Some independent she was, asking some random person off the streets to hold her hand all the way to the center of the island. She pulled her hair back with one hand quickly, slipping a band around it to hold the thing in place and keep it out of her eyes. Anything she could remember of what she passed would mean not having to see it twice, a useful trait when you were looking for something. But her memory was not the sharpest, so she would just have to do her best to try and catch the important things at present.
Every moment she had spent actually in Voya so far made her less fond of it, and already she was beginning to doubt her thoughts that her brother had anything to do with the place. Terre didn't really think that she would simply bump into him one day, but if she could find a trail at any place, that could be useful. She just needed some place to start, and after two years of looking that still seemed to evade her.
But she couldn't just get caught up in the numbers of things, the statistical probabilities that proved without a shadow of a doubt she had no hope. She would have to find a place to stay here in the city, since the whole island was completely urbanized; people didn't typically like her sleeping around in parks, but she would do it if she had to. If she could just find a potter or woodcarver to let her work, then things could end well, but she was beginning to wonder if such earthy professions even existed in a place like this.
Bogged down by it all, Terre asked Marnie the same question she was considering at the moment, "Will you leave once you can?"
Marnie's hand reached almost absentmindedly up to her throat, tracing the simple leather lines of her necklace down to the button at the bottom of the loop. They toyed carefully around the button for a few precious seconds, her eyes lost in thought, barely noticing anything. Though some form of instinct guided her lithely through the crowd, even lost in thought. The button, she reflected, was a symbol of hope, her father had said. That some things in this world were good, and that good deeds were repaid in kind.
Was that why she was helping this stranger? Her father had always been the kind one. She was sarcastic, vicious, like her mother. But he'd always held out a hope for something better. Her hand drifted down to her pockets, leaving the button alone. "Oi vey, I hope so. Though the mainlands don't sound like a fun place to be. The Korin and Stamarian's are going to burn the world down if they keep up their feud."
She slowed and glanced over to the girl. "Howzers about you?" She asked with a crooked grin. "Have some rough-and-ready time with your Voyan man-slave, then off to the high seas again?"
Terre laughed richly at the comment, almost wishing it could be true for a moment. That notion seemed a lot easier, and certainly more pleasurable, than what she was currently enduring. Hopefully someday she could say that about her brother, that she knew where he was and that he was waiting for her; all she had to do was go meet him. What an idea that would be. The woman had been more helpful than Terre had originally thought she would be, so she phrased her response with the beginnings to undo her first, white lie, "Sometimes he's not always where I want him to be." Well, that was true, even if misleading.
She flexed her toes slightly on the smooth metal surface, trying with all her might to feel something out of the area--anything at all. Whatever this place was made out of, she had no control over it, and it still made her stomach quiver uneasily. Marnie had said the park was a fair walk away, but hopefully it wasn't too long. Terre changed the subject instead of thinking about it more, "Did you leave the mainland because the Stamarians ruined business for you?" There was more than a bit of bitterness in those words, but if Marnie said it were the Korin's fault instead it would be much the same. Maybe Woren had been right; every time she tried to run it always felt like they were still looming behind her on the horizon.
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2012 23:24:14 GMT -5 by Ribitta
Post by Steinerman on Oct 16, 2012 23:53:48 GMT -5
Marnie smiled as her companion laughed, it was a pleasant, refreshing sound, she thought. "There ya go, girlie." She replied, "Now yer getting the hang of it. Smile more, always makes people wonder what you know."
Even as she spoke, she continued to flow through the crowd. One of the first things carnie's learned was how to move quickly in a crowd. Many a gyp and scam involved getting through crowds without being noticed. And frankly, if one went bad, it was always advisable to be able to run away speedily. So she easily flowed through the mass, finding the cracks and crannies and slipping through them. But for once, she kept her pace even, and made sure only to pick a path that her companion could follow through.
Moments later, her keen eyes spotted one of the warf-rats heading towards them, his face scrunched up as he tried to decide if he should just pick their pockets, or try the innocent child scam to get some cash.
As he approached the pair of women, she bumped hard into him, sending him back a few steps. A quick glare and a few split-second facial expressions were exchanged, and then the child retreated back into the crowds. "Eh, kids these days, eyeah?" She questioned brightly, slipping back to her companion's side. "But nah, wasn't any one thing that brought us here, 'cept maybe me da. And now that's all gone to muck." She shrugged easily, pretending as though today wasn't the most painful day she could remember in a long time.
