If you don't know what this is yet lurk moar, you'll be averting your eyes in no time. Now where were we?
We last left off with the party barging on in a very irate Kiynen who has recently laid a clutch of 5 eggs and is still sensitive about it. Still, no one died in the process and Addy seems to have sworn fealty to them,... whatever that's about. So we return to the party,... who has already split up with Tracy venturing to Cardashil to try and find a lead on the elvenniggers who keep jacking their shit. Infernius has been assisting Slovenia in felling trees and reinforcing the outer wall of Durpistan. Torcuil has been getting bantzed by Snek, and a bunch of stuff I'm probably forgetting and will get
shit on reminded of.
With no further adieu,....
377 replies and 11 files omitted.
Tracy shifts her magical disguise to conceal her equipment, and make her fur seem brown instead of blue.
She follows the tracks stealthily.
Four of those lizards are alive with their snoots taped shut.
Unable to detect anyone, Tracy gets the distinct impression she's being watched.
Torc makes sure the ship is okay, while Snek heads over to the tied up wyverns.
"tracy have anything to tie down wings with?"
*Crow flies in carrying a roll of duct tape*
*pecks him him the head*
"A massive wall, but no signs of any buildings.. that's odd.." Tracy wonders to herself as she blindly wanders through the forest
Alright. Tracy proceeds to run through the woods
like an idiot and to her surprise, far ahead in the distance she sees a horse-head peek out from behind a tree, which immediately resumes hiding. >>67084
Tracy, still disguised as a wild hoers, pretends she didn't see anything and just trots ahead, now at a normal cruising speed.
What color was the horses head?
Beige. As Tracy nears the tree, there's no sign of it, until it peeks its head out a bit further on. It seems to be keeping an eye on her, but keeping its distance.
Tracy contues strolling along happily, trotting about she stops momentarily to let a butterfly land on her nose.>Nears the tree
Is this tree different than the rest of them?
And she keeps moving, letting the new poner think he's clever while she's really keeping an eye on him.
As Tracy makes her nonchalant approach, she should roll a listen check.
A very slight rustling from behind is the only thing that tips her off that she and the other horse are not alone.
Tracy takes a move action to hone in on the creature's scent, if any.
Tracy senses the creatures behind her, but keeps walking, determined to see just how far she can keep this up before she's attacked or otherwise interacted with.
Mind that she's in disguise, and that the majority of her equipment is in her concealed bag.
[1d20+8 = 10]>>67097>"Talk is pointless">>67099
As Tracy approaches, she detects the faint sounds and smells of about a half dozen elves behind her. Additionally, the smell emanating from the 'horse' is also consistent with elves.
And a poorly thrown net crashes to the ground next to her.
Tracy lets out a feral whinny and gallops forward, but not at full speed; gauging how the elves around her react.
>>67103>"More like you wish to interrogate me and then do with me as you have my kin." he says, tilting his head toward Infernius.>>67104
As she increases her speed, the horse she is now running toward casts a spell. The surrounding area, formerly with decent space between each tree fills with growing vines and stalks causing the area around him, her, and the pursuing elves to become thickly overgrown and impassable.
Tracy, in mock panic (although secretly frustrated), slows to a halt and kicks the earth, all the while snorting and whinnying in horse.>[recites her shopping list in native language]
Her head darts left and right, waiting for the elves to make their move.
The elves are just as surprised as Tracy is, but with a visual distortion, the horse turns into an elf with white eyes, leaning on a withered cane. He raises his hand both to calm Tracy and his clansmen.
"Hold there please, I would prefer to avoid violence."
Ha, I knew he was a Druid.
The elf slowly steps forward. "Now now, there's no need for that. Its not often that one comes across a blue pony, and yours is a most unusual breed." he says smiling, while the elves around him exchange uncomprehending glances. His features sharpen suddenly. "Why have you come here, and why have you attacked my clansmen?"
>>67112>"Yeah yeah, one sec you overgrown gecko"
Snek sends a quick telepathic message to Torc letting him know to be ready to casts spell, then he unties the wyvern he's talking too.>"There, ya happy?"
