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The light on top of the Lighthouse of Affliction shines again, and beckons an unwished arrival of newcomers, but also a hope being lit within many hearts. The empty dungeons and forests of Vergina suddenly blaze with activity, and it seems as if Renewed Hope arrives at the Harbour of Chaos; but the life fades and silence spreads again, a fierce screech can be heard from somewhere deep within the Mountains of Salvation.
The hope still exists within the heart of Vergina, but will the newcomers be able…will they have the strength to survive Chaos? Will they stride forth through Fear? Will they fight off Affliction?
At the same time, orders are being handled at the Marine Sanctuary of Marie Joie; a whole marine fleet might be disposed at any time, all to capture and kill a few pirates with dangerous plans. What do the Marines know about Vergina?
The Harbour of Chaos is fallen; all constructions are beyond resurrection, and the streets which once upon a time were the first part of a large trading system within the isle, are destroyed. No man without a reason would nor should enter this town, and even the bravest might turn away as they see the piles of skeletons which fill the streets; the remains of an ancient battle still exist to fear away guests and newcomers.
But something still remains whole and in good shape, considering that the rest is destroyed, and that is the Castle of Chaos. Made of some unknown, black stone, it stands alone like the sign of doom, and blocks the rays of the evening sun from reaching the havens. Evil reeks of the tower, and if the skeletons are not enough, this castle will certainly scare everyone.
Within the ship, the oil-lamp shines through the shadows and obscure night, and reveals a group of people all intensely staring at the map placed neatly on the ivory table in front of them. The men seem eager, and their spirits shine even brighter than the light, illuminating the whole room with expectations and wishes.
Two large vessels stand at the harbour of the mysterious island, one filled with food, water and building materials, whilst the other holds the crew members, enthusiastically looking at the map. But beneath the happy scene, the crew holds a fear; they see no traces of the exploring party which was sent to Vergina a few weeks ago, and dread that their comrades might be gone. Especially, they wish that their skilled navigator and architect, are safe, but it does not look good.
At that moment, Gamlet Kinderheim finally understood the last rune on the map; a combination between a fox like letter, mixed with the phoenix, would make a word very close to the currently called “Salvation”.
”According to the map…we should be at the Harbour of Chaos…and in the morning, the Castle of Chaos should reveal itself to our eyes.”
Gamlet spoke swiftly, and corrected the position of his glasses several times before he was done; it was a long time since he had spoken to any kind of larger audience, and it was intimidating how he could not manage to speak without having nerves surfacing. Luckily, it helped to have familiar people within the room, and as Gamlet turned around, he gazed upon the familiar faces.
Alex Kousoku, with his blue hair, holding on his katars tightly in his hands; Willie Thibadeaux, keeping his pig, Snouter, in a close range; Ali Daemon, always dazzling everyone else with his…wings; and finally, Izzy Sanders, proudly holding his shovel.
Gamlet sighed, and turned his gaze towards the window, only to see traces of the pitch black night; the whole crew felt the worries of their lost comrades, Ribbon and Crele Rangi, holding their celebration of reaching the island, down.
Before Gamlet managed to turn his mind towards the map again, Alex spoke with a stern voice:
“When sun arises tomorrow, we will begin our quest…So get ready and don’t forget to get some sleep.”
Alex made a few quick glances around the room, finishing up, using the katar's as pointers, to the distress of anyone close to him, "Gamlet, the castle should be here, on the map, right? Good I'll be sure to see that at first light. Willie! Keep that pig under control! He seems to think my boots are tasty. Ali be sure to ready a travel bag of supplies for the island, we don't want to have to head back to the ship for minor injuries. Izzy, I want you to, WILLIE! I swear! Get that pig away from me! Forget it. Good night." With that he took a step back and with a snap he vanished. The air had a quiet pop as it filled the vacuum he left.
One... two... three snaps later Alex found himself at the edge of his cot falling backwards onto it. he had been sure to put the cot where he could snap to perfectly from several spots on the ship, for convenience. There was the one from the map room, one from the deck, and one from the kitchen, all measured out perfectly so he could end up on his cot.
