• Graded • [Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

Linika and Sel'ma goes to sea. Sequel to Sense of Cosmetics.

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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

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Fishing in the debris - An Outrigger Overture


Memory: 7 Ymiden 704 in Desnind

Special Control Permissions: In this thread we have agreed on a mutual permission of light control of each other's characters when we feel it's needed for story pace and flow. This permission includes moving already ongoing interactions on in a seamless way, but not character speech or starting new major character actions or reactions for the other PC.

Continued from :
Sense of cosmetics


So, Sel’ma had been tasked with getting a boat for the stranded naerikk Linika who was holding a small sev’ryn child as hostage further down the beach, out of sight for the people in the harbor. She wasn’t doing it willingly, and she was full of fears and misgivings, but she had to try to save the child. Being fourteen arcs old, Sel’ma wasn’t particularly experienced yet. This accounted for her strategy to deal with this serious trouble alone, instead of seeking reinforcements.

The pattern she had painted on her face with her own blood made her look like a sev’ryn wearing camouflage meant to make her face less visible in the forest. There was nothing unusual with camouflage, and the dark red brown color of if could as well have been red earth. Her short skin dress had gone from finery to plain everyday wear due to the fight.

There was absolutely nothing remarkable at all about the dark haired sev’ryn girl when she walked in among the small fishing boats and acted like she was a fisher. She moved with confident, self-assured strides and did her best to look like she knew exactly which boat she was going for; "her" boat. She hoped this attempt at acting like a fisher would convince the few people she could see at a distance, and nobody would look twice.

The fishing boats were outrigger sailing canoes with one single outrigger to the right side, and a simple square sail. The outrigger gave the boat more stability at sea than just a canoe would have, and could prevent it from toppling over if the wind and waves went troublesome. This construction it also made it possible to make it wider and flatter in shape, which made for more room for catch, cargo or passengers. The sail in addition to the paddles made for speed; this boat could be paddled, rowed or sailed, sometimes all of it at same time.

However, the outriggers also made these boats heavier to pull out from the shore and into the water. So Sel’ma was simply going to take the boat that was nearest to the water. Fortunately, nobody seemed to be around and she approached the most suitable boat and inspected it. Looking at the equipment there, she could see the usual water skins with fresh water for the fishers to drink, and the usual fishing gear people used for ocean fishing; a pile of nets and several harpoons. There were other typical things too as well, rope for example.

Sel’ma started to push the boat out on the water, and it was as heavy as she had expected, the outrigger part of it adding a lot of weight. She was able to move it though, but it took effort and it wasn’t fast. And before she had completed it, she heard a male voice behind her, asking her what she was doing with his boat. The fisher who owned the boat had returned just in time.

Sel’ma tried to come up with an explanation, and gave the fisher some bad rhetoric about how she had made a mistake and taken the wrong boat. But as she was sev’ryn, and not at all used to lie and deceive, her rhetoric sounded as fabricated as it was, and she fell short. An interrogation followed, and as Sel’ma was fourteen arcs and already under high pressure she wasn’t able to resist when the man sternly told her to tell him what this was about but also added in a typically sev’ryn way that if she was in trouble he would help her sort things out. She told him everything.

As it turned out, the child on the beach was the fisher small daughter Be’rine, who he had brought with him so she would get some early easy training. This made him react much like Sel’ma had done; he too put the life of the child first now and wasn’t going to take the risk of getting reinforcements that could make the naerikk do something rash. Nor was he going to leave this to Sel’ma to deal with alone. Instead, the fisher Jao’vier and Sel’ma pushed the boat out on the water and went about the rescue together.

"Not only one, but two lives will be saved this day" the fisherman said.

Sel’ma followed Jao’vier’s instructions, pulled the right lines and set the sail as she was told. The sail was now up, and once they got wind in it this would speed them up, the fisher said. Although she wasn’t a fisher, Sel’ma lived in Desnind and had seen boats and sea before. She wasn’t scared of the sea, and it wasn’t hard for her to carry out the simple tasks she was showed how to do. After an instruction about exactly how to hold the paddle she attempted to do this. Jao’vier corrected her grip and she made an attempt to paddle the way he instructed her to do. He corrected this too, and Sel’ma tried again, doing it well enough to contribute to driving the boat.

They paddled out on the water. Under constant supervision of Jao’vier she gradually corrected her paddling and learnt to follow the same rhythm as her teacher, and now the boat started to move at a steady pace. Just like Jao’vier had said, they got wind in the sail once they were out on the water properly, and the boat speeded up considerable. The fisher knew exactly how to maneuver the boat. For a while they put the paddles down and he showed her how to manage the sail and let her have a few tries at this. While Jao’vier showed her how to do with the sail, he let her take the rudder and hold the boat on a steady course. Then he took over the steering and Sel’ma did as he said with the sail, was corrected and tried again. This was repeated several times, until she had grasped how to do. That way she acquired some easy basics of sailing and padding a boat.

