Loud crashes were ignored, like the little peoples, cause they was not shiny. Interesting, but not shiny, at least not usually. Crashes could be shiny but only when they was bigger. A long, thoughtful lick of a forked tongue along the gold showed a dangerous thing. Thoughts was thinking. Coulds maybe fly the shiny out. The bright eyes moved to the slowly bleeding wing with a little curl of smoke and a hiss. Flying self was not an option. But shiny had a chance yet!
"Hush, humans. Shinys and me is communing."She flicked her tail and poked the shiny with her nose a few times before stopping and her frills popped up so the small head could swing around to face the little ones behind her. Not all humans. oooh, more shiny! The shepard sized dragon flopped with a little spray of blue blood towards the fluffy cat and stared at her reflection in the helmet.
"Shiny...."She tipped her head to admire herself in the curve of the helmet, flaring her working wing to strike a proud and noble dragonny pose. Almost as pretty as all the shinies. And then she licked it. "Little ones can give me shinnies now, please? And fly them cause I can'ts fly myselves. But you can'ts licks my shinnies cause they are mine." a crisp nod of a frilled head as the blue eyes finally sweep to the human woman that had shouted out to her originally getting her attention. A wide, toothy grin appearing.
"Hello, I am Cassie." she puts her hand subtly and cautiously over her silver pistol. "I have no shinys on me apart from my dress. My ship went down." her hand moves to motion at the wreckage, whilst pulling her ribs taught.
Nervously she looks to the smiling maw of the dragon; "I would not want to lick your shiny's, if that offends. We were looking to the floating ships, trying to see if any of them'll fly." her words falter remembering the wreck of her own vehicle the years of wasted work, all the acquisitions she sold to pay for the upkeep.
"Are you hurt? Did von Ryuko do it to you?" Cassie gasps.
Meowselsworth is quite floofed up and nervous at being addressed by this giant dragon, even more giant in comparison to herself! "I cannot give you my helmet, it's connected directly to my brain! If it were removed, I would suffer severe brain damage. Perhaps my mask though?" She starts batting at the mask that hangs off of her helmet and indeed is as shiny and ornate. Behind her mask, there are dark stripes around her eyes which look like a mask on their own, a physical trait different from those of her mother.
Cassie gently helps the Duchess off with her mask thinking about what it would be like if cats had thumbs. "There you are, even cuter without your mask." she holds it up to the large serpentine dragon. 'It seems we are all prettier without our masks, apart from Gigus. Was Ryuko's insistence upon masks not just to induce paranoia, but also to limit our appearance?'
The dragon's serpentine head tips, the frills dipping at the news of lack of shiny. This makes the human far less fun. All things of interest should have shinies as well so she could be very, very happy. Like the fluffy. It had lots of shinies on it. But not licking shinies was good.
"You should help me fly the shinny so I cans take it home and plays with it."The frills dropped completely so she could nod regally. Which was broken by a small sneeze, shake of the head, and plum of smoke. Dragons mights be allergics to fluffies. Maybe she should eat it to check.
"Whats a von Ryuko? Does fluffies need brains? I like shinnies a LOT so brains must be pretty specials but I don't thinks so."Jarclya shook her head before the bright blue eyes focused on the removed mask, perking up instantly and stretching her neck up to peer at it in the humans' hands.
"Shiny offerings for me?"Chirped the dragon excitedly, claws delicately coming up to grasps at the hands holding her newest shiny.
"Indeed, I need brains! Brains are important for thinking, and I do a lot of thinking. They're also needed for napping, which I do a lot of. And living, which is something important to me! But this mask should help, yes?" says Meowselsworth, nervously, though seeming rather pleased by this compliment to her cuteness. Purrpurr!
She gasps slightly at the claws as the just touch her fingers; "There you are." she says in awe of the creature, hoping it's sharp eyes don't spot the shiny silver pistol at the side.
It takes a few moments for her addled brain to realise that the dragon wanted to fly with. "The shiny ship is Rashida's. It looks lovely doesn't it. I think structurally it'll still fly, but we'll have ask her." Cassie pauses; "I was just about to see if she'll fly. I can fix shinies." she says proudly.
Closing her eyes she concentrates, shaking off the pain dwn her side, the tiredness and spots in her vision. 'This is harder than with my psychotropic paper.' she thinks concentrating.
Her senses expand and she can detect her friend amongst the chaos around her. 'The connection was strong enough! I have only done this with my trainer, not even my lovers.' she exalts sensing her friends presence. "Oh, she is strong."
Before Rashida upon the wall, a beautiful script starts to appear, the same style as all of Cassies fan written notes.
'A dragon has appeared, she wants to ride upon your ship! Come to the docks.
