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1x1: Narvix & Sky

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Out in the hallway, Agatha slid into the wall, grunting upon impact. Steadying herself, the harpy scrambled down the hall, a flurry of feathers. Gouges in the floor were left in her wake, a few lost feathers leaving a trail of "breadcrumbs". She headed towards the noise that rose from below, growing louder as she drew near the stairs. A small human boy was almost to the bottom but Agatha didn't see him or didn't care about his presence. All she wanted was to get outside.

 

Fluttering more than flying or running, she hurried down the stairs, barreling past the boy as he slipped in among the crowd. While his path mixed him into the throng, hers saw the harpy trying to go above the bodies. Of course, flying inside a building wasn't the same as flying in a forest. Wings and legs bumped into heads and shoulders, floundering to find open space and a decent rhythm. People shouted or cursed at her in anger, surprise, or pain - sometimes all at once.

 

Agatha ignored them or didn't notice any of it, too focused on finding freedom from the unknown place.

 

Until someone's large and grubby hand clamped shut around her right leg and threw her to the ground. She squawked with surprise. Pain throbbed through her back, head, and wings at the impact. "Oi! I don't take kindly to people hitting me in the head!" Agatha finally managed to focus her gaze on who had grabbed her. A strong looking man with leather armor and unruly hair.

 

Screeching, she kicked at him with her free foot, scratching up his armor and leaving a few scratches in his skin. He let her go though, unbalanced by her action, and she flopped onto her feet, fleeing for the door.

 

[[i'm unsure of how you might want the two to meet. I hope what I've written is okay with you. If not, let me know and I'll do something different.]]

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((Totally fine.))

 

Aric was finely attuned to the sound of injury. It was brisk, sharp, a staccato disturbance in a sea of ordinary ambience. A pop when all else is crackling. A high in the midst of lows. It had a way of hitting the air like a slap. SLAP. He, in the manner of the boy that he was, was always quick to respond. (He had been raised to be a healer, not a man, and that was just as well. His peers might have played with sticks and pretended that they were swords growing up, but he picked marigold in Valentine's garden, wondering which potion she was going to brew next.) Behind him, a tall bull of a man picked up his prey and threw her down just as quick; the boy didn't see that part, but heard the shriek that followed. When he whipped around, he saw what looked like an assemblage of ruffled feathers scurry towards the tavern door, alarm moving past her... beak? He changed his current path. He followed, pushing his way through the crowd again.

 

He recognized the creature—what was she though? That he couldn't name. She had flown past him as he had slowly made his way down the stairs, one plod of a gimp leg at a time. She had seemed immensely disoriented then, and the same held true now. She teetered as she footed her way towards the door. Aric, a little slower, but a little more aware of his bearings than she currently was, leaned forward and caught the crook of her elbow before she could make it past the dirty threshold. He almost lost his balance there at the end, but retained it as his fingers curled. His uprightness was now totally dependent on her. A breathless greeting escaped his throat, hoarse, almost stolen away by the din of the tavern.

 

"Hey, wait!"

 

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Before she could stumble out the door, someone grabbed her wing by the elbow, tugging her sideways with their added weight. Hissing, Agatha turned her gaze abruptly upon the culprit, green eyes harsh with indignance. Uncertainty undermined her displeasure as she recognized the individual to be a human hatchling - no, child. Wasn't he heading down the stairs a moment ago when she flew by? She couldn't recall and neither did she particularly care at the moment.

 

What she cared about was getting out and getting home. Pressing her thin lips into an even thinner line, she scrunched up her beak-like nose and tried to look disgusted. "Don't touch me!" It came out more like a nervous shrill than an angry command. She tried playing that off, hoping the boy couldn't tell the difference, by furiously shaking her wing. His grip on her elbow was firm though, as if he were using her as a support.

 

Frustrated and nervous with the large group of bodies threatening to swallow her form with proximity, Agatha quickly gave up trying to dislodge the boy from her wing. Instead, she powered her wings in a makeshift jump. With her feet off the ground, she latched her talons around the boy's body to bring him beneath her. She didn't slam him into the ground though, flying out the door and into open air instead.

 

Savor in the fresh air, the breeze through her feathers, she took the next few moments to put some distance between her and the inn before deciding to land. A few feet from the ground, she dropped the boy from her grip as to avoid her talons piercing his delicate flesh. Ruffling her feathers, Agatha took a few deep breaths to soothe her nerves. Then she began to smooth down her feathers once again. "Why did you grab me?" She was trying for demanding but she was sure the confusion undermined her attempt.

 

[[Let me know if you're not okay with any of what I've written. |D]]

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He had always imagined flying to be a more graceful maneuver: a series of controlled drips and gentle turns, a smooth, continuous motion that was assured by the undulation of practiced wings. As it turned out, flying was not that, give or take the circumstance at hand. The creature, woman—whoever she was—suddenly propelled into the summer bright sky at his touch (his grabbing with his grubby, little hands) with a nervous trill: "Don't touch me!" Then, the duo was rocketing away from the inn. Her talons were curled around him, cold against his freckled skin. The wind, both the natural kind and the kind generated by the flapping of her wings, eddied around him. She landed almost a league away from the building, where music and the raucous roar of raucous men could still be heard through the open doors.

