[LB] Parasols (LB 2.1, NB 2.1, CV 2.2, KA 2.2, Sn 2.3)

edited January 2015 in LadyB
After the narrow escape from Dr. Viceroy and his thugs as well as Count Carlowe's own mother, you made your way into Haven proper. For all of the decadence of the Imperial worlds, the "progress" of free-world Haven is a much different sight.

Over the past few days, you've huddled in a single flat in a squalid set of apartments on rough cobblestone streets. The constables wear masks because the smog is so bad on humid days it's like pea soup. The apartment houses are all built on top of each other, but what's more, they're connected by hundreds of clotheslines, making the place like one sooty spider's web. The memories of that quaint cabin in the park have grown quite fond.

Oh, and best of all, the discovery that women carry parasols to protect them from the refuse and chamber pots thrown out of apartment windows above.

This is Haven.

Tell me, how have you spent the last couple days of "freedom"?


  • LadyB-

    I hate it here.

    I nearly had a pot dumped on me if my guard had not shoved me out of the way. I am envious for that bath in mother's cottage. Once we were safe, Snargle got to work making me look not like myself. My freckles are gone now, and my hair mimics my namesake. I wonder if my Uriah would still be able to recognize me like this. Every day we've been in hiding here I've thought of him. I was naive to think I'd be back in his embrace so soon after escaping my home.

    I remember about the chest I took from the cottage. I unlock it with the key to the house. Inside it a ring. It is made from the bone of a Sky Squid. It had been passed down from my mother's side quite some time. There were tales about one of the first from her bloodline falling in love with one. Depending on who tells the story, it differs on whether he became human for her, or remained as he was. This ring was said to be a token of his love on his last dying breath. I didn't know this was where she hid it. She only told me what was inside was very valuable.

    It's too valuable to sell.

    I slam the box shut. If this had been any other circumstance, I would have been glad to find such a treasure. However, this still leaves me unable to pay the Captain.

    I feel the tears coming, and I open the box, and slip the ring on. Rather, I imagine Uriah slipping it on for me. "...Naomi, is there anything we can be doing to aid in our progress?" I probably sound as desperate as I once did when I employed her to help me to escape, but I don't even care.
  • image

    I'm not real thrilled with Haven myself. None of us are. This place is supposed to represent freedom -- that's what they said back in the pit -- but I feel more like a mouse caught in a trap than free. I've never been any good at sitting on my hands and waiting, and the tension in here's so thick you could draw it like a curtain.

    Any diversions I could imagine fell apart quicker than I could think them up. Back in the pit, we trained, we wrestled, we joked around, we prayed...but there was always a release, always somewhere to drive the tension until we were too tuckered out to care. And before the pit... Well, even then, we didn't have a lot of downtime. I used to like to draw, had a knack for it, in fact. But it's been ages and ages...and it's not like we got a pencil and paper anyway.

    "Captain said it's safer to wait." She knows that as well as I do. "I know you're ansty, my lady, but they know this town better than either of us." I, for one, would like to know how long they expect us to wait...but the last three times I asked, I got the same unsatisfactory answer. "You ought to work on that patience of yours."

    Like I'm one to talk: I've spent the better part of the day stalking around the room, just waiting for the chance to leap on something tangible to take all my frustration out on. And, by now, there's a lot of that to be had.

    But taking it out on the lady won't help nothing. It sure as hell won't make me feel better, either. I drop down onto the ground in front of her and try to offer her a smile. "Don't you worry. I'm sure it won't be much longer."
  • Off in the distance you hear an air raid siren (skip about 0:17 here for a sample). Sound like it's coming dockways. People in flats nearby start moving quickly indoors, while some gawk in the smoggy street, unsure of what's happening.

    What do you do?
  • edited December 2014

    I try and smile back, and that is when I hear it. Everyone in town probably can. I get up from the chair and move to the window to see what's in the sky.

    ...could it be him?
  • image

    The wail of the siren cuts through the room suddenly. In my experience, those things are never good...but I've no idea what it could mean. I sigh softly and rise, padding quietly over to the window to peer out beside the Lady.

    "Here, this'll help." I move her gently aside and use my sleeve to try and wipe some of the sooty grime off the window so that we can see out. My sleeve comes away dirty, sure, so I twist it around and give the glass another swipe with the other, cleaner side of the sleeve until the pane is reasonably clean. "There, that's better."
  • Through the clean spot on the grimy window, you have enough of a view of the portside of Haven to see a black box in the sky. It's coming closer, heading straight for the port of Haven. It's the telltale silhouette of an Imperial cruiser.
  • edited December 2014

    No, it is not my Uriah, and I fear the worst. "...did...did someone give us away?" The tears do come, and this time I just can't hold them back. I don't often break down. I makes me feel sort of ashamed. "They're going to take me away. I won't get to see my Uriah." I cling to Naomi as I sob, feeling like a little girl that can't handle the complications of life. "I just want my Uriah..."
  • edited December 2014

    An imperial cruiser, huh? I knew we should have gotten out of here while we had the chance... For a moment, I feel a pang of suspicion against our comrades, but they'd been as eager to leave the imperials behind as we were. Turning us over to them now made no sense.

    Suddenly, the lady's arms are around me, and her face is against my shoulder. Instinctively, I fold her into a gentle hug, and I cradle her against me with a soft, "Hush, now. That might have nothing to do with us. They didn't put them sirens in just for us, did they?" I glance over her head at the general chaos taking place outside, strangely reassured by the scene. It certainly looks as though we're not the only ones in Haven not celebrating the ship's arrival.

    "I'm not gonna let anything happen to you. And if they followed the Owl, then we'll just have to find another way to him, won't we?" After all, the Owl would be a lot easier to find than a couple of vagrants in a city like this... I've got no idea how I'd go about finding the money, but we would just have to figure it out and do something.
  • LadyB-

    I do my best to calm down. It takes a few moments, but I'm able to compose myself. "What should we do?" Whenever my king saw an Imperial ship, he would either take it head on, or wait it out in the Depths. Sadly, we had neither option. "Should we find out why they are here? Just stay put? Find another place to hide?" This isn't my forte. I am just trying to think of options.
  • You know that Kale, Cyrus and Snargle are in a nearby room, too. Surely they've seen this.
  • image

    I'm good -- I know I'm good -- but taking on an entire imperial cruiser is beyond even my impressive talents. I let her have her cry -- no harm in that -- then try to give her a confident smile. I hope I look more confident than I feel...because if they're here for us, I really don't know what we'll do.