Smoke billows before Rashida's stinging eyes as she belly-crawls down the flaming hallway back toward the ballroom. Oddly, it shapes itself into fancy calligraphic script reading 'A dragon has appeared, she wants to ride upon your ship! Come to the docks. Cassie'.
Did Von Ryuko set this fire, or was it the dragon? It wants a ride on the 'Ament'? What? she thinks groggily, coughing and gasping for air as she continues the painfully slow progress back to the rest of the group, Probably a hallucination.
Cassie opens her eyes, slight surprise shows upon her face at the sense of confusion and distress of Rashida's mind.
She looks to the dragon, fitfully, "So you come from the forest. I'll fix the ship...err shiny and we can fly away."
"Von Ryuko is the human who dwelt her." she almost spits out his name. "He was causing the fire and big shiny explosions. Are you injured?" she looks to the dragons wing.
"That's kind of you. I will only use what we need, but many of these are salvageable." she bends down to the helmet cat a toothy smile upon her face. "Of course my ships body has finally given up, but the engine is perfect."
She looks to the dragon and Vorian; "Monsieur Vorian how is your ship. It'll take most of the night to put my engine into Lady Rashida's shiny ship."
"The structure is sound, but I fear that the more delicate components were torn apart or jostled by shrapnel. My engineers are working on it, but the majority of them have been sent to lend aid to the other ships' crews. If worse comes to worst, the Virago will have to be left behind."
Looking to the dragon, Vorian grimaces before looking back towards the ballroom. The strange creature still worried him, but it didn't seem to interested in tearing them into pieces.
"At any rate, perhaps we had best leave the Servbots to do their work. Lord Rorenson and Lady Massri might have found something of note. And we can tell them of our... friend here."
"En certainment, Ritter. I have informed Rashida that we need her. But she seemed worried."
Cassie looks to the Servo-bots that are hanging back out of the edge of her vision. "Get to work removing my ships engine if you would." she asks them. The servo-bots zip around her towards the ship, one cheekily flicks up her skirt causing Cassie to blush and say a rude word.
Still blushing she grabs the Servo-bot and takes it to her ship, making sure it carries her wrench. Carefully she goes inside the tangled girders and torn metal lines her ship, slowly a tear rolls down her face. She realises now that life we never be the same again, all the sacrifices she made to gain her independence now without others she was dead.
Her mind drifts, at least a couple of pairs had shown her that co-dependence was not a thing to be feared but embraced. Cassie blushes some more at that thought, and tells the Bots to get on with their tasks.
Pointing out the connections with the wrench and ensuring that all the pieces, bolts and other scrap has been disconnected. Then the Bots lift out the magnificent engine, Cassie's pride and bane - countless hours had been spent fixing the machine.
Miss DuSollier leaves the shell of her ship the Servo-Bots in tow carrying the engine. "We fit this to the shiny ship and then we can get off." she virtually whispers her voice hoarse before coughing heavily.
Feigning ignorance of Cassie's brief wardrobe malfunction as a proper gentleman should, Vorian averts his eyes, choosing to take interest to an uninteresting heap of slag.
"Do be careful, Madam DuSollier!" he calls out as she makes her way back to the ship. He watches as she climbs into the sundered vessel, reminded of days that he himself had climbed into dangerous pits with the promise of treasure, whilst threatened by countless traps. Then the danger had filled him with adrenaline-driven thrill; only now did he appreciate the overwhelming fear he had kept trapped in his gut.
Shaking his head as though he could knock the memories loose, he turns to take leave, nodding at Meowselsworth. An awkward silence ensues as he starts to walk off before pausing, glancing back at her, and then finally speaking.
"I don't believe I ever took the opportunity to apologize for doubting you for so long. Things got rather heated back in there. I am sorry. And I am glad that you are alive... I never wanted anyone to die in my stead."
So comfortable... why is it windy? Ow, my wrist. What... what is that? A Serv-Bot?
Rashida's cheek rested comfortably on plush carpet, but the little Serv-Bots made it impossible to sleep. It was so nice to talk to Gigus again, and that adorable dragon, and then Cassie had sent a note as if the dragon were something new and real. But between the Serv-Bots' prodding and pulling and blowing fresh air into her face, she had to wake and... oh, right!
Rashida gulped a deep breath of fresher air from the tiny tank offered by the Serv-Bot kneeling before her face. She raised herself on hands and knees, then into a crouch, picking up the air-giving Bot and setting it on her shoulder. The two other Serv-Bots and her own twin serpents sped down the smoky hall, so Rashida followed in a staggering run, holding her breath until she collapsed into the larger open space of the ballroom, coughing and gasping as her lungs burned in protest.
