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LSS: Death From The Depths



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Sun May 01, 2022 6:19 pm
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SoullessGinger says...



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(Continued)



"Wonderful! That means you can't feel how cold my hands are." She pulled the blood-soaked bandages out of the wound and replaced them with fresh ones. "Would someone mind going belowdecks, finding the galley, and setting some water to boil for me? It'll be much easier to clean these if we do it now, rather than when the blood dries in."

"I can do that," Meridian offered, and Lisa noted that he seemed a little too eager to get off the deck and away from the scene.

"Good thinking," Callista said, but without much of a bite. "This setting isn't for young folks."

"You don't have to hang around either, darling," Lisa offered. "I think I can handle this by myself."

Callista rolled her eyes. "Nope, I think I'm fine. I like seeing sandboy angry, and he's not happy that I'm here."

Rodrin sighed softly, but made no comment.

"Whatever makes you happy, darling," Lisa said, replacing the bandages once again and setting another handful of bloody bandages down next to her. "Take these down to Meridian for me, will you?"

Callista begrudgingly took them and went down belowdecks.

"Alright, I think the bleeding is slowing," Lisa continued to Rodrin. "I'm going to look for splinters now, before I start sewing you up." She pulled the bandages out again and set them to the side, then took a pair of tweezers and a small metal hook from her line of tools. Using the hook to gently pull the edges of the wound out of her way, she began to methodically examine Rodrin's back, pulling out quite a few tiny chunks of wood.

"We really should've taken care of this earlier."

"You've said that," Rodrin muttered. "We had bigger problems."

"At least you managed to hit yourself in a good spot," Lisa continued, ignoring him. "It doesn't look like anything vital is damaged, just muscles. You're going to be quite sore and stiff for a while, but you'll live, unfortunately for Callista."

"... you sent her belowdecks on purpose, didn't you. You didn't actually need new bandages in there," Rodrin said, a hint of accusation - and gratitude - in his voice.

"Nope! I just needed a minute without her and her questionable bedside manner," Lisa admitted cheerfully, after checking over her shoulder to make sure Callista wasn't coming back up to hear her. "Good vibes only in this impromptu surgery room."

Rodrin huffed, then winced. "Ow. I felt that."

"Well, if you didn't burn through the painkiller so fast, it wouldn't hurt," Lisa scolded lightly, reapplying the salve. "This is supposed to work for longer than a few minutes." She paused, then laughed. "Is this what the prophecy meant by 'a beacon of pain'? Painkillers don't work on you?"

"Maybe I shouldn't be letting someone who's possibly going to kill someone work on me, if we're going by what the prophecy says," Rodrin replied flatly.

"I told you, darling. That's Callista's line."

"I'm still suspicious," Rodrin muttered. "She was much too quick to proclaim herself a killer. She's hiding something, and I'm not sure it's murderous intent- although she probably has some of that, too. Can't feel my back again, by the way."

"Noted. I'm going to put the bandages back in there and stitch you up now- the bandages are going to keep the hole from filling with fluid or anything nasty like that."

Word Count: 1243/2500
P.S. Remember to do at least one nice thing for yourself today! I’m glad that you’re alive :)
[call me ell, or ellen, or Soulless, or Ginger, the list goes on]
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Mon May 02, 2022 2:15 am
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Omni says...



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(Continued)



"You've known Callista longer than the rest of us, right? Do you think she's a killer?"

Lisa paused in her work, then laughed. "Darling, I've known Callista since this morning. She could be a famous serial killer and I'd be none the wiser."

"... this morning? Really?"

"Mm." She threaded her needle. "We clicked rather quickly, but still. Just this morning."

"Huh."

Lisa carefully began stitching him together, using one hand to sew and the other hand to hold the edges of the wound together. The edges were rather jagged and hard to keep together properly, but that would only help things heal faster.

Callista and Meridian were walking back up the stairs-- Meridian with averted eyes, Callista with a straight face.

"And how is it going?" Callista asked.

"Almost done!" Lisa replied. "Once I'm finished with him, can I take a look at that cut on your arm, darling?"

She glanced at it, pushing aside the torn blue fabric of her sleeve. "It's not that bad."

"Didn't ask if it was bad, I asked if I could look at it."

Callista paused, thinking about it before she nodded. "Okay."

Lisa finished working and neatly tied the thread off. "Do you mind sitting up, darling? I think I'm going to put some bandages across the stitches to make sure everything stays where it should."

Rodrin obliged, wincing slightly as he got up, and she quickly bandaged him. "Alright, lovely! You're free to go, darling." She reached for a smaller black cloth as Rodrin got to his feet and began cleaning her tools.

"Guess we aren't burying you after all," Callista said-- and it was hard to interpret it for sure, but that could have been her way of saying good thing you made it.

"Great," Meridian said. "A beach funeral didn't sound fun."

"You're saying having it on a beach doesn't put the 'fun' in 'funeral'?" Lisa asked.

"I'm saying the scenery may be a little ill-suited for a somber occasion."

"True," Lisa admitted. "Although if you want to go out with a bang, then having a beach funeral is the way to go. Callista, come here."

Callista moved over to sit on the deck nearby, and Meridian went back to where he'd been plotting their course. He'd clearly already seen enough operations. Rodrin muttered something about exploring belowdecks and disappeared, leaving Lisa and Callista alone.

Lisa reached out and gently took Callista's arm to examine her cut. Callista had obviously tried to clean it herself, and she hadn't done a half-bad job, but Lisa still had to clean off a fair amount of red before she could examine the wound underneath.

As she cleaned Callista's arm, she glanced behind her to make sure that Meridian was properly out of earshot, then said, "You claimed the wrong prophecy line."

Callista's eyes went to Meridian to check the same, then back to her as she nodded. "I could say the same for you."

"I was prepared to accept my own line if it came down to it. I didn't want to be considered a potential murderer, but I could've spun it in a positive light if I had to. But then... you claimed it, making sure that wasn't necessary."

She glanced up from her work to meet Callista's eyes.

"I will not ask what secret you're trying to keep by refusing your line, but I'm willing to help you keep it by claiming it as my own as long as you need me to."

Callista paused before she agreed. "And I'll do the same. But do try not to kill me. I'd hate to fight you."

Lisa smiled, but there was no humour behind it. "Don't worry, darling. Since that line is referring to me, it's more likely referring to my own death rather than a death that I cause."

"Well, I'd hate for that to happen too."

Word Count: 1891/2500
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AceassinOfTheMoon says...



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(Continued)



"It appears Fate has other plans." She refocused on her work. "I hope it's epic, at least. I'd hate for it to be something like 'I lost my cane and fell down a flight of stairs'."

"You don't need that cane to walk." Callista shook her head. "It would be more like 'I lost my cane so I didn't have a sword to fight with, and it turns out glitter is an unsatisfactory weapon against the big bad.'"

"Ah, that's where you're wrong, darling. True, I don't need my cane most of the time, but I'd quickly stop being able to move much without it."

"Oh, I understand. I wouldn't know how to go on if I didn't have a sword with me at all times."

"Callista. Darling. It's not the sword. My joints are absolutely screwed, and if I didn't have my cane, I would also be screwed."

"Ah. You got injured?"

"Unfortunately, I've been like this since birth. I don't remember exactly what it is- something about my ligaments are too loose. Makes me very flexible and very prone to dislocating things. I've got it handled most of the time, but it makes me sore quite often, and if I dislocate a knee or an ankle, the cane is my lifeline."

Callista nodded. "I see. I respect the idea of making the most of it with a hidden sword, though."

"If I'm going to be a medical disaster, I'm going to do it in style."

She smirked. "You sure have plenty of it."

"Thank you, darling, I try." She paused for a minute, then added, "you have plenty of style as well. This is a nice tattoo- where'd you get it done?"

"Some shop in Skirys a few years ago. There's one on my other arm too, but I can't roll up my sleeve right now." Callista tilted her head to the right, indicating it.

