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□ Name: Emeryl
□ Age: 31
□ Contact: AIM: Emeryl Tekutsu
Plurk: Maraich
□ Journal: (I don't have a personal journal on DW. I only use "Maraich").
□ Do you play anyone in Ariel?: No

→ IC

□ Name: Maraich (Juschenfe)
His last name isn't technically given in the series, but "Juschenfe" is the last name of his ancestor so it's usually assumed to be his last name.)

□ Journal: Maraich
□ Series: Patalliro!
□ Canon point: The end of chapter 105 (after Maraich and Hidemaro's storyline is over).

□ History: Patalliro! is the longest running shoujo series at 91 volumes (and ongoing). It started in the late 70's as a parody of the BL manga that were becoming big at the time. The chapters are episodic and often have nothing to do with each other and therefore this series doesn't form a clear, linear storyline, so bear with me. Translations with short summaries of each chapter can be found here:

http://www.sakuracities.com/yaoigames/patalliro.php

A warning for content: Maraich has a traumatic childhood full of sexual abuse and beatings.

On top of this, the series can sometimes be problematic in the way it handles certain subjects: for example, derogatory and stereotypical views on women are sometimes expressed, and - most significantly - the issues of rape and sexual abuse are frequently treated with far less gravity than they should be. This is a canon full of highly questionable subject matter that is often approached with levity (it was written as a parody of BL manga, and as such it’s supposed to highlight how ridiculous the tropes most often found in those manga can be), but I, the player, do not share the canon’s skewed perspective.

Both of Maraich’s parents were killed when he was around nine years old, and while it's never made clear how they died, we do know that he was the son of an influential and noble family. The family lawyer took control of the money Maraich should have inherited and placed Maraich into a boarding school. During this time, Maraich was depicted as a shy, lonely child: he was isolated and failed to make friends until the school gardener, Sherman, noticed him sitting by himself. Sherman approached him and presented himself as a sympathetic party, someone for Maraich to turn to when he had no-one else. Because of his loneliness and his need for company, Maraich quickly came to trust him. Sherman, however, was in fact a pedophile and sexual predator; once he had won the vulnerable boy’s trust he began to sexually abuse him.

Being very young, naive and in desperate need of affection, Maraich initially believed he and Sherman were lovers, but over time he began to realize that the sexual nature of the ‘relationship’ he’d been lured into was wrong and abusive, and this eventually led to him running away from the boarding school in an effort to escape his abuser. He was sitting on the side of the street in the rain when a man pulled up next to him and invited him into his car, convincing Maraich to go home with him. He introduced himself as Count Duran du Larken.

Maraich subsequently became one of many boys that lived with the Count. He desperately tried to earn his keep; he learned to cook, sew, clean and took other domestic chores upon himself, which quickly earned him favor with his ‘benefactor’. Unfortunately for Maraich, this also earned him the jealousy of the other boys and they began to pick fights with him. However, Maraich turned out to be a natural fighter. When they were outside one day, the Count noticed one of the boys about to throw a rock at Maraich from behind. He shouted to warn Maraich, and Maraich instantly ducked it, demonstrating that he had superb reflexes and untrained potential. The Count realized that Maraich was gifted, and so he decided to train him himself.

As it transpired, the Count was part of a group called "The International Diamond Syndicate", a criminal organization that controlled diamond sales around the world. He trained Maraich to be an assassin for the group, locking him in rooms and ordering him to fight full grown, armed adults. At first, Maraich relied on his swift reflexes to dodge attacks; he would then evade them and beg them to stop. Despite his natural ability to avoid attacks, he’d often end up badly hurt. Afterward, while he was resting in his bedroom, the Count would come in to offer him false comfort.

Given the fact that the Count presented himself as someone who cared for his wellbeing, Maraich began believing he was in love with him. Capitalizing on the child’s naive infatuation, the Count coerced him into having sex (he was still only about 9). After sleeping with him, the Count told him that he'd been comforting him just to convince him to have sex, demonstrating that he was a manipulative and callous man. As a note: within the series, this event was portrayed through Maraich’s perspective and despite the obvious abuse of power and trust, he seemed to consider himself an active participant who "should have known better" instead of recognizing it for what it was; that he was a powerless child who could have done nothing.

Despite the Count’s revelation, Maraich had no friends or family to turn to and nowhere to go, so he stayed with the Count and became an assassin for the IDS. They continued their messed up relationship up until Maraich was eighteen.

