IC Archive

AW
Deux

#1
AW
Note this is barely across the biome border with temperate, along the forest-y chunk.


It was past dawn at least, the light was still fairly golden, but that would fade fast. He'd crossed the river the evening before, and now he'd go adventuring a bit and maybe cross south again later once he found a safe point to do so. Still nothing had caught his attention, or at least not long enough to hold him to a place or a person. He was finnicky.

Finnicky and kept an ear out. And an eye. With trees came more places for people to hide, and he wasn't sure how long luck would bless him. Maybe it would be kind... Or not. Maybe it would be better if he avoided wolves and found himself some food instead. He didn't ask for much. The trees beckoned. It was a far better promise than the river behind him. He started down a game trail, into the trees.
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#2
@Vidocq - Mordecai will be hopping in too!


 After making camp about the forest they'd dubbed Bleakwood for a few days, Crux had suggested they start to roam some of the other areas nearby to see who might be nearby. The land they'd both woken in didn't seem especially crowded, but the speckled male knew as well as anyone else that to be strong and survive, one would need to have others near them. Wolves were social creatures, they didn't do well alone or in groups of only two.

 Truthfully, Crux was just a little bored. Mordecai was great and all, he did really appreciate his new friend, but he wanted something else to spice up his little life - and that was to meet more strangers. Quiet at he was usually, he found himself compelled to speak up and introduce himself to every wolf he met. It felt alien to him, but he supposed waking in this place had woken more in him than he'd thought at first.

 He spotted a dark-coated wolf heading in his direction down a game trail, and he huffed gently to alert @Mordecai to the wolf he'd spotted. He approached the lean wolf with an air of both confidence and friendliness.  "Hey, how's it going?" he offered a genuine smile, stopping to allow the stranger to make his observations.

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#3
 As far as Mordecai was concerned, the last few days had been absolutely wonderful. True, it was strange, exceedingly so, that he'd woken up here with no memory but ever since that day he'd gotten to hang out with his newest --and only-- friend Crux! Prince Crux! As long as he had a purpose in his life and a full stomach --and a bed to lie down-- he was a happy camper. The man would follow anyone he was loyal to, to the ends of the earth to do anything necessary and he would do it with a smile on his face and a pep in his step. So, when the royal man had suggested that they head out from Bleakwood in search of others, he was all too happy to agree. Along with the prince he walked, tail wagging back and forth happily and a dopish smile that matched his half-lidded eyes.

 Something caught his attention --not the other wolf that was nearby-- but a tiny bug on the leaf of a bush. His eyes practically sparkled as he walked over to it and watched what he could now see was a cute, fuzzy little caterpillar inching along. If he were a bit hungrier he might have eaten it but for now he was content to watch it go along its day. Should he alert the prince?

 A huff caused him to temporarily forget about the little bug as he turned his attention to the monochrome mister. He was being summoned! He glanced back at the bug, whispered a hasty "goodbye" to it and then strolled up to Crux's side. As always he was slightly behind, respectfully, but in a position that he could quickly leap to the man's defense if the occasion so called for it. It was always sort of a natural thing, like at the back of his mind that he should do this for optimal defending although he had no idea where he'd learned it from.

 He smiled at the stranger and peered at him through warm brown eyes. "'Sup?" He said with an upwards jerk of his head, in a friendly greeting.

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[Image: Mordecai.png]
#4
So far he wasn't picking up anything. But forests were big -- something had to die somewhere and he'd probably have a better chance of finding that than he did catching a deer on his own. He wasn't picky, not at this point. The dappled light got weaker as he went into the trees, sound was more dampened. But soon enough, reality again kept Vidocq from walking alone. First one greyscale wolf, then a brown popped out of the woods and the youth's travels halted immediately. 

Though they might be friendly, Vidocq seemed to be more standoffish. Their smiles got met with the flat line of his own expression. “Uhh. Hi.” Blank.  He wasn't sure what else to say. “Who're you.” It wasn't entirely a question. It just kind of was there. One of his ears tilted slightly back, the other orbited around in case there were others -- he'd catch a sound of them at least he hoped. But as it was, he was outnumbered by smiley people and that was suspicious, or he certainly would treat it that way. His eyes shifted back and forth between them.
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#5
 The stranger seemed perturbed and Crux couldn't help but smirk. Yeah, that's the same reaction he'd probably have given if someone ran up to him like that in his old pack. A "who the hell are you and what do you want" sort of deal. "I'm Crux and this is Mordecai." He indicated with a toss of his head towards his friend, though his keen eyes stayed on this stranger. He may put on an outward appearance of extreme friendliness, but his eyes were calculating and clear, watching for any indication that the wolf might attack.

