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Mmm Sandwiches

Posted on Mon Sep 24th, 2012 @ 6:07am by Berry
Edited on on Mon Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:25am

Chapter: Chapter I: Web of Fate
Location: Velusia
Timeline: Three days before Day 1

The wind whistled past Berry, slapping at her hair a bit before moving to the other side of the volcano. The salty humid air stuck to her cheek, and she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The young woman reached for the next rock hand hold and lifted herself up, scaling the mountainside at a steady pace. Clear blue sky let the Velus sun beat down its sunny rays, warming her slightly dry skin.

If she looked down, the jungle would have looked like little pieces of algae, floating on an island top. But she didn’t, because she might fall. She smiled up above her, tossing her angled black bangs out her face as her bright brown eyes sighted a ledge. Squawks and cackles filtered down to her ears.

“Grawk.”

Berry lifted herself onto the ledge, smiling at the current resident.

A huge white bird sat on a tangle of large yellow branches and dried palm fronds. It had a long orange beak with a pouch on the underside to hold fish. She cast a large black eye at the near-Human, feathers ruffling.

Berry smiled affectionately at this bird. Yeah, the bird was four times her length in wingspan and could knock her off the ledge, but only to strangers.

“How are you doing?” she asked the bird. Her voice was both warm and chipper, as she usually was.

The avian shifted in the nest, slightly to the left.

Berry grinned. So the bird knew! She took out a bagpack and slowly walked over to the nest, gently lifting out of it a yellow and green spotted egg. She placed it in her bag in the cushiony material next to other eggs. Surprisingly they were only about as big as her head, considering the bird’s size, but still it could be worse.

“Thanks!” She sat down at the edge of the cliff. Luckily it wasn’t mating season, or else she’d have gotten smacked off (there was no bird in the egg). Well, she got smacked off once but that wasn’t too high up. A small dreamy smile formed on her face as her thoughts wandered, legs swinging. Today was the day.

The young part-Aquar was wearing a bright green sea-grass tunic with loose pants, the pants’ hem ending mid-calf. Her tunic could’ve been worn without the pants, but she preferred extra cloth material to make things out of in case of an emergency. Her straight black hair fluttered in the wind.

Then rumbling echoed around them, causing her to lift her head. “Oh!” She pointed, smiling over at the bird. “Thunder!” Berry peered at the once clear horizon.

From up here, the waters around the island glistened with deceptive cheer, for a storm was brewing. Dark clouds were speedily moving toward the island, and already thick grey curtains of rain swept the ocean waters miles away. Berry lifted her head, sniffing at the moist air.

“Well, I guess I’ll wait until it’s over.” The storm looked far away, but Berry knew better—took her long enough, too. The first time she underestimated a storm’s speed, she flew right off the side of the volcano and just missed smacking into the shore. It was fun, but as Dondon and Mehe told her, you can’t have fun when you’re dead!

And so she scooted away from the edge and nestled against the rock bird’s nest, eyes closing as her head rested on the rock.

To suddenly be smacked in the face with feathers. Berry spluttered, eyes instantly opening. The bird glanced at her before leaping off the cliff.

Berry jumped to her feet and leapt off as well, laughing as she grabbed onto the bird’s feet.

“GRAAAWK!” the rock bird squawked in protest, dipping a little in altitude at the surprise load.

Berry grinned up at the bird, legs swinging from the momentum. “C’mon, you’ve carried fish heavier than me in your mouth!” The part-Aquar finally looked around as they soared out to the ocean. “Oh, the rain has stopped.”

Actually, the rain had long since moved on in the last two hours, but time was hard to tell in these parts. Not that it mattered to her.

Her tangled black hair streamed crazily behind her as they flew, her tunic fluttering. All her clothes were made of seagrass, but she got to personally choose the dye. All sorts of great dyes could be found in the jungle. Those yummy red beetles made a real nice pink. Berry glanced down as they flew past the edge of the lush jungle, a small pout on her lips. She was actually kinda hungry. She tilted her head in thought. She might die if she dropped from this height. Nah, maybe beetles later.

They now flew over the familiar blue waters, and so Berry grinned up at the bird. “Thanks for the ride!” And with that, she released her hold.

She plummeted, laughing loudly as her stomach tickled from the free fall. As she did flips and turns in the air she quickly dug into her belt, the only high-tech thing on her. The most important features were: pockets, and being waterproof. She strapped on goggles and a breathing mask, both transparent and basic enough. Then she tilted down toward the water, raising her arms and streamlining her body, the sparkly blue approaching her fast.

