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Vetanoob

There And Back Again

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Union City Skydock 

Central Genesaris

597, Modern Era

“Allen? Allen! Wake up!” An annoyed, short-haired brunette growled as she attempted to shake the figure huddling inside the Captain’s chair

“Mmf... Goway.” Allen groaned as he shuffled, trying to shuffle himself deeper into the chair.

“Grrr…We take off in a couple of hours! You need to get up!”

“Leemeelone.”

That’s it! A tick mark appeared on her forehead. Deciding enough was enough, she pulled out a mean looking wrench from her tool bag and tapped Allen on the head. Hard.

BONK!

Which sent him flying out of the chair and crashing onto the floor and rolling comically back and forth. “Owowowowow! Dammit, what was that f-?! Oh, Jenny! It’s just you.”

Just me?!” Jenny huffed, arms on her hips. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“Uh... Nothing?” Allen replied sheepishly. “Well I’m just glad its you who woke me up.”

For some reason, a dusty shade of pink spread across her cheeks. “R-really? Did you want to see me that badly?” She asked meekly.

“Oh! That’s not it.” Allen gave a goofy grin. “It’s just that if you were Sebastian instead, he would’ve doused me in cold water then sentence me to one-on-one personal training for the whole voyage!”

The chief mechanic deflated and rolled her eyes. It seemed that her remark flew over his head... again. “Yeah… I guess so.” she sighed. Then turned to exit the Captain’s deck. “Anyway, I’m going back to the engine room. Powerplant needs some calibrations. Come see me when you got some time yeah?”

“Sure thing! See ya!” Allen waved goodbye as she shut the door. Somehow, he had a feeling that he disappointed her somehow. No matter, he would find a way to perk her up again!

Allen exited the room and stepped out onto the top deck. The sun was shining brightly, the birds were singing and the breeze was gentle. As he looked out from the side of the Kingfisher he admired the skyline of Union city; the centre of Genesaris the melting pot of all races, cultures and creeds. It had only been a week and a half since they docked here, but Allen was already tiring of the place. His life was tied to the sky after all, Allen wasn’t one to keep his boots on solid ground for too long.

He breathed in the fresh air blowing in from the plains surrounding the city. “Ahhh! You were great Union City. But it’s time to say goodbye and say hello to Aelindra!”

Captain Allen Arno Dorian, Owner and leader of the Kingfisher and its crew, pulled out an old photograph of his parents and admired it; his fingers tracing their faces affectionately. His mother had passed on when he as young. But it wasn’t too long ago that his father died a year before to a pirate attack on the ship. However, he managed to find the courage to see past their deaths and carry on their legacy. “Its another day, another voyage mom, dad. Please watch over us as you always do.” He kissed the photo and placed the photo back into his vest.

“Talking to yourself again Master Dorian?” A low, rugged voice called out from behind him. Allen turned around and saw the only family he had left: Sebastian. Dorian Family butler and the Kingfisher’s first mate.

“Ah! Sebastian! How’s the crew? Everything going smoothly, I hope?” Allen smiled.

“Everything’s ship-shape and Bristol fashion, Captain.” The old soldier returned a grandfatherly smile of his own. “Same as always… just enough food and supplies to get us to our destination and a tad more for emergencies. Our account’s just a little over the red, though… again. You sure you don’t want to increase or ticket prices just a little? Even an additional kite per passenger would relieve us quite a bit.”

Allen sighed. “We’ve been over this Sebastian. My father promised quality transport for the common folk at affordable prices. Increasing them would go against that promise. You know this.”

“I understand Master Dorian. And I respect your father’s wish greatly as well.” The butler patted his ward’s shoulder encouragingly. “But if we keep this up soon enough the entire ship and crew would be running on fumes. Even Theresa can’t cook anything when there’s no ingredients to speak of. Think about it, your father wouldn’t want anything bad happen to the Kingfisher. The company is nothing without its ship. If we want to continue providing this service to the masses then we have to make sure we survive at the very least.”

Allen pinched his nose in mild frustration. He couldn’t help it though. Sebastian was right on all accounts as usual. He didn’t want to burden the lower-class passengers with any more costs if necessary. But the Dorian family’s wealth could only sustain their business model so far. Most likely he would have to increase the prices for the express and special skills passengers on the next voyage. “Alright, I understand. I’ll review the prices again when we reach Aelindra. A kite or two shouldn’t dent their pockets too much.”

“That’s all everyone’s asking for Master Dorian.” Sebastian smiled. “Everyone trusts you to make the right decision.”

“Thanks Sebastian.” Allen replied. Together they made their way into the Kingfisher’s lower decks.

“Wow something smells great in here!” Allen poked his head into the kitchen. “What’s on the menu this time Theresa?”

Theresa Vellheim, the head chef of the ship, didn’t bother to turn towards the sound of Allen’s voice as she continued stirring the simmering pot she was working on before bringing the ladle to her lips and giving her dish a small sip. “It’s a surprise Allen. All I can say is that I had to improvise since we only had basic ingredients to work on, but this should keep the passengers and crew happy.”

The blonde, short-haired woman’s accusatory tone sent a small shiver down his spine and a trickle of cold sweat down his forehead. And it wasn’t the good kind. “Eheheh! I know the ship’s been a little crunched on finances. I’ll make sure to get quality ingredients for the kitchen on our next stopover. Promise!”

Theresa turned to stare at her Captain, then gave a good-natured chuckle. “Sebastian kicked your head in a little didn’t he?”

