Logs:A Fairy, A Hunter & A Vampire Enter A Hedge

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A Fairy, A Hunter & A Vampire Enter A Hedge
Dramatis Personae

Nemo, Lisbeth, Aurore

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

xxxxxAfter 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.

xxxxxIt 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!

xxxxxThe 4'4" bug darts ahead, comes back, darts ahead, comes back.

xxxxxWhy 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.


xxxxxUpon 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..."

Lisbeth tries, albeit probably unsuccessfully, to broach the issue of Nemo's tininess. Sadly, it's hard to awe someone into giving up their secrets when they're focused on...Well, giving up their secrets on their terms.

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!

xxxxxWhen Nemo finds what she wants, she whoops, then hushes herself, pointing at .. a tree.

xxxxxTechnically, 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."

xxxxxShe points at the arch.

xxxxx"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."

xxxxxAs 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?"

Lisbeth nods along with the explanation. Though the look on her face is vacillating between dubious and interest. "I never told you about the Masquerade, Nemo." she mutters, looking to the side so that she can't see the look on Nemo's face at that comment. Was there a hint of jealousy in that statement? Or was it hurt? Maybe.

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?"

Voices in the orchard are not exactly normal, at least not at night. Seated with her back to a tree a dozen yards away, Aurore emerges from her spirit-communing trance to hear a conversation even more unusual than the one she was just having in the Shadow. For as long as it takes her to adjust to being wholly back in her body, she remains silent and still... which lets her identify the two voices. Her brows lift, her head cocks, and she tries to forget out whether - or how - to make her presence known.

xxxxx"Yeah, well, your people live forever and can't hide worth shit if you know what to look for, and my people have had centuries to study everything which could kill us." Pause. "Which is pretty much anything. I mean, on average, until we get really fucking weird, we're not exactly Superman." Nemo frowns to herself and shakes her head, clarifying, "What I MEAN is that we have entire groups which spend all their time collecting data about, you know, every other magical creature out there. Masquerade included. We don't want to walk into shit with our eyes closed."

xxxxxThe 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.

xxxxxThe 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...

xxxxxNemo warns Lisbeth, patient, "I look really different under the magic. That magic doesn't work in there." She points at the gate.

xxxxxAaaand 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?"

"Clearly, you've never met an elder." Lisbeth drawls by way of reply to the whole "vulnerable until we get weird" thing. "Great. So, what...You know about my history before getting...Y'know?" she says, extending two fingers like they're fangs and mock-plunging them into her throat with a suitably comedically horrified expression.

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!

Then, just to make sure that things are in no danger at all of getting awkward or weird, there are sounds of movement... and Aurore steps out from behind her tree. She doesn't risk approaching closer than her present dozen yards or so... but she is very clearly seeing who and what is there. Her brows lift, her head cocks, and she completely fails to panic or freak out in the sort of way that mere mortals are generally expected to when it comes to the overtly supernatural.

Indeed, "huh" is her whole initial comment.

xxxxxNemo blinks at Lisbeth's reaction, then bursts out laughing, antennae flicking down against her scalp, then right back up again in sudden surprise as she steps wrong, loses her balance and ends up splatting flat on her back, wings splayed. Must be sturdy enough not to hurt.

xxxxxAlso? Still laughing.

xxxxx"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.

xxxxxAntennae 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--"

xxxxxAnd there, she pauses, bright eyes narrowing, antennae abruptly flicking down, because there is an Aurore in sight. "Well, fuck."

Splat is indeed a good worth where bugs are concerned. "So, uh... About those drinks." she starts to say, about to broach the topic of what her blood even -was- before noticing Aurore.

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.

Aurore slowly raises a hand in greeting to Nemo, waving slightly... before blinking and lifting her brows at Lisbeth. "Huh", she repeats, before shaking her head. "Please. It's not as if opening strange gates is an unique ability in this family." Her magical voice is dryly amused. "But I apologise for interrupting. I was here" - she points behind the tree to where she was sitting. "In a trance. I came around to find, well... *this*. Wow."

xxxxxNemo's short-shorts are a little bit TOO short. They don't entirely conceal the pale blue blinking of the booty beneath them, firefly flashes sending semaphores to the unseeing universe.

xxxxxThe 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?"

xxxxxAnd, 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.

xxxxxPatience 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."

