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unfamiliarity

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Cullen Rutherford, Jan 4, 2018.



  1. JANUARY 23, YEAR 7
    EARLY EVENING | AROUND 1830
    @Robb Stark




    For once, Cullen wasn't in the pub to get drunk, though if his head started pounding anymore he'd have to revise that decision. No, for now, he was just there trying to enjoy the food. It was decent fare for a tavern, much better than the swill provided at The Hanged Man in Lowtown. A lot better than the bland rations given to Templars, too. He'd pooled the money he'd managed to make from some random one-off jobs he'd managed to find into the meal, after some time of eating nothing but sandwiches and tinned soup heated on his bedsit's tiny stove.

    Rubbing his temple with two fingers as his head gave a particularly painful throb and stifling a groan of pain, Cullen continued tucking into his meal, trying not to eat it too fast so that he could make it last. It had been a long time since he'd had any decent food. Whoever ran the place knew how to hire a good kitchen, that was for sure.

    He had a mug of ale next to his plate, but he was determined to make it his only one. Maker's breath, he wasn't sure how many times he'd been drunk lately. He seemed to be perpetually hungover, though it was hard to tell the difference when every day was already full of the same kind of feeling even if he hadn't drunk anything the night before. He just... he just desperately wished he had some lyrium. Just one vial. He would have given anything for a single vial of lyrium.

    Setting down his fork, Cullen picked up the mug and lifted it for a gulp... only to have to set it down as he realised he'd already emptied it. His head throbbed angrily, and his hand trembled around the handle of his knife, but he set the mug back down. He gritted his teeth against the impulse to order another one to try and deal with the pain, forcing himself to take another bite of pie instead, not noticing someone approaching until their shadow fell right over his table.


     
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  2. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark A Song of Ice and Fire

    Posts:
    602
    Occupation:
    City Watch Commander
    Location:
    Pandora
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    22
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Directory:
    link
    Robb had a habit of visiting many restaurants and cafes in Pandora. Pubs were easily included in those numbers. Mostly because Robb was not the sort of man that could easily cook for himself. There were a number of modern things that he had managed to figure out, like the microwave, but he still wasn't exactly... he hadn't completely adapted to the modern lifestyle that most of Pandora seemed born to. He tried his best but he had made a mess of things quite a number of times and there was that moment when he had to call the fire department because he had convinced his oven it was a fireplace instead.

    The main thing holding Robb back from going out to eat a lot previously had been the cost. Food could be a decent price in Pandora but if he wanted good food, he had to pay a pretty penny for it. Once he had been promoted to Commander of the Watch, that had sort of changed. He no longer had to figure out that he needed to drain the water after making "macaroni", which was why that meal had tasted so odd in the first place.

    Which was why Robb was in this place. He wanted dinner. Pubs suited him better than many other places and while he liked to vary things up, Pandora's Pub was probably one of his favorite places to eat. It had been given an upgrade with the change in ownership the year before and the fare had greatly increased. Robb had just gotten inside and taken off his gloves when his eyes fell on a man already seated at the bar. The face was younger than Robb had remembered but the scar was exact along with the eyes.

    "Rutherford!" There was a large grin on Robb's face as he walked up. Cullen had been second in command of the Watch before he had left. Left, vanished, Robb wasn't entirely sure what the rumors were at the time. But it was entirely possible that the man had just moved to another town. It hadn't quite hit Robb that Pandora had taken the man and replaced him with another version. After all, that hadn't happened to Robb just yet. People left, but he hadn't walked into them again from that point. "How have you been?" Robb instantly took the seat next to Cullen, inviting himself over because... why not?
     
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  3. Cullen had just lifted a forkful of pie to his mouth when he heard his name suddenly called across the bar. His surname, actually, and spoken in much the same way as Ellana, the blonde elf from his future, had spoken his first name - surprised and happy to see that he was there.

    Any hope he might have had that he'd recognise the person was dashed when he glanced around just as the person slid into the empty seat beside him. It was a young man, a few years younger than Cullen, with dark reddish hair. Definitely not a man he'd ever seen before, and definitely a man who seemed to claim some familiarity with Cullen, given how he jumped immediately into asking how he'd been.

    No surprise at seeing him in Pandora in general, then. The wording implied something different. Like it had been a while since they'd seen each other, but if this was the first time this young man had clapped eyes on Cullen in Pandora, he'd have mentioned something about being glad to see a familiar face in this world. Just like Ellana had. No, this was different. Like this man had seen him a while ago in Pandora.

    Seemed like this world was not done throwing curveballs at the young Templar. Ex-Templar.

