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Jonathan Highwind
 Posted: Mar 29 2012, 08:17 PM
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Jonathan looked at his ship sadly.

The dock was deserted but for himself and Ku'Pah, the Hertasi mechanical genius. They could ill-afford to hire an actual repair crew--for that's what it would take to repair the Nightingale--and were stuck making the repairs themselves. The ship's hull sported holes the size of a man's torso, metal plating and decking showed burn marks and erosion from exposure to acid rain, control mechanisms gone entirely, ripped from the ship by tremendous winds at ridiculous speeds.

Windows shattered, paint vanished, rudder barely hanging on; the ship looked like an absolute wreck. "That," said Ku'Pah quietly, "was the single worst job we've ever done." The morose sentiment wafted off of the two rogues, the feeling of defeat practically palpable. "That...that son of a bitch," the Hertasi continued, "that human cost us everything! If I ever see that Aristide character again, I'll eat his face." Beside his companion, Jonathan snorted.

"You can do that? Eat a man's face?"

The Hertasi sighed. Jonathan, hands shoved into his pockets, shook his head sadly. "Well, nothing to do but to get started." Ku'Pah looked at his partner resentfully, demanding to know where to start. "The engines, of course," the human counterpart replied. "That last run back to the calm skies burned out the port engine, all of its glowplugs and the timing belts. We're beyond lucky we even flew this thing home," noted the rogue.

All too aware of the mountains of work the two faced in order to get the Nightingale sky-worthy, they walked up the boarding ramp and onto the ship. "How are we to pay for parts? Aren't we broke now?" Ku'Pah's question was met with a small smile from Jonathan, who, ducking under a large pipe that had become exposed during the harrowing return to Tottenham, explained that he still had a small amount left in his trust fund.

"Hmph. You rich people. Trust fund this, inheritance that."

"Well, I'm actually fairly poor now. But I used what was left to hire another mechanic." Ku'Pah stopped, forcing Jon to stop as well. They stood in the corridor that lead to the engine room in the aft of the ship, cavernous and waiting for repairs. "I have it on very good word--Old Bailey himself--that this girl can give even you a run for your money."

"HA! A human able to fix ships?" The Hertasi made a rude noise. "Wait, female?" Jon rolled his eyes and resumed walking towards the end of the ship. "How IS Old Bailey, anyway? Still blathering on about that one time he supposedly faced down a whole barge of pirates with nothing but his pipe and his bottle of booze?" Jonathan smirked wryly at the memory of Old Bailey, a drunk but dependable captain with more than a few impressive connections to engineers, mechanics and local "pleasure" houses.

"His testicle dropped. Lucky man," Jon said with a grin.


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Abigale Waltyngfeld
 Posted: Mar 29 2012, 08:51 PM
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There was going to be hell to pay for this job. Absolute and total hell that would probably haunt her for the rest of her life. Money is money though....right?

Somehow, through some bizzare turn of events, Abigaele's name had actually gotten around to people. And not in a horrid Keep an eye out for this one kind of way. No. Her name was put out and picked up for a job. She was finally going to be put to work for what she had apprenticed in and worked in for so long. For once Abi was going to walk on a ship, fix it up, get paid, and leave. Something that had never happened to her before. The ability to walk away from a job if it proved not worth it almost made the woman giddy as she thought about it.

The only part that had worried her was trying to get away from Ailms and Desmond. For one, Desmond was becoming obsessed with whatever his new project was and needed her a part of it, and two Ailms seemed way to concerned about her well being. If he knew she was out right now, and what she was about to do, Abigale would be lucky to be let off with just being restrained to the table again. Just thinking about it made the stitches on her arm and face ache. It was an unpleasant feeling but it was something that seemed to happen anytime she got nervous. Maybe her skin naturally reacted that way and she just didn't notice? Or Ailms put some magic in the stitches that forced her to constantly feel natural emotion. Not that it really worked obviously, seeing as despite how excited she was the girl still had a harsh and monotone look.

Look for the eyesore that looks like it shouldn't ever fly again

The general directions she had been given when told about this job. So that's what she did. Her ice blue eyes scoured the dock looking for the ship she was looking for. Honestly Abi was just expecting a ship that looked a little beat up that shouldn't take to long to fix up. So when her eye befell the one she was to be working on, her heart sunk to her feet and her entire body instantly began to ache with preemptive weakness. Was this really a good idea? Because the pathetic excuse for a ship sitting infront of her was worse than her original ship had ever managed.

Taking a strong breath Abi walked onto the ship with her head held high. Her simple leather tool belt clanked against her hips as she walked up the ramp as though she owned the places. Gaze darted back and forth gauging how much time and work this was going to take. So far, she had come up with alot just in general. Now where was the man she was working for. Did he not realize how high maitenance a proper air ship was? No good captain would allow this to befall any posession of his. Everything looked destroyed and falling a part. There was almost nothing that could be salvaged. Seeing a beautiful vessel in such disrepair made Abigale feel terrible for whomever had put work into making the ship as beautiful as possible. Only the most irresponsible did this to their belongings. So far it didn't even seem like the man deserved to own the ship.

"Oi! Anyone 'ome?" With the harsh shot she began to wander about the deck of the ship just checking out what was going on skin deep. And this was foreshadowing for some serious shit down below. Despite how much Abi was going to complain about it this was what she lived for. Working day in and day out in order to restore a ship to it's former glory. It was more than a hobby to her, it was the young mechanic's life. Though slowly but surely the task was becoming more daunting.

Maybe it would have been a better idea to stay at home with the two other men who never seemed to have anything to do. Oh well, to late to go back now. Besides it was almost exciting to image how to explain her upcoming injuries to Ailms when all she claimed she was doing was going aroun town for a while just to get out and stretch her legs. This was sure as hell a bit more than just walking around town. And with the way her luck was going, it was going to cause a lot more damage than she would be able to get away with. But first she needed to find the damn captain of this ship in order to start this new debacle.

"I ain't got all day!"


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Jonathan Highwind
 Posted: Mar 29 2012, 09:17 PM
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"That one too? Derrick's ding-a-ling, that's gonna be costly!"

The two airmen, each nestled beneath a massive engine the size of a poor man's shack, grumbled as they pulled parts off that would need to be replaced. Scattered around the hulking engines were snapped cables, burned gears, bent cogs, blackened glowplugs and lengths of rubber hosing that had all been damaged in their return to the air. From beneath the starboard engine, Jonathan paused. "Wait. You hear that? I think she's here."