He slid his katar into the crisscrossing sheathes on his back, then taking the sheaths off so he could lie down properly. Talking to himself, "Ugh... we're here. I'm excited, but at the same time I feel exhausted. We haven't done anything yet though. Just imagining how much work we are in for tomorrow makes me sore. And we have to find those other crew members, I'm pissed they got lost like that. Now if it was me..." He started to nod off and everything after that was just mumbles in his sleep.
Ali heard Alex's command, but made no acknowledgement other than retracting his wings and walking into his room, then to his work table. He stayed quiet as he poured boiling liquids into vials, and placing them into the pockets which lined the inside of his cloak. His mind, rather than focused on the medicine, was set on his lost comrades.
I hope they're safe....
While Ali kept a distance between his partners, he cared deeply about them. He started making a quiet noise, like the sound of drums, a nervous habit he picked up. His Sherl was in docile mode, looking like nothing more than a rectangle on his arm. He filled the rest of the pockets with a few rolls of gauze, before going to his hammock, taking off his glasses, and looking at the ceiling for a couple of seconds. Ali, as the youngest person of the group, felt that he would not have been missed, and it should have been him. He shook his raven hair out of his eyes, and pushed almost all the thoughts from his head, knowing that they would come back.
Why did they have to suffer? Especially when we're so close?
He closed his eyes, and after a while, sleep overcame him.
Last edited by elfangor (2007-09-11 15:40:45)
SO. thought Izzy. And that was it. He was bored out of his mind, being cooped up on this ship for so long. Seeing as how the action wasn’t going to start until tomorrow morning, Izzy decided to go out for a midnight training session. Bidding goodnight to Gamlet, he headed up to the deck. Taking out his shovels and removing his shirt, Izzy cleared his mind. “NISHOBERU! Dual Boomerang!” Izzy threw his shovels in a wide arc, spinning out. They whipped around in the air, and then began to come back to him. Closer they came, but Izzy was ready… Until, at the last second, one of the shovels veered up, smashing the handle into his face. The other shovel veered downward, and he caught the wide blade of the shovel in his kneecap. Izzy rolled around on the deck, doing his best not to scream bloody murder, not out of pain so much as frustration. This was the 112th time he had failed the “dual boomerang”, and he wasn’t happy with his performance. Usually it only took him 40 or 50 tries to learn a move, this was just getting ridiculous. There was applause from behind him, as Gamlet stepped up from belowdecks. “An excellent show you’ve been putting on, Izzy. I’d pay, but I’m afraid I’m out of money at the moment.” Izzy scratched the back of his head. “I guess you find it funny watching other people fail. Oh well, I’ve met people who were bigger jerks.” Gamlet only laughed, and flipped Him a playing card. “The Knave of Spades? You think I’m a knave, Gamlet? That’s not very nice.” Gamlet shook his head. “It rings of the truth, and you know it. At any rate, I’d like that card back, thank you very much, and I think you should get some sleep.” And with that, Gamlet walked down the stairs back to the cabins.
Izzy pondered some of the great mysteries of life that night, like why the sky was blue, or why Doskoi panda was a popular brand, even though it just had rather dull looking panda on it. Soon enough, Izzy had fallen asleep underneath the stars, shovels in hand, drooling slightly.
Willie just leaned against the mast... cleaning and trimming his nails with a knife that most people would call a short sword. In his mouth burned a corenalla. Everynow and then... he'd take it out and blow out a puff of smoke, and then go back to puffing at his cigar. Also everynow and then he'd give Snouter the end of the cigar... and the pig would puff on it as well.
"What did we have last night, Snout?" The pig snorted at Willie's question. "Yeah... that's what I thought. We best get there soon enough. Meat reserves are down... so's fresh vegetables." The pig snorted again. "Yeah... well you go and tell the captain that you're not getting your daily whiskey ration." There was a grumble from the hog. "No you may not drink mine." There was... well... it was a whinny from the animal. "No. And don't look at me like that."
