This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Scott Bogumil 1 week, 5 days ago.
October 17, 2018 at 6:56 pm #7753
During the evenings on some nights… a shadowy figure can be seen, if you look closely, circumnavigating the outpost. Muttering to himself, Jerry walks eyes open for danger to his new residence. “I will make one last direct effort to return home and remove the power of the Architects from the Secret War. Should this fail, and I expect that it will, I will swear an oath to myself to make a home of this place, and it’s insanity, and protect it will all I am.” «this is repeated three times»
During the mornings, every morning, gunfire can be heard in the near distance. Jerry works the cylinders loading, firing and reloading each high-caliber pistol. Focusing on the pine needles placed in the cracks of a fencepost, he picks them off one at a time as the shots ring out.October 30, 2018 at 12:47 am #7857
Even though she knew the wind from the last few strong beats of her wings as she landed announced her presence, Kestrel still called out, “Hello, Jerry?” After all, you never knew what sort of creatures were popping up behind you in the Nexus. At the siren’s side was her high caliber rifle, one of her main defenses against the many dangers that faced those who called the fringes of Oasis home. She offered Jerry a big smile, “Ready for rifle practice?”October 30, 2018 at 2:21 pm #7865
Without looking around Jerry replies, “ready, there is no ready. training will happen.” he seems singularly focused as he takes the remaining shots and reloads.
“Kestrel, I have been in shock since my arrival. not taking some things serious enough. It’s about time I get to real work, and plan on not getting back to the Secret War. I have to treat that as lost and move on.” Jerry bows his head. “This may become my reality. I have spent a lot of time in different eras of my world. Some of them rather similar to this. If I cannot get home, I have to try to make this my new home. I want to thank you for all your kindnesses.”
He turns and looks up at Kestrel, “whenever you are ready.”October 31, 2018 at 12:42 am #7870
Kestrel’s smile fades and she blinks in surprise. Sarcasm and snark she was ready for, to a degree she enjoyed Jerry’s disbelief of magic and the reality that was around him and went so far to jokingly make it her goal to persuade him to believe in magic. Now she realized that maybe she didn’t know this man as well as she thought. Maybe the jokes and dismissal were just him trying to put off the reality of his situation for as long as possible.
“Of course, I’m always happy to help,” she replied automatically. Well, standing there wondering about who he really was wasn’t going to help, so she put her rifle into his hands and started her instruction. When she had first learned to shoot it had been from one of the members of Duke’s co-op, a surprisingly patient beastman who had worked with her until she could finally hit the target dummy he put up every day. She didn’t have a target dummy, but she did have a bulls-eye she painted on a piece of wood specifically for this purpose.
For the next half hour Kestrel kept their focus on the rifle and the target. Admittedly she didn’t know Jerry well enough to really know how to help, but she knew having a productive distraction couldn’t hurt. It wasn’t until he really seemed to be getting a handle on the subject at hand that she even considered broaching the subject.
“You’re picking this up very quickly. I imagine so long as we keep practicing you’ll out shoot me in no time. How about we break for lunch? I brought some food to share.” She reached into her bag and pulled out two rolls, some fruit, and an assortment of nuts, offering half of it to Jerry.October 31, 2018 at 1:13 am #7871
Jerry takes the instruction, and works hard to get it just right. Focussed and serious, his jovial self seems to be gone … entirely.
“I appreciate your time and instruction… and you. This place is a hard adjusment. My heart lowers as time goes on, and it’s becoming clear that home is where you hang tour hat.” He looks tired and lonely.
He eats a little mechanically, “thank you for the food.
“This is part of my routine, by the way, search for a portal that looks like the one I came through to get here. Patrol our little outpost, practice, repeat.”
He looks at Kestral for a long moment, serious and hard, “Today, has been a little different. Today, I made a vow. One last attempt to get home. Then, I stay, make this my home, officially, and hang my hat.”
