Heron Lake Plateau We might fall in love- or fall apart
May 30, 2018, 11:23 AM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
As anticipated, Niamh's leg took a few days to heal- a few days longer than she'd wanted it to, of course, but giving it proper rest had at least kept her from injuring it further. She moseyed alongside the creek, following it toward the lake where she hoped she'd find a meal, still mindful of her right ankle, lest it should twinge or weaken. Her ears perked when she caught the scent of elk, though, and looked down to the ground, zig-zagging this way and that, looking for any signs of them in the mud along the creekside until she finally saw them- elk hoofprints. Her tail swished; it would be birthing season soon, and the cow elk would be dropping their calves, making both mother and calf vulnerable to attack. It was good information to know, that they'd made their way to the plateau. 

She abandoned her trek along the creek, then, and followed the hoofprints, keeping her posture low just in case the leggy herbivores saw her coming before she could see them. There was no point in her hunting them, or calling out- it would spook them. But this information could be passed on quietly, and would spread through the entire pack, so a hunt could be formed. Stalking her way through the long grass slowly, she continued to tail the herd of elk, hoping to get a bead on them so she could see how many there were- and how many calves could be expected.
June 01, 2018, 07:13 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
Fresh from his rendezvous with his long lost brother, Screech was a mess. Then again, when wasn't he? Not only did he find out his brother was alive, but he had joined Moonspear. He'd been living with them! They'd probably manipulated him somehow — but Screech couldn't fathom anyone from his family joining with them, ever. It hurt to think about. It hurt deep down, so far in to his core that he couldn't even entertain the thought despite being face-to-face with the truth.

That, and he stunk to high heaven. Screech hadn't been in the territory long enough to clean himself off after his fight with the bog, so he was coated in silt, pond scum, and mud in equal measure; an odious mixture, certainly, and somthing that would've made him wilt if he'd paid any attention to his distinctively sulfuric musk. Maybe he'd gone nose-blind to it. Oh well.

He was so addled by his encounter (and skewed because of the lingering smell) that he didn't notice the aroma of prey as he criss-crossed along the path that Niamh was taking. He was on the opposite side, set (presumably) on a collision course with the herd she tracked or with her, which would only lead to further awkwardness between the two of them. Again — oh well

Awkwardness and pain should always be expected when considering the young Screech Redhawk.
June 01, 2018, 07:26 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
There couldn't have been too many elk in the herd- maybe 6 or 7, not a fully blown herd of elk which would consist of more than Niamh could count. She remembered, vaguely, seeing a real herd of elk when she'd been young- of course, it had been after the mothers had dropped their calves and when Niamh was old enough to be taken to the plains to see them. Her father had explained to her and her brother that the cow elk were particularly aggressive that time of year, but that if enough confusion could be caused to separate a calf from its mother, they would make for a relatively easy meal. 

She stayed on the track, but found herself slowing to a halt when a particularly foul stench wafted her way. At first, it smelled like something one ought not step in- so she looked around to see if maybe she'd been careless with her footing- but it was no such case. The scent got stronger and stronger, and she stiffened when she heard another wolf approaching, and sniffed furiously, scowling as she did so- eyes widening as she realized over the swamp-stench, who the wolf was, but it was already too late for her to backtrack. Screech, looking bedraggled and dirty, crossed her path not too far ahead of her, and she hissed in distaste, pulling her lips over her teeth and doing her best not to inhale as she glared at him.
June 01, 2018, 08:41 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
Oblivious to the fact he was causing reeds to wilt and birds to fall from their roosts in the trees, or that he'd become a walking cloud of toxic fumes, Screech continued to mosey along until he heard a distinctive sound; it wasn't the hiss of air through teeth from Niamh, but a small bugle, a strangled sound of something young that was still adjusting to the whole being alive thing. He pushed through some tall reeds, snaking through them with his head low and mood evidently soured; but as he made it across the hillock and to the other side, a louder, more gutteral sound erupted from his right side — and a bull elk was suddenly right fucking there, bleating a weird noise that both surprised and disoriented the boy.

