Collab Splintering (Graded)

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Vega
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Splintering (Graded)

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12th Saun, 718
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"Simple as that, you said," Vega whispered to him. It was the early breaks of the trial and, were it not Saun then they would be standing in total darkness. Of course, the second sun which made its way across the skies was still here and so it was light. They neither one of them could even think about sleeping, nor had they been able to since he had made a small cut in his arm, the same in hers and their blood had mingled. Thanks to his blessing from Cassion, that meant a lot of things, but the thing that they were both dealing with right at this moment and since it had happened was the fact that they could feel each others emotions. Vega had been pleased at that part of it, and now, breaks afterwards as they stood together on the deck, she gave a prayer of thanks to the Immortal of Adventure.

Vega was standing with her back to the seas, leaning against the side of the ship and he was in front of her. With her arms around his waist, she touched her nose to his and smiled at him. It was overwhelming and enormous and it had hit her like a physical blow to the chest, his feelings for her. She had never doubted that Arlo loved her, not for a moment, but the depth of what he felt when he looked at her, as he put his arms around her, they were almost more than Vega could deal with. "I was full right up to the brim before," she whispered to him. It was true, of course he now knew the same in reverse. Her feelings for him burned brightly and, as they both experienced this for the first time, it was incredible. "An' now, I can feel that you are too. I.." She kissed him, suddenly and passionately as she felt tears escape her eyes. Not anything like sad, though, simply overwhelmed and amazed and delighted.

"i'm sorry," she said, softly, "for every time I've given you cause to doubt how I'm feelin'." It must have hurt him incredibly, she thought, when she did that. Since the feeling of his blood and hers mixing had caused her to experience a strange heat shooting up her arm, Vega needed to be near him, touching him. She hadn't even started to think about being able to share thoughts or any such thing. So, in the sweltering Saun heat of the early breaks of the morning, they stood together on the deck of the Wanderlust, held in each others arms and awash with emotions. It wasn't a surprise to Vega, yet it was tricky to keep her emotions in check and she was pleased to be spending the time, alone with him. Her cousins' ship the Waking Dreamer was visible across the water from them and they were the only two on deck. Her father and his were sleeping and it was just them.

And, of course, the dog. Zyqat looked up from where he was dozing nearby. He gave a sudden low growl and stood, and that was all the warning they had.

The heat was incredible, right in the middle of Saun and even at this time of night it was unbearably hot - Vega had resorted once again to her short shorts and crop top. As the sudden thunder boomed over their heads, crashing loudly enough that Vega physically jumped, the lightning struck at exactly the same moment and the mainsail was ablaze in a half a trill. That wasn't the most immediate thing, however, as the mast literally exploded and showered them with shards and splinters of wood, some of which were on fire. "Arlo!" At the sight of the fire, terror gripped Vega, but she did what she always did and she used it to fuel her.

"We've got to put this fire out", she looked up and a sudden burst of Rakahi left her as the remnants of the mast and the associated rigging and so on began to fall, still ablaze.
Last edited by Vega on Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 708
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~~

Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Arlo Creede
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Re: Splintering

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Arlo would rather the seemingly eternal night and the permafrost of Idalos' coldest season, than the utter misery that Saun brought to the lands. The sweltering heat, the constantly blazing suns and the absence of nightfall was enough to drive him to the brink. It required shutters on cabin windows that blocked out every trace of light, just to get a descent night's sleep. But in barring the light, they also prevented even the most minute trace of a breeze coming off the sea. Arlo had opted for black cloth sleeping mask so that they could leave the windows open, and of course their bed and pillows were stuffed with flat sacks of cooling sand. It helped and if not for that, Arlo would have been awake for all of Saun, start to finish.

But still there was no better place to be this time of the arc, then up on deck at the rail with Vega. "Sharing the mark is just that simple," he insisted, whispering back and teasing Vega as they stood alone on the deck of the Wanderlust. "It's what happens then that takes some getting used to." Because being informed about what would happen and actually experiencing it was two very different things. "It's not too much?" he worried. It had been startling enough for him, once their blood had mingled and he felt a rush of emotion that felt both familiar and foreign at once. It could be blocked, in a sense, and Arlo knew it. But there'd be a knack to that, and one that would require practice and self discipline.

What Vega felt however, Arlo figured, must have felt more overwhelming. Cassion's blessing after all meant that Arlo felt more intensely than others. He was more driven, his impulses, desires and cravings were stronger...all of it, and it must have tumbled on on her like a wave. But he knew now the extent of what Vega felt for him, and he knew that the same was true in reverse. "Don't be sorry," he said, smiling as he dipped his head and kissed her. "I guess there won't be any confusing our feelings now..." Arlo added, but then the dog lifted his head and growled.

