(2018-01-19) Don't Feed The Plants
Don't Feed The Plants
Summary: A fruit run in the Hedge turns into a rescue mission
Date: IC Date (2018-01-19)
Related: None
Player Characters: Denver, Eddie, Finn, Grayson, Penny, Tyla

A gate is opened and taken downtown and into the hedge our group of intrepid adventurer's go! …to find themselves on an overgrown stretch of road?

Beneath their feet is a stretch of what appears to be something similar to asphalt, but not quite. Gray and granite colored, with speckles of tar and … rubber? This part of the hedge doesn't seem to have gotten the notice that it's winter for a hot sun bears down unforgivingly from above.

Thorns and brambles have closed in. There's a spot of "asphalt" around them, but the path forward and back is overgrown and treacherous.

…the hedge is deafeningly silent.

It's been a long time since Finn was in the Port Angeles. Well except he's been here since October and just has no memory of it til a week ago. Getting a call from Tyla was a surprise, both because he didn't think anyone would remember him, and because his old phone number was associated with the weird new phone he woke up to.

As they venture into the Hedge, Finn shades his eyes and shrugs his peacoat off, stuffing it in his backpack. "Can we just move here where it's not freezing?" he mutters. He misses Galveston and the very mild winters. He eyes the brambles however, and adds, "Provided we get a really good gardener."

"Christ, it gets uglier every time." Eddie looks around in every direction, spinning all the way around, then spitting on the ground when he comes to a stop. "Just… keep calm, keep your eyes open, and try not to run screaming into the sea." That last part seemed to be aimed at Finn. Mean. "Let's get what the hell we came for and dust." He takes a position toward the front this time. He doesn't look like he enjoys it.

Penny is all rested up from her previous jaunt. So when she heard that there was a group out on a hunt and gather session, she was raring to go. She doesn't have much for protection, save a jacket and big stompy boots. But she does have a baseball bat. It's something. And hey, she hasn't seen Finn in a long time, so it's nice to have a Fairest to make googoo eyes at. Goodnaturedly of course. She taps the ground curiously. "What is this, hedgesphalt?"

Hedge fruits. Something that can possibly heal and do other such things. This has certainly gotten Grayson's attention. He has now snuck out past Velvet somehow, not that he had to, but she's nowhere to be seen. He's also, once again, wholly unprepared to go into the Hedge, if there is such a thing as prepared. Apparently curiousity has a bit more sway then sense, or even preservation. He sticks to the back, dressed in his all too inappropriate clothes, it seems they are all he knows. As they enter and the road appears, his eyes widen, and he looks around the place. It's always a new adventure. He might not totally understand the danger of this place just yet, despite the constant appearance of Hounds. He's quiet though, almost forgettable.

Oh look, a gate! Oh look, there's people even going into the gate. Here Denver thought it was going to be hard to meet up with people in town. A few quick steps are taken to try to catch up, the ogress hoping into the gate after the last of them have gone inside. The unfamiliar woman pauses just inside, hefting a rather massive sword, almost as big as she is, up over a shoulder while looking over the collected Lost. "Looked like you guys might need a little hel—" There's a pause, crimson eyes widening for a moment as she starts to scan the area, having never seen anything like it. "What the hell is wrong with your Hedge?"

"Thank you everyone for c-coming." Tyla says to the group as a whole, smiling around. She can find the gates, she can find the fruit but going into the Hedge alone is never a good idea. And she's been trying to keep an eye out for new old people anyway. And hey, a new, new person too! "This time I'm looking for something that looks like an eggplant, and some apples. I d-don't want to touch anything else!"

Tyla gives a nervous little laugh as she keeps an eye on Grayson. When Denver speaks up, Tyla looks up and over at Denver with a smile, a bit more welcome than before. "That's a very g-good question!" Tyla says and gives a little shrug, making the I don't know sound. She looks down at the ground, squatting to get a good look. "Path kinda goes this way." Tyla gestures in a direction. "C-can anyone d-do that thing that Liska d-did?" Because if not, it might be a short trip.

