Closed Dreams of Tropics and Parrots

Tailynn elatedly ventures into Syka, only to be met with unease

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Dreams of Tropics and Parrots

Postby Tailyn on February 26th, 2018, 9:23 pm

Image
Tai hesitated as she spotted a soft, mysterious smile flit briefly across Randal’s face. What was that about? Tai had an idea of what it might be, based upon her interactions with Randal so far, but it wasn’t something she was ready to confront yet, and she pushed it away from her thoughts.

She listened with growing unease as Randal spoke of kelvics, the kelvic twins, and Syka’s proximity to the World Gate. A niggling suspicion wormed its way into Tai’s thoughts, and she couldn’t help but voice it.

“Syka...this settlement. Did you put it here because of this world gate? Because of this ruined city? This would have been nice to know before I moved here...”

Tai half mumbled her objections. She was not much of a fighter. She certainly was no hero. If she was anything, she was an entrepreneur. Syka had been a calculated risk, but one worth making if it helped her to pursue her dream. She felt the tiniest hint of resentment at the knowledge.

This information was counterproductive to her parrot business. But, she reminded herself as she smothered her annoyance, that was not Randal’s fault. Or mostly not anyways. Regardless there was nothing she could do about it. She would accept the knowledge, use it to the best of her advantage, and soldier on.

She listened as the man spoke of surfing and nodded along with him. “It’s certainly worth trying. Although uh...I can’t swim.” She smiled at him weakly. “There wasn’t much call for it in Wind Reach. I suppose it's worth learning when you’re surrounded by water huh?”

As the conversation moved onto climbing, Tai grinned.

“We could always start with trees. That’s my plan anyways. Knowing how to climb trees is bound to be useful in my job. I’ve got climbing gear and ropes. You could always borrow one of mine in a pinch.”

Tai did hope to one day move onto free climbing, but starting with a handicap should help her hone her abilities. And she would have to learn to scale trees if she wanted to raid parrot nests for babies.

As the two of them started down the trail towards town, Tai half closed her eyes as the noises of the jungle swelled up around her. Their were insects buzzing, the distant call of birds, the sound of leaves underfoot. It was so different than the sounds of Wind Reach, or even Riverfall.

There was an energy to Syka that practically permeated from every bit of humidity leaden air. The energy resonated with Tai’s own enthusiasm. Heat or no, it was a world she could get used to. A world she could call her own.

Tai listened, eyes still half-closed, as Randal spoke more of her family. In truth, she felt a sort of guilt. Night’s loss had been intense for her, because she’d loved that bird like the sibling her brother had never been, but in the end he was still just a bird and his time with Tai had been fleeting.

She wasn’t self-centered enough to imagine her and Randal’s experiences as anything similar. Randal had put time, effort, and love for many many years into his family, only to have it snatched away all at once. She could try to pretend she understood, but she didn’t really.

“At least you have your memories of them,” Tai offered. “I don’t know how much comfort that brings but well...through memories at least they’re not gone for forever.”

Briefly, Tai’s memory flashed to Sky Inarta. A cloudless sky, stretching over the peaks of the Unforgiven, white swords piercing the endless blue, and the scream of distant eagles…

Tai blinked away the memory. It was a place she would never return to. So memory was all she had.

“Memories are pieces we carry with us,” Tai said to Randal. “So I think those that we’ve lost are more with us than we think.”

As Randal spoke of the Inarta, Tai tilted her head. “Families don’t really exist there the same way they do elsewhere. Or maybe they do, but only for the Endal. Some people have families sort of, but it’s very informal. I was never…” Tai paused, the laughed.

“I’m not that great of a hunter. Good enough to be chosen for an apprenticeship, but that’s about it. And while I was good with the little birds, they just didn’t have the glamour or utility of the raptors. I made myself useful, so I wasn’t hated. But I wasn’t loved either. I just blended in. The Inarta appreciate talent. If I wanted a proper balanced relationship I would have had to have more of it.”

Tai decided definitively right at the moment to not go on about what an ‘unbalanced' relationship would have been like. Randal didn’t need to hear about the dark side of Wind Reach, and she was in no mood to tell him.

“I think that if your daughter had run off to a jungle, then you should be...” Tai had wanted to say ‘proud of her’ but the sudden, intense change in atmosphere struck the words from her lips.

Tai felt a small shiver travel up her spine as Randal took a stray lock of hair between his fingers. Was it nervousness? Excitement? She wasn’t really sure. The atmosphere between the two of them stretched taut, like a band waiting to snap.

The words were unexpected. With the atmosphere perpetrating their surroundings, the kiss wasn’t. If anything, Tai was more surprised that the kiss wasn’t more intense than it was. Tai hadn’t quite decided how to react to it when Randal pulled back. Blood rushed through Tai’s ears, making it hard to think…

“Common sense is telling me that I’m going to scare you.”

Wait, what?

Tai narrowed her eyes at Randal as clarity snapped back into focus. But before Tai could speak, Blue acted.

The parrot had tolerated Randal’s relentless flirting. She had tolerated his small attempts to befriend her. She had tolerated the light touches to her human, and she had tolerated Tai’s tolerance of these things.

