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"Welcome everyone to Gravity Falls Adventure Tours my name is Calista Wolff and I’ll be leading your jump tour today.” Smiling at the gathered 20 individuals that were standing in front of her, ranging from nervous to excited to downright terrified. It was about how every jump group went, and since she had started running this company she had learned how to pick out who was going to follow through with taking the jump, who was going to opt-out before they left the ground, and who was going to opt-out when the got into the air. “Now, every one of you believes that you might want your skydiving license for one reason or another and we can give it to you. However this first jump today will give you an idea of whether or not you will be able to make it through the complete training course or whether this sport is even for you.”
Her mahogany hues scanned over them, meeting their eyes one by one and several of them looked away. “I’m not going to sugar coat it, skydiving is dangerous. Before you even leave the ground you are taking a huge risk, one that is completely in your own hands. Everything from the smallest mistake in packing your parachute to ignore a tattered or frayed strap to not putting on your equipment properly could mean certain death.” She let that sink in for a moment, tucking her hands behind her back like she always did. This speech was second nature by now but it was a necessary part of the entire package. “Those who take the boring parts serious, however, become one with the sky for an amazing 20 minutes. There is no greater feeling than the free-fall than soaring through the skies like the birds, and learning how to navigate to your landing zone is an art that takes practice and skill. If you understand all of that then this sport is for you.”
At that, her four assistants stepped forward and began circulating clipboards, “Today we have taken the risk out of your hands. Your parachutes have been packed by either myself or someone from my team and double-checked by one of the other team members. You will be helped into your harness by a team member and once more double check by another before stepping foot onto the plane. Right now Eagle and Hawk are circulating some release forms that each of you will need to fill out and sign. Just some typical paperwork to keep the lawyers off my back in case you chip a nail or scrap a knee upon landing.”
Laughter ran out through the group like it always did, people didn’t do things like this without expecting there to be some sort of release form. Her eyes met that of a particular male, a tall and dark fellow just as he was finishing up his paperwork and the intensity in his gaze made her stomach clench. She was almost too distracted to hear the question concerning the names of her helpers, grinning a little wider she answered without breaking eye contact with the male, “Everyone here at Gravity Falls has earned a special nickname, today you will be jumping with Eagle, Hawk, Crane, Sparrow, and BarnOwl.” That gave way to another question, one that was inevitable and one that made her finally break eye contact with her eye candy, “And I, of course, am your Mistress of the Skies, Angel. It is also why I am the only one that will be wearing bright gold so that I will be easily identified in the air.”
She took a bow at the round of applause as the last of the paperwork was handed off to their office manager. They gave her a moment to make sure it was all in working order, then at her nod, Calista knew she could continue. “Alright, now that the paperwork is signed and your lives are now mine for the next three hours lets get you all suited up!” She rubbed her hands together as laughter once more ran through the group, and she leads them into the hanger behind her where a series of lockers were lined up that were packed full of jumpsuits. Normally she let her staff take care of this part but she couldn’t help wanting to get to know Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome so she approached him with a flirty grin.
“Let me guess, six foot two? She sized him up with an appraising gaze though obviously checking him out before turning and pulling out a student’s red jumpsuit and handed it to him. So, why are you jumping today?”
Between arguing with his Plants, and Animals around the manor along with the vet office he worked at. Deus surprised he had time for much. Yet the vet's office was having a team building exercise, thought Virindeus was confused on how jumping out of a metal death trap was team building. Being the aspect of life he never thought about jumping to his death, granted he wouldn’t die since he could easily avoid harm with plants or turning into a dragon. Yet he found it strange anyone would willingly take the risk of death, let alone humans. Yet here he was standing next to his coworkers, his arms crossed one over another listening to a brunette explain the dangers and risks.
Yet she seemed happy despite the fact she could die from one mistake. It was mind boggling. His hands unfolded to take the clipboard that he was handed. Reading over the words he took a slight breath before signing the papers Jeton Ettan his two middle name he chose to go by with his work friends. It was interesting how they had animal code names. As he signed the last form he let his gaze rests upon the woman in front of him. His dark gaze held hers and a slight smirk game to his lips as she didn’t seem to want to break the gaze they were holding as she was being asked questions of their code names. He listen to her explain the names before she pulled her gaze away letting his eyes fall down her to notice the gold she was wearing along her suit.
