|Qwillis|| There's been more and more rumors of late about children going missing. Those who have seen them, swear their eyes are turning all black. The darkness quite unsettling and then they'd walk off for Dunwich... only to never return. After the 30th kid, the towns around Dunwich demanded help and El Dorado sent volunteers to go into the Mist to find out.. what's going on.
Qwillis would meet with those who volunteer within sight of Dunwich. There's a steady mist pouring off that abandon town, coating the area around it and with it comes a certain sense of bleakness, darkness shadowing overhead and blotting out the sun. Q shakes his head and looks to the others. "Ok.. We try to not disturb Dunwich.. Just find the children. Get out. Everyone agreed?"
|Eden||Eden nods at Qwillis, then, a little nervously pipes up, "It does seem like the one house up front and the church are a bit safer. Things wouldn't chase me into the church before. Just in case anyone needs a safer spot." She just hopes they can be quick about it. Although, she always does hope to get a glimpse of the car that haunts her dreams.|
|Akane||Akane nodded to Qwillis as well as she checked her things. She kept her poncho on, covering most of her and the bruises on her face were starting to fade, though that mark on one side might leave a scar, and her lip was going to take a few weeks. She didn't seem to notice. She just sat there looking through her bag, though she did take notice of Eden, watching her out of the corner of her eyes....|
|Tibbie||Tibbie looks around at the crew assembled, noticing a few familiar faces and smiling at the new ones she's found, "We're the best chums for the job, and I bet we'll find those kiddos in no time flat, rain or shine!" she declares with confidence and follows her fellows with a skip in her step.|
|Devlin|| "Oh, don't want to awaken yet another Hellclaw?" is asked with a faint smirk on his lips. Devlin had followed Qwillis now for the second time to this distant region, in neither case did he enjoy the trip. Now better armored than before, moves his right arm up and to his lips, using his teeth to draw the sleeve back to expose his Lil'Pip before lowering his hand and slipping it into his jacket. Turning the dials and clicking it twice to the left, Devlin brought up the V.A.T.S. system and used it to begin studying the mists, attempting to get a lock onto something he saw.. sadly the distance was too great.
"Lovely.. I'm getting the same feeling that I did last time. You said we're looking for thirty corpses, or are we looking for the living still?" is asked without jest this time. Glancing around, Devlin looks towards the others for some sort of reaction but as he didn't notice one else reacting oddly and shook his head a few times to look away. "Anyways, if we do find them.. we're going to string them up onto the giant's back for transport?" It would be a short while later than Devlin once again looked out into the mists, wondering if he could see what he thought he saw once again..
|Ashur|| Let's get something out of the way: Ashur does not care about the missing children. That some snot-nosed brats got lost playing near a dangerous and obviously wicked place because their parents excel at failure and the apple doesn't fall far arouses as much sympathy in the Legionnaire as watching someone whip the ocean.
Nevertheless, his Eden has a heart, and an adamant refusal to avoid anything related to this festering piss-slit of a city. And so he comes.
He walks with her through the world-darkening mists. He is as a ghost when swept in that bale fog -- white-cloaked, white-armored, the red of his feathered crest and belt gleaming in the moisture like dripping blood.
A giant, power armor-clad ghost, whose steps shake the ground like a stampeding bull. But ghost all the same.
"The dead walk here," the bull intones, voice a projected metal rasp from his rebreather. "There are gremlins in the shadows, and witches in the alleyways; leave my sight at your own peril. The children are already dead."
Through the fog, he narrows his eyes, staring at something unseen. His smile is unseen behind the impassive metal of his face-plate.
|Qwillis|| Qwillis shakes his head, glancing to Devlin. "That thing.. fled here. It was on it's way to an actual town. We stopped it before it got there. But it came from here.." He'd shift on his feet, one metal foot's click a solid counterpoint to that booted scuffle. He'd start walking with the others, heading into the mist as they worked to approach Dunwich. At Ashur's intonement, he'd prep that needler, having it ready as he'd look around. "I can't see much of anything around here really.."
Q hesitates, looking over at Ashur and his declaration, then to Devlin. "They should be alive. The last one to have walked off was just last night. Their parents were in hysterics as they weren't able to stop the child. They insisted something had taken her over.."
