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 Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]

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Roxy Lalonde
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PostSubject: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyWed May 09, 2012 11:10 pm

[continuation of this thread]

As they entered the pub, Roxy’s reaction was diametrically opposite to one the troll just had. She was, for one, quite fond of the convivial ambiance this kind of pub had to offer. After a bottle of wine, she would usually even participate in this ambiance. Most of the people were usually drunker than her; they didn’t notice that her mouth wasn’t moving in sync with her voice.

This place reminded her of the pub where she had wine for the first time. It was so busy that barely anyone noticed the fourteen years old sneaking in. Even if they did see her, they probably didn’t care. She climbed on a stool and asked for something to drink, handing a few coins she had won by running an errand. The barman asked what she wanted but since she had no idea, she asked for anything she could afford with her meager means. He brought her a wine bottle. You know the rest of the story. A few memories succeeded in her mind: dancing with carapaces, standing on a table and singing, playing cards and winning some money (that one memory leading to a feast with her guardian)... She could only recall good moments from the pubs she visited.

Under her mask, Roxy smiled. She felt a little better now that she was inside. Maybe her first human meeting had been catastrophic but tomorrow would be better. She would keep on looking for other humans... She was bound to find someone who could answer her questions!

The rogue surveyed the room; spotted an empty table in the back, near a window. That would be perfect. She made her way to it and let herself slide smoothly on one of the chairs.

She plunged a hand under her purple tunic to find the purse where she stored her few precious belongings (her silver bracelet was one of them). The purse was attached to the belt she wore under her carapace clothing and over her black leather tunic. After taking the purse off the belt, Roxy placed it on the table, untied the rope and opened it. The purse in itself was pretty plain and made of used, tarnished fabric. Roxy counted the money she had left.

“Damnit!” she uttered. “I thought I had more!!”
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyThu May 10, 2012 8:50 pm

As he set foot in the establishement, Sollux knew it would be hard for him to relax until he finally had a room he could find shelter into. He parted with the girl and headed towards the counter, looking around him as he made his way between the carapaces. There were a few trolls as well, probably a few lowbloods who came here to drink the rest of their money away. The only person in the room that didn't strike him as a complete disgrace to his tace was the female troll who was performing on the stage. She was, he would admit, quite good looking. Once she stepped forwards on the stage and started singing he couldn't help but think her voice was the most divine thing he had heard in a very long time. A young carapace was playing some kind of instrument foreign to his knowledge. The melody was just as enticing as the singer's voice. If he focused on their music, he could probably go trough the night without going completely insane. They say music can calm the most demented of beings and tame the fiercest animals.

Once he finally reached the counter he looked right and left for the owner and gestured towards him once he spotted him. The carapace approached him slowly. He was old and his back was crooked which gave him kind of a weird limp. He looked up at Sollux with weird, shallow eyes. It sort of gave Sollux the jitters, but he didn't fret.

"I'm looking for a place to stay.", he stated.

"10 a night, cash only.", the carapace replied.

He briefly explained his situation to the owner ommitting as many details as he possibly could without affecting the story's credibility. He told the old carapace that he would work the night if it's what he needed to earn himself a stay. He also mentionned he was travelling with a friend and gestured towards the table where he had last spotted her sitting down.

The owner smirked a little.

" Well, trade me the girl and you can stay as many nights you want", he proposed.

Sollux didn't really know what to reply. He didn't care all that much about the human after all, but considering he had just saved her life it would be kind of ridiculous to just sell her for a room. It's not like he would stay there very long either, he would move out as soon as he would get the feeling it's not safe anymore.

After discussing with the pub's owner for a little bit he finally got to an understanding. He would wash dishes in the back and the "cute little carapace" he was with would serve the customers at the bar. He made his way back to the girl and sat with her to explain her what the deal was. He hoped she would agree, it was not that bad of a deal after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyFri May 11, 2012 12:50 am

When the troll came back and sat on another chair, in front of her, she was brooding about how poor she was. It’s not like she was used to live the big life; she spent her whole life sleeping under the sky and most of the time, she enjoyed that. She was just certain she had more money and that she could afford a bed and maybe a little bottle of wine. After a five hours trip in a cargo and fighting against another human, she was expecting more than having to find a spot in back alley of Derse. She let out a sigh.

Roxy heard the troll out when he explained the deal the innkeeper had to offer. Okay, sure, that wasn’t the fun night she was expecting just yet. She would have to stand for a few hours and to act natural, even if her body started to feel like she had been run over by a carriage. But at the end, it would still be better than sleeping on cold pavement.

“I don’t have enough money to rent a room, anyway.” she said, tying back the rope around her purse and then reattaching it to her belt, under her tunic. She stood up, showing that she wasn’t afraid of a little work. “Ok, count me in!” After a moment of silence, she added cheerfully: “That's new for me, working behind the bar!”

She was referring to the fact that usually, she was drunk on the other side of the bar, but the troll didn’t have to know that!

“I will see you later...good luck with the dishes!” she chuckled.

Roxy walked to bar and found the owner. She acted shy so she didn’t have to speak. That was her usual trick and it always worked perfectly. No carapace could resist a shy female. She took her place behind the bar, bringing meals and food to the customers. It was a rather easy job but the rogue found out, after a while, that she was kind of hungry herself. The appetizing scent of food started driving her crazy... and it was nothing compared to the sweet flagrance of the wine she had to serve... This was torture!
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyFri May 11, 2012 1:52 am

The backstore reeked of mold and humidity, but for some reason it pleased Sollux more than the strong smell of alcohol and tabacco that floated all over the pub's main room. Besides, the back store was kind of a calm area, he was almost the only one there along with the cooks. In spite of it all, the sweet scent of food came in drafts to remind him how little he had eaten in the past few days. Surely he'd try to nab a piece of leftover after he had done all his hours of labour.

It was pretty crowded that night and people seemed to be mighty hungry. Sollux had never seen so much cuttelry in his life before and he was quite happy when it was finally over with. After both him and his new partner had finished their due work, the owner came up to them and handed them a little bag of food along with a bottle of wine that they could share before sending them over to their room.

