RWBYFanon v5

RPG World of Remnant => The Vale Region => Beacon Academy => Topic started by: Azure Blair on September 22, 2018, 12:08:30 AM

Title: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on September 22, 2018, 12:08:30 AM
As expected, the first thing Azure did upon arriving at Beacon Academy was to play music. Or, at least, that was her intention. She strolled through the gardens of the school, her thumbs hooked in the front pocket of her jeans as her fingers tapped a rhythm against her thighs. She basked in the warmth of the sun as she meandered carelessly down a path, a light grin on her face. The grin was caused mainly, in part, by the energy of the other students that milled about throughout the gardens. Sure, they weren’t all there for a single purpose, but there was enough that one could call them a crowd; Azure loved crowds. The overall happy atmosphere that filled the air, sickeningly sweet, thick enough to be tangible, was being lapped up by Azure’s semblance, making the wolf girl somewhat delirious. She knew she could block it out if she really wanted-- the emotions weren’t that strong, so they would be easier to ignore-- but she didn’t really want to. It was a good feeling, the smallest hint of euphoria as the energy of the crowd leaked into her.

Finding a nice, shady tree, Azure stepped off the path and crossed over to it. She slid her guitar, Renegade, from its position across her back, settling down against the base of the tree. She held her guitar in her lap, her electric blue painted fingernails-- bitten down to the quick; a bad habit she had been trying to break-- tapped against the body of the electric guitar as she thought of what to play. Unable to settle on one, she pulled out her scroll, bringing up the list she’d made of every song she could play on guitar. At least, every song that wasn’t her own. It should be a given that she could play her own songs on the guitar.

Eventually, she came across a song. She slipped her scroll back into her pocket, before adjusting her guitar on her lap. She quickly ran through the chord progression just to double check that she knew it. She frowned slightly as the progression came out wrong. She was positive that was it, she knew all these songs by heart, or at least mostly by heart, so why wasn’t it sounding right? After a second, she reached down and unclipped a capo from her belt, sliding it onto the second fret. She played the progression again; it sounded much better.

Satisfied, Azure began to play the opening to the song. As soon as the intro was up, she began to sing.

“You took my hand
You showed me how
You promised me you'd be around
Uh huh, that's right

I took your words, and I believed
In everything, you said to me
Yeah huh, that's right...” she wasn’t exactly singing quietly. Sure, she wasn’t belting out the lyrics, but she didn’t bother being all the subtle either. The punk looking girl didn’t care if anyone heard her. In fact, she was hoping people would. She personally thought music was what united people the most in the world, so she was hoping she could meet people by playing music. Her chord progression changed up as she switched to the chorus of the song.

“If someone said three years from now
You’d be long gone
I’d stand up and punch them out
‘Cause they’re all wrong
I know, better
‘Cause you said forever, and ever
Who knew...” It wasn’t an original song, but playing an original song wasn’t the point. She just wanted to play music, that was all, she didn’t care if she was the one who wrote it. It wasn’t like she was really performing at the moment. Well, she was, but not officially. Azure treated life like it was a performance: big and loud and exiting. She felt like she was always performing, but to her, that was a good thing. There was probably nothing else in the world Azure loved more than performing, so why not make the world her stage? Her life the show? If she wanted to enjoy life, she’d had to do so by doing what she loved most: performing.

“Remember when we were such fools
And so convinced and just too cool
Oh no
No no
I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I'd give anything...” Azure glanced around the garden as she played, happily basking in the positive emotions that such a beautiful day brought on. She was glad she had chosen the garden to play in, it gave such a positive vibe, and, for someone with a semblance like Azure’s, vibe was kind of a big deal. Her uncanny connections with crowds had always been prevalent, even before she’d really unlocked her semblance. She had always enjoyed going with her parents to the supermarket, or out to restaurants, when she was younger; she enjoyed the feel of being in the thick of a crowd.

“When someone said count your blessings now
'fore they're long gone
I guess I just didn't know how
I was all wrong
They knew better
Still you said forever
And ever
Who knew...” The chorus picked back up, Azure switching to that chord progression once more.

Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on September 23, 2018, 01:12:49 AM
The Vytal festival had sparked a fair bit of wanderlust in Saffron, not to the same extent as her father but the Atlas student had still been taking every opportunity to travel around the world of Remnant. Atlas dignitaries or industrials always often did prefer the supposed professionalism of Atlas students as such it was easy enough to find work despite her quills. This wasn’t one of those days, however, a favour for a favour passed through a few hands had let her stay at Beacon for a few days to rest up after a particularly difficult mission. She was desperately missing her team but if her most recent missions and the Vytal festival had taught her anything it was the importance of self-sufficiency, something she notably lacked.

Curse my supportive family. Saffron jokingly thought to herself as she walked around the school grounds. Beacon was very different compared to Atlas, a lot of older architecture compared to Atlas’s utilitarian campuses did grant the place a lot of charm but significantly less protection from the weather or organised layout. Luckily the first point wasn’t an issue as Saffron was if anything too hot under her Atlas uniform, it seemed appropriate to represent her school despite if not because of it’s negative reputation. The second point was more of an issue but luckily Saffron had nowhere she needed to be, she would have more than enough time to check out the academies library and teaching staff. She had heard good things about the professor Budonoki Sophos, a Faunus teacher was a rare thing particularly one as well respected and combat able as Sophos, his recent Vytal festival performance proving the latter.

Saffron was still in no rush, however, finding herself in the school’s main gardens. Atlas had flora of course, but it was strictly utilitarian, grown for food or to teach wilderness survival courses all kept in massive underground greenhouses. Nothing compared to the impressive floral displays the Beacon groundskeeper had put together. A warm vibe and the faint playing of guitar music completed the mood which Saffron was more than happy to let herself get caught up in. It was tempting to take a flower or two, they surely wouldn’t be missed but it seemed insensitive, denying others the sight of its simple splendor. ’What had mother said about love being leaving the rose.’ Saffron muttered to herself, her defenses very much laid bare.

Finally Saffron caught sight of the originator of the music, sitting on the opposite side of a large tree over on the grass. A little idea popped into her head as Saffron pulled out her scroll, tapping away to summon her loaned locker, and landing it hopefully far enough away to not be too disruptive. Saffron then took out a bass guitar and walked back over to tree Azure was leaning up against. Sitting down on the opposite side to the younger student Saffron started playing along, it was a reasonably well-known song so she slotted in quite quickly with Azure’s playing. Slapping the body of the bass to make up for the lack of drums Saffron happily followed along Azure as the song continued. It was presumptuous of Saffron to join in like she did without asking but it felt like a shame to interrupt the music, so why not add to it?
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on September 23, 2018, 10:21:15 AM
As the sound of a second instrument joined in, Azure was delighted to see her tactic seemed to have worked; she would get to meet people who shared her interest in music. She couldn’t see who her fellow musician was, but she could tell their position just by listening. A light grin flitted across her face as the song continued. The addition of the bass guitar made the performance much more well rounded. While it had been fine when it had just been Azure playing the rhythm guitar portion, it sounded fuller, more complete, with the second instrument. This, was something Azure greatly enjoyed; she loved a good show, and better sounding songs made for better shows.

A small cluster of students had gathered around momentarily to watch, interested by the music. They eventually went on their way, going back to what it was they had been doing. The short moment in which they had been there had only added to Azure’s pleasant mood. She could easily connect the energy of the handful of people, letting their happiness spill into her.

“I’ll keep you locked in my head
Until we meet again
Until we, until we meet again
I won’t forget you my friend
What happened...” Azure continued to sing, playing smoothly through the bridge of the song. Her favorite part of the song was the ambiguity of it; it was song that everyone, if they looked at it just right, could relate to. A song about losing someone close to you, that, save for the line about a last kiss, could be about anyone, not necessarily a romantic partner. That being said, Azure didn’t link the song to anyone specific, but she liked how the option was there to do so.

“If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
Cause they're all wrong and
That last kiss, I'll cherish, until we meet again
And time makes it harder, I wish I could remember
But I keep your memory, you visit me in my sleep
My darling, who knew
My darling, my darling
Who knew
My darling, I miss you
My darling, who knew
Who knew...” The song faded out, Azure quieting her playing as her voice softened. She could only hope the bass player knew to do so too, or else that would lead to an awkwardly overwhelming amount of bass as the song finished. The referral to the subject of the song as ‘darling’ didn’t deter Azure’s view that the song was open ended and could fit to any type of relationship. She believed that anyone one cared for could be called ‘darling’, without it having to be a romantic thing.
With the song over, Azure had been planning to just jump right into the next one. But, given the new musical addition, she thought it best to discover who had been playing with her than just leap into a song that the other person might not know.
Picking up Renegade, Azure climbed to her feet-- taking a second to dust off any dirt that was clinging to her black jeans-- before circling around the tree to see who her musical accompaniment was.

Her navy gaze landed on the all-too-familiar Atlas uniform, her eyes narrowing slightly at the sight of it. However, she didn’t want to assume that the red headed girl was snobby or uptight just because of the uniform she wore, so Azure relaxed her features to a more playful and easygoing lopsided grin.
“It’s always nice to find another musician,” she said. She leaned her shoulder against the tree, her matte black guitar dangling casually from her right hand, propped up against her leg. Her stance was laid back, as thought almost a subconscious rebellion against the professionalism and precision that Atlas brought. Azure despised authority, and, having spent the majority of her life in the military-focused kingdom, knew Atlas was all about authority and formality.

