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Not so much as 200 kilometers away from Lemon Isle now, according to the map in his head. That's what he guessed anyway. The visual of the small string of lemon-shaped islets below was confirmation enough. He flicked a lever and adjusted the wheel, barely glancing at his altitude. He had been in the skies long enough to know how high he was without help from a gauge. He wasn't moving that fast however. In fact, he was more or less putting along with an embarassing plume of smoke pouring out of the left engine which was accompanied by a sputter of engine sounds. Not to mention the multitude of bullet holes and deep body scratches. It was a tough, old plane- having been with him for many years now; a splendid DHI A-H5 Buccaneer with personal modifications. But he guessed one couldn't outrun a Marine Unit without SOME casualty.
He leaned back in his seat and placed a knee on the steering wheel to keep his direction straight, having accidentally broken the function that did that automatically for him. He slid a hand under the ridiculously large belt that hung about his waist and brought a pack of cigarettes out with him. Lucky Flare brand. Placing a butt between his lips, his hand disappeared into his belt again, this time retrieving a small, metal lighter. He flicked it a few times under his cigarette only to produce minor sparks. Again, he tried, this time with more flicks of the thumb. Nothing. He looked at the lighter as if it were his rival, rolling the butt in his mouth from side to side. His stare remained strong as if he were expecting something from this piece of metal. And then, he just tossed it behind him.
"Hm. Looks like it's not yer old boy Kichi's lucky day."
This young man with the soothing voice was Kichiro Rakki, a not-so notorious Sky Pirate. He was fairly well-known on a minor scale in the West Blue and parts of the South, but his escapes were always as mysterious as his entrances-- more times than not having the authority on his tail. His past was an enigma to everyone as well, and people wondered how a 24-year-old managed such a life of sky piracy alone. This was Kichiro's life though, no matter which way you looked at it, and he wouldn't trade its freedom for all the belli in the world.
Kichiro puffed the bangs out of his eyes and retook control of the wheel. The string of islets were coming to an end and Lemon Isle was on the horizon now. It just so happened that his next stop was a place he had been before, the call of the South Blue's famous Sour Ale pulling him there in the first place. Although, this was months ago and he was blitzed for most of his visit as far as he remembered so it was basically a new start for him.
"Aye! Destination straight ahead Cap'n. Good, good... steady as she goes." he mimicked in a quiet tone, rolling the cig back and forth in his mouth. It was apparent he had been travelling a long time now.
His trip was going as smooth as it could be with a damaged engine and Kichiro was enjoying the relaxing glide over the quiet sea. However, luck comes in cycles and this pirate had just expended it with his rather insane escape from the Marines. A deep, grumbling sound entered the young man's ears, perking them for a moment. It didn't take long for his experience to remind him what that sound was. He peered out the starboard side in time to see his engine explode in a poof of black smoke before sputtering into a stall. Kichiro's jaw dropped slightly. Surprisingly, the plane wasn't losing altitude, hinting that Kichi's luck wasn't spent yet. Chunks of the wing began to shake loose and the engine struggled to support the plane, erupting more black smoke into the sky.
"This isn't good..." Kichiro said rather calmly as he pulled any levers and flipped any switches that may keep him in the sky. The plane began to shake and this pilot knew he wouldn't stay airborne for much longer. He reached up and pressed a button underneath a small snail-like microphone. It crackled and buzzed, alerting him it was on.
"Oi, uh, would it be safe to say some gent can hear me over there on Lemon Isle? Kinda important..." There was more buzzing but finally, a voice.
"Yes, this is Yellow Tart Airfield. Go ahead."
"Grand. I hope you fellows don't mind me dropping by in a jiff, yeah?" Silence for a moment as Kichi's plane began to shake more violently. He seemed rather unphased though.
"...Excuse me? Are you an authorized carrier transport?"
"No sir, I can't say I am. However, I am carrying something that has needs of transportation to your island."
"...Right. Passenger ships are not authorized to land here. I need to ask you to land on the western side of the island. I'll alert them of your arrival."
"Don't think I can make it that far, mate."
"Jus' make room for an emergency arrival, if you could."
"You can't...! What is tha--" Kichiro snapped off the den-den speaker and sighed, dry cigarette stipp between his lips. The airstrip was in sight at this point and he could see the little people struggling to prepare for this unexpected event. It was going to be interesting. He really wished he wouldn't have to make such a "grand" entrance this time of all times.
His ship suddenly caught up with the physics of flying a plan with only one working engine and he began to plummet. Kichiro struggled with the wheel as he flipped a number of exhaust switches, doing anything to straighten out his plane. If anything, he had to make sure he hit the ground at least, for landing in the ocean would mean his plane would be lost. He popped out his wheels and fought to keep the plane even enough to hit the runway.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit." he panicked rather quietly as his plane came in contact with the pavement, forcing out a few loud crunches and smashing sounds. Inventory in the cockpit shot up and bounced about, sending a feeling of worry down the pilot's spine. Ignoring it for now, he quickly turned on the reverse thrust to help bring him to a stop. The shrill of the propellars changing direction comforted Kichi as his plane started to even out as it rolled down the strip. But then there was a frightening snap sound and the engines began spinning in the forward direction again, speeding his plan up. For some reason, thigns weren't responding correctly anymore and Kichiro cursed his ship as he was forced to manuever the clunky machine around some cargo. However, he was heading straight for a hangar bay in a speed he wasn't to thrilled about.