“I am surprised you didn’t go with Dove to keep with the bird them.” he chimed in as he passed the paperwork to Hawk before he found himself falling in line behind most of his co workers being the tallest of the group. He watched as the group separated as some of the instructors took them aside. One thing about Deus he was patient so he was busy looking around the hanger when his eyes landed on the smaller woman as she neared him and looked him up and down. He chuckled as she flirted with him, giving a flirty grin back and gave a slight shrug. “Six foot three but I will only minus you a point for being one inch off.” He chuckled as he locked her over before taking hold off the red jumpsuit. “What about you, Five foot six?”
He sat the red jumpsuit down and moved sliding off his longer layer of clothing. Stepping into the jumpsuit he pulled it all the way up before zipping it up. He gave a soft sigh for a moment before looking past her to his coworkers before looking back to her with his dark eyes. “Well to be frank with you, this wasn’t an idea of mine. I don’t know why anyone would want to willingly jump out of a plane to their possible death.” He moved sitting on the bench there as many were still getting ready. He turned his dark gaze to her, it was hard for him to express worry about it being the aspect of Life. He valued life highly. “Why do you jump? Train others to jump? There has to be a reason, can you explain it to me?”
There was always one, one smartass that had to comment on her code name. It was either a snide remark about it not following the bird theme or some such nonsense about her not so angel-like in the sack. Those were usually from the frat boys or the single dads that were trying to sound big and bad in front of their friends, most often as a way to distract themselves from the fact that they were scared shit less. It figured that Mr. Tall Dark And Handsome would fall into the first category. He wasn’t trying to be snarky, it was more of a snide comment as well as genuine curiosity. All eyes turned on her for a moment though her team all laughed because they knew what was coming, placing her hands on her hips she gave him a sassy smile before answering him. “As the Team Lead, it is my responsibility to ensure that everyone on this jump does so safely from the ground to the air and back down to the ground again. My team will be the birds of prey watching over all of you ducklings as you make this, your first awkward yet exhilarating jump through the air. While they keep you all together my job will be to make sure that everyone including my team stays safe and lands intact. If something goes wrong, if a chute malfunctions or a rogue wind kicks up and knocks someone off course, or a goose flies into someone's face,” she paused as the laughter kicked up around the group though her team acknowledged that it had happened before. When it had all died down, she continued, “When something like that happens it isn’t another bird of prey that can save one of you. It’s an Angel that can and will dive through the air to pull your ass out of the spiral and make sure that you all make it to happy hour after this and can show up to work tomorrow with a great story to tell for years to come. I earned that title because I’ve never lost a single jumper and I don’t intend to start with this group. Savvy?”
Once they were inside the hanger she had pulled out a jumpsuit for him, Cali had somehow expected him to freeze up and be unable to flirt. Her initial impression of him had been all off when he docked her a point for getting his height wrong, “Well I suppose I can afford to lose one point, I’ll just make it up later when I throw your big ass out of a plane.” She gave him a big smile nodding as he guessed her height right. It wasn’t hard considering she was short period, not the shortest by any means but she wasn’t ever going to be tall either. “Technically halfway between 5’5” and 5’6” but I’ll give it to you since your basically paying me to put your life in my hands.” Shooting him a wink she helped him zip up the jumpsuit and then manage all the straps and snaps that went along with it, the thing was meant to be both aerodynamic and fit perfectly with the parachute that they were about to be strapped to as well.
Laughing at his comment concerning jumping out of a plane the brunette shook her head. “Why don’t you ask me that question after we jump, you would be surprised how many people complete their first jump and then want to go again.” She’d seen it countless times before, people who feared the jump still managing to face their fears and once it was all said and done the rush and the excitement was enough to make them want to do it again. Checking him over one last time she straightened up in time to catch his last two questions, a genuine grin coming to her lips as she met his eyes. “I love being in the air. Out among the clouds and the sky, where people were never meant to be something happens to humans. They let their everyday selves go and they become who they have always wanted to be. Carefree and completely unhindered by worries or fears or stress, in those few minutes when a person is falling they are truly free. I love the happiness and the elation and even the fear that comes over them, you can almost see the chains of everyday life slipping away. It’s the purest form of freedom that anyone can feel and though it only lasts for a few minutes, people come to crave it.”