“How long have you been playing?” she asked, gesturing to the bass guitar that the girl held. She own talent had been the result of constant practicing since the age of nine, playing until her fingertips would form blisters, then start to bleed. So she always found it interesting to come across people with natural talent, prodigies of sorts. Many people would think of this as unfair, finding it annoying that they had to practice so diligently for something that others could do with ease, but Azure didn’t mind. She thought those people lucky, yes, but she wasn’t jealous of them. She believed that had she had to practice so much to get to where she was today, she wouldn’t have become so invested in music.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on September 24, 2018, 09:38:16 AM
Saffron did need to catch herself once the Azure started to tone down the song, she was expecting a bit more flourish at the end but the more conventional ending was fine too, brought the focus more on the song rather than the instruments. Hearing her impromptu duettist get to her feet Saffron quickly cast her eyes towards Azure as the punk rocker came around, giving the younger student a wide smile. There was a little twinge in the other girl’s reaction but Saffron quickly discarded it, could just be muscle strain for sitting down for so long. ’That is far too much a compliment I’m afraid, I am no musician. Half as much skill as a novice but twice the confidence of a professional, I’m glad you were willing to put up with me.’ Saffron responded, making light of her own shortcomings both as a joke and a defense mechanism. By any real definition, Saffron was a musician, quite a talented one at that, but years of rejection from the Atlas bands had made her severely underestimate her abilities.

’I was given this one...two...three, epp I’m getting old, years ago. I, in turn, lent it to a friend for a year, don’t think they used it much. So two years, on and off, but I’ve had my baby for much longer, an old 12 string and most of the movements carry over.’ Saffron explained slightly cocking her head. The longer the conversation went with Azure the more Saffron was sure she had seen the punk rocker before. She had, of course, Atlas Faunus musicians were an uncommon phenomenon so Saffron had gone pretty out of her way to see one of Azure’s performances. Unfortunately like most Saffron consumed music on a purely audio level and although she had some of Azure’s music on her player she still couldn’t immediately recognise the singer. Probably says something about the world’s relationship with musicians in general. Saffron thought to herself bitterly but decided to take the risk anyway, if she was wrong she could always just never return to save herself the embarrassment.

’You are that punk rocker, right? Azure Blair? A pleasure to meet you in person, I went to a few of your shows. They were very impressive…. Manners, right sorry, I’m Saffron, Saffron de Cortez.’ Saffron introduced herself getting to her feet and extending her hand. Not exactly the ‘coolest’ greeting but it didn’t look like Azure would deal with a salute any better and Saffron always found waving awkward, she never knew what to do with her other hand. ’Well what about you, how long have you been playing that bad girl?’ Saffron asked her eyes focusing dropping down to the other instrument. It was a far more impressive specimen than Saffron’s rather simplistic bass. Although, she takes as much effort as she can maintaining her instruments Saffron’s habit of lending them out to those who show interest does tend to leave them a little rough around the edges.

Despite being older, even if only a few months, and with all the physical advantages that come with that Saffron couldn’t help but be a little overwhelmed. Succumbing to a bad habit she had gotten into; taking out her travel mirror, pretending to touch up her makeup while actually simply giving herself a few moments to compose herself. It worked most of the time but it was still a crutch which wasn’t very respected in the militarised halls of Atlas. ’So I take it you decided to join Beacon, I don’t blame you the weather is nicer and … well yeah… but how are you finding it so far?’ Saffron asked not quite being able to even indirectly bring up her countrymen racism even if both Faunus very much understood the issue.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on September 24, 2018, 10:04:49 PM
The grin the girl gave Azure caught her slightly off guard. She hadn’t been expecting such a warm and friendly greeting from an Atlas student; she had to quickly readdress everything she had assumed about the girl, and realized it was probably better to get to know her first before making judgments. Just because the majority of people from Atlas were uptight and authoritative didn’t mean this girl was. Hell, Azure herself was from Atlas, and she definitely didn’t fit the kingdom’s stereotype.
She arched an eyebrow at the girl’s words. “Well, confidence makes up half the performance,” she said with a light shrug. “Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, as long as you look like you do people will think you do.” She had learned that from experience. Specifically, one show in which a costume malfunction had prevented a dance from going as planned. She had thrived off the energy of the crowd, though, and managed to fake it enough that only a few people questioned it. “But don’t be ridiculous,” she continued, “you were great. I did more than just put up with you, I enjoyed it. Honest.” She could tell the girl clearly lacked confidence in her abilities, and wanted to giver her as much encouragement as she could without sounding too over the top.
“You can play a twelve string?” Azure’s eyes lit up. “I knew you weren’t some amateur! Twelve strings are hard! Harder than an average six string!” She had played a twelve string a few times, but had done so rather poorly; she found the double strings to be awkward to use, and the sounds they made a little harder to produce cleanly. “And if you’ve only been playing bass for two years you must have some type of natural talent.”

A light chuckle escaped Azure’s lips as the girl seemed to recognize her. “Yeah, I am. I didn’t think I would have any fans outside of the Solitas continent. But then again, you’re also from Atlas, so...” she shrugged again. She was surprised to find someone who had heard her music so far from home. She had thought she’d be virtually invisible by coming to Beacon, which was partially why she had chosen it; she hadn’t wanted whatever fame she had getting in the way of her studies. But here she was, her first day here, and already finding people who knew her. Hopefully they wouldn’t be too large in number, she wanted to focus more on school work than signing autographs.

“Pleasure to meet you too,” she said as she shook Saffron’s hand, “like I said, always a pleasure to meet a fellow musician.” She retracted her hand to push her black and blue hair from her face, glancing down at Renegade as Saffron mentioned her. She twirled the guitar smoothly in her hand.

“This beauty,” she said, handing the matte black guitar over for Saffron to examine, “I’ve had for about... five years, I’d say? I made her when I was fourteen... so yeah, about five years, give or take. She runs on a dust core, as opposed to the usual electromagnetism of normal electric guitar, so I can play her without needing an amp. Makes it easier in battle, ya know?” She wasn’t trying to brag or show off in anyway, she was just a little too excited to talk about Renegade; she always loved talking about her weapon, and could easily go off on tangents about it.

Once she took the weapon back, she would return it to its usual place on her back.

Saffron’s next question prompted another light chuckle from Azure. “Well,” she said, fiddling with the capo clipped to her belt, “I’ve only been here about twelve hours, the majority of which were spent sleeping, so I can’t really say. I mean from what I’ve gathered in the three hours I’ve been awake it’s definitely nicer to look at than my old combat school-- er, schools,” she quickly corrected herself, hoping the action had gone unnoticed-- she wasn’t too fond of discussing her expulsion from her first combat school, it brought up memories she would rather suppress. “This one at least has nice gardens, and it seems to have much nicer people than." She flashed a smile at Saffron as she said this.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on September 25, 2018, 11:31:08 PM
Saffron's smile faulted slightly as Azure tried to give her some encouragement. 'Sorry, just a bit of self-deprecating humour, nothing you need to worry about.' Saffron lied, lied poorly in fact. Immediately breaking eye contact and running her left hand through her hair. The last thing Saffron wanted to be was a source of pity and although that wasn't what Azure was trying to be the Atlas student internalised most assurances as coming from a place of contempt or at least disappointment. Saffron did brighten up considerably when the conversation turned to her 12 string but there remained some degree of hesitation. 'Twice the strings, twice the skill, twice the pleasure, twice the pain. My father always said that but it's not quite true of course, if you can play six you can play twelve but just as there are some adjustments you need to make not unlike swapping from acoustic to electric. But those adjustments can be hard to make when going from six to twelve, my first instrument was a twelve string so I didn't have that problem.' Saffron explained chuckling away as she mentioned her family's antics.

Nodding along as Azure continued to talk Saffron raised an eyebrow when the punk rocker implied she used her guitar in combat and handed it to her. 'You fight with her? That's ...impressive commitment, it's always interesting to see what other people turn into their weapons. I once thought my boomerangs would be one of the more unusual weapons but the more I travel the more pedestrian they seem. So how do you fight with it? Does it spit fire? Could serve double duty as pyrotechnics and Grimm deterrent.' Saffron asked struggling to hold in her laughter as she looked over the weapon. There was no malice in it but she wanted to make sure she wasn't perceived as rude however the image of Azure leaping into a pack of Beowulfs, strumming her guitar as it spat out flames was hard to ignore.

Finding a switch Saffron pressed it revealing some rather menacing looking axe blades which took the Atlas student by surprise. Looking up rather sheepishly at Azure Saffron gave a silent apology before handing the weapon back, axe blades resheathed. 'Or axe blades, axes are cool.....So you've tried your hand at electric and twelve string, have you tried another instrument? And don't worry I won't go running to the papers.' Saffron teased. She would never do that of course, Azure must be under a fair bit of scrutiny being an Atlas-based Faunus punk musician and Saffron wouldn't want to add to that. In fact, that could explain why she went to Beacon in the first place.

'Yea I was admiring the flowers when I was walking past. Kirkka Scarlet has clearly put in a lot of work here.' Saffron responded naming Beacon's groundskeeper. 'Well if you haven't had a class yet, what are you looking forward to? The first years can be a rowdy bunch but I guess that means you will fit right in given time.' Saffron continued looking closer Azure getting her guitar at 14 five years ago puts her at 19, a little old for the first year courses and then there was that mention of 'schools,' all together that did imply some troubled upbringing. Unfortunately, that was far too common on Remnant, particularly among the Faunus. 'If there is anything I can do to help, don't be afraid to ask. Atlas and Beacon do have their differences but it's mostly the same course matter so if you need advice there or just a simple sparing partner I would be happy to help.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on September 26, 2018, 06:39:25 PM
Azure could tell the girl was lying-- she wasn’t all that subtle about it. But, she also inferred the girl didn’t want to further touch on the subject, so simply replied with, “yeah, I know the feeling,” in response to the girl’s claim of self deprecating humor, and then let the topic rest. She absent mindedly reached up and picked a leaf from the branch above her head, slowly tearing it into shreds as she listened to the girl talk about her twelve string guitar.

