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Raph talks a good game about how much he loves being alone, but the truth of the matter is that he's never really had all that much experience at it. Storming off with the knowledge that someone is following close behind is entirely different than actually being alone. It's not as easy as he was expecting, and no where near as much fun as he thought or imagined. He misses food that tastes like something other than roasted what-ever-he-could-scrounge-and-put-onna-stick, but that's not really what gets him. What gets him is how much he misses companionship. This isn't to say that Cloud isn't a fantastic conversationalist, because he is, especially when Raph is providing the pony's voice for him, which he does a lot these days. Yes, Raph has fallen prey to the most powerful of solo travel vices: he talks to himself. And not just to himself, but to any and everything that comes his way, especially inanimate objects. And any inanimate objects that dare disobey order are soundly reprimanded and damned to places that not even a wild-eyed fundamentalist would dare think of sending something as innocent as a rock. When talking loses its novelty Raph turns to singing. First quietly, but as time wears on as loudly as he dares...which is pretty loud. The overall landscape seems unimpressed with his sterling renditions of Corduroy, Boy Named Sue, and Long Black Veil.

Needless to say the last few weeks have been very long weeks. As always Master Splinter was right; when falling back always have a position in mind, a location to strive to reach, to not have one is folly and will only lead to one place: your defeat.

Raph had a good plan to start with: head to the next town, barter for provisions, head back out again. It's just that after two weeks one becomes bored of heading back out...again. Especially when that again is at one horse power, and not say the 300 plus one was used to back home. But he's not home, as he reminds the world around him often, and usually loudly. He's in the middle of where-ever-here-is going in whatever direction he's been going until something makes him stop. It's not much of a plan but it's all he has and changing it now would be the same as turning back. That right there is just not an option. So he presses on, watching the landscape shift one plodding step at a time.
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April 2013

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