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and_snow_fell in dauphinmare

Day Twenty-three: The Grass was Greener

Who: Bad Horse, Faith
Where: outside, nearish the forest
When: Late morning
Rating: N

Status: Closed, completed
Summary: The horse likes his grass. He meets Faith and discovers she is from Riverfell as well; the pair chat a bit before BH realizes that he's being mocked a bit for having singing minions, and he wanders off.



It had been a weird sort of transition. He hadn't been completely asleep, but merely dozing outside the barracks when suddenly he was outside a larger, taller building.

He'd studied it as well as he could before deciding that yes, this was not Riverfell with a makeover ... he was on the other side.

The grass here was better, he noticed. Riverfell had sparse, sour grass, and not much of it. This place was full of lush grass - and lots of it.

He'd grazed his way happily through most of the night before finding the pond hidden in the woods - it wasn't as though he could drink from the ocean, after all.

More or less sated, he'd taken to exploring around a bit. Finding an apple tree in the orchard, he'd indulged in one or two - but not enough to make himself sick. He thought, really, if he could simply find some minions to groom him, he'd be all set.

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Faith was... a bit on edge. She wasn't entirely sure why she was here, again. Some sort of task, she assumed. But why had it called her over? She was wandering around out in the open - mostly figuring that she could take anyone that bothered to challenge her to anything - but people seemed to be living under the 'you don't bother me and I won't bother you and we'll just sit this out until the task ends' sort of mentality.

She didn't miss the peevish glares, though.

So she tried to avoid the less populated areas. And as such, she wound up stumbling into a rather large black horse. She raised an eyebrow, glancing over her shoulder as though to find it's owner, before turning her attention back to it. It was a few seconds before she realized that it might be a talking animal - hey, they had talking dogs over here, right? And she was pretty sure she'd seen the wackjob with the guns playing with a couple of rats, or mice, or whatever the day before.

"Hey," she offered flatly, raising her hand in a wave. She wasn't really expecting a response.
BH lifted his head away from the grass to regard the girl. He still had no minions, and that was still irritating. But then, he hadn't really tried to recruit any, either.

Maybe he'd look to amending that, later. "Hello," he replied to her, blinking his almost placid brown eyes. "Are you a native here, or have you been transplanted as well?"
Faith started slightly, and took a half step back, her hands raising protectively in front of her. Habit. It was how she'd always dealt with the unfamiliar.

Reminding herself that she had been expecting this, she lowered her hands slightly, and nodded her head slowly, her brow furrowed - though she didn't know what, exactly, she thought she was agreeing to. "The... transplanted one," she said, and then she gestured over her shoulder randomly. "I was... on the other side before."

She paused. 'As well'? Did that mean... "Guess you were too?"
"Indeed," he agreed. "I have been hoping to find my minions, but there aren't any here, either." He sighed, nostrils quivering with the motion. "I had not seen you on the other side," he commented conversationally before he tossed his head. "I am Bad Horse. And you are?"

He studied her curiously, wondering about her powers, or what she was doing over here, trying to find some correlation between their mutual presence here.

Were they supposed to be relocating? Was it an accident? Had everything been shaken like a snow globe, and they'd simply settled on the wrong side?
"Bad... Horse," Faith echoed, smirking slightly. "Well, I suppose if the whinny fits, right?" she tried with a shrug, scratching at the side of her head briefly. It helped if she imagined that there was a rider sitting on top of the horse that she was talking to, instead of the actual animal. Made her feel like she was less... crazy. "I'm Faith. Lehane," she said. She would have offered a hand if she thought that he could shake it. As it was, she kind of shuffled her feet awkwardly and cleared her throat. "I... haven't seen you either, to be honest. You been around long?"

She reasoned not. She'd seen just about everyone there was to see when they had their little question and answer thing. Though she supposed that was nearing on a week ago now, and at the rate people were coming in... well.
"Not very. I was there for a couple of days. No more than that, really. And today I was ..." he lifted his head and swished his tail. "Here."

