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                                          "Jack," She was real. This girl that he could barely make out in the breaking light of the sun was real. She had hugged him and told him that he'd be okay, which only made him feel like more of an a** than he already did for being so impetuous, but hey - at least he didn't have to make the first move. That could have gone in the worst direction imaginable... At least this only resulted in her retreating towards the water and she could still manage a smile. As much as Jack hated to admit it, the sky pirate really couldn't afford to scare her off. He was her only lifeline right now. "My name is Cordelia. It's nice to meet you Jack, though I wish it was under better circumstances." Jack couldn't help but laugh, and he only regretted it a little that time. "Tell me about it." He grumbled, smirking in spite of the pain. Jack watched as her eyes drifted back to the water. 'What the hell is she looking at? An escape route?' "Tell me, what do you sky pirates eat?" 'Food.' He quickly placed a hand over his mouth, suppressing another laugh. They honestly would not be able to talk about anything else! Well, he couldn't say that their relationship, whatever it became, wouldn't have priorities.

                                          "There is probably food in the water, but I doubt you'll want back in there." She began contemplatively.

                                          "Damn right I don't want back in there. I can barely move my arms, let alone try to swim and fish." Jack interjected suddenly. At the moment, he had had his fill of the water for a long time... or until the next time he 'fell' in.

                                          "That leaves us with...that" From the way she said, Jack knew she hated the prospect of entering the forest just as much as he did. He honestly had no idea what was in there. In school as a kid, he was taught it was inhospitable. Between the "savage land species that the names no longer existed for" and the man-eating plants of "ancient times", any idiot that dared to step foot on these rare islands was doomed the instant they went into the brush. After several hours, Jack could at least attest to the fact that sitting on the beach with a low burning fire only brought him one guest: his rescuer. The only sounds he heard, as far as he knew from those ruddy documentaries he was forced to watch, were cricket chirps and bird calls. Hostile island? His a**. 'How much of the s**t I was taught is actually bullshit?'

                                          "You know what, let's do it. Nothing screams "let's get to know each other" like a scary a** jungle as the sun rises, am I right?" He smirked ruefully. "If you trust me, that is." He paused, raising an eyebrow. "Do you trust me, Cordelia?"




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                            Jack's outburst against the water forced her to stifle a laugh. His near death experience wasn't the least bit funny, but she was happy to see just how lively he was. "I figured you'd say that." she said, her smile fading as her eyes drifted to the jungle once more. Before her mother's passing, she used to tell Cordelia stories of the lush vegetation found on islands. She said there were beautiful beds of 'flowers' much like the coral reefs on the ocean floor. That there were tall things called 'trees' that could touch the sky. But her father always interjected, reminding her that every beautiful thing has a dark side. For instance, sharks. She shivered at the thought of what the land equivalent of a shark was. Cordelia may have wanted to be friends with everything in the animal kingdom, but it seemed all the sharks could thing when the say her was - food. And it was that simple word that brightened her spirits almost immediately. Not just their conversation, but now her thoughts too were concerned with food!

                            "You know what, let's do it. Nothing screams "let's get to know each other" like a scary a** jungle as the sun rises, am I right?" he declared, causing her to laugh. That wasn't quite how she got to know people back at home. But what else were they going to do? Sit here and stare at each other until they were blue in the face?

                            "Sounds real fun," she laughed, her tone laced with sarcasm. "Do you trust me, Cordelia?" he asked, his question replaying over and over in her head. And for a moment, she was speechless. Can I? she thought as her eyes met his in such a way that begged him to read her thoughts. "I," she began, pausing to bit her lip nervously, "I trust you, Jack" she finally said after what had felt like hours to her. She nodded as if to reaffirm to herself that she could. He hadn't given her a reason not to trust him yet, so she'd trust him. It'd didn't matter what kind of person he was before that storm threw him from his fleet. What mattered were his choices now.

                            To break the awkward silence she had just create, she took a deep breath and a confident first step into the jungle - with her eyes close. Alright, so she wasn't that brave. But as she took her second and then third step, she slowly peeled her eyes open. "Wow," she breathed in awe. What had been nothing but dark silhouettes at the beginning of their conversation had slowly lightened up to reveal the lush greenery of the island. She recognized what she believed to be a tree, and ran to the closest one. Her lips curved into the grin of an excited child as she attempted to stroke the tree's trunk. Which, as you could imagine, wasn't the smartest idea. Seconds later she yelped, grasping her finger. "I-It attacked me!" she whined, more startled than in pain from the splinter in her finger. Of all the things she expected to attack her, a tree was not one of them. She turned to him with a look that suggested she seriously thought she was going to die. "How do I get it out?" she asked, meeting his gaze in an effort to not look back down at her finger.

                            Still, despite her tiny wound and her momentary hatred of trees, she found this jungle beautiful. Her mother had been right about just how colorful flowers were, and soft each blade of grass was. Her toes wiggled in the grass beneath her feet in agreement. But there was one thing that disturbed her. It couldn't be...running water? The ocean is much too calm to be making much noise right now, and that isn't the sound of an ocean. she thought, breaking her stare with Jack to look in the direction of the sound of water. It was coming from nearby, but that would require going further into the jungle. Their adventure so far hadn't gone very well and that wasn't making her any more eager to venture further. "Next time," she started, turning to look at him again, "You go first." she pouted.

                            ooc: .
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                                          Her answer to his question would decide everything. He would go in there alone or with a girl he just met, without backup or with what might have been his potential savior. Jack had to take a risk and ask her if she trusted him. He had nothing to lose but everything to gain in her answer, and he could tell that the question didn't sit all that well with her. The young man would readily admit that this "washed-up" look wasn't his best by a long shot, but he'd like to think that his personality might make up for a little bit. Granted, any sane person would have trepidations. 'Check your ego at the door, Jackie, when making new friends.' He silently chided himself, paraphrasing Tyler's ever flowing advice. Jack would honestly have to thank him when he got back to the ship, and that would in all likelihood cause the apocalypse - "I - I trust you, Jack" - or maybe what Cordelia just said would. She nodded weakly, reaffirming her words before turning on her heel towards the jungle.

                                          Jack, as quickly as he could manage, followed along after her after briefly stopping to pick up the stick he had been whittling into some form of an archaic spear. Hopefully he wouldn't have to use it because at the moment it was serving as a fairly solid aid in keeping him balanced as he carefully treaded through the dark and lush undergrowth. As it continued to grow brighter and brighter, he began to recall and understand some of the language those botanical historians used in those awful documentaries. The colors were unnatural, or well, unnatural to anyone that was accustomed to being surrounded by shades of blue. Literally, with each passing second, Jack was walking deeper into some child's fantasy... some dead person's memories... "Wow," Cordelia murmured, before gleefully running over to inspect one of the trees.

