Subject: Dear Ix,
Posted on: 2017-06-07 01:54:34 UTC

That is a difficult question. I hope I can help you with it, if only in some small way.

People stare at me, too, though in my case it is often less about the scars themselves and more about the character they make me resemble. Most of the time, it doesn't bother me. There's no shame in bearing a superficial likeness to another person—and there's no shame in scars, either. However you got them, they prove you were strong enough, or at least lucky enough, to survive it. (For me it was the latter. I was young and reckless, and I could just as easily have paid for it with my life or that of my dragon.)

However, some days I would rather not be gaped at. On those days, I find a big, horrible grin to be quite effective at getting rid of people. Or, if I'm in a particularly foul mood, I stare back at them. If you don't know, I am blind in one eye, which makes my stare especially disconcerting. Most people give up and slink away pretty quickly.

You might also try simply answering the question they are too embarrassed to ask and tell them how you got the scars, as belligerently (or not) as you please. I have to start with "No, I'm not who you think I am," but regardless, after they quit stammering useless protests, the conversation tends to be painless and mercifully brief.

Of course, there is always the option of wearing a mask, but that's not for me, and I wouldn't recommend it. We are privileged to be in a position to demand that our fellow agents either take us as we are or go hang. Keep your chin up, and remember that no matter how much people look at your face, only you can let them get under your skin.

Ix, please write to me whenever you like. Corresponding with you is no bother at all.

Yours in solidarity,

Agent Derik, DMS

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