Eagle then caught her attention-drawing her eyes around the room and as she scanned the people it appeared as if everyone was ready for the next phase. “Alright. Everyone gather around.” Glancing back at Mr. Tall and Handsome she jerked her head so that he would follow her, leading the group over to the wall that held the parachutes. Grabbing one of the red ones she commenced in her usual safety briefing, walking them through how they were going to be putting the chute on to what each piece of the chute was called and what each piece did. “Alright, let’s get you guys kitted out. Don’t worry about pulling on any of the strings we have in essence locked them up so that you can dry pull them. As funny as it would be to send one of you flying across the room backward to land on your ass, packing each of these parachutes takes about 2 hours for one person and then we have at least 2 people double-check each one to ensure quality and performance.”
More laughter floated around the room, it was another one of her staple jokes though they had learned after the first couple of classes that chute locks were necessary. Cause people were idiots and liked pulling on strings when they were told not to. “Before anyone asks our chutes go through strict inspections after each jump and the life span of our chutes are 100 jumps. Most schools are double that but we feel that 100 is about the acceptable lifespan of a chute so long as it doesn’t get any rips or tears before then. Call us uber careful but take the lives and well being of our customer very seriously.” With that little tidbit added on she nodded her head, “Okay, couple lines in front of the team and let’s get you guys packed up.”
Turning she crooked her fingers at Mr. Tall and Handsome, “You know I need a name for you, in my head, I just keep calling you Tall and Handsome. Which works I guess but shortening that would be nice.” Taking one of the red chutes she undid the buckles and placed the round straps on the floor, “Turn around and step into these two loops, these will go around your thighs.”
Virindeus truly was just curious when it came to the name, he had himself had a few different code names though his life so he asked really without thinking. As her hand came to her hip, and her team laughed he was sure it was a question or comment she got very often then, as she already seemed to have an answer laid out. His eyes stayed on her as she explained that her team where the birds of prey, that they where the ducklings and she was an angel because she was their last saving grace. “Never lost a single jumper?” he questions and felt one of his coworkers hit his arm though he didn’t react to it. “Impressive.” he said as he gave a slow smile. “Understood Angel.” He replied deeply before they all moved where they where to get dressed and stuff.
Deus took the red jumpsuit in his hand and chuckled at her as she spoke of throwing his ass out of a plane. “Well I guess if anyone is going to throw me out of a plane it should be an Angel.” he smirked towards her and then raised his hand up to line up with the top of her head. “I guess without shoes you would be halfway between huh?” he asked as he looked down towards her smaller frame. “So lets see that puts me at full points and you minus one for now. Better step up your game.” he joked as he got into the suit wiggling around slightly hating how heavy it felt on him. He was one that prefered to be less clothed rather than weighed down. As everything was snapped and zipped and tighten he ran his fingers over the suit. “Thank you for your help.” he then looked to everyone else for a moment before going back to her.
He wanted to state he would never see the full sense in it, but being an aspect was meant to be a secret so he nodded as he ran his fingers over the back of his neck. “I shall let you know if my answer changes on that or not. As she moved closer to him to check him over he caught her scent, it was unique unlike anything he had smelled before. He could pick it out if he had to. As she smiled big at him he got lost in it for a moment listening to her speak of why she jumped. “So the freedom of it.” he said as he thought on it for a moment. For him he could go and fly whenever he wanted, but for humans this was the closest they would get. “I get that.” he said looking her over for a moment. “Still think it's dangerous.” he chuckled softly.
Following behind Calista he stood among the other as the next set of instructions on how to stay alive really. He couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of one of his coworkers falling on their ass because they pulled it before they should. He had no idea it took as long as it did to close up a parachute and that there was a 2 person check team on top of it. It made the aspect relax slightly that maybe just maybe this wasn’t as dangerous as he thought it was. Calista and her crew seemed to clearly know what they where doing and went to extreme precautions to keep themselves safe along with the people taking the class. His jaw relaxed fully as he took in everything she said. Moving to get in line to get the parachute on until she wiggled her finger at him to move to her.
