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 [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars

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Professor Tomoe
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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime8th September 2016, 6:35 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 VZmZJRK

Her eyes were looking at some distant place again, lost in her memories.

She held her breath, counting the seconds that ticked by. It was so dark in here. She couldn't even seen the door, although she could feel the groove of the wood if she reached out her fingers. Her ears were trained carefully on the sounds, listening with hushed breath to the room beyond.

She could hear the footsteps. One. Then a pause. Two... Three... Four... They were coming closer now. She had to wait for the right moment. Exactly when the location was perfect. Five, Six. That's when she would strike. She heard the light shuffling of objects being moved, and steeled her nerves. This was it!

The child burst out of from behind the compartment door, arms stretched wide, screaming and giggling as she launched herself at the red-haired woman standing just outside.

"Ulysses, you scamp!" the tan-skinned woman exclaimed, instantly gathering up the blonde child in her arms, eyes twinkling with mirth.

"My cupboard is no place for you! Trying to find my treasure of cookies, were you? You'll have to sharpen your mind to outsmart the likes of me!"

"Oh no!" the child giggled, wriggling about in the faded tunic. "Don't tickle me, Gray!"


It had been so different, back then. So much simpler. If only she could have revered those memories as beautiful jewels from her past. They were tainted now, the facets of the gems revealed for the paste and paint of their falseness. How had she for so long been ignorant to the glimmer of betrayal? It was hard to separate her current bitterness from the joy she had felt at the time.

"Chaotic? A bit," she finally mused. "But alive."

The images the artist produced to display were a welcome distraction. Ulysses leaned over with vague curiosity mixed with a healthy dose of indifference. Art. It was one of those things they had surrounded her with as soon as she returned to Uranus, intent on teaching her things a proper lady should know. Most of it held no interest for her—stiff people in stiff clothing. Cloudscapes that all looked the same, trying so hard to be expert that she couldn't equate them with the reality. Perhaps on this planet it would be more of the same, but with sea instead of clouds.

She expected overdone characters wrapped up in finery. She expected romance and ideals and impossible beauty. All of the things "artists" tried to impress with, particularly when working outside of the confined rules of "real life". These were imagined people; she expected imagined affectation.

Instead, what she saw stunned her.

Ulysses felt all of the possible words suddenly blown from her thoughts by a gust of cool wind. The young woman clearly possessed skill at the rendering, although not without flaw, but it was the emotions that left the Uranian princess speechless. The curve and weight of the lines used seemed to convey a feeling rather than striving for technical accuracy. The two figures together—Ulysses felt like she could understand them and the depth of their feelings for each other, even if a leg was too long or an angle slightly beyond natural. The same for the woman staring at the blue, consumed by her pensive yearning for those distances.

"They're wonderful..." she whispered, the words catching briefly in a throat suddenly dry. "I've never seen anything like this."

That was, absolutely, true.
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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime20th October 2016, 2:02 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 QxfVCVp

“Really?” she asked, suddenly feeling self-conscious. “Thank you. It’s just… one of the ways I feel I could express myself, it seems.”

She settled on her chair, her fresh page of paper on hand. “What about you? What are your… interests?” There was something about Ulysses that made her want to know all about her. Everything about her seemed intriguing. How she could seem both masculine and feminine at the same time. Because even though Calypso had mistaken her for a man, now that she got a good look at Ulysses and discarded her default assumptions—the predetermined set of categories that existed in one’s mind and must sometimes be consciously put aside—she noticed the graceful lines of Ulysses’ figure, the smoother and softer angles of her face, and how she was both beautiful and handsome. She had never seen someone embody both genders’ qualities in such a balanced and complete way. Was everyone on Uranus like her?

And what of this living situation she spoke of? Was communal living a common thing on Uranus, too? Calypso realized that as a future queen, she knew very little about one of their neighboring planets. She probably ought to make this opportunity as a lesson as well.

___________________________

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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime20th October 2016, 9:28 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 VZmZJRK

Her interests? The question vaguely took Ulysses by surprise. The blonde woman leaned back, once again deep in thought. A few years ago, this would have been easy. She would have announced that she loved exploring the universe, meeting new people and visiting new places. At the time, her younger heart was filled with the thrill of adventure and the freedom of living a life unbound by the rules. She answered only to her captain, who she had so willingly devoted herself to. She was happy.

What about now?

She knew what she had no interest in: being royalty. She couldn't say such a thing, though. Not here. Calypso didn't know of Ulysses's unwanted role on Uranus. Sharing such information now would only make things worse when the scouts inevitably came after her. Plus... she didn't want to be that person right now. She just wanted to be herself.