Allen let out a sigh. At least he wasn’t going to be served water and gruel again. That was not a pleasant memory he wanted to remember. He laughed nervously as he absentmindedly scratched the back of his head. “Yeah you could say that. Heheh! I’ll leave you to it then. See you at lunch!”

Quickly exiting the kitchen, Allen continued his rounds as he bade his crew good day and kept himself up to speed on the preparations for the next voyage. Finally, he passed by the entry hatch and stopped to observe the small but slowly increasing crowd that was waiting to board the Kingfisher from the bottom of the plank.

“Attention ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!” One of the crew’s attendants called out. “The Kingfisher is now ready for boarding! Please present your tickets and line up according to your classes. Economy class passengers please line up on my left, Express class passengers on my right. Special Skills ticket holders may board first. Our attendants will bring your luggage to your designated cabins and then bring you to the top deck to meet our Captain personally where he will provide you with a special welcome!”

As he looked out into the crowd, he could already spot at least five unique looking individuals making their way towards the front. Smiling and nodding to himself, he decided to make his way to the top deck and make ready for their departure.

Edited by Vetanoob

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Immie had dreams.  She had hopes and inspirations.  She was making this trip on the off chance that she'd find what she was looking for, and fulfill those dreams.  The fact that she was travelling unchaperoned when she was used to being watched and guarded by her elf family was not lost on her.  It felt strange to be out in this mysterious world, where anything could happen, all by herself.  She only had the clothes in her satchel, and the clothes on her back.  

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Her cinched in waist from her dress felt too tight, though she was aware that it accentuated the smallness of the area.  She wanted to look presentable for her first time on a trip all on her own.  Her dress had seemed a dream in the dress store, all ribbons and flowers and flowing material.  She had spent way more on this outfit alone than she had on all the contents of her satchel.  This was her special occasion dress.  She felt that to embark on a new adventure that could change the course of her life deserved a little effort on her part.  

The cost of the clothes had been something she'd deliberated on, for she liked to think of the best course of action before doing anything.  She knew that this tour and the clothes would take a major part of her savings, but she was going to get full meals and board.  And she planned to go directly to any areas that had more of an idea on where she could get the information she needed.  She looked down at the ring upon her finger.  It was large and not very pretty, but it was the only clue she had to where she came from and who she was.  She sighed as she realized that staring at her ring would not move her forward on her journey. 

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The wind blew her wavy red curls around her face, as she moved forward as a member of the crew shouted out instructions for boarding.   A wave of excitement shot through Immie that no amount of research from a book could have given her.  This was real adventure, not something she'd read about.  And there was excitement, fear, and even a little tinge of happiness as she moved forward with the others.  She had to wait until the passengers with special skills boarded first.  She did have her own skills, having scholarly knowledge of almost every subject, but reading only took you so far.  It did not give you the skill or talent that a true gift could give.  Immie hadn't found herself to be immensely talented in any certain thing, although pretty good at almost everything.  Her best gift was her love of knowledge. but that wouldn't be considered a special skill.  She went to the right of the crewman, having invested in the express class.  She wanted the extra meals and the ability to walk around most hours as she pleased.  It had cost a bit more, but less than other ships that offered these same services.  

She dug into her satchel for the tickets, and clutched the bag close to her chest nervously.  She was almost loathe to give up the heavy item, because it carried all her possessions.  When the time came for her to board she gave her ticket, and hesitantly passed over the bag.  The attendant smiled at her reassuringly.  "Your bags will be going to cabin three," he said kindly.  She nodded and took a deep breathe.  

Walking onto the ship seemed sort of anti-climatic, and there was a sudden swift shift in her feelings of excitement from before.  She expected for the ship to be moving beneath her feet, or to somehow pass on some sense of rightness.  A bird tweeting close to her ear would have been better than the mundane acts of following the other passengers, like sheep.  There were many different types of people for her to people watch, that was to be sure.  But she was ready for something to happen, and happen right away.  Nothing did, and she tried to calm herself down as she realizes that she was making too big a deal out of what was a simple trip for others.  She followed where she was supposed to go, and did what she was told, feeling her brain going numb at the loss of new information or a book to read.  She almost shuddered at the thought of having to be social, always finding such times awkward.  If new experiences didn't start happening soon she might have no other choice.  

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"Yours will be Special Skills Room 1, Sir Hyuk. I would be happy to take your luggage, please move to the top deck to meet the Captain." The attendant said, grabbing the large 'SuperSaver' brand survival bag Leo had received for completing his first term of Adventure 101 in the Gaian Academy. Leo was dressed as he often was, a casual pair of pale colored jeans and his teal Tamonten Academy varsity jacket making him appear far more casual then he acted. A black crystal fiber holster was strapped to his right leg in a drop leg orientation, a faded stainless revolver sat tight in the holster, the wooden grips standing out against the black of the holster and drawing natural attention to the weapon. Leo himself did not look in the best condition, his dyed white hair showing the natural brown roots of poor upkeep, to speak nothing of the fading black eye he was sporting on his right side. 

In his hand was a book with a cover written in Terric, the title reading ' Genesari Travel Translator'. "Thank you." Leo fumbled in response to the attendant, his thick Terran accent made even worse by the small cuts that filled his mouth. Another attendant walked up alongside Leo, ushering him toward the top deck - Leo followed as directed, ascending to the upper deck and observing the Kingfisher as he did. It was an impressive ship, giving off rugged practicality that Genesari tech often did. It was a fresh change of pace from the sleek, neon dipped Terric airship he had taken from Terrenus to Union City. The attendant made no attempt at small talk, and so neither did Leo; truthfully the stoic college student preferred it that way, finding idle chatter insufferable. 

