Logs:A Fairy, A Hunter & A Vampire Enter A Hedge
|A Fairy, A Hunter & A Vampire Enter A Hedge|
|Dramatis Personae|| |
27 March, 2017
As part of an earlier effort to keep Lisbeth at least marginally mentally stable, Nemo opens a Hedge Gate to show her just what it is she has been nomming on. Aurore stumbles past at just the wrong time, and ends up getting a few revelations of her own...
Hedge near Abernathy Orchard
After dark for the sake of a certain sun-allergic someone, Nemo drags Lisbeth along -- metaphorically, to be sure -- with entirely too much energy, heading through the woods toward the old orchard.
It is also worth noting, since Lisbeth has not seen her since it happened, that Nemo is FOUR INCHES shorter than she was, when last they met... and, very occasionally, those oddly bright blue eyes almost seem to glow. They didn't do that before!
The 4'4" bug darts ahead, comes back, darts ahead, comes back.
Why couldn't she show Lisbeth by LISBETH's house? Should Lisbeth ask the question, the bug's answer is a simple, honest, truth: she has to step out of this world to show Lis what she is, and she'd rather do that where she knows the area. She'll feel safer there. It isn't a safe place to linger.
Upon reaching the orchard at last, the little bug starts looking at the trees, studying them, moving from tree to tree in search of something. "Ah, fuck, come on. Gate, gate, I need a gate..."
And never mind her eyes! She had heard of some vampire's eyes glowing unearthly colors in the dark. Which just brings her back to the last time they met. Which leaves her squirming uncomfortably like a human. Hopefully this time she wouldn't nearly tear apart the teeny bug-lady. Talk about confirming to stereotypes!
Technically, two trees, with branches which were twined around each other once, decades prior, at head height, forming an irregular natural arch. The tiny tinkerer turns to Lisbeth and explains, "So, the way this works, YOU can't see me as what I really am right now because .. uh, we just call it the Mask. Kind of like that Masquerade thing, except magically enforced. Fate makes sure nobody sees shit they shouldn't, 'cause we may have been human originally, but we sure as fuck aren't now."
She points at the arch.
"I can make a gate anywhere there's an opening, I mean, even a gap in hedges or a car window would do. Fuck, a hula hoop held up on a stick would work, too." She shrugs quickly, impatient with the explanation. "It just has to look like something you can walk through. You're not gonna see anything super special on the other side. It'll look pretty much exactly like the orchard does. That's how it tricks you. You know all those stories about kids just wandering off into the woods and getting lost? Like Hansel and Gretel and shit? That's kind of like what THIS is. This is that forest, and it's always a maze, and YOU, especially, never, ever, EVER want to step off the path. From the shit I've read, that'll do some nasty stuff to you, and besides, you're not a fairy. You can't get out without me."
As an afterthought, head tilting to the side, she adds, "Oh, and it'll be pretty creepy, too. Don't worry, though. That's normal. It's a psychoactive feedback loop, so if you're afraid, it'll make you more afraid, and if you feel like you're being hunted by shit, it'll draw hunters TO hunt you. So... uh." She eyes Lisbeth, squinting up at her. "Just relax." Pause. "...Any questions?"
Still, she can't help but let her gaze be drawn back to that gate. "So, if I go through there do I end up like you? Or how did that happen if not? You make this seem sort of dangerous, which is why I ask. I've got to think of my eternity, y'know?"
The little bug, frustrated, just shakes her head and stomps up to the tree. She knocks on a branch and tells it, "Open up, you," with all the casual disrespect of someone talking to a stubborn cabinet door.
The actual gate itself is...nothing special. That is, unless you have a good view through it, and notice that the trees on the OTHER side, do NOT exactly match the trees on THIS side...
Nemo warns Lisbeth, patient, "I look really different under the magic. That magic doesn't work in there." She points at the gate.
