Sun Mote Copse You'll float too.
All Welcome  September 02, 2020, 10:54 AM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Towhee's heart hammered in her chest as she stared at the wolf's remains from several yards away. The corpse was tangled up in a heap of debris and partially obscured. From back here, she could make out snatches of dark fur clinging to a skull and part of a spinal cord. That can't be Alyx, she told herself, breath trapped in her chest. It was far too decomposed, most of the flesh and fur gone, though an insidious voice in the back of her head told her that being underwater might've easily done this damage.

It took her a full fifteen minutes to collect the courage to approach. When she finally came close enough to sniff as well as take a closer look, relief flooded her. Niamh's trio was growing rapidly now and the skeleton was on the small side. But Towhee would've sworn on her life that it was too big to belong to Alyx. She almost broke down into tears as she lifted a foreleg and pried away some of the branches and leaves, exposing more of the waterlogged corpse. What little fur and skin was left was filthy. It couldn't be Savaktuk either, so she wondered at the unfortunate soul's identity.

She inhaled sharply when she gently tugged the skull out of the flotsam and it rolled, exposing a patch of red fur on one cheek. Towhee's chest pinched, her stomach rolling simultaneously. Wildfire...? She raised her head suddenly, looking in the direction of the small graveyard by the riverside. She hadn't thought to check it out specifically but galloped there now, trying to prepare herself for what she might find. If her sister's remains had really been unearthed, what about Colt, Elwood and Finley?

A shaky breath escaped her when she arrived and surveyed the area. She could see where Wildfire's resting place had been eroded. The others appeared intact at first glance. Towhee carefully stepped around each, checking closely. She felt another wave of relief when they all seemed undisturbed, though that left her with the grisly task of fetching Wildfire's remains and interring them, hopefully without anyone鈥@Eljay and @Weejay in particular鈥攂eing the wiser.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

September 03, 2020, 07:29 AM
Phox
Lone Wolves

He'd made it back with @Quetzal and @Primrose Redhawk in tow. He had to go ahead and assume that @Fennec and @Figment had made it back as well. Any other thought would have ripped him right in half. He was exhausted in every possible way, but Phox couldn't help but spend most of his time pacing the borders and keeping an eye out for Alyx or Niamh. Neither had returned, and it was eating him up inside. What if Niamh had gotten herself into trouble somewhere while she was looking for Alyx? How long would she be gone? Why was it proving so hard to find their daughter?

Phox thought of Fennec's disappearance again, hoping that Alyx had ended up in a similar situation. Maybe she had gotten lost and ended up with the Frosthawks. In fact, that wasn't a bad place to start. Vasa could put those scouting skills to good work and start by checking there. He headed toward the middle of the copse, seeking out Vasa, but instead ran into Towhee. When he realized what she was looking at, Phox looked on in horror.

-Who...- he trailed off, but his mind immediately latched onto the worst scenario. -Oh gods, ALYX!-

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September 03, 2020, 09:39 AM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
She hastily loped back toward what was left of Wildfire, trying not to think too hard about what she was about to do. Towhee still hesitated as she bent down to take the skull in her jaws, feeling very uneasy. Just as she opened her mouth, a flurry of motion at her side made her jump a foot in the air. Purely out of instinct, she let out a sharp snarl as she whirled, only to find an utterly distressed Phox.

Towhee hadn't caught what he'd said or signed, yet as she glanced between her brother's face and the remains, she quickly connected the dots. -"No, it's not Alyx,"- she said quickly. There was that patch of reddish fur still clinging to the cheek; and the body was too decomposed to be fresh; and she'd found Wildfire's grave empty. There was no way to be absolutely certain鈥攖hey couldn't exactly call in a forensics team鈥攂ut she was pretty damn sure.

But the look of horror on Phox's face gave her pause. She slowly looked down at the partial skeleton again. Was the skull a little too large? Or was she just in denial? What about the patch of fur? Both twins had shades of gold and rust woven into their fur, including on their faces. The Sovereign's heart began to thud painfully. But then where was Wildfire's corpse, if not right here?

-"It's Wildfire,"- she said quietly, her face pinched. Towhee was no longer quite convinced. -"We're going to find Alyx alive."- If it was denial, then maybe it was best to just lean into it.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

September 05, 2020, 08:31 AM
Phox
Lone Wolves

Relief washed over him when Towhee denied that it was Alyx. -Thank fuck. I don't... I couldn't...- His stomach still felt like it had been through a blender, but he was more willing to believe this was Wildfire than Alyx right now. He had to believe it, or his whole emotional state would immediately go out the window. He looked back to the corpse鈥Wildfire's corpse鈥攁nd chewed the inside of his cheek a bit.

-We should make sure Eljay and Weejay don't see her.- Phox couldn't imagine how either of them would react, but he also couldn't imagine it being very good. The ground was still sopping wet from all the rain, but they might have to dig through it anyway if they wanted to put her back to rest. Maybe it would take his mind off Alyx for a little while, too. It wasn't as though his pacing the borders had actually done any good.

