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Author Topic: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]  (Read 2101 times)

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Online BlytheTopic starter

A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« on: July 26, 2013, 06:06:57 PM »
The sky here crackled an eerie green, as if a great ferocious energy was trying to punch through the very atmosphere. The thick roiling cloud cover was difficult to sail through, but there had been much worse. He had struggled to get here in an intense storm which had only just cleared off, for one. Captain Tesla had just set his beloved companion, the dragon Gwyntaan, free to hunt. And he was intending to leave before his elegant long time friend would return to the older airship.

Tesla had long understood that he'd worn out his welcome in this Victorian age. He was out of money...and all he had left was a few barrels of fuel and couple of crates of rations. He was flying at high speed, the gears whirring and pumping in the ship, the hiss of steam pouring out of the ship, the steam melding with the thick and eerily green cloud cover all around him. There was something thunderous and yet elegant about the dark ship moving through the sky like a snake, parting the mist quietly.

Tesla was trying to pilot the ship, sitting in the captain's chair as it rotated to let him face any direction he needed, and he shoved the speed of his vessel to Full, knowing that he could need all the the speed and power he could get to make it through the portal. He'd heard that this particular strange doorway to other worlds opened in response to certain codes, and the map he'd had about the portal had a strange set of symbols and icons on it. The gist that he understood was that there would be some way to use these codes in order to pick a specific direction.

Anywhere was better than here, really.

It would be Anywhere, too; Tesla had no idea where he could be sent if he found a way to set in this code. He started the ship into a fast descent, and this was where the storm picked up. It pulled him mostly through the portal, and the ship was being jerked around roughly...until it seemed to hit the eye of the the swirling mass of energy where all was calm and quiet. He could see a bright impossible lime color, and he knew that now was the time for the code...but where to input it?

He was not a foolish man. He was a guilty and ruined one, though. All he could think about was that Gwyntaan would come back from hunting to find the ship gone, and the sadness enveloped him. His dark masked face, masked to hide the scars and the weariness, looked forlorn...even though no expression could be made out. He got up and stepped into the open walkway outside of the ship, looking around. Everything was simply a mass of fluff and rage, and he could hear the gentle booming of thunder around him. But he saw, almost hovering in the air, a small panel full of arcane symbols on it...and when he pulled out his map, the destination symbols he'd read were on his map. He felt a pang of conscience--he wanted to go back for Gwyntaan, but he didn't want to drag his friend along with him when he was likely going to die starving. He couldn't ask that of Gwyntaan. He wouldn't.

It took some maneuvering to reach the mysterious panel, reaching his long dark arm out, his coat flopping in a nearly zero-G environment. Soon he typed in the numbers and was good to go--something in the portal rumbled, and he ran at top speed back to his ship to pilot himself through the opening that was breaking several hundred feet ahead. The whoosh noise nearly deafened him, but he managed to get to his captain's chair and push his old clockwork tub through the barrier.

He entered a new world...and upon looking down at it, he was awed at the devastation of it. It was as if this whole world was a mirror of the Victorian one he'd just left...only everything beneath him looked like bombed out gutters and ruins. Strange beasts with gleaming eyes could be seen far below, looking like ants to Tesla, but he knew they were likely menacing on the ground. What type of place had he gotten to?

What Tesla did not know was that the portal was still open, and his old ship had likely left a smelly trail, even in the heavy weather, and a steam trail, that Gwyntaan would likely have no problem following. The entryway from his own world had the potential to not close--Tesla had been told of the portal and how hard it was to access, and he wasn't even sure how he'd managed to get to the center of the mysterious thing without it banging up his ship....
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 01:53:31 AM by Blythe »

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 08:39:58 PM »
It had been a normal day.  Clouds were low on the horizon, and the winds were changing, but that never stopped Gwyntaan from having a good day of fishing.  They'd been out of sight of land for a few days now, so he was a little tired of the menu, but it wasn't like there was much to do about it.  Ever since Tin had left the ship, supplies tended to be bought more carelessly than before - so, hunting it was.  He ate on the wing, since fish weren't the sort of thing that he could eat over the course of a few days without distress.  Freshly killed was the only way to do it.  When his belly was full, he caught a thermal back up to the cloud-level, where the airship he called his 'den' should have been waiting.

