Author Topic: Dramatis PersonŠ  (Read 749 times)

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Dramatis PersonŠ
« on: November 26, 2017, 09:05:28 PM »
Prologue,
Of Smoke and Mirrors





Running a hand through his hair, the man turned the lock on the door into his office. The day's business was mostly left behind him, he thought -- at least with those that came from without. Soon, there would be internal business, things for him to take care of for his new place of employment. It stunk less than the last, and it was, at the very least, mostly legitimate to outside beholders. Small reliefs.

What wasn't a relief is his exceptionally speedy promotion. He didn't expect to come into so many responsibilities within the first two weeks of his job, but, all he could afford at that thought was a shrug. His punishment for doing his job too well, and perhaps, doubly so, a punishment for his hubris. That little facet of his is likely to never disappear, and he might one day come to regret that, but now was not the time. Before business of the company could come, he had to deal with his own, personal business. He stepped behind his desk and sat in the tall chair that accompanied it; his throne. Leaning back and crossing his right leg over the left, boot slightly outstretched over his knee, his hand deftly withdrew a tiny booklet from his shirt pocket. He opened it with the same hand and began flipping through its pages.

Most of what he scribbled within was abandoned scripts and stories, even poems and symphonies, and perhaps entirely counter to that, diagrams and schematics, nigh unintelligible to the untrained eye. Luckily, he was trained. Though near the end of the booklet, came an oddity -- a single page, solely listing initials, and naught else.


Quote from: Dramatis PersonŠ
...

  • A.V.
  • S.V.
  • A.G.

...

His eyes seemed to catch his smile at the last he read, as if remembering a pleasant memory.

~~~

"Laurent! Where are you pointing that sword? You hit them with the pointy end, not the broad side of the toothpick!"
His instructor's hollering was nothing new, the boy thought to himself. A rather greasy and chubby Dementlieuse man, blonde of long hair and brown of pig eyes, Pierre Roche barely qualified to teach eating to a glutton, even by the boy's own measure, yet it was all his father could afford -- not out of lack of coin, but rather to keep appearances. A winter retreat in Chateaufaux for the boy's sixteenth birthday, all the escargot he could eat, and the humiliation of being yelled at by... bloody Pierre Roche.

Despite being sixteen, he hadn't developed much beyond his height. His black hair was a disheveled mop, and he had already developed black circles around his blue eyes, though none to match those of his spectating father, a wiry person, much like himself, but one that definitely appeared to be his age, with dark eyes and hair, and a full mustache. They trained in the courtyard of the inn where they stayed, near the stables, so as to not bother anyone.


"You know, Pierre," The boy called to him in near-perfect Mordentish, traces of his lineage masked well despite him being out of breath. "I didn't hear that the first time,
 so how about you keep shrieking? That'll do the trick, won't it? Or, or -- oh, wild idea! Maybe you could actually teach." He mopped at his brow, then entered a haphazard stance, barely mimicking that of his opponent.
"If your father wasn't watching I would have beat the hell out of you by now for that sass." Pierre seethed, pointing his rapier accusingly toward his student, when the aforementioned spoke.
"Do it anyway." He said with a smile, arms folded as he observed from his seat on the bench, all much to the chagrin of his son. "I pay you to teach him, not coddle him. That's his mother's job."

Those words not only drew out an exasperated sigh from his son, but a grin from his instructor; and for the next few weeks, he would learn that Dementlieuse etiquette was the only thing that saved him from a new collection of bruises.


~~~

Those were simpler days, he thought. His eyes snapped back into the here and now, his brows knitting together as he surveyed his office again. Odd how far he'd come in half a lifetime, yet his swordsmanship was just as useless, that a now-elderly Pierre Roche could still give him a wallop. Swords hung from his walls and lay in glass cabinets, but it wasn't like he was about to use any of them; not even the one currently sheathed and propped against the drawers of his desk. No, he was quietly content with sitting in a packed, ledger/weapon heavy office and follow the script.