"You can show me later, if you want." Lisa examined the cut. "I don't think this needs stitches, but it might help it heal with minimal damage to your tattoo if I do."

"Well, that would be nice then." Callista relaxed her shoulders, her muscles unstiffening.

Lisa took out the needle and threaded it again. "Does it happen to mean anything?"

"Oh, I don't know. It felt like a good call for a large arm tattoo." She could tell she wasn't getting a straightforward answer. Tattoos weren't usually uninspired decisions.

"Fun." Lisa started the first stitch. She hadn't used the painkiller like she had for Rodrin, but this was a lot less serious. It seemed like Callista could take it anyway, with her reaction being limited to a slight grimace. "Well, if you've got tattoos, you're clearly fine with needles."

"True," Callista agreed. "I had to develop a resistance."

Lisa worked on stitching the cut up as the minutes went by. When she'd finished, she swapped the needle and string for another bandage, which she wrapped around Callista's arm. "I hope we don't make a habit out of injuring ourselves. We don't want to run out of these."

"Yeah, I think we want to avoid going to a port for as long as possible. Did you take a look at food supplies? Because we're good for now on weapons."

"We should be fine on that front too. Do you happen to be hungry?"

"Yes," Callista said firmly. "It must be about time for dinner." She paused. "Oh, wait. Are we all going to have to sit around a table together?"

"That is generally what happens when multiple people eat together," Lisa said. "No reason to be antisocial."

"Is it a reason against that I'm going to be very unpleasant if we do that?"

"I'm sure you can be on your best behavior just this once."

Callista blew out a sigh. "Fine," she said, as they stood up and walked towards the stairs leading down. "But we may want to eat with spoons. Forks and knives carry a stabbing risk with me."

"Don't be ridiculous," Lisa said teasingly. "We all know you're taking your sword with you and no one is safe."

"Not wrong," Callista agreed.

Meridian, who they'd gotten closer to and could now hear them, gave them an alarmed look as they passed him.

Word Count: 2605/2500
I resonate with my villains more than my heroes and I think that says something about my state of mind

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SilverNight says...



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Apparently, a near-death experience wasn't enough to stop dinner from happening. Callista had been about to pop the question of what the plan would be, when she and Lisa had seen Rodrin already at work in the ship's kitchen. He was leaning over a board that he was using to cut vegetables and was focused enough on the task that he barely noticed them entering.

"What's this?" Callista asked. "Sandboy can cook?"

"It's my job," he replied, picking the chopped bits up and tossing them in a pot of boiling water. "A honorable one at that."

"Careful, Callista," Lisa said lightly. "Don't mock anyone who's going to be serving you food."

"Is he going to poison me?" Callista widened her eyes, pretending to be scared. "Is that still honorable?"

"Perhaps not as much as defeating you in hand-to-hand combat," Rodrin said, turning away from them as he seasoned a cut of beef with herbs. "But not entirely below me."

"If someone asks to be poisoned, it really can't be considered dishonourable to do so," Lisa pointed out.

"Right. Well, I request not to be poisoned, so now he can't do that," Callista said. "I'm only saying that to save him the embarrassment of needing to stoop so low."

Rodrin waved a knife at them-- not an attack, but a gesture of dismissal. "Out of my kitchen, or you get the worst serving at dinner."

"Now that's a threat I'd worry about," Callista told Lisa as they walked out. "Death doesn't scare me, but undercooked meat does."

"I'm very offended that you think I'd undercook something," the self-declared chef (unless it actually was his job?) yelled after them. "I have standards."

"You'll see how high those standards are when you actually taste his food," Lisa muttered to Callista. "He seems confident, but confidence often comes along with incompetency."

"At least he knows what herbs are. If he burns that beef, it'll taste bad, but it'll taste bad with an additional hint of scalded rosemary."

"Does that make it better or worse, though?"

"Hmm." Callista pondered it. "I'm not sure, but either way I'll get to point it out, and that delight will be sweeter than anything else."

"You take too much pleasure in bullying him, darling," Lisa teased.

"Of course! It's fun. Easiest source of pleasure when you don't care much."

"Well, whatever makes you happy. Word of advice, though, darling- don't take it too far. We're most likely going to be stuck together for a very, very long time, and it's going to stop being fun if you two become true enemies. If not for you, then for Meridian and I." She smiled to soften her words. "And I can make life quite unpleasant for you if you make life unpleasant for me."

"Really?" Callista asked. "If one of us stabs the other wouldn't it be more tranquil on board afterwards?"

There was the sound of someone clearing their throat, and they both turned around to see Meridian. He must have made his way down the stairs without them noticing. So he's sneaky, Callista thought. That still wasn't something she could do very well. Armor was hardly ideal for stealth. Maybe she'd have to watch out for him.

"Please, no stabbing," he said uncomfortably. "We just went over this."

"And I don't listen," Callista said flatly. "That should be clear by now."

"I'm going to do my best to keep her from stabbing anyone," Lisa promised, taking Callista's arm. She gave her a weird look at the contact, but if the gambler noticed it, she gave no reaction. "I don't know how well I can fight against fate, if she's supposed to stab someone, but I can try, can't I?"

Meridian sighed and sank into a chair at the dining table. "Well, best of luck. Maybe she'll just fire a cannon at someone if stabbing's off the table."

"Speaking of cannons," Callista jumped in.

"Oh. Here it comes," he muttered.

"They're in pretty good shape. Only one seems to be faulty, and since there's only four of us it's not like we'd be able to use them all at once anyway. I have experience running them, so I could easily take over that job."

Meridian turned to Lisa. "Should I be worried that I mentioned murder by cannonball and she immediately decided she should be in charge of that?"

"As long as you stay out of the line of fire, I think you're safe," Lisa assured him. "I don't think even Callista can make cannons fire backwards, so maybe just stay on that side of the cannon."

"Very true," Callista agreed. "There's a reason they don't rotate very much."

Meridian rapped his fingers on the table, but he was wearing gloves, so it barely made the usual sound that would create. "Well. If we're talking roles and duties, then obviously I should serve as cartographer. We're sailing into tierra ignota and we'll need the most accurate navigation that we can get."

"You just want to make more maps, don't you," Lisa teased.

"Children will pick a hobby and base their entire identity around it," Callista said.

Meridian groaned. "Yes, maybe I do want that. You'll be glad for all the maps when we make it there safe and sound."

"Of course, of course," Lisa agreed. "Maps are quite important, no matter the reason you're making them."

Word Count: 903/2500
Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47.


okay but does this mean I have a melting point of 1763.2 °F



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AceassinOfTheMoon says...



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(Continued)



"And what about you then?" Meridian asked as they took a spot at the table as well.

"Me?" Lisa asked. "Mm... I don't really do things, darling. I'm here to entertain and be entertained- and apparently stitch up people when they get injured."

"Sorry, Lisa, but you need a job besides being fabulous and occasionally pulling out the sewing needle," Callista said. Had she said fabulous? Too late to take it back, but maybe it wouldn't get noticed.

"Being fabulous takes up most of my energy, though," Lisa protested. "It's difficult, darling."

Well, maybe she wasn't that lucky. At least she didn't blush.

"And in your spare time, when you aren't trying to be-- fabulous?" Meridian asked.

"I'm offended that you think I ever look less than perfect," Lisa replied. "There's no break from being this amazing."

He rolled his eyes. "The question stands."

"I told you- I don't really do things."

"As fun as it is, you need something to do besides stand around and look pretty," Callista reminded her. Pretty? Damn, her tongue was betraying her with every word now.

Lisa stood up and clicked her fingers, immediately disappearing from view. "Nnnnnnnnnnope," her disembodied voice replied, sounding slightly fainter as if she was walking away even though there was no sound of footsteps. "We have all the important jobs covered, correct? Then I need to do nothing."

"Didn't take you for being a lazy kind of person," Callista accused the empty air. She was fairly certain, even though Lisa's voice had left, she was still physically there.

