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I Finally Cut My Fucking Hair

There hasn't been any excitement since me and Cable lit off. But this morning I cut my hair. The white part just kept growing, and it looked stupid. So I hacked it off with some cheap scissors I got at a rest stop. Cable almost keeled over when he saw. He's reading into it a little too much.

It's very short now. I'm still not used to it, since I've had my hair more or less the same length all my life. And having it so short makes my face look funny. But at least I haven't got some strange two-toned hair anymore. Still. I'm starting to really miss the black. I liked it.

Driving in a speedster is a horrendous experience. Speedsters only seat two, and unlike caravans, which can withstand missile attacks, they're built for speed rather than durability. And they rattle. As you can imagine, roads out here are marish. You've got the lightwalls and everything, but sand and dirt gets everywhere. And in a speedster, you feel every single fucking grain. I'm sore all over, and Cable (who is, you might remember, basically one big bandage) is in some serious pain.

We're resting at a fairly big rest stop now, and there're a lot of people. It isn't the vacation season, but you still get more people up by the Lake. It's unnerving to have people around all the time. I don't like it, but Cable doesn't want me to sleep out in the speedster. So I'm stuck sharing a cubicle with him, and hearing the sounds of all the other people in apartment as if they were right in there with us. Not that there was anything graphic, but still. I don't like it. I'm ready to leave. We're going to get across the bridge sometime in the next two days.

I wonder how Jevvy, the Chief, and Sleeping Beauty are doing. I wish Jevvy was here. I don't trust Cable to fix up my hair.
We left the rest camp early, and started moving North. We're driving up along the Fiend River, since we should hit a bridge taking us across. The Fiend's too wide for there to be too many bridges.

Cable's been really quiet today. He wasn't sleeping, and he wasn't talking. Cable is always doing one of these things. Sometimes he'd reach over and ruffle my hair or pat my shoulder. I think he thinks that us leaving is some sort of big dramatic experience for me. Splinter. He's watched way too many operas.

My hair looks stupid. The white's getting longer every day, it seems like, and it just looks... stupid. Where am I going to find some fucking die? Well, things are supposed to get pretty populated up by the lake. Suberis just love tourists. So maybe I can get dye there.

I drew a basic map of the area, so you can have some damn idea what the place looks like.

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I'm Rehobam. That'd be the heart-shaped end of nowhere section. We're renowned for our agricultural gifts. Ha. Ha ha.

We Leave

Today ended up being very... interesting. More so than last night, even, when Sleeping Beauty prodded me awake and we had some sort of a conversation (I know her name is Laura now. I'd sell the name to the Meada, but I don't think they'd believe me).

I actually missed the real excitement. We stopped when the sun came up to get out of that pitted caravan. I walked off behind the rest stop (a lovely little cement shack with a lovely view of absolutely nothing and with a few tired racks of chip bags inside) to pee. The caravan was parked away from the rest stop, since we're all paranoid now, and I could see the caravan from the front of the stop. I was walking back around to the caravan when I saw Cable suddenly stumble out of the carriage door, practically killing himself in his rush to get out of there. I stopped, watching him hit the dirt and fall to his hands and knees. He scrambled a few feet forward like that, before he worked himself up to stand on his two legs. At that point he looked up and saw me.

He was breathing hard, and his eyes were staring out of his head. He came running over to me, tripping over his feet. I just stood and watched him come. No one else was coming out of the carriage. No one else was coming out of the carriage.

"Erik!" Cable staggered up to me and practically fell on top of me. I grunted. "Erik, I swear I wasn't doing anything. I was just sleeping and she started screaming at me, and then yelling... yelling... but I don't know her... I don't..."

I patted his back awkwardly, trying to ease us both to the ground because Cable is a lot taller than I am and is a full-grown man, and Jevvy's accused me of being tiny just to trick people into a false sense of security. Cable's too big to drape over anyone, particularly me.

"Easy, Cable, easy." I said, trying to subtley wriggle out of the grip he had around my shoulders. "She just got up, she's probably all confused."

He shook his head into my neck. That isn't nearly as comfortable as sappy mags make it out to be (not that I read the sappy mags. I absolutely don't. Jevvy used to buy them for me when we were at Terratira, but I didn't read them. Really. Ever.). "She wasn't screaming at anyone else! Just me! I don't know her, Erik, I swear I don't! And Jevvy just looked at me..." he was making heavy-breathing noises, and I hoped he wasn't crying on me. That'd be even worse.

