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Tommy Blackwheat

"Please don't call me Tommy, it's Thomas or Tom."

0 · 586 views · located in Alternate Universe

a character in “Desert Sonata”, as played by Royalburden

Description

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"There's nothing quite like extending your wings to take flight."





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Name: Thomas H. Blackwheat
Nicknames: Tom, Tommy, The Angel Bandit, Sky pirate “That winged bastard who took my shit”
Age: 17 ½
Species: The latest guess is that he was the rare mix between a Fae and a demon but this hasn’t been confirmed by anyone and even he doesn’t know.

Introduction:
Thomas was found shortly after the revolution in the rubble of a building that had collapsed in a town devastated by explosions. Most of the area had been abandoned due to growing threats of battle headed in their direction yet by some strange turn this boy had been left behind.

He wore a strangely fine set of clothes that looked out of place, though tattered and torn from use. On his back, through holes clearly sewn to be there where a pair of delicate white wings folded perfectly against his back. It almost looked like a strange pack and had been mistaken as such until someone extended the wing itself. The people who found him where scavengers back when their sort where plentiful like a plague of rats. Humans from smaller villages would band together and search for water and fuel and make weapons out of scraps of metal and old power tools. He was brought in and taught the trade of theft and scavengry and one day defected as a bandit.

Since then he’s wandered the desert on his own, aloft on his wings with a pet crow being his only permanent companion.

Other stuff: Thomas’s longest dream has been to be a captain of an airship and a true pirate of the skies. He spends his free time sketching designs and making plans but the real question is if he’d be able to keep a crew long enough.

So begins...

Tommy Blackwheat's Story

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Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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“Send a round from me, ‘tender!” Thomas shouted over the loud music he wrapped his arm around the waist of the nearest prostitute and pulled him close tugging playfully at his G-string as he nibbled on the side of his neck. Speckled, cream-white feathers fluttered gently in the air as his wings moved with him. At the moment he was in the magnificent city of Nox Astra at an all-male brothel. He didn’t go to these sorts of establishments very often due to his usual lack of financial fertility however his latest excursions in the desert had given him a reasonably large fill to his pockets. The way he currently spent such change explained for his habitual poverty. It wasn’t likely that the establishment would be around for very long as Nox Astra had a habit of closing them down when they made themselves known well enough and judging by the ruckus Thomas was causing the morning after would bring the authorities.

The owner of the establishment continued to rage uselessly at the partying bandit as he licked some sort of illegal substance off of one of the prostitute’s torsos, threatening with his actions, and the size of the bulge in his pants that he may just give up and pull the clothes of any within his reach. His face was red with inebriation, as he grinned ear to ear, tossing coin to the angry man whom adamantly threatened to kick him out.

In the end his own staff took issue to his complaining and kicked him out to turn the place into a giant rambunctious orgy party and for all intents and purposes the events that went on that night shall be censored to keep innocence pure.

Thomas woke dazed and squinting the next morning wearing nothing but his shirt and a pair of boxers. His crow landed on his head and cawed loudly making his head pound viciously. Thomas’s hand shot out to clamp around the sharp black beak. “Sssh!” He snapped. He sat up and rubbed his face feeling the clamminess of it. “Water….” He murmured.
He crawled over several party casualties, mostly naked men sprawled in various queer positions on the ground and draped across tables only to find a glass half full of some clear liquid that resembled water. He took a huge gulp and coughed violently learning the hard way that it was indeed vodka. He spit the rest out and peered around the room “Jeez…. looks like this battle was won. Let’s go find an inn.”

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Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝Everyone has reasons deep down for the things that they do.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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Luckily the strange man forgave Xia pretty easily, waving off her apologies with a kind smile. Xia didn't recognize the make or material of the clothing - he wasn't from around Nox Astra, that much was certain. His attire was slightly peculiar, was he new here? Xia wasn't sure she ever saw the man before, and when Old Man Crawley came out, his expression of recognition confused the princess of the city. The two spoke like old friends, and the dirty-clothed-man easily forgave Xia for the mess, calling her cute or whatnot.

”Um, please come again whenever you like!" Xia called as the man left to go get changed. ”My name is Xia, and I would happily serve you better next time!" The man gave her a wave and a friendly wink, which made Xianata feel a little better about the mess she caused, all the while Lux was scolding her in her head for being so clumsy and careless.

”You have to be more careful, Nata!" Luxara warned, concern overflowing in her voice. ”What if he was angry and attacked you? I can't protect you from here, you know?" The little sister was about to respond when Lux hastily fixed her previous statement. ”I mean, it's not as if I'd simply let someone hurt you! Of course not, I'll protect you no matter what!" Xia giggled mentally as she cleaned up the mess from the floor of the diner. Guilt was still sowing through the girl's system but Lux and Crawley's soothing slowly took it away.

Xia always liked to wake up early - even before Lux did. There was the rare time when her big sis received messages and reports really early, and Xia liked to take care of them whenever she could. The less work Xara had to do, the better, what's what Xia thought. If she could be helpful, if she could contribute, then all the better, right? She was the princess after all, she didn't want to just sit around as an ornament. She wanted to show Lux how useful she could be! so when Xia found the report about something happening in the Elysium District, it was the perfect opportunity! She could finally be useful, and she could explore a new place, all with Lux happily asleep? The girl loved the idea! She would definitely prove to her big sister that she could be trusted to help!

Xia flew over the tall buildings and maze-like streets of Nox Astra, wearing a long blue sweater-jacket that was long enough that she didn't really need anything but shorts for her legs. The feeling of flying through the air made the girl feel happy and free, a feeling she rarely got to feel since she was always being carefully protected by Luxara. She didn't mind the protection, definitely, but the autonomy was always appreciated. Flying free of all of life's responsibilities- that was nice to think about sometimes. Only sometimes, though, because there was always work to do when running a city! Xia giggled a little as she entered the Elysium District and flew to the marked coordinates on the map.

Then it was as if the entire world changed. What Xia first thought when landing was that the building was flashy and exciting, that maybe it was advertising some sort of dance game, like Dino Dragon Rebellion? Xia was really good at that game, so she didn't have many reservations. What was a 'brothel' anyways? Were they men who served yummy broth soups? But almost immediately upon entering - ignoring the police cars parked around outside - the horrors the girl saw made her simultaneously blush, squeal, and physically fall backwards to the floor. It was almost as if her mind filtered out the... dangly bits and her gaze went automatically to the bird-like man on the floor, with a crow pecking at him. The girl walked over, blocking her nose with her fingers to try and avoid the weird smell.

”Um... hello." Xia said in a timid chirp. ”My name is Xia! Erm... you should put clothes on! It's, um, it's probably not good to be in public wearing only... that!" The girl's cheeks flushed an intense scarlet and she decided that no, she didn't want to examine the boxers, she would just stare at the wings. ”...I can fly, too! Are you good at flying? It really feels nice, doesn't it?"

She shuffled her feet awkwardly, offering the strange man a hand if he needed one to get up to his feet. ”...Erm, do you... know what happened here? Why are the police taking some people away?" The girl then gave a meek little smile, bubbly and pure. ”Um, do you have a house? I can help you get there if you want?"

From the way the girl's eyes were glazed over and her movements were erratic, robotic, it was safe to say that she was completely out of her element.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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Joshua rinsed Ronan’s hair and Mouse returned with a bundle of black towels which he placed on the stool before leaving. He bowed gently and spoke in a very quiet voice. “The food is finished, Sir.”

“Good, go rest.” Joshua ordered simply. He stood and went to the door. “You, take a little time to reflect and enjoy your bath. That foam soap had some calming oils that should help ease the pain in your wounds some. Enjoy it for now and I will show you your room.”

With that he left the room and Ronan with his thoughts, the warm foamy water and the soft dripping sounds of the faucet. The door wasn’t locked and Ronan was completely unbound. Only the sedatives in his system and the pain in his body kept him there, and no one had thought to bar the window.


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Thomas leaned casually on the cocktail table, causing it to wobble. “You’ve got a lot of questions don’t you little one. Tell you what, I’ll explain everything if you can take this confused little bird to some water. My pipes are parched.”

“Ah…. right…. pants. Should probably put those on too.” He grabbed his pants and pilot cap and hurried out of a side door, gesturing for Xia to follow him, pausing just outside to tug them on. “Just how old are you sweetling? Someone like you shouldn’t be in this corner of town. Bad people can be lurking in the shadows….and stuff. That’s why the cops were around. Trying to find the bad people partying too much.” [/color]

Tom chuckled at the concept of being considered a ‘bad guy’ locked up for partying too much. “Wait a minute you can fly as well? You don’t look like you have wings.”

As Tom spoke his own wings fluttered and flexed stretching as if they’d been made stiff from lying around. He stretched his shoulders. “How about we go for a fly then? You got someplace with some nice water and a pill for headaches? A house or something?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝Let's go on an adventure!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#ff5729 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #9877db

|| Chandelier || Sia ||




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Ura wanted to tell them not to give Rey a hard time, that Rey was special and cool and awesome but the boring stuffy adults didn't seem like they wanted to listen. They just kept saying weird things and mean things and that made Ura sad because she wanted Rey-Rey to be happy in her new home! No matter what Ura said, they wouldn't listen to her, they wouldn't leave her friend alone, and finally Rey-Rey said she was going to go and not to be mad. For some reason from hearing the word master it made Urara feel a little bit better, a little more at ease. But she still didn't wan Rey-Rey to be sad. "Your master will be waiting!" Ura called as Rey left for the scrubbing. "Ura loves Rey-Rey!"

Urara was marched out of the bathhouse and to the Coliseum House where Minister Riordan, the main adviser under Uralaiya, have Urara one of the sternest talks of her life, saying that she had responsibilities as the leader of New Praetora, that she was a shame to her mother's legacy, that she should stop playing around and start being serious about rebuilding the old and retaking their home from Nox Astra. Urara just listened to it all with a blank expression as she always did - she didn't want to listen, no way, Ura just wanted to go and play. She didn't have time for silliness like this!

Then Minister Riordan continued his speech as the kneeling girl, chastising her for picking up the fox and making friends with something that clearly lived in the world, with her endless dirty and grime and filth and everything. This made Ura mad - why didn't they understand? Rey-Rey was a friend, a precious friend and Ura loved her! Why didn't everyone understand how great Rey was? Wet hot tears poured from Ura's face and she stared intently at the ground. "Reyna saved the kids." Urara mumbled weakly. "She's a hero and Ura's best friend." With that Riordan seemed to relent, ushering Ura in to see a cleaned up and newly dressed Rey-Rey.

"They call me mistress because they don't like me." Urara groaned, scritching Rey-Rey behind the left ear, "Please call me Master or Ura, okay? Urara really wants us to be happy, Rey! Because you're such a good girl, yes you are!"

However Urara felt incredibly drained and exhausted. By the time the food had arrived, Ura was already drooling onto the table, completely unconscious. The Minister waited until everyone was finished eating (even Reyna) and then offered the fox to carry her up to her room, telling her where it was (top floor) and that she was welcome to sleep with Urara whenever she wanted.





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❝Everyone has reasons deep down for the things that they do.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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The strange man got himself clothed as what seemed to be a top priority, to be sure. As he did so, Xia dutifully walked the crow outside, past the police entourage, where she summoned a tiny amount of rain to gather in a cup. Creating rain was always incredibly painful, Xia felt as if she were having her soul peeled apart in order to make it, and she wanted to cry because it hurt so bad. But finally she managed it and the cup gained water, which she then handed to the crow. With that satisfied, Xia returned to the strange now-so-naked man. ”Um... I'm fourteen and a quarter!" Xia said with pride, trying to sound older than she was. ”My sister says that too, she says I shouldn't be here. I don't really understand, though?" She shook her head, almost comically oblivious to the nudity. Something about bad people and parties? ”But parties are fun, I don't really get it, but okay."

Lux always called her smart, but for some reason Xia felt incredibly stupid, and her face burned with shame at her silliness. However at the mention of flying she perked up and Xia eagerly followed the strange man outside. He wanted a place with water and to fly, right? The princess almost seemed to shine with excitement. ”I can't help you with headaches, but Xia can show you someplace cool!" Her eyes sparkled with youthful naivety. ”It's really close to Lake Xiana, so there's plenty of water!"

She then flashed a little mysterious smile, closing her eyes to hover above the ground a tiny bit. Xia did a few tricks in the air, showing off her abilities with a happy look. ”I don't need wings to fly!" Xia giggled, holding out a hand. ”I can fly you anywhere! Also... do you have a name? What should I call you?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Eucliffe Character Portrait: The Emperor: Joshua White Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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Joshua returned just as the heat of the water started to ebb away. He was in casual clothes for once, a loose button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of faded jeans and he carried a box filled with gauze, bindings, and tape. He got Ronan out of the bath and sat him on the stool once more to wrap him in one towel and dab him dry with the other. It seemed Ronan was lucky this time Joshua showed no interest in molesting him. He only took the time to make sure all of his wounds were clean and that he hadn’t missed a spot during the cleaning.