"... we need a quartermaster, I suppose," Lisa's voice replied after a moment. "I could do that."

"...what."

"A quartermaster. You can still hear me, right?"

"You like math?" Callista asked disbelievingly.

"I'm aware we've just met, but arithmetic did not seem like your thing," Meridian agreed.

"I gamble for a living, darlings. If I didn't have good math skills, I wouldn't be very good at that, would I?"

"I just thought you were altering the laws of addition or what-have-you," Callista said.

"I make things sparkle, not alter reality, despite how cool that would be. Besides, if I could alter the laws of addition, I wouldn't need to gamble. I could simply say that all the gold I had added up to billions of gold pieces, and I'd be set for life."

"I'm so bad at math that you could say that without any reality-altering and I'd just believe you." Callista sighed. "Okay, so I'll mock you for being a nerd later. Have you already taken a look at the supplies? I've checked the armory, but that's it."

There was a brief pause, and then Lisa's notebook dropped out of thin air, open to the pages covered in neat rows of numbers. "A brief glance, yes."

Callista squinted at it. She wasn't quite willing to mention that her reading skills were also shaky and she couldn't be completely sure what item each set of numbers belonged to. But Meridian saved her from having to point that out with an appreciative whistle. "I'd say that seems more observant than a quick look."

"We're going to need to teach you about sarcasm, darling. Yes, I spent a fair amount of effort on this- no one else seemed like they were going to, and I like to know what I'm working with before it becomes necessary."

"Of course we weren't going to," Callista said. "We don't do math."

"Math is important. It helps with recipes," Rodrin said, coming out of nowhere with a large dinner platter-- then bumped into something invisible. He stumbled back, barely holding onto the tray in his surprise.

"Ah!" Lisa yelped. "Hey- watch where you're going!" The table shook slightly as she invisibly stumbled into it, and she reappeared, leaning on the table and rubbing her bruised shoulder.

"How do I watch where I'm going?" Rodrin protested. "You're invisible!"

For once, Callista had to agree that was a perfectly reasonable remark, but she wasn't about to show it. "It's your fault for not having illusion-proof vision," she said, and her comment was rewarded by Rodrin setting the plate with the smallest portion of meat on it in front of her.

She was a few steps ahead though. It only looked the smallest. Served him right for not seeing through the tricks.

Word Count: 1643/2500
I resonate with my villains more than my heroes and I think that says something about my state of mind

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SoullessGinger says...



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(Continued)




Meridian took a fork and knife and cut through his own serving after Rodrin had passed out all the plates. "This looks good," he said lightly.


Lisa leaned over to Callista. "No poison?" she whispered.


"Still alive," she whispered back.


She nodded and leaned back. "This does look good," she complimented Rodrin. "You're full of surprises, aren't you? How long have you been doing this?"


"Long enough."


"Probably since the beginning of time," Callista commented in between bites. No one had noticed her knife sometimes cut into thin air. "You're about that old, right, Sandboy?"


"Did you teach yourself?" Lisa continued, ignoring Callista. "I'd love to pick up cooking - it's a useful skill - but I've never really had the time, either to teach myself or have someone else teach me."


"... I taught myself," Rodrin answered reluctantly.


"Really!" Lisa rested her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands. "Have you always had an interest in this, or was this skill a recent aquisition?"


"Recent."


"So, in your lifespan, still around the dawn of time," Callista concluded.


"You're not funny, you know that?" Rodrin said flatly, stabbing a piece of meat with more force than he needed to.


"I'm not?" she asked innocently.


He just grunted quietly in response and continued eating in silence.


"No, really, I'd love to hear your feedback," she said through a grin. "Gotta make the remarks as accurate as possible."


Infuriatingly, he remained silent and for the most part, kept his expression free of annoyance. He was - unfortunately - quickly wising up to her tricks. Meridian and Lisa were starting to give her looks. She felt like sighing but didn't. Wow, they were going to make her feel bad about this.


"It might not actually hurt to have friendlier dinner conversation," Meridian pointed out.


"I was trying!" Lisa protested. "It's hard when your dinner companions keep insulting each other-" she pointed to Callista "- and don't say anything." She pointed to Rodrin. "Meridian, would you like to have a civil conversation?"


I'm not sure I could hold a conversation without insults, Callista thought. But Meridian beat her to a comment. "Yes please."


Lisa got up and changed spots at the table to sit next to Meridian, and the two of them immediately struck up a conversation - about math, of all things. Was that just to spite Callista for her comment earlier? - leaving Rodrin and Callista to sit in silence.


It led to a staring contest.


He pretended not to notice for a good twenty seconds that she was glaring at him through narrowed eyes, but eventually he couldn't help it and had to look up. For a good minute, it was all scowling and gripping their silverware without moving while Meridian and Lisa were either oblivious or just very good at pretending. Callista was pretty sure neither of them had blinked yet. Maybe they would keep this up for a while--


Something white-gold and moving flashed into her vision, and she noticed the chair being yanked from underneath her. She barely had time to stand before she could fall and swung her arm out by instinct. Her fist collided with something heavy and grainy, and just a second later she was covered in sand. Spluttering, she tried to shake it out of her hair, wiping it out of her eyes and away from her mouth. Rodrin was already back in his seat, arms folded over his chest. The challenging look had never left his eyes.


Callista felt her fists clenching, shaking with anger barely stored as potential energy. He could not just get away with that.


"Rodrin!" Meridian exclaimed. "That was rude."


Lisa sighed softly. "Alright, enough. Rodrin, that was out of line." She gestured toward the door. "Get out. Come back when you've calmed down."


"Or don't," Callista muttered. "That's fine too."


Rodrin glared at her and didn't move, ignoring Lisa.


"That was not a request," Lisa said, and the tone of her voice was suddenly serious and commanding enough to make Meridian flinch away from her a little. "If you're going to start attacking people, no matter what they've done to you, then you need to get. Out."


Callista's pride was a little stung that she needed someone to stand up for her, but she did kind of appreciate it. Also, there were bigger things happening here.


"Was she not out of line too?" Rodrin argued.


"Well, maybe?" Meridian said weakly. "But you're supposed to be the good example here if you want to be at the wheel."


"So she's not accountable," Rodrin said flatly.


"Oh, she is," Lisa replied, and her tone was almost enough to make Callista shiver. Almost. Callista wasn't that pathetic.


Lisa paused, and her eyes took on a glint that Callista didn't like. "So lets make sure she is held to a standard."


"Stop talking about me in the third person," Callista muttered.


"If Rodrin's going to be our captain and navigator, make Callista the first mate. You'll hold each other accountable- and Meridian and I, as crewmates, will do the same to make sure our lives aren't miserable."

Silence fell for a few seconds.


"You can't be serious," Rodrin said.


"She sounded pretty serious to me," Meridian said.


Rodrin ignored him. "Her? That's a terrible idea."




"Well, I'm for it," Callista said. "Someone has to be the safeguard when you mess up."


"Callista, shut up," Lisa ordered, and Callista felt the slightest twinge of shame at Lisa's tone of near-disgust. "Rodrin, I don't care if you don't like the idea or not. Either we all start holding each other accountable for our actions, start working together, and you two grow the hell up, or we find the nearest port where I can get off and never have to deal with you two again."


Callista hoped she didn't mean that, but it was hard to tell with how convincing and certain it sounded. She took a deep breath.


She wasn't going to have Lisa leave, not on her watch, so she was going to have to try something that went against all her training and instincts. De-escalation.


She did her best to relax her face of all hostility when she looked back at Rodrin. "I think I'm mature enough to make that work. And I'm also willing to overlook that I'm absolutely covered in sand right now."


That wouldn't happen often. But neither did apologies and she'd already done one of those today.


Rodrin was still glaring, but his broad shoulders sank in a resigned sigh. "Fine."


