Wyldehearts | Itari & Oxymoron

Oxymoron

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The taste of iron tinged her lips, her chest and tongue aching with pain. Her ribs must've been broken, though whether it was from the blast or the beatings was beyond her. The woman's head hung low, her blue eyes barely visible under the lantern light. Her hands were bound behind her back and her ankle chained to the very table she sat at. Nothing but the flickering of the lights flame had accompanied her for as long as she had been here, its gentle glow shining against her blood and sweat smeared face. Fluids dripped from her chain and onto the dirty stone floor until it had pooled beneath her feet. When the door finally creaked open and the smell of humid summer air poured in she didn't even bother tilting her chin up to see who entered. She didn't need to; she knew who it was.

"Maeve 'Darkheart' Dowie." They began. "The Magistrate has you on several accounts of civil unrest, aggravated assault, and conspiracy against the Triumvirate. These are only a few of your crimes against the Commonwealth, I'm sure we don't need to tell you about the powder barrels you set off in the halls of the Bastion. For your actions I would argue bringing an axe down on your neck is suitable enough, but the Triumvirate has already decided on exile. They consider it a fate worse than death. This is your last chance to save yourself. Give us the names of those you conspired with and the Triumvirate promises to spare your life."

Maeve looked up at them now. They were nothing but a plain white mask and a hood, even the hands they had resting on the table between them had gloves on. It's like they were afraid to touch her. "Guess A'll take the fall then." She spat, a glob of blood landing before her. The figure shifted away from it, a faint groan of disgust being audible to her. "A've 'ad it up to my arse with this place. Could use a change o' scenery."

"Then may the Wyld have mercy on your soul, because we're out of patience." The figure rises to their feet, guards entering the room with nothing more then a wave of their hand. "The Triumvirate welcomed you here when your family requested refugee. We are truly saddened that it had to come to this."
"Preach tah someone who'll listen laddie."

When the guards approached she instantly lunged at them, causing them both to collectively put their hands on their swords despite the fact that her restraints stopped her only inches from her seat. Maeve chuckled at this. Dogs of the Triumvirate were always all bark. She may have been the one in restraints but the chains on these folks were unbreakable. They were only eve two kinds of them: Those too afraid to disobey or too loyal to see they were being used. The Triumvirate kept them on a tight leash. The Undergrowth, at the very least, didn't have such rulers.





Exile had been around for as long as anyone could remember. Several weeks of travel away from the kingdoms wall lead to a massive sinkhole in the middle of a distant prairie. There was an uncanny nature to it, the sinkhole being much wider than several castles and so deep a wall of fog prevented anyone from looking more then a several kilometers within. Some theorized that it led to the very center of their world, with the few rivers that poured into the Undergrowth forever raining down into what was just an empty abyss.

Maeve was about to test this theory. She was chained by the neck to seven other convicts, all muttering prayers or sobbing out what few tears they had left in them. Their wagon came to a stop only a few yards from the sinkholes edge, the guards all yanking them out of their seats and lined them all up at the edge. She never had a fear of heights, but she found herself holding her breath anyway as she gazed below. Its walls were much too steep to even consider the possibility of climbing, a straight drop. Nothing between them and the supposed ground but a sea of clouds.

Another masked figure approached them. A judge, as signified by the hammer sigil on their lapel. In their hands they held a dusty tome, already opened as they began to read them their last rites. Maeve wasn't listening, instead she was calculating her chances of fighting her way out of here. Unlikely, not with her arms bound and her neck chained.

But she was never one to believe in odds. Just when it seemed like the judge was about to close the book she lunged forward, attempting to yank the others along with her. This only earned her a crack against the face, the heavy tome swung against her.

"Know your place, Vixtani." The judge said indignantly, grabbing Maeve's collar while she was still recoiling. "You and your people have caused us enough trouble. Enjoy your fall, because I will."


Then, there was nothing.​

Nothing but the sound of wind rushing past her ears and the faint cries of the other convicts, drowned up by the adrenaline that surged through her and the thunderous beating of her heart. It was during the fall where she swore it, crying out to the wind that one day she would be back. Swearing that she'd be the first to ever escape the Undergrowth, and that when she did there would be hell to pay.