“I think the only real adjustment I’ve noticed when switching to acoustic to electric is that ya have to press harder on acoustic. On electric the strings seem more... flexible.” She commented. “But I think with twelve strings, my main issue with them I find them too cluttered. Like, the fretboard is just- it has an overwhelming amount of strings, ya know?” As she spoke, she let the leaf shards fall from her fingers, they fluttered to the ground. “But if it was your first instrument, then I could see how it would be easier for you. I imagine a six string must’ve seemed like some simple, amateur instrument to you the first time ya switched over, yeah?” She accompanied her question with a light chuckle.
“Well, if you’re going to use an object already designed for combat, then I’d say boomerangs are definitely a more unique pick. Most people go for guns or swords when making weapons; they don’t think outside the box that much. Ya know, I once knew someone whose weapon was a ring that would spread out into brass knuckles, which, in turn would produce poisoned spikes.” She shook her head slightly at the memory. “The things people come up with...”

Upon the question of the workings of Renegade, Azure smirked a little. “Something like that,” she told Saffron. She decided not to reveal the true, dust-based use of Renegade just yet, in case she ever met Saffron in the sparring ring sometime-- she wouldn’t want to lose the advantage of surprise in battle. A short laugh escaped her lips as Saffron discovered the axe blades. “And it’s also an axe,” she smirked.

“I can play a variety of stuff, mainly different guitars. Acoustic, electric, hybrids, double neck...” she shrugged as she spoke, “a bit of piano; I’ve dappled in drums and violin a little, but I can’t do much with them...” Her voice trailed off as she thought. “I think that’s about all, yeah. Mostly guitar-- all types of guitar, besides twelves string obviously.” She didn’t want to make it sound like she was bragging, that was the last thing she wanted. But she didn’t know how else the question, so she tried to bring the most emphasis to the instruments she wasn’t very good at.

“Well, considering I haven’t even looked at my schedule yet, I don’t really know what classes I have, let alone which one’s I think I’ll like. But I’m guessing any type of sparring or combat class will be good, I can’t learn in lecture environments, so I’m absolutely dreading any other classes.” She accompanied her word choice with a smile to play it off as a joke, but in reality she truly was dreading most of her classes. She wasn’t lying when she said she couldn’t learn from lectures. She learned best by doing, by interacting with what she was supposed to be learning; having to sit in a classroom and listen to someone talk would do little to help her retain any information given to her.

“Sparring would be great,” she said, her face lighting up. “I haven’t had anyone good to spar with in years.” She stopped herself before she could continue, not wanting to disclose the reason for not having good sparring partners. ‘I had to redo two years of regular combat school so everyone was so much younger than me’ really didn’t sound all that great, and would probably raise too many questions.

“So what about you?” Azure asked, diverting the topic, “you’re in Atlas uniform, are you here at Beacon as some type of exchange student, or...?” She tried to think of any other reason why someone dressed as an Atlas student would be at Beacon. Maybe she just liked the uniform? She picked another leaf from the tree as she listened to Saffron’s response.

Her scroll suddenly went off in her pocket, the loud, relentless buzzing sound of an alarm going off: her reminded to take her meds. Which, she realized, she’d forgotten to do. She couldn’t do that at the moment, obviously, so she set another reminder on her scroll, scheduled to go off in a few hours. However she had a feeling would just keep setting and ignoring reminders, which had happened before.

“Sorry ‘bout that...” she mused as she turned off her scroll slid it back into her pocket. She flashed a smile at Saffron as if to tell her not to worry about it, or question it.

“Anyways, where were we?”
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on September 28, 2018, 08:09:23 AM
Saffron nodded as Azure agreed with her in regards to self-deprecating humour, it wasn’t exactly a topic she wanted to dwell on so she was eager to move on. ’If the twelve string intimidated you I can’t imagine how you reacted with the piano’s up to 236 strings.’ Saffron teased before hastily adding. ’It’s not quite the same thing I’m aware but I hope you understand my point, a twelve only has ten strings tuned differently so it’s not as complex as it immediately appears just like how the sheer flexibility of a piano can be overwhelming initially, with enough practice you get used to it. I’ll confess there are a lot of skills that a twelve forces you to learn harder than a more traditional guitar, particularly around strumming, but relearning the finger styling was challenging. Twice the strings mean you need more pressure to get the same tension and without a good grasp of fretting you lose a lot of your foundations… I’m sorry you probably already known all of that... Just get a bit caught up sometimes.’ Saffron explained awkwardly, what was she thinking explaining musical elements to a professional.

Weapons, however, were something their knowledge should be on a much even level. ’Yea well someone on my team has a weapon so complex they need to carry around a computer to help them wield it. Who would have thought that boomerang/hatchet/shotguns and fire spewing axe guitars aren’t the most over the top weapons? But there has to be a story behind it right? Like you have to look good while hunting, I get that, but what made you choose a guitar as your weapon?’ Saffron asked looking back down at the instrument, even now it was hard to imagine what was hiding beneath the well made but ultimately mundane exterior. ’So you’re quite the musical polymath? Well how about if you have any questions about your subjects or a looking for a sparring partner and I’ll help you out and in turn, I’ll have a professional I can turn to about musical questions?’ Saffron offered before also offering her scroll number on some cardboard.

’Yea I could imagine it seems very out of place.’ Saffron began gesturing down at her uniform. ’I’m not on exchange, Alban owed Amarant a small favour and although he is a brilliant educator the Atlas Headmaster isn’t someone you want to be owing anything to, housing me for a couple of weeks while I do a little more hands-on hunter experience was just one of the chips he called in. It’s been fun… well as fun as fighting Grimm mostly alone ever gets and I think it’s important to remain in uniform outside of battle. Particularly considering what I am.’ Saffron finished extending her quills that lay dormant within her hair. Saffron never specificly hid her origins but her years in Atlas had an odd combination of punishing her for drawing attention to it and her own refusal to back down mostly canceled each other out. At it’s core Saffron is so used to be known as ‘the Faunus one’ that she wasn’t used to that not being peoples first thought when interacting with her. Getting a little presumptuous in your infamy Saffron thought to herself dryly.

Saffron raised an eyebrow at the scroll and was going to tease Azure more about being a superstar but there was something in the younger girl’s expression that told her it wouldn’t go down well. ’So why are you so worried about your subjects anyway? You passed the entrance exam, right? You’ve earned your place here. There is nothing anyone else can say or you can think that can take that achievement from you.’ Saffron responded rather curious why someone who seemed rather well together in all other aspects didn’t have much confidence here. Saffron was no stranger to doubts surrounding her abilities but hunter skills are a lot more easily measured than her musical talents but it hasn’t always been that way. Doubt is like a rot, it can infect the mind and make itself real, it isn’t a fate Saffron would wish on her worst enemy let alone someone like Azure. Saffron was rather blind to the fact she was attempting to broach the very same issue she had shut down in regards to her musical talent, too concerned with the ‘what’ to care very much for the ‘why.’
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on September 30, 2018, 05:11:38 PM
A quiet laugh escaped Azure’s lips at Saffron’s joke. While she wouldn’t necessarily call playing piano harder than playing guitar, it was definitely different. Having the notes more spaced out as a nice change for her long, slender fingers; however it also called for different motions than what she was normally used to; more coordination between both her hands.
“Yeah, exactly,” she spoke up, “you have to press harder, which makes it harder to get the notes to come out nicely. Twice the number of strings, twice the risk of one of them buzzing.” She remembered the first time she’d played a twelve string guitar it had been like having to relearn guitar all over again, like she was nine years old once more, trying to self teach herself an instrument she knew nothing about; she had been nearly unable to produce a clean chord, there had always been at least one string that buzzed, or was muted. This had been around the time she forged Renegade, and her combat instructor had suggest she use a twelve string guitar in her weapon as opposed to a six, since twice the strings would mean stronger attacks. Azure had decided she’d rather have something she was familiar, that she could use right away, then have to take time to learn how to play a twelve string guitar. Having to learn to play a twelve string guitar would have just meant it would be longer before she could use her weapon in combat, and she was an impatient person, waiting wasn’t her forte.

Azure arched an eyebrow as Saffron mentioned her teammate’s weapon, her mind immediately picturing someone carrying a laptop into battle. She couldn’t imagine what if must be like to need to carry a computer around in combat. Surely in would get in the way more than be useful? She didn’t even want to think about how complex a weapon would have to be to require a computer to carry it around. Unless, of course, the weapon was the computer...

She glanced down at her guitar. “Well, music and combat have always been incredibly important to me, so I thought combining them together was a perfect idea.” She chose her words carefully, not wanting to give away too much. She had only just met Saffron, after all, and dropping them I-used-both-combat-and-music-as-a-coping-mechanism-after-my-parents’-death bomb probably wasn’t the best idea. “The idea for making it into an axe, though, came a lot later, after I had already gone through a few designs. I knew I wanted to incorporate music into combat somehow, but it’s not as easy as one would think. I wasn’t even originally planning on making a melee weapon, actually. But then I tried my hand at a normal axe one day and realized I liked that style of fighting a lot more than the rifles and swords.” She finished her explanation with a light shrug, an action she seemed to have trademarked. It was her way of giving off just the right type of casual air, while not seeming overly lazy.

