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 Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)

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PostSubject: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:20 am

The great hall of the Grand Temple of Bastion was a bustle of chaos and energy. With winter upon them, the snows had already started falling outside, and it was high time that the city embraced the holiday spirit. With the Divine Collective bringing all of the different faiths together, there also came a great meshing of the holidays and traditions. They called it Wintersday, though truly it lasted a whole week. From the 19th to the 27th of December. It was a time for reflecting upon the past, and looking to the future. Remembering the loved ones they'd all lost, and celebrating the new lives that sprang up all around them. Kalinda did her best to help out where she could, and she'd been spearheading most of the festival preparations for years since the Enlightenment.

The Great Hall had been transformed, with the help of Aurora and her wings of light. Garland and ribbon hung on nearly everything, tiny hand painted ornaments, most decorated by the children of Bastion, glittered in the lights. The most spectacular part of the hall was the Wintertree, the use of actual trees had been abandoned ages ago, mostly because growing trees just for use during the holidays in the middle of a war seemed utterly useless. Instead the tree was created out of metal and glass, and lit from the inside by the magic of the Acolytes. The color of lights from within changed every few minutes, shifting and swirling in a marvelous display that lit up the entire hall. It was a masterpiece of glass and metalwork, a testament to the combined efforts of the people of Bastion. The reflection of the shifting light through the glass sent rainbows circling the hall. Tied to the ends of the glass and metal 'branches' were tiny pieces of brightly colored ribbon. Each ribbon held a prayer, hand written by the visitors of the Temple. Some prayed that the peace would last, others prayed for the health of loved ones or that their family's would remain happy through the coming year.

The tree had been built so that it could easily be disassembled for storage throughout the rest of the year, but sturdy enough that no one had to fear it would fall apart and possibly harm someone. Kalinda reached down and pulled a tiny glass bear ornament from the box at her feet, lifting up onto her tip toes she hung it off one of the strands of garland, bending the hook so that it couldn't be jostled off. Picking up the now empty box, Kali strode across the Hall to the table she'd laid out with the boxes of ornaments from storage, her white flats barely making a sound against the marbled flooring.

A small tinkling crash of glass forced her to turn away from the table however, her dark eyes falling on the sight of a young girl staring down at a pile of colored glass shards at her feet. Kali smiled in amusement and walked over to the girl, who burst into tears. "I'm so sorry Miss Kali! I tripped and it fell out of my hands!" The girl was almost hysterical about breaking the ornament. Kalinda knelt down and gathered the girl up into her arms, consoling her as she stroked the girl's hair. "It's alright Mia, I know it was just an accident and it is just an ornament. It's been here for as long as I can remember, it lived a good life." She allowed a small stream of calm to flow from her into the girl, helping to ease her tears and bring back the happiness she'd shown all day.
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:17 am

Arthur managed a very good time from Okena to Bastion. He was barely impeded by traffic as he drove straight through eighteen hours. His anxiousness to return home was too great to encourage him to stop off at any rest station. The near-constant smell of the ocean that he had grow used to during the past few months was overpowered by the scents of winter in the woods. Massive trees, drying leaves covering the ground, evergreen trees were becoming a more frequent sight the further north he came. He was still near the shore, he could feel it, but not enough for the salty aroma to reach him.

Rounding a long bend in the road, dusk having long since passed, Bastion stood out like a beacon in the distance. Brilliant flood light surrounded its walls, aimed downward, and all, the high-rises and lights from within send a shaft of light up out of the city's walls, almost as if to combat the darkness of night. As he approached, within a mile of the city the roads became clogged with traffic. Arthur gathered his own identification documents and begrudgingly waited his turn. Tapping at the earpiece resting on his ear, he heard the familiar Bio that it was recording his voice and transmitting.

"Okena was a beautiful place, but nothing compares to the sight of Bastion. Even in the middle of the night, she shines like a beacon of hope in an untamed world. Her walls, secure. Her safety, paramount to all those inside. She is really a sight to behold. Record image for next thirty seconds." As the tiny light at the side of his earpiece blinked to life, Arthur was sure to get a very good shot of the city, even turning off his own headlamps to reduce light pollution. He noticed the light blink off again, and he closed the gap between his truck and those in front of him. Within minutes he had turned over his ID for inspection, was cleared, and drove off into the city. Making his way through the slightly uneven streets, Arthur drove through the maze he knew so well, passing the power station before turning into his own driveway.