It wasn't there.

With some alarm, Gwyntaan dropped below the clouds again, scanning the sea for some wreckage.  There was a grey streak of land at the horizon - a tempting alternative - but Captain had taken good care of him for the last several years.  Even a wild creature like himself remembered the smell of kindness.

Oh wait - that was the smell of the boiler.

He raised his head and let his hunting senses take the lead.  The faintest whiff of hot carbon reached him and he set off, following it to where the clouds grew thick and - greenish?  That wasn't right.  The winds picked up, scattering the tenuous smoke, but dragons also hunted by sight, and now he could just make out the familiar silhouette against a thin strip of vibrant green light, bright enough for him to close the thin membrane that would have prevented him from getting snow-blindness in his birth-lands.  Rain and even hail buffetted him as he flew closer, slowly gaining on the airship.  It was on a fixed heading for the strip of light.  Gwyntaan was about a hundred wing-lengths behind it when suddenly, like passing through a door, the airship vanished.

A door in the sky?  Only there wasn't anything 'closing' the door - it was still the same bright strip, surrounded by clouds that were roiling with lightning.  It wasn't a place to stay.  There was that streak of land he'd spotted earlier...

He spiraled around the strip of light, indecisive.  Odd - the back side looked the same as the front side.  Most doors led somewhere, and even if you went off the side of the ship and around to the other side of the door that way, you saw the place that you'd come from.  He flew a little closer, and the smell of the thunderstorm seemed stronger near the light.  It would be a narrow fit - how had the airship gotten through?

A gust of wind cemented his decision.  As it was, the very tips of his wings brushed the edges of the 'door', and he could smell the acrid tang of singed feathers as he plunged into the world beyond. 



The trip through the portal was unlike anything Gwyntaan had experienced.  Up and down were meaningless, and even the subtle magnetism of the Earth was just - gone.  He hadn't stopped at the panel - wouldn't have known what to do with it if he had.  The only thing that guided him out of that place between worlds was the fact that he could just make out the Sunset ahead.  If not for that, he could have easily gotten lost.

He emerged from the portal nearly a full minute after the Sunset.  He was no longer over the sea, and everything looked wrong.  Wrong directions, wrong colors, wrong terrain.  It even smelled wrong.  The one familiar sight and scent was the Sunset, and he homed in on it with a mix of relief and irritation, 'announcing' his return by deliberately landing with a little less grace than usual.  Captain would think twice before trying that trick on him again. 

Online BlytheTopic starter

Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 02:45:53 AM »
It was a ruin and a wreck of a world, and Tesla needed to pilot his ship to a safe area to land, maneuvering the creaking bronzed tub of a ship, which was hissing steam everywhere, to what looked like a perfect ledge situated on a rocky spine that jutted up from the ground. Not quite a mountain, too big to be a hill. The blasted and dry area around him reminded him of the descriptions of the desert, except there was no sand, only parched earth and the tall crooked off-green plants that sucked up any water left in the place. To Tesla's deep discomfort, these plants were bioluminescent, radiating a soft lime light that matched the crackling energy of the sky.

As he piloted, he saw Gwyntaan land with a thump and a smug and disgruntled look. He was shocked to see the dragon back; he thought he was sure his old friend would not follow him through the portal...and yet there on the small lean observation deck, the gentle glow of the hot world illuminating him, was the dragon. The captain of the now slightly less empty ship sighed and made sure to open the door to the inside of the craft so Gwyntaan didn't fall off while he tried to land this thing.

