Logs:A Ghost Parrot from Paradise

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A Ghost Parrot from Paradise

"C'mon, let's do this! I mean, you only live once, right?" He winks again. Because, well, that's not entirely true.

Dramatis Personae

Rictus, Kilo and KiloST

20 January, 2018

Rictus and Kilo go to the Caribbean and do the whole nine yards; the power boating, the snorkeling, the diving through a ship wreck, the pirate stuff and even find a trash-talking, ghost parrot. Just another day in paradise.


The Caribbean

After a relatively short walk through the bone-laden paths of the underworld; mocked and taunted by ghosts the entire way, Rictus and Kilo arrive at their destination. They exit an Avernian Gate hidden deep inside a decrepit old mission church in a sub-basement where they find they must slosh through flood floors to get to the stairs in total darkness to get out. It's warm and moist down there and Kilo can just tell there are mosquitos breeding in the water, carrying Malaria or Dengue fever. "Gross." She moans as she feels her skin crawl with imagined bugs landing on her and biting her. As far as she is concerned they can't get out of this church fast enough.

Upstairs, past the regular basement, used for storage, is the main floor and looks exactly how you'd imagine a church to look with grand cathedral windows and a large alter with a very heavy cross hanging above it. Rows and rows of pews are arranged in front of that and finally the doors out are too the back. "We could just get married here." Kilo kids as she heads for the door and into the stifling hot, sunny weather. "Oh my god... what were we thinking? It's so hot! OK first, let's go find dry shoes and cooler clothes." They're still in warm clothes from the Maine winter they just came from.

The journey doesn't bother Ric as much as it would some. He's getting pretty accustomed to the Underworld, and while it's still terrifying at times, and morbidly awe-inspiring at others, he's more curious than afraid or disgusted. When it grows too dark, he puts up that shroud of Pyre-Flame to light their way. Although that might not be a good idea because Kilo might see the ghostly bugs now.

But soon enough they're up in the church proper. Ric laughs at Kilo's words, then flashes a lopsided grin, "It's tempting. When you want to do that, anyway? Still on for the 27th and shit?" He slings an arm around her waist as they head out.

Another laugh, "Fuck, it feels good after all that /snow/. Let's grab some touristy clothes and some flip flops and hit the beach. I hear they got guys just walk around the beach with all sorts of drugs and shit. Maybe we can try something new. You think they got parrots here?"

"Well we lost a week, let's wait until Feb. How about February 10? That's a nice even date." She beams as he hugs her tight up against him from around her waist. They hit the streets and find a vendor with the most gaudy, colourful, tropical clothes. Kilo picks out a white, two piece bathing suit and then wraps a sarong around her bottom half for modesty. And of course flops. She waits for Rictus to pick his poison and then they head toward the beach, but not before Kilo spots another vendor. "Snorkels! I've always wanted to snorkel! And with the little fins and stuff!" She laughs. She has no idea how to swim. "Maybe in the really shallow water?"

The man renting the snorkel equipment smiles and shakes his head. "Shallow water is no fun. You two want to rent a power boat and go out to the reef about a mile out. The snorkeling is world class out there. A hundred species of fish and other wild life out there to be seen. It's a once in a life time experience. If you don't dive, this is the next best thing. I'm telling you, you really don't want to miss it." He assures them.

Rictus flashes Kilo one of those crooked grins, "February 10th it is! Just in time for Valentine's day." He winks at her. And then they're off to the vendor. He picks out the gaudiest tropical print shorts and the gaudiest tropical print shirt, and manages to choose two designs that clash horribly with each other. He doesn't care, he likes color. And, of course, flip flops.

Once dressed, probably in some public changing room on the beach or something, he's ready to go. As they approach the snorkel vendor, he laughs at Kilo's words, "Let's do it!" He listens to the vendor, brow furrowing in thought. "How safe is it, like if you can't swim? Do we get floaties or something like that?"

"Oh plenty safe!" He holds up two neoprene life vests in the colours of sherbet. Tasty! "Be sure to anchor the boat, OK? Then it won't get away from you and you can float around all you like and check out everything. I'll even throw in a thing of sun screen." He's looking at the fair-skinned German. "The boat vendor is on the dock down there, they'll get you set up with a boat and instructions on how to handle that." He then proceeds to explain in detail how to use the snorkel equipment and soon the couple are off.

"Are you sure this is a good idea? I mean... I really seriously cannot swim." She looks dubiously at the life vest. "This fucking thing better work." She warns. Still though, Kilo seems very excited about the entire prospect. "Maybe you'll let me drive the boat a little bit too?"

