|Fortune Favours the Bold|
You have left the Twisted Street. Wether a mistake or on purpose, you find yourself out in Twisted World. As soon as your foot leaves the pavement, the street disappears from behind you. The wind picks up into a desert storm, dirt beneath your feet, then changes into a gentle grassy plain, the sun warming your body. You then find yourself in a frigid wasteland, nearly on the verge of freezing to death, and then you find yourself upon a long black expanse of nothing. Complete and total emptiness. The world continues to change and bend around you, and there is no rhyme or reason to the madness. Sometimes, the setting will stay for awhile, but then creatures and beasts tend to appear, hungry for souls, hungry for flesh, hungry for you.
Fortune does indeed favour the bold. As Niamh leads Jack out across the desert plain, they have little to contend with but the weather. Stinging clouds of dust, carried far by the heated winds, whip against the pair, lashing hard and fast enough to impede progress for the average traveller. The fey woman is naturally unconcerned, pausing only momentarily to reset the goggles over her bright blue eyes before she continues ahead, skirts billowing as strong legs carry her at a brisk pace.
Karrde hmms and nods. Yep, he's still there, seems he's moving through this storm of sand and dust easy. At Mac Lir's words he nods. A Captain, and he mentally files that away. Taking her hand he gives it a shake, but he has a strong grip. "Jack Karrde, former Captain of the Falcon. A ship I lost." and he hmms, "We'll find your ship and I'll see what I can do to fix it up. I'm good with ship." and as for the storm, "Allow me to fix this one problem." and he lifts a hand, "Wall." he says simply as a barrier goes to surround them both, keeping the grit and all off of them both"...This should be better." he says simply.
Niamh's own grip is surprisingly strong - or perhaps it's not so surprising from a young woman who carries herself as she does, all confident swashbuckling swagger. Everything about her stance and her movements advertises that it runs through and through; she may be a showman, but it's an act built upon firm foundations. As she retracts her hand, she inclines her head to Jack, a slight smile dimpling one cheek as she considers him a moment. It almost looks as if she's telling herself 'I told you so'...
Karrde thinks for a moment. Heat he can supply, it's a simple matter there. And as for the question he hmms, "..I can't say. Perhaps to see if I could remember..what it was like when the world wasn't so complicated and the lines were not as bluured. There was good, evil. And people like us, that danced with danger, that live on the edge of disaster." he sighs, "..Part of me, misses it." and he sighs, "..Or just to forget the pain and remember the glory days."
"Hmm," Her lips purse as Niamh considers the phoenix's response, maintaining an even stride while she glances up past the barrier, through the storm, into the distorted skies. "History," she begins after a few moments' silence, tone as soft as it ever is - still imbued with a little of that burning spirit, "Twists in loops and circles. Even were this world not what it was, I'd say the same; there are no endings, no beginnings, nothing but the infinite passage of time. Only our imaginations limit us - and they can be a burden, to be sure," she throws out a shrug, then spins about, continuing to walk backward as she lifts a dextrous finger toward the phoenix.
And the Outlaw Phoenix, does listen and his gaze is distant as he remembers the triumphs and the losses. Samantha, Arikami, Aerial, Hotaru..he wasn't there when they needed a him. But he remembers what it was like to fight for what he believed in..alongside heroes or by himself, with only his wits and near infinite power as his weapons. No, it's not regret of failing that holds him down, it's fear of becoming close to anyone so he wouldn't have to lose them again. And he fills his lungs with fear...and exhales, letting it out bit by bit. He has a long road ahead of him, but this is a start. And a mirror of Niamh's cocky grin appears on his face, "Let's find your ship." he says with a wink.
Head flung proudly back, tarnished golden locks billowing, face lit up with self-assurance, Niamh mac Lir keeps the subtle portion of her senses trained upon Jack Karrde. There's a reason she was called captain; far aside from her fey nature, and the peculiar breed of controlled madness that comes with it - or may simply be part of her character, warts and all. She waits a few moments, listens for the long breath, and casts her gaze to the phoenix once more. The smile on her lips now is momentarily far from brash, not touched by selfish desire.
