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    Settling Accounts

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    Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 19/06/12, 07:36 pm

    "Ahoy there!" Kallista shouted as she reached the gangplank leading to the Highwind's main deck. Immanual, The sailor on deck, paused from scrubbing down the main railing and turned to smile at the tiefling woman.

    "Welcome aboard again, Ms. Sinsinger." he said, and unmistakable brogue in his voice that identified him as a native of Northern Ahkas, "I assume you'll be wanting the captain, then? He's in his cabin looking over trade routes."

    "Thanks, Manny" Kallista said with a smile, giving him a quick peck on the cheek as she passed him.

    "I'm guessing we won't be seeing either of you for the rest of the evening?" he said with a grin.

    "It'll depend on how things go." she said with a shrug.

    Manny looked concerned.

    "Trouble in Paradise, Ms.?"

    Kallista smiled.

    "Hopefully not" she said.

    "Well, good luck, then." Manny grinned as he went back to scrubbing the railing. Kallista turned and walked the now-familiar deck, back to where Brenn's cabin was. She sighed and knocked, unable to put this off any longer.
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 19/06/12, 09:07 pm

    Brenn continued to distract himself with cargo manifests and wind charts, calculating daily profits and longer-term trends. Attacks near Grimfar were lowering crop yields, but a shipment of weapons could be lucrative...

    He was distracted and knew it. He should go find Kallista or Ved, or at least send a runner, but Brenn was not looking forward to whatever information they had. When he'd last been in port, Beryl had refused to comment on it, but that in and of itself just compounded his concern.

    Giving up work for the moment, he stood up to make his way to the well-stocked liquor cabinet when a knock on the door interrupted him. Assuming it to be a crew member, he continued on his way, idly calling for them to come in.
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 19/06/12, 09:13 pm

    Kallista opened the door and peeked her head in, seeing Brenn standing in front of his liquor cabinet pouring himself a drink. She walked in and closed the door quietly behind her.

    "Permission to come aboard, cap'n?" she asked with a smile.
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 19/06/12, 09:27 pm

    Brenn smiled whole-heartedly, his misgivings temporarily put aside.

    "I'm pretty sure that's a standing invitation," he responded.

    He gestured for her to sit.

    "Can I get you anything? I've got some more of that dwarven rum that, as I recall, you have a fondness for."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 19/06/12, 09:41 pm

    "That sounds perfect" Kallista said with a grin.

    She sat down in one of the chairs around the captain's table, smiling to herself as she remembered the first time she'd been sitting in this chair drinking rum.

    "Vedran told me you were in town", she said by way of starting the conversation, "We're all doing our sixth level exams back at the Union right now."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 20/06/12, 06:25 am

    "Going well, I assume?" Brenn responded politely.

    He brought over Kallista glass, setting it in front of her. There seemed a slight hesitation before he took a seat, his expression odd.

    "So, I hear you guys have been out of town for a bit."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 20/06/12, 08:18 am

    "Yeah..." Kallista said, swirling the rum in her glass, "We've been staying on the road a lot. And keeping in the spotlight when we're in Highmark. It's safer that way."

    She lifted the glass and tasted the reassuring sweetness of the rum, feeling it work its way down to her stomach.

    "Look, Brenn... There's some things I need to tell you. I don't want to, but I need to. I promised I would, and I owe you an explaination. I didn't want to have to get you involved in all this in the first place, but it was the only way we could get there in time."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 22/06/12, 03:45 pm

    "Kallista, you and my best friend are involved in something dangerous and, I surmise, likely illegal or the equivalent. I'm part of this already and the less you tell me, the less prepared I'll be for when it gets to me."

    Brenn paused, realizing how much that sounded like a rebuke. He leaned forward, reaching for her hand across the table.

    "I was willing to help when I didn't know what it was. Tell me and I'll figure out what more I can do."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 22/06/12, 04:06 pm

    Kallista winced very slightly. It was now or never. She reached out and took his cool hand in hers, rubbing her thumb across the back of his fingers absently.

    "Alright", she said with a sigh, "The day we had you fly Roscoe and Dheni to Beale's Landing we did that so that they could set up a portal gate there. the rest of the team went through once it was set up, so that no one would notice we were gone."

    "We went there to rescue... well... to intercept a woman name Sorrow Makarta. She was being brought there by the sentinel houses and by the churches of Ioun and Moradin. They were bringing her into Highmark to do research into how Nachtur was destroyed. We think they want to find a way to do it again. To be able to use it as a superweapon. We don't really know. But what we do know is that she and another guy were working on this research when the Highmark tragedy happened, and we're pretty sure the two are related."

    Kallista paused and rubbed her temples. It was hard to keep her thoughts straight. So many things were going through her mind at once and this was definitely not her forte.

    "We think it was an accident that caused the disaster, but imagine if the churches and the sentinel houses could do that whenever they wanted, to whoever they wanted. We couldn't let that happen. But we stopped them, at least for now. We got Sorrow and sent her away. Even we don't know where she's going. Dheni... Dheni went with her. For her protection, and so we could keep tabs."

    Kallista looked almost like she was about to cry. She squeezed Brenn's hand and blinked back tears.

    "I didn't want to tell you because we don't know what's going to come of it. People in really high places probably know we were involved in freeing her, and who knows what they might do to us if they get the chance. Right now we'resemi-famous and we move around a lot, which makes it hard to hit us, but it's not impossible and... Gods, I'm sorry. I didn't want you involved. I don't want to lose you..."

    A tear spilled from her eye and ran down her cheek as she sniffled, unable to continue for the moment.

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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 25/06/12, 05:48 am

    Brenn was silent for a moment, squeezing Kallista's hand as well. He waited for her to meet his gaze, looking her directly in the eyes.