Ku'Pah, feigning disinterest, tossed another gear out from under his port engine. "Good! Tell her pretty head--you did hire a pretty one, right?--to get to work! We can't afford to have any of that stupid flirty crap you oh so enjoy," the Hertasi snapped. After a few moments of wrenching a few housing screws loose, however, the little green grump couldn't help but follow after his partner, curious about a mechanic Bailey would recommend to the pair. Maybe he sent a bafoon to get back at us for making him drink gryphon pee that one time, Ku'Pah thought darkly.

"Hello there," Jonathan said.

He stood in the hatch that fed into the engine room, pawing at his grease-covered hands with a rag already so greasy, it was unlikely he was making any progress. His shirt sleeves were rolled up and his hair was thrust up at a rakish angle by the goggles on his forehead; clearly, Jonathan was a hands-on sort of airman. He extended his hand, his eyes already drinking in every detail about the woman in a heartbeat. "Jonathan Highwind, captain and owner of the once-proud Nightingale," he said with a trademark win-them-over smile.

Ku'Pah, having come right up behind Jon, gave the woman a nod and snorted. "She may not look like much, kid," he said, his tongue flicking out as if he could taste the woman's regard for their ship, "but she's got it where it counts." It was true; the Nightingale had started out life as a merchant vessel designed to carry cargo and nobles, fitted with enough anti-piracy devices to qualify as "vicious".

But, of course, Jon had made changes.

The youth had paid exorbant sums of money to strip out the massive guns, the rec-room--which he turned into an equipment storage room--and to remove the engines and replace them with stronger, faster ones. The effect was that a sleek, eye-pleasing luxury craft had turned into a surprisingly speedy--the speediest, according to Jon's occasional boasts--sort of adventure craft. Increased storage, added metal plating for defense and improved directional control mechanisms meant that his ship was designed for dancing through the skies.

It was not, however, designed to brave the horrors of the world below the clouds. Oh, sure, extra plating and acid-proof rubbering were added, but there was more than just bad weather at work against the Nightingale on that fateful expedition. The result was all around them in the damages. "What Ku'Pah means to say is," Jon said quickly, lowering his hand after seeing it still totally filthy, "she looks bad now...but oh, she's a beauty when she's in working order."

Jon clapped his hands together. "SO! Ready to work?"


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Abigale Waltyngfeld
 Posted: Mar 29 2012, 09:53 PM
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Shattered windows, destroyed wood, just all around pain and destruction painted the canvas that was once a beautiful ship. Or at least that's what Abigale guessed from what little beauty she saw hidden beneath all the rubble. She could only imagine what was going on underneath if the outside was damaged this bad. She hadn't heard any crashes or anything so perhaps it wasn't totally falling apart. That was her biggest wish in that moment, that at least the underbelly of the ship was still in one piece. It was a far stretch for anyone's imagination but it was still something the girl held onto.

"Abigale Waltyngfeld. Mechanic of just about anyone who will pay for it." She shook Jonathan's hand with a grip that would rival any man. Callouses proved that it had been a long time since she had the small dainty hands of most women in society. But it appeared she wasn't the only one who worked hard with her hands. With a quick over view Abigale gathered that Jonathan was not a captain who was afraid to get his hands dirty. Sure he seemed a little green to be working on such a vessel but it was a nice gesture to see him covered in grease attempting to fix whatever the hell he had broken. Perhaps she wouldn't be working alone. Though with that disgusting shit-eating smile part of her wanted nothing to do with him.

Ice blue irises found their way over to the hertasi who had spoken so gruffly to her about the ship. He did not seem like the type who took to new comers well, especially not a young woman like herself. Hopefully he was skilled enough in something to live up to how condescending he is. though his excuse seemed eerily similar to the one Emily had told her when she was little. She may seem a bit run down but this ship has got it where it counts! It was all she could do not to laugh in his face about the obnoxious comment. It was not something she believed in that moment in time.

IT just seemed like an automatic response to someone breeching your territory when your ship is less than satisfactory. Make sure they know how great it can be despite how it looks on the outside. For most people that appeased them and they went along with it. Abigale was a whole other story though, she had seen some nasty ass ships and this had to be the worst. Not that she would say that to Jonathan's face just yet. There was a level of respect demanded for a captain that she lived by. Until you truly know the ship or the owner himself, give nothing but respect to him and the surroundings despite how terrible they may be It was a painful code to live by but she did no matter what.

"You say it like I have a choice. This poor thing is gonna needs months of work." Okay so maybe sometimes she bent the rules a little bit. But she was here to help him build the ship back up and she wasn't about to lie about the possible time line this project seemed to be on. Speaking of which, what in the hell had he done to completely ransack this thing! Did he run it into a wall a few times as Acid rain came down in the bucket loads? The amount of damage just did not seem possible for one person to do. Perhaps he's just a sucker for punishment and didn't know when to stop. That seemed like the more plausible concept at that moment. Either way though, this was going to a bitch to finish.

"Where do you want me to start?" Her hands were itching to get to work and prove to that little hertasi that she was worth her weight, cause she could practically see it in his eyes that he didn't think she could do anything. No one ever did considering her small and petite stature. Not to mention the whole girl thing. Sexism was one of her biggest pet peeves. Just because she was a small woman didn't mean she couldn't do the same things as a full grown man. Sometimes she could do more than them if she really put her mind to it. Though with her injuries there was little chance of her really terribly pushing herself. For once Abigale was going to hold back but for only one reason.

That damn pescid that would kill her if he found out where she was right then.


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Jonathan Highwind
 Posted: Mar 29 2012, 11:38 PM
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Jon shook her hand.

In a pair of heartbeats, his opinion of her and the way he should act around her suddenly changed. Observations raced through his mind. Calloused hands, unafraid to shake greasy hand, slightly hunched posture from time spent in cramped spaces, hmm, doesn't like the way I come off. Despises the rich? Maybe...complains but loves the work. Poor? Hm, possibly, looking to make money. Less of a lady, more of a worker. Okay, change tact.

"Well met, Abigale," Jon replied curtly, his smile dimming considerably. No nonsense with this one, Jon decided. "Well, let's have you slide in under the port Falcon-VI engine pod. The whole thing is in shambles, so I'm guessing first you'll have to strip the broken bits off of it first." As they stepped through the hatch and descended down the short bit of metal-shod stairs into the large engine room, the problem became apparent.

Parts lay strewn about the engines in haphazard patterns.

"I'll give you whatever money you need to get parts, but I can also get them for you from a reliable source. Uh, I got a passable know-how of this stuff, but you're trained in this sort of thing, so I guess I'll follow your lead." The rogue slipped his goggles on over his eyes and headed for the starboard engine pod. Ku'Pah, his eyes quickly assessing the subtle, muted curves of the straightforward mechanic, sniffed.

"Well, I'll see to the cabling then, shall I? Hmph."