His father had given him the training he needed to continue his path. A formal and informal education, in a great variety of fields -- some only enough so that he could mimic the truth, and others, learned truly. His eyes carried him further down the page.


Quote from: Dramatis PersonŠ
...

  • L.W.
  • M.H.
  • V.C.
  • M.S.
  • V.H.

...

It didn't end there, but he knew the rest. No need to review those, or strike them out. In time, he'll make it to the bottom of the page, but for now, he allowed himself to get comfortable. He kicked his legs up on the table, crossing them at the ankles, and tucked his booklet away.

To Erwin von Brandt, the world was a stage; a stage full of characters. Those that mill about in the background, the ones whose actions are barely worth being in the script, and those that take the parts of the grand plot -- the Dramatis PersonŠ, in Darkonese. His intent, partially, was to find them, and observe them, and perhaps bounce off of them, but at the top of this list of main characters, was only one initial. After all, most of his life was aimed at getting just there.

Welcome to the show.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 04:11:26 PM by Pav »
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Dramatis PersonŠ - M.S. & V.H.
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 08:12:56 PM »
Quote
M.S.

Known Name: ------- -----

Gender: F

Occupation: Monster Hunter

Origin: Mistborne

Personal Impression:

Where to begin? What little I could glean from our admittedly lengthy conversations is that she is a bitter, shy girl. Wise enough to admit that she does not know what drives her, but not enough to change accordingly. Something about her puts me off, but I am not sure what, yet. I will be reviewing something for her in exchange for swordplay lessons, and, thus far, she is at the very least preferable to any other instructors I had in my youth.

All she needs is a spark to ignite what likely lays dormant, but only time will tell.

Quote
V.H.

Known Name: ------- --- -----

Gender: F

Occupation: Bartender, Entertainer

Origin: Richemulot

Personal Impression:

Disappointment. I am unsure how to correct this, or to explain, but there is so much that this woman could be doing, so much that she could aspire to be. She confided in me that she feels weak, but feels the need to spew about her many talents. A lack of confidence and a poor choice of direction are stifling her.

Like M.S., she needs a shove in the right direction, a flame to her kindling, and I do not think my gentle nudges thus far have been enough. Perhaps I will try a more direct approach, but for that, the foundations already built must be reinforced.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - A.V. & A.G.
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 08:35:24 PM »
Quote
A.V.

Known Name: ------ --------

Gender: M
 
Occupation: Red Vardo Trader

Origin: Borca

Personal Impression:

The few conversations I had with my current superior before his departure were pleasant ones. He is a man with a visible conviction, and even if his countenance is mostly stoic, I can almost feel the fire he has for what he believes to be right. Outlook is good, but I still need to know more, before he can make it to the final list.

Quote
A.G.

Known Name: ----- --------

Gender: F

Occupation: Anchorite

Origin: Dementlieu

Personal Impression:


A timid woman with the classical symptoms of her Sect. Surprisingly, out of all those I met, her conversations, while simple, remain the most pleasant, not only in afterthought but in present experience. She would be a good balancing act, wittingly or no, to whatever may come.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - V.C. & S.V.
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 08:35:36 PM »
Quote
V.C.

Known Name: ---- ----------

Gender: M

Occupation: Bartender, Games Master

Origin: Borca

Personal Impression:

This man is a slimey, creepy mess. If I could pick one person to never have to lay eyes upon again, it would be him. Fortunately, I do not have to see him to appreciate his well-hidden cleverness. He is cunning, willing, and his future endeavours in my eyes appear only bright.

I was wrong before, sadly. He displays rather obvious tellers, at times, and I wonder if I did well in trusting him with even a sliver of a secret. As with all those before him, we shall have to see how he is affixed into the plot.

Quote
S.V.

