Clavis Aurea

Aeolus
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Aeolus
Advanced Pilot
Joined: 6:42 PM - Mar 07, 2009

5:25 PM - Nov 21, 2012 #1

It was that quiet time of day when the sounds of gunfire and clashing metal had passed. Ribbons of daylight shone into the hangar, illuminating rows of zoids that were stationed inside. Light hit the white face of a machine that had been molded into the shape of a dragon—a machine which stood fifteen meters tall on its two legs, shadowing the white-haired man who stood before it.

Aeolus admired the shine he had restored. Cleaning a zoid with his meticulous methods was tedious, but it was his favorite part of the day. It was the quiet that helped him to appreciate what life remained in his hands. His mismatched eyes reflected the zoid's white and red armor, trial and weariness masked under the myriad of colors, replaying each and every rigorous session of intensive training he had undergone.

Months had passed since his encounter with the golden-eyed man. He assumed the hospital had been rebuilt, the damage at Guygalos repaired. It wasn't his concern. The moment he'd stepped into this secret base, the outside world ceased to matter. Day after day, his routine involved eating, fighting, entertaining the daughter of the base-master, and—above all—interpreting his visions.

He wasn't a seer. He wasn't a zoidian. Visions were the last thing he should have ever received in his lifetime. Yet they pursued him, sometimes constantly, sometimes rarely. Red mountains and an enraged Berserk Fuhrer. The golden-eyed man meditating in a place obscured by mist. In his worst times, the man would appear in his dreams with strange gestures of reassurance. Aeolus never did understand it. The man was a murderer operating on blind vengeance. Why he would dream comfort from such a figure was beyond him.

Perhaps it wasn't completely beyond him. The frequency and clarity of these visions had to mean they were more than visions. Aeolus laid a hand on the Gungyarados, peering intently at his own reflection in its white armor. He looked through it, trying to determine something that was just out of reach. He remembered admitting his visions to the master of the base, Reu. He remembered Reu in a panic, the man frenzied by a fear that his daughter was in danger. He remembered Mythic smiling his ever-placid smile, knowing things that they did not.

Aeolus stood back to gaze at the dragon again. He smiled, astounded to this day by its presence and its choice to be with him. He never did understand its color scheme opposed to the other zoids in the hangar. They were all drab shades of grey and brown, designed to blend into the mountains they hid among. What use is white and red? he mused.

No one had come to speak with him, so he decided to think on it. There had to be a practical use for white armor. White was a reflective color, so it was definitely useless in the daytime. Perhaps it would even be useless at night when the moon was out. Maybe if it rained, there wouldn't be light to reflect. Then it became a matter of surroundings. Maybe, if the Gungyarados could even fly high enough, it could hide itself among some low clouds. Then he reasoned that most zoids could hide in clouds that were large enough anyway.

He thought about fog. The red bits would give the Gungyarados away, but perhaps it stood a better chance in fog. Fog didn't happen very often, though. It took specific weather conditions unless you were in Mt. Iselina.

Aeolus frowned.

He'd heard tales of Mt. Iselina. It was a mysterious place he had never ventured, not even when he had the opportunity to. In a way, it was a place of danger and emptiness, and he had never cared to give it a second glance. He realized then that the fog followed him in all of his visions. Wherever the golden-eyed man was, he was always set against a gloomy, grey background. The ground was often cold like dirt and stone at night, and it was quiet, devoid of any life beside the murderer named Takra.

The young man turned on his heel. He quickly fled the hangar in search of Reu, his footsteps departing from the dragon that stood in total patience.
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Elaine Storm
Supreme Pilot
Elaine Storm
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Joined: 7:37 PM - Dec 27, 2005

6:04 PM - Dec 22, 2012 #2

The base of the mercenary Clan felt strangely empty and big. Lori had left the base a week ago, insisting she had to move to a new location. Her assistant, Mythic, had decided to stay to help Reu and his family. He seemed reluctant to leave Aeolus and his new Zoid. It was like Mythic expected something to happen, and he wanted to witness Aeolus create a miracle with the Gungyarados. The hunted Clan certainly needed a miracle.