Mistaking this sudden professionalism on Jon's part for yet another stratagem in flirtation, Ku'Pah, slightly miffed, donned his own minuscule goggles and scampered into a hole in the deck. The Hertasi was an incredibly handy mechanic because he could crawl into the tightest of spaces. In fact, once he entered the very guts of the craft to begin yanking burned wiring out, he was, for all intents and purposes, gone.

Jonathan slid beneath his designated engine pod, the cool deckplates somehow comfortable on his back, and began working at removing twisted screws and buckled plates. His hands knew the spanner well, but, knowing that Abigail likely thought little of his mechanical abilities, felt a little intimated. Well, he thought with a private smirk to himself, now's a good time as any to choke on a slice of humble pie, as Ku'Pah would say.

"So how did you wind up fixing ships?" asked the rogue.


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Abigale Waltyngfeld
 Posted: Mar 30 2012, 02:51 AM
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The destruction that laid before Abigale actually confused her for a moment. Was there nothing down here that she could work off of? Just at first glance she could tell the poor things were going to have to be gutted. At least Jonathan seemed to have dropped the pretty boy attitude he had at first. As she studied him though Abigale got the idea that he had to come from some sort of money, he just seemed a litl too polished in the way he switched emotions and characteristics. Sure she could manage to do the same thing, but that's from just about selling yourself on the corner day to day as a child. But that's another story for another time.

"I hope you have some tor saved up Jonathan....Cause this is going to take a lot" There was no beating around the bush here. The engines were absolutely destroyed and there was probably little left to save them. Not that she wouldn;t try of course, Abigale was used to working on a tight budget and basically slapping some extra metal on top and hope it sticks until the next raid hits off well. Which was seldom ever seeing as her ex-co captain always gambled everything away. Her small flame of anger though was easily dissipated by the hertasi's reaction and stomp off to go work else where. It was like watching a little kid throw a fit and get fed up.

A soft sarcastic laugh bubbled up as the girl slipped on her own goggles, which despite how poor she looked, were extremely elaborate and expensive looking. Both sides had multiple magnifying glasses and different colored lights on them. At first they were just simple inventor's magnifying goggles when she stole them, but over time she modded them so that she can get the exact exposure she needed for whatever she was working on that the time.

So needless to say, the girl looked like she knew what she was doing.

With sure movements, Abi disappeared underneath the other engine, concentration immediatly registering on her face. With simply and graceful motions suddenly piece after piece seemed to slide out from the engine like she was simply throwing out pieces of clothing form a clothesline. With her intense focus it actually took a few minutes before Jonathan's question registered.

"Oh um.....Rough childhood, had to support the family. Plus it got more money than my occasional invention." Her hands continued on a frenzy to pick apart what was okay and what wasn't. And so far there was more on the wasn't side than the was. This was why Abi didn't enjoy working with people around, they always talked to much. This time around she had to actually answer too since she was working for the man. Just blantly ignoring him could cause a bit of trouble and she needed this money to pay Ailms off for saving her life.

That's right, Abigale chose to pay someone off with money for saving her life instead of doing the cheesy I owe you my life and my first born child kind of thing. Seeing as most things she got in the past were based off of bribes and favors, why waste your time doing anything else. Besides Ailms needed the money seeing as he was always running out of materials. Which was rather worrisome if you think about it.

A soft light click on and radiated from the bottom of the engine, this one coming off as a mixture of white green and blue. It gave her the perfect contrast against the bronzed metal and helped her pick out specific color changes of things that were so fried they would probably explode if they attempted to use them. Plus it was also sometimes a little fun to just mess with the colors of her goggles to see exactly what they could point out to her. The evidence was sometimes scary.

In order to get comfortable the young woman shifted back and forth for a moment now laying in a less than lady like fashion. With her knees up, her skirt slipped dangerously far up her legs exposing just some what seemed to be cut black trousers almost. Now most mechanics would have made the smart decision and worn trousers on a job, but after 6 years of being yelled at about skirts, old habits tend to die hard. So she laid there, completely engulfed in her work in such a way that she didn't even move to attempt to conceal herself. Abigale was not a bashful person usually so having a wardrobe malfunction like this actually didn't seem to bother her.

Needless to say, the girl was certainly for the demure home maker type. If that wasn't obvious enough already, perhaps her laying underneath an engine with an obscene amount of skin showing would help prove that point. Oh how sometimes she wished she had been born a man. Things could have been so much easier.But one has to make due with the hand they are given. So instead of covering up and acting like a proper lady and sitting at home hoping someone will help her. Once again she's out making her own living not giving a damn.

though only thing she gave a damn about right then was earning her money and perhaps that little hertasi's respect. Sure it didn't seem like much but if she gained both men's respect she could get her name farther out there. And suddenly she might actually have money to spend. Weird concept for someone who could barely afford to pay attention half the time. How much was she getting paid for this job again?


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Jonathan Highwind
 Posted: Mar 30 2012, 03:23 AM
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Jon worked effectively, but far less quickly.

His money hadn't been spent on intriguing gear such as Abigail's goggles. Instead, he'd spent the money on food, drink and trinkets for various women. Stupid, to be sure, but he also spent money on parts, fuel, information and bribes. What tools and gear he did have had been appropriated from fellow airmen, bought on the cheap from drunken captains or simply found lying about in the bazaar or the market.

He picked up on the slightly hesitant response from his hired help. Worker ethic overrides the social one? Hm. Uncomfortable talking about herself or uncomfortable talking period? Dislikes discussing details, things she doesn't care to remember perhaps. That quick-to-analyze wit was at it again, but he relented and simply said, "Sorry to hear that...but you came recommended from an old friend. Says you're quite the hand at this sort of thing." Also said you had the right amount of curves for an airwoman, but let's leave that out.

Jon turned to ask something else and froze.

Had Ku'Pah been here, Jon was sure the little nutjob would have had a coronary. The woman clearly didn't give a second thought to being proper while she worked; the skirt should have been his first sign, but Jonathan had been a little mentally preoccupied. Now, though, he was sorely tempted to drink in the sight of the exposed skin. Amazingly enough, he turned his head, refusing to look and instead focusing on his work. He cleared his throat and peered at a blackened piece of metal that might have been a rectangle at some point but was more of a blob now.

"Inventor, huh?" Jonathan said, eyebrows rising half-way up his head. "My father follows that sort of work," he admitted. "I...well, I suppose I did come from money." A quick flash of the flabbergasted look upon his father's face brought on a very smug smirk. "But not anymore. I have to earn whatever I have." He tugged and finally managed to yank out the ruined piece of metal.

"I like to think I blew my entrusted funds foolishly."

