Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Irredeemable
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This is perhaps the last chance Hildon has of seeing Christian Charles alive again. The boy went missing without proper winter clothes- only a lightweight waterproof windbreaker and tracksuits. A search party was organised three days ago, but now with the storm closing in, Sheriff Mercer has made one last stab at finding the high school's missing star. Flurries of snow fly about around the crowd that's been gathered just outside Jeremy's Groceries, where the young man was last seen. Through a slightly malfunctioning megaphone, the sheriff's office had organised folks together, provided cheap gloves and hats to those who had come without, and even given out a few of the sheriff's office's spare winter jackets, albeit with the patches cut off.

"He-" A squeal as the megaphone hiccupped and gave a shot of audio feedback. Hammering the side of it a few times, the steel-haired woman tried again. "Hello everyone! Ah, great, this thing is working. For now, anyway." A smattering of polite, quiet laughs from the crowd. "I'm so glad to see not only locals, but out of towners turn up as well here. I can assure you, the town really appreciates your help. Let me tell you folks of the plan here." She paused for a moment to clear her throat.

"It's twenty past two in the afternoon right now. With the weather as... Strange as it is recently, we don't think we'll be out past about five o clock in the afternoon. The rangers can be out there for a lot longer, and we've got two on the case should anyone find any trails. So! We'll split up into groups and head out, covering as much land as they can. If you're getting too cold or if you think you might be lost, stop, turn around, and head back here. We don't need to be looking for more people here." Another small smattering of laughter.

"Everyone should split into groups now with a walkie-talkie so you can report in. Remember, we'll be on channel two, so keep yourselves tuned to that frequency. Once we're done, it's back here, and Jeremy has generously offered us free hot drinks for our efforts. Once again, thank you all. Stay safe, stay warm, and let's find our boy, shall we?" There were a few cheers and shouts of agreement, and then figures slowly shuffled themselves into small groups, stopping by the sheriff's patrol car to grab themselves a walkie talkie.

In the end, there were only a small handful of people left up unpaired. A seventeen-year-old local, a heavily pierced Japanese woman, a photographer, a writer in an oversized puffy pink coat, an older woman, and a local man who had taken the last of the walkie talkies. Turning to the motley crew that was left, he held a gloved hand out towards the others, his lower faced masked by a balaclava. "Name's Jake." He said, voice tinted with the roughness that only came about from a pack-a-day habit. "Let's go find this kid."
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lady Lascivious
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Clad in a long heavy winter coat, a fur-lined Russian hat - the exact term escaping her, warm insulated pants, and a thick woolen scarf wrapped loosely around her neck and face, Hanako Kurosawa nevertheless shivered in the bitter cold of the New Hampshire winter. One would have thought that after a year in the United States, the bitter cold might have lost some of its bite - but no such fortune was afforded her. The first sight of snow, in Ohio, had been a shock for sure. Sure, she knew about snow - who the fuck didn't, outside of uncontacted tribes in the Amazon? But actually feeling that bitter cold against her skin after a lifetime living in balmy Osaka where she couldn't even recall the temperature ever dipping below freezing, that had been a new experience for sure. She was grateful for the heavy woolen coat that hung on her shoulders, keeping away the worst of the cold.

Only every other word of the small town's sheriff filtered through to her, positioned as she was at the rear of the crowd, but she heard enough to get the gist. Shivering through the speech, she turned her attention towards the small groups that began to form at the end at its conclusion, weighing up the townsfolk - perhaps hoping to catch a glimpse of her sperm-donor. But she was lying to herself. She was here out of genuine concern for the missing man. In weather like this? She doubted he would ever be found alive, but abandoning him without a real effort would be unconscionable. And so she stood in the square, shivering.

At last only she and a small group were left, and she looked the five people she had been lumped in together with with a skeptical eye.

"Hi, I am Kurosaw- Hanako Kurosawa." She said after a moment's silence, her accented words muffled by the scarf that covered her face. She frowned, and briefly pulled down the scarf to speak more clearly. "Not the best way to meet new people, is it?"
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Xacha
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Hattie didn't bother pulling down her scarf or taking off her mittens before shaking Hank's hand.

