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 Breaking the Ice

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Taro

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Age : 23

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Age: 16
Position: Wandering Swordsmen
Nation: Earth Kingdom
PostSubject: Breaking the Ice   Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:32 pm

Taro stood on the bow of the water tribe ship and looked out over the chilled water, chunks of ice broken off from the massive glaciers and icebergs floated freely around. The navigators steered through the icy water skillfully, making Taro glad that he picked them for his trip. After his untimely rejection from the ferry at Ba Sing Se, he was ambushed by a crew of desperate criminals, who were killed in turn. But Taro decided to travel the world, to get away from the corruption of the Earth Kingdom, if only for a short time, and see if the rest of the world was as tainted by crime and corruption. The Southern Water Tribe seemed like a good place to start. It's population was relatively small, and he had always wanted to see the world.

The ship skimmed the waves as they cut through the water, aided by the water benders in the aft of the ship. He called back to the captain, still looking out over the water. "Master Akita, how long until we reach the village?" Akita looked at Taro, and spoke in a deep voice. "It shouldn't be too long now Kagete." Taro nodded, and sure enough, after a short time the village came into view. Taro's eyes widened with exitement. His first glance at a new nation.

Taro stepped leapt off the bow of the ship as it ran aground on the snow covered landscape, his cloak provided him some warmth, but a the same time, his metal armor sapped it away from his body. His breath was visible in cold air, and his boots crunched in the snow as he walked forward. Glancing back at Akita and his crew, Taro spoke sincerely. Master Akita, do you and your men need any assistance before i move on to the village?" Akita smiled. "No Kagete, we'll be fine, feel free to head into the village." Taro nodded. "Thank you for everything Master Akita." He then turned and walked to the village, wondering what the village and it's inhabitants would be like. His one year anniversary of leaving Miaru's hermatage was coming up, and it wouldn't even be spent in the earth kingdom. This would be interesting.
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Yukare

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Age: Seventeen
Position: JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL...LIVING IN A LONEEEEEELY WORLD
Nation: Water Tribe
PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:58 pm

Yukare had a weird feeling when she woke up. It wasn't the normal "what did you eat last night?" kind of feeling, but that one you get when something's not right or amiss. Something was about to happen. Normally when she got that feeling, it turned out to be nothing, maybe one of the younger kids knocked down a tower and she had to help rebuild. After all, it wasn't like the South Pole was exactly a prime area for attack. What exactly did they have that would be considered such a valuable resource? The North Pole had everything they had, plus a sustainable environment.

Well, they had penguins. Adorable little creatures you can sled on against their will if you throw them enough fish. Take that North Pole. Ha.

She took a little longer than normal to get herself ready, mainly because she had nothing planned for today. Her father was out hunting, mom had no chores for her, and quite frankly if she didn't do things slower she'd eventually run out of stuff to do in the first place. Putting the last knot in her braid, she looked at herself in the glass and sighed. She needed something interesting to happen. It wasn't that she didn't enjoy her life here, not at all. It was just so...the same. She'd heard stories from the elders of vast nations all over the world with buildings taller than any glacier. And animals the likes of which she'd never be able to imagine. And what did she have?

Oh yeah, penguins.

Finally putting on her parka, she stepped outside her home and into the village. Suddenly her "something's up" feeling got a lot worse, people seemed interested in something that was going on by the edge of the water. Of course, someone was usually pulling in or out of port, but it wasn't an unusual enough phenomenon to gain this much attention. Yukare ran back inside to grab her pack of supplies. You never know.

She took slow steps to see what was amiss. Eventually stopping the woman who lived a few houses down from here. "Is it just me, or is everyone a little...excited?"

"There's rumor that a ship has dropped off some men on the south side. They don't look dangerous, but we figure they should come to us. Their leader looks to be about your age."

Yukare looked over to the south ports. She did manage to see the tops of sails from a boat she couldn't recognize. It was water tribe craftsmanship though. Probably traders, but who was the other person. She was nervous, but someone had to go and greet them, right? She began to walk over.

