16 Nov. Skrill's meeting with his boss is interrupted.
(Aaron) (New Character Arrival) (Mira) (Rephidim) (Sabaoth's Wrath) (Skrill)
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The Flying Tower
One of Rephidim's more elevated eating establishments (that is, relatively speaking, considering that this IS a sky island), this tall building overlooks a street filled with shops and storefronts and other restaurants, by means of numerous balconies that jut outward, and tinted glass windows crossed with cross-bullions (so that fliers don't mistake them for openings). Most of the patrons are of the winged variety, coming in by way of one of the wide balconies, though a hardy few climb all the way up the spiral staircases from the street level.

The Flying Tower is decorated in a way to suggest, at least in abstract, an idealized, stylized airship, complete with numerous authentic and well-worn artifacts – examples of equipment and furnishings from airships, and various mementos (of little actual sale value, but as curios) in niches and nooks here and there.

Various booths are recessed, shadowed from the central lighting, allowing some degree of privacy for some of the guests. The house band is also helpful in this respect.

An Eeee lands gently at the small balcony that makes it somewhat easier for all the winged guests to enter the restaurant. With a light shrug of his unused wing musculature, he steps in, looking around. He seems to have a little trouble adjusting to the dimmer light in here, but then again, light has never been something Eeees have felt dependant of. He walks over towards the bar.

One noteworthy thing about the clientele is that, while it may tend to attract many of the winged variety, there is a scarcity of Eeee to be seen. Perhaps it could be because items featuring bugs and fruits aren't listed on the menu that is set out on the tables. Rather, there are a few Vartans, some Aquilans, Korvs, and even a Kujaku or two, and maybe that's a Sphinx at that table over there, but also a good number of flightless patrons, either involved with airships or just appreciative of the atmosphere.

There's a flare from one of the darkened booths of a match being lit, and then being doused in a glass of water. In the brief flare of light, Skrill can make out the features of a familiar Eeee … the only other one visible in this establishment at present, and soon no longer visible once the match's light is gone.

In one corner, a brown Khatta in the uniform of an airship officer argues amiably with a Korv about the relative capabilities of different airship classes.

Skrill stops, and seems to consider something. Then he looks around, searching for something in his pocket. But as he fails to find it he walks over to the closest booth and asks the Eeee sitting there, "Pardon me sir, but could I borrow your hankerchief?" as he seats himself opposite to him.

The Eeee across from Skrill smiles mirthlessly. "So, what passes for news in Rephidim?"

Sitting bolt upright, Skrill says, "Sir, nothing of grave importance. I have heard of a little trouble at the docks, but otherwise everything seems calm, sir," looking a little tense.

A slightly out-of-breath Lapi arrives via the stairway entrance and glances around quickly before heading to the bar and ordering a glass of juice.

Reaching up and scratching at the base of his ear, Skrill continues, "Well, actually, I have heard about the usual rumors regarding the Temple. And that things are happening there, si… , Mister," signing "True" in Savanite, his hand hidden behind his ear.

A lupine waitress smiles and nods at the Lapi's order. She directs him toward an empty table, and goes to fetch a pitcher and glass.

Aaron takes his seat and glances around again, but can't make out the faces of people in the shadowed booths. He tries to pick out the high-pitched sounds of Eee voices amidst the general noise and music while looking through a menu.

Skrill's companion nods again, then pushes the glass with the snuffed match in it toward the edge of the table, where enough light intrudes into the walled booth to gleam on the glass. A sharp-eyed Vartan waitress quickly responds, taking the glass away, with a short bow.

Aaron's menu – just like the one in front of everyone else here – has a smattering of recipes that don't really follow any particular theme other than that they probably represent favorite meals of regular patrons here. They are given presumptuous, high-brow-sounding names that hint at exotic wonders of lands afar, such as "Pride of the Savan" and "Seven Wonders of the World", but smaller text beneath reveals them as simply Bromthen forest-hog ribs, or a sampler dish of various fried vegetables picked from sky gardens.

Still looking very tense, Skrill continues the conversation in Rephidim Standard, gradually lowering his voice. Then he switches to Eeee, seemingly to still talk about what is happening in the city, still scratching at the itch near the base of his ear. His other hand is closed into a fist, near his knee under the table.

