Noire and Olivia suddenly wake from their slumber as tan explosion erupts above them. Noire rolls off from her sleeping place with an ‘Eeep!’ and crunched down on the sandy ground with a groan. Olivia just shoots her head up, but quickly hisses in pain as her side is bombarded by red hot needles.
Quickly recovering from her fall and drowsy mind, Noire shoots up to her feet and looks around the area to notice nothing has changed but couldn’t see Fluffy from where he slept the night before. She looks up to the sky to see a large, expanding, halo of bright cloud right above them, with dive bombing projectile heading straight for their position with a cloudy trail in its wake with flaying limbs and faint screaming… wait…
Her eyes widen at the realisation and ducks under their bed frame with yet another ‘Eeep!’. Noticing Noire diving under their bed, Olivia winces as she strains to curling up while covering her head with her hands. A second later the sandy beach explodes in a shower of wet and dry grains, a small wave of sand landing on Olivia.
Not a moment passes before sounds of groaning and disgusted spitting starts to echo out.
“Ugh… Maybe I should have tossed thing…” a tomboyish female voice speaks out as she continues spitting out salty sand from her mouth and occasionally coughing.
Both Olivia and Noire looks on with wide eyes as they see one of the skilled flyers in the world standing in front of them in a small crater. Raylin shakes off the countless grains from her body as best she can and continues spitting at the ground. She finally looks up while trying to clean out her right ear, one eye closed before leaning back to crack her back.
The girl was a little shorter than both the musicians, but was far more athletic, and had on a harness strapped to her torso to keep a large and sleek device glued to her back, two disks floating inches from the pack, quietly humming with a glowing blue ring at their rims. Her skin color was the same as Noires’, had dark, blood red, dyed, short hair that gradually faded in silver ends and a pair of mixed maroon red and brown eyes. She wore black jogging shorts with red stripes and a red tank top. Strapped on her right thigh was a holster that holds a walky-talky and a little contain similar to the one Olivia has.
“You know, you two…” she steps out of her crater, cracks her neck with a light wince and shakes her head to get the remaining sand out of her hair and shakes her feet to do the same with her white shoes with red stripes, “When the ship got quiet, I knew something was wrong.” She brushes her chest and opens up the bottom of her top to drain out the sand, “I checked to see if you two were okay, then ‘Poof’! You both were gone! I searched - and I mean literally search every part of the ship to look for you both.” The young woman then begins looking around and whistles in admiration with a nod, resting her hands on her hips, “Wow… I like to stay here for a few days.” She comments with an impressed smirk.
“Oh thank goodness!” Noire crawls out with a grunt while smiling up at Raylan. “Finally, we’re saved!” she praises to the sky, now standing and throwing her free arms up in the air.
But suddenly a mass of dark fur leaps out of the jungle and pins the short girl back down in the crater, peppering the poor fliers’ face and hair with slobbering licks. Raylan struggles to get the beast off of her, but to no avail as Fluffy continues to smother her affectionately.
“Fluffy! Down!” Olivia yells as she carefully gets herself down with a wince while brushing herself off, standing beside her nervously grinning companion. The beast obeys loyally and takes a few paces back from the matted flier. Olivia smiles approvingly with a quick nod, “Good boy!” she picks up a stick from under the tree and waves it around hypnotically, gaining the beasts’ attention as he eyes the stick with great concentration, his tail now wagging from side to side in anticipation. She then flings the stick to the other side of the beach, “Go, Boy! Go!” she hollers with enthusiasm and with that, Fluffy runs off to retrieve the stick with loud thumps, making little craters in his wake.
Raylan quickly sits up to her haunches and wipes the slippery, thick, oozing saliva from her face and shakes both her hands to her sides as the slobber slowly oozes down from her skin. She shivers in disgust and spits, “Groooss…” her face cringes and wipes her hands once again in front of her, leaning her head away with a scrunch.
Noire chuckles nervously, “Y-yes, Fluffy gets excited a little easily… but it does come off easily with a bit of bathing, Miss Jay.” She says as the lumbering beast comes back and starts to carefully play Tug of War with Olivia with a playful growl.
Raylin slowly gets up on her feet with some help, sand now sticking to her wet skin. She sniffs her arm but suddenly pulls away with a scrunching expression, “What about the smell?” she asks.