The current occupants had all gathered in the kitchen. The smell of a warm, fresh meal being cooked drew Aeolus to where he would find Reu. The ginger-haired man was by the stove, stirring a large bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Ari was sitting on a chair, clapping her hand on the counter as she waited eagerly for her father to finish preparing the meal. Avery had her tail wrapped around the legs of the chair. The griffon Organoid lifted her head and chirped a greeting to the human, her red eyes warm. The mechanical creature had bonded with Aeolus, feeling a strong connection to the man. He had her companionship whenever he needed it.

[color=6698FF]"Aeoooolus!"[/color] Ari squeaked, her face lighting up as it always does to see her big brother, friend, and playmate.

From his spot in the kitchen, helping Reu prepare, Mythic lifted his head. He wore his eerie, yet welcoming smile that seemed permanently dug into his features. His dull green eyes followed Aeolus, interested in what the man might say. Where the others picked up nothing unusual from Aeolus, the freed slave sensed some strange urgency.

[color=E0852B]"Hey, Aeolus!"[/color] Reu called over his shoulder, smiling at the other man. He was family now. [color=E0852B]"Lunch is almost done, are you hungry?"[/color]


Rough, tan fingers dug into the dirt and grappled with the roots of a small plant. The golden-eyed man ripped it free, brushed the earth off by rubbing it on his pants, and then bit down. He growled and spat it back out. Yet another thing he couldn't eat. More food he couldn't have. Another day where he would starve.

The golden-eyed man rose to his feet and neared his towering silver Zoid. The Storm Fuhrer dipped its head down, accustomed to its master methods. Takra closed his eyes and reached up. When the Zoidian's hands touched the snout of the Zoid, they were bathed in a dull gold light. The Zoid rumbled, its injuries gradually healing through Takra's constant sessions of using his Ancient Zoidian powers. The man was slowly healing too, the bump on his head shifting back into place, although blood still coated the side of his head. He had no motivation to keep himself clean and healthy.

[color=D4A017]"Mens sana… in corpore sano…"[/color] The man let his hands fall and stared up tiredly at the Zoid. They were trapped here, caged in the foggy mountains until he was sure the tyrannosaurus Zoid could maneuver properly. The moment they left the sanctuary of fog, the Zoidian expected to fight. Takra was a criminal and a murderer, after all.

He knew of a mountain village nearby, so serene, so plentiful. They had food, shelter, and water. He had nothing. Yet he had no desire to plunder the peaceful village. They were free, free of the Republic and the Empire. Even if they had Zoids, they would not be prepared for combat. Takra had no inspiration to attack a village that had done no wrong. He only valued freedom now. It was all he had. He was a free slave. But he was raised on that truth that slaves are not supposed to be free. It counters the fact they are slaves.

Even then, he was trapped here. Pursued. Hardly free. He remembered the police and growled at the thought of their weapons. He wished he had the time to brutally kill them, to watch their eyes struck with terror and pain before they rolled back, white and lifeless. But someone interfered. Reu, and his new ally, the man with smokey hair and mis-matched eyes that he saw in his visions. He had been so pathetic. The pains and aches he suffered were mere itches to Takra. He had no idea what the golden-eyed man had endured. Or did he? The Zoidian remembered lying awake, sometimes for days, because his body was still healing from abuse. He remembered lying awake for hours to comfort a new young slave that only knew how to scream and bleed. They would yell and claw at Takra, pleading and asking why it hurt. He couldn't help them. But he would be the only soul that held them in strong, scarred arms until they adjusted to the pain. Until their young, confused eyes found rest. The golden-eyed man had shown the boy from the hospital all of this, by mistake. He might know, but he might not understand.

The scrawny boy perhaps reminded Takra of those frightened children. He reminded Takra of a lot of things, now that he considered it. But the Zoidian would not think on it for long. He did not even know the boy's name. He probably never would, and he didn't need to.

