The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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Writing in the dust of dawn!

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Posted by Alice belladora, 3:22am, 14 May, 2009

Spektor flies through the night, occasionally deflecting bullets. If a person was perched atop him, they would see a city. A city filled with lights, and noise. A city that almost looks as if it's burning. If this little person tore his gaze from the amazing spectacle, and looked far off into the distance, he'd see an armada of military ships advancing. If he turned around, without falling off, he'd see a magnificent sky-ship, captained by Lady alice, guns manned by a Mr Radek. Of course, this person wouldn't know the names of these people.
Spektor saw all of these things, but in a different way, being an owl, and despite being an extraordinary one. He thinks, "sky, and a city. I know the city well. And i can see ships. The wrong ships. These ships are very bad news indeed. I must report the situation."
Of course, we can only assume that it what he was thinking. Only very few people can read the minds of winged animals.

He flies towards the sky-ship, closer and closer, and finally lands slightly inelegantly on Alice's arm.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 11:09pm, 14 May, 2009

*looks even more awkward as Alice stumbles back, scratches the back of his head nervously, and watches her fade off into the distance, trying his best to mingle with the crowd... Seemingly spaced out, he fails to notice the ominous man in black shades tapping him on the shoulder* "Excuse me, sir. But you seem to have forgotten that the other guests are returning to their seats. You should do the same-" *As the situation collapses around the room, people falling out cold, gunfire heard off in the distance and people screaming, Radek snaps out of his dazedness, clocks the man on the back of the head with a priceless-looking vase, and looks around the room.* ... Alice. *He darts out, then quickly darts back, grabbing the man's rather stylish sunglasses, when he feels a familiar tug around the lapels*

Miss Belladora? Alice! Look, sorry about earlier, I didn't mean- What the hell's going on, and what should I do- Guns?! I haven't hit a target right in three year- Right. *He grins confidentally* I can't fail you then, can I? Probably not the best time to mention it, but it's refreshing to see you back in those excellent socks o' yours. Let's cause some chaos!... *he stares briefly at the pocket-watch, then Alice's unfamiliarly unhinged smile, then takes her hand*

What isn't interesting when you're involved? All right, you get to the controls, let's find Leticia, and I'll take the guns. By the way, the idea of an aerial dance sounds wonderful. I'd offer to play the violin, but - *briefly drowned out by gunfire* - rather hear you play, anyway! *pauses as they pass through the staging area, or more appropriately the wreckage area* What ha- Nevermind. Lovely night for a gunfight...

Spektor? The magical institute? That group of trees? No, the people who made the trees move? Fill me in later this is crazy! *Laughs manically, and sidesteps a smoking hole in the floor, stumbling, his fingers grasping out and just barely reaching hers. He looks up as they climb the rope ladder and smiles* Don't worry now. If you fall, I'll catch you. and if I fall after that, Spektor'll have to catch us, won't he? *chuckling at this unfunny comment, he follows up, occasionally stopping to twist or dodge the constant gunfire, then get's hauled up by Alice, collapsing on the deck*

This feels... eerily familiar, haaaa.... *pants, then quickly gets to his feet* Leticia! Pleasure to see you again, glad you got this thing back in the air. Eh, being criminals isn't so bad, as long as they don't make us look stupid in the wanted posters... Don't either of you die now. Captain, I'll be securing the bridge. *Smiles grimly at Alice's words, right arm rising up in an salute* I expect we'll be out of here in no time. Heh. And don't you worry about me... You never really forget how these things work.

*Hefting the cumbersome weapon across his waist, and tightly winding the feed along his side, he walks to the corner deck, staring at the fire bursting through the sky, staring down the ships wearing military colours with cold grey eyes* Amateurs. This is where the sky ends, for you. You assholes, do you even know who we are? Anyone who tries to take her life... I'll kill all of you! *the roar of gunfire in quick bursts hisses through the air as shell casings echo against the deck; oddly enough, it's almost drowned out by Radek's laughter. It seems to go on forever, until finally Radek sinks to the ground, surrounded by empty cartridges. His shoulder is oozing thick, red blood, but he doesn't seem to notice as he reaches into his suit pocket, pulling out a battered revolver. He spins it around idly, then looks into the sky.*

