To Fly on Metal Wings

Captain's Private Log, 12 Noctis 900

12 Noctis 900

It seems our payday has been a boon for the technomantik merchants here in Faros. Ashley’s toting a new pair of carbines, one of which is deadly against mages… I’m doing my best to not feel threatened on that account. Have a new toy of my own in the making, should be done in the next week or so. On account of so many powerful folk wanting me dead my usual tactic of being only moderately harmless has taken a turn for the useless. This gizmo should give me a boost to the odds of not dying any more.
Reconnected with some acquaintances while in town. Ms. “Scarlett” was quite happy to see my return, though my warmest welcome most certainly came from Ms. “Aurora”.
The Director made it clear that this mission would require resources a little different from the Rebeckah, and Sir Akienne was kind enough to let me “borrow” some of his crew—

  • Sir John Rand was an obvious choice, as we’ll be staying in a Knighthood fortress while going about…whatever it is we’re going to get to doing. He’s a likeable enough fellow, good with the ladies, I’m sure he has allies at Rochelle that will come in handy.
  • Chang Fei Li is an Omoeian, and the Abbot suggested he get out and see the world for a bit. Should be useful in esoteric matters, and I’ll feel better having a religious scholar around the next time I panic and need KoS or SG info. I remember something about relics, though I can’t say why.
  • Motochika Sanshin, the Sha Amatsuran with a flair for the dramatic. If his tactical mind is all that he says it is, he should be invaluable once we make our move.
  • Midshipwoman Ketra Alder has proven herself to be level headed and skilled. Don’t know that I’ve earned any terrible amount of loyalty from her, or any other Guild member, but she seems to like me well enough.
  • Mr. Candor Bragg — what can I say, I like the guy. Ashley suggested that having someone with obvious muscle might be useful at times, plus his penchant for large armament and explosions. I’m inclined to agree.
  • Ensign Talian Sheppard seemed pretty intent on coming along regardless of what I said. Boy wants to see the world? Can’t say I’m against the idea. Those were the best years of my life.

I took a short sojourn to the monastery. Didn’t tell anyone I was leaving, hope that didn’t cause any concerns. They’ve built a structure on the mountain! G would like the building, very elegant but natural. Made sure to bring some kaffe, wine, and spirits for the poor studying lads. I slept in my old chambers for the first time in years. I feel cleaner now.
I spoke to Sher’ah about everything that’s happened. About losing J and G. About the mission. About dying. I told Llewellyn all about the Dragonfly, and my attmepts at captaining. I left flowers and a bowl of milk, so that cats would come and drive off the gremlins.
It was still there, so I took it. I’ll find someone to make another, it ain’t right to use his, but it was damn handy. I’ll send it back via courier. It’d be good to feel like he’s got my back again.

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Answers and Questions.

(At the top of this page are a few rough sketches of the Crystal Palace, drawn from memory after the fact. A few emplacement guns, the inner foyer, the main gates, and a head-on view of the building are all represented in Ashley’s unornamented, precise style.)

CITADEL surely seems to have their ducks in a row. Wish I had any idea what they were actually planning. Wish I’d had a chance to meet Straeth. So it goes.

10 Noctis, by the way. While since I had any inc. to write. Going through motions. Hardly anything to occupy my time. Even my sorry excuse for a shipboard garden barely clinging to life; hates the Chukosian weather almost as much as I do. Am not entirely sure how I managed to spend a year on this rock. Happy to be leaving with all speed.

Well. “Happy” is… a word. Am feeling more up to the relativistic linguistic gymnastics required to use it than searching for more accurate one to describe feelings these days. Felix. That was…

(The next line of text is heavily blotted, and scratched out to the point of tearing the page.)

Commissioned a pair of new carbines from a local gunsmith and arcanist. They seem to work well as can be expected. Hoorah for that, I suppose.

