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  • Quiet: But yeah I think Fergus will be interesting to write once he gets in the game. :-)
    October 18, 2020, 01:48:13 AM
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Messages - Miranda Carlstedt-Gaus

Pages: [1] 2
1
Trost District / Re: If the Shoe...Flies (Pixis/Open)
« on: August 08, 2020, 05:08:03 AM »
The familiar nickname warmed Miranda and she readily crouched down for a tight hug. "Oh you're getting so big!" she said, and listened attentively to the latest news from Brigita's world. Rolf had passed this chatter stage and in a way she missed it.

She kept adding enthusiastic 'oh really?'s and 'so what did you do next?'s to the little girl's train of thought as she stood, smiled at Pixis and nodded to let him know she heard him, and resumed the meandering search for the shoe. The bushes were old and dense, so it was unlikely something as light as a child's shoe could have penetrated too deeply -- gone behind them, between the foliage and the building, however...

"Oh you know," she began in answer to Pixis' question as she pushed herself through a small, scratchy gap in the hedge and began searching behind it, "The usual turn-ins. When I have a day off I like to get all of the errands out of way before I fetch Rolf from his carers. And now apparently being pressed into service as a shoe detective!" she chuckled and reached over to tickle Brigita. "How about yourself? It's been so long!"

2
IC / Re: Days Gone By [OPEN]
« on: August 02, 2020, 03:47:21 AM »
Miranda turned on her heel at a voice addressing her, returned the salute she was given somewhat awkwardly on account of the hand not holding Rolf's holding the cordial.

"...Am I interrupting your time with your..."

Miranda's smile broadened. She was used to this kind of uncertainty by now. "This is my grandson, Rolf." She looked down at the boy and wiggled his hand encouragingly. "Say 'hi'."

Rolf echoed her around the strip of fruit leather half-stuffed in his mouth.

She didn't think she recognized the younger soldier in front of her, which happened every so often -- much as she tried to get to know everyone, or at least remember names, she had to remind herself that she'd only taught for five years now and couldn't possibly meet everyone. There was a certain urgency to his tone, and he seemed polite enough. She was happy to stop for a moment and even help, but that didn't necessarily mean she was free to give out information to just anyone.

"I'm sorry, you must not have been one of my students. I'm Instructor Miranda Carlstedt-Gaus. I didn't catch your name?"

3
Utopia District / Just Dropping In! [Farran]
« on: May 03, 2020, 09:02:35 PM »
Early Summer 847
Central Utopia

Miranda slotted the last of her heavy assessment record files onto the shelf behind her new desk. Well, not precisely new -- it was the one she occupied most often in their biennial rotation of the Training Corps when they came to Utopia. She put her hands on her hips and let out a huff of satisfaction, admiring her now fully-unpacked and organized workspace in the communal office. As she took her glasses off to clean them and glanced around the room she realized that she was alone. Not that it surprised her. Most of the other instructors had only gradually unpacked, favoring an early start to the time off they had now that they and the cadets had finished the long trip here.

Just means you'll have less to do in the morning, Miranda told herself.

As usual she'd been so fixated on filling whatever time she had with work that she couldn't even remember where the others had planned on going, if anywhere. Judging by the light coming through the windows it was likely pitching toward late afternoon. The sunbeams alighted on the framed pictures of herself with her husband and Ruth, a child at the time, and the one of Ruth with Rolf around the same age. She missed them deeply, but missing Rolf had its own flavor -- what was he up to now with his carers, with her so far away? She breathed deep. "That'll do you no good," she muttered and put her glasses back on.

She'd done everything she could in here to distract herself and now found that she had dreaded free time and no idea how to fill it. A glance down at herself showed her the streaks of dust on her uniform. A change of clothes first, maybe, then a wander around town. It'd been a while since she'd been this far north, after all.

As she grabbed her uniform jacket and satchel -- still stuffed with the provisions for the ride up here -- she suddenly realized what could fill the time. She smiled to herself. "I can think of someone else I should check on. That counts as time off, surely." She headed downstairs to look up the address with the secretary.

4
Trost District / Re: If the Shoe...Flies (Pixis/Open)
« on: April 18, 2020, 02:05:35 PM »
Right, that's done, Miranda thought as she clapped her leather portfolio shut. She smiled at the HQ custodian, who'd been one of her students once upon a time. "See you next time, Bart. Give love to the family for me."

