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Explorers of Ariqua. Rated R


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#421 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:53 PM

Sometimes coincidences just appear out of nowhere and are life changing. That's how Damien came to be standing over a man on the ground, a recent arrival in Niobia, while his black panther love stood with her paws on the man's arms and pinning him down in an alley. Her thick, black tail whipped back and forth angrily and low growls vibrated through her sleek body.

"Come now, tell us the truth," Damien said calmly, arms crossed. "We both heard you in the bar...you were loud enough to wake the dead. What was it you were saying about your recent visit to Telgar?"

"I...I don't know what ya' mean!" the man whimpered, turning his face from the vicious looking wild panther above him. He knew he was going to die for sure.

Damien sighed. He didn't understand why the man just didn't elaborate on what he said in the bar. Both he and Kass had heard the name 'Adrienne' and 'black panther woman', not to mention 'property of...'. After that he'd had to drag Kass from their seats before she pounced in human form on the sailor.

"She will bite you," Damien warned with a shrug. "And I won't stop her."

Kass gave a growl and lowered her sharp teeth towards the man's face. Her skin and fur twitched in anger and frustration.

"Alright, alright!" the man finally cried out. "But ya' can't tell who ya' heard it from! Please!" he begged.

Raising an eyebrow, Damien put a hand on Kass' back and looked down. "Mister, we don't even know who you are!! Just tell us what you know. All we want is information!" he said, getting angry now.

* * * * *

When the man had fled the alley, and Damien and Kass, again in human form, had removed themselves somewhere more private in case the authorities were summoned, they were speechless for a moment. After all this time, Kass finally had a real lead on her older sister. A wealthy land owner, known for collecting things that amused him, had apparently gotten his hands on a werepanther. One that he now controlled somehow to do his bidding and be 'entertainment' for whoever he wished. From the sailor's description of what he'd heard...not actually seen...the man was cruel, sadistic, and demanding.

Kass had declared she was going to Telgar on the next ship. Damien had sworn to go with her should she ever hear of news of her sister, and he intended to keep his promise. With all the new crew members he didn't think he'd be missed overly much, and monetarily he could afford to take some time off.

"I will talk to Elizabeth," Damien said, watching Kass pace back and forth. "I'll find her if she doesn't return to the docks. You see about booking us passage on the next ship leaving."

"You...you don't have to come, Damien," Kass said quietly, hesitantly. "This is your home now, your friends are here...," she trailed off.

Damien took the dark-haired woman in his arms. "And you are my love, my heart and soul," he said, kissing her hair. "I will not allow you to do this alone, and I will not lose you again."