The two of them shook on it. She made a show of dusting off her hands of the sand that still stuck to her, and they both squeezed each others' hand with much more force than was necessary, but it was a handshake nonetheless. The tension hanging in the air seemed to ease a little.


"Good. At least this adventure won't be a total failure from the beginning," Lisa muttered. "Although I'm not going to get my hopes up." She got to her feet and returned to her first seat, grabbing her cane and heading for the door.


She never got there, though.


The boat shuddered and tilted several degrees to one side, causing those of them who were standing to lose their balance and stumble to the floor and those sitting to fall out of their chairs. Most of the plates slid off the table and shattered around them. Callista reached out for something to hold on to, but there wasn't anything. She only realized her nails were digging into the wooden boards of the floor when the ship finally became level again.


"What was that?" Meridian asked finally, with all the bewilderment that such a question required.


The ship rocked again, even more wildly this time, but in the other direction. Callista couldn't help but let out a yell as she rolled over the floor and slammed into a wall, and she wasn't the only one. They were scattered across the room by the time the ship finally stabilized, but there had been a terrifying moment where she'd been convinced they'd tipped too far and were about to capsize. It wasn't often she considered her mortality this much.


Rodrin had managed to get on his hands and knees, and he was scrambling towards the stairs. "There's something in the water slamming into us!" he shouted. "We need to get on deck."


But how? Callista thought. The floor wasn't even moving at this moment and it was still tilting before her eyes.


One hand in front of the other. First rule of survival was to keep going. Usually it would be feet in the saying, but she knew she wouldn't have that kind of balance.


She gritted her teeth as she crawled after Rodrin, her heart racing faster every time the thing rammed into the side of the boat again. Lisa and Meridian had also recovered enough to keep moving, although one of Lisa's shoulders - on the side that she'd slammed into a wall, Callista presumed - was looking a little off, and Callista was suddenly reminded of what Lisa had said earlier about being prone to dislocating her joints. She could only hope they'd be able to do something about it soon.


It was a challenge that she couldn't have imagined to get up the stairs, clinging at the railing and losing ground every time the world rattled. But finally they were all at the top, panting on the deck, still on the ground for better stability.


"Where is it?" Callista rasped, trying to raise her head enough to see over the ship's edge.


She needn't have strained her neck. It soon made itself obvious. The surface broke in a loud crashing of waves, and then something unimaginably huge towered above them. Its jaw opened wide to reveal fangs the size of her arm, and it let out a long, wicked hiss. The creature's tail was raised from the water behind it, stirring up a whirlpool.


"And here I was thinking that this day couldn't get worse," Lisa breathed. "But gods above. That is a big-ass snake."


Wordcount: 3345/2500
P.S. Remember to do at least one nice thing for yourself today! I’m glad that you’re alive :)
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Mon May 16, 2022 3:30 am
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Omni says...



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If he was perfectly honest with himself, Meridian genuinely couldn't tell if he was more concerned about the gigantic, submarine monster currently towering over their ship, or the fact that Rodrin and Callista were supposed to be keeping that same ship afloat. Either way, the odds didn't seem to be in their favor. Seawater spilled onto the deck, falling off the serpent in sheets.

Meridian might have taken a moment then to admire the thing; even if it wasn't easily fifty feet long, it would have been no less impressive. It had scales a richer turquoise than a king peacock and eyes nearly as gold as Lisa's wide assortment of jewlery. But, alas, they had bigger problems; as it looked down at the four of them, Meridian came to realize that it was very, very hungry.

It lunged down at them, scattering the group across the deck. Meridian came up guns firing, but each bullet seemed to barely faze the creature. "Uh, I don't suppose anyone has any experience with sea serpents? Or at the very least, a plan?"

He rolled away from it again, as the mighty head of the thing snapped shut where he had been just a moment ago.

"I have a plan. How about not dying?" Callista hollered over the sound of the waves crashing. She was wildly swinging her sword around, trying to drive it back, with little thought to strategy.

Meridian hoped his gaze resembled a pair of extremely well sharpened daggers. "Now. Is NOT. the time!" He said through gritted teeth, attempting to not get crushed by tons of writhing snake.

"I agree," Rodrin grumbled from behind him. He was having the same problem as Meridian, but he was having an easier time with it. The serpent's jaws kept closing on sand.

"Well, if you object and you're trying to save your breath, then spare me your thoughts and stay quiet forever," she snapped at them.

Lisa, after assessing the situation, had quickly retreated to the staircase where the snake would have a harder time reaching her. "Sea serpents aren't malicious, usually," she shouted, cutting off any further arguing. "If we can survive long enough to convince it that we aren't good prey, it'll back off."

"I wish we didn't look like a four course dinner then," Callista said. "Maybe we should feed it what Rodrin made? Though I'm not sure it'd be... satisfying."

"Maybe we feed you to the snake," Rodrin snapped.

"Nope!" Meridian yelled. "Pirates are off the menu."

Callista rolled her eyes. "Bet you can't stab this snake harder than I can, Rodrin."

"Oh, really?" Rodrin raised his sword higher and made direct eye contact with the hissing serpent. "It'll be snake tartare when I'm done with it."

Meridian tried not to think of how awful that dish would be, even if he was a good cook. "Will not even a gigantic sea snake stop your arguing?," he protested, but he could tell the two of them weren't kidding. "Oh, come on. Lisa, I beg you, please back me up on this."

"Your petty rivalry is going to get you both killed," Lisa snapped, agreeing whole-heartedly with Meridian. "Think with something other than your swords!"

"Or it could save us all," Callista objected, twirling her sword. "Because I am definitely in the mood to fight hard right now."

"Can we at least come up with a plan? Something more likely to keep us all alive than 'swing sword until the enemy stops moving'?"

"Maybe something... less stabby?" Meridian stepped forward, lowering the angle of his pistols slightly, but still keeping them raised in case he needed to shoot fast. "If you'd stop the biting for a moment.. sir... maybe we could come to a profitable conclusion."

Hiss.

"Noted. Thank you for sharing. Any input is much appreciated. I'm sure some other pirate ship would love to have this same conversation. Maybe.. take the southern current down to Mortula? I've heard it's nice this time of year."

Did the snake understand big words like transportation? He wasn't sure he could talk any further without monologuing about the geographic nautical systems.

The serpent's tongue flicked out of its mouth. Maybe it did get the general idea. He would love to go back downstairs and keep eating.

But his hopes vanished when it struck, lightning-fast, its jaw opening wide to swallow him. Rodrin pulled him back at the last moment, and a pair of fangs punctured the deck right where he'd been standing. He shivered as it pulled back and he could see the dent in the wood that it had made.

"Thank you, Meridian, you're such a helpful crewmate," Callista said flatly, her sarcasm dripping like venom. "Anyway, I like my strategy better."

Word Count: 791/2500
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Mon May 16, 2022 3:38 am
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SoullessGinger says...



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(Continued)




"None of you ever shut up, do you," Rodrin spat. He lunged for the snake, drawing a ferocious hiss from the serpent as it focused on him and his flashing blade. Its tail snapped up from the waves and flicked him across the deck. All of them winced.


"Unlike ground beef, a snake tartare can still fight back. Did you count on that, or are you only used to fighting inanimate things that can only sit there on a cutting board?" Callista said through a grimace.


Rodrin's glare was scalding as he got to his feet. "You try fighting this monster with insults."


"Well, someone's already proven words don't work as well on this as they do on you." Callista sighed. She charged forward as the snake turned its head towards her. She rolled to avoid getting bitten, and plunged her sword into the neck of the creature. The snake hissed, and pulled back-- with her sword still lodged in the scales.


"How are you going to stab it now?" Rodrin asked, not even needing to sound smug.


Callista jabbed a finger at him. "If I have to, I will put you in a cannon, and I will fire you right at it."


"I think I'm going to let the snake eat me so I don't have to listen to either of you anymore," Lisa muttered, still loudly enough for everyone to hear her over the fight. She pulled her pistol out of her side holster and, taking aim, fired at the snake, barely missing its eye. Despite her awkward position being half-hidden in the staircase and her dislocated shoulder, she was at least trying to help.