                                          Jack smirked slightly. He'd have done the same if he could move fast enough. The sky pirate had never seen a tree in dirt, living naturally, let alone hundreds of them of various species and size and color. It was hardly believable, but he wanted to believe in all of it. He needed to believe in all of it. "You literally just took the words right out of my mouth..." He said, his eyes slowly following the trunk of the nearest tree up to the lightening sky.

                                          "I-It attacked me!" Cordelia suddenly yelped. Jack immediately tensed, crouched down into a defensive stance in spite of his muscles' protests and grasped the shaft of the make shift spear firmly in both of his hands."WHAT. DON'T MOVE. JUST - ARE YOU OKAY?!" His eyes frantically scanned the surrounding area for any signs of movement, but the only thing he detected was the quivering of her lip as she stared in horror at her finger that she clutched in her other hand. Her eyes met his, imploring for some sort of sign that she was going to be okay. "How do I get it out?" She continued, her bright blue eyes still searching for an answer.

                                          Jack lowered the spear and simply stared at her, his brow furrowing in confusion. He walked over to Cordelia, taking her hand within his to examine it. Upon realizing that there was no blood, he pulled the hand in closer to his face to look it over and he finally saw it. A stray piece of bark, less than about a quarter of an inch long and no thicker than his finger nail, had managed to wedge itself into her finger. In other word's, she got a splinter. 'You've got to be shitting me.' Jack closed his eyes and sighed, before looking down at her and flashing her a weak smile. "It's a splinter, Cordy." He laughed weakly, shaking his head. Any thoughts of this girl being the one that managed to drag him out of the water had completely vanished. If she couldn't handle a splinter, or understand what it was for that matter, she was kind of hopeless. At least she was adorable. Looks did help most people get by if all else failed for them.

                                          "Just a little piece of wood with a slightly mischievous agenda." He continued as he began to try and push the little bugger out of her finger with the help of his thumb. Unfortunately, the thing was pretty set in there. Hoping that she wouldn't get upset if he used a bit of force, he pushed a bit harder but the thing still wouldn't budge. Jack frowned before bringing her finger to his lips to kiss it. "For now, that'll have to do." He murmured, a weak smirk growing on his face as he released her hand. If it weren't for the fact that it was still early in the morning, a weak blush probably would have been easy to make out on his cheeks."We'll just have to find some water to soak it in and see if that helps, got it?" 's**t.Iactuallyjustdidthat.s**t.Breathe.BREATHE.' Following his own advice, he took a deep breath and turned on his heel to listen for a few seconds, closing his eyes. Jack wasn't exactly an expert on the world outside of his ship, but he knew what running water sounded like and now, she needed fresh water just as much as he did. Food, for once, was no longer the priority. "Come on, I think I hear a fresh spring or something. Just, uhm... keep your hands to yourself, kay?" Obeying her request from before, he took the lead. Their pace would be slower, but she at least would avoid any other splinters.




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                            Cordelia's yelp had thrown Jack into a sort of protective frenzy. He readied a makeshift spear that she hadn't even been aware of until now, and pushed all thoughts of pain out of his mind to protect her. If she couldn't trust him before, she surely could now.

                            She watched as he lowered the spear and moved to examine her hand. Not even a minute later he closed his eyes and sighed. He sounded...disappointed? "It's a splinter, Cordy." he laughed, referring to her wound. He continued on to jokingly explain what a splinter was, but she ignored that. Her mind was stuck on one thing. "Cordy? she pondered aloud, getting a feel for the moniker. A small smile crept across her lips as she got a feel for her first nickname. It had a nice ring to it. And that made them...friends, right? Sudden pressure on her finger took her out of her thoughts and directed her attention to whatever was pushing on her finger. It seemed like Jack was trying to push this 'splinter' out of her finger. But it wasn't working. He seemed defeated, but just when she thought he was going to give up, he caught her off guard. She felt the warmth of his lips gently press against her wound and had to resist the immediate reflex of jumping back from him. He...he kissed it. she thought, trembling slightly as her face flushed a light red color.

                            "We'll just have to find some water to soak it in and see if that helps, got it?" Cordelia nodded at the notion of finding water. Anything was better than standing here and staring at her finger with a flushed face like an idiot. She shook her head violently, willing the blush to fade and let out a deep breath. "Come on, I think I hear a fresh spring or something. Just, uhm... keep your hands to yourself, kay?" he said before heading in the direction of the sound of the running water. She quickly caught up to him, remaining behind him this time. She was in no hurry to run out and adventure anymore. With each tree they passed she shot it a look that dared it to attack her again. She'd show those darn trees! Lost in her thoughts, she had drifted off slightly from behind Jack and was right on course with a tree. It wasn't until she was a step away from walking right into it that she finally turned to look and actually watch where she was going. Stifling a yelp so as not to startle Jack again, she glared at the tree. Clearly believing that it had put itself right in front of her on purpose. Running back up to Jack, she reached out for is free arm, clinging to it. This way she wouldn't be running into anything, but now she was too embarrassed to even look at him. Let alone ask if this was ok.

                            AS they continued deeper into the jungle, the sound of running water continued to grow louder. But there was no water in sight. In front of them, just past some trees, was an opening. Cordelia pushed a branch out of their way, revealing a rocky area. The ground turned from the soft grass to cold stone under their feet, and she jerked back from the sudden change, tugging on Jack's arm slightly in the process. Around them were mounds of boulders, and openings that would bring them further into the jungle. And despite the pounding sound of water that seemed to be there only to mock them now, there was absolutely no water in sight. Puzzled, and slightly frustrated Cordelia broke away from Jack's arm and moved to sit on a nearby boulder. She smoothed her dress down so as not to flash him before rest her face in her palms. "Maybe we've gone crazy from lack of food." she sighed, taking another look around. Next to her lay a rock the size of her hand, and in frustration she threw it down at the stone floor beneath them. As the rock hit the stone floor, the sound of the water was disrupted. Startled, Cordelia moved to the center of stone floor where the rock hit, and kneeled down to look for clues. She watched as Jack followed suit, and the with both of them standing on that spot there was just enough weight to break the thin layer of stone floor. It collapsed underneath the two, revealing the water beneath them. Cordelia shrieked as the two were thrown down to the depths of the waters below.

                            It was then Cordelia regretted setting out with him to find water. Not because she was falling and that they could potentially die. But at the terrifying prospect of what would happen once they were submerged. She would turn. And he would surely turn on her when he saw what she was.

