Calder Muireadach

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About Calder Muireadach

  • Rank
    Fresh Faced


    Ben Dahlhaus
  • RACE
    Veil Crosser, Outworlder
  • JOB
    Freight Transport - NY
  • 'SHIP:
    None at this time
    New York, NY
    Close to six foot, Calder is lean but all muscle. Long dark blonde hair is often pulled in a ponytail, braided in a plait or pulled up into a topknot. He sports a scruff beard, growing it out a bit longer during winter months but always meticulously kept. Expressive eyes are unusually light, matching his moods and picking up the color of whatever he’s wearing; they can shift anywhere from greens, to blues and grays.

    Clothing is utilitarian, button ups over sleeveless shirts in the summer, Navy pea coats, henleys and Irish sweaters in the winter. Every once and a while he can be in a tee shirt, jeans and barefoot on his houseboat. On the rare occasion he does dress up, it suits him; manners so refined they seem to contradict a well-kept blue collar appearance.

    He has several tattoos earned from various events in his life, and often wears talismans on cords that he finds interesting and remind him of his former life.
    Compressed, intense, yet oddly easy going.

    Calder is a formidable warrior and magic wielder, and with that came fierce confidence and presence. He commanded the power of water, and was unbeaten in the raging wars that were tearing his world apart. Through storms and vicious ocean, he controlled his fate on any ship, any high sea. Wind, rain, hurricane, he could rip the storm clouds from the sky to fill his sails. Any ship, any distance, he always seemed to know the way.

    Now, the skill of his hands is all he possesses and he is lost. Still unmatched in as many forms of fighting styles as he can collect, anger pushes him forward; searching for a way back to finish the wars he could not afford to lose. He knows the people in this world are not to blame, he treats them with as much kindness as he can muster. Still, he is reluctant to build relationships in case there is a chance he discovers a way to return home.

    Hiding who and what he is, there is an inkling of his old ways; playing with the rim of his glass and making the water move, parting raindrops in his path, it's still an embarrassing demotion to who he was before. He focuses on his physical skill in hopes when he returns there will be a fight in his hands no one has ever seen before.

    He at the core has a good heart, but has no problem rising to the occasion of violence when something he deems just is threatened.
    Collection of master swords and fighting weapons from various cultures.

    The native clothes, weapons and leather armor he was wearing when ripped through the Nevus.

    Modern small freight vessel (with human npc crew) capable of making coastline and small gulf trips. It was moored in the same dock where he worked, later convincing his 'boss' to allow him to return it to service and eventually purchased the smaller vessel through his work. When the 'company' went belly up, he retained it and now works freelance.

    Modern houseboat docked in the 79th Street Boat Basin.

    "Draugr Atgeirr", the Ghost Spear, his Outworlder ship that passed through with him. It is made from traditional wood of his realm, a beast of an "evergreen" only growing in the northern realms similar in size to the Earthen Sequoia. Enchanted by the properties of the tree, it is able to reflect the water once polished and made watertight into the longship hulls- giving it an invisible appearance until it nears land and hits shore. After breaking the Veil, it seemed to retain the ability regardless of where it was; it grew stronger as he had grown weaker. It is essentially a ghost ship, taking its namesake to heart. It is moored on a beach just north of the city.
    Since the onslaught of Outworlder hate, Calder has become a ferryman of sorts for those that refuse to conform and be branded. He discretely collects, protects and relocates any that come to him seeking help.

    Logically, he has close ties to any underground "smuggling" operations, ear to the ground with great ease to move things and not be seen because of his shipping capability. The open water has no rules, even in the budding rebirth of law and order.


    Appearing around thirty years old, he is much older. At his entry into this world, he was fifty two, roughly twice his appearance. He has come to the reasonable assumption he ages in that ratio.

    Once possessed substantial water manipulation skills, now they have been muted by the rift he was yanked through with no hope of return. On a good day, he can move rain drops around him in gentle patterns or play with water in a glass. Parlor tricks. It takes intense focus but most of the time there is nothing.

    He can hold his breath for an extraordinary amount of time underwater, a physical characteristic of his mariner "species". For a little over a half hour, he can dive freely- which he finds useful for repairs on his boats. Never having "found out" why, he assumes from studying this world that his lungs are larger than Earth's human species or that the rate of his oxygen replacement upon inhale or exhale is larger. After inadvertently finding out humans didn't have this skill, he is very guarded about who and how he asks/researches.

    Extreme tolerance to cold, a characteristic of his Outworlder race- mostly for water or swimming purposes but it transfers to weather related temperature as well. In contrast, he has low tolerance of extreme heat.

    Incredible swimmer. Strong, agile and fast- it's also a physical characteristic of his Veil Crosser "species". No frills or magic, just the power of an Olympic swimmer or Navy free diver. It's not endless, tiring just as any physical ability would.

    Unassisted deep diver. His physiology is resistant to the water pressure that causes normal humans' buildup of gasses in the tissue and blood, allowing the descent to deeper depths with no decompression needed to return to the surface. He is able to swim freely within the one to two hundred foot human threshold with no consequences. Below that, he will develop the same toxicities if he remains down for the capacity of his breath, so on and so forth. Currently, he doesn't know how deep that may be and could conceivably go much deeper than a human with "weight-sled" or ballast dive assistance, but considering the length of time he can hold his breath the results could be catastrophic. As a child he became fluent in understanding where his limitations lie, just like a normal human learning how much weight they can lift or fast they can run without consequence. He has never attempted a weight assisted deep dive to test his limitations, and given the inequitable nature of the length of time he can hold his breath versus speed of weighted descent, he most likely never will. It seems an arrogant flirt with certain death.
    Mechanical/engine maintenance knowledge developed over his time in New York working the docks.

