Perchance to Dream: A Nightmare by the Lake

The adventures and misadventures of Jay Capistrano.

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Perchance to Dream: A Nightmare by the Lake

Post by Capistrano »

((Cross-posted on RDI))

June 24/June 25, late night/early morning
Southern Glen


Ever the hunter and self provider, Adel had set up a camp of sorts by the lake at the glen. The fire that burned before him seemed to be dying, but he didn't care much. After all, it was warm and the fire had already fulfilled its purpose of cooking, as the scent of slightly burnt fish (who said he was a chef?) wafted around him and the surrounding area. Sitting in the grass on cloak and beside his supplies, he overlooked the lake as he had the occasional nibble of fish.

Poppy was out there -- far out there, in both the physical and mental arenas. Why? Well, because she was drunk, and really far off course from home. There was a bottle of something in her hand as she stumbled along, dressed in a cute little tennis-like ensemble, as per usual. Singing, too! She was singing some strange song in a completely different language from he usual.

He turned his head and furrowed his brow as he was certain he heard something. The fish he ate was returned to rest with the remnants at the fire before he moved to his feet. Adel didn't think to go for his weapon just yet, but one could never be too cautious in the woods. "Who's out there?"

The night was something the minstrel had grown to love over a long period of time. His emerald eyes glowed faintly in the darkness as he arrived in the Glen. Soerl found it was usually a good place to sit and think.

Was that a voice? She thought it might be, so she stopped and tried her best to stay silent. Was something coming? And staying silent was not easy for anyone who's had a bit too much. So, she turned to nothing and shooshed it, then another nothing, then giggled like there was no tomorrow.

So focused on the source of singing and giggling, as it was a lady (he hoped) after all, he missed the sight of the minstrel not so far away. Adel moved his hand to his belt, closer to his katar, but he didn't yet draw it. Walking towards the source of the noises he heard, he called out again, "If someone is there, you had best come out. There is all manner of vile beast wandering these woods." It was a slight exaggeration to be sure, but he hoped it would lure her out.

Considering his senses remained heightened even while normal, the giggling got Soerl's attention. A golden brow lifted, briefly. He started to move in the direction he heard it from.

"Beats? No, no, there's no beats here..." Poppy must have misheard things, because she was giggling away like a fool afterwards. Then, as she stepped closer, she started to beatbox, sloshing the alcohol out of the bottle here and there.

Adel's interest and intrigue was piqued. Such behavior seemed typical of a wild pixie or fae. "Er, no, I did not say beats." He grinned, somewhat lopsidedly. "I said-" The sound of another pair of footsteps caught his attention, putting him back on guard. Moving forward, he looked about and was able to catch the sight of green eyes, almost otherworldly in their intensity. "-beast, and it looks as if one might be heading for you now my dear." It was dark, and Adel wasn't blessed with above the norm eyesight.

Her beatboxing came to a stop, as Adel was talking to her. And when she saw his caution, she turned and took a long pull from the bottle, eying the darkness. She really couldn't see much of anything, but that didn't seem to worry her too much. "Is that something there?" A hand pointed totally in the wrong direction from where Soerl was.

"I am no beast, friend." Best to quell such thought quickly. The minstrel spoke up, though he continued on toward Poppy. He shook his head when Poppy pointed away from him. He could see rather clearly, even in the darkness.

He was still cautious, but Adel took the words to heart as he mused to himself. "I suppose they weren't lying when they said this was a popular tourist spot..." Moving forward to clear branches and bush, he finally got a somewhat clear view of the girl. Certainly no fae or pix, but human instead? He grit his teeth, quelling his agitation of such before taking note of what was in her hand. It wasn't hard to put two and two together after that.

Slow didn't even begin to describe the way the tall, monstrous man walked through the glen. Branches rustled, twigs snapped, boots fell heavy on leaves and dirt. There appeared to be little attempt at subtlety in his approach, nor in his weaponry of choice. A machete, with what looked like dark-red splotches of something all over it. He wore dark blue overalls, also mottled with what appeared to be the same crimson substance, and a ratty white t-shirt underneath. His boots were heavily scuffed and marked. His face was hidden entirely by a white hockey mask, with smears of red above the nose and on either cheek.

