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Topics - Plasmarobo

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Gameplay / Ghost ships
« on: August 12, 2013, 01:04:11 pm »
On the subject of rounds no longer colliding with your own ship:

I feel that this change takes a little bit away from the gunner-pilot coordination, as well as a little bit of the authenticity of the game.
I understand that it's frustrating as a new player to be taking shots and suddenly start hitting your own ship, but in my opinion that's when you should start talking to your captain, so you can coordinate the swift death of your enemies!

It also changes the balance of ships like the Pyra. You can fling bullets through your nose cones, but you deny the enemy the opportunity to destroy those guns. You can shoot them, and they have no chance to prevent it. This takes a great deal of the positioning requirements for the Pyra away. I know it's supposed to be one of the easier ships to learn, but those guns are difficult enough to destroy and can put a lot of damage on a target.

Perhaps it's not as big of a deal to the rest of you, in which case I will be a bit heartbroken but ultimately change my tactics to shoot up at people. I do feel rather strongly that if the ship is in the way, then the ship should be in the way. I can't shoot through my ally, so why am I able to shoot through myself? It just feels wrong to me (and allows really strange and possibly unbalanced tactics with the already powerful pyra).

The Pit / Magnet Launcher
« on: August 05, 2013, 10:48:09 am »
Guys, guys, guys!

Okay, get ready to have your mind blown. This is the best idea since boarding.

We have... wait for it... A MAGNET LAUNCHER.

Hear me out.

It fires a super powerful magnet attached to a balloon. The magnet exerts a spherical force towards itself within a 500m radius. The force decreases radially from the center point. It does nothing to ships, but bullets...

It bends bullets. Like how planets and suns bend light. Don't have a Merc arc? Fire off a magnet, then bend those shots around it, gravity slingshot style! Gunners missing shots? Jump off the helm and fire a magnet at the enemy ship! Enemy close to your mines, but expertly dodging them? Shoot a magnet at him, and watch his face as the mines move to him!

Combine with the new "Sticky" ammo to attach magnet to the enemy hull and watch every shot home in!

Batteries not included.
(Magnets, how do they work?)

The Pit / Give me back the hard achievements!
« on: July 12, 2013, 10:49:26 pm »
Guys, Muse just sold out to the causuals. HARD.

I was super looking forward to defending all those points with a Galleon.
And playing against all Level 10 captains, and with everyone over Level 7!

Now I feel like anyone can actually get levels.

Guys, when everyone is super, no one will be.


The Pit / The Skies have no Limit Discussion
« on: June 21, 2013, 12:52:54 pm »
Any questions, out of character discussion, problems, conflicts, sillyness, meta-comments, and or whatever for The Skies have no Limit takes place here.

Note that we are set some unspecified amount of time after the end of the Burning Skies!

The Cantina / The Skies have no Limit
« on: June 21, 2013, 12:50:50 pm »
--Welcome to Cathedral!--
Looks like Anvala will take some time getting back on it's feet!
The city had a great run, but the skies are still wide open!
Please join me for the spiritual successor to the Burning Skies RP!

There will be a discussion created in the pit! Information like this will be directed there in future!
Remember, we are open to anyone and everyone!

We are set in Cathedral for now, but the skies have no limit!
For now BdrLine and I will be doing the opening and closing of the RP.

--Day one, Spring, Cathedral--

--Narration, Some time after that nasty business in Anvala--
The city of Cathedral, the neutral hub of the world. Built in the continuously-occupied remains of an old-world city in the Middle Plains, it is a powerful and independent city-state with representatives from each of the six factions. The government seat is in the huge cathedral that dominates the city center and from which the city gets its name.

The city is bustling. People are excited for the spring festival, which pulls in tourists from all nations.
The Guard and Prefects of the city had their hands full with security, but there were few people truly intent on causing trouble.
Trade was booming, and many savvy merchants were making quite the profit.

It was a good time to be in the city.

--End Narration--

--Cathedral, Wild Winds Trading and Acquisitions, Wild Winds Inn. --

Plasma stands by the back wall of the inn. Examining the board of bounties. He's exchanged his Miltary uniform for a long duster, ceremonial belt for dual holster affair. He looks at the bounties available, picking up a name that looks familiar.

He chuckles to himself.
"So the Admiral's got himself a bounty now? Not for all the bullets in Anvala..."