Upon arrival, she found what she assumed was the cause of commotion. She saw no water benders, they were probably still with the ship, but she saw a strange boy in the distance. She couldn't make out much from that far away, but that was probably better.

"H-Hello? Do you need some help?" Normally people not from around here think they can come striding not dressed warm enough, and end up developing near-hypothermia before asking for help. Silly people.
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Taro

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Position: Wandering Swordsmen
Nation: Earth Kingdom
PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:15 pm

Taro heard a voice call out from the direction of the village. Who could that be? He never thought that someone would actually come out to greet him. The snow crunched under his feet as he walked closer to the voice. He smiled and looked up at the figure in the distance. "Ah, yes. I think im in a bit over my head." As he said that, he stepped into a drift of particularly deep snow, one leg sinking down into the drift above his knee. After struggling to free his leg for a moment, he was back up and walking, now close enought to see the girl in front of him.

Taro stopped walking and took his hood off, revealing his short blonde hair and the sword hilt poking out from the neck of the cloak. He bowed, his swords clattering together with each other and his armor under his green and yellow cloak.
"I am Taro Kagete, and who do I have the honor of adressing?" He looked at the girl and smiled. She looked very different from most people in the earth kingdom, long dark hair in a braid, tan skin and blue clothes and eyes.
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Yukare

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Age: Seventeen
Position: JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL...LIVING IN A LONEEEEEELY WORLD
Nation: Water Tribe
PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:37 pm

Yukare couldn't help but laugh as the boy walked over to her. Well, if you call that walking. More like trudging with extreme difficulty and occasionally sinking. It was actually rather humorous. Almost like a child learning how to walk, but with a little less grace. Moreover, with all that metal he was going to freeze to death. "I'll say you are. Here, you'll need this." She pulled out one of her warmer blankets from her pack. "Consider it a temporary solution. The clothes won't fit over that bulky armor. If you want, I can take you back to the village and we can get you into something a little warmer."

When she turned back to give him the blanket, he had taken his hood off and she managed to get a real look at him. His hair was light, something you'd never find in any water tribe. In fact, she couldn't think of many people at all with hair like that. She also managed to get a good look at his weapons. Now those you would never see from any water tribe warrior. Swords were rarely used, especially ones of that caliber. One looked to be not much shorter than her! Maybe the others had the better idea about hanging back. This kid actually looked dangerous....

"Uh, Yukare." She said, bowing back and trying the best to hold her ground. "May I ask why exactly you've come to the South Pole? We're not exactly the top on the list of best vacation spots..." She tried as hard as she could to focus on Taro, but she couldn't help taking side glances at his weapons. Sure, she had some ability to defend herself. And by defend herself, she could splash him a little and maybe push him back. Maybe. For her sake, he'd better come in peace.
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PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:58 pm

Taro nodded. "It's a pleasure to meet you Lady Yukare. And i would be grateful if you showed me to the village, i'm pretty hopeless as far as snow travel goes." He rubbed the back of his neck and smiled. "And to tell you the truth, i'm not even one hundred percent sure why I came here. It just seemed like the best option. I hadn't heard much about the southern water tribe, and with the potential war going on in the north and the Fire nation, it seemed like the best choice for getting out of the Earth Kingdom." He let out a breath, and saw the fog flow out of his mouth. "Though this weather will take some getting used to."

Taro stepped up next to the girl, still sinking a few inches into the snow, making him look shorter than her. He caught her glances at Hogosha and grinned. Don't worry, Hogosha only fights as a guardian, she won't hurt innocents. I promise." Taro took the blanket that Yukare offered him, and wrapped it around himself. The difference in warmth was immediatly tangeable. "Thank you Lady Yukare, you're very kind."
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Yukare

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Nation: Water Tribe
PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:52 pm

Lady Yukare? Yup, this guy wasn't from around here, that's for sure. The only person to be referred to as Lady around here was...uh...maybe some elders but that was circumstantial if that. The unnecessary title was actually amusing. "Why don't we just stick to Yukare? And I'll just stick to Taro? Sound fair?" In all honestly, this guy had a strange way of talking in general, like he was addressing the Fire Lord or someone special like that, not to mention someone twice his age. She was pretty sure she was at least a bit older than him, but not by that much. This guy was either going to be really useful, or just really annoying. She'd wait to reserve judgement. Still, he seemed nice enough; just...uncultured? Or overcultured?