                            ooc: .
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                                          Jack steadily wound his way through the trees. Had he been in better shape, he probably would have stopped to examine every piece of flora. He wasn't much of a plant guy, but it wasn't as if he could ignore something new and spectacular right in front of him. The sky pirate was not that jaded, nor was he a water and air supremacist. He was just - Jack, and Jack loved adventure.

                                          The fact that it was getting progressively lighter was at least making the trek easier to deal with and enjoy. Roots and rocks were no longer invisible threats. The colors - Gods! - the colors of the scenery were immaculate to the point of being a distraction, which unfortunately made the visible roots quite the distraction. Jack caught himself from falling several times with the help of his make shift spear, but some were a bit too close to completely falling over for his comfort. Fortunately, Cordy swooped over to his side. Whether she did so to help him walk or not, he couldn't really say and a part of him didn't really want to think it was only for the sake of practicality.

                                          It's a rare thing for two people to walk in absolute silence together. It requires either immense trust or immense fear. In those moments that he was sharing with Cordelia, he believed it was a healthy mix of both. Neither was entirely sure if they were ever going to find the source of the sound of water and neither was completely convinced that they would be able to find food. That was where the fear came from. Maybe it was the fact that Cordelia instinctively came to Jack's side, or maybe it was the fact that Jack kissed her finger as if she were a small child in need of a placebo, but they trusted each other. In the few hours that they had come to meet each other, Jack might even dare to say, that they understood each other. 'Or Jack is just full of a lot of s**t.' He bit derisively to himself as a large, rocky opening came into sight. As she stepped onto the cool stone, Cordelia pulled on him slightly. The sky pirate smirked weakly, "Cold, huh? Try being on the deck of a metal ship when it decides to take a trip to one of the poles when it's in winter! There's a good time."

                                          Cordelia suddenly pulled away from Jack and plopped herself on a nearby boulder, placing her face within her hands. "Maybe we've gone crazy from lack of food." She grumbled before taking another look around. Jack immediately did the same. He knew he wasn't crazy... he had heard something. He had heard - the water stop? Raising an eyebrow towards Cordelia, he found her kneeling on the ground, tracing her fingers over the smooth stone. Maybe, Jack wasn't giving her enough credit. "Did youuu... just do that?" He asked wearily, walking over to stand just above her. Suddenly, the stone gave way. "s**t." Before Jack was even able to process what had happened, he was submerged in the warm, fresh water. The force of the impact was excruciating. Instinctively, Jack opened his mouth to scream in agony, but he inhaled a mouthful of water instead. Resisting the immediate instinct to cough, he quickly swallowed it and reluctantly opened his eyes. He wasn't that far from the surface, but he was already short of breath from that stupid attempt at a scream, and Cordelia was no where in sight. Abandoning his spear and praying that nothing else was going to fall in after him, Jack struggled to pull himself up to the surface.

                                          He was failing miserably, until suddenly something - yes, something because it had a freaking tail, grabbed hold of his arm and yanked him to the surface. Inhaling sharply, Jack couldn't help but cough as he was dragged through the water towards the shore at an alarming speed. He could vaguely make out the sounds of a girl's voice mumbling about how stupid she was and how much she was going to hate herself for doing this, but well, things didn't exactly talk... Suddenly, Jack felt sand beneath him and the grip on his arm was gone. Quickly propping himself up, in spite of how painful it was, Jack found that thing. Or well, Jack found Cordelia... His eyes widened in absolute shock. What the hell was he dealing with here?! "... Holy s**t." Was this - what she actually looked like?! "Holy s**t." A freaking pink tail and fins for ears and - a freaking pink tail!?! "Holy. s**t." Does this - She freaking saved him, didn't she? "Holy s**t!" Gods, she wasn't pathetic at all! The splinter... the walking... the magic act from before... She just - SHE WASN'T EVEN HUMAN. "HOLY s**t."

                                          And then Jack saw it. The look on her face... she was mortified, and before he could even do anything to change that - she was trying to get away from him. "Wait, wait - Cordy no!" He immediately protested, struggling to get himself back up on his feet. "Cordelia! Come on - I'm not - s**t!" After managing a few steps, he had fallen flat onto his face and she - what ever she was - was gone. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes. "... I just screwed up. Royally."

                                          ((o o c : : Sorry I made Cordy talk there... 0.o))




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                            Splash. It was a sound she would normally associate with children playing at the surface of the water, hitting the water with their hands in an attempt to splash the other. But this time it didn't hold such a happy meaning. It was all over now. Cordelia closed her eyes tightly, not wanting to watch as she felt her body change. Smooth human legs morphed together to form glimmering coral scales and light pink fins. Her ears fanned out, the tissues turning into a coral colored thin fin. Her white dress had disappeared, leaving a small white wrap of cloth to cover her breasts and seashells adorning her hair and arms. The transformation spanned only a few seconds, and when it was over she opened her eyes, scanning the water for any signs of Jack. She had expected him to be right in front of her. His deep blue eyes staring her down. But he wasn't there. All she found were bubbles raising up from below her. Jack! she thought, her eyes widening in horror as she watched him sink. For a moment she was frozen there, staring down as she watched him die. She was terrified to go near him looking like this, but she willed her body to move despite that. With ease she swam down to him and grabbed his arm, pulling them both up to the surface. It was dragging him onto shore in the middle of changing back into her human form that proved difficult. And his never ending stream of 'Holy s**t' wasn't making it any easier. Once she was sure he was safe from the grips of the water she bolted. God knows where, but anywhere but next to him sounded safer. As she ran she heard Jack call out for her, but she refused to turn back. Their friendship had to end here.

                            As Cordelia ran she began to make out what she believed to be a relic of the old world: a human structure. Around it rocks stood balanced like pillars in the water. Water. Cordelia came to abrupt stop, her foot catching a sharp rock and sending her towards the ground. She waited for the 'thud' and the feeling of the hard ground beneath her, but it never came. "Cordelia, are you alright?!" That voice, and the warmth that held her steadily - Drake. He'd managed to catch her before she fell. And now he sat on the ground with her resting in his arms like a child, his eyes desperately combing her body for any sign of injury. "I'm ok," she whimpered, before finally letting the tears roll down her face. "I'm such an idiot! Drake, I put us all in danger. And for what? My curiosity? A friendship that could never be?" she sobbed, cursing herself as she buried her face in his chest. She expected him to yell at her, but he didn't. Instead he rocked her back and forth, his hand stroking her hair in a soothing motion. It was something her mother used to do whenever Cordelia was upset. Drake continued this motion until to his surprise, she fell asleep. "She must be exhausted." he sighed, gently leaning her back against one of the large rock pillars. He would have to come back for her after he contained the situation she had caused with that human.

