(2018-02-20) The Misty Mountains Cold
The Misty Mountains Cold
Summary: In which our brave adventurers follow a trustworthy fellow(ette) into the mountains. This couldn't possibly go poorly for any of them.
Date: 2018-02-20
Related: http://darkwater.wikidot.com/log:2018-02-02-flying-high
Player Characters: Audgrim, Bea, Eddie, Fie, Penny, Tyla

Three. Hours.

It takes THREE. HOURS. to drive out of Port Angeles and head southeast towards Mt. Adams.

That's three hours at night on winding twisty roads with occasional traffic and dubious choice in music. Several times over, phones lose their bars, especially as the tiny convoy gets closer to the remoter portions of the countryside. There's just so little coverage out thisaway.

At the agreed-upon pull over spot, the two cars do just that: just on the other side of Nisqually River, another thirty minutes from the actual foothills. The mountain looms overhead, and the ground is all blankets of snow both melting and re-freezing. Not far from here is the E-Z Times Horse & Snowmobile Rides, as well as the Mt. Ranier Railroad & Logging Museum (currently closed).

"And what, pray tell, is wrong with some Neil Diamond? Sweet Caroline is a classic!" It looks like Penny might have been responsible for some of the dubious music choices. She's already feeling edgy about leaving the area, so between that and the dead baby jokes, it's been interesting. She steps out of the car, head to toe black as usual, but with responsible cold weather choices. She's even wearing a ski mask. That baseball bat is strapped to her back, because there is always the possibility for an impromptu game, right?

Bea took on driving duty for one of the cars, hers filled with survival gear, enough food to be sure that the gang will survival for at least a week if they get stuck somewhere. The whole way up is an endless stream of chatter for whoever ends up riding with her. Also lots of candy, and peppermint tea for that queasiness that starts to happen as they get further out. Once they pull up, she's pulling things out of the back- a map, marked up with trails, a hiking backpack strapped on dangling with all sorts of kit, a porcelain mask that she slips on top of her head, and hefts out a way-too-big-for-her axe that she hoists over her shoulder. "Oh, trains?! I didn't know there were trains here. We should come back some time during the day and look at those." Somehow she makes this late night foray seem like a sight-seeing tour. "Anyone need a snack or a drink or anything before we start going places?"

Having been riding in the same car as Penny, Audgrim unfolds himself from the backseat of the car and stretches out lazily. He's dressed warmly too, but already tore a hole in the pants for his tail - it must roam free! And as he's been snacking on the way he's already spilt some jam and coffee on his new green parka. He's wearing a warm hat with flaps which he's cut holes in to fit his horns through. So, new clothes or not, they already look like they've gone through a minor hell. "Classic," he rasps at Penny, looking slightly dazed; modern music does his head in, still. Looking at all the snow, he perks up, because he remembers snow. Before next actions, he prepares himself for the environment, concentrating and giving off that glamour smell/glow or however it manifests. "No more food, thanks Bea." He wipes off some of that jam with a claw and licks it off. "How we take snowmobiles?"

Tyla pockets her keys and climbs out slowly, putting her gloves on. Her hair is limp and moving languidly. She just grunts in response to Penny as she shoves her hands into her pockets. She never left Port Angeles, so she never felt the call, and it's pretty horrible. "Maybe when we d-don't feel so horrible leaving? You g-guys said b-but…" Tyla also has survival gear stashed in her SUV in case of emergency, but she's also not very strong so her back pack isn't too heavily packed as she gets it out of the back and hefts it on to her back. "Take?" Tyla wasn't expecting that. "I'll g-go rent something. With cash. Also, you guys should have these." She digs in to her pockets and pulls out a few packets of earplugs, those bright orange squishy kind. "N-not subtle, but you know so I'm n-not distracting you guys if something happens."

"It makes me think of drowned bodies, is all," Eddie says, peeling on his socks and his other socks and lacing up his cold weather boots and all of that. He drove up here barefoot, for some reason. He's looking even shakier than he ought to, after a three hour drive through dark mountainous roads listening to Neil Diamond. He gets out and stretches and feels a little light-headed, leaning over onto the car. "I don't think they're open, at this—" he starts to say to Tyla, the sentence dying off mid-thought when he notices the mask Bea is wearing. "Is that what I think it is?"

The E-Z Times Horse & Snowmobile Rides is a multi-building operation. One is a small shed with an enclosed, fenced-in yard: snowmobiles on display! Look at them shine, see how they gleam in the moonlight! Further back is the actual shop itself, closed for the night. And further still in the distance: a house and barn, likely the home of the horses in question, as well as their owner. There are lights waaaay back there, someone's home.

Bea puts her hand over the mask and looks almost defensive, "You can't have it, Eddie, and don't even try. But just in case, I thought it would be good for an emergency." She neither confirms nor denies what he 'thinks it is', but it is clearly a token, and probably something he has seen long ago. The earplugs are taken from Tyla and she is given a curious look, "I think it's quiet enough, probably, but okay." She sets the head of her axe down, leaning on the thick handle, and looking…mildly disappointed, truth be told, at Tyla's offer to pay for the equipment. She points out, "Well, the shop is /closed/, so probably we could just borrow those mobiles and no one would even notice, since we'd put them back, and it'd just save you some money."

Tyla speaks slowly, and enunciates carefully. "Yes but if we steal them, people will look for us, and also assume we are going on a joy ride, and if we don't come back, no one will find us. If we rent them, and don't have them back, people will look for us." She explains, her voice oddly distracting and pleasant when she isn't stuttering.

Penny takes the earbuds. "Yeah, could I have a few more peppermints, Bea? I'm not hurlin, but I think I need a lil'somethin to steady my tummy tum." She peers at the E-Z Times. "Somebody's home for sure. So, we can bust in and have Mr. EZ freaking out. We can go in smooth and not even wake him up…or Miss Moneybags can front us."

Audgrim gives Tyla a long look, accepting the earplugs. That explains a few things. He raises his head a bit and sniffs the air curiously and shuffles his feet restlessly. He's feeling the sickness creeping up on him.

"I've got enough headgear right now," Eddie says, a little offended, "I just didn't know you still had it." He stares at the mask for a little while, though, while Tyla is talking. When he snaps out of it, he grabs the earplugs. "Solving all your problems with money is no kind of way to live. Sometimes you've got to solve them with larceny. Give me a second, I'm going to look for cameras."

Bea waves off Tyla's concern about being found, noting, "Oh, but sure I told Mercedes if I don't come back in a day or two to come looking up here." She hands Penny the requested peppermints, and adds, "Just in case, guys, I have just a few blushberries, so don't be shy about it, if you get hurt. And I am sure we won't be, but they taste good in a pinch for a snack anyway." She can't help but giggle at Eddie's problem-solving wisdom, carefully putting the ear plugs into her ears.

There are four of those bad boys ready and waiting. Well. Waiting anyway; they're all behind fence and parked in a neat row. Red! Green! Blue! Orange! There's no way to miss those colors against the snow, that's for damn sure. They're kept well from the looks of it, polished to a shiny finish. The fence itself is tall and chain-link, with a double-wide gate locked up with several padlocks.

And the shed is inside the fence as well! It looks like a one or two room job, suitable for storage and not much else.

"Those things are going t-to make a lot of n-noise." Tyla points out, going back to her normal speech patterns. "You're g-going to have to g-get the keys from the office, maybe the main house anyway, and even if there are only those keys, we'd have to start them all at the same time. Bolt c-cutter for the lock to open the fence…and my c-car, registered to me is p-parked right here." Tyla leans against the car because it's nice and supportive right now.

Penny tilts her head from side to side. "Dang, I shoulda brought my bolt cutter. Hmm, might be able to pick the padlocks, but that'll take time." She looks over to Eddie. "If she's willing to hand over the cash, I say let her do it. We can't be up here all night discussin the merits of larceny."

"Maybe some peppermint," Audgrim murmurs at Bea, holding a hand out. He's very happy to leave the decision-making to the others, eyeing those snowmobiles with a dubious expression.

"Stay away from the shed door," Eddie says, pointing. He goes over to examine the locks, slipping on a set of gloves before he touches anything. They're kind of baggy around the palms, to accommodate his fingers. "I can handle these. Twice as fast, with Penny. Tyla's right about the noise, though." He looks out over to the house, with the light on. He sucks his teeth, considering. "At this hour a felony is less conspicuous than a rental. Let's us creeps go see if they're awake."

"I might have a lock p-pick gun in the car." Tyla offers. "P-part of being a landlord in c-case p-people change the locks. Have a c-couple but I'm n-not sure if they are at the farmhouse or shop honestly. But I c-could look." She pushes herself off of the car with a grunt and starts to move to the back of the SUV but doesn't open it yet waiting to see if it'll be money or the lock picks.

Bea considers Tyla's argument and suggests reasonably, "Oh, well those things are true, but maybe we could just steal the horses instead? I bet they're quieter, and easier to get at, I bet, and fun to ride too, I would think. And also they could come back and people would notice that part, and could follow the hoof prints or whatever, if we do get stuck somewhere." She looks around for approval or argument on this idea. When Penny sides with Tyla, she sighs, seeing the thrilling chance of illegal activities slipping away. "Oh well, I guess maybe Penny is right, Eddie. Unless you have any good ideas to get them out." Audgrim is also given some peppermints, and a little smile.

"Bea, stay and watch the cars," Eddie suggests as he creeps away.

Penny shrugs, then follows Eddie, creeping after him in her Darkling way.

Tyla is a Darkling is not the sneaky type, so she stays with the cars. She opens the driver's side and quickly turns off the interior light, and goes about searching the car for her lock pick tools.

