Fish out of Water


ff_asi_icon.gif elisabeth_icon4.gif ff_huruma_icon.gif vf_isa2_icon2.gif vf_kain2_icon.gif magnes_icon3.gif ff_miles_icon.gif ff_nick_icon.gif ff_remi_icon.gif vf_shaw_icon4.gif ff_tania_icon.gif ff_valentine_icon.gif ff_veronica_icon.gif ff_wu-long_icon.gif

Scene Title Fish out of Water
Synopsis A flooded world is one that's still predictable in some ways — and a punch to the gut in others (sometimes literally).
Date November 5, 2018

Palisades Sill

Indignant shouts and drunken, raucous laughter can be heard almost anywhere along the east-facing cliffside, and along with the flicker of red and gold Japanese lanterns draw one’s attention and eyes toward this tugboat-turned-into-a-bar. It sits in an inauspicious spot at the northern corner of the bazaar — a spot that would be easy to overlook if it weren’t for the yells and cries that ring out now and then in unison.

It sounds like a sports bar watching a Pay-Per-View fight.

It’s a trek to the tugboat, as a maze of rope bridges, pontoon bridges, and even gangplanks connect one boat or floating stall to another, except for those with enough clout and seniority to be tucked neatly against the patch of rock called the Palisades. Faded, spray-painted letters declare the vessel’s name Now We’re Kraken. The Kraken is a rusted thing, probably not seaworthy anymore. It still serves its purpose as a bar. The Chinese lanterns hang and sway with the rock of the boat, giving the bar a warm glow. The seating is a mish-mash motley assembly of lawn chairs of different sizes, shapes, materials, and colors — some of it rusted, cracked, or held together with duct tape.

The lack of quality furniture doesn’t seem to keep anyone from coming, as it’s a packed house. More seating can be found on a jetty alongside the boat itself. The drinks themselves won’t find their way through the crowded maze of lawn furniture and patrons; those have to be gotten for oneself in the wheelhouse, where options are limited: Moonshine, moonshine, or more moonshine, unless someone’s found a forgotten cache of beer long past its “best-by date.”

The attention of most of the Kraken’s patrons is on a floating pontoon out on the water where two men are facing off, preparing to fight one another with makeshift weapons — one has what serves as a quarterstaff and the other an aluminum baseball bat. The object seems to be to knock one another into the water, given that both men are wearing swim trunks and nothing else, ready for a drop into the drink. “Fifty minimum to bet!” calls out the book, a short man with a thick mustache, as he takes chips and makes his notations in a little notebook as he moves around the crowded space. Somehow he’s more graceful than he looks, never tripping or running into anyone, despite the fact that no one moves out of his way.

Lounging back in one chair with his booted feet crossed at the ankles resting on another — despite the lack of seats for everyone — is Nick Ruskin. His eyes, half-closed, lazily watch the two men about to fight. He holds out a few chips — not because he needs the money but to make the fight more interesting than it would be otherwise. “Money’s on Red,” he says. The man in black trunks seems like he might have lost his last fight, given a the dark mottled black and blue along his shoulder and across one cheek.

“No love for the underdog?” Tania asks with a crooked smile. She’s sitting in the chair next to Nick’s, legs hooked over the arm and feet swinging idly. One shoe is only dangling from her toes, but she doesn’t seem to mind the notion that she might lose it. Or ruin it. She sips her drink through a straw and someone has found her— or possibly made her— a little umbrella for it. When she hands over her chips, she puts herself down for the one sporting the bruising. “He only needs a little encouragement,” she says. Anything to get the people betting.

Let’s be real. It’s not a trek for everyone. Miles, for example, is able to get there quite easily. But, in all fairness, he’s able to get everywhere quite easily. The perks of being a special snowflake.

There’s a little shimmer in the air as he materializes a little too close to one of the Standing Room Onlies. He gets shoved a little bit to the side as the unfortunately placed onlooker exclaims, “What the hell?”

“Sorry, sorry,” Miles says as he holds up his hands in a placating gesture. His tone makes it relatively clear that he’s not actually sorry, but it’s pseudo-contrite enough that the guy he banged into just grumbles and turns back to the fight. Miles takes the opportunity to move away — on foot, this time, and toward Nick and Tania, though just incidentally. He hasn’t looked around too much yet.

Anyone who was in America before the flood will know the face of the woman lounging rather comfortably in the cushiest chair in the bar, her drink held in one hand. At one point in time, when cares were less on survival and more about first world living, Soleil Davignon’s face was everywhere. She was the actress, she even had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She won awards frequently, and she was quite the philanthropist back then.

But that was then, and this is now. The former actress motions to the bookie, putting down a few chips on the fellow with the quarterstaff, punctuating her bet with a dainty sip of the potent liquor. She’s kept it well hidden that she is a telepath, and only those privileged enough are aware of what she can do.

While on the outside, she seems placid, quietly observing the fight, her mind is much the opposite, skimming along the surface thoughts of those gathered. Those who aren’t interesting enough are ignored, the former starlet mostly interested in gleaning information to sell.

Far from the rivers and lakes that he's used to, Kain Zarek cuts an unobtrusive silhouette in his unbalanced lawn chair set up not far from the Kraken’s entrance. His hasn't shaved in a month beard is about the same length as his hot head lice from the wasteland haircut looks right about square with the other boat-people he's making acquaintances with.

The whole setting is a juxtaposition of familiar and unfamiliar to Kain. On the one hand it's a seedy bar populated by salt-of-the-earth survivors and an escalation of social strata above them. He's also drinking familiarly terrible moonshine swill out of a tin cup he traded for two chips — earned thanks to a fully-charged Walkman he traded in. But beyond that everything here is like the biggest funhouse mirror to reality he's ever experienced.

Izzy,” Kain whisper-shouts to a slim brunette walking by, who turns and — is not Isabelle at all. Kain grimaces, holding up one hand in nonverbal apology, and returns to his drink, listening to the conversations shouted around him.

With the majority of the attention focused on the American Gladiator-esque contest, or focused on betting more than the sport, it lets spectators here for little more than a drink do just what they came to do. People watch, have a sip or two, eavesdrop. Huruma’s usual, anyway.

Her head is at a dull thrum with the sources around her feeding into her senses, though she seems interested in the fight out of obligation. She’s here anyway. For her part— she looks the seafarer, a close-fit coat faded with sun and salt against dark red, collar flared. The belts underneath carry the slight weight of weapons and a leather pouch, a few bands of fabric much of what winds around her chest.

She is a hard one to mistake, if one knows her from another life; still intimidating, of course- - but this one seems to keep a more furtive eye on things, rather than emboldened presence.