There was only time to turn his own head in response before the rolling of thunder and the sudden crack of lightening made him nearly jump out of his skin. "You alright?" he immediately said to Vega. There wasn't time for her to answer before the mast shattered and rained burning splinters of wood and burning scraps of cloth down onto the deck, and on to them. Vega was right of course. They had to put the fire out, or at least make it so that what was burning, didn't spread to the rest of the ship. Some of that was easier said than done. Still, Arlo first used his knife to cut away a rope that tethered a burning section of the rigging to the shattered mast. What remained high in the air while burning, couldn't be saved. But cutting it loose, at least that bit, meant that it fell into the sea and extinguished itself. Rather than onto the deck where it would catch and do more damage.

Of course by then, there was a series of little blazes scattered across the deck, and Arlo chose the largest of them to focus on first. He grabbed a bucket next to one of numerous rain barrels and soaked a burning pile of cloth that had come from the fallen sail. But it was just the beginning, considering that it was one of several fires that had caught here and there atop the deck.
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Re: Splintering

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There was something fundamentally very sweet about Arlo, to Vega's mind at least. He was the strongest, bravest man she'd ever met. Nothing was too hot or heavy for him, Yet his need for darkness to sleep astounded her. Vega could sleep, as she would put it, on a frog's foot and she had no problem getting to sleep in bright daylight, in quiet or loud noise, if she was sitting up or laying down she could fall asleep. The heat she understood, but they had the sheet that his friend on Scalvoris had made for him and, under that, they were cool. His mask amused and delighted her all at once and, of course, it gave her a great opportunity to torment him.

There was no tormenting him right now, though. In this moment, Vega held on to him and felt his arms around her. He teased her, of course, because he always would - and in the same vein he insisted he'd been right in what he said. But too much? Vega touched her nose to his and, in a rare show of sensitive, she didn't tease him. "No, qau'ma, not too much. Perfect, beautiful an' not too much." She looked up at him, deep into his eyes and she knew that he understood it was overwhelming right now, until they both learned to control it better, but that was fine. It was a wave to ride for the two of them, she didn't doubt. But for her, there was a feeling of immense relief in knowing that his emotions ran as deep as hers. "I never understood how you could ever think I felt anythin' negative towards you, even in temper all I do is love you an' I didn't know how you didn't see that." Vega smiled at him, her arms tightening around him. "An' now, I jus' don't know how I never saw the same right back." She had to check though, "It's not too much for you?" Knowing what it did, after all, and experiencing it were two very different things.

He was right, she said, there would be no confusing their feelings. He should be warned though, she added with a smile. "When I lose my temper, I feel all this an' all of that temper, too." She smiled at him, well aware that he probably wasn't looking forward to feeling her lose her temper, because she tended towards rather extreme. But at least, Vega figured, he would know the deepest and most consistent of the feelings she had was her love of him. "Would've been right awkward if we hadn't fessed up our feelin's an' you'd done this," she teased, though she'd never have agreed to it, and he'd never have suggested it, she knew that. Still, it was a funny thought.

Of course, funny was short lived in the extreme when Zyqat growled and the crash directly above them caused them both to jump and she had no time to answer that yes, she was fine, because the lightning struck. Arlo had, early on in their travelling together, seen a dream where Vega - as a young girl - had watched her father helping the crew of a ship which had been caught alight and Joq'an had the burns all down one arm, faded now with age. Add to that her own experiences with fire just lately and Vega felt a wave of terror wash over her which would render most people immobile, frozen with fear, but Vega used it, harnessed it. Once he'd cut away the bit of rigging which then fell into the sea, she ran forward to the mast. "Get out of the way of the ice, Arlo!" Which of course, made no sense until she bowed her head in prayer and there, on the deck, developed a dry cloud of ice cold. It spilled out from her and covered the floor. It was, quite literally, the temperature of the cold between stars and so every fire on that level went out. If he got caught in it, then Arlo would feel his joints stiffen in the near paralysing cold and the dog was not one bit happy, but Vega wasn't really considering him at the time. "Thank you, XIur. Thank you." she thought to herself as she turned to the mast and she put her hands on it, praying once more.

As she dropped the temperature there by twenty degrees, suddenly, the few bits which were smouldering up there cooled and Vega turned to him, looking with worry to make sure he was alright. "You're not hurt?" Cancelling the ice cloud so that he wasn't at risk, she moved quickly to him, checking that he wasn't harmed in any way. Her concern for him was much more likely to overwhelm her than the fear she felt. However, once she had her hands on him she relaxed.