Once they were reasonably synced as crew, the boat moved smoothly and at high speed over the water and through the waves, the sole outrigger making it feel fairly stable. It would have been fun, if the purpose hadn’t been that she had to participate in a race against death. But the severity of the situation also made her focus very hard and learn fast, as there was no other option. It was in fact necessary for their strategy that she would be able to cope with the boat, even if it was in an unskilled way.

As they approached the part of the beach where the naerikk and the hostage could be found, Sel’ma and Jao’vier followed this strategy: The fisher lay down in the boat in order to not be visible from the shore. They didn’t want the naerikk to see him from a distance and kill the child in panic. Instead, they made it look like Sel’ma arrived solo in the boat, just like the naerikk was expecting. Sel’ma would then try to speak with the naerikk girl, and try to persuade her to leave Sel’ma and the small se'ryn girl to their fate, take the boat and go alone to look for a lost ship somewhere on the huge, wide ocean ... to Sel’ma the naerikk's plans had all the time seemed desperate, and Jao’vier called it a fool’s errand. So the two of them would try to lure the young naerikk to the boat, where Jao’vier would overpower her and then they were going to bring her to Desnind for a fair trial.This would likely also save her life.

This was their plan.

Sel'ma took the boat the last short distance to the beach herself. It ran into shallow water and stopped with an unskilled thud that made it rock a little bit as it touched the sand. As is now was even heavier than before, and also Jao’vier was there to manage the boat, Sel’ma of course didn’t even try to pull the bow up on the shore. She jumped out of the boat and walked a few steps through the water and up on the beach. Then she continued slowly towards the place where the encounter with the naerikk had happened. They ought to be there somewhere, although the naerikk had obviously found it best to hide.
Last edited by Sel'ma on Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 1554
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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

Stranded by the sev'ryn city of Desnind after a storm, Linika watched her adversary trudge back toward the harbor to "borrow" a boat. Linika could only imagine how much anger must be stirring inside the sev'ryn's heart. But the nearby child rendered this anger impotent; and that brought great satisfaction to the naer. The young sev'ryn woman had turned out to be a far more formidable adversary than Linika had anticipated. Their fight had been far more evenly matched than it should have been.

Linika had all her rationales in place, both for her attack on the initial sev'ryn; and her threat against the small sev'ryn child a few dozen yards down the beach. She needed to stay hidden, but the first young lady, the one now going to get a boat, had to go and pick up her trail and come tracking her into the woods like some damned hunting cat. 'She fought like a cat as well,' the naer thought to herself, still a bit unfocused due to the pain of a broken finger and numerous bruises, welts and lacerations.

But she'd finally prevailed and gotten the girl down, under her knife. But it had meant little in the long run. There hadn't been any way to truly guarantee the sev'ryn's cooperation in going into her own city and stealing a boat. Linika had been about to go in with her, knife in hand, to try to force her to cooperate, but fate had intervened; The Great Mother Audrae had provided the edge she needed. A new, sweeter, more innocent hostage; the little girl on the beach.

Linika wiped the sneer of malicious victory from her face as she approached the child, feeling vindicated for the extortion she was going to indulge in. All she'd wanted was a boat to see why her sisters' ship had not answered her signal. But this damned sev'ryn wildcat had refused to submit. Linika had been prepared to die, rather than reveal what the purpose of her infiltration into this city had been. And she'd been more than prepared to take the self-righteous bitch with her. But if her sisters were lost in the storm, than the device she'd planted on a target ship in the harbor needed to be removed, undetected, and returned to her city, glorious Augiery.

The sev'ryn's expression, at the realization that an innocent little girl was now the operative hostage, had been gloriously anguished. Her slump of defeat, her look of impotent rage, followed by total submission to Linika's will was a memory the naer would cherish. But for now, she would add to the charade by approaching the child, brimming with smiles and syrupy words.

It took almost no time at all for the child to offer her name as Be'rine, and to state proudly that she was going to go fishing with her father. Linika was immediately on guard, tense with the concern that some grown man was about to round the bend and confront her. But it also struck her that the child was not currently carrying any sort of gear. Linika was no fisherman, but she knew there ought to be a pole of some sort, or a net, as well as a box of cord and lures or some such.

The girl herself soon took over the conversation, asking Linika what she was doing in town, since she clearly was not one of her people. Linika's turned in some surprise and concern that such an aspect of her person would even be realized by such a youngster. She decided, as she usually did, that half-truths were more reliable than outright lies. So she stated that she was here in a diplomatic capacity, but some of her party had been lost in the storm. She did not expect the girl to know what "diplomatic capacity" even meant. And while the girl did not get the exact meaning, she knew it had something to do with visiting and trading something.

Linika found herself having to resist becoming impressed by the child's intelligence, and took another look around for the approach of the "father" the child had mentioned. When she mentioned this, the child laughed easily, saying that her father wouldn't be arriving any time soon, so they had "lots of time to become friends." A pang of guilt actually struck Linika, as she began to regret her deceit. The child reminded her of one of her friends back in Augiery, and how Linika had been forced to join in the jeering directed at her to protect her own status, when this friend had displayed too much compassion too many times. Her friend had eventually been ostracized, and later found dead, by her own hand.

