Redhawk Caldera Crunch time
All Welcome  January 12, 2018, 02:27 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
He wasn't used to waiting this long. His birth pack had been a well-oiled machine when it came to deciding to go attack and actually doing so.  Quixote had thought that the whole thing would be over by now, but instead snow was still deepening and time still passed.  It had to be soon, right?  Soon.  Soon™.

After his last scouting trip he'd figured that maybe they'd be ready to go. Instead, here he was, running on adrenaline and lack of sleep.  It was not a good thing.  But perhaps it wasn't surprising -- he'd been spending all this time studying how simple things could go wrong, how if Blackfeather wanted to attack, the invaders might be the ones with the upper hand.  Hopefully, though, it wouldn't be an issue.  Hopefully things would go as planned, they'd all return victorious and he could have a great nap.  But still it nagged him, waking him when he did sleep at every crunch of a twig.  Maybe he should hunt down a medic that might have something to knock him out for a solid night.  Quixote's reclusive behavior had pretty well put limits on that, too.  He wasn't entirely sure who to ask.

For now, though, he was heading to the cache. If he wasn't going to keep his mind sharp by sleeping, the least he could do is have some food to keep him alive in general.  Maybe with something in his stomach it'd lull him off to dreamland.  A quick glance to the early afternoon sky warned him of the approaching snow -- and getting to the cache before it had even more of the white stuff burying it would probably be a good idea.
January 13, 2018, 01:21 PM
Towhee
Redhawks
Alpha
Towhee squinted across the glaringly bright and snowy landscape, her internal monologue quiet for the moment, her usually roiling emotions simmering innocuously at present. It was the proverbial calm before the storm within the mercenary's breast. They would march within days, the battle would be fought (and won), and then...

Then life would go on, without Phox. This thought caused her jaw to clench and she turned, picking her way toward a stockpile. It was difficult to eat, though Towhee knew she must stay nourished if she wanted to be in fighting shape when the time came. She had made a point not to eat anything with her wayward brother's scent markers on it.

When she arrived, she found she wasn't alone. Ears flicking, she regarded Quixote coolly. "Hey, Quixote," she said, putting a strange emphasis on the first syllable of his name to prove she'd understood his previous correction on its pronunciation. Her lips curved into a tight smile, but only for a moment.

She approached the snow-covered cache, dug at it and began nosing through the contents. She found a frozen stoat drenched in Phox's smell. Her stomach clenched and she rather abruptly tossed it in her pack mate's direction before resuming pawing through the proverbial refrigerator.

-Signing.- (incl. mouthing + active signaling) | "Speech." | "Body language." (incl. expressions + passive signaling) | Thoughts.
Members of RHC are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me for reference! :)

January 13, 2018, 11:40 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
Quixote was the exact opposite.  Though normally pretty calm, even when he got dragged off to fight, right now his normally mundane thoughts had warped into particularly rabid badgers.  Maybe he should go smack his head on a rock and knock himself out for a while.

And there was Towhee emerging across the way and he paused to let her take her pick of the cache. Hey, he responded simply.  He wasn't quite sure why she ended up tossing that particular stoat to him, but he'd take it with a thankful head bob.  The scent on it smelled kind of familiar from around the pack lands, but it wasn't someone he actually recognized.  And wasn't one that he'd traipsed across recently.  Maybe that was why.  Well, as long as it didn't poison him...  He picked up the stoat, carrying it away a few steps before setting it down on the ground again.  He wasn't sure if he'd chow down here or haul it elsewhere, but he was wondering where she was, mentally.  If only to confirm his own brain wasn't dragging him too far off track.

Once she'd made her choice and assuredly looked up again, Quixote spoke again, Think you're ready?  He then realized maybe he wasn't entirely clear, The war or whatever you want to call it.  Longer we wait, more I expect they'll show up here in the middle of the night instead.  It was perhaps the worst result he could think of -- everyone getting picked off one by one or in small groups as they slept or roamed about up to their own business, not expecting anything.  Warnings going out late, blood spilled on the wrong land... Maybe he should go over those defensive plans again, just in case.

And so instead he'd be snapping at shadows until something happened.
January 14, 2018, 12:07 PM
Towhee
Redhawks
Alpha
Somewhere near the bottom of the pile, Towhee found a deer leg that had probably been stashed there since the summer. She picked it up in her teeth and carried it to a spot about ten feet away from Quixote. She dropped it and then slung herself down a heartbeat later, long legs stretched out on either side of the dismembered limb. She rolled her left paw to grip the larger end and hold it down as she began gnawing off strips of frozen venison.

