Long Distance Marriage - 12/02/20


In the middle of the deepest Black Shroud, a small cabin lay surrounded by a myriad of dangers. Nearly all of them placed purposely. As evening fell across the forest, the camera pans down and zooms in through a window, swinging around behind a hyur man looking out into the woods from his kitchen sink.

Looking freshly washed, Tret stood looking out the window with a cup of coffee in hand. It was quiet in his home. Far too quiet. Taking a sip from his cup, Tret slowly turned from the sink and looked around the kitchen, then wandered aimlessly out into the living room. He seemed restless, despite the full day he'd just had shoveling shit for two different bosses. Eyes drifted about the room, looking for something to… Oh hey, the pearl thing.

“Suppose I've waited long enough… Let's see if she's free….”

Tret sat down in the couch, placed his mug on the table and swiped the linkpearl up from next to the coffee. He turned it over in his fingers a few times, racking his mind and muttering to himself. “How did Harlan say this worked…” Placing the device in his ear, he tapped it a few times and… “Hello? Blue? Hellooooo?”


Onboard The Cry, Blue looked up at the ceiling from her cot in the Captain's quarters, listening to the sounds of the waves hitting the vessel in smooth, rhythmic motions. She could hear Lami barking out orders from on high, and it brought a smile to the Xaela's face as she closed her eyes and tried to channel out all the burning excitement that rendered the girl incapable of relaxing. They would start practicing come morning and it would do no good if Blue couldn't focus proper.

“..It's much harder to feel peaceful here. Gots no trees…just bottles..”

It was then that she heard something under her head that was distinctly different from the miquo'te's voice and the waves themselves, startling the woman into rolling off the cot with a surprised little squeak. Her head peers up over the edge warily, looking for the source of the voice to find it deriving from beneath her pillow. Cautiously, the girl wraps her fingers around the end of the pillow case before tugging upwards and violently aiming the comfortable headrest for what hid there.

“AHHHHHHHHHHH!” She calls out her war cry before getting a proper look at the linkpearl resting non-dangerously there. “..Oh..”

Blue drops the pillow at her side and pounces on top of the pearl instead, clasping the poor probably-battered piece in her palm while she poked and prodded it. Earfins flickered, registering that the sounds did indeed sound like Tret, albeit much smaller…like a Tiny Tret.

“…Hello…?” She fiddles with the linkpearl, also uncertain of how it all worked, strange technology that it was. “Tret?”


“Well son of a bitch, they work! Likely should have made sure we knew how to work these things before you left, neh? But I have you now, so all's good.”

there was a faintly audible slurp on the line, then a contented sigh

“Good to hear your voice, Lovely. it's been… well… as quiet as I expected it to be around here. God, how did I do so many years with only myself to talk to? Glad I came out of my shell at least… How's the trip? I know you're not landed yet, unless that's the fastest boat in the world by a long shot. Enjoying the sea life so far?”


Blue grins and raises the link pearl closer to her ear, cupping it against the side of her face as she delighted in listening to her hyur again. It had only been some days but it felt much, much longer.

“Glad to know I bring my fair share of loudness to your life!” she teases, before perking up at Tret's questions, her tail slip-sliding over the sheets in a happy wiggles.

“It's mighty fun so far! Lami is a big boss out here and everybody listens and sings and whistles while they work. Her cooking really isn't that bad either, you should try some sometime. Oooh and I'm bunkered down in her room…” she leans forward in her cot, as if she were about to say some great secret to the link pearl she clutched. “And she snores sooooooo loud!” The girl bursts into a fit of giggles, plopping down onto the cot and kicking her legs up with a laugh.

“We haven't done no training yet, but that'll be soon maybe. I've really just been exploring where I can when I can. Did you know that they have a crows nest on a ship? But when you go up there..there aren't any crows! What even is that…”


Tret leaned back on the couch, kicked his feet up onto the table, and closed his eyes, smiling as Blue rambled on. He gave a quiet chuckle as the secret was leaked, and nodded as if she could see him “Old old nautical term, dear. But I imagine there could easily be a crow up there, if one decided to appear… not that there should be.”

He trailed off there, took another sip of his coffee, then perked up as if he remembered something

“You saw the little light show as you were leaving, yeah? Turns out there was a pile of fireworks. Just laying there. Poor things, that big event over that the Saucer was wrapping up, and those monsters were just going to lock them up until the next event. I couldn't let that be! There was still celebration! So I'm likely not going to be visiting the Wench, if I can help it. Managed to sneak out to Luna's right after and lay low for a few hours.”


Blue found herself smiling coyly at the slightest suggestion of a crow suddenly appearing, poking at her linkpearl as if she were poking the man himself.

