ArchivedLogs:All Over the Map

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All Over the Map
Dramatis Personae



warning: much animal dismemberment


<XS> Forest

Quiet and shady, the trees rise all around here high and thick. In stillness, woodland creatures make appearances, though sudden noises scare them back into the cover. Dappled sunlight filters down between the thick foliage, and the ground underfoot is heavily overgrown, though here and there paths have been worn, by deer or years of students wandering familiar trails.

The morning is cool and cloudy, crisp outside, the forest not yet shed of its dew here under the canopy where the sun hasn't had a chance, yet, to burn it off. It's alive out here with birdsong, a constant chirruping chatter that fills the trees. Amid the shades of greens and blues and occasional purples and yellows and whites and pinks of the growing spring flowers there's, tucked under one tree, a flash of very /bright/ metallic blue. Sugar is out here, the enormous dragonfly nestled beneath a large sugar maple; there are soft tearing sounds coming from her mandibles as she works her way through a fat hare.

Beside her, Shane is seated up against the base of the tree, in cargo pants and an unzipped Xavier's sweatshirt. There's a squirrel in /his/ hands, a small furry pile of a trio of other corpses beside him -- another squirrel, two rabbits -- and at the moment he is tearing the small creature open, oddly neat as he skins it with sharp-elongated claws.

Rasa is up early, but not nearly as early as Shane, who appears to have had time to hunt and start breakfast. Ze is sluggishly wandering out into the woods, wearing a pair of baggy sweats and an oversized t-shirt, a school jacket around hir arms as well, and a small backpack over hir left shoulder. Ze walks with a long stick at hir side, not using it as a walking stick, as it hangs parallel to the ground from hir hand. Ze pauses when the sound of eating fills hir ears. Ze pauses and stiffens, hir skin lightening a few shades. Deep breathes try to calm hir heartbeat, hir shoulders hunching as ze lowers hir stance, carefully picking hir way closer to the source of the sound, stick at the ready.

Upon seeing Sugar and Shane, Rasa actually does calm down a little. Shoulders relax and hir posture straightens. Ze stays a little further out for a while, approaching with a little more noise to herald hir coming, rather than foolishly trying to sneak up on the shark and dragonfly. When ze is within talking range, ze raises a hand to wave. "Morning."

Noise or no noise, Shane relies on one sense far more than any of the others to navigate the world; his nostrils are flaring long before he sees /or/ hears Rasa, though this quick identification just leads him to continue his work, yanking the skin off in a quick tearing motion that leaves the small body kind of -- un/sheathed/. He holds it /by/ the removed skin after this as though it were a wrapper, dipping his head to sink teeth hungrily into flesh. "Sup." His tongue swipes across his lips as he looks up at Rasa.

Rasa continues moving forward, hir attention on the tidbit of food that Shane is eating. Hir head tilts to one side, blinking quietly as ze studies the way in which the skin has simply peeled off the body of the squirrel. Hir irises shift in color, going from a blank gray to a sharp yellow that oranges into a red, before finally simply turning black. Ze moves and crouches down next to Shane, watching, but giving no signs of being hungry. Ze glances over at Sugar, but is more fascinated by what Shane is doing.

Sugar, for her part, is at the moment more fascinated by her breakfast. Chomp crunch.

Shane tears a mouthful of meat away from the squirrel's leg, gulping it down before looking back up at Rasa. "... I could cook it," he finally offers. "If you want." He looks back down at his small pile of fuzzy corpses beside him. Necks neatly broken, there's not much blood on them; they could almost just be sleeping cuddled together in a soft pile. "Or show you how to skin them? My Ba is better at cleaning. We never learned the proper hunter things. Just eat them straight off, don't butcher them for storing."

