12.11.3013: Bathing, Beer, and Cigarettes
Summary: Nitrim, Cyrielle, Klaudea, Devon, and Victor chat in the Volkan Bathhouse.
Date: 21 October, 2012
Related: A Battle, A Bomb, A Priest
Nitrim Devon Klaudea Victor Cyrielle 


Bathhouse, Volkan, Crescent
Built down low in the Blackspyre where it can easily access the geothermal heat that powers the entire city of Volkan, this bathhouse is set aside for the use of those sworn to House Khournas and their guests. The room is sheathed in large black tiles, warmed by the magma behind them. A large pool centers the room, surrounded by narrow lines of red and silver tile, while a handful of smaller tubs built for one to four people fill up the remaining space. Each of the tubs is heated blood-warm, leaving wisps of steam in the air. Towels sit alongside tubs of bath-salts on small tables near the separate men's and women's changing rooms.
11 December, 3013

Something Devon says brings a quiet smile to Nitrim's lips, his brows tilting in the center as he looks across the water to her, finding some kind of peace in the moment that matches the small, quiet nods of his head. "I'm really happy about that." He replies to her, making eye contact for the passing of the words.
Then, glancing up in time to see the others start to get into the pool, Nitrim lowers his eyes to Cyrielle's ankle, his brows knitting together and his vision remaining behind on the stone as she passes. "Well, we all met costumes that night, different characters. We were all sort of in a different element." Nitrim turns his head, hiding the dotted scarring on the side of his neck for the others while he reaches for a pack of cigarettes. Slipping one free, he gives a sidelong look to Klaudea and Cyrielle. "Could I interest either of you in a cigarette?" He asks, eyes blotting over in white as he lights his with a heat centered in the palm of his hand.

"The brightest star casts the darkest shadow," Devon says in regards to their All Hallow's Eve masquerades. She casts a smile toward Nitrim and Cyrielle before she glances toward Klaudea, and then back toward Cyrielle. "I was looked after by Flint of House Grantham for a while… though my best training came from the Circle of Sorcerers in the Pit." She then glances toward Nitrim at the mention of the cigarette, and she laughs. "Between cigars and cigarettes…" She shakes her head, but she does smile. She relaxes her head back a bit into the edge of the bath.

"No thank you, my lord," Klaudea replies as she settls her back against the edge, her arms falling loosely to her lap, hands palm up in the water. "Well, that is the point I was making, Lady Cyrielle," she adds quietly. "I should remember that you are not another squire, and not ready to be pushed as we are. What is a morning warm up for us…" she trails off, and leans her head back with a sigh. As talk of the swords drops in favor of masquerades, she is more than happy to subside into silence.

Victor steps out of the changing room with a pale gray towel over his shoulder, demonstrating that the scars and tattoos are absolutely not restricted to the parts of his skin exposed by the current fashion. He's got a six-pack of unmarked brown bottles in his left hand, but evidently he heard that Devon was down here, because he doesn't have a cigar on him. Spotting the lava-red hair in the occupied tub, he pads in that direction on his bare feet, catching something as he approaches, "No one's smokin' 'round my kid, are they?"

Taking the offer of a cigarette to her advantage, Cyrielle moves through the warm waters to Nitrim's side, settling into place as she accepts one. Her own eyes white over as she taps into that power somewhere within to light the thing. It's a mix of the heat of the waters setting in and the cigarette as she draws on it that leads her to relax with a long sigh. "Flint is a good man," she says towards Devon, eyes still white for the moment. "I have him to thank for coming nearer a decision on having my leg fixed." As her eyes resume their normal color and the beginning green glow of her aura fades, she shakes her head, looking in Klaudea's direction. "Don't go easy on me. I may not be a squire, Knight, or otherwise part of a militial faction, but I was raised into the navy and a part of it into my teens." As Victor approaches, she blinks and glances to Devon- apparently letting the woman decide the rules there.

"You mean to tell me," Nitrim begins, raising his voice at the sound of Victor's as he blows a cloud of smoke up and over the group of naked bodies in the pool. "That Victor, one of the many Khourni bad-asses, is giving up on smoking with the new news?" Nitrim calls out, grinning from ear to ear. "I'm not smoking around your kid. I'm smoking above your kid, and at best its lungs'll be strong, right?" He quirks a brow to Devon, curious.
Before a reply can come too quickly, though, Nitrim's scarred neck pulls, opposite to Klaudea and Cyrielle's side, and his eyes blink. "So am I hearing this right, you plan to go forward with the surgery, Cyrielle?" He asks, then tilts his head towards Klaudea. "And you're teaching her how to fight with a sword? Did a whole bunch of massive decisions get made while I was laid up?"