Carrying a cup of the rotgut that comes out of the still in these parts, Elisabeth comments in a near-shout to Isabelle over her shoulder, "Yours was better! Especially the lemon shit. That about melted my eyeballs — how Aura isn't brain damaged is beyond me." She remembers the Lemon Death fondly, despite the fact that she really is honestly boggled how that shit didn't brain damage the developing infant that she hadn't even known about yet. Her amusement is evident, but her blue eyes are taking in the craziness of this arena. Her free hand is twisted behind her where she can hold onto the hem of the pyrokinetic's shirt — they're sticking together in this damn place so as to find a place to sit together and not to wind up in trouble. …. Or at least so that when the trouble starts because Izzy hits someone, they can brawl back to back. Liz isn't sure which scenario will actually occur.

As she sips, unable to quell the full-body shiver that accompanies each sip from the collapsible metal and plastic camping cup that she fished from Cassandra's gear — the younger woman squirreled away some really useful things before they evacuated to this world — Liz scans the crowd. Nowadays she's looking pretty well like she belongs, her blonde hair straggled and curled by constant exposure to salt air, held back in a ponytail at the base of her neck by a piece of elastic from somewhere; jeans scuffed and ripped, made stiff by the same water and salt air, paired with her worn-in combat boots and a torn-up set of layered shirts with long sleeves pulled to her elbows.

She pauses to watch the fight get set up and the betting start. People-watching in this world is definitely something she's coming to rather enjoy.

“C’mon now, you know my love ain’t that easy to come by,” says Nick with a grin for Tania, before he pulls a flask out of his blazer’s inner pocket. None of the bathtub swill for him. He takes a sip before handing it to her, his eyes sliding about the crowd as he takes in some faces he doesn’t know.

“Besides, it’s less about the underdog and more that last time I bet on him, I lost. But I’ll enjoy taking your money. Cheers.” His eastside London accent is thicker than it is for anyone who may have heard it in some other life, one not flooded by Antarctic waters.

His gaze alights on Miles and he smirks when he sees the much put-upon Palisadian shoving the younger man back. “One of these days you’re going to end up ‘porting inside of someone, mate,” he calls to Miles. The crowd shouting turns his eyes back to the fight.

The man in red suddenly lunges at the man in black, starting the fight. It’s easy to see he’s the more capable fighter, probably properly trained in martial arts, given his agility and ease with the staff. The black-clad man is pedaling backwards, swinging a bit haphazardly with his bat.

“A swing and a miss!” calls out one of the onlookers. But the next swing is luckier and collides with the man in red’s temple, an audible crack of aluminum against bone ringing out for those closest to the fray.

“Wonder if there’s any sharks today,” asides Nick to Tania. His tone suggests it’s happened before.

"Hey I drank it too, but I'm not—" The cacophony of noise as the fight starts draws Shaw's attention from Liz remark about Izzy's moonshine to it, curiosity more than anything bloodlusty distracting the drink-less man at Izzy's and Liz's side. It could be fear, too, flashbacks to harsh Wasteland moments where bloodsports and marauders were also entertainment and economy.

"Checkers… Who will be king?" he wonders aloud of the Red and Black. The bat to the head garners a sympathy wince out of Shaw, and he looks away from the fight, eyes flicking one face to the next. Kain gets a longer, familiar look until spectators interrupt the sightline.

“I do know,” Tania says with a sly smile over Nick’s way, “and I suffer for it.” He could stand to be a little easier. She could definitely stand for him to be. She takes the flask, lifting it in return to his toast, before she uses it to refill her now empty drink before she hands it back to him. The umbrella goes with everything. When her horse, as it were, makes a hit, she winces first but a cheer follows.

“It looks like you’ll have to wait to take my money, Nicholas,” she says, her smile and her laugh speaking to how seriously she isn’t taking any of this. Win or lose, there are drinks and company and two people beating the crap out of each other. “Hmm,” she says to the matter of possibilities sharks, “we can always hope.”

“You’d probably like that,” Miles quips back at Nick with a little bit of a raised voice to be heard over the crowd. He starts to wander that way, his eyes mostly still on the fight, and there’s a wince as the red guy gets brained. “What goes around comes around, I guess,” he says, though this time it’s less to anyone and more just stating for anyone who cares. Maybe no one!

Once he gets close enough, there’s a nod to Tania, as well as a lifted hand. “Hey,” he says, before he turns back to the fight.

"Well I've been telling you that for fucking years." a sharp laugh and Izzy lays her head on Shaw's shoulder for a moment as they make their way through the crowd, she's not piss drunk but getting there. "I mean can we get a lemon, where's the lemon tree?" A wave of her hand and she looks over at Shaw, "Baby you're a star." Leaning in close to plant a wet kiss on his lips, it's been a while since she's truly cut loose. It's been a full week and there hasn't been one blue flame outbursts, Izzy also doesn't talk as much but tonight. Tonight she wants to cut loose.

They all deserve it and as hazel eyes find the face and lice ridden head of Kain, the pyro grabs onto the others. "Come on let's fuck with the Cajun."

"Ayooooo!" If she could shadow box she would be but instead she's leaning on Shaw as she steps with a look on her face. "What's up dude, no ladies trying to drag you back to their bunk?" A look over her face and she grimaces, "You're taking this Castaway thing a little too seriously." Teasing in her tone, it's a sight to see. For the better part of two months the pyrokinetic has seemed like she's in a worst and worst mood.

The man in red holds his ground for a few moments, though it’s easy to see his balance is compromised. The man in black capitalizes on that, rushing forward with a sudden yell to push the man into the water. The betting crowd is split — half yell in victory and half mutter, boo, or curse in defeat.

Nick doesn’t seem as affected by the loss as most of those who also just lost their credits. But he’s also the only one in a three piece bespoke suit and wingtip shoes.

He lifts a brow at Tania. “Do you truly suffer, Tania? I might have a solution for that,” he says, with a grin, taking back his flask and taking a sip. “More seriously: if I treated you with anything greater or less than an amicable regard, your brother would likely eat my liver for breakfast. He’s already insufferable as it is. Can you imagine if he thought I had a thing for you?” He looks amused at the prospect. “But we shall have to both suffer, because I rather like my liver, despite the poisoning I give it.”

He looks to Miles, and takes his long legs off the seat he’s draped them over, nudging the resin lawn chair to the teleporter. “I might like that. It’d make for an entertaining sight, anyway. This all gets so boring day after day,” he says, with a nod to the victor helping to pull the loser out of the water. The poor man is shivering as the two make their way toward the boat.

“Need two more fighters! You get 10 credits just for fighting, victor gets another 20!” calls out the bookie, looking around for would-be contenders. They aren’t the best winning wages, but the truly desperate or truly bellicose might sign up. “No powers allowed!” Or at least — no powers allowed if one gets caught.