“But what about you?” She asked, gesturing to Saffron’s boomerangs. “How’d ya come up with a boomerang, hatchet, shotgun combo?” She’d always thought weapons with several forms were more complicated and, to be quite frank, a little over the top. She thought a lot of the time they were more for flare than actual combat. But then again, who was she to talk, what with her battle axe/guitar hybrid that lit up and spat dust? Azure supposed, seeing as her life-- her entire career as a rockstar-- revolved around unnecessary flare, that she couldn’t really trash talk anyone with a flashy weapon.

“Sounds like a deal to me,” she said, offering her hand out to shake on it. “God knows I’m gonna need all the help I can get with normal subjects.” She laughed a little at that. “And I’m up for giving people musical guidance, I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Unless they’re about twelve string guitars, which in that case, I probably won’t be able to help you.” A playful smirk danced across her lips as she spoke.

As Saffron revealed her quills, Azure’s wolf tail flicked, puffing out a little subconsciously in excitement. She knew all too well the struggles of being a faunus in Atlas, so the fact that she had met someone else who could relate was relieving.

She began ripping up the leaf in her hand, letting the pieces of it blow away in the gentle breeze that drifted by.

“If you’re a faunus, then I agree, it’s definitely important to wear your uniform. It can show the rest of the world, show the other faunus, that we can succeed even when everyone else is telling us we can’t.” Maybe she was getting too political, but she couldn’t help it. Any mention of faunus in Atlas and Azure would leap in to give her input, even if what she said was completely unrelated to the conversation being had.

“I barely passed the entrance exam,” Azure corrected Saffron, “and I didn’t pass the first time ‘round, which is why I’m a little old for a first year. So, ya know, gettin’ here wasn’t really much of an accomplishment for me, more like a reminder that I’m just barely adequate at being a huntress.” She laughed nervously, casting her gaze out at the garden, at all the other people milling about. “I’m worried because I’ve always sucked at school,” she continued. “I just... can’t learn well in a classroom environment, so I’m worried I’ll fail out of all my classes and be... I don’t know, expelled or some shit. Which would suck, a lot.” She didn’t know what she would do if she got expelled from combat school. Again.

“I’m serious about that deal, though,” she glanced back over at Saffron. “I’ll give you all the music help you need if you help me not fail out of all my courses.” The wolf faunus finally sat down next to Saffron, leaning Renegade up against the tree next to her. She switched from picking leaves to picking grass, her fingers playing with the blades, ripping them from the earth.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on October 01, 2018, 11:35:17 PM
 ‘Well if you ever try to pick it up again drilling the finger movements would be my first port of call, might be dull but I’m sure you know that there is a lot of effort which goes into making something look effortless.’ Saffron responded, she never practised enough to make her fingers bleed like Azure but she did receive training from a long list of players, her father first among them, and like most of Saffron’s educators each of their teachers were blended into the confusing but nevertheless comprehensive style Saffron developed.  ‘That’s an interesting way of thinking about it, I also find music to be an important part of my life, a succour even. But I always wanted to keep it separate from my life as a to-be-specialist. Not to your level of course but I’m reasonably well known in Atlas, not for positive reasons exactly, and that makes it even more appealing to be able, for a time at least, strip on this off. Not to be Saffron the combat academy student or Saffron the only Faunus team leader in Atlas rather just be the music, to just walk around playing whichever instrument calls to me that day and be at peace.’ Saffron explained. It was a foolish activity, selfish even, and Saffron knew this but she continued to participate. Whoever said infamy was preferable to being forgotten was a fool but invisibility was simply another privilege Saffron would have to sacrifice if she was ever to achieve her goals.

‘These things?’ Saffron began taking one of her boomerangs out, unloading it then passing it to Azure. It wasn’t exactly something Saffron was comfortable with, Black Blizzard was precious to her and although she frequently threw them giving them to another was different. It seemed impolite not to however since Azure must surely feel a similar was about Renegade, minus the habit of throwing it, and as such Saffron gritted her teeth literally and figuratively to bear with it. The boomerang was a sleek metal design, heavier than expected but still well balanced. Intricate carvings showing the various myths famed across Remnant and a series of four holes on one end were the only indications it was meant for battle.  ‘My first couple of years at Atlas were pretty tough, I never attended a combat school before but my mother is a specialist so my skills were up to scratch but there were issues. Personal issues. Early on people figured out my semblance and my style of fighting … it was difficult to recover the information disadvantage. As such, I rebuilt my weapons to optimise adaptability, refined my semblance to leave me with some surprises and more or less turned to tables on them. They might know how I used to fight but I know they know that and can plan accordingly. But on the plus side, this means I have a lot of experience with different styles so I’m glad you accepted my offer.’ Saffron finished, perhaps overexplaining, oversharing was a bad habit Saffron has had since childhood and wasn’t one she would be able to break soon.

 ‘I’m glad you think so, not everyone shares your perspective. And don’t worry too much, sometimes it feels our very existence is political.’ Saffron responded. Not most people even and it wasn’t just Atlas establishment and their outdated views. Many of Saffron’s fellow activists looked at her with disdain for her close association with Atlas, and not without good reason. She was part of the system that exploited the Faunus, a willing participant where not everyone is so willing. Destroying or changing it so much it might as well be destroyed might be for the best in the long term but the damage to Remnant as a whole losing an entire kingdom would be catastrophic. Particularly one as techonlogically prolific as Atlas.  ‘I’ll send you my notes to start off with, hopefully, they will give you a little more confidence and a little more knowledge on the fundamentals. After that don’t hesitate to message me, I basically live off this thing so I’ll try to respond as quickly as possible. And remember there are those who never get in, or who give up after their first attempt. Perseverance is a positive trait, a necessary trait if you want to be a huntress.’ Saffron assured Azure gesturing to her … overly large watch. ’It functions as a scroll as well, but easier to access in combat scenarios.’ Saffron explained.

’Well how are you settling into Vale in general, even if you have only been here a short while it must feel different from Atlas? I used to bounce between Atlas and Vacuo a lot as a kid and despite the cold… and everything else I loved it there. Everywhere else has their charms however of course but it’s just not the same. To me nothing can match the precision and grandeur of Atlas, what about you? And I’ll only be slightly annoyed if you differ.’ Saffron joked. Honestly Saffron had spent a fair amount of time talking to native Vale people about their homeland but she had never heard a fellow foreigner’s perspective on the matter. ’Speaking of travelling is there anywhere you would like to travel one day? One of the benefits of the job is seeing new places, even though you don’t always get a chance to enjoy all the attractions.’ Saffron asked before looking over to Azure smiling widely. ’What did the grass ever to do you?’
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on October 03, 2018, 10:27:39 PM
“I’m sure you know that there is a lot of effort which goes into making something look effortless.” Oh, Azure was well aware of how much effort had to go into an effortless appearance. The scars on her calloused fingertips, having formed from years and years of playing guitar until her fingers began to bleed, served as proof of that. She had lost count of how many times she had wasted away hours upon hours to get a small section of a song perfect, how many times she’d pulled an all nighter just to practice guitar; she could never be satisfied with anything less than perfection when it came to music. If she couldn’t do something perfectly, she’d practice nonstop until she could. And even then, she’d still want to practice more. Many called her a try hard, or an overachiever for how much time she spent practicing songs, but she didn’t care; she was the one who could play Cliffs of Dover (, after all; they couldn’t, so who were they to make fun of her practice habits?

“Honestly, same here. If it wasn’t for music, then I doubt I would have gotten to where I am now. Literally. I don’t think I could have made it into Beacon without music. I can see why you’d want to keep it separate, though. If it’s what you’re known for it kinda loses that release, that escape, in a way. It’s no longer a way to separate from the rest of reality, is is reality.” That wasn’t to say she didn’t like music as much as she used to, she still loved, maybe even more than when she was younger. But now that music was her job, it was less of a thing she could resort to that felt outside of everything else, and more of a way to keep everything else together, a way to ground everything.

“You’re a team leader?” Azure questioned. Saffron had mentioned fighting Grimm alone, which had lead her to believe she wasn’t part of a team. “Is the rest of your team here at Beacon too? Or did they stay behind?”

Azure fiddled with Renegade, making sure it was perfectly tuned, brushing nonexistent dust off the surface of it. She leaned it up against the tree as she took the boomerang from Saffron, holding it up to examine it. It was heavier than she had expected. She lightly ran her thumb across the carvings, many of which she didn’t recognize. She wasn’t very knowledgeable in the myths and legends of Remnant. Or any history of Remnant, really, History had always been one of her worst subjects, she found the memorization of dates and events pointless and mind numbing, and therefore had never really been able to concentrate on any material she was supposed to learning. The only exception had been the Faunus Rights Revolution, for obvious reasons.

“So they’re boomerangs... hatchets... and shotguns?” She wondered out loud, slowly turning the weapon over in her hands, trying to figure out how so many styles could fit into such a small object. She didn’t dare attempt to activate the weapon, though, she figured she’d probably break it if she tried. The carvings, the slight build of weapon, made it seem almost... fragile, like it was something too valuable for her to be holding. She handed the boomerang back to Saffron, quickly picking up Renegade once more. The weight of the guitar felt much more natural in her hand than that of the boomerang.

