Lunar: Middleground IRC RPG Session 7 Session Start: Saturday, July 20th 19:42:05 1996 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Cast of Characters: Hahn as "Azura, Bounty Office Clerk, Caravan Clerk, Girl, Boy, Flower Woman, Man, Rhea, Madame Costalotta, Rune, Jean, Strength Testing Man, Franco, Masked Figure, John Madden, Bob Costas, Sword Swallower" Dragonmaster Blake as "Ebony, Gato" Luna as "Isis" Vecna as "Eomar" Ronfar as "Davis, Ronfar, ~Bob Costas" Nall as "Bulix" (Hahn as ~Bulix) Dragonmaster Lou as "Lou" Miko as "Miko" Iceberg as "Iceberg" Kenshiro as "Thesian" ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---There are many groups of dancing and music around and many colorful tents, doubtlessly filled with attractions of all kinds.--- * Ebony is hanging with Miko, looking at the festival type stuff going on. * Eomar looks around the festival to see if he recognizes anyone.. * Iceberg looks for the conjurer in the circus... * Isis has never really been to a circus. * Bulix realizes that a circus is going on, and rolls his eyes. "Great.." Azura: "Oh, wow! Look at this place! Colors, lights, people, laughing... Ebony, isn't this grand?" * Ebony mutters, "Great, a circus. That just brings back the good old memories." Azura: "Oh, you've been to the circus before, Ebony? Then you know how great it is! Come on, let's go see all the tents." Isis: (To Azura) "Yeah.. from a cage.." Azura: "Isis, what do you mean 'cage'? These circuses are nice. Why do you think they'd lock up people?" Davis: "Azura, I'd talk to Ebony before even thinking about that. Then you'll stop thinking such crazy thoughts." Azura: "Davis, what better life is there? The carefree circus... so beautiful and wonderful! I could see the world!" Ebony: "Don't talk like that!" Azura: "Oh, I should be so lucky! Hey, I'm a pretty amazing person. I should find a job here. I'd rake in millions of silver!' Davis: "Azura, well, if you heard what happened to Ebony, you might think differently." Azura: "Well, I'm sick of all you negative people who don't like the circus. Party poopers!" Davis: "Azura, I never said I don't like it. It's just you have to be careful." * Isis goes over to where the music is because she wants to dance! * Davis looks around. Miko: "Ebony, why don't we see where Isis is going?" * Ebony flutters off on his own. He looks upset as he heads off. * Miko turns and finds that Ebony has disappeared and follows him. "Ebony?" * Azura flutters over and trails behind Miko. * Ebony finds someplace quieter and sits. * Davis just shrugs and heads over to Ebony and Miko. * Miko sits down with Ebony. "Ebony, what's wrong? Is it the 'circus'? I don't know how this place could be like the place you were in. It's so happy and wonderful here." Azura: "Right on, sister! This place rules." * Ebony just notices Miko. "Huh?" Miko: "Ebony, what's wrong? I don't understand." Ebony: "Oh Miko, it's not THIS one... but the whole idea brings back uncomfortable memories..." * Isis gets lured into the provacative beat of the fantastic music and starts to groove.. * Iceberg finds that conjurer and realizes he is pretty good... ---The conjurer makes dazzling patterns of colored light, drawing animals and faces in mid-air.--- Iceberg: "Let me show something..." * Iceberg makes disappear two silver coins in his hands... * Eomar applaudes Iceberg and goes and hangs out with him.. Iceberg: "Thanks, Eomar, but the coins aren't true coins, just an illusion..." ---The conjurer does not seem impressed with Iceberg's trick and continues his show.--- * Iceberg makes appear two thousand coins in the air. ---A beggar descends on Iceberg's fake coins and madly scoops them into his clothes.--- * Miko tries to persuade Ebony. "Ebony, Isis has gone to dance, and Iceberg is doing fake magic and stuff. Why don't we go see them. Maybe it will cheer you up to see them so happy." * Ebony looks around, "I don't know where... no... Miko... I think I might recognize some of these people..." * Miko looks to Azura and wonders if she can cheer Ebony up... ---You notice the merchant stalls have all moved over to the central festival area. A sword swallower attracts an amazed gang of kids and others flock to the giant food court.--- * Isis finally realizes no one she knows is by her, she then decides to head off toward the merchants.. Ebony: "This just CAN'T be the same one!" Davis: "Ebony, well, if it is, I know we can't stick around." * Ebony lays down and puts his wings over his head. "I'm not here. It's not happening, do de do de do..." Miko: "Ebony, could it be the same one? I thought you were in the Frontier..." * Ebony continues to be in denial. * Miko tries to gently take Ebony's head out from under his wings. "Ebony, why don't we ask Bulix? Wouldn't he know if this is the same one?" Ebony: "Oh, Mr, Muscles ran off." * Miko looks around. "Ebony, there's Bulix!" * ~Bulix stops chewing on a giant turkey leg. "Huh...? *munch* Someone say my name? *munch*" Ebony: "Hey Bulix... tell me none of these people look familiar... please..." Bulix: "Huh? Oh, this circus? I've been in a few of them, you know." Ebony: "Maybe... it's not... I mean... I don't know him... or that guy... or her..." Iceberg: "Ebony, if this is your cirXXX we'll make them pay for whatever they done to you!" ~Bulix: "Oh, you mean the circus YOU were in? Let's see..." Davis: "Umm, where's Azura anyway?" * Miko looks behind her to make sure Azura is still nearby. * Azura flutters behind Miko, excitedly staring at everything. She seems so enthusiastic about this. She constantly gasps, and oohs, and aahs. Miko: "Azura, tell Ebony to cheer up so we can go exploring!" Ebony: "Yeah, that's me, Mr. Downer." Azura: "Yeah, Ebony! This whole down and depressed bit is really dragging on my tail. Lighten up, will ya?" Ebony: "Yeah? You try spending a few years in a cage and see how uppity you are then." * Miko looks about restlessly. Ebony: "Listen, is this THE circus or not?!" ~Bulix: "No, lots of these faces I don't recognize. Those masked freaks, though. That circus definitely had a bunch of them. I don't know if they're the same people, though." Ebony: "Sure, right... This probably isn't the same one... Yeah... That's it.." * Isis, being at the merchants, reminded herself of the sword and the award, so she grabs Eomar and takes him to the bounty office. Bounty Office Clerk: "Ah. Isis. Is that you? You've returned? I'm sure such a petty task proved unworthy of your great services." * Isis smiles and says, "Ah, but I've had a great help that was needed.." as she nudges Eomar. "So.. where's the money?" Clerk: "Here you are, Isis. This money belongs to you." ---Isis has acquired 2000 silver.--- Isis: "Thanks!" * Eomar says, "Let's divide it up.. So we better go find everyone.." * Isis and Eomar leave to collect everyone. * Iceberg begins doing some tricks with ice in the hope to earn some money... ---A small girl tugs on Iceberg's robe.--- Girl: "Hey, mister. You look like a dork." Iceberg: "Hi, girl... Why aren't you in home with your parents?" Miko: "Ebony, Azura, why don't we go watch Iceberg? He's doing real magic now! Look, some little girl is over watching him already." Davis: "Good idea, Miko." Ebony: "Yeah, I'm fine, Miko. Let's um... go have fun." ---Two little boys stare at Iceberg.--- Boy: "What are you doing?" * Iceberg creates two ice daggers that melt in the air. "Some magic." Boy: "So what? Snow falls from the sky anyway. Big whoop. Come on, let's go see the knife throwers." * Miko wanders over to Iceberg and the gathering crowd. "Davis, Ebony, Azura, come on!" * Ebony sighs and follows after Miko, trying to look like he's not worried. * Iceberg stares at the little boys. "Do you want some figure made from ice?" Boy: "Figure? You mean you could make an action toy made out of ice?" Iceberg: "Yes, do you want an articulated Star Dragon?" Boy: "Star Dragon? All the dragons 'cept the white one are dead, mister." * Miko looks at Ebony. "Dead..? Ebony, I thought you saw one..." Ebony: "I saw a statue, Miko." Iceberg: "Yes, but I could do it anyways. Do you have silver to pay me?" Boy: "Well, I suppose. My allowance is only 10 silver a week. I'll give it to you *after* you make me an ice dragon, okay?" Ebony: "Hey, Points, don't take poor little kids' allowances away!" Iceberg: "Don't worry, Ebony. I just want to see if they have good will to my Star Dragon... Come on, group magicians, join me in the magic spectacle..." ---Loud 'ding' sounds come from the south area of the festival. After each ding comes some loud cheering. There is a small band playing a very calm, beautiful melody over by the food stands.--- * Ebony flutters toward the music, trying to distract himself. * Miko continues standing near the others, humming along with the melody coming from across the festival grounds... * Ebony lands on Miko's shoulder. "I think I'll stay with Miko..." * Eomar and Isis gather 'round Miko, Ebony, and Davis. * Miko smiles at Isis and Eomar, and continues to look about, distracted by all the boisterous gaity. Eomar: "We got the money.." Davis: "Okay, Isis and Eomar." Azura: "Money? Cool. I want to hang out here all night, but we better go book a caravan car. There's no telling when they'll all be taken." Davis: "Azura, yeah, I'll go with ya. We should hurry up and get one." Miko: "Azura, do we have to get a 'car' now? What if we don't ever see another one of these things... Can't we just stay for a while?" Ebony: "We're not leaving yet, Miko." Davis: "Miko, it's just to reserve one. We're not leaving now." * Eomar eats an ice cream sandwich. "Mmm, gotta love circuses." Azura: "Hey, Eomar. How come that bounty hunter lets you hang around with her?" Eomar: "Azura, 'cause I'm not annoying." Azura: "Isis, how can you stand that guy? He just sleeps all the time." Davis: "Azura, good point." * Eomar retorts to Azura, "Well, I didn't see YOU making any daring escapes from a collapsing Vane... After a thing like that, one's bound to be tired..." * Isis just shrugs and walks off, counting her money. Azura: "Hey, Isis, we're gonna go reserve a caravan car with out loot. What do you plan on doing with your money, if I might be so nosy? Tee hee." Davis: "Isis, we really need that money." Isis: "Well, I suppose we can just split a caravan and go west." Azura: "Well, whatever we do, let's all go to the caravan office. It's right over there. It'll only take a minute." Davis: "Azura, well, let's go." Eomar: "What's the hurry, Azura? I thought you liked the circus." * Bulix looks around, slightly confused. ---A woman approaches Miko. The woman has a basket of very colorful and exotic-shaped flowers.--- Woman: "Pretty flowers for an even prettier maiden?" * Miko sees the flowers and gasps. "Wow... These flowers are beautiful... Do you trade them for silver?" Iceberg: "How many is a flower, sweet woman?" * Miko looks at Iceberg and back to the flower woman. Woman: "No, we need no silver. We pick these flowers from far away lands to spread beauty wherever we go. We only hope that people will plant their seeds and spread beauty everywhere." Iceberg: Wow, what a kind purpose. Give me one and Vane will have that flower in its gardens... ---The woman looks at Iceberg, then selects a large deep blue flower with pointy petals, and hands it to Iceberg.