[i]"Fire!"[i] she tried to yell, but it came out as a painful croak. She waved to the other nobles, particularly to Taraz up on the balcony. "Von Ryuko's quarters are on fire, trapped. I don't know how bad it is, but the smoke..." She clambered to her feet clutching the bag from the Duke's room and rushing to doors to the outside, there to cough out the smoke and take in some clean air.
When breath came more easily and comfortably, she straightened, giving the little Serv-Bot on her shoulder a grateful pat as she surveyed the landing pad. The ships were a mess, Cassie's crumpled and grounded, but she could spot figures of Vorian and Meowselsworth moving amid the wreckage, along with something... blue?
"Is it... is it really a dragon?" she murmured in wonder.
"Dragons likes naps. So I leavs the brains."The dragon head tipped slowly, the frills bouncing in time with her breath. The brilliant blue watching the mask the whole time collecting the pretty shinies while the human got lost. Silly humans. But she came back so Jaraclya dropped back to all fours and gave a toothy pout at the question.
"Explosions make not happy dragons."She announced with a huff, blowing a puff of acidic smoke before examining her newest shinny. It was a gift as it should be. A forked tongue licking it in a fast taste and then with a purr attempted to settle it over her very differently shaped face while the silly humans talkeded about fixing her shinnies and other unimportant stuffs. Scurrying around like little mices while she rose up on her back feet, one wing flared wide and tail balancing, balancing the mask on her snouts. Pausing in her actions only when someone came stumbling out to join the other humans. Taking the mask down and grinning toothelies
"Hello silly dream, persons."She waved the mask then tumbled backwards awkwardly in a bundle of blue blood and flailing to grasp her mask with all four feet and chew on it.
"So we have met," Rashida says thoughtfully as she regards the little blue dragon. "I had not expected to see you enfleshed, keeping company with the late Baron Gigus as you were. I am Rashida, if we did not introduce ourselves. My memory of our conversation is hazy." She bows slightly. "I am pleased to meet you. Do you know the Baron?"
Rashida surveys the damaged airships, black hair rather mussed and her person smudged with soot. Tiny holes dot her dress where embers have fallen. "Lord Ritter, Duchess... there is some small trouble within, of the exploding, flaming variety. The Baron von Ryoko's quarters were trapped and I fear I triggered it. There is some fire and smoke, but it may not spread far. I cannot tell, being unaccustomed to such events. However, if you have anything inside of importance, you may wish to retrieve it. Unless you know how to put out a fire. That might be more useful, if the Serv-Bots have not already done so." She seems a bit calm for all this news, then frowns, finally missing something.
"Where is Cassie? Did she not call me here?"
Vorian raises a brow, perplexed by the second half of Rashida's question. Cassie had called on her? She had been with him the entire time, how could she have communicated with her? Unless she found some communications equipment on her ship? He decides to leave it alone.
"She went into her ship with the Servbots to retrieve its engine. Madam... ah, Dragon here wishes to see your ship fly again, so Madam Dusollier was going to have the engine implanted."
He pauses, considering the new issue at hand. He had picked up the scent of smoke off Rashida, but to think that the crazy Baron had booby trapped his own room... well, it made sense.
"There has to be some kind of fire suppression system in there; trap or no, I don't think Von Ryuko would risk burning his whole house down... would he?"
Rashida smiles at Lord Ritter, pleased that he did not seem to hold any grudge for her mistake. "Yes, that's what Cassie said, the dragon wanted a ride on my ship. How odd. But it seems she cannot fly by herself right now. Did the Baron attack her, I wonder? If so, why?"
The breeze out in the open was refreshing, with the sun setting and moon rising. Rashida closed her eyes to drink in a deep breath of the sea air, but was suddenly racked with another bout of coughing. "Your pardon, Lord Ritter," she gasped when breath came easily again, "Whatever the case, there was a great deal of smoke. But I do not see the others evacuating, so perhaps the fire is under control. I would think they would exit if there were danger." A tiny frown crinkles between her dark eyebrows. "Perhaps we should go check on him. I mean, them. Of course. Cassie will doubtless be busy for a while and I am no help." A flush suffuses her cheeks.
|Taraz the Wastrel|
As the Serv-Bots dropped him off, Taraz looked around at the slight disarray left by the fleeing Baron. Eichorn had knocked over his drink goblet and what appeared to be some kind of remote. The wine had apparently shorted out the semi-delicate copper wiring. Taraz could see where some of the gas tubes had exploded a part of the casing open as the wine caused a surge of energy overloading them. Hoping Cassie or one of the other Aristocrats might understand it, Taraz bends down and picks up the ruined device. He winces as the action draws his stitches tight. Inwardly he cursed his carelessness once again. He could only assume Jin had meant this merely as retaliation of Taraz's early mistreatment of Alessandra. Surely that he had been savable showed the assassin had not wished to kill.