“Yeah, maybe you’ll be able to teach me some more proper techniques,” Azure commented with a laugh. “My style can be defined as ‘literally nothing went according to plan but we’re rolling with it anyways’. Which, ya know, can have its perks, it’s pretty inconsistent and hard to plan for, I’d say, but it also isn’t always the most efficient method. So anything you can teach me that isn’t just ‘swing an axe and hope for the best’ would be appreciated.”

“Sometimes I think my entire career is just a political statement,” Azure said, glancing around the garden as she brushed several strands of hair from her face; the breezes that kept passing through were having a field day today with playing with her hair, she should probably just pull it back to keep from having to fix it continuously. “Being a rockstar is already enough of a statement when you live in a kingdom that thrives of off classical music-- at least, that’s been my experience anyways. And then to be a faunus and a rock artist... it all just becomes some big political thing. It’s like the more I defy the status quo, the more money I’ll make. That’s how my manager seems to see it anyways.” While, for the most part, she did hold control over what type of music she produced and how she presented herself to the world, there were times when Azure felt that Hunter just wanted to use her because she “new,” and “different,” and “rebellious.”

“That would be great, really. I’ll be forever indebted to you,” Azure joked as Saffron mentioned letting her borrow her notes. Maybe then she could at least catch up some to the rest of the class. At the mention of messaging, Azure realized she was still holding the cardboard strip that had Saffron’s number in it. The cardboard was now severely bent, curled like a ribbon as Azure had subconsciously been wrapping and unwrapping it around her finger while talking. She quickly took out her scroll and added Saffron as a contact, before looking up to examine the watch the girl wore.

“Hey, yeah, that’s actually really cool,” she said, “definitely more accessible than a scroll.” She didn’t find she needed to use her scroll in combat all that much, so accessibility had never been much of an issue for her, but maybe other people used it more. She thought back to the person who used a computer as their weapon, maybe they had something more portable like what Saffron had?

“Well, Atlas is definitely colder,” Azure noted as she continued to pull up grass. “Vale seems... a lot more relaxed that Atlas. Atlas is so... rigid, for lack of a better term. Like everyone is holding their breath, hoping no one will notice is they accidentally step out of line. And here is Vale, there aren’t any lines. And- wait, hold up,” she liked the sound of what she’d just said, so, like she did whenever she found a good line, she took out a pen and quickly scrawled everyone is holding their, hoping no one notices when they step out of line on the back of her hand in her slanted, messy handwriting. She capped the pen and stuck it back in her pocket. “And everyone is a lot more accepting too. I don’t get as many weird looks walking down the street.” She finished.

“Honestly, I’d like travel everywhere. I’m hoping my next album will land me a bigger international tour, then I could have an excuse to travel all over,” she joked. She resumed playing with the grass, always needing to be doing something with her hands. “What ‘bout you? Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world?”

She smirked as she looked down at the grass she had been ripping up, there was a nice, small pile of pulled up grass sitting in front of her. She took three of the longest strands and began braiding them together. Her gaze passed idly over Saffron as she lounged in the grass, letting the sunlight spill across her lap and torso. She couldn’t believe that she was having such a casual, civilized conversation with someone who was not just an Atlas student, but an Atlas team leader and specialist in training. Usually she’d expect those types of people to be the physical embodiment of everything Atlas stood for, but here she was. Strange.

She began humming a little as she braided the grass strands; a tune to a random song ( that was stuck in her head. Her tail twitched slightly, curling up to rest on top of her body. The action cause it to drag through the pile of grass she had created, the green blades getting swept up in the thick, white fur.

“Dammit,” she muttered, pausing in her humming as she took a moment to comb the grass from her tail. While holding the grass, she was hit with a rather stupid and incredibly childish idea. But Azure had never been one to care for if an idea was stupid or not, she’d go ahead with it anyways.

She reached over and gently sprinkled her handful of grass over Saffron, smirking playfully as she did. She had no idea how the atlesian would reacted, but she hoped it wouldn’t be anything too bad. Hopefully she hadn’t just ruined whatever friendship had been forming between the two of them. As she awaited the girl’s reaction, she resumed braiding her grass strands, pretending as if it had never happened. She continued to hum, finishing up her braided grass, she wrapped it around her wrist and tied it like a bracelet.

A large cluster of student walked by suddenly, laughing cheerfully. Azure’s semblance was already tuning into people around her, so the sudden rush of happiness from the group hit her hard. A grin split her face as a laugh bubbled from her lips, she flopped backwards so she could lie on her back, looking nearly delirious. As soon as the group of students passed on, the feeling passed. She crashed back to her previous mood, wrinkling her forehead in slight embarrassment and disgust.

“God I am so sorry for whatever just happened, I really shouldn’t have picked such a public place to hang out right after traveling,” she said. Because she was still tired from traveling, she was feeling the effects of her semblance more than she usually would, which was why the small crowd had prompted such a reaction from her.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on October 07, 2018, 01:28:10 AM
It was a pleasant day, today. Unfortunately, the beauty of it was currently lost on Aurelia, who is currently lost in thought. She had intended to take a brief stroll through Beacon’s gardens in order to clear her head, but it was to no avail: the horse faunus was still pensive. 

The Vytal Festival Tournament had exposed a reckless tendency in her fighting style.  Aurelia took many unnecessary risks in her first-round bout, even willingly giving up her sword for what was at the time an unknown benefit.  And while those risks did feed her information on how her opponent fought, Aurelia was punished rightfully for each risk she took.  The worst part is that she would have never fought like that while on horseback.  The combination of being out of her comfort zone and fighting

That being said, mistakes can be corrected, and her tournament showing wasn’t what was bothering her.  The problem was that she was supposed to be a team leader:  what happens if those flaws come through during a mission and she recklessly risks her teammates?  Forget just keeping the team together, she’ll get someone killed!

Aurelia sighs, probably for the hundredth time that day, as her tail idly flicks.  She needs to find something to take her mind off of such grim topics, but that task seems to be more than just a walk in the park, much to her chagrin.  But why is she getting so worked up over this?  Flaws can be fixed, and she’s already recognized and identified said flaw, and that means she’s already taken the first step to amending it. 

But you haven’t taken the second, yet. her thoughts intruded, scolding her for her time spent idling in a garden.  And it was true, Aurelia had yet to do anything that could qualify as progress towards rectifying the problem.  Not for lack of trying, though.  The problem lies in her decision making.  And not just tactical decisions, either, but in individual instants during the heat of battle.  Any armchair warrior can reflect upon mistakes in hindsight.  What she needs is experience, and that’s an incredibly difficult and risky thing to come by.  So, no, she hasn’t made progress fixing her fatal flaw.

Aurelia shakes her head to try and snap herself out of her thoughts.  There’s nothing that can be done about it right now, so she should find something else to do.  There’s no point in worrying.  Something else to do, something else to do…

She took a moment to scan the area, mostly to gauge how far she had wondered in pensive thought before regaining her senses.  It was here that she spotted Azure and Saffron chatting under a tree, though it wasn’t their conversation that caught her attention.  The white Atlas uniform stood out quite clearly against the background, not to mention Aurelia had the feeling she had seen her somewhere before…

”Pardon me, I believe I’ve seen you before.  By any chance, did you participate in this year’s Vytal Festival?” she asked Saffron as she made her way over to the pair.  Looking to the other girl, she took a few seconds to study Azure.  Unfortunately for the first year and despite being an Atlesian Faunus herself, Aurelia fails to recognize the artist.  Her upbringing had instilled in Aurelia an appreciation for classical, as stereotypical as it sounds.  Still, her observation did apparently yield some insight, as the horse faunus brings a hand to her mouth in mild surprise.

”Oh, forgive me, I seem to have forgotten my manners.  Aurelia Lumen, Beacon third year." she says as she bows, before returning to her ramrod straight posture, the crease in her pants barely affected by the movement.  Yes, Aurelia, despite clearly being a woman, is wearing the male uniform for whatever reason.  On top of that, the creases and folds are immaculate, and not even a hair is out of place.  She could put even Atlas students to shame, at least when it comes to rigid appearances.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on October 07, 2018, 07:49:54 AM
’Maybe keeping something back on a personal level might help make sure your music can still be an escape if it is different to what you perform. I understand you might not have that luxury but I do feel it’s important to have something even if it’s not music. It’s kept me sane so far.’ Saffron offered. Finding coping measures for herself and others caught up in the intense environment of Atlas was a common experience for Saffron but finding a coping mechanism from your own coping mechanism might be out of even her expertise. She still couldn’t truly abandon the issue, Saffron had seen enough dropouts and worse from burnouts to ever not offer some sort of solution.  ’You could take up sewing, help keep yourself together in more ways than one.’ Saffron teased gesturing at Azure’s ripped jeans. The rebellious fashion statement wasn’t exactly one Saffron agreed with and although everyone was free to dress any way they wish it was difficult to let Azure’s fashion choices go unremarked upon. ’Yea I lead Team SALT and yes again they aren’t here, still stuck in the cold. This is as much about self-exploration as it is completing missions as well as training for … in less than two years time we will go our separate ways.’ Safrron responds saddening greatly as she realised how little time she might have left as part of a team, it wasn’t a thought she frequently pondered and there was a reason; she needed them, she wasn’t ready to move on but the world didn’t care either way.

