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Postapocalyptia | IC [Episode 2]

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Chedastan
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5626
Founded: Jul 25, 2013
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:30 pm

Lucius looked at Eira, then looked up at Mia. "Thank you, Mia, I can take care of myself! It'll be gone by morning." He said over to Mia, with obviously Eria hearing it too. He did meant the cross dammit! Were they honestly expecting him to still be walking like this by sunrise? Insulting even for his standards. Whatever, it's not like he could anything else on that matter, he just wanted the day to end finally. Maybe he should see if could find a beer in some cooler here, at least he could drink that.

Nicole was both oddly intrigued, and more concern after Eira brought up all her other personalities, well at least concern with the last one she mentioned. Before Nicole could even properly respond to all that, Eira had already left to get food. She would at least agree with her that she should probably have something too. Still though, she still felt a bit more unease now than before she had talked to them, and that probably wasn't good at all. Whatever it takes to get back home, she guess.

"C'mon, let's get something." Nicole said to Lucius who was just standing there, as she walked over to where the food was at.

"Alright fine, but only to get that drink. God." He walked over with her.
Last edited by Chedastan on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cerillium
Senior P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 12454
Founded: Oct 27, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cerillium » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:15 pm

The engineer's hooch in Mia's glass swirled as she peered at her "companions" over the container's brim. Lucius seemed offended. She wondered if his liver was still healthy. Oh, it had nothing to do with a concern over his drinking history. The organ would fetch a high price on the black market and, considering he seemed to have no concern about attracting attention by wearing blood (and thus making him the single suspect in every murder case regardless of whatever city or wadi they stopped it), it might be prudent to dispatch him in the dead of night rather than risk unwanted attention.

"A coma would be too kind," the tech-head mumbled in an undertone to Zed as she brought the glass to her lips.

She could already feel latent tendencies creeping into her brain. Sitting here would intensify them. Doing nothing meant the inability to keep them stifled - distraction was necessary, especially as she found eyes draw to the child. Specifically, the child's trachea. It was probably a lovely shade of pink, having not yet been corrupted by booze or tobacco. Her lungs would be pink, too. Mia had never dissected a human so young. It would take her an hour, perhaps. She was unaccustomed to working with organs so small. The best course of action was to smother her, naturally. No sense tainting tissues with toxins. In fact, the plate of veg would do nicely. Or some soggy bread. Just cram that shit up her nostrils and down her throat. Hell, push her head into the plate and hold it there and let the body thrash. Everyone stopped thrashing eventually.

"Ho'kay!" A resounding slap echoed around the motor pool and Mia embraced the sharp sting to her thigh. Her hand stung, too, but that was all the better. "I've had enough of this sitting around shit."

Mia gulped down the remnants in her glass. A shiver rippled her shoulders as the alcohol seared away another layer of cells on its journey down to her gut. "Doctor, we have two options: go to bed or get into trouble. Some people would rather get into trouble in bed, but I somehow don't think you'd be up for that. Unless you are, in which case, hey, let's go! But in the event you're not, how about we skip bed and get into trouble instead? I'm in the mood to hunt pigs. Dunno if they have any in the jungle here, so I'll hunt its equivalent. Want in?"

It was typical Mia rambling, the kind that pushed tendencies away rather than fully catering to them.




Max was a catnapper extraordinaire, usually getting by on 3-hour snippets, and he tended to sleep very lightly. Funny thing about quiet houses: you can hear mice farting between the walls. Likewise, you can overhear conversations. Max had overheard enough to give him cause to think as he lay beside Aubrey. It had been an interesting volley at first. Both sides had made good points. But it came to an end abruptly. Max heard the Tinkerer seek the couch and Esma seek her room. Good.

But why should that make him happy? He wouldn't kid himself over Temir. The man hadn't appreciated being kissed. Perfectly understandable. So what then-

Oh.

Ooooooh. 'Kay.

Now things were shifting in his brain. Max routinely blocked out attraction to women. It was a matter of self preservation. Mia would inevitably intrude and, more often than not, her assessment of the girl would ring true. There was nothing for it then, except to stock the freezer and visit the seedy markets in hope of making a fast buck. Mia wasn't here now and, damn, Esma was stunning. He had forced himself to not acknowledge it prior. There was little sense in becoming captivated by her glorious, dark locks or intelligent green eyes. Why fantasize about those perfect twin mounds sitting proudly upon her chest. Those were some very nice mounds. Very nice. They matched her perfect ass, and that was supported by long legs that-

Stupid Tinkerer.

Max was about to throw his blanket aside and visit the Rom in the hope that she'd be up for a glass of wine. Temir's footfalls in the hallway stayed his hand as well as wilted some parts of him that were in dire need of reigning in. He positively sulked when he heard knuckles upon Esma's door, but his mood shifted as he eavesdropped on their conversation.

Nightmare? The Rom was right. Nightmares shouldn't be mocked. Max sunk into a new conundrum, this one sans Rom. He wanted to wrap an arm around the Tinkerer and comfort him. Poor man, so far from home, and worried about being left behind! Balls. The Tinkerer had made it perfectly clear earlier that he wasn't up for affection from men. Who knew how he'd respond to another man coming to offer solace?

"Come, curl up here..."

You bitch. I saw him first!

No, wait.

You son of a bitch, she's mine.

No, wait.

Aw, screw this.

Max threw back his covers and fumbled for the half-glass of water beside his bed. It was the perfect excuse. If memory served, the bathroom was beyond the other bedroom's door. He'd just casually head that way, and perhaps maybe sorta stop to see if either of them needed anything while he was up.

He arrived at the other door and peered in to find stoic Temir fully clothed and the sexy kitten curled up in the crook of his arm. Electricity rippled down his spine as he caught her gentle murmurs regarding a machine's breath. Max smiled. They were a cute pair, and it was difficult to be jealous of that. He awkwardly cleared his throat to announce his intrusion.

"Ozone, Esma. It's formed from oxygen by electrical discharges," his smile broaden to expose his front teeth. "I don't think I've ever heard it described so poetically before."

Max was never one to beat around the bush, although he possessed more tact than his twin. He ran his fingers through is hair, pausing at the crown to give it a good scratch. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop on your conversation earlier. I mean to intrude now. You, Madam Rom, are not too opinionated. Mia is opinionated. And you, Mister Cultist, are adorable. And stubborn."

He lowered his arm and regarded the pair, his hair now mussed from his efforts to appear nonchalant. "I'm bored. And I'm lonely. Right, that said, I'll just be moving along."
Last edited by Cerillium on Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.

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Tiltjuice
Post Czar
 
Posts: 33947
Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:42 pm

Swith Witherward wrote:-snip-


"No, not so long..." Mathias sat himself down and breathed in the good air, filled with scents as it was. Smiles and laughter carried a heady sentiment and a dizzying array of bright colors, and he took refuge in routine. Shoes came off just so and exhaling happened just so. "I ran into Esma, and some other Vagabonds. The trip will probably take us on to Megalith, or parts unknown, in the next day or two."