In a last ditch effort, the sky pirate yanked out the ignition key, effectively killing the engine. The plane was still rolling though and with a bit of skill, and a plane full of luck, he somehow brought it in to a rolling finish that was nicely parked right where would have been towed in the end anyway. Disregarding the chaos of people outside, Kichi relaxed in his seat with a long sigh and smirk upon his lips. The lighter he had tossed earlier, after bouncing around in the near-crash landing, was now present in his lap. Kichiro looked at it and decided to give it another chance. With a quick flick of the wrist, and then the thumb, he finally managed to produce a flame to ignite his cig. Perhaps it was his lucky day after all.
Last edited by Cap'n Jefu (2008-03-12 02:40:10)
Waking up in a lumpy, way too firm bed, she climbed out and stretched her back, the popping sounds of an uncomfortable night filling the room that would have made anyone else present cringe. She rubbed her neck wishing that this customer lived in Hamashira. The beds at the old Tumbling Coin are way more to her liking. She looked out the window and greeted the morning sun with sleep encrusted eyes and scowl. Erica never handled mornings too well before her first cigarette and a coffee. She walked into the bathroom, washed her self up, and got dressed to take on the day. Since she wasn't out scouring the world for the last remaining bits of treasure, she had to come in with some kind of income so today, she was fixing a clients busted De Havilland Humming Bird. A 19ft body, 30ft wingspan and 1 Blackburne Tomtit inverted vee, two cylinder engine, 26 hp. Recalling the specs, she wondered why she hadn't just stayed asleep.
Erica Melbourne could be described at worst as an old man in a young woman's body. Not that she'd act perverted like an old man, but her world view pretty much synced just right with one. Troubles were everywhere and as long as she could keep to her own business, she was happy, content to say the least. She walked out of the Free-Bird Inn, tools in hand and a rather odd object hanging at her side to bring on a simple house call repair, her sword 'Stormbringer'. It wasn't that she expected anything shady to go down, just that her sword never left her side. It's not like she was the only one on the streets that day with a sword on her, she scouted at least 3 other swordsmen on her way to work, though whether or not they were really swordsmen and just guys looking to be tough was a question to be debated later and never.
She arrived at her clients house which was located just outside of Citrus Town. A small house, big garage, small air strip. Out in the distance up in the sky, she saw trail of black smoke going down. Guess it's not his lucky day. she thought. Maybe after this job I can go over there and give that guy my card and get some throwing around money. She knocked on her clients door and an elderly man opened the door. It was time to get into business mode. She put on an uncharacteristically wide smile and extended her hand.
"Hi there, I'm Erica Melbourne from Melbourne Repairs and Services. You have a De Havilland Humming Bird that needs to be fixed?" she said in a cheery voice which would have creeped out those that knew her better. The elderly man smiled and received her hand.
"Oh yes and my, I did not expect such a beauty to show up for repairs. Perhaps I should break my plane more often" laughed the elderly man.
"Do it and I'll end you." said Erica through gritted teeth.
"Excuse me, what was that?" asked the client, cupping his ear and inching closer to hear her better.
"Oh nothing sir, now please show me to your plane." she said. The elderly old man led her to the garage and there stood the little biplane.
"When I tried to take her up for a leisurely flight last weekend, it would just sputter black smoke. The propeller would turn for a bit but then it would just cut off." he said.
"Oh really, that is a bit of trouble. I hope I'll be able to fix it." she said while she smiled while in her mind,[i] I CAME ALL THIS WAY FOR AN OIL CHANGE!!! OH I AM GONNA MILK THIS FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH!" "Well sir, you better let me get to working and seeing what is wrong with it."
"Oh alright, I'll just be in the house. Call me if you need anything." he said waving goodbye. Erica smiled and waved goodbye as well, but the moment the door closed, her smile disappeared she grabbed a wrench from her toolbox and chucked it into the ground.
3 hours later, Erica was leaning up against the plane, the oil fresh and changed 20 minutes after the old man left her to her work. She was reading a magazine with one hand while banging on the engine with a wrench when the old man opened the door. She threw her magazine in to the bag and immediately arbitrarily turning bolts.
"So how is all of the work going miss?" he said.
"Great, as a matter of fact, I'm done."
"Oh? It'll fly now? he asked.
"For sure. If it doesn't work now, the job is completely free." she said.
Liking that deal, the old man opened the garage door and climbed into the cockpit. He turned the key to the ignition and just as Erica had said, the engined turned over. No black smoke putted out of the engine, and the propeller was spinning just as usual. The plane rolled out of the garage and sped down the small air strip till it lifted off. The old man was cheering and nothing but all smiles while he was up in the air. Erica looked on, seeing her guaranteed pay fly in the air. The old man landed and hopped out of the plane with the energy of a young man.
"Oh thank you Ms. Melbourne, you were wonderful. I don't know what you did but now it works better than ever. I can't thank you enough. Now, how much do I owe you?" he asked.
Originally, Erica had planned to charge him 50,000 berri for making her come all this way for such a simple and lame job, but seeing how happy he was in the air again sort of softened Erica up a bit. She wasn't happy with it but she knew it was the right thing to do.
