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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:56 am
by Kai
Brian is GMing a tabletop RP set in Gaera on Ka'thalar (details here), and I finally got the more detailed version of my character's bio written up yesterday. Maybe now some people will finally get an explanation for why the hell the party's fighter had his tongue cut out. He seems like a nice guy, but he must've pissed someone off, right?

So here's the story.

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:57 am
by Kai
Beneath the tall, deep green pines of his new master's estate, a human boy lay in the shaded grass. Spread out in the heat, sweat drying on his skin, he dozed with a piece of straw held between his lips and the wind cooling his scalp beneath his thick blond hair. Though he was still growing into the length of his legs and arms, the boy was strong, and he was a good worker. These little rests were few and far between, but he had cut enough wood and drawn enough water for the day. Later perhaps he would be called to haul great loads of household washing to the river, surrounded by the animated and colorful forms of smaller furred women as they chatted and laughed. He didn't mind. They always asked so nicely.

They liked him well enough, and they were good to him. But at the end of the day it was Domenico to whom he returned. After hours of slanted gazes and the sly shifting ears of canny feline women, the rail-thin Inujin with the silky grey fur was the one Joachim came home to. Outsiders they were, no matter how well their usefulness earned affection from their masters. They were not like Yukio. They remembered life before this place, and could never truly belong to the name they were given. Joachim had been sold to this house when he was much younger, by an elf who could no longer afford to support a fast-growing human child. Not precisely a father to the boy, the elf's name had been lost to time. For many years now, Joachim had been Yoakimu to all but his old Domenico. Even Yukio, who ought to have known better.

"Yoakimu! Oi!"

The lad started up, propping himself on one elbow to find the other human of the house charging across the gentle sloping field at forest's edge toward him. Slightly younger, Yukio had always been with the Imai family, and had only ever known himself as Imai Yukio. He slept in the house with the others, uncomfortable being seen with Domenico for reasons he could never quite bring himself to articulate. Joachim knew, though. Yukio wanted to be like the others, and the more he was seen with the old dog, the further away that hope would drift.

Still. When there was mischief to be had, who else could he boast to but Joachim?

"Yoakimu!" He halted in the sun beyond the trees' branches, bracing himself with his hands on his knees as he caught his breath. "Imai-sama took us to town today! Do you want to see what I bought?"

His afternoon relaxation broken by a needy young boy, Joachim gave the effort up for lost. "Sure. Let's see it."

The dark-haired boy drew from his pocket a handful of firecrackers. "None of the other boys saw me buy them. They thought I had gone to the privy." He grinned. "I think I will put on a longer fuse, and tie it to Koji-kun's tail tonight for what he did to my miso last week!"

Joachim laughed despite himself, even as he shook his head to protest the plan. "I think that Koji-san would give you no peace for a month. You know how proud he is of his tail."

Yukio screwed his face into a scowl of disdain. "He only cares because a girl complimented him on it once. Now it's all we ever hear about. 'Oh my beautiful long tail, how it shines in the sun! Oh, how it moves with such grace!' Gah." Yukio waved his hand dismissively. "We have all had enough of listening to Koji-kun praising his tail."

A snort of laughter was Joachim's answer. "Teach an Imai boy humility at your own peril." Yukio's face fell, anticipating a lecture. "But you'd better tell me when you do it," Joachim added with a grin. "I'll still want to see his face the next day. Don't tell them I said that."

Encouraged, but burdened with a solemn secret of the greatest gravity between men, Yukio returned to find the others. Joachim watched him go, and wondered how different things might have been had Yukio been older than the Imai sons as Joachim himself was, rather than close enough in age to make playmates of them. It was a question he would ask himself again and again as the years passed, and the divide between Imai-sama's two human vassals grew wider.

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:58 am
by Kai
"Kimi-kun!" A melodic feminine voice rang out from the yard in front of Domenico's humble one-room house. "Kimi-kun, are you awake?" When the large human teenager appeared in the doorway shirtless, hair a fright, and rubbing sleep from his eyes, Chikako had her answer. The russet-furred Nekojin made a low sound of approval in the back of her throat. The human seemed to be getting bigger every year. Good height, broad shoulders, strong arms. But still no girlfriends coming by! Maybe it was just old Domenico discouraging him, or maybe the boy was a dōseiaisha like Imai-sama's brother. What a shame that would be. Chikako knew one or two maidservants who would be mightily disappointed if she brought them such sad news.