Sollux was not surprised to find out that the room was rather cramped. There was one bed, a small desk, a chair and a carpet. He glanced at the girl. Surely she would want the bed. If there was something he had learned through years is that girls tended to be capricious. Well ok, sometimes males were just as bad, especially trolls.

He pattered over to the chair and sat on it with a deep sigh. He didn't care where he slept, all he knew is he was exhausted. He turned around to look at the girl he was with. Just now, it stroke him that he haden't even asked her name or anything about her. She was rather mystrerious too and he had to admit he was starting to get curious about who she was and what she was doing on the docks earlier. He wanted to ask her so many questions now that things had settled down. It was actually the first time he saw a human outside of the parades in the high district. He never actually cared for all those parades himself, but his friend Feferi took him to see one once because she thought they were "very pretty and quite exciting".

Sollux took a closer look at the bottle of wine the old carapace had given to them.

" Bluh, I don't drink any of that."
, he said frowning at the beverage under his shades.

It was true. He never had alcohol before. For one, young trolls were not allowed to drink for safety reasons. Secondly, he never cared for those type of mind-altering drinks. Like he needed anything else to get into his head and mess him up. He was already neurotic enough. He placed the bottle back on the desk before picking up the bag of food and checking it's content.

" You can have the wine, but let's share this, okay?", he told the girl before asking, "by the way... I'm Sollux, what's your name?"
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyFri May 11, 2012 3:45 pm

When most of the customers were gone, the owner finally told them they could get a well earned rest. He even gave them a bag of food and a bottle a wine to share. Roxy was really tired so she didn’t react as much as she would have normally, but the idea of having a decent meal and finally drinking this divine elixir made her smile under her mask.

Roxy followed her new partner upside where they found their room. It was obviously made for one person but she didn’t care much. She didn’t get the fact that one bed meant one person sleeping on the floor. Even if she had, she would had have no problem letting the troll take it; she was used to sleep in lesser conditions so having to sleep on the floor was no problem for her. She even was even ok with sharing the bed... no intention behind it; she just wasn’t one to feel uncomfortable with physical proximity!

When the troll took the chair, Roxy settled for the bed. She sat on it and then proceeded to kick her boots off her feet. She let out a sigh of ease; the day had been really long. She then removed her mask and placed it next to her, on the bed. There was no point in hiding her face anymore; her new partner had seen it already. Anyway, it felt nice to finally breathe without anything in front of her face. She pulled her hood down, revealing her short blond hair. She also freed her hands from her leather gloves which she carelessly dropped on the bed.

Her eyes widened when the troll mentioned he didn’t drink wine and that she could have it all for herself. “Are you serious?” she said with disbelief. “That’s like my favorite thing ever!” Half a bottle of wine would have been enough for her, but the thought of having it all for herself spread a bright smile or her face. She jumped on her feet and took place next to Sollux to check on the bag of food.

“Of course we share the food!” she answered cheerfully. “I would say “nice to meet you Sollux!”but it would kind of weird after what we went through!” she let out a short laugh. “I’m Roxy! What do we have? I’m starving!”
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptySat May 12, 2012 1:00 am

He layed out the food on the desk. It wasen't a very big meal, but it was enough to fill both their stomach for the night. There was a little bit of bread as well as some leftovers from today's main course. He we usually pretty picky with food but not tonight. He was starving and knew it was not the time to make a fuss about food or comfort in general.

Sollux split the goods with Roxy, making sure they had quite exactly the same amount of food. He was pretty methodical and liked things to be even.

"Here, that's your share", He said pushing a portion towards his new friend before proceeding to attack his own share of the loot.

He hadn't been this hungry before, not even when he lived with his custodian. He devoured his share of the food in just a few minutes. His manners had never been those of an aristocrats, but he had never quite gobbled up food like this either. He felt a little bit ashamed at first, but when he glanced over to Roxy he realized she wasen't any more gracious than him.

After the meal he sat quiet for a while, avoiding eyecontact with his "roommate". The silence grew quite awkward but he simply didn't know what to say. He had never been very chatty, but somehow he got the feeling that the girl was antsy to start a conversation. He hoped that he would not have to be the one to initiate it, but after a bit he gave in.

"So, um...", he articulated, "So where are you from?"

Sollux spoke with a heavy lisp which had often earned him a few remarks, but he didn't care. He thought his lisp was awesome, that it made him special and somewhat unique. Besides, he didn't lisp because of some kind of speech impediment but rather because two of his teeth, which would correspond with the human canine teeth, were quite large. On top of that, he had a forked tongue which made the lisp even heavier.

He looked at his interlocutor and hoped he was getting this whole "conversation" thing right.
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptySat May 12, 2012 9:09 pm

“Thanks!” Roxy grabbed her share of the food and the wine bottle and then returned to her spot on the bed. She instantly started eating and didn’t take much more time than Sollux to eat every last bit of it. As she was gobbling up her food, she tried to remember when exactly she had her last meal... it must have been somewhere in the morning when she bid farewell to her guardian. It was the first time she thought about him since she saw his silhouette disappear. She was so excited to arrive on Derse that she barely thought about anything else. Now that she was sitting in a quiet room, looking back at the events of the day, she felt kind of sad. Everything had gone wrong... and she kind of missed her adoptive father.

She took the wine bottle she had dropped on the bed next to her before eating. She uncorked it and took a long sip. Aaah! The exhilarating feeling!

Roxy glanced at the troll. The comfortably lit room allowed her to examine his features in details, something the obscurity outside didn’t allow. The questions she kept for herself suddenly resurfaced, eclipsing her other concerns. She was really eager to learn more about the trolls. They seemed like a fascinating specie! Not so different from humans but yet totally exotic (at least for Roxy). Then again, she didn’t know much about humans either. Roxy’s eagerness to start a conversation must had shown because after a while, Sollux started talking, asking her a question.

