Nightly Meeting (Navyri)

 
Sayana Brent
(@sayana-brent)
Member Characters

Nightly Meeting

Three days after the thread “Trapped”

Ever since Brent’s vivid dream with Navyri, the builder had been preoccupied with crafting some sort of plan to meet up with her in Owasiwa. While he had contemplated escaping his life as Sayana’s slave, it was easier said than done. If he ever did escape, there was the complicated nature of living in a foreign land with no money and a difficult grasp of the language and culture. Not to mention, avoiding any attempts that Sayana made to recapture him. However, with reconnecting with Navyri, it wasn’t just the challenge of his lack of freedom, it was also a matter of finding out where she was.

Brent did have two advantages in this situation. First, Navyri was highly distinctive and recognizable, even compared to the few odd bird humanoids he had seen in the skies. Second, Brent was quite talented with a pen and could sketch her features from memory in only a few minutes.

It was three days after the dream when Brent finally had devised a plan. It was messy, and prone to errors, but it was the best he had. That morning he was sent to the mud pits to gather clay for making bricks. He wasn’t the only one at the riverbank harvesting clay and for the most part it was dull monotonous work. With him, Brent had brought his wooden molds so that the clay could be directly placed into them and start the drying process in the shape of a brick. Sayana’s hired guard was around, but wasn’t paying much attention since Brent had a heavy steel chain linking his ankles and the guard was friendly enough with those at the site that someone would give him a heads up if Brent tried to amble away. But Brent had made his own friends here too.

“I know you’re not into pretty ladies, but if you were able to scout out this girl I know, I could teach you a trick or two about curing bricks and how to get by with using less clay while making more useable bricks.” Brent spoke in a low voice to one of the workers on the riverbank. A couple of them were slaves, like Brent, but most were free folk who worked as craftsmen for different clients within the city.

“And what makes you think your bricks are any better than the rest of ours?” Replied the gruff looking worker with mud up to his waist.

“They are lighter, stronger, and I can make more of them out of the same allotted one tonne of clay per day.” Brent replied casually while trying not to sound too much like a know-it-all.

“And this girl? What’s so special about her? Is she your…”

“She has two white wings, pitch black hair, brilliant blue eyes…” Brent spoke briskly, as he interrupted the man’s train of though. “And I have a picture of her for confirmation and a message to send her.”

Brent held out two small pieces of parchment, both folded up for discretion. “Once you’re able to give her the message, I will follow up with teaching you a few tricks of the trade.”

Puzzled but curious, the worker started opening the pieces of parchment. One was clearly a picture, but the other… “It’s jibberish!” He exclaimed harshly.

“It’s not in this language,” Brent stated with a bit of annoyance. “It’s meant for her eyes, not yours.”

There was a bit of a huff from the other worker but at last he nodded. “Alright, I’ll see if I can find this ‘lady-friend’ of yours. Might have to ask around in taverns and shops and the like. You sure she’s here in Oasis?”

“Yes, I have no doubt.” Brent replied, yet it was a white lie at best. He was quite sure she had spoken of Oasis in their dream, but could she have meant the whole world of Owasiwa?

“And when I give her the message, you’ll teach me your tricks as well as give me an afternoon of labour?” The worker confirmed with the added bit of negotiation.

“Yes,” Brent replied with little hesitation. “Yes, once you’ve given me the code phrase that she will provide as confirmation that you reached her.”

The worker was momentarily startled, and Brent was inwardly relieved that he had considered a means of obtaining proof that the message was indeed sent to Navyri and not just dropped in the gutter and said that it had been delivered.

With the deal finalized, now all Brent had to do was wait.

--

Two days after the thread “By the Letter”

It took several weeks for there to be any fruitful response and Brent began to wonder about whether he had found someone even capable to locating Navyri. She was distinctive, but it was also a big city and she might not be so open about her appearances and instead trying to fit in. As a human, Brent was surprised at how much scorn he had faced in this new world and maybe it was equally hard for Navyri but in a different way. More likely though, it just took time for a craftsman to engage in some investigative work that he was unfamiliar and unskilled at.

At last, when Brent was at the mud pits again, his comrade managed to get his attention.

“She says, ‘starling’.”

Brent’s heart skipped a beat as he recalled the contents of the letter.

My Dove,

I have come to understand that you may also be here in Oasis City, far far from Idalos. Although you may not recall, we shared a vivid dream, of which I remember distinctly, hence drawing such conclusions.

Being in a compromised position, I would ask that you meet me on the next full moon, an hour after sundown, at the construction site of bricks and stone between the domed cathedral and the great marble bank. It is on a side street, but you can’t miss it next to the house with the glassy blue door.

Please tell this messenger the code phrase that we used to communicate with the mirrors, so that I know I have reached you.

Brent

 

When he had first devised the plan, he had needed a very concrete date and time, but one that could be flexible in case it took his messenger longer to find Navyri. But now that he thought about it, Brent realized that the next full moon was tonight.