The officer-Khatta, meanwhile, seems to be drawing a complex diagram of an airship's rudder mechanism and marking possible improvements upon the drawing, explaining the changes to the Korv.

Aaron closes his menu after deciding on one of the vegetable samplers, slightly disappointed at the lack of Eee cuisine. Even if he doesn't learn anything useful today, he had at least hoped to be able to invite Wynona to lunch here sometime.

Skrill's companion says, "I heard about the opera, the 'Avatar of Necropolis'. Some very intriguing people were in attendance. Nobility, even. I'm sure they'd be very interesting to talk to. They might have insights that commoners such as ourselves might not have, since they are Eeee like us, but not from these parts."

It looks like the Eeee population just doubled. A couple of bats in dark attire land heavily on the rear deck – a bit of a smaller landing area, and therefore not as oft used.

With a slight jerk, Skrill seems to have been stung by something, then he coughs and says, "Right, commoners like us. Yes, I have heard of some very famous people visiting. If I am not mistaken, I heard both the names of Count Kerstein and Countess Draco among the visitiors. As well as the well known singer bar Abbas." Then he adds, "Unfortunately I have also heard of the little incident later. It does make you wonder… "

The Vartan waitress looks up at the rear balcony, then pours the contents of a pitcher into a glass, and takes it back to the booth where Skrill sits. She sets the glass down without stopping, a quick movement, easy to miss, as she moves on to the next booth and picks up some empty glasses to put on her tray.

Aaron's attention wanders to the Khatta and Korv across the room, once he notices the uniform. Maybe they saw something when that warship exploded the other night… hmm. He's immediately distracted by the arrival of the Eeees though, and opens his menu again to hide behind it.

The glass sitting at the edge of the booth is filled with a deep red wine, the color of blood, perhaps, if not for its translucence.

Noticing the glass, Skrill slowly moves his clenched fist to his other side, then he blinks and grits his teeth, seemingly lacking something.

Like a fuzzy periscope, a single white Lapi ear appears above a menu to track the two newly-arrived Eeees.

One of the newly-arrived Eeees stands just inside the glass doors to the rear balcony. The other moves to one side, and pulls out what looks like a whistle from one pocket.

From underneath Skrill's table, here is a sound of wood sliding against wood, as his companion moves something around with his hand, unseen.

Reaching for a toothpick, Skrill moves his hand under the table. With a twist of his neck, he seems to be trying to get to a tricky piece of food stuck between his teeth.

Turning his head, Skrill observes the two new arrivals, still trying to get to that thing stuck in his mouth.

One of the newly arrived Eeees puts the whistle to his mouth … and blows. To most of the patrons, it makes no noise. However, to anyone with high-range hearing …

The Jupani waitress yelps and almost drops her tray. Skrill's companion winces.

Aaron looks up over his menu with wide eyes and ears folded down.

Gritting his teeth, Skrill seems to hit his hand on the underside of the table. He staggers slightly, supporting himself with one hand as he rises a little, looking like he is in a lot of pain.

One of the Eeee says to the other, in Babelite Eeee, "Really dumb plan, Elon!" The other one doesn't seem to hear him.

The merry argument about airship rudders pauses as the Khatta surveys the Eeees, for perhaps a few moments longer than one would expect. She mutters something to her companion, then returns to her work – just in time for the high-pitched whine produced by the whistle to startle her. Her stylus streaks across the middle of the paper, ruining the drawing.

Some lively cursing (much of which involves airships and headwinds and ripped sails) is directed from that table toward the Eeee.

Most of the patrons are unfazed … except when they notice the odd behaviors of some of their fellow patrons. The two Eeee push aside their cloaks, and draw wicked-looking, whip-like weapons, with barbed tips, yanking plugs from their ears free. In Eeee, one squeaks, "Come out and face your end, traitor!"

Now that he's looking anyway, Aaron studies the two Eeee, and uses all of his willpower to keep his left leg from thumping an alarm at the sight of the nasty looking whips…

Skrill looks at his companion, and seems to pull something up from under the table. It is a chitin blade. He shadows it with his body from the two approaching Eeees as he hisses, "Sir, make it out the back way. I will stall them."

The Eeee issuing the challenge then appears to be about to attack the nearest waitress, the recovering Jupani, for no particularly good reason, other than that she's the closest target … or perhaps it DOES have a purpose.