“Wow, that’s a really good question.” she said, looking down at the bottle she held with both hands. “There’s a short answer and a long answer, which one do you want?”

She paused, took the bottle to her lips and gulped some wine down.

“Wait, don’t answer! I’m gonna give you both! It’s funnier that way!”

An enigmatic smile spread on her face.

“The short answer is that I’m a traveller from Skaia. The long one is “I don’t know”.” She paused again, her smile slowly turning into a smirk as she realised something. “Oops, I guess the short one was longer than the long one!”

She burst out laughing. She shifted position on the bed, bringing her legs under her body and positioned the bottle between her knees. The rogue gave a serious look to Sollux.

“Ok Sollux, I’ll give you my life story if you answer some of my questions first!”
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptySun May 13, 2012 1:44 am

Skaia... So Roxy was from the big blue planet. Sollux thought there were only carapaces there. He would never have suspected that a human could have been born on Skaia. It didn't make sense considering humans have a weird reproduction system in which one of each sex was required. That's what he was told back in school. It'd mean that at least two other humans were needed to make her .It was impossible for her to have just landed on Skaia though, there had to be an explanation.

Then again, she did specify she didn't really know where she was from. He suspected she might have been an exile or something of the like, banned to live on Skaia with all the carapaces. Surely the human's realm was not always fun and games, he always suspected there was some stories of betrayal and corruption behing all this aristocracy. He read troll litterature like that before, humans couldn't be that much different from them. They weren't perfect either after all. Trolls were so much more superior in so many ways, no matter what everyone said.

However, the girl seemed a little young to be an exile. What could she have been exiled for anyway? She was probably just about that same age as him, perhaps a little older.

He decided it might be best to ask her directly, but she wanted info on him in exchange. He shifted uncomfortably at the request. The lowblood really didn't like talking about himself, especially in a time like now.

Even so, he nodded. "Alright, I'll answer your stupid questions.", he replied somewhat rudely. He mentally kicked himself for getting so worked up over the matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyMon May 14, 2012 8:38 pm

Roxy examined Sollux’s face while he was processing the information she gave him. It was hard to tell for sure what he was thinking because his eyes were hidden by his shades. However, she could easily guess that he was puzzled by her enigmatic answer. She liked to mess with people sometimes... to test them and see how they react.

While the troll was deciding whether or not it was a good deal, Roxy waited patiently, sipping her wine. It was not the best wine she ever tasted... Surely, the owner gave them the cheapest bottle he had. It was still really pleasant to drink some wine after such a long time. And that time, she didn’t have to hide her bad habit.

Roxy didn’t really mind telling her story to the troll... She was here to find answers about her past and anyone was likely to detain the key to the mystery. Maybe he didn’t know where she came from more than her but at least, he would know valuable information about Derse and that was better than nothing. Moreover, he had saved her and won her trust. She just wasn’t sure if he would do the same; he seemed like a prudent, secretive fellow. Roxy wanted to learn more about the trolls in general. She was also curious about Sollux himself but asking him personal questions would only make him uncomfortable... She would keep them for the end!

The rogue was not really surprised by his aggressive comeback. She couldn’t help but to let out an amused laugh. His answer was more revealing than you could think. He didn’t reject her demand like he would have if he didn’t care. That meant he was curious enough about her story to allow her being nosy in his business.

“You don’t have to be on the defensive like that!” she said with a soothing voice. “I’m just really curious about you. Like I said earlier, you’re the first troll I ever met...” She took another sip of wine. “I’ve been on Derse and Prospit a few times and I’ve seen the likes of you. Where do you guys come from? I guess you’re not the only troll on Derse! How much of your kind is there?”

She blinked, trying to form coherent questions; everything was getting a little blurry.

“Is it ok if I assumed you’re a boy? Were you born with these horns or did they grow out of your head?
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyTue May 15, 2012 12:26 am

"I'm not on the fucking defensive!", he nervously said, "I'm just... My situation's complicated, ok? Ok, yeah I guess I sort of AM on the defensive."

He took a deep breath and calmed down a little. He knew he was being somewhat paranoid. Probably did that girl meant no harm. It's not like he was being actively searched for by the agents or something of the like. He was just a lowblood Psiionic after all, no one knew his name or anything. At least, he hoped so.

He thought about it for a moment and made a point that if the girl was from Skaia and had never heard of trolls, she could be considered harmless and he could open up to her to a certain extent. Yes, that's what he would do, because he could really use to vent a little right about now. He didn't deal with stress all that great after all.

He started by explaining the story of his homeplanet, Alternia, which had been taken over a while ago and how he had been adopted by a Carapace from Derse. All the young trolls went through this process after Alternia's assimilation. He didn't have memories of Alternia, he was too young when he had been taken away from his homeland to remember anything. He wanted to tell Roxy about the voices and the visions, but he decided to hold back for now. She was not ready to know about it, heck chances were she wouldn't even believe him.

He explained to the girl that there were many trolls on both Derse and prospit, some adults, but most of them of rather young age since a great number of adult trolls had perished during the war. He tried to explain to her what the conflict between blood castes was, earning him a blank stare, probably an expression of confusion.

"You see, there are different types of blood among us trolls, and our social ranks depend on it. Hemospectrums go from red to bright pink. The closer your blood is from bright pink, the higher you rank is. However, past a certain rank are only seadwellers.", he explained before realizing that he now had to tell her what seadwellers were.

" Seadwellers are trolls that used to live in Alternia's sea. All of them are of "royal blood". It's a little like the difference between Derse's low and high district, except no trolls are lame enough to live in misery. ", he added.

He asked the girl to repeat her other questions, because he had completely forgotten upon explaining the story of his people. She kindly did, though not without difficulty since she was starting to become quite intoxicated with the beverage she was having, Maybe telling her she could have it all had not been the wisest choice.

Her question about his gender surprised him a little.

"What the fuck do I look like? A female? Am I wearing a dress or something, are you stupid or something?", He replied, a bit irritated, before appologizing for his unnecessary rudeness.

