Miranda feels warm, wet and heavy… heavier than she's ever felt before. It's like her bones are made of stone. There's light, and noise. Voices? It's so hard to wake up, and her tail hurts, to boot. But the voices won't stop. "Do you think she's dead?" asks one, somewhat high-pitched voice. "Nah, her nose is twitching," says the other.
"Uhnn… " Letting out a strained groan Miranda slowly cracks open her eyes, giving them a moment to adjust to what to her seems rather sudden light. And then she coughs squeakily, the Lapi's ears lifting slightly to try and make sense of the voices she seems to be hearing… She is hearing them right?… she could just be dreaming again, but she's fairly sure she is not… the hurt in her tail seems to be confirming that.
Womens' Hot Springs
Surrounded by a high wall of planks and tree-trunks, this natural hot spring has been converted into a bathing area lined with decorative rocks and stone benches, both above and below the water. A shower area at the front opens into a changing cabin with shelves for stowing clothes. A slightly thinner, but no less solid wall separates this half from the Mens' area.
Two concerned brown bewhiskered faces hover over Miranda. "You okay?" Nene asks. "Of course she's not, she's hungover," Bebe claims. "There must have been a wild party here last night. I mean, she doesn't even have any clothes in the bins."
It's at this moment that one of the changing-cabin doors opens and Olivia steps out, wrapped in a large yellow towel. Apparently the Skeek has arrived for her weekly hot bath. She looks over at the otter twins leaning over a very ill-looking Miranda. "Um, is everything okay over here?" she asks, making her way over carefully.
Miranda reaches up to attempt to rub the side of her head… missing on the first try due to the almost unbearable weariness in her arms… not to mention everywhere else… "Now how… didth I end up hewe? Parthy?" she mumbles thickly as she looks between the two otters, her head tilting dizzily… "I don remember anyfing like that… I… thought I was dreaming… " The Lapi blearily regards Olivia as she enters the bath.
"Dreaming about a party?" Nene asks. Bebe offers, "Maybe she's a sleep-bather? Oh, hi there Olivia!"
Olivia walks over and sits down on one of the decorative benches right above Miranda and the otters. "Is there anything I can do for you?" she asks, concerned. "Do you need help getting home, Miranda? You really don't look so good… "
The gray Lapi shifts around, trying to alleviate the pain in her tail and discovering just how weak and heavy she really is when all she manages to do is to almost slip completely off the bench she sits on… "uhh… I… I dont fink I can walk… Olivia… Yes… yes I fink I need some help." She says with the voice of one trying to remain calm, but slowly starting to panic a bit inside…
"You don't remember what you did last night?" Nene asks, sliding up out of the water sit next to the others. "Seriously?"
Olivia nods firmly and gets up from her perch. Then she sheds her towel, since it will only get in her way and there are only girls in the enclosure, anyway. She slips into the pool and glides over to Miranda, throwing the Lapi girl's left arm across her shoulders and getting a grip on her waist not easy in the water. She looks over at Nene and Bebe. "One of you should get on her other side so we can walk her over to the changing area. I don't think I can do this on my own. Miranda's a bit heavier than I am!"
Unable to shake her head without having the whole world tilt, Miranda just quietly replies to Nene, "No… I justh remember having this weird dream… " As her arm is moved the Lapi weakly tries to grip Olivia's shoulder.
Bebe takes up the slack, getting Miranda's other arm. "What do you think is wrong with her?" the otter asks the Skeek.
Olivia frowns. "Not entirely sure… and Miranda's not giving us a whole lot to go on. Maybe we can find out more when she's more coherent." Then in a combination of wading and walking, Olivia starts guiding them out of the pool so they can get the Lapi to the changing area. "Try and bear your own weight as much as you can, Miranda that'll help us get out faster."
Miranda certainly tries to do her part, but really can't seem to manage much more than pulling her feet forward with every couple steps Olivia and Bebe take, to keep the appendages from dragging behind and creating even more difficulty. The Lapi has little to no balance of her own to speak of.
It isn't long (it's not that much distance, really) before the Lapi is helped up onto the decking of the shower area outside the changing room. This is when Nene, trailing behind, remarks, "Holy fishcakes, did you sit on a Rughrat's head, Miranda? You've got a giant bruise on your butt!"
Despite the work, Olivia has to chuckle as they finally help the Lapi into the shower. "Well, I've definitely earned my bath this week!" At Nene's remark, however, she turns to look behind them. "Er… yeah, that is quite a mark you have there! Do you remember how you got that?"
