Experiments {Silv/Astarte}


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Posting Elemental
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Post Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Your call, she said thoughtfully, and tilted her head as she absorbed the new phrasing, trying to put it into the context of training. She trained with so many, and each one was so varied in how they taught her; her time with Caustic was extremely different to what she practiced with Eternal. Eternal was, of course, her favorite teacher, aside perhaps from her Bonded. Their lessons were still harsh, but there was something to them that focused more on how she thought, taught her how to look at the worlds she passed through.

A calling is-

Don't.

A single word, far from a request, and yet it lacked the harsh pop of cruelty that some might expect. It was said almost absently.

And it worked, for all that it was an absent command. He stopped, watched her turn it over, and then blinked with surprise as she said You are so clever, smarter than I could be. There are ways to use your small spells, your reparations, to your advantage; why not focus on that, for the times you train?

She'd pieced it together, translated the new phrasing, and then leaped to applying it for a solution to their friend's uncertainty. Not her calling, nothing that she could claim as an affinity, but there were things that she could use in place of battle. Repairing a broken limb to use as a bridge, for instance, or simply seeing how the land had shifted from a lightning strike - how it wanted to be.

Of course OakHeart would take her unique perspective and think of it in terms of the terrain; he was ever enraptured by his element.

He also didn't answer when she spoke an offering to at least stabilize his knee, to keep it from worsening. His gaze swung to AuraSidra, his lesson finally learned; it would be her choice. He didn't look directly at her, though, didn't push with his gaze; instead his eyes dropped to the vines that still held his leg in a brace, avoiding her own gaze as she turned to him.

There was nothing sullen or defiant in the lines of him; no angry tension to his neck, no sulking tilt to his ears. He was leaving it to her, the choice of how far she wanted to carry his correction.

And you say you would have no gifts, AuraSidra said teasingly, her eyes bright and dancing as she looked up at her friend.

She is right, sweet beauty, OakHeart chimed, and offered a gentle smile as he said Small things, perhaps, little ways of repairing. To heal, to repair, is no small gift, and even little tricks can add up to something larger, something grand. Make no mistake; you yourself are a great gift, to have such an alignment. I see now why the blue imp holds such a fondness for you.

Blue imp? AuraSidra said, and shared a grin with him, previous crimes forgiven. The little brown-green beasts that tried to turn everything upside down?

You have your moods, he answered mildly, and felt his face stretch in a grin as he added Remember when you moved all of the Gypsy's trinkets around?

I was testing a theory, AuraSidra countered, but the laughter in her voice belied the notion. Everything was still there, I just traded hidey-holes.

Tribe had been less than pleased; rearranging each of her treasures to the correct places had taken no small amount of time. It had verified that it was more than tucking something away, though; each item belonged in a particular location, with a particular set of other little findings. It was more than hoarding, it was organized; even if it was hard for others to see the meaning behind it all.

You are not always so mischievous, so perhaps Imp is not quite the right word, OakHeart chuckled, I don't recall those little beasts having any other mentality. You are - varied.

She was young, is what she was. With youth came growth, change, a finding of self. She was slowly becoming who she would be once she was grown; but still, she was young. Sometimes she just wanted to mess around.

Right now I am simply glad that you can help his knee, AuraSidra said, and smiled at Astarte. There is no need to risk further damage; my point was made, she said, and gave OakHeart an arch look.

Yes, she was slowly becoming the mare she would grow into.

Finally able to see it, OakHeart felt a certain determination shift inside of him; his training would move up, reach the level of the others she learned under, to prepare her. She would need the skills to match that willpower she wore so naturally.

There was a brief pause, just enough time for the small healing that would stabilize his leg - and then broad-leaf vines shot out of the ground, sharpened into deadly blades that sought to impale her.

The session had begun.

She jumped, up and sideways, a flap of her half-grown wings giving her a moment's extra altitude. She'd almost managed to fully escape, but a fairly decent gash scoured her flank. The grass wrapped around her legs as she landed, climbing over her chest, but she managed to pull her back hooves into the air before a good grip was obtained. A solid kick to his ribs was enough distraction to loosen the trap, allowing her to break free - and leave a nice bruise behind.

He would have to work on battling on two fronts, maintaining a physical presence even while working his elemental abilities. But he was not made for physical strength; his body was slender, just shy of effeminate. He was easy to bruise, and it was a weakness she knew to exploit.

Another flutter through the sky - the best sanctuary to be found, for while he could influence certain aspects that traveled through the air, it was beyond his abilities to alter the air itself. Water he could collect, calling forth a storm, just as he could summon the water in the ground - but the water moved through the sky, was not the air itself. He was not Caelum, who changed air pressures and distributed the various kinds of gas, increasing oxygen or shifting nitrogen to various effects.

He brought fog as she landed again, masking the ground beneath her - ground he had shifted into quicksand, ground that swallowed her down and down before she realized she was sinking.

AuraSidra had been taught how to think, more than anything else; struggling only made her sink faster, shifted the soft earth beneath her, and so she stopped trying to fight her way out and started intentionally sinking faster. She dove down until even the tips of her ears were covered in muck and marsh, and then kicked towards the edge of the pit he had made - an edge which moved away from her, grew longer to remain out of reach.

She pushed further, following the guiding edge, until it suddenly stopped moving away from her. Planting her front hooves on the firm ground, she twisted around and kicked upwards as hard as she could - and clipped him square in the jaw, distracting him long enough to scramble over the edge of the solid little island he had left for himself. She had chosen her direction carefully, moved towards his stronghold, and made a point to shake off the muck so that it landed on his back.