Straightening, Taraz stood before the grand 'throne' of the Baron von Ryuko. It was a full backed affair of gilded edges and golden lions worked throughout the red fabric and on the metal. The last time Taraz had seen this large chair was in the study of von Ryuko's castle in the Alps. Unbidden he recalled the last words, Eichorn had said to him before Taraz left that snowy January day.
If you think you can keep playing these games and remain unscathed, Taraz, than you have already conceded victory to me.
Taraz's jaw clenched. He forced himself to forget about it and begin checking for secret compartments. He knew there was a hollow in this chair. Eichorn had made sure Taraz had seen him "cleverly" concealing it just as Taraz had been ushered into the room for their game of Go. Taraz was not foolish enough to believe that had not been carefully orchestrated. Nor was he foolish enough to think Eichorn hadn't expected him to be the one to approach the throne. Which meant the Baron probably assumed Taraz would use Serv-Bots. Or assume that Taraz would assume that.
What a headache, Taraz thought. He gestured to the two Serv-Bots that had carried him up to the mezzanine. "Hold this closed," he said to them gesturing towards the place where he knew the panel opened. He carefully probed the edges and the images with a silver fork upset from the Baron's dining tray. Finally, he realized that one of the lion faces that rested directly under the armrest had a whisker that was slightly worn at one edge. Slipping it between two prongs, Taraz pushed it slightly and heard a catch release. And then he heard a hiss.
Directing the two Serv-Bots to relieve the pressure on the panel incrementally, An opening began to appear as the side of the chair began to unfold very slowly. Snapping his fingers, Taraz pointed to a Serv-Bot with miniature rotor blades whirring out of its head and it flew over. A light shown out of its eyes and Taraz indicated the very small ever widening opening. The light hit the space, and a hissing sound emitted again and something snapped out briefly. Taraz gestured and the Serv-Bots held the panel where it was. Taraz removed the hooded cloak he wore and held it before him. As ready as he could be, he nodded to the Serv-Bots.
"Now!" He burst. The Serv-Bots stopped holding the panel closed. Something silvery blue shot out of the opening. Taraz felt the impact into the folds of the cloak, and immediately dropped down, gathering up the sides of the cloak until he had all the corners making the cloak into a makeshift sack. Quickly he glanced into the panel. There was an envelope with the seal of von Ryuko in the wax holding it closed. With one hand holding the thrashing cloak-sack, Taraz picked up the envelope. In the Baron's elegant hand bordering on the calligraphic was simply the phrase Lord of Serv-Bots. Taraz mouth turned in a wry manner.
Suddenly one of the Serv-Bots began to emit an alarm. Rashida! An acrid scent filled the air. Was that smoke? As if Murphy's Law had been decreed, there was a rumble and the ground shook and outside the ballroom's massive windows, Taraz saw an airship crash to the ground. He heard Kimefe and Alessandra gasp down on the ground floor. Jin shouted something, and Taraz turned in time to see both he and Alessandra move out of view.
Quickly, he tucked the letter into his jacket and grasped the makeshift sack tightly. He was about to vault over the balcony edge when an ominous click was heard. Taraz looked back at the throne and saw that the lion face on the opposite arm had turned 180 degrees. A time delay mechanism! Taraz thought with apprehension. Damn Eichorn! With a grating sound, the throne slid backwards. A short stairwell was now exposed.
Just then Andrezi charged up panting. In surprise he looked at the moving throne and then at Taraz.
"Merde! Qu'est-ce que c'est? Ze throne iz moving!" The blonde man shook his head. "But why zhould I be zurpreesed?" this last was more to himself.
The lion's face suddenly clicked in rotation. The lion face was now beginning to right itself. With a wordless growl, Taraz shoved the cloak full of unknown creature into the grip of a Serv-Bot. Gesturing to Andrezi, Taraz yells, "C'mon!" In surprise, the Mason follows him down the stairs. A moment later the lions face has clicked a full 360 and the throne rumbles back into place.
The Serv-Bots look at each other, look at the sack, and then scatter. The one holding the sack runs deep into the castle...
Vorian cannot help but to chuckle a bit at Rashida's expense, but he follows through by waving his hand whilst shaking his head.
"My apologies, Lady Massri - please do not worry. I learned many things tonight, among them the fact that men like Lord Rorenson do not die so easily. You had perhaps best stay out here and get some more fresh air. I will go in and check on the others. With any luck, the fire has already been taken care of."
Offering Rashida and the Duchess a bow, he rushes off towards the ballroom, worry slowly settling in his gut.
Cassie scrambles out from the wreckage of her twisted ship, smut covering a side of her faces as she slumps and slides out. She looks up to the others as she slowly stands from her knees. "Sorry, been getting the engine out. You'll be up and flying in no time." her voice is soft and there is a slight whistling sound to it.
