Disconnected Connection (Virikai)

8th of Ymiden 715

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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Linika
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Disconnected Connection (Virikai)

Disconnected Connection
8th Trial of Ymiden, 715th arc


'At least I'm not that cold.' the woman thought, in response to the scornful words that echoed from back around the corner she had just turned. Once again, the natives of this city looked upon her with loathing..."Loathing undoubtedly borne of envy," Linika sneered quietly, finding her hand clenching the hilt of her dagger beneath her arctic attire.

She relaxed her hold and thought again of her mission, and its importance to her people, the Naerikk. This reflection was not done out of hurt feelings, to find some resolve against the city-wide animosity directed at her daily for simply being naer. It was more to remind her that she must continue to feign regret and humility, rather than cutting the filthy eidisi whore's eyes out. 'She should find a good whore's use for that smart mouth!' she added inwardly as a grinning afterthought.

Truthfully though, Linika did not care what these worm-wombed fools thought of her. The last laugh would be all the more enjoyable when she watched this collection of self-righteous bookworms swarm in directionless panic as their mysterious research was suddenly proven vain and inconclusive. Her resentful reverie once again cycled through its mental path...'All the wasted arcs, thinking they were establishing some basis for their superior attitude. The debunking of any validity for their furor against the followers of a true queen! Oh, how they hate the Great Mother, Audrae, the Divine Matron of the Naerikk; the only race where women are given the unquestioning preference they deserve!

'What matter that she dispatched that weeping, moody little Immortal boy, Treid. After all, he has not truly died. Perhaps when he is finally reunited with his bleeding heart, he will take it upon himself to grow up, and recognize the truth of strength as the determining factor in the right to rule.'
Linika rolled her eyes. Clearly this was a philosophy that escaped these Videnese...or Videnians...or whatever they were called. An unconscious scowl formed as she defaulted to the racial, "Eidisi".

But in the meantime, she had to pretend to have been truly exiled from her homeland of Augiery, on Martyr's Landing, the most blessed site in all the world. And though it was technically correct, for she had committed a great wrong, it was with good results, and in good intent. Thus, her "exile" was also cover for her mission. Success would bring a heroine's welcome and reinstatement in the strong sisterhood of the Naerikk. She would bide her time. Haste and impatience were the lethal enemy of espionage.

Linika's thoughts stopped cold, her eyes flashing through the triple emotions of discovery. Guilt, calculation and decision, followed by the theatrics of her role-playing: hurt, shame, resignation and an altered aspect of guilt. A man had just appeared before her, an eidisi man, and she needed to once again put on the face of a naer exile; torn between the shame of having been rejected by her own people, but also embracing a culture that she found more pleasant for its less aggressive nature, but then also hurt by this kinder culture's equal rejection of her.

In truth, she despised the weakness of this people. In fact, the more scorn she absorbed from these eidisi, the more she would relish their fall. But she needed to conceal this. And what better way than by adopting the same weakness herself? She looked up into eyes as cold as the Viden sky, "Please sir, I want only to go home and shed the soil of my day's efforts. I seek no quarrel with any of your people, naer though I am. For I am 'Eill', an exile. They judged me unworthy to belong there. So I...wish only to belong here." she said, trying to appear meek.

But for all her confidence in the righteousness of her mission, and the necessity of a timid facade, there was still inner frustration at her lack of progress. And where she should probably have left off her commenting, a few slivers of anger slipped out. "And it would be easier to prove this if I could do more than chopping out blocks of ice, and loosening frozen soil as if I have no more skill than a village fool. I may have been cast out of my homeland, but it was not for lack of education."

She waved in the direction of the nearby edifice, "They do not even let me touch the door of the Academy. It's not that I fail to realize there is a basis for enmity between out peoples, but I have been here for near an arc now. Am I to be kept as a mere laborer forever? Is this how your people justify their claim of superior intellect? By denying other races access to the learning that would prove otherwise? By keeping us away from the training that would show them that we are not idiots?"

The angry heat in her face brought her back to earth, turning to the heat of embarrassment instead. She lowered her gaze, trying to regain her veneer of contrition. "I'm sorry. I should not accost you with my complaints. It's just that I am a trained herbalist, but my knowledge is being wasted. I would also see my scope broadened to include such northern flora as I see about...while digging ditches." resentment spiked once again with these last words.