Jerry scans the area, and listens for a moment. “I think that is acceptable, and I know everything will work out as the universe needs it to.”October 31, 2018 at 6:19 am #7872
It hadn’t occurred to her before this, but just about everyone she had met in Oasis had transitioned to their new home with relative ease. Seeing someone struggle so much with their unexpected relocation was new territory for her, but missing home was not. At least in that she could empathize with him. Silence hung between them for the span of a few breaths as she considered all these things.
“I’m so sorry Jerry,” Kestrel said when she finally broke the silence, “I hadn’t realized how much this had all been weighing on you. But if you are making one last attempt to get home, we might as well make it a good one, right? We could talk to some of the more skilled ritualists in the area, see if one has an idea for how to send you back, or we could try that genie in that alter that we found last month.” As she listed ideas she seemed to visibly perk up, though she didn’t notice that she had switched from “you” to “we.”
“Hmm, asking the genie could get expensive though. Making portals that actually go where you want them to isn’t exactly easy, or I imagine a lot of fae and terrans would have already come back where they came from. Still, maybe a one-way portal would be a bit easier…”October 31, 2018 at 12:44 pm #7877
He l9oks up at her. Smiles sadly, “the genie was precisely what I was thinking. If anyone can, a genie can. I have to admit that, while I have been able to accumulate a bit, I doubt that any amount will be enough. Even if I had enough, I fully believe that he would string me along a path that will be more and more costly with no real results. Eventually leading me to hope, and fail for his amusement.
“My other route, was to look to a combination of magic and technology to manipulate the chaos portal then be banished. This does not appeal to me, but I think it has a better chance of success. I was banished from my home, to the Nexus.”
Jerry, stares off into the distance. “Either way, I need to go though that portal. I need to know what fears I have to confront, and overcome. I need to find a way to beat this fear of magic, otherwise there are no avenues to walk. It’s my belief that technology alone will not take me where I want to go.”
He sighs deeply, and stands up. Reaching down he helps Kestrel to her feet, and looks to the target. “Like a marksman, taking aim on a target, I myst fly true. No more stumbling around in the dark, grasping at the rain to get a drink of water.”November 3, 2018 at 11:08 pm #7916
Kestrel nods, takes in his ideas and theories and plays them over in her mind. At first she doesn’t even notice his offered hand but when she does takes it and lets him help her to her feet with a little hop. Even with the wings she’s always a little lighter than people expect, hollow bones and all.
“Whatever I can do to help, let me know. I’m only a beginner ritualist, but I’m still learning and maybe can help any more powerful ones who might help you out. As for your fear of magic, maybe I can help a bit more with that. Maybe a healer’s touch is just the thing to help ease you into an acceptance of magic. Hopefully between us and our friends we can figure things out.” She offers him a smile and open arms for a hug should he decide he wants one. Healing magic can do a lot, but the touch of another sapient being who cares is a healing magic in its own right.November 4, 2018 at 1:55 am #7917
He accepts the embrace and holds her for a moment, then says, “I have no idea what ritual magic can do. I have read stories of genies, and believe that they are tricky than they are made out to be. I don’t know if or how this will work. I do know, it will hurt no matter what the outcome.
“If I succeed, I will always remember my new friends here. If I fail, everything that was once familiar will be gone. There are never easy choices.”
He releases her and looks to the target. “Everything that I have learned so far is that once you get to the Nexus, you don’t leave. This place is so full of chaos, living myths, and fantastic story-book creatures. My question has to be, why? Why all the myths become real, and in all of this, why did I wind up here? It doesn’t make sense. I am just a Captain in the PubOrd Security Bureau, 21st-century division. I’m not a siren, a kitsune, a mad scientist, an elven centurion, a mutant, a cyborg, a wizard, or a fae. I’m just a guy, now a lost and lonely guy, but just a guy.”
He looks confused for a moment, and smiles sardonically, “do you think that you and Harp could find a way to portal me home? Do you believe that the ritual magics could be the way?” He seems to be holding his breath as he looks at Kestrel.
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