Within the mist, the whole area does get dark, something a bit past that blackness gathering of dusk. The wind whips around them, from the sound of it, although nothing actually stirs from what sounds like there should be wind there. Off to the side is the faintest creak, back and forth as if a swing on a playground. There's a sense of foreboding gathering about the group, as if the place is becoming aware of the living walking among it's streets.
|Eden||Eden takes a few steps away from Ashur. She means to be looking for any signs of the children, but is still very distracted by her own thoughts. She does not want Akane out of her sight. Finding nothing, she walks back to Ashur. and waits to see what the group will do. "Are we moving forward, which way?"|
|Akane|| Akane's eyes flicked over Ashur, leaving her visibly pale. She set her jaw then stood up, strapping her backpack over both shoulders and started looking around. She could feel the eerie way things were here.... But she wasn't sure why or what any of that meant. She would be looking around, having checked her weapon as she stood. Ashur didn't seem too intent on her this time at least..but she couldn't help but glance at the armor he wore... She would never have figured him for that kind of armor... Though the aesthetics were not surprising.
Eden's scrutiny wasn't lost on the red-head, though she was not so focused on Eden once the mission began. She could study later when things were not preparing to kill them.. or control them... She did keep an eye on Ashur, however, and her pistol in her hand... She would then move to Qwillis' side for a moment. She gave him a firm look, patted his forearm lightly. and proceeded to step ahead and in front of the man.
|Tibbie||Tibbie rushes close to the nearly seven foot tall man and attempts to grab his arm to shake it in warning, but his strength's like a rock and has Tibbie's hands thrown back into her face, she stumbles back at her clumsiness and whispers to whoever's close enough to listen "I coulda' swore on daddy's sourdough I just saw some.. THING out up in that misty junk ahead and it ain't lookin like a friendly face neither, or any face at all! L-like this weird claw-majig and red eyeballs! Aww jeeze, we better find them kiddos quick!" She shivers and hastily pulls out her Louisville Slugger.|
|Devlin|| "Should have just shot the kid in the leg.. Walking out of town, past where raider encampments would be, at night?" Leaning to his left, Devlin slips a hand into his right hand to his hip holster to allow his fingers to coil around the pistol's grip. Running his thumb back and forth over the top of the grip, a soft sigh escapes his nose while stroking the weapon, seeming to calm and focus on the task at hand.
Listening to Ashur's words, cause the man's eyes to lid slightly and roll upwards for several steps before drifting to focus forward. "If they are dead, then we'll drag a few corpses back. If need be we can charge them per corpse recovered, could make quite a few caps that way.. As for the way," Devlin uses his chin to motion forward suddenly, pointing forward.
Shrugging his shoulder gently, he continues to look around himself only to get distracted by Tibbie. "There's nothing out there Tibbie, just take slow deep breaths.." Taking a few steps closer to the younger woman, he more quietly asked, once close "You.. didn't take any of your own stash before coming out here did you? The mists are just playing tricks with your nightmares. Calm down, okay?" is said as he tries to sooth the rather skittish girl. "Anyways, anything you see that gets close, I'll kill it with my blaster. I promise." As if to prove his point, Devlin drew out his side arm and primed it.
|Ashur|| A metallic chuff broadcasts from Ashur and he stalks off toward the front of the group. Despite his many trips to Dunwich, he has never gotten used to the unease it inspires; time and time again, the attacks it launches on him have proven his martial talents pointless, confusing him with hallucination, riddling him with nausea, nightmares, and phantom wounds.
Yet it has not killed him. Perhaps he truly thinks himself immortal, then, for despite his unambiguous fear he girds his loins and strides into the mists. His left hand rises, and from it shines a ray of light, the brute's Pip-Boy blazing with radiance; alas, for Dunwich's shadows are hungry things, and that cloying mist can only be lit so much.
He takes a knee. Brushes his hand across the ground, scattering bits of broken bottles and sickly grasses. Steel-plated fingers press upon indents in the earth.
"There are a host of tracks; the ages and sizes differ, but all within a child's range. That they tread the same path en masse is suspicious. Watch for some bewitchment -- and shoot first."