She took a deep breath and exhaled a wide frustrated fog. "I know much of southern flora, and would see what knowledge comparisons would yield. But I have no equipment. And with my training being in toxins, and their antidotes, I suppose it's understandable that they think I am up to no good. But they do not seem to realize that you can not study one without the presence of the other." she shook her head, "Such a waste..." she muttered as she sidestepped to let the man past.
Last edited by Linika on Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:10 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 1016
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Virikai Talius
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Disconnected Connection

With the skin on his fingers shrivelled from constant contact with blood, followed by excessive, almost ritual, washing to avoid contracting an infection, the Researcher for the Facility for Retrospective Analysis slipped through the narrow, mundane door and down the long corridor that separated the secret laboratories and libraries from the rest of the Viden Academy. Hands clenching and relaxing by his side, the eídisi detested the lingering feelings of filth on the palms of his hands. Researcher indeed. He was little more than a lackey to the Facility, an assistance to stitch the victims back up, or to clean their cells. Worse than the most menial of stablehands, it could be argued.

Virikai deserved more than that. Virikai was more than that. Scion to the Talius line, there were no unknowns born into his family, none that had no legacy to be remembered by long after their death. He would be damned before becoming the first to break that tradition. Scowling, he pushed his hand onto the front door of the Academy, ignoring the internal guard stationed at the door (the man was below his notice anyway). He was better than what people perceived him to be. But perhaps it would all change once he -

The tall, azure man stopped inches before the pink, intricately painted face of a woman, and it took a moment to remember what she was… even then, he thought that he might have to confirm [ooc: ‘cause I don’t have the fecking knowledge -.-] it. His previous irritation did not, in any way, dissipate, but his well-practiced mask slid into place: the epitome of cold indifference. He stepped back, displeased at being in such close proximity to a member of the outcast society of Viden, yet to a casual observer it would appear as him merely establishing a socially acceptable distance after having nearly bumped into the woman.

To say that Virikai was not the least bit concerned by the woman’s complaints of the injustice of her treatment within the city would be an understatement. To most she was abhorrent; a Naerrik was not worth the left over oxygen, much less worthy to even clean the animal shit from the ground. The eídisi was surprised - as he listened to her whining - that the woman had found any work in the city at all. But for all she was likely vilified and despised by the general Videnese public, Virikai didn’t hate the woman… he nothinged her.

And that was the crux. The woman would have been hard-pushed to get a favourable response out of anyone in the city with her pitiful words. But she was wasting her breath even attempting to garner sympathy from him. Despite this, the Talius scion was resourceful, and he reasoned that even an exiled Naer must either be desperate or intelligent to find shelter in Viden. The woman did not seem desperate, and to survive here for almost an entire arc… there must be something more to the woman than the pathetic discourse she was spewing. Enough that she might be of use.

I have seen many a Naer pass though these doors,” he man said softly. He omitted the fact that many were in induced states of unconsciousness, or strapped to a gurney, entering the Academy in he dead of night. “Viden is a city of tolerance…” the smallest hint of something other than apathy slipped onto his expression as he arched a brow and allowed his tone to imply rebuke, as if to shift the accusation of racism onto the woman, “Or had it, in all your bigoted blindness, escaped your notice that I am a member of a minority race in this city?

Ah. There is was, the reason for all this vitriol. “Yes, I can see the conundrum you are faced with,” he replied dispassionately, though internally he was wondering whether the woman could be of more value to the city in a role better suited to her talents. None in the city would ever trust the concoctions she made, of course… but if she were able to work behind the scenes, an anonymous creator of sorts. And it went without saying that, were he to assist this woman… there would be a lingering debt… the woman moved to pass by, and Virikai didn’t move to stop her as he spoke, “Walk with me.


OOC: Sorry for le delay :/ also let me know if I've thrown in too much meta knowledge. Was trying to think as a psychopath would, and how he might come to conclusions but I might have pushed the boat out a little too far?
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Linika let her gaze grow blank for a moment, "Is there some reason why I should believe that my status is in any way related to your own? Would either of us feel more warmly accepted by the common people here if we were of a more numerous kind? More like, they would rise up in fear of us." she let just a hint of disdain color her use of the words 'common' and 'fear'. Her gaze grew more assessing of the man before her. His accusation of racism did not bother her. Nor would she have denied it. By her mind, it was not racism if it was true.

"It is no conundrum." she said caustically, "That implies some difficulty in making a choice. My objection is that I am allowed no choice. Were I given such, I would not hesitate, I would choose to expand my knowledge. There is so much more to the properties that can be gleaned from nature than whether one is simply sickened or healed, slain or saved. There is modification."

