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Gearing Up!
It had been one of those long days at work. More so than usual. Ever since PQ had taken up the internship with the Gaian government, her workload had more than doubled. Kluteau and Melodeau were managing their parts of the complex well enough on their own, but PQ was having problems with the bar. People who went to a club needed drinks. So the cyborg had contacted her old friend Hal to see if she would bar tend. The youthful cyborg waitress had been more than happy to take the extra job, to the relief of the over-worked Aekean.

The government job was more than worth the stress and panic that she felt at times. Exactly what she did and how she did it was under sworn secrecy for reasons she could only imagine. But PQ didn't even have time to talk to people much these days; her government internship wasn't on the top of her list of conversational pieces either.

PQ hadn't even time to talk or visit her orc lover. She sighed at the small pang she felt in her chest at the thought of him. There was the sudden craving to feel his skin underneath her nails, his teeth biting at her neck....the two of them did not tend to be gentle lovers. Feeling her skin warming at the memories, PQ shook her head out of the daydream and pulled herself into focus.

In front of her was a cardboard box, placed on top of her small rickety kitchen table. Her metallic fingers shimmered in the dim light as she ran her fingers on the edges, almost as if she was teasing the box before opening. Her fingers barely shook with anticipation as she took a deep breath.

A sudden gear-clanking noise jolted PQ's attention away from the box. Looking down, the cyborg saw her magnificently malfunctioned Roro sitting at her feet, his tail thumping excitedly against the wooden floor. Tongue hanging out of his mouth in a goofy grin, Retrostacja barked once more before nudging her leg without grace.

Laughing, PQ reached down and scratched behind his ear. "Patience," she told her loyal companion. Moving her attention back to the box, she pulled the top up without hesitation.

On top, neatly folded inside, was a crisp and clean shirt. It looked like any other white t-shirt, until the checkers made themselves very evident right by the bottom fold of the shirt. Lifting it gently from the box, the shirt unfolded to reveal the Aekean t-shirt. While it was frayed at the edges from constant wear, the shirt was otherwise in perfect condition.

Peeling off her shirt and tossing it in the general direction of her bed, PQ slowly pulled the Aekean shirt on. Adjusting a few minor wrinkles, the cyborg felt as if some weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Going back to the box, PQ retrieved her leather choker with the Aekean flag charm and tied it around her neck before pulling out Retrostacja's matching collar. Kneeling down, the Aekean switched out the collars. The Roro's demeanor seemed to change just slightly from over-excited to a more calm tone. Patting his head, PQ stood up in order to take out the last item from the box.

Extending the collapseable pole, each click seeming to fall in unison with PQ's heartbeat, the cyborg let the fabric unfold from her hands and fall into its full glory. The Aekean flag itself was the opposite of her cleaned shirt. It was dirty, ripped at the edges, even missing pieces of fabric from the bottom. It was uneven, unclean, and absolutely beautiful.

Setting the bottom of pole to the floor, she let the flag run over her skin as gravity played its part. A shudder flickered through her as if the flag itself had energy. In a way it did. PQ then walked over to her bay window, nudging over her Bludeau plushies with her boots gently as she stepped onto the windowsill. Opening the window with her free hand, the gush of wind that burst into the room brought the flag instantly back to life at it fluttered against the air.

The clanks of Aekea that had been muted before were now loud and deep, pulsating inside PQ's body as a wave of anticipation crashed into her. She could see the flags hanging out windows, including the one that hung in her own. A jumble of metal against wood echoed below her, causing her to look down at her clumsy Roro tangled up in himself as he clawed himself onto the sill at her feet.

The cyborg laughed, a deep and joyful sound, before she moved her gaze back out to the horizon of the town she loved. The Summer Event was near, and PQ knew that this year Aekea had more than a good chance for victory.

"Let the games begin."

PQ and Retrostacja
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