                            - Roughly twenty minutes later -

                            Though she was sure he had intended for her to be comfortable, the rock Drake had rested her body against was cold and hard. It was hard for Cordelia to sleep against it for long. Once awake she pushed herself up off the ground and into a stretch, letting out a sigh. Her eyes scanned the area for any signs of Drake, but she couldn't find him. How had he found her to begin with? Puzzled, she walked around the giant rock to get a view of the area. It was largely all water aside from the rocks and ruins of what Cordelia called a castle. The architecture was just too breathtaking to be anything but that.

                            Maybe he came out of the water, she thought as she approached the edge of the water. I wonder if it leads inside... As if her curiosity hadn't gotten her in enough trouble already, she dived into the water. Once again she felt her body change back into that of a mermaid. As she swam about in search of an entrance to the 'castle' she took several detours to explore the unfamiliar aquatic life. The reefs here were filled with species of coral she had never seen before. Much like the jungle it was both strange and beautiful. And unfortunately, deadly. "Shark! Seriously?! Here of all places too!" she screamed, removing her hand from a piece of coral she had been expecting. She swam from the shark as quick as her fins could take her, but she hadn't been paying attention through all the detours as to just where she was going. It was only be sheer luck that she swam upon an entrance to the 'castle'. The old wooden doors were covered in moss and entangled in kelp. She could tell that this castle too had been a victim of the flood. Cordelia managed to crack one of the doors open just enough to slide through and narrowly escape the jaws of her predator. From above her she could see a stairwell that looked as though it eventually led to dry land, so she followed it until the water gave way to dry stairs and the entrance to a hallway. Her jaw dropped as she took her first step into a human structure. You could hardly call the architecture of the castle, that had stood the test of both time and flood, an old relic or ruins. It looked as though it was still as beautiful as the day of the flood.

                            "I wonder if their newer structures are this beautiful too," she pondered as she walked down the hall, her fingers tapping on the wall to a tune as she went. Her mind traveled off onto thoughts of Jack and his home. Did it look anything like this? Probably not. When she thought of Jack she associated him with more of a cozy, family home. Not a castle. Sorry, Jack. she thought. He'd probably be just a bit insulted at her thought. "Stupid," she started angrily, "Idiot!, "Who told you to see me like that!" she yelled half-heartedly. If only he hadn't found out. Then it wouldn't hurt this much to think about him. Lesson learned: Stay away from humans.

                            The hall broke off into two corridors: one was another hall leading to who knows where, and the other ended soon, but it led to a door labeled 'library'. Books! she thought, making her decision. Walking to the end of the hall she turned the door knob and entered the library. Light crept in through the windows in pillars, lighting some areas of the library and not others. Her fingers combed through the books looking for something interesting. "Hm?" she paused, her fingers finding a book with a word very familiar to her - mermaid. Pulling the book from the shelf she was assaulted by a cloud of dust and went into a coughing fit, dropping the book. It opened to a page showing a diamond shaped pendant. The necklace appeared to hold great power from the few words she could make out, but she wouldn't have time to read it. "Watcha readin' there pretty kitty?" a woman's voice cooed before turning into a fit of creepy laughter. Two women were in the room now, two humans. And boy did they not look friendly. Cordelia scooped the book into her arms quickly, keeping her eyes on the two women and their weapons. If one thing was clear to Cordelia it was that this book was not intended for human eyes, and she needed to protect it. Darting out the door Cordelia made a bee line for the nearest exit. She would have to hide the book in the jungle before getting the hell off the island, but that was if she could make it out. They were already right behind her.

                            "Long time no see, Katja and Emma" Drake cut in, stepping in front of Katja and Emma and motioning for Cordelia to make her escape. Knowing she would only get in the way if she stayed, Cordelia fled. She would come back for him after she hid the book.

                            ooc: Holy wall of text. Sorry it's so long. o w o
                            But the post is all set up now for you to post as Katja and Emma, and for me to get Drake's post set up next.

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                                                                  "Cordelia," he started, coming to a stop as they reached the gates to Pelagia. "Were you really just looking at the stars? All night through the storm, you risked your life staying out to just to watch the stars. And at that specific island. I'm having a hard time believing you're that foolish." he said, his voice begging her to tell him the truth. Silence. He remembered how just hours ago Cordelia's father had come up to Drake in a panic looking for Cordelia. And when neither of them could find her within the city, Drake had been the one to go out and bare the storm. He promised he would bring her back. After searching frantically all night, not knowing if she was even alive, he had found her. And "I'm sorry..." was all she could come up with? Drake didn't respond or turn to look at her. He just swam through the gates to their kingdom, leaving Cordelia with no choice but to follow. Leading the way to Cordelia's home, he watched as she swam inside. She couldn't even meet his gaze. Inside he could hear her father's voice booming furiously. I should head home too. he thought, massaging a sore shoulder. Normally when a storm hit, you didn't swim towards it. But because Cordelia had run off, he was the idiot who swam towards it in search of her and got tossed around. Sore and exhausted, he swam home in hopes of getting some sleep. He could sleep easy now knowing she was home safe.

                                                                  Or not. Just hours later Drake had woken up to find Cordelia had left the kingdom at Panos' beck and call. This girl was going to be the death of him. With a sigh he bid farewell to Pelagia once more and went out to search for the lost girl. Perhaps this is what cattle dogs felt like in the old world. Rounding the cattle up one day just to wake up and do it again. Difference being, there were scarier things than wolves that would easily, and happily, gobble Cordelia up. He made his rounds in the area, checking all of her usual spots - nothing. That left only one place for her to be. Drake scowled in the direction of the island he had just dragged her back from the night before. He began swimming in the direction of the island, remaining fairly close to the surface of the water. As he grew closer to the island, a shadow formed over the surface of the water. Drake stopped abruptly before cautiously poking his head above the surface of the water. Above his head was a fleet floating in the sky, and boy did it look like it had been through hell. I bet it got tossed around in last night's storm...Idiots. he scoffed, But what are they still hanging around here for? They're clearly able to fly, so why... he trailed off, his head scanning every direction for an interest point. "It can't be..." he said, his gaze freezing on the island he was sure Cordelia was playing around on. Without giving it even a second thought he swam as fast as his fins could propel him towards the island. And when he reached the island, and found Cordelia, he had to do a double take. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. A human. And not just any ol' human, but a freaking sky pirate. he thought, his hands forming fists angrily as he watched the two interact. This wasn't safe. She wasn't safe. That fleet would find them by the end of the day no doubt. What would they do to his dear Cordelia then? But he would have to remain hidden. Jumping out of the water in a fury now would only make the situation worse. So he waited. He watched as Cordelia yelped at the snapping fire and had to stifle a laugh. The girl who was so hard to catch in the water, and so confident, was so helpless on land. It was both hilarious and adorable. And despite his anger, he enjoyed seeing another side of her.