He dropped his head to snuffle at the grass again before he fixed his gaze on her. "And you?" He inquired. "Have you been there long?"

It was an assumption, he supposed, that she'd been there at all, but she spoke as if they'd started on the same side.
Faith nodded. "Sounds about right," she said, referring to his statement about just sort of waking up here. Or at least, that's how she was reading into it.

"Almost two weeks," Faith said to his question, before she shrugged slightly. "I don't know. Feels like a lot longer sometimes," she paused. "Though I guess I'm not all that surprised you haven't seen me. I don't get out much," she shrugged her shoulders.

Beyond doing what she was asked for various tasks, and working out on occasion in the gym, Faith didn't do much. There weren't a great deal of people that she felt the need to associate with in Riverfell. She rolled her shoulders slightly. Who really needed them anyway? She was better off without.
"It's nicer over here," he mused as he nuzzled the grass before tearing off a mouthful. His tail swished again before he turned his eyes back to her. "I'm not certain what we're meant to do though," he continued. "And me without my minions."

That, really, annoyed him most of all. Oh, he could function just fine without them, clearly - at least for a while. Eventually, he was going to need someone to tend to his hooves, and groom him, and keep the earmites out, and shave his whiskers when they got too long.

But for now, he was all right.
"That's for sure," Faith agreed, glancing around, if only to focus on something that wasn't the horse standing in front of her. That she was having a conversation with. Practically about the weather. Man, this was weird.

She did pause when he mentioned that he didn't know what they were supposed to be doing here, and nodded her head slightly. "Normally we get some sort of instructions..." she said with a vague shrug. "Usually along the lines of 'cause as much chaos as possible' but I don't know. There's usually more of us and usually a bit of a plan..." she frowned. "The couple I've seen so far aren't really the chaotic ones among us. I mean, not to speak for you or anything. I'm sure you're plenty chaotic in your own right. I'm meaning everyone else."

For all she knew, this guy could fire laser beams out of his eyes, or something. She didn't want to piss him off by saying he wasn't chaotic enough.
"It may depend on how they define Chaos," he pointed out. "Evil is not always chaotic, and good is not always orderly," he lectured, though he didn't mean for it to come out that way.

He looked thoughtful - as much as a horse could express that, at any rate - and he nodded. "I do not believe I am overly chaotic. Evil, yes, because I do lead the Evil League of Evil, but I am not chaotic. It takes order, after all, to lead my minions and organize the destruction of the planet."

And while the destruction was chaotic ... the planning took focus.
She shrugged, not a big fan of being lectured by a horse, and got a bit haughty. "I meant, I haven't seen Tory, or Sylar, or any of the usuals that Damion sends on these things," she defended her statement. "I'd define them as pretty damn chaotic myself. I haven't seen that preacher dude, or the blue haired chick either. That's all. The usual chaotic typecast aren't here, so I've no idea what Damion's MO is." She paused. "If he's even responsible for this. Maybe he didn't call this one?"

She shrugged. She didn't care. "You bent on world domination then?" she asked Bad Horse when he mentioned world destruction. Though she supposed belatedly that those were two separate concepts.
"Mostly interested in ridding my world of super hero sorts," he admitted. "It's a tougher job than you'd think. First you've got to lure them out, and then you've got to take care of them, and they're usually fairly crafty - though not always, of course. Sometimes they're simply ..." he frowned. "Well, the phrase 'bumbling idiot' springs to mind."

He hadn't missed her retort to his explanation, and he nodded to that. So did that mean, then, they were the more orderly side of Chaos? He did wish they had a set of instructions. In the mean time, he was content enough to simply exist over here.
"Super hero sorts," Faith echoed, and she wondered - in a vague sort of way - if he'd count her in that. "Like the Slayer? Or you from one of those worlds that don't have her?"

She shifted her weight, deciding that maybe it wasn't such a smart idea to be revealing that she was one to a... well, to a horse who claimed that he ran the Evil League of Evil... but whatever. It wasn't like she'd really been the Slayer for a while, anyway.

