Spark yawns. The Failboat drifts in a windless, glass-smooth sea; Failors, for lack of anything better to do, are telling stories in which they are all magnificent, each trying to outdo the other.
Spark is tangled in the ratlines, eavesdropping shamelessly.
"S'there Oi wuz, surroun'ed by th'native pop-you-lass, an' let me tell you, me lads, they were 'bout set t'make me inna their god, an' I says to 'em, well, 'f Oi'm gonna be yer god, less' get one-thing-straight, yer gonna start wearin' pants.."
Spark glances upwards at a voice; "'aven't been around much lately, m'girl." " 'lo Quincey." He swings down to join her. "Ever'thin' all righ'?" he asks casually.
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes is thrown unceremoniously onto the failboat floor, as his "rescuers" hurry to get back to the tall story telling. Aloisius, once he has picked himself up, sees an opportunity to ingratiate himself with the failors.
Spark gives Quincey a sideways sort of smile. "Yeh. Just been busy." The story below them has mutated, grown into a war between the Failor and the many small gods that already inhabited the island's belief system and did not appreciate the pants comment.
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes waits till the end of a story and then butts into the conversation. "Sir! You exploits are both epic and heroic I feel that they should be immortalised in poetry!" The failors were still trying to work out the difference between "epic" and "heroic"
Quincey shifts uncomfortably for a moment; Failors are a gossipy bunch, and Kittania locals occasionally make their way onto the boat to buy fish for their coffee. You just tell me if that boy mistreats you, he doesn't say.
Spark smiles at him anyway, before detaching from the ratlines and swinging down to thump besides the would-be bard. "Y'write poems?"
The Failor-god thumps his chest and takes on a thoroughly epic-heroic pose. "'srigh', poems an' songs, me laddy-boyo, poems an' songs."
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes starts up before they quite realise what's going on. "T'was a dark dank night, and the turgid gloom was a nihilistic knife in my eyes, the pain that they call life was a blight on my soul..." The failors aren't sure that this is quite how it was.
The other Failors make noises of disgust and disbelief. "Vinny," one says scornfully, "Y'ain't never been a god in yer life." "Yes-Oi-'ave, jus' ask th'natives of Badum-Bun-Ching." Then they all turn doubtful eyes to the mutant.
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes luckily breaks off at Sparks question. "Why yes madam! I am a poet! A recorder of epic deeds in the pink despair of life! A lighter of candles in the dark that the misery of our existence may be forgotten for just a little while. Pleased to meet you."
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes extends his hand to the raggedy joker.
Spark never quite knows what to make of mutants. One had once compared her hair to a midsummer's eve spent despairing of all future existence."Didn' know despair was pink," she comments, eyes narrowed with suspicion.
Spark hands Aloisius a fish.
Spark explains, "It is a metaphor."
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes has an entrance to one of his favourite themes and needs no second chance. "Why yes madam! When seen through this eye here." he points to one near where his ear should be (how does he hear? We may never know.) "I see despair as pink."
How does he hear? Terribly.
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes continues "While that eye there..." he indicates an eye on the left of his chin "...sees despair as a sort of lime green."
Royale Badass Thor Thafrij is deposited aboard with all due lack of ceremony. He dusts off the ill fitting overalls with assumed dignity
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes "While this eye here" (one where his actual left eye should be) "Sees despair, and indeed everything else, in ultraviolet. This...oh a fish. Thank you. How kind. Ah a cunning metaphor."
Spark has decided that this is how she will deal with mutants from here on forth; give them the nearest thing to hand, then claim it is a metaphor. The fish gasps. Metaphorically.
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes "I see that you are a cunning metaphysician madam! This fish is a clear symbol of life. It swims naturally in the dark dank depths of the ocean where there is no light and never will be. Yet here it has finally experienced the sun- and lo!"
Spark points out, "It dies." And yet it experiences light for the first and only time.
Royale Badass Thor Thafrij casually strolls around the deck looking for his usual sitting place, polished smoothe by frequent buttock pressure
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes "This is the very thing which deals death. Death leading to decay. Ah the futility of existence! We struggle, we strive in our purgatories desperately seeking the light of meaning, and when we find it? It kills us!"
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes "Madam I can see that I have happened upon a rare and exquisite soul. One who has plumbed the very depths! And can express more than words in a matter of seconds! You madam, are a genius! I shall keep this if I may." and he tucks the fish in a pocket.
Spark blinks at this expansion on the metaphorical potential of a fish, then peers at the fish as it vanishes into the pocket. She is a rare and exquisite soul, if "rare and exquisite" meant in this case "wouldn't know a metaphor if it slapped her".
Spark thus does what anyone in this situation would do; she nods. Sagely. "Yes." Her expression makes an attempt at 'wise'. Unfortunately, it stops at 'smug' and gives up.
Spark adds, "Also. Seaweed." Yes.
Royale Badass Thor Thafrij flops down and arranges himself into an angular cross-legged position. "It's all in the mind, heh?" is his only unspoken thought on the overheard conversation
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes rhapsodises on. "This shall be a memory, a fleeting memory of the time spent in your company. Its rotting will remind me of the ephemeral nature of all things good. Only pain is permanent...seaweed?" he pauses.
Spark replies, sagely, "It is all in the mind." And all over the deck. And over there, on top of that seagull.
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes can't immediately see the deep metaphor behind seaweed. This lady is too subtle for him - her metaphors too profound for his limited cognition - reminding him of his own inadequacy once again.
The seagull is musing on the temporary nature of even pain, given that pain is a product of the mind and the mind can easily be overcome by outside influences. The seagull is friends with an albatross. They frequently speak of such things.
Spark is casting about frantically for something else to say that sounds wise. "Rope," she says. Wisely. Either she means this as a metaphor, or she really stinks at I-Spy.
Royale Badass Thor Thafrij chuckles quietly and thinks "Life to a camel is like three scarabs in the wind," just to see if he's inadvertently got some sort of telepathic link thing going.
Spark, having no telepathic skill whatsoever, says, "Plastic bag." Perceived inadequacy ain't got nothin' against the real thing.
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes "Rope! Yes rope!" he pauses "Um rope." He must meditate on this. "Um, spends it's life being of service to others, when it's not needed it's thrown in a corner? People wind it up? Um, um, Plastic bag! The rubbish of life! Of course!"
Royale Badass Thor Thafrij sighs with relief, his thoughts are safe !
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes realises that the raggedy joker is making a profound comment about the nature of our place in the cosmos. "We are but the detritus of the universe the trash that finds itself washed up on the shore and makes everything look ugly."
Spark crosses her arms and says, "Life is a cactus." Then she points! Behind them! "Look, it's a passing uncertainty in the long dark night!" When the mutant turns to see, she tiptoes away.
Citizen Aloisius Five-Eyes turns to look at the unexpected cactus but can't see it. Returning to the raggedy joker he...but she's gone! he settles down, watching the other joker sitting quietly with three of his eyes, and contemplating rope and plastic bags.
General list of scenes.