    "I think it's best we lay low, my lady. Let the Captain and his crew figure out what's going on out there -- they got more friends here than we do." Hopefully, they knew someone who would know something. Sure hope Jonas is smart enough to disappear and stay that way until the cruiser leaves.

    With my arm still around her shoulders, I guide the lady back towards the chair she had abandoned a moment ago. "Why don't you tell me about that ring you brought from the cottage? Was it your mother's?" Her mother, hopefully, was a topic that would calm her -- it usually brought a smile to her face, anyway.
  • edited December 2014

    "I did not know there was going to be a ring inside." I dry my eyes, taking a breath. "Mother told me what she hid in the chest was valuable, and I still have not paid the Captain." I know we haven't made much progress, but I know the crew is trying their best. "It belonged to her family. Many generations ago, it was said a woman from her bloodline fell in love with a Sky Squid, and he gave her this ring made of his own skeleton as a token of his affection for her."

    I play with the ring on my finger. "Mother came from a family of stormbloods and explorers of the Depths...she used to say, your father gave you your bark, but I gave you my bite. I was lucky to have her for a mother. When father wanted me to learn how to duel, any other highborn wife would have forbid it." I wrinkle my nose. "...like that pig that hopes to be my mother in law would."

    I will glad to be free of that wedding arrangement. "...Naomi, why are you helping me? I know I wasn't very clear when I asked you why I wanted you to help me escape. You could have gone on your own, never having to battle in a pit again. I know I promised to help you gain your freedom officially, but, you're strong enough to find your own way."
  • image

    She was lucky indeed. It was a sweet story -- there was a lot that could be done with those few elements. I could imagine the stories she was told by her mother as she was tucked into bed as a child...

    It seemed on Haven, everything came back to stories, didn't it? Strange...

    Her question prompts me out of my momentary reverie, and I offer her a more genuine, softer smile as I take the chair beside her. "My lady, you've a way about you." What that way was, I couldn't say. She wore her heart on her sleeve, and she was kind when other's weren't, and that alone would have been enough to make me care for her. That was all true, but it was something more that made me want to risk my neck for her time and time again. She reminded me of the last wild flower, beautiful and unique, living out her life against the odds in a field of scrub and stone. And I would do anything to keep her in bloom for just a little longer... But all of that is too complicated, too sappy. Instead, I say only, "I want to see you happy. What some of us have lost isn't so easy to get back. If I can help you, then I've done some good in this world."

    Doing a little good for someone... It's a simple thing, but I've been happier helping the lady find her love than I had been in some time.

    "Have you worked out what you're gonna say when you see him again?" My smile widens into a knowing grin. "Or do?"
  • edited December 2014

    "You are far too artistic with your words to be in the pits. What a waste of talent." I glance out the window from the chair, wondering what became of my mother's cottage with all those strangers about. "If I still had the Blackbird fortune, I'd host a battle between highborns. Oh, I would laugh so hard I would probably die."

    I grin at the idea of Carlowe fending for himself in the pits, but when Naomi asks about Uriah Flint, my face softens immediately. "First, I'd ask him why he didn't keep his word." I huff childishly. "He swore nothing would keep us apart again, but, he is a pirate...I can't expect him to keep all his promises." I sigh fondly. "Then we will probably make love in his chambers. He was my first, you know. The look on my fiancé's face when I told him he wouldn't be the first eel in my cave brought me more joy than I had ever felt before, even more than the night the pirate king made me a woman."
  • image

    A battle between highborns... That would be something to see! I snicker at the thought. It was utter nonsense, of course, but it was the sort of thing one could imagine with some amusement.

    I slap my knee and laugh out loud when the lady mentions eels. I could about imagine -- and, really, what I imagine is Lady Fruit Salad's horrified face stretched to comic proportions. "Serves him right, too!" Probably. I've only heard a little of the man from the lady -- it's likely he's so much worse than the little bit I know. Whatever the case, it's clear he expects to own the lady once they're wed -- and that is something that grates on my nerves a bit, and understandably so.

    "When is it you knew you loved him?"
  • (this scene is awesome! That is all.)
  • LadyB-

    "My father held a grand coming of age party for me. Everyone was there...everyone including the pirate king, Uriah Flint." I'm practically fawning. "I hadn't realized until then, but he had been my guardian angel for quite some time. I had not realized he had been looking out for me in the shadows of the streets." I touch my bandaged scar. "The fire in his blood called to the gray clouds in mine, and as soon as our lips met I knew I wanted to run away with him. He was going to make me his queen, but...I ended up back home, not long before you and I met."

    Naomi would have taken the bullet wound like a champion. I suddenly felt very helpless. "...I...I have done an awful lot of talking about myself. I would like to know more about you."
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    Her story makes me smile, a soft, thoughtful smile that is probably rather unlike my usual expression. It's good to know she'll be safe with him, that he had a habit of protecting her. With someone as spirited as the lady, it isn't easy -- that's something I can attest to myself. But Uriah Flint hadn't been caught yet, and she'd be safer with him than anywhere else.

    Her statement, inexplicably, catches me off-guard. We've come so far together, and she's absolutely right: she doesn't know much about me. I don't mind letting her talk -- I like listening -- so it takes me a few seconds to shake off my surprise and reply. "I'm nobody interesting, my lady. But I'll tell you anything you want to know."
  • LadyB-

    I give it some thought, first. I knew her profession before she became my bodyguard. I do not want to open any old wounds. "What did you like to do...when you weren't in the pits? What did you do before you had to fight there?" I can't think of much else to ask that wouldn't bring up a bad memory.