 

Aric was lowered before she was. His right foot struck the ground steadily while his left fell beneath him. He snatched at the air for some sort of invisible support, but ended up tripping anyway. He landed with a solid smack on the hard earth beneath him. Dust rose as he fell. He coughed before looking up, saw that the bird-woman was just as disoriented as he was. She picked at her feathers, preened them down, and asked him a question between deep breaths.

 

She was beautiful, he thought. She was a marvel that came straight out of an enchanted forest. She was a something that humans would always try and fail to emulate. Aric let out a low sigh between his gap tooth before answering; his nose bunched up as he tried to recall what had exactly happened in the moment before seeing her and then reaching out to her.

 

"I dunno." He was serious, too. His brow, probably coated now with dust motes, furrowed. "You looked like you were in trouble, and I guess I just, er, had to."

 

His downward palm scraped the ground beneath him. He looked down and then up again, met his interrogator in the eye. A different sort of note entered his voice. It was defiant. It was assured. (Perhaps it was even a little arrogant; he was only a kid after all.) "I had to make sure that you were alright."

 

((Likewise, but you're definitely okay.))

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Agatha sniffed, holding her chin a fraction higher. Was that arrogance she heard in the hatchling's tone? Could someone even be arrogant while making such a statement? "I was doing just fine," she snarked, very well knowing that the boy could likely see through the lie. Shaking her head, she held her wings close to her feathered body, talons flexing idly and gouging the ground as a result.

 

Her agitation gradually returned as she began to take in her surroundings. Forest on one side, human roosting grounds on the other. And none of it looked familiar. No, her home was far enough removed from humans to go undetected but she still knew what was in or around her territory. This wasn't it! The human settlement, the forest... Even the scent and touch of the wind was different!

 

"Where are we?" Agatha asked, turning her green gaze back upon the human hatchling. "This isn't my territory. How did I get here? Did you have anything to do with this?" she interrogated, feathers fluffing up once more.

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Aric stilled where he sat, his breath caught somewhere at the edge of his throat. This place wasn't familiar to her either? She was just as confused as he was? How...how—he searched for the right word—convenient, he thought. His dark brow crinkled. His small hands drew themselves into fists, and suddenly, he felt the dirt interspersed between his fingers and caked under his nails with an undue intensity, and it wasn't as if though such uncleanliness was important, but the fact of it made it easier to think and to process. There was the dirt, and then there was the truth that the not-so-human creature above him was in the same predicament that he was. She was just as lost as he was. She was perhaps missing a Valentine kind of person as well. His breath unclenched. He studied the inquisitive features of his current companion in a different sort of light now.

 

(If he had a better grasp of his feelings right now, he would observe that what he was feeling was relief.)

 

"No, not me," he replied with a small shake of his head. "I get where you're coming from though because this... none of this is familiar to me either." He gestured to nowhere in particular because everything surrounding him, from the trees to the dirt, was strange to him.

 

"I'm supposed to be in the middle of a swamp and waking up right about now to the smell of porridge," he went on to say, quite aware of how his voice broke at the end. Heat rose to his rounded cheeks. "Not here, wherever this is."

 

 

 

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[[*rolls in* Sorry for the delay!]]

 

The hatchling's voice broke, some emotion showing through that Agatha couldn't quite label. She started pacing, absorbing the fact that he didn't know what this place was either. They were in the same situation unless he was lying to her. However, given that he looked like such a small thing, little in years and experience, what reason would he have for lying? After a few heartbeats, she stopped moving, a frown curving her lips downward. "Name?" she asked him, turning her green gaze back upon his small form. "Mine's Agatha," she introduced.

 

Glancing back towards the human settlement, the harpy continued to frown. "What do we do? Wonder around and ask questions?" She could fly home, she was certain. Like all birds, she naturally knew the direction that home was in. Except...

 

Slowly, her eyes widened. She didn't feel the familiar tug that would lead her home! Her senses were telling her that she was home but her eyes told another story. "I don't know where home is..." she mumbled, frightened.

 

All of a sudden, a clock tower within the town began to chime and Agatha watched - in horror - as elements changed. Holographic words scrolled across the sky above the town as a few portals came to life, scattered about the immediate area. Something flickered into existence in the corner of her eye and Agatha tried to focus on it, examining the green bar with her name printed in small letters above it. She didn't know what was happening but she definitely didn't like it.

 

After the words in the sky finished scrolling out of sight, larger and bolder letters took their place.

 

Welcome! Gaming Sequence: Begin!

 

[[Pardon. I thought it was time to kind of push the plot into motion. Let me know if you wanted to do something different.]]

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