cooper_icon.gif dumortier_icon.gif kara_icon.gif

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Scene Title Nattvak
Synopsis A few answers come to light while the travelers keep vigil over the drugged beast.
Date September 8, 2020


The hog(bear/bat) tying was successful. Mats didn’t lift a helping hand, but instead leaned cross-armed against the tree while his horse nibbled at the sparse forest weeds he could find amidst the carpet of pine needles.

The silence of the woods is never quite silent, thanks to the wind rustling through the leaves of the trees, the soft twitter of birdsong, the knocking of a woodpecker somewhere in the distance. But the silence, no matter how filled, is deafening, and very awkward under the terse and watchful eye of Mats Ahlgren.

Who knows how many times Cooper has glanced out of the corner of his eye at Mats. There is so much he wants to ask, but…. Pale green eyes shift over to look out the other corner at Kara who would no doubt tattle on him to ‘Mama Miller.’ (>:|)

So for the moment, Cooper sits awkwardly on a downed log while drumming his fingers on his knees, watching the steady breathing of the light snoring of the pig thing trying to be a good boy…. But for how long?

He had ditched the tie after his jacket had slid off it’s head once. So the tie was now being used to hold the agents jacket in place. So he was left in his light blue button up. Which doesn’t help again pests. Cooper slaps at the back of his neck, the sounds really loud in the awkward silence of the moment. “Son of a…” He stops short and looks at the others. “Sorry,” he murmurs and goes back to drumming his fingers on his knees, this time adding a little whistle of .

Kara finally cracks. She lets out a snort of amusement at Cooper's discomfort, her unflinchingly serious and distanced demeanor failing in place of a long glance and a smile she successfully suppresses everywhere except her eyes. "They not have bugs in the city?" the munitions chaplain teases, her attention finally taken off of the beast. She doesn't lift from her crouch, the oversized syringe left in her care by Yi-Min still held in the closed fist of her hand.

"Qu'est-ce que c'est," announces an arrival from the direction that Nicole and Yi-Min had gone not long ago. It's too small to be another bear, don't panic.

"What in the flying fuck is that and why the fuck are you dressing it up— " Dumortier knows that's not actually the case— it can't be. Still, his mind isn't on that for long as he gets nearer, eyes widening further at the monstrosity they've captured. Something in him wavers between pity and disgust.

With more uncertainty, Rene refocuses instead on Kara, stealing glances at the Thing as he comes to her. "Are you alright? Min's with Carver…" Bleeding, etc.

The horse is less stoic than Mats, shaking its head and stomping its foot when Cooper slaps at himself. Its owner gives the agent a cool look, and then turns his gaze on Rene as he comes up staring at the creature and the other two strangers.

In the distance, a twig snaps. Mats turns that way, his hand moving for his musket, which has since been reloaded so it’s ready to go, but he shakes his head and relaxes visibly when Jepp’s face can be seen through the thick trees. The boy doesn’t seem eager to join the watch party but instead crouches behind a tree, watching from a safe distance.

“Oh ha ha,” Cooper says Kara’s way, with a little bit of a childish tongue sticking out. “Just wait till you get bit too.” He can hope anyway. “Hopefully, I don’t get some ancient form of Malaria or something.” Shifting on the log to pull out the square phone out of his pocket. He glances at the time on the screen and then up at the dome with a squint.

Only to have his thoughts disrupted by another of Kara’s group returning. “That is a bear… bat… pig… thing.” At which point he squares the phone on it and takes a photo of it, making the familiar camera sound that those from the modern world might know. “And no one back home is ever going to believe us.” He eyes the photo he’s just taken and looks at the creature again. “Well, maybe a few people might.”

Amusement gone. There goes flying another reference to their being out of place in this time, which brings Kara's smile back flat. She shifts, hand tightening around the syringe as she pushes herself to her feet. "First rule of being somewhere you don't belong," she advises him in an undertone while he takes his photo. The advice seems prudent to pass along, even if she'd rather slap the phone from his hand. "Don't make yourself obvious."

Rene's approach distracts her ire away, her look wonderfully unamused still. "It might be what let us get here. It might just be a symptom of it. It could be something else entirely." With a rough shake of her head, she surmises, "Til we know, we needed to keep it from hurting anyone else." Hence the trussing. And the blindfold made of Cooper's guard against the late-summer air.

Whatever it is that Mats stops to tense at, Dumortier doesn't even look over his shoulder. He already knew. Kids aren't very careful.

"I'll take that as an 'I'm fine, Rene'." Cooper is given a longer look than Mats and his horse, but not quite as long as the — beast itself. Kara seems perfectly able to address the agent's photo-op; Dumortier, on the other hand, is bold when he pads forward to inspect the faintly snuffling muzzle of the creature. That's a terrible blindfold. "Two coincidences are already too many for my tastes…"

Dumortier skims a look up towards Mats, eyes narrowed when he frowns toward Kara. "Could always be the other way. Got them to us."