"Only if you think it tastes better." Rasa gives a little shrug to the first offer, dropping one knee to the ground to get comfortable. "Though, cooking does change the color of the meat and that's really what I'm looking at right now," ze offers quietly. Ze sniffs quietly and lays hir stick down near hir foot, arms free to wrap around hir shin as ze lets hir gaze go out of focus. "High metabolisms don't really have much use for storage if you can process raw meat. I probably can't. Though, maybe if I were imitating your body form. Then again, that's more of a gut flora thing and I'm not sure if my body would produce new flora." Ze gives another little shrug and looks at the dead bodies on the ground.

"I like it like this. Only good cooked if you're seasoning it. Otherwise s'better this way. Rich and bloody." Shane's teeth dig another mouthful of red-raw meat off of the squirrel with a low satisfied rumble in his chest. "Though eating raw meat in this country isn't really all that dangerous? Um, but not like. Squirrel from the woods. Just like steaks from the grocery store. There's so much regulation that even if everyone's mad-paranoid about getting sick and dying if it's not cooked the meat's actually pretty much safe. Probably just -- unappetizing. You had breakfast?"

Rasa's brows rise quietly as ze listens and studies Shane as he eats. "Oh. I didn't mean that it was dangerous. I just meant, well, if you're not used to eating something, often times a body will push that food out without taking nutrition from it. At least, I think that's right. Um. Don't actually remember the source. Probably the internet, which I would give a 25% chance of being accurate, given my surfing habits and locations. I was reading something about how eating raw seaweed actually helps flora needed to digest raw fish grow in the guts. Or maybe it was NPR." Ze considers this for a while, very distracted. "No. Not yet. Working up to it." Ze inhales deeply and gnaws on hir lip. "Breakfast is the worst. Even when it's a good breakfast, it's still comparable to fast food, because the limitation of proteins. Eggs, sausage, bacon - they all taste similar, no matter where you get them. Okay, eggs are okay, because the fast food industry has started freezing their eggs for ease of production and that is the most disgusting thing."

"B likes to put seaweed on waffles. That's gotta be some kinda fucking brainworm. -- Couldn't you just get cereal?" Shane's brows lift. "There's lots of cereal." He tears down a strip of backstrap off the squirrel in his hands, slurping it into his mouth. "So untrue though. The difference between good sausage and fast-food sausage is like the difference between a Hostess cake and the shit my Pa bakes. What's in the backpack?"

"Oh, is B trying to boost gut flora with that? I always thought it was because he liked the flavor." Rasa considers, moving hir backpack around to in front of hir and unzipping the pouch. "Cellphone, trail mix, water bottles, tablet - ah, the electronics are kept in ziploc bags to keep them safe from leaking water." Ze rests hir hands on the bag. "It's possible that everything just tastes bad to me right now. I don't... actually know. Just... saying whatever pops in my head."

"I always say whatever pops in my head." Shane digs a rabbit out of the pile, handing it over to Sugar as the dragonfly finishes with her first hare. His lips twitch faintly at the question of B. "/Is/ because of the flavour. Like I said, fucking brainworm. That shit's disgusting. De gustibus, I guess. /Unless/ it's seaweed on waffles, what the fuck. You coming back to class or are you just going to be a crazy forest-hobo forever?"

Rasa peels the bag of trail mix open and pulls out a small piece of chocolate. "Maybe the things that pop into your mind are less all over the map." Ze frowns and slips the chocolate between hir lips. "I'm supposed to return Monday, barring a new apocalypse or disaster happening. I've already started gathering homework. Shouldn't be too confused when I get back." Ze peers at the pile though. "It might be more advantageous to learn how to kill things though."

Shane's brows lift. "Advantageous? I guess?" He sounds a little skeptical. "If you want to be a crazy goddamn forest-hobo /forever/."

"Oh. Well. Never mind then." Rasa reseals the trailmix bag and zips up hir backpack. Ze settles back onto hir bum. "Don't really want to be a crazy hobo. Thought it would be better than losing a fight again." Ze rests hir forearms against hir thighs, hand wrapping over hir knees. "So. How are classes? Lots of homework? Everyone okay?"

