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Re: Tinkering

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:42 pm
by Silverdust
"Beautiful indeed," Astarte mused in agreement, following along as AuraSidra led them on again. Not the exact kind of treasure she'd wanted, but there was still more to explore. For now the soft flow of stones served a little comforting, reminding her of the worn walls of her childhood home. As if in response, she felt the fireglow warm a little, like reaching out a hand.

She nodded as AuraSidra outlined her unique family ties. It seemed comforting, to have such a diverse clan to fall back on, so many souls to take the place of a mother or father. For the first part of her life she'd been secreted away, the heart of a small and intimate unit. Only after Amma and Avi had taught her, well, something, only then did they take her out to the world. All the bondmates she met felt close, and certainly most of them tried to do their best, but to her she'd only ever known two parents.

"It's sort of like that around my amma and avi." She adjusted her stride a bit, the floor starting to slope down. "They each bonded to different souls, but sisters. I stay with my amma's bonded so I know them a little better. My avi wanders with his bondmates. They're gone often, but it feels like--well like everyone's connected, so even if they're far away, the pull of the heart is there. Most of the time, anyways. I may feel it stronger when I bond."

Was it really worth it though? The way Avi, Sive, everyone was so worried about Avalir, like some part of them had been locked up and they'd lost the key. And no one would tell her anything, really, because she was still the youngest, still unbonded and unburdened. She sighed in time with AuraSidra's confession. "It's difficult to find that space to be yourself, isn't it? Sometimes I feel like I'll always be the littlest one, even when I'm grown."

She stumbled a bit on an uneven dip. Well, until she could get a proper hold on her body talking about being an adult was simply that. "My family, I guess it might be a little big. Amma and avi, that's what I call my mother and father. Dayi means 'uncle', I have maybe three that I really know. And then a handful of khalas, 'aunts'. The Bonded have another sister too, but I've never met her. She's a little...distant?"

Her thought trailed off into a sharp question as AuraSidra cried out and abruptly stopped. Lucky she did or else Astarte would've found herself walking right into the pool. She raised her head with the light, tracing the flares off the glowing orbs dripping from the ceiling and the low shine from the center of the lake. Neat, indeed. She giggled at her friend's surprised squeal, copying her motion of testing the water. "I guess this is some kind of hot spring. I didn't know you could find them in caves."

But AuraSidra could only go so long without a plan; she was starting to have an awareness of that. Her own creativity was a focused thing, methodical and chugging along quietly until needed. Her companion's seemed to be an endless river rapid, flinging up new ideas on the bank at a whim, a mere fraction of what was roiling down below. But, it gave her something to work with. She nodded--nowhere near as wary as her friend's bondmates might've warned her to be--and started to turn back up the slope. "Okay, how do you suppose we get the shiny stuff down from the ceiling? Might be heavier than it looks."

Re: Tinkering

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:30 pm
by Songhue
Heavy could be a good thing, if the weight helped break sections free easier. She might not be able to fly too well, but she thought if she could press her hooves against a wall to help support her she might manage it. Better yet if they had the icicle shape she thought they did; it could be rolled or wedged just as easily.

Can we use your neck sack? she asked, continuing to use her well-honed skills on how to get into things. If we put ev'ything in a safe spot it could catch the shiny stuff. Tie one end to my tail an' hold the other an' I can get up high enough to kick some loose.

It didn't even occur to her that having shiny stones falling at her friend's head might not be the best of ideas; she was so comfortable with risk that it didn't even register any more, honestly.

Of course, the crux of this plan rested on Astarte, so once they found the shiny bits again she stopped and waited; maybe there was another idea she hadn't thought of. She seemed a little distracted though, contemplating what 'aunt' or 'uncle' was. Part of the family, that was clear, but beyond that the role was a mystery to her. Her bonded had an aunt, she'd heard; someone more than a sister, not quite in the roll of a mother. Maybe that was the same thing here. But then what was an uncle?

She loved listening to Astarte; she learned so much!

In the meantime though, she needed to work out how she was going to kick the things up there loose if she had to use just her front legs. Oh! And then it came to her; she'd do more than use her legs, she'd dive straight forward and throw her whole weight into it. Her sharp hooves should do the rest.

Perfect. Unless it wasn't.

She looked at Astarte and tilted her head, curious. Something would happen now that would decide how they continued exploring.