Her orange eyes flicked in her pack mate's direction, watching as his mouth moved. She continued chewing the tough, gamy morsel in her mouth before replying, "They don't know we're planning anything, so there's no reason to expect they'd storm us first." Towhee made to tear off another strip of deer jerky when a thought struck her. She froze, head cocking, before saying, "Unless someone tipped them off somehow... but how would that even happen? Who would do that?" There was no skepticism in her voice (it was as flat as ever) but it was written all over her swarthy face. She shook her head.

After a few more bites, she belatedly answered Quixote's query: "I'm as ready as I'll ever be." Towhee paused. "But you're the expert, aren't you? Do you think we're ready?"

-Signing.- (incl. mouthing + active signaling) | "Speech." | "Body language." (incl. expressions + passive signaling) | Thoughts.
Members of RHC are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me for reference! :)

January 15, 2018, 05:41 AM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
He settled down with the stoat, nibbling at it a little but it was pretty well frozen through.  He pulled it up to his chest to try and thaw it out a little bit if possible.  Can always be coincidence.  But I mean, you mentioned the conflict to me before I joined, he said with a wry smile.  All it might take is someone saying something to the wrong person without realizing the gravity of it.  Given that much of the wolves in the area weren't used to conflict, it seemed a reasonable mistake for the uninitiated to make.  He wouldn't count it against them.  This time.  Well, unless people died, then he might.

He tried the stoat again while she replied, gulping down a piece that came free this time.  I think we've done as much as we can without waiting until the thaw.  If we had a few more months, I'd suggest training in squads.  Then assign stuff from there.  At least that was something that could be done once this was over, then future plans could be more refined, pointing certain squads at certain areas and that kind of thing.  And then they'd be ready if there was a next time, even though there hopefully wouldn't be one.

A pause, Hell, you said Moonspear might be helping too?  What happened with them?  He didn't know what to think about that.  Had they decided it wasn't worth it to punish those who were being ill-behaved?
January 15, 2018, 10:18 AM
Towhee
Redhawks
Alpha
He pointed out her loose lips to her and Towhee felt a bolt of indignation. She stopped eating and gritted her teeth. Quixote was right, though. Something as thoughtless as a slip of the tongue to the wrong person could have given their enemy a heads up in the war. Towhee kicked herself mentally, then tried to steady herself with a deep breath. She resumed chewing, though only halfheartedly.

Anyway, it was easier to read his lips when she wasn't attempting to swallow gobs of aged deer. She pushed the leg aside and sat up a little straighter, squinting at Quixote as he spoke. She didn't normally take to outsiders very quickly, though his resume definitely helped him here. And, truthfully, with Phox gone and half the pack squirreled away elsewhere, the territory had grown too quiet, even for the deaf wolf.

He dropped a rather dreaded word and Towhee's face hardened. "Titmouse fucked that up for us," she said harshly, then paused to mull before continuing, "I have a hard time believing that pussy is capable of murder. But he definitely played some part in a pup's death there. He ran, leaving Gannet behind to take his punishment. They're holding him there, presumably only until he heals, but..." Her voice trailed into momentary silence.

The whole situation was very confusing, especially considering her relationship with Hydra, which she decided to mention now. "I have an ally there, Hydra, who has a plan. She has a contact who was supposed to take her to the leader, though she said we could have him show us where they keep the hostages instead. But she told me about this when I thought they had Phox. I don't think that anymore. And with everything else going on, I haven't spoken to Hydra in days. I told Uncle Elwood and Aunt Finley about this idea, though I'm not really sure what they think. And when the time comes, I'm going to do as they ask and go wherever they need me." She appreciated Hydra's offer, though in the end, the Redhawks were Towhee's priority.

-Signing.- (incl. mouthing + active signaling) | "Speech." | "Body language." (incl. expressions + passive signaling) | Thoughts.
Members of RHC are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me for reference! :)

January 16, 2018, 02:32 AM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
Pointing that out had apparently touched a bit of a raw nerve.  Screwing up was part of learning, though, and as such, Quixote didn't seem to be doing anything about it other than pointing it out that single time.  His expression was quick to change as Towhee mentioned the reason for the Battle of Four Armies becoming the Battle of Three Armies.  Onward to the land of increasing negativity.

