Description: A collection of terrible ideas, born under two causes. One, to find teammates for the King of Fighters tournament. Two, to deliver a hunk of rock someone among them is convinced is mail delivered to the wrong address. Is anyone going to go home happy? (...Or even at all?!)
With the King of Fighters looming ever nearer, the hunt for any willing and capable fighter - any willing, any capable fighter at all - across Canada is headed up by the ambitious young musician Alexis Lovell of Killasaurus Orphanage, with assistance from one Howard Rust, Jr. on a quest to eventually deliver what only he seems to interpret as improperly sent mail. The search would yet take them far and wide...!
Emphasis on 'far' and 'wide,' specifically.
For whatever reason there may be, Howard ends up among a crowd at something that, from the onset, appears as one of those auction house deals as a colorful, sharp, intriguing fellow that seems to go against the grain performs various techniques that nonetheless harbor a sort of familiarity that might tap into one's inner nostalgia, with a few very interesting ideas on display.
"We need $100,000 in a month's time to get this fighter trained up!" Says someone that probably would be the auctioneer. They're standing behind a podium, and everything. They hardly look any older than, say, nineteen. They seem somewhat unsure about their words, but are blurting them out anyway.
"Hm, not too bad," comments the pipe-wielding ninja from the crowd, rubbing away at his smooth chin.
"I grew up doing nothing but watching fighters on TV, so I feel I could train this guy without a problem for this amount of money," says the auctioneer(?).
"Do we get to choose what leagues they fight in?" Asks an interested customer.
"Errr... if I can get it up to $140,000, sure!" Says the auctioneer, fumbling with his notes behind the podium. "Once we hit $180,000, we could do both 1BX and FSP..."
"But I like watching the EEU league," sighs another member of the audience.
"Th-that's... maybe, for $210,000?" The auctioneer breaks out to a cold sweat. "If we can get up to $300,000, I could field two of them..."
"Wouldn't it be better to have at least four to start?" Inquires someone else. "I mean, could even one trained by you do--"
"For $500,000, I'll include a whole movie and novel franchise about them!" The auctioneer starts to stammer. "If we can just stretch it out... I'm sure it can all be done in a year. We're already at $15,389 after three weeks, with one week to go..."
Rust, Jr. opens his wallet, counts the money, and frowns. "Ah, too bad. I only have sixty..."
Alexis' first idea? Tryouts! Auditioning new members is a time-honoured tradition amongst rock bands. Flyers, forum posts and a few really cheap billboard placements go out, with Kim 'Penetrable' Steele placed in charge of marketing the idea to the maple-loving masses...
"Why is that guy wearing a Killasaurus suit?" Alexis murmurs to Kim as the pair, along with drummer Matt 'Math You Bad' Barker and guitarist Benny 'Benny Lava' Lavoie, sit at a judges' table in front of a high school auditorium stage while a parade of hopefuls make their way to the seats. Aside from the guy in the Killasaurus costume (which looks a bit like a homemade tyrannosaurus suit, except with foam rocket launchers attached to its shoulders), the dress code amongst the applicants rangers from direct imitation (including several young women and at least one man in low-cut blouse and miniskirt combos) to the full gamut of modern punk and metal-wear, with tattoos and body piercings apparently the norm rather than the exception.
"I think he's just showing his enthusiasm. It's kind of cute, eh?" Kim replies, leaning forward against the table and brushing a hand through her orange hair.
"Whatever," Alexis sighs, rolling her eyes as she stands up and hops onto the stage. Stepping over to where a microphone has been set up, she addresses the crowd with a lack of enthusiasm typical to a teenage punk:
"Alright. We've got a lot of you to go through, so, I'm just gonna start pointing people out and you can come up for your audition, eh? So, starting with the guy in the Killasaurus costume, since, you're, like, obviously happy to be here or whatever."
A mild round of encouraging applause accompanies the guy in the Killasaurus costume as he climbs awkwardly up onto the stage.
"Alright, so, tell me your name and a bit about your style and then we'll start," Alexis says, tossing the microphone over to the Killasaurus fan. She starts smoothing out her stage outfit and stretching as the guy in the dino costume fumbles the microphone, then finally brings it up to speak.
"Okay, so, my name is Jeff. And, umm, I like to think of myself as having kind of that classic nineties Seattle style, eh? Except, like, more Sean Nelson than Eddie Vedder," Jeff the Killasaurus says.
"Alright, so, you're like, a wrestler, then?" Alexis queries, raising one eyebrow as she tugs her gloves into place and flexes her fingers.
"Oh, I was more referring to vocal styAAUUGGHH!" Jeff the Killasaurus cries out as he's suddenly being lifted off the ground by Alexis into a suplex, the impact as he's dropped onto his back accompanied by a sound like two electric guitars smashing into each other.
Alexis picks herself up, smooths down her skirt, and looks out to the audience of auditioners. "Next?"
One nervous voice speaks up. "So, if we survive, we get to be in the band, right?"
Alexis shoots an aggravated look at Kim before slapping a gloved palm against her face.
Rust Jr.'s well-meaning efforts take him further along towards an up-and-coming gym that seems as good a place to go inside and look in spite of doubtless prior attempts that have since escaped being immortalized as written word (or a new example under the dictionary's listing for "failure.")
There's someone who sure looks the part already! A very tall blonde-haired woman decked out in clothing evocative of Canada's national identity. Well, largely the flag, that counts. She shows remarkable skill in her grapples, arm-barring a mannequin with all the ferocity of a bear (and then some)!
"Hmm, I'd think she'd like her, eh?" Howard says to himself with a smile, raising a hand as if to say hello when he is suddenly pulled aside by a far smaller man in a suit.
"You're interested in her?" He asks. "She's a fighter we're promoting. We've been looking to get her out there as soon as possible... I'm her representative, Calvin P. Conner."
"All right!" Rust Jr. cheers, clapping his hands together. "See, an acquaintance of mine is looking for teammates for--"
"Oh, team fighting leagues aren't available yet," the suited man says, "really sorry about that."
"Oh," the ninja idiot says, "I don't know if it's everyone at once, where we're going--"
"She can only fight at this venue," the suited man continues, "but more will be available for her in some months!"
"Hm, maybe if we ask nicely we could get all the fights in here, eh?" So expresses unchecked optimism of the second Howard. "But she can fight right now?"
"She can," the man continues with a nod as he starts to pull out the contract, "but I'm sorry, she's not allowed to have dialogue, entrance music, or wear any other set of clothes in the ring beyond what she has on."
Jr. scratches the side of his head. "That doesn't seem too bad with," he murmurs, "suppose one doesn't really need all that... how much are we looking at for a salary?"
