Gold Fox was preparing to take a shower. She had sent her gear and clothing to Away, which helped to keep it all clean and prevent it from getting misplaced. For the delicate tools, like the camera, it helped prevent it from getting wet. She heard the tell-tale ticking of a time bomb behind the toilet as she was about to step into the shower.
So she used one of the only combat offensive spells she had in her repetoire. She cast a ball of fire right into the shower, into the wall where the pipes were, which just happened to be the exteroir wall of the ship. The heat of the fireball rapidly expanded the water in those pipes, the steam expanding rapidly, helping to make the wall explode outwards. With the wall mostly gone, the nude spy jumped out of the ship and into the sea, the boat exploding just as she finished her dive and fully immersed herself in the sea water.
The beauteous half-elf kicked with her powerful legs and swam underwater several meters before she started to surface. Not wanting anyone to spot her, she did not actually surface, but swam underwater with her head up higher than her body, her mouth just cresting the waves to quickly suck in air.
With that, she kicked and swam with powerful strokes underwater, moving like a sleek torpedo through the water. The pointed ears heard a muffled sound express itself in the water and she glanced around.
She was able to catch a shark with its mouth open coming down on her just in time to sink lower and dodge it. Then she recalled something.
She was supposed to dock in Shark Bay.
Gold Fox looked around quickly, trying to see if there were any other sharks in the area. She found a small number of them swimming about below her and a few others in the vicinity, beyond the one that overshot her and was now turning about for another snap at her.
This was not good. This shark had obvious intent to turn her into an entree. Such was not the fashion she desired her life to end. Fox swam to the left of the shark as it came back towards her, and summoned two items from Away to her grip.
In her right hand, one of her Fangs, and in her left, one of her pistrol crossbows.
Fox gave a swipe with her Fang at the shark’s tailfin, nicking it but not drawing blood. The shark reacted by giving a powerful flick of pain with said tail, sending enough turbulence in the water to cause Gold Fox to roll a few times away from it, her long hair whipping about her as she did so.
She did her best to put more space between herself and the dangerous beast that was basically fins and teeth. Gold Fox kicked herself away as powerfully and rapidly as she could, getting almost a half dozen meters away from the marine beast. It was starting to turn again.
Fox lifted her pistol crossbow up and tapped the ice enchantment setting on it. For now, her bolts would fire ice enchanted bolts, her intent not to just wound the shark but freeze it as well. Ideally the freezing would prevent the shark from bleeding and causing a feeding frenzy with its companions, as well.
Fox’s first shot went a bit high, as she had not accounted for the refractionn of light underwater in relation to ballistic trajectory. She then quickly adjusted and fired a second bolt into the side of the shark. It bit deep into a spot just before the dorsal fin, instantly freezing over. She didn’t notice a drop of blood escape the shark, but did see a ball of ice freeze over that fin, rendering it immobile.
She kept on kicking to propel herself away from the shark. As she did so, she gave a quick look around to see if the other sharks noticed her or if that shot did bleed the target and start a feeding frenzy. It seemed that she was lucky right now, the only shark actively threatening to her being the first one.
Alas for her, said shark was still intent on being her chum. Or rather, making her his chum. As it bared down on her, mouth open wide, she fired another bolt at it, scoring a hit just in front of its left eye, the ice quickly freezing over the eye and blinding it. The sudden shock of the cold so near a sensitive spot made the shark thrash and spasm, either trying to free itself of the bolt embedded into it or warm itself up from motion.
As it did so, its mouth kept on gnashing and going wide. Still kicking away from it, Gold Fox set the crossbow to lightning mode. She swam as fast as she can, waiting for the perfect shot, aiming her crossbow at the beast the entire time. When the shark’s mouth was fully open, she fired.
Her bolt went right down its gullet, vanishing into its body. She sent both her weapons back to Away instantly, then swam with all four limbs away at the highest possible speed. It took a few seconds before she felt the tingling of electricity zapping through her and the water around her.
It felt to her like a tickling and slightly numbing sensation mixed with low heat. But to the shark, it felt much worse. The electrical discharge inside of its belly ripped through its body and send all its nerves not just on fire, but into an inferno. It would be forevermore paralyzed for as long as its life continued.