--- Iceberg: "Miko, pick up one on your hair. You'll look beautiful!" * Miko laughs at Iceberg, but then tries putting a flower in her hair. * Iceberg likes that now Miko laughs to him, he feels now more inside the party... "Thanks, flower woman. It's precious... I love it. Thanks again!" * Miko also thanks the woman. "Thank you for these flowers. You're so generous..." Ebony: "Give me one of those flowers, lady." ---The woman looks at Ebony with amazement.--- Woman: "You are beautiful. What do you call yourself?" Ebony: "I call myself Ebony." Woman: "Ebony? That's nice. What kind of flower would you like?" Ebony: "One I can give to a pretty lady." Woman: "Pretty lady? Ah... are you a lady's man, Ebony?" Ebony: "It's a gift... to show I care..." ---The woman hands Ebony a flower.--- Miko: "Ebony, you got a flower, too!" * Ebony flutters over to Miko with the flower. "Miko, dis is for you." Miko: "For me?" * Miko smiles and takes Ebony's flower as well, wondering how she will look with two flowers in her hair. "Thank you, Ebony." ---The woman giggles at Ebony and walks away.--- * Isis looks back, and wonders if the others are going to come with her to the caravan office... * Miko notices Isis walking away and hurries to catch up with her. * Ebony hurries after Miko. Caravan Clerk: "Oh, you're here for a caravan? Let me get my books... .... .... Okay. There's ... 6... 7... 8 of you, and it's our policy that pets ride for free, so it's only 8000 silver, unless of course you all want to share a car." Ebony: "Pet!?!?" * Eomar nudges Ebony. "Shut up, you're riding for free.." * Ebony wonder why they couldn't just walk like they've been doing. Iceberg: "8000?!?!?" Davis: "Yeah, we want to share a car." Isis "Yes, that's correct. We're all going to share a car." Clerk: "All of you want to share a car? Okay, then the bill is 1000 silver." * Isis hands over 1000 silver. Azura: "Isis, you... you... you're coming...? What are you doing?" * Miko looks at Azura. "Why wouldn't she come with us? Isn't that what people do out here? Travel with strangers..?" * Isis says to Azura, "Yes, I'm travelling west, so I thought we'd share a car. ... Is that a problem, Azura?" Azura: "Well, you... I just didn't know that's what you were doing. Guys? Is this Okay?" * Miko whispers to Azura, "Azura, I think Isis is very nice. I'm sure she'll want to help us protect you." Iceberg: "Isis, you're welcome in the party... Thanks for acompanying us." Isis: "Thanks, Iceberg." Ebony: "If we are splitting the cash for a car... That means we payed for half... so 500 of that silver is ours." Azura: "Geez, Ebony, why are you so money-conscious. You destroy the mood!" Ebony: "Sooooorrrrrry." ---The clerk hands Isis a bright orange strip of paper.--- * Isis procured. Clerk: "This is the ticket for car 17. We leave at noon tomorrow for Lann. Don't be late; We can't wait for you." * Ebony re-alights on Miko's shoulder. "So what do we do until tomorrow?" * Azura flutters over to Miko's other shoulder and glares at Ebony. * Ebony looks back. "What?!?" * Miko ties her hair up to give the flying kittens more space. Azura: "Come on, guys! I think they're starting a big dancing show soon." * Miko wanders outside, looking around. "Really? Who is dancing? Where?" Iceberg: "Come on, Isis, Eomar, let's dance and sing! We don't have many funny moments this late..." * Isis dances and sings, but Eomar refrains. Isis requests Abba... Iceberg: "There IS something in the air THIS night, the star ARE bright!!! Wait! What is the song about?" * Iceberg approaches the group, trying to learn that beautiful song they are playing... * Davis is looking for Miko, Ebony, and Azura. ---You notice a group of masked circus people assembling a small stage in the center of the festival grounds.--- * Miko sits on the ground, right up against the stage. Azura: "Hey, Miko, why do you like Isis so much? She seems more... well, she seems like she's killed a lot of things. More than you guys." Miko: "Azura, yes, I know... But she's still so kind. It doesn't seem to have made her a bad person. I think she only does it to help people... like Ebony says. She's trying to do good." Azura: "Miko, how can you say that? I thought... well, I just assumed you weren't into that whole killing thing, I guess. I'm sorry." Davis: "Azura, she isn't." Ebony: "Miko isn't 'into' killing." Miko: "Azura, and she's strong and brave, and she knows so much about the world... I wish I maybe could be more like her someday... Ebony: "I like the person you are, Miko." Miko: "Thanks, Ebony." * Ebony blushes. Miko: "But you're right, Azura... I don't know if I'll ever be able to kill as easily as these people seem be able to..." Isis: "I'm sorry if my profession disturbs you.. I just.. do what I have to.. to live.. I don't really enjoy it, but I know that I am helping rid evil from the world, and that makes me feel good.." * Azura looks at Isis, then turns away. ---The stage is assembled and is attracting a sizable crowd.--- Azura: "Miko! Can we watch? Please?" Miko: "Azura, of course we can watch! That's why I rushed up in front... So no one could get in front of us." * Azura pecks Miko on the cheek. "Thanks! Tee hee. You're much nicer than that brat, Ebony." * Miko blushes. "Thank you, Azura." Ebony: "Brat?!? You're a brat... Brat!" * Azura sticks her tongue out at Ebony. "Well, at least I don't have such a bad attitude, Ebony. I'm nice!" * Davis watches the bickering between the two flying cats. ---The food stalls and merchant stalls are loud with activity. There also seems to be some sort of gambling establishment attracting a crowd. It's nearing midnight.--- Iceberg: "When does the caravan leave, Isis? Is it now late for us?" Davis: "Ice, I think it leaves tomorrow. In fact, it does." Iceberg: "Thanks, Davis, but I wanted to know what time, so we could know what time to go to rest." Isis: "We leave tommorow at noon, so have fun now, Iceberg, while you can!" * Isis likes the music and starts to dance.. "Will you dance, too, Miko?" * Miko gets up and goes to where Isis is dancing. * Bulix wanders off around into the darkness, pretty much ignoring the festivities. * Miko and Isis dance and jive, having the time of their life... Eomar: "Miko and Isis are Dancing Queens!" Davis: "As well as singing ones, too." Eomar: "Isis is only 17! Just kidding..." * Miko feels the beat from the tambourine... * Iceberg enjoys seeing Miko and Isis dancing, feeling so many confident to join them... I'm shy in that suject... * Azura floats near Miko, thrusting her paws and spinning around, getting in the groove. "Ebony, I simply won't have any more moaping from you. You get your little, fuzzy butt over her now and start dancing! Have a good time!" * Ebony watches Miko and Azura dance. "I don't know how." * Eomar goes over by Ebony and joins 'Non-dancers Anonymous'. * Davis join the N-DA. * Eomar welcomes Davis! "Repeat after me: 'Hi, my name is Davis, and I .... don't dance.'" Davis: "Hi, my name is Davis, and I don't dance." * Eomar hugs Davis. "It's okay, man." Davis: "Yep, especially when I just don't care to dance." * Azura flips upside down and starts spinning swiftly, while alternately flapping her wings in sync. She kicks rhythmically with her back paws. "Hee hee. Can you do this, Miko?" * Miko looks up at Azura. "Ummm... I can try." * Davis watches Azura from outside the dancing place. * Ebony watches Azura 'show off'. * Iceberg is between N-DA and DA. In the doubt, he begins to sing... "The stars begin their dance..." Davis: "Bulix, you still here?" * Bulix wanders out of the shadows behind Davis. "Yeah, I'm here.." Davis: "Ahh, Hello Bulix. I wonder if Bulix would belong in the Non-dancers Anonmyous..." * Ebony doesn't dance, but does a few aerial acrobatics... ---All of a sudden, you see two people fly through the air in opposing directions, apparently on some high string! The people have brightly colored outfits and do amazing feats of leaping and sailing.--- Iceberg: "Whoa! New artists! Great!" Ebony: "Ha, I don't need string!" * Miko looks up abruptly and stares in astonishment. Ebony: "He flies throught the air with the greatest of ease..." * Azura grins at Ebony. "Tee hee." ---Many people below applaud the flying colorful people. The flying, colorful people each stop at the top of high ladders, and climb their way down to the ground.--- * Miko is quickly distracted and begins clapping with the others. "Azura, are we allowed to ride on those strings, too?" Azura: "Umm... I dunno. I've never been to the circus before. I don't need strings, anyway." Ebony: "You have to be a professional-type to do that stuff, Miko." * Bulix stares up at the people on the wires for a second, loses interest, and sits down, staring into a fire. Rhea: "Bulix? Bulix, is that you?" ---A woman with a brightly colored, tight uniform, and adorned with make-up and cloth bands approaches Bulix.--- Rhea: "Bulix... that... is you, isn't it?" * Bulix looks up, startled. "Huh? What?" * Davis overhears the conversation and mutters, "Uh-oh, we're in trouble. I can tell." * Iceberg is looking for the fortune-teller when he finds Bulix talking with one woman wearing bright coloured dress... * Bulix thinks for a second. "Rhea?" Rhea: "Yeah, it's me. Wow, Bulix. It's been a while. Where've you been? What have you been up to?" * Bulix shrugs. "I've been around.. got out of the circus business a while ago.. studied karate for a while.. I see you're still at it.." Rhea: "Yeah, I'm the only one here from when you were here. Karate, huh? I always thought you were the karate type. Are you any good?" * Bulix just shrugs. "I guess you could say I'm okay." Rhea: "Great. Listen, we gotta talk. Can we go anywhere private?" * Bulix stands up. "Sure, Rhea." * Rhea motions for Bulix to follow her into her dressing tent. * Bulix follows Rhea in. * Eomar sort of follows Bulix, secretly, to try to listen into on their conversation... he doesn't trust this Rhea character... * Rhea zips up her dressing tent. * Davis holds in his worry and casually walks over to Ebony. Davis whispers to Ebony, "Looks like Bulix just had a run-in with someone he knew before, someone name Rh-something?" * Ebony isn't really paying attention to Davis. "Yeah... that's nice." * Davis just shrugs and heads back. ---A man suddenly rushes by the group, clutching handfuls of silver.--- Man: "Mwa ha ha ha! I'm rich! I'm rich! Bla ha ha ha!" Ebony: "Bla ha ha ha?" Davis: "What the heck was that about? Oh well..." * Miko ignores the rich man. Iceberg: "Man! Where did you get that silver?" * Eomar checks to see if we still have our money... Man: "Hee hee. The hall of chance! See that black tent over there with the gold spades on it? I made over 20 silver! Davis: "Gee, over 20 silver... Yeah, that's a lot... not!" Ebony: "Uh... ah... guys, those places are a rip-off." Davis: "Ebony, yeah, I know." Man: "I'm stinking rich! Hmm... I suppose I should start looking for a better house." ---The man runs off cackling in the distance.