    "...you can ask me more, if you'd like." I smile sheepishly. "...I was raised to think more highly of myself than I should, so, I get embarrassed about past failures." I touch where the scar on my stomach is. A scar I gave myself trying to escape the Blackbird keep instead of letting it heal. "I wonder where Uriah is right now. I know his keep is in the Remnants, but...is on his ship...is he in bed with an illness...is he off stealing from highborns...is he looking for me..."
  • edited December 2014

    I can sense her hesitation. She's being so careful, as though I'm made of glass and might shatter if she says the wrong thing. No one's treated me like that in a long time -- even before I became what I am.

    "It's okay, my lady. No need to dance around my past like that. It's a part of me now. Truth be told, I don't think I'll ever leave it behind." And not just the scars. There are times I still wake up confused about where I am. And, worse, there's things about the pits I miss...

    I consider her question carefully, then smile a bit as I scoop a bit of charred coal from the fire. It's cold -- we haven't had need of a fire here -- but the last occupants of this place hadn't cleaned it out before they left. The wall bears an old design that might have been pretty once. It's faded now and peeling, but I think it might have been a soft pink once. There's some fancy scrollwork around the top, too. Someone, at one point, had loved this place. I give a tug on a piece that has bubbled up, and it pulls off the wall with a whisper.

    "I suppose," I tell her as I settle down at her feet with the piece of paper before me. It's been so long since I've done this that I'm almost hesitant to begin, but now that the mood's on me and the question raised, I see no harm in it. I lean over the paper, my impromptu canvas, and I press the coal to the page. "The same things most like to do. Be outside. Be with friends. I was a student -- an idealist, I guess you'd say. Madame Marcellina invited me to her school, and I loved it there. I wanted my own gallery some day." A face was taking shape beneath my impromptu pencil, a rough sketch at best. "Remember the students marching on Sergian? Trying to stop the Imperial attacks on Elisedd and Judoc? Things changed." Foolish, in hindsight. The Imperial had not been particularly tolerant of those marching there... And when that had failed, the students -- and precious few others -- had tried to take matters into their own hands, trying to end the Imperials' violence using violence of their own... Also not a good idea, in hindsight, because when the Imperials had caught up to the terrorists, well...I would never be sure if I was one of the lucky ones or not.

    I glance up from my drawing as she goes on. It's a pretty face I've drawn, youthful and smiling. It's a reasonable likeness of Nysa, with her hair chopped up short, but that shine she carried in her eyes isn't in the picture. Even if I had better paper, better pencils, colors, I'd never be able to capture it. I'm more surprised, somehow, than pleased I remember so much, because, until Tychus caught up to us, I was so sure I'd forgot all of it. "You should think highly of yourself, my lady. You've a lot to be proud of. You get right back up when you fall, no matter how far that fall is. No reason to be embarrassed about that."
  • LadyB-

    I smile at the compliment, and at the drawing. "...Uriah had been given a brand for doing the exact same thing. Lost all his titles. He used to be a highborn like me." I haven't told anyone else this, and I don't know if he's told anyone else this, but I know I can trust Naomi. "...who is that?"
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    "For standing up to the Imperials?" I wonder aloud, mostly for clarification purposes. It was a surprisingly small number...but, then again, maybe not...if the Imperials were anything, it was terrifyingly powerful. They tolerated no questions, withstood no disrespect...

    I was beginning to like this Uriah guy more and more.

    "You two seem perfect for each other. Shame you have to live out in the Remnants, but you're probably better off out there. Away from them." Them being the Imperials, of course... All of them.

    "This here's Nysa. Or as close to her as I can draw." I consider the drawing, then lean forward again to give the drawing some definition. "That big man in the park? That was her brother." Did she even see Tychus? I can't remember... And it doesn't matter, not really. "I hadn't thought of her in a long time before that."
  • LadyB-

    "Yes, the Imperials...but, he doesn't like to talk about it much." I sit down on the floor to give the drawing a better look. "I wouldn't always be there, he has to sail across the wild blue making sure his reputation remains remembered, after all. And, do not get me wrong...he's far from perfect. He says childish things when people make him angry, it's difficult for him to take things seriously, and while he has more morals than most...he's still a pirate."

    I pause when Naomi mentions her name. "...what large man?" Did something happen in the park that I did not know about? "Was she a friend?"
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    Her admonishment of Uriah Flint makes me chuckle a bit. My hands are black and sooty, but they're perfect for some soft shading. "And he's lucky he'll have you to rein him in, then, and keep him out of trouble."

    I'm a bit surprised she missed the entire confrontation -- but I'm not surprised. She was in the middle of a dance, after all, and it isn't her job to watch for trouble: it's mine. "I suppose it's not real important. He warned me about the bounty on you is all. And mentioned Nysa." That didn't really seem to be his intent at first, though -- I'm still a little bewildered at the turn that took. And the mood it's put me in. I'm not usually the reminiscing sort. "Yeah. And something more," I answer softly. "Only one I ever made there."

    My brow furrows slightly, and I concentrate on the shadow of a cheek in silence for a moment.

    "Things in the pits are different than they are out here. You don't make friends, not like you would out here. Feelings there, they cripple you. And if you can't fight, you die." The thought, a fact I have lived with every day for too long, brings an irrational jolt of anger with it, and I bring my whole hand down on the cheek and swipe across the picture, leaving a smeared hand print blotched across her face. The drawing wasn't a good idea after all. I push the ruined picture aside and brush my hands off on my trousers. "Both of us knew that. We were already hard when we met." I offer the lady a sad smile. "Could've been something else there. If we'd been in another place."
  • edited January 2015
    LadyB- "I'm a bit of a trouble maker myself, if you haven't noticed." I chuckle a little. "It wasn't just my bloodline and beauty that drew him to me. But, I am sure if you spoke to him, he would have complaints about me...like how I hate it when things don't go my way." Upon the word hate, I lock my arms together so that my corset lifts my bosom a bit, and then I realize I am not complaining to the love of my life, trying to coax him to abide to my desires, and I blush.

