Author Topic: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti  (Read 14474 times)

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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #140 on: May 30, 2008, 05:52:47 PM »
Kamu pauses for a moment, last night's terror rising unexpectedly to his mind.  His eyes sit fixedly on the body for a moment, until he realizes that it's not moving.  He touches Woanu on the arm.

"Go back and tell Monuau and Bovanu to have the pig-man buried, and quickly." he says.  "I want him buried today.  I'll start to feed the gulls below, while you go tell them."  He watches as Woanu turns and goes back to the village before looking back down the trail, toward the corpse and its attendant insects.

Scowling and tight-lipped, Kamu slowly makes his way downwards, toward the body, intent on keeping as far as he can from it while passing down to the gulls below.  He can't help but watch it.  No matter how much he tells himself otherwise, after his night of terror, he still half-expects it to leap at him.  His heart is pounding in his chest, and a nervous sweat prickles on his brow.  His right hand rests near the hilt of his knife, fingers gripping his belt to avoid trembling.  Memories of the fight rise unbidden to his mind, and of that terrible, sickening sensation that gripped him, that whirled him away into darkness, while something else took his place, and killed the pig-man, returning him only once the deed had been done.

He wonders if that, too, was something hidden deep within him, much as the other feelings and lusts that the dark spirit had shown him dwelt within.  His scowl deepens, and his left hand makes a sign to ward away evil.  He hopes to never find out, and never to kill again, if possible.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #141 on: May 30, 2008, 06:30:43 PM »
You slow, approaching the body, as the buzz intensifies. The body is much as it was yesterday, where you pushed it off the path, but the arm that stretched out, is now laying along the length of the body.

Closer, the smell and the buzz intensifies, you skirt as close to the edge of the cliff as you can, but keep an eye on the body. The blood is no longer bright red, rather a dark brown and black, but the visible wounds on the back, where your knife cut through the leather clothing are a seething white mass of maggots.

Just as you gag on this view, your proximity, or a shift in the breeze, disturbs the flies. . .the buzz multiplies and you're surrounded by a cloud of black flies. Many land on you for a moment, but there are so many, little legs touching you, wings buzzing, around your eyes, at the corners of your mouth, then around your nostrils. . .you break and run around the next switchback, brushing your face and arms in a mad dance, barely holding back from shouting or screaming.

Down around the turn you can hear the flies but cannot see them or the body anymore. . the skin on your face and arms crawls with the memory of the touch of the leigon of flies, and you shiver and pant as you jog down the path, away from that horror.

Three gulls are in the clearing, you see they've done a little damage to the small bamboo and large hemp plants down here, but they've torn apart the mound of bamboo and mangrove from clearing a path to the lagoon. Monuau's is sitting in crude nest formed of those debris, the other two seem to have been amid piling up their own. . .you'd guess the other two birds are either aloft or fishing the lagoon. The two nest building gulls are yours and Kaihiku's. 
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #142 on: May 31, 2008, 04:10:33 PM »
Still twitching from his experience with the flies, Kamu walks to his gull and lets it see him, then puts his arms around its neck and shudders, closing his eyes for a moment, trying to drive out the memories and sensations of the last few moments.

"Hoi, White." he murmurs.  "I have returned."  After a moment, he pulls away, and scrubs his eyes with the back of one hand.

Slinging his pack around, Kamu begins to distribute bars of fish meal to his bird and Kahiku's.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #143 on: June 04, 2008, 06:04:13 PM »
Both birds seem disinterested, toying with the first meal brick you give them, which is unusual for the greedy gulls. . .they must have just gorged themseleves in the lagoon.

Monuau's gull looks interested, gets up and moves in, but stops before shoving into your gull's space.
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #144 on: June 04, 2008, 08:34:18 PM »
Kamu looks thoughtfully at the two gulls toying with the first brick.

He tosses the next two that he had been holding in his hands over to Monuau's gull, one at a time.

Smiling, he pets his gull affectionately, running his hand down its side feathers to check and see if they are damp, from feeding in the lagoon.  For if they are not, there might be another reason for their lack of appetite -- none that would bode well for the return flight.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #145 on: June 09, 2008, 04:29:00 PM »
Monuau's gull greedily eats the two bricks, then cawks at you for more.

