Log:Wait and Bleed
|Wait and Bleed|
29 November, 2018
Charlie goes in search of ingredients, and Raymond has to go out to find her.
Out of the Box, The Hedge
It's not the weekend and that means Ray's at work in the afternoon. For now, he's tidying up. Sweeping up errant dust and bits of paper that have collected on the floor since the morning. The uniform shirt color for today is a poweder blue that doesn't go too well with his jeans and tennis shoes. He's near the front of the store now, occasionially taking a glance outside while Christmas music plays over the speakers.
He is not where he should be. Not where he is known to go and be. The warehouse. The house. Eventually an exhausted Signe, pawsore and panting, flops against the door of the toy store. A moment to gather herself, and she whines and yelps, rearing up and slapping at the door, scraping it with claws. The door is going to have some interesting marks for a while from those over-sharp claws.
Ray's a bit too busy to hear the yelp, humming along to 'This Christmas.' The slapping at the door does get his attetion as he tosses the broom away. He walks to the door, brow knit in confusion until it's opened for the pup of a hedge beast. "Come in, Signe. If you're here for treats you should've gone by the warehouse."
There's a look to see if there are others within earshot before the pup speaks up, and not with barks. "Not home. In Hedge. In trouble." This ends in a worried whine and ears are laid back.
Because of COURSE she went alone. Just for a minute.
"Ah shi-" Raymond rushes behind the counter, grabs his cellphone, and begins tapping away. After a few moments he whistles for the dog to come. "I'm locking up, and have someone coming in to take care of things. What I'm gonna need you to do is lead me there if you can." Then he's gone again, and into the back room. "Come on. The hollow is through here, and then we can go to my house for me to get my things."
Signe moves stiffly, black fur spikey here and there and wet looking as she trots into place behind him. "I can try." It's harder, since she ran from place to place to hunt for him. Hurrying behind him, she dances on her front feet and alternates displays of excitement with that ear-back worry and a slight tail tuck of concern.
"You're a good girl, Signe. I'll make sure you get all the treats I got, but you're gonna need to wait in the Hollow. He may be as close to happy as he can be in a state of anger, but he's still not blind enough to forget that he is not taking the hedge beast around the dogs. It takes him but a moment to retrieve his swords, two spears and armor. He's at least used to putting it all on, and it takes a bit of effort to do so. He hates wasting time, but he promised not to be as foolish when going out into the Hedge. The iron is supremely lost on him as the finaly clasp of a guantlet is set into place.
"C'mon, Signe," he says when reaching the hollows door with enough metal on him to build a boat or two. He hefts up the largest sword on his shoulder when the door is opened, and he takes a deep breath of the cold air. "I wish I had a nose like hers right about now."
Signe waits, but it's an antsy, anxious waiting. Shifting and wriggling, there's low whines and mutterings while she waits. When he returns, she bounds up and circles fast, almost catching her tail. "My nose." Signe points out, darting out into the wintery weather and turning in a wide circle to find her bearings. The shifting Hedge makes it hard, but soon enough she's leading him on a windy course.
How much time did she waste hunting in all the wrong places first?
"Yes, your nose." Raymond is keeping it together, if nothing else but for the fact that it isn't the dog's fault as far as he knows. Instead he does what he's best at. Bottling up that rage until he has something to point it at. "YOu sure you know the way," he asks the hedge beast. "The faster you do find her, the faster I can give you more steak than you weigh." Just like dealing with children he tries bribery to speed things up.
It's a side path, one not oft used and with the brambles of the Hedge closing in. Fur is lost in the pups passing, and he thorns screeee along the dent and fixed and polished armor. Charlie opted to leave some scars, let it tell a tale.
The pup growls, and a few steps further and Raymond is slapped in the face with the stink of blood. It's everywhere. A trail of it running into a pile of rocks.
Circling the rocks are a trio of big things. Big and bear-like with thick pelt sprouting up between armored looking plates. Like an armadillo crossed with a bear with the face of a gator and long, rending claws. Blood paints the rocks and is running from a crevice between them into a large puddle.
