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Author Topic: Ace of The Duck Pond Thunder of the Ghost Ships.  (Read 5805 times)
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #250 on: January 04, 2016, 03:07:59 pm »

With his attention divided between keeping the Duck in the air, worrying about Jace, coaxing all the warmth he could get out of the Duck's air heating system, and shaking the ice off of his aircraft's wings, Al was hard-pressed to do much else. The Knack saved them several times by waking Al up to impending crises and opportunities; he neve rwould have had teh presence of mind to turn on the canopy-defrosting heater vents if teh knack hadn't waned him that the cold was getting intense enouh to awarrant it. One usually didn't encounter cold like this in the tropics, save at extreme high altitude, so Al had not used teh Duck's heater as much as, say, an arctic-route intercontinental traveller would have done.
----------
Meri steeled herself, in spite of her earlier words, from the siren call of the smel of so much fresh blood; it played with her mind. She could tell that the energies of Tree and World, Good and Evil, were out of balance; surely, if she took a sip, the subtraction of prana from the flow would make the balance easier to attain? Surely, yes?

STOP it, she thought fiercely,. You are not some fledgling fool, who drains a temple's offering vessel just because you suddenly like the idea of dessert after a huge meal!
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Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Ranger Reid
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« Reply #251 on: January 04, 2016, 06:19:02 pm »

The initiation of the rift wasn't clear to anyone except Liam McSwain.   One minute the tree was under fire from an energy weapon, the next there were an infinite number of trees and the air was thick with multiples of everyone.   And the quickly falling Lieutenant was in the center of it.   

He quickly sorted through his understanding of the tear of time and space.   It seemed to be some defensive response of the tree, that it would call to itself in other parallel worlds to amass the energy to survive.   The specific flow of energy created a spot where all the worlds were conjoined, and it was not beneficial to any of them.   The hole in the center would start to suck energy away from each world till they all died.

He knew that the splinter Liam would need to perish to plug the hole, but he didn't see how to get him into place in time.

In face, if occurred to the young man that the only version of himself that COULD target the specific spot was himself.

Understanding dawned on McSwain.    He wasn't gaining strength from each splinter in order to direct sealing the breach, it was so that he could BE the seal.

Tears streaming down his face, Liam the first embraced the full gifts of all the splinters, including the last living one he could sense above.

Even as his parachute opened,  he pulled on the fabric of all things.  Most of the beings around him held some types of magic or mental energy.   Liam needed to tug a little on all of them.

As he amassed the power, the young man stopped falling and simply floated in the center of multiple universes. 

And as he pushed with his power, he began to seal them from each other.      Little by little the multiples started to fade, but as they did, so did McSwain.

Finally there was only the normal original world left.   With a last mental shrug, the almost transparent man sent word to Donna.    "I wish I had lived his life."

With that he was gone.

The fleet of invading ships seemed weakened by the flow of energy, and the first bullet that struck of of the green ships shattered it completely.   Seems before he left, McSwain had altered a few things.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #252 on: January 04, 2016, 07:03:33 pm »

The vision of multiple people, worlds, and fleets faded from Meri's mind, as everythingreturned to the way it all had been. Well, kind of. Mostly. The hellblade was a hellblade no longer, or rather, it was not the same as before. It was still huge and hugely curved, but she could sense that while it was still a powerful weapon, in future it would be for her own strength to determine whether or not she could damage something not of the mundane world; she felt that to be so as if the sword had spoken it to her soul.

She gripped the hilt, and energy still flowed from it to Meri's hand and into her body, but it was not the rushing, painfully-pleasurable torrent that it had been. The steel was back to the mirror-polished sheen of her Foster-Father's Ta Chi, and though the characters written upon it still glowed faintly in the relative dimness of the cave, they were now part of the differential hardening-pattern of the metal (another difference, the blade had not originally been forged or re-forged thus), rather than forged or stamped in. She was actually relieved to find these tings to be true.

Another difference was in the way that the world around her smelled and felt. It was still not her home world, but it also felt as if he rown world were not as far away and inaccessible as it had been. She could not figure out why, but felt it to be so. Perhaps a door exists now? she wondered.