"What can I do for you, Chikako-san?" he asked, finally pulling his wits together enough to answer her.

"Nashi-baasan wants to go to town, and I don't have time to take her. I told her that you would do it." Her tone brooked no dissent, and Joachim could only bow his agreement. "Good. Then you get dressed. She is ready and has already eaten."

"Why did--"

Chikako interrupted. "I said she is waiting. So hurry up. We can't have her getting impatient and leaving without a guard. You will go. Understand?”

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:59 am
by Kai
That left little time. Like Domenico, Nashi-sama tired early and woke early again in the morning. Further, Joachim had no doubt that she'd waited until she was totally ready to go before announcing her intentions and her desire for an escort. Sometimes he thought she just liked to see people run to please her. Domenico had been her attendant as long as anybody remembered, and Joachim wondered how he'd ever dealt with it. Of all the Nekojin Joachim served, she was the one who reminded him most of the fickle and demanding cats that roamed their property. He showed up at the old woman's door in dark blue hakama, and even a matching haori despite the heat. Slightly breathless from hurrying, he sank to his knees to bow to her.

"Yoakimu-kun," the elderly Nekojin began, examining him and clearly unresolved as to whether she approved or not. "Chikako-san told you where we are going?" He shook his head, but sat up to look at her. With far more freedom to be casual than Joachim, she had obviously refused to suffer the summer sun in anything more formal than a light blue and gold yukata. "I am going to see the Handa." At the name of one of Imai's rivals, Joachim's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "You are there to be my guard, and you do not speak Nekonian. Only Common. Understand?" He nodded. "Good. I need them to speak freely, but I must also have protection. You look big enough. You can fight without a weapon?" Another nod. "Good." She stood. "Then we go. We will tell my son in law where we've been if I learn anything."

It was to be the first of many such missions. As it happened, plenty of families had quarrels with the Imai clan. Nashi herself did not entirely approve of the family into which her daughter had married, but her husband had been alive then. It had been his decision. Now that she was the elder in the house, she made it her business to offer a sympathetic ear to his rivals. Seldom did anything come of it, but the connection gave Nashi the chance to head off any potential attacks that might endanger her daughter or grandchildren. It was always the big human youth that she took with her.

One day they were on their way back, and Nashi laid a hand on his arm. "Kimi-kun," she whispered. "Sh." Her eyes narrowed, slits of gold against faded grey tabby markings. Her old ears strained to catch some sound still too far away for Joachim. "Kimi-kun, go," she hissed. "Now. I'll catch up. Something is wrong ahead."

He hesitated, unwilling to leave her side should there truly be anything to fear. She seemed so alarmed; was it really right to just leave her?

"Stupid human! Go!" She slapped his arm with her fan, and he set off at a run. The pounding of his feet was loud enough that it took him longer to hear what Nashi-baasan had. He heard familiar voices laughing, shouting taunts familiar enough to set his teeth on edge.

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:00 am
by Kai
“Look at him! You drag your ass when you shit, old man? I think he does!" said one.

"Probably. That's why Dom's house is so dirty. Smells like wet dog in there!" answered another.

"He and that human both smell like wet dog! Let's give him a bath!"

By the time Joachim got there, he found one old Inujin backed up against the side of an Imai well, surrounded by what could only be described as a gang of spitting toms. It was not likely that they would actually have thrown one of their servants down the well, but Joachim saw no reason to presume on their good intentions. Situation seemed simple enough, and the solution seemed equally easy to figure out.

The Imai boys turned to find a very large and very irate human racing down the dirt road toward them. They began to disperse, laughing at the youth coming to the old dog's rescue. "Look, here comes his little pup!" More laughter. They didn't stop laughing until the back of Joachim's fist knocked one of them to the grass, and then another. Too stunned to do the sensible thing and leave the fight to Joachim, Domenico simply stood and watched.

It had been a long time coming, but the fight ended quickly enough. Despite long scores in his skin from their claws, Joachim continued to batter them into the ground. Nashi-baasan had sent Joachim ahead to put fear into her grandsons, and he set about his task with a single-minded fury that didn't stop until he heard her voice again.

"Kimi-kun," she shouted. The bloodied young man turned slowly, five spoiled young noblemen lying in the dirt around him. He saw her standing with her old attendant, who was watching the boy he'd helped raise as though for the first time. "See, Kimi-kun? Everyone is fine," she told him.

He shook violently, trying to clear his head. "I hate it when they do that," he explained simply.