  • AAPHC, tossed in storage [ratio of encumbrance-to-offensive-efficacy deemed inadequate]; new carbine should accomplish the same task more effectively, regardless
  • phosphorshot sidearm, sold for scrap [arcantrik residue build-up, flashfire plate starting to smell like smoke, fitting strap on the damn goggles keeps coming loose]; if we do happen to run in to anyone – or anything – cloaking itself in that fashion, hopefully Sam will have something up his sleeve
  • remainder of active combat equipment, thoroughly cleaned and repaired to spec [plenty of downtime this past month]; ample opp. to get it all jammed/windblown on Trebarre soon enough

Trebarre. V. nearly the biggest shock of this assignment so far. What could CITADEL poss. want there? Has to be more than an interest in the one Fort. Doesn’t it? Unclear. But what isn’t? Don’t even have a name for my target — though not a bad chance that he’d answer to “Hand” — much less a motive for flight. No idea what Cataphract is/was. Or whether Octavia’s still alive. Nor Jack, for that matter. Off the radar. What I do know for a certainty? Hand doesn’t believe me. Doesn’t care enough even to entertain the thought of doing so.

So. Why should I believe that he’ll hold up his side of the bargain? Bears consideration.

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Captain's Log, 28 Lokital 900

28 Lokital 900

Turns out this job started and ended with the same fellow, a blondie named Daniel of Armacaia. Took me to speak with Sir Akienne, who took away the Rebeckah and the Sherra. Handed me quite the paycheck before putting us on a steam rail to Satyeva…. I stopped by an old ally’s haunt looking for supplies, but they were still out and about. Best not try back there again till it’s changed stewards a time or two. Managed to upset the Count Satyeva. Again. Sir Helm has more pebbles in his boot than I remember. Guess the stress is getting to him, pressure must be building with the political tension everyone keeps mentioning. Pompus Ass! Just because he’s foolishly assumed risk and responsibility he thinks he can lecture me about being a godsdamned hero!
We made good time to the Crystal Palace, where CITADEL has dug in deep. Some Dragon mercs were on patrol, don’t know if they’re hired or allies yet. Haven’t been back there in this life, don’t mean a thing to me now. Grand place, the Crystal Palace, never fails to inspire the weepy poets. Still, it’s a bit less grand with all the barricades, chain guns, and artillery. Bad sign? I think I may have just signed on to have armies attack me. Great. On the bright side, they seem well funded, despite a lack of ships. Being able to keep a mercenary army on hand is one thing, but they, excuse me, WE, have all sorts of technomantic research going on. A rather excitable lass by the name of Mulaney was working on some sort of lightning cannon, though she wasn’t shy about wanting to post to the Rebeckah. Talented folk all over, actually. A strange Sha Amatsuran man with a bleedin’ fan was courting favor. Or flirting, I’m not quite sure if so or who with. Tactician, as I understand it, to fill in for Stannis until I find him.
The Abbot was there.
The Director’s one of the Sighted, but not a Chandler. Didn’t know it came in different bloodlines, don’t know what the implications for that are about. Seemed rather uncertain about the danger looming over us, and didn’t have anything to say about my “angry brother angels” comments. Briefly met the two other “candidates” who have accepted official Captain status in the group. Didn’t quite know I was on parole, so to speak. Cael Adda and Adrienne St. Cyr, if I remember correctly. Sir Akienne will be taking the Rebeckah between our jobs, so I’m grounded for a while. Out of Fort Rochelle, Trebarre. Md. Cole knows the area, so that should be an advantage while hunting pirates.

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Blueprints and Diagrams

A series of complex arcane and mathematic formula dot several sheathes of paper, along with measurements, notes on weights, balance, and design.

