Rising Sun Valley Crash collision of Jefferson Starships
Private  October 12, 2019, 01:05 PM
Sarah
Lost Creek Hollow
Kindred
@Ibis 

After the conversation with Mahler, Sarah's gaze had more than once returned to the jagged silhoutte of the mountain range, thinking about the promissed land beyond it. There was no good reason to go there other than a wild hope that life might be better over there. That by some miracle the inexplainable stuff that had happened here and pretty much spoiled the whole autumn had bypassed the other place.

But she was not a creature, who would run head-first. It would take her many days still to make the decision to travel. Danger loomed and death was an inevitable companion, but besides these two Sarah could only gain. Not today, however, when we find he standing knee deep in cold water, focused on the surface, attempting to track movement of fish.
October 12, 2019, 01:15 PM
Ibis
Lone Wolves

The wetlands were boggy but they were cold now too, frigid to the touch, so Ibis avoided them as best she could. The marsh would be the same, and the leaking lakeside—Duck Lake being the prime location that came to mind, since she'd already soaked herself in it at some point. The chill of the water had not left her even though she was, for the most part anyway, as dry as she could be. Mud streaked her limbs; while Ibis would have taken the time to clean herself up on any other day, she was too tired now, and there were other priorities ahead of personal hygiene—such as food.

She had hoped to find something small to eat, as there appeared to be an ample supply of ground squirrels and other such rodents in the grasslands of the valley; however, the quakes had scared away most of the larger game, and now it seemed as if the tiny things had either run away in search of safety, or maybe hibernated beneath the thin layer of snow which clung to the higher segments of the valley. Ibis wasn't going to let herself be defeated—or so she told herself—but every day brought new challenges.

As she approached another waterway she saw a canine silhouette, and was desperate to reunite with her brother Okeanos, so without thought she plunged after it. The closer she got the larger she expected the shape to grow, as her brother was quite a hefty individual—instead it barely changed. The warmth of the stranger's coat wasn't a similar composition to Okeanos' earth brown, and there were flecks of silver and white arrayed throughout the darkness of their pelt. Oddly, it was still a familiar face, and Ibis was surprised by herself as she remembered her aunt, Sarah! She called out as she slunk along the muddy ledge beside the water. What are you doing here?
October 12, 2019, 01:32 PM
Sarah
Lost Creek Hollow
Kindred
Sarah had not put much effort in practicing fishing, but from the bits and pieces her mother had taught her the trick was to aim not for the fish before her eyes, but one that was slightly ahead. She had stood still in the cold water for a while, until one dark shape appeared to swim towards the shallower parts of the stream. The she-wolf tensed, concentrated and was about to make a dive for it, when someone's loud footsteps and voice interrupted her. 

She looked up sharply, to see, who had dared to interrupt her, and her stern expression softened a little, when she recognized her niece Ibis. It had been few months now, since she had last seen the girl, who had left her father's home with high hopes for a brighter future. Now she had returned and did not seem either victorious or particularly happy. "I could ask you the same question," she told the girl, stepped out of the water and went to greet her.
October 12, 2019, 01:40 PM
Ibis
Lone Wolves

Victorious was not a word Ibis would use to describe her current status. She had begun to thin in recent days, which gave her usually nymph-like appearance a haggard edge, the soft curves of her body having matured a little bit in the time since Sarah had last seen the child, but with her growing hunger and the clear lack of resources in the Wilds she was slowly being stripped down. She slunk up to where Sarah was perched and tried to smile, tried to be her usually optimistic and cheerful self, but the light of her glee didn't quite enter her eyes; it was a facade, an act she felt compelled to put on in the company of family.

Sarah drifted out of the water towards her, and that was when Ibis realized—she must have been fishing, and the girl must have screwed up her chances at a meal. With how disastrous the season had become, losing a single fish could prove fatal. Ibis felt immediately apologetic and her expression morphed from a friendly smile to a worried little frown. I'm sorry—I probably screwed up your hunting, gosh... Can I help? Maybe with both of us trying we can get something worthwhile...?

Ibis had never fished for anything before; she recalled the last time she'd been around the water with an adult, back in Elysium, and had been briefly pulled along with the creek, much to her terror. She knew not to dive right in to the water this time so that was a bonus.
October 12, 2019, 01:56 PM
Sarah
Lost Creek Hollow
Kindred
Upon a closer look it was clear that the girl was not doing well. Wherever she had come from it was worse than it had been for Sarah here. She had been lean and gangly ever since she had arrived, during summer hunts had provided her with some reserves, and even now she managed to go by. Perhaps, it was not the difference in the circumstances so much as the experience. The older wolf knew, what it meant to be hungry and go without food for several days. She had been there, survived and returned. Famine was not a novel thing. Whereas for Ibis, who probably hadn't had a care-worn day in her silly, sunlight-filled life, this state was devastating. 

