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 COA III: The new IC

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Patches
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PostSubject: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeFri 04 May 2012, 4:04 pm

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What Ev brought up a moment after Tem spoke gave Tem a bit of an urge to slap himself - why hadn't he been so thoughtful of the others? His shoddy speech was apparently even worse than he'd thought if he'd failed so badly to consider everyone who could actually use a meal. Come on, Tem, get that big brain of yours working again....

So this new idea was yet another instant hit, solidly confirming what Tem had none too kindly thought about himself a moment before. He ignored that, though, believing that Ev's idea was the best so far and willing to support it, no matter how foolish it made him look to latch onto every new suggestion. He thought he could manage without food well enough, and he didn't have any money to contribute besides, which Aressa's answer sorely reminded him of. So at first, he concluded that he'd be one of the ones to investigate the store while the others went off for a meal.

That instantly changed when Kaldra suggested going. He instinctively ached to accompany her wherever she went, and when he evaluated whether that was a completely idiotic idea or not, he realized he could use all the food he could get, and he admittedly might not perform very well if he chose to stay apart from her. He seriously doubted Kaldra was the only one who would join Aelirsa, but if she was, then he also thought it best to avoid the mild awkwardness of leaving the ice western with only a single companion.

"Oh, um, I could go with you too, actually," he burst out quickly, as if one of the others might stop him from joining Kaldra at any moment. He hoped it wasn't too embarrassingly bizarre for him to so readily change his opinion again. "I mean, I'm sort of hungry myself, and...it would be good to have some more food for later as well, like Kaldra says."


Summary to come later.

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Michangs
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeSun 06 May 2012, 3:03 pm

((That last post is by me! *Fanfare* Thank you, thank you very much. And Eo, I notice that the end of the first paragraph didn't end up in italics like it should be.))

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeSun 06 May 2012, 10:12 pm

Kaldra was slightly surprised when Tem burst out that he’d join her and Aelirsa, but then her face broke into a thankful smile. There he went again, doing little things to show that he cared. She had been unconsciously dragging a claw along the pavement earlier and drawing sparks along in its wake, but at the sound of Tem’s voice she rested her claws fully on the pavement. The sparks winked out in the air, their fluttering dance snuffed out.

It’ll be nice to be alone- well, mostly alone- with him again.


Her tail snaked along the ground, seemingly with a mind of its own, and rested over Tem’s own tail. Just a small gesture, but it should convey her relief at his closeness without her having to voice it. He was so protective of her, her own guardian angel. He’d already saved her life once, she would make sure to repay him for that if the chance ever presented himself. For those she cared about, she would fight to the last breath.

And if this mystery continues down the dangerous path it seems to be travelling already, then I might just get that chance…