    High IQ, was able to learn English fairly easily. He still has a significant accent which seems to be diminishing over time- sounding similar to the Earthen Danish or Dutch.

    Can navigate and pilot any sailing vessel, larger ships require crew and he is able to captain with immeasurable experience. Has an acquired large working knowledge of engine driven boats, and is able to learn as he goes.

    Combat. Any. Sword, knives, axes, blades of any kind, bows. Physical hand to hand, random objects. Firearms are a growing knowledge base, still limited but gaining skill. He was most skilled in hand to hand, knives and bows before crossing through the Veil. Since arriving he has developed an affinity specifically for the katana and wakizashi. A sharp contrast to the Viking-like brute force he was raised on. He finds them elegant and effective.

    It was all the blood that made the Haugbui warrior pause. Cleaved armor shed halfway through the battlefield, torn shirt filled with the scent of salty battle blood and seawater. The pause brought a heaving chest and the creaking grip across a metal wrapped hilt. Field had been razed in an exquisite dance of battle skills and magic, the synthesized expertise an art. Water still receded from the field, some of the fallen enemy with it to be swallowed by the sea. Terrible, terrible talent. But this, the dead in the tree. It was at that moment he realized his reputation preceded him. Another blood sacrifice, this time hanging by their feet from the branches high front of him. It wasn’t a warning, it was an offering. The army just decimated by himself and his kin had beaten and held this city. He’d taken it back. His city, and they were with him. He’d seen it before on his hammerfist sweep of his father’s coastline to pull it back from the jaws of the Grosugr southern kingdoms again. Sacrifices, to his father, now him. First criminals hung from the trees, now this. These were not criminals. This was not acceptable, and this was not respect. This was fear. Ghosts. They called his kind the undead, never seen coming. Appearing from the sea only to disappear into it again. They were worshipping a false god. He was not a god. He was just a man with terrible power, a passion for his people, and an absent father that pointed to the next battle from on high instead of picking up a sword.

    Regardless, he kept pushing south, rekindling the already hot blood feuds that had raged for centuries.

    Borders moved back and forth, villages and cities caught in the raging lines being broken and retaken. It was all barreling toward a horrible end and a new beginning. The ice storms not far off, the Otherworld was a trail of ash and blood. So close, so close to retaking their homeland. Storms came early, the sea raged and with them the tolerance that the southern tribes couldn’t withstand. Victories came swifter, the storms fiercer, until a blizzard so dark the skies turned purple. Even the water mage couldn’t hold back the tide of lavender that seemed to blur the horizon and become the water.

    Then silence.


    The man thought he was dead, lying alone on the deck of the ship that had carried him halfway around his world in battle. Consistent bumping opened his eyes. His hull was rocking against something, bringing his consciousness around. A half sunken modern steel goliath towered above his own ship, groaning with warning every time Draugr Atgeirr's side was bumped against it by the ice chunked waves. It's frayed bowlines and shredded square sail were tangled in the ugly beast's slack anchor chain, and the weight of his longship was pushing at its rusted hull's tolerance.

    The bow was threatening to collapse on top of both of them. For once there was fear, not from death or perceived defeat, but the sheer size of the thing that towered over him. It brought a bruised body to its feet, a hand to toward the waves to tell them to move, and a brow downward when nothing happened.

    Nothing. Quivered breath tried again. Again nothing. Fatigue? Pulling a knife from his belt he scaled the mast, spending near an hour cutting themselves free, all the while telling the waves to push them off... then asking... then begging.

    Alone, powerless.

    After substantial effort, he beached the longship, swimming back out to the dying freighter to climb its height- skyscrapers of New York visible in the distance, and a livelihood on the docks and harbor waiting for the stranger from another world.

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    In the silence of her garage, all she could hear was noise. It was all noise, the sound like a hurricane crushing at her skull. Jacob was right on her tail, speaking to her, glitter of perspiration in his peppered high and tight… his words warped and unintelligible. Stepping off the ramp, she heard her name shouted before she fell, the sound of pounding military boots toward the ramp safely out of view of the crowd back in their personal prep garage.

    “Reid!” Gav scooped her up, the completely limp woman’s eyes flickering under her hummingbird’s lashes. “Jacob! Doctor now!”

    “No, no!” the large man was old but he could move, trotting down the ramp after her from above, “no doctor.”

    “What?!” Gav’s normally gentle voice was incredulous, turning back to Reid as he patted her cheeks. “C’mon, Reid… wake up… why are we not getting a doctor?!”

    Jacob hurried past him, brushing through to the workbench to pick up her mouth guard and making it back in record time. Stuffing it in her mouth, he reached behind her ear, flicking the iridescent buttons hard with his fingernails. Her surge was painful, enough to make Gav jump, back arching as her gloved fingers clutched his biceps enough to leave bruises.

    “Let her go,” Jacob stood, pulling the stunned Sergeant back away from the seizing woman, “or she’ll rip your skin off…”

    Gav's light eyes furled in horror and disbelief, tearing off his fatigue green battered jacket and rolling it up to place under her head to protect her skull from the seizure. Flail sent him backward, her gloved fingers locked on the railing of the ramp, clutch so hard her body trembled.

    “That would have been you…” Jacob said under his breath.

    “What’s happening?”

    “Reboot,” Jacob’s cigarette bobbed in his lips, “happens sometimes. Usually not after a hard shut down like tonight was.”

    Brow downward, Gav knelt next to her, holding her head until the muscles spasms passed and pulled her hair back when palm hit the metal grate to push up the battered body and wretch nothing over the side of the ramp, the mouth guard clinking on the floor.

    “Is this what happens after fights in the dressing room?”

    “Not usually this bad,” Jacob nodded once before his footfalls clanged slowly downward to fetch her some water. “She doesn’t want anyone to see it.”