With a creak of riveted steel and bone, he rises to his feet, cape swirling.
"I do not know what here is real and what is not. I thought, once, that some old factory made the mists, and they were narcotic fumes; that all was nightmare and false vision. Yet I have fought the hellclaws, and seen my flesh marked beneath my armor. Perhaps it is real and not-real. Either way, the children went west."
Toward the creaking sounds. Ashur moves that way...
But Tibbie's shaking his arm first, and he glances down toward her. "Yes. Let us.. rescue the kiddos," he echoes. "But trust nothing you see or hear.
|Qwillis|| Qwillis stops, staring off to the side for a moment. He'd visibly flinch at Akane's touch, then smiles her way sheepishly as she'd walk past. He'd shudder a little and taking a small breath, immediately follows after the others, catching up with the group. "I.. right. Illusions. It's just false imagery generated.." He'd trail off with a shake of his head.
Ashur leads the group into a small playground area. All of the items are broken down. A decrepit swing has one swing on metal chains creaks as it sways back and forth in a wind that everyone hears, but can't feel. The slide shimmers, the faded sound of steps, kids? Playing on it? Is there. The surface wobbles like someone just slid down it.. and then it goes still. In the middle of the area is a sit and spin. it has various blankets. stuffed toys and other assundry items that kids might carry with them and leave behind, left there on the metal.
As the group approaches, the stuffed animals would suddenly come alive! They would hiss at the group and scurry off into the underbush!!
Qwillis starts as the stuffed animal takes off, then looks around. "That was.. creepy. As hell. Can you all see anything else for where they might have gone?"
|Eden||Eden follows Ashur's lead and also shines her pip-boy like a flashlight into the mist. She immediately looks toward the graveyard. "When I first encountered the dead children it was in the gravveyard." Eden takes a few steps toward the brush where the stuffed animals left. "I wonder if they all have chips too. Maybe if I could catch just one to see.." and she starts to wander toward the underbrush|
|Akane|| Akane looked around and noted each member of the team. Ashur, in his armor moving to the fore as per usual. Well, that would make it slightly easier to keep track of the brute... Devlin.. She winced at that arm of his but tried to avoid looking at him. Eden, she was studying though she didn't seem to have any ill will aimed at the woman. Tibbie got a slightly raised eyebrow at how she was toward Ashur, but that was all. Qwillis's words got a glance from the woman.
The one thing Akane did not seem to have an issue with was letting Ashur stick his thick neck into the ore exposed position of Point guard. Eden wandering off into the brush, though, that made her eyes narrow.
How those stuffed animals.. that got a reaction from her. She narrowed her eyes dangerously and stepped forward toward where they had scattered. This was her first exposure to the Fist of Poseidon but she was not frightened by the apparitions.... She displayed more fear toward Ashur in fact.
it only took a quick tap and Akane was up in one of the trees, watching the little creature dash away toward a house. Her sharp green eyes followed but she did not. Not yet. In fact, she glanced over at the others. Eden was about to take off too it looked like... She hesitated but remained in the tree.
|Tibbie||Tibbie looks up to Devlin, taking a deep breath as instructed and shakes disagreeably to what the others might not of heard, and nods agreeably after he pulls out his pistol. She forces her limbs, body, and head to rattle the stresses that've overcome it letting her lips babble as she gets her head back in the game. Her eyes now keeping focus on what is real, her teammates, but her concentration is broken once again by the sight of the possessed stuffys scrambling away and the two trying to go after them. "This place's too creepy to be splittin' up goin' bear huntin'!" but her words are lost to the mist as the strong man and jump suited woman seem determined on the task. She keeps her feet planted and close to her crew, though she watches the athletic woman climb the tree with ease, just to make sure she's safe up there.|
|Devlin|| Devlin was remaining calm through it all oddly, a soft smirk stays on his lips while his eyes stay partially lidded. "None of it exists unless it can be changed.." is mused largely to himself. Looking down at his laser pistol, Devlin holsters it roughly before drawing out a more traditional pistol that was holstered against his vault suit. After drawing out the sidearm, he begins to examine it before aiming it towards the ground.