He offered her a wan smile in return. "It's, er, very good to see you. As well. A lot has changed in Ticaret since I was last here."




Tiltjuice wrote:The long-ago and far-off voice of one of Calani's many instructors echoed in her mind. When brought forth and introduced by a scruffy-looking woman to a scruffier-looking man as a potential recruit, the man will frequently ask your name and your intentions. On this occasion, you are not to say that you are pregnant and both your conversational partners are the other parents due to an action of questionable ethics in a border village on the fringe of the Great Khan. Believe it or not, this has happened.

"My pleasure to meet you, Mr Clark; my name is Calani Marliten," she murmured, taking his hand and inclining slightly over it before letting go. "But I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage. I came across you with no other intentions than a stroll at night. It's pleasant weather in Ticaret tonight, and I would be silly not to take advantage of it. And you? You seem to have some sort of a meeting here. Judging by your fellow traveler there, you've run into a spot of trouble."


There was a pause.

"Perhaps you would feel more comfortable conversing over a meal? The grill is throwing off quite the aroma, and you must be hungry."

Without further delay, she turned and moved off in the direction of the others. Hovering by the grill, she waited, content to watch the others, especially the bloodsoaked one.
Last edited by Tiltjuice on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Highfort
Minister
 
Posts: 2869
Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:15 pm

Temir froze for a moment, considering whether the Kindred Spirit would find his current position with Esma acceptably platonic, before relaxing as he noted that his Goddess would not frown upon two people sharing warmth and companionship without lust. And as long as he kept his focus on her words and questions - which he was most pleased to answer - then he could keep his mind off of how her inhalation of breath sent tingling up his chest or how nice her hair felt splayed beneath his fingers as he idly smoothed a stray strand.

Before the tinkerer could answer and ward his mind from these impure thoughts, however, Max arrived to promptly fuck things up internally for the former clergyman.

The throat-clearing and sudden answer had Temir turning his head toward the door to note the burly man joining the duo. He wondered briefly if nightmares were perhaps contagious and the Kindred Spirit had seen fit to rewind Temir's tape and play it across the fluffy clouds of his sleeping fellows.

That was patently ridiculous, of course, but the train of thought kept him from hitching his breath when Esma began playing with his shirt, her fingers sending pleasant jolts wherever they brushed up against his skin.

"Adorable, perhaps, but most definitely stubborn," he offered a nervous smile as his brain flashed through the kiss from earlier in the day, "Evening, Max."

He paused as the more-sane brother of Mia made a show of moving along, before adding with a swallow, "You're more than welcome to stay and speak with us, tonight. I don't think any of us will be getting much sleep at all, to be frank."

As he awaited the mechanic's answer, his mind immediately danced back to Esma's earlier questions about the ship, desperate to keep him moving from topic to topic lest the platonic take a turn for the sinful, "The Great Khan's body can only accommodate so many of Her flock; the clergymen and higher-ranking mechanics have positions inside the ship. Unfortunately, her higher levels are occupied by the greedy bureaucrats and tycoons who rule over the city, but such compromises had to be made in order for our Cult to have access to Her Body. We hope one day that all the Kindred Spirit's children will have an opportunity to live, work, and worship within the Great Khan's venerated halls."

The words came out as a whirlwind and Temir felt his cheeks flush as the first pangs of lust fell over him. This was not going as planned, though he feared offending Esma if he tried to leave. Still, he was quickly approaching something highly immoral and his body tensed at the prospect.
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Cerillium
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Founded: Oct 27, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cerillium » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:28 pm

"S'truth," Max smiled and let himself in, bringing his water glass with him. Which side of the bed? This was a quandary. If he took the Tinkerer's, the man might feel uncomfortable. If he took the Rom's, the woman might think it a sexual advance. If he took the foot of the bed, they'd both be uncomfortable with him staring at them.

Heh. A few ribald thoughts involving both Rom and Tinkerer sprung to mind. Max's mother taught him better though, so he politely kept these to himself while claiming the free space beside the woman. The bed wasn't all that large and he was forced to make an Esma sandwich. Content with her rump against his thigh and Temir's elbow poking his ribs, he eased back to take note of the ceiling.

"Bureaucracy is the bane of existence," he said by way of joining the conversation. "They don't want to understand the Cult. They only want to benefit from its kindness."

He raised a brow at Temir. "They don't think the ship is a god. She's nothing but an object to them. Can't see her beauty. Her lines are good. Her purpose is good. Just needs love and elbow grease, and some old fashioned devotion and respect. Bureaucrats don't understand that. They don't appreciate the dedication behind technology. They don't even want to think about it. Just make it, make it work, and keep quiet when around them."

Max exhaled a long breath. Mate, you're sharing a bed with a Cultist and a Tengrist. Such are the hazards when trying to hook up with the religious. Best be frank regarding where I stand on the stuff. It's up to them to not judge me poorly.

"I'm atheist, though I don't begrudge anyone having their beliefs. I'm not going to mock either of you because of yours. They're meaningful to you. I respect that."

Hell, let's get naked. I'll show you how well I can worship.

Oh, I'm going to hell for that.

Max sipped his water and then closed his eyes. His Catholic mother would have latched onto his ear and hauled him from the bedroom, yes sir, with plenty of sermons awaiting him at her kitchen table.
Last edited by Cerillium on Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.

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Esternial
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Founded: May 09, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Postby Esternial » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:42 pm

Cerillium wrote:The engineer's hooch in Mia's glass swirled as she peered at her "companions" over the container's brim. Lucius seemed offended. She wondered if his liver was still healthy. Oh, it had nothing to do with a concern over his drinking history. The organ would fetch a high price on the black market and, considering he seemed to have no concern about attracting attention by wearing blood (and thus making him the single suspect in every murder case regardless of whatever city or wadi they stopped it), it might be prudent to dispatch him in the dead of night rather than risk unwanted attention.

"A coma would be too kind," the tech-head mumbled in an undertone to Zed as she brought the glass to her lips.

She could already feel latent tendencies creeping into her brain. Sitting here would intensify them. Doing nothing meant the inability to keep them stifled - distraction was necessary, especially as she found eyes draw to the child. Specifically, the child's trachea. It was probably a lovely shade of pink, having not yet been corrupted by booze or tobacco. Her lungs would be pink, too. Mia had never dissected a human so young. It would take her an hour, perhaps. She was unaccustomed to working with organs so small. The best course of action was to smother her, naturally. No sense tainting tissues with toxins. In fact, the plate of veg would do nicely. Or some soggy bread. Just cram that shit up her nostrils and down her throat. Hell, push her head into the plate and hold it there and let the body thrash. Everyone stopped thrashing eventually.

"Ho'kay!" A resounding slap echoed around the motor pool and Mia embraced the sharp sting to her thigh. Her hand stung, too, but that was all the better. "I've had enough of this sitting around shit."

