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Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen)

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51 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:15 am

As the food is brought in, Glen's stomach rumbles loudly in protest of having gone without food the whole day. He grins sheepishly at his companions. "This looks great, thank you so much," he says to the livery-clad orcs. "And thank you as well, Luther." He shifts Eryn to one arm, his left, and uses his free hand to load his plate up with root soup, fruit, bread, and a glass of wine.

At Thorn’s confusion, he shakes his head. “You’re right that it is urgent, but it’s no so urgent that we can’t have a bite to eat first. Or during! Whatever works for you. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to contradict Sunrise - I just want to make sure you’re comfortable.” The tips of his ears turn just the tiniest bit pink. He already tends to treat his friends like a litter of pups to be looked after, and he already feels like he knows Thorn from what he’s heard over the last few days. But now it seems to him that he’s babbling incoherently and just altogether being Too Much.

He picks up his wine with a deft hand that belies his feeling that he should probably just chill out and pipe down. He takes a small sip, managing to stop himself from taking a huge gulp.
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52 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:05 pm

Sunrise nods, gratefully accepting a cup of broth to sip. "Yes . It's important, and we do have a deadline, but we know you've been through a lot. I don't want you to feel like you have to answer a barrage of questions if you'd rather eat some food and take a nap first."
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53 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:45 pm

Thorn gives them both a shy smile and laughs softly. "Um. I don't mind? I mean, yes, I'm starving, thank you," he says quietly to Luther as he loads his own plate up with a little of everything, "and I would like to sleep for a couple weeks straight if that's, uh, an option. But."

He ducks his head shyly and sips at his soup. "If... if there's a girl being hurt, I want to help."
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54 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:49 pm

Sunrise nods, giving Thorn an admiring look. "Well. I think the first question is still why don't Betreygis and Korogur get along? And are there any other rifts you know of in the family?"
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55 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:03 pm

"I'm sure between stress and the kids, you could probably sleep from now until Eleint next year." He chuckles. As Sunrise asks her questions, Glen nods along, listening carefully. He has more to ask, but he doesn't want to overwhelm Thorn with tons of questions from every direction. He puts down his wine glass and picks up a spoon, taking a few hungry bites of the root soup, falling once again into his routine of munching away while other folks talk about important plans. Despite his hunger, he does eat carefully enough not to jostle little Eryn or drip any soup onto her as she dozes quietly dozing in his arm.
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56 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:29 pm

"Mmmmmm." Thorn scrunches his nose and tilts his head to look up at the ceiling for help. "Well, I mean. Have you met Korogur? He's." He flails a hand helplessly. "Cocky. Arrogant. Self-assured. Handsome," he adds with a faint blush. "He doesn't like taking orders. He wants to give them, and that doesn't work so well as far as Treygis and Mama Arnie are concerned. The family doesn't throw him out because he's too useful, but they spend a lot of time cleaning up his messes or dealing with the unexpected aftermath. I guess you'd call him the black sheep?"
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57 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:36 pm

Glen listens carefully and nods. "So," he puts down his spoon and turns towards Thorn, "the family has stepped in to clean up after he's made a mess before. Can you give us an example? We're trying to figure out if just such a thing happened here. Do they just cover it up? Or will they take over for him and find a way to make it profitable for themselves?"
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58 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:46 pm

"Relatedly," Sunrise asks quietly, "how true would you say the rumors are, about Korogur being a dashing romantic lover? If he were to, say, seduce a sheltered girl into running away with him, would you expect him to actually care for her, or to lose interest once the thrill of the chase is gone?"
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59 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:05 pm

Thorn's scrunchy face becomes scrunchier at Glen's question. "Yes? Either? Or... or both? Whichever Mama and Treygis feels is best for the family?"

Sunrise's question causes him to frown, considering. "I... I don't know," he admits. "He was always nice to me? I mean, he's just awful in the sense of... he's handsome and he knows he's handsome and he knows you know he's handsome, but he... he never flirted at me in a way that would get me in any kind of trouble with the family? He was..." He looks for the word, struggling. "...kind. In a way. But I don't know if he's selfish. Or, no, I do know he's selfish; I just don't know if he's that kind of selfish."
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60 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:12 pm

Sunrise nods slowly. "Kinda fits in with a theory we've been kicking around. It's possible that they were lovers, and he convinced her to run away with him out of passion and without considering the consequences. The ransom note could be the family trying to make the best of a bad situation. From what you describe, that's starting to make more sense than Korogur deliberately seducing her to forward the family interests."