"Whath whath?" Miranda yelps at the sudden exclamation from the following otter and the ensuing comment from Olivia, her ears flopping limply as she quickly turns her head to try to look behind herself, suffering from another dizzy spell as a result… After a moment she swallows, and sounding quite confused manages to say… "I hafve no idea, really… "
The bruise is fairly large, covering nearly an entire cheek. There are two slit like cuts nearly an inch long at the top and bottom as well, that probably should be stitched up to prevent scarring.
Olivia examines the wound as best she can without embarrassing Miranda further. "Okay, we're going to have to get you to one of the witches as soon as possible. That needs attention." She thinks for a bit. "None of my clothes would even come close to fitting you, but I have another extra-large towel we can wrap you in. But, hmmm, you can't walk to the Gnarly Tree in this condition and I certainly can't carry you!" She looks at the otter twins. "Could one of you possibly go over and find Morgan or Isolde and bring them here?"
"I can get there fast," Bebe says, and clips off a quick salute before dashing out through the changing room, not even bothering to get dressed. Probably because the fastest way to the Gnarly Tree is to take the river…
"I've got something she can wear," Nene pronounces, and goes back to one corner of the bath, where she tries to move one of the big ornamental river stones.
Miranda turns her head more slowly now, having learned from her previous attempts at quick movement, vainly trying to see her own bottom. Biting her lower lip she asks Olivia, "Doeth it really look that bad, Olivia?"
"Thanks, Bebe!" the Skeek calls after her, then nods and smiles in appreciation to Nene for the offer of clothes. Turning back to Miranda with a more sober expression, she says, "It's not pretty. Looks like you fell on something, hard. You've also got two big cuts there. Here, let me… " Very carefully, she lowers the Lapi down to the floor of the shower and turns her on the side that isn't all bruised up. "You rest here. I'll get my other towel so you can have a sort of pillow." Then she trots off to get it.
Nene returns with what at first glance appears to be a Kadie skin… but is really just fashioned out of fake fur and fabric. "We knew Gunther would never look for this here, and we got rid of the stuffing already," she chitters.
Following the Skeek's direction (not much else that could be done at the moment) Miranda lays down, glad at least that her tail doesn't hurt like it did when she was sitting on it… The Lapi looks at the item in Nene's hand with arched eyebrows ,saying, "Umm… But what is it?"
Olivia looks up after putting her extra towel underneath the Lapi's head and takes the strange item. "What the… ?" she wonders aloud, quirking an eyebrow at Nene. "I think I've seen this before, but I can't remember exactly."
"It was one of Gunther's decoy dummies," Nene explains, holding up the 'skin' so it's clearer. "We took the stuffing out. Thought it might make a fun costume for a joke."
Miranda looks a bit dismayed at the explanation at first, but then smiles acceptingly saying, "Well… At leatht it would be thomething warm to be covered with."
Olivia blinkblinkblinks a few times, then bursts out laughing! "That's where I've seen it before, near one of Gunther's traps!" she gasps out. "I am so glad you got that from him! That'll teach him!" After wiping her eyes a bit, she calms down. "Although, a Lapi dressed as a Kadie… this is gonna be weird."
"Here, Olivia, help me get it on her," Nene says. "The back is where we opened it, so Morgan can get to her butt easily, but with the head on won't know who she is."
Olivia scoots nearer to Nene so she can help with the, er, costume. "I assume Morgan not knowing who she is will help with the embarrassing placement of the wound?" she asks.
"Uh, I dunno," Nene says. "But if anyone else comes in, they won't know," she comments, as if expecting someone else to be looking in.
Olivia's eyebrows go up a little higher. "I get the feeling there's something you're not telling me," she comments dryly. "What's up?"
The insides of Miranda's ears turn bright red at the reminder of the location of her hurt, mumbling under her breath, "I don't know which thould be more embarrthhing… the bruithe on my butt, or the cothtume… " but she says it in a good-natured way.
By the time the 'costume' is on Miranda, Bebe returns and says, "Morgan's hurrying behind me. Hey, the Gunther-suit! What if he saw me running back and forth though?"
"What's he going to do, come in here?" Nene retorts, sticking her tongue out.