Maeve didn't know what happened that lead her to survive such a fall, she only knew that it felt like her arms were ripped right off her shoulder. A feeling of coldness washed over her as she tried to focus her vision. She was laying on her stomach, her mouth full of something she was instantly throwing up. It was salty, but no amount of water could wash out blood she tasted. Her mouth was agape and aching. Was her jaw broken? No matter. She forced herself onto her feet anyway, only to instantly drop onto a knee. It was impaled by something. Her vision was faltering, eyes heavy as weakness came over her. Nevertheless she persisted, digging her single functioning foot into the dirt and forcing herself forward. Her strength failed her instantly, her whole body becoming limp as she fell into whatever river she landed in. The last thing she witnessed as her consciousness escaped her was the outline of seven corpses, scattered about around her. Some were stuck in trees, others flattened into a paste from the fall, all still connected by an unbroken chain. A graveyard in the making.
 
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Itari

カンザキイオリ - 不器用な男
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A large, white two-tailed fox jumped out from the mossy forest, pouncing on an unsuspecting creature. She picked up her prize in her mouth and bounded back to where Evan was collecting herbs. She sat in front of him, tails waving excitedly. Evan glanced up, "Thanks, Koko. Leave it here. Do you think you can get me another one?" The fox immediately turned and leaped back into the wild undergrowth. From above, a brown falcon dropped another rodent directly on Evan's head. "Hey! Akos!" The bird landed in a nearby tree and cocked his head. Evan glared but worked on skinning the creatures and carefully removing their gall bladders.

Suddenly Koko came flying out from the trees, nearly knocking Evan over. He dropped the rat he had been holding and accidentally cut the gall bladder clean in half. Evan turned angrily to the fox, but Koko began insistently tugging on his shirt and nipping at his leg, "Ouch! Koko, stop that!" The fox ran towards the river then turned around to look at him, "Ok, ok, I'm coming." He gathred his things and whistled. Akos flew down from a tree and landed on his perch on the top of Evan's medicine box. Koko led them to the river and a pile of fresh corpses chained together. Evan raised an eyebrow, "You wanted me to see... the newly dead prisoners?" Most people who livedin the Undergrowth tended to avoid this area. They didn't want to risk being crushed by a falling corpse. Koko nudged one of the bodies.

Evan crouched down next to the broken figure and gently touched her. Still warm. He put his hand in front of her nose. Still alive. Just barely. He glanced back at his cat, "Really, Koko? She's practically already dead. What do you expect me to do?" Koko gently headbuttted his leg. Akos cawed and ruffled his feathers. "You, too?" He sighed dramatically. "Fine. Fine. Help me get her shackles off."

While Koko and Akos worked on breaking apart the shackles, Evan cleared a nearby area and laid out a blanket from his medicin box. Then, he went into the surrounding jungle and found several good sticks. She would probably need a splint or two. Akos flew overhead and cawed, and Evan went back to look at the girl. She had collapsed on her stomach, her left leg imapaled on a sharp branch sticking out the river just underneath her knee. Luckily, it seemed to have missed the bone. Broken jaw. Dislocated right shoulder and broken right arm. Bleeding in several areas. 2 broken ribs on the right and one the left. Evan braced one foot on the branch and then pulled her leg off of it in once swift motion. Then he carefully flipped her onto her back and carried her to the small area he had prepared. Koko snuggled up to the strangers side and laid her head on the girl's stomach. He took care of the knee and bleeding first, stitching them up and using antibiotics before wrapping them neatly in clean white bandages. Then he popped her shoulder back into place and splinted the arm. The girl groaned and Evan touched a hand to her forehead. She was feverish, "Koko, go grab me some Xanthophloea. Akos, go get some water from the river."

Akos grabbed a small bowl with his talons and Koko bounded off into the forest. Four hours later, Evan was sleeping next to a heavily bandaged stranger while Koko and Akos kept watch. He wasn't sure if she'd make it, but he'd done what he could for her.
 