A grimace appears on the former actress’s face as the one she bet on goes down. She really doesn’t like losing — but this is one of those things that she can’t affect. Quietly, she drains the last of her cup of moonshine, before raising to her feet. She pauses briefly to adjust her clothing, making sure everything is in place.

Then, taking her glass, she turns, making her way through the crowds and toward the bar to obtain a refill on her drink, blue eyes skimming over faces as she moves along, a faint smile on her face that doesn’t quite touch her eyes. She’ll put her bet down when there are more fighters. Her journey takes her right past Elisabeth and company.

A sailor half-dressed in an orange jumpsuit steps forward toward the bookie, bare arm raised high in the air. "I'll take you up on that." Asi grins, her arm swinging back down to her side before she starts untying the knotted sleeve around her waist. "Just keep track of these for me." With zero regard for any whistling or catcalls in her direction, she tugs down the jumpsuit to stand fully in her sleeveless wetsuit, boots kicked off as well. The items are scooped up in one hand and deposited on top of the bar.

Satisfied with how things are going, she claps her hands and practically skips to the side of the tugboat, standing up on the side rail and turning back. It's clear to see now her face is flushed — not from any sense of modesty, but from what was likely a generous amount of alcohol. "Come on," she goads the crowd with a growling roar and an impish grin. "Who wants to fight an oni tonight?"

Without waiting for her adversary to make themselves known, she turns and gracefully dives into the water to make her way to the pontoon.

Tania sets her drink down for a moment— just to clap for the winner. Other than that, she doesn't seem to be celebrating her win. But the real entertainment seems to be in the man next to her. "I'm fated to languish, then," she says as melodramatically as she can manage. Truly, it's a curse to have a dragon for a brother. And yet, she seems only to be brought down by it as long as it takes for her to notice Miles there.

"Miles," she replies to him, "come and have a drink with us!" Her smile picks back up as she adds, "Nick is buying." Because she just won his money, see?

Miles grabs the offered — sort of — chair and moves it a little bit to position himself in a better place to see the next bout, dropping down in it as he grins at Tania’s offer. “I’m not gonna say no,” he replies, stretching his legs out in front of him and slouching down comfortably.

He reaches into his shirt pocket, pulling out what looks like a somewhat hastily rolled joint, as well as a little tin that, when opened, contains a few matches. He strikes one very carefully, since those things are a precious commodity in this watery world, and lights up. He inhales deeply then, and after doing so, leans forward to pass it off to Tania. Share, share, that’s fair, right?


It's a foghorn's blast, that echoes across the water and off the weather-battered faces of buildings, trembles through the struts and stilts and slats of the various bridges that form the Palisades. Not so unusual out here; boats constitute the vast majority of ordinary traffic, after all. But a couple of the locals, watching the joust from further out than the Kraken, seem to recognize the boat; fleeting recognition. They elbow one another. The raucous cheering out there seems to get a little quieter, even though most eyes still remain on the joust. After all, currency's currency, no matter what world you're living in. You have to make that paper, win that bet.

A ship grows out of the dark. Two ships. They're moving slow, and just far out enough that the wake doesn't seem to trouble the joust any worse than the tide.

One is bigger than the other by far, thousands of gross register tons no doubt, wide-bellied and slow; she shows unmistakable signs of wear, listing slightly to the right. Despite that, the handful of sailors walking along the railing seem to be in high spirits. Distant calls echo down; The Kraken's patrons and jousters alike, are subject to shouted greetings. Jibes. Recommended bets. Always bet on the short motherfuckers! There's no center of gravity on water, asshole.

It's a little like waving at a tourist bus coming through. On the far side, the smaller boat is creeping into view, but it's slow yet.

“Toasty,” Kain says in a greeting to Isabelle from his lawn chair, one brow raised and eyes partly lidded as if to express his disapproval of her jab. “Blinky,” his greeting to Shaw with a raise of his moonshine cup up to him in mock toast. “It’s like Louisiana’s white trash grew more white trash up in here, Ah’ swear t’god.” Kain’s stare moves back to an assessing look at the crowd, and while they may not visibly fit the description of the white trash Kain ascribes to them, it may just be the vibe of the entire establishment that does in his eyes.

“Ah’ figured you’d be off rockin’ a boat somewhere.” Kain adds as a crude aside, taking a sip of his moonshine. “Ain’t surprised you dragged your asses out here.” He seems less like himself these last few weeks, less visibly present, less emotionally present. Kaylee’s choice to stay behind in the Wasteland seems to be hitting him harder than he’s willing to let on.

Elisabeth's too used to Isabelle fucking with Kain to do more than giggle in amusement at his retort. They're always colorful. She reaches over sideways to haul a lawn chair that someone just vacated — hey, move your feet, lose your seat, asshole! — and plunks it next to Kain, where she slumps into it. Sitting at his elbow with her own drink, pleasantly warm from the eye-watering level of alcohol present in it, she pffts. "They were," she tells him lazily. "I got tired of hearing it, so I made 'em come with me."

Though she isn't going to call him out on his retreat into his shell, she's also sicced Aurora on him regularly when she does catch him — the little girl invariably at least makes him be more physically present and aware. Plus, she loves on him like no one's business, and he has clearly needed that. Leaning back in the half-busted chair, she asks, "You win anything good?" Her eyes skip to the approaching vessels, but she's got no reason to do more than observe the fights and the boats right now.

It's been a bit of a day. Week. Month. Year. Shaw hangs on to Izzy by way of her hand, leaning his shoulder so that she can rest her head when needed. The wet kiss is returned lightly, a small smile around it. He's glad Izzy's relaxed enough - even if it is with the help of moonshine - to enjoy herself in the moment rather than wallow in deeper, disturbed thoughts. Shaw sticks by as they approach Kain, head bobbing in greeting to the mock toast given he doesn't have a cup in hand to mirror it.

"Every boat rocks, unless it's not in the water," Shaw observes to Kain after a bit to think about it. "Unless it's bobbing. Bobbing boats. B—" The loud horn's blast is all too reminiscent of the Harvester's and he steps closer to the group of time-travelers, a protective movement, with a wary shot of a look from dark eyes out over the water.

The bookie's call for fighters, rather the prize offered, then tilts Shaw's focus in that direction. Seeing Asi step up and challenge, he is thusly inspired. Turning to Izzy, Liz and Kain, he remarks to them, "I- I'm going to get us some money. Okay? Stay here." Before the anticipated protests, or he loses his nerve, Shaw slips off to find the man arranging the next fight.

"I'll do it. I'll fight an Any."