The engine rises from the rusted ship, held aloft by the Servo-bots.
Rashida gives Vorian a slightly embarrassed smile and bows as he does. "My thanks, Lord Ritter," she calls after the hurrying nobleman.
"What a gentleman," she observes to Meoweselsworth, "And here I thought he was an assassin. My mind has not been at its clearest tonight. How kind of him to forgive. But then, Duchess, many of us have something to forgive or to be forgiven for, is it not true? I am glad you are well. Your bravery is an inspiration. Shall we go see how Cassie fares?" She offers the noble cat a place in her arms if she wishes.
"And you, Friend Dragon. Lady DuSollier repairs the ship you wish to fly in. Perhaps you should come with us. But look, your wing still bleeds. Is there aught we can do to ease you?"
Rashida makes her way carefully along the littered landing pad to where Cassie is emerging from the wreckage. "Ah, Cassie, your poor ship! Was it sabotage?"
"The shiny water person?"The little blue head perked, brilliant eyes sliding to the side and a toothy smile appearing. Her attention wandered back only when someone bowed and she preened at the well deserved response. The frills on her head flaring to show off her best side.
"Jeraclya's name is Jeraclya and she's eaten a couple of Barons...is dream persons wanting one of them?She chirped, tipping her head and then focusing back on the mask on her nose, pulling it off as it did nots want to balance well and decided to chew on it for a little while. Sharp teeth scraping against it randomly while the humans talked about something humany. Fires was fun, no reason to be sad at them. Or to run around afters them like these humans was. They should be working on her shinies like good humans, not being...humans. A forked tongue wiggled through an eye hole and waved around as she emitted a burst of smoke. Pausing at the dream human, Rashida's question.
"Bleeds?"She turned her head slowly on a serpentine neck and looked at the dripping blue. Sticking a tongue out and tasting it experimentally. Then her working wing flared wide, her frills snapped all the way open and she emitted a frantic rolling wail. "I is bleeding! I is gonna DIE!! Dragons not supposed to dies like this!!"And dramatically toppled over on the ground in a puddle of distress.
Vorian looks over his shoulder but once as he runs off. When he is certain that he is out of sight, he slows to a stagger, grimacing as he nearly doubles over in pain. Just in time he manages to balance himself with his cane. Wincing, he quietly utters a string of curses in at least five different languages as he rubs his knee. Throughout the night there had been times that he had managed without one of his trusty canes, but running around so much had not done him any favors.
Well, I suppose I did quit tomb raiding long before I found out I had a guilty conscious, he thinks with a wry grin, as he straightens his posture. As quickly as he wanted to get to the bottom of things, he had little choice but to take things slowly. Gripping his wolf's head cane tightly, he limps the rest of the way to the ballroom.
"Lord Rorenson?" he calls out to the balcony, recalling that Taraz had gone up there to survey the area.
"Oh, thank you, your Holiness," says the Duchess, gladly taking her place in Rashida's arms. "I agree. I should ask for forgiveness for my use of deception, and my occasional sharp words to some. Desperate times create desperate people... I had certainly hoped to receive an apology from one M. Ingilstadt, but I supposes that is simply not to be! I would not much like to leave my kittens without a mother, but both Mittens and Boots are adults now, so I'm sure Kittingsley will be fine under their care." She pauses for a moment, contemplatively, "If I were actually dead, I mean..."
"I'm certain you will come out of this just fine, like the rest of us. 'Your Holiness' ... that reminds me. I saw a friend recently - " She looks in surprise at the wailing dragon. "Oh, Jeraclya! You are fine! You have been bleeding for some time now. I believe it is stopping, but I can certainly stitch you up if need be. Come with me to the shiny ship and we will get you set to rights." She stoops near the prone dragon, trying to comfort her or, if that fails, distract her with the gold mask.
"We must get everyone back together, Duchess," Rashida addresses the furry noble in her arms as she tries to comfort Jeraclya, "The Baron's quarters were trapped. I fear there may be more such devices. We are much more liable to set them off if we are scattered far and wide and without guidance. My pets help sniff such things out. Who knows, you and your helmet may be of aid. And perhaps Cassie's mechanical skills can be of assistance in keeping everyone safe, though we desperately need her to finish her work on the airships."
Cassie looks to Rashida and smiles wanely the wench hanging limply at her side. "No sabotage...I don't think so. She was old....I tried so hard to keep her alive, but after the cannon fire." Cassie can hardly finish the sentences.
Cautiously she moves closer to the dragon, trying to assess the injury whilst not being too clawed.