At least they aren't firing as much anymore. Alice and Leticia must have lost them. Good job on that... Haha, those rockets helped too. Of course - *unsteadily gazes down the ironsights at a figure on navigating one of the skyships, smiling as the figure falls through the sky after a loud, mechanical crackle* - we're not home yet... gotta find more ammunition. Leticia, didn't she show me some around here.... Spektor? *stares at the owl as it soars hastily through the air* Hmph, can't let you steal all the action, featherhead. *grins to himself, lurches to his feet, and gathers ammunition as quickly as he can, feeding it into the chain-belt with a slight wince*

Posted by Alice belladora, 2:07am, 15 May, 2009

*Missiles fly overhead, narrowly missing the ship. The whole sky seems to be on fire, as does the city.*

Oi! Spektor! What're you waiting for?! heal him! if he dies, we're all doomed! Also, it'd put a bit of a dampener on the situation. Hang in there, Mr Radek! Remember, you need to join us for that dance later! I'll play "moonlight sonata!"

*Grits her teeth and executes a vicious three-point turn.* Something in the engine objects to this, with a loud crunch.*

Damn! damn and blast!

*She grabs a conveniently placed communication device, and shrieks down it.*

Leticia?! where do we go now?! What? I'm shouting because a can't hear myself think above this wretched gunfire! ...East?! Oh, alright then! but if we die, I'll haunt you! you won't hear the last of me!

*Looks grim, and spins the ship around furiously. She very nearly flies off, but lands on a conveniently placed Mr Radek.*

Ouch. Ouch. Damn. ...uh? huh?! Radek?! sorry! ha, lucky you were there! how's the wound?! Spektor! help him, when you're not busy deflecting bullets!

*The gunfire becomes more furious, culminating with a small missile passing inches to the left of Alice's head.*

I probably shouldn't be trying to engage you in lively conversation! *Throws a box of shotgun shells at him, then shouts again down the communication device.*

L, we need you to fly the ship the last few miles outta here! I need to help Mr Radek! we really need more than one, wait, two people shooting! where the bloody hell is a good crew when you need them?! *spektor releases a wave of fire*
There's nothing for it, you'll have to release arnold. He'll be fine. I'm certain he has some magickal qualities. If not... well, he'll be one less person to feed. I'm not being cruel! this is war we're talking about! do it. Who's captain? Whaddaya mean, you because it's your ship?! Fine! Just get up here quickly!

*With a strange look in her eye, she swings her rocket launcher onto her back with surprising strength, and proceeds to climb up onto the highest point on the ship. She manages to take down a single enemy ship.*

This message was last edited on 15 May 2009.

Posted by Lettuce-Chan, 4:10am, 15 May, 2009

Reporting for duty, captain! *She bustles in, carrying two mugs of tea, a large map, and arnold. She places the mugs in the vicinity of the gunman, and releases arnold, who flies perhaps 50 feet into the sky.*

I've got the rudder, skip! *she does an expert barrel-roll and easily avoids a building.*
We've got a way to go before we're out of here! Don't worry, though, because i think you'll find we've got someone to watch our backs!

*A battered yet very imposing ship comes into view from behind, rumbling softly*

Eckstein! Good to see you! i knew you'd turn up! as you can see, we're in a bit of a bother! Be very grateful if ya could help us! *Eckstein can be seen moving along the deck of his ship, carrying an enormous machine gun. He proceeds to light up the sky with gunfire. A rocket hits the top deck.*

They want a fight, do they? I'll give em' a fight! alice! show em' what you've got, and both of you, hold onto your pants!
This message was last edited on 15 May 2009.

Posted by Alice belladora, 5:11am, 16 May, 2009

When did i think blowing up an opera house for the second time was a good idea? Well, at least we're almost out of here. I see old eckstein couldn't resist coming along to help us... always loved a fight to the death, he did.

*Assumes a serious stance, and backs up as far as she can go.*

If i get this wrong, I'll end up resembling a carpet stain. I've been out of action too long. Death defying stunts were common place back in the old days. You might have an empty pocket from all the muggers, but adventurers were free to go were they chose!

Hmm. Mr Radek certainly has some skills!