He sighs and looks around the place. Several regulars having drinks, a few travelers on their way through town, several merchants negotiating freight with Lloyd, Plasma's "boss". Several shadier people, looking for nearly the same thing, but with much less legitimacy.
Many of the tables are empty, there are only a few people at the bar. He stands near the back, by the bounty board, stairs to the rooms, and "Wild Winds Trading and Acquisitions" counter. He takes another poster from the board.

"Five thousand mark reward... should be easy enough."
He pockets the poster, and turns to the room, leaning against the wall. His eyes fix on the front door to the inn.

I do wish they would hurry up, going to leave me waiting all day!

The Cantina / Captain Verra (or a very Plasma story)
« on: June 11, 2013, 06:22:32 pm »
"A story? A real story? Do you mean true? Alright. I think I've got one.
You see, it happened in the middle of the business with Yiski. Yes, the Striker Commander- Mhm, he was also the 'Crimson Bolt'- Well, I never served under him directly- In fact, I'm not even sure he could give me orders- Certainly he was my superior, but... well... it's complicated, and a story for another time.

For now, settle for what happened during the Guild Incursion. No, I didn't die. Yes, it was scary. Look, do you want to hear the story or not!?

It was right after the Kidnapping. Yes, the one in which he dived through the window. I was the one who found him, but it was under the Admiral’s orders. Admiral Zill. Zill. But this was when I was serving under Captain Verra. Ha! Yes the scary one, though, you’ve never seen her when she is really scarry. Now listen..."


Plasma sighs, running a greased hand through his dark hair, causing it to stick weirdly up in little points. The men hauling the boxes nearby snicker, but Plasma remains fixed on the clipboard. The fat stack of pages seems endless as he pages through it. A continual stream of authorizations, inventories, and legally binding agreements.

It’s enough to drive anyone up the walls!

He continues adding marks, adding ink to the stack of fluids on his hands. The excitement of the morning bombing was giving way to the monotony of paperwork, and the receding adrenaline was taking it’s toll. He carefully adds the final signature with a reluctant flourish, tosses the clipboard on another pile of documents in the hanger and trots over to a door marked lavatory. He rinses the ink and scrubs the grease off of his hands. The mirror is dirty, and requires a bit of wiping before he can properly see himself.

Dirt and oil everwhere...

He does his best to remove the stains and sediment, taking extra care with lieutenant’s insignia on his sleave.

First time I’ll have sky under my feet in nearly a year, and all I can do is mope...

He heaves a final sigh and straightens, glaring at the wall as though it had personally wronged him. After two deep breaths he strides out the door, expression set, blue eyes twinkling in the sharp, boyish face. He checks the pistol on his belt, and gives the small airship a quick once over, fretting all the while. It’s a new model. Much like a squid, but with an even lower profile. Minimized drag. Supposedly the fastest balloon-bearing vessel.

It’ll have to do, he concludes doubtfully, the way the captain flies, I’m sure I’ll be waist deep in kerosine and diesel before the end of the day...

The dock workers saunter over to him.
“A’ight, she’s loaded ‘n ready t’ fly! You sign t’ paper’s?”

Plasma nods and points absently to the discarded clipboard.
The grubby man grabs it roughly and leads his fellows out of the hangar. Plasma pulls an ornate silver watch out of his pocket, yanking the chain a bit harder than perhaps necessary. An image of a majestic skywhale breaching the clouds is embossed on the face cover. He slides his thumb over the engraving before flicking it open and carefully examining the face, sighing.

Just in time! She’ll be here any minute.

He can feel it before she appears. He hunches slightly under the weight of the aproaching presence. A tall woman comes sweeping through the doors. Plasma eyes the deep, resplendent blue uniform with the brilliantly gold captain's insignia. The white leggings and perfectly polished boots drag his eyes earthwards, but they immediately snap up to the reproving sky blue pair gazing back at him. A long scar runs from the base of her neck to the temple, resting directly adjacent to the fragile orb, relic of a very near miss. She removes the tricorn hat to brush a stray lock of auburn hair from her eyes, and replaces it in a fluid, almost mechanical movement.

“Lieutenant. I assume we are ready?” he voice is sharp and quick, but above all carries impressive commanding gravity.Plasma straightens himself to complete and utter attention.

“Yes Ma’am! We are ready to sail at your order.”
She nods and produces a folder seemingly from nowhere, thrusting it at him.
“It is so ordered Lieutenant. Meet me at the helm after you’ve given my orders to the crew.”
She leaps upon the boat with a grace that would put most veteran sailors to shame, leaving Plasma to thread his way along the plank.

Never any trouble when we’re being buffeted by a battery of hwacha, but always the planks!