Phox took another long look at the corpse before he began to dig a new grave, thankful for the distraction.

player preferences
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September 07, 2020, 01:45 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Phox latched onto the lifeline she had thrown him. If she was in denial, then they were in it together. She bobbed her head, understanding his initial horror. She hoped to save Eljay and Weejay from some degree of the same by reburying Wildfire's remains as quickly as possible. It would be a macabre exercise but, loved ones aside, their older sister deserved the respect.

-"Not here,"- she said gently when her brother began to dig. -"We should put her back. Well, we should probably pick a better spot but somewhere close by the original one. We won't have to tell anyone."- Before Phox could even acknowledge anything she said, Towhee stepped forward and bit the bullet鈥攐r the skull, as it were. Fortunately, the spinal cord was still attached. The load was unwieldy but not heavy.

Turning, she more or less sprinted back toward the copse's makeshift cemetery. She wanted to get this done as swiftly as possible, including holding Wildfire's wet bones in her mouth. She resisted the urge to drop them unceremoniously upon her arrival back at the graveyard, instead setting them down gently. She waited for Phox to catch up before pointing to a spot a few yards away, on the other side of their godparents' graves, and beginning to claw at the wet soil.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

September 10, 2020, 07:20 PM
Quetzal
Approved Members

Q came at a totally inopportune time.聽

She heard her sisters name and went from there, heart doing a double take. Twinstinct told her one thing at least: Alyx was 100% not dead. Whether or not she was here, the meter could not tell so much. So the thought that she was sent Q into a nervous little trot. Part of her didn't think so, which was a good thing. It made the let down a little easier when she arrived and saw she wasn't.聽

But, Phox and Towma both weren't there at the scene when she arrived. There was some strange ass stank (decomposition, no doubt), but also... recently left tracks. Thinking she might be able to practice a lesson taught by mom and dad, Q followed after the set of pawprints left by Towma and Papa Dukes.聽

not on the scene yet!
September 12, 2020, 10:06 AM
Phox
Lone Wolves

-Oh,- he replied softly, staring at the ground a little while longer. He watched in half-horror as she grabbed the skull with most of the body attached. He was fairly certain other parts of it were missing, but this was no time to fret over the details. Phox followed Towhee's lead, once again tearing at the muddy ground as they tried to make a better resting place for Wildfire. He couldn't remember if he had ever buried anybody before. Had Towhee buried Camilla, too?

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September 12, 2020, 03:58 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
They worked in silence, making quick work of digging a fresh grave. As soon as she gauged it large enough, she motioned for Phox to cease and desist, then carefully plucked up the remains. Handling them as gingerly as before, she placed them in the divot they'd made. She stepped back, eyeing the grisly scene. It was so hard to believe that this had once been their quiet, sweet older sister.

-"Let's cover her,"- she said, turning her back on the hole to more efficiently kick dirt over what was left of Wildfire. As she raked her forepaws through the soil, flinging it over top of the corpse, she stared off into the waterlogged copse, orange eyes slowly glazing.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

September 14, 2020, 07:37 PM
Quetzal
Approved Members

Q arrived upon the scene, orange nearly meeting orange as her gaze found her mothers. Q had the good sense, by this age, to avert her gaze in submissive greeting... though her gaze landed on what here mom was in the middle of doing. Her tail waved as she sprung toward the scene, not reading the room at all. She sprang toward the duo, as chipper as one could be given the circumstances. Q was still a kid who believed that, at the end of the day, things would turn out okay. Alyx would be home... soon. Right?聽

Spinning on her heel, Q began to kick dirt backwards. What're we doin? she asked, looking to Towma and then her dad. Q was very much so in the "monkey see, monkey do" time of her life... same went with speaking, really.
September 30, 2020, 08:44 PM
Phox
Lone Wolves

Phox backed off at Towhee's gesture, then began to cover "Wildfire." It took him a moment to realize that Quetzal was there, as he was still a bit shell shocked from the whole thing. Even when he did notice her, his heart skipped a beat and he thought she was Alyx. But no, she was much too clean, and there was something different about her voice. There always had been.

He swallowed hard when Quetzal asked what they were doing, and he gave Towhee a half-questioning look before he answered. We're, uh... fixing this hole. Filling it in so nobody slips into it and hurts themselves. It wasn't a total lie, but it wasn't the truth, either. Phox just wasn't ready to have the "death" conversation yet.

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October 01, 2020, 12:42 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Like Phox, Towhee didn't immediately realize they were now a party of three. She only noticed when a shower of dirt hit her from an unexpected angle, which snapped her out of her faraway stare. She turned and swore her heart stopped beating when she saw Quetzal there. Just like Phox, she momentarily thought it was Alyx. Even when she correctly identified the pup as Q, her heart kept right on hammering.

Her brother was saying something to the little girl, though Towhee didn't catch it. She hurriedly finished scraping the earth over the grave, then spun to inspect their handiwork. Everything was covered. A long, low breath escaped her as she then turned her attention to her sibling and chibling. Surely Phox had given some sort of explanation about what they were doing, though she couldn't guess what he'd said.

-"Who wants to find something to eat?"- Towhee asked, despite having no appetite herself. She began to usher both the others away from Wildfire's new resting place. With that macabre task complete, she wanted to be anywhere but here.

This'll be my last, feel free to fade and/or archive! :)

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!