Honu Beach Party

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The Honu are hosting a beach party!  Step through one of the brightly decorated portals to a world of bright sun and white sand beaches!  Bask in the summer sun or take a swim in the warm tropical sea, or grab a fruity tropical drink at the beach bar, or a skewer of traditional Honu slow-roast pork.  Everything's on the house!

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The Honu are hosting a free beach party!  Honu travel agents have stuck posters all around the City, inviting one and all to come enjoy the hot sun and warm waters of their tropical paradise.  All amenities will be provided, completely free of charge.

There are three gates to the world of Honu throughout the City, all decorated brightly with tropical flowers and colourful streamers.  A group of Honu youth at each portal call out to passersby, inviting them to visit and encouraging everyone to step through the portal.

The other side of the portal opens to a boardwalk right on the beach, where you will immediately be greeted by more young Honu, gifting you with a necklace of flower blossoms and pressing a drink into your hands.  The beach and the bright blue sea are laid out before you, a soft breeze keeping it from getting TOO hot under the sun.  A stand provides free beach blankets, towels, and even bathing suits in all shapes and sizes.  To one side there's a little bar set up right on the sand, the Honu bartender serving a wide variety of tropical delights free of charge, and you can smell the scent of roast pig coming from a smoking barbecue pit overseen by a particularly fat Honu.

There are surfboards stuck in the sand, free to use, along with beach balls and water toys of all kinds.  Small paddle boats are available further down the beach, and a sign announces that the next beach volleyball game will be starting soon.  Everywhere you look, the brightly coloured furry Honu people are milling about, serving drinks and seeing to the needs of the other guests, all with bright smiles and the energetic hospitality the species is famous for.

Merrijack lurks near the Honu side of the portal, watching closely for new arrivals, a wide welcoming smile on his face.  The handsome young Honu has been to the City before, a dreary and sad place in his opinion, and he's eager to show City residents a good time.  They'll need the break, after all, coming from such a grey place.

Well, thank God for the sunglasses was the thought that crossed Vegas' mind as the bounty hunter crossed the portal from The City into the beach, finding himself momentarily blinded until his eyes adjusted themselves to the sudden increase in ambient brightness. "Reminds me of Hawaii," Vegas remarked as he took note of the tropical paradise, its inhabitants looking friendly and all set for a fun time. And if there's someone who knows a good deal about having a fun time, it would be none other than the former Las Vegas resident; even if his idea of "fun" tends to be on the seedy side of things.

 

Vegas didn't let the fact that the island's residents weren't human put him off - they seemed friendly enough, and they probably aren't the strangest things he'd seen. Probably. Noticing that one of the Honu seemed to be handling the welcoming of visitors, Vegas instinctively sought him out, approaching the young Honu (Merrijack) with a smile. "I suppose you guys have a no-weapons policy in here?" the elderly bounty hunter asked, gesturing towards the Colt revolver that currently kept in a leather holster strapped to his belt, partially hidden from view by his cowboy duster.

 

Having heard about Honu's environmental policy, Vegas had already had his bike checked in at The City on the other side of the portal, but he wasn't sure what their policy on bringing weapons to this place might be, so better be upfront about it and declare beforehand his possession of firearms. "If so, is there a place where I can turn them over for safekeeping?"

"Welcome to Honu!" the brightly coloured Honu declares, and he'll grab poor Vegas right into a tight hug if the bounty hunter isn't quick enough to avoid it.  Even if rebuffed, Merrijack's smile doesn't falter for a second.  "I am Merrijack.  You may call me Jack if you prefer, or Merri.  Someone will answer when you beckon, whatever name you use."  He eyes Vegas's gun admiringly.  "You may keep it if you wish, but I would not want the sand to damage the mechanism.  I can take care of it for you if you want, and someone will be sure to return it before you leave.  If you wish to go hunting, our guides will be happy to provide you with more appropriate weapons."