"You too Ms Miranda. Try to take some actual time off rather than using it as an excuse to run other people's errands, eh?" he replied.

"I'll do my best."

It wasn't a lie exactly, but she knew that was one bad habit that she'd struggle to break for the foreseeable future. Today, for example, she figured she'd swing by HQ to turn in a gaggle of other Instructors' inventory reports on her way to pick up Rolf. She'd done it without thinking, even though she'd been 'off' since yesterday afternoon. Even allotted for extra time so she wouldn't be late.

You're terrible, she chided herself and tucked the portfolio under her arm. She forced herself to adopt a more leisurely pace and not think about other 'opportunities for efficiency' that could fill the day or even the walk to Rolf's carer. A start is to just stop for a moment.

Miranda paused outside the main headquarters building and took a deep breath, enjoying the feel of the sun through her light linen blouse. Her gaze roved to the grassy nook someone had kindly established and furnished decades ago; the bushes were larger than she remembered, the footpaths more worn, but the swing was still there. Bradlen had first told her he loved her by that swing, when they'd got out from turning in a late-night report. She'd brought Rolf here a few times too, when homelife and work had yet again found no separation.

As her gaze moved farther, though, she noticed something unexpected. Her mouth quirked in an amused smile -- Commander Pixis, with Brigita's hand in his, poking around in the bushes.  "Looking for something?" she called to announce herself.

5
Miranda had been hoping, in a way, that her suspicions would be wrong. To hear that it was indeed parental pressure that was probably the taproot for all these tears felt like a personal wound; Miranda had grown up with a loving and supportive mother and sister and every time she heard of someone not having that, it pained her. It was hard enough to be sub-par, but to struggle and not have the support from the ones that were meant to support you the most was awful. But one thing at a time, she supposed.

"First of all, to say everyone is better than you simply isn't true," Miranda insisted. "You're performing what's called a sweeping generalization -- or, if you like, an over-simplification of people. Success isn't a broad label. People are successful to varying degrees at different things, and where someone is good at one thing, another may struggle with it."

She sat back a little more, hoping that a more authoritative posture would help. She remembered her mother doing a similar thing in her chair at the kitchen table when she was young.

"For example, you excel in the classroom, while others fare better at more physical pursuits. And in the classroom, you excel with figures, while others don't. There's no shame in that. After all, we need all types of skills in order for society to function. If we were all the same we'd crumble. To compare oneself to another is pointless -- you should only compare yourself to who you were yesterday," she finished. "Does that make sense?"

6
It was like watching a squirrel eat. But Miranda suppressed the amused quirk of the corner of her mouth at Michelle's fatalistic words.

"I'm going to fail...I'm going to be sent home."

Miranda watched her for a moment as she cried, upset herself that her suspicions seemed to have been correct. Though this was far from the first time she'd had a cadet crying in her office or even one facing failure, she considered her words carefully.

"I think it's a little early for that," she said first with a small smile, reached out to rub Michelle's shoulder affectionately. "It's healthy to be critical of oneself, but from my understanding, your performance isn't putting you in any danger of being sent home much less not graduating. What's making you feel like this?" Miranda wanted confirmation before she risked probing further -- sharing further, if she was frank. She withdrew the strawberries in their paper nest and leaned forward, cupping it between them, and waited.

7
Training Corps Barracks & Grounds / Re: One shot is all it takes
« on: March 18, 2020, 09:47:43 PM »
Miranda wasn't in the least surprised that Charpentier didn't elaborate -- indeed, looked rather cagey about the subject. Even if Miranda had wanted to discuss it, she was certainly dissuaded from it now. She could appreciate that. After all, she carried her own wound and rarely wished it brought up. The fact that Charpentier may never recover entered her mind and she hoped she was wrong.

Changing subject was likely best. "Have you thought about your choice of division?" she asked her. Some had been more vocal about it than others but she'd yet to hear even a hint from the girl beside her. She wasn't familiar with the Charpentier family, either, so there were no clues there.

8
"Of course," Miranda said without hesitation. It was endearing to have her little shed treated like something far grander or important, but Miranda would have talked to her out in the middle of the street if she had to. She held out a hand to wrap around the girl's shoulders, sympathy blooming in her heart. "Come here, it's all right," she said gently. She held open the door, "It's a little cold and a little cramped, but you're welcome."