He reacted by skittering sideways in retreat, and managed to avoid being ploughed by the crown of antlers being leveled at his hip — but only just. The thunder of the beast's hooves reverberated through the soil and Screech thought he was about to actually shit himself as he shifted clockwise, then he took off at a clip for the nearest overhang of foliage, throwing himself in to the deep shadows beneath a copse of trees (and, as fate would have it, directly in to a bramble bush)

The bull stomped about for a few minutes, calling out, tossing its weight around, but it wasn't looking for the wolf that had come too close; it's attention shifted to one of the females, and soon it was off to chase her instead.
June 01, 2018, 08:54 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
Niamh watched, sour expression on her face maintained by the fact that he either didn't see her, or simply ignored her, when only a second later, another sound caught her attention, and she dropped to the ground, flattening herself so that she might not be seen. Screech, unforunately, had already gone too close- and had found himself within striking distance of the bull elk's antlers, which only narrowly missed catching him by the flank and sending him flying through the air. Like a coward, he turned tail and bolted, the bull elk thundering along behind him but the grey male veered and leapt into the shelter of brush and out of the elk's sight. 

She didn't wait for it to catch sight of her; almost as soon as the elk had taken a swipe at Screech, she'd raised herself from her cowered pose against the ground and side-stepped, wary gaze watching as the bull elk chased Screech for just a moment before she too dashed away. Now the elk were aware that there were hungry wolves in the area, and they'd already pissed them off. Correction: Screech had pissed them off. 

He wasn't exactly tricky to track down- he reeked. Niamh barreled toward him, forgetting completely about the fact she was still meant to take it easy on her right ankle, and with her head lowered, veered suddenly in his direction, aiming to head-butt his pathetic self into oblivion.
June 02, 2018, 03:16 AM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
If you've ever seen one of those YouTube videos of a gopro attached to the family pet, you'd understand what it was like for Screech to throw himself violently in to a bramble bush with an angry old elk tailgating his ass. It went from bright, colorful  idyllic sunlit grass to a vat of black shadow with sharp pricks as he was grazed by ream after ream of budding rosebush.

It fucking hurt — not as much as being assaulted up the rear by an antler, but enough to make him reconsider the spontaneous choice he had made. It would be added to the growing list of choices he regretted. 

No sooner had the chaos settled, another body came shooting after him through the grass. He was recoiling from the sharpness of the brambles when he finally spotted Niamh but she seemed unaware of the plants growing all over the place beneath the rare tree or two; her head was lowered and he could at the very least assume she was coming to check on him - but there was no time.

Screech made a judgement call which would probably bite him in the ass: he lowered his own head and aimed to deflect her arrival with the brunt of his intervention. Within moments she was closing the gap; Niamh would either collide with Screech and have a nice goose egg on her head, or veer in to the brambles and get scraped to shit. In a way he was trying to save her, but would probably just piss her off more.
June 02, 2018, 09:02 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
Everything happened so fast. 

One second she was aiming for his ribcage, and just before impact, he lowered his own head and like two rams gearing up for a rutt, the two collided. She only had a second to realize what was happening and winced, but when they butted heads- literally- all she felt and heard was a resounding crack, and the next second, there was nothing. 

Niamh dropped like a ragdoll, the momentum from her charge causing her limp body to tumble awkwardly over her shoulder and flip over once, stirring up a small cloud of dust before she fell very still. She breathed, and her eyes were somewhat opened, but Niamh had been knocked unconscious before she even hit the ground.
June 02, 2018, 09:37 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
Well, what happened next was partially what he intended but it fucking hurt, and it wasn't until the dust settled that Screech realized the amount of stupid that had gone in to the move. He hadn't the time to consider a possible alternative, but that didn't excuse the destruction he'd left in the end. Sure, Niamh had missed running headlong in to the brambles — but instead she'd run straight in to him and had been laid out cold.