What indeed? For it's not but a few moments later that a Kadie comes diving down from somewhere above into the washing area. He lads on the dry section of the floor and spins a spear around, then holds it lightly behind his back. "I knew something was up," growls Gunther as he glares at those gathered. "A plot is afoot and it involves … framing me."
"Hey, you aren't supposed to come in here, that's cheating!" Nene declares, and tries to tackle Gunther.
Miranda manages to weakly reach up and pull down the part of the 'suit' covering her face and hold onto it, curling up a bit more where she lays on the floor and groaning uncomfortably at Gunther's obvious entrance, but managing not to say anything…
Olivia quickly realizes that she is completely naked in front of Gunther Kettenrad… but then realizes, just as quickly, that it's not going to stop her from chucking him out of a place where he shouldn't be bodily, if she has to. "Gunther, get out! This is the girl's enclosure, you idiot!" she yells at him, looking murderous.
"And using my stuff to get me into trouble is cheating too!" Gunther declares as he goes down under Nene and the spear goes sliding across the floor.
"GUNTHER KETTENRAD," an authoritative, and very familiar, voice rings out. Shortly after Morgan, in full witch regalia, marches inside the women's bathing area and puts a hand on his hip. "If my eyes don't deceive me, you're a boy! If you would like to become a girl so that you may freely enter the women's bathing area I will be pleased to teach you. If not, you may go: now."
"Hah, we don't need to frame you," Nene crows as Morgan arrives. "You just got yourself in hot water!"
Bebe eyes the spear, and says, coldly, "Gunther, you haven't been poking bunnies in the bum with that stick of yours, have you?"
Olivia springs over and catches up Gunther's spear, so he can't claw his way back to it. Then she whirls around as Morgan enters. "Morgan, thank goodness!" she breathes.
Gunther's tail puffs out as multiple people start yelling. He actually shoves Nene off and gets back to his feet. And Gunther looks … quite honestly, pissed. "All right, that's it. I'll leave. But if anything happens that gets me into trouble involving that decoy," he says and looks straight at Morgan. "Your mother will learn about your magic lessons with that Khatta. Oh, yes, I know about that. Forbidden arts for a witch, aren't they? Or, do rules not apply to you?" he growls.
"Goodness indeed," Morgan replies, indignant, as he eyes Gunther. "I am aware this is your clan territory. I am also aware these are the womens' bathing chambers, and … " his eyes flick to the Kadie-costume, he pauses to blink, then he returns his gaze to Gunther and goes right on lecturing. Well, about to lecture. Morgan pauses when the boy threatens him, then he actually smiles albeit humorlessly. "You would threaten me?" The Kadie's voice is chilly.
Miranda just forcibly holds the headpiece of the 'suit' down amidst all the shouting, laying there and looking uncomfortable as one could look… in a furry Kadie suit… which is apparently pretty uncomfortable. She hiccups faintly, sounding a bit like she might cry with all the threats flying back and forth.
The otters look at each other, then both spring to Gunther's sides. "Now now, no reason to get upset," Nene says, rubbing Gunther's back. "Yeah, we'll forgive you," Bebe adds in. "But someone hurt this bunny and dumped her in here last night, you know."
Olivia slaps her forehead at the mention of Miranda and goes back to her, kneeling down. "Are you okay?" she asks gently. "Sorry about all the ruckus, but I wasn't expecting Gunther to ambush us in here!"
"No, I am pointing out if you want to enforce rules, enforce fairly. I haven't raised your actions with your mother because, you know, I like you and trusted you knew what you were doing. But if you're going to come in on my territory and threaten me first, which you just did, well, I see where I stand with you," Gunther counters. And then he looks quickly to Bebe and says, "Wait, someone dumped her in here? Someone trespassed here?"
With the suit's tail down, it's easy for Morgan to see the bruise and broken skin.
"She can barely walk," Nene notes to the Kadie. "There's no way she came her on her own, and she doesn't remember coming here either."
"Your childish antics will get you more than trouble some day, Gunther," Morgan chides. "Don't presume to lecture me on fairness." The Kadie shakes his head as he walks over to Miranda, then kneels down without concern for getting himself wet. "Hm."
Whimpering faintly Miranda quietly replies to Olivia, very honestly, but with no note of anger in her voice, just uncomfortable frustration, "I can't really move… everyoneth yelling… I have a bruithe bigger than a fithtt on my butt and I feel completely helpleths… "
Olivia puts Gunther's spear down and slides it over to him, now that everyone has cooled off a bit. Then she pulls the head of the suit back a bit so the Lapi can breathe a bit better and so she can stroke her hair. "Sorry about that. But Morgan's here now, he'll fix you up soon."