The question of classes just gets a dismissive shrug. "They're class." Shane's eyes skip from Rasa's face to where Rasa had been /looking/, at the small furry pile. "Your thoughts /are/ all over the goddamn map." He slouches back against the tree, tongue stroking up against the meat-sicle in his hand to slurp off a wayward streak of blood. "Killing rabbits and squirrels isn't exactly going to help you win any /fights/. I mean, unless you've done something to piss off the rabbit overlord recently."

"I have encroached upon their territory and they do not take kindly to intruders. I have begun negotiations with the bird kingdom about living primarily in trees, using Ducky as my emissary, but I will still need to come down from time to time and we do not have any beloved of rabbits in the school." Rasa intones the words with great gravity, then sighs dramatically. Ze waits a beat before shrugging and moving on in a normal voice. "It all makes sense to me, unfortunately. I just can't talk fast enough to connect all of the dots. I think I'm supposed to slow down my thoughts into a more speak-able speed, which will supposedly help me focus... and jump around less. Supposedly."

"Wrong." Shane finishes stripping his squirrel of its meat, dropping the mostly ravaged carcass to the ground beside him. He picks up the second squirrel, claws lengthening again as he starts to make a slit beneath its tail. "Arshad gets along with rabbits just fine, he could probably be an ambassador on your behalf." Slice, twist; with a small cracking noise he breaks the squirrel's tailbone after this initial incision. "And the new kid Bashir -- I dunno if he's friends with rabbits actually or just controls them, huh." His eyes tip up towards the sky. "But that's two, probably. Potential rabbit kingdom ambassadors. I don't know what the point of slowing your thoughts down is. I think you just need to get out of your fucking head and start /doing/ shit again. Fucking counsellors coddle people too damn much. I don't bother with them. You know what helps getting back to normal? Getting back to normal."

"Oh. I don't think I have any classes with them." Rasa then clams up while Shane speaks, listening with an intent look on hir face. "Yeah. Sure. I mean, I was only gone a couple days... and then a week in the infirmary and clinic? I should really be all better now." Ze agrees with him wholeheartedly as ze gets to hir feet, hooking an arm around hir stick as ze gets hir backpack resettled on hir shoulder. "Maybe if I ask, they'll have a teacher who can sit with me tomorrow and help me get all caught up and then I'll really be back in the game come Monday."

"Arshad's a freshman. Bashir just started this week. You might have classes with him, who knows." Shane rolls his eyes back down towards Rasa, head thunking back against the tree. The bones of the squirrel snap further in his hands. His claws shift and slide beneah the squirrel's skin, loosening it in small slits alongside his initial one before he takes hold of it in both hands and once more yanks hard, ripping off the skin to mostly unsheath it. "Nobody ever gets all better from this shit. I didn't mean -- you know what, fuck it, nevermind what I meant. Do whatever the fuck. If that's working for you then good."

Rasa moves a little closer, dropping back down to a crouch to meet Shane's gaze. "I am not trying to put words in your mouth. I ... am expressing my frustration with how quickly everything fucking broke and how little sense it makes. I want to be better already. I... just want to be done. {Sorry,}" ze finishes in Russian, drawing in a deep breath and letting hir gaze drift to the ground. "Want to rally myself to be... better. Fixed. It's... not working. But, I also don't want to make you feel bad."

"I didn't mean you should magically be better already," Shane tries to explain, frowning down at the ground. "I meant sometimes it /helps/. After everything gets fucked up and goes seven hundred kinds of crazy? Just to -- start /doing/ normal things. Because if you wait till you feel normal again? You'll /never/ get back to life. I've been living here for years and I sure as hell don't wake up feeling normal again like. Ever, you know? But -- but sometimes if you just." He shrugs. "Just say, even if my /head/ is fucked up today, I'm going to -- I don't know. Go to /one/ class like normal. Or go watch a movie with one person like normal. Or -- anything. Because waiting to get better and /then/ get back to life, I don't know. I'd never get back to life if I did that? But sometimes just making yourself go through the motions is --" His hand waves vaguely in the air; it waves the shucked skin of the squirrel with it. "Gives you something to do besides be in your head all the time."

