Aphrodite She S Not
IC date: Winter 6
OOC date: 25/12/12
PCs: Stormdancer Gravity Queen-Pegasus Rising-Chaos
NPCs: None
GM: None

Dusk descends on Horsehoe Harbour, casting the town into shadow. What little light is left serves mostly to add shape to the darkness. The imposing spire out in the bay makes an even more daunting sight at this time. Winds whip through the streets, mere hints of the coming storm. All sane ponies are inside, in the warm.

Though there is one pony outside, on the beach even. Rising Chaos has found a secluded, sheltered area and is keeping a small fire lit through sheer force of will. Her entire stance is one of tiredness, she shivers constantly and there are bag under her eyes. A constant vigil is kept on the bay though, this is clearly not something she'll give up on.

More than an entire day has passed since Queen Pegasus went missing; the circumstances of her disappearance unknown to the habourites. Powerful waves fuelled by the spire crash against the sandy shoreline; bringing seaweed, rocks, and driftwood with it. Rising's vigil bears fruit shortly before sunset as a rather large object washes ashore in the distance - possibly a large piece of drift wood, possibly some wreckage, or perhaps something more important. The comfort of the fire will need to be left to investigate this potential lead - but like so many others over the course of Rising's day it could simply be another disappointment.

Rising-Chaos doesn't hesitate. The second there's even a chance it could be what she's looking for she leaps to her hooves and races across the sand. Her horn springs to life, giving a faint glow around herself. "oh please, oh please," she mutters under her breath. She slides to a stop before the object, hoping it's her Queen. Chaos needs the pegasus for support, she's the only pony in town who can provide it.

A large pony shaped lump is Rising's reward for her vigilance; - soaking wet fur covered in seaweed, and mane littered with debris. Certainly the dirty pink mare is Queen Pegasus - only severely battered, beaten and broken; her wings bent in painfully awkward positions - only moving as the waves crash against the lump that is her unmoving body. If there is any life left in the pegasi - it's not showing.

Rising-Chaos drops to her knees in relief. It's her, it's the Queen! That relief is shattered when she sees the state the pegasus is in. "No, no. You can't die." She rushes over, turning the form over. "Don't you dare die on me."She starts dragging Queenie back towards her fire, out of the wind and rain. Tears soak her face, this can't be happening to her, not now.

There's nary a sign of life in pegasi as Rising drags her body across the shore to the fire the soaking wet nature of the large mare makes it all the more difficult for Rising. The warm light of fire reveals the terrible condition of Queen cut, bruised, broken; clearly she suffered some great ordeal and judging from her condition surely she's…

One blue eye suddenly snaps open pupil wide and dilated; the mare digging her front right hoof into the sand in a clear attempt to stand, even as none of her other limbs seem capable of moving.

Rising-Chaos panics when Queenie shows signs of life. "Hush now, you stay still." She shivering as she starts tearing her robe to make bandages, leaving her in only her cape. Her voice is shaky with a mix of relief and fear and despair as she continues. "I'll fix you, I can fix this. Just stay still and I can fix this." Her voice trails off, she sounds like the trying to convince herself. "Come on Chaos, you can do this one thing." Her horn is glowing bright as all of her effort is put into bandaging her Queen.

Despite Queen's best efforts to stand - her body simply refuses or perhaps in capable of moving; lone dilated blue eye darting to Rising (the other covered by seaweed) - staring at the unicorn mare with what could be construed as confusion and disbelief. A moment later the mare collapses on the beach again - perhaps complying or simply incapable of remaining awake.

Rising-Chaos keeps wrapping bandages around the wounded mare. Her horn flashes again as she starts to cast healing spells on the worst of the damage. She moves frantically, the robe almost entirely in pieces now. Her vision is by now clouded with tears. "Just don't die my Queen, just don't." A massive headache starts to grow, but she ignores it, what she's doing is more important.

Queen's blue eye snaps open again as Rising while Rising is leaning over to cast her healing spells. The mare reaching to place her hooves on the unicorn's shoulder - simply staring up at the other mare while she lies helpless on the sad. There is something particularly different in her gaze.

Rising-Chaos doesn't notice the opened eye in her frantic movements. The hoof on her cheek is something she cannot ignore however. She looks down at the pegasus while she continues to cast healing spells as fast as she can, frantically and wildly, wasting much effort. She smiles wearily for Queen Pegasus. "you'll be okay, you have to be okay." Chaos blinks to clear her eyes and gets back to work.

