eight_or_eleven: (Windy)
Upon arrival, they felt it.

It wasn't just the chill and the fog and other odd things. It was more.

Ominous. Fell. Possibly even malicious.

They didn't waste time; they immediately began to seek it out. Whatever it was. And wherever it was coming from.

Before it sought them out. Being caught unawares by anything is just not done.

After examining the interior of Milliways [making note of the patrons who seemed to be feeling the cold that seemed to weigh down on them], they turned to head out back.

"Strength. Look. More of them. Just like the ones in the bar."

Wheel pointed to a boulder by the lake. Carved into it were several crossed-out circles. About six or seven in total. Small. But there regardless.

"Got any ideas what they are?"

"Unfortunately, Wheel, I don't."

"Think it's connected to all this cold and fog?"

"That's a possibility."

From there they continue on in silence. In the cold. In the fog. Counting yet more symbols from time to time.

Eventually they make their way into the forest, where the fog seems especially thick and oppresive. Shujaa and Utani immediately go on the alert, growls getting louder the further they go in.

It makes it hard to notice that the only sounds in the forest are the leaves crunching under their feet, and the angry warnings from the lions. But Wheel notices first.

"Shujaa, please," he admonishes as he stops to look about him. "We should have seen something by now."

"Seen what? What do you mean?"

"Animals. Birds. Creatures. Ever since we entered this forest the only animals I've seen are your lions."

Strength began to look about the forest too. Nothing.

"I don't hear anything either. Nothing made by wildlife that is."

It was like the only other living things in the forest besides themselves was the vegetation.

They are afraid, said Utani. They are in hiding.

Utani would know. She was afraid too.

Animals feel these things more than humans do.

"Maybe it's just me," Wheel said thoughtfully, "But it almost looks as though even the trees are frightened." He looked at Strength then shook his head. Perhaps he was imagining things. "Think we should keep going? Find more clues?"

"Not today. We'd be better off going back to the bar. I'm up for a nice drink. Whatever all this is can be best analysed over a hot apple cider."

"Sounds good to me," Wheel agreed. "Let's go." He began to walk forward, then stopped. "Shujaa?"

The lion had his back turned to them, and he growled low, his gaze sweeping the undergrowth.

"Shujaa, come on. We're going inside." Strength this time.

One more growl, and he fell into step behind Strength and Wheel.

He was sure something was watching them...

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October 2012

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