It took a little bit for Screech to realize this, though. He felt the contact of their thick skulls colliding and the resulting concussion was immediate; everything was whooshing around him and he was staggering around, dizzy and confused and feeling absolutely sick. No doubt the pain would be creeping down his neck and knot up in his shoulders at some point, but for now it was his head, his jaw, and his ego that felt totally incapacitated.

Then, as he was stumbling about, he felt his paws catch on something in the grass and he went tumbling — landing squarely atop Niamh who was, so far, still alive but not exactly awake. If he had any sense at all he would've gotten up on the double, but Screech was just as disoriented as the sleeping girl — not quite enough to pass out like she did, but she'd taken a major tumble and he'd only met a glancing blow to the noggin.

Either way, he wasn't getting up anytime soon.
June 02, 2018, 09:49 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
Being knocked unconscious was very different from the subconscious state one went into when sleeping. There were no dreams- at least, none that Niamh was aware of- and no sense of time. Her body continued to function, her sides rising and falling with each steady breath, but as soon as Screech fell on top of her, this became infinitely more difficult. It didn't shock her into wakefulness directly, though some part of her was aware of the fact that things had just gotten worse. Her heartbeat sped up, and her breath became slightly wheezy and laboured, under the pressure of Screech's body. For a moment, there was some amount of thought that went through her mind- not so much words or observations, but simple, instinctual feelings. Fear and pain flashed through the very little bit of her mind that was tangible and partially lucid, but those feelings didn't last long, nor did they register properly. 

There was nothing on her mind when she became somewhat conscious, simply because her brain was buzzing from the impact and trying to register sensation. She blinked, but did nothing else, not even conscious enough to open her eyes more or move.
June 02, 2018, 10:03 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
She was warm and it was almost nice to have her there — but he knew he had to get up. It was difficult when everything was swaying so much around him, and each time he tried to brace and get up he would stagger. Eventually he'd managed to lift himself up so he was standing, and she was still beneath him so it probably looked a little weird.

Jeeze, you're — you're crazy y'know that, he drawled at the sleeping Niamh, and like a drunken cowboy he tried to step around her without stepping and/or tripping on her prone body. That was... Partially successful, at least. He didn't fall back across her again, but every time he tried to move Screech felt a pounding in his head and a great desire to throw up — so he would just wince and shut his eye, squinting away from the light (and the swirling everything in his limited vision), looking very much like he'd acquired a very bad migraine.
June 02, 2018, 10:12 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
At first, his words didn't really register. They would've sounded, to Niamh, just like how the teacher sounded in Charlie Brown- as though he was trying to say something to her, but both their heads were underwater. The words seemed to echo around in her mind, as though trying to find their way to her ears, where they should have been, before the sharpness of reality struck her, and her eyes widened. 

"Jeeze, you're — you're crazy y'know that,"

She lurched as soon as she realized he was standing over her, but the throbbing in her head made her recoil and whimper as he stepped off her, a bit clumsily. She groaned; she wanted to say something, but the pain in her head made it feel as though her skull had been cracked open. Pitifully, she flattened her ears and squeezed her eyes shut, as she slowly curled her body up into a spindly-legged bundle on the ground and tried to will the pain away.
June 02, 2018, 10:40 PM
Raven
Redhawks
Alpha
Popping in here per JB's request!

It wasn't often that Raven made time to patrol, but fortunately the rest of her packmates seemed to have it largely under control. Still, she enjoyed the occasional foray along the borders and into the neutral lands surrounding their home. Not only did it give her an opportunity to see how things were going on that front, but it also afforded her a chance to scout for medicinal plants as well as to see who was contributing to the protection of their pack.