The series begins at that point. Prince Patalliro's father passed away, leaving Patalliro (the main character of the series) in control of Malynera, a small island known for its diamond mines. Patalliro refused to cooperate with the International Diamond Syndicate, leading them to send in some of their assassins to attempt to kill him. However, the assassins all failed and were killed by Major Bancoran, an MI6 agent acting as Patalliro's bodyguard.

The Count volunteered to put Maraich, who he considered the most capable of his assassins, up against Bancoran. The Count held a masquerade and tricked Bancoran into going outside during it so that Maraich could ambush him. Maraich attempted to strangle him, but in the ensuing fight he got shot and resorted to hiding in the woods in an effort to save himself. After escaping death, he attempted to return to the Count, but the Count told him the Syndicate's motto, "If you fail, you die". He left Maraich behind, and Maraich angrily blamed Bancoran for his misfortune.

The next day he disguised himself as a woman and sneaked into Malynera’s palace, with a feather in his cap that was actually a sharp weapon dipped in poison. Within the series, Major Bancoran was known as the "pretty boy killer" because he had a special power that causes pretty boys to instantly fall for him. Although Maraich's disguise as a woman fooled Patalliro, Bancoran noticed that Maraich was blushing and realized he was, in fact, a boy.

However, Maraich tricked Bancoran into glancing away and then attempted to stab him, but Bancoran caught him and discovered he was the same assassin that tried to kill him the night before. Rather than killing him, he *persuaded Maraich to switch sides and give up the Count by seducing him. >From there, Maraich was caught in a twisted dilemma; he still cared about the Count despite everything, but he had fallen for Bancoran. He told Bancoran where to find the Count, but he still felt plagued by guilt because he knew this would lead to the Count's death.

(* Note: I use this word because it's the word they used in the series. As a parody, this is probably taking a shot at the fact that in many yaoi manga there are non-consensual situations where the submissive male suddenly decides ‘he likes it’. Bancoran was shown saying he "persuaded" Maraich to switch sides, and Patalliro makes note of his word choice and methods, probably to point out how ridiculous that is, but the series moves on and never treats this with any sort of gravity. I generally count it as rape or at the very least sexual abuse, but a rape that Maraich convinced himself he enjoyed and therefore he wouldn't refer to it as rape, himself)

After the Count’s death, Bancoran took Maraich in. Maraich became his lover and began accompanying him on some of his missions. At first he denied that he was a jealous person, but as Bancoran's cheating nature began to be revealed, it became more and more obvious that Maraich was an extremely jealous person. He stalked Bancoran, hit redial on his phone, checked his clothes for any unusual hairs and even picked fights with other pretty boys he thought were out to catch Bancoran’s eye.

Despite the summary so far, the series was intended as a comedy that made fun of the BL genre, which is why the heavy subject matter is treated so flippantly; it was used to demonstrate how ludicrous BL manga can be. Because this series is essentially made up of nonsensical events with no real link to each other or any consistent timeline (for example, some of the chapters would take almost an entire year by themselves, yet the characters never age - Patalliro met Bancoran when he was 10 years old, and yet later on in the series, he is still depicted as 10 but says he has known Bancoran "for years", because it includes all the events that have happened without actually moving the timeline forward), summarizing everything would be difficult, but I'll try to give some highlights to give an idea of who Maraich is and the events that best demonstrate this.

In one chapter, Maraich suspected Bancoran of cheating and stalked him to catch him making out with another boy. This other boy turned out to be part of a crime organization called "Tarantula" who were trying to kill Bancoran, but Maraich chased the boy off before any harm could be done. They subsequently discovered that Tarantula was taking diamonds into space with the intention of using them as a weapon by making it rain diamonds. Maraich, Bancoran, Patalliro and Plasma X (a robot Patalliro built) all go to space in order to stop them and thereby save the world.

In another chapter, Patalliro wanted to visit the school his father went to as a child, but he took Maraich with him on learning that there was supposedly a mystery revolving around the chancellor of the school. One of the boys at the school was in line to be chosen to be the next chancellor and Maraich believed this boy knew what the chancellor was hiding. In order to prove it, he repeated what Bancoran did to him (i.e. ‘persuaded’ him to have sex with him), even mentioning that he learned it from Bancoran. He then broke into the boy's room to perform oral sex on him. Much like the previous incident with Bancoran and Maraich, this is portrayed in line with the yaoi cliché of a dominant male being aggressive with a submissive male, and the submissive male deciding part way through that they like it (dub-con). The boy went on to develop a crush on Maraich and ended up helping them get into the chancellor's secret room.