No one was coming out of the caravan. I was waiting for Jevvy to come out, and to just tell me what the hell was going on since Cable was hardly being articulate, but nothing happened. What did happen was I saw Shiloh slowly come out, stare over at me, and then disappear around the back of the caravan.

Then I got mad.

"Cable." I said steadily, putting my hands on his arms. "Get up."

He leaned back and looked blearily into my face. "What? What're you going to do?"

"We're leaving. Come on. Get up." As I spoke, Jevvy got out of the caravan too. He didn't even look over. Fine. He followed Shiloh back around the caravan. They seemed to be having some sort of conference together. Cable slid off me, and I stood up.

There wasn't much around. But the store owner did have a caravan. He was still snoozing behind the till. and his speedster was hooked up to the back of it. Speedsters are easy to run. Once you get into them, all you do is pull levers.

I can get into speedsters. My brother had one, and it was practically ritual to break into is whenever he was out of the camp. Cable got into the car somehow, though he could barely walk straight.

Jevvy doesn't need a Chief anymore. Well, maybe he does, but he's obviously found a better one. Fine. But I'm not going to stick around. He's found someone else to take care of him. So we just drove off.

I don't know what time it is. We're at another rest stop, one with boxes. We're going to head into the Cities. Sleeping Beauty isn't going to give me any information that I didn't hear already from Shiloh. So I'm going to try and find out who killed Spector. That should be something. Cable's sleeping in the back of the car, and I feel exhausted. That's all for now. We're going to head to the Cities tomorrow morning.

Sleeping Beauty Wakes Up

I was sleeping in the back of the caravan while Shiloh was driving last night, when I felt someone nudging me. I got all ready to kick the shit out of that stupid amnesiac, but Cable wasn't in the back with me (he was napping in the middle section, sprawled out on a bench and talking in his sleep). I looked up, and our Sleeping Beauty girl was leaning out over the edge of her cot, punching me in the arm.

"Hey," she said, sounding sleepy (drugged, I bet). "Where am I?"

"On the road," I said, blinking up at her. "We just blew out of Tescee two days ago."

"Tescee?" she asked.

I dragged myself up to a sitting position. "Yeah. Tescee. The place where you've been sleeping for about four months. You don't know the place?"

"Four months..." she whispered, not really looking at me anymore. "Four months... and I'm not dead?"

"No." How was I supposed to answer a question like that?

"I hurt all over." She muttered, shifting a little on the cot. "What happened?"

I shrugged, though she probably couldn't see that. I was lying on the floor, and the bottom of the carraige's shadowy even in daytime. "You were beat up, and then haven't moved for four months. It makes sense that you'd be sore."

"Who're you?" she asked, waking up properly, apparently.

"Erik." I said. "Who're you?"

"Laura." Sleeping Beauty said. So much for the mystery. "Laura Petrarcha."

"So," I asked, finally waking up myself. "You're in the DA."

She was quiet for a while. I could barely breathe. "Was." she said finally. "Was in the DA. I get the feeling I'm not anymore."

Comprehension dawned. "They did that to you?"

She sighed. "I fucked up really bad. And they don't handle fuck ups. Funny thing is, my fuck up was actually in punishing another fuck up. I guess I took his place." She was quiet for a second. "Why did you guys come and get me?"

My mouth went dry. "Curiosity." My brain supplied. "You've been in the news a lot lately. We wanted to see what the... uh... real story was."

"In the news?" She asked, her voice clearer than it had been. "Huh. That makes sense. Erik, I'm going to sleep. I don't feel like I've slept for four months, that's for sure."

She went back to sleep. I couldn't get back to sleep at all after that. I looked up, and Shiloh hadn't noticed anything. He seemed to be having some sort of intense inner monologue up in the front, and he'd actually pushed the cloth all the way off his head. I could make out a tufty black ponytail through the sheer plate between the driver and the carriage. I made enough noise to let Shiloh know that I was waking up, and he told me curtly (and without turning around, the splinter) that it'd be my turn to drive soon. Well. I wasn't awake enough to prepare any sort of inquisition about the DA to Laura, and now I can't stop thinking about things I want to ask.

It's going to be a long night.

I Still Hate Everyone, As Per Usual

It's been harder than I thought to be mad at everyone in the caravan. I'm not going to come over all drippy and say that I'm sorry for my temper tantrums or whatever it is that Jevvy calls them and then give everyone a huge hug and cry onto their manly and strong shoulders. I'm just saying that the only person I really can talk to without getting annoyed is the passed-out DA girl. Who maybe I should be angry at the most, what with her being DA and everything.