Aaaand she steps through, turning around to spread her hands -- hands with a few too many segmented joints, which change whenever nobody is looking. Wings, too, she lifts, in a 'so, what do you think?' gesture. And, being Nemo, she says it, too. "Soooo... what do you think?"
Of course, whatever answer or pithy remark she was hoping to make is forestalled when Nemo steps through the gate and she gets a look at the -real- her.
"Uhhh..." she says, -clearly- all wit and charm in the heat of the moment. Her jaw works for a moment --- a rather human reaction --- as she tries to think of something to say before finally ending up with "Well, I guess I know why drinking with you lead to such weird things happening now. So do I have to worry about growing an exo-skeleton or something?"
And hey, give her credit! She's trying to come up with an unperturbed way of responding to all of this! But her natural vampiric selfishness and her shock at literally drinking bug juice -does- make it hard. Never mind her past as a hunter!
Indeed, "huh" is her whole initial comment.
Also? Still laughing.
"Ahhhh that's great! Your face! Lisbeth, ha, fuck. No." She gets herself under control and picks herself up, then steps forward to wave an arm through the gate with a brief, "It'll close pretty quick if you don't keep going through it," by way of explanation for the arm-waggle.
Antennae perking up again, she settles her wings more tidily against her back while half turning to point, vaguely, off into the distance. "The big crazy fuckers kidnap humans and drag them to Faerie. This is, like, the border land. Long's we stay this close to the regular world, just being in here won't hurt you any. Feeding on me won't hurt you any, either. Oh!" She brightens, perking up again, almost like a little kid with a new toy. "D'you want to see my bl--"
And there, she pauses, bright eyes narrowing, antennae abruptly flicking down, because there is an Aurore in sight. "Well, fuck."
It might say something about the protectiveness she feels towards Nemo even now despite her appearance that she steps between Aurore and the gate, fangs sliding halfway out as she does so. "Not a good time, Aurore." she says, almost lisping the word from behind those monstrous chompers.
Did she even notice her fangs were out? Maybe. If so, one wonders just what it was she wanted to -do- to her. No guesses there, probably. Vampires suck. Literally.
The little bug stares at Aurore, then flings her hands in the air and reaches out to touch Lisbeth's arm, giving her a little tug. "Fine. You saw shit. Can we get IN here so I can stop holding this gate open?"
And, with the casual faith that Fate is ALWAYS there and ALWAYS listening, she huffs an irritable sigh, looks up at the sky, and pledges, "I swear with you as my witnesses that if you get yourselves IN here, I will NOT leave you behind tonight to get eaten by monsters or lost in the Thorns, on penalty of really bad shit." You know, some people treat oaths with Fate with a bit more respect. There's a brief sense of .. Presence, of something settling into place, before the one-sided pledge is bound.
Patience is a virtue she does not possess. The pique of a 4'4" -bug-, with little zaps of lightning arcing between her antennae, is something well worth seeing. She even stamps one little foot. "I want to show Lisbeth my blood already, and we've apparently got a fuckload to talk about with Aurore."
Turning around, she walks towards and through the gate, pausing only briefly to turn mid-heel and...Well, check out Nemo's blinking butt hanging out from inside those too-short-short-shorts. Awkward! "Well that's not something you see every day. You know, Nemo. You could probably give someone an epileptic seizure if you ever decided to take up twerking." she quips as she passes through the gate.
The little bug looks around at the trees on this side of the gate, considering, and walks a bit farther down the path. Because that is one major difference, here: there IS a path. It's not always easy to see, or obvious. Point in fact, in this area it's all but invisible, but the lines of the orchard trees themselves form a meandering trail, and there are the occasional oddly sharp tangles of thorny vines dotting the area to wall them in, undergrowth growing thicker than it should, in the distance.
"I'm a sparkbug, okay? Firefly. I glow." When she comes back, once she gets within five feet of either of them, they feel a sudden, Summery heat as well, which disappears when she scrambles up the trunk of a tree to stare up at the sky through the leafless branches, getting out of range again. "Don't see anything big bad and freaky. I think we're good."
