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[Fiction] Settling In


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Part 1

Mikhail looked around the spartan room and droped the bag he'd been carrying on his shoulder. He walked over to the window and looked out at the New York skyline, wondering if he'd ever get used to the strange noises, so different than the subtle thrum of life he was used to in the jungle. He missed Africa already.

Mihail emptied the contents of his bag onto his bed and put the few pieces of clothing into the chest of drawers by the bed. He picked up the two action figues that were the only other contents of the bag and cradled them lovingly for a moment before sitting them on his window ledge. There was a knock at the door.

"Come in," he said and turned to face the baseline who entered his room. He was a tall, thin man who seemed unused to physical exertion. His hair was a mousy brown and his face was guant and pale. He wore large rimmed glasses.

"And how are we setting in Mr. Rossovich?" The thin man asked as he swept into the room, peering at the ten year old over the rim of his glasses. The boy wrinked his nose at the sight of the man. He was still unused to the presence of baselines and this one seemed even creepier than all the others he'd met so far. "I'm okay Mr. Smythe," he said back to the expectant-looking man.

"Well good my boy. They are expecting you down stairs, do you need to change?"

"No, that's okay," he said and followed the lawyer out of the suite and down the hall to the elevator. They rode down the six floors in silence, Mikhail wondering the whole ride down if he was in trouble already. He hadn't even been there all of ten minutes.

The doors opened onto the luxurious lobby of the Blackburn Hotel and Mikhail stepped into it just behind Mr. Smythe. Their footsteps echoed through the grand empty lobby as the young boy followed the grim-faced man into the darkened main bar area.

There was an intesnse burst of light as the bar's entire lighting system was switched on, momentarily blinding the boy, and a chorus of vioces yelled "Suprise!"

When his vision cleared, Mikhail look 'round the room and saw, to his relief and delight, about a dozen or so people, including his father (a great bear of a russian man) and his mother (a beauty of mixed Caucasian and Asian blood). "Happy Eruption day my little Silverhide," his father said in a great booming voice. Mikhail smiled and ran to give his parents a hug...

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