Her wings were a mess, but enough flapping had them cleaned - at least clean enough to function, to an extent. She rose higher, straining the efforts she had put into mastering this set of limbs, but the ground rose with her. A cliff formed beneath her, following her ascent, keeping her close; trees tilted as she ground ripped upwards, boulders tumbled, and still she climbed higher.

The grass reached, trying to close the last of the distance she had managed to maintain. The grass shifted to trees, which shifted to stone, which shifted to metal, which compressed into various gems at certain points of pressure; and he smiled, thinking she had underestimated him. His element was nature, all of nature - and metal was a natural occurrence, one he had recently mastered.

AuraSidra watched the strange tower reach up-up-up, surrounding her with the weave he had learned from Astarte's mane; stronger, stabler. She waited, timed it, and then, right as it was surrounding her head - she brought the lights.

Her auroras could flash brighter than any sun, and they did now - vibrant golds, reds, white shot through with pinks glared off the bright metal, blinded him. The tower had reached, strained for height - and while the ground was eaten up by the rapid growth and change, the base was not wide enough to withstand the distraction of being blinded. He snorted, tossed his head, and the lean tower tumbled through the air, strong enough through the weave that had made it to withstand the impact of landing around him; encaged in his own creation.

She landed next to him as the metal softened, dissolved to dust and stone, and laughed as the cliff eased back into the natural landscape; and faintly, his laughter rang from within the structure, echoing with the full-throated mirth of adrenaline.

Now that had been a training session!

In a proper battle, she would have had time to escape, to fly beyond his reach. She'd won this time, through nothing more than her brain and a small, natural touch of talent. He'd practiced his own talents, learned where to improve; bruises spotted his hide, and it was quite lucky that his knee had been stabilized, with the way he had stumbled and turned, struggling to keep track of her.

AuraSidra's mane was still an absolute mess, and mud crusted the cut on her flank, highlighted the bruising on her legs from where the plants had managed to grip her. She was bright eyed and grinning, just as he was, their hearts still pounding from their efforts, and turned to Astarte with true joy lighting her face.

He is the most fun to play with, she declared, and laughed again as he gave an exaggerated bow, ignoring his various aches.

They were quite possibly insane...
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Post Wed May 02, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Their conversation shifted, easy as the moon or the well-oiled turn of clock gears—what had gone before was noted, accepted, integrated. The natural affinity of those raised together would always be somewhat fascinating to her, her upbringing so steeped in singularity. These two were, perhaps, the closest in her orbit to kin—and she studied, as she did her bondherd and blood, the intricacies of their arrangement. How OakHeart left her offer at AuraSidra’s beck, and felt no shame in that. A good choice, then, that she’d given the question to the both of them.

And together, they wove a net of assurance in their words, in the small, smiling gestures and how easily they opened their unique intimacy to her. Cleverness, beauty. Not that her dear ones had never praised her so, it was just—different. Different when it wasn’t expected, different when it was from—well, souls such as these. Luckily it seemed she was adapting—if that was the word. The blush burned less, at least.

“It’s never been the focus of my sparring, I suppose.” If she thought about it, whatever small training she’d received was more for exercise than preparation—Avi meant to keep her from the Wilds he wandered, gave her just enough for the Fields, and just to flee, really, at that. “I’ll have to step it up, then. Make use of what I have, as you so cleverly do yourself.”

Yes, made use of that will, that natural command—tempered by fondness, mercy, even. Astarte was starting to get a glimpse, perhaps, of how it might be to share a Circle with such beautiful strangeness. Two-part, the healing, spell layered upon spell—first calling her hands, laying their invisible touch against the delicate breaks, then channeling the restorative essence through them. She’d not yet mastered conveying them through her own touch, and probably for the best, as the thought of coming that close to the stallion was—again, the codification escaped her.

But she would not have to linger upon it for long, as the training began.

What she’d seen was often physical—the sparring of Warriors, of bodies. And while her dayi were incredible for the power caged inside them—Dayi Brittle’s impossible strength, Dayi Id’s unnatural grace—it had always been grounded, in a sense. Nothing like this.

The land warped; the sky burned. She drew back and observed something like a ragnarok.

She should, perhaps, be more awestruck. Some part of her was, a secret, thrumming corner of her heart that wondered, wide-eyed as a foal. But, in essence, she was a curious sort—and AuraSidra allowed her to be. Made it easy, for ever since the beach, she knew her friend had
potential. Pride enough to know herself, grace enough to ask for help if need be. She trusted that whatever OakHeart threw at her would be overcome; she was eager, to watch just how.

The cliff towered suddenly, a thousand years of shifting earth condensed into the span of minutes. A shiver ran through her—so, this was an Elemental. She’d never really seen Confetti make use of his abilities; even after their beach exchange, his interest in her was passing. She wasn’t sure, after seeing this, if that was a boon or not.

A brief stutter in her chest, as the metal tower dashed against the ground where its creator stood—eased, just as quickly, by the thin ringing of laughter from within. AuraSidra landed before her, caked in mud and triumphant. What souls, murmured that small voice. What souls, indeed.

“Amazing,” she said, simply, reaching out with her healing hand to trace the small cut, the bruises banding the legs. “I’ve never seen anything like that. Much less—done anything like that.”

There was a bare flicker of hesitation, before she felt bold enough to extend her touch to the dark marks blooming against the stallion’s green hide. Silly, perhaps. No, definitely. There was no reason to be shy about offering a balm, not when it was so needed. By the both of them.

“I rather think my own definition of training is tame compared to yours.” Words were good; words were simple. “Is this—routine, for you? These kind of lessons?"

She could probably guess the answer, but she was still a bit curious as to the why.
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