[LB] Check In the Engine Room (KA, LB Refresh 03 annnnd CV 04)

edited February 2015 in LadyB

The Owl is purring and humming and all that good stuff while Snargle keeps her out of the fight. You still need to get off Haven, but you've got a moment here, a moment of respite. And hells are you tired. Oh, you've got a visitor.

Lady Blackbird,

You make your way to the searing hot boiler room / engine of The Owl. There, in his goggles, covered in a sheen fo sweat and water, is Kale.

What do you do?


  • LadyB-

    Naomi will be ok. I can't worry. I mustn't fret. I need to do something that will take my mind of it all. Investigating a theory should do the trick. The mechanic's magic had been calling to mine, but mine informed me of his gift with giggles of a judgmental adolescent. It looks like even with all the maneuvers, he's still one whole man...boy, actually, I don't know which of us is senior.

    "...do you have a moment?" I look at the grime on his palms. "...after you've washed your hands?"
  • edited January 2015

    I look at my hands.

    Why would ya wash something's only gonna get dirty again?

    Even though I presented iron-tight logic, I pull off my fingerless gloves an drape em over a steam vent to air a bit. My hands underneath are jus about the same color though--not much I could do there.

    Jus havin her in here, a blindin white star in a sky of soot, is a mite offputtin. I got that same feelin in the back of my throat--that feelin I get when I get a visit from people that can shoot lightin or throw fire--that's ... that's, I don't know. Equal parts comfy and terrifyin all at once.

    But, she's the whole reason we're about on this mission. Can't hold none of that against her.

    I shrug an motion over to the auxiliary steam-turbine housin. It's sorta shaped like a chair an it doesn't get hot enough ta give anyone blisters by sittin on it. At least serious blisters.

    I gotta moment or two. Whatcha need, your Ladyship?
  • LadyB-

    I approach him and take one of his hands in both of mine. I trace the blood quill along a vein that travels from his wrist, to his palm. I hear a faint chatter. I would be able to hear it better if...

    I prick him.

    Just enough to draw a bead of blood. "...just as I thought..." I can hear it a little better now. Though, I can't quite make out the brand. It doesn't look like my king's, nor like mine. "...can you hear it?"
  • KaleArkamHeader

    I ain't too sure what this weird needly guy the Lady's wavin around my hand is, but for some reason I ain't too spooked to stop her.

    --Until she stabs me that is.

    Ow! What in the damned, eternal Blue are ya doin?

    I cradle my hand up to my vest, but it don't even smart anymore iffin I'm honest.

    She don't have any reaction attall. She's just lookin at that drop a blood--my blood--at the end of her fancy needle.

    I'm about to start complainin about my newest stab wound, but it gets so quiet, even wit the hum of the Owl's heart behind us, and then I can almost hear it.

    I don't know that I'd call it singin, but there is a musical nature to it ...
  • edited January 2015

    I raise a brow. "...it hurts the first few times. You'll get used to it." I remove my blood quill and offer it to him. "Close your eyes and listen. They will tell you what the brand should look like." I unwrap my hand, and show him the scar. It's healed since the last time I opened it in the brig. "...you, Kale, have the blood of a sorcerer in you."

    At first, the voices reminded me of a Ghostblood. Uriah's second in command was a Ghostblood. No, it sounds more distant, more detached, and less mischievous. The blood of the Ashes. "...in your veins is the whisper of a Voidblood."
  • KaleArkamHeader

    A memory washes up of Dr. Viceroy an his oh-so-fancy hat beattin the ink outta me as a kitten when I told everyone I had the blood.

    "You got so much fancy blood? Den lemmie see it wit me own eyes."

    I turn away from her.

    Nah, nope. Impossible. Just the petty magic. The little kind. Old Scow, the rain witch, beat a few tricks into me, but it was all just spittin magic--not yer bloody sort.

    Couldnta had no sorcerers in my family tree. The talk was the Arkams were a long line a cut-throats, roustabouts, and shit-skimmers--if ya mind my Orc-talk, your Ladyship--afore they dropped dead in debtors dungeons. And the way I'm turnin out don't do much ta say different.

    I say all that, but that word she said, "Voidblood." I'd swear on my life I never heard it spoken, but it sounds more familiar than my own name.
  • LadyB-

    "...spit?" I turn a little green underneath the makeup Snargle layered onto my face.

    "I see it. You should feel honored to be blessed with such a thing. I try and offer the quill again. "...at least try and speak to them. The worst they can do is not listen."
  • KaleArkamHeader

    “Spit” was the offensive part? Shouldn’t mention the other creative fuels Scow taught me to use for magicin.