    I look at her sadly as she talks about what being in the pits was like. I never attended. Blackbirds found it more entertaining to fight their own battles, not watch others fight to the death. "...I understand. I'm so sorry." I put my hand on the hand that smudged the drawing. "I was very sad, when my mother passed away. But, highborns aren't allowed to mourn like that. It's distasteful. Father locked himself in his room, and I could hear things breaking. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't..." I hope she doesn't think that I am trying to belittle her pain, but I know she probably had to do the same thing. Move on.
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    Her voice reminds me that she's there, suddenly, and I look up from the drawing with an expression of muted surprise. After a few bewildered blinks to clear the glaze from my eyes, I offer her a smile and a nod.

    She didn't understand. She could never understand. And that was something I was grateful for. And I know her sympathy is genuine, not given simply because there's nothing else to say. She thought she understood. She wanted to understand. But I'm glad she doesn't.

    "Right, well," I mutter as I regain my composure, "I think that's enough fairy tales. Nothing more in those old stories that can help us now." Later, maybe, I could think more on it and puzzle it out: right now, the lady is my priority. "Why don't you go check on the window, see if there's anything you can see from there?" I roll the picture up, still leaving small smudged fingerprints on it even though I had tried to wipe my hands off already, then toss it back into the fireplace with the rest of the coal-stick.
  • edited December 2014
    LadyB-"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything..." I stand and look out the window. Most of the island's residence have gone inside to hide, as we are. I feel guilt, but there is a little bite. Yes, just because I'm a well off woman of a noble house, I don't know anything about loss or suffering. "Nothing has changed. The ship is still out there. We're still stuck here, and Uriah has probably all but forgot me."
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    The sudden change in her tone catches me off-guard, and I turn towards her with a puzzled look. I suppose I shouldn't have dismissed her like that -- but it wasn't the lady I was dismissing so much as it was my own memories. I remain by the fireplace, thinking, and then I stand.

    "My lady," I begin carefully. "I think you misunderstand. I'm grateful to you, always will be. You've been kinder and more generous to me than you should've been, and you've trusted me with things, I think, that you haven't told anyone else." I step up to her and soften my voice. The room doesn't have ears -- at least, I don't think it does -- but it feels right somehow. "But you asking about me, wanting to know about me, that's a whole different kind of kindness. I'm happy to tell you what you want to know. I told you that, and I meant it. But there are some things I don't have all figured out yet. And Nysa... She's one of them. So it's not your fault -- I want you to ask if you're ever curious. I just don't quite know how I feel yet. And I guess that means I don't know how to talk about her."

    I glance over her shoulder towards the window. The angle I'm standing at prevents me from seeing much but a wall and some smoggy-colored sky.

    "But I do know one thing. You said he'd been looking after you all that time, even before he met you. Do you really think he'd forget about you so easy?"
  • LadyB- "...I don't know, if he's so infamous, why hasn't he taken me away?"
  • image

    I'm glad she seems to have accepted my explanation. Or, maybe, she just doesn't want to talk about it anymore. Either way, I'm glad the subject's swung back around to her and her pirate king.

    "I don't know," I tell her honestly. "But I do know you aren't the type to sit and wait for a man to come save the day when you can do it yourself." That was something that was mildly alarming about the girl, especially when it was your job to protect her! "There's nothing in this world that can stop you when you got your mind set to something. And he likely knows that too."
  • edited December 2014
    LadyB-"Well, he is a lazy pirate king, now isn't he?" I look outside again. "Surely the crew has seen the ship by now. I'm sure they think the Imperials are here for the Owl. They might even just be here to throw their weight around so they can remind themselves they're in charge."
  • Lady Blackbird and Naomi,

    Cyrus and Kale knock and enter your one-room flat. Snargle isn't with them. You can see on their faces they know what's out there.

    Cyrus and Kale,

    When you enter, the two ladies seem to have just finished a meaningful chat. There's a kind of sisterhood or sense of camaraderie between them that seems stronger than before.
  • KaleArkamHeader

    I walk in right behind the Cap. He's lookin at the Lady for a couple seconds not sayin a word. I notice she's lookin right back equally as quiet.

    He's probably just got a frog in his throat or somethin--he can depend on good ol Kale to do the talkin.

    Wakey, wakey Lady an Missus. There's a ugly flying box outside bout the size a 5 sky whales in a doggie pile and sure to be full to the brim with brass-beaters. I'd say it smells of trouble if I could smell anything but smoke an ash in this damned flat.
  • edited January 2015

    "Yes, we saw it as well. We were hoping you and the Captain would know what to do, and possibly know which ship it is from the Imperial Fleet...where is Snargle?"
  • edited January 2015
    OOC: THAT'S a good question. Do I know which ship it is? Any info on it? Does that require a roll, or can I just call that kind of info up?
  • Well, Cyrus....

    With your knowledge of Imperial War Ships (I see your tag), you know it's the Hand of Despair. The Cruiser that defeated the Underwoods Fleet at the Battle of Frozen Stars. The only Cruiser built to withstand full immersion in the Deep Blue. The only ship in the fleet that fought the Pirate King and his armada to a standstill.
  • ((OOC: *waits for the cap to say that aloud*))
  • CyrusVanceHeader

    Cyrus stares out the window, a sort of stoic calm hanging over his face. "If they're looking for us, we might be in trouble. That there's the Hand of Despair."

    Turning to Blackbird, Cyrus says "That's the one that forced yer, uh, well, the Pirate King to retreat. That's a lot of firepower to send to Haven..."
  • edited January 2015

    My stomach suddenly feels like I've consumed cold iron as soon as I hear its name. "...I know. I was there. That was the battle where I was separated from him."
  • The conversation is interrupted by the sound of heavy artillery. It shakes the apartment, lanterns jingle and threaten to shatter, an end table with a very fine doilie, hops a couple times. Then again, a whole salvo of shots. Thirteen of them, you count them, Naomi. Sounds like it's coming from the docks.

    You also hear the sounds of planes. Cyrus, you know that sound all too well, don't you?