Cable is acting like a big moron. I've been sitting in the back of the caravan lately in stead of the front, and he's taken that as a sort of sign that everything has gone wrong and I must be protected at all costs. Coming from him, this is hilarious. But mostly his idea of protecting me is sitting as close as possible to me, and then falling asleep on me. At least he doesn't drool.

Shiloh hasn't dared to take my old seat (ha ha ha ha), but he does sit up in the front of the carriage, as close to the divide behind the driver's section as possible. I don't think he and Jevvy really talk much, unless they're talking about navigation or something. I don't really care where we're going, and apparently Jevvy doesn't need to consult his Chief anymore for anything. So that's fine. That's okay. I'll just sit in the back with my big puppy dog amnesiac and the unconcious gang member. No problem.

I haven't even looked in a mirror lately. I can't imagine how my hair looks.

Tescee Was a Trap

I don't feel like talking much, so I'm just going to cut out all the adjectives here. We got to Tescee, and it was practically empty. It's a resort town, apparently, and it's too hot this time of year for it to be crowded (i.e. we weren't freaked out by this at the time). We went to the hospital (no one in it except for at the front desk, and she just waved us on), and into 'Sleeping Beauty''s room. She was there... sleeping. We grabbed her stuff (she doesn't need much except food, since she's breathing and everything fine) and wheeled her out. The receptionist was gone. We got outside the hospital, and a good hundred people were there waiting for us. All DA. After a few confused minutes, Jevvy managed to get to the caravan, swing back to pick up me and Shiloh (who were in the thick of it), and drove like a madman while Shiloh and I hung out of windows, slicing. Cable was setting up our new friend in the back. We got out.

Shiloh knew about them, and he told us. He told us why our family is dead. Jevvy's mad at me because I lost it a little in Tescee when the DA showed up, and he's even more mad at me for how I reacted to Shiloh's little bit of news. I'm furious at Jevvy, because apparently Shiloh told him that he knew about the DA, and that's why he let him travel with us.

Now we're just trying to get as far away from Tescee as possible. We take turns driving, so one of us is always behind the wheel. We don't know where we're going.

I hate this whole stupid thing. I hate everyone in this stupid caravan. And I don't really feel like talking about it anymore.

Almost there

Tescee is so close I can almost smell it. I think the caravan's been shrinking or something, and Jevvy keeps yelling at me to stop distracting him while he's driving. Tall splinter.

Shiloh's kept masked and quiet, to the point where the others have noticed. Cable keeps trying to engage him in typical Cable fashion, which means with constant questions. I'm almost feeling warmth towards him, just listening to him interrogating Shiloh. Who's leaving me alone now, finally. My explosion seemed to work. Jevvy must have figured out why Shiloh's no longer my shadow, because if he hadn't, he'd ask about it. But if I had really lost it with the other Chief, that other Chief would be on a stretcher. And as long as I'm not stabbing people, Jevvy rests easy. It must be nice, to live so simply.

The main thing about Suberi land is that there's just more people in it. Tribes, loose ends, etcetera. Suberis are the most friendly out of all the tribal groups to tribeless folk, mainly because Lake Ayas is in their land, and it's the biggest body of water in the country. So it's a big attraction for Cityfolk. Suberis also look different from us. They're paler, and taller, and have longer faces and noses than Rehobams do. They look like tribeless folk, until you see their eyes. They're red, apparently, though I only heard this from Jevvy, and he's unreliable on a good day. I've seen a few camps off the road that seem to be populated by tall, redheaded people, and they were probably tribe, since they were wearing uniforms.

I find I don't really care to investigate them further. They don't factor into my plans at all. Cable's rabidly fascinated of course, but then, that's just how he is.

I pulled out the map today. We should be in Tescee in the next two days. Finally I can get some answers.

Road Trip Continues, Conflict ensues

We've been in Suberi territory for a day. We haven't met many tribes, since they wouldn't be right on the major thoroughfare, but Jevvy's been trying to remember as much Suberi information as he can. He was only a tailor back when we lived with the tribe, but he told Cable that his mother loved stories of other tribes and of old civilizations. I didn't know his mother. I'd probably have recognized her by sight, but I didn't know her. It wasn't my job to know everyone. That was Silica's job. And there were hundreds of people there. And that was only in the central camp. There were even more spread out over all our lands.