“As a hunter of demons I assume you know how to fight pretty well.” He said calmly dabbing the towel over Ronan’s wounds being careful not to tear them open. He dried Ronan’s hair and smiled at him, charismatically marveling at Ronan’s looks again. He caught a good one. “Eventually I intend to train you my own way. No one fights better than my force at hand to hand combat, it’s why you couldn’t touch me in that cage you know. If you had a gun no doubt you’d have shot me dead in no time. I’ll have you train with my strongest berserker eventually. You’d do good to absorb everything he has to teach you. Who knows you might actually get a hit in next time we fight.”


Joshua went on to patch Ronan up taping gauze over the biggest wounds that were still leaking blood. He treated the gauze patches with medicinal creams that would double and make sure the blood didn’t stick to the bindings. When as much of him was protected against stray dirt and infection as he could manage he wrapped bindings around his torso, arms and parts of his legs. It would have been a little tight but not impossible to breathe and the compression would have soothed some of the pain as long as he didn’t move too much. Joshua helped Ronan to the wheelchair this time urging him to use his own strength to stand and he wheeled him along to what would be his room as long as he had the wisdom to obey. The first thing Ronan would notice was the bed. It looked like something you’d find at a nice hotel. Thick soft mattress with enough sheets and blankets to ensure warmth even on the coldest of nights. There were four pillows, two of which were stuffed with feathers while the others were your regular cotton. He had a desk with writing utensils and a notebook and a metal lamp with directional lighting. It seemed to be one of those flexible ones you could twist into whatever shape is convenient for positioning. There was no computer and no phone or communicator in any way just a shelf full of books. It seemed to be made up of classical novels from all the known genres, and a book of maps. There was a giant dresser cabinet full of clothes roughly Ronan’s size all with varying formality in design and in a general sense, plain.

Josh brought Ronan next to the bed and crouched beneath it to pull out a long trailing chain. This chain was at least twice the length of the one that had kept him in the cage and a quite a bit heavier and it seemed this one would serve the same purpose. He attached it to Ronan’s collar and smiled. “You’re free to make this room your own. I’ve got cameras and sensors to keep an eye on you, even had to invest in a heartrate monitor thanks to your incessant desire to kill yourself. Mouse will be the one to feed you and if you learn civility we can carry on to your training and be done with this obedience crap. If you attempt suicide again I’m going to lop off a piece of you and throw you on the rack. You will not succeed. Let Mouse be your model for how bad shit can get for you if you don’t learn quickly.”


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Thomas’ crow cawed appreciatively, fluttering its wings as it settled on Xia’s wrist. “Hahah look at that he likes you. Usually he just pecks people till they give him what he wants. Did you really summon all that?”

The crow shook its head and wet its beak in the cup splashing the water like a songbird in a bird bath. Thomas grinned warmly and thrust a hand out to shake. “Thomas H Blackwheat at your service. You can call me Tom, Thomas, but never call me Tommy. Bandit, future pirate, and excellent party guest. Let’s see this fantastic secret place of yours”

Tom stepped back and expanded his wings to full span. They reached out from his back and thrust down once, twice, three times before he started to take off. “Come on! Let’s see how fast you can be!” He crossed his arms daringly and winked down at her before tilting his wings and riding the current forward. In a few more thrusts he soared across the sky. His crow called out loudly and took off after him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝Let's go on an adventure!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#ff5729 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #9877db

|| Chandelier || Sia ||




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Urara woke up with a little smile on her face, sun shining through the window. Today was going to be a good day, wasn't it? She yawned and stretched, a satisfied grin on her face. Yes, this was definitely going to be a good day. With a new best friend, she wouldn't have be lonely now. She'd have someone to stand beside her and make her feel like she mattered to someone for who she was, instead of just for some stupid job like ruling a city. Ura would never admit it but sometimes she cried because she felt no one really cared. But with Rey-Rey here, everything was good! Yes, yes it definitely was! It-

Then Urara realized that Reyna was in the bed with her. And that she had somehow grabbed Reyna in her sleep and was hugging her like a pillow. Ura remembered that Reyna didn't look like she liked stuff like that so she muttered an apology and let go, climbing out of the bed. Her heart thumped as she looked at the fox girl, cheeks reddening. What was this strange reaction? Urara gave Rey-Rey one last ear scritch and left the room to get breakfast early. The sooner the better, so she could take Rey and escape the city for a new adventure!

"Urara's so happy with Rey-R" That was when her wrist was grabbed roughly by Minister Riordan, who looked at her with a stern expression. She couldn't escape! She was pinned down, what was happening? What horrible torture lecture was about to happen? "You're not getting anywhere!" Riordan barked. "Mistress, after the slavers incident, you need to address certain things in the city, you need to build an actual military and start developing weapons and conducting trade with Nox Astra and White City to get more weapons and -"

"But Urara wants to play with Rey-"

"No! This is your duty as a ruler, so you're coming with me, young lady!" So as Urara yelled and cried and struggled, she was dragged into the meeting room, chained into her seat to work on filling out paperwork and talking to people who used big fancy words she didn't even almost understand. This wasn't fun at all!



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❝Everyone has reasons deep down for the things that they do.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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Xia stroked the black bird appreciatively, eyes wide with awe and wonder. What was this strange man, why was he so cool? Xia never had something like this before - she was always loved by the city, but it was always at a distance, as if they were afraid Luxara would come and kill them if they got too close! It was nice that she was protected and safe but Xia wanted some kind of freedom, she didn't want to be restrained all the time! She wanted to be able to make friends and interact with people and get to know them on a more personal level, like with this Tommy! She shrunk away a little at the mention of the words bandit and pirate, knowing some bandits who tried looting the food caravans sent from White City before they arrived, as well as pirates generally not being nice people.

”Parties are good!" Xia said agreeably, but frowned slightly, eyes as wide as saucers, tilting her head up to look at the tall man. ”But, um, if you're a bandit, please don't hurt good people! Be a nice bandit, okay?" When Tommy, her new friend (if he was a friend) mentioned the fantastic secret place, her face lit up in excitement. Yes, she would, she definitely would! She nodded vigorously as Tommy spread his wings - they looked really fluffy and she wanted to touch them - and then her friend too flight, almost making a race challenge. The crow soon followed, so Xia knew what she had to do.

”I'll get there first!" The girl shouted, activating her powers and feeling the blissful weightlessness as she lifted up off of the ground. Lux always told her to not use her powers too often, to not have it be well known but what was the harm of flying and swimming powers, anyways? What did it matter if anyone knew? Xia didn't know, but she did very well know the map of the air currents in the skies of Nox Astra. She shot high up into one, feeling the wind sending her faster, giving her the boost she needed to get ahead of Tommy, sticking a tongue out at him. ”I'm faster than you!" She teased, then focused on speed. It was hard to ignore the beautiful sprawling view of the city from above, the maze-like streets and buildings that stretched out very far, as well as the sparkling lake not too far out. She then pointed to her home with Lux on the lake - small, quaint, and almost well hidden. ”That's my house! I want to take you swimming over the lake, though, where it's so foggy and nice and there's no one around!" The princess giggled cheerfully, doing her best to keep ahead with her demon powers.

”Nox Astra is so pretty at night, Tommy! One night we should fly over it together, maybe?"

And then Xia's heart caught in her throat and childish guilt burst through her chest, forcing her to momentarily stop her flight.

”Xianata, what do you think you're doing?!"



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❝Oh no, there's nothing to fear, as long as you believe in the lies everyone shows you.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#d739ff ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #ccb43e

|| Discord || The Living Tombstone ||




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When Luxara woke up, she had a bad feeling that something was wrong, mostly because she noticed that her door was open and that Xia must have snuck in to do something or other. The girl was usually good and obedient, rarely ever rebelling, but she was getting to the age where kids tended to act up. Lux groaned, wondering if she would have to revert Xia's body to that of a younger age to keep her innocent and pure. Would that work, would it maintain their ephemeral happiness of the present time? Lux felt conflicted, unsure. She wanted Xia happy, she wanted to make sure nothing bad ever happened to her. Lux made a few orders to her officials to start setting up a caravan to explore the Fae haven and then turned her attention to her top priority.

”Xianata, what do you think you're doing?!"

Within seconds Lux was bombarded with Xia accidentally streaming the meeting. Innocent sweet Xia had - she entered Elysium, entered a brothel, what the hell were the police thinking letting a little girl in? They should have made sure this didn't happen, this stupid degenerate perverted man had her sister and she -

”Sis, please! Tommy's fun, he's cool, I like him, please don't get mad! I just wanted a friend!" Xia's voice was rushed, urgent, and Lux then realized that her sister was flying - the one place where Lux couldn't easily reach. She had a plan though, of course she had a plan, she wasn't just going to let sweet little Xia be defiled by this horrible man -”Defiled? What does that even mean?! Sis, what are you saying, it's just fun, I promise!"

Luxara scowled and grabbed her communicator. ”General Caridan, fly your helicopter over, I need to use it for something important!"

Within moments Lux was hovering over Lake Xiana, ready to shoot down the disgusting winged man as Xia screamed and begged inside of her mind to stop being so silly, to just let her have fun.

”There! I told him what you're doing so we're just going fo fly somewhere else! I don't like it when you're liks this, Xara!"

It was then that Lux decided to take pursuit and rescue her sister from the clutches of the biggest threat yet to Nox Astra's peace - a bandit named Tommy.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝Isn't nice to just fly in the air, happy and free?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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Tom glanced back at the vehicle on their tail, rotors vibrating the air. "Who on earth is that?!"

Despite his surprise, Tom looked more excited than afraid. He sped up his flight speed and tipped his wings weaving this way and that in the air. He slowed until He was flying right next to the copter. "HEY! Out for a fly?"

Anger and rage built up in Lux's mind as she stared at the winged man, completely ignoring the fact that they were, in fact, creating a scene. This wasn't allowed, someone like him who would visit such an indecent establishment wasn't allowed anywhere near her sister! Luxara maneuvered the controls, spinning the vehicle to aim the mounted railgun directly at the winged man who was obviously trying to seduce the cute and innocent Xia! "Okay, it's kinda weird when you think of me like - also no! No, don't hurt him, we're just trying to have fun! Lux transmitted anger through the telepathy and then pressed a button, barrel whirring, ready to fire.

Thomas tucked his wings and summersaulted till he plummeted from the air. He spread his wings again once he was below the copter's level and glided straight for it. He caught the rail just barely, misjudging the trajectory and swung like a monkey from the bottom. "H-hey! Are you trying to kill me?! Listen, we should talk about it I don't know what I stole from you but....um....I could make up for it!"

When Lux attacked and Tommy flew closer, Xia felt fear pounding in her chest. Why was it happening like this? "Um, that's my sister..." The girl explained with a helpless shrug, trying to block out the raging that was being streamed into her mind. "She's... um, protective..."

"Oh!" Tommy said over the thundering of the rotors. Then he muttered under his breath. "That explains it."

Thomas clambered carefully up the side of the copter even as it swayed and bucked. He clutched the door and tried to shake the door open. "HEY! Can you unlock this I wanna chat! We'd probably get along if you didn't just shoot at my face." He yelled through the glass. He pounded on the window and shook the door handle.

"Please!" Xia urged, trying to break Luxara down. However, and perhaps this scared the princess more than her rage, was an overly calm smile suddenly appearing on her big sister's face. Luxara undid the lock, then the hidden eye started to glow, freezing time despite Xia's warnings to not use her ability haphazardly. She was meant to save it for emergencies, and well... this counted as an emergency, didn't it? Xia's safety and chastity was of utmost importance! So she opened the door, ignoring the slight feeling of pressure in her skull, grabbed the birdman -while also freeing him from being frozen in time - and shut it. Before he could do anything the girl shot him a smile full of sugar and bubbles while simultaneously aiming one of her new babies - the plasma rifle - in his face. "Okay, let's make very good friends." She said cheerfully. "What could be more intimate than seeing your insides splattered in my helicopter?'

Tommy blinked, shock clear in his eyes as he glanced around him. "W-what the hell-...." He decided not to dwell on it for a moment and kept his hands up baring his palms. "Listen, I have no intention of doing anything....improper with her or anything. She's too young and I'm not that kind of pervert. I-in fact I did her a favor leading her out of there, she could have just stuck around and saw more crap, right?"

The hands in her left eye were spinning madly as she stared at the pervert at the end of her gun's barrel. While his words were valid... she was angry! And whoever he was, he was probably unimportant anyways! Right? Probably? "Oh, so you're saying she's not cute enough for you?" A venomous type of sugar laced her words now. "What defines your standards? Would a pervert like you want to... d-do... things with me, then? Was that your goal all along?" She subtly pulled the safety on the rifle.

