Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

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Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:49 pm

Hugo sat at the desk of his small office and looked at the ceiling. He wasn't sure what to do. He tried flipping through the holoscreen channels, but got tired of hearing Mandarin and even more tired of the Fed war propoganda. He felt a little guilty, but he had no choice, really. None at all. Even his phone was boring, despite the sudden discovery of email.

For the third time in the hour, he stood up and walked along the perimeter of his room. He checked the lights. He looked through his bag of possessions, scant as they were. He peeked out of the doorway and up and down the dark halls, hoping for some activity. Some ... something. He was a long way from home.
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:54 pm

For the first time, one of the other offices was lit up. However, it was a dim light, as though only a couple of lights were on. And there was also a small flicker, as though some of the light was moving.
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:19 pm

Eyes narrowing, the massive agent focused on the light flickering behind the door. It was second nature to move quietly down the hallway, making his footfalls as soft as possible. (And passing his stealth roll by six.) He crept to the doorway and pressed his ear to it, listening and holding his breath.
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:31 pm

From the other side of the door, somebody was murmuring something in Japanese. It sounded almost like some sort of invocation. Then suddenly, it stopped, and there was the sound of somebody moving. Then a short, sharp question in Mandarin, said louder than might be expected so as to be heard outside the door.
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:40 pm

Hugo frowned hard, and stood up straight. A.. woman's voice? In Mandarin, of course. Always in Mandarin. That's it, I'm signing up for classes. Well, it was either the chick with the Japanese name of the other person who might be a chick with the Japanese name. No one else was living here, right? Right?

Stepping to the side of the door, using the wall to protect his body, he knocked a few times with an extended hand. He tried in English, "I'm just saying hi! It's Hugo!" His accent was strongly WF, and flavored with Spanish.
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:44 pm

There was silence for a moment, and then the voice replied, this time speaking in Spanish.

"Is that...Hugo?" It sounded slightly hesitant, unsure. "That was the name, right?"
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:51 pm

"Si si, yes, it's Hugo!" His Spanish was fast and relaxed. There was a little grateful sigh from the ex-Fed agent, and he peeled his body away from the wall. He sounded a little young, and dumb, and apologetic as he continued through the thickness of the door. "You said I could stop by, right, chica?"
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:59 pm

"Of course," the voice said, a note of relief clearly audible. "Just a moment."

There was a moment as the person on the other side did something with the door - presumably unlocking it - and then it opened to reveal a Latin woman in her late 30s with an expression of curiosity on her face. The room beyond had the lights turned down, and there were several candles around the room, all of them lit. The chair and table had been pushed back and there was a dappled grey sleeping bag spread over the floor. Holding out her hand, the woman looked Hugo up and down with a look of slight surprise.

"You're Hugo? I...expected someone shorter." She shook her head. "Sorry, that sounded stupid. Of course you're Hugo."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:09 am

Hugo very gently took Silvia's hand, with a sort of ginger softness that suggested he had practiced not crushing other people's fingers. He smiled self-deprecatingly, and as he pulled away form the handshake his fingers fluttered a bit before going back to his side. "Ay, yes, a lot of people say that. I am pretty big. And you're.. Silvia, right? Pleasure to meet you." He looked into her room, eyes scanning over the candles. "Your lights not working?"
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:15 am

"That's right," Silvia replied, nodding. "Well, that's what people have been calling me." At Hugo's question about the candles, she turned to look at her room and flushed slightly, although it was tricky to see in the dim light.

"No, they're working fine. I just...I was just...meditating. Remembering." She shrugged, awkwardly. "I find they help. Help me concentrate. At least for this." She moved aside, gestured to the room and transparently changed the subject. "Would you like to come in? I can put the candles out."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:43 am

"Don't worry about them. They are kind of nice." Hugo smiled again, taking the candles and Silvia's awkwardness in stride. He seemed more worried about not bumping into anything, and entered the room carefully. "I like listening to music more when I try to concentrate, though. All, wahnahnahnahnah, rock and metal and classic old stuff from the 2300s. Just can't repair dischargers right without it." He momentarily held an air guitar and closed his eyes, grinning sheepishly. "Can't say I ever noticed the light, vata."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:54 am

For a moment, Silvia stood blinking in surprise. "I...uh, fair enough. I can't say I've ever really tried that kind of stuff. Not particularly popular in Japan." She looked around, still obviously awkward. "Um...you can take the chair if you want." She gestured towards it, pushed back behind the desk. "It's over there," she added, somewhat unnecessarily. "I'll just sit here." With that, she lowered herself onto the sleeping back and sat, cross-legged, her eyes still watching Hugo cautiously.
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:12 am

Hugo nodded a little, walking across the room with care. He took the seat in the chair which was almost too small for him, and looked around the dimly lit room. He tried to loosen up, but years of training made it hard for him to relax his posture. "It's looked down on at home, yeah, but it's popular and border towns get even better music. One of the only good things about it."