Miranda sniffles a bit and nods her head against Olivia's hand.
"And I'm apparently missing things," Gunther says, looking suddenly very calm and very worried. He walks over and taps Morgan's shoulder, saying and for once sounding rather coherent, "Sorry. I'm leaving. We have traps around this area to keep people from just sneaking in. None of them have been tripped. Do you see? Someone got by them; that shouldn't be possible. This is bad. The clan has been violated. And here I'm acting stupid, gah. I'll want to talk to you later about how she was hurt. We need to know what to look for now. I have to go look for intrusions now."
"Mmm," Morgan repeats as he leans back. Reaching down, he begins to rip at the hem of his dress, producing a long line of fabric. "It looks like a Lapi bite," he announces, after a moment of thought. "Dizzy too. Mm. I suspect blood loss, but the drains would have washed it away. No infection." Morgan looks up, then. "Gunther?"
"A bite?" Nene asks. "Miranda, you need to find a less kinky boyfriend."
"Olivia, please bring me my spear outside when you can," Gunther says quietly. He then looks down at Morgan and asks, "Yes?"
"Would you bring me some clean linen, or something I can use to secure a bandage?" Morgan smiles at the younger Kadie. "I'd appreciate it. And, thanks for watching out for the pools."
"We keep some outside. I'll fetch them," Gunther says with a nod. And out he goes.
"Have you been playing with Lapi, Miranda? And, why are you wearing this silly costume? I've seen quite a number of Stonebarrow bottoms by now; there's no need to be embarrassed," the male Kadie says.
"We wanted to keep her warm," Nene offers. "She doesn't have any clothes in the changing room."
Olivia pats the Lapi on the cheek, then gets to her feet. "I'll go wait at the door for Gunther, to get the bandages from him and give his spear back. Call me if you need me, Morgan." She goes to get her towel from the bench first, wraps herself in it, then gets his spear and goes to the door of the enclosure.
It takes a few minutes, but Gunther does return with some neatly folded linens and trades them for his spear. Before Olivia goes, though, he asks her quietly, "How did you find her? Where was she?"
"Well it is a hot spring, but good idea none-the-less," Morgan tells Nene. After inspecting the wound a bit more, the witch asks Nene, "Did Miranda come in here injured, or did you carry her? From the apparent blood loss, she couldn't have traveled far."
"We just found her in here," Nene says, and points to a sunken bench at the far end of the bath. "Sitting right there, with head laid back, totally passed out. Didn't see any blood, or even notice the bruise until we got her up out of the water."
Olivia takes the linens with a nod of thanks. "Bebe and Nene found her first, actually. She was just lying in the pool, no clothes, all bruised up. She says she doesn't remember how she got here. She just remembers having a weird dream, but I don't even know what the dream was. She hasn't been exactly coherent lately."
Gunther shakes his head and doesn't even seem to be looking at Olivia. "That shouldn't be possible. I checked the counter before coming in. All that was counted were the two otters and you. Thought you had left," he says. "You see, we have counters which track the number of people coming and going so we know when we need to expand the area, or heck, when it's safe to enter for work," he motions to the floor where some faint outlines are. "There is no record of her entering. I really didn't know she was in there… "
"Peculiar." The witch shakes his head, then looks around until he sees where Nene is pointing. "And there was no one here? You didn't see anyone, or hear anyone yelling for help? I don't need to tell you how odd it is that a lapi wound on the buttocks isn't exactly common in the hot springs in Kettenrad territory." Then, tail flicking, Morgan leans over to sniff at Miranda's breath.
"Well, once Morgan has fixed Miranda up properly I'll see if I can get any more information out of her that can help you," Olivia says and sighs. "There's not much else I can think of to do."
"Maybe she fell out of the sky," Bebe suggests, looking up at the tops of the walls. "Gunther leapt down from somewhere."
Now that everyone has settled down and Morgan has begun looking over her wound, Miranda just lies still and quiet for the moment to not disrupt him. The Lapi blinks at the Kadie oddly when he sniffs her breath and wrinkles her nose saying, "I don'th really drink very often Morgan… " remembering that Nene and Bebe had first mentioned thinking she had a hangover.
Gunther hands over the linens. "Tell Morgan there's no record of her entering," the Kadie notes, then takes back his spear. "I have to go check the peeping-tom traps we set above to keep guys from spying."
