It doesn’t matter where you came from, you’re a picaro now.
We be the last free people on the planet, we picaros. We see the sunrise over more corners of the globe than most folk can name. We sample the world’s delicacies, plumb its secret depths, find a thousand joys that have been forbidden to everyone else… and not all of that is innuendo, ha! We be the masters of our own fates. We answer only to those we choose to and so long as we like. If we don’t like where we are, we leave, and if that sounds like sour grapes, then you haven’t lived, kid: not yet.
Were you a princess who ran away from the marriage your daddy planned for you? Were you a factory drone turning out pieces for airships you’d never fly? Maybe you were a soldier fighting for king and country right up until you realized the king didn’t give a fig about you–let alone the country.
Kick all that dirt off your boots, picaro: we don’t need the extra weight.
You slipped through the cracks, one way or another, and now you’re here with me, and I’m going to tell you why losing everything you had was the best thing that ever happened to you. Welcome to the Life Picaresque.
Course your new-minted freedom ain’t easy to hold onto, as you better expect everybody out there to try and tear that freedom right out of your hands. Thing is, they need us. They need folk with skills and access that don’t come to one who heels at master’s beck and call like a good sheepdog. They’re greedy and corrupt and lying, most often to themselves, and that kind of folk always needs picaros. They need free souls like you and me. And like as not they’ll try and turn you into their pet, take your freedom and expect that you’ll also keep your edge. Because they don’t understand freedom, mate. Never had a drop of it touch their tongue.
Other folk who’ve been cast out, forgotten, spat on, and rejected, just like you, they’re the only ones that’ll ken you now. Picaros, we know what it’s like to be hungry—for companionship, for safety, for everything—all at once and never-ending, because everything we had is gone. You’ll need to build it all back up, and you’ll need more than one helping hand to forge a new life on the fringes.
That’s why you need a crew who’ll rally ‘round your side against the harsh, cruel world. Crew is like family, ‘cepting you might get to fuck ‘em every once in a while, which is an improvement if you ask me. Crew sees to each other’s needs, cause ain’t nobody else gonna do that for you. Find a crew but quick. And you treat them right and see to what they need, too, else they boot your ass back down to the ground, eh?
And with a crew at your back, those folk out there that want to buy you? Well, they can rent you out for a little while. You can do their dirty work for them in exchange for what you and yours needs: food and fuel and some new knick-knack every other week, most like. But your crew, they’ll keep you honest, keep your head on what’s real. Crew helps you out and watches your back… and gets you out when it’s time to go. Because remember this always: there’s lots of them and not nearly enough of us. They need us, so when they give you a sore deal, well… you’re within your rights to burn their pretty palace to the ground on your way out.— Captain Marie Cortin, petty warlord of the airship La Reve Toussaint
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