Leo was the first of the Special Passengers to arrive, and so he stood alone on the upper deck. The attendant bowed and left Leo to his own devices, this freedom giving Leo a chance to more closely observe the ship from on high. For Leo this trip was a vacation, a chance to unwind after a harsh first term as a Live Combat major in the Gaian Academy - ordinarily a college student on a Federal Work Study budget wouldn't have been able to afford an airship cruise in another country, but the Kingfisher's price for those with special skills was within his budget and the trip from Terrenus to Union City was free thanks to hitching a ride on a merchant ship in exchange for his protection. 

It had been uneventful ride over to Union City, and Leo had slept off the beating of his Live Combat finals; the remnants of it still showing in his black eye, cut up mouth and swollen knuckles. Leo hid it well, but his excitement was blazing at the idea of the trip to come, he had lived his entire life in Weland and while the Gaian Academy was a unique experience it would pale in the diversity of location that was promised by a trip around the exotic Genesaris. Leo could hardly wait, and he was itching to begin the journey proper. 

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Minerva stood there patiently waiting to board the Kingfisher. It wasn't everyday she had could afford something like this. However she wanted to be able to purchase the Special Skills ticket but not exactly knowing whether that meant the ability to have skills for protection or skills for the ship for an emergency she opted for the one below it. The first one was more likely as ships like this have plenty of crew members. It wasn't until she walked up to give her ticket to an attendant that she had someone talk to her. Everyone left her alone on the account of her eyes. Every time someone looked at her face they were greeted with red eyes and one just being a symbol to some. To others who knew what it was were absolutely right to stay away from her. Her eyes and her outfit gave her the appearance of a demon in humanoid form so people generally stayed away from her in general.

'Miss. Your bag?'

She nearly walked right in without checking her bag with the attendants. With an apologetic smile and bow she handed her bag over. "I'm sorry. Sometimes I forget I have the bag. I don't usually carry it with me." She watched the attendant hand her a room key and she walked off while listening to the attendant finish off their sentence. 'This will be fun. A nice vacation from... nothing. … I need a job.' She shook her head at the realization that she never had a job before so her life has been completely carefree and having the capability to do whatever she wanted. As she finally entered the ship, she looked at the ship and was shocked. It was beautiful. She figured the ship would look nice but for the prices obviously not as nice. Not really knowing where she was going, she just kept following the red haired woman in front of her. The whole experience was a lot for her but she was capable of taking it all in.

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The steady breeze blew Grovel's tattered old cloak, the cold air sending a shiver down his spine. The hustle and bustle was something he'd been use too, but airships were alien to the tattooed slave. Staring towards the ship, he clenched his ticket out of both excitement and fear. Grovel watched people slowly make their way aboard the ship, their fine attire and polished gear made him feel out of place. Whilst he'd never cared about much about his appearance, he still wanted to fit in.

"Master always talked about the ships that fly, yes he did. Master liked these things and so must I! BUT WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME ABOUT THE PRETTY CLOTHES!?" He conversed with himself, stomping his foot on the ground like a child. Trying to muster the guts to go on his journey.

 With a jittery breath, he swallowed his nerves and trekked his way to the ship. The queue was moving fast, the attendants were working hard to keep things moving. The ship was big, or at least bigger than anything he'd seen. He noticed certain passengers being moved to higher levels of the deck, which even the simple minded slave could figure out was a clear wealth symbol. 

'Powerful people, must be friends of master'

Grovel finally got to the end and met with a shot bearded man, who at first gave him a weird look which quickly faded. 

"Ticket please" He said in a monotone manner.

"You want my ticket?" Grovel uttered in a confused manner.

"Yes....I need to check your ticket before you can come aboard" The attendant responded with an even more confused manner.

"Check it" He looked at his ticket surprisingly "Okay, but please return it." He reluctantly handed his ticket over. It took Grovel many weeks and several jobs to afford his prized ticket.

"Okay....well everything checks out, economy class 1.  Please continued up and my fellow crew will point you towards you cabin. Thank you, and have a nice trip." 

"Yes yes, I will try! Thank you!" Grovel snatched the ticket out his hand, before excitedly entering the ship. Looking like a kid in a candy shop, he began searching for his area.

 

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Image result for Drawingardís valkyrja


 

After her recent jaunt across the frozen wastelands of the Cold South, Ardís finds the lively clamor of Union City altogether strange, in the detached manner one observes an urban landscape after weeks upon weeks of nothing but wilderness and harsh ways of living. Where the trek from Valjer had given her nothing but empty space between herself and the world she moves through, now every step is hounded by the threat of jostling bodies and sharp elbows to unsuspecting flesh within the crowd.

It’s a far cry from Grad na Ang'eli, but it reminds her of the city of angels nonetheless.

Searching for Union City Docking Bay 25 takes more time than she had thought it would, but Ardís eventually falls in line amidst the sea of people waiting to board the Kingfisher. She spends most of her time gazing up towards the vessel; they’re a rather formidable sort of vehicle, these airships the Zemjište Pešaci build to take to the skies, and this particular one is masterfully built, she considers, even when she does not see the need for it amongst her own kind. The Ang’eli do not have airships of their own, not when they rely on the wings they were formed with.

A stab of grief pierces through her gut then and there, when she considers that she is Wingless, now.

