[LF] Discoveries [K 1.3]

edited October 2012 in In-Game
After meeting back up with Boot and Mew Mew at noon, all of you head back into Lower Ring to find something to eat. Where do you normally scrounge for food? Do you have an alleyway hook-up outside a restaurant, do you do the five-finger discount at the market, get food from a shelter or, gulp, do you have some menial job a few of you do for a couple tael?

Nevertheless, you get some food. By the time you're done, its early afternoon. Most of the Freedom Day celebration is taking place on the Middle Ring, so things are still a little quiet down here. Most of the interesting folk of Clay Street are the performers and they're all working. With nothing much else to do, Canlid says, "Let's go up to Middle and watch the pigdog races, they're really funny!"

Dash shrugs and nobody else objects right away, so you head up Clay Street towards Middle Ring. The crowds are a little crazy, so Canlid heads up to a roof and everyone else follows. Houses in Middle Ring are bigger and usually a bit farther apart, so it's not as easy to move about quickly. Plus, there are folks who live in the houses who are actually sitting on their roofs to watch the celebration. And its a sight. Wall to wall people, no elbow room, makes you thankful for the airy perch. At one point you are hunched up on a corner of a roof watching some fireworks that remind you of ones back home and Dash comes up and hands you a caramel stick he "found". Its too loud to talk, so you either sit quietly or shout-talk.

That's when you see Hua Tsin, Ning and Haidong. They are sitting up on a little dais watching the proceedings, like they're holding a mini court. This is one of the things nobles do, sit higher and look important. Of course, you're higher.

What do you do?


  • Everybody brings back a little something to share for lunch. We don’t ask each other how we got it. We use a combination of all of the above methods to find food. It depends on the day, where we are, if there’s a shelter serving food, etc. I steal a box of warm rice from a lady who is loudly insulting a rather terrified looking merchant. We end up with a pretty good feast of rice, some chicken skewers, sweet rolls, a few apples, a hunk of bread that’s slightly burned but just on the outside, and a block of sharp cheese.

    Up on the roof, I take the caramel stick from Dash with a knowing smile when he says he “found” it. We sit next to each other, quietly watching the fireworks, shoulders touching. I eat about half the caramel stick and then give him the rest. Food also tastes better when it’s shared, I’ve learned. It’s nice, sitting here next to him. It feels right. It feels like home. While he’s eating the rest of the caramel stick I tug up his sleeve again and look at his tattoo a little more closely. It’s really good work. He’s always had such a talent for drawing, something I’ve always envied. The little green sparrowkeet looks like it could fly off of his wrist and into the air. I let go of his wrist and give him a smile. It’s too loud to talk, but I don’t need words to tell him how much I like it.

    I look back down at the crowd and catch a glimpse of another familiar crest. One that makes my smile slip off my face. Hua Tsin, Haidong, and Ning are down there on their little pedestal. I look for Ah Ru a little nervously. Why isn’t she with them?
  • From your vantage point up here, you see Ah Ru. While Hua Tsin is soaking up the attention of the crowd and the spectacle, Haidong is busy tearing the meat off a peeled turtle-duck leg while Ning stares at her nails and then her feet, Ah Ru has slipped off the dais and made her way over to the men who are setting off the fireworks. They remind you of Fire Nation-trained specialists, just not as good. There's a pair of them, probably related, both trying to keep watch on the circle of stones to warn people away but both talking to Ah Ru. The male, he's got nice big arms and no sleeves, he keeps shaking his head no, but Ah Ru is laughing and making pleading gestures. But you know Ah Ru, she was to get close enough to light those rockets. She's driven, she is.

    Speaking of driven, you see Canlid is actually watching the show and not making trouble for once. He's sitting near Mud, while Boot and Mew Mew are around a corner where they don't think anyone can see them holding hands.
  • I roll my eyes at Ah Ru. She would be trying to flirt her way into trouble. Speaking of trouble, I glance around at the others. Everyone is preoccupied with the show. Now would be a good time to talk to Dash about Min. I lean close to Dash's ear and say as low as I can while still speaking loud enough to be heard. "Can we go somewhere quiet and talk?"
  • Dash turns around to you, nods. He has that look, where someone thinks there's trouble, but there isn't really. He takes the caramel stick, puts it in his mouth to get it wet, then sticks it to the roof. Sure enough, it stands up, wavering in the wind slightly.

    He pushes himself up and takes your hand. The pair of you walk around the roof of the house you'd chosen and hop across to another house, one butted up against the wall that marks the border between Middle Ring and lower. You trudge across the angled slate roof and when you get to the wall, Dash lets go of your hand and turns his back to the wall, looping his fingers together and making a foothold for you. Its reflexive now, you plant, step, one foot on his strong shoulder and then you're pulling yourself up onto the wall, which is thankfully very wide - wide enough to lay down on if you want. Dash skips back a couple steps, then bounds up, grabbing the lip of the wall and pulling himself up it. You think he just showed off a little.