He got the feeling having Gwyntaan here was going to be more than useful. He needed a lot of things right now. He needed fuel, he needed food and water, he needed tools and raw crafting alchemical reagents. He had decided that he would finally focus on his alchemy in his new life, although he'd had a bad history of flubbing at alchemy. He'd thrown away a green potion concocted by trying to mix some questionable things with phosphorus, which explained why the fire in his engine room had been so very intense.

And also green. He was starting to get sick of that color.

He didn't have Jonathan Tin around to help supply him anymore, and he didn't have Mackleby around to protect him anymore, not even from himself. Gwyntaan was all he had left. He smiled, and it was quiet and bittersweet as he managed to land the ship on the rocky reddish outcropping. He called out to Gwyntaan, “Well? What do you think of it? Think I can make a new start here?”

He got the feeling Gwyntaan might not be thrilled...

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 09:38:46 PM »
Gwyntaan slipped through the door with all the aplomb of a house-cat - not exactly the easiest thing to do considering the relatively small corridors of the ship, and the fact that the dragon was the length of a horse.  He did have the consideration to arrange himself in a relatively space-conserving way, sitting back on his haunches with his tail curled around his front claws.  He was, after all, more flexible than a horse.

As Captain started to talk, he watched the human intently, his head slightly tilted to one side.  Despite not being able to form English words, the dragon had learned a lot of them during his tenure among humans - first from a crew of poachers and smugglers, and then later from Captain and the rest of the crew.  He wasn't entirely sure if Captain knew how much he understood, or if the man spoke merely to break the silence.

A new start. 

He closed his 'glare lids' as he considered the question, shifting his normally blue eyes to pale purple, and rustled his wings slightly.  He wasn't sure about the way this place smelled, but he had detected the presence of small scuttling creatures along with the larger ones.  Many of the larger ones were still small enough to be potential prey.  Naturally, he'd have to get a closer look at them, but the initial prospects were promising on the food front.

Water seemed to be a different matter.  Still relatively fresh from the moist air of the sea, Gwyntaan wasn't sure about how much - if any - surface water was around.  Then there was the question about whether it was drinkable.  Humans tended to be pickier about what qualified as 'drinkable', so that would take some scouting.  At any rate, they'd landed safely, so there would be plenty of opportunity to abandon this den if it proved unfit.

He blinked again, rousing himself from his contemplation.  New start.  New beginning.  New journey.  All journeys started somewhere, and as dubious a way-station as this was, it was a 'start'.  With a soft chirrup, he butted his head lightly against Captain's arm.  The ship was still his 'den', but for now, this place could be 'territory'.

Online BlytheTopic starter

Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2013, 12:59:13 PM »
Tesla regarded the bleak surroundings with some disdain. It was dry, as if the air was sucking out all the water, which didn't bode well for steam power here. He'd need water, large quantities of it, both for drinking and for his ship, and this place looked like a barren waste. To get good drinking water, Tesla would need to filter any water they found; he probably had some sort of sifter he could adapt for that purpose. And of course, he did have a few alchemical ingredients left over that would help him purify a few gallons of water.

He stepped over to Gwyntaan and rubbed the top of the dragon's head affectionately after that little headbutt. There was an intense gleam of intelligence in the dragon's eyes, and the way the head tilted and Gwyntaan following him through the portal....either Gwyntaan was an aamzingy intelligent and stubborn creature or he was an idiot for following into parts unknown. Except it didn't matter to Tesla either way; he was grateful to not be alone, to have his friend with him.

He grinned at Gwyntaan and said, “How about you and I go hunting? I know you just got back, but I need to see if anything on this godforsaken rock is edible. And no one hunts better than you.” He found his gun, a beautiful weapon that Hua and Li, his old lovely flames, has stolen for him on an Eastern raid  while back from an avid and corrupt collector of pirate paraphernalia. The gun had been owned by  the notorious airship pirate baron, Blue Gear, and Tesla savored the fact he still had this gun. Granted, he hadn't been able to afford doing any maintenance on it besides cleaning it, but he figured that could change soon.