Prior to this event, her old friend had used that same phrase several times "...lots of time to be friends..." it hadn't turned out that way, and Linika still had feelings of regret and betrayal, fueled by the looks her 'friend' had cast her way as she was shunned and exiled. She looked down and saw the girl looking sadly up at her. When Be'rine asked her what was making her sad, Linika decided that denial would not be believed. So she began to speak openly of her sisters on the ship that had sailed close by, and been caught in the storm. Words got away from her, and she found herself speaking of friendships and fears of loss, and how she only wanted to see if they were still alive.

She caught herself, and realized she should not have let herself be taken in by this girl's open friendliness. She would probably have to at least threaten her after all, possibly kill her. She dared not let actual affection become an issue. She was just about to don a more harsh demeanor to undo the foolishness she'd allowed, when the girl suddenly squealed happily. "There's my father! Or...that's his boat anyway. I don't know who that girl is; some friend, I guess. He's probably picking his nets up off the deck. He will help you look for your sisters. You could even go fishing with us!"

The situation suddenly became clear, and Linika reached and grabbed the child with one hand, stopping her from running toward the approaching outrigger, and drawing her knife with the other. She pulled the girl toward her, not putting as much force into her arm as she normally would, intending to wrap the girl in a tight hold, with the knife at her throat. But their eyes met briefly in the process, the girl's flashing to the knife, and back to Linika's face. Be'rine's expression changed then, but here was no fear or betrayal or anger. It was worse than that, it was disappointment...

"Oh...I see..." Be'rine said sadly, her voice like a needle through Linika's heart.
Last edited by Linika on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1189
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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

Soon enough, Sel’ma could see the naer and her little hostage. As she came closer to them and saw the details, how the naer was holding the child in a tight grip, the knife at the girl’s throat, she recalled the moment she had felt that cold metal slide menacingly over her own through, not so long ago.

She met little Be’rine’s gaze. The child looked back and Sel’ma could see the typical sev’ryn inner resolution there. The child seemed to have what the sev’ryn called presence of mind. It was easy to see that this girl had been raised to deal with the threats of wilderness and it’s sudden surprises. Just like Sel’ma herself, little Be’rine wasn’t inexperienced at facing danger. Holding the child’s gaze, Sel’ma made a small nod of approval, to confirm that this was the right way to behave.

The naer was the one who came off as tense, desperate, rash ... scared. And no wonder. She was stranded and although she could threaten to kill the little girl if people didn’t do as they were ordered, what would she do if the hostage really died? The naer’s only chance to get what she wanted was actually to keep the girl alive at all cost. If she made her death threat come true it would be the end of her own temporary power.

“You take boat now” Sel’ma offered, being strategic and stopping at a distance, in order to make it impossible for the naer to shift her attentions from the small girl and back to Sel’ma. That was what Sel’ma thought the naer might do, when she thought of the possible strategies for the other girl. She moved to the side in order to leave the way between the naer and the boat free, and make it seem possible to let go of the girl, run to the ship and sail out before Sel’ma would have a chance to stop it. But she didn’t make it seem so easy that the naer would think she would be able to make it while forcing the child to run with her.

It was time to speak common again. Always a challenge! It could be a pro in negotiations to know the name of the other person, she had been told. Jao’vier had been a little bit worried because Sel’ma didn't know the name of the naer yet. He had said it was about gaining trust, and Sel'ma had learnt this possibility from him. He had also explained to her how it was important to “know your enemy”. Although Sel’ma certainly didn’t believe the naer would feel any more trust than she did, knowing her enemy could maybe give something. Full of doubts, she was nonetheless going to start with introductions. It didn't hurt to try.

She pointed at herself and said “My name, Sel’ma.” And after this she waited for the naer to answer and say her name if she liked. If she did, Sel’ma would memorize it but not use it just yet. “You leave girl here, with me. Go and seek for ship on the sea, yes? “ While spoke she pointed at Be’rine, at herself, and finally at the outrigger which waited in the waterfront, ready for the journey. Her face with it's grim pattern painted in blood made her look very different from how she had looked when had left the beach to fetch the boat. Sel'ma didn't think twice about this fact.

She was however going to complicate the negotiation. She felt obliged to tell the naer she had a choice, and her current desperate and dangerous plan wasn’t her only option. “But ocean is wide. Very, very wide and large. Wide and dangerous. Bad idea go look for one ship on the wide ocean. You die out there. Only water as far as sight reaches. You perish. Sharks and sea birds come to eat. It’s nature. Wiser would be you stop using knife now and stop doing bad things. You have other choice. Come to Desnind. You get fair deserts. Be sent home to where you belong. Be safe.”

As this offer was as real and true as an offer comes, Sel’ma’s voice rang true and noble despite the broken common,and she spoke without hesitation or any need of playacting or having to make lies seem true. Her words were true. She was perfectly honest. The naer was her enemy, but the sev’ryn people had standards, and even enemies were treated with the basic respect all the living deserved, be they good or bad. She wasn’t able to read the naer’s facial expression, or even guess at what she was thinking when she heard all this, but she sincerely hoped the girl would listen to reason instead of jinxing herself.