The serpent rose up higher, trying to get a better look at her position.


"Now it's out of range," Meridian exclaimed, struggling to get a target as Rodrin raised a sword that would be useless from that far away. "We need to get it closer again--"


The monster made waves crash against the side of the boat as it plunged downward towards the staircase, jaws open wide.


"Not that close!" he shouted as Callista screeched.


Remarkably, Lisa remained outwardly calm as the snake lunged for her, quickly firing off a few more bullets directly into the serpent's mouth. Blood dripping from its fangs, it reeled awkwardly to the side and crashed into the deck beside the staircase.


Callista ran forward and yanked out her sword, taking a few scales with it. But she didn't go for the head just yet. Her eyes were wide as she stared at Lisa. "Are you o--"


The snake wasn't done yet. It slammed into the swordswoman with a twist of the head, then lunged for Lisa again, hooking a fang through her sleeve and dragging her out onto the deck  as it pulled back away. With a jerk of its head, it tossed her in the air and grabbed her more firmly between its jaws as she screamed.


"Lisa!" Despite the fact that he'd known the woman for less than forty eight hours, the sight of her being partially devoured by an enormous sea serpent shook him. A lot. He'd gotten used to seeing crewmates and friends die at sea. That was the life each of them chose to live; the danger was part of the freedom of being a pirate. But it never really got any easier, the death part. 



"Damn it!" He yelled, not truly in control of where his feet were taking him, just sure that there was no way Lisa would be one of those he had to remember. He charged at the thing, ripping off his gloves and attempting to do the one thing he had promised himself he'd never do again. 


Colliding with its coils, Meridian pushed his hands against the snake's scales, forcing his mind and Affinity against the serpent's. He let the dam break, flooding the snake's mind with memories of the explosion; a flash of intensely painful light and heat, singeing his skin. The sharp flares of pain erupting all across his body. That horrible swimming feeling that happened each time debris fell and hit his head.


The vision suddenly ended as he was thrown back to the deck, landing on his back, mind still reeling. The snake recoiled, rearing back it's head, as if trying to shake away the explosion.  Meridian scanned the deck for Lisa. God, let the snake have dropped her to the deck and not into the ocean somewhere; why hadn't he thought of that? 


Why hadn't he thought at all?


His heart sank as he saw her lying on the deck- ominously, horribly still, a few more joints out of place.


There was no time to do anything about that, though; the snake was already attacking again, diving for Meridian. Callista and Rodrin shouted something and dashed forward, but they weren't quick enough to keep the snake from slamming into Meridian and tossing him to the side, pushing him over the railing with its nose. With a screech of metal on scales, the snake reeled back, and Meridian wrapped his ungloved fingers around the bars of the railing, dangling helplessly as visions of the ship assailed his exhausted mind.


Somewhere he could hear Callista and Rodrin trying to rally and fight the beast, but the ship seemed to pull him in, giving up her memories easily. Everything to do with his Affinity came easily when he didn't fight it. But it was so wrong; peering into minds without permission, watching people's darkest battles... It was unnatural, invasive, disgusting. But so easy. So wonderfully easy. 


A captain stabbed in the back- dagger buried up to the hilt, made of silver and rubies, glittering malevolently in the light of a half moon. Waves taller than mountains tossing the ship to and fro like she was nothing. A strange woman standing at the bow of the ship, reaching out to the figurehead as if she wanted to say something. But no, her hand hovered there in the air for a moment more, before a strange blue light lit up the chained siren depicted in the figurehead. A quiet word slipped from her mouth, 'We wait, until our song echoes over the sea."


And then he returned, arms aching, hands slipping, to the ship where he might meet his end. It was an unsatisfying thought, to die without fulfilling his life's goal. To die without ever seeing his sister again, safe and on land. 


Word Count: 1805/2500
P.S. Remember to do at least one nice thing for yourself today! I’m glad that you’re alive :)
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Mon May 16, 2022 3:44 am
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AceassinOfTheMoon says...



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(Continued)



He couldn't see the battle up on deck anymore, but Callista and Rodrin's shouts and the hissing of the snake let him know that it was intensifying. He tried to pull himself up, but immediately flinched back down as Rodrin stumbled against the railing.

"Come on, you damn snake!" Callista shouted. "Come and get me!"

Hissssssssssss!

"We need a better way of holding it off!" Rodrin's voice was louder than even the roaring waves, and only just starting to sound panicked.

"... take out its teeth."

Lisa's voice was barely audible to Meridian, but it was audible nonetheless.

"Damage at least one of its fangs. It'll back off to make sure we can't do any more damage there and retreat back to wherever it came from."

He wasn't sure the other two could hear, so he repeated it louder. "Lisa says to go after the fangs!"

Rodrin and Callista's voices went silent, and the only sounds of the conflict were their swords bouncing off against scales and the hissing of the snake.

"We have to get its mouth open without getting swallowed whole," Rodrin said quietly at last.

"Then we'll have to let it think it's getting a shot at a meal," Callista said. For once, she'd said something without a jibe or a hint of sarcasm. "I think we can do that."

"Lisa, can you still help?" Rodrin asked.

"I can still use my Affinity, if that's what you're asking."

"Right. We'll need both of you to make it as convincing as possible." Meridian still couldn't see, but he imagined their captain standing taller as he said it. "I'm going to create a sand clone. Lisa, you'll hide me. Callista, make the clone look as appetizing as possible. And Meridian... well, try to hold on."

"Understood."

Meridian spotted a cutlass being raised, which told him Rodrin was trying to get the serpent's attention. Letting out a grunt of effort, he dug the toes of his boots into the side of the boat, pushing himself a little higher so he could see better. The snake's head hovered above as it considered, then it struck. All it managed to do was bite into sand. Rodrin reappeared on the other side. Just as quickly, he disappeared again.

Callista's hands were raised to perform her part of the illusion. The sand came together into a figure again, and slowly started gaining features. Soon, it looked so much like Rodrin that it was hard to tell that it was fake at all. After careful observation, Meridian could only spot two differences-- the illusion was holding the cutlass in the wrong hand, and the symbol on his belt wasn't there, but that appeared to be it. It was masterfully done, especially for something done so quickly.

"Come and get me!" the clone yelled, and the voice even sounded like Rodrin's.

Behind the serpent's head, on the other side of the deck, there was a creaking of floorboards. Lisa was shaking her head desperately at empty space telling the real Rodrin to stay still and quiet. Luckily, the monster didn't notice, and was persuaded by the trick.

The snake's hiss sounded more demonic than ever, and its tail slammed down on the water's surface. Meridian yelped as powerful waves rocked the boat and he held on tighter.

Please, let this be over soon. He wasn't sure how much longer he could hold on, and if he fell in the water, he was done for. It would be pirate take-out food.

He would've let out a sigh of relief when he saw the snake go right for the trap, if the sight wasn't so terrifying. A beastly shadow fell over the deck as the jaw opened wide, ready to engulf the illusion. For a moment, he forgot it wasn't Rodrin, and he almost closed his eyes. Meridian fought past his instinct to look away and managed to watch what happened next.

As the snake's mouth was open, ready to bite down, Callista's sword came at it from the side and sliced into a glistening fang while a wound caused by Rodrin's invisible blade appeared along the side of its neck. Both of them let out a battle cry.

Meridian would never forget that a high-pitched hiss was no different from a shriek.

The monster reeled back, with half of its left fang missing. But the pirates weren't done with it yet. Sparks danced from Lisa's fingers like firecrackers as the ship lit up, and a blinding display of colorful flares shot up from the deck. If the snake wasn't demoralized enough already, it was definitely done with them now. There was a mighty splash as it ducked underwater again, and then nothing but ripples in its wake as it swam off, in search of more docile prey that wouldn't leave it so traumatized.

