Fate's Tangled Weave

Un plat mieux servi

The Avalon tied to the plush chair at the head of the table was sweating bullets. The handsome planes of his face were marred with bloody bruises, one eye nearly swollen shut as he glared at the unexpected dinner guest sitting across from him. His right hand twitched, the shattered fingers sending jarring waves of agony through his body. The wound in his shoulder from the corkscrew on the table in front of him oozed a slow trickle of blood down his chest. He breathed deep, shuddering breaths as he tried to remain calm.

“And so, my friend,” the Montaignard in ragged finery rasped softly, “We have come to the end of your road. You have cost me everything… my ship, my crew, my life. And now I am going to take everything from you in return.”

The Montaignard pushed his chair back from the table and stood with a smile.

“Have you any last words, before I depart?”

The restrained man took his opportunity to spit at his captor.

“Now you see, this is the attitude you Avalon have that gain you no friends,” the ragged man said with a wicked grin, wiping spittle from his cheek, “I bid you adieu. Sleep well with the fishes.”

The Montaignard turned and left the captain’s quarters, shutting the door behind him. As he strode across the deck of the docked ship, he came to the sentry who stood guard beside the gangplank. He made his way around the sentry to face him, and looked into sightlessly staring glazed eyes. The Montaignard’s lips curved into a wry smile as he reached down to grasp the long wooden handle of the weapon propped against the dead man. His eyes dropped to the deck beside the dead sentry, and the Montaigne bent to pick up what lay there.

The Montaignard dragged the head of the match he held over the rail of the ship while he lifted a fine Castillan cigarillo to his lips. The match flared, and he dragged deeply from the cigarillo as he lit it. He exhaled the smoke slowly, and let the still-lit match drop to the deck.

As he began to walk down the gangplank, the lit match sparked, and something on the deck sizzled. A burst of fire sprung up and slowly crawled its way from the match. As it made its path along the line of powder that fed it, the fire illuminated the faces of the corpses sprawled across the deck, their eyes still wide in the horror of the moments of their deaths.

The Montaignard whistled as his boot heels clicked over the dock in his slow departure from the ship. The curved blade of his long-handled weapon dragged its tip behind him as it dangled from his hand, scoring the deck deeply. He made it nearly to the end of the dock before sighing, and stopping. His eyes closed. He tugged his cloak about him.

“Boom,” he whispered, lips barely moving.

The sudden roaring rush of fire and splintered wood enveloped the docks, sending charred debris everywhere as the Sea Spray exploded. Yet the Montaignard was unmoved, untouched, in the swirling inferno.

His eyes opened, and it was more than just the flaming, smoking debris surrounding him that reflected from their surfaces.

The fires of Legion shone from within them.

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Una fine e un inizio

While the party of heroes rested from their recent adventures, safe within the walls of Don Giovanni Villanova’s home, Randolph Addison Berryman struggled with his injuries. He was rather an elder chap, and the loss of his leg and the infection he fought were powerful blows to his constitution. Don Villanova’s Doctor was making headway with his treatment of the old man, however Berryman’s wishes to return to Avalon would not be realized anytime soon.

Neither would Maebh’s calling would be realized. The Don offered them a chance to use the key that had been recovered from Vittore Bernoulli, whom he now held within his dungeons. His offer wasn’t one he was about to let any who received it refuse. Gianni, of course, would lead the adventure.

While all were given the chance to consider the journey, word came from the mainland that a band of Eisen mercenaries were burning Mondavi, and that Alcide Mondavi was nowhere to be found in combatting the menace. Gianni, Alejandro Castillo de la Rosa, and Calisto Diana De Espinosa De La Cruz would make their way that night to visit the swordsman Carlo Accorso.

They found him dead, the slightest scratch upon his wrist indicating the possibility of a poisonous murder. Also, about him were numerous wine bottles and glasses, indicating something else about the swordsman’s personality. Gianni was set to find the killer. In the room, the only clues were some herbs of a medicinal nature.