Thomas was very very very aware of the trap she'd laid him and not once in his life did he feel more in danger than now. He was very conscious about what his body was doing, his posture, the way his heart pounded and precisely where his eyes where pointed. He felt uncomfortable even looking at her, her eyes furious and judging of his every move, yet he knew if he looked away she'd take that as a lie. "N-now see here. That's unfair I didn't even know you two where sisters how could I plot something like that?" He purposefully avoided questions about her appearance and his level of attraction towards her knowing there was no good answer to that one. "H-honestly all my sexual needs are....I mean.....I just wanted to fly, is that so bad?"

Then the ruler of Nox Astra relaxed, though her face remained sweetly grinning at the man. With a deep breath and now a painful stabbing sensation in her skull she lowered her gun. "Oh, is that all?" She paused for a second. "...Was that what you expected me to say?" With as much force as she could muster she grabbed the winged man's wrist and placed it on her chest - ignoring the sudden flushing of her cheeks - and stared directly at a certain part of the man's body to test his reaction. "What does a brothel have to do with flying, anyways?!"

"AAH! What are you doing?!" He cried out and attempted to take his hand back, his face turning an instant red. He tried, tried his hardest NOT to think about how soft it was there and tried his damned hardest to fight the instinct to squeeze. There was no winning this sort of battle and he quickly covered himself with his spare hand feeling her eyes go to that specific point. "H-HEY! "

"You're allowed to squeeze whenever you like..." A wink and a cheeky smile. "Very few get this chance, you know..."

For a split second Thomas felt his mind almost give his hand the command. However at the last point Thomas snapped to, "W-yeah because you shoot them with miniguns before they get the chance! I know a trap when I see one don't take me for an idiot! Let me go! I'd rather keep my nads in one piece!"

Seeing the pervert resist, she released the hand, sighing heavily. She wanted to just open the door and let him drop to his death but... well, he had wings, and Xia would rescue him even if she cut his wings off and sold them to Joshua White as a rare bounty. Though she was still oh so very tempted to do just that. "I still don't see why you have to fly with my cute, adorable little sister!" Her eyes were furious but her mind felt like it was being ripped in half, breaths quickening. "A pervert like you... how can you be trusted!?"

Thomas rubbed his wrist, avoiding her eyes. "It's not like I forced her to come. She wanted to fly too. What did you expect me to do take her innocence mid air? Strike her down like a vulture? I'm a thief I steal things not people. In fact I went to a brothel because it's their job to do stuff like that. They don't mind. In fact everyone had a mighty good time while I was there. I never understand people like you who try to stop it."

Maybe it was because she knew she couldn't keep up the time stop for much longer, or because she felt a similar power from this man as she did from Josh - though it was also somewhat different in a way she couldn't quite place. Or perhaps it was the... mighty good time... but Lux's cheeks went bright red and she let out a strange noise that she'd never ever make again. Which, of course, made her angrier. "It-it... it-'s indecent! It's... inappropriate! It-'s - it's a bad influence on Xia and - you're a degenerate.... thing! Why shouldn't I just kill you?"

A smile appeared on Thomas's face after she made that sound, promptly after the brief look of surprise. "Kill me? For having a good time? For flying with Xia? I did no wrong here missy and you know it. So kill me if you want but you'd be killing an innocent man."

He'd taken a few steps toward her as he spoke and stood arms crossed in front of him, daring her to shoot him."If you kill me your little sister would cry and be upset. I doubt many people can fly with her way up here without noisy vehicles like this."

Unfortunately, everything he said was correct. Which meant she couldn't kill him in good conscience, no matter how much she oh so dearly wanted to. Lux grabbed his wrist again, a scowl on her face as she kicked the door open for his freedom and escape. "I'm not buying it. Hope you said your goodbyes." She then fired a plasma round at him - and released time on both Tom and the round at the same time - then with time still stopped she nudged Tommy out of the way and released time altogether, the shot harmlessly going right next to his ear. The big sister then tossed her other plasma rifle at Xia after leaning out the door. "Nata! That's a taser you can use on him if he even tries touching you, understood?" Without another word she flew off, too angry to want to think more, feeling tired and dizzy from the use of her powers.

Xia knew that there was something she missed in the whole conversation and flew over to catch the taser that looked like a big gun before turning her attention to her winged friend. "Um... I hope she didn't hurt you or anything! Are you okay? Are we still friends?"

It took Thomas a moment to snap out of it. He plummeted backwards through the air till he flipped and came back up on his wings. "Goodness, not at all. It's dawned on me that I have been stealing the wrong things all my life." He smiled wistfully.

"Of course we're still friends. Who else can challenge you at flying?"

The princess smiled brightly at the news that they were still friends and she held the gun awkwardly, not knowing how to use it in the slightest. She never handled a weapon before, and she fumbled with it, trying to make it comfortable in her arms - accidentally firing a round far too close to Tommy. She stared for a moment, confused, frowning, then squealed, apologizing fervently. "Uh, y-you can have it! I... I don't want it! I trust you won't do weird things like that to me!" Afraid her friend might get the wrong idea of her big sister, Xia's saucer-like eyes widened in earnest, knowing she had to try and smooth things over. "Please don't hate Lux! It's just, we're all each other has left ever since our parents died, and she doesn't want me to get hurt! I promise she's really a nice person once you get to know her!"

Thomas chuckled, his eyes softening. "She cares about you a lot, I can see that. Here, let's land a while and I can teach you how to hold this properly, maybe I can get on your sister's good books, huh?" He chuckled lightheartedly "I know you won't shoot me with this unless I do something that makes you feel unsafe and, honestly I give you permission to do just that. I don't plan on hurting you or her for no good reason."

The girl's face brightened even more, a smile as dazzling as the sun, and she knew she could trust Tommy. Now she had a friend in the city, someone who survived Luxara's.... initiation! This was great, this was wonderful! She lead the way to the ground, landing softly in a patch of grass at the lake's edge, watching the fog roll over the mountains. Xia wasn't exactly a fan of fighting or war, but she liked the idea of learning new things! It was always a good idea to learn more, wasn't it? She regarded her new friend and awkwardly held the rifle, trying not to accidentally make it fire again. "Thank you for understanding her!" She chirped. "I'm excited to learn how to use this!"

Thomas landed gracefully a few seconds after she did and strode forward, his wings folding against his back, tucked neatly so as not to get in the way of his natural movement. "Alright let's see, we'll aim for that tree over there for practice, it should make singe marks to show where you hit. Now, stand naturally in a secure position like you normally would when about to fight. Being unsteady will mess up your aim and the first thing you'll want to learn is where the safety is."

Thomas leaned close, careful not to touch her inappropriately. He had no clue how Lux had found out or found where they were last time but he wasn't taking any chances on incurring her omnipotent wrath again. He motioned to take the gun and showed her the switch for the safety on the side of it. "See here? This will let you fire. This position will fire lots of shots automatically and this position will make it impossible to fire. Keep it on safety when you're not using it so you don't accidentally fire into your own foot or something."

He then held the gun in a ready position, looking rather natural with it, he lifted it to aim for the tree. "See the way I'm holding it, I don't have my finger on the trigger though, don't put it on the trigger unless you mean to shoot. That's the most safe way and have the butt of the gun rest here so that the recoil doesn't fling it out of your hands." He gestured to the spot where his shoulder met his chest. "You try and hold it, but don't shoot."

Xia stared with wonder as Tommy taught her the ropes, making sure to remember everything, soaking up each word like a sponge would water. She heard Lux's voice ringing in her head, telling her to accidentally shoot him but she had a feeling that that wouldn't be a good way to keep him as a friend. So, somewhat nervously, Xia took the gun in her arms, the weight and length quite awkward and uncomfortable but did her best to stand in the position he showed her, taking great care not to touch the trigger at all. It was heavy, though, and her arms were shaking slightly as she tried to aim it at the tree. "Um, am I doing okay?" She asked shyly.

"You're doing just fine, Xia. It's heavy isn't it." He looked at her curiously. "Most weapons are heavier than they look. You'll get used to it if you hold it enough times."

"Usually I wouldn't teach you how to fire until you got used to it but your sister wants you to feel safe around me. Look down the sights, can you see the little screen there with the cross at the center?"

The girl nodded, staring down at the screen, eyes trained on the cross. The princess clumsily adjusted her grip, making the cross line up with the tree she was supposed to be aiming at.

"Now, the kickback isn't nearly as forceful as with a ballistics weapon, a plasma is a little easier to fire but it still might surprise you since you're not used to weapons. Don't hold your breath when you pull the trigger, exhale and squeeze."

Xia closed one eye, holding her breath in as she listened to the warning, then stopped it, making a little laugh out of guilt and self deprecation. Her heart was racing, and her finger tensed on the-

"Hold on, Xia. Keep both your eyes open, you need them both to judge distance and aim straight." Thomas said suddenly, "Fire when ready."

"Gah, I'm sorry!" She squealed in surprise, almost dropping the gun altogether, hand accidentally flicking off the safety as the girl recovered from the fumble. Now with both eyes open and a deep inhale, she flipped the safety on, intending to take it off, and adjusted her aim. Exhaling, she pressed the trigger.... and absolutely nothing happened. Xia stared in confusion, almost disappointed. "...Um, what did I do wrong?" Her shoulders slumped helplessly and she glanced at her mentor for advice.

"Hold on a minute, give me that." He mumbled, confused as to why it was jamming like that. "Plasma's really shouldn't jam."
He aimed for the tree as Xia had, exhaled and pulled the trigger.

"I even made the safety thing on off... I think..." Xia mumbled sadly when yet again nothing happened. "I'm sorry, I probably did something bad or something...!"

Thomas fumbled around with the gun for a bit before noticing the safety switch. "Oh....wow....there's our problem. You had it all backwards. The safety's on." He chuckled and switched it back off before taking a test fire. The shot went off as it was meant to. Thomas smiled and handed the rifle back to Xia.

With the weapon back in her hand and a blush at making such a silly mistake, Xia aimed, still feeling some discomfort with the size and weight of the thing. Lux was oddly silent in her mind - maybe to not startle her all of a sudden? Xia felt a... calming emotion being transmitted, soothing and encouraging and it relaxed the girl's nerves as she held the rifle. With a serious expression, she aimed it at the tree, trying to copy Tommy's posture as best as she could. Deep breath, exhale, and she pulled the trigger - the sudden jerk of the weapon surprised her and she jumped, falling backwards in surprise, yelping and giggling at the same time, completely not noticing how the shot hit nearly exactly where she was aiming. [color=#4564ad]”Ah that was so embarrassing!"
She said with a little smile at Tommy, getting back to her feet and ignoring the laughter from Lux's end, cheeks burning with shame.

Thomas laughed heartily and helped her to her feet. "Your steadiness needs a little work but you're a real good shot, I'll tell you that. Now at least you can protect yourself with that thing." Thomas stretched and sighed peering up at the sky. "So, your sister, she doesn't have anyone special besides you, huh. No guys or galls in her future?" He asked innocently.

Xia looked at her friend curiously. It was an innocent question, but it was also odd, wasn't it? While Xia was a very good diplomat when it came to political matters, this was somewhat out of her jurisdiction. But she did hear Lux's internal groan and informed Xia of exactly what Tommy was trying to get at. Was he really the type, though? Was Tommy maybe one of those weird people that liked danger and risk? Xia giggled a little, thinking it'd be cool if big sis Luxara could fall in love with - and yup, Lux started yelling in her head that Xia was all she needed, as predicted. The girl decided to play innocent for the time being. ”Well, um.... with worrying about me all the time and having to take care of a city, I don't think she gets to meet a lot of people in her spare time." Xia answered, setting the gun down, pleased at the compliments of her shot. ”If you're brave enough, maybe you could try talking to her more? I'm sure she would love a friend!"

"Hmmmmh" Thomas scratched his hairless chin thoughtfully. If only Lux had a window to his mind surely he'd never hear the end of her rage. 'Hard working woman in charge of a whole city, fiery personality with the protectiveness of a mother hen viking. She's magnificent' His eyes gleamed suspiciously. "Well I do make a good friend if I may say so myself. I make lots of friends all across the desert. I could show the both of you some pretty amazing things."

Xia's eyes seemed to sparkle light the lake's water. ”Amazing thi-" Then all of a sudden, for the briefest second, Xia had the mental image of something very inappropriate enter her head and Lux's endless apologizing and self hatred within seconds. The girl turned red as a tomato, trying and failing a few times to speak. After she calmed herself a little, Xia wriggled a little. ”...Um... I... normal amazing things, right? Right? Not like... last night party amazing?"

