It took a while to convince Shilea to trust Carys, and the day they finally bonded sticks in the Captain’s mind clear as the shores of Othrys in Opana. Shilea was a new recruit to the company, and has kept pretty quiet thus far amongst the discussions between others. A talented magi, Shilea had been brought in through the ‘backdoor brigade’ as Carys calls it (despite scoldings from Lt. Col. Sabriel) – talented magi taken from a variety of circumstances where they might normally have been sentenced to something worse. She’d tried this joke when she’d first met Calistari, and it seemed to go down extremely poorly. Looks like I’ll need a little more tact in future, Carys bites her lip nervously.
This one outing was a military parade through Opana as part of a celebration, stationed in the symbolic barracks of the upper Noble district that Reeves finds altogether “too fancy”. The stuffiness of the old white-marble building gets to her and, noticing most of the company has taken the morning off before the parade, she uses it as an excuse to get some fresh air.
Walking down the Grand Adrianou into the museum area, Carys takes a left into the gardens of the Natural History Museum and through the open doors into the cool wooden reception, riding the pretense of a cursory patrol. Normally she wouldn’t be allowed in here on leave days, but as the day was a celebration the hall caretakers let her through. Detailed parade boots clunking somewhat against the polished floor, she strolls past exhibits, letting her mind wander. The great skeletons of beasts, preserved flowers and works of art depicting the finest farm stock…all go a little over her head, but she appreciates the beauty.
As she passes a corner into a new room, Carys spots a familiar face – seems Shilea had also taken some time to escape the expectations of the day whilst she could. Stood before a great wall display of fine crystals, reflecting beads of light from around the bright, open room, her expression is a little forlorn. Quietly, Carys approaches her and stands at her shoulder, careful not to spook her. Calistari seems to acknowledge her presence, and looks her Captain up and down to see whether a reprimand might be on the way. It doesn’t come.
“These are beautiful. Everything here…even though none of it is living anymore, they’re all examples of….of…” Calistari says quietly, attempting to say something she doesn’t quite have the words for. Carys feels a little overwhelmed at the prose and pulls a slight ‘oh-shit’ face, but nods along as she can. She listens to her rapturously describe some of her favourite parts of the museum, before there’s a pause of awkward silence.
“It’s great that these things were allowed to grow free, I guess.” Carys shrugs, trying to be delicate but honest. “But, people aren’t pieces of pretty rock or paint on canvas. And I find people more beautiful, just for living lives and striving to be themselves.” She tries a friendly, almost apologetic smile at not being able to match Shilea’s level of natural eloquence. Catching her partner’s reflection in the angle of an amethyst, Carys sees that she actually looks…surprised. Shilea smiles a little herself, and her shoulders lose the ounce of tension they’d had since her company captain had found her. She even gives a quiet chuckle. “I’m glad we agree on that, Captain Reeves.”
Bouncing on her heels with a little pride, Captain Reeves replies, “Please, you know you can call me Carys.”