    Gav pulled her up, holding her head up as he checked her pupils.

    “You can’t get me dressed after a fight… you’ll look at my ass,” she murmured.

    His smile was tepid, exhale relieved. Her large pupils still worried him, they usually were almost normal by now. Helping her up, she drank the entire glass of water, holding it out to Jacob for another as he walked with her down the ramp to a bench.

    Thirst was insatiable.

    “I need that cheeseburger now,” she mumbled.
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  1. It is neither labor nor goods I seek you to handle. Nor is it smuggling. Spit it out. Oh yes…. of course… why had I not thought of such a thing…. and that way they can be more easily slaughtered as they answer the ad? Spit it out. He was about to ask about the ‘they’ when he spoke again. Chewing slowed. As I said… I am not looking for a smuggler…. I need a rescuer. Of course. He had thrown off that vibe from the moment the elf stepped into his cabin, either the man was just that good at reading, or word of his work had gotten that far. A little of both perhaps. The prince was definitely interested to see how much he actually knew. If much, he would have to tell his passengers to be a bit more careful. There was no way he could actually try to “hold back” when someone was attempting to keep a passenger from getting on the boat. They noticed the ‘intruder’ at the same time. Noted. He wasn’t necessarily getting rid of the man for the elf, but it seemed mutually beneficial. Of course he could turn the guy in, but it would do nothing to get whomever this was off his tail. An elf was in his cabin, they were here to sniff around, if that wasn’t a bullseye on his back… Vanguard most likely. The man was cordial enough, the Haugbui hopping deftly from his boat to the dock without the aid of the gangplank. Handshake was strong, the stuffy suit seemed… nice? Overly chatty. He knew what would be said without even having to listen to it, paying more attention to what was going on around them. He could listen without hearing, see without watching. He was being watched, listened to. It wasn’t just the stuffy, pretty elf in his cabin, it was from several directions. An extra car or two in the parking areas near the docks, more joggers than normal maybe. The bohemian boatman with the braid seemed just happy go lucky to listen to the man and finish his apple. He looked at his shoe and adjusted it a few times. “I don’t think I… I’m what you’re looking for. I mean,” he scratched the back of his neck. “I do take people back and forth with my cargo sometimes... we all do, pay isn’t that good but it’s company you know. Sometimes they’re helpful on the trip. Are you looking to transport people from a company or something’?” He rubbed his neck again. He played well. They were either fishing for identities of his passengers, or they wanted him to be a prison ferry. Either were unacceptable. Or to kill him. That would make his day more exciting. “You know I hear there’s a guy… Joe, John maybe? He comes and goes from the dock, not real chatty, keeps to himself. Heard he makes runs back and forth to Ireland? Galway I think.” He finished his apple, holding the core and pointing with the same hand, “that boat over there with the gangplank down. He’s there right now.” Lie. Lie lie lie. The boat was for sale, and nobody was on it. Mr. Stevens seemed delighted, thanking him for his help, shaking his hand and walking off toward the far end of the dock by the end of the pier as he flipped out a phone. He jumped back on his boat, pulling all the lines but one, and trotted down into the cabin. Shoes were kicked off as he opened the side window, core tossed into the trash across the room. “Stay here,” he hissed, knife now in his teeth from somewhere, smoothly pulling himself through the window and dropping into the water without a splash. Honestly… he hated swimming underwater out toward the pier. Muck and debris, engines overhead until he slid up alongside the boat he was looking for and boarded silently from the side facing the ocean. Eyes scanned the harbor, and he slipped in. Several moments later, slipped out and back under the water. He was just as quiet climbing back into the boat, not saying a word to the elf for a moment as he dusted water off himself with a towel and slid on his shoes. “I’ll drop you off up the coast. If you leave now, everything you’ve asked for is compromised, and they'll probably try to kill me. Sorry for the inconvenience,” he didn’t wait for an answer because there was no discussion, trotting up from the cabin and wrapping the last line before hopping up to the bridge and slowly pulling away from the dock. Not any hurry, leaving calmly with the rest of the boats constantly trailing in and out. Lever forward and he opened up into the bay like the others, effectively disappearing and leaving his deed behind. Satisfied after almost fifteen minutes, he coasted to a stop. “Well Mr. Caranthir, where to?” he called down to the cabin, buoy bell chiming in the distance over the span of water. Hands pulled his hair from the plait and squeezed it out, this time just a ponytail. He had made no decisions, but he wasn't about to sell this guy out to the Vanguard. He shook the silver coffee mug. Empty. “Since everyone’s great timing effectively has blacklisted me from that harbor permanently, I need to know where to go.”
  2. It was an odd feeling, first peppering his skin and then pulling breath from his body. He’d felt it before, someone was manipulating the mana pool. He didn’t quite understand what exactly the mystical thing was that drove this world’s sorcery. For his people, it was innate, a part of them like breathing. Some were stronger than others as it was normal to be unique in one’s own right. To have his ripped away… even years later he was still disoriented. He tried to focus on the magnetic pull, with Outworlder hate he couldn’t just ask how it was done and how he could tap into it- so moments like this were coveted. Of course, there was immediate danger; it was secondary at the moment. If he could just… How could they tap it and he couldn’t, how could they have an incredible power and he left with something he could not control? He didn’t miss the run, before feet had hit the deck he was sliding down the rails to the deck. A speedster. Words were ignored, eyes at a narrowed state, sliding back to the dock. The edges of his vision were flickering so brightly. He could see it! Why couldn’t he tap into it?! "Now, now, you really don't want to start a fight do-" Blink followed the woman’s sudden assault on the invader, and he was now in the middle of the mess being manipulated from the dock that most definitely wasn’t a good thing. Mana… glittering at the edges of his vision. It was hot, drying. It was hurting his eyes… "She's got a bit of an attitude about things." Eyes moved from the dock to the speedster, heels of his hands pressing his temples briefly before a snarl and flicker of muscle pushed his palms downward toward the deck. Water thrummed around the boat, bouncing and peppering like an invisible hailstorm. The crackling lights on the edges of his vision disappeared, and his boat shuddered, moving forward faster than the engines were set. A tug of war, and he refused to lose. The man wasn’t fast enough to walk on water, he’d needed help to get to the boat. Unfortunate. “Hold on to something,” he said quietly to Mack, eyes still on the man. His speed, was blinding as well. Trained. Rehearsed a thousand times. It was evident immediately he was a fighter, first instinct to kill, but it wouldn’t give the dock crew a reason to leave them alone. Instead, a wind knocking kick struck the speedster square in the chest and flipped him off the starboard into the water. He could have left it at that, but a surviving swimmer wasn’t an urgency and his boat and passenger would still be the focus of ire. Rope wound around his forearm and a knife pulled, he dove in after and under, yanking the guy down into the dark water. Not to the bottom like he wanted to, only deep enough that he couldn’t get his head above water, slamming the knife through a clutch of clothing to pin him underwater to the pier before the slack of the rope ran out. Fist tightened to hold on as the rope snapped taught, pulling the boatman away from the drowning speedster into the darkness. So fast. He was dangerously fast in the water. The cards were their’s now. Chase after them, or save their drowning friend. They’d better run. It was straining, but his swimming helped, pulling himself back onto the boat that was still moving forward and practically launching himself to the bridge; vaulting over the railing and cutting the wheel hard to port, pushing the shift lever forward. There was an inlet within a half mile, the turn had to be sharp, dangerously close to the cement slab breakwall and they would disappear behind the rubble of the lighthouse. Lights were snapped off to help as they went straight into the darkness and away from the twilight. He was silent, water still running in rivulets down his neck and clothes. They were going to have to hunker down and wait until trying to cross again to New York. On one hand, he was annoyed, strangely excited on the other. It was a challenge, it was a fight, and he was a fighter. What had happened when the boat broke free from whatever was encapsulating it? That, he had no idea- but a lot of hope.
  3. Small delay, traveling.  Back online tomorrow!

