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Miroslav Salazar

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a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Ottoman

Groups

An empire of shapeshifters, the Erutins value their twin above all. Largely peaceful, they remain prepared for war.

Description

Deceased

So begins...

Miroslav Salazar's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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#, as written by Ottoman
It was a simple enough affair, Arthur having been waiting with Kristine for Maria to arrive and them all getting into her car, save that Darlan drove. Kristine, meanwhile, sat in the backseat with Maria as she soon made sure to blindfold the other woman, careful not to alarm her. For all the drive the two attempted to engage her in simple conversation, Darlan well-knowing what she had gone through earlier, and not wishing her to think that they were taking her into any danger. It was anything but dangerous. It was probably one of the safest places on the planet.

Of course, when Maria was lead out of the vehicle and a ways away, and unblinded by Kristine, the scene certainly didn't seem safe.

Three companies of men and women stood in formation, each holding a torch in their left hand, the gladii worn on everyone's left hip bathed in the warm, orange light. Of course, what Maria saw from her vantage point was simply their backs, but that alone was disturbing enough. No one here wore a shirt, the only things covering their torso being thin leather baldrics on which their scabbards hung; but some of then number here, particularly the men and women on the flanks of the formations - all of which were roughly ten deep - wore an excess of scars, as if they were flogged. It seemed, going up the formation to to those at the head, to increase, though it wasn't always the case.

Some on the flanks wore no or few scars on their back, but their number was in the minority.

But none of these were the center of attention, rather it was a man - among several others - which these companies were facing, the gladius on his own hip proving to bear an ivory hilt and gilded scabbard, hiding partially behind the legs of black riding jodhpurs. "... together on Terra we have lit a flame that the ages shall not extinguish. Guard that sacred flame, Nightwatch until it illuminates Terra and lights again the paths of mankind."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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It wasn't a cult, necessarily, rather a movement. While some certainly applied themselves to the worship of their benefactor, not all did - though turning to Kampf did certainly hold rather desirable benefits. Arthur stood, still clothed, with Maria, on her right flank whilst Kristine took up the left - still clothed herself. It was a comfort thing, of course, not wishing to alienate the woman just yet. Darlan glanced to Maria as she spoke, gently pressing a hand to her arm and holding her there. "This is Terra's hope." This was their cause.

This was the Nightwatch.

Of course, the small conversation of three people didn't quite register as interrupting to the speaker, who continued to relate his rhetoric to the gathered masses, a hand gently resting on his toned form. "... we had, of course, lost this light, as we all know - some of you better than others - for I doubt there isn't anyone here who has not suffered at the hands of the interventionists." But the man produced a single finger for the crowd, stating simply.

"But we have it again, and guard it in this unyielding darkness - through war and occupation alike - and against any who would see us enslaved again." A hand soon shot into the air, palm open to the stars, "Unum nomen, unus mundus, unum imperium." Almost without thought the crowd replied.

"Terra Firma!" It was a rally, and the slogans betrayed the sentiment.

"Terra Firma!" Came the speaker's reply to the crowd, his hand turning over into a salute. "Ever vigilant!"

The cry was echoed back, and the two on Maria's flank began to usher her forward.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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Arthur and Kristine did their best not to force her, but simply guide her to the front, the raised area in what was once a gazebo before the invasions, to stand near the man who was speaking and the small cadre behind him. The man let the crowd work out their frustrations through the chant, but soon enough they had died down, maintaining the pseudo-martial demeanor that they possessed. "... as you all know - or should know - we are a Terran front." By Terrans, for Terrans.

"By using that term, that name, we accept any into our ranks: Jew or gentile, black man or white, man or woman." It was simple enough. "And now we have a prospective sister, who deserves only the warmest welcome, as Decurion Matthieu has shared with me..." The leader sighed for a moment, having gestured towards Maria and her escorts, "... she unfortunately lost her family, her parents, to the war." A saddening bit of news.

Of course, up close, the man's voice still seemed appropriate, but much less... sinister. Paired with his face, it seemed rather appropriate, and when eyes were pieced with his words, they seemed, almost, disarmed. Simple training, of course, the deft-tongue of a lawyer proving to be one of the best tools available to the Nightwatch.

But this man seemed special, as many had rather noted.

"... now," He carefully spoke, more quiet now, as she was brought onto the stage, approaching her slowly and with soft foot-falls - his boots barely making a noise. "... might I ask your name, miss?" He didn't wish to get it wrong. Gone was the bellowing, the crowd left simply to watch.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"Miss Zhang," He nodded gently, a careful glance to her hand to check for a ring to make sure he wasn't using the incorrect term. He offered a hand to the woman to shake, smiling as he did. "I'm Commandant Miroslav, Maria... call me Miro, if you wish." His surname was withheld for obvious reasons, ones that would be ignored in time. Salazar's trained eyes did dissect her, however, and carefully enough he inserted the question.

"... don't be afraid, we're not going to hurt you." None of them would touch her, even, save unless they were invited. "So you wish to see Terra born anew, Zhang?" It was what usually drew people here, after all, the thought of an independent and strong Terra.