Today, though, a ruckus had caught her attention and she had decided to investigate. It probably wasn't the best idea, given her pregnancy along with the fact that she wasn't known for being the most aggressive wolf. She arrived after everything had gone down, so she was supremely confused when she found Screech standing over a semi-conscious Niamh. An expression of wary confusion came over her face as she eyed the pair -- it definitely didn't look good from where she was standing -- and her ruff bristled ever so slightly as she asked in a deceptively calm voice, "What happened here?"

☆ Replies will be slow -- I am in college and also work 60 hours each week! :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
June 02, 2018, 10:51 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
It didn't register with Screech that Niamh was awake, or that she was moving around at all. Her recoil was kind of a mess in his already limited vision, since everything seemed to be swirling in and out of everything else; but he sagged in to the grass beside her and felt some relief when he was laying there. Being wholly terrestrial (versus standing) meant the waves of vertigo were much less noticable, and his nausea decreased too.

Of course, until Raven's voice entered his ears and he felt a sudden gut-wrenching dread. Feeling like he'd been caught doing something absolutely horrible (but would go unnamed because he didn't have a particular thing in mind, just a "caught red handed" feeling that was entirely unfounded) he bolted upright and looked for his sister. Upon locking his yellow eye on her silhouette, he opened his mouth to explain — and promptly vomited across the grass, and his forepaws.
June 02, 2018, 10:56 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
Another voice spoke, one much softer in tone than the one she'd heard just a minute ago- and she finally understood the words. She didn't open her eyes, even when she felt Screech lay down beside her and oddly enough- and being as dazed as she was, the warmth was welcome, as was the soft fur. Momentarily, she'd forgotten the fact that he was the one who'd done this to her, as the pain from their collision had taken over all of her conscious thought. 

Without a word to Raven, she slowly rolled over- eyes still closed- and curled up against Screech, burying her face in his fur and whimpering slightly with the pain that came from movement. All she wanted was some time, to allow her head to stop throbbing, so she could actually figure out what had just happened.
June 02, 2018, 11:39 PM
Raven
Redhawks
Alpha
Neither of them responded to her -- though, to Screech's credit, he tried to but was thwarted by a sudden vomiting attack. Raven was worried. They both seemed dazed and impaired somehow, and Niamh was clearly in pain. Raven was still suspiciously cautious, mostly because she had no idea what had done this to her packmates or if it was still in the area, but her voice and bearing softened as she approached the pair. "Easy, guys," she said in a soothing voice as she gently licked some dribbled vomit from Screech's chin. She suspected head trauma, mainly because of their disoriented and erratic behavior, but had no way to really be sure just yet. For the moment, she just sat down nearby and watched over them protectively, debating whether or not she should call for backup.

☆ Replies will be slow -- I am in college and also work 60 hours each week! :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
June 02, 2018, 11:53 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
Once his belly had emptied itself he felt a little better, but the world still swam around him. Raven's attention didn't help much besides cleaning him up, and he almost recoiled from her upon realizing she was right there next to him. He got a handle on things quicker than Niamh though, and as he leaned against her huddled form he tried to at least partly explain what was happening: There was a, hrrmm, a baby, ghnn, an elk? An' a big one, an' I ran. Mmaybe she ran too? I, hhh, I dunno, talking just made him queasy so he stopped there and sank down again, finding more comfort beside Niamh than his sister (which was a vast improvement).
June 03, 2018, 12:00 AM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
The longer she gave herself, the more she felt a bit less....Bleary. She recognized Raven's voice, finally, and cracked open one eye, as though to see her, but all she saw was a mess of grey fur. Carefully, she tilted her muzzle so that she could see past Screech's pelt, and squinted at Raven before rolling her eye up to see Screech. It didn't bother her, for a minute. She knew Screech. They were friends. They were-

Wait.