Miranda had, of course, noticed a while ago that Michelle was the more fragile of the Whitaker twins. As well as having a more sensitive personality, she couldn't help but pale in comparison to her prodigal brother Michael, and Miranda figured it was only a matter of time before the discouragement would reach its peak. Maybe this was the day. Also, while she couldn't be certain she had a feeling their father had something to do with it -- after all, the Whitaker family was one of a handful of names that carried great weight in the military world. Great expectations. To not have the propensity or ability to reach an expectation was bound to become upsetting eventually, no matter who you were.

She nudged two crates into place across from one another in the small space, tucked her stool in for more room, and sat down. The first thing she offered to Michelle was her extra handkerchief -- the second was the little paper bag of dried strawberries. She smiled understandingly. "How about we talk about it?" she suggested.

9
Training Corps Barracks and Grounds
December, Pre-845

Miranda was never good at afternoons off. She had decided to be kind to her batch of cadets today and ended class about twenty minutes early on account of the bitter temperatures; while it had been relatively clear the wind was biting and clouds on the horizon told of more snow tonight, only a couple of hours away. After sending her assistant home too, she'd retreated to the little shed behind the classroom that she'd commandeered and turned into something resembling an office -- the Instructors' shared office was often too crowded and noisy for her liking. There was just enough room in here for a fold-down board under the tiny, dirty window that served as a small desk, a stool, and boxes of dated training manuals and rusting gun parts waiting to be sent away for refurbishment or scrap.

Next thing will be a portable stove, Miranda thought as she rubbed her hands in their fingerless gloves. Once these boxes are cleared out, anyway. She gave the room a despairing glance as she popped another dried strawberry into her mouth from the paper bag on the desk.

She was about to return to her latest report to Pixis when a date on it caught her eye, and she remembered one of the cadets had had a birthday that day. She grabbed a small notebook from her uniform jacket pocket, turned to that month's page, and jotted the name and day down before she forgot.

A quick flick through other pages for that quarter had her smiling. It was one of her favorite things to do to reward her cadets -- surprise them with group birthday cakes, expensive though they were. Some of them had never had cake before in their life and it pleased her to see their faces light up. Might need two cakes for at this rate. The one from Gulliver's went over well last quarter so maybe --

Footsteps crunching through snow and, shortly, loud sniffing outside broke Miranda's train of thought. She put her pen down and the notebook away, craning her neck to see out the window. She frowned -- Michelle Whitaker was walking by, wiping at her eyes.

Miranda slipped off her perch and took the one step needed to reach the door, pulled it open. Though she normally addressed her cadets by surname, there was no one else around and this seemed to warrant an exception. "Michelle? What's wrong?"

10
Training Corps Barracks & Grounds / Re: One shot is all it takes
« on: March 10, 2020, 05:17:00 PM »
July 847
Shooting Range, Training Corps Barracks and Grounds

Miranda peered over the top of her glasses as the line of recruits made their next round of shots, then back down to her clipboard to make her notes. Her assistant-instructor, largely in charge this session, called out for them to reload. It was at that stage where Miranda began to compile her final thoughts on her cadets and their performance over the past two years and the seriousness with which she took her observations led her to be more of a background figure for a month or two -- graduation was practically around the corner and she had to prepare to have some tough conversations. After all, at this stage in their training no one should be struggling with a rifle or missing a target, even if it wasn't perfect.

She stood from the haybale she'd borrowed, sighed decisively, and looked over the class again. There had been too many cadets in the 104th intake for her to have just one class and this one was mostly composed of the moderately-skilled to mediocre. The prospect of having to have several of those tough conversations in this group alone didn't daunt her, but nonetheless she was glad to at least have the grace of three high-performers to boost her own morale. One of whom was directly in front of her, and had been a surprise.

Miranda placed her hands behind her back and watched Charpentier stand. Even from behind Miranda could tell she was smiling, and as well she should be. Miranda strolled toward her, pride warming her. "You've come a long way in just over a month," she said, her voice warm but also with a certain somberness -- after all, she knew about the accident that had prompted this change, and could barely imagine how terrifying it must have been. "I confess I was hoping you'd step up to your own potential," she added and smiled broadly, "though I'm sorry about the circumstances that brought it about."