                                                                  Before long the two on the island moved towards the jungle, allowing Drake to finally end his stalking and pull himself out of the water and onto the island. His human form consisted of a simple outfit, much like Cordelia. He loosened the white button down shirt he wore, unbuttoning the buttons close to neck, revealing some of his chest. A black blazer hung loosely off of his body, matching a pair of loose black slacks. His long purple hair had fallen all over his face now, and he was quick to tie it back into it's usual loose ponytail. Unlike Cordelia, he had no interest in taking in the feeling of sand in his toes (for some reason the transformation to his human form never did involve shoes) or the feeling of being human. It all came loaded with negative memories. The last time he looked like this he... Drake bit his lip in frustration, and turned his focus back to the jungle and what he had come here to do. He wouldn't let her get involved with them. The less she knew about the sky pirates, and more importantly Vergesberg, the better. As he trekked through the jungle, he grew frustrated, realizing that his time recalling old memories had made him lose Cordelia and her new friend. It was a feeling that didn't plague him long before a loud crash and a familiar scream sent him running in the direction of Cordelia. "Please be ok!" he yelled, more to himself than Cordelia, who he was sure probably couldn't hear him from this distance. By the time he arrived at the collapsed rock structure, Cordelia was already pulling the sky pirate out of the water and running off. The sky pirate was yelling for her to come back, but he was too weak to give chase to her. Good.. he scowled, looking for a way down other than falling like the two before him had. All the while thinking So they're already on a first name basis, huh? By the time he had found a way down, Cordelia was long gone. However, the sky pirate was still laying there pathetically. Perfect. he smirked, jumping down from a nearby ledge and putting his hands in his pockets. He slowly made his way over to the sky pirate, making no effort to hide his footsteps.

                                                                  "Listen up, kid." he said, his tone that of a lecturing peer as he now stood above the sky pirate looking down at him. "You're going to forget everything you saw today, you hear me? That girl," he paused, pointing a finger in the direction Cordelia had run. "Is better off without you. So don't you dare come looking for her. When you can walk, get your a** to your fleet. And don't ever let me see your a** around the water again. You won't like what will happen if I do." he growled, glaring down at the sky pirate below him. He didn't care how nice the boy might have been to Cordelia. Sky pirates were all the same - no good. And they were especially not good enough for Cordelia. Speaking of which, he needed to go find the little mermaid. He was sick of looking at this sky pirate's mug anyways. Without even a hint of a goodbye Drake turned on his heel and in the direction Cordelia had ran. In the distance he could make out the ruins of a structure of the old world - and boy did it have Cordelia's name written all over it.

                                                                  However, Drake didn't even get a chance to take even one step into the structure before Cordelia bolted out of it, a book tucked in the crook of her arm. On her tail were two women he would rather have never seen again. Even now he wished someone else could swoop in and tango with the two witches for him, but unfortunately he was the lucky guy who got to do that. Running out from behind one of the rock pillars, he jumped in front of Katja and Emma, blocking them from pursuing Cordelia. "Long time no see, Katja and Emma." he said, pulling out his most charming tone and expression. It was all an act of course. But perhaps the fake prince charming persona would get them to back off. He wasn't sure what they wanted with Cordelia, but they weren't going to lay a finger on a single hair on her skull. They'd have to go through him first. And if they did, she'd be long gone. Drake smirked - either way, he'd already won.

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                                          Jack swore quietly under his breath. He'd basically just ruined everything. Any chance he had of making it out of here with a shred of dignity or sanity just went out of the window when that girl took off. He swore again, but loudly. As he gently turned himself over onto his back, he closed his eyes and sighed. 'I just witnessed a girl grow a tail and then gain legs all within the span of what was probably less than a minute. I only know her name. How the hell do I only know this girl's name when she's practically an alien?! Or, better yet, how was I naive enough to think that only knowing the girl's name was enough to get by on? I should have asked more questions! I should have probed her about the island to trap her in a lie! I mean, god, I didn't even dare to ask her if she was the one that saved me. Although, it's not like it's not obvious anymore. She has a tail. She freaking dragged my sorry a** out of the ocean and probably with the help of some bizarre squid side kick she could talk to! GODS, what have I gotten myself into?!'

                                          "Listen up, kid." The voice pulled Jack away from his thoughts in a panic. The idiot needed to learn that silent monologues got him killed given that he apparently all control of his senses. Blue eyes popping open, Jack took in the silhouette of a tall and lean figure that sounded less than pleased with him. How he had managed to piss off a complete stranger was absolutely beyond Jack, but he decided it was probably best to avoid immediate protest. Carefully propping himself up, he lolled his head to the side. Jack squinted to make out the man's features, and for some reason found himself staring at a mildly familiar face. Though he couldn't place it, there was something oddly familiar in a unique hair color that framed such a stern visage. Jack began to wonder if he had killed the guy's puppy or something... he seriously looked pissed. "You're going to forget everything you saw today, you hear me? That girl," Gesturing towards the direction Cordelia had just disappeared in, it suddenly clicked in Jack's mind. The cute thing had a boyfriend. Figures. "Is better off without you. So don't you dare come looking for her. When you can walk, get your a** to your fleet. And don't ever let me see your a** around the water again. You won't like what will happen if I do." Oh yeah, he was the boyfriend, without a doubt.

                                          Jack fell back to the ground, laying his arms over his face. Honestly, what Jack could have possibly done to deserve all of this was absolutely beyond him, and now, he was even worse off than before. Maybe, he could dehydrate quickly enough so that his death would be painless. That would be the ideal for right now.

                                          "JACKY?! JACK. OH DEAR GODS, JACKSON. YOU AND THAT a** BETTER BE ALIVE DOWN THERE OR I WILL MUTILATE THAT BODY OF YOURS!"

                                          Jack smirked weakly, his arms falling to his sides. Salvation.




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                                          The taller blonde raised an eyebrow, eyeing the purple haired man in front of her. A few years had passed but thanks to a few experiments, Drake was the same as ever. Well, except for that hideous ponytail he was now sporting. It must have fashionable for men with tails to wear them... or maybe he was gay now. Honestly, that wouldn't surprise Katja, he had denied her advances for years after all. His loss. "Would you look at what the tide dragged in, Em?" She purred, a dangerously vindictive smile growing on her face. The other blonde's eyes widened excitedly, an audible sigh escaping her lips. "Drakey! I mean - umm... hi, kitten."

                                          Drake eyed the duo apprehensively as Katja looked him up and down. She seemed to get stuck on his ponytail and instinctively he ran a hand through it, pulling his long purple locks to his front. "The tide, huh?" he scoffed at her attempt at a joke. Even if it was slightly accurate. "I take it you two didn't come here for a simple hello," he said, giving Emma a curt nod. "What are you really here for?" he said, his tone growing stern and dark. They may have been on the same team once, but they weren't anymore. And after what Vergesberg had put him through, he had no interest in playing their game.

