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An examination of pack tactics. Audio recorded by the Archivist, in situ.

Pre-Statement[]

John and Martin are walking through a domain of The Hunt in the form of a forest, looking for Basira.

As they walk, they begin to argue. They are going very slowly, and Martin urges John to tell him what he's keeping secret. John reveals that the domain is based around the fear of betrayal, of one's pack turning on you. He informs Martin that in the new world, the boundaries between the fears are breaking down, if they ever mattered at all. A domain feeds off the fear of the domain, not necessarily the entity it is aligned to. He also claims that domains are not only fear factories of the people in them, but are also shaped by those same people. Martin tells John he has a feeling they're being followed, and John confirms his suspicions, and says that as long as Martin keeps calm, they'll be safe. Martin is not calmed by this, and demands to be told what is happening.

As they keep walking, and the argument gets more heated, John feels the need to make a statement. Martin goes to keep watch, a little annoyed, as John begins talking.

Statement[]

The members of the pack are hunting someone.

They have no names anymore, no words, just the unity in hating the prey they are hunting. Perhaps, if they still had words, they could explain why, list what terrible crimes the prey had committed. But that is not really important here. Here, there is just an intense hatred, and an intense need to prove that hatred is justified by violence. And a subtle fear, almost but not quite drowned out by the thrill of the hunt, that their packmates may just turn on them next.

Ahead, the prey trips, ankle twisted and caught in a vine. The hunt is over, and the pack surrounds them. As they circle the prey, the prey finds one last burst of strength. Not to attack or to flee, but to protest. They are innocent, they cry, and the pack are no righteous hunters but pathetic, bullying hypocrites who feed on the innocent. This is not fair. This is not right.

And maybe they are innocent. Or maybe they are just as guilty as every other member of the pack. It does not matter.

The pack descends, and they savagely tear the prey apart. When its finished and the prey is dead, there is a brief moment of calm as they bask in righteous punishment. And then the paranoia comes back. Watching each other, the pack notice that one of their members has less blood on them than the others. Why is that? Could not reach the prey, perhaps. Or... maybe they felt some sympathy for the victim? For a fellow sinner?

There is no formal accusation, just the realization that one of them is no longer one of them. The prey turns to run.

And the pack begins to hunt.

Post-Statement[]

Martin returns, claiming he thinks he saw something following them. John asks Martin if he trusts him. He, after some worry, says yes, and John tells him to stay calm and not make any sudden movements, at which point Trevor Herbert bursts from the treeline and puts a blade to Martin's throat. He demands John only talk slowly - he knows what he can do, and if he tries compelling him he will slit Martin's throat.

John reveals that this threat is somewhat empty. Trevor could kill Martin permanently, were he still a hunter. But he is not. Now, he's prey. Julia is dead, killed by Daisy, and now she is hunting Trevor too. Trevor wants revenge. He wants to kill Martin, and let John feel the same loss he did. John just apologizes for reducing Trevor even lower than prey, to bait. Suddenly, Basira emerges and shoots Trevor, killing him.

Basira holds the duo at gunpoint, and demands they prove who they are by saying something only they would know. This does not work very well, as Martin does not know Basira that well, and John is theoretically omniscient. John's demeanor, however, convinces Basira that they are indeed the real Martin and John. She holsters her gun and tells them to follow her, and the three walk deeper into the forest.

Continuity[]

  • Related Entity: The Hunt
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