|Scene Title||Of mice and men|
|Synopsis||Tasks given, attacks on persons and discovering who is the new Alice.|
When we last left our heroes… The mouse had just vanished into the blue light. Hikaru just touched the key to the stone and nothing happened. Rather there is a little bit of a scritching sound, sounds almost like teeth chittering. Without warning something that looks like a blend between rat and teeth jumps out at the pair lashing at Hikaru with a small dagger sized sword. "DIE! SHE COMMANDS THIS!"
Hikaru is completely surprised by the attack of the horrific rat monster! And actually, that's actually when he's at his best. The horrible rat monster clearly hits him. It cleaves right through his supple flesh. The sounds of tearing fabric can be heard as it slashes at him with whatever tiny sword it has! It's so obvious that he should now be gutted, entrails on the floor! And yet, he's fine. The fox scion touches the sliced up portion of his blazer and shirt, poking his fingers directly through it. But there's no blood whatsoever. "You cut my clothes!" he complains loudly. Not my guts, or please stop attacking me. It's as if he didn't even notice that he was the target of the attack! He'd better get ready, though. He won't get the same opportunity twice.
Tybalt isn't one for this sort of thing…it falls under Tybalt Rule #12: If there is a zombie apocolypse, it is frowned upon to start acting like a zombie…as Tybalt will shoot your ass. Now this is no Zombie end of ages, but it is a very serious instant. They are marooned in a wasteland, with craziness about and the place looks like a Scion's nightmare. So…jumping out and aggressively attacking an ally? That is probably the dumbest thing that one can do.
Tybalt turns quickly, brings the club off his shoulder, plants a foot in the direction of the rat and then sucks in a breath. The branch is hauled up and behind his body in something of a golfers readied position. A moment later his momentum shifts, he lets out a loud grunt and swings hard, aiming to punt the little bastard about as far as he can.
As the club comes down the force from Tybalt's swing connects with the little rat monster it vanishes just in that instant and appears behind Tybalt, literally dropping out of the sky, "DIE!!!" The little beastie screams in a gutteral sound. While Hikaru may not have any blood showing or sort of gaping wound there is a small black line where the cut should have been, sort of like an ash mark that doesn't quite come off. "DIE! SHE COMMANDS IT!" The beastie screams aiming for Tybalt's shoulder and neck…
Hikaru's Solipsistic Well Being may have saved him the first time, but the rat is proving itself to be a rather deadly combatant. The fox materializes his naginata, the magatama charm bracelets upon his wrists uncurling, animating, and twining together into the bladed spear. Regardless of whether one considers it to be a woman's weapon or not, it's every bit as deadly as a sword. With an aggressive stance, Hikaru engages the creature, and the battle is joined! If it keeps teleporting, the only way to defeat it is going to be to coordinate attacks, and luckily, Hikaru can bide his time for Tybalt to strike to deliver his own strike at the same time!
Tybalt is lucky….had nine lives, insert cliche here. Never the less, his same sense of Solipsistic Well-being keeps him safe. The blade lands, cutting down him, down his jacket, through his shirt and -just- against his skin, causing him to turn around and then narrow his eyes at the little rat creatures. He gives Hikaru a very knowing glance and shakes his head for a moment before casing his eyes back towards the Rat creature. Suddenly his eyes go from blue to green-yellow and his pupils open elongate and go vertical…much like a cats. He then stares at the creature….and does nothing more.
The Serpent's gaze hits the creature and it chitters for a moment before falling to the ground and vanishing.. In the place of the critter is a small card with a picture of a mouse upon it. Tybalt also suffers a small black spot where the wound should have been. The little dagger sword lays on the ground next to the card.