With a fresh drink in hand, Remi returns to where her seat was. There she stands for a moment, frowning at her luck. Then, spotting the cushy seat that is currently cradling Elisabeth’s ass at the moment, the telepath frowns briefly. Bitch. At least give it two minutes, especially when there are plenty of other seats available.

With a sigh, Remi takes a sip of the moonshine, before making her way over to Elisabeth. “Pardon me,” she speaks, her accent vaguely European. “I believe you’ve stolen my chair,” she adds. She doesn’t use her persuasive abilities yet, but she might have to in order to get her chair back. “Might I get it back?” Her tone is polite — so far.

Part of this request rides on the laurels of her fame before the waters came — most people will gladly release the chair for the Soleil Davignon.

Pulling herself up onto the pontoon, Asi swipes a hand up her forehead and back along her hair, the same drunken grin on her face as before though the shock of cold from the water's given her eyes some clarity they didn't have before. She swipes up one of the discarded poles as she comes to her feet, twirling it in a careful circle before adjusting her grip down the pole, holding it more like a bat… or a sword.

The passing ship is turned toward, weapon of choice held high above her head now as she shouts back at the tourboat. "Think you can do better? Get your gutless arse over here and prove it!" Hearing some of the calls back that don't include anyone jumping into the water to take up her challenge, her head tilts back and she laughs. "Well, fine then! But you know who to bet on!"

Swinging the pole around first, the rest of her body turns back toward the Kraken after. "Come on, now." Asi waves her free arm in an encouraging sweep. She's got some credits to win.

Elisabeth's blue eyes come up swiftly at the voice, and her blue eyes are amused despite the instinctive shock of recognition. Hopefully it will be chalked up to 'movie star' or what have you. But the blonde smiles a slow smile and simply takes a swallow of her drink. "Sorry… finders keepers when it's standing room only, hun." It's a polite enough refusal, but she doesn't drop her eyes from the other woman either. And if you prod at me to *make* me do what you want after I've politely refused? There will definitely be a scene, Madamoiselle Davignon. The mental shielding and resistance training that she obtained years ago in Bright is suddenly an important thing — and Elisabeth pushes what blocking she is able to create to the fore to attempt to keep the telepath out after warning her off.

She really doesn't want to have to say to Kain 'Here, hold my liquor.' But she isn't going to take well to the telepath's 'interference' in her ability to make her own choices.

Huruma largely keeps to herself and her space near where the drinks get slung; she lingers there to watch the end of the first fight, and keeps an eye on the young woman who steps up to the plate. As far as contests of skill go, this one is considerably more accessible. She takes a few steps off, an old jar of drink in hand, pale eyes tracking the arrival of a familiar vessel.

The bitter vapor of a souring mood grabs her attention from afar, and Remi's apparent attempt to recover her chair is for naught. Huruma laughs into her teeth, lips curled in a smirk. And it seems that the oni has a challenger. It's not turning out to be a bad visit. There are new faces here too, and more than one tickling at familiarity- why that is, she can't tell just yet. Something. An odd deja vu maybe, but then again she always comes here. Memory blurs.

The tall woman hovers at the fringes, before giving up her view to meander closer to some of the unfamiliar faces. Not intrusive, just a tall shadow.

“Alas,” says Nick to Tania with a smirk. “I’ll just have to get by with my current pastime. I’d languish along with you in solidarity, but no need to deprive him, is there?” He glances at Miles as if for confirmation. “Oh, look who’s bringing party favors. We need to teach you to roll better than that, mate.”

He doesn’t reach for a turn at the toke, sticking to his flask for now. Blue eyes turn to the two boats coming into the makeshift harbor. “Sawyer’s here for her order, looks like. A couple days early.” He reaches for a radio that’s clipped to his belt, murmuring into it, voice canted low for whoever’s on the other end.

Settling back in his chair, he looks out to the jetty to take in the new fighter, brows lifting in amusement at the shouts for competition. His relaxation is short-lived, however. Slowly making her way through the crowd is a tall, willowy brunette, scantily clad in a gossamer-thin chemise and gauze kimono, both silvery and meant more to reveal than to cover or warm.

Most here only know her as Valentine, one of the higher-end prostitutes — though some here will recognize her as Peyton Whitney. “Valentine” doesn’t recognize those strangers as she makes her way to Nick’s table, putting a gentle hand on Miles shoulder as she leans across him to hold out a note between her index and middle fingers. “Message from John,” she murmurs.

Nick looks up, takes the note and reads it. “Speak of the devil and he sends you his minions,” he says wryly to Tania. “Gotta go. See you at dinner, Tee,” he tells the redhead, ruffling her hair affectionately as he makes his way off the boat, moving in that way that suggests he’s used to people getting out of his. And they do.

One of the pirates giving unsolicited advice laughs at Asi’s bravado, and suddenly a tiny wave rises up out of the water, silently, behind her, only to crash over her and drench her completely. She’s already wet, but it is a salty slap in the face and a tacit rebuttal to her comments.

“We have a contender! No powers and if you murder someone, you gotta pay reparations to their next of kin,” the bookie says. “First in the drink is out, regardless of other damage.” He looks to Shaw. “There’s some weapons here, unless you have one you prefer.” A sad selection of items includes old rakes, broomsticks, a piece of rebar, a baseball bat, and a hockey stick. Leaving Shaw to select a weapon, the bookie begins to make his rounds to record the bets. “Fifty minimum! Make your bets here!”

"This place is so weird." Magnes says from behind Elisabeth. "Just, lots of familiar faces, no recognition. It feels like I'm in A Wonderful Life or something." He straightens his long coat, running fingers through his hair. "There's even less room to really… talk to people, you know?"

The water from nowhere causes Asi to tilt her head toward the stars and let out a long sigh. "Fucking pirates." she has the good sense not to shout that one, holding her anger in for just a bit longer. It'd have its outlet soon enough.

"That's right, keep trekking on, faceless whelp." she does yell as she looks back to the tugboat-bar, ignoring the other two ships coming through for now. She has a contender to size up, after all.

“I can picture his pout now,” Tania says with a warm laugh. There are few people among the management that she doesn’t carry affection for. Even though John does send minions.

Her smile brightens when Miles opts to share and she takes the joint with a sincere thank you. Once she’s letting out a smoky exhale, she passes it back over to him. When she passes him her glass, it smells like actual alcohol. Not moonshine. “Who are you putting your money on? Or are you just here for the company,” she asks the teleporter with a crooked smile.

She seems content to let Nick and John handle Sawyer, and instead, she offers Nick’s vacated chairs to Miles and to Valentine. Because they’re more comfortable than most. “Staying for a while, Val?”