There was an emergency brake on his ship he could set, as anchors didn't work so well with airships, and he opened the doors and stepped outside. He'd have to make the climb down the small cliff, but he was confident he could do that. He said to Gwyntaan, “Lead the way, mighty hunter.”

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 03:02:09 PM »
Gwyntaan crooned at the head-rubbing and the compliment.  While it was true that he had taken his fill of fish, he had no problem with showing off how right Captain's assessment was.  He uncurled his tail and flowed smoothly out to the flight-deck to launch himself once more into the sky. 

Once airborne, he quickly found a thermal and circled the ship, looking for the most promising hunting grounds.  There were a few areas where light came from the ground - while that might improve his ability to see prey, it also struck the dragon as very unnatural.  Some of Captain's brews had had that quality, and Gwyntaan vividly remembered one that had glowed as brightly as the furnace even before being consigned to the flames.  His nose twitched in memory of that particular failure.  It might have made a good source of illumination, if not for the smell.

Some distance from the ship, he spotted a cluster of something that was not glowing.  Prey tended to like dark places.  It was harder for sight-hunters to find them there, but Gwyntaan used more than one sense to seek out food.  He altered his flight path, swerving in a lazy figure eight between the cluster and the ship.  He had a hunting partner for this trip, and part of that tacit agreement included communicating where the hunting grounds were.  Since Captain could not fly on his own, this would definitely take some getting used to.

Online BlytheTopic starter

Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 12:42:08 AM »
Tesla took his time following Gwyntaan. His legs and arms were screaming with the effort. Perhaps he'd spent a bit too much time flying and not enough time exercising.He nearly panicked himself as he climbed the cliff face. It wasn't the worst climb he'd had, but it was in unfamiliar territory and in the dead of night. He didn't want to risk rushing it, but at the same time, he felt a compulsion to be out and doing something. He slid when his right foot failed to find a ledge, sliding about four feet down and kicking up the dust and pebbles around him. He stabilized after that slip up, though, and he started making his way across what looked like broader ledges. He watched for Gwyntaan, too, as he climbed, knowing that the dragon would be indicating in his flight pattern where to hunt. They'd hunted together like this before, but it was hard to see him.

There was an ease between them that had come with time, an unspoken ability to work together. The glow of the cacti was both helpful and harmful to Tesla; he toggled his goggles, which lit up with bright white light. He had rigged them with small bulbs to generate some light so he could see. He didn't much feel like relying on the unnatural green lights. He was sure that light was wrong--the plants here looked sick and half dead. He managed to get an eye on Gwyntann when he saw the dragon swoop into a figure eight.

He heard something in the distance and readied his gun. Was it...skittering? He saw a series of shadows around one of the cacti, and it was larger than he thought. Multiple light sources, though, cast multiple shadows over the landscape, which made it hard for Tesla to lock on with any aim. However, he knew that he needed to flush out the prey so Gwyntaan could take it down.  After a scuttle heard too close to him, he fired off a shot from his pistol, which had a deafening boom.

The creature let out a squeak, and Tesla realized with shock that it was a rat, a humongous bloody rat! It was darting away, but it was heading into a well-it area and towards an open space where Gwyntaan might be able to take it. Tesla wasn't sure, but a series of splotches on the ground told him he'd wounded the beast, so perhaps Gwyntaan would have an easier time taking it down. He didn't want to exhaust the dragon after his friend had hunted, so perhaps this would be enough.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2013, 07:58:49 PM »
Gwyntaan's flight pattern faltered at the sound of the shot.  What was that human - oh.  The scuttling movement and the copper-sharp scent of blood drew him like a beacon, and he swooped down at the creature.  The fact that it was rat-like made little impression on him - it was prey.  He aimed for the swift kill in the middle of the back, much like the hunting birds of the world they'd left behind.  His sharp fore-claws were poised to clasp and hold in case the impact didn't quite finish his quarry off.  A quick snap of his jaws would grant the coup de grace.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 04:50:13 PM »
The rat hissed and wriggled in Gwyntaan's mouth for a bare instant before the coup de grace snapped it's neck. Tesla stepped forward, guided by the flat (ish) terrain and the eerie light of his goggles. He made his way forward to Gwyntaan to inspect the meat, to determine if it was edible. He approached and took a look at the creature. Rats weren't the most edible—they were little bags of plague most of the time. He murmured, “Might be able to use the hide and bones, though. Could craft some interesting things with it.”