Jinx. This thought led on to another; the naer still had the amulet that was said to bring good luck for Sel'ma, but bad luck to the new keeper if it was stolen. Whether this was true and it really worked was unclear and a question about belief, like it often used to be with amulets. Sel’ma doubted the amulet’s powers a bit, in particular in the current situation, but she believed in it more than she doubted it. And right now it really, really would be good to rid the naer of the amulet, so it wouldn’t make her take the wrong decisions.

“Aslo give back luck amulet” she said. “Good luck is for me. Not for you. Amulet is mine. Give it to small girl. Let her go. Send her to me. With good luck amulet.”
word count: 987
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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

Linika kept her eyes on the boat as she answered the sev'ryn, "Soon enough, yes. But I need you to come with me, sev'ryn." The woman stated her name, obviously expecting a reciprocal gesture. Linika saw no reason to deny her the name of her victor. "My name is Linika, and I'll be needing someone to pilot the boat. Maybe you got your hopes up, but I'm not giving up the girl when I sail out to look for my sisters. Cause me no trouble and we'll all have a nice little boat ride."

The sev'ryn, 'Selma' she had said - Linika made no effort to mimic the exact subtleties of pronunciation - was stepping to the side the whole time. Lilnika's annoyance grew slightly. She had plainly stated that she was expecting her to pilot the boat. There was no reason for her to step aside. "Look, Selma, I don't know how to work this...kind of boat, whatever you call it. I'm not about to give up my edge just so I can thrash around aimlessly on a boat I can't steer."

Her eyes narrowed, "Where are you going? Get back over here!" She looked back and forth between the sev'ryn and the boat, tightening her grip on the child. A backlash of irritation struck her when she realized the girl had made no attempt to escape, or find a looser hold, or even squirm, yet she'd felt compelled to tighten her grip. She listened in growing anger as Selma continued to make counter suggestions. "I'm not handing Be'rine over, damn it!" she snapped, annoyed now with herself for letting her call the girl by name. That was the first step in developing feelings for a hostage. "I need you to pilot the boat, and I need her to MAKE you pilot the boat. Now quit stalling and let's go!"

Yes, that was it...stalling...That's what was going on here. She looked around quickly one more time for any sign of approaching enemies, seeing nothing, she looked at the boat. The girl, Be'rine, had even been a little surprised that her father had not been there. Something was being plotted, she could practically smell it. These damned peace-loving fools didn't understand Naerikk culture at all, and it was going to get the little girl killed. She was ready to both kill and die, for the benefit of her people. By following up on her threat without hesitation, her enemies would know that Naer did not make empty threats. That would benefit Augiery, and Linika would gladly sacrifice herself...okay not gladly, but willingly, to do so. Killing Be'rine would cost her her edge in the situation, but if she was then killed by the angry father, she would still take one or two more with her, and she would inflict the pain of teaching them not to trifle with a naer warrior, a lesson that would benefit future interactions.

Rage began to grip her. These bastards clung to some stupid notion that they would somehow passively wear her down to surrender. "It's not going to happen, Selma! Or you in the boat. I know there's someone there!" She began to tremble with fury, "I'll KILL her, damn it! Don't think I WON'T! Why would you make me DO that? All I want is to go search for my sisters! What's so damned bad about that? Why do you have to fight it? Get back in the boat, Selma!"

She flung her knife hand out like an accusing finger, her voice rising to a scream, "You're all talking big about other options. There ARE no other options for me! Why is this one so impossible to you? No one has to fucking DIE! I know you'll kill me if I kill the girl. But I'll still take one or two more with me!" The back of her mind was fully registering how calm Be'rine remained during this talk of being killed. 'Damn, what a brave child! Worthy of a child of Audrae!' She thought to herself, suddenly beginning to wonder if she could actually bring herself to kill her.

'NO, this is weakling talk!' she chided herself, bringing the knife back up, forcing the girl's head back.

"Ow, that hurts." Be'rine complained softly, "You don't need to worry, Linika. I won't try to run. I think you're right. There's no reason for us not to help you find your sisters. Let me talk to them."

Linika's jaw dropped in genuine amazement. She loosened her hold on the girl, growling a warning. "Don't try anything clever, child. I have nothing to lose. You have everything to lose, and that would be a shame."
Last edited by Linika on Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:25 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 827
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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)


It was obvious that the naer was unable to see that she had any other options than following through with her insane plan. Sel'ma had to conclude that the odd being would maybe even be so stupid that she would kill the child. Perhaps the near was raving mad? This possibility hadn't occurred to her before, but now it suddenly struck her. They might be dealing with a complete madbrat here. This would explain volumes.