While they searched for Accorso’s killer, Maebh and Zoya sat together in the garden, talking about their own predicaments and watching Maebh’s new hound friends play. They joined in Gianni’s search after being advised of the murder. The search would lead to another discovery.

Gianni met with Renata, a girl who was spying on him and began to ran when she was noticed. Despite his recent losses, something about her classic Vodacce beauty touched him. Sometime after their meeting, Villanova decided that it would be best for the group to begin loading the ship they would set sail for the Crescent Empire in.

The news came to them while loading the ship that Vittore had escaped his imprisonment, and killed Don Villanova’s Doctor in the process. Of course, Maebh was not present to receive the news until it was almost time to depart. She’d seen the Sea Spray in the docks of Dionna, and gone to visit with her Captain.

And then, it was time to depart. The crew was ready to heave anchor, and the adventurers were gathered upon the deck to watch as Dionna would slowly fade in the distance, and the sound of waves and the scent of salt would overtake their senses on a long journey to an unknown land to find a hidden treasure of ancient origins…

And so ends the first tale of Fate’s Tangled Weave

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Cena con un demonio
Dove gli angeli temono di battistrada

With the aid of Carlo Accorso and Séraphine du Paix, the Heroes have defeated Alcide Mondavi and captured Vittore Bernoulli in an epic struggle.

But to their surprise, their benefactor’s master called them to his lair, with Mondavi and Bernoulli in tow. With the wrath of a Merchant Prince of Vodacce hanging over their heads, the heroes had little choice but to travel with Séraphine and her porte magic to Dionna, individual quests for vengeance against the digger placed upon hold. They were greeted graciously by their host, their wounds tended by an eerily silent, masked doctor, and advised that their departure would not be possible.

Uncertain of what the night would hold, the Heroes cleaned themselves and were dressed in the sort of finely-tailored clothing an Imperial Montaigne courtier would envy, and readied for…


Cena con un demonio

STARRING: Calisto and Gianni

CO-STARRING: Alejandro, Axel, Maebh, and Zoya

ALSO STARRING: Vittore, Rossana, Mac, and R.A. Berryman, Esq.

AND INTRODUCING: Giovanni Villanova


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Dolor, Dudas y Reflexiones
Calisto

