18 – Outsider

The first thing Q did once he got into town was go to a specialty weapons store. He’d been meaning to do this for quite a while, but had been sidetracked once he found that huge stash of CDs on the outskirts of town. There were two things in his life that he loved: music, and guns. But he reminded himself that he couldn’t think about music now. He had to restore Edmond’s faith in him by killing the Phoenix as soon as possible.

When Q walked in the store, a little bell rang to signify a customer had entered. He winced slightly at the high pitched noise and waited for the owner to show himself. On the walls were hundreds of blades. Swords, daggers, knives, ninja gear… Almost everything someone could ever want. Then, in glass display cases that doubled as counter-tops, were the guns. Q was awed. This selection was more than he’d ever seen anywhere else. He guessed it helped that Dexterity was a country full of outlaws.

As the owner finally walked up to the counter, he took one look at Q and scowled a bit, no doubt thinking Q was someone who knew nothing and was only here to window shop. But the Talvian would prove him wrong- as soon as Q was done gawking at the selection, he walked to the other man and asked for two very specific weapons. The owner mulled the suggestions over before going in the back and retrieving the two items Q had requested: a special handgun and a very efficient knife. They were considered antiques, even for Dexterity, which was known for being behind the times in technology and equipment.
Q asked for a holster and sheath as well as ammo for the gun. He put both weapons on his belt and stuck the bullets in his pocket, thinking loading the gun wouldn’t be the best decision before actually paying for it.
As the owner watched Q with distrusting eyes, the Talvian didn’t take too long to open his wallet and begin to put the money he owed on the table. That was when things became interesting.

“What the hell is this?” The shop owner growled. “Play money?”

Q looked down at his bills and realized that the currency here could obviously be different from the other countries. The thought had slipped his mind until now. He tried to play it like he knew what he was doing while he internally began to panic.
“Sir, I can assure you the money is real. It’s–”

Q was interrupted by a gun being cocked and aimed at the center of his face. He froze.

“No! I’ve been robbed twice this week, I ain’t gonna let some punk try to fool me into taking some fake bills!”

Q swallowed, but tried to stay calm. “Sir, I’m sorry about the mistake. I will…”
The both of them looked over as the bell rang again to signify a new customer. It was an older man with long black hair and a trenchcoat. He held an umbrella as a cane, and the smile on his face quickly faded once he took in the current situation.
His blue eyes first looked over the Talvian, seeming a bit confused. Then as his eyes passed over the money on the counter, a look of realization sparked in them.

“Dave,” he said calmly as he approached the scene, a courtesy smile crossing his features.
“Don’t worry about this; I’ll pay.”

He came up near Q and the owner, Dave, reluctantly lowered the gun. The umbrella man took the foreign money in his hands and counted it, then replaced it on the counter with an entirely different set of bills. The local Dexterian currency, Q assumed. The stranger put Q’s money in his waller, and spoke to Dave. “That covers the cost. Right?”

Dave grumbled a “Yeah.”
The man in the trenchcoat’s smile widened. “Good.”
He then turned to Q, who had remained silent. “Come with me, boy,” the man ordered, walking out of the store.
Q reluctantly followed.

Once they were outside the store, Q didn’t even get a chance to say thank you before the man started speaking again. “You look remarkably human for a Talvian,” the man said, looking over Q as he walked. “Is that why you were banished from your homeland?”

Q scowled. “Among other things,” he answered. “Who are you?” Q stopped walking, expecting an answer. The man halted as well, looking down at the Talvian, who was a few inches shorter than himself.
“My name is Kingsley,” he replied, beginning to walk once more. “Walk with me.”

Q’s lip twitched, unsure if he should follow. But the man was interesting, so he trotted up to Kingsley and walked with him once he caught up.

“You should be careful who sees you with that money,” Kingsley continued. “There are many people who would kill you for being an outsider.”

Q scoffed. “The Heartlies? They’re dead.”

Kingsley tried to hide his disappointment in the news as he replied, “There are others.”
After a pause in thought, he asked, “What is your name, boy?”

“Q,” Q answered.
Kingsley chuckled. “An alias? How impolite. I just bought you a very expensive gift, you know.”

Q looked down. He was about to argue how it couldn’t have been a gift since Kingsley took his money, but decided to be truthful instead and just answer the question.
“Quatre,” he muttered, slightly ashamed.

Kingsley chuckled again. “I see why you prefer Q. A number for a name isn’t very likable, is it?”
Quatre meant Four in the Talvian language. Q covered his surprise at Kingsley knowing such a thing.

“No, it’s not,” he answered.
“May I ask why you were named such? Fourth son, perhaps?”

Q grunted. “Fourth in the tribe to be a mixblood.” The Talvian did not like this conversation, and was quick to reroute it. “How’s someone in Dexterity know so much about Talvia?”

Kingsley gave a “heh” in response. “I used to be quite the traveler.” He stopped in front of a building. Q looked to Kingsley, waiting for an answer for the soon to come question.
“Where are we?” he muttered.

“Sinico,” Kingsley responded, opening the door.

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