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Oxymoron

A Pale Reflection of the Sun
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Whatever pain she thought she had felt before was nothing compared to what followed. Adrenaline had drowned most of it out, but now that those reserves were tapped out there was nothing left but exhaustion and agony. She knew not what was happening to her, only faltering visions of inky silhouettes flashing in her half-conscious mind. There was a tightness in her chest, and a fiery feeling that coursed through her veins. It was as if her very blood was boiling, a tempest tearing its way through her.

Maeve awoke several hours after receiving treatment, staying still with only her chest heaving for a few desperate breaths until early the next morning. She woke with a start, trying to sit up only to instantly be laid back down when she felt a jolt of a thousand different aches tremor across her body. She hadn't realized it but she was holding her breath, biting her tongue and clenching her sore jaw. She'd roll over onto a side and spit out the last of the river water and blood bile that she had left in her lung. It was difficult to move, and it only took a quick glance to find out why. She was bandaged and splinted, her movements purposefully restrained for her own health. When she squirmed about she didn't hear the jangling of chains but she still felt the collar around her neck.

She hadn't even noticed the creature she almost flattened when she rolled over until now. Some pale four-legged creature? It was hard to tell, it only looked blurry to her. "If yer tryin' tah eat me. . . hah. . . Ain' dead yet. . . Shite. . ." Speaking was a mistake, her jaw felt about ready to fall off again. Her own words were making her head hurt. She rolled over to the other side with a groan, where she saw another silhouette of something vaguely humanoid. No matter how much she tried to focus her vision she just couldn't make out much detail, only the darkness of their hair.

Maeve guessed this was the person that saved her, but she knew better then to assume a favor like that would come for free. She owed them her life, and that bothered her. A quiet groan escaped her. No point putting it off, time to face her so-called savior. She weakly elbowed the silhouette to get their attention, not really saying anything but staring in their general direction with fuzzy eyes and a pounding headache. She felt liked hell and probably looked a lot worse. Cuts and bruises were all she had to show this person, not exactly a very swell first impression but if she had her way she wouldn't stay in the Undergrowth for long. It was wishful thinking but she was determined to make it happen.

Whatever the cost may be.​
 
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Itari

カンザキイオリ - 不器用な男
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Upon seeing Maeve awake, Koko jumped up to their feet excitedly and ran over to Evan. When Maeve's slight nudge failed to wake him, she made a yipping noise and hit him several times in the chest with her front paws. Evan groaned, "I'm awake, I'm awake." He sat up and yawned and looked over to see Maeve staring at him, "Oh. You're alive. Wow. I'm better than I thought. Koko, can you go get us some food?" Koko nuzzled his chest and Evan gave her some scratches on her chin before she turned and disappeared into the surrounding greenery.

Evan scooted on his knees over to Maeve to inspect her wounds, "You shouldn't move so much. You'll ruin all my hard work." He looked down at her, "Listen, I gotta go get stuff from my camp and bring it down here, or else we won't be able to eat. Stay here. Don't move unless you want to die. Akos will look after you until Koko gets back." He whistled and Akos came soaring out of the sky, landing on his perch. "Akos, Keep an eye on her. If she tries to move... well, you know what to do." Akos ruffled his feathers and puffed out his chest and Evan patted him on the head. "Good boy." Then, he got up and left, leaving Maeve alone.

The falcon jumped down from his perch atop Evan's medicine chest and hopped to one side of Maeve's head. He leaned his flexible neck down and stared at her with one large yellow eye pointed towards her face. Then, he hopped to the other side of her head and repeated the gesture with his other eye. If Maeve tried to make any movements larger than small adjustments, he would yell, viciously flap his wings, and nip at her head until she stopped. Thirty minutes later, Koko returned holding a large furry creature in her mouth. Seeing that Evan was gone she instead went over to Maeve and dropped it on her chest. Then she sat down, tails waving in anticipation.
 