To Eddie, Penny: Up close, the farmhouse looks to be several rooms laid out in ranch style, all one floor. From what you can see of the lights inside, they're shut down for the night: an incidental table-lamp that didn't get shut off, the hood over the stove, that sort of thing. The sound of the horses from the barn is a rustling stamp of animals asleep in the cold. It looks far, far more tightly locked up than the fence: the owner cares more for the animals than the vehicles. If there's humans, they're inside and likely either asleep or tucked away in an interior room with no windows.

As Eddie and Penny join hands, as Eddie's concentration spirals outwards, the two of them just sorta… fade away. Weren't they there a moment ago? But now they're not, and it's hard to pull one shadow from another in the dark and moonlit night.

Audgrim munches peppermints, staring as the two head off towards the house. He scratches under his hat, mostly confused about all this hubbub. "I do something?" he whispers at Bea. "I don't know how drive snowmobile. Or take snowmobile."

To Eddie, Penny: The front door is unlocked in the way of people who live out in the countryside and don't worry about hooligans. The windows are slide-ups that have little twisty latches. You find one that didn't get twisted into place, leading into the kitchen.

Bea reassures Audgrim in a whisper, "Me either, but still I'm sure it'll be super easy and fun. And there are only four, but five of us, so at least one of us will have to share, or ride a horse at least, so maybe you could do that."

To Eddie, Penny: Inside is a family-home: pictures suggest a girl (10? 12?) and her parents. The latter are asleep, from the looks of their closed door and lights-off. There's a suspicious bit of flashlight leakage happening when looking down the hallway at the slightly open girl's room. She may be awake. A dog is snoring contentedly in the living room, huff-puff-huff-puff.

"You can ride with me, Audgrim. Behind me." She adds crawling out of the car with her lock pick gun in hand as she shrugs out of her backpack and offers it to Audgrim for him to carry. She sighs, her hair rolling slightly, and flickers. "I'll g-get the lock I g-guess." She says once the pack is taken and she moves to the gate, assuming it's away from the shed.

"Ooookay," Audgrim whispers and holds his thumb up at Bea and Tyla both, waving it vigorously to make sure they see. He's just learned that from a movie and now thinks it's the best thing ever. He accepts the backpack and slings it up on his back.

Two padlocks — one for each side of the chain-link double-gate — are no match for a fancy lock picking gun, that's for certain. Soon enough, Tyla's got the gates swingin' free and clear, and the four snow-mobiles sit silent beyond.

Penny slowly creeps towards the room where the parents are resting. Innocent, unaware that a scary clown's gloved fingers are wrapping around the doorknob to their sanctum sanctorum, turning, opening the door. Her dark eyes peer in, a hand waves. "Sleep, sleep…" the boogeyman jester whispers, and the couple drift into deep, deep slumber.

Bea keeps a lookout for any trouble, ready to confuse and/or charm anyone who might stop to see what this group is up to with a barrage of words. While she waits for everyone to finish up with the thieving stuff, she munches on some candies. No queasy magic juju is gonna stop her from snacking during a lull in activity. No sir. But once the gates are open? Bea's wings start buzzing with excitement and she hurries over, whispering, "I want the orange one." She gives Audgrim a thumbs up in return to his enthusiastic one, embracing the silent hand-signals as means of communication for the moment.

Audgrim pads after Bea as the gates swing open, tail flicking in excitement. He shoots Tyla a big grin, giving her another thumbs up, job well done there. He then stops at the gates and peers over towards the house in the hopes of spotting the other two.

Tyla unzips a pocket on the backpack as Audgrim comes close, and slips the keygun into the bag. She digs out her keys and locks her car with a push of the keyfob, then stashes her keys back in her pockets. No longer busy her hair and shoulders droop a little more.

Eddie and Penny are back. Nobody saw them come out of the farmhouse, or on the walk back, but that's kind of the idea. "The kid's still awake, but the parents are out 'til morning unless you start sticking them with pins. Who got the lock?" He seems a little disappointed he didn't get to pick it. He gets over it. "Come on, hands in, I want to do the shadow thing again. It helps with noise, too."

Audgrim holds his hand out, not wearing gloves yet. He looks suitably impressed at Penny and Eddie both, giving them a… yes, that's right. A thumb's up.

Penny looks a little too pleased with herself. "Man, that was such an audition for Little Monsters," she whispers. "Oh! I want the red snow machine, you betcha," she adds, imitating a certain Alaskan politician.

Bea, already arranging her pack and axe on the back of the orange snowmobile by now, leans in toward Eddie, wiggling her fingers as she holds out her hand. "This is so fun, guys and good job putting them all to sleep. I'm so glad we're coming out here, and if we really get to fly, this is going to be for sure the best night /ever/, if you ask me."

There are names hand-painted onto the gleaming, bulbous seat-bodies of the four snow-mobiles: SUNNY, RED ROVER, BLUE BOY, and GIDDY-UP GREENY. All of them would hold two people of reasonable size, thick and sturdy machines with great wheels strung with snow chains in preparation for the weather. What they do not have: starter keys.

"Are we g-going to n-need to hold hands while driving? Because that will be difficult." But still, she holds out her hands.

Eddie gets everyone huddled up, like football players, and he does the thing again. It gets quieter. It gets darker. You've seen it before. He breaks the huddle and turns around and looks at the shed, cocking his head. He grins. "Don't worry, it likes me." He struts forward and through the door, in full view of the camera, and starts rifling around for keys.

Eddie gets everyone huddled up, like football players, and he does the thing again. It gets quieter. It gets darker. You've seen it before. He breaks the huddle and turns around and looks at the shed, cocking his head. He grins. "Don't worry, it likes me." He struts forward and up to the door, whispering a few loving words to the lock before he pulls it off and tosses it back over his shoulder. He opens the door and struts inside, paying no mind to the cameras.

Inside: shelf upon shelf upon shelf of spare parts, gas cans both full and empty, and the assorted accoutrement of a snow-mobile owner. There's also a key-box! Dangling inside are the four starter-keys, each with a similarly hand-painted chain-dangle to indicate which -mobile it belongs to. SUNNY has an orange, RED ROVER shows a little red wagon, GIDDY-UP GREENY has a horse, and BLUE BOY is a beach-ball in white and blue stripes. Someone's been getting their art on.

Audgrim joins up with Tyla at the snowmobile she's chosen and looks the machine over curiously while waiting for Eddie to come back. He rubs his forehead, muttering something in Norwegian. He's feeling that distance to Port Angeles.

Eddie pockets the keys to the blue one and steps outside carrying the box with the rest. He hands it off to Bea, then goes to look for the lock he just threw away showing off.

Bea gives a shiver once they're all under the cloak of darkness, and whispers confidently, "I bet Eddie could break in anywhere, he is that good." When he returns she claps and hops up and down, passing out the other keys with a little wiggle-dance as she goes, "This is so great."

Tyla is normally as enthusiastic as Bea, but she just gives a little grunt and grabs the green key. "So where exactly are we g-going?" Tyla asks moving over to her snowmobile, checking to see if there are any helmets with them. "D-do I have to keep track of where n-north is?" She's going to do it anyway, but it's always good to ask.

To Audgrim, Penny, Eddie: There's an odd tickle along the skin, a flicker across the back of neck where fur and cloth and hair meet flesh. Something… something is here. Just a little oomph of effort might bring it into focus. Maybe.

To Penny, Audgrim, Eddie: It happens to each of you individually, that inward focusing outwards that pushes your awareness into the world. In the shining reflection of the snow-mobile's body closest to you, a shimmer? A smudge? It resolves into your own reflection, each one. Only you're speaking to yourself, lips moving and whisper reaching ears, though your real lips aren't moving at all that way: "You may be one, but it won't last forever. If you want help, all you have to do is ask and pay the price."

Audgrim scratches at his neck suddenly and suppresses a shiver; he looks around suspiciously and then stares intently straight into the shiny surface of the green vehicle. He suddenly places a bare hand on the surface, growling faintly in confusion.

"The mountain," Eddie answers Tyla, pointing, "can't miss it." He goes to perch himself behind the controls of the blue snowmobile, stops a step away to stare at the machine. He leans in, squinting, then backs away like it bit him. "You saw that, too?" he asks Audgrim, then without waiting for an answer points an accusing finger at the snowmobile: "Who are you?"

Bea looks around in confusion at Audgrim and Eddie, moving to put the key into the orange snowmobile with a frown, "What is wrong you guys. They have nice names, but still probably you don't need to start a chat with these mobiles, you know."

Penny startles suddenly, then glares at the shiny snowmobile. "Bea, did you put something in those peppermints?" Then she tilts her head. "Eddie? Audi 3000? You saw that too?" She shakes her head. "Yeah, we're in the crap now."

"Someone talk to us," Audgrim grimly states, nodding at Eddie and Penny both. "We hear… someone," he adds for Bea. "Someone - I say - I mean, someone make me say, in mirror on snowmobile - "You may be one, but it not last forever. If you want help, all you have do is ask and pay price."

Tyla's hair starts to roll more, flickering agitated, and doing its puffer fish thing, meanwhile she just has a look of confusion on her face. She looks at the green snowmobile, then at Audgrim, Eddie, and Penny, finally landing on Bea to see if she goes what's going on, but the looks to Audgrim and frowns. "TANSTAAFL." She mumbles.

Bea assures Penny quickly, "No, just only peppermint, I am sure." She isn't though, and does check the wrappers before reassuring, "Really, these ones are just peppermint, and won't make you see dead people or anything, I promise." She frowns, moving toward the others after hefting her axe over her shoulder, and looking around in confusion, "What is it you guys are seeing? I don't see anything." Her wings buzz and she squints her buggy eyes as she tries to see whatever it is that they're seeing. When Audgrim explains, she relaxes a little and laughs, "Oh, well, what is the price then? Maybe it is worth it to just pay and be done with it?" She pouts a little, adding, "Just why don't they come out in the open, or talk to all of us at least?" Bea does like to talk, after all. "Ta…what?" That to Tyla, confused as she leans in to look more closely at Audgrim's snowmobile.