That last word was said with nothing close to disdain. It was instead spoken in a near hush of wonder. She caught herself, forcing a throat clearing to cover the slip. She hoped she had not gone too far. This man did not seem to possess much enthusiasm for anything. She wondered how a man could be so indifferent to the privilege he was enjoying. It was not as if every eidisi was part of the Academy. As she stood aside, she expected him to pass with no comment one way or the other.

His words caught her entirely by surprise. If he had spat on her and called her 'Naerikk whore', she'd have simply rolled her eyes at the redundancy of such abhorrent treatment. If he'd started regaling her with his own sniveling, she'd have made some spiteful comment featuring the word 'conundrum'. But his offer to have her accompany him was almost questioned in her own mind as if it had been hallucinated.

But only for a moment. Her suspicions naturally kicked in as she quickly caught up. "I trust we will not be going in a direction that will bring you to be widely seen in my blindly bigoted company?" It was too late to prevent the tone of resentment in her repetition of his previous remark. She actually began to think he felt much the same way she did. Maybe not for the same reason, but he was clearly dissatisfied with his lot. She only wondered whether this was a permanent funk, or if he'd just had a bad day.

She thought of apologizing, but decided he would only shrug it off as irrelevant. Much would be decided in the next few trills, by the route he took. If they strolled right through public view, she would figure he was just using her to make some defiant statement against someone. She did not care to be a tool for such public reproach. It would only set her back further from her goal.

If, on the other hand, he guided her through dim, unpopulated routes, it could mean something of a more permanent nature. Of course, it could just be that he was a pervert of some sort. That would be a no-win situation, as she would either be a victim no one cared to avenge, or a murderer no one would believe. Well, life was risk.

She decided to test the waters of his intent, as they walked, by taking what she hoped he would view as a realistic attitude. "I guess it's fair to assume that you believe I can be useful to you?" her comment was technically a statement but she intoned it as a question.
Last edited by Linika on Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 635
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The eídisi stared straight ahead, disappointed at the woman's reply... he had no time for the naerikk if she wished to cultivate a chip on her shoulder. That wasn't what he said, and it was clear that she had misunderstood his point. Evidently she despised the eídisi but, given her background, Virikai assumed the naer's hatred was derived from her culture, though possibly now partly due to her treatment here. But she was so blind that her hatred was ill-aimed, for the Videnese humans deserved as much of her vitriol as those of cerulean skin. The researcher voiced none of this to the woman, however. Nor did he mention the more subtly animosity between the native humans and eídisi as a point of contrast. What was the point?

A light flurry of snow passed between the pair and Virikai shielded his face best he could with the hood of his cloak. “Perhaps you have not been trying hard enough if, after an arc, you remain in drudge work.” He commented again on the woman's lot, and her spiteful acceptance of it, for that was what it was. The woman would cling to her status of inferiority with determination, as if that disadvantage was enough blame for her situation. She would receive no sympathy from him. “Even a naerikk could find work suitable to their skills, if they approached the right people.

Once again, his tone was one of reprimand, an attempt to force the outsider to think. But the woman ended her passionate speech with something that should not be shared amongst unknown company, and definitely not in the open. It took immense self-control not to react to what was said, even if his curiosity about the woman was growing.

Confident in knowing that he always got his way, eventually, Virikai started to walk away, trusting that woman would at least be curious enough to follow him. He cast the woman a sideways glance as she fell into step beside him, and slowed his pace ever so slightly, allowing the shorter Naer to stay in step with him. But the climate of Viden was harsh, and it would not do to dawdle, lest they lose their toes on the leisurely walk. As he drew the thick, woollen cloak tighter around his shoulders, he was glad that his bizarre companion had lived here long enough to know of the need for haste.

When the woman spoke, the corners of his lips curled up into a smirk, amused by the spirit that the woman displayed, despite her lonely situation. The woman just didn't get it, did she? For the third time, he did not answer what was quite obviously an attempt to irritate him... no doubt so that his reaction would cause further grudge against his people. But she was right: the son of a member of Viden's Directorate, Virikai did not have the luxury of appearing as anything less than the infallible heir that he was meant to be. It would not do for him to be seen in the company of this woman.