Devon glances up toward Victor as he approaches, and the woman starts to smile easily. Then he poses that loaded question, and she raises her hand gently. "As long as your exhales are responsibly directed," the Ash Witch warns gently. Then she smiles gently toward the others before she coaxes her husband forward so that he may join her (and the others) in the bath. She stretches a bit again before she glances toward Cyrielle once more. "Surgery?" She blinks toward the Hollolas before she glances back toward Klaudea at the news of the squire teaching the noblewoman how to fight.

"I think it kind of began as something to keep her… occupied while you were sleeping off your injuries," Klaudea murmurs, her face tinging a bit red as she defends the work with the woman. "And I was still one handed. I have to learn to teach people sometime, if I get to continue being a squire. A few pointers turned into a few more, and" she gives a shrug, looking down into the water in front of her. "It's kind of become a regular thing." She does glance up as they are joined by another Khournas, and she bobs her respectfully, "Lord Sir Victor," she greets.

Victor snorts at Nitrim's words, "The Khourni bad-ass…" and then he looks over his shoulder, "Besides 'Bethe." Dropping his towel to the edge of the pool, he steps slowly down into the hot water alongside Devon, "…is smokin' on the roof for a couple months." And he's fooling himself if he thinks it's just for a couple of months. Easing down, he nods to the others, then leans his head back onto the towel, rolling his arms up onto the rim of the tub, "Swords are for wusses. They bounce the hell off Hostie armor." His low, gravelly voice is quite calm as he makes his frequent complaint, a faint smirk in his voice and on his face. There seems to be no inclination to eyeball any of the others in the tub, his dark gaze settling easily up toward the ceiling.

"Massive?" Cyrielle offers a bit of a snort. "The decision for my leg was made before you got yourself laid up. As for the training…" She gestures with the cigarette towards Klaudea as the squire explains. It's returned to her lips and she takes a long drag. The smoke? Exhaled towards the ceiling. Future momma says so. "It was before you woke. Began as teaching me ways to use my cane as defense and turned into sword and footwork." The woman's shoulders roll in a shrug as she sinks a bit further into the water. "In exchange, I may force her to spend some time on a ship." Lips twitch, but she looks to Devon and tilts her head slightly in a nod. "I was young and stupid and everyone let me convince myself that I could get my leg back to what it was. Never did and never will, so… Flint got some sense into my head that replacing it won't change who I am."

"You don't hold the complete corner or Khourni bad-assery, Victor. You married Devon, which makes two now in the family that can make things explode." Nitrim's lips twitch into a defiant smile, which he directs to Victor and Devon. "Can you make things explode without touching them, Victor?" The smile fades. "And for the record, congratulations. I'm pretty sure one of you is going to brow-beat me into babysitting. I can't wait."
Stretching his sore back muscles, Nitrim rubs at the fresh scar on his chest and sighs a new blue-gray cloud of fumes away from the pool, dipping his hand beneath the water to trail some of the heated liquid over the scar, then back down again. "Sword or anything I think it's a good idea for everyone to know how to defend themselves, I think what you two are doing is a good idea." Nitrim looks to Klaude and Cyrielle. "And I think that's a fair trade. I'm still hoping to get a chaperone for one of these sailing trips, myself. I've been invited but I'm still putting it together." He adds, looking back to Devon. "Lady Cyrielle has invited me sailing." His eyes widen. Nitrim on a boat. Glorious.

"Nine," Devon corrects idly toward Victor. She casts him a smile idly, but then she regards the others once more. Then she regards Cyrielle as she draws a hand across her belly. It is a comforting gesture, particularly for a fetus that can't decide if it wants to look like a bird or a fish. She nods her head gently at her words. "It took Flint some time to come to terms with that idea as well, so don't regard him so definitely as the pinnacle of wisdom." She grins a bit, taking a casual jab at her uncle who cannot defend himself. She shifts about a bit to make room for Victor in the bath before she breathes out another sigh. Then she quirks a brow toward Nitrim at the babysitting offer, and she laughs. "Only if you promise to leave Dahlia at home."