"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch." Penny spits out the explanation, still glaring at the reflection in her snowmobile. "And you got that one right, Ty. There's always a catch."

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Tyla explains to Bea even though Penny just explained it. She's speaking slowly and deliberately. Can you distract mirror… people? Hell if Tyla knows, but she's going to try!

Audgrim isn't sure what lunch has to do with anything, his tail flickering uncertainly. "We go up," he suggests. "We find Windy Wendy, we ask her. Not wait here long, we are far from Port Angeles," he reminds them, eager to get going.

Whatever, whoever it was… is gone. It's just them in the moonlit reflection now, glaring down at perfectly innocent snowmobiles who ne'er done nobody wrong in their whole livelong life.

Bea knows a lot about lunch, and shrugs, saying, "Well, just I give out a lot of free food, so I don't know if that is true. But still, I know what you mean, but it sounds like even these snowmobiles are saying there is a thing to pay. Just maybe we don't know what it is." She nods to Audgrim, looking around and wondering, "But maybe it would be rude to leave if someone is trying to talk to us here?" She is still looking around like she might be able to catch sight of whatever it is out of the corner of her eye, or if she stares into the headlights of the snowmobiles hard enough.

Eddie just stands there looking at his reflection in the frame of the snowmobile as the others talk. Spooked, quiet, thinking. "We're going," he finally says, moving to perch himself behind the controls. "Up the mountain now, or back to Port Angeles if I have to wait another minute. Stop talking about lunch. I'm not feeling well." He examines the controls and puts in the keys.

Penny blows out a peppermint scented breath, relieved at the further lack of visions. "Yeah, if we don't get going soon, something or someone is going to notice us." She jingles her red wagon keys, then puts one in the ignition.

Tyla nods and hops on to hers and puts the key in, waits for Audgrim. "Up the mountain. Got it." her hair flattens down again, rolling and flickering restlessly "Yeah, so not coming back out here again."

Bea seems happy enough to obey Eddie's command, settling her axe and then herself onto the snowmobile, "Just none of us feel really good, I think, but still we should probably just try and ignore it, and not talk about it, or it'll just make it worse, if you ask me, since what you think is what you get, and everyone knows that. But I am sure we'll be fine, once we get up and moving a bit in some fresh air." And with that, she starts her snowmobile and makes a few tentative moves to get the hang of the controls before starting off on earnest.

VRRRROOOOOOOM. Oh, but the sound of a snowmobile on a clear night is just this rich, carrying, rumble of a thing. Downright satisfying, that's what it is. VRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOM. It's a damn good thing the people in that house are so soundly asleep (and their little dog, too!).

Soon enough, the quartet are trundling up the snowbanks through the foothills towards the mountain in the distance. There's not much in the way of direction other than 'thataway', so they just… go. Steady pace means a chill, cutting wind and the occasional flick of snow in the face, especially when they cross each other's wake. But it's peaceful enough, kinda fun in its own way.

Half an hour, maybe a little more, and they're getting a bumpier ride of it. Lots more bone shaking and up up up into the air before landing solid and continuing upwards.


The voice comes on the wind from further up-hill; someone up there is calling to them, barely audible over the sound of the machines.

There's those handy handles on the sides of the snowmobile for someone sitting at the back, so Audgrim holds on to them after a while, quite enjoying this despite that queasy feeling. At first he isn't sure he heard a voice, but then he waves frantically and points upwards in case he was the only one.

Penny is actually enjoying herself. The cold cuts through the queasy feeling, and the rush is just scary and thrilling enough for an Autumn. She'd be sticking her head out of the window like a dog if there was a window. She nods at Audgrim's waving, hearing the voice as well.

Eddie clings desperately to a machine that he obviously hates, having a premonition of flashing lights at the sound of the thing. He curses to pass the time, pretty loudly but still inaudible thanks to the unholy roar that the snowmobile is roaring. When he runs out of cursing he starts complaining, and he's about to get to his political opinions when he hears that voice. He looks up, and stops talking.

Bea doesn't even try to hide her enjoyment. Once they're out of ear-shot of the house, she's yelling 'WHEEEEE!!!!' at the top of her lungs, wings abuzz, perhaps going a touch too fast at times before scaring herself back to a reasonable speed. When she hears the voice,, she responds in kind, "Hellooooo! Wendy, we're coming to visit!" And she's heading that way, revving up just a little to get the faster.

Tyla seems to be fine with Audgrim holding on to the back, although she's probably going to make him pay off the cost of her jacket his claws made when he was holding on for dear life. She liked that jacket! She doesn't have time for fun though, she's too busy being miserable, and paying attention to the direction they came from, and where they are going. She gives a nod to the others that she heard it, doesn't speed up though.

No… no, not there. Up further, further fuuuurrrther… there. A tiny speck of a figure in the distance, waving arms at the folks down below. Is it Wendy? It's hard to say, that far away. Definitely has the wisps of brown vaguely visible and only that because they've tuned into their internal beast-selves. The overly dramatic arm waving from the tiny figure turns into a COME ON circle, and then she starts up. How she's staying that distance ahead of them when she's on foot and they're on machine is anyone's guess. But she clearly wants them higher up into the hills.

Audgrim squints around Tyla, to see up there, tail dancing behind him in thrill. "Is that her?" he shouts back to the others, since being quiet is kind of pointless with the machines being so noisy.

"Who is that?" Penny has decided to start yelling too, because why not? Then she adds, "Her? Yeah, is that her?" Pause. "Who is her?" But she gives up on the yelling since it is cold, and concentrates on the driving.

Tyla just grunts a little and keeps driving, distracted, but not enough to break her driving concentration. Having never met whoever anyway, she couldn't add any input anyway.

Up and up and up and up and up some more. By the time they've reached as far as they can, all of them are cold despite the cold-weather gear, and all of them are feeling a distinct turning-over of the stomach. They’re really, really far away from Port Angeles and that call is tugging.

There are scraggly trees back a ways, but of primary importance is that they've reached the bottom of a bit of cliff. Seated up on the ridge some twenty, thirty feet up is the figure of a young woman, 20-something if she's a day. She's got long, brown hair that tangles in the wind even when there ought not be a wind to tangle it, and bare feet despite the snow. She's perched and staring down as the machines come to a halt, head tipped to one side. "Hello?"

Let’s hope that Bea never runs into a will o' the wisp alone, or she's a goner, if how happily she follows after the gesturing figure is any indication. Though that /is/ why they are there, after all. When they get close and stop, she hops off the snowmobile and waves, perhaps a bit less enthusiastically than normal, since even she can't pretend that there's nothing wrong any more. She calls out, "Hi Wendy! We came to visit, like we said we would. And you remember us, right? Bea and Eddie, and we brought some friends too."

Audgrim nearly falls off the machine as it halts; he stumbles and looks rather pale for being a grey-skinned fella. The irony of all this is not lost on him as he peers up at Wendy with a serious face; he used to lure people away in a similar fashion. "Hi," he calls. "I'm Audgrim."

Eddie rolls off the snowmobile and into the snow. He didn't know that thing about them not having brakes, when he got on it. Between that and the sickness creeping on, he doesn't really want to stand, yet. He lies there and looks up and waves, making half of a snow angel by accident. "There's food." He doesn't know that for sure, but Bea is here.

Penny manages to figure out the stopping thing, but barely, and rolls off the machine laughing. "Oh, that was fun! I still need to hurl, but at least I got to ride that thing. That was as good as…wait, kids here." She gazes up at the barefooted girl with the wild hair, then glances over at Tyla, then back to the girl. She slowly gets to her feet, cold and bowlegged. "Howdy."

Tyla just sort of rests her arms on the wheel, and her head on her arms, as he hair flicks languidly. She gives a small wave, and tries for a friendly smile. "Hello. I'm Tyla." She offers trying to have her best company face on.

It's there in the way her hair moves of its own accord — or the wind's accord, as the case may be. How she's far too slim, how she doesn't give a fart for how cold it is. Wendy is likely a Changeling herself, but she's far deeper sunk in her mien than her mask. When Tyla offers a greeting, the girl's attention wanders over to fix on her, eyes wide. "I remember BeaandEddie," she calls down to them. The words are wispy around the edges, carried by breeze through the distance. "They could fly, can she fly too?" Audgrim and Penny, more's the pity for them, are entirely ignored. She may not have seen them or heard them at all.

Bea nods at Eddie's claim of food, agreeing, "Oh sure, we could have another picnic if you just come down for a little bit." She looks to Tyla curiously. After all, the other woman can do many surprising things, so Bea can't entirely discount the notion that she might be able to fly. Penny's enjoyment of the ride gets a grin, Bea happy that at least one other person on this trip seems to be enjoying it as much as she is.

"I can fly if fall off high thing. But not very long," Audgrim says with dark humor. He's starting to channel Eddie here or something? Or maybe it's cause he's actually speaking the language well enough to get jokes through. He steps back a bit, waving at Bea, Eddie and Tyla to do the talking, leaning in to quietly tell Penny: "We best watch out for high things."

"They don't fly," Eddie says, pulling himself up out of the snow, "they just like to watch." He sort of waves dismissively at Tyla and the others, and he ignores them, too. "Is that the place?" He points, up at the mountain. "Somewhere up there? Your spot, you were talking about." He buzzes his wings a little, uncomfortably, under the coat he's wearing.