One boot kicks up a spray of pine needles around Rene's feet, a second rooting around finding what he needs. A big, flowery pine-cone that he cradles in one hand. It is promptly waved at Kara, wagged at bearpig. Kara, bearpig.. Doing the ~elf magic~ in front of the girl was one thing. With this he can help, but… her call.

When Cooper looks up, that subtle shimmer of light high in the sky that makes it appear like they’re living within a snow globe is still there — but it seems the arc is a little smaller, that the curve begins a shorter distance away. The far side of the dome, following the curve’s trajectory, sits far off in the distance, still, and that distance is hard to gauge with no landmarks and a forest full of scraggly pitch pine as far as he can see. But…

It looks like the globe is a little smaller, perhaps by yards or even a mile, than when they first got to this corner of the village.

The phone in Cooper’s hand is given a wary look from Mats, and he looks up at the sky as well, but doesn’t seem to notice anything awry. “What is that thing,” he says with a nod toward Cooper’s hand — Kara’s worries realized.

“The devils are many years old,” he adds to Kara, not understanding what she’s trying to implicate when she talks to Rene. “That one is at least eight years old.”

Jepp stays where he is, crouching, his blue eyes intent on the strange scene before him.

“This…. Uh… it’s a bit like a clock…. It also helps me remember things… might be a game you can play with it,” Cooper says kind of off-handedly, tucking it away, as his attention drifts upward again. It took him a minute, but… he noticed. “I’d show you, but… I think we’re running short on time,” he says, brows furrowing as he watches it, as if he might be able to see it shrinking.

After a moment, Cooper says with a strange amount of concern to no one in particular, “We need to go.” When he looks down again, he’s looking at his fellow time travellers. “Soon. The time bubble is shrinking.” He doesn’t try to talk around it and just points up, hoping to draw their attention to the shimmering dome above them.

Kara glances back for a moment at the child hiding in the brush before looking to Dumortier and giving him a single shake of her head. Not a chance. People shot each other over acts of Expression in their own time, and history says they didn't just limit it to shooting someone, back in the past. Cooper already was determined to fell the trees to set himself a pure, they didn't need to make that worse.

"It's some new, annoying pocketwatch," she answers more loudly, sternly than before. It echoes Cooper's point as much as overrides it with less-anachronistic language— she hopes.

Mats' comment brings her to regard him with a touch of surprise. "There are more than one of these?" Kara asks, gesturing her free hand to the beast. The agent's comment regarding the bubble brings her to immediately look up, though, resisting a frown. Maybe they'd not get to the heart of this before time ran out. As long as they made it back to their own time safely, that's all that mattered, in her eyes.

"Fine, but I'm keeping some…" Dumortier mutters to himself, zipping up his jacket and stashing a few of the seemingly centuries old pinecones. Maybe it can help him ID the spot later. If they get back. Soon, the agent says— to which Rene does look upwards, a short look tossed Kara's way.

"I thought I heard something when I was starting to double back… but it could have been anything." Hands fiddling with the sharp edges of the cone in his hand, jacket lumpy, Rene drags teeth against his lower lip. The creature nearby finds itself the target of a glare before he slides up to Kara. "He's right. Soon. Carver was doing his best, but—" The rest they couldn't fix. Stumbling in here was bad enough.

“Not like this one,” Mats says, with a jerk of his head to the tied beast, its belly rising and falling as it sleeps. “One is twixt hawk and goat, the stories say. Another, something twixt raccoon and horse. The stories vary as no one sees them by daylight or long enough to know for sure what they be looking at. The devils, they tend to keep to themselves and leave us alone, but it’s been a lean few months. They’re hungry, like we all are.”

His eyes linger on the creature, with something like fondness or respect. “Some say we’re cursed with them — the other villages. We used to be a bigger village ourselves, but some moved away, talking of curses and witchcraft. But I say they be a blessing, like any of God’s creatures. They don’t normally kill our kine any more than a normal bear or the like would. They stick to the woods, except when there not be enough for them.”

Mats too looks to Cooper and looks up, frowning, giving another shake of his head, disregarding talk of time bubbles and pocketwatches.

There is amusement at Rene stuffing his jacket with pine cones and relief when both look up. Before he can go on, Cooper realize what Mats is saying, turning his attention back to the man, “Wait…” There is a curious glance at the bear before getting to his feet. “So this is normal?” Taking a few more steps towards the beast, he watches its breathing. “Wow… I can honestly say, I’ve never heard of these things back where I am from…” He might do some extra digging when he gets home.

Scratching at the small welt forming on the back of his neck, Cooper considers something. “Would you say they protect you?” The man they had rescued was dressed like someone from modern times. “Beyond the thinner years?” Glancing back at the other two travelers to see if they get what he’s thinking.

Turning back to it he gently nudges the thing with a foot. It could be their fault it’s laying like this. “Maybe we can drag it out into the woods and leave it? That way when it wakes, maybe then it will go on its way.” It’s a thought really, especially since Mats thinks the meat is ruined.