Alex took the first step into the city, and noticed how the destroyed roads were like monuments of an ancient, forgotten war, and he hid a smile; this island was going to be their new home, haven and hopefully become a centre of pirate activity.
‘It’s a shame the Captain wasn’t able to see this day….’ Gamlet thought, and remembered back to the week which passed, when their Captain fell ill with a strange disease. Poor Ali, who Gamlet felt the most pity for after the Captain’s passing, could not save him from the strange disease, and was shocked as the Captain died in a teary moment where the whole crew was together.
“I was happy…and I pass away happily knowing that my proud men will find their fortune at the island of Vergina. Though I cannot set my own eyes upon the shores of Vergina, I can die at ease knowing that my friends can.”
Those were his last words and even a normally silent Gamlet, let a tear fall down his cheek and swore to remember the man, as did many of the others.
Soon after that, the Captain was given a funeral at sea, like a true sailor, and Alex took up the lead of the crew; in Gamlet’s opinion, a perfect choice, and he was sure the others agreed upon this.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, Izzy placed his eyes upon a shade of some kind, which stood upon a large pile of skeletons in the nearby construction. At first, he thought he had seen a banner or flag of some kind, but as he shrugged and placed his attention on the shade, he fell silent. Willie was the second to observe the steady shadow upon the roof of the fallen construction, and stared at it for a while before he placed himself in a row with Izzy; something was up there, and it seemed living.
Alex halted after missing a step, and opened his mouth to speak at Ali, when they both noticed it; the shade was human…it was really human.
Gamlet stumbled at his own feet as he observed the man standing several feet over them, at the top of the construction. He could not believe his eyes.
“Greetings, newcomers! Your coming was foretold, and I cannot express my interest in what you seek from Vergina. Is it treasures? Safety? Perhaps it is trade? Well, no matter what it is, I bring thee words of warning…mortals.”
Gamlet was gaping like a fool, almost as if God himself had appeared before him, and looked how the cloaked figure managed to hide him beneath the dark cloak; he wished to remain unknown, and by the looks of it, they would not be able to interact with him. With a fierce yell, Alex tried to break the wailing wind: “What are you?! What do you want from us?” But it was useless; his voice could not break the wind, and it was as if the wind had become fiercer as the man appeared. Was a tornado incoming? Gamlet feared the idea, and turned himself towards the hooded figure once again.
“You should turn away, now when you can, and never look back at this cursed island. For when you enter the Castle of Chaos, you will not be able to return. Death will stare you down, and when you finally think you find redemption…look behind you and notice your mistake. If you think I am your enemy, you will find something beneath your power inside the castle…if you manage to enter it.”
The man laughed with a distant hint of regret as he spoke, and turned his hidden eyes towards the crew; Gamlet felt fear…deep fear piercing his heart at the spot where it hurt the most.
”How could you, mortal, do something our Order has failed on for years, how could you even dream of challenging Him? Yes…for you, Salvation is out of reach.
But nevertheless, I shall give you a piece of advice…”
Izzy and Ali made confused looks, and almost overcame the shock of meeting this man, but it wasn’t long before the conversation ended.
“At the Castle of Chaos, if you are victorious, you will relive our history…but beware of the demons of the past…And finally…at the old town hall, you shall find something of importance…something which will aid you in your future at Vergina.”
Gamlet blinked and the man was gone together with the fierce wind; what had they just encountered? Was it human after all?
Without any time to think of the questions, the Castle of Chaos stood in front of them. Shocked, Gamlet shook his head, and questioned how they had reached the Castle so swiftly. However, before there was any time to speak and discuss, the large, golden gates of the Castle of Chaos opened, and hooded figures appeared; Gamlet instantly observed the rune their cloaks had: “Chaos”. Willie observed the situation with calmness, but felt compelled to draw his weapons as the figures came closer.
Their eyes…the terrible eyes had a silvery light in them. Though it could be called light, it was darkness, it was death. These men reeked of Death, and even Willie felt some fear as they came closer. Suddenly, the one at the front spoke, and the voice gave the chills to Ali.