"I've never tried to fly." Tyla admits, talking slowly and deliberately. Part of it is she really doesn't know how she should answer that, and partly because if she's suddenly going to get flung off mountains, she's going to make it as difficult as possible, if she can. She gets up off her snow mobile, hair poofing up restlessly as she tries to keep her smile.

Penny nods to Audgrim's whisper. "Yeah, let's just stay quiet and let the flying people talk." And she does just that, keeping her counsel and watching Wendy carefully.

Oh! But the smile that Wendy offers down to the trio is so delighted, so terribly painfully hopeful. Like a little girl who just got offered a unicorn for her birthday. "Would you like to try?" That request of Tyla is the reason for all that hope. Surely they wouldn't crush it like the fragile flower it is? It takes a moment for her to refocus in on Eddie and Bea; they're nice enough, but they don't got them vocal chords. "Yes, it's up higher! But you can't make it if you're going to ride around on those machine horses, Paddo is only for people with wings! And feet to get higher up," she allows dismissively. Feet. Pshaw. As if.

Bea climbs off the snowmobile and hefts her backpack and axe into position. "Well, if we have to come up higher, the probably we best get moving. And maybe it's more polite to just walk, for now, until we get up high enough that its /worth/ flying, because down here it's so low it's probably boring, right?" She looks to the others to see if they are coming or not, "You guys are coming, right?" then turns and heads for the path to get higher up.

"She did try, once," Eddie says, shooting Tyla a look. "Don't you remember? When you took that jump out the window, and I had to catch you. Bea was there." He looks to Bea for confirmation, which he might not do if he were actually lying.

"Oh I'm sure it's no mean trick to know how to fly." Tyla says, looks over at Eddie. "But if I fell down, down, down I'd keep everyone waiting. I don't like to trick people like that." Tyla offers to Wendy with a smile. "Maybe later as Bea said?" She suggests and looks at Eddie again and then goes quiet.

To Audgrim: Those scraggly trees back there downhill? Sure, they're a good stretch away. But those aren't all leaves and branches. There are things with wings there, draped and still and watching. You catch a gleam of red eyes in the darkness in a brief reflection from the moon, then gone as they blink and you move. Hard to tell if they're birds? bats? something else?

"Later," Wendy agrees on a pleased sigh. "When we all go flying you can try too, but I have to be the queen of the night sky for that first so we have to go now." And with barely a glance for if anyone will be clambering up after her, she rises to start uphill as well. Coming from beneath-cliff and hiking up as they are, the quintet is going to be pretty far behind; she doesn't seem inclined to wait. Just starts moving upwards, leaving barely a footprint behind. Just enough to prove she was there, not enough to do more than break the surface of the pristine snow blanket.

Having moved back a bit to let the others do the talking, Audgrim glances around lazily and then stops moving entirely, staring down the hill where they came from. Something caught his attention, his tail straight up and entirely unmoving. "Wait," he notes sharply. "I saw…. something in trees. Maybe… birds."

Penny looks over at Audgrim when he does his pointer imitation. "What?" Her attention is now split between him and the flying people. "Oh crap. What did you see, Audi?" Then her focus is totally on him when he says the magic word. "…birds. That's not good." She pulls her baseball bat and grips it in her hands, looking over to where he is.

Eddie watches Wendy go with a sour look on his face. He wiggles his toes, still imprinted with the grooves of his gas pedal. His mantle stirs, impossible to see against the natural winter, and… There. He doesn't leave any footprints, now, either. Having something to feel smug about gives him the strength to press forward, and he follows, hurrying up to try and get ahead of anyone without wings.

Bea starts after Wendy, but pauses as Audgrim mentions the birds, giving a quiet hmm, and looking toward where he points and heading over that way, waving a little toward the birds and saying conversationally, "Oh hi there…George? You look like a George, so that's what I will call you. I'm sure you don't mind, right? I'm Bea anyway, and just I am wondering, you are just sleeping, or, you know, if you're trying to cause some trouble."

When Bea starts heading back downhill towards the trees, they shake. It's a sudden flurry of wings — bats and birds mixed — that lift up into the air and away in a scattering. The sound of them cuts through the otherwise quiet mountain air; up above, Wendy pauses in her trek and turns to watch.

The bird (why yes, George is a great name) lingering a little too long on the branch mantles, then settles down. As owls go, it's on the dark feathered side, with a nasty hooked beak and big, big eyes. It coos in response to her, beak taktaking afterwards.

To Bea: George answers slowly, sleepily, "Waiting. We're waiting. For the flock."

"I saw…" Audgrim begins and then watches as Bea just walks over there. He approves, grinning. "That," he adds as the flock of winged creatures take off. "Don't speak bird very good," he admits to Penny. He glances over at Eddie, calling: "Wait, we got bird!" To Penny he adds. "I don't speak bird good, but I think that bird is trying to talk."

Penny startles as all this bird and bat business takes place. And then, the owl. "Okay, feelin like Mrs. Frisby right now," she mutters, staring at the bird of prey. "He's tryin to talk? Oh really?" She snorts out a nervous giggle.

Birds. Oh. Eddie watches the lift off, wide-eyed. His hand pats absently at the spot where he carries the crown, when he carries it. Nothing there today. He looks sicker than before, and then a little relieved. "No excuses, this time," he mutters, fingers twitching, waiting for the translation.

Bea nods in understanding to George the owl, ignoring the rest of the commotion, "Oh sure, and I know how that goes, and always I am waiting around for the hive, and that's pretty much the same thing I bet. But, mmm, what is the flock coming for, I wonder? Because it seems like a bad time to be flying around, at night and stuff." She considers, then adds, "And anyway, mostly I am wondering why the flock would bother." She looks over to the others and explains, perhaps redundantly, "He says he's waiting for the flock."

Wendy is standing next to Eddie. When did she come back down? She's standing next to him, gaze on the group down-cliff. Strands of her hair flicker about wildly, tangling briefly in his bristles and then away again.

George the Owl stirs restlessly from one foot to the next, wings lifting… then down again. It click-clacks a few times, hooting carried through the night air on a breeze that rises and falls as such things do. If it's answering Bea, it's only for her benefit.

To Eddie: Wendy asks, low volume and thoughtful, "Does she always talk to the birds? That's nice of her. They like to talk to things that fly."

Audgrim nods smugly. He knew it, the bird was talking, he just doesn't understand it. "Flock of birds," he says and glances up at the sky, suspiciously. "Too much birds, I think. Like crowns and hats and birds." He carries no weapon but he pulls his gloves off slowly, as if preparing himself for trouble without doing anything aggressive yet.

Eddie to Wendy: “Bea'll talk to pretty much anybody," Eddie says, his face as pleasant a mask as he can make it. "She's a nice person."

To Bea: Why does George sound so sleepy? It's night time. Owls are nocturnal; it should be wide-awake. Not acting so drowsy. "You are flock. Flock is more than one thing that flies surrounded by air. Waiting for flock to be surrounded by air."

To Eddie: It's hard to pick out details; there's something awfully alien about Wendy up close. Like she's only barely a person at all herself. "That's good, she'll enjoy flying even more." She sounds absolutely certain about this whole flying thing, convinced 110% that it'll happen and it'll be grand for all involved. Maybe a touch smug? She's done or doing something right.

Tyla can't fly, but maybe she's suddenly remembering that time she did try to fly. Distracted either by the coming and goings, when birds get mentioned, her hair puffs up a bit again, but she remains silent, not wanting to distract anyone if people need to do things.

Eddie stands casually next to Wendy, having a casual conversation in a casual tone of voice. There's no cause for concern, there. He nods at something she said, and smiles a pleasant smile, and waits until she isn't watching before his eyes dart back to the snowmobiles. "Are there many birds, in your spot?"

To Eddie: Her voice is colored with surprised laughter when she breathes, "Of course! Who else would I fly with if my friends fell?" and then darts away, starting back up the hill.

Bea bites her lip at that, and considers that, seeming a little nervous now, and adjusting her axe a little as she talks to the owl. A glance up at the sky, then over to Wendy, and finally to the others, she says, "Just we are the flock, he says. And going to be covered in air, which we are always anyway, right?" Right. She nods, seeming to convince herself that this is a good explanation and makes sense, then turns back to George the owl, "But what happens when we are surrounded by air? Because that doesn't sound too bad. And are you okay anyway? Since you seem really sleepy. Do you need, like, mmm, a mouse or some nice snack like that?" She looks around on the ground nearby, hopeful such a snack might appear just in time.

Up above, Wendy leans over to whisper something to Eddie in return to his question; what can be heard of her voice is laughing. Then she's moving away, heading back up hill again.

For its part, George the Owl stirs again, a more violent shudder this time. Surely it's just pure luck that it lifts up into the air to swoop down towards the ground just as Wendy leans in to whisper to Eddie. It's absolutely a coincidence that the bird flies up and away, squeaking mouse caught in talons just as she starts up hill again.

To Bea: The answer drifts away on the breeze as the owl wings away: "You'll join the Flock."

"Covered in air?" Audgrim says, tail flicking nervously as he takes a few steps away from the owl as it swoops down. Taking a deep breath, he forces himself to calm down. "I like water. Water is nice," he mutters and starts up after Eddie now, seeing Wendy taking off upwards again. But then he suddenly grins and says, more loudly; "We go up, we find answers - we are the Flock. Let's go."

"And that was totally normal and expected," Penny says dryly. She smiles at Bea. "Good try, I'm sure you got more info outta George than you think. You and the flyers should get movin. And maybe Tyla and Wendy can compare shampoo and conditioner choices since they both have Restless Hair Syndrome."

Tyla gives Penny a look, a bit confused as she glances at a stray wisp of hair. She glances down to the snowmobiles, then down off in the distance, back where they came. But if people are going up, she's going up, bundling down in her jacket to stay warm, still staying quiet.