To the wailing dragon she moves reassuringly; "I'll protect you, if you wish. It's what I do!" she draws her shiny silver pistol impulsively before realising that she was trying to keep it hidden from the Cerulean Spirit. She holds the weapon whilst favouring her side.
"Gigus, he wasn't there! she says despairingly "The servants didn't put his body upon the ship, that petit merde Baron Ryuko!" she spits the final words out tears in her eyes.
"No no, he hasn't left. You don't have to make him again, and certainly not in the killer construct body. That would simply make him a killer construct again. We have to get him reanimated in a different body." Rashida sighs. "This is so difficult to explain to mechanics. Wait, no it's not! You are putting the good engine into the good airframe, correct? It would not make sense to put it into a destroyed one. It's like that. We don't want to put the Baron's engine into a killer airframe. You see?"
Cassie crinkles her brow softly trying to understand; "I not just a mechanic of the body but the soul. But that makes sense.....although where is his soul?" her voice is soft holding the hint of panic. "But how will we find his spirit, his soul? Don't we need an anchor, like his body or something he held dear."
Cassie racks her brain thinking, then realising how little she knew of the 'man'.
Rashida leaves off her petting of the fuzzy Duchess to moisten the ball of one thumb and start wiping the smudge from Cassie's face. "Hold still, dear... no, he is near. It is given to me to see both worlds, as descendant of a judge of souls. The dragon, Jeraclya, was there as well. She may be able to see him even now, awake, when I cannot. I do not know why this is. She may exist in both worlds at once, the cunning creature." She finishes her cleaning and smiles with satisfaction. "Better. But I do not know how long he will linger bodiless. It might be best if you can construct something for him soon."
Cassie smiles slightly at Rashida's kind cleansing touch, her eyes slightly too wide and unblinking. "So, he's in the land of the spirits? The lands of the dead?" she says softly in awe of their powers, enormous in comparison to her own 'fitful' visions as her tutor called them.
"I had heard it say that dragons are the link between us and the beyond. Harbingers of doom, conveyors of spirits, floating upon the ether held aloft by wings of purest gossamer." Cassie's soft accent is filled with awe.
The cerulean dragon stopped, blinking huge blue eyes up at the dream humans who had told her that she was fine, sniffing and sending a plume of smoke heavenward.
"Stitch?"She repeated in a voice that would have been called hysterical on a human but on a dragon sounded more like the hiccups mixed with a nasal wail. Then she promptly began flailing again while the humansas talked like she was NOT in dangers of bleedings away to nothing!
"I'll diiieeesss and my shines will be all alone! No shiny should grows up motherless!"She continued ranting, tail slashing to emphasis her flailing body before suddenly moving in a surpentine slither up onto her feet with her head snaking around Cassie's bodies to look at her shinies.
"Hello shinies, where was you hiding?"she asked it, stretching her neck out so her flicking tongue could kiss the metal. The shinies tasted like human, must be a happy shiny to be played with so much. She liked the happy shinies.
"Huh?"Hearing her name she snaked further around Cassie so the dragon's frame wrapped around her legs like an affectionate cat. Except dragons was cooler than cats, everyone knewed that. Even cats, if they'd admit it. Snorting and blowing a ring of smoke up at the silly humans words.
"Shimmery water man would be BORING if he was with spirits. That world is all-"She crossed her eyes and made a goofy face with her frills wiggling to add to the effect before dropping the frill fully and grinning toothily. Then promptly flopped over and rolled across the ground waving her claws in the air.
"Why is humans still talking about this and not makings dragons not bleeding things?"She demanded to know rolling over and covering her nose with her tail in a full pout. "Humansas is mean."
|Professor Alessandra Devries|
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Consciousness returns slowly, and with it come pain and dizziness and nausea and a host of other unpleasant sensations. Better to close her eyes and rest for a while. Dimly she realizes that Jin his here beside her and that makes it all alright.
Earlier, in the hold of the Anodyne
Alessandra surveys the wreckage with dismay. Much of the medical equipment and supplies are still intact along with some of the supplies in the hold, but the Baron's cannons had completely ruined the helm and engines. She looks to Jin and ventures, "I don't see any sign of the crew. I wonder if the Baron has abducted them, or if they managed to escape with the servants from the manor. Well, the foredeck looks safe enough, lets see if we can move some of the supplies up there before we check your dock. Perhaps the Cold Star escaped destruction? It was a much smaller target after all..." She loses her train of thought while looking into Jin's eyes. It was so strange and wonderful to see him unmasked and wearing his tattoos proudly in the daylight; but now's not the time for woolgathering. She collects herself and carefully steps forward to look up through the enormous hole in the deck that's exposing the medical bay to daylight, when a terrifying groaning/squealing/splintering sound drowns out Jin's reply and darkness falls.
