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CERES Between an asteroid and the hard space

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Lukas Forgrave, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Ceres Station
    Preceding the Blockade of Ceres Station


    He flipped through the digital pages of hand terminal, looking over various components of the filing. The blips of lights against the tunnel walls intermittently illuminated the interior of the lift, revealing the blank stares of those who were commuting along with him. Everyone was going somewhere and nowhere, all at the same time.

    The green LED lit up with a ping, indicating that the next stop would be the lower apartments. He had zoned out so much that he had lost track of the time and line. It was no matter, the circle would pick him back up on the way out.

    Tall.

    Shaved head.

    Full beard.

    Facial and neck tattoos.

    Broad and muscular.

    Up until that final bit of information, the description for the perpetrator could have passed for any common belter. But broad and muscular, for a belter, might as well have been characteristics of some mythical inner deity. It was a difficult thing to accumulate mass when everything within the belt was rationed - especially owkwa.

    Tapping the hand terminal against his knuckles, he approached the door to the apartment. He hoped the complaint would lead to Benton Kahir, a particular Golden Bough member that fit this general description. Captain had stayed Luka's hand on the last indictment, and would likely stay his hand on this one too. But he was in it for the long haul and he had nothing but time. Or so he thought.

    His knuckles tapped against the door and he leaned in, mindful towards the volume of his announcement. “Star Helix. Do you have a moment to talk?” Before he could be asked, he raised his badge, careful to not obscure his face or the identification.
     
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  2. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    "There has to be a better way, look at you. Every time it's worse."
    "It's okay, Mamen."
    "It's not okay. If Gil hadn't followed you and intervened they could have killed you."

    Dim light flooded a small kitchenette, pooling a sickly yellow over the occupants inside. Two women at the table, a waif tending to a youth. The former hunched, breathless, wheezing - her clothing clung to her like laundry on a scarecrow of tired grey eyes surrounded by frayed curls of silvered blonde. Her hands shook faintly as she dabbed at an open gash on the younger woman's face, "We should clean this. Let me get some water."

    "No."
    "Adra ... it's deep."
    "No."
    "Well I have to clean it with something before I close it up. You should go to the Medic, get it treated properly. It'll get infected - Adra don't use that."
    "I use this shit to clean engine grease off-"

    Rapp rapp rapp.

    Couldn't hear the words over the sound of glass bottles and struggling wills. The old woman attempting to prise a bottle of vodka out of her daughter's hands - still had some strength to her but it was nothing compared to what used to be there. Heard the knock though. Stopped them dead. Two sets of eyes shot towards the front of the apartment equal parts worried and furious - mutually exclusive.

    "Who is that."
    "Get in the bedroom."
    "Did they follow you here?"
    "Mamen, go."

    Had her father's pistol still. Wasn't supposed to but like hell was she giving it up when they couldn't even tell her what'd happened to him. It was their security assurance ... so much as a pistol and a single magazine could assure it against multiple invaders. Better than nothing. Hidden beneath the kitchen sink, taped up in the front corner. The feel of it in her fingers was only so familiar. Damn thing couldn't weigh more than some of her mechanic tools but fuck if it didn't feel like it did.

    "...Adra..."
    "Lock the door. Don't come out until I say so."

    Three seconds later and only two seconds before he'd try to knock again the door opened a sliver with a pair of angry browns and a gleaming metallic mouth peering out.

    "What do you want."

    @Lukas Forgrave
     
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  3. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He studied the slit in the door with more time then what may have been appropriate. Hand hanging in the air where he expected the door to be, it gave instead and a pair of eyes rested between the frame. Truth be told, he could never tell if these things were going to slide or swing open. That was Ceres, a motley of old and new but even the new things seemed to wear some rust.

    Dropping his hand, he smiled as he tilted his head.

    "Just to talk..." He pocketed his badge as he took a half step back from the door. "We can talk through the door if you prefer."

    Star Helix detective stuck outside in a rougher part of town, talking through a door. That would go well, he was sure.