Terre was not nearly as graceful through the throngs, bumping into several people that shot her reproachful looks before she could scamper away. When she wondered if the woman would continue to flow seamlessly around the confrontational child, Terre was slightly surprised to see her bump into the small boy with equal confrontation, sending him off their path. Cities were too uncomfortable for Terre to try and claim any pride in knowing to operate them, and she silently acknowledged that she appreciated having someone like Marnie with her. People who couldn't handle city life ended up living around dumpsters or ending up as a possession. For someone like Terre, that prospect was uncomfortably near.
With a slight grimace, Terre made sure her pace was even with the quick one Marnie was setting. The woman seemed substantially at ease, and Terre felt fine with assuming the woman was probably having a much better day than she was. Well, she had to admit, her own had improved at least a bit since she had gotten over that first shock off the boat, even if it still rattled her. Marnie had been a stroke of luck, and it crossed Terre's mind to actually ask her more about this carnival--maybe it would be useful later, "So what kind of people do you have in your troop? Are they all like you, from Allondell?"
Marnie laughed lightly, the sound a pleasant chime amidst the every-day chatter of passersby. "No such luck, girlie. We're from all over." She answered pleasantly, slowing her pace a bit more. "Got the conjoined twins, girls, 'course. Boys don't do nearly as well. Got the half-Orc, Half-human boy. 'Bout eight leggers," She continued down the list easily, not quite remembering to explain what any of the terminology actually meant. After all, that added to the mystery. And surrounding herself and the carnivale in an aura of mystery was rarely a bad thing.
"Couple dozen rousties, gamesmen and the like as well. Got a Komala fortune-teller, he's a treasure. Cute as a button and not too shabby at the actual future-sight, either." She shook her head, whispers of her earlier laughter still tinging her voice. "Eyeah, and that's just the plain group. Though don't tell the leggers I said they were plain, aight? Some of our better acts, we've got an Elven Imaginist, y'know, the guys who can make what's in your imagination sort of . . . wossaname, visible? Real? Like a theatre-man, with magic."
Finding a relatively open path between two rows of boxes, she spun on her heels and began walking backwards, looking to her companion. "You should see us, some time. We put on quite the show. 'Specially the acrobats."
Last Edit: Oct 17, 2012 2:20:24 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Terre wasn't exactly sure how interested she really was in the whole thing, but she pressed on anyway, still weaving through the crowd with Marnie and still doing a less than average job. "Do you perform?" she asked inquisitively, curious what this woman's talent could be. Was she a mage in disguise? Perhaps a contortionist? Maybe she spoke with animals--Terre had heard of that happening before, though she hadn't believed it at the time.
Glancing to her side, Terre noticed that they were leaving the commerce area and breaking into what appeared to be a residential district. Most of the large shirtless men had vanished, mostly a relief to the girl, and the streets seemed to widen a bit and fall off in density. Breathing for what felt like the first time in a while, Terre relaxed her shoulders a bit now that they were no longer surrounded by people on all sides.
Post by Steinerman on Oct 17, 2012 22:21:24 GMT -5
Marnie blinked, the question was so simple, it should have been easy to answer. A day ago, she'd have easily been able to reply with a casual, "I run the second ring. Sort of a . . . thingamabob, lieutenant, supervisor."
But now . . . "I help out, here and there. Handy girl to have around. I dazzle people with my smile." She once again demonstrated her smile, eyes alight with forced amusement. She quickly spun and resumed a normal pace, hiding her eyes, the laughter dropping from them and showing only sadness, not something for others to see. "Eyeah," She added on seconds later, her tone still light. "Handy girl to have around, me."
Terre glanced at her while they walked, a look of slight disappointment crossing her face, "You don't... perform, then?" She had somewhat hoped to know what this woman's talents might be, but either she didn't have any or she didn't feel like telling her. Terre couldn't completely blame her; she had her own secrets and she assumed everyone else did.
They were in the residential district, or one of them, anyway, now that she looked around. The metal walk had been covered up by some sort of stone that felt immensely more comfortable than the previous material, and she heaved a small sigh of relief over that. This area was, indeed, much more pleasant than the last one they had come from. The water was quickly passing out of sight, and she caught the sight of a park over on her left down the road a bit. Part of her wanted to just go run after it and dig her toes into the dirt, but she resisted for the time being. Well, at least things could only get better after the harbor.
Marnie's feet speedily made the turn to the left, heading for the park as she caught sight of it. Had they really walked that far? Or had she just misremembered the distance to it? Bah, her mind wasn't in the most coherent of states, this day, and that was before the head-bonk of pain. She practically twirled as she moved, barely missing a pair of Voyan women going about . . . whatever it was that normal women went about.
Ignoring their dirty glares, she shrugged, "Eyeah, jack-of-all-trades, that's me." She said, her tone holding the barest hint of defensiveness. "Bit of a dancer." She added with an absentminded twirl of her fingers in the air. "though not like the leggers." She quickly amended a moment later. "Eyeah, I love the gels, but never been a legger, can't stand being nice to scumbags."