  4. Small delay, traveling.  Back online tomorrow!

  5. The jump was met with indifference. He’d seen everything, all manner of conditions as they fought their way to his promise of passage. Injured, emaciated, it was as if the whole world was against them and he couldn’t figure out why. Why would it be anybody’s concern what world they were from? They were here, they contributed to a world that had come apart, and were helping to rebuild The same old prejudices it seemed… he was as guilty of that on his own world as any. The difference was what they had done, not who they were. Countenance was unmoving as she explained she had nothing. “I don’t need a thing.” Hand was insistent. “I'm here to get you where you need to go. I travel to New York, make two stops for fuel. If you’d like to work while on the boat, that’s up to you., but I have food, extra clothes, everything you need. From there, I make other ferry trips if you need to travel further.” As soon as she was on, the gangplank was raised and locked into place. “Head below deck, there’s food. We need to hit open water as soon as possible. The first hour is crucial to make sure nobody is following.” He worked quickly on the moor lines, securing them before pulling himself up to the bridge to start the engine. “Name’s Calder. If you need anything, let me know.” With that the engine fired up, and they were moving. He didn't babysit his passengers... the last thing they needed on their travel to freedom was someone breathing down their neck. Sun was setting, and they would soon be in the vastness of darkness in the middle of the ocean where very few dared to go.
  6. He sat in the captain’s chair, boot up on the rest and the other on the floor… comfortable in his relaxed slouch. Elbow was nonchalantly on the armrest, every now and then pulling the long pipe from his teeth errantly. He was watching the harbor from his slip, comings, goings, setting everything to memory. Galway was dangerous, more so every day. He was a regular, shipping all sorts of fun things back and forth. They knew his face. But he had to keep a staggered schedule. A pattern only those that knew his dealings could follow. Otherwise, he was just a regular looking to trade for whatever he could gather up enough of to make a trip. Nobody had come this time, and it concerned him. He couldn’t stay much longer. Outworlders aside, the hooded eyes had been watching someone for the last half hour, working closer and closer to his boat. Unsure exactly what her goal was. Worse for wear, wandering as if she wanted something but not interacting with anyone enough to give him a clue of what she was searching for… ready to jump in after her if she found her way off the end of the dock. The closer she got... she was asking for passage somewhere, or asking for him by name. Then again, she could just be asking for money. It was a risk. A ferry bound Outworlder out of sorts could jeopardize his entire operation. Someone so damaged that they talked along the way… what did his father always tell him, the needs of many and all that. It was something he didn’t find always applicable in this world. His had been brutal, unforgiving. Earth too, was just that, yet different. People kept sticking fingers in light sockets to help each other even after they knew it hurt like hell. It was something with humans that he’d never been able to quite understand, the self-sacrifice, and he’d come to respect it and even practice it on occasion. This, he wasn’t sure, still… eyes flicked to the horizon and the setting sun. He had to leave or he would miss his window. Foot hit the floor and he tapped the pipe on the carved stone tray before resting it there and pulling on a long sleeved shirt. He wasn’t immortal, and ropes left burns even to the most experienced. Gloves on, he slid down the ladder to the deck and lowered the gangplank in the growing darkness. His boat was starting to light up like a beacon, fiddling with his gloves until she came close, then held out a hand without a word to takes hers and welcome her aboard.
  7. Mr Stevens? Most assuredly not. And I would recommend caution if this was the individual that came in the late noon hour yesterday. My contact advised there was a good chance he was a Vanguard representative. Contacts, Vanguard and covert dealings. He was deep in it now. There was no outward response, or change of expression. The Vanguard didn’t bother him, by the time they caught up with him he could be somewhere else completely, or sitting on a boat in front of them and they wouldn’t notice. He. Lived. The. Sea. If he didn’t know better, it was his blood. Anyone that challenged him on it would lose. Overconfidence, maybe, but he refused to believe that with the loss of his powers he wasn’t a formidable force. The niceties were what they were; small talk. He never tipped his cards. The “prince” had grown up in politics and negotiation, this world was barely different in that regard. Noting the elf asked or requested nothing, he pulled an apple from his small fridge and sat on a carved wooden stool by the table. Small knife from the block was retrieved with a stretch. Not looking for mass freight. That I already have. Far too "visible" for the task at hand. The coffee you are brewing comes from my lands. I recognize its scent easily… and your "friends" now all work for me. It was why they "wanted to go" to the southern continent in the first place. It was one of them that let me know of your…. work. Picking up his mug again, he listened, the apple and knife held in the other hand. Mug clicked quietly on the table, one foot hitching up on a rung. I am looking for someone to regularly bring more "friends" to the southern continent… specifically from the Ireland region at the moment. Crack of the apple’s skin snapped in punctuation of his final statement, the slice of flesh balanced on the knife brought to his lips to eat. He chewed a moment, lips pursing. “I don’t smuggle, labor or goods, if that’s what you’re asking. I’m truly sorry if any passengers I’ve ferried led you to believe that. I’m not sure what could have given them that impression.” It was a simple answer. He wasn’t playing games, he was the game. A man that wanted something didn’t beat around the bush. Mr. Vanguard had beat around the bush. This man was doing it too, but was clearly stating his needs in veiled fashion. Mr. Vanguard