    @Levi Jones

     
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  4. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Browns set into a rusted edge, gritty with suspicion as the badge slipped away from sight. She wasn't in a state to talk - the shakedowns had started as mostly verbal threats and escalated into the physical spectrum over the last few weeks. At first it had just been one of them. One she could handle ...mostly. Today had been four and she was wearing the mess of it; all red splatter, black and blue. An outfit not likely to go away for several days if not longer.

    Heart hammering in her chest she reaffirmed her grip on the pistol, working the sweat out from beneath her fingers. The woman's face receded from the sliver of visibility through the opening as she wiped dribbling blood from her face onto the sleeve of her jacket.

    "Start talking then."

    Through the door it is.

    @Lukas Forgrave
     
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  5. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He sighed, inwardly. He was really hoping that show of charm would get him out of the open hallway. Between the Golden Bough and Dos Arriagas, this wasn't the best sort of place to be flashing a polished badge.

    But he smiled, despite himself, and nodded. “Sure…sure.

    Pulling the hand terminal up, he flicked through a few pages. “We have a report that was recently filed regarding…harassment and assault.” Which was a rare sort of thing on the belt. People on the station were used to being pushed around and putting up with abuse was a part of the culture. And this one, with the gash, didn't exactly seem the sort to complain.

    But she did seem scared.

    Young woman. About your height and characteristic to boot. Address matches too.” He tapped the hand terminal against the eroded designation on the door frame. “You know anything about that?

    @Levi Jones
     
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  6. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Fear slid down Levi's throat like a pill of molten iron. If she didn't look like a cornered animal before she certainly did now. Shoulders stiffening, brow caving in over a bruised and bloody scowl, the mechanic stared at the man as if he'd just sold her to the OPA himself. You didn't call for the Badges around here - that only made things worse.

    "I didn't file any report."

    "What report?" her mother was there and the sound of her voice made the woman bristle.

    "You've got the wrong place." The door promptly closed with a clicking of locks to follow for good measure.

    "Adra, who was that?"

    "You were supposed to stay in the bedroom, Mamen," heavy, uneven steps took her back into the kitchenette where she placed the handgun on the table, taking up the vodka instead, "what if it had been OPA?"

    "Then who was it?"

    Had her back turned looking for a clean rag to soak in alcohol. Didn't notice her mother shuffling towards the door.

    @Lukas Forgrave
     
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  7. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    The door worked well enough to keep him out but it hardly functioned as a sound barrier. The muffled tones of a discussion would escape the metal as he waited outside, feeling the sudden phantom of regret for spending his time traveling to this location.

    He felt a certain level of anger as he stepped towards the door, placing his fist against it.

    "Yeah, wrong place!" He felt the thump of his heart as his smacked his hand against the door. "Next time it may not be you. It may be some kid. Or some kids father. And they may not stop at assault!"

    Beltas protecting each other as they ate each other alive. Dropping his hand, it curled forward as he sighed and retracted sudden onset of emotion, flipping the hand terminal over to connect to the advocate at the Helix.

    Turning away from the door, he sent a brief message before looking around inquisitively.

    ::No dice on that filing. The belt leaks like a sieve unless the Helix asks it to.::

    He had been turned away from far too many doors. No bother trying more, he just needed to figure out how to get back to the transit system and catch the quickest ride back to the Plaza.

    @Levi Jones
     
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  8. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    BAM.

    "Shet-" the sound of glass clattering into a metal sink echoed from the kitchenette. Stars help her nerves, Levi chased after it frantically before the entirety of the contents went down the drain. She needed that.

    Her mother, on the other hand, flinched under the echo of the man's voice and passed a weary glance back over her shoulder. A soft clik sounded moments later and the door opened again. Bit further this time but still not all the way.

    "Hello?" gently wheezed from the diminutive woman hunched in the opening peering out at him with eyes that squinted into the neon lights above, "Who are you?"

    "Mamen where did you put that towel..."

    @Lukas Forgrave
     
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  9. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He had just sorted it out. Down that hallway, take a left and down the stairs. Once he was down the stairs, the entrance to the lift station would be indicated by a glowing insignia of a cartoonish figure running downwards. That was all abruptly interrupted by the sound of an older voice, cutting through the static of a spinning station.

    Turning around, he paused as he looked towards the door and the opening. Gazing inward, blue view shifted towards the modest interior that was lit with an almost jaundice appeal.