He would kill the remainder of the Clan, and everyone that tried to stop him. Even the boy.
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Aeolus
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Aeolus
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Joined: 6:42 PM - Mar 07, 2009

9:16 PM - Dec 25, 2012 #3

When Aeolus hit the kitchen, he was reluctant to make any mention of his revelation. The warm aroma of mac and cheese made a welcoming environment, and the sight of the family reminded him of the peace of mind they had worked so hard to achieve. He paused in the doorway for a while to look at them, struggling with himself. When Ari called his name, the young man smiled and moved away from the door, pausing to give Avery an affectionate ruffle.

He was sitting beside Ari when the girl’s father spoke. The smell of the cheese made his mouth water. Deciding not to prioritize business, he smiled and nodded, eagerly replying, “Yeah, I’m famished! I hope you made enough!”

Mythic caught his eye. He gave the man a solemn glance of greeting. The zoidian always came off as a little unusual, but Aeolus had the sense that he knew more than he let on. He was intelligent—perceptive. Aeolus could count on him to ease everyone in or out of a discussion. He sometimes equated their relationship to passing notes under the table, but it was often for a good cause. He thought so.

“How is everyone today, lil’ sis?” Aeolus turned to the young girl and played with her head. “Is mac and cheese all we’re getting for lunch?”
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Elaine Storm
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Elaine Storm
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Joined: 7:37 PM - Dec 27, 2005

9:44 PM - Dec 25, 2012 #4

[color=6698FF]"It's good, Aeo!"[/color] Ari chirped, giving her brother's arm a welcoming hug.

Reu grinned wide, waving the large stirring spoon as if it were a sword. [color=E0852B]"Of course! Plenty for everyone, I'm always sure there's enough!"[/color] He shifted to another smaller cooking pot and stirred its contents with a spoon. [color=E0852B]"Vegetables here too. Carrots and beans, Ari…"[/color]

[color=6698FF]"What?! Ick!"[/color] She stuck out her tongue, giving her father's back a rebellious look.

[color=E0852B]"You need to grow big and strong. It'll help you, okay?"[/color]

[color=6698FF]"Yes daddy…"[/color] She grew very quiet, hands in her lap. The black-haired girl leaned over to Aeolus and whispered. [color=6698FF]"I'm going to sneak them under the table and feed them to Avery!"[/color]

[color=993333]"…"[/color] The griffon snorted and raised her head, touching Aeolus's hand with her beak.

Mythic's quiet eyes found Aeolus, smiling at him. [color=66FF99]"Would you like anything to drink, Master Aeolus?"[/color] His voice rang, almost like music - sly, playful, eccentric music.

There was a terrible burn in Aeolus's gut, a feeling of extreme, unbearable dryness and emptiness. A whine cut his ears, something like begging, like a wounded creature left for dead out in the woods. It wasn't from Avery, or Ari, or anyone. It was that deep, growling voice from his visions. Hatred. Frustration. Agony. The golden-eyed man was clawing at the ground and swearing revenge in his ancient language, his past scars alight with red as if they were fresh and burning. His heart thudded, an unsatisfied desire to hurt, to kill, to devour. He threw his head back and howled, but the mist seemed to swallow the sound up, and the man's figure, forcing Aeolus away.

Meanwhile, Reu merrily fetched four bowls from the cupboards and started to distribute their meals. Ari was humming happily. Avery clacked her beak and nuzzled Aeolus's hand idly. Mythic was staring right at Aeolus now, his eyes sad.
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Aeolus
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Aeolus
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Joined: 6:42 PM - Mar 07, 2009

1:25 AM - Dec 26, 2012 #5

Aeolus grinned, thoughtfully stroking Avery's beak. "I don't know, Ari. I think your daddy's right. Besides, carrots aren't all bad, right? Bunnies eat them all the time."

"Would you like anything to drink, Master Aeolus?"

He raised his head and thought about it. He was so focused on the mac and cheese that he hadn't considered what they would be drinking. He opened his mouth to answer, but what came out was a quiet wince.

His hand tightened over his stomach. Mismatched eyes stuck to the table, glazed over with a vision beyond the walls of their home. Blood pounded in his ears as emotions and figures came in a rush. Just as quickly, the experience subsided, and his muscles relaxed as he became aware of Avery nuzzling his hand. Aeolus looked at Mythic, knowing that he was probably the first to take heed of anything wrong.