>>67111>why have you attacked my clansmen?
Tracy's mind races blankly as she realizes she really didn't actually have
any reason at all (aside from being shot at, but that was after she already jumped off of the boat); which would be apparent, if not quite confusing, through the Druid's empathy.
Her illusion as her body shifts coat shifts from brown to blue, and Nicholas Cage's seductive face appears on her flank in the midst of a dazzling rainbow pattern.
A stretch, given he has no hands, but whatever.
The Wyvern stands up slowly flexes its wings a bit, and then turns its gaze on Snek.>"What's your game?">>67114
The elves around gasp at the sudden change. "Its a start, but yet you hesitate to answer my questions. This puts me in a difficult position." His eyes stare straight ahead unblinkingly, as he makes his way over to one a tree and whispers to it.
Tracy holds her ground, watching the old man.
>>67118>"And how many of ours have fallen to your hand? You lot have made your intentions clear the last time you came through.">>67119
He nods thoughtfully and turns back to Tracy. "Most interesting. Your ship, that doesn't belong to you, or it least it hadn't always, had it?"
"This is our first time here. The others came about six months ago and I came into play shortly after. Now if you're referring to a group you'll have to talk to my associate for better details."
This Wyvern is rather eloquent.>>67120
Tracy realizes that she has two options: stab, or listen; she chooses to remain silent and do the latter.
She's gotten the drift that this old elf is able to feel her emotions, and decides to just let him, slowly nodding to confirm his question.although the ground beneath her smokes faintly as she's reminded of that godawful cunt
>>67122>"Uhhhh, Torc? This Wyvern has something to tell you you might find interesting. The ship has attacked the wall before."
"So that's why...">"Yep"
"Tell him we aren't associated with Kefka or any other groups, and the owner of this ship attacked us before we stole it from them."
"You couldn't possibly operate alone, my friends tell me of a variety of different forms of combat that took place. I would like to speak with you and your compatriots. I think we might have information for one another."
>>67125>stab>not stab>stab>not stab>stab>... no stabbing right now
Tracy stares at the man for a few seconds, then finally speaks.
"..I don't see why not.." Tracy says, puffing out her cheeks and turning around as if to lead him back
Again, more startled noises from the elves. Some hold spears nervously, while others just look bewildered. The blind you caught that right?
elf simply smiles and follows. As Tracy approaches the edge of the circle of overgrowth, he raises his hand and the section in front of her withers away. "Proceed. That won't be necessary," he says without turning, as the other elves make to follow.
Tracy begins to trot down the path, gawking at the elves who gasped at her in a rather cocky manner.
Tracy takes in the scenery as she trots through the forest, taking her time to allow the elves to keep up with her pace.
"Hmmmm... Taller than the trees that self-righteous cunt claimed to guard..."
Tracy turns to the elf, having been talking to herself.
"Oh, I was just thinking of some bitch of a unicorn I know.."
He tilts his head slightly, but shakes it off almost immediately.
Tracy stares intently at the man, her speed slowing, betraying her irritation of at the subject, before she speeds up again, snorting in frustration.
"No need to get agitated, I'm not even armed." he says. "Well, there is this, but you don't seem like this would be much good against you."
>>67139*suppresses urge to steal his stick*
"Nah, it's nothing about the lot of you.." Tracy says, resuming her invincible, cocky demeanor
"Just something personal from a while ago.." she mutters, almost whispering
Tracy keeps walking, now in a sour mood.
As Tracy and the elf approach the wall beneath the ship, he whispers a few words and begins walking in the air, as though up a flight of stairs.
Tracy, in an intentionally sudden motion to spook the elves on either side of her, doubles in size and takes off in a blaze of blue flame.
Flying, she makes the deck well in advance of the fellow, who continues to ascend with slow and measured steps.
Meaning, she has a few moments to talk to whomever before he arrives >>67144
"I brought I guy who wants to talk. Don't kill him." Tracy says flatly as she lands on the deck of the ship
"Meh. I just felt like it." Tracy says, reclining on one of the chairs to polish her girls.