"Just 5000 berri sir." she said, the voice in her head shouting many expletives at her. The old man happy with that price paid the paltry sum and resumed flying in the air above his house. Erica walked back feeling warm and fuzzy inside. She hated warm and fuzzy.
Taking his sweet time, Kichiro gathered some things into a rucksack and popped open the hatch, which sounded like it was going to fall off itself. The employees of Yellow Tart Airfield were scurrying about and creating quite the comotion, none of which seemed to pertain to the sky pirate, or so he thought so.
"Are you crazy!?" came a loud voice from what probably was the Director of the station. It was obviously aimed at the new, unwanted, arrival. Kichiro, with his rucksack slung over his shoulder, hopped clumsily onto the wing of his ship and then to the ground below, seemingly ignoring it. "Hello!? Are you even listening??"
"Huh?" Kichiro looked at the Director, who had a large mustache covering his upper lip, as if he was oblivious to the scene that just took place. "What can I do ya for, mate?" he asked, puffing his cigarette.
"Are you aware of the damage you could have done? The trouble you caused most of my men!?"
"Ah, but here's the thing, mate," he said with a sly half-smile and a finger extended as if to make a point. "I could have caused some problems, but managed to fly in all smooth like, yeah?"
"W-Well, that is technically true but--" The Director folded his arms and looked a bit flustered. His flying was far from smooth but he did manage to avoid any actual damage somehow.
"Then how about we call it squarsey and pretend like I never landed here, hm? I'll only be here until- oh, let's say- dawn tomorrow, and I'll be outta your hair. Just gotta get something fixed up," he said with a quick pat to his rucksack. "and an engine repaired. You do repairs here, mate?"
"Uh, well yeah, I suppose so..."
"Grand! Then we have ourselves a deal, yeah? I'll even pay you for fixin' up my baby." he said as if it would have been fixed for free. He grinned at the Director who could only look back and try and process things. "You gonna send some men to get on that, mate?" Kichi asked after waiting a few moments in silence.
"Oh, well, y-yes, of course. Sherman! Get on to fixing this gentleman's plane, would ya?" One of the lackeys running about stopped and nodded, suddenly heading for his tools.
"Fantastic!" Kichiro beamed, now walking past the Director, placing a friendly hand on his shoulder. "I'll be back to pick her up in the morn', alright?" With a lazy, over-the-shoulder wave he began heading to the hangar's exit. The Director, finally breaking free of the twisting tunnel of words the pilot had put him through, called out after Kichiro.
"NOW WAIT A MINUTE, YOU!" Kichi stopped and scowled. Almost got away without any problems. With one last puff, he tossed the cig to the ground, smothered it with his boot, and turned around slowly as if caught red-handed.
The Director had lead the sky pirate into his office, which smelled oddly of lemons and had numerous photos of high ranking marines shaking hands with him in front of hangar bays. The mustachioed man sat at his desk and cleared his throat, assuming the stranger would follow suit in one of the chairs across from him. He didn't.
"Now, disregarding the chaos you have caused this afternoon, what purpose do you have here in Citrus Town?"
"Purpose, mate? Must one need such a thing to visit this place?" Kichiro smiled as he explained with elaborate hand gestures. "I've come only to see the sights, drink some fine ales and perhaps get some repairs done. I may even fancy myself a lady if a chance arises." The Director felt like he was being lied to.
"I see. Could I get some identification from you and registration for your plane?"
"Ah, but there's where the trouble would be, mate. I seem to have lost both things. I'm terribly sorry. But if you could take my word for it..." He then broke into a grand bow. "...I am Captain Kichiro Rakki of the Radical Dreamer."
"The 'Radical Dreamer'...?" the mustached one asked with a hint of annoyance on his voice.
"Aye. That'd be the name of my precious ship out in your hangar bay." he answered as he stood up straight again. The Director sighed and stroked his mustache. He really didn't feel like dealing with this character right now.
"Listen. Just lemme call my superiors and make sure everything is okay with them. A shady fellow like yourself nearly crash-landing in our airfield with no proper form of identification is a problem, to say the least."
"Now I don't think I look too shady, do you?" Kichiro asked, almost offended.
"I do. Now, if you'll give me a moment?"
"By all means." Kichi retorted with a slight wave to the Director's den-den mushi which was then picked up by him.
"Mr. Yazlow? This is Kirus." The Director caught the odd pilot eyeing him and turned his comfy leather chair around to avoid his awkward stares.
"Go ahead." came a voice from the den-den.
"We've had an unscheduled landing by a civilian and he's got no forms of identification on him. I was wondering if you could do a search on, hold on one second-- Kichiro Rakki, was it?" Director Kirus asked as he turned back around only to see his guest has disappeared. His jaw dropped and the room grew rather quiet outside of the concerned voice on the other line.
Kichiro began his way down the road towards Citrus Town, heavy rucksack still slung over his shoulder. He patted it lovingly as he strolled down the open sidewalk.
"Don't you worry love, I'll make sure you're all fixed up before we get in any more trouble. Although, I'd have to say your Cap'n will have a problem or two at this rate." Pulling out another cigarette, Kichiro was rather displeased when the lighter that had worked only minutes before randomly wouldn't light again. He prayed that this wasn't a bad omen of things to come.