An odd statement, it might seem, but most people did not know who Jonathan really was. He'd been groomed to be the next Huntington, the name that was revered in scientific circles. He'd been promised high-brow work, ridiculous sums of money and cultured social circles to flit about in. It had all sickened him by the time he was a teenager. He shook the thought away and smiled. "Though I hope this spending will be worth it. So, I can promise about two-thousand up front and then when the work is done--" if it ever is, he thought darkly "--we can discuss the rest."

Yep, this venture would finish the last of the money his father had laid away for him. Gone, the entire fortune he'd been given to continue his doctorate career...Feel like I should send dear old dad a card or something. The thought restored Jon's good cheer. He shoved his hands into the new gap he'd made in the engine and did his best to keep pace with Abigail, which wasn't going to happen.

"So, what do you invent? Those amazing oculars you're using?"


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Abigale Waltyngfeld
 Posted: Apr 1 2012, 12:49 AM
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There was nothing able to be saved from this engine. It just wasn't possible. 90% of it was blackened or just completely destroyed in such a way she was surprised it didn't fall out already. How could someone let this beautiful vessel get under such disrepair? Her respect for Jonathan took a nice little dip as she sorrowfully gutted the beautiful bronzed piece of machinery. He obviously had no idea what he was doing when this poor girl was flown. No one with any actual skill would have allowed this to happen. The woodwork and the outside view of the mechanics proved that the whole thing had once been a beautiful ship, probably one more meant for cargo or passangers. Not whatever he had forced it to do. If this thing was ever finished Abi made the decision to completely deck it out for whatever he needs. Considering the look from the deck he attempted a trip to the surface. So her mind automatically began a check list of what was needed to make sure everything was secured if he made the idiotic mistake to go back..

Well the thoughts did go along that path until she actually heard him say sorry for her rough child hood. Already pale knuckles turned a stark white around the rough wrench, though it continued to work. One of her biggest pet peeves was hearing someone apologize for any sort of struggle she had. There was never a reason for it beside to be a condescending 'good person'. It seemed like people always paired apologies with actually caring about something. So even when they didn't listen to what she said they apologized and went about their business like they just gave a homeless person some money to go buy food.

In the silence that followed Abigale just about let him have it. She was working for him, it didn't mean she needed his pity or anything. Her mind automatically jumped to him being a spoiled rich kid who probably knew nothing of repression or being practically homeless. In order to bite her tongue, the girl's hands worked in a frenzy, categorizing pieces and tossing them into a small pile she had collected off to the side. She was at a job that could earn her a lot of money, last thing she needed was to jeopardize that because he made a stupid comment.

Of course he came from money. And managed to blow it all on this damn ship that he had no idea what to do with. None of that really surprised her since it was the first conclusion she had jumped to from walking on the ship in the first place. So hearing him say he has to earn all his own money actually made her laugh out loud. Abi didn't even bother attempting to hide it, instead of coming out harsh and sarcastic though. It came out more disbelieving and truly tickled pink about the concept. Once the level of disrespect she was showing to the man who was going to pay her finally registered she attempted to hide it by coughing rather awkwardly. Not like it was gonna help but she had to try.

"I do believe this was quite foolish considering how much these parts are going to cost" Her amusement was easily heard in her voice. It was almost possible to hear the condescending smirk on her face. Though that was one thing Abi managed to hide, gotta love hiding underneath your work. It always made hiding reactions easier to do. That was, until Jonathan makes the decision to look at her or actually look at how smug and holier than thou she looked in that moment. It probably wasn't a safe situation but who cares, she was helping him work that was it.

The girl opened her mouth to continue on with her verbal abuse but stopped suddenly when a specific number hit her mind. 2 thousand. Two thousand? Was that even a plausible number? Could Abi even count that high in terms of money? Cause in that money it was seeming more and more impossible. And there would be more? The shock caused her hands to release the rather heavy piece of metal she was holding, letting gravity take control and send it flying down to her face. The pain that followed snapped her out of her surprised thoughts finally. She could actually feel the stitches snap open, blood start to trickle down her cheek, and the sensation of her cheekbone crumbling just a little bit more under the sudden pressure. This caused tears of pain burn the back of her eyes for a second. None of the tears fell but it still hurt horribly, and caused starts to spring up in front of her vision. With a soft curse she just wiped the blood away and continued working though her face ached and blood continued to trickle in extremely small amount down her cheek. The cheek which, unfortunately enough, was facing Jonathan. She prayed and prayed that he would not look over at her, last thing she needed was to be questioned as to why she was suddenly bleeding and looked about ready to die.

So as though nothing happened she just continued on with the conversation though she couldn't really remember what he said. Something about invent, and the oculars she was wearing. What was--OH!--what does she invent! That's what he asked!

"Ya I invented these goggles, but I mostly do small trinkets lately. Decorative robots if you will." The talking made her face hurt even more but she just pushed it away. A worker did not feel pain while earning a proper wage. That was just an unspoken rule to her that was learned at a young age thanks to her dad forcing her to get a job at a young age. Well she wasn't forced, she more as just took after her father and wanted to work as hard as she could in order to help support her family. That was usually the man of the house's job but she felt like she needed to follow in his foot steps for when he went on his grand travels.

"Most recent piece was a mechanical rose that played music." Sure pride surged through her at the thought of the beautiful piece of work. But as she said it out loud it sounded absolutely stupid and something only a woman would make. There were people willing to pay out of the ass for it because of how much work went into but it still, it was nothing more than a paper weight to anyone who didn't know how to take care of it. So, so far she had refused to sell it. Just so she could guarantee that it would constantly be used. It was something the children really loved playing with. Their happiness at watching the machinery spin around on the floor and play an adorable little melody made her inventions feel worth while.

Not that they would ever enjoy it again. All of them probably hated her. The thought caused her arm to thud dully, not even real pain. It was more as just feeling her heart beat under her skin. It still bothered Abi though, in her heart it was painful and threatened to kill her. But those were thoughts for another time, not when she was supposed to be a super amazing and never faltering mechanic trying to prove her name was worth while enough to continue to be passed around. The idea of having a constant job really helped her arm relax. She just needed to prove herself to Jonathan and that seemed to be going well so far. Now Abi just needed to keep it up until all the work was finished. Than she would never have to see him again, hopefully anyway.



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Jonathan Highwind
 Posted: Apr 1 2012, 03:57 AM
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Jonathan fell uncharacteristically quiet.

The effect his words had on her was far from unnoticed by the man working not fifteen feet away from her. I may have just alienated her, Jon realized. The apology...she hates hearing this over and over and hates those who say it to her. Jonathan sighed and gazed at the exposed innards of the ruined engine. Especially "rich kids" like me.

