Title: Tunnel Vision
Description: [Missy Chryssy]
Andrezi Damask - April 24, 2011 03:32 AM (GMT)
Drez and his men had been assigned to patrol the Refugee Quarter. For the time-being, anyway. They had been hearing reports. Unconfirmed, of course, but reports nonetheless. Most of them were coming from Maristheum's Refugee Quarter, but they were being cautious. Reports of gatherings, meetings. Murmurings. Something was apparently going on.
Or maybe people were just making it all up. Who knew?
If anyone did, it wasn't Drez. He didn't know much, actually. Almost nothing. All he knew was that his name was Andrezi Damask, and that he was a sergeant in the Escovan Army. Other than that, it was all gray.
Except for maybe the fact that somebody was watching him. He turned to see an old lady more or less glaring at him as he walked by her. As a rule, soldiers were supposed to be obvious when they patrolled the slums. To discourage ne'er-do-wells and delinquents from doing anything stupid while they were around. However, as any idiot knew, that tended to inspire the bigger fish to do stupid things because the soldiers were around.
He did his best to ignore the old lady as he kept walking, but he couldn't help eventually looking at h--
He stopped in his tracks. She wasn't there anymore. She was gone. Damn, she must have been fast. Either that or . . .
Drez looked all around him, but she wasn't anywhere in sight. Where did she go? She had just been there. He saw a young woman nearby, who, he was pretty sure (which obviously didn't mean much, given what just happened/didn't happen) had been there since he noticed the old lady. He approached her.
"Hello. Sorry to bother you. Did you happen to see an older woman just over there, about a minute ago?" He pointed to the stool the old woman had (allegedly) been seated on.
Chryssa Xanthopoulos - April 24, 2011 04:12 AM (GMT)
Chryssa was humming a soft tune while she hung their laundry. She had taken to do a few other people's laundry as well, free of charge. It was a way of ensuring her clothes weren't stolen, because everyone would be keeping an eye on the line, because they all had clothes up there. Maybe that was a little tricky of her, a little dishonest to use other refugees paranoia to her own advantage.
But she hadn't lost any clothes since starting this little experiment. And neither had anyone else. So even if it was underhanded, it was at least a win win sort of situation.
Her humming was interrupted by a man speaking to her, and she blushed as she started to pick out the words. It was still difficult, teaching herself to think in Escovan instead of her own native tongue. But she was working on it.
Maybe, if she became particularly good in Escovan, she could move her and her father out of the refugee district, even… Dreams for another day.
"Ah. I think I know who you're talking about." She admitted. "Not friendly. She cannot speak Escovan." Even Chryssa's Escovan was rather broken, something that had her rather self-conscious. "Was she doing something?"
Andrezi Damask - April 24, 2011 04:19 AM (GMT)
He, being very perceptive and observant and aware of other people's feelings and reactions and such, didn't even notice in the least that the girl had blushed when he spoke to her. Nor would he have much cared, to be brutally honest. Having been in the refugee quarter the past couple of days, he was getting used to the way they all had trouble with Escovan, so he didn't really notice that either.
"No. Well. Yes. She was . . . watching me." It was more than that, though. There had just been something about the way she was watching him. Scrutinizing, maybe. "Which I suppose is fine. But then I turned away for a second, and she was . . . well, she wasn't there anymore."
Usually he didn't talk this much. To anyone (besides pesky viscounts who pester him about his life and his country). But he was a little spooked by this old woman, so he was talking.
Which one wouldn't think of as Drez's way to deal with such a thing.
Chryssa Xanthopoulos - April 25, 2011 06:48 PM (GMT)
Watching him? Had it been any old woman other than the one she suspected he was referring to, Chryssa would have assumed she was looking for a native husband for a daughter or granddaughter. A lot of the old ladies did that, insisting that life would be better, that they'd be more accepted if they had a husband from Escova.
Maybe it was true. Maybe they would be. But Chryss knew that old coot didn't have any unmarried grandchildren. Plus she was usually the one griping up a storm about Escovans and particularly their soldiers. She ran a hand through her dark hair.
"If you're wanting to talk to her, I can take you where she lives. Just be nice to her children and grandchildren. They're good people." There was a firmness to her voice despite her still being relatively unfamiliar with the language. "But if you want there soon, I need help hanging these clothes."
Andrezi Damask - April 25, 2011 11:45 PM (GMT)
He had almost thanked her and asked her to lead the way, but then she had a condition.
She needed help. Hanging clothes.
He hoped there weren't any under-garments that he might accidentally come across and then inevitably fumble and then he wouldn't ever be able to talk to this girl again. Which would be unfortunate, because, let's be honest here, she was attractive.
Even Drez thought so.
"Okay," he said, sounding a bit uncertain, but went over to the clothes she was hanging. And then he looked at them.
Chryssa Xanthopoulos - April 26, 2011 08:25 PM (GMT)
Chryssa was hanging another shirt on her own when she realized the soldier wasn't doing anything. Did the military here not teach men to clean and hang their own clothing? "Take that shirt and these clasps. Hang them by the shoulder. Like this, see?" She said, offering him a smile.
"I'll be able to finish faster if you and your men help me out, which means I can take you to the old lady's house a lot faster." It also meant that she could do the other work she had picked up today. Maybe even pick up another job or two... it was win-win, as far as Chryssa was concerned.