Her eyes dimmed a second as she pushed that especially morbid thought from her mind, choosing instead to glance over at Tem. She nodded her head, silently giving her consent.

~~~~~

Aressa snorted softly when Tem burst out that he’d join that freaky-looking dragoness, Kaldra, and Aelirsa. She played it off as a cough, covering her mouth as she did so, but Kaldra still looked over briefly. With a quick shake of her head, she looked more closely at the dragoness. Tem sure did seem awfully protective of her, didn’t even seem to want her going off without him. Aressa wasn’t really that skilled in reading people, she could only seem to pick out the ones that would make good targets, but there seemed to be something going on there.

Kaldra seemed frightening, even by her own standards. She had scales dark as a moonless night, but ruby red eyes that seemed to spark with hidden knowledge. Then there were the black spikes along her back and the shoulders of her legs, which only added to her warrior-like appearance. But there was a bit of magic added in, what with the blue spike sizzling quietly with electricity mixed within their darker brethren.

Better stay on her good side, wouldn’t want to have to take her on in a fight… she’s certainly a worthier opponent than that coward of a hybrid.

“Well, guess I’ll just go over to Fry’s with the others, no need to go to the café when I’m not even gonna eat anything.”

((There you go, first rp post on this forum. Admittedly it isn't my best, but I'm slowly getting back to where I once was.))
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeWed 09 May 2012, 1:18 am

While he waited for someone to respond to his statement - more than Aressa did with that odd little cough - Tem gave a slight jolt as something suddenly came to rest on his tail. Turning his head to look behind himself, though, he soon found that the surprise was a pleasant one. A smile broke out on his face. Kaldra's glad I'm coming! he thought, immensely giddy. There was a pleasant bubble of warmth in his chest when he raised his gaze to her face and saw her nod. Without a single passing thought for how foolish it might make him look, he grinned even wider, staring straight at Kaldra's red-eyed visage.

The moment was soon dispelled - which was probably a good thing for the sake of Tem's dignity, even if he was enjoying it just then - when Aressa announced which group she'd go with. Tem looked down with a slight waking-up sensation as he was reminded of everyone else's presence there. He faced a little more forward, inelegantly shifting his feet to regain his composure and trying to focus on Aelirsa and whatever her response would be. Despite that, his gaze flickered over to Kaldra on occasion, and, not quite consciously, he curled his tail around hers further, the scaly tip weaving its way around a few of Kaldra's formidable tail spikes.

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeWed 09 May 2012, 8:10 am

Aelirsa looked away as she accidentally noticed the contact between the ones called Tem and Kaldra. Her lips tightened around her teeth as she tried to conceal a snarl. Young love was something she never experienced, more out of fear of what it could lead to than anything. To see a couple brought back her moments of anger, remembering how her comfort with a co-worker had led to her slack, and the accident. Love was a good thing, but under the circumstances, she had her priorities set out.

"My parents regularly deposit money into an account I use, payment will not be a problem I assure you. It is the least I can do to help." She scratched at the ground, continuing to avert her eyes to anywhere but the group of dragons. She didn't mind helping them out in financial terms, and despite her 'beauty', as some wanted to describe her unique method of keeping her aspect on hand, she felt plain enough to avoid any prolonged gazes.

She glanced at Aressa again. She seemed, edgy, ever since they had met up with the group. From a guess she was a bit less socially inclined. It wouldn't be right to comment of course, she wasn't exactly the most talkative thing either. That was how she played the game in the end, stay low, keep quiet, and just follow what the other said without much question. Except she was the one who had to blurt out about her stomach and start this whole shedabble about eating and other things...

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeWed 09 May 2012, 8:55 pm

Kaldra’s heart fluttered excitedly when Tem returned her gesture, even twining his tail through the spines running along the top of it. Then when he turned and grinned widely at her, she nearly laughed out loud. It was just so nice to have someone truly care about her! It was all so new; she’d never really liked anyone (other than her mother) for as long as she could remember. The constant frightened stares had caused her to build up a protective shell around herself, but Tem was bringing her out of that state of timidity.

She caught Aressa’s barely-concealed snort out of the corner of her eye, which dampened her pleasure somewhat. What if this rather obvious showcase of the blossoming love between her and Tem turned off the new group members? What if it lessened their confidence in her? What if they didn’t follow her orders, if she ever was forced to give any?

Taking a shuddering breath to calm her nerves, she silently chastised herself, Whoa, calm down there. I’ve led well so far, Tem’s support is helping me and I’m not giving that up. Just stay level-headed…

Raising her eyes, she met Tem’s briefly, and then her eyes flicked over towards Aressa. Seemed that the luong would be going to Fry’s with the others. She’d be lying if she said that didn’t relieve her at least a little bit, although guilt flared up at that thought. Aressa was just a little unnerving. Seemed that Aelirsa had some parents with plenty of extra money, possibly even wealthy.

That might come in handy later.

~~~~~

Aressa regarded Aelirsa coldly, fighting back a grimace. So, the little convert’s got some rich human parents too… probably decided to change into a dragon as some messed up sweet sixteen gift or something. Well, isn’t that just wonderful.

Seems that all the members of this new group were rather well off, now that she thought about it. No truly gruesome scars, no ribs showing through their scales, no guarded stares. Looks like she was the odd-one-out, the brutalized dragoness with no money and plenty of emotional traumas. They didn’t know true pain, they didn’t know how it felt to get so low that you honestly had nothing left to lose, they didn’t know how it felt to pray for death!