 He wasn't here for a fight, but if the stranger forced one upon them, he would not turn it away. Turning tail was often a death sentence, at least in his experience.

 Now, on to reason for approach. "We're making a home nearby" Half a lie, half truth. Nearby in the same biome, but far enough to not draw potential enemies right to their land. They hadn't claimed it yet - there were too few wolves and it was too unexplored to feel fully safe - but he was determined not to lose it to some strangers. "So we're checking out who all is in the area." So, stranger. Do you live here or are you passing through? Will you pose a threat to future children? Will we have to deal with you or will you be a friend? "Who might you be?"

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#6
 Despite their friendly demeanor it seemed as if the other wolf wasn't really the type to reciprocate. Mordecai noticed his expression, the mouth stretched into a line rather than a returning smile. He found himself subconsciously evaluating the male, wondering if his demeanor could slip even further into hostility. Hopefully not. He preferred to make friends but if he needed to, would throw down with any wolf without any regard beyond winning and protecting his own.

 Mordecai remained quiet, silent in his observations, and though he didn't let his smile waver he was still attentive. He couldn't afford to slack right now, he was certainly "on-duty", as it were. Still, he didn't have anything intelligent to add to the conversation and when he was introduced just gave a slight wag of his tail as an acknowledgement and a sort of "hello" while he let Crux do all the fancy diplomatic stuff.

 He just stood on standby, just in case the prince needed him to do or say anything as was necessary.


Feel free to skip Mordecai if he's not directly asked a question or anything. He'll just be standing by as he is now, observing.




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[Image: Mordecai.png]
#7
While Crux stayed fairly open and straightforward, Vidocq was not. He stayed guarded, continuing to look between the two of them. 
The lighter one did seem to be the boss, the rounder brown one -- Mordecai or whatever -- just lurked about all weird. Not that Vidocq was not weird. He was just.. Standoffish or something. There was probably a better word but he was trying to reveal as little as possible. Look, he might be pretty young, but he was wise enough to know sharing stuff with strangers wasn't always the smartest. “Niv,” was his answer, last question first.

“Around here, huh?” He looked around very briefly, not willing to take his eyes off of them for very long but still wanting to make a point. “Can't say I can tell you much about people, I just got here.” A shrug. It was true, but he was also kind of a bit of a punk most of the time, so whether that was a snarky shrug or a normal shrug was kind of questionable, but he honestly didn't know. Whether or not Crux believed him in the end. As it was, Vidocq kept his cards covered this time, waiting to see what'd be mentioned next.
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#8
 His guard @Mordecai stood quietly nearby, letting him take the lead - that was fine. Crux was not trying to cause a fight, though he was very aware of the omnipresent possibility. Especially when they were speaking with such a closed-off wolf, who eyed them with suspicion. He was more likely to flee than fight, Crux figured.

 He nodded. "Did you wake with no memory of how you arrived?" he tilted his head gently, blinking at "Niv." Regardless of the answer, he'd go on: "I've been noticing that has been happening a lot. Some have more memories than others of their lives before this place." How did Niv relate to that? He continued on,  "You might say I'm searching for answers - even if those answers right now are just collecting others' stories."

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#9
Vidocq hadn't noticed. He hadn't been paying close enough attention to the landscape to even notice -- and he'd gone from one similar place to another, both unfamiliar. And so, in his vision it hadn't happened. He gave Crux an odd look, “Look, man, I was on the other side of the river before this, that's what I mean. And walking a long time before it.”  He was coming to think that when people were adults they were just crazy, apparently -- or maybe just when they got older. He wasn't impressed. “That or maybe a bunch of you have just gone nuts. Sounds like a far more reasonable answer to me.” His look got a bit more suspicious. Seriously. What was with these guys?

His weight had shifted back slightly towards his rear paws, debating just leaving right then. Why did he keep running into weirdos? The first guy was weird enough but now to find out there was more of them? Too weird.
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#10
omg I swear when I read Vidocq's age he wasn't a child, Crux's been treating him like an adult. Imagine the whole "potential threat" stuff never even was thought LOL, he wouldn't see a less-than-year-old as a potential threat.