--- * Ronfar appears, says, "Yeah, silver is great," and disappears. Azura: "Who the hell was that guy in the studly bandanna?" Iceberg: "I guess we should going to see more parties in this city!" * Azura can't seem to get out of her dancing groove. * Isis is still dancing... Iceberg: "Can we continue singing and dancing?" * Miko looks at Iceberg. "Yes, dancing is more fun than getting silver..." * Ebony hovers in front of Miko, offers a paw, looking embarassed. "May I have this dance?" * Miko dances with Ebony. "Ebony, see! You can dance!" * Ebony just kinda... flutters around Miko... trying to flutter to the music. Ebony: "You know, Miko, you're quite pretty." * Miko looks at Ebony.. "I am..? Really? You think so?" She seems embarassed. * Eomar can no longer stop himself from busting out in laughter as Ebony fails to realize his unhumaness. * Ebony sticks his tounge out at Eomar. Miko: "Ebony, you're a wonderful dancer. Don't you think so, Azura?" Azura: "Pfff... I've seen elderly tortoises dance more vivaciously than that pile of party pooper." Ebony: "If I didn't have a big brother complex, I'd smack you Azura." Azura: "Yeah, big boy Ebony. Time to put up or shut up, Ebony!" ---Iceberg notices a small, purple glittery fortune teller tent.--- * Iceberg begins thinking. "Would be it a fake? Let's give it a try!" Iceberg goes inside the tent. * Miko stops dancing and looks about for Iceberg... "Ummm... Ebony? Iceberg just disappeared... Did you see where he went? This place isn't dangerous, is it?" Ebony: "It shouldn't be." * Eomar goes to Miko, "I saw him head over to that fortune-teller's tent. I dunno about it... I don't trust fortune tellers." Miko: "Thanks, Eomar. Ebony, let's go see what he's doing." Ebony: "Uh... sure." * Miko walks over to the purple tent. * Ebony follows Miko to the fortune teller's tent. Fortune Teller: "Ahh... blue one. I sense you come here with many questions. For what reason have you sought Madame Costalotta?" Iceberg: "Costalotta? What could you tell me about my future and the party?" Madame Costalotta: "I see many things... many futures... many destinies... but, my vision is clouded. I can't see beyond this black cloud. Only the power of 10 silver can clear this mystic wall of evil from my sight..." Iceberg: I should ask the group... He exits the tent and sees Miko.. "Miko! Please, come here! What do you think? Should I pay her for our fortune? Ebony, tell me something about Fortune tellers in your cixxxx..." Ebony: "I wouldn't know. I didn't get to... stop by the attractions much." Miko: "Fortune tellers..?" Ebony: "Someone who tells you what's going to happen in the future, Miko." * Miko has an unreadable expression... "Oh... Okay." * Madame Costalotta appears anxious. "Blue one, you cannot afford to not know your destiny! Please use the power of your silver to remove this evil shroud!" * Ebony lands on Miko's shoulder as usual. "Yeah, right... The power of silver, weeeee..." Iceberg: "I'll spend those 10 silver... Take, Madame Carlotta.. Here it is.." Madame Costalotta: "Thank you! You will not regret this." * Madame Costalotta closes her eyes and puts her long fingernails over her forehead and hums... Iceberg: "I am beginning to regret it even now..." * Miko looks at Iceberg and Ebony with a skeptical look on her face... * Ebony is looking pretty skeptical himself. Madame Costalotta: "I see great fortune... women will fall all over you, blue one. You will be admired and famous. One word from you will change the lives of millions of people..." * Ebony snickers. "All right, Points!" Iceberg: "I like women standing, not falling, and how responsibility... One word... Whoa!!" Ebony: "She's just telling you what you want to hear, Points." * Iceberg doesn't feel any magic on the fake fortuneteller, but he enjoys the theatre... * Isis suddenly stumbles in, trips, and knocks over Iceberg!! * Miko gasps. "Isis! Are you okay?" Iceberg: "Isis, why in the world did you that?!!?" Miko: "Iceberg, I thought the 'women' were supposed to be falling-- Not 'you'!" * Azura can't help but giggle at Miko's comment. Iceberg: "What happened? Is everything okay?" * Eomar gasps, "Wow. She DID say women would fall all over Iceberg! This isn't quite how I expected... heh.." Iceberg: "Isis, answer me, what happened?" Isis: "Iceberg, I just tripped on this stupid 'oh-so-mystic' rug!!" Iceberg: "Lucky us. We only have two... er... three, -sorry, Azura-, women here to fall..." * Azura smiles at Iceberg. "hee hee." Iceberg: "I'll use deodorant next time we get in an adventure... Don't want any women to fall over my feet..." Madame Costalotta: "I see... many significant events in your path in the future... Oh, my! What... I don't believe it! This is... amazing! I don't believe it! What... what... I never would have thought...!" Iceberg: "What! What do you see? Tell me! Tell me!" Madame Costalotta: "I see... yes! It's all so clear now! Cindy Crawford will have a baby boy, who will be very ugly and disgrace her forever. Oh, and I'm afraid it's splits for Michael and Lisa Marie." Azura: "Say, who are Michael and Lisa Marie anyway?" Davis shrugs. "Azura, I don't know." Davis thinks they are some couple, I'd guess. Iceberg: "Azura, in other dimension, they are famous singers, but as good as Meryod singer.." * Ebony shuts his eyes. "I see... I see... a fish in my future... a nice yummy one. What do you think, Miko? Can we make my prediction come true?" Miko: "Ebony, I hope so! Maybe in this 'Lann' place." Madame Costalotta: "Madame Costalotta has spoken! You will leave immediately! I must... rest..." ---An excited young couple pushes the group out of the way to get into Madame Costalotta's tent.--- * Miko stands up and leaves the tent, listening once again for the dinging sound... ---Miko sees a tall tower-like structure and a line of large men. The man in front has a giant mallet and seems to be mustering his strength for something...--- Ebony: "Oh, the strength testing thingy." Iceberg: "Let's see the strong and no-brain ones. It's funny seeing the peasants playing..." Davis: "Iceberg, yeah. Oh well." Miko: "Can we do it, too?" Davis: "Miko, I'd think Bulix probably could succeed. He's pretty big." Ebony: "I'm not the mallet swinging type... but you can try..." * Miko runs over and stands behind the large men. * Isis would like to try the mallet-swinging contest! * Iceberg would like to see it! "Show that men what women could do!!" Miko: "... But what if it takes silver... Davis?!" Davis: "Miko, I think it does. Most of the ones I've seen do. Not sure though." Miko: "Well, the flower woman didn't want any silver..." Davis: "Miko, yeah, well, this is one of those games. I think if the person gets some object to the top then that person wins a prize of some sort. * Miko is still waiting in line behind Isis, hoping she doesn't need silver... "Davis... A 'prize'?" * Ebony wonders if you get "Silver Points" for ringing the bell... Iceberg: "Ebony, I like that word, 'silver points', and don't know why..." Davis: "Iceberg, maybe it reminds you of silver? I don't know." Iceberg: "Davis, I hope silver magic will be available someday.." * Davis looks for a bot to beat up. Gato appears, says, "My name is Gato, I have metal joints, beat me up to earn 5 silver points!" and disappears. Miko: "Isis, what's a 'prize'?" * Isis says to Miko, "A prize is something you win for being the best!" * Miko pretends to understand, but she is still wondering what a 'prize' is. Ebony: "Miko, maybe you can win one... I wish I could get you one but..." ---Isis reaches the front of the line.--- Iceberg: "Isis, are you going to try it?" Isis: "Yes!" * Iceberg hopes that *eventually* Isis will win the prize... Man: "Ah, Isis! The brave bounty hunter! Come to show these pathetic men real strength?" Isis: "Absolutely, sir!" ---The man hands Isis a large hammer.--- Man: "I need 5 silver." Iceberg: "1,032 Silver is not a tragedy...." * Miko gets out of line. "You were right, Davis. He wants silver..." * Isis gathers all of her strength and confidence, hands the man 5 silver, and raises the mallet.. Man: "Just hit the plate as hard as you can and the bullet will go as high as your strength." ---Isis slams the hammer down on the plate and the metal bullet shoots up the tower.--- Ebony: "C'mon Isis! Hit the bell!" ---DING!--- * Isis jumps up in the air and shouts 'yeah!' Man: "Whoa ho! You got the rank of 'Wonder Woman'!" Ebony: "Wow, nice whack!" * Miko jumps up and down. "Isis, you did it!" * Ebony sinks in his claws to avoid being thrown off as Miko hops. Miko: "Ebony, wasn't that great? Isis gets a 'prize' now!" Iceberg: "Now, Miko, you'll see what a prize is..." Man: "Now you have a choice between the stuffed Albino baboon or a Dragomaster action figure." Ebony: "With Kung-Fu grip!" Miko: "Oh... So that's what a 'prize' is. Are they magical?" Isis: "No.. they're not magical.." Man: "The albino baboon is ultra-cuddly and soft. but the Dragonmaster action figure is super-studly and has 5 unique quotes including "Luna, I missed you so much" "Luna!" "Ghaleon, what are you doing? No!", "Nall.", and the ever-popular "..." Isis: "Ooh.. hard choice... what do you think Miko?' * Miko studies the items. "I like the soft one. It's cute." Eomar: Isis :"Okay.. Albino baboon it is!!" Man: "Oh, okay." ---The man takes down a plush baboon doll and gives it to Isis.--- * Miko watches Isis take the baboon. "Oh, it's so cute! Do you think it's cute?" * Rune appears. Rune: "Not really." * Rune disappears. Man: "Next!" * Isis names the cute baboon 'Snurgle'! Iceberg: "What are we going to do with a plush in the party?? Where can we hide it? Are we going to make the enemies laugh before the battle?" * Ebony absently wonders what the effect of using a Stuffed Albino Baboon as an Item does... * Bulix comes out of the tent, looking around. "Ebony! Where the heck are you?" Ebony: "Huh? What? Bulix? You calling me?" * Bulix runs over to Ebony. "Yes! WHERE IS AZURA?" Ebony: "Um... I saw her dancing..." * Azura calmly sits on Miko's shoulder. "I'm right here, knuckle brain. What's up?" * Ebony peeks around Miko's head. "Oh, there you are." Bulix: "Listen, you two. This is important." Azura: "Wow. I don't think I've ever seen Bulix capable of focusing his brain so well." Ebony: "Shhhh, be serious for a second." Bulix: "Oh, be quiet. Ebony, Azura, there are people here... Kind of like the old ringmaster. Rhea told me.. anyway, _be careful._" Ebony: "The old ringmaster...? This IS the same circus, isn't it?" Azura: "Careful, careful, yadda, yadda, blah blah blah. Yeah, I know. Ebony already gave me this boring speech already." * Bulix clenches his hands into fists and speaks in a low, cold voice. "I'm not kidding. this is _serious._" Ebony: "Azura please... I wouldn't want you going through what I did." Bulix: "Watch out for people in masks, and just about any one else who works for this carnival." * Ebony growls, "I will never go through that again... never!" Bulix: "Don't worry, Ebony. I'll kill them first if need be, but stay close and watch out, you two. Be careful!" * Davis stays REAL alert. * Miko asks "Do you think we'd better leave before something bad happens..." Azura: "Geez! We can't miss the dance show! It'll start in less than a minute!" * Davis wonders if he's going to have to grab Azura. Ebony: "Azura... promise me not to run off." Azura: "Don't worry, Ebony. I'm gonna stay glued to this show." * Miko remembers the show, forgets the impending danger, and runs back to the stage. * Bulix groans, and rushes after Miko, who's dragging the two flying cats along with her. Iceberg: "Azura, wait! We should take care of you! Let us follow you!" * Davis stays glued to Azura. ---Many elegant women walk up to the assembled stage wearing extravagant, flowery costumes. The lead dancer walks up to the front of the stage. She has the prettiest dress of all. Her hair is BLACK and is in a ponytail.