"Hi, Jake. It's Hattie under here. We'll find him, even if I have to go fetch my dogs."

"Hi, I am Kurosaw- Hanako Kurosawa. Not the best way to meet new people, is it?"

"Take whichever way you can get, hun. Not many new people in a town like this, at least not any that stick around. Name's Hattie Durlin, I live out towards the reservation."

Hattie stomps her booted feet to knock off the dirty snow. "You'd think with all this blasted muck on the ground, it'd be easy to find tracks. Course, if the poor bastard has any sense, he's hold up someplace keeping warm and not making tracks. Guess it's not gonna be that simple."

She trows a glance at the rest of the group. "I got spare gloves and scarves in my truck if anybody needs a pair. Can't swear they'll fit right, but it's better than losing a finger or a nose to frostbite."

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"No it certainly isn't the best way to meet new folks."

David rubbed his arms as he fully zipped up his thick, puffy jacket. It was too cold. Colder than the time he'd gone to northern Canada for a nature photoshoot. That was the one thing that he wasn't expecting of Hildon. At least, in the middle of this snowstorm anyhow. He brushed snow off of his camera and tried to pay attention to the sheriff's little speech, pushing the cold to the back of his mind. As the assembled citizens began to disperse towards their groups and leave for their assigned search areas, David pulled the cap off the lens of his camera and snapped a few pictures.

He let his camera fall to his chest and adjusted the thick beanie on his head as the group slowly dwindled down to six people, himself included. One of them, a local man, turned around and introduced himself as Jake. The others introduced themselves and when it came to his turn, he nodded to the rest of them and shook the man's hand, before withdrawing and stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jacket.

God he was cold.

"Name's David. Nice to meet you all."
Hidden 2 mos ago 1 mo ago Post by Fading Memory
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The warmth of his room was something Elias Malkinson would soon come to miss. It would be a pleasant memory- the heater at full blast, pipes dripping to try and stave off what was whispered to be an inevitable freeze if the weather did not relent, and Elias himself was grateful that his mother was a stout woman of practical principles. He'd often thought she would make a good Witch- practicality was a trait well favored by the practicing occultist, after all- but couldn't stand the thought of his mother trying to maintain a conversation with him about such things. For some reason, despite being open to the idea on a surface level, his mother knowing the spells and hexes he knew just turned into the feeling of fear one can only get by imagining a scornful parent.

All things considered, best to leave the magic out of dear mumsy's hands.

And while he was aware that this warmth would be but a cherished memory soon, he was a resolved man. Chuck was missing. Zoey was distraught- and locked in her room, her parents much more proactive in the protection of their child than the Malkinson clan was. It was something that was in Elias' favor- for now, at least. With one last glance into a mirror he paused. He squinted a bit, frowning. That wouldn't do. He leaned close and grabbed at the applicator on his desk, sighing to relax his face as he lifted it and began to dutifully touch up the mascara he had donned. It was an aesthetic decision that had earned him many a strange look- but it was understood that makeup and jewelry were just something that Elias Malkinson was going to do.

Satisfied with the makeup, he finally relented and abandoned the mirror to its fate. Establishing that his pentacle was, indeed, where it always was (about his neck) he gripped the icon tightly. A silent prayer thought to the heavens and moon passed his thoughts, then he pulled on his winter clothing- the more mundane heavy jacket and mittens covering fingerless leather gloves and a tight long sleeved shirt. A scarf wrapped around his neck concealed the silver necklace that the pentacle hung from. A beanie pulled down atop his head scarcely contained the wild mop of hair that sprouted from his height.

And, finally, he laced up the tall black boots he favored. Pulling them tight, his pants tucked into them, and double knotting them. He hated how one of them inevitably came untied no matter what he did and this was an effort to stop that nonsense on this important day. Chuck needed saving, and that meant he'd need to be ready for anything. Pockets of salt and iron shavings, a carton of chalk, a canteen of water warmly tucked in the depths of his supplies, his inseparable Tarot Deck, and as many packets of herbs and esoteria as he could fit into the confines of the common school backpack. It wasn't a heavy load, but it was bulky and quite impractical to the common person- but for Elias Malkinson, every tidbit felt just as critical as the last.