Sharks must continue to swim in order to breathe, however, for they need water flowing over their gills to be able to obtain oxygen from it. A paralyzed shark is a drowning one, Gold Fox would have been able to say she succeeded in drowning a shark, except for one thing.
Sharks are also highly sensitive to electrical impulses. That is really how they hunt, by sensing the electrical impulses of their prey’s brains. For the shark that is now conducting electricity, it is saying to the others in big neon letters that it is food.
Gold Fox managed to hit a sand bar just as the feeding frenzy started.
She kept low and crawled across the meter wide bar before sliding into the water again, much closer to the shoreline of the island she had as her destination. The half-elf peeked her head up, just to eye level, to scout about the shoreline, but it was mostly empty. A quick read of a sign explained why.
Well, she was certainly wearing enough for that. So she swam up to the beach and rested on a beach chair. Gold Fox spent some time sunning her already tanned body to dry herself off. After her front was dry, she turned over to dry her back. An hour or so after hitting the beach she was dry and relaxed and warmed up from the cool water, so stood up and moved over to the changing areas. Gold Fox moved to the changing booths, showered quickly to wash the sand off her, summoned her clothing from Away, and soon left the beach in her outfit.
Gold Fox had walked a city block, looking around the island. The nudist beach section of the shoreline was near an upper middle class neighborhood. People who had enough money to buy very nice clothing but ironically did not want to wear any seemed to have designated the nude section. That and the rocky outcroppings from the hills to keep voyeurs away were the two probable factors for this location.
No one seemed to mind her presence or even notice it. None of the houses had any nosy busybodies looking out their windows to see what was going on in their neighborhood. There were a few men, humans, who had been out gardening their small gardens, but they did not really pay attention to her, even in her beautiful outfit. The only person in the vicinity who seemed to notice her was a young teen boy, a human, who was riding his bicycle and delivering the evening edition of the local newspaper.
As teen boys are wont to do, this one stopped to admire a pretty lady.
She gave the teen a smile and waved to him, brushing her hair over the pointed tips of her ears to cover that she was a half-elf. She asked in a cheerful tone, “Hey there, busy delivering the good news are you?”
“Boy, aren’t you good news yourself.”
Fox gave a quirk of a brow and a short laugh, “Okay, was not expecting that. You got a future as a womanizer it seems. Be responsible with it.”
“Do what now?”
“Nevermind. Just don’t go catching crabs.”
The boy shrugged, “I don’t like shellfish.”
“Right. Well. Listen, I need to find somewhere called ‘White Wagon Diner’. I’m to meet a friend there.”
Gold Fox shook her head some.
“Well, I can take you there, pretty lady, if you buy me a burger sandwich and I can call it a date.”
Gold Fox laughed a bit, “If it were a date, wouldn’t you be the one paying?”
The teen frowned, “I suppose. Alright, here’s where you find it…” He then gave the directions to the place, which was a dozen or more city blocks away. Then he said, “How about it, I’ll let you ride behind me on my bike if we call it a date, pretty lady.”
Gold Fox brushed the hair away from her left ear, letting the pointed tip denoting her half-elf heritage show and she asked with a smile, “Really?”
The boy gave a frown and turned his head, pedalling away, “Nevermind, damn Empty.”
Gold Fox gave a short snort, but continued on. She wasn’t exactly used to being called an Empty, but it did not really bother her. Both humans and elfs, each thinking only they have a soul and the other a soulless abomination, call a half-elf, a product of intermingling of the two species, an Empty, for to both of them, a half-elf is empty of souls. It is one of the few things both peoples seem to agree on.
Gold Fox wished she found a bicycle herself by the fourth block, or took the teen up on his offer to take her there. At the fifth block, though, the upper middle class neighborhood faded into much smaller houses clumped tighter together on smaller yards. A lot of these houses had obvious damage to them, some extensive. A few had their windows still boarded up from the last storm. Most had messes of sand and stone in their front yards.
She found the section where people either came to the beach a few times a year, or who had lived here year round but could not afford the upkeep of the houses. And with the war going on, vacation housing took a decided backseat. She only found one person on this city block, a suntanned older man who probably lived here year round. She also saw he had been pedalling a bicycle with a large food bin on the front of it. He was obviously a traveling food seller.