The three on board were letting out sighs of relief. Rodrin was visible again, sinking to the deck as he dismissed the sand from the discarded illusion. Lisa was searching for her cane, which Callista picked up and passed along to her so she could stand.

Word Count: 2611/2500
I resonate with my villains more than my heroes and I think that says something about my state of mind

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Mon May 16, 2022 4:05 am
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SilverNight says...



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(Continued)



"Not bad for a team of four," Rodrin said approvingly.

"Are you okay?" Callista asked Lisa with genuine concern. "It nearly got you."

"Don't worry, darling, this isn't my first close brush with death," Lisa said- avoiding the question of whether or not she was alright, Meridian noted.

"I mean, it's the third or fourth time today, yes. But maybe the closest so far."

"Well, I'm not dead, so it's fine." Casually, she clicked one of her shoulders back into place. "And things could certainly have gone worse."

No thanks to me, Meridian thought.

"I know how to pop joints back in place," Rodrin said. "Which ones are the problem?"

It looked like they'd forgotten all about him, hanging on to the railing for dear life. Great for him.

Meridian cleared his throat. "Um. A little help, please?"

They all turned to face him. "Oh, you're still alive," Callista said. "Good for you." She turned back to Lisa, clearly having reached the end of the attention she was willing to give him. "So--"

"I could use some assistance," Meridian said in a meaningful, sharp tone.

Callista rolled her eyes, but she went over to the railing, grabbing his hands and hauling him up. "See, not that hard--"

Too late, Meridian saw that his gloves were several feet away on the deck, and not covering his hands.

Not again. It never got any easier.

Meridian found himself kneeling on a marble floor. The surface was cold, chilling his shins through the pants he was wearing, and he studied the pattern of the design. The marble came in different colors, pearly-white in some places, ink-black in others, with lines of deep red dividing them. He realized he was getting a pain in his neck from keeping his head down.

No, this wasn't him. This was Callista. Who would Callista kneel to?

She kept her head low, but as her gaze slowly traveled up, Meridian got a better look at her surroundings. She-- he-- they were in a throne room, directly before the seats of power. There were two people sitting in them, a man and a woman, with another woman standing just to the side. They were dressed in fancy robes, but they didn't look expensive enough for monarchy-- maybe just nobility. Meridian heard whispers behind her, and something told him that she was in front of a crowd. But Callista didn't turn back to face them.

The woman to the side of the thrones was the focus of her attention. She seemed to be in her mid-twenties, which made her easily thirty years younger than the nobles to her left. She wore a red dress and gold jewelry, but her pose was enough to confirm she was also a noble. It suggested power, and a willingness to use it. Over her shoulder, he spotted a coat of arms with a red flame to the right and green vines to the left, with a gray thundercloud in between.

She stepped forward, and Callista's gaze immediately snapped down as the hushed whispers quickly went silent. Meridian felt fear flood through him, and it felt like his own even though it was hers.

He saw the woman's shoes on the marble in front of them, but that was all of her that he could see when she was standing here. A warm glow lit the area, coming from directly above. In the reflection of the marble, he could see the woman was holding out her arm and had summoned light into her palm-- and Callista's face, looking younger by a year or two, and clearly struggling to remain a blank mask.

He heard her saying something in a language that he didn't know, but even if he could understand it, it seemed like she'd tried to forget the words. They sounded warped and distorted, like she was talking underwater. The voice was there, but the sounds were too difficult to really make out.

Meridian didn't know how long it lasted, but he had to guess it was several minutes. Callista stayed as still as a statue throughout it. When the glow dimmed and the crowd behind began to cheer, he knew it was over.

It wasn't the last thing he saw, though. Callista dared to glance up one more time. He saw that the woman's gaze was calm but merciless-- and that her dress was a different color entirely now.

And he was back, breathing heavily on the deck of the ship. Callista was a few feet away, staring down at him with a look of absolute horror. This day could not go any worse.

"Did a static shock get you or something?" Rodrin asked, frowning in confusion.

Meridian tried to shake his head, but he couldn't move. "I need my gloves back," he said, very quietly.

Callista picked them up and practically threw them at him. He barely managed to catch them and he hurriedly put them back on. If only they could protect him from their stares digging into him.

Keep thy secrets close and thy hands away... He was sure the line was going through her mind.

"It's been a long day," Lisa said softly, back on her feet and leaning on her cane. "We should all get some rest. There are quarters and cabins for the crew downstairs..." She waved them away, and they all slowly followed.

Meridian could still feel Callista looking at him. At least she seemed too stunned to ask questions. He wondered if-- no, he was sure that-- he'd have some new problems in the morning.

Word Count: 3542/2500
Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47.


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Sun May 22, 2022 10:22 pm
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Omni says...



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The sun had barely risen past the horizon, sending golden rays shimmering off the restless water of the sea, when Lisa sauntered casually into the kitchen - well, sauntered as casually as she could while leaning heavily on a cane and suffering silently in extreme pain every time she moved - where Rodrin was already making himself breakfast; a simple business of bread with butter, a few strips of bacon, and eggs. The kitchen had very quickly become his safe space. Well- not safe, Callista could still bother him in here, but it was still his space, and that gave it at least a measure of safe-feeling.

"Morning," she said pleasantly. He acknowledged her with a silent nod and continued with his work, back to her. Unintimidated by his apparent efforts to ignore her, she crossed the room and lightly lifted herself up to sit on the counter next to where he was working, ignoring the flare of pain in her hips, shoulders, and elbows. "How are you doing, darling? Slept okay? No unusual pain from your back? You didn't tear open your stitches yesterday?"

His shoulders rose and fell in a quiet sigh. "I'm fine. My back is fine. I slept fine."

"Good. I would still like to look at your back properly later, just to be sure, if that's alright?"

"Do whatever you need to." He glanced at her finally and raised one eyebrow. "You're certainly looking much less..."

"... like an eyesore?" Lisa suggested brightly, twirling a lock of blue hair innocently around her finger at him.

"... Sparkly," Rodrin finished. "I didn't think you'd own anything this plain."

She glanced down at her loose shirt and pants, both made of warm, sturdy fabric; the shirt coloured a warm cream and the pants simple brown. Her only jewelry was a pair of silver studs in her ears and her black septum piercing; the rest of her glitter and gold was safely tucked away where the sea air wouldn't damage it. Even her boots were plainer; missing the gold border and dark velvet of her 'work shoes'.

"I'm full of surprises," she replied with a shrug. "Besides, I really can't wear my fancier outfits right now. I don't usually wear my more expensive clothes at sea anyway, but I definitely need something a little sturdier right now." She rolled up one sleeve of her loose shirt to show him the metal braces holding her wrist and elbow into place.

"These things would tear through my fancier things like wet paper every time I moved. The endless rubbing of the metal on fabric is simply not a good combination," she finished. "And while I do like looking fabulous and blinding everyone, I like not suffering even more."

"Are you hurting that badly?" he asked, a genuine note of concern showing through in his voice.

She smiled at him, and his expression hardened into something a little more neutral as he looked away. He might not like her very much, and he definitely didn't like the company she kept, but he wasn't a bad guy. He just- wanted to give off that impression, apparently.

"Ah, just a few aches and pains in my shoulders. It's nothing I can't handle, darling," she assured him. "This certainly isn't a new situation I've found myself in, and it won't be the last time I have to deal with this."

"We have that numbing salve you used on me yesterday," Rodrin reminded her. "I don't know if that would work for this type of thing, but it can't hurt to try."

She waved his concerns off. "I try not to use painkillers if I don't have to. If I numbed myself every time my shoulder ached, I'd never feel anything until the painkillers stopped working, and then I'd just suffer more because I'd have gotten used to not feeling anything."

"Having you out of commission is going to cause problems, though," Rodrin pointed out. "With a crew of only four, we need everyone in the best shape they can be."

"Are you offering to try and massage my aches away, then?" she teased. "Rodrin, darling, at least take me out to dinner first."

