|Scene Title||Through the looking glass|
|Synopsis||Hikaru and Tybalt get pulled into some strange world.|
Hikaru emerges from the stage entrance to the theater where he works. He's just finished up practice for the day, playing the fox in The Fox of Shinoda, the kabuki play. As an actor, he's been keeping the traditions alive. With his makeup wiped from his face (not that he needs makeup, as such), he slings his bag over his shoulder and bids his farewells to his fellow actors. Since New Atlantis came, the theater has actually seen an upswing in popularity.
The theater is busy and full of life right now. There is a certain 'electricity' in the air. Something about all that energy from the wills, dreams and emotions from all the actors and guests. On Hikaru's makeup table there is a dozen red roses with heart shaped petals.
That's funny. Hikaru usually wears a mask whilst performing, or has makeup on. He's not really a forefront performer, more of a supporting cast. He picks up the flowers curiously, turning them over in his hand and looking for a card. And he doesn't have a girlfriend or boyfriend. Who could have sent them? Are they fragrant?
The flowers are perhaps the most beautiful scent of the heavens. The flowers' scent is a mix of traditional roses, honey and some spice that escapes the mind for the moment. They seem to be almost to red in color, almost vibrant.
Most of the audience has cleared out by now. There are still a few stragglers, gossiping and cooing over the show of the evening. In the back row there is a man dressed in white with an almost too red, red rose in his lapel. He appears to be sleeping as his head is nodded downward and covered with a rather large brimmed hat, all white.
Hikaru exhales slowly, apparently reveling in the scent of the intoxicating floral arrangement. God, it smells good. He just doesn't seem to want to stop. He strides the stage quietly, having left the backstage, and notes the man with the hat tipped over his head. With roses in his arms, he squints at the napping figure. "Are these for me?" he inquires, loud enough to be heard.
Ironically enough, as if there was a filming of spy vs. spy, there is a man in the back wearing a black suit, white shirt, black bola tie, nice boots and black cowboy hat that is pulled down. The blonde man looks a little shaggy and unshaven, but true to form it's Tybalt, returning to his haven or what remains of it like the stray that always returns. He has a bundle of fresh flowers, each grown in his own greenhouse. Whites and purples mainly.
Upon spotting Hikaru he moves his hands quickly to start applause, but seeing the actor walking to talk to someone else, he stops himself and shoves his hands into his pocket and casts his eyes to the ground and waits patiently, crossing a leg at the ankle.
The man doesn't speak, or even respond to the inquiry. The scent of the flowers seem to be unusually strong as they start to invade the air of the entire theater. The man in white is deathly silent, barely the shallowest of breath. His flower seems to look like those in the vase. The last set of the gaggling ladies eyes the man and then giggles softly as they make their way out of the theater.
On the wind, almost a bare whisper, just out of the reach of the true perceptions, something hangs in the air. Words… A poem… Something not quite normal about it… "… … walk… faster?" The words are broken and very faint. The sex of the voice is indeterminate.
Hikaru tilts his head to the side. Flowers smell wonderful. Thoughts are swimming around in his head like the fragrance from the roses. Who is this mysterious man, and why are the women giggling? Usually they giggle after he introduces himself to them. And strange poems that he can't quite make out. Stepping down from the stage with a hop — yes, he actually hops down from above effortlessly, approaching the man in white. The man in black isn't wearing a rose, so he hasn't quite noticed him just yet. Curious fox is curious.
Tybalt slowly lifts his head and looks up and over his shoulder and then back into the theater. After a moment he takes a step forward and then takes another until he is moving down the isle towards the stage, following the smell, his movements graceful and primitive at the same time as he moves, tilting his head again at the voice and stopping in his tracks to looks for a sign of where it is coming from.
The voice keeps on, the words just as faint as before… "They… shingle… Dance?" The words hang heavy in the air. The man in white remains quiet and still, even still as the curious fox approaches. Tybalt might notice the sound seems to linger more-so over near the man in white, while Hikaru might notice that the sound of the voice lingers all around the theater. There is something else.. A feeling.. Something on the edge of perception that just doesn't seem quite 'right'.. Something… cold.
Perhaps noticed, perhaps unnoticed by the two Scions a mirror has appeared in the wall - yes in the wall.. There is a very whimsical edging in the mirror…
Hikaru lifts his head. Wait a minute. He knows this song. "Will you, won't you? Will you, won't you?" — he doesn't notice the mirror, that's for certain. He leans forward toward the man in the hat, peering at him from the row ahead of him. Something seem strange. He's on his guard, that's for certain. The charm upon his wrist jingles slightly with his motion. He's cautious, but ever so curious. And that mirror? His attention isn't upon it just now. "Who are you, man in white, reciting Lewis Carroll poetry? Did you send me these roses?"