Re: Tinkering

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am
by Silverdust
"Hm, let me think a minute." Astarte gazed at the dripping ceiling, pondering her friend's plan. It was sound, theoretically, if a number of factors were exactly as they needed to be. Gravity would favor them in getting the stones down when cracked, but might accelerate them hard enough that they tore right through the canvas, however sturdy. That was also an issue, actually...

"My neck sack might not be long enough to let you reach the ceiling if we tethered you to it," Astarte mused. She slipped it over her head and untied it, taking quick note of the dimensions. While large enough to make a fair work space, it was short a good length to reach the tips of the stone formations. "We can still use it to carry the bowls, but..."

She looked up again. Amma's wings would come in handy now, wouldn't they? She didn't doubt that AuraSidra's hooves were sharp, and she had a raw determination that made up for physical strength in a way, but those stone draperies did look quite solid. If only she could get up there, use her larger bulk, instead of relying on her friend's wings all the time. She'd mentioned she'd tired them out too, hadn't she? Would it really be alright if--

But, no. AuraSidra had also confided in her, her need to not be the baby, for someone to trust her to be herself. So, Astarte needed to have faith in the filly's abilities, and help her as best she could. They'd get those stones down.

She murmured the hand spell, turning back to her open canvas. There were two larger gears she remembered, ah, yes, there--these would do nicely. Deftly, she slipped them over her invisible "wrists". "Alright, if you can knock a few pieces lose, or chip away at them, I can pry them away using my hands. Or catch them, if you knock 'em down. The gears will help you see where they are if you need to aim. Sound good?"

To be honest, she'd never used her "arms" for any heavy lifting before, but she'd see elaborations of the spell in Sive's book and had a good memory. At heart, she was of the fae--she needed to remember that. Magic was just like putting together a puzzle. She could do this. The fireglow brightened in agreement, casting the rose light high into the eaves of the ceiling.

"Oh, see where the light seems to go through the stone? The slender part in between? That might be a good place to test how easy they are to break." Astarte readied herself for AuraSidra's next move. She'd trust her friend to set her own limits, just as her bondmates did.

Re: Tinkering

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:59 am
by Songhue
Brilliant! she squeaked, and gave a quick buck of sheer joy. She loved working with her; they seemed to make a great team. Her admiration for her friend went up a notch as well - while playing with the auroras was fun she didn't have a proper handle on general magic. She could shift realms, hear energies sing, but nothing like what Astarte was putting together; no true and proper spells. Only her Bonded worked with those that she knew of, the rest going off of instinct and the mood of the elements, but not this filly. She was really lucky to have found such a friend.

Spinning around and craning her head up she eyeballed the curtain of shimmering stones, attempting to judge the misplacement her efforts at gaining altitude might cause. Her wings gave a creak of protest as she flexed them; they'd been worked hard today. Still, they passed the test in as much as she thought she could still get the job done. Something inside her insisted that whatever lay on the bottom of that lake was just the sort of thing for Astarte. It looked completely alien to her, any way.

Eyeballing the cogs, she gathered herself together and launched up and forward, grunting slightly as she flapped hard and spun a tight circle to line up with the nearly clear stone. Propping her back legs on the wall did prove to be useful, taking much of the weight off her wings, but now she was flapping in a manner she'd rarely utilized before - primarily in a backwards direction. Working new muscles felt strange, but it was better than straining tired ones.

Pushing forward with her legs and leaning down into the strike, AuraSidra managed to line herself up with the crack and plummet forward in an effort to get a break in the first strike. She kept one ear towards the cogs, watching that they were on the proper side to catch if the stone shot backwards.

It didn't; it didn't even break all the way. A thick crack did burrow deep into the base, however, and with a surprising amount of energy fueled from hard-headed determination she managed to throw herself back against the wall and launch forward once more. This time it did break free, dangling from a hinged corner in the back as the coating of shine was the last to give way. It gave her just enough time to hook her front legs around it in an effort to help slow the fall, though between the weight of their newfound anchor and the lantern hanging on her neck, the required counter balance was quite extreme.

As a result she lurched downwards rather sharply, though she thought she felt a ghostly pressure against her stomach helping to bring her head back above her tail; it might have been her imagination for all she could tell. In the end she steadied herself halfway down, found the cogs, and let her front legs release their burden as slowly as she could - it was the best she could do to keep from simply dropping it.

