Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

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    Impa
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    Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Impa on Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:17 pm

    Date: December 27, 2012
    Time: 10:34pm

    It was a cold night on the Breach, but as ever, the Stock Pot Inn was pleasantly warm. The effective heating system made sure that the inn always stayed comfortable no matter how brutal the winter weather might have been outside. Given the recent post-holiday snowfall, this was definitely a very welcome thing, possibly even moreso than usual.

    The Sheikah had just shared what could only be described as a perfect holiday with her young charges. Aicara had come over to join them at the inn for a couple of nights, and after they had all shared a delicious supper together on Christmas Eve, the five of them had spent the night between the two fourth floor rooms before waking the next morning for the holiday itself. They all gathered again bright and early to exchange presents, and regardless of what each of them had got or given, that had been a wonderful morning. Between that itself, the other holiday meals, the few visits with their other friends, and the overall sense of closeness they got to share as their own little family, this holiday had possibly been even better than the one they all experienced the previous year.

    Admittedly though, Impa was still a bit intrigued that she kept finding some sprigs of holly strewn about and between the Hyruleans' rooms. It seemed that Leaf had taken to continuing to deck the halls even though the official decorations had been up at the inn for quite some time before that.

    In any event, between the Christmas sweets and each of the children enjoying the presents they had received, the holiday itself and the following day had been very pleasant. Things were still pretty relaxed around the inn, and as the three Hylians were upstairs visiting amongst themselves now that they had all seen Aicara home, Impa had sought to check on things downstairs. She wasn't just here to make sure the wards were set, though… no, while Link, Zelda, and Link wanted to munch on more of the Christmas cookies, she found that she was more in the mood for a seasonally appropriate drink before the inn's restaurant closed for the night.

    Making sure that all of the security measures were in place and up for the night, Impa moved through to the restaurant, finding it mostly empty save a couple of people seated randomly across the tables and booths. She knew a couple of the faces only in passing, but there was one person there that she had started to become better acquainted with… and it seemed that he had been even more inclined to have a drink tonight than she herself had been.

    Stepping towards his table, Impa nodded a greeting to him, stating, "Good evening, Barney. I hope you had a good holiday."
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:16 pm

    He'd tried, he really had. And, done a pretty fine job of it, if he did say so himself, considering he'd gone practically three weeks without touching a drop. But, enough was enough. He proved to himself he could weather the storm without it, but now it was gnawing at him not to. His head ached, he was sleeping even worse than usual, and his subconscious was actively seeking it. And Christmas hadn't helped. Not that it had been bad. He'd had a pretty decent... Pretty good one, really, and hadn't spent the evening alone, at least. There weren't many gifts you get someone like Ayalah, but she hadn't seemed to mind getting a bite to eat. It beat sitting and drinking alone, yeah?

    Speaking of which...

    The trouble with Christmas was that, while it was a wonderful time to spend with friends and family, it also inevitably reminded you of those friends and family who weren't there, as well. This was his first Christmas away from home. His first Christmas, in a long while, that wouldn't be spent with Eli, and Alyx, and Doctor Kleiner, and the rest. After the Combine had invaded, a lot of the little things got lost, but they'd clung pretty grimly to Christmas. Even if the only gifts they had to exchange were a couple of spare parts and some ammo clips, or a bottle of holiday spirits, even if the only decorations were a few scraps of greenery... It had meant a lot, it really had.

    This Christmas... was good. It was like the Christmases he could remember out of his childhood. It was a lot better than hiding out in some bunker, toasting to another year of not getting wiped out. There were good people here, and despite recent events, he was... content. Happy, even, to be here, and know the friends he'd made, and see the things he'd seen, because there had been plenty of good to go along with the bad.

    So. This was not depression. This was just... a moment of melancholy, for people who should have been here, but weren't, or had never been here, but were still missed, or were here and still hurting.

    This was a moment of Barney falling off the wagon, because screw it all, he just needed a drink. But, drinking alone in his room seemed like a very bad plan, even now, so when he'd cracked, he'd done so with the stipulation that he was going to crack responsibly, and just sort of step down off of the wagon rather than take a flying leap and tuck and roll. Which leads us to here, and now, to the table where Mister Calhoun had wound up after he'd ventured down to see if the Inn's kitchen had alcoholic beverages that he could drink, in public, and not technically alone, but... quietly.