"Thanks," he said, trying to maintain a happier tone of voice.
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Elaine Storm
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Elaine Storm
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Joined: 7:37 PM - Dec 27, 2005

3:20 AM - Dec 26, 2012 #6

[color=E0852B]"Mmm!"[/color] Reu hummed, serving them each a bowl of mac and cheese, and a side dish with carrots and beans. Mythic fetched milk for Ari, and water for the adults. The freed slave then leaned on the side of the counter opposite Aeolus, green eyes still locked onto his face.

Ari grumbled, having hoped for more support from her brother. She needed an accomplice to prove that vegetables weren't that important.
[color=6698FF]"I guess… But I'm not a bunny!"[/color] She picked up her spoon and went right to work eating the macaroni, pretending the side of healthy food didn't exist.

Reu sat down beside Ari, affectionately ruffling her hair. [color=E0852B]"Eat up! I'm already planning dinner. Maybe a nice serving of ham…"[/color] The Zoidian trailed off and scratched his chin. His days had begun to revolve around meals, constantly planning how to feed his family. The obsessive with cooking gave him something to focus on, a way to ignore their conflicts and troubles. But those dangers had a way of slipping back into his life, right when he didn't want it.

[color=66FF99]"What's bothering you."[/color] Mythic asked suddenly, half of it a question, half of it a demand. It was like a Gojulas had been dropped in the middle of the room. Everyone stopped and looked to Aeolus. He was their friend, their family now. If even the littlest thing was disturbing him, it was family business. Not because the group was noey, but because they were genuinely protective and affectionate with him. Mythic's expression remained neutral, not a doubt in his mind that attention needed t be brought to Aeolus.

[color=6698FF]"Aeo?"[/color] Ari squeaked and shifted to crawl into his lap. The young girl pat his chest and murred sadly.

Avery clacked her beak nervously and nuzzled his hand, projecting her thoughts. She spoke no words, but offered him quiet reassurance and comfort.
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Aeolus
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Aeolus
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Joined: 6:42 PM - Mar 07, 2009

7:50 PM - Dec 26, 2012 #7

“Ham? That's a great idea! I'm not sure if I can wait.” Aeolus moved to eat, sticking his fork into the cheese. He had a couple bites before Mythic dropped the question.

The family was stunned. In a matter of seconds, the atmosphere of friendliness and comfort had dissipated, leaving room for unease to permeate the air. Aeolus was caught with his fork in his mouth, and he bit down on the metal, somewhat with surprise, somewhat with nervousness. He had hoped for Mythic to be a little less blunt. Still, he supposed it provided the opening he wanted.

Aeolus sighed and put the fork down. “I was looking at the zoid,” he explained, dabbing at his mouth, “and I was thinking about some things. I think I know where to start looking for him.” He set the napkin down and eyed them. Aeolus wasn't sure what the general reaction would be to his statement. He expected disbelief as much as he expected encouragement. “Call it a hunch—it's all I've got—but it's a better lead than anything else we've got.”
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Elaine Storm
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Elaine Storm
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Joined: 7:37 PM - Dec 27, 2005

9:44 PM - Dec 26, 2012 #8

[color=E0852B]"Looking, for…"[/color] The father trailed off, his eyes shadowed. It all rushed back so quickly. The death of his cousin, the destruction at the hospital, the fear of the golden-eyed man, and Aeolus's willingness to bring an end to this hunt. It suddenly seemed much more personal. Back when they first rescued Aeolus and brought him to the hidden base, he was barely a friend, but mostly a man who had some promise to save the Clan. He had clung to that promise and nurtured the plan in Aeolus mind. Now, Aeolus was hardly expected to fulfill any promise. Reu was more worried about losing Aeolus. [color=E0852B]"…Him."[/color]

Mythic turned his head to one side and smiled warmly at Aeolus. [color=66FF99]"I think you're right. You know what you're doing. What can we do to assist you?"[/color]

[color=6698FF]"Are you going to go, brother?"[/color] Ari squeaked and pawed at his shirt. [color=6698FF]"Who's going to play with me?"[/color]

[color=E0852B]"No, you don't have to go anywhere, Aeolus,"[/color] Reu said strongly, turning to face their new family member. [color=E0852B]"We haven't caught wind of him at all. Maybe he's dead. Maybe it's already over."[/color]

[color=66FF99]"Aeolus knows. He knows a lot we don't. He has a gift, Master Reu."[/color] Mythic yawned and rested his eyes lazily on the ginger-haired man.