#422 Mikoto

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 04:34 PM

Tasha smiled happily when Maress not only accepted her offer but admitted he'd been thinking the same thing about her as she had been thinking about him. "I don't know why I was made a cleaner and forbidden from breeding. However it seems to have been a blessing in disguise because he caused me to leave the Ariqun and eventually meet you and adopt a new culture where we can choose what we want." She leaned forward and kissed him. "How about we sort out how to formalize our bonding later and simply go back to our quarters for now?" She suggested, placing her hands on his body. Tasha figured that since there were no Ariqun priestesses about and that none would bond them anyway she would have to find out more about how couples were formally bonded in Sandesinan culture and make it formal that way. Right now however she just wanted to take him back to her quarters.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elizabeth snuggled Demiriz while Rozz confirmed that he had no other questions for them. Laura smiled at them. "All right, this meeting is adjourned. Thank you for your service. Its clear that I need to get a message back to the King about the impending Ariqun problem as soon as possible." Elizabeth stood and inclined her head respectfully toward the Arless and Governor. "Good day then." She followed one of the servants out of the Arlessa's mansion and back onto the street outside. As she and Demiriz started walking down the street to head for the shipping offices in the Merchant's Quarter she caught sight of a pair of guards-one male, one female purposefully heading towards the the docks. She guessed that they were going pick Letha up from Voyager2. "All right." She said to her mate. "We just need to stop by the shipping office so I can formally record that I own the two former slaver ships then we can go back to my house and have some privacy." Elizabeth gave him a look that left him in little doubt as to what she wanted to do when they got there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Serrisa received her orders personally from Laura once the meeting was over and Elizabeth and Demiriz had been shown out of the room. She glanced at her Guard-partner, Hared once they'd received their orders. It was an unusual thing to have a slaver given a lenient yet creative punishment but orders were orders. She assumed that the Arlessa knew what she was doing. "Yes ma'am." She saluted then headed purposefully towards the dock with Hared. Being Guards, both Humes were tall, strong, armed with swords, shields and wore chainmail armour. It didn't take them long to find Voyager2 and have one of the crewmembers take them to the set of quarters where the former slaver was locked up. Hared stood at the door, blocking the way out while Serrisa went inside. "Letha." She addressed the female by name. "I am Guardswoman Serrisa of the Niobian City Guard." She introduced herself formally. "I'm under orders to transfer you to the city jail where you will be held while the arrangements for your sentence has been carried out." She indicated for Letha to hold out her wrists so she could shackle them. "You're fortunate. Elizabeth must have been very persuasive to convince the Arlessa to personally sentence you to one year's unpaid servitude at the Niobian clinic, then to be given a clean slate upon release." She remarked.

#423 EChatty

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 05:55 PM

Maress didn't know why the Tamrassan had assigned Tasha to a duty that was clearly not suited to her either, but it didn't matter anymore. They were here, now, and they both wanted each other and they were free to do something about it. Then she kissed him and touched him and suggested going back to the ship. and he had no objections to that. He kissed her back and pulled her close to him, and then he headed back to the ship, keeping one of her hands in his as they went. If he had needed further proof that she only saw the man he had just gotten it. Later, they would find out how the Sandesinans conducted legal pair bonding, but now he had only one thing on his mind, and that was to make Tasha his.

Letha stood when she heard someone at her door. When the two guards walked in, with the big male filling the doorway to keep her from running, she waited to hear about what would happen. When the female who had walked in said that she would be sentenced to one year in the clinic and then she would be let go, Letha couldn't help but gawp at them and blink. As she lifted her hands for the shackles to be put on she looked straight at her. "You're kidding, right?" She asked. "This is some kind of joke?" She had expected something much worse, several times over, but a year at the clinic? That would be a dream sentence. She could work to make up for what she'd done while in the company of the slavers and then...well, she didn't want to think that far ahead.

Demiriz smiled when Laura ended the meeting and he and Elizabeth were able to leave. When she said they should go home after she registered her ships, he smiled, knowing from the look on her face what she wanted. It was the same as what he wanted. "All right." He said, happy to just be with her without others being around. As they walked to the registry office he put his arm around her and held her close.

#424 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:52 PM

Since there was one more wall of the city for them to visit, and since she knew Arlene and Tevyn enjoyed their time alone, Hannah decided to give them some privacy. She'd seen that, indeed, she would be given the freedom of the town which was all the spirit wanted at the present time. And now she wished to explore, to be by herself for a short time--something she had had precious little of for the past seventy or so years. She thanked Arlene again and said she would return to the ship before too long.

Hannah practiced her boundaries by transporting herself back to the two shards of her skull almost instantaneously, one after the other. She would practice later connecting with the other pieces of her skull, as she didn't want to appear to anyone unexpectedly. Hannah made sure no one was watching, indeed there was no one around, and dematerialized...only to  reappear in a small alley near the center of town. She stepped out, and stared around her while keeping out of the way of the other people. If they ran into her and walked right through, it would be too great of a shock for them. She wondered if word of a ghost was getting around the city yet. She was already getting odd looks for her manner of dress and long, dark hair that hung loose around her shoulders.