“The Mistress is having her dinner…”
The fat, immensely large man at the back continued:
“At the moment, and therefore…”
The bizarre dialogue continued as they switched in saying a few words:
“We were asked to…”. “Accompany you…” “And we shall test you”
Then, they started closing up, and everyone got ready; these men obviously sought to kill.
Last edited by Slackbeard (2007-09-14 07:14:13)
Alex muttered to the other's, "Pick your targets..." He reached behind his back and slid his arms into the gloves, drawing the katar from the sheathes. He could tell that there was something strange about these apostles. He felt things he had never felt before. He felt death, he could feel it emanating from them and focused in their silvery eyes. Sure Alex had killed before, but to feel this pure feeling of dread, pain, and terror was overwealming.
He shook it off and charged at the leader in the front, his katar ready to slice and dice. The Gatekeeper of Chaos ran off to the side, deftly avoiding his attack and breaking away from the group to gain room. Alex ran after, right on the Gatekeeper's tail.
Suddenly the gatekeeper leaped into the air turning into a half raven-half human. He spiraled up higher and higher, slowing down at a modest height. Looking down upon the fight developing below, in particular at Alex, who seemed to have a keen interest in fighting him. He stayed silent in his study of Alex and the battle.
Down on the ground Alex looked up at his opponent flying above him. He sighed and squinted trying to see what the Gatekeeper was doing. "He's just circling? Well I'll fix that. I'd estimate 50 yards..." He prepared his hand and jumped straight towards the half-raven flying above him. He only went up a few feet, but at the apex of his jump he slid his thumb hard across all four fingers then back across the index finger a second time, setting off a series of snaps. In the blink of an eye he was at the height of the Gatekeeper, who was completely caught off guard, flopping around in the air trying to avoid Alex. Alex made one quick slash across the Gatekeeper's chest, but only caught feathers.
The Gatekeeper spiraled around in the air making a pass on the now helpless Alex. He planned on skewering him on his beak in one shot, but things didn't go as planned. Alex, although falling, snapped one full set across his fingers, and ended up a few yards above ground. He hit the ground and absorbed some shock into his legs and rolled so he wouldn't break his legs from a fall like that. He went right back up on his feet and snapped back up towards the Gatekeeper a little too hastily. He ended up right in front of his target, but the Gatekeeper seized Alex's arms, pinning the katar to his side. With the Gatekeeper's wings holding Alex still with usual immense zoan type strength, they began to freefall, diving headfirst to the ground. This would hurt Alex more than it would the Gatekeeper.
Alex thought to himself, 'Shit I'm falling too fast, this is goign to hurt a lot...' He snapped a few times freeing himself from the grasp of the Gatekeeper. Upon hitting the ground, however, he didn't have time to rollout safely, the Gatekeeper would already kill him by the time he safely hit the ground. He landed on his legs and sank down as far as he could, shock shooting from the heels of his feet all the way up to his hips. He felt something crack, but he couldn't stop now. One last snap back up and he was face to face with a razer sharp beak.
To the two combatants, it seemed like time slowed down, adrenaline pumping through their veins. Alex reached up with his right katar, and forced the end of the Gatekeeper's beak into the groove on the steel weapon. This caused the beak to slide away from its intended target, Alex's heart. With his left hand he jabbed it into the gap between the jaw. The immense force of both the Gatekeeper in full dive and Alex going straight up, went right into the blade. He cleaved the Gatekeeper into two from the jaw to the tail. Each half going their own way.
Alex hit the ground with a thud, his energy spent, and bones cracked, but he had won. He turned his head to see if the other's have had the same luck. As he lie there he thought, 'If I see anyone lose from my crew, I am so gonna kick their ass.' He slowly stands up and feels a sharp pain in his right shin. That must be where the bone cracked. He made a mental note to have Ali look at it later.
Last edited by Slayer1557 (2007-09-16 07:49:54)
Ali shuddered. The welcome voice of Alex's forced him out of his scared stupor. He felt strange....cold. He shook it off once more, and examined the group of targets. Seconds after Alex went, Ali sprinted to the one next to the leader. He was small, and as soon as he saw Ali running for him, he gave a smile, and ran farther off, away from the rest of the group.