 So he hadn't noticed he'd woken up in such a strange place? Crux peered at him curiously, a little concerned. “Are you sure nothing I'm saying sounds familiar?” He tilted his head, ignoring the jab about potentially being mad. Crux wasn't mad, he was sure of it. Just as Mordecai wasn't mad, just a bit overly loyal. Just like the family of ladies he'd met weren't mad, just excitable over plants and cautious of the massive speckled male.

 “What about your family? When was the last time you saw them? Have you noticed any differences in landscape at all between falling asleep and waking?” Waking didn't discriminate on age, but perhaps if he asked questions like this, it'd make the child think about it and realize there really was something strange going on. He glanced at @Mordecai with a raised eyebrow before looking back at "Niv." “If you're alone, let us catch a rabbit or something for you before we go.” This, he'd never have offered if the wolf before him was an adult acting so stand-offish. Understanding that he was indeed a child, Crux was pleased that he wasn't so trusting. It reminded him of home, in a way. “We don't mean to be odd - it's just a very strange situation.”

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#11
Haha! Well, he's a jerk, maybe HE IS... :P


What was with all these people? “Got a problem with your ears then? I don't know why you're so stuck on 'wow something so totally had to have happened' but you haven't listened to what I've said at all.” Again it seemed like nobody believed him. Fools. They all thought he was totally dense or something. Did they even listen to themselves? Probably not. And Vidocq wasn't one to play along, nor share any more information about himself, apparently.

He lifted a paw, “I'm not sticking around here.” He was certain of it, that much was clear -- and it didn't seem like he was the type to wait. Maybe if someone sat on him but good luck trying that. He was on the verge of walking off -- probably not the direction he'd been going because it was straight through the pair, but he'd find a direction somewhere. Actually he wasn't 100% sure why he didn't just instabail but if anything, it was probably because he was outnumbered by a couple of weirdos. If they thought the world just changed it wasn't like they were too attached to reality.
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#12
 Crux shook his head, tutting. “What a sad way to live...” he muttered to @Mordecai, though he didn't expect a response. It was clear this child was bull-headed and had not noticed the change, that he was alone in this world and didn't have a family anymore. Either that or somehow, inexplicably, the child really was from this world. He considered his options, then shrugged. “Fine, then. If you change your mind, find the forest of eternal autumn.” He couldn't help a lost cause.

 He turned on his heel, as it were, and trotted off, tail flipping up behind him, expecting Mordecai to follow. He was a bit put off, but he was also worried for the kid and also immensely curious. Was the child actually born of this place? He wished that he had some lackey he could send to trail the pup and figure out where he was headed and if he actually did have a home he was headed to. Either way, he'd had a bit of fun at the end with the cryptic description of Bleakwood. “Hope you don't starve,” he called over his shoulder.

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#13
Last post unless someone bugs him!


There was a shift in tone there, which Vidocq was aware of. He squinted. He didn't seem to be impressed. Maybe his assumptions had come to pass. Either way he seemed very unwilling to back down. Perhaps that made him foolish too, in his own way. And oh how quickly they'd turned on him! Different than Kinkaid, sure, but not someone he'd wanna stick around. They had some sort of motivation they kept buried... 

When Crux headed one way, Vidocq leaned another, veering a few steps before pausing to watch to make sure they were both retreating. He didn't have anything else to say. But turning his back on anyone that seemed to have a tenuous grasp on reality? Naaaah, not gonna happen. He'd have to make sure they weren't going to follow him into the depths of these woods -- which weren't as weird as whatever Crux was talking about anyway.
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#14
 Everything went from one way to another and then --ope-- this guy was a kiddo? The poor round fellow hadn't even noticed until Crux started to say so. Whoops! He seemed very... suspicious? Was that what it was? Mordecai hoped he wasn't coming off as a horrible creepy guy. Was he smiling too much? He couldn't help it, he just wanted to seem friendly. He could have stopped smiling but then he'd feel insincere... so he kept on doing so. Probably making everything worse in the process.

 He nodded in reply to Crux's comment. It did seem so sad going in thinking that everyone wanted to do you harm. Mordecai was usually the opposite. Willing to trust until proven wrong. He had been perfectly fine... or had he? He couldn't remember to be honest. In any case, they weren't making any headway with Niv. So, dutifully he followed behind Crux but threw over his shoulder a quick, "Have a good day!" One might think that he was being sarcastic but nope. He one hundred percent meant it. He hoped the kid would have an awesome day and rest of days. Maybe it would turn his frown upside down!

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[Image: Mordecai.png]
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