Bea signs a little and turns away with a shrug, "Well, he wasn't much use, and just said we'd join the flock, so I guess we better just be careful we don't end up birds, but still we should head up there and see before we get too much more sick, or Wendy runs off." Putting actions to words, she starts to head off, moving fairly quickly. Penny's comment gets a laugh as she heads up, agreeing, "Oh sure, and it's nice hair, I think. Don't you wish you had hair like that? It reminds me of like the cartoons, like Disney and that sort of thing."

Eddie doesn't follow immediately. He looks out at the others, at the tree. Watches the owl float away, sympathetic for the mouse. It seems like he might say something, but he doesn't, finally turning around and falling in as everyone else gets moving. "So how'd you get to be the Queen of the Night Sky?" he asks their host, conversational.

Audgrim feels rather sluggish, despite having prepared to move more freely in nature. The sickness is making itself known, but he trudges onwards stubbornly, looking around himself and trying to stay alert for dangers. "Dancing hair," he agrees, looking between Tyla and Wendy.

From several feet ahead of them, Wendy's voice drifts down. "By wearing the crown, that's what makes me the queen." It's hard and slow going, trekking uphill through snow on a mountain in the dark with a guide who won't slow down. Several cutbacks and switches, lots of things to trip over when the snow doesn't hold firm enough. Ten minutes in, everyone's feeling the ache. Twenty minutes in, there are bruises going down under cold-weather gear. Audgrim handles it better than most, but even he's not having a great time of it.

Overhead are craggy rocky outspurts when Wendy finally comes to a halt and turns to watch them approach. They're nowhere near the top of the mountain. Hell, they might all still be in the foothills, though much further in. She points up at the rocks: "My spot's further up. Only people who can fly are gonna make it from here though." Another hopeful glance is sent to Tyla, "Or people who want to try to fly?"

Penny sighs, slips her baseball bat on her back, and trudges up as far as she can. She's pretty much quiet now. No time for quips when one is working on not falling off a switchback.

Bea follows along, trying occasionally to keep up her usual chatter, but even she is driven to silence in this terrain. When Wendy explains that it's further up, she peers, then shrugs off her bag, setting it under the shelter of a rock for now, "I have some blushberries in there, just in case." Her axe, heavy as it is, she plans to keep with her, and it's held awkwardly to leave room for her wings as she says, "Well, let’s just see if we can get there then."

Well they've come out all this way, and she's feeling miserable. At least Bea and Eddie will but up there. And she's curious. And she is never, ever coming back here when she can help it. Tyla also has a long history of making bad decisions, going all the way back to her tenth birthday. She takes a deep breath and nods. "I'm willing to try." She says quietly.

Dubiously glancing upwards, Audgrim scratches his cheek. "Can we get help flying?" he asks Wendy, in the hopes she'll acknowledge a direct question. "If we flock, I think we can all fly. Maybe with help. Maybe with help of air or birds," he suggests, raising an eyebrow.

She'll try! Wendy bestows a bright and beaming smile on Tyla for her willingness, all enthusiasm and delight. Thus Audgrim. Audgrim with his non-Tyla voice getting all up in her conversation. The wispy girl rather reluctantly turns to study him. Head, to toe, to head again, up and down. This is her Judge-y Face (tm). Finally, finally she informs, "You don't have wings. You're all… /wet/." Her nose wrinkles up a little at that. Then, abruptly: "How do you know about joining the flock, anyways?" She darts back a few steps, hair flowing forward from the force of the motion. "That's a surprise for BeaandEddieandTyla!"

Penny just puts her hands on her hips and listens for a while. She watches Wendy, tilts her head to one side. Mutters something about the flock having snitches.

"Just a minute," Eddie pants, holding up one finger. He's not used to this kind of exertion, not at this altitude especially. He smokes too much, and it doesn't help that the Port Angeles Jitters have him sweating in the cold. He catches his breath, after a while. He shoots Tyla kind of a dirty look, and he starts to shoot a worse one at Audgrim, but it gets derailed by this stuff about the flock. "It's fine. I'm too nervous for surprises, anyway. Ask Bea."

Bea smiles and says, "Oh, I am bad at surprises, Wendy, and I am sorry if it was supposed to be one, but George told me, and I told them, and everyone knows I can't keep a secret, so really you should blame George." She eyes Audgrim as well, suggesting hopefully, "Maybe he is like rain, and will be fine to fly like a cloud that hasn't burst yet." She may not be doing Audgrim any favors, but if he wants to try to fly, who is she to stop him?

"They're my friends though, do you think they could try to fly too, if it's safe? I would hate to leave them behind." Tyla says to Wendy. "I don't want to leave my friends behind. But only if it's safe." She repeats. Sorry Penny. Sorry Audgrim.

Audgrim is a bit wet, but mostly because it's snowy and he's sweating a bit too. And there might be some seaweed in his hair that seem to kind of grow there. He notices Eddie's dirty looks and wisely decides to just shut up now.

… Last week on Adventurers Follow A Stranger Into A Dark Alley nee' Mountainside…

The lot drove up in two cars a few hours outside of town to reach the foothills of Mt. Paddo/Mount Adams. It was a miserable trip full of sick stomach and the sweet dulcet tones of Neil Diamond.

Upon arriving, they malingered in front of the E-Z Times Horse & Snowmobile Rides yard while Eddie and Penny snuck over to the owner's house. A bit of hocus-pocus later, and they were stealing — thieves! — a trio of snow-mobiles: RED ROVER, BLUE BOY, and GIDDY-UP GREENY.

Away they drove! Up the mountainside, followed by a Fie in some way we're going to handwave a little. The magics of plot!

Eventually they bumped into Our Faire Wendy. Wendy is a thin snippet of a girl, with hair that blows in wind that doesn't exist, and a penchant for moving over the top of snowdrifts instead of through them. She encourages Bea and Eddie and Tyla to come along, and puts up with the others joining them, even though they a) do not fly and/or b) do not have the Bestie Voice.

Just before they start tromping up, Bea takes a moment to ask a question of an owl. She didn't know it at the time, but she was surprised that it actually answered!

George the Owl informed that the birds who'd been watching them during their trek were waiting, waiting for them to join the flock. That they are the flock, that the flock is more than one thing that flies surrounded by air. That they're waiting for the flock to be surrounded by air.

After it took off, everyone started upwards after Wendy. It was a miserable trip made even more terrible by the growing sense of wrongness: they really ought to be headed back towards Port Angeles, not mucking about up here. And still they tromped!

Audgrim eyes Windy Wendy - he's rather tired from trecking around the snow, he's sweating from the exertion and it's cold. But, he's keeping his hopes up. Since Wendy doesn't seem too keen on talking to the non-flying types, he's shut up for the last minute or so as they debate the matter. As it doesn't seem like he'll be flying anywhere, he's looking for ways to get up, so shifts to the side to look for somewhere to climb, if possible.

Bea drops her backpack, figuring if she's going to be flying, she probably doesn't want all that extra weight. A couple of goblin fruit are tucked into her pocket, just in case, and the mask on top of her head given an extra tug to make sure it's secure. "Right then, we should go. And I had a dream about this, I am pretty sure, so it might be fun." She looks to the two definitely grounded folk, noting, "I have some extra blushberries in my bag, just in case, and some honey." She then gasps and looks horrified, diving into the bag and pulling out one of the jars of said honey, offering it to Wendy with a formal little curtsy, "Oh, I am so bad, and didn't even offer you any, Windy Wendy. You might like it, and it's really tasty, and good for just about everything."

The thievery was fun. The snowmobile ride was fun. But this? "Yeah, this crap really is seriously for the birds," mumbles Penny as she follows Audgrim's lead to try and find some purchase in the rocks, though her heart just isn't in it. "Man, if it wasn't for the fact that I might get Tippi Hendren'd if I stay here…"

Tyla is really not comfortable with so many birds around, but what are you going to do? She's going to fly. Hopefully. Maybe. "So I'm willing to try to fly." Tyla says to Wendy still smiling. "But can you help my friends to play too?" It's not so much if she's going to fall to her death she's taking people with her, but more so they don't have to climb. She chews on her lower lip. "Do we fly with the wind, or…?" She goes quiet, waiting for an answer from the super attentive Wendy.

Super, super attenti— "Oooh, honey!" Wendy drifts down to accept the jar from Bea, cradling it close. She beams at the older woman, and informs on a thoroughly pleased sigh, "You're going to love it." Her gaze sweeps up to Tyla when she starts pleading about friends. Oh-ho, her unfurrowed brow goes furrowed! "Well…" Then she looks over Audgrim and Penny, clearly dissatisfied at their ground-based existence, but at least she's not calling them names, right? "I guess they could try too," she finally allows. "The wind, of course," she adds to Tyla with a decisive nod. "We're going to climb up onto the rock and jump!" The honey pot is held up and then thrust out sharply in example. "And the wind will catch us! So maybe they'll fly too if they're with us? EddieandBea will fly because they have wings, and you'll fly because you're too nice to fall, and maybe they'll fly because you like them even though they can't fly so if you want to try it Tyla we can try it." Her rambling speech done, she brings the jar back down to cradle against her abdomen and turns to study the rocky wall ahead of them. "Then when we're flying we'll go up to my spot and we can play at Queen."

"I didn't know flocks had royalty," Eddie observes, looking back down the mountain the way they came, trying to catch his breath. Between all this exercise and the Port Angeles Shakes, it's taking him a while. He listens to Wendy explain the plan, then looks back at the flightless continent and shakes his head. That's his vote, anyway. "What's that surprise you were talking about, earlier?" he asks Wendy. "For me and Bea."