Jonathan was given the "high life" during his youth, yes, but he had rejected it at every turn. His father had never been one for tradition; Jonathan was alone among tutors, books, dissertations and diagrams. The finest foods had been prepared for the young man, but he'd opted to sneak out down to the "commonalities" and eat the greasy, unhealthy and delicious delicacies there.

The woman's criticism of the ship made him a little angry, however.

Yes, the ship looked utterly ravaged. Yes, it was a bad decision to take the Nightingale below the safe zone. But, damn it all, it wasn't supposed to be more than mildly dangerous! That two-timing face, Aristide, hadn't helped matters. Complications had arisen one after another. "I know this looks unforgivable," Jonathan said quietly, his voice much cooler than his usual cheery tone, "but show a little respect, please. Men died so we could make it back."

Maybe THAT would earn a little more tact from her. Then again, she might just blame those deaths on him. "You can't imagine how many things went wrong down there." He sighed once more, lightened his tone and got back to work. The topic switched after an umcomfortable moment to the woman's machinations. Her inventions, her creative spirit struck something within Jonathan.

"That...sounds amazing!" the rogue said honestly.

A mechanical rose that played music? Surely something like that would fetch an equally amazing price among those eccentric collectors that numerated Tottenham's rich. Then again, Jon thought wryly, none of them could appreciate the beauty of such a thing. "Well, seeing as how these repairs might take quite some time, I...I'd like to see some of your works, if its alright with you," he said casually.

It was this moment that changed Jonathan's perceptions yet again. He knew she was lying in a revealing position, but turned to look upon her face, to see if she was looking at him with scorn--as he thought she might. Instead, what he seen was a trickle of blood upon her cheek and immediately, the chivalrous nature tried to assert itself. No, wait! The youth swallowed a lump in his throat as his mind raced. If I try to be helpful, she'll resent that! A fresh sigh wanted to free itself from his chest.

"Are you alright, Ms. Waltyngfeld?"

Jonathan, doing his best not to show too much concern, slid out from under his engine, stood up and fished in his back pocket. He withdrew his once-red rag but now-more-of-a-tattered-pink and tossed it beneath her engine pod. "Here you are. Uh, yeah, You can...uh, keep it." Jonathan winced and shook his head, allowing himself this visual disapproval of his own stupidity since he knew she couldn't see him from where he was lying beneath the engine.

He quickly made his way back to his own engine, slid beneath it and resumed working before she could throw it back in his face or something. "I'm not a rich brat, you know," he said with a soft smile. "I turned against that life and the man who forced it upon me when I seen what those...people...were like. What they did...or, rather, didn't do for those less fortunate." What, was he preaching his good nature now? My but it was hard to impress this woman! "I just don't want you to think I'm one of those assholes."

"He's just an idiot," said Ku'Pah, sliding under the engine beside Abigail.


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Abigale Waltyngfeld
 Posted: Apr 1 2012, 10:22 PM
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She didn't know how many things went wrong down there? The woman who had lived on a ship for 6 years and had way to many run ins with death didn't know how many things could have gone wrong? This brought a nice harsh mixture of a scoff and a laugh from the young woman though she opted out of saying anything for a moment. Instead she just laid there and put her thoughts into a line, trying to decide which would be the best way to go. She could make him feel terribly guilty but also come off as a self centered bitch, or she could just throw it back in his face and move on. The latter seemed the proper way to go. Passive agressive behavior was just about Abigale's middle name.

With the flick of a wrench and the sound of a piece of metal scuttling across the ground Abi finally opened her mouth. "6 years on a ship sir....I can understand how many things can go wrong. Lost my dad the same way." It was a quick and short insert about her life, but she acted so nonchalant about it. As though it really didn't matter to her whether or not he knew that her father had died on the surface in just about the same fashion his men had. Being mislead and given horrid information. Too many deaths in a small amount of time. She forced the thoughts away though and refused to act bitter while she was working. This was her time to relax and get away from all those horrid thoughts and memories and just about the real world in general.


"I do apologize th-what?" Severe confusion seeped out with just that simple one syllable word. He thought her inventions were a great idea? And he wanted to see them? Who in the hell was she working for! Obviously not someone who viewed her as a lesser being, well perhaps he still did but this took her up a rung or two on his ladder. Still though, he sounded genuinly interested in seeing what she had invented. She didn't even get that kind of support from her own mother who had originally helped her start working on machines like this. Ever since she had met that bastard Desmond everything she knew about society was completely flipped upside down. And Jonathan was just making things worse.

With a quick nod of her head, Abi turned to face Jon for a quick second before turning back to her work. Why was she so flustered about having someone so interested in what she creates? "They don't sell for much so don't get your hopes up sir. But I shall bring in a few pieces sometime." The only reason they didn't sell for much was only because she was stuck selling to the poor folk of Tot and she felt terrible trying to charge them more than necessary. Sure if she was anywhere else in the world it would have been a bit easier, but seeing families struggle to feed their children it was almost imposible to not give it to them for free. Funny how someone could act like a total hard ass bitch about everything until it dealt with children. The way one grew up always brings out different parts of a personality at different times. Abigale was a prime suspect of that.

What happened next was a prime example of that. As the pink fabric fluttered down next to her, a scowl came across her face but there was a look of thankfullness at the same time. She attempted to shut up out as she took the rag and wiped the blood harshly from her face. This brought out a pained hiss from clenched teeth seeing as she was pretty sure that the cheekbone was re-broken. The girl could practically feel her heartbeat beating behind the bone. This was not a pleasant feeling, but it was far better than what she knew was coming when she was to return to Ailms' home. Nothing but lectures and another cut and replacement of the bone. Why was she so self destructive.

"I'm alright sir. Thanks." She harshly shoved the piece of the fabric out of the way, into her corset of course. Another bullet point as to how un-ladylike she tended to act. Most women would rather hold the rag in their hand and feign greatfulness. Instead she shoved the rag between her breasts and continued working with nothing more than a harsh thank you that obviously did not have much behind it. Though it did in her mind, she could tell that he was holding himself back from something. Perhaps being a perfect gentleman about everything? Then he was perfectly right holding back from that, because she honestly hated those kinds of people unless they had a previous relationship of some sort. Gentlemen did nothing but try to make themselves look better than everyone else. So hearing him struggle with it earned him slight respect, not alot seeing as he is still a spoiled rich child with his head stuck a little to far up his ass. But enough to make him seem a bit more human.

The woman began laughing as he started talking about how he rejected the high life because of the way they avoided the less fortunate. This laugh was still rather harsh but it seemed lighter, like she was truly amused by his answer. Almost making her seem like less of a harsh and uncaring bitch. It was a glimmer that quickly faded, but it was there and out for everyone to see. It disappeared as Ku-pah suddenly appeared right next to her and said that Jonathan was an idiot. She didn't mind the idiot comment, she just minded the fact that he shoved himself into her work place. This was her project at the moment and she didn't need the obnoxious hertasi's help!