Oxymoron

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Maeve had something witty to say to him about how her survival maybe had something more to do with her own stubborn nature instead of his own skills as a doctor, but when she opened her mouth a wave of pain humbled her instantly. She hated being powerless like this but whining wasn't going to do her any good, if her sore vocal chords could even muster up the strength to do such a task. This was for the best, even if she was going to be a bit grumpy about it. The only figment of a response she could muster to the stranger was a faint nod of her head and a silently understood promise to stay perfectly still until he returned.

The air down here felt strange to her. There was something to it, a gentle tinge of some kind of foreign feeling. It felt almost electric to her, ever so subtly tingling her nostrils and filling her already heaving lungs with a sense of heaviness. Just enough to be noticeably weighing her already heavy breaths but not enough to injure her already practically taped together body. It did, however, make her wince a bit when the strange creatures interacted with her. That bird in particular – what did that man call it? – was driving her up the wall with its noisy clatter and pecking of her noggin. She had a few select words to share with bird brain over here but she bit her tongue.

This other creature, the white silhouette, was much more gentle with her at least. She couldn't tell what it dropped on her but judging by its warmth and fuzzy texture it was likely some rabbit, if they had those down here. She reached out a stiff bruised hand to touch the creatures head, instead missing and landing on its neck. Maeve found that she couldn't quite curl her fingers comfortably, so she just rubbed what was presumably its cheek with the back of her hand. Here's hoping the creature didn't have a taste for her blood.
 

Itari

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Koko made a purring sound and leaned into Maeve's hand. She rested her head on Maeve's chest and cuddled her head under her chin. Akos ruffled his feathers and stamped his feet slightly. He was jealous of the attention Koko was getting but was committed to his job. After some more feather rustling and foot stamping he went back to keeping one of his large yellow eyes trained on her.

When Evan returned, both of the animals sprang up to greet him. Akos flew up onto his shoulder and nudged his head into Evan's face. Koko made whining sounds and rubbed herself into his legs with so much force he nearly fell over. "Alright, alright. Settle down." He gave them both a quick pat on the head and set a cookpot and a bedroll on the ground. "Good. You can follow instructions. Though I guess you wouldn't be able to move much even if you tried. I'm Evan by the way. Akos, Koko, go get me some sticks and logs." He did quick once over of Meave's wounds, checking her bandages and splints. Then, he sat and plucked the furry animal off of her chest and started skinning it. It appeared to be a strange cross between a rat and a rabbit. "It's going to be a while before you can move so I guess we're stuck here for a week or two." He flashed her a cheeky grin, "I'm good at what I do though so you should heal up nicely."

Akos and Koko returned with various sized logs and began building a fire together. Or at least attempting to. The order and direction certainly seemd purposeful, but it would be impossible to get any semblance of a fire started from their eccentric arrangement. Neverless, when they pair finished, both stood back to admire their good work. Koko leaped up on to Evan's back, placing her front paws on his shoulders and making a yipping noise to inform him of their achievement. Evan gave her a pat on her neck and went to inspct their work, hands on his hips, "As usual, you two have really out down yourselves." He began rearranging the wood into a fire pit while both Koko and Akos puffed their chests in pride. "I hope you like stew cause I dont know how to make anything else."
 

Oxymoron

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Maeve had never seen such smart animals before. Not even the triumvirate, in all their supposedly infinite wisdom, could keep animals as expressive as this. She really wanted to move to better accommodate the animals but that bird threatened to pull every short dark strand of hair off of the top of her head. Staying still was beginning to prove to be a problem as well, this strange air instilling a sense of restlessness into her. Just how deep into the world were they? It probably wasn't toxic, people were evidently breathing it in down here and she wasn't gasping for air anymore then her injuries already forced her to, but it was discomforting.

At the strangers eventual return she finally had the opportunity to sit herself up just a bit since the pair of animals ran off to greet them. Slowly her vision was beginning to focus itself once more, tough not without first sending a wave of aches through her skull. Their silhouettes were still blurry but she could make out the gentle shine of their eyes and the glow of the newly lit fire. Her broken nose could still pick up the scent at least. Regardless of its quality it already smelled heavenly to her, especially after months of eating whatever slop the Triumvirate threw at them. Her stomach was already growling, an instinct which she cursed herself for.