Rictus slips the life vest on and fastens in, then helps Kilo into hers. He laughs, "It's a good look on you, babe! A new fucking trend!" He grins at her, then goes about slathering on the sunscreen as they head out towards the dock. "I think these things are pretty fail-safe. I mean it's like foam or something, right? You can't even pop 'em. And I'll be right there with you. I ain't letting you drown." He stops and gives her a hug and a twirl, and then a rather deep, very non-chaste kiss.

And then it's off to the docks. They find the boat vendor and get all set up. Ric laughs at Kilo's words, "Shit, you think I'd hog it all myself?" Yeah, he probably would. He does like driving things. But he grins and winks at her, "Hell, I'll let you go /first/!" Now that's love. "C'mon, let's do this! I mean, you only live once, right?" He winks again. Because, well, that's not entirely true.

Amazingly enough, they hand over the keys to a power boat to two criminals with absolutely /no/ boating experience and give them a wave as they depart. That's the Caribbean for you! No sense of safety or lawsuits! Kilo tries to take the wheel first and it's a unmitigated disaster. They end up going around in circles endlessly and she can't stop the boat. Reluctantly she hands the controls over to her man and points to where she/thinks/ the reef is out in the open water. "This is a lot scarier than I even thought it would be." She confesses, peering over the boat's edge as it POP POP POPs over the wakes of other boats in the area.

And then suddenly they find themselves in eerily calm water. No other boats in the area. No snorkelers or divers. "Huh." She looks around and water is getting lighter and lighter. "Oh, I think that's the..." CRRRRRUNCH! The boat runs up onto the most shallow part of the reef, the outboard motor starts to grind on it and makes a horrible whining sound and the two of them are thrown forward in the process. "Oh fuck! REVERSE! REVERSE!"

Rictus shouldn't laugh at Kilo's driving skills, but he can't help himself. As they go around in circles, he whoops and whistles and laughs and, well, he rather enjoys himself. This is what he needed - a day away from Fallcoast. Away from all the death, all the crime, all the crazy stalker cannibal Baronesses. Just a chance to have some fun, and remember why it is he does what he does, why he fights so hard for what he finds important (even if some would question some of those activities).

Eventually he takes over, and he at least keeps the boat going straight and they don't capsize. He does seem to enjoy hitting those wakes head on, though, and jumping the boat. Until they get to the eerily calm water. "Hmmm, this might be a good place to fucking st..." CRUNCH! "Oh, fuck! Good thing we got that insurance." What insurance? Oh well.

He slams the boat into reverse and tries to get it unstuck. "Damn, we're stuck pretty fucking good. I might gotta jump out and see if I can't push it while you throttle in reverse. Just don't leave me behind!" He laughs and winks at her, then moves to hop into the water and see if he can't get the boat unstuck.

"OK OK!" Kilo is suddenly worried about reversing so hard that she /will/ lose Ric on the reef and never get back to him. "Wait take this." She throws him a rope that she saw is secured to the boat. Good thinking Kilo! Then as he pushes she accelerates in revers and the propeller continues to crunch on the reef and coral, breaking it up in bits and doing who knows what sort of damage to the propeller and possibly the engine. Finally though they free it and it leaps off the reef with a huge and fast motion, which also yanks Rictus pretty fast as well. Hopefully his arm isn't dislocated. Kilo frowns. "Sorry! At least I didn't lose you!" As she waits for him to get back in the boat, she sees a dark, shadowy outline in the water, maybe resting on the reef. "What is that? Is that a boat?"

Rictus doesn't get his arm dislocated because, brainiac that he is, he ties the rope around his waist. He goes about pushing the boat as Kilo revs it in reverse. Right as it's about to break free, he catches sight of the pole, and the ghostly parrot. "Hey, Kee, do you see...." VROOM! Suddenly the boat's free and he lets out a yelp as he's yanked right off the reef and through the water. "Shit!" He flails around, dodging bites of sharp coral, until the boat comes to a stop.

He drags himself up along the rope, grabs onto the side of the boat, and pulls himself in, soaking wet but grinning. "That was fucking wild!" Then he remembers what he saw. He spins around, even as Kilo's pointing out the boat.

He points at the pole, "A boat... and a mast! And... you see what I'm fucking seeing?" A ghostly parrot. He starts to grow excited. "You think it's a sunken ship? Let's snorkel! I want to check it out." If the parrot's a ghost, who knows what others might be lurking around. They could need help! And they /did/ come to snorkel, right?