just thought he was an idiot and would fall for the “make some money” line. Not everyone was in it for money, and he most certainly didn’t need it to survive regardless of what he’d broadcasted to the man. The elf wanted it so badly, he had to come out and ask. He was alluding… From Mr. Caranthir’s business proposition at face value, it sounded like he wanted labor for his coffee business. Specialized labor, how did he know that the man wasn’t feeding off Outworlders and the gifted to work for him? He didn’t. The guy would have to tell him more. He would have to have the balls to ask him outright. “If you need workers, why don’t you just advertise for them and a fair wage. I’m sure people need work and would be willing to travel to assist you. I’d be happy to transport if they need it. From Ireland, New York… anywhere.” Another slice was cut, entirely too easy from the finger motion in a single hand. He chewed a moment again… brow quirking. Eyes were watching the line of windows just above the elf’s head facing the dock. The knife in his hand disappeared, and the apple spun on his palm before he took a bite out of it. Feet slipped out of his shoes and he made his way silently up the steps to the deck. Well then… he was entirely enjoying this covert conversation until now. “You might want to stay here, Outworlder,” voice was quiet before he opened the door and stepped out. The simple statement was enough to confess everything, it was time to. He heard those that he ferried talk, he didn't ask questions, all he had to do was listen. The man admitted the coffee was his. From South America. They'd wanted to travel there. They worked for him. This was the man they were seeking for protection, not a labor trader. "I’ll get rid of him.” Well, that cat was out of the bag. “Mr. Stevens,” he greeted, padding across the deck and picking up a bucket of paint as he made his way over.
  8. Smile was in his eyes at the elf's confusion, but not on his lips, the relaxed visage more at home that he felt most of the time. He’d been raised to exude relaxed confidence even in the face of danger or certain death. Standing in front of an elf? Fae? …that was asking him questions of the sort he was reluctant to start answering out of the blue did actually fall into that category- as innocent as the conversation looked. The man really did look out of place on his dock. His slip wasn’t run down by any means, but suits were not the typical attire here. …Caranthir. He nodded, peering up through bleached frays that had fallen forward from his plait at the sun. He didn’t like the sun. He loved the winter, the ice in the water. He spent a lot of time in the water during the summer. This guy, Caranthir, was definitely proud of himself, which these days was a death sentence if one was in the wrong place. It was going to get him killed. Muireadach is it? “Mhm,” nod was soft again. First time though in this big blue spinning globe that someone had been even close to pronouncing it correctly. The gentleman yesterday had butchered it. One thing he really hated about this world, people butchered names when they couldn’t pronounce them and were never interested in learning the correct way- as if their inability superseded the right for someone to be called their given name. Interesting though. Two. Two visitors in as many days. Knew his name to boot. It didn’t sit well. The first was usually the jumpstart, hoping to catch someone’s attention in order to catch the business. The second was usually who he really wanted to talk to. He’d been in situations where it had been the opposite, but not often. He was on someone's radar, exactly where he didn't want to be. I have a long term business proposition for you. “Are you following up for Mr. Stevens from yesterday?” It was now apparent, that he himself also was not likely a native of New York; language cadence not quite Swedish… Norwegian… English… Russian… not quite anything, but he spoke and understood English as well as any native and was comfortable with that. A stray line caught his attention and he went to wind it on a clamp. Odd. Clean snap. There were no such things as clean snaps. Eyes began to follow all of his rigging. One I believe you will be interested in because I have reason to believe you are already doing what I would be asking for in your free time. Blink was slow, but the hazel that looked back to him as he was finishing off the tie line had darkened slightly. He yanked it tight and looked over the rest of the rigging within a few moments, enough length of silence to make most uncomfortable standing there. Mr. Stevens had been quite uncomfortable at the boatman's less than chatty interlude. Perhaps we can talk inside? He leaned on the gangplank, the small span of water between them separating their vast worlds, thump of water from his plait to the deck quiet and loud enough ironically to sound like a chiming bell. He’d been betrayed by others like him, whether this man was an Outworlder or merely a homegrown bastard he didn’t know. Long inhale preceded the metallic clank of the gangplank release, letting out the slow breath as metal lowered carefully and the surface of the water thrummed around the boat like heavy rainfall or sputtering surface fish for a mere moment. There it was, his elusive… power. Like a joke at all the wrong times. It was there, he knew it, just out of his reach. A puzzle he couldn't yet solve... a rope he was just inches from grabbing onto. The settle of the aluminum to the dock groaned slightly, and the weird cosmic hoodoo glitch was forgotten like it had never happened. Footsteps were quiet as he beckoned the man on and raised the gangplank again after he’d come aboard, clinking the pin. He didn’t like people just “popping in”. Nearly silent footsteps made their way below deck, the scent of truly scrumptious coffee still lingering from a pot he’d made this morning. The main cabin was quaint, but it was elegant and personalized. Dark smooth woods, clean lines, minimal except for a wall of exotic blades on display. Nestled slyly in the wall of exceptional specimens were his own. He still used them. He still needed them on occasion. He offered the elf a seat and stepped into the small kitchenette. He was brewing coffee, not from some machine contraption… the old fashioned way. “I don’t have free time, Mr. Caranthir. I ship things, that