Eddie's boot is only fun so far and Fie gets tired of it swiftly. Slipping out to follow the others was a little challenging, but she managed, somehow. She waits for the most uncomfortable moment to drop her shadows and speak, "We should fly." The words are a whisper still, an odd little smile playing around her lips, "Flying sounds fun." She steps forward, giving them a grin that is both merry and humourless, her eyes glinting.

Audgrim grunts in agreement with Penny, testing some icy cliffs, but not finding much of a purchase on it. When Wendy suggests he and Penny should try flying, he raises an eyebrow at the other Lost. "How far is it to down?" he asks, still somewhat dubious, but willing to at least check out the rock mentioned.

Audgrim also stares at Fie. Because she's there suddenly.

Bea eyes Audgrim, Penny and Tyla, sidling over toward Eddie to whisper loudly, "I think probably you're going to have to try to keep Audgrim from splatting, 'cause I don't think I'm strong enough to stop him, but probably I can hang on to Penny." Bea then beams and sighs, clasping her hands, "I do like surprises, even though I think maybe my dreams have spoiled them, and we'll just be turned into birds, or killed or something." She jumps as Fie appears, and scowls a little, then lets out a relieved laugh, "Oh wow, you sure surprised me! You really are a super good hider."

Penny's eyes go wide at that jumping suggestion. Looking over at Audgrim, she replies, "It's pretty far to down. Leg breakin, at the very least." Then, if it is possible, her eyes go wider when Fie shows up. "What the? Is this the unexpected cameo appearance in the special episode or something?"

"I had a dream about this too." Tyla reminds Bea. "Mine didn't have any flying involved though." She starts to say something and then Bea's mentioning being turned into birds and she scowls a little, hair rolling a little more, briefly. She doesn't really react to Fie showing up, but then again she's trying to keep it all together too. Especially when it comes to flying. "Are we all going to play Queen, Wendy? Or are you the Queen?" She side-glances at Eddie.

Fie's grin widens, just for an instant before she replies lightly, "I was curious." The words are simply spoken, and generally covers all of Fie's motivations, and her headtilt is questioning, curiousity written large on her features. "I can't fly though." She peers at the cliff, her eyes narrowing.

Audgrim eyes the cliff. Eyes the rock below it. Rubs his thigh a bit, as if contemplating just how much it will hurt to break the thigh-bone if he jumps. "What is the crown you have?" he instead just blurts out at Wendy, adressing her again. "And where is the wind?" He's not much for talking around the issue or being smooth.

Eddie waves at Fie, strangely casual under the circumstance. If he's surprised to see her, he hides it well. He shakes his head at Bea. "Penny's got her own tricks," he murmurs back, "and if you can't lift him solo, I sure as hell can't. I've seen you work on the farm."

For her part, Wendy simply include Fie in the Unsatisfactorily Unwinged and UnVoiced Population of the troupe when considering them. "The surprise? But you already know it," she answers Eddie absently. "That bird told Bea so now it's not a surprise anymore and it's already punished for talking." She leans down to set the jar of honey at the base of the rocks, just there, carefully carefully nestled so it won't roll down. Then she lifts up on her toes and… jumps! Hops, really. It's enough to get her fingers into a crack… there. She starts clamboring, toes and fingers in classic cliff-climbing style. "You can have a turn playing Queen too, I'm good at sharing," she tells them down at the base. Her expression is earnest hopefulness while she hangs, apparently unconcerned with how difficult this is going to be. She returns attention to the climb: it's a bit of up a bit, down a bit, up over this way, down thataway, scuttle left. "The wind is up here, silly!" Scuttle right, no go back left, oh wait. "It's the crown that makes you the Queen of the Night Sky." Better grip to the right… ahh. There she is, over the edge up top. "I can help you climb, EddieandBeaandTyla, if you want?" Her head pokes out over the edge to stare down at them. Her brown hair is *moving*, whipped about strongly now.

Tyla's own hair moves more on it's own, a barometer of her emotions than from the wind, flickering and rolling depending on her mood. Rolling fast and flickering wildly right now. She's been watching where Wendy has been putting her hands. She nods up to her. "Please." She needs help opening pickle jars. Climbing with little to no upper body strength? She's going to need help.

Bea murmurs softly, "Poor George, he seemed real nice." And then she's picking her way after Wendy, breathing a bit heavier than usual, and continuing to talk to herself, "Probably I shouldn't have tried that stinky tofu for dinner, when I knew we were coming out here, so far away from town, when it makes everyone feel so gross." She is game though, and does her best to keep up with Wendy, while also keeping an eye on the others and helping them if they need it. "I'd bet we'd all like to play queen of the night, Wendy. But I bet you are really good at it, and have played it for so long you've just got all the best ways of doing it."

Eddie watches Wendy climb, standing at the approach to the cliff and looking up. He looks away, back in the direction they left the snowmobiles again, considering. Then Bea is climbing, and he shakes his head. "Couldn't have made it anyway, probably," he mumbles, then goes to join the ascent. "Help. Sure."

It does not appear that Wendy has much in the way of physical strength herself. She doesn't reach down the twenty or thirty feet to Tyla, only encourages cheerfully, "You can do it!" Then she pulls herself over to sit with her legs dangling over the cliff's edge. At least she's off to the side, unlikely to be in the way of anyone scrambling up. Let us not say that Wendy *sings*. Singing suggests musicality, it suggests that she could carry a tune in a bucket. Let us instead say that Wendy begins to wail. It's high pitched and keening, a plaintive cry cast out into the night sky and surrounding mountains. It cuts a little… no, no that's not her voice. That's the wind, picking up speed. It begins to swirl and churn, plucking at the edges of clothing, stirring hair into mad maelstrom of strands. And lift. Deliberately, it lifts at body weight, helping ease the limitations of solid form.

Audgrim glares at the cliff and at Wendy, then mutters a few curses in Norwegian. Norwegian is very sing-songy so though it's curses it sounds oddly cheerful. He focuses and there's that whiff of glamour for those that know it, and tries to call the nature to his help; but nothing happens. Typical. So, it's just using what he's got here without cheating - he moves to the cliff face and starts climbing, following Wendy's and behind Bea. "I'll try to help," he says, "I and Bea climb up, throw down rope." That's if he makes it up there in the first place. "

To Fie: As Fie climbs, with each hand and toehold higher, her skin itches. She twitches. She can feel it in her bones. Danger. Danger. Danger. The higher she goes, the worse it gets, a constant warning that this isn't a good or safe place.

To Eddie: As Eddie climbs, with each hand and toehold higher, his skin itches. He twitches. He can feel it in his bones. Danger. Danger. Danger. The higher he goes, the worse it gets, a constant warning that this isn't a good or safe place.

Eddie doesn't need the wind, it turns out. He goes up the side of the cliff quickly, almost weightlessly, never stopping to look for a better grip. His fingertips barely seem to touch the stone as he scuttles upward like it were nothing, and he seems kind of proud when he gets to the top. 'Til he remembers where he's at, anyway, and what he's doing. He slumps and turns around and goes to help up anyone who can't do that trick.

Fie watches Wendy with a look of pure curiousity, and her lips widen into that grin. Climbing? Is that what we're doing now? She lifts her shoulders in a shrug, and then begins to follow the others, before she stops still. She shakes her head, her eyes widening. "This is not a good place." Her voice is a whisper that carries, the blue eyes wide and worried. "Danger! Wait!"

Penny looks up, sighs, then cracks her knuckles. "I guess a clown's gotta do what a clown's gotta do." And suddenly there's a whirl of darkness and fear and creepy circus music around her, and she starts moving up the mountain side as if she's doing wire work in a martial arts flick. "Pennywise, Pennywise, does whatever a Pennywise can," she sings to herself.

Bea doesn't manage to scuttle quite as effortlessly as Eddie or Penny, but she is pretty damn close, her wings buzzing, the extra lift from Wendy's called wind making her movements lighter and more agile than normal, and she's up next to Eddie in no time, calling back down to Fie reassuringly as she goes, "Oh for sure it's a trap, but don't spoil the fun! Come up and we'll all stick together!"

"I'll go help Tyla," Eddie announces, very suddenly, and he steps back off the cliff and walks back down toward the Faetouched, not bothering with his fingers at all this time. Just walking, vertically.

Audgrim comes up over that edge, and stands up, not wasting time; he drops the backpack and pulls out rope. Tying it around his waist, he throws it down, then sits down and puts his feet into whatever foothold there is. "Climb!"

The wailing plaintive child's keening continues to spill out of Wendy's throat. Head tossed back, eyes closed, she pays no attention to how people are doing in their efforts to climb. She's not here, not really. Her clothing is getting shredded even more at the edges, cut to ribbons by the wind that's even stronger right around her.

Tyla was watching where everyone was putting their hands, maybe it was watching too many people putting their hands in different places. Maybe it's the sudden wind and a distracted thought about wind and wondering where her bag is. Either way she reaches up, grabs on a spot and it was the wrong spot and down she goes, sliding and cutting up her hands some. "Dammit!" and then Eddie is walking down the side of a mountain and there is a rope so she grabs it with one hand, and reaches for Eddie's hand with the other and tries again.

Fie hesitates, the wariness showing in her frozen posture, but Bea's reassurance helps a little, and she moves slowly upwards, joining them. She stands as if poised to flee, the movements she makes hesitant, and stopped before they become anything significant. Small movements, all born of that anxiety, the darkling watching Tyla, her fingers tugging her sleeve up over her hand, and she nibbles on the cuff, an anxious movement.

While Audgrim and Eddie work on their manly heroics, Penny works on her spider-pig impression, and Fie calls out all the doom, Bea scoots closer to Wendy, watching her closely for a minute, then looking up and around and even down, to see if she can spot any possible other trouble that might be heading their way with all this wailing and commotion. She seems….unusually indifferent to Tyla's struggles to reach the top, it might be noted.

