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The eruption of Mount Garben has forced the people of Landing to evacuate north. Under a storm of ash and Thread, the colonists make the perilous journey to Fort Hold. The riders fulfill their duty at last, and a new era dawns for the Pernese--join the plot here.

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 Where Are The Strong, [05.15] Audley/Prongs
Fiona Blair
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 08:08 PM
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Dragonriders
Gold Weyrling
Inoth | #f6802b
62 posts | 545 marks
written by Moony

There were benefits to being the daughter of a veteran, to having served as a sled pilot before volunteering as part of the dragon project. Falling into the military tendencies of the Candidate program came easy to her. Eight years ago, when they first landed, Fiona never would've stood for such things - had thought she was above such things. Strange how time, and So she didn't grumble or complain when Barracks maintenance time came. Instead they sectioned to jobs - hers being to sweep and mop with another candidate she had yet to meet formally.

Of course, that was true of most of the Candidates. They were kept busy enough that there was little enough time for socialization. When they did have free time it was hard to not be so exhausted that one fell into themselves, to the reigning quiet. She'd been guilty of it herself, and the Candidate program wasn't easy. Military she may have already been, but this was still difficult.

Looking at the floors that they had been left to clean, Fiona glanced to the other woman. "So, how do you want to get started?"

Prongs
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Audley Villemaire
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 08:25 PM
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Dragonriders
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83 posts | 635 marks
written by Prongs

Moony

There was a vast difference between being a medic and being a candidate. The schedule was much more rigorous, and there was a lot more physical activity. It was a good thing that Audley didn't really have any friends to begin with - she couldn't miss them now that she didn't really have time for anything other than eating and working.

Case in point - she was standing in a hallway, staring at the floor, paired up with a woman she had never met to sweep and mop the floor. Audley had tried to say that she could have done the chore on her own - no use making two people do the labor - but that had been shot down faster than she could blink.

Apparently being paired up was a team building exercise or something. Audley didn't pretend to understand the military logic, she'd just nodded her head and gone along with it.

And now her partner was speaking to her. "Oh." Audley blinked and looked slightly up at Fiona. "Um." She looked back down at the floor and frowned slightly as she considered two things. One, how to answer Fiona's question from a logical standpoint and two, how to answer Fiona's question from a words standpoint. "Ah," she tried again, swallowing just a bit before she looked up again. This time she didn't quite meet Fiona's gaze.

"I could sweep if you wanted to mop?" she suggested softly.
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Fiona Blair
 Posted on: Feb 15 2018, 07:14 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Gold Weyrling
Inoth | #f6802b
62 posts | 545 marks
written by Moony

Seeing her face, Fiona remembered where she had seen the other woman before. Before either of them had entered the Candidate Program, she'd had a minor injury patched up by her before. "Audley, right? I'm Fiona Blair." She felt a little bad for those who were new to this kind of life. While for Fiona she had been in it for so long it was like breathing, not everyone was like that.

For that matter, Fiona herself had needed an adjustment period when first joining the sled pilots. That in mind, she offered Audley a smile. "That would take too much time. Why don't you start on that side. We'll do half the barracks at a time so we both sweep towards the center. Once this side is done we'll mop it, sweep the other side, and mop that one." It seemed more efficient to have one person mop while the other swept. But she'd tried that before. It just ended up with dirt trailed on freshly mopped floors and water dripping all over piles of dirt.

Not to mention people tripping all over each other.
Prongs
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Audley Villemaire
 Posted on: Feb 15 2018, 08:22 PM
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Dragonriders
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83 posts | 635 marks
written by Prongs

Moony

Surprise skittered through her when the other woman said her name. Audley looked up and actually looked at Fiona long enough to recognize her face. She remembered this woman - she'd patched her up once or twice. "I remember," she said softly, a quick smile flitting across her face before she looked away again.

Oh. She supposed that Fiona's way did make more sense. Even if she didn't though it wasn't like she would actually speak up and say that. Audley nodded her agreement and went to get the brooms. She returned with one in each hand and shyly held the second one out to Fiona.