Oh, that sky closing in on them did… did not bode well. Kara keeps her eyes up on the strange shape for longer than she means, even as she listens to Mats. The frown she'd been willing away comes back of its own volition, and when she looks back down, it's to scan the treeline for other strange creatures that might be lurking in them.

She lets out a slow sigh, shaking her head. "If it's already attacking the village… if we've verified this thing isn't unique… it's likely not what's keeping us here, then." Not to mention, it'd hurt several of their own. Yi-Min.

Kara looks to Dumortier for his opinion. "Maybe we put it out of its misery after all."

"Don't look at me. That's more his department." Dumortier answers Kara's look with a jerked thumb towards Mats. "Sounds like they're just animals being animals to me. Even if one is apparently a horse with weird racoon hands or something?"

I mean, how else does that go? What even.

"Sounds to me like we're done here. They can take care of themselves from now. We need to deal with Us."

Mats shakes his head at the questions, his polite veneer fading a little into irritation. “They don’t protect us. They are beasts, and untamed as the bears and creatures out there,” he says with a jut of his chin to the deeper woods beyond.”

He’s about to say more, when the sound of a twig cracking swivels his head to his left, where Jepp has taken a few steps forward out of his hiding spot.

“Beast not,” Jepp says, with emphasis, “naturlig.” The analog is close enough, despite the emphasis on the second syllable and the longer eeg sound on the end. Not Natural.

His hands lift and open, pantomiming someone combining two things. “Bildas,” he says, brows drawing together with the concentration as he strives for something in English but shakes his head. “Bildas för hand.”

Pale eyes slide over to Mats, then back to Kara and Dumortier.

The creature groans suddenly, one wing lifting a few inches off the ground before collapsing again.

Hands come up at the irritation, like ‘Hey, man, just an offer.’ Either way, he knows when he’s overstayed and as soon as there is a moment, Cooper motions in the direction of the village by pointing two fingers. “Great… okay…. Well….” he knows when it is time for him to get scarce. “While you all decide whether to kill it or not, I’m going to go tell the others it is time to go.” He glances between them all. “Yeah… Just gonna…”

With that, Cooper simply turns and leaves, but not without an apologetic look to the stirring creature.

Jepp's stepping forward brings Kara's attention back his way, listening hard to what he says for a long moment while Cooper is preparing to leave. Bild…as, he says. Build? Built by hand? Handmade? It dawns on her he appeared interested in what happened to the creature— in shutting down the speculating around it. A type of creature which only appeared in the area surrounding this particular village.

"Jepp, did you make this?" she asks as kindly as she can manage while still being direct. She begins to frown.

The creature beginning to stir was just another thing that signalled their time was running low. She begins to pull her rifle into a better-prepared position, flicking the safety off.

Jepp earns far more of Dumortier's attention this time, jaw set and eyes on the boy's pantomimes. To Kara, an aside without taking his eyes off of the pair of villagers. "That, or someone else built it. And somehow he knows that. Or who."

It's the stirring that brings his theorizing to a stop; between Cooper setting off to get the others, knowing they're soon to be gone, and the mass of bruin lazily grunting awake, Rene is, to say the least, getting antsy. "If you're not going to let me tie it down," The blonde rolls his shoulders once, a frown towards Kara. "Let's go find stage left."

Nej,” the teenager says adamantly to Kara’s inquiry, a shake of his head to punctuate the negative word. “Jag kunde inte. Could not. De är onaturliga. De är…” His pale brows draw together in a scowl as he tries to find a word in English. “Bad,” he finally settles on, though another headshake suggests he isn’t happy with that.

“Enough,” Mats interrupts, cutting a sharp look at Jepp who takes a few steps toward the house. “Does it matter?” he tells Kara. “Kill it or be on your way and I shall take care of it. You ask if it protects us? They keep out the other village folk away, keep strangers away. That may well be a blessing, if you ask me.”

Kara frowns to herself, shouldering the rifle. "We'll be along. Sorry for the trouble, Mats. And thank you for your hospitality." She looks to him for a moment, weapon pointed at the beast's head. "I'll save you the ammunition."

And with a loud crack of a report, the beast is belatedly dispatched.

When it appears that their side-venture is clearly done after Kara's executive decision, Dumortier isn't interested in hanging around more than he needs to.

"…Take care." He supposes, offering that much to Mats and the boy before tugging his hood up and starting off just a few paces ahead of Kara.

Jepp gasps at the shot of the rifle, hands clapping over his ears as he stares down at the creature for a long moment. He then turns to run away, gangy adolescent legs taking him swiftly away — not toward the house, but deeper into the forest.

Watching the strangers head back toward the Nilsson's cottage, Mats waits until they breach the treeline before moving to the beast, pulling the jacket Cooper threw over its face to reveal the ursine skull and porcine jaw.

"Om du berättar för någon, ska jag kombinera dig med en gris nästa," he mutters to the boy, before patting the beast on the flank. He rises again, looking at the jacket, and tossing it over the horse's saddle.

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