Your gull is dry on top, but damp on the bottom, your hand smells of bird and the sea afterward.
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #146 on: June 09, 2008, 05:29:09 PM »
Satisfied, Kamu dries his hand on his pants leg and tosses more bricks of fish meal to Monuau's gull, one at a time, while waiting for Woanu's arrival.  Between bar-tosses, he pushes off his sandals and switches back into the uncomfortable hard leather riding boots, commencing his own preparations for departure.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #147 on: June 12, 2008, 04:36:49 PM »
You toss meal bricks to the gull, who deftly catches them, then tilts his head up to gobble each one down. You hear some activity up above, but cannot see anything.

The other gulls come back in the outlet to the lagoon, shake and fluff dry, then settle in against the cliff, basking in the morning sun.

After about a total of 15-20 minutes Woanu comes down and around the last corner of the path, makes eye contact, and raises his hand in greeting. He walks over next to you, and looks around the clearing in the mangrove at the base of the cliff, speaks without looking at you, still turning his head to take in the surrounding area.

"I don't like taking off from down here, not much room to turn, it'll be a strain on the gulls to go straight up with us in the saddles."
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #148 on: June 12, 2008, 08:58:13 PM »
Kamu nods, adjusting a strap on his harness.  "I was thinking the same thing." he admits, looking at Woanu.

"I was thinking we would lead them back down to the beach, and then make a running take-off from there, when we're out in the open." he says. "Climb to a height back and forth over the safety of the beach, glide for a bit until the gulls have recovered, then strike out over the water, once we're ready."

He looks at the makeshift bridge that was put together, which looks very unlikely to be safe passage for a gull.

"We could have the gulls take to the air without us, and then we would meet them down on the beach -- calling to them with the whistles." he muses. "Or just have them glide across the gap here, and then walk with us down to the beach.  That might be the safest course to follow."
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #149 on: June 12, 2008, 10:13:56 PM »
Pointing up.

"We could launch right off the cliff, but there's no way to get the gulls up there, we'd need to cut all the branches off the trees up there that overhang the cliff for the gulls to be able to land, and that would take forever. . .And all we have is a couple of machettes, we need axes if we want to try that. . ."

shrugs

"Back to the beach is the only way I guess." Looks less than entheusiasticly at the tunnel like path back to the main island.
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #150 on: June 12, 2008, 10:16:49 PM »
Kamu shares his unease of the tunnel, and of seeing the bloody bone chimes again, yet there is no other way unless they wished to strain the gulls by flapping aloft from a stand-still.

"Let us go out to the other end together, and quickly." he says. "From there, once out in the open again, we will call our gulls with the whistles."

With that, he begins to check his gull's saddle and make final preparations before sending the gull aloft, unridden.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 05:35:22 AM by Wentil »
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #151 on: June 13, 2008, 02:07:42 PM »
You're pretty quick at getting the saddling and such done, and head into the mangrove.

As last time, there's lots of bugs, and lots of small animal sounds in the thicket, you cross over the small channels on the logs, and arrive back at the clearing with the chimes. You feel your pounding heart slow down, nothing happened.

Walking north down to the beach, you reach a point where you come out from behind the mangrove and can see the islet again. At the top of the cliff you make out two riders, one of them is Monuau, kneeling (you recognize his lighter vest). . .the other rider raises a hand and waves. It seems friendly, not a signal.

A whistle, and the gulls pop out of the mangrove. . .all four of the uninjured gulls glide across the lagoon to the beach, then power up out of the surf to the two of you.