--- Jean: "My name is Jean, and in case you haven't figured out what i do in the troupe, I'm the star dancer! Tee hee..." ---Jean turns around and gestures some steps to the other dancers.--- Jean: "Hit it!" ---The dancers quickly become a whirlwind of spinning loose dresses and large feathery fans. Their movements are perfectly coordinated and they seem to pass through each other gracefully without smacking into each other.--- Ebony: "Wow... it's pretty..." * Miko is entranced... "Azura, wow! Aren't they beautiful?" Azura: "Wow! Did you see that? She's the most skillful dancer I've ever seen!" Ebony: "Me, too, Azura." * Iceberg is charmed by Jean's dances... Pretty girl, I swear... * Miko wonders if the dancers will fall on Iceberg at any moment... * Iceberg is worried for Jean possible fallin' over my feet... "I shouldn't be very near..." ---Jean is surrounded by the other dancers and spins her fans above her head. Jean leaps up from among the other dancers and spins several times in mid-air before lightly landing on her feet. The other dancers separate and Jean leans over and makes light hopping steps with her feet. Her dexterity and skill seem very astounding.--- * Isis wishes she could dance as beautifully as Jean... * Bulix ignores the dance, eyes focused on the cats. * Davis is still glued to Azura. ---Jean moves her fan over her face, and winks at Ebony with her one visible eye, then the other dancers leap high into the air and surround her once again.--- * Miko giggles. "Ebony, she likes you!" * Ebony blushes. * Davis hmmms. * Iceberg is inside one charm he had never experimented before... * Davis is eyeing all workers around with suspicion. ---Jean spins faster and faster then with one agile leap, bounds over the other dancers, and lands on the front of the stage, bended on one knee and bows over to the audience. Maniacal cheering fills the crowd. Loud hooting and hollerring comes from the teenage males.--- * Miko is astounded by the black-haired dancer. She stands and starts clapping. * Iceberg is clapping with all his strength... * Isis joins in the cheering. Azura: "Oh, piffle. I can do that. Ebony: "In your dreams." * Azura ignores Ebony's comment. ---Jean stands up, bows over once again, and leads the dancers off the stage.--- Isis: "Well, we should probably all find a place to rest and then be ready for tomorrow's comings.." Miko: "I wonder if they'll dance again..." Azura: "Well, just watching that made me tired. What next, Miko? Do you want to go to the Hall of Chance, or go watch the sword swallowers, or maybe just go sing with those folks over there?" Miko: "Azura, sword swallowers? Ummm... Wow... Okay!" * Azura flaps ahead of Miko. * Miko runs after Azura. Ebony: "Hey, wait up!" * Davis runs after Azura. "Hold on, wait for me!" * Bulix races after the flying cats... Isis: "Bulix, what's going on? Why are you fearful?" * Bulix sighs. "Isis, I.." * Azura watches some bizarre masked figures drop swords into their mouths with seemingly no pain. Miko: "Azura! How... how... can they do that?" Ebony: "Fake swords." * Iceberg freezes one sword so no fake mechanism could be used to hide the blade... * Bulix glares at Azura. "Don't do that! Don't fly ahead like that! I'm not kidding!" * Eomar listens to Bulix and sticks around. * Bulix smacks his forehead. "Eomar, let's get something straight. You aren't a flying cat." * Azura ignores Bulix's nagging and points over to a man tied up to a wall. A masked figure throws small knives at the man, all of them perfectly hitting around the man, but none hitting the man himself. Many small children marvel at the knife throwers. Azura: "Wow, look at that!" * Bulix resists the urge to stuff Azura in a sack and tie her up until we're gone. * Miko suddenly runs over to the masked figure throwing knives. "Azura, wow! Look at this! How long do you think it takes to learn to throw knives like that?" Azura: "I don't know, Miko. Wow. What a cool place. I wish I never had to leave. This place just fills me with happiness no matter what I do." Miko: "Azura, I know..." ---You notice the merchant stalls are quickly draining their inventories, with their prime position.--- * Iceberg is thinking that with so many silver we should check the stalls to buy some equipment.. Miko: "Azura, what if Bulix is right, though... This could be dangerous... Maybe we should go. I'll bet there's more fun stuff in the next village!" Ebony: "Why don't we... um... find someplace... safe to spend the night...?" Davis: "Ebony, yeah." Azura: "Hold your horses, mister! Look at those merchant stalls. They're almost out of stuff, and you guys sure have some crappy equipment." Isis: "Well, we could all crash over at my place.. I'm sure it'd be safe enough.. with my reputation and all." * Davis whispers to Ebony, "I think a watch may be required." * Bulix isn't moving one blasted inch away from the two flying cats. * Davis isn't moving a mm from Azura. * Azura stares at the shiny swords at the merchant stall. "Guys, none of this is gonna be here by morning." Ebony: "Sure, why don't you all go buy stuff first?" * Miko sighs... "Ebony, buying stuff is boring..." Ebony: "Well, Miko, if you don't wanna buy stuff we can talk while everyone else does." * Miko looks at Ebony. "Ebony, if you and Azura just stay in my hair, no one will see you. We can go to the duck pond or something. Davis can buy the stuff. Right, Davis?" Miko looks expectantly at Davis... * Davis wonders how large Miko's hair is... * Bulix glances down at his cruddy armor. "Maybe we could use some new stuff.." Isis: "So how about we go shopping, then hit the sack at my house? Is that okay with everyone?" Iceberg: "I agree with you Isis, let's buy some stuff before it gets too late..." Davis: "Ice, true, we may need it, sooner than the daytime in fact." Ebony: "So quit stalling and go buy stuff!" * Miko grudgingly goes over to the merchant stalls... ---The weapon store offers:--- Short Sword 20S Hunting Bow 30S Iron Dagger 40S Copper Axe 40S Cutlass 50S Flame Wand 50S Imp Wand 50S Priest Wand 50S Iron Sling 60S Light Crossbow 60S Saber 100S. ---The armor store offers:--- Headband 5S Hardleather Vest 10S Leather Armbrace 10S Leather Helmet 15S Hardleather Armor 20S Leather Buckler 20S Purity Gown 30S Carapace Vest 40S Carapace Armor 50S Buffalo Wrap 50S Luck Ring 50S * Ebony wants to know why no one sells stuff for him, sniff... Azura: "Maybe it's cuz you're a silly, little, flying cat, Ebony. We are rare, you know." Ebony: "Hey, quit reading my mind!" Azura: "I can't help it Ebony. I'm your big sister! Hee hee" Ebony: "Hey, I'm the big one around here!" Isis: "Everyone get what they want, I say." * Davis agrees with Isis. Iceberg: "I guess we have enough silver to afford the items..." Ebony: "Fine by me for them all." Iceberg: "What are the wands for?" Ebony: "They probably do stuff when you use them, Points You're the magic person. You should know this stuff." Iceberg: "I'd like a luck ring, merchant... or a priest wand for healing purposes... ---Iceberg has acquired a Priest Wand.--- Eomar: "Can I have the light crossbow?" * Davis does not object to Eomar getting the crossbow. ---Eomar has purchased a Light Crossbow.--- * Eomar will sell his hunting bow. ---The hunting bow is sold for 15s--- * Davis eyes the Cutlass. "I would like to buy the cutlass." Eomar: "Davis, go ahead.." Iceberg: "Yes, cutlass for Davis now, but remember to sell the other weapon..." Davis: "If I can, of course." ---Davis purchases a Cutlass.--- * Davis trades in his Short Sword. ---The Short Sword is sold for 10 silver--- Eomar: "Could I have the leather buckler..?" ---Eomar acquires Leather Buckler.--- Ebony: "Miko...?" * Miko looks at Ebony and then at the clothing. "Davis, I changed my mind about buying stuff. Will you get me that brown dress..? The furry one..?" * Davis wonders what a brown dress is. "Miko, sure..." Armorer: "Sorry, miss. This thing would only crush you." * Miko looks depressed... Ebony: "Wouldn't the purity dress be better?" Miko: "Ebony, do you like the other dress?" Ebony: "I think it's 'you'." Miko: "Okay, Davis... I guess Ebony likes the other dress. Would you get that one for me? I'm going outside." * Davis keeps both eyes on the two flying cats * Ebony yawns at the boring human shopping. Azura: "Sleepy, Ebony? I don't see how you could be. You didn't do much partying down." * Miko walks outside and sits down, watching the passers-by and leaving the others to buy stuff... * Bulix wants to know if he could get a Buffalo Wrap. ---Bulix has acquired a Buffalo Wrap.--- * Eomar would like the Hardleather vest. ---Eomar acquires Hardleather Vest.--- Davis: "I would like to buy a Luck Ring." Eomar: "Go ahead, Davis." Davis: "I will see." ---Davis has acquired a Luck Ring. Miko has acquired a Purity Gown.--- Davis: "Hmmm, more to spend? I just want to buy the leather armbrace and headband now." Iceberg: "Davis, fair to me..." ---Davis acquires Headband. Davis acquires Leather Armbrace.--- Iceberg: "May I buy some armbraces and a headband, even they are no chill.." ---Iceberg acquires Headband and Leather Armbrace.