The rest was up to Astarte. Her legs were wobbly when she landed and her wings hung limply for the first few seconds, but there was a fierce grin on her face; it certainly had a good weight to it. It'd be just the thing to help them keep track of the shore. The rest would be easy by comparison; some of the strings in the other cavern, gathered by the hand spell. AuraSidra could help the light reach, too, if she fluttered just a little bit more; it didn't seem likely that the flame in the lantern could reach quite that high. But then, it was another bit of Astarte's magics; it very well might.

This could work.

Re: Tinkering

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:50 am
by Silverdust
Astarte tracked AuraSidra's flight with a careful eye, keeping the gears as steady as she could. The fireglow, nervous at such a new height, sputtered uneasily in its cradle. "Steady," Astarte murmured, mostly to herself, but it seemed to reach the enchantment through whatever odd pathway they shared. The light stilled, swinging only in time with AuraSidra's movements.

Her eyes furrowed a little at every violent strike. AuraSidra did have power in her, power and stubbornness, but again came the thoughts of her friend's relatively soft bones and growing frame. But that just meant she'd heal quicker, right? Probably make herself even stronger. Nature's way. She smiled as she heard the first crack, then readied herself as the filly spun again for the final assault.

There! The stone was free now, hanging by a thread, but AuraSidra grabbed it by her front legs, probably to slow the fall. Astarte's stomach dropped as her companion staggered forward under the weight. "I've got it, let it go!"

But there seemed to be no need to worry, at least not as much. Something was helping her friend find balance again, perhaps some enchantment of her Elemental guardian. Didn't matter, as long as she was safe. Now she could concentrate on her task.

She caught the stone, winced as its weight bent her tenuous limbs at an unnatural angle. There would be trade off for this, she knew. Even magical body parts took their toll; a low ache was starting to dance up and down her spine, a confused pain spreading throughout her body for lack of any real place to go. Still, if her friend could keep up her tired wings, she could deal with these ghostly protests. Biting her lip, she eased the rock over her head and lowered it gently onto her back, balancing it with the help of her hands. She shot a triumphant--if a bit wearied--smile at AuraSidra, a mirror to her fierce joy.

"So, now back to the water?" She bent her head to knot up her neck sack again. A little more difficult to do with her teeth, but she felt it best not to summon any more hands until needed.

Re: Tinkering

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:21 am
by Songhue
As soon as the stone was balancing on her friend's back she leapt forward, automatically reaching to help tweak the necksack to make walking easier as she shuffled in to share the weight. No way was she letting Astarte carry this thing by herself! Her back was lower, sure, but even at that angle she could help out, if she was given a chance.

Part of her had thought to drag the strange, shiny thing on the necksack, but that was before she'd hooked her legs over it to help keep it from slamming into the enchantment. It was heavy enough that dragging it probably wouldn't have been practical, and if nothing else the sturdy sack would have been in danger of being ripped up by the rough floor.

It's a short walk she said, trying to bump the stone over onto her back with one half-extended wing, The sooner we move the betta.

She arched her neck down to tweak the little crystal lantern as well, making sure she wouldn't bump it with her front legs as she'd tried to do for Astarte's sack. Their steps would be a bit altered, what with the extra weight; adjustments would be required.

And when we get there, since I's smaller, if we just lay down it should let the low end be on the ground and we can slide it off with a bit of wrigglin', she added, letting her mind spin ahead. Easing it off their backs should be easier than trying to lift it again in any way, especially as that layer of shine on it was rather smooth; it wouldn't scratch them up, though it had enough texture from the underlying layers to keep from simply falling off.

Still, AuraSidra was glad that the hardest part was nearly over. This would pay off when it came time to drag herself back onto shore; this thing was certainly heavy enough to be stable as she tugged her way up.

Or as Astarte tugged her way up; she thought the older filly may wind up being the better swimmer, and the little flame that brightened the glow the moss shot through the crystal would certainly appreciate accompanying Astarte under the water more than her. She couldn't blame it; of course the hotspring would make the little thing nervous.

And then she'd get to know what that strange contraption was; something with bright colors that reminded her a bit of her friend Spectrum - she'd never heard the term 'stained glass' before. But then the water was distorting things - curiosity made her skin itch with anticipation.