(As it turned out, the secret was that the previous chancellor used to have a relationship with a student. This was treated more as being scandalous because he was a male student than anything else. I'm not sure what the age of consent in Japan was in the 1980's, but the age gap wasn’t mentioned, and the boy Maraich molested even mentioned that he "didn't know he was like that (gay) until recently". It was never treated as rape and it gets brushed off never to be mentioned again. Maraich also never takes on the role of sexual aggressor again. As mentioned earlier, this is supposed to parody BL manga and highlight how unrealistic and inappropriate this approach to sex actually is).

In one of the more notable chapters, Maraich became pregnant. In this particular story he was attacked by one of Bancoran's ex-lovers and ended up losing the child, but it was the first time that Maraich was shown to be capable of carrying a child despite that he’s male. (This comes up again later in volume 46, when he gets pregnant and has his and Bancoran's son, Figaro). It was also the first time Bancoran told him that he loved him.

(How he got pregnant isn't explained until much later in the series. This takes place well after the chapters I'm applying him from, but it explains the pregnancy: In chapter 202 he gets pregnant again, and in 203 he has Figaro. He and Bancoran receive an invitation and end up meeting three other male/male couples who have also have babies.

It turns out that Figaro is an archangel, as are the other three. Their pregnancies were an experiment, and the four archangels planned on erasing their memories and returning to Heaven. However, Maraich interfered, and they convinced the archangels to stay on Earth as their children until the parents have passed on. Everyone's memory of the event (except for Patalliro, who delivered the letter) was erased and time was turned back, and Patalliro doesn't deliver the letter the second time.)

Finally, in the chapter 105 and the chapters leading up to it, Patalliro blackmailed Maraich into training new troops for him. There, Maraich met one of the trainees, Hidemaro, who wanted Maraich to be his ‘big brother’, or mentor. A mysterious alien flower later fell to the planet and they discovered that people who inhale its scent don't want to fight anymore. Hidemaro was close to it and suddenly found that he no longer wanted to hurt any other living thing. At first, this was taken as a positive until Maraich realized how far the effects extended - Hidemaro started trying to hold his breath because he was afraid that he might kill bacteria in the air by breathing it in. Maraich hit him to force him to start breathing again, but Patalliro's personal soldiers, the Tamanegi force, had also been affected and were about to use a rocket to spread the flower's nectar around the world. However, realizing what this could mean, Maraich jumped underneath the rocket, forcing them to stop lest they burn him to death, and subsequently saving the world from the flower of peace, and Hidemaro developed a huge amount of respect for him.

Maraich attempted to keep his distance from Hidemaro despite his affection for him, warning Hidemaro that if Bancoran were to see him, his life would be ruined forever, but it turns out Bancoran's powers (to make pretty boys fall for him) don't work on Hidemaro. They discovered that Bancoran’s powers won’t work on him because Hidemaro's body was slowly changing into a woman's. Maraich confided in him about how he got pregnant before even though he's male, and they became friends.

□ Personality: On a day to day basis, Maraich is depicted as a friendly, peppy character. He plays with the neighborhood children, goes to the salon, shops, visits the gym - in other words, all things regular people would do. However, beyond the surface level he is far from normal. Coming from a bizarre world with robots and sexy eye beam powers, he can be a little strange, sometimes getting caught up in the craziness himself. Maraich is supposed to be the middle ground in this series: where Patalliro is constantly crazy, and Bancoran is a realist who refuses to believe all the craziness, Maraich is the one who sometimes screams at Patalliro to stop and sometimes tries to convince Bancoran that time travel is real. He manages to present himself as a normal person a lot of the time (as in the examples mentioned above) but there are other times when the effects of Maraich’s past begin to show through.

Given his upbringing, Maraich definitely has a violent side (however, as a note: the violence in this series is often exaggerated in order to make it appear comedic, for example, in one chapter Maraich sees Patalliro parachuting and shoots him down with a machine gun. It's meant to be taken as a joke and not a serious attempt to hurt him). When another boy hits on Bancoran, his jealousy will kick in and he'll confront them. How far the confrontations go depends on the boy; if it's another assassin they might get into a knife fight, while if it’s just a regular boy, it never goes beyond sharp words because Maraich is aware that he could easily kill them, and this is not his intention. Maraich may have dubious morals (he was, after all, brought up to be an assassin by a sexual predator) but he does have his own set of limits. If he "doesn't hurt people too much" or "doesn't actually let anything serious happen to them" he rationalizes this to be okay, even though he is sometimes shown to feel remorse or guilt over it later.