--- * Miko and Ebony are still sitting outside... * Bulix walks over near Miko and the two flying cats, but not close enough to intrude on their conversation. Ebony: "You bored, too, Miko?" Miko: "Not at all, Ebony... I was just thinking." Ebony: "About what?" Miko: "Ebony, I don't know... Azura... Isis... Lots of things... Ebony, you, too... I'm a little scared of this place now..." Ebony: "Nothing will happen, Miko... and I'll be here to protect you." Miko: "Ebony, I don't understand Azura... I thought she liked to fight now... Remember how happy she was after that one battle? Now I think that she thinks I'm a bad person... Ebony, we are doing the right thing... right? And, Isis is a really good person, isn't she?" * Ebony flutters next to Miko. "We are doing the right thing, Miko... even though we might have to fight every now and then, and from what I have seen of Isis, she seems to be a good person, too..." Miko: "Ebony, yes, I think you're right... I just wish I could make Azura understand..." Ebony: "She seems to enjoy the battles..." * Ebony sighs. "I don't enjoy the violence... but it's necessary sometimes. * Miko sighs and wonders if Davis ever bought her that new dress... * Isis is done here so she walks outside to see where Miko and Ebony went off to. "Davis, do you have Miko's dress? I'll give it to her on my way out.." Davis: "Isis, Oh yeah. Oops." * Miko sees Isis emerge and smiles at her. * Isis sits down next to Ebony and Miko.. Ebony: "Hi, Isis! Isis: "Hi, Ebony! How are you doing tonight?" Miko: "Hi, Isis. Did you get any new stuff?" Isis: "Miko, no.. I had pretty much what they were selling, since I live here and all, and so I just supervised the testosterone for a while.." * Isis hand Miko her dress. "Here you go, Miko It's a nifty dress.." Ebony: "I think you would look prettier in that dress than that dead animal skin." * Miko takes the dress from Isis. "Thanks, Ebony, Isis... I guess I'll go put it on." Miko goes off... * Iceberg approaches Bulix. "So, who was that mysterious lady?" * Bulix glances at Iceberg, but keeps an eye on the two flying cats. "That was Rhea.. an old friend of mine from the circus." Iceberg: "Bulix, I hope I didn't ask anything private..." * Bulix shakes his head. "No, no.. nothing private.." Bulix whistles a smug little tune. * Iceberg sits near the party very happy with his new equipment... * Miko returns in moments, wearing her new dress. Davis: "Miko! Finally!" Iceberg: "Miko has now her new dress... Lovely!" Isis: "That dress looks nice on you, Miko.." * Miko looks embarassed... "Thanks, Isis... I wanted to buy the other one, but I guess I'm not strong enough..." Ebony: "You look pretty, Miko!" Miko: "Thank you, Ebony." * Davis likes the dress. Miko: "Davis, do you really like it? Better than the last one?" Davis: "Miko, yeah." Iceberg: "Ebony, you should transform into humanoid form quick! Learn that skill!" Ebony: "Humanoid... You discriminator! What the heck are you talking about, Points?" Iceberg: "Ebony, Vane's library has one book about morphing dra... er... Flying cats that transformed into humans for some time at will..." Ebony: "Yeah, right, Points. Where did you read that, the 'Meribian Tribune'?" Iceberg: "Ebony, don't know that paper. I only read 'Vane's Times'." * Bulix keeps an eye on the two flying cats, still... * Davis prepares for the BIG purchase. "Okay, now for the BIG purchase." Davis purchases the Saber if no one minds. * Bulix doesn't mind. * Isis shouts into the room, "Davis can have whatever his little heart desires..!" * Davis buys it. ---Davis acquires Saber.--- * Davis turns in his old cutlass. "This just didn't suit me." ---The cutlass is sold for 25 silver.--- * Davis is done. He leaves and goes straight toward Azura to stay near her. Davis is still paranoid... figures. * Isis runs back into the shop. "Oh.. can I have a saber, too.. Please??" Iceberg: "Saber for Isis..." ---Isis acquires Saber.--- Isis: "Woo-hoo!" Isis: Isis can sell her cutlass now.. She hates to give up her cutlass... It served her so well.. but now she has a saber to continue on the dream... ---Cutlass is sold for 25 silver.--- * Miko suddenly gets an idea as well. She goes back in and tries to sell her hyena wrap. Armorer: "Wow. That's a rare hide, miss. How's about 8 silver for it?" * Miko is excited. "Okay!" She gives the man the wrap, then takes the silver and runs back outside. "Ebony, look! Now I have enough silver to play a game like Isis did." Ebony: "Why don't you give it a whack, Miko? Then, we really should find a place to rest." Miko: "Ebony, maybe I will if we get a chance later." * Azura begins to yawn. * Miko begins to yawn as well. Azura: "Is... Isis? Didn't you... say you had... zzzzzzzz..." * Isis smiles at Azura. "Sweet dreams, darlin'" * Miko carries the sleeping Azura to Isis' house. * Ebony rides on Miko's shoulder. ---The group arrives at Isis's residence. Isis's residence is large and comfortable.--- * Ebony waits for Miko to settle down somewhere. * Bulix fully intends to stay up all night and watch. He's rested and hasn't seen any action since.. who knows when.. Davis: "Do we want a double watch or single watch?" Ebony: "Well I'M not staying awake." Isis: "I'll stay up with first watch if some one wants to join me?" Bulix: "I'll take first watch, anyway." Isis: "Looks like it's you and me, Bulix." * Miko, seeing Bulix has already volunteered, looks for a place to lie down. Azura: "Zzz. z... Huh? What are you guys talking about?" Davis: "Well, I'm taking second watch, then." Azura: "Watch? What are you guys talking about? You most certainly aren't going to stare at me all night in my sleep, are you?" * Bulix nods. "That's about the size of it, Azura. Well, we won't stare at you the whole time.." Azura: "There's no way I can sleep with all those beady little human eyes staring at me! I won't allow it!" * Bulix rolls his eyes. "I was kidding! Azura, we're just making sure no one enters the house... at all." Isis: "Azura, we're just going to keep everyone safe.. so everyone can sleep well without fears.." * Ebony yawns. "Relax, Azura." Azura: "Miko, they're being rude to me! Make them stop!" * Miko looks for a separate room... "Azura, why don't we just go sleep somewhere where they can't all stare?" Azura: "Miko, there's a pretty balcony up there. The Blue Star is really bright tonight. Will you go sleep up there with me?" Miko: "Azura, yes! I'd love to sleep under the stars again!" * Davis sighs. "Azura's just asking for it. I know it." Isis: "There are blankets in the closet over there if you guys want to cuddle up in those.." * Iceberg feels his Chill Robe cool and comfortable. "I'll dream over the floor, levitating..." Iceberg feels tired now and he begins dreaming about Vane's Gym... * Miko wonders what Iceberg is smiling about in his sleep... * Iceberg hopes finding out some sense of fortuneteller's prediction inside my subconcious... He is walking near a river with two women. Sweet dream, baby... * Azura flutters up to the balcony. * Miko hurries up the stairs after Azura. Isis: "Miko, make sure you bring a blanket or too, it gets chilly.." Miko: "Oops, thanks, Isis." * Miko runs back down for a blanket and goes back up to Azura. * Ebony is riding Miko as usual. He figures he and Miko might as well be chained together. * Miko and Azura and Ebony all lie up on the balcony, under the stars... * Azura hides down under the ridge and curls up to sleep. * Ebony looks up at the Blue Star, thinks Azura had an easier upbringing than he did. * Miko stares at the stars until she falls asleep... .. * Ebony curls up near Miko and Azura, wonders if the nice voice will talk to him again as he falls asleep. * Azura purrs softly in her sleep. * Ebony sleeps the sleep of innocent little kitties. ---It's about 1am now, and sleep begins to feel very tempting to all of you.--- * Davis yawns, Bulix, wake me in about 3-4 hours, okay? Or whenever." * Bulix nods. "I'll wake you when I get tired, Davis." Davis: "Okay." * Iceberg is dreaming, no matter how many hours. He must sleep to recover magic power... * Davis starts to nod off... * Isis stands near Bulix. "Bulix, would you like me to get you something to drink to keep you awake?" * Bulix shakes his head, and leans with his back to a wall. "No thanks." ---Everyone sleeps soundly while the watchpeople diligently stand. Hours pass...--- * Bulix decides to practice his kicks and punches slowly, just at the air, as silently as possible, and away from the sleepers, but with an eye on them, too. * Miko rolls over and begins to mumble in her sleep... ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---Miko dreams... She is in her village. There are butterflies in the tress. Children play and laugh. Everything is particularly beautiful and peaceful. The smell of pine is strong. She turns around to see her home.--- * Miko walks through her village... She turns and looks toward home... The sensations are so intense... As she observes the realism of her surroundings, she wonders if this might indeed be reality... ---Suddenly, she is in the searing heat of a desert cave. Disgusting creatures bite and snap at her and her new friends. She hears Ebony scream as he is injured. She strikes a monster. It screams and lets out vile ichor and blood...--- * Miko screams and tries to escape... Tries to awaken... Tries to... ---------------------------------------------------------------------- * Miko begins to toss about violently in her sleep... * Bulix freezes, and spins toward the noise. * Ebony blinks tiredly and looks at Miko. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---Miko dreams she is in her village. Women hum to themselves while doing daily chores.--- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- * Miko's sleeping form suddenly relaxes... * Ebony sees that Miko's relaxed now, walks over and lies against her, and curls back up. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- * Miko is shaking in her dream... She looks around the village suspiciously... ---A cool breeze sweeps through the area. A small group of people are playing music. The door to her home opens, and her brother quietly lets himself outside.--- * Miko approaches cautiously... "Sebastian... Is... is it really you?" She seems very afraid as she watches Sebastian carefully... ---Miko is now looking down on a courtyard at night, in pain, tied uncomfortably to a high pole. She sees blades of pressurized air slice into Davis. He screams horribly as his blood spills on the cobblestone. All of her friends look miserable and nervous... The ropes around her get tighter and tighter... The pain is awful.--- * Miko screams, "Sebastian, please!!! Help me!!" She tries to concentrate... tries to wake up... ---------------------------------------------------------------------- * Miko once again thrashes about violently in her sleep. * Ebony gets woken up again, whispers, "Miko?" Isis: "Bulix, I'm going to go check on Miko, Ebony, and Azura.." * Bulix nods. "Okay." * Isis goes up to the balcony.. ---Miko can't help but wake up. Her sudden jolt wakes Azura.