Last edited by Cap'n Jefu (2008-03-12 21:29:37)
Successfully lighting another "coffin nail" as she so lightly put it, Erica leaned on the public Den Den Mushi on an empty road, waiting for her partner and old friend Sparks to pick up. A few bure-bure-bure's later, Erica's call was answered.
"Hello! Melbourne Repairs and Services. Plane, car, even your old guitar, if it's broken the Melbourne Repairs and Services crew will come through for you! How can I help you?" sang Sparks.
"Hmm? You must have a lot of time on your hands to come up with a little jingle like that out of no where, but you would seeing as how you've been SENDING ME OUT ON THESE BOGUS REPAIR JOBS!" screamed Erica. The man on the other end, the short, slightly chubby young man with short spikey blonde hair and a bandage just below his right eye was knocked off of his feet from the force of Erica's scream on the other end.
"Ah! Boss, how did the job go?" he asked, crawling back up, smiling and giving an embarrassed and nervous chuckle.
"How did it go? It was just a stupid oil change! I had to spend a day and a half flying here, get hardly any sleep at the Inn here and now I have to fly back for a day and half to get back there! This job isn't going to pay for the first flight alone, why did you even tell me about this one?" asked Erica.
"Well, you've been looking a little paler than usual so I figured maybe you could use a job on the outside of the garage." He said, smiling and scratching his cheek, hoping Erica would see his side of things. "Wait a minute, Erica, don't you usually charge people insane amounts of money when your annoyed?" asked Sparks.
"It might not be one of my better habits, why?"she asked, wondering where he was going with this.
"Well, why isn't this job going to be able to pay for the ride there?" he asked.
"Well....I guess I...." said Erica, starting to stumble herself.
"The old man made you go soft, didn't he?" he said with a smug grin on his face.
"WE'LL SEE WHO'S GONE SOFT WHEN I GET BACK THERE SPARKS!" yelled Erica over the Den Den Mushi sending Sparks once again flying and on the floor.
Erica threw the small snail back on the receiver where it made a loud CLANG sound. Frustrated, annoyed, tired and on the verge of being penniless, Erica made her way to the hangar where her plane was being kept when the 3 guys with swords she saw earlier appeared in front of her.
"'Ey! You got a lotta nerve making a racket like that!" said the tall one in the middle. His jaw was jutting forward, face turned up into a scowl.
"Yeah, this is a peaceful neighborhood. We don't need people like you upsetting things here" quipped his friend on the right with the greased back hair.
"When things get upset around here, folks gotta pay, ya understand?" said the one on the left with the toothpick in his mouth. Erica was looking downwards while they were threatening her, shadows covering her face, revealing no expression. She moved over to the side to get around the 3 oafs when the guy in the middle stuck out his sword from his sheath, keeping Erica from moving on.
"Are you hard of hearing girl? We says you have to pay us for disturbing the peace. We're the "neighborhood watch" as it were. For all of that ear splitting screaming you were making, I'd say that comes out to 2,000,000 berri. right boys?" he asked. His two friends nodded and laughed in agreement. "Though your not all that bad looking from what I can see so maybe you can pay us in some other ways" he then suggested, his friends laughing harder now.
Erica looked up at them, her face was completely stoic. She then moved her right hand over to the hilt of her sword. The 3 goons laughed harder.
"Hahaha, you fixin' to take us on with that stick huh? Hahahaha!"
Erica then walked back about 10 steps, spit out her cigarette and took her sword Stormbringer out of it's sheath and got into her position, her sword to her side and pointing at her enemy, her left arm jutted out to guide the blade.
"Look at her, she's for real about this!" said the one with the greased back back, the three still laughing themselves to tears. The one in the middle suddenly stopped laughing and just smiled at her.
"Well if she thinks she can take us all at the same time, lets give her just that!" he yelled, prompting the other two to take out their swords. The three then began to charge at Erica, their swords clutched in both hands, looking more like they were ready to swing a baseball bat than a sword.
"Hisan...." said Erica, her word barely audible from the loud screaming of the three. They closed in on her, when she then shouted "KIBA!" Erica charged forward herself. Pushing off of her right leg behind her, Erica, in a flash, was behind her charging foes, the three baboons suddenly finding themselves up in the air. When they landed, they each had a new gash on their chest, their mouths gaped open in disbelief, their eyes whited out, either unconscious or in shock. Erica calmly replaced the sword back into it's sheath and then lit another cigarette. She breathed it in deeply and blew out a large puff of smoke.
"That helped work through some of my frustrations." she said, stretching her arms up in the air. "Ah, now I gotta go find a way to get some more money." Erica then picked up her tool box and headed back to town.
Last edited by Okami Kugatsu (2008-03-14 14:52:52)
"Ten minutes to Lemon Isle. I repeat, ten minutes to Lemon Isle. We thank you for flying with us."
Jürgen woke up as the Den-Den speakers announced the message. He was sitting against a wall in the cabin, which was full of people. Stretching out his arms as good as he could, he shook his head and started to stand up.
"Ugh, too much people..." He picked up his cargo tag from his pocket and looked at it. "74. Gotta stand in line for that too..." He held on to a bar on the wall and looked out through the window, over the seemingly endless ocean.