“Beat you to that thought, Love. But not a crow. That raises questions. A seagull though..” She trails off suggestively before adding quickly, “But you know me. I wouldn't do such a thing 'less i was completely safe and sound. No fret!”

As he reminded her of the fireworks, Blue couldn't help but beam.

“I figured that was you. You shoulda seen Lami, she thought we'd been attacked! But oooh the colors in the sky…so pretty…worth the illegalness. They'll forget eventually. Maybe. Sorta.”

She stops and brings the linkpearl down to her chest, pressing it against her heart affectionately before shaking her head and murmuring out, “Oh…I miss you….its feels so strange being apart..”


“You know me… I gotta do something impulsive every now and then.” He paused again, trying to figure out what the shuffling and thinking was for a few moments before Blue's voice came back on. “I know, Blue. I know. But … It's what you want. We've talked forever about you getting stronger, learning. This is your chance, and I couldn't take that from you, even if it will take months. But I'll be here when you come back. Waiting with open arms. Staying…. Mostly out of trouble!”


Blue brings the pearl back up to her ear proper before turning onto her side and letting her tail coil and uncoil over the edge of the cot.

“Yeah..” the girl replies wistfully. “Wish you coulda come after all though, but I know the birds need you.” She sticks her tongue out ruefully at his latter words before remarking, “Mostly out of trouble is better than I figured when it comes to you!”

A thought seems to have crossed the girl's mind however as she pauses briefly. “So working at the estate is going well then?”


With a long sigh, Tret falls silent for a few beats, finishes his coffee, and leans forward to return it to the table before he spoke up again

“The estate itself is well. Finished up there for the day not long before I called you. nothing out of the ordinary… there. Had a chance to talk with 'Veen the other day after Spellstone. Nothing major, just chatted about what she's looking for with her group and how to get what she wants.”

Partway through his recollection, Tret got up and began pacing slowly about the floor, hands becomming a little more animated as he worked his way through his own thoughts. He'd heard the stories about the pearls being susceptible to others listening in. Between that and not wanting to upset Blue, he tried to be careful with his choice of words

“Talked with Ellie the night before as well. Was invited to his home. Like I said, Mostly out of trouble. He asked about what we'd expect, I just told him I won't say anything. Least he was upfront about it…”


Blue had begun to busy herself as she listened, drawing the flower hairpin from her head and staring at the simple piece, absorbing everything up to the point where Tret had been invited to Eli's home.

W-what?“ The Xaela immediately comes to attention and the hairpin clatters to the floor as he continued.

There was a long wave of silence from Blue. One might fear the poor girl had gone and short-circuited with the news but after a time she responds slowly.

”….Was he nice?“


“Perfectly so. Though I think I'll walk or ride to his house if I ever go back. Remember when Ortheri took me to Last One Standing? Turns out I still don't do so well with teleportation. Would have lost my dinner, but you know I don't eat before fight night.” He chuckled softly, then Tret would pause again, leaning on a windowsill to look out into the darkening woods around the house

“Rina came with, too. We had a stew his daughter made, The other one I believe, not 'Veen. I offered to come back, teach her proper seasoning, because this was very very spicy. good otherwise. He was in a sharing mood in general, turns out.”


Blue slowly wriggled herself out of the cot, dropping down to snatch up her hairpin and set it someplace proper before weaving her way over to the large desk lined with various documents. She takes a seat at the chair, drumming her fingers gingerly on the stack as she continued to listen.

“Aether travel is weird yeah…didn't feel sick though. I think I was supposed to go in his house for some reason but it was locked so it never happened.”

“There's another daughter? Sharing?”

The Xaela wasn't contributing too much, lingering too much on the recollections in her own mind. She props her chin with her hands and takes a gentle breath.

“There was something in his house, huh.”


“Yeah, Yeah… Heh, regular family man… He talked for a long while with Rina about her troubles. Lots of things I don't know much about, so I kept quiet. Like I said, he asked about you, I told him no, and that was… Most of what he wanted from me, seems? Lot of just idle talk for me, which is fine.”

There was some quiet on Tret's end as he mused over what he could, should, and should not say next, and the sounds of splashing water came over the line as the man had moved to the kitchen to wash his mug and think about a bite to eat

“Got to go down into his Basement, though. Full on crazy looking lab down there. There's some things I can't talk about, some things I don't understand, too. Nothing directly impacting either of us, promise. But I think he has issues with… loss? Yes… Loss, letting go. He seems… Possessive.”


The Xaela noticed she'd been tensing too much and willed herself to relax. Tret hadn't been gobbled up and his promise of whatever he'd seen down there not involving them sated Blue's curiosity. A little.

