Footprints in the snow

Footprints in the snow
#1
Footprints in the snow
It has been snowing for three days, now. The trees are heavy with white powder, sagging under the weight, and the flurries blow in on the biting wind. It has been a cold winter, bitterly so, and the backcountry, so far from the bustle of the cities, is abandoned. A deathly stillness has come over the land, and not even the animals dare stir from the burrows and nests out into the world. And yet there is someone out there. A figure, tightly bundled up, walks with a steady determination, shrugging off the wind, shielding their eyes against the snow, leaving tracks which are slowly being covered by a fresh layer of snow. And yet, this is not the only person to pass by this way. The figure stops, crouches, and examines the path ahead. Another set of footprints continues on into the snow. A finger probes, measures. Silence.

Satisfied, the tracker continues following the trail. But here, I must stop and ask you for some help, friends. Who is this hunter, tracking their prey so doggedly though the snow? And who, exactly, is the one being hunted?
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#2
RE: Footprints in the snow
a police officer chases a prisoner
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#3
RE: Footprints in the snow
The hunter: Yeti.

The prey: An unsuspecting nature documentary crew
~◕ w◕~
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#4
RE: Footprints in the snow
>Young girl tracking her fairy godmother. She's going to wring out her birthday present out of that lazy good-for-nothing pixie one way or another!
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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#5
A beast emerges from the storm; A woman escapes into the storm
The hunter stops for breath, and a gust of wind blows the hood off their head. For a brief moment, a woman's face is revealed; young but with a determined expression on her face, she pulls the hood back on and continues walking. She goes for what seems like a long time, and indeed it is hard to measure the moments when all around is ice and snow, but she knows, deep down, that she is close. The footprints she follows are deeper, closer together. Her prey is getting tired. The hunter goes over a crest, and spots a figure collapsed in the snow ahead of her.

I've got her, the woman thought.

In a burst of speed, she crosses the last few meters separating the two. She reaches into her coat and pulls out a pistol; the gun is inky black against the snow.

"Sarah Jackson! You're under arrest for escaping from prison! Put your hands up, and don't move!"

The figure stirs, rises. She is a thin woman, shivering in her prison jumpsuit, bright orange clashing with gentle white. Her hair is wet and unkempt, like the rest of her. She stares at the officer - green eyes flashing in the semidarkness of the storm.

"Imogen, fool girl, if only you could see how they've tricked you! Why do you call me by that name? Do you really not recognize me, Mav, Queen of the Fae? Oh, I wish my powers were not so weak here, else I would take you with me!"

The ground shakes; the snow rumbles. From the blizzard a white-furred beast emerges, tall and broad of shoulder, which moves impossibly quickly towards the escapee. It kneels before her, and she climbs onto its back. The officer is frozen in shock and fear. Her hands tremble. The beast starts running off, and the woman on its back turns.

"Remember, Imogen, remember who you are! I shall return for you, once my powers have recovered, and I shall help you as best I can!"

Imogen looks at the gun in her hands. She has a choice - the beast is almost out of sight. But what shall she do?
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#6
RE: Footprints in the snow
you're an officer of the law, you don't shoot unarmed people in the back, much less animals!

the only option is to whistle for your mighty steed and give chase
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#7
RE: Footprints in the snow
>Give chase. Just because it's weird doesn't mean your duty has changed.
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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#8
A choice: duty, or honor?
Imogen swears, lowering her gun. She knows she cannot shoot, but also that she cannot catch up. She wants to give chase, but how? The beast is already disappearing into the snow, and it moves with an inhuman speed which is unmatchable on foot. An intense pain hits her, she falls to the ground. A bright vision is invading her head, along with a voice, screaming,

REMEMBER YOURSELF, IMOGEN. CALL YOUR STEED AND RIDE.

She doesn't know what to do. Images flash in her brain, visions of horses, women riding in a storm, great hosts of soldiers, terrible beasts. Finally, a unicorn, its horn is bright and pure, and it nuzzles her head.

Huh... I almost felt that.

A wet tongue licks her again. Imogen looks up - there is a horse above her which wasn't there before. It is a gray dappled mare, with thick hair around the hooves. The horse has no bridle or saddle, but Imogen knows instinctively that she could ride her, ride and catch up to Sarah.

At the same time, she hears behind her the barking of dogs and the whirr of an engine. A spotlight cuts through the fog - it must be the other officers, arriving on snowmobiles.

Again, Imogen is torn. She did not shoot, but should she take this horse into the storm, or wait for the rest of the police officers, knowing that the trail will be lost?
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#9
RE: Footprints in the snow
>Take Dearest Draft Horse and ride on! Look not this mystery horse in the mouth, she came to you for a reason!
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#10
RE: Footprints in the snow
no way you're taking a magic unicorn, not when you're chasing queen of the fae. no, sometimes you gotta know when to walk away — you're not going to let the opponent set the rules of engagement, the territory.

a police officer has resources that any escaped convict does not: experience, the luxury of time, collaborators, bloodhounds, even just the ability to operate in broad daylight. right now, your best resource is your radio and your co-workers. circle the wagons so there's nowhere left to run and close in.
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#11
RE: Footprints in the snow
Get on the sketchy fucking unicorn.
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#12
RE: Footprints in the snow
She Mounts the Steed

imogen, do you remember me?

She climbs on she climbs on she climbs on she rides

the storm intensifies.

There is nothing but white.

"She's getting away! Somebody, stop her!"

Gunshots crack through the storm, then her ears begin to whine and it drowns out all other noise until she can hear nothing but white. In front of her eyes there is only snow. She is lost. She cannot see. She cannot hear. The cold goes deep into her bones and she is numb. She cannot feel. There is nothing. Nothing but her and the horse. The gray of the mare begins to fade into white, until she cannot see whose back she rides on. Only the feeling of motion tells her that she is still alive. There is nothing else in her world. And then, things stop.

Imogen blinks and looks around. She doesn't recognize her surroundings at all. The sky is a clear, cold blue, and the snow-covered hills stretch off into the distance. The trees are larger somehow, more healthy even though they lack their summer leaves. She spots ahead of her tracks through the snow leading to a path cutting through and off towards a small ridge. That certainly wasn't there before. She notices, too, that her horse has changed - still gray, but with a small horny nub extending from her head. She snorts as Imogen reaches down to touch it. Yep, real. She checks her uniform and finds everything as before, including her gun. Still loaded. She can still catch up to Sara, though she doesn't know where to go from there.
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#13
RE: Footprints in the snow
the horse is an agent of the fey
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#14
RE: Footprints in the snow
Horse: Bring the woman before a lake dragon.
[Image: DGBpqSL.png]
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#15
RE: Footprints in the snow
In her uncertainty over where to go, the mare directs Imogen down to the path and towards the ridge. The path cuts through the trees and Imogen can't help but shiver. Something about their trunks seems more alive than anything she's seen before. At the top of the ridge, the trees clear, allowing her to see out into the forest. Ahead the path continues past a small lake and towards a cluster of buildings in the distance. She can't tell what they're for, but they look inhabited, judging by the plume of smoke coming from one of their chimneys. Imogen can't scrutinize them for too long as the mare continues down towards the lake.

Her horse stops at the lake which despite the cold seems not to have frozen over. The water has a strange, shimmering quality to it, and her mare snorts as she bends down to drink. She seems to not want to budge, even when Imogen nudges her in the side. Sighing, she dismounts and brushes the snow off of a log, waiting for the horse to finish drinking. As she sits, Imogen notices movement in the water - something stirs below the surface.
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