|Daniel|| It's been a few days since the encounter between Daniel and Ashur, the encounter which left the big old wanderer stretched out in the sand after a perfectly amiable brawl. He seems to have recovered well, wandering in and out of New Rome as he wills, occasionally bringing in some wild game hunted out in the Wasteland. A new pistol is shoved into a cross-draw holster, and a second rifle has joined the first. But the practiced eye might notice that he's using his left arm, avoiding the shoulder that had been dislocated.
Currently, he's sitting out in the rain. His body armor is stacked neatly beneath a makeshift lean-to, salvaged from the rubble of a house, and he's stripped down to his waist. His right shoulder is a mass of purple bruises, visibly swollen, and there are other abrasions and marks all over his chest and back. A pink bullet scar, and a much larger exit wound, mar the left side of his gut. He seems content to watch the sun rise, its watery ascent marred by the rainclouds attempting to bring life to the desert.
|Mafuane|| Mafuane's day had began early as usual, after waking and checking on the wounded in Eden's medbay, she's now heading to the ruined temple in hopes of salvaging it's history and sculpture pieces. Trekking through the rain in her white gossamer gown wasn't the best idea in terms of modesty, but the survivors of the sky fortress attack had more pressing matters than sparing a cloak, like training to overtake the sky fortress soon.
She notices through her veil the bruised man from Ashur's training brawl days before, so she stops and approaches him.
"I remember you." Mafuane lifts her veil. The rain's patterned her dress' shoulders and slicked her fine straight hair so far, it threatens to soak her further the longer she stands for conversation.
"Have you not found aid at Ashur and Eden's home?" she asks and looks at the sunset he's watching before turning back to him.
|Daniel||Daniel looks up at the woman standing before him for a long few moments, silent. Up close, it's evident that the scars which stand out are only the most recent in a long line of injuries that, by all rights, should have proven fatal a long time ago. He smiles as he watches Mafuane, then shakes his head slowly, once. "I didn't come looking for aid," he explains equably. "I came looking for work."
The collection of weapons and armor beneath his little lean-to show what sort of work this man is here to find. "I remember you, too," he tells the slender Egyptian. "I saw you right before your pal Ashur about broke my jaw off my head." There's no animosity in his tone; if anything, he seems amused.
"Care to step in outta the rain?"
|Mafuane|| "One must have health before wealth can be gotten." the much younger than him woman wisely points out.
"I am Mafuane. And that man Ashur, well, we have had moments together. Not nearly enough to claim that title." Her face blushes at the mention of Ashur and she looks aside.
"I would. I would also like to treat your shoulder, the rains here can make open skin fester much faster." she speaks lightly and courteously to him. He is an elder in her eyes after all.
|Daniel||Rising to his feet, looking down at Mafuane, Daniel's smile stretches a bit as he watches her blush. "Sure. I'll let you practice on me, kid. You have a name?" He ignores her recommendations about health and wealth. There is a hesitation as he reaches up, as though to take Mafuane by the shoulder and guide her into the shelter of his lean-to, but he looks from his muddy palm to her pristine, if somewhat transparent, gown. He decides against smearing it.
Ducking under the lean-to, his back to the young woman, he says "Wait there just one second." And then he turns to face her, watching her stand in the rain, gaze traversing up and down her form. He nudges his armor aside with a foot. "Alright. Come in."
|Mafuane||The petite woman's eyes catch Daniel's gaze and she crosses her arms around her ample bust in attempt to cut his free show short.
"Alright" she replies and steps under his makeshift rain deterrent. While shrugging off her flax and wicker basket and squatting just enough to not muddy her dress, she gathers her supplies of bandages and wrapped scraps of wool soaked in herbs.
"I am Mafuane, daughter of the high priestess Melain of the New Kingdom. And I am no child, that your eyes have so clearly seen." she says flatly.
"I will need your arm to realign your shoulder." she says seeking permission to touch him.
|Daniel|| Daniel's expression is perfectly shameless, his grin widening even further as he watches Mafuane cover herself up. "Mafuane. I've never had a priestess before.. in my house, I mean." He extends his arm to the woman, exhaling after a moment. "I hate this part," he confides.
"And I didn't mean to offend, calling you a kid. You're maybe half my age." Another glance up and down the woman's form, another smile. "You're still beautiful. Where I come from, only the young'uns are beautiful. Rest of us get ugly fast."
|Mafuane|| The woman blinks from his joke and pauses a moment before she takes his arm. Slowly and steadily she pulls back, as she takes her time she'll try and distract him with conversation, as she was taught to in these moments of pain.