Thomas blinked a moment and chuckled. "I mean places! There are some amazing places out there. Ruins like metal graves a testiment to our history, sweet little farming villages and risky bandit towns I've even heard a rumor of a magic city where islands float high up into the sky. Imagine flying up to see those. I plan to get a boat made there someday."

At hearing about the magic city, the princess snapped to attention, beaming with excitement. For an entirely different reason, Luxara was also listening raptly, as this might just be the same myth that was the Fae haven. At hearing this, the girl knew what she had to do. ”That magic city, do you think the fae people might live there?" She asked eagerly, excitedly. ”I've always wondered what fae people look like, I've never seen one before! Could you maybe take me there?"

"Heheheh probably. I'd like to but I don't know where it is exactly. In fact I came here to find some partners to help me find it and join my crew. I've decided to upgrade from common bandit to pirate of the skies! The first of his kind!" Thomas stood much like a super hero, perching a foot on a rock and staring off into the distance his wings outstretched. "You could even join if your sis says it's ok."

The idea of being free, of going on an adventure to some rumored place and being able to see what the world had to offer was something that really excited her. Not to mention, she could act as the diplomat to try and talk the fae people (if they existed) to join the cause against Styx, right? That could happen, she could be actually useful for once! Everything about this made Xia feel giddy, as if it was what she was looking for for so long now. Even as Luxara protested in her mind, Xia knew she wanted to do it. She trusted Tommy, after all. And if she ever needed it, she did have that gun, but Xia really didn't expect to ever need it! He liked Lux after all! (Probably?)

”Let me ask her right now!" The girl said, too excited to remember that he likely had no idea about the powers and that they were best kept a secret. There was quite some back and forth - Lux being protective and worrisome, Xia wanting to be able to spread her metaphorical wings and see the wonders of the world...

”She says she'll make your life so painful you'll wish you were never born, but very reluctantly agreed!" Xia clapped her hands... then blinked. And then she realized. ”Um! Um, don't tell anyone about that, about - about our connection! It's super top secret, it's our, um, Lux says it's our trump card! Don't tell anyone, okay? Please?"

"I promise on my honour as a man and a future sky pirate. Should I tell a soul your sister can do as she wishes to my future corpse." Thomas said, putting a hand over his heart, he then said quietly under his breath. "And yet I would probably enjoy it, if it's by her hands."

"Together you and I and Lux if she wishes can look for the great mystery of the fae. I will have to do some "research" on my own around the city however. Myths are hard to find without information."

And then the inner businesswoman in Xia was triggered. ”Well, we have an amazing inn that would gladly take you in! I'll even put in a good word so that I can pay it for you, and you owe me later once you get super rich from being a pirate! It's got a penthouse available, and you can do a nosedive from the top from super high and it's so fun!" Xia grabbed at Tommy's hands with enthusiasm. ”Please enjoy your stay at the Penthisilea Hotel! They'll be happy to have you! I won't even charge too much interest!"

Thomas laughed heartily at the mention of interest. "You are a true business woman, I underestimated you. Your sister truly has a gold gem at her side. I will take you up on that. The thought of settling in a nice warm bath sounds like a dream right now.:"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Isamu Koizumi Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝Live, have fun, and die! That's the circle of life!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#ff5729 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #9877db

|| Chandelier || Sia ||




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Having her legs nestled by Rey felt really nice, so Urara hugged her pet, her best friend as tightly as she could. "Ura has Rey-Rey!" Urara cheerfully chirped, ruffling her best friend's hair with a happy expression. They didn't need Mittens if Mittens wouldn't let them in to the oasis! Who needed Mittens when they had each other, anyways? Urara was happy with Rey and hopefully Reyna was just as happy in return! Ignoring the weird stitched man for the time being, Urara rubbed her face against Reyna's, making happy little mewling noises. She reached into her Adventure Pack when suddenly, Mr. Stitches spoke.

"Hmm? Yes, I'm Ura!" She made a peace sign at the man who decided to wake up. Her eyes ran up and down his body and Urara reached to pull one of the threads, giggling because it was funny and weird. "Your name is Mr. Stitches! Reyna, say hi to Mr. Stitches!' Seeing the man was probably thirsty, Urara dug a water bottle out of her pack and offered it to the man, before dangling a cookie in front of Reyna's face. "Reyna, you're such a good girl! Urara really loves you!" After scritching behind her fluffy ears, Urara gave her best friend the cookie.

Then Urara saw three helicopters flying overhead. She stared at it with anger burning in her eyes. She recognized that symbol, the moon and the lake. It was Nox Astra. Hatred burned in the child's eyes as she watched the helicopters fly past them.



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❝In this messed up world, it's harder to tell ally from enemy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#d739ff ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #ccb43e

|| Discord || The Living Tombstone ||




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Luxara was in the air in her own helicopter, scouring the desert. Behind her was the Alpha and Delta squads of helicopters, with her own vehicle at the lead. Nothing was quite so fun as hunting slavers who threatened the innocent people, the weak people, those evil scum! Latest reports placed their current base to be in the valley where she and White would eventually coordinate a counter-attack against Charon, so clearing it out for the time being was for the best, anyways. With the other squads widening their range, hopefully the slavers and bandits would be taken care of.

”Remember, don't get carried away!" Xia warned from the Penthisilea Hotel. ”Sis, you're amazing at war, but just be careful, okay? You can never be too careful!" Lux nodded, though her princess couldn't see it. ”Of course I'll be careful, Nata. Just have fun, okay?"

Xia knew better than to try to maintain a conversation during a battle, so Luxara sent encouraging, exciting emotions her way, still a little uneasy about her going to see Thomas, but knowing it was probably for the best, no matter how grudgingly she had to admit it. Already reports of battle were coming into the radio from some of the patrol squads - the slavers being easy picking from the air. One caravan of refugees fleeing from the outer villages saved and was currently being shipped to safety centers within Nox Astra for housing and security.

”Alpha, Delta, I'll take the lead!" Luxara increased the speed on her machine when she saw the Dustbowl on the radar and out the windows. She flew her copter low to the sand, whipping up dust around the rotors as she flew, Alpha and Delta providing support from above. Now that she was close enough to the ground to jump and land, Luxara opened the door upon the first of the slavers exiting from their base and opening fire. Lux did a flip and jumped out, pressing a button on a remote controller for her helicopter to enter automatic-fire mode, charging up electric bolts and demolishing the trucks - some with slavers inside as they tried to escape.

”You won't hurt any more innocents, ever again!" Luxara exclaimed as she dashed into battle, dual-wielding plasma rifles and dodging enemy fire left and right, returning fire, killing one here, another there, all with her sweetest smile on her face, eyes twinkling in delight. After a few minutes, the slavers were completely wiped out, and Lux giggled cheerfully to herself, pressing a button for her helicopter to return to the ground for her to climb back into. She had received one bullet wound due to carelessness, but it was of no consequence. Lux pulled out a knife and happily fished the shell out of her arm before reverting her body back by a few hours, the wound disappearing completely. The Queen of Nox Astra reached into her pocket, retrieving her radio and listened to other reports. Finally, she was satisfied. ”Mission complete!" She announced triumphantly. ”No casualties!"



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❝Isn't nice to just fly in the air, happy and free?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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The worst part was when Tommy came out of the opened elevator and looked almost amused at her sprawled body on the ground, with the staff member looking completely bewildered and slightly irritated. Tommy extended a hand after asking what she was doing there, and Xia's face burned with embarrassment. ”...I fell..." She admitted shyly, turning her face away, though she gladly took the hand to stand up. ”D-don't laugh! I really didn't mean to!" She fidgeted a little, unsure of how to really act with a friend, afraid her weirdness might turn him off. ”Um, I.. came to visit. Because I wanted to see you!" She didn't mind the water splashing onto her - water was second nature to her, after all.

When Tommy announced his plans to go to the pool, Xia's face brightened up, almost forgetting about the horrible way to greet her new friend. ”I'm always ready to swim!" The girl said happily, pulling the shoulder of her sweater down by a fraction to reveal the strap of her frilly bubble-themed bikini. She was a little nervous - Lux always said her body was childish and not yet developed, and usually Xia swam alone in the isolation of Lake Xiana. This would be the first time she ever showed her swimsuit to someone! But it was also a little exciting, even as Lux grumbled in the back of her mind.

”Hang on a moment, I need to pay for the day." Xia scampered her way to the front booth, pulling out her ID card. The woman at the desk nodded and added it to Lux's tab. With that dealt with, Xia dashed back to her winged friend, cheeks slightly red from the idea of him seeing her. ”U-um, do you have a swimsu - um, shorts, yet?"

Then her face reddened further as she yammered on awkwardly. ”I - um, I'm sorry I'm still not fully grown yet, Tommy! I'm not super pr-pretty or anything, but I - I hope I'm still fun to sw-swim with? Maybe? I -" Knowing she was only making it worse, Xia sighed, taking a deep breath. ”...I'm sorry. I'm weird, aren't I?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝In this messed up world, it's harder to tell ally from enemy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#d739ff ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #ccb43e

|| Discord || The Living Tombstone ||




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And just like that, Urara, Reyna, and that strange man with the stitches disappeared, and Lux heard a sigh from her little sister in her head, admonishing her for fighting in the first place. ”They weren't a threat, not really...!" Xia insisted, sounding unhappy. ”Next time, let me talk to Ura, okay?" Lux was mildly impressed that the red-haired girl had the mental capacity for something other than fun for once, though was still sad about Reyna escaping, though she already deluded herself into forgetting exactly why she needed the fox girl so badly so Xia couldn't use her telepathy to figure out about X05.

”I don't think she'll listen to you, either, Nata." Queen Luxara thought, somewhat regretting her honesty when she felt Xia's disappointment and sadness leak through. The two were friends before everything went horrible, after all, so it made sense. It was also probably the only reason Lux didn't actually kill them for trespassing. It was silly for Xianata to worry about such things, however - she did have a new... a new friend to entertain. Why exactly did Lux even allow Xia to have such a... revealing...

”I don't... mind if he looks..." Was Xia's meek thought and the elder sister felt a plethora of emotions rush through her chest, none of them pleasant. Xia was too cute to be seen in such a state, to have so much of her skin exposed for that lecherous bird freak that happily went to such in-in-indecent places such as a br-brothel! ”You're far too young to be falling in love, Nata! And he's much too old for someone like you! You don't need romance, they'll just-"

Then Lux sensed hesitation from her little sister, so she fell silent with her thoughts, though an ill omen was growing within. ”Xara, I'm... not a little kid anymore! I can... I bet other girls are falling in love at my age too!" Was this Xia's rebellious stage? Lux's grip tightened on her plasma rifle, teeth clenching. ”A-a-and he called me beautiful s-so - I'm growing up, okay, stop being so overprotective!"

Luxara didn't have any good response to that, but the guard captain of the lake was sprinting towards her, so she didn't have time to continue the argument. Forcing emotion out of her mind, Luxara began the stern but forgiving lecture on the lax security around the lake as the guard captain kneeled and apologized with desperation. The whole mess with Urara didn't bother her anymore - there was a much larger, winged threat that she didn't even have the mercy of killing.


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❝Isn't nice to just fly in the air, happy and free?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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With Lux temporarily forced to handle city affairs, Xia knew she'd have some peace for the time being, though it wouldn't last. What was happening, though, the princess wondered. Never before had she really... rebelled against Lux - or really, rebelled against anyone for that matter. Even in terms of Charon, Xia merely accepted her duties, knowing she was simply a political pawn and that her sacrifice would save many lives. How many people risked their lives for her sake? How many people died for her sake?

She blushed heavily at Tommy's compliment and watched him in the pool as she sat at the edge dealing with her silly big sister. Tommy, someone cool and friendly and old and handsome like Tommy called her beautiful? Even though she was only - well, she had time to grow! Yeah, Xia definitely could become truly pretty, maybe even voluptuous and curvy like those other women! That idea appealed to her greatly and she was more than ready to grow out of her childlike body. The wings really did look awkward as he swam, though, and Xia wondered if maybe Tom felt a little uncomfortable? Did he prefer flying?

Xia dove into the water, legs flapping together like a tail to catch up to her new friend. ”I-I'm... not a kid, right?" Xia asked in a quiet, mumbling voice. ”It's okay for me to... want to grow up? Right, Tommy?" The girl sighed a little, then ducked under the water and did a little flip before resurfacing, loving the exhilaration of absorbing oxygen through her skin. ”Is it... is it selfish to want things of my own when I still owe others a lot?" The girl looked troubled, conflicted. She wanted to be free and to do as she wanted, but she also felt responsibility, a desire to live her life for those who helped her in the past, and both ideals were struggling with one another, neither stronger.

