To Rise From the Ashes
Posted on Sat Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 11:09pm by Mistress Maraea Morgan & Sailor Melisande de La Trémoille & Snot Rag Harriet Brooks & Master Leftheris Vunos & Mate Orsola Padovano
Edited on on Sat Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 11:22pm
Chapter 9: Steam City
Timeline: Day 10
The masked man entered Kanesville. Dirt from the desert dunes soiled his clothes. He began to look around the busy town and stopped a person nearby, "Have you seen a woman with dark red hair, about so tall, fancy clothing?"
"No...wait, there have been some odd people hanging out in the Johnson quarter lately. I remember someone saying something about a person like that. Danced at one of the vaudeville shows. The quarter is to your right."
"Thank you." The doctor rushed down the street, all the memories of the past few months rushing to him.
Mitchell 'Mistake' Barnes found himself in Harling Pass a man ashamed of almost killing a patient with his anesthesia. Now it all felt foolish. He was hired to help two women who nearly killed each other, Carol and Melisande. Having nowhere to go and two patients in need, he agreed to join the pirate team and quickly developed an obsession with the latter woman. She wasn't the type he normally was interested in, but her soft skin and her educated and worldly air, he found himself obsessed anyway. A moth to flame. Once it began to scare him, a person from an odd organization called The Church Of The Machine told him they heard of him and were interested in hiring him. The man frightened him immediately. Mistake knew it was just a token offer, they were going to let him walk away and kidnap him later. So he found himself forced to return home.
Trending to his patients like usual, he found himself checking on a dying man and staple of Hope Mountain, Abner Haywood. He was expecting his niece Pauline any day and was holding vigil. As each day passed, it seemed she would never get there. That day like any other, Mistake had just gotten done when he passed by a few photographs in their frames.
"That's Pauline. Ain't she adorable?"
Mistake stared at the photo with is mouth hung open. "Melisande."
"You know her?!" The pipe from Abner's neck gave out a toot.
Now Mistake found himself running in a mental haze, hoping to find her. His single mindedness caused him to slam into someone.
"Oww. Sir, please watch were you are going...Doctor?"
"Melisande." He smiled as he helped her up. "I've come for you. It's Abner Haywood."
She looked at him stunned, "But how---how did you...what do you know? Is he okay?"
"He didn't mention much something about important plans. He has a little over a month to live. It will take a few days to get to Hope Mountain. His condition is worsening. He's scared. We don't have much time."
"I...I..." She stood there processing things. It was clear her former doctor was scared of something. Her only guess was that Abner was naturally more and more fearful that someone would take the plans. She wanted to go undercover to catch the murderers that framed Chago, but she hadn't promised anyone, Azzo was against it and capable of capturing them, Chago was safe, and all of the work she promised Daenelia was finished. She came to the Old West for the plans. That was the pressing matter. "Okay. Please help me put my suitcases into a storage unit. I will take only what is needed."
"How is your injury?" He raised his eyebrow.
She turned away sheepishly, "I reinjured it."
"Figured," He let out a mixture of a frustrated sigh and a lighthearted laugh, "I can make sure it's okay and give you anything if you need it."
Seeing the cringe on her face and hurt expression from before, he quickly added, "I'm sorry about before. I've been going through a lot emotionally and treated you like a piece of meat because of it. My name is Mitchell Barns, but my friends call me Mistake."
"Yes, you hurt me. I do have some pain. I will give you another chance. Thank you. It is a pleasure to know your name, Mistake." Melisande smiled trying to ignore how strange it was for a man to be nicknamed mistake.
"Thank you. You won't regret it."
As the two walked carrying two of her heavy suitcases, Harriet appeared out of nowhere, her head cocked in confusion. "Mel, where are you going?"
"Hope Mountain. It is an emergency."
"Ooh ooh! Can I come too? I know where that is. I can get you there real fast." She bopped up and down with happiness.
"Do you not wish to stay with the crew? I will be going my separate way from them. I will be headed back home to Europa."
"Nope. You're my best friend! I want to go with you. I'm already packed. Can I go to Europa with you?" She pointed to her small backpack.
"You know...my nation has yet to see an Icari. You can be an ambassador to your species. I would have to ask my superiors. I do not see why not. I will escort you back home when you grow bored." Melisande then turned to Mistake, "This is not a problem, is it?"
"Naw, there's a big Icari settlement not far from Hope Mountain. Food won't be an issue."
Harriet giggled, "I know. I'm from there. Yay! I want to go to Europa!"
Leftheris and Orsola noticed the three of them talking. He was carrying a new knapsack, mentally trying to figure out what to bring with him. "What are you three doing? I remember you. Where have you been?"
"Busy. Things came up." The doctor avoided the question, "We're going to Hope Mountain."
"I've heard great things about Hope Mountain. Don't usually let in non tainted. Is it possible for us ta come? I'm big on land navigation. My dog is great at tracking. I have maps from all my travels. Could be useful ta your people." Orsola got up practically in Mistake's face with a smile. Ennio began to sniff at his feet in curiosity.
Leftheris looked at her stunned at first, "Her reputation precedes her. She's one of the best. I can offer protection."