*Takes a deep breath, and runs at full pelt towards the railing, clears it, and lands somewhat inelegantly on the deck of eckstien's ship. She straightens up and salutes the captain.*

Captain! good to see you again! you've lost weight. But enough of the small talk. L's ship is a fine vessel, but yours is still one of the fastest flying today. I think we should leave her to cover us while we get the heck out of here!
Oh, don't worry about her, sir. She's one of the best. I've been out of action for so long i don't know my port from my starboard... or whichever! *Having to shout very loudly from all the noise.*
You'll have to pick up mr Radek! He's somewhat injured! I'll man the gun turret while you're gone! I might be rusty, but i can still shoot like you remember! Don't bother explaining the situation to her, she'll understand.

*Eckstien nods wordlessly, whether he heard everything or not uncertain. He lumbers over to the side of the ship, picks up a rope, gives it a tug, fastens it to some mechanical protuberance, and swings across with surprising agility for a man whose limbs are bigger than most people's bodies. Meanwhile, alice proceeds to shoot the living snot out of anything that dares come close.*

This message was last edited on 24 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 5:51am, 16 May, 2009

*Quiet. The whole word is making a lot of noise; bright red flashes in a monochromatic world.

Someone shouting. A lot of people shouting. Comforting things? Thing's he'd rather forget. A familiar face from long ago raising a flag high, then plunging the spike into someone's chest. Laughter. Gunfire.

A searing pain in the back of his shoulder... Something flying by. An owl, possibly? No, certainly. The fuzzy images get clearer again, dreams peeling away from reality as Alice's voice comes into range...*

Ha... *Radek opens his eyes and shuts them rapidly, then clambers to his feet* Damnit, seem to have fallen asleep on my feet for a minute there. Didn't want you to have to give me a burial in the sky! I'm afraid of heights too, y'know? *Winks widely, not seeming to notice the blood flow from his shoulder nearly gone* And I wouldn't miss that dance for the world! *Looks down, and realize while half-unconscious he seems to have reloaded the ammunition belt*

Well, at least something in my damn mind is working! *Sweeps around hastily while making mental notes of the enemy airships, floating heavily in the sky like corpse-bloated dragonflies* Communicator, communicator. Damn! Alice, firing order? Orders, captain-

*Eyes widen as she suddenly becomes much closer than anticipated* Well, that was unexpected... Handy. Er, owl there! My hands are on the guns- Gun! Machine gun you, see. I'm going to go shoot things now, just don't you dare fall off! I'll be here to catch you if you fall, as many times as ya need. You know - *opens mouth as if still drinking tea and eating bourbons, while a rather large explosion rocks the deck* - perhaps you shouldn't be talking to me right at this moment, but it does wonders for my morale! *Winks and tries to give a rogueish smile, grabbing the shells and sliding them into place, his expression becoming oddly at ease as he takes aim and fires at the skyships slowly closing in*

... You're a genius, you know? I think in some way, I even like this part of ya. Maybe I'm just a fool for tough women. Well, curse this then, we're not gonna get out of this talking... but I just can't keep my mouth shut around you, heh. *Leans forward, gun slung over his back confidentally as he takes cover behind a crate, firing occasionally, although no matter how accurate his shooting, only tiny figures drop from far-away ships. He mutters quietly to himself, repeating the same words over and over again. His voice is so quiet and the roar of gunfire and explosions so loud it is impossible to make out what he's saying... Although he stops with preturnatural grace at the familiar scent of warm, well-prepared tea.*

Leticia! Damn it's good to see you again! Well, in person, technically - *glances up at Alice, still taking excellent aim from above with the bulky rocket launcher* - although for once I'll have to decline the offer of good cheer. *Continues talking casually, while non-chalantly firing at an enemy ship. He stops to salute to Arnold, who looks more vulture than hawk by this point.* G'bye, you damn pirate bird! I know you're tough enough to survive this crazy hellhole! Maybe we'll meet in the next life! *chuckles to himself, then falls to his feet as the ship rolls to the side, quickly getting up and rubbing his back*

