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Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen)

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76 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:34 pm

Glen nods. "It might not be just one. Anyone who might be interested in flipping on the family. Anyone who might have loose lips if we ran into them a few beers deep at a bar." He thinks. "Really, anyone you think there's even a *chance* we can get information from."
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77 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:43 pm

Thorn hesitates, and with the air of someone about to ask a question which they fear is silly says, "You don't think she's on Korogur's ship?"
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78 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:49 pm

"Maybe?" Sunrise frowns. "Generally speaking, pirates tend to be good at not having their ships found when they don't want them to be. 'On Korogur's ship' doesn't do much but narrow it down to a hiding place on the ocean instead of one on land."
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79 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:53 pm

"What's more, if she's on the ship, she's not here. The ship is at sea at present, or at least that's what our understanding is from Jarek's contacts." Glen frowns too, worried.
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80 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:03 pm

"Mmm, I see the problem," Thorn says, frowning. "It's just that Korogur is pretty independent of the family? It's hard for me to imagine him staying on land for a long period of time. If you're sure this girl is with him, I'd look to the sea or where he makes berth in the southern caves."

Sighing, he looks back at the cards. "But you said there's been a ransom demand?" He taps his fingers on the names, thinking. "I really don't think you'll be able to get anything out of any of the family in a bar. Mama beats secrecy into the family. Maybe if you got one drunk and alone, but in a public place?" He shivers. "Too many witnesses. Too many bones to break later. But alone... mmm."

Slowly, he taps the cards. "Brud isn't very smart, but they might have kept him in the loop if there was any heavy lifting; he's wicked strong. Somash is smart--maybe too smart to be tricked--but he's unhappy because no one gives him as much due as he thinks they should. And Rasimi might be worth talking to." He hesitates. "She's... unhappy for different reasons. Complicated ones."
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81 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:11 pm

"Complicated ones such as?" Sunrise asks quietly.
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82 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:16 pm

Glen looks at the cards to see where Brud, Somash, and Rasimi are on the food chain in relation to the close advisors. He tries to keep everything straight in his head - decide whether she's with him. If she is, find the ship - sea or caves. If he's not - Brud, Somash, Rasimi.

As Sunrise asks yet another pointed question that Thorn was clearly evading talking about, he feels a pang of guilt that they're dragging him through all this, all at once.
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83 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:22 pm

Thorn scrunches up his nose again, finding this one tricky. "Rasimi is a good fighter. Quick with knives, fast reflexes, good eyes. She's a good person to take with you if you're expecting trouble, right? But she doesn't really like it very much, I think? There's not a lot of upward mobility in being muscle for the family? You just keep doing it until you get old enough to retire or get killed by someone stronger. Rasimi sees that."

He sighs and pushes cards around again. "The family, it... it's kinda like my father. Military. A lot of them served in the border wars, just like my old man. So the older members, it's... they do what they're told. Chain of command. Obedience. Discipline. Rasimi is one of the younger ones. She's loyal and she loves people in the family, but I don't think she ever quite saw why she has to throw her life away just because Mama says to. She used to talk about getting work as a dancer or as a courtesan, even. Orcs make good money, she said. She liked that idea a lot. But Treygis wouldn't ever let his niece do work like that."
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84 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:29 pm

At the mention of Xiloscient himself, Glen has a question, but he isn't sure he wants to ask it. He sighs, resigned.

"Thorn, this seems kind of indelicate, but I can't think of a good way to ask it. Does your father play into any of this somehow? I feel like the...part he played, getting you involved in all this, it had to have come from somewhere. Does he know them from the military? Or owe them a debt?" He winces a little. "Sorry," he apologizes generically, not really sure how best to phrase an apology for bringing in a whole different mess into their ongoing conversation.
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85 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:53 pm

Thorn gives Glen a funny look of surprise and then breaks into a smile. "My father is a mumpsimus. You have nothing to be sorry for! I... do not know why he has always tolerated the company of the Redfangs. He seems to hate orcs, and myself chiefly among my kind, and yet he has known them socially for as long as I can remember. I think they fought together in the war, but they rarely talk about it. Veiled references, is all."

He sighs. "I can't imagine he would help them kidnap someone, though. He's a terrible father, but I thought him to be law-abiding."
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86 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:01 am

Glen smiles back, greatly relieved at Thorn's understanding reaction. He tries not to get lost in the man's smile, and the delicate but strong features of his face. Pausing and getting his mind back to business, he considers for a moment, setting down his glass to refill it carefully from the carafe. “So,” he picks up his glass again, “his involvement with the Redfangs generally is social? He doesn't have an ongoing interest in Redfang business?” He again takes a draft from the glass, a little grateful that it's a thin wine.
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87 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:18 pm

Sunrise looks thoughtful as she listens to this. "Also... as I understand it, the border wars were against orcs, primarily. But the Redfangs fought in them. I wouldn't have imagined them as the patriotic type." She shakes her head. "But that's how 'Mama' keeps everyone in line, then? Just good old-fashioned military discipline, plus violence?"
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88 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:47 pm

Thorn frowns, unsure how to answer all this. "I... don't know what side the Redfangs fought on?"

