Fox Tale


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Scene Title Fox Tale
Synopsis Mad Eve rescues a lost fox from a storm.
Date June 12, 2015

The creak and groan of an old ship’s hull joins the howl of the wind battering down outside. Within the confines of the Forthright’s below-decks area, the noise is muted enough.

Oil lanterns hang from hooks in the ceiling, shedding flickering firelight across a vagabond-aesthetic bedroom. A Persian rug is spread out across the floor, colorful tapestries hanging from the walls to hide the rust streaks on white. Candles are set on low tables, flickering flame burning softly in the night.

Laid out on a bed of stacked mattresses and many heavy blankets, a red haired man wearing a peculiar gold necklace has slept for nearly fourteen hours. Outside, thunder rumbles, and his eyes flick back and forth beneath his heavy eyelids.

Outside of the room the audible thump of a staff can be heard as a figure in a dark robe and large, black farmer's hat from Asia makes its way slowly along the hall as the ship bobs up and down on the water. A wrinkled pale hand with blue veins popping out grips a tall ebony staff that the figure clearly a woman using it as support. Stopping at the door, the woman tilts her head, face hidden by the brim of her hat and wine colored lips spread open in a ghost of a smile as she rapts sharply on the door before twisting the knob and allowing herself in.

There's a grunt as she spies the man laying there on the bed, sleep is a luxury and one he's been afforded for this long. Now it's story time.

Reaching within her robe the woman with grizzled white gray hair coming out from under the hat pulls out a tiny vial of a dark yellow liquid and inching forward to hunch over she uncorks it and waves it under his nostrils twice, "Up and at em Young Fox." Her rasp tinged with age and emotion at the young shooting star as she had come to think of him.

Exhaling a ragged gasp, Walter Trafford jolts up from sleep, his necklace sliding off his bare chest as it rises and falls in rapid breaths. Wide-eyed, he takes in his surroundings with momentary disorientation before remembering where he is. Then when can be worked out later.

“What kind of Mortal Kombat weirdness is this?” Walter asks as he reaches up to clutch his necklace in one hand, then softens his expression as he really takes in Eve’s features, gradually dawning with realization on who exactly she is. “You… look rough, Eve.”

"Why hello there Foxy. I am not Raiden no, but I wish." She chuckles and slaps the side of the bed as she comes to settle down for a seat on the edge, "You don't mind if an old lady sits here do ya? Rest me bones." Eve Mas draws the brim of her hat back fully to reveal the lines and wrinkles that cover her face, she doesn't look like any Eve, Walter has seen before, somehow older. Significantly so. Those eyes, doe brown still burn with that fire. That look of mischief she can't seem to ever really get rid of.

"We've all seen better days but the shrimp," holding a hand up to wiggle her fingers in the air with a grin, "They are a plenty. Mmmm I love them." The old woman leans back and retrieves a battered golden flask from within her robe and unscrews the cap before guzzling what smells like tequila of some kind. "How do you feel?" A hand snaps out to lay itself across his forehead, surprisingly springy for a woman her age. Noticeably not going into her appearance. "Fished you out of the storm, raging waters. No doubts, just a fox. Shooting from the sky. You're a shooting star baby!" Finger Gun with a click of her tongue and a wink.

“I…” Walter has to think about it, one hand coming to rest against the side of his head, eyes clenched shut. “…feel like I ran a marathon,” he cracks one eye open, “straight into an oncoming train.” As he tries to sit up, Walter winces and then falls back onto the bed, still holding his head with one hand.

He's silent for a moment, staring with one eye closed up at the ceiling. Then, after another moment he turns his head against his pillow to regard Eve. “I've got a few questions,” he says hesitantly. “Firstly being, uh, what year is it?”

"You must have come a from very far away Foxy," rising slowly the old woman pads over with bare dirty feet to a table in the corner of the room. There's water boiling in a second on an old kettle and as the water does its thing Eve whirls around grabbing two cups from underneath and placing them on the table, humming softly as he asks his question. She has her own.

"Why it's the year 2015 my dear."

A long wooden pipe is drawn out from the from the robes and she fiddles with what's inside before lighting it with a match, the smoke rising from the bowl and curling out from her mouth giving her the look of an old crazy dragon, "What year did you come from?" It's asked with the casual nature of asking what's for dinner. "Fell from the sky you did, right into the next river. Hmm?" The water stops and she pours two steaming cups of tea, the scents of ginger and jasmine mixed with honey fill the room as Eve walks over to hand the man a hot cup.

Walter makes a soft groan in the back of his throat and stares up at the ceiling. “That… doesn't make any sense. You look like somebody's dead grandm— ” he grimaces, turning his head just enough to regard Eve clearly. Then, his attention focuses on the tea. Walter makes another soft sound, this one of effort, and carefully sits up and scoots until his back is against the wall to support him. He takes the tea, shakily and in visibly unsteady hands that seem to surprise even Walter, and just cradles it for its warmth.

“Twenty-forty one.” Walter says with a slow shake of his head. “I was bringing an asshole friend back home… where he wanted to be and… I think…” Walter stares down into the rippling surface of the unsteady teacup. “I think I might've made a wrong turn.”

"Did I change my hair?" Lifting a limp strain of gray with a wicked grin revealing stained, yellow teeth. As he holds his tea Eve drinks from hers and sucks her teeth, "Helps with the cough," but the smoking negated that such it was now a vicious cycle because Eve would not be without her vices, not after what she went through to get here. Leaning forward at the year that Walter says he's from, "You are a bit off my Foxy friend."