The scent of blood is nothing too new to Raymond, but he isn't as able to pick out much from it. He turns to shoot a sidelong glance at Signy. "Is this her blood?" This is asked with his sword waved in the general direction of the creatures. There's a good chance that regardless of the dog's answers that there may be trouble ahead.
"Yes." It's a chuff, the little Hedgebeast draws on the strength of Stone, that robust, small package becoming more so, muscle cording and bulging under the black fur of the little shadow wolf.
Yes? That was all Raymond needed to hear. All that rage and anger and upset floods from him. The power of his mantle and connections to the Wyrd suffuse him and the surrounding area. Plant life seemingly dries up and dessicates itself from his presence, and he roars. More to gain the attentions of the beasts than anything else. "Where is she?" he shouts, because surprise has never been the purview of the Fairest.
It's chaos once the bear things realize others have joined the goings on in the little nook of the Hedge. Blood still flows, which is good, maybe? But it lures the biggest of the crocodilian ursines to try and reach into the crevice Charlie has wedged her broken self into. It's a narrow gap, and it reaches, but not far enough at the right angle to grab hold of her.
The second turns and hiss-roars, charging at the black pup and tearing a huge, multi-clawed gash in the side of the small wolf. A sneeze away from being disembowled, she still turns and grabs hold of the edge of an armor scute, ripping it off with a gush of blood and a howl from the beast.
The third of the Beasts cross the distance to Raymond, moving fast, and snapping jaws down on the armored surface, making the metal squeal as it is deeply scored by the bite of the thing.
The sword's already been hefted off his shoulder, and he holds it steady on the ground. As the first beast attacks he's ready for it. He kicks up the sword, and in the act claps the side of the blide against the crocobear's shoulder. In the next breath and with as much eleagance as one can expect from a Fairest wielding a sword almost as big as them he brings the blade to bear against the beast's hide.
Unable to reach Charlie, the biggest bruin heads for Raymond, hitting armor and not getting much purchase. The second finishes what it started, tearing into Signe and leaving the pup in -bad- shape, some of her innards bulging out of the terrible wounds to become outards. Still, she manages to lock jaws and tear out the thigh of the beast, getting covered in the things blood as the artery is town and it collapses a moment later to bleed out.
First Charlie and now Signe. Ray's getting about mad as ever now. The heat that radiates off him would've had the beast sweating if it weren't for their alien visages. From one beast to the next he moves without missing a beat. The damage to the armor appears inconsequential to him as he brings his blade across the remaining beast in a half moon pattern that likely bloodies the blade. Even when it's dead Ray hasn't had quite enough as he digs that just a bit deeper.
The bloodied pup tries to turn and lick at the awful wound that's opened her up and falls over, panting, dirt clinging to the exposed coil of intestine and the darker red of her liver's edge where it peeks between the lacerations. There's no movement from the rocks, either, leaving Raymond with the downed beasts and dog.
Ray grunts, clearly still pissed off to the high heavens at the beast. Then he remembers why he came here. First he checks on the pup, swearing under his breath. From his usual sack he pulls out a few of the healing hedge fruit to at least help along most of the healing. Then he moves on to the crevice that Charlie's hiding. "Charlene," he calls to her, clearly anxious for what kinda response he might get.
There's silence before a groan. She's wedged herself in tight to avoid the claws, and the blood makes everything slippery. A hard effort makes more blood splatter down and she manages to stretch a hand out. Wriggling is exhausting, and she more or less sort of... puddles out of the tight crevice, torn from stem to stern by the claws of the beasts he and Signe killed.
Raymond starts swearing. It's about all he can do after calling her name the once. He reaches into his sack to recover the remainder of the healing fruits. Kneeling down at her side he begins feeding them to her until she has enough strength to start eating them on her own. "What in the fucking name of all that's all Holy told you to just come out here?"