Pala is smart, curious and artistically-inclined. The last of these traits would possibly be what most people would find outstanding, if not for…well, the rest of her personality. At around the age of eight she began to experience strange, and often sickening, sensations while travelling from place to place: sometimes, spaces she passed through seemed to stretch, warp or tear, as if she were a design woven into a rippling piece of fabric, and every so often she would suffer spells of nausea and vomiting as a result.
Describing these experiences to others only ever resulted in two things happening: her parents took her to the mental clinic at once; her schoolmates labelled her a lunatic and treated as such. She began instead to keep a record of these perceptions in the form of maps of places she frequented, distorted as she perceived them to be.
The only person who ever believed her was Fen, whom she met by coincidence in the sick bay one day. He was the only other student who seemed to share in her nonchalance for bizarreness and was not in the least surprised by her mannerisms. They became fast friends, and defended each other against the rest of the students, helping each other through their difficulties and darkest moments.
During summer on the year she turned sixteen, Pala took up a job at the Promenade Hotel, where she works under her manager, Kalani, lighting up the hotel facade with pictures that often double as coded jabs at their rivals across the river, the Red Lotus Hotel.