Nov 20, 2019 3:12 AM
black widow jeanne falls onto kitaloei
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She finishes her roll and smiles, a little apologetic.

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Lammse smiles back, an oh-don't-worry-about-it sort of smile.

Tuann returns! She has an... atlas? She has a large but very thin book of maps, and on the first page is this collection of floating islands, off in a corner—she taps it and repeats the name that her mother gave the islands earlier—and then on the next page another set of two rather larger islands near the other edge, and on the next page a cluster of three big islands nearer the middle, and on the final page, a continent. Tuann points to a mark in the middle of the continent, names it, points at Ivannka, and points at the named city again. Lammse is nodding corroboratively.

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...she puts two fingers on the map, makes a walking motion, looks at them uncertainly.

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Tuann nods. Lammse... attempts to gesture a shape, plausibly one of the winged boats Ivanka saw from up in that tree earlier, and flips back to the islands they're currently on, and uses her hands to mime the liftoff of the winged boat from the page, and flies the winged boat out of the book so her daughter can flip back to the continent and she can fly the boat back in and land it on the target city.

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Okay.

She can steal a winged boat if she has to, but she's not sure she'll be able to figure out how to operate one, and stealing someone to do it for her is messier.

Prostitution in a strange dimension where she doesn't speak the language is ... probably possible to navigate, it's not the oldest profession for nothing. But dressing scantily and hanging out on street corners and waiting for people to shove money at her isn't going to be a lucrative way of going about it, even if she can avoid getting arrested.

So, barter. Her cell phone is her best proof that she's from a foreign universe, she's not giving that up. But she's got two guns.

She nods, pulls out her wallet again, extracts a few bills to indicate the concept, stacks them with one of her pistols, and gestures in a circle with raised eyebrows: is there someone who might be willing to trade a flying boat ride for my fancy foreign gadget?

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Lammse peers dubiously at the gun. Tuann offers an unintelligible suggestion. Lammse shakes her head and sighs.

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She raises a finger, cautioning - don't be alarmed - looks around for a squirrel, takes aim carefully, fires.

Her silencers are top-of-the-line, so it's more of a sharp snap, like a branch breaking, than a bang. The squirrel drops to the ground.

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... They are both moderately alarmed! Tuann exclaims something that should plausibly be filed away under swear words. Lammse's eyebrows jump upward.

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She politely holsters the pistol, makes a small hands-spread gesture: sorry, you see why I had to.

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The two women confer for a bit; then Lammse turns to Ivanka, and conveys with the help of some more mime that she would like to buy the gun in exchange for sending Tuann with Ivanka to arrange passage to the mainland on a flying boat. At least, that's probably what she means. Mime is not the world's most exact communication medium. She's pretty good at getting her point across, though.

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She walks them through the concept of ammunition - the gun holds sixteen rounds, there's fifteen left, see - and then nods agreement and hands it over.

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Lammse carries it into the inn with all the care properly due an item that can kill a squirrel so decisively at such a distance; Tuann looks at Ivanka, shrugs, and asks a question which the accompanying gestures suggest is probably 'do you want to go now?'.

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She would love to go now! Hopefully the pre-industrial innkeeper will have fun with the pistol and not kill anyone who doesn't deserve it.

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Then Tuann can lead her along the road toward a bigger island, and across that island to its airship docks! It's about a half-hour walk, and she chatters cheerfully the whole way, clearly not expecting Ivanka to understand or retain any of it.

When they reach the docks, Tuann waves to a flying boat operator who waves back, clearly recognizing her. She introduces 'Ivannka' to the boatman (whose name is apparently Mali) and explains about the lack of local fluency and the interdimensional transit story and possibly also about the gun, at least judging by Mali's impressed and mildly concerned expression. But after a handful of coins changes hands, Mali nods and turns to Ivanka and welcomes her aboard his sky-barge with a friendly smile.

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Hi, otherworldly flying boat operator! Thank you, inn lady!

She smiles warmly at both of them and climbs aboard.

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Mali earnestly attempts to explain the boat's schedule and her place aboard it using gesture and mime to supplement his incomprehensible speech. Apparently, it's going to take some number of days between ten and twelve to get where they're going, Ivanka is entitled to a third bunk in the main cabin along with Mali and someone named Lutai who is not present, there will be regular meals served along the journey of which Ivanka is welcome to partake, and when they get wherever they're going they're going to hand her off to... someone else... for some purpose. He might be trying to get across the concept of a transfer to another boat.

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Ivanka, who has a preternaturally good memory, nods and smiles along and retains more of the vocabulary than any reasonable person could expect.

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The boat sits in place for another hour or so before Lutai comes back. She appears to be Mali's sister, and is hauling a cart that looks much too big and bulky for someone her size to maneuver so easily. When she gets to the boat, Mali jumps down to help her load the cart aboard, and they pack its contents away very efficiently—jars of spices, it looks like—and then fold up the cart itself and affix it to a rack on the long sloped roof of the cabin. Mali goes to the front of the boat to start it up, while Lutai pulls in the boarding ramp at the back and unmoors them from the dock.

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Ivanka watches them and gazes over the side of the boat and does her best to pick up scraps of vocabulary from eavesdropping on their conversation. 

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They don't talk much in the process of casting off, but once the boat is safely in the air, Lutai goes up front and sits near Mali to chat with him while he flies. Ivanka will have plenty of material to eavesdrop on, although without much helpful context.

The boat is very slow. It drifts gently along, rising to clear one island and then dipping below another. The view, once they get free of the local chain of islands, is rather spectacular; the mainland far below looks like a living atlas, and the scattered handfuls of tiny islands between here and there make the world look fancifully like a snowglobe caught in the moment before the flakes start to settle.

About fifteen minutes after they leave that first island chain, Mali takes his hands off the controls and turns back to attempt to include Ivanka in the conversation. He might be trying to ask her opinion on what they should have for lunch.

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She gamely attempts to piece together an opinion from her scattered handful of vocabulary words, none of which are about food.

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Lutai gets involved in the exchange, and together they manage to offer her a range of options as follows: Spicy or Not Spicy, Bread or Not Bread.

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She approves of both spicy and bread!

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Spicy and bread it is, then! The Spicy Bread Thing has a complex flavour profile and is served warm after being heated up on a little camp-stove-thing. Much in the same way that the winged barge flies without visible means of propulsion, the camp-stove-thing works without visible means of heating.

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Ivanka eats the Spicy Bread Thing willingly, and expresses appreciation, and makes a probably-doomed attempt to ask about how the camp-stove-thing works.

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