is my time. I picked this coffee up on a trip to South America. Wanted to see if I could actually make the trip, had a few friends that wanted to go, had some things to trade, it looked interesting. Ended up keeping it for myself… that happens sometimes. Want anything to drink, eat? I have an amazing coconut water I picked up south, Kilbeggan I picked up in Galway. Not a fan of the Kilbeggan. Anything from the Isles smells like turpentine to me.” He had a light palate. Dishes clinked quietly. “I would say then… I’m a trader of sorts. People want things, I go get them. People want to go somewhere, I take them there while delivering other things. I have a few regular routes, but mostly go where the business is. Not sure how that could be helpful to you since I'm not large enough for mass freight, but I do go where most won't, which has it's interesting applications.” He took a long drink of his fresh ground heaven in a Japanese coffee cup, no handle... amazing to see unbroken pottery on a ship. Seemingly chatty, it was anything but. Useless information, yet so telling… and definitely revealing of intent in whatever answers the man had for him. A verbal trap. He was good at those.
  9. His own brow cocked slightly as he peeled a gray t-shirt over his torso and found his worn boat shoes, the back of the heel having been pushed down flat so he could just slide them on... and off, if the need arose that he was in the water for some immediate purpose. There are no tires….. and why would I kick it if there was one here? Amused smirk lit his lips as he exhaled once through his nose and clicked the pin on his gangway, but he didn't answer. If a potential employer, he would probably want to see the boat. Not yet though, he didn’t make any move to extend it to the dock. Not the same as the suit yesterday, that was for sure. Of course you couldn’t be sure anymore if anyone that looked “normal” wasn’t. He wasn’t, which meant possible employment by the obvious altered. Or, bounty hunter. Traitor. Any number of things. He didn’t like either prospects. Come to think of it, he really didn’t trust anyone lately. He nodded toward the dark bumpers attached to the side of the old wharf that kept his boat from bouncing into the dock, hands sliding into still wet khaki pockets. They used to be tires, cut up for other purposes… somehow he knew it would be lost to the man… err… elf. Erm.. Nevermind. “What can I do for you.. Mr..?” Lean form stood for a moment and watched him calmly, then looked off toward another small “people mover” going out for the day. Nod was slight and his hand emerged to acknowledge the other captain. Good guy, ran people back and forth from Long Island to the mainland. Eyes moved back to the elf. Relaxed, the picture of composed. Inside? He was indeed ready to drag the man into the depths and drown him at the bottom if necessary. There were two types of people lately in New York… those that wanted his boat, and those that wanted to hire him for pennies and try to take his boat.
  10. He was hovering in silence, near darkness. The bustle of the world, random noises, voices, yelling, stink of the air- was all gone. Ears could hear the rustle of water- if that was even possible, feel the vibration on his skin from the thrum on waves on hulls; weightless, arms floating out from his sides as he remained suspended in a solitary world. Current brushed the loose tendrils of his hair against his arms every so often, the sensation free, welcomed. Eyes open slightly, having felt vibration on his dock, looking upward at the spindles of light trickling down from the surface. A shadow near his boat, then the thump like a knocking on his door, whomever it was unaware that eyes were upon them from the deep. A creature that this world had never known lurking beneath the depths. Hands pushed downward slightly, ascending his body several feet. He could see the man from behind, waiting patiently. Two in as many days? Well dressed, looking for him. Thus far, all he’d ferried came to New York. It wasn’t illegal, technically he’d done nothing wrong. It had occurred to him that someone would have issue with it eventually, most likely from Gallaway. Moments ticked by as he watched, patience of a saint. Hands slid across the posts under the dock, weapons intact, before moving under his boat toward the ladder near the stern- hovering there for a moment. Thumb ran along the patch in the hull. It had been in dry dock for less than a week. They’d done a good job. Unless you knew it was there.... Now the mysterious visitor. Hand reached up from the darkness to grab a rung and pull himself up, hair twisting and tailing down his spine in a rush of water. Bare feet hit the deck. “Kicking tires?” Towel was whisked over his torso, reaching behind him to plait his hair. It would take only a few moments to figure out if this string of visitors was going to become a problem. He would solve it quietly.
  11. The heat wave annoyed him. He could tolerate it, being on the water helped a bit, but the sun. Khakis were the only thing he could bear to put on, hair tied on top of his head in a knot. He’d tried braiding it, but the constant slide of the plait against sweating skin was irritating. Strands loose in a ponytail made him itch. It all had to be piled on top. Knees bumped the side of the hull every so often when the boat undulated under waves rifled up from incoming ships into the docks. Fresh coat of paint was almost halfway done, the boatman sitting on a suspended scaffold. It reminded him of an old rope swing, but it did the job. Forearm wiped over his cheek to rid himself of the paint spatter, resulting in more of a smear. Damn it. Eyes peering up at the late afternoon sun, it was almost time for a break anyway. He’d finish this square foot section and grab a drink. *npc* “Calder, Calder Muireadach right?” Glance cast over his shoulder. “Yah?” Demeanor was nonchalant as he continued to paint the deep blue. Of course, a man standing on a working dock in a business suit was more than alarming. Maybe he’d finally caught the attention of some shipping interests. Maybe they were there to arrest him. The guy was too pretty to be a cop. Shipping. *npc* “Do you have a moment?” “Yah.” He finished the section with a final stroke and stood up on the scaffold, hoisting himself back up to put the bucket and brushes on the deck. Unapologetic