"I know, boy. So do I," she answered. With no small degree of distaste, she looked at the boys her son-in-law had raised as they started to pick themselves up from the ground, nursing their injuries. Her whiskers pressed back, her ears flat against her skull. "You boys tell your father that my servant is none of your business!" Angrily she brandished her folding fan as though it were the deadliest threat she could think of. "Next time I thrash you myself! Learn some respect for your elders!" They glared at her reproachfully, their gazes turning with growing bitterness on Joachim. It did not escape the old woman, and her tirade continued. "Go on! Back to the house with you! Tell your father you're such cowards that you pick on old men! See who he punishes then!"

The Imai boys were limping back to the house when Domenico spoke. "Joachim, why did you do that?"

The big human shrugged. "Was the right thing to do. Maybe now they'll come after me instead of you. I can handle them."

The Inujin shook his head. "You cannot make enemies of those boys, Joachim."

"I can handle them," he repeated. What more was there to say?

"Hn," Nashi said thoughtfully. "Yes, it seems you can." A long pause while she considered this. "Well. Let's get you two inside and have you looked at. It seems I need to discuss a few things with my daughter's husband."

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:01 am
by Kai
It was not long afterward that Joachim's Nekojin masters started him with weapons training. It couldn't hurt to have another loyal warrior around should things go sour with a rival, particularly one as habitually-gentle as Joachim. The size of the human was enough to deter some, but how much more wary would the Itagaki or the Matsukata be of Joachim with a polearm in his hand?

Imai's sons were wary, too. Even Yukio seemed uncertain around him now, unwilling to sacrifice his friendship with either side of the conflict, but under increasing pressure to choose. Joachim saw less and less of him as his training continued.

"I don't know what to do about him, Domenico," he confided in the Inujin one evening. "I mean, does he really seriously think that if he just goes along with them they'll treat him like an equal? He's..." Joachim swept his hands upward in frustration. "He's just a human! Even if he thinks he's not!"

"Mm," Domenico answered slowly. "Maybe we should be happy for him. He cannot be happy out here with us. He needs to belong, and maybe they will accept him. They have known him a very long time."

Joachim growled, and spit in the dirt. "He used to have a conscience. He used to give a damn. Now all he cares about is proving that he's just like them. They probably talk about him behind his back like they would any human." He tried not to think about the Imai boys badmouthing him and Domenico, and having Yukio nod along in the hopes that he wouldn't be grouped in with the servants. "He just doesn't see it."

"Well? What do you think you can do about it, eh?" It seemed to Domenico that he was always having to talk Joachim down from something, some grand and noble but painfully stupid effort that would only make everything worse. "Will you be the one to tell him that he may lose himself for their approval? Will you be the one to tell him what sort of man you would rather see him become instead? What if he told you such a thing, Joachim. Would you listen?"

The human cursed, but shook his head. "No."

"Then you should leave him be," Domenico insisted. "If he is happy, he is happy. We do not need to understand as long as it's worth it for Yukio. And maybe it is."

Joachim sighed. "I just don't get it."

"No," Domenico answered. "I didn't think you would."

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:01 am
by Kai
<center>NINE YEARS PASS </center>

"Yoakimu," Imai-sama began. "I have a request of you." Joachim tilted his head curiously, since a 'request' from the head of his family seldom meant anything less than an order. It meant a task from the clan leader, which meant something important was happening. "You know that not everything we do can be done openly." Joachim nodded. "Just as we perform services for Emperor Takahashi that he cannot be seen to handle himself, so must we occasionally protect our good name from the necessary work of protecting this empire. You understand."

Joachim did, though he liked what he was hearing less and less as Imai went on.

"We have been on strained terms with the Kasai clan for some time now, as such traitorous dogs cannot be permitted to live a day without the eyes of the Emperor upon them. They resent us, of course, for our loyalty to Takahashi is beyond question, and he knows it. Accordingly, we are awarded privileges not permitted to those who have not proven the unshakeability of their love for the Takahashi house."

Imai was gloating again, but Joachim supposed he had little else to boast about. "And we have caught a Kasai spy. In accordance with the wishes of the Emperor, all intelligence gained from such agents must be brought to his officials. But I do not want to bother them until I am sure we have something to share, you see?" He spread his hands innocently, but Joachim knew that Imai-sama was likely trying to leverage this intelligence for all it was worth before playing his role of dutiful servant to the Emperor.