However, as it became obvious that people were getting up, roused by the noise and there were shouts from the Waking Dreamer Calling over, making sure that everyone was alright. Soon, the deck of the Wanderlust would be a hive of worried, frenzied people. Just for a moment, she stood and slipped her arm around his waist, standing and looking. "Yeah, we're scuppered, big style," Vega said, with a sigh. "We're gonna be dead in the water for a good few trials. Maybe longer. An' we're limpin' when we move. " Nudging him, Vega turned to him and stole a passionate, possessive kiss, holding on to him as she did. "Hope you're feelin' up to some manual labour there, muscles." She couldn't help it, she really couldn't. "You won't need your mask to sleep then, I reckon."
word count: 990
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~~

Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Arlo Creede
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Re: Splintering

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Vega could snicker and tease all she wanted. But when it came to getting any sleep worth mentioning, his sleep mask worked. If not for that he wouldn't sleep a wink from the beginning of Saun to the end of it. Thanks to Cassion, Arlo needed much less sleep than most people. But without any at all, he'd have been less than a pleasure to be around. And considering that Vega could now feel every bit of everything that he did, she'd have been feeling it too. 'I'm wearing it for both our sakes," he'd grumbled groggily the first time she'd mentioned it.

He wasn't sure that she wasn't just humoring him though, when she said that the effects of the newly shared mark weren't more than she was immediately comfortable with. But, he reasoned, soon enough she'd learn to turn off the faucet, so to speak, when it got to be too much or she just wanted a moment of privacy. They both would. It would only take time and practice was all. He believed her though. Not only could he feel it, but he could see it, deep in her eyes and she touched her nose to his. "No, it's not too much," he told her.

He was accustomed to feeling more than others did, by now, Arlo told her. He was familiar with the rush, the dizzying sensation that came with each new bump....all of them thanks to Cassion. Even this in its own way, he guessed. It was a lot, yes. It wasn't just his own feelings anymore. But he wouldn't have it any other way. She was right though. It would have been more than awkward had he marked her before they'd confessed their feelings for one another. Then again he probably wouldn't have done it. She'd have known then how he felt, and he hadn't been ready to tell her.

All that though had to be put by the side and right quick, in favor of managing the chaos that had erupted all around them. If they didn't move quickly they risked the fire spreading and at the least if it got away from them, they'd have to abandon ship. The problem with attacking one small blaze at a time however, was that as the tattered bits of sail had fallen, they'd scattered far and wide across the deck. Put one out and another flared up in its place. Therefore he didn't even question it when she said look out for the ice. Instead, he opted for high ground, bounding up to the wheel as Vega did her thing. And what a thing it turned out to be. Yes, it was suddenly as cold as any he'd ever experienced and he shuddered involuntarily. On the other hand, it was like dumping buckets of water onto a pile of smoldering matchsticks.

"Praise Xiur," he said both honestly, and also in amusement. After all he'd have been at it for a break or more, the way he'd done it before. "You know I'm alright," he told her with a grin after she'd checked him over and he'd made sure that all the smoldering bits were extinguished. "You can sense I'm alright, after all, if you tune into it." He'd also sensed and felt her fear and the rising panic. Arlo knew that fire triggered that sort of reaction from Vega and he knew why. He'd just never understood the extent of it till now. If he could, he'd take it all for himself, and relieve her of it.

She was right though. Things were a mess and they wouldn't be sailing anywhere anytime soon. "No rest for the weary," he agreed, leaning down to place a kiss on her temple. "You know, U'frek's granted me the ability to make minor repairs aboard ship...like healing up a small hole in the hull. It's taxing though as I understand it and I won't be able to use it for anything major. That I think is just going to take muscle, a bit of skill and more so a good bit of time." The best place to start he guessed was to clean up the mess on the deck and figure out what needed to be done and what they had to work with. "We have any spare sails or will we need to sew up a new one?" he asked Vega as he went along gathering scattered wood, rope and gear to pile in one place on the deck.
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He slept less than her and Vega had needed to come to terms with that as the gap grew bigger in the number of breaks they slumbered. She liked waking up and him being there, ever since the first time that she'd woken up in his arms, he'd been awake and looking down at her with that smile on his face that only she ever saw. However, there was something simply delicious about him sleeping in that mask and she enjoyed watching him. She'd suggested frills around the edges, but he'd held firm. In truth, of course, if he needed it to sleep then she very much supported it, but by all the Immortals, how he managed to be adorable in a sleep mask, she simply didn't know, but he was. Though, of course, she didn't tell him that.

That thought made Vega pause and she looked at Arlo with something genuinely akin to horror. "Hang on, I didn't think this through. Yer gonna know when I'm fakin' bein' annoyed or jus' pretendin' to grouch at you." Reaching up to his temple, she gently played with a strand of his hair and she felt entirely content. "We're gonna have to sort that out, Creede," Vega whispered. She returned his kiss with enthusiasm and then he said that he was used to feeling emotions strongly and she grinned. "Yeah, you've jus' upgraded an' gone ginger, my love. Cassion's mark hasn't got nothin' on a redheaded biqaj you know." Kissing him again, she grinned against him. "Or, if you don't, you'r gonna learn quick."