“Ma’am? Your ticket please?” The query snaps Ardís out of her thoughts, and she hands the ticket to the attendant with a polite nod, pointedly ignoring the curious once-over the man gives her appearance.

She had lost her cloak, somewhere between Valjer and Union City, and so she had bought a new one alongside a proper case for her swords to sling them across her shoulders nonchalantly within the city, as if hauling about a piece of luggage. She had not changed her rugged traveling clothes, however, leaving her with a mismatch of torn, dusty garments and brand new finery.

If anything good is to come out of her exile and her quest in Valjer, Ardís concedes, it is that her pockets are filled to the brim with the compensation she’s been granted for services rendered in the Cold South. It allows her the luxury of booking a Special Skills ticket, which promises the most rewarding of amenities onboard the craft. After her journey, Ardís rather feels she deserves to pamper herself.

“You’ll be in Special Skills Room 10, Miss Valikyrjas,” says the attendant, and she tries her best not to wince at the unintentional butchering of her name. “We’ll be taking your luggage for you,” the man continues, extending a hand towards her pack, but Ardís shakes her head with a faint smile.

“That will not be necessary. If you could bring me to the room, I would be grateful.” She has her reasons to be obstinate on this matter. Perhaps the attendant understands this somehow, as he merely nods in agreement and leads her through the ship towards her room. Taking her time to settle in her cabin for a brief moment, Ardís then begins to make her way to the top deck for this supposed meeting with the Kingfisher’s Captain.

 


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“Uh, Sebastian?” Allen squinted as he looked down upon the mostky empty top deck from the command cabin.

“Yes, Master Dorian?” The butler responded.

 “Aren’t there supposed to be more special skills passengers?” The young captain bit his lip. “I swear I could’ve seen at least five peculiar or unique looking individuals in the crowd when I passed by the entrance.”

“Nope. Not according to the passenger manifest.” Sebastian replied, handing over a clipboard which Allen took.

He scanned the list for the Special skills passengers. True enough, there were really only two of them. “Two’s a tad few isn’t it?”

“Better than one.” The First mate quipped. “Luckier than none. We should count our blessings that we even have SS passengers in the first place.” 

Allen sighed. “True... but still. I’d wish we had more. Let’s just hope we get lucky and nothing happens.” 

Their conversation was interrupted by the opening of the command hatch behind them. The same attendant who oversaw the checking of passenger's tickets earlier poked his head in. “All passengers and cargo aboard, Captain. We’re just finishing up with settling everything and everyone in.” he reported.

Allen put on his most confident smile. “Great! Prepare the passengers and crew for takeoff.” 

“Aye aye, Captain.”

“Oh, one more thing!” Allen called out before the attendant left. “Other than the SS passengers, did you see anyone... you know, behaving peculiarly or maybe looking out of place?”

The attendant put on a thinking pose. “Hmm... well there were at least three of them, if I remember correctly. There was this really beautiful redhead wearing a expensive looking corset dress and glasses. Anyway, she looked like the upper class noble and studious type.” 

The Captain and First Mate glanced at each other then back to the attendant. “Continue.” Allen said.

“Then there was another girl. Black hair, black clothes. Everyone seemed to avoid her for some reason.” The attendant shivered. “Maybe cuz’ she was giving off some cold vibes. Her right eye was red, but I couldn’t make out the colour of her left one. Might’ve looked like there was some twirly pattern or something. I’m not sure.”

Allen frowned. It wasn’t every day you met a person with different colored irises or gave off a cold aura. He would have to take time to have a look at his passenger manifest again. “And the last one?”

“Err... I don’t know how to describe him.” The attendant scratched the back of his head in confusion. “He was definitely humanoid at least, but he covered himself with an old cloak. Kept talking to himself too. Needed to ask him twice for his ticket before he handed it over. I would suggest getting one of us to tail him and make sure he doesn’t harm the passengers or crew.”

Sebastian scratched his chin in deep thought. “Very well. Thank you. You may leave. We will make the necessary arrangements if needed.” 

After the attendant left, the butler turned to his Master. “What do you think, Captain?”

“As long as they don’t cause a ruckus or hurt anyone, I don’t see a need to alarm our peculiar passengers.” Allen exclaimed confidently. “It’s not our nature to make our passengers feel like they’re being watched.” 

“If you say so, Master Dorian.” Sebastian bowed slightly.

“Alright. That matter is settled for now. It’s show time!” Allen took a deep breath and picked up the receiver for the ship’s public address system and flipped all the switches for the entire ship to hear. “AHEM!”

“Good morning everyone! This is Allen Arno Dorian, I’m the Captain of the Kingfisher and I will be your host on your journey to Aelindra. Accompanying me is First Mate Sebastian, Chief Mechanic Jenny Belford and Head Chef Theresa Vellheim. Together, we wish you a very warm welcome aboard the Kingfisher and we thank you for choosing Allen Airship Adventure Tours!

We will be taking off in about half an hour’s time, so please be patient with us as we prepare our final checks before takeoff. If you have any questions, please feel welcome to approach our friendly attendants and they will do their best to accommodate to your needs. For your information, Allen Airship Adventure Tours is an equal opportunity employer and we employ staff of different races, religions, cultures and creeds. But one thing is for sure, ladies and gentlemen, please do not feel alarmed because all of our crew are friendly and approachable so please do not hesitate to ask for their help if you need it!