"I like... moving," she started awkwardly, quickly realizing how silly that sounded. "Running or piloting a ship—anything like that. I want to be free, like the wind. Wrestling myself away from gravity and boundaries, trailing off into the vast reaches of the sky. I'm always chasing that feeling."

Ulysses wasn't sure that her words would make any sense.

"I used to race," she continued, hoping to mention something more concrete. "It gave me a taste of that sensation."
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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime2nd December 2016, 3:42 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 QxfVCVp

Somehow, the answer didn’t surprise her. Movement was the only constant thing about Ulysses; Calypso had yet to see her be absolutely still since she was unconscious. It was a mix of restlessness and impatience, but also a passion for action. The things that she captured on her sketch with slightly blurry lines, not quite fully there as if she was vibrating, already moving toward another destination even as she stayed rooted in one spot.

Her words captivated Calypso; it was like the very thing that she had wished for. Adventure, travels, the chance to see the world. Having no boundaries. Maybe this was the answer to her prayers. Maybe Ulysses was the one who would take her far away from here, to show her a whole new world and to fill her with a sense of wonder.

What would Ulysses think if she said that, though? She felt self-conscious about her dream—will Ulysses laugh at her? Wonder what was keeping her here in the first place? She wasn’t ready to reveal that she was the princess of this planet.

“Race?” she asked even as her hand continued to work on paper. “As in running, or with a vehicle?”

___________________________

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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime2nd December 2016, 6:29 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 VZmZJRK

A cocky, mischievous grin immediately arose to Ulysses's face at Calypso's question. Her dark blue eyes sparkled with the memory of speed and adrenaline. It may have been better to start with what the blonde hadn't raced; she had always been the person pushing against boundaries and testing the limits. Her feet, legs, and lungs knew the primal chase deep within their cores, and the rest of her body could never forget the actions and reactions to propel machinery forward. It was a part of Ulysses—perhaps even a part of her soul.

"Oh, both," she said, the few words conveying much more courtesy of her tone and expression.

But then the eyes grew wistful, looking outward at some unseen point. A haze settled there, dusty with the unpleasant emotions of so many memories. Mirrored on those were the fears for the future. The voice that spoke again was low, almost like a mournful breeze more than human speech.

"It's the only time I feel alive."

She coughed, embarrassed at her continued weirdness. The lovely young woman here must consider Ulysses absolutely crazy. The dark eyes looked up from under the long blonde lashes—so delicate and pale—and glanced at the woman's fine features. Now that was someone to be painted, not herself. Everything about this Neptunian woman evoked the grace and power of the sea. Ulysses imagined herself on a vehicle that could move across those waters that crashed beyond the confines of this island, driving headstrong into the icy spray. These thoughts wandered, becoming more abstract, until she was side by side with Calypso as two elemental forces, one of sea and one of sky. She wanted to...

Ulysses shook her head slightly, trying to break through the distraction.

"So... what else do you like, besides painting?"

It was a heavy-handed attempt to redirect a conversation, but it was all she had.
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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime17th January 2017, 3:15 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 QxfVCVp

The only time she felt alive. Suddenly Calypso pictured herself in a ship—perhaps that flying one that Ulysses had commandeered—with the wind whipping her hair, watching Ulysses smile—no, laugh freely in the way she always did—feeling the thrill of adrenaline and excitement as the speed propelled them forward, to an unknown destination. It wasn’t the destination that mattered, after all. It was the journey, the fun of it, of just stepping outside what was comfortable and familiar to the great mysteries of the world out there.

She was lost in her own daydream, completely missing Ulysses’ change of mood, until the other woman spoke to ask her a question.

Calypso thought momentarily before answering. “Music,” she said at last. “I compose them… and play them sometimes. Primarily string instruments, but it’s just a hobby.” She felt self-conscious for some reason, and protective. She never spoke of her own passions to anyone else, fearing they might be viewed as trivial or useless. Sure, her parents appreciated the arts, and they did believe a princess should be able to have artistic skills, but then if she were to be a real artist, she must be perfect, and she must only play the kind of music they liked…

She wanted to carefully keep her secret passions to herself so they might remain pure and untainted by expectations or an attempt to control them. She wanted them to remain… free.

“Do you play anything?” she asked, wondering what instrument, if any, might suit this unusual stranger.

___________________________

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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime17th January 2017, 5:51 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 VZmZJRK

Music: how fitting. Despite having just met so very recently, Ulysses could immediately imagine the teal-haired woman standing there, facing the sea, notes from her instrument mingling with the crash of the waves. She felt awed by Calypso's desire to create—she drew and painted; she composed and played music. The blonde made nothing. She only kept moving, tore herself away from anything that attempted to bind her. It wasn't the same kind of skill in the slightest; this young woman was so much more than herself.