Slipping his earbuds in, he made good practice and shuffled the Tarot deck. If this shindig was going to go down how the Sheriff intended, he was keen on getting to know the people he was about to be working with.

King of Cups - Emotionally Balanced
Knight of Wands - Hastiness, Adventurous, Energetic
Two of Swords (Reversed) - Indecision, Confusion, Information, Stalemate
Eight of Pentacles - Mastery, Skill Development
Judgement XX - Absolution, Rebirth, Inner Calling


And then one for himself...

The Moon XVIII - Fear, Illusion, Anxiety, Intuition.

Elias Shivered. Sometimes fortunes were a little too close to home.




Standing in the crowd was the hardest thing Elias had ever done. Every forced laugh, every cheerful optimism, made his prophecy ache in his heart. Goddess, why hadn't he tried to warn Chuck a few months ago that he'd had a negative portent? Would it have even mattered? Fate is a fickle mistress, and predictions can sometimes be a curse for the Fortune Teller. Elias was lost deep in his thoughts- only to now find himself standing in a smaller group as the greater crowd dispersed. He opted to focus on the here and the now. He dutifully waited as others spoke- Jake and Hattie familiar faces, but the unknowns and the curiosity they piqued in him were second to the gnawing thoughts of Chuck.

"Elias Malkinson." He said finally, hopping from foot to foot energetically, in way of introduction. His mind raced- Hanako was clearly the Knight, and Goody Durlin was clearly the Eight of Pentacles in his mind. That left him to debate on David, Jake, and the other woman. Time would reveal who was who in his prediction. "It's a pleasure to meet you all.. Er, re-meet some of you." His words were punctuated by a hand grabbing at his scarf, reaching for the pentacle reflexively, as he let out an awkward chuckle.

"I've got a good feeling about this group."
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'Miriam Holdstead, pleasure to meet you all,' she uttered from within the hood of her coat. She had to be frank, she did love the snow... there was a way to have too much of a good thing; somebody getting lost in a blizzard was one of those. And even if she wasn't overwhelmed with cold, thanks to her trusty, lovely coat of course, even she could admit it was quite frosty today. Beyond that...

'Miss Hattie, was it?' she asked the older woman. 'Um, I think I would like to borrow some of those gloves and scarves, if that's okay.' She didn't want to impose- she never did seek to take from people- but if they were being offered, then there was no point going out under-prepared in weather like this.
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'Miss Hattie, was it?' she asked the older woman. 'Um, I think I would like to borrow some of those gloves and scarves, if that's okay.'

"Of course, sweetheart. Lemme just grab some out of the truck."

Hattie stomps over to a battered but serviceable pickup truck. The old red paint carries over to a faded cap, inside of which are visible several dog cages. Hattie rifles through a canvas bag of clothing and comes out with a bundle of scarves and gloves.

"Here we go. You're a small thing, just like me, so I think I can fit you just right. Here's a scarf ..."

It's obviously hand-knit, silver and bright blue, a mixture of wool, synthetic fibers and dog hair.

"... had someone on Etsy order a Ravenclaw scarf for their daughter, but she switched to Gryffindor right at the end. Kids. Here's a pair of gloves ..."

Deerskin - literal deer hide - gloves, hand-stitched.

"Made these for myself as a project, ended up never using them. They're lined with thinsulate, but at my age you need a bit more than that."

She passes them over and turns towards the man with the walkie talkie.

"Alright, Jake, we're here. What are our marching orders this time?"

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Hanako watched the rest of the group as they introduced themselves, one by one. Certainly, this group was... well, she had never met their like back home, that was for sure. But then even in a short time here she'd changed significantly as well. She could at least string together more than basic sentences in English, for a start. She certainly had never imagined she'd be carrying a gun around at some point in her life.