Contracts pass hands, and Jr.'s eyes widen. "Well! That's a confident fee, like you'd pay the likes of Ken Masters--"
"For a bit more, all of what I talked about will be ready in six months."
A silence follows, as Rust looks up from the contract and starts to go through a laborious effort to count three fingers on one hand, then six between two of them.
"But we're sure she'll pull in two million spectators as-is!" The representative's expectations seem declared boldly enough to be fit to commit to a plaque.
Probably on a headstone, somewhere.
While driving in their van at some point between venues, a discussion breaks out amongst the band members as they brainstorm who they could attempt to recruit to their Canadian team.
"Hey, what about Rip, eh?" Kim posits as she looks down her list of potentials.
"Isn't he Australian, eh?" Benny points out.
"Uhh, it's not totally clear from his wiki page. He seems pretty Canadian, though, eh?" Kim replies, optimistically.
"Oh, yeah. The army guy who fights with hand grenades and hits people with shovels. Sounds totally Canadian to me, eh?" Alexis mutters, her voice shot through with iron.
"Uhh, that's sarcasm, right? Okay, umm, how about this girl? It says her name is Becky..." Kim muses as she points at a picture on her laptop's screen.
Alexis glances over, then scowls. "Ugh, no way. She's totally stealing my look."
"It says she has a band called The Killer Bambis. It sounds like you two have a lot in common, eh?" Kim says as she peruses the information.
"It sounds like she's ripping me off! I don't need a copycat, eh? Next."
"How about this guy with the sideburns?" Kim asks as she shows another picture to Alexis.
"I already said, no soldiers," Alexis grumbles as the van rolls onward...
The journey finds itself a brief stop at that ubiquitous coffee and doughnut shop. Rust Jr. runs a finger across the thin air between said finger and glass casings where doughnuts await selection and eventual death. There are a lot of people sitting around looking disinterested in the food, all wearing green military helmets where one cannot see their eyes very clearly. They all look a lot alike.
A very large muscular man with no shirt and a bandolier made of disposable coffee cups mans the register, to the extent that "manning" seems something of an understatement. He seems terse, as though in anticipation of... something.
"You wouldn't believe how long a day we've had, eh?" Rust Jr. makes small talk as he eventually settles on a bunch of bananas that happen to be available for purchase that he puts near the buff cashier. "Been going out for a rip--"
"Yeah?" Sneers the man. "Who sent you?" The words are of an American accent, and sounds none too pleasant.
"Ahh, just an acquaintance, felt I'd go lend a hand at," Rust Jr. says as he starts to open up his wallet, "she's... uh. She's famous." He hums aloud. "What's her name? I heard it all day and now it's just right out of my ears, been too busy thinking hard 'bout where to look..."
"For what, exactly?" The cashier frowns, having yet to key in the bananas being bought.
"Oh! She wants to bring a team together. Big fighting tournament going down," he says, seemingly oblivious to the outright hostility, "what was her name when...? Had an 'l.' Uhhh. Maybe more 'ri?' Oh. Also, I'd like a coffee, double-double, thanks."
The cashier grumpily seems to jab his finger against the register without rhyme or reason, looking up with his eyes as though he couldn't see under his own sneer.
"?" Rust cringes. "Maybe she was an... Eri? Eri... kas..."
All the heads start to turn towards Rust Jr. up front, as though there wasn't a reason to do so before given his curious choice of hairstyling, or what have you.
"Huh. Military," Jr. muses as he takes a look to all the eyes that go upon him, "Wonder if she'd be down with that. Those colors seem sort of rebel-like-- ah, I'm sure it'll be all right, you'd probably get along with this Eri--"
Suddenly, a man from the back wearing an eyepatch and a moustache that does not inspire warmth nor friendliness screams with an authority that seems counter to a mere fast food employee's uniform, "they found our secret Rebellion base! This is unacceptable! KILL HIM!!"
Guns are drawn. The cashier gets out a giant minigun which warms up with a whine.
"Oh... sorry," Rust Jr. says, backing away, "nope, just here for the food and the coffee."
Guns go off. His movements are swift and decisive, jumping the counter with banans in tow as he rushes to the coffee machine, helping himself as the moustached worker(?) laughs maniacally. The speed in which he extracts reasonably fresh coffee and gets the proper amount of sugar and cream is the stuff of legends.
"DOUBLE-DOUBLE!" A disembodied male voice booms out. Wait, what?
Soon, a large tank pulls into the drive-through just behind him as he dives out the door, bullets following from the sound of shattered glass.
"Alexis! That was her name! Right. Hey!" He calls above the carnage and angry yelling behind him, making oddly casual conversation as he gets back into his truck, yelling above it all as though this were the most important conversation they'd all have yet. "So, uh, you got an entire military force that gets really upset whenever people get your name wrong! What's that all about?"
He says all this with way, way too much cheer given the life-threatening situation this has all quickly become, as another notch on the missed opportunities tally.
"Jesus. Did we take a wrong turn and cross the border or something? I thought we were in New Brunswick," Alexis gripes as she hits the gas, peeling out of the parking lot on the tail of Rust's truck.
"Oh, you know how those Newfies are," Kim says with a dismissive gesture.
"Kim, Newfies aren't from New Brunswick." Alexis' voice is strained as she initiates evasive maneuvers, which she seems rather oddly familiar with. "They're from Nova Scotia!"
"Just shut up and drive!" Benny screams from one of the back seats.
After a number of fruitless attempts at expanding the roster of the self-designated 'Team Canada,' the band decides to stop at a Starbucks, just for the sake of challengin the status quo. Seated around a table, they discuss the state of their mission.
"What I don't get is why there are like, no famous Canadian fighters. I mean, there's never been a Canadian in the World Warrior tournament, eh?" Alexis complains as she slumps against the table, her head propped up lazily with one hand against her cheek.
"What about Wolf whatshisname, from that other tournament?" Kim asks before slurping whipped cream off the top of her beverage.
"Isn't he an American who pretends to be a Canadian? Like, his real name is Jim or something," Matt interjects, leaning back in his chair.
"I don't even recognize that name, and I doubt anyone else would," Alexis says with a sigh.
"Well, Canada does have a lot of wrestlers," Kim points out.
"Yeah, we already tried doing tryouts for that. That was really, really awkward," Alexis states with a shudder. "It might've helped if Kim hadn't put 'Do -You- Want to Wrestle with Killasaurus Lex?' on the advertisements, eh?"
"How come? We got a good turnout, didn't we?" Kim questions as she makes faces at the nearest reflective surface, observing her foam moustache. "Then again, I guess most of them weren't really that good at wrestling..."
"Bad phrasing," Alexis mutters quickly. "So... who do we have left to try and recruit?"