He moved to stand in front of her and gave a soft chuckle as she said she would need to know his name. “Well I kinda like being Mr. Tall and handsome.” He said as he turned around and stepped into the parachute and pulled it up with the straps around his thigh and pulling the straps over his shoulders turning to face her again. “But I get the need to shorten it. Virindeus Jeton.” he gave one of his middle name as his last name as it was just easier for him to remember. “But my coworkers call me Deus or Jett.” he smiled towards her. “And your real name? Or just want me to call you Angel?”
“You’re welcome.” Cali had to admit to herself that hearing him say those words was a bit of a surprise. He struck her as a male who was used to issuing orders and those being followed absolutely. It wasn’t an ego thing as far as she could tell, he was just used to being in charge. His questions involving her nickname and her record regarding jumpers was a clear indicator of his personality and the comfort with which he carried his authority. Even more interesting was how well he got along with his people, which was a strong indicator that he didn’t flaunt or misuse his power. That in and of itself told her all she needed to know about his personality. Then again he didn’t seem all that jazzed about this jump, and his hesitance also gave her a perspective on what kind of person he was.
“Of course it’s dangerous. That’s part of the thrill.” The female chuckled as she straightened up, looking around at her team to check to ensure that they were ready to move on. While this entire process took some time they did have several other groups that were scheduled for today which meant their time was precious. “People don’t ride roller coasters because they are safe, they ride them for the thrill. Bungee jumping, mountain climbing, biking, skiing...all sports really are a way for the human soul to truly feel. To step outside the normal routine and get the heart pumping. The adrenaline flowing.” In her experience, many people looked for a way to get outside their routines and do something a little crazy once in a while, “It reminds people of their place in the universe and of their own humanity. Which let's face it is a good thing.”
Once her usual spiel was over the Initia moved around the groups to make sure that everything was going smoothly before she got back to her mystery man. Helping him get the parachute secured of his tall shoulders the brunette moved around to his front and began tightening the straps. Her russet hues flickered up to his face as the male let her in on that aspect of his identity, allowing her a little bit of familiarity. Buckling the rest of his parachute snugly over his muscular frame she double-checked all of the buckles and straps before replying, “Calista, though everyone calls me Cali.” Patting him on his chest Cali stepped back to allow one of her team members to double-check her work as was their custom. “Nice to meet you Jett.”
Calling attention to the group Cali went through the next steps, “Alright people, plane is waiting and fueled on the runway. You are going to follow me and then file onto the plane, where you will find helmets with GoPro's mounted to them. Pick one and take a seat, then put your helmet on. Once everyone is seated my team will engage your cameras, double-check helmet placement, and do a third and final check of your parachutes. We will take off at that point and head towards the landing zone.” This was the moment she liked, when the nerves set in and the realization that what they were about to do settled upon their minds. “The plane will reach 16,000 feet which will give you about a minute and a half of free fall before chutes are deployed. We will deploy together and anyone with a potential malfunction will then be assisted.”
More safety briefing stressing the need for calm and how panicking might affect the free fall ensured before she gave them one last opportunity to back out. When no one took her offer she grinned wide, “Alright crew, time to load ‘em up!” Her team let out a series of shouts and whoops that got the rest of the jump team going, the adrenaline was already pumping and with her team stirring the excitement pot the whole jump team was raring to go. Bringing up the rear Calista let them file onto the plane, double-checking her team as the team situated their ducklings in two rows along the benches. Eagle locked up the plane and gave the signal to the pilot to commence take off. Once that was done her team took a keep in the middle of the aisle leaving her to move around at leisure.
Virindeus laughed softly to her for a moment as he forced his shoulders to relax. “Thing is I kinda have a thing about life. So I often avoid danger as much as I can. Scared I may like it too much.” He watched her look around her check her team. “My speed has always been long hikes. Never much more. I guess there is reason for the adrenaline flow.” He said as he touched the harness again to make sure it was all buckled more. “Guess I can value the reason behind one remembering their own humanity. Sometimes people need to be reminded how precious their one life is.” He said as he closed his eyes for a moment, letting the heartbeats fill him for a second giving him courage.
