(2019-01-01) Forgetful Elephant
Forgetful Elephant
Summary: On December 30th, Buddy tried turning into the biggest creature (elephant) he has ever tried though doing so worried him. He then went missing for two days. Dr. Ricci and a few of the staff get a few students to go looking for him.
Date: IC Date (2019-01-01)
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: None

In the late evening, snow still falls upon the island where Coral Springs is situated. Though the snow fall is still light, it has been rather steady for some time leaving a couple inch blanket of snow on almost everything. There are large round areas where the snow has been crushed since a large african bull elephant has been walking recently through here heading towards the boarder of grass and the nearby woods. The elephant has been using his trunk and tusks to strip leaves off of the trees and saplings in order to eat them. With a body as large as that and the leaves falling, the poor elephant is rather hungry with the sparse pickings.

Well, missing students are serious business. And seems that Cora is part of the party to find said missing student! Something she's agreed to since she seems to have said student showing up a lot too. Plus who knows, it might work? She's found a nice, clear of snow (After a brushing off) rock to sit on and has summoned up her ghostly blue light to leave said glow in the middle of the field. It's a sort of meditation for her too, as she's trying to make it a bit brighter here in the dark too. And even better? It makes it just a bit warmer near her.

Elephants, especially african bush elephants, are not meant to be in the snow and clearly the cold and lack of food are starting to be a bother to this elephant. The elephant grabs a small tree with his trunk and rips it completely out of the ground. There is a loud sound as he rips it free. He then starts to eat the actual smaller branches chewing loudly on the brittle wood. They crunch in his teeth. With the small tree in his mouth, the elephant notices the blue light shining in the darkness. It causes the elephant to pause in his eating leaving a somewhat comical picture of an elephant holding a small tree like a dog might hold a stick.

Cora continues to sit there, because frankly? Trying to see if the Elephant will come closer is helpful. And her fire is warm. Her fire is her friend. It is awesome. Plus she's basically a will-o-the-wisp and that's the point, the fire draws in the prey! Or whatever. The sounds attracts her attention too. That's when Buddy might see it. Is that another Elephant in the distance? Closer to that light.

The elephant, clearly Buddy-elephant, continues munching on the small tree when he finally sees the other elephant. Where did that elephant come from? He eats for a bit longer not really being in a rush. Finally, he sets the tree trunk down and rumbles a deep, subaudible sound that is below the hearing of people but easily detected by other elephants. But the elephant didn't respond. That was odd. Buddy-elephant, though cold and hungry, decides to slowly walk over in that direction to investigate.

The other elephant, on closer look seems to be in the middle of a somewhat greener, warmer place. Definitely a perfect elephant wallow! Cora's even been to Africa, and it's something like that which is there. While the girl just continues to sit still, this is a good chance to see what's going on. At least for now, this is lure Buddy in moment.

The elephant pauses on his approach and blinks his eyes several times. Why was the area around that elephant suddenly greener? That definitely wasn't there before. Now, the elephant is forced with a decision. Does he keep approaching to see another elephant? Normally male elephants are solitary animals with the females living in herds, and this wasn't the time for mating. Should he run? He is low on energy due to the cold and lack of food so he should avoid running if possible. He is bigger than the other elephant and maybe that elephant can lead him to some food and water. Finally, letting his need decide for him, the elephant starts to walk even closer. He only pauses again briefly when he sees a girl sitting there. She is far enough away though to not be a concern at this point.

Mostly, Cora just looks a bit cold where she's sitting. Not too bad, but obviously not comfortable either. She does look over at the elephant though. But only for a moment. The other Elephant is starting to look up though… And that's when there's a voice in Buddy's head. "It's ok. People are worried." Except, it's almost as much ideas and the feeling of such as it is words.

The elephant pauses when the elephant looks over at him. He gives a mild call out to that elephant to see if she will respond now. The cold girl nearby is given a quick glance of his eye. Why is the little mammal out here if she is so cold? Why is her? That is when the telepathy starts. The elephant's eyes grow wide. He turns his head from side to side and flaps his large ears only once. He has been trying to keep his ears pressed tightly to his sides to prevent too much heat loss.

There's researching animals and such, and there's… well, there's what little Cora did. She probably should've done a bit more for this. But maybe she didn't think she'd find Buddy either. Or hoped other things would work. After all, talking worked before! The telepathy continues. "Everyone's worried Buddy. Can you come back? Be Human Buddy for a while?" She even projects the image of Buddy shifting back from elephant to Buddy - literally the exact reverse of when Buddy shifted to an elephant.