"Are we looking for anyone with a red 'X' drawn over their face?" Asks Rust Jr., just a ways away from the table where Alexis' band sits, setting down another round of everyone's ordered coffee as he takes out the list. "It's a long list, lots to choose from at, and..."
He squints as he goes down the list. "Huh, they look a lot like the people we already went looking. Maybe I better mark them as a no..."
While he jumps over the mental hurdles as to how further mark a name and face as a 'no' atop the almost universally accepted red 'X,' the second Howard somehow can spare the brain bandwidth to keep speaking.
"Ahh, I'm sorry we didn't find anyone," and also nearly get everyone shot down by a terrorist organization, but one thing at a time, as he comes to a stop a ways behind Benny for no clear-cut reason.
"I still better get that mail where it ought, up in the Rockies." There it is again, that bizarre stone tablet thing, resting atop whatever other articles of mail he decided to bring with him. Has he even looked through them beyond the desire to make a delivery that could be straight-up nonsense?
"If you're all up for a bit of a hike," there might be a dread feeling that the level of commitment may be far greater than first anticipated given his track record, "maybe we'll think of someone else you can get for your team, eh?"
The members of Killasaurus Orphanage exchange glances before responding.
"Yeah, sure," Alexis says with a shrug, blowing steam from the surface of her fresh coffee. "Couldn't be any worse than anything else we've tried so far, eh?"
"I guess you could say we've had a bit of a... Rocky Road, eh?" Kim says, waggling her eyebrows suggestively as she checks the look on each face for a reaction to her sentence. She can't see the faces of the other band members, of course, given that they have, as one, covered their faces with their palms. For some reason, this brings a smile to her face.
"This will not involve standing on any more moose, will it?" Benny questions apprehensively.
"I don't believe that this trip is financially viable," Matt mentions.
"That's what you say about everything I want to do," Alexis whines.
"Well, don't blame me if we end up stuck busking for gas money, eh?" Matt says, shrugging his shoulders before he adds, "...again."
There is a hike, and then there is an epic journey across the northern reaches of the Rocky Mountains. It's a long, grueling, tiring trek - all upon what appears to be a flimsy and bizarre premise that this crazy ninja man continues to be insistent upon in the face of a terrible chill that is very, very, very well below the weather forecasts for the region.
In so far as dressing appropriately goes, Rust Jr. now sports a lovely pair of mittens, earmuffs, and fuzzy slippers, largely leaving his legs bare. His long hair has been re-braided to keep it all together and not flap about in the powerful winds as he laboriously cradles the tablet under his arm, stepping forward against snow that no one really should be stepping out in (let alone in fuzzy slippers).
Wherever they're going, within the mountain range, it's probably not a place humans were supposed to go casually visit, let alone in the middle of some insane fetch quest of dubious legitimacy!
There are two shadowed-out shapes just ahead, almost blurred from view thanks to the freak snowstorm. One appears stocky in build. The other, lithe and limber but with prickly shapes around their forearms and running further down their back, both of which appear to be moving quickly... at one another? They aren't coming closer to Rust Jr., at least, which is a... cold comfort?
"How's everyone?" He asks, turning his head away from the most interesting spectacle. "We could set up camp if it's too much in." He puts forth a winning smile that might just be his teeth chattering.
...This isn't 'too much'?
"I... am... freezing... to... death," Benny moans and hisses through his own chattering teeth as he comes to a stop on his snow shoes, before pulling his double-wrapped scarf back up over his lower face. Dressed in a thick overcoat and wearing multiple layers that include snowpants, gloves over mittens, and three hats, Benny is the most thoroughly protected from the cold of the band members.
"I'm fine to keep going!" Kim chirps, her streaked neon green and pink hair blowing in the breeze behind her tuque, brushing snow out of her face with one of her woolen mittens.
"Not to be a drama queen like Benny, but I'm definitely freezing my ass off," Lexi states, arms wrapped around herself. She's at least had the sense to put on some warm leggings and an undershirt under as well as a coat over her usual outfit, but that still leaves her in a skirt in the Canadian Rockies.
"Mmmm mmmm mmm mmmm," Matt contributes from behind his own scarf, not deigning to lower it as Benny did before him. He trails at the back of the group beside Steve the sound guy, both clad in coats, boots, tuques and scarves.
"What's that, Matty?" Kim calls over the snowstorm.
"Hrmm hrrmm hrmm hrmmm hrmm hrmmm hrmm," Steve replies, his voice also muffled by his scarf.
"Aww, thanks, Steve! I wanna know about the rabbit though," Kim replies, before raising a hand to shield her eyes as she peers ahead. "Was it over - oh, hey, who's that moving around up there? Is that who we're supposed to be taking that rock to?"
She gestures vaguely toward the shapes looming ahead in the snow as, one by one, the members of the band (and also Steve) stop up short.
One of the two figures grows larger, seemingly shorter by distance. Details start to slowly and steadily trickle in from the veil of a snowy white-out.
"This isn't the coldest I've been out at!" Jr. chirps in, and it's impossible to discern if he's forcing a smile or if he's simply reminiscing through his life maybe flashing through his eyes. "You're all doing fine. Doing fine! Yep. You got to know when to set up camp--"
As he turns to face back the way they're going from Kim's idea, a body - green? Bodies don't come in green, do they? Well, there's something that looks like a body that flies overhead the lot of them as Kim takes to the idea that this is jackpot - that these figures, up ahead, might be who the "mail" belongs to.
The snow, though perilous in height, fails to obscure the inhuman features. It has fins! It's like some kind of giant human-sized fish thing! It's all scaly and poorly-suited to the environment! It writhes, squirms, and otherwise makes all sorts of unsettling twitches.
There is an odd sense of nobility to it. For being some kind of fish-monster thing that looks like it belongs in a black lagoon (...black-and-blue, maybe), the face seems kind of handsome by a fair number of dominant cultural standards of beauty, but, that's getting way off the point.
Something larger, its form so wide as to be almost indistinguishable from the blanket of white and gray that clouds the vision of human eyes not meant to function nor witness such raw elemental fury, draws ever nearer.
The ringleader of the expedition surveys the injured fish creature as he hoists up the stone tablet thing, the other papers clenched tight under one of his arms.
"You might have the right of it, Kim!" The middle-aged moron mentions. "Sorry... could you watch the man down there?" HE CALLS THAT THING A MAN?! "I'll be right with!"
Heedless of the unknown and the terrifying, Rust Jr. ambles across snow that nips. No, chews. Weathering the frigid and the deadly, what manner of training has allowed him to sustain this so far sees him come closer to the... thing, whatever it is. It's hard to see, but there's another something there.