Dropping down thirty feet?
Nnnoooot a problem.
The tiny Summer just hops out of the tree the way a regular person would hop down from a table, landing easily.
Kicking the dirt with the tip of her boot, she can't help but also mutter "Figures the weird version of the estate actually has a path to find your way back."
And of course seeing Nemo fall causes her to try to dash forwards. Try, being the operative word since she's not yet quite gotten a handle on all of her powers. So Nemo has plenty of time to impact with the ground. Something that she tries to paper over by saying "I'll be sure to keep any gigantic bottles away from you, then." in an uneasy voice. Because the idea that she was drinking from a humanoid sentient firefly all these months is a bit squicky, really.
Nemo, hands on hips, just siiiighs at Lisbeth, then shakes her head, antennae flattening a bit. "You think that bastard ever says please? This is -Elmo- we're talking about. Nemo, why did you roll over? I was using the light. Nemo, can't you stop it from blinking?"
Which she can, technically. It isn't, now.
To allay Lisbeth's concern, she flaps a hand a little and twists, lifting a wing. "Falling's never a problem. Like...seriously. Pick me up." She steps over in front of the vampiress, fluttering her lashes over those gently glowing, alien eyes and holding up her arms in a grinning mockery of a little kid.
Head turning, she asks Aurore, "Why aren't you freaking out about all this? There something you should be telling -us-?"
Yes, her greatest stated concern is that the prequels to the Star Wars trilogy are awful.
...Yes, she is a nerd.
For the record, her skin is stiff. Not quite as hard as a real insect's shell would be, more like thick leather, but very glossy-shiny. And warm. The lightning which arcs, near constantly, over her body is nothing worse than a small static shock any time it contacts Lisbeth.
"It's called the Hedge. Like I was telling Lis, do NOT go off the path. I can probably find you again, but this isn't like the normal world. It's... fuck. It's hard to describe. You have to have some idea of where you're going, and it'll .. uh, sort of pick and choose and give you paths which all lead that way. Non-linear space. Also it's always hungry for power or blood or who knows what all, and you tend not to realise you shouldn't be doing stuff like raping babies until you walk out and then go HOLY COW I just did something terrible. So. Token human? Be careful. We'll be your moral compass."
Because a Wyrd 6 Changeling and an emotionally unstable Vampire are the best compasses out there. Right.
"Also, holy crap you're light!" she says, setting the woman down before she floats off or something. But not before giving her a rather inconsiderate squeeze upon noticing how hard her skin is. And then another. Because Lisbeth.exe is on the borders of encountering a critical error.
Patting at her short-shorts as if they will mysteriously acquire pockets, the bug opens her mouth, then closes it on a huff of irritated breath. She concentrates a moment, and closes her fingers around a knife which really wasn't there a second ago. "Go ahead. Back of the arm should be fine. I've got some fruit stashed to heal anything if you cut too deep. I'm curious whether it'll affect you the same way, if you can SEE what it looks like. I mean, it's bound to taste different."
To Aurore, the bug admits, "I found out about Lis by accident. She's family, yeah? I try to help out." And she does not display any of the unnatural adoration of someone who has been blood bound. If Aurore recalls, it was Lisbeth leaping to Nemo's defense, not the other way around. "Definitely avoid any Fae who've come to call, though, and be super careful about what you promise. We can, uh." She scratches her head, left antenna flicking irritably to rid it of a ticklish spark. "We're sort of part of that whole legend about not pissing off the little folk. Oaths are real. Lying's a bad idea."
"You want me to -that- with you --- y'know, here? In front of her?" she says, all but twiddling her thumbs in embarassment. If she could blush, she would! Feeding was akin to sex for her kind, after all. "Isn't that dangerous? I mean, if you want I can. But it gets me really...Well, you know."