It also forced Sel'ma to rethink the strategy on the spot, alone, without any support from Jao'vier. They were clearly not going to come to an agreement here and now, and the naer was holding on to the child so closely that it would be stupid to try to attack and free the small girl. The best had been if the naer had left her and Be'rine, and went to the boat alone. The next best was ... to at least get the naer to the boat so Jao'vier could get a chance to surprise and overpower her. This meant Se'lma wasn't going to reveal her own lacking sea experience. She would let the naer think Sel'ma really was able to sail the boat on her own, just like she had made it look when she arrived.

The child seemed to be observant and also seemed to know enough about boats and sailing to get that leaving the boat the way Sel'ma had done wasn't normal. When she sided with the naer about going to the boat together Sel'ma assumed the child suspected the trap and was trying to help them spring it. She met the child's gaze again, briefly, then looked back at the naer again.

"Not cause meaningless death Linika" she said, pronouncing the naer's name as well as she was able, though it came out sounding like the rest of broken common of Sel'ma at this time in her life. "But if you stupid we go to boat, die together in small boat on fools errand on the wide ocean. You get wish. Shark be happy. All your fault. I catch boat. Come. "

With this she turned around and ran over the shore and back to the boat. She wanted to get there first so she could tell Jao'vier about the outcome of the failed strategy. It would be best if he was prepared. If she got time for it she would pretend to just stand by the boat while silently telling him the new situation. She could only hope he wouldn't take if for granted that they had succeeded when he heard one single person run towards the boat, think she was the naer and reveal himself too early.

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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

There was only one thing that Linika was struggling with emotionally. When she found her sisters, there would be no going back. If these sev'ryn thought they'd be able to turn about and the Naerikk ship would just let them go, they were fooling themselves. This was no doubt the reason for their stubborn refusal to help.

For the sake of this Selma, Linika could care less. She was grown enough to know the circumstances of capture. Besides, she'd love to take the troublemaker captive and make a proper slave out of her. But she had genuine regrets about Be'rine. However brave the child was right now, in the relative comfort of her homeland, she'd be terrified to be chained in Augiery, and her one saving grace, her spirit, would be crushed. Then it would be brutal submission as usual.

She looked at the odd lines and design of the craft grounded before her. It would be worth bringing it back for the sake of any design benefits that could be gleaned from it by naer shipwrights. If her sisters saw the boat, and saw the girl jump out and swim, Linika decided she could say that she thought it more important to ensure the craft was taken, rather than the girl. After all, slaves were a nel a dozen, where an unusual design of boat was possibly quite valuable.

And she noticed how remarkably stable this small craft was. Looking more closely, she saw that only the bow had been grounded. The stern still floated in the tide. No...it sat on the bottom as well, she decided, looking at the uneven draw, and seeing that the stern sat lower in the water than the bow. Her eyes narrowed. That was curious for such a small craft. Linika knew she was no sailor, but she'd absorbed some knowledge without trying, and now she noticed that it did not wash from side to side with the tide either. And it was a two-woman boat as well, judging by the locations of the ties and the slack lines. What little she'd seen of sailing the longboats on her sisters' ship, it took two naer to coordinate that properly. She was somewhat surprised that these details even occurred to her now. But she was always at her best when suspecting a trap.

Selma had made no apparent effort to ground the front of the vessel evenly when she'd jumped out. No, there was extra weight that she couldn't account for. She was concentrating much more on this than on whatever nonsense the sevir was blathering now. Some crap about "meaningless death, fools errands, and sharks". Then the words "All your fault" caught her ear, and she stiffened with renewed anger.

"You're wasting your time, Sel-Maw" she said with deliberate, clumsy mispronunciation. "You got here quick enough with the boat, even though it looks like a two-woman boat to me. Be'rine here is surprised her father hasn't arrived. And that thing is sitting heavy, and unaffected by the tide. You climb in there and tell me what's making it so heavy, unless whoever is in there wants to just stand up instead. Because otherwise..."

She started when Be'rine suddenly called out. It was not a fearful cry, nor an angry one. The word that struck Linika was 'resolute'. "Father, she's not going to fall for it. Now please, just do what she says. She's not going to hurt me."
Last edited by Linika on Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 602
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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)


Sel'ma had reached the boat but she had no time to inform Jao'vier about the new situation, before everything changed once again.

As little Be’rine behaved like the child she was, and stupidly destroyed all chances at deceiving the naer by crying out her childish and naïve promise, Jao’vier, still hidden in the boat, spoke to Sel’ma. He spoke with the considerably higher understanding of the situation he possessed, being a grownup man with experience of the world. He didn’t immediately jump up as a foolish jack in the box at the innocent words of a precocious child, no matter how wiseacre, no matter it was his own daughter. Instead, he used what little time they had to speak with the young grownup sevir he needed for what was to come.

“If we really meet a naerikk ship out on the sea, all our lives will be forfeit if they catch us. So we will kill the naer at first sight of a naerikk ship at distance and sail back to Desnind” he said. Although the regret and sadness was audible in his voice, so was the acceptance of a true believer in nature and it’s inevitable course.