Of course, the sudden lightning strike and the following fire meant that he did learn quickly what she meant when she said she was afraid and as she roamed her hands over him to make sure he was alright, no matter what he said, she saw the look on his face as she checked him and she felt the concern for her he had. "I'm glad yer alright," she said with a slightly sassy grin. "I am, too. It's just debris, left over stuff. I.." Frowning, Vega realised something and then , of course, said it. "I feel better knowin' you understand. Less afraid cos you know my fear. How stupid is that?" He was right, though, there was a lot to do and a lot of it would be manual, heavy work. But he had an ability granted by U'frek which allowed him to heal ships?

"That's well handy, innit?" She said and then shook her head. "No, we didn't get spare sails. They might have stuff on the Dreamer, Papa tends to be a bit of a worry wart about things." That was certainly true and she leaned against him as he kissed her on the temple. People were arriving, Joq'an ran up to them both, uncaring of the boat but mindful of the people and her grabbed Vega and hugged her closely, looking at Arlo with concerned eyes as he did. "You are not injured? Either of you? There was a lightning strike?" With a deep frown he put his hands on Vega's cheeks and looked at her intently. "Are you sure you are alright, Eva?"

"I'm fine, Papa, jus' chill out. Immortals, stop bein' so dramatic." She smiled at her father as she said that, knowing how worried he was. Joq'an looked at Arlo and briefly grasped the boy's arm. "You are the only one allowed to keep her safe, these trials." He nodded and smiled at the two of them, relief on his face. There were shouts now, from the Dreamer and Vega slipped her hand into Arlo's, squeezing gently. "There goes our romantic evenin' on deck, eh?" And indeed, they had a good few breaks of heavy and, in places, dangerous work. The mast needed to be repaired which would involve climbing and the hull needed to be checked for cracks. There was a lot of shouting and a lot of stressing, because of course the ship might sink.

Within very few minutes of everyone getting over there, Vega was tired and irritated ~ at just about everyone except him. Once they found what his U'frek mark could do, and for the next few breaks, Arlo might want to consider changing his name as "Arlo!" became the most popular word aboard the Wanderlust, it seemed. Vega didn't yell for him at all, she just got on with doing what she was doing whether that was carrying splintered beams or climbing up to repair the mast, she just got on and did. But he was beyond strong, had wood-healing powers from U'frek and so, the only weakness he had was that he couldn't be in five places at once. However, just before they spotted the unknown ship coming towards them, Vega had turned and snapped at Lily who had called Arlo to ask him to mend something for about the fifth time. "Pick up the hammer next to you an' bang the damn nail in yerself! Or get a puppy an' name it Arlo but we're never gonna finish if you pair jus' float around an' make work!" It was baking hot, and tempers were frazzled. Of course, Lily got upset and started to cry, Shon comforted her and turned to Vega with a look on his face that spoke of trouble. "You speak one word to me an' I'm gonna make sure that yer brother doesn't recognise you when they take the bandages off an' children scream when they see you fer the rest of your life." Vega had more or less growled at him and pinched the bridge of her nose then turned and got back on with what she was doing. Shon was about to retaliate, but Joq'an put his hand on the young man's arm and shook his head, frowning slightly.

As the new ship approached, Vega was hot and agitated and irritated and felt all of that from Arlo too. "This lot 'ad better not be dweebs," Vega mumbled to herself, wiping the sweat off her forehead and getting back to what she was doing.
word count: 1057
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~~

Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Arlo Creede
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Re: Splintering

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Arlo had no frills round the edges, metaphorically speaking, therefore frills round the edges of his mask would have been out of the question. Besides, if he'd had them, Vega would never have let him hear the end of it and the teasing would have been relentless. She found enough to tease him about, without the frills.

But she was right, he'd told her. There'd be no faking or fooling him about what she was feeling at any given trill, until such a time as she learned to, in effect, turn off the faucet completely, only to turn it on again when she wanted. The same was true for him and it would require practice. "Everyone likes and needs to be alone with their feelings and thoughts sometimes," he'd figured. Which was why, unless they each learned to keep it in check, there might come a point when it felt to be too much. He wasn't complaining a bit however, and grinned when she brushed a stray curl from his face, and he'd kissed her on the nose.

And "Yeah," he'd teased her when they'd kissed, "I'm not sure Cassion thought that one through. Or maybe he did, and it's all a joke at our expense." Either way, it was a strange sensation to get used to. Not just his own feelings coursing through him, but Vega's as well. But then the thunder and lightening had come seemingly out of nowhere. There'd been the cracking of the mast, and the fire. And for the first time, Arlo had understood the extent of Vega's fear. It was only because he was already accustomed to feeling more, thanks to Cassion, that he recognized that the fear was hers, and not his own. Still, Arlo realized then that he'd underestimated just how much she'd suffered as a result of what had happened to her.

