The days are getting warmer, even if the news is not. Malie is taking advantage of the first part.
The overly large dolphin is currently turning flips and turns in the bay, leaving a glittering trail of water as she leaps and dives.
Auren skims low over the the water and calls out. Well, roars is the better word for it. He roars to get her attention. She knows what it sounds like, the noise he makes when he wants her to look at something.
And what a something. There’s a small pod of whales headed toward the bay. A curious mix of orcas and humbacks and even a big blue whale. Surrounded by a veritable SWARM of dolphins.
This is not how the fish usuall swim. Malie knows that.
As Auren skims low, Malie leaps – right over his back, showering him with water as she does.
The roar certainly directs her attention and soon the sleek grey body of the dolphin is heading in the direction of that swarm, a slight blue glow surrounding her as ‘sings’.
//I think it’s the Whale Singers, Auren// comes the telepathic reply. There’s a muted sort of joy in her tone.
It IS the whale singers. As they approach the harbor they break into song. Something that Malie would have heard miles away if they’d been doing it before now but they hadn’t. She hears it now though. Bright and clean and crisp. Its on days like this with that song in her ears that the ocean seems lighter. Less oppressive. Less dangerous.
And she might even spot a couple of friends. Most of the dolphins are just dolphins though a few will be like her. But ALL of the Whales are, well, the magi and warriors of her kind. Ocean going knights with fins.
A few of them are even wearing armor. Powered armor. Which has people looking.
//Shall we go to meet them Malie? These are your friends right?//
“PLAY PLAY!” Already some of the dolphins have swum out to Malie and are circling and leaping around her.
Malie is heading to meet them, her song blending with their pod as it swells.
//My friends, Auren!//
As the dolphins join her, she leaps and zooms with them, chittering as much as talking with them. Auren hasn’t seen her like this, ever.
From his vantage, Auren can see the grey form of Malie-Dolphin as it streaks towards to the larger cluster. //Greetings my friends!// She might indeed recognise some of them but she’s been gone from their waters for some time. //I would ask what brings you here, but I suspect I know.//
//Malie!// Several big booming voices say. Yes she’s recognized and in short order surrounded by whailes and dolphins, swimming around her and nudging her in the aquatic eqivalent of a hug. Auren circles from above trying to keep track of her in the press of fish and fins.
It’s no easy task.
The whales, several of them, note the shadow circling over them and eye it carefully.
//Malie it’s been too long.// One of the orcas says. //What are you doing here? We haven’t heard your song in years.//
It’s chaotic in the water, but Auren can hear Malie’s telepathic squees. //Make space. Make space// She tells all the others. //Auren, come down and meet my friends.//
The dolphins should give way for the Crystal Dragon to land in the water. He might find his belly tickled as they swim under him – but they’ll be curious enough for sure.
//Sings-In-The-Deep…// Malie swims over to the Orca and ‘noses’ him //I have travelled long and far in search of a weapon for our fight against The Lord. When I got here … // The dolphin ‘looks’ back to the dragon //… there was need for help. And here I have been for a year or more. What brings you here?//
Auren does come and land in the water. Which means he is now a very wet organic rock and is swimming. He’s not really made for this but he gets long okay. There are a LOT of curious aquatic mammals circling around him now, though.
//Auren you say? Hello Auren.// Sings-In-The-Deep greets the dragon.
“Hello.” Auren says, keeping his head above water.
//Malie, we’ve been following Horune and Naut’yll for some time. They’re encroaching on these waters in numbers and we do not know why. We needed… some place safe and with a friendly population where we could stay and begin to work at the mystery. If these waters become hostile, all will suffer for it. Have you found the weapon you sought?//
Auren should float! Malie laughs a bit at how uncomfortable he looks. He can definitely feel the playful dolphins skim beneath him. They’re making a game of it, it seems. Poor Auren.
//If you’re more comfortable flying, Auren, why don’t you do that.// she’ll take pity on him.
//Vesper and Dogwood, the cities near here, are under pressure from something coming out of the mountains.// Malie answers the Orca //But Vesper is a safe haven, safer than most around here. You sent a message to meet with Kailastia, she sought me out …//
Sings-In-The Deep will get the nuance.
//I have not, to my sorrow. There are strong leads, but nothing has been successful. What have you discovered of the Horune and Naut’yll so far?//
Auren is a rock! He floats remarkably well already for a rock. Once his wings get underwater he starts to beat them and finally manages to stabilize his underwater hover.