This will be a seven-day voyage, dear travellers. So we’ll be making a first stop at Union City’s sister settlement, Mezthaluen, which is two day’s travel from here. Passengers are welcome to disembark and visit this wonderful city until sundown where we will continue our voyage northwards over the Great Lake, then the Bloodstone marshes, past Reyer City Prison and reach the beautiful, artistic masterpiece of a city: Aelindra! If there is enough interest, the Kingfisher may make a short three day visit to the city in the sky: Raven’s Landing!The city of birds and where souls take flight! 

There’s a lot to see on this trip, boys and girls. So sit back, relax and we’ll be on our way momentarily! Lunch will be provided for all passengers so do head down to the dining hall when mealtime is announced at noon. Once again, we thank you for choosing us and we hope you will enjoy a pleasant voyage! This is Captain Allen Arno Dorian, signing off.”

“Very good Master Dorian. I’m impressed.” The butler nodded.

“Meh... I practiced on my own time.” Allen waved off the compliment.

Sebastian leaned towards his Captain and whispered. “Jenny drilled the entire speech into your head, didn’t she?”

“On the pain of death from a screwdriver!” The young Captain exclaimed exasperatedly. “Whatever... anyway looks like our only two skilled passengers are here. I’ll go down and greet them properly. Take over for a while will ya’?"

“Sure thing Master Dorian.” Sebastian chuckled as Allen stomped out of the command deck. 
 

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Leo chuckled at the mention of flying over a prison, wondering if it was a popular tourist location or a simple coincidence of the flight path. Time passed with an agonizing pace as workers scrambled and attendants dealt with passengers, the soft sounds of the airship coming more and more to life. Leo was not a naturally patient man, and as excited as he was the lag between boarding and setting 'sail' as it were was drawing at his nerves. A few deep breaths settled Leo, his mind instead drifting to another issue at hand - he seemed to be the only special skills passenger. A graduate of a military academy, an active Live Combat major and a life long marksman Leo was confident in his skills; but he was far from narcissistic enough to believe he had any hope of protecting an entire airship. 

"Should have bought a rifle before I left Terrenus." Lee muttered to himself in Terric as he laid a hand on the wood grip of his revolver, feeling a bit less confident in the archaic tool and it's pistol caliber given the situation. His thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of steps as a white haired woman came into view, her dazzling appearance muted by her somewhat somber expression. She was no crew, and she had an air that told Leo she was another skilled passenger. Two was better then one, and if Professor Meira had taught Leo anything with her beatings it was that women with that sort of presence were more then capable. 

Leo had notoriously poor social skills, and his command of Genesari required a book and so Leo simply gave the woman a small bow of his head as she stepped onto the deck. Another pair of footsteps saved him from the awkward silence that was sure to follow, his mind no longer having to race through pointless small talk scenarios in attempt to look evenly slightly capable of social interaction. Leo cringed at his internal monologue, berating his awkward nature to himself as he turned to meet the Captain of the Kingfisher. 

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Minerva stood in her cabin and looked around for her backpack. It looked just as beautiful as the rest of the Kingfisher. Quietly she made her way to her backpack and opened it up, taking out her things. She made sure she bought new clothes that were unique even for her. She made sure she wore something with color. "Ugh. Color. As long as it isn't green I will tolerate it." As she stood there, looking at her outfits she contemplating what she wanted to wear. After a few minutes of decision she decided on a dee purple dress with matching gloves, changing clothes quickly so she could attend to more of the ship.

After she had changed she quickly walked out of her cabin and went to where ever other people would be. Where that is was a mystery to her as she didn't bother to look at where things were located. With a shrug she decided to look for other people. Luckily for two people were walking from their cabin so she quietly followed them. For once she was grateful of other people being around her. As she followed them she let her body autopilot while she went to her thoughts. 'I wonder what kind of tea they have here. A nice ship like this must have some quality tea.' She kept to her thoughts until she heard a man's voice. Soon she found out it was the captain of the ship and the stops and the places they'd see. 'A prison? What kind a place to fly over is that? Are ships like this even allowed to fly in airspace like that?' 

As she reached her destination, she sat at a table and watched the people go by. A lot of people were here. This was something she would have to get used to. She was used to living in seclusion with Nix and listening to Astaroth talk to her. Then it hit her. Nix is going to be alone for seven days, maybe more. This trip was going to be either really boring for her or extremely fun.

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Grovel wandered around the ship, ticket still clenched in hand. The tight corridors and busyness feeling somewhat homely. He had no idea where he was going, but was still somehow enjoying his first experience of being aboard an airship. He casually drifted around, admiring the nice attire of the attendants and other guests. 'If only master could see me now! Walking with the fancy ones, oh how proud he'd be of me.' Despite aimlessly wandering, Grovel by some miracle had managed to find his cabin. Walking inside, he proceeded to examine his room. It was fairly sized and well-kept, providing the basic necessities whilst having a classy atmosphere. 

"Yes yes YES! Very nice, I like it very much. WELL DONE!....yes, time to unpack." The slave exclaimed to himself, becoming giddy in excitement. He proceeded to tip his bag upside down and unload several loaves of bread onto the half reclined chair. "Done." Then immediately picking up two loaves, he stuffed them into his cloak for later. The announcement came through, listing the stops and course of the ship. Grovel took little notice, as he was too busy wondering why the lemon scented soap did not taste like lemon. He'd never heard of any of the locations, with only the Bloodstone marshes being of any interest. 