"It's not stupid," he told her. "It makes perfect sense. And if I can carry some of that weight myself by sharing it, then it pleases me." As for the sails, if her father didn't have any extra, then they'd have to make do. In a pinch, he guessed, they could use bed sheets and clothing...anything that they could stitch together that would get them along to the next port. "We'll limp there if we have to," he said, and they'd remember to be a spare set of sails before they moved on to their next destination. "We're fine. Not a scratch in fact," he reassured Vega's father when he joined them on the boat, then repeated the assurance when Jonas got there and looked him over. "It was Vega in fact that put out the fires."

"She keeps me safe too," Arlo said when Joq'an took his arm. "She's leaped in front of me more times than I've managed to get in front of her." But what was more romantic than spending their trials repairing a broken ship, he teased Vega before finally taking a good look around. Immortals there was a lot to do. The storm had caused a lot more damage than he'd anticipated, or noticed till now. It was a good thing too that he didn't tire easily because before long, he started to regret ever revealing to the others, what U'frek's blessing allowed him to do. That, and the fact that Cassion's blessings had molded him into a much stronger man than he'd been before. Or would've been without it.

It meant he was in high demand as they worked, and just when he'd begin working in a corner off on his own, one of the others would call on him. Fix this, move that, lift this other thing...and on it went. At first, Arlo was happy to do it. After all if they didn't get the Wanderlust put back together, they wouldn't be sailing anywhere anytime soon. And he wasn't the sort to be short tempered or easily irritated. But after a while, it began to wear on him and rub just a little. Which meant, he'd realize later, that Vega felt it and probably fed on it, he fed on her response in return without realizing, and back an forth they went. All the more reason he'd later maintain that they needed to learn to manage this particular connection.

It was only when things got heated that Arlo left his work and joined Vega. And as it turned out, Lily and Shon and Reese. He'd had to take a deep breath himself. Or two, before he did it. But he put a calming hand on Vega's shoulder and smiled. "It's alright...There's no harm done." Of course they were only words, since his irritation was real whether it was rational or not. He'd have said more however, in order to try and keep the peace. But then glancing aside, he caught a glimpse of another ship approaching from the west. "Look there," he said to all of them, wondering if it might be friend or foe. Hopefully not pirates. The Wanderlust at the moment was a sitting duck.

As the ship grew closer, it looked as though it might hold a dozen souls, give or take. And looking through his spyglass across the distance, Arlo shrugged and smiled a little. "Well at least they don't have eye patches, peg legs and parrots on their shoulders. That's a good sign, yeah?" And in fact it wasn't pirates but in fact a merchant vessel carrying all sorts of goodies...Wine and cheeses, dried fruits. Silks and lace and finished leathers...and so on. Arlo waved back when someone on the other ship did, indicating that both were friendlies, before he said to Vega, "Hopefully they've got a few hammers, saws and buckets of nails on board."
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Re: Splintering

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Never, as far as she could recall, had anyone ever kissed her nose and she grinned delightedly at Arlo when he did. "It helps," she replied in a soft whisper to him when he said that the thought of helping her with the fear she felt pleased him. "But it's much better than it used to be. I don't mean to overwhelm you." She was going to need to be able to learn to turn this off, Vega realised. He looked a little surprised, she thought, but she held on to his hand and smiled, reassuringly. "An' I get better every trial. Nothin' to worry about." She'd have said more, but there was parental fussing to contend with and Vega grinned at Arlo when he talked about her leaping in front of him. "Used to be a time when I did that much more. But we're fine, honestly. Look." There was, evidently, not a scratch on them. Joq'an looked around at the ship, though and sighed.

"I am glad, beyond words, that neither of you were under that or near to it. But now, we have a lot to do. Lots of hands, though." Vega nodded and kissed her father on the cheek. "Come on, Papa, we'll get it sorted." She smiled as Jonas fussed over Arlo - or did so for just a brief moment. "Zyqat gave us a warnin' too." Mr Creede had given her the dog, after all. Despite Arlo's protestations, they both loved the exuberant pup. "He was lookin' after us, I reckon. "

But, quickly enough, everyone was on the ship and Vega felt her temper frazzle. There were two issues for her, really, neither of which she was aware of in the moment. She most certainly was not used to feeling more and, of course, Vega already did irritated and quick tempered really.. really well. So, her slight irritation grew, bouncing back and forth with his and she didn't even realise that was what was happening. Because she'd always get hot and bothered and frustrated and short-fused at this.