It was starting to give him a sense of deja vu, and he put down his food for the moment as well, tucking it again up to his chest.  If Titmouse was innocent, then here was potentially another spark that could cause the sort of chaos that Quixote grew up in.  Ugh.  That's sounding familiar.  And not in a good way.  If you believe he's truly innocent, does that pack have a lot of like.. hyper-emotional sorts then?  I dunno, from my limited experience, if someone's murdered, it's usually pretty damn obvious if you've got a suspect to compare to.  Noses generally functioned well for figuring out such things -- killing someone usually required close contact, after all, but he wasn't going to mention non-functioning noses to someone who had non-functioning ears.  Even with his penchant for saying stupid things, it sounded like a bad idea.

Though Hydra was the wolf he met ages back -- without knowing her name -- what she'd said to him had taken the another irrational reason off the table: superstition. The possible rescue plan, though, started sounding kind of like figuring out someone's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate, and if pack relations were now in question...  An ear tilted to the side as he ran the whole thing over through his brain a second time, obviously looking for a shorter distance between the two points, Hopefully won't be needed and we'll just find anyone trapped there while searching for Blackfeathers, call it good.  But I'd imagine trying to patch things over with Moonspear, get Gannet back, and figure out what the hell Titmouse did are on the agenda for after the fighting ends?  Quixote was quite happy to help with whatever was necessary, even if he was currently visibly grim.  All he wanted to do was stop a fire before it hit the peat bog or coal vein and burned for a few decades.

And it was more for his currently over-active brain to work through.  Again he wondered if he should have chosen to stay out of this.
January 16, 2018, 11:52 AM
Towhee
Redhawks
Alpha
"I don't know if he's innocent," Towhee said quickly, though otherwise she waited for Quixote to finish before embellishing. "I have no idea. I don't know or care much about them, other than Hydra. All I know is that Tit's a fucking dumbass and it sounds like a total clusterfuck." Talk about succinct.

Her ears twisted backward at his next few words, as if she could hear them and found them distasteful. She didn't, though she was also quick to say, "I'd like Gannet to be able to return safely, but otherwise I don't think anyone gives a shit about making nice with Moonspear. It sucks that we won't have the extra muscle, but we have Drageda, don't we? And as for Tit, well..." Maybe it would be nice to know the story, yet Towhee legitimately couldn't care less about her litter mate, and it showed by the look on her face.

"I know," the Gamma said a beat later, suddenly heaving onto all fours, "that your tactics require a lot of thinking and talking. But can we take a recess and get in some sparring? I have this move I came up with this morning that I want to try out on someone. I tried to do it on X, but he flew away," Towhee added with a bit of a predatory smirk.

-Signing.- (incl. mouthing + active signaling) | "Speech." | "Body language." (incl. expressions + passive signaling) | Thoughts.
Members of RHC are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me for reference! :)

January 18, 2018, 04:56 AM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
It didn't sound like it was being handled all that well, but he guessed that if it was the alphas' kid, they were probably pretty mentally screwed up from their pup dying or whatever. He'd give them a little bit of leeway, but he was still of the opinion that it should be handled all nice and official-like.  With level heads and no growling.  Yep. Sounds like garbage.  Or a headache. Probably both.  For this moment, avoiding the latter was probably a good idea.

This conversation was certainly proving that Towhee was definitely not a diplomat.  Neither was Quixote, but he'd be willing to try -- be trash at it, but try -- for the sake of trying to have peace for a while so he could relax and learn what it's like to be stuck in conflict.  He was not in a position in the pack to be able to negotiate even if he ran across them.  He'd have to be careful in the future, but since he wasn't planning on going on any adventures their direction until the Blackfeather thing was dealt with.

A spar?  Well, that would certainly wear him out a bit more.  Can do -- but I warn you I'm tired as hell,  so if you knock me out in the process just let me sleep. My damn brain hasn't shut up in what feels like a week.  Quixote seemed bemused by his own suffering -- it was kind of ridiculous when you got right down to it. He dipped his head to take a final chunk out of the stoatcicle before picking it up, dragging himself to his feet, and placing his aside so it wouldn't get stepped on. That done, he turned back to her, Specific scenario or just go for it?
January 18, 2018, 09:17 AM
Towhee
Redhawks
Alpha
It seemed that every time she sought a spar, something threatened to disrupt it somehow. Towhee didn't want an easy win, she wanted to get in some legitimate practice. She rolled her eyes at him a bit, though she understood at the same time. It was hard to eat, sleep or do much of anything around here with everything hinging on the upcoming battle.