The father's forehead wrinkled, unnerved. [color=E0852B]"I'm serious. We can give this up."[/color]

[color=66FF99]"Do you want to know why Lori really left?"[/color] Mythic's voice lowered and tone shifted to something more serious.

Reu went silent.

[color=66FF99]"She's next. We both know. He'll come for her when he's ready to move. Lori left to bring him away from your family. After her, it'll be you. This is not going to end. He will not let it end until he's satisfied."[/color]

[color=E0852B]"Tch…"[/color] Reu clenched his hands into fists and shook his head. [color=E0852B]"No, that can't be true…"[/color]

Mythic left Reu to his mental battle. The freed slave turned back to Aeolus and spoke kind, soft words to him. [color=66FF99]"Where do you think he is, Aeolus?"[/color]

Avery stood up so she could rest her head on Aeolus's leg. The griffon Organoid still said nothing, listening to the human and the Zoidians converse. She was certain of one thing. Aeolus would not go alone unless he wanted to confront this mission on his own. She gave a single chirp, promising that he would have her company if he willed it. Avery had nothing but support for the boy.
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Aeolus
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Aeolus
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Joined: 6:42 PM - Mar 07, 2009

12:34 AM - Dec 29, 2012 #9

Aeolus bit his lip. He hadn't expected Reu to have changed his mind on the matter. They'd spent months training Aeolus for the purpose of tracking and apprehending the man who had become such a danger to their clan. He spun his fork, unaware that his fingers were moving at all, not even when he stared right into the mac and cheese. Aeolus knew the man was still alive. He'd even suspected Lori's reasons for leaving them. He supposed he just hoped for otherwise. By the sound of things, Reu had hoped the same.

Finally, he put his fork down. ”Mt. Iselina,” he answered, his eyes grave. ”It's still on the continent, and it's probably one of the best places to hide away. Not a lot of people pass through, and the only thing that's there is some village, right? That's what I think.”

He laid his hand on the organoid's mane. Aeolus knew that Avery would be there for him, and frankly, he was thankful for it. Through all his training and conditioning, he wasn't up to the task alone. The young man quietly regarded the others, gauging their reactions, not so concerned with the journey ahead so much as what they would do and how they would take his departure.
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Elaine Storm
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Elaine Storm
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Joined: 7:37 PM - Dec 27, 2005

5:39 AM - Dec 29, 2012 #10

[color=66FF99]"Mt. Iselina…"[/color] Mythic parroted back with fondness. He paced about the kitchen area and pondered the thought of the quiet, foggy mountains.

Reu raised his eyebrows, intrigued with the suggestion. The father leaned back and crossed his arms. If anything, he seemed impressed, his features showing approval at the idea. [color=E0852B]"The mountains… Yes, that would all make sense. It's not a comfortable place, but he does need a sanctuary, someplace hard to reach. He lived in the mountains for most of his life, with the Clan. He has an advantage there, I suppose."[/color] And although hesitantly, the father murmured. [color=E0852B]"I think you're… on to something, Aeolus."[/color]

[color=66FF99]"Quite gifted indeed!"[/color] Mythics voice was almost a purr, and he smiled brightly at Aeolus.

Reu gave a huff and leaned on the counter so he could get a better look at Aeolus. [color=E0852B]"Are you absolutely sure? I don't want you to get hurt, Aeolus. It's not your job to protect us. You don't owe me anything, understand?… Do what's right. For you."[/color]

[color=66FF99]"Tell us what you need from us. We're prepared to help."[/color] Mythic said and casually leaned against the table.