Just... not this much. But that, she blamed on those stupid, stupid women who couldn't even lift a hammer and, as she hammered a nail in, Vega would have to admit that she was picturing Lily's stupid face where the nail head was. She yelled at the woman who, of course burst into tears and that meant that her stupid faced husband got all defensive of her when the pair of them were just complete wastes of skin. Vega was building herself up into a full on head of steam until Arlo put his hand on her shoulder and she turned to look at him and she smiled. He was doing his best, she knew, and just his touch on her made her feel calmer. Putting her hand on his, she gave him a reassuring smile.

And he spotted another ship which, if they were lucky, might be useful. Keeping her hand in his, Vega felt herself calm and when he quipped about peg legs and eyepatches, she dug an elbow in his ribs. "What're you like, Creede?" Resting her head against his shoulder for a moment, the proximity of him calmed her. All of these emotions, all of this irritation she felt, she just wanted to be together, the two of them. That was her bottom line, certainly. "Anyhow, if it is pirates, we'll jus' run off with their peg legs an' put their parrots back in their cages. Works like a charm, you know." She grinned as she teased him. But when it became obvious what the ship actually dealt in, Vega was genuinely pleased. "It might have sails too, but either way, more stuff for you to eat is always better, innit?" He ate like six horses, she often told him that.

But yes, tools and so on would be good, she said. Maybe some sails too. That would be really good.

The strangers' ship pulled over across from them and three of them came aboard. An older biqaj man and his two sons. They spoke in Rakahi at first, but Joq'an answered and the switched to Common. Vega smiled as he did and she felt a rush of pride and pleasure. "Papa jus' said that while his daughter, nephews an' nieces understand, his son does not." she whispered to Arlo. It delighted her that Joq'an did that - and he didn't use the word for "extended family" either, she said quietly. He used the word for son.

Which, as it turned out very shortly, might well have been a mistake.

While Joq'an was talking to the older man, he called Arlo over as he did a lot of the cooking - and more than most of the eating, too, though Joq'an didn't say that. The two younger men who had come aboard both seemed more than a little interested in Vega who just didn't notice that. The older of the two, dressed in cut off trousers and an open shirt watched her with open appraisal. Of course, she didn't notice, but he certainly noticed her and his eyes lingered on her. Vega was too busy to notice or care, in truth and the biqaj was soon engaged in the conversation with Joq'an and Arlo, about what they could buy.

While the negotiations were going on, the younger of the two young ones chatted with Reese and then made his way over to Vega. "Hello," he said in Rakahi and Vega, in a determined effort to be friendly and not cantankerous nodded her head. "Hey," she said. That was the extent of their conversation and he seemed about to say something when Jo'qan called for everyone to come and help with the bringing aboard of cargo. Vega stood and moved, immediately getting to the point where she could help out.

They quickly had a chain of people going, working to get the purchased goods over to the Wanderlust. She took a crate out of Joq'an's hands and was carrying it to put down with the others. She grinned at Arlo who was walking towards her having put a crate down. "We're gonna eat well, at least, eh?" She was frazzled, hot and tired, irritated at the twins again since neither of the women were carrying things because they "weren't strong enough" and that was enough of an excuse for both Reese and Shon to be distracted, not taking part and not pulling their weight. It really annoyed her and she was building up a good head of mad and trying not to as she smiled at Arlo and tried to be positive.

Which meant that he saw it. The elder of the two young biqaj men, the one who had been eyeballing her since he got on board spoke to her in Rakahi and Vega's eyes widened at the same moment as the man's hand grabbed her on the bottom and squeezed. Vega literally jumped, her feet leaving the floor as she moved off to the side. "Gerroff me!!" Whatever he had said had shocked her, genuinely, and that he'd then done that and she felt disgusted at his touch and the awful sensation of vulnerability which she hated. She turned, fully intending to give him a full on mouthful, suddenly experiencing what seemed to be her own outburst of furious anger.
word count: 1264
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~~

Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Arlo Creede
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Re: Splintering

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"You're not," Arlo had reassured Vega, when she worried about overwhelming him with what she was feeling. Which meant that so long as he was open and receptive to it, he felt it as well. "I've come to the conclusion that along with adventure and storytelling, hunger and all the rest, Cassion ought to be named as the Immortal of just...more." Because that's what it was, each time he was blessed over again by the Immortal, and now blessed again by being able to share it with Vega. Each time he felt more. They'd both adjust and sooner or later it would all begin to feel as natural as breathing.

They had lots of Immortals looking out for them, Vega and him, Arlo had said when Jo'qan expressed his gratitude that they hadn't been standing underneath the debris when it fell. And it was their kind of luck as well, felt like, that they were always finding themselves at the brink of disaster, but snatched out of the way just in time. "Just remember Arlo that even a cat has just nine lives and no more," his father warned him with an affectionate clap on the shoulder. Of course it was Jonas that had ever passed along those sorts of sayings. It was his wife and Arlo's mother. Arlo grinned a little at realizing that Jonas had decided to pick up the mantle.

