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    It's all up in the air

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    elanya
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    It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 04:11 pm

    It was, after all, nice to get out of the city. Sometimes Highmark could be stifling, and Verdan found it snuck up on him sometimes, so that he didn't realize what was happening until he got away for a bit. This was definitely one of those times. The city's problems, and conspiracies, were still at the front of his thoughts, but just being away gave everything a fresher perspective. And Airship travel was always invigorating.

    It wasn't early by any stretch, but he'd been up late dicing with some of the crew and other passengers, and the mug in his hand and the slice of toast scavenged from the galley would have tide him over until lunch. He was looking for a place to settle down for a few minutes and enjoy this meager breakfast when he spotted Kallista training on a scrap of deck she'd managed to clear up near the bow. It seemed like an enjoyable morning's entertainment, and he waved as he found a suitable length of rail to lean against, out of everyone's way.

    "Morning," he smiled as she lunged past him, taking a sip of his tea.
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 04:30 pm

    The fresh morning air was invigorating, as it always was for Kallista at this altitude. She had grabbed her shortsword from her cabin and headed out to the unoccupied forecastle, beginning a short practice routine. After a few minutes, however, she had gotten bored with her normal forms and, as usual, began making up improvised maneuvers and techniques spontaneously, dodging imaginary foes among the ships rigging, thrusting and parrying as she moved deftly among the ropes and barrels on the deck.

    She was so involved in her pretend fight and focused on her forms that she completely failed to notice Vedran come up near her along the rail until he spoke.

    "Gah!" she said, caught completely by surprise as she turned to him, sword extended. The razor sharp blade missed him by a hair's breadth, cleaving neatly through the slice of toast in his hand, the top half of which dropped to the floor of the airship. Kallista struggled to catch herself, overcompensated on her balance, and tripped on her own feet, the end result of which was her laying on her back stunned with her sword stuck point down into the deck nearby.

    "Oh..." she said, looking up, "Hi Vedran..."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 05:01 pm

    Eyes went wide as the sword swung his way, with no time to blink before toast and Tiefling both went crashing to the deck. He looked from the one to the other, shoved his neatly bisected toast-half in his teeth, and reached out to offer her a hand up, feeling that he might be somehow at fault for this but not exactly certain how.

    "Sorry," he managed around the bread, "I didn't mean to startle you..."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 05:06 pm

    Kallista took the half-elf's hand and hopped back to her feet, only slightly dazed by the mishap.

    "No, no..." she said, steadying herself on a nearby crate, "Totally my fault. I guess I kinda got a bit distracted there. Totally zoned out."

    She looked down at the half-slice of toast on the floor and gave a sheepish grin.

    "Sorry about your breakfast."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 05:15 pm

    He took a bite out of the remaining half-slice once his hand was free again, and swallowed quickly. "Oh, no worries. I didn't spill my tea, and I think I need the wake-up more than the food at this point."

    Holding what has been left him in his teeth again, he reached down and picked up the other half from the deck and flung it over the side of the airship. "It can just serve as a portion for the gods - I'm sure one of them much like buttered toast."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 05:25 pm

    Kallista grinned and took hold of the grip of her sword, prying it out of the wooden deck, being careful not to bend the tip. Finally it popped loose and she sheathed it safely back in her belt.

    "I'm sure they appreciate the gesture", she said with a grin, "What are you up to this lovely morning?"
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 05:28 pm

    Vedran shrugged and grinned, gesturing to the Tiefling with his half-eaten toast as she sheathed her blade. "Dinner and a show? Though it seems I'll have to alter my plans on both counts."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 05:37 pm

    Kallista laughed.

    "Oh, so I'm a performing monkey, now? Of the two of us, I'm not the one who sings and dances for a living."

    She grinned and poked him lightly in the shoulder jokingly.

    "Although now that I think about it, people would probably pay good money to see me fall on my face. We should start a vaudville show, the two of us. The Handsome Bard and the Clutzy Thief. We'd sell out theaters."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 05:41 pm

    "I'll keep it in mind if this adventuring gig doesn't pan out." He smiled again, taking a sip of his tea. "Anything that gets me out of the city from time to time."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 07:46 pm

    Kallista shrugged.

    "I know what you mean. I love the city, but I love it out here, too. I just wish we were on the Highwind, you know? After being on a ship that fast the rest of these boats always seem so slow..."

    Kallista smiled, but the slight glint in her eye indicated that perhaps the speed wasn't the only thing she missed about the Highwind.
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 08:26 pm

    That was a look that sent part of his brain back in to the litany of 'if only's. He tried to check his brain before it got too carried away, but he'd always had a very *vivid* imagination... "Mmhmmm..." He took another bite of toast, casually leaning back on the rail, eyes sparking in turn with mischief. "Brenn sure does like to take it fast. 'Course there are advantages to a more leisurely journey. Its nice to take time to appreciate the sights along the way."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 08:30 pm

    Kallista grinned and put her hand on her hip seductively.