Mia gulped down the remnants in her glass. A shiver rippled her shoulders as the alcohol seared away another layer of cells on its journey down to her gut. "Doctor, we have two options: go to bed or get into trouble. Some people would rather get into trouble in bed, but I somehow don't think you'd be up for that. Unless you are, in which case, hey, let's go! But in the event you're not, how about we skip bed and get into trouble instead? I'm in the mood to hunt pigs. Dunno if they have any in the jungle here, so I'll hunt its equivalent. Want in?"

It was typical Mia rambling, the kind that pushed tendencies away rather than fully catering to them.


Zed's eyes followed Mia's gaze, lingering on the child's neck. He didn't have to be a lunatic to know she wasn't appreciating Shimmer's youthful skin - but it certainly helped. He could never be sure about what she was thinking about, but he was close enough, and found his own thoughts drifting to the same. Mind muddled by the alcohol, Zed felt his impulses grown, seemingly in tandem with Mia's, until she managed snapped out of it. Zed wouldn't have. He didn't quite have as much restraint as Mia did, so it seemed. He blinked and sighed in relief, until he heard her suggestion. It was something he hadn't heard in a long, long time.

"Tough choice" Zed muttered in response, his speech vaguely slurred. The culmination of alcohol in his body was beginning to have its effects. He looked at Mia while he mulled over his decision.

Against all odds, Zed still had functional genitals. The science team wasn't quite interested enough to fiddle around with that, but it seemed Mia was. The alcohol had manifested his latent urges, and her suggestion seemed like a less harmful approach to relieving the tension that pressed down onto his shoulders, a heavy weight that tried to force his hand.

His thoughts shifted, away from the darkness lurking in the depths of his psyche, and tapped into a well that had seemed dry for so long. How long has it been since he had felt the touch of a woman, since he touched a woman with his own bare...hand? Suddenly, he felt something odd. He was no stranger to it - occasionally it would surface during a lengthy session of unsolicited 'surgery' - but rarely had it arisen under such ordinary circumstances. His eyes travelled from Mia's features toward his trousers, and then back at Mia.

"Huh. Kinky sex it is."

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Swith Witherward
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Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:05 pm

Esma blushed at Max's compliment. She hadn't intended to be poetic. His insistence that she wasn't too opinionated was met with a soft sigh. Oh, she was indeed too opinionated for her own good, and that fault might have caused Temir pain. Her head lifted to allow her to see Max a bit better in the scant light, and she seconded Temir's offer. "Mm hmm. Come on in."

Temir's reaction after that was puzzling, though. Usually paced in his explanations, he seemed to rattle off his reply more quickly than usual. Surely he wouldn't have invited Max if the man caused Temir to be uneasy. His breathing shifted, and she could feel his body tense next to hers. Her hand sought his chest once more, gingerly touching it to avoid aggravating his burns, and she pressed her cheek against him in an effort to perhaps alleviate his discomfort. It left her following her thoughts once more.

Most clergy or those claiming to belong to cults were like Wrothwild or that silly cultist back at the bar - wiry when not overly large from too many connived meals. Temir was different. She had been pleasantly surprised earlier to discover that his chest muscles reflected a lifetime of hard work. It was... nice.

Despite her best intentions for inviting him to share the bed, she found herself wondering if his entire body were marred by his forge. Her eyes focused on his hands and she noted the callouses adorning them. Rough, attractive hands. Hands that deserved to touch soft things now and then rather than always grasping tools or machines. How nice it would be to have those hands tenderly caress her-

"Oof!"

Max settled onto the bed, pressing her into Temir. His thigh came to rest against her rump and she purred laughter. How many more people could this poor bed hold? The tech-head settled himself and Esma adjusted to accommodate him better. "Thank you for understanding, Max," she murmured in reply to his statement.

His opinion on faith drove her naughty thoughts back although Esma felt her cheeks warm. Here was Temir's opposite, a man that refused to embrace anything spiritual. That was a pity. And yet they were both decent people, Temir and Max. One risked revealing his sexuality to spare another possible arrest. And the other held his wrath to spare the other man's feelings.

"Sexuality is the grandest gift Tengri - or any god - can bestow upon us, Temir. It would be sinful to deny the pleasures of it, and the most sincerest form of worship is to engage it in for the sake of sharing the gift."

The words haunted her especially now. Max could never fathom the depth of that worship, and Temir refused to engage in it. But, as she had also reminded herself earlier that day, she had no intention of destroying Temir's walk with the Kindred Spirit, nor would she seek to convert the tech-head now.

Pity, really. A romp would be fun.

Esma exhaled and forced herself to consider who she was sharing a bed with. Messrs Keep-It-Zipped and Bouncy-Respectful.






"Oh? I didn't realize Esma was back," Asli set a long-handled cezve on the burner, added a bit of water, and the sugar and coffee. "Megalith, eh? The thing never stays in one spot long enough for me to hazard the trip."

She watched the coffee slowly sink to the bottom, visually minding it as the water heated. "Some things around here have changed. A few crumbles meant we had to redo some tunnels. The markets have gotten bigger, and the lower prices reflect the influx of competition. The Healer's Guild is calling for more vaccinations to be brought in, still."

Naz grunted in agreement as she dropped a few sweet rolls onto a plate and set it on the table. "We could use those. Well, I can't stay. We have some more to do before we head out."

She lifted her son to her hip again, squatting slightly to plant a kiss on Mathias' cheek. "Take care of yourself. Don't be such a stranger!"

Asli nudged the rising foam with a spoon, gauging the tiny bubbles before deciding to give the mixture a good stir. The aroma rose into the air, filling the kitchen with the promise of a perfectly sweetened beverage. "I suppose you haven't missed the usual politics here. The elders still grumble, the youth is still restless, and everyone bitches about the tithes."

She poured the coffee and foam into small cups. These were set on the table and then Asli removed her apron and pulled up a chair.

She regarded the healer with her bright eyes, appreciating his ability to be at ease in her kitchen even after all these years. It was as though he had never left, at least from Asli's perspective. Forever an enigma, he was nonetheless a welcomed guest. She pulled her hair from her face before resting her elbows on the table. "What about you? What have you done these last five years?"
Last edited by Swith Witherward on Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Highfort
Minister
 
Posts: 2869
Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:12 pm

Temir's breath hitched in his throat as Esma ran her fingers over his chest - still tender from the healing burns that the doc in the clinic had treated earlier - and pressed her face against him. With Max now occupying the other side of the bed, sandwiching the desert guide between the two men, the tinkerer sensed that he was approaching dangerously-profane territory. He focused on Max's reply and attempted to give one of his own, pitiable as it was for a clergyman - even a former one - of his stature and learning. Anything to keep him off of the impure thoughts dancing at the edge of his mind would be key here.