"Not going to stomp off again this time?" Her words were harsh and sarcastic as she kept working like the hertasi wasn't right next to her. In fact, she even kept just tossing pieces over or around him in order to keep things properly organized. Abi could work around just about an obstacle no matter how big or Cumbersom. So working around Ku-Pah was not that much of an issue. Unless he decided to get up in her face about something. Then work would be halted and the hertasi would find himself in quite a bit of pain for getting in her way.

Abigale was not one for sharing while working.

Ever


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Jonathan Highwind
 Posted: Apr 2 2012, 04:30 AM
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Ku'Pah, tucked right up against her, smirked.

"Stomping off? Who do you think is going to be doing most of the delicate work? You? Sure, you got the figure for fitting into tight spots--" among other things, mused the Hertasi, "--but you humans are all too big for your own good." Ku'Pah peered at the work she was doing, his tongue darting out occasionally as he inspected the way she'd dismantled this part or that connector. "Huh." The green fellow began sliding out from beneath the engine pod. "Not bad for a human."

The airman--or airlizard, if you will--pushed the goggles on his eyes up onto his brow. "The good news is that most of the fuel lines aren't even close to damaged. The giant buggers never made it past the secondary hull," Ku'Pah told Jonathan, who was pretending to work hard but was hanging on every word the woman had been saying. "If it weren't for that crazy old one-eyed bastard, there wouldn't be a ship here to repair," reflected the reptile.

"Truer words, Ku'P," Jonathan said from beneath his engine.

"So the holes in the keel are gonna need a harness drop to reach them. The harness is too big for me," an exaggeration, "and I also don't feel like hanging over the abyss by straps of leather. I volunteer you. Or maybe the one with the brain," Ku'Pah continued. "Hang her from the keel, give her your packwelder, patch the holes. It'd be fair for her to earn her pay, after all," he pointed out.

Jonathan slid out from the engine and stood, regarding his small sidekick--a term that, should Ku'Pah hear it, might result in a face-eating. Offer to take the harness down? Would she think me sexist for it? Would she think me capable? Huh. Too bad women aren't as simple as ships. The thought brought the ghost of another smile to Jon's lips as his eyes finally did sneak a peek at Abigail.

"How about we get the engines dismantled at least."

Jonathan shoved his goggles up on his head and contemplated the pair of wrecked engines for a long moment. "Alright, might as well start on the negotiation process. Ku'Pah, head over to Baily's usual haunt and let the old bastard know we'll be needing parts. Lots of them. After that, go to Maurin's. He owes me a few favors, so tell him we'll need some of that scrap metal he collects."

"Ooh, good idea," commented Ku'Pah, nodding enthusiastically, "send the only capable mechie out on the fetch missions. No offense," Ku'Pah said, turning to aim this last at Abigail. "I meant capable between the two of us. Unlike you, her work is actually usable! Hmph. Alright, well, gimme twenty-piece." Jonathan frowned. "What, you think Baily is gonna help you out of the kindness of his soggy black heart? Ha!"

"Touche. Alright then," Jon relented.

Once he dug the proper coin from his pockets and handed them over to the Hertasi, the lizard was gone in a hot lick, but not before taking one long, long look right up the woman's skirt. Jonathan felt like kicking the damned fool, but he was already off on his appointed tasks. "Uh...do forgive Ku'Pah. He's...well, to be frank, he's weird, even for a Hertasi."

He sat down and--not lewdly, mind you--watched her work for a moment. "We were sold out," Jonathan explained. "An excursion to the surface all a ploy by a rather whimsical man with more power than he had let on. Bad got worse, people died. It took some genius piloting, if I do say so myself, but we managed to get the ship back to dock. Thus, the mayhem. And I have no doubt you hate "my kind" and hate hearing it, but I am sorry about your father." That said, he slipped the goggles over his eyes and slipped beneath the engine once more. "So, why a mechanic? If Ku'Pah actually praised you, you must be good..."

"But why a mechanic?"


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Abigale Waltyngfeld
 Posted: Apr 2 2012, 07:20 PM
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The closeness of the hert next to her caused Abi to scowl slightly. Was he just trying to get in her way and cause an issue? Though he did compliment her work so perhaps he wasn't as stuck up as he seemed earlier. Though the way he just made everything sound like a constant sarcastic dig, which conviently enough is the same thing she does, did grate her nerves as she attempted to focus on working. As Ku'pah spoke to Jonathan though she paid close attention to what he was relaying. So the gas lines were in good condition, that took a load off of her instantly. Fixing lines like that were always a pain, for just because she was a small and frail person, the whole breast concept made it almost impossible to manuever down there sometimes.

A soft laughed passed through her pursed lips though, at how the hert went against his on captain and complimented a woman before him. Those two were quite an interesting duo. Sure both had their problems that bugged her but it was better than just sitting here and getting yelled at for not doing something right. Though over all she would have preferred to have worked alone, it would have taken longer but the silence is always welcome. Gives her time to really just relax and get into a perfect routine.


"It's not a great job but I'll work on the hull if needed sir." Despite how comfortable she was getting around Jon, seeing as he wasn't being an insufferable douche, she wasn't about to call him anything but sir or make any unnecessary cracks like the two loved to do at each other. Instead she was going to remain the quiet help for now, focusing on the pieces of metal that were coming out twisted and blackened.

Speaking of blackened, her hands were slowly turning a nice deep black that was quite a sharp contrast from the smooth pale color of her arms. The way it spread almost made it seem like it was supposed to be a part of her body. Like she was some sort of crazy ass screw that managed to keep herself looking human while her arms were made of some unknown substance. The thought caused a faint smile to pass her features, god the things her mind would rationalize when she's working. Either way, the color seemed to fade into her very existance the more she worked. It was almost pretty if one were to think Abigale was pretty in the first place.

"None taken." The woman mentioned, nudging her foot towards the lizard-man as he scuttled off. Somehow she managed to remain completely oblivious to his lewd staring up her skirt. When Abi get's working nothing else matters, not even looking horribly inappropriate or smashing one's face in with a piece of heavy metal. Hell, a bomb could go off right next to her and until the job was finished she would refuse to move. Unless of course there were people dieing, but that was a special circumstance and this isn't even a literal situation.

Abigale was certainly used to weird people, so Ku'pah was not exactly a new experience for her. In fact he was one of the more normal non-human beings she had met. So as he apologized for the lizard's manners she just shook her head and brushed him off. "Don't worry 'bout it. I've been 'round the world a few times." This garnered a faint smirk from her as the girl actually shifted over bit when Jon sat next to her. Why in the world was she being so painfully polite? Had Desmond weakened her to being a bitch to other people? No of course not, she had to blame it on the fact that she almost died not to long before. That had to be the reason that she was being so nice to Jonathan.

