The Search On The Shore

August 03, 2016:

Curiousity doesn't always kill the cat, sometimes it just gets them wet. Meeting Nerina, the Barbarian woman seems to find it a fair trade.

North Shore

An isolated stretch of the North Shore.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Rumors of another water woman, perhaps a nymph, perhaps something else have reached the Inn where Shakira lives and works. Her fae landlord has become something of a friend although the woman is often exasperated by Shakira's catness and ignorance of Earth and it's ways.
The woman-cat or cat-turned woman, whichever is the case, doesn't have many friends. Her personality often makes that different. Even as human she has many catlike traits. She is glorious, everyone should think so and when they don't, it vexes her. She hates getting wet, reacts poorly to startlement and surprise and is a by nature a lot more violent than most people are. She's also insatiably curious about everything and can be downright nosy.
Today she's come looking along the this stretch of beach called the North Shore. People said to follow the flute music if she hears it and to search near waterways. Shakira is… curious and also maybe hoping to make a new friend. Or meet another one of this world's races? She doesn't know but it should be interesting. The beach isn't too bad either. It's very nice view and despite it being a warm day, this stretch is rather isolated. They'd also told her to search in the quieter places. "If this is some silly chase I've been sent on, and they made it all up I shall claw out their eyes. Or perhaps the tongue.. yes. One can still function perfectly without a tongue and Israfel would not be happy if I blinded people, I think." Shakira strolls along, a tall brawny woman with long dark hair and blue eyes. She wears a dark brown fur bikini and leather animal teeth and claw necklace.

Stroll around long enough and the felid woman's ears will hear just that. It's a distant, melodic sound that drifts in from the water, slow with a gentle but expressive timbre that's supported by the lapping waves and accented by the erratic squawk of gulls. Tucked on a rocky outcropping in view of the shore is a figure with white, airy clothes that flutter in the constant breeze and long, long blonde hair that falls like a stream down her back. It's likely that's the girl Shakira is looking for but to reach her, she might have to get wet.

Shakira pauses to listen and gauge the direction. She lingers a few moments more than necesary because the music is very beautiful and like what she can remember from her former home. Not like the noise the peoples in this world usually call music. "I think Israfel would love this." She comments to herself before moving off in the direction of the sound.
The woman's movements slow as she approaches and she relaxes her body language not wanting to appear as a predator or threat. Someone who prefers isolation is probably rather wary. Blue eyes with much keener sight than normal and lit with curiousity study the figure with interest. It would seem she is real. Of course, she also sees the water. "Maybe.. I can jump the rocks.." Or maybe they're slick and she'll fall in and get wetter. She could try approaching as a tiny cat.. but they avoid water most of the time, it'd be strange. She also wouldn't be able to talk. "Damn." She moves up to the water's edge and pauses. Damn damn damn.. A barefoot pokes hesitantly at the water.. She wants to do this but does she want it bad enough to actually get wet?

The flautist continues in ignorance of her audience, taking a measure's breath before taking the tune through another key and a change of mood. It's almost a fugal piece, with a melody that's easy to catch used again and again with runs and variations, but for its simplicity it's filled with emotion - an improvised piece the sets a touch of melancholy on the waves as the girl's own coral-blue eyes gaze off at the distant horizon.

From the right spot, her scent comes in wafting off the breeze. It's young and subtle, blended by the smell of sea water. As long as she's been on her rock, the girl's cloths have had time to dry out, although the small travel bag beside her is still a little damp.

THe flute music is so expressive and lovely that it decides Shakira. She considers calling out to warn of her approach but doesn't want to interrupt before the girl is done playing and while yes water splashes and is noisy, its already doing so as she slowly, carefully wades into it.
Grateful no one is watching yet to see her horrified shudder or the mixture of fear and disgust on her face as the water goes up to her ankles and then calves, Shakira edges forward. Her breathing is a bit shaky and when it gets to her knees. She pauses to steady herself, choosing to focus on the scents to distract for a moment. Blue eyes move to the bag and her nose twitches. Why doesn't she have the waterproof kind? It is a thing I have seen. One of this world's many wonders. Shakira shivers. It's colder than she expected in here, but finally continues on.

Unconstrained by being written down, the music might not have a true ending. As it is, the flautist continues on her way and trills a long, playful note as a breeze toys with her hair - an island of cheer in an otherwise somber passage that she's played herself into. Her feet dangle daintily in the water to enjoy the cool passing waves and, all too abruptly, the music stops. The girl sets the plastic flute into her lap then fidgets with something hidden from view, before setting the side of her hand against her mouth.

