(2018-07-03) Trimming the Hedges!
Trimming the Hedges!
Summary: … get your mind out of the gutter. It's just a few Metis folk having a look at that mysterious overgrown hedge maze on the grounds!
Date: 2018-07-03
Related: NA
Scene Runner: Mutual; Sydney w/ staff input.

Back Lawn, Winbarry Estates
Tue Jul 03, 2018

A large swatch of green that goes in all directions. To the east and northeast, the lawn goes from the green of grass to the yellowish-brown of sea grass and then sandy beach, the blue-green of the ocean spreading out as far as the eye can see. In the center is a tall overgrown hedgemaze, with dormant flowering bushes at the corners.


<FS3> Sydney rolls Presence: Success.

Sydney stretches, probably unnecessarily, and paces. She found the email list for Metis and threw out an idea, not knowing that 'if you suggest it you'll probably have to lead it.' Chalk that up to inexperience. She looks at Pavel and Callisto "Okay. This is like…the first time I've ever tried to organize other people in my life, so please be patient with me. Like I said in my email, I think it'd be a good idea for us to clear the entrance to the hedge maze. I mean…knowledge is power, right? And do any of us know what's in there? Is anyone else curious? I sure am." She looks over her team a little sheepishly. "Does anyone here happen to be an expert at shrub work and gardening?"

Pausing for a few moments as he hears the question, Pavel shakes his head a little. "Ah… gardening? No, there was only one thing I was good at, back before… you know…" He trails off again, before he adds, "Knowledge is a good thing, so is power, I think…" He goes silent again, offering a smile.

So Callisto has been moving up in the world.. she got that email on her phone that she knows perfectly well how to use, thank you very much. Knowing of the objective of the mission, Callisto made her way across the lawn to any manner of utility shed or the like to secure a tote of commonplace gardening tools: trowels, picks, shears.. etc etc. She could easily be discerned waltzing across the lawn with the basket in hand, hair dancing in the sunlight, expression rapt but not too excited. Okay, she IS stoked.. but Callisto has a poker face more often than not.

"I know naught, what is in there." Says the fey girl, outfitted in a pair of dark capris and a simple pale camisole, eyes flitting between Syd and Pavel. "I… ah, know very little, I regret saying. We shall all figure it out together, no? T'is vastly neglected, so we shaln't be reprimanded if we cull something that we mustn't."

Sydney looks at Callisto's haul of tools. "Good idea," she says. "I forgot about that." Syd's wearing a ratty pair of cutoffs and her metis t-shirt - a faded green t-shirt she marked up with a fabric marker, basically. She didn't bother with shoes. This kind of work is hard on them."

Sydney looks at Callisto's haul of tools. "Good idea," she says. "I forgot about that." Syd's wearing a ratty pair of cutoffs and her metis t-shirt - a faded green t-shirt she marked up with a fabric marker, basically. She didn't bother with shoes. This kind of work is hard on them. "Okay. The only thing I know about gardening is pulling fence posts for money on Craigslist, so yeah, I think we'll just wing it. It looks pretty clear what belongs here and what doesn't, and I guess a hedge is like a tree, where you probably don't want to cut the main trunk, but the branches can go." Syd shrugs. "But like you said. It's an eyesore now. As long as we don't make it worse or burn the yard down, I don't think anyone will care. Then we can turn our gadget freaks loose on the pool for a followup. Do we have a war-cry or anything like that? Also, can any of you fly? It'd be good to see the entrance from the inside of the maze, I think. Maybe point a smartphone at it and take some pictures."

Pavel is wearing his armor, since without it, he's just a kid in a wheelchair, and that's hard for something like this. He pauses as he listens, unable to hold back a grin as he hears the question about flying. "I can fly in this…" A pat to his armor. "Where should I fly?" he asks, after a few brief moments.

"I try to be practical. It shall make up for my abysmal knowledge in gardening." There, a slight smile. It falls quickly at this talk of flight… she, a true mentalist, is feeling more and more inept by the second. "I.. fear that I cannot fly, either.. but I can supply a war cry in my native tongue? It was very effective in it's day." .. 'in it's day'. Who knows HOW long ago that 'day' was… but Callisto is simply trying to keep the mood light, her lips curling at their corners. Smiling comes easier to her these days. Then.. Pavel to the rescue! She turns brilliant, hopeful eyes upon the Russian boy. "Ah, there we are." Said to the armor; she cants her chin to look upon the fellow himself. "The leg-up that we need."