Realizing she'd gotten sidetracked, she twisted half-way to look at her companion. "Sorry, girlie, I'm not exactly what you'd call a slam-dance performer, eyeah?"
The girl's expression brightened as she realized they were already headed to the park, though she doubted it was actually the "central" park to the island. It didn't really matter; she wasn't actually meeting someone. That notion disappointed her to no end. The ground beckoned her, though, and she gladly obliged to walk in its direction, already fantasizing the feeling of the grass between her toes. It looked fairly empty, thankfully, and it wasn't particularly large from what she could see. She just needed to find something natural, that's all.
It hadn't really seemed like the two of them had really found anything to talk about yet, so she continued to prod the topic forwards from where it had already begun to stagnate, "A dancer, huh? Maybe you can teach me, sometime." She doubted it, but that wasn't the point.
Post by Steinerman on Oct 26, 2012 22:01:24 GMT -5
Marnie blinked. She was indeed a dancer, not an amazing one, by any means. But the carnivale had taught her many things, and a form of movement was one of them. But to teach someone else, a non-Carnie, at that. This brought her father's voice slamming into the forefront of her mind, he'd been a large believer in not bowing to rules he thought stupid.
Loyalty to the carnivale was important to him, but wouldn't have stopped him from helping a non-carnie. The button around her neck was a solemn promise of that, she recalled him telling her.
Besides, as the child of an Actor and a Roustie, she couldn't be a complete believer in the "Only show kindness to other Carnie's" rule. She was the product of one of the worst sins of the carnivale, the mixing of the two components. After that, there was almost nothing "too" heinous for her to attempt. Up to and including showing kindness to those who were generally referred to as "Marks".
"Eyeah, I could try, if you like. We don't have much else to do, 'round these parts." She replied with a pained smile, the memories of her father coming to light had been bittersweet, at best. "This place has no open spots to ply our trade. Half me guys get in trouble with the copppers, the other half just sit around, trying to figure out how to have a show with no room."
Belatedly she realized she'd said "Me guys". A term a Ring-Master might use, denoting a sort of possessiveness over the others. She blinked again, somewhere in her mind she'd already solemnly accepted the fact that she was in charge. "Oi vey", she muttered.
Her guys? Was that an intentional little slip there? If it wasn't, Terre didn't want the other woman to know she had caught it. It would make sense of she was in charge, though she still couldn't know for certain, not that it even mattered much for her anyway. With an offhand shrug, the girl responded easily, "I've always wanted to learn to dance; don't know how good I'd be at it. Why can't you pitch at a place like this, though?" What did matter was that the park was practically upon them, and Terre almost skipped with joy onto the grass, her toes digging between the blades that tickled the bottom of her feet.
It didn't feel right, but it was grass for certain. Even as she said her last words, she realized that it was a silly question. The park was not particularly large by any means, and most of it was already covered in city-made structures ranging from children's toys to benches. Glancing around, the girl made sure no one was watching closely, and she bent down a moment later onto her knees, placing her hands into the grass as well and closing her eyes, opening them a moment later.
A plant, small like the park, had budded between the blades of grass, and while its strangled existence echoed Terre's own feelings right then, for a moment it felt good to be on ground again, even if the whole place was still artificial.
"Well, it's tiny, it's got a creep vibe to it due to the slight wossaname, fakey-ness." Marnie began listing off the reasons for her group not setting up in the park, counting on her fingers as she did so. "Oh, and because of them." And here she nodded towards a pair of uniformed officers heading their way. "Some of 'em are nice, most just have a burning dislike of me, eyeah?"
She gave the approaching officers an elaborate bow that again seemed to include far more hand-twirling and random twitching of the feet than seemed possible. "Morning, guvs. Just showing a tourist the park, no worries, me, eyeah?"
The leader of the officers gave Marnie a look caught somewhere between confusion, suspicion and complete distrust, but looked politely to Terre. "Ma'am? Is the vagrant bothering you? They hang around the docks looking for tourists to scam. We can remove her and point you in the direction of an official tour guide, if you wish."
Terre stood up quickly and covered her flower shoot with one of her feet, worried that the officer would give her trouble for it. He hadn't said anything yet, but her experience with local authorities wasn't the greatest. You could say it was the opposite of that, in fact. In Stamarian territory, if they weren't try to eyeball or fondle her, then they had been trying to throw her into the back of a prison car. "No," she said quickly, twisting her foot to kill the thing she had just grown like a teen trying to hide a cigarette butt, "she's just showing me the countryside, you know?"