The short walk to his private room in the Academy living quarters would suffice for the purposes of continued discussion away from curious eyes… and the walk was a short one, thus he would not freeze in trying to accommodate the woman. The woman’s last words turned the smirk into a full smile. The woman had just undermined her own previous attempts at appearing to be the hard-done-by, weak, ineffectual outcast and, for a moment, he allowed a flush of warm pleasure to spread through his stomach at the knowledge that he had just won something. The woman was intelligent and shrewd, yes, to see that things were rarely done for altruistic purposes.

But, for all her intelligence, she appeared not to be the most cunning, or perhaps wise, for she had revealed that cleverness when it seemed to directly contradict the image she had earlier tried to convey. But she had already proven herself to be proud and somewhat headstrong, possibly to her own detriment - a far cry from the meek woman she had initially appeared to be. Virikai wondered that he should not be surprised, as he led her down the snow covered path that would lead them to his accommodation block. “That remains to be seen, little outcast.
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Linika fumed, but hid it as best she could. She wanted very much to challenge this aristocrat to go live a year in Augiery and see how many of the "right people" he managed to approach without getting severely lashed. It was obvious that he came from a high stratum of this culture to have such views. He'd be scraping through muck to have the chance to beg for drudge work down there, the arrogant fop. But she bit her lip and just added this to a growing list of annoyances.

She succeeded in telling herself that his '...even a Naerikk...' remark was not meant to be insulting, but was simply an acknowledgement that her race was bound to have a tough time here, where they were so hated. Strange, though, that he would have the compulsion to make that observation, but to do so with a complete lack of sympathy. 'He acknowledges the inherent difficulty, but sneers at it as any sort of excuse.' But some of his other comments puzzled her. He seemed to fluctuate between outright scorn and a moderately skeptical acceptance. Then, his stifled reaction to her "Modification" comment looked telling, 'But telling of what?' she wondered.

This line of thought kept her quiet for a short while as they walked. She considered a few angles. 'Is it possible that such an application of chemistry has never occurred to him? Is he possibly a chemist himself, and is realizing that he should have thought of it? He's already shown a fair degree of discontent about something here. Maybe he's been held back from advancing in whatever circles he travels in. It certainly appears to be associated with the academy. Maybe I've just given him some clue as to the cause of his own troubles. Maybe he'll stop purporting to analyze mine." she said to herself acidly.

He kept flashing cynical looking smiles off and on as they walked. Linika was beginning to think she may have really hit on something. Someone was doing work that he should have been in on, and she thought her comment might have made him realize it. She thought his smirks were probably in connection with thoughts of payback against deceitful co-workers or something. She would certainly have no objection to that. The thought of some of these Videnese women gasping in embarrassment or disgrace, with her...new associate...laughing behind them, brought a measure of warmth to her heart, despite the cold.

That last train of thought interrupted her previous one, preventing her from considering if such 'modification' work was already going on here. But it did bring up another important detail. In fact, she wondered how she could have overlooked it. "Well, my name is Linika. If you wish to abide by my cultural protocols, you would precede that with "Eill", which basically means 'exile'. I will not lie to you, I would as soon that you did not." she was quiet for just a moment before continuing, "So, what would you have me call you?"
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The eídisi population did not put much stock in emotions, preferring rational logic in guiding them through what was right and what was not. Virikai took that one step further. It was not that he was completely devoid of emotions, as some who knew him best might suggest, but he did have a distinctly low tolerance for empathy.. unless, of course, he was making an active effort to decipher the expressions of another. Now was not one of those moments, but Virikai was observant at the very least, and he saw the hard expression, the clenched jaw, and the way the woman seemed to force her features into a more neutral expression.

Walking along the barely visible path that lead to the block in which he was accommodated, the Talius heir found himself immensely glad that he had decided to take up lodging with the Academy, rather than remain at home as his mother had wished. Of all the things he had done that his father had disapproved of, consorting with the filth borne of Audrae would be the worst transgression imaginable. Something like this might even send his father to an early grave, he considered as he guided his guest down a narrow path between two other frozen buildings. No, that would not do, for he had not yet reached his majority (by eídisi standards) and he could not bear to watch his uncle act as an executive over him for the next four years…

Approaching the outer door to the building, the azure-skinned man pulled the door open and gestured for the painted woman to pass through. Only the doors to individual rooms were locked, and with rudimentary systems at that. Virikai always wondered at the logic of the Directorate, that they trusted so highly in the integrity of the Viennese that they saw no benefit in hindering potential law-breakers. The problem, of course, was that this rationale was based on applying the same expectations of humans and others that one might place on the eídisi. Flawed at best.