All the same there was just no shaking the uneasy feeling she got from being in an area so... remote. The relative silence and... absence of stimulation of this place still got on her nerves. No constant bustle of humanity around her. No street food stalls. No ever-present sound of cars. No guarantee of cell reception. It was like a comforting blanket she had spent her whole life beneath had been stripped away, and now it was cold and dry and alien.

A thought occurred to her, now. Another potential problem she would have to defer to the locals about. "I do not know if these are right words in English but... dangerous animals? Are there any?"
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"I do not know if these are right words in English but... dangerous animals? Are there any?"

"Weeellll ... yes and no. We got bears - black bears - some wolves and a few cougars. But they're mostly used to people by now and they stay well away from us. Just make a lot of noise and you'll be fine. There's moose, but they're only dangerous if you're driving. We've got snakes and such, even a few rattlesnakes, but with this ..."

She kicks at the snow.

"I figure anything cold-blooded has gone into hiding by now. Don't go poking under logs or picking up rocks and you shouldn't even see them. Hopefully, the cold has killed off the ticks and mosquitos, too. So ... make noise to scare off the big things, don't stick your hand into someplace a little thing could be hiding, and you'll be safe."
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Elias hopped from one foot to the other, and made a noise as if about to speak- but deference to Goody Durlin won out and he waited in patience for a gap in the conversation. However, once a lull presented itself, the young man pounced like a conversational leopard upon the prey known as 'these unsuspecting out of towners'. If he wasn't so utterly sincere and gentle in his mannerisms, one might think him a lunatic with how he suddenly offered information such as:

"Well, Wolves aren't even all that dangerous so long as there's food for them- they're kindred spirits, really. Sharing the forest with us and whatnot- still animals, mind, but nowhere near as dangerous as folks seem't think." Clearing his throat, mild embarrassment at his interjection burning just visible above the line of his scarf on his cheeks, Elias continued from there; "But yeah, with weather like this so out of season who's to say how the prey situation is... Goodness, I hope all the little animals are doing alright--"

He waves his hands and finally stops moving on his feet.

"I'm digressing, what I mean to say is that Goody Durlin pretty much summed it up, I don't have anything else to add on that front- but I do have to point out that none of this is natural, and that there may be some veeeery unnatural things out there. That's part of why I'm here- I think I'm the only person in town with knowledge on the occult."

He said this as if it weren't some insane thing, and merely a fact such as the time of day.

"And given the land's relationship to the Algonquin tribes, I'd be remiss not to mention possibilities of danger from those particular myths. Pagwadijinini, Widjigo, Bi-bon- all are possible spirits tied to this sort of phenomenon. Pagwadijinini are Wild People, spirits of the forests of diminutive stature, and while troublesome are considered harmless by legend. I don't suspect we'll have need to fear them- think of them as mischievous Gnomes. They aren't beyond kidnap, mind you, but they're only that way to people who do them harm first. The Widjigo..."

He shudders briefly, eyes cast skyward briefly as he shifts his scarf and pulls it down off his face so he can grab his Pentacle necklace.

"I pray we need not understand them." His solemnity on the subject was total, a gravitas loaned to the accursed creature. "A cursed thing. Cannibalism. They thrive in the cold where resources are scarce and humanity is driven to its wits. As for Bi-bon, that's the Algonquin name for the Northern Winds. Father Winter, if you will. While a powerful entity, he's usually represented as a seasonal change and the reason for bird migration- if he was truly angry, we wouldn't be searching for Chuck- we'd be icicles. I could elaborate further on other areas of cryptozoology or demonology, but those are the likely possibilities for now. If I see evidence otherwise I'll chime in."

This moment of madness abided, Elias exhaled a brief cloud of warmth in the form of a sigh before he pulled his scarf back up.