What's he doing?
Ali soon found out. The person spun around, giving Ali a good look at his face for the first time.
"Hi!" The person said cheerily.
"You're...a child!" Ali muttered in disbelief. He couldn't harm a child.
The foe frowned a bit, and shook his head. "Nuh-uh! Soon, I'm gonna be 11!" He held up two fingers for show. But he reached into his cloak and took out a dagger. "But that's none of your beeswax!" The dagger's tip was tinted a dangerous green. Ali had a feeling he wasn't supposed to touch that.
It was at that moment, the child disappeared. One second, he was charging at Ali, and the next, he was gone. Ali suspiciously applied pressure on his Sherl, moving it to attack mode with a large, sharp point slipping out. It was sharp on the edges as well.
Immediately, Ali was blindsided by something on his side, and he flew across the road. He threw himself into a standing position, and made to dodge the furiously fast blur coming towards him.
He almost made it.
The blur turned, and if Ali had stayed for one second longer, he would've been dead. But he threw himself up, and extended his wings, flying high into the air.
The Apostle stopped and looked up, amazed. "Wow! That's so cool!! I wish I could do that!"
Ali shook his head. No matter what this child looked like, he was an assassin, and needed to be dealt with. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed something black, but chose to ignore it: Instead, he flew down, picking up the Apostle from underneath the shoulders.
"Hey! What-... What're you doing!?" The child cried. Ali faltered a moment, but flew upwards, higher and higher. He had now held the Apostle from the wrists, and held them behind his own back, making it impossible for any attack.
Ali dived, gaining speed, and prepared to drop the Apostle...when, two feet from the ground, he was holding nothing. He was in such shock that he was gripping air, that he didn't realize he had to veer off, until it was too late: He greeted the ground with his face.
The kid appeared out of nowhere. He was clapping happily. "That was so fun! Let's do it again!"
"What the hell is wrong with this kid?" Ali muttered to himself.
The Apostle overheard, and frowned. "You're a MEANIE!"
On instinct, Ali replied back. "Am not!" Am I?....No, someone else would have told me....right? I mean, what if I'm so mean, that everyone -
His thoughts were cut short. The kid had blitzed him while he was distracted, and caught him right in the shoulder with the dagger. The wound burned, as Ali fell to the ground. "Mean peoples should be punished." The kid said vindictively.
Ali groaned. The wound burned, and Ali wondered how much time he had left. This fight took strategy. He knew what he had to do. With as much strength as he could muster, which wasn't much, due to the poison, he flew up into the air, where the kid couldn't get to him, and threw on his hood. There, levitated in the air, his mind cleared. He reached into the slit on the front of his robe, and took out a vial of blue liquid, which he drank. His strength was regained, for the moment. Okay...think, think.... At that moment, inspiration hit Ali like the Apostle who just jumped up and attacked him. Ali fell to the ground, with the child on top of him. Ali flipped over, and flew down the street, close to the ground, because he couldn't run faster than the kid. But he spun around, and took out a vial of red water, used for placebos. He took a drink out of it, moaned with delight, and smacked his lips. The Apostle stopped, and stared interestedly.
"What's that?" He eyed suspiciously.
Ali scoffed. "Only the best drink, ever!"
The child smiled. "Really!? Could I have some?"
Ali looked upon him. "Hmm....I dunno.....I don't think you're cool enough..."
"I'm cool! I'm cool!" The child said, jumping up and down for the vial, which was just out of his reach. With all the motion, the dagger slipped out of the Apostles hand, and fell to the ground.
"Oh, okay, okay, I'll give it." Ali passed him the vial. The kid eagerly took a sip, as Ali shattered the dagger with his own Sherl, and threw the pieces away, but not before getting a bit of the poson onto his finger. He put the poison in his mouth, and spit it back out. Now knowing the type of poison it was, he reached once more into his cloak, and grabbed the antidote.