Five years it had been. Five years since he set out on his adventure, not bringing with him much more than two guns, a few hundred berri and a dream to become one of the world's best gunners. He had been collecting firearms, increasing his skill. He had gone through no fewer than 31 weapons so far, currently carrying with him seven different ones. The rest had been lost along the way, either broken down completely, sold, given away, simply discarded, just disappeared... their fates had been many indeed.
At this very moment, however, he was completely unarmed. Weapons weren't allowed to be brought aboard the zeppelin, and his ammo bag would have been too big to bring into the cabin anyway. So he had sent them to Lemon Isle with a cargo plane, which had arrived ahead of him. This way still turned out to be the cheapest alternative.
Most, if not all the people in the cabin were heading to Lemon Isle for the festival. Jürgen wasn't all too interested in the fancy airplane shows, but there was going to be a weapons exhibit he wanted to see.
As the zeppelin started descending, he snapped back to reality.
"Please exit the cabin in a controlled manner. Your pilot today has been Captain Samuel Feathers. We thank you for choosing Eclipse Airlines, and hope you will fly with us again."
"Yeah, as if..." He was starting to shake off his stiffness as they hit the ground and the doors were opened. Getting out wasn't the easiest task, though. "Controlled manner, my arse..."
With both feet safely on the ground again, Jürgen picked up his cargo tag and map of Lemon Isle he had gotten with the cargo pickup point marked. Pinpointing his current position, he located his goal as another airstrip a few hundred meters eastwards. After a short stop for purchasing a pack of cigarettes and a box of matches, he lit one and started wandering. About halfway there, he spotted someone seemingly trying to light a cig of his own. His hair was messy, his jacket was rugged, and his belt seemed far too big to be convenient for anything at all. Jürgen whipped out a match as he approached the person.
"Need a light?" He lit it and held it towards the man.
He put away his lighter, which was apparently malfunctioning, and brought his cig to the flame. He took a puff, then held up the cig as he looked at Jürgen.
"Oh, no problem." The two men continued walking in different directions - Jürgen towards his cargo, and the strange man towards Citrus Town.
Reaching the place, he spotted quite a number of people at what seemed to be the pickup point.
"More crowds. Lovely." Tossing the cig and getting in line, he started inspecting the map again. Citrus Town took up a decent part of the island, and there were airstrips scattered on the outskirts. He tried to locate the place where the exhibit was going to take place, but the map wasn't detailed enough for that. "Guess I'll ask in town, gotta grab a bite first anyway..."
The line seemed to move at a snail's pace, but after a good twenty minutes Jürgen had finally made it to the front. He handed over his tag to the man at the other side of the table and was led over to a crate, marked 74. Opening it revealed a big bag, a knife and a pile of firearms. It was quite a collection of hardware - three larger things, and four pistols.
"Oh yes, time to get dressed." He started equipping himself - his jacket had been outfitted with straps to allow the carrying of larger weapons on the back. In the middle, right below the neck, a long rifle. At the right shoulder, a double-barreled shotgun. At the left shoulder, a large rifle with eight barrels. In the leftmost holster on the belt, a strange pistol with a slot behind the barrel. Next holster to the right, an old pistol with a thick barrel. Third holster, a somewhat small gun with a short pipe. Finally, in the holster on his right hip - as to be the exception to some rule, a very normal-looking revolver. The knife sheath was strapped to his right arm, under the jacket - the jacket having a conveniently placed hole right at the spot, closed with a button.
He lit himself another cigarette before grabbing his bag and turning around. Feeling complete again, he started heading in the direction of Citrus Town.
Last edited by KennyMan666 (2008-03-14 20:15:58)
Thanks to a random stranger in a long, black jacket, whom regularly Kichiro would have stayed away from, (good luck never came in the form of shady characters), the slightly lost pilot was able to make his way into town with a burning stick of nicotine. And that, in his opinion, was far better than a non-burning one. This Yellow Tart Airfield, as Kichiro discovered was it's named from the large billboard plated above what must of been the entrance, was rather large and fairly busy. From the time it took him to arrive at the gate, he had seen 3 planes take off, 4 zepplins arrive, and pushed his way through several crowds of people waiting to gather their belongings. By the time he reached his destination, his cigarette was burned right through.
"Well, ain't that a shame, mate." he mumbled to himself as he sucked in the last puff and flicked it off into the nearby sewer vent. Pushing himself off the fencing that framed the exit, he made a swift turn out the gate only to meet a solid object coming the opposite direction fast. Not only did this cause Kichiro to get knocked over, it also choked him on his own smoke, causing a rather severe coughing fit to ensue.
"Oh boy, am I ever sorry, kid!" came a bellowing voice from behind a large parcel or some sort. Kichi looked up through his coughs, pounding his chest to help 'get it out'.
"Yeah, yeah..." he coughed a little more. "...No worries. Jus' mind where you're going." He forced himself up and gathered his rucksack before clearing his throat and brushing himself off almost daintily. "I could'a been some old man with a bad hip, yeah?"
"Again, my apologies. But ya'll hafta excuse me," the obviously large man continued, now peeking his head around the package, presenting the face behind the voice. "I'm in'a hurry and need to take off soon. Perhaps next time, I could buy ya a drink?" This was said more out of politeness than truth but caused Kichi to grin none the less.