’Oh right.’ Saffron began remembering she had missed one of Azure’s questions before and quickly went on to correct that. ’Well I’m not particularly fast on my feet, neutrally call myself stocky, and combined with the armour I wear I won’t be winning any races. So I need a good stockpile of range attacks as well the shotguns can be loaded with wind dust to give me a bit of a boost when I need it or ice dust to slow down targets. And the hatchets… well that’s kind of straightforward, I’d break too many nails if I used my fists.’ Saffron explained smiling widely at her self-deprecating humour. It was tempting to go into more detail about the tricks her specific combination of weapons could make use off, mainly the shotguns being linked to her wrist mounted scroll.  ’Well if I am going to be helping you with combat school stuff it might help have more of an idea of how you use your guitar, I understand that this is a personal thing so I could start on something more general but as I’m sure you remember with guitar, making sure you fundaments are in place before moving on is key to cultivating good habits.’ Saffron continued, although she was still smiling Saffron tone did become more serious, it was a serious topic after all and if everything went to plan they would end up as competitors to some degree so knowing all of Azure’s secrets would be quite the unfair advantage.

’Well there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s a direction you want to go in and it’s for a good reason. Outrage is definitely profitable but, and I know you didn’t choose this, but there are a lot of eyes on your and no pressure but you might be the only Faunus some people regularly interact with even if it’s only listening to your music. That gives you a lot of opportunities to change minds but also reinforce stereotypes… so no pressure. You are not the only one of course but …. I don’t envy the role you’ve chosen to play but I’ll help any way I can.’ Saffron remarked, it was getting a little heavy so she tried to find a more pleasant topic. Her wrist device would do. ’Yea it can do a lot of stuff, closer to a laptop than a scroll really, clashes with a few fashion choices unfortunately but that’s the price we pay I suppose. Utilitarian works sometimes but its a bit of a push here regardless of how useful the mini-supercomputer is.’ Saffron joked before pausing to think about Azure’s question about traveling. It was something she was well familiar, having set foot on each of Remnant’s continents by five and expeditions only getting more serious since then but she always returned to Atlas. There was something in that imposing utilitarianism which spoke to her on a deep, personal level. Like a stack, a part of the headland which has stood against the sea for so long it has become separate from the rest of the cliff, Atlas was nothing like anything else.  ’There is nowhere I would rather be that Atlas, not that you aren’t pleasant company but I could spend a hundred lifetimes wandering Solitas. There isn’t much Grimm in the ice so it’s peaceful; freezing cold, blisteringly windy and a nightmare to get deep into the snowfields but peaceful.’ Saffron responded, it was hardly the most interesting answer but the truth often isn’t.

Saffron reacted immediately as Azure seemed to have a little episode right in front of her. Taking the younger girl into her arms Saffron’s quills immediately standing on edge as her eyes scanned the park. There wasn’t any obvious cause and Azure seemed to come down quickly enough but it was more than enough to activate Saffron’s more protective side.  ’We can go somewhere more private if you want? Saffron asked not giving in to her curiosity about what caused the episode. How quickly Azure recovered did assume some degree of regularity but that didn’t mean it was a topic for discussion. It was now Aurelia entered the conversation. Subconsciously shifting herself between Azure and Aurelia Saffron looked up and down the newcomer. Of course Saffron immediately recognised Aurelia, the preparation she had put in before the Vytal tourney had gone a lot deeper than appearances and nodded in response.  ’Yes I’m Saffron de Cortez, honestly, most of the tourney is a bit of a blur, so much adrenaline and stress have left quite the haze but I remember you having a fight against one of your fellow Beacon student, Airi Okairos. It was an impressive performance.’ Saffron introduced herself settling down slightly. Aurelia wasn’t likely to be a threat, frankly, any threat was unlikely to be at Beacon. Moving a little away from Azure Saffron left her hand on the rock star’s shoulder. The bow was a little overboard in Saffron’s books but no one could fault the horse Faunuses posture or sincerity and both did a lot to ingratiate Aurelia with Saffron. ’Your arrival might end up being quite helpful to us but I don’t want to be presumptuous, do you have a request or simply looking for a chat?’ Saffron asked perfectly happy with either outcome.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on October 07, 2018, 01:16:01 PM
“Yeah, I think there are definitely things I won’t be putting in music for sure,” she laughed w little, somewhat awkwardly. “But I think I’ve managed to make it something that’s less of an escape, and more as a means to tie everything together, ya know? Like before I got the record deal it was just this separate thing, but now, especially after I made Renegade, it can work as a kind of constant in the chaos, if ya know what I mean?” Azure gestured to Renegade as she mentioned the weapon. She grimaced as Saffron mentioned sewing. “Oh hell no, ew, gross. Sewing is awful. Boring. I hate it,” she declared, before noticing Saffron’s indication of her severely ripped jeans. Her eyebrows arched. “Oh well I’m sorry my fashion choice is not up to you atlesian standards,” she joked, laughing. “I just like to show a little bit of skin.” She added a playful, teasing wink after her statement, smirking.

Azure listened intently as Saffron described how she used her weapon, thinking of how she could use this knowledge to her advantage if they were ever to spar together. Of course, not that it would really matter that much anyways; Azure didn’t like taking other people’s fighting styles into account, she didn’t adapt to different situations. But that was probably because she didn’t have anything to adapt in the first place; her style was so random and spontaneous that it was hard to really call it a style, and more like just flailing around and hoping for the best. “Yeah same here, with the Dust thing, wind Dust is an easy way for me to move around. Renegade actually uses a wide variety of Dust, I don’t know what I’d do without it.” Her guitar didn’t just use Dust in battle, the entire design was built around Dust. In order to not have to drag an amp around with her every time she wanted to play her guitar, Azure had implemented a Dust core into Renegade that served as an amp, converting the vibrations of the strings that the pickups registered into a louder sound that came from the body of the guitar. Without Dust, that core wouldn’t existed, and Renegade would more or less be your average electric guitar.

She perked up excitedly, always happy to talk about her guitar. She wasn’t even thinking of how giving away such knowledge would be disadvantageous to herself in combat, as she leapt to her feet and grabbed Renegade. “So obviously,” she activated the blades, “it’s an axe.” The guitar would hum sightly as the core warmed up, the lights along the edges of the pickups, pickguard, and various dials glowing to life. The whole guitar would begin to pulse with a very faint black-colored light. Dark, navy blue aura would begin to crackle up and down the reinforced steel strings like lightning. “But then, I can’t use a strap in combat, right? It would just get in the way, and I’d have to be able to switch from swinging it like an axe to playing it, yeah? So what I’ve done, is it’s all infused with gravity Dust, which is partially where the black color comes from. And then I can-” she knocked her fists together twice in quick succession, which caused the thick metal bracelets around her wrists to light up. The bracelets were each about an inch wide, with thick strips running through the middle, covering nearly the entire width of the bracelet, and made of what appeared to be a white, opaque, plastic-like substance. As she activated them, the strips lit up with white light. “I can activate Rock and Roll-- the left one is Rock, the right one is Roll-- and-” a quiet beep could be heard as the bracelets paired with the guitar, the white strips began pulsing with the same black-colored light, “and it keeps Renegade up. They use gravity Dust, and they pair with Renegade, and so now it floats!” She let go of her hold on the guitar, revealing that it stayed in mid air, floating near her bracelets, in perfect position to play. She spoke quickly as she explained the workings of her guitar, obviously very excited to discuss it. She managed to catch herself before she launched into an explanation of how the Dust function worked. She’d at least be able to keep that a secret in combat. She had to physically restrain herself by biting her bottom lip lightly to keep herself from explaining the Dust function. As soon as she was done showing off her guitar she would deactivate it, prompting a sound like that of a generator winding down, then sit back down on the grass, laying Renegade next to her on the ground.

“I mean it’s not like I really dislike being a political statement-- I mean, I get to be a voice for those that don’t have one, and that’s amazing. But I just wish I didn’t have to be a political statement. Like, there are times when it seems like I am defined solely by the fact that I’m a faunus. Why can’t I just be a rock artist who happens to have a wolf tail too? Why does such a tiny trait have to define me so much?” She was clearly very passionate about faunus rights and representation, but she quickly cooled down as Saffron further discussed her watch. She peered over at Saffron’s watch as the redhead began describing it. Saffron had mentioned it was more accessible in combat, leaving Azure to wonder how she used it in a fight. Maybe she could remote control her boomerangs?

“Why the hell would you want to stay in Atlas?” Azure asked before she could stop herself, her lack of filter letting her speak her mind without thinking of the consequences. “It’s cold and drab and awful and places like here are just so much nicer to look at!” She gestured around to the garden as she spoke. “Like yeah there’s few Grimm, but it just seems much more... suffocating. As soon as I graduate from here I’ll probably move here permanently.” She didn’t even realize what she was saying would probably have a negative effect on Saffron-- trash talking the kingdom she’d just said she preferred above all the others, it wasn’t the most mindful thing to do. But Azure couldn’t help it, she spoke her mind without thinking.

Azure shrugged Saffron off, waving her offer away. As she watched the group of laughing students walk away, she realized it must have been because her semblance was still active. “Nah, it’s fine. It’s just my semblance, it gets a little... sensitive when I’m tired, especially after traveling. I’m just...” she gestured vaguely, “I should probably turn it off before that happens again.” She didn’t go into detail about what exactly her semblance was, that, at least, was something she could keep a secret. It wasn’t just to have an advantage in combat, though; she often tried to stay away from having to explain her semblance, as most people found it confusing or unnerving-- they would sometimes become paranoid, and accuse her mind controlling them at times.