She managed to keep her expression neutral and her burning gaze directed at the pavement, but her tense muscles might betray her inner wrath.
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeThu 10 May 2012, 7:52 am

Aelirsa ducked her head down for a moment. How long had it been since she had actually checked? Months? She tightened her lips again, unsure of what to say. Depending on who came, it could end up being a one time favour. Better to make them aware of her situation early on, information is always a good thing her mother said the last time she had gone to visit her parents, a year ago.

"Just so you know, my parents were never very high in the social order, and a large portion of the money is wages from years ago. I'm a bit, sketchy, on long term support. Still, I suggested it in the first place, so this is my treat." She looked away again, repeating to herself in her head that she was being nice, not making a complete idiot of herself.

It wasn't wrong to let them know that, was it? Honesty was very important to her, probably more so than her coat of snowflakes. Living on your own, relying on what you could earn, you really couldn't afford to get on people's bad side, could you?

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeThu 10 May 2012, 10:30 pm

Aressa simply continued staring at the ground, focused on a tiny black and grey pebble. With the foremost claw on her left paw she dug into its middle, crushing it into dust. It was best to remain quiet now, keep herself as under control as she could manage.

She wasn’t usually this messed up in the head, well, not that she was saying she was normally perfect. To be honest, she was a bit of a head case. It just wasn’t usually this bad, sure she had an intense distaste for humans and all their lying, backstabbing, hypocritical tendencies, but it wasn’t usually this overwhelming. Being around so many other dragons was really aggravating her problems.

She remained in the same position, body rigid. Control was key, if the group judged her as unstable; they might question her and try to find out what was wrong. That couldn’t be allowed to happen.

~~~~~

Kaldra spoke up, “That’s perfectly alright, just offering this once is nice enough. Thank you, I will make sure to repay you in some way.”

Unless she dies during this investigation… unless we all do…

She wrapped her tail tip tighter around Tem’s, taking comfort in his proximity to her. Her thoughts sure were taking morbid turns lately. She just had to stay strong, constant doubt and worry would only bring her down. A leader must be brave in the face of danger, not cower like a frightened puppy.
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeThu 10 May 2012, 11:41 pm

Leaf stood by and watched as the others made their decisions. Fortunately, it all seemed sorted out well enough, although Aressa seemed a bit on edge. Subconsciously, she knew that feeling, and she empathized with it; even if she didn't know what was causing it.

"Well if we want to go, I suppose we'd best get going," she suggested. "We don't have all day. Well, sort of we do, but... umm... you know..."

Aaaaand way to fumble that...

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeFri 11 May 2012, 6:39 pm

Kaden frowned. Out of the way? She was certain that it would be wiser to talk with those who knew anything behind Tom Espinoza’s disappearance, possibly getting them closer to finding Aurnia’s murderers quickly, before eating.

Her brows knitted together when Aressa mentioned hunting. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” she mumbled, though it was most likely too quiet to be heard. After all, that was how the run-in with the monsters had happened.

Kaden glanced over at the trio of dragons that were going to the cafe. Tem and Kaldra were showing their affection again, while Aelirsa explained how she had a bit of money. Good. I’ll run out soon, and we can fall back on that. She was a bit disappointed to hear that the money situation was a bit tight, but the money would probably last long enough if she pitched in as well and if they were sparing with it. Aelirsa seemed like a polite dragon, and the fact that she was graciously sharing her funds didn’t bring down her opinion of the ice dragon.

A short look at Aressa told her that the luong either had a grudge against rocks or was upset by something. She figured it was the latter, but one couldn’t be sure. She seemed tense, though.

Leaf didn’t seem to fare that well, either. She stumbled slightly over her words, and even in the brief time Kaden had known her, Leaf hadn’t seemed too nervous when she spoke. Am I the only one who’s not uncomfortable about something?

“Yeah, we should get moving. Oh, and I wouldn’t mind if you guys picked up something extra for some of us to share. Or something like that, yeah.” She added the last bit sheepishly. “I mean, so we can eat it later. Yup.”
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeFri 11 May 2012, 7:56 pm

As usual, Ev listened intently to Kaden's response. Since she didn't directly say either way, it took him a couple of seconds to deduce that she wanted to go to Fry's. Realizing that, he was relieved, since he had been starting to worry that not enough of the group would check out the store and keep the investigation going.

Naturally, he chose the same destination as Kaden. "Uh... I'll go with you," he announced. "And, uh... that's a good idea, about getting extra food." Briefly facing the dragons who had decided to go to the café, he added, "I-I'd appreciate it too." Ev wasn't saying it just for the sake of agreeing with Kaden, either; he had started considering that possibility himself, and it sounded like a good one.

He glanced around quickly at the rest of the group before saying tentatively, "Um... so I guess we'll... go now?" Just afterward, he remembered that Agate and Val hadn't mentioned where they wanted to go, so it might have been rude to suggest that they leave without hearing everyone's input. Oh... oops. Er... I guess if we take off right away, they can just follow whichever group they want to join....

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeFri 11 May 2012, 9:45 pm

Kaldra looked at each member of the group as they spoke. She flexed one front paw and then the other; they’d been starting to fall asleep. Oh, Leaf had finally spoken up; she’d been rather quiet during the introductions. Kaldra didn’t blame her, these new members were a little... different, nice enough, but different. Kaden had decided to go to Fry’s, which relieved Kaldra as Ev voted to go with her soon after. Two of their earliest members would be continuing the investigation; it was especially good that Kaden was going as she was the one who was attacked by those eerie creatures in the forest. She had real motivation besides just the murder of Aurnia and she’d already proven her resolve when Stackpole had interrogated her earlier.

She’d be a good leader, if something should ever happen to me… oh my god, stop thinking like that! What is making me so pessimistic and morbid lately?

“Alright, we’d better get going then. Like Leaf said, we don’t really have all day,” she paused briefly, “Well, see you all in a bit.”