"Blah, candy of lies! TRICKERY! The fruit of the marshes taste better than you!" Becoming both bored and frustrated, he threw the soap on the ground and left his cabin to continue his 'journey' around the ship. Passing passengers may feel a strange sense of deja vu, as he'd searched the halls up and down. He could smell food, but could not find its source. After a while, he began tailing one of the attendants. Following him up some stairs, stopping just before reaching the upper deck. He poked his head up, scanning the surroundings. There were very few people, but all looked to be higher class or well established. 

"Hmmm, I still see no food." He mumbled.

Edited by Rabbit

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While Immie was waiting for something to happen she started to notice that some of the people were wandering away briefly.  They would come back soon after, and she realized that they must have followed their luggage to their rooms to see where they'd be staying... or possibly to make sure that their precious things had not been trifled through or stolen.  She kept all of her monies with her at all times, just to make sure they were always safe.  Her clothes were always replaceable.  She wasn't too worried about those.  And as far as the cabin was concerned, she'd be staring at those walls soon enough.  

She looked out at the dock, and watched as they pulled in the ramps they had all walked in on.  This was it.  This was the beginning of the journey.  She could see loved ones still on the dock, waving at others on the airship.  There were quite a few waving back.  She wished she had someone to wave to.  It would be nice to feel included like that.  She'd never really had that feeling.  Even with the family that she'd lived with her whole life, she'd feel excluded.  Different.  

Her meandering mind was soon brought back with the sound of the captain giving his greeting.

On 5/5/2019 at 3:31 AM, Vetanoob said:

“Good morning everyone! This is Allen Arno Dorian, I’m the Captain of the Kingfisher and I will be your host on your journey to Aelindra. Accompanying me is First Mate Sebastian, Chief Mechanic Jenny Belford and Head Chef Theresa Vellheim. Together, we wish you a very warm welcome aboard the Kingfisher and we thank you for choosing Allen Airship Adventure Tours!

Immie turned to face the captain, and took a good look at him and his crew.  He looked very young, but looks could be deceiving.  She looked very young as well, but ..... she wasn't.  It would be hard to imagine that the captain was actually a human, and if he was she had a new respect for the fellow.  To be a very young human and be responsible for so much would make him an impressive individual.  His first mate looked like a stern father, proud of his son, but finding it hard to show it.  Jenny, the mechanic had a smudge of dirt on her nose that she hadn't been aware of.  It didn't seem that she cared too much either, though her eyes seemed to be glued to Captain Dorian's face.  Immie imagined she'd care what the captain would be thinking.  The chef wasn't much cleaner, having flour spots on her clothes.  They looked to be a busy lot though, involved so deeply in their jobs that they barely scurried in front of the passengers to give a greeting.  She guessed they'd be going right back to their jobs as soon as the speech had been given.  

Immie had been so engrossed in staring at the crew that she hadn't been listening to what the captain was saying.  Until he started giving more details about their voyage.  

On 5/5/2019 at 3:31 AM, Vetanoob said:

This will be a seven-day voyage, dear travellers. So we’ll be making a first stop at Union City’s sister settlement, Mezthaluen, which is two day’s travel from here. Passengers are welcome to disembark and visit this wonderful city until sundown where we will continue our voyage northwards over the Great Lake, then the Bloodstone marshes, past Reyer City Prison and reach the beautiful, artistic masterpiece of a city: Aelindra! If there is enough interest, the Kingfisher may make a short three day visit to the city in the sky: Raven’s Landing!The city of birds and where souls take flight! 

Immie recalled to mind the things she'd read about Mezthaluen.  The place should have some fun things to do.  It was a perfect place for an airship pit stop.  There would be night life, gambling, concert halls, art.  There was also many taverns for plenty of drunken excitement.  Immie wondered what she would see on this journey.  The other places were known to her too, since she had studied different aspects of Genesaris before deciding to take this journey.  She had an issue of remembering almost everything.  

She noticed that the crowds had started to break up, which meant that the captain had already ended his speech.  He was gone and so were his crew, and Immie decided that she would go see her room.  But before she did that, she would wait a moment more.  Soon they would be taking off into the air, and she was eager to experience her first airship ride by watching the land and people disappear into tiny specks.  

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It’s altogether telling, that of all the sights and scenery promised by this airship tour, it is the mention of the Reyer City Prison that piques her interest. Must be whatever’s left of that Protectorate blood in her, trained right into her very marrow.

Ardís looks up at the Captain as he makes his speech, measured gaze not straying away until he has finished. It is not a peculiar sight to see someone so seemingly youthful at the helm of a vast flying entreprise, but she feels a slight pang of awe all the same. They are in good hands, she reckons, turning to gaze at the crowd around her when—

There is a stranger who nods at her, then, a shock of white hair on his head quite similar to her own locks. Once the surprise of the sudden recognition has simmered down to wordless curiosity, she deigns to peer closely at the man, picks out the faint telltale evidence of a bruise around his right eye, the Terran book clasped between his fingers, the weapon attached to his leg.

A foreigner to Genesaris, then, like herself, though perhaps through entirely different means.

Ardís is not one to speak to another who looks as if he is desperately reconsidering his attempt at social etiquette, but—well, perhaps she could offer some small piece of comfort. It is the least she could do. “Hello,” she offers him a faint smile, speaks to him in Terran; thank the Ang’eli for her extensive studies in languages. The word does not come out as smoothly as she would have hoped, but it is merely because she has never had the opportunity to speak it before, having spent all of her time in Genesaris since the beginning of her exile.