"You are among fellow phoenixes here, feel free to speak your mind."

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"Wouldn't we all." He mused aloud, sighing as he did, withdrawing his hands to clasp them both behind his back. A peaceful, independent Terra was their dream - an idealistic dream, but a dream none-the-less. They realized, of course, in the party elite that such a thing was likely impossible and that both foreign aid and imperialism on their own part would be necessary to insure independence, but it was a small cost in the grand scheme of things.

One day as a lion rather than one hundred years as a sheep.

"I can't remember either." He admitted, having only fuzzy memories of the times before the Terran Conflict and the TNG, all of them neutered by the pain and hunger of the following years. "But I'd love to find out how it feels, wouldn't you?" It was why she was here, after all.

"... what would you give for Terra, Zhang?"

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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All of them only had so much - it came with being the joke of the galaxy, living in what amounted to the intergalactic demilitarized zone - just as Miroslav surely knew. Even he, a lawyer, lived with lacking means, certainly not the wealthy man that so many would think of were it that they heard the title some decades ago.

No, Miroslav was a humble man with a humble home.

"... even one who has nothing can still give their life, Maria." He quietly responded, knowing well that she was likely impoverished - just as most of their corps was - at least in comparison to the days before their shame. "What better treasure to share than that which we cannot find more of?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"As would we all." Each of them had taken that same pledge, to give their lives should their world - their people - demand it. Calmly he displayed the hand which bore the vertical scars, palms cut just below the knuckles, as he betrayed what would soon come. "... now, would you pledge yourself, to your world? To peace?" To a dream that one day you could live and love and sleep without worry.

"To give your blood for our mother earth?"

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"As have we all." Whether in battle or not, it was Terra's before anyone else's. With a sigh the man glanced to his flank, at the crowd gathered, and gestured to the shrubbery which created something of a wall behind them - helping to project the man's voice to the regiment. "Now, I doubt you want to do such a thing in public." He quietly mused.

"It's no trouble to do it away from all of these eyes."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"Come," He gestured gently for her to follow, picking up a wrapped package on a nearby table as he lead behind the shrubberies - overgrown hedges, more like. Kristine came along, but followed very quietly behind, just to make sure Maria was okay. "... now, I'm not going to do anything to you, alright Maria?" It wasn't his place to, and it was terribly rude to suggest that it was.

Gently he unwrapped the leather about the blade - a stylized roman pugio dagger - as he soon took the blade, offering its hilt to her. "... we let you choose which hand. We understand that everyone has lives, work... sometimes family." And those things came first, with one's hands. "We might fight for Terra here, but at home we build a better world." Without the need for such belligerence.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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Her left hand, if she wished, he nodded. It was her choice which hand she would choose for the letting, whether she wished for it to be her dominant hand or not. Maria's question, however, betrayed both her nerves and her apprehension at the whole affair, and Salazar sighed, gently offering his hand to take the dagger back. "... I'll show you, Maria."

With a sigh the man looked her over again, seeing her as nerve-wracked as she was. Miroslav's voice proved a deal quieter as he spoke, not wishing to alarm or upset her further.

"... I'm sorry Maria. I didn't mean to disturb you, if I did." He shrugged at that, sword bouncing gently on his side. "It's a pity to hear you're leaving the force. You were quite the rising star." He had heard her during testimony for client or two in court, after all. "... forgive me?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"You sell yourself short," He commented, quiet. He wasn't a loud man, usually, preferring to speak only when spoken to, or when the situation at hand demanded it. The mention of Randin seemed to have no visible effect on the man, at least until he spoke. "... there is no room on Terra for collaborators." Especially childish, egotistical maniacs.

Calmly the man placed the edge of the blade in his untouched left palm, only grimacing as he slide the blade across it to draw blood from it, the dagger moving so quickly through his hand as not to carry but a hint of it upon the blade.

"We need women - people - like you, Maria." Indeed they did, he clenched his fist, forcing the blood to drip out of his hand. "Don't let that bastard win."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"No," He replied, not the force, but the Nightwatch. "Forget the police. They're a tool of the invaders anyway." A front for them to impose their will on the population at large, to arrest and detain anyone that meandered their way onto the blacklist. With careful eyes he watched her slit her palm, nodding at that when she asked for confirmation.

"Like that." She certainly hadn't cut her palm for nothing. "You're a blood-sister now." A welcome member of the Nightwatch, if she would pursue further meetings. "We have official, paying roles, if you are interested." Beyond the simple volunteer force that was the Nightwatch. The party had tax-paying jobs, if she wished to earn a living with them.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"A blood sister." He echoed, confirming it. Salazar offered to take the blade from her again, this time for good, were it she didn't want it - after all, she had no more use for the thing. "I can put you in touch with the appropriate channels, if you so desire." He was an official member of the party, after all, though a very quiet, basic one.

There was no need to be heavily involved in the puppet organization, after all. "What kind of work would you prefer?"

