I guess this is it then. I’m staring up at the ceiling of what is going to be my shop for the time being. A large, but relatively dusty and unkempt place. It’ll do I guess, I can always fix it up. At least it has two stories, some storage will be nice. But before my procrastinator ass does anything, I remember Jack planned for us to all get together to celebrate our little bit of freedom from our government work. I heard he invited every single systenian, even those he has never spoke to in his life. I mean, I’m not surprised, but still, a little overboard. I grab my winter coat, probably one of my best furs, down to my ankles and with an inside lined in a wild grenden pelt. Heading out into the street and beginning to head to the Town Hall, which Jack rented out, I wonder what the systenians from the other planets will be like when they aren’t looking good for the public. I can’t wait to have some time with the media out of my hair, they’re not allowed her on the hub, and a party is always nice to relieve stress.
The sound of shuffling feet and excited voices fills the windy, leaf-filled air. I hear the clock tower chiming two, and realize this is what I’ve always wanted. A restart, a new day, a chance. None of us systenians have met the others, we only know those from our own planets. And the impression I left on those from my own planet isn’t exactly the best. Not that I have a edgy, troubled, past, just that I’ve never done anything particularly good, and it’s hard for me to make good first impressions. And as I approach the huge double doors, I know. Maybe just a good new start can wipe away the bad relations we’ve had in the past.
Just get on with it. It’s not such a big deal, you know. You’ll be fine Lynna.
I open the doors. It’s a small hallway, But I can see a huge arch behind it. Finally, I won’t hit my head walking into a room and look like a fool. Good to know that’s off my list of worries for today. There’s a line of systenians waiting to be checked in, and everyone looks excited or nervous or both.
“Excuse me sir?”
There’s a woman in front of me, she’s short so I take a moment to notice her. She’s a race B, and Parcurva. She’s probably a Rosie. I can’t tell much from how she looks, but she is definitely rich, more so than most of us. I can tell she’s wearing clothes that seem a bit too fancy for the event: a pair of translucent silk wing scarves with extremely detailed gold patterns on them, a dress with similar fabrics, colors, and patterns, and some gold jewelry.
“What kind of fur is that? I’d say it’s kalek, but the color is off.” She asks.
“My jacket? Oh, wild grenden.”
“Where did you get that? I’ve heard it’s quite rare.”
“Straight from the forest itself. I have a hunting hobby.” Dammit, I can feel my ego swelling at hearing people compliment my stuff. Or at least what HE seems to think is a compliment. But we are the same, so I can’t complain. Or let them hear me complaining.
“Do you happen to sell your pelts? You see, I’m opening a-”
“Excuse me miss, we need to move the line along.” The person checking us in says impatiently.
“Of course, sorry. I’m Ferin, by the way.”
“Oh right, sorry, I’ve got no manners. I’m Lynna.”
“Pleasure to meet you.” Ferin says as she she turns and walks to the desk to check in.
She seems nice. Too bad the line is so short. As she walks into the main room, I check in and scan the line for people I know. None. Seems like most of them are either on time, or just really late, considering I’m a few minutes behind schedule. I turn and walk into the main room. This is it.
It’s huge, with a dome stained glass ceiling in patterns of the five planet’s flags. There is a small buffet to my left, and to my right a few people dancing and a band playing. I can see some tables scattered around the room towards the back as well, I can’t tell the exact number as the crowd of guests blocks my view. All around the room people are talking, and I start looking to see if there is anyone I know here yet. I figure Jack will be but I don’t know if anyone else will.