--- Azura: "Huh?" * Ebony looks up at Miko, looking concerned. "Miko?" Azura: "Miko, what's wrong?" * Miko backs away from everybody. "Get... get away from me!" * Azura backs away from Miko. * Isis looks at Miko, then at Azura and Ebony... * Miko looks out over the balcony, as if she is contemplating jumping to get away. Ebony: "Miko what's wrong?" Miko: "Get away from me! What's happening! Where's... where's..." * Ebony switches from concern to full worry. "Miko, it's us. We're your friends..." * Azura stares at Miko worriedly. Isis: "Miko.. Sssh... Don't worry.. It's just nightmares.. Calm down..." * Azura flutters up to Miko's shoulder. "What... what is it, Miko? You can tell me." * Miko shudders as Azura lands on her, and then tries to concentrate... "But... but... how do I know... This is real..?" * Isis grabs a blanket and tries to comfort Miko with while trying to semi hug her.. "Miko.. it's okay.. We're here.. We can help you.. It's okay.." * Miko starts to cry, shaking. "I'm sorry... I guess... It was just a dream after all, but..." * Azura stares at Ebony and Isis. "Go away. You're frightening her. Let me talk to her." Ebony: "I'M not frightening her. I'm her friend!" Isis: "We're all her friends and we're trying to comfort her.. Miko.. please, if there's anything we can do.. tell us.. " * Miko wipes her tears away. "I'm okay now..." She looks off into the distance... * Davis rolls over at the sound of all the noise, rolling onto his face. "Ow!" * Iceberg is still dreaming, his sleep so heavy nothing hears... "Zzzzz..." * Davis sort of gets up and hears nothing, goes back to sleep. * Bulix glances over at the sleeping people, then back towards the balcony, wondering if he should head up or stick around here, but decides to stay. * Ebony looks at Miko with eyes filled with worry. "Miko... are you all right?" Isis: "Miko, would you like anything to drink or snack on while you're up, or do you think you can go back to sleep?" Miko "Ebony, I'm sorry. I'll be all right. It was just a dream... Isis, thank you... but I think I'll just sit here for a while." Isis: "All right, Miko.. Ebony, comfort that girl! Same with you, Azura.. Make sure she has sweet dreams.." Azura: "Will do, Isis. I'll handle it, though. Ebony will just get her more depressed." * Ebony is obviously distressed at the idea that he would upset Miko. "I've known her long than you!" * Isis wearily heads back down stairs.. * Bulix glances over at Isis. "Everything okay?" * Isis whispers to Bulix, "Yeah.. Poor Miko.. Having nightmares... I hope she's okay.. " Bulix: "Oh.. okay. You look kind of tired... You okay?" Isis: "Yeah... we've all just had a big day today.. We all could use some rest.. " * Bulix nods. "Well, whenever you want to wake your replacement, go ahead..." * Azura buries her face in Miko's hair and whispers to her. * Ebony walks over and sits near Miko, says quietly, "Wanna talk about it?" Miko: "Maybe later, Ebony... Thank you." Azura: "Ebony, it's okay. You can just go back to bed. It's a girl thing." Ebony: "Fine... Miko... I'm here if you need me." * Ebony walks back and lays down on the blanet, watching Miko and Azura. * Azura continues to whisper in Miko's ear. "Miko, can I ask you a question?" Miko: "Azura, anything." Azura: "Miko, what are you doing? I mean, in life. What are you trying to accomplish? What is your job? What's your goal? Do you want to travel around and fight things like Isis, or do you want to live somewhere in peace, enjoying a simpler life?" Miko: "Azura, I never wanted to fight like this.. or to kill... I... I still don't... but now that I have seen all this evil... and now that I have promised to protect you... I don't know what to do... Can I ever live in peace again?" Azura: "But what is your life about? I mean, what are you amounting to? What do you have to show for your life?" Miko: "Azura... I don't know... I left home because I wanted to see what we were hiding from all of these years... I wanted to see what evil was... if it really existed... I wanted to find out not only why we were hiding from it... but what we were as well, and now that I have seen all this evil... How can I ever return to that simple life I had before? Now that I have seen all these horrible things... I... I think that it's not fair for me to live in such peace when everyone else is in such pain. I want to help them, but I'm afraid. I think sometimes that if I get home, I'll never want to leave again... and I'm afraid of... what I might become if I keep having to go on like this... Azura, please don't think I'm a bad person. Don't think that I don't care..." Azura: "I know. It just... saddens me to think about what you think you have to do. What is this awful world we live in anyway? I've only been alive for a very short time." Miko: "This world... Azura, can I tell you a secret?" Azura: "Of course! I'm a girl. You can tell me anything! Tee hee." Miko: "Azura, my village hid from this world lifetimes ago, trying to escape the evil... I know nothing of this world, where we came from, what we are... I don't even think anyone has ever found my village before Davis, and I don't even know how he found it..." Azura: "Davis?! Well, isn't he an explorer? Doesn't he know how to detect hidden paths and obscure routes and such?" Miko: "Azura, but nobody else ever found us... I wasn't even sure the world still existed outside of where we were... I never thought I had a chance of finding out where we came from..." Azura: "Miko, there's a gazillion humans. Surely one of them knows where humans came from. Why not ask one?" Miko: "Azura, I don't know... I don't think it would be right. Our history is sacred within my tribe. I think I have to try to find other people from my tribe somewhere else in the world and ask them. I... I just don't know where to look... Or if we are alone in the world..." Azura: "So you... you're different from normal humans? The people in your village?" Miko: "Azura, I... I think we're different, but I don't know how... There are symbols and legends and... but we don't really know anything, so I... don't know. Do you think there could really be other people who came from the same place we did? People who made villages somewhere else?" Azura: "Miko, I don't have these answers, but somehow... I... I knew. It was the way Lucia talked to you and... your magic. Something about it is so... so... I don't know, but somehow I thought you were different." * Miko looks at Azura. "Do.. do you know something?" Azura: "Miko, don't look to me for answers of any kind. I'm only a few months old. But I do feel you're special... Miko, I haven't told anyone, but my sanctuary is just a bit west of here. I'll be leaving tomorrow morning when we pass by it. Funny thing is, I don't know what I'll do there. I know I'm the only one that can fight what's there, but I really don't know what my life is about either. Lucia tried to teach me so much, but I was only there a short time, and Ebony is completely uneducated..." Miko: "Thank you, Azura. You've really made me feel better." Azura: "Thank you, Miko... You're right... I can't live my life in comfort. I can't stick around one place and just... exist. I have to see this world." Miko: "Azura, me, too." Azura: "Whew... I'm beat. I guess I better go to bed so I'll have enough energy to whoop Jean at dancing tomorrow. Zzzzz.." ---It's a very peaceful night, and the crickets chirp softly. The Earthlight casts a pale glow over the room.--- * Ebony sighs and falls into a light doze. Isis: "Well, I suppose I'll go wake up Davis now.. I kind of hate to, though.. He looked really tired.." * Iceberg dreams with Vane springs of magic... Goddess' Festivals and Meryod singers becoming nightmares in an ocean of calm... * Isis goes to where Davis is sleeping.. "He's pretty cute while he's sleeping.." * Bulix shrugs. "No comment." Isis: Isis gently shakes Davis.. * Davis jerks a little then rolls over. "Huh?" * Davis falls on his face again. "Ow!" Isis whispers, "Do you want to do watch now? If not, I'll keep going, but I was just wondering.." * Davis rubs his nose. "Yeah, now that I'm awake." Davis gets up. Isis: "Thanks.." * Davis jogs quietly to get the blood flowing. "How long has it been?" Isis: Isis walks over to the closet and grabs a down blanket. "Call me if you need me for something.. Help yourselves to the kitchen if you get hungry.. Bathrooms are on the right." She heads to her room.. Davis: "Thanks, Isis." * Isis snuggles into her bed and quickly falls aleep.. * Davis apprears to be more alert and goes to the bathroom to do the cold water bit. * Bulix passes out on the floor asleep, giving himself a nasty concussion.. * Davis hears a thud and runs out. "Bulix?" * Davis tries to wake Bulix... No luck. ---Hours pass... The night is uneventful as the watchpeople hear the fesival dying down.--- * Ebony has sleep troubled by his worry about Miko. * Miko stays awake, staring out across the prarie... * Davis goes to the balcony to check on the flying cats. * Ebony hopes Davis doesn't step on him while he's alseep. * Miko looks around. "Oh. Hi, Davis. You're awake?" Davis: "Oh, I didn't know you were awake, Miko." * Davis decides to walk back and forth from balcony to front door... "Miko, if you see something, tell me." Miko: "Okay, Davis." Davis: "Thank you, Miko." * Miko looks out over the prarie absentmindly, not paying much attention to what might be out there... * Ebony is still dozing lightly. ---Eventually, a crack of daylight breaks through the horizon. The peaceful night is nearing an end.--- * Ebony starts awake with a "Miko!" Miko: "Huh..? Ebony!" * Ebony blinks and looks around. "Oh... sorry." * Miko yawns and looks sleepy. Ebony: "Miko... Are you okay now?" * Miko stands up. "Ebony, yes. I'm fine. I'm sorry about last night..." * Ebony flutters over to her. "It's not your fault you had a bad dream. I was worried." Miko: "Ebony, it was terrible... I'm still trying to convince myself it was just a dream... It was so real..." * Ebony lands on her shoulder and rubs against her cheek. "See. Feel me. I'm real." Miko: "Ebony, it seemed far more real than this does..." Ebony: "Well, whatever is was, it's over now. This is what's real, Miko." * Davis reaches the balcony and says, "Good morning, Ebony." * Ebony yawns, not having slept very well. "What's so good about it? Davis: "Ebony, according to Isis, she didn't really see anyone come here so I guess we may be safe. That means that if they try, they will have to deal with most of us, then." * Isis opens her curtain. She yawns and stretches... * Eomar is still sleeping.. in happy dream land.. * Azura wakes up groggily and flaps her way over to Bulix. She kicks Bulix in the forehead several times. "It's morning and I'm not dead or mutilated or stuffed with croutons, am I, knucklehead?" * Iceberg begins to awake very slowly as he wanted more sleep... * Isis walks over to Miko and whispers, "Excuse the morning breath. Are you feeling better?" Miko: "Isis, I feel much better. Thank you so much." Azura: "Let's go somewhere for breakfast. I'm starving. The caravan doesn't even leave till noon anyway." Davis: "Azura, I'm pretty sure Isis has something around here." * Davis looks through the kitchen. "Hmm..." Azura: "Like what? Let's go to some fancy schmancy restaraunt." Davis: "Azura, you know of any that cater to Flying Cats?" Azura: "I don't know... Isis, what good breakfast places are around here? You seem too strong and studly to be able to know how to cook." Isis: "Ebony and Azura, if you two like fish, I have some pretty fresh stuff on ice in my kitchen.." Ebony: "Fish?" Miko: "Ebony, you finally get to have fish." Azura: "Fish? That sounds kinda... uh... tasty." Ebony: "You wanna come, Miko? * Miko follows Ebony. "Okay, Ebony." * Ebony heads for the kitchen. Isis: "There's also a little inn type restaraunt down the road a ways if you really want to go there.. There's a market here, too.." Azura: "That's okay. If you have fish, I'm