    I take the spikey thing like I’m holdin a tiny baby made a gold. I close my eyes and wait for the light, or whatever, to wash over me.

    I look back up at the Lady. So, wait. How do I talk to them? An whosit I’m fixin to talk to?
  • edited January 2015

    How much did this witch actually teach him?

    I take the quill back and put it on my finger. "...listen." I trace the scar on my palm. I'm not cutting in too deep. I'm not trying to cast anything fancy. There's enough blood to get the storm clouds to awaken. "...this is how you get them to listen."

    He should be able to hear them chatter.

    "...and then this is how you speak to them." I whisper the words that get them to do my bidding. A few sparks crawl about my fingers like a caterpillar.

    I give him the quill back. "Now, you try. Like I said, the worst they can do is ignore you."
  • KaleArkamHeader

    Ain't no harm in tryin, spose.

    I scratch a few lines into my hand. It mostly jus moves around the soot, but there's some red in there that's quick taken by whatever tis that takes that stuff.

    I can feel it more than hear it. A dark blue all around us. Outside the Owl. Tryin ta pull us outside with it. Not quite inna mean way--though it's none too nice neither. It's sad most of all.

    I do hear it. It's so ... so lonely.

    I look up at the Lady. I can almost hear her buddy too. More anger there. Way more power. A thunderstorm on a leash. Kinda like her now's I'm thinkin it.
  • edited January 2015

    "Yes, the void is lonely." I smile, and pat his hand. "But, if you hear it, that means it's willing to listen. I congratulate you."
  • KaleArkamHeader

    I don't want it to, but gettin congratulations and a pattin does feel nice.

    Thanks. Not sure iffin we should break out the caviar champagny just yet though. House-less gutter-crab like me could get hung for usin this kinda stuff. You could be hung for showin it to me.

    And that's assumin I could even handle it. Scow said I was one a the only kids she taught the petty stuff to that dinnit end up killin theysself wit it. An this Void chappo seems mighty more hungry than whatn I'm use ta dealin wit.

    I look down at my black hands--now with little pink lines--an shrug without lookin at her. Don't wanna see her face after what I'm fixin to say, jus in case I don't like it.

    I'm mighty grateful, but I ain't worth the trouble, your Ladyship. Maybe one day I'll try ta find some channellin teacher, but I don't wanna put you in any more danger then we already did.

  • edited January 2015
    ((I like this scene a lot.))


    "My mother said that those who have been blessed with a bloodline should master it." I take the pen, cleaning our blood off it before putting it back onto my finger.

    "Let's be honest. I put myself in the danger the moment I ran away from home. Uriah said I'm a better sorcerer than he is, so, you're not going to find someone better at channeling if I myself surpass the Pirate King." I admit, I'm fluffing my own feathers just a bit.
  • edited January 2015

    (Me too!)

    I can't help but smile. I have the annoyin urge to hug her, but I drown it down.

    So yer gonna teach me? Ha! I wish Drabbler could see this. The best sorcerer in the Blue showin little ol Kale the ways and waves of the Channler's life. Ha!

    Can't wait to see King Uriah again. He prolly won't even recognize me.
  • edited January 2015

    "Yes, I am going to teach you. Besting your enemies is the Blackbird way, after all, and nothing earns respect more than knowing how to wield highborn magic properly." I smile proudly.

    "...as a brunette, I wonder if he'll recognize me as well." My grin falters. Even now, I wonder why I woke up at home, and not in Uriah's bedchamber, with him at my side. "...I will...be glad to see him as well."
  • KaleArkamHeader

    Iffin we’re bein honest, I don’t have much expertise with earnin much a anythin. Could be a nice pool to wade in fer a bit.

    I’m thinkin of all the girls (well, most of em were girls) that King Uriah brought into his cabin when I served on his boat. They had all sortsa hair.

    I wouldn’t wager he’d mind yer hair. Looks ok ta me.

    When did you fly wit him, anyways? I only knew him a bit. Don’t think he trusted me all too well--not that I’d blame him, I think he was the only one on the crew I dinnit knick some pretty or another offa.

    --Hey, did he have a cabin boy with him when you was there? His hair an eye color would change every few days, got in trouble more often than that--answers to Drabbler?
  • Lady Blackbird and Kale,

    You hear the sound of someone walking down the narrow corridor to the engine room. Captain Vance makes his way inside.

    Captain Vance,

    You found the lady in the engine room, smiling and talking quietly with your first mate.
  • edited January 2015

    Cyrus clears his throat and asks "Am I interrupting anything? Cause if ya wouldnna mind, Kale, I might like a few words wit' Blackbird here."
  • LadyB-

    "Really, him...knicking something off a noble is how we met. He took a brooch from a Twilight. I ran away with him shortly after that day I came of age. That was a few years ago..."

