The buxom woman sauntered toward you, pulling at the knot of her bathrobe. Rock hard and throbbing, you watched eagerly as gravity teased the fabric away from her skin, her cleavage starting to become apparent.
"Anon, come here..." She said, making a coy come-hither gesture with a finger.
"Mhm," you muttered, "Sure thing babe."
Nipples now exposed, you can't take your eyes off of the wonderfully swaying pair of breasts. You get up, slowly making your way over to--
"ANON! Get up!"
Startling, you sit up in your bunk, immediately scraping your head on the rope underside of the bunk above.
"Ow, alright, alright!" You yell into the darkness of your bedroom, dream ruined and head sore.
Stretching and rubbing your newly minted scrape, you quickly pull on yesterday's clothes and feel your way over to the door. Greeting you on the other side, as expected, is your ever-loyal, if somewhat particular, companion in travel.
"Hello Basil," you mutter, "what's got you so excited?"
The small bird's large beak quivers at you from the dark of the doorway, and he repeatedly smooths over his plain gray feathers as he talks.
"I know it's quite early to wake you, but you'll find that it's quite light outside. I've half a mind to refuse to explain, but my mouth will not allow me to keep it in!"
He titters at this in his strange and high-pitched avian laugh, before resuming, even faster than before.
"There's an island full of lights, anon! Only just over the horizon, but it's out there, clear as day! I checked our charts, and we should be miles from any land, we've found something real toda-- er, tonight!"
Holding your hands up to fend off the excited ball of feathers, you wander down the hall towards the deck, peering through the darkness. It sure doesn't look light out. His inhuman eyes are surely somewhat better than yours, but you can't imagine them to be good enough to turn night into day.
Basil is only just visible to you in the dark of the new moon, but his excitement is obvious. The little bird's feathers are puffed up, making him seem double his normal size.
Crossing the stair's threshold to the deck, you see nothing initially, but after some pointing in the dim light, you see it. A dim light in the distance. You had imagined the light to look like a city in the distance, but this was something else; a narrow tower of blue light pierces the horizon.
Basil is quivering with glee, and it would be a lie to say you weren't sharing his feelings. Your white-knuckled grip on the handrail and manic grin could attest to that.
"So why were you even up there in the dead of night?"
Your idle question seems to have almost spooked him. Basil freezes, looking up at you and letting his machete fall to his side. Bushwhacking was always tough on his lighter build, but this was something else.
"Couldn't sleep..." he mumbles, not meeting your gaze.
The island seemed so small from the boat, but after an entire day of butchering your way through the island's thick flora, you are still nowhere near the tower of blue in the distance. Fortunately, you and Basil had brought many day's worth of tasteless rations, so setting up camp is an option.
A fire, a tent, a load off your back, and a mystery; this is what you loved. When Basil had found you in that pub, that was what had brought you two together, that deep ingrained need to figure out the world.
Admittedly, the gray bird had a much deeper motivation than yours: with a few odd exceptions, dodos exited only in one small hamlet further inland, doomed to a slow extinction of inbreeding. However, there was a legend among them, a story passed down from parent to child, which spoke of an island from which they came.
Basil's life's savings, together with your own, provided just enough for the smallest, barest boat, and you were off. Running down the side of Africa to the equator and bartering work for food, you could only hope to find his island by sheer luck, venturing out from the coastline at random in hopes of spotting something, anything.
You had found many small islands, tiny dots of life on rocky outcroppings in the middle of nowhere, but nothing like this.
"I think the light is larger than we think," you mutter, breaking the silence.
Basil looks up from his own reverie, beady avian eyes flicking from the fire to stare at you.
"We thought it was narrow and close, but it could simply be far away."
The dodo nods, clicking his beak together as he thinks.
"More than nine days?" he asks, "we took an awful lot of food, but this jungle is dense, and if what you're saying is true, we could walk for weeks!"
"I couldn't say," you mutter, "two more days, if we haven't reached it then, we can return with more supplies. Your skills with a map and compass have improved much, so we can certainly find this place again."
Basil nods again, gaze returning to the fire.
Wobbling on the precipice of sleep, a sound of movement startles you fully awake again. Basil is leaving the tent, you knew it! Something was up with the little bird; ever since waking you up to see the island, he hadn't slept through a single night, opting instead to wander around a little in the dark before returning to bed.
You strain to hear, but catch only the sounds of the island night. Did he leave? You never were one for confrontation, but this was just baffling. Opening up the tent, you were met with a sight that was difficult to interpret.
Staring at you from beside the embers of the fire, beak open in shock, Basil is completely naked, feathered hand on the log between his legs.
No, not on the log.
"A-Anon, I can explain..." he whispers, feathers slowly rising.
Staying quiet, you wait for him to finish his sentence, desperately hoping this won't become a problem.
"I-- we have this-- it's called--" he stammers rapidly, beginning to tremble.
"Hey there, hold your horses, son." you intone, as gently as possible. Basil looked about ready to molt.
'Not quite right' said a voice in your head as he passed out, falling backwards over the log he had been sitting on.
"It's almost January," he intones quietly, "that's when we uh, dodos that is, go about our business of creating a family, you know, making little ones."
You stare incredulously at the bird, now laying propped-up against the log previously used as a stool.
"You were seriously jacking it, in a forest, at midnight?"
He shrinks down now, feathers pressing to his skin.
"I-It's not like you're thinking!" he pleads, "I haven't been entirely honest with you... you wouldn't have let me come along if I told you I was a girl!"
You stand, throwing your hands in the air.
"A whole year on this boat, eating hardtack for months on end, no woman to touch, and you're telling me you're-- you're IN SEASON!"
You pace around the fire, ranting to yourself and casting looks back at Basil. Slowly and with a wobble, he-- she, gets back to her scaly bird feet.
"Listen," she says, "many ships have passed us on our journey, if you flag one down, I still probably have enough to pay my way on board, and I would be out of your feathers forever."
Your shoulders sag.
"Basil, I don't want to be rid of you, but you can't be pleasuring yourself in the middle of the night and expect me to just ignore it."
"It's Lisa," she says, "my name's Lisa. What would you have me do? I'm not a human like you, my needs can't simply be ignored. There are no others of my kind for thousands of miles, what do you expect me to do? My only options are this, or..."
She trails off, letting the unspoken alternative hang in the air. You struggle to keep your mind on the straight and narrow. It's been so long since you've even seen a woman, not counting the one apparently standing in front of you.
"Damn!" you curse, pounding your fist against a squat tree. Now that you look at her naked, the signs are obvious. Her thighs are incredibly plump where they meet her stick-like legs, and there are two small but clearly-defined breasts under the thick coating of feathers.
"Listen," you begin, "we're friends, right? We have a shared passion, and we work well together, and we have a shared desire..."
You look up at Lisa pleadingly, and she nods. You nod back, staring into the space between you.
"The second option then... it isn't as though anyone would know."
The words float out of your mouth, with no effort on your part, almost as if someone else had spoken. Lisa walks closer, still unsteady on her feet from the fainting spell.
"Woah there," you intone, putting one arm around her. Both of her feathered arms wrap around you, pulling the two of you closer than you thought possible. She's extremely short, but that long, fat beak of hers easily reaches to your nose. She nibbles on it, a surprisingly gentle experience given what you'd seen her do to hardtack.
The journey so far had been long, and lonely in its own respect, but something tells you it will feel a lot less lonely in the future.