~~~~~

Aressa finally raised her eyes. They were very distant and appeared almost icy, like she had built a wall inside herself. Which, in reality, she kind of had. There had been too many near breakdowns in such a short amount of time, something about this group seemed to be screwing with her fragile mental stability. From now on she would give as concise replies as she could, to minimize the chances of prying eyes.

She’d survived this long on her own and, given the way crowds affected her, it might be best to remain aloof as often as possible. Just had to stay relaxed, she could get through this.

With a quick brushing motion to push away the fine powder that once was a pebble, she said, “Ok then, sounds good. Let’s go, you guys can lead the way.” This was directed at the Fry’s group as a whole, she wasn’t completely sure who the true leader was in this ragtag band of dragons.
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeThu 17 May 2012, 1:26 am

Tem silently watched the others discuss their own choices of group, as well as Aelirsa's explanation of payment. It particularly caught his attention that the ice dragoness offered funds that she originally made sound like a lot, only to clarify that they were very limited. What's that about? Well...no, I can understand if she didn't speak quite right at first, actually. He still wasn't sure what he thought of Aelirsa; she was oddly formal, and also, perhaps, a little awkward around others. He figured the formality was some kind of instinct or defense against nervousness with other people. We all have our own way, I guess.... That, or it was something entirely different; it wasn't like he knew her at all.

He was impressed, as always, with Kaldra's kindness and generosity when she accepted the limited money and even offered compensation later. She's so nice.... He smiled and went a little dreamy as he fixed his gaze on her face yet again. He was soon jolted out of his pleasant stupor, though, since Kaldra's tail tightened up around his just then. He grew concerned as to what that meant. Is she more worried than she sounded just then?...Wait, of course she is; where have I been all this time? When has she not been troubled?...When has any of us not been? Ever since...

That thought wasn't worth finishing. He managed to blink and nod a little when Kaden agreed that they should bring back food, followed by Ev in his perpetually extra-awkward way. Then he turned his head back to Kaldra to listen to her speak again. Just after Aressa seemed to finalize the decision to depart, Tem agreed, "Yep, see you all soon." He offered a small smile tinged with concern; he hoped splitting up would work out for the best. They'd all given their reasons for why it would be, but still, there were plenty of things he could imagine going wrong. Fortunately, he managed not to think about them for the moment. Since he wanted to get his much smaller group going but was fairly sure neither he nor Kaldra knew anything about how to get to the Morning Spark, he turned to Aelirsa and said, "So, Aelirsa, we'd appreciate it if you could please guide us to the café, since we've never been there ourselves...."