Finn uncaps the document tube he's had slung over his shoulder and pulls out a quiver. With the coat off, there is a compound bow visible strapped to his back. He pulls on a pair of specialized gloves from his pack, then unhooks the bow from the little harness that holds it, and settles the quiver over his right shoulder. He's rusty, he thinks. Unless he's been practicing in the months he can't recall. If so, he hopes his body remembers what his mind doesn't. Shooting an ally in the ass would be a bad way to kick off his return to Port Angeles. "What's a Liska?" he asks. No help there.

Eddie stares at Denver with those big unblinking eyes of his when she steps through. His right hand twitches, but that's all. On the one hand, she's a stranger. On the other hand, she's an ogre with a huge sword. He looks at the rest of the group and does some math and decides: "Why don't you walk up here with me and we'll tell you all about it." He just shakes his head at Tyla. Nope.

The world seems to shiver and twitch around them. Tyla points out a small, small path between some thorns. The ground underneath that path changes going from hedgesphalt to cobblestone. Coppery colored dirt between black and gray broken stones and rocks. As the path gets a little more inspected the group can see that the thorns have grown up over … buildings?

Yes… this looks remarkably like they might be on the hedge affectionately called The Lonely Highway…

Right?

That's what they called it?

In the distance there's the soft sound of laughter.

"Yeah, what is wrong with our - waaaaaait a minute." Penny double takes at the new entry. "Who are you, firelady? Where did you come from? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?" She bristles a little, but when she realizes 1)FIRE LADY and 2) Eddie is talking to her, she calms down. And then…the sound of laughter. "Hey. That's my gimmick."

There's a brief moment where Denver turns her face up towards the hot sun, letting the heat wash over her. The flames around her hair flicker up and along the strands, engulfing them. Her neck rolls around, cracking with a sound similar to rocks grinding against each other as she pivots attention to Eddie, a cocky grin splitting her lips. "Can do, man." She starts to stride through the group, moving through. As she pases, her skin begins to harden and grow a little more rocky. Dark greys and blacks form, split with gashes of lava brewing undermeath the surface. "Denver. Came from a little bit of everywhere. If you listen to the owl on TV, three. Did you lot really not bring any Summers with you?" She stops at Eddie's side, jutting her chin in a 'sup sort of gesture. "We going to or away from creepy laughter?"

"A Liska is a fox, but also an Autumn. But when we were in here, he sort of…there was a bubble around us where the Hedge moved back and away because he wanted to. N-not an actual bubble that you could touch, but it was around us." Tyla explains. "I d-don't know how to do it. I even tried glaring at the plants like Lucas and Velvet did…" She shrugs again. "I c-can just find stuff. You're the second one we know about." Tyla explains, assuming the giant fire lady is a Summer and lets out a little sigh. "Towards it, of course." She glances around, trying to keep an eye on Grayson.

That makes Tyla Grayson's buffer between him and the Ogre of lava. Since she seems to volunteer by rate of keeping an eye on him. He can't stop staring at Denver though. Very curious. Or maybe he's staring at her sword, oddly enough. It could be that. Then creepy laughter. He shudders, and moves a little behind Tyla, though he can still easily see around her. A buffer. Now his eyes are only for forward and ahead through that path and towards that laughter. If he was washing his hands before, he's clutching them now. Maybe this was a bad idea. He looks back at the entrance in here, briefly and then turns back to the voice. Peering and scanning ahead.

"Yeah, yeah," Eddie mutters to the air, "hysterical." He nods back at the lava lady. "You ever hear 'you take what you can get'?" He gestures back at the rest of the group. "This is what we've got. You picked a weird time to visit, sister. Don't ask me the itinerary. She's our smellhound, I just work here." Then he's moving forward down the little path, thanking his lucky stars for bad posture and a disappointing growth spurt. "Eddie Brundle, by the way. If I die looking for a vegetable sure they name it after me. You ever heard of the Wild Hunt?"

"Yes, who are you, Fire Lady," Finn asks with a waggle of brows at Denver. Some things never change. But with the sound of laughter, he snaps his head back around. "Anyone else hear that?" he asks.