Joachim nodded once more, allowing Imai to continue speaking. Frequently his elders and betters explained themselves to him as though he were a child, something that Imai ought to have been aware of considering how often he had accompanied Nashi, in hopes that Imai enemies would do the very same.

"We are keeping this prisoner under guard until we can extract what information was gained from the Takahashi archives." Joachim blinked. Their archives? Who was this person? Were they dealing with someone so cunning? "We will conduct the interrogation, but the spy cannot be kept hooded and blind at all times. On other occasions, you are to be her attendant. You will not answer any of her questions, pose any of your own, or speak to her at all beyond the absolute necessity of performing your duties. In this way we will remain unassociated."

That went without explanation. Joachim was no one, and if the only face this spy saw belonged to a human vassal, what did that teach her? No matter how canny she was, she could learn little from a house's choice of servants. "Do you understand, Yoakimu-kun?"

Joachim frowned. He wasn't certain he much liked this. He knew that the Imai clan was involved in gambling, smuggling, and some questionable business practices. But they were his family, and what could he say? But this keeping of prisoners did not sit right. When had this become a war? And when had Joachim become a jailer?

"I asked if you understand."

But then again... better Joachim than one of the Imai boys, right? He knew them well, and imagining them with that kind of power over another living creature chilled Joachim's blood.

"Yes. I understand, Imai-sama." He bowed, touching his head to his hands on the floor.


Joachim's first impression of the prisoner was that she was brown. Beneath the dust and dried blood, her fur was the pale golden brown of rolled tobacco. One ear was ripped and ragged along its outer edge, a marker of some old battle, no doubt. The ear and her darting orange eyes gave the spy a cocky and rakish air that Joachim found he rather liked. It was too bad he wasn't allowed to talk to her. He found the whole notion of espionage to be a rather alien and glamorous life, for all that it had landed this Nekojin in the cold stone basement of an unnamed enemy.

"Good afternoon," he said to her, unsure how to begin this odd stewardship that had been thrust upon him.

"So it is afternoon then?" she asked bitterly.

Well, that was awkward. What was he supposed to say to that? "...Yes. I am to care for you while you are here. I brought food."

"Why are you here?" Her eyes went slanted and distant for a moment as she sifted through probable explanations for the presence of a human. "What faction are you? Asharian? White Roses?"

"I'm sorry. I cannot tell you those things. But I brought food. Have they fed you?"

"No," she answered warily.

"Well, you should have some," he instructed, feeling rather like he was attempting to convince a belligerent two year old to eat with the rest of the family. "I have rice, and some water."

She snorted. "Oh, what luxury."

This was rapidly becoming annoying. He could understand that she was not in a friendly frame of mind, and perhaps in her position Joachim would feel the same way. But damn it all if he wasn't going to do his job. "Listen. You eat this. If you need anything, you will get it from me. If you cooperate with me, maybe the others will go easier on you."

The prisoner laughed, a sound that was not so much bitter as astonished at his naïveté. "Oh, come on. It's a matter of time before they start playing rough, and no good word from some human servant is going to do me a damn bit of good."

Joachim was flummoxed by this. Because it was true, and he'd just been hoping he wouldn't have to think about it. "Well, I won't touch you. I just want to see you get fed, okay?"

She answered with a sigh. "Fine."

It was a week later that he learned her name. Perhaps it wasn't her real name, and perhaps she'd only been testing him to see the extent of his thorough reporting back to his masters. But at least he had something to call her. Muika. Kasai Muika.

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:02 am
by Kai
Days passed.

"They still just call me 'spy' when they come. You didn't tell them my name. Did you?" she asked him.


"Why not?" she inquired through a mouthful of rice.

It was not actually an easy question to answer. Day after day he'd tried to keep her from starving, then tried not to talk to her, then tried not to listen. But it was getting harder and harder not to pay attention. She barely moved around her cell anymore, and when she spoke her voice was hoarse. Joachim didn't like to think about why. "I just didn't."

"You'll probably get in trouble if they find out."

"Well, who's going to tell them, huh? Are you?" he asked, suddenly annoyed. Wasn't she grateful that he was keeping her secret? Did she want him to tell them?

"No. I just don't get it, is all." She laid her bowl down, casually licking the remnants of the rice from beneath her claws.

Joachim waited a while before taking the bait. "You don't get what?"

"Why you're still doing this, is all. Clearly you feel badly about it."