Although he was generally prepared for the next steps, he would need to be sure they got implemented successfully this very evening.

--

Brent quickly stressed to Sayana’s hired guard that he needed to get back to the construction site urgently. There were certain elements of the construction that needed just the right temperature, wind, angle of sunlight or any other bullshit he was able to come up with. Fortunately the guard had next to no practical sense about him and this hadn’t been the first time Brent had bent the truth a little to accommodate his own wishes.

Once they arrived at the construction site for Sayana’s new home, Brent set about making his fine tune adjustments to the outer wall of rock and bricks. He had disguised an imperfection in the brick layout that was not very apparent from the casual observer but could be triggered in a moment by stressing a critical weak spot.

Just as Sayana arrived in her extravagant beaded dress to oversee the day’s work and progress, Brent struck his hammer forcefully upon the weak link of the largest wall. Bricks tumbled and clattered upon the ground of the construction site as an entire section of the wall fell away. Only the sandstone rocks serving as the structural frame seemed to be intact but the mess of bricks left a cloud of dust hanging over the building site.

Sayana’s face turned from pride to fury as she turned to Brent. “You little…” Her hand came hard upon his face with a sharp slap. Brent had braced himself for that one, but he doubled over as the guard punched him hard in the gut.

Gasping for breath, Brent didn’t need to pretend to stammer. “I-I can fix it! The bricks aren’t broken. I can restack them! I can stay up all night if needed. It will be done by morning. I p-promise!”

“No dinner, no sleep until you get this all cleaned up!” Sayana stormed.

It was only then that the guard noticed his own predicament. “He can work while chained up, right? I ain’t giving up my night to watch over some stupid slave.”

“He’ll work with the chain but if something happens to him, you’re on the hook.” Sayana spat angrily. “Why else would I be paying you?”

There was an audible grumble from the guard and a muttered, “Yes Ma’am.”

The sun was beginning to set and Brent was on edge from the whole exchange as he began tidying up the bricks. Sayana didn’t stick around much longer, clearly furious, and the guard took a moment to ensure Brent’s restraint was still fixed securely to one of the heavy structural stones. But as it started to grow dark, the guard didn’t seem to want to take the chance in leaving and instead vented his frustrations by throwing the occasional punch or kick at Brent.

As Brent’s stomach grumbled uncomfortably, he hoped that the guard’s presence wouldn’t sabotage his meeting with Navyri. Maybe she’d have a trick or two up her sleeve? At least Sayana was out of the picture.

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Topic starter Posted : 02/03/2022 4:40 am
Navyri Nightingale
(@navyri-nightingale)
Member

It was an unexpected day.

Hot, as always, but so ordinary as far as days in Oasis went. Already midday and Navyri had spent the majority of her time lounging about her apartment, restless and irritable. The sun was unbearable here, but she eventually became fed up with the comfortable space and emerged onto the streets to the city market where she felt most familiar. The atmosphere was similar to back home, even if the citizens were enormously varied. Just like their currency and languages. With so much chaos, it both impressed and baffled the woman. How did anyone get anything done?

Creatures of every shape and sized moved along the street stalls and beyond, to the more sophisticated shops with display windows unlike anything Navyri had ever seen. So many sights were still new to her, and she watched the world around her with a childlike curiosity. Sweat began to build in the valley of her breasts and along her hairline. Navyri she moved quickly to a shaded space beneath a rose-colored awning, and listened to the bickering of a couple, guessing whether the language they spoke was the one she was learning or another she had yet to name. And when that lost her interest, she decided to do some shopping of her own, collecting a bit of coin from an unsuspecting shopper which certainly helped to brighten her mood.

Navyri purchased a bottle of wine and three hand rolled cigarettes, a pair of slippers, and was debating lunch when he saw her. She had been holding up two pieces of strange fruit shapes like a twisted ring, judging the appearance and wondering just how it should be eaten, when the dirty figure edged closer. A subtle bobbing of his head drew her attention as she felt eyes upon her. Up, down. Up, down. A piece of paper in his hand, he seemed to be comparing details. She laid the fruit down and stepped away from the vendor's stall, slipping into the crowd to see the man approaching quicker. She moved with the flow of bodies in the market, each stepped clumsily matched by her observer.

Yes, she was certain.

She was being followed.

Navyri could have flown away. She could have slipped into the shadows without notice, but she had to find out why.

The brunette beauty returned the fruit back on the stand and looked the man in the face, allowing him to catch up while she calculated the risks of self-defense in a place like this. She didn't know the rules. Best to play it safe.

"Who are you?" 

The messenger recoiled at her firm demand, gauging the chance of success while he eyed the white wings that seemed to inch a bit larger with each second that passed. He seemed certain of something too.

The man rattled a response that sounded too rushed for to fully understand. Navyri's frown deepened, and she opened her mouth to speak when he extended a piece of folded parchment. She understood the meaning now; a letter?

Impossible. 

She had no friends in this place.