Model 1: CC-Mk/I
Primary Classificaton: Conj. ELEM.- C. /Tier: 1 (Offensive)/Ef.- Blast /Delivery: Ballistic
P.Source: Lt.Ac.
Sec. Tek: Hyper-coolant chamber, Arcano-Conduction Coil, Atmospheric Intake Vents,Dynamic Accelerator Tubing
Tgt: Single/Aimed
Range: Est. 15 meters [field test pending]
Duration: Instant
Output: Moderate Enhanced- Lengthened D.A.Tube + Feedback Looped A.C.Coil= 500% Increase Anticipated, field test pending
Use: Charge
Efficiency: V. High
Physical Resistance: None
Resonant Penetration Capacity: 100%

Model 2: T/H/U/M/P/E/R
Primary Classification: Evoc. P/ELEM.- F. S/ELEM.- S. /Tier 3 (Offensive)/P. Ef.- Blast+Spread /Sec. Ef.- Physical/Ter. Ef.- Physiological /Delivery: Mod. Ballistic
P. Source: Trickle Socket.
Sec. Tek: Resonant Range Finder, Arcano-Current Reservoir, Active Charge Primer, Convergent Energy Fusion Matrix, Kinetic Discharger Round
Tgt: Multiple/AOE
Range: Est. 120 Meters
Area: Est. R=6 Meters
Effective Impact Variable: 1.5-9 Meters
Duration (Ter. Ef.): Variable (Est. 12-72 Seconds)
Output: High with add. variables
Use: Rechargeable (24 Hours)
Efficiency: Low
Physical Resistance: Yes (Moderate)
Resonant Penetration Capacity: 50%

Model 3: A.M.P.
Primary Classification: Abj. /Tier 3 (Countermeasure)/P. Ef.- Disruption
P. Source: Intrinsic
Tgt: Variable (Single/AOE)
Range: Est. 60 Meters
Area: Est. R=6 Meters
Duration: Instant
Output: Moderate
Use: Single
Physical Resistance: None
Resonant Penetration Capacity: 100%

Scratched in flowing, loose script is a snippet of text
Extension of contract + unique circumstances…recent events demanding reevaluation of methods in armed conflict…more direct means of overcoming threats desired…Models 1-3 provide needed firepower…Model 4 provide nonlethal option, once design finished…need to conduct further research re: Model 5…soon turn theory into functionality.

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Captain's Log, 11 Lokital 900

11 Lokital 900

I’m not sure whether to be relieved or terrified that nobody has brought up my so-called title. Not so much as a peep! Not even Sam—which would seem troublesome… hells, I’ve only known the man a month. I guess it wouldn’t kill me—immediately—to back off. A bit. Without losing “Captain-y-ness”. Right?
Does everyone know who I am? Who they call me, at least? I mean, there’s still nothing about this that makes a lick o’ sense. Just some random powerful and influential forces addressin’ me by some fog-forgotten prophetic name when they decide to try their hand at ending me. Except now it seems they need to keep me alive! Even the dragon-bitch and her minions are willing to risk some profanely disagreeable tactics to keep me standing…
I saw myself cocooned, wrapped by purplish energies, I can’t begin to imagine from where. I don’t know if they were protecting me, or healing my wounds, or sucking life from my Gift. Gods around us! That moment felt eternal, like falling into the Fog, but it lasted less than a blinking second. Then we killed the Lord Mayor while that Aundorian lady watched. Gnaeus finally showed up at the last moment—I’m no fan of being beholden to a man such as he, but he’ll get his favors. Within reason. Or I could just ask Ashley to kill him. We’re probably not close enough for favors, though.

Repairs are nearing completion, and we should be patched and ready to fly by the end of the day. Baszeria hasn’t caused any further delays, I think we’ve managed to curb any backlash. I mean, he got to live, right? And I don’t know what Gnaeus was talking about, he seems hardly the mastermind, and nobody else could pick up any sinister plots or plans. Ms. Cole managed to forge some impressive documents, and Sam didn’t uncover any (unexpected) skeletons-in-closests, so… I guess we’ll see how this one turns out.
Don’t quite know yet what I’ll do with Enoch, though. I need to consult someone.
The Guild is supposedly providing us with a replacement Tac. Officer. Not that I’ve given up on Stannis, I need to check with some folk back in Satyeva first. Don’t know anything about the new guy/gal/automaton. Hopefully they’re competent. The whole “planning” portion of our strategy is, well, a giant gaping weak point at this juncture. We can pack a punch, but our aim is a little…misguided at times. My fault, I guess.