When he said the word elk, the fur along the nape of her neck bristled. Something about the idea of there being an elk ruffled her. And she felt prickly about being this near Screech too; so in response to what he said, she growled, softly. She panned through her memories, brow furrowed, and couldn't exactly remember why she was angry with him, but slowly, the emotion seeped back into her system, and she growled a bit more loudly as she forced herself up into a seated position and though she didn't want to stand to move, she scuffled just a bit, leaning away from him now that she knew who it was she'd been snuggled against. In a voice quiet and gravelly, she squinted at him. "Seriously?" She asked, scowling, before she reiterated: "Seriously?"
June 03, 2018, 12:25 AM
Raven
Redhawks
Alpha
She could sense Screech's subtle recoiling from her, but she let it go without comment even though it hurt. They really needed to talk. The last time they'd attempted to do so had ended up being a disaster, but that didn't change the fact that there was a lot of shit between them that needed smoothing over. But now wasn't the time for that.

Her brother tried to explain what had happened but his words were garbled and confusing. She couldn't really make heads or tails of it, other than the fact that a...baby elk?...had been somehow involved. Could a baby elk incapacitate two adult wolves like this? Maybe the mother could. A look of thoughtful confusion lingered on her face until Niamh came to, whereupon the blonde she-wolf proceeded to growl at Screech. There was venom in the delta's words when she spoke, and suddenly Raven had even more questions. Remaining silent where she sat apart from the pair, her eyes narrowed as she looked from one to the other and attempted to make sense of what was going on.

☆ Replies will be slow -- I am in college and also work 60 hours each week! :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
June 03, 2018, 01:42 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
When Niamh finally woke up, Screech felt a small wave of relief but it was dwarfed by his own pain — and the pain was further exacerbated by the girl's shrill voice. He didn't know why she was yelling, having forgotten all about his plan to deter her with his noggin (because that had been quite a blow to the head), so he just sat there squinting at her for a bit.

He groaned and flopped sideways, pushing against her with a lazy paw as if that would make her stop; evidently he'd also forgotten about his romp through the bog and his interaction with Gannet, because that foul smell that clung to him (and some of the slime) was imparted to Niamh without a second thought. Thinking was hard right now! He needed a nap.

Stop shouting, Screech drawled, Lemmie — lemmie smash slee.. ee.. p. A nap seemed like a great idea right now. He was floating in his own head after all, and aside from the occasionally intense nausea, that weird floating-in-the-ocean feeling was making him drowsy.
June 03, 2018, 01:59 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
The way Screech simply tried to dismiss her did nothing but rile her up even more. He leaned toward her and she moved back, but not quickly enough. His sticky, vile paw swept across her fur as he slid to the ground and she moved to her feet, hackles lifting as he settled to the ground. That smell- she finally registered it. Now she remembered the foul mood he'd put her in, the chase, and the smash. 

"You...idiot," She hissed, voice still low- she wasn't sure why he thought she was shouting. She could hardly stand her own voice much above a whisper, let alone shouting. She growled softly, which was as loudly as she dared. "You headbutted me after you spooked the elk I was tracking!" She accused.
June 03, 2018, 07:21 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
It was hard for him to stay upright let alone focus on her voice, shrill as it might be. As Niamh protested with insults and facts, he just sort of... Slowly... Reclined... Until he was laying sideways against the grass. His pawing stopped pretty quick.

Shhhh Sorina stop — you're always yellin' — Screech was blinking slowly at first, but with each blink it became harder to keep his eyes open, until he was placidly closing them and drifting in the moment. Obviously something wasn't right since he'd started equating the loud voice with his old girlfriend (?), but soon enough he was murmuring little noises instead of words: y'know... didn't mean it... srr.. hmm..

And like that, he was asleep. Was it a dangerous sleep? Only the resident medic would know for sure.
June 03, 2018, 10:34 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
"Sor-INA?!" Niamh exclaimed, as soon as the name was dropped. Screech had slowly drooped until he was on the ground, mumbling vaguely and quite honestly, his eyes didn't look quite right. But Niamh wasn't concentrating on Screech's well-being. He'd just dropped the wrong name on her, and it just added to her ire. She opened her mouth to say more, but he said something of a slurry apology and then he was out. Not just dozing, but out- his breathing was slow and shallow, his body totally relaxed. Niamh huffed. That didn't excuse him. 