Tracy's arrival interrupted a discussion between Thez and Addy, the latter of whom promptly disengages the conversation (the former facepalming) to look over the side of the ship. "Where? I don't see anybody. Oh there he is! Oooh! He's doing the thing where you walk on air!"
"what you do here red elf?"
As he eventually makes his way up and over the rail of the ship, he dusts off his furs and hides and comes to stand toward the front of the ship. "Interesting, I was wondering very much the same about you. This vessel is known to me, but you all are not. What became of those who previously operated it?"
"Stabbed them." Tracy interjects
"they attack us, they dead."
"Truly? Most interesting, Well then, you have dine my people a great favor. That group had attacked our home on several occasions, and several months ago ambushed a gathering party and took them prisoner. Their fate is unknown to us." he says sadly. "This ship passed by this way several weeks ago, I regret that our soldiers mistook your identity and purpose. I am called Bagiste, and these woods are my charge."
Tracy just nods an goes back to polishing her cutlery, leaving the speaking to the others.
"If you are not here to raid, why have you come here?"
"a unicorn stole your people after we freed them."
"we here to see whats beyond wall."
"The mage summoned me here to stab things. I can't say that raiding was off the table."
*looks towards Torc*>>67135
"What'd you bring this ship here for anyway?"
"A unicorn you say, I will have to speak to the trees about this. As far as the wall, this entire section is under our watch. Nothing is permitted to live here that cannot operate within a delicate balance, as it has been for several hundred years. There are of course other sections, but we do not concern ourselves with them, and they do not concern themselves with us."
"who control other sections?"
He shrugs "Hard to say. We're isolationists, disinterested in hearing of other sections or groups. I am aware that one section is operated by dwarves, but I can't speak to the others."
"your men shoot my daughter in chest. you owe us something for doing that."
"I am quite certain that my men paid for their mistake, regrettable though it may be," he says, as several piles of corpse still litter the top of the wall. "We will have to retrieve them."
"me could resurrect them."
"All of them?" Tracy asks incredulously
"well, yea, it was just misunderstanding after all."
"They haven't been dead long, I'm sure they could be raised," he smiles.
".. Well, good luck with that then." Tracy says, her tone genuine
"And what would you ask in return?" he asks, raising an eyebrow
"adolf,me pray that these men that have been killed rise from the dead."
*casts raise dead*
"well me like those big lizards you have. maybe an egg?"
It would take several days to raise them all
, shall we skip a bit until then?Also, I should probably crash if we're gonna do this tomorrow
If there's nothing left to kill/steal, Tracy would just want to go home and tend to her birbsYeah. It's late and my brain is running on autism alone at this point.
"I wanted to meet the people beyond the wall, this wasn't part of the plan by any means."
"I take it you don't know the full history of the wall. You mentioned fleeing behind the wall once, that is not accurate. Several hundred years ago when I was still a boy, Kefka gathered his Empire. That's not quite accurate actually, it would be more accurate to say that he usurped some and destroyed the rest of the existing nation who's capital stood where the Court City now resides." he says, looking over the railing at the City in the distance.
"Would it interest you to know that Kefka has been killed?"
"It would interest me, but it is also rather worrying. Kefka's court was only kept in line for fear of his retribution. I can't imagine what might result of his absence."
"I see... Tell me, could you give us more information on his court? I wish to confront them."
"Alas, I cannot. I can tell you that many years after the wall was built, to serve as a front against the progression of the Empire, many races cooperated to maintain the wall. Over time, offensives diminished, and finally the assaults stopped altogether. That was over 100 years ago, and my understanding of the situation is rather outdated."
"One hundred years? This has been going on longer than I thought. Are there any other leaders we could speak to?"
"Of course, this is just one section of the wall. The wall is several miles wide, and there are sections to the north-west and south that are in the control of the many races." He thinks for a moment. "Assuming the dynamic is still the same, the section to the south is in the control of Humans, and that to the north-west is controlled by Dwarves. How they govern themselves is beyond me however, we have no diplomatic relations."