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeFri 18 May 2012, 7:45 pm

Aelirsa nodded. She was a little unsure as to where the main group was going, hopefully it wouldn't be too far from the Spark. "Alright, let's go I guess." Getting her bearings relative to what she remembered of looking at maps, she began trudging along the pathway in what she assumed to be the shortest route. On occasion she glanced back, but otherwise didn't stop. She had to maintain her confidence for the moment.

((Sorry about the really short post, I've been stuck in this plot lately)).

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeFri 18 May 2012, 10:35 pm

Kaldra strolled along after Aelirsa, staying in step with Tem as she walked. Occasionally her tail tip would brush his, she had untwined her tail from his before they began walking, and it was a source of reassurance for her. Tem was a constant in a world filled with fear and uncertainty. He would keep her sane through the trials to come.

I just hope nothing happens to the others at Fry’s while we’re over at the café.

She raised her head, walking with a confident stride. This was partially done to reassure the others, but also to boost her own confidence. She was the leader and must appear calm as much as possible.

I’m sure the others will be fine, Kaden will guide them.
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeSat 19 May 2012, 1:03 am

"I'll repay you as well!" Agate blurted perhaps a bit too impulsively after Kaldra had promised Aelirsa that she would repay for the meal in time. The hybrid had startled herself in her sudden outburst--to the point that her dim, maroon scales blossomed into the bright scarlet of a ripe tomato. Since when did speaking come before thinking? Shouldn't she had explained herself, instead of basically running over the remainder of Kaldra's sentence like a bulldozer?!

Agate breathed in, grasping the breath needed to revise her rudeness. However, her breath caught in her throat as soon as she realized the conversation had already pressed onward. The oral exchanges between the dragons had the role of a motorboat, water springing out of its way like it was a sin to touch the swift and mighty domesticator of the sea. Agate was the makeshift raft that was left aloft the vast expanse of the lonely cerulean. This was how conversations operated at home for Agate, so why expect anything different here?

Instead of even wasting the effort of attempting and inevitably failing to jump into the disussion, the dragon-girl listened (for once). What group would she accompany? Agate was so famished, it felt like the area between her belly and her back were all but an empty space. Morning Spark might as well have translated to "Heaven" in the partial-dragon's mind at the moment, but she possessed a sudden urge, despite her less than ambitious nature, to prove herself as a valuable member of this group by assisting in the investigation at Fry's. True, she didn't even know if "Agate" and "valuable" could ever be capable of belonging in the same sentence, but she had to try for these dragons, for the retention of her family's honor, and, of course, Aurnia. What better why to start than joining Kaden, Leaf, and Ares--

Agate and Aressa. In Agate's opinion, they belonged together even less in the same sentence than "Agate" and "valuable". The hybrid believed this to be true because sentences that contained both "Agate" and "Aressa" were sure to include the word "death" before the concluding punctuation. And it wouldn't be describing Aressa's death, either.

The dragon-like creature finally swallowed her dormant breath, which had began to tickle her throat. You know, I could always prove myself in my restaurant-ordering "skills" as well, Agate settled with as she winded in an awkward, jerking-like motion towards the group traversing to the Morning Spark.

((Okay, so now Kaden, Leaf, and Aressa are going to Fry's, while Tem, Kaldra, Aelirsa, and Agate are going to the Spark. And Val remains undecided. Oh yeah! First post on RPProject! Hip hip hooray!))
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeSun 20 May 2012, 3:05 pm

As it did at nearly every possible opportunity, Tem's mind wandered as he followed Aelirsa through the unfamiliar streets, Kaldra alongside him. At first, his thoughts drifted through a few random, frivolous topics as he idly kept scanning the water around him - a few weeds and sparse patches of grass, a water main, some running through pipes in the buildings at random intervals...nothing out of the ordinary.