It’s not the recognition that catches Remi’s attention, really. It’s the raising of telepathic defenses, and the very clear statement that she probably shouldn’t use her persuasive abilities on the other blue-eyed woman that causes Remi to get a peculiar expression — her eyebrows raise slightly, and a faint smile appears that doesn’t quite reach her eyes.

Tant pis,” she replies, lifting her glass and taking a sip. “I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you, miss?” She watches the other woman quietly. And how did you come to know that I can do such a thing? I’ve never met you, and the few who do know don’t talk. Her brows raise slightly as she speaks into Liz’s mind.

As the bookie passes, Remi quietly puts some chips down in Shaw’s favor.

Shaw picks through the meager selection, finally settling on a broken, repurposed boat oar bearing an impromptly and roughly wrapped handle, making it look much like the size and shape of a cricket bat. Once he's obtained his weapon of choice, he sends another glance back to where he'd left his friends and fiancee. Any regrets he might have, it's too late now to back out.

After a look down into the cold ocean water, Shaw pulls off his shirt and wraps the cloth around his off-arm. Then he's climbing into the water too, swimming with the oar until he reaches the floating pontoon. At its edge, he hoists the oar up first, then looks up at Asi. He sticks out his hand for some help up, if she's willing.

Miles just snorts at Nick’s words, waving vaguely with a shrug, before he takes back the joint from Tania, as well as the glass. He takes a sip, and there’s an appreciative sound as he swallows, his eyes sliding closed as though in rapture. Okay, it’s a little over the top, but alcohol that doesn’t nearly burn a hole in your esophagus is rare nowadays.

“Just the company,” he replies to Tania with a grin. “Too rich for my blood, but how could I stay away?” And speaking of company, he looks up as he feels a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, Val,” he says, offering her the joint as well.

Over by Liz and the others, Kain hasn’t said anything in a while. He’s just been staring off into the distance, ignoring the conversation between Elisabeth and Remi, only vaguely aware of Isabelle and Shaw’s presence by him. He sets his drink down without looking, winding up spilling the tin cup and the moonshine onto the floor. “Payday?” Kain whispers, brows scrunched up and eyes reddened, glassy. He pushes himself up from his chair like those are new legs, and walks with a seemingly drunken gait right past Shaw, bumping into his friend’s shoulder as he slips past him.

At first none of them can really tell what’s bothering Kain, until they finally see his trajectory through the crowd, and Payday makes sense. Kain’s nicknames for people. Kain’s nickname for Peyton Whitney. He uneasily makes his way through the crowd, on a heedless intercept course for Nick’s table, looking for all his worth like a complete and utter wreck.

Liz sips from her drink and simply shrugs a little to this world's version of Remi. The answer might have been forthcoming, until Kain says that word — because she heard him call Peyton that in the Virus world. Alarm flashes across her features even as Shaw heads toward the field of battle and her head pivots to follow the Cajun on his staggering walk through the crowd. She bolts upward out of the chair that she'd absconded with and murmurs to Isabelle sharply, "Izzy! Kain needs a wingman." Because she doesn't think he'll listen to her about interaction with Peyton Whitney… but if nothing else, Isabelle might be able to head off any trouble.

She glances at the telepath, her thoughts on the logistics of keeping Kain from getting hurt or otherwise drawing too much attention — Peyton Whitney here may not know him from a hole in the ground. Or she might…. And that might be worse. "Sorry, Remi — got a small incident to deal with." ELisabeth grins cheekily. "You can have the chair back now!" Blue eyes skim back around the actress to locate Magnes, who moved slightly out of her line of sight, and she whistles quietly to draw his eyes. Jerking a chin toward Shaw, she says, "Hey, let's put some money on this… and make sure he doesn't drown if he falls in the drink, willya?"

Ever taking care of her own.

Asi tilts her head as her contender throws up a hand like she'll help him out of the water. For a moment, it looks like she'll let him languish and crawl out on his own, but at the last moment she crouches slightly to grasp his arm to help hoist him up.

Poor bastard. He jumped in the drink for a few chits and asked his opponent for a hand up? She immediately takes him for someone who's not from here, and also in need of the credits.

Her brow quirks up for a moment. Never let it be said I don't have sportsmanship. the look seems to say. As she's bent over, from afar she appears to grunt from the effort of hauling his weight up. Asi mutters through grit teeth, "Throw the fight and we'll split the credits. 20-20. Deal?"

She's never been a fan of doing exactly what the system tells her.

"Waitbabe" but Shahid is gone and Izzy is left to stand near Liz and Magnes before she's charging after Shaw and dragging Magnes by the hand, "GO GET US SOME MUNNIES BABY! THAT'S MY FUTURE HUSBAND YOU FUCKERS!!" Screaming, she raises her glass into the air and moonshine drops to the floor. Her emotions wrapped in a hazy, syrupy feeling but just underneath the surface, trying so hard to break free. A darkness sits.

"He impresses me enough in bed but I like this- WOOHOO YEA BABY! TAKE IT OFF!"

There are a few particular emotions that come to her attention; Kain’s reaction to Peyton, Remi’s confusion at Elisabeth, Izzy’s inner turmoil past the mask of alcohol. All of them interesting in their own ways, and the ones she doesn’t quite recognize seem to be banded loosely together. It’s the latter which seems to pull much of her reading, invisible coils arcing out to slide around the woman cheering on one of the new competitors. Besides the storm she can absolutely feel the truth behind the more… superficial feelings. Huruma spends a moment looking at Isabelle from where she stands, unafraid of being seen staring openly, unblinking.

After a time she looks up towards the bookie and clucks her tongue against the roof of her mouth. “Fifty on the oni, benki.” Huruma makes a wide gesture towards Asi, a clear challenge to whatever Isabelle is shouting.

“Last call for bets!” the benki says, taking chips and marking debts in his book. Eventually when everyone who seems to be claiming a horse in this race has done so, he calls out to the fighters, “Whenever you’re ready!” He doesn’t notice the dealmaking going on there, if there’s a deal being made.

Valentine doesn’t look like she needs a hit of that joint, given her already-dilated pupils, but she takes it just the same, reaching for it and taking a long drag, before passing it back to Miles. “Thanks, doll,” she murmurs, voice husky and low. She wouldn’t be out of place in a noir film. She’s oblivious to Kain’s approach as she drops into the seat offered by Tania, before turning to look at the goings on. Her dark eyes finally catch on Kain as he moves toward her, and they flit up and down his form, appraisingly, before her brows lift.

“You got credits? Two hundred if you’ve come to take me away from all of this,” she says, with a playful wave of her hand to their crowded surroundings. Noticing Liz trailing behind, “300 for the missus,” she adds.