“Your friends keep trying to tickle me…” He mutters. They do.
//Ah the dragon lady sought you out. This is well then and better than I had hoped. She will let us remain in the city while we work then?//
Kailastia hadn’t made any such arrangements and is rather busy with trouble in the west but… probably.
//They’re moving in numbers in a way that suggests they’re either looking for something, running from something or both. The Naut’yll in particular are establishing new towns and outposts. The nearest one now is just a few days swim to the south.//
Close. Too close for comfort. And Vesper lacks a real navy with which to deal with them.
//If you keep reacting, they’ll do it more.// Malie… well, Auren can almost see the smirk on her dolphin face. She might take pity on him in a moment and shoo the dolphins away. For now she swims a bit closer and noses her friend.
//Kailastia did, yes. She didn’t say she wouldn’t and I don’t think there will be problems. She was concerned that a problem would come from the sea while they’re occupied with the mountains. If you were to give her some … reassurance … I’m sure she’ll be ammenable.//
Not that there won’t be problems. That *if* there are problems, they’ll be seen to.
//I will take you to her, if you like.// The news there’s a Naut’yll outpost so cost has her clicking in distaste. //We should also see Sarenthon, Auren, don’t you think?//
“That will be almost required.” Auren tries to ignore the dolphins swimming under him but they are persistent. It’s a good game. “Vanished Point dominates this part of the coastline. You don’t want the people there getting jumpy or the dragon getting offended. On the other hand if some of you were to stay there you could pinch anyone passing through the straits.”
Auren has a keen mind for this kind of thing though he hopes the trouble can be kept at a distance.
//I would like to speak to this Kailastia. And then we will do as you think best. You’ll join us in our work, won’t you Malie?//
The more Auren squirms, the more the dolphins do it. Malie clicks a few times at them though and then let up.
//Sarenthon, the dragon who rules there, has offered help at a price. Getting on good terms, or as good as you can get with a Dragon, wouldn’t hurt.// Malie agrees //And with as many as you’ve bought, Sings-In-The-Deep, you may need the accommodation that’s offered in Sarens Rest.//
//Come with us and we’ll request an audience with Kailastia. She may be busy but a delegation this big, is hard to ignore.//
Will she join them in their work?
//As much as I can, I will join you, yes.// She and Auren have problems of their own.
Auren can’t help it. It tickles. He’s squirming. He sighs in almost audible relief when Malie gets them to stop.
//I will welcome your presence in our pod then old friend.” Sings-In-The-Deep noses Malie back and looks at Auren.
//Is this one of her children?//
Auren starts coughing. It’s absolutely because he swallowed some seawater and not for any other reason.
“Um.” Cough. “No… dragons aren’t like that.”
Kailastia has made that joke before though. She finds it amusing to discomfit the hatchling.
There are things that Malie has learned in her travels of the world and something of the familial habits, or lack there of, of Dragons is one of them.
She laughs as she noses the great Orca back. //Dragons do not abide others in their territory. Kailastia and Sarenthon are slightly more forgiving and hatchlings of *others* in the area. Auren is not of this world.//
Kailastia had told Malie to ride him though. Another thing that had amused the dolphin-changer.
//Oh? An interesting partner for you to chose then, is he not?// The orca starts to swim forward and the group follows him. Soon they’ll reach the shore and they’re all going to have to change. And what a sight they’re going to make, metallic, sleek and dripping wet.
//I would be happy though for you to help us arrange a meeting with both dragons. There’s much work to be done here and the sooner we can get the… politics out of the way, the better.//
Auren agrees with that though he has a long memory, even if not all of it is his. He knows quite well how important the politcs are.
Malie clicks a few times at Sings-In-The-Deeps comment. //He may well be but we work well together.// Partner that’s what the Orca meant, right? Someone she works with. //We have been working on several things since I came here. Auren is pursued by those who would have his knowledge. I will not let that happen.//
Malie might not be able to stop it, particularly if the Words keep pushing at her.
//Follow us though and be mindful of the ships, they make their living from waters and they are good to us.//
//Then we shall be good to them.// Sings-in-the-Deep makes several clicking noises and the whole pod goes deeper. Auren takes back off. He’ll meet them on the docks. Where they’ll be greeted by a crowd and have to do some… explaining, no doubt.