Reluctantly, she took the paper offered to her, peeking at its contents.

Her blood ran cold, her heart pumping louder in her ears as she read words that stirred memories best forgotten.

My Dove

I have come to understand that you may also be here in Oasis City, far far from Idalos. Although you may not recall, we shared a vivid dream, of which I remember distinctly, hence drawing such conclusions.

My dove, far far from Idalos. She ceased to breath. There was one man who had ever addressed her so kindly. Brent had always been able to lie to himself so thoroughly as to see her as anything other than monster in wait. A term she even she disagreed with, but one that Navyri had missed more than she realized. Blue eyes began to move faster across the page, seeing words that made wonderful. horrible, sense. She felt her chest tighten, a fist in her throat as she comprehended what this meant.

Being in a compromised position, I would ask that you meet me on the next full moon, an hour after sundown, at the construction site of bricks and stone between the domed cathedral and the great marble bank. It is on a side street, but you can’t miss it next to the house with the glassy blue door.

Please tell this messenger the code phrase that we used to communicate with the mirrors, so that I know I have reached you.

It was him.

Brent

She was silent, rereading the words. When she looked up, she didn't really see the messenger. Navyri was suspended somewhere far away. The man interpreted her silence as ignorance and reached for the letter. Navyri snatched it out of his reach, possessively so. When she composed herself, the word left her mouth in a stunned breathlessness, "Starling." She braced herself for something more, as if the sky would fall, or thunder would flash across the sky. What were the odds he was here? Out of everyone on Idalos... 

Brent Forrester?

The messenger furrowed his brow, not quite understanding the foreign code. He turned around and stepped into the crowd.

Surprisingly she didn't follow. Navyri looked back to the letter and wrestled with her own emotions. 

---

 

She watched the skies, the great moon brighter than before. The last kisses of sunlight faded far from view and Navyri sighed in relief beneath the hood of her robes. She stretched her wings experimentally, the clawing ache from continual sunlight lessening as the night's shadows wrapped around her and offered relief. Every day felt more draining than the one before it, a phenomena she hadn't quite deciphered the reason for, but she held her suspicions. Navyri brushed her fingers to the tattoos on her arms and slipped down the allies, keeping from respectable roads. The foreigner moved quickly, maintaining sharp turns and silent steps. She knew where to go.

Each street was a chance to turn back. It wasn't too late.

There was no reason to play savior. Oasis was her fresh start, an open door to the cage that had held her captive for nearly 40 years.

Brent Forrester was just a man.

What logic could explain why he was here, on another plane, with her? She recalled the letter, its concise explanation.

The text had mentioned a dream, and while she felt the stirrings of déjà vu, no concrete images came to mind. As always, he was willing to risk a great deal as long as she was involved, and for nothing more than a chance. It must have meant he missed her a great deal, and the thought pleased her. Even as emotionally skittish as she tended to be, Navyri believed in returning favors and Brent had treated her well. Very well. But what had he meant by compromised?

Blue eyes darted up the street. The construction site was approaching and Navyri's body bled into living darkness, returning to her true form, to pool where she once stood and slither freely across the surface, disappearing into the shadows of Oasis.The sound of voices drew her in, a man grumbling about his late shift, and the sound of clinking chains. Navyri stilled and listened. Time passed. Clouds crept across the sky. The hour of her expected arrival was coming to a close and the irritation of the guard only seemed to grow. She moved up the side of a brick pile and watched the two figures left at the site. A guard, easily recognized as a stranger and another figure wearing clothes that fit poorly. Shackles bound the same man to a nearby structure, and it was only when the guard stepped forward to slam a fist into his stomach that his face lifted and Navyri caught glimpse of his features from her position

Surprise had her recoiling as the realization of who the man was and what he was. A slave.

Like the last time they had gone their separate ways and been reunited, much had changed. Whereas formerly Brent had grown out his hair in her absence, now it was chopped short. The shaggy hair and overgrown beard from their travels had been replaced by a more barren style, facial hair almost entirely gone. She did not believe it at first and without question, shot from the rubble and across the ground, un-teethered and formless towards the cartographer. It happened in a breath, a darkness washing up and around Brent, like the fleeting pressure of a hand, before it was gone and she disappeared into his own shadow, hidden once more.

It was him.

Navyri slithered behind the guard then rose behind him like a vengeful apparition, scooping a brick into her hand as she reformed to flesh and blood.

The irritated guard started to turn and she shot out, slamming the brick into the side of the man's face. He stumbled back, crumpling to the ground in a decisive thud. Blood began to trickle from his ear, his chest rising and falling. Not dead, but certainly not conscious. It was irresponsible, but what other ways would she get to speak to Brent in secrecy? Her blue eyes lifted to look past the obstacle and at her old friend. Her heart was pounding.

"There you are," she managed, stepping forward. With her free hand, she pulled at the side of her hood to reveal a glimpse of her face, "I heard you were looking for me."

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Posted : 09/03/2022 3:08 am