                                          "To be honest, love, we thought you were dead at the bottom of the sea by now." Katja murmured, a slight shrug denoting her indifference. "Some of your friends didn't make it very long after the transfusions, but maybe all they needed was a little bit of salt water to help it sink in." The older sister, shifted the gun she was toting to her opposite shoulder. Her eyes truly misgave her air of indifference, as they continued to take him in. He really hadn't changed at all, and it was the most unsettling fact to her right now. No mutations from the transfusions and serums - not a single scale or gill!

                                          Drake's eyes stayed locked onto Katja's gun for a moment, as he watched it swing to her other shoulder. He tried to hide how on edge he was; slipping his hands into his pockets and slouching. But the danger of the situation rang in his ear. They were armed and he was not. He was also terribly out of practice fighting on land, and they all knew where this was going.

                                          It took almost all his willpower to break his gaze from Katja and her grip on her gun, but Emma was just as big of a threat. If not bigger with that deceiving demeanor of hers.

                                          "You don't want to say "hello" to us? You've certainly changed your tune, Kitten." Emma, her sister's polar opposite, innocently rocked back and forth on the balls of her feet as she too studied her long lost friend. Though the man certainly knew better than to believe in her act of innocence, the younger blonde couldn't help but to resort to her old tricks as she took a few steps towards him, smiling sweetly. "Where'd your friend go, Kitten?"

                                          "Friend? Why, I don't know what you are talking about, darling." he smiled, holding his ground. She could come as close as she liked. It'd only make it easier for him to seperate the two, and perhaps turn the fight in his favor.

                                          "The adorable little blonde we didn't have the chance to meet!" Emma explained, continuing to rock back and forth.

                                          "Oh, yes. That adorable blonde." he said, dropping his act of stupidity as his lips formed into a knowing smirk. "I'm afraid you've just missed her. And that you will continue to miss her." he said, his tone progressively getting aggressive as he continued.

                                          "I'm surprised," he started, trying to shift the conversation back to them. "Were you both just overlooked? And here I thought only the best and most trusted of Vergesberg got to be experimented on." he said, his tone both taunting and laced with sarcasm. It was both a serious question, and a ploy to bring their attention back to him. He wasn't normally one to love being the center of attention, but he knew the kind of attention they'd be giving wouldn't be the type Cordelia should have to endure.

                                          Emma's rocking stopped when he, to her knowledge, had insulted her. "Kitten, that - that's not very nice to say."

                                          "Oh, Em, he's only saying that because he's bitter that he was expendable. They all were; overly qualified to be expendable." A malicious grin crept across Katja's face; she knew very well what kind of game the experiment was trying to play with her and she didn't appreciate the gesture. Now was not a time for games. They had a deadline. This was the last library. It had to be here, unless that little minx ran off with it.

                                          Though Drake ignored Emma's whine at his insult, he had trouble ignoring Katja's comment. "Tck." he hissed in annoyance. They knew nothing of the selection process, and what those who underwent testing had to go through. It was in those few days that the truth about Vergesberg and it's leaders had been revealed to him. Unfortunately, it seemed only he had survived, if not through sheer anger at Vergesberg.

                                          "It must be terribly sad to be expendable.." Emma whined plaintively, offering an empathetic look to Drake. "Do you miss us at all, Kitten?"

                                          Emma whined once more, cutting into his thoughts. She seemed to sympathize with him now, as if he were some sad, broken doll. But he wasn't. It was Katja and Emma who were to be pitied. Still believing the lies they were being spoonfed by Vergesberg. Maybe they actually even believed in what they were being told, and the cause they were fighting for. "Missed you?" he paused, a bit caught off guard by the question. It was hard to keep pace with the twins. What with one giving him a lethal vibe, and the other trying to turn him into a broken doll that needed to be coddled. That was one thing he surely didn't miss about them. It was tiring. "Of course," he started, a deceivingly kind smile creeping across his face. "At first." he paused, "That is... Until I realized just how psychotic you both were for sticking with Vergesberg. It's a pity really. You're pretty faces have been wasted on bastards like that. You are both nothing more than ugly reminders of the life I used to lead. And I despise that." he growled, being as clear as possible about his distaste both for Vergesberg and its supporters.

                                          Emma's eyes widened slightly before she nervously looked to her older sister. It was as if she could sense the older girl's growing agitation with each word that Drake foolishly spat. "Psychotic for sticking with the winning side?" Katja cackled, shaking her head as she raised her hand to cover her mouth, hiding her pitying smirk. "Gods, you're just as naive as you were when you got thrown into the sea!" Lowering her hand, she sighed, lowering the nose of her gun into the ground so that she could balance on it. "We're the ones that live on land, we're the ones that have the most advanced ships in the skies, WE'RE the ones that are going to reclaim the waters for ourselves and you think we are the psychotic ones?!" She poined a finger assuingly at Drake, before her arm graciously swooped around her. "This is what's psychotic! People living in sheltered realities where they fear the wildlife more than they fear us! How water logged could your brain possibly be to forget that!?"

                                          The farther Katja delved into her rant, the more Drake realized something. They were fighting each and every day to stay alive. With each passing day the threat of the tides swallowing up the few remnants of land weighed heavy on the hearts of mankind. They would always have to watch their back in the sky, for fear of being shot down by another fleet. It was Drake who was the lucky one. No matter how much he had cursed Vergesberg for what they had turned him into; it was a blessing in disguise. The safest place in the world right now was in the ocean, and Drake was able to live freely between both worlds. But he wasn't just living. He had met Cordelia, her father, and the others that lived in the kingdom of Pelagia. Until now, he hadn't been able to admit to himself that he was happy. He'd come to terms with what he was faster than his emotions could keep up.

                                          "Kitty? I'm bored of him. Can we go?" Emma suddenly interjected, her eyes glued to the shifting branch movements in the forest. Any of them could have been their precious new plaything who may have taken their book. Any could have been her ticket into the water without having to undergo deadly, scientific experiments. She had always wondered what it was like to have a fish friend named Bubbles. It must have been sublime!

                                          Emma cut Katja off, and for a moment it made Drake wonder just how long the older twin would have talked if allowed. But Emma's fixation with the movements in the forest had him worried. Were those just animals? Or had Cordelia really been so stupid as to stay in the area? He really hoped it was the former. But as the twins moved to pass him, he couldn't risk it.