And yet he found himself feeling apprehensive. I wonder if it's because I have such a smaller group protecting me now.... That sounded like a pretty accurate guess, actually. Those creatures could attack us anytime, couldn't they? Nevermind that it's broad daylight; they could just wait until there aren't any witnesses and then... He shivered despite the warm sunlight falling on his sapphire-blue back. Come to think of it, I should have been watching my surroundings much better if that was what was bothering me.... He immediately started scouting everything around him more intently with his eyes, hearing fins, and nose, and he was also more wary of everything new that appeared in his water sense.

Brush. Kaldra's tail touched Tem's again, relaxing him and helping him ease up on his fearful watch. He'd noticed all the other touches, too, but he hadn't commented on them other than by smiling just slightly whenever he felt one.

Just then he noticed a fourth individual trailing behind his trio and whipped his head around in surprise, but then he found that it was just Agate. Jeez, did she seriously just sneak up on me without trying while I was on such a careful lookout? I must be seriously out of practice from the hunting days....

That dark change of topic didn't help Tem's mood much, nor did the realization that someone else was now going to join in on a meal during which he'd expected to have at least a little time to share with Kaldra. Turning his head forward again, he frowned slightly, unable, as always, to keep strong emotions from showing. It took him several seconds of silent moping for him to realize, You know, getting to know one stranger together really isn't that different from getting to know two.... He relaxed then. Another member of the audience watching Tem and Kaldra wouldn't change their interactions much, and now they'd have an opportunity to learn more about both dragonesses. Another guard- er, companion doesn't hurt for the trip there and back, either.

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeSun 20 May 2012, 10:20 pm

Kaldra walked along the street alongside Tem, scanning their surroundings without moving her head as she went. She was just as on-edge as Tem was, although she wasn’t aware of his train of thought. All she knew was that his muscles seemed rather tense, his mouth a tight line. Occasionally a smile would dart across his face, but it was rare enough that it didn’t seem to be completely changing his mood.

What's up with him... is something unnerving him? Or maybe he's just a bit worried in general?

Then a strange hissing, scraping noise reached her ears, causing Kaldra to stiffen slightly. Cautiously, she turned her head. She nearly sighed audibly with relief; it was only Agate, not some monster finally making its move. It seemed that Tem and she were the only original group members, the only ones truly knowledgeable of what this mission entailed, in this little sub-group.

Come to think of it… we might be the only experienced fighters too. Agate doesn’t exactly look… well, combat-ready and Aelirsa, hmmm don’t exactly know how much of a fighter she is. She does have ice abilities though, so that could come in handy.

She really was starting to think like a leader; considering what was best for the group, thinking of ways to deal with possible threats, generally planning ahead… seemed this whole mess might actually help her become stronger. It sounded awful and inconsiderate know that she thought it, but in truth… it was probably true. Learning to guide others was an important skill; her mother had always said a good leader must put others before themselves.

And a good way to be able to put them first is to learn more about them…

It would be nice to talk to Agate and Aelirsa, but right now the foremost newcomer on her mind was that unnerving luong Aressa. She seemed rather unstable and an unpredictable ally could prove deadly in the long run.

I just hope Kaden, Leaf, and Ev will keep a close eye on her until we return.
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeMon 21 May 2012, 7:21 am

She kept her gaze level. The couple were joining her it seemed. She ground her teeth ever so slightly, keeping her silence. Across the road was the restaurant, seemingly in-between rush hours. No problem, she could do without an audience for the moment. Paying close attention to the sparse traffic, she crossed without incident.

Making her way over to an ATM, she carefully tapped out her number, wincing as she accidentally scratched the touch panel. No matter, she'd seen people do much worse to technology they took for granted. She grimaced as her worries were confirmed. Carefully taking the paper notes so she wouldn't rip them, or at the least punch holes in them, she turned her attention back towards the cafe.

"Hopefully she's not on shift." She checked her claws idly while waiting for the others to make their arrival. This was one thing that hadn't immediately occurred to her. She was used to going alone. Now, she'd have to remind herself that there were others waiting on her. Much as she wanted to make a good impression, she wasn't just going to roll over and submit.