”U-uhm... sorry for the... weird question.." Xia turned her face away, cheeks red again. ”So, uh, are you having fun? Do you want anything to drink?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Urara Character Portrait: Isamu Koizumi Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Reyna Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝Live, have fun, and die! That's the circle of life!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#ff5729 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #9877db

|| Chandelier || Sia ||




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Urara heard it, the low rumble of Reyna's tummy. Was she hungry? Urara was pretty hungry too, wasn't she? This was Babylon, land of seafood stuff! Tigris Lake was known for it's super wide variety of creatures to fish up and cook and stuff, while Lake Xiana mostly had the same kinds of stuff - eels, a few fish here and there, nothing too special, nothing quite as cool as Tigris Lake. There was so much Urara wanted to try with Rey-Rey and Mr. Stitches, the child ruler could hardly contain her excitement!

”There's lots of fish places!" Urara exclaimed, already grabbing her best friend by the arm as she expressed an interest in fish and asked where to get some. Seeing the water still soaking Reyna made Urara's stomach feel like tearing itself open - she failed. Even if she acted happy and friendly, Ura still failed to protect Reyna from the evil Luxara, she was horrible, she didn't deserve to be a master. Sadness rose inside the girl as she tried to snap herself out of it, tried to act friendly like usual. ”This is Babylon, to the south, place of science and adventure!" Ura declared in a voice of forced excitement, wanting to be fun and stuff as she usually was. For some reason, though, she couldn't bring herself to the same level of energy, her eyes were still focused on Lux, seeing Reyna being dunked into the lake like that.

She hated it. Urara's knees clanked together as she tried to regain her composure. Why was she so weak? Why couldn't she beat that stupid traitor, anyways? She wanted to be like her mom, all powerful and feared by everyone and super strong! Sure, her mom was mean sometimes, and started a lot of fights, but she was still really powerful, and she won almost everything! It was only because Lux cheated somehow that they lost, right?

Then Reyna bounded off, catching a scent, saying something about protecting. Urara smiled warmly at Stitches, trying to be friendly and nice and followed her best friend, catching a sight of the ruler of Babylon, and one of Ura's friends, though they hadn't met in a while. ”Satsuki!" Urara yelped, bulleting herself into the woman, latching onto her like a backpack. ”It's been forever! Hey, hey! Can you give us a super special reservation at that fancy sushi place, Sat-chan? Sushi Planetarium or something? It's super fancy, my friends would love it! Haha!"


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❝Isn't nice to just fly in the air, happy and free?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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Xia nodded, thinking. The stuff Tommy said made sense, didn't it? It did, right? Maybe Xia was weird, but in the past day or so she really felt the drive to discover herself and what she was good at, what she could excel in. But it wasn't as if Tommy suddenly showed her the light - he just helped guide her to it. Even before meeting him, she wanted to go out and explore Nox Astra, to walk around and see what she could do, to learn and experience what life had to offer. Luxara, as much as Xia adored her big sister, really seemed intent on keeping her as a doll or something, right?

”Yeah." Xia said slowly, listening to her avian friend. Her face lit up and she nodded again, more enthusiastically. ”Yeah! I really - I bet I could repay Lux and everyone better after I grew up a little and explored a little more!" Then doubt crossed her face again, a little glum again. ”Ah, but... Lux won't be happy at all... and, um, how do I know what I'm good at? What if I pick the wrong thing?"

The princess smiled warmly at him upon hearing that he was enjoying himself, and maybe a tiny bit relieved that he didn't seem as if he wanted a drink, though she didn't exactly know where the relief came from. The girl ducked underwater again, happily swimming circles around Tommy's legs before resurfacing, skin glistening with the water. ”I'm glad you like it!" She said, a high satisfied chirp. ”You can stay as long as you like, we'll loan you the money you need!" Then her eyes turned serious again and she leaned closer - blushing again - but remained firm. She could beat those big busty women, right? Tommy liked her more, he even called her beautiful, r-right?

”So, did you find any news about the fae haven?" Her voice was super low, inaudible to anyone other than Tommy over the splashing of the water and the laughs of the children.


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Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat Character Portrait: Aretha Floros Character Portrait: Origin
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"Uhh, this is the place right Origin?" Aretha questioned, looking up at the Pethisilea Hotel. Origin shot a lazy glare at her. "How am I suppose to know? The whole time you wouldn't let me look at the instructions because you were oh so sure you'd be able to find it on your own. Besides, that was a stupid question. What other Pethisilea Hotel is there? Just head inside and we'll figure out whether or not it's the right place." Origin pushed open the door to the hotel, holding it open while a slightly irritated Aretha entered and then following her inside. After a moment of asking around for Xia, they had been lead to the hotel pool, where they found both Xia and a young man with raven black hair.

The princess's face brightened up upon seeing her two Babylonian friends enter the hotel, the pool area. She'd been waiting for a while for their arrival, hadn't Satsuki last messaged her about it two days ago? Had they gotten lost while in the subway system, perhaps? It wouldn't be the first time someone got lost... but for two days? She decided not to question it and waved her friends over - until she realized that they looked much more womanly and pretty than she did. A strange pang of jealosy threatened to bubble up but she kept it down. ”Tommy! These are my friends, that one's Origin, and the other's Aretha!" In a slightly quieter voice... ”...They're pretty, right? Aren't they?"

Thomas was quite a bit surprised to be joined by others but nonetheless pleased. He grinned broadly and went to the edge of the pool to greet them, outstretching a hand to shake. "Thomas Blackwheat at your service, it's nice to meet you."

He blushed slightly at Xia's comment knowing she probably had to have been feeling a little self conscious comparing their body types. "I feel lucky to find myself surrounded by beautiful girls."

Thomas' wings fluttered slightly upon his action of standing in the water as they attempted to shake the excess water from the speckled eggshell colored feathers. He tried not to splash water on the girls if they didn't want it however and seemed to shudder slightly at the motion, not really cold or anything just trying to stop from dripping so profusely.

A half smile crossed Origin's face, and while Aretha practically sprinted towards Xia and Tommy, she approached the three of them slowly. "Sorry it took us so long, Aretha...isn't exactly the best with directions." Origin had then turned her attention towards Thomas and shook his hand cautiously, as Aretha was clearly preoccupied with Xia. Aretha had lifted the poor girl out of the water and had encompassed her body in a bear hug, not caring for getting wet. "Xia~, it's so good to see you again! How have you and Lux been? Ignore Origin's slander about me, she's just mad because I didn't let her help."

Xia was lifted into the air by Aretha, whose antics she mostly knew how to handle, the hug feeling nice and comfy, though she had a slight feeling the hug had a little bit of extra force due to her appreciative giggle at Origin's little joke. ”Aha, it's so nice seeing you guys again! Sis and I, we're-" Her smile faded for a brief second, knowing Lux probably wasn't happy with her recent rebellion, but decided no one really needed to know about that. That was just silliness, right? ”We're great! I'm sorry it took so long, I'll write out better, more detailed subway maps later!"

She was doing her best to ignore the fact that she seemed even more childlike when being lifted up like this, compared to Aretha and Origin. Of course she noted the very... diplomatic response he had, and decided to tend to that, cheeks somewhat red. ”So! So, um... Tommy, who do you think is the most beautiful? Everyone has a favorite, right?"

Thomas couldn't help but feel the invisible walls of a trap closing in around him. It was imperative he answered appropriately. "Such a dangerous question right off the bat, huh. I'm not really a judge of image more of a personality kind of guy, to categorize most and least beautiful is an unkind thing to do anyways." He chuckled nervously. "Besides everyone shines in their own way." He deeply wanted a change in topic and turned to the pair that had arrived. "So whereabouts do you two come from?"

Ignoring Thomas's clear aversion of the question, Aretha released Xia and set her back down on the ground. "Origin and I come from Babylon, it's a long way down south from Nox". It might be the only major city that is ran by a human, and where do you come from, handsome?"

Once she was lowered back into the pool, Xia lowered herself so only her eyes were above the surface, cheeks puffed out as Aretha turned her attention to her winged friend, calling him... handsome. Her mind went blank so she decided to just wait and see what he would say as a response, a weird feeling in her chest. She suddenly felt extremely conscious of her lack of... curves, one could say, and hiding in the water could help hide that, maybe? She pulled the hair ties out of her hair, letting it flow to it's full length around her head in the water.

Thomas blushed visibly at being called handsome and payed very careful mind of where his eyes went. "I'm originally from an old bandit town up in the north, it's not there anymore though, the bandits have dispersed as they usually do after a while. Most people don't stay bandits for their entire life."

Noticing that the girls from Babylon were not in pool attire, and knowing it would help the hotel, even a little bit, she pointed them towards the gift shop, head still mostly submerged in the water. ”...You can buy swimsuits and souvenirs and lots of things! It's all very cheap, and very high quality!" She was lacking her usual business-like enthusiasm, but hopefully it worked. ”It's just that way, in the lobby." She then pouted silently at Tommy, diving her head back under the water to hide the faint blush.

"Ah! Right, come on Origin lets go!" Aretha ran off ahead, Origin waved a hand towards Xia and Thomas before following after Aretha. Right away, Aretha had tried to chose a swimsuit that was barely string, before being swiftly reminded by Origin there children at the pool as well, and then she quickly chose something else. Origin of course had chosen something that was more modest, and they quickly changed before heading back to the pool. Straight away, Aretha had lept into the pool, water flying everywhere. "We're back!" She shouted as she emerged from under the water.

Once they had wandered off to the lobby to get swimsuits Thomas glanced at Xia concernedly, hoping he hadn't hurt her feelings somehow. He had no time to speak however because the pair took no time getting back and jumping into the pool. He sighed ever so slightly and sank back into the water, submerging himself completely. 'Why on earth are girls so difficult anyhow?' He asked himself sourly. He held his breath to see how long he could handle the anxiety as it crept in on him at the prospect of being completely enveloped in water. His wings opened slowly, feathers spreading and rippling with the water, useless by design under there. 'Wouldn't it be cool if I could learn how to swim with them. Be a pirate of sky and water.'

”Welcome ba- ... back! Her smile faltered briefly when she saw Aretha and how... well, how superior she was in every way that counted in terms of the female body. The princess glanced down at her own practically nonexistent chest, puffing her cheeks out again with dissatisfaction. Someone cool and handsome like Tommy liked them... bigger, didn't he? And her - uh, her behind wasn't all that shapely either, was it? Not really, right? She couldn't really win against Aretha, not like this at least. So Xia did what she could and floated over, positioning herself above Tommy's wings so that when he returned to the surface he'd be forced to give her a piggyback. Maybe she could win in t-terms of... of skinship! Touching! A bonding of th-the genders! Yeah!

Maybe?
When Thomas surfaced he came to realize a weight on top of him very quickly and of course he did what was natural...and panicked, thinking he was being drowned. Bubbles spewed from his lips and his wings stirred up the water with such force that waves erupted at either side of him. Xia probably felt them as they knocked into her legs and whatever else faced towards him feeling uniquely strange as they simultaneously felt muscular, bony, and soft in ways that didn't completely feel human. He didn't drown however as Thomas realized his feet where still on the ground and he righted himself, standing. He spun around gasping and spit water, coughing out an exclamation that could loosely be understood.

"I......thought......drowned...." He spluttered between coughs.

From the being whacked by the wings (which felt peculiar and not unpleasant) and Tommy's coughing, spluttering, and attempt at saying that he thought he was drowned, Xia floated off of his back, landing behind him, a sour expression. ”S-sorry for being so heavy...." She murmured in a tone that she had no idea she was even capable of. What was this, what was happening? She never acted so... petty around anyone before! But... it was also somewhat fun. A little bit. Was this yet another sign that she still wasn't fully grown yet?

"That's not it!" Thomas said after taking a moment to catch his breath. "I'm not a strong swimmer. I didn't expect you to be on my back and I panicked is all. You're actually....rather light for a girl..." He murmured, blushing lightly as he said so.

She brightened up at those words - while a part of her wanted to keep being petulant and pick on him for calling her 'light' and 'childish' and twisting his intentions, she also wanted to prove a point! And maybe felt a little bad for cornering him like this, too. ”Th-then! It's fine to... to piggyback, right?" Xia shyly floated up, hovering tentatively in the air before neslting herself on his shoulders, cheeks hot, so she shook her head letting her hair block her face - tickling the top of Tommy's head unintentionally with the edges. ”I-I bet I'm... easier than - than Aretha... to piggyback.... right?"

Thomas' blush only deepened. He glanced up at Xia then looked towards Aretha, not wanting to pick sides at all. "Well.....she is taller and older than you I think. It'd make sense that you were easier to piggyback." He blurted, realizing only afterwards how it sounded like he was calling Xia more childish. "N-not that you're....I mean she's not that much older right?"

