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Appius A.L Albinus Ariovistus

Lost - mid June (exact date and location unknown)

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Serendipity. Fate. Punishment.

Ario struggled up onto the white sandy beach on all fours. Water dripped from his face and tunic, his hair was flattened onto his skull and his face was all but drained of colour. He tasted the sea. Sharp and disgusting tang that he remembered on some primal level. As if the taste of the sea water had been an integral part of his life, sometime. As if his family had been even worse at pirating than he had remembered.

Serendipity? Fate? Punishment? Ario didn't know what had put all three of them on the same journey. Well, put Tamm and Turia on the same journey. Ario had simply tagged along, curious about the medicines that might be found amongst the nomads.

The storm that had broken their boat was being whipped away by the cold wind that threatened to rip at his clothes. It sliced straight through to his bones. Ario's back undulated and he coughed, vomiting up the water he had swallowed. He let himself fall to his side and closed his eyes. Exhaustion blanketed him but the voice of his trainer berated him. Told him that he could do more. That his endurance was greater than he knew.

Punishment? He didn't know what they had done wrong. Where was Turia?

Ario yanked himself up. Forced himself to his wobbly feet. Sand encrusted one side of his body and face. Gritty and scratchy. He tasted it on his lips.

"Turia!" Ario croaked. Flotsom skidded up the beach with the waves. Ario wobbled back to the water. It didn't occur to him to worry about Tamm. Tamm was indestructible. Like granite.


@Gothic @Gil

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Her nose felt clogged. Turia groaned in pain and slowly curled her fingers in the coarse sand, her sensitive fingertips seemed to feel every grain of sand between her fingertips and her lips, dry and cracked were coated in sand. Her mouth felt so dry. Yet her clothing clung to her from being wet, her hair stuck to her and she tried to lift her body up from the sand. She exhausted and her muscles ached. Slowly but surely her memory had begun to return of the storm that tore their boat apart. Turia never prayed so much in her life. She remembered trying to cling to Uncle Ario and Uncle Tamm, desperate to live and unable to swim. The water had filled her lungs.

She did not think that they would have lived beyond that day. 

Turia!....... Turia! 

Her head swam like it was a dream. She recognized her name. Maybe they had survived after all? 

"Ario?" She whispered, her voice a harsh rasp as she crawled at first and then managed to stand up awkwardly after she pushed off a wooden beam off her leg. It was not broken but bruised and sore. She cradled her arm that ached. She walked towards the sound of his voice and started to sob. Not in pain or fear but in sheer relief that they had survived. 

"Ario!" She called out again. "Tamm? Where.. are you?!" Her voice finally cleared and her voice rang out. 

@Gil @Kit

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Like granite. Yes, an apt comparison, for granite does not float. Had it not been for the spare spar that his desperate fingertips had - at literally the very last moment - managed to just only brush against, and then somehow claw themselves into, Tamm would have sunk to the bottom of whatever part of the mare nostrum they had been blown to. Of the three possible explanations - serendipity, fate or punishment - he was definitely feeling the latter. As he clung to the piece of wood, plunging up and down in the high seas, a plague of memories of times past, wherein he had perhaps stepped over the line of what a decent man might have hesitated to dare, in the face of the gods, had him whispering inaudible prayers of promised repentance and mending of ways. Such is the way of humankind, where, when death draws close, vows come easily.

In the end, though, this human chunk of rock did find his way to safety - whether through the further intervention of gods who seemed always to be as capricious as a pretty maid, or simply due to the set of the current and the storm blown winds, Tamm could not have possibly said. But it seemed prudent to acknowledge the possibility of the former, and so as he lay, like his two companions, soaked and battered on some bit of the shoreline, he gave thanks first, that he was alive.

But crowded right to that realization was the same fear that had gripped him throughout the ordeal, from the time he and Ario and Turia had awoken to the sense of a rising wind, to the moment he had lost his grip on his erstwhile niece's wrist as she had slipped from his grasp. Worse than even the dread of his own descent into a watery grave, he had shrunk from the idea that anything had happened to her, or his life long friend, her father. For Ario he held less concern. If Tamm was granite, Ario was built like a bit of straw - all wiry limbs, and still lithe and nimble. Perhaps he'd float to shore like a gull's feather, or so Tamm desperately hoped. The girl though...

As he lay in the sand, a sound came to him on the wind. Was it a bird cry? Some realization that it was not forced him to lift his head and listen, hard. There! It came again, faint, but upwind, such that it was carried to his water filled ears. "Turia!" he mumbled, as he forced himself upright. Then, "Turia!" more loudly, in his deep bass. "Turia! Here! I'm coming, lass!" and he was - making his legs work, regardless of fatigue, blinking sea water and sand out of his eyelashes, plowing his way across the beach towards her voice.



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