Chapter 4 – Complicated (Tobar Lomas)

AN – This new chapter is the last one for these prequel character studies! Again, I plan to post some extra thoughts from these characters over the next few weeks! Until then, I hope you'll check out the full book (Nadya's World)! Thanks!

My name is Tobar Lomas and I was quite frankly bored out of my mind until last summer. That was when everything changed because of one small child. We have completed the Seer's quest but I don't think anything is settled yet. In fact, I think our lives just got more complicated.

Complicated usually works well for me. My family life is complicated, my pursuits are complicated, but I enjoy complicated. I relish the challenge of a good mystery. What's life but one big mystery anyway? What makes people unique is how they try to solve the mystery.

Take my brother and I – we are very different in most ways but he is my brother and that connection is strong. Nicu is actually my half-brother, even though we don't make that distinction. We are rahki in the Orkaba tribe. I realize that probably means nothing to most people though and you wouldn't know there was anything different about us if you met us on the street, well, Nicu looks a little scary sometimes, but that's just how he is. We are very different and yet very similar and that is where the family life gets complicated so let me go back further to explain.

The Orkaba have aligned themselves with various Romani tribes throughout history, but our clan isn't as close as others are. Instead of being one tight group, we splinter apart and live rather independent lives. Rahki tribes are considered "warrior protectors" but that job description has changed a lot since the 12th century. Now, for me, knowledge and science are what can protect us, protect our charges. Fortunately, there are more rahkis than ladatyrs(those are the special people we are supposed to protect) which means I have the freedom to pursue my own interests.

I chose science, more specifically I chose genetics. I know the legends of my people and I enjoy searching for scientific explanations. Science has changed the world view many times over and I think it continues to do that, even if we still don't have all the answers. It's people like Ojal and Nadya that skew that scientific bell curve – they just don't fall into the usual categories. They can both do things that logically I would have to say would be impossible. However, my judgments do not change the fact that they can do these things.

For example, Nadya predicted that I would join Nicu before Cayden even asked him to join them. I didn't know Cayden's plan to ask nor did I have one until the very last minute. Cayden usually scorns technology, but he will use it for his own purpose such as getting a message to Nicu when their tribe traveled near us. He asked Nicu to visit and train with him. Whereas I chose science, Nicu reverted to the old style warrior. The modern words to describe his particular skill set would parkour training and mixed martial arts. Nicu and Cayden try to train together whenever possible as they have a long standing battle for supremacy – all in good fun but seeing as there's often blood shed I still call it a battle.

Anyway, I happened to be there when my brother got the message as I was visiting from my home in the US. I have helped patch them up after other such training sessions so Nicu told me to come too. Did I mention I detoured through medical school before deciding on genetics? It was just supposed to be a weekend trip though so I tagged along.

Their training progressed much as expected with most of the Romani tribe watching as they engaged in a series of challenges that included sparring as well as racing. I was surprised when a little blond girl hugged Cayden before their second sparring match – he's not a modern touchy feely guy but it was clear he was affectionate with the child. I wish I had known then just who Nadya was but according to Ojal it wouldn't have made a difference as I was where I was supposed to be.

As usual, the games ended in pretty much a draw with both of them bloody and bruised. I was stitching and binding their injuries when the little girl approached again, but this time the Seer accompanied her. I had met the Seer before and just in that moment connected those memories to the stories I had heard about the ladatyr in her care. It wasn't hard to put two and two together but I still didn't realize it had any impact on my life… I was wrong.

Nadya brought one picture to Nicu and one to me. His drawing looked like it could have taken place that day during their training with Nicu flying effortlessly through the air. The only difference was that the different background was clearly of Nicu's home city. Meanwhile, my drawing was eerily similar to the actual scene that had taken place when Nicu got Cayden's message. It was clearly Nicu's living room and he was standing in the background. The drawing focused on me though and my expression clearly looked bored.

Nicu and I have always been close so words aren't always necessary for us to understand the other's mind. We exchanged looks before we exchanged our drawings and then we both just nodded.

It seemed my boredom was over at that moment as my brother and I both chose to join Cayden on the Seer's quest. One year later we have now found Nadya's rahki; however, instead of this solving our problems, it had just made everything more complicated.

I'm not sure if science will be of any help to me this time but I do love a mystery so I think I'll be staying in Nadya's world just a bit longer.