Was that her brother? She leaned forward, squinting, but then shrugged it off and headed toward Adel, bottle held down at her side and arm outstretched. "Listen, I don't know about you, but it's hot out here and I could use a drink. Or a swim. How's that sound, hm?" As she got closer, she tried to squint at Adel as well, but failed miserably. "You're cute?" Most definitely a question, as she couldn't see straight.

He intended to say something to Poppy. She was quite obviously drunk, in his eyes. The sound was what got his attention. "Hm?" He turned, looking around for the source.

Even coming from a human, Adel could appreciate such comments. She was a lady, after all, and all ladies were wondrous things, human or no. "Why thank you my dear." He grinned, darkness surely hiding the hint of dimple that threatened to appear. "You're quite the looker yourself." He winked to her, another thing lost to the darkness. "As far as a swim or drink, perhaps at a later time wh-" He was cut off, sighing as it seems they had yet another guest. "Now this is just ridiculous..." Adel turned to the newest source, squinting towards the darkness. He soon saw a branch rustle, and a limb shift, and then there was.. something he couldn't quite make out. Big and dark- but the sheen of a blade certainly caught his attention. Muttering a curse beneath his breath, as it certainly didn't look as if this being would stop, Adel sorted out his priorities. Drunk girl definitely beat emerald eyed gentleman, so with a fluid gesture he scooped her up and hoisted her over his shoulder before making a quick retreat back out towards the opening near the lake.
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"Hey! Hey, wait!" The bottle of booze dropped to the ground and spilled out simply because she was so surprised. But, almost immediately she was giggling again, and trying to look around. The long blonde hair in her face stopped most of that nonsense, though. "What is it? What was it?"

The machete-wielding man stepped just into view of the clearing, brandishing his weapon menacingly. Behind him, the sounds of sprinting footsteps could be heard, crashing through the undergrowth and furiously moving towards the open space. The man raised his blade, growling, only to have his growl cut off by a shoulder tackle to the back of the knees that brought him fully in view. The machete stayed in the assailant's hands, but the second man had succeeded in knocking the would-be attacker down to the ground. The Dreamwalker also came into clear view with his assault. He was wearing a plain black beanie hat, gas mask, red and black checked flannel, khaki cargo pants, and black steel-toed boots. He was also carrying a wooden baseball bat, illuminated with several neon-orange runes in some mystifyingly unreadable language.

No point in chasing after the fellow. He'd gotten Poppy away at least. However, the ensuing confrontation got the minstrel's attention quickly. He sprinted over to the altercation, but didn't get too close, circling, like a wolf would do with prey.

The overall-clad man suddenly twisted his body, swinging his machete towards the Dreamwalker. At the very last moment, the man in the gas-mask brought his bat up to block the blow. However, the bat didn't look like it was in very good shape after that; the blade had gouged a good chunk of wood out. The weapons also seemed to be stuck together, and the two men pulled with all their might, trying to separate them. Finally, they did, but the exertion sent the pair sprawling backwards in opposite directions.

"It was nothing!" Adel's tone was less than assuring, but perhaps it would do. Now back at his 'campsite', he dropped Poppy carefully, if a little unceremoniously to the ground near fire, fish, and supplies. He couldn't just leave the emerald eyed man alone, however, so he resolved himself to running back into the fray. "Dinner is served, dear." He gestured to the slightly burnt fish on display before unsheathing his katar. "If I live through this, maybe dancing can come next." Dry words for the dry joke, he lingered still to make sure the woman had no intention to fight him on it or follow upon his leaving.

"Oh." What an answer! Poppy sat there on the ground, flailed a bit awkwardly, but still managing to keep some modesty. She blinked and leaned down to sniff in the direction of the fish, before surveying the campsite. She'd get up and snoop around when Adel was gone.

Soerl's head tilted somewhat. The man with the bat - his scent was quite familiar. Jay? No chances to be taken, then. The minstrel stopped circling and leaped at the machete-wielder. Claws immediately formed on his hands as he swiped at the thing.