staying!" Iceberg: "Good morning everybody. Is there any goat's milk? I'll even milk the goat..." Isis: "I just bought some from the market the other day.. It's also on the ice.." Miko: "Iceberg, you really milk goats?" Iceberg: "I used to have a goat in my house in Vane. Papa Freiro loved animals..." Miko: "Iceberg... What's a goat?" Iceberg: "A goat is an animal with horns and as big as a dog, with beard and you can milk them... Their milk is very good, but a little fattening..." Azura: "Say, Isis, you should keep Iceberg here. He can take care of all your refrigeration needs." Iceberg: "I'll refreeze the freezer, Isis. Don't worry. It wouldn't melt until we return.." * Ebony follows his nose (It always knows.) and finds the fish. He digs into one of the fish. "Thanks, Isis!" * Azura sniffs Isis' fish. "Wow. Where'd you get this stuff? The Blue Waterfall to the west?" Isis: "I can't fish. I bought it from the market.. I don't milk goats either.. The lady at the market does." Azura: "Mmmfffmm... yummilicious!" * Eomar seems unmoved.. "That's nothing compared to.. uh.. Never mind.." * Ebony is eating. "Anyone elsh want shom?" * Miko sits down for some of Isis' fish. Isis: "Hehe.. Well, eat up.. With all of us going west today, I don't want it all to spoil.." * Davis decides to have something. (If it's fish, I'll cook it.) Isis: "Davis, there is a fire stove outside to cook on.. It's not much, but it works.." Iceberg: "Blue fish and goat's milk is a healthy breakfast, I say... Yumm!" * Azura flutters over to Miko and drops 5 silver coins in her hand. "Miko, here's some cash I ripped off Eomar last night. Will you be a sweetie and go down to the market and pick up a nice big herb to season this fish with? It's nice, but a little bland." * Davis notes that even he is like Azura and Iceberg (cooking his fish). * Ebony is lucky to get fish, and doesn't mind the taste. * Miko stands. "Azura, of course I will. A big herb, right?" * Davis says to Azura, "I can." Azura: "Okee dokee, Davis. Thanks." Miko: "Davis, are you going with me?" Davis: "Sure, Miko." Azura: "You and Davis will go together?" Miko: "Azura, I think that's best. I want to get the right thing..." * Ebony looks at Miko and isn't invited so doesn't press. * Miko and Davis head for the market. * Azura patiently awaits Miko and Davis to return. * Ebony finishes off his fish. "Hmmm, that was good." He lies on his back and relaxes." Azura: "Y'arnt touching mine, mister! I'm waiting for the proper seasonings." Iceberg: "Some marjoram, or thyme?" * Isis prefers basil. Azura: "Whatever it is, it should make this bland fish a little tastier. No offense, Isis, but from where I come from, fish are a delicacy. They must be prepared correctly." * Ebony tickles Azura's nose with his tail. "Won't eat an unseasoned fish? Sheesh! Where *I* come from ,I was lucky to get a fish less than a week old." * Eomar doesn't like fish.. * Isis hands the ungrateful guest some cereal.. Azura: "It's a while before the caravan leaves. Let's enjoy Isis's cool house while we're here." * Ebony looks at Azura upside-down. He is still lying on his back. "I, am shorty." Iceberg: "Yes! Cool, Has it hydrobath?" * Azura explores Isis' intreresting house. "What kind of rent do you pay on this place, Isis?" Isis: "Azura, I can't tell you that, but I can say, it's what keeps me working.." Azura: "Hmm... I think I still get a better deal on my sanctuary. Rent free, a gazillon bedrooms..." Iceberg: "Isis, have you got a library here, or just a book instead?" Isis: "I have some books in my den.. they aren't much, but help when you're bored.. but there is no library in Pao.." * Ebony is still relaxing. "Books, hmph." * Azura can't help but giggle at Ebony. "You silly..." * Iceberg is astonished with these books. "They're pretty old. DM Zeon is in one legend..." Ebony: "Who? Iceberg: "Why should leave Pao without meeting Tempest and Fresca? Could we go, please, Isis?" Isis: "Sure.. Doesn't matter to me.. Just as long as we get to the caravan in time.." * Iceberg heads out the door. "Come on Ebony, Isis. Let's be prepared for Miko and Davis return, and we'll meet two great heroes!!" Iceberg is happy now, very happy!! * Ebony would shrug if he could, but flips over and follows Ice. Iceberg: "Whoa! I'm impressed Ebony. You? Following me? I'm honored! You are no more freaked by my presence?" Ebony: "Sure, you're still wierd. I'm just used to it." * Ebony finds he misses Miko's presence... Iceberg: "I guess why Miko and Davis take too long to return..." --------------------------------------------------------------------- ---The market is small and quaint. There is a stall that advertises "Herbs 'R Us".--- Miko: "Davis, look. That looks like a good place to buy herbs." Davis: "Sure." ---The merchant seems to have a wild grin on his face. His stall seems a bit empty.--- * Miko approaches the merchant. "Sir, do you have any 'big herbs' for fish?" Merchant: "Hee hee! One guy came buy last night and bought ALL my herbs! And I get a new shipment next week! Ahahahahaha! He's right over there. Maybe he'll sell you one." * Miko looks around. "Oh. Thank you, sir." Davis: "Don't you just love monopolization?" ---There is a very jittery and nervous fellow across the path with a giant crate filled with herbs.--- Miko: "Davis, let's go over to that other market..." Davis: "Okay." ---The nervous fellow clutches onto his crate of herbs and continues to look at the sun nervously.--- * Miko approaches the jittery fellow. "Sir, do you have any 'big herbs' for fish?" Franco: "What do you need? I need to get these herbs somewhere fast, or I won't be able to live with myself anymore. I've done something terrible..." Davis: "What?" Miko: "If I could buy just one... Please...? I only need one big one." Franco: "Well, I don't know if I even have enough to cure the sickness. I can't believe I... I've done something terrible. He's going to die all because of me." Davis: "Who?" Miko: "Sir, what's wrong? What are you talking about? Who?" Franco: "But you don't understand the scope of my crime. Because of me, an entire society may be wiped out." Davis: "Why?" Miko: "No... I don't understand... Is there anything I can do to help?" Davis: "I don't think a good tasting fish is worth that, Miko..." Franco: "I'm from Meribia. There's a guy that used to live across the street from me, a merchant's kid named Davis. Anyway, he became this explorer and I wanted to be an explorer, too, so I followed him. I wanted to join in his adventures." Davis: "Why did you want to do that?" Miko: "Davis? His name was Davis? Davis, your name is Davis, too!" * Miko whispers to Davis, "Davis... he can't mean you, can he?" Franco: "He left before I could talk to him, so I followed him on his most recent adventure. I found a path cut into the woods by Althena's Shrine. It was in a peculiar place, and I assumed this is where Davis went. You wouldn't believe what I found!" Davis: "What?" Miko: "What... did you find...?" Franco: "I had a slight cold when I left Meribia. It was a flu, actually. I had a nasty case of the sniffles when I found this uncharted village! Can you believe it? A village in Katarina that has never been discovered! Davis is a legend! Anyway, one of the locals took me in and took care of me. The entire village seemed very kind." Miko: "You... you found an uncharted village..? Who lived there? What was it like?" Franco: "This guy... His name was Sebastian, as I remember. He cared for me until I was better, but when I recovered, I noticed he was getting a bit under the weather. In fact, he was pretty miserably ill. I assumed that this must be an isolated society with no resistance to outside disease. His condition got pretty serious. I felt so bad about this, I decided to come here, where all the herb caravans stop. I just hope I have enough to make him better, or I'll never live with myself." Davis: "Neither will I..." Franco: "Anyway, that's why I can't spare any herbs. Sorry." * Miko begins to get very upset. "Wh... what? Are you sure...? Are you sure his name was Sebastian? What did he look like?" Davis: "Miko, is there anything I can do? I guess I am maybe partially responsible for this." Miko: "Davis, you have to help me get home. Please! My brother is in trouble!" Davis: "I just hope this isn't my fault..." Miko: "Davis, we have to get this 'car' thing and leave now! Please come with me! I know I can help him!" Davis: "Yeah." * Miko runs back to Isis' house. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Iceberg: "I guess we should go out and check why Miko and Davis are still in the market. Maybe they're in danger!" ---Miko and Davis return.--- * Miko runs through the door. * Davis huffs. Ebony: "Miko!" Azura: "Finally! Where's my rosemary? Hmm?" Davis: "Azura, can't you think of others? Oops, we haven't told you, yet." Miko: "Azura, please! We have to leave!" Ebony: "What...?" * Iceberg shrugs. "I have said nothing..." Davis: "We have to go." Azura: "First of all, the caravan doesn't leave for about an hour, and second, WHERE'S MY YUMMY HERB?!" Ebony: "What's going on, you two?" Miko: "Ebony, I have to go home now!" Iceberg: "Now? How? It's not even noon!" Ebony: "The caravan doesn't leave yet..." Davis: "Ebony, can't we do something to change the schedule?" * Miko runs outside. * Ebony doesn't know what's going on but hurries after Miko. * Azura hurries over to Miko. "Miko! Wait!" * Davis goes to the caravan shop. "Well, come on!" * Iceberg runs before Ebony... "You two, where are you supposed to go?" * Davis just keeps going. * Isis heads to the caravan. Ebony: "Miko... What's wrong?" Miko: "Ebony, Azura, my brother is sick. I have to got home now. I know I can help him, but I have to hurry!" Ebony: "Well then, we should hurry... but how do you know?" * Miko is very upset. She looks about for the 'caravan'. Davis: "Where is it?" Iceberg: "Who is your brother, Miko? Who has told that to you?!?!" Azura: "Huff... huff... Miko! What's the deal?!" Miko: "Azura, Iceberg... This man in the marketplace, he..." Iceberg: "Well, I don't understand a thing, but hurry up. We all go up the caravan, the schedule is now!" Azura: "There's still a couple hours. Chill, Iceberg." Davis: "Good idea... I think he is chilled..." * Davis stops at the caravan shop and tries to enter. "It's urgent." * Iceberg goes in the caravan with the horses ready to leave... * Miko runs up to the caravan clerk. Clerk: "Yes, ma'am?" Miko: "Sir, what time is it now?" Clerk: "The caravan leaves at noon. Can I help you?" * Davis asks is there anyway to change the schedule? Clerk: "Nope. It's just about two hours away, though, so I wouldn't worry." Davis: "But it is very important. An entire city may die!" * Miko paces nervously. Ebony: "Miko, it'll be okay. We'll get there." * Miko looks around for the man with the herbs. Azura: "Miko, settle down. I need to talk to you." * Davis can't settle down. He goes to the caravan that we rented. Miko: "Azura, what is it?" Azura: "Miko, I don't know what's going on, but I... I want to thank you for talking to me last night. I'm... going to eat my fish outside." * Azura flaps out of the caravan shop. * Miko is distracted and notices too late that Azura has flown off. "Azura..." * Ebony lands on Miko's shoulder. "Can you tell me exactly whats wrong?" Miko: "Ebony, there was a man in the marketplace who was with my brother... He... he said he's very sick. I have to get home right away." Ebony: "Then we'll go to your village as fast as we can, Miko..." Iceberg: "Is now all people in the caravan?" Davis: "I am." ---The caravan clerk steps outside.