As I traveled along the dirt road with Alejandro, Axle and Gianni to the home of the ‘mid-wife’ my mind was far from where I was now. We had gone from one fray to the next, barely having time to rest from the one before. “And I for one, am getting tired of it.” I whispered to myself.
My life had been far from simple before I was thrown together with this lot. And while since meeting them I cant say I was bored, part of my mind wondered if this was the right course for me.
Once back with the rest of the group, we made out a plan and headed to the summer villa of the swine Mondavi. After unlocking the horses pens and starting a small fire in the stable, we would make our way around the back of the Manor. However, a squad of patrolmen spotted us. Silencing them was an easy task. We were just about to enter the dog run running the center of the manor when a small cute puppy came running up to us. Maebh was more surprised by the fact that we could see him then anyone. Apparently, this little guy was the Mac she was always referring to. “Not as crazy as I thought.” I chuckled to myself. Through Mac we learned there was a Fate Witch within the walls.
Traveling the run, we came to two doors, while Gianni jammed one door shut with a knife as I placed my hand on the other.
“This is almost too easy.” I said as the door opened to a room filled with guardsman and the retch Mondavi and the woman I assumed was the fate witch. All their attention was on a chest sitting apon the table.
Fire flowed from the hearth and to the witch before I was noticed. But something went awry. My fires were met with a force I had never felt. They slipped around the woman, not touching a hair on her, and enveloped the two guards next to her. As the fighting grew and built I felt the touch of cold steal cut through my stomach, leaving behind not only the burn of pain but a scorching heat I had never experienced. Pain lanced through my leg just below the knee and at mid-thigh as bullets pierced my skin. In shock I didnt notice the large crescent man wrap his arm around me while swinging me out of the fray. The jolt of my sudden movement sent my body reeling. But there was work to be done. I swung back around the crescent and took the clear path the the witch. My injured leg kept me from jumping onto the table and I landed with an ungraceful thud. The witch screamed as she jabbed a small thin knife from her hair, towards my hand. I took a swing at her. Looking around I could see members of the guard dropping like flies, Maebh grabbing something that looked like a horn out of the box and blowing it. Zoya dropped at Mondavi’s blade, the crescent sliced in twain. Gunfire rang out and startled me out of my wonder as the fate witches body dropped to the floor. Her black veil barely hiding the wound she had suffered to her head. As the seconds ticked I could feel my injuries taking effect. The world was a blur of pain. I recall the arguement with Gianni over Vittore. The rancid smell of what the blonde Montaigne’s magic was, the whispers in the dark about finding peace, fresh sea air and the sounds of waves, a Doctor completely covered deftly working on us and being fitted and dressed in the finest dress I had ever encountered.
All of this had taken the span of hours but had felt like weeks. Vittore was being shown the ‘tender mercies’ of our host and while I wasn’t being the one meeting out his fate I’m sure our host is more capable of bringing him to justice then I.
Our present surroundings caused a cycle of thoughts to flow through my head. My bloodline could be traced through the founding of Castille and ran as blue as any noble. All that had been stripped away from us by the church for what was my birthright and inheritance. Vittore had offered a brief change in my focus. He was being taken care of, now onto my sworn goal. The Church. However, a small part of my mind whispered to let it go and try to find a life somewhere else.

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They Killed WHO?
The Timbers; Wandesboro, Avalon

Soldi, Quartus 4, 1668, late evening

Dawson wiped the blood from his lips, his head reeling as he sat up. The roar of laughter surrounded him. A large hand wrapped itself around his as Dawson reached up.

“It’s good ta see ya again,” came the gruff voice, and Dawson looked up into the broken-toothed grin of an Inishman.

“Wish I could say the same,” Daswon mumbled, rubbing his bruised chin.

“Oh, ya had that one comin’, lad. Tha way ya ran out on ma last time, with that debt from tha fightin’ parlor,” MacCool laughed.

The older Inishman’s face grew grim.

“I’m assumin’ ya come fully prepared ta pay up, lad?”

Dawson nodded.

“Pull up a chair, I’ve a story or two to tell over a few pints, while we settle up.”

MacCool’s four brothers surrounded Dawson at the table as the Inishman sat across from the privateer. All five of them glared intently at him as he ordered drinks for them all, and Dawson made obvious his payment in Montaigne gold.

He tossed down a pouch in front of MacCool that clinked with coin.

“That should cover what I owe you, you old bastard. Now, let me tell you about the people I’ve met since last I sailed from Wandesboro. There was a grim swordsman from Vodacce, a Castillan guitar player, a quiet Eisen warrior, an even quieter Ussuran woman, a beautiful but fiery Castillan courtesan, and a lovely little slip of a lass from your corner of the world. And I met them all through that cad, Berryman.”

The five Inishmen waited as Daawson drew from his tankard of ale slowly, and wiped his bruised lips.

“And?” MacCool said, a hint of exasperation in his voice.

“Quit stalling. We might not be so kind as ta let ya go on this one, regardless o’ tha weight o’ that purse,” one of MacCool’s brother said menacingly.

Most of the Inishmen’s eyes were fixed upon the small chest at Dawson’s feet. He smiled slightly.

“Oh, I think you’ll want to hear this story. Like I said, there was a whole crew of odd folk, and Berryman brought them aboard seeking passage from Barcino. Seems they were chasing someone, and the Sea Spray was their only means of catching their quarry in time. I didn’t know who it was at the time, nor did I know what I’d be getting me and the crew into, so I accepted. After all, Berryman’s always been good for his word, you know that.”