“And this means the naer will maybe kill my daughter, because the naerikk is like the ... sharks, sharks they are, and if we must, we will treat her as we would treat any shark that preys on our young ones, and kill it, kill , oh, we kill-her, kill-her, kill-her ... eat-her liv-er, liv-er, liv-er ...“

For a moment his low voice had taken on a other quality and gone slightly singing as he repeated the words “kill-her” like a whispered tune. Sel’ma was a sevir and knew what this signified. Jao'vier wasn’t speaking with his familiar the way newly bonded could do, or those who went animal-souled in their dotage. But she could feel the presence of a familiar summoned to the front of a sev’ryns mind, as this was often done in emergencies. She knew that from now on it would influence Jao’vier and his actions greatly. It was a part of him, a part of his soul. And although the human part of his mind was still as present and human as ever, he had invisibly shifted into something else, and had full access to the senses his familiar spirit animal enhanced in him. And with this came another way of thinking; the spirit animal’s way of thinking, which wasn’t human at all.

“Stay alert and be ready” he said to Sel’ma, the brief touch of alien sound gone from his voice again, nothing whatsoever revealing his altered state of mind to somebody who wasn’t sev’ryn and didn’t understand what this would mean.

“We will try to save Be’rine. But we will not go as far as to sacrifice three sev’ryn for a fool’s errand.Don’t hesitate to attack and kill the naer if the moment comes when we have to do it. Nature is a great force. Like all living being we do nature’s bidding. Nature gives life and takes it. We come into this world and we all leave it, old or young. If we all die, nobody benefits bar naerikk and other sharks. If some of us die with the naer, we will feel sorrow for the dead, but we will still be of use for our people, we will still be able to serve Moseke and this world. “ He paused there to let his worlds sink in, before he added: “Be’rine is a daughter of the sev’ryn, and so are also you. We go together. We help and protect each other, until nature takes us to transform us into new life. So be it.”

As she heard the man actively disconnect himself from the personal plane of existence and the limitations of the mere biological fathership and its feelings and reactions, Sel’ma knew it was the familiar of his mind who was speaking to her from it’s wider, higher view on reality, nature, life and death. Its visions, its ways of thinking, it’s perception of the situation would guide the man. The naer might imagine that Be’rine came first to him. But Sel’ma knew it wasn’t so. Not anymore. Only life itself mattered now, and in which form it would continue was secondary.

Sev’ryn weren’t like humans, who were mostly unable to take the higher spiritual view on events and think outside the limitations of their own existence in their organic bodies of flesh an blood. To humans, the sev’ryn could sometimes be incomprehensible, as their inner points of reference were different and other, and could be truly unexpected, seen from a human way of thinking. The sev'ryn could often be mistaken for fools, even.

Sel'ma had learnt to be silent about the truth when she was around humans. It was best to not tell them there were things they weren’t able to know with their limited senses and perception. It would often scare them, she had learnt. And it could also make them envious; a typical reaction of members of the pitiful human race that unwittingly walked like blind and deaf through life. Nobody likes to realize they are inferior.

She didn’t’ know Jao'vier, but from the very faint signs she had observed right now, she could guess at what the familiar side of him was. Being sev’ryn she had learnt about the familiar spirit animals early on, from legends told around in the evenings when people sat gathered to speak about many things. Awed and respectful at what she saw in him she confirmed: “So be it.”

And so Jao’vier got to his feet, and just like a human man would have done, but with the grace of an orca leaping in the ocean, he jumped up as a jack in the box at the innocent and naïve words of a precocious child.

“Don’t hurt my daughter” he called out in common far better than Sel’ma’s. “We will do as you say!”
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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

Linika's smile was more than half a sneer, as she absent-mindedly patted Be'rine on the head, her voice sourly melodious with sarcasm, "Well, look who's here, honey! Your daddy was hiding in the boat the whole time. What a surprise..." She had adopted a saucy pose of victorious confidence, but now it just grew self-righteous as she approached the boat, "You act like I'm just looking for a reason to hurt this child. The only thing that's going to get her hurt is you two trying to keep me from finding out what happened to my sisters. Now let's just get this done and we can all go our separate ways."

She felt pretty sure that the looks being exchanged by her two grown enemies displayed their understanding of the likelihood of remaining free if they actually found her Naer shipmates. Clearly, they knew they'd be immediately enslaved. Again, the sense of regret regarding what would become of Be'rine in that event put a dark cloud over her sense of victory. Well, fate would have its way. There's nothing she could do about that. It was her duty to reunite with her sisters, to let them know the device was in place on the target ship.

But her mind was distracted by a sudden hope that she could find a way to spare the girl this fate. She began to think that she could perhaps sabotage the boat, so it would not be taken along with the father and that damned "Sel-Maw". Then, she would advise Be'rine to hide among the disabled hulk and float back home. She found herself annoyingly stricken by the knowledge that the girl would hate her in either event. 'Why am I letting myself be bothered by this?' she scolded herself silently. 'They are our enemies. ALL other women are our enemies. And all men are just breeding stock. They don't deserve this concern.'

She moved to the front of the small vessel, knowing it was the least important part of piloting it. Both the sliding spar and ties for trimming or unfurling the main sail were all amid or astern the length of the boat. She made sure that both sevir adults were beyond the range of any sudden lunge before she stepped into the boat, taking a perch far forward, with her face toward the other two, and sitting Be'rine right in her lap.