As a new voice spoke up, Azure looked up to see who had joined the two of them. Her navy eyes landed on the girl-- clean, pristine, organized, not even a single strand of hair out of place; perfect posture, she seemed more Atlesian than Saffron, and Saffron was the one in an Atlas uniform! And she looked like some type of goddess too: all bright and golden and perfectly kept. Everything Azure wasn’t. Much like her initial reaction to Saffron, Azure found her lying back slightly, assuming a more casual, informal position. She took off her black leather jacket in a motion that seemed nonchalant and meaningless-- why would she need a reason to take off a jacket? Maybe she had just gotten hot-- but was really a subtle attempt to draw the new arrivals attention to the fact that, not only was Azure the only one not in uniform out of the three of them, but also that she technically wasn’t even wearing a shirt. Beneath her jacket, she had on only a dark, charcoal grey sports bra, with her emblem emblazoned on the front in midnight blue. This action also brought to light both her navel piercing, in which she was currently wearing a simple black, curved barbell stud, and her tattoo: a long vine that stretched from somewhere beneath the waistline of her jeans up to the bottom of her ribs, along the left side of her body. The vine was decorated with thorns and flowers. It was, by far, the largest tattoo she had. And thus, she thought, the perfect thing to display to show the newcomer what she should be expecting from Azure.

Azure hadn’t participated in, nor even witnessed, really the tournament of which the two girls spoke (she had been on tour during that time, which left for little time to relax and watch TV), so she couldn’t add any input there. However, after Saffron and Aurelia had introduced themselves, Azure reached up to extend her hand to the new girl. “Azure Blair,” she said, flashing a grin, “might’ve heard of me, might’ve not. Depends on your musical taste.”
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on October 09, 2018, 03:17:30 AM
As she’s only just now entering the conversation, Aurelia wasn’t quite sure what to make of the situation presented before her.  On one hand, Saffron had wrapped her arms around the other girl, her faunus trait revealing themselves due to some form of excitement.  On the other hand, as soon as Aurelia walked up, the woman named Azure had stripped her jacket off.  The resulting amount of skin showing did little to assuage Aurelia’s growing concerns.  She had wanted something to do in order to distract herself, but she wasn’t expecting to have to play disciplinarian, especially not to an Atlas student of all people.

”*Ahem* Yes, well, I can relate to the stress quite well, the tournament bouts were all hard-fought battles.  That being said, and while I certainly can appreciate wanting to—shall we say—vent your frustrations, perhaps there are better times and places than the middle of an academy garden in the middle of the day,” Aurelia says to the two of them rather sternly.  In any case, from Aurelia’s tone, it seems clear that Azure’s name doesn’t ring a bell. 

”Anyways, I had merely wandered over to sate my curiosity.  It’s somewhat rare to see an Atlas student here in Vale, and I simply wished to introduce myself,”  she continued, her voice still carrying that stern undertone.  ”Might I ask what brings you to Beacon?  That question goes to you, as well,” she asks, gesturing towards Azure.  As far as Aurelia knows, she’s a total stranger with no visible indication that she is a student of the academy.  She might have been a guest of some sort, perhaps a companion of Saffron’s. 

Turning back to Saffron, Aurelia says, ”You also mentioned that I might be helpful in some way.  If I may be of assistance, I’d be happy to lend a hand. How may I help?”   
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on October 11, 2018, 12:28:59 AM
’I noticed, no point doing all those situps and hiding them away I guess. Huh that’s a… nice piece of ink I believe the phrase is, does it mean anything?’ Saffron responded spending a short moment searching for the ‘hip’ phrase. Saffron was no stranger to showing her fair share of skin herself, even going so far to use fire dust runes to allow her to do such comfortably in Atlas’ arctic climate. Ripped jeans, however, weren’t something that Saffron understood but she guessed it fit with Azure’s punk persona, the tattoo was much more impressive to Saffron as it showed action rather than inaction. ’A common thread is also helpful, having time to yourself might not always be possible with a life like yours so making sure you are always doing what you love is the only way to stay sane. Not that we aren’t all a little insane when you think about it’ Saffron continued looking off into the distance. A lot of effort was put into social support at Atlas, it’s more regimented outlook allowed for more of a hands-on approach to recovery, both physically and mentally. It was a necessary thing in Saffron’s view, the darkness they all faced every day could never be withstood alone and it isn’t always easy to confide with your team.

’Dust is an incredible asset.’ Saffron agreed innately but a ‘but’ was clearly coming. ’But remember it’s only a tool, the only thing you can guarantee you will have at your back every fight is your body and your friends. You should try to get some practice in with fighting without dust, not only for the situations in which you have to but also when you think you will have to save up for future encounters.’ Saffron warned. It was a common problem with Atlas student and when self-reliance is tied to failable technology it wasn’t really self-reliance and when those devices broke or simply ran out of power the results weren’t pretty. It was a harsh reality check for many, one which luckily enough Saffron’s parents had been drilling into her since before she wanted to go to Atlas Academy. Saffron’s electroreceptors could easily tell that little normal electrical current flowed through Renegade as Azure did her demonstration. ’I guess it also keeps the guitar in your hands when you are dancing around on stage. And I could imagine a few attacks from unexpected angles resulting from playing around with gravity. Very impressive. Just remember not to slack off on those sit-ups, your abs don’t run out of ammo.’ Saffron responded with a smile. As serious these issues are they shouldn’t kill the mood entirely.

Azure’s outburst was completely understandable and Saffron wasn’t at all offended by it, a little saddened that Azure wouldn’t return to Atlas but no one is obligated to stay where they are hated. ’Well beyond the weather I guess it’s because I’m OK being a political statement as well. Not that I’m accusing you of running away but not everyone has the means to leave Atlas, there needs to be proof that we can make our lives back there. That we can be successful, rising to the peaks of Atlas society regardless of the roadblocks in our way. Also, I can change more from the inside than the outside.’ Saffron responded a small smile beguiling deeper inner conflict. Every day was literally a day closer to her dream but it didn’t always feel like that to Saffron and when she looked back on all to progress she had made it seemed so little compared to harm others could, and often did, so easily inflict. ’Maybe think of it like songwriting, time signatures and instrument choice may at first seem confining but with restrictions come ways to subvert them, showing your own personal style in a way impossible without said restrictions. And… you can’t break the rules if there aren’t any rules, to begin with.’ Saffron continued her smile growing as she sort to convince Azure, herself as well as in a way Aurelia who could easily hear the entire exchange.

Saffron was still a little worried about Azure even as she brushed her off, a semblance with that kind of drawback could be very dangerous, particularly with Azure’s lifestyle. Still, it would have to be something Azure has to deal with on her own eventually and all Saffron could do was support that. As such the Atlas student was caught quite off guard by Aurelia’s comment, quickly turning as red as her hair and separating from the punk star. ’It’s… not like that...Azure was simply feeling the effects of her travels… she’s fine now though… there was nothing like that.’ Saffron replied incredibly embarrassed as she reluctantly backing away from Azure. A few deep breaths managed to calm down Saffron enough but her blush was still noticeable down to her neck. ’Well nice to meet you, Aurelia… hope you are having a nice day. I asked Headmaster Lovis if I could partake in some advanced classes focused on more real-world situations. As such I’ve been taking missions across the various continents with my stay here generously supplied by your Headmaster Inverno.’ Saffron responded falling back into a much more regimented response than what she gave to Azure even if they both ending up meaning the same thing.

’Well I’ve just been to comfor...reassure Azure here of her abilities and offering my help in bringing those to the fore. You two will obviously be around each other longer than I so perhaps together we could provide Azure a good base moving forward? Confidence comes from knowledge after all.’ Saffron explained, honestly having an older Beacon student would make the situation much easier, as much as there would be an advantage in offering a different perspective on the matter simply knowing what will be tested would be more effective in simply getting Azure to pass. ’As long as that is OK with you Azure? More the merrier after all… er for purely educational purposes of course.’ Saffron continued overly examining her words so Aurelia doesn’t get the wrong impression accidentally doing the exact opposite. Well that might make it more likely for her to accept if only to chaperone. Saffron thought to herself dryly, she had not made a good first impression.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on October 14, 2018, 09:34:19 PM
Azure glanced down at her tattoo. “No, it doesn’t mean anything. I just got it ‘cause I thought it was pretty.” That technically wasn’t entirely true. She had gotten it because she wasn’t thinking straight; because she didn’t know how to control her impulses. Because she had been manic. She had gone into the shop and picked out the biggest tattoo she could find, not really realizing or caring about how expensive it would turn out to be. That was always her biggest problem when manic, spending money. And also the fact that she now had a permanent tattoo that, while she didn’t hate, she still would have preferred something different had she been thinking straight.

She laughed a little. She considered herself more than a little insane at times, but she didn’t voice this. Instead, she simply shrugged and said, “yeah, everyone’s pretty crazy.” She was well aware of the social support Atlas offered, not that it had done much help when she’d been bouncing from foster home to foster home, but it had put her back on the right track after she had derailed. She knew some people weren’t as lucky to get the help they needed as she had been; she took a moment to be grateful for the orange pill bottle sitting on her dresser.

“Nah, I need to rely on Dust when I fight ‘cause I don’t have my own back,” Azure joked. A strip of sun fell across her eyes, she squinted in the light. “But yeah, I need to practice fighting with just my axe. Except for that without Dust, Renegade literally won’t work. Well, I suppose I could use it as a club, it’s heavy enough and sturdy enough.” She cracked a smile at her own joke. “I don’t use Renegade too much during shows, but when I do she is pretty useful. She helps me use my semblance more, which can be necessary at times.” Sometimes, if she was just feeling too exhausted or upset to perform, and knew her performance would be lacking her regular enthusiasm, she would use her semblance to both keep herself more energized, and keep the audience happy. “And it works well with dancing... up until you forget to switch which bracelet is activated, and end up accidentally smacking your drummer in the face with a guitar...” She brushed off the memory of the incident with a roll of her eyes. That had definitely not been her proudest moment.