At the first mention of being asked to join Cyrielle on the boat, Klaudea glances up with a smile, and then she frowns. "Thank you, Lady Cyrielle. It is a most generous, offer. But I am sure you know that it's my pleasure to teach you. There's no need to repay me." She chews at the inside of her lip, keeping the smile that wants to break out at the banter between the three Khournas's restrained. The jab at the sword doesn't even cause her to bat an eyelash, but her eyes do assess the physical stature and fitness of what she can see of the man from a professional point of view before returning to her lap, not lingering on either of the couples for long as she draws her legs to her chest, knees causing surface ripples where the water just barely covers them.

Victor rumbles, "You haven't seen me glare at anybody in years, have you, 'Trim?" His lips curl into a toothy grin, even as his eyes remain up on the ceiling. He shrugs helplessly at the comment about babysitting, 'Can't do worse than me." Devon's correction causes him to wave his hand in a sort of 'yeah yeah' gesture. Evidently, he's not letting anything get in the way of his relaxation. "Might not be safe to bring the ol' girl near any spawn of Khournas. Strangling snakes in the crib and shit." He chuckles softly, slowly lowering his eyes to the woman alongside Nitrim, "I'm Vic. 'Trim's my cousin."

"My brother is more than happy to serve as your instructor and chaperone," Cyrielle says to Nitrim, unable to smother the smirk that rises. "My father has given clearance for me to select any ship out of the fleet. Leave the planning to me. You make sure you'll be stable enough on your feet to handle the waves." She shifts, lifting knee briefly from the water to bring her ankle up, hand shifting to rub it gingerly. To Devon, there's a smile: "That is how we began discussing it, in fact. His own path to making the decision is the best advice I have yet to hear. Sometimes, you must talk to someone who has been there." She shrugs lightly at that, though Klaudea earns a roll of the eyes. "Then consider me not repaying you, but offering some instruction."

Rubbing once more at the scar on his neck, Nitrim nods with the cigarette in his lip towards the water, giving his head a little shake to ward off the hint of dark thoughts that cross over his features. "I think I'm ready to go now, I might have a few days grace unless I'm needed here. The doctors are telling me to take it easy, though. I think we'll be fine, and you should come along, Klaudea. It would be nice to have less strangers in a strange land." Nitrim's eyes tilt to Klaudea, quieting at her discomfort.
Swallowing, he slumps back against the wall of the pool and looks to the other Khourni, settling a long stare on them as he decides just how to respond to them. "Dahlia is wonderful and well behaved around immature children." He picks good words this time, flashing his teeth in a display of self-depricating humor.

Devon smirks a bit. "You have high hopes for our offspring," the woman says dryly to Victor before she glances back toward the others in the bath even while she relaxes her shoulder into Victor's. "You should be careful of your wounds, Nitrim… sailing is a physical activity, particularly how the Hollolas do it." She flashes Cyrielle a smile before she then smirks a bit back at the Khourni. "There will be no snakes or otherwise around my baby until I say so."

A pained look flashes across Klaudea's face. "I would be happy to go," she concedes, then she bites her lip. "Sir Thalo," is murmured as the true reason, her gaze across the water to the unmarried couple holding no small amount of pleading as her eyes slip sideways in her sockets towards Victor and Devon and back, with a tiny shake of her head. However, at the crack of Dehlia being good around children, she does crack a smile… "wait. You have a /pet/ snake?" as it dawns on her who Dehlia is.

Victor nods at Nitrim, "Yup. She really loves you." His cousin set him up, he might as well take the bait. He nods to Klaudea, "A cobalt strangler. Beautiful creature. Best girl 'Trim's ever had over." Because Victor's really bad at reading social cues, as he's demonstrated time and time again. Devon's words cause him to chortle softly, "Gotta start trainin' 'em early, Dee. I was runnin' drills and trainin' at 4." We've established that Victor's father was an ass previously. "Might as well start him or her earlier."

"Well, I'll return to The Spine now that you and your sister are both released and start preparations." Cyrielle chuckles softly at Devon's warnings and smirks her way, "Well, don't warn Nitrim away from sailing and I'll ensure he leaves the snake behind. Deal?" Eyes shift to Klaudea and she gives a small, understanding nod to the squire. An implication that they'll work it out later. Victor earns a roll of the eyes and she lifts her hand from the water to splash lightly at the Knight. A final drag on her cigarette and she's able to reach out and put it out. "Dahlia isn't just a girl he has over. She's his permanent partner. I still haven't gotten him to admit they share a bed." Social cues or not, the woman is able to roll with things.
As matters come to more of a lull, however, Cyrielle turns towards Nitrim and reaches a hand towards his chin. He's been keeping angled from her for too long and she's given him enough chances. "You're not from the damned Vale. Let me see it."