"I've got a few spells and wards handy just in case, and I have a few protective amulets on me if anyone else wants one. I also find it can be good for the health to get in a horoscope or fortune telling before doing serious things, so I went ahead and did a general one before coming out here- but if anyone wants something more personal I can do a quick one before we set out- though I'm antsy enough as it is to get out there and find Chuck. He almost certainly doesn't have any silver or iron on him." He says wistfully. "Let alone food or water."
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Accepting the gloves and scarf gratefully- Ravenclaw, eh?- Miriam put on the scarf first, followed by one of the gloves. Handmade, too! Hattie clearly knew her stuff, and she had to say, she was beyond impressed. This was the sort of work that came from years of practice... in fact, it'd be a perfect note for her novel. Pulling out her phone, she typed out the experience in short notes - "Hattie, older lady, highly skilled crafter, scarf of various fibres, deerskin gloves".

And good thing she pulled the phone out, too. Dangerous animals were one thing, those had been researched and catalogued already... but the lore on cryptids! Quickly, she tapped in details as the strange man, Elias, babbled about them, drawing parallels to commonly-referenced creatures in turn. Pagwadijinini, mischievous gnomes, possibly akin to older fey-like beings in Europe. Widjigo? Wendigo, clearly, but under a much truer name - worth looking into if plausible. Bi-bon, Northern Winds, Father Winter... damn, there was so much this man knew! He'd make for an excellent character in and of himself! In fact, as she put her phone away and pulled on the other glove, she resolved to ask about those other cryptozoology concepts.

'Mister Malkinson, Miss Hattie, if we get time later, I'd like to interview you both more thoroughly,' Miriam requested, smiling under the scarf. 'You seem to have great insights into this area, and um, your knowledge might be exactly what I need for my next book.'
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Hattie stares at Elias for several moments, trying to judge whether he's serious or not. Finally she seems to decide that it doesn't matter.

"Ha! You forgot the Wood Devils, young man. And the ghost of Ruth Blay, God rest her. And the Witch of the Woods, who lives in the clearing with her hounds and steals away -- wait, that one's me! Sorry, forget myself sometimes. Ha!"

She shakes her head. "Look. In two months time, this whole area is going to be crawling with leaf peepers from New York and Boston. That's not going to let up until January at the earliest. During that time, there's not going to be a square inch that the tourists don't walk over, poke their noses into, or piss on. If there was a goblin or ghostie in these parts, someone would have snapped a photo on their cellphone by now. And anything spooky with any sense would have moved far north of here by now."

'Mister Malkinson, Miss Hattie, if we get time later, I'd like to interview you both more thoroughly,'

"Well, sure. But let's find this missing boy first. I have a feeling that could change the questions a bit."
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Jake had remained relatively quiet as the group introduced themselves, only nodding along to names. Halfway through Elias' little spiel about the supernatural he had drawn a packet of Benson and Hedges Premium from out a pocket. He paused for a moment, assessing his current company, and then wordlessly offered one to Hanako. Take it or leave it, he'd tuck the packet back into his pocket and draw out a lighter, tugging his balaclava down, he curled his entire body around the small white stick and struck the flint over and over until finally a flame caught and he could relax a little.

"Leaf peepers might be dissapointed. Not sure what this weather is going to do to the trees, but it's not going to be good." He turned and looked towards a nearby maple tree, its leaves already withering from the chill and lack of sunlight. "Anyway." The walkie-talkie clipped to the man's jacket crackled briefly with conversation, then quietened.

"We should get going. Warmth's sparse enough as it is." As he walked past one of the sheriff's cars, he picked up a waterproof slab of a map, tapping it idly. "Looks like as the last group heading out, we've been given the area closest to the rez. For you folks not from around here, if we see one of them, don't fuck with them, they don't fuck with you." He reached up to his cigarette and swore, before once again drawing his lighter out and getting a flame going. "I'm gonna shut up until this is done," he grumbled."
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'One of "them"?' Miriam asked curiously. 'As in an Indian reservation? Ohh... if I could get- but that wouldn't fit in the scope of the novel, would it? Mmmm...' That was a pity. If she had the ability to get some more... but, for safety reasons, it'd probably be best if she didn't, ultimately. And again, that was a dreadful, dreadful shame.

