Gotha date; RH

 
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Escape from the dark side
03-25-2019, 06:35 PM
Post: #11
RE: Escape from the dark side
What about the children?

”I am on my own mission, no one sent me,” Sanna explained after Little Finger and Ella had left the cabin room. They both sat down on the ground.
”So you don't have begging messages from everyone?” Anna wondered.
”No... you wanted some?”

Anna laughed. ”No, thanks. A couple of days ago I started thinking about returning. It set off a panic attack which resulted in a black-out of hours.”
”Everybody is hoping for a speedy return. You know Palne loves you, he would like to give you all the support and guidance you need, but he fully respects your request to handle this on your own, or in another way. Teres is a different matter. She is suffering from not being able to be your soulmate when you seem to need it the most. But Moa explained her that her misery is only a small contribution towards your recovery.”

Sanna paused for a moment, but decided to drop the bomb anyway.
”We adults can come to terms with this, to some level. But the children... The reason why I travelled here is that Iduna and Asvard keep asking when their mother returns and I am out of half answers and excuses.”

”You travelled halfway across Gotha because you care about my children's well-being?”
”Well, I am eager to know how you are doing myself as well, but from what I have heard you seem to manage quite all right. You're not sitting in a corner, all apathetic and with a blanket over your head.”
”I am late for my studies at the Kotan,” Anna replied while laughing.
They both got up and walked outside, into the blistering sun.

Byebye was still waiting for them. Anna decided she wanted to share her observation about her.
“You are no longer in the Nokumo Nobono, are you,” she asked directly in Auresian. Byebye looked up with an expression on her face that she had been caught red-handed.
“True…” she replied hesitatingly. “I want to move on. I am a healer.”
Anna grabbed her hand. “That’s good. You don’t have to explain. You are a good healer, for me as well. Does Durrum know?”
Byebye shook her head.
“Tell her. Tell Rock or Lin-Ya, they will tell Durrum.”

----------------

How to curse and win an argument in Kakuri

Anna could only enter the Kotan on her own. No exception was made for Sanna. So while Anna continued to walk, Sanna had to start thinking about what to do next. Up to this moment, her objective had been pretty obvious: travel to Anna and speak to her. Now she needed an exit strategy.

”Kamisama,” Anna addressed Chopper who was on her way towards their working space.
”Denka,” she replied.
”Yesterday... is good?”

Anna wasn't talking about the performance of her first attempt of writing and playing a song with a temporary Kakuri company. She knew that it went well, even though she made tons of mistakes and was playing on the level of a toddler. It was the aftermath that had worried her.

Chopper had tried to use Anna's performance as a justification of her decision to reach out to the Vittmarkers. Anna had clearly lived up to Kakuri standards, or at least Chopper's standard. But Anna had stopped her before Chopper got all carried away, thanks to Byebye making Chopper's intention clear to Anna. She was here as a private person, not as a representative of Vittmarker government. It led to a lively debate at whispering volume at the pavillion, with a clearly disgruntled Chopper not getting her way.

”Yesterday... good?” Anna repeated when Chopper tried to be evasive. The only thing Anna could do was to take a few steps closer. They were alone in the room. She put her hand on Chopper's pregnant belly and asked the question that she had not asked directly yet.
”Pam-da?” She referred to Palne's Kakuri name.
”H-hai...” Chopper whispered.
”Pam-da is mine. This...” she put her other hand on Chopper's belly, ”... is mine.”
Chopper did not dare to look Anna in the eye.
”Kirisaki is kami-sama... kami-sama is mine. No Anna, no kami-sama. You know. I know. Is enough.”

Now Anna grabbed Chopper on both sides of her head, fully understanding that this was considered an emotionally loaded gesture in Kakuri culture. She made her look into her eyes.
”Kakuri no like Nokumo Nobono? Fuck Kakuri!!”
Chopper started to laugh nervously, more due to the fact that Anna knew how to curse in Kakuri.
”Kakuri no like Kirisaki?” Anna put her right hand close to Chopper's eye, index finger and thumb indicating something small.
”Little... little no like.”