When she saw the small theater, Hannah stopped and gasped. She had loved the theater when she'd been alive. That's how she'd met Janos...and her untimely death. Then Hannah frowned. It was also where she had been forced to be paraded in front of Janos's friends. She especially remembered the one--long white hair, pale blue eyes with a pink tint, pale skin, and so tall that he towered over everyone.

The same Shadow Walker she'd seen on the ship. Hannah shivered--figuratively not literally, of course, but she felt the ghost of the feelings up her spine. She remembered his name now--Gregori.

"I only wish to talk to you," a deep voice said from the shadows of another alley. "I mean you no harm, I swear. I tried to free you once, I am sorry it didn't work."

Gregori backed away from the young woman, the ghost. He'd been amazed to see her outside his window down below on the street. He'd crept down through the shadows.

Hannah's anger enveloped her at the sight of the Shadow Walker. No longer was she afraid. She ran into the alley after him, becoming transparent, and threw herself into the creature before her, possessing him violently. Being supernatural the Shadow Walker forced her out with the will of his mind, but it gave Hannah a chance to hurt him from the inside. Enough to bring him to his knees briefly. She knew he'd gain his strength back almost instantly. Becoming solid this time, she grabbed a pipe and slammed it into his back, their movements hidden in the shadows. When he fell to the ground, she stood over him with the pipe, but the effort to hold an object and remain solid was draining her strength rapidly.

"You may kill me if you wish," Gregori said, turning over onto his back. He'd gained back his strength but was offering no resistance. He could easily escape the ghost if he wanted. "Only allow me to talk to you first...to explain..., please, Hannah."

#425 Mikoto

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:04 PM

Once the meeting was over, Laura had one of her Officials out urgently to collect a Dragonrider and any ship's captain willing to set sail on the tide for Sandesina at the next tide. While she waited for the requested personnel to arrive she quickly penned an emergency letter to the King of Sandesina explaining about the threat that the Ariqun posed to Niobia and all potential Hume and Elviri holdings in Ariqua. That they potentially only had weeks before some kind of invasion force could arrive to 'convert' the town by force. She wrote that she believed that Ariqua was worth getting a foothold on even if they had to install a permanent army and naval fleet there. She doubted the Ariqun would remain content to stay on their own continent and in a few centuries they could well start invading the western coasts of Telgar. She felt it was better to deal with them now in their back yard rather than in Sandesina's.

Laura sealed the letter in a waterproof package marked 'extremely urgent' and explained to the Dragonrider and ship's captain that it was absolutely vital the letter get to the city of Rhalie as soon as possible. Top Priority. Lives depended on it. It was only after the pair took the sealed envelope to the docks that the Arlessa relaxed. She looked over at Rozz as she took a drink of water. "I sent an urgent message back to the King about the danger the Ariqun present. With any luck we'll have reinforcements arriving within three or four weeks." She told him. "I suggest you send a letter to your President requesting the same. A combined Sandesinan and Dhaskan military force should be enough to protect our interests here." She got out a map from her desk-one of the ones Elizabeth had made and pointed out a tiny island out to sea but within visual range of Niobia. "I think this little island would be the perfect place to install a fortress military outpost." She suggested.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Serrisa fixed the shackles around Letha's wrists, carefully making sure that they were neither too loose nor too tight. Then she took her by the elbow and started leading her off Voyager2 with Hared holding her by the other elbow. "No." She responded seriously. "It's no joke. That is your sentence." She confirmed. "You're to wait in prison while Kylen, the town's lead physician, is encouraged to support your sentence. But to be more specific you'll be kept on the ground floor of the clinic with a shackle around your ankle connected to a length of chain secured to the wall so you can't leave the premises. You'll be given a bed and basin in the corner to sleep in and keep yourself clean. You'll be given regular exercise and three meals a day. Enough to keep you basically healthy. You'll work six days a week from 9am to 5pm with one half an hour lunch break. When you're not working you'll have a few books to read." Serrisa figured that Letha was being given the basic amount of care to keep her healthy, sane and able to work.