"I'd be happy to knock you out," she replied gamely, tail giving a twitch. Her orange eyes tracked his movements as he took another bite of food, then rose. Towhee didn't catch anything after "scenario," not because she looked away and missed his words but because she abruptly pounced, rearing onto her hind legs as she sprang forward to try and put Quixote in a headlock.

-Signing.- (incl. mouthing + active signaling) | "Speech." | "Body language." (incl. expressions + passive signaling) | Thoughts.
Members of RHC are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me for reference! :)

February 08, 2018, 03:49 AM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
Not gonna lie I think I partially avoided replying in order to spend way too long trying to work out the physics of a wolf headlock without access to a physical canine, heh.

Apparently the latter was the option she wanted.  He certainly wasn't prepared for it, his brain creeping along like a cold caterpillar, but that didn't mean he was going to just roll over, even if at a certain point he wished to.

He wasn't able to dodge the pounce at all, and instead pulled away from the direction she came for a moment before shifting his momentum to shove his rather dense figure swiftly into her without planning on stopping.  Having a full four feet on the ground was certainly more advantageous for throwing ones weight around compared to two or even three.  He was aiming to throw her off balance enough that him pulling free would be the least of her concerns -- hell, Quixote was the type who'd probably walk right over her if she was particularly stubborn about not letting go, no regrets.  All he was looking for wars a small opening when a wolf's forelimbs were especially bad for grappling.  If he managed to roll her, that would just be a bonus.
February 12, 2018, 11:15 AM
Towhee
Redhawks
Alpha
Lolz.

I take liberties in fight scenes for the ~flow~ and I welcome you to do the same! If you need me to make edits, just gimme a shout.

For a split second, the element of surprise worked to her advantage. Towhee was able to rear up and get her forelegs loosely circled about Quixote's neck before he so much as reacted. But then he swiftly turned the tables on her. He more or less rammed her back, throwing off her center of gravity. Intuiting an imminent tumble backward, Towhee tightened her grip and clung to him a bit like a baby koala even as she fell. As soon as she hit the ground (with a loud "Oof!"), she released her grip and twisted, catlike, regaining her feet and darting out from beneath him.

Rather than take a moment to gather her bearings, Towhee immediately swiveled and went in for another attack. Going in high hadn't worked out well, so now she went in low, snapping at Quixote's left ankle.

-Signing.- (incl. mouthing + active signaling) | "Speech." | "Body language." (incl. expressions + passive signaling) | Thoughts.
Members of RHC are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me for reference! :)

February 16, 2018, 04:18 AM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
Same!  I do have the bonus of being rusty as hell at fight crud -- not that people ever challenged my more aggressive chars in the past anyway, heh.  So if it's unclear or too much or whatever, lemme know! howdidthisgetsolong

Part of the way he naturally fought was to be more reactive than aggressive.  He was more the sort to be annoying, keeping out of reach when he could, countering when he couldn't, and generally being a pain.  With those who'd been assigned to his group in his old pack, it had worked out quite well -- he'd just waste an enemy's time until one of the brawlers noticed he had someone sufficiently distracted.  He didn't have one of those here, though he was starting to think maybe in any future plans he should treat Towhee the same way -- it wasn't like she had any more chance of hearing calls than those idiots ever had at paying attention to them.  At least she had a reason for it.

His main problem at the moment, besides his severe lack of sleep, was that from his perspective she was doing things he wasn't necessarily expecting, probably something along the lines of having learned a different school of martial arts.  At least the charge worked, and now that his brain was catching up, he was kind of wishing he'd done some sort of follow up to that.  Little bit late.  Guess he was going to let her lead a while longer.

Her next choice of target was a pretty smart one in his eyes, as Quixote was not a fast wolf, nor was he the most flexible, since his stouter build was awful for both.  Though he did rotate away from her to momentarily delay the dive, he ended up aiming for a similar target even as she got a grip onto his ankle.  His goal was to grab whichever bit of rear leg got within his reach and then make it cross the middle line of her body to throw off her balance, either by yanking the far leg towards him or throwing himself under her with the close leg in his maw. He could probably still manage it but it was a risk he'd take in that half-second before whatever Towhee was planning to do with his leg became clear.

