"This won't hurt a bit," Rae told her. "Just think... polyjuice potion."
Jila started to protest but it was too late. It felt like there was something in her back trying to cut its way out.
"Screaming can help," Rae grunted, her face pale.
Jila forgot to scream when great, reptilian wings sprang out of Rae's back. She stared in shock, her own pain forgotten, as Rae's wings gave a heave and she was abruptly hovering several feet above the water, her wings flapping idly.
"Hey, lookin' good!" Rae chuckled, grinning weakly at Jila.
Jila glanced over her shoulder, expecting wings similar to Rae's. She was shocked to find that her own newly acquired set were white and fluffy. Angel's wings.
"Smart ass," Jila answered, giving a practice flap. "Hey!" she protested. The water-logged feathers were heavy!
"Oh, just use one of Chryse's witchlights to dry out," Rae told her, surveying the surrounding Scoobs.
Some of them could be given wings of their own. Others were just not compatible with the school of magic. Well, there was the life-boat and those who could not swim could be carried. But what to do with Sandworm? Very Posiedan Adventure. Once they found dry land, a plot-hole would be easy enough to establish.
She watched Jila flapping and grinned. The woman was beating her wings like a humming bird, far too hard and fast. She was going to get tired really fast. Angel's wings! She giggled and glanced at her own wings again. It couldn't have been gossamer dragonfly wings. Just had to be something out of the eighth pit of hell, didn't it? Well, at least they were strong and sturdy.
Jila, angels are subtle creatures. Follow suit, will you?
Huh? Oh... Jila's wings slowed. Then stopped. "Hey, I'm still flying!"
"It's called floating. Angel wings have a built-in antigrav field. You hover, and use the wings for course adjustments and propulsion," she explained before swooping down to the life-raft. "Hey, everyone okay down here?"
"Nice accessories," Ragnar answered with a grin. "All you need is a spiky hairdo and goth makeup."
And stilletto heels?
She frowned and stared thoughtfully at him, wondering where that loud little thought came from. The mental image that hit her was... odd to say the least. Pole dancing?
Yeah, right, Rag. I'd need a built-in antigrav field of my own to pull that off.
His eyes widened.
"You have a twisted mind, Viking," she informed him, trying and failing to keep her amusement hidden. "Not sure where you got it from, less sure I want to know."
The others within earshot frowned at this comment, 'out of the blue' from their perspective.
And if you show that to anyone, I'll have your... horns.
Ragnar rested a defensive hand on his helmet and gave her an apologetic look. "Look, can we talk about this later?"
"In detail," she promised, her smile widening. "Okay, we need to find land. Once we do, we can regroup, hire someone to tow the longboat in, find the nearest drydock..."
"Row, row, row your boat," Emram muttered. "Which way? We don't even know where we are."
"I always know where I am," she countered. "Look, you guys hang tight. Jila and I will do a little Recon, find the nearest promising island, and we'll go from there."
"No oars," Kara pointed out, frowning. "Are you going to tow us God knows how far to land?"
"No, I am," Crais answered, drawing a startled yelp from half the occupants of the lifeboat. "One of the upshots of being a mandroid."
"Ungodly strong and almost impossible to tire out," Rae agreed. "So, what's the picture look like down under?"
"Fairly shallow water," Crais reported. "You don't get this in the middle of the ocean. We're near a continent or island chain, have to be."
"But which one?" Chryse asked, staring out at the brilliant blue water.
"Don't know." The mandroid gave a noncommital shrug. "Not enough flora and fauna to judge. Good news is that the climate and depth are all wrong for giant squid."
"Small favors," Rae said. "Okay. You kids hang tight. Jila and I are off on the road to... where ever. Crais'll keep you updated on our progress. Ragnar, be a good boy."
She did not have to ask twice. Having grown somewhat accustomed to the wings, Jila gave a hard flap, doing a backflip in mid-air before taking off after Rae.
"Rae, this is great!" Jila laughed, delighted.
"Altitude has its benefits. Better than dancing with Spy in the ballroom used to be, hmm?" She winked.
"Wonder how things are on the higher plains these days," Jila answered softly.
"I try not to wonder about events on plains I can only visit if I die first. Oh, hey, look!" she pointed to a smudge on the horizon, a little more green than blue. "Is that land?"
"Only one way to find out."
Crais, we may have found something. Tell the others we're going to investigate.
"What we think, we become."