A low groan escapes Queen's throat as she struggles to speak. "E..enough." her words barely audible due to her weakened state; once again attempting to push herself to her hooves - yet only her front right leg moves. "nnn…" the tenacious Queen struggling for a long moment before falling flat.

What with the super-storm brewing, and for a need to do something, this has led the weather team's rookie member to head out and get more information on it! Translated, in this case, to: Fly around at the edges of it and get a feel for the currents. Which all results in Stormdancer being close enough to spot the fire, and a pair of ponies doing something! Though not enough to see who the ponies -are-, until she gets closer.

"'ey, need any 'elp down- oh." She cuts off her offer of assitance, hovering overhead. "- This somethin' I -wanna- know 'bout?" she asks dubiously.

Rising-Chaos frowns and holds the Queen down. "No, you need to rest." Her breathing becomes faster, laboured. She's clearly exhausted, and the constant spellcasting is not helping. The robe is completely gone now, all the bandages wrapped around the pegasus. Just as she thinks she can't do it any more, Chaos hears another voice. Looking up reveals another pony, the accent she recognizes as Stormdancer. "Please, help. Spindrift did something and now I don't know if She'll even make it." A faint glow starts emanating from her cape as it starts to warn her of magic overuse, she ignores it. "I need help."

Despite her best efforts Queen is simply too battered, too beaten, too exhausted to ignore Rising's pleas - the taller pegasi mare hisses softly. "I'm fine…I won't…" seeming intent on trying to get up again!

Stormdancer doesn't disguise the Look she bestows on Rising's patient, backwinging slightly. "An' yer sayin' she don't got it comin'?" A second look over the pair, and she halts her retreat, landing with the unicorn between her and Queen. "- Yer lookin' more'n a tetch ragged yerself-"

Rising-Chaos continues to stifle her patient's protests. "I will not have you undo everything I just did by getting up. You will get better." Her voice has no edge to it, but is full of pleading. Her horn keeps flashing, and she's forced to clutch a hoof to her head. "I don't care if she had it coming. She is all I have left here." All at once the glow from her horn vanishes and she slumps to the sand, hissing in pain. "I'm fine, fine. I'll live, I'll always find a way. Just gotta save Queen." A spark flies from her horn, but she seems unable to cast any more spells.

She turns to Stormdancer. "I have to do this, please understand." Her cloak by now is glowing brightly, stopping her from using her magic. She tears it off. "Stupid thing, slowing me down."

Queen ceases her attempts to stand and instead rolls onto her back so she may place her right front hoof on Rising's cheeks. "Enough…" she softly growls. "I…I won't have you…" her breathes labored as she attempts to speak. The eye normally bearing the patch is covered by strand of seaweed - leaving the mare's good eye to settle upon Storm. "Take Rising home. I'll compensate…later." dropping her hoof to her own chest with a small growl of pained frustration.

"- Oh." is Stormdancer's soft reply, before Rising's collapse prompts her to step forward- and to then step right back again as the glowing cloak comes off. "Arcee, don't!" She looks back at Queen, eyes narrowed- and lets out a long breath. "I'll 'elp, just- just, don' -push- things." Whoever that was directed to, well… It works either way!

She circles the pair at a trot, thinking out loud in a too-audible mutter. "'ow'm I gonna get -two- crazy, beat-up mares ta cover…"

Rising-Chaos looks visibly relieved as Stormdancer agrees to help. "I just need to get her back to my house. Then everything will be better." She slings he cloak over her back and tries to figure out how to bring Queen Pegasus with her. Chaos is a small mare, and Queenie a big one, which poses some problems. The crazy, beat up mares comment goes ignored, perhaps because it's true. Eventually Chaos spreads the cloak on the ground and uses the last of her magic to lift Queenie on to it. "There, we can drag her on this."

Queen grumbles between laboured breathes "How humilating…" turning her head sideways to avoid Stormdancer and Rising gazes.

Stormdancer casts a doubtful gaze at the cloak, moving to the front of the two. "Fine. I'll pull, ya push- an' keep a eye out fer a wagon o' wheelbarrow o' somethin'. Gonna be shredded 'fore we're 'alfway there…" she finishes out with a mutter, before looking back at Queen. "Ye'll live- o' not. 'least yer flanks ain't -as- big's th' -othe'- one."

