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Author Topic: Test of Mettle  (Read 998 times)

Test of Mettle
« on: March 18, 2018, 06:02:17 PM »
By his very nature, Farran was fastidious.  The only exception being when he got so caught up in a project that his desire for tidiness and order fell by the wayside.  Today, darkness around his glacial eyes hinted at the sleep he had missed, the ink stains and smudges of charcoal on his dexterous hands speaking of the plans he had drawn and redrawn.  Normally organised, his large desk was presently in disarray, covered in papers, sketches, several gears - mismatched in both size and the material they were cast from - and two mugs, both bought for him by Lana.

Thoughtlessly, he reached for the nearest cup, and raised it to his lips.  The coffee was cold and bitter on his tongue, taking him by surprise and causing his expression to contort in revulsion.  Tutting to himself, Farran pushed it away and - actually paying attention now - grasped the latest brew.  Still warm, just about.  His long fingers pressed against the pewter, grateful of the small heat.

Enjoying a long sip, he pushed his glasses further up the bridge of his prominent nose with the fingers of his free hand.  The spectacles were a recent acquirement, only needed for fine and fiddly work, or when his eyes tired after staring at parchment for so long.  Behind the unfamiliar frames, silver eyes narrowed, peering at the design he was currently working on, picking over the details and looking for flaws.

Until there came a knock at the door.  What - what time was it?  Judging by the light shining through the window, casting beams across his office, it was early afternoon.  Which meant…


His intern was here!

“Come in,” Farran called, setting down his mug and climbing to his feet, the chair scraping a little against the wooden floor. « Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 06:07:11 PM by Farran Falkenrath »

Re: Test of Mettle
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2018, 01:10:07 AM »
His head throbbed. 

Today he was supposed to be free from the annoying Training Corps officers and their nagging, but of course, they couldn’t let him go without squeezing in one more lecture rattling on about behavior and punishment. Kieran couldn’t help but smirk at the thought of pissing off his instructors by giving his placement trouble. It was quite an amusing thought. Of course, they did not appreciate the smirk, and it only earned Kieran a slap on the back of the head and more lectures.

It was all worth the headache. 

By early afternoon, Kieran was on his way to meet his placement, pep lacking from his step. Kieran imagined that other cadets, such as Axel who was always eager to impress, couldn’t wait to meet the soldiers they were to shadow for the next two weeks, but he was not.

There was no point.

He had no plans to specialize within the Garrison branch of the military; he had no plans to be a decent soldier. His time in the Training Corps was just a temporary setback in his plan to hunt down a different type of monster. 

Why waste his time caring for fellow cadets and future comrades when all he planned to do was use his position as a means to achieve his goal? Touching the goggles that sat on top of his messy black locks, Kieran thought about Tomlan and the others, a thing he tried not to do often as he always felt so vulnerable when they were on this thoughts.

He hated feeling vulnerable. It made him feel weak.

Closing his eyes, Kieran took a deep breath and pushed his past to deep, dark depths of his mind and focused on the fact he was to learn under some soldier, who he figured was a paper pusher as he had his own office. But that was just an assumption as Kieran didn't know much about his placement save for where he was supposed to go.

At least he will have a break from his fellow cadets, though he had to admit that he was going to miss Nack’s stories at lunch. If only Kieran had met Nack before the fall of Maria, they could have made a great team on the streets of Quinta stealin’ from the rich and greedy.  Coming to a stop at the door of the office, Kieran hesitated for a moment -  enjoying just one more second of alone time - before knocking.

“Come in”

He did as he was commanded, entering the office and shutting the door behind him. Standing there, Kieran faced the Garrison soldier sizing him up and trying to get a read on him, and forgetting in the meantime the first thing he learned in training - salute. 

Oh yeah

 His salute lacked the sharpness that nearly three years of training should have perfected. There was reluctance in his eyes, not the eagerness to take on titans of might or impress future superiors. He was just there -- a fist over his heart, but not truly ready to offer his heart to humanity. "Kieran Ashmiller. Was told to report here for my internship."

« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 01:26:48 AM by Kieran Ashmiller »

Re: Test of Mettle
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2019, 10:19:34 PM »
The cadet who dutifully entered the room was perhaps a little short for his age, pale-skinned and dark-haired, with a bland expression that was more worldly than was to be expected of one so young. Indeed, it was the lattermost of these observations that kept Farran from remarking on the boy's salute. It was lacklustre at best, insulting at worst, his fist thumping his chest without a shred of enthusiasm. This was a gesture meant to symbolise a cadet or soldier's willingness to dedicate their heart, and yet all this one demonstrated was profound apathy. Perhaps this Kieran Ashmiller was a conscript with no desire to be part of the military.

What a pity.

"Farran Falkenrath," the engineer introduced himself, removing his glasses as he did so. "For the next fortnight, you'll be reporting to me. I've served seventeen years with the Garrison, and I'm pleased you're considering joining the regiment." He quietly hoped Kieran would prove to be something more than the usual fare of cadets who did not aspire to the Military Police - or were incapable of achieving the grades required - whilst also preferring not to venture beyond the Walls and into the path of danger and death. If there was even an ember of passion within the boy, Farran wished to seek it out, and nurture it.

"One of your Training Corps officers wrote to me, ahead of your arrival…" the soldier made an attempt to fish the letter out from a stack of paper, only to find it well and truly consumed by the pile. There had been vague details of Kieran's strengths and weaknesses, Farran was sure, but perhaps it was better he discover those for himself, and not allow the document to colour his impression of the boy. Although the instructor had not been explicit, the language used had hinted at a troublesome personality.

"Never mind, it was nothing important," he murmured, before brightening a little, and offering Kieran a fleeting smile of encouragement. "I think it's best we start with a tour. You can ask me any questions you may have as we go. Sound good?"

Re: Test of Mettle
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2019, 04:45:36 PM »
Shit, shit, shit, Mercedes thought, biting her lip and clenching her fists. She walked as quickly as she could without looking flustered up the stairs and down the hall, searing on her brain the faces of the two snickering soldiers who'd given her the wrong directions. She was late. Not by much, but even two minutes was too much an overstep. Especially on the first day of her internship.

"Falkenrath?" one of them had repeated and raised an eyebrow at her, "Who're you?" The other had continued to lean on the wall and chew a mouthful of tobacco that stank.

She'd saluted even though she hadn't felt like their attitude deserved it. "Mercedes Carello. I'm due to intern here with him."

As soon as her surname left her mouth their demeanor had gone from disinterest to the sneer she was so familiar with by now, but had hoped she wouldn't see here of all places. Nonetheless she'd had no alternative but to follow their directions through the maze of a building, hoping the answer would become obvious along the way. She'd ignored the snicker they thought she couldn't hear.

Eventually someone nicer -- someone she didn't have to introduce herself to -- had pointed her in the right direction and at last, she was outside Falkenrath's office. Her rushed breath disturbed the dust motes that danced in the sunshine from a window to her right at the end of the short hall, and she calmed it, straightened her uniform, wiped sweat from her palms.

Ignore them. They don't matter. What matters is this guy -- your supervising officer. Her head bobbed a little as she conceded, And maybe whoever it is who'll be interning alongside you. She hadn't been privvy to that information but it'd soon be obvious anyway.

She clamped down on the unfortunately real fear that maybe Falkrenrath, too, would sneer at her name. Write her off. Waste her time. Sabotage her path to the top before she'd even started. It wouldn't make things impossible, of course, but she was hoping to find someone resembling a mentor that wouldn't make her time here more difficult than it was already turning out to be. She needed a challenge -- somewhere to shine.

Beyond the door she thought she could hear voices. She composed her face into an unassuming, unafraid expression, but did not soften it with the smallest of smiles like usual. She knocked firmly.

“I’m surrounded by the past and it is demanding something from me.”
~ Anna Akhmatova


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