Bitter memories of an old friend

[OOC: This is a thread that will be sporadically updated, detailed vignettes of Vlad Cristea’s backstory. I’d prefer no commenting is done on this thread. Thank you!]


“So much beige, my dear boy,” an attempt at a grandmotherly voice, raspy and low, yet she was no ordinary grandmother. “So very much beige. Do you ever long for the sun, for the warmth of real summer? I met my late husband - may God bless his spirit - one summer night. I wasn’t older than…”

He ceases to twirl the knife with his fingers. It falls on the mahogany table, Tired olive-green eyes stare back at his mentor, his mother figure, the one who saved him long ago. She’s ancient and he’s young. Surely there’s much to be learned from here, isn’t there? She, a veteran enforcer. Him, a lost young man without much hope for a future. A yawn follows.

“So what happened to ‘im, ma’am?”

“Oh, he’s no more,” there’s a brief gleam in her eyes but she deviates her gaze from him. She’d rather spare him the sentimentality. “Quite sad.”

Gone. Just like Raymond. Gone and wasted. Gone and forgotten by the world. Gone–

“Ma’am. You saw the fall, didn’t ya?”

“Oh yes, yes I did.”

“How it was?”

“Curious, Vlad?”


He longed for the Surface. Longed for green grass and colorful flowers. Longed for the warmth of real food-- not these rats, not those bottles of mushroom wine. Real meat, real wines. But he suggested coming to London, long ago, back when Raymond was there. (As it turned out, his medical training wasn’t needed for the most part, for death tends to be impermanent in the Neath. Ah, what a shame, if only he had known.)

“Ma’am,” whispered, rushed, slurry. He wasn’t in the best state, at the moment.


“If you could go back, and leave London behind. Would you?”

She’s silent for a bit.

“Oh, leaving the Neath is a death sentence. We learned it the hard way.”

“Which means…?”

“The Sun will kill you. It’s a shame. We should be used to death around us, yet the idea of being poofed by the sun is far too much. What do you think, dear boy?

He shrugs. She moves on from the subject.

(The topic of the Surface was too depressing for both of them.)

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