And then the question was turned back to her. She chuckled awkwardly, fingers reaching up to rustle her hair.

"I didn't really have... that kind of education," she tried to explain, searching for the right words.

The instruments her former comrades played were handmade and handed down. They were rough and sharp, with the twang of uneven strings or the rattle of scrap metal. Sure, Ulysses could tap on one of the hand-drums, but she hadn't really embraced the rowdy accompaniment for their get-togethers as something for herself. She preferred moving, dancing—stomping with her feet and clapping with her hands. Of course, since her return to Uranus, there were multiple attempts to teach her "refined accomplishments for a lady"—musical studies included. She hated the uptight, exasperated teachers and their complicated instructions and lack of explanations. Everything about the experience stifled and suffocated her.

She wondered how the sketch was coming along, but she didn't want to ask. Right now, this moment provided a sense of calm and freedom that she hadn't felt in a long time. She knew that she'd have to find a way to retrieve her ship or acquire something new, but the runaway princess was banking on the time it would take for them to follow her route and the negotiations that would be needed with Neptune to begin an investigation. Perhaps they would think she had been killed in the crash. Then maybe she could stay here and get to know Calypso a bit... No. She had to leave. She had to keep running. She couldn't let them take her again.

"How did you learn so much, when it's so deserted here?" she asked, the blue eyes flickering towards the window and the silent forest. She regretted the strange question, possibly insulting, the moment it left her lips.
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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime20th March 2017, 1:24 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 QxfVCVp

She asked the question that Calypso couldn’t craft a good lie for, and she considered momentarily. Of course, this island was deserted. She could say there were other islands—populated ones—but then what would her excuse be of not taking Ulysses there? And the people of Neptune weren’t exactly the most… welcoming bunch. Especially these ones that had been banished from the kingdom. They would not care for the princess, nor for a stranger from another planet. Asking for their kindness would be foolish. But she couldn’t exactly take Ulysses home either. She could not introduce her to her family.

“I have not been entirely forthcoming with you,” she admitted at last, abandoning her sketch to concentrate on her companion. “There are people here, on the other islands, but they’re not really... I’m not really from there. I’m…”

She wondered what it would sound, how it might pose any danger to reveal it like this. But it wasn’t like it was a secret, exactly, that Neptune denizens lived underwater. As long as she didn’t tell Ulysses she was the princess… and if Ulysses never came into the sea, she would never know.

“I actually came from the ocean,” she said at last.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime20th March 2017, 6:59 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 VZmZJRK

"The... ocean?" she whispered, blue eyes suddenly seeing so much that had never been visible to her.

The crash of the deep waves, liquid turquoise and pale foam that tumbled across itself. The salty brine, warmed by the sun, cooled in the deep, and heated again far below by the very core of the planet. She remembered the strange embrace of the stuff when her ship crashed and it surged in, surrounding her with that sensation she had never felt before. To be submerged like that felt both heavy and weightless simultaneously. There was nothing similar on Uranus, nor had she experienced anything like it in space during her childhood. What must it be like to live within it, to look up from below and see the orb of the distant sun fractured across the surface as it filters down? Her imagination failed her. Ulysses could only remember snippets of what she had felt, accompanied now with that deep sense of awe.

"What is it like?" she asked, slowly emerging from the daze of her own confused thoughts. Ulysses was looking past now, trying to see the sea from within the cabin, trying to remember the little she had known of it.
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime8th May 2017, 2:45 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 QxfVCVp

She had not expected to see the wonder in Ulysses’ eyes. Confusion, maybe. Or perhaps she would look at her strangely. After all, the notion of living underwater seemed to baffle most land-dwellers.

What was it like?

“The ocean is… beautiful,” she started, looking out the window even if she couldn’t clearly see the waters from here. “It’s brimming with all kinds of life. It is the source of life. I wish I could show our kingdom down there. It is much more colorful than anything up here. And down there you’re never truly weighted down—you don’t feel rooted to the ground the way you do up here. I have the feeling that you might like it. However, you can’t easily see the stars, the sky, or the clouds.”

Things that she had come to associate with Ulysses. In fact, as she looked down, she discovered that she had drawn just that. Ulysses, aboard a ship that resembled the one she crashed in, her hair flying free in the wind, her smile wide and carefree. She was journeying among the clouds across the sky, to a destination that was still unknown to Calypso.

“It is done,” she said, carefully turning the sketch so Ulysses could see it. “I apologize if it isn’t… accurate.”