Sydney walks toward the thicket of dogwood that was once the entrance of the maze. "Well, we know the entrance is here. Somewhere. What I'd like you to do is go up right here and find the passageway that the entrance opens into. Then maybe you can fly Callisto there and you guys can work toward me and I can work toward you, so we don't blow a hole in the maze that's not supposed to be there."

The wind rustles the dogwoods, as if on cue. Green and white leaves shimmer in the mid-afternoon heat, muggy with moisture from the sea and the smell of decaying plant from inside the maze. Syd thinks a moment, then adds, "If it turns out to be haunted or have interdimensional anything, run like hell."

<FS3> Pavel rolls Suit Flight: Good Success.

Nodding a little as he hears, he offers a wide grin. "I look on the other side first, da." And off he goes, flying and taking a few moments to find the passageway. "Ah, here it… Haunted? Interdim…?" He trails off, looking around briefly.

From above, it would be apparent that the hedges of the maze have begun growing together, each passage open only a slit where once a neat rectangular passage one was. Still, there's enough left to show where the passage was, and the hedges are somewhat closer to their original shape once you're below the canopy. Opening the passage will give access to the maze. Cleaning it up and making it pretty? That will take longer.

Ahem… fly? Callisto can manage that.. though it is not often that she is carried, bodily, to fly. She looks to Pavel imploringly to see what he thinks, and/or how best to mount (*cough*) or climb his armor so that she can be transported easily. She sets down the tote of tools, slides the handle of one spade and one miniature rake into the belt hoops of her pants. A pair of shears? Goes with her, too, though she needs to hold them. Tools of battle…! The rest are left behind helpfully: there are multiples of different 'basic' tools.

As Pavel goes to case everything out, Callisto waits.. watches Syd. "What do you think could be in there? I suspect… a fountain? Or…" She trails off, awaiting Pavel's return.

Sydney shrugs broadly. "Jack Torrance's frozen corpse? Pot of gold? Field of pot? Who knows?" When Callisto mentions a fountain, she nods. "That'd be cool. Literally too. I figure we have enough work for today just getting this open. We can explore the thing another time.

Looking around for a few moments, Pavel then flies back towards the others. "Looks like a lot of work…" he offers, before he offers a wide grin to Callisto. "You ready to fly?" Giving her a few moments to answer, before he attempts to lift her up, if she lets him. "Hold on…"

The girl takes it well.. she has been lifted and carried at a run but flight is an altogether different feeling.. especially by way of powered armor! Callisto's weight is inconsequential at this point and Pavel shall have an easy go of taking her along with him. She takes care not to drop any of her tools into the brush below and as they soar overhead, her gaze flits over the tops of hedges… especially the unruly portions. "T'was in the process of swallowing itself back up. We've a job ahead." Callisto says softly, her own accented voice a trilling, graceful thing. Upon landing, she is ready to go at the entrance to the maze to open it up as quickly as possible!

Looks like she's gonna have to cultivate a green thumb.. pronto!

Sydney yells, "What do you see?" Then waits, listening for any sound amongst the rustling leaves. Then slaps her forehead with a metallic clunk. She fumbles in her pockets for her flip-phone, takes it out, and pulls up the autodial number list for Team Metis. After a couple tries, she gets the thing to dial Pavel's phone.

Inside the maze, it's still and dim, the hedges blocking all of the wind and most of the light. Dead, rotting leaves from years past litter the passageway a foot deep, and the smell of their decomposition wafts toward anyone who wades in them. There are birds, however. They're probably there to eat the spiders.

While Pavel probably was tempted to show off his flying skill by doing some kind of loops or something, he decided to play nice this time. As they land, he nods quite a bit as he hears Callisto's words. "Big job. I short of wish we could just burn away some of this, you know…" And that's when he hears the sound of his phone, which sounds quite a bit like the Russian national anthem, for those that might know such melodies. Seems he's quite proud of where he's from. "Hello?" he says, into it, before he looks around rather carefully. "It looks dark, and smells like rotten things."