He reached out to stroke Gwyntaan's head and continued, “But more importantly, rats mean people. They leech off of settlements, and that can make them bigger and more aggressive. But it's eyes....”

He gave it some thought and hoisted the carcass over his shoulder. He gestured for Gwyntaan to follow so he could store the rat back on the ship and study it at his leisure later....and eat it if it was safe to do so. He made the climb back up, doing better with his goggles on during the climb than during his climb down. He waited for the dragon to follow, and eventually said, “I'll need you to sniff the rat's trail. We might find people....or a rat nest....where that came from.” He knew he'd need to watch for signs of sickness from Gwyn just in case.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 09:04:18 AM »
Gwyntaan took the shorter route, launching effortlessly from the ground and spiraling in for a landing next to the ship.  As Captain told him of their next task, the dragon looked dubiously at the creature, and then back along the way that it had come.  A settlement?  One with scavengers that size?  A nest would be more like it, if only because humans tended to try to chase away or kill scavengers before they reached that size.  Still, a scavenger that grew that big had to have an abundant food source of its own, and one that was easy to get to.

The thought that it might be a nest reminded Gwyntaan of another hazard.  He could always escape a horde of land-based vermin by taking to the air.  Captain would be on the ground.  The dragon ducked his head to nudge at the complicated side-arm that the human carried, not wanting it to be forgotten.

Online BlytheTopic starter

Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 06:06:19 AM »
The captain grinned when Gwyn nudged his hand, reminding him of his pistol. He said, "Don't worry; I'm fine. I should have more than enough ammo for this baby to keep me safe. After all, if something gets close to me, it just means I can't fail to shoot it!"

Tesla noted that Gwyntaan seemed ill at ease; maybe he was just reading the dragon's emotions incorrectly? It would not be the first time he'd done so. He stretched out his limbs after making the climb back up to his ship. It was arduous, but the captain knew it was worth it to prevent, well, things like those rats from getting into what little supplies and stores he had left. He clambered into his ship with the rat's corpse, knowing he needed to get this put away, his boots clanking against the plain but well-swept floor. Speaking of supplies and where to store them....

He found a large iron strong box, big and clunky and loud, and he dragged it out from inside the cargo hold of the small ship. He managed to unlock it after fumbling with one clumsy hand to pull some keys out of his coat pocket to get the blasted thing open, the ominous black metal key clinking into the padlock and opening it with difficulty. He tossed the rat's body inside and said, "There, now it won't contaminate anything else." He said to Gwyntaan, "Try to memorize the scent if you can; I get the feeling that there are probably a lot more where this came from, and this thing is huge enough. And I'll need you to sniff out it's trail. Whether a settlement or a nest.....either way, a settlement is what we want to find. And if there's a nest of these near here, best to kill those beasties now before they are a problem."

He coughed and locked up the box, saying, "Okay. I think that'll do for now. Ready to clamber back down, or do you think we should call it a night and do this tomorrow?"

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 10:43:09 PM »
Remember that scent?  Gwyntaan was sure he couldn't forget it, even if he buried his nose in an overripe mango.  He also knew that scavengers were most often active at night - but then again, the terrain here reminded him of the sandy wastes.  Waiting for daylight would mean that they would be subjected to the full force of the sun.  With a soft chirrup, he headed back towards the edge of the cliff and looked down, scenting the night air for the musk of his prey.