The little fellow is certainly eager to please, but he seems sincere enough.  Nothing will endure you to a Honu faster than greeting them with a smile and honesty.

"Whoa, easy on the happy pills buddy!" Vegas chuckled as the Honu - now identified as Merrijack moved in to give the bounty hunter a friendly hug, most reassuringly a completely platonic gesture, since he was well aware that hugs were a gesture of friendliness in continental Europe, which was admittedly something alien to those of Anglo-American upbringing. "Yeah, she's a good girl alright, as expected of any gun that bears the name 'Colt' on its barrel," the bounty hunter remarked as he noticed that Merrijack seemed to be eying his Colt with a sense of admiration.

 

"Well then, I trust you to take good care of her," Vegas remarked as he removed his sidearm with its revolver from his belt, passing it to the Honu for safekeeping. "In the meantime, I don't suppose you know where I can get a drink?" the bounty hunter wondered. "And the name's Thomas Sandler," he nodded, returning the Honu's greeting and introduction earlier - seeing how the entire place was like some kind of holiday resort and he was a guest, it was probably only polite that he "registered" himself so to speak. "But my friends tend to just call me 'Tom', or "Vegas". The latter is because I was born in Las Vegas."

"The spirits themselves will guard her, I assure you."  He takes the gun like it's a sacred charge.  No Honu would dare let a guest's property come to harm.  It would be a terrible embarrassment.  "I will show you to the bar!  Follow me please."  He eagerly starts leading Vegas down towards the beach, where a rounded bar waits offering shade and alcohol.  "Las Vegas?  We have heard of this place!  A wonderland of entertainment and delight, yes?"

"You could say that, they don't call her Sin City for nothing," Vegas replied with a laugh as he followed Merrijack to the bar - a circular kiosk with a conical roof made from thatched palm fronds and plant fibers, with a round bar surrounded by bar stools underneath the shade. "All the pleasures that one can find as long as they've got the money, but it's also a place that tends to attract people on the wrong side of the tracks, a place where fortunes are made and lost in the blink of an eye," the old man remarked as he sat down on a bar stool. 

 

"I don't suppose you guys have a casino or anything of that sort around here, no?" Vegas wondered, his interest in his favorite subject being piqued thanks to the young Honu's mention of Las Vegas. And in his travels, besides the casinos of the Vegas strip he'd seen a good number of fine gambling establishments - Macau, Genting Highlands, Marina Bay Sands, and the list goes on. "And I don't suppose you can mix me an old-fashioned, can you?" the bounty hunter asked the bartender, since he'd have none of the colorful and sweet cocktails containing fruit liqueurs.

The young Honu tending bar grins and nods, though she'll have to check her recipe chart to look up the classic Old Fashioned.  Most visitors are perfectly fine with the fruity drinks and alcoholic milkshakes.

Merrijack nods thoughtfully at the description of Las Vegas.  "We try to make sure fortunes are not lost, here.  It is not a good way to make people happy, you know?  People should have good fortune in Honu, not bad."  He grins brightly.  "And we stay on the right side of the tracks.  There are no tracks here, so there is no wrong side."  This seems to make perfect sense to the little Honu.

Merrijack looks mildly saddened when Vegas asks about casinos.  "I do not want to disappoint you.  There are no casinos here, not as there are in Las Vegas.  There are games of chance, but I worry that you would find them very low-stakes.  Very quaint.  We play for small sums so that no one must go home unhappy."  The colourful critter perks back up.  "But there are games!  Many games!  Only you play for prizes or pride, not for money, and you must have great skill to do well, not simply great fortune.  What games do you prefer?"

The grinning bartender has finished Vegas' drink, and sets it on the bar in front of him proudly.  It's a fair effort, but it's been done with overenthusiastic Honu style.  The drink will taste fine (if a little heavy on the sugar) but she's managed to stuff three slices of orange on the edge of the glass, and a half-dozen cocktail cherries.  It's all topped off with one of those tiny umbrellas and served with a very long and curly straw.

