A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Closed]

Where everyone arrives. Arrival is not team-separate, and we trust you'll be able to figure out which you're on. We send supplies plus purchases every month, on the first. The original dock was destroyed, and the current one is still only half-finished, so you're dropped off a bit of a ways up the bank where its safer to land. Just don't get lost.
The team Warehouses also stand out near here, or at least used to. RED's is the only one still standing, while BLUs seems to have been burned to the ground. Or maybe exploded. Or both.

A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Closed]

Postby Puffin » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:10 pm

The boat ride in was relatively uneventful. Too uneventful for Lan Feng's liking, in fact. The sparse crew said about a total of ten words to her between the three of them, and seemed to be desperately trying to avoid any eye contact whatsoever. It was so humid that she had to take off her mask, and doing so only seemed to make them even more uncomfortable.

However, their nervousness seemed to be more directed at their environment than at her. She could agree with them there. This was a completely unknown area, still somewhat dark under the trees even under the partly cloudy sky. All in all, it made her uneasy. It wasn't long before they landed on shore, and to her dismay, there were no buildings in sight. Before she could protest or ask for directions, the men had all but tossed her things onto shore and sped off down the river without a word.

Now she was completely lost and alone without a soul in sight to tell her where to go. Maybe if she just followed the water in the direction she didn't come from? She sighed. It wasn't like she had much choice. Putting her mask back on and gathering up her things, she set off into the unknown.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:57 am

{bringing in the bird, cause she's out a bit far and he hasn't been used in a while}

The boat did not go unobserved, a large dark shape watching from between the trees as the vessel came to an abbreviated stop, just long enough to let off a young woman and her few belongings. As she looked around, attempting to get her bearings, the observer quietly edged closer, ducking under a low hanging branch. In the gloom of the swamp, his slow motions were easy to miss, especially with his dark coloring, the deep murky shadows blending nicely with his dull brown-black plumage.
Ever since he'd escorted the BLU Demoman back to his base, Argent had found himself reluctant to stray too far from the place. It really wasn't the best place for him, too close to Company property and Company people, but birds were social animals, even the predatory ones, and the lack of companionship after so long watching out for the wayward BLU...
Well, it was only natural that he linger a bit, right?
Besides, the poor girl was going the wrong way.

Hopping through the trees, the massive bird quickly pulled ahead of the young woman, his big feet thumping softly on the soft earth, and he clacked his beak. It was a noise that would either draw her attention, or cause her to become paranoid and try another direction.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:20 am

Lan Feng stopped dead in her tracks. What the hell was that shape? She closed her eyes and shook her head. Probably nothing, or just a tree branch or something. It was awfully hard to see through her mask, the poor visibility made even worse through the dark lenses. It was probably nothing, or her uneasiness just playing tricks on her.

Of course, she heard the clacking of the bird's beak, however muffled through the thick rubber. That wasn't good. There was something out there. But she shook her head and tried to calm herself down. She was out in the middle of nowhere, so there were likely animals out in the swamp. That's probably all it was. Taking a deep breath, she gathered herself together and set off again, this time a little faster, in a new direction away from the strange sounds.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:32 am

Oh good, that was working.
The massive bird fluffed his feathers, pleased that his attempts at getting the new BLU turned around seemed to be working, and then set off after her again, hopping through the trees to get ahead, clacking his beak but also hissing a bit this time. Not to be threatening, but to be heard better.
He wondered a moment how well she could see with that mask on, and after a moment, figured not too well.
Darn, he was going to have to make sure she didn't trip over a root or something and hurt herself...
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:42 am

Oh god, was it following her? It certainly seemed that way. She picked up her pace even more, doing a bit of a slow jog, trying to get away from the noise. There was definitely something moving there. Of course, at the hiss, she broke into a dead run. God damn it, why did this all have to happen while she was carrying her things, with her weapons all packed away in her bags?
The bird's inner thought processes would be right, and she tripped over a rock, sending her tumbling head over heels, losing a grip on her things. Oh no, this was bad, really bad. Letting out a curse under her breath, she scrambled to try and pull herself together, desperately wanting to get away.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:59 am

That... Did not work as planned.
Mentally berating himself, the massive bird scrambled to catch up, flaring his wings slightly to get a bit more distance in each hop so he could close the distance faster. Once he was within walking range, he paced towards her, crooning softly in the hopes the more pleasant noise would help the new girl calm down before she attempted to do something drastic.
Ugh, should not have used his wings, they were already aching...
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:08 pm

What the hell was that? What the fuck?