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2015

    A yelp. That's all that comes out at first. I cover my ears as the apartment rumbles. I practically lose my footing. I stumble into my bodyguard'so arms, unable to keep balance as I whimper and cling to her. The day I first saw the Hand of Despair from the deck of the pirate king's ship comes back to me like a haunting nightmare. "...Uriah..."
  • KaleArkamHeader

    I jump nearly right outta my boots at the first shot. Not the first time I've heard cannons, but I'm hopin it'll be the last--though I'm always hopin that.

    I step behind the Cap and fight the urge to grab his coat sleeve when the next one hits.

    Guess I should keep things flowery for the Lady. From the look on er face, she could use a bright message.

    Uh, if we're not currently explodin it should mean we're not the prime targets, right Cap?

    Not sure exactly how truthful that thinkin is--wouldn't be unheard of for brass-beaters to level a coupla perfectly good cities to get at someone they don't like--but no good in speakin such out loud.
  • image

    My frown deepens with each word. Not an enemy easily outdone, then. I hate this helpless feeling that's taken up root inside of me -- this isn't an enemy I know how to fight.

    The sudden sound of artillery firing sends the lady into my arms, and it's a relief, to be honest. I might not have a way to fight them, but I've still got a job to do. It gives me solid ground to stand on. And as long as I've got that...

    "S'alright, my lady. We're not done in yet." I give the girl a warm hug, meant to be a comfort to the poor thing, and then I look across to Vance. "Captain? If we can get to the Owl, can you outrun her?"
  • All,

    You hear the wonderful, familiar sound of Twin-Coil Induction Thrusters. You look over the rooftops towards the docks to see The Owl.

    In the distance, past the docks, you hear the buzz of biplanes coming from the Hand of Despair, in your direction.


    You're here. They're there. Not much time.

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2015

    Cyrus cracks half a smile and thinks to himself where in the blue would my sorry mug be wit'out Snargs?

    "Kale might have the right of it. They might not be here for us. I ain't in no mood to wait around and find out, though. We've gotta get to the docks, and wit' those planes coming, we have to stay low. Let's get to the ground and stick along walls and in alleys. Everyone move!"
  • image

    Snargle hovers over the edge of the building. No idea whether there's roof access, because dammit, Snargle's a pilot, not an infiltration specialist, but there is a ladder that can be lowered for emergencies. Snargle drops the ladder just outside the window to Lady Freckles' rooms on the top floor.
  • LadyB-

    I see the ladder from over Naomi's shoulder through the patch of glass she had wiped clean earlier. Snargle, you are an angel donned in green. "...no need to go to the docks. It appears the Owl has come to us."
  • image

    I follow the lady's eye, then chuckle softly to myself. "I'll be a squid's fourth heart.." It seems I've underestimated the Owl's crew -- they were getting to be increasingly more handy to have around in a crisis.

    The window is stuck shut; no gentle amount of pressure yields any result. I end up hitting it several times with the heel of my hand until the latch finally gives with a snap. This window probably won't be closing easy again, but that won't make no difference to us, will it? It swings open with a creak, then a crack as it bounces back towards us when it hits the wall. Good -- that's one problem solved, then.

    I take hold of a chair and press it up next to the window, then turn to look at the others expectantly. "Looks like it's gonna be a bit of a jump." I hold out a hand, intending to help whoever is first up onto the chair and to steady them as they climb out the window. "But not too bad. Who's first?"
  • As you start climbing the ladder, the sounds of the flak cannons firing shake the ground and building. Some of the biplanes tip and crash into buildings on the dockside, their high pressure engines exploding and destroying stores and homes. But three biplanes zip right through, threading a needle.

    It's a challenge of three to get everyone on board before something goes awry. Captain Vance, pick who handles the action. Let's see how this boarding comes off!
  • CyrusVanceHeader

    My ship, my crew, my responsibility... Cyrus thinks.

    "Everybody keep climbing! I've got this!

    As the planes circle around to come back for a second run, Cyrus pushes off the ladder, spinning in mid-air and drawing his pistols, opening fire on the planes to distract them from the crew climbing onto the Owl.

    1) Doing a thing
    2) Warrior
    3) Battle-Hardened
    4) Shooting
    5) Two Gun Style
    6) Pistol
    7) Hail of lead (which I just took)
    8) And 3 pool dice

    (Rolled: 10d6. Rolls: 6, 6, 4, 3, 1, 1, 1, 6, 4, 5. Total: 37)
  • Lady Blackbird,

    You rush up the ladder, your hours of fencing and dancing giving you strength most men wouldn't have expected from a lady. As you look down for Naomi (who insisted you go up first), you see Captain Vance. He's moved up onto the roof, drawing fire away from The Owl, keeping his crew safe. He whirls and fires his pistols at the trio of biplanes, nimbly dodging as a strafing run destroys en entire room, the one beside yours. As the second of three biplanes whizzes by, Vance nails the pilot, a grinning, mustachioed brute. Right in the ear! The biplane flips and hurtles into a water tower, sending fire and water onto a couple tenements a block away.

    Kale Arkam,

    When you scramble up the ladder and enter the Engine Room, you see she's busted and leaking. Snargle had to snap start her, and her gaskets are askew from the crazy maneuvers the pilot gave to get here. She's about to take on the Condition Busted and Leaking if you don't do something. That's a Challenging (4) Task!

    Who's getting the turret? Those biplanes aren't go away because they're bored! Shooting down those biplanes seems like a Difficult (3) action to me!


    You can help your gunner (of course), but you might want to keep an eye out for any other trouble. Plus, you know, buildings and stuff. I think that's Easy (2) for you, BUT, if you ignore it, The Owl will probably take incidental damage during the escape.

    Captain Vance,

    You see Lady Blackbird watching you for a moment before you pull yourself up the ladder.

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2015

    Sizin up the damage to the already overworked engine, I ain't none too pleased.

    I shout in the general direction of the Gob-pit:
    Dang it, Snargle! I told ya once and I told a hundred times--the Owl's a so-fist-o-cated piece a machinery. Quit flyin her like she's a goblin glider at a rainy Orc-Moot.