Jay's opponent was nothing if not single-minded in his pursuit. The man in the hockey mask lumbered towards the Dreamwalker, swinging the machete in an overhand swipe. The blow was knocked off target, though, as Soerl swiped at the overall-clad man's back. He roared his displeasure, then tried to backhand the minstrel, moving quite slowly in the process. Jay had prepared himself to block, but, since the blow hadn't arrived, he sprung forward, aiming a blow of his own towards his foe's midsection. It landed, but didn't seem to phase him.

There wasn't much for Poppy to snoop, through. A dagger, a block of wood Adel had been whittling, a stick, a line and hook for fishing, and other miscellanea one might carry out into the woods. Katar held close, he started sprinting back towards the edge of the woods where the brawl was going on, pausing ever so briefly to take it all in. He wasn't entirely sure who was fighting who, nor was he sure who the 'good guy' or 'bad guy' was. There were two men in masks and odd gear, after all.

Slow meant the minstrel could drop down. He had been about to speak, though, so he almost didn't get to duck in time. He slid away from the machete man and moved over by the one with the bat, whom he suspected to be Jay.

The Dreamwalker looked over to the side, where Soerl was, and nodded to the man, before facing forward. His words were muffled by the gas mask, but still understandable. "He...does not know when to give up." He pointed toward their mutual foe, who was very, very slowly coming at them again.

"Bit of a lumbering fellow, isn't he?" No mirth in Soerl's question, as there normally would be. "Any suggestions?" The question for Jay, though he noted that the other fellow was nearby again.

If Adel had to take a guess as to what this 'foe' was, he'd guess an orc, and he did not care for orcs very much. It didn't take long for Adel to discern which side he should join, and he was a bit taken off guard and surprised by the lack of speed displayed by the machete wielding one- even for his size. Whistling sharply in an effort to draw his attention away from the other two, he moved in, thrusting his katar towards the large 'foe' to land where it may. He never did like fighting in the dark.

Poppy snooped and snooped. She found herself a couple of interesting things, too. The cloak was donned over her head like she was part of the Dark Side, and she secured the dagger to the end of the stick with the fishing line (though the hook was caught on the cloak several times during the fiasco, and even once in her ear, not that she felt it until it was a little too late.) And, in her new garb, she started back toward the action, stumbling along in search of her drink, and singing again, though this time it seemed to be a drinking song in Common. "Aye aye aye aye, I once knew a man with four fingersssss!"

The attack could have been spotted a mile away. And again, as Jay was about to block the blow, an thrust from an unknown ally stopped him in his tracks. The man in overalls howled in pain, an inarticulate scream of rage, then turned and took a heavy swing at the one who had stabbed him in the lower back. The Dreamwalker took this opportunity to drop down low and swat his opponent in the knees. The foe dropped to one knee, still holding onto the machete. Jay stepped back, then replied to Soerl. "Fire."

Had to be the one element I'm not proficient in." He took a few steps and leaped into the air. He swung a clawed hand down at the overall man, trying to catch him where he could. Maybe if the three of them kept attacking as they had...
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Adel started to twist the katar for good measure, but such theatrics cost him a bit of precious time. As the large masked being howled and started to move, Adel jerked back, pulling his katar with him. He wasn't quite fast enough to avoid the tip of the machete grazing his chest. Hissing in pain, he stepped back as the others moved in, then turned as he heard more of that un-Siren-like singing. Cursing beneath his breath, he pivoted around to start in the girl's direction, ignoring the cut in fabric and flesh, as well as the accompanying blood.

Stick in tow, with the dagger hanging dumbly, she continued her song. "He told me, 'You's don't lingers!' So I grabbed me a pint, and danced half the night, with that four-fingered old Vershish minglerrrrr!" She was gearing up for a second verse, still searching for that bottle.

Too slow. Soerl's claws rent holes into the fabric of the overall. The man didn't seem to bleed though; the skin that was exposed was blackened, charred even. He attempted another slow, clumsy backhand of Soerl, still in his crouch. Jay stepped forward quickly, though and swung at the hand, listening to the satisfying sound of the bones of the fingers breaking. The machete was dropped, now, as the hockey-masked man grabbed at his broken digits.

"Come now, dear, turn about the other way now, will you?" Adel approached her with caution, on account of the peculiar device she had conjured up of his supplies. Reaching out, he tried to spin her about and send her in a direction where she wouldn't walk into the midst of battle or the middle of a lake.