"Offence withdrawn for now. And where do you hail from? Surely not beyond the unending waters? All whom I've asked have never left their land of birth, and I seem to be rarity for being here instead of my true home." she asks and reveals a small bit of her own life to him. Daniel's arm is now nearly fully back, she sets her free hand on his back to steady him.
"Here's the pain now." she warns and keeps pulling back slowly until a POP is heard.
She'll now bend once more to her supplies and scan his body for scrapes and open wounds on him.
|Daniel||"No. Not past the water. I never met anyone from past the water before you." And then there's the POP, and Daniel's eyes squeeze shut. By the way his jaw clenches, the pain is certainly present, but the old mercenary doesn't make a sound. It doesn't even sound as though he's breathing for a few moments. Finally, though, he speaks. "How'd you get here?" His voice is only a little husky from the discomfort.
His body, however, has clearly been in the wars. There's a long scabbed-over gash that runs down his side, and a whole series of scrapes up and down his back.
|Mafuane|| She explains her story as she applies poultices and bandages throughout his body, her small size makes it a bit of an effort to wrap him though.
"I awoke in this clear container, with metal floors and walls outside it, there were other humans there alive and not stored in the containers. I was told of human-like creatures that had taken us, and with efforts on our part, were able to crash to this land. There are still other stored humans in the flying machine's broken half, and I wonder if I would find more of my people there." she sighs at the distant thought.
|Daniel||There is an avaricious glint appearing in Daniel's eyes as he listens to the story. "I bet there's a lot of things in that broken half," he says. He lifts his arms up, letting Mafuane wrap him as best he can and -- though the man is clearly tempted -- he doesn't even take advantage of the situation. Apart from a casual arm on Mafuane's shoulders. "I'd be available to go and find that out for you," he says casually. "For a price and a share of anything I found." Mercenary to the core, even now.|
|Mafuane|| She steps back now that she's finished wrapping Daniel's wounds.
"I'm far too unfamiliar with the lands here, but there will be a planned trip out to it, likely with Ashur leading. Weeks of travel I'm told." she adds. "With this sky fortress lurking, finding the lost souls will have to wait." she looks down. "Without the flying machine fortress in tact, I fear settling in here is my only option. Ashur may be determined to destroy it."
|Daniel||"Or kill everyone on board and take it for himself. That's what I'd do, in his place." Daniel's conversational tone as he looks over at Mafuane, his casual mention of slaughter, hints at a vast experience in doing just that. "Well, when Ashur's done with whatever he's gonna do -- killing them or destroying the thing, whatever -- keep me in mind. I'm a lot cheaper than whatever he's gonna want." His gap-toothed smile returns. "Besides, that boy's just too pretty for his own good."|
|Mafuane|| "Ashur has saved the land many times over and granted a hero, many of the citizens here will tell you the same." Mafuane corrects Daniel of Ashur's intentions. "Two men like yourself would know how easily things break when your size isn't meant for typical things." she points out while looking up at him.
"Both of you on the trip to sky fortress and the wrecked flying machine would be invaluable for success." she looks to the horizon.
"Oh. I've forgotten." she says and pulls out her supplies yet again, she focuses on making a makeshift sling with bandages and some sticks.
"You'll need to give your arm some time to rejoin itself naturally." she mentions. With her task done she'll step out from under Daniel's lean in and to the rain once more, she turns to him.
"What is your name?" She asks.
|Daniel||"I love heroes," Daniel says sincerely. "Just so long as they go first through the door." There isn't a hint of umbrage or machismo in his voice. Instead, just for a moment, the mercenary looks -- exhausted. Tired far beyond what the conversation might have brought on. He looks at Mafuane standing there in the rain, and for once there isn't a hint of lust in his expression. The big man just looks a little sad.
"Daniel Dennison," he answers her question. He settles down in the mud, lays his pistol on his lap, and begins to disassemble it one-handed. "Just Daniel, I suppose."
|Mafuane|| She offers him a soft yet brief smile. "Survival is essential." she can only add that onto Daniel's hero sentiment.
"May our paths cross once more Daniel Dennison." she bows her head and makes her way to the ruined temple.
|Daniel||After a few fumbling attempts at cleaning his 10MM one-handed, Daniel sighs and just settles for reassembling it. He leans out of his tiny lean-to for a moment, watching Mafuane walk away, and shakes his head. "Five years ago," the big man grumbles. But he doesn't finish the thought. After a little while, he shrugs out of the carefully assembled sling and begins to slip back into his armor. No rest for the wicked, after all.|