User:Arrow Quivershaft/Arriving in Lecce
|3P story universe|
Arriving in Lecce
I arrived in Lecci in the morning...relative to Lecci. Which meant I had horrible jet lag, because I’d left from Minnesota. After that it was Chicago, Frankfurt, Rome, and finally Lecci...all in the air. And I don’t know how tall the person they built airline seats for was, but he certainly wasn’t 6’2”. Needless to say, by the time I got off the plane and got my bags, I was tired, sore, and overall, a bit cranky. The fact I got more than a few disapproving looks in the States on my way out didn’t help. Almost 20 years in, and racism and hatred against the realms is still going strong.
Dragging my suitcases on the wheels, I probably stood out like a sore thumb. A lone American in the Lecci airport with two suitcases can’t be too common of a sight. Fortunately, my ride was present and the driver flagged me down. It took him a few tries, I think, because I was sort of out of it. A polite Italian gentleman in his later years, he seemed to be legitimately interested in my work out here as he helped me load into the shuttle. We had a good chat about my alma mater as he drove me out to the Lecci Venture Staging Grounds. He tipped me off that no one uses that term; everyone just calls it LRU, the shorthand for Lecci Realmwalker’s University. I guess that makes sense...LVSG is part of LRU, and it all functions as a single facility when you get right down to it.
Once I got in, I tipped the driver and was met by yet another person, this person seemingly a more experienced guide, a man in his early 30s with blonde hair. Gerry, as introduced himself, would be my immediate supervisor at least for the beginning. As Gerry showed me to my apartment in the housing blocks, he made an appointment for tomorrow to show me around the area, but today he advised I try and just stay awake and reset my schedule. Gerry was right; it was a 7-hour difference, and I had been napping on the plane, and I really didn’t want to have to be shaking off a day/night reversal in my first week on the job. I thanked him for his help as he let me in and gave me my key to the place.
Pulling my suitcases in, I noted quickly that it was a two-bedroom with a shared common area and bathroom. The other bedroom was locked for now, though, so either I had no roommate, or I’d meet him later. I pulled my cases in and hoisted them tiredly onto the bed in my bedroom, unclasping them and starting to unpack, placing things in drawers. It was really nice the place came furnished...then again, I WAS working for them, so I’d hope I’d get at least a few perks.
In the meantime, actually getting a job with RI had helped patch things up with my parents a bit. Realmwalking was a legitimate job, and the fact I’d turned this “Crazy dream” into paying work was getting at least some begrudging respect from them that I was actually committed to it, not just trying to waste the college money they gave me.
As I unpacked my clothes and some of the tools I got in the states, I came across my EU visa papers, and my RI paperwork. Man...I looked pretty green in both of them. Was this the way all realmwalkers started? Might wanna get a towel and rub that water out from behind my ears, and all. I tucked them into the provided minisafe and set the combination to something I could remember.
A click in the lock and I woke from my thoughts. My roommate was back. The main door opened and suddenly there was an individual lounging in the doorframe to the bedroom. Not that I minded. I could use the company, and I’d have to meet him sooner or later. I looked over as he spoke. The guy was in his mid 20s, lanky, with a black beard and a low turban. I would guess...Indian, with some British ancestry, since he had a mild brit accent and his skin was lighter. This may have been my first time abroad, but I wasn’t completely fresh off the turnip truck.
"Oh, hey, heard the new roomer had shown, thought I'd have to come say cheers." He offered a hand. I took it in a firm handshake.
“I’m Nathan; pleased to meet you.” I sounded new, unconfident. Dammit.
“First time to Lecci, Nathan?” He didn’t sound critical, just inquisitive, as he stepped out of the doorway to give me room.
I nodded. “Yeah...I’ve just been hired after graduation.”
“Good to have another greenback with the team.” I mentally winced at the phrasing. “Ah, I’m Robert Ranjeet, but most folks ‘round these parts call me Robjeet, like they’ve never met a brown bloke before.”
Nodding again, I stepped out into the common area and sat down on a chair. “Well, thanks for the welcome. Nice to get someone who knows a bit more than me, at least. Anything big been going on in Hellas, lately?”
Robert sat down at the kitchen table. This really was a pretty nice mini apartment. "Ahhh, some tensions between Laiti, and Athene, so there's been a lot of redirection of attention to Crete while that sorts itself out up North... Your first trip will probably be there."
I hadn’t heard about this. I’d been considering Athene for a mark, but I had no idea who Laiti was. “To Crete? Ok...any suggestions you have for me? I could really use them.” I paused for a moment. “And I know of Athene, but who’s Laiti? Never heard of them before.”
“She’s a subgod vying for some attention. Don’t worry too much about her.”
“Oh, ok, then. Trying to move up a tier, I guess...any suggestions”
Robert rubbed his chin a bit. “You won’t be going it alone at first. One of the fellows, maybe even me, will be with you on the first few ventures. You’ll have plenty of time for suggestions then.”
“Well...I was kinda hoping that, but I meant more...in general, really. What weapons should I carry, any advice on armor? I’ve got some gut feelings, but...could you provide an opinion?”
“Well, most of that’ll be covered before you go. Lots of Yanks like their spring rifles, but I’ll tell you not to take one, they’re only good for one shot. If you’re looking for something ranged, think about a crossbow. Armor...” He sized me up. “You’re a big guy, you might think about getting some. Just keep in mind that whatever you get, it shouldn’t slow you down. You get something you can’t walk a long way in, and you’re egged. Start off with things that are light and useful; we’ll keep you safe. Add more later if you handle the lighter stuff alright for a few weeks.”
“I was looking at some lighter armor and a knife, to start. Nothing too big.”
“Some basic pads and a good hunting knife wouldn’t do you badly, greenback. Me...I’m not armor folk, heheh.”
“I’ll look into that. Wanna keep my guts inside of me, where they belong.” After a moment, I said, “Been thinking about my mark too...was considering Athene, admittedly.”
Robert nodded. “Athene’s not a bad call, she’s one of the gods that doesn’t forcemark. Just get a mark to keep you from getting a force, and you’re good. I’m a Zeus myself. Not like it matters much out of realm...”
I nodded again. “That’s true, I guess. I just...forcemarking doesn’t sit well with me and I don’t want to get caught up in any of that.” Quickly deciding to change the subject, I said, “If I’m not being rude, would you be able to inform me what you do in a party, other than as a realmwalker? I have a Class 2 cert, and minor specialization in Avian Communication...I like birds.”
Robert smirked a bit. “If you like birds, Athene might be a good fit. More seriously...I’m Class 2 with a minor spec in botany. Really, don’t worry about it yet. There’s a lot invested in making sure we don’t die. But...I’ll tell you what. Finish up with your bags, have a nap, and I’ll break out a few Yeunglings and we’ll have a few rounds of Realmwalkers2 on the PS4, hey?”
I shrugged my shoulders a bit, suddenly feeling really tired. “Sure, that sounds fine...haven't played on the PS4 much, though, so you'll probably beat me...but what are Yeunglings?" The response I got was Robert opening the fridge and showing me a German beer in a plastic bottle. “Oh...no thanks, I don’t drink.”
“Just relax, Nathan...Enjoy your days off as you settle in, because soon enough you'll be busy as a cerberu's dentist."
“They must make a killing on the bill, though,” I joked.
Robert chuckled a bit as he headed for his room. “Welcome aboard, Greenback.”
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