""Aww, don't worry Xia. You aren't that heavy, and you're cute enough, you don't have to be jealous of me!" Aretha stated, ignoring Xia's rather blatant insult and giving her a backhanded compliment in return, before coming up being Xia and pulling her back into the water. Origin decided to stay out of all the arguments, and submerged herself under the water until it was over.

The princess let out a weak little mewling noise as she was yanked off of Tommy's back, splashing back into the water. What was she doing? This wasn't how to be a friend at all, and she still didn't understand why looking at Tommy made her feel strange and fluttery in her chest. ”Aretha's super pretty..." Xia mumbled, an honest expression on her face. ”Hopefully I can catch up in a few years... urggh..."

Thomas splashed water into his face and watched the two. He sighed and floated over to Xia, peering at her sympathetically. He spoke in a lowered, tactful voice,"Listen. It shouldn't have to be any kind of competition between you three. You are very beautiful Xia. Don't doubt it....however.....you're not quite old enough to be worrying about that. I have alot of fun being your friend, flying through the air and teaching you how to shoot things behind your sister's back.' He smiled at the thought.

"You're fun to be with and you're amazingly cute and guys'll like that no matter what. You don't have to make it a contest cause you'll win in your own way and Aretha will win in hers too. The body's not all that matters after all, we're not all cavemen. Partially maybe but not all." He chuckled "Let's just enjoy being friends for now and when you're sure of yourself and where you shine most who knows." He shrugged, blushing till his ears turned crimson and let the ripples in the water carry him wherever.

”Lux says that too! That I'm still too young!" She was a little frustrated, even though her chest seemed to swell when Tom said he had fun, and she giggled as she remembered learnng how to use the gun. She turned her gaze to the water, ashamed for being so silly to try and compete. ”How do I know when I'm old enough?"

"When you're sure of yourself and can go for it without worrying about comparing yourself to others." Thomas said after a short moment of thinking.

The princess's eyes seemed to sparkle as she understood, and she nodded, smiling a little mischievously. ”Thank you! I, um, I think I understand. Then she blinked, slightly confused, tilting her head. ”But, you know I'm a demon, right? I'm not sure if we share dna with the human cavemen or not!"

"Well to be fair I'm not entirely sure I'm human either so." He shrugged gesturing to his wings. "I've yet to meet another human with wings."

Xia poked the wing curiously, finding it hard to stare, as well, she too, hasn't ever seen someone with wings before, ever. Her cheeks flushed slightly though not for the same reasons as earlier - out of fear of being seen as rude or insensitive by touching them. ”They're pretty, I like them." She said kindly. ”But I like flying without wings, they.... don't seen so great with water. How can you fly in rain?"

"I can fly as long as it isn't downpouring." Thomas said, in an almost defensive tone. He was very protective of his wings, they were what gave him individuality. He'd feel less like himself without them. "And when has it last downpoured out here in the Desert anyways?"

The princess smirked a little, and she felt power gathering in her wrist, though she didn't activate it so the rain didn't start. ”I can make it downpour now if you want! Ehehe." Though, of course, she left out the pain involved. Someone cool like Tommy didn't need to know about that, right?

"Make it rain indoors?" He glanced up at the ceiling. He remembered when she'd brought enough water for his crow to drink. It'd be cool to see that again but somehow he figured it'd be a bad idea. Who needed rain indoors? "White city's got all those farms around it, why don't you make it rain there?" He asked, wondering if there was some sort of limit to it. "Or start farms here around Nox."

Thomas glanced towards the other two who seemed to be enjoying themselves in the pool Tom wasn't doing much but wading at that point.

Xia had a bit of a guilty giggle when Tom questioned her, face reddening again. ”Ah, um, I'm not actually... supposed to advertise the rain." She said, voice meek and sheepish. ”Lux says it'd make me a target if people knew. I guess I let my guard down because I was having too much fun..." It was one reason as for why she didn't make farms, certainly, though there were others as well. The soil was pretty terrible compared to what was around White, and... well, the aforementioned crippling pain would always be an issue. She eyed Aretha and Origin, both of whom seemed to be in their own world, so she focused entirely on Tom once she decided that they were having enough fun. ”I should be more careful to not tell you any more secrets!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat Character Portrait: Aretha Floros Character Portrait: Origin
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❝Isn't nice to just fly in the air, happy and free?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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Aretha and Origin seemed to be enjoying themselves, so Xia turned her attention back to Tommy, wanting to know more about how to become an adult, how to grow up. Thomas was cool and he seemed to know a lot of things she still didn't, like a wellspring of wisdom that flew into her lap. She nodded at appropriate times, listening carefully to her avian friend's words. His eyes seemed to glow joyously as he spoke of his dream, of becoming a pirate and flying the skies with an airship.

”No, you can't go and be a pirate." Lux's voice was sharp in her head, full of disapproval. ”Nata, he's bad news, seriously. We've almost starved because of bandits before. Not good people, don't be fooled."

Xia tried to picture Tommy hurting people, raiding and stealing and killing innocent civilians and children but she had trouble imagining it. Tommy was so nice to her, so gentle to her, how could he possibly hurt anyone? But then Xia remembered the shooting lesson with the gun - he did know how to use it, after all. Could it be that Tommy did hurt people? ”But he's so nice to me." She replied mentally, and her big sister once again transmitted disapproval and annoyance.

”Ask him, then. Ask if he hurts and steals from people who work hard for what they get in order to survive. Then you'll see."

The Princess relayed the information gathered of the Fae back to Lux who seemingly filed it into the document that had all the known details and rumors concerning the mysterious nation, grateful to Tommy for telling her but also wondering if he did hurt people. Xia was particularly impressed by the floating island magic springs - they would certainly be a sight to see!

”Tommy, if you're a bandit, does that mean you steal food from people who are starving?" She asked inquisitively, hoping he would give her a good answer. ”You're a good bandit, right? Not a bad one?"


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Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝Isn't nice to just fly in the air, happy and free?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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Xia's eyes seemed to sparkle as Tommy answered her concerns - and she wasn't sure if it was the water or not. It felt as if her mind was stretching to accommodate the new information and she nodded with understanding, relief, and happiness. Yes, they did steal and fight, but Xia felt relieved that there was a reason behind it. Her expression returned to it's warm and friendly state. ”That's good! I'm sorry, Lux made me ask because she wasn't sure, and I wanted to let her see that you're trustworthy! Kind of?" Someone willing to play with a lonely princess couldn't be all bad, after all. Xianata felt silly to have doubted for that one moment, but it was fine now. ”I'm sorry that you had no food and needed to steal to survive. If you ever need it, I'd be willing to help you out! We're friends, after all!"

”See? I told you he was good, sis." Unlike Lux who had a habit of tilting her head, Xia often had no outward signs of between-sister transmissions, so she simply smiled cheerily at her avian friend in the meantime, then dove under the water to swim circles around his legs. ”He doesn't go after the defenseless, see?"

There was a long silence but Xia felt the inner turmoil and struggle from her sister's unconscious, which made her feel a little happy that Lux was willing to listen and consider. ”Fine. He could be lying, but I'll grant you this. Tell him-" And then Xia rose once Lux's offer was made, grinning at Tommy, a face of triumph. ”Tommy, Lux says that she's willing to help build a ship for you if you're willing to help us out whenever you can!" She felt like jumping at him but Tommy probably wouldn't enjoy that, would he? ”The parts should be ready by the time we're back from the fae haven if we leave soon!"

The princess of Nox Astra grinned, despite hearing troubling news on Lux's end, which was only another reason to hurry with the expedition. ”She already gave me coordinates for the most likely area to find the faeries! Isn't that exciting!"



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❝In this messed up world, it's harder to tell ally from enemy.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#d739ff ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #ccb43e

|| Discord || The Living Tombstone ||




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”Thank you, Xara! Thank you, thank you!"

It was hard not to feel a little happy when her sister was thanking her this much. Even if it meant sending her with someone who was mostly a stranger, at that. Sure, her sister was naive and childish, but perhaps it wouldn't be tooo bad to let this one slide for the time being. Of course, the Ruler of Nox Astra still didn't want her little sister to grow up or anything of the sort. She was pure, she was innocent, and the longer it was like that the better.

Okay, fine, maybe Luxara was a tiny bit moved by Thomas's story. As a ruler who cared for the people, hearing situations of desperation like that was painful and made her feel like it was a personal failure on her part, even if there was nothing she could do about it. Nox Astra was a place where no one would have to live in fear of starvation, or live dull sad lives where all you do is work for hours upon hours. For the most part, it's happy for everyone, and Lux wants to keep it that way. In this desert, there weren't enough places where people could just live in peace, so Nox Astra was to be one of those havens. That was the goal, anyway.

”I want to speak to him once you're both ready to leave, understood?" And Xia agreed, promising to let Tommy know. Before they could continue their sisterly talk, however, Lux was interrupted by a scout report from one of the spies stationed in Styx, and when she read the document, the ruler's eyes widened. Within moments she dialed White's number, and of course she was met with the secretary.

”I need to speak with White right now." There was none of the usual smile on her face whatsoever. The secretary's eyes shifted a little and he seemed somewhat nervous. "Um, Mr. White is - he's -" ”This is an emergency. Whatever he's doing can wait."

The secretary still was at unease so he nodded. "Alright, Miss Luxara." He muttered, pushing his glasses back up. "What should I tell him?"

”Tell him that the war's starting. Styx is approaching the valley with their pre-vanguard, but there's rumors that the actual vanguard is waiting for the battle in the valley in order to strike and salt the outer farmlands." While Lux was confident she could win almost any battle once on the field, it was grand strategy such as this that stumped her. As much as it irked her, Luxara needed White's input or else disaster would strike.


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Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Luxara Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝I'll grow at my own pace, and follow my path.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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Tommy was happy, he looked super happy, didn't he? Xia nodded, smiling brightly at him as he said his terms, relaying them to Lux. Lux didn't seem to mind the conditions all that much, though she did have one addendum. Lux told Xia and her eyes sparkled, glad that she was being allowed to be the diplomat, the negotiator for once. ”Luxara says that she decides which six missions are free." Xia informed her avian friend. ”She probably wants to wait for your ship to be stronger and have more experience before spending the missions, maybe?" They'd have to start small, they'd definitely have to-

”Another condition is that he let you join, Nata." Lux sounded incredibly reluctant, grudging, but she said it nonetheless. ”I can keep an eye on his movements as long as you're on the crew, and I'm sure you'd enjoy the freedom, wouldn't you?" Xia was happy, she was so happy! Lux was finally letting her spread her wings and see more of the world! This never happened before, and Xia sent waves of thanks and gratitude to her big sister, and then she hugged Tommy.

”She also says that you have to let me join the crew!" Xia exclaimed, excited, her heart thumping incredibly fast. How fun would it be to fly around and have fun and experience the world? It made her worried, though the war with Styx was starting and if Lux was on the warfront, who would stay back and manage the city? Then Lux told her that she'd give Xia a device with access to all the files she needed to help administrate and hold meetings and other such things, that she was counting on her help, even if she was on the ship.

Xia was very excited now. She would get to be useful and have fun at the same time, right? Was this a good way for her to try and grow up? ”Let's get ready to go, quickly! The faster we're back, the faster the ship will be ready, Tommy!" The princess stood up, exiting the pool. She waved to her Babylonian friends and took her towel, grinning ear to ear.



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❝Once you find a moment of happiness, stop time so that it can never go away.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#d739ff ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #ccb43e

|| Discord || The Living Tombstone ||




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Outside the city, a temporary base was set up, full of facilities needed for the upcoming battle, all the war helicopters prepped and ready for action. The Styxian army was marching, approaching the valley. It was like a natural bottleneck - Styx's tanks and infantry would be forced into the narrow space, giving Lux the freedom to attack from the sides, from the air, to take the least amount of damage as she could. She still needed to think, to figure something out. Would White contact Urara on time for the battle at the farmlands? Would the child ruler not cause a giant fuss and ruin everything? Xia was opposed to letting her join the war, but unfortunately, she was the best option to create a collapse of the vanguard.

”General Xenon, start regular scouting parties, but keep them out of sight." Lux commanded from her own personal helicopter, the roar of the engine like music to her ears. ”Keep an eye for Styx as well for White's reinforcements. We need the berserker unit."

The Noxian Airforce was strong, but the ground army wasn't suited for sieges at all. They wouldn't be able to hold their ground against Styx's siege weapons and armaments. White was necessary for this, his specialization in melee warfare would be crucial if victory was to be gained. Was it bad that Lux was becoming excited, jittery, her whole body tense with anticipation for the battle? Was it bad that spilling the blood of her enemies again, crushing them with her might, was she allowed to enjoy that feeling?