The laughing gets a little softer as they head down that claustrophobic path. As the walk between what is clearly buildings overgrown with brambles and thorns. Most of them looking to have collapsed underneath the weight of the hedge-tation that is strangling them.

Strange red flowers start to blossom and bloom, as the changelings pass. The flowers seeming to shiver and … sigh.

Yes, the flowers are sighing.

Penny gets a good grip on her Louisville Slugger as she walks past the sighing flowers. "I've seen some disturbin things. I've /been/ some disturbin things. But these Skinemax Flowers are reaaaaallly freakin me out, maaaaaan." She glances from side to side, wary.

Well, Grayson is resigned to following behind Tyla of all people, for some reason, despite all the people with weapons. Another glance goes back towards the receding gate they used and then around. Flowers pop up, curious, red beautiful flowers to the eyes of a Spring. Sighing ones! Most curious. Grayson starts to head towards one, if he going to pick it? Is anyone going to stop him?

"Yeah, I've heard of it. Doesn't usually sounds like laughter in the distance, though, if that's what you're afraid that is." The heat in the air around the woman is palpable as she strides, following the other's directions, but putting herself bodily in the lead. Denver seems a little slow, maybe due to the fact that her skin has been taken over by molten rocks. Makes it a little tricky to move fast. The great sword is held out in front of her now, fingers gripping the hilt as she stares at the path, trudging ahead. "Nice to meet you, Eddie. You won't be dying today, man. Doesn't exactly look like there's some glorious battle brewing."

Tyla was watching Grayson, trying to stay with the group, near someone with a weapon, but not too close. Also on the look out for fruits, and maybe, but hopefully not where the laughter is coming from. But mostly she's watching Grayson and not because he's still pants-less. She clears her throat, and sounds surprisingly brave and not Tyla like. "Grayson, don't." It's about as much of a command she can muster. "Not unless you know what they are, and it's safe. And nothing is safe in here." She doesn't move to stop him though.

"I know the feeling," Eddie tells a flower as he walks by, not even slowing down to look. The laughter fading away bothers him more than hearing it in the first place. "So back the way we came. Fantastic. Tyla, feel for us another way out, along the way." He rubs his chest, feeling at a lump in his coat. It doesn't look like a gun. "'The Hedge shall become the Wild Hunt's domain while the Darkest Flames burn,'" he says in his best Lucas Voice, just a touch more dramatically than is strictly necessary. "That's what happened to our Hedge. Or as close as I can tell you, anyway." He turns to look at Grayson when he hears Tyla, then points one long gray finger at the Wizened. "No." Like he's scolding a dog.

"Holy shit did those flowers just sigh!?" Finn asks, his violet eyes wide. "How can they do that?" He moves over to inspect the pretty red blossom, like the idiot he often is. He stands bolt upright at Eddie's words. "W-what did you say? About the Wild Hunt?"

Just as Finn is asking about the Wild Hunt… A door opens in one of those buildings… More it caves inward under the pressure of those now laughing flowers. And vines suddenly shoot out and engulf Finn. He's grabbed and yanked right off of his feet and into a darkening abyss inside of a strange building …

Penny's eyes widen when she sees Grayson go for the flower. After he gets chastised, she quips, "Yeah, you heard Mom and Dad, don't touch the flowers." She's about to quip more when Finn gets snatched. "No!" She runs over to try and swat at the vines with her bat.

Grayson doesn't exactly listen to Tyla, he slows at her words. It's Eddie's that stops him. The barking command. He freezes, and looks at Eddie with wide eyes. But that flower is so close. He doesn't move any closer, he just starts to crouch a little, reaching out towards the flower, but not getting all that close. "It's so pretty." He's definitely a Spring. Then vines are shooting out and Grayson is practically diving back towards the center of the group, scurrying for cover behind Tyla, looking the way Finn went.

The vines wrap around Penny's bat in return and attempt to yank it from her hands… but they don't quite manage to get it free. In fact, instead, Penny manages to knock a bunch of flowers down and crush them on the way.