"Sorry, don't mean to come in between!" Jr. addresses, basically shouting above the blizzard. "Would this be your mail?"
Something - a huge hand? - takes the slab.
"Had to guess on the address! Saw the mark up top, thought it meant here! That's the symbol for this part of the Rockies," Jr. continues to explain himself, "seemed important, so we thought we'd deliver this, eh?"
The cold subsides briefly to reveal more identifiable features of something that exists. Beady red eyes. A ginormous mouth, based on the slits of darkness underneath them, and the jagged breaks in vision that might match with the idea of 'teeth.'
The other fleshy hand scrapes what might be assumed to be its scalp, as it - whatever it is - appears to have the gift of literacy.
<< The humans are weak. Our time has come! Gather all the warriors! Have them make ready to invade! Soon our armies will sweep across the world! >>
The frosty figure does not say a word that could be construed as anything legible within the spoken languages understood by the lot of them. Rust Jr. smiles with the satisfaction of doing a good neighborly deed, as if without a care that he may or may not have just suffered frostbite or any other sorts of nasty maladies just coming up here.
There is a single bellow exhaled. Though it does not conform to the typical vocal sounds matched to their alphabets, there is a singular, raw emotion that bleeds through the cold, the uncertainty, and the terror.
It is raw, unadultered confusion at its most primal.
"Don't worry about it!" Jr. says, speaking to this strange creature as one might another ordinary human being, or anything that might understand human langauge at all. "I'm happy you got it!"
Suddenly, Rust Jr. is lifted up off the ground by that huge bit of visible flesh that we can all agree is a hand, and he is yanked a further ways out of sight with a surprised yelp. Snow banks explode. Faint traces of his dark hair can be seen moving in tandem with the rest of him.
Is he being mauled?! The bunch of bananas he got at the less-than-pleasant fast food stop flies free, towards Lexi's feet, as sheer unadultered brutality unfolds before the lot of them.
Now it is up to KILLASAURUS ORPHANAGE to save the day! (Evening?)
"AAaHHHhh!" the Killasaurus crew cry in unison as the fishy figure flops onto the snow near their feet. It's not the first time that the band has encountered something this altogether unusual - something human, yet not - in fact, one of Alexis' first encounters in the professional fighting scene was with a ninja that turned out to not be wearing a werewolf costume. Alexis is even on a first name basis with Zabel Zarock (at least, she knows his first name, anyway). A fishperson, though? In the Rockies?
"Is it breathing?" Kim asks as the merman starts to go a bit more still. "Should somebody do CPR?"
"It's a... fish... thing," Alexis shouts over the storm whipping around them. "Who says it even breathes air? If you wanna give it mouth to mouth, go ahead!"
"Maybe we should melt some snow so it can breathe the water," Kim yells back to Alexis.
The conversation is quickly derailed by the bananas landing in the snow at Alexis' feet, accompanied by the howling from the path ahead.
"Shit. Is that a yeti? Hey! Let go of him!" Alexis forces her boots to press forward into the storm winds, her gloved hands clawing at the rocks to pull herself onward. Turning her head back to her bandmates, she yells, "You deal with the Deep One! I gotta save Rust!"
"Wait!" Kim yells back, stepping forward to scoop up the bananas and thrust them toward Alexis. "Don't forget the bananas!"
"Why would I - ugh, whatever," Alexis answers her friend. As she takes the bananas and turns away, the fish-person looms up behind the girls with a gurgling sound, turning toward the trio of males in the rear of the group. Benny, Matt and Steve take on a shared look of panic.
"Mmm! Mmm mmm mmmm! Mmmf, mmm mmm mmm mmm! (Poop! A Deep One! Quick, give him your gold!)" Matt insists through his scarf.
"Mmmm mmm mmm! (Give him Kim!)" Benny begs through his own scarf.
Scowling, Steve decks Benny in the schnoz before advancing toward the finned figure, raising his hands slowly.
Meanwhile, Alexis plunges further into the white ahead, the sounds of her friends drowned out by the shrieking wind. She can see glimpses of giant humanoid hands through the whirling flakes falling ahead, and though they fill rapidly in the snowfall, she can make out enormous footprints leading up the mountainside to her quarry. Invigorated by the adrenaline rush, she doubles her pace, banana bunch tucked against her side as she plows onward.
"HEY!" she yells as she draws nearer to the blur of fur and bad hair, the sound echoing even in the blizzard. As the noise returns to her own ears, a thought starts to prickle in the back of her head - the noise level in the storm is stupendous. It's louder than most concerts (certainly louder than the audience at a Killasaurus Orphanage concert) - a literal storm of potential energy that she just might be able to tap into. She sucks in a deep breath as she focuses on the deafening noise around her. And then she cries out with a fury that overwhelms the blizzard to echo up and down the mountainside:
"HEY BIGFOOT! GET YOUR HAIRY ASS BACK HERE!"
The snow along the path ahead is blasted away by the waves of sonic energy, for a moment creating a clear line of sight between Lexi and her banana bunch and the creature and his unfortunate captive.
Alexis stops in her tracks (coincidentally also her quarry's tracks) at the sight as her own voice echoes in the air.
"Oh... shit," Alexis pants between breaths.
Then, a rumble starts to carry down from further up the slope...
The fish-man thing seems less than steady when Steve finds it in him to try and aggress upon the unknown, the exotic, the... fishy. Intelligence, as such could be gleaned from the eyes, seems to be at work in terms of a fight-or-flight response, though their gaze is not entirely focused. Is it more concerned about something further off...?
For whatever time it takes for eyes to fall upon things of interest, ears all around have already beaten them to the punch, as Alexis' shouting sees the flecks of white part from the sky, small hills erected from ascending slopes in a radius from her. It would take a good ten to fifteen seconds before the weather finds the gumption to continue doing what it does.
In that narrow span of time, Rust Jr. dangles from over the creature's shoulder, already suffering from a black eye and a visible trickle of blood going down his lip. That's enough on him.
The creature! They seem kind of squatty, actually. No neck. (The creature, not the idiot.) Exposed flesh around the chest, hands, feet. The white of their fur matches the snow so well as to be effectively invisible, two red eyes blinking a few times. A very wide build, with large and strong limbs and a big mouth that can be called big for realsies because Alexis has a clear view of it going agape.
"Don't worry, I'm over here!" Rust Jr. says, probably too punch-drunk to register anything other than a pleasant numbness for his precarious situation as he shakily raises a hand. "Whoof, quite a set of lungs there! Normally, I... I wouldn't, ah... go so loud, but--"
When the rumbling begins, the fish-man at long last turns tail and - a goodly ways away - dives through what was, to the human eye, an almost imperceptible ice cover over a frozen body of water. A violent spray of shards of ice, snow, and water that has somehow resolved to not turn to ice on contact with the air might be akin to a pistol at the starting line going off.
