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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8


Written by Protege moi
Last updated: 07/30/2007 11:36:51 AM

Chapter 3

Reia came home to find her new roommate watching the news on his newly purchased media screen. It was a nice addition to the apartment, something Reia had been saving up for, for many years. A little too nice, Reia thought to herself. It would have been one thing if heíd have bought it on the black market, but Reia knew he hadnít. Heíd come to the Entertainment Depot, where she held her honest and reasonably paying job, to purchase this media screen. She let out a long whistle, "Sheís a beauty, that one. Must have put you back a few."

"Mmm, I íspose so. No worse dan on Earth," he shrugged.

Reia stared at him in disbelief. "One thousand and ninety nine units, not including taxes, and you say you suppose?" She sighed, "Thatís like two months rent, no more than that!"

"Ouais, je sais."

There was that funny language again. But Reia didnít ask for clarification, instead she raised her eyebrow at him as a funny thought struck her. "Wait a minute," she started, speaking slowly as if she were working this out as she was going. "If you have enough money to just drop eleven hundred units at a store, just like that," she snapped her fingers for effect, "what the heck are you doing living in Bara Nocta?"

"Why shouldnít I?"

Was he blind? "By Shara! Honestly, Remy, have you not noticed what the streets look like? The housing complexes? Not exactly Northern Hemisphere if you know what I mean. What you just did...that was Northern Hemisphere."

He shrugged, "You live nice, you íave a nice place, itís clean..."

"Iíve worked hard for that!" She cut him off. "When I first got this place, I had nothing in it but food, a desk and a bed. And you! You just waltz in here and buy a media screen on a whim!"

"So, I bought a TV...is dat a crime?" He looked back at her with the same seriousness she had on her face.

"Well...well, no. Itís just...itís just that itís not normal around these parts."

A small grin crept up on Remyís face, "Iím far from normal, Chère."

"Apparently," she teased. She couldnít help but chuckle, and shake her head in resignation. "So, what are we watching?"

"Jusí the news," he shrugged. "How was work?"

Reia groaned and sank into the couch, laying her head back, "It was long. Too long."

"Work ías a habit oí being like dat on Earth, too," Remy chuckled. "Seems like a decent job you have, tíough, oui?"

She turned her head away from the TV to look at Remy, "Yeah, itís one of the better ones for Bara Nocta. I was pretty lucky. Itís why Iíve been able to keep this place. But now that the rent keeps rising...well, itís a good thing I found a roommate." She smiled, "It will help a lot when I go back to school in two months and I wonít be working as much." Then it struck her, sheíd never asked how long he was planning on staying on Chandilar. "Wait...how long are you staying for?"

Remy pondered that question for a moment, then shook his head, "I doní know."

"Oh." There was a weird silence afterwards. Reia didnít want to be intrusive and ask if he had a rough guess. She waited for him to say something more, perhaps elaborate a little bit. But he didnít.

"Eh, Reia, Iím going to go and lay down for a bit. You doní mind, no?"

What a funny question to ask. "Of course not. Are you okay, though?" He tried to shrug it off, but Reia could tell there was some sort of façade he was putting up.

"Iím fine, really. Jusí tired from space travel aní de time difference isnít íelping." Remy handed Reia the remote and pushed himself off the couch. As he neared the hallway to the bedroom, he paused and turned, "Oh, yeah. I was goiní to go for groceries dis afternoon, but den I realized I íave no idea what I should buy. Can I jusí leave you some money and let you do de food shoppiní?"

It sounded to Reia as if Remy was having a hard time concentrating on what he was saying. She smiled to placate him. "Sure, Remy, thatís fine," she said sweetly. "Now go to sleep."

"Yes, maíam."

Remy closed his door and sighed. He was glad for the privacy. Before Reia had come home he had actually been sleeping. Where did you put dose Tylenol 3ís, homme? He needed them badly. Before buying the media screen, Remy had spend the better part of the afternoon information gathering. Heíd done most of that by sticking to the shadows, as he knew any appearance he would make would cause a stir and blow the whole point of what he was out to do, since he obviously didnít belong.