11


....Undated, "If the Shoe...Flies"
....OPEN
....with Commander Pixis and his granddaughter Brigita [NPC]


Pre-845

....December, "Snowy Tears and Small Kindnesses"
....with Michelle



845

Spring
....Early May, Initiation Celebration Event. "Days Gone By"
....OPEN
....with her grandson Rolf (NPC) and other initiation attendees

Winter
....Early November, "Live Ammunition"
....OPEN
....with the 104th Cadet Corps



846
None yet



847

Summer
....Early, "Just Dropping In!"
....with Farran

....July, "One shot is all it takes"
....with Sylvia

12
IC / [EVENT] Days Gone By [OPEN]
« on: March 07, 2020, 08:21:08 PM »
Early May, 845
Training Corps Barracks and Grounds

[Initiation Celebration Event]

"Your favorite, Miss Miranda!"

Miranda grinned widely as she accepted the small tin cup of blackberry cordial; the lights from Mr Young's stall glimmered on its inky surface. "Thank you, Herschel," she said. She winked at him for being addressed as 'Miss', a long-running but harmless flirt from the older man.

"Can I have some?" asked her grandson Rolf, beside her.

She could smell the potency of the cordial already and it wasn't even halfway to her mouth. "No indeed," she said.

"Maybe in another eight years, eh?" said Mr Young. "How about something just for you?" he suggested, and shortly reached to the shelves behind him. He procured a thin paper-wrapped strip and passed it over the counter to Rolf, smirking behind his bushy mustache. "Try it."

Rolf examined the strip of reddish-brown in his hand, sniffed it. "Apples?"

"And raspberries. Dried into something like leather, eh? It's sweet, promise."

While Rolf took a tentative bite Miranda reached into her pocket for her coin purse. "A good harvest last fall, then?" She eyed all the fruit-related treats and sundries at the stall.

Mr Young refused the coin she offered.

"You spoil him," Miranda chided.

He shrugged happily and then answered her earlier question. "A good'un, yes. Your cordial's gone quick but made sure to save some for ya." He held out the paper bag containing the small bottle of it she'd purchased earlier.

"I can count on you. This'll see me through to another Initiation Celebration I'm sure," she chuckled and took it. Although she hadn't needed the sample to begin with, having been a regular customer of Young's Press for many years, she knocked back the cordial in her hand and handed the cup back to him. It wasn't potent, exactly, but for someone like her that rarely drank it was enough to put some warmth in her already-rosy cheeks. The heavy blackberry taste settled pleasantly on her tongue while the rosemary notes lingered in her nose. "Just don't go selling it to all these minors, now." She took Rolf's hand and began to move away.

"Don'tcha worry, Miss Miranda. Been fooled too many times. No more!" He waved them off, "Y'enjoy your evening now, and stop by before you leave!"

"Say thank you," she instructed Rolf and he echoed her over his shoulder.

The two of them moved gently through the crowds: fledgling cadets dripping with nervous and excited energy, clusters of her fellow instructors, a few soldiers here and there come to scout already, all hemmed in by various vendor stalls. It was a warm spring evening edging toward Rolf's usual bedtime, but she liked to use the opportunity to spend time with him while she wasn't strictly-speaking on the clock.

These celebrations -- of which she'd been to a few by now -- were always bittersweet for her, especially when she brought Rolf. She was always eager to observe the new intake as well as catch up with any of her past students, but it always served as a reminder that it was only four more years until Rolf would technically be old enough to join the cadets himself. It prodded at the ache of his mother's absence, and as Miranda looked at all the jackets that matched her own she prayed that not only would they be kept safe, but that a penultimate victory might keep Rolf safe, too.

13
Training Corps Barracks & Grounds / [OPEN] Live Ammunition [OPEN]
« on: January 22, 2020, 09:59:31 PM »
Early November 845
South Field of the Training Barracks and Grounds

It was her favorite time of year -- the brisk wind and brilliant sunshine illuminating autumn colors aside, November was traditionally the point where Miranda introduced the new batch of cadets to live ammunition for the first time. She couldn't help but smile to herself.

Miranda stood with folded arms on the thick but short plank wall that railed the central canon plateau and looked out over South Field, one of the largest cordoned-off areas of cleared land in the Training Grounds. It took a fifteen-minute horse ride to get here from the barracks, half an hour if you were in a wagon, and was hemmed in by great swathes of gold, rust, and crimson that marked the other Runs -- shadier courses for ODM practice and horsemanship. Out in the field itself were faint, shallow trenches and large divots at equal intervals like ripples radiating from the plateau, which were used for target practice for the cannon. Two of those cannon flanked Miranda -- polished sentinels familiar to her from decades ago. While the plateau shelf on which she stood was nowhere near the height of the Walls -- the drop below her was a good twenty meters -- it was easy to be taken back to the old days in the Garrison, especially with the sharp wind running its fingers through her cropped hair.