He gave another little smile, putting his hands on his knees. "You from Shi Yukiro territory, then? No offense but you don't look like it, yal." He was smiling still, tapping his large fingers on his knees to an unsteady rhythm.
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:24 pm

Silvia nodded. "That's right. Yokohama, to be specific. And, yes, I know - this isn't my natural appearance." She seemed to have settled slightly now. "I had some reconstructive surgery done before I went out to South America. To help fit in, you know?" She paused, still keeping her eyes on the other Agent. "What about you? A WF border town, I'm guessing?"
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:22 pm

Hugo looked over Silvia, nodding at her question. There was that same little abashed smile on his face. "Yeah, yeah. Well... it was. It's more of a conflict town, now. The WF have put their energy into other battles, and the town is more freestate than not these days." His hand moved a few times while he reached up to scratch his nose. "You know, you don't need to change how you look for the Freestate. They got everything there, everybody from lots of places. They aren't too hung up on how you look, normally." He shrugged, shaking his head. "I had lotsa fun there."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:08 am

"Yeah, perhaps I didn't need to," Silvia replied, shrugging. "But Shinjitsu thought it couldn't hurt and they paid for the surgery. And, to be fair, it did kind of work. At least in some places. And...yes, I suppose the WF would be a bit distracted right now." She shrugged again, apologetically. "I don't have that much of a handle on what's going on right now. I only started catching up on what's been going on in the world about a week ago, to be honest."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:16 am

Hugo raised his eyebrows, laughing lightly. He hands moved as he talked, drawing shapes while he unconsciously signed to illustrate the story. "Basically, a giant crab cyberlin destroyed the White House, Tex was an Ai Jinn spy, the UIG gave Taiwan to the us--Well, them, the Occidental Federacion--and things have been pretty bad since." Hugo looked down and away from Silvia, his voice dropping a bit. "To be honest, I'm glad I'm out of there. I never did good in organized combat." He seemed a little ashamed, and shrugged his shoulders. "Where were you, where you didn't hear the news?"
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:22 am

Silvia raised her eyebrows. "South America. I'm not really talking about the civilised bits - more the deep areas where nobody actually lives. I spent a lot of time on my own out there, and I was there for ten years. After a while, I didn't even try following the news. Too much stuff to catch up on from what little information they had in the small villages. And then I came back and the world has...shifted."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:39 am

Hugo's mouth formed an "O" as he realized. "Oh yeeeah, the tsunami..." He paused for a second, realizing what he said, and waved his hands apologetically. "Sorry, I mean, it was huge. Every day, even in the Fed. I, uh, hope that it wasn't a big deal for you..." He trailed off a little, and cleared his throat. He looked over the relatively little Silvia again. "But travelling in the wilds? That's impressive. It was hard enough around town and we even had a bunch of agents around."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:48 am

Silvia looked down. "It...it was kind of a big deal, yes." Her next words were a transparent attempt to change the subject. "And the wilds weren't too bad. Well, not if I was careful. And once I got used to them. So long as I could tell if anything was coming, I could usually get away from it. And well...there wasn't much point in mapping the parts that were already explored, was there?"
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:58 am

"Well no, I guess there's not." He smiled a little, obviously still feeling a little dumb from his previous slip-up. "You must be pretty good, picara, left alone for so long without your corporation complaining. I wouldn't think there was anywhere in the world that could take longer than a few weeks to be mapped." He laughed slightly, low in his throat. "But I never really needed to use a map. I was all weapon testing on the Orbital."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:09 am

"It was Shinjitsu," Silvia replied with a slightly lopsided smile. "They didn't have very many field Agents and they wanted to cover as much territory as possible. There's a reason they trained us to run away, rather than fight. They quite literally told me to go away, map the place and come back in ten years." She looked Hugo up and down. "Yes, I can imagine that you did weapons testing...it seems to suit you somehow."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:26 am

"That sounds nice, working alone." Hugo nodded, happy the conversation seemed to have moved o form the deaths of thousands of Silvia's countrymen. "My dad and littlest brother liked being outdoors, but I was more into the.. mandatory student work, you know."

He couldn't stop his hands from twisting as he spoke, and his hands mimed holding a very large weapon. "And after, on the Orbital, well, I only worked there a few years, but it was nice. Lots of explosions and not too much worrying about orders. Better for me than most field work." His hands moved across the air lovingly, as if he was touching a beloved and familiar instrument. "Lots of nice guns up there."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:42 am

Silvia smiled at Hugo's words. "You do sound like a Federation Agent. All the ones I ran across couldn't stop talking about their guns. I didn't really have you pegged as an indoors kind of person, though. I mean..." she waved a hand aimlessly. "You look a bit...over-muscled for that. No offence or anything."
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Re: Week 51: Neighbors, Season 3

Post  Hugo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:57 am

Hugo looked down at his arms and chest and shrugged, unsure of how to take the compliment. "You need to be strong to life heavy weapons, and I was always pretty big. My family kind of is, all of us. I worked out a bunch, but really, you use the big guns enough, it just sort of.. happens." He shrugged again, but smiled this time. "But I guess you're right. When I wasn't testing weapons, I only got to use my guns outside... And I don't fit into lots of places inside. You notice that? Things are.. smaller here."
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