"Anyway, yeah, I was born with horns on my head. They were smaller when I was just a grub, but they've always been there and all the trolls have them.", he continued.
He also precised that every trolls sport horns of a different shape and that she really should not expect all of them to have four of them since most trolls actually only grew one pair.

" What about you, Roxy. You didn't really tell me your story yet, and I believe I'm pretty much done telling you mine.", He said as he nabbed the bottle from the girl's hands. She had enough, he thought. "The listener keeps the bottle. I make that a rule from now on. The teller has to be able to actually tell his stories anyway, which you won't be if you keep sipping on that at the same pace you were just now. So, tell me, what was a human like you doing on Skaia? Were you raised there and born there?"
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyTue May 15, 2012 3:49 pm

The tale of the troll race was truly fascinating to Roxy. She sat still on the bed for the complete duration of the story, her eyes fixed on Sollux, occasionally blinking. The story of the trolls’ home planet made her kind of sad. She thought of how she would have felt if strangers had come on Skaia and destroyed it all. It wasn’t really the same because she didn’t have a race to belong to on Skaia. However, it was there she spent the biggest part of her life and it still felt like home, even if Derse was somewhat calling her more. She could barely imagine the feeling of loosing Skaia; the blue planet had the power to restore itself and Roxy had to push the exercise farther. She imagined the strangers draining completely draining the planet from its living energy. The trees and animals all dead, the water courses drained... the ground cracked from the numerous bombings... and more than anything, the dead carapaces... they were all she knew and for obvious reasons, she felt upset.

She didn’t interrupt Sollux to say how awful his story was... but her facial expression spoke for her. She could relate to some parts of his personal story; she too had been raised by a carapace and she knew how it felt to be different from your parental figure.

However, she was kind of lost when he explained the conflict between blood castes. The wine was not helping and the concept was so foreign to her... After Sollux clarified everything, she understood it fairly well. She suddenly remembered the yellow liquid he coughed after they stopped near the pub. Roxy absent-mindedly wondered if that mean his blood was yellow... She felt like it was somewhat tactless question to ask.

When she repeated her other questions, the troll overreacted about the gender one. Roxy chuckled. “Relax! I didn’t want to insult you! I assumed you were a boy, you look manly enough! I just didn’t want to call you “he” and later find out that trolls didn’t have the same anatomy as humans!”

After that, Roxy imagined what other trolls could look like... her imagination created trolls with crazy sets of horns.... oh well, she would see other trolls soon enough. She was kind of excited about it!

“Hey!! What the fuck!” she cried out when Sollux took the wine bottle away from her. She tried to catch the bottle but the troll kept it out of her reach. “What are you, my dad?!” She pouted for a few seconds then returned to her normal expression. “But you’re right, a deal is a deal! I’m pretty satisfied with what you told me so I guess it’s my turn! Hm, where do I begin...?” She scratched her head, looking at the ceiling thoughtfully.

Roxy started by the beginning and explained she was raised on Skaia by a carapace whose ancestors were from Derse. She quickly went over what she knew about Wayward Vagabond’s choice to become a traveller. She then proceeded to tell Sollux how she spent the five first years of her life in the wild lands of Skaia with her dad, and how she finally found out she wasn’t normal, while visiting a carapace village for the first time. She told him about questioning her identity since that moment. She told him how WV found a disguise for her and how this didn’t change anything for her.

“But you see... I always felt like I didn’t belong on Skaia... I really like it... it feels like home, I’ve been there my whole life... But I was the only human there... Every time I went on Derse, I felt like I was finally where I belong... After a few times, I started to think I must have been born here.”

She added the confirmation she received from Jane who suspected she was a Dersite due to her general looks. She finally arrived to the moment when, a few days ago, she finally confronted her adoptive father about her origins.

“You know” she said, almost whispering. “It’s kind of dumb I waited all this time to ask my dad about it... but I was so afraid he would be heart broken... He really did his best to make me feel right... It’s just that deep inside, I knew that something wasn’t right. I really love him, he took care of me like probably no one would have done because...” she took a deep breath, sorting her thoughts. “...because he found me in a street of Derse, all alone. Someone had abandoned a baby in on a pile of trash, in a back alley, you can imagine that? He was the only one who was there for me.”

She sighed. “But the only thing he could tell me was how he found me. He didn’t know much more than me... So here I am. I left the only person I have in the world to start this quest about my origins.”

She glanced at Sollux, seeking for a reaction. The serious expression she wore while telling her story slowly faded and she returned to her usual cheerful self.

“Now I know it’s kind of a farfetched tale but that’s my life! I only have one clue, wanna see it?”
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyWed May 16, 2012 11:54 pm

He listened carefully to the girl's tale, his pointy ears twitching once in a while as he focused his attention on the young lady. He didn't quite feel bad for her, but he could somewhat understand the situation she was in. However, he still thought she was lucky to have been raised by a carapace who actually cared for her, unlike his own. Humans sure were a bunch of weak, squishy pink aliens, he though. Even so, he couldn't blame her for wanting to find out about her origins and he thought it was kind of courageous of her to lease Skaia on her own and come all the way over to Derse just for that. He definately wouldn't have gone out of his way for Alternia, even though he knew the planet would feel more like home than Derse did.

There was nothing wrong with Derse per say, it's just that he knew trolls were not quite in their element on this carapacian planet. Because of that, he could compltelely understand how the human must have felt back when she was on Skaia. Most carapaces were quite the xenophobes (though Sollux would not be the one to blame them) and could be a little awkward to be around when you were of a race different from theirs.

Even after Roxy's explanation though, he still thought her costume was not very convincing. From close up, it would be very easy to tell that she was wearing a mask. He briefly wondered what she still wore it for since it'd probably be easier for her to meet other humands if she wasen't dressed to look like a carapace, but he decided not to investigate the matter any deeper. She probably had her reasons.

Sollux understood what he was like to feel misplaced and misunderstood, but he had trouble grasping the concept of missing a loved one. He didn't really have any loved ones, he thought at first... but after a little bit his mind drifted to memories of Aradia, followed by ones of Feferi. He wasn't sure he missed them, but he sure was hoping they both were okay.