And Jack, he blinks as he sees the state of the ship. "..Ow.." he sums up in the understatement of the century. And he follows Niamh, and he pulls his katana, never know when some beastie might be out there wanting to munch on a fey and phoenix. Hmm...Colonel Sanders would like that recipe, he thinks as he moves to the ship, "...And just Jack, I don't have a ship anymore." he says with a smirk. "Might fix that." he says as he moves in slowly, with all the training of a seasoned warrior. His gaze darting to a fro in case of any surprises this place has. One thing he knows about chaos, anything can happen.
That familiar feeling...that familiar smell. She knows it well, after many nights spent curled up with the source. She should be scared...and part of her is extremely scared, frightened that she is getting herself into far more trouble than she wants. But the other part of her is quite curious...that old flame she had, back in the days when she was alive...when she still had the emotional capacity to feel love. Then she lost everything. Sure...she has someone whom she sort-of cares for, now...but the feelings aren't the same as they were when she was alive. Now it's just a sort of...fondness, a mild desire to keep the dragon boy around, and a mild aversion to sending him away. But that doesn't stop her curiousity...she wants to SEE Karrde, with her own two eyes.
"It's really not as bad as it looks..."
As Niamh makes her move to get onto the ship Jack hmms and lips, pulling off his own acrobatic stunt, a flip followed by a twist to land on the ship softly he allows a grin at the face he hasn't lost it. And then...and then...Niamh makes her announcment, "Huh?" and like that he slips and falls off the ship into the sand below. Coming to his feet he mutters and leaps back onto the ship, "..Where'd THAT come from?" Yeah, shocked to say the least, he wasn't expecting to be drafted!!
She's gone unnoticed so far...that's both a good and a bad thing. Curiousity draws Sun closer, until she comes close enough to the crater to see better, while still not drawing too much attention to herself. She crouches near a rock, watching the phoenix's actions. He hasn't changed in the slightest, just as she figured...but it's still amazing to see him again. Terrifying, but awe-inspiring at the same time. However, she's too frightened of the fact that he could easily kill her with both arms tied behind his back. And she doesn't exactly know if he'll react favorably or unfavorably to her nearness.
As Jack lands upon the rust-toned hulk, the rattle of hollow metal sends off a booming echo which emits from the torn hole as a dull, fluctuating roar. It almost sounds as though something shifts inside, altering the pitch of the sound before it settles once more; but any further movement could simply be lost in the scraping vibrato as the phoenix slips from the chassis. The astute mechanic in him might also note that there's very little about the Ember to suggest it's airworthy even with a good repair job...
And as the thing comes down on JAck he looks up and like that he's gone. Appearing a few yards away he snarls, "..You know. I really am beginning to hate you critters." he comments as he leaps into the air, going up a good distance he holds out a hand, "...So..all I can say it this." he says as energy gathers and explodes out in the form of several ribbons of energy, aiming at the creature no less. Yep, hit hard right off the bat. And he looks at Niamh, "Second in command." he says as he leaps away again, he knows that thing is too tough to be felled by a few mid level blasts.
Huh. Well, that's easy. that creature thing just completely masked her nearness to the two. Sun tilts her head to the side, simply watching Jack in action for the moment. She could leap in and kill the beast...but then again, she could just watch. Torn, she listens to Jack and Niamh's exchange, playing possible situations out in her head. She knows Jack can handle himself...and the undead part of her just wants to stay the hell away with him. But the part of her that is still so deeply rooted in the past wants so badly to simply jump in and help her old flame.
Jack's assault is more effective than he might believe, each shining stream slamming it this way and that. The creature screams with pain and instinctive rage, twisting about to search for the prey-turned-predator. It's at this moment that the fey woman appears as if from nowhere - her leap delayed with a couple of light bounds off the rotary mechanisms lining the airship's side. In a commotion of skirts and hair she launches past the beast, saying nothing... sometimes actions really do speak louder...
As Sun makes her move. Jack's eyes narrow and glow for a moment. Yep, it's Sun. Still undead. As the thing finally falls the Outlaw Phoenix dispells the energy he was gathering for the final blow. And he sheaths his katana as he nods to Niamh, "Old friend. Girlfriend..take ya pick." he says with a matter of fact tone. And he sighs, "What brings you out here Sunny?" he asks as he watches the dracoliche. No violence offered..he's simply being the eye of the storm. Utter calm. A far cry from the one that used to be so passionate in everything...be it fighting and other things.