”Your tongue is like my daughter's,” Chopper replied.
”Fuck Kakuri?” Anna inquired half joking.
”Ah, no... not that.”

Anna looked at the Kakuri leader. She had not even intended to put her in her place. It just happened. Vind knows. She decided to change the topic, rather abruptly.
”Question... Gacha paper... can write? My paper?”
Chopper understood that Anna wanted something with the old manuscripts about Exemplar Gacha, but she needed both Little Finger's and Flower's help to understand that Anna wanted to make her own copy. So she took Anna to their working quarters.

”No paper leaves the Kotan,” Little Finger explained during the group discussion this had become.
”You can study... here...” Flower added in Cheltai.
”I don't live here,” Anna replied to Flower, ”I am a visitor, an outsider.”
”Student of the Kotan,” Flower tried to explain.
”Really? I am an outsider. I am old. I am not good, at playing. I'm here because I am fighting bird. Urashinu... she got my book, my papers, to study. I want your papers, to study.”

For the second time in 12 hourse, Anna’s actions triggered a long debate, with Anna not being able to follow any of it.
”I make my own paper, write myself,” she tried to hand another argument, this time in Auresian to Surprise, hoping she would get it. ”Your papers stay here.”
”You can not read, understand,” Little Finger concluded.
”I have two Kakuri born and two Kakuri stift members who can help me. Two have been students here, one is Nokumo Nobono. It would be the same as here.”

Anna had won the argument, she was allowed to copy off the original manuscripts and take them back home, under the strict condition that only Moa, Yuma and the dead one would have access to it. Flower accompanied her to the cellar where the manuscript was stored.
”You... are the first,” Flower chatted, ”our first... you could have... made us give.”
”Yes. But I don't want to. Now, we agree. No rough winds.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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03-26-2019, 10:35 PM
Post: #12
RE: Escape from the dark side
Always plan your way out

Anna entered the small cabin with a lightweight wooden box.
”Present for me,” Sanna joked.
”If you open this and look at the contents, Kakuri customs will demand that I kill you,” Anna replied.
”So, what's in it then,” Sanna tried to determine whether Anna was joking or serious. But all she got was a sheepish look, Anna tilting her head slightly.

”That's a Moa move,” Sanna continued. ”Listen, if I'm curious, I'm tempted to find out what's in it, some day or the other. But if I know, there's no reason for me to get killed.”
”The biography of Exemplar Gacha,” Anna replied bluntly.
”I see. Then I get why I'm not allowed to look at it.”

”It took five days straight and four people to make this copy. Or actually, three-and-a-half... I'm still too tired to do any decent work. It's kind of relaxing though, trying to copy 400 year old handwriting in a different writing system. I have no idea what I copied. But I will have something to do when I get back. It's time to start planning for my return.”
”It is?” Sanna was curious to know Anna's state of mind. ”So this was what you came for, a Kakuri biography.”

”I'm not getting any better from hanging around here. I don't belong with the Kakuri. I am an alien and I drain their resources. I have no clue to what I was looking for here, but I found something, at least.”
”So when...”
”Couple more days. I promised them a second copy and I keep my promises. Then I need to hand out some noble titles. Surprise is a baroness, but they are all getting similar titles. I can only do that in my capacity as monarch. And from that moment on, I am no longer Anna, but Fighting Bird. Then I need to go home.”

”I will make some arrangements for travel towards Nybygge...”
”No... I will travel to Gilles Villes. I just need to know when to get there so that the airliner can make an extra stop. But I don't want to prove my luck in front of the Fisks Residency once more.”
”You really thought this through.”
”Always plan your retreat.”
”Good... because I promised Fisks I wouldn't drag in any royalty into their capital. They were a bit worried about that.”

Anna laughed. ”I bet they were.”

----------------------------

Substantiated feelings of paranoia

Morning routines on board the NTR-AB were uprooted due to the landing in Julikannat, capital of Aspasia. This destination was not on the usual route, which took the Vittmarker airship further north, crossing Häverist airspace. But the route was pretty flexible when it came to stops, the demand for transportation between Fisks and Vittmark was not that extensive, so the airline company had to cater for other travel arrangements as well. Like picking up the lady Clara av Ostskogen in Gilles Villes, a woman who looked remarkably like Queen Anna if she would get rid of the fake glasses and tight ponytail.