After sniffing a bit, Morgan's tail twitches again. "And no alcohol … " He takes a moment to survey the bathing area, holding a hand out for the bandage roll. "Miranda, I'll need you to at least take your lower half out of the costume. I can't apply the bandages with your wearing that. Also, be sure to avoid getting the bandages wet."
Half jokingly, Nene suggests, "Maybe Buffy got her, and flew her here with vampire magic!"
Olivia nods. "All right. I hope you find something that helps us clear up this mystery. Good luck," she wishes him, then goes back inside. She takes the linens over to Morgan and hands them to him. "Is there anything you want me to do?" she asks.
There's a short rustle of tree branches outside and Gunther vanishes up into the canopy somewhere.
"Should we boil water?" Nene asks, kneeling with her back to the steaming hot spring.
"Alright Morgan… " the gray Lapi replies as she begins attempting to get her lower half out of the costume, finding it embarrassingly difficult with her fine motor skills reduced by the weakness in her limbs… Closing her eyes in a helpless gesture she says to anyone listening, "Umm… could I jutht get a brief hand?"
Olivia kneels back down beside Miranda again. "I'll do it."
Bebe asks, "Try not to wreck the costume. We might have to give it back to Gunther."
"Help Miranda, Olivia thank you. I need to prepare these bandages." Morgan begins unrolling the linen on a relatively dry stretch, then he starts to fold the linen over itself to create a pad. "No water, Nene. I have something for infections already. Mm. Nene, have you seen any of the Chalks livestock around here?" Then to Miranda, Morgan asks, "Can you remember anything about this? What do you last remember?"
"Rughrats?" Nene asks, swishing her tail thoughtfully. "No, don't think so. We'd notice something that out of place around here."
Olivia looks over at the otter with a brief smile. "After all that ruckus, I'd say you'll definitely have to. And give me some credit, I work with cloth all the time!" That said, she works the costume off of Miranda's legs and rolls it up to her waist, unharmed.
"What can we do about her being all weak," Nene asks. "Should we feed her fish? We've got lots of fish. It's good for you."
Miranda quietly recounts the last things she remembers, " The latht thing I remember ith… Clover wanted me to err… meet thith a fwiend of herth I think… thee wath being really nithe, it wath a little weird. But thinthe thhe athked politely I thaid yeth. We went into the tunnelth and thhe had me take noteth on thith muthic I could hear through the rock… I think… unless that wath part of the dream I had after too? It'th kind of fuzzy. Then thingth went black and the crazy dream thtarted… at least I think thatth where it thtarted… " The Lapi doesn't sound too sure of herself…
"You were underground?" Bebe asks. "What was the dream about? Did it involve getting bitten in the arse in any way?"
"No, not the Rughrats. The bunnies. This is a Lapi-style wound: it must have come from either a Chalk bunny or a Lapi. If it was a fight, most people tend to avoid, ah, biting someone else's rear and this is rather severe for a love bite." Morgan reaches for his belt and produces a stoppered glass bottle, which he undoes and begins pouring the contents on the center of the linen pad. "Fish is good. Cook up some fish, she needs to restore that lost blood. Thanks, Nene." He frowns as Miranda recounts her tale, saying, "Clover? Nice? Well, Clover is a Lapi, but … "
Nene dashes out of the baths and vanishes into the river, while Bebe sits there thinking. "It would have to be a big bunny. Really big. But Miranda takes care of the bunnies. Why would one bite her?"
Olivia looks concerned at this mention of Clover leading Miranda into the Chalk tunnels especially with what she's seen herself on her own adventures with Amelia and Zahn. Not to mention her foray into the spirit world and seeing Clover there. She makes a mental note of all this to tell Amelia later.
Miranda looks just as confused as everyone else, "I really don't remember anything like being bitten… Jutht my tail really hurting when I woke up… The dweam wath weird… Had Kalvin's friend Acthel in it… though he was really two peoplth, and there was thith gigantic wolf who… well… turned out two be a thmaller wolf… and very formal at that… " she says, unsure of how much detail to give, especially given the promises she still remembers making.
"A big wolf that was a little wolf?" Bebe asks. "Like a werewolf?"
Olivia starts at this. "Um, Miranda… did this wolf give his name?" she asks quietly.