"I was hoping to get a few answers," sighs Hikaru, looking over the items. With a tilt of his head, he considers the mark on the back of Tybalt's neck, and then looks down at his side where he was struck through the clothes. "He marked us with something or other. I'm not quite sure what it is," he says, brushing at the mark with his fingers to see if it goes away. "He couldn't quite land the blow, but it seems he did something to us, nonetheless. I hope it's not poison," he worries, leaning forward to look at the tiny sword. "What is this, a vorpal blade? Does it snicker-snack? And another card."
Tybalt grumbles and rubs the back of his neck. "Well that was….weird." He offers with a soft of sour tone to his voice. He idly yanks the ripped clothes from his torso, leaving him shirtless, but what would you expect from a child of Freyja. Show a little skin, be the hot warrior. He continues to rub the back of his neck as he squats down and picks up the card, not even bothering to read it before handing it to Hikaru before he reaches to pick up the knife closely examining it. "Think Black Alice wants us dead?"
"Ohhh, I suspect so," Hikaru says quietly. "I suspect that she knows that we're here, and that she's sending out all of her little minions to try to whittle us down along the way. She knows she's under siege now. It's like Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the siege of Osaka Castle. Just sit back and let them come to you. It's a pretty good strategy," he murmurs. "Now I have to wonder if the mouse and the rat are one and the same, and if the mouse was a ploy to lure us in to our demise, or whether something turned the mouse into that knife wielding monster," he considers. He looks at his cards. A heart with a bullethole, and a mouse. Not a very good hand thusfar. He tucks them away, adjusting his scarf slightly. He's going to keep his clothes on for now, it seems! "So what do you make of the knife?" he says. As he says that, his naginata coils around his wrists again, becoming the magatama charms once again until needed. He still has that key.
"Be sure of it.. Be sure of it.." A familiar voice rings out from no where. It takes a few moments for him to appear outright this time, but the fox doth appear. "A snicker snack…" The fox smiles, "Does it satisfy you?" He sits between the pair on the stone where the mouse vanished. "She is not one to trifle with.. She has taken Wonderland." The fox smiles, "Find the card you did, yes…" The fox grins ear to ear, "Keep them all. They will serve you well one day.." He turns to look at Tybalt and flicks his tail, "Alice may need a fine sword to fight with. Become that sword. Find for me three sheets of gold, a tooth from a tiger that isn't a tiger, and a ribbon that comes from the hair of Black Alice herself." The fox smiles once more at her. "And keep your wits, the trials of wonderland are… wondrous."
Tybalt stays in his crouch, but turns his attention to the fox. Listening to him, but only with his ears. His mind and nose are elsewhere. Slowly he brings the fingers that were holding that card up to his nose and he takes a long sniff before twitching his nose for a moment and looking around then a moment later he brings the knife to his nose and sniffs the handle before he nods to the list and turns his attention to the air, closing his eyes and lifting his nose to it, turning this direction and that trying to lock onto a scent.
"Snickers really satisfies us," Hikaru says, grinning toothily back at the fox. "And I think we're not going anywhere for a while. I see what you did there," he says, pointing to both of his eyes simultaneously. He stands up once more, observing Tybalt now. He's got his notebook out now, taking notes on the things that the fox says. Quest items! Three sheets of gold! Tooth from a not tiger-tiger! Ribbon from Black Alice! He looks positively giddy, in spite of the fact that the Wonderland around him looks more like post-nuclear accident Chernobyl than it does Wonderland. He tucks the notes away, and asks the enigmatic Cheshire Fox, "What are these marks all about? And which way do we go now? The key doesn't work on the stone!"
"Oh my you have many questions.." The fox answers them quickly. "The marks are marks, for what they do, I do not know… Or do I?" The fox looks at the key. "Because you lack the essence of Wonderland, you are not from here, how can you expect our magic to work with your body? Really.. I thought you were smarter than that…" He shakes his head. "Alice my dear, you must learn to think outside the fox… err box.." His eyes look over to Tybalt, "Smelling your way around won't work here. The smells twist and confuse on purpose.."