    There's a deafin pop right outside and the whole ship rumbles and bucks starboard. I have ta grab the vent shaft casing just to keep from losin my footin (though I nearly lose my lunch with the tumblin anyways).

    Once up and down figure each other out again and the grav-wheel realigns I shout over my shoulder again:
    Actually, Snargs--after more thought, iffin it helps keep us alive, fly her however ya need.

    Then I crackle my knuckles an get ta work.
  • Best thing is ta solder the soft gaskets into the exhaust port so's all the excess steam Snargs seems to intent on boilin can be put ta use propellin us instead a warmin us. Might get a bit chilly in here for a spell, but it should help with speed and quick turnin.

    1) Doing a thing
    2) Mechanic
    3) Repair
    4) Engines
    5) Efficiency
    6) 3 from the pool

    (Rolled: 8d6. Rolls: 6, 1, 5, 3, 2, 2, 1, 6. Total: 26)
  • (Oops, a challenging task is a bit ... challenging. Probably a good time to use my Secret of Reflexes that I keep forgetting I have.)

    Just as I'm soldering on the last gasket hose we go completely topsy-turvy. Snargs must be doin some sort a interesting barrel-roll or somethin. Bet it looks neat, and hopefully saved our neck, but it ain't much conclusive to workin on an operatin steam core engine.

    This ain't my first thunderstorm though. Not like I ain't never welded a gasket that's sprayin super-heated steam every what way while hangin upside down afore.

    (Same roll, adding in all my pool dice + the new one this time, haha.)

    (Rolled: 10d6. Rolls: 5, 6, 6, 2, 1, 1, 4, 5, 4, 2. Total: 36)
  • LadyB-

    My goodness, the Captain is certainly impressive with his two firearms. I don't think I could ever best him in a duel. I know that I am staring, and the world reminds me I should pay more attention to my surroundings. The Owl shakes and groans, its components obviously not in the best of moods. I hear the pilot mention something about turrets.


    I rush over like a highborn child would on their day of birth to a mound of presents. I know how to use these. Uriah showed me how. My eyes scan the controls quickly before I flip a few switches and take hold of the grips. I love the sound of shells clinking against the floor.
  • edited January 2015
    -4 pool
    (Rolled: 8d6 . Rolls: 6, 4, 5, 3, 4, 3, 6, 2. Total: 33)
  • Naomi,

    Snargle's in the cockpit, of course. Kale's furiously hammering away at bibs and bobs in the Engine Room. Captain Vance is just now pulling up the ladder and heading for the cockpit as well. I assume you stand near your lady, right? There's a small corridor leading to the ladder up to the turret. You're heading there, trying to catch up to Natasha amid all the clamor of this combat.

    There's someone ahead of you, a slight figure, female with straight brown hair parted to keep it out of her eyes. She's moving quick and quiet, about to climb up the ladder. You notice she's barefoot, wearing body paint and leathers. She's maybe half your size, too.

    If you don't do something, she's going to scurry up that ladder and catch Lady Blackbird unaware.

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2015

    With Kale at the engines now, it's time to really push things. Snargle sees an opportunity to get the turret the best shot at the biplanes and do what the Imps will least expect. Snargle turns toward the enemy planes, accelerating and gaining altitude.
  • OOC: Using Key of the Lucky Break to restore Snargle's pool dice.

    1. Doing a Thing
    2. Pilot
    3. Daring
    4. Steady
    5. Maneuvering
    6. Evasion
    7. Tricky flying
    8. Atmospherics
    9. 1 Pool Die

    (Rolled: 9d6. Rolls: 3, 1, 4, 2, 6, 5, 3, 2, 2. Total: 28)

  • image

    I hate feeling useless like this. This fight just ain't my style -- but that's not to say I wouldn't lay into a plane or a pilot if I got my hands on one. Trouble is, there's a lot of space and bullets between me and anything I can put my hands around. Still, I'd best find a way to make myself useful. I ought to check on the lady, make sure she's not hurt, before I do anything else...

    I make my way towards the turrets. I'm almost there when I see a figure slip from the shadows -- and it's someone who clearly does not belong. But that's irrelevant: the only thing that matters is that she seems to have her sights set on the lady.

    The steady hail of bullets from the turrets, a cacophony of whirs, tet-tet-tets, and clink-clinks, ensures that my own footsteps will go all-but unnoticed as I launch myself into the narrow corridor. But it doesn't matter: all I can hear is the rush of blood and beat of my heart. There had been a time they had been indistinguishable from the roar of the crowd and thump of the opening drums, and, even now, I can almost hear those same sounds as if they had been seared into my ears in addition to my memories.

    I come at her hard and fast. My sprint takes me from the mouth of the corridor right up to the ladder, and I feel the underside of my boots searching for purchase to stop me. My shoulder slams hard into the ladder, but I pay it no mind as my arm hooks sharply around the woman's throat, and my right hand clamps down on her wrist in order to pull her off the ladder... I keep my arm snug against her throat. I'm not trying to kill her -- but if she don't submit, she's going to feel some pressure.

    "Just what are you doing on this here ship?" I have to pitch my voice to be heard above the noise from the guns. Leastways, that's the idea.
  • Kale,

    You prevent The Owl from breaking down, with nimble and quick fixes and quick rigs and spot welding. It's a thing of beauty, what you're doing. If only the captain would see, if only he would witness the magic you work back here. Maybe he knows, on a book learning, manual reading level, but does he really know if he's never seen it?

    What happened to your last assistant? I mean, you had one, once, right? What happened to them anyways?


    Barrel rolls and loopdee loops are your specialty, and you scream over the rooftops of Haven as those biplanes chase and dodge. One is so focused on tailing you it misses a statue on top of a large building that clips its wing, sending it hurtling into oblivion. With the Lady Blackbird on guns, you squeak out of this without any damage whatsoever. Quite brilliant, little goblin.

    You've got a couple choices here. You can hang back from the fight between the docks and the Hand of Despair, see if the Imperials will peel off and leave. Or, you can try to zip past them. I will tell you that you saw squads of biplanes hovering around everything that left port, and huge mooring lines were being fastened to those "free ships", winches on the Cruiser pulling them into the hangar.