"A great many birds, eating the insects." Callisto calls out, inwardly thankful to not be carried further. Pavel was a fantastic flight but the fey girl isn't quite one for being transported in such a fashion at-length. Feet on the earth, thank you! She looks around, resting the shears against a thigh, considers. "T'is hard to see the pathways, understandable… the entrances are growing over." If she recognizes Pavel's ringtone, she doesn't quite let on. Does she look slightly amused, however?

"T'is a foot deep in spots.. hard to walk through some areas. Lots of mulch." She explains to Pavel in hopes of him relaying it to the steel girl.

Sydney says, "Can you see where the entrance is supposed to be? And if so, can you… I don't know. Blast a hole about three feet above the ground straight out, so we can use that to center our cutting?" Syd stops short, then crouches down and lies on the ground, in case the answer is 'yes! Bzzzount!'. Only have to hit the steel girl once with an energy blast to have her develop a healthy respect for them. "Is the mulch what the smell is coming from?"

The smell, and also the bugs. The rotting leaves are, one discovers, home to a huge variety of insects. Mostly flies and mosquitos, which are probably what attracted the spiders, but also earwigs, caterpillars, moths that jump up in clouds when disturbed, and so on. The ground seems to positively writhe with life at times. There are also a few (probably) harmless snakes. Truly a tiny jungle in the midst of the stately beach-home's grounds."

<FS3> Pavel rolls SuitEnergyBeam: Success.

"More or less," Pavel replies, looking towards where the entrance should be. He also nods to the part about the mulch, "Da. Smells worse than a hockey team after match." There's a brief pause as he readies something on the suit. "Stand back!" It's called both into the phone and to Callisto, as he waits a few more moments before he fires off that blast at the entrance, frowning as it ends up slightly off center. "Good now?" he asks, through the phone.

Look at her closely, you'll see Callisto's moue of distaste at the creepy crawlies. Specifically? The spiders, centipedes, earwigs! Eerrgh!! To distract herself from the grossness, and Callisto lifts her feet carefully only to watch mulch sluice out of her sandals (EEEWW) … she continues her explanation. "T'is the mulch, it's been simmering away in here for—-"

Bid to stand back, Callisto silences and does so immediately. She drops the shears and plugs her ears (rhyme! how poetic!) and simply watches beneath a hooded gaze as Pavel fires off a blast! Eeek!

It's.. a good thing that her exposure to the school has readied Callisto for life alongside energy-blasters and/or powered armors. ~__~;

Sydney apparently hits the ground just in time. The blast sears through the shrubery safely over her head and off to one side. She watches the hole a minute or two, letting the smoke and steam clear…it has dawned upon her that we might have just violated the "don't burn down the yard" part of the plan…but it's New Hampshire. It's wet, and we're literally yards from the ocean. The few sparks and hot coals that drop from the charred hole hit unreceptive wet leaves and ground, or simply peter out on their own as they cool.

"Uhh. Yeah. That got it." She sounds remarkably sheepish again. "Let's um… Let's work out from that hole toward the sides of the passage." She gets up and peers through the hole. "Yikes. It's hot in there. Listen, keep track of each other. If you start feeling faint, let me know and we'll get whoever it is out right away."

The newly punched hole, for those playing the home game, is about thirty feet deep, and from the inside it glows bright white as the afternoon sun pours, unfettered, through it. This stirs up the bugs, of course, as lots and lots of them decide it's a good time not to be where they are.

Pavel remains standing still for a little while, just watching the hole from his blast. "Everyone good?" he offers, before he nods at the words from the outside. "Sounds good… What do we take away, and what not?" Nodding again at the part of keeping track of each other. "Of course."

Bugs! Bugs! Callisto watches the sunlight streaming in, and is so transfixed that she doesn't quite clue into a rather large earwig crawling along her wrist. Til' now. EW. EW! She shakes her hand as if it were a dollop of acid spreading across her flesh and not some awful little bug with pincers sticking out of it's butthole. Her suffering is quiet though, and with a decidedly sqeuamish-sounding, "I am fine," She pauses to look herself over and see to it that no other crawlies desire to use her as a springboard.

The heat already brings a flush to her face, but that could be the smell of the brackish mulch… with the added bonus of it cooking in the summer heat. "Perfectly fine." As she wields her shears and, to further distract herself from the bug migration.. begins working at a section closest to the blown-out hole.

<FS3> Sydney rolls Metamorph: Success.