    He glanced up from his mug, and it took him a brief moment to put her name to her face. They'd talked a little, but mostly he'd just seen her around the Inn, or as another fighter in the crowd taking down Alpha, fighting against Ridley. Impa. He hadn't really seen enough of her to form much of an opinion, but so far the impression was favorable. "Hey, Impa. Mine was pretty good. How was yours?" Sitting back in his chair, he gestured to one of the empty ones at his table, indicating that, if she felt like sitting down, he had no objections to it.
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Impa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:40 am

    "Quite nice, actually… thank you," replied Impa, nodding to Barney at his gesture to the empty seat at the table. Deciding to take him up on his kind offer, the Sheikah moved to sit, right before catching the eye of a certain member of the evening kitchen staff. The woman smiled to the Head of Security, and as the two exchanged a quick nod, she ducked back into the kitchen. Impa was not exactly a regular when it came to drinks in the evening, but given some of the seasonal specials that the restaurant had been having, she had come by a few times to take advantage of some of the libations being offered this month.

    A moment later, and the waitress reappeared by the duo's table with a clear glass full of warm buttered rum for the Sheikah. Rum might have been easy to come by throughout the year, but the mix of seasonal spices with this one set it up to contend with the finest meads of winter… and on a night such as this one, its added warmth was definitely very welcome.

    "Thank you," said Impa nodding to the waitress as she took the drink from the table.

    "Of course," replied the woman. "We're not going to put the food up just yet, but if either of you would like anything else special to drink, just let me know." With that, she was off on her way, leaving the two soldiers to enjoy their drinks.

    Taking a sip of hers and savoring both its flavor and welcome warmth, Impa soon glanced back to Barney, stating, "I'm just glad that things have been relatively peaceful for the past while. Granted, that might be a sign that something might try to act against that, but at least we can enjoy some good drinks in the meantime. I'm glad you don't mind the company for such tonight."
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:59 am

    "About as quiet 'n' peaceful as this place ever gets, anyway," Barney agreed, with a touch of weariness overlaying his words. For him, it had been the kind of peace you got after a tsunami hit: Everything had settled down, the worst was over, but the quiet was mostly shell shock, as your brain tried to make sense of the rubble where your life used to be...

    Alright. Maybe it wasn't that bad. As he'd told Terra not long ago, he'd been through worse. It wasn't the first friend he'd lost, the first building to get dropped on him, or the first mistake he'd made, leading the troops. He'd hang on, and get through it.

    And, until he did, there was always this nice, cold, spiced cider. (Unfortunately, "holiday spirits" did not extend to plain old bottles of beer, but beggers couldn't be choosers.)

    As for the company itself, to be honest, he hadn't really been looking for company lately. Nevertheless, it was nice to have. "I give it another couple of weeks before some new power hungry maniac turns up, at the most." Grinning a bit, wryly, Barney leaned back in his chair. "I'm hopin' for someone who'll do a good ol' fashioned monologue, and shout something along th' lines of No, this is impossible, I am invincible! before somebody kicks him in the teeth." Or throws a pie in his face.
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Impa on Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:43 pm

    "True enough," Impa noted at Barney's tired agreement. Smiling a bit in spite of herself, she added, "That is one thing that always remains constant even in this dynamic world... things are scarcely left to sit long enough to become boring. I suppose it makes us appreciate the respites even more, though."

    The Sheikah did enjoy a nice adventure or quest every now and then, but even considering that and her own prowess in battle did not mean that she always yearned for such. Being able to fight was all well and good on its own, and she was grateful for her skills in such... but whilst an occasional challenge could prove very rewarding and even fun to a degree, that did not mean that she particularly liked fighting for the fate of the world with any great frequency. She was always set to stand and do her part to protect her land and what was right, and that had stood long before she had awakened as the Sage of Shadow, and as such before the end of the Hyrulean Civil War... but as someone who had fought for a few causes even before coming to the Breach, Impa did especially appreciate peace.

    The challenges and crises that sandwiched the quests she and her charges enjoyed on their own had their upsides... but overall, the Sage of Shadow was always grateful when things wound down and they could enjoy some better time without having to worry about the next day.

    Returning Barney's wry grin with an amused one of her own, Impa took another sip of her drink before stating, "Now that's a generous wager... I was hoping we might at least see some more peace through the end of the new year. I must admit though, that theoretical foe you describe strikes me as a bit familiar to an actual one from my own world. Regardless of his power, his own overconfidence and ill use of it simply helped start his downfall... right before a young friend of mine defeated him."
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu May 02, 2013 2:38 am

    "No kiddin'?" Hell, he'd buy it. He'd always figured the overconfident, smug villain was somebody that only existed in Saturday morning cartoons... at least, until Breen had been made Administrator. There was no Breen here, thank god, but, well, now there were actual folks from Saturday morning cartoons. So, y'know. It was practically a matter of time. "There's gotta be some kind of guide book for evil villery-" He wasn't actually sure that was a word. "-maybe has some tips on monologing."