Rasa nods a little, shifting hir eyes upwards to study Shane from the corner of hir eyes. Hir head turns toward him a moment later, nodding again in acceptance of what he is saying. "Okay. Makes sense." Ze settles back down, kneeling this time, stick resting across hir lap. "Not sure I'm ready for Fight Club, but do you maybe want to do something this weekend? Something fun or at least normal?"

"Sure." Shane's hand is dangling off his own knee, now, skinned squirrel held within it. From beside him, Sugar creeps her head forward, snapping quickly towards the fresh meat. "Eh-eh-eh --" Shane exhales sharply, amused, and surrenders the squirrel. "With people or without people? Could go hiking. Have a picnic. Or go to the Botanical Gardens I dunno. Go check out a show. I'm supposed to go furniture shopping for Evolve some time and drop off paperwork at the Red Cross. They're," he says with a sharp-toothed grin, "doing a background check. In case I'm a criminal. Then I can't volunteer."

"Didn't the charges get dropped?" Rasa asks curiously, a tiny frown on hir lips. The topic is abandoned pretty quickly, in favor of other things. "I ... don't know. People could be okay if they knew I wasn't acting strange because of them." Ze takes a moment to review the options, staring at Sugar's massive eyes while ze does. Hir head bobs side to side as the reflected colors shift across the bubbles on the surface of the compound beauties. "I kind of want to see the furniture you pick out. Can I help fix up Evolve, or are you hiring professionals?"

"I meant like strange people. Cuz we could stay in if people suck. Or come downtown with me if people are alright. S'a fuckton of people in -- everywhere, really." Shane picks up the last rabbit next, starting in on its skin as well as Sugar starts tearing into the squirrel.

"Oh yeah the charges are fine. I'm applying to volunteer so they have to -- I guess to a background check on all their. Potential. People. I don't imagine I won't pass. Unless having a dad who's a crazy terrorist is a strike against me, huh." Shane's brows furrow thoughtfully. "Uhh. Doesn't really need fixing so much as decorating? We're not hiring professionals for that. I mean my business partner and most all my family are artists I think we'll have the decorating thing pretty well in hand. Just need to -- start deciding. On colours and shit."

"Ah. We might have to try something small to start, but I... don't think I have problems with crowds." Rasa nods when he explains. "Ah. I don't know why I thought it was still burned out." Ze falls silent for a while, considering again. "Maybe a picnic, somewhere not here. I should try to get out again before I become too paralyzed to try."

"S'empty, but in good shape. Old owners just -- didn't want to open it back up. On account of --" Shane frowns. "Bombing and all." He isn't managing the rabbit skin in a neat easy one-pull shucking like he had with the squirrel, taking longer to work with it. "Picnic. Cool. I'll dig up something more appetizing than dismembered squirrel, yeah?" He gets to his feet, rabbit still dangling from his hand, and picks up the rest of the carcasses from the ground. "I should get Sugar home and clean up. They oddly don't like me coming to class covered in blood. Some strange reason."

"Ah! That's convenient," Rasa agrees, eyeing that rabbit as ze starts to get to hir feet as well. "Yeah. Okay. That will probably be good. I... am remembering a dish my mother used to make with raw lamb, but I think that had some type of preparation involved - grinding and citrus. Anyway. Class." Ze gives a small smile. "I'll see you in there. I'll try one class today. Who knows, it might help."

"Could come to Russian with me. Or math. I'm actually not failing it for once. Just -- maybe almost failing it." Shane lifts the rabbit to his forehead like a /salute/. "See ya."

"See you," Rasa replies, waving as well, heading off toward the school instead of the stables.