A giant bird, so it seemed. This was just as frightening as it was ridiculous. This was like something out of her storybooks as a child. A giant bird, one with an astronomical wingspan, that was quickly closing the gap between them. She immediately opened up one of her bags and took out her Homewrecker, picking herself up and holding the hammer at the ready.

She was about to swing it when the bird slowed to a stop, slowly crooning. Why wasn't it attacking her? someone of her size would probably be a perfect sized lunch for something like that. She calmed down a bit, but still held her weapon at the ready, waiting for the thing to make the first move.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:30 pm

Ah, that's what was in the bag.
Smart, really, what with the swamp being, well, a swamp. Adrian had had trouble with his launcher thingy and trying not to damage it...
Cripes, focus, stupid bird!

Argent kept up his crooning, as the noise seemed to be doing its job keeping the lady from attacking him, and slowly continued towards her until his massive hooked beak tapped against the head of the hammer-like weapon. He didn't try to take it from her, just tapped his beak against it, crouched slightly so he could lean down far enough to do so. The position put him at a disadvantage, but he wanted to show her that he wasn't going to hurt her.
It had been a lot harder attempting to do this with the Demoman, he'd chucked explosives everywhere-!
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:40 pm

As soon as the bird extended its beak to the hammer she very nearly moved it back for a swing once the bird touched it for a moment, but stopped when it became clear it wasn't going to take it from her. What did this thing want? She was still nervous, but it seemed... well, friendly. If it had wanted to eat her or attack her it would've done so already.
Shaking slightly, she held the hammer with her right hand and slowly, tentatively reached out with her left to touch its beak, patting it slightly. Perhaps not the smartest move, but maybe worth the chance...?
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:11 pm

Argent made sure not to move as he was touched, not wanting to spook the girl, though he did chitter a bit, pleased that his attempts to communicate were working out so far. Well, maybe not so much communicate as come to an understanding; He wasn't going to hurt her, so it would be nice if she wouldn't hurt him.
He let her hand rest on his beak for a few moments, his beady black eyes focused intently upon the lenses of that mask, then he pulled back, straightening to pace over to her bag, which he poked at with a talon before bending to pick it up. Yes, he knew she could carry it all on her own, but he also knew that the terrain would be much easier to traverse with both hands free. Especially if they went the shortcut.
Lots of roots that way...
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:30 pm

Though the bird couldn't see it, she smiled when it let her touch its beak. But that smiled turned into panic once it picked up her bag with its beak. She was sure at this point it wasn't going to hurt her, but blamed its actions on whatever curiosity it might've had. Still, that wasn't good.
She tried her best not to panic, instead gently tugging on the bag before the bird could make off with it. "Nrr shrr wrrdr," she said in an almost pleading voice, the foreign tongue obscured even more by her mask.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:48 pm

The big bird let the girl tug, then tugged back, head cocking as he took a step towards where he knew the base was, making a low churr noise in the back of his throat.
He would have attempted to write something, explain things a bit, but the ground was too soft here and he wasn't entirely sure that mask would let her see well enough to read. That, and it was starting to get dark. It wasn't going to be safe for her out here once the light got down far enough.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:16 pm

Lan Feng wasn't expecting a the tug, and was nearly thrown off balance when it happened. The last thing she needed right now was to lose what few belongings she had to some giant bird in the middle of nowhere. But again its behavior was odd; if it wanted to simply take her things, why didn't it do so already? It could've just taken off with it. But when it started off in a specific direction and stopped, almost as if waiting, she was forced to gather up her other, smaller bag and follow.
Looping the small bag over her shoulder and keeping the hammer in one hand, she followed, trying to keep pace with it and keep the luggage it was carrying within an arm's reach.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:36 pm

Good, she was following.
Argent kept a slow, even pace, staying just a step ahead of the girl as he led the way through the swamp, chirping on an occasion to warn her when there was a particularly soft spot or hidden root, glancing back now and again to make sure she was keeping up. With any luck, they'd make it through the trees within the next half hour before it got dark, and she would be safe and sound in the company of her fellow humans.
Not far now...
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:57 pm