"Aye, I'll be holdin' you to that, mate." he finished with a lazy point at the now more obvious giant of a man. As he hurried on by the sky pirate, Kichiro noticed he looked close to seven feet tall with a huge body to match. Not only that, but the outfit we was wearing was beyond strange, even for the things he had seen on his travels, that crimson cape catching wind behind the large man. With a few misguided steps, Kichi eventually continued his way into Citrus Town, thinking to himself how he wouldn't forget a man like that any time soon.
Kichiro swaggered down the street which connected the airfield to, what seemed like, the industrial district of this town. In a lost daze, and some direction from the common locals he spotted walking around, he found his way to the commercial part of the city to where he could get his "errands" complete. Making his way through the steadily increasing crowds of people with a couple of "Pardon me, mate"s and "Excuse me, miss"s, he approached what looked like some kind of information kiosk. Only it was more like another one of those billboards he had kept seeing around this place.
"Now les'see here..." Kichi said as he itched at his jawline, beginning to read what it said. "Don't miss the Wonderful Wingrider, Trace Schuyler, and his Amazing Acrobatics! Only at Citrus Town's Legendary Stunt Show Festival, today at 3PM! Also, be sure to catch... Ah, now that would explain the hordes of bloody people here then." Just as he finished that sentence, a sort of rough looking individual bumped in to him, following up with a nearly cliche: "Watch where yer goin', bub!"
"No worries, mate." he said with a false cheery disposition. "But you wouldn't happen to know where I could find a... Repair... shop?" The stranger didn't even stop to listen. "Oi. Nevermind then." He sighed and turned around, supposing he was just going to wander around until he could get some help. That was his plan until his eyes caught the sight of a rather beautiful woman, with long, black wavy hair and provocative red dress, hurrying by.
"Well, now." he whispered, studying her a bit more before taking his first step in her direction. "If nobody minds, I think it's time for your Cap'n to take a lil' R an' R break." And with that, he followed after her.
After a few minutes of near-stalker like following, Kichi finally caught up with her just as she entered one of the larger buildings that lined the streets. This establishment was called "Sunnie & Sourr's Bar and Inn", according to the sign, and Kichiro's eyes lit up.
"If I can't have a smoke, then I'll be damned if I couldn't have me a pint with a fine lady too." Shuffling his rucksack strap up his shoulder a bit, Kichiro pressed open the door and entered what just might as well be good as any heaven could be for this odd sky pirate.
Lemon isle. Small fry. There had been no reason to take the contract, other than ego.
For some people, ego is enough.
A lone figure sat at the Citrus town pier, gazing out at the endless blue, moving from ocean to sky seamlessly. Barely anything came in to dock here any more; not since the aeroplane became a viable method of transport. The figure looked down at his legs, dangling over the water freely. engine lubricant covered the oily boots, dropping rhythmically into the water below. A single drop of blackness, tainting the surface and spreading out as it did so.
surface tension. Water was a polar molecule- it wouldn't mix with hydrocarbons at all. There was a moment of revelation, and the figure ran a greasy hand through his hair as he reached for his pad and pen. A new and brilliant idea had emerged in his head, one which could kill too birds in one stone. He could improve fuel consumption as well as solve that ticklish problem of the new engines heating up until they melted. Instead of trying to use air cooling, he could flush the fuel tank fuel tanks with water, forcing the fuel ahead of it. The only issue would be seperating the water from the kerosene before injection into the engine. That was just a question of design though. At the same time, he could use a water circulation system to conduct heat away from the engine, and maybe even put that waste heat to good use as internal cabin heating. three birds with one stone.
The figure suddenly cursed, realising he'd managed to lose track again. Planning the stunt show was a simple exercise in error margins and basic mechanics, which was probably why he was so reluctant to do it. This was boring, and Trace Schuyler has no right to perform these stunts if he hadn't done the number crunching himself.
Kaito Shun picked himself up from the pier and sighed. he needed to get to work.
Ugh... I hate my job. Mac thought to himself as he sat awkwardly, in a chair too small for his frame, in the director's office. Sure, being a courier means I work when I want to. Freelance, if you will. It's so mundane though... and nobody ever has any information that I need. Is it even worth the hassle? Why do I bother? Is he still talking? Why is his suit bright yellow? That's a nice painting. Wait, is that a cat?
"MISTER IRVINE!" came a shout from over the desk.
"I asked if those conditions were acceptable. Do we have a deal?"
"Sure. What's the cargo, and where am I taking it?"
"You'll be making a delivery to the Moonshine Casino on Gambit Island. It's all lit up, even at night. Lovely place."
"Very nice, Mister Peel, but I need to know what I'll be taking."
There was silence for a few seconds as Mac gathered his thoughts. "Lemons?" he managed to ask.
"Well, yes. They are our major export."
"This was supposed to be an emergency delivery! Double the regular payment!"
"It is an emergency! They've nearly run out. Can you imagine such a thing? Life without lemons..." Mr Peel shuddered at the thought, but continued. "There's supposed to be a major baccarat tournament soon, and those high rollers will be wanting their lemon vodkas, gin and lemon, lemon spritzers, lemon brandy... all the usual drinks."
