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Cheezeegriff

More Important is the Journey

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Of course they weren't heading to flat ground, not like in the battle of Brightwater Bay. Instead they were drifting sideways as much as they were falling, right into a snowy mountain peak.

The ship hit nose first but then toppled sideways, blown along by strong winds up the slope, hull dragging across the snow. Jack ducked down beside Priscilla as white powder crashed against the glass of the cabin. His owl launched into the air and watched from above as the Gehenna tumbled, blown in the wind, up and over a tall ridge...

... then out into space again, swinging like a pendulum.

They passed over a more fertile-looking valley, full of colourful, autumnal boreal forest, then over rocky slopes, and snow again. Once more they crashed into the slopes only this time, the ship came to rest against cliffs. It rocked back and forth, ready to roll back down the slope and into the valley, but for the wind which kept it loosely pinned in place.

Jack stared at the snow outside of two minds. If they left now and the wind died down, the airship would roll down the slope and crush them. But riding the airship down the slope wouldn't be much better either.

"Let's go," he said at last, and opened the porthole to the frigid, mountainous air. He helped Priscilla out from under the mattress then stood with her at the open porthole. "We need to jump down, into the snow." He felt her muscles tense. It was a decent drop. One had to hope the snow was fairly deep. "Ready? One... two..."

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On 3/17/2018 at 10:03 PM, Mag said:

“So. Could ya get out of my way, or point me in the direction, stead of letting a girl bleed out on the ground?”

Michelee could see the logic in the man's words, as loud and obnoxious as they were.  She understood that she was wasting time, and if Arzada were human she would have rushed as fast as she could.  But Arzada wasn't human.  "If there is a doctor, I don't know where they might be.  Besides, she's a vampire.  What she needs right now is blood.  Maybe you can offer some of yours to save her life?"  Her mouth twitched in amusement, as a questioning look overcame her face.  Would the man continue with his story about his need to help Azrada, or would he drop it and try to attack them?  

On 3/19/2018 at 9:56 AM, JaviD'Arcana said:

"I'll find a way to get her to better health, if you are not a pirate then hand her over to me and find some safety." Yonx said inching towards the man, one hand out stretched for the man to give arzada to him and the other hand was where the hilt of his sword met the edge of its sheathe.

Michelee could have smacked her palm to her forehead.  Brave Yonx, always being the hero.  He was going to get himself killed.  She didn't know if she was about to stop him, or if the man holding Arzada was about to drop the vampire and attack, or anything else for that matter.  Because she felt a shift.  A shift in her feet that could only mean one thing.  The ship was tipping over.  She had cat-like reflexes, but they were no match for gravity as she was thrust downward and into a gaping hole.  The gaping hole was the doorway into a room that had been jarred open by the force of gravity.  For a moment she was free falling, nothing to hold on to and only the air surrounding her.  It was a freeing and terrifying feeling, all at the same time.  Her heart felt as if it'd jumped into her throat, and even her inner tiger felt a moment of panic.  Her landing wasn't soft, since she rammed into loose furniture that had been thrust together the same way she had.  She knew that she wasn't the only one in the pile of furniture, because she could feel warm body parts and hear cursing in the air.  Her body was almost numb, which wasn't a good sign since that meant that the pain would make an appearance after the shock wore off.  When she tried to stand her left leg folded underneath her, and she looked down to see a serious gash.  Blood dripped down, hitting furniture and other people's limbs alike.  She would heal, and quickly, but not immediately.  She was, after all, in her human form.  

The tiger from before was tugging on her sleeve, reminding Michelee that she needed to move and move fast.  Situations like this didn't allow for time to sit and smell the flowers.  She began to climb her way out of the room, making sure to favor her good leg.  The mess she climbed up was loose and hard to climb.  She had to though, because she had a feeling that if she didn't she was going to die.  

 

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Wrapped in her mattress, the runesmith had limited knowledge of what was about to happen around her. The ship was falling, falling, falling. She knew that much, at the very least. As it plummeted from the sky, she could feel it in her gut, as if she were free falling. Although she wasn't lifted up in the air (they weren't falling that fast), she could feel the churning butterflies in her stomach, and she could hear, quite plainly, her brain screaming about her death once again. It was almost annoying, how accurate it sounded. Somewhere close by, Jack was bracing himself, though she couldn't see him, and once again she reflected on how they'd gotten to this point. He'd done this to them, after all. Now, the ultimate test; did they die thanks to his own machinations?

Priscilla felt, rather then saw or heard, when the Gehenna collided with the mountain. Going equal parts sideways and downwards, the nose of the balloon pitched into it first, and it crumpled fast. That wasn't the part Priscilla felt.

What she did feel was when the rest of the ship, when steel panels and iron and wood slammed into the snow-covered mountainside moments after. Though the balloon had slowed her descent, the Gehenna was still a heavy ship, and she came down hard, as she should have. The entire vessel shuddered with the impact, and a loud, broken groan echoed down the halls, as if they were hearing the last, unhappy wail of a dying beast. It sent shivers down the woman's spine, and though the mattress soaked up most of the impact, there was no way to truly soak up the shock and awe of such a crash, subtle sounds and shakes included. She'd had her eyes closed before, and they were clenched tighter now. Priscilla sat with bated breath, waiting for the rest of the crash.

