Tinkering


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Post Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:53 pm

Tinkering

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She had sought, and found, a small patch of packed earth, hidden away behind tangled hedges and roofed by woven willow arms. A quiet place to work, the sunlight just fine enough to drip through the translucent leaves and pool gently where she needed it. Astarte nodded to herself, tramped the cool ground down a little more, then let the cloth bag she'd been carrying slip down over her neck. A few more clever tugs with her teeth and it unfurled into a neat blank canvas. The pieces of her puzzles were scattered about its heart, glinting invitingly.

She wasn't sure what they would become yet, or if they all belonged to the same dissembled artifact. She had just taken one of the larger "junk" heaps from the tower's storage room and bolted. Even though Sive had long discovered her talent, the furtive habits were hard to break. That, and she was a little afraid of running into her amma's bonded, not in the middle of all that was going on now. She had done what was asked of her, and she had no more left to offer except words that fell short. She had not properly bonded to Sive, not yet, and now the distance of their souls felt acutely obvious.

She sighed and shook her head to clear away thoughts settling like cobwebs. She needed a calm mind for this. Her wiry legs folded beneath her and she settled down somewhat awkwardly. This growing body was getting harder to handle, and while it did allow her to take on larger projects, she missed the grace and slightness of her childhood. On the other hand, young Astarte hadn't known how to do this.

She pulled the scattered objects closer to her, shaking the cloth a bit to layer them evenly out. Delicate machinations of clockwork, wires and crystalline tubes, here and there a flourish of an exquisite casing--all humming with the anticipation of being whole again, needed again. She took a deep breath and felt the beginnings of enchantment stir from deep in her bones, let it reach out and--

One of the larger fragments rose into the air, turning this way and that as Astarte regarded it with a critical eye. Moments later a few small gears flitted to join it, locking cleanly into place, save one which settled forlornly back down. Astarte smiled as she settled into the rhythm of her gift--even at times like this, there was work to be done.


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Posting Elemental
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Post Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:06 pm

Re: Tinkering

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She was being tailed again, and this time she knew it. It wasn't possible for her not to be aware of Darroch; they'd spent so much time together lately that she knew exactly how the plants perked and reacted to his presence. She didn't know if he was put up to this by someone or doing it off his own accord, and she didn't care. With that stallion it boiled down to the same thing anyway; he wanted to follow.

AuraSidra had just gotten into her first major fight with her mother. Nova had insisted that she stay close and that she only speak with those her bondmates knew of - the filly had soundly protested.

Now, as she blew through the Fields, her mother's words replayed in her head, their argument relived.

You don't know them, you don't have any reference of who they are. They can hurt you.

I can take care of myself!

We take care of each other. Find those we know, start by making true friends.

Why couldn't someone we don't know be a true friend?

Because you are my filly.

So? I'm not a freak!

I'm trying to protect you, little Sidhe!

You can't protect me from everything. Darroch says so; he says I have to make my own mistakes. He's right, isn't he? Isn't he, Mother?

AuraSidra...

I'm leaving now, Mama. I'm going out again. If it's a mistake then let me make it; let me learn.

And she'd gone, swanning off across realms. Part of her worried her mother might be right; she was starting to become aware of some things that set her apart from her bondmates. She'd thought it was the difference her father had worried after, the gap between foals and mares, but now she wondered.

Wondered too much, apparently, as she hadn't even realized she'd been passing through trees and shrubbery; the earth was bare here in several places, shielded by the canopy. Slowing down she took a deep breath and realigned her mind, setting aside the argument and uncertainties. For all she knew she wouldn't find anyone out here. Even a quiet walk wouldn't be enough to soothe her if she didn't allow it to, though.

Stepping softly, she slowed her breathing and quieted her heart, listening to the feel of this place. Thyme had said that, once, though he hadn't realized she'd heard - that if you listen to the woods you can feel their music.

She was still getting the hang of it, but she got the general concept; this was a quiet corner where the woods slept in peace.

One of the sounds seemed a little odd; the quiet rhythm suited the place, yet it was unlike anything she'd heard before. Soft clinks and ticks reached her ears from somewhere up ahead, yet for the trees she couldn't see what it may be. Curious, AuraSidra picked up her hooves and tried to hone in, tilting her head this way and that.

And then she saw something, just a glimpse - a floating bit of strange flotsam twirling through the air. What could possibly be going on here? Trotting closer, craning her neck to see the strange items, she let out a whicker of amusement as she went to explore this new mystery.
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Post Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:05 am

Re: Tinkering

It was starting to take shape now, or at least the final form was becoming clearer in her mind. Still no idea what it was eventually to do, something that worried amma, Sive. If she simply fixed things, putting them together as easily as a painted puzzle, she suspected that they would think nothing more of her hobby. But what she lay her "hands" on tended to remember her touch, to come alive and awake in whatever power or purpose for which it had been meant. And while Sive tried not to make a habit of collecting dangerous artifacts, even she couldn't account for everything secreted away in her shadowy store-rooms.

It was how they'd found the dagger, after all.

Astarte bit her lip, turning the device a bit to violently on its head. The meek rattle rang a bit of protest, but she soothed it by fitting in a few delicate golden keys. "Sorry," she murmured, only half to herself. Her habit of talking to inanimate objects and enchantments tended to cause more worry from her avi, who at least trusted enough in her ability to physically counteract whatever woke from her projects. Becoming some kind of social pariah--as he had made himself with his attitude, and now she might make herself with her limited interactions--well, that was not something he wanted for his child. But what could he expect, with playmates so odd...

