Author Topic: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti  (Read 13354 times)

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Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #100 on: September 15, 2008, 11:44:42 AM »
Emu

"Rodhull's always been a bit sulky...I've always obviously tried to ride her at the wrong time of the month..." he says with a smirk.

In truth, he'd ben a bit preoccupied with his own studies...and contemplations.

"I'm sure she'll be glad to have me back...even if it's someone different to peck..." he says doubtfully..

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #101 on: September 16, 2008, 02:27:49 AM »
A hint of a smile quirks the corner of Lohanu's mouth.

"Too true, unlike people, they do seem to love us whatever we do."

He steps around the statue, jerking with the hitch in the bad knee that permenantly grounded the best flier in the final group of candidates.

"We could probably bind a cargo bag with rope, then tie it all off to the saddle, it'll be hard to get it on and off, but it won't break loose."
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #102 on: September 16, 2008, 05:26:10 PM »
Kamu's thoughts turn to the unpleasant situation -- what if it was needed to get off in a hurry?  What if Emu's gull, unaccustomed to his weight, much less that of him and the heavy statue, began to fail before they reach Agatti?  The only solution would be to cut the Statue loose, that the rider and gull not be lost.  He lifts a hand.

"Lohanu?" he says, politely. "I was thinking -- it may be necessary to cut the statue loose in flight. If it was tied as you describe, would the rider be able to cut those ropes with their knife, if they had to?"
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #103 on: September 16, 2008, 08:52:41 PM »
Lahanu ponders a moment.

"You'd need to turn all the way around left behind you, cut one tie, then turn all the way right to cut the other tie. . . likely before you could cut the second tie the whole bag would lurch off and jerk the side still attached. . .you'd probably flip over."

Looking at the statues.

"You just can't tie something this heavy just on one side Kamu, it needs to be in the center, behind the saddle, to balance the weight . . .and that means two tie downs."
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #104 on: September 16, 2008, 09:05:36 PM »
Kamu spreads his hands slightly, in resigned acceptance.  If any of them were going down, perhaps by flapping in a hover, they could cut the bag free... although the memory of the sea's attack upon Monuau, so close to shore, comes vividly to mind.  Hovering low above the vast deeps of the open ocean was almost certain death.

"I was hoping to find a way to save the rider and the gull, if the weight proved too heavy on the flight." he says, then tilts his head as an idea strikes him.  "Does... does the statue need to be on -top- of the saddle?  What if it were slung low, against the gull's belly, pulled up tight against the saddle strap, with the lashing ropes tied up, over the top of the saddle?  That way, if cut, the weight would just fall straight down.  Do you think that would work?"
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #105 on: September 21, 2008, 10:39:27 PM »
Lohanu looks thoughful.

"We did play around with them carrying things with their claws. . .we've seen them take fish almost the size of a man out of the ocean that way. . .they fly like logs with the weight held that low, I doubt they'd make it to Agatti."
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #106 on: September 22, 2008, 07:43:33 AM »
Kamu nods respectfully and waits for Lohanu to work out the final solution, holding his other questions back.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #107 on: September 27, 2008, 03:36:42 AM »
Woanu puts fingers in his mouth an whistles a sharp, then a long note, under the overhang of the exit from the lava tube, your ears ring.

Half a dozen gull heads pop up over the edge of piles of bamboo and brush at the top of the slope of broken rock and let loose with their

Kiiiieeer-uk-uk-uk

calls. Three of the gulls stand and hop over the edge, wings flaring for balance as they seem to flow down the slope.

The gulls seperate as they close with their riders, heads bobbing and weaving.

Woanu smiles and coos, then cuffs his gull in the side of the head, and it grabs his wrist with it's beak, playfully pulling on it, almost knocking him off his feet.
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #108 on: September 29, 2008, 12:13:32 AM »
Kamu similarly smiles as his own gull approaches, and he puts his arms around its neck, giving it a hug, not one to wrestle as much as Woanu, being of slimmer and smaller stock.

The overall sense of wellness within him bubbles over into a happy laugh, genuinely glad to be reunited with his gull once more.

Remembering Lohanu's words and his own earlier trepidations, he glances over at Emu to see how he greets and interacts with his own gull.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #109 on: September 29, 2008, 08:58:14 AM »
Emu

Approaches his own gull with some trepidation... it has been some time.

Rodhull hadn't exactly been an easy gull to empathise with, he'd been nipped a couple of times. The first time quite painfully, though Emu hadn't exactly given in nor become aggresive. Rodhull was just now at the point where it realised that this strange boy wasn't going to take the hint.

The few flights he had taken had been.. well...rather hazardous. Emu had only just managed to hang on through the first few dives and wing-overs. He was at the point of giving it all up when Rodhull obviously got fed up of trying to kill him.

There now existed a truce between the two. There was a lot of sideways glances..at least from Rodhull (who these things came naturally to)..

It then came as somewhat a surprise when Rodhull gave him a playful nip and a gentle wing buffet.

Emu stands up, dusts himself off, and stroke the gull's neck.

Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #110 on: September 29, 2008, 09:20:57 PM »
[snip]
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 11:24:23 PM by Wentil »
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #111 on: October 06, 2008, 11:29:37 AM »
Lohanu heads back up into the cave while you are greeting your gulls and returns with three cargo bags and a coil of rope. He dumps the bags in front of the statues, then points with the coil of rope at the three saddles and tack laid out on a bamboo log to the side of the cave.

You all get to work, the saddles most resemble english riding saddles, more of a pad with stirrups than anything else, to reduce weight, though there are brass loops around the front and rear edges to tie off items to.