    I blink at that description. "Yes, he was certainly rambunctious. The crew used to call him the meddling midwife. I didn't know he had medical experience until he told me..."

    The storm clouds go quiet. Caess, I know why she shot me. I just didn't allow myself to admit it.

    "...he...told me I was with child."

    I turn when I hear the Captain...something about needing to speak to me. "...we...we can continue our lessons later, Arkam."
  • edited January 2015

    When the Cap comes in I jump up. I can feel my heart pumpin faster than the Owl’s steam pistons behind me.

    Cap! You ain’t never gonna believe what happened! Turns out there’s a thing called a “Void--”

    He ain’t even looked at me since he came in. My shoulders fall when I suss out what he’d jus said.

    Oh, uh. No Cap. Nothin real important.

    I take a look down at my hands an grab my gloves from the steam vent. They’re damp an way too warm when I put em back on.

    You need some alone time? Want me ta leave the Engine Room?
  • LadyB-

    "...tell him, Arkam." I say weakly. "It is exciting news."
  • edited January 2015

    I put my hands in my pocket to try to dry em out. I concentrate on makin a little circle in the dirt with my shoe.

    Nah, it ain’t so important. The Lady said I might-could have some Blood in me and she can teach me howta Channel it. I mean, iffin we ever need it.

    Ain't life or death or nottin.
  • CyrusVanceHeader

    Cyrus blankly looks back and forth between Kale and Blackbird, Blackbird and Kale, his mouth hanging open just a little bit...

    "Wait... blood... with child... channeling... what's going on?"
  • LadyB-

    "Kale is a Voidblood. I am going to teach him how to channel it, so he can spellcast properly." I don't mention the part about Uriah's unborn child. "...you said you had a few words for me?"
  • CyrusVanceHeader

    Cyrus' face goes blank. The color drains from his cheeks. He looks at Kale again, then looks back at Blackbird.

    "Um... I just wanted to let you know..."

    He's stammering, clearly confounded. Then he regains his composure.

    "Naomi. She was injured, but... I patched her up. She'll be back on her feet in no time. I just thought you should know. I'll be in my quarters if you need me."

    Then, Cyrus spins on his heels to leave.
  • edited January 2015

    ...why do I feel so drained all of a sudden?

    Despite being in the engine room, I am quite chilled.

    I remember then I'm not wearing much up top. "...w-wait." I stumble to catch up. "Captain, could I by chance borrow a shirt from you?"
  • CyrusVanceHeader

    Cyrus pauses as he turns. Without turning to look a Blackbird, he mumbles "Well, um, sure... follow me. We'll grab you one."
  • edited January 2015

    I follow, pondering as I do so. That memory of Drabber, the meddling midwife, it opened the floodgate.

    Uriah put building his fleet before our wedding, and I suppose he put his escape from the Hand of Despair before me as well. Months, and not even a word from him. I tried so hard to tell him I was carrying his child, but all he could think about was which Imperial ship was he going to claim next.

    "Captain, can I ask you a hypothetical question?" I hesitate to ask. "...if...if you were in a five ship fleet, with you at the helm, and the odds against you. If your lady love had been harmed in the midst of battle...what would you do?"
  • edited January 2015

    Cyrus stops dead in his tracks as Blackbird asks him this. He spins around to look at her, contemplating her face for a good while. Finally, he opens his mouth to speak.

    "I'm tempted to say somethin' brash, Blackbird. At least three quarters of bein' a smuggler is affectin' a tough face. So believe me, it's temptin' to say that I'd never be outgunned, or I'd always put my ship about any woman, somethin' o' that nature."

    Cyrus pauses, thinking.

    "But none o' that is true, least not anymore. I always put the people I love before me, before anythin'. If there's somethin' that makes me a good Cap'n, it's that. So to answer yer question with some fair truth-tellin', if'n my lady love had been harmed in a battle, I'd fight my way through every imperial in the sky and see The Owl sink into the deep blue if it meant I could get to her side. I havenna always been that kinda man, to be keepin' with the truth-tellin', but I've become that kind of man in recent times."

    He pauses, letting the air hang silent for a second.

    "Does that answer the question t' yer satisfaction, Blackbird?"
  • LadyB-

    Tears. I've been crying a lot lately. I'm ruining the pilot's disguise. "...a beautiful answer, Captain." I try to dry my face with my sleeve. I have none at the moment. I hug myself, shivering a little, feeling embarrassed for the first time in my life. Half naked and sobbing. I must look a sight right now. "I'm sorry..."
  • CyrusVanceHeader

    "Sorry for what?" Cyrus says, looking somewhat confused. He takes a small step towards her and quietly asks "Is everythin' all right, Blackbird? Big questions and tears usually mean somethin' is up in my experience."
  • LadyB-

    "...for being a wreck. It isn't lady like." I blink back the tears that want to streak my cheeks. "I am just beginning to understand the difference between lust and love, is all." I am sure I am about to be too honest with him.