This time, he didn't arrow off the cliffs, but lifted into a gliding circle, waiting for Tesla to follow.  With the potential for many active targets, it wasn't a situation that would tolerate hasty actions.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2013, 01:36:31 PM »
They were likely going to be headed straight into a nest, so things were going to get more than a little hairy. Tesla listened to Gwyntaan, to that fluttery chirrup, and he grinned, saying, “Marvelous. Let us be on our way. Should be able to root out a nest, if there is one. Ought to make things safer around the ship and keep our stores from getting eaten by those filthy scavengers.” He was used to rats in general; the big city had them by the troves, but these large rodents of a certain...unusual....size, with an even more unusual hint of glow.

He made his way back down the cliff face, scattering up dust and a long trail of pebbles and stones as he went. He noticed Gwyn pacing himself to let him keep up. He gave a curt nod whenever he was able to in order to let Gwyntaan know he could move a bit ahead. Soon they'd made their way back down again, and Tesla brushed off the dirt from his long dark coat. His goggles gleamed and cast a faint light out to show him the path; he could see his own footprints that had led to the first rat, so he didn't need Gwyn to lead him initially. But he made his way to the end of the path before calling softly to Gwyntaan to come lead the way.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2013, 12:27:28 AM »
Instead of continuing to fly overhead, Gwyntaan spiraled in for a landing, taking a low stance to better sniff out the rat-creature's trail.  The strange vegetation cast an eerie greenish glow on his iridescent white scales, and cast strange shadows where his muscles rippled under the surface.  Periodically, he would lift his head, scenting the air instead of the ground, and getting his bearings relative to the airship and Captain.

Before long, they started seeing more of the rat-creature's tracks - or at least some of its relatives.  Pathways were clearly etched in the gritty soil, as if the creatures had very little reason to use stealth in this region.  With a hiss, Gwyntaan drew up short, then leaped into the air to do a wider reconnaissance.

Nearly a dozen eyes blazed into view and then vanished again into the shadows.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2013, 06:42:40 PM »
The ground felt weaker here, as if it was soft. And yet it was not like sand; it did not have the same consistency and texture as sand. The dirt was fine, and it reminded Tesla of a freshly dug grave, the smell of earth recently turned assaulting his nostrils. He started to pay a bit more attention to the ground there in the night, in the dark, as Gwyntaan hissed at the dozens of eyes blinking there in the midnight gloom.

He grimaced and fingered his gun; he was getting nervous...as well he should, because soon after that, an undulation in the very ground revealed one of the giant rat nests! Three hulking forms issued forth, their bright eyes greener than grass twinged with lightning, and they scuttled to attack Tesla and his draconic friend. With one shot from his pistol, he hit one of the large fiends between the eyes, but he leaped back to help defend Gwyntaan.

He'd been right, though, these creatures were too numerous and close to the ship to just leave like this. And who knew....someone might pay well later knowing that these little wretches had been dealt with, thus keeping any people that might live in the wasteland-like place safer. He twirled his weapon and hit a glancing wound on another of the dark rats—the leg, if he was right. He hoped that would be enough to give Gwyn more of an edge.

But they didn't have a whole hell of a lot of time—a few more suspicious sinkholes seemed to be forming...and more rats where that came from would soon spill out.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2013, 04:27:45 PM »
Like a hunting falcon, Gwyntaan dove again and again at the rat-creatures, raking them with his claws or simply using his momentum to try to break their spines.  This wasn't a hunt for food, so the fact that some of the corpses fell back into the sinkholes they'd emerged from didn't affect him at all.  For a while, it seemed to be a reasonably sound strategy.  Even the ones that weren't killed immediately were often in no shape to continue fighting, and some were even fallen on by their uninjured fellows as helpless meat.

As more sinkholes started to open up, however, Gwyntaan's higher vantage point gave him the ability to see what Captain couldn't:  the holes weren't opening randomly, but in a strategic formation, gradually fencing the human in.  Now, as he wheeled for another pass, he saw one of the glowing plants start to quiver behind his earth-bound companion.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2013, 03:13:44 PM »
Tesla felt lucky; Gwyntaan was taking out the creatures nearly as fast as they popped up, but as he shot and dodged various attacks from the little monsters, Tesla was growing steadily aware that he didn't seem to have as much room to maneuver that he had before. He danced around nervously, that steam pistol of his puncturing the hides of those scurrying wretches, but it was getting clearer and clearer that he didn't have too many more options.

