When Worlds Fall

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51This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:26 pm

"There!?" I ask more firmly, "What goes there!?"

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52This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:31 pm

"Not there specifically," I say seriously as I retract the tape and pull my hands from hers - I got the general idea for what I needed. "But the body works as a whole. The way your arms flex, the range with which they move, it all depends on other factors of the body. If you have a smaller chest, you might have a less restricted range of motion than someone with a larger chest.

"That was the problem with your last device," I add, before rolling my eyes slightly. "Well, that and the thing wasn't remotely waterproof. The wires were too short for how much range of motion your arm has. Every time you extended your reach, it pulled those wires and weakened the compound holding them to the circuit boards until they finally broke contact."

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53This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:35 pm

"Oh." I say softly, reaching up to rub at my jaw as I try to subtly wipe my lips clean. I watch him with a touch of guilt as he steps away to make notes of the measurements, twisting to pull the keyboard from it's case as I type softly. 


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54This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:36 pm

"Don't be," I smile lightly as I tilt my head back toward her. "Even blind men can be skeevy pervs."

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55This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:39 pm

"Only blind men." I type out with a slight laugh, grabbing my mask to put back on before righting my coat.

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56This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:44 pm

"Aww, I'm sure that's not true," I frown as I hold up the tape. "I happen to have it on very good authority that you're quite proportionate and symmetrical, for the most part. And that's the weird anomaly that people call beautiful, isn't it?"

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57This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:45 pm

"Do you know what symmetrical means?" I type out, almost too quickly, as I snicker.

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58This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:47 pm

"For the most part," I say more firmly, unable to stop myself from laughing lightly. "We all have scars. Yours just has a more enticing story than, say, mine." I make a point to hold up my scarred hands. "Mine just say I'm a blind clutz. One can only speculate at what your story might be."

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59This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:50 pm

I laugh lightly as I pull a stool over to sit on, choosing not to respond in the moment. He can continue to speculate, if that's what my scars offer. 

"Your hands look used." I type after a moment, "Like a tech's should."

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60This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:56 pm

"Well they are that," I laugh as I flex my hand, the cut from the leather skiver biting between my thumb and index finger with a pleasant kind of pain. "I always kind of liked scars, to be honest. People get all sorts of art drawn onto their skin, paint their faces, that kind of thing... but scars are something real, something you can feel even under all the paint and ink you can paint over them. They're pretty."

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61This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:57 pm

"Says the blind man." I type back with a grin.

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62This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:13 pm

"To the outcast, hm?" I chuckle as I etch out the measurements I had taken into a thick piece of parchment, my thumb tracing over each letter and number to make sure it's legible. "Well, fret not!" I finally say after a moment as I fold up the paper and tuck it into one of the many pockets on my vest before smiling back at her. "I'm a horrible flirt, and I don't really care about appearance, race, color, gender, orientation, creed, or craft. Mostly because I can't see half of it, and folks don't tend to hang around long enough for the rest to matter."

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63This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:35 am

"You mean people don't like your boyish laughs and blind humor?" I type out, careful to hit each key before glancing towards him to ensure he's understood.

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64This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:54 pm

"No one appreciates the finer things," I sigh wistfully, my cheeks flushing a bit as I grin at her playful jab. "I mean, I always thought it was charming to knock into things and break stuff when you're nervous."

I don't know how I manage to do it, but I can feel my stomach drop as I shift my weight, my side bumping into the display beside me. "Oh shit!" I curse as my eyes widen, my hands shooting out to catch the display. No small amount of luck plays it's part as I reflexively catch one and then another and then a third trinket as it tumbles noisily off of the shelves.

"I swear, that was not intentional!" I say quickly, my faced feeling hot as I laugh awkwardly while putting the trinkets back. "And now you know why I make noisey thing."

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65This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:42 pm

I can't help but laugh as he fumbles to right his display, slipping off of my stool as I sort out the bag for the keyboard before typing quickly.

"I'll get out of your hair," I type, "Errands. How soon will the mask be ready?"

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66This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:45 pm

"Uhm," I hum thoughtfully as I replace the trinkets that had fallen over on the display. "Two days? Yeah, I think I can do what I need to do in two days."

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67This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:55 pm

"Please," I sigh softly, "I can't afford much longer." 

I can tell the remark pains him a bit, and I can't help but feel guilty for being so demanding when I've yet to even know how I'll repay him for this. "Bring it by when you're done? Loredas?"

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68This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:56 pm

"Sure, sure," I nod, pretending to busy myself with putting away the first aid kit. "First thing in the morning?"

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69This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:58 pm

I hum a mmhmm towards him as I pack away the keyboard, slinging the bag over my shoulder as I reach out to squeeze his arm in a soft good bye before heading out of the shop.


After leaving Marnin's shop, the day was spent hocking what baubles I was willing to part with in order to pay off the balance of my rent and other bills. It was an exhausting task, the keyboard Marnin gave me doing little to help in my communicating with anyone but him. Instead, I wrote notes and jotted responses, haggling for the best prices I could get in hopes of pocketing a little extra. 

By the time I headed home, I'd parted with all of my goods and paid off my debts for the week, and even had a small handful of coin leftover. I was eager to see just how much I had left, hoping it'd be enough to run out tomorrow and grab some things so I could make a Thank you breakfast for Marnin when he returned the mask on Loredas. 

It might be a task, finding some of the ingredients I'd need - So much of the culture of my home is missing here in Skycrest - but I had seen shops that sell some of the basics for staples like poppy seed kolaches. With a list made of the items I'd need, I went to bed early. Tomorrow would be a long day of tracking down what I needed and praying I'd be able to afford it all. 