Excitedly, the two boat novices drop the anchor... somewhere. Hopefully. "I /think/ it's caught on something? I hope?" She smiles weakly. If they finish snorkeling and there is no boat... they are so so SO fucked as they are a long way out here and they can't snorkel with their phones. Kilo gets her gear on and slips gingerly off the step in the back of the boat so she can hold onto it as she tests the vest. It's surprisingly buoyant and after getting used to 'breathing' underwater, she is soon swimming around like a fish! She waits for Rictus to catch up with her before approaching the parrot who seems to come and go with the breeze.

"Kee, I don't think it's supposed to fucking /catch/ on something... " Then again, he's no boating expert. He just can't help but wonder about how they plan on getting it back /up/ if it's caught. Oh well, they'll figure that out later. First things first! He's already wearing his vest, so he grabs the rest of the gear. He also attacks a rope to Kilo before she slips into the water, so that she won't accidentally float away. It's long enough that they both have plenty of slack to swim around and explore a bit. Or float around in Kilo's case.

He slips into the water and adjusts the snorkel, then swims closer to the boat, getting a better look at it. As they approach the pole, and the parrot, he pops his head up out of the water and looks at Kilo, "Why do you think it's just hanging out? You think it's waiting for like... I don't know, it's one legged pirate guy or something? You think there's fucking ghost pirates? Fuck, that'd be crazy. I bet there are!"

He looks over at the bird, "Hey! Are you waiting for your ghost pirate guy to come get you? Can you talk? Um... polly want a cracker?"

When the parrot reappears he seems to take an instant liking to Rictus. "Hello! Pretty Bird. Fuck you. I fucked your mother already. Cracker. Anchor. Anchor." When he says anchor, he flaps his wings and disappears again." Kilo has her mask up so she can look at Rictus. "Well... huh! Fucking parrots... They say the stupidest shit." She shakes her head then looks down at the boat under water then come out of the water and flips her mask up again. "Maybe there IS a ghost down there Rictus! But how will we ever know? I can't go down there..."

Rictus laughs as the bird speaks. "Kee, it talks!" And it's speaking Ric's own language! Ric already likes the bird. "Fuck you, too, birdbrain!" Of course, the parrot's already gone, but Ric says it anyway, grinning broadly. Then he's considering, "Hmmm. Anchor. You think it's anchored to the fucking boat? Or something inside it?"

He looks down at the shadow of the boat beneath them, brow furrowing as he considers. "Hmmm, I wonder... our Geists, they don't gotta breathe or nothing, right? Maybe we could send them down and hang out on the boat? Or... we could make those little blood doll things. They don't gotta breathe, right? We could send them down to take a look and shit. I mean, I can swim ok... and I don't need to breathe underwater. Do you know that trick? If not, I could take a peak around and tell you what I find and shit." There are options!

"OHhh! You know we could do that one thing... Stigmata Caul." Kilo lets the plasm works it's magic as she concentrates very hard on this one, since it's not one she uses very often. Lucky sits on the bow of the boat and supervises. She she slows her breath to a complete stop it a very curious thing. "WEll I guess we don't need all this shit anymore?" She tugs the mask and snorkel off and throws it back on the boat. "And I guess we're going to have to take these off if we're going to dive..." This she does much more reluctantly. But now she can't drown so, you know, what's she got to lose. Looks like she's going to learn to swim by default.

Kilo waits for Rictus to figure out what he's doing and then she tries to figure outhow to dive. Which isn't quite as easy to drown yourself as one might think. But kicking withthe flippers helps to propel her down and down until she is eye-to-eye level with what seems to be a sunken pirate ship. It looks very old, as if its been there a long time and the sea has ravaged it with the devastation one might expect. There is no parrot to be seen though. But now Rictus and Kilo cannot communicate. All they can do is point and make hand gestures. Kilo points to the inside and gives a shrug. Should they go in?

Rictus laughs as Kilo suggests Stigmata Caul. "That's /one/ way." He winks at her, and then plasm flows through him as well. He does choose Stigmata Caul over Tear Stained Shroud, however, because once his breathing's slowed down, and the gear removed and tossed aside, there's another wave of plasm that wraps around him, this one surrounding him in a ghostly glow. It's dark under water, after all, and even if they can see int he shallow water, chances are it's dark /inside/ the ship.

He then dives into the water, with a little more skill than Kilo. He's been at enough parties with pools, after all, and more than a few beach bonfires. Not to mention hiding under docks is sometimes a good way to escape the police.