"You can't just do that then pass out on me, you jerk!" She growled, shoving her nose roughly against his shoulder. His body shifted, from the movement, then settled. He hadn't tried to brace himself, it was like she was shoving a carcass. She growled. "Wake up, jerkface!" She said, grabbing a hold of the thick fur at his ruff and giving it a tug. No response. "Wake [i]up!"[/i] She grabbed his scruff again- not hard enough to break the skin, but she gave him a little shake, trying to revive her stinky nemesis. She'd forgotten all about Raven, and continued to hiss profanities at him and nudge, prod and shake the listless body of Screech, determined to wake him up so he could hear her chew him out.
June 03, 2018, 11:41 PM
Mou
Blackfeather Woods
Epsilon
[Image: GiftedWateryCony-max-1mb.gif]

She could call his name all she wanted, but nothing would wake the boy up; he'd slipped in to an unnaturally deep sleep as soon as his mumbled words started to slur. He was breathing at an irregularly slow pace, but at least he was still doing that at the very least — for now (and for however long) Screech Redhawk was no longer cognizant.
June 04, 2018, 01:34 AM
Raven
Redhawks
Alpha
Raven sat there watching the bizarrely awkward, heated exchange between the two, wishing very much she could just be like

[Image: tumblr_nn2mjjJKzq1utwqnuo1_500.gif]

They seemed completely oblivious to her presence anyway, and whatever was going on between them, the alpha really didn't want to know. Unfortunately, however, her duty as healer forced her to stay put. She was still confused as to how the two had ended up this way, but from what she'd heard, she'd managed to put together that they'd somehow collided headfirst and she suspected there were serious head injuries involved. Niamh seemed to be doing reasonably well, but it became clear after a few moments that Screech was on a serious downward spiral.

When he passed out, she jumped to her feet and pushed her angry delta out of the way. "Niamh, chill out," she said curtly, her voice calm despite the rising panic she felt inside of her. Whatever issues she had with Screech, he was still her little brother -- whom she and Finley had raised themselves from birth -- and she couldn't bear the thought of losing him. He seemed to be breathing for now, but it was extremely slow. She lay her head on his side, just behind his arm, to listen to his heart. She was relieved to hear that it was still beating, but it too was slower than it should have been. She licked her lips uncertainly and whined, nudging him gently but receiving no response.

Finally, she stepped back and looked at Niamh. "There's no doubt in my mind you've both got concussions. Screech got it worse, obviously. I'm...not sure when or even if he'll wake up."

☆ Replies will be slow -- I am in college and also work 60 hours each week! :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
June 04, 2018, 10:50 AM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
Niamh barely heard Raven when she was chastized, and didn't step back until Raven pushed alongside her to check out Screech, lowering her ear to listen for his heartbeat. Niamh walked away, tail slightly curled in indignition and plonked her hindquarters down angrily, staring and watching to see if Screech would wake up. The hackles along the back of her neck were still bristled and she watched Screech's placid facial expressions with a look of distaste. 

She lifted her head slightly, though, brow furrowing when Raven spoke next, and she wanted to snort when Raven tried to make her believe that Screech had gotten the worse concussion. How could that be? She was the one who'd been knocked out- and Screech was the one with the thick skull? She opened her mouth to protest and likely would have said something wildly disrespectful for the alpha's younger brother, but clamped her mouth shut when Raven said something that shocked her. 

"If he wakes up?" She asked, eyes lifting to Raven, then. "What do you mean by that? He has to wake up sometime," She said, eyes drifting back down to Screech. Her tone shifted considerably, then. "Well...Like...I mean, he will wake up, like...He...He's not just going to sleep forever..." She said, and the corners of her lips wavered, so she bit her bottom lip. Raven couldn't be serious; there was no way Screech wasn't going to wake up.