She listened intently to his little story, and thankfully hidden behind dark goggles, it struck a chord with her. Faint pain shone in her eyes as he spoke of being sold out and having to fight his way back. That certainly made him a strong man, being able to make it back in a way that her father hadn't. It gave him a few more points of respect, though the ship was in shambles he managed to live and get himself out of a horrid situation she had heard of once already. Reliving the story in her mind was painful, physically so as her hand cramped and stopped working for a moment. Her fingers just grasping at empty air as her mind just seemed to short circuit. God, the story always messed her up!

With a deep breath she immediately continued working like nothing happened. "I'm a mechanic because my father was one before he became a captain. A childhood dream of becoming just like him, sailing the skies and learning how to run a ship." She worked in almost a frenzy to keep from getting even slightly emotional. It wasn't worth it to come off as emotional and easily swayed by heart wrenching stories of death. That just was not something Abigale wanted to seem like. She had the same issue when it came to Desmond. She could just never have an easy job where she didn't become nice to someone. Nope, they always had to do something to earn her respect or something. Why?!

"So when he disappeared I was determined to become a captain and find him. 'ad to settle for a young mechanic for some pirates though. So 6 years of keeping a group of idiots alive tends to teach someone how to perfect a skill." Why was she telling him all of this? Was there really a point to it? Her mind searched for one but found nothing so she just let it go and left everything up to him for translation. Opting to stay silent Abi just surrounded herself with pieces of machinery hoping that Jon doesn't think any less of her on how much she rambles when it comes to her father.

"You must be a good captain if you managed to get back after all that." Oh god, a compliment? Who was she anymore?! Though it was true, being able to get out of that kind of mess proved to her that perhaps he was worth his weight despite being an obnoxious used-to-be rich kid. "Managing to get this girl back in at least 2 pieces is quite the feat. Though with the amount of money going into her, you might have been better off scraping her and selling the extra parts." There ya go, a bit harsher on criticism of the ship. With pieces of this ship though it was true. This man was going to be so far in debt unless he managed to pull some strings and get some labor or parts for free.

Especially considering the fact that there was a gaping hole in the engine she was underneath almost wide enough for her to sit in. That was not going to be easy to fix. To get a better look at what was all in there the girl sat up, switching the colors on her goggles, and squeezed herself into the hole. The ragged metal edges scratched her a little bit but it wasn't too bad, just a little bit of a tight squeeze. From this view there was almost nothing left to be kept. It seemed everything had been obliterated or something, maybe if she could clear a bigger spot she could get farther in. With that thought in mind she immediately set straight to work clearing out a bigger hole.


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Jonathan Highwind
 Posted: Apr 2 2012, 07:45 PM
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Jonathan snorted and began piling the broken bits together.

"You know, sir is a word for people in fancy clothes who pay people to pay people like me to do their dirty work." Jonathan allowed himself a smirk as he tossed a bent gear into the pile. "You can just call me Jon, if you want. Sir makes me think I should be in a suit or something equally ridiculous." As he moved about, collecting the useless scrap they'd both made piles out of, he finally couldn't resist the quickest of side-long glances at the woman's exposed legs.

Ku'Pah would hate me right now, Jon thought with another trademark grin. He moved over to a parade of lockers lining the far back wall and pulled one open. Within, various tools and equipment were shoved in at haphazard angles. Jonathan began yanking free a sturdy leather harness that was attached to a strong cord with an even stronger steel clip on the end.

Jonathan sighed as she went into detail about her father.

"You're lucky. I'd trade my father for yours in a heartbeat." He began looping the long, heavy cable on his shoulder. "My father is a brain, for lack of a better word, and doesn't pay much attention to things like the open sky, family or legacy." He shook his head; he didn't want to elaborate and he especially did not want to reveal he was the son of an Authority man. Yes, let's not give her a reason to clam up and despise me.

He looped the last of the cable around himself and moved over to place a hand on the hulking engine Abi was working under. "I had holes all over the hull...that surface atmo was leaking into the ship and those giant buggery things were prying in. To break the cloud layer and get back up to Tottenham, I had to push her so hard. Too hard," the rogue admitted quietly. "The port engine went first. Just as I managed to dock the poor girl, the starboard one went. Barely avoided heading right back down from where we escaped from."

He gave the engine housing a companionable pat.

"I could never scrap the Nightingale. She was my first freedom. My first flaunt in the face of the old man," Jonathan continued, moving over to deposit the harness and cable by the hatch leading out of the engine room. "Sure, blew a lot of money on her, customizing her. But, oh, to fly this beauty in the open sky..." He trailed off and finally cleared his throat. The woman's begrudging compliment was not lost on Jon, nor was the strong sentiment she had for her father.

"So, a mechanic and a pirate." He leaned against a bulkhead and crossed his arms over his chest, inadvertently smearing his white collared shirt with engine grease. "Quite the resume, Ms. Waltyngfeld." Quite the looker, too, but telling her that might land me making all these repairs myself. "You're not at all like any of the women I know who choose the life in the sky. Not useless, not dainty, not fragile..." Jon trailed off and picked up the harness once more.

"It's nice to be around someone with intelligence," he said as he left.



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Abigale Waltyngfeld
 Posted: Apr 2 2012, 09:13 PM
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The inside of an engine is far more stifling than one could really fathom until you are stuck in there. Now she was completely stuck, it was just extremely difficult to move about without digging metal into her corset. With blood already dripping down her face a little bit last thing she needed was for it to come from anywhere else. It was difficult enough to explain why her face was rebroken, but having to explain why she has metal pieces in her stomach? That was a suicide mission considering how angry Ailms could get if you didn't follow his instructions.

So for once she kept her movements small and extremely careful. Despite her harsh exterior, Abi was actually quite the graceful dancer when it came to working. Every movement she made seemed a part of a routine she had started as a child. Just very in place and with constant porpouse. Too bad no one could actually see her dance in motion considering how far into the engine she had shoved herself. She relied on her heightened sense of hearing to figure out where in the world Jon was, or what he was even saying. Everything was a little muffled behind metal.

"My father cared a little too much about legacy and the open air...jon.." The girl scrunched her nose at the idea of not adressing the captain as sir. This was way more relaxed than she was ever used to so it was going to take a little while before she warmed up to actually adressing Jonathan by his name. "Though I do prefer my father over some staunch business man who cares for nothing except money. No offense of course." Which was a total lie, she honestly didn't care if she offended the life he used to have. The higher ups had done nothing for her but make things more difficult as she struggled to help pay rent or taxes while keeping her and her mother fed. Thank god her parents stopped after one child, she couldn't imagine trying to feed 3 mouths instead of two. The thought sent a chill down her spine.