When it comes to other assassins he encounters during missions or other violent situations, he is sometimes shown to have mercy and avoids killing them even when they attacked him first. However, in other cases he kills without showing remorse. If he sees a 'need' to kill someone, he isn’t tormented by it. Since a lot of the chapters are parodies it's not always easy to mesh them together, but Maraich's limits are based on who he's facing at any given time. If they're a cold-blooded assassin hired to kill him, he'll fight back and kill them first. If they're an assassin who seems to have a deeper agenda, he may fight them and purposely avoid killing them. Regular people or thugs he might beat up when pushed (generally they have to pick the fight with him first), but he doesn't kill them.

When roused to it, Maraich is shown to have a hot temper and this is, in all likeliness, majorly a response to the way he's been treated all his life. As a young boy he may have occasionally been a little cocky, but he never attempted to incite violence. When he became a trained fighter he was able to stand up for himself using his fists. He was taught to be violent and he learned it well; he's arrogant about how well he fights, always assuming he'll be the victor.

Maraich's actions are a mixture of who he is naturally and who he was raised to be. As a boy he was shy and needed love, but instead he received nothing but deception and abuse. Despite this, he sometimes shows he has a good heart underneath it all and goes out of his way to help people, even people he doesn't know at all (for example, in one chapter about a sick boy who has an extremely rare blood type, he remembers that Patalliro has the same blood type and attempts to get help for him). He displays his own limits, and doesn't kill on a whim. Despite his jealousy and violence, he risks his life more than once to save other people and even the entire world (such as foiling the plan to rain diamonds onto the world, or to spread the flower of peace). Had he been raised in a normal environment, the indicators are there to suggest that he could have been a great, self-sacrificing hero. Instead, he spent the majority of his life being the villain, and he continues to tread this line all the time.

Importantly, Maraich's portrayal as a victim of abuse can be problematic at times and surprisingly realistic at others; there's frequently a battle between his logical side and his emotional side. Logically, he understands what the Count did to him was wrong, just as he understands what Sherman did was wrong. When he describes these events, though, he’s ashamed of them and blames himself for 'getting tricked'. He wants to keep them hidden. He paints himself as an active player in what happened rather than believing he held only a passive role, most likely as a coping mechanism so that he is able to get on with his life rather than being forced into a ‘victim’ role. The understanding that people shouldn't have sex with children is there, but when he considers his own circumstances he sees it in a different light and has the mindset that he "shouldn't have fallen for it" or "should have done something about it". He doesn’t want to see himself as a victim of abuse, and while this is deeply problematic in some ways it also clearly demonstrates his attempts to find agency despite what was done to him.

Hints of his former self come out when he happily eats ice-cream with someone or smiles at how sweet a person is. Some might consider this a facade, but it’s not. When he mentally notes how cute someone is with a smile on his face, he's being genuine. He really does recognize when someone is good or sweet, and these are traits he can appreciate in a person. When he plays with the neighborhood boys, his happiness is genuine. He's not pretending to like them, or pretending to be happy. In some ways this is him trying to relive parts of his childhood - an attempt to lead something like a normal life.

The reason he seems to have so few close friends around becomes a lot clearer in his chapter with Hidemaro. He tells Hidemaro that Bancoran will destroy his life if he sees him, and when examined this can be seen as deeply troubling in a couple of ways. On one hand, Maraich paints a vivid picture of how Hidemaro’s life will be ruined if he meets Bancoran, and in doing this he’s describing his own relationship. Maraich knows that his love affair with Bancoran is a whirlwind of chaos, and that he's trapped. He knows Bancoran cheats, and he hates this, even having violent outbursts and/or screaming matches with him, but no matter how many outbursts he may have or how many times he runs away, he always comes back because it’s the only thing he knows. Much like his relationship with the Count, Maraich seems to have insight into his own relationship and realizes it's not healthy - it’s an obsessive, dependant relationship that he doesn’t know how to break free from. The second issue is specifically related to Bancoran’s cheating ways; Maraich can't have friends because Bancoran would sleep with them. He can't spend time with boys his own age for fear of losing his relationship with Bancoran, and losing this relationship would mean losing his feelings of stability in the world.