The sounds of battle still rang form teh air outside teh cave, and she stepped into a shadow, and reemerged form a cloud-shadow high above, just in time to swing instic=nctively at a voshg that suddenly rushed out of an adjacent cloud, followed by a Scarab-piloted warhawk. Morton saluted from within the waqrhawk's canopy, as he roared off after another target; it appeared the vosh were suddenly nowhere near as invincible as before! Meri laughed wildly and began giving them "merry hell" herself...
------------------
The Duck now flew across the waves far below, the Station a huge landform-like thing off to Starboard. Al wasn't entirely sure about any of the things that had happened in the last few instants; one moment the Duck had finally iced up like a frozen albatross he'd found high in the Andes once, and was dropping like a stone toward Franzetti's Ammunition Factory and thus a truly shattering end - and the next a being with silver hair, blue skin, and brass-and-steel wings was carrying them back aloft... At least, that was what Al remembered, but what with the hundreds (thousands? Millions?) of people suddenly hanging in midair, including people who looked like him (the winged being also resembled Al, but he couldn't quite put his finger on just how), he wasn't really sure where reality ended and wild, impossible, near-death fantasy began.

He set down on the water close by the wharf adjacent to the Aces' hangar, and called for aid, then unstrapped himself and set about caring for Jace, forgetting all about winged beings and other Als, Liams, Donnas and who all else... concerned just for the woman he loved. "Jace? Jace, bosslady, wake up, don't leave me here! I'm trained to be an officer, but I ain't you! and I love you. Don't leave me here...!" He said as he examined her and began wiping away the blood. The Aid boat could finally be heard in the distance, the siren wailing...
« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 07:14:03 pm by MWBailey » Logged
CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #253 on: January 04, 2016, 07:08:29 pm »

With a mighty explosion that threw the tempest backwards, it beam cut through the goliath drilling a large hole through it. explosions ripped through the ship and as the beam used up the last of its energy. The light died revealing the hole that now burned around the edges of the canvas, Highlord DuBlade could see through the sky and for a moment the world was as peace. Then her mind came back to the screaming siren and red lights intermixed with crews shouting.
"Get the bow closed and take us down for a landing. Its going to cause us problems with the local authorities, but land us on that runway."
Crews were running around dealing with fires and injuries, she strode over to the coms station and hailed the watch town, "Tempest to control, tempest to control, I hope you have another runway as were are in trouble and will be dropping down onto the runway infront of us."

"Weapons, can we still fire?"
Yes mam, but I don't know for how long."
Do what ever you can to provide cover and support for the island defenders."
"Yes Mam."
The ship rocked as the main cannons fired a few more time before running silent. All that was left was the barrel like machine guns spraying their metal hornets."
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #254 on: January 04, 2016, 07:24:37 pm »

"All hands, evacuate runway two, imminent emergency airliner crash landing! Repeat, clear and evac runway two, imminent crash landing!"

" 'Airliner', Bob? you sure that's an airliner? The damn thing's bigger'n th' Sears tower back home and looks like a danged freighter with guns!"* the Tower Boss exclaimed.

"Yeah, well, I damned sure don't know what else to call it, Boss, the ATC retorted as figures on the runway began scurrying about and vehicles began driving hell-bent away from it. "Never saw a zeppelin that looked like that thing!"
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #255 on: January 04, 2016, 08:44:42 pm »

Jace's eyes opened slowly as  frost formed as she exhaled the last bit of cold from her lungs.  She turned to the warmth beside her shivering.  "Did the world end?"  Jace asked burrowing in to Al's shoulder.  There had been too many things that flashed before her eyes, too many terrifying things she now knew.  All she wanted was some simple human comfort and to hide away from the vast knowledge she knew was out there.

Donna had no idea how she landed there had been a voice and a loss that was like a wound in her side.  She had seen millions of possibilities in the sky and knew that one was the face of the child inside of her.  There was such faith in her now that Donna was able to calmly hold Liam and know even though she was unwed and pregnant every thing would be all right.  "Wake up sweetheart the ice is gone and the world is in bloom"
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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #256 on: January 04, 2016, 09:04:51 pm »

Liam opened his eyes slowly.   He knew who he was, but he also knew about so many other Liams and the lives they had lived. 