South, there's a racket, then some squealing. . .about 75' away, up on the higher ground where the break in the treeline allows access to the woods, a few large pigs (150-200#) are nosing around in the leaf litter and debris of the treeline. . .they were not there when you passed by a few minutes ago.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 06:44:05 PM by Celedor »
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #152 on: June 13, 2008, 06:20:48 PM »
Surprised, Kamu looks at the pigs for a moment, his mouth open in surprise.  Recollecting himself, he glances at Woanu.   "Mount up!" he says to him, the note of urgency plain in his voice as he turns to his own gull, reaching up to grasp the saddle horn, feeling immensely glad that he and Woanu weren't surprised by the things when passing through that spot.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 11:21:32 PM by Wentil »
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #153 on: June 13, 2008, 09:22:32 PM »
You mount, as does Woanu. You wrap your hands in the reigns and get your feet properly seated in the stirrups.

Turning back to look, the hill moves next to the pigs. . .until it breaks free of the shadows under the tree, your mind doesn't process it.

It's 6' at the front shoulder, somewhat bulkier than your gulls, and you're sure a LOT heavier. It's not even looking this way, it's nosing along to the east across your view. . .but that gives you a good look at the whole beast, from the yellow ivory tusks, over the humped mound of the front shoulders to the tuft of tail behind the disproportionatly small hind legs.

It's bigger than your hunting hut out in the swamp. . . other than the whales you've seen from the shore, it's the largest living thing you've ever seen. . .and you definitely don't have a big enough spear on hand.
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #154 on: June 13, 2008, 11:25:16 PM »
Despite the fact that the thing is not even looking in his direction, the shock of what he is seeing slams into an immensely alarmed Kamu.

Gesturing to Woanu, he gives the urgent hand-signal, "FLY! FLY!" and directs his own gull into an immediate run takeoff run, away from the giant pig-thing.

As his gull turns and begins its pounding run, Kamu's mind is filled with memories of the pig-man's mask, its charge down the hill and the terrible blows it rained upon him.

His heart is pounding in his chest as though fit to burst, his blood thundering in his ears.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 11:32:34 PM by Wentil »
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #155 on: June 16, 2008, 12:46:08 AM »
The gulls take off running down the beach, first bobbing side to side, then in that sudden rush of feet that sets off a shower of sand behind you and flows like water over the land. . .then the wings snap out and your stomach drops to your feet and the gull is leaning, turning.

You see a flash of lagoon under you, then beach, then you're back right above the giant hog and it squeals and paws at the ground, and then treetops, and you see a face, the face of the pigman, you scream out all the tension and fear and even as the gull turns you see it's really there, staring gape mouthed out of the treetop at you, that mouth, so horrible, crooked pointy teeth. . .And it's past and you're banking out over the lagoon again, about 30' up.

A glance back to see that face again, nothing but treetops. . Your wing partner is where he should be, three gull lengths back and one wingwidth to your left. (His gull is a little wobbly keeping position, but you know it's a lot easier to lead than keep position.)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 12:47:55 AM by Celedor »
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #156 on: June 16, 2008, 05:00:25 PM »
Kamu's eyes are wide, but he manages to close his mouth.  He knows what he saw, and the fact that there is another pig-man about... the others need to be warned!  But then, sudden caution catches his running thoughts, and in quick succession he remembers the large chunk of meat in the pig-man's bag, the fact that none of the bones in the chime area were human, and also the two women leaving at the gate early that morning, carrying those long, prod-like sticks.  Perhaps the village raises the pigs?  But... what was that monster?  And... why the masks?  He shakes his head and grits his teeth.  He knows the riders back in the village will be on alert until their return.  Whatever threat -- if any -- the pig-mask below means, he knows they will be able to handle it.  Kamu also knows the real threat, the real enemy -- the dark spirit -- knows its foulness and evil far more intimately than any of the others.  He needs to bring Monuau, and the people of the village, those statues.

Lifting one arm in a wave to Woanu, Kamu brings his gull into a wheeling turn, and begins the flight home, to Kani.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Five: Islet off Agatti
« Reply #157 on: June 16, 2008, 06:31:54 PM »
The riders turn into the wind, and the gulls slip backward across the beach as they rise up and up for a long soar.

It's chilly up here, which is odd, you're closer to the sun, it should be hotter.

The gulls stop climbing and settle in for the long glide. . .it only takes a few moments of flying for Kani to resolve out of a blob in the distance, but you know flying west is slower than east, so it creeps in slowly, so slowly.

**End Chapter 5**
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