MacCool nodded.

“I’ve crewed a ship for him a couple of times in our younger days-” the older Inishman began, but Dawson cut him off.

“The seas were wild, the wind was up, and a storm was coming when we came across them. A Vodacce merchant ship. But that wasn’t all… they were being boarded by the crew of the Crimson Roger.”

A momentary hush fell across the Inishmen, then one of the brothers snorted.

“You’d all be dead, the Sea Spray would be at tha bottom o’ tha sea, and ya wouldn’t be sittin’ here tellin’ us this malarkey if ya ran into-”

The Inishman’s words were cut off as Dawson swiftly reached down to the chest at his feet, opened it, and began to remove a crimson flag. The Inishmen jumped up, pulling out knives, before they realized what Dawson was withdrawing.

“Holy shite,” MacCool uttered as his eyes widened.

“Yes indeed, we took on the Crimson Roger, and lived to tell the tale. But before you faint dead away, there’s more to this story,” Dawson said with a smile and a gleam in his eyes.

He took another long pull from his ale, and the words began to pour along with the ale.

By morning, the MacCool brothers had spread Dawson’s story among Wandesboro’s sailors, with a few minor embellishments of their own. By afternoon, those sailors took the tale they had heard from the MacCools on their way to other ports. Within a week, the names and descriptions of those involved were spread across Théah.

And within two weeks, Dawson departed Wandesboro again with his crew, wondering if he would ever see the feisty pink-haired Inish girl and her friends again.

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Juramentos y Memoria
Gianni

Standing at the doorway of the hayloft that was the only place this little village could afford to share with the party, Gianni stared out at the countryside. His fingers, unbeknownst to him, toyed with the pin that represented his prince’s favor. He’d spent years in training hoping to receive that very mark. Suffered beatings at the hands of combat trainers, sat through hours of etiquette and education classes, all with that one goal in mind. Knowing that a prince’s favor was the only way for him to be able to chase down his quarry. Being a landless peasant afforded him no recourse for retribution against a nobleman.

So Gianni had reached out to the one prince most likely to show an interest in such vendetta, Villanova. The most notorious of the princes, was also the most likely to be able to unite them. Either through domination, terrorization, or bribery, he had the best chance at bringing them together. If that could happen, Vodacce could become the power it once was and overcome the trading power of those upstart Vendel. So Gianni petitioned Villanova for patronage.

After the years of training and education, Gianni was told he had to perform one duty to earn his mark, assassinate an enemy of the prince. Without knowing who the mark was Gianni promised to return with the person’s heart for his prince’s favor. Then he came face to face with the reality of his job. His mark was none other than the very instructor who had taught him to read. The man who had helped him finally accept the loss of his family. The priest who had come to be the closest thing to family Gianni had. And now he had to kill the man. The worst part about it, was that he already knew that Gianni was there to kill him. Gianni couldn’t bring himself to ask how long he’d known, he didn’t want to know. Padre Accorso asked of him only one thing before the deed was done, to listen to his story. So out of respect, he listened.

Afterward, he did what he had sworn to do. The Padre, knowing how much Gianni’s word meant to him, even bared his chest for it. Gianni said a prayer for him as he did it, making it as quick and painless as he could. And the Padre thanked him for that. And Gianni cried for the first and last time as he cut the priest’s heart out and wrapped it for presentation to his Prince.

Receiving his Prince’s Favor that night was a hollow ceremony for him. The thing he’d spent over half his life pursuing meant nothing more to him than the metals from which it was made. He would follow the oaths made to his Prince, but if they were ever abrogated, he would not miss them.

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Long Shadows, Part II
Somewhere Far From Hope

Tears began to roll down her pale cheeks as she read the words upon the parchment.