The ship is small, and the crew smaller. Plasma surveys his three shipmates with growing alarm. Each has a simple uniform, designed for flexibility and dexterity, with no indication of rank. They are adorned with equipment of various shapes and sizes, including a design of sidearm he’s never seen before: short barreled things with no hammer, instead a series of complex mechanisms along the barrel.

One of the men glances up at him derisively. Plasma notices that his headband falls across his left eye, masking it entirely. Battle scars adorn his face, and the man is smoking what appears to be a hand-rolled cigarette.

“Orders Lieutenant?”
Plasma finds himself grasping at words that flit just out of his reach. He finally manages to catch one.
He opens the folder and examines the contents quickly, kicking himself for not doing so before. He pauses again, staring in disbelief at the words, before fixing a smile and continuing on.
“We are...officially disavowed. Our mission consists of an incursion into Guild Territory. We are your transportation, and the only official backup you will receive. These are your orders. May I borrow your lighter, and a cigarette?”

He takes a sealed envelope from the folder and hands it to the man, who takes it wordlessly. He places it on the table in front of the three men before handing a crude fuel-lighter and cigarette to Plasma. Plasma lights the tobacco and takes a drag, then holds the flame up to the folder. The three men watch as he waits for the flames to take sure hold of hte paper, then tosses it over the side of the ship. Almost on cue the diesel engines grind into life, shoving them out of the docks and into the skies beyond.


It is dark in the cell. So far he’s given them nothing, but they’ve given him naught but a few cuts and bruises. For the most part, they are quite polite. The smiling man insisting that he’s been left for dead, and all that he needs for a new life is to trade them information. So far he’s politely refused. The large, angry man did not appreciate that, hence the bruises. The smiling man pleaded with him, that neither of them would enjoy the methods of persuasion it was possible to employ. The faceless man did enjoy every second with the knives. Plasma could only see his eyes, but the joy shining from within was unmistakable.

They had the captain too. In the cell next to him. He had heard he screams echo through the stone corridors. The captain, screaming. That alone was the only thing that had yet cause him pause. What could they have possibly done to her?


The approach had been a success. The three rough men, Simon, Todd, and Cyrevik had been landed, and were well on their way to success. The captain had brought the ship around in a wide, skirting arc through the clouds when they ran into the patrol. A battleship. The first flares shredded the clouds with a poisonous light while rockets and artillery from the gallion flashed and faded around them.

If Plasma had ever seen the captain fly before, it was nothing to what she did now. Time and time again she effortlessly spiraled, weaved, and juked the rockets. The battleship lay between them and escape. The radios of the enemy proved powerful and effective, summoning a host of foes which would give the largest of armadas pause. All for one tiny ship. Too soon the sky became nothing but fire and force. Shells tore at the side of the ship while the bursting ammunition reduced the propellers to so much twisted metal. 

They careened towards the ground, spilling hydrogen into the night. Plasma remembered watching in horror as a single flare drifted lazily up off of the battleship, tracing his doom with it’s languid motion. A pair of lithe, strong arms wrapped around him and carried him off the boat. The flare kisses the trail of gas ever so gently and it was a blaze of light and heat, flowing through the air faster than his eyes could follow. It met the reservoir in the balloon and fractured the sky, pulling apart space itself.

About halfway to the ground it occurred to Plasma that while the blast had certainly destroyed everything that remained of their boat, it had somehow failed to claim him. Building logically on this premise, it must have followed that he was no longer on the boat. Finally, considering the single arm still wrapped around him, and the patterns of sound being stolen by the wind the captain was still very close. He looked at her livid face, screaming commands and curses into the night that fell behind their plummet. She was holding a drogue chute. Understanding crashed into his mind like a flak round. He quickly tangles himself and the captain in the chute ropes and kicks it out, hoping beyond hope that they were not too late.

They half-drifted, half-careened into the ground below. Plasma was far too busy ensuring he and the captain were still alive to realize that their progress had not gone unmarked. The click of carbine safeties brought him back to the frigid embrace of reality. The captain’s fist slammed suddenly into his jaw and Plasma met the ground hard. She threw herself on top of him, clawing at his uniform and delivering crushing blows to his head and stomach. The soldiers were none too quick to pull her off of him. Eventually they decided that two prisoners were better than one, and Plasma found himself shortly thereafter in the damp, dismal stone of a prison cell.


He was sure they couldn’t have expected much from them. It was, of course, the first day. Still, that scream they had managed to tear from the captain had broken her. She was unrecognizable when they returned her to the cell, blood streamed from her face, where great slashes had been torn. She was missing teeth, and her throat was covered in blue and black blotches.