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime1st June 2017, 7:49 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 VZmZJRK

She listened intently as the young woman spoke of her home, latching onto every word and trying to envision it. Trying to imagine what it might be like to be within it. The weightlessness that Calypso spoke of—would it be like that of space? Would it be different? What sort of creatures and colours existed in a place that could be called 'the source of life'? Her brief encounter with the salty depths had not allowed for much observation. Now she wished that it had.

As the blonde listened, almost in a daze, one phrase slowly stood out to her as somewhat incongruous with the others.

Our kingdom.

Her mouth twisted into a wry smile.

"Kingdom, huh? Can't seem to escape those dregs even in an underwater paradise."

The words were out before she could stop them, and she coughed with embarrassment as she heard her own sarcastic and ill-tempered tone. She hastily turned her attention to the sketch, finished and held out before her. Her mind raced, but Ulysses couldn't think of anything to say to tone down her words. She wasn't going to apologize with empty words and hollow intentions, but she hadn't intended to say something so polarizing. She didn't even want to guess what Calypso's reaction might be.

Thankfully, her companion's artwork provided an excellent distraction.

"It's... wow... It's really amazing," she stated, eyes wide. The picture looked as free and easy and she always wished she could be. How was that something this almost-stranger could capture on paper? How could she know that was what Ulysses was always chasing?

"I'm not just saying that. I don't even know... wow."
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Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Neptune

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Title : Drinker of Roleplayers' Tears ~ The Internationaliest™
Posts : 9577
Join date : 2013-07-25
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[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime23rd September 2017, 1:34 am

[Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 QxfVCVp

Her heart skipped as Ulysses mentioned the kingdom, at first thinking she’d slipped. But at least she hadn’t said ‘my kingdom’. She didn’t know if she was ready to share that, given Ulysses’ obvious dislike for that kind of life. What would she think if she knew Calypso was a princess? Would she like her less for it, thinking she was just like the people she clearly couldn’t care less for?

Calypso couldn’t bear to think of Ulysses dismissing her like that.

However, her reaction to the drawing made her smile. It was perhaps the first time someone who didn’t know who she really was—and thus had no reason to lie about her talents—had ever commented on her creation. And in such an honest, amazed way too. Maybe she wasn’t eloquent about it, but Calypso liked the speechlessness more than a thousand flowery words. In an uncharacteristically unguarded manner, she let out a laugh, a truly happy one.

“Thank you. I’m glad you like it. You can keep it, if you like. To remind you of me wherever you go next.”

She thought about the inevitable separation and how much she’d missed this extraordinary woman. “Where are you going next, by the way? Surely you don’t plan to stay here forever.”

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime22nd March 2018, 9:42 am

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The blonde was speechless at being handed this piece of artwork in such a casual way, despite the fact that she had never seen anything like it before. Surely it deserved more to respect it. That was what she wanted to convey, but the next comment from the sea-haired woman volleyed her thoughts to other territories.

That question.

She nearly flung herself down into the open chair, leaning back at a dangerous angle before dragging herself to rights, resting her head in her hands. The long limbs soared through the movements, turbulent but still maintaining a line, a form. The lapis eyes that looked up were distant again, not seeing Calypso or the room around the pair. The woman's lips set into a firm line, rigid and mute. It shared nothing of her desires; those were locked away somewhere. It communicated only the edge of frustration.

It took a while for Ulysses to find her voice and, more importantly, words for that voice.

"I don't... I don't have a destination."

I just need to get away.

Calypso was correct that Ulysses couldn't stay here. They would be following her. At least the wreckage of her ship wouldn't be easily visible for anyone attempting surveillance. Even so, they'd figure it out soon enough. They'd drag her back—try to clip her wings and force her into those stiff gowns and brainwash her with those mind-numbing lectures. She could fight them, but she couldn't guarantee that she could get free of them and however they planned to trap her.

She had to find a way to get out now.

"My ship... Do you have things like that here? Is there a way to get it out of the water?"
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime16th April 2018, 2:49 am

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Her question seemed to be quite distressing for Ulysses, if her body language was any indication. She revealed that she, in fact, did not have any destination in mind. Calypso could sort of understand that. She’d wanted to escape her kingdom life and see the world, but… if someone were to ask her where specifically, she wouldn’t have been able to say either.

She thought about Ulysses’ query for a moment. “Well, we do have a royal fleet. Ones that we sometimes use to visit other planets and kingdoms. I’ve never been on one, though.” They had ambassadors for those kinds of trips, though she’d always wanted to be part of the entourage.

“Civilians rarely have spaceships, they are very expensive and space travel is heavily regulated. I might know someone who could assist us with a royal ship…” She trailed off. As a princess, she knew where they were kept and could easily figure out a way to access the place, but… “However, I do not know how to pilot one. And I’m sure their controls are different than yours…”

She frowned as a new thought entered her mind. “Are you… running away from something? You’re not a fugitive of some sort, are you?”

