[OOC: Whoaaaa am I nervous about this, but if I don’t post it, I may never get up to courage to try and finish it.]
The sun had already crossed the sea’s horizon and blue dusk was following by the time Maxla had gotten the slightly damp tobacco roll to light.
Now it was a little orange dot, joining the yellow port lanterns’ glow reflecting off the water that moved below the docks–the usual crowds were contributing to the festive din in the town above.
She didn’t have anything against life on the sea, the slight goblin mused as she ambled on the weathered boards, but it had a way of boxing you in–by close quarters, timbered hulls, and ever present pungent sea air–that practically itched at her to find open ground to tread when the ship made landfall.
After all, to go to sea was to put your life on hold. It cut you off from signs of progress, the daily developments that built things like this hodgepodge of tinkerer’s creations now docking up around the South Seas with the conventional tradeships. Tinkerers had none of a shipwright’s respect for form, and despite this had managed to float a colorful array of vessals—even a few flying machines!
Maxla’s pace slowed as she marveled, but one gave her pause.
A dual-wingdeck flying machine—quite unlike the gyrocopters nearby—bobbed on the water, a pair of outriggers holding it lightly above the dark sea. It’s well polished metal and glass reflected the faint lights in the twilight, but it was a faded patch of paint behind the cockpit that drew her eye, an outline that seemed strangely familiar.
She was leaning in for a better look --when the smoldering tobacco roll was suddenly snatched out of her mouth.
"—a re you trying to send us all up with the PHLOGISTON? "
Startled, she instinctively her hands flew up, and stumbled back into a fighter’s step that faced the undisguised ire in the woman’s voice and–
The roll fell from the adjacent dock post, jammed there by a goblin suddenly faltering in their incensed lecture.
Curls of brass and eyes the color of freezing to death.
The kind you never forget.
“Epky?” Maxla whispered.
“Maxla?” She said softly, more to herself than anyone. Her hands had dropped to her side. Only now did Maxla see they were shaking. “You’ve been alive this whole time ?”