“All I know is that there was talk of a monster in his house once. But this was months ago so maybe its gone. Or maybe there are more!” She leans back in the chair and stares up at the ceiling again, lil smile on her lips. “Then again, monsters aren't bad themselves…”

“You're okay and thats what matters to me. The secret is still safe as well, but I wonder why Rina was there too..”


“Not… a Monster. I guess. Maybe I've just seen too many foul things. But something that's going to cause someone some pain, I think. Emotionally. Mentally.”

There was a rattling of pans as Tret began rummaging about to begin cooking, and he let out another sigh, figuring that was enough on that subject without breaking his promise ”…Rina? Remember when I came back from her place? I think… They were talking about her issue that I have… had… I don't know anymore. And her boyfriend, the one that threatened her. I was only half paying attention to that part. Heavy stuff, not my business, I guess. Didn't want to stick my nose in that unless I was asked directly.“


Blue tilts her head thoughtfully, staring out across the way to the door as she listened.

“You dunno that you don't still have it though. We haven't exactly been in too many tight spots to know for sure. That time in the desert has been the first time in a long time that I kinda, you know..”

“Maybe Rina should just let all of it out, all at once, in a desert too. Really get it tired.” Blue suggested, choosing not to foray into the relationship business entirely. That was an ocean too deep.

“I wanna ask Lami more about her own experiences while we're away. I just wanna be prepared. For anything really. Because I don't know.”

“I'm also kinda wondering if Veldi might be out East as well. Thats where she said she was heading last I spoke to her. She'll be surprised!” Blue nods to herself, tail drawn to wagging once more at the thought.


“Hah…. I don't know that it's something that can be 'used up' like a lantern and oil, Lovely. If it's like my family's… Then it's simply… her. My brother, Marcus? he would use it almost at will. A true berserker.”

At the mention of Veldi, Tret stopped. He weighed that one for some time, then resumed his chopping. There was really nothing he could say that would make much sense outright. even to himself. “Tell her I said hi if you do happen see her. Imagine she'll be glad to see a friendly face after whatever mess she's working on! Maybe…. Maybe I can ask where she might be, if she is out there? Someone could get a message to meet up with you!”


Blue hums to herself. “That would be helpful….I think I might be residing in Kugane, so far as Lami has told me anyways..”

“But its not so important if it gets you into trouble.” She warns gently.

”..Maybe if it comes up in conversation. But not in exchange for something else.“

“Deals, exchanges, this for that, what's that ever done for us but bring heartbreak?” Absently, the girl traces a lazy circle around her heart with the brush of her fingertips.


“Of course not, dear. Of course not… But I can ask. If I get resistance? I drop it and move on. Not a life or death matter, just a possible happy surprise. I've got no patience to be playing games.”

There was a sizzle and rattling of metal over the line as Tret worked on his meal for one. “I'll try to keep more out of trouble. Gonna keep throwing myself at the Grindstone on the weekends. Maybe I'll surprise you with a brand new home when you come back! Dinner time for me, though. Or… time to actually cook it. I'll check in with you periodically, Love. and I'll keep this thing with me, so by all means, call if something happens. I'll do the same for you, neh?”


Blue nods slowly, then catches herself. He wouldn't be able to see. She listens to the familiar rattling of pans, the quiet roar of an open flame, and stifles the little sob before it could get heard proper. She missed Tret and his cooking too! The linkpearl would do for now but it wasn't the real thing.

“A new house would certainly be a big surprise! I hope you have a good dinner. Maybe if I can learn how to teleport I can join you for a few meals when Lami isn't looking.”

”…I love you. Lots. Always. We'll talk sooner than later, promise?“

Little sniffles could be heard on the other end, followed by a shuffling sound as the Xaela gets up and wanders back to her cot to flop on it proper. She places the linkpearl by her head and simply stares at it longingly.


“Love you too, Blue. I'll look forward to the day when you can suddenly be right behind me when I least expect it. I'm sure I'll yell and say dirty words, then hug and kiss you!” At the sound of sniffles and a light thump in his ear, he raises his voice. It was his house and he was alone. he could yell if he wanted to. Maybe she'd hear him “I LOVE YOU, BLUE. BE GOOD. CALL ANY TIME AND I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU!!!!”


Blue couldn't help but grin at the shouting, unable to resist giggling at the absurdity. Silly Hyur, she was the one who normally did the yelling! “Love you too dearest.” She tapped and dabbled with the linkpearl until she could no longer hear anything emitting from it and gently slid it underneath her pillow again. There was comfort in knowing the little bit of him was always at her beck and call. It wasn't the real thing, no, but for now…she would be content until they met again.

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