Open Jump with Me

Etti invites Thuma to go cliff diving with her at the Myraiik Cliffs.

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

Jump with Me

Postby Thuma on August 21st, 2019, 11:35 pm

57th of Summer, 519 AV
The Myraiik Cliffs

Thuma (Nari)(Common) | Shathisae | Yania (Nari)(Common)

The city was hot today. The kind of hot that makes you want to sit in the coolest place you can find and do, well, nothing. For Thuma, that spot was the ledge in Shathisae's room that led out of the mountain. Her eagle sat upon the edge of the ledge with her eyes closed, letting the wind gently ruffle her feathers. Thuma lounged back, letting her arms support her weight as she dangled her legs over the side of the ledge. She, too, had her eyes closed, the wind blowing through her hair and lifting it off her shoulders.

It was late morning, not quite midday, and the sun's heat was already intense. Usually, around this time of the summer, you could hear the warblers singing. With the migration patterns all out of sorts, the birds that were normally around were nowhere to be seen. Instead, the crackling call of phirebirds, who were usually not seen until late fall, could be heard throughout the region.

How long do you think this will last? Thuma asked Shathisae, sharing an image of Kalea under the burning sun, but instead of being green and full of trees and animals, as a lifeless, scorched desert.

It is uncertain, Shathisae replied. Thuma could feel the long flights out over Thunder Bay wearing on the eagle, her muscles sore and her search for food larger than a school of mackerel getting harder each day. Whale pods were migrating further north, getting farther and farther away from Thunder Bay, and even a Wind Eagle had a tough time flying several miles to find a whale and then flying all that distance back carrying one, Something like this has never occurred throughout known history. There can be no estimate for when the goddess will return.

This, along with the very real threat of the beast every time she went anywhere outside of the city, was weighing heavily on Thuma's mind. It was chipping away at her hard exterior, peeling off the mask of stoicism she wore bit by bit and showing pieces of the true anxiety she had about everything happening in the world. She felt grateful that the Beast had not taken any of her flightmates or family, then guilty for feeling that way. The friends and family of those that had been killed were in mourning and instead of feeling remorse or sympathy, she felt lucky.

She argued with herself that it was okay to think like that, to think at least it wasn't me. But her Endal brain wouldn't stop yelling that it was her fault, her fault, her fault that those Inartans were dead. She was a protector of the city, and that meant she had a duty to protect the residents of the city as well. However, some of those taken by the beast had also been Endals, and if she had been where they were, she would be dead now too. She wasn't going to kid herself that she could have fought it off better than they were able to. She was arrogant and overconfident, sure, but not completely daft.

No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future, Shathisae said and opened her eyes. She glanced at Thuma out of the corner of her eye,You are dwelling again. It is distracting.

Thuma sighed and laid fully back against the smooth stone floor, letting the coolness of it seep into her tired muscles.

I'm sorry, Shath, it's just all very overwhelming. Thuma apologized to the eagle. She knew that what she was actually feeling was inadequate against an adversary more powerful than any she had faced before. Both the Beast and the goddess of Winter. How much longer did the city have before people started starving to death? It wasn't uncommon for a Dek to occasionally die of starvation, but eventually, there would be a mass hunger with members of every caste fighting each other to eat. The Hydroponic gardens were still providing fruit and vegetables for now, but the Sanikas River got lower with each passing day, and soon the water would run out, and the plants would stop growing. Game was becoming harder to find, even for master track-

Thuma, Shathisae's voice interrupted the Endal's thought barrage before it could get away from her, You cannot lose your focus. Your people need you to be calm and collected now more than ever. She said sternly, but not unkindly. She was right, now was not the time to wallow.

A quiet knock came from the door to Shathisae's room and when it opened, Yania's head peeked around it. She met eyes with Thuma.

"There's somebody here for you," She said. Her hair was hanging damp around her shoulders and she wore only a thin shirt and her undergarments.