There is a second rumbling, far closer, from the belly (one would say throat, but there isn't much of one to see) of the beast, that coalesces to something that sounds like...
"(What did you just do?)" It's harsh on the ears and teeters on the edge of comprehensibility, but that is English.
The rumbling grows ever louder. (In the distance.)
Confusion creeps across Alexis' features as the creature addresses her, followed by an air of astonishment that widens the girl's blue eyes. "You speak English?" she half-shouts, her voice having gone rather sabulous after her last sonically-amplified imperative. It's entirely possible to her mind that she imagined the question, or that tinnitus has somehow distorted the creature's speech into seeming comprehensible. In any case, she seems to have gotten the thing's attention, and the fact that it seems to speak her language means that it's time to bluff like hell.
"That was just a warning shout!" she yells, tossing the banana bunch into the snow halfway between herself and the hairy beast and Rust in order to free her hands, flexing them at her sides. "Now put him down nicely or I'll shout you right off the mountain, eh!" She sucks in a deep breath, making a show of puffing up with air and managing to make herself look rather ridiculous in the process. Given that she isn't using her command of sonic energy to bolster her message now, though, it might not be fully understandable as the storm rushes back in to fill the void of noise and snow between the group. To make sure she's understood, Alexis points at Rust, then points at the ground - and also incidentally at the bananas lying in the snow.
"Wow, Steve!" Kim says as she bounds wide-eyed over to the visibly shaken fellow teen. "You scared off the fishy guy!"
TSteve's face lights up behind his scarf, and he straightens himself up.
"That's so mean," Kim finishes her thought, her lips curling downward in a frown before turning back around to see what's going on with Alexis, Rust, and the abominable snowman. Steve's expression is one of utter loss as he throws up his hands.
"Mmmf mmmf mmm mmm mmm? (What's that rumbling noise?)" Benny queries, turning to Matt.
"Mmmf fmmm mmf mm mmm mmm mmmf (I think it's an avalanche)," Matt replies, rubbing his chin through his scarf as he peers up the mountainside.
Benny's eyes widen. "Hmmm mmm fmmm mmm mmmmm! Mmmm mmm fmmm mmm fmmm fmmm mm mmm mmm?! Mmmm fmm mmmmm-! (Oh no!*)" he screams into his muffler, grabbing Matt and shaking him as he enters into a panic.
It looks like the snowstorm might be getting thicker as it blows down from higher up the mountain...
* Paraphrasing; the full dialogue does not bear translation for reasons of decency.
"(How's that a surprise?!)" The abominable snow-man creature seems as confused as anything by that statement, their face contorting into a comical exaggeration of broken expectations, though the retort is silenced by the idea that it's a mere warning shot.
"He has a point!" Jr. stammers, wheezing out the words. Whose side is he on?!
The stocky white-colored creature brings their freer hand up against their mouth, as though in contemplation. It's difficult to track the movement of their eyes, as their head dips down - a nod? No, looking down. Down lower. Lower... they sink so low as to almost be melting into a lower pile of fur, pointing out with one big hand towards the ground.
"(Are those bananas?)"
With the growing rumbling, and the panic starting to mount among the muffled, this is probably the last question anyone should have on their mind!
"(Did you bring those for me?)" The subject seems to switch from hostage negotiation to talk about food, to the backdrop of a greater, louder noise.
Jr. cranes his neck upwards, squinting. "Am I still being carried away? Looks like we got a big hill to go up."
"(Eh?)" Oh, look, they speak Canadian English! So now one knows at least this one's not from New Jersey in the States, or something, if there was ever a fear of that. Among whatever reasonable fears could actually exist within the reach of something so fantastical... and in longer reach, if not for much longer, a great big wave of falling snow.
"Ohhh... that." The dude-sel in distress finally has something click after a few false starts. "Yep. That's bad!"
And when HE says something is bad...
"(Uh oh!)" The chorus of panic is joined as the big ol' creature of the feature regards Alexis, the bananas on the floor, everyone else from afar, and then...
He just stuffs Rust Jr. right in his mouth. One gulp, no chewing. (The ensuing scream seems more like 'wee' rather than 'aaaah' He opens the mouth wide, anew, and points inside.
"(Geh in! Nowwwh!)" Still legible enough to be able to be understood as slurred speech? "(Ehhryhnn!)"
"(Bhhng hh hnhnhs, phhs, hh h hn)*"
* "Bring the bananas, please, if you can."
The expression of bewilderment on Alexis' face is made more ridiculous by the breath that she's holding in threat of self-defense. The sound of rushing snow and debris from up the slope has reached her ears by now, but the girl is (perhaps understandably) dubious about being swallowed whole by some supernatural monster. It was pretty weird last time it happened, after all. On the other hand, if Rust is actually being eaten, she should probably save him, right? Not that anyone would ever know...
She's still considering, her lips twisting into a frown, when a neon-haired figure flies past her toward the snow-creature's waiting mouth with a cry of 'Woooooooo!'"
"Wait, Kim! No!" Alexis yells, stepping forward with a hand outstretched, only to be knocked aside as a Steve-shaped blur barrels past her in pursuit of the girl with the pink and green hair. "Steve?"
"Mmmf mm mmm, mm fmm! (Move aside, Lexi!*)" The chattering bundle that bumbles past next is Benny, which only serves to confuse Alexis more.
"Mmm mmm wmmfmm bmm mmpmm dmm brmm mm mmmwmm! (I would rather be eaten than buried alive!)" is the muffled explanation before Benny lunges after Steve, soon to be followed by the band's drummer, who can only justify his decision with a shrug.
With all of her bandmates (and Steve) having opted into the Monster Mouth Evacuation Plan, Lexi hesitates for a moment, then bends down to scoop up the banana bunch before running after.
If KILLASAURUS ORPHANAGE is going to die in the belly of the bigfoot, then they're going to do so together, dammit.
"Wait for me, eh!"
* Paraphrasing; the full dialogue does not bear translation for reasons of decency.
Inside the belly of the beast is... an experience. An experience that, among other details that can only be conveyed through personal experience and the continued failure of the English language to have words in which to substitute this personal experience is... cramped.
It's also not that much warmer inside, which flies in the face of what being a warm-blooded creature probably ought to be. If someone were to play a game of Twister with friends out in frostbite-granting cold, this is a reasonably good replication of how it might go.
There's a pathetic wheezing from beneath the pile of human bodies piling in. "I've been stabbed by lots of things... yep. Pretty sure this is the... ack! Fourth ski pole." Rust Jr. keeps a running count of everything he's ever been stabbed by...?
