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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, '10, 5:04 pm
Setting: 1285. Things are not getting better for Emanuel at Esper Mansion. He's now 32 and is growing increasingly frustrated with not being able to do things more his way and is needlessly blaming it all on being "different" from the other Espers. In fact, he now wears his outsider status as his badge. He's decided to "investigate" the elders and the Esper mission and finds some "interesting" reading material through a contact on Palm. (By the way, Emanuel lived with his uncle for a time on Dezo and became a stonemason apprentice before moving to Esper Mansion. He's always been poor and unhappy with said poverty.)

“You’re probably wondering why I’ve called you here,” said Esper elder Grigor Vaughan to Emanuel as he shut the door to his private office.

“No,” Emanuel replied without a care, “but I’m sure you’ll tell me.”

“Lose the attitude,” Elder Vaughan warned as he pointed at Emanuel. “Now have a seat.” The Esper motioned towards a chair in front of his office desk. Emanuel sat down and crossed his legs casually as Grigor moved to the other side of the desk and planted himself in his own chair. He took in a deep breath and looked at Emanuel with great displeasure.

Emanuel was unmoved by Grigor’s disgusted expression. He had seen it plenty of times before. It seemed that no matter how hard Emanuel tried to change things, improve techniques or streamline his workforce in the mason’s guild it was met with extreme disfavor. Emanuel always attributed it to inequality. He had never felt truly accepted by the Espers despite their need for a skilled mason to join their numbers.

“Tell me,” Grigor said with a sniff, “what is it you want from Esper Mansion? You don’t seem particularly thrilled to be here.”

“You’re a genius,” Emanuel retorted impudently.

“I said to lose the attitude!” Grigor bellowed as his fist pounded the desk. He immediately shook his head and rubbed his forehead. “Emanuel, this is ridiculous. You’re 32. Why do I still have to tell you these things? Bring you in here and reprimand you like a child? What are we doing wrong with you?”

Emanuel said nothing and only glared at his former mentor. He welcomed uncomfortable silence and loved the challenge of the little mind games he played on his superiors. He hoped Grigor was having trouble reading his mind, and did everything in his power to appear indifferent about this little chat. He found it most amusing.

Grigor had waited long enough for Emanuel’s non-answer. He raised an eyebrow as he looked at the cocky young Esper. “All right, then. Here…” he grunted as he reached under the desk and grabbed something obviously heavy, “is the reason why I wanted to see you today.” His hand reappeared holding a broad book, the size of an atlas, and let it fall from his hand to the desktop with a thud.

Emanuel’s demeanor immediately changed. He looked at the giant book in horror, his eyes as wide as they would open and his jaw practically on the floor. “How… h-how did you… but…”

“You ordered it, right? Too bad they got the address wrong by one number and it was sent to your neighbor, Lenaia, instead of you.”

“But! But! She would have seen the name! It wasn’t mailed to her name!” he exclaimed in complete disbelief over the situation.

“Some people aren’t careful about those things, you know. She might have thought it was a present from home, for instance.”

“That… that… * shrew!” he angrily cursed his neighbor.

“Now now, no need for name-calling,” Grigor chided Emanuel. “Let’s not get distracted from the real problem, which is why in the hell you think you have the authority to own this material. This is banned from our premises and you know that, Emanuel! You fool!” Grigor’s voice rose as he jumped from his chair and leaned over the desk towards the young man.

Emanuel felt his face get hot, both from extreme anger and because he knew he was caught and would be punished severely for his actions. He stared hard at the cover of the ancient textbook, its title spelled out in the old language in delicate gold leaf and worn from centuries of use. He had to do a lot of searching and calling around to Palm on his days off to find this book, and now he would never even get to open it. The secrets contained within it would remain with the Espers. He was so close to what he thought was the truth.

“I’m leaving,” Emanuel said plainly as he got up.

“Oh no, we’re not through…”

“I mean I’m leaving, you backwater hick,” interrupted Emanuel. “I’m through with all of your lot. You keep things from your followers that you shouldn’t, and I’ve had it with the deceit. Find a stonemason who doesn’t mind being used and abused.”

Grigor’s protests fell on deaf ears as Emanuel left the office. He tore through the hallways, making his way to his quarters. He hastily threw what he could into a bag. He was focused on one thing, and that was to get as far away from this prison as possible.

He hadn’t strayed from the thought of leaving until he looked at a drawing hanging over his bed. It was one of Esmeray’s landscape sketches. Esmeray… he thought as his heart sank. He pulled the picture from the wall and stared long and hard at it.

He couldn’t turn back. Not now. As much as he wanted to stay for Esmeray, by introducing that book, he had just made it impossible to carry on even a façade of playing by their rules. He would have to start from almost scratch to regain their trust, and he had nothing left in him to do that, anyway. The problem was that he had never trusted the elders, and now that bridge between him and his superiors was in flames.

He hadn’t realized through his intense thoughts that he had partially crumpled Esmeray’s sketch. Angry that he had treated something she made for him with such little care, he rested the picture on his bed, as if he didn’t deserve to own it. He didn’t deserve Esmeray. He had always wanted her to be with him, but had such little trust in everyone that he had even kept her at arm’s length. He was a fool.

He would change that, though. There was something better out there for him and for her. He would find it and he would come back for her. He began planning his next move in his mind as he heard footsteps coming towards his room. He turned a nearby window into his escape route and never looked back. Hopefully Esmeray would forgive him. He was out of time.

Last edited by Tanith on Tue Aug 17, '10, 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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