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Nepenthe

Nepenthe

Edited: 12/16/2013 12:37:27 PM
It has been a very long time since I wrote anything about Destiny. Then we finally got some information about what Exos are and, well, I felt a stirring of inspiration. I probably won't be able to write much until after the 20th, but here's a little drabble of my new character, an Exo by the name of Kappa. Your thoughts are welcome. [b][u]Dream for Me:[/u][/b] Kappa stared at the clothe in his hands, but did not truly see it. It was heavy, thick and dyed a deep burgundy. It would be his outer layer over a light suit of combat armor, but more importantly for him at the moment, it had been a gift. A parting gift. He looked up from the robe, suddenly noticing every detail of his room as he had not in many years. It was sparse, spartan even. The room was square and of generous size, nine paces from one wall to the next. Over the plain metal slab he sat on, the night city lights peeked in through the window. An antique wooden desk with a monitor built into it dominated one side of the room. Above it a small shelf showcased five books, each a treasure. Nobody had physical books unless they were willing to pay a small fortune or venture out beyond the wall. The soft green carpet and the landscape painting of a vermillion field under a violet sky at sunset on the wall opposite his desk were opulent indulgences forced upon him by his host, who hated to see him live in such a dreary place. He appreciated the gesture, but found it unnecessary. His mechanical body required few amenities. "Kappa! Kappa!" His chamber door slid open with hiss. Kappa stood, his servo joints whirring to support his metal chassis. A tiny wiry frame was silhouetted in the light of the hall, heaving breathlessly. "Kappa!" He caught her shoulders as she rushed to him and kneeled down to her level. "There now, I am here, what is wrong?" His voice grated metallically despite his attempts to use warm tones. Many children would have fled, but this one had heard it all her life. "It is late, Nadezhda, you should be in bed." "Mama said you're leaving!" Nadezhda's brow was furrowed in distress and her lips pressed into a frown that threatened to turn into a sob. "Are you leaving Kappa?" "I am." Kappa immediately regretted being so blunt, because the tears started flowing. The little girl wrapped her arms around his neck and began sniffling into his neck. It couldn't have been very comfortable, as there was nothing there but hard cold metal. He placed a comforting hand on her back. "Why!?" "...I will explain." He told her after a moment of thought. "But first, let's get you to bed." She only sniffled more as he scooped her up, but did not protest. The contrast between his room and the rest of the house could not have been more evident when he stepped out into the hall. The carpeting was the same, but the walls were covered with portraits, landscapes and abstracts from a dozen acclaimed artists. The way was lit by crystalline chandeliers. The most valuable items lay in glass cases set along the wall at odd intervals, relics of the Golden Age. The Sokolovs had begun as treasure hunters and become wealthy merchants later, but they prized the old memories of daring and discovery. Kappa carried his little charge into the wide entrance hall, then up the stairs and to the first door on the left. His clanking footfalls were muffled by the thick carpet. Nadezhda's room was dominated by a four poster bed and strewn with stuffed animals, but also with model ships and toy soldiers. Her latest forays into art were pinned along the walls with notes of encouragement from her parents. The window at the head of her bed provided a splendid view of the cityscape. "Why can't you stay?" She asked again as Kappa helped her get under the covers. He considered her for a moment, considered telling her the secret. What harm could it do? "Nadezhda, in a matter of months the City is going to change." He told her as he sat down on the edge of the fluffy mattress. "So?" She pouted. "Perhaps you've heard it from your parents, or perhaps your friends, but there is excitement in the City. People murmur about expanding beyond the wall, reclaiming the old world. Officially, there has been no decision, but behind closed doors it is a forgone conclusion. It will happen." The girl's eyes had grown wide. She had grown up on tales of the Golden Age and eventual reclamation. Now it was finally happening. "Really? Are they going as far as the old cities? Like, um,". She struggled to recall her studies. "Chicago?" "To the moon and beyond," He told her playfully. "But why do [i]you[/i] have to go?" "...Nadezhda, do you know the story of how I first came to your family?" "What's that got to do with anything!?" A low chittering sound came from Kappa that passed for a chuckle. He tucked the blanket up to her chin. "Your great-great-grandfather found me wandering beyond the wall during a scavenging mission." He explained. "He took me in, gave me a place and purpose. I watched his children grow up and have children of their own, and their children after that, but I have no memory before rebooting in that ruin." He tilted his head at her. "Do you understand? That is why I go to the Tower now. There are things I wish to know..." "But I don't want you to! I'll miss you..." She pouted again and he gave a sound that passed for a sigh. "And I will miss you, but I will still visit. You can still send me messages." She was not quite cheered by that, but seemed a little less miserable. "It won't be the same..." "Hmmm..." An idea occurred to him. If Kappa could smile, he would have. "Nadezhda, I have an important mission for you while I'm gone." "Huh?" Nadezhda perked up, curious. "When you write to me, tell me about your dreams." He told her calmly. "What? Why?" "Not long after we first met, I asked your great-great-grandfather what dreams were." Kappa reached over and petted her hair lightly with his metal hand. "I am an Exo. I do not dream you see. He was at such a loss to explain, so he started telling me about his own dreams. A tradition kept between us for many years. I have grown to miss it terribly." "My dreams aren't so special," Nadezhda wrinkled her nose at the idea. "All dreams are fascinating for one that never dreams at all," Kappa chuckled again. "Can you do that for me? Dream for me?" The girl's face hardened in determination. "Yeah, I can do that." "Excellent. Now, shall I read you a bedtime story?" "I don't need bedtime stories anymore." Nadezhda folded her arms under the covers and stuck her chin in the air to reinforce her maturity. Kappa just kept chuckling as he removed himself from the bed and moved to the door. "Good night Kappa!" She said as she nestled herself in the covers. The Exo turned off the lights and turned at the door. "Good night, little one. Be brave, and so will I."

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