I am working on a roleplaying game based on my graphic novel Memories of Retrocity (Published in French in 2011), I decided to make the original texts available for you, revised and translated into English.
I will drop them here while I go through the translation process.
Those are "pre-translations". They need to be proofread and modified before any official release. Hopefully, you can enjoy the raw material!
Welcome to Retrocity.
Feb 18, 2004
I've been thinking of her since that night in the Red-Light! In fact, I've not had such a pleasant night since then. Yesterday was tough. I had been sinking for days. I needed human contact. Physical. And I was thinking of the shape of her lips, her mouth when she talks, and the smell of her perfume over the cigarette smoke. At first, I thought I was just lonely, but the truth was that I liked her.
I didn't want her to think I was seeing her like these men at the bar do. The clients. Because it was not that. That night, she had many opportunities to brush me off, yet she didn't. I was overthinking everything. And ultimately, I found a remnant of confidence and told myself that she would probably appreciate an escape as much as I did. To extract ourselves and forget the sad reality of the city, at least for a night.
There is a special place for that. I've seen ads on holoboards in the wealthy neighborhoods. They call this place the Blue Hotel. In the photos, it looks like a small old-fashioned house built on top of a skyscraper. An absurd architecture satisfying the whims of rich people who can afford the chic of flying over the city. To contemplate misery from above, by the windows of a little love nest.
And that is precisely what I wanted. Fly away. Rise away.
I made a reservation for one of the four suites. I don't spend anything here anyway, so I could afford that!
Hopefully, she would love the idea.
I found her where I knew she would be. Sitting at the bar, alone, and smoking.
And when she saw me, she smiled! Killing with that same stone the hope of the vultures circling around her.
We took a taxi. To the hotel. Few words were spoken. But she was studying me. As if she knew, all along, what I was up to.
Even if I didn't know it myself.
A young man at the desk gave us the keys. Hiding his thoughts behind a restrained smile. They must see all kinds of strange people renting the rooms above the skies. The Blue Hotel seems to be independent of the rest of the building. It has its own elevator, to the right of the ones used for the other floors. This one is direct access to the top. Rising high above the ground, in a small metal cage.
The suite had that "old school" feel, yet tasty and sharp. Authentic and cozy. Its windows offering a sight that I will never forget. Retrocity evaporating in the evening mists. Far, far below us. Far enough to mistake it for another city. A normal one. Elsewhere.
She took a bath. I stayed by the window.
I could hear her movements in the water. And then silence for a while. Then she left the tub.
We talked for hours, both lying on the bed with the window open. Observing each other.
We talked about the city, the Retro-citizens, and everything I had discovered since my arrival. She wanted me to tell her about the "outside", about the life I had before. She listened to me talk about the world, absorbing everything as if it was fascinating fiction. Too good to be true. As if it was too beautiful for her. This simple world I grew up in. This world made his eyes shine. And so I started to miss it too.
I hadn't done that for months, and she was intimidating me. She told me to be gentle, but I was the one who needed the softness. It felt real. Simple and connected. I don't know how to write about this.
She fell asleep on my shoulder. I couldn't. I moved her aside and sat at the table. Opened the vintage hardcase box, and took the machine out.
I started to type. I was trying to hit the keys gently, like you'd play an instrument, not to wake her up.
In a quiet frenzy, I wrote about the city. I wrote about myself. And I wrote about her. And as I was typing and typing, I think my hands got carried away, and my fingers out of control. Because I woke her up.
I could see her eyes glowing in the dark. She was staring at me. And I think she was concerned.