Buddy-elephant stares into the empty space in front of him as the telepathy continues. The words are foreign to him. Barely understood as his elephant brain isn't used to English. It is the Buddy part that allows the understanding of language and the human intellect in animal form, but it is exactly that part isn't functioning. As the image shows an elephant changing to a human, Buddy-elephant trumpets a sound both of pain and fear. What is happening to his mind?

Cora bites her lower lip and starts to show others too, others like Dr. Ricci, the Headmaster, Cid, other students - all seeming worried. This time it's not as much language, just showing. Cora shows next how Buddy was there, looking excited and happy as he shifted to the same elephant before her - with Iain and Cora there to cheer it on! Then how said Elephant came running off. Yes, this is getting complicated for Cora, even as she's trying to figure out how to notify those who are probably better suited. But she's not giving up! She's too worried, too nice to do anything but.

Somewhere in all of that, the human part of Buddy starts to wake up. On one hand, that helps as this 'true' part of Buddy can process the images and the feels whereas the pure animal part of his cannot; however, on the other hand, this shoots the fear factor way up. Where is he? What is going on? What day is it? When is it? When his fear factor cranks up this high, there is almost and instinctual transformation. A massive rippling effect rolls over the elephant until it seems like it disappears. However, instead of vanishing, which Buddy cannot do though he would find it very cool, he transforms into his fear animal, the rabbit. They little grey rabbit bolts in those quick hops. He clearly isn't running anywhere and isn't thinking. This is a purely emotional response.

Cora is left looking more uncertain, and needing to think more quickly. Her own response is more instinctual too. As she ends up trying to form another illusion - as Buddy changes, the Elephant disappears. But instead she's trying to create a 'fence' around the rabbit now there, a way to keep the Buddy-Bunny in place even as she thinks of how to contact someone more intelligent… but is it there?

Buddy-bunny continues to bolt when suddenly this fence appears out of nowhere. This startles the bunny some more. Something does seem wrong about the fence, but the bunny isn't in the frame of mind to investigate it. It doesn't smell right, but who cares about that now. The bunny backs himself up into a corner of the fence and does the second bunny fright technique: hold really still and hope no one sees you. This also gives him another chance to find an escape direction.

Cora's looking afraid to move too. IF she does, she might scare Buddy away, and she doesn't know the Bunny is aware of what's happening! It's a few moments though, and now she thinks of her next idea. Her 'light' starts to move up into the sky, growing brighter when it gets above the Tree Line. Hopefully the sort of signal that might act like a flare and attract the attention of the teachers or others in the search party!

In the snow, nearby Cora are a series of odd looking tracks. First, there are some very large circles which are obviously the prints of a massive african bull elephant. Those prints stop nearly 20 feet from Cora and are suddenly replaced by a tiny prints and a series of marks in the snow. This secondary path leads to a very frightened Buddy-bunny who has retain some of his Buddy-ness but is not completely terrified. The bunny is a response to that. The bunny sits perfectly still in the classic bunny tactic of if they can't see me I'm safe. His run came to a sudden stop as he encountered an illusionary fence that Cora put up. The bunny's nose starts to work though as there is something clearly wrong with this fence.

Cora, meanwhile, is sitting on a rock and looking a bit worried and like she's going through some intense effort now too - probably sending up the signal and whatever else has led to now. She looks cold too. There's a definite look of uncertainty on her face as well.

Besa was out walking Cocoa when he saw the flair go up. Not sure who it was or if it was a found Buddy flair or a 'Help! I'm in trouble' flair, so he comes running as fast as his rune powered legs will take him. Which is fairly fast. The ancient teen has on a very warm looking coat, with matching hat and scarf. And for those that know him he probably has a sweater and a warmth rune activated as well. Someone really dislikes winter (spoiler:it's Besa ). Dark eyes scan as he comes to a halt over the area he things the signal came from and there's Cora….and a rabbit. He blinks, unsure what to do so he stays still and raises his hand in a confused greeting. His voice is soft, accent thick as he simply says, "Hello."