"The Kindred Spirit insists that we as her followers do likewise," Temir gulped, attempting to modulate his voice even as his fingers went from gently rubbing Esma's shoulder to tracing the sun-burnt and wind-swept lines of her neck, "Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, so long as they are respectful to the Kindred Spirit. Disbelief is not a crime, only insult toward Her and attempts to stop Her Will can be considered truly profane."

And that was what he was doing right now, insulting Her. Not with his words, of course, but the Kindred Spirit was not a fan of people who merely paid her lip-service. Every touch of bare skin between him and Esma, even just the mere running of a finger over her innocent neck, of all places, was a sin in the making. He let out a deep sigh before turning to both of them, his gaze finally breaking from the doorway to actually view both of his evening companions.

It was a mistake, a grave error that the Kindred Spirit would punish him for many, many times over.

Perhaps it was the twilight of the evening or perhaps it was because he was seeking refuge from the thoughts which generated his nightmares, but Temir found both his comrades to be... almost irresistible. Almost. He raised his free hand, which had been propping him up to spare his injured back, to brush a lock of hair from Esma's face. The hand that graced her neck - attached to the arm whose elbow was currently up against Max's chest.

His face flushed and he was suddenly very unhappy that he had removed his mask and left it in the living room with his walking stick and supplies. Without the thin, tight fabric to hide behind, they could see him.

She could see him.

"I-I-I," Temir's voice was small and filled with tremors of uncertainty, "I'm... not... so sure about this. I think... we should..."

He jerked back as though too much contact would burn him and promptly ran a hand over Max's midsection, the free hand that had innocently pushed back a bit of hair brushing against Esma's chest before he could recoil both of them back to him with shame.

"I should... probably go," he sat up in the bed stiffly before offering a morose look to both of them, "I'm... sorry."
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Tiltjuice
Post Czar
 
Posts: 33947
Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:13 pm

Swith Witherward wrote:"Oh? I didn't realize Esma was back," Asli set a long-handled cezve on the burner, added a bit of water, and the sugar and coffee. "Megalith, eh? The thing never stays in one spot long enough for me to hazard the trip."

She watched the coffee slowly sink to the bottom, visually minding it as the water heated. "Some things around here have changed. A few crumbles meant we had to redo some tunnels. The markets have gotten bigger, and the lower prices reflect the influx of competition. The Healer's Guild is calling for more vaccinations to be brought in, still."

Naz grunted in agreement as she dropped a few sweet rolls onto a plate and set it on the table. "We could use those. Well, I can't stay. We have some more to do before we head out."

She lifted her son to her hip again, squatting slightly to plant a kiss on Mathias' cheek. "Take care of yourself. Don't be such a stranger!"

Asli nudged the rising foam with a spoon, gauging the tiny bubbles before deciding to give the mixture a good stir. The aroma rose into the air, filling the kitchen with the promise of a perfectly sweetened beverage. "I suppose you haven't missed the usual politics here. The elders still grumble, the youth is still restless, and everyone bitches about the tithes."

She poured the coffee and foam into small cups. These were set on the table and then Asli removed her apron and pulled up a chair.

She regarded the healer with her bright eyes, appreciating his ability to be at ease in her kitchen even after all these years. It was as though he had never left, at least from Asli's perspective. Forever an enigma, he was nonetheless a welcomed guest. She pulled her hair from her face before resting her elbows on the table. "What about you? What have you done these last five years?"


Mathias waved at Naz and Emin, and then turned again to Asli. Long legs were awkward in smaller spaces, so he tucked them under his own chair. Powder-softened hands wrapped around the cup, nearly hiding it from view.

"Politics, where the old collect tax and the young pay it?" The old mockery fell with considerably less cynicism, both from its age and its easily-smiling speaker. "Two years of school, and three years of collecting plant parts from the Great Khan. The metalworkers in the bigger villages must know me by name, after the many times I fell asleep on my glasses and bent the frames." He smiled ruefully. "And the nomadic tribes are interesting sorts. I spent time with three of them: one group of salt miners and two of herders. All three ate well, although I admit the brined jelly bladder stew took some getting used to. It was a quick and dirty process - the delicacy of the salt miners."

The naturopath tipped a what can you do? shrug to his friend as he took a sip of the coffee. It, too, brought memories back that were as rich as the brew itself. He circled the cup for a moment, watching the coffee ripple slightly.

"They balanced it well, though; they made sure to squeeze out all the stored water, and used it to make a sweet potato jelly. The same one I let Emin sample, actually. Not a very fierce people, but hardy all the same. Doing very well for themselves too, trading salt to other nomads for preserving food."
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Discrimination is unworthy. | Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. -Khalil Gibran

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Swith Witherward
Senior P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 30302
Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:15 pm

Temir's movement caught Esma by surprise, so suddenly did he jerk away. Completely relaxed by his touch just moments prior, she slipped from his chest and arm like a rag doll, and her head struck the headboard. She winced away the sudden explosion of stars, and pressed her hand against the stinging tissue.

"Tengri's ears, Temir!" she blinked away the tears that sprung to her eyes as she sat up next to him. Fuck, it hurt. She withdrew her hand and noted the reddish tinge to her fingertips.

Her cheeks puffed as she exhaled a long breath. It was entirely possible that their proximity, or perhaps Max joining them, had given him reason to pull away. Green eyes bore into his, though there wasn't any anger in her expression as she held his gaze. "Now, I know you're all about the Kindred Spirit. But this is a Rom house and, in a Rom house, it isn't uncommon for people to spend long hours relaxing beside each other while engaged in theological or philosophical debates. If my culture offends you, speak plainly. No one has attempted to stop the Kindred Spirit's will or hurled insult towards her."

She broke eye contact, seeking to look anywhere but at him, but finding herself staring at trembling hands resting in her lap and at her own stained fingertips. Her brows knit together. "You hurt my feelings, not that it matters come the dawn - Tengri forgives and so must I. But you should know that I have no intention of destroying your walk with your Kindred Spirit, if that's what you're thinking, regardless of how attractive I find you. And Max is just sitting here, not even next to you, if you're worried about him hitting on you. And-"

The brows furrowed more tightly and she hiccuped despite her determination to appear calm. "-Would someone please get me a rag from the bathroom before I bleed on the pillows and spread. I' suck when it comes to domestic crap, and it took me uncountable hours at the loom to weave this stuff."
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Cylarn
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:10 pm

Willis gave a curt nod to Calani, and took a seat next to her at the fire. The desert air was cool, but the grill was hot, smoke and heat emanating from the hell created by burning coals. It was quaint, though Willis was not pleased that half of the group was nowhere to be found. If they were going to be traipsing into combat together, they at least needed to get to know one another better. Zed and Mia had the right idea, though Willis was not fond of the idea of sex between the crew members. Back in the day, he was a conservative-minded fellow, and despite having many opportunities to romp with many UNSEC women, he resisted the temptation.