She is about to continue further when the Captain himself comes strolling up towards them. Ardís pivots to properly face the two men before her, straightening up her spine at the other’s approach.

“Good day, Captain,” she greets Allen once he’s reached their immediate vicinity, inclining her head in a polite bow. “T’was an excellent speech. I feel quite welcomed onboard your sterling vessel.”

 


@Vetanoob @The Rabbit Emperor

Edited by vielle

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Top Deck

On 5/7/2019 at 2:59 PM, The Rabbit Emperor said:

Leo cringed at his internal monologue, berating his awkward nature to himself as he turned to meet the Captain of the Kingfisher.

10 hours ago, vielle said:

Ardís pivots to properly face the two men before her, straightening up her spine at the other’s approach.

“Good day, Captain,” she greets Allen once he’s reached their immediate vicinity, inclining her head in a polite bow. “T’was an excellent speech. I feel quite welcomed onboard your sterling vessel.”

Allen strode towards the pair of SS passengers when they turned to register his presence. The Captain smiled and opened his arms in welcome. “Well thank you, miss! I have practiced so I'm relieved to hear it. You must be Miss Ardís Valkyrja!" Allen turned to the other white-haired passenger. "And you must be Mister Leo Jae Hyuk. Very nice to meet the both of you and welcome aboard the Kingfisher once again.” As more passengers began to fill the top deck, Allen motioned the pair to follow him. “Let’s continue this discussion in the bridge, shall we?” 


Captain's Bridge

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Spoiler

 

 

Once in the relative privacy of the bridge, Allen pulled open a drawer and took out two small devices. They were smaller than the palm of a hand, but intricately made. “Before I begin, I understand that Mister Leo is Terran, right? My attendant told me he could hear your Terric accent, so I just assumed as such. I would like each of you to have these communication earpieces so we can contact each other in the unlikely event of an emergency. These earpieces are also translation devices. So I have set the language input and output to Terric for you, Mister Leo, so it would be easier for us to talk to each other. If you want, you can try it out now.”  

“Right! Now that's settled... As the both of you may know by now, my name is Allen Arno Dorian. You can call me ‘Captain’ or just Allen is fine as well. I am the owner and commander of this ship and its crew.” Allen waved his hand towards the old soldier, who smiled and gently bowed. “This man here is Sebastian, my first mate. He oversees the ship’s security and run's the crew in my stead. If you cannot find me, he is just as capable of assisting you as well.” 
 
A serious expression crossed Allen’s face. “Now I'm guessing you might have an idea of what the special skills tickets constitute and what will be expected of you. You may have some questions as well, but first let me explain in further detail. Basically, I offer discounted tickets with enhanced privileges for special or skilled individuals such as yourselves who can be of service to the Kingfisher if an emergency arises. Although it is highly unlikely that something horrible may occur, we cannot take any chances. With the armistice between Genesaris and Terrenus, and the descaling of the military forces around the continent. Pirates and privateers have begun making a comeback and suffice to say that's not good for the air transport business.” 
 
“My own father was killed by a pirate attack in defense of the kingfisher a couple of years back.” Allen explained somberly. “Which is why a section of my crew, Sebastian and myself included are able to arm ourselves and fight if the need arises. But I prefer to keep that option as a last resort. I'm not sugarcoating this. Essentially, we're hiring the two of you to protect the ship, it's passengers, cargo and crew. The ship doesn’t have any offensive firepower of its own. We can try to outrun, out maneuver or outsmart any assailant before they get too close. But if they somehow manage to get into boarding range, I'll need you guys to be at the ready to repel them with all you got. Now if you think my crew and I will just cower and hide while leaving all the work to you? You're wrong. I personally guarantee that should pirates manage to storm the ship, my crew and I will be right there beside you to welcome them.” 
 
“But of course pirates aren’t the only danger, obviously.” Allen continued. “Malfunctions are uncommon but nothing our Chief mechanic can’t fix. There is a risk of freak magestorms, but we should be able to avoid the worst of them by flying over the clouds. So all in all it should be a pretty uneventful and enjoyable flight. If there is an emergency which requires you’re your specific skillset, we'll contact you using the earpieces. Otherwise we'll sound the general shipwide alarm and I'll need all of you to make ready and be on the top deck as soon as possible.” 
 
Captain? The ship is ready for takeoff.” An attendant’s voice crackled through a speaker embedded into the bridge’s control panel. 

“Thank you. Return to your duties.” Allen replied through the mouthpiece, then turning to the First Mate. “Sebastian, if you will?” 

“Of course, Captain.” The butler bowed, taking over the mouthpiece from the Captain. 

The speaker crackled once again. This time, it was Theresa’s motherly voice which emanated into the bridge. “Allen? Lunch is served. You can call the passengers down to the dining hall. I’ll get one of my staff to bring a serving for you and Sebastian.” 

“Thanks Theresa. Looking forward to it!” Allen hollered towards the mouthpiece’s general direction. The young Captain took a deep breath and sighed. “Wow! That was more tense that I thought it would be. But enough with the serious talk! I'm sure you're both here to enjoy yourselves and the trip to Aelindra City. Please make yourselves at home and you can make your way to the dining hall for lunch. Now before we disperse, are there any questions?” 


The Dining Hall

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Spoiler

 

Down in the dining hall, Theresa stood at the side of the kitchen’s entrance as she carefully observed the attendants preparing her food onto neatly organized bowls and plates. The Kingfisher served food differently from those of high-class yachts or rickety old sloops: The dishes would be neatly plated and prepared for the passengers to take and serve themselves. Cutlery, crockery and serviettes were self-service as well. Of course, measures were taken to ensure no single passenger would try and hoard as much food to himself as possible.  