The vines are quickly beginning to close up over where Finn was dragged off…

Tyla puts her hand up in front of Grayson as he zips past her, giving him some? Protection. She's also digging in her pocket to get out her knife - a Swiss army knife! She doesn't really have the strength to back it up, and she knows it. Everyone probably knows it. But she feels a little safer anyway, while looking guilty as hell for calling people out here to get sucked up by vines.

"That sounds dire. Looks like I got here right on time." The woman's voice is a little gravely, quite literally. All the good spirits of her grin suddenly vanish as the vines begin to lash out. "Shit," she mutters as Finn is grabbed and suddenly dragged off into dark holes. That big sword lifts, hacking through some of the vines as they try to close up around the path Finn was taken. She starts to huff forward through the vines. "I'm going in after him." Whether they follow or not, that's on them, but there she goes, trundling in.

Penny does a tug of war with her bat against the vines, and the vines seem to get the worst of it. She crushes flowers. "Ha! Try sighin now!" And when Denver hacks away at the vines, she replies, "I'm right behind you!" She's clearly all in for getting Finn.

Oh, look! A gun. How'd that get there? Eddie points the snubnosed .32 in the direction Finn used to be, but then the guy is gone already, and anyway, landscaping with bullets doesn't work so good. He watches Penny and the sword lady do their thing, and the latter rushing in. "Stop! He's not—" too late. He curses, savagely, and again when Penny follows. He looks back at Tyla and Grayson apologetically, and then he rushes in.

Finn and Tyla didn't have the best relationship years ago, but Eddie shot her phone and now he's her roommate. Things change. Regardless though, she called Finn and asked him to come here, and she's not just going to let him get sucked up with vines. She drops her hand behind her and offers it to Grayson, wiggling it a little if he doesn't take it. She takes a deep breath and pauses to get her bearings, in case they need to flee a different way, and heads in after Denver, Eddie, and Penny.

Tyla's going. The Lady with the giant sword is going. Everyone's going. Grayson isn't staying alone out here with the vines. He's panicked though, it's clear, frightened, not really sure what to do. But Tyla offers a hand, and he tentatively takes it. It helps a little, to calm him. However, much to her surprise, perhaps, he starts running after them then and tries pulling her along. He's not that strong though, he is pretty fast, however.

The leap into the darkness is… literally a leap into thin air. There's a sensation of weightlessness briefly and then the sudden drop as gravity reasserts itself… And they fall down, down into the abyss… Before landing hard on something … squishy, fibrous, and … damp.

Falling is one of the few things Eddie has no fear of. He's dropped off roofs and out of airplanes without so much as scuffing his shoes, and this is no exception. Those little wings of his go to buzzing, and it turns out they're not just for show. He lands, lightly, casually, a few seconds after everybody else. Toes first, then settling lightly back onto his heels. "You guys okay?" He's so smug about it it takes him a second to remember where he's at. When he does it kind of spoils the mood.

Penny goes through and…down. Down. Down. Old instinct kick in, reflexes from the horror of greasepaint and the screams of the maddening crowd. She drops to a three point landing, free hand gripping her bat. Squish. She then rolls to get out of the way of any others coming down, coming up with a face of disgust. "Who decorated this dump, Audrey II?"

Thunk. It's a good thing that the woman is currently made of stone, else that might have hurt. Denver lands solidly, make a face as soon as she feels the dampness underneath her. "I'm pretty sure this darkness is protecting us from whatever disgustingness we just landed in, but watch yer eyes, kiddos." There's a swell of heat surrounding the mini-volcano before light suddenly begins to swell around her, illuminating out, out, out. "Everything okay? Nothing broken?"

Grayson is quick, but then again, maybe too quick. In after the others and down. Face first, except he's nimble, too. The last second he sort of protects himself with a roll on the fibrous ground. Instinct or reflexes. It hurts a little, but it could have hurt a lot worse. There's a small groan. Still, he lies there for a moment, breathing deeply. It's dark and wet. He rolls over finally, searching for others in the dark. Quietly, his hands studying the ground beneath him, feeling it curiously. What is this? As he often is, he's wordless. And then there was light.