    Lady Blackbird,

    It only takes a few moments for you to get the feel of these guns, and they are a vibrating, belching mess of wonder, aren't they? Your knowledge of storms and the wind help you learn "on the fly" as it were, and you spray a hail of bullets just ahead of a biplane trying to strafe The Owl. The poor sod flies straight into your line of bullets. You see holes ripped into the front propeller of your enemy's plane, then the enemy himself, his wings, his tail. Smoke and fire erupt suddenly as he plummets to the streets below.

    The third and last biplane breaks for another pass, and you track him, taking him out as he veered away, riddling the plane and sending it to the Deep Blue.

    Captain Vance,

    You're up front with Snargle, I assume? You've got the same header options I mentioned to Snargle. You're the captain, so, of course, it's your call. What do you tell him?
  • Naomi,

    The lithe little girl comes off the ladder like she weighed no more than a young girl. She's slippery, though, you already feel her fingers against your forearm, searching for the strength, looking for an opening. You know from the pit her off-hand, hidden from view, is pulling a knife from somewhere. A pointed ear catches your eye under the mess of her hair, and those eyes. You know them, Naomi.

    "My master bids me..." she begins with a hiss, her legs bending up to kick you, even before she meets your eyes. Then she sees you, recognizes you. She's committed to the action, and her feet push at you, but you stand fast. She relaxes a tiny bit, "You're... alive?"
  • image

    Another surprise, another reunion. Seems like we could get the old team back together, really piss off some Imperials...

    Against my better judgment, I let her slip from my grasp, just so I can confirm that what I'm seeing is true: looking at her, though, it really is Hecate. She's quick, that one, and dangerous, too. Fast as she is, though, I don't think she can get up that ladder quicker'n I can grab her...and we'll end up just where we left off.

    I nod slightly in response to her observation, both glad to see her still alive and sorry to find her here. "Your master sent you to kill a helpless girl?"

    The lady isn't particularly helpless...but Hecate's a trained killer. She wouldn't stand a chance.
  • Naomi,

    A barrel roll throws the two of you together. She recovers quick, using you as a brace when the gravity shifts. You clutch some handholds.

    Hecate meets your eyes, "Kill the Lady? No. I kill all the ones who stop me bringing her home. The Lord Blackbird bought me, he'll set me free when she is home safe."
  • edited January 2015

    Ah. I understand now her surprise to find me alive. I'd known it might come to this and worse if we were caught: after all, it was her father who bought me. I was meant to protect her on his terms. Instead, I have chosen to serve the lady...and it has put me in a precarious position.

    I square my shoulders and clutch the handholds as I look down at the elf with sympathy. To be in her position... It is not an enviable one, to say the least.

    "It was the lady's decision to go. She's hired these people to get her to where she's going. She'll come to no harm aboard the Owl. What will you do if she won't go with you?"
  • CyrusVanceHeader

    Cyrus faintly hears some kind of commotion going on behind him on the ship as he makes his way up front. No time for that, though. When he gets up next to Snargle, he lets out a low whistle as he looks at all the Imperials out the window.

    "Snargs, my friend, I dunna think we want to stick around any longer than we have ta. Can you get us out of here, on the fast side?"
  • KaleArkamHeader

    I holler up toward the gob-pit Got her, Snargs. See iffin that don't speed us up a mite or seven. Ya see that, Cap?

    Nah, he probably didn't. He always made a point a mentionin how good Little Lucy did when she was helpin me out for a bit, but seldom notices all the improvements I made in my time here.

    Never understood why the Cap thought to hire on that girl anyways. Lusitania looked of an age wit the Cap, but I was always schoolin her on what to do in the engine room. Always got on my nerves.

    I had to grease Tansy a bit in secret with some extra gold maidens, but she got Little Lucy a job on some pirate ship far, far into the blue. That gave us--the Owl's real crew--a bigger share of the earnins too.

    Cap dinnit seem as pleased as I'da hoped, but he got over it. Don't know why he was intent on askin her aboard anyways--she was older than me sure, but I'm twice the mechanic and four times the pincher.
  • Hecate
    Hecate answers directly, "I'll drag her home then. She's just some spoiled noble, Bishop. We don't have to fight over this. You're in Haven, you can just... go home. Wherever. He won't chase you, he gave his word."
  • edited January 2015

    I'm surprised how suddenly angry with her I am. I can feel a flush rising to my cheeks. The lady is a spoiled brat, yes, technically, but she's more than that...a lot more. She's not like the others, not like anyone else, really.

    "And you'll trust the word of an imperial noble?" I sneer. This was the same man who had bought us both, sent her to kill and made me kill to secure my position. How someone as sweet and kind as the lady could be descended from him is beyond me. "I made my decision. I swore I'd get her to where she's going, and I'm gonna do just that."

    My hands are still on the handholds above. As I speak, my hands tighten on the bars...and as I finish, I pull myself up and plant both of my feet in her chest in a kick that, maybe, was a little underhanded.

    But she's still got that knife, and she'd plant it between my ribs without much trouble in these close quarters. And she won't back down, not for the promise of freedom he offered. It's not her way anyway -- not without a fight, at least. And I could use a good fight, truth be told. At least now there's some distance between us so I can see her coming.
  • Naomi,

    She flies back into the curved wall that is the inner part of The Owl's hull. She snarls, but you know she's a tiny bit delighted, too. Hecate does have that dagger, razor sharp flying sharkbone, in fact. Very nasty, maybe poisoned. She's one tough opponent. So here's the deal, Naomi. If you want to defeat her, then you'll need 3 successes. If you want to defeat her without causing serious injury, you'll need FIVE.

    Lady Blackbird,

    The last biplane gone, you take your fingers off the triggers. The last bullets clink on the floor at your feet, and you hear below, down the ladder, the sounds of Naomi fighting. You know that sound pretty well by now.
  • edited January 2015

    I feel satisfied with the damage I've done. I look around instinctively expecting someone to praise me, but there is no one there to do so.

