Copied from Summary
- The New Chronicler. Despite neither of them wanting to be even near the other Toini eventually has to invite Alene to join her crew. When Alene finds she gets a cabin of her own on the ship she agrees.
- The Wrong Girl for the Job
- The Beauty and the Beast
- Finding Home
Even though Toini can’t stand Alene she knows she’s the person she needs on her crew, but will Alene even want to join after Toini shot her?
This is a story about facing a reality you don’t like, about making a choice you don’t want to, and about finding what you’ve been looking for in the unlikeliest of places.
Tropes – Story
Who is Alene this time?
What does Alene want? Alene wants to get back to her old life on the rails.
What does Alene need? A home.
Who is Toini this time?
What does Toini want? Toini wants to forget all this and get back to work.
What does Toini need? Toini needs to get back to work.
- Toini tells Roy she needs Alene on her crew.
- People come to terms with the new situation.
- Toini offers Alene a home on her ship.
Toini sits on the sidewalk and composes herself for a bit. Things have gone very wrong for her. She’s alienated her sister, she’s ruined her oldest friendship, and her god wants her to sign on an abomination on her crew. It’s a shitty situation for her as a person, but as a paladin she now knows what she needs to do, and there’s no way around it. The way is clear.
Alene still needs some time to recover though, and the only thing left for Toini is to tie up her loose ends.
Explanations and farewells
To begin with, Alene goes back to Paivi’s pub. It’s open now, and it lets her in. Both Roy and Paivi are there, but Roy excuses himself and leaves as soon as she shows up. It hurts.
It’s a shitty situation, but Ek doesn’t need Roy and Toini the girl will just have to deal.
Toini tells Paivi her quest is done. She’s found her new crew member and she expects to leave within the next few days. She explains Alene is her new crew member, and as soon as she’sa convinced her to join the crew she’ll pack her on the ship and leave. She’ll probably never come back.
Toini does not apologize for anything. It’s true she put her sister and her friend through a lot, and she’s sorry it had to be like that, but she has no regrets for anything she did.
Roy goes to check in on Alene.
Much as Alene is still hurt and mending, she’s also managed to wreck her room completely. She’s not quite sure what happened. She remembers Toini showed up, and it was a bit weird and scary, and a bit awkward, but she also felt really good inside, like she was at peace, and then she thinks she maybe started to cry, but she’s not quite sure because it gets a bit blurry and she never cries, so it’s a bit strange. Then, later, the inner beast just took over and raged and tore everything asunder, and then whe she finally got back in control again she’s still here, except her room is wrecked and the door is barred from the outside.
Roy’s getting really angry with Toini now, because he feels it’s her fault, but Alene isn’t so sure. Things were okay when Toini was here – just a bit awkward. It’s after Toini left that things got bad.
Alene eventually owns up to that she would like to see Toini again.
Roy, thinks a bit, and then eventually admits that he would too.
That’s it then…
It’s the following evening.
Toini’s been busy sorting out crap with Church after her attack on Alene. She’s been meaning to get back to Mossy Barn and talk to Alene again, but it just hasn’t happened.
She’s grumpy and tired and Church just keeps putting obstacles in her way. Toini’s about to have a hissy fit and start yelling and smiting, but then her phone rings and Paivi asks her if she has time to stop by for a pint and a chat.
All of a sudden Church just runs out of bureaucracy and Toini’s free to leave. The way is clear for her again. Even Mari shows up and clears her to leave within the next 24 hours. If she’s not out by then, they’ll have to star registering and verifying again, but for now she’s due to head out.
Toini feels that Ek is pleased, but she also feels that Telos is helping out and pushing her on. It’s like he’s giving her a chance to leave, and he’ll even help her just as long as she gets out of there.
Toini gets back to the pub.
It’s a quiet evening – Tuesday or something. There’s barely anyone there. Ali’ast is behind the bar, and Roy, Alene, and Paivi sit by the fire and talk when Toini and Raoul shows up.
It’s a bit tense.
Toini and Raoul sit down, and get their beers.
Several nervous glances from Roy to Alene. Alene seems fine. Everyone else is nervous.
Toini eventually speaks up. She explains why she’s come to Kul Viller, about how she’s on a quest to find a new member for her team, and how she thought it was Roy. Now that he’s here, she knows it’s not him, and instead it turns out it’s Alene.
Toini formally asks Alene to join her crew.
Alene is understandably suspicious. After all, her first meeting with Toini wasn’t exactly pleasant. She asks about that – how can she trust that Toini won’t just shoot her again. Toini says she can’t. She already did, and since Alene is still alive, there’s no point in trying again. She did shoot with the intent to kill. Three bullets. No one would survive that unless Ek has a plan for them.
Raoul says that Alene would take over his job as a chronicler and she would be working very closely with Toini – closer than anyone else. He really hopes she’ll take the job, because much as he respects and admires Toini as a paladin, he also can’t stand her as a person. Toini agrees. It’s really only their professionalism that keeps them from ripping each other to pieces.
Finally, Alene brings up how she feels strange and weird in a not unpleasant way when Toini is around. Toini in turn explains that she feels horrible when Alene is nearby, and that’s how she knew she was an abomination. It’s a sacrifice she’s supposedly forced to make though, some other test of Ek’s to try her dedication to his cause.
They’re going to have to find a way to make it work, or Toini will end up going mad. They talk about it a bit and eventually figure out that when Toini is nearby the madness of Alene’s inner beast is transferred over to her, and Alene can be her old self like she was before she got afflicted.
This puts Alene in a tough spot as she’s loathe to put anyone else through what she’s been dealing with. She’s often told Roy she wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy, and now Toini’s here offering to take on the burden for her voluntarily.
It’s tempting, but she feels bad about it.
Toini assures her she’ll be able to handle it. They’ll work something out. They’ll go back to her founding temple in the mountains in the south and talk to the high-priests of Ek and seek out ther wisdom. They’ll know how to make it work. She’s sure of it.
In reality, she’s not, but she wants to go there anyway, because there’s a chance they might be able to help.
Alene eventually asks the question of what’s in it for her, apart from hoisting over her burden of madness onto Toini.
Toini explains she gets a decent salary, mostly paid into a savings account. There’s Church funded insurance for her next of kin. She gets food and a room aboard the ship, and she gets to be a part of something that truly makes an impression on the world.
Alene gets hung up on one thing, the mention of a room.
The entire thing ends with Alene unpacking her suitcase in her new cabin aboard the ship.