"Listen, Muika. You don't know anything about it, all right?" Did she think that she could sweet-talk him into betraying Imai-sama? This was what Joachim had been asked to do, and damn it all, he'd do it. It was his job. Right or wrong, he was with the Imai clan, just as Muika was with the Kasai. It was nobody's fault, and everybody just had to do what they were supposed to do. Didn't they?

"Okay, okay. Sorry." She put her hands up defensively, then set them down wearily. "I just don't get it."

He answered, "No. I didn't think you would."

The conversation stuck in his memory, despite the long silences in his subsequent visits. Sometimes he couldn't rouse Muika when he brought her meals, and more and more often he was forced to leave the food on the floor for when she came around. The less she spoke to him, the more he was forced to ponder her previous words. She was right. He didn't like this. It just... it just didn't sit right. Whatever they were doing, it couldn't be good. Didn't Muika have a family? What if no one knew where she was? What if they never found out? Someone could well be waiting for word, some father or lover or son praying that she was not precisely where she was.

On one of the rare occasions he found her fully awake, he asked a question that would likely be his undoing. "Muika. Where did you come from?"

She stared at him. Here on enemy ground, Muika knew that such questions were hidden blades and not to be trusted. But then again... perhaps she was making progress. What else did she have to hope for? No one was coming; she knew that by now. This was the only hope she had left to worry at. After a long pause, she answered, "My father is with the Kasai. But I have no real right to the name. I am allowed to use it because they can use me. That's all."

"Use you for what?"

"What do they use you for?" she countered. "Whoever you're working for. Why do they keep you around?"

Joachim shrugged. He had no good answer. "I guess because they always have."

Muika pressed further. "And why do you stay? Are they really that good to you that you'll do their dirty work for them?" Her words came at him like arrows but shot from a woman who could not even sit up properly to speak with him, Joachim found them difficult to resent. "What are you getting out of this?"

He thought of Nashi-baasan, who was good to him and called him Kimi-kun. And he thought of Yukio, who had forgotten him. "...I guess... Nothing."

And that was the end of that. The next day he found himself passing a message through a servant that he had come to see Muika. He was faced with a harried-looking tortoiseshell with Muika's same beautiful orange eyes. "There's no Muika here," she said. The strain in her voice told him that while this was true, it was a painful truth. And now Joachim knew that it had been her real name after all.

"I know. She's somewhere else."

Her eyes narrowed in the briefest of winces. "You know her, then? What does she have to do with some human, eh?"

He crossed his arms over his broad chest, and braced himself with a deep breath. "I know where she is."

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:04 am
by Kai

So much shouting. They were so noisy. "Where did she go!" They screamed over and over. Joachim wasn't paying attention. It was just so much noise. So many yowling cats. He laughed at the thought until another blow came down. "Where did you take her?" Stupid Imai boys. He hadn't taken her anywhere; they should know that. But they put on a good show. They were getting their revenge, and he hoped it was worth it. They'd never find her. They didn't even know her name.

It took him a long time to realize that no one was shouting anymore. What were they talking about? Maybe they'd finally given up.

"And what if Akahana were to fall into the hands of the Handa? Or the Itagaki? Or any of your enemies?" Why was-- No, he was imagining it. It seemed like something he'd dream up. Nashi-baasan didn't even know he was here. They wouldn't have told her. But she was saying such nice things. Joachim was glad of it. It was a good dream. "Who would watch over her then? Think of your own women. Whom would you be depending on for the honor of your wife, or your Sachi-chan? Hm?"

See? Nashi would understand. Joachim coughed and rolled over onto his stomach, his bones aching with the movement.

"You tell our Kimi-kun that there should not be men to do what he did, and I will tell Akahana."

Joachim winced. They were all shouting again. That hadn't been a good thing to say. Why would he think she'd say something like that? He lay back down against the dirt, dust rasping beneath his skin. Maybe he wasn't imagining it after all. He made a low noise in the back of his throat. He didn't want Nashi-baasan here; he didn't want her to know. He'd betrayed her, hadn't he? She'd always been good to him, and to Domenico when he was alive. It wasn't her fault, and he'd put a knife in her back all the same. Joachim just wished she would go away.

"I never liked you," the old woman hissed. "My husband should never have let you marry my daughter. You are criminals and murderers. You are angry because because he has shown you dishonoring yourself, because Yoakimu is a better man than his master and now we have all seen your shame." Something happened. Movement, growling. Fighting? With an old woman? Nashi yelled, in that shrill elderly voice, "No! How much further will you shame us all!"