Sydney says, into her phone, "If it's like it is out here, stuff that's crossing, cut it. If it's vertical, let it be. I dunno. I'm guessing. Use your best judgement, I guess. Call me if you need help." With that, she flips the phone closed and steps up to the hedge. She pushes one hand in, and focuses on the branches a moment while her other hand distorts and morphs into something like a machete, albeit one with tons of force behind it. Happy brick, chopping branches off. She continues to lead with her normal hand, so if she gets to close to anyone else, they might get a piece of her hand, but she won't take off a limb of theirs. She hardens her hand up as hard as it will go.

The bug situation does calm down. Only the mosquitos really go after people, after all. Which they do, at least to anyone who smells and tastes like people and isn't wrapped in tech armor. Bug repellent, anyone?

Pavel nods as he hears that, taking a few moments to look around, and offer a smile to Callisto as he sees the reaction to the bug. "I remember one time, my friend Misha, the goalkeeper, found a mouse in his skate. You should have seen his face," he offers, unable to hold back a bit of a laugh at the memories. As he puts away his phone again, he nods, moving to try tugging away some of the branches and such.

The fae girl shall go on to enjoy her peers' conversation, be it through the phone connection or just speaking outright. Pavel's relaying of a tale amuses her especially, and 'lo and behold… Callisto laughs! Not boisterously or loud; it's a purr-like sound. it's punctuated by the sound of her shears working. Don't let the rich-girl look and old way of speaking fool you.. the girl can work.. and she will do so, until they make notable progress.

Time passes, and our heroes slowly, mostly carefully hack through thirty feet of overgrown shrubbery until, roughly simultaneously, though in opposite directions and on opposite sides of the pilot hole, Syd's hand and Callisto's clippers poke through to the other side at the same time.

Syd feels around for more branches with the hand, steel arm flailing out of the shrubs a little bit, and then Callisto's laughter floats through the remaining branches to her. She smiles to herself, and hacks her way through the last branches separating her from the other side. She's still smiling when she pokes her head through. "Here's Johnny!" Whether these two will get the reference is anyone's guess, but it was a big movie back in the day…

It doesn't seem like Pavel gets much of the movie reference, but he smiles a bit. "Looks like we have gotten much done, yes?" He looks around once more, a bit thoughtfully.

"Who is this… Johnny?" Callisto asks gently, her naivety kinda-sorta endearing. Nope, she sure-as-heck doesn't 'get it'! She watches the steel girl with a look of distinct curiosity, momentarily forgetting her purpose. Sorry Syd, it went right over her head. Speaking of, bits and pieces of twigs and other detritus nest themselves into her pearly tresses, though Callisto hardly seems bothered. She pushes her hair back again; she should have tied it back better.

The girl reaches forth to, instead, pluck a few bits and pieces of foliage from Sydney's hair. "Is this Johnny a student?" Asked further, though she has to pull her hand back quickly. Did a bug sting her? Okay there's a mosquito making it's way in to have a bite out of her neck but something about touching Sydney.. resonated. Hey, she's fae.. and iron Does Things to her kind.

Sydney is about to answer when a branch swats her in the face. It's summarily ripped from the bush to which it was attached and thrown into the pile. "Um… it's a movie from 1980 called The Shining. Johnny is… well, an axe murderer, basically. He's quoting a line from the Tonight Show. You know, the one Jimmy Fallon hosts now? Anyway, the announcer would introduce Johnny Carson, the host back then, with that line." She frowns a little as Callisto draws back so suddenly. She looks around. "I think we're about done. All we gotta do is bag all this up and haul it out to the curb for garbage pickup. Right? I mean… they do still pick up trash, right?"

Did she notice that little frown…? Callisto frowns, herself, rather apologetically. "Forgiveness. T'is.. not you. My ilk, we… we cannot touch iron." Said softly… just enough for Syd to hopefully hear her. "We fall ill. I wish there were something I could do to.." .. rectify it? For sure. Maybe she should have worn gardening mitts… those would have protected her!

When bid to do so, she will assist in bagging the roughage and snipping here-and-there to add to it. In the time that has passed and is yet to pass, these three Metis kids will put quite a dent in the project!

"They've days for garbage and compost pickup. That which all comes out of this estate… I do hope they've the resources to handle a bunch of superpowered teenagers." Said lightly as she returns to work, hastening to get the job done before nightfall.

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