"Aurore, I really don't wa---" Lisbeth starts to say, wincing as Nemo touches her arm. She hesitates for a moment, scuffing one trendy boot against the ground like a chastisted child before nodding. "Fine." she says, half agreeing, half whining at the prospect of not dealing with the situation her way. What -was- she about to do to 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.

Aurore arches a brow as Lisbeth moves closer... then cocks her head as the vampire steps through the gate. She takes one step away to snare her pack from behind the tree, then hurries to catch up - also eyeing Nemo's derriere with startled interest. "That... is indeed rather impressive," she agrees.

xxxxxNemo hesitates, pique interrupted, then lifts her wings a smidge so she can clap her hands over her rump and glaaaare at Lisbeth. And Aurore, since she was staring too. "Not you, too! Elmo uses it as a fucking nightlight." And my, what images THAT evokes. Sleeping in bed and having one's husband yank one's pants down to bare a flashy ass...

xxxxxThe 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.

xxxxx"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."

xxxxxDropping down thirty feet?

xxxxxNnnoooot a problem.

xxxxxThe tiny Summer just hops out of the tree the way a regular person would hop down from a table, landing easily.

Lisbeth snorts out a laugh at that image, while mentally filing away that Elmo -knows- too. Interesting. "Honey, could you back that ass up for me please? I need to finish this chapter." she says in a sing-song voice in her best grouchy Elmo voice. At least the humor of the situation diverted any hostility she might have towards Aurore.

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.

Aurore is... fascinated rather than overwhelmed. She's managing to tag along and keep up, evidently anxious not to get left behind - but she seems to find 'in another realm of existence' to be profoundly interesting rather than deeply disturbing. Still, she also double-takes at Nemo's jump, but was a step or two slower in trying to dart forward. "...a night light? Seriously?", she asks. "I... can just about imagine him doing that, yes." Lisbeth's impersonation merits a quick flash of a smile.

xxxxxNemo, 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?"

xxxxxWhich she can, technically. It isn't, now.

xxxxxTo 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.

xxxxxHead turning, she asks Aurore, "Why aren't you freaking out about all this? There something you should be telling -us-?"

"So why do you stay with him then? If he's such a bastard, I mean." Lisbeth says as she scoops Nemo up, ignoring that fluttering of the eyes at her. Aurore for her part gets a shifty, if not somewhat curious look as well. "The sentient firefly makes a good point. Why -aren't- you freaking out? You have a predator that eats humans and a gigantic bug, both of which are family members and both of which just lured you into..." she says, pausing to look around. "Well, where ever this is. A normal human being would be freaking out right now."

Aurore stops peering at their surroundings to blink rather sheepishly at her companions - and double-take again, as she sees that Nemo has now been picked up. "I, ahh... well. I can open a different kind of Gate, myself. And project my spirit somewhere else, too. Among other things." Her shrug is rather apologetic. "There were reasons why I made some of the contributions to the library at the Old Courthouse that I did. *This*... I've never experienced before. Which is why I'm rather distracted. But no, the, ahh, basic concept of travelling somewhere *else*? That's not new to me."

xxxxxNemo lightly bops an antenna into the side of Lisbeth's face, then leans her head back, dangling idly in the vampiress' arms. "Technically I'm a changeling," she points out, "not actually a bug. I was just...uh, sort of warped to end up this way. Freaky enslavement and magical body-mod stuff. Long story short, don't get kidnapped by True Fae, kids. You'll come out thirty years later and find out they've made PREquels to the best movies in the world, and Anakin is such a pussy."

xxxxxYes, her greatest stated concern is that the prequels to the Star Wars trilogy are awful.

xxxxx...Yes, she is a nerd.

xxxxxFor 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.

xxxxx"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."

xxxxxBecause a Wyrd 6 Changeling and an emotionally unstable Vampire are the best compasses out there. Right.

"I'll resist making a quip about body-modding. Especially given how some of -my- kind look. And that's before you remember that we don't need to worry about bleeding out and all that when trying to mess with our bodies." she says, hinting that she's not quite the same as Nemo to Aurore, if she hasn't figured it out yet.

"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.