"Put you hands over your ears.." is said to Tibbie and he gave her only a handful of second to comply before he pulls the trigger. The target of his pistol wasn't nothingness but several of the tracks they had been following of the children, seeming not to trust if they were actually there. Looking down, Devlin begins to examine the impact, making sure it react as it would be expected and how well the tracks survived.
While he began to experiment, Devlin could hear the cries of the others along with their almost echoing movements, some large some small, but all were well heard over the silence and almost still, yet never felt winds. "There's a mass hallucinogen leak in this area, there's no such thing as spirits, moving dolls, and reanimation. Only tricks, strings and mutants.."
|Ashur|| As the mists part welcomingly around him and then close once more, for a long moment Ashur feels separated from the group, even if they're within the same general area -- the brute turns, flashlight a-flashing, and the light glints wetly off the popped-out eye of a stuffed bear, whose torn stitching and stuffing looks queerly biological in the light.
The bear waves, plops its eye back into the socket, and scatters with its friends.
Beneath his armor, the man's muscles tense, and his jaw settles into a hard line. This place is wrong. Things happen that should not happen, and he does not truly know how to combat it. He will face any challenge.. but what do you do against things you can't fight?
Another sweep for tracks, pushing aside the thoughts of demonic toys, and Ashur lifts a hand to point north. "They turn here, toward the post office. But.. they are different. The same number, the same age, and so it would reason it is the same group.. but these prints are larger."
He doesn't know what that means. The children were retrieved by older kids here and taken further? They magically grew? They put on clown shoes?
Lost in his thoughts as he is, he doesn't notice Eden drifting toward the underbrush, nor Akane when she scrambles to a tree to watch. He can hear Tibbie when she speaks, though. "Avoid hunting. If there is some malevolent will at play here, it would surely desire us split up. This town is a beacon for lost things."
He'll prepare to move north, following the tracks, even as Devlin fires and speaks. "There are tricks at play. But there is something real and wrong in this place."
|Qwillis|| The wind stills in that area.
Ashur is able to follow those tracks easily enough, despite the mist seeming to swirl more heavily around him. There's a certain.. dampness. Sweat? no.. a taste touch of the moisture hanging on Ashur's armor would reveal it to be tears. The closer he gets towards the post office, the more wet his armor would get.. stains of red starting to show up too across it.
As Eden would look towards the graveyard, almost as eerily, the mist would.. swirl wide.. there. She could see.. at least initially, there seems to be fresh graves, recently dug and then filled.
Akane up in the tree can see the house that the bear went into starts to have lights go on and off inside. It doesn't seem to be specific, they just pop on and off all over. It's wierd though, as the light never seems to actually light up the mist. But she knows it's there.
Tibbie and Devlin both can see that the damage to the ground is real. Those are real tracks and real movement from the playground to the post office it seems.
Qwillis shakes his head a little as he'd glance at Devlin. "There is no chemical compound in the air here. I've had a vaccuum sealed container that I used to collect samples of the mist. While I could not bring the mist outside of the confines of Dunwich.. I can verify there is no hallucinogenic within the air. I do wonder though." Q glances to Eden with her talk of chips and frowns. "We need to stick together.. Do we track the kids or go after Eden and the graveyard guys?"
|Eden||Eden continues toward the graves. Mist or not she has been here many times and knows the way. But now there are new graves close by. These weren't here on her last trek. There is something on top of each she can barely see. something with writing that she can't read. Looking up she realizes how far from the group she wandered. And from Ashur! She shines her Pip-Boy around looking for his massive shape. "Can you hear me?" She says out loud, but not shouting. Shouting definitely wouldn't help. Well, she's come this far. She might as well run to the graves before finding hte others again. She places her circlet on her arm, and goes forward.|
|Akane|| Akane watched as lights flickered on and off and she could see that bear int he window... Flipping her off. It made her pause for a long moment, staring. She wasn't aware a stuffed animal /had/ fingers let alone could.. nevermind. She thumped herself in the head lightly and turned to peer down at the others. Devlin's shot made her jump. The hell was he doing?!
Akane sighed and dropped down from the tree easily before making her way back to Qwillis. "The children are the priority... But the Legionnaire isn't going to abandon what's his either so...." She let that hang in the air, almost like an accusation, though, of course, that could mean anything at this point....