The glare he gave her rivaled one of the many looks he'd given Callista in the short time they'd known each other, and she couldn't resist the urge to smirk at him.

Word Count: 728/2500
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Sun May 22, 2022 11:37 pm
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SilverNight says...



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(Continued)



"I'm just saying that we don't know if that snake is going to come back, and if it does, we need to be able to fight it," he said flatly.

"I don't think William Snakespeare will be coming back anytime soon," Lisa replied. "We messed up his teeth pretty badly, and it'll take him a while to regenerate those enough to dare come after us again."

"William Snakespeare?" Rodrin repeated dubiously. "You named it?"

"Of course! Didn't you see how magnificent he was? He deserves a name."

"That thing-"

"-William Snakespeare-"

"-nearly killed us all, and you named it?"

"It makes the situation feel less stressful if I think about him as William Snakespeare rather than 'that big giant monster that nearly killed us all.' Your bacon is burning, by the way."

Rodrin quickly yanked the pan off the stove and set it down on a thick cloth on the counter next to him, then reached behind Lisa to the cupboard full of plates and she obligingly leaned aside for him. He served himself his food and leaned against the counter to eat it- not, Lisa noted, leaving to go eat somewhere else. He'd just passed up the perfect opportunity to get out of this conversation, meaning he wasn't disliking talking to her, which she decided to take as a good sign.

"Curious design, wearing your braces underneath your clothes. Most things I've seen like that go on top of whatever you're wearing," Rodrin said after a minute, changing the subject away from giant snakes and the naming of them.

"It's more convenient this way, honestly. The closer they are to my body, the better they can hold everything in place. If I put them on top of my clothes, it would just pinch and move around and it would just be a huge disaster."

"Huh."

"My brother and I experimented with other types, but these worked best, so these are what I have." She pulled her sleeve back down.

"Your brother?"

"One of them, anyway. Cedric. He's a blacksmith with a special interest in fine metalworking, and he helped me design and make these." She tapped her cane, resting against the counter beside her legs. "He made me this as well."

"Good brother to have."

She snorted. "Sometimes. He's an idiot most of the time. Do you have any siblings, darling?"

"No."

"Lucky." She idly glanced at her fingernails, noting the small chips in the deep blue paint. She really was due to have them redone. "I have sixteen."

Rodrin spluttered. "Sixteen?"

"Six brothers, ten sisters," Lisa confirmed. "And thirteen of them are older than me."

"How do you even have that many siblings? How many of them are twins?"

"My parents started having kids early and stopped having kids late. And-" she paused for dramatic effect "- none. We're all at least a year apart in age."

Rodrin looked like he had as many questions as she did family members, but his gaze went to something behind her, and his curious look turned impassive immediately. Callista passed into Lisa's view, stumbling into the kitchen tiredly.

"Something smelled good," she mumbled.

"I only made enough for myself," Rodrin said flatly. "Sorry."

"Mmh." Callista leaned against the counter, her eyes sliding shut as she lifted her bottle to her lips. "Hopefully you don't turn out to be as hungry as you thought you were."

"Even if I do have anything left over, Lisa was here first," Rodrin pointed out. "And she's more deserving of my cooking than you are."

"Didn't know Lisa was on such bad behavior, but whatever you say, captain, judge and jury." She rolled her eyes, letting her head fall against a cupboard.

"I am very well-behaved, and what did we say about insulting the chef?" Lisa asked.

"I remember what you said, actually," Callista said. "You said he would be as incompetent as he was confident."

Rodrin shot Lisa a sideways look, and she waved her hand dismissively at him.

"Never mind that. You look like you're about to fall over, and there's an open fire. I call that a safety hazard."

"No, I'm not about to," Callista snapped, but it sounded a little too weak, and her hand on the counter tightened its hold. She took another swig from her bottle.

Lisa shrugged. "Of course, darling."

Rodrin dangled a strip of perfect-looking bacon from his fingers, letting it wave around meaningfully before he took a bite. The flaunt went unnoticed by the first mate.

Word Count: 1483/2500
Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47.


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AceassinOfTheMoon says...



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(Continued)



"Where's the fourth of us?" Lisa asked. "Immune to the smell of cooking grease?"

"I don't know." Callista scowled. "Maybe he's vegetarian."

"A vegetarian pirate? Could he be that picky?"

"Or just pescetarian. He might not have been down for the snake tartare."

"We all had the beef last night," Rodrin pointed out.

Well, not all of them, but Lisa wasn't about to volunteer that information. It would raise awkward questions.

"Perhaps it was wonderful enough he made an exception," she suggested.

Callista sighed wearily. "So, what is he now, wonderful or incompetent?" she asked her, tilting her head to indicate the captain.

"Clearly good enough to make you hungry."

Callista shook her head, but her denial was severely undermined by the sound of her stomach growling loudly. After grumbling something frustrated to himself, Rodrin took out several more strips of ham from the pantry and tossed them onto the pan to let them sizzle.

"You're too nice," Lisa said lightly. "What a nice gesture that someone should thank you for." She poked Callista with her foot.

"I didn't ask for it," Callista said crossly, nudging her foot away.

Rodrin raised his eyebrows. "Well, hopefully you can swallow your pride and still have room for this."

Lisa sighed dramatically. "Callista, darling, I'm beginning to think you were raised in a barn. Thank you, Rodrin, for making food for my ungrateful partner here. You're wonderful, and I'm terribly sorry for dragging you into this situation where you have to deal with her."

Rodrin looked satisfied. "Thank you. Now you've both apologized."

Callista glared at him. "I'm taking that back. Don't embarrass me like that."

"Callista apologized?" Lisa said delightedly. "I take my comment about your childhood home back, darling."

"You were almost correct anyway." Callista folded her arms over her chest. "Now I'm never doing it again."

"Doesn't matter. Rodrin will always have the treasured memory of that one time you weren't mean."

"If he tells anyone else, I will spell the words 'I'm very mean' on his chest in bullet holes."

Rodrin muttered something that sounded a whole lot like "didn't know you could spell" under his breath. Callista drew her finger across her throat.

"Um, what are we threatening Rodrin for?" Meridian asked. He'd been standing in the doorway for who knew how long. "Never mind. We have another problem."

"Can it be solved by sacrificing sandboy?" Callista asked.

"There is a leak. In the ceiling of my cabin."

"So it can be solved that way," Callista concluded. "By shoving his huge ego in the hole to plug it up."

Rodrin and Lisa glared at her, and she just blinked tiredly at them until she got it.

"Oh. That is a real problem and it actually needs a serious solution."

Meridian waved a dripping sleeve. "Take a look at it." He stepped aside as Rodrin and Callista brushed past him to go examine the leak, then followed them out of sight.

Lisa glanced at the bacon, still sizzling peacefully on the stove, and sighed. "No consideration at all for safety."

She hesitated, glancing at the doorway to make sure that the three others were very clearly out of eyesight, then snapped her fingers at it.

A tiny stream of water, collected from the moisture in the air around her, put out the fire.

Satisfied, she slid off the counter, grabbed her cane, and went to go examine the hole in the boat.

Meridian had picked a one-person cabin, but not one belonging to the captain or first mate. Sure enough, there was a space where the wall and ceiling met where the wood had obviously been battered. The water had seeped in and started to drip down, right over where the bed was.

"It's probably been going while I slept," Meridian explained, lifting up his soaked arms. "I'm fortunate to have avoided waterboarding myself with the covers."

"How do you not wake up when water starts dripping on you?" Callista asked, examining the dripping water. "I mean- this is cold ocean water. I feel like after the first minute or two, you should've noticed something."

"I imagine it was like sleeping under the rain," Meridian said. "Entirely possible if you're just that exhausted. Which I was."

"Whether Meridian should've noticed earlier is irrelevant," Rodrin muttered. He stared up at the hole as if mentally ordering it to fix itself. "Lisa, you didn't happen to see any repair materials while taking stock of what we have, right?"