Goddamn it. She lost Isabelle. With a roll of her blue eyes, Liz tosses back the last of her drink and starts pushing through the crowd after the drunk Cajun. She is not going to stop him from speaking to Peyton, but she'll definitely work on mitigating whatever Bad Shit might arise from the encounter. The man deserves every bit of her watching his back. She reaches the table in enough time to hear the offer and quirks a brow, momentarily distracted trying to figure out if she was just complimented or insulted. Neither, she decides.

Hand clasped to Asi's, Shaw hauls up onto the floating platform with the help. The nod he gives his opponent seems more in thanks than it is explicit agreement to her offer. Bending, he picks up the oar he brought with him and backs up a couple of paces to give her space.

He looks tense for a moment, glances sidelong to the spectators, then back to Asi. A smaller nod of acknowledgment follows, and he lifts his broken oar up. His expression shifts to something fiercer. He takes a deep breath, and then looses as loud a roar at Asi before charging forth with a swing of the oar at her.

Asi twists her wrist to flourish the long metal pole she wields as her weapon, her other hand resting behind her in the small of her back. The knuckles of that hand crack as she tilts her head at her opponent, posture sinking ever so slightly so she moves with her knees bent. Did he accept? It wasn't clear. "Any time, they said." she warns Shaw, beginning to slide a step forward to test his defenses right as he charges her.

Her eyes flash with glee as she raises her weapon, batting the oar along in its path so it prematurely swings past her, then whips the pole in her hand back around to strike him on the hip. When he grunts and takes a moment to right himself, she settles in on the balls of her feet before lunging for his center.

Shaw's oar is raised hastily to knock the pole away from him while he sidesteps, grip adjusting to help him swing it more quickly. Asi's wrist flicks, the tip of her impromptu sword swirling about and coming back around again. The oar chases after it, batting it away successfully, but Shaw still doesn't press forward to attack her directly, wary after taking that hit.

Much to Asi's annoyance.

"Come on," she growls, edging in a half step closer to break her nearly-proper stance in favor of gripping her weapon more firmly. Her calculated jabs become swipes that increase in intensity. "Fight me."

She bears down on him repeatedly, his deflections beginning to involve stepping back, edging ever closer to the edge. "Fight me!" Asi roars at him. Brow furrowing, Shaw's next deflection involves making a counterattack, swinging the oar roughly at her and causing her to lean back to avoid taking a hit to her torso. Grinning, she grips the pole with both hands, holding it above her head. Asi steps forward as the 'sword' is brought down with a loud smack against the raised oar, a quick twist of her wrist bringing her weapon back in for a rapidfire slam against Shaw's side.

The noisy commotion that comes from the spectators causes Asi's wicked grin to return, inspired to press her advantage. Letting out a battle-cry, she continues her one-two assault against her opponent mercilessly, each hit, each groan bringing her something she's been looking for. "Come on!"

From afar, the sailors aboard the passing ships seem greatly entertained— not only by the increasing antics of the joust, but the commotion on the floating bar as well. Water powers, dousing, arguments. It's been true since long before the end of the world in flood; shore leave is fine entertainment, whether you're the sailor or you're waving from land.

If you listen to the sounds of the shouts, men are putting money on Asi. Maybe one or two women up there, too.

But it's then that the tail end of the larger vessel, the battered one, starts to pull into view. And, unmistakably, a telltale slug trail of blood is running heavy down the ramp built into the port side. A massive trail of it, slick and thick, more than one or twenty humans might leave if fully exsanguinated, even though the most of it seems to have rinsed into the inscrutable blue of the sea itself.

The other boat, the smaller one, starts to pull ahead and further into view. At its starboard side, it has passengers aboard looking upon the Palisades and the Kraken as well. Two who seem to stand with some authority above the scattering of others. One is a dark-haired woman, leaning casually against the rail, easy authority in the slope of her athletic shoulders. The other is a man, East Asian, with black hair drifting like ink down his shoulders.

In another timeline, Veronica Sawyer works for SESA; Wu-Long Zhang is dead. But here, they're side-by-side, staring down at visitors from a world they have no way of knowing about. Yet somehow, even from this distance, the weight of their gaze seem to find the strangers in the crowd beyond the ruckus of the joust.

"I could probably cage fight, or street fight, or whatever this is called." Magnes says while being dragged along with Isabelle. "But I'm a dad, I have to be responsible, I can't go being a street fighter and setting a bad example. Those Lighthouse Kids are eventually gonna tell my daughter about all my crazy adventures."

The pirate Sawyer murmurs something unheard to the man beside her, before gesturing to one of the other crew, who then brings her a megaphone. It’s lifted to her mouth and for those who knew Veronica in another life, it’s clear it is in fact her, not just a woman who looks like her from a distance, as her familiar and distinctive husky voice sounds loudly over the bazaar.

“Let it be known that we do not abide by whalers in our waters or in any waters. To do so will be considered an act of war against The Tempest and its associates. You will be hunted and you will be killed.” There’s a gesture to the battered smaller ship, an indication of the fate that had fallen on it and its crew — a downfall of their own making.

Sawyer hands back the megaphone to the crew member, and stalks off, out of sight of those at the Kraken. As the ship turns to make its way toward the docks, another ominous sight can be seen more clearly.


Ten, maybe. Twelve? They're dangling above the smaller ship, strung like Christmas lights over the rigging. Dead men and women swing limp in the wind. Their boots have been stripped off to prevent accidental head trauma. The lights from the Sill reflect off light clothes, chosen unmistakably to stave off the worst heat of a day at sea. Not that it had helped. The most of the blood from fatal wounds has dried off, leaving little to spatter those working below. There's something almost festive about the rhythmic bob of their limbs with the steady drub of the moving ship.

The name of the vessel slides into view: The Tempest.

Neither the ship nor its captain are wholly unknown to most of those who thrive at the Sill. Indeed, the ones aboard the captured whale ship seem to expect little reaction from the jousters; they're cheering on Asi and Shaw, because you always pick a team, even when you're too far away to get to the bookie. One brickhouse of a man attempts to induce Isabelle to take off her top.

In the meantime, Wu-Long remains where his companion, Sawyer, had left. He leans deeper into the railing, his eyes moving through the motley gathering aboard the Kraken, tracking those moving through the seated crowd. Even at the distance, it's unmistakable when he tilts his shaggy head.

Really, she should just be happy she got her seat back — which she reclaims as Elisabeth makes her way after Kain. Unfortunately, the woman in question knows her, and knows what she can do. All but a few people just think of her as that actress with a nice sailboat, with a charismatic way and a smooth tongue that usually enables her to get good deals.

No, this one knows, and that bothers Soleil Davignon to no end. So as Liz wanders off, Remi is ‘following’ her. Though her eyes remain on the fight, occasionally letting out a cheer for Shaw, her actual attention is on Liz’s mind, trying to figure the woman out.