                                          Katja cast her sister a wary glance; the girl always had a knack for drifting off during her most climactic speeches. It made the older woman wonder if she was too verbose, not that it mattered around this idiot though. Drake was stuck here. They had better things to do. "Come on, Em. Say goodbye to the dumb ********." Katja turned on her heel and began to make her way down the path.

                                          "Bye dumb dumb!" She managed half heartedly before beginning to follow after her sister, having to side step Drake in the process.

                                          "Sorry about this, love." he said grabbing Emma's arm as she moved to side step him. He quickly used his grip on her arm to restrain her as his leg swooped in, taking out the back of her knees. And as the girl fell, he let go of her arm and went to strike her chest in an attempt to make her fall that much more damaging. He wasn't going to go easy on them. Something he knew the twins would reciprocate.

                                          The younger sister gasped slightly at his touch. It was angry, purposefully holding her in place. Her soft brown eyes locked with his mutated ones. For a minute, Emma caught herself admiring their purposeful glare. She hadn’t seen it on him in years… not since his – Suddenly, it tightened. His determination was no longer something to admire, it was something to fear. The blonde reached her hand for his, desperately trying to claw her way free. “Drakey, that – “ Her whined protests turned into a shrill scream as she was savagely slammed to the ground.

                                          “Emma, what the hell are you - … …” The older blonde’s face contorted into a twisted grimace of delight as she unlocked the safety on her gun. “I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time.”

                                          Once Emma was down, Drake turned towards Katja. Perhaps he should've attacked her first, given that she was the one armed with the giant a** gun. But he had gone for the closest one. At the very least it would stall Katja from taking a step further. Drake shifted into a more defensive stance, unsure if he'd be shot at or if the older twin would prefer to use her hands. His eyes shifting to Emma every few seconds to make sure she wouldn't get a surprise attack in.

                                          Emma pushed herself up from the ground, giggling quietly as her fingers touched her cheek to find that it was tender. A bruise and – she pulled her hand away to study her fingers as she rolled them in the air; they were caked in – blood. “Put your gun away, sister.” She chided her older sister who was now locked in on the center of Drake’s throat, waiting for the proper motivation to pull the trigger and end the b*****d’s life. “It’s been so long since I’ve gotten a chance to play.” Lunging forward, her hands flew to her pockets to pull out a pair of knives, exquisitely crafted in a mix of metals. The blades gleamed in the glare of the sun as she charged forward before unleashing a barrage of sharp and quick jabs. Right side of the rib cage; Drake parried. A swooping slash across his face lightly grazed his cheek before he returned the favor with a kick to her ribs; something cracked. Left thigh; Drake blocked and then attacked, his stony fist slamming her chin. She bit her tongue and the taste of iron filled her mouth. Her lips parted to reveal a gleeful, red-stained smile. “You’ll pay for that, kitten.” Upper left; Drake dodged and attempted to counter with a fluid, right hook. He had to end this quickly and keep himself as close to Emma as possible. Her sister wouldn’t risk the shot if they were entangled, or would she? As Emma sunk beneath his extended arm, she grazed the thin side of one blade along the underside of his forearm before spinning away. It was a taunting lick.

                                          “Emma, I’m not here to watch you play cat and mouse!” Katja hissed, anxiously looking over her shoulder. Were the trees still moving as much as they were before?

                                          er sister smirked, dismissing her comment for what it really was: hot air. Diving in once more, she blocked his first undercut with the blade of the opposite side. His soft skin broke and began to bleed furiously as she slid the knife across his wrist. He cried in agony and in blind frustration, slammed his head into her own before kicking her down. Rather than groan, she broke into a fit of giggles as her head lolled back and forth.

                                          Drake steadied himself, his head spinning after it had connected with Emma's. His hand shot out to apply pressure on the wound on his wrist, and he grunted from both the pain and the extremity of the situation. She was...laughing. The twins twisted personalities made the fight just as mentally exhausting as it was physically. He needed to end this already!

                                          “No… no no no.” She cooed plaintively, straightening herself up once more only to be pushed down by the heel of Drake’s foot on her throat. A strangled laugh escaped her lips.

                                          Drake glared down at Emma's body, his eyes daring her to move as his foot applied a dangerous amount of pressure. "This game... is over." he growled between pants. "I swear to god Katja, I'll crush her throat. Leave." he threatened, applying just enough extra pressure on the girl's throat to make her whine.

                                          “Get off of her. Now.” Katja hissed, firing a shot that flew by her former comrade’s face. It was a warning; the next one would lock with his face. Count on it.

                                          Drake lifted a finger to his cheek, examining it for a wound. The bullet had whizzed by so quick, and so close, even the wind had felt like it had sliced his cheek. "Tsk." he groaned, glaring at Katja now. She wasn't going to stand down. Not that he had really expected her too, it just wasn't programmed into the twins' personalities to back down in fight. But he'd been hopeful. In one quick motion he looked away from Katja, whirling his body around as he raised his leg and forcefully slammed it down towards Emma's throat.

                                          “I don’t have ******** time for this!” She bellowed, a bullet exploding from the barrel of her gun to hit him just above his knee. Before his leg could connect with Emma's throat, he crumpled beside Emma as the girl rolled to her side, gasping between strangled bouts of laughter. Katja quickly ran to her sister’s side and lifted her from the ground, inspecting her face and side without any indicators of a motherly instinct. Emma was banged up, but she would manage. She took pleasure in it all anyways. The freak.

                                          Her eyes lingered on Drake for an instant. He was coughing and wincing from his many wounds, but he was still trying to fight. It was pitiful. His hand reached out with malefic intentions, but he couldn't even reach the twins now. And his hand soon fell to steady the wound in his knee. He only managed to hold a glare, directed at Katja. She smirked, rolling her eyes before slamming the butt of her gun into the side of his face. “Try getting back to the ocean now, b*****d. … Say bye, Em, and mean it this time.”


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                            "What is so important about this book, anyways?!" Cordelia yelled, glaring at the book she held in her hands. She was gasping for air and her hands were trembling. It was taking every bit of willpower she had to calm down and not panic. Sitting down on a nearby tree stump, she steadied her hands and with a few weary glances around her, opened the book once more. Having only gotten a glimpse of a page in the middle of the book earlier, she decided to start from the beginning this time. Slowly and carefully she turned each page, careful not to rip the pages that had weakened over the years. The ripples in the pages telling a story of how the book had survived the flood. It was clear the book was much older than she was. "What language is this?" she scanned through the next couple pages, with no more luck than the first few. The characters resembled something of the language her people used, but she couldn't make out a thing. With a groan she shut the book. She was getting no where fast. And who knew what those awful girls were doing to Drake! Oh god, Drake! So much for not panicking.

