Trouble in the Docks
Feb. 28, 2021, noon
Lower Amber City
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The fountain bubbles, clean but slow, at the centre of the market in the middle of town. Filinia is sitting by it, back against a fragment of rock, watching the world go by and basking in the sunlight without a sun that is today's weather.
The sun falls low in the sky, and the stars come out, and the night begins to cool. Felinia eases her limbs, stands, scowls around her at something only she can know.
Amy has been out to get some exercise, not really worried about things as perhaps she should be. Still, she is now making her way back up to the Inn, coming by to check the fountain. Yes, she should have done so in daylight. But - it's Amy. When does a little thing like that stop her?
As she arrives, she spies Fil standing there. "Hey, Filomena," she greets. It's dark, she's not clear on the facial expression. "How's your day been?"
Filinia has paused to look up at the stars, and the shattered aura of green and gold and purple that burns where the sky meets the fog. "Not bad," she says after a moment's panicked jump. "You know what went down about this fountain?"
Amy tilts her head, looking at the fountain. "I know there was a group of Unicorn fanciers busy trying to clean it. They seem to have done a good job of it," she replies slowly. "Was there more to it?"
Filinia says, "They went to try to get the water back. Ran into an ambush. I don't think any of them got away, but I dunno - haven't heard of any of them since. S'weird. Not like normal gangs."
"They what? Oh dear," Amy says, shaking her head. "I mean, it's working now - I don't quite pretend to understand their way of thinking, honestly. Do you know who ambushed them? And how are they not like normal gangs?"
Filinia says, "There's a lot of people who say they're helping in the name of the Unicorn. But it's really confusing, because they ARE helping. Not just saying they are. But they fight about how to do it." She looks bewildered by that. "They aren't just grabbing what they can and calling it help."
Amy shrugs. "I can't say I know anything about gangs," she replies. It's dark, she and Filinia are standing by a now working fountain, though the water comes slowly through, chatting. "It is strange what people will find to disagree about, isn't it?"
Filinia says, "I know a lot about them. They don't work like this. Something's going to go wrong."
At the edge of the square, behind Filinia, a tiny aurora pings and sparks in a broken window. Today, it seems, there is fog behind it. Maybe that is what is going to go wrong?
Amy wrinkles her nose. "I think things have already gone wrong," she says ruefully, overstating the obvious. "But what more are you expecting?"
\Kerf appears in the area, at first just passing through on his way to the beach perhaps. It may be dark, but he doesn't seem to mind just finding his way through it with the minimal light sources. The low gurgling of the fountain draws his attention enough that he sees the two figures in conversation... though not the pinging window as yet.
Filinia says, "Uh... fights?" She shrugs. "I'd expect them to have a big match-up by now, but all of it's staying small, S'really vicious, but small."
The drifting darkness oozes its way out of the window, moving sluglike towards another window, leaving motes of light behind on the wall.
Amy also doesn't notice the fog, she's concentrating on Fil. "I don't like really vicious," she says. "But small is good." She takes a breath and then adds, "It's definitely not something I know what to do about. I mean, I can fix them up after the fight, but I am perplexed as to how to get them to stop."
Filinia replies, "Damned if I know. Listen, I'm going to go get some grub. You hungry?" She turns, sees the fog, stares at the glowing trail it has left. "Wha'?"
Amy is now thinking about food, so her brow creases and she stares at Fil for a moment at that confused question. Then she turns to look towards where Fil is, catching sight of Kerf on the way. "Hey, Kerf," she greets, before the fog and its trail catch her attention. "That doesn't look good," is her understatement.
The trail, from window to window, is a jagged, beautiful, glowing thing, slowly fading away. "Yeah. Never seen it do that before." Felinia takes a few steps towards the edge of the square before she remembers caution. "Why's it doing that?"
"Fair eventide to you both," Kerf announces his approach before he is in range, though he gleans some of the topic from Amethyst's last remarks. He continues on his way.
Amy waves at Kerf as he departs, but only half heartedly. Her attention is on that fog. "I have no idea why it's doing that."
Filinia sags. "So, I'm pretty sure this place is heaven," she says, "And it's broken. So... I guess we gotta fix it? Are we angels now?"
Filinia looks up at the sky. "Daaaaamn. It was getting dark only 'bout an hour ago. Something's weird."
That gets a blink from Amy. "Heaven? well, I don't - maybe? I don't think it's heaven, but it is definitely broken. And we do have to fix it, yes. Are we angels? I - uhm, I kind of think we're alive, don't you? And I always thought Angels weren't. Alive I mean."
Filinia says, "Well, this isn't where I used to live, but it's a lot better. So..." She steels herself, takes a step forwards. "I hate this."
Amy blinks at Fil and she says, "I'm glad you're here then, if it's better. it's - not better than where I used to live, but it's better than what it was like at the end." She pauses and then shrugs. "What are you going to do?"
Filinia says, "Dunno? Collect news? Tell people things? I used to do that for food. Now I've got enough food." With some trepidation, already wincing, she forces herself into motion, towards the glowing smear of stardust, as it fades.
"Filinia, you know the fog sometiems snatches people, don't you?" Amy asks, with some urgency. "Don't go near it."