Torc let's out a low whistle.
"It is an impressive wall. What about your people, who is your leader?"
He chuckles. "The forest
leads my people. We watch over it, and it watches over us. As for the wall, you've only seen one edge of it. The east face of the wall is some distance that way," he says, pointing off the bow.
Torc looks slightly shocked, but decides it's a fair answer.
"I understand. Thank you for your assistance, and I am sorry for the trouble we have caused."
"I do regret the losses we've sustained, but never have we experienced trouble that was remedied so by those whom we have exchanged blows." he shifts topics a moment. "On the way here, your lovely blue pony said something about my people being freed from bondage, but then stolen away. Might you be able to elaborate on this?"
"Ah yes. When a dawrf came to the port we where staying at, I had some suspicions that he was a slaver. Sadly my suspicious turned out to be true. Me and this unicorn freed them and then after a while her and the elves disappeared. For all I know she could be returning them, but I am not that confident. She's pure white and answers to the name of Trollestia. Don't hesitate to find a way to contact us if you find her."
"Trollestia you say? A unicorn should be known to the trees. I will see what I can learn, especially since our people have not returned. Still, I am most impressed that you would stick your neck out on a whim. I am doubly impressed and grateful to you." he bows deeply in reverence.
"I am called Bagiste, vanguard of the South."
Torc returns the bow.
"It was no trouble, I know how it is to have one's people enslaved."
Tracy head turns towards the conversation, although she says nothing.
"Will you allow us to build fort here, your people can use it when they need too. Its part of why we came here looking to keep an eye on Zionist. You know anything about the zionists?"
"Zionists? I haven't heard that word before, no. Building a fortress however, while not impossible, is not a simple matter. We abhor the ill treatment of trees and will not permit them to be cut for any structure. On the other hand, if one can be constructed without scarring the face of this landscape, the counsel of Elders may grant your request. I would be happy to speak on your behalf, given all I have learned. Truly an unexpected day," he smirks, shaking his head as though an expression of fatigue.
"Could we somehow build into the wall?"
To this comment, he begins looking over the rail, surveying the wall. He wanders about a bit, analyzing different points and occasionally drawing his hand across his chin thoughtfully.
"I... I think so," he says slowly. "This wall has sustained structural damage from your... encounter. It will need repairs as it is, and I regret that I am not powerful enough to perform those repairs. However, several leaders such as myself working in tandem,... constructing a structure in and out of the wall would not be exceedingly difficult, and without so much as disturbing a blade of grass. This is a splendid idea I think."
"Ok we go talk to humans and dwarves to see if they will help."
"Excellent then. I will confer with my kinsmen and our Elders. Additionally, I will see to it that word of your exploits is spread throughout this section. Barring open hostility, which I am sure is behind us, you will not be attacked again so long as you are within these walls," he says, sweeping his hand. "Have you any further questions or requests before I take my leave?"
*Looks at Infernius*
"Weren't you making a new statue every other week? Can't you use that same magic to fix the wall?"
"I have no further questions, and I thank you once again for your help."
"None for right now.">>67202
"Me would if faggot could find spell."
"If you were to do so before I have had the opportunity to speak to my kinsmen, it might be misinterpreted as aggression. The forest can be quite cruel if it feels it is under attack," he says omenously.
"Ok,tell me when me can fix wall."
"I shall make all available haste.">>67207
"This old thing? Sure." offers stick.
Tracy takes the stick and holds it.
*walks over to the airship*
*gets back on*
It appears to be a piece of a worn and wathered, knotted old tree, glarled just so to fit in the palm of the hand
Tracy holds the stick for a bit before handing it back.
"Hasn't broken yet," he smiles and walks over to the edge of the rail. "Well then, I have much to discuss with my clan and kin, and I leave you to your exploration. I would advise caution, as this section is undoubtably not the only section who has been maligned by those pirates; Your ship is quite distinct, and is certain to be recognized."
"You gonna take off meme boi?"