The little Buddy-bunny continues to dart his little nose in the air causing those whiskers to move back and forth. Suddenly, he notices that the fence doesn't have a scent. Even in temperature this cold, it should have a sense. With the 'Buddy' part waking up, he has more intellect to work with in animal form. Time to test. The bunny does a very slight hop, the smallest movement he can figure out how to make. He pokes the fence with his nose, and his nose goes right through it. This startles the bunny who then realizes that if his nose goes through the fence, then his entire body can too. He decides to risk a bigger hop and hops through the illusionary fence as he hears the accented 'hello' from Besa.

"Help." Cora says, "It's Buddy. But I don't think he knows it's Buddy." She pleads, a bit desperate and fearful. She's struggling too, and there's even a moment of resistance for Buddy-Bunny, but… probably not too much. "I can't figure out how to bring him back." She tries to say, wincing as suddenly he's getting away.

Besa frowns, glancing quickly at the worried girl and then back to the hopping bunny. There's a brief moment where his eyes glaze over as a very old memory surfaces. He keeps his voice soft (not that it usually isn't anyway), "Cora…I smell like Cocoa, he will not come to me in that form. I need you to move towards him smoothly…. Do not move suddenly . When you are close you must kneel down and wait for him to come to you. Speak soft….remind him of who he is…and that we are all very worried about him…"

Buddy-bunny feels something just after he hops through the fence. It is like something is trying to stop him, or slow him down maybe? It is strange. Not wanting to really deal with whatever it is, Buddy-bunny hops high in the air, kicks his back legs to the side to clear whatever it is and lands. He freezes hearing the voices especially since one of them comes from the tall guy (at least when you are bunny-sized).

"OK." Cora says, arms still hugging herself for warmth (The fact her 'fire' is cast up above might just have been part of how she was warming herself!). But she does what she's told too, she slips off the rock and moves very slowly towards Buddy. then she kneels down and and holds her palms out on her lap. "It's ok Buddy. You're Buddy. You're a friend. We're all worried about you. We all want you to come back."

Besa himself kneels, trying to make himself appear smaller. A soft encouraging smile is offered to Cora, "You can do this." Seeing her shiver, Besa does the only thing that he himself can do at this point. He traces a warmth rune into the snow. Maybe that will not only help Cora, but Buddy as well.

Buddy-bunny hears some movement coming towards him which causes him to freeze again. His ears perk up listening carefully. His eyes actively searching for any danger. Seeing and hearing Cora, Buddy-bunny shifts and half-hop/half-turns to face her. She doesn't seem too scary. There is something a bit … familiar? He takes a tentative hop towards her, and freezes. He then decides to take a few more hops in her direction and feels warm. He stops just within arm's reach.

Cora doesn't even move as Buddy gets closer. She just stays there. "It's ok. Really. You can be you. Just… you need to come back. To be human sometimes again." Really, Cora is worried, and it should show. She's also obviously terrified she's not doing this right. A few deep breaths are taken too. Even as she keeps looking carefully, no movements at all.

Besa keeps his hand in the snow, despite the cold. Ugh, he hates being cold. But he's been just as worried as everyone else about the missing boy. He hums softly, gently nodding and whispering encouraging things. Maybe it's for Buddy, or maybe it's for Cora. Probably for both.

Hop. The Buddy-bunny seems to be calming down and acting more like a pet bunny than a wild one. More trusting. Less afraid. He hops again closer to Cora and pokes her with his nose a few times. This is followed by a sniff. She smells familiar too. He wonders why. If she is familiar, then that means she is safe. The little grey bunny decides to risk it and hops up onto her lap.

Cora still remains as still as she can when this goes on, there's a definite surprise when Buddy-Bunny jumps into her lap. Obviously that wasn't expected. "See? It's ok. We're here to help. To let you go somewhere warm." She doesn't even do anything much this time, except for very, very slowly move one hand to gently pet on the back if let to do so.

Besa offers, "You can pet the top of his head, lightly….he will most likely like that…" He lets the petting happen for a few minutes before the cold starts to make his hand hurt and slowly he stands, "If we can get him to shift to human, that wold be best, but if not I can offer you my coat tow wrap him in and we can take him inside to the teachers."

"Either works. He might be receptive to telepathy. But I'm not quite good enough at it to help." Cora says, still being very careful, then following the instructions to start petting the head carefully. "Shhh, it's ok Buddy, we'll get you home."

The little grey bunny feels warm and safe on Cora's lap. As she starts petting him, he tenses some though he quickly relaxes. He closes his eyes each time she pets the top of his head. Then, he relaxes a bit too much and ends up falling asleep.

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