The light spreads out from Denver is blinding at first, but once eyes adjust the world around them resolves and they appear to be in a giant shaft… As if they fell through a building and into a mine…

Except the walls appear to be made from a sickly green fibrous material, and they're standing upon the porous, pore-filed, heart of a flower… Yellow, and dusty… and slightly damp.

…and the walls, yes the wall are wet as well.

Sticky too.

Tyla lets out a little squeak as Grayson tugs on her arm more out of surprise than anything else. And then she's flailing and falling. She doesn't land the hero pose, she doesn't even land gracefully, but somehow she managed to land on a soft spot and on her butt. She slips her backpack off ehr shoulder, and trades the Swiss army knife for a flashlight. She shakes it a couple of times and turns it on, and points it off to the right, strong at first, then flickering. "Yeah, I'm okay th-thanks." She answers Eddie and Denver. "Gate over that ways, a way off. D-don't know which way Finn is though." Because she's not eager to figure out what they landed on. "I think we're in Audrey II." Tyla adds, making a face.

"Be careful of the damp." Tyla adds. "We're in some sort of fucked up Hedge version of a picture plant. They dissolve their food."

Eddie looks around at the slime and all the rest of it, taking in a deep breath. He lets it out in a whistle. "Well. You wanted to find Hedgefruit." He gestures down, at the flower they're standing on. When Tyla mentions a gate, he looks off in that direction, then shoots her a grin. "I ever tell you what a good trick that is you've got there? Let's get the hell out of here. Flies and carnivorous plants don't go together." He doesn't seem too concerned about Finn.

Penny squints as Denver brightens up the place. "Thanks, Fire Lady. Remind me to bring sunglasses when you're around." She walks towards Tyla, her steps becoming more ginger when Tyla explains the situation. "A what plant? Wait, is that like a Venus Fly Trap?" She looks around. "We need to get Finn and get out of here, fast."

Eddie makes a face when Penny says the V.F.T. word.

Audrey II references go way over Grayson's head. However, he suddenly jumps up from his crawl, after adjust to the light. Blinking, he starts rubbing his hands against his thin clothes and yelps. "Ow, ow, ow." It's just a reaction. He's very knowledgeable when it comes to healing and injury, and after a moment, his turns his hands, palms up to look at them. To see what's wrong with them. Now that he can see. Scampering off the heart of the flower like it bit him. Maybe it did. Tyla's warnign has the man looking for safer spot, maybe without the juices. He knows plants, too.

"Can't help it if I'm smokin' hot." Denver's brows waggle in Penny's direction when she mentions sunglasses. But then Eddie gets her attention. "Get the— get the hell out of here?" Denver rises up from her plopped position, the fire licking around her and flaring for a moment. "One of your people just got dragged, potentially to their death. What the hell is wrong with you? If you need to run away, tuck that tail between your legs and take off, I don't like leaving people behind." Glare. The glare moves towards the area around her, stooping as she starts to look for anything to indicate where he might have been taken. She looks up and around, eyes scouring. "Damnit." She points up to another shaft, higher than them. "Can anyone fly?"
"Because I'm pretty sure he went there and we just fell further."

"N-no, a flytrap works a little differently. Hairs and then it seals up making an external stomach which d-dissolves it's prey." Tyla explains, looking anywhere but at Denver, wincing at even the extra bit of brightness down here. Poor little Darlking. She tries to look up where Denver is pointing, but the quickly pointing back to the Gate. "Pitcher plants sort of just collect the enzyme in the bottom, drown it's victims and eats them that way." Because explaining things help to not be scared of situations. "At least n-normal plants anyway. Who knows in here."

"You don't know the guy like I do. He's not one of -my- people, so you can take that and shove it down your magma chute." There's no real heat to it. Eddie's just stating the facts. Still, when the subject comes around to -flying-… He looks up at the shaft, rubs his chin. "I don't know. Can you start a fire, in this mess? A little hot air under me, and maybe."