    Barney took another swig of cider. Again, not his usual fare, but at this point he'd have almost been tempted by anything remotely alcoholic. Rubbing alcohol. Cold medicine. Hell, even one of those ridiculously sugary, fruity wine cooler things that were the closest thing to beer that Lauren would ever drink. The ache in the back of his eyes was ebbing, and the frayed edges of his nerves were being gently blanketed in a tingly, fuzzy feeling that muffled their worst complaints.

    It was a terrible habit. And... someday, he'd do something about it. But, right now, he was willing to stick with the temporary solution, at least for a little while longer.

    "We had one, too, back home. Guy loved to hear himself talk, I swear. Bad enough he was helpin' keepin' everybody enslaved---he had to bore us to death with his speeches all the time." He smirked, sketching something vaguely rectangular in the air, to illustrate his point, as he added, "Put up these big screens all over the place so he could run the recorded stuff all over the city, all day." Then, dismissing the memory of Breen with a shake of his head, Barney quirked a brow at her.

    "How'd he do it? Your friend, I mean. How'd he defeat your world's power hungry maniac?"
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Impa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:08 pm

    "Ha, quite possibly," mused Impa at Barney's remark on a guidebook for evildoers. Given some of the tales of history and even some of the battles she herself had lived through both in Hyrule and on the Breach, she would not have been that surprised to find even more commonalities between certain foes than there already were. "Monologues do appear to be a trademark as prevalent as desires for power… I suppose they might need to perfect that sort of speech somehow."

    As Barney took another drink of his cider, Impa enjoyed a bit more of her buttered rum. Thinking on it, she had a feeling that she might have to try and introduce her companion to Hylian mead if the chance ever presented itself. It was a simple drink, but certainly a very delicious one, and always good regardless as to what one's mood was.

    Nodding to the former security guard as he explained the villain from his own world, Impa soon returned his smirk with a slight one of her own. Someone that loved to hear himself talk… Ganondorf might have oppressed more than he outright enslaved, but there were definitely some similarities here. Once he mentioned the screens, Impa tilted her head to the side slightly, noting, "I see… that definitely sounds like a classic monologuing villain. It's bad enough you had to hear him in the first place, but recorded messages? My sympathies."

    At Barney's questions about how her young friend had taken out the King of Evil, Impa simply smiled to him, setting her glass down. "It was not an easy task, but he did it by gathering the weapons and power that he needed… he already had the spirit of the hero inside of him, but he still had to become that hero. It was quite the journey, one that crossed over time itself." Pausing for a moment as a thoughtful expression graced her features, she soon continued, adding, "Once he had the sword that could help defeat our power hungry maniac, he had to cleanse five temples, and gain the power of the new Sages of those temples. I was one of those Sages… we helped him reach the villain, and once he bested him in combat, we sealed him away. We were able to save our world… and the hero, is the young Link here that happens to share the name and likeness of our innkeeper."
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:28 am

    "He put 'em on repeat," said the former security guard, in a dry, deadpan. Which he couldn't completely hang onto, unable to keep a brief smirk from creeping out when he added, "I had a couple of 'em memorized."

    Listening to Impa describe her young friend's exploits, Barney was also struck by the similarities. Maybe it was a bit of a stretch, but it sounded a little like Gordon, come to think of it. With that already had the spirit of a hero business, though if you'd seen the guy before Black Mesa, you wouldn't have believed he'd turn out to be some kind of gun-toting action hero. But, on the other hand, as far as Barney knew, Gordon hadn't had to cleanse any temples of any kind, so that was pretty much where the similarities ended.

    Still, a good story. Barney lifted his mug in a brief toast, and said, "Glad things worked out for you guys in the end. Doesn't always turn out that way, but man, is it some kind of awesome when it does."

    ((Bah, sorry for the bitty post!))
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Impa on Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:37 am

    "Repeat… that only makes it worse," noted Impa, shaking her head slightly at learning that additional detail. A smirk of her own soon forming across her features, Impa paused a moment before adding, "I can imagine you did. It's a shame when such a foe keeps his own messages out to a point where they embed themselves in your mind… but at the very least, they then hold the potential to be turned on your enemy once you have the chance to strike back at them. Counters can be more than physical attacks, after all."

