Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Chapter 1: Guy Named Scarlett; Check Your Stardate
The dizziness subsided.
She woke on the ground and pushed herself up, squeezing unfamiliar grass under her fingers.
She'd messed up, again. She was alone, again. Again. Again.
A thousand times. Two thousand. She'd lost count.
She checked her watch.
"3252?" She clenched her fist. She groaned. She growled at the sky. It didn't make any difference. The instrument was enchanted, just like her, it was never wrong. "3252?! Great! Centuries away! I can't keep doing this, Jay." She felt like crying but the tears wouldn't spill. Was she giving up? She couldn't give up. She couldn't give up and she couldn't just stand here talking to a guy who had never been born.
"I may have to let you go..."
And then she saw someone up ahead.
"I'm a little heartbroken," Scarlett joked. "The tourist pamphlet labeled this place 'seafood hideaway'."
"And not a waiter in sight," his wife, Greta, played along. "Very misleading."
It was a city-maintained spot to catch fish. And it was a pretty nice park, too.
"I always forget how blue he is," she-who-isn't-supposed-to-be-there mused. Had his energy signature drawn her here by accident? He reminded her of someone else. Someone she saw more often. Someone who always met the same bad end.
And that's when she @#$%ing snapped and had the idea that she could stop it from happening.
It quickly became a bad day for everyone.
"Physically, your wife is fine." The doctor, Erika Lin, sits down all conversationally next to Scarlett. Her office is homey in a way that's supposed to be calming. He doesn't like it. "And so are you. Now stop picking at the arm."
"We're not fine," Scarlett protests weakly. "I can't remember my parents' names. I can't remember where I'm from."
"What else do you not remember?"
"I... I don't know." He can't think of anything else very pressing. Being homeless is the primary concern.
"Well you're lucky that's your only problem, right?" Doctor Lin has an amazing disregard for her patient's emotional distress. "Hey, you're lucky you even remember your wife, right? When they found you, you looked like shredded cheese."
Don't say blue cheese, Scarlett pleads silently. Don't.
"You should be dead," she says. "But how inconvenient that your ID tag is not in our systems.You'll just have to stay here, in our nice town, until things are sorted out for you. I really hope you'll keep in mind that we're all nice, peaceful folk, and we don't want trouble." Her tone makes it seem she thinks Scarlett and his wife are criminals, perhaps 'deserving' victims of gang violence, fled from a less prosperous sector. Scarlett's read the newspapers, he knows the language they use when they mean the worst...
Scarlett tries to ignore it. He does wonder, though, if he has something to hide from the law. If he's being a tremendous idiot, waiting around in this town for the authorities to figure out who he is. "Please. Greta's a mess. She's scared. She keeps saying we've forgotten something important." Like where they were going.
Like what they were supposed to do when they got there.
"The brain scanner didn't pick up any damage,"Lin says. "So there isn't any. I'm going to refer you both to a psychologist."
"I don't need a psychologist," Scarlett mumbles. "I'm not crazy."
"Your wife said you were hurt because an elf showed up and attacked you with magic," Erika says flatly.
"It was a bad day," Scarlett says.
Their attacker hadn't said she was an elf. She said her name was Eris. She said she was a goddess, come to cut the thread of fate.
"I get rid of you, Rain can't exist, can't screw up everything," she said nonsensically.
"She can't be stopped," Greta cried. "She's too powerful."
"No one's invincible." Scarlett's words of defiance came out as more of a terrified squeak.
"Too powerful for me," Greta clarified. The magic shields she'd placed around them were breaking.
"You'll be back anyway!" the woman screamed. Poised to kill, she was steeling herself to go through with it. "This is just an experiment!"
Scarlett didn't feel it when the bolt of energy hit him.
Once second his face wasn't in the dirt, and the next it was.
"Mr. Goldbeard, are you related to any vampires?" Doctor Lin asks suddenly. Because while elves don't exist in the knowledge of Erika Lin, vampires totally do.
"...N-no?! You're the doctor, shouldn't you be able to measure my teeth?"
"It's the blue skin," she blurts. "You're a posterchild for RHS."
"RH Syndrome! Idiot. Now I like you both, and I'd hate to see you forcibly shipped out of here over some misunderstanding."
Scarlett pales. "Shipped to where?" He wonders how she'd act if she didn't like him.
"To wherever they ship vampires to," she says dismissively. "Monte Vista isn't open to their kind. Mind-tampering, blood-sucking creeps. We had an incident here some years ago, you know. It was awful."
"Scarlett!" Greta is startled when he walks up behind her. She's in her normal clothes again. Ready to leave this bizarrely-mannered place.
He frowns. "Are you okay?"
"I need to get out of here," Greta whispers. "They caught me. They're going to hurt me."
"No, no they're not. They don't know anything about you."
"But they do. They do. I messed up. I told them." They didn't believe her, but she told them.
Scarlett takes his wife's hands. She wasn't as physically injured as he was, but emotionally... "We can go now, Greta," he soothes.
"Gysael." She looks away. "My mother called me Gysael."
Scarlett can't even remember what his mother looks like. "Did I?"
"N...no." She swallows. "I don't think you ever did. In fact I'm sure you never did." Whatever she's forgotten, she's quite certain it has nothing to do with Scarlett. She can trust Scarlett.
"Then let's go."
Since they aren't vampires, Scarlett and Greta are given permission to settle in Monte Vista. Pooling the money they were previously using to travel, they're able to rent a tiny cottage.
It features a main room, a bathroom, a single bedroom accessible via the stairs, and a claustrophobic's nightmare kitchen.
Where Greta immediately burns the waffles.
Don't sit there pretending it's good, she thinks at Scarlett. Just remember this and buy me a toaster.
Not being psychic, he has no response.
This guitar was pretty much the only cool thing the police found near the couple's bodies. Scarlett remembers it fondly. Wherever he and Greta traveled, busking made just enough simoleons to buy a ticket to the next train out.
It'll get him away from this place, too, he reassures himself.
Problem is, the Goldbeard couple don't know where they were headed to, or why. Or exactly where they've been before. So when they try to discuss where to go next, they talk in circles and never decide anything.
Scarlett knows it's too bizarrely specific of a thing to have shared amnesia about. Could they be under a spell? Good luck asking the medical community about that one; as far as they're concerned, blood-sucking undead are the source of all magic.
Scarlett's guitar strings cry out his pain for hours in the town square.
"Just tip the circus freak and let's go before I starve!"
"I think your guitar skills suck, and you could make a lot of money as a test subject."
The crowd isn't always that nice, but Scarlett can deal with it.
"Silver poisoning, jerk."
"You kids just do the weirdest things with your bodies," Monte Vista's only practicing doctor besides Erika Lin scolds him.
Greta should be helping Scarlett, but she's still too shaken to leave the house.
Who was Eris? Why had she tried to kill them? Where was she now?
Etc.: Hi, welcome to my blog. It's a Random Legacy Challenge and it takes place in the same universe as my other blogs.
If you're curious about what I've rolled for each generation, there's a convenient link at the top.
Scarlett was a spare in my Barnacle Bay legacy; readers of that may recall he had a terrible father and a sister named Mittens (who became the heir, so I put Scarlett on a bus). Scarlett wasn't alone on the bus, though. I sent his girlfriend with him.
Greta is the one who had the Goldbeard surname first. She's a descendant of the Barnacle Bay family, but at about five generations in, didn't much resemble the original Goldbeards. In that story she was a witch, and now that Supernatural is installed, she's a witch for reals.