The father's eyes flashed and his hair began to bristle. [color=E0852B]"Don't pressure him. Toward anything."[/color]

[color=66FF99]"Master Reu..."[/color]

Avery flexed her wings, signaling she was ready to move out at a moment's notice. Ari was quiet now, and clutched at Aeolus's shirt while she looked around at the adults with confusion. She didn't want Aeolus to leave, but she didn't know why he would go in the first place. Like eating her carrots, she couldn't argue making Aeolus stay.
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Aeolus
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Aeolus
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9:59 AM - Dec 30, 2012 #11

"Reu," Aeolus chimed, "what's right for me is to repay you. You got me back on my feet when I wanted to give up on everything. The least I can do is help your chances of survival." He held Ari's hand as he spoke, thinking of the time he had spent here. Their lifestyle was humble, but was free of the complications he faced back in New Helic City. He had no job, no bills, and he had essentially been absolved of all the stigma attached to his home. Reu's family was worth the peril. He hated to think that Ari might be robbed of anyone she knew.

"This is what I was born to do," Aeolus went on, hardly giving himself a moment of thought. "I'm a natural fighter. I was raised on fighting, at least with a zoid. I know how to fend for myself, and I grew up learning how to fend for others. Isn't this why you took me in? It'd be a waste to let all this talent sit in the dark!" He placed his hand on his hip, hoping that he had driven his point home. A new steel gleamed in his eyes, a look that said he would not take no for an answer.
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Sheryl Winter Vance Cloud
Sieglinde Argyris Alastor German Weiss
Renso von Dayne Dr. Blackwood
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Elaine Storm
Supreme Pilot
Elaine Storm
Supreme Pilot
Joined: 7:37 PM - Dec 27, 2005

5:31 PM - Dec 31, 2012 #12

Reu let his shoulders relax and he sighed. The father watched Aeolus intently, and found he could not argue with what the man had said. He smiled to himself, praising the strength and bravery of humans. Perhaps Zoidians were too afraid, too tired of risks. Compared to them, Aeolus seemed so young, lively, and hopeful. [color=E0852B]"All right. Then you can go, Aeolus. Go and fight, as you are so talented."[/color] He gently punched Aeolus's shoulder and gave him a playful grin.

[color=6698FF]"Are you going away, Aeo?"[/color] Ari raised her voice this time, alarmed. She squeezed Aeolus's hand with her little fingers. [color=6698FF]"Will you come back real soon? Please!"[/color]

[color=66FF99]"Of course he will, young master Ari. You just have to believe that he will.[/color]" Mythic smiled and reached over to ruffle her dark hair.

[color=6698FF]"I do, I do!"[/color]

Reu nodded, looking across the group. He didn't want to wait or dwell on the idea, afraid the time he had to think about it would increase his doubt. The father didn't want to conflict with Aeolus again, not when the man seemed so resolved. [color=E0852B]"Why don't you finish lunch? You'll need your strength… Mythic and I can prepare whatever you need. Just tell us what you want along for your mission."[/color]
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Aeolus
Advanced Pilot
Aeolus
Advanced Pilot
Joined: 6:42 PM - Mar 07, 2009

6:16 PM - Feb 21, 2013 #13

For all his bravado, Aeolus was still nervous. He smiled at Ari, sure to retain his level of confidence. ”Yeah, Mythic’s right; I’ll come back soon. I promise.” He looked to the girl’s father and nodded. It was an equal injustice to let the food go to waste. Aeolus bowed his head, quickly eating what was there.

”Just whatever you’d take on a trip, I guess,” he murmured. ”Food that won’t go bad- a decent supply of water. Should I even be worried about clothing? Would I stop at any lodges along the way? Not while I’m driving a Gungyarados, I guess…”

Lunch was gnoe much more quickly than he had expected. He sat back once the bowl was empty, contemplating how eager he truly was to set out—and how it seemed much, much too soon.
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Sheryl Winter Vance Cloud
Sieglinde Argyris Alastor German Weiss
Renso von Dayne Dr. Blackwood
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