Or he could just end up look like an idiot snapping at air as she held him at bay like he was the short kid who can't reach the bully -- she probably had the extra body length to keep out of his grip if she minded her steps properly.  Then he'd just have to hop and figure out a different approach if a reset for a round two wasn't called.
February 19, 2018, 04:50 PM
Towhee
Redhawks
Alpha
I SEE YOUR LONG POST AND I fail at matching, oops.

Was there anything as satisfying as landing a hit perfectly in combat? Fortunately for Quixote, Towhee kept herself in check, teeth barely applying enough pressure to dent his flesh, much less break skin. She thought to release her grip fairly quickly, though he took her by surprise by nabbing for one of her rear legs. She simultaneously jumped in the air like a startled cat and let go of his leg, though she didn't entirely manage to evade her opponent's teeth. In fact, by some hilarious stroke of misfortune, her paw inserted directly into his waiting mouth.

-Signing.- (incl. mouthing + active signaling) | "Speech." | "Body language." (incl. expressions + passive signaling) | Thoughts.
Members of RHC are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me for reference! :)

February 23, 2018, 10:55 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
Yeah no worries, I just fail at being concise.  I TRY BUT I FAIL.

Sure there were some wolves he was perhaps a little too rough to when sparring, but they were mostly jerks so honestly, he didn't care.  Towhee, though, wasn't on that list.  Not that she was going to find out, as apparently she really wasn't expecting him to do what he did, because before he could get a secure grip on her leg, suddenly a foot was crammed down his gullet.

He pinwheeled backwards away from her in surprise as well, trying not to barf up the stoat bits he'd eaten earlier. As far as he was concerned, the spar was over for the next... However long it took his stomach to stop thinking that he needed to vomit up a foreign object foot.  He did make a little 'Erp,' noise though.

Probably not the recommended technique for temporarily disabling an attacker.
March 05, 2018, 12:16 PM
Towhee
Redhawks
Alpha
Sensing a trap, Towhee reacted instinctively by jerking her foot right back out of Quixote's mouth—but not before activating his gag reflex. While he wheeled away to tamp down the urge to toss his cookies, Towhee also stumbled backward, just barely managing to get all four feet squared away beneath her. She then stood there, blinking a little owlishly, trying to play that back in her head to figure out exactly what had happened.

She threw a concerned look at Quixote. "You okay?" she questioned, noticing the strained expression on his face and asking, "Did I choke ya?" Towhee couldn't help it: she began to laugh. Despite the gravity of the overarching situation (read: war), the humor of it tickled her funny bone. "How's that for a secret weapon?" she quipped. Everyone knew that an enemy's neck and throat were prime points of weakness, thus great targets in battle. But never before had she considered gagging an opponent before. Apparently it was very effective though...

"Timeout?" she asked once her laughter died down a bit. Towhee didn't even wait for an answer before plopping onto her haunches. "Although I'd like to pick this up again once you catch your breath and maybe some Zs."

Fade? :)

-Signing.- (incl. mouthing + active signaling) | "Speech." | "Body language." (incl. expressions + passive signaling) | Thoughts.
Members of RHC are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me for reference! :)

March 07, 2018, 03:51 AM
Quixote
Redhawks
Gamma
He shook his head a few times and started to pull himself back together.  He would have probably have been amused about it too if he wasn't embarrassed -- he'd probably laugh about it after the war itself was over.  But instead he drooped his head, ears splayed as he shuffled back over to the stoat so he'd be able to pick it up and skitter away ASAP if necessary.

Yeah...  Uh.   I do not recommend having a foot shoved down your throat.  Or doing that again -- someone might bite it off.  He couldn't think of something better to say, so he sheepishly waited for her to calm down a little bit before he continued.  Sounds good to me. Sleep'll be good.  If you need to find me I'm probably gonna be down by my map things going over the details.  You know, living in a cave like a bat. Squeak squeak.

Either way, he still had his snack to finish before heading back since it seemed like he wasn't gonna get laughed out of the pack quite yet.  And if you wanna try out more techniques or whatever, gimme an idea of what it is so we could try to troubleshoot it.  It'd be much more useful, he thought, if they tried the same attack over and over to figure out how to get the ideal grip or escape, depending on the situation.

For now though, it was time for whatever remaining bits of conversation, finish his food, and time to go crash and recharge before the fight actually happened.  There was a lot of stuff ahead for them both.