Chapter 4: Storm Brewing
Location: Steamhawke, deck
Timeline: Day 1
The fog was dense, and Daenelia could barely see the strip of sand a few meters from the ship. They could not get closer, or they'd beach the ship. And to be stuck here, was not something that was on the Captain's wish list. They'd have to form a party soon, and lower a sloop to look at the island. It seemed logical to take some of the war dogs along. It was one of those war dogs that came strolling up behind Daenelia, an oh-so-pleased grin upon his face that may or may not have had something to do with the miniature turbine that was being lightly tossed from hand to hand. A cord extended from the base of the small device and looped around his ring finger to keep the thing from running off on him. Just in case.
"So, is there some kind of a plan yet?" he questioned casually, slouching back against the ship's rail. Despite the fact he had been one of the last hires in Elladia, the young man had made himself quite at home rather quickly. Tossing the device from left hand to the right, he took the moment to push his damp hair out of his eyes -- a present from the oppressive fog around them.
"Oh!" Daenelia was startled, a fact she tried to hide quickly. Always be composed, she told herself. Plan... Plan? "I think we need to form a group to explore the sand bar. Maybe dig around, see if we find anything."
Daenelia was fascinated by the object the man was tossing in the air, then catching again. She remembered he was the combat engineer they'd hired, but his name seemed to escape her. In the silence, and her focus on the device, she thought furiously. But it was as if the fog was clouding her mind as well. Suddenly she remembered: "Tamryl!" She shouted loudly, and smiled.
For a brief moment, the young man's absent-minded smile became vaguely confused. He laughed a little, nodding. "Right, yes. Glad you remember." That had seemed...odd. Not that he could put a finger on just what was wrong. He had not been around on board or with the captain long enough to tell what was considered the norm.
"Have you ever seen fog like this? It's like it tries to get inside your head..." Daenelia mused.
"Don't know about your head, but my little gizmo here doesn't seem too friendly with it." As if to prove that very point, the device sputtered and popped in mid-air, dropped a foot, and then seemed to remember its blades were supposed to be spinning. Wren smiled sheepishly and jerked back on the cord around his finger. The cord retracted and the device slid right into his hand. "I didn't think a bit of fog would be an issue...Maybe it's not just your head it's making a mess of."
The idea disturbed Daenelia, but it was a good point Tamryl made. She turned her head to look at the young man straight on. "If that's true, if the fog messes with your little gizmo, I wonder what it will do to bigger machines. Like ship's engine's." She looked out over the water, trying to collect her thoughts. "What if... What if the fog brought down sky ships, right here? There would be wrecks everywhere!" She thought a little bit further. "There could be loot... everywhere!" She laughed loudly. There was barely a moment to wonder if this was how the Captain was on any old day before he was joining her in mirthful laughter. "Aye, sky ships falling from the sky. We'll have all manner of folks floating about in apple barrels by the end of the day. But we still have to take off eventually. Best not jinx us yet," he finished with a wry smile.
The ship's motion on the water now felt comforting. She shook her head though. "If anything was amiss with the engines Brem, the chief engineer, would have told me." As Daenelia pointed to the gizmo Tamryl was playing with, she said: "Could be your little toy is just not working properly. You should let Ed take a look at it. He is the ship's handyman, he's got an eye for such things." Wren, at least, had the sense to look rather offended by the very suggestion. Daenelia had clearly forgotten she hired Wren for his technical skills, more than for his battle skills.
"I think I'll know my own piece better than this Ed fellow," he responded. His tone was still light, but there was a slight twist to his lips now as he inspected the gadget in his hand. "Don't need to go and give my job to someone else. Trust me, you don't want me in the kitchen here." And he grinned widely at that, elbowing the captain's side playfully. Daenelia smiled at that. As the fog lifted slightly, she felt a bit more clearheaded. What was she thinking, telling an engineer to ask a handyman for help? Even one as good as Ed?
"Well, even if your gadgets don't work properly in the fog, it won't matter much. No one followed us into the fog, so I doubt we will run into anyone. I am not expecting huge fights. Still," she added, as she looked at Wren again. "Still, I would feel better if you came along with whatever you think would be helpful." The young man gave a nod at that, a thoughtful smile on his face as his mind raced through the options. He would have liked some more time to finish a new invention, but he had a couple of useful odds and ends packed away in his luggage.
"Best if you talk to Carol, I mean Master Summers. I'm sure she has instructions for you." The Captain felt another fit of laughter coming on, but she managed to cough to cover it.
"Right, of course. I keep meaning to do that, but just...haven't yet." Another laugh and an almost cheeky grin graced his face. With a slight twist of the base of his little device, it stopped trying to whir and jump in the air. He deftly folded up the propeller blades and removed the knotted tie from his finger and instead wrapped it a few times around his belt.
"Thanks captain. I'll come up with something handy for our little trip out." And with that the man spun on his heel and headed back towards the steps to take him below deck and find the rest of his toys. The mini-flight device hung from his belt, knocking against his leg with every step. This would be fun.