Why would I adhere to the customs of your culture when I am not a member of it?” The scion asked as he led his guest up two flights of stairs, arching a brow in mock confusion. Walking down the narrow corridor, he pulled out a key and inserted it into he lock in his door before pushing that open as well and directing the outcast in. “Eill though you may be in your own lands. Do you think your status of being an exile from Augiery affects opinion of you in Viden?” It was a tone of ridicule that he injected into his words, as the eídisi was finding a strange enjoyment in his mockery of the outcast. He had decided that the girl, having inhabited her for so long, did not seem perturbed by the general vilification and threats from the Videnese. However she was clearly unused to receiving Virikai’s particular calibre of attentions, and he was please at how easy it was to enrage her.

Closing the door behind him, he gestured for her to take a seat. “Virikai Talius,” the man finally responded as he turned away, wondering how much the foreigner had bothered to learn of his society, in particular whether or not his family name would instantly mark him to her as the son of a Delegate. To him, it did not matter; more often than not Virikai found that it made acquaintanceships, rather than broke them. Even if he wasn’t shrewd enough to know that most would been his friendship for their own gains, the young eídisi was indifferent enough to be completely uninterested in the practice of forming social relationships with those around him.

Turning to the small stove in the corner of his room, which was essential by law in any Videnese property, he fumbled through with his flints in trying to set a spark to the smouldering coals. Though he had lived here for a little over a season, the heir was still not used to general tasks required for his survival: growing up in a wealthy household, his family’s slaves had tended to the fires, which never went out. Finally, after many strokes of stones against each other, Virikai managed to get a small fire going, and stoked the coals before closing the hatch and turning to his gues, “May I offer you a hot beverage? Tea, perhaps?
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Linika made no answer to the eidisi's query at first. but when she heard the name 'Talius', she could not help but be surprised. She turned to face him directly, making an effort to purge all rancor from her voice. "I would ask only that you consider that, if you were exiled from your...bloodline...and there was a word of scorn for such an event in your language, how would you like to hear that word every time someone spoke to you, or spoke of you to someone else? The truth is, I expect no sympathy, I only sought to be sure that you know the exact status of she whom you seem to be taking such an unexpected interest in."

By the time she finished, her gaze was appraising. This man had everything to lose by associating with her. She was about to comment on that, but decided it would be ill-suited to imply that he did not have the wit to realize this. She could think of a few reasons why her low status here could benefit him. Mostly they were of a nature of being someone who could take the fall for him. But take the fall for what? There had to be some way in which he was already on the verge of scandal or rebellion. Or his reputation was about to be on the line, and he suspected failure and needed a patsy.

'The man is clearly ill-fit to handle life's drudgery, if his incompetence with flint and tinder is any indication,' she thought with a stifled smirk as she watched him struggle with the stove. She had trained in the southern mountains, and could have had that fire going in no more than a bit. But she said nothing as he finally got it going to a useful level.

She accepted his offer of tea with a modest bow of her head and a "thank you". She did what she could to watch him prepare it, without being too obvious about it, wondering if he was going to drug her or something. She saw no sign of any such foul play, but nonetheless decided not to take a taste until she saw him take one. She would treat it as nothing more than a hand warmer in the meantime; especially if he put sugar in it and took none himself.

"Let's be blunt, shall we?" she said, by way of opening whatever negotiation was about to get underway. "We are both arrogant. We both look around and see people we feel are beneath us. But you enjoy a social position that allows you to benefit from the overall culture, where I am best served by going unnoticed. Now, I admit, your apparent willingness to even acknowledge my presence gave me cause to shed the groveling and scraping façade I put on in public. But now it has gone much further than simply encountering someone who is not instinctively buying in to the obligation to hurl vitriol at the "Minion of Audrae". You have invited me to your room!"