What was lucky was that the rats were mostly indiscriminate. When one of their own brood fell, they would attack the fallen ones for food, which was about the right reaction for dumb animals. Tesla got an idea....he began to shoot rats in such a manner as to ring them around the sinkholes—that way the new beasties that came up would look to the carcasses of their own before going after him and Gwyn...and that frenzy feeding would slow them down.

Of course, he did have a very large steam grenade. It would explode with a burning water vapour that could inflict some vicious burns and scatter a crowd. He called out to Gwyn, “Find me a spot to blast them, Gwyn!”

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2013, 09:19:11 PM »
Gwyntaan hadn't seen the grenade before, but 'blast them' sounded promising.  In an attempt to maximize the effect of the strange munition, he started a series of swooping passes at the pack of rats, skillfully chasing them - not away, but towards a single compact region.  A few unlucky creatures were snatched from the ground and dropped with bone-cracking precision on top of their fellows, serving as both projectiles and bait.

When he thought he had as many of the rats in one place as he could get, he arrowed into the sky with a loud creel like an eagle. sounding an 'all clear' for his Captain.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2013, 03:57:19 PM »
That all-clar screech from Gwyntaan was a lifesaver for Tesla—those rats were starting to clump up, but that dragon had managed to herd them towards a larger group—they were clustering well around a semi-circle of nests, some feasting on their fallen brood members, some fighting with one another, some  vying for the top spot to have a midnight snack on a little dragon or captain. The disgraced airship captain grinned, although it was not visible under the mask he normally wore. He tossed the grenade with a passion, and it landed exactly the way he would have wanted it to.

BOOM...hisssss.

The steam erupted out and sent dirt, rats, rocks, and gleaming cacti flying...which was a good thing, because Tesla could see that the roots of the plants were moving and writhing like enormous tentacled vines, the steam wilting them and making the glowing tendrils sink back down. He could swear he almost heard a plaintive humming from the plants, as if they were unhappy. All Tesla knew was that this world was apparently a hell-hole. It certainly didn't carry a torch compared to home, to the big cities and civilized nations he was used to.

He shot a good many of the stunned rats, and he fumbled about and pulled a few more of the steam grenades out to toss in the rat nests—the sheer heat from the chemical reactions in the grenade would probably finish solving this rat problem...although he wasn't so sure about these funky green plants. He whooped triumphantly as he lobbed those last grenades out, and he saw an opening to dive out of the main swarm of the rats to a safer distance.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2013, 08:11:57 PM »
Seeing that the human now needed an opening, Gwyntaan dove from the sky, plowing through the ranks of rodents like a shark through a school of fish.  Squeals came from the pack - mostly panic at the large predator, but there were a few individuals that stood their ground in rage or defiance.  One big fellow was right in the dragon's path and appeared to be making a stand, chittering loudly.

Gwyntaan barreled into it, sending the two somersaulting across the disturbed ground in a tangle of limbs, wings and tails.  The impact was fatal to the rat-thing, but the dragon did not come out unscathed either.  The rat's death throes had left several furrows in the more delicate scales of his forelimbs, and as he rose again to his feet, the ground around a nearby cactus began to show signs of movement.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2013, 05:12:03 PM »
Tesla knew that it was time to high-tail it out of here! This place looked like a giant death-trap more and more. It was apparent that any civilization on this world was far from this location, far from these killer over-sized rodents and these disturbing living cacti—he could see the cactus moving, and he had no idea what he was supposed to do to it—he twirled his gun and shot a glowing tendril at the base of the plant, and to his shock, the cactus made a strange whistling noise and almost seemed to deflate, sinking under the ground.