"Is fire the only thing that's going to put him down? Asked of Jay. The minstrel was lucky that Jay caught the machete man with the bat. He had been in no position to dodge. He hopped backwards and crouched down in a very feral stance.

"There is no Poppy, only Zuul..." She attempted a scary voice, but she seemed to do nothing but scare herself, and she actually made a squeaking noise. "What was that?!"

Jay looked toward the lake, then down at the still-injured man. "We can drown him, I think." He muttered something to himself. With the gas mask on, it was impossible to tell what it was.

"It was Zuul, apparently." Adel grumbled something to himself, in elvish, so it wasn't likely Poppy understood a word of it. He reached up to touch his wound briefly, before moving along with Poppy, briskly, away from the fracas. "If you go over here, though, you will find it to be Zuul free."

The minstrel was thinking. He wasn't too sure how to convince the machete man to just waltz into the lake to die. He kept a cautious distance while considering options.

She followed Adel's motions, but the ruckus seemed to catch her attention. So, she stopped. "Hey, what's that...? What's going on over there? Cheryl? Is that Cheryl?" She turned and inadvertently put a hand on Adel's chest to steady herself.

Their nemesis seemed about ready to grab the machete again, so the Dreamwalker sprung forward and brought the ball bat down on his shoulder, discouraging him from reaching for his weapon. "This guy is built like a tank. He is very slow, but very strong." Perhaps stating the obvious a bit?

Moments like this could make anyone wonder why they preferred damsels over knights. At least two knights could fight together in these situation, though celebrating victory afterwards may be a bit awkward... "It could be Cheryl. I didn't happen to catch names from- ugh." The sudden pressure applied to the split wound made Adel step away from Poppy reflexively as he hissed and grit his teeth in pain.

"If we can get him close, I might be able to keep him under the water with my magic." He glanced over to the lake, gauging the distance. A very canine growl came out, directed at their foe.

"What's this? She pulled her hand away and squinted at it, though there was little light for her to see by. It was, in fact, the smell that made her realize it wasn't barbecue sauce. "Is that blood?" Now things were getting serious. She tilted her head then immediately started for where 'Cheryl' was. "Hey! Hey, wotcher deal-ee-o?!"

"Bait?" Like a lion tamer prodding a lion, the Dreamwalker stepped in again, braining the man on his knees with what should've been a knockout blow. Instead, the man groaned in pain. "Dammit."

"Probably the best idea," Soerl said, in regards to baiting their enemy. "It'll take me time to gather that amount of magic." He meant it as a sort of warning for Jay.

Adel's patience was running thin in such a dire situation. He was a hunter, not a babysitter. Teeth grit, he shook his head. "Amada edainme." Turning, he too started for the battle, longer legs and strides carrying him past the woman in the process, but he made no effort to stop her. Someone else would, or she'd learn for herself why it was best to stay away. As he approached, the hand that didn't hold the katar emitted faint wisps of electricity that danced between his fingertips.

"All right." Jay swung his bat at his opponent's head, then gave his foe a head slap with his free hand, attempting to make him mad. Anger was his friend. Anger would motivate his enemy to come closer, towards the water. The Dreamwalker noted Adel's return to the battle, and cried out to the man. "We need to get him near the water!" Which was, in fact, where Jay was running towards.

It hardly mattered, because before she got anywhere near the battle, Poppy stumbled across the bottle she'd dropped earlier. There was even a little bit left in it, which she immediately tipped back into her mouth, before falling flat into the grass.

In the meantime, Soerl stood straight up and shut his eyes. Words were whispered into the darkness, summoning the energy to him. The chanting was very lyrical. His hands were occupied with carving symbols into the air.

Such a task was easier said than done, but it could be doable, certainly. As the unknown Dreamwalker started running towards the water, Adel hung back, remaining somewhat near their enemy, even as he started backing towards the water quite a bit slower than the other. Holding his hand out, the electricity that had previously moved about his fingertips started to coalesce into a small ball, crackling quietly and shining brightly, illuminating that very immediate area. With little hesitation it shot forward towards the machete-wielder, more as a test to see how he would react to it than anything.