She stirs again at the sound of a faint clicking and beeping. Through the dust and rubble she could just make out the forms of a few medical servbots beginning to explore the wreckage- apparently not all of the vessel's interior sensors had been disabled by the Baron's fusillade.
wheeze... *cough* *cough* *cough*
She tries to talk but her mouth is too dry and something is pinned across her back preventing her from drawing a proper breath. The corset she was wearing to ensure the gown fit properly wasn't helping things either. Minutes passed and she tried again.
*cough* get... taraz...
A light began blinking on the small bot. She considers saying more but it's entirely too much effort to stay awake- with a slight groan she drifts back into unconsciousness.
Dragons are indeed cooler than cats. Because cats are warm and fuzzy and adorable. The tiny Duchess nuzzles Rashida's hand and then says, "I think I should make haste. While I do not think my helmet will be of much use in finding people, I am still a cat with a strong sense of smell." The feline hops down, and then runs off to try and help gather others from all the destruction happening that's surrounding them, mostly working on just pointing out where people are and letting others do the heavy lifting.
"If he were in the realm of the dead, Cassie, I could no longer see him. He is waiting to cross, which is wise. Were he to present himself for judgement now... it is best he have time to atone, free of the influence of Von Ryuko." Rashida watches the Duchess hop down and trot off. "Duchess, please let us know if anybody needs aid. The Ament looks in rather good shape, Cassie! This pleases me. I shall inspect the internals and the crew and see if we have anything to help bandage our new little friend."
Rashida picks her way gingerly among the debris towards the golden airship, resettling the golden serpents around her forearms and inspecting the holes in her garment with some dismay. Two dresses ruined in one evening, and who knows what else destroyed in her chambers. She squinted towards her airship, trying to discern the nature of the activity nearby.
Crewmen in strange uniforms were scrambling in and out of the Ament, stacking long, white objects in a line on the airfield.
Oh gods, the ship looks fine... that can't be... what are they doing? Where is my crew?
Panic caught her throat and gut and she ran stumbling over the scattered twists of metal, breath scouring her abused lungs until she was coughing again and had to slow to a trot. She grabbed the sleeve of one of the strange crewmen, reading The Virago on the man's service patch, looking urgently into his strained, tired face. "Why are you here? What about my crew?"
"A few made it, Lady, but many, well..." He gestures toward the line of bodies.
Rashida drifts towards the bodies, no longer feeling her feet on the pavement. She stops at each to uncover the face and murmur a name, then kneels, arms outstretched, with her eyes closed and lips moving. She remains there, motionless, until eleven bodies are piled before her. The nine remaining crewmen kneel in a row behind her.
Vorian calls out for Taraz twice more before relenting, more or less convinced that the Lord of Serv-Bots could not hear him... wherever he was. With a sigh, he turns to the hallway leading to the guest rooms, recalling that Rashida had headed in that direction earlier to investigate. Vorian winces as the reality of his leg pain comes back to him. Reaching into his coat, he pulls out his flask and takes but a single sip from it - he had to be sure to ration it. There was no telling when he would be able to attain more. The pins and needles vanish, leaving Vorian feeling spry once more. Knowing that it would not last, he quickly heads down a nearby hallway with an ordinary gait, believing it to be the one Rashida had investigated earlier.
Within moments, the lingering scent of acrid smoke assures him that he is heading in the right direction. Wrinkling his nose, he retrieves a handkerchief from his coat pocket and covers the bottom half of his face; unfortunately, it could do little for the stinging in his eyes. Making his way down the hallway, Vorian feels the intense heat in the air long before he sees the fire. As he comes face to face with the inferno, his eyes widen in surprise - he had not imagined that the fire would grow to be so immense.
"The crazy fool really would burn down his own house, would he?" Vorian murmurs, taking a step back from the flames. They would doubtlessly spread further down the hall in a matter of minutes. "What could he have possibly been hiding?"
At the flailing, wailing dragon Cassie goes still. Her eyes naked with sympathy; for one so unused to injury.
"I have some ointment that'll take all the pains away." Cassie replies to the wing-cut Spirit, hoping to reduce the anxiety.
The scales slid over her bare flesh extracting a soft gasp laden with emotions. Not as rough or sharp as she expected the interlocking draco-skin was a welcome relief and an anchor against the throbbing pain in her side.
"I try not to be mean." she replies. 'Upon the precipice Gigus could return? Does he wish to?'
Cassie always curious followed after the Egyptian, trailing in her wake. The weigh of Jeraclya was remarkably light as the serpent entwined around her body, over the tattered dress, like a Dragon tattoo come to life.
As she sashays after Rashida her eyes wide and her breathing ragged, 'So, this is what her ship was like. It’s so much like her, organised beautiful, with and under-current of power. And the soft beautiful lines could melt the heart and inflame the passions.' Her head remains still despite the darting eyes.
