Whatever Leo dropped behind them, whatever it was he sent them running from, it was HOT. The grass that over grew the entrance to the underground facility withered and died before their eyes, the massive steel doors they slammed closed as soon as they were on the other side, glowed with a pale white light all their own, throwing off hundreds of degrees of radiant heat. They warped in their frames, the seams of the doors growing hazy until they seemed to disappear in places, forge welding themselves into one single peice of metal. And that was a hundred feet away from the dropped item.
He didn’t mention anything about it, merely brushed himself off, pulled the robo-corpse up over his shoulder, and started marching away purposefully. It’s been a full day since then. Their return trip to the beach was uneventful, as was their trip back out to the dragon’s ship. It’s been almost two full days now, and while the rest of the crew sleeps, only the wheelman and a couple of night spotters at their posts, Leo sits on the deck at the railing, his legs dangling on either side of a support post, his forehead resting against the wood as he stares down into the darkness where persumably the ground moves by slowly beneath them. His hair is a mangled mess, a fact one can only tell because his hat rests on the board beside him, it’s explosion like quality makes his head appear 3 sizes to large for his body, like an old cartoon character.
And then there’s the arm. No one’s said anything, no one’s mentioned it at all, but with his shirt destroyed and him having not packed a spare, the tattered remains of the cotton do little to hide the obviously metalic skeletal limb. The crew avoid him more then before, and for once, he’s not been keen to hunt anyone down for conversation either.
Slaines had to take time to recover, the vision, the magic, the running have all taken their affect. She’d slept and heavily when they got back to the ship. Aiden is somewhere, recovering, as well.
Right now, the small redhead is padding towards Leo, eyeing that hair with a faint smile on her face. “Ye know, I think I have a spell that might sort ye’re hair out.” She’s not going to offer him a hairbrush, she wants to keep it after all.
“How’re ye doin’, Leo?” she plonks herself down and drops her own legs through the railing, letting her feet swing in the air. In another age, some say she looked a little like Alice in Wonderland like that. The hand gets a quick glance from the Mystic but she doesn’t say anything.
Leo offers a snort that’s more consiliatory then amused, “Magic resistent.” he says half heartedly, offering a joke and running a fleshy hand through his hair, which just spoings back into place unperterbed. “Well enough. Angry. But alive.” he waffles the hand in the air.
“Probably a good thing…” Slaine offers a smirk at his comment “… the last time I used the spell, it sent the man bald…” She’s joking of course. Her magic is must better than that, but after the last few days, the levity helps.
Another glance at the skeleton hand and then at the TW’s face “Angry?” A single word question that holds a lot of weight. If he wants to talk, she’ll listen. If not, that’s ok. They can look at the stars together or something.
Leo’s feet dangle out in free air, kicking back and forth ever so slightly as he decides not to answer for a long moment. The moment hangs for a bit, the stars overhead blinking thick and milky. Since the death of cities, the sky has been alight with potential, “In all the years I’ve been doing this, do you know how many underground Stormbridge quality weapons caches the size of small counties I’ve run across?” he asks, his voice quiet.
That’s Slaines heels hitting the side of the ship as she swings them. It’s sort of like two leprechauns sitting there talking. With her red hair, that’s a possibility.
“I don’ even know who or what Stormbridge is, but I’m going to say ‘one’. That one.” she says equally as quietly, knowing the TW is building to something. “An’ that one knew ye’re name. Is there somethin’ ye’re not tellin’ me, Leo?” Slaines always got questions and is generally direct and right now, she doesn’t disappoint.
Leo continues to stare out into the darkness, his voice is very unLeo like, lacking energy or madness or any of the things one associates with Leonardo Euclid, “Stormbridge was the Golden Age version of me, only on an industrial scale. If it killed people, they made it bigger, better, and cheaper then anyone else. If it saved you, they made it thinner, lighter, and in whatever color you wanted it to be and in the latest fashion.” his voice trails off for a long moment, “With what was in that vault we could have founded a nation. Conquered the eastern seaboard, Vesper, Dogwood, the outpost towns, all of it. We could have been the size of the Coalition, maybe scarier too.” he turns his head so that he can stare at her, “There was power enough in that one room to crush our enemies like bugs, protect our friends like babes in a crib, and rule tens or hundreds of thousands.” he’s quiet for a long moment then continues, “And I turned the entrance into magma and slagged any hope of returning that there doesn’t involve a city wide expadition.” it’s meant to sound like he’s sad or mad, and he puts in a token effort, but it comes across exactly like what it is, a cover.