He grimaced as he took his shirt off. He could still feel the sutures, even though they had been taken out just before he landed on Chandilar. He cursed Xavier under his breath. Damn him, it was way too early for him to be doing this shit. He should, by all rights, still be in hospital. His day in the shadows brought a lot of pain. He wasnít sure if the Tylenol 3 was going to cut it, but the information he was able to get today proved valuable, so Remy surrendered to the day calling it a fair trade.

From what heíd overheard, Bara Nocta was run by three factions or gangs if you could call them that: the Moratílan, the Caraníthor and the Selítarin. The Moratílan gang, or faction - Remy wasnít sure which to call the as he didnít have enough information on how they operated yet to label them a gang, yet. Plus, Remy knew how much he hated it when someone referred to his guild as a gang - held the most power. They were led by a man called Toríkol, the man Remy had seen the night before in the restaurant. Bara Nocta was his territory; he controlled its market, its infrastructure, and the local enforcement. It had taken Toríkol the better part of seven hundred and fifty years to establish his position through what sounded like a pretty gruesome ígangí war, leaving over 8, 000, 000 Shiíar dead. In his ascension to power, Toríkol was able to form a very tenuous peace between the three factions. Datís why dere was no fightiní in that restauraní even tíough de air was tíick with tension. He had formed a counsel of leaders, i.e. the three gang leaders and their advisors, to help maintain that peace. However, Remy knew that it was just a way to placate the other gangs - false reassurance that they still had some power. Remy also knew that this ípeaceí would only last for so long until the other two factions became dissatisfied and power hungry. Remy was also able to ascertain that his presence was disconcerting to all of the ígangsí, especially to Toríkol. In fact, the counsel was meeting this evening to discuss his being in Bara Nocta. Remy had half expected this. Well, maybe not even that much. He had expected to be scrutinized; he realized that people would keep a wary watch on him; he knew heíd have to keep it low key for the first little bit. However, he hadnít expected that this counsel would be meeting to discuss him, especially so soon. His Guild training told him that heíd have to find a more legitimate reason to be in Bara Nocta than just íexperiencing the real Chandilar.í

Remy was not very pleased. From all that heíd overheard today, he knew he was going to be here a lot longer than he wanted to be. Lilandra wanted Remy to re-establish her rule in Bara Nocta, but more importantly, she wanted him to stop the spread of Toríkolís power outside of the region. Remy knew it was going to be a long process and now it just got longer. Cíest un cauchemar. He decided that he would have to talk to Lilandra soon, except he wasnít sure of how he was going to manage that. He was wary of leaving the district, as his movement was sure to be noticed. The thief was positive that he was being watched, his comings and goings being recorded. But he needed to brief Lilandra. He also wanted to send a message to his father to explain his whereabouts, as he hadnít had the opportunity to do so. For all he knew, his father thought him to still be in hospital. Heíd also need to make it clear to the Majestrix that he would need to suspend all contact with her, the X-men or any person not of Bara Nocta until it was safe for him to do so again - if it would ever be. Merde!

Daiímon was sweating bullets. Toríkol had called him into his office wanting a preliminary report on their investigations on the Terran. So far he had nothing and Toríkol would not look kindly on failure. Daiímon realized his leg was shaking. He looked up at the lady managing the communications relay, wondering if sheíd noticed his nervous behavior. Good, he thought, sheís not even looking at me. Daiímonís heard sank as she looked up, made eye contact with him, and made the best sympathetic smile she could. Damn. He would almost prefer the meeting with Toríkol to the waiting for it. Perhaps this was one of Toríkolís tactics - have whoever he was meeting sit and wait for him, letting them sit and focus on their anxiety, thus making Toríkol appear all the more superior for the actual meeting. And if that was indeed the case, it was working.

Daiímonís thoughts were interrupted as the woman sitting at the communications relay announced that Toríkol was ready for him now. Finally! Daiímon tugged at his clothes, smoothed them over with his hands, and took a long, deep breath before opening the door to Toríkolís office.