Who's that pretty boy in the mirror there? Which one, where, who? Musicals aside, Tybalt is walking towards the man in the white hat where the sound is coming from of course when he notices himself in the mirror. He pauses in thought and action and instantly switches course towards the mirror, narrowing his eyes a little bit and adjusting his tie in a manner than seems somewhat vain. He looks away for just a moment to turn his eyes on Hikaru an his comment, but he doesn't hear it….there are too many interesting things happening at once and something feels off.
Almost as if he just sort of sprang to life, someone lit a fire under his ass.. The man in white suddenly springs up and shouts quite loudly. "OH!" He looks at the curious fox, "I'm late! She's going to burn down the village…" He leaps over the back of his chair and in what amounts to two quick leaps he bounds next to Tybalt and the mirror. "Excuse me sir.." He has a slight British accent. "I must use this door." He waves his hand toward Tybalt. "I am very late, and it's a very important date…"
The poem has stopped but there is an eerie silence throughout the theater. Tybalt may notice that the man's reflection is a slight anthropomorphic alteration.. He's part…. Rabbit… "I'm late… " He repeats..
Hikaru takes a step back in surprise as the man leaps up, but he doesn't recoil. He just holds his roses in his arms. He tracks the man in white with his head as he sees him sprinting toward the mirror. "Hey!" he says, rapidly following after him. He skids to a halt as he sees the mirror, assuming that he's going to crash right into it and get a face-full of glass shards — or that the man and white is. "Wait, who's going to burn down what?" he asks, watching to see the man in white's fate with the mirror.
Tybalt blinks a little as he notices the rabbit in the mirror running towards him. Of course it isn't something he was expecting to see. He turns quickly and narrows his eyes at the rabbit only to see the man advancing. He blinks a bit and tilts his head, looking back into the mirror and then once again turns to look at the man. "Sorry there, buddy. But did you say this here is a door and you need to get somewhere before someone burns somethin' down?" He shifts his eyes to Hikaru and looks back.
"Why Alice, don't you know anything?" The man says with a hint of emergency in his voice. "Ever since the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts had their falling out with the little girl, she's gone…" He looks down at his watch and screams, "Oh by my whiskers and paws… I'm so late… She's going to be irate."
The man in white, or… dare I say the white rabbit, looks to Tybalt and nods, "Most assuredly." He makes his way to the mirror and steps right through. The mirror's surface ripples like water and then… the man vanishes, no reflection no nothing.
"Oh!" Hikaru says, recognizing Tybalt. "It's you! I remember you from the firehouse. Rich boy from Wisconsin. Mr. Tybalt, Prince of Cats!" he says, grinning widely. "I… am not really sure," he says, looking at the roses cradled in his arms. "Someone sent me these roses. They're very lovely, aren't they? I wonder if there's a card," he considers, looking more closely at them, then lifting his head to peer at the mirror. He doesn't go barreling through it. It's a mirror, right? It might be solid to him.
Ty gives a single nod to all the aforementioned titles that he is given and then simply smiles a bit and holds out his flowers for Hikaru before pulling out his cellphone and pushing a single button. "Think we should give our boy a hand?" He asks curiously before slowly pushing a finger into the mirror to see if he can go through all the while waiting on his butler to come bearing his prepared duffle.
Perhaps it just went unnoticed, perhaps it just appeared. There is a small card of white heavy card stock. There is simply a single red heart, with a gun shot through it. An actual bullet hole, not something drawn. The rose petals start to bleed away. They drip down onto the floor like blood. The fragrance of pure divine delight turns to the acrid scent of blood… There is something not quite right, but the mirror starts to crack in a single corner. It slowly ripples and darkens around the crack..
Hikaru looks faintly horrified as the beautiful roses turn into blood, or a blood-like substance in his arms. He recoils slightly, looking up at the mirror. Noticing the crack, he knows he can't wait. Crouching, he springs headfirst through the looking glass before it cracks completely. That's his answer to Tybalt.
Tybalt gives a soft curse as he notes the crack and then his butlers delayed reaction. He texts something and then tosses the phone into a chair before striding into the mirror, after the pair.
As the pair steps through the mirror they would notice, if they turned around that nothing is behind them but open terrain. One might expect to find a lush forest with vibrant greens and flowers, singing birds and whimsical creatures of fancy. However, what they do find is something from a nightmare. The trees are barren, there are no leaves. The heavy scents of fire hangs in the air. The world has an oppressive feeling to it. Like something from a nightmare.