Known Name: ------- -------

Gender: F

Occupation: Bellegarde Operative

Origin: Darkon

Personal Impression:

A rather impish little lady, our conversations are often relegated to business but the ones we do have off the record are more enticing than many I have had in my time out of Lamordia. A fellow intellectual, through and through. Despite our disagreements in what we discussed, she remains an amiable person to be around, though her attempts to trip me during our more official conversations have been noted. Her faith is an interesting point, but one I am yet unwilling to explore.

I feel saddened that we are likely to remain in opposition for the rest of the tale.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 08:54:28 PM by Pav »
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Dramatis PersonŠ - M.H. & L.W.
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 08:52:37 PM »
Quote
M.H.

Known Name: -------- -------

Gender: F

Occupation: Minstrel

Origin: Mordent

Personal Impression:

Rather clearly an individual possessed of many talents, with the capacity to show as much unlike others, M.H. seems content with her position at current as a minstrel, though uses it to her advantage. Perhaps the most clever of the ones I have deigned to include in my potential list, her future seems almost secure, for now.

I sincerely hope she does not disappoint.

Quote
L.W.

Known Name: ------ -----

Gender: M

Occupation: Travelling Sellsword

Origin: Lamordia

Personal Impression:

A fellow countryman, and like myself, one that is a cut above the rest. I write this as freely and openly and will say as much to anyone's face, that the bread and butter Lamordian is simply an inflated mind with no vision, foresight, or a desire to differ from his peers. Like an ant nest, it is a well-oiled hierarchy, wondrous to behold and incredible to fathom.

However, an ant nest is also comprised of near mindless vermin. Not this man, however -- no, I can see it in him. Perhaps it was his place of upbringing, that differed, but he does not remind me aught of any others. He is an honest, honorable man, yet one that still possesses intellect, as gleaned from our few encounters.

He has not shown himself in a while, however, and I start to worry. If he was met with an untimely demise in this frontier, it would be more than a little unfortunate.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - V.H.
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 09:00:33 PM »
Quote
V.H.

Known Name: ------- --- -----

Gender: F

Occupation: Bartender, Entertainer

Origin: Richemulot

Personal Impression:

Disappointment. I am unsure how to correct this, or to explain, but there is so much that this woman could be doing, so much that she could aspire to be. She confided in me that she feels weak, but feels the need to spew about her many talents. A lack of confidence and a poor choice of direction are stifling her.

Like M.S., she needs a shove in the right direction, a flame to her kindling, and I do not think my gentle nudges thus far have been enough. Perhaps I will try a more direct approach, but for that, the foundations already built must be reinforced.

[An addition has been made to this specific entry.]

Quote
Kicked the hornet's nest. Let us see what comes out.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - M.H.
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2017, 05:42:14 AM »
Quote
M.H.

Known Name: -------- -------

Gender: F

Occupation: Minstrel

Origin: Mordent

Personal Impression:

Rather clearly an individual possessed of many talents, with the capacity to show as much unlike others, M.H. seems content with her position at current as a minstrel, though uses it to her advantage. Perhaps the most clever of the ones I have deigned to include in my potential list, her future seems almost secure, for now.

I sincerely hope she does not disappoint.

[An addition and an amendment have been made to this specific entry.]

Quote
M.H. will not disappoint.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - Y.R., D.C., & Others
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2017, 06:18:29 PM »
Quote
Y.R.

Known Name:----- ----------

Gender: F

Occupation: Vagrant

Origin: Nova Vaasa

Personal Impression:

To be quite honest with myself, I did not expect to sign this individual into my list, but watching her evolve over the last few weeks has been extremely rewarding. Like all those I deal with, I am either being played for a fool, or not. The warm, genuinely friendly elation I get from watching her go about the motions of our soon to be shared profession is something I would be upset to find out was a lie.

She will make do.

Quote
D.C.

Known Name: ----- ------

Gender: M

Occupation: Swordsman

Origin: Barovia

Personal Impression:

Bright young fellow, a local with plenty of promise to him. He knows how to stay on his toes in conversation, has ambition, and a desire to better himself. My skills will do little to sharpen what he already has, save for maybe some fine-tuning, but he has plenty of room to grow. It is my hope that he becomes as tall as an ancient oak, and I will do my best to guide him that way.

