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Pinky can see Sean’s bright hair from all across the square and a smile creeps its way on his lips. His friend wears the once Ian’s jacket and fits into the crowd quite well, a normal person would even overlook him. Not Pinky, though. But wait – Sean is not coming alone. The other man is a bit out of place here in the Slums and is keeping close to Blondie. Their hair is on the brighter scale of ginger, but grey is already making its way to spoil the colour. Technomancer then, because they don’t look old enough for a natural greying. Their clothing isn’t as fitting as Sean’s, both on them and here in Slums. Must be borrowed.

Alex leans off the wall and pulls down his hood to make himself more visible. Once he stood here like this and Sean couldn’t find him for solid ten minutes. He even looked right at him few times, without actually seeing him. Alex took it as a compliment to his skills. But now is not the time to play hide-and-seek, Sean isn’t alone and Pinky doesn’t want to be rude. His mother raised him better.

It takes only seconds until Blondie notices him and basically runs Alex’s way the moment he does so. The other technomancer is caught off guard by his sudden movement. Sean is making his way through the crowd, his smile getting bigger and bigger the closer he gets.

“Pinky!” he calls out and before Pinky knows it, Sean has him in his arms.

“Hey, buddy!” Alex says with the same enthusiasm and hugs Sean back. They haven’t seen each other for more than two months and he missed him.

When both men stand face to face again, they are both smiling. And Sean’s companion is just standing there, aware of everything around him (Pinky knows that look), not really relaxed as Sean is down here. Maybe it’s their first time being in the Slums, or the first time they sneaked out…

Alex’s train of thoughts is interrupted by Sean’s voice.

“This is my brother Melvin,” Sean introduces the one standing by his side, “And this is Alex Rogue, my friend.”

“Nice to meet you.” Alex reaches his hand to shake it with the mancer. However, he sees Melvin’s hesitation.

He has to be not used to that non-technomancer are willing to touch him. Sean, as well as Ian, too were hesitant with even the briefest of touches first. The spark jumping between them hurt a little, was a bit uncomfortable few first times, but Pinky took it as a part of being a friend with two Mancers. Plus, as soon as both of them realized Pinky doesn’t mind occasional wee shock, they both relaxed and the sparks were almost all gone. Or maybe he just got used to it…

And so, Alex is keeping his hand reached until the older Mancer finally shakes it. The spark is there and tells Pinky a bit about its causer. Because some time ago Alex realized than every Mancer has their own… taste, feel to their change. He can’t quite describe it, but he is aware of it.

Sean’s technomancy feels like morning sun seeping through the sunblind the moment they are closing up; like something trying so desperately to get somewhere else. Reaching somewhere where it doesn’t belong and at the same time wanting to stay where it is.

Ian’s is calmer, but spiky at its edges – reflecting Ian’s personality quite well. There is this raw energy bubbling just below the surface, too. The taste of Ian’s full power no less. And there is something more, like a second layer to it. Mixing with and embracing Ian’s signature. Alex’s guess is it must be Connor’s charge lingering on him.

Melvin’s technomancy… it’s always hard to pinpoint it on the first touch. The max he can say is it’s very tightly closed up around him, as a shield Wards are using in the battle to cover from enemy fire. Alex can feel something more to it, too, but that is out of the reach. For now, at least.

“Likewise,” Melvin finally speaks up, “my little brother told me a few stories about you already on the way here.”

“Oh, I hope the reality doesn’t disappoint you, Melvin,” Pinky winks and can hear Sean’s chuckle. However, he notices Melvin’s little reaction when he called him by his name. The little twitch of his eyebrow. “Can I call you Melvin?”

“I… Yes, you may.” Poor man probably isn’t used to that people outside the Order can see him as a human being.

“You can call me either Alex or Pinky. ‘Hey, you’ works, too,” Pinky jokes to break the ice. And to his delight, Melvin smiles. He has a nice smile. “I can’t help myself but – what Blondie told you about me? How handsome, dashing and strong am I?”

“Oh, yes! Like I ever stated anything like this about you, Pinky,” Sean smirks.

“You didn’t? And I was wondering why all the mancer ladies ain’t coming...”


“Right back at ya,” Alex sticks out his tongue at Sean.

“More like how loyal, intelligent and adaptive you are, Alex,” Melvin’s voice is weirdly distanced while saying this. Like if he’s reading it from a file. Like a commanding officer listing various of soldier’s skills.

A piece of a puzzle clicked into its place. He had seen something similar before with Sean. Melvin is freshly from the front and is burdened by all its horrors. Alex is guessing it was his first deployment. Sean probably took him with him tonight to lift his mood, to get him out of the grey corridors of the Order’s buildings.

But that all are just Alex’s guesses, he can be wrong. But his instincts and observation are rarely wrong…

“That will do, too,” Pinky says with a smile, trying to ease the sudden mood shift. “Anyway – we are not here to stand and do nothing. Any plans for tonight, gents?”

“Not really.”

Pinky sigh, pretending to be hurt, “Of course you leave it on me, Blondie.” He’s thinking for a bit. They could go to Curiosity’s but there are too many people and noise. Alex’s guess is that Melvin is not in the mood for that. Maybe… “Tell me Melvin, have you ever had koblihy with the orange filling? Or a peach one?”

“I believe I have not, Alex.”

Koblížky it is then! You're in for a treat. Follow me, gents,” Alex commands and leads the way to his favourite place. Hoping the sweets will help Melvin relax a bit and enjoy this free night.