She turned her head toward the others and sighed. Suddenly she drew up to her full height, unimpressive as that might be around all these giants, and sewed her courage shut. She checked her weapon, making certain there was a bullet in the chamber and headed for Eden. "We need every adult we have. I'm going." Alone if need be.
|Tibbie|| Tibbie's eyes wander off from watching Akane and catch what she hopes to be a hallucination of self-riding bicycles with their baby tricycle trailing close behind them.
"Awww." she cooed quietly at the thought of inanimate childbearing, getting distracted. When Qwillis calls her back to reality she immediately chimes in, "Kiddos! That's what we in this ooky-spooky place to begin with, but, if them graves got kiddos in em'..Well..I ain't the best help at making these kind'ah choices boss!" Tibbie says a bit frustratingly and her body instinctively tries to pull towards the two women leaving the group but a firm stomp on the ground keeps her with the men who would likely save her in this eerie place, as survival is key for this young unexperienced woman.
|Devlin|| Devlin almost dismisses Qwillis at first but then he starts to eye the man's limbs carefully, the sight of them causing him to question his initial response. Curling his lips inwards, he runs his tongue along them, wetting them to also sort out his thoughts though that doesn't last.. Ripping his arm with a hiss, Devlin could feel something lance though him to the bone and then pass through into the nothingness.
Tensing, Devlin stares at his arm before looking down at the ground again.. nothing. He could see nothing nor could he seen anything cut him, though he has to rub his arm against his side steadily. "The kids.." is growled out at first, not sure what just happened, other than seeming less confident than before about his words. "The kids are the only reason we're here. We're getting paid to find the kid or kids. Anything else isn't the job at hand. We get the kids, we leave, we get paid, we drink.."
Glancing towards Akane, Devlin motions towards the giant with his head faintly twice before saying, "What responsibilities someone has is on them. This is a job, not a group pet sitting session.. If you go then you're just making more work and risking the lives of the kids. Your choice though, of course" is said somewhat bitterly towards the woman before looking away from her and towards Tibbie. Moving his pistol wielding hand to her back, he presses close to the middle of Tibbie's back with the front of his curled fingers, guiding her away from the direction she had thought about but resisted. "If we split in half it'll be chaos.." A brief moment later he murmurs, "Might accidentally shoot the wrong people then. That would be annoying."
|Ashur|| The moment Ashur notes Eden has vanished he turns. All other concerns are irrelevant -- let the earth crack open, and whatever cthonic horror curses this town free to rampage and slaughter the rest of the party and the children alike. His voice is all forge-fire and bellows, a wrathful roar: "Eden!"
Many have seen him murderous and angry before, lost to his berserker rages. Few have ever seen him worried. There is a qualitative difference in the yells and the way he slopes his shoulders forward and muscles through the mists with a thousand-yard prison stare. He hurls himself toward the graveyard with leadfoot haste.
Everyone else is ignored. Sorry, everyone else!
|Qwillis|| Eden is the one to get there to the graveyard first. There's new graves. Freshly dug and covered with dirt. The markers look old. Ancient. It's hard to make out, but after a little bit Eden would be able to pick out the names.
The names of the children they were sent after.
Looking over the graves as Akane, then Ashur would show up, shows them all to be recent. The one on the end looks to still be open, the pile of dirt next to it not yet piled in.
Looking within that grave, it can be seen.. there is a body.. of a really really old person. Looks like they died of old age even.
As Ashur bursts into the area, the whole place starts to dive in temprature. Getting chilled enough to suddenly see their breath. That foreboding that was there before? It's feeling oppressive now. Intensified at the roar Ashur did.
Devlin, Tibbie and Qwillis would follow on to the post office where Ashur had said they were going. But the whole place is wheeping blood. Like, openly wheeping down the walls and pooling out into the street. Qwillis stands outside the building and stares at it, then glances at Devlin. "I'm just going to presume.. no. They're not in there."
As that chill spread through Dunwich, It'd reach there too, the blood starting to hump up on itself, growing spikes that jut out here and there as it'd reach.. for.. them.. The whole place seems to have stirred up and come alive, encrouching on those who remain near the building as if to add them to the collection...
