Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

The swamp that is a fixture surrounding the battlefield. The swamp, like most, is quite full of trees, moss, and most notably leeches. There are some strange things that pop out of the waters; are you willing to brave into them?

Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:25 pm

[[Ohhhh hi there guys. LONG TIME NO SEE kjhg. Just going to--casually edge this in here and yeah. Missed you gais.]]

It had been months. Long, long months of scrabbling lost in the swamp, dirtied and scared as all hell. He'd almost given up when he saw the faint outline of a relatively familiar sight--base. The hybrid stood just at the edge of the perimeter, shivering slightly in a mix of anxiety and dread; yes, it was base, but it had been so long, and he wasn't quite sure if people would still recognize him. Some of his feathers were broken outright, the white coloring smeared with mud and traces of swamp gunk that was just about caked into his wings. There were some obvious rips in his clothes, a few revealing scratches and wounds underneath, and some of them looked a bit deeper than what might be alright. He looked a bit more than half dead, already thin frame reduced further. Mud was dried all over his talons, and 12 took a second to swipe off one particularly large clump with a flick of a wing. All this combined with his scraggly appearance gave him an eerie look, and one little bit of his mind hoped that he wouldn't run into anybody until he'd gotten at least somewhat cleaned up. Right now, he probably looked like hell muddied over, and that would be an understatement. He sighed, taking a second to look around and check for any other people. There didn't seem to be anybody out and about today, which was good for him. Though...what had happened while he was gone? What if everybody had just figured he was dead and then he'd just get shot on sight to make the records true? He doubted Gerhard would do such a thing, but there were other teammates, and he didn't want to think about that. It would do him no good to just sit here wavering while food and shelter and all that was just ahead, either--he hadn't had a decent meal since that one time he managed to kill a crocodile. Cooked food sounded even better right now, and he looked down when his stomach growled in agreement with the thought. There was still only one way to find out what happened, and only one way to get something to eat.

12 took a hesitant step forward, talons sinking into the swamp mud in a manner he was quite used to at this point. He wasn't quite sure how he'd managed to find his way back to base, but he sure knew how he'd gotten lost; doing the stupid thing and trying to actually fly. There just hadn't been anything in the area high enough, and he had gone looking for a tree or something that could work. And then he'd discovered that he couldn't manage to find his way back, which had only led to things getting worse and worse from then on out. 12 was 350% sure he never wanted to eat anything out of a swamp again, let alone go wandering in one. That was definitely enough of that for the time being, and the time being was looking like it would be for the rest of his life.

All he wanted right now was to get inside and curl up in a ball of feathers and possibly never move again. That seemed like a pretty good plan.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:17 pm

(oh hi there mind if I jump on in)

The salamander was, if nothing else, a better pathfinder then the bird was. Or at least, he had a better way of finding his way back; heavy boots leave more of a lasting impression in the thick mud. Like breadcrumbs, but filthier.

It wasn't doing him very much good finding the place where the...incident had happened. Since then, soft rains had washed away the footprints of the two Pyros and the Soldier. His flamethrower failed to materialize at Respawn, and he realized it must still be where ever the incident had happened. He kept his ax over his shoulder, grumbling to himself as he slogged through the muck.

At the least, he was safe out here, he figured. None of the RED team ever ventured out this far, and as far as he could tell the pansies over at BLU didn't want to dirty their feet. He was far from that dusty abomination of a base, and that crazy Soldier...

The Pyro heard the distant 'squish' of delicate feet in mud. Fuck.

"Is somebody there!?" he snapped into the swamp. After a few moments, he hazarded a hissed whisper. "Gerhard...?"
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:14 pm

[[Not at all, not at all~]]

His head jerked up at the voice, instinct kicking in as he raised his ruff with a low noise of warning. He didn't know where the other was, but he certainly wasn't in the mood for dealing with them--RED or BLU, he didn't care. 12 scanned the area again, sharp golden eyes trying to detect just where the voice had come from. He had an idea, but was a little loathe to go searching--his nest was right there, home was right there. Even then, he shifted stances to one a bit more aggressive, grimy feathers ruffled and a scowl on his face. He moved towards where the sound had originated, wings tucked close as he advanced. The voice wasn't familiar, and he didn't like that--they could be new, this much was possible, but they could also be RED. And that just wouldn't do. Starving or not, he was still a guard, and he didn't like the thought of a RED just waltzing about, ceasefire or not. Of course, if this voice turned out to belong to a BLU, he would stand down; there was no question about that. But he wasn't sure, and that just didn't sit right with him. He had been taught to place duty above all else, and that was exactly what he was going to do. He would've already been punished for the hesitation back with his trainer, and the thought made him distinctly uncomfortable. Better to be safe than sorry in any case.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:26 pm