It didn’t occur to her until now that Ulysses could be dangerous. She didn’t seem dangerous, but then again, most dangerous people tended to appear that way.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime17th April 2018, 11:46 am

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The redhead frowned at her, arms crossed over the woman's chest, and the child's echoing giggles fell silent. She couldn't maintain eye contact, not when those dark eyes bored into her. This was different from the usual Gray, who smiled and laughed. The one who played along with all of Ulysses's tricks and jokes. Wasn't this the same? Why did she look so mad? The blonde child tapped her toe against the floor, arms behind her back, swaying slightly and waiting for whatever was going to happen next.

"I'm hearing some pretty interesting things about you, Ulysses," the woman began. The child glanced up shyly, looking away quickly when she met the stern gaze. "Someone says that I gave you permission to fly the scout ship."

The little girl swallowed hard, feeling a flush of shame warm her cheeks. Oh. Right.

The silence that stretched between them was unbearable.

"Well, you said you'd teach me one day," she offered. Even as she spoke them, the words were hard to say. She didn't believe it, either. Another quick glance at the woman watching her, lips sternly pressed together, showed that she didn't believe it either. In fact, Ulysses had been surprised that the young man had believed her. It seemed like a great idea, at the time. It had been fun. She hadn't broken anything. She only pushed the controls for a few minutes before leaving.

None of those sounded like good things to tell Gray, however.

"Maybe... I said that you gave me permission but you didn't," Ulysses squeaked out, flinching at the memory of some punishments she'd heard tales of aboard the ship.

"Lying to or about someone tells them that you don't value them," cautioned the woman's smooth voice. "Remember that."



It would have been easier to lie, but that memory bubbled to the surface and she found that she simply couldn't do it. She barely knew Calypso, and yet... Ulysses could imagine the way that pain would flash across those aquamarine eyes. She could almost perfectly picture the way the slender body would tense and relax, concealing the reaction so quickly that the average person would never notice it. She was so elegant—so refined. She would never admit that it wounded her feelings. She wouldn't lash out, impetuously, like Ulysses sometimes had.

But she would still be hurt.

If truth doomed her here, at least the rouge blonde wouldn't have done that.

"I am," she said, hoping her voice didn't betray her nervousness. She tried to keep her gaze level, focused somewhere else in the room that wasn't the beautiful face of the young woman who had saved her life.

"I was running away when I crashed here. If I can, I'll keep running."

She took a deep breath, hoping she could still conceal some of her unwanted history.

"I can't go back to the place that wants me back."
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime19th April 2018, 2:23 am

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Calypso did not expect the answer that she received. She froze, looking into Ulysses’ troubled eyes as she explained that she had been running away from something. But… was she just going to keep running? What kind of life would that be? How terrible was the thing she was running away from? Suddenly all the questions filled her mind.

“Wait… you’re running from them… but they want you back?” she frowned. It didn’t seem like Ulysses had done something bad. Unless they wanted her back to punish her? Something about the way she’d told her story didn’t sound like that, though. And Calypso liked to believe, as naïve as she was, she was pretty good at reading people’s intentions. And she hadn’t seen any bad intentions from this woman ever since she had crash landed on her planet.

“I don’t know what your story is, but I don’t think you’re a bad person,” she admitted, hoping she wasn’t completely wrong. “But you do seem desperate to not go home. So… what would you like to do? Would you like my help in acquiring a ship?”

Would she get in trouble for this? Especially if it turned out later she was aiding a fugitive? But who would know? She just had to make sure no one would. For once in her life, Calypso yearned for an adventure, and this time she wasn’t going to be afraid of it.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime19th April 2018, 5:57 am

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The androgynous young woman stared at her companion, eyes slightly widened, lips parted, the confusion evident on her face. Of all the things that her recent acquaintance could have said, offering to help had not seemed to Ulysses to be on the list of possibilities. It took a moment to collect herself, but collect herself she did, the dark blue eyes glancing away not with embarrassment but with the active attempt of deciding what to do next. She both wanted—no, needed—Calypso's assistance, given that this woman lived on this mysterious planet with a kingdom below those sparkling teal waves. It was a world Ulysses didn't understand.

And yet, she loathed the thought of pulling this person along behind her, in case...

When she glanced up again, she felt a sensation in her chest, her heartbeat echoing in her ears. The curve of the young woman's profile. The shimmer of her hair in the cabin's dim light. It looked like the ocean. She looked like the ocean. Skin like the pale sand, lips of coral, eyes like the depths that had almost dragged Ulysses down. They seemed to be pulling her in once again, weightless and weighted, her lungs suddenly empty of the sky she had known so well and now seeking the embrace of the cool flowing water that dominated here.