Filinia stops at a distance. "Yeah. It's tried for me. But this is new. So... I'm not an angel, which is good, but I can still do things."
"It is new," Amy agrees. "And you can definitely do things. I'm trying to get more herbs and bandages and healing materials to help out when needed. Because I can do that. Fighting isn't necessarily my thing, if that makes sense?"
Filinia says, "Bandages are easy," with a glance. "The hoof and horn lot get them from the linen stash in the warehouse with the red roof. You'll have to talk to them though. They claim it so the wrong sort don't get it."
Amy smiles though she does seem a bit disconcerted. "That's not such a good thing. We have a hospital. It should be helping everyone." They're starting to make this personal.
Filinia is with Amethyst, in the square at the centre of the lower city, as the sun comes up. They are talking to each other, but Filinia at least is looking carefully at a wall not far away.
Filinia says, "Well, someone should tell 'em? But not me. I ain't gonna be a convert. Unless I have to be."
Kyrie has been up to... something or other. She seems to keep herself busy. At the moment, though, she is headed in the direction of the other two. A coin rolls over the fingers of one hand.
The women are watching a fading portion of some glowing effect, streaking jaggedly from one window to another on the wall. It has left behind clean, good brickwork, with strong mortar, a tiny slice of perfection in this run-down area.
Amy nods to Filinia, thoughtfully. "Oh, I'm not - they can try all they want." A briefly mutinous expression crosses her face, possibly resembling her father at his brattiest. "I wonder though what that fog was doing?" She steps closer, staring at it. "Wait, what?"
Filinia says, "Careful," but nothing snatches at Amy. She lets the smaller woman go; Amethyst is presented with a segment of new and perfect wall, embedded in the old.
Kyrie continues towards them, until she notes the familiar. Then, her path bends a bit towards them more directly. "Afternoon." she says, tugging at the rim of her hat with her free hand." She looks the way they are looking. "Is there a thing?" Cause there are lots of things round these parts.
Filinia says, "Hiya. There was fog here, and it was glowing."
Amy looks up at the greeting. "Hey, Kyrie. There was glowing fog. And now - there's a strip of what looks like new building here. Like it fixed it."
Filinia looks worried. Of course.
Does not compute. Kyrie just looks puzzled for a moment, looking from ther pair, to the fixed wall. "A new way to try to confuse us?" she ventures. "Still gotta leave the esoterics to the folks with more of a handle on the subject. Anything else going on?"
"Yes. There's different factions of those Unicorn worshippers, and they're fighting each other. Killing each other even."
"Yes. There's different factions of those Unicorn worshippers, and they're fighting each other. Killing each other even." Amy looks troubled. "I'm not sure what to do about it though."
Filinia says, "They're like gangs, but ... they're helpful, too. I mean, they don't just take stuff. They're trying to mend things. They clean things. Keep the muscle-bullies out, sometimes. But you gotta say the right things when you see them."
Kyrie pauses. "Ooops? Speaking of which, Amy do you know anything about paints? We need to get them off that lead-based stuff." She pauses, then says "What do you mean, different factions?" She looks around them then, before sighing and dipping a finger into something in a small pocket and drawing a white line on her own forehead.
Filinia grins at Kyrie. "Uphill and a bit downwind? You want to make that into a shape like a tall hill."
Amy wrinkles her nose. "No, I'm not quite sure, though I do agree that the paint they're using is toxic. I - maybe Maggie or Lucafrase might know? They both seem to be quite knowledgeable and handy. I'm not sure about others."
Filinia says, "Better be quick. Some people are talking about tattoos."
Kyrie chuckles quietly. "Nah, just the line, for me. That's how I was, uh, annointed. I'll stick with it. I guess I've gotta go have a chat with my flock, huh?" she says with a sigh, then nods to Amy. "I'll ask one of them about it. I think Merrisol is a scientist. I could ask him."
Amy shakes her head. "Tell them all that healers are sacrosanct and don't have to wear a white marking," she offers. It's worth a try.
Kyrie thinks about that. "Huh? Why would they be hassling healers?" There's another pause. "The zealots are sealoting, aren't they." She blows out a breath. "Ooops."
Filinia puts up her hand to poke at the new brickwork, jumping back. Nothing bites her, nothing on the wall changes. It just ... keeps on being bricks. "Eighhhhhugh. Well. Yeah. Zelluts."
Kyrie mms. "Yeah, I'll see what I can do about that. Seemed like a good way to organize some of that faith into a weapon against the fog. I mean, it started out as a way to not get my ass kicked, but things happen. But, zealots."
Filinia says, "Y'can't burn them out. They just grow again in the embers."
Amy considers for a moment. "They are indeed," she agrees. "But maybe there's a way to bring them to the understanding that just because one sees a hoof, and another a horn, a third a tail, they are all still serving the same Unicorn?"
Kyrie thinks about that, then nods. "I'll have to lean on that whole 'greater enemy that must unite us' thing, but I'll see what I can do."
Filinia shrugs. "Like I say. This is heaven. It's not nearly as shit as where I used to be, and we... someone, just gotta fix it."
Amy grins at the two. "Right, we /can/ fix it." She pauses. "All we have to do is figure out how."
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