There was a grunt, and the man's movements were herky-jerky for a second as the electricity coursed through his body, but it didn't seem to otherwise affect him. It certainly didn't prevent him from standing up once more, and shuffling towards the water's edge.
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Soerl's eyes opened up again. He had to see where the target was, of course. The words to the spell continued, though the minstrel quickly noted where Poppy was in the grass. He didn't want to hurt her by accident, after all.

Poppy didn't seem to care. She actually raised the bottle in the air, laying on Adel's cloak with the other hand holding the makeshift weapon. Of course she started to sing again! "Aye aye aye ayeeee! Well, the man with four fingers did say, 'Oh, wots fun we's hads today!' But I couldn't dare tell 'im, I'd made him a felon, fer I'd turned fifteen in Mayyyyy!!"

Adel continued backpedaling, coppery eyes locked on the hopefully soon to be drownee, as he mentally cursed the fact his sense of hearing was above average when the girl sang again. As electricity and stabbing didn't seem to do much good, he refrained from exhausting more energy and just moved, hoping he and the other unknown man would be followed.

Jay just stood there, close to the water's edge, watching and waiting as the machete-carrying man starting walking toward him. Once the man was in weapon range of Jay, he swung, a bit faster than the Dreamwalker expected. Jay's muffled cry escaped the mask, as he was only successful in partially dodging the blow. He scooted to the right, but his left shoulder was left wide open to the arcing machete, and it bit into his shoulder, ripping fabric and drawing blood. He wasn't used to pain in this type of situation, and he stayed crouched on one knee as the man's follow through on the attack carried the blade into the earth near the edge of the pond.

"Get him in the water!" The minstrel yelled to Jay and the unknown ally. The energy had been gathered. It just required him to speak the final word.

"Get to zee wataaaa!" Poppy said, in reaction to Soerl's command.

Electricity would stun, but would it knock him in the water? It wasn't a risk Adel was willing to take, and with him and the other so near, and so close to that water, electricity wasn't the best course of action. Adel moved on instinct, doing the only thing he could think to do with such little time to react. Running forward, he charged towards the towering man and lowered himself slightly in an attempt to shoulder tackle him to and in the water.

So intent on turning Jay into machete meat was their foe, that he was completely unprepared for Adel's assault. The attack drove him off of his feet and splashing into the water. All Jay could do was grit his teeth beneath the mask, glancing temporarily over in Poppy's direction at her words, before looking behind him at Adel and the other man.

Haha, she was pretty useless tonight, wasn't she? Poppy could have at least tried to put the bottle in the assailant's path, but nooo... She just laid there on the ground, humming drunkenly at herself.

The minstrel watched. As soon as the machete man splashed into the water, he slammed his right hand onto the ground. "Crendo!" The air above the water became so dense that it slammed down onto the surface of the body of liquid. Ripples began on the water's surface and were immediately halted by the pressure. It pressed down like a tremendous stone.

It was going to take a while to drown the man, so Jay turned his body towards the water and sat down, bat dropped to the ground. His right hand went to clutch at the injured left shoulder, still bleeding profusely. He swore, loud enough that the words made their way through the mask quite clearly. The lake was eerily calm, considering that someone was slowly drowning to death beneath its surface.

Adel regarded the water's surface briefly before turning away. It wasn't something he particularly wanted to watch, life slowly being snuffed from another being- whatever it was. Death, no matter the circumstance, was not something he rejoiced in or celebrated.

Soerl was stuck where he was, at least until he could be sure the spell would stay in place as required. No point in a half-effort at that juncture.

The Dreamwalker glanced back at Soerl, intently casting some sort of spell on the water. Slowly, Jay rose to his feet, to look where the man had fallen into the water. He could see the dim shadow, clawing and scraping at the surface of the water, futilely attempting to make it to the surface. After a couple of minutes, the efforts became less frantic, and after a while, they stopped. The air bubbles which had been furiously rising to the surface of the lake disappeared.

Annnd, here's more singing, though it's much more melodious. "Hold them back, men, we're fighting for good! Hold them back, men, we can replace our ranks, but there's little chance that they'll hold at our banks. Keep them at bay, men, for we're fighting for right! Keep them at bay, men, we can't retreat now, 'cause there's hardly a chance they'll just take the cowww..."