'Was I the only one who was alone?'
The Servo-bots follow after her like a cloud holding part of the engine to be installed.
Cassie slowly moves after Rashida, whilst the Priestess starts her liturgy ritual. As she finishes the elegy Rashida says in a small voice; "My condolences."
"They were good crewmen. I am certain their rewards await," Rashida says hollowly, "But there are many injured, and we will need healthy crew members to fly us out. My... my sick bay is not nearly well enough equipped to deal with the serious injuries. We should go examine the hospital ship, Cassie, and see what we can find to aid those in need. I am certain Alessandra will be fine with using her stores for their intended purpose."
She rises slowly and examines the remnants of her airship crew, most of them injured in some way and all smoke-stained and bedraggled. Blood spots their white linen uniforms. "Janais, Meriui, come with me to the Anodyne to help find and carry supplies. The rest of you, do what you can to lay our brothers to rest after you have seen to the surviving crew of other ships. Rehu, set up lights. It will be dark soon and we will need to see out here to effect repairs. Obey this woman..." she waves a graceful hand at Cassie, "... as you would me when it comes to matters of ship repair. She is directing efforts to make some of these ships airworthy and get us off this island and back home." A few of the men look at Cassie with some hope dawning in their eyes. They bow in the general direction of the two women.
Rashida turns away from the bodies and towards the Anodyne. "Alessandra, I certainly hope you have what we need there," she murmurs to herself. "Jeraclya, come with us to the hospital ship and we can bandage your wing."
It took a few long minutes for Vorian to find what he was looking for. Scrambling about the hallway, racing the clock against the approaching flames, he eyes a loose panel on the wall that might have otherwise been utterly discreet. Hurrying towards it, he pulls it open, exposing a slew of instruments and exposed wires. Whoever had last used it had surely been in a greater hurry than he.
"Of course the fire suppression has been disabled..." he mutters angrily as he fiddles with the knobs and switches, only half-aware of what he was doing. Luckily, it was not too different from other such devices. Luckier still that the perpetrator had simply shut it off instead of taking a pipe to it. With one last twist, Vorian sighs with relief as the distinct sound of rushing water sounds off.
"There we go!" he says with satisfaction as sprinklers emerge from the ceiling, before releasing torrents of water on the fire below. Slowly but surely, the flames die down.
Turning to leave the hall, Vorian notices that a Serv-Bot had followed him. Thinking for a moment, he speaks to it.
"Please inform Lady Massri and the others that the fire has been taken care of... and that Lord Rorenson is gods-know-where."
Meowselsworth stops near the Anodyne, sniffing at it a few times and stopping. "I think Alessandra and Jin are inside." The feline sniffs a few more times and says, sending out a telepathic message from her helmet, "I can't really help with any effectiveness, but I think someone should help rather quickly!"
Rashida starts as one of the snakes tightens on her wrist, and she lifts it to her ear. Just then, a Serv-Bot tugs urgently on the hem of her long, red dress, be-speckled with burn holes. She picks up the Serv-Bot and watch as it rains a flurry of taps on the second snake bracelet. She finishes with the first snake, listens to the other, and looks around despairingly.
"We need to help Meowselsworth, the fire may be out... but where is Taraz?" Spitting strings of words nobody but her crew understands, she charges toward the Anodyne, seeking Meowselsworth and looking in the direction the Duchess indicates. With a gesture, she directs her two crewmen into the rubble. "Be careful! Lift straight up and don't dislodge anything. Stop if you hear or see anyone! But hurry!"
She paces anxiously, dividing her worried looks between the mansion and the Anodyne, until one of her men calls and points. Tiptoeing delicately through the wreckage, she throws herself flat on a tilting piece of deck plating and stares into a small crater in the rubble. There below, covered with dust and only dimly to be seen in the fading light, is a figure who might be Professor Devries. Rashida cups her hands around her mouth and yells in a most unladylike fashion. "Professor! Lady Devries! Er... Alessandra! Can you hear me?"
"You men, can you figure a way to get her out? I don't like the look of that beam lying across her. We can't let it slip. Oh, get Cassie! She will know how to prop things so the Professor is not crushed. I wonder where Jin is? Surely he's not far, if she is here," she finishes, including Dutchess Meowselsworth in her last comments.
"And why do I not know where Taraz is? Why did I stray so far from him? I am a fool. Wherever he is, I should be sharing his fate," she thinks bitterly, "How could I think I understood anything of love? I do not deserve it. But Jin and Alessandra must be saved. I will cede no more lives to Von Ryuko tonight!" Several varieties of fear war for supremacy within her breast. "Useless! All I do is call for aid. I swear, if we get out of this, I will learn to use one of those wench things."