"Hey! It doesn't taste like anything!" The Apostle whined.
"Then you aren't cool, I guess." Ali grinned at how easy this was. 'Because if you were, you'd be able to taste the lemons."
"No, wait!" The child said, not wanting to be rejected. "I do taste the lemons! Lots and lots of them!"
He failed to get out another word, because Ali back-slapped him across the back of the head with the flat side of his Sherl. The kid was knocked unconscious. Ali started limping back to his comrades, placing the appropriate healing supplies wherever they were needed. He applied pressure on his Sherl, bringing the tip in, and putting it in docile mode once more.
Last edited by elfangor (2007-09-15 11:34:46)
Deep within the forests of the southern midlands of Vergina, beneath the ground level, Ribbon awoke to the horrifying sight of her nakama dead all over. She herself was in some kind of prison…no, a dungeon was a better word for the immensely large constructions in which she was. However, there was no other living soul nearby, nothing except the rotting bodies of her former nakama; what had happened to them?
The last memory could draw out from her mind while enduring a painful headache, was that of their journey through Southern Vergina. She and Crele had been the chiefs of the expedition, and already when they arrived the City of Chaos, strange things commenced from nowhere. First, all their ships and supplies had been sunk by a fierce storm which began strangely just as they set their feet at the island; many of the men had died brutally in the vast sea, and Ribbon prayed that those men could find peace.
From there, they had passed through City of Chaos, and entered the great woodlands which were situated directly north of the city, in hope of finding food. And at that point, her memory became blurry. ‘Spiders…huge…spiders?’ Something was wrong with the images she saw in her head. Had she really seen…large spiders?
As her final strength ran out, she simply fell on the earthen wall on her left, and then, suddenly, her ear caught a conversation she did not understand:
“Our defense of the Northern End is breached. Soon, the whole northern part of our woods will belong to those…humans. That, in addition to the newcomers who we luckily managed to destroy, that brings us to a rather problematic situation, Griffith.”
The voice echoed in the cave, and though she wasn’t sure where it was from, it did not sound human by any means; it could belong to a beast of some kind, but…’a talking beast?!’ Ribbon was confused, and listened in to the conversation:
“Northern End has been lost and retaken many times during the years…and it is neither the first time that human expeditions reach our woods. But what can they do? I only sense two people who survived…and we tried to treat them nicely”
Both men laughed wildly, but Ribbon fell in deep thought. ‘Two…who is the other? Well, I guess it’s Crele. With his wits, even the weakest man could survive.’
“But Griffith…when will the prophecies be fulfilled? How will we know who the group of humans who will bring Vergina salvation, are? The only thing we know of them, through the prophecies, is that they will have a hunter amongst them; and, though hard to interpret, they seem to have someone with…wings.”
Ribbon opened her mouth as if to speak. ‘Willie…Ali…what the hell!’
“We will know when the time comes; and when it does, we shall prepare the Horn.”
The conversation continued, but Ribbon heard a noise, and turned around to see Crele emerge from beneath a corpse. He was smiling, smiling! Preposterous! Crele was grinning like a fool, and told how he had hid beneath a corpse as the onslaught began and calculated that he would have 5 hours of sleep before the whole crew was killed.
“Anyway, Ribbon, we need to get out…now!”
Though Ribbon did not know yet, a large spider was crawling on the wall behind her, and it had the murderous intent of a killer.
Last edited by Slackbeard (2007-09-15 13:25:37)
Ribbon glared at Crele for a moment before she nodded. "Yes, I suppose we do..." She turned around to find a way out, and noticed a huge spider prepared to attack. She frowned and slipped the ribbon from around her waist, tying a small, triangular blade on the end as she did this. The whole process took only about two seconds, and in another second, the blade was whirling around at the end of the ribbon, making a slight whistling noise. Ribbon bent forwards, throwing her arm forwards as the spider jumped. The blade connected and sliced cleanly through the spider's body. Ribbon whirled the blade twice more before sending a small ripple through her weapon, causing the blade to fall off. She slid the ribbon around her waist once more, and faced Crele again. "Yeah, let's leave now..."