"And why would one bite her near here, of all places, unless one was brought here? Miranda doesn't remember bringing a bunny with her, although what she does remember … " Morgan's voice trails off as he pulls his knife, then cuts his padding compress free of the rest of the linen. After that, he helps maneuver Miranda's rear so that he can apply the compress. "This will tingle," he warns.
Miranda looks at Olivia and says, "Yeth, he did, he thaid hith name wath Bravil, Bravil Von Ril I think… But that wath the family name… " Looking back over at Morgan the Lapi nods, giving the Kadie the go ahead to apply the compress.
"Bravil? Like the big hunky Gypsy guy that likes stew?" Bebe asks. "He seems kinda shy to have a fancy name though."
Olivia exchanges a serious look with Morgan upon hearing this. "I'm sorry to pester you about this, Miranda, but can you remember anything else about Bravil? From your dream? The information could be rather important."
Morgan applies the compress, then he starts winding the linen around to secure it. "You had a dream of Clover, two Axels, Bravil, a music-playing friend, a cave, Bravil's last name, and woke up like this?" Morgan peels the compress off, briefly, and frowns. "No sign of infection, and only blood loss to account for disorientation. Come to think of it, yes, tell us about Bravil? It may well be important."
Tilting her head, the gray Lapi takes a moment to think before saying anything more. "Well… There were two of him, like Ackthel… only he wath only one of them at a time. He wath really nithe! But he theemed to be hurting alot in tha dream… from old memorieth or nightmareth I think… thomething like that. But he changed into a thmaller wolf for a while in the dream, and he wath like a knight, very formal, inthithted on calling me 'Lady'. It wath kind of annoying… " she trails off, twitching her nose in mild annoyance as she remembers.
Olivia scratches one side of her nose as she thinks this over. "Did he say anything about being trapped in the memories and nightmares he was having? Or why they were hurting him so much?"
"There has been a disturbance in the spirit world lately; recently, in fact. I wonder at a connection," Morgan thinks aloud as he wraps the bandage tight. "To see Axel is odd, but Bravil as well? And now … " Morgan tsks, frowning.
"Can Axel fly yet?" Bebe asks, suddenly. "He has those wings, but couldn't before. Could he have flown Miranda to here from someplace?"
"Bravil didn'th really thay much about why he wath hurting tho much… I think part of it ith becauth he wath having trouble letting go of tha memories. I think that wath why Ackthel was two people; becauthe one wath having trouble letting go to become one… At leatht that'th how it theemed." Miranda replies slowly before saying more to herself than anyone else, "Yeah, it wath an odd dream… I could talk fine and my thhadow wath me… Well… how thome people thee me… or my teeth… it was just weird."
Olivia looks a bit confused now. "Your shadow was you? Did I hear that right?"
"I think she means that other people's shadows were different," Bebe suggests.
"Well," says Morgan as he leans back from securing the bandage. "I think Miranda may benefit from speaking to Natasha, when you're feeling well enough, that is, Miranda."
"What about how she got here?" Bebe asks the witch. "Should we be worried about a crazed, flying, clothes-stealing butt-biting bunny monster on the loose?"
Miranda says, "It wath me, but at tha thame time it wathen't. I could talk fine, but my thadow had my big broken teeth, and it wath all raggedy. It wath me, but I think Ackthel thaid it was the me that thome people thee." Miranda looks at Morgan and asks, "The gypthy?""
"I suggest taking care, but we have no proof of what did this," Morgan advises. He reaches over and tries to take Miranda's muzzle, easing her mouth open to look at her teeth. "I do want to have someone look in on Axel, and see where he's been, and what he has been doing."
Olivia murmurs under her breath, "Disturbances in the spirit world, indeed… just how did Miranda get there, with no spell to guide her?" Aloud, she says, "Yes, I think Dame Natasha would like to hear your story, too. It might help her with a current problem within the tribe."
Bebe's gossip sense jolts her attention on Olivia. "What's this? A problem with the Gypsies?" she rapid-fire asks at Olivia.
Miranda's ears skew from side to side, obviously showing her confusion and little knowledge of what was going on, but she readily agrees with Olivia. "Alright, I don't think I'm likely to forget any of thith anytime thoon, tho I'll be happy to tell Natathha and help in any way I can," she says.
About then, Nene returns, dripping wet and carrying a jar of greenish white goo. "I'm back!" she pants, and holds the jar out to Morgan. "Fish paste! You can spread it on bread or vegetables or something that she won't gag on."