"However if you abuse or neglect a patient, attack anyone, or try to escape and you'll immediately be taken to the mines for a ten year sentence regardless of how many months you already served at the clinic. A guard will be on duty, watching you during all working hours." Overall Serrisa didn't think the punishment was too bad. In a year Letha would have a clean slate to begin again. By the time she had finished explaining the exact details of the punishment they'd reached the police station. Hared filled in Letha's paperwork and got her booked in. Then Serrisa took Letha to a cell, removed her shackles and put her inside. The cell was simple. A bucket, bed and chair were the only pieces of furniture. On the chair though was a simple meal of vegetables and dried meats along with a cup of water. Once the prisoner was secure Serrisa and Hared resumed their normal duties.

#426 Mikoto

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:21 PM

It was a simple matter for Elizabeth to fill out the forms and claim the two former slaver ships formally. She decided to keep the name Voyager2 and named the second ship the Pathfinder. She scheduled for a trusted, competent engineer to give both vessels an inspection and to perform maintenance if required to get her two new ships up to the high standard she expected from all her equipment. She would see about getting them crewed and expanding her business later. Right now she wanted to have some alone time with Demriz. She figured later in the evening at dinner time she could meet up with Aveline and Nick to discuss how they could work together. She had some interesting ideas that could make both parties a lot of coin if things were done right. Finally with the paperwork done she put her arm around Demiriz' waist and they headed to her house in the Residential Quarter. Elizabeth stepped inside the house with him and kicked the door shut even as she started to unbutton her blouse..... Fade to Black.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quite how Tasha managed to successfully navigate her way through the streets, to the correct dock, aboard Voyager2 and made it to her quarters while held close against Maress and pawing at him, she never knew. "Finally." Was the only word she managed to utter as they reached her quarters and went inside, closing and locking the door behind them... Fade to Black.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Putting the last fragment in a part of the southern wall had been much the same as the other two pieces of fragment. Arlene noticed that Hannah had departed-probably to explore the rest of Niobia-and to give her and Tevyn some alone time. She was grateful for that and made a note to thank the ghost later for her considerateness. "Now that's done..." She said conversationally to him. "How about we get some lunch?" She asked. "I know a nice little cafe by the sea that serves good food. Normally its nice to sit out side and catch the cooling sea breezes but in this weather we would be better off sitting inside." Arlene waited for his answer. Perhaps he had his own preference with where he wanted to go for lunch. She'd see what answer he gave.

#427 EChatty

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:57 PM

Rozz nodded when Laura suggested that he send a message back to Dhaska, so he sent out for an Elviri Dragonrider and ship's captain. While he waited for them to arrive, he penned a similar letter to the Dhaskan government, asking for Elviri reinforcement to be sent as quickly as possible to combat the looming Ariqun threat. He handed the waterproof package to the Dragonrider when they arrived and explained the urgency of a speedy delivery. Once they left, he checked the map that Laura was showing him and the island that was just far enough away from Niobia to be strategically sound for a fortified installation. "I like that idea." He said to her, studying the map. "It wouldn't hurt to go ahead and plan to build on the island as soon as possible. We'll need to hire engineers, architects, builders and arrange to ferry everything back and forth."

Tevyn smiled as he watched Arlene hide the third shard of Hannah's skull. Then he looked around and didn't see Hannah anymore and he smiled again. She must have gone to test out the shards and give he and Arlene some time alone. And to top it off, he saw some property next to the water that he though might be ideal for his fish farm with just a little planning. But that could wait, Arlene had suggested a place for lunch and he had no objections to it, as long as he could be with her.

"It sounds great." He said with a smile. "I'd like to get inside for awhile now that we're finished with our task." He then turned and took her by the hand and headed back to the area that Arlene had mentioned.