But yes, there was plenty of work to do. Their ship was effectively dead in the water until the repairs were made. That alone could result in frayed nerves and short tempers after some time gone by. But the fact that Arlo's and Vega's feelings were pinging back and forth between them like a game ball volleyed over a net and back again...Well, it certainly didn't help. Vega's teasing at the rail however lightened the mood, if temporarily, and the arrival of a presumably friendly boat gave them something else to focus on. And if they were really lucky, that ship would be carrying a couple extra sets of sails.

Arlo was happy for Jo'qan to take the lead, and though he understood very little of what was said at first, that soon changed. He was grateful to Vega's father. Both for the gesture, and for thinking of him as family, as a son. He smiled and squeezed Vega's hand when she told him that, and naturally didn't anticipate what might occur as a result. After all, he might be more worldly now that he'd been when he first left home at only sixteen. But in a sense Arlo was still an optimist that expected the better of others. Better than they actually were at times, but he tended to give them the benefit of the doubt. Till they showed him different, that was.

Vega might not have noticed the strangers' focus on her, though Arlo certainly did when Jo'qan waved him over. He was polite of course, and took part in trying to reach some sort of agreement about what they might purchase or trade for, and what it might cost them. Though he wasn't exactly pleased to see other men looking wistfully Vega's way, so long as they were just looking...and not looking too long or hard, he wouldn't say anything about it. What man wouldn't have noticed her after all? She was a beautiful woman and it would have required a stupid and blind man not to notice. As long as noticing was all they did.

Soon enough they were transferring goods between ships, and there was plenty of work to do. Which, as usual, the twin wives managed to avoid taking part in. Arlo had stopped bothering to take note of it, except to ask one to move on to another spot to stand or observe, if they were blocking the way to getting a job done. But "Yeah, they had better on board than hoped," he said with a grin when she mentioned the foodstuffs they'd gotten. The best he'd hoped for was some extra dried meat or hard biscuits to hold them over if their time languishing at sea proved to last longer than anticipated. But in contrast, they were able to purchase a little fresh fruit and some root vegetables and even a side of pork among other things. They'd definitely be eating good and that evening he'd whip up a meal to feed them all.

That was before things went sideways however, and scuppered all those best laid plans. He was holding a crate full of fruit and root vegetables when one of the Biqaj approached, and it happened to be one of those who'd been eyeing Vega earlier. Though Arlo could imagine that they all might have been. The whispering in Vega's ear was enough to get Arlo's back up but when the man lewdly grabbed hold of her, Arlo's temper came unsprung in the blink of an eye. He dropped the crate, which broke open and sent apples and potatoes rolling across the deck, and had the man by the collar in a flash, first lifting him on on his toes then flinging him backwards onto to his backside. The man was shocked to say the least since Arlo's strength was more than he'd have imagined it was. "Touch her again and I'll make sure you regret it," Arlo snarled.

But the Biqaj wasn't walking away just yet and after shaking off the surprise, he was up and heading towards Arlo, leading with his fists. Arlo waited, ducked at the last trill, extended a foot and sent the man stumbling, then sprawled face down on the deck. The goal for Arlo was to embarrass the man to the extent that it would be lesson learned for him and everyone else. He'd only trade actual blows if he had to. These were guests after all, and they'd offered their aid. Jonas though wasn't feeling as obliging when one of the down Biqaj's cohorts came charging towards the scuffle, intent on blindsiding Arlo. Jonas, who'd happened to have been holding a stout bit of wood at the time, casually swung it sideways, catching the interloper in the midsection, stealing his breath and doubling him over in an effort to get it back.
word count: 1084
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Vega
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Re: Splintering

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Cassion was the Immortal of more? Vega couldn't and didn't argue with that, nor did she disagree with Mr Creede about cats and nine lives, but she and Arlo lived the life they lived and Vega knew neither one of them would be changing any arc soon. It was good, though, to see Mr Creede and Arlo together, Vega was happy to be sharing their lives in this way; the thought of him rattling around in that big farmhouse, missing Missus Creede was just incredibly sad to her. Of course, he and Arlo missed her no matter where they were, but Vega knew Arlo well enough to know that having his father here meant that he felt better and she believed that the same was true for Mr Creede; she smiled fondly at the eldest Creede.

Who at least pulled his weight, Vega chuntered to herself later, as the work got underway. At some point, she knew, she was going to say something to the Useless Twins, and their husbands. Thank all the Immortals for Huw and Fi, who got on and did stuff - but they were over on the Dreamer at this moment, gathering up supplies from there. . Vega's lack of awareness of the way that the men looked at her was not shared by her father or Arlo but she was completely oblivious as she concentrated on what she was doing and a large part of what she was doing was that she was not punching her cousins or their wives.