"I don't really like them superhero types either," she said with a shrug. "Cocky and full of themselves, really. Like they're so much better than the rest of us. And people just eat it up, you know?"
"We do not have a slayer, that I am aware of," he said before he paused. "And I am aware of everything." He didn't think it was bragging; he simply thought it to be the truth.

Perhaps someone had a code name of Slayer, though with a name like that, the odds were high he'd be on the ELE's side. Or she, he supposed. Many of his minions were female. They were often more ruthless than the males.

Lost in his ponderings, he nearly missed the rest of what she'd said. "Oh yes," he agreed once he'd caught up. "Many of ours are like that. Braggarts who simply suffer from dumb luck and call it heroism."
Faith scoffed once. "Everything," she repeated, skeptically, crossing her arms with a smirk. "Really. You know... everything." She shook her head a bit. "Sorry if I find that a bit hard to believe."

Though maybe he did in his world. Maybe it was one of those... dictatorial governments, or something, and he was the leader. Though a world where evil ruled? Maybe it was like DM and RF, and they were small worlds at war with each other. But if he was ridding his world of super heroes...

She shrugged. She didn't really care, and she didn't want to stress over it.
"Well, what I do not know personally, my minions know and will report to me upon my command." He paused, shifting his weight to cock a hind hoof as he relaxed slightly. "So it's like I know everything."

He reasoned the logic behind that was sound enough that he wouldn't have to fuss much about it. It was true, after all. He had eyes and ears all over the city. They observed things, reported things ... watched the blogs of known or suspected super hero aliases - as well as potential recruits.

Yes, between all of the people in his network ... he knew everything.
Faith paused, thought about that, and then shrugged. "Fair enough," she allowed. She supposed it was true that if you counted the network of people someone knew, they had a lot more knowledge. Buffy had her little friends, after all... Faith just tended not to count that. She didn't really have anyone to rely on.

She brushed a bit of hair out of her face, her lips contorting briefly before she tried, "Do, uh..." she paused, not sure of how to word this question. "Are there... many... talking animals, in the Evil League of Evil?"

Maybe he came from a world that consisted of just talking animals. What a mind trip.
"No," he said, the sound followed by a faint whinny that was something like a laugh. "I am the only one like myself there. Everyone else is ... human, to some degree." He supposed there might have been one or two with some base alien DNA, but for the most part, they seemed human. "My minions are human," he said before he sighed. "They communicate through song."

He rather missed the singing.

Shifting his weight again, he swiveled his ears forward briefly, listening, before flicking them back into a more relaxed position.
"So what's your story, then?" Faith asked curiously, stretching a bit because the muscles in her shoulders were getting a bit tired. "You one of those 'fell into a vat of green shit' type, or the 'too close to an atomic blast'?" she chuckled once, though she was curious as to how there existed a... talking horse. Who was actually a horse. Not even a cartoon caricature. Weird.

And then something processed.

"... Singing," she echoed, blinking once. "Really. They just... make up random songs... about... what they're... doing."
He whinnied again, this time a little more amused than before. "No, no. Nothing like that. I was born this way," he assured her. "Nothing happened to make me this way."

His head tilted curiously at her next guess before he shook his head, mane flopping against his neck. "Not random songs. They sing the letters I compose, and they sing my wake-up calls, and my lullabyes. They sing messages to me, and from me. They do not make up random songs."

He paused. "Well, they might. I don't pay much attention to what they do in their own time."
Faith raised an eyebrow, paused and then said, "Look, no offence? But the horses from my world don't exactly spring forth talking, right? Your parents talk too or are you just some sort of..." she waved her hand, looking for the word. "Genetic experiment? Because come on - you must be!"

Though maybe not. Maybe... ugh. She was getting sick of this adjusting for the other worlds crap. Why couldn't anything just be normal?

Though on the heels of that thought, she supposed that normal was asking a bit much from a bubble world.

"No, I mean like... random as in... random tune," she said. "Like, do they just... on the spot make up some sort of tune to your... letter, or... wake up call or..." she made a face. "Lullaby or whatever? Or do they sit and plan it out."