Quote
Quote
M.S.

Known Name: ------- -----

Gender: F

Occupation: Monster Hunter

Origin: Mistborne

Personal Impression:

Where to begin? What little I could glean from our admittedly lengthy conversations is that she is a bitter, shy girl. Wise enough to admit that she does not know what drives her, but not enough to change accordingly. Something about her puts me off, but I am not sure what, yet. I will be reviewing something for her in exchange for swordplay lessons, and, thus far, she is at the very least preferable to any other instructors I had in my youth.

All she needs is a spark to ignite what likely lays dormant, but only time will tell.

[An addition has been made to this specific entry.]

Quote
I think I pushed her too far. She is troubled, more so than any I have met thus far, but I believe she can be convinced to let go. After all, pain is what we make of it. Our stubbornness and our pride are finite, and even if some reach farther than my words can reach, some do not.

I would like to think she can be saved, but I cannot say for certain what that would entail.

Quote
Quote
V.H.

Known Name: ------- --- -----

Gender: F

Occupation: Bartender, Entertainer

Origin: Richemulot

Personal Impression:

Disappointment. I am unsure how to correct this, or to explain, but there is so much that this woman could be doing, so much that she could aspire to be. She confided in me that she feels weak, but feels the need to spew about her many talents. A lack of confidence and a poor choice of direction are stifling her.

Like M.S., she needs a shove in the right direction, a flame to her kindling, and I do not think my gentle nudges thus far have been enough. Perhaps I will try a more direct approach, but for that, the foundations already built must be reinforced.

[An addition has been made to this specific entry.]

Quote
Kicked the hornet's nest. Let us see what comes out.

[And yet, another addition to the entry, short but sweet.]

Quote
She teeters on the edge.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - S.V. & M.H.
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 10:49:58 PM »
Quote
Quote
S.V.

Known Name: ------- -------

Gender: F

Occupation: Bellegarde Operative

Origin: Darkon

Personal Impression:

A rather impish little lady, our conversations are often relegated to business but the ones we do have off the record are more enticing than many I have had in my time out of Lamordia. A fellow intellectual, through and through. Despite our disagreements in what we discussed, she remains an amiable person to be around, though her attempts to trip me during our more official conversations have been noted. Her faith is an interesting point, but one I am yet unwilling to explore.

I feel saddened that we are likely to remain in opposition for the rest of the tale.

[An addition has been made to this specific entry, the lettering sharp.]

Quote
I will make sure you are safe. Through what ever it takes.

Friends do not leave friends behind.

Quote
M.H.

Known Name: -------- -------

Gender: F

Occupation: Minstrel

Origin: Mordent

Personal Impression:

Rather clearly an individual possessed of many talents, with the capacity to show as much unlike others, M.H. seems content with her position at current as a minstrel, though uses it to her advantage. Perhaps the most clever of the ones I have deigned to include in my potential list, her future seems almost secure, for now.

I sincerely hope she does not disappoint.

[An addition and an amendment have been made to this specific entry.]

Quote
M.H. will not disappoint.

[And yet another.]

Quote
I cannot determine if it is a shell, a deflection, or a bait.

I cannot tell.

She has me fooled.

Woe betide me if I lost her, too.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - S.S. & Swirling Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 06:45:48 PM »
Quote
S.S.

Known Name: ------ ---------

Gender: M

Occupation: Tigan

Origin: Barovia

Personal Impression:

He does not seem to understand. There is so much that passes right through him, so much he does not account for, so much he does not care for. When I look at him, I see myself, had I been void of heart.

Should my own tale unravel and turn incomplete, I would wish for him to see himself through to a happy end of his own grandiose design, one from which he emerges better.

[The next entry in the playbook seems separate from all the others, the handwriting crowded and sharp. It was written quick, as if under some form of duress.]