He tilt his head when the human brought up the suject of a "clue". He needed clues as well. Hers were very unlikely to be relevant to him, in fact, the probabilities were a little under 20%, but he had nothing to lose...

"What have you got?"
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyFri May 18, 2012 3:53 pm

Roxy reached for the purse attached to her belt and retrieved it. She then proceeded to carelessly play with it, throwing it in the air and catching it mid-flight. It was impressive she was able to do so with her degree of inebriation.

“Remember when I said my dad found me in a street of Derse?” she said as she caught the purse for the fifth time. Dexterously, she untied the rope and opened the purse and rummaged through it. After a few seconds, she let out a satisfied “Got you!” and looked up at Sollux. Her hand was still hidden in the purse and it was impossible to see what was the special item.

“Prepare to be dazzled by my most precious possession, Sollux!” She laughed and then waited another five seconds, looking intently at the troll with a big smile on her face, obviously managing her dramatic effect. She was enjoying herself, alright!

She finally pulled out the mysterious object and held it out for Sollux to see, in the palms of her hand; it was small enough for that. “Ta-daaah!”

At first sight, you could say it wasn’t just any piece of jewelry. It was a small bracelet obviously made for an infant and even though its composition was pretty simple, there was no doubt possible that it was some expensive jewel. The main part of the bracelet was a small, oblong plaque with curved angles. The name “Roxy” was engraved on it elegant letters. Two pink rubies and four small diamonds were set on each side of the plaque where the chain was attached. Fixed to the chain were two pearls, one on each side as well. If you had a really good eye for details, you would have noticed that the rubies were the exact shade of Roxy’s eyes. The plaque and the chain were both made of genuine silver.

“I was wearing this when my dad found me... That’s how he decided my name. I guess my real parents” she put emphasis on the two last words, making obvious that she didn’t consider them as such, “named me Roxy before they abandoned me...”

She was aware that it was weird someone would give such a jewel to a baby they planned to abandon... But Roxy didn’t bring it up. She wanted to see what Sollux thought of it first.



[OOC: The bracelet kind of look like this but with only one pearl on each side and with the other details I mentioned!]
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyFri May 18, 2012 11:41 pm

Sollux stared at the girl's jewel for a little bit. He was quite astonished by it's quality, one he would rarely ever see something of the like worn by anyone but the members of the Royal Family or people of their entourage. He reached out for the jewel to get a closer look, glancing at the human for approval when his fingered touched the before he took it from her hands and examined it.

The jewel looked delicate, but it was in fact made of quite sturdy materials. Upon taking a closer look of it, a little detail got his attention; he indeed noticed that the stones ornating the bracelet were matching Roxy's eyes. He really doubted someone who put importance in such little details would just go and abandon their child. It had to be a mistake.

He remembered something he had read in an old newspaper found in his custodian's things a while ago, back when he was still in school. He had read that a member of the Royal Family, the princess, had gone missing and was nowhere to be found. She was but an infant back then, she couldn't possibly have escaped on her own and some people were even speculating she had been kidnapped. He didn't read the entire article because, frankly, he couldn't bring himself to care about the royal family, but maybe it would be relevant for the young lady sitting in front of him to know.

He gave Roxy back her bracelet and told her what he had read with as much detail as he could remember (which was in fact quite a lot for someone who had only skimmed through the article).

"If that girl of the Royal Family happens to be you, it would mean you're basically the Princess of Derse... But I think The Empress had someone else fill in for that role", he clarified.
He sighed. He knew who that "someone" was.
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyTue May 22, 2012 12:37 am

Roxy let the troll take the bracelet and examine for as long as he wanted. She let her eyes wander around the room but there was nothing interesting to see. Naturally, her eyes returned to Sollux and she caught a glimpse of the wine bottle he put down next to him, on the chair. She was so thirsty.... She was done with the story telling now... maybe Sollux would agree to give the wine back? ... and even if he didn’t well... the rogue would find a way to get it back!

Her plan to get her beloved wine back was cut short when the troll returned the bracelet to Roxy. Sollux started talking about an article he had read years ago about the mysterious disappearance of Derse’s Princess. At first, Roxy was pretty skeptical about the story. Any normal person would have dismissed this story as impossible. The blonde raised her eyebrows and opened her mouth, apparently ready to say something. But nothing came out.

She wanted to say it didn’t make sense, that she couldn’t be the princess of Derse... But what did she knew about her past? Nothing, she said it herself. The information Sollux could give her was not that specific and he could be wrong... but the dates were roughly tallying. She had always been bugged by the fact she was given such a lovely jewel if her parents were intending to abandon her. Events from her past flashed in her mind. How she had seen so few humans outside of Derse and Prospit, and how they were always so elegant... The way carapaces looked at her when she wasn’t wearing her mask... What Jane had said about her story, how it was impossible for her to be from Skaia... Everything fell into place.

Roxy brought her hand to her forehead, holding it and hiding her eyes at the same time. She was feeling kind of dizzy. And it wasn’t only because of the wine! Who said that getting the answers you had been looking for during so many years was easy?

She stood up, made a few steps to reach Sollux’s chair, grabbed the wine bottle and dropped herself back on the bed. She then took a long sip of wine and sighed with ease. The taste of the alcoholic beverage gave her a boost of motivation. She was getting was she had been asking for, at last!

“Wow... I mean, fuck!” She stared at Sollux for a second, a smile slowly forming on her face. “I’m a princess!” She giggled happily, clapping her hands together like a little girl. “This is fantastic! I guess it does make sense!”

The last bit didn’t dim Roxy’s enthusiasm in the least. She gave the troll a determined look. “Well you know what? I didn’t come all the way from Skaia to just go back because someone took my place! I’m gonna take it back!” I’m gonna take it back!” she gulped down more wine and added, with a provocative grin: “And screw that Empress person!” Roxy didn’t have a clue about the current situation on Derse but she wouldn’t have acted differently if she knew who the Condesce was.

