dragon glancing at Rorscahch and Oberon. "You guys hear that?" Well, yeah. Of course they did. He rolls his eyes at Rorschacha nd says, "Yeah, obviously. Evil sentient cart luring in Lost." ....okay, so that wasn't entirely out of the question in the Hedge. But it seems unlikely in this case. Then he moves towards the cart, glancing at the roach again as he does. "You need to get a weapon that won't automatically melt people, man." Coming to the side of the cart he knocks on the siding and then says, "Hey, you need some help sir?"
Tom remains a cat, and sometimes what a cat does is go quiet and watch, so unhelpful, because they are not helping beasts except to deal with prey. And here is one who might be prey... albeit for a cart gone wrong. Still, Tom hangs back with an air that might be laziness or lack of caring, but might also seem like watchfulness for other threats while sussing out the cart guy and his problems. It's not that he misses the roach and flower indicating he should step up. He's just covering the dragon. Yeah, that's it. He asides: "Bad place to get stuck."
Upon hearing someone else nearby, the little spiny man yelps his alarm, jerks his head up, slams the back of it into the left handle of his two-wheeled cart -- rather like a straight-sided wheelbarrow, really, with a harness currently dangling freely between the handles -- and stumbles down onto his rump with a startled gasp. Something in the cart starts to sing a sweet, high song in Lithuanian at the moment of impact.
The disheveled changeling hastily shoves himself up onto his feet, callused hands brushing dirt and dead leaves from his well-worn attire, and quickly moves to put the cart between himself and the group of strangers. "Can you repair axles?" he asks Damion in turn, wary, and failing at disguising it. "I've goods to sell, but no one told me the marketeers here were so..." Words fail him, too. He is full of all the fail, and the cart is still singing a Lithuanian love song.
Damion thinks about that for a few moments. "I probably could fix it, yeah." He glances into the back of the cart. "Though everything has a catch, right? A discount on a purchase or something like that." He smiles over at him and adds, "I'm Damion by the way. What was that about the marketeers here? I've never actually been, myself." He doesn't try to move closer to the Lost, not wanting to scare him. The love song is a little distracting, but he blocks it out.
Rorschach rolled a look to Tom that read: Totes helpful man. At the mention that he needed a weapon that would just melt someone to death the Roach blinked and held up the stick. Then he pointed back to Damion. Stick + dragon equals all conventional sidearms covered, man. There was a sound coming from the Bug's jacket though that was immediatly recognizable as a 4 piece string quartet, otr more likely, one tiny red cricket. It was hearing the love song and loved nothing more than to immitate and mimic music as mest as a bandy pack of string instruments could. The bugman sighed and looked over the cart while they talked and surveiled the contraption finding agreement signing, <<We've tackled worse, D.>>
Oberon listens the cart owner carefully and arches a brow as he gets closer to Damion just because. The fairest tries to take a better look at the cart and see if, from there, there is a way to find the source of the music that comes from withing the cart.
Tom, just when caught at his most unhelpful, turns on a dime. "Might be able to dig up tools from.... somewhere, and help if you want it," he offers to Damion. "Though the man's right. Fair trades are demanded all around. What's going on at the Market that you're hightailing it out and got stuck out here?" You might think Tom ignored the music, but only if you missed the swivel of ears and the way they fully perk up. And not just in appreciation; the sound draws attention, after all.
The spiny man nods to Damion, muttering an embarrassed, "Thudlump." Hearing the cricket, he frowns to himself, blinks, then looks back at the cart before sighing and dragging a heavy woolen blanket forward to attempt to muffle the sweet song. That fails, too, though at least it's a tiny smidge quieter. "Pain. Any burst of pain'll do it," he mutters toward Rorschach and Tom, glum. "It won't shut up until it's sung the entire thing, either."
Oberon's inspection of the cart reveals a series of well-secured boxes and chests, a rolled up bedroll and a cloak quite fully large enough to double as another blanket. There is also a pair of sturdy boots which seem to be made, oddly enough, of brilliant galaxies, swirling slowly in the infinite distance of space.
Damion nods to Rorschach, "I have a Contract that might be able to help..." And since he's never actually used this cart before, he should be able to fix it without spending any Glamour. Wonderful Catches. He bends down to peer under the cart, trying to see how bad the axle is broken. He nods to Thudlump, not commenting on the unfortunate name. "Hmm." He stands up, considering the cart. Then he takes one of his gloves off, and slams his fist into the wood of the side of it, making sure to keep it too lose and improperly angled so that it does mild damage. He grunts softly at the pain, waggling his fingers.
Rorschach watched for now, though his antennae betrayed his focus swaying one then the other back and forth withthe song while idly watching not the cart, not the man, but the surrounding area. Take your eyes to any one thing and you can be ambushed. Such was the mind of the perpetually paranoid. Still though at the notion that it had to play out the song, Rorschach scooped Chester, tiny cricket, out of his pocket still playing along withthe cart in joyous oblivion. He pointed to himself and the bequilled man in comisseration. They were in the same boat there. His head-punctuation stood upright when Damion slammed his finst into the cart and quickly covered his cricket with both hands. No smashy the bug next! He signed with one hand to the troupe observing <<Still doesn't explain what was up there>>
Oberon watches the scene with attention and, just in case, steps a few paces backwards from Damion to let the huge dragon does his thing in peace. The content of the cart, so far, ignored as the Flowering gets closer to Rorschach.
"Man, that's not much an answer as to what was up." Tom, translating the buggy skepticism for that answer, casts his own paranoid glance about, though not as well practiced nor attuned as the roach by far. "Where did you get the pain music makers, Thudlump?"
