"Anyways, the name's Afro, well the Afroferret, but Afro's fine." The street artist introduced himself as he settled into his seat beside that strange white furry thing.
Asheyna had almost collapsed with relief when he'd come running around the corner as if an entire LitPol unit was after. Although, given that beautiful piece of art earlier, that was more likely than not.
"I'm Asheyna, this is my friend Robyn. Sorry we didn't get a chance to introduce ourselves earlier." She carefully settled Robyn down onto the seat across from Afro.
"Robyn hun you should lay down. I'm not sure what's going on but I can't imagine that taking it easy would hurt. There's a good shot it's just your body telling you it needs a break." She knelt next to her friend, making sure she was completely comfortable.
"Ummm... so what happened to her?" Afro seemed almost uncomfortable asking, but his curiosity got the better of him.
The short blond who called herself Asheyna turned to look at him. She carefully got to her feet and sat on his bench next to the little white furry thing she assumed was Reeza.
"I'm not sure exactly," she finally admitted. "There's a few things it could be but... I really just don't know right now." And a couple of them I wouldn't discuss with a perfect stranger either. Although he seems trustworthy. "Is your pet going to be ok?"
Afro noticed how quickly she changed the conversation and wasn't about to pry. That wasn't his M.O. He looked down at his ferret who was curled up on the seat.
"I hope so. She went head to head with a LitPol who didn't appreciate my particular style of art. Probably a good idea we're leaving the city. Where exactly we going anyways?"
She looked over at Robyn first, she seemed to be breathing deeply, asleep with any luck. It bought her some time to decide just how much to tell this guy.
I wish Robyn was awake, or Dark was here, or anyone but me. I suck at this. Nick was the best, always bringing in the right people... just fitting them into the group no problems. I always end up trusting them too fast, giving it all away and barely escaping with everything in one piece.
Out the corner of her eye she studied the strange new addition to their group. His tattoos covered most of his body that she could see, he wasn't an idiot though, they could be concealed if he wanted them to. She was glad they weren't right now, they reminded her of the old days. Who'd have ever thought that expressing oneself was cause for burning?
I can trust him. She decided rather abruptly.
"We're headed out west, to meet as many of us as can make it."
"And us is, The Protagonists?" He interrupted to ask.
"Mhmm," she nodded. "Before the Bill most of us belonged to an online community of writers called protagonize.com. Basically a place we could practice, collaborate, just chat with like-minded (or some not so like-minded) people from all over the world. After it became illegal we tried to find as many as we could and create a resistance movement. How's that for ironic eh? Writers, painters musicians forming the core of the Freedom Fighters? Anyways, we call ourselves Protagonists in memory of where most of us met and the way things used to be."
She pointed to the little pin on his pants.
"That mark you're wearing is our logo, it's how we can recognize a kindred soul. That's why I thought you were one of us." She smiled at him and glanced over to check on Robyn before looking down at the little white ball of fur. "So this is.. Reeza?"
"Yup. She's an albino ferret and one of the smartest people I know. Been through a lot with me." Asheyna could tell just by looking at him how much he loved his pet.
"Could I pet her?" She asked, cautiously stretching out a hand. He nodded and she gently stroked the soft fur.
Asheyna wasn't sure if he'd eventually join the Protagonists or not, but she was sure he'd keep their secret. She could just tell.