Dates, honey, yeast. Some of the most basic items, I discovered, were hard to come by affordably. Skycrest had it's own ecosystem of unique plants and livestock, which was ever changing as the city moved throughout the atmosphere, and that made getting goods from the surface a bit more of a luxury. It took everything I had to get what I could, but I was still short the eggs, tea, and poppy seeds I'd need to finish my breakfast. I'd found a vendor who was willing to part with as much as I needed in exchange for my coat. 

It'll fit my wife lovely! The man beamed as I handed it over to him, handing me my goods in exchange. It pained me to part with it, the coat having been one of the last things I managed to purchase on the surface in my haste to make it to Skycrest. It's thick woolen panels and intricate embroidery had kept me warm and dry for years, but it looked worn and filthy given my inability to pay for it to get cleaned. 

Even as I made my way back to my apartment, the bag of ingredients hugged to my chest, there was a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was beginning to wonder if, in my eagerness to repay Marnin, I'd impulsively given up more than I should have. I was out of coin, low on goods to sell and even lower on potion ingredients, and I'd just traded my warmest coat for food that would be gone in a day.

Once inside, I set about going through everything to ensure I've got what I need before putting it all away, absently making a check list for the following morning. With everything tucked away and a plan set out for the morning, I'm finally able to sink onto my bed and relax. 

So, curled in blankets and a book in my lap, relax I do.

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70This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:28 pm

I work through the night and into the next day after Ljuba leaves. My hand does little to impede my progress, the small cut nothing at all unusual to a day working in the shop. Working through the night allows me to tinker uninterrupted by customers and browsers who are known to need supervision as they wander through the shop.

In the interest of preserving my reputation as that blind guy, I don't often bust the folks who wander in to pocket my goods with the misconception that I can't see what they're doing. It's only when they try to make off with something of particular sentimental value that I tend to stop them, and even then they write it off as someone else tipping me off to their activity.

With the shop closed, though, I'm able to work in peace without fear of losing any of my wares, and Ljuba's vox unit quickly comes together as I put the finishing touches on the leather panels. Sewing it all together is more time consuming than it is difficult, the motions needed to bring it all together written deep into my muscle memory. Had I not distilled one of her crystals into the mech-work, reworking and carefully placing the tiny vein-like web of tubing and reinforced glass into the unit, I could have easily finished the project days ago.

The finished product is worth the delay, though, and I'm more than a little pleased when I've finished. It's now late into the evening, according to the distant chatter of the birds from my sign. Closing time... or it would be, if I had ever emerged to open. Shrugging the oversight off, I smile to myself as I fit the collar onto my own neck, the faint buzz of machinery vibrating against my throat. It's so subtle, I don't know if Ljuba will notice it or not, but the magic... I know she'll recognize that the moment she lays her fingers on the soft leather.

The device doesn't have magic of its own, per se, but there's just enough faint trace of it to allow Ljuba that extra little bit of control over the intricate piece of tech. The stone she'd given me didn't contain enough residue to allow for much else, but that's okay. She'd expressed that she didn't want a magical device. Just a piece of tech that may or may not be attuned to her particular vein of magic... you know... for science.

After testing the speech recognition and making a few minor adjustments, I proudly pack the collar into a bag along with the shoulder piece and the matching mask to make her feel more 'symmetrical'. Tossing the pack over my shoulder, I grab my cane and keys before heading out the door.

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71This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:45 pm

The sharp tapping at the door startles me awake, the book I'd been reading laying haphazardly against my chest where I'd dozed off. The first thought coming to mind is that I've overslept, the dark sky outside my window doing little to quell my fears, and a sense of panic washes over me as I hurry upright to look for a clock on the way to the door. 

The realization that it's just after ten leaves me with a mixture of confusion and relief. I hadn't overslept, but the fact someone was knocking this late was just as unsettling. 

Hurrying to grab my mask, I wrap the blanket around my shoulders and answer the door.

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72This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:51 pm

"Morning! Er, evening!" I grin broadly when Ljuba answers the door, not waiting for an invitation before I slip past her into the flat. I hardly notice her confusion or the blanket wrapped around her shoulders as I sling the pack off of my shoulder and start digging through it. "I finished early, so I thought I'd pop over to show you! I hope that's alright?

"There are some adjustments that I'll have to make once you've tried it on, so don't worry if it doesn't fit just right at first," I carry on, barely stopping to take a breath as I start yammering about the complications I had run into trying to make it fitted without spoiling the surprise and having her come in for a fitting.

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73This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:59 pm

I watch him, wide eyed, as he rambles on while I shut the door behind him. At this point, whatever he's saying makes little sense to me as I move past him to sit back on the edge of the bed. Yawning broadly, I wipe at my eyes before rising up just a bit to try and get a better idea of what he's doing.

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74This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:03 pm

It takes me a moment to get the buckle from the shoulder piece uncaught from the bag before I can pull everything out and toss the bag aside.

"Alright, come here," I say as I unclasp the buckles on the collar and gesture for Ljuba to come closer.

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75This is a Title.  - Page 3 Empty Re: This is a Title. on Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:06 pm

I'm grateful for his blindness as my face twists into confusion once his creation is freed from the bag. It's dark in the room, but with the dim light I have, I'm just lost. That's not a mask. 

Rising back to my feet, I pause to light several candles before coming to stand before him. Standing closer, the collar piece in his hands is an impressive work of art. I can hardly appreciate all of the tiny details before he's doing what he can to get it on me.

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