”Moa is planning on visiting Aspasia with a Kakuri delegation,” Sanna said to her at the breakfast table, ”but she is waiting for your return.”
”A crown princess in a dependant Anisoran territory? That is unusual.”
”She didn't tell you?”
Anna shook her head. ”Well, she is the governor of the Eastern Crown Domains and Senator for the Kakuri Nation, she does not have to run everything by me.”
”I am sure she will update you before she leaves. She was probably looking for the right opportunity, but first there was the cabinet reshuffle, then the archeological conference and... well... then you took off... no offense...”

”I know the perfect way to get back to her,” Anna half whispered deviously, ”come...”
She grabbed her camera and went straight for the gondola's exit.
”Just getting out for a smoke,” she told the Aspasian officer standing guard outside in Auresian, hoping he would understand. ”Where is the safe distance?”
”You see those flagpoles over there, if you would be so kind to stand in between them so our security can keep an eye on you.”

Anna walked out, followed by Sanna carrying Kolgard.
”You know how to handle a handheld camera?” she asked while undoing her ponytail. She handed over her glasses and the camera, then walked to the pole with the Aspasian flag. Anna got a small case out of the pocket of her light blue jacket, unscrewed it and took out a thin cigarillo which she lit up with the accompanying matches.

”Get a low position, Kolgard view,” she pointed to her son now sitting in the dry grass. Sanna went down on her belly and tried to make a composition with as much of Anna in the picture, as well as the flag in the background. Anna put her hand with the cigar on her hips and looked up to the other flag. That was the moment when Sanna made the shot. She made another one from a bit further away, with the terminal building in the background as well.

”I hope they turn out well,” Sanna excused herself when she handed back the camera. Anna offered her the half smoked cigarillo. Sanna hesitated, but she took it anyway.
”Don't inhale, just let the aroma...”
But Sanna had opened her mouth and blew out a perfect smoke circle before handing back the cigarillo. Anna wet her lips and rolled the cigarillo across before taking a deep tug while gazing into Sanna's eyes. Who in her turn started laughing aloud.
”What,” Anna replied, ”does my gay charm not work on you?”
Sanna slowly approached Anna, lips almost touching before Sanna grabbed the cigarillo and took another deep sip while backing of a meter and a half.
”Nope, not at all,” Sanna replied while blowing out the smoke, ”but maybe the other way around?”

”Aw, you're awful,” Anna laughed. But her laugh transformed into crying.
”Sorry,” Anna sobbed, ”I don't know...” Sanna embraced Anna for a long and firm hug.
”It's OK,” Sanna said, ”uncontrollable mood swings, not the first time. It's progress, a couple of weeks ago you could not laugh at all.”
”I have some other uncontrollable urges as well, bad ones.... I should not be left on my own...”
”I know. That is what worried us most when you took off. Once you were at Ny Skiöldavik we knew you would not be alone. But we had someone watching over you the whole time on your trip towards Fisks.”
”So those feelings of paranoia were substantiated,” Anna half joked while wiping away her tears.

”Well, yes... Queen found dead at airliner is not the type of headline that helps the brand, would it.”
Anna knew that Sanna was formulating blunt on purpose, trying to get the sting out of this conversation. Sanna put the cigarillo between Anna's lips again, then puffed herself again.

”The guard at the gondola,” Sanna tried to change the subject, ”would he be appalled by what he's seeing now, or aroused?”
”Absolutely horrified,” Anna replied.
”Not so sure... he's kind of cute,” Sanna continued while glancing across Anna's shoulder.
”Him? I don't know...”
”Right, that's not your area of expertise.”
”Hang on... I fancy men... real men. Not boys like him. He's too... girly...”
Sanna was still laughing when they entered the gondola again. She just had to wink to the Aspasian guard, who in his turn had no idea where to look.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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03-27-2019, 05:31 PM (This post was last modified: 03-27-2019 05:31 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #13
RE: Escape from the dark side
Totally worth all the trouble

