Sunday June 8th, 2014

The exercise:

Before we get too far into the month I figured we'd better make a return trip to Vancouver Irrealis.

Enjoyed a slow and restful day off. Went to the park with Max this morning, napped in the afternoon, and had a picnic dinner at the beach this evening with my family and Maja (Genevieve was out with an aunt who lives in town).

Back at it tomorrow.


Tristam rose instinctively, his eyes searching for an exit or at least a half decent hiding spot. Finding nothing suitable, he began to sweat and had to force himself to breathe normally. Then his gaze landed on Rewand, who was regarding him with a poorly disguised smile and, by all appearances, absolutely no panic, and he forced himself to sit back down.

Voices, speaking in hurried whispers, preceded Anne-Marie and the late night visitor's entrance to the room. To Tristam's desperately untrained ear they sounded nearly indistinguishable from each other, though he was fairly certain the new arrival was male.

Seconds later his hunch proved to be correct.

"Terpe, this is Tristam," Anne-Marie said as she extended an arm in Tristam's direction. "He is a guest from the other side, and not of his choosing."

Terpe was an inch or two taller than Anne-Marie and carried twenty or thirty pounds more weight, all of it muscle. He wore a long black coat, the tails of which brushed the tops of his equally black combat boots. Dark eyes beneath closely cropped red hair studied Tristam with great interest.

"Oh Marie, how did you get yourself tangled up in yet another mess?" Terpe gave her a hard clap on the back before making his way over to where Tristam was sitting. For a reason he couldn't quite explain, Tristam took an immediate disliking to the man. "Hello there, Trouble."

"It's Tristam, actually." Ignoring the gloved hand waiting in the air between them, he didn't remember to be annoyed by the new version of his name. "To what do I owe this... pleasure?"

"Have a seat, Terpe." Rewand's words cut through a suddenly frosty silence. "We have much to discuss." Turning to Tristam he added, "Terpe is on our side, for all that he wears the uniform of the Icepol. He has been an incredibly useful source of information that I would otherwise have no possible way to access."

"And you trust him because...?" Tristam gave the newcomer his most skeptical look. It was received with a dismissive sneer.

"We trust him," Anne-Marie replied, "because he is my brother."


Greg said...

I was going to remind you about Vancouver Irrealis this week actually! Glad you beat me to it, and nice work on introducing the visitor. Great choice of name, and it's definitely intriguing that he works for the Icepol too....

Tristram struggled to smile as his thoughts raced with all the television shows he'd seen where someone being family didn't stop them being a traitor; it just made it easier for them because they were trusted already even though they'd done nothing to earn it. Finally he pushed the thoughts down, reminding himself that he was a stranger here, and possibly one in trouble as well. With the Icepol, he couldn't help but think.
"You're being very quiet," said Anne-Marie, studying him with cool eyes. Terpe picked up the drink left on the tray and tasted it. He stuck his tongue out, obviously unhappy that it was cold.
"You said I should avoid the Icepol," said Tristram. Terpe put the cup down on the tray, and Rewand picked it up and hurried off to the kitchen.
"You should," he said. "Up to... huh, maybe three months ago, you'd have done better to come and find us. We'd have helped get you back, we had a list of people who'd gone over to your side that we wanted back. Usually criminals, but not always. Then... huh, things changed. The Chief Constable, Lebarette... huh, maybe not yet. But things changed, and now we've got orders to arrest and detain people from your side. There's a station out on the island where you get taken to. It might be a detention camp–"
"Don't scare him, Terpe." Rewand's voice was a sharp snap in the quiet apartment. He offered a cup to Terpe, and the liquid in it was steaming now.
"I don't see how he can't be scared," said Terpe. He sipped the drink and smiled. "I'd be itsh-scared if I were him."
Tristram shivered, not sure if Terpe wasn't enjoying this.
Anne-Marie sat down next to him and laid a hand on his shoulder. "Look," she said, "we're going to help you, even Terpe. He was like this growing up too, never knew when to shut up and let people get on with things. He's just a big all-know-it really." She cocked her head to the side and smiled.
Rewand snorted, and Tristram forced himself to smile back, wondering just what kind of a mess he'd got into here. No-one seemed to be quite sane anymore, and they were all family. He was just waiting now for someone to pull out a banjo and start playing what they thought was a folksy tune, and then maybe he'd wake up from this nightmare....
"So, tell us what you've learned, Terpe," said Rewand.

morganna said...

Sorry I missed May. Last month is one big blur of busyness ...
Terpe answered slowly. "About three months ago, instead of helping the people who came over accidentally, we thought, we received orders to arrest all newcomers. I also started noticing that Icepol guys were disappearing. And not the troublemakers, either, huh. These were the leaders, the fearless ones, the ones you'd want on your side in a fight."

Tristram shifted uncomfortably. A thought had just come to him. Terpe smiled at him ironically and continued. "I suspect that our government is setting your world up for an overtake."

Marc said...

Greg - I like the little 'huh' affectation you slipped into Terpe's dialogue. And Tristam's reaction in the opening paragraph seems very realistic.

The teasing hint of something up with the Chief Constable was deftly done :)

Morganna - no worries! I'm just happy to see you rejoining us this month :)

That's an interesting extension on what Greg began. I shall have a ponder and see where things should go next month...