They sat in silence for some time, letting the stone wall between them serve as both a physical and emotional barrier. Plasma found that he soon felt nothing. No fear, no pain, simply nothing. He floated for a while, around his dreamlike state. Then something tugged him gently back into himself. The effect was devastating. Terror enveloped him like an icy cloud, and the dull throbbing and acute burning returned. But the worst thing was in that cell across the wall.

The captain was talking, in a broken voice so utterly alien to the woman he knew was the last hope he had for survival.

“It hurts so much...”

He fought the sobs, wrestling them into oblivion with every fiber of his will, but he could not combat the tears. They silently followed their tracks down to his chin, dripping to the floor. For some time he did not speak. But then, his expression was set. The tears had not yet dried, but they would.

“We are getting out of here.”
The broken voice choked on something. Surprise?
“What? How?”

Plasma stared at the lock on his cell. Of course, the guards had searched them thoroughly. He thought briefly of the charged round he had managed to slip into his shoe, but they had searched and taken even those. He had nothing. Cursing, he slammed his hand into the metal bars, immediately regretting the action. The additional pain served to sober him somewhat. He had, before the captain had started dumping moonshine into the engines (which he was still at a loss about, how did it even find his way on board?) sent out a coded radio signal, but he wasn’t sure anyone could receive it. They were disavowed anyway.
The memory of the landing entered his mind suddenly. The captain had lunged at him and grabbed awkwardly at his sleeve. At the time, he thought she was angry about the crash, but there might have been a glint of silver as she brought her hand back from his shoulder.

The insignia.

He kicked himself. Of course, he should have removed it when he burnt the folder containing their orders. At least she had seen to that. It was entirely possible they had no idea who they were or why they were here. The small amount of comfort Plasma found in that though turned instantly to dread as he realized it would only fuel their curiosity. He leaned on the bars of the cell, staring morosely into the hallway.

Then he heard it.

A dull thud. A strangled yell, followed by another dull thud. Two figures were advancing down the hallway. The dim light from a gas lamp flared suddenly in the hallway. Simon and Todd were coming down the hall, weapons drawn and looking weary.

“That you, lieutenant? You’ve got some nasty cuts. Stand back.”

Plasma did as he was told. Simon aimed the strange pistol at the lock. It flashed briefly, but little sound issued from it. Instead, steam hissed from a set of vents near the front. He rattled the door briefly and the lock gave. Todd handed him the majority of his belongings. He shook the questions from his head and rapidly dressed himself, loading his sidearm.

“How did...? The captain...” Plasma hissed, indicating the next cell.
“Skies above.” cursed Simon, aiming the weapon again. Todd moved into the cell hoisting the captain’s arm over his shoulders and pulling her to her feet.

“Comon’ miss. We’ve got to get you out.”

The band of four made their way best they could through the maze like cell block. It looked to Plasma like they were the only two prisoners in the whole place. Not a soul did they pass, save a few more guard who were quickly and silently deprived of life. The were out in the open air now, skirting a large grassy area on their way to what Plasma presumed were docks.

“No. We’ve got to go out the other way!” croaked the captain. They ignored her.
Must be delirious.
“Ensign, remember the mission!”

Plasma stopped dead. Slowly, he and Simon turned to face the woman. Surprise blossomed over her face. If there was anything else Plasma needed, it was that. He nodded to Simon.


The first bullet caught her in the throat, the second in the right eye. Todd and Plasma dragged the body into the bushes nearby, then Simon made to set off for the docks. Plasma grabbed his arm.

“We have to find the captain!”
“No chance, Ensign. They fooled you once, and we have no idea where she is. This whole thing could be a trap.”

Plasma glared at him. Then turned back towards the prison building away from the group.
“Do what you like, I’m finding her.”
It was a sudden sharp blow. For a moment he thought he had been shot as the world faded and he sank once again into unknowing.


Plasma rejoined the world of the living in a whirl of sickly, dim light and damp. The smell of diesel filled his nostrils, and the world seemed to be listing gently from side to side.
He jolted upright, slamming his forehead into a low crossbar and tumbling onto the planks below.

“The captain!”

Cyrevik, the big quiet one got up from the stool where the three men were playing cards and lifted Plasma to his feet, handing him a cloth. He felt something warm and wet by his hairline, probed it with his fingers and realized, frowning at the crimson liquid, what the rag was for.

“You should be more careful. It is easy to hurt yourself, being in such a hurry to wake.”

