5 Apr 1998. En route to the Himaat, Lochinvar wrestles a Nohbakim on the Glutton.
(Aaron) (Airship) (Desert Rose) (Lochinvar) (Mira)
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On The Deck of The Glutton
This airship is on the small side as airships go. Forward, the passenger cabins are housed in a low box-like structure with portholes in the sides and a large forward-facing window; aft, larger windows mark the domain of the ship's officers. Hatches in the deck lead to other parts of the ship; above is the gasbag, bearing few markings save the ship's emblem. Deck and rigging creak as the Glutton goes efficiently about her business.

The normal hustle and bustle of a ship's deck is a constant. The excitement of the midnight launch is several days in the past, and now it is smooth sailing. There have been no problems thus far, except for a high wind that caused a minor detour. Today is bright and warm, and there are in fact numerous off-duty crew lounging on the deck enjoying it.

Broff, a dark-furred, brawny giant of a Nohbakim, sits quietly on the deck. His eyes… all four… gaze casually over the side.

Mira clears her throat quietly from behind a pair of idle crewmen. "Gentlemen. You have work?"

A little vermite-seeming Nohbakim skitters across the deck on two legs. Were it not for the armor that it is wearing and the little (but sharp-looking) bone spear it carries, and perhaps its intelligent-looking, deep brown eyes, it might be easily mistaken for a mutated version of the common Rephidim pest. Plaith has introduced the little Nohbakim as Seith.

The crewmen start at first! One looks guilty, but the other says, "Captain, we don't have duty for another hour. Do you need us for something?"

Off at the port side of the deck, Lochinvar stands with his hands on the rail gazing out to the horizon.

The captain surveys the crewmen. "I see. Well, then. One hour… then back to work." She continues her inspection of the ship.

K'ale comes up from belowdecks, his one reptillian arm ungloved now that they are safely underway. He smiles and waves to Lochinvar, "Off duty?"

Lochinvar looks over to K'ale and nods. "For the moment," he replies. "But I'm standing up here ready, but out of the way, just in case I should be needed."

Broff's leftmost eyes glance momentarily on the captain, then flick back with the rest to continue staring over the shipside.

K'ale smiles, "I'm learning the fine art of not being underfoot too. It's hard here… seems to generally be all abustle."

Seith scampers by Plaith and squeakSqueakchittersqueeks something, gesturing to the lazing crew. The vermite-Nohbakim bounces in place a few times.

"First time on an airship?" the winged Heyoke asks of K'ale.

Plaith whispers, "What is it, Seith?"

K'ale smiles and nods, "Yes… I enjoy it, though. Fresh air!"

Seith looks frustrated, then pantomimes lying down fanning itself (a curious thought in a vermite), makes a negatory gesture, jumps up and mimes fencing with its little spear. It points at Plaith and Broff and then to the crew.

Smiling slightly as well, Lochinvar nods. "Yes, the air is a lot better than Rephidim out here. Even the 'fresher' parts that most non-fliers cannot reach."

Plaith strokes his jaw barb and goes back to looking over the side, "Seith, not now, I'm off duty."

Broff turns to Seith, and makes a series of tongue-clacking and grunting noises… rather like the Vykarin speech, but lacking any tonality, and less complex. His left eye-pair swivels to Plaith, gazing inquisitively.

Seith looks disappointed, flicking its little tail. It pads over to Broff bouncily and repeats the gestures, except instead of fencing, the vermite-like Nohbakim suggests wrestling. Amazing, who would have guessed it was possible to pin and hold a bit of rope?

K'ale chuckles, "And it gets even worse on Underside. Less ventilation, and in some places, the windows are right near sewer outlets."

Lochinvar says, "Some parts, true enough. Not all though. You have to know where to go."

Plaith looks at Broff, "A wager? I might be up for that, now."

Broff tongue-clacks, and pulls two shekels from a waist-pouch with a meaty paw.

Seith brightens up, and then looks around the others on deck.

K'ale turns, "Hey, now, what're you two getting into?"

Plaith reaches inside his 'vest' and pulls out 4 shekels, "I'll see your 2 and raise it. But I fence, no wrestling."

Mira shouts orders and reprimands to a pair of crewmen who apparently aren't setting the starboard mainsail quickily enough to satisfy her.

The little vermite-warrior sees a winged coyote near the rail and pads over to chitter-squeak at him and K'ale. "Squeak!"

Plaith whispers, "A little wager while off-duty, care to join in?"

K'ale frowns, "I'm certain he's not looking for a match, if that's what you two are laying wagers on." He turns to Lochinvar, "Gambling is a popular pastime in the tunnels."

Seith points back to Plaith and Broff.

Lochinvar perks up an ear a little? "It is? More popular than on the surface, would you say?"