The power that had always been in Liam pulsed, and he knew he had changed completely.   The words techno-mage floated in his mind.  Mentally Liam sent thoughts out to check on his friends.   Amazingly they seemed to have come through alright.

"So.... do you think the world will slow down enough for a wedding under the tree in the grotto?  And what do you think of Aidan for our son's name?"
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #257 on: January 04, 2016, 10:17:18 pm »

Alouicious Clancy held the woman he loved close, and kissed her chilled lips, giving her his warmth, and ignoring the siren of the Aid boat drawing nearer.

"Nah. I think it's just beginning," he said, and kissed her again, just as the boat drew alongside and a medtech clambered up the Duck's fuselage. Hey! you people alive in he -!" He dropped back down to cling to the side of the Duck, feet resting on the bottom rung of the boarding ladder. "we better give Big Al and Jace some time," he called over to the skipper. "Here, throw me the painter, we'll tow 'em in..."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #258 on: January 04, 2016, 10:39:00 pm »

"It is going to have to.  No son of mine is coming in to the world without his parents being wed and I rather like Aidan as a name."  Donna grinned and touched her belly softly.  What a wonderful place the world could be.  "We will have to thaw out poor Jace.  I promised her she could be my maid of honour as long as she didn't try and throw me a bachelorette party."


"It worked then the shield must of held."  She nuzzled Al with a cold nose.  "We should find the others then I am useing every drop of hot water on the station to take a shower."
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #259 on: January 04, 2016, 11:54:15 pm »

"Sounds inviting," Al said. "Hmm, feels like they're giving us a tow. That means we have some time..."

------------

Away across teh winds and sands of time, space, and causality, A certain Master vampiress, formerly a Companion of the Tsarina, sailed teh skies of Europe in a hell galleon once more, in response to the call she had heard in her mind.

IA? Where are you, my dear? Come home to Morganthe, your Sire calls you!
It seemed that, from far away, a voice answered her.

"Mistress, there is no sign of a gate or even a suitable storm for calling one," a fledgling officer reported. "And the Dimitry Pavlosk reports via aetherphone that the St. Elmo has been sighted."

"Very well, we shall deal with Ia's attempted destroyer, then renew the search."

"Aye, Mistress!"

The Taras Bulba turned away to Starboard and beat a preternaturally-speedy course in pursuit.
Soon, Merovingia. Soon we will see one another again...
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #260 on: January 05, 2016, 01:08:55 am »

"You are a devious critter Alouicious Clancy. Since we have some time why don't you keep me warm?"  Grinning she wiggled her way on to his lap and held him close.  Her sent had changed to have an edge of frost and he noticed a streak of white in her hair.  They had made it through but not exactly untouched. 

"Dog to Duck. You had better be a wake and not up to any funny business if you want to make the wedding on time."  Donna's voice was full of humour.

Jace broke in to a giant grin. "That must mean Liam made it out. Damn she is wasting no time to seal the deal."
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 06:07:31 am by Stella Gaslight » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #261 on: January 06, 2016, 04:43:39 pm »

"Duck to Dog, Now, don't you all go gettin hitched without yer bridesmaids, y' hear?" Al answered, and pulled Jace in close for another long kiss.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #262 on: January 07, 2016, 02:17:28 am »

"Wouldn't dream of it." Donna said laughing.  "We will wait for you under the lighthouse. Meri knows the way.  Bring the little brownie camera stashed in the duck I want our son to have pictures when he gets big enough to care."

"Son? What the hell?  I didn't think she moved that fast?"  Jace turned to Al utterly gobsmacked.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #263 on: January 07, 2016, 09:52:12 am »

"And how did Tall, Dark and Vampy get to be an usher?" Al said, equally nonplussed. At that moment the Duck was pulled up alongside the dock, and they disembarked, managing to convince the Shore Inspector that they were all right, by the skin of their teeth. They made it to the smaller door beside the big sliding doors of the hangar, and were greeted by Meri, who once again rather unnervingly stepped from the edge of a shadow out into the relative lightness of the shadowy entry hall. Al had just suggested that they call a motor rickshaw, when the vampiress made her appearance.