    ...now I know how the mechanic feels.

    I glance down the ladder, hearing the sounds of what my bodyguard does best.

    "Naomi, what's going on?"

    I hesitate to climb down, waiting for her response.
  • Okey-dokey, go big or go home: Doing a thing+Bodyguard+Awareness+Threats+Defend+Disarm+6 Pool

    (Rolled: 12d6. Rolls: 2, 2, 3, 2, 6, 3, 1, 3, 5, 4, 3, 4. Total: 38)
  • edited January 2015

    Hecate scores a couple shots with that dagger, slicing across your left leg. You take a couple defensive wounds on your forearms as well. In the end, you win, though. Your strength and skill overpower her, breaking her wrist. The sound was like snapping a dry stick. She didn't stop, you being her obstacle to "freedom".

    The fight ended when you shoved her away from the ladder. One mighty shove that sent her tumbling away. Away and out the airlock you'd used to climb into The Owl for your escape. She falls down, down, down into the streets of Haven.

    Please mark the Injured condition.
  • edited January 2015

    "Stay there!" I'm sure the lady can hear me -- but she's never been one to meekly do as she's told. Ever. Right now, Hecate is between me and the lady: she's not supposed to hurt her, but I still feel disadvantaged all the same, so I make that my first priority.

    I let the elf come at me with that little bitty dagger of hers -- that's all she needs to be deadly. I step aside, nimbly as I can in these tight spaces, and grab hold of her arm...but not before her quick reflexes have left their mark on me. She's ready for me, though, and she swings. I lean back and pull her back with me to get her off-balance, then slide past her as she's recovering so that my back is to the ladder leading up to my charge.

    That's just where I want to be. This time, I step forward to meet her. She lashes out quick, trying to hook my leg with her's and bring me down. She's already on top of me as we're going down, trying to land a blow to my throat and face with that blade, and I've managed to catch her wrist again. I can feel the grates of the floor beneath me, cool and unforgiving, and they dig into my shoulder as I twist to put all my strength into the hand holding her wrist. It gives with a snap, and she bounds up between me and the ladder again. I scramble to my feet, not far behind, and she's already reaching for the fallen knife.

    I give her a push, trying to keep that knife out of her hands. She stumbles, makes a reach for something to clutch along the wall...but with her wrist like that, her grab only causes her more pain. She's already out the airlock before I realize what's happening -- or is it just that it's finally my conscience speaking up? -- and I take a step towards her...but it's too late: she's already gone.
  • LadyB-

    There is a silence that unnerves me, so despite my keep's command, I hurry down the ladder.

    She's injured, and it's not injuries one would sustain being tossed about the insides of the ship. I make a fretting noise, not even asking who it was. I rip off a sleeve...then the other, and try to blot the blood away.
  • image

    Snargle is through playing Chase the Tadpole with these Imp biplanes, so when Captain Sir gives the word, Snargle points the Owl for the biggest hole in the attackers' lines and really puts on the speed. "Thanks, Kale! Snargle needs all the juice you can get!"
  • Captain Vance,

    You definitely heard the commotion back there, but by the time The Owl was stable enough to move, you came down the corridor to see a spry elf girl fly right in front of you, grab the portal to the open air, scream in sudden pain, then fall.

    Good news, though. You come into the corridor by the turret to see Lady Blackbird is alright. Bonus! She just showed a goodly amount of flesh ripping her dress to tend to Naomi's wounds.

    You recognize the smell of the poison Naomi was hit with. What is it and how can you help her?
  • edited January 2015

    "I'm fine." My answer is as automatic as it is dismissive. I've taken worse and survived; if we'd been in an open space, that fight might have gone differently...but in a narrow place like this, I had had the advantage over the other girl, and I'm grateful for that.

    I turn away from the open airlock and fix a look of disapproval on the lady. "You're not going to have any clothes left if you keep that up. Anyway, I'm supposed to be the one looking after you, remember?" I resist the urge to look back towards the gaping hole; I wouldn't be able to see Hecate, nor would I want to... "Your father's bought people to get you back. And they won't think twice about killing the whole crew to get you back home."
  • LadyB-

    I pause while in the middle of trying to bandage her arm...emphasis on trying. I can't look her in the eye, as she's giving me that look.

    "...I...I was only trying to help." I don't sound frustrated, more like defeated. Father, I'm not worth killing anyone over.
  • image

    Sometimes I forget that she's only a girl, and an innocent girl at that, especially with a fight's still ringing in my ears like it is now. I inhale deeply, offer her a slight smile, and lift my arm slightly to give her better access as a sort of peace offering. "I know. I'm sorry. Go on, then, since you've already gone to the trouble."

    I let her fuss over me, even though it makes me feel awkward. No one's ever taken the time to do that, at least not since I was a little girl. She has to tell me to stop fidgeting to let her continue.

    "Captain, how we doing? Are we clear of Haven?"
  • edited January 2015

    Cyrus' jaw drops for a split second as his eyes fall on Blackbird. Blushing, he puts it out of his mind and turns his attention to her injured bodyguard.

    "Bishop, my friend, Snargs can handle Tha Owl. I'm more worried about what that smell. It's called Torrilse, and it's a poison that can do some real damage if not dealt with."

    As he's saying this, Cyrus is grabbing a first aid kit out of a cabinet.

    "The good news, Bishop, is that it's fairly easy to cure if caught in time. The bad news..."

    Cyrus is dousing a rag in a few chemicals he's pulled from the kit.

    "...this is gonna hurt like the fires of hades. Ready?"

    OOC: I'm going to do some first aid, here, assuming Naomi doesn't mind.
  • If you want to heal her, Cyrus, a Refresh scene is easier, and more interesting. Ask a few questions and she can remove the Condition. Cool?
  • edited January 2015
    Cyrus and Naomi, please go here.
  • LadyB-

    The Captain looks like he knows what he is doing. I should go check on the mechanic. I've been meaning to have a word with him anyway.
  • Lady Blackbird and Kale, please go here.
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