Mac felt a little ill by this point. Sighing, he stood up. "I hereby accept this contract, Mister Peel, and vow to complete the delivery in it's fullness, within the time period agreed upon, as is my duty as a courier." He glanced up from the scrawl written on his hand, and shook that of the director. After being shown to the sacks of lemons, he placed them in a box, and left the building, heading towards Yellow Tart Airfield, and his plane, Neko Coneko.
"What a strange man..." Mr Peel scowled. "He may have odd dress sense, but he could at least have the decency to wear a yellow cape..."
"I hate doing that bit." Mac mumbled under his breath, "Stupid courier licence laws..." Oblivious to those scrambling to get out of his way, he stomped his way down the street, until he felt a small amount of resistance pushing back on him. Glancing around his "emergency" lemons, he saw a small boy sprawled out on the floor. Then again, most men looked like small boys to Mac. "Oh boy, am I ever sorry, kid!"
Coughing, he replied, "Yeah, yeah..." More coughing. "...No worries. Jus' mind where you're going." He got to his feet, cleared his throat, and brushed himslef down. "I could'a been some old man with a bad hip, yeah?"
"Again, my apologies. But ya'll hafta excuse me. I'm in'a hurry and need to take off soon. Perhaps next time, I could buy ya a drink?" Mac lied. He hoped never to come back to this eerie place. Lemons as far as the eye could see. The kid could buy his own damned lemon whisky if he wanted one. The boy grinned however, as though to accept it.
"Aye, I'll be holdin' you to that, mate." He replied, oblivious to the fact that he'd never see Mac again. Ever. If he could help it.
Finally arriving at the airfield, and after pushing some pencils for a while, then filling out some forms, Mac was ready to fly. Or so he had hoped. In the distance, he could see a faint plume of smoke, and many of the airfield workers seemed to be gathered there.
"Mac Irvine requesting technicians for clearance."
"Mister Irvine?" came a voice from the snail in front of Mac.
"I'm afraid there have been some problems. Most of the technicians have been called away to an illegal landing. You won't be able to depart for at least an hour or two. Sorry for the inconvenience."
Releasing the button on the shell, Mac began to curse the heavens. "GET ME OFF OF THIS BLOODY ISLAND! IT'S TOO DAMNED WEIRD!" He foamed, "IF I EVER CATCH WHO DID THIS, I'LL KILL THEM!"
A small explosion flashed up briefly before a thick black cloud began to rise into the air.
"Make that three or four." crackled the voice again, a little tenser this time.
I hate my job.
Jürgen had never been a fan of crowds. Sure, he enjoyed good company as much as the next person, but hordes of people everywhere annoyed him a bit. Granted, people usually didn't walk right next to him after spotting his armaments, but the crowd still had to be traversed to get anywhere. And all too often it moved at a slower pace than Jürgen's preferred one.
Objective A, find some chow. Objective B, find the exhibit. Objective C, find a way to get the hell off this island. Jürgen thought to himself as he navigated Citrus Town. "Sounds like a plan, doesn't it." He had no intention of doing any kinds of sightseeing or the like, only see what he came for and then away. This time with some kind of travel that'd allow him to carry his weapons on board.
Finally, he found himself a district where it seemed like he could find something to eat. Walking down the street, he inspected the locales he passed. Yellowbeard's Oasis. The Drunken Lemon. Sunnie & Sourr's Bar and Inn. Figuring they looked like places for getting yourself something to drink rather than something to eat, he kept walking. Sure, bars and inns would have food as well, but he'd rather get something fast. Wasn't long until he found what he was looking for - a ramen shop a dozen meters ahead. Jürgen went up to the counter and grabbed himself a menu.
"Hello. I'll have, let's see... guess I'll try a citrus soba."
"Of course, sir. Something to drink?"
"Water, I guess..."
"If I may, I can recommend our lime sake with that."
"Alright, a small glass of that too... plus some information."
Jürgen took out his map and a small note with an address. "Looking for, let's see... Root Avenue. Don't really know where I currently am."
"Let's see." The man at the other side of the counter got out a pen and looked at the map. "Alright, we're currently on Lime Street... here." He circled it on the map. "You continue down here, first large intersection you get to, take to the left. That's Seed Street. Then straight ahead past two intersections, and on the third one you go right. There's Root Avenue for you." He drew a line on the map to mark the way.
"Alright, thanks." Jürgen put the map back into his pocket as his food and drink was delivered. After downing them (the citrus soba having a taste he wouldn't forget for quite a while), he lit a cigarette and continued on his journey. Following the map, he turned from Lime to Seed Street, passing the intersections and turning into Root Avenue.
It was a somewhat small strip of road, lined with mostly residence buildings. In the middle was a sign with two guns hanging above a door. Jürgen approached it, but was only met with a locked door and a sign - Firearms Throughout the Ages exhibit opens tomorrow at 09.00. Adults - 300 berri. Children and seniors - 150 berri.