Noires’ smile flies away as fast as the flier crashed into the beach, “Not… really.” She answers with a sigh and hangs her head but jumps as the large tongue of Fluffy licks her cheek. She winces at first at the slobber, but once she looks to her side, she smiles at the happy look of Fluffy, his tongue hanging out as he pants while wagging his tail excitedly. “But he means very well.” She adds, goes up to the large beast and pets him on the head, gaining a groan of appreciation from him.
It was strange; she notices that the shaggy beast seems to be a little more loyal and kind to her than the enthusiastic DJ herself.
A second later the sound of running boat echoes into their ears. They all stare out towards the ocean to see a zodiac boat coming their way with a few people on board wearing bright red life vests. Noire couldn’t recognise any of them but the farm girl from a nearby town, Jaclyn. She believes both Raylan and Jaclyn were sent to the cruise ship to relax. It was strange but enlightening to speak with them both at the first night of dinner. They told her their friends, family and business agents practically forced them to go on this cruise and she believes she saw a glimpse of them trying to argue back at them in the docks. It reminds them of herself and Olivia in some ways; they were competitive at times. They for their strengths, while the musicians for their skills in music but more than half the time, both girls will play music together, even if it was a strange combination of instrument and equipment.
The three girls stroll down onto the edge of the water with Fluffy right in their wake, while Raylan continues to wipe and shake the slobber off of her with the best of her abilities, which was not much as her skin was still shining, sticky and stank of Fluffys’ saliva.
The inflated boat gets close but doesn’t move up to the shore as the small crew on it stares warily at the shaggy beast behind the trio.
“What in tarnation is that thin’!?” Jaclyn yells with a southern accent.
The farm girl was just a few inches taller than Noire and her friend, well belt from working in their family barn, tanned from the sun and lightly freckled. She wore light blue short-shorts, and an orange, yellow and white flannel and tied a knot just under her well-endowed busts, making the girls feeling a little self-conscious about their bodies at times.
“His name’s Fluffy!” Olivia yells and pets the beasts’ head happily with a smile.
“Is this… Fluffy, hostile?” one of the crewmen speaks up.
“If being slobbered on excitedly by an easily excitable…” Noire stops with a blink and looks at Fluffy in confusion, trying to figure out what in the world the creature was. After a moment, she turns back to the people on the boat, “‘beast’, then yes, Fluffy’s hostile.” She finishes sarcastically.
The small, three-man crew looks at each other for a moment, debating whether they should land or stay back. Jaclyn snorts and looks at the driver.
“Well, get goin’! We’re not leavin’ ‘em jus’ because of a li’le, ol’ vermin. Or are the big boys scared of gettin’ a li’le wet?” she taunts them both with a teasing, challenging grin. The two men frown at the declaration before looking at one another in a silent agreement and the driver drives up to the beach. Jaclyn tosses three life vests and beckons, “Hurry on up, yah three. Everyone’s worried sick about yah two.”
Noire easily puts the red vest on and helps Olivia in hers, making the girl wince and grunt when she zips her up. Raylin sighs a little sadly with slumped shoulders before she reaches up to her right shoulder to open a small device and presses the big, red button, turning off her pack, the disks stops glowing as well going quiet before they click in place against the pack right before she begins unstrapping herself to take it off. Noire then feels a nudge on her rump, making her squeak and twist around to find a confused and sad looking Fluffy. She and Olivia smile sadly back at him and hugs the beasts’ neck in a loving embrace. Noire nuzzles into his thick fur.
“I’m sorry, Fluffy, but we have to go back home,” she says making Fluffy whine and hangs his head in defeat and depression. Noire looks at him sadly, feeling terrible for leaving such a gentle giant by himself on the island.
“Strange…” the little group looks at one of the crewmen.
“Wha’ was that?” Jaclyn asks.
“This island, it’s not in our records or maps. It’s pretty far from the mainland, but… how did it hide for so long? It’s huge!” he declares and jogs over to the tree line and examines the plant life. “I believe both of you discovered an island!” he yells back and continues to examine the surrounding flora with interest. He takes out a little device and the little meter sporadically goes from one corner to another on it’s circular dial, “The thaumantic levels are pretty sporadic too. No wonder we couldn’t pick it up on long range scans; it’s been absorbing all the surface to air thaumatic pulses.” He looks back at everyone, just a small number of them understanding what he was talking about, “We may have discovered another Anomaly.” He says, now having the rest of them nod and make an ‘oh’ of understanding.
