Act One: Fragile Peace


The commander took her sweet time in returning, as she often did, and slipped somewhat quietly into the barracks, offering a pleasant smile and a nod to the others. The scent of curry made her reconsider her typical one-lunch-per-day policy, at least a little, and she thought she might find a little room for it, at least.

Were they going to eat together, like a little dysfunctional family? That would be rather charming, wouldn't had been quite a while since she'd done something so quaint. For the time being, though, she was content to hover around Lucia a little as the Housewife Master worked. It was if nothing else interesting to watch; her own culinary talents extended about as far as killing something and cooking it enough to make sure any parasites in it were dead.

Briefly, Tobias gazed in silence at Elizabeth, the willowy Willow Glen shaman as she offered the lad a bandage. Hesitantly, he reached a bandaged hand out, slowly, until he caught the tail end of Lucia, speaking out from the curry she attended to. His hand 'choked', flinching back and balling to a light fist, Tobias' eyes snapping from the bandage to Elizabeth, shifting from hesitation to grim determination.

Without a word otherwise, he turned from the woman, and marched toward Lucia, but paid her no mind - in fact, he paid her an absence of mind, so much so it was plainly obvious he was ignoring her. His attention, oddly, was on the stove.

Pausing to gaze at the damp bandage, the lad reached a hand up to the metal stove Lucia cooked from, testing the temperature with his finger. Withdrawing quickly, he knew it was just right.

Turning his back to Lucia, and making sure he was well away from disturbing her cooking, Tobias put his eyes to the floor and pressed the bandage on his hand flat against the metal. It hissed quietly, bubbles of steam wafting away from his hand. For a moment, Tobias wondered what Vulkan would think of his actions, but he quickly remembered it didn't matter to him.

Rocking it left and right, he flipped to the back of his hand and repeated the process a few times in short, hissing bursts until there was no more hissing; he kept an almost perfect mask of indifference as his gaze burned a hole blankly through the floor.

After a moment, the smithy took his hand from the stove - he would certainly have an interesting wound now, a mix of light steam burns and cuts, but at least the bandage was now dry, and the wound, clean. A strange sigh, mixed somewhere between resignation and contentment, the lad displayed his still-steaming bandaged hand somewhat toward Elizabeth, and muttered to her quietly.

"I told you - I'll deal with my problems, you deal with yours." He kept a blank face, but it was clear from his stiff shoulders he was in some amount of pain - how much was difficult to tell. "Please, don't make me your problem." He added in an... Oddly legitimate, polite tone.

With that, he turned from the two shamans, having said nothing to Lucia, and walked somewhat stiffly off to his room. His backpack contained something, and he wanted it.


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