He saw Gwyn tackle what looked like a leader of the swarm and was proud to see him kill the thing in one hit...but those injuries would need tending to later. He called to Gwyn, “We've got the opening! Take flight! Back to the ship! We're getting off this crazy world!”

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2013, 06:55:19 PM »
With a powerful beating of wings, Gwyntaan launched himself skyward once more.  This time, he circled over Tesla simply to ensure that the human also made it out of there safely.  It appeared that his recent melee with the alpha-rat had convinced the rest of the pack that this new predator was something to be reckoned with - either that, or they were occupied with filling the sudden power-vacuum.  All it took was a few perfunctory swoops to keep the opening wide enough for escape.


Back at the airship, the dragon landed on the flight-deck as normal.  In this relative safety, he took the opportunity to examine his battle-wounds.  The actual scratches weren't particularly deep, and only bled sluggishly, but some of the rat-thing's blood and fluids had stained the dragon's opalescent scales, and there was no telling if the vermin was diseased, venomous, or had caused any other form of contamination.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2013, 12:52:05 PM »
Arriving back at the ship was a relief to Tesla. He was exhausted, and he grimaced to himself. Stupid world....he wasn't going to make a new life or living for himself here, that was for damn sure. But when he looked at Gwyntaan, he frowned. He wasn't going anywhere until he cleaned out those injuries. He locked the ship down tight; if Gwyn got ill, the Captain knew he could always study the body of the rat   he'd snagged to come up with a cure, if needed.

He sighed and fetched a few pints of water and said, “Gwyntaan! Come here—you're scratched up. Ship is locked up tight, so nothing is getting in or out anyway. Gotta clean those wounds.” He thought about things and said, “Next time, maybe we can shoot for a more metropolitan world...or hell, at least one without all these rats. This was just disgusting.”

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2013, 02:22:38 PM »
The tip of the dragon's tail thumped lightly on the deck as he approached the Captain and extended his injured leg.  He'd done what had seemed necessary at the time, but perhaps a little extra forethought could have prevented even the minor-seeming injuries that the rat had inflicted.  Of course, a little extra forethought could have left the human with no way to escape. 

No, if he regretted anything, it was the fact that Captain seemed to feel it necessary to tap into their limited water supply to tend to him.  In this world, that was a critical resource, and he gave Tesla a gentle head-butt as a way to try to express that.  He was careful when doing that, since the human was quite a bit smaller.

Smaller.  The concept made him pause and think a bit more, cocking his head and examining the human as he worked.  The rats had been larger than normal rats, but were still easy enough to snatch up and lift.  Even back in their own world, Gwyntaan had been able to lift larger prey than the mutant rats.  Obviously, it would require a bit more care, but just maybe, that could have been an alternative way to rescue his friend.

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Re: A Captain and His Dragon [Blythe and Oniya, IC]
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2013, 03:55:34 AM »
Tesla  quietly let the water wash over the minor injuries, and knowing Gwyntaan wouldn't like it, he managed to find some disinfectant to put over the wounds in the hopes that it might stave off something  disease or infection. He wasn't willing to risk Gwyn getting ill, so using the water wasn't much of an issue to him. His bright white goggles reflected in the ship as he gazed on his friend, and some part of him was starting to miss the chatter and the noise of the ship; there was something sort of lonely and upsetting about it being just him and Gwyntaan...but at the same time, he knew that if it had to be just him and any other person from the ship...it was best if it was Gwyn.

On went the disinfectant, and he let it set. He said quietly, “I'm going to pilot this out of here, okay? Back to the portal. Or maybe we'll have to fly and get it  Keep still and let that stuff soak in. When I get us back in the air and stable near the portal, I'll give it another check before we leave.”

He made his way to the wheelroom and checked the temperatures from the boiler room. Needed to work up some decent steam. The ship lurched, the soft green and gentle white-yellow lights gleaming softly in the night, making the bronze and dark colors of the ship almost alight with something eerie and beautiful.