    "Mmmmm? Any particular sights you enjoy seeing?"
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 08:42 pm

    Trouble could be so hard to stay out of, especially in the morning when one hadn't had had any caffeine to properly fuel the ...brain to mouth filter. He chuckled, then sighed, shaking his head.

    "Oh in my time I have enjoyed all kinds of...scenery. These days I'm afraid I mostly constrain myself to people watching."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 08:57 pm

    Kallista laughed lightly and gave Vedran a mischevious wink. She had resigned herself to the fact that she was never going to be able to climb Mount Callais, but she figured she could still appreciate the view. Besides, a little flirting never hurt anyone.

    She hopped up onto a crate opposite Vedran and swung her legs up into a cross-legged position, her scabbard hanging down at her side.

    "Yeah, people watching is one of my specialties. There's always plenty of interesting folks in undertow. Speaking of which, is Jacinthe still working at the orphanage there? I haven't seen her since we left for the earth mote. How's she doing?"
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 10:19 pm

    He stared at her for a moment, cramming the rest of his toast in his mouth while he tried to process the sudden right turn the conversation had taken. Or was it that far off track? He shook his head as though to clear it, and washed down the last of his now cold breakfast with a mouthful of warm tea, wishing he could wash away the vague sense of guilty anxiety that had caught him off guard as badly as the topic shift.

    "I... had completely forgotten you had met. She's well. Doing more varied volunteer work, I think. I'll tell her you asked."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 10:36 pm

    Kallista noticed the color drain from Vedran's face before he responded.

    "Are you ok?" she asked with the raise of an eyebrow. She was beginning to think that Vedran's marriage was a strange one, even for a culture that practiced such barbaric rituals as monogamy. Every time she mentioned one of them to the other there seemed to be a tension that creeped into the air, as though they were both uncomfortable being reminded that they were married.

    "Did I say something I shouldn't have?"
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 10:58 pm

    "What? No, of course no!" That moment of panic must have shown through more than he'd thought. He smiled, hoping to smooth things over. "I was just confused for a minute. How is your orphanage coming, anyway? I expect you guys much have dumped a fair amount in to it after that haul you brought back from your last mission?"
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 11:06 pm

    Kallista nodded, her flighty nature allowing Vedran to easily sidetrack her onto another topic of conversation. Her expression brightened as she thought of the orphanage.

    "Yes! We figured out we already have enough funds to keep it going for at least a few years, and hopefully if money keeps coming in the way it has been, we'll be able to expand it some day."

    She smiled at Vedran and cocked her head.

    "You should come visit sometime. I'm sure the kids would love to hear some of your stories. Well... the less racy ones, anyway."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 11:28 pm

    "I'll have to see what I can do about that then - I'm sure I can swing by at some point."

    He took another sip of tea, looking thoughtful, then glanced around to see if anyone else way paying them much attention. "I've been thinking though... You said after your conversation with Monti that you weren't really sure what you wanted to do in the long terms... and we've sort of taken on an initiative of our own here... But what are we going to do with whatever we find out?"
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 11:37 pm

    Kallista furrowed her brow.

    "What do you mean? If we find out it was an attack, then we do what we always do. We beat the bad guy."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 30/01/12, 11:47 pm

    He finished his tea, wrapping his fingers around the empty cup. "Being licensed adventurers doesn't give us leave to just beat up whoever we want. Even if we can *prove* it was an attack... assuming for argument's sake that this is the case, it isn't necessarily going to be up to us to go after them. I fact we could land in a pile of trouble if we do. We'll be lucky if we don't land in one regardless."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 30/01/12, 11:57 pm

    Kallista's face fell slightly. She hadn't considered the beaurocratic impact of their current adventure.

    "But... surely if we can prove it we can force the government to act. Even if we're not the ones to do it, they'll make sure they're punished... right?"

    Her voice wavered slightly on the last word. Suddenly she wasn't so sure.
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 31/01/12, 12:14 am

    On the one hand, it was surely better that she gave this a *little* thought before they pressed onwards. On the other hand, it was hard not to feel like a bit of a villain when he saw that sudden flash of insecurity. Vedran frowned, thoughtful. He hadn't sorted any of this out for himself yet either, and it was still early in the morning for such a heavy conversation.

    "If its a clear-cut case, absolutely yes. But there are so many different angles involved already, and we've only barely started looking, that I suspect that what we're likely to find is a great big mess that the government, and anyone else, is only going to want to sort out I way that suits their own interest. I'm not sure where we can fit in to that."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by tuck on 31/01/12, 12:48 am

    Kallista sighed and looked out over the vast expanse of forest crawling slowly by beneath them.

    "Well, we'll do what we can. That's all we can hope for. But between you and me..."

    She turned to Vedran and there was a spark of fire deep in her yellow eyes; a fierce, predatory glint that was both unsettling and a little frightening from someone like Kallista.

    "...if I find out my father had anything to do with it... I don't know what will happen..."
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    Re: It's all up in the air

    Post by elanya on 31/01/12, 12:56 am

    "Well." He smiled grimly in response. "We have no evidence for that yet, at least. Do you have some reason to suspect it?"

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