Quote
I find my every earthly whim satisfied. I find the days to turn, and on the surface, all seems well -- each rising of the sun still brings warmth, kind words, and fellowship. My comrades are healthy, working tirelessly to better all our lives, to better our business, our way of life. My heart is kept in good spirits, from moment to passing moment... but why is it I cannot help but feel the rot?

There is a poison in every motion, in every movement. Every word spoken is a potential lethal drop sent to my veins, be it from perceived friend, or perceived foe. Those I thought were my friends, turned into my foes; those I thought my foes, turned my friends. This juggling of positions, with every move others take, is harrowing to follow. It serves to sway me to think that my chosen profession was not for me, that my life would have been better, perhaps, if I remained in Lamordia, or pursued it alone, and not joined with my opposites in the trade. People I have sworn I would never be like, and Viktorov made it seem as if that would never happen.

I am a fake leader. They call me Boss, but I could never sway them into mine and his ideals. For how little time we knew each other, for how few times we have actually spoken, I trust his intentions more than any around me, and his words to lead us all somewhere true and earnest.

I am a fake swordsman. They praise me for my martial feats, but none of them would have come to pass if they were not there.

I am a fake person.

There is so much about myself that I simply do not know, so much about myself that is merely a mockery of what it means to live. My identity is as fragile as a thin sheet of ice.

There are only two truths to me that I can find.

My soft heart and my Tigan's soul.
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Dramatis PersonŠ
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2017, 11:52:00 PM »




Life has a funny way of twisting one's expectations around, then slamming them into a nearby stone wall. For all he thought he had learned, all he thought he had managed to see and understand, the man calling himself Erwin von Brandt had much more yet to experience, much more yet to accomplish. He was sat in his office chair, his own personal throne, such as it was for the time being, and contemplated this over and over, day after day, night after night, whenever time allowed -- and these days, with the additional help, it turned out to be quite often enough.

He had his work, doing something he could appreciate doing. It came with its own hurdles and tribulations, but it was what it was. The problem was that he was lacking what he wanted, what he needed. What his soul yearned for, almost inexplicably, in so many different aspects of life, and it was this inexplicability that led to doubt.


~~~

Lamordia. Dementlieu, Mordent, Richemulot, Borca, Falkovnia (Why?), Darkon.

The sciences. Fencing, horse-riding. Book-keeping. The arts, and to observe depravity. The arts, and to observe depravity, again. To observe depravity, again (Why?). The sciences, magic.

A full summer's work. Spend the coin from that summer. Spend the coin from last summer. And the last. And the last. And the last. And the last.

Never alone, though. Always with my father. Why?

He smiled, with excitement, every time we set off; and every time we came home, that smile was still on his face. As our household kept on crumbling, and my mother's wits were at an end, he still smiled. Why?

It was because he believed I could be more than him. Because he believed I was special. Because he believed that I could be unbound, unlike him.

In me, he saw his own salvation.


~~~

He was missing the things he worked for. What he spent half a lifetime to aspire toward, and he seemed not an inch closer than when he started. What had to change for him to finally grasp at what was, surely, within his reach?

~~~

But now, I am alone.

These last few years, I have been alone. No guiding hand, no safety to fall back onto. No voice of reason to stifle my erratic, eccentric self. Control has come at a price. I feel dead and shriveled the more I look within, the more I seek the truth of who I am. I feel as if there is nothing that I need to find, as my entire existence is laid out in front of me, yet I still feel so... hollow, without knowing.

Who were you?

Who was I?

Who is to be?

Who am I to be?

The quiet, evasive fluttering of the Mockingbird and the quacking of ducklings seem to be a smokescreen.

Am I that blind?


~~~

He was missing certainty.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 12:35:18 AM by Pav »
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Dramatis PersonŠ - A.V. & V.H.
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 11:20:10 PM »
Quote
A.V.

Known Name: ------ --------

Gender: M
 
Occupation: Red Vardo Trader

Origin: Borca

Personal Impression:

The few conversations I had with my current superior before his departure were pleasant ones. He is a man with a visible conviction, and even if his countenance is mostly stoic, I can almost feel the fire he has for what he believes to be right. Outlook is good, but I still need to know more, before he can make it to the final list.