The creature lets out a piercing shriek as Sun's blade pierces it's skin...then, the creature's painful cries are cut off as the dracoliche's sword is embedded in it's neck, down to the hilt. She holds it there, it's neck dangling loosely in fresh death, now covered in blood and sand. She watches the dead creature on her blade for a long moment, before reaching out and sliding it off of her blade with her foot. It's head flops lifelessly to the ground, kicking of a cloud of sand. Sun remains still as a statue for a long moment, her eyes never leaving Jack. Then, she taps the tip of the sword against the ruby set into a bracer on her left hand. The sword dissapears...then, she's sitting on a rock, a good distance from Jack, still. "I smelled you, Jack." She allows a small smile to touch her cheeks as she watches the Phoenix. It's easy to determine, from her posture, that she's still scared of him...
"Right..." Niamh watches Jack with a smirk as he explains the situation, waiting until he sheathes his blade before she turns away with an exhalation of breath, ramming her own sword almost carelessly back into it's sheath. "Then I'll check out the damage, and leave you lovebirds to it for a while." An amused glance is shot to Sun as the teleporting dragon-girl - and make no mistake, that's an interesting thing to be - shifts herself onto something a little more comfortable.
Karrde nods to Niamh, "Okay." he says softly. He can tell the damage is gonna be a pain to fix. He's seen enough damaged ships, caused a few ships to go boom, to know that kinda damage. And he looks at Sun, "So Sun. What's been up with you?" he doesn't have to use his low level psi powers to tell she's scared, it's charging the air, so he respects her unspoken wishes and keeps a good distance. And no powers flaring or anything, his weapons put away. Even his glaive.
Thankful for the fact that he keeps his distance, the dracoliche relaxes visibly. She watches Niamh go about doing her thing, her head tilted to the side for a moment, before turning back to the phoenix, the curiousity (almost) outshining the fear. "Not too much...just been...around. Here." She shrugs a bit. "If you could call being a hermit being around." She shrugs, glancing back to the ship awkwardly and rubbing her arm. The illusion DOES make her seem alive. She even has a heartbeat, blood flowing through her veins. She looks good...if a bit on the tired side. "Haven't really done much...Lone Wolf was here for a while..." She winces visibly. Aparently that's a sensitive subject. "...But he dissapeared a while ago."
Karrde hmms, "I see. Yeah, I been a hermit. Travelling dimensions. Really just watching and learning." he comments as he goes to light up a cigarette. Seems that bad habit has returned. Despite all Hotaru, Arikami, and Falcon did to break it of him, he's still a smoker. "So..why are you scared of me? The power within me?" he asks simply.
The woman blinks, her eyes flitting back to Jack, a frown appearing on her face. "You're a phoenix...you have the ability to completely erase me from existance with a snap of your finger. Not that you would...but I can sense your aura. Liches have instincts, too...and mine tell me that I should be running far, far away right now, instead of sitting here and talking to you." She shrugs a bit, glancing off to the horizon. "...I'm sorry for all the shit that happened, Jack."
"Eh. It happened." Karrde says simply, "..It wouldna had worked out anyway. I had so much crap on me. What happened to everyone. Falcon, Arikami, Aerial, Samantha, Hotaru-mama." he says as he shakes his head, "...By the point you came along I was ready to give everything up and vanish into the ether. Be it park myself in some dimension alone for eternity or travel them and just see if I could find one where things didn't go wrong." he explains as he takes a drag on his cig. Exhaling the stream of smoke, "..But yeah, I came back. Probably to bounce around here and just mope. But well.." he sighs, "I'm here. And my path is my own. Those who follow destiny find happiness. Those who follow their own path find strife and glory." and like that for a moment his eyes capture some of that fire, the eternal flames of the Phoenix, "...I choose glory."
A wince mars the dracoliche's face as Jack mentions Samantha. "Sam..." She frowns a bit, looking down at the ground. That's one name that somehow dredges emotions that shouldn't be felt now, or should at least be dulled by death...but they're just as intense as ever. Faded over the years, yes, but still a wound she wishes she didn't have. So, she quickly changes the subject in favor of one that will keep her mind away from that dusty corner. "Yeah...I gave life one more shot...with Lone Wolf. But, it didn't work out...so I came back to undeath." She shrugs, trying to keep her mind off of that girl whom was once such an important part of her life. "S'pose you could say I'm seeing someone..." She offers a halfhearted smile. "He's a nice kid..." Sun sighs, glancing off to the side. "My unlife is quite dull and boring, I'm afraid..."
