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Author Topic: Hold your horses. [Eld]  (Read 107 times)

Hold your horses. [Eld]
« on: November 29, 2019, 03:37:57 AM »
[ april 847 ]

Entering the stables, Axel followed Eld with an easy stroll. Still, some part of him hoped to come across his uncle here, to point to him and explain that Farran would understand his way of thinking. Of course he would. An engineering marvel as he was, his uncle saw logic far beyond most of his peers, and Axel determined that if anyone of the Garrison here would understand, his uncle would. The need to protect humanity was paramount to any idle rivalries between military divisions.

"At headquarters, do you bond with one horse at a time?" he asked, instead of bringing it up again. Better to move on, and launch into their work. It was, after all, only temporary, and he wanted to spend every moment of it charged on knowledge and passion. Eld would surely bring up his concerns and the idea to the commander, if it was so easy to. After a moment, he added a second question in a more subdued voice. "What happens when a horse dies?"
Logged


Re: Hold your horses. [Eld]
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 01:12:18 AM »
Axel was a pleasure to mentor.  He brimmed with energy, possessed enthusiasm in abundance and bristled with ideas.  Not content to simply trundle along the familiar tracks that had been worn into military protocol, a path set by the countless boots that had preceded him, the cadet asked why and perhaps more importantly: How can we improve?  Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those who were content simply to follow orders, to never question or challenge anything too far - wasn’t quiet obedience a trait nurtured amongst aspiring soldiers? - this intense curiosity was refreshing.  Truthfully, the two weeks Eld would spend with the cadet were well worth the long ride north, and gave him a focus that lessened the sting of the yawning distance between him and his sweetheart.

“That’s right,” Eld answered easily, his mind still half-occupied by Axel’s recent questions and his suggestion.  Fresh eyes often saw what those which were old, tired, or accustomed did not.  Keen to feed the fire that burned in the boy, Eld would bring his proposal to the commander.  It was all he could do, and Erwin understood more about practicalities and feasibility.  But for now, they had an afternoon of manoeuvres ahead of them. 

“Horses are paired with individual soldiers. Just like us, they have their quirks, and a soldier’s performance improves when they’re aware of the limitations and personality of their steed."  Beyond the Wall, they relied heavily on their horses. To lose your mount was a death sentence.  “That’s Folly.  She’s mine,” Eld gestured in the direction of a grey mare, approaching her with a hand extended.  She peered over the half-door, a dark forelock spilling over a pale brow, and dipped her nose into her rider’s hands, recognition sparking in her earthy eyes.  After a moment, the creature lifted her head, nostrils flaring as she sniffed at the newcomer, whickering in quiet greeting.

Fondly, Eld rubbed at Folly’s cheek, dwelling on Axel’s second question for a moment.  To serve in the Survey Corps was to be surrounded by loss, to lose comrades and friends.  Valuing the lives of animals, the scout also grieved for his fallen horses.  The beasts were soldiers too, even if they didn’t understand it.  “You start again, with a new one,” Eld’s answer was solemn in the still, calm space of the stable.  Every expedition involved bringing a pool of spare horses - they were considered supplies as much as gas or blades - and from this herd a soldier could find a new companion.  The veterinarian was usually the person to speak to, in terms of finding a steed to suit.  “Same goes when a soldier dies.  Their horse can be given to another.  A new recruit, perhaps, or someone who has lost their mount.”  His attention shifted to his human charge, and then to the black face of the horse that peered over the stall door next to Folly’s own.  “I believe that’s your ride there,” Eld nodded his golden head in the beast’s direction.  “How about we get saddled up and head for the plains?”
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