Dec 06, 2019 7:56 AM
Whately twins in Vivaria
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This patch of forest was supposed to be uninhabited. 

It was, in retrospect, not entirely surprising that some cult practicing what Lucy could recognize as most likely authentically occult rites would choose a patch of forest that nobody was supposed to be in to gather at, although one might have guessed that the wild hog problem endemic to the region would have kept them out of relevantly infested areas. This had not, however, been the case, as the circle of robed and chanting figures could attest. 

Neither Lucy nor Wilbur was sure who these people were, or what they wanted, but though a group invoking Outer Gods was much less likely than the average human being to loathe them on sight, they were also much more likely to have some use for them if they figured out their true natures. 

Neither of them wanted to take that chance. 

That was why Wilbur was hiding inside Lucy's mouth so that they could both take advantage of her natural invisibility when the ritual reached its crescendo and the world disappeared in a bursting ray of darkness. 

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This patch of forest is very much uninhabited.

Not only does it contain no people, and no wild hogs, it also contains no birds, squirrels, insects, or other animals of any sort. It contains grass, and trees, and Wilbur and Lucy.

The grass is oddly uniform in length and colour, and the trees are oddly regular in width and placement, and the ground is really bizarrely level. It looks like an exactingly constructed diorama of a forest, made to scale by someone struggling to depict a natural-looking forest despite an unstoppable compulsion to make things line up really neatly.

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She spits her brother out. 

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He takes a moment to futilely attempt to scrub her spit off his coat, then looks around. 

 

"Lucy, what the fuck." 

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"I don't know! The cultists did it! They finished chanting and then everything was dark and then--this!" 

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"Great..." he mutters. "Is there even anything edible around here?" 

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Well, not super close by there isn't, but if Lucy looks around from her higher vantage she might catch sight of an apple tree some distance away. All the other trees in this forest are weirdly regular oaks; the apple tree was clearly manufactured to the same specifications, but its leaves and bark and big red juicy-looking apples are all appropriate to its species.

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"There's an apple tree over thataway," she says, flicking one tentacle along Wilbur's shoulder to indicate the direction in question. "I can't see anything else good to eat from here, but if there's one fruit-bearing tree there could be others." 

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"It would take a lot of fruit to keep you fed." 

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"I know. But anything is better than nothing--and--if we're the only people here--you don't smell edible..."

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"I'd much rather it not come to that." 

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"Yeah. And the tree is a start, c'mon," she says, and lumbers off in the direction of the apple tree. 

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He follows, glancing at the ground in her wake to see how deep she leaves footprints. 

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Her footprints seem shallower than normal; the ground here is pretty resilient.

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The apple tree, when they find it, has a tiny creature perched on the end of one of its highest branches.

{hello friend!!} it says, in a voice like creaking wood and rustling leaves, wordless but somehow perfectly clear. {and friend!!} It waves a tiny pointy arm.

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Whoah what the heck. 

"...Hi! Can you explain where we are?" 

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{in forest!}

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"This is a very strange forest. Do you know anything about that?" 

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It gives a tiny pointy shrug.

{only know this kind. don't know other forests.}

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"That's fair. --Lucy does it--" 

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"No, it smells like...trees." 

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"Good." To the little creature: "What is there to eat besides these apples?" 

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{more apples! different fruit! animals! fish! monsters! careful though. monsters are dangerous.}

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"Monsters?" 

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{monsters!} it confirms. {there are monsters. monsters try to hurt you.}

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"What makes something a monster?" 

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