To his credit, Adel refrained from making a quip that involved tucking the woman away beneath the surface of the water. An exhausted and equally disgusted sound escaped him as he turned to walk back towards his now very dead fire. Glancing down, he let his katar slip from his fingers to the grass before he removed his vest and shirt with a bit of care and effort. Ruined clothing tossed aside, he examined his chest, making sure the wound on it wasn't too grievous.

While Soerl escaped any physical wounds, the toll the spell took on his body wasn't much better than being beaten. He landed on his rear, breathing heavily. His eyes stopped glowing and his hands returned to their usual, human shape.

Jay looked down at his right hand, noting that the batting glove he was wearing on that hand was pretty much completely covered in blood. The wound in his shoulder was finally starting to clot some, though by the amount of blood that had dripped down his left arm (and was still present on his shoulder), he had bled quite a bit. The Dreamwalker glanced back to Soerl, then to Adel, then to Poppy. He talked loudly, so that his words could make through the rubber mask, but there was a nervous quaver to them. "Anybody-anybody here know first aid? I don't think I'm doing too good."

Soerl was still breathless, so a vocal answer to Jay's question was impossible. The minstrel just shook his head and hoped the gesture was seen.

Sadly, she was the best out of all of them, considering. The call for help seemed to sober her up enough to sit up and look around. It wasn't a good sight, was it? Even in the low light. "Huh...? Where are you? She seemed confused.

"Near-near the water." As if it would help, Jay held up his ungloved right hand.

Adel first turned to the minstrel, recognizing his exhaust immediately, then to Jay. Frowning a bit, he turned to start walking back towards the edge of the woods, glancing aside to Poppy along the way as he pointed towards the bleeder near the edge of the lake. "Make yourself useful why don't you? I'll find something for our wounds." The last sentence was spoken loud enough for Jay to hear, hopefully, before he knelt down and started to dig around some bushes and flowers.

The makeshift weapon and the booze bottle were left before, and she took the cloak with her. It took several seconds for her to find her balance, and the cloak didn't help, but she managed to find her way to the water. And into the water, and back out. "Where?"

The world around Soerl was swimming. The spell had cost him more than he thought. He fell flat on his back and lost consciousness.
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Jay hadn't meant for it to come across as cursing at Adel or Poppy, but the next words out of his mouth were curses. At the pain, at the fact he was going to have to probably take his mask off. With his good hand, he undid the mask and laid it on the ground, next to his baseball bat, still glowing faintly orange (and somewhat bright) in the darkness from the runes painted on it.

It took him a few moments, but Adel was soon reemerging from the edge of the woods, casting a glance aside to the fallen minstrel along the way. "I think your friend may be dead. Or asleep." It was unclear if the words were meant for Poppy or Jay. In his hands, he now carried thin, gnarled roots from an unknown source. At the water's edge, he dipped them in the water in an effort to wash the dirt from them before turning to and offering one to Jay. "Chew, but don't swallow."

As she got closer to the form, she started to notice that he seemed familiar. And the blood -- the blood was glistening in the low light, but she could tell it was flowing. "Jay? She thought it was him, so she leaned in a bit to look, likely smelling to high heaven of alcohol. Immediately, she pressed Adel's cloak against his wound, feeling suddenly very sober. "Jay, is that you?!"

Tilting his head to the side, Adel regarded the wound to Jay's shoulder more carefully. "It'd be best if we had something to tie on that until you could-" And there was his cloak, a nice one at that, being pressed to the wound. Ruined for sure.

Jay didn't respond to his name being called out by Poppy, even though she would probably be able to tell if she got closer to him that it was, in fact, him. The series of scratch scars along his left cheek would be ample proof enough. Or his busted-up nose. Instead of responding, he grabbed the roots offered to him by Adel, chewing them for a bit but not swallowing. He gestured with his good arm toward the bloody sleeve on the wounded one. "Cut that off? Use that?"

It didn't seem to matter whether it was a nice cloak, or not. She tried to tie it on, but she was clumsy and her hands were shaking. "I need a knife, or something..." And then the words of Adel's settled in, and she quickly looked around, peering into the darkness. "Soerl? Where's Soerl?" That had to be who Adel had been referring to, right? Dead or asleep? She didn't remember hearing anything from him, but for the moment she stayed with Jay. "Oh, no, no, no..." Of course, he wouldn't be any deader if she helped Jay and that was the case. However, Jay could be saved, if she worked to help him.