Doing this kind of chore would feel like it lasted forever if they worked in silence. Audley knew that, and needed to find the proper words to strike up a conversation. Fiona seemed like the kind of person that knew how to talk like a proper human being. "Um. How long have you been a candidate?" she asked. That was a good start! Satisfied with herself Audley started to sweep, her motions careful and precise.
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Fiona Blair
 Posted on: Feb 19 2018, 07:12 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Gold Weyrling
Inoth | #f6802b
62 posts | 545 marks
written by Moony

Truthfully, Fiona likely would have been just as content if Audley had decided to work in quiet, but the fact that the other woman was going to make an attempt was good. Part of why they were working together was to build a sense of comradery, after all. It seemed good that they would talk, share stories, get to know one another.

"I actually officially joined the day before that odd clutch we just had. One of the little ugly cat lizards stepped on my foot too." Ruined a good pair of leather boots while he'd been at it. Still, her voice was hardly offended, and instead sounded more amused than anything. She'd replaced the boots easily enough and moved on with her day after getting the scratches cleaned. Truthfully it'd hardly been anything, but the amount of bleeding make it seem worse than it had been.

"What about you? What made a medic decide military was the career for her?" Truthfully she was curious. There were plenty of people she could see joining, but Audley? Who seemed uncomfortable talking, but could patch you up faster than you'd even realize? It seemed an odd mix.

Prongs
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Audley Villemaire
 Posted on: Feb 19 2018, 09:55 PM
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Dragonriders
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83 posts | 635 marks
written by Prongs

Audley's head snapped up when Fiona mentioned she'd been scratched. "I didn't notice," she murmured, sounding slightly aggrieved. She'd been so wrapped up in her own worries and fear that she'd missed someone who was wounded. "I'm glad the wounds weren't serious." Medical matters meant that Audley could speak calmly and in full sentences, which was nice.

Fiona chose that moment to ask why Audley had become a candidate. It was an innocent enough question but Audley's cheeks still turned a bit pink, and for a moment she looked down and concentrated on the chore she was doing. "I wanted to help," she finally said quietly. "I wanted to try being good at something other than being a medic, and I wanted to help."

She glanced up at the other candidate and smiled in a fleeting, uncertain kind of way. "And you see the ones who Impressed in that first clutch, and how their dragons are, and..." she swallowed and shrugged, knowing that this reason probably sounded a little selfish. "I want something like that."

This was the part where, in a normal conversation, the question would be reversed. "I know you're a sled pilot," she said, doing her level best to speak in a normal volume. "Why did you become a candidate and choose dragons over sleds?"
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Fiona Blair
 Posted on: Feb 23 2018, 10:45 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Gold Weyrling
Inoth | #f6802b
62 posts | 545 marks
written by Moony

Smirking, Fiona gave Audley a wink. "I've gotten worse injuries than a scratch by a wrinkled cat lizard." She commented playfully. She was generally careful, didn't like getting injured. It was part of fighting thread, of course. But there were always steps that could be taken. It helped to be surrounded by a metal sled.

There was a soft smile on Fiona's face as she swept, as she listened to Audley's reasoning. The want to be good at something more, to be more. To help. ...To have that same bond. "I want something like that too." The words were quiet. Determined. She wanted that, that bond, that comradery.

Still, the question earned an almost shrug from her. "I want to protect everyone too." To give others a peaceful life. "But the fuel for the sleds won't last forever. It was never meant to. It's silly to pretend that we can just continue to use the sleds to fight thread. We don't know how long this will continue. We can't be sure that the sled fuel will last."

Prongs
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Audley Villemaire
 Posted on: Mar 11 2018, 03:10 PM
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Dragonriders
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83 posts | 635 marks
written by Prongs

Moony

"I'm sure," she murmured, giving Fiona a hesitant smile in return for the wink. It didn't matter to her if the other woman had had worse injuries - Audley was a medic, she should have helped. Instead she'd been too busy jointly holding onto Connor and being worried about herself. What did that say about her future as a dragonrider if she couldn't keep her wits about her during a stressful situation?

A very faint frown stole onto Audley's face as Fiona talked. Worrying about the sled fuel was a pastime something that a lot of Landing's residents probably indulged in. It was a logical reason to want the dragon program to succeed, but it didn't explain why Fiona herself had wanted to join. Was it rude to say that though? She didn't want to seem like she was questioning the other woman's motives, or that she didn't believe her.

