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He supposed he should locate this heavy hitter first, and given the layout of the compound as he understood it, the central tower seemed like the best place to start.
He caught some servants littering along the tilestone pathway that led there, so he decided that he might as well do his fake job while he was here. He tried to give the offenders the stink eye, but his goggles probably got in the way, he figured.
Either that, or these people just didn’t give a shit.
Hmm. The more time he spent here, the more he noticed that no one was really looking at him. Like they were avoiding eye contact. Or simply looking through him, perhaps. He couldn’t quite--
‘How’s it going in there?’ came Voreese’s concentration-ruining voice, as usual.
‘Hey, these goggles aren’t making me invisible, are they?’
‘What? Of course not. The hell kinda dumbass question is that?’
‘It just feels like no one’s even noticing me.’
‘What, are you lonely without me there to baby you?’
‘I’m serious. This whole atmosphere is off. And I don’t like it.’
‘Relax,’ said Voreese. ‘I’m sure it’s just ‘cuz they think you’re a Hun’Kui. I’ve been listening to people all over Dagerto, and it sounds like the Hun’Kui around here are being treated a little bit slavishly by Sai-hee’s people.’
‘...That’s supposed to make me relax?’
‘Sure. Nothing suspicious is going on. They’re just a bunch of horrible racists.’
‘Actually, though, the situation seems a little more complex than just that. From the way some of these Hun’Kui talk, they’re kinda dickish, too.’
‘They were nice enough to me,’ said Roman.
‘I think that was because they could tell you were a surface dweller. And you were alone. A single outlier is interesting. Charming, even. A whole group of ‘em, though--that can be kinda overwhelming and scary.’
‘Lava Base isn’t exactly new,’ said Roman. ‘Shouldn’t these people be beyond any initial unease by now?’