"Token human, huh?" Aurore shakes her head, but smiles as she does so. "Don't worry. I'll stick close. And it'd seem that your kind are one of the ones I *can't* detect. I had no idea you were, ahh, unusual in this sort of way at all, Nemo. But the little I've read about the Fae would certainly have led me to regard any invitations to go to their realm as something to turn down as politely as possible..."

xxxxxLaughing at the squeezing, Nemo waits until Lisbeth has set her down, then admits, "The skin thing's part of why I haven't been sure about you trying to -bite- me, you know? The Mask...uh, it can hide a lot, and it'd probably do some mind-fuckery on you to make you THINK you weren't having to bite all that hard to poke through, but...dunno. Oh! Right!"

xxxxxPatting 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."

xxxxxTo 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."

Lisbeth has been watching the two of them silently for awhile now. Eerie thing, that. The way she forgets to breathe when she's concentrating on taking in every detail. Never mind the corpse-pallor of her skin under the hedge's version of moon-light. When Nemo talks about feeding though --- Well, she perks up. Fast. And then promptly perks right back down.

"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."

Aurore nods - seemingly in serious agreement, rather than just playing along. "I deal with spirits, rather frequently. Binding, bans, negotiations.... Being careful with words is something I hope that I have osme knowledge of. And if you need to feed, go ahead. Honestly. I can look away if you like, but I'm wary of the effects of this place if I turn my back on you two. But I'm with the Society. Which... probably means nothing, since no one shares the bloody news of it: but we're formally bound by truce with all the civilised supernaturals. Which is fortunate for me, since to a lot of people, I'd count as one. What with the whole 'walking between worlds' thing, and so on. You're honestly in no danger from me."

xxxxxNemo doesn't seem to register the weird stillness thing as anything unusual. When you live with a weird tree guy, looming gets normal, fast.

xxxxx"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."

xxxxxThe 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."

Lisbeth nods, swallowing hard in nervousness. Perhaps an odd act for the woman to do given that she hasn't needed to swallow for anything except consuming blood since her death. Stepping forwards, she gives Aurore a glare that just -screams- "Don't you -dare- make a comment about this.) before leaning down to poke and pinch appraisingly at the spot on the back of her arm that she picked out. "Should I bite?" she says, before popping her fangs. "I mean, if we're going to do this properly we had might as well do that." she adds, lisping some of the words as she speaks.

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.

"She counts as one," Aurore says, nodding towards Lisbeth... while eyeing proceedings with wary interest. "And so do you. I've read the Society's files, for who the truce was agreed with in the past. Quite a range of, ahh, *types* one might say. The basic idea was that we'd all focus on stopping all the really bad things that are drawn to Fallcoast, and not set about murdering each other. Or 'token humans', for that matter. Internal politics within a given grouping weren't to be meddled with, unless they started breaching the truce. There's more than enough in the region to keep all of us busy without turning on each other."

xxxxxThe skin doesn't exactly move much when Lisbeth tries to pinch it. There may be reasons she isn't worried about, you know, scratches from tree branches or walking barefoot on gravel. She doesn't even -feel- it.

xxxxxWhen 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."

xxxxxClearly, her impression of the Kiss is tainted by the way Lisbeth was feeding on that guy below the boardwalk. ;) Talk about vertical sex.

xxxxxLooking 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."

xxxxxAaawwwkwarrrd. 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.

Lisbeth gives Nemo a peevish look at that first remark. "Oh please. I'm not an animal." she says. Yet even as she says it something like expectation, if not eagerness, is slowly crossing her face. Wasting no time, not only because of her bloodlust but also because she really -doesn't- want to focus on that remark about Aurore being a resource, she chomps down on Nemo's arm.

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.

Well... Aurore hadn't anticipated a display like *that*. Now, or at any other time in fact. She stares, mingling fascination with horror and no small degree of professional interest. She's read about 'the Kiss' in the Society's files, but seeing it in action is, well, *startling*. Not quite sufficient to make her wholly forget where they are, and she does spare their surroundings a few wary glances, just in case anything is sneaking up while the more ostentatiously potent supernaturals are preoccupied, but most of her attention remains upon the biter and the bitten.

xxxxxNemo, forewarned, braces herself for .. well, she actually isn't entirely sure what, which may be part of why she fails at resisting it. She does jerk in surprise, though, at the pain, then squirms in place and yelps in an entirely different sort of surprise at the, you know, "What the FUCK is -THAT-??"

xxxxxYep. That is Nemo's reaction to the Kiss.

xxxxxStaring 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.

xxxxxFor 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.

Steak? Nemo being ordered rare sounds just wrong. So we'll move on from that!