City

Navigating the City when you have no real goals in mind, just exploration, is fun. Even more fun is when you have wheels on your feet and you're deliberately hunting for jumps, dips and other obstacles to enjoy at high speeds! The hunter-on-vacation pauses at the top of a small rise, looking down the street to plan her next path when the poster catches her eye. "Oooh, beach party? Wonder if that's still going on... no date on the sign. Let's find this portal thingy!" 

Portal

Obviously it's a simple task to find the necessary portal, but Marianas uses the City's delightful quirks to her advantage to enjoy the trip. The youths manning her chosen (chosen for her?) gateway get a nice little show, ending with a skid that translates midway through to a handstand. Sure doing a handstand while sliding on stone scuffs up her hands, but part of the fun of having zooanthropic healing factor is that nobody ever has to know you accrue such minor injuries! By the time she's dusted her hands off after regaining her feet the skin is acceptably flawless, and she gives a little bow to the Honu youths. "Am I too late for the party then? Food, fun, sun... count me in!"

Portal

Marianas recieves wild applause for her entrance from the pair of Honu.  "You are never too late for the party, Miss!  The party is for you, after all!"  They beckon her towards the portal, big smiles on their fuzzy faces.

Portal 

"For me? Plain ol me, I'm flattered!" She doesn't take them literally, of course, but it's fun to play along! She plops down on a convenient curb, pulling off her skates and clipping them together to make a convenient bundle. She gives the youths a grin, tossing the bundle over her shoulder. "Wheels and sand don't get along, after all. Hope I can find a swimsuit on the other side..." 

Through the portal she goes!

Beach

Ahhhh, sunshine and warmth! She almost growls with pleasure at the warm boards under her feet, wiggling her toes as the Honu on the beach side of the portal greet her. She ducks low to accept her flower necklace, and grins broadly at the drink suddenly in her hands (smells fruity, probably delicious! ... yep, that's delicious!). She looks about briefly, then tries to find a lady-Honu. "Hey, miss... I don't have a suit on me, this was pretty spur of the moment. Is there a place I can buy one, so I can really enjoy this shindig properly?"

A tiny lady Honu, brightly painted in gold and blue, grins at Marianas.  "Welcome!  Yes, we have just the thing for you.  I am Carolbird.  Please follow me!"  The bright little Honu grabs Marianas by the hand, pulling her quickly over to a large tent set up on the beach precisely for the purpose of selling swimwear.

"Carolbird? Mari. Nice to meet you!" Ahhh, the beach just begs for more and more grins, and the were is glad to oblige. She lets the petite Honu drag her off toward the swimsuit emporium, to indulge in a little harmless fun. She doesn't drag it out too long, however; every minute spent inside looking for a good swimsuit is a minute not spent in the sun, or investigating the absolutely delicious scents coming from the pits!

She settles on a rather fetching two piece in stark black slashed with garishly neon yellow, then further offends subdued palettes by finding some similarly patterned board shorts. She presents her new look (and despite the colors she wears it well) to the Honu running the place, and Carolbird if she's still around. "Ta-da! How's it look, bright and cheery yeah? What do I owe you?" Hopefully she has enough... or they accept barter!

"You may call me Carol.  Or Bird.  Or Birdie." The Honu giggles, apparently liking that last one quite a bit.  "We accept many forms of currency, for your convenience.  Or..." the little Honu eyes Mari's bundle.  "You could always trade something you think of equal value?"

"Okay, Birdie it is. I like that."

 

She chews her lip at that, mentally running through her catalog of possessions. Phone, rollerblades (and pads/helmet, but those she could ditch if needed), a little cash, her jacket, her former street clothes, gum... "Err, um, I don't have much to offer, unfortunately. See, I just came through some portal thing yesterday, all I have is what you see here. I mean, I have some cash, but could I work it off too?"

