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Beewolf

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About Beewolf

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  • Birthday 10/05/1992

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    Visual Artist

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  1. I flex my empty fingers in the air after Jack intervenes, my hope of permanently confiscating Katana's, er, katana, dashed. Ah, well. It was worth a shot. When we reach the butcher's shop, it takes everything in me not to retch. My eyes catch on the caches full of human flesh...and...other bits around the interior. "Soilent green is...people." I shudder, feeling skeeved, and then feeling even more skeeved at the knowledge that I'm interjecting foreign references again without even meaning to. I see a little brass bell on the counter, and feel a shiver crawl up my spine, thinking about what sort of horrors its innocuous chime may draw. My hand has been on the hairpin that I nicked from Katana this whole time, and my grip tightens further. I'm drawn to an eerie blue light on the counter next to the bell, and notice a murky fish tank, the little light filtering into the shop casting weird patterns on the walls via refraction. "What the hell is this...?" I whisper to Jack, edging just a little bit closer -- but not too close. I tap slightly on the glass with the pin, ready to pull my hand back at a moment's notice.
  2. I prop myself against one of the statues in thought, my eyes downcast as I absorb Jack's words. I hadn't considered that the deer could have been lying -- mostly because I felt it vain to hope with so little contrary evidence to go on. The idea that I could actually be real, and maybe even just another amnesiac like Jack, is electrifying in its implications, but I stubbornly quash it down, not wanting to risk dissapointment. I look back at the cathedral in worry at its mention, knowing that a more thorough exploration of its contents was probably inevitable, but all the same, still feeling a tell-tale sense of foreboding when memories of a throne draped in thick chains and inky black feathers rustling in vaulted rafters replay in my mind. I trace the compass through the fabric of my hoodie, coming to a decision there and then. Before I can reply, Katana has his sword pressed against his chest after seemingly slipping back into character with little warning, too eager to resolve Jack's hypothetical with a practical demonstration of his own. Part of me is intrigued by him wavering between two alternate identities so easily, even as I share a look of deep exasperation with Jack. I hold my hand out to him, letting my face assume the most solemn expression that I can muster in the face of this feudal melodrama. "I'll volunteer my services as executioner, then. I'm assuming this scenario would call for a beheading when a third-party is involved?" I ask, admittedly guessing at my role. I try to make reassuring eye contact with Jack over Katana's head, which is bowed somewhat in concentration, to let him know that I haven't truly given in to any homicidal ideation where our favorite samurai is concerned -- even if the figure in question did occasionally play havoc with my blood pressure.
  3. I blink rapidly at Katana's shift in demeanor, my mind whirling. "Um...okay, idea." I turn to address Jack. "When I was in the cathedral, I had this moment of wakefulness when you came in, and then when you left, it was really easy for the rest of the... congregation...to rope me back into their beliefs, lead me back unquestioningly to their perspective, you know? And when I went outside, and you were there, I started to come to again and see things as a...person. An individual. So I think there may be two things of influence here." I list my points on my fingers. "One, I think you are introducing information to this place, even if it's just information gathered from your subconscious. Look around us." I gesture at the crayon sky. Everything here is very juvenile, childlike. The Japanese garden was prosaic in its cultural understanding, but really...imaginative. Like a child's idea of a foreign land. And the Gatsby party going on at the top of the clock tower...I wonder, if one of us took a swig of the alcohol up there...if it would even taste like alcohol? Or is it just more set dressing, since most children wouldn't know what alcohol even tastes like? Which makes me think it's also very likely, since Katana and I happen to have a higher level of intellectual sophistication than our surroundings would suggest, that we need to be siphoning such information from another source. You, specifically, as the real, resident adult here. You're the only foreign invader, bringing your pop culture references with you, it would seem, so that they get appropriated by us, even though we, as a child's make-believe puppets, would have no real-world reference for them ourselves...it just seems like your presence is having...unforseen consequences on the world's inhabitants. Making some of us glitch, in a way. "But then the question becomes: who's creating these specific childlike pieces of our environment? Is it Big Sister? Because we don't know how old she was when she became...that thing in the cathedral. Or is it...Fate? Because we can't rule her out, either. I mean, I know it's a tenuous connection, but she does like to color." I point to the smiley, scribbled sun in the sky. "And like I said, I think there is another factor at play, here: physical distance from our point of origin. I struggled with my individualism when I was in the cathedral, and Katana seems like a totally different person now that he's been dragged away from the garden. I mean, he just referenced Sundance. Come on. Our samurai is gone, at least for now. So I wonder, if we cross that threshold again...if we'll revert." I stare nervously at the cathedral. "What I think I'm really getting at, is -- if we're going to get anywhere in this place, we need to start assembling a unified theory for why everything happens the way that it does here, but also take into account the mindset in which this 'wonderland' was constructed -- primarily that of a child, it would seem. So think less literal, and more abstract. Less logical, more...dream-like and emotive. "And look, I could be wrong here, but we really do need to start throwing out guesses for things if we're going to get anywhere, because this place doesn't seem keen to share its secrets with us. Like why you're here." I raise a contemplative eyebrow at Jack. Finally, I turn to Katana. "And since it seems you've been set back to factory settings -- Hi, I'm Sophie. This is Jack. We've been calling you Katana, but I think it's fair for you to choose your own name now. I did." I give him a half-hearted smile.