So she found a circuitous route to perhaps maybe ask the same thing.

"Are you worried about being grounded?" she asked softly. "If the sleds run out of fuel you can't fly, but if you have a dragon..." Audley trailed off, the hesitant smile on her face wobbly around the edges, like she expected Fiona to be upset with her question.
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Fiona Blair
 Posted on: Mar 11 2018, 08:25 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Gold Weyrling
Inoth | #f6802b
62 posts | 545 marks
written by Moony

Fiona shrugged a little. "Partly." She admitted, almost hesitant. That wasn't the only reason she wanted to fly. "There's something exhilarating about flying." There was something satisfying about helping, about protecting. "I don't mean the flying in space, or anything like that... have you ever flown in a sled?" Fiona asked, curious.

Every movement was careful, measured. Timed. It was like a violent, aerial dance. It wasn't her passion, not what she had originally wanted for her life, but bloody hell if it wasn't satisfying, if there wasn't something breathtaking about flying high above the ground.

"I like the level of control, the danger... the slightest move can get you hurt. Or it can save the entire group of fighters at your level. Everything is precise. And flying when there isn't threadfall..." There was a breath like a sigh. "You can forget everything."

Prongs
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Audley Villemaire
 Posted on: Mar 12 2018, 06:16 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
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83 posts | 635 marks
written by Prongs

Moony

Relief coursed through Audley when Fiona didn't get mad at her or brush her question off. The hesitance in the other woman's voice made Audley feel a little bad, but she let Fiona finish her explanation before she said anything. "I don't think it's a bad thing, to want to fly," she said softly. Dragonriders had to like being in the sky after all - flying against Thread was the whole point of being a dragonrider.

It was obvious that Fiona loved what she did. She sounded like Audley knew she herself did when she talked about medicine. Both of them were giving up something they loved to do something else, although Fiona was switching gears more than she was changing career paths.

"I've never flown," she admitted with a shake of her head. "I've never had a reason to, or had anyone who would take me." Audley lifted one shoulder in a slightly dismissive shrug. Like having a firelizard, the idea of flying wasn't something she'd much entertained until she'd become a candidate for the dragon program. She didn't mind keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground.

Then again, she didn't much mind the idea of leaving the ground either. "It's nice to have something that helps you forget," Audley murmured. Life could be difficult, and having something that took you away from that, even for a second, was priceless. "That's how I feel about medicine."
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Fiona Blair
 Posted on: Apr 4 2018, 07:28 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Gold Weyrling
Inoth | #f6802b
62 posts | 545 marks
written by Moony

"We don't get to fly for joy as much as we'd like anymore." Fiona admitted, shrugging a little. "Otherwise I'd offer to take you." The fuel that was left was dedicated to practice and fighting thread, not so much joyrides. There were things that had to be done, even outside of those things.

She swept in silence for a moment. Fiona supposed that flying really did help her forget. But it was more than forgetting - you couldn't forget thread when you were fighting it. But how to describe it to someone who had never flown? Who had never felt the exhilaration.

"With medicine... do you ever get a rush when you have to patch someone up who's injured? You're so fully focused, everything else stops existing except what you are doing right in that very moment. It's dangerous. Even the smallest movement can end in further injury or death?" She asked, suddenly looking at Audley seriously.

"That is flying. Not just when you fight thread, but all the time. Every time you get in the air, your adrenaline rushes, your blood is pumping. You're so utterly focused because even the small loss of focus can end in injury or death." It was a grim way to look at it. But Audley was a medic. And she knew sled pilots. It was that danger, that risk, that they all lived and breathed.

"It's like standing at the very edge of ledge... and standing en pointe. The slightest gust of wind, shift of weight or misstep can take you tumbling down. But its beautiful and exciting and dangerous."

Prongs
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Audley Villemaire
 Posted on: Apr 13 2018, 09:54 AM
Quote
Dragonriders
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83 posts | 635 marks
written by Prongs

Fiona’s would-have-been offer made Audley smile a little bit. “That’s very sweet of you,” she murmured. She listened attentively as Fiona discussed how flying made her feel, but the comparison between what Fiona felt while flying and what Audley felt while helping someone had her shaking her head.