about his paint stained skin, he rifled around in his cooler for a soda and cracked it open, he loved Mountain Dew. It was harder to get than holy Hell, but damn he loved the stuff. After a long swig, he wiped the can sweat off his hand and offered it to shake. “Calder, but you already know that.” The man nodded, *npc* “Richard Stevens. You are a small freight ship.” “Yah.” Obvious. *npc* “I’ve heard you’ve been successful in runs to what’s left of Britain, tried a South American run.” “Not tried, have done. Round trip in twenty two days. Thought there might be some interest in freight transport but with air travel a bit more lucrative to South America I haven’t gotten much more response for water transport. More profitable for me to the Isles. Dragons tend to not like planes. Water seems to be the only way in and out. Not easy to fight pilots that want to fly up there.” He took another swig *npc* “Would you consider talking with my employer about a potential transport opportunity?” He shrugged slightly, money was money. A small transport? Was this a smuggling bid? It would probably piss the guy off if he said so. “As long as it’s on the up and up I’ll hear out anything that can bring in money to keep my boat painted.” The man smiled and nodded once. *npc* “Is this where we find you?” “Few more days at least, until I finish painting.” *npc* “We’ll be in touch, Mr. Muirdeach.” He nodded, watching the man walk off, finishing his soda. It wasn’t the first time he’d been approached on the dock, he had a reputation for making trips nobody else seemed to want to try. But, it didn’t always bring in the most reputable business. He was interested to see how this one played out. Tossing the can into the basket next to the cooler, he stretched a moment, then was back on the scaffold. Boat wasn’t going to paint itself.
  12. Quiet. Cold either made sounds exceptionally sharp, or muted. Tonight, the world seemed hushed… holding its breath maybe? It set off instincts that were impossible to turn off. Others may have been wary, his honed to pinpoints under the guise of apathy. Curls from a long pipe floated stark against the darkness, lighting up every so often with a glow from the lantern on the dock as the wisps passed in front of it. Lean form sat in his captain’s chair, feet crossed, watching the horizon beyond, pondering the heightened attentiveness that the quiet was pulling from his bones. People were hunting tonight. Agitated. Lips pursed in thought, a thin stream of air making the smoke dance a little faster in its light trek toward the sky. Sigh long, feet dropped to the floor and he tipped the pipe on the heavy carved stone plate, tapping out the ash and leaving it there for later. Rucksack gathered up, a few bits of dried jerky, some water in an aluminum “bottle”. There were some things in this world he thought were oddly beautiful… of course everything being a new sight to him brought a great sense of dysphoric wonder, but it was the simple things that he found so intriguing. Tiny, delicate china teacups. Porcelain figurines with fingers so slight he was afraid to touch them. Then there was his water bottle. Shiny, simple, mesmerizing. It was a stupid thing, but he thought it was oddly beautiful, devastated when it had taken a header off his table and clunked onto to the floor some time ago. The dent was now obvious; it reminded him of something he’d seen in a book… steel drum? Caribbean? Bootfalls onto the wooden dock pulled him from errant thoughts, armed in a way only he could be. He had to leave the boat to investigate what was holding everything up, raucous nightlife spilling in some places into the streets in a way only a small city could muster. New York… made everything else seem so pale in comparison. Maybe he would come back to a boarded and rustled boat, maybe not. It seemed as his face was seen around the place more often, the less they messed with him. Signal came half way to the local flophouse. Most stayed on their boats, those departing on those boats stopped here on their last night out. *npc* "Finally here, late." It was a familiar face as he stepped in and brushed the drizzle off his coat. “Dragged a wreck a mile out. Had to repair the hull. Hungry,” he muttered quietly. Always food. “Salted and dried is fine on the water, when there’s prospect of a good hot meal it makes it almost inedible.” He smiled and swung his bag off his shoulder, dropping it to the floor as he took a seat at the counter. It was a pub, straight up, no fanciness or pretentiousness about it. Dark wood, glinting bottles, worn tables. *npc* Yah, lot of people been hitting that damn cruise ship... it went down a month or so ago. Couple people tried to drag it out further before it went down. Bangers? He nodded, he'd buoy-ed it, rifling through his back pocket under the pea coat to pull out the favored currency for this part of the world. That was another annoyance. Currency. A mug of beer, hot bangers and mash with extra gravy as he waited for his contact. A heart attack waiting to happen, but what a great last meal. "Hope I didn't miss anything being late?" Or anyone? Les shook his head. *npc* "Nope, seems the night to be late." That didn't bode well. The restless feeling he'd picked up, people were definitely hunting tonight... and the rabbits were having a hard time coming out of their holes. That, he couldn't assist with. He was a courier, if they couldn't get to the rendezvous point he couldn't help that. It bothered him, but so did wandering so far away from his boat it got snagged. Maybe in time he'd build enough contacts to have someone watch the ship, for now... it was all he could do.