In the meantime, more creatures! Including one based on Hattie herself. She made a note to ask about them during the interview with the older woman; in the meantime, she nodded, took a look at the map to find their location, and then moved with the rest of the group toward their designated search zone.
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Hanako stared at the young man - Elias had been his name if she recalled correctly - with visible confusion and no small amount of dismay. As best as she could tell, he was discussing... some strange supernatural forces he believed to be in the area. Monsters. Mythological monsters. She shook her head in disbelief, and gladly accepted the offer of a cigarette from the other man - Jake, Hank, Dave... something like that.

She fished a lighter from a jacket pocket, fumbling with the thick gloves that covered her hands to get it to burn. "Tell me," She said, looking at Elias with an expression that was equal parts humor and confusion. "They die from bullet, yes? I am not thi- I do not think it will be problem." She shook her head. "We have better things to do than stand here talking about fantasy monsters! Boy we are looking for is probably dying or dead."

She looked to Jake, then to Hattie. "I am not from here. How are these people like?"
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"I am not from here. How are these people like?"

Hattie gives a half-shrug. "Stand-offish, I suppose. Uh ... what's a word you'd know ... private? Quiet? Don't like to be bothered?"

She shakes her head. "I know a guy from the reservation who sells me deer hides. Anwe, that's his name. It's taken me about ... 7, 8 years to get on a first-name basis with him. They're polite enough, helpful, but they're not outgoing with folks not from the reservation. I guess it comes from being stared at by all the tourists. It's no fun being a spectacle everywhere you go."

"But now the question is, how do we get there? I can fit another two people in my truck. Well, more if someone wants to ride in the back with the dog cages."

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"Truck sounds good. Beats walking through all this snow."

David chuckled, hands still stuffed into the pockets of his jacket. He was lucky that he'd had thicker clothes before coming here. Knowing the weather could change at any moment, despite the circumstances, and being prepared was a life choice he'd made early on in his career. Still, he took the opportunity while the group was talking among themselves to snap a few more photos of the area, including of the group. The Japanese woman, another older woman. Two men. And himself. Commemorated through time in digital media.

He smiled to himself, then replaced the cap on his camera lens and let the little device rest on his chest. He rubbed his hands together and breathed on them, fat load of good that did with gloves on, and glanced at the other assembled folks.

"We should probably get a move on before it gets any colder."
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Embarassment. It burns on his cheeks high and pink. A scaldingly hot shower might have the same effect on one's skin as Hattie's rebuttals and Miriam's more professional attention combined. The boy rubs the back of his head and permits an awkward silence to overcome him as he listens in to the older people chatter. After some time, he seems to relax and lets out a breath.

"Sure, miss Holdstead." He said after the conversation had moved on and the crew began to shuffle towards their various vehicles "Though I think you'd technically need to ask my parents permission for anything legally permissible."

He let silence wash over him again as he moved at a slow pace, trailing behind the group of adults. His phone had been buzzing constantly ever since he left his house- Zoey, bugging him for details about Charles Christian no doubt- and even now he fidgeted as it buzzed in his pocket once more. Clicking his tongue beneath his scarf he swatted at his leg in an innocuous manner, attempting to properly silence the device in futility-

Only to stumble mid-step as the query from Hanako. His eyes widen briefly; such an odd question.

"Well, historically speaking, guns have equalized all issues. I wouldn't personally put stock into it making a difference with something like a Roc or Bi-Bon, but a high velocity impact wound would slow down anything physical even if it had some kind of supernatural resistance. Besides, that's what Salt, Iron, Silver, and the protective wards are for; I have complete faith in the Goddess." His words came accompanied by another grasp of the necklace his wore, his thumb rubbing over its well-worn surface in the telltale sign of a longstanding habit. His eyes shift subtly as Hanako's final statement hits him, and he sighs softly.

"Yeah. Let's get going after Chuck. Anything beats walking." Was all he seemed to muster as people discussed the tranportation options. Idle hands seeking refuge from fidgeting mannerisms stuff themselves into his pockets; mitten'd fingers feeling through the salt and iron shavings in one pocket, the other gripping the tarot deck he always kept within reach. Feeling the familiarity of the cards in his hand seemed to calm him and bring him back to focus. He pulled out the deck, and despite the mittens on his hands he quite deftly shuffled the cards as remnants of salt fell from his woolen hands. He shut his eyes briefly, whispering quiet words to himself.