Maeve hated nothing more then having to be at someone else's mercy. Even now, when her own life was on the line, she wanted to rip her splints off and stand. It was simply out of the question. Though, at the very least, she was going to get her jaw in working order. She lifted a trembling hand and placed it under her jaw, feeling the wrap around her head and tracing its edge with her finger until she found the loose end, unraveling it completely. Her hand held her chin carefully, holding it perfectly still until she could will her muscles enough to support its weight. After minutes, it seemed like it'd hold. Not medically sound but she didn't care. A few sputtering coughs escaped her but after that, nothing more. That's more like it. No fall would get the better of her!

"Well A' owe ya one doc." She mumbled out, voice coarse as hell and clearly straining her. It still hurt to speak but she was done whining about it. "But, er. . . What the hell are ya doin' down here? An', uh, where exactly is 'ere? A' dinnae think anyone could surviva that fall but. . . well, that's how A' got 'here, huh?"
 

Itari

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The stew was coming along nicely. Well, as nicely as a stew made from whatever ingredients one could find out here could be. Truth be told, Evan was quite sick of stew. It was pretty much all that he ate whenever he travelled because it tasted decent and was easy to make. All he had to do was pull up random plants, get an animal and throw it all into a pot with some water. Add a little salt, and some seasonings and voila. Stew. You can even add a little something to give yourself a good time after dinner. He stirred it with a stick, "Careful about talking. You broke your jaw." He held out the stick to Koko who licked the stew off excitedly and then went back to stirring, "You're in a part of the Undergrowth called Moss Grotto. You surface people throw all your prisoners down here." He looked at her, "Honestly, it's really rude. Sometimes people die when they get hit by falling bodies. Anyway, most of them die on impact but you got lucky. Or unlucky depending on how you see it."

Koko whined and Evan gave her another stick of stew. "I was born down here. Do all people up there speak like you do? Can barely understand what you're saying. Koko, go catch your own dinner. You too, Akos." The two animals took off to look for their own meal. The stew was bubbling now and Evan took out a bowl and spoon from his medicine box. He dipped the wood into the hot stew, filling it nearly to the brim and then sat down next to Maeve and held out a spoonful of soup. "Say 'ah.'" He brought the spoon to her lips and unceremoniously dumped it into her mouth, "After you eat I'll help you strip so I can wash your clothes. Ah, I guess you'll need help using the bathroom, too." His expression told her that this was something normal to him, an almost bored expression on his face as he fed her.
 
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Oxymoron

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"Y'mean tah tell me people 'ave been livin' down 'ere this whole time?" Maeve managed, between short stops to suck in a quick breath. He wasn't kidding, every word was an effort. The pain she felt was beginning to become fuzzy to her, a dizzying numbness slowly settling. She carefully ran her fingers across her cheek and jaw, applying a gentle pressure just to gauge how much strain she could stand before every fiber of her being screamed loud enough to will her into a stop. The Triumvirate has been 'exiling' people down this whole for as long as she could remember, though with their sheer incessant desire to erase their own history it was completely possible that this so-called exile has been happening for much longer than she knew. She wasn't a historian, quite the opposite really, but she found this to be a safe assumption to make. This stranger was living, breathing proof that this has been happening for a generation at the least. "Y'av never been up there? Well, yer not missin' out on much lad."

His next question made her frown, though the pain made it look more like a grimace. "A' think not lad. A'm Vixtani, not from that empire. Migrated over with my family tah escape a war an', well, ya can see 'ow that worked out fer me." She didn't flatter his next few comments with a reply, only rolling her eyes and opening wide when instructed. For some reason she assumed he'd be more careful with the soup, her jaw clamping shut as the soup threatened to burn her. She was desperate enough to swallow and risk setting fire to her throat just for a spoonful of food. Her mouth hung open as she awkwardly exhaled a puff of hot air.