  13. He’d not stopped moving since the uptick in violence… some might think it asinine, heading straight out into the sea alone, again. Spring made the trip dangerous, it was a shitty time to make such a daring trek. Icebergs… and more icebergs. Freezing temperatures. Squalls. But, the news was dire, and in the spirit of knowing he would be needed he made the effort to cross the pond sooner than he should have. Adventure, a death wish, the need to save those like him- he hadn’t been disappointed. Almost into port, the groan caught his ear, something lurching beneath the tossing waves. Tearing metal had mandated a repaired hull after dragging on something he’d determined had been some kind of vessel at one time or another. It put him back a day. Just meant he’d have to make more room on the small freight… a day’s more worth of people gathered at the weigh station. Supplies. Always under the guise of supplies. One last turn and the engines powered down to put the vessel into its all too familiar spot in the harbor docks. Bridge lights turned off, the familiar blue glow of the downlights sent the signal that he had arrived to those that were looking for the right things. He slid down the ladder and started to tie off in the darkness, a swinging lantern every so often creaking its echo against lapping water. It wasn’t the most friendly place at the moment, weighing the option of staying on the boat for the night and going out in the morning or heading into port now in the middle of the night. Either way he was probably going to get boarded, it would be better if he was here to protect his ship. He looked normal enough, not one lick of anyone had any idea he was anything but just a guy and a boat trying to make a living- the pied piper waiting for the meet-up signal from inland to load his “cargo” and be off back to New York before hopping again to the next stop to South America. Planes out this way were a bad idea, so boats it was. They liked him. They trusted him. He was one of “the guys”. That’s all anyone needed to know. …and all he had to do was wait for the signal.
  14. Knuckle on his forefinger tapped on his forehead as he held the radio in the same hand. It was the closest thing to a facepalm… This could get worse, but not by much. Eyes looked up just as a boat erupted from the squall, dangerously close. Yes, it could get worse. His first instinct was an outstretched palm. It was habit, ingrained, meant to engage the sea and push the vessel back. It managed to punch a tunnel in the snow of the tempest- fueled this time by adrenaline, drive and surprise, not just an errant attempt to “check-in” on powers he hoped had rekindled without his knowledge. He blinked a moment, the other boat clear for a snapshot before disappearing again as it turned hardtop starboard to avoid him "How many in your crew? Over." He’d almost forgotten about the radio in his hand. Just myself. Over. …and the feeling of impending antagonism, made more pronounced by the next transmission. "I need to weather this storm. Over." Of course he did. A lot of things were spinning through his head. When the squall was over, he would have a lot of explaining to do. It was a maze to get into this place, a maze that to anyone able to pick through it would see as a deliberate clearing of wreckage. How would someone know how to clear it? Navigate underwater to be able to hook and dredge? The worst part? Harbor Patrol. He was no stranger to killing to protect his secrets… Harbor Patrol would be missed. In this storm though, maybe not. He’d never seen them out here this far in a storm… he had the advantage at the moment, at least until things started to clear. The front hull of the Dragon would be visible at that point. Just a boat, he could explain it away as a hobby. A boat that cast its own camouflage when it touched the water. Shit. Shit didn’t seem strong enough to sum up his gauged panic. He should say something. It had been entirely too long. Settle in, plenty of room. Over. Radio was slammed into the cradle as he started to move, grabbing the handrails and sliding down the bridge ladder. There was a plan. It was a crappy plan, but it was a plan. He could winch the Dragon completely onto the shore, but was unsure if the trees the winch were lashed to would hold the weight. Or, he could wait out the storm… see if Mr. Harbor patrol really gave a crap about his interesting boat, then find a new place to hide it after he was gone. Or, brain lurched forward as he snapped the rigging knife into its belt clip and glanced at the boat hook, he could take care of this now and send Harbor Patrol’s boat to the bottom. He balanced precariously on the gunwale, keeping his balance as the boat undulated with the water. Shore, or the other boat. He had to make a decision. The water was his to play with; he could hit the water and make it to either location even in this weather. If he left the man alive, he would still have to explain how he got on shore. What a raging clusterfuck; last thoughts to himself as his body sluiced into the freezing black with barely a splash.
  15. He felt it before he saw it. Shadows in the squall, the gatekeepers shifting slightly as if in warning. Someday they would collapse, he was hoping he would be gone by then. A false hope maybe. In his calm little bay, he was anchored close to the Dragon to wait it out. The otherworldly thing was slid up onto the beach, the safest place for it at the moment… almost half completely flickered out of mind’s eyes, the hull that touched the seafloor and beach however looked a relic of Earth history. Storms like this, he protected it, watched over it until he knew it was safe. He couldn’t moor it anywhere else without it being seen or realized. With all the hate floating about lately, it was a flurry of questions he wanted to avoid. If it accidentally worked its way loose and somehow floated into a weak walled capsized freighter hull to be crushed,… or gods forbid lost into the ocean… he would never recover. Arms calmly folded, he watched the wall of white through the windows as his small work boat undulated lazily beneath him. Shadows again. Door opened, climbing out carefully to get a better look away from the snow that was beginning to stick to his windows. Eyes cast behind him, the visible parts of Dragon were beginning to disappear into the wall of white, something was moving into his small bay, into his world. Shit. English was an interesting language. In his, there were few curses, in theirs… there was so much to choose from. He hopped back toward the small bridge, picking up the radio. “Vessel inbound, vessel inbound, this is the Ormen Lange on channel 16. I am anchored in your direct collision path just off your port bow in shallows. Please alter course and stop, over.” Thumb clicked off, the curse coming from his lips this time much sharper in his own tongue. Fingers reached to turn on the engine, just in case, a light tap on his horn and light up to signal location. If the boat kept moving at the pace he thought it was, it was going to run aground, after pushing him into it.