”I'm sorry I'm not much of a company,” Anna excused herself after lunch. ”You're fun to hang out with, I wish you could say the same about me.”
”You're difficult to hang out with,” Sanna replied bluntly, ”a pain in the ass... but totally worth the trouble. The real Anna, the bitchy one, the salty little c... I like her. I like her more than the majestic Anna who has to keep up appearances, create a wall of false emotions in order to be liked, loved or have influence. Your weaknesses are a part of you, and you can't love Anna unless you love all her parts...”
Anna felt the tears rolling across her cheeks again.
”Wait, that came out a bit wrong,” Sanna excused herself after hearing herself. ”I didn't mean to imply...” But Anna was already laughing through her tears.

”That makes three of you then,” Anna just said.
”Three?”
”Teres, Palne, and now you.”
”No, wait, I did not mean...”
”Don't worry,” Anna interrupted her, ”the relation I have with the other two is already complicated enough. I have no intention...” Anna could feel Sanna exhale relieved.
”You are the third person who told me she liked me for what I am, including all my... negative aspects.”

”What... not even your mother... or Moa?”
”Moa is halfway there. But I don't think she can embrace my dark tendencies. We have a special relation, the two of us. I am her step mother, but act more like her big sister, or something in between.”

”What about your ladies-in-waiting,” Sanna changed focus. ”they put up with you.”
”Yeah, they tolerate me, but that's it.”
”I'm not so sure. What's in it for them? Why would they tolerate your dark side... I think they care about you with your entire spectrum of aspects.”

Anna looked up now, as if she suddenly came up with an idea.
”How would you like to become a lady-in-waiting then?”
”You already have ladies-in-waiting. You know what you need? A friend...”
”I have friends.”
”Friends that are your husband, mistress, step-daughter, ladies-in-waiting... no, I mean, just a friend. No titles, no strings attached...”
Anna nodded. She thought it was better to shut up for a while. Her mind was pretty messed up at the moment, and even though she could ventilate that mind freely with Sanna, this did not mean that she had to do so all the time.

------------------------------

I was already unpleasant

Just before 8 AM the VTF-NTR-AB 'Keisare Karl' appeared from the north. It was a routine landing, pretty normal weather conditions for this time of the year. When the regular passengers had disembarked, two children ran on board and almost knocked over Anna.
”We had no idea who you would want to see in a welcoming party and we didn't want to make more fuss than necessary... so we only brought the people who could not wait,” Sanna explained.
Anna was not paying attention, she was only hugging Iduna and Asvard who she had not seen in weeks.
”I really missed you little critters,” she said from behind her tears. It came out automatically, but she felt she meant it after she had said it. It took a while before Sanna could help repair the damage done to Anna's appearance.

After a short ride, the motorcade arrived at the front entrance of the palace. Anna walked in with her three children, quickly greeting a few people that had gathered in front of the palace gates. There were only two people in the hallway behind the entrance, Palne and Teres. The latter took two steps back, forcing Anna to greet her husband first. But both got the same welcome from Anna, three kisses on the cheek.
”Breakfast?” Palne inquired.
”Always...”

They walked through the corridor in silence.
”No one asking me how I have had it?”
”We're interested, of course,” Teres replied, ”but I am sure you will tell us when you want to.”
”You certainly look a lot better, more gathered compared to when you left,” Palne added, ”and that's the only thing that matters. If you don't want to tell what you've been up to...”

But Palne could not finish. Anna was loudly addressing Moa, who was already sitting at the breakfast table.
Konnichiwa sekushi!
Ohayou gozaimasu,” Moa replied without hesitation. ”I see my sister found you,” she continued in Kakuri.
”Hai... she's... wonderful,” Anna replied slowly.

”So you spent time at Toshi-bu,” Moa switched to Wortsproke.
”I certainly did. I learned some new skills.”
”I can hear that,” Moa replied. But Anna got her shamisen out of the holder bag. Moa started laughing.
Anata wa shamisen o ensou suru koto wa kesshite arimasen...
”That was not the point,” Anna replied. She then turned to Palne. ”This is something I created with Kirisaki,” she said, emphasizing the word 'I'. ”With some help of Midori.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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