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Nightwatch Weyr > Falls > The Devil's Playthings


Posted by: Tinn May 18 2012, 10:46 PM
These were the falls, warm at midday and windy. Leaves rustled, sounding almost the same as the water rushing over the rocks. A little way into the trees stood the shape of a man.

This.. was a gun, a relatively recent bit of re-invented technology of paramount importance at Nightwatch. This was his gun, a flintlock with a rifled barrel and semi-grip hardwood stock. Well-made; he hadn't asked for it but Bereck would have nothing less. It looked.. quietly lethal, reliable - for all he could tell - and had a strange weight that had nothing to do with mass. A good model, he'd been assured when it had been pressed into his hands.

He'd find out.

The basic theory was simple enough. You loaded it like this and held it like this and pulled the trigger like this..

..and then the recoil caught you off guard and a tree seven meters to the left of the paper target splintered as the ball buried itself inches deep.

That had been some weeks ago. He'd gotten used to the crack of acrid smoke and the set of motions for loading and firing, but accuracy.. at least a good number of Deep Ones had decent surface area. He might talk to the gunsmiths.

For now, eyes squinted behind his thick glasses in concentration, Aleck practiced.

Posted by: lithle May 20 2012, 11:16 PM
Ghost had just about mastered flying. Mostly. On a good day. It was a tiny thing, more fragile even than other whites, with a hide that bruised at even a dark look. The wind wasn't helping, and if it'd been clever, it'd have stayed perched safely on Spins shoulder, letting him do the leg-work while Astaraeth kept the both of them company.

But Ghost was indeed the third of that strange company, and as such, prone to curiosity. It'd stuck with them on most of the route to the falls, but hearing the noises among the trees, it'd taken off, fluttering its weak little way against the wind.

And it found the sound! There, a human, holding something that made noises. Oh, how clever Ghost was! In its excitement, it forgot about flapping, and fell from the sky. Luckily, the fall was more leaf than rock, but none-the-less, the human now had a pathetic white lizard with an unusual iridescence to its hide at his feet.

The firelizard's departure was not enough to make Spins hurry. He knew Ghost couldn't make it far. Luckily, the man was a hurrier by nature, and so, only a minute or so after Ghost fell out of the sky, he pushed his way through the trees and spotted the gun.

That is, the man with the gun. But mostly the gun. He was at his most relaxed, the walk having used up some of his usual energy. But his grin was still wolfish with hunger as he waved.

"Trade you a dragon for the thing that goes bang," he said.

Oh, come now! Even irritated, Astaraeth was the picture of calm. The young green sat at Spins's side, her tail tucked around her legs.

"Sorry." He didn't sound it. "Spooky reminds me that what I meant to say was 'have you seen Ghost?"

Posted by: Tinn May 30 2012, 05:04 AM
He'd got it down to a rhythm by now. With his last shot was still ringing in his ears Aleck bit the end off a fresh charge - the paper muted the tang of saltpeter and lead on his tongue - and loaded the rifle once more, chasing errant thoughts of uncertainty intervals and bias from his mind as he raised it and fired-

That was another ten. Time to stop. He could feel himself getting careless and bored and possibly deaf. The blond took a moment to swing the rifle strap over his shoulder and clean his glasses on the half-tucked hem of his shirt. It was dead quiet but for the wind and water now; anything sensible had cleared off long ago, meaning anything left to approach was decidedly nonsensical or too large and confident to have much fear of a fancy fireworks stick. So it was a puzzled look that crossed the techcrafter's features when what looked like a large scrap of hide flutter-fell past him and dropped in a half-crumpled heap at his feet.

Brow creasing faintly, Aleck squinted at the delicate thing, then crouched down using his gun like a walking stick for a better look. "Huh," he muttered, and pushed his glasses up. "All right there, little.." 'It' seemed amiss, "-guy?" It was a pretty thing - unexpected, but better than bandits or felines. He kept his hands to himself, out of respect for the teeth of an unknown creature.

At Spins' salutation he looked over his shoulder and grinned faintly at the gaunt redhead. Young dragon, weyrling, from the weyr; good.

"Trade you a flit for the dragon," he shot back, good-naturedly jesting. "Answers both questions - 'less you mean things that were dead, in which case I hope not."

Posted by: lithle Jun 3 2012, 08:07 PM
Ahh, there it was. Pile of subtly rainbowed white, looking pathetic and helpless as it raised its head and peeped in Spins' direction.

"Hardly a fair trade, I think." Without the recourse of walking, Spins was starting to show signs of his usual twitchy impatience. Reaching into his belt-pouch, he pulled out a small disc of metal and began rolling it across his knuckles, in a smooth, repetitious motion. "After all, Spook here is a big strong girl. Ghost is half-dead at the best of times."

Give it time, Spenser. We'll all be equally dead in the end.

True enough.

Spins whistled, a short, sharp sound. The white rose to its feet, tottering across the ground in his direction. The creature was actually fairly intelligent, just too frail to actually make itself useful. But for the moment, Spins didn't care. He was more interested in the gun and the man accompanying it.

"You from the Weyr?" he asked, fetching out a second disc of metal to play with. "I'm Spins, and Spooky here calls herself Astaraeth."

With that, the man was treated to one of Spins' wildly melodramatic bows, both coins momentarily palmed for the act. "We are, of course, at the service of anyone who might let us play with a gun."

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