  4. Despite the revelation that Katana and I might be nothing more than thought forms who went a bit rogue, I'm not even given the chance to have a proper mental breakdown before Condescending Psychic Deer is opening his mouth to reveal a row of over-sharp teeth -- because of course there are carnivorous herbivores in this 'wonderland.' I stare at the deer's gaping, dripping maw, bite the inside of my cheek to pinch off a scream, close my eyes, and fist the sharp hairpin in my pocket, already bracing for the inevitable before Katana begins speaking again: Part of me wonders if Katana being singled out and sidelined would culminate in Katana being eaten, since he seems to have no other obvious usefulness to anyone in this place than harboring MacGyver-like resourcefulness for fishing drowning cats from rivers, being cryptically anachronistic and ahistorical, and menacing the local populace with his sword at unfortunate moments. And part of me -- a very, very small of part of me -- may be alarmed at the possibility. And admittedly, not just because I'm apparently wearing the only change of clothing I own, and trying to get bloodstains out of them would mean drawing on domestic knowledge that my brain hasn't had a chance to fabricate yet. "I, er...I can't believe I'm saying this, but we're a package deal. We'll keep an eye on him, and if he puts a toe out of line, we'll shake him down and confiscate anything remotely lethal." I look at Jack for solidarity, but then remember that he's been labeled the only non-wonderland native among us, and my expression probably comes off looking more tentative than I want it to. I can't help but wonder how he's taking the news regarding his companions.
  5. I pat the girl's back as she clings to me and works through the last of her crying hiccups. I take a short opportunity to glance over my shoulder at Jack to see how he's handling all of this, only to find him understandably boring holes into the back of Katana's skull with his eyes where Katana happens to be squatting next to me now. I let Katana take over the questioning as I look at the cuts that have yet to begin closing on Jack's arms and wince in commiseration. We all look a bit ruffled and bloody, but food has been hard to come by so far, so I figure that antiseptics might be an even taller order to fill. While I am looking away, I hear the clatter of hooves in front of me, only to glance back and see that we have what appears to be a forest guardian plucked straight from a JRPG in our midst. Suddenly, a voice rings through my head, and I find that I'm not thrilled by its dismissive tone. Face looking splotchy from crying and expression a tad sheepish, Fate rights her skirts, and finding an out-of-the-way corner, sits down on the floor to busy herself with parchment and what look to be hand-rolled crayons. I notice the stag twists it horns between Katana and I in an indicative gesture as it thinks this at us rather offhandedly. "...I'm sorry, condescending psychic deer...but what exactly do you mean by a 'Useless' and a 'Love?'" There is a sense of dread crawling up my spine at what his words might indicate, but I try to keep my composure in the midst of countless weaponizable paper drawings and their young, just recently becalmed ward.
  6. The inside of the tree is...busy, what with the woodland creatures who apparently had the same idea about sheltering in the tree that we did, the scrollwork papering the interior, and the little girl who scampers to stand shyly before us. Before I can open my mouth to respond, Jack has already posed his own question, and Katana is waving his blade wildly in the child's face and screaming. I roll my eyes in exasperation when she predictably bursts into tears (so much for first impressions), and am even less amused with every paper cut I sustain from a dive-bombing origami bird. "KATANA, STOP SCREAMING AT THE CHILD AND PUT YOUR SWORD AWAY! GOD, SHE'S LIKE, EIGHT! SHE'S OBVIOUSLY NOT A LEVEL BOSS!" Although, I also have to raise my voice to be heard over the fluttering of paper and the distressed croaking of a frog. I step in front of Katana's blade and place myself in front of the small girl, trying to ignore my own death by a thousand cuts in progress, and get on one knee to put myself level with her crying face. "Heeeeeey theeeere. Hey, no. Don't cry! Look, he won't hurt you, okay. He's just spooked. We've...seen some things. Anyway, who might you be?"
