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Last Post Wins!

It is nearly four days before Talib recovers to the point he feels he can travel safely. During those four days there is no pursuit. The New World Syndicate Elites did truly give up chase. Talib spends most of this time in contemplation over the encounter he had outside the town.
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Lemur’s talons grip the sturdy bark of the limb as she lands for a momentary break. Her eyes survey the rainforest, exactly as bright and colorful as she remembered it. “I’m here. I’m finally back where I belong!” With a beat of her rosy wings, Lemur glides between the towering mahogany trees, before her long tail lashes out to wrap around a protruding, slightly damp branch and throws her higher into the humid air. “I don’t know exactly where I am here, but that doesn’t matter because I’m home!!”


Another flick of her tail brings Lemur almost to the thick canopy of leaves that covers the entire wet, tropical world she’s missed for fifty years. Delighted lavender blooms over her flanks and neck, streaking her mixed pink and azure hide with cheer. “I haven’t seen any others around yet. I wonder what time it is…?”

Flick. Glide. Repeat. Even after decades without practicing, tree-gliding is as fresh in Lemur’s mind as it was when she learned as a dragonet. Soon, she arrives atop a branch poking out over a small clearing and looks into the sky - noon. “That explains why I feel so tired.” Yawning, she settles on the rough limb and closes her round eyes…

Later, Lemur stretches on her branch, claws dug into the sides to keep her from falling. Her scales arrange themselves into her preferred patterns as she catapults herself away from the tree and over the clearing, diving back into the tangled branches. She hovers for a moment, just long enough to collect a talonful of bright orange spheres, and continues her gliding. But the more she travels, the stronger her feeling of disconcertment grows. Something isn’t quite right. “I should have seen another RainWing by now.”

Even as she voices her concerns, Lemur hears a cry for help pierce the slowly darkening forest, and she knows exactly where she is even as her body melts into the background. “I’m dreaming, or re-living a memory. I’m not actually here,” she mutters to herself while sprinting down towards the rainforest floor. It takes only a minute for her to reach an all too familiar scene.

Pinned to the dirt by two armed SkyWings was Liana, her scales conveying the pain and terror she felt as a third held her jaws open and roughly tore out the fangs that made a RainWing dangerous. Lemur knew what happened next. Her invisible body burst from the trees, hissing as streams of corrosive tar-like venom sprayed from her own. Onto the backs and wings of the mountain dragons it spattered, immediately starting to eat away at their once-pristine scales. They screamed in agony, flapping to get away from the vengeful healer as she continues to hiss violently. “I didn’t lie to them, exactly. I was looking for the frogs and mint Splendiferous wanted,” Lemur runs to the side of her friend, “and down here it is darker than night, and flying is quite difficult.”

Lemur had never gotten a good look at the fourth SkyWing. She knew from the ostentatious jewelry coating him that he was a noble, wealthy and superior enough to try capturing a RainWing to use as decoration, and that he knew that neckband did something to RainWings because the SkyWing had gotten it around her throat before she could react. The last thing Lemur heard was the noble yelling at his guards to “Come back here and get this one, or I’ll tear your throats out myself!

Then the memory fades, and the rest of Lily’s sleep is undisturbed.

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As Lily sleeps, her hair displays all manner of emotions, ranging from joy and delight to anger and fear and guilt. Eventually, she relaxes and her breathing settles.

Over the next four days, Lily spends a great majority of her time sleeping. Her shivering continues, constantly getting worse no matter the temperature. When she is awake, she stays quiet and thinks about anything and everything, from her home to the war-machine man they’re going to meet to the distinct lack of brewing materials in the wasteland.
A force as voracious as time itself.
A void as cryptic as reality itself.
An enigma as vexing as life itself.
[Image: HjaVgvK.jpg]
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During that time, Talon and Alethia both spend much of their time ranging around the area, not seeming to be doing anything in particular other than avoiding each other, though Talon does at one point bring back a couple bony hares, and a collection of small bones appear on the hilltop where Alethia spends her time when she's not flying over the desert. There seems to be some unspoken agreement that when one of them is there, the other isn't. Talon seems to be wrapped up in thoughts of his own, and says little, responding to questions or requests mechanically.

Eventually, while he's out wandering, Alethia lands on the edge of the little ravine, her landing sending a gust of dusty wind over them. She looks over at Talib first.

"Your wound seems like it's almost healed. I don't smell blood anymore. Perhaps soon we can leave. I'm curious about these war machines. It is clever to make such things to make up for your weak bodies."
She turns to Lily.

"You don't seem well. I want you to know that I don't hate you. I sensed the foulness in you before, but I know now it came from the machine."
She bares her teeth in a snarl.
"If I knew where the honorless wretches who dared make such a profane thing were, I'd rip them to shreds and burn the pieces to ash."
A great nation is not a nation that rules the world. A great nation is a nation that realizes they don't have to.
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Nafisa once again stands atop the tower over looking the excavation inside Rapture. Debris have been cleared away from around the base of the statue and the makeshift crane towering over the pit has been redone. The previous one sits as a pile of broken planks a one side of the hole. It wasn’t strudy enough to life the statue.

Yet more delays on getting this thing to Qasim She thinks to herself I suppose I should be greatful. I don’t have to kill Talon just yet... He is curious, most of his kind couldn’t’ve even fought Idris, even if he was near the bottom of the chain.

She is disturbed from her musings by the sensation of a mortal coming up the stairs behind her. The messanger opens the door without grace and stumbles onto the tower top. It is clear he had just been woken up. Nafisa acts as if she hasn’t noticed his presence. The less she has the manipulate other’s minds the better. After thirty seconds the messenger coughs. Nafisa starts as if she just noticed his presence.

“My lady. I’m sorry to disturb you.“ The messenger says rather tiredly

“There is no need for apologies. Speak. What is it you have come to say”

“No further sightings of the dragon or Talon’s traveling companions have been reported. According to the Elite’s captain we appear to be in the clear as far as them. As for the excevation, we should be ready to begin removal of the hideous thing tomorrow. We have actually gotten some proper engineers this time, so the crane hopefully won’t collapse again.”

Turning back to the railing on the tower edge, Nafisa replies, “Good. You may depart.”

The door closes just as noisily as it opened, leaving Nafisa alone once more in the cool night air.
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Lily’s greyish eyes meet Alethia’s, a little pink dying the edges of her hair. “I a-app-appreciate that, k-knowing that for c-certain. A-as for the whole n-not-well thing, I i-imagine tha-that’s my blood c-cooling. N-now that t-there isn’t a nuclear r-reactor keeping it n-near boiling.” Her arms pull a little closer to her body. “I-it’ll stop, eventually, I’m s-sure.”



“I-I know w-where they used t-t-t-to be. Whether th-they’re still there, I don’t kn-know. E-either they’re a r-radioa-active wasteland or t-they control the c-continent t-they’re on.”

There isn’t much reason to go there, really. It’s going to be the single most radioactive spot on this planet, if the rest of the world had any say. Not to mention all the horrors that probably roam it, much worse than those around here. Their creators are… probably dead anyway.
A force as voracious as time itself.
A void as cryptic as reality itself.
An enigma as vexing as life itself.
[Image: HjaVgvK.jpg]
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