Shakira sighs softly as the music stops. She pauses again to steady herself before calling out. If her voice comes out in an undignified squeak of terror she'll never forgive herself or live it down. How she manages to refrain from audibly clearing her throat, the catlike woman doesn't know but she does.
"Hello? Please don't be alarmed. I heard you playing and it was so very lovely. Do you mind if I come onto the rocks?" Shakira calls out softly. "I am called Shakira." She so wants to get on the rocks now and eyes them hopefully. It won't be worth it if she startles the girl away though. Then she'll be wet for nothing and that won't do at all. A fish darts past Shakira's ankles and she gazes down at the movement and gasps. "Fiiiish!" She loves fish. How to get it without getting wetter?! Oh! but the girl.. "fiish.." More sorrowfully this time.

The flautist turns to look back, revealing a youthful face with bright, vibrant eyes. If Shakira has learned the custom of schools, it's possible there's an empty desk somewhere. Seeing the amazonian woman with her animal bikini and necklace, Nerina's surprise is only exposed for a moment before it's diverted to the fish.

Smiling quietly, the girl sets her flute atop her pack and pulls out a short pointed stick from beneath it before slipping off the side of her rock and submerging into the shallow surf. A strong stroke and a kick send her towards it in water just deep enough for swimming and the fish duly darts away startled. The flautist gives chase, narrowly avoiding the bottom, and Shakira is left with a mismatched race to spectate.

So much for dry clothes.

Shakira has learned about schools but thinks they are confining and a terrible way to learn to things. So she doesn't think it odd the girl has chosen not to be there. It's much better outside.. well, unless one is wet. Blue eyes widen at the sight of the stick and Shakira gasps again. "Oh! I know what that is! I have seen it done!" Where she came from. Perhaps.. she did it herself? With her spear, yes!
She feels guiltly about the girl's wet clothing but watches with fascination. She cannot swim herself and this young woman moves as if she born into the water. It's incredible to the catlike woman, incredible and startling. She knows most people like water but can't imagine why herself. Even some of the large cat breeds in this world do and she has that form as well but hates the wet just as much in it. "How.." Shakira breathes in amazement.

The fast and agile fish - a fish after all in water - is an elusive target and one that offers Shakira plenty of time to watch the girl chase after it. It starts to head for deeper waters and the pair slip out of view as surface waves and light conceal. Of course the cat could always go underwater herself to keep watching…

Eventually though, the fish breaks the surface skewered on the small spear and the girl's head and shoulders come up a moment behind. "You wanted this?" She asks with a distinct Italian accent and a voice not unlike her flute.

Shakira twitches nervously when the girl disappears from sight. What if she's drowning or caught on a rock?? Shakira can't go underwater, just thinking of it sending chills all down her spine but she can't let her die either! The feline woman looks around wildly for help but of course there isn't anyone else about.
"What do I-!" She cuts off and sighs in relief as first the stuck fish and then the girl reappear. "Ooh. Oh you caught it. That is magical." Shakira breathes, wide eyes on the fish. After a moment she meets the girl's, or tries too. "You have a beautiful voice. Are you alright? That was terrifying to watch and strangely pretty." Shakira frowns. That sounds insulting which isn't what she intended. Manners are something she's slowly aquiring though often only when it suits her. "I mean, the water is.. I do not like being wet. I do not at all. I cannot swim." Shakira juts her chin out stubbornly, pride in her eyes. She has come into the water anyway. "I do not understand why some people do, but you moved so easily and freely, it was.." The feline trails off. Does she just sound insane now? She's not sure.

Nerina looks up at the woman oddly - but still softly with her deep blue eyes as she bobs in the water with her sweater barely hanging on the outside of her shoulders. "It's not hard to learn," she hints while drifting unhurriedly back to her rock.

The strange woman carefully moves to the rocks as well, keeping the same distance from Nerina so as not to alarm her. "I would thank you if you offering to teach me but.. I do not think I can. I am.. I am more than I seem and water is a difficulty for me. I wanted to approach you but didn't want to interrupt your lovely music."
Shakira eyes the fish hungrily as she tests a rock with her hands. Not so slippery she will fall of if she's careful. The barbarian jumps up with more force than her even her muscled form looks as if it could manages and lands crouched on her feet, with her palms on the rock. "How much would you ask for that fish? I have a little money on me." She is still learning the values in this world and finds the fact that here at least, there is no bartering most of the time, very very strange.

