[AW] By the weight of the ocean's cyclical motion they swayed
Timber Cove
OOC: Foredated to late April. Early afternoon at Timber Cove.

Waves crashed against the cliffs and rolled onto shore, the sound having drawn Marten’s curious paws through the treeline that led to the hidden cove. She was used to the coast being full of secrets, from sea caves to worn down carvings from canines long past, but this one was new to her; Marten usually went west instead of east when she traveled to the mainland, because that had always been the direction of her friends.

This was the direction of gulls flying overhead, and smaller sea birds clinging to cliffsides, and angels.

Marten hid behind a rocky outcropping, careful to keep her wagging tail low to the ground so the angels couldn’t see it. She’d never gotten this close to them before, at least while they were alive; the ones on the peninsula always dove back into the water when she got too close. These ones were a lot bigger, their gray-brown, spotted bodies longer than most luperci were tall. They sunned themselves on big rocks that jutted out of the sandy beach, occasionally raising their heads to make loud, whooping barks at each other from across the cove.

Thread tried not to disturb them back home, though him and Quincy had dragged the carcass of one of their pups back to camp once; he’d seen its fuzzy body being picked apart by birds and crustaceans when there was still snow on the ground, and he hadn’t wanted it to be ripped to shreds or dragged back into the northern ocean. It was better to honor the pup’s short life by cooking and eating it respectfully, Thread had explained, as if Marten didn’t understand. They didn’t want to eat angels any more than they wanted to eat canines, but it was a way to honor the stranger dead they found along the way.

Even the ones that tried to hurt them, whatever their reasons had been.

Marten felt bold as she slinked down the slope toward the resting angels, watching where she placed her paws so she wouldn’t snap twigs or kick rocks all the way to the beach. She really, really, really didn’t want to scare them; she just wanted to get closer.
OOC: Lungs is fronting.

Timber Cove was a terrible place to die.

And yet, here he was contemplating the worst decision. He stared over the waters and thought of how they might swallow him whole. It was a stupid, desperate thought. And how self centered, too. He stood stock still among the gulls. The white innocence of their feathers contrasted terribly with how tainted his soul was. He wanted only to scrub it from himself and be free of his chains. He could never stray too far, though. There were three others within him. It was unfair. Yet here he was, trapped to the debt that another self had committed himself to.

An unfamiliar shape stretched across his surroundings. Egregore stood, his white shape detaching as a fallen angel from the gulls' masses. There was something vaguely familiar about her, but he could never be too sure. It was haunting. In another moment, she was the lost one.

"Hello?" he called.
Marten saw Chimera’s wavering form across the beach, tall, and pale, and unsteady on his feet, and the light reflecting off the angels’ wet backs dimmed in importance. For a heartbeat, she wondered if she was hallucinating; he looked both nothing like and entirely like himself. Her friend stood among a flock of squawking gulls, though he must have been sitting a moment ago for her to have missed him. How long had he been sitting there that the birds had congregated around him, almost like he was invisible?

Marten was reminded of her naivety the first time they’d met; he wasn’t a ghost, but she couldn’t blame herself for thinking he was.

But which Chimera was he today? She had fuzzy memories of discussing their similarities, her with her animal guides and him with his other minds. Marten knew she’d met a different one almost every time, and they’d all treated her well and helped her. And now… Well, now Chimera looked like he needed help, calling out all confused like he was.

So Marten was going to help.

Marten glanced between the angels and Chimera, unsure if moving down the beach would startle them. She took a deep breath and let her paws sink into the sand with each step, hugging the cliffside to stay out of their way the best she could. Marten didn’t want to scare them into the water, or even worse, toward her and Chimera. Their ethereal allure was replaced by the grave reality of flesh and blood; the angels she was sneaking past, that she’d just been admiring, were twice Chimera’s size.

The angels took only a vague interest in her skulking, and Marten crossed the beach with a lot of nervous panting but no real issue; they’d barely moved in the time it had taken her to cross the beach. ”And stay like that,” Marten muttered under her breath, before standing up a little straighter. ”Chimera? Are you okay?” She asked. It was a silly question, because he didn’t look okay, but she didn’t know what else to say. Marten was used to being the confused, stumbling one in their relationship; whenever she’d run into Chimera before, he was the opposite of that.
The newcomer wavered towards him with skulking paws. He was uncertain of what to do other than to watch. He had called out a greeting, after all. She did not behave aggressively either. There was something familiar about her, but he still had no idea who this stranger was. How was he supposed to? He was not from this strange land. The home he knew was completely different and he missed it sorely. He yearned for that freedom again, but it was gone.


His brow furrowed in total confusion.

"I'm not okay, no. The birds wouldn't take me away... Wait, who is Chimera?" His voice was quiet. His cadence was local, which was unlike the rest. Mind did not have an accent either, yet his voice had a lower pitch.

He swayed on his feet. This was all so new and overwhelming. He was trapped in an alien world in a foreign body that was definitely not his. His blood, mind and evel soul felt like a prison. He only wanted to be free. His dread was so cold in his chest that it burned. He took a step backwards. The water was cruel for not snapping him up. The birds were terrible for refusing to carry him away. The rejection hurt, which made the dense and impenatrable fog of his doubtful future that much thicker.

"Who are you?"
Chimera wasn’t making any sense, and she’d have really appreciated it if he started making at least a little sense soon.

”The… Birds?” Marten asked, head tilted almost sideways in confusion. ”Nevermind. You’re Chimera. Not like, just you, but all of you.” His voice was deeper than the others, and he kind of sounded like he was from the area. If Marten didn’t know Chimera’s distinctive, bi-colored eyed face so well, she’d have wondered if he really was someone else.

Marten jumped forward to try and steady her wobbling friend. She doubted her small, four-legged body could hold up his towering, two-legged form, but she might be able to stop him from falling over. He didn’t have to remember her either; Marten cared about him, and worried about him, and loved him. All the hims!

She pressed up against his legs and whined nervously. ”I’m Marten. I’m a friend,” she explained. He was willing to let her get close to him, maybe even help him, but would he believe her? ”I, uh… I met you for the first time a long time ago, and then you helped me find my friends, and then I invited you to camp dinner! We’re… We’re friends.” Marten squeezed her eyes shut and sighed.

She couldn’t even tell if he was listening to her.
OOC: Lungs is fronting.

"Yes, the birds! They - Forget about it. It was stupid anyway."

Egregore crossed his arms and turned his ears back. He knew how ridiculous this all looked and sounded. He just knew no better right now. How was he supposed to know? He was frustrated, but knew that was only because he was afraid. He looked back at her finally. He could use a friend. It was not easy to resolve an apology.

"Marten. I'm sorry. I need help."

He knelt down to hug her. She seemed familiar. He felt soothed by her comfort.

"Where are we, and how do I get home?"

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