Sex brought two things: attachment and drama. The enlisted all fucked each other constantly, with man-on-woman, man-on-man, woman-on-woman, and the like. Drama ensued about who was fucking who, and that killed unit cohesion when everyone in the unit was pissed off at everyone else for fucking the person that they were fucking. Attachment was another issue, one that instead evoked depression when something bad happened. He could recall Russ Gellar's bout with attachment, when the bombshell Latina officer he was fucking was later killed in action. He was depressed after that for a time, and that hurt the unit as a result. Willis had a few girlfriends here and there, but never anyone that he served with. Sex and work were never a good mixture.

Alas, this unit was different. Mercenaries and Vagabonds were much harder to control. Tell a soldier to do something, and they'd do it without question. Tell a free spirit to do something, and you'd either end up with a bullet in your gut or a hardy "fuck you." Willis was also a bit of a hypocrite, when he thought about it. He had worked with someone back at APE that he was fucking, after all.

He extinguished his thoughts, and then turned his attention back to Calani. She was gorgeous, and perhaps he needed a quick lay. Perhaps he needed to tell his baser thoughts to fuck off. He made eye contact, and gave her a slight smile.

"So, Miss Martilen," Willis began. "I can tell by the state of your clothes and the care that you have given to your appearance, that you're a civilized woman in uncivilized parts. If I had to guess off the top of my head, I'd have to guess that you were a Consort. Am I right, or am I wrong?"
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Tiltjuice
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:53 pm

Cylarn wrote:"So, Miss Martilen," Willis began. "I can tell by the state of your clothes and the care that you have given to your appearance, that you're a civilized woman in uncivilized parts. If I had to guess off the top of my head, I'd have to guess that you were a Consort. Am I right, or am I wrong?"


Calani lifted her gaze slightly, impressed by Willis' restraint. The rough-looking older man seemed to be at home in the 'uncivilized parts' of his description. He struck her as a little dismissive, but that could have been from any number of things. Consorts saw distaste for their work, love-shyness, insecurity... demons of every form and fashion. Prejudging was wasteful, and in honesty hypocritical of her, given the moralistic crusaders who, from time to time, spoke out against the flesh trade. The Lodge, being what it was, generally ignored the protests, which were few and far between in any case.

"Marliten," she corrected lightly before answering his question with a nod of acknowledgment for his smile. "I am, and I was traveling to meet a new client. My transportation dropped me off here in Ticaret as they were headed in a different direction. And yourself? What brings you here, Mister Clark?"
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Cerillium
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Founded: Oct 27, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cerillium » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:43 pm

The Rom's murmured gratitude warmed Max's heart. Wasn't often he encountered polite religious. Most were out for his soul. The rest wanted his money. This pair broke the mold. Fuck it. They weren't religious. They were faithful followers. Big difference in Max's book.

"No trouble at all."

He considered rolling onto his side to spoon Esma. Well, no. It didn't count as spooning if some guy's arm was between him and her back. The tech-head adjusted a pillow behind him instead and then allowed his gaze to wander.

The light on the box beyond cast the Tinkerer's profile in silhouette. Nice lines. Cute ears. Not that the ears were in profile. Max had noticed them earlier. He preferred Esma's nose to Temir's. Her face was more exotic although that was probably due to her pure lineage. She was magnificently Romani. Er Turkish Romani? Lot's of that culture's influence in the Oasis.

He decided to ask her about it but all that came out was a low yawn that fluttered a few dark hair strands on the back of Esma's head. Damn fatigue, and they had to train tomorrow!

Temir's voice lulled him. I'll close my eyes for a moment, he thought. But they didn't open again. Max had fallen asleep. He might have remained so had Temir not freaked out like a frightened bunny caught in a snare. The Tinkerer yanked his arm away, Esma's head struck the headboard, and Max -- poor, sleepy Max -- attempted to vault out of bed. His leg caught in a blanket, spilling him onto the hard floor.

"Tengri's ears, Temir!"

The tech-head righted himself in time to note the wincing Rom's words.

Okay, it was true. Max had "just been sitting there". Technically, asleep. It was equally true that he would have enjoyed curling up with either of them. And it was very, very true that he would have eagerly requested a roll in the sack if Temir wasn't present. Or if Esma wasn't present. But he had his principles! He had his scruples! He had a loose front tooth now. Goddamnit.

Max pulled off his shirt in order to wad it up. He offered it to Esma to stem the flow. "Don't worry about the fabric. Blood washes out, trust me."

His eyes roamed between Rom and Cultist. What the fuck had transpired? How long was he out? He could have sworn it had only been for a minute. How the fuck can anyone get up to something randy in under a minute? What the hell?

Seeking to excuse himself lest he be somehow incriminated, he shuffled towards the door. "Ice would be better. I'll make up a cold compact."



Mmm, salute! You'd have to be blind in order to not notice the flattering gesture on behalf of Zed's parts. Mia fully expected him to opt to hunt pigs. Apparently he was up for spearing something better. She was more than happy to oblige.

A small, naughty part of her wanted to ask him to leave his gas mask and boots on. She shooed the notion away. His state of undress was his choice. The mask might cover a hideously scarred face not even a mother could love. The very thought of it fluttered her belly and pleasantly tingled her southern parts.

Mia's finger alighted on Zed's jacket lapel, and her lips curled into an alluring smile as she traced its outline. "Follow me," she murmured in a husky tone.

Hotels were nasty. The Bastard was nice and clean. What better place to use? It had cots. It had flat surfaces. It had a slab. It was soundproof and had good shocks. She unlocked the rear door and stepped inside, grateful that she'd showered the day prior. A girl has her pride, you know.

Her nimble fingertips danced along her shirt buttons, leisurely undoing them one at a time in order to shrug the garment from her shoulders. Some equipment remained running, their gauges and screens casting the workshop in a feint blue light. Zed was treated to a glimpse of it dancing along her bare back before she turned to offer a view of her firm assets. The woman crinkled her nose and curled a finger to beckon him inside.

"Where would you care to start, Doctor?"
Last edited by Cerillium on Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Highfort
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:42 am

"I'm so, so sorry!" Temir cringed as he watched Esma touch fingertips to her head, the red color that stained them confirming that he'd hurt her in some manner, "That's n-n-not what I meant at all! Oh, Spirit, this isn't what I meant at all. I'm so sorry."

Mumbling replies as he backed toward the door, Temir ran toward the bathroom at the end of the hall before returning with the desired rag, bumping into Max on the way back into the room as the mechanic went to retrieve ice for Esma's wound. The tinkerer was distraught - there was no way Esma had his back now. Even if Tengri ordered that she forgive him, he doubted that the aforementioned god's blessings would be so generous as to extend to her treatment of him on the battlefield. Running over with the cloth - and nearly slipping on the carpet before landing in front of her on the bed, rocking the mattress in the process.

Offering the slightly damp cloth - he had enough foresight to run cool water over it, though obviously not enough to prevent such a mishap - Temir dabbed it on the tender and bleeding portion of Esma's head with shaking fingers.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, please forgive me, Esma. Spirit, forgive me. I have sinned," he muttered this over and over to himself as though to find repose in the chant even as his unsteady hands continued to lightly press on the cut area to dab away the slow trickle of blood, "I have sinned; I am unworthy. I have sinned; I am unworthy."