"I can offer better protection." A woman's voice from the shadows answered. Maraea walked out and smirked slightly. "I only ask for one thing in return." She quickly flashed the metal of her shoulder.
Orsola looked in horror as she rushed to Maraea, "What happened, Goldilocks? I joined ta touch base with ya. It's been so long."
"It has been long. Too long, in fact. Time has separated the great, letting us fall into mediocrity. What happened? You know me, Orsola. You also know that such details will never be shared. But, it is time our adventures together continue." While Maraea was saying this, her eyes traveled to Melisande who, in turn, turned her head away, her cheeks with a full blush. The blonde let out a small amused chuckle.
"Hey, I didn't approve of another person coming along!" Mistake complained.
"I would like her to come along." Melisande clutched her hands nervously. "I am worried about our safety. You seemed very nervous when you bumped into me."
"When you put it that way...just no more. This is it. I'll help Melisande with her bags and the rest of you can get ready. We'll meet at the edge of town by the brown building."
Soon enough they were all ready. Melisande smiled slightly as they began to walk into the sunset.
"Melisande?" She heard Maraea's voice next to her.
"I'd like to accompany you with the plans back to Lekly and stay there for a while. We can take my skyship to get there. That way you won't have to worry. I will have a crew waiting for us. They are eagerly awaiting their new First Mate." Maraea smiled knowingly.
Her face turned white as Maraea smirked, "First Ma-How...how did you find out?"
"Your contact, Fabrice. Don't worry, this is what I do. I find out information, then hide it from the public eye, covering the clues that led me. Not a lot surprises me, and this did. Good job."
"I suppose I should not be shocked. Normally it would be impossible...yet with your background in criminal organizations, you would be deemed useful. I must admit, at the academy we lack people who know things like that. When I joined Steamhawke, I had no idea and still only have a little idea about how pirates operate. It has lead to...problems." She trailed off thinking about her fight with Carol before continuing, "In Lekly, those with non biological parts cannot enter, but that is for citizens, which you are not. I do not see why you wouldn't be allowed. Many do not know any other language than Leklian. Why do you wish to?"
"Because I care for you. And, I always have. Ever since that moment in my office; there was something about you. Something unique. Special. Ever since you spoke. That saying..how did it go?"
She smiled in response, feeling her face blush again, and looked deeply into Maraea's eyes, "Moments of happiness are not like pebbles on the beach. They are as rare as emeralds, as bright as diamonds. One must treasure happy memories and hopes as though they were jewels."
Maraea took Melisande's hands. They found themselves inching closer. Melisande felt her heart pound as she began to stare at the other woman's lips. She remembered when they first met how beautiful she found Maraea. She felt herself bombarded with emotions she hadn't felt since Elpis all hit her at the same time. Her lips trembled as Maraea pulled her gently into a kiss. Both began to feel a spark larger than themselves begin to grow.
"Hey! What are you both doing back here? Everyone will leave you both behind!" Hearing Harriet's voice, they both quickly pulled away.
"You are right. Shall we go?" Melisande looked to Maraea. The former Sky Captain shook her head and brought her in for yet another kiss.
"Now we can go," the blonde Morgan decided.
Harriet began to giggle, "I didn't know you both liked each other."
"I am not sure either of us fully realized until now." Melisande answered shyly. Maraea responded by giving a soft chuckle.
"Mel's going to take me to Europa!" Harriet bounced with enthusiasm.
"Try." She tried to correct her.
Maraea looked into the sky. "I will be going as well."
The Icari's eyes lit up with joy, "Oh boy! Will you be my friend too?"
"Of course, my dear. Of course," Maraea replied.
"Harriet, why are you not flying? You can act as look out and warn of danger." Melisande questioned.
"Oh right, I can fly! I forgot. It's been so long." She giggled as she began to take off.
Maraea turned to Melisande, "Are you ready to live?"
She smiled and looking at both Maraea next to her and also Leftheris motioning them over in the distance. Orsola seemed to give a hand gesture to Ennio not to head to them. Mistake simply stood there, but she knew he would be frustrated once they got up to them. Looking up, she could see Harriet soaring high. "Yes. To destiny."
Daenelia sat in an increasingly dark small room when she heard a knock. "Come in."
"Here. Some little boy came over with this." Dottie handed her a rolled up paper and left Daenelia alone again.
She looked at the paper with a mixture of curiosity and fear. As she opened it, she noticed the wax insignia that was used to hold it together. It was unrecognizable. She then began to read the message:
"Salutations, Daenelia Bradley,
An emergency has come up regarding my mission. By the time you have read this, I will be gone. Orsola, Leftheris, Harriet, and Maraea have decided to come with me to Hope Mountain. Chago is safe, all of my work is complete, though the murderers are still on the loose. Please discuss things with Shanen as he knows a nice man named Azzo who can help.
May we accept our pasts without regret, handle the present with confidence, and face our futures without fear.
Goodbye and good luck,
In the distance, a glorious sky ship was heading towards Hope Mountain. At its helm were Maraea and Melisande: Captain and First Mate.