Brute Squad Interludes Writing

Interlude: Memories

What the fuck are you supposed to be?

Unbidden, and unwanted, an old memory surfaced. Naeris gritted their teeth and gripped the reins a little harder.

Hey, pyrite-brain, say that again and you’ll lose some fucking teeth.

Tusk. Even as a kid, she was willing to throw down with adults to stand up for herself and her friends. Gods, I miss her. Naeris shook their head, and glanced around. Someone had just said something, and Wolf-puncher was laughing. Serif quietly mimicked it; a disconcerting, mocking echo.

Like old times, in a way, Naeris thought. And yet completely, utterly different.

There had been good times, Naeris supposed. Fun jobs, like the wizards tower, or stealing valuables from the worst of noble society. Times spent with friends.

Hey, ‘nip, we’re friends, right?

Tusks somehow managed to look nervous, standing in the doorway like she wasn’t sure if she should come in or run away. Even at 13 she was already close to 6 foot, and mostly muscle–nervous was not a look that suited her. They’d just got back from casing a warehouse, and she had been uncharacteristically quiet. Naeris had assumed it because of the encounter with Derrick that morning, but now they weren’t so sure.

“Of course we are, you idiot,” Turnip grinned. “Come in, and tell me what’s wrong.”

Tusks stepped in, and gently closed the door behind her. “I… have an awkward question,” she managed. “About this morning. About… you.”

“Ah.”

“Yeah.”

Turnip laughed. “Is that all? Shit, Tusks, I thought you were about to tell me you’d decided to leave town.”

“Don’t laugh!” Tusks said, “You get really mad whenever anyone asks!”

“Yeah, whenever some slate-breath like Derrick asks. They’re always so fucking rude about it. Like I’m some kind of circus freak,” Turnip snorted. “Come one, come all, and see the odd child! Is it a boy? Is it a girl? Nobody knows! Only 2 silver!”.

“See,” Tusks said, “you get mad.”

“Nah, I’m just… this morning is still kinda pissing me off,” Turnip sighed. “He just want to know if he can use me as a street-girl, you know?”

“That, little Turnip, would be a tremendous waste of your talents.”

“Pfft. Flatterer.”

“Like you can talk. I’ve seen the way you butter up the olds, and pull the whole ‘helpless child’ act. I just get to act the thug–talk about stereotypical.”

Act the thug?” Turnip feigned incredulity. “I’ve seen you pull a dwarf’s arm out of his socket!”

“He got a little handsy with my purse. Nobody steals from me. And don’t think I don’t see you, changing the topic.”

“Ah, you caught me. Okay, let’s see if I can explain…”

It’s funny. I used to care so much about what people thought. Or didn’t think. I guess it doesn’t really matter when you spend more time being someone else. Though, if you spend most of your time being someone else, are you really you anymore? …

“Hey Wolf-puncher; did you see what I did with that bottle of wine?”

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