"I want you to--huh? Oh." Nemo's antennae dip down at first in confusion, then lift again as she realises what Lisbeth means. "Uh. Yeah? I mean, it'd just be a taste, and she-" she points at Aurore with the knife, which somehow doesn't seem that safe, "-says it's okay. This is supposed to be a show and tell about how freaky I am so you get it in your head that you're REALLY not as much of a weirdo to me as you think you are. My best friends are peacocks, trees, inanimate objects and dead people."
The sparkbug turns her head toward Aurore to ask, "News? Share news! Also, which of us qualify as civilised and which of us don't? 'Cause when Elmo farts in bed, I feel pretty uncivilised."
Even so, she eyes the buggy carapace. Have you ever been hungry when confronted with a meal that was foreign and visually unappetizing? That queasy feeling should be familiar to you if so. Because that's how she felt right now.
When the vampiress asks about BITING her, Nemo blinks a bit, frowns to herself, then gives a reluctant shrug. "As long as you can keep yourself from humping me against a tree or something, I guess."
Clearly, her impression of the Kiss is tainted by the way Lisbeth was feeding on that guy below the boardwalk. ;) Talk about vertical sex.
Looking to Aurore, she lets out a thoughtful, "Huh," and tilts her head, antennae flicking away a small spark. "We don't much care what people do, either, unless they're, you know, hunting us down to murder us or turn us into slaves -- again-" here, she glances at Lisbeth and sticks out her tongue, which, for the record, is also blue, and also glows, "-or shit like that. I mean, it's not like we're necessarily competing for resources."
Aaawwwkwarrrd. Belated realisation that, you know, Aurore is one of those resources. She suddenly finds all sorts of things to look at which -aren't- the 'token human' in their little trio.
You know how Lisbeth once said, oh so long ago, that biting her would be fine? That it wasn't a big deal for the victim and vampire? Well...She may have lied just a -teeny- tiny bit. For Nemo, there's the sound of a crunch followed by a sharp pain, followed by a feeling approaching that of a full body climax.
Which might explain just why it was she was practically humping that poor tourist on the boardwalk.
For Lisbeth though? It's arguably even better. Hunger is the best spice, after all. And when mixed with the bliss of feeding and Nemo's special sort of blood the result quite literally has Lis closing her eyes and basking in the sensation as she starts to suck and drink from her Changeling family member.
Yep. That is Nemo's reaction to the Kiss.
Staring at Lisbeth's head, then giving Aurore a look of vague bewilderment, she grits her teeth and manages a distracted, "Yeah, this may have been a stupid idea." Unlike Lisbeth, the changes the bug makes on the Hedge are quite noticeable...but no, no tentacle rape plants. The undersides of leaves seem to be glowing faintly, there are odd blue fireflies sometimes, and there is the occasional sense of warmth, like the sun peeking through clouds.
For Lisbeth, in addition to the peculiar impossibilities Nemo's blood always tastes like -- candied flower petals or a really, really good steak, the beach on a sunny summer day, anything Lisbeth can't normally taste -- in the normal world, here in the Hedge, without the Mask to get in the way of true perceptions, the blood has a decided sizzle to it. Ever had Pop Rocks? The way they snap crackle and pop on your tongue? Yeah. Like that, except electricity, with the faint hint of ozone and, of course, a rush of genuine emotion. Good thing Lis wasn't already angry. Also there's the fact that, you know, it's a vivid luminescent Yautja like fluid, white-cyan instead of green.
As for Lisbeth? Well, she detaches from Nemo fairly quickly. She was smart enough to realize that engaging in something like feeding in a place like this was probably not smart. Still, nothing prepares her for the realization that the blood is...Well, not really -blood- per say. At least, in the human sense.
Smelling something odd about it, she reaches up to dab a bit of blood off onto her index finger. It's only when she gets a look at it that her eyes go wide as her shoulder's scrunch up a bit, making a small "Neeehhh." sound in a squicked out tone of voice meant to express discomfort.
As for Aurore? Well, she gives her a perfunctory look to see if this was all okay to her. If that look of fascination was still on her face she'd paper over her discomfort with the sheer weirdness of this situation with a saucy little wink. "Like what you see, Aurore?"