    In the case of Ganondorf, his own proclamations did not get turned back on him in expertly brandished banter so much as they did in unraveling before his very eyes. To see his own dreams of conquest bested by Link and Princess Zelda who had been but children when he first met them, that was undoubtedly a painful downfall. The Gerudo had wrought it upon himself by attempting to use the Power of the Goddesses for his own selfish desires… but with the hardship and suffering he brought for so many, sympathy had been out of the question for him.

    Impa was glad that Barney seemed to like the story, even though it was an incredibly abridged version. Perhaps they could each share more of their own stories from their quests at home sometime… she only knew the basest information from his own time, but the Sheikah was always interested to learn about different worlds here.

    "It most certainly is," agreed Impa, lifting her own glass back to Barney's toast. Even though she already had a slight sense as to what the answer might be, she still felt that it was fair to make an inquiry considering her companion's own curiosity for her. "I hope you don't mind, but might I ask how things worked out or were working out in your world before you were brought here?"

    ((Bah, you are fine! It was an awesome post regardless of length! I just hope you're doing well!))
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:37 pm

    That interest in the stories of other worlds was something that Barney shared with her.  The idea of other worlds wasn't much of a stretch, even before he'd come to the Breach, considering what had happened in his own world.  It was, frankly, all kinds of interesting (and downright amazing at times) to hear about places where life had been familiar but different, and half the time going pretty well.  It was heartening to hear about good triumphing over evil in other places.  Gave him hope that maybe, just maybe, his own world had turned out okay, even if he hadn't seen it happen.  

    Also, 90% of the time, these other worlds were just plain cool sounding.

    At her question, the idle cheer ebbed out of his posture, expression sobering. Before, even when he hadn't been grinning, you'd get the impression that one wasn't far from his features. Now, though...

    Barney took a thoughtful swing from his mug. It had been... well, it had been shitty. But, at the time he'd left it... "Things were starting t' look up, when I'd left," he admitted. "But, uh... It was a long time in coming." Setting his drink down, Barney idly rubbed his thumb on the side, as he picked his words. "You probably picked up on it earlier, when I sorta... alluded-" Ooh, big word. Eli would have been proud. Alyx would have accused him of spending too much time hanging out with Doc Kleiner. "-to a maniacal villain, enslaving the population? Yeah. The real short version's that we got invaded by aliens from another world. Breen sold us out, and got put in charge for his reward."

    Stick to the abridged version, yeah? And try and end on a positive note... Taking another, shorter swig from his mug, Barney continued. "There were always people banding together, trying to resist. Didn't get a real fighting chance until a friend of mine showed up... He showed up a week or two before I ended up here, out of the blue. A real hero, like your friend." He raised his mug a bit, and nodded to Impa. She'd seen what a hero could do, she'd understand, surely. "Gordon swept in and kicked Breen's ass."

    He grinned, a grin with a vindictive edge to it. It had warmed his heart to see Breen on the run, even if he hadn't been there for the final showdown. "That was a real good day."
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Impa on Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:53 pm

    Impa did pick up on both the shift in Barney's posture as well as the subtle change to his expression. It was a difficult question to be sure, no matter what the answer was, but around that interest in other worlds and building bonds with those here, thus came the curious inquiries that did have to be asked from time to time. Based on his previous statements, she had a very strong feeling that things had started to look rather good before Barney had been pulled here, but something told her that it had been something that had taken a lot of time and a heavy toll. Not entirely unlike the Hyrulean Civil War back in her own homeworld…

    With a nod at his first statement, Impa's gaze narrowed ever so slightly as he admitted that the better outlook for everything had been  long time in coming. A soft smile appeared across her features at the emphasis he put on the word 'alluded', and she did nod once more to show that she had in fact picked up on that. As he proceeded to note just what had happened to lead to that, her own expression darkened while every implication behind that filtered into her mind. "I see…"

    There was not really much else to say, or really much else that could be said to that. It was what it was, and whilst she could certainly sympathize for the past, this story was not yet over. As Barney moved to describe how people were banding together, resisting this new world, and better yet, how a friend of his appeared to help everyone out of that situation, Impa found some things sounding ever so slightly familiar. As soon as he raised his mug, the Sheikah in turn raised her own and returned his nod. Oh yes, she most certainly understood.

    "I'm glad your friend showed up and did his part to help set things right," stated Impa, her own smile broadening as she saw just how genuine Barney's newfound grin was. With a gentle laugh at his line regarding that certain day, she lifted her glass a bit more, asking, "To that day, then?"
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:41 pm

    Hell yeah, he'd drink to that. And, for the moment, put all thoughts of the previous months, all thoughts of the absent friends and the absent home and the uncertainty and worry out of his head. That day, right there, by itself. That had been a real good day.