He swims down to where Kilo is, taking in the ship, studying it a moment, then looks over at Kilo and gives her a thumbs up. He swims towards the ship, first swimming over the deck and around the hull, checking for damage and structural integrity before looking for a potential opening.

Oh there is hella damage and zero structural integrity on this sucker. It's been dashed and bashed against this reef in pounding surf and storms for hundreds of years now. So what you see is what you get. The parrot then appears before the two again, this time as if he's alighting on the edge of the ship to perch, but the wing action is in slow motion. Then he's chattering away again at Rictus and Kilo, but mainly Rictus. "Long John Silver. Black Beard. Stan. Captain. Go to Hell... Anchor! Anchor!" And enters the boat, almost as if it is leading them in.

Rictus really didn't expect anything else from the boat. It's a shame he can't keep the light up while at the same time using some Stillness, just in case. Why didn't he bring a flashlight, anyway? He might have, but it'd be up in the boat. He'll just have to take his chances - at least he can breathe.

He blinks when he spots the parrot underwater. And why wouldn't it be, it's a ghost. Still, some things just make you double-take. He looks over at Kilo, lifting a questioning eyebrow, and then he swims forward, towards the boat. Hopefully it won't collapse on top of them.

He finds an opening, looking around for the parrot, and then slips into the darkness within, taking a look around.

They enter in at deck level and must travel lower to get into the ship. This is where they pass the galley, past the crew's sleeping quarters and past the captain's quarters before standing at the brink of the stairs to the hull. "We can go down into there or go back and look in those rooms?" She has no idea what to do, she's just hoping Rictus does. He's the one in the family with 2 braincells instead of one.

They enter in at deck level and must travel lower to get into the ship. This is where they pass the galley, past the crew's sleeping quarters and past the captain's quarters before standing at the brink of the stairs to the hull. Kilo tries to indicate; Down? Or back? She has no idea what to do, she's just hoping Rictus does. He's the one in the family with 2 braincells instead of one. (re)

Rictus moves carefully once they're in the ship, not wanting to accidentally bump a beam and bring the whole ship down on them. He looks around, that ghostly light surrounding him making it so they can see, at least somewhat. He pauses as the stairs to the hull, considering Kilo's words. He looks towards the hull, then back to Kilo.

His brow furrows in thought, then he points back to the rooms. They can always check out the hull after. First, he wants to check something else. He swims carefully down the hall, back to the Captain's quarters. The parrot mentioned a Captain, after all. Once at the door, he'll inspect it a moment, trying to determine if he can open the door without bringing the rotting beams down on the both of them.

With careful finesse, Rictus is able to open the door without causing the entire vessel to collapse on them. Which, all things considered, is probably a pretty good thing. They both swim in and there are a treasure trove of artifacts from the 1600s just sitting on the desk and tables; very old maps and navigational instruments and jewelry and buckles and coins and glasses and pens and a vase and all manner of candles and candlestick holders. But perhaps the most interesting or curious bit are the alcohol bottles lying around. The captain seems as if he were quite the drinker! Except one is still corked, the cork sealed tight with wax. Inside though there is no liquid. It looks more like a black smoke that fills the bottle.

Once the door is open, and Ric's pretty sure the boat's not going to collapse (at least not yet), he gives Kilo a thumbs up and swims inside. He looks around the room, wondering once more why he didn't bring his messenger back with him. Oh well, the porn magazine offrendas would be destroyed, anyway. He inspects the various items in the room, scooping up an interesting looking piece of jewelry and tucking it into a pocket. Then he spots the bottles.

He swims over, inspecting them, until he finds the one filled with smoke. Well, isn't that ominous. NOTHING COULD GO WRONG. He resists the urge to open it right away - he'll wait until there isn't a rotting ship looming around them - and then, lacking anywhere else to keep it, he tucks it into the waistband of his pants. He adjusts, so that it's reasonably secure, then gives Kilo another thumb's up. Time to check the hull, then get out before the whole thing collapses on them.

And inspect the bottle more closely from a less immediate death if you stub your toe sort of setting.

As soon as Rictus picks up the bottle, the parrot reappears from wherever that little sucker has been hiding here and there. He alights on the rockstar's shoulder and apparently tries to squawk at him but no real sound comes out under water. Still, he now seems to be a permanent fixture on Rictus' shoulder!