She does notice the ship, and the announcement is very clear — it’s probably a good thing that, before the flood, the former actress was once arrested in Japan for trying to save dolphins.

Elisabeth's head at this moment is full of a lot of curse words, primarily English ones but a really healthy number of vulgar Russian ones along with a smattering of French Creole ones. Although her blue eyes have taken in the horrifying sight of the whaling ship — and it does make her pause and look away from what Peyton is in this world, a visceral reaction of horror and surprise crossing her mind when she spots Veronica Sawyer — her attention is more on the Cajun and the woman. So she turns back to what the situation in front of her is looking like. Dear God, Peyton… you are definitely a survivor, lady. There's more than a little admiration in the thought, even as multiple images of the other woman flash through her head — some with the woman pregnant, some with blue hair.

"Fuck her up baby!!!" Izzy's voice is heard screaming over the cheers and partying, Magnes is given a look, "We're ripping holes in the universe's ass to get to your home, I think the bad example has been set and is not going anywhere anytime soon," a casual look around the place. "Been a while since we fucked some shit up, you and me," a hasty look over towards Shaw and his opponent and Izzy makes a mental note to burn all that woman's hair off of Shaw loses before taking another guzzle of her moonshine and throwing the last, she's had enough. The roiling anger is sedated momentarily by the liquor and being around friends. Distractions are her aim, that's the only thing she can do to stop herself from thinking of..

Scrunching her nose up she looks away as the memories come crashing back over her like a wave. Now folded arms give her some support, grounding herself and she turns her attention elsewhere, it's a temporary peace. A fragile one that the slightest wrong move could shatter into a million pieces…

"Oh yeaaa?!?!" the roar is loud as Izzy steps forward, eyeing the pirate pointing at her boobs. Grabbing one in each hand she covers them with a glare, "You wanna see some tits asshole?!"

"I'll show you some fucking tits." The heat in the air surges upwards and the people in the vicinity of her and that know her, they know that feeling. A flicker of flame sparks into life at her fingertips, the hand being at her side is squeezed shut into a fist, don't lose it here. Don't lose it here. "I shouldn't have thrown the rest of my glass out."

The pirate will suddenly find that his shoes are ridiculously heavy as Magnes places a hand on Isabelle's shoulder. "We have to calm down and keep it lowkey here. We don't know what anyone here is capable of. Well, except the ones we do, and even then, we kind of don't."

At first, every strike against his side or exposed torso garners a pained grimace and retreat. Asi has control, where Shaw's attempts to defend, dodge and counterattack grow rougher, fiercer with each lance and throb of pain. The taunting, goading, jabbing and relentless pursuit drive him around the platform until the slam of the metal pole against his midsection sends him nearly off the edge of it.

Shaw crumples to a knee, breath coming in rapid, shallow. When he next looks up to see the dead bodies swinging off the rigging of the Tempest, his eyes round out to the whites. The roaring crowd in his ears matches the throb of his head before it fades to a singular spike, a rush of driving desperation. He whirls back up to his feet, pinning that rabid stare at Asi. The bruised and bleeding man rises to a three-point hunch, and explodes off his feet, charging again with a murderous sounding scream of raw, unadulterated fury.

Then, she's no longer seeing him as the sense of her sight blacks out. From the spectators' point of view, it's as if she's stunned by Shaw's response. The man abandons his weapon with a clatter of it to the wooden floor, tackling Asi down in a full body slam. She's forced to the defensive, using the pole more like a bar that keeps Shaw off of her completely even as he beats on it, and her, wildly. Punches land, none pulled. At some point it feels like he's biting her arm as if he were an attack dog, not the mild-mannered man who had asked her help up to the platform minutes ago.

A chance blind swing of the metal pole catches Shaw on the side of his head and sends him sprawling off. The reverb of the pole shakes it loose from her grip with a metal clang on the floor. Shaw's power releases with the strike, and Asi's vision fades back into view in time to see the man shaking off his disorientation to turn on her again. But this time she's ready. Soon as he's close enough in range she rolls on a knee, grabs up the dropped broken oar. With a last-second spin, Asi dodges around the wild tackle. Shaw lunges past, and the spade-shaped wooden paddle comes down heavy on his bared back. The blow sends him reeling, toppling down on his face halfway to the edge of the platform.

The following precious seconds leave both fighters with a moment to recover, gasping for breath.

“Oh no,” Tania says, her tone fairly mild considering the flaming display happening at their gambling den, “one moment, Miles.” She reaches under her, pulling out a bag and digging through it to find her walkie-talkie. Buried, so she can claim ignorance if anyone needed her to do something that sounded like work, but present for moments like this one. “We need some extra security up here. Before someone tosses her in the ocean.” Not Tania, though. Because she’s comfortable. And she has people for that.

Kain had been silent this whole time. Silent in the face of the ship coming up, silent in the face of Elisabeth’s closeness, silent in the face of Peyton Whitney’s ambulatory ghost and the way it twists cold steel between his ribs and makes his chest tight. For all the things that Elisabeth knows that Kain is — a criminal, a killer, an asshole — few others know him as a man with a heart. Yet, red-eyed and tearing up, the man who once stood at Daniel Linderman’s side is just shy of a complete breakdown.

Legs shaking, Kain steadies himself with a hand grasping out for any part of Elisabeth’s shoulder he can find purchase on. “That ain't fair,” is all his right voice can muster, just a twisted squeak of his southern drawl and a tightening of his grip on her. The stink of blood in the air has his head swimming, the thump of an explosion years removed still felt in his chest. Or maybe just the pounding beat of his own tired heart.

Kain gives one look to Elisabeth — pirates and ghosts considered — and it practically pleads to leave. Maybe not just the Kraken. Maybe everywhere. Leave everything, forever. Because the alternative is far too painful.

The commotion in the water draws Miles’ attention — well, how could it not? — and he shifts as he takes back the joint from Valentine, craning his next to see better past some of the people in the way. Pretty rude for them not to just move when he’s trying to get a better view, if you ask him. Which no one did, but, you know. It bears mentioning.

He nods vaguely at Tania’s words as he takes another hit, his gaze catching on Kain as he turns back toward the fight. His eyebrows raise, and he looks from the other man to Valentine, then back again, and then forth. Again. “Huh.” Whatever that means. He doesn’t explain it, and instead stretches his legs out in front of him, settling back to continue to watch whatever comes into his field of vision. Plenty of interesting views at the moment. If only he had some popcorn.

Peyton Whitney’s familiar dark eyes study Kain’s face as he seems to shut down. Valentine doesn’t know this man, but she is used to a wide range of reactions when it comes to her talking to men, to her offering her services to men.