"I think it's time to leave now.." Qwillis would say as he'd back away from the encrouching blood, then turn and starts for the way they came in. Time to get out!
|Eden||Eden hear's His bellow. She would know that voice anywhere. Noting the names on the graves, she runs to the sound. She thinks she might understand what is happening. But needs to talk to the others to be sure. "I'm here!" Eden shouts for all she is worth. She is no where near as loud as Ashur, but should at least try to tell him she is ok. He is going to be angry. The little redhead had never meant to wander so far. It seems a LOT farther today somehow! Doesn't matter, as long as she gets back to him. They can take the names back. So many theories about what happened, but those children are long gone.|
|Akane|| Akane entered the scene and peered around at the graves. Seeing nothing really at the moment she did peer into a grave of two...
And then Ashur comes crashing through yelling for Eden and the crimson-haired medic hit the ground. Just, dropped, as if someone had shouted there was a grenade. She covered her head with her hands and let out a little squeak. It took several seconds for her to realize it was 'just' Ashur and he didn't really care about what she was doing. In that time she flushed, embarrassed for reacting like that.
Eden garnered a bit of attention from Akane then and the woman lifted her eyes to look around them, at all those graves....She felt the foreboding in her chest and it ached.... Almost physically painful. As such one hand went to her chest. If these graves were children... it could represent an entire local generation. Akane's expression showed the pain she felt plainly and she ended up on her knees, staring around them.
The temperature sank. The sudden cold only made Akane shiver.... They couldn't stay here. Something else would go wrong. She tried to get to her feet, though her dropping had opened her backpack's flap a ways.....
|Tibbie||Tibbie doesn't need to be told twice as the bloody spikes near her and the two men she's stayed with, now rapidly coming at them with more spiky determination once Devlin's popped bullets into them. Slinging her slugger into one of her belt loops Tibbie books it like a crazed maniac out of here, she thinks she saw something try and trip her, maybe a bear or a hallucination but either way she nearly fumbles to the ground and saved by the skin of her teeth. The air around her seems to clog her lungs but she pushes through panting hard, not bothering to look back after hearing the order to leave. She's a nothing but a wimp in Dunwhich, but an alive wimp none the less.|
|Devlin|| "Hold on a moment.." is said as the spikes begin to form, not really willing to flee needlessly. Still not convinced it was real, Devlin rolls his shoulders, bringing his right foot forward and slightly bends his elbow. Pulling the trigger once, then again, he takes a careful shot at both spires of blood, smirking faintly as they splatter.
The sight of the blood spears not only reforming but more rapidly advancing now made the man's eyes widden notably. "I don't think I should of did that," is said with a bit of an accelerated pace as Devlin worked on back peddling. Turning around, he would only then realize how far along Qwillis had gone and where Tibbie was heading towards. The girl's stumbling and almost fall is noticed but he couldn't see anything that tripped her and so slowed his pace some, navigating the ground much more carefully before trying to sprint once again.
"Once we're out of here, you're going to have to tell me why this place isn't quarantined and barred off! This is a fucking hazard zone, what's the point in coming here with this kind of mutation?" is questioned once Devlin catches up to Qwillis, though from the pace being made, the words came out between choked breaths.
|Ashur|| Ashur stalks through the mists like a lion on the hunt -- he's all long steps and sweeping looks, chest a-rumbled with roar and rasp. That choking feeling in the air grows and grows, and at that point the Legionnaire knows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that something evil lives in this town; he knows, as the tear-mist drips and leaves bloodied prints like a lover's caress across his armor, that it all must burn.
He seizes Eden and his hand comes 'round to slap her -- not too hard, he has a delicate heart, the brute. But enough for Akane to hear and enough for Eden's teeth to feel. "Stray once more and I will burn this all to ash!" he snarls, but a growing conviction in him says that should be done regardless. He glares down into the fresh grave and grasps her by the wrist. "We go."
As he moves to abandon this cursed place, he'll see Akane and her backpack, struggling to rise to her feet. A moment's quiet examination, then the bull will snort and continue forward. "Move faster, slave. Die in a sweeter place than this."
Hardly the height of compassion. But hey, it was some sort of concern.