Her eyebrows raised dramatically, but not sincerely. There was calculation in her voice, not concern, as she went on. "This is a scandal in the making, and you know it. So, if I may be so bold, what potential benefit is to offset this dreadful gamble on your station? Nothing is going to raise my status here, but you could easily fall to my level. And it would be such a drop...Now, don't get me wrong. I know I have far more to gain, with courteous cooperation, than some pointless, malicious satisfaction of toppling a single aristocrat from his grand perch only because I know my drop will be negligible by comparison. I would prefer to gain, even a little. So, what exactly do you want of me?"
Last edited by Linika on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 651
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Searching out a spare mug in his room (for Virikai rarely had guests thus had little use for a second vessel for his drinks), the young eídisi barely resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the woman’s continued insistence that the naer term for exile was one that hurt her deeply. Usually a good judge of purpose, the intelligent man could not fathom why his guest clung so tightly to her forced title of ‘Eill’, for he could not imagine a single situation in which a Videnese native would stoop so low as to use a foreign insult on the woman when their own would work just as effectively. In fact.. he fancied that he was now one of a very select few eídisi to even know a word from the woman’s native tongue. “Again, madam, your scope is limited… I doubt that anyone in this city has called you as such. Here you are outcast, filth, base.

Finding a mug, he placed it next to his own as his eyes met the woman’s own gaze for a brief moment before continuing to speak. “You are right that you will receive no sympathy, but it has nothing to do with your status of exile from Augiery. I do not care about that black mark against your name, for you are a naerikk, and that is enough of an issue.” By now he had turned away to source the jug of thawed, fresh water, which would be replenished each day by one of the servile workers of the Academy dormitories. He poured some of the water into a small pot, which he then placed atop the heating stove.

As he waited for the water to boil, he turned and took a seat opposite his guest, lounging in his chair as if completely unperturbed by the presence of a pariah in his room. He even managed to school his features to remain impassive as the woman spoke again, emphasising the stark differences between their two cultures. Having lived here for a year, even if only associating with the lowest of castes, the woman must have learnt something of the subtleties and niceties of the Viden manner. He wondered if she did know, but actively chose to ignore them in favour of what he supposed was her own culture’s customs, and preferred to simply get to the core of the matter.

For the first time, Virikai felt a twinge of disappointment. Not due to the woman’s intelligence, no… but he could not deny that he had hoped for a challenge from the woman. He had been looking forward to verbally sparring with the naer, of negotiating in the dark, with the distinct lack of honesty between the pair for the duration. As it was he could not answer the final question truthfully anyway, for he knew nothing about the woman, nothing to make an informed judgement on what he wanted from her.

Once the woman had finished in her speech, the silence dragged on as both studied the other with a critical gaze. For the first time, if occurred to Virikai that the woman’s blunt nature could ultimately lead to her publicly revealing any future connection that the two might have. Of course, if he was careful, no one would ever see them together and, obviously, it would be her word against his. Given the nature of his job, he would not lose that, but the rumours could have the potential to be damaging enough to him socially… and his family, if he wasn’t disinherited. “What I want from you remains to be seen, Linika.

Pausing, he glanced over to the now simmering pot of water. He was cold, and it was once of those rare days that he wished he lived in a warmer climate. “I know nothing about you and it would be foolish of me to set my terms in such ignorance. For the sake of providing you with more insight, however, I can offer you a chance at a better position within the city, in exchange for… a debt of equal value.
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Linika
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Linika listened to his comments and then smiled with exaggerated enthusiasm, "Oh splendid! I so much prefer to be insulted based on the parameters of your people's intolerant presumptions than my own!" she set the cup aside and stood, clapping her hands together and clenching them in mock eagerness, "It's so much more...I don't know...exotic? Yes, a bunch of solid blue bodies, reveling in academic tedium, shivering in a smooth, uniformly cold, drab block of ice, carved into a city...It's so much more impressive than a colorful, lively southern land, surrounded by an amazing variety of flora and fauna, peopled by warm, multi-colored women, living lives of physical contests, combat and lovemaking! Yes this is sooo much better!"

She spun around as she spoke, as if embracing some land of marvels and miracles, then she broke into laughter; genuine, ringing, amused laughter. "Do you honestly think it matters to me whether I am vilified as 'outcast', 'filth' or 'Eill'? Or that you think you are better than me because your father was important?" She posed back on her heels, her gaze penetrating, "Are you so sullen and snappish because you know you have to measure up to your father, or because you know that you don't? Why don't you stop playing these stupid games with me?"

Her voice was suddenly sharp, though it was still soft, it was not to be denied. "You've had your fun, keeping me off balance, first berating me for my weakness, suggesting I'm not trying hard enough. Then acting like all the others with your labels of filth and outcast, making it clear that I couldn't succeed in any event. And then in between, inviting me home with you in spite of it. And now acting as though you don't even know what you want.