"Now throw me a rope. I need to be sure this clever girl doesn't try anything." Somehow, she clung to the hope that Be'rine would have some small appreciation for her compliment in calling her "clever". She knew there would be times she'd be unable to keep both hands on the girl. As well, in the tossing waves of the open ocean, she'd be too hesitant to hold the knife too closely, as a single swell could cause her hand to lurch and open the girl's throat on the blade.

She began a futile attempt to tell herself it was only the loss of her hostage that made her worry about it, but she cut that line of thought off with a scowl. She wasn't fooling herself. Worse yet, if she kept thinking this way, her enemies would realize it as well. Then all would be truly lost. She checked her hold on Be'rine, sensing no tenseness in the girl's posture or attitude. "Well, what are we waiting for?"
Last edited by Linika on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 600
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Sel'ma
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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

Sel'ma watched silently as Linika moved to the front of the canoe, and saw the naer take a seat there, with Be'rine in her lap. She saw the child's father, Jao'vier, follow and do as he was told; Sel'ma followed the rope with her gaze as it was thrown, saw it move through the air and land beside the naer.

The weather was good today, though quite windy, she observed. She could see, from a distance, that the ocean further out was vivacious; the sea wasn't rough, but it wasn't exactly calm either. Waves kept rolling in and breaking on the beach at a quite fast and energetic pace.

In order to investigate the conditions for the trip, Sel'ma listened to the repetitive splashing sound of the water when it washed up, split and withdrew again, and under this steady beat she could hear the ocean hum and murmur, sough and sing. Listening like this, she could also hear the wind, and she heard that it was what was called fresh breeze; she knew this was a wind that made for good sailing,

Sel’ma had watched and observed the people in the boat and what they did. And she had also watched the sea, and made weather observations. She had listened to the ocean, heard the rhythm and knew the pace of the waves against the beach. This meant she had investigated the surroundings and this investigation had given her information about the conditions they could expect for the trip.

She was now able to go on to draw a number of conclusions.

The first conclusion she drew was that they would have good wind, so the boat was going to move at good speed. And she thought this could be for good and for bad, time would tell. When sailed by a professional fisherman like Jao’vier a boat like this, with it’s relatively wide and flat design could easily make something like 90 miles per trial, so they would be able to travel quickly and search the sea at a substantial distance away from Desnind if needed.

Her second conclusion was that although an outrigger was a very stable boat, it would still move up and down with the swells like all other boats, and they were likely to get wet. This was particularly likely for Linika, who seemed to have settled for sitting in the very front of the boat, where the waves would break against the canoe. Chances were the naer was going to sit in a constant shower of cold sea water from behind.

Sel’ma’s third conclusion was that the risk for Be’rine was increasing now when the girl was going to be tied up with a rope. It would be essential to make sure that the child wouldn’t fall overboard, with her arms tied and not able to swim. As a fisherman’s daughter she was most likely able to swim well, but with her arms tied she would only be able to thread water and keep herself floating, while being carried wherever the ocean would take her.

Swimming in the higher waves further away from the beach ... this was something totally else than swimming in the safe area near the beach, where it was possible to swim the easy playful way, bathing and playing more than really swimming and also small risk for running into sharks and other sea predators. Sel'ma found that she would actually prefer to not need to swim in the serious way, on deep water far out on the sea. She wasn't sure if she would be able to make it. It wasn't unheard of how even quite skilled swimmers could find it hard and once in a while drowning accidents happened. An unpleasant thought.

Looking at Jao’vier she saw him give her a sign to push the canoe out from the shore and she did so while he set the sail; as the boat was already on the water she was able to make it slowly glide out and when the sail caught the wind there was no need for her to push at it anymore. She jumped in and as Jao’vier told her to take the paddle she followed his instructions. He was going to manage both the sail and the steering for a start, as this boat could be sailed by one single person. Sel’ma’s task in the beginning of the journey was to sit in the middle of the canoe add to the speed by paddling.

Doing as he told her, she started to move the paddle in the water, and after a few first failed attempts to do it right, and corrections from Jao’vier, she found out how it was meant to be used and started to learn the paddling technique. She held the paddle in her hands, pushed it down into the water at the side of the canoe a little bit in front of her and then she moved it backwards in the water, pushing, the lifting the paddle to repeat the movement. She did this over and over again and found a steady paddling rhythm she would be able to keep up for a longer time without tiring.

As she had taken the paddle she had also noticed the other equipment in the boat; waterskins with fresh water for the fisher, nets, harpoons, and other normal standard fishing gear. And in her inner vision she could already see herself grab one of the harpoons and attack the naer, if she would get a chance to do it without risking little Be’rine’s life. If the naer would kill, Be’rine nothing would stop Sel’ma from making this scenario come true.