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"... desk job, or field work?" He asked quietly, either would be open for her - he would make sure of it - but it would be her choice. After this last incident, he could understand if she had something of a stigma with field work. "We can accommodate either... Hell, you could run for office, if you wanted to." Indeed she could.

Any of them could, in his opinion.

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"Then consider it done. I'll have Darlan give me your mailing address." He'd send her the information with her work soon enough, the details of where to go, who to report to... everything in its place, just as it should be. He would make sure, as well, that her superior was a female, no doubt the woman certainly had enough of what had come before.

"Now, let's go announce your pledge." Her blood-oath. "Your brethren want to meet you."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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The dribble of rain - constant but unhindering - rang out on the brim of Salazar's fedora, which carefully kept the rain from soiling the collar of the tan suit he wore underneath his raincoat. Some of these houses were tough enough to identify in fair weather, and the rain certainly wasn't helping him get the numbers on the address right. Miroslav missed the good old days of mailboxes.

Perhaps they could come again.

But, he knew that he at least had the right street, meandering down it as he looked from door to door, seeming rather out of place - a man so well-dressed in a neighborhood so run-down - but no one really paid him any heed, save to see just who it was. Salazar apparently had quite the reputation, for better or for worse.

Soon enough he came upon what looked like the address he remembered, and gingerly enough the man stepped up to the door, knocking on it as loudly as he dared. He did have to overpower the rain, after all.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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Salazar nodded at that he was searching for Maria, moving where he was bidden after handing his coat and hat on the back of a nearby chair, not wanting to soil the couch with all the water on them. So it seemed that quite a few had tried to get her back into the force. A pity they would be disappointed. Silently Miroslav placed his hands in his lap, waiting in the room as the residents were elsewhere, left only to contemplate the light patter of rain on the roof.

It was a cozy home, he decided.

But Maria was soon back, and he offered her a very light smile, hands and body remaining as they were. "I just thought I would stop by to check that your new workplace is satisfactory." It would be a terrible pity that it was not, after all.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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Well, at least now everything seemed to be on the upward climb. Salazar smiled, pleased with himself that he had managed to help her with that. "And no problems with your co-workers? Qualms with the material?" Hopefully not, but he was there to double-check. A reassignment was only a word away, would she so desire a thing.

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"Delightful to hear." That she liked it, that was certainly enough for him. "Please, if anything does come up, don't hesitate to call me. I can..." Well. "... I can take care of things, if need be." There was no reason why she should have to suffer at work, to him. She was an amiable woman, with good blood and good intentions. A sigh came of him as a hand moved to gently adjust his tie.

"... I don't mean to overstay my welcome, Maria." He smiled, ready to rise, if she didn't wish him here.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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If she insisted, he supposed, shifting slightly where he sat on the couch, hands returning to his lap. "... oh, you don't have to. I'm fine, though I am a bit chilled." This northerly climate wasn't for him, despite his Serbian blood. "Thank you, though." He smiled. Miroslav certainly wasn't an unreasonable man.

"How have you been, Maria?"

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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He blinked. "... that'd be quite nice, actually." Tea was something he only rarely had, and welcomed the chance at something warm. "... I suppose I am alright." He mused quietly, Salazar looking to the floor as he considered how best to put things. "Lots of work. Official and otherwise. Means money, though." And that was what mattered.

After all, if one saw his pantry, one would know what he put all of his money into.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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"I'm here to build a better world," He spoke, moving to gently take the pot with the handle wrapped in a cloth. "Not to tear it down." It was obvious enough what he thought of society by that statement alone, but he didn't want to get into that right now. "The police offer steady, meaningful work." It was more than he could ask for.

"... you are much too kind to say so." Miroslav blushed lightly at that, finding the word ill-fitted for him, but flattered all the same.

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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Miro took the opportunity to pour some for her as well, were it that she wished for him to, and spoke as he sat the thing down. "... symbolism, mostly." He admitted freely. A lot of their ceremonies were symbolism. "We make ourselves equal, and unashamed. We are proud to be there, and proud to be Terran... but, I understand." He spoke simply.

She had a tender history with such things.

"No, no you won't, Maria. You don't have to go to the rallies if you don't want." She was... well. A bit delicate for that sort of thing, anyway. Miroslav's eyes did catch her blush, though he didn't quite understand what, believing it to be about her previous history.

"... you're not upset, are you?"

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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She was upset, somewhere. Just not overtly. Hopefully he hadn't garnered her wrath for pressing. "... I see." Miroslav spoke quietly, leaving the matter for a few moments in silence as he let the warmth of the teacup flow into his hands. The situation with the department was more personal than he had initially heard.

"I-... I don't know how to apologize, Maria."

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Character Portrait: Maria Zhang Character Portrait: Miroslav Salazar

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Why? Well. That was sadness enough for him, he supposed, but she didn't know, at least. "Why... well. There were three years that I wasn't quite sure where I'd find food next." Nevermind that the entire situation was imposed by that God-awful Tripartite Occupation. The Coalition, some fair player they were. Bastards all the same.

"... but it's very energizing, to hold that many people's attention so... intently." It was hard to describe, "... I just hope I didn't scare you, Maria."