"I don't have a pet and we don't share a bed." Nitrim growls, the drake stirring as he's being pulled by the chin to the side. "But yeah, Klaudea, I have a snake in my room. Her name is Dahlia and she's been with me through the worst. I'm at the point in my power where I can speak with her and hear what she thinks. Which means she can be trained even further." Nitrim lets that point sink in. "And I can assure you, Devon, where there isn't anything on two legs left standing, she will protect the things I hold dear, including your child."
Grimacing, Nitrim bares his teeth to Cyrielle, almost defiantly, as the domino-like peppering of scar tissue comes into view, covering most of the left side of his neck. It's an ugly, painful-looking thing.

Devon actually frowns just a touch. "I would much rather our child enjoy having a childhood before they are asked to consider whether or not they will take to the battlefield." Though she does clear her throat a bit as she regards the others once more. She doesn't seem particularly bristled, though there is a certain… tension that rolls through her frame. She clears her throat a bit before she offers a bit of a nod to Cyrielle with a smile. "Deal." Then she settles back into the edge of the bath, and also settles back into silence. She lifts her eyes toward Nitrim's scar tissue as he presents it. She frowns again.

Victor splutters as he gets water in the face, reaching up with one hand to run it down over his shaven scalp and then his face, cleansing them of water. "Hey." Still, he gestures his agreement with the words that follow. "There's nothing wrong with a couple scars." He tilts his own head to the right to show the rather sizeable tooth-marks where his neck joins his left shoulder. "Gives you character. You should get a tat with the scar, 'Trim. The Saimhann way." And he reaches out his right arm, demonstrating the ouroboros and hippocampus wrapped around his wrist. Indeed, each of his scars or collections of scars have a small tattoo alongside them, although there are a couple of tattoos that aren't matched by scars.

There's a little sigh of relief from Klaudea that is almost audible when Cyrielle acknowledges her plea. She settles her chin on her knees looking at them. "Chicks dig scars," she murmurs quietly, lifting her left hand almost to the surface to make swirls in the water. Her head turns towards Devon when she seems a little upset, her brows furrowing, but then she smiles. "A cobalt strangler?" her words are directed to Victor, and she tilts her head. "So, The Big Green Snake has a little blue snake for a companion?" she asks, finally returning her attention to Nitrim with grin, acknowledging his remarks on working with her in Awakened state. The left hand surfaces at the possible splashing commencing, protecting her face.

"Nothing wrong with scars indeed," Cyrielle says in the wake of Victor's words of wisdom on the subject. He's the only one getting splashed and it was a way of making a statement without having to actually speak aloud. She still holds Nitrim's chin firmly, making sure she gets a good long look at the scarring. "And here you had me thinking it was disfiguring," she scoffs, suddenly daring a bit of trouble by leaning in and pressing a quick and mostly chaste kiss to his lips. She settles back in her place, shaking her head. "You're alive and already willing to go sailing with me. That's worth any scars."

As if understanding Cyrielle's forward head movement, Nitrim gets his lips ready in time to return that short, chaste kiss as he's released. Frowning, he rubs at the scar and then stubs his cigarette out into an ashtray beside the pool. "It is disfiguring, and it's not something worth being proud of. We lost that fight you know." Nitrim points out, casting a discerning brow to everything that's naked, which is the others present. "I think I'm just going to leave it the way it is, not cover it up, and just let them build over time. The Siamhann paint them over, it's not my thing. I'm my own blemishes, that sort of thing." He quiets, lowering his body to a lean so that he can dip the back of his neck in the water. "Dahlia is a beautiful girl, make fun of me all you want, guys, but she's as much a part of this Blackspyre as I am. You'll all see one day."

The Ash Witch regards her husband after a long moment before she releases a bit of a sigh that is accompanied by a smile. She touches Victor's shoulder before she starts to haul herself up out of the water carefully. "No war is conducted without losses on both sides, little drake," she points out to Nitrim as she carefully straightens up, reaching for her towel as she pulls herself out of the bath. "Learn from the loss, and the scars will be worth the reminder." She offers him a gentle smile before she sweeps the towel around her midsection. "And that's about all that the doctors will allow me to soak." She casts a smile toward the others.