Broff frowns slighty, but clack-wheezes, pulling out another 2 Shekels.

Plaith a-ha's! "Now you have a wager, mate! But again, although I'm very tricky with a blade, I don't wrestle."

K'ale chuckles and nods, "Yes, and no. It's more prevalant, but the stakes are almost always lower. Often, it is even done for fun. There aren't many who have the money to throw it around in earnest."

Broff's head leans forward, and back again. He stands slowly, rising up to his full height.

Seith climbs up a railing agilely and perches on the wooden surface to wait for apparent interest from the crewman.

"Ah, well personally, I don't see anything wrong with gambling for shekels," Lochinvar replies to K'ale, with a slight grin.

K'ale grins, "Oh? Well… I believe Plaith is looking for a match on the sword. Do you fence?"

Plaith whips out a rapier, made of chitin, but obviously well crafted. "Any rules?"

The winged-Heyoke shakes his head. "No, fencing is not one of my strong points at all. However, I believe that Kensington has expressed an interest in sparring."

Broff slow-motion kicks at Plaith's leg, then tongue-clacks.

K'ale nods, "Yes, they already had a match planned… I believe Mr. Kensington is looking forward to 'Stretching his Wings' as he said." He thinks a moment, "Do you wrestle?"

Plaith hmms, "No tripping, agreed. And nothing aimed at the face. Can't afford to ruin my looks before we reach port."

Plaith strokes a jaw barb and then settles into a fencing stance. "Ready?"

Broff holds open his paws. Obviously, he will need a sword before continuing.

Plaith ah's, "Yes a sword would be helpful. Let's see…

Lochinvar cocks his head a little at the Nohbakim. "In what way, wrestle?"

A crewman confers briefly with Captain Mira before heading belowdecks to check that the cargo is still secure.

Seith, distracted, appears to have picked up a scent. It darts down a cargo hatch.

Plaith sheathes his rapier, "Broff, I think we'd should keep our wagers on wrestling since my sword seems to be the only one here at the moment. Why don't you try Mister Lochinvar there?"

Broff's right eye-pair turns to fix on Lochinvar… sizing the 'competition' up.

Lochinvar, even though still looking to K'ale while he awaits an answer, glances briefly at Broff, then looks away again as if trying not to stare.

K'ale says, "Oh, the usual. Free style wrestling, no gouging of eyes or removal of body parts." He chuckles, leaning back against the railing to look after the vanished vermite-like Nohbakim. "It's difficult to be certain what vital spots upon an opponent should be off-limit at times, so you'd be best advised to negotiate that with Broff." K'ale gestures to the rather large Nohbakim.

Lochinvar takes another glance at the Nohbakim in question, and hmms pensively.

Broff looks placidly at Lochinvar. While he's tall, his exact bulk is hard to determine under his fur… and he has not been a quickly-moving fellow, from what Lochinvar has seen. His paws, though quite large, appear clawless.

"Perhaps I could," the winged Heyoke comments after a moment.

K'ale smiles and gestures Lochinvar on. "A little exercise is good, and perhaps it will build a little amity between our crews. We have a long way to go yet."

Some of the other off-duty crew take an interest in the proceedings.

Broff holds out four shekels in his paw, pointing to the hekoye with a stream of clacks and grunts.

Lochinvar nods, and walks towards Broff, arching his wings back a little in preparation.

Plaith steps over to the rail, waiting for the first match to finish before wasting any shekels.

Broff points to the shekels insistently, wheeze-clacking.

"Here," a particularly scruffy Nohbakim says to one of the crew. "I'll bet you a watch that our man wins." He gestures toward Broff. The addressed grins. "What, no shekels no top of that?" But it seems to be a deal nevertheless.

Plaith gives a bubbly laugh, "Sorry, I have no idea about our friend Mister Lochinvar, there. For all I know he'll pin you before you can blink 3 eyes."

Lochinvar looks at the shekels in Broff's hand. "You want me to wager also?" he asks.

Broff grunts once, nodding to Lochinvar. He shoves two shekels away from the rest in his paw.

The coyote nods, and grabs out a couple of shekels from his breeches, and shows them to Broff. "When we're done, I'll be happy to get those two you're holding now."

Broff points to Plaith, and walks over to the sword-carrying warrior, depositing the shekels in one of his hands.

Plaith takes the coins and crosses his arms to watch.

Lochinvar puts his own coins back in his pocket for the moment, and faces Broff.

Broff stretches slightly, assuming a brawling stance… all his eyes gazing at his opponent.

Lochinvar recognises such a stance, and grins slightly. Brawling he knows. He assumes a similar position opposite the Nohbakim, trying to keep his gaze fixed on just one pair of his opponent's eyes.