Plasma nodded glumly and looked around the hold of the ship. He tilted his head and looked up at the big man.

“Who is flying?”

Cyrevik smiled.

“The scary lady. After we got you on board we heard a giant bang. Bells were going off and everyone was very confused. We hid on the boat, no use escaping with bells and lights everywhere. Soon other prisoners come to take the other boats. No sense. They race off, and guards come in, get into other boats”.

The big man shrugged, muscle moving in a wave around his neck and shoulders.

“Then guards come on this boat. They don’t find us, and they race off after other prisoners. Catch up to prisoners. We had a not so great fight, yeah? Prisoners leave too quickly to grab bullets. Many surrendered, many died.”

He settled himself back around the little table, picking up a pack of cards. They dance between his hands and the table.

“On the way back, one guard says he sees something in the clouds, a prisoner ship they missed. We fly into the cloud, when we come out again, half of the guard is no longer on ship. Very confusing to us. We run to take out the rest, but before we get out, there is a shot, then a flash off the side of the ship. More confusion: Shot came from helm, but flash is in cloud. Guards go to side of ship. Then ship start to tilt. They grab side, but there is another shot from the helm, and big explosion by side of ship. At the helm is crazy pilot lady, wearing uniform of guard.”

The man deals, cards slicing through the air to land and slide in front of their players.

“You want to play cards?”

Plasma bolts out the door and around to the upper deck. The woman at the helm has a few scratches here and there, but grins fiercely at him.

“Good morning Lieutenant.”


“There you have it, kids.”
They look on in a mix of wonder, disbelief, and excitement.
“Is it true?”
“Did you really escape?”
“How did she get the uniform?”
He laughs and dismisses their questions with a wave of his hand.
“Why don’t you ask her?” he smiles and points to the doorway behind him. They turn in unison.
A tall woman with grey streaks in her auburn hair gazes imperiously back at them all.

“Why don’t you pull up a chair, and fill in the blanks, Admiral.”

The Lounge / How'd you find GoI?
« on: June 07, 2013, 07:48:14 am »
I know a bunch (or maybe just some) found this game at PAX only a few months ago.
Others encountered a steam sale, and decided to pick it up. I did both.

I'm just a bit curious, how did you first hear about/see the game?

The Cantina / And he sits alone.
« on: May 30, 2013, 03:44:08 pm »
The boy slips through the doors, noise washing over him, threatening to sweep him back into the street.
He twists under the maid, soliciting a curse as she struggles with the tray of drinks like a helmsman in a hurricane.

The piano punctuates the rise and fall of the conversation. It is lending halting, jaunty pace to the room, lurching in time with some of the less hearty patrons.
The boy lurks by a wall, eyes flicking over the crowd, back and forth. Suddenly they fix and the lad is off like a jackrabbit, dodging easily between the lumbering drunks.

He comes at last to a table in the corner. A gristled man, with a tangle of dirty black hair set with sunken, hallowed eyes for a face sits drinking something with a potent, almost metallic scent. The drops that fall on the table sizzle, scoring the already pocked surface. His grey dirty coat shows some signs of once being a bright navy, but the grip of time and wear has not been kind to the once shining medals and brilliant thread.

The gnarled hand sets down the drink. His gaze remains fixed, seeing past the table and floor in front of it, bending around the very fabric of time into a world of shame and disgrace. The drink is quickly finished. His frown pivots slowly, seeking out the girl who can bring more of the sweet distraction. Instead it finds the boy. If there was once wonder or curiosity in the dead eyes, it had long fled the consuming darkness that lurks there.

Undeterred, the boys hands ball themselves into tight fists. A moment passes between them before the man glances up at the approaching maid. His eyes tell her everything she needs to know, and long before she reaches the table she has already turned back to the bar, shouting something above the raucous crowd. His stare returns to the table but no longer sees beyond it.

When the boy speaks, there is quiet. His voice shakes with something, fear, rage, perhaps even hope. It is a young voice, but it carries emotions far beyond it's ken.
"You were there, weren't you? You were the only one left at the end."

The man turns again to the lad, an inexpressible pain now taking refuge in his eyes.
"Leave me in peace, laddie. I've no want to hear o' t'ings past."
"But you were there!"
The words tare themselves from the boy, accusing, rebuking, demanding. Little can be caught of the conversation, the sea of other voices swallows the words, churning with the currents of sound only those who have tasted the sweet nectar of liquid courage can conjure.
"What happened to them all!? Why didn't they come back!? WHY DIDN'T ANY OF THEM COME BACK!?"
The bitter force behind the words falls cuts through the tides of noise. But the momentary lull and turning of a few heads curiously does not last long. The piano never falters, and soon shepherds each patron back into the bliss of drink and company.