As she moved around the room Deus moved closer towards the group so he wasn’t off on his own. Since he had a habit of that. As she moved back over and helped him into the parachute he focused on her more. He studied the freckles on her face for a moment. “Pleasure to meet you Cali.” He replied back as she pulled on the strips. He leans his head to the side for a moment. “Look ready to take on gravity?” He chuckled at the thought of jumping out of the plane once again. This was really happening. Yet if he was going to put the aspect of life’s life in someone's hands. He didn’t overly mind it being Cali.
Deus followed his work colleagues as they all moved onto the plane. Taking the helmet as he moved and sat down on one of the seats. He slid the helmet on and strapped it on as they did their triple checks of the equipment. He looked to the Cali and her team before going back to the people around him. The tension felt like it could be cut in half at that moment for him as the plane climbed into the air. Next thing he knew the plane doors were open and he wanted to swallow the courage and stay seated. Yet he stood up with the rest of the group and moved in the line as they all started to jump out of the plane one at a time.
He didn’t pause when it came to jumping out though he took a leap of faith and he flipped around for a moment before correcting himself. He wasn’t nose diving but spread out more so to to keep himself more balanced and going at a slower pace then some of the other ones. He took in how green everything was for a moment. It was truly beautiful, he could understand why people did this. Well his reason was much different than others. He enjoyed the view.
“Having a thing for life and playing it safe seems counterintuitive for some of us.” Cali’s smile was flirty, a light chuckle issuing from her lips as she gazed at him thoughtfully. His perspective and view gave her a slightly more in-depth look into his personality. Not to mention that his admittance as to his preferences in an activity let her see him as a sedate gentleman that would much prefer to be enjoying a good book group discussion rather than gearing up to jump out of an airplane. “It’s not about remembering one’s mortality, it’s about taking that life and living to the fullest. Taking each day as it comes and filling it with passion and intrigue and joy. Each person here doesn’t want to be reminded of their mortality, rather they want to feel wholly and completely alive.” Her sienna color hues slid up and down his form before meeting his own chocolaty orbs, “Except maybe you.”
The next few minutes went by quickly as they usually did, giving instructions as to what would happen from the plane to the ground again while the team double and triple checked all of the equipment. Rounding back to Jett she couldn’t help but smile a bit more as her name rolled off his tongue sounding like some foreign endearment. “We don’t take on gravity, we give over control and let gravity have her time.” Winking as the entire group heard her little motto and chuckled, following her team out onto the tarmac and loading up into the plane.
Once airborne it wasn’t long before they were at cruising altitude and over the jump site. The door opened letting in a gale of winds and with prompting from her people the jumpers went out, first Hawk then two of the group followed by Eagle and two more continuing in the two one pattern until the plane was clear of everyone but her. Calista waited, watching to ensure each group looked spaced out enough for safety before she yelled to the pilot and jumped into the open air.
The howling of the wind was loud in her ears, a high keening that sang through her blood while her heart pumped with elation. Every time she jumped from a plane was a rush, an experience that the Initia Master never took for granted. Looking down through her glasses she counted at her people, the ducklings were being watched closely by her birds of prey heading towards the giant bullseye in the middle of the grass field below. Her gaze kept straying to the large hulk just below her, urging her to tuck her arms by her sides and slide downward until she was even with him.
Catching his attention she grinned and held up her two thumbs, letting loose a giggle at his face molded by the wind. Looking down as a red chute bloomed beneath her Cali watched the first few jumpers deploy successfully. At that point every few seconds a new parachute was deployed, her mind carefully counting off how many she had circling below her. A small object shot up towards her face, her instincts to reach out to try and catch the thing. The movement had her body flipping backward while her hands closed around what felt like a cell phone. The momentum had her in a backward somersault while she quietly ranted over people not following directions.