Luther nods. "When the peace treaty was signed, many who fought on the side of the border orcs integrated into Brilight. The Redfangs as a family already lived here, but it would not be surprising if some of their members had traveled to the border to fight. On either side, really; both sides utilized mercenaries in addition to regular soldiers." He nods to Thorn. "But your father does do business with them. My contacts are sure of this."

The young man frowns and looks troubled. "I didn't know that."
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89 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:52 pm

Sunrise hesitates. "Did... did he ever say why he wanted you to marry Betreygis?"
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90 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:58 pm

Glen listens in silence, finding a reason to set down his wine glass and fuss with the baby's clothes. He has been trying to delicately get round to the very same question and realizes it's an awkward one, so he doesn't want Thorn to feel like every single eye in the world is on him when he answers. Looking at the kiddo is a good excuse to look elsewhere for a minute.
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91 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:06 pm

Thorn takes a deep breath and looks up at Sunrise. "You're a tiefling, so maybe..." He shrugs unhappily. "Father said it would be good for me to be with my own kind? I don't look very much like an elf, but I look a lot like an orc. I thought he was... trying to give me a home. A family where I didn't look out of place. But that was before I really understood about the council seat."
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92 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:13 pm

She nods, quiet sympathy in her eyes. "But now that you do? Have any of the Redfangs said anything about the seat?"
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93 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:16 pm

Oof. Talk of finding a home, and a family, in which to belong hits Glen like a body blow right to the chest. He knows feelings like those all too well. He is content to let Sunrise ask these next questions, as he knows his voice would be liable to break right about now. He simply looks up at Thorn, feeling like he understands, trying hard to communicate empathy and support through his eyes and facial expression.
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94 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:27 pm

Thorn frowns at the table, as though answers could be found in the wood grain. "Do you know, I don't know?" he says softly to Sunrise. "Sometimes... weirdly... it did seem like they accepted me? You should've seen the party after our wedding. It was like... a prodigal child had returned home. I felt almost adopted. They were so adamant I take the Redfang name, even though a Xiloscient-named Redfang child would have had a stronger claim on the seat. I've wondered whether it was Treygis' pride--needing a child with his name and not my father's--but I don't... I don't feel like it's that. I really do think they wanted me to be happy with them."

He sighs. "Maybe if I hadn't been a boy, I would've. I don't know."
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95 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:32 pm

Glen is familiar with this cavalcade of maybes. Maybe if I hadn't done this, maybe if I had been that, maybe if this had been a little different, I could have been. I would have been.

"Anybody who would beat you to get you to obey and who doesn't care about who you really are doesn't want you to be happy. They wanted you to be happy and grateful to be exaclty what they wanted you to be. That isn't belonging, it's servitude." His last few words are laced with contempt for the Redfangs, for having beaten down someone so obviously unique and strong.
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96 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:33 pm

Sunrise frowns. "You... you implied that this 'Mama' hurt you," she says, her voice very gentle. "Why? When?"
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97 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:16 pm

Thorn gives Glen a shy smile. "I guess so, yeah," he says softly.

To Sunrise, he hesitates. "The... the last time, I told Treygis I wanted to separate and move back in with my father. Not... forever, just... until I could clear my head. Think through some things. He... He must have told her. She didn't like that. She..." Thorn begins shivering again, tears pricking his eyes. "That night was... not a good night. I fled to the temple the next day."
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98 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:29 pm

"Oh, hon." Sunrise sets the paper aside and wraps an arm around him. "I'm so sorry."

She waits a minute, letting Thorn compose himself before continuing with questions. "Was it just Mama? How did Treygis treat you, and the others?"
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99 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:44 pm

Glen too just wants to reach out and help Sunrise console him, but doesn't want to overwhelm him. He makes due with giving him a gentle squeeze on the forearm, then letting go. "I'm sorry too." He takes a handkerchief out of his pocket and puts it on the table near Thorn, in case he needs it.

The others likely don't see it, but Glen's eyes are dark. Thorn went to them hoping for a family, and he found abusers and tormentors. He will not forget what he's hearing tonight.
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100 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:00 pm

Thorn gives Sunrise a bleak look. "Treygis does what his mother tells him," he says pointedly. Words are left unsaid but there is a world between the gaps, things a steel-willed mother-in-law might demand of her son with regards to his recalcitrant and infertile bride. "He isn't... cruel? But he doesn't flinch, either. He's a warrior, she says."

Taking a deep breath, he dabs at his eyes with Glen's handkerchief, nodding at him with gratitude. "Thank you. As for everyone else. Gods, it's hard to know where to start. A lot of them were nice? Some of them were standoffish or shy or just unsure what to do with me. Rasimi made an effort, even though we didn't have much in common. Somash wanted to take me to bed, which would've been funny if I hadn't been so scared already. Brud is a sweet boy, just not very quick. That sort of thing. Then you had people like Auntie Mokoz who were just... mmm." He waves a hand, frustrated.
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