This gives Maraich a lonely existence. His main interactions are with Bancoran, and Bancoran will stand him up and tell him he's "working late" so he can go off with other boys, which plays into Maraich’s fear of abandonment. Couple that with the fact that when he was with the Count the other boys hated him, and that he sees himself as dependent on his lovers because he has no one else to turn to, and you begin to see why he endures this situation as well as how he sometimes acts irrationally. He has never lived any other kind of life and he doesn’t know how to break free from it. He frequently makes friends in the series, but then we never see them again. The tools to build a lasting friendship are there, but he keeps ending up with his lovers to the exclusion of almost everyone else. For the most part he accepts this because it's how he was raised and it's all he's ever known, but it does take its toll on him. When he runs away he has no one to turn to. He has only himself to rely on, and he even saves money behind Bancoran's back in case he 'needs to take care of himself' at some point.

He’s confident in his looks and his fighting abilities, and yet he lacks confidence in who he is as a person. For example, if he lost his looks he wouldn't expect Bancoran to stay with him; he needs someone to validate his self worth. He's easily convinced he's "dirty" and "used up" because he doesn't believe himself to be a worthy person. He doesn't show this in his daily routine (where he’s able to maintain a peppy, outgoing personality) but it comes out in extreme situations. He believes Bancoran would move on and forget him, and then who else would he have? When he's shown love, he collapses in tears because he can hardly believe someone could honestly feel that way towards him.This makes sense when viewed in terms of the loss of his parents, Sherman’s deception and abuse, and his twisted relationship with the Count. The idea that he'll go completely unloved haunts him and this makes him desperate for love. He’ll endure cheating or abuse to try and get it. He'll even die for it.

Having grown up with someone greedy, Maraich is used to that lifestyle and is often depicted as being greedy himself. The major difference between him and the Count on that front is that Maraich is willing to settle for less. He eyes the expensive furs and diamonds, but he’d never leave Bancoran over money. It does, however, make him bribable to a certain extent. Maraich will willingly get involved in shady business for a nice diamond or an expensive coat. However, as with his capacity for violence, he does have his limitations; he might flirt with someone or ‘forget’ what happened for money (depending on the severity of the thing he needed to ‘forget’), but he'd need much better reasons to hurt someone or stand idly by when someone else is being hurt. Once again, this skewed moral compass makes sense when viewed in terms of his life experience (the abuse, being ‘brought up’ by a criminal organization, etc), but the limitations he sets on his own behavior also demonstrates that he is more than just a purely ‘bad’ person. This in no way cancels out the bad things he has done or is capable of doing, but it demonstrates that he’s a complex character capable of complex emotions and motivations rather than just being a purely bad person.

As already stated, there are certainly times where Maraich can be highly emotional and volatile, and when it comes to his lovers he wears his heart on his sleeve. However, he does put up one unusual charade; Maraich often plays the part of the shy pretty boy, a cliché that can be found in a lot of BL manga. Everything indicates that this is a front, though. The most blatant example comes from a time when a robot peeps on him while he’s masturbating. His instant reaction is to scream about how “embarrassed he is” and cover up. On the very next page he’s showing the robot why Bancoran likes him, and although it’s not drawn it’s obvious he’s pointing out his penis and anus. It’s like Maraich has read a bunch of romance novels and tries to copy them, but it falls apart because he’s not truly shy or innocent any longer. So why put up the act in the first place? Chances are he idolizes those romances and wants to copy them; it’s the kind of life he might have liked if things had been different for him. He loves playing the stereotypical housewife role and likes the attention he gets from doing this.

He’s smart and thinks fast on his feet. He solves crimes that no one else can and readily goes after criminals on his own. He’s a long way from infallible and doesn’t always outwit his opponents, but it would be foolish to underestimate him all the same. He enjoys beating his opponents and can be a sore loser, but in other ways he’s also extremely resilient; no matter what happens to him he gets back up and keeps going. In his history he is victimized many times, and every single time he pulls himself back up and keeps going even if he does have to rely on some problematic coping mechanisms to do so. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t hurt; he’s definitely been hurt. But he attempts to rescue himself in the way he chooses to cope with it.