And with that, Bagiste lightly hops up on top of the rail, and then jumps from the ship.
As he does that, Tracy grabs her bag and likewise leaps over the edge of the ship to land on the wall.
"I'm going to go ahead on foot!" She calls up towards the ship, only thinking to turn around after she'd moved some distance
As she does so, she is able to see Bagiste all headfirst into a tree, which with a ruffle of leaves and branches, appears to swallow him up.
"Weirdo hipplies..." Tracy says dismissively, as she trots along the wall
Tracy trots along the wall, heading north east.
[1d20 = 3]
Infernuis trys to figure out the controls
How far does she trot along the treeline before the terrain seems to change?
The terrain doesn't change. The entire visible section has trees from end to end. When she was on the ground she noticed that there was an absence of detritus around the trees, as though the area is painstakingly cared for. The impression being that without such care, the forest couldn't possibly be that thick/tall.
"Hmmm.. Some gardeners they have around here, eh." Tracy says to herself as she continues along the path
Infernius is initially unable to deduce the ship's controls, however Torcuil is right there.
Tracy trots along the wall basking in the silence which is interrupted only by intermittent gusts of wind. In the distance of the elf section, she can see a handful of flying creatures - more Wyverns no doubt - lifting off and flying in different directions. She watches, and makes note of their general destination (impossible to determine from her position, but she has an idea now). After a time, the distant intersection of the wall seems not so far, and she can see that the perpendicular wall does not seem as thick or reinforced as the outer face.
"Hmm.. looks more like a border than a rampart.." Tracy observes as she approaches the perpendicular wall slowly, getting her first glance at the new territory
The border as she accurately calls it, is only about 6' wide, as opposed to the main wall which is more like 20' wide. As she approaches slowly she can begin to see over the border, her immediate impression is that of a brick staircase. Not literally, but the buildings she can see appear neatly stacked and organized, the buildings along the wall reaching nearly the full height of the wall (undoubtably with various access points). Contrary to the Elven section however, there doesn't appear to be any presence physically on the wall waiting to 'greet' anyone.
[1d20 = 4]>>67229
Spot check to see any creatures in the Immediate vincinity.
Nothing apparent, and that roll is unnecessary; its established that Tracy is being careful and measured, alert for anyone or anything of interest/concern. As far as she can tell there is no one along the wall, and no one that she can see below the wall from this vantage. She's still a bit south of the intersection.
Tracy decides to delve a bit deeper.
She trots along the perpendicular wall until she's a good ways in, and then promptly scales down boy hopping on the staircase-like buildings.>To anyone observing, it looks like she's coming from elf territory.
As Tracy reaches the intersection of the walls, she should roll a separate spot check
It occurs to Tracy that this area is completely clear of any dirt or debris. The top of the wall on the dwarven side is immaculately kept, in spite of the absence of any presence.
"Hmmmm.. awfully tidy here.." Tracy says, narrowing her eyes
With the ship a good ways behind her, she gathers her bearings and delves into the area in stealth.
Roll a reflex check, modified for trapsense
As Tracy steps forward, she feels the brick beneath her hoof depress slightly, and the mane on the back of her neck stands on end. As a distinct 'click' sound is heard, two slender pieces of metal spring up from between several of the bricks connected by a thick rope. Ducking beneath the rope, she narrowly avoids getting flung from the wall. The rods lower back into position to a faint sound of gears clinking, until they return to their hiding place with a click.
"..... Somebody doesn't like elves..." Tacy says, letting out a hush whinney
Tracy contemplates flying over the contraption, but figures the burst of smoke could give her position away.
With no room to run on the perpendicular wall, she retreats to the Sil Wall to jump the mechanism.
[1d20+27 = 32]>>67243
After she moves back to the sill Wall, she takes a running start and attempts to jump over the traps
Tracy deftly jumps over the first trap, easily clearing it. As she lands, she hears yet another distinct click, oddly similar to the previous one. And sure enough, another set of rope arms swing over her ducking head, attempting to launch her from the wall. It suddenly occurs to Tracy that the area is probably free and clear because it is regularly maintained on automation.