Gold Fox pointed to the bicycle end of the man’s livelihood, “Do you know where the White Wagon Diner is, and moreover, would you be willing to let me ride with you there?”
The man waved her over, “Sure, you can stand upon the back pegs and I can pedal you near there. Just two conditions.”
“You don’t mind me stopping to sell my food with whoever wants to buy.”
Gold Fox gave a nod of her head, “Course not, I wouldn’t want to deprive your livelihood. Your next?”
“I charge a half a gold coin a block for the service. Fair?”
“Sure, how far away is it anyway?”
The man gave a short laugh, “I’ll tell you when you give me fourteen gold pieces and climb on.”
Fox gave a blink, “Twenty eight blocks away?”
She jerked a thumb behind her, “Some kid told me it was ‘a dozen or so’ blocks away.”
“Eh, ‘or so’ can mean two or three dozen to some people, I guess. Stupid kids. Anyway, shall we?”
Gold Fox took out fifteen gold pieces from her purse and pointedly put each one into the cash drawer of the man’s food bike. As she did so, her pointed ear was right before him. She said as she did so, “I’m a half-elf you know.”
“That doesn’t bother you?”
“Only thing that bothers me, lady, is the lovely woman I’m supposed to taxi isn’t on my bike to be taxied yet. Climb on.”
As she did so, she said, “Thank you.”
“Think nothing of it. I don’t care who a person is, so long as they’re not harming me or mine and pay for whatever services are given. You know? It’s not like you get to pick your parents, after all.”
“This is…true. If more people thought like you, perhaps we’d not have this war.”
The man grunted, “Damn war. Bad for my business. Only ever good for the already wealthy. Who suffers? The conscripts, the poor, the women, the children, the regular person. Who doesn’t suffer? The wealthy. The officers. And for what?”
“For what, indeed,” Gold Fox mused. For what indeed. Humanity and Elfkind used to be two strong allies, their powerful friendship helping to change the world. Then suddenly, they were at war, each seeking to exterminate the other.
The ride was full of small talk. The man was pleasant but plebian, his biggest care was for himself and his own family, but he was not unkind. He did not care who a person was so long as they paid, just as he said, but he was not a deep thinker of any sort. His best traits were his willingness to help for payment and his hate of the war. They stopped five times and sold sausages on buns to eight people. Then, eventually, he stopped.
“This is as far as I can take you, miss. Just go down yonder,” he pointed to the side street, “about three blocks. The diner’s hard to miss, it’s all white brick and windows on a city block that’s full of wooden stores.”
Gold Fox thanked the man and hopped off, then wished him and his family good luck. He gave a smile at that, then went back in the direction he just came from. Gold Fox went to the dinner just as twilight ended and evening proper settled upon the island.
She slid into the diner just as the dinner crowd came in, and went to a bar stool. She kept looking around for the contact she was supposed to meet, and watching the crowed. It seems that everyone here was just like her, a half-elf. It seems, perhaps, this is the half-elf portion of the island, which is why the human male did not take her here directly.
After waving off the wrong waitress a few times, she finally ordered herself a dinner. Local favorite drink. Half a tuna sandwich and a garden salad. And a creamy broth soup. The soup came first and had crab meat in it, along with rice and herbs. She found it very tasty and would try to remember to make this herself sometime. The rest of the dinner was delicious but unspectacular.
She did her best to eat slow, keep to herself, and delay the waitress from pestering her to order more or pay the bill. The waitress she was supposed to meet still had not arrived.
It came to be that, after a second bowl of the soup she enjoyed, that the dinner rush was over and the one she was waiting for finally entered. She paid her bill and gave her first waitress a tip then moved over to the one she was to meet, saying with a smile, “Excuse me, I think a friend of ours suggested I meet you. Can I ask your name?”
The half-elf with the tattoo under her eye was pretty. Long raven hair, pale skin that tanned on island life, for tanlines showed upon it, and bright blue eyes. She said in a soft and lovely voice, “I am Cunning Linguist. And you?”
“Yes, I’m quite sure you are good with your tongue.” Gold Fox then gave a smirk, “Name’s Fox. Gold Fox.”
“Well, Fox Gold Fox, how can I help you?”
“I’ve come to buy the Thunderwave.” Then, Gold Fox tapped her chin and added, “But first…milkshake. Strawberry. Shaken, not stirred.”