Slaine listens, frowning into the dark, watching the swirling light that can be seen in the water. Florouscence – that’s what it was called in the Golden Age and the time before, but now… it’s just known as water lights. “How do ye know that?” That might surprise him, that’s the question she’s decided to ask, but then this, is Slaine and she’s rarely predictable.
As to the destruction, the frown gets deeper and she turns her head to look at Leo. “Might be, that’s the case. But I’m pretty powerful Earth Mage, between Aiden and me, we could probably open up a section like a can. We know where it is and where the entrance was…” It wouldn’t be easy, she’s not saying it would be, but it could be done. “But that’s not what’s buggin’ ye, is it? Now dish, Leo. I can’ help ye if I don’ know what’s goin’ on.”
Help him. That’s what Slaine does. Helps people – particularly her friends.
The cause of his apparent quiet introspective mood is suddenly made manifest as Leo’s glinting skeletal hand comes into the moonlight in full, it’s thin claw like fingers curled around the neck of a bottle that contains the crews favorite style of firey spiced rum. It may also be what they used to clean the outer hull. It’s unclear. He tilts it back and takes a swallow large enough that his cheeks puff a bit. He coughs twice, but they’re lack luster, as if he’s been at this long enough now that the burn expected to make him hack a lung.
He reaches up and wipes the back of his mouth with the one intact shirt sleeve he still has, “No.” he admits after another long silence. “No it is not.” and then he giggles quietly, somehow the sound is down right depressing comeing from him in this way, “Help?” another maudlin giggle, “Oh that’s why I like you Red. You think you’d help if you could.”
As the hand comes up, Slaines eyes are drawn to it and she watches. Her eyes, at least, are their normal green today. No darkening, despite what she’s been through. She’s quiet too. Which is often unusual but she reaches for the rum when Leo finishes his swig and wipes the top of the bottle with her sleeve before taking a swig herself.
She’s not a big drinker, by any stretch of the imagination, but she’s used to this type of rot-gut. Her eyes stream though and she coughs as well as she hands the bottle back to the maudlin man beside her.
“Of course I would. I help my friends, when I can.” Whatever other reputation Slaine might have, people talk about how she’ll defend her friends – even when the odds are so ridiculousy stacked against her. “Are ye goin’ to tell me what’s goin’ on?”
Leo tips another heavy swallow back of the rum and his arm sort of slumps down to his side, the bottle making a heavy half full thunk noise against the deck. He returns to staring back out at the darkness, limp and leaning against the railing. In the night it’s hard to tell if he’s just fallen alseep on her or he’s actually thinking about it. “What do you know of hate?” he asks suddenly, changing the topic.
Leo’s not sleeping, Slaine can tell by his breathing. People who sleep have a different pattern. For a woman who asks a lot of questions, she’s patient though, letting her feet swing in the air as she watches the water.
Maybe she’s thinking on her own problems. Maybe she’s just enjoying the quiet. Eventually though, Leo speaks and she looks over to him. “Hate? I … ” she shakes her head “… I don’t know, really. I’m not sure I really hate anything or anyone. Why do you ask?”
Leo’s head bobs a little against the railing, lolling a bit to one side, “If you did, you’d know.” he says softly, “Wanna help me destroy a bunch of people’s lives entirely before I uncerimoniously murder them?” he asks, the tone would be flippant, but even drunk it’s hard to tell what Leo’s serious about and what he’s not.
Slaines not sure, but Leo’s looking just a little drunk. OK, maybe it’s a lot. That rot-gut was pretty strong stuff and he’s like the whole bottle. At least one of them, maybe more. She frowns again and chews on her bottom lip as she thinks.
“I think I need to know more before I answer that, Leo.” the small mystic murmurs. She’d almost said ‘no’ outright, he might realise that – if he’s sober enough to – but she wants to know where the hell this is leading. “Why don’ ye tell me a story? About why Leo Euclid wan’s to destroy peoples lives and murder. About how he came by that hand, while ye’re at it.”
Leo’s smile is wry and knowing and somehow, from the drunken slop of his features, a moment of sobriety swims it’s way up to the surface and a keen eye settles itself on Slaine, “You want my secrets little faeling, I think I will have to be drunker then this.” he pauses, “More drunk? Drunker?” he seems confused and unhappy about it. He raises the bottle to his lips and pauses, seeing the glint of the metal of his hand and stares at it, “This?” he asks, “I made it.” he offers, “When I was fourteen. Second permanent Working I ever made. Soulbound elemental, body grafted, made from the ashes of-” pause, “well, you understand the basics.” she’s magi, she can prolly work out the sorts of things required to make a Working like the arm. They’re… not generally the sorts of things you’d want a fourteen year old toying about with. “What about you?” he asks, his head flopping to the side, “What secrets you wanna spill.” he thrusts the bottle at her, “Drunker?” he offers helpfully.