She immediately began swimming as soon as the viscosity changed, her slender legs kicking away as she swam straight down to the bottom. Kelp waved at her as she passed them, and several small fish darted away. The light glittered as it filtered through the clear water, sparkling all around her as she swam.

Herdmaster Mehe lived away from this village, his abode made of dead coral with a nice algae roof to let the light in but kept the fish poop out. All the village buildings had this open arrangement, water flowing freely in and out. If it didn’t, the Aquar couldn’t breathe, and then they’d be dead!

Berry chuckled, swimming right into Mehe’s abode aaaaand straight for the kitchen!

Which, of course, was where the herdmaster was. His love for food barely beat hers, and there he was, making a nice sea nut butter and jellyfish sandwich. Holding those vital ingredients were two nice slices of firm kelp, and holding those kelp were two green webbed hands.

Mehe was a portly Aquar, which was saying something since all this swimming really kept one fit. He was dressed in the loose Aquar tunic made out of woven seagrass, and his green, stringy hair floated above him as he went about making sandwiches. He placed the finished ones in stationed bubbles (so they didn’t float away). His motions were very slow and methodical, as was his demeanor as a whole. He glanced up at her. “Back so soon? I thought you had a few nests left.”

Berry nodded, grinning as she floated by the grounded table. Her expressions could still be seen through her mask, which was great because she made the best faces. “Yeah, I do.” As he turned away to get a piece of kelp, she quickly grabbed a sandwich and stuffed it in her shirt. “I’m leaving soon.”

Mehe paused in his actions, glancing at her again. “Soon?”

She nodded, and quickly took a bite when he looked away. This involved a quick lift of her breathing mask and a small bite of salty water and yummy jellyfish. She released her hold on her mask and it slapped back on, the water automatically draining out. “Yeah.”

There was a brief silence as she furtively munched away. The water current slowly shifted around them, causing their hair to move this way and that. “Have you saved up enough money?” he asked her.

Berry nodded again, smiling brightly. “Yup, thanks to you. You’re really great, giving me all that money for just some eggs!” She sounded so grateful, and also slightly amused.

Mehe gave her a look, which was one of many. “That’s…how things work in the real world, Berry…” He sighed as he finished another sandwich. “So how much money do you have?”

The part-Aquar shrugged, quickly swallowing. “I dunno.”

He frowned at her. “How do you not kn—do you have an estimate?”

“Estimate?” Berry repeated, tilting her head in thought. “You said I’d have enough money to leave in about twenty days, so…” She grinned at him. “Twenty day’s worth.”

Mehe didn’t even bother. He paused to look at the bubble, frowning. Wasn’t he halfway through the kelp slices…? He shrugged and continued making another sandwich as Berry stuffed her face. “So when are you leaving?”

She shrugged. “Oh, three days, maybe.”

“In what?”

Berry laughed loudly, her voice full of energy and amusement even in the water. “In these clothes, of course!”

Mehe sighed. “How are you getting there?”

“Maybe a surface boat. The one with the paddles.”

The herdmaster chuckled. “Correct me if I’m wrong—which I’m not—but the last time you left for a destination in that, you were lost for three days.”

Berry grinned. “No, I wasn’t!”

Mehe slightly glared at her. “I was there. Fixing the fences on the shore. When you came back, I think the words you spoke to me were, ‘Mehe, how’d you get here before me?’”

Berry paused, then burst into laughter. “Yeah, you’re right!” She smiled in amazement at him “You really are fast for a fat guy.”

Mehe grumbled before placing a sandwich in the bubble. “I’m taking you to Mount Hollow.”

“The spaceport??” Berry exclaimed. “That’s awesome, thanks!”

He shook her head. “For Dondon.”

Berry nodded, openly munching on the sandwich. It was too bad she couldn’t go back to her home village…and why was everyone looking for her, anyway?

“How’s your scar?”

She glanced over at him, eyes wide. “Huh? Oh.” She pulled her shirt away to glance down it. “Oh, it looks good. Still kind of pink.” She let go and the shirt slowly floated back and forth.

The herdmaster gave her another look. “You know, just one good dunk in bacta and it’ll be as if it was never—”

“No thanks,” Berry cut him off. She paused, a frown flitting across her face. Then she smiled over at the Aquar, all proud. “It looks cool, too.”

He rolled his eyes and slapped the last slice of kelp on the sandwich. “Now where are those eggs you got for me?”

Berry grabbed the last sandwich out of the bubble, saying simply, “Oh, they’re back at the nests. I guess I’ll go get them.”

“You better,” he growled.

The part-Aquar giggled, an impish grin on her face as she quickly swam out. Soon enough a bellow vibrated in the water behind her.

“Where are my sandwiches?!”

TBC

 

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