    "That's not going to happen, Kallista. I'm more resilient than...I'm pretty resilient. This is a lot to take in, but I can handle it."

    Brenn left his seat to kneel next to Kallista, his hand on her cheek.

    "I'm just sorry I didn't know to help you sooner."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 25/06/12, 10:15 am

    Kallista sniffled and leaned down, pressing her lips against Brenn's forehead, her tail subconsciously curling lightly around his ankle.

    "I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner", she said after a moment, "I was just trying to protect you. We're adventurers. We knew what we were signing up for when we started this. You never had that choice."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 25/06/12, 01:14 pm

    Brenn turned his head up to return the kiss.

    "I'm making that choice now."

    He smiled, amused.

    "I am going to need that foot back, though, if I'm going to sit down again. This is really only a good position for negotiating certain other, currently unrelated, things."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 25/06/12, 01:26 pm

    "Huh?" Kallista said, somewhat confused. She looked down and saw her tail wrapped possessively around his leg and smiled.

    "Oh..." she said, disentangling it quickly, "Sorry..."

    She kissed him lightly again as he rose and then sighed, leaning back in her chair.

    "I just feel like it's unfair of us... of me... to ask any more of you than you've already done."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 25/06/12, 01:36 pm

    Brenn smirked as he took his chair again, trying to appear casual about the whole idea of super-weapons and Kallista's involvement. He downed the rest of his drink in one long pull.

    "Well, think of it this way: that much power in anyone's hands is going to be very bad for business."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 25/06/12, 01:45 pm

    Kallista tried to smile back. Despite Brenn's lighthearted assurances, however, she could tell that he was disturbed. He was a drinker, certainly, but it was unusual for him to down a drink like that without even bothering to savor it, especially if he wasn't already drunk.

    "Are you... mad at me?" she asked eventually.
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 26/06/12, 06:15 am

    There was a long pause as Brenn stared at his absent drink, his thumb idly tracing the shapes in the glass. He didn't want to give Kallista the wrong impression, but he needed a moment to consider.

    "No,I'm not mad at you. I'm...maybe this is my fault. I do put a lot of effort into maintaining the appearance of casual disinterest in issues this large. It makes it easier for me to pick and choose what causes I endorse. I can see why I might not seem the candidate for helping with this."

    Worried he'd betray too much of himself, Brenn avoided raising his eyes to meet Kallista's gaze.

    "All other considerations aside, though, let me just say that I'm in this for you."

    There was a noticeable pause that Brenn tried quickly to fill.

    "And Vedran, Roscoe, and all the rest, of course."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 26/06/12, 08:00 am

    Kallista hesitated. She glanced at her own half-full drink, but decided against it. At least for the moment. Instead, she reached for Brenn's other hand as well, bringing her gaze to meet his.

    "I know you are", she said, "You're a good man. I've never doubted your motivations."

    She paused for a moment but quickly realized that her last statement left far too much unsaid.

    "I just wanted to protect you", she sighed, "If I can't even protect my own... friend... how can I possibly protect anyone else?"
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 26/06/12, 08:33 am

    "You're assuming I need your protection," Brenn responded as gently as possible. "On a very practical level, I'm much less vulnerable than most of your team, martial prowess notwithstanding."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 26/06/12, 08:55 am

    Kallista felt her heart sink slightly into her stomach. She knew what he was saying was true. Vedran had tried to tell her as much earlier. Brenn may not be a fighter, but he had many other means at his disposal. But Kallista had come to see herself as a protector lately, and if he didn't need her for that, then what did he need her for?

    "I know..." she nodded, trying not to let her hurt show. She didn't really know what else to say.

    "Do you want me to go?" she asked eventually.
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 26/06/12, 09:03 am

    "What? No, not at all. Quite the opposite, in fact." Brenn smiled expansively, squeezing Kallista's hands.

    "Just because I say I don't need your protection doesn't mean I don't want you here. I sincerely hope we have more to offer each other than mutual favors. Though those do have their own appeal."

    He winked, trying to cheer her obviously crestfallen mood.

    "I've got more questions, but, if you'd prefer, I can get Farro to whip us up something and we can dwell on more pleasant matters for now."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 26/06/12, 09:06 am

    Kallista smiled hesitantly.

    "Dinner would be nice... I haven't eaten anything since breakfast. But... if you have questions, I'd like to hear them. I can't promise I know the answers, but I don't want to hide anything anymore."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 26/06/12, 10:28 am

    "Well, we can handle them simultaneously. As you might recall, I'm fairly adept at multitasking." Brenn continued to speak as he stood up, moving towards the dumbwaiter.

    "Do you have any idea if these people have specific ideas for this research? And which Sentinel Houses are we talking about here?"
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 26/06/12, 10:49 am

    "At least House Himrall", Kallista said, "They were the ones that ambushed us in Mythragal when we started asking questions. Maybe others. It seems like for every thing we do know there's two things we don't. Everything we learn just raises more questions. Like... like a hydra, I guess."

    Kallista smirked at the unexpected appropriateness of the analogy.

    "And no, we don't know what their specific plans are either, but we can guess. Lots of people are really upset about how the Psionic War ended, and it wouldn't take much to restart hostilities."
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by Josh on 26/06/12, 11:01 am

    Brenn frowned deeply.

    "Especially if Nerath has a weapon that can destroy an entire city. Its not like anyone has a lot of those to spare."

    He opened the sliding door, taking out the small chalkboard.

    "You want anything in particular?"
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    Re: Settling Accounts

    Post by tuck on 26/06/12, 11:15 am

    "For people to just fucking get along?" Kallista said with a slightly bitter smirk, "No, I trust Farro. He's never steered me wrong yet. At least as far as food. His opinions on whether to fold or stay in card games leaves a lot to be desired, though."

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