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 Growing Patience

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Zoe

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PostSubject: Growing Patience    Mon 06 Oct 2014, 10:22

Zoe lay on the floor of the Fitch home, her eyes wide. The events of the morning were fascinating to say the least, but she felt no closer to making a definitive decision concerning who they should help in this Wyrm-covered town of Zavala. Zoe was about ready to forget the telegraph and leave the town to work out its own problems, but after what she saw in the Umbra and heard about the Lachrymae, the Litany would certainly not allow them to dismiss this town without resolution.

Zoe rolled to her side and carefully stepped over her resting packmates. She looked back at them and smiled, grateful that she did not have to make this decision and face its consequences alone.

She stepped into the kitchen and found Patience peeking out the window into the street.

"I appreciate you letting us stay with you, Patience, especially since you're not even sure if we will help you or not."

Zoe laughed softly. "Or maybe you are sure and we are the only ones uncertain of your fate."

She leaned against the wall and looked at the little girl, who from the back looked no different from any other child, but Zoe knew better.

"What do you plan to do if we choose not to help you, Patience? You all said you wouldn't mind going to another town, but knowing Huling was alive and well would certainly bother you. Will you force us to help you in the same way you made Rends rip my hair out?"
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Patience    Mon 06 Oct 2014, 11:55

"Tom Huling is a bad man. Why wouldn't you stop him?" Patience turned slowly from the window. The girl's question hung in the air and she cocked her head, the skin on her neck nearly translucent. Zoe could see blue veins and thin red arteries twisting underneath.

"I don't have to ask the spirits whether you will help us. You will." The strange girl flashed a smile full of sharp white teeth.

"That is what you do, Zoe. You and Sylvester and Zas. You kill the bad men." Her voice was sweet, as if she were talking about picnic outing. I don't have to force you to do what comes naturally..."

Patience paused, and Hears-the-Song could tell that wheels were spinning in her head. "I might as well tell you, Rends ripping out your hair was funny because it was unexpected. I didn't tell him to do that. I just let him do what... comes naturally." The girl's smile widened, her too-dark eyes slitted like a cat's. "So I think killing the less-than-honorable Judge and his evil make-believe friend is right up your alley."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Growing Patience    Mon 06 Oct 2014, 12:19

Zoe shook her head and smirked.

"Look, honey, I know you and your sisters and even your parents believe that Huling is a bad man, but we can't just kill him based on your opinion of him. We will gather the necessary information and make the best decision possible with the information. That is what we do - all five of us, not just me, Sylvester, and Zas. Why would you exclude Kefka and Eaton? And why would you say that Rends pulling out my hair is what 'comes naturally' to him?"

As soon as she finished her question, Zoe raised her hand.

"Wait, no, nevermind. I don't want you poisoning my relationship with my brothers as your sister did Eaton's relationship with his wife. Some things are better left unsaid, especially when you're getting your information second hand at best. I doubt any one of you actually spoke to Jana or my mother for that matter, so how would you know how they feel about us?"

Zoe's face registered a mixture of anger and hurt as she recalled the words concerning her mother's supposed hatred of her.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Patience    Tue 07 Oct 2014, 11:51

Patience rolled her eyes, as if explaining a simple lesson to a very young child. "Zavala is drying up... the river, the animals, the people... they are all getting brittle and weak. They would be desperate and violent if they weren't so addle-headed with the Judge's opium. Huling is afraid of anything that challenges his authority. He hates my sisters and I, and he fears you. Sooner or later you will have to confront him."

"You should just get it over with and tear him into pretty crimson ribbons," the girl sighed.  

When Zoe asked about the source of the Sisterhood's knowledge, Patience smiled up at Zoe. "Mr. Kevianov doesn't just kill the bad men... he kills who he is told to kill, whoever gets in the way. The other, the halfbreed, he's rabid. He sees things, and I think it is driving him crazy." Across the room Mr. Fitch came in and began to make some coffee. He did not so much as glance at Zoe or Patience as he whistled a few off-tune notes. Patience regarded him coolly, as if regarding an insect, before she turned back toward the Theurge.

"Trust me, you are better than that, Zoe. You don't let things get under your skin." Another pause, another bright, alien smile. "I can't imagine why your mother doesn't want you to find her. She must have a very good reason to hate you..."
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Patience    Tue 07 Oct 2014, 12:40

"And I suppose you'd like to make those crimson ribbons into a pretty little bow, wouldn't you?"

Zoe shook her head and smiled cooly.

"Most people fear us, Patience, and rightly so, but that doesn't mean we have to confront all of them. And who's to say that dealing with Huling will revive the town? It may continue to dry up and without the tonic the people would become desperate and violent. Is that so much better than what you have now?"