Already, her intoxicated mind was drifting away from the serious matter. Sober, she would have asked who the Empress was... but right now, she didn’t really care. “Did you see the palace, Sollux?” She lied on her back, looking at the ceiling. She was still holding the wine bottle in her hand, swinging it carelessly. “I bet it’s beautiful, like Prospit’s castle! No! It must be even better! That’s it, I’m going to the castle tomorrow!”
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyThu May 24, 2012 1:12 am

Sollux could feel that the girl wasen't completely trusting his sayings about the "princess of Derse" when he first brought it up, but who could have blamed her? It did sound incredibly far fetched, even to him. He wondered for a little bit why he had even brought it up at all, it's not like the voices of the ancient trolls had whispered him anything about it. In any case, their way of addressing to him at the moment wouldn't really quite make the qualifications of a "whisper". It was more like some sort of uncanny chant, resonating in his head during the brief silence held between him and his interlocutor. The voices were loud, so loud, he could feel a pounding headache building up little by little.

He barely noticed when Roxy took the bottle of alcohol from his side, too distracted by the rythm of his blood pumping all the way to his head. It grew so intense that after a while, he would slightly flinch each time the impulse of pain shot to his cortex. He had to lay down, he needed to calm down and get some rest. He stopped paying attention to Roxy for a little while until he noticed her lips were moving. At first, he couldn't make out any of what she was saying, the voices of the ancients overpowering her. He was shaking a little and hoped the human wouldn't notice, he tried to keep steady, to focus on what she was waying.

It seemed that after all, his human companion had decided to deem his explanation as plausible. He wasen't too sure if she should, but she did. He didn't care though, if it pleased her to think she was a princess, good for her. He could really care less about all this aristocratic bullshit, especially since the Condesce had come to Derse. Meanwhile, the ancient trolls kept their symphony of ghastly voices ringing in the poor Trolls ears, bringing him nothing but bad omens.

He knew Roxy probably haden't noticed his strange behavior considering she was intoxicated enough to ramble to herself about being a princess and whatnot, but he still needed to snap out of it. He stoped listening to the girl's monologue for a second, took a few deep breaths, closed his eyes and tried to think of something relaxing. Truth is, he didn't know of a lot of relaxing things. His life had prettymuch been as un-relaxing as it could get, but eventually his mind wandered to thoughts of Aradia. She was the only person who understood him and she handled all those voices in her own head so well, she always gave him tips on how to make them quiet down, even if only a little. He tried to remember the things that she said, how to control his stress level through different relaxation methods. It was so much easier when she was around, but he tried anyway. He tried thinking of times when he would hang out with his friend, when she would tell him about the history of their people. Those were the only moments of his life where he could stop worrying about all sort of things or being bitter about everything. He missed her, a lot more than he could ever admit.

After a little while, Sollux was able to start focusing on his human friend's rambling again. She was laying on the bed, talking about Derse's Palace.

"You can't go to the Castle, Roxy human, it's been off limits since the Condesce's coup d'état. Didn't you hear about that? I mean I understand that you lived on Skaia but don't you have means of communication on that big blue planet or are you all honestly retarded?", he said with a bit of impatience in his voice. The voices might have quieted down, but his headach was still as violent as ever.

"No, we can't go to the Palace, but if you wanna be a Princess again someday the best thing you could do is help me find the resistance's hideout and join their ranks.", he added after briefly explaining the situation to his drunk friend.

That's when he gave in. He took off his shades, discarded them on the desk and clutched his head in his hands.

"Ugh... I have the worst headache right now. Not like you'd have a clue about anything, because apparently you're fucking undereducated, but do you happen to know how to get rid of those? I can't stand it anymore!"


By the end of his sentece, his voice was quivering a little, like a child on the verge of tears.
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyThu May 24, 2012 4:02 pm

When Sollux finally answered to her, she whined an indistinct protest along the lines of “What do you mean I can’t go!” that was easily drowned by the rest of the troll’s explanation as to why she couldn’t go to the palace. Roxy abruptly sit up, sending the room spinning around her. She took a few seconds to regain her senses but when she did, her eyes were lit by curiosity.

It was the second time Sollux mentioned a mysterious evil queen. Earlier, she didn’t pay much attention to it; this time, she listened carefully. So, there was an evil troll who took control of Derse. That explained a lot, actually. The streets were so quiet when she arrived. Everyone was hiding. Sollux was really nervous too. The rogue’s thoughts flew to the mysterious human she ended up fighting. She didn’t understand his motives yet but she was certain that it had to do with the Condesce’s rise to power. After hearing that, she was more determined than ever to meet him again.

Maybe she should have been hurt by Sollux’s kind of patronizing tone but Roxy just shrug it off, simply laughing. It was true she what so clueless about everything. So what? When he mentioned the resistance, a flicker of interest danced in her eyes.

“Resistance, really?” The idea made her really enthusiastic. With the current situation, she wouldn’t be able to run around Derse and ask questions at random. If she was really the missing princess, she was probably in danger... The thought did scare her a little, but not enough to make her return to Skaia. She was on Derse to stay. If the story was true, then her place was here and she had to do anything she could to help restore peace. “We have a plan, count me in!”

She eyed her friend with determination and maybe a little bit of defiance. It was underestimating Roxy to think she wouldn’t go to the palace just because Sollux said so. Even in that intoxicated state, she had set her mind on that idea and she wouldn’t give up, however dangerous it was. The blonde was lucky enough to be unaffected by memory loss caused by excessive alcohol drinking. The following day, she will remember her anything they said and the plans she had. Nothing Sollux would say could change her stubborn mind.

When Sollux took off his shades and held his head in his hands, the blonde finally noticed he was not feeling well. The “undereducated” comment didn’t really hurt her but she could stop reacting with a scowl. There is a limit to the number of insults someone can endure. And even if Roxy was somewhat carefree, constantly being insulted could still affect her. However, she took note that it seemed to be part of Sollux’s personality to act like this; she decided not to react for now. The troll really was in pain and Roxy felt sorry for him.