If someone strikes a match to have a better look, there's a thin layer of frost already gathering on the bodies - or maybe it's just an illustrator of just how close each of them were already getting turned into popsicles to begin with.
Conversational topics about being potentially eaten alive aside, the rumbling encompasses the lot of them. There is no way anyone present will be standing... laying? Upright. There's not much room for being hurled about, but just about everyone is going to have their turn at getting squeezed, battered, and otherwise on a rough, deadly ride within the comforts(?) of a creature.
To their credit, they keep their mouth shut tight as a eardrum-shattering roar of dislocated snow obeying the judge, jury, and executioner that is gravity. There's no telling how far they go, or how far under they might soon be.
The rolling stops. There's no way of knowing which way's up or down where the whole mob lays, up until...
A crack of light from above, that widens into the equivalent of an open hatch, where the cold air invites them all to come out and play anew.
The open air feels warmer than inside. (Still, saying 'warmer' may be giving it too much credit. Less cold?)
There's one thought that comforts Alexis throughout the frigid journey within the belly of the beast: 'At least Benny went in before I did.' This is confirmed when a retching sound fills the interior of the yeti, followed by Kim's voice:
There may not be much getting hurled about, but there is an unfortunate amount of getting hurled upon for some of the less lucky passengers. Still, the jostling certainly makes things less than pleasant for the other members of Killasaurus Orphanage.
"Oww! Who just stabbed me in the butt?" Alexis growls.
The voice that responds is distinguishable as Matt's."Fmm mm, bmmm wmmf mmr hrmm. (Sorry, that was my hair.)"
"Yrff, mrr mrrhrrk frrm srmmrr. (Yes, my mohawk froze solid.)
When the prospect of freedom reveals itself above them, the social dynamic of the Killasaurus Crew evolves into a brief but frantic power struggle as the members of the band attempt to clamber over each other and out of the critter. Between the advantage of her initial positioning and a complete willingness to use her bandmates as stepping stones to achieve her goals, Alexis is the first to make it out, bananas still tucked against her side. Without looking too closely at where she now finds herself, she tosses the bananas onto the nearest available surface before turning around to reach in and help the other passengers to disembark.
"So, I... guess we're alive, eh?" she muses, her voice a bit nasal as she covers her nose with her sleeve to block out the smell rising from inside the bigfoot.
"Unfortunately, yes," Benny groans as he's pulled free, having lost or discarded his sullied scarf at some point during the ride.
Alexis rolls her eyes, turning away so as to not have to look at the mess that her bandmate has made. In doing so, she starts to try and take in their surroundings. After all... where /are/ they?
The stocky creature lies sprawled on their back, tongue lolling out, politely allowing the lot of them out (or possibly choking to death. Both?!).
Rust Jr. is the last one out - it's more that he ends up being flipped out of the maw of the abominable snowman. It's not out of a feat of agility - though one might say it is - it's that his legs have partially frozen in a layer of ice.
He laughs at this.
As colors start to return to the eyes of all involved, it is apparent there are structures. Poles. Markings. Signs of civilization, if there can be any such thing within these godforsaken pockets of bitter cold. Things that might bear some similarity to markings and structures seen among First Nation cultures in their school texts back in the day. Though, after the whole 'abominable snowman' thing, though, are there really any grounds to question anything?
"(Oooh. That was rough.)" So rumbles the majestically hairy creature of improbable stomach proportions as they groggily hoist themselves up out of a pile of snow.
There is the sound of movement, not far off, as similar shapes start to converge upon the bananas on the ground. Smaller, but no less dangerous-looking in just how thick and strong they look for their more diminutive size!
Just as they all draw near, greedy red eyes turn upwards towards the colors and shapes that violate the expected palette of their world.
"(Ahhhh!)" Wow, do their screams even have to have parenthesis? One would imagine screams would kind of go without saying, even with the inherent and expected differences in vocal chord structure between the humans present and these fine, majestic, deadly creatures, but, now this is digressing.
"(What're they doing here?! Are we under attack?)" One of them gossips with the others.
"(Look at that guy's head! It's got a giant tooth on it! Toothhead! The legends are reeeeaaaaal!)" Matt is now the missing link, it seems...?
One of them frantically picks up a stone slab and frantically begins to pick at it with another rock. "(We got to get word out! Toothhead exists!)"
More red eyes start to show up all around, peeking out of various nooks and crannies that equally do not seem to be of the size or shape in which they could ever actually hide other individuals of this species, but, they seem less shy about this quirk of physics and more about the sudden company. Some further positions are given away by the sniffing of nostrils.
Jr., for his part, seems oblivious to all this as he now gently applies an ice pick to chiseling his legs out while humming a little tune to himself.
The sasquatch they rode in on (...just in?) still seems too out of it to speak up much, as the growing numbers seem ever more confident to start coming out of the woodwork. Seems to be a few dozen, total? They're wordless in their approach.
Killasaurus Orphanage and their guest star are now surrounded. Now what?
Standing at the fore of the Killasaurus companions, Alexis maintains a guarded posture as the group quickly finds itself surrounded. Aiming for a pose that's more imposing than threatening, she would probably be failing completely if it weren't for the bundle of fruit in her arms that leaves her not looking much of either save for the frown on her face. It slowly melts away, likely the only aspect of her to do so in the current environs. "So, uhh... do any of you guys know Zabel?"
Of course they would. All freaks of nature should know each other by name. There's no reason a primitive tribe of mountain midgets wouldn't known an Australian zombie rocker, is there?
"Oh em gee, they're so cuuute!" Kim gushes, leaning down to try and scoop one up with little heed for the rows of teeth filling the creature's maw or the fact that she smells rather like vomit at the moment. She's stopped by two intervening hands on her shoulders, one belonging to Steve and the other belonging to Alexis.
"Maybe we can offer Kim as a sacrifice so that the rest of us can go free, eh?" Benny suggests before being knocked to the ground as the remaining free hands of Alexis and Steve collide with his face. The bananas end up falling to the ground and scattering in all directions as the frozen stems snap apart.
"Dmm mmmpff dmm bff... They appear to be venerating me as some kind of mythological figure," Matt observes as he pulls his scarf down in order to speak without the need for parenthetical translation. "The question is, who is Toothhead?" He reaches up to scratch his chin, then adds, slowly, "I mean... yes! I'm Toothhead. And I'm here to collect... and or offer tribute... eh?"
Being cold as it is, there's only so many words left to discuss the manner of transition from warm to cold, when just about everything around them is nothing but cold... but a new item seems to be able to be added to the list - blood.
Somehow, a few faces go paler at mention of Zabel.