With the mention of the war, Yukare bit her lip. With the way things were around here, she'd almost forgotten about it. None of the warriors from her tribe have gone up to the North Pole yet, so no one really spoke of war. But every day they'd be sharpening their spears or making more war paint or something subtle to tell everyone that something was coming. Something bad. But she tried not to think about it, it wasn't her place. Not yet.

"Uhh...yeah, probably a good idea. Come, why don't we get you something to eat? You should stay inside until you're warmed up and in better clothes." She took him by the arm, mainly to ensure that he wouldn't go sinking into any of the thinner ice patches and led him along. Well, at least he claimed not to be here to attack, and she didn't have much choice but to believe him. And why exactly was his sword named? Must be another Earth Kingdom thing. As much as she didn't want to admit it, Taro intrigued the girl. Well, not him exactly, although he did seem a bit odd, but he was from the Earth Kingdom. He also seemed like the type with a story or two. Maybe they could talk after she ensured he wasn't going to die. Always good to have priorities.
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Taro

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PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:15 pm

Taro smiled at the girl. "Alright Yukare, sounds like a deal." Yukare, she didn't like the titles either. Miaru's lessons must be a little dated, it seems like everyone has a problem with them. Oh well, just Yukare sounds better anyway. When Yukare took his arm, he grabbed hers as well, hoisting himself out of the snow with her help. "I'd love some food, lead the way Yukare." This was going to be interesting, a whole new world if you will. This place was different in every way. There was nothing familiar about it, he couldn't wait to see it all, and his guide was a bonus.
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Nation: Water Tribe
PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:46 am

Yukare nodded. She had almost forgotten that trips like that might make someone hungry every now and again. She had to work on this hostess thing. But, to be fair, this was her first time. Slowly she and Taro made their way around all the rougher parts of the path until they eventually made it back to the village.

Everything was just as Yukare left it. Simple ice huts and igloos lined what were almost roads in that the snow was slightly more packed there from footprints. The ice watchtowers stood at all four posts, empty of course. Who was going to attack them? Like Taro said, everyone was up north. Some of the children will playing in the snow, the one or two waterbenders among them excelling at semi-dangerous snowballs. And, of course, not two steps into the main square did three of the elder women run up to her.

"So, who's the boy? Where's he from? Is he alone?"

Yukare laughed. "Calm down, calm down. Everyone, this is Taro. He's from the Earth Kingdom..." she eyed the swords, just like everyone else was. "...and not here to harm us. That...um....Hokage was it? Yeah it doesn't bit unless bitten." The people relaxed a little. "Also, there's some water tribe men by the ship, probably need supplies. People should go down and help them out. I need to get this guy back home before he freezes to death. Can someone tell my father and some of the other men to head down there?" One of the younger boys nodded and ran off to where the warriors were training. Yukare turned back to the Taro.

"That's pretty much most people in the village. It's kind of small around here. The only other people you haven't really met are the chief and his family, but I doubt you will. I think they already went up to the North Pole. Come on, let's get you something to eat. You're still hungry right?" She smiled and dropped his arm, simply beckoning him to follow her to her hut two down to the left.

The inside was small, seeing as most people didn't have much to keep inside. There were three rooms, the main room, the bedroom, and a small bath. Yukare took off her outer parka and placed it on a rack near the door. "You stay there a second, some of my father's stuff should fit you. He's a little taller, but it should work out." She quickly ducked into the other room and rummaged through her father's stuff. She eventually found a suitable tunic and trousers and seal-skin boots. Once back in the other room, she threw them at Taro. "Get changed, just through that curtain. I'll cook something to eat."