Today Theresa was proud of her work, if she could say so herself. Even with the simplest and basic of ingredients she and her cooks were able to craft food that was tasty, yet economically viable for the ship. Of course she would have preferred more premium ingredients, but as a ship catering for the masses she surmised it was all well and good as long as they didn’t have a shortage of foodstuffs.  

Three serving tables lined up near the kitchen, each one serving a starter, main and a dessert respectively from left to right. The first table served a clear but hearty broth of pork soup. Made by simmering pork bones together with garlic, pepper with a myriad of herbs and spices plus a touch of seasoning. While lacking in extra ingredients, she made sure the kick from the spices helped to whet the appetite of the diner for the main course.  

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The next table served a mouthwatering dish of dry-aged tender beef roast stew. Dried meat was cheaper and of lower quality than fresh meat for sure. The Kingfisher also didn’t have any cold storage rooms nor did they have the space for it. However, the trick with dried meat was simple: Just add water. Steaming the meat would restore most of the original moistness and flavor. Then it was just a matter of stewing it in seasoned broth, adding potatoes, tomatoes, a touch of greens and you had a dish worthy of a mid to high class restaurant! 

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The last table served a unique dessert she came up with herself: Moist tomato cake. Due to the ships reliance on dried foodstuffs, dried tomato was the only few fruits that she had to work with. Coupled with the more cost-effective buckwheat flour and a touch of powdered milk and sugar, she managed to create a pastry that was unique yet tasty.  

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Just then, Sebastian’s voice echoed throughout the ship’s PA system. “Attention all passengers. The Kingfisher has taken off and our journey has begun. Lunch is now ready to serve, so please make your way to the dining hall and enjoy your meal courtesy of our head Chef Theresa Vellheim. If it is to your liking, you are welcome to send your regards to her in person. Thank you.” 

The widow chuckled at Sebastian’s flattery. He was such a polite and sweet man, honest and hardworking to boot. She decided she would give him an extra slice of the tomato cake as thanks later. Her attention snapped back to the present as the passengers began to fill the dining area. It was time to see how her passengers thought of her dishes!

Edited by Vetanoob

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Leo had quickly departed for his room shortly after the Captain's speech, inserting the ear piece as he descended the stairs back to the main deck. It was a convenient piece of kit, and it made his life easier instead of having to fumble with his barely conversational Genesari. Leo turned down the hall toward his room and quickly found it, being that his was the first of the 'Special' skills bunch. Quickly he slipped in, removing his teal jacket and laying it down on the bed before rummaging through his single piece of luggage. The large survival pack was expertly packed, and it didn't take him long to find exactly what he was looking for - a pair of ornate wooden chop sticks, and a trio of bowls of steadily increasing size. Utensils gathered Leo made toward the Dining Hall at a brisk pace, his hunger drawing the pace out of his walk. 

Leo made little attempt to observe the Dining Hall as he entered, focused far too much on the meal at hand then anything else. Gathering one of each course offered Leo sat at the table nearest the door, a defensive habit even his rush for food could not overcome. First came the soup, which was skillfully transferred to the largest and deepest of the wooden bowls, the lip and shape of bowl optimized for bringing it to the mouth and drinking directly from it. The stew was transferred to to the next largest bowl, a medium size piece with a raised bottom which allowed one to grip it in one palm. 

Skillfully Leo brought the bowl near his mouth, shoveling the stew with his chopsticks into his mouth. Occasionally he stopped to switch to the soup, drinking it like a beverage. For the Welander this was the most comfortable method for him to eat, forgoing the traditional utensils in favor of his obscure cultures preference. Leo had heard that there was one such culture in Genesaris itself, an Empire with a culture eerily similar to his beloved Weland. He wondered if he would be able to find any rice on his travels, imagining he would grow very homesick without it near the end of the trip. 

The thoughts of Weland caused a wince for Leo, he had not been home in some months and he heard many were leaving his once great homeland for greener pastures. "I should go see my mom after this trip." Leo muttered to himself in Welander, the translator in his ear failing to understand the obscure language and thus leaving it untranslated. 

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Minerva was too busy thinking of how much she's going to have to suck up to Nix to get him on her good side. Even a hellhound was still a dog... Even if they were the size of a lion and could destroy angels. As she was lost in her thoughts she slowly began to notice people starting to stand up, so she came back to reality quickly. She heard the last bit of the announcement saying something about the dining hall which given the time it was probably time for lunch. Quietly getting up from her chair, she straightened her dress and walked to the dining hall.

Nearing the dining hall the smell of food beckoned her closer. She could smell the beef roast stew and it made her stomach rumble. 'Oh by the unholy lords that smells absolutely delightful.' As she entered the dining hall, she could see people getting their food and sitting where they wish. Swiftly she made her way to the food, grabbing two bowls and filling them with the soup and stew, she walked over to a seat and sat next a younger man who was using a different set of bowls and chopsticks instead of what the ship's kitchen staff provided. She watched the man use the chopsticks and noted that his bowls were different in appearance.

Slightly tapping the man on his arm to get his attention, she pointed to the bowls with a spoon. "Excuse me sir. What's the significance of the different bowls? Do they function differently than an average bowl?" She was hoping to gather some insight as to why the bowls were shaped uniquely rather than simply than an average bowl.

@The Rabbit Emperor

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