"A' can take a shite mahself lad, it's gonna take a little more then a fall tah keep me down!" Maeve heaved a few breaths after those words, groaning loudly at her own condition. She quickly turned away, muttering out a few more words to change the subject. "Y'av got quite the collection of animals. Never seen anythin' like 'em up above, nor any with quite as much wit."
 

Itari

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Evan’s eyes lit up at the mention of his animals. “You won’t find anything like them down here either! I mean all the animals in the Undergrowth are smart, but none of them are like Koko or Akos. I raised them myself from babies.” At that moment Koko came bounding out of the vegetation and barrelled into Evan. Her snout was covered in blood. Evan scratched her giant head enthusiastically behind the ears, “Did you find a good meal, girl? You did such a good job today.” Koko rolled over and displayed her stomach and Evan leaned over her to give her belly rubs. Her two tails wagged enthusiastically, thumping loudly against the ground. Akos flew down from the treetops, and upon seeing the petting session flew down and landed on Evan’s shoulders.

“Ouch! Akos your claws! Ok, ok you get some attention too.” He rubbed the falcon on the head affectionately. He looked over at Maeve as if he just remembered she was still there and cleared his throat. “So, usually I would stay here until you’re more recovered, but I’ve got a kid back in the village and I gotta get back to him. I’ve been away too long already. So here’s the plan. Tomorrow morning I’m gonna throw you on Koko’s back, drop you off in the village hospital, and go pick up my youngest.”

He finished feeding Maeve a bowl of stew and then refilled the bowl. “You want more?”
 
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Oxymoron

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The way the doctor and his entourage of animals behaved with one another was unlike anything she had seen before. Sure, many families treated their pets well enough but never this. There was a trust between them, one that was beginning to remind her of her own little entourage on the surface and memories she wasn't quite ready to relive just yet. She only hoped their story ended better than hers, and with several less barrels of black powder.

"How long did that take, years? A' don' imagine they grow up much faster than the animals we've got up there. That's one hell of a commitmen, A'd think ya woulda given birth to them yerself!" She laughed, which squeezed a quick inhale and a quiet, "Ow," from her. The joke wasn't as funny after Evan spoke of what sounded to her like a son. Well, there must've been some charm to the doctor that she wasn't registering because someone evidently found them to be a heartthrob. The realization shut her up long enough to swallow the last of her bowl. As much as she would've loved a second bowl if she was stuck on the ground much longer she would be liable to throw a tantrum. Not that she had much of a choice anymore. "Ugh, alright, fine. How long until mornin'? The little clock in my head ain' tickin' right on account of, uh, the power nap A' took."
 

Itari

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After the two of them both ate their fill, Evan let Koko lick out the pot and put out the fire. "Koko's still growing actually. She's only a teenager. Akos is fully grown though." He handed Maeve a vial from his medicine box, "Drink this. It'll make you sleep and take away the pain."

Judging by the light, the sun was just beginning to touch the horizon. Usually, Evan would will be up for a couple more hours, but Maeve seemed impatient and he was also in a hurry to return to the village. "We can leave in five hours. Koko, take first watch."

Koko laid down next to Maeve and Evan laid against her side. Her fluffy fur was more comfortable than any pillow and warmer than any blanket. It took him less than a couple mintues to fall asleep.

True to his word, about five hours later, when it was still dark out, Evan was packed and ready to leave. He carried his medicine box on his back. Everything else was stuffed into saddlebags carried by Koko. Evan helped Maeve sit up, and putting one hand around her shoulders, and the other underneather her knees, picked her up in a princess carry. "You're... heavy."
 

Oxymoron

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Maeve took the vial between two fingers, spinning the vial around and watching as the liquid sloshed around within. She wasn't sure how much she trusted a bottle of mystery liquid but she obviously wasn't the doctor here. With nothing more then an uneasy shrug she popped the cork and downed the contents. The taste was bitter, enough to make her grimace but she swallowed it none the less. He wasn't kidding, that worked a treat. She could feel the aches and pains melt away and gradually be replaced with a numbness. Too numb, in fact. She could feel her eyelids becoming heavier and her breath gradually slowing. She tried to say something to him but the only thing that came out of her was a slur of unintelligible words. The only tangible thing that left her mouth came when Evan curled up besides her, one simple word before she fell asleep:

"Puuuppy. . ."