She pulled one of the larger fish out of the icebox, seeing as she herself hadn't eaten yet either. After cleaning it and taking out all the bad stuff, she lit the fire and began to cook. "It's not exactly fine dining, but I have a feeling at this point you're not going to be super picky." She laughed and put his share on a plate. She'd been holding back her curiosity about Taro as long as she could, but now it was unbearable. She had to know more about this strange boy from another land.

"So...if you don't mind me asking...what's your story? I mean, most people just don't wake up and say they're going to the South Pole..."
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Taro

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PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:14 pm

The snow covered path was rough, and unfamiliar for Taro. It impeded him at every turn, his feet dropping down into the snow, or sliding on patches of ice, but Yukare kept him on track. As the village came into view Taro blinked to make sure it was real. The buildings were all made of snow and ice, children played in the snow and waterbenders manipulated the water that composed the crystaline snow to their will. The whole place was... amazing, it was beyond what he thought it would be. His train of thought was interrupted however, when a trio of elderly women barraged him, or was it Yukare, with questions. Before he could respond however, Yukare answered for him, telling the village about his sword. He bowed to the women, and followed up on her explanation. "What Yukare says is true, and your village's hospitality is very gracious. Thank you."

Yukare turned back to Taro, and asked if he was hungry. Taro smiled. "Of course I am." He followed Yukare to her igloo and walked inside, it was small, but still seemed comfortable. Yukare said she had some clothes, and Taro nodded. Ah, okay. Thanks Yukare. She threw them at him and he caught the bundle, heading back to the curtain to change. While Taro was changing behind the curtain he responded to Yukare's question about his 'story'. ""Well, I suppose that depends on how far back you want me to go Yukare." He paused while he struggled to put on some of the water nation clothes. "But, since you're looking more for why i came to the south pole, i'll start about a week ago. I was wandering around the countryside and found myself in a merchant's peir where a band of thugs were beating a merchant named Old Man Shin. I killed the bandits and helped the man up." Taro walked from behind the curtain.

Taro was still putting the tunic on and hadn't closed the front yet. The cloth bandages had two streaks of blood running across the side of ribcage. He finally managed to get the belt tied up and continued his story. Shin allowed me to stay in his shop, and i met a friend of his. A woman named Kai, she told me about her travels outside of the Earth Kingdom, and I decided to travel myself. I was turned away from Ba Sing Se for not having a passport, so I met up with Akita and his men and sailed down here." Taro sat down against the wall and looked up at Yukare. "So that's about it. And that fish smells fantastic."
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Yukare

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Age: Seventeen
Position: JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL...LIVING IN A LONEEEEEELY WORLD
Nation: Water Tribe
PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:47 am

Yukare could not believe what she was hearing. Did he just...was he really...HE JUST KILLED BANDITS?! How is someone so nonchalant about something like that? Maybe she should be more scared of him. If he could just kill someone and talk about it...well maybe the two kids had slightly different definitions of "these swords are for defense only."

I probably should be a lot more scared of him. Why am I letting him anywhere near my house. But for some reason...well I guess I trust him. It was stupid of her to do so. But if he hadn't tried attacking anyone at this point, she saw no real reason for him to start now.

He came out after-well almost changing. She nodded to herself. Sure it wasn't a perfect fit but at least he would be warmer in that than that stupid-WAS THAT BLOOD?! How did she not notice that sooner?! Better question, why did he not mention this? Oh yeah, I could use some food AND MAYBE A LITTLE HEALING WOULD BE NICE.

Boys were stupid sometimes.

She put his food on a plate and sat down next to him, deep concern filling her eyes. "You...you're hurt." Obvious statement, but it's really the only thing one can say in situations such as those. "Here, eat this though." She passed him the plate and sighed. "I have some medicines that should help that. I wish I could do more. I should be able to do more, being a waterbender and all. They say we're supposed to be natural healers with our powers, but I'm barely good enough to cause enough damage worth healing. I'm sorry, Taro."