"I assure you, I'm no usher, Al Clancy," she said, the hint of a smile seeming to be about to show itself on her lips. "But, I can take you to your destination far faster than a rickshaw. Here, take my hands, and simply follow me, no matter how absurd it seems." She pulled them into a shadow, then (it was hard to tell for certain, in the infinitesimally-short time they spent in transit, but the shadow seemed cold and airless), and then out into the shady green-and-gold light of the Grove, under the sun. "Now, follow me; it's not good for humans to traverse the shadows for more than a short time," She said, as she led them on foot, in the warm, reddened sand, to the grotto.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 09:55:40 am by MWBailey » Logged
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #264 on: January 07, 2016, 10:54:10 am »

Jace almost didn't recognize Donna.  She was wearing a green dress and there seamed to be a golden glow about her.  Her hair fell in waves almost to her hip and Donna looked far more like a Mucha painting than the friend Jace had to coaxed out of bed in the morning.  " You clean up nice."  She hugged her friend happy that they were both still alive.  She spotted Liam he had scrubbed up too and there was a glow of confidence and health she had never seen before in him.  "Looks like both of you came out all right."  That wasn't quite the right word.  They both looked more themselves somehow.  Like they hadn't been filling in their outlines the whole way before.

Donna smiled and it felt like sunlight.  "I hope I can count on both of you to be godparents when the time comes."
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 09:54:40 pm by Stella Gaslight » Logged
Ranger Reid
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« Reply #265 on: January 08, 2016, 03:32:20 am »

Liam stood in the grotto.   He could feel the flow of the universe pulsing through yggdrasil's roots above his head.  There was a nexus here connecting worlds.  No wonder others had sought it's power.


As the music began, Liam looked at his love and considered the bright spark of intelligence he could sense in her belly.   He could feel fuzzy half formed thoughts beginning.   The child had aged more quickly than normal, but with all the magic flowing recently, it would be a miracle if the baby was completely unaffected.

The lights dimmed and a hush fell across the assembled beings.   The elvin king stepped out and addressed the crowd  "In the eyes of my people, these two were wed when they danced here.   We gather not to make a joining, but to celebrate one that has already occurred.   I present my friends "Lhiam, and Donna."

Liam started at hearing the pronunciation of his name.   It was obvious the little sprite had known his background.  Why else would he have used the Carpathian intonation?

Liam smiled at the tiny king and thought how lucky the two of them had been to survive their time here.

When the light applause had faded the king continued  "Since we have acknowledged the joining, then we have only left to celebrate with the new couple.  Begin the Ceilidh."

Music immediately filled the cave, and all manner of beings began to dance.  
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #266 on: January 08, 2016, 03:56:47 am »

"Godparents, huh?" Al said. Sensing that a pivot-point in time was again at hand, he said, "Sure. The kid'll ned a crazy old man to help get 'im ta manhood." He watched the old King step out and make his speech; he realized he'd seen the fellow before in Undertown, but in a less impressive guise. The Nobles always mingled with their subjects when they got the chance, and the Elven King loved his people, Al'd been told.

When the faeries and other creatures began dancing, Al stood and looked on for a few moments. "Well, forever more," he said, and then gently took Jace's hand in his. "Milady, may I have this dance?" he asked, his eyes all a-twinkle.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 06:54:25 am by MWBailey » Logged
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #267 on: January 08, 2016, 04:30:57 am »

Jace was scared to be a godmother. Last time she had been left with a baby she almost dropped it twice.  And Donna was going to let her teach it things? This was such a bad plan.  She had been so absorbed in her own little world she almost jumped when Al asked her to dance.  "Yes please sweep me away."

Donna had eyes only for her husband as they swept across the sand.  This felt more right than any other part of her life had. A man with an eyepatch dressed like a pilot from the last war offered them a horn full of the sweetest drink she had ever tried.  Donna did not notice the punch it packed until they paused under the tree in a brake in the music and she leaned heavy in to Liam having temporary lost her sense of balance.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #268 on: January 08, 2016, 08:00:30 am »

"Are you worried abpout bein' a godmother?" Al asked, as he pulled Jace into the surprisingly waltz-like steps of the dance. "well, it seems ta me," he added, without waiting for an answer beyond a nod fo teh head, "th' fact yer worried about it is a good sign that you just might be good at it; I'd be skeptical of your  chances, if you were convinced that it'd be easy."