"The sun shines with relief
The world is beautiful
'Tis the homecoming"
Maiko spun the knife around her finger a few times before reaching behind her back and sheathing it. She took a deep breath, folded her eyes and nodded, her lips arcing in the slightest of smiles; before her lay her crew's ship, finally. Weeks had passed since she had last set her eyes on its wooden bulk, and now it was such a welcome sight that she might have shed a tear. Four nights ago, a great storm had come upon the ship as Maiko was in the crow's nest. Confident in her abilities, she had shrugged her shoulders and remained at her post for several hours, despite the repeated offers she'd recieved from concerned crewmates to relieve her.
As the storm raged on, the chivalrous crewhands eventually gave up and left her to her own devices. Suddenly stricken by inspiration, Maiko decided to put up a beautiful dance on the crow's nest railing - after all, would not the lightning-ridden night sky be the perfect background? Dance she did, the girl from Hanazono, and it looked none too shabby. It might all have turned out well, however, if it had not been for the final scene. As her dance concluded, Maiko performed a grand flourish, her kimono flowing out in all directions, and extended a large, painted paper umbrella she'd brought along just in case she'd find a use for it. Naturally, this was a less than bright idea. Before the crew's wide-eyed stares, a strong gust grabbed hold of the umbrella and sent both it and the girl flying out of sight before anyone could react.
When Maiko next was certain she was awake, she found herself lying on a blanket on the southern end of the island, completely dry and with her clothes and makeup in perfect order, and surrounded by dishes of seafood and fruit. As she opened her eyes, she faced the sea and just barely caught a glimpse of a finned tail disappearing beneath the surface. Mermen, no doubt, but why they would be afraid to show themselves and take credit for her rescue, Maiko could not divine. With a shrug she had decided to leave that mystery unsolved. For two days now, she had wandered along the shoreline, searching for some semblance of civilization. She even spent the night in a treetop, only half-sleeping in order to make sure to keep her clothes and makeup straight.
Maiko looked up, and the midday sun shone brightly at her smiling face. She called out as she approached the ships, and several dozen pirate heads popped up behind the railings, as wide-eyed now as they were the night she disappeared. A gangplank was instantly lowered from the nearest ship, and a horde of her most dedicated fans came rushing down it to greet her. The man in front seemed as though he was about to throw his arms around the little girl, and tears streamed from his eyes as he came forth. "Maiko!", the crewhands cried, "We thought you were de-". Suddenly, however, just as the mass of people would have collided with her, the little thespian seemed to vanish into thin air. A fraction of a second later, the first of the pirates felt a light kick in the neck as Maiko used him as a springboard to get up to the ship.
The jump was impeccably theatrical, three summersaults followed by a feather-light landing on a pile of boxes, where she slowly pivoted on one foot to face the gangplank, and the turned heads of the entire welcoming committee. Putting her hands together, she bowed, showing the crew a stone-faced expression. "Thank you for putting so much faith in me", she said, and her words dripped generously of sarcasm. The whole crew looked away, embarrassed at the unexpected comment. "I will be taking a bath", she continued coldly. "Please inform the captain of my return".
With that, the dancer from Hanazono jumped down from the barrels and headed for her cabin. She walked in perfect silence until, just as she opened the door, someone called from the back of the crowd, "Hey, Maiko!". Maiko stopped and turned her head, looking the crowd over with ice-cold eyes, and the voice from the back called out, "Welcome back!", and the crowd erupted with cheers. A slight smile spread across Maiko's face, then she turned back and walked inside, a single tear running down her left cheek, tearing a line through her carefully crafted mask.
((OOC: Lots of emotional blarghag here. I lost the picture I made of her and that killed off my inspiration. Anyway - Maiko will appear again once the Wicked Witch has been disposed of. I'm taking a small break now, before editing the aforementioned witch into this post.
Edit: Unluckily, it turns out this building is now off-limits to me, so I probably can't make the Witch's entrance. Sorry.))
Last edited by M@XWeru (2007-09-26 11:59:30)