Gary has joined us. By this time I hope everyone knows he’s a familiar and not just a messy, needy crow. I’ve seen him bothering Tyrale, but she batted him around somethin’ fierce. I think they’ve been getting along splendidly since. Ze’s been chasing him, too. I asked Mariah to explain Gary to her, but I’m not sure how much got through… She’s exceptionally bright, and it’s good to have someone naturally breaking the tension. I wonder if I was ever that happy and innocent on the Scorpion?
Tyrale’s doing much better, too. Once things settled down I was able to find some petminders to give her a decent bath and trim. She hissed like a banshee the whole damned time! But her coat’s much cleaner now, and she’s not tapping on the flooring with every step. Even got her a collar and put my mark on it for some extra Resonant protection. She’s started to shed something fierce, though…

Don’t know what I’m to do about the KoS business. If I’m important enough to keep alive, why are people who know about me tryin’ ta do me in? The Wheelites talk about moderation, equality, but I don’t get how that would matter. I mean really matter. If G were killed, all life in the Aetheria would go haywire. Wouldn’t it?
People know who I am supposed to be, now. Last time we didn’t last long as a group afterwards. I should tell them. Let them know, at least, what I know. Think I know? If forces are massing out there, like the Monkey said, and if they’re aware of and targeting me, then they deserve to know. I mean, we don’t even know what’s coming, right? Might as well warn ’em of the risk. Give them a choice. Staying by me, well, might as well be a divine death sentence.

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Dragon's Den
No date is given. Scrawled at the side of an unconscious E. Jacob Riley.

Shifting was the only way he could reach me. The link between us would sever in my natural Inept form. I convinced myself that my conscience motivated my decision to remain human, barring others from the harm I had done to one so close to me in my youth. I thought it was why I had pursued medicine and kept no home Snow banks in summer but now I understand my true motivation. He watches when I sleep and He speaks. Never as strong as before, but he’s always at the edge of reality, forcing himself in. He carries no malice toward me for running away No scent. but his intentions are not Never are clear. Tal-Jika was my destination, a message relayed through hushed voices and half-forgotten dreams. He wanted me there, and I finally submitted.

My arrival showed little promise in terms of enlightening me to my purpose. Soil is warm. Everything has burned. Unless my purpose was to rid the city of thieves and rapists Smoke fills nose. Only the smell of fire. Local politics did not concern me, but I figured I might be of some use to the injured regardless of their role in the city’s conflict. I set out into the streets to regain my bearings and Angel falling. Wings of fire. He found me. Him. Still awake, still human, he found me Scent of blood. Stronger. Blood grows stronger. Blood is stronger than charred earth. He chose the form of a raven Follow the small bird. Does not smell like bird. Old scent. but he never spoke. He always spoke Follow. Follow blood. Drip. Drip. Flowing through narrow halls. Drip. Drip. Through the walls. Drip. Drip. Drying up.

I found the young man Inside the walls. Pictures without meaning and smoke. More smoke. Incense fills nose. Only the smell of death. Scent of magic. Stronger. Magic grows stronger. Magic is stronger than death. Find the secret. He isn’t talking. He isn’t here. Not the bird. Old bird. Not Him. No sound. No talking. on a table in the shape of a Dragon dying. Living. He was alive Not first time. Drip. Drip. Old blood. Drip. Drip. Follow the bird. Drip. Drip. The streets are full. No people. No lights. Full of smoke. Full of blood. but it wasn’t Him.

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In the event of my death.

The following letter is carefully folded, sealed, and tucked into an inside pocket of Mariah’s greatcoat. It is dated the morning of her duel.