Lux wasn't sure, but her excitement only grew as Xenon announced a sizable force approaching from the north, waving White's banner. The warlord of Nox Astra was almost exploding from her need for the battle to start, her eyes almost frantic as she waited, waited. It was difficult to compose herself as she landed her helicopter to meet with the general leading the Berserkers.


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Character Portrait: Xianata Character Portrait: Tommy Blackwheat
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❝I'll grow at my own pace, and follow my path.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#4564ad] ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #b871a2

|| Lights || Ellen Goulding ||




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Thomas was completely geared up. He rarely went on long flights like this but when they had set off he'd picked up a bunch of gear from a place he considered his temporary haven in Nox Astra. A simple little inn in the run down sections of mild poverty. Every city had one, the places you avoid eye contact when passing through for fear of initiating gang violence. He was very friendly with the innkeeper and had a room they kept unused that he lived in part-time. He had a bunch of these temporary homes scattered across the desert. Safe places that were easy to abandon if bandit hunters snooped them out. He got a thick but narrow leather pack that had odd straps that unlatched so as to fit around the base of his wings and shoulders. He put it on along with a leather pilot cap which fit snuggly on his head. He'd snapped on a pair of bronze goggles and holstered a little pistol at his waist just in case. He didn't expect they'd land more than twice a day so his protection would be limited to that.

It worked pretty well. They flew the entire first two days landing only at high noon to escape the sun and eat and at night to escape the shocking cold of the night. Most people thought of deserts as dry and hot all the time but at night the temperature drops dramatically leaving those unprepared at risk from hypothermia and shock. Thomas knew the desert, however. It was more his home than any high class hotel or dusty little inn. He picked out a good camp spot based on the landmarks below and noon or night searched for a piece of ruins or an outcropping of rock to shelter beneath.

At the moment it was nearing high noon on their third day and the sun beat down on the pair as if it were a giant hand pressing down on them waiting for the glue to dry and pin them to the earth until they turned to dust and bones. He tried to conserve his energy, his wings only flapping occasionally on the wind, spread wide to catch whatever air flowed that high in the atmosphere. Tom was scanning the wavering horizon for their next stop but thus far only miles and miles of dunes stretched as far as the eye could see. Had he been a novice the prospect would have put pressure on his slowly cooking scull. He would have seen the endless dunes as the isolating hell it was and gradually lost his bearings. The exhaustion and heat would eat away at his senses driving him to slow insanity as he was consumed by the hopelessness of the endless dunes. His crow flew at the corner of one of his wings, riding the slip stream like Canadian geese on migration his small black head drooped slightly from exhaustion and dehydration.

At first, Xia thought it'd be a good idea to wear things like her usual outfit - the sea-green sweater, the shorts. But at night the shorts were too cold, and the sweater was far too hot when it was close to noon. She was so used to the artificial cool air of Nox Astra that she'd underestimated how hot a desert could really be. Even the wind was dry and didn't help very much at all. Strapped to her back was a childish backpack that a human elementary girl would use - adorned with little felt wings to match a little with her companion. Inside were a bunch of things, as well as a miniature version of the plasma rifle her big sis gave her. Now that it was noon she wore the sweater tied around her waist and didn't care enough to feel self conscious about the bra due to how freaking hot it got with the sun bearing down on them.

Mentally she wasn't faring all that well either. It was fun for the first few hours, and she as still kiinda having fun, but it was also monotonous after a while and talking only helped so much. Xia entered a sort of reverie-type state, not wanting to interrupt Lux who was stuck in a mire of combat, but she also didn't want to disrupt Thomas as he looked for places to land, to eat, and all the things she'd never have been able to figure out. At night it was cold and she was lucky to have thought of packing a blanket with the rest of her stuff, curling under it each night - which sadly only made her look more of a child than usual. In her half-asleep stupor she more or less flew a little behind, slowing unconsciously, almost unknowingly. It would be time to eat soon, right? To eat and sit for a little bit, perhaps? That'd be nice, it would. But she never initiated the landings and eating breaks - she wanted to seem like she was able to keep up. Plus, wasn't pushing yourself a part of growing up, anyways?

Thomas suddenly glanced over his shoulder, realizing that Xia had been slowly trailing. He wasn't precisely sure what made her fly but if it took energy and concentration to do it this must have been draining on her, especially with the monotony. He slowed his glide to let her catch up. "Are you doing alright?" He asked.

His voice drew her out of the pseudo-dreamlike state, bringing her back to the heat haze of the flight. She opened her mouth, then blinked and shook her head, fighting the drowsiness. ”Mmm. ahh. Yeah, I'm good." The girl mumbled, speeding up a little but also becoming a little more breathless in the process, felt wings flopping against the wind. ”I can ... yeah, I'm good. Don't worry about me."

"Don't push yourself too hard out here. It's dangerous to use up too much energy." He said concernedly. He glanced at the orange wasteland below and finally spotted a small dusting of rubble where an old farm used to be. "There. It's a little off route but we need to get out of this sun."

Thomas tipped his wings turning them in the direction of the rubble. It made a rough outline of a building but the roof had long since collapsed, most of the wood turning to dry cracked waste. It would be enough to make a small cook fire anyways and save the oil for their cooker. Thomas had one in his pack for emergencies. The oil to power it however was limited to one canister. "Find some shade and have a drink of water. You look terribly dehydrated."

”Sorry for slowing us down." The Noxian Princess mumbled but nodded, swooping down to the ruins of a farmhouse. Upon landing on the dusty sand her limbs cramped up from being in the same position for hours and her knees buckled - the girl only barely caught herself but she still felt wobbly and weak. She took a few breaths to steady herself, ignoring the headache pounding in her head. Then she slipped the back off her shoulders, retrieving the blanket. Putting one end above her on a part of the wall, she draped the other end of the blanket over another part, making a makeshift roof to block the sun for a little bit. The young demon then slumped down, slapping her cheeks, then guzzled the last quarter of the water in the bottle, tossing the plastic back in. She had a few more left, but Xia wasn't sure if it'd last. If things got desperate, she'd have to make rain to replenish her empty bottles, wouldn't she? She then rummaged through what was left of the canned meat, taking out the remainders for Tom to see the stockpile. How far had they traveled? How far was left?

"Crossing the desert is no walk in the park, Xia." he chuckled and ruffled her hair gently. Thomas' wings felt like lead. Hot lead clinging to his back. It wasn't difficult to tell that he too was worn out simply by the way his wings no longer tucked themselves neatly in a bunch on his back but slumped slightly open begging to feel fresh cool air between the slightly tawny feathers. "We're all tired and hot. There's no need to try to prove yourself we just need to get there in one piece."

He gently stroked the head of his crow as the bird sipped water from the cap of his cantine Thomas added his cans to hers and a bag of dried trail mix which was missing half the peanuts due to the crow.

The princess nodded, acknowledging Tommy's words. Yeah, the desert was supposed to be harsh and unforgiving, no one was going to have an easy time of it. Her cheeks reddened slightly as he ruffled her hair and the girl almost unwittingl let out a strange sound in response. ”As long as we make it, huh?" The girl ruminated those words for a short while, then tried for a grin though it felt rubbery and strange. ”I hope I'm not too bad for a first time, then!" Watching the crow drink aas well as his patience with her seemed to bring a small bit of the usual chipper into her as she counted what was left of the food. ”How much farther do we have? Is it enough to last the tri[?"

"We'll be just fine. It should be one more day as long as we don't get thrown off route somehow." Thomas said with a small smile. "I'll need to check our position tonight when the stars are out."

Star navigation. The universal method of direction. Tom had committed the constellations and their yearly and seasonal position to permanent memory. He only needed to glance at them to know where he was at any time. His family with the bandits had force drilled them into his head on their migrations, he remembered vividly sitting impatiently at the back of a truck consulting the charts while his foster brothers played by the fire. He'd always been jealous of them back then. Having so much freedom. It was part of what made him such a free spirit himself. Never staying in one place for too long.

One more day. Just one more day until they could find the strange place full of grass and floating islands and other strange things that shouldn't exist but did. The fae folk were there in their sanctuary, hidden from everyone else. Xia wasn't sure if the diplomacy mission would even work, if the fae would be willing to help. But it was worth a try, and going on an adventure like this was always fun and valuable experience, even if it was difficult, right? "I could never remember the star charts." The girl said, staring at her avian friend in awe, cherishing the blanket's artificial shade. ”The stars all look the same for me." She nibbled some of the salted meat in one of the cans, eating it like it was a piece of bread. What were the fae even like? ”What do you think we'll find when we get there?" Hopefully they'd be nice and offer a place to rest up at the very least.

"Well...the guy I spoke to said they lived on magic and that the fae had wings...sort of like mine but different." He stretched his wings slightly. "I don't know if he was being very truthful, he had a couple of drinks in him."

Xia glanced at the wings curiously. Humans didnt tend to have wings, but she couldn't sense any specific demon energy from Tom either. There was something but it was too faint to really make out clearly. "Sort of like yours..." Her voice was low, almost conspiratorial. She wanted to know but she was also a little wary. Was it rude to ask? Would Tommy understand even if it was? "What are you? Like... not a human, but not exactly a demon..." The Noxian Princess averted her eyes and lowered her head cautiously, self conscious. But then she perked up again. "What if you were a fae? That would be cool, wouldn't it?"

Thomas blinked and chuckled heartily, somehow finding it incredibly amusing that she would guess that. "Maybe. Maybe I am the lost fae prince." He pondered.

"That would be too bad for Faerun. I don't lead. I only plan to lead a crew." He chuckled lighter than before. "Maybe I am fae. Your guess is as good as mine. All I remember is staring up at a family of dirty bandits. They did say I had fancy clothes that looked completely out of place there. Sewn perfectly for my little wings with little gold designs trailing around them. For all we know I could be part crow." Thomas smiled and patted his crow on the head, who cawwed stubbornly, now energized from the rest.

Tommy, a fae prince. For some reason the idea was kind of romantic. She was a princess, wasn't she? The Noxian Princess. So if he was the Fae prince - Xia's face steamed as she thought about it. And then she realized that, no, absolutely not, there was no way a prince's life would suit someone like Tommy who seemed to love adventure and the dust than sitting around being fancy. He was a good bandit, after all, right? ”You would be an irresponsible prince!" The girl joked, a certain orange haired girl flashing in her mind. ”You'd go explore and leave behind your duties, wouldn't you?" It hurt a little to think about her, though, her former friend. ”Whatever you are, let's find out together!" Xia flashed an optimistic smile, done with her meat chunk, washing it down with a little more water from her newly opened bottle. ”When should we get back to it?" She felt refreshed and the crow seemed back at full energy as well. She was ready for another long slog of flight.

Thomas, who had been munching on a can of peaches grinned and peered up at the sky. "We'll give it a few more minutes until the sun isn't so high." He stated. It was at that moment that suddenly their blanket shade cascaded down on them with a brutal force. A large sweaty man with a tattoo gleaming black on his upper arm wrapped his arms around Xia covering her head and arms with the blanket that had been their refuge. Thomas was knocked to the ground with the force as the blanked was yanked down on him and the man stumbled into him, trying to keep his footing. The girl squealed but it was muffled by the blanket; she tried to kick out but to no avail. Her gun was in her bag - if Tommy could somehow get to it, maybe... if the unarmed bandit - she didn't want to think of that, she had to keep kicking and struggling.

"I GOT HER! Silence the boy, now!" He shouted.

Thomas thought quickly as suddenly he was snapped into bandit mode. He crouched and spun to look behind him drawing the pistol at his waist causing the other two men to hesitate. One had a hooked blade that looked as if it had been forged from a peice of scrap metal. He glanced at his partner who smirked putting his hands up as the other tried to separate. Tom could only fire at one person at a time after all.

"The boy will be valuable, I've never seen wings like that. Try not to kill him!" The unarmed man shouted.

With the blanket over her, Xia was blinded and her hearing was mesed up. She didn't know if Tommy was okay, she didn't know anything but the hot sweaty grip crushing her and smothering her in the blanket. It was obvious that she wouldn't be able to get out of this without help, but Tommy was most likely outnumbered, right? She tried to take deep breaths, calming herself. What could she do like this? How could she help? Anything to take their attention, if even only for just a second. So Xia dug deep into her mind and forced the rain out - clouds gathering in the skies above them, first a light drizzle, then a downpour as every nerve in her body tingled and crackled and the Noxian Princess let out a muffled cry as she tried to hold it in, legs tiwtching in a futile struggle. It was unbearable, it was like being flayed alive but she kept the rain strong. What could be more surprising than a storm in the desert?