So, irritated, bouncing that irritation unwittingly between her and Arlo meant that Vega was churning up a head of steam, but she was feeling Arlo's frustration and he felt things differently to her and so her emotions seemed to be all over the place. Still, the sight of him caused her to smile and she even grinned as he started getting excited about cooking.

And then, of course, things went all to the Beneath in a basket.

The whispered suggestion of the man behind her made her skin crawl, but the feeling of his hand on her shocked and surprised her to the point that she physically jumped out of the way. The fury that flooded through her was unlike any Vega had experienced before and she turned with deep crimson eyes, but she was a sight slower than Arlo and suddenly there was a fight on the deck of the ship. Arlo had grabbed the biqaj who had pawed at her and he flung him. Damn, but Arlo was strong she thought and Vega was already starting to move, to go and stand with him and fight, but the she felt Jo'qan's hands on her, stopping her. "This isn't your fight, Eva," her father said and Vega looked at him incredulously.

The biqaj in question wasn't giving in and clambered to his feet again, fists up and snarling at Arlo. Vega wanted, more than anything to run to him and help, but Jo'qan's hands were firmly on her and she wouldn't disobey her father in that way. Jo'qan' believed, rightly or wrongly, that Eva stepping in now would do nothing but interfere where she was not needed. This was Arlo's fight and he was fighting for her, yes, but it was his fight. As Jonas floored the other one who had been part of it, the older biqaj from the other ship, the man Jo'qan had been speaking to, held out his arms to stop the other young men in his crew from getting involved.

So, there was Jonas standing over a winded biqaj, Reese and Shon moved to stand next to Arlo's father and make sure that the much younger biqaj didn't decide to start anything with Jonas Creede. Vega was being forcibly and deliberately held back by her father and the older biqaj from the supply ship was stopping his people from getting involved. While that was a good thing, it meant that there was an audience of, well, everyone and this biqaj was not backing down. Lifting his fists, his expression was pure fury and venom. He wanted to torment, to taunt - to make Arlo make a mistake. "She yours? I thought she was an easy lay, but not that easy that she'd stoop to a human," he taunted. Then, he moved, fist aimed straight at Arlo's face.
word count: 750
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~~

Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Arlo Creede
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Re: Splintering

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The white hot anger Arlo had felt when the Biqaj put his hands on Vega and whispered lewdly in her ear, presumably, had mixed and mingled with Vega's own irritation and anger, past and present. All of it built up in layers and became intermingled to the point that it was hard to sort out one set of feelings from the other. And which of them rightly belonged to who. Soon, very soon, perhaps as soon as the current crisis had past, they'd need to sit down and figure out how to manage and moderate all this sharing they were doing whether they meant to or not.

Meanwhile however, Arlo had a face to rearrange. Or rather, knowing his own strength as he did, he intended to avoid actually trading blows as long as he could. Maybe, just maybe, if he frustrated the man enough, the other would get all the messages he was sending, tuck his tail between his legs and slink off to his own ship and stay there. So far it wasn't going that way, and a crowd had gathered. If Arlo had been looking and seen what his father did on his behalf? He'd have been both pleased and proud to say the least.

But no, he didn't want Vega in it. It was definitely Arlo's fight. So long as there was only one of them. Maybe two or three, considering how indestructible he was feeling at the moment. A crowd might be too much however and he was grateful that someone had held Vega back, and that others were making sure that Jonas didn't get any funny ideas about joining the fray. The older man did glance sideways, pointedly at Vega's cousins and wondered aloud did they think he was too old to hold his own? It was a bluff really. It had been arcs since Jonas Creede had enjoyed a good brawl and he was definitely out of practice. He was awed however to see how Arlo was handling himself. A proud father if there ever was one.

Arlo's opponent however, clearly hadn't had enough and when he taunted, Arlo steeled himself against a knee jerk response which was exactly what the Biqaj was trying to provoke. But the man was a Biqaj, and Arlo had learned to read the shifting colors, and what that meant about what the other was thinking or feeling. It was like a window in the future and he believed that he already knew what his opponent was planning. When the man jabbed at him, Arlo was already moving, just a split trill in advance.

He ducked aside so the fist failed to make contact and went sailing past his left ear, then he pivoted and came back, using his own momentum to deliver a punishing roundhouse kick to the man's upper thigh. The Biqaj stumbled backwards, somewhat stunned and Arlo snarled, "Better a human than a man who can't make contact even once." After all, he hadn't gotten a single blow in so far, but there was plenty of innuendo there too. Still, he was fists up and ready, just in case his opponent hadn't had enough yet.
word count: 544
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