Victor shakes his head at Nitrim's opinion about the Saimhann tradition, "They…" he pauses, shrugging slightly, then goes with, "we… don't paint over them. We tell their story." He gestures to the image of the drake with the gaping mouth by the bite mark at his neck, "That's for the drake that used me like a chew toy." He twists to show the new scar across the left side of his back with a series of interlocking gears alongside it, "The scouts in the factory." The kiss seems to have settled some of the slow realization of the social implications in the tub, and he shifts one hand to lightly rest his left hand at the back of Devon's neck as she she shifts in the tub, then lets it drop away as she rises, "Stupid doctors." It's set with a grin, however, and he settles back, shrugging and agreeing with Devon's point, "As long as you survive and learn somethin', 'Trim, you can get somethin' outta the experience. So what'd you learn?"

Her chin back to resting on her knees, Klaudea's face is close to the steam, so it may be the heat of the water that has caused it to become red as Nitrim is unequivocable about them losing the fight. She swallows and listens to Devon, but the lady's leaving draws her gaze to the rim of the pool and she gives the correct nod of respect to the departing noblewoman. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Lady Devon." The questions of what was learned in the fight, even though Klaudea 'wasn't there', bring some more color to the squire's cheeks as she is reminded of what she 'learned'. "I should get going, too. I still have a run before dinner." She pulls herself up, and gives a proper nod to each of the three remaining nobles, "pleasure to meet you, Lord Sir Victor." Her towel is found and unrolled to wrap around her.

Some, if not all knew or should know by now. Cyrielle had to get it out of her system- Nitrim's been surrounded by medical equipment and nurses for far too long now. She does look slightly sheepish as she settles back into place. "Is it disfiguring? How?" She seems perhaps slightly put out, jaw flexing a bit as her brows grow heavy. Devon's departure earns a tilt of the head in a nod, "It was a pleasure to see you, Lady." And then Victor and her expression shifts, allowing a bit of a smile. "I knew I liked him, Nitrim. You survived. You saved your sister. Not every battle can be won, but there are minor victories everywhere." She settles in the water, one arm moving to support her head, the other falling beneath the waters with fingers flexing. Likely the hand used to bear a sword during training. Her eyes do shift to Klaudea and she dips her head in a nod. "Please let me know when you are next available for more practice."

"You take care of yourself, Devon, we're still long overdue on target practice. And thanks, you're right, I know there are losses, but this one was personal for me." Nitrim replies to her as she gets out of the pool, replaced by more nudity as Klaudea follows after her. He blinks and averts his eyes. "And you, Klaudea, you hang in there. Everything is going to get figured out. We're all in this together. I'll probably see you next coming to see Cyrielle spar with you." Nitrim adds, nodding to each of them in turn as he says his goodbyes.
"Cyri, Victor's probably closer to me in ways than my own brothers, there's a lot to be liked about the man. Before this all started I bought him and his brother each a solid shot before they shipped off, and they're still here. If that helped it along, I'll take it." Nitrim sours, rubbing at his neck once more, trying to get used to the feel of it being there when his neck moves. There's scar tissue beneath, thicker than the norm. "I learned that they're seeping in where they can, like channels in a sponge, and they're hiding in places where we'd least expect them. The commoners and the poor are out of view, and worse yet, maybe someone said something and did nothing." Nitrim looks to their faces, scowling. "Right now they're moving better than we are."

Devon smiles toward Victor even after she twists her towel up around her. She glances over her shoulder toward Nitrim, offering him a gentle nod of her head. "We will make time, Nitrim… of course." She smiles toward him knowingly before she touches the top of Victor's head before she makes her leave with slow and graceful strides, waving farewell to the others.

Victor nods idly to Klaudea as she departs, "You too. But if you're teachin' people without The Wall's approval, he probably won't like that." It's not a threat, just a statement. He shrugs idly at Cyrielle's words, "I'm likeable. And you should learn from a knight or a teacher, not a squire." Simple statement again. "And a shot the night before always helps. One shot." He nods at the lesson, "Dee and I were talking about trying to start up a network. People comming in reports if they see anything. Then we send a patrol out and smash the shit outta the Hosties." The touch at his head causes him to smile a little, and he straightens up in his seat so he can look back over the top of his head at the departing new-Khournas, then settles down again to look back to Cyrielle and Nitrim.