Cole & Sons Stables
12 Sagebrush Lane
Hart’s Falls, Trebarre

To my family,

I have no way of knowing what news will reach you. And whether that news reaches you through the Gazette or through neighborly gossip, I have no way of knowing how much of it is true.

Though I knew, when I left on my first training mission, that I would be risking my life, it pains me so much more to think that the circumstances of my death might bring my family trouble as well as sorrow.

The secrecy surrounding much of my work, and my desire to keep you all safe, prevents me from telling you everything in the frankest and most convincing terms. All that I can say is that from the start, I have obeyed my orders. In all things, personal and professional, I have considered my status as an officer of the Guild first and foremost. It may not make sense, but I hope you will believe me when I say that events have thrust me into situations where following orders has taken precedence over the preservation of my own interests and reputation.

Should you find it necessary to denounce me in some public manner, or express your shame and embarrassment at being related to me, my spirit will understand. Some of you will likely mean it, while others will give me the benefit of your faith. Regardless, I will not be here to suffer such a break, and truly, recognize the possible necessity.

My personal effects, such as they are, should reach you with or slightly after this letter. I bequeath my guns, one each, to the twins. Young as they are, James and Robert are the best marksmen among us, and I am proud to know that these pistols will be in their hands. Spare parts, as well as special instructions for producing ammunition and for the maintenance and repair of the pistols is also enclosed. My goggles go to Sally, in the hope that they will further her interest in teknomantics. I leave my books to Nan, and what little jewelry I own (the garnet earrings and the small silver bracelet) to Samantha’s girls. Kenneth is to have my chain shirt, for all that I’m sure you are still trying to talk him out of the army. For Theodore and his family, my traveling trunk. I remember how the children admired it, and rather like the idea of it full to bursting with children’s toys. For Mother and Father, my dress uniform. Should you have need of anything, I am owed a few favors here and there, and you should not hesitate to contact a Mr. Talian Sheppard, who I’ve entrusted to make all necessary arrangements.

My love to all of you, and to husbands, wives, nieces and nephews that I will not have occasion to meet. I carried you with me to the last, and the memory of home sustained my hopes when nothing else could. I wish you all prosperity and joy,

Your loving daughter/sister/aunt,
Mariah

Post-script – If it’s not too terrible to ask, name the next niece for me.

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A Little Time to Rest.

Lokital the Tenth, the Nine-Hundredth year of this particular era. Time flies.

  • self, sharp stabbing pain in left knee [spear, ’dyne, Tal-Jikan dyneworks, 30 Freijal / skirmish, Ant-Men, Chukos, 28 Rota / etc.]; rest, p.t. led by Doc M, hope for dry weather during combat scenarios
  • self, three bruised ribs [hostile gunfire, various, 30 Freijal]; rest
  • self, right shoulder dislocated [spear, ’dyne {same godsdamned model, producer must have it in for me}, Tal-Jikan gallows site, 30 Freijal]; got it back in place post-combat, rest, p.t. led by Doc M

(Here there is about half a page written in Arachos. There are lists of irregular verbs and their conjugations, a few moderately complex sentences demonstrating their use, and only a handful of grammatical errors.)

Though my time spent in the medical bay with Dr. Margot goes slowly enough. And pleasantly, for the most part. Can’t say I am a natural with the new tongue, but it’s about time I got around to learning it. Also affords me the chance for a refresher course in my basic first aid. How I went this long without needing to practice is something of a mystery, in retrospect; I suspect I owe that bit of fortune to the Dvrfs. Can also thank them for the fact that Dr. M’s ministrations over the past week haven’t needed to be v. intense. I’ve been banged up worse.

And as for objective #3 in my visits to the med-bay, am not at this point v. concerned. My gut tells me she was born with it, so not too likely to transform and kill us all if someone steps on her toe or bumps her in the mess’s chow line. Seems a v. nice girl, honestly.

