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The Failings of Time

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1 The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:05 pm

After leaving the previous town, our bridges mended, Ljuba and I fall into a silence that stretches on for hours. She grows restless and fidgety in the seat beside me, moving from the front of the van to the back several times.

After our little tryst this morning, I had taken it upon myself to don several thin layers of clothing, keeping every inch of my skin covered, rather than wasting what little salve I have left. So every time Ljuba moves near me, I find myself instinctively leaning away to avoid her touch, a task that becomes particularly nerve wracking when she insists on changing seats.

"You're very touchy," I accuse when she moves to the front seat again, her hand finding my shoulder as she steadies herself while the van slows on the rough road as we approach the gates of the next town.

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2 Re: The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:08 pm

"Hmph," I grumble as I sink into the passenger seat, arching my back stiffly as I curl my legs into the seat beneath me. "I'm trying not to be carsick."

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3 Re: The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:13 pm

"Does that require groping?" I ask, raising an eyebrow as I reach between the seats for my ID to show the gate guard. "Is that a new age treatment? Grope your driver, and try not to think of things that involve chunks?"

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4 Re: The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:15 pm

I groan uncomfortably as I look back at him, my eyes narrowing slightly at the ID card in his hand. 

"What are you doing..?" I ask, picking my head up to look ahead, perplexed. "Where are we, anyway?"

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5 Re: The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:24 pm

"Well," I start slowly as I glance at her with a frown. "I'm your Guardian, and you're my charge... and we're going to visit one of the Circles inside the Chantry."

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6 Re: The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:52 pm

"What?" I ask sharply, sitting up as I look at him seriously. "We're going towards them?"

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7 Re: The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:57 pm

"The Circles have what we need, without doubt," I say quickly as I start rolling down the window as we approach the gate. "We have no idea how long it'll be before we find a town outside of their territory that has it. We just need to slip in, get what we need, and then slip out again."

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8 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:10 am

We're pulling up to the guard's station before I can respond, but I give Lavellan a pleading look before sinking back into the chair as the guard addresses him abruptly. I tuck my head against my shoulder as though I'm asleep, unable to make out much of what's said as Lavellan speaks with him. I'm grateful the guard doesn't seem to require much from me as he skims over the ID Lavellan hands him before handing it back in and disappearing back into his station, the gates pulling open shortly after.

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9 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:18 am

"I have you down as a novice," I say once we pull away from the gate. "They won't so much as look twice at you so long as you stick close to me."

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10 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:22 am

"What are you even speaking?" I frown as I sit up once we're past the gates, tugging anxiously at the sleeves of my sweater as I try to dry my sweating palms. "What if someone talks to me?"

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11 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:25 am

"It doesn't matter," I frown, waving a hand dismissively. "There are thousands of people like us here. They weren't born here, they came here or they were brought here. Most of them don't speak the native tongue. You might even see people from Pallhagan within the Circles."

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12 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:27 am

"Wait-" I frown at that thought, "They'd have come willingly from Pallhagan, right? This hasn't reached there yet, has it?"

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13 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:36 am

"Yes, they would have been willing," I sigh as I look around the small town beyond the walls. "There are missionaries that travel to places like that, but they're no more sinister than the missionaries from any other faith."

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14 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:51 am

I nod vaguely as I look out the windows. Though it's much less crowded than Reach's End or Skycrest, it's more akin to them than the towns we've passed getting to this point. The streets are cleaner, and more people seem to meander through. 

"That's good, then." I say softly, his response putting my mind slightly more at ease as I shift uncomfortably in my seat. "I don't want to sound ungrateful or impatient, though, but uhm-" I clear my throat, "Will we be getting those our things soon?"

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15 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:03 am

"Ah," I frown slightly as I cast a side eyed glance at her. "About that... these are small towns out here on the outskirts. The Circles here are barely big enough to house a healer, much less anyone with any real power.

"So, we might need to go a little deeper into Chantry territory," I say, trying to sound as casual as I can. "Like... say, to the Capital... six days from here."

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16 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:13 am

"Six days!?" I practically yelp, just the thought of it threatening to close my throat as I nearly rise out of my seat anxiously.

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17 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:42 am

"Shh!" I hiss as I reach over to grab her arm, my touch stopping just shy of her as I glance out the opened window worriedly. Shaking my head at her, I bring my hand back to the steering wheel so I can roll the window back up.

"It's not that bad!" I say earnestly, as much to convince myself as her. "Six days is better than gods know when, or, heavens forbid, never. We just have to make it through for one week. Less than a week!"

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18 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:47 am

"Spirits," I whine as I look out the window, my hands gripping at the edge of the seat as I bounce. "It'll be over in a week!"

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19 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:55 am

"Perhaps we can get you something else for now?" I offer, knowing there isn't anything that will compare.

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20 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:58 am

"No," I respond a little harshly, sinking back into the chair as I rub at my forehead. "Just drive, I'll be fine."

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21 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:04 am

"On the upside," I shrug as I return my gaze to the road, our speed barely faster than the pedestrians surrounding us. "A lot of new witches who come here had... habits. Withdrawals will lend to our cover."

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22 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:06 am

"That's lucky," I laugh weakly, looking over at him as I nod. "It'll draw less attention tomorrow when I'm puking on the side of the road."

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23 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:16 am

"It really will," I say with a laugh as I glance at her sympathetically. "Honestly, it won't be at all out of place... one of the few bunk mates I had growing up was this nine year old girl who looked like death. I learned later that she'd been taking opiates since she was seven to try to stop the voices in her head. It took a Guardian finding her to finally stop them, and bring her in from the streets.

"It wasn't unusual to see people like her after that," I say lightly. "Something about witches and addiction go hand in hand."

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24 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:22 am

"I never used until I needed it," I remark, my eyes closing as my forehead rests against the cool window. "Hardly drank until after Bea was born and I realized I wasn't cut out to be a mother."

Sighing, I pick my head up just enough so I can draw in the fog on the window. "I can relate to wanting to drown things out, though. It wasn't long before I was doubling or tripling doses just to stop the dreams. Not that it worked for long."

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25 Re: The Failings of Time on Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:29 am

"I had a drinking problem for a long time," I admit quietly, my gloved fingers drumming absently on the steering wheel. "And an anger problem... the drinking really didn't help the anger issues..."

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