    Maybe he had called it quits too soon?

    He was far from getting his hopes up. Belters had no time for it and neither did he. Hope was a trinket placed on the highest shelf, alongside emblems of dead deities and forgotten religions. A thing to remember, but not to dwell on.

    "Me..." He took a breath in as he looked inward, towards the woman proclaiming a need for a towel. "Detective Forgrave, Star Helix. Who are you?"

    It was more a formality than any thing else. He'd likely end up calling her some derivation of pampa by the end of the day, if habit had its way.

    @Levi Jones
     
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  10. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    The older woman's grey eyes slid over him with a modicum of curiosity and a hint of deep intellect. It was the sort of look, sharp and considering, that you didn't see on the typical Belta.

    "Ms. Jones," she said gently, slowly, "you mentioned a report? Is someone finally ..going to.." the woman coughed and drew in a long, wheezing breath.
    "Mamen, did you take your--what are you doing? Don't-"
    "...stop these people trying to kill my daughter."

    Levi was back, trying to intervene with the intervener, attempting to gently pull her mother away from the door, "It's time to take your medicine."
    "This man is here to help you," the older woman sputtered in return, shaking her head and pointing to him, "you need to talk to him."
    "There's nothing to talk about. My mother is very ill and needs her rest, so if you don't mind-"
    "No, NO! Damnit Adi, the only thing I'm ill over is you..." cough, sputter, "...coming home like this... all.... the time."
    So much more difficult to be hard with her mother. Levi frowned, shooting a wary glance at the Detective, "Mamen-"
    "I'm not taking anything until you speak with this man."

    Levi considered this like she might consider a second beating. Felt the color drain from her face to mingle with that molten pill she'd swallowed earlier. It was difficult to tell if she was feeling sick from a stomach full of blood or the prospect of what this whole affair could amount to.

    "Fine."

    The door finally swung open fully, revealing a small and tidy apartment and a table back in the yellowed kitchenette set by two chairs, a pistol, and a bottle of vodka. Pretty standard, all things considered.
     
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  11. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He wasn't exactly sure what was happening. The back and forth betwe two loved ones who cared about each other but couldn't seem to agree on the right course of action. Every word spoken by the older woman was another fragment to the larger picture, voiding the necessity for certain questions. How often did this sort of thing happened, for instance. Or who might have filed the report.

    His bet was on Mamen.

    "Please don't forgo your medication on my account..." He somberly stated the request as he entered the small household. Blue eyes moved through the abode, taking in the details of something that was rather well kept. Though the spatterings of blood, obscured by a bottle of vodka, indicated the potential severity of the wound this woman carried.

    And just how stubborn this Adi seemed to be.

    "Alcohol is good for sterilizing but you'll likely need sutures. I know someone down in the Medina. Doesn't charge much, really tight stitches and good with his hands. Minimal scarring..." He pressed a hand against the back of a chair, looking towards the gun that sat in the pallid lighting. It looked old but still more than functional. "Do you mind if I sit?"

     
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  12. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    "It can wait a little longer," the older woman replied in kind, frail hand at her mouth as she wheezed into another coughing fit.

    Words of sutures and Medina brought the edge back to Levi's gaze which she turned upon him in a moment of insult.

    "We don't have money for doesn't charge much," Levi shot back. Her mother was already taking up the opposite chair, humming something about my shaky hands and elsewise I'd do it myself. Levi leaned to take the pistol from the table, casually motioning to the free seat with it as she moved back over to the sink and placed it on the counter to her right.

    [Mamen where did you put the towel.] Belta lang slid from the younger woman's tongue as she stood over the counter, wincing at the pain she was remembering to feel. The blood had begun to ooze again, cracked open from the tension of the incessant scowl.

    "In the drawer," a simple gesture, the old woman looked to the Detective, slowly pulling in a rasp breath in preparation to speak, "... my medication sits in the realm of a luxury that we can hardly afford," wheeze, "beyond the expense of a dwelling and -" cough, "simple necessities. Adra works very hard to pay for everything," she paused, a frown pushing her wrinkles deeper, "she doesn't deserve this. Please tell me you can help her."
     