Ulysses looked away—a deliberate movement, not one made from haste or shame. She knew something now, but it was neither shocking nor unexpected. Inconvenient, perhaps. Impossible, more likely. That didn't bother her. The eyes that looked back, not afraid to meet those of Calypso, remained steady.

"I don't want you to risk anything," she warned, steadily avoiding any discussions related to her status as a "bad person". This was not the time to consider having been raised by pirates and where that set her as far as values and norms. "If you are willing, I gratefully accept your help. This place is so unfamiliar to me, but if it's possible to find a ship and leave... I know that I should."
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime25th May 2018, 7:18 am

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For a brief moment of insanity, Calypso felt the urge to ask Ulysses to take her with her, wherever she was going. But that was crazy, right? She couldn’t just… up and leave. She was the crown princess. She couldn’t just… abandon her people like that.

“I shall see what I can do. I do not mind the risks,” she assured her with a small smile. “I’m very good at being sneaky, as it so happens.” She knew the patterns of the changing of the guard and all the secret pathways in the castle better than anyone. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

“Wait for me right by the water,” she instructed, before moving towards it herself. As soon as she was close to the waves, she jumped gracefully into it, and should Ulysses watch, she would see her turquoise tail briefly on the surface before dipping below the water.

She maneuvered her way to the royal fleet’s hangar, finding her way blocked by a thick door with a royal seal on it. No keyholes. This might be trickier than she expected. But then again…

The royal seal.

Calypso hesitated. Could it be… that easy? She reached her hand toward it, touching her palm against the surface with her family’s crest on it…

There was a low humming sound, and the door slowly slid away, revealing to her their entire spaceship collection. She swam inside cautiously, trying to pick the best one. There were all sorts of ships, from big to small, some with sails, some with wings…

She finally opted for the smallest one, figuring they’d need one that would be least detectable. And probably wouldn’t be missed much, either. The cockpit in this one thankfully looked much less complicated than the other ones. There were only a few buttons. Finding one to start it was easy enough. Navigating it out of the hangar was more difficult—she almost bumped into the other ships along the way—but eventually with trial and error she managed to wrestle it away from the others and into the open sea. From there, she drove it straight up towards the shore where Ulysses would be waiting.

The small, compact spaceship broke the surface with Calypso in the pilot seat, and she turned to look for the stranger, hoping she was where Calypso had told her to be.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime25th May 2018, 7:47 am

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Her breath caught in her throat, and she could only stare. She had thought Calypso beautiful from the moment she saw her, but watching the woman's transformation, however brief, astonished her. They lived beneath the waves. She hadn't really understood how, but now she did. The woman she met looked like her in form, with limbs and legs. The enchantress that dove beneath the water... how magical she seemed, the scales glistening in the sunlight. They looked like jewels made of the ocean.

Ulysses continued to watch that spot in the water, even when the young woman was gone. That instant replayed in her mind, more amazing each time she recalled it. This place... she had never imagined somewhere like it, not in all of her years among the pirates and all the places they had visited.

How marvelous this universe was!

And then, after an easy span of waiting, something else broke the surface. Her eyes glittered, instantly recognizing the ship for what it was, even though it wasn't a model she had seen or piloted. The blonde strode towards it, waving, recognizing the current pilot. Something about seeing the wavy-haired beauty seated in the unusual spacecraft caused her heart to flutter—it looked perfect. She'd remember this forever, no matter what happened.
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime5th July 2018, 1:09 am

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“Do you think you can figure out how to fly this?” Calypso asked, scooting over to the passenger seat so that Ulysses could get into the cockpit. She didn’t know much about spaceships—she barely knew about this one—and she just hoped it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out. And then there was that other problem. She should be getting off, not staying here when Ulysses flew it to outer space, to wherever it was she was going. Calypso couldn’t just… vanish with her. Her entire family, her people… they would be worried.

And yet, seeing the glimmer in the other woman’s eyes, she almost felt entranced. It was going to impossible to say goodbye to the most amazing, dynamic, lively, and mesmerizing person she had met in her long and sheltered life.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime5th July 2018, 9:48 am

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A blonde eyebrow raised when the woman moved to the passenger seat, rather than exiting the vehicle. After all, it was Ulysses who need to escape... wasn't it? Not Calypso. She wondered if she ought to mention it, a few off-handed joking comments rising to her lips, but she didn't speak them. She had enjoyed seeing the other woman in the pilot's seat, but she looked just as good riding shotgun. It tugged at something in her heart, remembering her past.