[1d20+27 = 44]>>67245
Tracy doesn't skip a beat and immediately leaps forward again as she lands, losing no speed and jumping again.
"Hold your hoersi. Snek?">"Cya Vern, coming Torc."
The airship then follows along the direction Tracy took.
Tracy successfully vaults 2 of the trap plates, and attempts to hop-scotch her way past. Which really wasn't a good idea, given that she barely had enough time to duck on the previous traps. Sure enough, as she attempt to lift off this next trap plate, the lever arms and rope swing out, clipping Tracy's rear legs and sending her spinning in the air.
Fine, Tracy is able to grab onto the edge of the wall, preventing her from being sent clear off the edge of the wall, hanging over the extreme drop (which, she could get out of, but still).
Meanwhile, Torcuil changes course to follow Tracy while giving Infernius the basic rundown on how to pilot the ship
[1d20+27 = 41]>>67250
Tracy clicks her hooves together to activate her shoes levitation function and makes another jump.
Just throttle and steering, nothing extensive>>67253
Tracy can move about on the wall, undetectable, and without getting vaulted at the wall. Its a good thing too, because after a few moments a squat head peeks over the edge of the wall on the Dwarves side. "Nah, probably the birds again. I told you, you need to increase the tension on those springs!"
"But if I do that, then we won't get to *see* the birds get launched."
"Oh come off it, its never gonna work,...." the voice diminishes as it departs.
Tracy's still need invisible, mind.
Tracy moves towards where she saw the manlet poke his head out.
Peeking over the edge, Tracy spies a staircase leading to a ledge with a door leading into the network of structures. There are several such staircases further along the wall, all of them facing toward the main wall.
Tracy hops down and sets off along the staircase.
Its not a long staircase, essentially just a defensive choke-point in the exterior defenses. The ledge isn't exceptionally big, essentially a balcony (except without a rail, cuz they're dwarves). A single wooden door leads into the compound.
Tracy realizes that she forgot her lock-picks in the towers mess hall, and has to spend several frustrating minutes taking 20 to open the lock with one of her knives.which is a convient excuse for her faggot having already tucked himself in and not remembering her ranks in that skill.
The absence of immediate observers allows Tracy the time necessary to open the door. It doesn't have an external lock, but she is able to wedge one of her knives to trip the latch. The door opens with a click and swings open slightly.
"Hmmm." Tracy coos to herself, trying to salvage some self confidence as she makes her way past the door into the coridoor.
Through the door, Tracy can hear the echoes of countless voices echoing through the halls on either side of the door. Light filters into the hall from deliberately designed cracks in the wall and ceiling, illuminating the inside.
"Hmmm.. fancy place.." Tracy mumbles inaudibly to herself as she passes deeper into the cavern.
[1d20 = 5]
Listen check to hear how close those voices are
Tracy's ears ring from the echoes.
Distant, not close enough to observe Tracy if she enters the hallway, and none of them sounding alerted or otherwise impending.
Tracy heads further in towards the noises, wherever they are. Invisible and moving silently.
Tracy enters the hallway.
Its a long hallway that runs parallel to the wall. There are several doorways on in either direction (no doors tho), as well as a staircase at the end of the hall.
Tracy slowly sneaks down the hall, peaking through the doorways on either side of her as she goes.
The Man stood looking out over the harbor from the penthouse window. Beneath him the carpet had been ripped out and the floor was bare. Behind him there was open space where a wall had stood, and a bar table occupied what was once an open living space, its surface unfurnished. For a year he hadn’t found a buyer for the unit, and so kept it as his own. But he was finally persuaded to sell the unit at a loss, and the new owner wanted extensive changes to the layout. After concluding a meeting at a restaurant, he thought he’d visit the unit at midnight to stare out the panoramic windows one last time.