He procured a horn of mead for them, whe they became winded, and shared it with her.  "Seems t' me, the best advice you could get'd come from th' otherkin; the kitsunes, and the restof the furry folk. They tend to be wiser than you'd think in such matters." He turned his head back to the crowd as the volume level both went up and stabilized. "Sounds like something new's going on...

-------------
 
Meri's preternaturally-acute hearing had picked up the sound of wings; not feathered bird's or angel's wings, or even the leathery kind favored by bats or vampires or certain avian reptiles, but rather as if the pinions that treaded the air were made of metal; a sound as of knives being used like feathers.

The Islet of the Grove may have been the top of a seamount, as most such Islands in this part of teh world were, but it was not mountainous. It did, however, have a knob of rock that jutted up adjacent to the grotto's mouth, and there Meri found the being with bluish skin, metallically silver hair - and wings of brass and steel. She had heard from others how he had saved Jace and Al at the very last moment, and then disappeared, no one knew where. As she drew near to him, she gasped, and nearly went for the not-place, and the hellish Ta Chi secured within - but she thought better of it.

"You... It is you, isn't it." Meri's said in a voice so even it was practically razor-sharp - and it was not a question.

"Merovingia... Harper-Chen, ain't it?" The being sighed. "As I live and breathe," said the voice of what had once been a Texian Airshipman, who sounded maddeningly similar to a certain Jace's Ace. "So this is where you fell to. It's a long time since that night battle over the Caucasus, ain't it?"

"Yes." Meri looked the being over. The basic man was still in evidence, even right down to the blue airshipman's uniform, sword, and Paterson revolver. The differences lay in the blue hues of his skin and the metallic silver hair, and the inescapable reality of those absolutely operatic brass-and-blued-steel wings. "You've changed. A lot."

"Heh. Use th' whitefire and discover a Bright One's soul within yerself, and the process is pretty much irreversible."

"I know the feeling from a slightly different source," Meri commiserated, in spite of herself.

"My ex-wife still pines t' see you, refers to ya as 'Ia,' " the being said, after a moment of shared reflection. "We're not exactly friends, still, but we're not tryin' t' kill each other anymore, either."

"When your contract here runs out, you might fly back over to th' Caucasus, about this time o' year, and wait fer a great-grandmother of a lightning storm, right about where you think it ought to be. Herself'll be glad to have you back, no matter how old either of you are."

"That's where I'm goin' now," the being said. "See you around." He spread the glorious wings, and they flashed Gold-and-silvery in the light of the fires and candles below as he flapped powerfully into the evening sky and was gone.

"Fare Well," Meri said. "Dreyfuss." She went back down, then, and rejoined the dance.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 08:10:20 am by MWBailey » Logged
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #269 on: January 08, 2016, 04:10:27 pm »

"Kids are just so fragile.  There were always little ones around the circus and I never knew what to do with them."  Jace had hit her growth spurts early and was a towering clumsy giant among the other kids until they had caught up and surpassed her.  Shit what if Al wanted to have one of their own someday?  At least with Donna's kid she cold give it back when it started crying for no reason.  She held Al close, feeling like she realy failed at this whole being a woman thing sometimes. Maybe that was the problem with running around with a pack of boys growing up. 
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #270 on: January 08, 2016, 08:23:51 pm »

"Hey there, hey, what's up?" Al asked as Jace leaned into him and pulled him close. He kissed her hair ion top of he rhead, and puklled her in close as well. "No rush gettin' kiddoes, if ya want ta hold off awhile," he said. Th' man's only a part of that equation, right? It takes two people and mutual consent for it to be done right, so I hear."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #271 on: January 08, 2016, 09:11:02 pm »

Jace blushed and snuggled in to Al.  "Here I go putting the cart before the horse.  Give me a drink and spin me around the floor.  I don't want to stop until the sun comes up."  When all else failed drink and dance could fix almost anything.
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #272 on: January 09, 2016, 03:15:30 pm »

So they did just that. They danced, drank and generally caroused until morning. Al decided that as long as he could stay beside Jace and fly and do his job, he could be happy.
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