“I’m no’ Fae, Leo.” Slaine answers quietly “I’m jus’ a human and if ye wan’ me to help ye destroy lives, I’m goin’ to need to the story. Otherwise, ye might find that I’m rather annoyin’ and slow ye down.” beat “Drunker. Drunker then this.”
The hand gets another look and she nods “The basics yes, how to do it, no. The universe hasn’ given me that knowledge … yet.” It might. It might not. Learning magic when you’re a Mystic is a bit of lottery. “What happened to your hand to make you do that?” Most people don’t just replace limbs, after all.
Waving the bottle away, Slaine sighs. “How much do ye know about me, already?” It’s no secret on the streets of Vesper that Slaine has a problem. That she went missing for several days not long over a year ago, when she went exploring in Vanished Point.
Leo points a less then stable finger at her head, “That hair color ain’t natural.” he says simply, “And you’re very…” he holds his finger and thumb an inch apart, “wee. And this is /me/ saying it.” he points out, “Sue me if I think there’s not a touch of the lepricaun in you somewhere, or a drop of something bitty that once had wings.” he grins at her, “Tinkerbell.” he points at her, then jerks a thumb his direction, “Peter Pan.” his smile grows, “Oh the cleverness of me!” there’s a little burp and he slumps back against the railing. “Love that book.” he mutters to no one but himself.
He listens to her question and waves his hand in the air, “I figure you just got caught up with something, something old and powerful and prolly covered in warts or wrigly bits or horns or what not. Like that crazy girl Meg, only with less demon babies.” he then stares at her with wide eyes, “Do you have demon babies?!” he whispers in a loud way that has nothing to do with whispering at all.
“Gran has red hair too… or she did.” Slaine points out. Maybe Leo’s right and there’s something mixed in with her genetics. “And I’m small, so what? Plenty people are.” No, no they’re not. “What book?” she frowns. Leo should remember that the redhead can’t read.
Leo’s answer to her other question has the small Mystic falling silent and she looks back out over the water. “I don’ what it was that I tangled with, Leo. I can’ remember. All I remember is goin’ into Vanished Point and wakin’ up several days later, far from there. Now I have a shadow on me, one that’s been raising it head lately, so to speak. And now there’s light beings who call me the ‘Seed of Darkness’ and say I’m goin’ to do somethin’ terrible.”
She shakes her head again, snorting softly at the TW’s mock whisper “No’ that I know about … but I was missing for several days.”
Leo nods his head at her words, listening to the lot of it, “Peter Pan by J.M. Berrie, it’s the story of… well… hard to explain. But it’s about a boy who lives in a place called Never Neverland and who never has to grow up. The eternal child. There’s a little pixie that is his friend, Tinkerbell, and he’s the cleverest of all the boys that live on the island…” he shakes his head, “It’s a kids book. Sort of.” he sighs as if thinking about it. “Picked up this while we were in there, stole it from the secretary’s desk.” he holds up a paper back for her to see, it’s a little yellow with age, but workable so long as he’s careful with it. “I’ll restore it before I read it, I know some mending charms that’ll help. It’s called Moby Dick, says it’s about obsession and vengence. Should be a good one… I like books.” he adds as an after thought, the thick book sliding it’s way back into his apron, though it takes him two tries to get it there.
“I hate nobles.” he says off handedly out of nowhere. “I hate them all, but some more then others.” he lifts the bottle to his lips again and takes another swig, “I will obliterate them. Annihilate them. Be as cataclysm upon their exsistence and bring forth the fires of apocalyptian perdition to rain down atop all they have built like a hail of still brightly lit stars.” he then turns his head a bit to eye her, “Your hair is pretty.” he says, smiling a little to wide. “‘slike fire. I like fire.” and then he’s snoring softly. Not like loudly snores, more like soft breaths that aren’t coming out right because his face is mashed against a wooden railing drunkenly.
Slaine just blinks as Leo rambles. Blinks again at the yellowing book. That … would be worth a fortune, she knows that. “Well, that sounds like an interesting story…” she prefers to listen to Gran as the old woman spins a yarn.
The assertion, the vehemence of it, that Leo hates nobles has Slaine looking in his direction again. She’s left speechless though as he mentions her hair and her hand runs through it self consciously. But before she can say anything – he’s snoring. Climbing to her feet, she bends to hoist the TW up. “C’mon Leo, let’s get ye in ye’re bunk.” Anyone else, she might add //alone// but it’s Leo. He doesn’t think about things like that.
Back on the ship after escaping the bunker, Slaine and Leo talk. Leo might scare Slaine, just a little bit, with his plans. But then again, he's drunk.
February 21, 2410