As I walk over to the buffet, I see Jack waving me over from where he is at one of the tables talking with Srendo and Sparta. I go over and sit next to him. As I do, I see Kammy walk in. As she starts scanning the seats for her friends, I see her spot me, brighten up, and start walking over. While she is, I see someone I don’t know go up to her and start talking to her. She gives me a this-may-take-a-while look, and I return it with a I-know-how-you-feel look. She has these sorts of things happen far more often than I, as a Rosie. According to the old social norms, as a Rosie, which was and still is the slang for the highest class in a planet, she would be above all of us, and therefore basically have total control over our planet. There’s no way even now her reputation would allow her to have been seen at any sort of public event with someone like me. A Rusty. A ruffian, brute, criminal. At least, according to our old social norms since we’re the lowest class. In the old days, class amongst systenians was determined by hair color. The order of colors was red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, pink. Those of us with closer to pink horns were considered higher in caste and had more power. They’re Parcurvas. Those of us with closer to red were considered inferior. We’re Ingenacri. Most believe us to still be far inferior, and it’s a constant struggle trying to prove our worth. At least I have a stable country. If need be, we can survive anything hateful others try to do to us. Hair color determines everything, whether you’re popular or an outcast, and who you are is who your country is. I snap out of my thoughts when I hear Jack’s voice.
“Hey, Core to Lynna, still alive in there?” Jack is waving his hand in front of my face.
“Hm? Sorry, got lost in my thoughts for a second there. What were you saying?”
“I was asking you about the rest of the systenians. Anyone cool you’ve met, any jerks, potential threats, y’know.”
“No one yet, I just got here a minute ago. Well, there was this one girl in line checking in. She probably won’t talk to me again though, she’s a Parcurva.”
“A Parcurva? You don’t think she’ll end up like the other Parcurva you know?” Jack says giving me a teasing smile and eyebrow wiggle.
“Stop. We’re not even a couple or anything.” I say blushing.
“Suuuuuure. How about you Srendo?” Jack responds.
“I haven’t talked to many people either, but there is one girl who seems kind of nice." Srendo responds. She isn’t very social outside of our friend group, she prefers to keep to her lab and her books. She seems to be staring into the distance today though. Strange, she normally is very down to the Core, factual, and blunt.
“‘Seems kind of nice,’ eh?” Primegen dammit. Sparta, don’t be that guy. We already have Jack.
“Just stop Sparta. Seriously, I don’t want another Sanru on my hands.”
“That shitposter is trying to ship you? Good Primegen.” Sparta asks.
“He ships everyone Sparta, I’m surprised you didn’t know that.” Srendo responds. She has got to be having a horrible time. Sanru is basically every overreacting fanboy ever, except he is being a fanboy at his ‘friends’ rather than fictional characters. He just draws, give people strange looks, and ships and writes friendfiction.
“I did, I just didn’t know he was bothering you of all people.”
“Anyways, I better head to the buffet, I’m hungry as fuck.” I say as I start walking over to the buffet.
“Get me some of those cinnamon cookies while you’re at it!” Jack calls from his seat.
“And I want some more tea, if any is left.” Srendo adds.
“Srendo, you know there will be some left. You’re the only one here who would prefer tea over a milkshake or smoothie or some other treat.” Says Sparta. I’ll let them talk for awhile while I get food.
They keep chatting while I grab what they requested, as well as a slice of cake, a beer, whiskey, and smoothie. I know they didn’t ask for drinks with the exception of Srendo, but I’ve been their friend for so long I know exactly what they like.
Once I get all the food and drinks I walk back over to where Jack, Sparta, and Srendo are sitting. We chat for a while, Srendo and Sparta venting about his book and her medical studies, Jack boasting about some great game he had when he was last gambling, and me boasting about my latest catch. This is us: we are all great friends, horrible people who bitch and boast all day long, though at heart we really care. At least, I’m pretty sure we do, I can’t read minds. We’ve been friends for as long as I can remember, we’re the only leaders on Raknor, our continent, so we kinda have to have a good relationship if we don’t want never ending war. Jack annoyingly nicknamed us the “Raknor Four” like we’re some kind of superhero group or something. But we do have common interests, so we stay pretty stable. After a few hours we say our goodbyes and split up. They can stay a while more, but being the procrastinator I am, I know I need to get back to my shop because if I don’t clean it now I never will. Everything needs to be perfect for Opening Day, the Friday after next.
As I start walking out I see Kammy leaving as well, waving me over to where she is. We start walking back to Phosphora square together.