At the moment the word 'glory' leaves Jack Karrde's lips, a jubilant whoop echoes from down near the ground. While the pair of old friends have conversed, Niamh has been busy - bodily hefting the slaughtered creature the rest of the way to the ground, then delving more deeply inside the Rogue Ember to make an assessment of the all-important engine room. After all, with all the will in the world, no airship's going to move without an engine driving those powerful rotors.
Okay...consider Jack impressed as Niamh makes her appearance he blinks and looks at Sun, "...SHe remind you of anyone?" he asks simply as he hmms, "Be right back." he says as he tosses his cig away and goes to take a look himself. Okay, this could be tricky. And he begins to gather his power. And with a thought the winds around him vanish as his aura pushes it back. Yep, he's gathering his might. Cracking his knuckles he hmms and lashes out with his power. However he does something odd, he channels power to not blast..but heal. Imagine a healing blast..but for inantimate objects. In D&D terms this would be Repair Major Damage. And his eyes 'gold' out as he works.
The dracoliche blinks as Niamh makes her grand reenterance, peering over at the girl with her head tilted to the side. "He doesn't smell bad. Just dangerous." She shrugs a bit, then glances at Jack as he asks if the fae reminds her of anyone, a frown forming on her face. "Slightly."
The sìdhe is not particularly attuned to powers mystical and magical; she is not able to discern their specific type and origin, with a few exceptions, but the raw force behind Jack's effort still raises the hairs on the back of her neck. Nodding slowly as she watches the display, she lifts a finger to her mouth, idly flicking the bottom lip out before curling off another broad grin. "Nice work, Karrde," she murmurs, slipping gracefully forward to skirt the blast as metal warps and screams, forced back together into whatever conceived template it believes it fits...
And Jack slumps. "Wanna bet I gotta get it outta the hole." he says to Sun as he forms his glaive and leans on it. Yep, he's still got that old weapon. And he sighs as he looks at Sun, "Sun..calm down. If Was gonna hurt you I'd have done it. So relax." he says with a sigh.
A small grumble comes to the Dracoliche. "Can't help it." She comes out from hiding, sitting on the rock again. "...I should go. Let you two get your ship taken care of..." She doesn't have much better to do, but right now she feels as though she's...imposing? She frowns a bit, leaning back, her face thoughtful. There's also the fact that she still feels really badly about how things ended with Jack. Her wings shift, and she looks upon Jack thoughtful, her lips moving in some silent dialogue she seems to be having with herself.
Karrde nods to Sun. She's not really imposing, but he knows how she feels. She's afraid of him. The power in him, creation and destruction. Heal or burn with a touch. And he sighs a bit as he nods, "..Sun, I'll be around so look me up. We can still talk, right?" he asks as he looks at her. He can understand the interal war being waged, but, it's not his place to intervene. She has to figure this out for herself. All he can do is, just be here.
Gradually the banging and thumping diminishes, and a keen ear might hear the rather less noisy shifting of sand as Niamh reaches the bottom of the ship and starts to make her way back up to the nose, wherein a basin in the sand near the front of the airship leads directly onto the bridge - the window usually shielding it from the elements blown wide open. Before she ducks inside, she makes a swift trip back to the roof, once more simply appearing, this time crouched and rather less manic than she has been; the smile on her lips small, if still confident. "Ready when you are. Let's get this show on the road. Front and centre; can't miss it."
The dracoliche watches Jack for a long moment, rubbing her arm with one hand. "Yeah...yeah, we can still talk." She smiles a bit. "I'll track you down again soon." With a nod, she glances over to Niamh, tilting her head to the side. She then smiles brightly at Jack. "Have fun with your ship, Jack. Hurry up and get it flying so I can see what it looks like when it isn't broken."
Karrde sighs as Sun takes flight and he shrugs, "Well..what can ya do Phoenix." he says as he flickers out and appears on the deck of the ship, "Shall we go boss." he says with a smirk. Yeah, this is going to be interesting.
Inside, Niamh proudly stalks back and forth, poking at dials, flipping levers and kicking rattling apparati that appear to be little more than wild collections of cogs and pipes. The whole bridge area is like that; a steampunk nightmare, or dream, depending upon one's mechanical inclinations, built upon a lattice grid of rattling iron.