His home and his bed was warm, waiting for him, it seemed. Arthur was consumed with sleep, though it only lasted a few hours. When he woke again, the sun was already up, though it hadn't been for very long. It was still well before midday. He climbed out of bed and cleaned himself up. He should likely head straight into town to work, but he had other ideas for his first day back in town. Wintersday was always a favorite of his. They were likely still setting up for the entire thing, perhaps even still putting up decorations. Arthur had glimpsed a small idea for the week-long event as he drove north. A tiny flurry of snowflakes had fallen for less than twenty minutes of his whole trip. But he was insist ant that he could share that subtle wonder, as a decoration.

Heading to his workshop, Arthur gathered the small materials he needed, it really wouldn't take much. Several tiny strips of metal, in fact, was all he needed. Imbuing one with a floating enchantment, another with a pale light enchantment, and the last with his own style of power supply, mana capacitance. Twisting the small strands of metal together, he tapped a power supply against the metal tray the ornament sat upon. It lit up and gently floated up from the table. Perfectly weighted, he gently blew a breath at the decoration and it curled and spun weightlessly. Arthur smiled softly.

Gathering more supplies for at least 100 of the little floating decorations, and the one he had already crafted, he made his was to his garage, picking an angular sport-performance car he had been missing for the past few months, Arthur took off towards the Temple as if he were in his own personal race. He loved the speed, the cornering, the acceleration forcing his internal organs to shift around hastily, it was goo to be home. Entering the Temple, he viewed the gleaming tree in all its radiance. "Beautiful as ever." he murmured to himself before asking someone nearby where he might find a tale nearby to work at. A young girl, no older than eight was asked to lead the way, a job she took with the utmost pride. Arthus couldn't help but smirk as she held out her arm and said, "Right this way."

Placing his box of crafting gear upon the table, he reached inside and offered his most gracious of guides the first snowflake he had made. She wandered away, beaming, and was soon surrounded by a small hoard of children. The giggling echoed off the walls of the large room. This feeling was what he had always grown up loving Wintersday for. Carefree joy.
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:31 pm

As Mia stopped crying, one of the Shepherds appeared at Kalinda's side with a broom and a dust pan. She pulled Mia out of the way so that the Shepherd could take care of the mess as the girl finished drying her eyes. "Why don't you go get another ornament and this time go a little more slowly." Mia nodded and ran off to go do exactly that. Kalinda was about to move to stand up again when a soft touch on her elbow caught her attention. The rush of emotions she felt from that small touch told her exactly who it was before she turned to meet the gaze of the small three year old girl who was staring at her. Kalinda smiled and picked up the girl just as she wanted. "Well hello there Lita, did you finish tying your prayer ribbon to the Wintertree?" Lita nodded and stuck her thumb into her mouth as she laid her head on Kali's shoulder.

Kalinda couldn't help but return the gesture, laying her head over Lita's as she held the girl, who was getting considerably tired after helping Kalinda decorate most of the day. Her other hand, still holding her favorite teddy bear, reached out to the side and pointed at something. Kalinda shifted so she could get a better look at what Lita was pointing at. A young man whom Kali hadn't met before had arrived and was passing out rather beautiful floating decorations. This brought a smile to her lips and she weaved through the children until she was within a few feet of him. "Those are beautiful, did you make them yourself?" She asked of him. She was always amazed by the generosity of the people at this time of the year, and their ingenuity. One of the children held up one of the delicate snowflakes, it floated over their palm and Kali leaned down slightly so she could get a better look at it.

"These will make an excellent addition to the rest of the decorations, very festive." Even Aurora felt much the same way, this time of year always seemed to bring out the best in the Celestial, despite how down trodden she always was about failing her quest, even after all of these years. Kali wished she could somehow get through to her, help her understand that Enlightenment hadn't been the end, but a new beginning for everyone, but when your patient had lived countless lifetimes all for one goal and then failed to achieve it...well...Aurora could be stubborn and rather stuck in her way.