“If you are reading this, then I am dead. All of the plans I have set in motion to free you may still turn as the cogs in that little ballerina I gave you when you were a child. You are a woman now, as much as your father would care to deny that. You have grown into your abilities, and so strong they are, but you are still untried. Your father has made things very difficult for you, and used you much like most Vodacce men would, to further his own lust for power.

I have drawn for you the face of my killer. Memorize this drawing. Remember these words: that I hold no ill will towards him. Theus has seen fit to punish me for the misdeeds of my past, even if they are not what he thinks they are. The ties that bind him must be severed.

I have done the best I can to see to your care, and your education. Theus will light a path for your salvation. Fear not, for light will soon come.

~ Padre Arnaldo Accorso"

There would be no more visits; her confessor was gone. She pressed her hands to her eyes as she sobbed. Would there ever be a release from her prison?

Long moments passed, and with them, her soft cries of pain at her abandonment died. She looked up at the stream of light coming in through the sole window of the prison built by her father. Her face hardened as she crumpled the paper in her hands.

He must never find this missive of hope, however distant that hope might seem to her right now. She began to tear the parchment into thin shreds as she rose to move to the window, her graceful form gliding through the shadows within her confinement. As she looked down upon the streets and canals of Dionna, her eyes watching everything that they were laid upon closely, she pressed those slivers of hope to her lips, and began to eat them.

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Un Audace Raid
Act III, Scene III

Captured by Alcide Mondavi, the Heroes were lead into a great hedge maze. The Mondavi prince advised them all that he would offer up Vittore Bernoulli as a prize, should they escape his maze alive. The catch… he would be hunting them whilst they searched the maze for Bernoulli.

Racing through the maze, they found themselves split up and pursued by Eisen mercenaries. The Heroes fought valiantly against their captors, with Alejandro Castillo de la Rosa and Gianfrancesco Ludovico Sforza della Villanova proving their worth in combat. Axel fought stoically, even though his fortunes were, as ever, rather poor. Tricksome Mac Tíre Glic Beag found a means to steal back Maebh’s sidhe blade, which she put to good use. Calisto Diana De Espinosa De La Cruz used her scorching talents to keep the largest body of their enemies at bay. Zoya transformed into a common cat to attempt to track down Bernoulli.

The Ussuran woman lead Gianni, Faiza, and Ganbaatar through the close brush of the maze, and finally found what she had been looking for as the others fought with a large group of Eisen horsemen. The trail of the digger lead to a secluded area within the maze, where Gianni came face to face with an Eisen gunman. The two struggled desperately, but the Eisen gurgled his last breath as a sharpened stick pierced his throat from behind. Yet there was no one there when Gianni searched.

As Gianni lead the others traveling with him , Faiza took the lead and was suddenly struck down by a thunderous shot from a pistol. Gianni rushed to her aid, only to find his recently-discovered beloved perished. The wound was from a very close range.

Gianni screamed the name of his enemy, knowing somehow Bernoulli had done this deed. But he was nowhere to be seen. Except, of course, by a cat. Hearing some crashing among the hedges, Zoya took to the top of the trees and saw Bernoulli moving to the edge of the maze. Gianni instantly took flight after his mortal enemy. Ganbataar was close behind.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group were fighting off axemen who had hacked their way into the maze at Mondavi’s commands, well away from the flames fed by Calisto. The Eisen attempted to take Rossana d’Amore as their prize. Once her shock had worn off at being dumped unceremoniously into a hedge maze after being dragged to a prison, and then manhandled by rough Eisen, Rossana proved to be a fierce fighter. Randolph Addison Berryman was savagely struck down by several axemen, and Alejandro showed an innate knack for swordsmanship by dispatching the axemen.

When Gianni and Ganbataar rose to the heights of the hedgerow, they found Mondavi and Bernoulli locked in deadly close combat. Gianni leapt into the fray, intent on his enemy’s head. His dive into the fight proved to be the distraction Mondavi needed to take flight. Ganbataar leapt as well, to fight with Mondavi’s surprised men.