But the kiss pushed it. Blue, still on Tai’s shoulder, fluffed her feathers, clipped her beak, and fanned her tail. If Tai hadn’t been so distracted, she would have known exactly what all those signs meant. As was, Tai had no opportunity to prepare as Blue launched herself off of Tai’s shoulder and straight into Randal’s face.

The scream Blue let out was a worthy battlecry, and godsdamned terrifying to the recipient. She beat at Randal with her wings, clawed with her talons and snapped with her beak. The barrage was so sudden and unexpected that it took Tai a moment to react.

“Hey!” Tai snapped to her bird. Only years of practice and an incredible comradery with her companion gave Tai the confidence to seize her bird from behind, pinning her wings to her side. Tai turned and flung the shrieking bird into a nearby tree.

Tai tensed, expecting Blue to launch herself at Randal again, but the bird perched on the branch and death glowered at Randal, feathers fluffed up and beak parted.

Tai did not apologize for Blue. Maybe she had not intended quite so harsh a punishment for Randal, but Blue had conveyed a similar point that Tai wanted to state.

“Alright, listen here,” Tai said, bringing the full force of her confidence to bear and raising herself up to her full height. She seized the collar of Randal’s shirt and yanked on it so the taller man was closer to her eye level.

“I like a good bit of flirting as much as anyone but we literally just met! This is my first day in Syka! Slow the shyke down!” Tai’s Inarta accent came through once again. She had been reminded of the occasional Endal who hadn’t taken no for an answer and had to have the point proven to them fiercely. She liked Randal, but this was way too sudden when she had a million other things on her mind.

“Secondly,” Tai said, feeling her irritation rattling her words. “On one hand you claim that I’m brave for having come here, a woman alone. Okay fine. But a breath later, you try to tell me that you’re worried you’ll scare me?! Come on! Which is it?!”

Tai’s grip tightened on Randal’s shirt for a moment, but her eyes softened slightly. “Look, I like you well enough. If you want to give it time and you can put up with me and Blue then this can maybe be a thing. But don’t insult me by pretending I’m some delicate flower. We clear?”
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Dreams of Tropics and Parrots

Postby Gossamer on March 11th, 2018, 10:25 pm

“Some secrets are best kept. Its not knowledge we trust everyone with or the type of people that would have flocked here wouldn’t be the type of people we got.” Randal said gently, knowing it might have frustrated or angered her, but the Founders had gone about it the best way possible. She wouldn’t know he was telling her privileged information that he should have kept from her until the circumstances prevented the trio from keeping it a secret any longer. Nevertheless he watched her body language carefully, judging her reaction. It wasn’t a positive one. He could see the flash of resentment before the woman buried the information deep.

He chuckled again. “Yes, Tailyn. Learn to swim first. It’s a lot like learning to crawl before you walk.” Randal offered, not being sarcastic but rather thinking it smart she was planning ahead. “That’s what I’ll do learning to climb. Find someone that knows climbing or start slowly until I really understand the science of it. There’s a lot of places to fall here, not to mention the trees… I’d really like to see the tops of some of these monsters. I believe there are trees taller here than hills in Syliras.” He added, both of them drawing closer to their destination.

The conversation continued, pleasant and engaging, though he didn’t agree with Tailyn on those being lost still being with them. It had been since 512 that he’d lost his wife and even now the image of her and the sound of her voice was fading from his mind. He hated that most of all, wishing he had a sketch or even a lock of her hair or something of the children he could hold onto. He’d know her anywhere, even after death, but he’d recently been having trouble holding onto her memory.

Her info on the Inarta was interesting. He had no idea how a culture could survive without a family unit. Wasn’t that natural to humans? Randal looked interested, but confused, all at the same time. It didn’t matter though. All that did at that moment was kissing her.

He didn’t get a chance to see what they’d feel, where it would lead, or what could come of it. The parrot, the twice cursed blue monster on her shoulder attacked. He didn’t try to strike the animal, only brought his hands up to protect his eyes. Her talons wracked his face, leaving deep scrapes as the man staggered back, instinctually knowing the bird was protecting Tailyn, and not wanting to hurt her. He didn’t have to though because Tailyn acted swiftly and got Blue out of Randal’s face.

Then the thunderstorm came, something that amused Randal as he lightly touched the scratches on his cheek and noted the blood. Blue was like lightening and Tailyn definitely thunder. The woman actually seized him, yanked him and started lecturing. He did all he could to not laugh at the fierceness of the redhead. She was feisty and spirited. He loved every minute of it and the lecture she delivered. Tailyn wouldn’t know he didn’t do this type of thing, EVER, nor would she believe him if he told her as much the two of them just having met.

“I did scare you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be screaming at me to slow down.” His voice quivered, trying not to laugh. He failed and laughed anyhow, a deep throaty hearty laugh. “I’m sorry I kissed you Tailyn. I truly am. But it was worth it…even the scratches…” He said, touching his scraped cheek once more. He glanced up at the bird, glad she was protective, and then extracted himself from the redhead’s grip.