    Cyrus, a man that dances with confidence, has bled in battle, and cares more for his crew than his ship.

    Uriah, handsomely attractive, good with a sword, and kissed me in a ways that made my heart flutter.

    Father was a good man, but he had let the Empire pollute him. I wasn't going to let it pollute me.

    "Perhaps, I ran away with Uriah for all the wrong reasons...lust, to escape..." I swallow back my nerves. "I can't be with someone that I would go to the depths for...that wouldn't go to the depths for me."

  • edited January 2015

    Cyrus smiles a wry grin and leans in, conspiratorially. "Now, Blackbird, don't go knockin' lust and tryin' to escape. I've found that a fair amount of what makes the blue spin around us is lust and tryin' to escape from things."

    He pauses, and his face gets serious, again. "Listen, we all do things on impulses and whims. It's what makes us human. Ya can't judge someone by what they do on an impulse. What makes 'em who they really are is what they do after the impulse, when they have a minute to think about it and get to decidin' how things should actually be in the light of day. So if you need time to think, Blackbird, you take some time. We're steerin' this boat where you want us to go. That's what I'm here to do, right?"
  • edited January 2015

    He reminds me of my father just then. Saying what I need to hear instead of what I want to. "...correct." I let out a breath.

    "I don't know. Naomi always said she'd rather jump into the fire than stew in regret." I dry my face with my hands. "...sometimes life does not give second chances...why do you think the Blackbird motto is a Blackbird never makes the same threat twice?" I look the Captain in the eye. "...if you don't take what you want, someone else will.

    I make a face. I wanted Uriah, so I escaped to claim him, but is he doing anything to reclaim me? Does he regret?

    "...but, I'll trust your advice, and think it over...if I could have that shirt, please."
  • edited January 2015

    Cyrus matter-of-factly states "Yer heart will tell ya what to do." He smiles again and, with a wink, adds "And if it don't, just ask Bishop. She's a smart one."

    As he says this, Cyrus removes his jacket and casually tosses it to the side of the corridor. He unbuttons his shirt, peels it off, and holds it out. "Here, take this one, Blackbird. It'll look better on you than it ever has on me."

    He looks right through her and quietly says "I'll be waitin' in my quarters. You come find me when you know where you want me to take you."
  • edited January 2015

    As I watch, my cheeks go hot. Oh goodness. With a shy touch I take the shirt, not anticipating him giving me the one right off his back. "...my thanks, Captain."

    I reach behind and unfasten the laces of my corset, and let it drop like it's old laundry. The rest of my torn shirt doesn't have much choice, and does the same, exposing the freckles that dust my chest. I ignore the feel of my scar as I slip into his shirt. It should have been pale, like a Sky Angel's kiss, but the stitching tore every time I had tried to flee on my own, and it looks more like I was bitten by a Sky Shark.

    "...I'll come see you once I've reached my decision, Captain.
  • edited January 2015

    Cyrus picks his jacket up off the floor and nods. "I look forward to it, Blackbird."

    He then turns and heads back towards his cabin. As soon as he rounds the corner to get out of Blackbird's sight, he pauses and lets out a long sigh and smacks himself on his forehead.

    A noble who's with the Pirate King? he thinks to himself. Could you have picked a worse person to fall for? Maybe a sociopathic sky-squid? You'd probably be more likely to live through that love affair. Sometimes you're a real idiot, Vance. You might as well just paint a target on your chest now.

    He collects himself and slips into his quarters.
  • edited January 2015

    His lack of a reaction puzzles me. A curious one, this Captain. I put my corset back on over the shirt, taking the torn one with me to find a place to discard it.
  • edited January 2015
    When Lady Blackbird returns to her room she finds a torn wedge of brown paper with crude writing and black fingerprints on her pillow (which now also has black fingerprints on it).
    Deer MIZ Lady Ship,
    Thanx fir teechen mee that i’m a VOYD blud. Ett wil bee fun to leern frum yoo.

    I [several words crossed out] fownd this nicklace. Ett mite-cud beelon too yoo. Effin not, you ken hav ett ennie way.
    --Kale Arkam

    P.S. Thanx fir bee-in nis ta mee eeven tho i’m nutten morrin a gudder-crab.

    Under the note is a familiar string of pearls. The very one the Imperials stole from her purse on the Hand of Sorrow.
  • --END SCENE--

    Brilliant work, you all!
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