“No, it’s...” She frowned slightly as she looked for the right words. “It’s calm. I don’t get a rush from it so much as it settles me down.” Audley was a quiet, shy bucket of jangling nerves all of the time, except for when she was practicing medicine. “I know what I’m doing when I’m patching someone up, and helping them just... helps.” Maybe that sort of explanation didn’t make sense to someone who obviously had her life together. Truth be told it didn’t really make much sense to Audley either, but it was what it was.

Audley had helped sled pilots before - had helped Fiona herself before - and though she couldn’t understand that rush of feeling the other woman spoke of she had seen it. Seen it in the way the injured people always insisted that they be allowed to go back outside and get back to work, had seen it in the light that glinted in their eyes when she told them no, or told them that yes, they could go back.

“It sounds wonderful,” she said honestly, giving Fiona another shy smile. Maybe that was another reason she had joined the program - she wanted to feel like she was standing en pointe on a cliff edge. Or maybe she just wanted a friend. “I imagine it would be even moreso on the back of a dragon.”

Moony
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Fiona Blair
 Posted on: Apr 13 2018, 06:08 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Gold Weyrling
Inoth | #f6802b
62 posts | 545 marks
written by Moony

Looking at Audley, Fiona was quiet. She had noticed that Audley was... timid was a good word. Outside of her status as a medic, she was shy and nervous from Fiona's own observation. She was pretty sure the other woman was only talking to her because at some level they already knew one another. Where as Fiona... she was calm most of the time. In the air was always when she burst into motion, into life.

"That makes a sort of sense, actually. I've seen you work on pilots. You seem collected." Far more than Fiona would have been herself if she had ever needed to do that. Oh, she would've been calm outside she was sure. Inside, she was quite confident that she'd be a ball of nerves.

Fiona's own smile went soft at the thought of flying on a dragon. "I imagine it is." And far more dangerous than sleds as well. Perhaps once they knew the dragons could truly fight thread, they'd see more and more sled pilots joining the candidates. "Dangerous though. Not much between you and the thread."
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Audley Villemaire
 Posted on: May 3 2018, 05:29 PM
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Dragonriders
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83 posts | 635 marks
written by Prongs

"You have to be collected. No one wants someone with shaking hands trying to stitch up their wounds." Medicine was like a puzzle - every piece fit together just so, and everything could be put back together if you took your time and were careful about it.

Audley swept up her pile of dust and dirt and carefully scooped it into her dust pan. "There's also not much standing between you and a long, fast fall to the ground," she said quietly. None of them seemed to care about that though. Even she didn't really care about that. There were bigger, more immediate concerns than the possibility of death when you were on the back of a dragon.

Besides, if any of them had minded that danger, none of them would have joined the program.

"I've seen the riders from that first clutch with their dragons," she murmured, looking Fiona directly in the eye for once. Audley looked like one wrong move might spook her into fleeing but she looked determined as well. "I want that. I want...I want a friend like that. Is it selfish, to want that?"

Moony
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Fiona Blair
 Posted on: May 6 2018, 04:24 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Gold Weyrling
Inoth | #f6802b
62 posts | 545 marks
written by Moony

There was no hesitation as Fiona answered Audley's question. "No. No that isn't selfish." Fiona was capable of being selfish - maybe not to other people's views, but she was. She took up sled piloting not out of any desire to save or protect Landing, but to protect her own father. That was why she continued it, as well. She didn't want to see her father hurt. Now she did it out of a sense of duty, but also out of a desire to protect those who were dreamers like she had been.

Not that she'd say as much to Audley. Or anyone. Ever. Perhaps that made her selfish, as well.

"I think that's what we all want, at some level. Someone we can rely on, who will have our backs and support us." She shrugged. Sled pilots could be competitive. They worked together, but they were like a family. Arguments sparked and egos clashed. Constantly. She was sure that as she got used to the barracks, she'd find the same was true here, as well.

But for now, she met Audley's gaze, something honest there for once.
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