  7. Oh, no. I'm not used to being on this end of a non sequitur. I'm starting to feel like I'm the Jack to his Sophie, or something. Speaking of, I see Jack wander down a pebbly side path in my periphery as Katana hammers on, and find myself feeling slightly jealous of his physical distance from this conversation. I squint at Katana's back exasperatedly. "Thank you. That is somehow both vague enough to be unhelpful and oddly specific at the same time." I cringe as he moves to loosen the scabbard from his back. I can too easily imagine giving myself the kind of shaving nick that severs my femoral artery with that thing. "Errrrr...no thanks," I say, splaying my hands out as he gamely offers me his blade. "I'll just rough it. You know, camping rules--we'll just ignore each other's body hair for now. Although, food does sound good, and we can make a cooking fi--holy shit!" A koi made out of art and crafts supplies comes flying out of nowhere and bites Katana on the arm before flopping back into the drink. He yelps and drops his sword, where it lands with a dull thud on the loamy soil. We both peer at his arm to get a better look at the tattoo that begins to bloom and radiate from the wound: "grin and bear,deny and scream,you shall not live" "Welp, that's not ominous. Y'know, I think I'm going to go hunker down in that giant tree over there before I get a fun little souvenir like yours." I point at the leafy behemoth behind us. The noise of the kerfuffle has caught Jack's attention, and I motion to the tree to let him know where we intend to shelter before eagerly darting through the archway.
  8. The magic compass of doom was in fact pointing at the dome, which linked in to the idea that it listened to thought commands. Or voice commands, like a supernatural Siri. Obviously, this was something to explore later. As I listen to Katana's strange diction, an epiphany begins to take shape in my mind. It occurs to me then that there may have been an option C all along: he is obviously a committed member of a historical reenactment society. Part of me admires his dedication to the role, and part of me finds that level of factual denial worrying in the face of everything that wants to kill us. I also have to wonder what he is supposed to be cosplaying as. (Is it still called cosplaying if it's meant to dramatize history?) My first thought is that he's posing as a member of the Japanese shogunate, but the chosen name "Jack" would seem to shoot that theory in the foot. Hmm. "If something has eyeballs, I'll make it effective." I growl under my breath, but then I think back to the eyeless cult members I once communed with, and give an involuntary shudder. As I watch him struggle to unsheathe his sword from his scabbard, my hopes that we've found a worthy protector and ally begin to puddle somewhere near my feet. Jack squeezes the hand he has on my arm, and I share a commiserating look with him as Katana spins around, trying to pull the sword from a better angle. In the face of this underwhelming flubbery, I scan the treeline, and note that the wolves seem less concerned with triangulating an attack than using their menacing vocalizations to nudge us in the direction of the dome -- which is both reassuring and worrying in equal measures. Giving up, Katana undoes the sheath entirely and still has enough confidence to lead a victory charge. Despite myself, part of me is amazed at how unflappable he is. "Say, Katana, or insert-nickname-here-that-I-happend-to-miss-while-I-was-rummaging-for-weapons-on-your-person, where are you from exactly?" I wave a hand between Jack and I as we advance on the dome. "Because we can't remember much of anything at all. I mean, Jack Numero Uno here can remember his real name, which is more than I can vouch for, so I'm going by Sophie for now. All I get when I try to remember anything are intuitive flashes, like that I don't like peanut butter or onions whenever I think about food, or the fact that I shouldn't be this hairy because shaving day is every three days, and it looks like I just went full Earth Mother and gave up on personal hygiene altogether for the last two weeks." As we walk through the French doors of the dome, I am hit with the overwhelming fragrance of a greenhouse. Which is to say, fertilizer. I wrinkle my nose and stuff the compass back into my pocket for now.
  9. My head swivels as if on a dial as I look between Jack and Jack. "Oh Lord, now there's two of them." I turn to address the newcomer. "Okay, I'm going to call you Katana, then -- unless you'd prefer Jack 2.0, of course. I mean, if you think of a nickname, put a pin in it, I guess. Speaking of--" I pull the sharp pins from his hair and wave them excitedly in Jack 1.0's face. "Voilà -- weapons!" I fist one like a dagger and hand the other over to Jack, thinking Katana already has enough of an advantage with his blade. My nervous babbling still increases as the growling intensifies, though. "Please, please tell me that your surname would either indicate that, a., you are such a sword enthusiast that you committed to a legal name change, or b., that you come from a long line of staggeringly competent swordsmen who were called after their occupation, like how the name Potter was derived from pottery, and Smiths were named for their smithing, and Berrys were named for their, er, berry-picking skills, or whatever, so in the event that that thing that's making a noise like an angry chainsaw tries to have a go at us, we can count on you to skewer it, right? "Please tell me that you are confident you can kabob a freaking wolf."
