Jun 18, 2018 5:27 AM
Seed in barren ground
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Tarinda and Page bring a seed of the super-AI Sing to Cloudbank
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She eats mice. Two birds, as it were.

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Mice are slightly harder to catch than alien critters, but not that hard, given boosts.

 

There is a towering thundercloud in the distance as night approaches once again.

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Grand. She sleeps under her sail again, and not under a tree, in case they're lightningy.

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The towering thundercloud kicks up the winds some more and rains on her, but the bulk of it is passing by to the north (north if one is assuming the sun rises and sets in the east and west, anyway), the next morning.

A couple of hours after sunrise, finally a stroke of luck. There is an airship much like the first one she saw heading straight away from the storm - and straight towards her.

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Time to go yell at it and wave her arms!

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They see her! A man leans out the side of the ship in a rope harness and waves a pair of red flags at her in a code she has no way to understand.

The ship turns using little wings and rudders, aiming for an intercept course, but it looks like they're fighting the wind awfully hard.

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Hopefully they know what they're doing and will make it to her.

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It looks like they're gonna make it!

...They don't slow down all the way, the ship clearly difficult to control in this weather. They're coming in about fifty feet above her. The way the island is bucking back and forth in the turbulence might have something to do with that - a collision would not be fun.

The same man who deployed flags descends in his harness carrying a thick coil of rope, hanging precariously under the gondola and now within shouting distance.

In heavily accented but understandable English, "Cap doon't want to tie down! We'll crack like eggs tryin' to moor, or fry in the firestorm! Ye have to grab the rope an' haul in!"

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That's English! Weird!! Well she's been wearing all the gear she landed with so she doesn't have to gather anything up to go take a flying leap and catch the rope. She climbs up it with no trouble.

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The sky-sailor hauls himself back aboard after making sure Tarinda gets to somewhere stable.

"Breathin' steady, miss? Glad we could catch ya." The ship shudders as its course straightens again.

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"I'm so glad you found me! I saw another ship the other day but it was too far to see or hear me. My name's Tarinda."

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"Darien. Well, you're found now. Ye look in good form fer a castaway."

Darien... Has not had the benefit of Sing-quality medicine. Or any kind of modern medicine, probably. He smiles crookedly and holds his scarred hand out for a shake.

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Shake shake. "I was there for just a few days."

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"I hear hunter crews get vicious to each other. You look like a hunter, that is. Cast away on a tiny rock, if not just tossed overboard to the deeps..." He shudders.

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"I'm not a hunter."

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"Oh? Well, whatever you are, I'd better settle you in for a rest and get back to work. Storm's still grabbing at our tail. Unless you know how to sail and feel like helpin' out?"

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"I'm not familiar. I learn fast but you would have to teach me."

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He scratches stubble on his chin. "Well, Captain Flint told me to either settle you in or put you to work. So I'd better just get you a meal and a cabin, I think."

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"All right, thanks so much!"

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"Follow me down, then. I don't mean to deny ya a proper welcome, but the weather doesn't care what we want. I'm sure you'll get one later."

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"I understand." She follows.

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"This way."

The ship is as primitive as it appeared from afar. The only light on the inside is from windows. It's not cramped, but it's very Spartan - plywood-thin doors, almost no furniture, and everything aboard is minimal or lightweight.

"Hope ya like potatoes. Rem!"

Rem is a wiry woman who comes bearing a plate of... Mostly potatoes. Baked, mashed, fried. There's also some nuts and about half an apple, sliced.

"Damn, you look good for a castaway," comments Rem.

Darien laughs, "That's what I said! Her name is Tarinda. Can you show her a cabin after she eats up, Rem? I'm sure the engine needs me by now."

"Sure thing, sir. Nice to meet you, Tarinda. I'm Rem, as you heard." She hands over the food.

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"Nice to meet you too! Thanks for the potatoes, they look great."

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She smiles. "Thank you! I'm proud of my potatoes. Grew the chives and made the butter myself."

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"Nice!" Tarinda tucks in like she's eaten mostly onions for the last several days.

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