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Default 06-26-2012, 01:10 PM

"It's a different situation. I'm only free of addiction cuz I was healed, not cuz I got over it myself. I still have mental cravings for opium and feel as tho I need it. I don't need to be lectured about second chances and using them, when I went thru ten years of suffering. No-one can cure that in a few days."


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Default 06-26-2012, 01:13 PM

"Not at all," Tina said. "Would be stupid of me to suggest that. But dod you really want to sit here, feeling resentful and watching everyone else move on? I'll try to help you. What I've been through is completely different, but- oh, I have no idea wat I'm saying, nevermind."


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Default 06-26-2012, 04:51 PM

"If you tell me," Victor said, "Then maybe I can understand."


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Default 06-26-2012, 05:48 PM

Tina's silver eyes got a deadpan, far-off look, and began, "When I was young, I was a good, obedient little girl; I wore my fussy skirts and gowns without complaint, sat quietly and played with my dolls and smiled nicely whenever someone told me what a pretty girl I was.

"But then we went to King Vern's, who is actually my cousin once removed, not my uncle. Anyway, we visited the palace often. It began when I was six; the king would find some way to get us alone. I don't remember how he did it every time, I just know he did it. He would- he would -touch- me-" her voice shook a bit here, but then resumed its lifeless quality as she continued, "and I always asked him to stop. He never listened. Other times, he would- show himself to me. Make me touch him or- nevermind, I'm sure you know.

"I tried to tell my parents, my uncle, my grandparents, but I couldn't find the right words- I was just a child. When I tried to say how he'd get me alone and touch me, they laughed and ignored me, saying I didn't know what I was talking about or that of course he touched me; hugs were common among family.

"I felt trapped. I stopped telling. Finally, when I was nine, he did the -ah, full deed. He always told me what a beautiful girl I was, sent gifts to my family, but it never helped. I was tired of being the beautiful girl that everyone used, so, and something in me just snapped.

"When Cecy was born, I stopped wearing frilly dresses, stopped curling and pinning my hair. I started wearing trousers, like a man. I started skipping embroidery lessons. I began to read books on engineering. The king suddenly seemed disgusted with me- and I was so glad I could have cried, but I hadn't done so in years.

"After that, I just sort of focused on building things and earning the family's disdain- except for Cecy and Shiki, of course. But recently they've been trying to find me a match, some man to shove me off to. That was the last straw. I'd heard about Cecy's departure for Star Island and readied my air ship for takeoff. And- well, here I am."


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Default 06-26-2012, 05:55 PM

Victor was silent for a while. He then said, "That should be a reason for you to despise me, not want to help me. Your virginity was stolen from you; whereas I sold mine away for the price of a pipefull of opium."


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Default 06-26-2012, 06:38 PM

"You were addicted. In a way, you're as much a victim as I was, maybe even more so," Tina said, snapping out of her dissociated state. "The dealers and my cousin once to move are to blame for it."


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Default 06-26-2012, 06:46 PM

"I guess. The King sent in Cat dealers to get kids addicted by handing out one free pipe. That's how I got addicted in the first place."


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Default 06-26-2012, 06:48 PM

"Exactly," Tina said. "You were- um- you were- you were sort of enslaved to the drug," Tina said after finding the way she wanted to describe it.


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Default 06-26-2012, 06:53 PM

Victor sighed. "That pretty much sums it up," he said. "And now I'm not, I have more time to think about what a waste of space I really am."


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Default 06-26-2012, 07:00 PM

"That's how I felt; as a woman, I wasn't and never could be as strong or fast as a man wasn't allowed in politics, and no one ever registered my opinion. So I got into inventing; no one said it wasn't allowed specifically, just assumed I'd never try it. But it requires mostly just brain power, and I love it," Tina said.


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