Someone to watch our backs... Who on earth would help a group of crazy fugitives like us against what seems to me - and I admit, I'm pretty much clueless now 'bout what's going on - against a fri- a private army?! *his eyes widen as a the familiar face of Eckstein, who is certainly not serving drinks today, lights up the sky with the ruins of pursuing ships* Well, belle miss Belladora... Seems to me the few friends you've got, are worth dying for. Can't let ya down now, can I? *Smiling confidentally, he gets back into position as Eckstein's machine guns lights up the evening sky*

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 6:17am, 16 May, 2009

Alice... *Slides slugs into the chamber of his shotgun, advancing under the railing that she managed to hoist herself up on, far above his view* Sometime, you'll have to tell me about the first time you tried to blow the thing up. My only regret is that I wasn't there when ya did it. As for this being a fight to the death, well, I reckon that good old Eckstein knows something that I know... and you know. We're not dead yet, and I'm only gonna die if you do. Haaa, sorry for blacking out earlier. You weren't concerned for little old me, were ya?... Not that you can hear this. *smiles sadly, then gasps, the stock of the shotgun clinking against the hull as his eyes widen*

What are you- Alice? ALICE!!!! *Rushes to the edge of the deck, not seeming to notice the shells tearing far too close* ... Haha. Hahahahahah! You win, you crazy, wonderful women. Taking out several entire ships (although you doooo have rockets), and then jumping from a moving ship to another..? *Winces, suddenly, then blinks* Er... Is Eckstein's ship getting closer? What's going - Ah.

*his eyes widen, then narrow* I see. Leticia? *He glances up, noting her face as the beaten but proud ship draws closer* You have to be safe. I think I heard Alice yelling that she's going to curse or haunt you if you die here, ya know?... It's her they want, so they should leave you alone if we leave. You need this more than I do! *Gritting his teeth, shoulders the machine gun and what little ammunition is left for it, and perches it against the deck, causing it to sputter and fire endlessly in the direction of the pursuing ships.* None of us'll die here. Fate seems to tell me so. *grins confidentally, saluting, as he takes a few steps backward, advancing towards the now-boarded and familiar form of Eckstein*

"Normally, I'd offer you a drink," - the polite, yet firm voice of the captain intones over the whir of the engine - "But right now, a few of my favorite customers seemed to be in a fix." *With a single pull, he hauls Radek's wounded form over the hull, the rope twitching but holding as the two swing back* Hmn, that owl did a decent job of holding you together, as much as I try to avoid relying on magick too much in the middle of a fight." *Grunting, the captain helps Radek aboard* "We can catch up later though, get over there and help Miss Belladora!" *Radek nods, sliding his revolver into his hand and dashing to the bridge as the captain looms back towards the engine room*

Nice shooting, Alice! Ya know, I've been trying to keep a score chart going in my head; seems like you've done yer fair share of sharpshooting, yourself! I'm gonna to tie ya by the time the good captain has us out of here, handicap or no! *squeezing the trigger, a round flies off towards a distant ship, tearing a hole in the hull. Five rounds in quick succession, and the ship is slowly lagging behind... although not falling.* Hmn, I really should get some exploding shells the next time I have the chance, shouldn't I? *flashes a grin, then stares at the sky, slowly melting into dawn*

We'll be through the worst soon. I can feel it.

Posted by Alice belladora, 1:30pm, 16 May, 2009

*Continues shooting, oblivious to pretty much everything, until she notices mr Radek.*

Nice to have you in the land of the living, boy. Did i just call you boy? sorry! shooting ships out of the sky really does take you back to the olden days. But i do go on about them!

*Without warning, she leaps off the gun turret, having seen something. She picks up her rocket launcher, and fires at a distant target, which quickly becomes an exploding target, then a rapidly falling target. She wordlessly tosses the weapon to mr Radek, seemingly listening, or perhaps watching, something far off.*

Radek! keep yourself alert, because I'm taking over this vessel. No, i haven't been gripped by an insatiable urge to do a bit of piracy. That can wait. I'm taking us out of here. Eckstein will come and cover you, don't worry. He's a fine gunman. This time, It's a personal matter. I'm gonna take down that wicked sorceress, if It's the very last thing i do. I can feel her. She gives off a very potent magickal aura, which one learns to recognise if you spend a lot of time around Elders.