    He's up on the wall with you, and he stands. Normally, you would never stand on a Ring Wall, that's begging for trouble from the Ba Sing Se guards. But people are preoccupied, so Dash does. When you join him, he starts walking slowly. You know he won't go far, but he seems to have some nervous energy when he asks you with concern, "What's wrong, Dare?"
  • I stand on the wall, watching him pace. "Nothing's wrong." I say easily, even though I wish I could tell him everything I've been worried about. "I just wanted to tell you what I found out from Mud, well, Min. She wants to be Min again. She doesn't like being called Mud. She misses her parents, really bad. She wants to go back to school." I pause, looking at him quietly. "I think she should go back to school, but not at the orphanage. I wanted to see if you had any ideas. I've been trying to think of a way, but you're better at stuff like this than I am."
  • He seems relieved a bit, "She doesn't like Mud? Well, can't say I blame her. Okay, she's Min then, we'll start calling her Min, Boot and Mew Mew will, too. I'll talk to Canlid." And that's that, you know they'll fall in, no big speeches, no proclamations, they'll just adjust. Problem solved.

    He stops pacing, then comes over near you and plops down to sit on the edge of the wall, facing the fireworks, "I wonder if Canlid likes being Canlid? Or Mew Mew being Mew Mew?" Then he looks at you," You're not really Dare... where you're away from us. Are you?" You don't think he meant it as an accusation, but it sounded odd.
  • I stand there silently for a second, my heart racing. What does that mean? He can't know....right? I sit down next to him, but I look at him and not the fireworks. "You gave me my name, other people have given me other names." I say carefully, watching his face intently, trying to read him. "What does it matter what other people call me? I love being Dare most of all. I'm happiest when I'm here with you...all." I flush and hope that the darkening light hides my face.
  • Dash doesn't look at you, either, still watching the fireworks. When you say you love being Dare most of all, he smiles a little, his shoulders relax like he was holding them a little tight. "Good. They missed you. A whole lot. Muh... I mean Min, she always has these questions and I have NO idea what to say. And Mew Mew, she just makes herself busy with stuff when she has that look. You know the look, right?"

    Then he gives you a glance, he let the moment slide on and now he's talking about Min, "School, huh? Funny, there's nothing the street can't teach you, if you listen and learn. But okay... a teacher. Well, I was trying to get her a teacher earlier. They didn't hit it off exactly."
  • I laugh a little. Min can be particular sometimes. "Well. I have an idea, but I'll have to see if I can get it to play out."

    I look out at the fireworks display. They're not as good as the Fire Kingdom shows, but they're still beautiful. "I used to love fireworks when I was little." I say out loud without really meaning to. Now they just make me kind of sad, but I don't know how to explain what I just said, so I change the subject. "Are you still thinking of joining the Earth Kingdom army?"
  • Dash mocks, "You have an idea, one too good to share? Scheming little Dare." But then he chuckles, and sort of bumps his shoulder into yours.

    Then you mention the fireworks and he asks, "Used to? Too grown-up for that?" but its a small prod, not something to grow into a challenge, just a little joke.

    Then you ask about the army and he looks uncomfortable, "Yeah, still thinking. Still." He grows all serious and turns to look at you, "I won't abandon them, I can't. They need me. But have you ever heard about what they pay in the army? Three meals a day, your own place to live..." He looks like that's some crazy luxury.

    Then he drops it, "I have to make sure they have a place to live. Or something stable. I could send money back, but only if there's somewhere to send it... to"
  • I made a face at him when he teases me, but my smile vanishes when he talks about the army. I don't want him to join. More than anything I don't want him to join. It's selfish, I know, but I hate the thought of him being just...gone. Far away where I couldn't see him. I can hardly stand going a week without seeing him.

    I look out at the fireworks again, and try to sort out why I feel so strongly about this. I guess it's just that...Dash made this place a home. I already lost my home once, so I obviously want him to stay. Right? The first time he mentioned this, we had a huge fight about it. I couldn't even explain why I was so mad. I felt terrible afterwards and apologized, but this is the first time we've talked about it since then. I'm trying really hard to be reasonable.