They sailed. Sel’ma paddled silently. Due to her bad common and general dependence on Jao’vier for instructions, and her ignorance of which direction they ought to take, she choose to just listen to the other’s. She heard Jao’vier start to speak a lot about how it would be best to follow the coast and not head straight out on open sea, as the crew on a ship in distress in a storm would be likely to try to get nearer to land and attempt to find a safe harbor, not head further out into the tempest. He told the naer that if the ship had been able to weather the storm, it was most likely damaged and they would have headed to the coast for repairs. That was the natural thing to do.

And if it hadn’t weathered the storm ? Then it was no idea to search for it further out, Sel’ma thought to herself. It would have sunk, and disappeared. But once in a while the sev’ryn found wrecked ships in more shallow water, and sometimes a bit further out too, on rocky islets they had been crushed against. In the former case, when a ship had reached the beach, there could be a few marooned sailors to rescue. In the latter case, when crushed against islets and cliffs ... she shuddered inwardly at this thought, and recalled all the grim stories she had heard.
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Linika
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[Fishing in the debris]:An Outrigger Overture (Linika)

Be'rine sat calmly as Linika tied loops around her arms as they pressed against her sides. Then she ran the rope down to tie her ankles together. She thought briefly of forcing her knees to bend and bring her ankles up behind her thighs to hog-tie her, but decided against it. If someone was to have asked her why she did not, she probably could not have answered. She would never have allowed herself to admit that she didn't want to subject the poor girl to such treatment.

She had, of course, made sure the girl's arms were tight against her sides as she wrapped the rope around her. She knew enough of escape tactics to watch for that classic attempt. She felt a strange pride that Be'rine did not even make this attempt, feeling somehow that this proved the girl respected her intelligence. In her pride, however, she did not noticed how the girl had subtly shrugged her shoulders to bring her elbows higher as the loops were tightened. Be'rine was undoubtedly hoping to be able to slip her elbows below the restraints if it became necessary. There was enough rope left to give Linika an effective "leash" to keep the girl in her lap as they launched to sea.

Almost immediately, a wave splashed up and over the bow of the small craft to bring a gasp from Linika and a giggle from Be'rine. The naer suppressed an angry retort at the thought that the other adults would likewise be smirking at her. An outburst of anger would only show her to be more pathetic. So she went the other way, forcing a chuckle of her own. "Okay, you got me there. I suppose I should have anticipated..." a second wave sent cold water down her shivering back, "...that...I'll get used to it soon enough." she leaned closer to Be'rine's ear. "I assume a little water isn't going to bother you any."

"No, silly. I love the water." the girl chirped. "The splashing is a lot of the reason I like to go so often. But I would like it if you'd wipe the hair out of my eyes please."

The youngsters courtesy and positive attitude was a continuing source of guilt to Linika. As she cleared the wet strands from the girl's brow, she swallowed hard, thinking again of the likely fate of these sevir, once she made contact with her sisters. If she could offer to pilot this boat back to Augiery, perhaps she could stage a mishap that would allow the girl to escape. She glanced up at Jao'vier, ever the stone-faced fisherman, thinking he would probably accept such an exchange; his freedom for his daughter's. But she was going to need to learn to pilot the craft alone. She suspected that Be'rine would help. But that was the whole point, Be'rine would not be aboard. She needed to get some skills down right now.

"Tell me, child. Do you ever help your father pilot this little boat?" she ventured carefully. The girl nodded, eager to laud her own talents. Linika knew it would be very risky to try to actually do any steering, while trying to maintain a hostage in such close quarters with her enemies. But maybe she did not need to. "Can you tell me what your father is doing? Why he let's that rope out now and then, and holds the other one like that. And why that top...spar? is it?...why it keeps slipping back and forth when he does?"

Be'rine did not hesitate, and Linika smiled maliciously at the father's scowl. He clearly did not care for his enemy learning anything that might help her get away with this outrage. But he suppressed it quickly, deciding it was best not to reveal what he might consider important. The girl explained that, since they were still so close to shore, there were still many things they needed to maneuver around, otherwise they would find a good breeze, catch it fully and ride it without any need to change tacks so often. Linika began to understand that the slip spar allowed the sail to orient to left and right, to better catch the breezes as they fluctuated headings.

She tried to explain tacking in general to the naer, but the whole concept of making forward progress into the face of the wind, and at direct odds to it, seemed hard to grasp. Be'rine described the sliding sail as "billowing", to get a stronger wind. It pivoted as well, allowing the sail a great deal of versatility in achieving positions to best grab the shifting breezes. And she began to notice the timing of the pulling, hooking and releasing of the lines Jao'vier held to accommodate this. It seemed very complicated to her, but the sevir did it instinctively. Linika envied him his skill.

Soon enough, the fisherman cut back on his continuous shifting of ropes and sail, and the boat steadied on an outward course. Linika leaned to Be'rine's ear again. "Will you look to the left for any sign of a ship, while I look to the right?" Be'rine promised she would, and Linika raised her head and her voice to the other two. "Since you're both watching in my direction so closely anyway, why don't one of you focus past me for a change, and watch the horizon for signs of my ship?"
word count: 941
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- Linika Amarinthine -
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