When Daiímon entered, he found Toríkol sitting behind his desk. His office was dimly lit as the curtains to the long, large windows were drawn, despite the fact that the suns hadnít set yet. Toríkolís right hand man, Hníra, was sitting in a chair to the side of Toríkol. Hníra, Daiímon thought, was the perfect image of what an enforcer should be. He had a large build, a square face, his jaw tightly clenched. His feathers were slicked back and he wore black - a color reserved for the royal family - the total sum of his profile being quite effectively intimidating. Perhaps that was the idea. Daiímon folded his hands nervously in front of him.

As Hníra kept a steady glare on Daiímon, Toríkol raised his head and motioned silently for Daiímon to sit. He had barely gotten in his seat when Hníra asked, "Well!"

Daiímon looked at Toríkol respectfully and gave a nervous nod. "Uh, well, uh...unfortunately our investigations have not brought up much so far."

Toríkol raised an eyebrow, "How so?" His words were slow and calm.

Could the Maratílan leader tell that Daiímon was sweating bullets? He cleared his throat, "Er...well, being a Terran, naturally, we didnít expect him to be in any records, which he wasnít, so we still donít have his background."

"Weíve had Terrans on this planet before," Hníra spat.

"Uh, quite correct you are," he responded. "B...but itís the X-men that have been here, y...you know, those people with the Majestrixís consort?"

"And did you check to see if this Terran is an X-man?" The calm, cool delivery of Toríkolís words was sending shivers down Daiímonís spine.

"Y...yes, of course that was a given," Daiímon paused. "However, there wasnít anything on the Terran in the X-men databases." Daiímon shrugged, "We donít know who he is."

Toríkol didnít say anything. He was sitting back in his chair, his one hand over his mouth, obviously thinking over what Daiímon had told him. Daiímon chose to take the silence as an opportunity to continue his report as he felt the glare of Hníra continuing to beat down on him. "We...uh...we do have a reconnaissance team monitoring his movements."

"And?" It was Toríkolís smooth voice speaking again.

"Um, our team first spotted him entering the Entertainment Depot where Reia works this afternoon. He bought a rather large media screen. We followed him to see where he was bringing it." He looked at Toríkol, looking for permission to continue. Once he had it, he spoke again, "He took it to Reiaís apartment; it looks as though heís living there. He might be her new roommate."

The look on Toríkolís face was calm and collected, but Daiímon could tell that this piece of news disturbed his master. He had a soft spot for Reia; he liked her, wanted to protect her. He saw her as pure and uncorrupt, trying to make an honest way in a dishonest society. He had respect for that. And now this alien they knew nothing about was living in her apartment. Daiímon didnít know whether to take Toríkolís silence for good or bad. At least he wasnít shouting like a lunatic at the news, but the fact that Toríkol was mulling over his report for this long was really disconcerting. The air was heavy. Daiímon began to sweat again.

"Thank you, for telling me this." The words were hollow, calculated, cold. "You will continue your surveillance of this Terran and report your findings to me every thirty-six hours."

Did this mean that Toríkol was satisfied with his efforts? Was his report sufficient? Would there be hell to pay for not finding out who this alien was? And maybe he should have left the bit about him living with Reia out. No, it was probably for the best that he did inform Toríkol of it; otherwise Daiímon would not be in good standing at all if Toríkol found out from some other source. Yes, he did the right thing, he reassured himself. Then Toríkol told him that he could leave, and Daiímon nodded and got out of that office as fast as he could, lest his leader change his mind.

As he walked out of the office building and onto one of the nicer streets in Bara Nocta, he noticed LaiíNal walking towards the district that Reia lived in. Was she going to Reiaís? Probably - werenít they best friends? He wondered if LaiíNal would know anything about this alien. Daiímon contemplated jogging and catching up to speak to LaiíNal about the stranger before she got to where she was going, but then decided against it. He had already had a busy day. It could wait until tomorrow. Besides, if she was in fact going to Reiaís, sheíd probably know a little more about the Terran by the morning. Yes, Daiímon would let her go for now.

Instead of following LaiíNal, Daiímon watched her turn a corner and disappear. He then turned towards Marínanís Diner. There was always hot gossip there, and Daiímon thought that, after a dayís hard work, he deserved to treat himself to a drink.


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