While you get the saddles on, and tie reigns off to the brass loops bolted to the rear corners of the gull's beaks, Lohavu puts a sack over each statue, then coils about 15' of rope around each, tying it off and cutting it, then moving to the next.

Once the gulls are saddled, Lohanu goes over each gull, tightening straps here and there with no comment. . .then he has two of you lift a statue up into place, while he secures it to three of the rear rings on each saddle. (Each wrapped statue weighs 35# or so, it's an easy 2 man lift.) the first one is a little annoying as the gull keeps sidling around, but once you work it out to the rider standing in front to hold the bird, the other two lifting and Lohanu tying, it goes quickly and smoothly.

The gulls seem a little annoyed, doing a lot of stepping in circles and craning their necks to look around at this weight on their rumps, but settle down after a bit.

Lohanu dusts off his hands.

"Well, daylight's burning, anything else before you go?"
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #112 on: October 06, 2008, 08:56:57 PM »
Kamu looks at Lohanu thoughtfully, recalling Emu's reunion with his gull.  The hesitancy of his approach, his being knocked to the ground... the gull seemed friendly and playful enough; perhaps it was indeed true, that Emu hadn't flown in a while?  Had all of those who had not made the first cut stopped training?

Clearly, something needed to be done, but what?  Elder Tovanu had said that any requests of Kamu's would be met, yet at the same time he had mentioned the problems with the Council, and the difficulties he had just keeping the effort in place.  Perhaps this fall-off of training was deliberate on Tovanu's part, to placate the other Elders?  Out of sight, out of mind, so the saying went.  Could Kamu, in good conscience, ask Elder Tovanu to return to the training program?  There had been several other Elders involved in it -- it could cause problems.

Yet and still, if Elder Tovanu was to enact Kamu's suggestion in regards to the Hunting Islands, to send the unproven riders out to the task would risk their injury or death, and could itself bring the Council's censure instead of its blessing, as intended.  On top of that, if any of the other riders were going to be ready to help with the effort on Agatti, the training simply had to continue.  They needed to be strong.

But Kamu knew that the training itself was dangerous; riders could die in the training... or wind up crippled for life, like Lohanu.  It was perhaps obvious why it had been allowed to slow, until the first riders had proven themselves, and the value of the effort.  Would Elder Tovanu do as he bid, in the face of all of these concerns?

Kamu looks at Lohanu, making the decision.  "I have a message for Elder Tovanu." he says to the older boy.  "I would ask that you deliver it to him."  He clears his throat and waits until Lohanu is ready, signified by his nod.

"Elder Tovanu, in order that the Riders may perform the tasks that were discussed on the Hunting Islands, as well as to aid in the effort on Agatti, their training must resume." he says, speaking slowly, forehead furrowed in thought.  "Each rider must fly often, and be as familiar and comfortable in the saddle as they are on foot.  They must also keep hard at their weapons training.  We must not ever stop the training, not so long as the gulls are flying, for it is the only thing that will stand between the Riders and harm's way when they are away from Kani."

He nods to Lohanu, finished.

Glancing at Emu and Woanu, Kamu spreads his hands.  "Shall we go?" he asks.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #113 on: October 07, 2008, 09:19:46 AM »
Emu

He nodds but with a questioning look in his eye..."we were not all born to the saddle nor do all our talents naturally lend themselves to gull-riding. We all have our uses." he thinks.

Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #114 on: October 07, 2008, 09:31:55 AM »
[snip]
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 06:35:36 AM by Wentil »
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #115 on: October 09, 2008, 03:41:55 AM »
Everyone is busy checking over gear for a bit. . .until each rider and Lohanu is satisfied with how the loads are tied down.

Lohanu looks at all three, then at Kamu.

"If you make this trip, I'm going to strap myself to the back of your bird for the next ride." and he smiles.

He starts leading the way back up into the tunnel, up to the launching point.
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #116 on: October 09, 2008, 06:38:01 AM »
Along with the other two riders, Kamu carefully inspects the binding ropes on the statue and then every part of his gull's harness.

He grins back at Lohanu, for to be sure, he wishes he could bring the other boy somehow.  Maybe this next time he'd be able to bring back more than just a fruit for him.

Still smiling, Kamu follows Lohanu on the walk up the tunnel towards the launching point, walking side by side with his gull, one hand resting reassuringly on the side of her neck.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #117 on: October 11, 2008, 03:40:37 AM »
Up through the tunnel, one rider after the other. . .when Lohanu pulls back the tarp, the howling wind and dust starts again.

(Launching will be Kamu, Emu, Woanu.)
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Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter Six: Ill Tidings from Agatti
« Reply #118 on: October 11, 2008, 03:50:36 AM »
Kamu launches, and does everything perfectly, for a normal launch.

The gull starts bobbing forward, then runs toward the edge of the ledge with that odd "flowing across the ground" deceptive speed. . .the gull hops at the end, launching off. . .and the tail end of the gull drops dramaticly, almost catching the edge.

Kamu's bird makes almost no distance, and just claws almost straight up into the sky. . .and a stall. . .just as the gull looks like it's going to go over backward, it curls to the sideand makes an abrupt turn, back over the island. . .and just barely clears the rocky headland above the tunnel before dissapearing from view.

Emu launches, similar run out, but prepared by Kamu's run, he keeps his bird's head down on launch to compensate, and gets a smooth take off.

Woanu does the same.

There are a few moments of tension before the pair locare Kamu circling and gaining altitude over the crater lake. . .and he lets go of the reigns with one hand to flash an "OK" sign.

<End of Chapter 6>
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