"No need," she shook her head. "Too much effort for very little gain. Let's go, where we both can have something more substantial," she suggested and beckoned her to follow. Sarah had no plan in mind, but the worst that could happen would be having nothing. "Have you come to stay?" she asked.
October 12, 2019, 02:06 PM
Ibis
Lone Wolves

Ibis had been genuine in her hope to help Sarah, and had not thought about how the act of fishing alongside her might benefit herself, at least not in any way she was aware of. Yet when her aunt offered to take her somewhere for their shared benefit, she realized how desperately she was in need of food and aid; it spawned a nervous little smile on her thinning face, a meek little wave of her tail at her hocks. Okay, she murmurs as she follows along, finding it easy enough to navigate the terrain. Ibis is still young, although she is on her way through her juvenile stage and on to adulthood rapidly enough, and it feels nice to have someone with experience to help guide her towards survival.

Have you come to stay? Sarah asks. It is at this point Ibis realizes how close she must be to the Hollow, and her ears flatten briefly on her head as a sign of indecision. It hadn't been her intent to come so close; she loves her father deeply of course, and would make a fine sister to her younger half-siblings, but it doesn't feel right, not now. Not when she has Okeanos waiting for her and a sense of independence that the Hollow could not adequately provide for her.

I'm not sure, she says with some pause. How are you faring? The entire world seems to have gone mad these past few weeks. I've seen lakes overflowing, mountainsides sliding apart—and next to no food. Which reminds Ibis that she'd encountered her father quite recently, and her face lights up a bit at the memory. Dad—I saw him a while ago, he said hunting was getting harder. Are you sure you should be sharing with me? Suddenly Ibis felt terrible. She didn't want to take what little there was, especially if that was a meal meant for her siblings.
October 12, 2019, 02:30 PM
Sarah
Lost Creek Hollow
Kindred
Sarah listened in patient indifference, though she kept an appearance of polite interest. She had become good at wearing masks and not showing her weakness to others. When the soul has ceased to sing in one's heart, it's not that difficult to live with. It is the other people, who do not understand that this is not something that the affected can will to change. There was memory of being able to feel, but it was a faded photo in a dusty album. A captured moment of the past, no longer true. 

Therefore she let past the question of how she was doing, because she could not give Ibis an answer she would comprehend. And being pegged for more answers was the last thing the the aunt wanted. Therefore she let the girl's miserable story fill her empty cup, she tasted the emotion and for the time being was therefore able to be empathic. "That's my choice, isn't it," Sarah remarked. "Where is your brother?"
October 12, 2019, 02:34 PM
Ibis
Lone Wolves

Her many questions, and any attempt at conversation, were curtailed by Sarah's sharp reply. She cut through all of Ibis' worrying with a simple comment that made her pause and stare for a second, and then when her aunt brought up Okeanos, the girl frowned slightly. All she wanted was to make sure everyone was taken care of; that they were safe and fed and not wasting their precious resources on little Ibis. But she focused her thoughts upon her brother thereafter, commenting easily, He's around. We split up sometimes to make things easier.

Then again, maybe if they had stuck together more frequently in the past few weeks then they'd both be fed? Ever since Elysium, and Ereshkigal, Ibis has felt a growing gap between herself and her beloved brother; it is something she will remedy the next time she encounters him, she decides. For now she watches Sarah and follows after her aunt, too tired to share more.
October 12, 2019, 02:54 PM
Sarah
Lost Creek Hollow
Kindred
Sarah had not intended to be sharp and she frowned slightly, when she sensed the change of tone in Ibis's voice. Her emotional character was a foreign one - she had accepted the fact that she did not understand it, nor could she chang it in any way. Yet it was a bit annoying that she had managed to step on the girl's paws without having any intention of doing so. On the other hand - she had an inkling that this would have happened sooner or later in their conversation.

"It's good to know that you both are alive and fine - more or less," she gave her over-the-spectacles look and offered a small smile. "You traveled then - was it... what did you see?" Sarah cut short the "was it worth it?" part, not wishing to scare the girl away entirely.
October 12, 2019, 03:11 PM
Ibis
Lone Wolves

Ibis' ears pivoted to catch all that Sarah said, utilizing her skills as a scout and ambassador which she had spent most of her life building; it was easy enough to be in the company of family. Her question did bring a small frown to Ibis' face though; she wasn't sure how to respond immediately, or if her aunt would care for the changes in the valley that Ibis had come to know.

But she didn't stay quiet for very long either. Well, when I left with Okeanos, his plan was to hunt down an old friend. We found him eventually, in the valley to the west. She wasn't sure what to say about that, though. Mal was a hard person to know, and certainly didn't mesh with Ibis as much as she had tried to befriend him. She couldn't exactly say what the boy's problem had been since he hadn't been very open with her; then again, maybe she should have asked Okeanos for details? He seemed to know the boy better. Ibis had no memory of him from Elysium to begin with, which made the entire situation difficult for her.