I used to look out from the Wall like this, waiting for Ruth to come back, she thought with a pang of sadness. I suppose I'll always be looking.

Miranda turned, careful but unafraid, on her heel to look behind her at the rest of the plateau. Past the globular cannonball pyramids and short railtrack, the rest of her domain included a variable target range: open-sided shacks on her right, under which the cadets would stand; and on her left, normally there would be wood and straw painted targets beginning at the scrubby treeline and gradually moving inward, though this time they were off to one side. While this was not her usual shooting range -- that one was much closer to the barracks -- she nonetheless took pride in its upkeep, even if they didn't use it nearly as frequently. Yesterday her assistants had not only finished the last of the clean-up and painting, but brought the main attraction:

Where the usual targets would have been on the range, interspersed there instead were dozens of pumpkins.

Though they varied in size, color, and shape, they all had two things in common -- one, that they had all arrived in the same cartload from Commander Pixis a couple of days ago, and two, that they were all in various stages of rot. She had not asked questions, only pocketed the short note that had quickly changed her exasperated confusion to amusement. She wasn't one to waste an opportunity, after all.

Rumbling and crackling of wheels on gravel drew Miranda's attention right, where the access road wove out of the trees into the clearing. Her horse and those of her assistants tethered nearby raised their heads in interest. Shortly two wagons came into view, filled with curious faces. A crow cawed irritably and hopped, then flapped out of the road into the trees.

Miranda smiled. She'd had these cadets for maybe a month now -- she refused to let children handle firearms, loaded or not, until they adequately grasped the basic theory and safety aspects and were disciplined enough in other military habits -- and had been hard on them, as was her tendency. However, it was time to shift tactics, and use something as fun and strangely alarming as exploding something fleshy to serve as a memorable exercise in ballistics. She stayed standing in the blazing sun, her back to the field, and tried to hide her eagerness to begin.

The wagons drew to a halt and the chalky dust from their wheels blew away, and the cadets began disembarking. Miranda called out to them, "To me, please. We have limited daylight this time of year -- let's not waste it. I have something special for you today."



(OOC Note: Do not feel in any way obligated to match the length of this introductory post! Also, though there is no posting order, please try to let one or two others post after your most recent reply before you post again!)

14
Training Corps / Re: Moving Objects Need Tough Love (Miranda's Plotter)
« on: January 07, 2020, 04:24:59 AM »
Miranda & Mina

Oh my gosh Miranda will love Mina! I mean, who wouldn't, but Miranda would so happily slide into view if she saw that Mina needed an extra boost with anything if she happened to be having an off day. Despite not really knowing her father, I headcanon that Miranda's life with her mother was also fairly comfortable and she had to go through a similarly steep adjustment -- detecting that hiccup should come easily to Miranda. And if Mina's goal is the SC, I'm sure that'll add a little extra anxiety for Miranda if she gets attached -- I haven't decided what Ruth looked like but wouldn't it be wonderfully awful if Mina looks a bit like Ruth? If so we could make things complicated and have Mina be one of the few Miranda tries to steer away from their goal, and Miranda has to be snapped out of it somehow? (Either by Mina standing up for herself, or from a third party.)

And yes, a class thread would be ambitious but AWESOME. I can see who else might be up for that!

15
Garrison / Re: Plots, plots, plots, plots, plots, PLOTS! (Dot's Plotter)
« on: January 07, 2020, 04:15:27 AM »
You've written in a sister for Rico?  AH I LOVE IT!

Miranda & Pixis

The more we talk about this the more I love their relationship and we don't even have a thread yet! Miranda is really going to need a lot of help to live again, and there's even the possibility of her finding love again so I'm sure Pixis and his wife would be the first to encourage her! I also like the idea of the graves being close together, maybe even coincidentally right beside one another?

That would be so sweet if Pixis and his wife trust Miranda to that extent. Honestly she's been practically everyone's confidant at some point so that trust won't be misplaced. And likewise with drowning in bread because while Miranda has help with Rolf it can't always cover all the bases so sometimes spare food here and there is helpful! Rolf is eight at this point -- about how old are the Pixis grandbabies? (Playdates? Same school?)

I think we have to use the melons somehow. She'd say line them up so the cadets can blow them up and then turn around and tell them to clean up the mess after, and laugh.

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