She frowned. "And why song, anyway? Singing minstrels isn't exactly... evil." She frowned more. "Is it?"
He snorted and sighed. "I am not an experiment. As far as whether or not my parents can talk, I'm quite sure I don't know. I was raised by a pair of arch villains. They taught me everything I needed to know, including how to properly hire singing minions."

Considering her question, he nodded after a moment. "I suppose, though they mostly seem to have a western beat to them. As far as why song ...why not song? It isn't as though they're reciting poems."
Faith was pretty sure he was an experiment. Maybe he just didn't know it? The... arch villains, or whatever, that he'd been raised by had bought him from a couple of scientists or something, and they'd raised him to... talk, or... ugh, she was confusing herself.

"There's a... process..." she trailed off, and at this point there was a big strain not to laugh. "To... properly hire... do... do most super villains in your world have singing minions?" she asked, the question attempting to be innocent, though her lips were working to hide a smile. "Do they dress up in, horse costumes so that everyone knows who your minions are versus..." she shrugged, thinking of the first evil sounding ridiuclous name that came to mind, "Mr. Horrible's?"
"Of course not," he said, almost indignantly. "I am the leader of the ELE, of course I should have minions that sing. Not everyone is allowed to have them, of course. Not everyone can afford them for starters, and ..." he trailed off.

"Doctor Horrible, you mean? Was he on the other side with us? He did apply a couple of times, but he wasn't much of a villain, really. Couldn't even execute a proper assassination. And no, my minions are dressed as cowmen, of the wild west period."
Faith was finding it more and more difficult not to laugh. She forced her expression to remain serious, and nodded her head a few times in agreement. "Right, of course, what was I thinking..."

Doctor Horrible. Oh god, she'd been kidding! And now she was resisting an absolute fit of giggles. And cowboys! Singing freaking cowboys. She raised a hand to her lips, biting down on the back of it to keep her giggles from exploding out of her. She didn't want to be rude - really! It just seemed so funny to her.

"I wouldn't know," she said finally when she managed to regain her composure. "I've never met a Doctor Horrible. Maybe he's on this side?" she grinned. "We could go looking? Maybe you'll find some folks here that wouldn't mind... s-s-singing your letters?"
His ears pinned slightly before he sighed. She was mocking him, wasn't she? "Perhaps I shall investigate that, later," he said arrogantly before he lashed his tail a couple of times. "Right now, I'm feeling a bit thirsty, so I think I'll go have another drink."

And perhaps when he came back, she would have vacated, and he could try to find some proper minions on his own. Honestly. Some people.
Faith did make a solid effort to restrain her chuckles - she couldn't help it! It was funny to her! - and moved to follow if Bad Horse started to move away, being careful to steer clear of his hooves so he couldn't lash out at her.

"Oh come on!" she called out. "I'm sorry, that was rude. You gotta understand where I'm coming from though, right? I mean - in my world? It's all demons and vamps and there's not a whole lot of singing going on, right?"

She did slow her steps though if he chose to ignore her. What did she care? She'd find someone else to talk to.
"I do understand," he said. "I simply do not appreciate being mocked, or having my methods of communication questioned. I much prefer to let my minions sing for me, rather than speaking to people myself. It destroys a bit of the mystique, you see."

He sighed. "But I do believe I need to go have that drink, now. It was good to meet you..." well, more or less. "And perhaps we will encounter one another later."
Faith was still smiling slightly, but nodded her head, "Fair enough," she allowed. "For the record though, wasn't meaning to mock. I really meant that there might be some folks over here that you might recognize and be able to fight, or take on as minions or whatever. I just think it's funny. But it's cool - I get how that could make you upset or whatever, and I can let you have your..." she waved her hand, dropping back as she started to take some slow steps backward. "Drink, or whatever."

She shrugged her shoulders, and nodded once more to him before she started to move away. She really did hope that she hadn't offended him, because she really didn't mean to. But honestly, singing cowboys? For the leader of the Evil League of Evil, Bad Horse? How wasn't that funny?
dragon goblet

May 2009

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