And this, Marianas Jeanette Graves, is why you shouldn't let your enthusiasm get ahead of you... Now you will have to work instead of just enjoying what was offered. Odd how her mental voice was always her mom's very even-toned alto, at least when she'd gone and done something dumb. Well, it beat hearing her voice while being shot at, or pursued by drooling undead things.

Birdie blinks, looking shocked and perhaps a little sad.  "Do you value this swimsuit so much more than anything you carry?" she asks in sincere wonder.  "Then you must have it as a gift!"

"What? No! I mean, I didn't want to insult you by offering you something dirty, or insignificant." No 'glass beads for precious treasures' situation here! "Really the only stuff I don't want to part with are the skates, phone and jacket, but it would be really awkward living in a bikini looking for home, so that leaves gum."

She gives Birdie a lopsided smile, digging said gum out of her jacket pocket. Spearmint, and it's not the cheap stuff. "Share some gum?"

"You would find it awkward?  I do not think you look awkward!  I think you look very pretty!"  The Honu spend their entire lives wearing little more than bathing suits.  The embarrassed modesty of City-folk is one of their most tragic qualities.

Birdie blinks, and takes a piece of gum.  She sniff it experimentally, then sticks it in her mouth, chewing cautiously.

"... !!!"  She grins.  "Yes!  This is a good trade, if it pleases you.  I will accept gum."

"Oh good! Here, have another piece to share." She breaks off the little foil tab to give to Birdie. "And thanks, you look pretty too! But unfortunately, as mom is so fond of saying, life isn't just about being pretty." 

She rolls her eyes at that, but goes on. "I'd get cold if I just wore this all the time, I don't have nice fur like you do. Or if I was on my skates and tripped, or missed a trick, I could get all cut up from the ground." 

That, of course, wouldn't matter, but one must keep up appearances at least. She tucks the rest of her gum back into her pocket with a grin; now might be a perfect opportunity to let her ears out. "Hey, want to see a trick, to thank you for the gift? "

James White, in the form of Eve, had been in the City long enough to appreciate it for what it was, even
if it was starting to look a bit grey and dull. Of course, a change of pace was always nice so when she saw
the "Honu" going around with the invites to some sort of Beach Party, she quickly took an interest.

Sure enough, she eventually saw one of the gates that led to where the party was going so she stepped off
the edge of the building she was perched on and descended, her cloak fluttering about her gently as she
landed safely. Having an immortal body had some seriously nice perks to it.

She took a deep breath and stepped on through the portal to the other side.

Marianas

She eagerly accepts the gum.  Spirits forgive her, but she will not be sharing with anyone.  Well, maybe not...  "Beauty is a gift from the spirits," she says with solemn sincerity.  "But the truth of it hides beneath the skin.  You, Miss Mari, are blessed both beneath and above the skin."  She nods firmly, and grins.  "I would love very much to see a trick!  But do you not wish to swim now, in your lovely new suit?"

 

James/Eve

Eve steps through into bright, hot sun, and is almost immediately trapped in a hug.  "Welcome to Honu!" a small, furry creature cries before releasing her.  Brightly coloured in orange and green, the little hugging man-thing immediately presents Eve with an equally colourful drink of something sweet and boozey.  "We are glad to meet you!  There is a bar on the beach, for your convenience, and a bathing suit may be easily acquired if you do not have one.  How can I make your stay more pleasant?"

"Above and below the skin, that's a neat way to put it. I like it!"

She shrugs at the question. "I'll swim, sure, but I'm not going to die if I delay it for a few extra minutes to show off for a new friend, right? Besides, this is a beach party! Can't wear frumpy jeans to a beach party."

She sets her bundle of street clothes and skates down before stretching to her full height, accompanied by a few audible pops and cracks from her back and joints. "Okay, watch close now..."