She glances at Luther. "Can you think of anyone who's not loyal to the family? Who might be in a position to know what they're up to, and to talk to us if we made it worth their while?"
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61 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:17 pm

"And Thorn," he adds, still focusing on talking and looking after the baby more than his own plate, which is its own miracle, "can you tell us anything about Mama Arnie? We know a little about Betreygis and Korogur, but she is totally unknown to us." He then puts a reassuring hand on Thorn's shoulder, and quietly follows that up with, "and if that's too much for right now, just say so. It's okay." He smiles.
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62 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:40 pm

Thorn is about to answer Sunrise's question--or at least attempt to tackle the intricacies of family politics and relationships--when Glen asks his. His eyes widen in surprise and then, very slowly, he puts down his spoon and begins to shake. "Oh," he says in a soft tone, studying the table before him and not making eye contact with anyone. "You... you don't know about Mama Arnem?"
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63 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:42 pm

Sunrise shakes her head. "We don't know much about the Redfangs at all," she says gently. "Who is she?"
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64 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:46 pm

Glen looks at Sunrise, seeing Thorn's dramatic change in demeanor and his shaking. "Maybe we should come back to that." He gives Thorn's shoulder, where his hand still sits, a squeeze. "It's okay."
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65 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:50 pm

Thorn shakes his head, his shoulders trembling under Glen's touch. (There is no sense, however, that Glen's touch is unwelcome or adding discomfort.) "You don't... you don't understand," he explains softly, his voice quavering. "You can't... really understand the Redfangs if you don't know about Mama Arnem. She... she's the head of the family. Treygis' mother. She..."

He takes a deep breath and unconsciously runs his fingers over the soft skin of his wrists and arms; it's been almost a year since his last beating, but the bruises are still there in a corner of his mind. "She... she beats you, if you don't behave. No one tells her 'no'. Not ever."
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66 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:56 pm

Glen leaves his hand there, trying to pass through a touch some sense of calm, some sense of warmth and protection. "Thorn." His voice is quiet and calm, soothing. "You don't have to be scared of her, ever again. She can't hurt you here. We -" he looks to Sunrise, and to Luther, " - and Rik, and Quivyll, we won't let her."
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67 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:10 pm

Thorn nods, giving him a grateful smile; he still shakes softly, but perhaps that's just something he has to live with. "T-thank you."

Taking a deep breath, he braces his hands against the table. "Arnem--Mama Arnie--is Treygis' mother," he repeats. "She runs the family. Treygis is... I guess her heir? There's about a dozen cousins and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. I haven't even met them all, but I know a bunch. I can tell you things, I just... I don't know where to start." He looks up at Sunrise, silently helpless to know where to begin.
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68 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:24 pm

He removes his hand and takes a quick swallow of wine. His food is growing cold, forgotten. He shifts Eryn over to his other arm to give his left arm a break. "If you are up for it, part of what we're trying to figure out is the structure of the family. She's obviously at the very top, with Treygis as an heir and presumably a close advisor. How does it flow from there? Does she have underbosses who run the day to day? Or a group of advisors?" He looks to Sunrise. "Maybe we could make a chart? The ones you had this morning were so helpful."
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69 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:33 pm

"There's paper in my bag," she agrees. Honey fetches it; balancing paper, broth, and baby with awkward grace, she prepares to take notes.
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70 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:52 pm

"I can take Xilo too, if it'll help." He also hopes Honey will do her doodles again, if for no other reason than they'll cheer Thorn up some.
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71 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:12 pm

Thorn seems unsure about this, but helps to spread out space on the table while Luther stacks dishes to the side. "Ummm. Well, there's lots of people, it's... it's a big family... There's Uncle Trukurth and Durug--that's one of Treygis' brothers--and Auntie Mokoz." He shakes his head, a little overwhelmed. "Uhh. Catur and Honegul. Rekurth and Turash. Saregar and Shegh. Zevirimm, of course. I don't... those are the people Treygis trusts most, I'm sure. They wouldn't turn on him, nuh-uh."
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72 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:17 pm

Sunrise dutifully writes all of this down, although there's nothing to structure a chart around yet, just a list of names. "Are those the people who report to Arnem directly?" she asks. "Do they have people who report to them?"
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73 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:18 pm

Glen uses his free hand to help clear things out of the way, then sits back holding his wine, listening carefully while taking small sips. It's a lot to take in.
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74 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:29 pm

"Oh!" He nods. "Um. Yes. Mama, I mean, Arnem, she... yes. They're all close to her. They have private meetings and dinners and things the rest of us don't get to sit in on. Mmm."

He begins counting off, spelling carefully for Sunrise. "Cug and Guz and Grogar. Um. Ollask and Asazk. Brud, probably. Somash, yes. Rasimi and Kezun. Maybe Zunoran. They all report up to the biggers. Hmm."

Leaning forward over the table, he moves the cards around again and again, quickly at first and then slower as he nudges them around in little circles, deciding where they go in relation to each other. "They all do different things? It's... complicated. You said you're looking for the exact right person to question?"
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75 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:34 pm

She nods. "The girl is being hidden. If they're smart, they've kept her with Korogur; if she doesn't think she's in danger, if she's with her lover, she won't try to escape or help any would-be rescuers. I'm sure there's plenty of places to keep someone like that; who would know which one she's in? And who might talk?"
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