Kalinda's blue sun dress was a rather festive color, complete with shimmering snowflake designs, that made her white cardigan look like newly fallen snow as it hung on her shoulders, disguising her strange tattoos and hiding them from sight. She'd allowed Aurora out to stretch her wings earlier, before everyone had begun to arrive so that the Celestial's presence remained a secret...cept most of the Shepherds that called the Temple home knew that Kalinda wasn't all she appeared to be. They respected her wishes to keep her Celestial guest to whispers between themselves, she wasn't about to start passing out blessings. Aurora was essentially hiding, shamed by her failure.
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:15 am

Arthur smiled as the young girl ran into the room, playing with her new snowflake. Shortly after a young woman in a very festive combination of blues and white came close enough to ask him a question besides, "Can I have one?" which all the children had begun repeating over and over. As quickly as Arthur could sketch the unique enchanting runes he had chosen for this task and give them a hint of charge, everyone had begun to create a small circle around him until they had gotten their own and gone off to play. The young woman asked and complimented his snowflake constructions, and as he glanced up with a tilt of his head, he noticed she was truly smiling.

"Well the construction is fairly simple, just a hint of an enchantment to make them truly something special though. I'm glad you enjoy them." Arthur commented, glancing back to his work to make the final touches upon the current snowflake and charging it. Glancing back to the young, blond woman, Arthur continued, "I should have enough supplies here for about 100, though I'm not entirely sure just how long the enchantments will last. There's not much material to work with, I can't make anything incredibly lasting." Picking up just a few more supplies, he crafted two more in a matter of a few moments. Having had just a hint of practice through repetition, he was crafting faster and faster.

With each snowflake he handed out, the children giggled; Arthur couldn't help but smile. Again and again he crafted the small creations, until soon he was simply out of children to hand them to. Holding one out, he offered it to the young lady in the blue dress. "Your turn to grin like a child." he offered teasingly, with a smile crossing his lips. He slowly stood and made the final steps needed to approach Kalinda, continuing to offer the tiny decoration to her. Turning slightly, he took in the sight of a dozen or so children playing with the snowflakes he had created.

"Just a little bit of magic just in time for the holidays. I'm glad I made it back to Bastion in time for Wintersday." Arthur commented. He slowly stepped back to the workbench and began crafting another decoration. Inscribe, twist, charge, release; he looked so fascinated by his work. His shaggy hair and stubble-adorned face, along with his completely casual blue attire showed that Arthur obviously paid more attention to his creations than his appearance. His black boots were tied tightly though, and even though his pants had slight stains from various workshop projects, his boots seemed fresh and new.

Another decoration floated away from his workbench, and another. Arthur glanced back up to the young woman nearby, "My name is Arthur Nova, by the way, and who might you be?"
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:20 am

Wes pulled up to the Temple and jumped out of his truck, walking quickly to the entrance. Wearing a grey polo with the BFD logo on it, dark blue trauma pants, and boot, it looked like he had just stepped off the job. That was more truth that he would want to let on.

Murphy's Law be damned. Fletch thought to himself, grumbling softly.

Of course the one day Kalinda made a specific request to him to help her with Wintersday preparations...he would get call after call after call. He was more than happy to do his work, but it just seemed karma refused to let him get there on time, or appropriately dressed. Literally, every moment they grabbed the radio to put themselves heading back to the firehouse and being out of service, they'd get a call and unfortunately, for Wes' sake, they couldn't refuse because of personal obligations.

Slowly pushing through the double doors to the temple proper, he stopped and glanced around in awe. The place looked amazing! The decorations were spectacular, and the Wintersday tree was filled with prayer ribbons. Wes stepped over, tying his own on to the tree, smiling as he did so. His belief system was not one to normally find him in a temple like this, but Kali was committed to it, and he was determined to be a part of her life.

Their relationship had been going really well, despite being only about three months old. Kalinda had made a lot of time for him, moving her schedule around to spend time. Wes did his best to move things around and make time for her, but Kali was more than understanding if things didn't always get moved. He couldn't have asked for a better pairing, even if at times he felt like he may be taking advantage, not having sacrificed as much as she. Then again, with her empathic abilities, there were no secrets between the two and things came out quickly and were handled, instead of bottling up and exploding.

Scanning the room, Wes caught sight of her by a small workbench where little enchanted snowflakes floated in to the air and across the room. It was a magical sight, both literally and figuratively. He met little Lita's eyes as he approached, placing a single raised finger to his lips. The little smile he got made the entire trip worthwhile. Lita had been a big part of their relationship, and Wes cared for the little girl nearly as much as Kalinda did. She had spoken of adopting her for some time now, and if she didn't move fast, Wes may beat her to it.

Sneaking up to Kali, he softly brushed her free arm and whispered in her ear.

Kalinda, you look absolutely stunning today, if I were your boyfriend, I would beg forgiveness for being late.

When she turned to face him with that knowing smile, he smile back and softly kissed her lips.