“Discovered?” Noire questions, “Than how do you explain all the ’M’s I’ve been seeing all over the island? This place has been visited before by someone named ‘Meledy’.” Fluffys’ ears quickly perks up at the name and gives Noire his full attention.
“Wait… isn’t your last name ‘Meledy’?” Olivia questions.
“Yes, but I don’t let anyone call me by my last name, just the first. I got it from my grandmother,” she replies while stroking Fluffys’ head to calm him down, making him purr in delight.
“Oh…” She says, a little surprised, “Where is she now?” Olivia asks once again.
“She went… missing…” Noire looks down at the sandy ground a little sadly, “She went missing when I was five actually. My parents don’t know what happened to her. The last people that saw her said she went on a boating trip on her last week of vacation.”
“So… yah think y’er gran’ma somehow ended up here, maybe?” Jaclyn suggests and gestures to the island itself.
“I-I don’t know, it might be some other person with the same name ‘Meledy’.” Noire rubs her bandaged arm; feeling confusion and hope welling up inside her. She always did love her Grandma Meledy dearly, and she was the reason why she took up learning how to play the cello itself, to be like her… well, not like her entirely. She wasn’t too keen on exploring the world on a sailboat. Then again, she hadn’t had the chance to, to go sailing in the open sea.
“Well, your grandmother or not, by the laws of ‘World Exploration’, you both are now this islands’ owners sense no other is here to claim it.” the man says while going over the boat and begins digging in his waterproof backpack. Both Noire and Olivias’ mouths hang agape at the sudden news.
“W-what?” Noire voices, dumbstruck.
He pulls out a sheet of paper and a little device before he starts writing down on the paper while occasionally looking at the device and briefly looks at them, “You both been on the island for twenty-four hours or more, right?” he asks and both nod, still dumbstruck at the news.
Before long he shows the piece of paper to them. The face of the page is littered with numbers and words with different codes; coordinates, and two empty lines right under them; one for the owner or owners and the second for the name of the island.
“You both own the island, now. This is just one part of the paperwork that has to be done, but it’s a start,” he says and shows his pen for them to use.
Olivia and Noire look back and forth between them and the paper for a moment before Noire slowly grabs the pen, not expecting the simple little writing item to feel so heavy and signs her name and signature, as well as Olivia. They both stare at the empty slot and blinks, but then Olivia looks at her.
“Any ideas for a name?” she asks.
“W-why me?” she looks at the DJ like she just grew a new head.
Olivia chuckles nervously while rubbing the back of her head, “Well… it’ll be your birthday in about a month, and… I… don’t really have anything in mind on what to give you yet, so… why not a whole island!?” she gestures to the forest with a big, nervous smile.
Noire takes the pen from her grasp and looks down at the page, thinking through list upon list of names to choose from, trying to ignore that her partner had just admitted she still hadn’t thought of anything to give her for her birthday. Fluffy then whines and nudges her, feeling a little neglected before Olivia starts petting him, speaking sweets nothings and an inspiration quickly pops into Noires’ mind and writes down the name.
She finishes, “Meledys’ Island.” she says out loud with a proud smile adorning her face.
“Huh… I thought it would be something a little cooler.” Raylin comments, leaning in to get a better look but yelps in pain once her friend jabs her side.
Noire pays no mind to her and looks at the man, “Does this mean I and Olivia can visit the island whenever we want? Do whatever we want?” she asks with a big hopeful smile and he nods. She giggles and prances in place like a giddy little school girl and quickly hugs beasts’ neck, “We’re coming back, Fluffy!” she declares.
“Really!? Awesoooome!” Olivia cheers with a fist pump but hisses in pain right after as she gently touches her side with a wince.
Noire smiles as Fluffy starts groaning happily while pushing himself against her and nuzzling his wet nose to her stomach. She reaches out and stops him by holding his head, “Stay still, Fluffy.” she orders and takes off her bow tie and strings it around his right ear in a snug fit. “There…” she says and pulls his head into a loving hug.She didn’t realise she would grow attached to the gentle giant or the island in just a span of a couple of days.