After having taken a horse, Bernoulli spurred after Mondavi, leaving a frustrated and wounded Gianni to stew at Vittore’s innumerable escapes and close brushes with a final conflict. The Heroes rejoined, their foes defeated but their quarry in flight.

Berryman suggested, and the others knew, that Bernoulli would go after Mondavi. The Prince had all of the digger’s possessions and the light of Bernoulli’s cruel vengeance had lit upon his person. But many in the group were wounded, and in need of stitches and bandages. They made to retire to a small Vodacce village in the countryside, not far from Mondavi’s secret mercenary base.

And that night, a carrier pigeon flew to Dionna, carrying a message filled with warning, and fear.


Un audace raid

STARRING: Alejandro and Maebh

CO-STARRING: Axel, Calisto, Gianni, and Zoya

ALSO STARRING: Vittore, Rossana, Alcide Mondavi, Ganbaatar, Mac, and R.A. Berryman, Esq.

AND INTRODUCING: Carlo Accorso


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Vista De Un Adicto
Calisto

It had gone from bad to worse. Captured and caged like a wild beast. All our possessions stripped from us. A Vodacce pig taunted us with the one thing I wanted more then the fall of the church. “Vitorre” I muttered.
With a turn of events, this Alcide gave us the chance to hunt out pray down like the dog he was, but with a sickening twist. While we hunted Vitorre, he would be hunting us. I had no interests in his plans other then what was in store for us. Being manacled and released into some kind of hedge maze. Only one visible way out our group split. A thought began forming in my mind. “If I can keep these men at bay.” I whispered to myself.
Clinking my manacles together produced a spark, and with a spark fire can form. I had been using this “gift” far to often as of late and felt its hold growing on me. It was the original source of all my pain and loss, but the sheer joy of using was intoxicating.
“There’s no other choice.” I said as I squared my shoulders. I looked to Alejandro and briefly told him of my plan.
After the barrier had been set. I went to work, it took several minutes to get a spark large enough to form a flame but it was all I needed. As the fire grew without it grew within.
The sound of horse hooves broke me out of my revelry of power. It was too soon the fire wasnt big enough. Pain lanced through my body with the sound of musket fire. The pain and anger caused my flames to swell. Leaping into the fire with the only thing I had to fight with, I swung my manacle as a whip knocking one man to the ground. The entire scene was a blur of flame and blood.
Something pulled me out the entrance we had come in. Finding two men standing between me and Vitorri. I took them down charging Vitorri. As I swung and missed, I saw that my ‘weapon’ was still aflame. The shock of it was almost as large as the shock of seeing Vitorri galloping away. The fight was over, for now. It had been a hard day but it was over. Sitting in the barn with the others, the gnawing feeling of wanting to play with fire built and built. Hopefully I could stem the flow before it built to high and a firestorm erupted killing not only my enemies but those who had become my friends.

