Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Problems Aboard [12 Hivvem 4385; en route]

Mirrored from Sythyry.

Alzagonde lost no time in doing her research, at breakfast the next morning. She brought her bowl of fish stew and her chalice of kathia, and plopped herself down next to Feralan.

Alzagonde: “Young Rassimel! May I ask you a few questions?”

Feralan: “Are you being curious? Or would you say you’re more ‘inquisitive’?”

Alzagonde: “I’m trying to look out for your safety. What’s your name?”

Feralan: “I’m Feralan. What’s your name?”

Alzagonde: “I’m Alzagonde. I’m a senior student at Lord Caring University in Barency.”

Feralan: “Does that mean you’re trying to care for people, or that you care about people, or nearly something else?”

Alzagonde: “Lord Brandorff Caring was a great hero of Barency in the early days. But I do care about people, especially young people, and I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

Feralan: “Well, you’re weeks too late on that.”

Alzagonde: “Oh, dear. What happened?”

Feralan: “I went to Jinteros to buy a watch, and the city guard killed us. That hurt.”

Alzagonde: “Jinteros? I don’t believe that your skyboat went anywhere near Jinteros. Besides, the city guard wouldn’t kill a child.”

Feralan: “No, it’s really true! The nendrai glued me back together with a spare Locador demon named hCevian. Then the wizards had to split us apart. That was hard. It hurt a lot.”

Alzagonde: “Well, I’m sure you’ve had some wonderful adventures, but I’m here to talk to you about something serious.”

Feralan: “They were horrible adventures! I think they came out OK in the end. I like hCevian.”

Alzagonde: “That’s very nice. What species are your parents?”

Feralan: “Rassimel, of course. Do you believe me?”

Alzagonde: “I believe that your parents are Rassimel. Do you know what most of the adults on Strayway are doing?”

Feralan: “Do you believe me about hCevian? I think they’re mostly doing chores now. Windigar is probably steering the ship. Sythyry is probably doing enchantment. Arfaen is making breakfast.”

Alzagonde: “I’m not here to talk about hCevian…”

Feralan: “Does that mean you don’t believe me?”

Alzagonde: “It means I’m not talking about that now.”

Feralan: “You’re not supposed to confuse me about emotional states! My psyche is very fragile and covered with scars from the spirisection! I’m trying to learn how to communicate with people again, but it’s hard and you’re making it harder by not cooperating!”

Alzagonde: “I just don’t want to talk about that now. I want to keep you safe.”

Feralan: “Safe from what? hCevian is pretty good protection from most things. He promised that if a city was ever fighting me again, he’d whisk me away farther than they can possibly reach.”

Alzagonde: “Please, this isn’t about your imaginary friend. This is about how to grow up to be a good adult.”

Feralan: “I know! I’m trying! It’s OK if you don’t believe me about hCevian, but you’ve got to tell me whether or not you do! I think you don’t or you wouldn’t have used the word ‘imaginary’! But I need you to say it!”

Alzagonde: “Fine, fine. I don’t really believe your story about hCevian, but I’m not too worried about it.”

Feralan: “But if you want to protect me you need to believe in him. He’s the one doing most of the protecting of me these days.”

Alzagonde: “Well, I just want you to grow up right, is the main thing.”

Feralan: [nearly in tears] “I’m trying! I’m learning everything I can about it anymore!”

Alzagonde: “Shh, shh, it’s nothing bad. I just don’t want you — or any child — to get beaten or scorned when you grow up.”

Feralan: “I don’t either, but I dunno how to stop it. I’m going to be very, very, very strange, what with my soulmate and all.”

Alzagonde: “Soulmate? Oh, great staring gods — have all the traff-folk here been telling you you have to pick the love of your life, at your age? And it has to be someone a different species? Listen to me, Feralan, this is important. It’s fine to be friends with someone of a different species, but you do not have to marry them or love them in an adult way. No matter what the people on Strayway say. I think they’ve been abusing you very badly, and I shall … figure out what action to take.”

Feralan: “No! It’s about hCevian! When they did the spirisection operation bits of his soul got stuck in mine, and bits of mine in his. So we’re soulmates.”

Alzagonde: “hCevian is imaginary!”

hCevian: “No — simply implausible.”

Alzagonde: A very loud shriek as the demon appeared on all sides of her at once.

Feralan: “Hi! This is Alzagonde. She wants to protect me.”

hCevian: “She has very poor reflexes, and does not react to much effect when she is startled. I don’t think she really holds a candle to Vaisessasilmin, who also wants to protect you.”

Vae: “And she has a candle for me?” (Her earmuffs protect her from most prime words, but of course she can hear hCevian.) Vae was in the shape of a withered and wattled Khtsoyis hag, for reasons best known to herself but probably due to some misguided attempt to punish herself for, well, it could be nearly anything she’s done.)

Alzagonde: [recovering pretty fast, considering] “I’m not trying to be his bodyguard. I’m trying to protect him from a moral quagmire that it’s all too easy for him to fall into.”

Vae: “The candles do I love!”

hCevian: “Which one?”

Alzagonde: “The dread and stenchy bog of transaffection that yawns beneath his feet, wide and tempting in this ship of fools!”

Vae: “And what sort of candle is it?”

Alzagonde: “Excuse me, beldam. I have no candle for you.”

hCevian: “I do not believe that Feralan has yet formed a clear image of what sort of prime he will love. Speaking as someone who was attached to his mind and soul for a long while recently.”

Vae: “The candle from you, that is what I desire and demand!”

Alzagonde: “You’ll get nothing from me, step-grandmother!”

Vae: [becoming a twelve-clawed monster] “The candle — give it to me!”

Alzagonde quite sensibly attempted to flee. hCevian blocked her, giggling. Vae hissed and threatened and demanded. Feralan teleported to a pantry, got a candle, teleported back, slipped it to Alzagonde, and told her to give it to Vae. Vae wriggled in involuntary and much-despised delight. Feralan teleported her to a parlor, and followed himself.

Feralan: “I think you need a bodyguard, Miss Alzagonde. Not me.”

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