He didn't remember anything after that. His last thought was that he was glad he'd told Muika's family where she was. Imai-sama was terrible, so terrible even his own family could not stomach his crimes in their name. He would probably die, he knew that now. But better him than Muika. He could handle it.

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:04 am
by Kai
"Wake up!" Cold. Water everywhere. "Up! I want you awake for this!" How much time had passed, Joachim didn't know. Enough for him to have healed up a bit, but that didn't mean much. Small room full of people. What were they doing? Why so many of them? Had Joachim fought them? No. Was he even in a position to do so now? Certainly not. Why so many? "Good, you're up. Oyaji said not to kill you, but he wanted us to deliver a message from him. Yukio, get me those tongs."

Yukio was here? It should have been a good sign. Should have given Joachim some hope that things weren't as bad as they looked. After all, even if Yukio hadn't had much time for him in recent years, they were still friends at least. Weren't they? Couldn't be so bad if Yukio was here. But then, what were they—

Suddenly there was a pile of growling and laughing Nekojin in the tiny cell. Reflexively Joachim tried to throw them off, and it took everyone they'd brought to hold him down.

"Yukio! Damn it, give me those!"

Claws dug into the skin around Joachim's jaw as they pried it open, and the intrusion was so unexpected that their intentions actually took several seconds to sink in. It wasn't until Imai's eldest unsheathed his knife that Joachim realized what they were doing, and that he couldn't stop it. And that Yukio wasn't going to stop it, either.

Such an awful lot of blood. Joachim didn't think he'd ever seen so much blood, except for the slaughtering of pigs. It was not an encouraging comparison. It was just so much blood and noise. They had let him go and backed away to the walls of the cell before Joachim realized that the sound was his own voice echoing off the walls. He'd never have thought it would be possible to scream through so much blood, to scream without even properly being able to breathe. Someone shoved a balled-up rag between his jaws, though whether it was to stop the bleeding or the screaming Joachim could not possibly have guessed.

The disgraced vassal was in and out of consciousness for some time, his heart racing to keep him alive with the blood left in his body, trying to keep him from dying there in the dirt. He was tougher than that, little good though it really did him. People came. People left. Joachim didn't know them, or didn't remember. Someone tried to feed him, but couldn't figure out how. He had no idea why. Why were they even trying?

After that he was with people like him--humans. Who were they? Why was he with these people, and how had they found him? This place was no place he knew. He was no longer at home, and expected he never would be again. Would it really have been home anyway? After so much?

Likely not.

It was a month before he took up a pencil with one hand and wrote his name for them. They seemed so pleased, young and frightened though they were. Jessie and Parker, young and probably just married. They said... what was it? That they had to go, that Emperor Takahashi had gone mad. Everyone was being thrown into labor camps, and if they could only get across the river, they could start over. There was still time.

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:05 am
by Kai
As it happened, there was not so much time as they thought. Joachim sat in the house, waiting for the gang to come. His friends had moved on, and Joachim had kept the house. With luck, nobody knew they'd gone. No one would think to follow, not until it was far too late. And when the officials from the labor camp came knocking door to door, it was Joachim they found. Realizing they could get nothing from a mute, they reasoned that they would likely get more work out of the great hulk of a man than two sniveling peasant farmers.

They were right. And Joachim couldn't say he minded. It was good, honest work. So many of the detainees were tired, broken, and hopeless. Joachim could do his share, and he could do theirs, too. He'd been a servant before, and he was a servant now. Quite probably he would have spent the rest of his life doing chores for one Nekojin or the other anyway. If not Imai-sama, then someone else. It changed nothing, and no matter what he price Joachim had paid, at least he could tell himself truly and honestly that he'd done the right thing. It was all a man could do, and there was no sense letting consequences get in the way.

For now, Joachim worked. He cut wood, he hauled water, he did the wash, or he cleaned floors and dishes and equipment. For now, it was enough. Kasai Muika was free. Parker and Jessie were free.

Whatever else went wrong, at least Joachim could sleep at night.

Now and then he wondered if Yukio could say the same.

Re: Joachim!

Unread postPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:52 pm
by la_chibi
This was good, though quite sad. =(

You must enjoy playing this character!

Re: Joachim!

Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:30 am
by Kai
Way late (since somehow I managed to not ever see that someone had replied to it): Yeah, I did. I also did an email RP with another player which suggested to me that I could probably play him in a board setting, too, so I'm actually going to give that a try.