She was never going to have kids. There was no way she was going to drag those poor beings into the shitty reality she was forced into at a young age. It just wasn't fair.

"You pushed 'er to the edge, but she stayed together so those mods you paid for were almost worth their weight." Her voice seemed far off and rather echoey as she continued to burrow farther and farther in. It wasn't until she felt the stitches on her arm start to snag that she finally decided to pull back and maybe give herself a little bit of a breath. Abi really needed to stop pushing herself at least for a little bit, she always managed to forget her limitations. And she really didn't want to end up on Ailms' table again so the girl actually took steps to keep herself safe.

"I under 'ow ya feel though. She may be in shambles but, gettin' up in the open air. The feelin' of total freedom, it's amazing." Her words took on an almost dreamy tone as she wiggled out of the engine then from underneath it. If Jon got a nice view the first time, it got better as the skirt rode up almost completely from her coming out form underneath the machine. The woman didn't fix herself until she was upright on her knees and taking in the damage on her clothing and on her person. There were a few scratches here and there, some nice valleys carved into her corset, no stitches torn though. So no more blood came from her being thankfully as her cheek had finally decided to stop.

Her ice blue eyes follow Jonathan around as he gathered everything to go out and fix the hull. There was no way she was leaving that man unattended swinging over the edge of a ship. Hell he barely got any work done on his engine, what could he possibly manage while dangling above his possible death? so slowly she stood up looking around the area, really taking it in for once. Nothing really seemed organized at all. Sure the whole place looked destroyed but they seemed to have been in port long enough to get some sort of order into the tools or anything else. Or perhaps that was just her OCD ways speaking, Abi seemed like a rather messy person but when it came to her tools or her work everything needed to be properly organized and always in their proper place or she would have no idea where they are.

"Please Jonathan...call me Abi. Ms.Waltyngfeld is my deadbeat of a mother." She couldn't help but laugh quietly at the idea of describing her mother as simply a dead beat. There were so many other words that could be used to talk about that woman. But it seemed approriate to go with the nicest version.

Her mind started to go off about her mother until the inklings of a compliment seeped into her brain. Jonathan just said.No he couldn't have. Inner turmoil wound in her stomach as she quickly followed after him, well quickly in a slow kind of way. Abi didn't want to come off needy for compliments but she also did need to follow him to make sure he didn't screw up or fall. Both would be absolutly terrible. Both for different reasons but still.

"Intelligence is something undervalued now a-days I must say." She wiped her hand across her sweaty forehead, leaving a nice black streak across it. Got to love not caring about your appearance huh? She could have had a bug on her face and as long as it didn't interfere with what she was doing, the girl would never really seem like she cared. In case one hasn't noticed by now, Abi is an extremely uncaring person about herself

Thus why she had loose stitches hanging off of her face and pieces of skin threatening to slip away and fall open. Speaking of which, abi unceremoniously pulled the rag out of her corset and went to wipe at her face again. Secretly hoping that her cheek was still together so that Jonathan wouldn't have to feign concern as to why her face is falling off. So once that was cleared she just stuck it right between her breasts again. But not far enough down to be hidden. Nope not at all. Instead the fabric sat there against her pale chest like a beacon just begging for anyone and everyone to stare.

Abigale's cluelessness about her own body could rival that of a child who had not yet hit puberty. Sometimes it seemed like she considered herself to be a man, other days she just seemed completely genderless. Like the rules of either gender did not apply to her and she didn't have to act a certain way.

That's the experience one gets after being hidden away in the hull of a ship for 6 years. Also not earning the affection of a single man over that same course of time tends to convince a girl that her looks aren't worth much so why bother with them. Enter permanent androgyny for the rest of her life.

That is, unless she can get someone to truly show her how beautiful she is. Not that she believed anyone like that existed. There had to be someone though, someone hardheaded enough to go against her and let her know that there is someone who believes she is more than just a walking talking wrench who was good for nothing more than fixing up ships and stealing from shops to keep herself fed. Not that those thoughts even mattered. To her anyway.


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Jonathan Highwind
 Posted: Apr 2 2012, 10:29 PM
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Jonathan was already shrugging into the harness when Abigail followed him. The leather straps fit snugly over shoulders, squeezed firmly around the waist and encircled his legs tightly while managing to give his gears--so to speak--room enough to avoid pinching. The cable snapped onto the steel hook on the leather wrap around his stomach, allowing him to grip it with heavy, leather-shod gloves.

The other end of the incredibly strong cable, a good thirty feet long and piled into a stack beside a floor hatch in the very deck of the ship, was secured to a mooring set into the bulkhead of the ship, the steel fastening making sure that the cable would go nowhere. As she came up, Jonathan couldn't help but gaze at her, his mouth slightly open in surprise and his eyebrows half-way up his head.

"Abi, huh?" Jonathan managed after a moment. He smirked.

What the hell, why not? "Pretty name," he said with a genuine smile. No roguish charm here, simply a compliment. A compliment which the rogue knew might just get under her skin. He was concerned about her face, however, but wondered if it would be shallow of him to point it out. Never get to talk to girls on this end of the spectrum, realized the would-have-been doctor. Going to have to tread lightly.

"Pardon for asking, but are you alright? Um, I was trained to be a sawbones even if I never got the final piece of paper saying so, but uh...those stitches look loose." A careful moment of intense, Jonathan-styled informational input and the rogue frowned. "I do believe your cheekbone might be broken," he murmured. Fracture, perhaps. From the engine work? Hm. Sutures suggest previous trauma. Needlework a bit sloppy. No strong reaction to the pain...on medication? Or simply amazing pain threshold? Curious.

"Uh, if you like, I can take a look at it," suggested Jonathan.

He gave the cable a firm tug and did his best not to peer at the tuft of fabric shoved so perfectly against her cleavage. Hate doing these hang-drop repairs, Jon mused, trying to distract himself. He knelt down and opened the hatch set into the floor. The immediate rush of air was cold, fresh; the morning sky shone brightly in the square of space. A rung ladder descended down perhaps six steps and then ended at pure open abyss.

"I won't charge a thing and it won't come out of your pay," promised Jon. He crawled into the hatch, standing on the third rung down now, and turned to face Abi once more. His shoulders and head protruded from the hatch at just the right height to bring his eyes level with her legs. The temptation to stare at or, worse, touch those legs was maddening. Just another girl, what's the big deal? The big deal was that the only other tomboyish woman Jon had met had repeatedly tried to kill him. How IS Felicity, I wonder? Ah well.

"So how's about it? Want me to try my hand?"


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