Penny glares at Eddie. "Are you serious about this right now? He might not be one of your people, but he was a member of the Freehold. We're going to at least try and get him. He'd do that for you. I know I would." She shakes her head, silent for a while.

Leave it to Grayson to be both dramatic, and a doomsayer. He's not exactly a plant expert like Tyla, but he knows them. He's also now seen all sorts of funky things in the hedge. "Maybe it ate him already!" His eyes widen and look to the plants, as if he might see Finn's material floating in the goop. There's actual concern there. He's actually peering around as if he might find a half-dissolved finger or something. Oh dear, oh dear. He bounces a little from foot to foot, nervously. "Can't heal that." It's muttered to himself.

"I could just throw you." There's no humor in the words, but Denver's face does split into a grin. "I can't start a fire, but if you stand on me, the heat of my mantle might do the trick?" She straps the sword onto her back and glances around those gathered. "The throwing isn't the worst idea. Anyone not mind getting tossed? The longer we wait, the more likely it is that Doom and Gloom over there is right." She gestures to Grayson.

Tyla takes a deep breath. "Well, I c-called and asked him here." Tyla says with a shrug and hands the now flickering flashlight to the closest person, keeping it pointed in the direction of the gate. "I might have to p-push him out though, if you c-can c-catch him." Tyla offers, stepping up to the bright woman and squinting in Denver's general direction.

"Yeah, well, if I ever send you down a hole to die and back up dragging a corpse, you've got my permission to be a little sore about it," Eddie snaps at Penny, not giving an inch. Guilt usually does a charm on him, especially coming from women, but not here. He looks up at the shaft for another minute. He spits, again. "Fine. Get down low and give me some heat to work with." He backs up, takes a running start, and takes a leap, trying to get over Denver and hopefully into the air.

Did someone just offer to throw someone. Grayson's eyes rise from his search to catch onto what is going on. He might be alive. Then eyes go to Tyla, he moves over to her, putting a gentle hand on her wrist. Not like he could do much more. "Throw me!" He's moving towards the Fire Lady. Maybe just a little too excited about the prospect. He's rubbing his hands together in another way, and then… Eddie is about to fly up a shaft. This requires careful watching.

"Seems like a hell of a reason to leave someone to die. That's coming from a Summer, so…" Judgyface. But it looks like Eddie's willing to give it a shot, so Denver quickly drops down, trying to leave enough space for Eddie to get a good draft from. She tries to force her mantle to flare up, the fire and lava of her hair suddenly brightening with the swell. If this doesn't work? It's going to be time to start tossing people.

When Eddie rises into the air he seems as surprised as anybody. "Hoooo-ly shit," he whispers, as soon as he achieves lift. Up. Up! His poor little wings beat furiously, nearly giving out near the top. He screws up his face and buckles down, though, and finally, he's up there. Out of breath, but up there. "Hoooo. Okay, guys, just a— just— oh. Gross."

…It, it takes a few minutes, but people begin to realize that their feet feel warm. And their shoes are beginning to feel a little … liquidy. Like maybe they don't wanna stand in this plant goop all day.

Penny is shocked, but grins madly as Fire Lady gives Eddie enough of a draft to send him fluttering up. "Ringling's ding a ling, it's working…"

Tyla winces and looks away from all the brightness as her flashlight starts to sputter and fizzle out. There's not much she can do but try to move towards a more dry spot while not looking a Denver's general direction. So she looks down at the "ground" who knows, maybe there is some sort of weird hedgefruit down here, or something. Not like she plans to be inside another plant any time soon. And not everyone can climb up at the same time.

"Come on, come on, he went that way, I can smell him," Eddie calls down, leaning down to start helping haul people up.

Then Eddie's flying and that might be just as fascinating as being thrown. Just about. Next time. He just stares upwards watching the man rise to the ledge above. Feet dancing a little beneath him as they start to get warm. He was avoiding the goop earlier when he got it on his hands, but coming back here made it unavoidable. Now he's just sort of moving in and out of it as he watches, a little wide-eyed. These trips to the Hedge definitely are fun. That might explain the hint of a smile on the Spring's face.