"Please don't tell me you answered the door like that," Thuma said, standing up and walking over to her sister. Yania looked down at herself then back up.

"Whatever," She said, and shrugged. Thuma sighed, the girl was definitely spirited.

"Who's at the door?" Thuma asked, ignoring Yania's attire... or lack thereof.

"It's Etti." She said simply, then left the room. Thuma stopped and her heart rate accelerated. Etti? Why would her flightmate be at her aerie? They shouldn't be on duty today, maybe there was a problem in the city, or perhaps Yanna had requested them to deal with something.

Thuma entered the common room to find Yania lounging on the couch, flipping through a book she had read at least ten times, not even trying to hide the fact that she was planning to eavesdrop. Etti stood off to the left of the couch, examining the painting on the North wall. She was wearing a simple leather vinati and a green silk scarf with an ornate gold border wrapped around her waist, tied up on one side to expose her leg all the way up to the hip. She was barefoot and her red hair was done in a single braid down her back. This was not her battle attire, and she didn't have any weapons with her, which must have meant there was no danger to be taken care of.

Thuma felt her face flush and took a deep breath to calm her nerves before going to greet her flightmate.

"Who is this Aylar?" Etti asked before Thuma could say anything, pointing at the scrawled signature on the bottom right-hand side of the painting. The painting itself was a view of Mt. Skyinarta from Thunder Bay on a bright, sunny day. Steam rose out of the volcano and the sky was full of Wind Eagles. The Sanikas river snaked down from Katshika Falls to empty into the bay at the bottom. The painting had been in the aerie since before Thuma moved in. She assumed it had been left behind by a previous owner.

"A painter... probably," Thuma joked, begetting a smirk from Etti, "So, did Yanna summon us? Is everything okay?" The Endal asked. Etti had never been to Thuma's aerie in the three years they were in the flight together. Thuma hadn't known she even knew which aerie was hers... she didn't know where Etti's aerie was.

"Oh no, everything is fine, it's nothing like that," Etti said and turned to face Thuma. She was half a foot shorter than Thuma, and every time she stood this close the only thought that went through Thuma's mind was how easy it would be to rest her chin on top of her head if they were to hug. She mentally shook the image clear, it was foolish of Thuma to pine over someone that was so obviously not romantically interested in her. She would only end up hurting herself in the end.

"Actually, the reason I'm here is that some of the Endals, including myself and Darrin, are getting a group together to go to the Myraiik Cliffs for cliff diving. A few others in the city will be going today, and I wanted to invite you - and Yania," She added quickly, glancing at the hunter still "reading" on the couch, who looked up when her name was said, "To come with us. I think we could all use some stress relief."

Thuma had heard that there would be a group going to the cliffs today and had decided she didn't want to go. Instead, she planned to sit in her aerie and relax. But because she had no control over her emotions and the girl she was infatuated with was inviting her, of course she was going to say yes.

"Oh, that sounds fun! Yani do you-"

"No." The hunter answered before Thuma finished speaking. Thuma knew there would be no point in trying to convince her to come with them, that she could probably benefit from it more than anyone else. She was more stubborn even than Thuma and once her mind was made up, there was no changing it, no matter what.

That was fine by Thuma, she didn't think she would want her sister hanging around when she was with Etti anyway. Yania didn't know about Thuma's feelings for their flightmate, and Thuma definitely was not planning on telling her.

"I guess it's just me then. I'll go change my clothes first, then we can go." Thuma said and turned to go put on a more appropriate outfit for cliff-diving. She would wear a simple vinati like what Etti was wearing, and a pair of shorts just long enough to cover her buttocks. She considered whether she would bring her scarf too, and decided against it. It would only get in the way.

"Okay, I'll wait in the nesting chamber, Faay is already out there with Shathisae." Etti said, and went into Shathisae's room, closing the door gently behind her.

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Calm skies do not make a skillful eagle
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