As one would expect, Damion's punch promptly resets the singing item, whatever it is, the sweetly lilting Lithuanian song beginning all over again.
Thudlump sighs. Loudly.
He also starts unpacking items in the cart, drawers pulled out to display odd items which look like so much junk on the surface, as well as a few moldering old scrolls. Glass soda bottles, rings, a chipped coffee mug, a few dirty friendship bracelets, single earrings, a paperback book half-burnt, half-water warped, and more, are all set out where they can be perused.
"The Wild Roses don't want competition," is all he'll say on the subject of why he was kicked out of the Market, glum again, and wary, looking quickly over his shoulder. "I've gotta get out of here before sundown. Um." The song, repeating itself, swells with affectionate longing for something nobody can understand -- unless any of our heroes happens to speak Lithuanian. "If you guys help me fix my cart, and don't tell the Wild Roses I did business with you, you can each take any one thing in that cabinet. Got 'em mostly from trades with other customers. Gewgaws, minor contracts."
Damion nods his head. "Sounds reasonable." He bends down to examine the axle again. "I think I should be able to do something here." He crawls under the cart to the axle, laying on his back. Pulling a rag out of a pocket he'd used for polishing before, he wraps it around the broken area, letting the Glamour flow out of his hands as he attempts to fix it. The axle slips back into place, the cloth merging with the material and making it seem as though it's fully whole again. Then he crawls back out again. "Well...I wasn't quite able to make it permanent. But it should last you until this time tomorrow. Hope that'll be enought o get you somewhere safer."
Oberon arches a brow at the other Lost's offering and glances around at all the items being shown while Damion does the dirty job. He bites his lower lip in hesitation."Would you have, by any means, Sight of Truth and Lies?" He asks as his gaze trails calmly around until meeting the salesman.
TOYS. To a feline mindset, Thudlump offers a set of goodies that at least are worth batting around and examining by shoving off a shelf. Tom's interest is caught by the odds and ends. "They gonna beat us up too for dealing with the likes of you?'" Tom sounds excited at the prospect of a dustup. Of course he does. Chances are good that half of his prophetic radar drawing him to the Hedge is just a fine sense for where the trouble is at.
Rorschach held up a hand to Oberin as if to hold on a second. The Roach looked to Tom and there was a fleck of green to violent in those abyssal sockets of his and still, held up a finger to Oberon as if wait a moment. The bug flicked the stick to the side to free up his hands and put the cricket on his head before singing, again, reiterating <<The Goblins of the Market sent you packing. These stolen? Undercut? Break Market rules? They gonna come after us if we trade. Danger severly lowers traveling value, dude. THere's the hastle of keeping my limbs attached for tradin goods, yo>> It was a fair question. Why was he fleeing. <<They still in pursuit?>> This... amused him and there was a turn of an amused grin to scarred lips. he seemed to be in complete agreement withthe Cat.
Damion stands next to Rorschach, and sighs before translating what the roach is saying to the Lost trader. He supposses it being just a simple matter was too much to hope for. Then finally he says, "And...what do any of these actually do?" He gestures at the various trinkets and whatnot on display in the cart. He also points at the galaxy boots. "And what do those do, while you're at it?"
Thudlump watches Damion's repair of the cart with hastily (and poorly) concealed fascination and relief, the spiny man wringing his hands until Oberon's question catches his attention. After a brief rummage through the drawers, he comes up with a rolled up piece of .. something. It looks sort of like vellum, but it isn't as smooth, and it's bound shut with a single grubby red ribbon sealed with an impression of an open eye on glass-clear wax. "You've gotta let it melt in hot water, and drink all of the water." He holds it out toward Oberon, waiting for the man to take it. "Don't ask what it's made of." Pause. "You -really- don't want to know."
Tom's query draws a quick shake of the carter's head and an honest, "Not if you don't advertise it," along with a vaguely offended, "I traded for that fair and square." Turning to look at Damion, he considers his options, considers the time of day, and nibbles on his lower lip. "Boots're just hedgespun. Don't do anything but look good. Guy traded them to me for a golden cow I had. And its shit. What am I supposed to do with heaps of golden cow shit?"
Still... the reminder of what the Wild Roses might do to him seems to have made him nervous all over again. Quickly tucking together pouches of goods, he tugs the drawstrings tight, one by one, and tries to hand them off to the other changelings. "Change of plan! You take these, you pretend I was never here, yeah? I REALLY don't want to get caught on their territory at sundown."
Rorschach signed to the guys and preened a bit signing <<Sparkle boot s remind me of me. Super pretty. Very shiny.>> It wasn't that he was UNinterested, but the Roach was very big on survival. He was also very wary of pissing off the market. The Roach nodded in agreement to him still... eyeing the boots. They didn't do shitbut ya know there was a purpose for everything. He looked to Tom and drew a Z in the air with a wry grin. He considered and wrote on paper this time in his notebook: 'I cna do one better if the boots are involved too. I can point you shortest direction out of the area.'
Oberon bites his lower lip and glances at the other Lost boys to check on them if he should pick the Contract he is wanting to have for so long. But the Flowering is smart enough to let the more experienced ones deal with the whole situation.
Tom simply tells Oberon, "I'm not gonna get in your way, but definitely don't ask what you're drinking. Ignorance is sometimes bliss." His suggestion to the merchant? "Golden manure probably grows some interesting shit. Bet you could make a killing in the crap business." He takes his sweet time, even if the offer of stuff is now an urgent thing for the guy.