Hi. Do you want me to beg now, or later?

The other man introduced himself and Wes reached over, since Kali had her hands full with Lita, who was now watching them with that cute drowsy look she got when it was definitely nap time.

Arthur, I'm Wes Fletcher, this is Kalinda Michaelson, and the teddy laden one is Lita. Pleasure to meet you, your snowflakes are quite fantastic.
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:53 am

Kali dutifully listened to Arthur's explanation of his beautiful design, many of them already floating around the room making it look as if it were snowing in the great hall. As he offered her one of her own, she gave a smile, not quite a grin and reached out her slender fingers to pluck it from him. As he returned to his workbench, she brought the snowflake in close, Lita's tiny eyes lighting up. She didn't move to touch it though, with one hand she held a rather old teddy bear who had seen better days, the thumb of that hand stuck in her mouth. With her other hand she was twirling her fingers around Kali's golden curls and quite obviously ready for a nap.

Before Kalinda could answer his question a familiar feeling washed over her, she would know that touch and it's accompanying emotions anywhere and it brought a smile to her lips as she waited for him to surprise her as she could tell he was planning on it. He had purposefully touched her though, knowing exactly that she would feel his emotions with that touch and know it was him. His words caused her to giggle softly, her smile brightening as he moved around so she could see him properly. She returned his greeting kiss, pausing for a moment to rub her nose against his in a show of affection. "You can beg later."

She frowned slightly as he answered for her though, she was perfectly capable of introducing herself after all. She took in a slow breath to steady herself lest her emotions get the better of her. "It's a pleasure to meet you Arthur, I'm sure one of the Acolyte's here at the Temple could easily learn the enchantment and be able to keep these little beauties going throughout the season. you say you just returned to Bastion? May I ask where you returned from?" It wasn't often Kali met someone who'd been outside Bastion, Wes excluded. Most humans who lived in the city had settled here for a reason, it had been a fortress during the war, a safe haven, and most never chose to leave it.

Kali hadn't left since she'd returned after she'd earned her doctorate. Perhaps her father's itch for travel was kicking in, it wouldn't surprise her.
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:57 pm

Arthur smiled as the couple greeted one another and offered their own greetings to him. Wes was wearing a shirt with the BFD symbol upon it, and looked as though he had just ended a long day. Kalinda did look as remarkable as Wes commented, but she definitely brightened when he arrived. Lita was blinking drowsily, dozing off every few seconds it seemed.

"Oh I'm sure they could get the hang of them. Honestly with the enchantments applied the way they are, they would likely just need a little boost of energy, even next year. Capacitance is one of my specialties. Pent up energy is always handy at some point." He watched as Lita fully drifted off in Kalinda's arms, one of her small arms was still wrapped around her stuffed bear though, even in sleep.

As Arthur looked around the room, his small snowflakes were floating all around. As the children had someone tired, the room was rather quiet. "I've just gotten back from Okena, actually. I was working on a large ship there, they needed a propulsion system to get them across the seas. To think, going beyond our settlements here on the east coast all the way out to other continents."

He paused for a moment before continuing, "The trip back north was pretty swift, though our convoy was stalled a few times by downed trees. Some of them even looked cut, if we weren't such a large convoy, we might have been ambushed." he recounted. The trip had been a good one, but he was pleased it was over. "It's definitely good to be home."

Glancing over Kalinda and Wes he noted Lita again. "Is she yours? Sorry if I'm prying." he asked, his hand motioning to Lita. "She's adorable."
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:23 am

Wes smiled at Kali as she told him he could beg later...he fully intended to do so. He listened halfheartedly to Arthur speak about the enchantments involved with the snowflakes as he tried to interact with Lita, but the little girl had already fallen asleep and laid her head on Kali's shoulder. Shaking his head in mirth, he softly tapped Kali's shoulder and motioned for her to give him the little girl. Once Kali had passed Lita to him, he let the little girl settle in to his own shoulder before leaving for the Temple's Nursery.

I'll be right back, he whispered softly as he carted the slumbering little away.

You fell asleep before I could even get my wave? Must've been a busy day today. I hope you enjoyed it, and your new dress. You have no idea how long Kali fretted over that for more time than you could imagine.

Wes spoke softly to Lita as they walked towards the Nursery. His hand softly on her back, he rubbed it and whispered to her so she wouldn't be jostled awake by the walk or his words. As he entered the Nursery, he was met by two Shepards watching over the children, where he was directed to a small cot to place Lita. Laying down the small girl and tucking her in, Wes knelt by the small bed and softly placed Lita's hair out of her face. With a big smile, he watched the little girl sleep so peacefully.