It was always lively, back when she lived along Gray and the others. There were always other people. Privacy barely existed, and sometimes tensions ran high when the crowding seemed too much, but they wove a network of support for each other. They relied on each other. They took joy and comfort in the presence of others. The palace on Uranus had plenty of people, but it provided none of that warmth that Ulysses remembered. She would do anything to get away, but if given the choice, she'd gladly accept someone by her side.

Of course, that wasn't necessarily what this woman was offering.

For now, in this brief moment, perhaps she could avoid the truth. Just to revel in the possibility, even if it was only a dream. Sometimes that was enough. She could think back on the memory when she felt cold and isolated—the moment where she sat alongside this beautiful enchantress in a mystical vessel from beneath the waves, ready to embark on another journey.

"I'm sure I can figure it out," she stated, not boasting with inflated ego. She loved machines. She loved flying. She loved space. Ulysses placed her delicate, yet strong, fingers on the controls and felt the ship speak to her. She pressed a few buttons, pulled a few levers, and depressed a few pedals, feeling out what it could do. The language wasn't quite what she was used to, but most of the ships that her former crew flew came from a variety of mystical foreign locals. She knew better than to rely on the words if she could learn from the reactions.

It hummed under her expert touch, and her dark eyes glinted with delight.

"I think I've got it. Should we go for a test drive?"
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime10th July 2018, 2:51 am

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Watching the certainty in Ulysses’ deft fingers as she played with the various buttons and levers made something stir in Calypso’s chest. An excitement, perhaps? There was something really appealing from the way she handled them—as easily as dealing with an old machine she had known for a long time despite only meeting it now. She was so knowledgeable and so… worldly. How many places had she traveled to, Calypso wondered. A stray thought about how it would feel to have those hands on her made her suddenly feel warm, and she averted her gaze from the other woman.

When Ulysses asked if they should go for a drive, Calypso smiled. “Yes, let’s,” she answered without hesitation, surprised at her own eagerness. After all, she’d never been in a spaceship ride before.

However, just then, something bright lit up the sky once more, just like when Ulysses first crash landed here. Squinting above, Calypso saw another ship entering their airspace, a royal looking ship bearing the sigil of… planet Uranus. Her face paled.

“Ulysses,” she said urgently, putting one hand on the other woman’s in order to stop her from flying anywhere. If those people were looking for her… How had they known…? Was the ship equipped with a tracking device? Either way, this was bad. If those were the royal guards… just how much trouble was Ulysses in exactly?

She watched as the ship headed for the main port, where Neptunian guards would be stationed. Soon enough, her parents would know about this Uranian ship’s arrival as well as their business, and they would likely look for her, too. She couldn’t be found consorting with the fugitive they were looking for.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime7th August 2018, 8:36 am

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Stormy blue eyes tracked the ship as she reacted to Calypso's cautioning hand. Her own fingers bristled with electricity, repressing the urge to move, to run. This craft was small; it shouldn't be immediately visible and it wasn't the clearly Uranian vessel that she had arrived in. That should keep it from the attention of this new ship. Shouldn't it? Ulysses wanted to be sure, but the dread that coated her mouth with powder told her no, you can't be sure.

After all, she knew it was her they were looking for.

She knew how high the stakes were. Calypso did not—how could she? Ulysses had been careful to tell her only part of the tale. If she was just a fugitive, a criminal or other person of interest, they wouldn't make such a show. They wanted her because she was their princess. They wanted to drag her back, dress her up, strip her of all the things that made up her person, and auction her off in some arranged political marriage.

They wanted her to be someone she couldn't be: the sweet, demure princess of the land of air.

The opportunity for all of that had passed by years ago. She wasn't a damsel—she was a pirate. A rogue! A scoundrel! All of the back-handed, foul-mouthed terms that they used to talk about the people who had formed her real family—they applied to her. She was one of them. She couldn't be anything else, not at this point. They had raised and loved her. The austere, sterile palace offered nothing for Ulysses in return.

She was willing to risk anything not to go back.

Her eyes darted to Calypso. She dreamed of flying out among the stars with this young woman, even though they had known each other such a short time. She felt like there were things Calypso understood about her. There was a harmony here, the lower tones of her soul echoing with the light notes from those of this young woman. It was something she yearned to understand more about. But it meant she was unwilling to risk her.

"Go," she whispered, her face unable to mask how much it hurt to say that word. "I have to leave. I have to try. I don't want you to be in danger."
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime10th August 2018, 4:52 am

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For just a brief moment, Calypso wanted to abandon all concerns and worries and what-ifs and stay. She wanted to go on this adventure with Ulysses, despite just meeting her. But there was still so much she didn't know about the other woman. And Calypso was a princess. She couldn't just up and leave like that.