The sun is setting the hues of pink and orange are over taken by blood red tones on the horizon. There are screams in the distance, painful agonizing screams. The path that was once green on green checker board has turned to dark brown with burns and dried blood. The whimsical creatures are now nothing more than bones on the edge. The white rabbit is a few hundred yards ahead of the pair. This is Wonderland?
Hikaru looks behind him as he steps through, attempting to brush the blood from the roses from his sleeve. In doing so, he notices that Tybalt is with him, and turns his head to the side curiously. "You came with me?" he asks curiously. Curiouser and curiouser indeed. That's certainly how the fox scion is feeling right about now. He finally sets his eyes on the white rabbit, and not willing to let him escape, moves into a sprint, regardless of the terrifying terrain. "What on earth is this nightmarish place?"
"No path placed before you is to be ignored." he recites as if by heart, even if they are his words. They sound wiser when they don't have a country twang to them. He looks around and narrows his eyes at the wasteland before moving over to the nearest barren tree to try and rip off a limp for a makeshift club of some kind. "All my shit got left back in the theater." he offers taking a couple of practice swings. "…might get a little rough if we have to do some ass kickin'." He notes.
The white rabbit vanishes over the hill, only the words, "I'm late…"
At the bottom of one tree curls a small white fox with grey stripes. "Is our situation not dismal?" The little fox comments with a Cheshire smile. "Wonderland is so discombobulated. Lady bugs are becoming belligerent and enlisting in the army!" He says walking over to the pair.. He looks up to the pair and smiles once more, "Lose something?" He says.
The fox sits down and licks his back paw for a moment before he looks up, "I have been asked to talk to you, on the behalf of two who shall remain nameless…" The fox says, "A guide if you would… Have you.. have you imagined the consequences of a single action."
Hikaru peers curiously at the fox. He's a fox too! Well, sort of a fox. "I suppose I have sometines," he replies. "I second guess myself a lot. Wonder what life could have been like if I'd chosen a different way instead of the things I'm already doing. Er… but I digress. I'm looking for a man who's actually a rabbit. He sent me flowers for some reason," he mentions. "Who are you? What is this place? Something like Wonderland? Does that place even exist?"
Tybalt props the branch over his shoulder and looks down at the fox and then back to Hikaru. He scratches the back of his head with a free hand and offers. "Try not to past the fact. Up unto a certain point, but after? No magic time machines where I am from." He offers in an earnest tone. Seeing as Hikaru has the interrogation down pact, Tybalt stays within ear shot but does a little walk about, staring at the ground, the weeds, the blood stains. Looking at the area like he is reading a book.
"Questions.. Questions.. All these verbs. All these nouns.." The Cheshire fox frowns just so slightly, "Every adventure begins with a simple little thing." The fox turns his tail and takes a step. "It's as simple as… Do-re-mi…" The fox stops, "Wait.. Wrong place, wrong time." The fox turns back to look at the pair. "I.. I am what I am. Nobody but someone. This.. this is the future. Who's future, what's future… I can not say.." He turns to look toward Tybalt, "I wouldn't do that if I were you.. There are a great many things that are bigger and meaner than a simple fox-kit." He turns back to Hikaru, "This was once Wonderland, it was once a place of dreams, magic and fancy… Ever since the Queens of Red both lost their heads." He starts to fade away, "The one known now as Black Alice has had her way." His body completely fades but for his smile, "Only a few find the way, even fewer recognize it. And those that do often find they don't want it." The smile fades to a frown… "Find the way.. Clues you must seek. This… is for your own good." The mouth fades, "For both of you…"
"But… the rabbit-man addressed me as Alice," Hikaru says, turning his head to the side curiously. "I wonder who this Black Alice is," he says, watching the Cheshire Fox vanish. "But how can Wonderland exist? I thought this was a world of fiction. Do realms of fiction even exist?" he wonders aloud. He takes a few steps ahead. "I wonder where we might find clues. I think we should try to stay on our guard, though. This place looks rather lethal."
Tybalt smirks a little at Hikaru and nods absently to the Fox. He has -no- idea what is going on here. He is sort of a free form intellectual and literature was his focus in school, but there is a certain sort of nonsensical element to this that has him at a loss. He knows he is supposed to be here, but doesn't know the why. "Hikaru, buddy. We are children of deities….we fight monsters. We have a city of Atlantis in New York. I think it safe to say that fiction is malleable." He scratches his head and looks around, still searching for anything out of the ordinary or that might catch his eye….he looks like a big cat in a small space pacing in a with a sort of caged energy. You can almost see the gears shuddering to life in his head. "So….we are here to restore wonderland?" And there he goes, trying to define and create a label for something.