"That... was quite spectacular," she observes, waving a hand vaguely at their surroundings.
Yes. This is the awkward conversation the cousin-in-law has with her fellow Abernathys while standing in another reality in the middle of the night.
The fact that her arm has glowing blue stuff on it doesn't bother her, and, more to the point, she doesn't seem to have any trouble seeing in the dark, either, since she just wanders off with a curious, "So...what DO the Hunters do, if they aren't hunting US? Like, who are the bad guys who -aren't- on that treaty thing?"
After a little bit of searching, she dives under a bush and whoops, wriggling about and rustling branches. When she comes out from under it, she has three little pinkish purple berries in hand, and pops one into her mouth. "Blushberries. Aaaaand good as new. Also why I told you not to worry about taking too much blood." She tries to toss one of the berries at Lisbeth's chest, but misses, the little fruit rolling on the dirt and leaves toward Aurore instead. "I'm not good at the healing humans shit, but some of us can make them into drinks or food or, fuck-all, massage oils, whatever. Normally they just taste weird to you. Goblin fruit."
Glancing at Lisbeth, she cautions, a bit more wary, "If anyone ever offers you some Bloodroot, say no. It's a drug for Kindred that grows out here, gives you food, and there are groups that try to do some shitty things to your people by getting 'em hooked on it."
"And hunters mostly track and keep the peace. They do go after monsters, but most them don't go after vampires or other similar creatures. Think stuff like Leechers, that -deserve- to die.." she says, subbing in for Aurore's answer perhaps a bit suspiciously. How the hell did -she- know that, after all? And never mind the venom with which she mentions Leechers deserving to die! Who talks like that (or even knows of them!) for no good reason?
Such as her glowy-mouthed cousin, naturally.
"But I've investigated ghosts, banished a demon, dealt with a *lot* of spirits, shot a zombie off a motorcycle.... There are far too many things going on here. The Dawnland is a place of real power, and a *lot* of entities and cultists and others want to exploit it."
Why is Nemo acquiring an old yellow rubber duck?
SQUEAK-y SQUEAK-y SQUEAK-y!
Oh. That's why. All of the blood is gone, and she is perfectly clean. Of course, now she has loudly squeaked a rubber duck in the Hedge at night, which means she is not so subtly looking around to verify that nothing nearby is going to get all rowdy about it.
"Dawnland?" she questions, followed by, "Sssoooo do Vampires hunt those Leecher things too? Sounds like you know them, Lis." She glances back at Aurore, then barks a quiet laugh and admits, "I'm ghost inept. Totally blind to all that shit. In case you ever need to know, though, they can't go poof in here. Twilight doesn't exist in THIS realm, and there are, like, a tiny handful of ways to get into the Underworld, usually guarded by shit you don't want to go near."
"You missed a spot."
Nemo, so helpful, goes up to Lisbeth and reaches toward her face to point at the spot she 'missed' when she was cleaning. "Also, fuck this, and fuck cabinets. And step stools." She scowls. "I hate being -short-!"
Short-er. She forgot the -er.
The little sparkbug nods to Aurore, frowning for a different reason, and suggests, "Speaking of defending the land... we should probably get back to the regular world." The blushberry she had tossed at Lisbeth is thriftily scooped up, brushed off, and tucked away into lost space before she heads back toward an unremarkable section of path and triggers the gate again. "You two should get out, first, just in case. I pledged to make sure you wouldn't get lost out here."
Once all three of them are OUT of the Hedge, she waits until the gate closes, watching it to be sure nothing follows them.
"We can talk later. I need to go lay down for a bit. Or go out dancing. Or beat the snot out of someone. I'm not quite sure which. Plus, we have a spy here." she says with a grin, being sure to make sure that the grin was meant at least somewhat non-threateningly towards Aurore. She was partially rambling in that stream of consciousness sort of way, partially actually telling the truth.
To roughly paraphrase a certain comedian, changeling blood is one hell of a drug.