Skrill's companion leaps out, shouting, "Stop!" He brings with him a crossbow, heedless of his companion's suggestion. Alas, some codes of honor don't allow for the safest means of escaping danger.

Aaron heroically hides under his table as more weapons are drawn.

Ducking under the other Eeee's sightline, Skrill stands in the middle of the floor. Feet parallel, one hand behind him, the other one holding the blade in front of himself, he says, "Sir, get out now. I will handle those thugs."

The crossbow-wielding Eeee's bolt fires, missing the first warrior, and shattering the glass next to him. The warrior cries out, shielding his eyes from the glass, as does the wolf he was trying to hit – In the process, he misses, and the Jupani dashes away, though with a few scrapes from the sharp pieces.

With a quick thrust, Skrill attacks the Eeee that was attacking the Jupani.

The stunned Eeee hasn't a chance. He is speared, his light armor no match against the blade. He chokes, falling back and into what remains of the glass, as his companion curses in Eeee and swings with his wickedly-barbed skedat at the swords-bat.

Off to the side, the Khatta and Korv have abandoned their discussion. As they duck under the table for cover, the former draws some kind of self-defense weapon.

Pulling the blade from the carcass of the former Eeee, Skrill tries to block the tip of the whip with the chitin blade.

Aaron clamps his hands around his muzzle to keep from squeaking out after he recognizes the sword-wielding bat as the one he was hoping to find here in the first place!

Skrill's action is quick enough, blocking the whip far enough away from himself that he is not lashed by the barbs. However, the whip wraps around the blade, and the warrior, grinning maliciously, makes a yank and a tug … ripping the blade free of Skrill's grasp and sending it spinning across the floor.

Skrill's companion makes a nonsensical cursing noise, and finishes loading his crossbow, taking aim at the remaining warrior. Outside, the shadows of more winged forms can be seen against the lights of the city, approaching.

Seeing how his opponent flicks the whip away from his guard, Skrill leaps at his throat, a dagger apperaing in one hand. He uses his wings to get extra momentum in his leap.

The skedat-wielding warrior's triumphant grin quickly fades, as he falls back from Skrill's lethal attack. The chitinous shell falls away from one arm, as he clasps with both hands to his own neck, making unpleasant noises as he struggles vainly to hold on to the precious last seconds of his life. His mouth moves, as if attempting to shout out one last pledge or curse, but it is forever lost on his lips, as he falls and at last expires.

Skrill's companion lowers his crossbow, nodding in approval to Skrill. "I'll go, then. But find out what happened to the body of that spy! Or else … " He doesn't complete that thought, but dashes to the balcony, firing off his bolt at another approaching warrior, then diving off the edge, into the street below.

Jumping to his feet, Skrill looks around, mouth open. Then he quickly wipes his dagger on the clothes of his fallen opponent and puts it back in his belt. Then he jumps over and picks up his blade from where it skidded across the floor.

Finally recognizing the 'whip' as the armor from a skedat, Aaron realizes the two dead Eeee were probably Babelite agents!

Mumbling "Yesssir!" mostly to himself, Skrill begins to rifle through the belongings of the assassins, keeping an wary eye out for more of their kind.

By the approaching forms, it looks as if there won't be much more time to search the dead. While these two may have been over-eager enough to get here ahead of the rest of their party, the number of the remainder would be a bit too much to try to take on single-handedly, even with a good blade. As for the fallen warriors, they have nothing on them save for their armor and cloaks – and, of course, the whip-like skedats.

Skrill looks around quickly, and then heads for a back exit, knowing when it is time to retreat.

As unenviable as it might seem … the stairs seem to be the only exit not about to be filled with bat warriors in the next few seconds.

Hurrying down the stairs, Skrill takes two steps at a time, the chitin blade still in his hand.

Meanwhile, the Korv and the Khatta emerge from underneath their table. "Waitress!" one calls, ordering more drinks. Apparently, they're used to bar brawls.

Aaron shakily sits in his chair again, trying not to look at the two dead bats. At least they weren't after me for foiling their first attempt to burn the docks…

Reaching the street, Skrill looks both left and right, before he quickly darts into a dark alley, disappearing among the shadows.

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GMed by Greywolf

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