Letha went with the two guards as she digested what the female had explained to her as they walked over to the police station to check her in. Indeed, the Arlessa had only sentenced her to one year at the clinic, and she would get to start with a clean slate at the end of that year. She would be shackled with enough chain to be able to do her job inside the clinic and would essentially work a regular shift like everyone else, except for the shackle and the unpaid part. They had no way of knowing that she had no intentions of running, attacking anyone or neglecting any patients, or doing anything else to jeopardize the incredible leniency that had been shown to her. She was a prisoner and she would live with the shackle, limited movement and guard.

She sat in the small chair and ate the food that had been left there for her. It was simple, plain and adequate to keep her from starving, but it was still better than the sludge that had been fed to the captives. She only hoped that whoever was running the clinic was as understanding as the Arlessa appeared to be.

#428 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:01 AM

OOC: Tying up...this would take place over however much time it would take before this arc ends.

IC:

Kass had run into Jhandra and her family at the docks, the Ellarians transporting Liam's body back to the island of Kukui for burial..and to being their new lives without him. Kass had expressed her condolences and the conversation worked it way to the reason Kass was at the docks. Jhandra spoke with the Captain, who was heading to Telgar after picking up cargo from the islands, and he agreed to take on Kass and Damien as passengers. Once Damien had spoken to Elizabeth to explain and request a leave from the crew. He and Kass gathered their belongings, acquired additional supplies and currency, then boarded the ship with Jhandra and her family.

They poured over maps, discussed plans and ideas, and vowed to find Adrienne...or not stop until they died.


* * * * *

Although he never gained her trust totally, Gregori was able to convince Hannah to listen to him. She had kept her distance but listened as he explained how he'd found Janos' treatment of her...indeed the whole concept of keeping her as a ghostly slave...abhorrent. He had been disgusted at what his "friend" had done. It had been him, Gregori, who had exposed Janos seventy years ago forcing him to go on the run. Gregori hadn't realized the other Shadow Walker would take Hannah with him, and had had every intention of freeing her from the house once Janos had fled. But when he arrived at the house, he'd found them both gone.

Hannah had asked him if he knew where the house still stood, and Gregori said yes, although it had been occupied since Janos departed. When Hannah had asked him if he would attempt to find and unearth her skeleton...and burn it to release her, Gregori agreed. She'd told him she had no idea where they were buried, and the house and property were extensive, and that with people living there it would be difficult, Gregori promised he would do whatever was necessary to find her bones. To take however long it took.

Only then had the spirit of the young woman seemed to relax and accept his word as the truth. She told him he was the first good Shadow Walker she'd met. He was not "good" by any means, Gregori had assured her, but neither was he "bad" in the sense of the word. He just was. And this was something he wished to do for many reasons and would find her again when he needed to. Then he'd left Hannah as he'd promised her, disappearing from Niobia.

#429 RJDiogenes

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:12 PM

"The apostrophe represents the possessive," said The Professor in his best lecturing tone. "Upham's Landing means 'The Landing of Upham," specifically Bruce Upham, the first governor of the settlement. The inscription on the the portico of the library is simply wrong. The architectural team was headed by Frank Lloyd Winkle, who had a habit of falling asleep during meetings."  He shook the reins a bit to encourage the horses pulling the wagon to go a little faster-- they were less than an hour outside of Delmi now.  

"How many times do I have to explain the same thing to you?" asked Eru with a sigh. "Uphams refers to the family of Upham in the plural. Bruce wasn't the only notable contributor to the settlement from that family in its formative years. Uphams Landing doesn't mean "The Landing of Upham's," it just means the place was named after them.  Oh, look, this is the spot where we met  when I first came to Delmi a hundred years ago."

"Yes, I remember. You fell off your horse and dropped the artifacts all over the ground.  If what you're saying is true, then the apostrophe would be after the S instead of between the M and the S."

"It's not meant to indicate a possessive!  It's just a name! How did we even get on this topic?  Hey, I think I see the lights of Delmi up ahead through the trees.  It looks like the place has grown."


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