Morgan glances at Olivia, then Bebe, and requests, "Bebe, Nene, I'd like you to go find Kalvin and ask him where Axel is and what he has been doing."
Olivia reaches down and pats the Lapi girl's hand. "Thank you, Miranda. Who knows, your story may be just the help Natasha needs."
"And thank you Nene, this is very … nice. We'll see about the bread and vegetables," Morgan replies. He eyes the 'fish paste,' and then shows Miranda. "Can you handle this? I know, I know … "
"You can mix it in milk too," Nene adds. "Or porridge." Bebe tugs on her, and says, "C'mon, you look for Kalvin, I'll look for Parsley."
Miranda smiles appreciatively at Olivia, always liking to think that she can help in some way or another… before looking over at the jar… The Lapi wrinkles her nose and makes a small face at it, but says quite firmly, "I can handle it. Anything to get me up and moving a bit fathter… "
There's a knock at the doorway. "Can I come in?" Gunther asks from the outside.
"Give us just a minute, Gunther," Olivia calls. "Bebe and Nene were just about to leave but we still have one other person to cover up before you come in."
"Okay. I'll wait," Gunther calls back.
"You're making me hungry," Bebe whispers to Nene. "Oh hey, we should get dressed too."
"You're a brave sort, Miranda." Lacking utensils, Morgan simply hands Miranda the jar. "You'll have to use your fingers."
"Maybe Gunther's brought some real clothes Miranda can wear," Nene suggests.
"Oh yeah, good thought," Olivia says, then calls out again, "Hey Gunther, you didn't bring any clothes for our guest, did you?"
Taking the jar from the Kadie, Miranda asks Morgan to open it for her, saying, "If you can jutht give me a hand with tha lid I can… err… try to eat thome of it now for the nutrientth." The Lapi's ears perk at the mention of actual clothing.
Gunther's arm sticks through the doorway. In his hand is some somewhat oversized work clothing. "I grabbed something from the workroom. It's all that was close," he says.
As requested, Morgan leans over and undoes the lid for Miranda. "If it comes down to it, you can wear my dress. I can run back and change later," he offers.
Olivia runs over and takes the clothes from Gunther's hand. "Thanks," she says, then goes back to Miranda. "I'll help you put these on once you've had a bit of your, um, 'medicine,'" she says, eyeing the fish paste with suspicion.
"Tha'th vewy kind of you Morgan. But hopefully we wont haff to do that," Miranda murmurs, before staring hesitantly at the jar of goop before resolutely scooping some up with two fingers and sticking it in her mouth, grimacing slightly.
"That's so sweet of you, Gunther," Nene says towards the door. "It's nice to see you're finally noticing naked girls." Then to Bebe she whispers, "Do you think he's blushing?"
Morgan nods, then settles back. "I'll remain here with you until you feel well enough to head towards Natasha's, then we can go together," he tells Miranda.
"I didn't look," Gunther snaps from the outside.
"Not even at Olivia?" Nene teases. "I heard how you tried to grab her during your dinner date."
"I did nothing of the sort," Gunther remarks from outside.
"Grab?" Olivia says, confused again. "Dinner date? When was this? This last time we ate dinner together all he did was stare at the patterns on my dress… "
"Well, you have to promise to be more attentive in the future," Nene says. "I'm developed enough now to have to wear clothes, and I expect to be appreciated for it. But we'll give you back that Kadie costume we… uh… found… if you want it."
"Oh-ho! Gunther? Interested in girls?" Morgan chortles.
All the commentary elicits from Gunther outside is a snort.
"But you came in here unannounced earlier, so we get a free peek in the Mens' side later on!" Bebe claims.
Olivia just shakes her head at all the chattering back-and-forth between the others. To Miranda, she says, "Are you ready to try and get into these clothes now? I need to see what Gunther wants."
"I'm sorry to rush you, Miranda, but we do need to get moving. There may be a connection between what happened to you, and other mysteries," Morgan tells Miranda as he stands up.
Miranda seems to be feeling a little better after choking down about half the jar of fish-paste, finally managing to sit up a bit straighter on her own as she looks over at Olivia. "Yeth. I thtill need thome help getting drethed, but I'm actually feeling much better." The Lapi tries to hurry a bit at Morgan's urging.
"I guess we won't need to make a stretcher with Olivia's towel then," Nene notes, grinning. "All hail the miracle powers of FISH!"