"I liked it better the way it was in the book," Hikaru notes, bringing a hand to his lips. "And the various movies made based upon it," he considers, looking around. "If we can restore it, I say we should do it. Se, we should start by finding some kind of point of reference."
There are four 'paths' or the remnants of them. One heading north, south, east and west. The rabbit went north, though the path to the east seems the most darker of the four. The one to the west has shades of some smoke whisping down them. The southern route is where they came from.
On the eastern path, both might notice a small mouse with a top hat and glasses walking cross. He has hanging from his tail a small silver key with a ring that is heart shaped. Hikaru would notice that the key has a thin, almost hair thin, silver chain about it.
"Mouse!" Hikaru says quietly, his hair flipping about as he spots the strange little mouse with the key upon his tail. Something tells him that he needs that key, but more-so than that, he really wants it. It's pretty and silver and it has a heart on it, and the card had a heart shape on it as well. He approaches the mouse in a friendly fashion at first, relying upon his inherent charisma to carry him. "Excuse me, mouse. My friend and I were wondering why you have a key upon your tail. And also, if perhaps we might borrow it."
Mouse? That for some reason has Tybalt's attention. He quickly snaps his head in that direction ad grins a little bit as he starts to move behind Hikaru, letting the actor do the negotiations. And plus, as much fun as it would be for a chase…now is not the time or place to give in to his more base instincts. He watches silently, letting Hikaru handle the talking….as Tybalt while eloquent and educated about social graces…has about as much tact as a dust bunny.
"A key. A key. I have nothing such upon my tail, I tell thee." The mouse canters off. "As to why would a mouse have a key… Does a mouse have a house, is there that need for a key?" The mouse looks at Hikaru and gasps, "Oh my.. Alice, you've returned to Wonderland, but.." He frowns a bit, "That can't be right, be cautious it is about to be night." He sighs a bit and lifts up his tail. "I have a key… Is it do-re-mi? Or is it Fa-so-la-ti?" He glances toward the forest and speaks. "I was called to be judge and jury, for a trial without each would not be worth the breath. So I shall be both judge and jury — make my judgment without no hurry." He flicks his key'ed tail. "Oh this key.. This is the key to the door. The door is the key to the path. The path…." The mouse shrugs and walks to the 'forests' edge. "Follow me.. Follow me.. I shall show you where I should be…"
"Alice?" Hikaru repeats. "I thought Alice was a little girl. I'm a boy. And an adult to boot," he points out. But also, he doesn't really press the issue, as he seems to be fond of the key. He smiles faintly, cheerfully following after the tiny mouse. "I like it when you rhyme!" he says merrily. He gestures for Tybalt to follow along. "I wish this place were nicer."
Tybalt gives a dip of his head to Hikaru. "Maybe while we are takin' a stroll you can fill us in on what happened here? Looks like there was a war…." He keeps pace, watching the mouse as he moves after the group.
"A war. A war, perhaps before.." The mouse says as he walks into the forest. "But yet it is no more." The mouse says as the key moves up and down with the bobbing tail. "When Black Alice came to be, everything changed for you and me." The mouse stops in a small clearing and looks at Hikaru, "Alice, are you really Alice? I thought you would be blonde and in a dress." The mouse takes the key in his paws and touches it to a stone. A column of deep blue light rises up from it. "I should mention, as much as I hate.. This is my fate." The mouse steps into the blue light and vanishes… There is an odd silence from within the area around the pair. And yeah, the key is left on the ground.
"Well," Hikaru considers, leaning back as he walks. "It sounds like Black Alice was a very naughty girl. Had the Red Queens beheaded, the fox implied. Heavens know what happened to the White Queen. I'm guessing that Alice has turned into a horrible tyrant who rules this place with an iron fist, and that the citizens of Wonderland have degenerated into a predatory state, scrabbling for the scraps of their formerly pristine and whimsical world," he says, thoughtfully. "But that's just speculation," he mentions, bending down to pick up the key. He turns it over in his hands, mentioning to the mouse (if he can hear him), "I haven't got any dresses with me. And I haven't got the body to really wear it right now…" — he imitates the gesture he saw, touching the key to the stone. "Wish me luck."
Tybalt looks at Hikaru and offers a quizzical smirk, the type a lynx would wear. It's unreadable and means a number of things all at once. He simply nods in response and then watches Hikaru move for the key. He narrows his eyes at the key, trying to put the details of it into his mind before he offers quietly. "Good luck…"
To be continued! — A raw log has been retained for verification of any rolls and/or confusion.