"Oh, Six, Nitrim- /don't/." Cyrielle says, looking somewhat appalled as the Khournas lordling mentions watching her train with Klaudea. "I'm utter rubbish. All ideas you may have ever had of me being talented or graceful will disappear." She is working with a bad ankle, afterall. The joking fades as Nitrim goes on and there's a furrow in her brow. Something concerned. Something bothered. Her dark gaze does drift to Victor and she moves her shoulders in a small shrug. "It began as something to distract us. Now I'm figuring if I know something beyond just a bow, perhaps people won't fuss so over me."

"Don't let her fool you, Vic, she can do a lot more than fire a bow. She's like me. She might not be able to glare at someone and make their head fall off like you, but she's capable." Nitrim replies, looking over to Cyrielle for a quiet moment, his lips flattening into a half-smile of sorts, a moment of camaraderie before he dips back to the water behind him. "I've been thinking about this a lot, both of you know, and what's going to win this is information, so anything. A report network, a volunteer group of eyes for every neighborhood armed with flare guns to signal trouble, anything is going to help, because we're trying to ferret them out and they have the initiative - SIX - it's amazing I was able to sleep in that fucking hospital at all." Nitrim's hand comes out of the water to brush at his nose. "We're all learning, though. We're all getting stronger. What I learned in that fight though, truly? Is that I've got staying power and a lot of the fear I had died at Ignis. I can do what it takes to save lives."

Victor shrugs his shoulders, "Not tryin' to be a dick, but you're not likely to get good training from a squire. Could even teach bad habits." He nods at Nitrim's addition, "But you know that's not enough. Gotta be able to defend yoruself." The mention of flare guns causes him to chuckle softly, "Why not just comms? I mean, even if they don't got one, their next door neighbor's got one, and they carry 'em everywhere." The last point, however, causes him to straighten up a touch further, and he points two fingers across to his cousin, "And that's important. Knowin' you can do what it takes." He plucks a pair of brews out of his six-pack and offers them out to the other couple, "Beer?"

There's a shrug offered in Victor's direction. "You may be a dick, but you have good reason." Cyrielle glances over towards Nitrim. "If I decide to continue with them, like as not I can find someone to train me properly. But I don't want to risk taking up time that could be spent training actual squires." She shifts slightly, stretching as muscles finally unkink and relaxation brought by hot water finally seeps into her form. "Awakened abilities aren't perfect, Nitrim. A lot of things can interfere." She does smile at his final statement; his words of personal triumph. It's a very pleased and proud expression. The offer of beer is answered with a grateful expression as Cyrielle accepts one. "Oh, thank you. I was going to go crazy wondering if you were just taunting us with them."

Reaching out, Nitrim takes the beer from Victor with a nod of thanks. His other hand comes out from under the water to crack the seal and allow himself a pull from the bottle. Sighing at the cool drink, a good contrast to the hot water, he braces his arm over the edge of the pool and lets his hand disappear back beneath the waves to churn the water before him. "Flares for anyone watching the rooftops. You see a flare, you call it in. More eyes than just neighbors. Just an idea, though." Nitrim shakes his head, then looks over to Cyrielle. "I took a bullet with Anabethe's name on it, and I made sure Reena got out of there. We didn't lose anyone that day, but we could have." He pauses, eyes sharpening just a tad. "But you're probably right. Better you know how to fight back in the event you're hamstrung powers-wise." With a look a bit too familiar for friend-noble's sake, he looks back to Victor, caught giving her the look. He stares at the man. Like he didn't know anyway.

Victor passes the beers over, then gathers up one for himself, popping the top and taking a swig. The cap goes back into the six-pack as storage. "Oh, I'm an ass, but not that much of an ass. Just forgot about them." He takes another sip, then notes, "Hosties can see flares too. Maybe even better'n us. But maybe in the really poor-ass sectors. But I'd rather catch 'em with their pants down." That look could have gotten people in trouble if Victor actually cared. But they're not Hostiles, beers, or cigars. He draws in a breath, lets it out, "If ya don't mind, I'm gonna go over a tub and spread out. Feel free to have another beer." And he drops most of the rest of his as he hauls himself out of the tub and over to the next one over.

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