The two mares move queen Pegasus through the streets of town, meeting nopony. Eventually they do find a cart that Rising Chaos gives the ok to use. As Stormdancer said though, her cloak is badly torn. Normally this would be cause for distress but it's not important right now, not compared to Queen Pegasus. Soon they reach Chaos' house.

Rising Chaos stands near the cart, looking at the wounded mare. "Would you like me to support you while you get down? Or is it still hard to walk? I'll carry you if you like." She looks calmer now. The tears are gone and her breathing is back to normal. Exhaustion is clear on her face though, she's running on next to nothing.

Queen-Pegasus gives rising a 'are you serious' before attempting to push herself out of the cart - she succeeds but only in landing flat on her face as her limbs simply refuse to move; making it all the clearer she's quite broken! "I'll be fine…' she hisses before digging her front right hoof into the ground and pulling herself several inches closer to the front door.

Stormdancer rubs a hoof against her forehead, groaning. "… Arcee, git th' door." Muttering under her breath, she goes to stand next to Queen, before lowering herself to the ground. "… can't believe I'm doin' this… A'right, lean o'er this way." There's a moment's hesitation, but she puts herself alongside the larger mare, trying to work her wing underneath her to help lift. "- An' stand on three-"

Rising-Chaos nods gratefully and gets the door. "I realize how hard it is for you to help Stormdancer. Thank you." She watches the two go inside and follows them. Perhaps it is for the best that she has decided that her previous promise of 'I'll kill you if you ever come back here' to Stormie is no longer valid. Some things are a bit hight priority. "I don't know what I would have done without you," she says sheepishly.

Getting inside would be as easy as watching if Queen /could/ stand - storms assistance ears a small growl, one far less nasty than usual though. "I can't." the mare again reaching forward to pull herself closer to the door - repeating this process until the mares combine forces to lift and drag her inside.

Stormdancer had to brace herself after they finally got Queen mobile- And getting through the door? A bit awkward, but they managed! Legs shaking, the living room is the limit, for her- but at least it's close to the fireplace, before she has to drop the pink pegasus. "Risin'- Fire, blankets. Patch- Just rest. Me- Makin' soup." And she staggers off to do just that!

A soft scoff is Queen's reply to Storm's 'barking' orders - far less venomous than usual as if Queen is frustrated with the idea of being helpless. "Where is the crew?" she asks Rising while matching the mare rush about. Her crew turned tail and ran with the smaller ship that was still mobile - at least Tough Love was kind enough to stop by and drop off the key to Queen's quarters to Rising - after all no pirate would be dumb enough to raid the Captain's Quarters on the offchance she /did/ survive.

Rising-Chaos is quick to comply, lighting afire and covering Queen Pegasus in blankets. She looks down at her Queen and sighs. For the first time tonight there's a small smile. " they went to the other ship. Mr Love was kind enough to give me the keys." She places a hoof on Queenie's shoulder, reassuring herself that the pegasus is really alive. "I'll be right back," she assures the wounded mare. Chaos goes to join Stormdancer in the kitchen. She stands there for a moment watching her ex assistant, at a loss for words. Eventually she says nothing and just hugs the mare.

Queen lies in front of the fire - prone would be the proper word. "Disgusting.." she mutters to herself while turning her head to face the fire - the seaweed covering her eye falling free. "That stupid seapony."

Stormdancer drops the kitchen knife she was wielding (upon celery! Not intended for the Queen at all! Probably.) as she's surprised by a hug. Not just a hug, but a hug from Rising! And this one feels far more natural than the last one. There's a moment of stiffness… But the blue pegasus returns the gesture soon enough, not saying anything for the time.

Rising-Chaos holds the hug for a while. She's blinking tears away when she finally let's go. She sniffs and looks away, embarrassed. Now that she's home she doesn't want to be seen so /off/. "I just, thanks," is all she manages to say before whirling around facing the living room. "And sorry." It seems it's that time, when all of her mistakes are finally catching up to her.

"… Same," Stormdancer admits to Rising's back, before returning to preparing the soup. "- Ya better git back out ta 'er." And she makes with the busy, sounds of chopping vegetables providing a backdrop for whatever happens next.