Popping root in his own mouth, Adel chewed a bit as he looked around. Spotting his katar still laying on the ground, he ambled over to pick it up, then handed it off to Poppy. "I'll check on the other one." To Soerl he went, leaving the other two alone.

Jay was trying to avoid eye contact with Poppy, but there was something clearly...off about him, after the injury. He seemed somewhat distracted, his skin was cool and clammy, and he was breathing much faster than normal. He seemed to realize what was happening, which had him panicking even more. "Oh...oh crap. I'm going into shock."

She didn't know what to do! So, she went with her instincts, which were to grab the cloak and cover Jay, followed immediately by cutting off his sleeve with the katar, whatever it was. She tries to tie it tight, too, but it wasn't easy. "Jay, no, c'mon, stay here!" A shake of his other shoulder, and a few pats on his face. "What do I do?!"

The laugh was half-delirious, but the pats to his face seemed to get some of his attention back. "I need to get to a hospital, I think. Aren't any here, I don't think."

There was a pulse. There was breathing. It was very likely that Soerl still remained in the land of the living. After checking up on him, Adel started his return to Poppy and Jay, just in time to catch the panicking from both parties. He was sore for certain, feeling a bit tired from his own wounds, but he forced himself to try and keep alert. "You can tend to your sleeping friend?" Advice for Poppy before turning to Jay. "The roots should help, but they'll only delay the inevitable." He took a moment to spit his own roots from his mouth to the ground before kneeling closer to Jay, looking him over. Shame the monastery was so far away, clear across town... "You definitely need medical attention. If you can walk, I can help you travel north and back into town. Surely there's a clinic around there. If all else fails we can bombard the first home we come across and hope the people living their are charitable?" The suggestion was only half-serious, but if Jay's condition worsened too quickly...

"Yeah...yeah...we can do that." With his good arm, Jay pointed...somewhere off in the distance. He called after Poppy. "I gotta tent over there. Black, with a zippered opening. Mesh windows on either side. There's a blue sleeping bag inside. He can sleep there?"

"W-what about y-you? And you?" This was in reference to Jay and Adel, as she didn't know how she could leave them go without help or anything.

"We'll likely be fine." That Adel, so very reassuring. He did turn to Poppy, however, to offer a small smile. "You wouldn't want to leave your friend out here alone would you?" Straightening up, he wandered back to his things and started gathering a few of them together. Kicking some dirt on the fire, he turned back to Jay and offered a hand. "Alright, up and at 'em."

He finally spat the roots out, looking at Adel, his savior for the evening. "I guess...he's gonna take me to the hospital?" He grabbed Adel's hand, taking it and rising to his feet. Then, he glanced back at the gas mask and baseball bat, still damaged by the machete. "My stuff..."

"I'll keep it with me..." She gathered it into her arms, looking between the two of them with eyebrows drawn. Very much sober and confused at this moment, for sure. "Please, be careful..." And there was an actual, factual kiss on the cheek for them, in tandem.

The kiss perked up Adel's spirits, if nothing else. "Thank you, my dear. I will be certain to keep myself and your friend here safe." For now, he'd let her keep his katar if she had need for it. They were easily replaceable anyways. "Alright, come on now." He settled a hand to Jay's good shoulder, ready to be leaned upon or used for support if needed. "Try to keep alert too, mm?" He started walking, somewhat briskly but trying not to leave Jay behind. "Tell me about your childhood, or count the trees- I don't care what you do, just keep talking."

Jay felt the kiss dimly on the scar-marked flesh of his left cheek, but didn't seem to react visibly to it at all. "We'll try. Lots of crazy stuff outside, lately." Any attempt to hide his accent had long been abandoned, especially without the mask on to hide it. He used Adel as support, slowly walking out of the clearing, taking swift, shallow breaths. Once he was out of earshot of Poppy, he addressed Adel. "God, I need a smoke." As the pair headed out of the glen, Jay counted the trees as he was instructed to do. It was better than talking about his childhood. It was too personal a topic of conversation for his new-found hero.

((Edited and adapted from live play with Adelite, Soerl Lute, and APoppySwift))
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