"Unfortunately, no," Lisa replied. "Which is just stupid. What kind of idiot doesn't bring basic supplies with them in case of emergency like this?"

"The guy we stole this ship from," Callista replied. "He's an idiot."

"I'll just take your word for it." Meridian grimaced. "This snake is going to ruin everything."

"Don't insult William Snakespeare like that," Lisa protested. "What is with you all and being rude to him? Just because he was hungry and we happened to be in the area-"

"You named it?" Callista demanded, in almost exactly the same tone as Rodrin had earlier. "That thing almost ate you."

"Well, it nearly killed me too," Meridian said, but was mostly ignored.

"I don't get what the big deal about almost getting eaten is," Lisa sighed. "No one appreciates my naming genius, they just keep bringing up the almost getting eaten part."

"Because that part kind of makes it unworthy of your naming genius," Callista argued.

"Whatever the snake's name is," Rodrin cut them off, "it still smashed a hole in our ship that we can't currently fix."

"I literally offered a solution," Callista muttered. "Can't believe no one likes it."

"I think we need a little more than hot air to patch up a hole," Lisa said. "It was a good thought, though." She leaned on her cane, looking up at the ceiling with everyone else. "I think our only option is to head to a port and patch ourselves up there."

"And if we get hunted down?" Meridian asked. "Even though we didn't make a lot of people mad at us ourselves because we didn't actually do it, they decided we should carry the blame and so they are mad anyway."

Word Count: 2519/2500
I resonate with my villains more than my heroes and I think that says something about my state of mind

[Quill/Kamryn/Ace]
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Mon May 23, 2022 5:25 am
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AceassinOfTheMoon says...



Image

(Continued)



"This isn't the first time I've had people looking for me," Lisa said carelessly. "If we disguise the ship well enough, I can easily sneak into whatever city we land at and get what we need."

"They can't fix an invisible ship, so there's going to be a significant risk after we're in." Rodrin frowned. "Maybe we need to lurk around in the port while that happens."

"I said nothing about invisibility, darling," Lisa replied. "Do you have any idea how hard invisible is? I've already used my Affinity more in the last day than I've used it in a long time and I'm exhausted. Not invisible, not by a long shot. By disguise, I mean cover up the ship's name and change the sails to a different colour. Our ship looks exactly like a thousand other ones out there, all we need to do is make it less memorable and less obviously the one they're looking for."

The captain sighed. "Can you make something look boring, or do you only specialize in the flashy?"

"I specialize in the flashy, darling, but that doesn't mean I can't do anything else."

"And I can always help," Callista said. "But I can't hang around the ship and keep it up. I think I'll have to run an errand."

"For anything in particular?" Meridian asked.

"Yes, but it's none of your business," she replied, and even though she hadn't used that harsh of a tone, Meridian shrank back and looked away-- somewhat guiltily. "I'll use my own money, and since Lisa and I earned a bit, it's not going to be your problem."

"I'm glad you get to reap the shameful rewards you got," Rodrin deadpanned, and Lisa made a mental note to discuss that with him more.

"I don't need your approval, sandboy."

"So, that's what we do," Lisa said brightly before more fighting could break out. "I stay with the disguised ship, Rodrin and Meridian lay low elsewhere in the meantime, and Callista goes shopping for whatever she needs. We stay out of trouble, and we don't get ourselves arrested or killed. Right, darlings?"

"We can always do our best," Meridian said. "Rodrin, there's an island that should be close by. I'll show you where it's at, and after that, I'm going to dry off in the sun."

The two of them left, and Callista had used a spare pillowcase she'd found in a drawer to put over the wet wood. "We're not going to sink before we get there. I bet there's other leaks, we should find those."

"We should," Lisa agreed. "Is your errand also for repairs?"

Callista shook her head. "Just personal."

"Alright," she said, turning away. As long as it wasn't hurting anyone, it would be fine. "Let's start looking for anything else William Snakespeare left us."

As Callista grumbled about the nickname again, the two left the room and went on to search the boat.

Word Count: 3021/2500
I resonate with my villains more than my heroes and I think that says something about my state of mind

[Quill/Kamryn/Ace]
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Sun May 29, 2022 7:20 pm
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SoullessGinger says...



Image


Callista paced the deck for as long as she could before the sun got too hot and she took a place in the shade of the sail. She didn't have any idea what the island was-- Meridian hadn't said much, only that it didn't belong to any specific guild-- but it wouldn't matter, if there was a large enough market. Hopefully none of them would get recognized by some visitor from their guild.

Rodrin was well-known enough, wasn't he? She was fairly sure she'd heard of him as one of the original Guild Forsaken pirates (even though the word of his annoyingness had never reached her before). And Lisa had apparently been places. At least Meridian seemed to be the type that might fall under everyone's radar, as a cartographer.

That wasn't really the worst thing that could happen, though. It was much more likely they'd be recognized as traitors and murderers.

This is the one time I got accused of murder and I didn't do it, Callista thought. Not that I'd tell a court that.

"When do we get there?" she asked Meridian, who had-- lo and behold-- somehow gotten another map. She wasn't sure how he did it.

"Fifteen minutes?" Meridian said, his voice going up at the end like he was uncertain.

"I thought you told Rodrin he would have to steer for another hour."

Meridian shrugged. "We kind of went sailing in search of an island that doesn't officially exist, so we're kind of in a weird spot in the ocean... one that I'm not super good at navigating."

Callista sighed.

"Come on, don't say it."

"What kind of cartographer are you?"

"One that can't exactly create a path when you've fallen off the map," he said defensively.

"Nonsense," she said archly. "Mysterious oceans can easily be charted. Just name it the Meridian-So-Great Sea and boom, it's a registered body of water."

Meridian laughed. "Are you making jokes?"

"They're still at your expense, but yes."

He looked kind of relieved, and Callista had to think about that. She still wasn't sure what had happened after the snake the night before, but it didn't seem like he'd done it on purpose. She'd probably confused him as much as he had confused her. And Meridian seemed glad that she wasn't mad at him.

She was about to ask him exactly what had happened last night, but she was cut off by an angry cry and an answering angry screech. She looked over to see Lisa, just barely emerged from below decks, get divebombed by a seagull.

"Get back!" Lisa shouted at the bird, waving her cane at it. "I just wanted some fresh air for a minute, why are you attacking me! Why is all the wildlife in the area determined to kill me!"

The seagull screeched in response and dived at her again.

"Have you got any food on you?" Meridian shouted. "It might want it!"

"I don't have anything!" she snapped in response. "All this bird wants is my blood!"

"This is a very murderous bird," Callista agreed, stepping forward to shoo it away ineffectively. "Seagulls are just like that. I'm sure it's not personal."

The seagull was starting to mess up Lisa's hair.

"Okay, it might be personal. This bird has something against you." She took out her sword.

"Callista, no getting bird guts all over the deck," Rodrin said, from his position at the steering wheel, where he was looking down at the scene with disinterest.

"I'm definitely going to now."

"Don't get bird guts on me!" Lisa added, swiping at the bird again. "What kind of demon bird are you?"

Callista swung the sword, hoping to scare it off so she wouldn't actually stab it and get bird guts all over Lisa. However, the seagull was not deterred. It let out a piercing, furious screech that made all four of them wince, and then it was flapping after a running Lisa.

"...I'm staying out of this," Rodrin said. "At least until I'm the only one left standing."

"Why me!" Lisa lamented. "Why does this bird hate me! Go attack someone else, I'm very delicate!"

"Yeah, that's right!" Callista shouted, chasing after the seagull. The three of them were now running laps around the deck. "Stay away from my--"

Friend. Friend would be the reasonable thing to say.

"My wife!"

That was not the reasonable thing.

Word Count: 733/2500
P.S. Remember to do at least one nice thing for yourself today! I’m glad that you’re alive :)
[call me ell, or ellen, or Soulless, or Ginger, the list goes on]
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Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
— Albert Einstein