The old sailor waves at the seat across from him.
"Sit boy. I've naught to say that'll change t'ings, but I 'spect you've a right, after all..."
The boy sniffs, wiping the sorrow from his eyes with the back of a hand, and glaring at the man. But he sits.
"Understand boy, my condition is af'er this, you leave me be. Seek no more answers here, I'll 'ave no more."
The boy wordlessly assents, face a mask of anticipation mixed with latent rage and blame.

The old man begins his tale...

The ship hands impossibly in the air. Not because of the harsh machinations of gravity, but rather that nature in general is a cruel mistress, and often sees fit to make her wrath felt in the form of dark clouds and brilliant bolts. One such avatar of rage loomed between the ironically named Iron Typhoon and her destination, some fifty miles south. The captain and his mate stood on the upper deck in silence. Presently Jiles, the first mate, lowered his looking glass.
"It looks to be a real mother of storms captain. Not sure she could take it."
The captain glared at the storm, brooding. His broad shoulders hunched as he came to his decision.
"We canna wait. She'll not get the best o' us. 'af ahead, Mr. Jiles."
The color drained from Jiles face, but he nodded his terrified assent and relayed the commands to the engine room.
The great engines of the Iron Typhoon churned into life, though their roar was dwarfed by sudden rolls of thunder bellowing out from the storm ahead.

The rain hit like a wall of needles, slicing and stabbing sideways against any exposed skin. The crew quailed at the force of the storm, but the bellows of the captain struck a greater fear into their hears and the ship pressed on. The Iron Typhoon cut through the wind and the rain, engines groaning under the strain of combat with the wind. They were in the heart of it now. The rain seemed not so bad here, content to crash down from above in great drops. Water began to cascade off the edges of the shallow pond which was once the deck. Very little could be seen through the sheets of descending water, save for the occasional pillar of light arcing through the black.

It was during one such flash that he saw it. Merely by chance, the smaller ship fighting against the wind, large main cannon turning slowly to face...
The last words were cut of in the roar of thunder. Brilliant fireflies spouted from the forward guns of the Goldfish above them, shrieking towards the hull of the ship and adding their voice to the thunder filling the air. Much of the starboard size of the ship was now hurtling through the storm. The wreckage of armor, guns, and crewmen fell silently.

The Goldfish fired a second salvo, tearing into the very heart of the ship. Glowing tendrils of life descended from the big ship: burning trails of diesel fuel falling into the black cloud. Fire was spreading across the deck. The captains fought to wrest his ship down through the storm. Getting to the ground before the fire spread to the balloon was the only thing occupying his mind. Yet this was also in the mind of his assailant.

A fracture report sounded from the little ship bobbing above him. With horror he realized the Goldfish had brought a broadside Carronade to bear. His eyes flicked to the balloon as hundreds of jagged rounds made their way through the tough material, leaving it useless. For a long moment the ship was still. Then the captain felt his stomach drop in that perilous moment of weightlessness.

Something sliver lanced through the air and into the deck, settling firmly in the wood. A rope now linked the Goldfish and the plummeting Iron Typhoon. The captain was lost in wonder: no one could be as insane or suicidal as the pilot of the other craft. They were descending nearly at the same rate! But there was nothing for it. He could only hope that the drag from the tattered balloon and sails would be enough to slow the ship. He threaded his arms into the rigging, giving over his fate to the ropes.

He came to in the wreck of his ship. The storm had let up somewhat, but a steady rain still pelted down from on high. He blinked. Several figures were moving about the wreck, carrying away cargo and powder. A few fires burned lazily here and there. He noted that some of the characters carried extinguishers.
"Oy!" a sharp excited voice called out near by. A woman with hair the color of bright gold, and a smooth, cruel yet regal face appeared around the wreckage. She held a pistol, and was pointing it directly at him, a smile playing with her mouth.
"We've got a live one! What are the odds!? Well boys, I think we can add a ransom to our haul!"
The cheers of the pirate crew served only to remind him of the screams of his own.

The boy stares. He was right. The story changed very little. His features tighten, brow knitting as he slides from his chair and squirms through the singing crowd. The old man watches him go, trying to remember which one he belongs to. The screams echo through his head again, and he hastily grabs the pungent mug the bar maid brings, draining half at once.

She returns, and he sits alone.

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