Eddie grunts and grumbles, trying to pull Tyla up the side of the cliff. He doesn't have much luck with it, even with gravity taking a breather where he's concerned. "Where's, oof," he nearly bashes his head into the side of hers, trying to whisper, "where's the nearest gate at? You feel anything around here?"

Penny is scuttling along at a decent pace, though she's grimacing even more, between the general bad feeling and Wendy's wailing. Then she notices Tyla's issues and yells up at the windy girl, "Hey Björk, can you help her out? You want her to play with you, right?"

"Try again! I will pull!" Audgrim calls down, less focused on Wendy and more on getting Tyla up. He starts pulling on that rope, twisting it around his arm; he doesn't seem too concerned about being pulled down himself.

Tyla starts to make it again, a little bit anyway, although this time it's her foot that slips, rather than her hand. Down she goes again, at least a little bit. She shakes her head a little to clear it, a look of a determination on her face. "Way down and maybe in the mountain." She whispers to Eddie before she starts up again. She WILL do this, with or without help now.

To Bea: There are birds and bats and flying things up here. They're perched on the edges of higher cliffs, on scraggly bits of tree, some down in the snow. They're watching. They're all watching. Watching the lot of you.

And she does it. It's not graceful, it's not quick, but with much help Tyla finally makes it up to the ledge with everyone else, breathing like she smokes six packs of smokes a day. But she's there.

Alas, Björk also known in the common tongue as Wendy, does not pay the slightest bit of attention to Penny's call or Tyla's difficulties. She's still singing up the wind, utterly lost in the banshee's cry that grows more and more pleading as the moments pass.

Penny breathes a sigh of relief when Tyla makes it to the ledge. "Okay, so now what does Yoko Ono want us to do? This is getting more Peter Pan by way of Misery the moment, and not in a good way."

To Penny: You… you can feel that wailing. It's building in your bones. You know that sensation, you *remember*. You remember what it feels like, for just a moment, to feel something so strongly that it spills out and floods the world around you. That's what Wendy is doing, though it's hard to tell if it's on purpose or not. You remember this from *before*. When you were still captive.

Audgrim grins broadly at Tyla as she makes it over the edge, taking her hand and pulling her up the last bit. He sneaks a look down the cliff where they came from, the wind whipping the flaps of his hat, and his hair that pokes out here and there. He inhales the air, as if the wind is not unwelcome, it's been gone for so long it's momentarily refreshing. But when he turns to gather the rope up, he's almost pushed over the edge by a sudden gust and he curses. Not so fun anymore. "Now what we do?" he calls, to be heard.

Bea stares up into the heights for a bit, then over to the others as Tyla finally makes it to the top, and finally back over to Wendy, biting her lip as she watches the wailing woman. Finally she says, "Guys, just,um, in case you didn't know it already, we are having an audience, and just a lot of birds, and some bats too, it looks like, so at least that is a little something different, I think. And probably they will be watching us try not to splatter, at least."

Ignoring the lot of them, ignoring the birds and bats and other tiny flying things that are, indeed, watching from the sidelines up here, Wendy rises to her feet. She's still got her eyes closed and head tipped back, voice spilling outwards. The sound is starting to itch under everyone's skin now. Tugging? Tugging. The urge to do… something. Something? It's getting stronger.

To Bea: That sensation is a little familiar. It's Spring desire, rising up from below, getting stronger by the moment with the wind. The urge to Do is the urge to Move.

Penny suddenly stops, going very still. She stares at Wendy, a small giggle escaping her lips. "No. You guys, we have to stop her from screaming! She's going to make us all crazy!" She moves over towards the wailing girl, clearly intending some physical intervention. "STOP IT! STOP IT NOW!"

Fie is almost hopping from foot to foot, her hands by her mouth, as she nibbles on the cuffs of her top. She follows Bea's gaze and moves a little closer to the others, becoming more agitated, more nervy. "This is bad." The whisper from her carries oddly, and she jumps when Penny moves forward, the sleeves pulled further over her hands, until only her fingertips are visible.

Tyla is not looking up. Nope. She's had enough of birds for a good long while. Bats are generally cool since they eat annoying insects, but it is freezing up here in the wind and snow and most bugs are dead up here anyway, or should be. But right now anything flying is suspect, but she does have to try and capture winds… somehow. She pulls out a leather bag she had in her pocket and starts swishing it around in the wind. She didn't get much time to research first. And then Penny is loosing it, maybe and she closes up the bag and stuffs it in her pocket, watching wearily. When Fie gets a little squirrley too, she quickly watches ALL the other Lost, in case it's catching. And why isn't it effecting her?

Bea has stood, slowly edging toward the precipice and looking down toward the bottom longingly. She /does/ miss flying. Those little wings just don't get enough action, and with Wenndy's help she might be able to actually do a loop-de-loop. But then Penny's yelling, and Bea's hive-guarding instincts kick in, and she just lunges toward Wendy, tackling her and trying to cover her mouth as she pushes the winty gal(and herself presumably) over the edge.

"No hiding," Eddie mutters, looking around for birds. "No running," he adds, looking over at wailing Wendy, remembering her racing ahead of the snowmobiles, earlier. "Shit." That's most of his toolbox, right out. He listens to that voice and closes his eyes and tries to shut it out, then Penny's screaming and everyone's in motion, and he's lunging after Bea a moment too late to do anything.

The wailing cuts off abruptly. Not when Bea wraps her hands around Wendy's mouth, but when they both topple? are thrust by the wind? jump? over the edge. Eddie follows, his lunge carrying him — no, his foot should have landed on the ground — the wind carrying him out after them.

The wailing is cut off abruptly. It is replaced by the sound of wings: everything with wings around them on the higher cliffs, on the scraggly trees, on roots and on the ground in the snow, everything that flies. They all take off, forming a huge flock that dives after the trio. It's a storm of bodies rushing past the quartet still on the solid ground, bumping into shoulders, whipping past legs, cutting a cheek with a feather's edge, through and gone.

The flock is up, up in the air, moving in the free spaces above the mountain's rocky surface. Are Bea and Eddie (and Wendy, though who cares about that crazy bint) caught up in it? It's dark and they're so high up and it's hard to tell. But there are no bodies beneath.

To Bea, Eddie: Thought? Who thinks? There is only *flight*. There is only the flock of the bird, the grist of the bee, the business of the fly, the togetherness. The swoop and dive and constant motion, the wind past skin and hair and everything flowing in and out and through and around because there's no Self here. There is only Us and the Wind.

With the wailing cut off, the urge to move, to do, the growing wish to *jump* is just… gone. Just gone, leaving the quartet in their own skin and solid in their bones.

Penny doesn't even notice the blood dripping down her cheek from the feather cut. She just stares as the trio go over the cliff and the Flock streams after them. "I…I'm sorry," she whispers.

Ducking from birds, and failing at it as there's just too many, Audgrim spits out a few feathers and watches in amazement as the dark blob of avians disappear - and so does Bea and Eddie. He was already thinking it, so he makes a noose around a scraggly tree, holds on tight to the rope and without waiting for someone else he leaps off the edge. He /probably/ won't die…

Tyla watches it all happen, and blinks a couple of times. "Poor George. Guess he wasn't lying after all." She notes, oddly sad she got left behind. She said she was willing to try! But at least she got a bag of air, maybe? Wait what? She watches Audgrim, concerned. "What?" she asks, her hair rolling slowly.

To Bea, Eddie: As your minds tumble freely within the flock, thoughts and memories and information is shaken loose. Given a good tumble, that's what's happening: it's all getting mixed up. There's some Driving Force, a Presence guiding the flock, guiding you. It wants something. Something you both know. It plucks at the edges of what you vaguely remember as you instead of us, trying to get at the pieces it wants.

Fie makes a sound that is somewhere between a squeak and a scream as they vanish over the edge. She ducks down to avoid the falling birds, her hands lifted to cover her head, her eyes wide. She squeaks again when Audgrim jumps, and her fingers cover her mouth, the darkling white.

To Bea, Eddie: Who has the crowns? That's the thought that's tumbling free of the mess right now, winging through the flock, part of the flock, part of you, that answer, that's what the Presence wants to know: who has the crowns?

There is a moment, a startling heartbeat of time, when Audgrim is visible against the snow below and the flock above, a picture of a man throwing himself out into the air without a care in the world. And then the rope. The rop grabs hold of him and *yanks* him back down out of that moment of flight. He's falling, jerked into connection with the tree, tumbling down towards the cliff's surface. That… that's going to hurt when he hits, if he's not careful.

Audgrim flies! For about two seconds before gravity does its thing, the rope stops his momentum and he is instead moving with great speed straight towards that cliff. "Helvete!" he calls out, and though that's Norwegian it's probably not hard to guess that it's not a word of happiness. He twists quickly, puts his feet up and they smack right into the rock, jarring him almost enough to make him lose his grip on the rope. But - he's now dangling off the edge, and up there on the edge, the remaining lost can see that rope stretching tight and quivering.

To Bea, EmmahSue: Eddie is lost in flight, free from worry or fear or memory for the first time in… well, maybe ever? He can't remember, up here. But then there's that thing. That thing, with its question, waking him back up. He groans, like he doesn't want to. "Gwen," he says, "Gwen has a crown." That must be where he left his, before he came up the mountain. "Lucas. Tyla." Names. Names? "What's your name? What's your real name?"

"Audi!" That crazy leap breaks Penny out of her mini fugue state, and she leans down to look. "Are you okay? Can you see them? Bea! Eddie!"

Fie startles, and moves forward as if in a dream, her eyes wide, and she follows Penny towards the edge. "Are they alive?" The whisper is soft, with an edge of terror to it, and she reaches out to touch the rope, trying to steady it, lend it her own strength.