    "I'm, uhh..." He put his forkful of pie back onto his plate and reached out instinctively for his ale, only to remember that the mug was empty and snatch his hand back. "I'm a little confused, actually. Not that this is the first time this has happened, but I'm... not sure who you are, I'm afraid." He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, avoiding the young man's gaze by shovelling the pie into his mouth.


     
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  4. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark A Song of Ice and Fire

    Posts:
    602
    Occupation:
    City Watch Commander
    Location:
    Pandora
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    22
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Directory:
    link
    Robb had been through a couple of rotations of people he knew. There seemed to be a larger pool of people that vanished and reappeared while on the job. Too many people to not understand what it might mean right off the bat. But Robb was also not typically happy to see everyone in the same friendly manner that he was currently with Cullen. But Cullen had been a man that Robb had respected and looked up to while he had been a constable. Not that had spoken terribly long or anything, but Cullen seemed like a man he might have known back home and that was always comforting.

    "We...," Robb trailed off for a second as he tried to figure out exactly how to explain this the best way. It wasn't like they had been equals. Cullen had been his superior, but it wasn't exactly like that any longer. Cullen wasn't part of the watch and Robb was Commander at this point. Different situation. But they had been friendly enough and Robb felt that was a little much as well. Not friends either.

    But he was also a little worried that Cullen didn't remember him because he had only been a constable. That would have made sense as well. It just hurt a little was all. "We worked together." Robb's voice was a little softer than he anticipated, a touch of nerves perhaps showing. Which was silly. There was nothing to apologize for. They had worked together, hadn't they? Both men of the sword trying to keep the people of Pandora Town safer.

    "I thought that perhaps you had decided to move on afterwards as you weren't in the role anymore. Which town did you move to?" Robb could keep a polite conversation up at least. He was more than capable of being polite and friendly to even strangers when he was in a good mood. The red head also waved down the bar tender to order a pint of beer along with a meal. That had been the purpose in the first place, right?
     
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  5. At first, Cullen thought that this young man had understood - that Cullen was... not whichever Cullen he had come to know. That, of course, begged the question of just who he had known. It really did seem like he was familiar with Cullen from Pandora itself, and as impossible as it was, it was no more impossible than coming across the woman you used to love who came from an alternate timeline, or coming across an elf who knew a version of you several years older.

    This world was crazier than Cullen had ever feared himself to be.

    And then the redhead kept talking, and Cullen had the uncomfortable realisation that he didn't understand at all, instead asking which town he'd moved to. He turned his head to look at the younger man, amber eyes taking in details - details like the little badge on his chest. He'd seen that before a few times. City Watch. So unless the man had changed jobs since working with this... other Cullen, then that meant that this other version of him had been in the Watch.

    Well, at least one version of Cullen Rutherford could figure out what to do with his life in Pandora, and that was the most bitter thought he'd had all day.

    "I didn't... I didn't move to a town," he said, his voice a little stiff and awkward, anxiety settling on his shoulders like a ratty old blanket. "Whoever you worked with isn't me. I haven't been in Pandora at all for very long." Even though none of this was his fault at all, he still felt oddly guilty, so he followed up with a quiet, "I'm sorry."


     
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  6. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark A Song of Ice and Fire

    Posts:
    602
    Occupation:
    City Watch Commander
    Location:
    Pandora
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    22
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Directory:
    link
    Robb really didn't understand the situation. He was far too cheery over the fact that he had found someone he actually knew. Well, sort of knew. It still hadn't occurred to him until the man started to speak again. It was then that he realized that Cullen was much younger than Robb remembered. That he was differently dressed and had a beard and... well, wasn't the man that Robb had worked with. The man sitting next to him was Cullen and... not Cullen all at the same time.

    The red head slowed in his movements, letting his drink slide back down to the counter top. Making sure it didn't spill in the process but it was certainly something that Robb wasn't fully prepared for. It had happened once again. Not to a sibling this time thankfully but Robb sort of stared at the man in a way that could only be described as lost.

    At least for a few seconds before Robb recovered. He couldn't be awkward forever, right? Couldn't make it seem like he was caught up on yet another day of Pandora screwing over things for him. It wasn't like he was the one dealing with all of this. Cullen obviously was.

    "My apologies." He took another drink and then his food arrived. Providing another distraction that was likely needed but Robb was now sitting next to a man who didn't know him for an entire meal. How did these situations always manage to happen around him? Robb really didn't know.

    "We only briefly worked together for a time. I... this must not be the first conversation that you've had in this direction, I'm guessing." Being Second in Command meant that he had been noticeable. Right along to go with the rumors that he had been seeing a mage in Egwene al'Vere's department. Another popular rumor because Cullen was considered a bit of a "looker" or something or other. Robb didn't know. He had only heard those things from his fellow guards while on patrol. Gossip liked to run circles when you were on duty because what else was there to do on a quiet night?
     
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