“We’re clear.” He said still grinning, not letting her rant get to him overly much. Syka was pretty day in and day out the same. Tailyn was a definite improvement on the scenery, even if she’d more likely kill him than naught… or even if her bird did. She had no idea how much fun she was going to make the new settlement for him, even if he never got another single kiss or had to watch her shack up with one of the numerous other single men or women now in the area. It was just nice having his mind on something other than building or the losses of his past.

Today, suddenly, he didn’t feel lonely. He didn’t even remotely feel bored. His face hurt but he’d have a story to tell about that. And she hadn’t said no…. not even remotely. She’d just said slow down. He grinned like a boy having swiped candy from the mercantile and poured on the charm.

“Now… loans. If you need one you can talk to me or one of the other Founders for supplies to get started. IF not, that’s no problem. You can claim land anywhere anyone else hasn’t… and just let us know where it is. We need you contributing to the settlement, showing up if you can to events and helping unload The Veronica when it comes in… things like that. We won’t grow if we have a bunch of recluses here.” He added, still grinning.

“Just let me know what you need….” He said in the most business like voice he could muster. With that, they were back in town, almost before The Commons. “I promised to walk you back to town. Here we are. Do you need anything else before I get back to work on my day?” He said, a twinkle in his eye.

If there was nothing else, he’d definitely leave her there, let her cool down, and get to work on one of his numerous building projects that more than kept him occupied.
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Dreams of Tropics and Parrots

Postby Tailyn on March 21st, 2018, 4:01 pm

Image
Tai felt her face slowly begin to darken with color. Part of it was the smile that Randal seem to be hiding just underneath the surface, despite the suddenness and intensity of Blue’s attack. Did he honestly think that it was funny?! She was flustered yes, and surprised and uncomfortable. But scared? Startled maybe but…

“I’m not… ” Tai’s protests faded on her lips.

Flustered turn to legitimate embarrassment and Tai's face flushed a deeper red as she realized he was right.

“A-anyway…”

Gods, she hadn’t expected him to laugh! He seemed to just flip her every which way! It'd be easier if he’d gotten angry like a normal person!

She glanced at the scratches covering his face guiltily. The angry red marks and spots of blood were bright on his skin.

“I’m sorry about those scratches. I don’t know a thing about first aid, otherwise I’d do something about it.“

Tai reached out with the sleeve of her shirt to Dan at the blood. She didn’t do much more than smear it. From the tree where she sat, Blue hissed.

“Hush you,” Tai told the bird.

As the conversation turned away from the kiss, Tai was able to pull herself together a little bit, although the flush remained on her cheeks. She tried to focus on the business at hand.

“Right, loans. I suppose I’ll need one to get started making my bird cages. How much would it cost for that um, job? And do you have an estimation for how long it’d take for everything to be built? I’d like a house built eventually too, but that can wait. The birds are more important now.”
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Dreams of Tropics and Parrots

Postby Gossamer on June 23rd, 2018, 3:00 pm

Randal just offered her another smile, nodded, and remained pleasant. It was fascinating watching Tailyn and the parrot interact. She even tried to tend to the scratches, which honestly he found endearing though he didn’t let it show. “I’ll be fine, Tailyn, really… fine. It’s just scratches. I get as much bush whacking around here. “ He added, then gestured towards the beach.

“Tell you what… you pick a spot. I’ll come by and get the mews up right away. Depending on how big you want them, a hundred or so, maybe two hundred gold depending on how elaborate. I think a couple of hundred could get you a walk in fairly good sized cage, stand up, with lots of flight room that the young birds can exercise. I can make it so you can divide it up if you have parrots that don’t get along with maybe doors that can swing open inside to either let the whole thing be one big walk in cage with nest boxes hung on the sides or sectioned off into individual cages. Regardless I’ll make it roomie enough for you to clean and get toys and perches in and out of. Yea… probably one or two hundred gold will do. Won’t take me long to work it up… a day or two at most. If we have the screen in the mercantile that will be a bonus. If we don’t, I might have to get Askha to weave you some woven mat walls to substitute while we wait for the Veronica to bring it in from Riverfall. But I think we do have osme…” He said, thoughtfully.

“We’ll loan up to fifteen hundred gold to folks… that includes for homes which usually don’t cost more than six to eight hundred gold. I think you’ll be fine as long as you actively work and export some of these birds… to bring an income in so you can pay us off.” He added. If she was going to take a loan, that put him at an advantage over her and he was glad Blue had stepped in. It would be better to perhaps see if she wanted to try dating after her loan was paid off so she wasn’t obligated.

Randal was patient. If she was in Syka, odds are she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And the population of males to females were very in favor of the females so he wasn’t worried about another male stepping in. He liked all the ladies in Syka, they made for a lot of adventures, but there weren’t very many males. If he was a betting man, which he wasn’t, he’d have bet there would be a lot more males than females here. But he would have been wrong.

“How does all that sound?” He added, offering her a smile. “So I’ll need you to give me the okay, go pick out a patch of land, and mark where you want your mews built. I can be around tomorrow to start the work.. or the next day if you take a bit of time picking out somewhere.” He added, waiting for her answer before he left her at The Commons and took off to get the rest of his work done for the day.
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