An Auspicious Meeting


Gaelene.jpg Lyrinal.jpg Xantin.jpg

Date: July 13th, 2011
Location: Landing: Cove
Synopsis: Lyrinal and Xantin are introduced to the local pod by Gaelene.
Rating: G
Logger: Gaelene

The soil gets softer and sandier as one wanders closer to the cove to the north of Landing proper, eventually simply turning into low dunes of patches of long grass that is often whipped about by the wind coming off the water. A cart path leads away from the road through the low dunes and to the beach proper where the water laps in an easy, gentle rhythm on most days when there are no storms. The beach of the cove winds in a wide curve, allowing both swimmers and those seeking to fish from one of the piers able to enjoy both at the same time without crowding one another. The main pier stretches from one of the taller and more substantial dunes all the way out into the deeper waters of the cove while a few shorter piers branch off on either side to allow for small boats to moor.

It's about quarter after noon on a clear day and, as per usual, this means Gael is out with the dolphins. Today, though, she sent messages to two people letting them know the pod was around for play, and so the bell is still reverbrating as she tells Dare (and, by extension, everyone else) that they'll meet some new people today.

Since it's rare to spend a lot of time in the water, even for a Seacrafter, full wetsuits likely aren't common yet. Good swimsuits, however, are. Lyrinal is not the sort you'd expect to see in one of these, but there she is. A one-piece black suit shapes snug to her form and a pair of soft, light-weight shorts are tied snug with laces at her hips. She's hauling with her a small bag and the reason soon becomes apparent a good ways from the water as she dumps boots and even the eyepatch she often wears into it. Revealing her scarred face fully for view, though the blinded eye is still closed. She lifts a hand in greeting to Gaelene as she heads for the water.

Xantin is one recipient of the messages, and so he's to be found striding over the grass and sand to the cove. At first, anyway: the closer he gets to the water, the more hesitant the man starts to look. Thirty Turns old and dubious about the sea when a pre-teen is happy to splash around in the water? But, there you have it. Xantin's slowed down to practically a crawl now, watching the water and, by extension, the grey bodies of the dolphins. They, at least, have him curious enough to get right down to the water's edge, back just far enough that the tide can't yet lap at his booted feet, but in a line with Gaelene. Lyrinal is just passing him, and the lanky woman gets a look, though there's no double take at her scarred face. He's seen worse. "So…I was right in wearing clothes I don't mind getting wet for this?" The computersmith asks of Gaelene, watching the girl.

Gaelene grins at something one of the dolphins says, then turns to the new arrivals. "Hello!" she exclaims. "Welcome to the dolphin exhibit." She nods in rely to Xantin's question, then turns back to the pod. "This is Master Seacrafter Lyrinal, and this is Xantin. You have to be gentle with him; he doesn't like swimming too much." A distinct "Aw!" is heard coming from several of the dolphins, followed by a chorus of whistled "Hello"s.

If Lyrinal finds amusement in Xantin's dislike of swimming, well… actually, it's probably apparent. The woman smirks. She does look back to Gaelene as she wades into the water, but it's not long before her eye is drawn to the dolphins themselves.

Xantin sees the smirking out of the corner of his eye, but opts to ignore it. The noises made by the dolphins do, however, get him staring at them more intently than before. He does, at least, offer a greeting to Lyrinal, despite her attitude towards his distaste for water. "Hey." And then he's pulling off his boots one at a time, so that he can wade hesitantly into the water, bare foot. The shorts and vest stay, but they're notably ragged - ones he doesn't mind getting splashed or possibly dirtied, then. "They all got names, these guys?" He asks Gaelene, gesturing to the grey bodies in the water, just out of his reach as he stays back from deeper water, for now.

Gaelene nods, and begins pointing them out and reeling off names. The first are Dare and his sister, Dart. All of the names are short, usually one syllable, and are real words. As the humans enter the water the dolphins click encouragingly, and a couple splash Lyra playfully. They don't splash Xantin, however.

Lyrinal is just that kind of person. She finds humour in suffering. When you've lost sight in an eye and lost your wonderfully attractive features, well… you have to find humor in such things. She does manage a brief smile as she's splashed, splashing back towards the dolphins. "Never thought I'd be doin' somethin' like this."

Xantin is keeping up, just about. They all look pretty much the same to him, so he's not going to be remembering which is which any time soon. He stays out of the way of their splashing, though quickly realises they're purposefully not aiming it at him. Oh. He can relax a little now, and even wades in deep enough that the dolphins can get close to him, if they so wish. "How d'you talk to them?" Like Lyrinal, Xantin seems rather overawed at what's going on.

The dolphins split into three groups; Dare, Dart, and a few of the younger mammals staying near Gael, while two other groups form rings around the other two people. "Bloofish?" one of those near Gaelene asks, sounding almost wistful.Gael pulls out a knife and begins to remove the parasite while she nods to Lyrinal, and answers Xantin, "Just talk normally. They understand pretty much everything we say, and they'll ask if they don't." Gael rubs the knife on her shorts, then resheathes it.