Boy, but I sure am feeling nostalgic today. When I start getting weepy and needing a hug, I think I'll need someone to just kill me.

I blame it all on Shiloh. He's still doing that cute thing where he follows me around and asks me questions, but now we're both stuck in the caravan, and even though I'm up front with Jevvy and he's in the back with Cable, he still shouts questions up to me as he thinks of them. I've spent most of the trip pretending to be asleep. I actually do drop off fairly often. But I think I've been absorbing his babble while I sleep, which would explain the dreams I've been having.

I think there's going to have to be a confrontation soon.

edit: Posted later today. I was right. Read more...Collapse )

Shiloh: the Trials Continue

We made a stop today, in a tiny town called "Maplewood" or something. There aren't any woods nearby. I don't think the townspeople even know what a tree looks like. We've been travelling in neutral terrirtory so far, but tomorrow we cross into Suberi land. I've never been outside of Rehobam areas before.

The general store here doesn't have any hair dye.

Shiloh keeps following me around. Cable follows Jevvy, and now the caped crusader follows me. The magnetic power of us Bivroniks is amazing.I very much don't need an entourage, but when I told Shiloh this he just looked at me, said "I am not an entourage", and kept on following me. And asking me questions about my family. I thought he'd gotten the message about asking about them when we met (you know, when I almost stabbed him in the throat), but apparently not. I'll probably be forced to really cut him a little to drive the point (no pun intended) home.

The prospect is looking more and more attractive to me with every stupid question he asks.

I don't answer the questions, of course. I don't see why he wants to know how I got along with my older brothers, or how Silica dressed. And it's just downright insulting to be asked by a stranger whether or not I was resentful because, being born fourth, I would never become a Chief and was thus an unimportant child. I think he's just asking me now to annoy me, since I haven't given him one answer, except for "Yes, Erik Bivronik is my full name."

And he isn't leaving . I thought maybe he would, but he just dropped his caravan off at the local mechanery and told the woman to send it to some town near to the Southern Pinch. He paid her for her trouble, and it must have been a lot of money, because she didn't give him any trouble. I didn't think Drupes were very wealthy. The farther South you go, the less water there is, and the more sand. Drupe land is about as far South as you can get. I never gave credit to the idea that all Drupes are magicians, but they seem to be able to pull money out of nowhere.

I got sick of being followed, and didn't want to train with Shiloh watching me. I'm in the town's saloon now, and he's sitting right across from me, sipping carefully at a mug of beer that's about the size of his head. He doesn't like it much. Ha ha. He does pull the bit of shawrp that covers his face down to eat and drink, so at least I can see more of his face. He has a big nose. And a big mouth. As if I didn't know that already.

I keep thinking about the 'Sleeping Beauty' girl. For all that I'm going through on this trip, she had better be able to give us some information on the DA people.

Why does Jevvy get to dictate who gets to travel with us? I want Shiloh out, but Jevvy doesn't listen to me. He just grins and pats me on the top of the head. He says it's good for me to have someone my own age around. If he'd hoping that Shiloh and I'll have some sort of cute bonding experience just because we're both teenagers, he's going to be severely dissappointed.

And so is Shiloh, if he thinks following me around is supposed to be endearing . That's a terrifying thought. Urgh. I need a drink.

Shiloh: Day two

Shiloh hasn't tried to engage me since we picked him up. He's just sat in the back of the carriage, glaring out at the scenery from that two inches of his face we can actually see. Sometimes he pulls out a small notebook stuffed with papers (I don't know where he pulls it from. I don't think that there're any pockets in his shawrp thing, so I don't know where he keeps his stuff. He only has the one bag of luggage too) and scribbles in it. Then he goes back to glaring.

I mentioned to Cable that I found his attitude weird, and Jevvy (because he can't ever stay out of anything) said "Yeah, I can't think of anyone else who acts like that, can you?"

Good thing he thinks that he's funny. It saves the rest of us from having to.

Tescee is still a few days off. We passed through a small settlement yesterday, but neither Jevvy nor Shiloh made any mention of stopping. Cable did, because he was hungry, but the other two just ignored him. Usually I'm the only one who does that.

Shiloh just deigned to speak to me.

"You know," he said "you do not have to wear the Chain all the time. It is really for ceremonial purposes, not day-to-day use. I mean, I find it very bulky to wear even then."

I asked him how old he was. He's only eighteen. And he still talks to me about how to be a Chief. Rotten prick.