At her explanation of Eaton and Kefka, Zoe simply rolled her eyes, choosing not to engage this little know-it-all on the topic of her brothers.

"I will find my mother, whether she wants to be found or not. I've been told where to look and when time allows I will search for her. You know why? Because children are supposed to love their parents and desire to have a relationship with them. Unlike you girls who said you would only miss your teacher if you left. Your parents are willing to risk everything to protect you. One father is already in prison for trying to do just that. And you? You act as if your parents mean nothing to you. There is no love or affection in your eyes or actions toward them. Why is that, Patience? Why do you have no positive regard for the woman who gave birth to you and the man who resists a very powerful authority figure on your behalf? Unless..."

Zoe regarded the little girl with narrowed eyes. "They are not actually your parents. You allowed Sylvester to see and believe something that wasn't real or true. You may not even be their child at all."
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Patience    Wed 08 Oct 2014, 20:12

Patience opened her mouth to respond, but then she saw her father set down the coffee pot and rapidly cross the small room. Jonathan Fitch appeared behind his daughter, one callused hand on her shoulder, his tired, friendly expression gone, replaced a stormy mask of cold fury. "I know you saw to Laura's recovery, and I am very grateful for that, outsider; but let me be clear- I will not brook any of this dishonorable nonsense in my house. I don't want to hear another word about unnatural origins regarding my daughter. You are starting to sound like that hell-bound Judge. Are we clear, Ms. Kostas? Not another word." His voice remained conversational, but the look he gave Zoe was desperate, wild-eyed, and shockingly sincere.

"Now, daddy, that isn't necessary." Patience's black-eyed gaze bored into the Theuge, one corner of her mouth twitching upward into a petty, self-assured smile as Mr. Fitch receded into the background. "Ms. Zoe is just sad and jealous that she doesn't have a father like you."

A cup of black coffee appeared in front of both Zoe and the eerie child. Even as she took a long silent sip, Patience did not stop staring at Zoe over the edge of her dented tin cup. She set the coffee down and leaned against the table. "Now, perhaps we shall talk about something else? Something interesting?"
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Patience    Wed 08 Oct 2014, 21:09

This whole town is a hell-bound mess if you ask me.

Zoe was startled but not at all surprised by Mr. Fitch's reaction. Any father would respond that way to someone questioning the legitimacy of their offspring. Add in the fact that his daughter has her claws so deep in his soul that he's forgotten they're there and you've got one big paternal mess.  When Zoe spoke, her tone was calm, yet her eyes didn't leave those of the young girl.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Fitch. I certainly don't mean to take Huling's side. I simply wish to understand more about your daughter and her friends. They fascinate me, as I have told Patience here. Forgive my curious, logic-driven nature. I often ask more questions than is appropriate to a given situation."  

At Patience's remark about Zoe not having a father like hers, the Theurge  scoffed but said nothing.

Yeah. It's a pity I don't have a brainless slave as a father. Must be much nicer than one who cares about you by choice.

Zoe rolled her eyes, thus breaking her gaze with Patience.

"You can stop the incessant staring, Patience. You don't scare me. You intrigue me. And before we leave this God-forsaken town I will get to the bottom of all this, but in the meantime you suggested a subject change so I'll humor you."

Zoe stroked her chin with her index finger.

"Hmm...let's see. Something interesting. My life is certainly not that interesting - dead dad, hateful mother, loyal brothers. That pretty much sums it up. You girls seem to know all about everything, so you tell me, what could we discuss that would be interesting to you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Patience    Fri 10 Oct 2014, 15:26

"I am glad you aren't scared of a little girl." Patience snickered. She took several long, deep gulps of the near-boiling coffee, leaving nothing but grounds behind as she put it down. Her deep-set black eyes flit about the room, before settling on Zoe, and after a moment she hopped up out of her seat. "I don't think you are going to help us kill Huling," she proclaimed. "What a shame. I would prefer working toys to broken ones." Then she scampered out, back to the main room of the cabin. Jonathan Fitch watched her go, and then wordlessly turned back to the wash bin.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Patience    Fri 10 Oct 2014, 15:40

Zoe rose from the table and shook her head. She turned to Fitch and hoped he would survive the events of the coming days and be able to start anew with Laura and perhaps a 'normal' child in another town. Patience's remark about broken toys made her laugh outwardly, though inwardly Zoe was concerned with how these girls would manipulate them against Huling and perhaps even against one another once Huling and his beasts were no more. How could they fight something they didn't understand? The answers hopefully resided in the book tucked in Rends' coat. Zoe vainly attempted to stifle a yawn as her exhaust finally caught up to her. Trusting that Patience still needed them alive to accomplish her plot against Huling, Zoe allowed herself to curl up on the floor near her snoring brothers and succumb to her exhaust.
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