The Pyro started to nervously slap the blunt end of the ax head into his hand when no one answered. He tried to listen for any more movement in the swamp; not another step. Maybe it was just some critter he had spooked. Perhaps a few weeks ago such an explanation would have tided him over, but he was jumpy and paranoid now.

"Come on out...Gerhard if that's you I swear..." he kept his head down, looking for foot (or sucker) prints in the mud. "Ain't funny. Ain't fuckin' funny at all, with what's been goin' on. You wouldn't believe..." he cut himself off, realizing he could be revealing compromising information to a disgusting BLU.

James squatted down behind a thick trunked tree, huffing. "Really not in the mood. Answer me!"
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:39 pm

Gerhard? Why were they saying his name? He tilted his head, confused. That was a sign towards being BLU. At least, he hoped, anyway. The avian hybrid moved a little faster now, soon changing his route and hopping up into a tree to get a better vantage point. After another quick search, he found them rather easily--the bright red of the other's hazmat suit was obvious. Red. RED. He was RED. That just figured. There was no way that 12 could just get an easy free pass back into base without running into anybody, let alone a damn RED. And a Pyro too, if the suit was any indication! Absolutely wonderful. He narrowed his eyes at James, gripping tightly to his chosen branch. The Pyro had an ax, and he wasn't stupid--he wouldn't attack unless the RED gave him a reason to. 12 didn't exactly favor the idea of being on the receiving end of cold steel right about now.

Something seemed off about them, too. Almost as if something wasn't quite right with...well, their everything. It would be best to observe for a little longer and assess the threat this RED posed before taking any hasty action. Jumping into things only made for dead birds.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:51 pm

Minutes slipped by as the odd pair waited, the Pyro unaware that he was being watched. Finally, he stood, sighing loudly. Probably just some critter then, a possum maybe, or even a heron. He cursed at himself under his breath for being such a jumpy pussy, slinging the ax back over his shoulder. He started to tromp off, reminding himself that the swamp was full of creatures. The slippery arsonist froze, seeing something out of the corner of his eye. A writhing little mass leaped through the muck, squeaking as it jumped to flee the Pyro's foot falls.

The swamp was indeed, full of creatures.

Nobody was watching, and his stomach roared in protest. He set the ax against the tree carefully, trying not to make a sound.

There would be no mercy for his tiny amphibian cousin.

The salamander moved with speed that defied the bulk of the hazsuit, and the frog screamed in his gloved hands. With a few snaps, the poor thing was gone.

A bit embarrassed, James looked about, one of the frog's feet hanging out of his jaws, twitching.





(for an audial aid: frogs do indeed, scream. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=948rhsRvIkw . Gruesome, isn't it?)
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:08 pm

12 frowned at the screaming frog, shifting a little on his branch. Well, that explained that, he reasoned with a low chirp. It still didn't change anything. He had been trained in fighting back some of the more common types of hybrids, though it hadn't really stuck all that well, but this wasn't similar to anything he'd seen before. Just what the hell was this RED even supposed to be? Some sort of amphibian, maybe, but past that, he wasn't very sure. 12 eyed the next tree over, wondering if the one branch he was staring at could hold him. It was worth a shot, regardless, and the bird made a somewhat risky move by jumping across, wings briefly flaring to steady him as he landed. The branch creaked dangerously under the sudden added weight, and he held his breath for what seemed like an hour until it stopped swaying. There was a large chance that he had been detected by now, and he adjusted his position on the branch, moving so that he was facing James again. Rule one, never let your target leave your sight. That was at least something that had stuck.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:20 pm

"Hmmm?"

The Pyro looked up from his gruesome repast, hearing the sound of the branches above him shift and sway under some weight. A bird? Maybe that was the thing that was making such a ruckus...