*Runs off, looking very serious. A few minutes later, Eckstein comes up, looking solemn. He picks up the rocket launcher as if it were a toy. The ship lurches to the side, and does a three point turn. The ship lurches off at about, say, 160 miles per hour. The engine protests bitterly.*

"Be careful, Skinner. We can't have one of my best customers falling off. You'd better hold onto your hat, as Miss Alice is a bit of an over-enthusiastic driver."
This message was last edited on 16 May 2009.

Posted by Lettuce-Chan, 2:06pm, 16 May, 2009

What the-?! *Eckstein's ship becomes a noisy smudge in the distance. She turns the ship around elegantly, and moves forward, gathering speed. The smudge becomes a very large, possibly recognisable blob, but still far away.*

Alice?!! what in the heck are ya doing?! i can't keep up, and watch yer backs at the same time! You can't start picking fights with angry sorceresses! not now! blimey. I can only hope you know what you're doing.

*Spektor flies alongside, with the ease of all wise and magickal birds. She takes a pair of binoculars, and tries to see what's happening. A loud bang. A bright flash in the distance. Another missile, nothing to worry about. Two people. A big one and a smaller one. Two gunmen. They become recognisable. Mr Radek and Old Eckstein. Someone standing, on the opposite end of the ship, looking somewhat manic, and treating the rudder like it had done her a personal injury. Spektor overtakes the ship, and becomes a flying dot. He gives out a low, musical cry. Another ship can be seen. A big, dangerous vessel. Alice steers the ship towards it.*

She's gone stark raving mad, that woman. Well, she's always been mad, but not suicidal.
I'll have to find some way to help. Damn!
If they get into a tight spot, I'll blow that horrible sorceress out of the sky. More than she deserves. Damn.

*The ship slows down, and comes to a halt. It waits, rumbling softly. The dawn begins to break, a beautiful sight in contrast to the events recently unfolding. It begins to rain softly.*

Damn. Rain. Just what we need.

If you die, alice, I'm gonna be the one who haunts you. We've known each other too long.
If it comes to it, we'll go down together, fighting. That much i know for sure. But you're the sort of person who survives everything, aren'tya?
Please be careful.

*Throws her tea straight down her throat, despite it being stone cold.*

This message was last edited on 16 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 6:18am, 17 May, 2009

Hah, well, I'll be your boy if you call me one.. although I have to guess that I'm older than you, ha!.. The olden days... It does kinda feel like, allofa sudden, we're much younger, doesn't it? *Whistles as the ship she fires at explodes into a beautiful red line on the horizon, then rapidly sinks out of the sky, catching the launcher somewhat clumsily as it's thrown to him.*

Taking over this vessel? What's gotten into you know, Alice? Alice! *Scrabbles over the to where she's standing, an intense look in his eyes* I don't care how wicked or insane this person is, or how badly she wronged you. Answer me honestly, are you going to get out of this alive? Not that I think I can stop you- *stares at her solemnly* - but I don't mind that... as long as I get to stay here with you. *flashes a quick smile* Ha, well, I won't worry if Eckstein's got my back! Just keep us in the sky! *Jumps down back to the deck, wearing a somber expression as he hears Eckstein's feet drawing closer*

Tastes like tin in the air- I'd say that means either rain, or high magic. Or perhaps both. *chuckles over the whirring complaints of the engine, one hand slipping from the barrel of his revolver to a nearby girder*
Gwah-! Yer not kidding, I only flew onea these things for a few seconds, what's she planning to do, ram into someone?!

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 6:35am, 17 May, 2009

*Starts laughing joyfully as the clouds burst around the chaotic, beautiful glow the rising dawn, staring up skywards as tiny drops of rain fall from the sky* Well whadya know? Looks like it decided to give us some rain, after all, eh Eckstein? Alice- *turns to smile at Alice and notices her determined, feverish expression, hair wild and untamed as she commands the wheel. His fingers tighten and clench as he turns towards the meancing ship advancing through the horizon, cutting through clouds like a giant silvery knife of steel and iron.*

Eckstein... That's the person causin' us alla these problems, right? The one that Alice wants to wipe off the face of the map, and that's pursueing us all this way round and sunder? *Spins the cylinder on his revolver, sliding shells in gracefully, an unreadable expression in his eye* If we take that one out, what's the chance that this sorceress bites it as well? Or is she the type who just won't die..? I met her for a few brief seconds, ya know... She seemed the type.