                            Jumping up from her seat on the stump, she scanned the forest around her. Her eyes flickered from the book and forest, searching for a place to hide it. Cordelia didn't know the book's significance, but it seemed the awful twins and Drake knew. Why else had those girls come in search of a book, armed no less! And why had Drake intervened when they pursued her? None of it sat well with her. She'd get answers from Drake after she found him alive.

                            Out of the corner of her eye, she saw something bolt. Her heart threatened to jump out of her chest, and her hand shot up to prevent a scream. It wasn't anything human, thank god. But it was some weird creature. The four-legged animal scampered up a tree quickly, twigs catching it's fur as it went. Cordelia followed it with her eyes until it disappeared into a hole within the tree, and she could see nothing more than a tail poking out. "Thank you!" she exclaimed, grinning. She would be borrowing the creatures home for a bit. After a good ten minutes or so, Cordelia found a way up the tree, and she had a few scrapes and bruises to prove the ordeal had even happened. Her sudden appearance had scared the small animal off and she quickly shoved the book in the hole. It just barely fit, but it would have to do.

                            Once she was down from the tree, she tried to get her bearings of the surroundings. What direction had she run here from? Slowly Cordelia made her way back in the direction she hoped would lead her to Drake. She was only certain she was going the right way when two unfortunately familiar voices approached her. The voices seems agitated. From her hiding spot she could see signs of a fight over one of the girl's body, and she winced. It looked painful. She could only hope Drake didn't look like that. Slowly making her way to the clearing, she was careful not to make any noises that would alert the twins she had stuck around. Once she was through the forest, she could make out the color purple, and the silhouette of a tall man. Her heart sank, and she broke into a sprint towards Drake's lifeless body. He was covered in injuries, and he was bleeding pretty bad. Her eyes moved towards his knee, and she jerked back. That awful woman! It was clear even to Cordelia that Drake had been shot, and the blow must have been enough to send him to the ground rather hard, because he wasn't waking up. Biting her lip, she willed the tears that were falling to go away. They were clouding her vision. Not that it really mattered, she could stare at his wounds all day long, but she still had no idea how to help him.

                            ooc: .
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                                                    The sun was quickly rising over head. The timer Tyler had set for himself on the dash of the hover bike was running down. If he didn't find Jack soon, the two of them would be learning how to rough it out in the wild frontier until some other fleet stumbled upon their pathetic and most likely emaciated souls. Tyler refused to believe that any other negative option could even be an option. Jack was alive. He had to be alive. Tyler wouldn't be able to live with himself if he wasn't, he wouldn't be able to live with the fact that some of the last things he said to his best friend - his brother! - were asinine comments inspired by his fear of a freaking storm, he wouldn't be able to live really... Jack was part of what kept him sane on that ship after he lost his father... Jack was Tyler's rock, just as Tyler was Jack's.

                                                    Jack was alive. He had to be. End of discussion.

                                                    Exiting another water filled ravine, Tyler cut a sharp left on the hover bike. Pulling out until he was just out of the shallow waters, he began to survey yet another stretch of coast. The last six had proven fruitless, and Tyler would probably kill the next fish that swam across his path if this one proved to be the same. He'd also probably kill Jack, too. Honestly, how could that idiot not have thought to create some sort of signal that he was alive someplace?! A message in the sand... a message out of rocks... even a freaking fire, the most obvious of signs - wait, no. "Is that - smoke?" Tyler cut the engine. His piercing, green eyes furrowing as he stared attentively at the shore. It wasn't much smoke, but a few fading embers still had enough fight in them to produce it. Revving the bike back up, he took off, pulling hard on the flight yoke to take off over the tree cover of the island. The temporary camp site and the fire were abandoned. If Jack was anywhere, it would be further inside. The idiot was probably looking for something edible. 'What was he trying to find? Mushrooms? Disgusting...' Though, he was at least looking for something! He wasn't passed out on some rock in the middle of no where and dehydrated! He was moving! Again, Tyler's impractical optimism was kicking into gear. He didn't want to think about how Tyler could have been attacked and dragged into the jungle by some weird creature. He didn't want to think about the possibility that there were, against all odds, people living on the island.

                                                    Jack was getting food. He had to be. End of discussion.

                                                    "JACKY?! JACK. OH DEAR GODS, JACKSON. YOU AND THAT a** BETTER BE ALIVE DOWN THERE OR I WILL MUTILATE THAT BODY OF YOURS!"

                                                    Tyler lowered the hover bike to the ground instantaneously. It bumped several times causing a haze of dust to lift into the air just before the blonde saw his friend's arms collapse from his face to the jungle floor. Movement. Jack was alive! The idiot had probably over exerted himself by moving away from the shore line, but he was moving and breathing! He looked like s**t, but he was - ... did he still have the same mental capacities? He better have the same mental capacities. The sky pirate's smile melted into a look of pure concern as his legs swung over the bike. They hit the ground running and he practically fell over them before he reached his friend's side.

                                                    Jack looked bad. He was wet, which, from a bit of detective work as he scanned meant that the moron had probably just exited the lake nearby only moments before Tyler had found him. The darker dirt at least offered him a timeline as did the ... footprints? No. No point in focusing on that. They were probably Jack's. He had to get to the water somehow after all, unless - the boy's eyes locked with the cliff face above them; Jack better not have fallen... that just - that opened up an entire can of worms that Tyler honestly didn't think he could handle getting into.

                                                    Resting two fingers in the crook of Jack's neck, the blonde looked deeply into his friend's unfocused eyes, praying to the gods that the arm movement hadn't been his last. "Jackson, come on kid. Say something. Prove to me you aren't some sun-fried raisin brain. Say - "

                                                    "Tyler... just - just get me out of here." Jack mumbled shakily, his eyes struggling to focus. Tyler nodded warily; things weren't horrible, but they were bad.

                                                    "Sure thing, Jacky. We'll get you fixed up and pretty so that a girl will fall right into your lap - "

                                                    "No more girls. I don't want to look at any cute girls for a week, at least."

                                                    "Joining my side, are ya?"
                                                    Tyler laughed weakly, smirking in spite of his friend's weight as he slung the young man up and into his arms.

                                                    "Only in your dreams, mate." He mumbled, wincing from the sudden pressure on his limbs. What ever he'd gone through after he'd been tossed through the waves, must have done a serious number on him. Something he may have been avoiding until he knew that he had a chance of being truly safe.

                                                    Tyler carefully placed Jack down on the bike before sitting down behind him. "All I'm asking you to do, mate, is stay awake until we get back to the fleet." The other man mumbled something that sound like a mix of hummed affirmation and a slurred bit of sassy insult. Tyler settled for it before revving up the bike and taking off into the skies. He had Jack... now he just had to find the fleet. This was supposed to be the easy part? Please.




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