  • duster, scorched/shot/stabbed all to pieces [godsdamn Tal-Jika]; bought myself a new one, fresh alchemical treatment smells like gob piss for a few days, but it fits nicely
  • AAPHC, pulling to the left v. slightly [out of practice with the big clumsy thing]; get out on deck and drill w/ it {best way to punch through ’dynes by far}
  • phosphorshot sidearm, arcantrik coils building up slight blockages [lack of use, last combat 13 Tyrnal]; get out on deck and drill w/ it, full component clean & reassembly
  • carbine, prac. godsdamnably useless w/r/t ‘dynes [well, obv.]; noted, don’t waste time in future
  • scattergun, breach-hinge still sticking [standard w&t, dropped it again]; another full component clean, hell if I know
  • repeater, clockwerk rotational mechanism operating roughly 90% effic. [v. slight metal warping, Lupus Draconis, 29 Freijal]; have replaced most crucial parts, need to procure a few at next port
  • repeater, ammo-velocity-enhancement plate emitting faint smell of cinnamon [unclear, slightly altered manif. of prev. phenom. first noted 17 Tyrnal]; no clue, but thus far non-critical
  • hatchet, blade dulled signif. [hostile C.P. rifle barrel, gallows site, 30 Freijal]; might be worth picking up a new one in Faros, enough bad associations w/ this one to begin with

Orrick Dar-Fel. Turns out our chief engineer sprung him. Don’t blame him whatsoever. Kid got worse from us than he deserved. And worse again from me. Can only hope he

(The end of the sentence has been attempted, and scratched out several times in frustration. There is a small tear and large ink-blot in the paper that would seem to have been created by a violently broken quill.)

Saving the worst for last. Therapeutic, to get it all down? Potentially. Likely enough not.

The man’s gone. Still don’t know his name, but there he was and now he’s gone yet again. Like a ghost, practically. Sam and I spent the better part of a week trying to hunt him down, and nothing. Sam’s been v. kind w/r/t my withholding reasons for search. Respectful. Granted, not sure how much of that is a result of him already knowing. Or thinking he knows. He’s cert. had ample opportunity to look in to my past. Can’t tell whether he would. At any rate, will need to let him in at some point. No reason not to. And he deserves it.

Honestly never thought I’d see the man again. Hardly thought about him. When I think of used to think of that night, he was a ghost. Blurry. A dark shape fleeing from the corners of my vision while Major Hargrave bled out in my arms. Damn it all. But there he was, only days ago. I don’t know if this changes anything. How/why would it? He’s always been a known factor. His role in it never misconstrued. Still. Questions once I reach Faros.

Oh, and C.O. appears to possess alias drawn from Shaan mythology. Also keeps Shaan diet. Also is alive. More questions.

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Captain's Private Log, 30 Freijal 900

30th Freijal 900

It seems a lot has happened in a very short while. I had feared our encounter with the Shard Haseth would be the end of this terrible experiment. How many ways could I possibly find to dash the hopes and dreams of so many young folk? Hundreds of souls, suppossedly in my care, all dreading my next incompetent order. Not that the lot of them seem too inclined towards dreaming, as it were. Seems CITADEL assignment is about as good for an airman’s career as getting hired to steal a giant vision-sapphire.

Where do I begin? Be it the reunification of my battered ships, not five days past? Relieving, but, no, too mundane. The centuries-old research facility floating uncharted, forgotten? Perhaps with the young girl we awoke, rescued inside—we call her Ze, she doesn’t, or can’t speak. Not that she knows any contemporary tongue… There? Touching, but no. Our arrival in Tal-Jika, then, with its empty docks and city strife? Closer. With my death?
Second time this week. The world has a strange sense of humor. Strange and cruel. First it was some undead horror, this time some sort of dragon-thing. Killed by fire. I’d be embarrassed if I weren’t petrified. And alive. That’s the confusing part. I was engulfed in flames. I remember feeling my skin roasting like an Astrum festival goose as the blast crawled over Sam’s giant-fox-transformation. Then nothing. That’s not entirely true. I saw … something. A tree, giant and central. It’s important, I think it may be connected to the-

Here begins a several paragraphs held together by hope alone. The lines have been violently scratched out, and excess ink has been used to further mar the manuscript.