From there I went further west, and found a burned up old forest. There weren't many people around at the time so, I don't think I ever got its name—does it sound familiar to you? It was very big, with lots of twists and turns, and a whole section of it was black! If I had gone further north I bet I could've seen the ocean. Ibis had no idea she was describing the origin point for her family line, the place where her aunt—and her father—had been born. It had been a wonderful forest; even the burned parts had been covered in moss, and there was new growth all throughout the bad parts.
October 12, 2019, 03:21 PM
Sarah
Lost Creek Hollow
Kindred
Sarah was not a sentimental person. Her mind sorted carefully memories she had to keep and which she should discard. Ibis could have given the most intricate and detailed description of Sentinels and her aunt would not have recognized it. It had been a place of her birth, but just like any other place she had lived in her time for a while and then left for the better. 

Yet she listened and the more she tried to be invested in the conversation, the easier it became. "I and Terance left home, when we were the same age as you," she reminisced. It had happened such a long time ago. "He happened to get further and I returned home," not much of a story-teller, but a person, who shared only the most important facts. "Where did you go next?" she asked for more.
October 12, 2019, 03:30 PM
Ibis
Lone Wolves

She didn't let the sense of defeat stop her from talking for long. It would've been cool to reminisce with her aunt about the forest, but it wasn't an important thing in the long run. It was too bad she couldn't learn more about her father in this way; but Sarah admitted that they had both left home young, and that she had returned while Terance had gone further, and that intrigued her. Terance had mentioned very little about his life to Ibis when she'd been a member of the Hollow and now, she wondered what she had missed out on.

Well, um, Okeanos' friend decided to settle in a forest called Neverwinter, so we lived there for a bit. While we were living there together we came across a lost boy. As she got to the topic of Cam and Lily, Ibis felt a constriction in her throat. That sense of sorrow which she had thought she had under control, rising up inside of her again. But she did her best to stay composed, and explained further. The boy's name was Cam, and he... His mother used to take care of us in Elysium. Her name was Lily. He mentioned that there had been an accident, and that she.. Well, she had died. It wasn't a topic she wanted to discuss in detail; partly because Ibis didn't know a lot about the actual event, but also because it felt wrong to bring up the topic of her dear friend like this. So, she moved on.

It was really hard on me to learn she had passed. But I had been keeping busy as a scout, trying to help Neverwinter become a real pack by exploring the nearby territories and meeting people. I met a girl, Ereshkigal, and convinced her to go with me on a trip to see Elysium, and to meet my mum. It had been such a fun time! All of the weight of her loss had been vaporized in those weeks, and in recounting this part of her recent life, Ibis seemed to return to her usual happy self. She paused though, to let Sarah get a word in if she desired.
October 12, 2019, 03:59 PM
Sarah
Lost Creek Hollow
Kindred
People, Sarah had learned, often loved to talk about themselves, but they rarely wished to listen to others. With her introvert and reserved personality on one side and Ibis's extrovert chattering on the other they created a balance. A most unlikely situation and yet, what would person, who disliked small-talk in general and avoided socializing with others, more ask in a companion? She was perfect and did not even realize it.

People, whose names meant nothing to Sarah entered the story, she let them pass and nearly lost track, but nodded where it was appropriate, and kept the interested expression up. Once you got used to it, it got easier. Or - perhaps - there truly was some part of the aunt that wished to know all that Ibis's had gone through since leaving. "How is your mother?" she asked, because it seemed the next logical thing to do and that particular parent figure was probably a source of joy for the girl.
October 12, 2019, 04:10 PM
Ibis
Lone Wolves

She'd given Sarah a moment to process and speak, should she wish to, and then Ibis heard her speak, and it was like a punch to her throat. Thinking of Seabreeze and Olive, and how empty Elysium had been, and all the sensations associated with her discovery of the willows without a single soul beneath them — it hurt, just in remembering.

How is your mother? Sarah had said. What a good question — Ibis wished she had an answer.

I don't know. For a moment Ibis just sort of... stared, at her aunt. She dropped her gaze to the dirt for a moment to try and compose her next thoughts, her next words, and realized they must have been walking for ages to find the cache Sarah had talked about; at some point they must have stopped, and Ibis had been too wrapped up in her story to realize it. After a longer than normal pause, Ibis went on to explain, When I got to Elysium it was empty, and... I'm not sure where they went. I think the quaking ground played a part in it? But I can't be sure. There was an edge of hurt in her voice, but stronger than that was Ibis' sense of utter exhaustion. Going through it live had been difficult, and rehashing it now was proving to be a struggle too.
October 12, 2019, 04:32 PM
Sarah
Lost Creek Hollow
Kindred
A-a-a-a-nd Sarah had chosen the wrong question. What had been the odds, huh? She let out a small sigh and now more than ever she sincerely wished that she could express sympathy to her. Be that someone, who tells her that all will be well, that nothing bad could have come to them. She could even share her own story, relate to her. There could be that opportunity to create a special bond and whatnot. But search as she might, her heart was empty void. Mind understood the mechanics of, what should be done, but there was nothing that could breathe life in it, make it feel real and not rehearsed. 

"Did you ask around the neighbouring packs? Someone might know something," she asked calmly and found that there was nothing really she could say. Luckily, however, they were not far from the cache Sarah was taking her to. "A little bit ahead," she told her, in case the girl had grown tired from the walk.