Her parents would worry. They'd think... They'd think Ulysses had kidnapped her or something, and then Ulysses would be in even bigger trouble. No, she had to stay and find out what it was all about, then maybe she could help using her official capacity.

"Be careful," she said, grasping the other woman's hand briefly, then immediately regretting it because she couldn't bring herself to let go. "I... If you can't leave... go back to the house on the island. I'll find you there."

With that, she gave her one last pained look and exited the ship and jumped back into the water, returning to the palace to find out what was going on.

In a matter of seconds, siren echoed throughout the planet, alerting the initiation of a lockdown protocol. She didn't know if Ulysses had enough time to leave or not, but at least if she didn't, they knew where to find each other.

Selfishly, Calypso kind of hoped she didn't, for if she did, surely that was the last time Calypso would have seen her.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime10th August 2018, 7:08 am

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This time, the physical impact of the crash didn't shock her as much as it had the first time. She had too much else to be shocked by: the way her heart ached from Calypso's goodbye, the snatching away of the fleeting hope that she could make her escape, the fact that she had been noticed so quickly, and the brazenness of being shot out of the sky before she reached the outer atmosphere. The Uranian vessel that caught her was not the one that had landed, but another that prepared to land at exactly the wrong time—when Ulysses tried to make her escape. Her piloting, although skilled, wasn't enough to save herself. They had an edge on her—better weapons, a faster ship, and more familiarity with what they piloted. She might have been good at flying, but she hadn't quite learned all the ins and outs of this Neptunian space craft. They took advantage of that, frying her engines and sending her back into that water.

I should have said a better goodbye. I should have tried to leave sooner. I should have planned my initial escape differently. I should have stayed on the island with her. I shouldn't have been rescued in the first place. I should have asked differently for help. I shouldn't have asked for help at all.

I should have tried to kiss her.


She felt something wrench in her back as the craft hit the water, but she was already struggling to unbuckle the harness and find the emergency hatch controls before the water started rushing in. Fierce blue eyes observed what was happening, the memory of the previous time still fresh in her mind, and Ulysses tried to act differently. She couldn't count on washing ashore a second time, rescued again. She couldn't get Calypso involved. There were already guards patrolling and waiting for her—she was sure of that. After all, there was an entire ship already in the dock.

Why did she think she could have escaped?

The door ejected itself, and the water rushed in, and for just a moment, she wondered if she should stay. Maybe she ought to go down with the ship. She was the captain right now, wasn't she? She couldn't be completely sure what awaited her if she resurfaced, but she knew it wasn't what she wanted. If she sat back and inhaled, it would all be over soon. The cool salty ocean would wash over her, claiming her as its own. It wouldn't take much.

I'll never... see her again...

She held her breath, kicked her legs, and pushed herself out of the ship, reaching towards the light. The short sandy blonde hair floated around her, as did the formerly-dry clothes provided by her host, but this time she moved in the right direction. She gasped, inhaling deeply as she breached the surface. Her vision hadn't cleared, droplets still clinging to her lashes, but she knew before anyone spoke that she was surrounded. She felt a hand on her upper arm, yanking her body on board, and Ulysses collapsed on the deck.

She might be alive, but she would still never see Calypso again.
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars   [Advanced] Beyond the Sea of Stars - Page 2 I_icon_minitime8th October 2018, 1:06 am

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Inside the throne room, her parents were conversing together with concerned and agitated expressions. Calypso had never seen them look so... anxious. She swam closer, and the moment she entered their field of view, her mother rushed towards her. "Oh, Calypso, I'm so glad you're okay. Don't go anywhere and stay here while we take care of this."

"This? What's this?" she asked nervously. "What's going on?"

"A delegation from the Uranus kingdom arrived. Their King's guards," her father explained. "Apparently, they are looking for their... lost princess."

"Princess?!" Calypso sputtered, confusion and shock warring inside her. They were not here for Ulysses after all? But what were the odds of a princess and a fugitive from Uranus disappearing on the same day? And for them to look here of all places... No. It couldn't be a coincidence. But did that mean Ulysses was...

"You haven't seen her, have you? According to them, she's tall, has short blonde hair, blue eyes..." The more her mother spoke, the paler Calypso became. She was grateful she didn't have her legs because they would have surely buckled under her.

"No... I haven't seen any stranger," she said softly, even as her mind reeled from this revelation. Ulysses... was a princess? The princess of Uranus?

She supposed she herself hadn't been forthcoming about her own identity, but still... 

Despite everything, she realized that the only thing that concerned her was Ulysses' safety. Wherever Ulysses was right now, Calypso hoped she was alright.

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