His toothless jaw fell open. "Mother of god..." the white membranes of his eyes flicked over a few times, as if blinking to make sure what he was seeing was real. It was a BIRD alright. Some kind of half formed, hideous man bird. And a BLU. Looking extremely worse for wear, at that. Almost felt sorry for it, must have been out here a long time.

Almost.

"Clear outta here, you!" he waved the ax about in the air, as if trying to shoo the harpy Scout off. "Get back to your own fucking base!"
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:37 pm

The shouting, combined with the sudden waving of the axe, was more than enough to set off all the alarms in 12's head. Every feather on his body rose, and he responded with a loud screech, the sharp sound cutting through the disturbed quiet of the swamp. No, he did not like this, he did not like this strange RED with an axe and the screaming and the eating frogs. He straightened, talons digging into the dead wood beneath him as he mentally prepared himself to swoop down and try attacking. The other had made it fairly clear that he was not friendly, and that, coupled with the fact that he was a RED, was more than enough of a reason for him to classify him as a target. With the axe, he was definitely a higher threat level than 12 would have liked to deal with, especially out of combat fitness as he was, but if he had to do it, so be it. He had his instructions, though they were a bit old. They would be followed.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:52 pm

"Oh....SHIT!"

Great. Someone else was pissed off at him now too. His eyes went wide as he saw the Scout bird's filthy feathers rise, and those talons sink into the tree branch...

...And then he started to laugh. "Honestly? You're like a CHICKEN. Why am I even...fuck!" he spun around, still chuckling. "Come on down and face me then, bird boy. You look like you weigh half a fucking pound."

He spread his arms wide, looking up at the agitated 12. "You have NO IDEA what I've gone through this week. Come on. Let's see what you can do."
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:09 pm

With that, he hopped down, feet sinking into the mud with a wet thud as he reconnected with the ground. That had been it, really. Come. Just a simple little word with more than enough implications to get him to do it. Ernst had been very thorough with working that one in, and 12 scowled at the unbidden memory. Manipulated, completely unknowingly. Wasn't his fault he got the easy set of command words, now was it? Blame poor management.

The hybrid watched James carefully again, the Pyro's laughter only goading him further. Being called a chicken on top of that was just adding insult to injury as far as he was concerned, and he straightened up, wincing just a little as he agitated a cut somewhere. Dammit, he really wasn't ready for this. He hadn't fought in who knows how long, and he was already injured to top it off. What was he even doing?
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:16 pm

"Aren't you a sprightly little fucking thing?" the Pyro teased, lowering his ax. It was obvious the Scout wasn't in exactly fighting condition. Even though it was a filthy BLU, he did feel a twinge of pity for it. "Gerhard's gonna have his work cut out for him when we're done here, that's for shit sure."

"Well come on, huffy-an'-puffy, you just gonna stand there all day?" he flipped up his ax, holding it so that the blade faced away from the bird, essentially turning the handle into a club.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:48 pm

All he'd wanted was to go back to base and sleep for days! Had that really been a hard request? Apparently so, and he was more than willing to oblige the Pyro a bit of a scuffle for obstructing his plan. He knew that he would be pretty severely outclassed in weaponry--an axe versus talons was not exactly a fair fight--but perhaps he would have some advantage in agility, if he would stop irritating his preexisting wounds. Whereas he was relatively unfettered, James was wearing a hazmat suit and some rather...clunky boots, which just might hinder his performance enough for 12 to get an edge even in his weakened state. This was going to be somewhat risky, but the venting would definitely be worth it.

12 made a feint for James's left side, recoiling quickly and switching tactics to try and slam his shoulder into the Pyro. If he could knock him down, it would be much easier to get at him with his talons, and with any luck, he'd have some difficulty getting back up thanks to the swamp mud.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:58 pm

The Pyro staggered backwards as the bird made contact with him, their shoulders knocking together. His boots slid in the slick mud, but he managed to keep his ground. Shit, this little guy did have some fight left in his scrawny little bird body!

All the more reason he wasn't going to feel guilty about what he was about to do next.

He grabbed the poor little Scout's wing in a rubber gloved hand, the feathers bending and breaking even further under his rough grip. The slippery arsonist tugged the bird in close, and rammed the butt of the ax handle into his skinny torso.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:14 pm

Oh god dammit.