Rising-Chaos nods tiredly and moves back to the living room. She takes a seat on her favourite chair, curling up so she can keep an eye on Queen Pegasus. After a few moments of silence, she speaks up. "I am overjoyed to see you alive, my Queen." She looks down at her hooves. "I did not take news of your disappearance well."

Queen turns her gaze away from the fireplace and to Rising before dryly asking. "Am I to lie here in discomfort for the remainder of the evening?" Not a pillow or blanket in sight for the battered and broken mare.

Someponyguest asks for pillows, Whatever does a gryphon do with all that 'fluff' that remains, why, Down Pillows of course!, A few pillows drop from the darkened rafters, then thereafter drops the big feathered form himself, though he does so via climbing across the rafters then down the beams so as to not kick up any wind or startle anyone besides that of falling pillows or anything.

With the Queen and Rising in the living room in front of a freshly crackling (and controlled!) fire, Stormdancer's back in the kitchen again, for the first time since her little exile. Water's heating, vegetables are being added… Soup, for the tired and/or wounded mares! And some heavy thinking, for her.

Rising-Chaos springs to her hooves as fast as can be expected. "Of course, my Queen. My apologies." She takes the dropped pillows without question and brings them over to the pegasus. She's forced to use her mouth or hooves to move several blankets over and tuck Queenie in. She sits by the couch Queen Pegasus is on for a moment and rests her head. Gravity's entrance is noticed, but not acknoledged, too tired.

Queen-Pegasus curiously glances towards pillows from heaven then to the Gryphon who scurries its way down to the ground - this prompts the mare to curiously look to Rising. "You'll invite anyth…one to live here, won't you?" all the while clenching her left eye shut due to lack of eyepatch. "Am I going to have direct you to my every need?" Only a hint of annoyance and non of the usual vile! "I could use some bandages…my eye.

Gravity glances to the 'damaged' pegasus mare and regards her curiously, "I'm a paying tenant, though I tend to the guests, and to the maintenance of this place here as well, Milady" he offers politely enough, and nods some, "Misteress Chaos, besides bandages, how may I be of service?" he asks politely enough.

Clatter! Chop-chop-chop, scrape-scrape- Stormdancer's kitchen industry continues!

Rising-Chaos shakes her head. "I've got this one Gravity. I am going to take care of her. Thank you." She grabs her cloak and tears a strip off. Slowly she gets to her hooves again and bandages Queen Pegasus' eye. She takes a step backwards, slumping downwards. "Is there anything else you require?"

Gravity 's head swivels about turning nearly backwards hearing motion in the kitchen the look of 'wait, what Who?' is plain on his form

Rising-Chaos waves him away. "It's Stormdancer. Why don't you see if you can make yourself useful to her?"

Queen gives Rising a slightly disproving look at the destruction of the cloak. "You act as if you've no bandages." gently chastising the smaller mare. Her lone blue eye wandering from the Gryphon then towards the kitchen. "Simply stay put for the remainder of the evening." a subtle way to say 'stay by my side' without being mushy.

Gravity 's eyes practically light up hearing that Stormdancer is back, and he promptly Jumps into the rafters with a quick burst of strength, is heard from above, some ripping heard here and there, of god knows what, but he is VERY good at shredding things, pillow cases or something. and Drops back down before them offering the small pile of shredded cloth before the two mares. An offering of 'Bandages' more or less, offers a quick bow, then bounds for the kitchen.

Queen sighs heavily "I know what you're getting for Hearth's Warming." gaze turning towards the warm fire once more…was that a joke?

There! All the ingredients added, all that's left to do is let it cook- and clean up! Stormdancer avoids obeying the laws of Tragecomdedy by having just set the knife safely in the sink, when she turns at the sound of a galloping gryphon. A small smile lights onto her face as she spreads her wings. "Gravy! Missed me?"

Rising-Chaos looks at the terribly damaged cloak, then shrugs. "It's better fabric, will be easier on your eye. It doesn't matter, not important." She moves over and curls up in front of the couch, there isn't enough room on it. "Oh, what's that?" She obviously doesn't get the joke.

Feathers meet feathers, FEATHERHUG! Poof "Stormie!" he just hugs, pecks preens, cares most of all "Darn right, what are you doing back, whats going on, Who's that pink beat to feathers pegasus mare out there? and and and What are you doing back here?!"