Tybalt opens his eyes and looks over to the fox and gives it a very long frown. He tucks the knife into his belt and moves to stand, giving a stretch. "Then…you know of a place where we can get to work findin' this stuff fer you?" He asks curiously, crossing his arms over his chest. "Best we get to it, hmm?" He asks.
"Well," Hikaru says, standing up. "If I am indeed Alice, and if I know anything about Alice, she got where she was going by picking a direction and going in it. Because it doesn't matter which way you go in Wonderland," he explains, shrugging his shoulders. "They're all mad. Now then! Off we go!" he agrees. "But keep that knife close by. We might need it. I don't know why everyone thinks I'm Alice — I don't think I resemble her — but if I really am… I suppose we'll need it at some point."
"We are all mad here in Wonderland." The fox says softly, "You should probably go in that direction." The fox points with each paw in different directions. He offers a shrug. The fox hops off the stone and walks away from the area, back the direction they came from. "You should follow the yellow brick road." He snickers to himself for a moment.
Tybalt glances over at the Fox and then once again back at Hikaru. He shrugs a little bit and offers a quick, "I'll follow your lead man." He doesn't mind either way, but wishes to get on the way to somewhere.
"Wrong story," admonishes Hikaru about the Yellow Brick Road, but he does smile, setting out in a direction that looks interesting to him. He surveys the horizon to see if he can see anything, but he fully suspects that the normal rules of navigation are not going to apply around here. The chessboard leads somewhere. As long as he follows it and gets to the end, he'll find something or other.
Hikaru is well on his way, when suddenly he cries out in pain, recoiling suddenly as if cut into by something. Tybalt is unaffected. It's unclear what happened to him. It's not the black mark on him. He cringes, arms wrapped around himself. "I'm okay," he assures. "I'm okay. Something… terrible has happened."
The cowboy quickly moves next to Hikaru and has his arms in an attempt to grab the guy and to make sure he is ok. He quickly looks him over to see if that black mark is spreading or if something strange is happening. He is a pretty quick study when it comes to checking someone's state of health. He takes a pulse, tries to find a reason for the pain…if he can. "You good to keep goin' man?"
The cheshire fox looks over at Hikaru and nods to him. "Something terrible did happen. But you need to focus your thoughts here. There is nothing that can be done right now." The fox looks to the left and then to the right. "Go to the left. You will learn more that way, but it is harder. Go to the right and it will be easier but you won't learn anything…"
Hikaru is apparently touched by Tybalt's concern, and does let him examine him. He's caught his breath, and he appears to be all right. Just… in pain. But the initial shock has passed for him. He bites his lips. "I hope that Maia-san is safe, wherever she is," he murmurs. He appears to be interested in taking the left turn. The challenging path is the fun path for him, it would appear, and he's all about learning things. But he asks the fox, "What if I go straight ahead? What's that way?"
"The straight path?" His eyes narrow a bit, "That is not the way to go. It is not safe, this I know. You are not ready, it is more than you can handle. Just trust me on this one Alice." He looks over at Tybalt and looks toward the straight. "Do not go that path. If you do, I will not be able to follow."
Tybalt hooks an arm around Hikaru and lets him put a little of his weight on him if needed and then nods to the fox. With that, he keeps quiet and helps Hikaru in the direction that is proper….not the straight path.
Hikaru never was one for that path, anyway; he just wanted to know, it seems. The roundabout path is his way. But he's not taking the easy way where he learns nothing, either. He's taking the left path, trudging on his way, keeping his eyes out for any more twisted denizens of Wonderland that might wish to do his personage harm.
The fox walks down the left path and starts to vanish once more. "Oh and by the by…" The fox says, "Keep a watchful eye. Everything isn't what it seems, there are things that are things but aren't those things." The fox smiles at Alice, "Take yourself for example, Alice, you are a male in this form and yet… Well you'll see." He laughs softly as he fades away..
To be continued! A raw log has been retained for verification of any rolls and/or confusion.