Lyrinal watches the dolphins that form up around her, turning slowly to try to view them all with that eye. After a moment, she reaches out slowly with the intent to touch one of them. Her fingers are firm, but gentle. "Is this… all the dolphins there are? Or just a group of them?"

Xantin stares some more, at Gaelene and her knife as she does…whatever it is she's doing to that dolphin. "Bloofish?" He echoes the dolphin's word, looking at Gaelene's face now for her answer. His gaze isn't there for long, though, drawn to the dolphins surrounding him. His muscles tense up some, as if he's worried there's going to be splashing, but they're not doing anything right now. "Hello," he tries, sounding (and feeling) silly, talking to these water animals. He glances over when Lyrinal asks that question, eyes swivelling to look at Gaelene as he, too, wants to know the answer.

Gaelene says, "Doesn't their skin feel neat? I'm so glad they're not scaly and slimy like fish." Then she catches herself and says, "Not that I mind touching fish, of course." The dolphins are not splashing Xantin, and in fact seem to have deemed themselves his guardians, bobbing and clacking encouragingly if he tries to wade in more deeply, and replying with enthusiastic whistles of "hello". "They're just one group. It's called a "pod"," Gaelene answers."

"Pod." Lyrinal tries out the word. "Poood." Hmm! She finally gives a small, quick nod. "Interesting." She continues to touch the dolphins, watching them. "A shame you can't pass my thanks on to the shipf-" she stops herself, using the correct word: "dolphins that saved me years ago."

"You're all very well-behaved," Xantin comments in a low voice to his ring of companions. The skin comments prompt him to wade out further still, so that he's more on their level due to the water level. Now he might even reach out to touch one, if they'll let him. He's trying to get used to the fact that these creatures are sentient - treating them like the dragons he occasionally has contact with seems to be his current approach. Only these 'dragons' talk back, as evidenced by the whistled hellos. Interesting. "Uh…I'm Xantin." What else can he say to start out with?

"Name, name!" Whistles Dare, begin to tail walk. "Who saved you?" asks Dart. The other dolphins nearby take up the question, echoing "Name?" and "Who?" Meanwhile, over in Xantin's area the dolphins keep in a ring as they escort him out more deeply. When they notice him reaching out, one breaks formation and approaches so he can touch her more easily. Gael gets Dare's attention and says, with an impish smile, "Think someone can give Master Lyrinal a fin-swim?" This idea meets with approval from half a dozen of the dolphins ringing Lyra. Gaelene also notes to Xantin, "They're really good about keeping the really little children safe in the water. They won't even let the older people swim when it's choppy."

"My name is Lyrinal," the Seacrafter says, but her brows furrow. "I… I don't remember. I just know it was some ship- it was dolphins. Near Ista." She laughs, then, as the dolphins seem excited about a fin-swim. "What do I do?" The question is posed both to the dolphins and Gaelene.

Xantin's touch is gentle at first, testing how firmly he can touch the dolphin without having it feel like too much for them. "Huh. They really are smooth," he pretty much grunts in surprise, getting bolder now with the contact. He looks over at the movement around Lyrinal, and watches the seacrafter woman and her now-excited ring of dolphins. Interesting. Gaelene's talking to him though, so he puts his attention onto her. "So the stories about them saving people from drowning are true?" And he hasn't missed what Lyrinal was saying earlier, for his gaze flicks to her as he asks that question.

"We'll tell Ista pod!" one of the dolphins promises and, as might be emerging as a pattern, several others repeat it. Two break away from Lyra's ring and approach her, one on either side. "Hold on!" they say, and Gaelene confirms, "Grab hold of a fin with each hand. They'll pull you. Once you're used to it, you'll only need to hold onto one." She also nods excitedly at Xantin. "Shipwrecks they always have, and now that we're re-established contact, they're pretty protective of us as well."

"Yes, they do," Lyrinal says, firmly. Vindicated, perhaps, there's a spreading smile on her features. "I knew they did. I'm glad others will too now." She does as told, holding onto either fin… and if allowed, will likely end up swimming with the dolphins until it's time for the evening meal.

He's learning more about these creatures every day. It's unlikely he's going to become a convert to the seacraft or anything, but…maybe the sea isn't quite as bad as he first thought. Lyrinal seems to be having fun, and though he's not quite to the point of accepting fin-rides yet, the computersmith seems entranced by the dolphins and their oddities. He'll stay, until he's called back to his post, happy to learn more about them while getting used to being in the water with them.

Gaelene notes that the other two are taken care of, and begins interacting more closely with Dare and Dart, including doing a one-handed fin swim with the brother. It isn't until one of the two points out that it's almost time for classes that she reluctantly gets out of the water, and with a polite "goodbye" to the master and journeyman, trudges off toward Landing proper.

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