Queen-Pegasus softly shakes her head before placing her hoof on Rising's shoulder. "Wouldn't a bed be more… accommodating?" Certainly Queen deserves the best accommodations possible - even if it's a very sneaky of way ensuring she gets what she wants later.

Stormdancer nuzzles Gravity right back. Hey, someone she can be unconflictedly glad about seeing is nice to have around! "Arcee needed some 'elp," she starts to explain, sniffing as some down tickles her nose. "An'… she's a guest've Arcee's." A pause. "- She looks ta be safe 'nough fer now, but she gets movin' 'gain, don' turn yer back on 'er."

Rising-Chaos nods and gets to her hooves one last time. She gets up to find Queenie asleep. With a sigh, she gets Queenie ready to move one last time. Thankfully some magic has returned to her, enough to make the mare possible to carry on her back at least. Soon she's climbing the stairs on her way to her room, she'll sleep on the couch tonight.

Gravity perks a brow and flips his mohawk up a little, "Oh, uhh ok, I'll keep my eyes on er' when she's mobile again, don't think that will be fer awhile though" he murmurs, "looks all beat to Tartarus, the both of em really" he offers, "just what da' he-double hockey sticks is going on round here?

Stormdancer shakes her head, turning back to the soup to stir it. Not nearly as tasty when burned, nope! "Don' rightly know. That -was- 'er ship what came crashin' down, an' 'parrently she got inta a fight with Spindrift, but that's all what I know." A sigh. "- An' 'pparently Arcee's closer ta 'er 'n what I'd thought. 's a mess."

Rising-Chaos comes downstairs slowly, without Queen Pegasus. She looks completely gone, exhausted. Everything about her looks broken, though for once there's a flicker of hope in her eyes. She climbs on to her favourite chair and curls up. Hopefully Stormdancer will get the soup finished soon.

Gravity nods some, "I've seen some odd stuff lately, and all the mice are gone for some reason, I mean like vacated the flippin town, makes for making dinner awfully hard" he grumps some he sniffs the veggie soup, kinda gags at that thought but it still smells interesting at least.

Wryly, Stormdancer pokes a wing in the direction of the Spire. "Ya seen th' weather've late? Mice got more sense'n most've us ponies." A small grin, as she reaches over to ruffles Gravity's crest. "An' gryphs." A bit of clattering later, and she's ladling up two bowls of soup. "Kin ya get these out ta Arcee an' 'er guest? I'll see what I kin whip up fer ya 'n th' meantime."

Gravity takes a bowl up to the snoozing guest, where he may try to 'feed' her later if she stirs some, and heads back to the kitchen to retrieve the second bowl for the Misteress of the House. "Foodforme?" he nodnod's and his stomache grumbles an acknowledgement, or 'please food for me, anything, well anything but this good smelling but vile looking soup' oh god the horror, the veggies! anything but that!

Rising-Chaos takes the bowl gratefully. She sips at the soup slowly. The soothing broth seems to bring her to life a little, waking her up. She doesn't look like her normal self, still. "Thank you, Gravity," she says, quietly.

Stormdancer continues to pilfer Rising's pantry. Poor Gravity! Why, with her gone, he's probably had no choice but to eat who- er, -what-ever he could catch, rather than a nice, civilized cooked meal. Luckily, a batch of cookies is quick enough to get started, and doesn't even need watching while it bakes! Gryphon-food underway, she retires to the living room with her own bowl of soup. Not -as- badly needed for her as for the others, but still nice to have. Sitting nearish to the fire, she looks over at Rising before taking a sip. "- So." A pause. She looks down. "- Thanks fer checkin' on me th' othe' day."

Gravity unpacks a two large blankets from some oft used closet, and tucks in RIsing and then drapes the other over the shoulders of Stormie offering a slight bob of his head at being acknowledged by RC. His stomach grumbles again some, dang soup smells good, perhaps he's even started looking at pony flanks as of late, cooked or uncooked, meat is meat after all, stray foals, friends may even look a little more appealing with the apparent lack of food this past week or so.

Rising-Chaos is surprised by Stormdancer's words. "Thank me? No need, I care about you. I know what you felt when you touched that thing." She looks in to her bowl, taking another sip. "You needed to not feel alone." She nods at Gravity weakly in thanks. She feels safe with him, despite his predatory instincts, even if she's essentially helpless.