He felt a crunch as one already-damaged hollow rib gave way under the force of the blow, and his eyes went wide as pain stabbed into him. The hybrid could care less about his feathers--they were already bad off, and were practically a lost cause anyway. But the rib was definitely Not Good, and he knew better than to continue attacking when things edged into Not Good territory. But James had him pretty securely, much as he didn't want to admit, and he knew he really only had one option. He shifted before lashing out with one set of talons, trying to strike the Pyro in the stomach. If he could just get away, he could make it back to base, and back to some form of aid. Gerhard should still be in there! This RED kept mentioning him, so it was unlikely he was gone. 12 swallowed, still trying to pull away from the other hybrid's grasp. He didn't even know if respawn was on, let alone if it reached out here, and he really didn't want to find out the hard way.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:25 pm

"Jesus...!" the Scout's talons were sharp enough to pierce and rip through the hazard suit, rending the red rubber, but fortunately not his flesh; the Pyro swallowed, trying not to think about what would happen if the bird, weak as he was, managed to get his claw into his gut...

He twisted the wing in his grasp, sweeping the Scout's scrawny legs out from under him. "Stop that! I heard your damn bones break, I don't want to break any more of them! Christ, you just do NOT give up..."
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby 12 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:44 pm

This just kept getting better and better. Truly they did. He hit the ground heavily, the mud grinding into open cuts and earning a quickly-strangled chirp of pain that wasn't quite cut off in time when his wing was twisted. When the other hybrid dropped a second command word, he froze in the middle of trying to get up again, tensing up with a confused and enraged snarl on his face. It hurt, it hurt a lot, and the sheer indignity of being ordered around was only making it worse. He hadn't managed to actually do any damage, though he did get through James's suit. Small consolation. 12's breath came in short, fast bursts, the adrenaline still fueling his system even though he knew he was pretty much done for. He'd failed, and that was that. He could only expect punishment from this point, and that would be deserved.

"N--now what? Just gonna kill me here?" The bird swallowed, voice rough from disuse. He kept the glare up, though it was somewhat fearful now. He could at least try maintaining the appearance of a fearsome guard bird, beaten though he was. He was pretty sure fearsome guard birds didn't cry when they got hurt either, but he was sort of close to that, as much as it infuriated him to admit.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Puffin » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:56 pm

[Hey, do you guys mind if I join in?]

It had started with a squawk.

At least, that's what it sounded like. It was a loud, terrible noise, the kind that didn't really sound like it had come from an ordinary animal. Madison had heard it, and wasn't about to simply ignore the matter. She had grabbed her shotgun and followed the source of the sound.

Any fears of being lost were assuaged by the sounds that followed. Someone was shouting. Someone was fighting. And by the sounds of it, the words were rather one-sided, though indistinct. She followed her ears until she came upon a rather peculiar sight.

Not one, but two hybrids, locked in battle. A bird, and a... what was he? A snake? Well, it didn't really matter. What mattered more was that the bird was a BLU. She realized, this was likely a missing teammate. If they asked him what happened, they could probably find out just what was going on in the swamp...

Regardless, she wasn't about to pick sides in this argument. She brandished her shotgun, but didn't get too close. "Dat's enough."
Last edited by Puffin on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Tentacles » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:07 pm

The Pyro balked. Kill him? Damn it, all he wanted to do was rough him up and send him packing. How'd he turn into the monster here?

He was about to tell the stupid bird he wasn't going to snap his fucking little birdy neck when he heard the click of a shotgun.

The salamander very nearly made the same noise the terrified frog had made, the muffled squeak bloating his throat slightly.

The slippery arsonist dropped the poor Scout's wing immediately, spreading his hands in front of him. "Oh, is this yours? Could you tell it not to wander off? It was bein' a real thorn in my fuckin' side."
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Re: Not quite a phoenix. [Open]

Postby Puffin » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:24 pm

"Well no, he don' belong t' me. I haven't met him before, actually, which is part of anot'er problem dat I won' get into right now."
She lowered her gun and stepped out into the open, daring to come closer. She looked over the two combatants. Both of them looked worse for wear, but the Bird looked infinitely worse, one wing hanging limp, his feathers filthy. In her heart she had a degree of trepidation approaching two new hybrids, but she tried not to let it show. It wasn't important right now.
"Well, I'm sure dat dis is one big misunderstandin'. Can one or bot' of you kindly explain what happened?" She crossed her arms. "And take turns. I don't want no more fightin', it'll jus' make the situation worse."
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