This one’s new.

The tears make her eyes widen a little, and her expression grows into something soft, almost sweet — not a look commonly seen on the woman in the underground Hub he once knew.

“Oh, honey, life ain’t fair,” she says, quietly, looking past him to Elisabeth to offer an apologetic look (sorry I broke your man, that look seems to say), then back to Kain. “Look, mister, I didn’t mean to offend anyone. You give Valentine a shout if you feel better later, love. I’m usually over on the Freedom.” She gives a nod to the cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas, nestled close against the cliffside.

Tania’s radio call draws some of the armed men to the docks, though it will take some time to navigate the maze of pontoons ramps, and rope bridges between dock and the Kraken.

Behind Liz and Kain, Valentine sees the guards making their journey. She glances over at Miles, and nods to the guards. “They should get more people like you, Miracle Miles,” she says with a smile. “No waiting. You would’ve been the best pizza delivery service in the old world.”

She’s unaware that Magnes Varlane is present and might contest that claim.

Life is so far beyond not fair. Elisabeth knows it too. Wrapping her arm around Kain's waist, she meets this Peyton's eyes when the woman gives her that look and offers a simple nod. "Thank you," she murmurs. For being kind. His look at her has her tightening her arm around him in a one-armed hug. Don't give up on me now, Kain. The plea is a silent one, but no less heartfelt for it. He's one of the constants in her world now. Losing him would devastate her just as badly as losing Kaylee has. She just doesn't have the luxury of allowing herself the hurt — too many of her family are hurting.

Turning with the Cajun, she ignores the mess going on behind her and lets Magnes deal with it — she knows he's looking out for Isabelle and Shaw. "C'mon, handsome." The tone is gentle, her arm around him firm, and she leads him as far away from all this as she can get him before he loses his shit. He won't want anyone to see him when it hits fully. She hopes maybe he'll finally give in and grieve for all of the ones they've lost… and maybe for whatever happened when they left the last world too.

“T-take me t’Kay— lee— fuck,” Kain stammers as he stumbles over people absent from his life. Hands shaking, he looks up to Liz with a sort of cornered-animal desperation. “Get me out of here and to somewhere else that has booze,” is the way he's going to deal with this compacted trauma. “P-Preferably before Captain Caligula over there starts the bloodplay.”

Shaw's hands curl into fists that slam down on the platform, and he lets out another yell as he comes back to his feet. He's answered in turn by roars of approval and dismay both from spectators on the various boats as he rounds on Asi with all the same ferocity as before. She slides a step back as she prepares for the charge, seeming like she's about to shout something herself, but has no time to get it out. The oar is swung out like a cricket bat and connects with his shoulder and bicep, but it doesn't deter him. He's already swung with a fist that slams into her ribs and sends her coughing back.

The oar is rotated in her hand again and she glances down for where her own dropped weapon rolls around with each lurch of the platform as it dips on the water. "Fuck," she curses for a lack of being able to grab it, Shaw already coming back around again. Eyes wider than before, she growls as she swings the oar at his head —

And has the wind knocked out of her as he ducks, headbutting her in the chest and grappling with her. The oar goes flying this time as she crouches, doing her best to stay centered upright and keep herself from being flung off the edge. It doesn't take long for her to realize that that's not his goal, though, and that Shaw is trying his best to wrestle her to the ground again like before. Had he forgotten what the point of all this was? Even if he had, she hadn't. And she's motivated to not become this stranger's punching bag.

"Mou!" Asi shouts at him in frustration. She unseats one foot as she pushes hard back against him, kicking herself forward and snaking the top part of it against his ankle and pulling it to the side to throw him off balance. Shaw topples to the side, his grip on the wetsuit sliding as she shoves him away, reaching for the pole. Breath leaves her as her ankle is caught and she falls forward, scrabbling to a knee while he tries to either yank her back or advance himself forward.

A kick to his shoulder frees her ankle and lets her scramble forward for her weapon and take a few steps even further, rotating as she goes to turn back to him with the pole held with both hands. Back to the edge of the platform, feet inches from it, she takes the moment to breathe while Shaw comes back to his feet. He wastes no time in surging forward again, eager to continue wearing his opponent down. He swings. Asi sidesteps in a twist and inverses the angle she's holding the pole at, bringing it down on the back of his leg. She spins with the turn, using the momentum of the twist to kick the larger man across the back… and send him sailing off the edge.

His arms flail behind him in a futile attempt to reclaim lost balance, and a hand again finds the ankle it had just been holding onto. It grabs hold tight.

Asi doesn't even have time to gasp as she's yanked along for the ride, deafened to the screeches that come from all angles around them as both jousters collapse into the water, one after the other.

“You know there are no people like me, Val,” Miles says with a grin. “Probably for the best, though. I don’t know if I could compete with myself. 30 minutes or it’s free never looked so good, though.”

He takes another hit from the joint, before he carefully puts it out, reaching into his pocket for the little Altoids tin that it came in to save it for later. It’s not waterproof, but he’s not swimming anywhere, is he? He watches Kain and Elisabeth’s retreat for a few moments, before he shrugs and turns back to the fight, just in time for Shaw and Asi’s epic dive. He puts two fingers in his mouth and whistles loudly,

Valentine watches as the strange man turns away, shrugging a little helplessly at that thank you from Elisabeth. Her eyes follow them for a few moments, and when she turns back to look at Tania and Miles, the vague, vacant look she usually wears when she’s out of her room is replaced by a perplexed one. She shivers, drawing the useless slinky kimono about herself, as if it might give her any protection against the cold fall ocean breeze.

She looks to the complex exit route, and sighs heavily, before looking at Miles.

“Make yourself useful?” she murmurs, holding a hand out to him.

The crowd ebbs and wanes, much like the tide, as the fight shifts through the complex dance. When both fighters fall in, those with stakes in the game begin to argue about who went in first, until the bookie settles it with “The man hit the water first! The woman wins!”

This draws a new set of cheers and boos, hisses and whistles. Some of the crowd, no doubt those who have lost both bets of the night, begin to depart, making their way toward the pirate ships that are docking, to see what pillaged goods Sawyer’s crew is bringing into port….

… besides the corpses and blood, of course.

The Tempest shrinks beyond the bend of the floating Sill, and the captive whaler with her, behind her, tethered not by rope but an invisible cord of intended destiny. As they pass out of sight, the Tempest lets out another: WHHRRROOOOOOMMMM. And on the tail-end of the horn, a single flare sizzles up in the night.

Red, for good luck.

Slender and burning, the flare cuts through the black sky like a shaft of silk. No call for distress. Perhaps a welcome, or a warning.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License