Stormdancer shivvers a bit, edging closer to the fire, despite the chill she felt having nothing to do with the temperature. "That… I don' e'en want to -'member- that." She shakes her head, then cocks an ear at Gravity's rumbles. "- Gravy, ain't ya gettin' -anythin'- 'sides… huntin'?" A look back at Rising. "Ya ain't been cookin' any, Arcee?" Oh, hey, a new topic! Let's pursue that.

Rising-Chaos looks embarrassed. "He told me he was fine with what he could scavenge. I'm no chef." She pauses for a moment, before sighing. "I haven't been doing very well these past couple week either." She takes out her ruined cloak and hugs it. The thing will require extensive repairs. thankfully it's mostly out of everyone else's view, so she doesn't look childish.

Gravity beds down across from the both of them, he does this little brudy trick of fluffing up and turning into a feather poof, for more warmth right there, and he kinda shakes his head, "places to eat have been scarse, critters aren't here in town, everything else is hibernating for the winter, its always a rough time o' year, but this year" he shudders and pokes his ribs," ooh that does look a little bleak and underfed looking now that he points it out

"This year is just bleak, with that, that 'thing' down town, or whatever that is, id driving everything away" he buries his head in his wings, "been so hard, I've been eyeing foals even, Foals!" he whimpers some and shakes his head hiding it under his wing with embarrassment. (stomache grumble)

Stormdancer's eyes go wide briefly before she gets her reaction under control. "'s a mess fer e'ryone," she gripes, before taking another drink of soup. "Don' reckon this shoul' make ya sick or anythin', Gravy- Wanna try some ta tide ya o'er 'til th' cookies 're done?" She stands up, whichever his answer. "- An' considerin', I'll git started 'n somethin' more fer ya, too." The last thing anypony wants is a gryphon driven feral by hunger!

Rising-Chaos doesn't react nearly as much. either because she isn't intimidated or just doesn't care. "Sorry for not feeding you then Gravity, I hadn't realized." She watches Stormdancer bustle about, glad to see her already looking so at home.

Gravity couldn't harm anypony, even if the thoughts have come to mind in moments of hunger . Eying flanks of mares and stallions alike and not for their cutie marks even, but with considerations of just how much meat are one their bones, well done, medium rare, still whinnying, got a good kick to that one even!

He eyes that soup and gives in with a nod, though does push his beak into that soup pushing aside the veggies, and only drinking in the borth which merely furrows his brows and makes him shrug. there's a distinct sound of akwardness, but also enjoyment, as he gets /some/ sustanance

Stormdancer returns to bustling in the kitchen! Why she hasn't gotten a job in one of the local restaurants or taverns yet, nopony knows. A quick check on the cookies- Nothing's burning, good. "We oughta figger -somethin'- out. Going from m' camp ta 'ere e'ry day jest ta cook seems kinda needless. 'specially 'f I git back ta cloud-pushin' once this 'ole Spire thing gits settled."

Rising-Chaos raises an eyebrow at that. Perhaps, just perhaps, this is her chance. "You could always stay here again," she offers, her voice low. "I could always find room, I'm sure." She hopes Stormdancer takes her up on the offer, no matter how risky it is. She steels herself for rejection and looks down at the now empty bowl.

Gravity slurps the rest of hiis soup and politely offers the veggies to RC, "you, you can have these" he quavers a little, having had that little something just has him wanting more, be gets up and follows Stormdancer into the kitchen

Stormdancer looks back out towards the living room briefly, before putting more dough together- It may be plain, but with the quantity she can make, it should help keep stave off hunger pains for a decent while for a gryphon. "I… don' think I can, Arcee. Not fer a while, 'leastwise." A pause, while she works, along with another look at Gravity. "- I know patches means somethin' ta ya, but I can't share a roof with 'er. She tried drownin' me. I kin stop tryin' ta git even fer it… but it ain't somethin' I kin ferget."

Rising-Chaos nods, not disappointed. She never really expected Queenie and Stormdancer to get along. "I know, and I don't blame you." She wonders how Stormdancer would ever want to share a house with Rising herself, but doesn't say anything. She's very tired, and curls tight around her battered cloak. Soon she's quite nearly lost to the sweet embrace of sleep, which has eluded her for the past few days.