Even now, he could feel stirrings within him. Not only was that wholly inappropriate given his vocation but - Spirit forgive him - it was Spirit-damned inappropriate given the situation that was occurring right now. The tinkerer had just harmed the desert guide and NOW suddenly his body decided it would be a good time to alert her to the impure thoughts he could not suppress? Surely, by now, the Kindred Spirit was preparing for him a proper ticket to abandonment and damnation.

"I have abused your hospitality, Esma," he paused in his vigilant dabbing of the cloth to fold it inside-out, so that the clean portion would now be exposed and the wound kept free of dirt, "I'm so sorry. You don't deserve this. I... I shouldn't have come in. It was a mistake."

One of the hands holding the cloth firmly fell away from it, allowing the cloth to dangle in the other even as the dabbed, and gently caressed the cheek which lay below the marred part of her head, "I'll be out of your way after Max is back with that compress and this stops bleeding so badly. I'm sorry, again. I've failed you and I've failed the Kindred Spirit."
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Monfrox
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Monfrox » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:59 am

Orera had reluctantly agreed to bunk with Willis before he left. She had to learn to trust strangers now, and she trusted him not to take her in the middle of the night the same way he was trusting her not to slit his throat open. Still, she walked with him over to the rig and let him go on ahead. She was still trying to shift back into her normal day-to-day attitude, but being dressed like she was wasn't helping. She pulled her mask off and let the hot air vent out from her collar while keeping her hand around her neck. Her back propped itself up against one of the rig's many wheels as she took her pack off and set it beside her. People came, and people went, and still she sat there, entirely preoccupied with trying not to overheat in her uniform. Flashes of her past crept to the surface, but she quelled those memories. They would haunt her in the night, but she would control them in the day.
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Swith Witherward
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Posts: 30302
Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:18 pm

"Accident hap-"

But he was gone, and Esma wondered if he'd fled entirely. Gone, too was Max. The Rom shook her head and considered going lesbian despite her natural orientation. Less stressful, perhaps; she couldn't figure out men even if her life depended upon it.

Esma drew her legs up to prop her elbows on her knees. What in forty hells was wrong with Temir? The question went unanswered, and her head dropped forward to come to rest upon crossed arms. Guilt plucked soulful notes on her heartstrings. The poor man. If he bolted from the apartment, he might get lost among the hallways leading to residencies. The signs, although brightly painted and illuminated, were all in Turkish. She had just made up her mind to follow him when footfalls and a rough jostle to the mattress cause her head to lift. Temir had returned.

The rag's cool water damped her hair and spread itself across her scalp. Her nerves had numbed somewhat as a natural coping mechanism but now they sparked anew as the rag took on a pink tinge. She didn't protest. A little pain was necessary.

His doleful words become a sad litany that drew the blame squarely upon himself. True, it was his fault because he bolted, but he hadn't committed a sin. The sound of his chant nearly brought tears to her eyes. Esma hiccuped and swallowed back emotion. She had vowed to not force her opinion on him and his beliefs but, really, this was a bit much to handle!

You haven't abused my hospitality, she wanted to snatch onto his shirt and shake loose the foothold guilt had on him, you came in because you had a nightmare, and that isn't a sin!

The words never left her mouth. Her thoughts briefly vanished as his rough hand caressed her cheek. Despite his guilt, and despite his discomfort, he sought to comfort her. Esma gulped and forced herself to ignore the internal flutter that heralded arousal. Soft eyelashes lowered a curtain to obscure her view as her head tilted, an involuntary response to his touch that pushed her cheek against his hand and elicited a soft moan. But no, this was a bad idea. Much like her vow to withhold her opinion, she had sworn to not lead him astray on his path.

She lifted her eyes and peered into his own. Her dilated pupils were captured by irises embodying of the ring of vegetation surrounding Ticaret itself, a place that offered respite to the weary traveler. These were the eyes of a woman that appeared to have witnessed a lifetime, though in reality she had only seen a fraction. Esma sighed and gently captured his hand between her own.

The noisome opinions rose again, a bevy of thoughts bubbling in her emotional simmering pot. She opened her mouth to speak them all but only a single one managed to tumble from her lips.

"Please... don't go."
Last edited by Swith Witherward on Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Swith Witherward
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:19 pm

Every-quirky Mathias! Asli suppressed a chuckle as a fond memory or two of his eyeglasses escapades emerged. It was hard to believe so much time has passed, and that he'd done so much during that time while she had accomplished very little other than her work. He was the desert wind that eroded the rock, constantly striving to meet his goals. One couldn't watch the process unless they had patience and time, but the results were manifest in canyons and sculpted rock formations. Mathias had his canyon, and it was filled with... sweet potato jam?

What an enigma, this naturopathic man and his ways. Asli herself wasn't too good with riddles, preferring instead to work her loom or play the bağlama.

"There's something I've always wanted to ask you." The words were hesitant. After all, it was rude to pry. "What is the significance of tubers? Potatoes, sweet potatoes. The jam will be useful to caravans, I imagine, and you'll find a way to pack even more goodness into it. A nutritious food source. But you always had a thing for potatoes. How come?"

'A thing' was putting it mildly. His zeal was seemingly steeped in reverence of something he thought divine. Asli, amused by the notion of a potato cult, smiled as she considered a lifetime singularly dedicated towards worshiping the spud.
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Highfort
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Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:19 am

"Please... don't go."

Temir's fingers felt warm and protected as Esma closed her own hand around his, and they continued their journey down her cheek at a more leisurely pace, gently cupping her chin as he removed the cloth and turned it over once more, setting it aside as the bleeding had stopped. The ugly wound that he had unintentionally inflicted upon her was now slowly scabbing over and the pain would be dulling.

Those words, though. Those were the problem now.

But why were they a problem? The Kindred Spirit may have forbidden distractions from Her Will but she did not forbid respites. Even the most devoted servant needed time to regain his strength.

Even the mythical Sisyphus of Greek legend - a man whose eternal curse to roll the boulder up the slope had been co-opted by the Cult as an admirable tale of human tenacity in the face of bleak odds - even he had to rest. Even his boulder had to pause on the slope to let his weary muscles lie for a moment.

Resting was not a sin.

There was nothing to say. The tinkerer was afraid that any sort of word in this moment would break the magic and remind the both of them just what was happening. It would ruin his rest. He gazed into her eyes and leaned forward.

A hug.

The embrace was not one of lust or of love or even of forgiveness, but of friendship. He rested his head on her shoulder as his arms tightly gripped her back and he shared with her the warmth of the evening. He let out a coarse groan as the heat that passed between them quickly devolved his moment of rest from friendship to something less savory and altogether reprehensible entirely. The fires of lust that he'd attempted to keep veiled beneath the surface were threatening to rise.