"You say that you'd be a fool to enter into a bargain under such vague terms, and you're right. Yet it seems you expect me to do so. I can not deny, a 'better position' is a promising phrase. yet this whole 'debt of equal value' thing rings equally vague to me. I mean just about any job in town is a 'better position' than what I currently occupy. Yet, lacking definition, the 'value' of my debt may well leave you holding all the cards."


She waved dismissively at him, deciding two could play this teasing game. She casually undid the top two buttons of her shirt, and picked up the tea cup, letting a bit of skin show. "But strangely enough, Sir Talius, or Lord, or whatever an outcast like myself should be calling your exalted self, I feel like I hold a few cards here myself. You already know I am capable of acting meek and demure if the situation calls for it. But since I suspect you're about to assault me a withering barrage of self-righteous scorn, perhaps I should run crying into the street, loudly begging your forgiveness for my presumption in accepting your kind invitation to your room. I'll be happy to tell everyone I see how wrong I was to believe you actually wished to bed a Naerikk whore like me. I'll be sure and carry this cup with me, so my words will carry more weight."

She leaned toward the table, and set the cup back down, being sure to allow an improper section of her underclothes to show. "Or...we can get down to the business of ironing out details of the agreement we both seem to want to come to. I am prepared to act in whatever capacity will smooth the way for the both of us to...get what we want." She winked, then stood back up straight again, provocatively smoothing her leggings against her hips, which she cocked to the side. Her voice became meek again, but with a suggestive whisper to it, "So, I ask again, my Lord, what exactly do you want me to do?"
Last edited by Linika on Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 678
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Virikai Talius
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Standing, Virikai rounded his chair to stand at the stove, where he had heard the distinct signs of water boiling in the pot. Grasping the handle, he poured a small amount of water into each of the mugs - a skill that he had learnt very fast when moving out of his family home permanently. The chilling temperatures meant that boiling water did not stay boiling for long when coming into contact with cold ceramics. From there, he added tea leaves in a strainer to the rest of the boiling water, waiting for the water to be infused with flavour.

All the while, his guest was practically raging behind him, something that seemed to be the norm for this woman. He wondered if she was as good a actor as she made out to be; from what he saw, she seemed far too engaged with her emotions to be able to lie long term. At the slightest provocation, the naer was off on yet another rant, showing her true colours. How could anyone be fooled by her? “No one forced you to come to Viden, Linika,” he used her name for the first time, an attempt to calm the woman.

You were exiled from one city, and had a plethora to choose from, for Augiery does not care where you go. Of all, you chose the one place in Idalos where you would be truly oppressed and persecuted.” He shook his head as he threw out the now tepid water from the mugs and replaced it instantly with the tea, filling both mugs to the brim before replacing the pot on the stove and leaving it to simmer. “There aren’t many reasons that one might subject themselves to such masochistic behaviour…” he could think of a few, the main one being that she truly believed that she deserved her punishment of exile, so she installed herself into the hateful city. “But the crux is that you came here out of choice and are under no obligation to remain. And trying to psychoanalyse me will not detract from your own perceived grievances, which you are increasingly vocal and insistent about.” He would not rise to her bait.

Picking up the two mugs, he rounded his chair and offered the woman her choice of one of the mugs, “So stop complaining.” He returned to his own seat and took a sip of the tea as he cooly regarded his guest. More and more, he was beginning to wonder if he should just have her leave - none of his words thus far had been specifically uttered in an attempt to aggravate the outcast. If she became this inflamed now, how agitated would she become when actually offended. Most importantly, would she be this… forthright with others about what he might share with her in the future.

The corners of his lips curled into a twisted, humourless smile, “I am not the head of my family. Just Virikai, please.” At this stage, he found himself vastly unimpressed by the woman’s threats. He would kill her, or have her killed, in such circumstances. Linika was nothing; having been excluded from her own city, she now resided in a city which vilified her. No one would even bat an eye at her untimely loss, himself included.

Have you ever come across Alquerques?” He took another sip of his tea, savouring the warmth as it slips down his throat. “It’s a game of strategy. One where, if played properly, a player will be able perceive the position of the pieces as many as ten moves in advance. It is a similar game to the one you might join me in playing, for the game of life truly is about strategy, no matter the city from which you hail. The next move will be installing you within the medical centre here, if you are willing. But the… return, if we can call it that, might not emerge until the eleventh move of the game.


OOC: Alquerque is the real life medieval game of strategy, the precursor to draughts/checkers.
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