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?"

Aurore is now slightly freaked out... but still more fascinated than afraid. Thus far, this is appreciably less terrifying than the last "let's haul the human into another realm" trip that two female supernaturals decided to take her on. Though this one, admittedly, she's not actually sure she could get back out of under her own steam... but she's trying hard not to think about that. And with *glowing blood* to blink at as an aftermath to such evident mutual pleasure, she is presently more than a little distracted from potential future doom.

"That... was quite spectacular," she observes, waving a hand vaguely at their surroundings.

xxxxxNemo eyes her arm as if it had betrayed her, or sprouted a few extra eyeballs, then peers at Lisbeth. "Fuck. Is that what sex feels like?"

xxxxxYes. 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.

xxxxxThe 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?"

xxxxxAfter 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."

xxxxxGlancing 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."

"Actually, from what i've been told my bite is a bit better than sex." Lisbeth says, unable to keep a smug note of satisfaction from her voice. "Did you like it?" she adds after a moment, unable to keep a note of teasing amusement from her voice as she wipes her arms along her mouth to try and clear the blood off that was rimming 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?

Aurore opens her mouth to reply to Nemo... then closes it again, and eyes both her more overtly supernatural companions for a few moments. "Hrmmm. Okay. A few revelations there...." She chuckles softly, shaking her head. The blushberry gets a wary look, but she doesn't move to touch it. "One part of the Society's bargain is that it tries to keep *out* of Fallcoast the organisations that would hunt indiscriminately. Locally, it can bring to bear rather a lot of power. It just doesn't visibly throw its weight around very much, lest it draw attention to itself. But yes, the Leechers are a prime example of what we seek to help against. It seems to be the case that most supernatural groups are very bad at identifying common threats: anything that isn't specifically pestering them, they tend to assume is part of one of the other groups. The Leechers are... vampires in the broadest sense. Blood-suckers that can pass for human, at least temporarily. But they're much more 'world over-run with monsters with shark-toothed maws' than anything suave and sophisticated."

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."

xxxxxNemo being Nemo, she thinks nothing about pulling a dingy old rubber ducky out of the same pocket of nowhere the knife has gone back into.

xxxxxWhy is Nemo acquiring an old yellow rubber duck?


xxxxxOh. 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.

xxxxx"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."

"-Vampires- don't hunt Leechers, no." Lisbeth says, unable to keep a note of agitation (if not outright sadness) out of her voice. An act that is accompanied by her carefully avoiding looking at Aurore to keep from seeing what her reaction to that comment might be. To a more perceptive person the implications behind it might just be kind of incredible. Other than that, she doesn't say anything, apparently deciding that the forest is more interesting as she turns away and sets about trying to clean her mouth off with a more studious bit of effort. Simply wiping her arm across the blood smeared it across her face, after all.

Aurore sighs, then chuckles ruefully. "Spirits and ghosts, I can deal with. The former better than the letter. Demons, I can ward against... and given time, can usually work out somewhat more. Leechers, I've never personally gone up against. But no, we've seen precious little indication of any of the 'major' supernaturals lifting a finger to deal with anything not *immediately* their own concern. It's why the Society brought together an alliance of various 'hunting' groups, and set up the truce. As for the Dawnland...." A shrug and a vague wave of one hand. "Crazy native bullshit that can't possibly have any truth to it," she says dryly. "Basically, the notion is that this part of the continent has an unusual degree of intrinsic power within it: it's the Dawnland. The Wabenaki - the Wabenaki Confederacy is an alliance of the regional tribes - are 'the people of the Dawn'. Guarding the land is stereotypical 'noble savage' primitivism, of course: so virtually everyone will you that there can't be any truth in that, either. But the Wabenaki are so serious about it nowadays that the measure used to determine whether someone can attend and speak at the council fires for the alliance is whether they defend the land, not whether they have native blood. The Dawnland's more important than our lineage. So the few of us who identify as natives are increasingly inclined to ally with whoever we can, to defend it."

xxxxxYeeess. See, in the real world, it would hide better. In this world, it's pretty damned obvious that Lisbeth had an electric blue slurpee.

xxxxx"You missed a spot."

xxxxxNemo, 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-!"

xxxxxShort-er. She forgot the -er.


xxxxxThe 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."