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeThu 24 May 2012, 1:33 am

Ev watched Tem, Kaldra, and Aelirsa set off for the Morning Spark, followed by Agate a moment later. Their departure made him feel unexpectedly sad and worried. He felt safer with more of the dragons around, especially Tem and Kaldra, whom he'd known the longest. Now that the group was split between two smaller ones, he worried that something might happen to one or both of them along the way. Well, they have at least four, depending on where Val goes... hopefully that will be good enough. And... same for us. I guess it'll have to do.

It took Ev a moment to notice how grim his mindset was, thinking so tactically and assuming the worst about what would happen. He figured that it came only from a habit of letting his imagination run wild that he had developed during his long time alone, and that the normal people around him would never be so pessimistic. Well... mostly normal, he thought with a wary glance at Aressa. The other Luong seemed oddly volatile, considering her fiery look at Agate and her strained expression for a few moments near the end of the group's conversation. Not sure what her deal is... hopefully she'll stay focused on what we have to do, and not do anything crazy.

Then Ev remembered that they had somewhere to go. He was anxious enough to get moving - especially now that he felt so much more exposed to danger - that he might have even started them off toward the store himself, but he wasn't quite sure where it was even though they were close to it. "Um... so, I think we should be on our way now... uh, whoever knows the way..." he said, briefly glancing at Leaf and Kaden for the last phrase.

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeThu 24 May 2012, 2:47 pm

Agate’s slithering escape caught Aressa’s attention from the corner of her eye. The corners of her lips lifted slightly near the rear of her mouth, revealing the points of her rear fangs. She remained facing the rest of the group, keeping her eyes towards them. Turning around now would likely betray her feelings or even exacerbate them.

Edgy little hybrid, now isn’t she? It’s not like I’d eat her or anything… she’d probably taste bad anyways.

Aressa's tail lashed twice, the fan portion swishing in the air. She blinked, keeping her eyes a few seconds more than was normal to mentally calm herself. Lashing out at that little half-dragon wouldn’t help anything, might even provoke the others to defend her or bring the police down on all of their heads.

Yeah, and I sure don’t feel like going to jail today.

She opened her eyes and looked over at Ev as he spoke. Seemed as if he wasn’t the leader of this little sub-group, he didn’t even know the way. That only left Kaden and Leaf; both looked equally in control to her. Heck, anyone was ‘in control’ compared to herself today!
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeThu 24 May 2012, 6:25 pm

Kaden watched as the smaller group--Agate tagging along at the last minute--trotted and slithered out of sight. Then she turned back to the ones who would accompany her to Fry’s. Aressa’s odd grin caught her off guard, but it faded so quickly that she could have imagined it. She almost began to wait for someone to take charge, but she was the only one with a copy of a list, of course.

Oh. Does that mean I’m some sort of...temporary leader? I suppose it does... She pulled out the paper and checked the address. It wasn’t all that far-off, so the trip probably wouldn’t take too long.

As she glanced around, she noticed how small the group seemed, now split in two. She felt less safe than before, if that was possible. Was it possible to feel safe even if--no, when--all this ended? Kaden wasn't sure if she could ever live peacefully as long as the monsters were around. Sheesh, they had to pick now to stir up trouble! Right when Aurnia was murdered!

“Right,” she said in response to Aressa an Ev, somewhere in the middle of all these thoughts. “The address is this way.” She began to traipse her way to Fry’s, looking over her shoulder to make sure the others were following. I hope that this gets us somewhere... she thought, her virescent eyes scanning the streets ahead.

She shivered, and not because of the crisp Autumn's breeze. I wonder what the monsters were doing? And why just after Aurnia's death?
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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeSun 27 May 2012, 1:54 am

Leaf was mostly following along at this point, hanging about near the rear of the group. She had no idea about the local directions; Kaden, on the other hand, seemed to know where she was going, so it was up to her at this point.

All this talk of monster conspiracies was all sounding a bit odd to her still, but maybe the others' ideas had some weight. It was still all a bit farfetched; maybe the Captain had been shellshocked from his encounter, a bit stressed, perhaps, and simply been imagining things. That sort of thing could happen; psychological disturbances and whatnot. But it was the majority opinion and thus at least warranted looking at, so Leaf would go along with it for the time being.