Rising back up to her feet, Denver does a little shuffle with a grossed out sort of look on her face. Ugh. I am burning these clothes when I get back home." It's muttered as she stares up to where Eddie went, grinning when she realizes he made it. "Hell yeah." C'mon, let's get moving. Hey, Grayson seemed really enthusiasic about getting tossed, so hopefully he doesn't mind being man-handled either. She reaches out for him and starts to lift him up and off the ground, towards Eddie's outstretched hands. "Up you go."

Up, up they go! Through a combination of being hauled, pushed, and thrown! Everyone gets up into the little hallway/shaft… It's sticky as hell, but it actually appears to be a stone and wood hallway… probably from the building that got taken over by the monstrous plant below…

And there's even a light, far, far ahead… Through a bunch of vines and dripping brambles.

Penny looks relieved to be on somewhat sturdier ground, despite the stickiness. "Yeah, gotta toss these boots when we get back." She glances over at Eddie, gaze lowered. "Thank you," she mutters.

"Whatever," Eddie says, coldly. "Let's go save Good King Runs-Away and get back to the right side of reality." He double-checks his gun and marches forward. "He went this way."

Grayson is light, and he doesn't seem to mind. Anything is better than melting shoes at this point. Not a very nice plant! He struggles and scrambles up onto the edge where Eddie is. The sticky goop doesn't seem to bother him, weirdly enough. He steps forward a little, peering towards the light, but not too far. Just enough to give other people room to get up. Wiping his hands on his clothes again, he seems ready enough to follow.

The sound of high pitched angry hissing comes from behind them… as if the plant is upset that they managed to get away… Now might be a good time to run…

Tyla puts away her flashlight, as well as some possible fruit she's grabbed from the bottom of the plant. Could be fruit, it doesn't seem to be eating through anything at least. "I think that's best. I d-don't think my machines can get this out." She mumbles and gestures towards the direction of the gate. "Gates this way." She adds and starts to run in that direction.

Penny grips her bat and walks behind Eddie. "Right behind you, Eddie." She looks about as determined as a scary clown can.

Once everyone is up and they're ready to get moving again, Denver pulls the blade back out. "Let me go ahead while you lead the way verbally. Or let me get up next to you. Just in case." Eddie can be as cranky as he wants, but she'd like for him to be alive and cranky.

"Be my guest," Eddie says, making way for Denver. A little while after they're jogging along again, a weird little smile comes over his face, and his eyes start to drift shut. Like someone sniffing a rose. When he notices what he's doing he shakes his head and screws on a grave face. "Something died here, not long ago. Not him."

There has been one reoccurring theme both times Grayson has entered the Hedge. "Dead things carry crowns." He mumbles that, a little sadly, as if thinking out loud, following along, looking this way and that, but staying behind the bat wielding clown, Eddie and Lave girl. That's the theme. He watches where he walks, but otherwise he's just looking around curiously. Taking it in.

Tyla is still trying to keep an eye on Grayson, a bit anyway, and Denver is still pretty bright for her, so she's more jogging and hanging back than at a full tilt run. She can't hack at vines anyway. "The first one was g-given to Eddie." Tyla explains to him. "It was outside of the Hedge though. Why, you looking to be king Grayson? Unless Finn finds it… but he gave that one up.'

"You're a real weird dude, you know that?" The grin on Eddie's face clearly giving Denver a moment of unease. She's still letting him guide where she's moving, clearly trusting his nose enough to get them where they need to go. She shifts and moves away from the vines that are trying to tangle them. "This place just doesn't give up, does it?"

Hissing flowers and fines start wiping at the back of the party. Slithering down the hallway-slash-tunnel from behind them, to try and capture them and pull them back into the pitcher plant. But the changelings and fae-touched manage to dodge out of the way…. So far. And the light gets brighter, and as they run they realize they are going upward… Up and out…

Penny glances back at Grayson. "Wow, way to be a Debbie Downer. Why don't we deal with that when it's time to go crown huntin, okay?"

Penny sees the glint of it first, but Eddie sees it as well because his nose gives him an advantage of where to look. It's NOT a crown… but there's a silver and gold ring on the hand of a VERY DEAD person, sticking out of the wall.