Evan had to wake Maeve, who was quite effectively put under by the medicine. She blinked her eyes awake and took a quick glance around as if to confirm that she was, in fact, still in the undergrowth and it wasn't just a figment of her dying brains imagination as she became nothing more then another stain in that pit. Alas, it was real. She was rubbing her eyes awake when she felt Evan begin to get handsy with her. A gentle redness colored her cheek and she prepared a protest but understood that this was a necessary evil. "A' ain't heavy, yer just weak!" She protested, awkwardly putting a single arm around Evans neck to try and make his job easier. This proved fruitless, she still much too frail to manage it.
 

Itari

カンザキイオリ - 不器用な男
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Maeve was gently placed into Koko's saddle and strapped in place; the terrain could be rough and she didn't appear to have the strength to hold on herself. The village was not far from their current location, but their progress was slow as Evan stopped often inspect and harvest various flora and fauna. Koko, being the ball of energy she was, occasionally forgot that she was carrying a person and would jump and chase after other creatures until either Evan or Maeve reminded her she was carrying a person. Akos spent most of the journey out of sight, above the canopy. His wings were not made to fly in the dense foliage.

"So I feel like I should mention this so it doesn't freak you out." Evan was crouched down next to a plant, carefully examining it with a lens attached to one eye, "Eventually you're body's gonna mutate a little. Nothing serious though, just things like, growing horns or fur or a tail or changing colors. You might even grow an extra limb." He picked several leaves off the plant and tucked them in a compartment of his medicine box.

"Well, you'll see what I mean when we reach the village. I don't know much about the process since I'm anomaly and don't have any but," He patted her sympathetically on the leg, "I've heard the process isn't really nice." He left the rest to her imagination.
 
  • Ah Seen't It
Reactions: Oxymoron

Oxymoron

A Pale Reflection of the Sun
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Her composure quickly returned to her when his hands were off of her, glaring at him from over his shoulders as if to warn him that once she was all healed up grabbing her like that again would result in him having to pick up his teeth with inversely bent fingers. As their tiny caravan shuffled through the off-colored foliage of the undergrowth she'd reach a single quivering arm up and snag a branch off of a nearby tree. It was long and gnarled, its bark a bland shade of lavender. Maeve didn't need it to look pretty, she just needed it to be strong enough to act as a crutch or batting instrument in a pinch. She pulled the thing close, lazily hugging it to her side as she listened to Evans next words.


It sounded like a load of bullshit to her. Mutations didn't just happen for no reason, why would she-


The air. That faint sensation she felt with every breath she took. The very atmosphere down here was charged with something. Now that she had a good look around, there was something off-putting. At a first glance the place seemed like any other jungle, dense with foliage and covered in a thick canopy, but on closer inspection there was a few splashes of color tucked away under the otherwise green area. Long alien shaped leaves springing up from what was once ferns, its color not unlike the very branch she had collected. This damn place was cursed. She wanted to get up right now and begin working on her escape plan, but it just wasn't feasible in this condition. If she wanted to leave this place with her literal humanity intact she'd have to race against whatever force wanted them to change.

"Great." Was the only word that escaped Maeve, her tone almost defeated. Maybe an extra arm wouldn't be so bad. "Amazing, really. 'ow far is it? A's gotta take a look at my inevitable."
 

Itari

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Luckily for Maeve, they were not far from the village. It was easy to miss, if one didn't know what to look for. It was small and built straight out of the surrounding oversized vegetation. Buildings were made from large hollowed out tree roots or cleverly shaped dense bushes. People bustled about, all of them sporting the strange mutations Evan had mentioned to her. As they passed, many called out to them.

"Doctor, you're back early."

"Pick up another stray there doctor?"