One of Maraich's most oft overlooked traits is that he tries not to wallow in the past (although he isn’t always successful at it); he’s definitely damaged and it shows in his questionable morals, his violent outbursts and his sometimes erratic behavior. And yet, he lives with Bancoran and carries on day to day like everyone else. Until an event or person from the past comes and smacks him in the face (or he’s faced with Bancoran’s cheating ways), there's no indication that he's dwelling on being abused, that he's thinking much about all the people who have died, or is consumed by his abandonment issues. Sometimes he outright ignores people who have wronged him from his past to focus on the matters at hand (such as the missions he is involved in). He tries to live in the present and so, despite all of the carnage and chaos of his life, he can still find happiness in simple, every-day things like playing cards or cooking. He enjoys the little things – a tasty treat, watching the snow, sharing a meal with someone, etc. Someone observing him at these times would likely think he was a cheerful young man, and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. He has the potential to be a happy person, he experiences genuine moments of happiness, and yet it is also true that his personality and behavior have been deeply tainted by the life-long abuse he has suffered. It’s just that he chooses to try and overlook this and get on with his life to the best of his ability despite the poor tools he’s been handed.

□ Age: 18

□ Gender: Male

□ Appearance: Maraich has a distinct 80's look with huge hair. There are two versions of him: When the manga started he was typically colored as being blond with green eyes. When the anime came out, he was colored with orange hair and blue eyes. The anime ended up influencing the manga, and the manga has many pictures of him with this coloring now. I prefer him as a strawberry blond with blue eyes.

He's short, probably around 5'4", with a petite, feminine figure that isn't rare for the boys on his world. Maraich changes outfits often, sometimes several times in a single chapter, and ranges from wearing dresses to more feminine suits. He often wears small heels, and he's shown as being a lover of diamonds and furs, though he's rarely shown in furs. Short shorts are common for him, and he often shows off his legs.

His hair is a major part of his look. He almost always wears it down, with his bangs covering his right eye. His hair is thick and curly and reaches his butt (depending on the panel it can be longer).

□ Abilities/Powers: A great knowledge of weapons: Maraich was raised and trained by the Count, who was an avid weapons collector. Maraich will pick up almost anything and use it as a weapon, and is shown using everything from his bare hands to machine guns.

He's particularly skilled in hand-to-hand combat and throwing knives.

He doesn't have any magical or paranormal powers, unless the power to get pregnant counts.

□ Personal Items:

Maraich is a knife thrower and is mentioned as "always having a knife" on him, so I'd like him to have a knife. The rest is clothing. 99.9% of what Maraich owns is probably clothing.

□ First Person Sample:

[Video]

[Maraich had endured the ‘lessons’ the people here had given him for one reason and one reason only: he realized he was gravely outnumbered. He was a good fighter but not even he could take on an entire city of lunatics. It took all his willpower not to punch someone out. Everything about the place went against what he believed in - like hell was he going to hop into bed with random men. If he had to play it up in order to survive, he knew well enough how to get down and dirty without really putting himself out there, and he’d exploit that for everything it was worth. They might have dragged him away from Bancoran, but his heart was still with the other man.

Ending up at the apartments was just insult on top of injury. He ransacked the place, pulling out everything there was and taking inventory. His wardrobe – if he could even give it that grand of a title – consisted of a measly eight outfits. It was like some sort of nightmare. How could anyone live with almost nothing to wear like that? He was going to have to wear the same outfit more than once. That was almost unthinkable.

The apartment itself wasn’t any better. It was a far cry from the Count’s mansion or Bancoran’s upper class apartments. He felt like he was living on the run with such meager accommodations. It just made him even angrier at his captors. If they were going to hold him hostage they could at least give him acceptable provisions. They should be treating him with far more respect considering they ‘borrowed’ his DNA.

When the video starts, clothing is laid out all around the bed. A few look to be ones that were provided, while others are higher quality with matching accessories. His outfits from home are clearly suited for someone who is used to living in luxury.

When Maraich speaks his voice is tinged with distress.]

Where are the rest of my clothes?! This will hardly last a week! How do they expect me to earn enough to fill a wardrobe in one week!

[The aggravation from everything he’s gone through so far (the stress of finding himself in such an unexpected situation, his fear over losing Bancoran) comes flooding out in one enraged hissy fit. As Maraich’s eyes sweep the room, the video moves from the bed to the rest of the apartment. There isn’t much to speak of – it’s the same thing everyone else got upon arrival.]

And where’s the rest of the apartment?! There’s hardly anything here!