Andrezi Damask - April 27, 2011 02:54 AM (GMT)
"Oh," he said in response to her instructions, and then did as he was told. Then he did it again. Maybe he would get the hang of this yet.
His men were likely somewhere in the vicinity, but he'd have to actually have good reason to take them from their patrol duties. If just he helped, then it would probably be fine. He most likely wouldn't get in trouble for that.
"I'll help, but I don't think it would be a good idea if my men did as well. My superiors probably wouldn't like that." Normal people might have said it regretfully or apologetically. Drez just said it matter-of-factly. He hung another shirt, avoiding all other articles of clothing, simply because he knew how to hang shirts now, but not necessarily the other clothes.
Though, really, he could just look at how she had already hung them, but he was afraid of something being lost between observing and actually doing it.
Chryssa Xanthopoulos - April 30, 2011 06:59 PM (GMT)
Chryssa shrugged. "All right." She agreed easily, though she chuckled softly when she realized what he was doing. Hanging only the shirts. The trousers and skirts weren't touched.
No matter. That was an entire section of clothing she didn't have to hang. Moving down the line, Chryssa hung almost everything else, a clothes pin constantly in her mouth as she continued.
Even with only this one man helping, she got finished quite a bit faster than she would have otherwise. "All right, just give me one second." Grabbing the basket, Chryss balanced it on her hip and went to the little shack she was living in - it was nicer than some of the others, but it was still just a shack.
"Papa, watch the clothes, okay? The stole one of my dresses last week, I can't afford to make a new one." She spoke to her father in their native tongue, kissing the old man on the cheek and handing him the basket before she turned back to the soldier.
"He can't speak Escovan." She explained, then waved for him to follow her. "Most of the older people here can't. You can talk to them all day but if you don't know the language they speak, you're pretty much talking to yourself."
Andrezi Damask - May 5, 2011 02:53 AM (GMT)
He noticed that she had chuckled at him, but he pretended not to. No sense making himself more uncomfortable than he already was.
Before he knew it, they were finished and she was taking the basket back to her house to hand something to a man whom Drez assumed to be her father. That was the obvious conclusion. Good job, Drez.
Then she was talking to him again. He nodded as he moved to follow her. That made sense. Not that he was overly friendly and talked to old people all the time--mostly he tried to avoid them, actually--but he could see how it made sense.
"Are there many different languages in the Refugee District?" he asked as he followed along beside her, his hands clasped behind his back, in a particularly soldier-like fashion. He'd heard plenty of refugees talking to each other, but he couldn't tell the difference between one language and another; he only knew one language, after all. He assumed that there were a few different languages, but maybe not a lot.
But he had a tendency to be dead wrong about a lot of things.
Chryssa Xanthopoulos - May 20, 2011 06:18 AM (GMT)
"There are." Chryssa admitted. "Living in Kasi City like I did, I heard a lot of languages growing up. Including Escovan. My father, he owned a tailoring business, so the merchants, they'd always come to our shop to order new coats or suits or the like… Once my older brother took me to a tavern. There were languages from all over there, and down at the docks…"
She was pretty sure that was how her brother had learned to curse so well, much to their father's displeasure.
"I'm not really sure how many there are. But if you figure with different dialects too, there are probably a lot. But the old lady you're looking for, she's from Kasi as well. Speaks a different dialect, but we can understand each other fine. Even if she doesn't much like me." She smiled at Drez.
"A lot of people here… They don't grasp Escovan so well." She wasn't perfect in it, herself. "But I'm trying my best to learn it."
Andrezi Damask - May 22, 2011 05:23 AM (GMT)
Drez nodded as she explained. So there were a lot, then. It had all sounded the same to him. Trying to pick up on all the different languages--not to mention dialects--was very difficult, especially for someone like Drez, who was not exactly . . . social.
When she mentioned the old lady, Drez was a bit surprised, but not enough that it showed (it probably wouldn't, anyway, but you never know). He had a hard time believing that anyone could not like this girl. She was nice. She seemed smart. She was pretty. She had a pretty smile.
What? It was just casual observation. Don't look at him like that.
"You speak Escovan well, actually." A compliment. That was a rare thing to be found coming out of Drez's mouth, even one so mild. "How long have you been here, in Escova?"
Chryssa Xanthopoulos - June 10, 2011 04:43 AM (GMT)
He didn't seem to talk much. Chryssa glanced at the man out of the corner of her eye, smiling a little as she led him down the dirt and mud street - attempting, at least a little, to stay out of the deep mud. He was strange. He seemed interested in what she was saying, but at the same time he was so quiet and aloof.
She wasn't used to working so hard at conversation.
Still, the compliment made Chryssa smile widely. "You think so? I haven't been here long... A few months, maybe. My dad and I... we lost my brother in the war at home, and I thought we could start a new life here. But I'd picked up a bit of Escovan well before we left home... Since then I've just been working at it as hard as I can. If this is going to be my home, I should probably know the language, hm?"
Andrezi Damask - June 11, 2011 12:40 AM (GMT)
He nodded as she explained. "Yes, that would probably help." It was supposed to be said with a sarcastic inflection, but Drez didn't have one of those. He waited a second or two before adding, "I'm . . . sorry about your brother." He wasn't, not really, but he felt the need to say it. There was a very simple reason why he wasn't sorry: he didn't know her brother. There was nothing else to it, really.
How could he be sorry about the death of someone he didn't know?