"Doctor! Please come visit me later!"

Evan immediately forgot his original plan and went straight to pick up his son instead of dropping Maeve off at the hospital. He rung a bell next to a mass of bushes and a man stepped out of what looked like a mass of bushes. A fluffy white creature clung to his back. It appeared to be a small, white fluffy cat, no bigger than half a foot in length, except it had large black compound eyes, like an insect, a pair of moth wings, and six legs.

"Evan! Never leave this.... this... menace! With me ever again! Do you know how I've suffered the last week? It doesn't listen at all, shits everywhere, and knocks over EVERYTHING!! EVERYTHING!!! I mean, LOOK AT IT!!!" The man pointed to his back where the moth cat was still clinging.

Evan's face erupted in a huge grin, "Papa's home Fae!" The cat moth turned it's head to look at him, then detached itself from the man's back and flew into Evan's arms, cuddling into his face, "I missed you too. Were you a good boy?"

The man looked like he might strangle Evan, who had the decency to look at least slightly apologetic, "I'm sorry Gen, I'll compensate you. Whatever you need. Painkillers, cough syrup. Anything." He seemed to remember that Maeve was still with him at that moment, "As soon as I take this lady here to the hospital."

Gen grumbled, but did not argue, only turned and walked back into his home and Fae settled himself on top of Evan's hood. "Ok, Maeve, I got my son now. Let's get you to the hospital. They got some equipment I can use to treat you better. How are you feeling? Any pain?"
 

Oxymoron

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The village, at least, seemed quaint enough to spark some semblance of optimism in Maeve. Seeing the denizens get along with the wiles of this volatile habitat meant that she could too, given the function of her limbs being eventually restored and whatever leaking holes in her body were plugged. She was never one for all this hippy nature crap – it was more her brothers thing – but it beat the cold floor of a cell any day.


She didn't get a good look at the inhabitants from her awkward position until she saw Evan run off. That got her to snap her head his direction, awkwardly straining her vision as much as her mind allowed until her brain deciphered the sensory vomit that was being witnessed by her tired eyes. These mutations didn't seem to have any rhyme or reason to them. A man patrolling the village grounds had his skin covered in a dark bug like carapace, while a woman washing her clothes in a wooden basin seemed to have vines and bark growing over her with long round leaves sprouting out of her head. Evan, on the other hand, was perfectly normal by her standards. This was something she'd have to interrogate him about later.


When the complaints about Evan's son reached her ear she did her best to sit up to get a good look, settling for just craning her neck a bit higher. Her face curled into a disturbed grimace upon hearing the things Evan's son had been up to. "Yer kid sounds like a bloody animal." She'd shout from where she lay, though it came out more as a wheeze. Her little quip proved to be realer then she thought when Evan turned around and she witnessed the little creature clinging to its owner. Her grimace briefly turned into a grin before dropping to a frown, realizing that she had the wrong idea. She elected to ignore his question to instead shout at him for her own misunderstanding. "Bastard! A' thought ya were a father! These damn animals mean that much to you, huh?"
 

Itari

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Evan stopped in his tracks, offended. "Damn animals? How could you refer to them like that?" He reached up and gave Fae a scratch under the chin. "Koko saved your life you know. If it weren't for her I would've left you there in that forest. Isn't that right, my baby girl?" He scratched the fox vigorously behind the ears. From his perch on the back of Evan's medicine box, Akos fluffed her feathers and squawked, prompting Evan to hurry give some of his attentions to him as well.

"Did you get a good look around? What do you think of all the mutations?" Evan put Fae in Maeve's arms and pulled off his hood, revealing that he was in fact, normal, and not hiding anything underneath it. "Some of them are pretty freaky aren't they?" He started leading Koko down the street, "Come on, let's get you to the hospital. Let me know if you need more painkillers."

The "hospital," if the tiny building could even be called that, was only a few buildings down the only street in the village. It was inside a large tree trunk. "Here we are." Evan reached up and began helping Maeve off of Koko's back. "Careful coming down. Don't want to break something else."