Friendship was collapsing. A friend would have pulled away by now, and he did. But only to adjust himself so he could recapture her in another way.

It would only later occur to him that that moment was the first time he'd ever initiated a kiss with another person. Chapped lips gently brushed against the cheek beneath the reddened, injured forehead and he let himself have that moment before, oddly, indulging himself in another.

The tongue which had commanded many glorious deeds in Her name and from which many sermons had been delivered to save the Spirit's children from the fires of damnation, snaked out to lick her cheek. She was salty and had a faint taste of sand - not unexpected for a woman who spent all her time in the desert tracking down lost children and leading caravans.

She was delicious.

He needed more. Warning bells clanged at the back of his mind but his moment of rest had claimed him. If she was so willing, he would not be averse to what his non-Cult friends referred to as "romps".

"Esma," his voice came out far softer than he'd expected, for Temir's notion of romance had come from watching the frowned-upon movies of Terra, films which graced the world of love and lust with fantasies larger than life and with voices huskier than his own, "I... Need... Something... Do you mind if... We... I..."

Fumbling over the words, his brain went on full autopilot and insisted that he show rather than tell. Remembering that, in many of those grainy films, the star would often impress his emotions upon the lead woman with a kiss, he imitated.

Cocking his head slightly, as they always did in the films to avoid bumping noses, he pulled back from her cheek and allowed his warm breath to settle upon her lips before closing the gap between them, capturing her and damning himself.

For he who loves another more than the Spirit is a traitor / And he who loves the Spirit more than any other is lonely / So the test is decreed that one should accept loneliness / For to be alone is to suffer / To suffer is divine
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Swith Witherward
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Posts: 30302
Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:00 pm

The silence hanging between them left Esma's mind time to chastise her. Why had she asked him to stay? Was it concern for his safety if he left, or was there something more?

Of course there was more. She wouldn't kid herself. Temir was different. He was intelligent and thoughtful rather than shrewd, and carried himself with a quiet grace - a far cry from the Rom men and their traditional ways. He didn't seek glory or fame. He only sought to propagate the Kindred Spirit's will. His touch was gentle, a tender caress to her cheek and chin that sent blissful shivers down her spine. And there she was, selfishly asking him to stay. She had no right to infringe upon his walk.

Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of sacred Tengri whose ways you may not understand at the time.

He drew her into an embrace, not that she protested. This was different though. His hands didn't grope at her spine to seek her shirt's hem. It was sweetly platonic, melting her heart with it's simplicity. She sighed as his stubble brushed against her neck. Temir harbored no ill will towards her. Esma smiled as she wrapped her arms around him.

He was the one to break contact first, and she expected him to make apologies and beg her pardon to leave. She'd let him, if that's what it took to keep him on his path. She had promised herself, and Esma never broke her word.

The lips brushing her cheek sent her inwardly spiraling. All the world seemed to rush in and then fade away as her body focused on his touch. Nothing existed until he hands alighted upon it, as if his touch was shaping her into existence one tender breath at a time. Her fingertips sought his chest, alighting to explore the contours of his muscles before trailing upward to seek a neck shaped by decades of labor.

You swore you wouldn't. It isn't your place to test his resolve.

Rejoice, for your body was formed by Tengri, and all your senses, and all your thoughts, that you may fully experience the world he crafted.

His breath, sweetened by the meal and wine, alighted on her. A fresh longing filled her as she watched his lips form words; he was asking permission. Asking. It was endearing. It was arousing, and drove away common sense. He was much too close. She returned his kiss with equal passion. Nothing mattered now except that he fulfill the desires he had caused within her, and her lips left his in order to travel down his neck to indicate her willingness as she relished the salty taste of his skin. There wasn't any reason to feel guilt. Tengri intended for love to be shared.

Tengri intends only goodness. The testing of faith produces steadfastness. It is the crucible by which devotion is tested, that you may emerge renewed and complete as Tengri intends. But be warned: It is easy to led others astray when they are broken. To cast them into the crucible is to cast yourself alongside them.

You vowed. It is Romanipen.

Esma's progress stopped at Temir's adam's apple, and she lifted her head to take in his beautiful eyes. Her palms captured his face, delighting once more in the texture of his skin. The look she gave carried an intensity about it, but this washed away as she imparted one final, tender kiss upon his lips. Her body, which only moments before had been tensed in anticipation of sex, relaxed. She pressed her forehead to his.

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial for, when he emerges pure from the crucible, he will receive all the blessings in store for him. Rejoice then in the testing, and be not ashamed of stumbles along the way."

The words were a resigned sigh. Her fingertips stroked his cheek, reassuring him that she wasn't offended. She hid her disappointment well, or so she hoped.

Esma pulled away, although a hand remained to cradle his jaw. "Temir, you matter to me. Very few people do. It is more important to me that you stay strong in your faith. If you decide to walk away from the Kindred Spirit and her tenets, let it be for logical reasons rather than the foolish desires of a stupid gypsy girl. Please, don't let tonight become an awkward thorn between us."

Her fingers savored his skin's warmth a final time and then slipped away. "I'm not worthy of someone like you. You deserve someone more pure."

Esma rose from the bed and pulled a shawl from a nearby chair, wrapping the knitted fabric around her shoulders. Her arms crossed, a self-hug to ward off her sorrow. "Please, sleep here. The bed is comfortable. I... I want to watch the sunrise and meditate on my god."
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Cerillium
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Posts: 12454
Founded: Oct 27, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cerillium » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:46 pm

Max sat on the bed next to Aubrey, the cold compress forgotten by Esma's bedroom door. He wouldn't interrupt them, nor would he intrude on their frolic. Hell, they were good people. They didn't need him getting in the way.

He pressed his hands together, cracking his knuckles one at a time to better appreciate the satisfactory noise and momentary relief to the joints. It wasn't as if he could go anywhere. All the signs were in a foreign language and none of them seemed to state "exit". Aubrey's rhythmic snore filled the tiny bedroom and Max closed his eyes and imagined it was the Tinkerer's. Nice thought. Very tranquilizing. Did the Rom snore as well? Max would have been delighted to find out.

Bah. He was a third wheel. The cultist probably stuck to traditional values. Roms? Well, they were a funny people. Lots of wives belonging to one or two men. Might have been able to make it work, yes sir, except Temir recoiled from him like a critter trapped in a snare. So, here was Max the Outcast. Wasn't his place to intrude. Temir had seen Esma first.

Technically, he'd kissed Temir first, so that counted as good cred in the grand scheme of things.

His thoughts turned to his sister. He hadn't heard from her in hours. Either she was asleep or researching. At least, that's what he hoped. His pet peeve was boarding the rig after a night away to find that she'd been trawling the black market in search of body farm contracts. Or, worse, he'd return to find the hooks and slab had been put to good use. Goddamnit, Mia.