Lan Feng was following closely behind the giant bird, only occasionally stumbling a bit thanks to its guidance and warnings. As time went on, she slowly began to realize that it didn't pick up her bag for its own purposes, but rather seemed to be taking her somewhere deliberately.
And it wasn't long that this odd procession eventually made its way through the heavy brush to a much more open area, where she could see a building. A building that was tinted blue. Was that...? She stared, wide eyed at the bird, unable to think of what to say or do.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:10 pm

A little closer revealed the crumbled and scorched remnants of the warehouse, still smelling faintly of .black powder and something rotten that made the bird bristle, but once on firmer ground, he halted, turning to the girl and setting her bag down.
They'd cut it a bit close, the murky environment already starting to grow dark, but the battered old house painted Company BLU was lit and obviously occupied. Easy enough to get to.
He churred, feathers fluffing some as he lifted a talon, drawing attention to it before he lowered to the ground, curling the fingers a bit so her could use a claw. A few quick motions, and he backed up slightly, hoping it was bright enough for her to read the few words he'd jotted down in the loam.
You Safe Now
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:23 pm

Lan Feng flinched when the bird raised a claw, but her fear was quickly replaced by astonishment as it scratched out a pattern in the mud. She yanked off her mask to make sure her eyes weren't playing tricks on her. She stared at the ground in slack-jawed amazement as the bird spelled out its message. "You can write?!" she said in her native tongue.

She looked back at the lit building. There really wasn't much that she could do. She probably couldn't let the bird come any closer, and there really wasn't anywhere else to go. She stared up at the oversized animal for a moment, before reaching up to give it another rub on its beak, this one a lot more enthusiastic. "Xie xie. Thank you," she said, even giving it a scratch on the head.

And with that, she put her mask back on, picked up both of her bags and hammer, and headed off in the direction of the building, casting a glance over her shoulder every so often in the bird's direction.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Gerhard Melsbach » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:36 pm

Argent wasn't expecting the scratch, but he certainly enjoyed it, crooning as he leaned down for more, his feathers fluffing out in a happy poof. It was a bit disappointing that the girl had to go, but she belonged with people, and she was safe now, so he'd done his part.
When she looked back, he clacked his beak, bobbing his head in a nod to encourage her onwards, then he called out in a loud squawk to attract the attention of those inside.
That done, he quickly made himself scarce, hopping off into the trees to find a spot to roost for the night, his dark feathers lost in the gloom of the swamp.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby 12 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:11 pm

12 was doing part of his usual routine--patrolling. It was getting late, and he'd just started, bringing along a scattergun that he'd assumed was Jane's just in case. It wasn't as reassuring as he thought it'd be, and the Scout frowned down at it, adjusting his grip on the gun as he walked. He'd pulled together the rest of the uniform out of spares found in closets, though it wasn't particularly comfortable. He did have to admit that it was easier to deal with the humidity, but it wasn't really worth the tradeoff.

He'd been idly thinking about how Henry was planning to fix this error when a loud squawk cut through the air, stopping 12 in his tracks. That was definitely odd. He started walking in the direction of the source, taking as much care as possible to not trip or fall into any sinkholes on the way. It was too dark to really see, so this didn't work out quite as well as he would've liked, but he was managing better than he thought. He didn't go all the way to the source, instead readying his borrowed weapon and pointing the barrel towards where he thought the noise had originated.

"Somethin' out there...?" he called, trying to get a better look through the trees. Stupid bird, if it was some sort of abomination like the ones they'd fought recently, it would just know where he was. He quietly cursed under his breath, backing up a bit.
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Re: A Stranger in a Strange Land [Lan Feng intro, Open]

Postby Puffin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:23 pm

Lan Feng jumped herself when the bird let out a squawk, but before she could say or do anything it had headed off into the quickly darkening growth. It was then she heard someone else tentatively call out. Someone sounding nervous, actually. To try and ease the tension, she called out in the direction she had heard it. "Hrrrohh? Irrm hrrr."

It was getting awfully hard to see outside through her mask. She thought about taking it off, but remembered that she'd be inside soon anyway. She rounded the corner, eager to get inside, and found herself almost walking into the source of the voice. She did manage to catch herself, throwing out a slew of muffled apologies to the poor scout, who was looking just as nervous as she was.
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