Broff move back and forth slowly, hands up… feet shufflling slowly along the deck floor.

The winged-heyoke matches Broff's moves for the moment, waiting for him to make the first offensive move.

While the brawl appears still incipient, and several members of the crew are gathered around to cheer on the fighters, a little Vermite-like Nohbakim hops out of a cargo hatch and then pulls on some thin cords trailing behind, squeaking with exertion.

Broff swats towards Lochivar with a paw… but pulls back quickly, and swats with the other paw. He's not as slow as he has appeared, though certainly not fast.

K'ale tosses his bet in, "I bet the winged one lasts at least 2 minutes."

Seith pulls hard on the cords, and drags up… A dead fuff'nar! The real thing is about four times Seith's size and appears to have suffered a number of gashes and wounds in its fur, which ooze with purplish blood. It might have been cute when alive, but its fangs are bared in a ricture.

The vermite-Nohbakim warrior pulls its prize over to Mira and gestures proudly to its captive. Not the usual sort of pests one gets on ships, but fuff'nars are not unknown to Rephidim docks.

Lochinvar ducks and dodges the attempted swats, not being that slow himself. He continues remain on the defensive for the moment.

Broff draws back, circling slowly, a big grin on his face. He likes tussling. He takes another swipe at Lochinvar, again missing.

Seith uses its knife to hack off the tail as a trophy of its victory, then offers it up to the captain.

The winged coyote grins in return, and makes a 'come on' motion with his hands.

Broff feints right, and then comes in at the hekoye from the left quicker than expected, locking arms with his opponent.

Mira breaks off her conversation with the helmsman, looking down … and down. One of her eyebrows goes up a bit in surprise. "What… is this?" The Khatta captain surveys the fuff'nar and its now-departed tail dubiously.

Seith chatters in what sounds like just chitterings and squeaks at the captain and holds the tail up proudly.

Plaith pipes in to the captain, "It's his way of showing his loyalty cap'n. He's tryin' to show he's doing his job."

Lochinvar oofs just a smidgen. Now's about the time to start his offensive, and attempts to push against the Nohbakim, trying to get him off balance.

K'ale hoots and calls on the brawlers, "His legs! Trip out his legs, he doesn't have good balance!"

One of the crew members turns over a minute timer, a tiny little sand glass.

Broff stumbles at the push, and lets his weight go into the lock. He seems to be trying to get in close to smother the hekoye.

Mira kneels on the deck to carefully take the proffered tail. "Ah, if he's tryin' to clean out th' pests, he's more n' welcome."

Aaron pokes his head out of the forecastle to see what all the noise is about, and blinks at the sight of the wrestling match.

The Heyoke tries against Broff's other leg, unfurling his wings and giving them a couple of flaps to get more momentum against his opponent.

Broff is caught off guard momentarily… he's not used to wings apparently! After a brief flinch, he pushes forward again, pushing Lochinvar back a few steps once he's regained his balance. His center of gravity seems to be very low.

Seith bobs its vermitish head to Mira, then starts hauling the carcass of the fuff'nar to the side of the ship, where presumably it intends to drop the dead body overboard.

Lochinvar experiments with a couple more pushes against the Nohbakim, certainly, the ones aimed at his lower body don't seem to be that effective.

K'ale calls out more hints, though it quickly becomes clear he doesn't have the slightest idea what he's talking about. But he's grinning and enthusiastic, and a few other crewmembers are starting to turn heads as well. Including one who was in the middle of tying down a sail.

No attempt to stop Seith comes from the captain; in fact, she's more interested in leaning on the rail forward of the helm and watching the brawl below.

"Squeak!" With a tidy heave-ho, the vermite Nohbakim tosses the carcass overboard.

Broff manages to get one arm from the lock, and get it around Lochinvar, putting the hekoye off balance for a moment. The crewman taking the time turns the glass as the first minute passes.

After getting his balance back, however, Lochinvar uses Broff's arm to his advantage, and puts his own around, and uses it to try and pull the Nohbakim over from the shoulder.

Broff is surprised by the move, but quickly shifts his stance down. As Lochinvar pulls, Broff pushes, and, to both their surprises, Lochinvar is hefted up and over Broff's shoulders! Fortunately, wings help in this situation, and the hekoye lands safely behind the furry beast.

Lochinvar blinks a couple of times, partially suprised at the change of perception, but tries to make the best of it and goes at the Nohbakim from behind and up fairly high. He also uses his wings again to try and topple Broff.

Mira's claws idly drum on the railing. The brown Khatta quietly murmurs to one of her Vartan crewmembers, giving instructions. "If one of th' fools goes o'erboard, be ready to grab 'im. Th' Glutton won't lose a payin' passenger, not on my watch."