Gehenna was mostly silent for a spell, and while Prisclla didn't understand why, opening her eyes didn't provide any new information either. The cabin was still a mess, only now...

The observation was cut short when the Gehenna slammed back into the mountain, and Priscilla screamed in surprise. The jolt didn't harm her much, but her heart was set racing once more, and the runesmith could barely keep herself together as she clenched her eyes shut once more, and refused to open them. Metal screeched, iron sheets sighed in agony, and the world rang as if a great bell had been tolled.

After an eternity, Priscilla opened her eyes.

Next to her, Jack was looking down into the porthole from earlier, and Priscilla felt her dread mounting once more at the mere sight of that. They were sideways, now. Where had they landed, where he was looking down into...what, exactly? She couldn't see from here, but the fact that it was not grass springing through the hole, or snow, or something, meant that there was an empty space of some degree under them.

They were dangling. Like worms on a hook. Or a glass on the edge of a table.

On 2018-04-04 at 12:09 AM, Cheezeegriff said:

"Let's go," he said at last, and opened the porthole to the frigid, mountainous air. He helped Priscilla out from under the mattress then stood with her at the open porthole.

Freed from her comfortable prison of lies and ignorance, the runesmith was eventually exposed to the truth below them, and her knees nearly buckled. After all of their efforts, all of her efforts to remain calm and cool, they had one last test before them. Priscilla hadn't expected to leap off the Gehenna, no matter how desperate she'd felt earlier. It was a last ditch effort, and she was certain she'd have changed her mind on the way down. Now, while it wasn't a massive drop, it was a drop. Priscilla needed to leap out of this crashed ship, into the snowy mountainside, before this infernal airship crushed her.

Next to her, Jack explained that they needed to jump, once again, and Priscilla flinched at the prospect. Jack must have noticed, because he took her hand. At the very least, he wasn't blind to her concerns.

On 2018-04-04 at 12:09 AM, Cheezeegriff said:

"Ready? One... two..."

Without giving him a chance to say it for her, Priscilla leapt forward. It was a spur of the moment action, and Priscilla would look back on this and note that it was absolutely necessary for it to be that way. By putting a time on it, she could stall, and back off. It didn't make it easier, it made it frightening; it made it a deadline that needed to be met, and each time it wasn't met her hysteria could only have grown. Instead, she'd jumped before being told to, and ended up dragging Jack along by the arm. It was unexpected, it was terrifying, and in the blink of an eye, it was done.

The duo tumbled from the ship, and plummeted into the snow. They came down hard, the snow rushing up to meet them, and in those last few moments Priscilla's heart pounded in her ears before fading away entirely, in perfect sync with her vision, which faded to black as the white powder drew close. 

They hit the ground safely enough, but Priscilla wasn't awake to register this. She simply passed out, mid-fall.

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"Great," Jack said, looking down at Priscilla's crumpled form. Overhead the airship bobbed up and down in the gale like a giant floating whale. As soon as the wind died, it's likely they'd be crushed.

"Hey," he said, giving Priscilla three firm pats on the cheek, then resolving to drag her away across the snow. Only a short way away some pirates had descended from the ship on ropes and started running down the slope. Jack resolved to head perpendicular across the slope first.

 

Inside the airship's power was starting to fail, the lights flickering in the deep interior. Still Jack's tiger form led Michelee to the nearest source of moonlight - a gaping hole in the wall of a storage room where the ship had split asunder. Unlike the upper decks of the ship this section was made of metal, and as the ship rocked back and forth the gash opened and closed, broken pipes and twisted hull gnashing together like teeth.

But their freedom lay on the other side.

He growled, head-butting her gently towards the opening, encouraging Michelee to jump.

It was just a matter of good timing, he thought.

 

Elsewhere - and simultaneously - Jack's bear form rose on shaking legs. The world had gone topsy-turvy since it had closed its eyes, and it was hard to tell which way to go. But it was easiest to follow the sloping floor down, so that was where he went. Hopefully he'd find a nice, comfortable ramp to the snow below.

Edited by Cheezeegriff

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"Why did I decide to follow the crowd? Ugh, well, I guess I get a quick, free skydive out of it."

It hadn't been long since Kiki arrived on this world. As a matter of fact, she only managed to find her way onto this airship hoping it was headed towards larger civilization. Now, it gets attacked, and she has to get off of it or risk something worse. Go figure. But, on the plus side, she had already seen some rather interesting folk jump out through the gnashing teeth of the ship. "Well, this'll be fun." She grinned, and ran past those nearby to jump towards the gap.

It's clamped, she's close. If she dies here, oh well, what'll she care, she'll be dead?
It opens, she could touch the moving metal if she wanted. She was going to make it, easy.
It reaches it's height. She's right between the gnashed teeth, and smiles wide.
She passes through, it slams shut, and ahead of her, is snow.

She let herself fall for a moment, closing her eyes, and enjoying the breeze as it whipped around her. It was exhilarating, falling so fast towards the slope of the mountain. She performed some minor hand signs, and pulled some snow around her, effectively turning herself into a large snowball. Now she just had to wait for the impact...

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