If Nerina minds watching the woman's acrobatics from down below she doesn't comment. In fact she might just stay in the water a little longer - Shakira can have the rock. As she reaches shallower water, she planes out and rolls onto her back and nature makes wet islands of her as more bouyant parts poke modestly out. "I have enough money for now - maybe something else?" She asks kindly but shrewdly. More than the silted water around them, the girl's eyes have a surprising depth when they're peered into and she seems altogether unhurried and controlled.

Shakira turns to watch and her blue eyes light up with delight. Someone who wants to barter with her? The feline like woman considers this with much attention. What can she offer? She has nothing on her aside from some money tucked into bikini top. Doesn't have a cellphone even.
She looks towards Nerina's bag. "What if I were to bring you a new bag, one that does not get wet? I have seen such a wonderous material in this land. It will keep your items dry." She forgets in her excitement that she doesn't usually mention her strange origins. Most people tend to disbelieve or think her insane or a liar. Her nature doesn't take well to being called a liar or thought mad. "Or.. I could introduce you to another I know, she also loves water. She runs a sort of shelter for people like me who have no home and need help in some way. Or is there another thing you desire?"

That finally gets a quirked eyebrow from the girl as she sits underwater and rests partially against the rock. "Maybe…" she muses uncommittedly as she studies the woman curiously. "Where are you from?"

The barbarian eyes Nerina's manner of sitting with astonishment, perhaps further proving her unease with water. "I wish I knew." Shakira answers honestly. "I cannot remember. I was found in a park in Brooklyn. I have very little memory at all of my home or my former life. I have been told it was another world or perhaps dimension than this and I believe that is true. Where though, I do not know. I was homeless and very very lost. I was directed to this Inn for others in such trouble with no place to go and I've not left. It suits me."

The girl leans back enough to dip down to her nose beneath the surface and puts the side of her free hand in her mouth thoughtfully. The tide rises to the edge of her eyes a few times before she releases it and tucks it under the surf. She extends her spear with the fish still attached. "Show me and you can have the fish, capiche?"

Shakira grins and leans forward with excitement. "I wi-aughhhh!!" She's a little too eager to get the fish and the quickness causes her to slip forward into the water. It's not that deep but the barbarian hisses and growls and spits, flailing wildly as she scrambles to her feet and shakes like a cat would. "Waterrrrrrrrrr!" Shakira shudders. That was so undignified. So embarrassing. Blushing deeply and twitching with anger at herself, the barbarian slowly settles back onto the rock and reaches for the fish again. "I will show you. You might like it there. Many people are different. Mutants some, and magical others. And a few I do not even know. The woman who owns the place is a Fae Nymph from some place called Faerie." If she's talking a lot its to distract from her embarrasment. She also wants to help this young girl if she can. Shakira knows such people are often preyed upon and she doesn't like that thought.

Nerina giggles heavily to herself as Shakira falls towards her and does precious little to regain her dignity afterwards. Finally showing her age a little, the girl can't help dipping her mouth underwater again so she can raise it out and squirt a long stream at the wet woman's leg. "A little water never hurt anyone, sai."

Shakira glowers at the water. She's much more forgiving of someone young and doesn't take offence even when she almost falls in again trying to dodge the squirt. "It doesn't hurt! It's.. it's wet! I'd rather get burn-…actually that is also incredibly bad." She winces at the memories and hisses a bit. There was the whiskers with the candle incident that hadn't been pleasant and the accidental leap into the hearth when her landlady shot water at her for jumping onto the table that had downright been painful. It's honestly hard to say which she hates more. "Cats do not belong in water." She finally says. There, now the girl knows her other form, Or, forms.

"Being wet is normal. If you're not okay with that, you'll have other problems," Nerina grins, having just a little fun at the woman's expense. Her eyes don't quite stay on the other woman's face, but the symbolism of where they glance might be lost.

"You don't look like a cat," so notes more innocently.

Shakira glances down at herself. Well, that's true at the moment. She doesn't want to shift on this rock but if she wants to go to the shore she'll have to get wet again and that obviously occurs to her just now as she glances past Nerina. "Nooooorrrrr." It trails off into a soft growl. It strikes her that sitting here fretting over it will make her seem cowardly and her dismayed expression turns determined. Shakira slides into the water with the fiercely brave expression of someone facing down a bear all on their own, in water up to her knees, and strides forward to the shore trying not to seem too hurried about it.
When she reaches the water's edge her shoulders slump slightly with relief but she quickly straightens them as she turns around to face Nerina again. "I am woman and I am cat." She says before changing instantly before Nerina's eyes. In Shakira's place is rather small yellow-eyed black cat wearing leather, tooth and claw collar. Which came first, the woman or the cat? She'll never tell.

