Aug 13, 2020 7:33 PM
Tav the dreamling helps a smol Nick's dream come true
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Nick gives him an unimpressed look.

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"What? It's true! People are always worried about dying when they could be worried about other things, like how to have fun and make friends and build airships. Dying doesn't do anything, it's scary in the beginning but it's scary in all the same ways and then you get used to it."

Clearly Tav is as unimpressed with Nick as Nick is unimpressed with him.

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"Do you get to come back when you die? We don't."

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"I do," he says, "How do you know you don't come back, if you haven't died yet?"

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"Well, nobody else has. And I am not willing to make the experiment for myself."

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"Well, if it's true, that's one more reason why Real sucks," he says, but his scowl doesn't last long. "Where are we going, anyway?"

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"Seeing whatever we can see. Most of it will help in some way. We need to look at the gas bags, though. They're gonna be up somewhere."

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That works for him. For now Tav will peep through windows (sky!) and doors and whatever else there is to catch his fancy.

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Nick eventually finds the gas bags. They're in a dark, cavernous-yet-crowded room, bulging and flexing leather balloons like a giant clutch of eggs inside the ship. He mutters about control mechanisms buoyancy and centers of balance, more interested in the ship than Tav.

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"What do these do? Keep the ship floating?"

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"Precisely. They are full of hydrogen! Which really really likes to burn, which is why 'no explosions' is a rule. But it's really light and floats when you bottle it up well enough. You can drop some water to get lighter and go up or let out some hydrogen to get heavier and go down."

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"Oooh. What's hydrogen look like? Normal air?" He pokes at one of the gas bags.

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"Pretty much normal air, but lighter. People add sulfur so you can always smell it in case of a leak, sometimes. The bags are animal guts with something done to them, I dunno the details."

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He decides to test just how light this 'hydrogen' is by attempting to climb onto one of the bags.

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"You're gonna puncture it don't do that!"

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"It's not going to break!"

And just to prove his point, he backs up a little, hops higher than a child his size should be able to do, and grabs a fistful of leather. The bag is tall, but he's climbed taller things, and a short while later he's positioned himself precariously on the top.

"Ooh, you can see way more from up here!"

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Tav is now near the vaulted roof of the ship - there are small gaps in the canvas outer layer, the wooden frame, where he can see out. Nick is mostly looking worried. "Okay so you didn't break it. But there's ladders, you know."

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"Who needs ladders when you can do it the fun way?" 

Can he touch the roof if he tiptoes?

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Yes, if he clambers across the shifting gas bag nearer to the side of the ship.

Nick climbs a ladder after him. "We've gotta be sneaky, we're yelling, the adults will be super mad if they think we broke one of these."

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"Then we just don't break any," he says, but quieter this time, and tiptoes towards the side of the ship, hand still held outstretched towards the ceiling above.

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In something that tries to be both a whisper and a shout, "We are doing investigation, not playtime."

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He stops. Turns. "What's the difference? Investigating is exploring which is playing."

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"Well, investigating is serious business, while exploring is more adventuresome."

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"Oh, so investigating like spies. You should've said so earlier." He lowers his voice. "Did someone sneak flowerfires on board so that they'd explode and destroy the whole city? Is that why we're here with all the hydrogen?" 

And he's off again, this time casting about for suspicious creatures or characters, peeking over the edge of the gas bag.

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"Ugh. Nothing's going to explode. Fireflowers get kicked off or exterminated- Well, I guess it's possible someone smuggled them in but I don't think so."

This kid has some serious playfulness issues.

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