    "I know you would never abandon them. I'm sorry I ever said that. I didn't mean it. I was just...mad." I mumble. "I just...I don't know what..." I blow out a frustrated breath. I'm suddenly tempted to jump up and shoot fireballs out into the darkness, my own angry version of fireworks. "I just don't want you to go." I finally blurt out and then cringe. Augh! What is my deal?
  • Dash snaps a look at you when you blurt that out. He stares at you with a blank expression for a few blinks. Then he shuts his mouth, clamps it shut, turns back to the last couple explosions. Looks like the big finale is coming to an end. "We should head back, Dare. Don't want the kids to get worried!" He hasn't made that "we're the parents, they're the rapscallion kids" joke in a while. He pushes himself off the wall and falls down to the roof underneath, dropping into a little roll. Then he reaches up his arms to catch you. That is, if you want to drop to him.
  • I take a second to compose myself, then I step to the edge and see him waiting. It makes me smile, despite everything. When I first joined the gang, I was so scared to jump down for the longest time, so Dash would always stand below and catch me. He hasn't offered to catch me in a long time, but the fact that he's doing it now makes me feel warm inside. So I drop down to him, just like I used to when I was little. As scared as I was, I never doubted him. He always caught me, just like he promised.
  • You drop down. There's that scary-delirious feeling of falling and then his hands clasp around your waist. He lets your weight fall forward to his chest, rather than holding you straight up and away from him. You realize if he'd tried to strong arm catch you, it might have meant squeezing you pretty hard, so he let you fall into him to keep from doing that. Right, exactly, that's why. You realize his arms are around you and he's looking down at your face and he smiles back at you. Then for a breath, you see something behind his eyes and his smile falls and his eyes widen slightly. He brings in a breath through his nose, mouth in a thin line.

    "Hey, you kids! We saw you on the wall!" you hear someone call down at you. You glance up to see two Ba Sing Se guards hustling up the wall to come level with you. They're wearing the yellow and green livery of their station, no weapons... they MUST be benders!

    Dash already started moving, doing a little pivot and shifting his grip on your back to push you forward and away from them, stepping behind you to interpose himself in their way, "Go!"
  • red
    edited October 2012
    "Come on, Dash!" I hiss at him, grabbing at his shirt. Just a second ago I was desperately trying to decipher that look he gave me, now I'm focused only on escaping. They can't catch me. That would ruin everything. But I'm not going to just run and leave Dash here. He'd be facing jail time if he was caught. "Let's split up, run! We can lose them!"
  • Dash pauses for a second, then decides to follow his own rule number one. You split off on the roof and make them chase you down individually. Yes, they are benders and they start trying to pelt you with small stones from their belt pouch, knowing they can probably bend you safely down if you fall.

    If you want to escape your pursuer, I'll need a roll. Difficulty three to escape.
  • I'm a Street Kid so I know how to find the way and sneak and hide, and I can endure being pelted with stones as I run. It's not the first time. When you're a thief you get pretty good at running away from pursuers.

    #DiceRoller( 7d6 )
  • You ran across the rooftop, ducking your head down to avoid the pebbles this Ba Sing Se guard is flinging at you. She calls at you, "Girl! Stop! I don't want to hurt you! Not on Freedom Day!"

    You build up some speed to leap to the next roof, launch yourself forward. You fly over the heads of a couple families heading back to their homes after the fireworks show has ended, home to enjoy Freedom Day presents and to eat a warm meal with family. A young boy points up at you, but his parents miss it.

    Legs churning, you actually fling a slate tile off with your left foot and stumble forward a couple steps. As you try to recover, you're hit with a pebble o your right ankle, it really smarts! You fall forward, sliding along the rest of the slate roof, ending up at nearly the spot where you sat with Dash. You even catch the little caramel stick wavering in the wind, still stuck right on that tile.

    Wham, you feel the tile itself wrapping around you like a giant hand. The guard walks forward, breathing heavy, "That was... a good chase, girl." Your heart sinks as you realize what this means. Jun Da will find out, Hua Tsin may even hire guards to pin you in, your life on Clay Street may be over.

    "Alright, I'm bringing you in, girl. If you promise not to run again, I'll release you..."

    "No! Noooo!" you hear a shrill girl's voice cry off somewhere level to you. Then the tiles underneath the guard erupts and throws her clear across to another roof. She bounces once, then falls to the ground. You think you hear the sound of earth moving and the tile around you becomes lifeless and falls off you.

    When you look around for the girl's voice, you see Min, standing on the other roof, hands over her mouth, tears in her eyes, shock emblazoned on her face.
  • I leap to my feet as soon as I'm free. My ankle smarts, but I'm not hurt. I take a few steps back and then leap over to the roof where Min is standing, my heart pounding. This is bad. I need to get back to the house before the rest of the family gets home and finds me missing. But this is more important. Min just assaulted a guard. That's a million times worse than just standing on that stupid wall. I grab Min by the arm and take off in the opposite direction of where the guard fell, pulling her along with me. "Run." I say urgently in a low voice. If that guard gets back up, we'll be in serious, serious trouble.
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