    #12 Levi Jones, Jan 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  13. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    If it weren't for his preference for the quiet, he might have laughed at that comment. There were countless objects in the apartment that could have purchased her a proper suturing. That bottle of vodka, ornaments, the rounds that went into the pistol - assuming it was loaded. If he would have said anything, it might have been something sarcastic about how bleeding from the face was far more preferable to the minuscule scrip needed for some thread and needle.

    "I'm sorry to hear that..." He placed the hand terminal on the table, where the pistol used to sit. "About your medication. The belta life has never been one of ease...sa sa, ke?" His eyes stared on towards the wrinkles on the woman's face, the way she scrunched up and clutched herself when she coughed. He wondered if he would have acted differently it if it was his own mother, his own mamen coughing and unable to be treated properly.

    This wasn't the the sort of climate where sickness got better. Recycled air, rationed owkwa, and food portions that were never enough or of terrible quality. Sickness was often times a death sentence on the belt.

    The question of help struck a cord. He would freely admit that he wasn't really there to help either of them. This was a story of vengeance, against the various gangs that rested within the confines of the Medina. Any assistance they would receive from his work was simply consequence, unintended but appreciated.

    "Everything in my power...but she has to talk to me. Tell me what happened." He looked up towards Adi, currently searching for a towel for her wound. Luka's belta was terrible, burdened by a Martian accent, but he knew it like the back of his hand.

    @Levi Jones
     
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  14. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Towel, vodka, face. Hiss.

    Even with her back to them the grimace could be seen in her posture.

    Mamen's frown deepened with a glance. The woman fixed herself to talking as best she could while her daughter was preoccupied with not talking.

    "Adra works at Gilarik's Gears, down in the docks. She's a mechanic," voice growing whispy she gently cleared her throat, "it's a long walk ... from here to there and back. They know her route, sometimes they wait for her. There's been nights Gil walked with her when he can, but he-" she started into wheezing again, coughing, "he can't, all the-"

    Levi turned, doing her damnedest to keep a straight face, and placed her free hand on her mother's shoulder. [You should rest. Go lay down.]

    Mamen relented and stood with her help then shuffled off to the bedroom. Only once her mother was settled did Levi take the empty chair, wincing as she pressed the towel into her cheek. She seethed for several moments in silence before speaking.

    "I used to be with OPA, years ago. Left them when my mother got sick. They didn't like that and they've been telling me ever since."
     
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  15. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    "Good night, Ms. Jones..." He whispered as she was ushered away, clearly exhausted. Between the exertion and sickness, it was understandable. It wasn't easy being a senior on this station: the place constantly spun and eventually everyone became irrelevant. And then no one cared about them anymore. Because this wasn't Earth and nothing came free.

    He listened to the statement by the women. He wasn't able to discern whether she was Adra or Adi at this point, though he assumed it was simply the habits of an outspoken mother - one name when she was happy, another when she was mad. He was Luka at times, Lukas at others, and now he was nothing at all. Maybe he could help prevent that sort of separation here.

    "The OPA isn't what it used to be. Used to stand for something, now they are hardly anything more than criminals and terrorists..." The statement was abrupt and came from a place of irritation, concealed as it was. If anything, he spoke as if his opinion was fact. He flipped open a page on the hand terminal and pressed the little red dot.

    It beeped. And the recording began.

    Leaning back, he crossed his arms as he looked around. "You ever heard them toss around the name Golden Bough...or Benton Kahir?"

    @Levi Jones
     
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  16. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Didn't care for his opinion one way or the other. So far as she was concerned he was right. Only took a death sentence for her mother to see what he saw there beneath the branding of OPA. But for a kid finding her place? Making it big? Impressing the leaders? Those gangs and terrorists had been a haven of purpose and prestige.

    Not the sort of prestige she was after or could ever get away from anymore.

    The tone in the room changed; a haze of simmering quiet saturating the buzz of aggression. Guess the vodka was beginning to hit her veins. Levi loosed a deep and pained sigh and leaned back in her chair. The hand terminal might as well have been a grenade but at this point she might've welcomed it.

    It would be quicker for certain.

    A sour smirk stretched itself into her grimace, bemused chuckle breaking through it.