The two men instantly looked up, Thomas included for a split second until he recognized what it was. He fired at the one with the blade. His focus was off due to the shock of the rain and the suddenness of the attack so the bullet merely skimmed the man's side but the impact looked and felt far more dramatic as the man flung his blade, twisting with the impact. Damp sand clung to him as he rolled and cried out. The second, unarmed man dove at Thomas, hoping to catch him off guard. He nearly succeeded but just as he was about to grasp Thomas's throat he fired another shot deep and directly into his abdomen. The shot went right through the man disappearing into the hot damp haze and Thomas found himself being forced to catch his dead weight as the man gasped in pain. "X-Xia! Are you alright?!"

The large man who had been holding her looseded his grip the moment raindrops fell on him, looking up eyes wide as if seeing a god for the first time.

Once his grip on her loosened, Xia managed to squirm out into a pile of her own urine that she must have accidentally expelled when the pain hit. Usually light little drizzles were fine but this was almost a full on storm and it took more out of her than she'd like to admit. She crawled away to her bag, shrugging the blanket off of her, revealing her new pallor skin and her panting as she tried to gain control of the pain. Free, she released the rain and trembled a little before forcing a weak grin and nodding at her avian ally. She couldn't speak yet, she couldn't draw in enough air. Feeling bad for not being able to help more, she dug through her bag to get the miniature plasma rifle and held it with shaky arms and unsteady aim -more as a threat than an actual intent to shoot - and she looked like a cornered animal trying to desperately mount a defense, unable to do much at all.

The large man she'd escaped from snarled and chased after her as she crawled away hesitating only when she drew the rifle. "You going to shoot me little girl?" He laughed

In the distance shouts where being heard as the rest of the slaver caravan made their arrival. Thomas cursed and threw the dying man away pulling his pistol and firing three quick shots into the large man from behind, his wings spreading. He was a bit ruthless in that moment and hadn't even given the man a chance to surrender. They had no time for that. He grabbed her pack and the blanket and ran to her. "How are you? We need to go now, those slaver are not going to let us go, not after seeing all this."

Suddenly shots where being fired loudly, feet behind the wall they'd sheltered next to, the sound cutting through the hot air. Far more shots than there should have been for a simple slave caravan. Thomas ducked down and covered the both of them with his wings as best he could making them appear as small as possible.

A rich, european sounding voice traveled over the chaos. "THAT'S RIGHT YEH DAMN DEMON PRICKS! I'LL HAVE YER ARSES SKINNED FER LEATHER!"

Thomas raised his head suddenly. It couldn't have been....

"David?!" He called out hesitantly, standing to peek past a broken chunk of wall. On the other side a large truck was being seen to as people where being filed out of it. Skinny, hungry looking people of child to adult age. They looked to be villagers, farmers, and migratory tradesfolk all in chains with worn leather collars on their throats. Slaves. A large bearded man in leather and scrap armor that covered his shoulders and upper chest stood over a slumped over body, pressing his boot against a slaver's scull, grinning cruelly at his obvious agony.

"How yeh like that? Huh? I can't hear y-...." David looked up and squinted at the wall. He was a huge man with a head of dark hair that stuck up oddly as if he'd just taken off a helmet of some kind. His face was red with sun burn and his hands resembled tanned leather as they curled around a pair of throwing axes. "YOU!"

Thomas ducked as suddenly an axe tumbled end over end where his head would have been.

"YOU LITTLE FLYING RAT!" The man shouted, his footsteps thumping loudly even in the sand. "COME OUT WHERE I CAN SEE YEH!"

He swiped at Tom who leapt back, spreading his wings wide. "Easy! W-wait just a minute! Hold on!" He jumped aside as the giant lunged at him. "I promise I will have the money.......soon! Just hear me out!"(e)

Xia felt completely worn out, from the rain, from peeing, from the agony that came from using the aforementioned rain, her breaths were still ragged and erratic and it was difficult for her to steady herself. She tried to pull herself to her feet when Tommy said that they had to leave, she tried to thank him for saving her but she had to preserve her air, to not pass out. Had she overdone it? Possibly, probably. It was a bad call, even if it did work. But then she heard the sharp crack of gunshots and Tommy enveloped her in his wings, covering them both. A man was yelling, apparently named David, apparently owed money by Tom, and he clearly wanted to collect. There were slaves as well, collared and dressed in little more than the barest of villager-wear, chained up with no freedom at all. Hopefully they could be saved, hopefully something could be done.

Something first, though. Xia took a deep breath and floated herself up, knowing her legs were too weak for now to support herself. What was the best way to get this David's attention without having an axe thrown at her head? As sad as it was, she decided to make rain again, to hopefully make him have the same reaction the slavers did. The Noxian Princess shut her eyes and focused, mentally preparing herself.

"Xia No!" Thomas shouted, putting a hand out. "I can handle this ole' boy. We're old friends."

And she was snapped out of her concentration by Tommy's beckoning voice. She nodded, feeling a little sick to her stomach, then pulled something from her pack - a seal that confirmed she was Xia, the Princess of Nox Astra. She tossed it at her avian partner - she'd be willing to pay this debt, since he did save her from a life of slavery.

"David! My man! Come on don't you remember our good times together?" Thomas asked after catching the seal. He glanced down at it. "We ran together, didn't we? The two of us knocked out that slaver base up north. Just the two of us! What am I brother?" He opened his arms giving a charming smile.

David squinted at him, facial hair bristling as he glared at him. Then by some strange twist of brotherhood he broke into a hearty grin. "You found the whiskey didn't you?"

"Greatest damn pull ever made, eh?" They laughed and hugged heartily slapping each other in the back. The two had managed to infiltrate a small slaver outpost. Thomas had taken the job of lookout and sniper while David went from station to station caving heads in with his axes and chopping off locks to cages and crates. There was an entire crate of whiskey bottles in one of the trucks, a sliver of gold in a pit of sewage.

"So who's the lovely lass?" David asked, grinning broadly now. He plucked up his fallen axe and hooked it to his belt where six others where hanging. The axes where all small, the size of claw hammers used for housework but with a heavier feel to them. They could easily bury into a scull after being flung.

"Princess Xia of Nox of course." Thomas said, pridefully. He winked at her. "We're searching for Faerun."

Once the burly man grinned, Xia allowed herself to relax, to regain her composure. Her clothes were wet from the downpour so hopefully it covered up the urine that would likely stain her shorts. It was embarrassing! She was supposed to be old enough to hold it in, something like this was just silly. She listened respectfully as her body returned to normal, deciding that David was probably another of the 'good bandits', evidenced by the fact that he fought slavers in the past and seemed friendly. She held out a small hand for David to shake after being introduced. ”H-hello." Her voice came out meeker and more timid than she'd wanted, but at least the pain had abated for the time being. ”...I'm glad you two... knew each other." The Noxian Princess scooched a little closer to Tommy, whispering a thanks for the rescue. David and tom seemed like they knew each other for a long time - hopefully she'd get to know Tommy for a long time as well.”D-do you, um.." She turned her attention back to the axeman. ”Any ideas on where it could be?"

"Fae?" The great man scratched his beard and peered down at them. "There is a place far west of here and a bit south we don't go to due to the high frequency of dust storms. Other than that I've never seen such a place as Fae before." He chuckled slightly. "I never you as the man to chase a myth, Thomas, not unless it had cash tied to its ankle!"

Thomas glared at him. "Yeah well....I was promised a ship for all this." He said with a mix of guilty greed and pride. "It's not like i'm going soft and doing this for free."

Xia chose this time to do what all the books she read - romance category, naturally - said and she took Tom's hand in hers like a possessive woman staking her claim. And then her face went tomato red and she let go again before she could spend too much time thinking about it. ”W-we're friends!" The girl chirped awkwardly, unsure of how to recover from her horrible childish blunder. ”And... travelling together! And... um..." Yeah, anyone could infer such things upon looking at them. She decided to shut her mouth and change the topic a little, maybe? ”..Um... it's nice to meet you, D-David!" With that done, she decided to hide behind Tommy so that neither of them could see the flushed red of her cheeks.

Tom felt her grab his hand and immediatly his ears went red as if working hard to send the extra heat from the blood rushing to his face away from his body in that desert torment. He glanced at her, only surprise in his gaze as she blundered her way through explaining their situation.

David broke the awkward tension with a kindly laugh. "I'm sure you lot have your reasons, eh? Us bandits don't ask too many questions detail-wise. We're all just making our way out here." He said smiling warmly at them. "Me and my men will help you along, keep ya from bein' picked off or chained up by fuckers like these." He nodded towards the slavers still strewn in the sand. He had come with other men on improvised bikes and quads made of old junk and barely recognizable hunks of metal. They where picking the caravan clean at the moment even going as far as to steal tires off the vehicles. The slaves where being partnered off with the men and women to ride with them to the nearest village or be geared up as amateurs in the gang of misfits at their request if they looked able enough. The youngest sat on top of their trailor (An old motor home that didn't run on its own anymore) The inside was too cluttered for all of them made into a makeshift kitchen and supply stop so they sat on top which had been altered as a sniper's nest and a place to....well transport more people.

"I'd extend an invitation for you lot to ride with us indefinitely....but you still owe me, Thomas, don't think I'm letting that one slide." David said straddling his harley and sliding his last axe into his belt sheath.

"How about a spot on my airship?" Thomas offered hopefully. The big man laughed.

"If that dream of yours really comes alive...I'll take you up on that."

David was probably a good person, right? So - and he looked probably really good at fighting! so him joining the airship could only be a good thing? She tried to repeat the mantra in her head but she still felt a tiny but intimidated by him, even if it was an irrational thing. He was, for all intents and purposes, something of a friend, maybe? Tommy seemed to trust him, at least. So Xia gestured at the seal that represented her, trying her best to smile as diplomatically as possible. ”If you give the seal to the, um, leader of refugees, it'll grant them shelter in Nox Astra, at least temporarily. Maybe it'll help?" The girl felt pity for the slaves, even though she knew pitying was a conceited, bad thing to do about anything. Their lives were ruined and who knows how many of their loved ones they'd never get to see again?

She'd learn to get used to David, probably, right? If he was helping the unfortunate - like those slaves, for instance - than it was all the more reason to trust him. ”H-he seems nice." The Noxian Princess whispered into Tom's ear... or at least, as close to his ear as she could reach without flying.

Thomas chuckled lightly and gestured for her to follow him to the motor home, they'd be riding with them at least for a little while. His wings needed rest. "We caught him on a good day. People out here in the desert are....a little more complicated. I said that I didn't steal from the poor and no one I associate myself with does, that doesn't mean bandits are always 100% good. Most of us are rough, quick to violence, and cruel to people who betray or...don't honor contracts..." He chuckled guiltily.

"David's a good man but he's also a hard man. He'll fight to the death for anyone as long as they're on the right side of his throwing arm." Tom explained carefully. He didnt' want her to think he was evil or anything but he wanted her to also understand that there was a danger to everything out there. Even casual conversation, especially with strangers. "Bandit's don't work very well together for very long. It's like putting too many cats together."

The girl felt a little reassured at listening to Tommy's bit of advice, allowing her heart rate to slow down to a more managable level, the red returning to it's usual color. For some reason she was reminded a little of her big sis Lux - she's pretty quick to violence and cruel to enemies, but is also very nice and - and then she heard her big sis fluster at her in embarrassment through the telepathy so Xia stopped the gushing there. ”I hope I stay on the right side of his arm." She said with a timid smile, following Tommy's steps after packing everything back into her bag and slinging it over her shoulders. The last bit was a little more concerning though and her eyebrow raised a little. ”Can we work well for very long, though? Because we're fr-.. friends, right?" Her wide eyes looked imploringly up at him as she spoke.

Thomas chuckled, finding a seat near the back next to a box of suspicious looking pipe-shaped objects that looked like they really shouldn't be jostled too much. He eyed them carefully and switched spots with someone else. "Of course we will. I'm going to be a Pirate remember? Pirates always have a crew."

She glanced nervously around, then followed Tommy into a seat next to him, feeling both excited and out of her element at the same time. ”I have a spot in the crew, right?" Xia didn't really know much about pirates or how they operated, or anything of the sort at all, but she liked - in several different meanings of the word - Tommy and she trusted him to a great degree, especially after the recent slaver incident. The girl felt a little sleepy and her eyes drooped a little, but the assured shade from the glaring sun was always nice. ”I hope... for a long time, we can be friends." Was she being clingy? Or strange? It was her first friend, and Xia wasn't quite sure how to deal with it other than 'let's be together for a very long time.'

Thomas smiled and allowed her to rest on him if she wanted to. "Of course! See eventually Lux is gonna trust me because of my unending charm so she'll let me keep you as adviser to my crew, you can be second in command."

She wasn't so sure big sis Lux would ever trust anyone, especially in regards to her, but maybe Tommy could do it, if anyone could. ”It'll be.. so fun!" The Noxian Princess curled up in the seat, feeling overcome by exhaustion. In a few minutes her body slumped against Tom's and she fell fast asleep, a content smile and mild blush on her mien.