To Bea, Eddie: The name rolls through their bodies like the wind itself; didn't they always know this name? Hasn't it always been a part of them? They're all one piece, one togetherness, and they all know each other's names: this is Ka-hu, the Feathered Serpent. There's more than just a name there, though. And less; the name is only a label for the Presence. There's a sense of the Winds, of Flight, of Hunger to consume the world, to blow it all away so that there is only the wind left, nothing solid like pitiful bodies or lackluster flesh. When you are a Wind? the Wind? a Flight? the Flight? a name means so little. But are they together, really? Because Bea fights it, Bea drags herself back into herself. And she's falling, tumbling, free! Free of the hiv— ohshit.

Speaking of Bea.

Speaking of Bea. There she is. She's falling. Out of the flock. There she is.

Speaking of Bea.

Tyla watches worriedly, but she's already proven that she will be zero help in this situation when it comes to strength. She instead moves over to the edge and looks down. "When Eddie was helping me, he asked where the nearest gate was." Tyla offers, unhelpfully, and unnoticing the falling Bea.

Audgrim is very much alive. He's just hanging around down there, momentarily stunned. He looks up, squints, and is that something falling over there? With his blessing from the animals, he can see rather well. He looks for purchase on the cliff face to climb back up, using the rope to help him, scrambling as fast as he can. "BEA!"

Bea is suddenly falling, yelling, "Eddie NOOOOOO!!! Don't!" And then, oh man. This isn't the same kind of flying. Her wings suddenly start to buzz as glamour pumps through them, and she goes from falling to twisting around and finally gliding, swooping a little, sniffling a lot, and does a buzz right past Audgrim on her way down. "Let me back!"

To Eddie: The Presence that is Ka-hu, that is the Feathered Serpent, that is the Wind, plucks at the fraying edges that is Eddie. It tugs and needles, arrowing through and in and past and doesn't he know where Denver is? They hate Denver, he knows that much, such a sense of *righteous fury* as could shake the world loose from its moorings, so where is she?

Penny sniffles a little, then lights up when she hears the voices of Audgrim and Bea. "You're alive! How far down is it? Where's Eddie?" She tries to peer down to see if she can spot anything. "If I can climb up, I can climb down."

To EmmahSue: “I don't- - I don't- -" Eddie fights it, but only for a moment. "I don't know!" He howls into the wind, enough of him awake to enjoy it. "Port Angeles, somewhere." It's the truth. He hasn't seen her in weeks. All these words. He looks around, and seems to realize a little where he's at, and what's going on. "Who- - who's the girl? The one with the purple eyes?"

To Eddie: Much as Eddie doesn't know where Denver is, the Presence doesn't know who he's talking about. It's a sense of distance; they're so high up. What is one thing? What is one thing, no matter the color of her eyes? Actions create importance, simply living isn't enough to matter. The flock wheels and spins, diving down and swooping back up again: the only thing that matters is the flight. The Presence begins to depart. It's not immediate, there's no rush. But the urge to pull answers is fading in favor of the simple joy of being a part of something so much bigger and truer.

Audgrim manages to climb back up without too much effort, while trying to keep an eye on Bea up there. As she swoops by him, he grins in relief. "Eddie?" he calls out, cause he can't see the other Lost. Over the edge, he pulls himself up. "Don't know where Eddie is - birds took him."

Bea glides down, trying hard to aim for the group, or at the very least a soft-ish landing spot. She calls out to the others, "We have to call Lucas and Gwen! We have to warn them! It knows where they all are! We have to get Eddie out! The Serpent is eating his /brain/!"

Tyla has been quiet, oddly quiet after her comment about the gate. Her hair rolls slowly as she thinks. She reaches in to her pocket, and anyone watching might notice a faint look of recollection, or maybe resentment. She pulls out of her jacket pocket a dried leaf, of all things. She just looks at it a moment, then looks way up to where Eddie has disappeared and Bea is trying to get back to. She crumples up the leaf and lets it be spread in the winds. "I'm calling in that favor now. I want myself, Audgrim, Penny, Bea, Fie, and Eddie to not be where we are right now. I want us all to be at that gate I sense down there, safe and sound. If we're all together and unhurt, I will consider the favor complete." By the end she's whispering, just looking out at the wind. Slow typing sucks!

"They're what?" Penny does her best to help Bea land safely. "There's a serpent? Can we kill it from here?" She's pretty anxious and ready to hit something if she can just find a target.

Secrets and whispers, hiding and shadows, these things Fie is good at. But now, this, she is helpless, left to stare down. "A serpent." She whispers that, and then shakes her head, her fingers at her lips, her eyes wide.

Eddie isn't flying anymore. Maybe they can see it, down there, one shape falling behind the rest of the flock, then falling for real. Down and down he tumbles, 'til he's facing the ground, watching it come up at him. "This is more like it," he sighs, and closes his eyes. Forty feet from the ground, maybe, and his wings kick in, and he's gliding. Not toward the cliff, where everybody's at, but back down the mountain toward the snowmobiles and that gate Tyla was telling him about. "Run!" his voice might not even carry over the wind, from up there.

The flock wheels and turns towards the cliff; Eddie is free, Bea is free, but the flock.is.coming. The oncoming storm of wings is a black mass blotting out the stars.

The last of Tyla's whisper escapes; the world goes silent in return. Everything dampens down, so that the rush and crash of one's own heartbeat fills up for lack of anything else to hear.

Memories stir; every one of the Lost is, for a brief and horrifying moment, no longer Lost. For that one beat, two beats, three beats, four: the hand of one of the Fae is upon them.

They are standing, all of them, in front of a pair of trees. Those trees have formed an arch with their bare branches; the gate is closed. But they are here, the flock is somewhere back there, and the snowmobiles are way down the mountain. Sound returns: a whisper of a voice. "It is done. We will remember the taste of your names." One blink, two blinks, three blinks, four: the moment of a Good Neighbor's attention is past, leaving only the scent of spring flowers in the nose for a calling card.

Audgrim raises an arm to point over towards the flock when he sees a dot breaking free. He's opening his mouth to talk, and then… the world blurs. He knows this sensation, and it's terrifying beyond belief. For a moment he's nobody, then everyone he wanted to be, and then he's Audgrim, stumbling as he's somewhere else, looking around wildly.

Tyla just stares down at her feet, her hair wrapped around her in a shadowy, guilty cocoon.

Penny grabs her head with her hands after her consciousness rubberbands and then comes to an abrupt stop. "See, this is why I never did PCP. That wasn't good. Worse than the Screamo thing." She takes a few deep breaths, then spots Eddie, and runs over to him. "EDDIE!" She gives him a huge hug. "I thought they ate you, or killed you, or both!"

Bea lets out a breath as everyone gets moved, blinking, then looking to Eddie, and then slowly to the others, finally settling on Tyla with a deep angry frown that chills and solidifies into an emotion so rare on Bea it's hard to place, but it definitely isn't friendly. Then she is looking up again, "That serpent flock is gonna be coming for us. We better run, unless anyone wants to try to make friends with it again."

"Yeah," Eddie says, clearly shaken, "I did too." He manages to return Penny's hug with one arm, and looks around in a daze. One minute he was up there, buzzing along, and then the Hand of Fate was on his shoulder, and now… He takes count of who's still here, seems relieved to see it's everybody. "I learned its name. Ka-hu," he says, like that's important, somehow. "Let's get the hell out of here."

Fie stares downwards, frozen with terror. Then the world changes and she drops down, her hands rising to cover her face, and then stillness for a long moment. She blinks slowly, staring blankly around herself, and then at Eddie for a long moment.

It is cold. There's a slight breeze, but not the *wind* of a few (how few? too few) moments ago. The gate is closed, but that's not a big deal; anyone could open it up. Surely there wouldn't be a True Fae waiting on the otherside with a smile. Surely the scent of flowers wouldn't rise up to fill the snowy air.

Audgrim regains his composure, but he's rattled. He shudders, and this whole experience make him feel… more beastly. "Let's go," he rasps, not waiting for the birds, nor listening much to what's happening. "Not go through gate, right?"

Bea eyes the hedgegate and then looks to the others, "We could get home faster this way, if you ask me, even if everything is overgrown. But I will leave it up to you guys." She looks back up the mountain, then down further. "But still, we should get moving before anything else shows up."

Tyla could open it! But she's probably done enough damage for a good long while, kind of screwing them taking them to the gate and not the snowmobiles. But then again those were really close to the flock and probably something they could catch up to. So she just stays a guilty shadowy cocoon, waiting to see what people decide. Ignore this little shadow for now.

Eddie stares at the gate, then looks back over his shoulder up the mountain. "What's the price?" he suddenly asks the open air, not looking at anybody but clearly addressing -something-. "You said you'd help if we paid the price. Name it."

Fie is flicking between shadow hiding and frozen with terror, "We must go." The whisper seems to carry, and her gaze flickers between the gate and then the mountainside. She edges towards Eddie, her hands lifted, her fingers pulling the cuffs over her hands.

Penny gives Audgrim the gun fingers. "You got it, Audi. Let's just get moving in a normal ass fashion before something ELSE flies at us, screams at us, or plays jammy dodgers with our BRAINS."

Silence in response to Eddie's demand. Either whatever he's talking to isn't listening, or choses to ignore him. Given the way the evening has gone so far, three guesses which it is and the first two don't count.

Tyla follows along, a guilty, sad, little shadow.

The cars are waiting peacefully down in town in front of E-Z Rides. They even start up easily despite the cold. The trip back to Port Angeles is maybe a little less Neil Diamond and a little more Nick Cave, but the sickness fades. Home again, jiggity-jig.

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