    "You can say that again." Barney raised his own mug in toast and agreement. "To that day." Taking a swing of his drink, he sat back and added, "Here's hoping for more like 'em in the future."

    There had been some pretty decent ones, admittedly, between then and now. He wasn't too keen on nostalgia, though---despite his efforts, it was hard not to think of absent friends when thinking of the good old days. But, surely Impa had a day or two of triumph to look back on, right? "What about you? Any days you'd like to remember?"
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Impa on Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:08 am

    "Ha-ha." Impa grinned a bit more at Barney's response to her toast before nodding strongly and taking a good swig of her own drink. With an even more pleased quirk to her smile about his hope for the future, she noted, "Indeed… and plenty of them."

    Between her own time in Hyrule as well as the time since she had arrived here, there had certainly been some very good days. Even with the darkest hours that shadowed some of those memories, from the night Ganondorf attacked the castle to the arrival of Alpha, the good days far outshone them. And here, Sage of Shadow was determined to hold onto the memories of those days she had already experienced, and by the same token, was set to look forward to whatever new days added to that number.

    At Barney's question, Impa raised her eyebrows a bit before glancing up in thought. "For me, there are quite a few… although there's one in particular that technically would not have happened now even if I was still back in my world. Time travel and different timelines can have that effect, but in this case… that's a very, very good thing."

    Leaning a bit forward as she got comfortable at the table, Impa stated, "That would of course be the day that we defeated Ganondorf, the aforementioned power hungry man in my world. Once he was sealed away by my fellow Sages and myself, there was quite a bit of celebration throughout the land… but that would become but a memory shared only by a select few of us. To help prevent Ganondorf from causing all of that damage in the first place, which took place across a stretch that covered seven long years, my primary charge back home – Princess Zelda – helped send Link back in time. Once he turned time back to the point where all of Ganondorf's plotting was set to unfold, the future was set to be changed."

    Hoping that some of the simplified explanation of the two main parts of the timeline made enough sense, Impa let much of that sink in before adding, "That day was one… and the day back in the past when Link and Zelda were able to re-meet each other was another. It was very touching to see that even after all of that, after their own roles in that event, that they could go back and get to enjoy growing up."

    That was to say nothing of Link's next quest, much less the adventures that Zelda was set to have on her own, but back there, at least the two of them had been able to reclaim their childhoods… the Hero of Time especially.
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:48 am

    Time travel, huh? Now that had been out of the question, as far as his own world was concerned---at least, Barney thought it was. Then again, he wasn't a scientist (or a sage, or magician). If they could teleport, maybe time travel wasn't that far fetched… Of course, the point was pretty much moot, now, but he couldn't help but imagine it for a moment. Sending someone back to when it all started, to stop it from happening. Even if it meant that everything he'd done since, everything he'd become, would cease to exist… Hell, he'd trade it all in a heartbeat to set things right, before they'd ever gone wrong.

    That was wishful thinking, sure, but Impa and her friends had done it, back in her home. Color Barney Calhoun seriously impressed. "Heh… No better way to stick it in the eye of some bad guy, than to make sure all his hard work doesn't even exist."

    Barney took another sip from his mug, and added, thoughtfully, "Glad to hear your friends got to have a… happy beginning? After all that." Obviously not an ending, but… hey, new beginnings were better than endings, yeah?
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    Impa
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    Re: Another Sort of Holiday Spirits

    Post by Impa on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:37 pm

    There were two different futures that had formed in the wake of the defeat of Ganon, one which led to the future she and Link had already been living in, and one that eventually led to the time of the Great Sea. That was the very same that Sheik had come from herself, given that it was before time had been turned back, but no matter which split of the timeline had happened relative to any of them, the important thing was that Ganondorf had been defeated and sealed away.

    Impa could not help but smile a bit more at Barney's response, soon giving him a firm nod. "Very true. There was still some damage done from the earliest part of his efforts of course, but nothing nearly to the extent that was to follow. We were able to undo the worst of his evil deeds, warn the King of his intentions, and work to capture him from there. The world he desired was gone, leaving the chance for Hyrule to prosper as it was meant to."

    Taking another drink from her own mug, Impa's smile broadened a touch at Barney's next swords. "Ha, thank you. The quest that led to all of it might have ended, but it did circle back to a new beginning, one that was most assuredly happy. The fact that we had achieved that was one of the reasons it was a bit of a trying experience to adapt to things here at first, but on my own as well as once my charges and I came together, we've wound up making this yet another happy beginning."

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