Deus gave a playful chuckle at her statement and a flirty smile “I guess the beauty of life if everyone gets to enjoy it the way they wish. So it doesn’t have to be counterintuitive.” He gave her a flirty wink before he ran his hand over the material of his jumpsuit for a moment. “Guess you enjoy taking life by the reins and living it to your fullest huh?” He admired someone with passion and here she should be in front of him full of passion for what she was doing. It really was the meaning of truly being able to live in the world even if her idea of fullest wasn’t his. “I shall keep my view of mortality to myself so each and every other person can feel fully alive while I am trying not to freak out.” He took in her hues for a moment before everything started to move faster then he could keep up with.
Catching Calista gaze every now and then in her bright smile Deus couldn’t help but return it. His hands coming together as they all made their way out to jump into the open air. The anxiety within the aspect of life raised high as he was in his human form. Sure he could break out his dragon and be okay in the end of the day but then a bunch of humans would end up knowing that he is something more. Having to explain what he was and that would be no fun for anyone in the manor. As the howling of the wind held him captive as his eyes scanned his body falling. The rush he was sure others were feeling was not something he was feeling himself. He was watching his co-workers just hoping all of them would be safe.
In the edge of his vision he caught her and turned his head to catch sight of her and he placed a drink on the best he could returning her thumbs up. Then his head looked back to the parachutes as they began to open. He watched the object shoot up and fear took him and he jerked. Beginning to spin out of control as she caught the cell phone. “Shit, Shit, Shit.” He said as he felt like he couldn’t correct his freefall to the earth. His hand moved the strings and as he pulled it, his supernatural strength while panicking caused him to pull the string so hard it snapped. He closed his eyes and felt himself trying to regain focus. He needed to find a way before he defaulted and turned into his dragon from.
His hand started to grow a vine as he corrected himself to attack into the vest to be his new string. “Focus Virindeus.” He said to himself as he felt like he couldn’t breathe in the free fall the very element he loved the most about to be the one causing him pain if he didn’t work quickly.
Grinning from ear to ear Cali dipped her head in a silent acquiescence to his point, “Touche.” Her response was delivered in an equally flirty tone, though she was a bit surprised that the tall giant of a man was engaging with her in such a manner. In a way he seemed almost standoffish, as if he were a part of the group but believed himself fundamentally apart. It was a strange realization and one she couldn’t quite reconcile in the short amount of time she had been around him. “I enjoy living life. Life isn’t something to be controlled or reined in or scheduled. Life is a living entity that ebbs and flows and crests like waves on the ocean. I’m just surfing the swells.” It had always been her lot and vision of living, an ample picture that enabled her to do what so many couldn’t: let go. Neither she nor anyone else had control in this big experiment of a world and the sooner a person figures that out the sooner they could enjoy the things that were placed in front of them.
Chuckling lightly as he assured her he would keep his opinions to himself and turn his attention trying to stay calm. “Just remember to breathe. Always keep breathing.” That was the best advice she could give and advice she gave often to those who were apprehensive or just plain scared. Calista had only had a couple of people opt out of the jump, most didn’t want to appear weak or afraid so they took the jump anyway. “Besides, all you gotta do is fall.” Shooting him a wink the brunette went through the motions of getting everyone in the plane and then out of the plane once they were over the jump site. As soon as they were all out and flying, Cali followed suit, finding herself once again in open air and communing with the element she loved so much. As they all plummeted from the sky her dark hues caught sight of Jett, her laughter snatched by the rushing wind as he managed to give her a return thumbs up.
Then the phone came shooting up towards her, quick reflexes and the eyes of hawk enabling her to snatch the thing before lady gravity could take hold of it and pull it back to Earth with the speed of a projectile. Spreading her legs and arms out wide she managed to stop her somersaults, correcting her position long enough to slip the device into a pocket of her jumpsuit. Next she started scanning over the people below, counting parachutes. Her eyes narrowed at the one other person who hadn’t deployed a chute, her arms tucking into her sides to have her shooting down to his level. What she found and what she saw nearly had her spiraling out of control again. Pressing her lips together she stayed close, feeling her element and joining with it in case she needed to save both their hides.
“Open your chute, open your chute, open your chute….” She muttered it under her breath like a mantra, mentally counting the distance down between them and the Earth. If he didn’t get the damn thing open within the next minute she was going to have to intervene.