Lisbeth moves to wipe off the rest of the blood. At least now she looked like she had been messing around with electric blue paint and had gotten dirty instead of feasted on an alien being's blood. "Thanks." she says, gratitude evident in her voice. Nodding as Nemo continues to speak, she makes for the gate. She's still avoiding looking at Aurore. Though you can bet that she was paying attention during that little info dump! "Right. So, off we go then I suppose. Lead the way."

Aurore is quite anxious not to find herself stranded here, and thus has the odd experience of hurrying along between a vampire and a part-insect oddity for *safety*. "Does the gate always link the same two points?", she asks. "Or can one or both ends of it move around?"

xxxxxThe little bug reiterates, "Shoo, shoo. Out. There." She points at the gate, and pointedly stops to stay behind so both other women go out ahead of her. "This gate is permanent, now. It'll always be here to link these spots unless and until someone destroys it. We try not to open too many of them in one area, because the Fae can tell there are active Changelings around if they spot a ton of the things in one place. I mean, Fallcoast is stupidly active and has been for the past several centuries, so it's no wonder we've been having problems..." Her tone SHOULD go with rolled eyes, but with her eyes, who'd even know? "We can dig out little Hollows here, though, and put doors to those wherever we want. Like, I can get from Fallcoast to Hanging Hills just by walking a few feet through the Hedge from one gate to another.

xxxxxOnce all three of them are OUT of the Hedge, she waits until the gate closes, watching it to be sure nothing follows them.

Lisbeth nods, sauntering out of the gate. If Aurore takes a look at her it would be evident that her composure is a bit better now, as she gives the other woman a wink with a bit of fang showing before laughing at her own antics and pulling ahead of her. Once they're back through she watches Nemo watch the gate for anything that might have been watching and waiting to come through when it thought they weren't watching. Because voyeurism is in tonight, apparently. "Sooo. I do appreciate you showing me that, Nemo." she says, drawing out that "so" in the way that people who are trying to think of a way to put things are prone to do.

xxxxx"Bet you're gonna wonder what -I'm- seeing whenever you've got my blood all over your face, now," the sparkbug teases, a broad grin turned up toward the taller (who ISN'T taller than she is, now?) vampiress. "It wasn't QUITE that zappy before I, uh, did one too many fairy things." She coughs, dropping her eyes, then looks back up at Lisbeth with mild, but self-directed irritation. "We have to -work- to stay human. Using any of our magic stuff, going to -that- place-" she points at where the gate was, "-and shit like that, and it's always a risk that we're gonna slide more and more toward becoming the kind of thing that took us all away in the first place. I...uh, that's why I shrank. I'm blaming it on Elmo, though. He made me use magic too much, and he's even weirder than -I- am."

Aurore offers Nemo a look of frank concern... though there's still at least a bit of pure *interest* there, as she studies the resumption of the little woman's normal appearance. "That... that was fascinating. And a little frightening to have confirmation of some of the stranger accounts I've read. But thank you. Sincerely. I very much appreciate the trust."

Lisbeth casually waves her hand in front of her face as Nemo continues to speak. "Speaking of seeing fun things." she murmurs to herself, before shaking her head. What sights was she seeing at the moment?

"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.

xxxxxNemo waves a hand at Aurore, lazily flapping away the concern. "I'll be fine. You're family, and you're human. You go out to dark forests at night, alone, and look at shit you shouldn't. You're EXACTLY the kind of person the Keepers would want." She fixes Aurore with a look which would probably have more stern-value if she weren't tit-height on the other woman. "Be careful here. I've gotta get some sleep, though. Some big-wig from out west wants to look at some of my inventions at some fuck-all hour of the morning." She squints up at the sky, scratches her head, then shakes it, bouncing forward to squish Aurore with a hug, then Lisbeth, before poofing. Quite literally. A little poof of dark glitter heralds her sudden transformation to even-shorter Nemo, proper palm-tall fairy sized, and her zippy-speedy flight off toward the house.

Lisbeth hugs Nemo back moments before the poof of glitter occurs. "Ugh! Now people are going to think i'm a Twi-pire or something." she groans, before giving Aurore a somewhat friendly nod. "What she said. Take it from someone who knows and avoid the forests at night. Unless you fancy getting snacked on or abducted to suffer some horrible fate, that is." she says before promptly turning on her heel and walking back towards the estate without waiting for a reply. Presumably to do whatever it is that drugged vampires do when they're high.