"So I've been told," Eddie says through his teeth, slapping and stomping his way through the grasping plants. He glances back over his shoulder to make sure nobody else got caught, but only for a second. Then there's that smell, again. He keeps his face under control this time. Maybe he's self-conscious. He looks toward the source, sees that Penny sees it, too. "I've already got too much jewelery. Do the honors?"

Penny matches Eddie's look. Then she looks at him. "Yeah, I saw it too. You think this is related?" She looks a tad hangdog. "Barnum and Bailey's balls…I'll get it. No need for you to be all blinged out." She grimaces, reaching over to a dead person's hand, and removing a ring from its hand. "Well, you were close, Grayson," she says. "Dead men lead to rings, too. Now can we get Finn and get out of here?"

"Dead lady gave me one. Dead person had another one." Grayson shrugs. It's just an observation. Then he looks to Tyla, then around and then back to Tyla. He nods finally, no words. None until she says what she wants at the end. His eyes widen again when he looks back to her. Shaking his head vehemently. "Not me. I would not want to rule anyone." His head keeps shaking as he looks forward. He's very sincere. His name is spoken up ahead. Dead people, more dead people. Being right doesn't seem to bring him any joy though, just sadness rather, as his eyes drop to the dead body that's not apparent to him.

"Huh." Tyla says quietly. "Right idea, wrong place." She mumbles as she keeps heading towards the gate and hopefully where Finn went. "Eddie d-din't want to either." She points out to Grayson. She doesn't have much else to add, and can't really hack at any plants in their path.

Out through the brambles they burst out onto that strange stretch of highway in the hedge …. which appears to be mostly clean of the brambles. As if perhaps they have found the edge of the territory that the Wild Hunt can claim?

While they're standing still long enough to grab rings from dead bodies, Denver sets herself in front of the oncoming vines, sweeping and slicing to try to keep them at bay. Then they're moving again, out into the open air. The light surrounding her finally dims back down to just what the flames give off. "Any sign of this Finn guy?"

"Coincidences happen every day. I don't trust them, but they happen," Eddie answers, giving his best sort of on-the-go shrug. "We'll have to show it to the Doc." He gets real quiet at Grayson and Tyla's exchange. Thinking, maybe. Or just on the lookout for hungry plants. Then they're back out into the Hedge, the real Hedge. "Never thought I'd be happy to see this." He looks around and gives the air a sniff, searching for any sign of the missing Fairest.

Grayson's strategy to get around the vines was to deftly dodge them, it seems to have worked. He's quick and agile, like his form would suggest. More a dancer than a gymnast. And then they are out into the light and he moves forward a few steps, looking around and scanning the area. "Highway to highway. Where does the road lead?" His eyes go curiously forward, following the path of the highway. It's all so very curious to him. A glance back at Tyla and her comment. "It seems to have made him very angry." In all fairness, he didn't know him before the crown.

Penny fiddles with the ring as she follows the others, weighing it in her hands. She carefully places it in a zip up pocket, then looks to Eddie. "Does the nose know?"

"Oh he was kinda angry before." Tyla says with a little smile and spins slightly, turning to the right and points. "Gate is over there, at least, if we have to run." She bites her lower lip trying to decide if she wants to say something or not. "Is he under his own p-power? Because wherever the Hunt is, Finn p-probably wouldn't g-go that way. N-not on his own." TYla goes a little quiet, and wraps her arms around herself in a hug, just facing towards the door. She has no clue which way Finn went.

Denver has no horse in this race, so she's fairly quiet at the moment. She stands at the ready, surveying the area for threats, awaiting instructions as to where she should hack and slash at next.

"That way," Eddie says, pointing in the same direction as Tyla. "He must have made it out and headed for the Gate. Let's follow his example."

Penny tilts her head a little, raises her brows, and looks at Eddie with incredulity. "He managed to make it all the way through and out? You better be right, Eddie. Finn better be alive." She turns away from him and walks back with the rest, through the Gate and home, silent and brooding.

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