Kallisti the Friar sat on a bench in the park near to the cramped flat she was sharing with the other Kallistis, idly tapping the concrete with her quarterstaff, not really looking at what she was doing, her thoughts far away.
“Whats up kiddo?” It was Kallisti Red, dressed in her usual red biker leathers. She sat next to her on the bench, drinking from a plastic cup with a straw. She patted Kallisti the Friar’s shoulder in her usual brusque but kindly manner. The Friar shrugged, not looking at her. “Homesick? I was too for a while when I first arrived, even though where I came from was a total shite hole. I missed it for a while, its what you get used to.”
“This world is so different from that I am accustomed to. There is so many wonders and marvels that I cannot comprehend. It is the freedom I do not understand. There is nobody telling me what to do, no discipline, no punishments… ” Her shoulders slumped a little as she said the last word. Kallisti Red narrowed her eyes. They’d all see the scars on the girl’s back from the discipline that had been the norm in her old world. Red’s own tough background had exposed her some of this nastiness – when you come from a post nuclear-holocaust world, rapidly being overtaken by a new Ice Age, you get to see a more visceral side to society. Institutional abuse, however, was something else entirely in her mind.
“Well, there is law here and we as Heroes are part of keeping that Law and Order bollocks ticking over. If you want we could go find some thugs to knock about a bit?” Friar smiled slightly at this. “I like watching you move with that staff, its almost balletic”
“Purity of Movement and Mastery of Staff is what I was always taught by the Master at Arms” the Friar said, rolling the six foot long staff across the back of her hand. “The movement should be enough to execute the manoeuvre and keep your balance, no more no less. Anything else is wasteful, allows the possibility of mistakes and opens your defences.” The words were recited in a cadenced voice, as if learned by rote.
“Make sense to me.” nodded Red. “Personally I just beat them to a pulp until they stop moving, keeps me happy. Scarlet is pretty much the same, just she doesn’t always stop when they stop moving. She’s a bit more single-minded like that and I can get along with that. She punches a bit harder than me, but gets hit a bit more. Me, I don’t like them hitting my friends, I’d rather they had a go at me!”
“You are very noble in that cause, I had a friend in my old life who was much like that. He used the staff to block attacks on others and draw the demon’s attention to him rather than us so we could dispatch the evil faster.” Her head lowered again. “He died, the demons consumed him.”
“So these demons you talk about… real demons summoned by evil buggers? Not poor victims of DNA resequencing like Bronze?”
“I do not understand those words, but the demons were real and yes summoned by evil sorcerers. Bronze has done some research and believes that there was a magical invasion on my world many hundreds of years ago which was the reason my Martial Order of the Friars of Norton Folgate was founded. We were all the orphans of families taken by the demons, so our lives were dedicated to avenging them and protecting those that remained.” She looked around “This place does not exist over there – we know nothing of this ‘America’ – we were ruled by King Henry the Fifteenth of England and Anjou. My Angel has started teaching me to read so I can find out more of this world – I do not want to go back…” her voice cracked a little, “I do not want to live in fear all the time, I do not want to be…” She stopped talking and looked down again “used by others. You are all so kind and generous taking me in when I arrived…”
“Well you were in a bit of a state when the airhead found you in that alley in Skyway City with all those Vahzilok around you. She seems to have a knack of finding the newbies when they come through. You scrubbed up pretty well in the end”
“Oh showers! What a miraculous invention!!” the Friar finally smiled for the first time in a while. “That wonderful feeling of warmth… and new clothes! My Angel took me to the clothes shop and bought me all new clothes to replace my old ones.”
“I know, we had to burn those horrible old robes – how many people had worn them before? They were lice infested, ugh! I can see Gold has inflicted you with her dubious taste in outfits though” Red smirked. Friar adjusted the new jacket she wore over the clingy revealing outfit she wore beneath.
“The clothes My Angel showed me were sinful, but… ” she took a deep breath “I liked them!” Red raised her eyes heavenward.
“She’s corrupted you already! Next you’ll be running around in another of those metallic mini-dresses she likes and…” Red looked at Friar blushing. “Seriously? Already?”
“She said she would take me to Pocket D and teach me to dance! She said my staff training would make me a natural dancer!”
“Oh yeah and when you pull that ‘spinning around with your legs in the air’ move I can see all the blokes in Pocket D suddenly wanting to know you better! Its green isn’t it – the dress?” Friar nodded, smiling shyly.
“My Angel said I looked good enough to eat when I tried it on” Red raised an eyebrow.
“Did she now? So when is this expedition planned? I have a feeling it might be worth tagging along… The Kallisti Girls hit Pocket D! The poor buggers!”