Esma's voice fluttered down the hall and Max perked his ears. Were they done? No. Instead, she was making excuses, telling Temir she wasn't worthy of him and labeling herself a stupid gypsy girl. It cut Max to the core. Girls only said this shit for two reasons, and Temir and Esma's embrace ruled out the "I'm not interested in you" factor. Nope, she was saying this shit to mask her pain. Why did women engage in this sort of self-flagellation?

He pressed the heel of his hand against his forehead and applied pressure to break up the cramping facial muscles and then, with respect to her wishes to be alone, he laid down beside Aubrey.
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There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.

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Tiltjuice
Post Czar
 
Posts: 33947
Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:40 pm

Swith Witherward wrote:Every-quirky Mathias! Asli suppressed a chuckle as a fond memory or two of his eyeglasses escapades emerged. It was hard to believe so much time has passed, and that he'd done so much during that time while she had accomplished very little other than her work. He was the desert wind that eroded the rock, constantly striving to meet his goals. One couldn't watch the process unless they had patience and time, but the results were manifest in canyons and sculpted rock formations. Mathias had his canyon, and it was filled with... sweet potato jam?

What an enigma, this naturopathic man and his ways. Asli herself wasn't too good with riddles, preferring instead to work her loom or play the bağlama.

"There's something I've always wanted to ask you." The words were hesitant. After all, it was rude to pry. "What is the significance of tubers? Potatoes, sweet potatoes. The jam will be useful to caravans, I imagine, and you'll find a way to pack even more goodness into it. A nutritious food source. But you always had a thing for potatoes. How come?"

'A thing' was putting it mildly. His zeal was seemingly steeped in reverence of something he thought divine. Asli, amused by the notion of a potato cult, smiled as she considered a lifetime singularly dedicated towards worshiping the spud.


Mathias paused for a moment. Were things genuinely so unstraightforward about him? He saw himself ultimately as simple, quiet and temperate. But each saw him in a different way, and there was no point in provoking confrontation or complication.

"It's very simple," he said only, and leaned across the table, rising slightly from his chair, to murmur a few words into her ear in the manner of raindrops hitting, and blending into, a garden pond. When he pulled back, he was smiling relaxedly again.

"Does it make sense now?"
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Discrimination is unworthy. | Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. -Khalil Gibran

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Swith Witherward
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Posts: 30302
Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:37 pm

Asli's brow furrowed as Mathias whispered, but the intense concentration captured by her facial features soon gave way to a quirky smile. Not only did the explanation make sense, but it also fit his approach to nature. Uncluttered but conventional. The Rom nodded in approval.

"I suppose you'll leave soon?" she asked as he settled into his chair again. "But you can't without something good to take along."

A quick rummage through the pantry produced hard cheese, flat bread and some honey. She added these to an old flour sack, but her eyes were drawn to the bin by the door. Sure, why not? Asli tossed in a few potatoes from the communal garden, then brought the sack to the table and placed it in front of him.

"You can't leave yet," she insisted, "Not when there's a lovely night outside and gardens to walk through. If you don't mind, I'd really enjoy walking them with you."
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Highfort
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Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:29 am

Temir let out an involuntary whine as Esma stopped her pleasant journey downward, the annoying noise muffled as she recaptured his lips. The desert guide's pulling away confused him and he feared for a moment that he'd made a grave, irreversible mistake.

Well, he had. He just hadn't acknowledged it until now. The Kindred Spirit would not look kindly upon his actions.

As their foreheads came together, the tinkerer closed his eyes and savored Esma's warm breath passing over his lips as she spoke.

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial for, when he emerges pure from the crucible, he will receive all the blessings in store for him. Rejoice then in the testing, and be not ashamed of stumbles along the way."

His cheeks colored with shame. The guide who he had intended to enlighten on the Way of the Kindred Spirit had been the one to stop the proceedings. She had done the right thing in the face of his temptation. The hand running over his jaw did little to comfort him as he returned to his senses and realized what a wanton sin he'd just committed. His fellow clergyman would be ashamed of him - nay, they would be decrying him from the pulpits if they knew of his evening transgressions.

Esma's explanation only caused him to sink further. She had stopped the proceedings for him. Not because she wasn't enjoying them or because she felt the need to torture him but because she cared about him. The notion that she could so perfectly embody the selflessness of the exemplars of the Kindred Spirit was nothing short of a miracle. She wasn't even an acolyte; here he was, having just hung up his holy orders, and he'd already slipped into selfishness and the wanton desires of the common people.

"I'm not worthy of someone like you. You deserve someone more pure."

He turned to her with a hard look as she left the bed to wrap herself so she could go out on the balcony and witness the rebirth of the harsh sun that baked the deserts of Rigel-III during the day.

The offer to sleep in the bed where he had nearly thrown away his faith and where she had saved him was unacceptable. He needed to get away from this - from whatever it was about her that intoxicated him and set his heart ablaze.

"Thank you, but I think it would be wisest if I returned to the couch," he gulped, standing up to smooth his clothes and cloak. Turning toward the doorway, he offered one final glance and his opinion on the whole situation:

"You care for a child; I shirked my duties to the acolytes and the orphans to look over machines. I initiated inappropriate sexual advances towards you; you halted them to preserve my faith. I have done nothing but cause trouble in this house and you have shown nothing but kindness.

You're an exemplar of all the great Cult virtues and you're not even an acolyte yet; and here I am throwing my morals away after discarding my holy orders.

You've got it all backwards, silly girl. You deserve someone more pure and worthy, not me."

Satisfied that he'd made it clear how he felt on the matters, he departed for the couch without further word.

The tape had been rewound and was waiting for him.
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Cylarn
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Posts: 14620
Founded: Nov 25, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:02 pm

Tiltjuice wrote:-snip-


Willis gave an apologetic nod to Calani, on the matter of mispronouncing her name. In the terminology of the space-faring travelers that PostPoc had long forgotten, she was on "layover" during her journey to meet with her next client. Similarly, Willis and the others were on layover on their journey to APE.

"My apologies, ma'am," Willis said. "I'm hoping for my stay in Ticaret to be rather curt. I'm with a crew on business, and a setback has forced us to belay our journey and arrive here. I hope for us to be leaving in a day or two, depending on certain factors. I would offer you transit, however that would most likely set us back significantly to accomplishing our objective."
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Tiltjuice
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Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:07 am

The Lodge would sooner have ceased and desisted than let its alumni loose into the world without a basic understanding of psychology. Willis had taken on the role of...leader of the pack? She supposed that was the best way to describe him for now. She set down her plate and regarded him squarely, lowering her voice for added effect.

"I intend only to go so far as Megalith, and I guarantee I travel lightly. But even so, Mr. Clark, perhaps it would help more to have me with you? All, that is. The Lodge is politically neutral, but it does teach its initiates self-defense; on the other hand, a crew that features a man fond of publicly bloodstained evening strolls could use some decorum as a counterbalance, wouldn't you say? Especially with a child so near?"
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Discrimination is unworthy. | Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. -Khalil Gibran

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