The Fry's was just a few minutes away by this point; the group arrived in short order. This one had a set of painted cow statues set up in a second-story balcony above the entrance, as sort of a cowboy theme. Inside the door was the usual setup for a Fry's: customer service on the right, checkouts on the left, turnstiles into the main store dead ahead.


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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeSun 27 May 2012, 4:54 pm

Ev took the few minutes during which he and the three dragonesses were walking to ponder the situation. He felt an increasing sense of dread as he came to realize what he had gotten himself into. Oh, God... I just had to pick the group that's going to go into a public place and talk to people. What was I thinking? What help could I possibly be for a job like this? If I don't make a fool of myself by trying and failing to say something coherent, I'll probably just stand off to the side somewhere, looking weird and trying not to poison people.

The thought was painfully pessimistic, but it did remind Ev that he should have a decent amount of time left on controlling his poison. He also remembered that, despite his usual habit of trying to hide his poison breath around strangers, he had somehow forgotten to do so when the group first ran into Aressa and Aelirsa. Oops... I guess I really had a lot on my mind. It's probably better that they know about it, though, if they're going to help us with this investigation.

When the store came into view, Ev was once again intimidated by the idea of being in such a populated place. So many people, all watching and judging me... oh, God.... He forced himself to take a deep breath and try to calm down before his panic got out of hand. Just... try to ignore them, he told himself. It won't be so bad if you aren't breathing poison. At that, he once more imagined closing off that part of his mind. To his relief, it wasn't any more difficult than usual, and his breath was soon free of the green vapor.

With that out of the way, Ev was able to concentrate less on his own discomfort and more on the task at hand. Okay... we need to find out more about this manager guy, so... um... maybe one of the employees would know something? He glanced at the customer service area. Is that what we need? Hm... maybe not. Our question isn't exactly customer-related. But would they help us anyway? Gah, I don't know... I guess I'll just see what Kaden does. She must know more about how all this stuff works. Not to mention that I'd screw it up even if I did know what to do....

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PostSubject: Re: COA III: The new IC   COA III: The new IC I_icon_minitimeMon 28 May 2012, 10:56 pm

Kaldra watched curiously as Aelirsa tapped away on the white boxy machine… an ATM was what she vaguely remembered it being called. She’d never used one herself, any money she needed she had just carried with her. That, and the fact that she’d never really had a large enough amount of money to necessitate the use of a bank or any true storage facility. She got hungry, she hunted, simple as that.

Well, not quite that simple, but that’s beside the point.

She tilted her head to the side briefly when Aelirsa muttered something about hoping “she” wasn’t on shift. With a small shrug, Kaldra straightened and rearranged her wings across her back. Whoever it was, it probably wasn’t that big a problem. If this person (or dragon) was a true issue, Aelirsa probably would have mentioned it when she suggested the Morning Spark.

It’s probably just some old acquaintance or something, everyone has those they’d rather forget.

With a reassuring smile (should Aelirsa look back at them), she followed the ice dragoness.

~~~~~

Aressa kept her face as devoid of emotion as she could manage after that brief ‘smile’ earlier. The group entered Fry’s and keeping that impassive visage became quite difficult, it was all she could manage to not visibly reveal the disgust filling her. Judging from the cow statues above this entrance, this store followed some sort of western theme.

Of all the places we could have gone to… they just had to go with the most obnoxious, didn’t they?

She remained staring straight ahead, face largely blank. Her eyes darted around; taking in their surroundings, people wandering by, children in strollers, just the usual chaos that seemed to follow humans like a particularly noxious stench. With a quick scratch of her claw across the pavement, her gaze settled back on Kaden. The leader should always enter first, it gave the impression that a group was strong if the dragon leading them appeared in control.

She knew that from how her Master had carried himself; he never showed fear, hardly even seemed to blink when she looked at him. He had been like a statue, a cruel and pitiless statue. But that was in the past, now she was free of him and she wouldn’t allow the echoes of his punishments to shatter her fragile peace. She just had to maintain her self-control; once they were away from all these wretched humans, things would be easier. Things tended to run more smoothly when humans weren’t involved.


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