Olivia smiles at the Lapi. "Great! Here, let me get this costume off you the rest of the way… " Gently, she tugs at the suit so that it comes up over her arms and head, and off. Then she offers her a hand to stand so she can put on the work clothes Gunther brought.
Miranda takes Olivia's hand and stands up, though still a bit shakily.
Morgan takes the costume so it won't fall in the water, then hands it off to the nearest otter. "This is a nice costume."
Nene takes the costume to the door, and hands it out to Gunther. "Thanks for letting us borrow this," she says.
Slowly, and steadying Miranda as she goes, Olivia helps the Lapi girl into the simple shirt and drawstring pants. "There," she says when everything is on. "They're a bit tattered but clean, at least."
Gunther doesn't take it. "Keep it," the Kadie says from the outside. "It's not important right now."
Whispering, Nene asks, "Did you find any traces of who brought the girl here?"
Smiling, the now dressed Lapi gives Olivia a small hug, saying appreciatively, "Itth certainly better than going naked or in that cothtume." And looking over at the two otters and Morgan, Miranda thanks them as well.
"No. By all evidence, she shouldn't have been here at all. Nothing was disturbed. No traps triggered, no warning alarms, and no counts," comes Gunther's quiet reply.
"How did you drop down on us?" the otter asks Gunther next. "Could someone have come that way?"
Olivia hugs Miranda back and says, "Glad I could help. You looked like you were in pretty bad shape there at first."
"Not without knowing how to bypass all the alarms installed up there to keep people from peeping," Gunther notes. "Or they moved like mist and didn't trigger any of them."
"Oh drats," Bebe says. "We forgot to actually wash up. Oh well."
Miranda nods to Olivia as she is hugged back, replying, "I don't think I've ever felt tho weak in my life… I with I knew what happened."
Morgan gathers up the remains of the linen and his dress, and tucks his bottle of salve away. "Olivia, would you like to help me escort Miranda to Natasha? I recall you have something to talk to Natasha about, as well," he asks.
"Miranda remembers being underground before she was here," Nene tells Gunther. "Better check for tunnels too."
"Tunnels… " Gunther murmurs outside. "Right. I'll have to close off the baths and look."
Olivia looks over at the otters and says, "Miranda's ready to receive visitors now. So unless you want Gunther to see you two in a state of undress again," she teases, "why don't you see if you can find Axel?" Then to Morgan she says, "Sure, I don't mind. I just need to get dressed first, too!"
"Well, there is that," Morgan concedes.
The twins quickly get dressed, only having leather shorts and vests, and then open the door. "Good luck, Gunther," Nene says, and gives him a kiss on the cheek before dashing off." "Thanks for letting us keep the Gunther suit too," Bebe adds, and licks his nose before dashing off in a different direction, as they go to find out about Axel.
Gunther just blinks and looks dumbfounded at being otter-kissed and licked. He watches them dash off before saying, "Ah, I just wanted to tell everyone in there I can't find any sign of someone entering here and leaving her. Someone was able to just walk into clan territory and drop somebody who could have died."
"No sign?" Morgan frowns, making an ominous-sounding, "hmmmmmm."
Olivia quirks an eyebrow in Morgan's direction and says, "I think that bears repeating to Natasha as well, don't you think?"
"Oh, absolutely. If Axel is ruled out, this will be something that definitely warrants 'attention,'" the older male Kadie agrees.
"I have to report to the clan," Gunther says and sighs, "I thought I had this place locked down to the point no one could come or go without it being known. I … sorry. I've failed all of you."
"Cheer up, Gunther," Olivia says kindly. "We're still not exactly sure who did this to Miranda… or if this who isn't actually a what. I mean, something with a physical body would leave some traces behind of his passing. We haven't found anything like that at all. It's just… weird. So don't be too hard on yourself yet!"
"Have a care, Gunther. While this mystery remains unanswered, there may be a dangerous creature running around. I'll trust you to inform your clan, and I'll see to informing the other clans as we head to Natasha," Morgan says.
"Ith not your fault Gunther, you cant prepare for abtholutly everything." Miranda adds in quietly.
"Yeah, well, if I find anything I'll let all of you know," comes the reply from Gunther. And with a scurry of feet, Gunther is gone.
Olivia nods briskly and says, "On that note, I'd better get dressed. I'll be with you shortly and then we can head to the gypsy camp. Guess I'll just have to have my bath later… too much going on today!" With a smile, she dashes off to the changing room.