("Zabel?!") Cries the one the group is most familiar with, though it's easy to lose sight of them among the rest that are gathering. ("Zabel Zarock? I... who are you guys?") It's hard to tell if they're fans, or... the exact opposite, given the situation.
Kim's approach is met with seeming fear, tamed only by the shows of restraint on behalf of her bandmates as the banans scatter everywhere.
"(Food!)" The cries come. It becomes something of a free-for all as they all dive for tiny, yellow, largely frozen morsels of fruit as though they haven't had anything to eat in some time. It's odd that they even appear to have the patience to try and peel the skins with their huge hands that should by all rights only ever be able to crush the creamy goodness within. "(We're starving!)"
One bunch of bananas isn't going to be enough to feed all of them. One could see the fights already starting to break out over this limited, valuable resource. The only thing that can call the lot of them to silence is the word of the most mysterious figure of legend that is the great, elusive, here-in-the-flesh Toothhead, masquerading among silly and strange humans that have surrounded them for whatever reason. All eyes fall upon the lot of them, as though wondering what could fall upon them if they defied him.
"(Collect... or offer tribute, eh?)" The familiar sasquatch rubs the top of their head, ambling up to the rest of the human(?) crowd. "(Sorry, but we don't have much to offer! We've been low on food for some time.)"
Rust Jr. still chips away at his legs. The ice sloughs off around one leg. He slips the damp, frozen slipper off to wiggle his toes in sheer defiance of the concept of frostbite. Not a single blackened toe! (The frost is maybe afraid of catching whatever dysfunction plagues this man, perhaps.) He keeps humming along, which now provides a dramatically mournful backdrop to the exposition at hand as he slips the foot back in and continues on the other leg.
"(I was down closer to the lake to get us some fish. You showed up right as I got that giant walking fish to take off!)" The sasquatch snorts, as though the fighting spirit that had been present to overpower such a noble, powerful creature were to resurface - but paradoxically, this is probably the single calmest moment among them in just figuring what's this about in an equal parts awkward and life-threatening situation.
"(You guys are so strange! Yet, so strong with that voice...)" A motion to Alexis. "(So mysterious...)" A motion to Matty. "(So fearless...)" A motion to Kim. "(And you knew how to find us out here, holding our mail...)" A motion to the idiot over there still breaking his other leg free of icy confines.
"Ah, it was just an educated guess," Jr. says, humbly playing off what is dumb, Darwin Award-defining thought processes that should never have been entertained by the universe at large as anything other than a death wish, but here we are anyway.
"(You know a bad person! But... you brought us food, and our orders from our leader... so, what's going on?)" What should be something that starts to grow to a pitch more fit for an interrogation with the likes of border patrol officers starts to melt away as he looks upon the lot that have greedily gobbled up the released bananas.
"(Aw! I never got to have a banana!)"
"Oh... well... you know, we've met and stuff," Alexis describes her relationship with Zabel Zarock, scratching awkwardly at the top of her head through her tuque. Nevermind that the band once staged a rescue for the zombie metal icon from Majigen. Or the fact that Alexis considers Zarock a personal hero (which makes knowing something of the truth about his undead nature a bit awkward). No, as far as the snow people need to know, he's just 'that one guy' to them. "Anyways, I'm Lexi."
"Oh. Sorry," Matt 'Toothhead' Barker replies, adopting the standard Canadian conversationally-defensive apologetic posture. "My minions and I -"
"Friends," Alexis snaps.
"- friends and I came here to deliver the stone. As well as the bananas. Except we didn't realise that there were so many of you, so, uhh... sorry, eh?" Matt holds up his hands and shrugs helplessly as he finishes speaking.
"We could go get more bananas," Kim suggests, jutting a thumb over her shoulder toward the expansive Canadian wilderness.
"You c-can't be s-serious," Benny rasps through chattering teeth from his seated position on the ground.
"Or..." Alexis interjects, a suddenly thoughtful expression on her face as the gears in her head start turning, as though the ice were finally thawing. She points a finger at the creature that the group used like a makeshift carnivorous clown car previously. "You could come with us! We could help you find a lot more bananas. We have these things called grocery stores. I mean, I don't eat bananas for political reasons, but you guys are like... potassium-deprived or whatever, right?"
"Lexi, where are you going with this?" Benny asks, his tone fearful.
"I'm sure that if people knew you guys needed bananas, they'd totally be willing to donate," Alexis insists, ignoring Benny for the moment. And of course, what could be more perfect for Killasaurus Orphanage's public image now than having a real live bigfoot? Maybe they could even make a music video featuring actual bigfoot footage. Or maybe...
"You could join Lexi's team, too!" Kim pipes up. "She's making Team Canada for the King of Fighters tournament. You're Canadian too, eh?"
"Eh?" Alexis turns toward Kim, one eyebrow arching. It seems crazy, but... "I don't... is that even allowed?"
"More importantly," Kim says, raising a finger, "is it not -not- allowed?" She proceeds to tap her nose knowingly. Then, after a beat, she adds, "Oh, wow! I can't feel my nose!"
"(Oh... that's okay.)" Says the more conversational sasquatch among them. "(That's more than we had!)" They do now have zero, and it's ever likely that an entire supermarket's banana supply miiiiiight not last them that long. "(To be honest, it's neat that the legendary Toothhead would appear, and bring us food!)"
Amiable! They're all getting somewhere. Things appear to be looking up, especially as ideas come forth that they could bring even more! Or, the idea that... he comes with them?
"(W-We shouldn't go anywhere!)" One of the smaller yeti creatures says. "(What's even our orders from Leader, anyway?)"
The sasquatch of most interest holds up the slab silently. Some peek over his shoulder. He shoos them, going over those same war-like words... looking up, down, up, down, at the whole lot of them, then to the banana peels that litter the snow-covered ground to be buried forever under the next layer of snow that comes along.
"(King of Fighters?)" The sasquatch says. "(Fighters... strong people, coming together to crown a king?)" One could hear the gears in his head turn as he once again regards the slab, and to the lot of them. Slab, creatures, slab, creatures, slab, fighters, strong people? Yet, what the slab says, which he hasn't read aloud...
"(All right! Let's go!)" The sasquatch says with a raised fist. "(I have to see for myself! The bananas! The strength! The future of my village rests on this!)"
There is murmuring among the lot of them. "(None of us should leave,)" is the general consensus, "(we could all be in danger!)"
"(Who cares what's allowed or not! I'd better go and see myself! I'm the strongest among us, and someone did something to our messengers! Maybe it's got something to do with it, eh?)" The stakes, somehow, seem far higher than just 'let's make friends for a tournament' with him. Is there something he's not sharing?
"(Count me in! Oh, and, sorry I got rough with you,)" the sasquatch asides to the still-seated handyman ninja.