"Noble of you to take your friend home, karma is real and it shines down. Not like the blazing sun wanting to roast you, more like a gentle bit of sun that can tan you." Looking down at her hand, "I've gotten a little more color in my old age, funny isn't it?" Another sip of her tea and she nods her head as if in answer to an unasked question by a phantom person. "I've been lost before, broken and unable to go the right way. I'll help yo—" the old woman stops as she spies his necklace again. "What.." she hadn't prodded and examined him too closely when they dragged him out of the water, she allowed Monica to do that and also she was secretly hoping he would wake up and Monica would end up a married lady to a Fox.


"I know that symbol. Where.. did you get that?"

Eve’s conversational tone is like the ebb and flow of the tides to Walter. She's one place then another, surging and receding until she reaches a point. He's familiar enough with her ways, even if never quite this opaque. “It's…” Walter touches the flat, hook-like necklace, “I've had it for a long time. Someone gave it to my mother after the war— ”

Walter realizes something, looking up to Eve. “Where are we?” The rock of the ocean is more unsettling now, and stranded from all that he knows as familiar, Walter finds no comfort in a familiar face. In many ways, she might as well be a stranger.

"War you say?" Eve takes an interest to that, "Lots of Boom you say, boom boom. Oh we use to boom a lot here. It still comes, bloodlust, the seas are hungry. You can hear it in the roar." Placing her tea down on the bedside table she pulls herself to a standing position and offers a hand. "You wanna know where you are? Why don't you walk with an old lady."

She waits for him to join her before she would move to the door, revealing the hallway of a yacht. An older man that's seen many years of wear and tear, red and blue Christmas lights are strung up in the halls. The hall is also filled with cats — four presently — laying around or prowling, looking for mice that they haven't caught. It isn't likely but Eve nods to the cats, "Harry, Louie, Jasper and Monte Carlo. There are others, my oldest friends. Attention cats!" Dipping her head she aims to take them up the stairs of the ship to the deck. "A while ago, the most insane thing happened. The Vanguard," the name uttered with disgust. "They made the world start over again, brought Noah's story to life. A flood." She says it simply it's a truth that she's long since come to terms with.

"Why don't you tell me something, what am I like where you're from? She's a springy chicken isn't she?" Patting Walter's arm fondly, "Still has her youthful looks, you know I could turn the heads of every bar and it had nothing to do with the fact that I was completely naked, never that!" A hoot of laughter and she erupts in a fit of coughing clinging to the man and her staff to keep herself steady. "That's all past now, run its course.”

Blanket wrapped around himself like a toga, Walter looks out across the hall and slowly follows Eve’s meandering up toward the stairs. “I didn’t know you well…” Walter admits, brows furrowed and still disoriented enough to miss the opportunity to comment on the cats in a timely fashion. That doesn’t stop him from belatedly saying something stupid, however. “I’m pretty sure you weren’t a crazy cat-lady though…” he looks up to Eve, brows creased together. “Thank you for saving my life,” he adds as if to balance that all out.

By the time they reach the top of the stairs, Walter is squinting at the streaks of rust on the stairwell. The smell of salt and rust invades his senses, and when he reaches the top of the deck he squints against the darkness of night. At first, the foggy night air makes it look as though they’re in Manhattan during a brown-out. The stars are too bright, though, and the moon casts some of the crumbling skyscrapers in silhouette. For a moment it feels as though perhaps he is home, and these eviscerated buildings ruined by fire and war fit together seamlessly with his expectations.

Until he sees the sea, crashing up against the barnacle-encrusted walls of the Empire State Building. Walter’s heart drops, his jaw is left to tremble, and he gapes for a moment in slack-jawed horror at the sight before him.

This is not home.

"Mmm or was I one and you just didn't know. Mmmm." Rapping her knuckles on the side of the ship as they ascend, it echoes through the place. The yacht is old now but sturdy, thanks to Queen Lowelowe. "You're welcome! I couldn't leave a Fox in the sea, it's rude! I'm friendly with the furries you see," looking over her shoulder. "Otter E-" before she squints, "You don't know a Bunny do you?" Asking in absolute seriousness before she's before on to the next subject. Walter's new sorta home.

"Here I lead a crew, we on the Forthright… we.. take the jobs nobody wants. The stranger, most dangerous, nuttier than a lemon pound cake!" (Which has no nuts at all) "The better!" Mad Eve looks excited about that prospect, strange things led to strange tales and the pale oracle loved stories. Always. "Be kind to her and she'll be kind to you. Monica is a real peach, be respectful. There are.. other fun faces here—" but they have arrived to the deck and Walter's reaction elicits a soft exhale of breath as she presses a hand to his chest, "It's not that bad Foxy, don't you worry. The pirates won't lay a hand on ya. We'll get you where you belong," looking off to the side.

"Eventually.. but the old ladies in the sky want you here and now." There's a frown there because Eve knows that they act as they will these Old Ladies. "Might not be fair, might be the most wicked thing but you won't starve here nooo nooo and you'll get some sleep if you shut your eyes real tight." Dark brown eyes look into Walter's eyes, "There's a reason, I'll look at my bones." Consult the Dreams. "Is where you came from.. worst than this?"

Staring up at the skyscrapers through all of the gaps behind his eyes and spilling from Eve’s mouth, Walter pulls the blanket around his shoulders tighter to ward off the damp chill in the air. He doesn't have a good answer for Eve, because for all the frightening splendor of dead, looming towers and the crash of the sea, weighing the virtues of a dry wasteland for a wet one seems impossible.

“We had pirates too.” Walter says, breathlessly, over the side of the ship. Eve’s company and her explanation of his predicament seems to have sailed far over his head. He was, now, too lost to find his way. Swallowing tightly, his attention turns to the frothing night sea and its impenetrable darkness. As the wind picks up and plays with the sea spray, Walter clutches his blanket tighter and asks one last, simple question:

“Where are my pants?”

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