Kilo backs out of the room, resisting the urge to take anything and heads back to the hull. It's dark down there. She really really doesn't want to go down there and actually waits til Rictus catches up with the 'light' and to see if he's really going to go down. Presuming he does (and goes first!) he'll swim down to see rows of benches with skeletal remains shackled to manacles bolted to the boat. Slaves? A slave ship? There must have been 20 men that died down below when the ship sunk. What a tragedy. Kilo just stares in disbelief, shivers shuddering over her skin. She shakes her head.

Rictus lifts an eyebrow as the parrot settles on his shoulder. He glances at Kilo, then points at his pants questioningly. The bottle, that is! Then they head down below. Ric looks around, scowling deeply, and shakes his head. He checks for ghosts, just in case there's a pour soul down here that needs passed on. If there's not, he's heading back up top, reaching out to take Kilo's hand as he does, giving it a squeeze.

Rictus checks for ghosts but sees nothing. Kilo looks around and doesn't see anything either, but as she turns to swim back up the stairway too, she catches just the flash of something out of the corner of her eye. She stops and turns around - looks harder this time but doesn't see anything further. Except she is /sure/ she saw something...

In any event, she pokes her head in the galley on the way out and other than some kitchen-type artifacts, nothing seems to be unusual. She then heads after Rictus and up to the surface where then can finally talk again. Of course now the boat is half a mile a way from them. How the FUCK did that happen. "Holy shit! I don't think I did the anchor right!" Kilo panics when Rictus surfaces. "Good think I can swim now. And we don't have to breath." She laughs a little. But the visions of below are a little disturbing. "That.. was something else. What a fucking sucky way to go." She says sadly.

Rictus doesn't notice whatever it was Kilo saw and just swims back upstairs, and through the boat, careful not to touch anything. They swim back to the surface and DAMN IT. Well, at least that means the anchor isn't caught on anything, right? He glashes Kilo a grin and then swims with her back to the boat. He grabs the side and pulls himself in, then reaches out a hand for Kilo to help her up as well.

He grows moer somber, nodding, "Yeah. I wouldn't fucking wish that on anyone." He looks back at the shadowy form of the ship. "You think we should... I dunno. Maybe we could have some kind of ceremony or some shit. Say some words. I didn't so no ghosts or anything, but... I don't know. It just seems like the right thing to do, you know?"

Kilo gratefully takes Rictus' hand and lets him help her out of the water. For just learning how to swim, that was a lot of swimming! "I think I saw... something. It might have been a ghost. Could they have been hiding? Maybe they just didn't trust us? Or were afraid of something else? If there were ghosts down there, how do you even talk to them or help to resolve them? You can't talk down there when it's all underwater! Yeah... I dn't know. A ceremony or a memorial? I'd be down with that. I wish this wasn't such an awkward situation." She looks beat. So much salt water and sun and heat -- she's not used to this tropical life. "So... What about that bottle? What's up with that. What's inside do you think." She smiles at the parrot who then sqawks at her. "Go to hell. Go to hell. Cracker. Slave ship. Hidden treasure. Lost at sea. Captain. Anchor. Go to hell." The bird spouts his nonsense as Kilo smirks. "I think he's yours now... what are you going to call him? I vote Bacardi!"

Rictus wraps an arm around Kilo's shoulders, holding her close as he looks back at the water, that haunting shadow of the shipwreckd boat below. And that watery grave. "You think you saw something?" He considers this, brow furrowing in thought. "What about Molly? I mean, she has experience with a lot of sea stuff, maybe she's resolved ghosts underwater before and knows a trick? But... I want to do something. It ain't right, that. The way those people fucking died. Being lost and forgotten like that."

He shakes his head, turning towards Kilo as she draws him back, asking about the bottle. He realizes the parrot's still with him. He pulls out the bottle, looking at it's smokey contents. He's distracted, however, as the parrot speaks. "Hidden treasure?" He generally doesn't care about money, but a hidden treasure is different.

And then Kilo suggests a name. "Hmmm... I like it, but maybe..." He glanes back at the shadow of the ship. "Maybe it already has one and we just gotta fucking find it."

"I don't know. I think it just says a lot of shit that it heard that captain say and maybe none of it means anything. Or it means something. Who knows. He seems like a little shit to me." And almost immediately the parrot fires back at Kilo. "Daughter of a whore!" Kilo narrows her eyes at the bird. "Oh it's on. BBQ'd Parrot for dinner." She laughs maniacally. "We can definitely talk to Molly about resolving underwater. We could look at those maps to see if we can find buried treasure? I suggest we get an underwater camera and just take pics though as disturbing maps that old will probably cause them to disintegrate. Right? As for the bird's name? I guess that's between you and him. He seems to have taken a liking to you..." she laughs.