I'm telling you Lita, if Kali doesn't make a decision about taking you home...I may just do it myself. Who knew you would place yourself so firmly in my life after I pulled you from that building?

The little girl never moved and Wes rose after running his fingers softly over her head one more time. Walking back to the main chambers, he caught back up to Kali and Arthur, still enveloped in a chat.

She's all set. What did I miss?

He had hoped he didn't miss all the work, he had made a commitment to Kalinda to help. While it would be nice to relax, he didn't want to have to blame work for reneging on his promise.
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:45 am

Kali thought about the image Arthur painted with his words...other continents. Most of the world had been cut off during the war, the oceans and skies becoming far too dangerous to try and navigate. She'd really only spent her life either here in Bastion or in New Haven where she went to college. She'd made a couple of business trips with Jack and her memories of Elyria would be forever burned into her mind but nothing like traveling to the other side of the world. Stories of course floated in, there were still those who could travel there, large ships for one, even some Others. "I've never seen the Ocean...is it as pretty as the pictures make it out to be?" she asked of him. It seemed she would need to wait for an answer though as Arthur was distracted by Lita.

She bit her lip as he asked if she belonged to Kali, he had no idea the loaded question he'd asked of her. Thankfully, Wes stepped in at that moment, giving her time to debate her answer. Handing Lita off to Wes, it always amazed her the death grip the little girl kept on her ragged teddy bear. Of course Kali knew the secret behind that teddy bear and she wasn't about to part them, it wasn't her place. She watched the two of them disappear into the nursery before turning back to Arthur.

"No, Lita isn't mine. She's an Orphan that I've become quite attached to. I am currently in the midst of the weighty decision of whether or not I should, or even can, adopt her. She needs stability, it's the only way she'll heal from her past. She's seen far too much for her short years. I'm allowed to take her and some of the other children out on occasion, I believe it helps with their development, and they need all the help they can get. Course, from the way Wes acts around her I'm beginning to wonder if he isn't contemplating stealing her from me." She said this last with a coy smile and a twinkle in her dark eyes that would betray her mirth at the thought.

As Wes appeared at her elbow again, she reached out to curl her fingers through his, it wasn't often she touched people like this without asking first, but Wesley knew what he was getting into. "If by 'What have I missed?' You mean all the decorating you promised to help with then yes, you missed it. There really isn't much left to do." She wrinkled her nose as she teased him, leaning over gently to bump him with her shoulder just enough to move him slightly.

Wesley made her forget all the things she'd been hiding for so long, he made her feel normal, made her feel like maybe love wasn't something out of her reach.
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PostSubject: Re: Wintersday Preperations (OPEN)   Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:10 pm

Arthur smiled as Kalinda and Wes teased and showered one another with affection. The couple was quite cute together and clearly very comfortable being around one another. Glancing back to the table he had appropriated, he quickly tossed his excess supplies and tools into the simple box he had brought them in, not being one to leave things in disarray. "The ocean is quite a sight to see, though I can only speak for the Atlantic. I've never managed to go out west, or around the world to see the other seas. I just don't think I could ever take a boat to get there. Even in the port, and during the few short hours I actually spent testing the boat off the coat, I got so sick I wasn't able to keep anything down for weeks. The waves never, ever end."

Arthur, now that he started, was rapidly approaching the babbling level of chatter about his previous work. Just how massive the ship was and how just keeping on top of the logistics of bringing metal in and using it up before the next barge arrived was such a hard task. He talked about how he even needed to learn about operating a crane, because the work never stopped, even if the workers did. He joked about how even the heavy loads of steel would sway wildly in the strong coastal winds, it made precision work more of a game of lawn darts. Then he went into far too much technical detail about just how many volts each of his custom designed propulsion bellows used. Being a true engineer, he just couldn't shut up.

When Arthur noticed the glazed over look in Kalinda and Wes' eyes, he caught his sentence mid-way and gave a guilty glance. "I'm really sorry, I do get to talking sometimes. It's just good to be home, and especially for this time of year." he said, again glancing at the wonderfully decorated Temple.

"So back to Lita.. if you don't mind me being forward. If you are both so interested in giving her a home, wouldn't it be best to act on that together? Or have you two just met and the sole of my shoe will be tasting fantastic in a moment?"
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