Let's get close, and end this. ALICE! Do whatever you're doing, captain my captain- er, although technically, you're still the captain here, sir. *Grins at Eckstein, who manages a chuckle in the midst of sending a rocket spiraling towards a soon-plummeting craft* If you want to take her on, let's hit her head on! I'm rarin' for a fight.. and she won't see us coming if we're headed right towards her! *The metallic clink of his revolver echoes throughout the dawn sky, as the cold rain cascades against the deck*

My only regret, should I fall of the deck, take a missile to the chest, or otherwise die-in-service is that I didn't get to share another talk over some warm tea with you. *Grins widely, then leans over the railing of the deck, as if the rapidly-closing in ships and their crews can hear them, and begins to curse horribly, uttering words of such dire intonation that to read them would cause the mind to blank*

Posted by Alice belladora, 6:45am, 17 May, 2009

*Glares at the blackened, imposing piece of mechanical wonder, wondering if she is going to live to see another dawn. Rain falls quietly, making her wet and even more serious. The stand off at dawn has begun. She turns, and finds a recently sodden and cursing Radek, and an always-steadfast captain Eckstein. She hadn't been listening to anything that had just been said, being lost in her own dark thoughts.*

Hello, chaps. As you can see, we're in a bit of a bother. *Glances up at the sky.* And now It's raining, of all things. I know it looks like suicide, but if I'm ever to return to my shop, and not be treated like dirt by the authorities, i have to get rid of her. She's got her hands in many political pies. And she hates me all because of a little theft. You'd have thought such a rich and intelligent woman would be less petty, but it isn't so. You might have guessed i have a great love of antiques, timepieces especially. Well, i stole something very magickal and old from her. Although i was under duress from one of the elders of the magickal institute, so i don't believe i can be held completely accountable for my actions.

It was such a long time ago, and she still holds a grudge. I never expected it to be this bad. I had to blow up that opera house. Leticia Isn't allowed to fly anything in the city anymore, because of that first time. She had to collect me by force, and i had some business to attend to with a chap i used to deal with, until cheated me out of 500 gold coins. I hoped my cunning disguise woud be enough to fool those ridiculous henchmen. It was not so.

So, to cut a long story short, as i always do, because otherwise i'd bore you all to death, i have to destroy the sorceress. Here's the plan. It's not exactly brilliant, since i just thought of it, but i think we have a good chance of success.

1. I execute a death defying stunt, leaping onto the balcony of the enemy ship. Eckstein can give me a push.

2. You fellows can stay here, and keep our ship defended. Captain, you can man the rudder.

3. I will sneak inside, and plant a bomb. I think i can get in undetected. The sorceress, or to call her by her real name, madame Beatrice, will be expecting a big, fancy attack, possibly involving suicidal penguins. She knows my style. Therefore, i must do exactly what she thinks i won't do. A head on attack would be incredibly stupid and foolhardy, if i may say so. We must forgo fun and exitement just this once.

4. I run faster than an icecube melts in hell towards the top deck, where i can execute another daring leap onto Eckstein.

5. We get the hell out of here. As fast as we can go. I'll be driving.
*Her eyes begin to sparkle with manic exitement.*

If i get caught, i suggest you guys let rip with all the ammunition you have in stock, and i will ride the explosion out of there.
Hopefully it won't come to that. I've never ridden an explosion before.
I have ridden a baby dragon, though, so it probably won't be much different.

What say you?

*Eckstein nods slowly, a resigned look in his eyes. Alice nods back, a little curtly, and hurries off, her top hat gathering a small moat of water around the brim. She empties it over the side, and disappears from view. Spektor, having watched the scene from a high vantage point, glides after her, hooting softly.*

"Skinner, you'd better help me give her a push. She's heavier than she looks. And if i hear you using language like that again in front of a lady, I'll knock you into next week, whether or not you're one of my best customers."
This message was last edited on 17 May 2009.

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