Giving the contestants plenty of space, the Lapi 'passenger' makes his way over to the captain. "Quite the show, Milady," he says while making a polite bow.

Plaith ducks as one of Lochivar's wings swings past.

Broff takes the inelegant approach to a rather slippery opponent. He lies down. Backwards. Lochinvar's view immediately changes to a large pile of fur.

"Quite," Mira replies amiably.

Aaron smiles. "Who do you think will triumph?"

Lochinvar mmphs, and does his best to struggle out from underneath Broff.

Plaith cheers on Broff! He figures he'll bet on him next time.

The captain says matter-of-factly, "There's yer answer."

Broff rolls over, and grins sheepishly at the poor heyoke. He knows it was a dirty trick, but he's got Lochinvar well pinned. The crewmember with the glass calls out, "Two and one half glasses."

Aaron watches the struggle. "So it would seem… "

A low snarl starts in Lochinvar's throat – not just because at the moment he's at a disadvantage, but more because he sees that Aaron is trying to get to know the captain. That's enough to give him a second wind and increase his struggling to get out from under the Nohbakim.

Mira doesn't miss a beat. "Then again."

Broff stands up, and grinning widely, helps Lochinvar up. K'ale gives the winged coyote a hand, too, "Well, you made me richer today! Good fight!"

"It sounds like our winged comrade is feeling his second wind," the Lapi agrees. "Unless those are his bones being crushed."

"I'm hopin' not," Mira replies.

Plaith hands Broff his shekels, "Well earned there, mate!"

Aaron calls out, "Well done, Lochinvar! A very gallant defeat!"

Broff nods to Plaith, grunting happily.

Broff looks over at the Lapi with a pair of his eyes, staring rather fixedly.

Lochinvar gets up from the deck, brushes himself down and checks his wings are okay by flexing them a couple of times. They seem to be fine. He nods to Broff, and hands over the two shekels.

The captain's sole verbal response is "Well fought." But it shows in her eyes that she enjoys a good brawl – as long as it doesn't go too far.

A crewman grumbles at a Nohbakim who looks smug as the crewman is now stuck with standing watch for him once (while undoubtedly the Nohbakim gets to sleep in).

K'ale nods, "Very well fought! What is your duty on ship here?"

Aaron's black ear lops over for a moment, as the huge warrior stares at him.

Plaith nudges Broff, "You ain't gonna wrastle again, are ye? After all, he is just a Lapi."

Broff nods once to Plaith.

"My duty?" Lochinvar echos. "I'm an extra hand for the captain should she need one, and if anything like my last airship duties, a translator also."

K'ale chuckles, "Might've tagged you for defense. Translator? What do you speak?"

"I'm fluent in Nagai Imperial, Khattan and also Savanite Sign," replies the Heyoke. "Plus, I can pretty much work out an understanding for other tongues."

K'ale chuckles, "Think you could figure out out shaggy friend there? He can't speak… but perhaps you could help us understand his clicks and grunts… "

Lochinvar shrugs. "I can try, but if what you say is true, that might not be necessary, right?"

Broff stretches a few muscles, cooling down from the fight.

Aaron grins, and whispers to Mira, "Do men often fight in your presence, Captain?"

K'ale nods, "Perhaps… "

Mira surveys the fight's aftermath as if she's seen it a hundred times before … which perhaps she has. "Aye, an' sometimes I'm the one who's fightin'. Honor's not somethin' to be left undefended."

"Well, we'll see what happens on the journey," says Lochinvar. "I may be able to make some sense of his tongue, but I cannot promise that for certain."

Seith perches on one of the tied-down sails, holding a spear in one hand and looking proud of the day's outcome.

"Of course not," the Lapi agrees. "All great leaders must set examples for their followers, after all. It inspires their… err… passion."

The Khatta mutters, "Rrrrrrrright… " and declines further comment.

Broff smiles at Lochinvar, wheeze-clacking something to him.

Lochinvar's glance wanders from K'ale up to the wheelhouse, and settles on Mira and Aaron still talking, which makes him frown slightly before turning around in response to Broff. In reponse to the Nohbakim, he smiles and comments, "Next time, you will be the one paying me the shekels."

Plaith laughs, a sound that vaguely resembles two soaked pieces of driftwood being rubbed together. "Is that a bet?"

Broff pats Lochinvar's shoulder with a paw, grinning, and winking conspiratorally. Or perhaps blinking. two of four eyes, in any matter.

Plaith rubs his hands together, "Not too long 'fore we go back on duty. Want to shake some dice, mates?"

K'ale grins widely, "I could certainly go for that! But we're not using your dice this time!"

"Alright," grins Lochinvar. "It will give me a chance to win back my shekels quicker."

---

GMed by Roho

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