And now I’ve got a Servant following me around, looking after my “health”, and damned sure that I’m crazy to boot. Thinks I took a nasty hit that bodged my brainpan a bit. Doesn’t speak a word of Chukosian. She’s a god-touched doctor. Just my luck! Strong as an ox. Not a bad thing, to be sure, but highly, highly surprising. Quite the indecisive lady, too. Can’t pin down her mind. One minute she wants nothing to do with me, with the life I lead, the next she’s following me, without question or comment. She’s got that drive. The kind G had when we met. Lacks her confidence, though. Still, she may prove useful, as long as she tends to the crew. Can’t risk myself. Don’t know what could happen. Haven’t died from bullet wounds yet, maybe I can’t…

The source, the reason of my return are still a mystery. I suspect it’ll stay that way for a good long while. “You’ve arrived too soon”. And then for Her to bring me back?! It doesn’t make any sense. My old body’s gone, too. No idea what that’s about…

Well, we’re off to go provide a distraction. Need to lure every godsdamned hired gun toward the armordyne facility so we can stop this execution. Either way this goes, we’ll have a different Tal-Jika to deal with in the morning. Hopefully it’ll be a grateful one that fixes my ship while we wait for more coal to arrive.

Gary’s joined us, for the time being. Seems he’s waiting for J to return. Could be quite a long time, I understand.

I’ve lost my hat. Burnt to ashes. I loved that hat! That hat brought me more women and better luck than any Resonant trick or charming word ever could. L would probably tell me it was just a hat, that I should buy another. Maybe. But I think it might also serve as a sign. I mean, not an actual sign, I’m not daft, but I mean to make it one. Time to move forward. Time for some change. Hells, I’ve accepted so much change thus far, I should learn fly with it. I’ve chosen to sail—it’s time to ride the winds a bit. Only this time, I’m not a cabin-boy. Time to play Captain.

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30 Freijal. Godsdamn.

Seems I only ever sit down to sketch out my notes when bone-tired. Isn’t even dark yet and I’m done for the day. In search of light reading, asked Md. Schule for access to the base’s stacks, particularly nat. sciences section. He acquiesced, despite terrified/nauseous reaction. Not that there’s anything worth reading in their library. They’ve got a copy of Deciduous Forysts of Thee Northyrn Isles that may literally be older than the 4th Republic.

Am apparently becoming a whiner. Worse things than being put up by a largely courteous naval power and invested for some reason with authority and respect by same. But, truly: sleuthing around a godsdamned Guild base all day to the purpose of what, precisely?

1) Securing repairs for a ship with which my future time spent may be distinctly limited. {does contract even hold, at this point? actual reason for assignment never clear; Capt. Riley always seemed clear point of interest}

2) Gaining the resounding personal satisfaction of ensuring that a nigh-legendary-hero-of-the-Guild-cum-firebug be (eventually) brought to “justice” in potentially lethal combat at the hands of a young girl. A young girl of whom I happen to have become a bit fond.

3) Learning that inter-Guild politics are potentially even more horrifyingly asinine than those of the Legio.

Should blot that out.

(A pencil sketch of a butterfly-shaped object. It appears to be made of lace.)

Nope. Hell with it. Anyone close enough to read my notes has got me anyway. That or they’re bleeding out on the floor. Ha ha. Not sure how I feel about my recently burgeoning sense of humour.

  • duster, charred [massive gout of flame, lupus draconis (?), Tal-Jikan docks]; probably should buy a new one
  • repeater, stock singed and a few clockwerk components melted slightly [Ibid.]; specialist parts purveyor req., potentially can be found here on Guild base
  • commanding officer, deceased [Ibid.]; moment of silence

Poor kid. I hope the girl’s alright. Sam will take care of her.

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