She brought the wine bottle to her lips, taking a sip and pondering on the problem. Headaches? Sure, she had endured plenty of headaches after various night of drunken debauchery. To prevent her guardian from noticing her hangovers, she found a few remedies to relieve headaches. It was just hard to find them in her foggy, drunk mind.

“Hmm... sleep is the best but if it’s really hardcore maybe you won’t be able to fall asleep...” she frowned. “Warm and cold compresses, massages.....” she took another sip. “That’s all I can think of, sorry.” She looked down at her wine bottle. She had drink three quarters of it and was feeling kind of sleepy already. “Oh, maybe you can drink this, it would knock you out! But the headache might be worst tomorrow!” She chuckled.
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyThu May 24, 2012 11:29 pm

All of Roxy's suggestions to remove his headache seemed vain, but he knew he didn't have a lot of solutions in hand at the moment. He almost blushed when the human mentioned a massage. Were humans really as perverted as he had been told? They had litterally just met, he couldn't believe she just proposed him to get a massage. A troll recieving a massage from a human, how scandalous! He decided he probably should just lay down and get some rest, that was the wisest advice he could get.

When Roxy first offered him the wine, he thought it was the stupidest idea he ever heard. However Sollux's opinion on alcoholic beverages was completely biased and he knew it. He hated the effect it had on trolls and carapaces since his guardian was kind of a heavy drinking during the few last years they lived under the same roof. For that reason, he grew some sort of grudge against any of those beverages. Even so, he knew that wine's capacity to numb one's brain might help him get some sleep, which he desperately needed.

He reached out for the bottle after debating the pros and cons to himself for a little while before finally deciding to take a little sip. There wasen't too much of the bitter drink left in the bottle. Judging from Roxy's state of mind after drinking over half the bottle, he thought there wasen't even enough left to intoxicate him. He was wrong. So wrong. Sollux didn't know that resistance to alcohol built upon consuming it regularly, because he never had any before.

His first sip wasen't very convincing.

"BLUH! This drink tastes horrible! How could you even have so much?"

He couldn't handle the sharp and bitter taste of cheap wine (nor would he handle the taste of fancy wine. He just disliked wine in general) but he took a second sip and a third...

Before he even knew it, he had finished drinking whatever Roxy had left and was slowly drifting into sleep, still sitting on the wooden chair. He put the bottle down next to the desk and looked over at the human. She was already sleeping. He stretched out and reached for the bed for support as he stood up from his seat, wobbling. He never felt so light before. It wasen't exactly unpleasant, at least the headache was gone. Everything around him was spinning, but he could live with that, it was far less trippy than practicing telekinesis or having visions of apocalypse.

He sat on the bed and looked around himself a little. Surely his drunk friend wouldn't mind if he layed down next to her, the bed felt so comfortable. He curled up on his side of the bed and fell asleep almost instantly...
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptySat May 26, 2012 10:08 pm

The rogue’s eyes fluttered open as the day light filtered by an interstice between the two panels of the curtain. Her eyes wandered around the room, taking in the details to help her remember where she was; a small, cramped room where she had spent the first hours of the day talking with the troll who helped her out. She remembered handing Sollux the wine bottle. She had watched him take a few sips, even laughing at him when he disliked the taste. After that, she didn’t remember anything but her curled up position suggested she had fallen asleep on her own, making herself comfortable at the foot of the bed. She was facing the feet of the bed.

Her head was aching a little but nothing to bad comparing to previous hangover. She moaned lightly, shifting position on the bed, slowly facing the sleeping troll, just next to her. The blonde didn’t move an inch and gazed at Sollux’s face. He seemed so peaceful now... whereas she had seen him so nervous last night...

Last night... She gradually remembered the conversation they had, the fact that she was, until proven wrong, the missing princess, and how she had decided to go to Derse’s palace. Roxy slowly and silently stood up, and walked to the window; she peered at the streets from between the curtains, not moving them to avoid waking Sollux by sending the morning light on his face. Judging by the light, it must have been early in the morning... Roxy had learned how to tell what time it was on Skaia by analysing the intensity of the light. Yet, it was different on Derse; with the artificial lights, she could never tell for sure.

“Well Roxy.” she murmured to herself. “I guess it’s time to go.”

She moved away from the window and walked back to the bed. Her stuff was scattered all around and it took a few minutes until she gathered everything. She quickly got dressed and walked to the door; she gently pushed it open. Lingering there, she looked back to the sleeping troll, biting her lower lip.

Roxy was kind of embarrassed... She didn’t want to leave like that, after all what Sollux had done for her. But if she had to go to the palace, it would be now or never. From what she had seen last night, the troll was convinced it was too dangerous to go there... And he would probably try to talk her out of it. She didn’t need that at all; she went to Derse on her own because she felt as if it was a personal quest but also because she didn’t want her guardian to limit her.

Roxy sighed; she was honestly torn between following her selfish plans and staying here until Sollux was awake. Her gaze stopped on the little desk next to the bed and an idea popped in her head. She would leave a letter for him to read! The problem was that she didn’t know how to write; she would have to find someone trustworthy enough to write it for her. She left the room and the inn, avoiding the other guests. She randomly walked the streets, hoping she would find another bright idea. After a while, she stopped walking to take a look at a small building surrounded by large playground where a dozens of carapace kids where playing together. She stood there for a long time, wondering what that strange building was. After a while, a little girl came to her, pulling at her tunic.

“Are you lost?” Roxy blinked. “Oh, no! Can you tell me what this building is?” The little girl giggled. “It’s a school!” The rogue kneeled next to the little carapace and asked a few questions to know what a school was. She never heard of it. They didn’t have schools on Skaia. “I see!” she said, after a while. “And do you know how to write?” The carapace nodded proudly. Roxy smiled. “Tell me, are you up to some super secret mission?”

The little girl’s eyes sparkled with eargerness. “Always!”