[Obviously this has to be a mistake of some kind. Hopefully someone can tell him where the rest of his stuff is. Expecting him to live with less than ten outfits is just monstrous.]

□ Third Person Sample:

When he arrived in the city his stomach was doing somersaults, but he forced himself to keep his breathing even and held the panic in. He listened to what he was told – or at least made it appear he was taking it all in - and followed the man to 'his' new apartment.

The world around him wasn't a familiar one, and this fact alone set his mind racing. All the stuff about being on some other world... was it true? It was too elaborate of a setup to be some criminal stunt. No matter how much he looked for something familiar he couldn’t find it. This wasn’t any city or country he knew of and therefore he was left with little option other than to believe them.

He had a life with Bancoran at home. They couldn't just kidnap him and bring him here! What was Bancoran going to think? That he ran away again? It was a thought that caused his heart to skip a beat, for his blood to run cold. If Bancoran thought he ran away, what would he do? Play with some other boys? Just forget about him? And if he didn’t forget…Maraich’s heart throbbed even harder at the thought of Bancoran looking for him and being unable to find him. He wished he had some way of knowing what Bancoran was doing, but either way it seemed like his heart would be broken.

He clenched his jaw and kept his thoughts to himself. It wasn't the first time he'd dealt with a kidnapping situation and he didn't want to alarm the man who was acting as his guide. If he thought Maraich was fine he'd have a better chance at being left alone without supervision, surely? He waited until the man left him in some dinky apartment to search it inside and out, though for what, he wasn't sure. What could he do in this situation? For a moment a wave of powerlessness washed over him, but again he forced it down. He wasn’t about to sit around doing nothing - not when everything he’d ever known was at stake.

Thankfully, he found one of his throwing knives. A nice one with a decorated hilt. At least they hadn’t left him without a weapon, and this meant there was at least one thing for him to try. He took it to the bathroom, brushing his hair aside to get a look at where he'd been operated on. He didn't trust it at all, this ‘microchip’. They could have put anything inside of him. It needed to come out.

He spent the better part of an hour staring into the bathroom mirror and attempting to dig under his own skin. Even if he was an expert with a knife, trying to cut into the back of his own head was a challenge. Moreso when he didn’t have a set of mirrors so that he could see what he was doing. He tried to feel for where he should cut, awkwardly holding the knife at weird angles as he pressed it lightly against the skin, wondering where to start. Bone was right underneath the skin so cutting in deep would be impossible. The cuts he did make were shallow at best, as he would start them, quickly realize it wasn’t going to work, and attempt to reposition the knife.

In the end, with a thin trail of blood seeping down his neck, he threw the knife at the counter in frustration which caused it to clatter on the hard counter and splatter specks of blood around. The chip was in too far for him to get to it by himself. He could take the pain, but he couldn’t even see what he was doing. It was impossible.

After he cleaned up and hid his knife, he tore up a piece of cloth and made a hairband out of it, covering up the spot behind his ear and tying it into a bow. He neatly tugged the bow over the wound, concealing it from view.

So now he knew where this apartment was if he had to come back to it, but for now he wasn't going to linger where his captors had placed him. He peeked out the door to check for anyone and crept out with all the stealth of a thief. If he was lucky, maybe he'd find someone who'd take pity on a poor, sweet, innocent boy - it was a deception he knew well.

The further he went the more he realized there were "rich neighborhoods" and "not so rich neighborhoods". No one seemed to be stopping him from going into the nicer places, so he kept making his way in until he arrived at Sallars Park. It was a perfect spot to settle down on a bench and wait. He took a seat with his hands folded on his lap, looking entirely like a young man there to enjoy the scenery. The short shorts showed off his legs, and the blouse was just low enough that someone with a good eye could tell that he had a male chest. There were subtle hints that he was new here - in the mild confusion he allowed to slip into his expression, a subdued look of uncertainty in his eyes. He could play this role down to a T.

Subtly, he kept his eyes peeled for a good target. There had to be a wealthy guy around here who was into beautiful boys. He’d survived multiple times before and he’d do it again, but this time he’d be in control. He’d play their game and pull the wool over their eyes. If they thought they could just bully him into sleeping around they had another thing coming. He’d do whatever he had to do, surviving the only way he knew how, and stay faithful to the man he truly loved as best he could.

The moment he spotted a man looking his way he batted his eyes, a mischievous smile on his lips.

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Maraich

August 2016

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