Bravely and Resolutely Making Tactical Mistakes [26 Consimbs 4261]
Bronin is a regular at Across Saga. By day he is an Orren fishmonger with a small stand somewhere or other. By night he is often found at Across Saga. He says his friends don't know. We've shared bowls of garlicky cockles, on three evenings when I looked like a Rassimel. He smells a bit of fish, and that's not a bad thing for an Orren.
Tonight I didn't look like a Rassimel. I looked like myself.
Bronin:"Hallo, Sythyry. I haven't seen you in Across Saga in quite some days."
Tactical Mistake #1: I am known at Across Saga by three or four different names and faces and species. I have a terrible time keeping them straight, remembering who knows me as what. I'm not trying to keep things secret from people at Across Saga particularly; I was just trying to keep them secret from my horrible ex-boyfriend.
Me:"Oh! Well, actually you have. I was just a Rassimel girl at the time."
Me:"Oh, yes. I've got Cloak of Another God grafted."
Tactical Mistake #2: Across Saga is not a sorcerer's place particularly. I doubt that three other customers have complexity-20 spells grafted ... well, I'll bet that some profesisonals do. Even, or especially, the oblique professions, like Thestra's. Also Across Saga is not a particularly rich or aristocratic place. Not many nobility come there.
Bronin:"I did not know that, O Zi Ri."He had gone all formal on me. He wasn't speaking to me as the cute girl he had shared a plate of cockles with; more rather as the rich but unduly picky customer he wished wasn't bothering him in his shop.
Me:"You don't need to be all formal with me! I'm just another traff, like everyone in here."
Tactical Mistake #3: I seem to be a bit political about my choices of loves. Most people in Across Saga are a bit ashamed of them.
Bronin fluffed his tail a few times. "That's all right for your lordship, I'm sure." Which isn't even an appropriate form of address for me.
Tactical Mistake #4: I am taking a perquisite of my class and species a bit more extremely than most people do. A Zi Ri can flirt with an Orren in public and nobody will think the worse of zir for it, though actually loving one is more dubious. An Orren shopkeeper can't flirt with a non-Orren in public without getting some funny looks.
Me:"I'm sorry, Bronin. Could I buy you a plate of cockles or something?"
Bronin:"If it's all the same to you, O Zi Ri, I am waiting for a friend, whom I expect to arrive in a shortly, or, at most, two."
Tactical Mistake #5: That meant "no."
Me:"Well, I'll be glad to slip off when your friend arrives."
Tactical Mistake #6: Isn't that obvious?
Bronin:"Very well, O Zi Ri."
And he ate the cockles in silence, with me sitting on the back of a chair at the table, pointedly not talking or answering me in monosyllables with honorifics at least two places higher than any I deserve.
I slunk off before his friend arrived. That was not a tactical mistake.
And I ordered a small chalice of brandy, for I was feeling a bit rattled, and, in all truth, upset with myself.
Tactical Mistake #7: Brandy does not help one avoid further tactical mistakes.