  10. Noticing the disturbed surface of the water, I'm quick to step back from the edge and rejoin Jack. I squint to make out the kaleidoscope of colors swirling within the glass figure. "Well, I wonder if all the colors of the rainbow means the smoke has psychedelic properties." I snort. I lean closer to Jack and whisper: "I'll be honest, I'm really tempted to grab and dash with it just to see what it can do. Maybe we could hurl it like a smoke bomb if we're cornered by anything nasty. But we can look around first and see if there is anything else worth check out here." I pull the compass out of my pocket to gauge if it's willing to cooperate, given our new surroundings. I groan when I notice that the needle is still idly spinning. "It would be nice if we could find a more practical weapon, though. Or, hell, just a meaningful lead would be appreciated."
  11. I tentatively reach forward and try to wipe the moisture from the glass to get a better look, but my fingers snag on an almost-hidden seam in the surface. Puzzled, I cautiously pry the capsule open.
  12. I look around at the Japanese-style garden, feeling almost at peace for the first time during this entire ordeal. "Well, this is a nice change of pace for us." I hurredly glance around at the elaborately-dressed figures I can see peering at us from behind the statues and foliage. I grimace, hoping I haven't just jinxed us. I creep towards a pond filled with water lillies and glass orbs, hoping to get a better look at what's inside them.
  13. "I'm just saying, something to hunt with and something to protect ourselves with would be nice. Honestly, anything." I try to picture a military-grade tank rolling underneath a sky shining with a smiley, crayon sun, and snort. I'm quiet for a long time as Jack finishes his perusal and replaces the objects, dreading voicing the obvious. "Honestly, we might have to risk danger again at some point to get answers here, but we can try to feel the place out as much as possible before it comes to that. And if we are given the chance, arm ourselves with anything. I think the best we've going to get for now is found objects; something that we can fashion into a weapon. "The butcher's shop might have knives, hooks, that sort of thing -- but we can worry about grabbing those if and when we get there." I shudder. But yeah, you're probably right about the meat. My money's on it being long pig, or something equally...." I trail of, shaking my head. I keep the compass on me. I feel we're close to unraveling the mystery behind it, but I need to observe it a bit more for things to fall into place. When we enter the tower, I gaze around at the mismatched time pieces with a sense of dysphoria. "I guess time is broken here, too. Maybe that's why we woke up looking like...this." I wave a hand between us to call attention to our scraggly, unkempt appearances.
  14. "Not a great idea to eat something smelling of ambrosia in this place. Could be poison. If we get desperate, maybe we can try it later, or find something to feed it to first to see if it's deadly. Speaking of, we should start thinking about where to find something to eat." I lean heavily against the stony hip of the demoness, crossing my arms. She doesn't seem to mind. "I mean, they are the central element in this courtyard, in pride of place between all the buildings. And maybe I've played one too many RPGs, but shiny metal objects held by statues in hero poses give me quest item vibes. I just wish their application was a bit less...escoteric. Like, I'd take a caveman's club over an unhelpful magic compass right now. "If we can find a way to strike a spark, we could try to light the candle. Would be great if we could put it in the lantern, but that doesn't seem to be possible. I didn't see any star-shaped holes in the cathedral, either, but then again, I was a bit... preoccupied." My arms tighten over my chest and my eyes shift away. "Haven't been to the clock tower, though. Did you see anything of interest at the butcher's?"
  15. "Awesome." I sigh, glancing at the lantern, and notice the latch fused closed with rust. "And let me guess, along with the busted compass and pocket watch, that candle doesn't light, this lantern won't even open, and the star is only fit to be a tree topper. Would be great if they were holding like, a sword or a blunderbuss, or you know -- something actually useful. And no, I can't really make out what's inside, but I don't think the latch will budge." I try to jiggle it to make sure, and as expected, it doesn't move a centimeter. "Anything in the cup?" I siddle up to the statue of the demoness. "Woah." I whistle lowly. "Well, I will say one thing: these statues are freakishly realistic. I can almost make out the weave of her fishnets."
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