Nerina lazily pushes herself up and her clothes flood a torrent of water back into the ocean, now dark and clinging instead of light and matted. "Magia," she murmurs in idle curiosity as she watches. By now it's not the craziest thing she's seen but it's still impressive. Retrieving her flute and bag, the naiad slips one into the other and then both over her shoulder as she wades ashore - her slow, smooth stride seemingly finding the natural flow of the waves and creating hardly ripples.

"Capisco, so you are." Nerina smiles a small, fond smile. "You're lucky; I like cats."

Shakira purrs loudly in response to Nerina's declaration that she likes cats. Lucky indeed since she'd been hoping to make a new friend and this is a good start. Better than she'd hoped for. She transforms back into a woman, settling in the sand. It doesn't bother her that it will stick to her, at least it's dry and it'll come off later.
"I am glad. I have discovered a lot of people here like cats but some.. some hate them." She seems very puzzled by this but shrugs. "I can do that and also a large.. they call it panther here. It frightens people though. So I do not do so unless hunting or necessary."

"Pantera," Nerina muses as she squats down and watches the next transformation up-close, finding it hypnotic how the tiny cat legs grow and thicken into long, sinewy limbs. The naiad's attention returns when she catches herself gazing and a light color taints her cheeks. "Bigger cats are bigger fun. It must-e be so bad using that small body instead." Not having any sort of tail for balance, the girl presses one hand into the sand beside the were-cat.

Yellow slit-pupiled eyes watch Nerina with amusement and the panther purrs loud and stretches her tail out before leaning towards the girl's hand. She'll let Nerina pet or touch, she does so love attention and in this form it's very hard to come by. Her senses are much keener of course and she can faintly detect the tang of blood in the air. So trace she's hardly sure but Shakira knows it's not from the fish. Perhaps Nerina cut herself on a rock chasing it?
When she's ready to talk again, the barbarian woman shifts back to her human form to sit on the sand and smiles. "I love all three and have no preference of one over the other aside from when a situation needs something specific, or I do." It's much easier to get fed for free if she's a cute little cat for instance. "There are advantages and not to each," Shakira continues. "None of it is hard. I am lucky. I have seen a.. they called it a Were. It's changing of forms was not nearly so instant and very painful from the sound of it." The fur clad woman shakes her head. "How did you come to be here?" She looks around at the beach curiously. Outside of the water it's a very nice view.

How often do you get to pet a panther? Nerina can't resist the opportunity and rubs her hand across the big cat's black coat, at ease on the sandy shore. She lets her attention drift off and gazes back out to sea with her hand on Shakira until she feels skin replace fur. The naiad discretely takes her hand back then.

"I walked," she answers plainly. A passing breeze blows through her hair, which crouching down falls long enough to tickle the sands. Despite the swim it still parts easily into gossamer strands. "Your eye color changed," she notices with amusement.

"Yes, they do that. Black cats do not have blue eyes." Shakira chuckles. "I walked too. I do not care for the cars and such but do ride the train sometimes. It does not take long to get to Metropolis when I want to visit. Mostly I prefer my own feet though. We should leave here soon if you'd like to go today. The name of the Inn is the Trip Trap. It is on 42nd Street. It can rather.. Lively of a night but there isn't any brawling or fighting usually. Some nights I work as what they call a bouncer in the bar room, that keeps people behaving for the most part. Me or one of the other bouncers. We are all strong and fast and they know it. "
"A few times I have danced. It is fun and I get tips that I share with my landlord since it was her idea. The food is simple but good. I have discovered many things here are not to my taste. All full of strange things, chemicals and additives. I get two meals a day when I want along with my room in exchange for the work I do and a little money as well. It isn't much I know but I don't need much. I spend my days exploring the city, learning about my new world and sometimes, catching violent criminals to appease the Overlord. During our first meeting, things did not go so well." Shakira flushes slightly. It had taken a Cat Goddess to point out her poor behavior and that while a cat might want to believe it's superior to other beings, it is not always the truth. She was in another's territory and needed to remember that. "Shall we go now? Or would you like to talk more?" Shakira smiles.

Nerina's sea-blue eyes fall upon Shakira's hand for a moment as a small, teasing smile graces her lips. "You don't-a look so dangerous without your claws. But yes, andiamo - let's go." The seafoam girl bounces back up from her crouch and lightly brushes off the sand that's stuck to her knees, waiting for Shakira to do the same. She'll let the taller woman lead.

"For an inn, that does not sound like-a good place for quiet sleep," she considers.

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