I should probably at least take his mind off the subject. No sense being all mopey and depressing. She turned back to him. "Well...anyway. So this Kai woman. Where's she gone?"
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Taro

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PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:50 am

Taro was taken completely by surprise by Yukare's extreme reaction. He had suffered hundreds of wounds like this, most of them even worse, with no better healing knowledge than basic herbalism and 'rub some dirt in it'. Taro took the plate from Yukare and spoke in a calm voice. "Yukare, i'm alright. I've had way worse than this. It's just a few scratches from a fight in one of the ports on the way down." Though this was true, no one had especially shown concern for his injuries.. They would just accept the fact that he had freed them of the threat, and let him move on. He nearly lost his calm demeanor, his voice wavering a bit. But... Thank you Yukare. Taro looked down at the food. "This looks fantastic." Then glanced back at Yukare at her apology. "Hey."

He placed his hand on her shoulder. "Yukare, not knowing how to kill isn't something to be ashamed of. You have nothing to apolagize for, you weren't the one who cut me." Yukare then shifted the topic to Kai. Taro stared into the distance quizzically, "You know, i really don't have any idea. I'd assume that she continued the course to Ba Sing Se. She's a fire nation courier, running a route from the fire nation capital to Ba Sing Se." He smiled. "But enough about me, i'm terribly boring. What do you do here? It must be fantastic."
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Yukare

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Nation: Water Tribe
PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:04 am

Yukare's eyes went wide. Well here we were jumping the gun a little bit weren't we? Did he say kill? "Oh, no no no no." She quickly corrected. "You didn't think I meant...I mean when I said....oh wow it must be different up in the Earth Kingdom. No, people of the water tribe...I mean we don't...uh..." Hmm, how would she explain this? There was the simple answer of "I don't want to kill things." But that didn't quite do what she was trying to say justice. She knew what she meant, but she never had to explain it before.

"Here, you can stand up right?" She took his hand and stood him up. "I guess you don't know a lot about us water benders. Or at least us in the south, that's apparent." She laughed a little, then got serious. "Here, look at this." Moving her arm a bit, she pulled up a snowball and had it hover between the two.

"Do you know what's cool about water? It's very fluid. Unlike earth where it's just earth or fire where it's just fire and so on. Water can be different things. Like now, it's snow. Little chunks of ice that aren't really that threatening. And yet, which a simple move..." She closed her fist and the snow melted into water, another move kept the water there, "...it becomes normal water. One more..." she then froze the water ball, "...and it's frozen solid and would hurt a lot if chucked at you." She giggled, then looked at Taro in the eye like you do when you get to that super serious point of a monologue.

"Each of these different types of water has the ability to kill a person in it's own way. But it doesn't if not unprovoked. Fire rages and engulfs just because it can. Earth can fall at any given moment and crush someone. Water has to wait for some stupid little child to swim out too far and cramp up before it can do anything. In a way, the child struck first." She finally let the ice-snow-magic water ball thing fall to the ground. "And we has water benders and members of the water tribe do the same. Water bending is an art used for defense. Sure, there are moments when the best defense is a good offense, but like the water itself, we do not fight unprovoked. It's no different than your sword. You know it has the power to be dangerous, and you've proved it..." she couldn't help but glance as his side again. "...but you know when to use it and when not to. In a way, you're very water tribe." She smiled, and then blushed a little and turned away. "Sorry, that last part probably sounded a little stupid...." More like a lot stupid. Way to go, Yukare.

"So...um..." she said in her really-bad-at-changing-subjects-quickly voice, "you wanted to know more about me? Well, there's not much to really know. I don't have a fun adventure story or battle scars to share. I've just been here my whole life. Nothing really exciting happens unless you count penguin sledding." She laughed, thinking about the last time she tried that. Yup...it could defiantly be an adventure if you had no idea what you were doing.
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PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:19 am

Taro was a little embarassed at his comment. Yukare's quick correction was confusing. Fighting meant killing didn't it? Or was this nation truly that free from conflict and crime? She said that she didn't want to kill things, but who did? Wait, did she think that he enjoyed killing? Smooth Taro, way to get Yukare to think you're a serial killer... In the midst of his thoughts, Taro was lifted to his feet by Yukare, and smiled when she commented on his lack of water bender knowledge. "Yeah, you could say that." The way she described water and it's use was interesting. Many forms, many uses. And apparently most of them defensive. Taro marveled at her display of waterbending, levitating and moving the water as well as changing it's form. It was fantastic, he had never seen a real display of bending that he could just watch, the only other time he had really encountered benders was when they were hurling rocks at him. Needless to say, that wasn't a good time to sit and watch.