She puts her hands on her hips and starts tapping her foot, tongue between her teeth as she hams up the effort needed. A squinty eyed expression, a scrunched nose... pop! One bushy coyote tail! She picked low riding shorts and bottoms for just this reason, so it neatly falls over the waistband. She grins, swishing the tail as she keeps "concentrating." Her hair shows just the hints of copper red roots as a pair of sand furred coyote ears pop upright, just above where her human ears once sat hidden under her pulled back hair.

"Ta-da! There, even cuter right? Of course I am."

Eve let out a giggle at the warm cuddle and pat the furry creature,"Aww, thanks for the warm welcome, little guy. I think I'll change into something more comfortable and get some fun in the sun." She headed into the change room and, making sure no one was looking, let her nanites go to work. Her cloak shrank and folded around her as her heeled shoes formed into blue sandals and her clothes wrapped together to become a blue one-piece swimsuit that hugged all her curves.

With a snap of her fingers, her hair pulled itself back into a long ponytail as she turned and moved on out again now properly set to enjoy some fun in the sun.

Marianas

"Hurray!" little Birdie cheers.  "Yes, even cuter!  The cutest!"  These City-folk do need to be reassured.  Poor sensitive things.

"Now we must get you to the beach!  I am not the only one who appreciates cuteness!"

 

James/Eve

The beach is a beautiful thing of white sands and gentle surf.  Despite the number of people, it hardly seems crowded, with plenty of room for everyone.  The barbecue pit is not far off, and the air smells of delicious roast pork, and the nearby bar kiosk is serving customers like Vegas.

A small gold-and-blue Honu lady is leading a coyote-girl straight towards her.  "Hello!" Birdie cheers at Eve.  "You are from the City too!  This is Mari!  You are both from the City!"

She's not sensitive, she just loves being told how awesome she is! "Okay then Birdie-bird, let's get to dazzling! Lead the wa-aahh!"

Perhaps predictably she finds herself suddenly hauled off by the hand behind an exuberant Honu, comically taken off guard just long enough to get her feet back under her. Then it's Birdie's turn to be hauled in the wake as Mari plunges back out into the sun.

She just misses Eve's clothing transformation, but she'll pull a quick brake stop near the nanogirl. "Hey there, Birdie's right I'm Mari, and I'm also starving so let's go toward the delicious smells!"

She lets go of Birdie's hand, so the Honu is free to go back to her welcoming committee duties...

Eve turned her head at the sound of someone calling to her and spotted Mari. She was about to respond...when her stomach simulated a loud growl, causing her to giggle nervously,"S-Sorry...yeah, that sounds good. Let's go get some." She went with the girl toward where the food was, ponytail blowing in the cool wind gently.

"Good. You're hungry too, we don't have to posture about it. Let's go!" She hooks her arm through Eve's, hauling the much taller girl in her wake much as Birdie had done to her just moments before.

"Okay, so you know my name, what's yours?"

Eve did her best not to blush at the closeness of their forms. At least with both of them hungry, it would be less embarassing. She heard the girl's question though,"Me? Name's Eve. I'm...well, not from around here. I came here for some sunshine. I'm guessing that's what you came for too?"

Mari laughs at that, a friendly sound instead of mocking, and gestures at the Honu scattered about. "Lady, I don't think any of us is 'from around here' except these lovely folks. Let's save the sob stories for after we've eaten, yeah ? It's too pretty here to feel bad."

Her enthusiasm is contagious! Careful Eve, you'll soon be grinning right along with her. Her tail is swishing as they walk, not as widely as a dog would but it still brushes across the backs of Eve's legs on occasion.

Eve snickered,"Yeah, I suppose you have a good point. Don't wanna ruin the happy atmosphere with sob stories." She hugged the girl even tigether as they walked, enjoying the sense of closeness and warmth.

Trusting soul, this one... or maybe she's nervous too and just latching onto a sort of familiar face.

It isn't uncomfortable, though, and Eve seems nice enough, so no big deal. She is hungry though, and that food smells delicious... "Exactly. It smells great to, barbecue! I love barbecue, don't you? Of course you do, it's barbecue! Everyone loves barbecue!"

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