[A long while has passed before the next addition to this entry found its place, its contents direct but surprisingly vague.]

Quote
We are not assassins.

We are thieves.

Quote
Quote
Quote
V.H.

Known Name: ------- --- -----

Gender: F

Occupation: Bartender, Entertainer

Origin: Richemulot

Personal Impression:

Disappointment. I am unsure how to correct this, or to explain, but there is so much that this woman could be doing, so much that she could aspire to be. She confided in me that she feels weak, but feels the need to spew about her many talents. A lack of confidence and a poor choice of direction are stifling her.

Like M.S., she needs a shove in the right direction, a flame to her kindling, and I do not think my gentle nudges thus far have been enough. Perhaps I will try a more direct approach, but for that, the foundations already built must be reinforced.

[An addition has been made to this specific entry.]

Quote
Kicked the hornet's nest. Let us see what comes out.

[And yet, another addition to the entry, short but sweet.]

Quote
She teeters on the edge.

[Once again, another entry.]

Quote
I am not sure if I can hold her up.

She is so close to being broken into a thousand pieces, and I fear my hand will be covered in shards.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 11:21:44 PM by Pav »
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Dramatis PersonŠ - Swirling Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 05:15:19 PM »
Quote
My patience is running thin.

With every day that passes, the reputation of the organization I work for seeks to ruin me. The viewpoints of those I consider my friends, those I want to help and see safe, are skewed by the public face of my profession. Accusations fly without limit, from those that I have done nothing for but try and help. Their and others' involuntary deceptions, an inability to be honest when facing those you claim to be dear to you...

It grates my nerves. It spoils what I have left to give.

But, I believe he really is proud of me, wherever he is. For aspiring to be like him, and doing my best to remain a good man, that sees all the best in others. But as he said, I should aspire to be proud of myself.

I do not hurt those that do not deserve it. Lie to those who will not lie to me.

I am not an assassin.

I am a thief.

If the world will swallow me whole for refusing to stoop down to the level of worthless snakes and scum, then I will go gladly, knowing that my life was spent the best way it could have been spent.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - S.V.
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2018, 11:25:01 PM »
Quote
Quote
S.V.

Known Name: ------- -------

Gender: F

Occupation: Bellegarde Operative

Origin: Darkon

Personal Impression:

A rather impish little lady, our conversations are often relegated to business but the ones we do have off the record are more enticing than many I have had in my time out of Lamordia. A fellow intellectual, through and through. Despite our disagreements in what we discussed, she remains an amiable person to be around, though her attempts to trip me during our more official conversations have been noted. Her faith is an interesting point, but one I am yet unwilling to explore.

I feel saddened that we are likely to remain in opposition for the rest of the tale.

[An addition has been made to this specific entry, the lettering sharp.]

Quote
I will make sure you are safe. Through what ever it takes.

Friends do not leave friends behind.

I am sorry.

Ma Fin.
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Dramatis PersonŠ - Intermission
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2018, 03:45:50 AM »

[Every single name and entry in the playbook seems to have been crossed out, though one has received an additional note...]

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M.H.

Known Name: -------- -------

Gender: F

Occupation: Minstrel

Origin: Mordent

Personal Impression:

Rather clearly an individual possessed of many talents, with the capacity to show as much unlike others, M.H. seems content with her position at current as a minstrel, though uses it to her advantage. Perhaps the most clever of the ones I have deigned to include in my potential list, her future seems almost secure, for now.


I sincerely hope she does not disappoint.

[An addition and an amendment have been made to this specific entry.]

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M.H. will not disappoint.

[And yet another.]

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I cannot determine if it is a shell, a deflection, or a bait.

I cannot tell.

She has me fooled.

Woe betide me if I lost her, too.

Quote from: Dramatis PersonŠ
Life is unfair.

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