When Yukare giggled at the end of her monologue, Taro smiled only to be shot back into his stoic countanance by her sudden change in tone. Impressed by her analogies for the elements, he listened intently to Yukare speak. She began to tie water bending into Taro's sword style, and culminated with her comment about him being, 'very water tribe'. He smiled as Yukare blushed afterward, saying it was stupid. Taro walked over to where she turned away, looking into her eyes and grinning shyly. "I didn't think so."

When she changed the subjects he nodded, her transition was less than graceful and almost made him laugh. But when she mentioned penguin sledding his eyes widened. "Penguin.... Sledding? As in riding a penguin down a hill? Can you show me how to do it?" Taro was visibly excited about the idea, and realized that he must be making a fool out of himself, so quickly glanced away, slightly embarrased. "I mean, if you wanted to of course." He looked back up and smiled.


Last edited by Taro on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Yukare

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Nation: Water Tribe
PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:50 am

Well, this was not going how Yukare expected at all. She was expecting some stoic Earth Kingdom boy with bloodlust and the inability to use contractions because they offended his honor or something, but no. Despite some rough past and subsequent demeanor, he seemed pretty...normal? Well, as normal as she'd be willing to admit given some cultural differences, but he was at least on that side of the track. This was good. Yukare had made it a personal habit to avoid crazy people. And, unless you counted the old man four houses down who kept fish heads as decorations, she was doing a pretty good job.

But still, things were getting a little too...intense. All this talk of killing and fighting made her a little uncomfortable. She needed a way to, for lack of better wording, break the ice.

Lucky for her, it seemed he was like any other teenage boy and the thought of penguin sledding peaked his interest. Awesome. A large semi-mischievous grin passed her face. "No, we just made all of our sleds unusually penguin shaped to blend in with the surroundings." She laughed, "Of course riding penguins! And, oh, I can teach you...but you have to catch the penguin yourself. Come on." She grabbed his wrist and yanked him out of the house and began running towards the more open part of the glacier. "It's this way." She led him east for about five minutes until they came to a valley in between two large hills and bordered by a pool in the glacier. She led him to the top of one of the hills and finally let go. Below them were at least 3 dozen penguins. They were walking, fishing, and pretty much minding their own business. Oh well, that would soon change.

She sat down on the top of the hill. "Well, go on...go get one." She smirked again. These guys were tricky. She, of course, knew the secret, but she wasn't about to tell Taro any time soon. Where was the fun in that?
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PostSubject: Re: Breaking the Ice   Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:45 pm

Taro laughed at Yukare's sled joke. Then felt himself pulled from the little igloo by Yukare. "Hold on! Where are we going?" His question didn't have much effect on the girl as she lead him to the top of a hill on the edge of a pool of water. The valley was filled with penguins. Yukare urged him to catch one on his own, "Ah, okay. So, i'm just supposed to grab one? Well, here goes...." Taro looked down the hill, then back at Yukare, shrugging before running full bore down the hill.

The penguins all snapped their gaze to him, and when he tried to tackle one, the whole group scattered. Taro skidded through the snow and ground to a halt. Lifting himself up he brushed off the snow and started after another penguin, chasing the little creatures through the snow. He was still entirely unfamiliar with trying to run in the snow, and fell whenever he tried to grab one of the elusive bird things.

Finally, he reached out and fell again, faceplanting into the snow in front of him. Taro rolled over and sat up, looking at Yukare on the hill. He exhaled a tired breath and dropped back onto the snow, staring up at the sky. "Well, i guess.... I lose....." Taro shot a glance back up at Yukare and shouted. "Hey! You wanna show me how it's done? I'm kinda hopeless on my own!" Smiling, he let his head fall back into the snow.
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Breaking the Ice
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