As he did so, he thought back to a night that ended in that room a little more than a year before. That night had centered on two struggles against two friendly enemies. One, he win against, or so he thought. The other, he would let win. It started with a confrontation. A duel, in whatever way fiour against one could be considered a “duel.” Violent though it may have begun, it swiftly became cordial and countries. It became no less contentious. The battle had shifted from the physical to the mental as he haggled for control of a prize unicorn. After hours of mental chess, they seemed to reach an agreement that left him with the prize.
The victory did not last. It did not even last a single day. He was back to struggling for the prize he thought he had won, trying to get to her the next day, trying to find her the next week, and trying to enamor her the next month. What he was so sure was already in his grasp was in fact only gained after a very long and arduous series of tasks. And even then, he never got to enjoy his victory. In a way, the hard-fought prize remained unclaimed.
This did not bother him. No, his victory did not last, but what does? Everything that is won is eventually lost, and nothing struggled for ever remains. “All glory is fleeting.” What had made that night different, what had made it stand out in his memory after an eventful year, was not the permanency of his triumph, for surely it did not have that. Why that night in particular lingered in his memory more than a year was the sheer thrill of the struggle itself. In the intense back and forth of the negotiation, he found the best focus and expression of his talents and abilities. In trying to figure out what his opponent wanted, in determining what he had to give away, and in trying to persuade the opposing party to make the exchange – he felt alive. He felt like he was good at it. Like a portion of his being that normally lies dormant had been activated, and it was that portion that most closely aligned with what made him different. He knew how a pure bred hunting dog, trained as a puppy to run and chase and hunt, and bred from generations of hunters, felt as it chased after fowl. As it feels, or believes it is about to feel the bird in its jaws it knows that it is doing what it was created to do. Whether it catches the bird or not doesn’t matter much to the dog. It is experiencing its being in action in a way that it will not when it returns to its life of lazing around in the house with occasional walks around the block. So too did the Man’s talents and creativity lay dormant for most of the year since.
Out in the far distance, the Man could see a light of a passing ship coming into the harbor, and various other moving lights of vehicles along the shore. These were other people in motion. Their lives were advancing, and so too was his, he figured. He took a sip from the glass of honey sweeten tea he bought at the restaurant earlier, and his mind focused back to the other struggle in that night. The Blue Mare had tried for months then to lay a sort of claim of ownership to him. And for those months he resisted, fearing there was a deeper malevolence. But in that night, he let himself go in the moment. There was something sweet about her. Something… Cute. He liked the affection. He liked to be wanted. And he figured that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if he would let her have him. Maybe this relationship could be joyous. He acquiesced to her that night, and he was hers.
His expectations for his life after this defeat proved to be as illusory as his “triumph.” The relationship would stress and sour, often turning bad. She must have lost interest in him after a while, as her affection became sparser and he was no longer her “flashy,” nor she “Mrs. Sentry.” He had not seen her at all in six months. He had to wonder if she was still out there. But this too, was alright. Most of the relationships we have with people are fraught with tensions, or are ephemeral, so why should this one be an exception? Whatever else happened before or after, he liked the affection, and he had fun that night. That night, she was cute, and it was a good experience. She was not the first person to enter and leave his life, nor was she the last. Through out the years he had known many people. They had all made their impressions on him, and most of them he would never see again. His relationship with the Blue Mare had been special and enjoyable in its own sort of way, and that night, and so many other occasions with her, good and bad, were among the experiences that made up his life.
He stood there in silence, then made a toast “to absent friends,” taking a long drink of the tea and finishing it. He turned around and looked at the deconstructed apartment where that night had ended on a joyous note. He had built this place and lived there in part, but now it was unrecognizable. All furnishings had been stripped away and even the basic layout changed. He placed his glass on the unfinished bar as he walked towards the door. That glass, which would surely be taken by a worker in the morning, was the last thing he would contribute to the unit, he thought, and he had to wonder if he had made any lasting impression in the place. His fading memories were perhaps the last remnants of that night, and so many others like it. He was unsure what to feel about all of this. The last year had not been kind, and he still did not know what the future held. He was not sure if he should be happy, sad, or angry, or if he felt much of anything at all. He turned out the lights and headed back home.