"Oh, fuck it." Tossing his nearly burned-out cig on the ground and stepping on it, he turned around and prepared to leave. "Means I'll have to find myself someplace to sleep... that's right, saw an inn back there-" Hearing a gunshot from the other direction, Jürgen quickly turned around. Drawing XII, he went to the end of the road and looked past the corners. Nothing there, just a small, empty road. He walked on, hearing another shot before finding where they came from. In the middle of the street on the other side, someone was doing trick shooting. A small group of people stood around him, watching his performance. Jürgen watched for a few minutes as well before approaching.
"And here I thought something exciting actually happened."
The man doing the shooting turned around and looked at Jürgen. He had short, brown hair, somewhat of a lanky build and was wearing a marine uniform - from the rank markings, Jürgen guessed he was a lower officer. "And who would you be?"
"Name's Jürgen Geist. I'll ask the same question."
"Robert Edwards Green. Ensign in the Lemon Isle marines. Do you have any business with me?"
"Not really. But what are you really doing here?"
"Just a demonstration of what I can do for the people. They call me the sharpest shot on the island."
"I may just take you up on that, buddy."
"And what exactly do you mean by that?"
"You see..." Jürgen spun XII around on his finger. "...I'm quite the good shot myself."
Last edited by KennyMan666 (2008-03-19 22:06:17)
Erica saw the explosion at the airstrip while she was walking back into town from her brief altercation with the three thugs. That loud kaboom to her sounded more like a loud ka-ching! Erica was in need of money and if she could lend her services to whatever just blew up for some spare cash, then that's what she had to do. She ran as fast as she could to the site and when Erica got there, her eyes were greeted to the sight of airstrip employees and fire fighters rushing about the place trying to keep everything under control. She looked for the fattest one giving orders since those guys tend to be the ones running things. She scouted one yelling orders into a mini Den Den Mushi.
"I don't care what the Marines want, we need to get that thing off of the strip A.S.A.P! We have planes that need to land and we can't have that heap blocking traffic!" he yelled. Erica approached him and tapped him on the back of the shoulder.
"Excuse me sir." she said, as politely as she could.
"Eh? What do you want?" he asked in a grizzled, crotchety manner. Erica reached into her pocket and presented to him her business card.
"The name is Erica Melbourne, I'm a mechanic and whatever you need fixin, I can fix it and I saw an explosion just a little while ago."
"Oh yeah? Well what exploded was that piece of junk that illegally landed here just a while ago and I really don't care if it's in pieces, I just want my airfield cleared!" he yelled at her, clearly irate. His mini Den Den Mushi rang again and he answered while Erica looked on rejected and pissed. "What was that? Er....I think the tag on it was Radical Dreamer! Well if the Marines want it, they'll have to grab it before we send it out for scrap!" he yelled. Having enough of this, Erica turned around and walked away. This situation she thought, calls for a drink and with the little 5000 Beri she made on her earlier job, she might as well use it for some boozin. She walked to the nearest bar she could find in a haze, nearly a blind stupor caused by repressed rage. It was called the Sunnie & Sour's Bar and Inn. Erica opened the door and her mind was dead set on not only getting a drink, but making fun of everyone that caught her eye.
The first one that she noticed as she walked in was another fatty. He had a cigar in between his vienna sausage fingers and ton of rings on each finger. He was wearing an insanely expensive jacket, his hair was modeled in a large greaser style and he was accompanied by a bevy of beautiful women. Erica's thoughts of this one were Look at me, I'm the guy who's everyones friend, but only when I'm buying things for everyone else. I talk and laugh really loud to make up for my insecurities and none of these girls find me the slightest bit attractive, but as long as my wallet's just as fat as I am, it doesn't matter to them.
The next one was a big man with a beard talking to a marine. Look at me while I talk and stroke my beard at the same time to make you think that I'm thinking. What am I hiding under this itchy beard of mine I wonder? Must be last weeks barbecue. I only have this unhygienic thing attached to my face because I'm too lazy to shave it. Oh, I'm making a gun symbol with my fingers. I must be good at shooting things because that's what guys with guns do. We point at each other.
The last one before she got to the bar was another young man with a 4'o clock shadow and a woman who was looking interested right next to him. Unfortunately, Erica was within ear shot of this one, but that didn't stop her from her mockery.
"Believe me baby, you won't find any better than Kichiro Rakki right here."
There's so many other guys here better than me but I'm the only one here that can fit into pants that are about 4 times too small so I gotta have something special she thought.
"I'm an infamous sky pirate lass. Marauder of the sky ways, living the dream and flying free. Maybe I can take you up there some time, what'cha say to that?"
I once stole some bubblegum from a candy shop when I was 9 and was considered the bad ass of the schoolyard.
Erica ordered her drink and was served up a tall glass of beer. After this day, about 12 more of these should begin to calm her down.
"C'mon love, when I set my sights on something, I never miss the mark. I'd show you what I mean but my little pea shooter here (pats the stock of his rifle) is a bit on the fritz."
Erica nearly spat out her drink when she heard that.
"Teehee, your funny. Here, let me give you my number and we can meet up some....MMMMM!" she said when a hand covered her face and immediately pushed her down. It was Erica confronting Kichiro.
"Whoa! Ladies! No need to fight, there's plenty of me to go around for the two you!" he said with his arms out trying to calm things down. Erica threw him a card which he caught out of the air and read.
"You say you've got something thats broken?"
Last edited by Okami Kugatsu (2008-03-23 11:46:42)