--- Clerk: "Well, aren't you all a bunch of early birds? It's only about 10 now. But we might as well, take roll call. Car 17, right? Let's see... 7... 8... say, didn't you have two pets?" Ebony: "I'm here and I'm NOT a pet!" Clerk: "So, are you willing to get all strapped in? Davis: "Yes! We need to get going, sorry about the attitude..." Clerk: "What about your other pet?" * Miko looks at the caravan clerk and then turns back to where Azura had flown. "Azura?" * Davis hears Azura's name and then remembers... "Darn! I have to find her!" * Ebony heads after Azura. "I'll go get her." ---Miko does not see Azura. She suddenly gets a bad feeling about Azura's last words. "Thanks for the talk last night."--- * Miko runs the whole way back to Isis' house. "Azura?" Iceberg: "Azuuraaa, where are you? Where in XXXX did she go?" * Davis says, "D#$%! I can't believe I did this!" * Ebony looks around. "Where did she get off to? She said she was going to eat her fish." ---Ebony heads in the direction Azura flew off to... Azura is not seen.--- * Ebony looks around, continues searching. "AZURA!" * Miko runs all about the village. "Azura, we have to go!" Davis: "Great, I cause the death of Miko's brother and now this! Davis: "Ebony, what would they do after catching her? I need to know!" Ebony: "Who?" Davis: "Ebony, I hate to say this but you need to remember." Ebony: "You're not saying the circus took her..." Davis: "Ebony, maybe. I can't take chances." Ebony: "They would put her in a cage... If she resisted, they wouldn't hesistate to beat her. They didn't for me..." * Davis hopes that's not the case... * Miko looks all around the festival grounds... "Azura...? Did I say something wrong? I'm sorry... Azura, please come out. You're scaring me..." ---You see some activity over by the circus train... A group of masked people emerge from the main cirucus car and begin huddling around each other, motioning at the group.--- Ebony: "There's a bunch of the freaks." * Davis runs after them, "Get the caravan ready." * Ebony goes over to the masked freaks with Davis. "I will NOT have my sister go through what I did!" * Iceberg comes following Ebony... * Davis pulls out his weapon. ---The masked people see the group approaching and stand at attention. One speaks out. It is not sure which... "What do you want?!"--- Iceberg: "Hey you!! Where did you take our blue flying cat? Answer quick!!" * Davis lets Ebony speak for the group. * Ebony looks daggers at them. "Where's my sister?!?" ---Another masked figure speaks. "You sister... quite a curiosity you are. You belong here, cat. You returned to us. Thank you so much for returning to us. Imagine the wonder of two talking, flying kitties. Oh, the fame!"--- * Ebony is pissed. "Two? So you do have her! I have NOT returned, and I WILL NOT HAVE ME OR HER GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN!!" Ebony is shaking, with rage or fear, it is unknown... Davis: "Like hell you will take this one too!" Iceberg: "Please no kill people, just leaving them unconcious and we'll make him to tell us where they have Azura, right?" * Miko sees the others and runs over to the masked people. Her voice is shaking. "Excuse me, but have you seen a blue cat?" Masked Figure: "He he he. Have I seen a cat? No, the question is: Have you see a cat. 20 silver per peek! 50 silver if we get the two of them to perform together! MWA HA HA HA HA!" * Miko suddenly appears very threatening for a change... She becomes very angry and screams, "Let her go!" Masked Figure: "We have traveled far and wide to find them. We will not have any interference." Davis: "Oh yes you will!" Iceberg: "We are not just an interference, but the whole transmission is off!!!" Masked Figure: "We are loyal to the ringmaster. We know you killed him in that fire so you could escape. We will have you back. This circus was at its highest point when you were with us. We are no longer the best now that you aren't with us. You will be ours now." * Ebony says a bad word and attacks him. "It's some @#$% sword swallowers and knife throwers. THESE are the type that kept me locked up... I'm going to pay them back for what they did to me, for what they are intending to do to Azura." Davis: "Ebony, advice? Heh, kick their butts!" * Miko tries to keep a level head for the battle... She concentrates... * Ebony is still mad, and is just concentrating on ripping these guys into little pieces... ---There are three in front and two in back.--- ----------------COMBAT--------------- Ebony reels back at an angle, then lashes forth, flying past the sword swallowers in an arcing motion, his talons glinting in the morning sun... Sword Swallower A suffers 10. B suffers 8. C suffers 9. Miko casts "Blur Litany" level 3. Davis's image becomes distorted. Dodge% up 10. Sword Swallower A slashes out at Miko! Miko suffers 18 damage. Sword Swallower B swipes his blade at Davis! The attack misses. Sword Swallower C raises his sword to Ebony, hesitates, then refrains from attacking. * Ebony is beyond words now, is just a ball of teeth and claws. Davis grips his saber, then steps forth with a wide slash! Sword Swallower A suffers 25 damage. B suffers 22. C suffers 22. Knife Thrower A throws a knife at Iceberg! Iceberg is stabbed for 8 damage. Second attack! Davis dodges the attack. Knife Thrower B throws a knife at Miko! The knife misses. Second attack! Davis is hit for 2 damage. Iceberg raises his hands to the air and mutters some ancient words. Three large sharp shaft of ice fall from the sky and IMPALE Sword Swallower A.. 69 damage. Sword Swallower A is defeated! * Ebony waits for Ice to tell us the spell... -------------------------------HALFTIME------------------------------ John Madden: "Good plays all around by the good team. Ebony and Davis sporting their new attack skills and a nice assist by Miko, all finished up with a clean sweep by Ice. I don't see how the evil team is gonna pick this up. Do you, Bob?" Bob Costas: "No, sir." ---The enemies call a timeout and huddle before Iceberg returns...--- ~Bob Costas: "Nope, John. I really can't see how they can. They would have to pull some major plays to pull this one off." -------Halftime Interview------- John Madden: "So, Davis, how do you like your new armor?" * Davis says in the interview, "John, it works wonders!" John Madden: "So, Davis, would you endorse this armor on national TV?" Davis: "Absolutely, John. I guess I've found a sponsor." John Madden: "How has Pao brand carapace armor changed your life, Davis?" Davis: "It has saved my life tremendously." John Madden: "What is your stand on the turtle-poaching issue. You know, endangered turtles are killed to make this armor." * Davis thinks just when you think you can get away from political correctness... * Miko hurries up and bandages her gushing wound with her old silk robe while the enemy is still taking their time out. John Madden: "Miko! Your brother sewed that for you!" Miko: "Well, Mr. Madden, I can touch it up again in no time with L-View Pro!" * Miko goes on to explain how L-View Pro changed her life before heading for a refreshment stand. * Ebony can't talk. Sorry. He's still over the edge. "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..." Davis: "Miko, the timeout's over!" * Miko hurries back to the game. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Ebony reels his head back and emits a thin corrosive stream at Sword Swallower B. 15 damage. Miko points a palm at Sword Swallower B and stares a hateful glower... Miko's hand glows a bright orange and a small flame leaps over to the enemy. 33 damage. Sword Swallower B is defeated! Sword Swallower C swings out at Davis! The attack misses. Davis uses "Fastcut" level 3! Sword Swallower C is slashed for 23 damage. Knife Thrower A throws a knife at Miko! Miko suffers 4 damage. Second attack! Miko suffers 3 damage! * Ebony hisses at the knife thrower Knife Thrower B tosses a knife at Davis! Davis is hit for 1 damage. Second attack... The attack misses Davis. Ebony raises a paw to the air, then lashes at the last Sword Swallower! 18 damage. Defeated! Sword Swallower: "Ouch! I may be dead, but that crap still stings!" * Ebony spits on the sword swallower. Miko casts "Drain Litany" level 5. Knife Thrower A suffers 17 damage. Miko recovers 17 HP. Davis uses "Wide Slash" level 3. Knife Thrower A suffers 24. B suffers 21. Knife Thrower A throws a knife at Davis! Davis is hit for 2 damage. Second attack! The attack misses Davis. Knife Thrower B uses "Disarm" level 5! Knife Thrower B rushes beneath Miko's hand and knocks away her weapon! Miko's Attack is lowered by 8. Miko's Wisdom with Assist is lowered by 2. Ebony lashes at Knife Thrower A with his talons with a particularly vicious attack... 19 damage. Knife Thrower A is defeated! Miko stares at the remaining enemy and leans forward, mumbling hateful words that seem to come to her naturally.... A small bolt of flame is fired at Knife Thrower B. 28 damage. Davis whips out his saber and swipes at Knife Thrower B. 11 damage. Defeated! Victory! All players receive 8 XP for the victory. The group earns 30 silver and 150 MEXP. * Ebony lands on one of the dead guys and slashed wildly with an animal fury. * Davis tells Ebony, "Calm down. They're already dead." * Ebony glares at Davis without recognition. * Davis doesn't understand Ebony... * Ebony shakes his head. "A-Azura? W-w-heres Azura?" * Miko picks up her sabre and runs to where the masked figures were huddled. ---Miko recovers her Guardian Edge.--- * Davis goes to find where Azura's hidden. ---Rhea and Jean emerge from the caboose.--- Rhea: "Bulix! Is Bulix with you?" Ebony: "No, he's not! Where is Azura!?" Jean: "Oh, it's you guys! You must be... Eb... Ebony." Ebony: "Yes, I am." * Davis just lets Ebony speak. Rhea: "It's awful. Azura came over to the circus train. I don't know why. They nabbed her and put her in a cage. The train is going to leave at noon!" Davis: "Figures..." * Ebony growls the words, "Then let's go get her back!" Jean: "We tried to tell them to let her go, but they gathered a whole bunch of masked freaks in the caboose! They pushed us out!" Davis: "Where is it?! We want to know now!" Jean: "I hope you can get her away from them. I've been disgusted with the management of this circus since I got here, but it lets me dance and be truly free." * Ebony is threatening to go psycho again. "I'll rip them all apart!" Rhea: "Tell Bulix to fight well!" Jean: "And I'll do a cheeky little dance to cheer you on!"
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