    "Bough is one of the gangs ... Benton? He's the biggest dzhemang of them all."
     
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  17. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He smirked though he didn't really understand the joke.

    Maybe she had a personal history with one of the two mentioned entities. Hard to be a belter and grow up on the Station, not ever having heard of the Golden Bough. Based on the ink on her skin, she once wore that culture proudly and likely had no problem blending in. After all, she used to be with the OPA.

    Though the thought did cross his mind that the laugh was in response to Benton. Luka agreed, that particular belter was as bad as they come. And he had a personal history with him, one that drove the detective more than anything else.

    "Yes. On both accounts." The following pause came with a mile long stare. While it may have appeared he was silently interrogating Adra, the truth was far from it. He was just thinking and collecting himself, guiding through the steps of the discussion. Which route would best lead to the information he needed.

    "I've know Gil for some time..." He admitted. "One of the good ones. Like you, he's been dealing with these groups for a long time. Loca Greiga, Dos Arriagas, Aryan Flyers, Golden Bough..." The last one came in with a bit of venom. "But some of the rumors about the Helix are true...sa sa, ke? Makes a pashangwala, like Benton, hard to nail down."

    @Levi Jones
     
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  18. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Took to staring at his jacket while he talked. Easier to follow the sounds of his voice when she wasn't concerned about the expression on his face. All those talks from her father about watching the face for lies 'cause the voice was easier to train - less muscles required to control it or something. It was just easier to assume the man was a lying sack of shit just like the rest of them and move on. Simpler.

    Carefully pulling the towel from her face with a wince she turned it over and applied the cold side, grunting at the continued sting of alcohol against fresh wound. A snort followed.

    "There's a lot of rumors about the Helix, you're going to have to be more specific."
     
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  19. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    That was a bold request, considering how forthcoming she had been so far with information. But on the opposite side of the information coin, Luka had very little interest in the politics of the asteroid. And in that indifference, disassociation had cultivated a certain level of jadedness towards the entire matter.

    He considered his gut reaction. No, I don't need to be more specific. But the discussion was slowly becoming more amicable, no need in causing waves. Besides, he was slowly becoming distracted by the raised edges of that gash. A few stitches and a healing pack, it would be as right as rain in a days time.

    "Scrip buys influence. OPA has scrip. Certain components of Star Helix want that scrip."

    Star Helix was Earth owned, based out of Baltimore. Or so Luka had been told, but his gut assumption was the influence fulcrum rested at Tycho Station.

    "So the powers that be force a deaf ear when they're asked to. Benton has seen the benefit of that relationship, numerous times. And I don't know why."

    Friends in high places or maybe he has dirt on one of the precinct captains. "Which is why your experience is important."

    @Levi Jones
     
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  20. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    "Seems to me Helix being corrupt over scrip isn't really a rumor," the woman gave him a pointed glance, free hand resting on the table as she kicked her legs forward and crossed her boots, "your boss sleeping with the ringleader of OPA. That's a rumor," a smirk cut across her face with an edge like a finely honed knife. It disappeared in short order over a heavy sigh.

    "Benton was the one that originally recruited me into OPA a little over ten years ago. Wasn't much older than me then, wasn't a big shot then either. He showed me the ropes, connected me to the right people for all the wrong reasons. We fucked around for a while. Dated on and off over the years. Got real serious about six years ago..."

    Anyone could ask her if she regretted the choices she'd made in her youth. Levi often found herself thinking back on those days and wasn't too sure if she did. There were some good memories mixed in that bag of poison and sharp edges.

    "Then my mother was diagnosed. Father died not long after. Couldn't keep a home and get mother's medication paid for on a punk's wage, so I got a real job. Stopped attending the meets, stopped pitching in. He didn't like that. Tried to convince me to come back, said he'd take care of things, but I knew better. He didn't give a flying fuck about my mother cause she's an Earther. So I went from babe to bitch real fast. He ignored me for a while, then started stepping on my toes if we ever crossed paths. Now he's haunting my routes and throwing punches."

    She peeled the towel from her face and examined the pinkish stain. Stopped bleeding finally but it still hurt like hell.

    "Used to be just him, but lately he's bringing his friends along."
     
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