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Lost in Translation
Zoya

YA terpet’ ne mogu vodu .. no, vidimo, neobkhodimo budet triumfe nad bedstvennym polozheniyem. Dvizheniyami voda kazalas’ provodit’ ne vlast’ nado mnoy, kak ya borolsya cherez tolpu piratov. Nekotoryye tolpe … mozhno podumat’, my atakovali detey s tem, kak oni borolis’. Eto srazheniye bylo pochti slishkom legko … poka kto-to ne reshil vzorvat’ chertov korabl’. Vo vremya khaosa bitvy ya mel’kom uvidel moi tovarishchi bezhali, no ya takzhe poteryal na vremya izbavit’sya ot piratskogo mladentsy ponyat’, pochemu. Vse kriki vokrug menya byli v drugoy yazyk, i on vzyal Douson skhvatil menya ponimal, chto byl boleye strashnuyu ugrozu, chem piratov na korable. Prezhde, chem ya uspel vozrazit’ na byt’ izbit my napravlyalis’ k krayu .. Douson menya na ruki i byli v vozdukhe razmakhivaya drugomu sudnu. Douson poluchil nas k krayu drugogo korablya tak zhe, kak ona vzorvalas’ stuchit nam v techeniye tol’ko Douson derzhas’ za perila i skhvativ menya rukami. Kak on borolsya, chtoby tyanut’ nas ya uslyshal ikh, gromkiy plach nizhe menya v vodu. YA proklinal sebe pod nos, kak ya uvidel golodnymi glazami siren pod nogami zhdet menya padat’. Vremya ukhodilo YA dolzhen byl sdelat’ chto-to bystro. Mabhe prishel, chtoby pomoch’, no ona byla slishkom mala, chtoby vytashchit’ nas oboikh, chtoby bezopasnost’ i siren znal, chto eto. Oni nachali pet’ sladkiye pesni yest’ v Douson … umolyaya yego prisoyedinit’sya k nim. “Prosto otpusti”, oni peli. Maebh brosil na menya otchayannym vzglyadom, kogda ona pochuvstvovala, kak on nachinayut rasslablyat’sya … my oba byt’ poteryany, yesli on otpustit. Maebh krichal na Douson derzhat’sya, no vse, chto on mog uslyshat’, bylo more zovet yego. Ikh dovol’noy ukhmylki eto sdelal. YA chuvstvoval yarost’ vo mne rastet, kak ya okliknul moy dukh zhivotnogo … Rybka uslyshal moy prizyv i vozdukh vokrug menya smestilsya v blestyashchey dymkoy, kak nashi dushi ob"yedinilis’ i ya vzyal yeye formu, kak moye sobstvennoye yeshche raz. Maebh vskriknul v shoke ot vnezapnoy poteri vesa ona pytalas’ tyanut’ cherez kray. “Derzhis’, u menya yest’ ty!” kriknula ona s oblegcheniyem. Shok ot moyego preobrazovaniya oshelomlen boleye Maebh, dlya siren ostanovilis’ peniya. YA vospol’zovalsya pauzoy i ikh vyryli nogti v plecho Dousona. Douson vskriknul ot boli i s tem, chto derzhat’ Sireny sostoyalsya nad nim uzhe ne bylo. “Prygay!” Maebh krichal. Prinimaya moyu repliku ya ispol’zoval Dawsons plecho rychaga i lept na korabl’. K etomu vremeni drugiye prishli k krayu i pomogli vytashchit’ Maebh nad Dousonom, a takzhe. Sireny krik yarosti byl oglushitel’nym … Sirena ne privykli teryat’ svoyu dobychu. YA podoshel k krayu i proshipel obratno na nikh. Byli ura s nashey storony, poskol’ku oni ponyali vse byli bezopasnymi i uchteny. YA ostalsya v forme koshki poka my ne dostigli zemli, kak moi navyki slezheniya byli neobkhodimy. YA nazval Rybku mne. YA dal yey spasibo za razresheniye mne podelit’sya svoyey kozhe yeshche raz. Vozdukh mertsal i ya byl Zoya snova. Ikh byli vzdokhi i smotrit ot nekotorykh iz ekipazha, oni videli moyu transformatsiyu. Maebh nachala khikhikat’ … togda smeyalsya, kogda ona uvidela moy rasteryannyy vzglyad. “Vidimo, vy poteryali bol’she, chem vashe telo, kogda vy pereshli” skazala ona. “Calysto yest’ li u vas odezhdu dlya neye?” sprosila ona. Ozarilo. Eto bylo tak davno ya pereshla vokrug lyudey, chto ya zabyl, chto ya budu perekhodit’ obratno bez odezhdy. “Poydem so mnoy, ya, vozmozhno, to, chto sootvetstvuyet” Calysto ulybnulsya. YA vypryamilas’ spina i posledoval Calysto kak zvuki smekha pritsepnykh pozadi menya.

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