She sighed to herself, ears perking a bit as she noticed a few presences drawing near. No matter how engaged she was in her work, she never forgot how important it was to be aware. Luckily, amma and avi had made sure to hone her perceptive skills into an instinct. A soft nicker drawing near only confirmed the vague feeling. She had hoped it might be Bella, but knew the aura and the cadence were different. Someone new then, not a threat as far as she could tell--someone younger. Well, this could be interesting.

"Hello." She addressed the hedges, wondering if whoever was hidden in them would come forward or simply move along their way. She had been accustomed to both outcomes--as long as she had her toys and tools, she would be content.
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Posting Elemental
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Post Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:21 pm

Re: Tinkering

It talked! Or it seemed to. The floaty things flipped and bobbed and rattled and then, quite suddenly, she heard a voice call out.

You talked! she said, and trotted closer, tilting her head in an effort to understand what she was seeing, exactly. And that's when she saw the other filly. She had to laugh, of course the floaty whatsit hadn't talked. Dat - that was you then! she grinned, automatically correcting herself. It was a work in progress.

Are you makin' the floaty-whatsit go together? she asked, stretching her nose out to take a sniff at the odd thing. That's really neat. My only trick is pay'in'. No, she said, frowning intensely in concentration, Pay... Paint-ting. Pantin'. Painting!

With that she sat down and motioned to a nearby trunk with her nose. Shifting the atmosphere and the sunlight slightly, she got a ribbon of colors to drift down from the treetops and splash against the bark in an image of the new filly. It wasn't perfect or intricately detailed, but it was a trick she could do; at home, though the nights were short, she could make ribbons of flaming light weave pictures in the sky.

My bonded said I was almost named Aurora, which is what the fire-lights in the sky are called, but Momma wanted a two-part name. I think it'd be silly to have the same name as my trick, though, so I'm glad they picked AuraSidra. Can I watch you do your trick?

She looked back to the floaty bits with that and tilted her head curiously. She had absolutely no idea what it could be, other than something that was being put together.
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Post Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:37 am

Re: Tinkering

The new filly was bold, and by her lisp quite a bit younger than herself or Bellatrix. Astarte smiled by way of greeting, and let her new companion carry on with the conversation while she listened and continued to work. She hadn't had any experience with young foals, but she was sure interruption wouldn't be proper even if she was the eldest. She was a little wary as the young one reached out her nose to sniff at the floating project--but it was still sleeping as of yet, so no harm there.

She gasped as the sunlight heeded the filly's call and her mirror image shone against a nearby tree. Still, the ethereal medium couldn't quite make her forget her plainness; some part of her still sighed at the fact that out of all the foals she had met or seen, she seemed to have drawn the short end of the stick when it came to fanciful looks. Ah well, it would get in the way of her gift, perhaps, if she had gotten amma's wings. Better that she take after avi's no-nonsense physique. "That's quite the trick," she mused, nodding at her companion as one craftsman to another. "Thank you for showing it to me."

Ah, the slip into names. She remembered how she and Bella had laughed at the grand promises behind their names, however this one seemed to hold them to be of great importance. Perhaps she knew something they didn't, taught different lessons by her bonded. "Hello AuraSidra. My name is Astarte, just one part. I guess my parents went for simplicity."

She was getting the hang of where the crystal tubes went, fanning out the top of the main body and protected by a woven framework. The pile of loose pieces was getting gradually smaller. She met AuraSidra's eyes and nodded, her smile turning a bit nervous around the edges. "Of course, just, um...if I tell you to run, could you do it, please? Sometimes these things can be a bit grumpy when they wake up."
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Posting Elemental
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Post Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:50 pm

Re: Tinkering

A... Uhs-tart-tay, she repeated, carefully rolling the name around with comedic seriousness. Astarte. I's - It's very pretty. She paused and took her first good look at the older filly, raking her gaze over her with a critical eye. Then quite suddenly she perked into a bright grin and added You're very pretty too, so it's a good name.

Her attention quickly went back to the odd hoozi-whatsits, trying to find some sort of context where she might actually have a frame of reference. The clear bits might have looked a little bit like smoother, more see-through versions of the crystals that she was trading with Spectrum for. They were an odd shape, but the texture looked about right. Maybe?

I can paint more for you, if you want, she chattered, tilting her head with the rotating pieces, Darroch tells me to pract-tice... Practice. He says I bug him enough to be a little sister, but he's pretty nice and thinks all the time, so he knows everything. Don't tell him that though.

She glanced up here, showing Astarte a rather impish grin as she added He and my bonded tell me things the other grownups won't, so I has ta be careful not to mess that up.

She'd almost missed the warning that she might have to run amid all her chatter. As the declaration of having some wake up grumpy sank in, AuraSidra went from curious to positively perky. Her ears pricked forward and her eyes shone bright, a quick nod bubbling up in answer.

I'm good at runnin', she claimed with obvious enjoyment, I don't even fall. I've had lots of practice. Will you run too, or stay put and tell the hoosi-whatsit to not be grumpy? I can stay close to help.

This was her kind of discovery - it was nice to be friendly and find neat new tricks with odd things, but potential adventure was loads better. Her ears practically quivered as she stared at the trinket, waiting to see what it would do. So her nose wasn't as close as it had been; so what? She had to be ready to run, didn't she?
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