Find Chuck, is taking a car a good idea? Group too large, need to reach the reservation, danger afoot.

Chariot VII. Multiple meanings, a blend of purposes. Seven is itself a magic number, rife with representation and meaning in the natural world and supernatural purposes. Within the Tarot it emphasizes creativity and indivuality. His eyes narrow a bit at the card, digesting this. The Chariot, whilst upright, shows control, determination, and success. The crescent moons present on his particular brand of the deck also represent something coming into being; a spiritual transformation. The array of stars also shows a connection to divinity; Divine Will, as it were.

He thumbed over the card before sliding it back into his deck.

"On second thought, I think we should just walk it out. Chuck probably didn't go missing in a car; we'd have found signs of that or someone would've seen something by now. Zoey and I can't leave town without a dozen people calling our parents, so yeah. Taking the roads would just make us miss any clues we might come across- and besides, we can't all fit in one car and splitting up would defeat the point of being in the group. Let's go by foot. I've got a feeling it's the best choice we have."

Individuality, Action, Determination. He let Magic take root; half of magic working was believing in it after all, and the card had said these things would lead to Victory.
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Jake shook his head at Hattie. "We can't find the boy in a car. The kid's right, but not for the right reason." He paused to take a drag on his cigarette, then continued, tapping off the ash into the snow beneath his boots. "Even with the snow falling like this, if we just drive along we'll miss anything he might have left behind. Besides." He tapped the map he was holding. "Says right here our search area is everything from Hildon ouskirts outwards. That means we're searching as soon as we leave Jeremy's parking yard."

His radio crackled, and what was said was quite clear to the group.

"Hey, over/under on this kid being a popsicle?"

"Jesus Jed, you fuckin' kiddin'? We're here to find him, not find his damn body."

"Oh come on, we know how this would end. If the summer had been normal, sure, maybe he'd be about, but in this weather? He's dead. We should face it."

"Fuck off Jed. You think Mary wants to hear you talk about her boy like that?"

"Hey, Hey!" Deputy Grey's voice cut through the brewing argument. "Jed, that's disgusting. Both of you, keep the airwaves clear, and use the basic shorthand. It's not difficult." The radio crackled for a moment. "If that's everything, let's keep this professional. Kodiak over and out."

The radio fell silent.

"Can't say I agree with Jed's tone, but his assessment isn't inaccurate. If we don't find him soon, we're going to have to be preparing a vigil rather than a search party. Let's try to avoid that, eh?" He took another long drag of his cigarette, then, with an eye on the map, began trudging through the snow, taking on the role of group pathfinder for himself.
Hidden 29 days ago Post by Lady Lascivious
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Lady Lascivious Kemonomimi Dystopia Creator

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Hanako raised an eyebrow. The group seemed to be oddly determined that they would find the missing person alive despite the weather - that much was obvious. Even the mere thought that he might be dead was, apparently, taboo - or perhaps it was simply the way in which the man on the radio had expressed his thoughts that upset them this much. She chose not to say anything on the matter, not wishing to comment on matters she did not truly understand. Instead, she peered at the map held by Jake, looking across it with an expression of either deep thought, or absolute bewilderment.

"It makes most sense to me," she began, lowering the cigarette from her mouth, "for him to be nowhere near road, right? If he found road, he would have found his way back to town. You have looked through roads already, right?" She took a puff, looking at the map. "I don't know this area, but I think he would try to stay warm however he could, right? Are there caves here? Old campsites? If he did not find shelter and was not dressed like us - he is dead." She looked around to the group, "Do any of you know if there are places in our uh... search area, that he could be hiding in?"

She pulled out her phone from a pocket with some difficulty, and opened a map of the region. "How many caves have been checked? You already checked roads, right? He's not there. Caves. Trees he could have built shelter under. Something."
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