“ See, I’ve never been to school like you and I need to leave a letter to a friend of mine, could you write it for me?”

“Are you a spy or something? Is it why you are wearing a mask?” The kid was smarter than Roxy imagined. In fact, at a small distance like this, it was easy to see it was a mask. “Something like that, yeah! So, will you help me?”

“Yeah!” They moved in a corner of the playground, under a tree where no one would bother them. The little girl took a pencil and a piece of paper out of her school bag. “Ok, start it like this: Sollux-“

The kid interrupted her: “Is he your secret boyfriend?” Roxy chuckled. “Nah, nothing like that!” The girl pouted a little. “Aw, I thought it would be like in the novel I read!” Roxy didn’t investigate the matter further. The idea of being in any quadrant with Sollux was kind of preposterous.... She dictated her letter to the girl. It was a short letter with little information the carapace could understand. More importantly, she didn’t tell her name.

“Where are you going? And what is the “you-know-what” you’re supposed to find with him? Are you sure you are not lying to me about him not being your lover?”

Roxy laughed again, though she was happy to have a mask to hide her face so the little girl couldn’t see her reactions. “Yes, of course!” She took the paper, folded it and put it away in her pocket. “Could you give me that?” she said, pointing the pencil. The little girl nodded. “Sure, take it, I have plenty of them!” Roxy took it and placed it in her pocket. “I have a thank you gift for you!” Roxy took out her purse and gave half of her money to the kid. She wasn’t fast enough to close her purse and the girl caught a glimpse of the bracelet. She was silent for a moment and then asked: “Are you a princess?”

Roxy was caught off guard. “N-no, of course not! What would make you think that?” And the purse was gone, back to its original place under the tunic. “Ok look, I must ask you to keep this a secret! It’s really important!” She held up her pinky. “Promise!” The girl wrapped her pinky around Roxy’s and swore to never tell anyone.

Children. The best helpers anyone could get. Roxy stood up. “Thanks for helping me!” She started walking away, the little carapaces wave at her. “Bye princess!”

Roxy trusted her, she wouldn’t tell. It was just a shame she messed up so bad about the princess thing... Back to the inn and to their room, Roxy stood outside and listened to the door to make sure Sollux was still sleeping. There was no noise inside. Either Sollux was gone or he the wine really knocked him out hard. The rogue opened the door to find out it was the latter. She walked to the table where she unfolded the paper. The only thing she knew how to write was her own name. She signed it at the bottom of the paper in round, childish letters. The carapace’s writing looked a lot more gracious. Roxy placed the paper on the pillow next to Sollux’s head. He would see it when waking up. She stayed next to the bed for a moment... On a whim, she lifted her mask, bent over and gently kissed his forehead. “Thanks Sollux.” she whispered. “See you soon!”

And she was gone.


The letter went like this:

“Sollux,

When you wake up, I’ll probably be long gone to you-know-where. I know you told me not to but don’t be mad, I really got to see that place for myself. Don’t worry, I’ll come back and we will find you-know-what together and do as we said!

Thank you for helping me last night, you’re a sweetheart!

R O X Y”
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PostSubject: Re: Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]   Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2] EmptyTue May 29, 2012 5:10 pm

He squinted his eyes a little at an unfamiliar sensation on his forehead. Humid, soft lips were pressing against his forehead but Sollux was still too out of it to react even the slightest. He just laid there and let it happen, confused and not so sure of the decency of that act. It was the first time someone ever kissed him, the first time anyone had ever been somewhat tender towards him. The person smelled of a strange mix of alcohol and some delicate, more pleasant aroma he couldn't quite identify. His mind was still pretty cloudy fromt he night before, but he guessed it must have been the human. It had to be her, he sort of hoped it was since the only other person who had access to the room was the Pub's owner, and he wouldn't want a kiss from that old carapace for all the money of Skaia. Not that he wanted one from the human either. Yuck! Humans were so degenerate, who would want to have anything to do with them.

Well, okay, in spite of her limited knowledge of things in general Roxy was not bad looking or unpleasant, he could give her that much.

It took him about another hour after the kiss incident to finally roll out of bed. He was thirsty and felt sluggish, but at least his headache was completely gone. Not only that, his mind in general was very quiet. There were no whispers, for once he was completely alone. He stood in the middle of the room and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath to enjoy that silence. He knew it wouldn't last once the alcohol was completely gone from his body.

He reeked of old, cheap wine. The entire place did, but he felt like now, it was partly coming from him. He didn't notice the letter on the desk right away, heading out to get some water and a cloth to clean himself before he did anything else. He hated feeling icky or having greasy hair. He took his time, the cool water on his skin helped waking him up and made him feel a little less dizzy. However, the whispers started coming back as soon as he was done drying himself. He was used to them though, so it was really no big deal for him.

He sat on the bed for a little bit before starting to put his clothes back on. He would need to get himself a cloak, he thought. It would be easier to go around the streets if he was concealing his identity. He would still need the shades for security measures, though. He missed his old red and blue glasses. He kept them, but he knew he couldn't wear them again until he joined the resistance.

It is once he finished getting dressed up that he noticed the letter left by the human to his intention. He picked it up and started reading the neatly written letter. He couldn't help but notice the contrast between the letter's content and the signature. Did she do that un purposr or was she just utterly retarded.

The content didn't really surprise him. He didn't actually believe he could keep Roxy from doing stupid things. She seemed like she was a pro in that field and it probably couldn't be helped. She slightly reminded him of Feferi, in a way. She seemed always cheerful and optimistic. You'd think he would hate that, but it actually did him really good to be around those sort of people, it appeased him a little.

He slipped his shades back on. Once again, he was on his own. He folded the letter and put it in the little bag in which he kept all his belonging. Today, he would go out in the streets and try to find the resistance's HQ.

But first, he needed a cloak. He made his way out of the pub, thanking the owner for his hospitality on his way out and heading towards the tailor.
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Freshly arrived from Skaia [part 2]

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The Skaian Wars ::  Derse :: Low district :: The Royal Boy-