"Don't worry about it," Jr. waves a hand as he gets his other leg freed, "one of my neighbors tries to shoot me every time I give them their mail back with my family." Is it really that bad living in America? Such a scary place. "Anywaaaaay! Let's see the rest of my mail I brought with." Wait, what? "Never had a chance to go through it with all this excitement..."
He withdraws the rest of the papers he'd been carting around WITH the slab, and only now he sees it fit to go through them? His eyes light up suddenly as he (through mittens) dexterously opens up one such letter while the rest collapse into a pile on his lap while he sits comfortably(?) on the snow... or maybe what's inside is so stunning that he doesn't realize he's sitting o--
"Oh, no." He says. "I've really done it now!"
Somewhere in that pile of papers that have survived 'being damp' and 'not shattering when turned to ice,' somewhere in the corner of Lexi's eye, she will catch sight of the back of an envelope within the pile, forgotten under whatever stupid grown-up responsibility thing that has now reminded this far older man exists.
The wax seal, unmistakably, matches the iconography strewn about King of Fighters promotional materials. There's no mistaking it. In this man's possession is one of the single most cherished pieces of parchment, and yet... and yet...!
"I really ought to have checked the rest of my mail while were all out and about," Jr. laments, "would've gotten bills paid out," he says as he brings a hand to his forehead, gingerly as though he were nursing a bruise (of which he already does, but this is the first time he's doing it), "wife's not going to be happy about this one..."
"Yeah! Who cares what's allowed?!" A celebratory high-five is exchanged between the female members of Killasaurus Orphanage when the Sasquatch agrees to join their team for the King of Fighters tournament. Kim then turns around to give a sudden tight hug to the midsection of Steve, who doesn't seem to mind the fact that the front of the girl's coat is covered in frozen bile. Alexis turns to where Rust Jr. is sitting.
"Hey, what's up?"
Alexis starts to wander over to see what's going on, boots scraping along the snow. "Oh, eww. I hate bills," she commiserates, leaning down toward the pile of mail when the sealed King of Fighters envelope catches her attention. She quickly snatches the letter up, eyes going wide. "Holy crap! Is this...?" Her mittened fingers pull the wax seal apart as she probably violates federal mail regulations, followed by her teeth ripping open the envelope when it proves too tricky for her to manage manually. Pulling out the message inside, she lets it unfold and scans it with her eyes. She turns to Rust after spitting a bit of paper off to one side. "You didn't mention that you had an invitation to the King of Fighters tournament!" She then turns to Kim, eyes narrowing. "You didn't mention we needed an invitation to the King of Fighters tournament!"
"Oh, I thought you had one already. Why wouldn't anyone send you an invitation?" Kim replies, eyes wide and innocent.
Alexis frowns as she considers that question momentarily before pushing it out of her head. She looks back at Rust, before dropping down to her knees in the snow and clasping the letter in her hands in front of herself. "You've gotta let us join your team, eh! Otherwise all this will be for nothing!" she pleads, vigor returning to her being in spite of the frosty environs. Neither begging nor effectively transferring leadership to somebody else are things that come naturally to Alexis, but doing anything to get her way certainly is, and this is the only solution.
Other than stealing the invitation, which she's still working out the logistics of in her head. Begging first, then theft if that doesn't work. She has principles, after all.
Idly, Jr. brushes his right hand up against his hair and combs at it with his fingers - an actual nervous gesture that has shone thruogh the nonchalant, even flippant, attitude towards mortal danger? - moving some of his copious amounts of hair over one of the inflicted bruises on his face as he seems much too occupied with the paper in question to question the paper in Alexis' hands.
He snaps back to reality when Alexis screams something or another about says a series of words that sees him genuinely flinch.
"Ah! I didn't know I had one, I--" He has his hand raised in front of him, before his eyes... and slowly lowers it as he looks down and snaps his fingers with a growing smile. "You know, I was beginning to think it strange, I mean, I got that belt and everyone's been coming to my door wanting me to sign this, sign that... huh."
He starts to laugh, as though suddenly the idea that he just inadvertedly led people nearly to their frozen, sad, unknowable deaths to a bunch of creatures that would have mauled them or worse were they any less accommodating, and what tension there is seems to melt away.
"Sorry about that! So busy with the stone mail I never thought to look after the rest 'til it got where it needed to!" It'll be a great story to tell over a drink! The laughter continues for a while, almost drowning out Alexis' pleading that he, and he alone, make the call to bring the lot of them together! Three of Canada's finest!
A punk musician who is... distinguished as one of the most embarrassing things to come out of the industry.
A middle-aged ninja who is... as much a tool as anything in his belt (that also presently resides in America by having a family there, this is probably the bigger sticking point).
A cryptid who... may or may not stand still or even show up on film, or even fully recognize the greater human society that refers to this land as Canada.
"Well... I don't... see why not!" Absolutely none of these above points must have run through this man's head, but it's tough to imagine anyone involved would be able to think purely rationally when one or more of them might be in the death throes of hypothermia or god knows what else. "I imagine it's not like it'd do anyone any good with, if you walked in and said you were me, eh?"
Certain American athletes may beg to differ...
"Iiiii could use a longer trip!" This isn't enough for him?!?! He pulls himself up, clasping the rest of his mail together tightly under his right arm as he reaches out with an open hand to the sasquatch who seems on board with this whole thing.
There isn't much hesitation on his part - virtually, any. What sorts of things has this man been up to, that he can march into danger and uncertainty with any level of cheer...?
"You ever travel much? You'd fit right in with," Rust Jr. says - this is utterly tone-deaf to the tragedies that happened at Metro City, but yet, he says this with such warmth...?
"(You didn't read the message, right?)" The sasquatch asks as he takes Jr.'s hand, which is a curious and amusing sight given the vast differences in size between these extremities.
"What kind of stand-up guy reads others' mail?" Jr. responds, missing no beat as there is a shaking movement between hands (...hand and maybe one or two fingers).
"(That's a fair point.)" The sasquatch seems satisfied enough with the answer.
"All right! We're off," it's probably an hours plus walk off of already freezing three-quarters to death and an already long drive back to proper civilization. "Looks like everything's for sure lined up."
And so, the whole team and their relevant entourage will be guided - or maybe dragged, in some cases - out into the wilderness. The less-wild wilderness. The societyness? Elsewhere, leaving behind this seeming mirage of a remote village so well-hidden and protected by the extreme elements of cold.
"(He... he never shared with us Leaders' orders.)" Murmurs one of the teeny yetis as they are all guided into the distance.
Log created on 15:10:44 05/16/2016 by Rust, and last modified on 22:53:38 05/26/2016.