Azure mulled over Saffron’s reasoning for staying in Atlas. Both of them were political statements in their own way, so it was perfectly understandable that Saffron should stay in the  utilitarian kingdom, considering her political statement was based in the Atlesian military. For Azure, she just needed to be as successful as possible, to prove that people like her could be successful, and she couldn’t do that in Atlas. “Yeah, I can imagine it would be hard to be an faunus Atlas specialist if you aren’t actually in Atlas.” She shrugged. “I can’t do what I need to do in that kingdom, though, I think I’ll be better off here.” She didn’t explain further, leaving her words up for interpretation.

At the new girl’s accusatory words, Azure laughed. She wasn’t embarrassed the way Saffron seemed to be, she was used to things like this-- assumptions, rumors, especially regarding the current topic. She had been subject to enough to just laugh them off. “No, hon,” she said, “we’re not doing anything like that-- not that I’d object if we were--” she smirked, “but no, you seem to have misunderstood the situation. I was just... reacting to the effects of travel. But I mean, if that’s what you were looking for...” She added a wink with her last line. What could she say? She was already in a good mood, and she was talking to two cute girls-- the newer of which she was pretty sure had an actual halo, but then again that might have just been the angle on the sun on her perfectly kept blonde hair. How could she not flirt a bit? It would practically go against her nature to not flirt.

“I’m a student here, just like you, but you probably haven’t seen me ‘round before, I just got here last night,” she told Aurelia. “You’re a third year, you said? That’s good, it’ll be useful to know some upperclassmen.” She hadn’t particularly planned on having any type of mentors here at Beacon, she’d been assuming she would just make it through the best she could by herself, so she wasn’t sure how to react when given the opportunity to learn from an older student. She ended up agreeing with the offer. “And yeah, sure, I wouldn’t mind some extra help.” She smirked, “more is always merrier, except in certain cases, like when fighting Grimm.” Several other examples of when “more” might not necessarily mean “merrier” flashed through her mind, but she managed to refrain from voicing them. To do so would give an impression stranger than the one she had already given, and she didn’t want to come off as too weird just yet; she might run the risk of losing her first potential friends.

Well... “friends” might not be the right word for Aurelia, Azure determined, eyeing the blonde girl. Aurelia seemed too uptight, too different from Azure; friendship probably wouldn’t be the easiest. Azure wasn’t even sure she wanted a friendship from Aurelia. Sure, she’d be a useful acquaintance, but Azure didn’t know if she’d be able to put up with so much formality without snapping from time to time.

“Hey, how hard are the classes here?” Azure asked suddenly, looking up at Aurelia. She squinted as she did so, the sunlight making it hard to see. She was hoping she could prepare herself before diving into the course load. While she wasn’t one to plan during combat, she did like prepping for academics. Azure was well aware of her struggle with classroom style teaching, and knew extra effort would be needed if she wanted to learn and pass her classes. “‘Cause I don’t do to well learning from people just talking at me. It just...” she shrugged, “doesn’t stick in my head very well. It’s somewhat better if I can take notes, but if I can’t then it’s just a nightmare.” She had resumed picking grass as she spoke, and was now braiding a new grass bracelet.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on October 16, 2018, 04:13:40 AM
Listening in to their conversation, Aurelia took note of Azure’s weapon.  A weapon that requires dust to work is problematic, to say the least.  Dust is a limited resource that should be carefully rationed throughout any given mission.  Use too much too early, and the later legs of the mission will become exponentially more difficult.  Refuse to use it, then there’s no point to carrying it at all.  For now, though, Aurelia keeps her thoughts to herself, instead merely listening to the conversation at hand.

Doing so reveals that Azure is some sort of stage performer, a “rock star” if the guitar-weapon, lackadaisical attitude, and overall persona are any indication.  Upon closer inspection, the girl does seem vaguely familiar.  Perhaps she saw a poster in Atlas advertising her tour, or maybe around Vale and Beacon?  It never really interested her at the time, being far too busy with classwork or the tournament.  Quite frankly, given that she’s seeing the woman in the flesh (quite a bit of flesh, at that), she’s still not interested.  A few cursory glances and snippets of conversation tells more than Aurelia needs to know:  Azure is one of those “original” characters, ones that prefer style over substance.  She’s unapologetically reckless, judging by her weapon and this story of swinging a guitar into someone’s face.  And let’s not forget that she strips down to a sports bra in broad daylight with little regard to her surroundings.

There’s at least a bit of consolation, though.  Azure’s at least dimly aware that her presence and actions have consequences.  It may be a reluctant acceptance, but the fact she recognizes herself as a “political statement” at all is a sign that she can grow.  ”Anything worth discussing will be politicized. You should consider it an honor if people think highly enough to try and put you down,” Aurelia says, quoting her adoptive father.  At the very least, Saffron and Azure’s conversation is clearly innocent in nature, judging from the content.

Saffron’s embarrassed reaction confirms her observation.  At least someone can understand the concept of public decency.  Still keeping her stern countenance, Aurelia responds to the echidna faunus’s explanation, ”I see.  In that case, I wish you well in your endeavor. Real world experience is hard to come by, even as a combat academy student.  Perhaps we’ll be working together on a mission while you’re here?”  A goal driven by realistic understanding is one Aurelia can fully support, and she would relish the opportunity to work with a fellow Atlesian Faunus. 

The other faunus, though, does not receive such a kind response to her flirtations. The horse faunus’s expression is still as stone-faced as ever, but her voice carries all the disdain of Atlesian high society.  ”Was that a proposition?  Forgive me.  As much as I would relish the opportunity to jump a half-naked floozy in broad daylight, I’ll have to take a raincheck,” she says icily.  Flirting with Aurelia when she already doubts your motives is definitely the wrong move. 

Unfortunately, that outburst would probably keep Azure from identifying herself as a first year, but there are enough context clues (including Saffron’s explanation) to infer the situation.  ”I see, a new student.  That explains both the weapon and the lack of uniform,” and the blind arrogance, Aurelia left unsaid.  ”I suppose the first thing to do is make sure you’re all settled in. Do you know where you’re staying?  Do you have your room key?  Have you been fitted for your uniform?  Do you have your uniform?  Do you have your schedule?  Do you know where your classes are?  And have you secured a weapons locker?” Aurelia fires off rapid-fire questions, running through a mental checklist of things first years are likely to overlook or possibly disregard.  She may not necessarily like Azure at this point, but her responsibilities as an upperclassman demand she assist the new arrival.  After all, they may end up having to work together at some point.

Aurelia continues, ”As far as classes are concerned, you should be fine if you passed the entrance exam. As long as you maintain a diligent work ethic and attendance record, you should learn all you need to know.  The faculty here is excellent, as expected of a premiere combat academy, and they’ll be more than willing to assist you should you require it.”   
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on October 16, 2018, 07:38:40 PM
’Truely? Painful bit of beautification but I guess we have all done some pretty out there things to look pretty.’ Saffron responded, curious but not wanting to push if the topic was uncomfortable which it half felt like it was. Tattoos had always interested Saffron although she had yet to get one, to worried she would scratch them off while they were healing, she was nevertheless surprised it had no significance. Perhaps surprisingly tattoos weren’t that uncommon among the Atlas students, as long as they could be hidden beneath the uniform, but that was clearly not the situation here. ’An oddly shaped stick is better than no weapon at all, and you still have the axe blades themselves right? But like I said your teammates will play a critical role in your fighting style, at least for the next four years.’ Saffron continued, like Aurelia Saffron was dismayed at someone's only weapon requiring dust to work and that worry clearly flowed into her voice.

’Oh no.’ Saffron remarked struggling to hold in laughter at the image of Azure accidentally smacking her drummer across the head. ’Maybe they need to put you on a separate stage, for everyone else's safety. But I’m sure they got you back for it somehow.’ Saffron continued chuckling away. There again was a reference to Azure’s semblance, something that helps her perform, something that overwhelms her when she is tired, something she can channel through her weapon. An unofficial game of twenty questions which although Saffron knew from personal experience how difficult it could make your schooling but it still wasn’t something she could keep her mind off. ’So do you have a band or does your manager contact musicians on a case by case basis?’ Saffron asked, hoping for the former because it would both ensure Azure has at least some form of support network as well as regardless of her words to the contrary it may keep connections to Atlas as she grows up.

’Just because it does doesn’t mean it should be. Politicizing things that aren’t political overcomplicates them which is doubly fustrating when the subject matter is overcomplicated in the first place. Almost everyone wants to see the Faunus succeed in isolation but when other issues get attached to that, our cheap access to dust or security against the Grimm then many are increasingly willing to allow injustices to go on unopposed if they know they are going on in the first place. Same with having a ‘thick skin,’ just because many do doesn’t mean they should. With all due respect, there is nothing honourable about being the subject of ridicule Aurelia nor dishonourable about avoiding it.’ Saffron responded turning to face the horse Faunus, despite the strict disagreement Saffron did try to sound as passive as possible as she said it was an overcomplicated topic anyway. ’But I’m sure that can be arranged, it would be educational for both of us, all three of us if we can transfer what we learn back.’ Saffron finished gesturing at Azure.

That passivity did quickly vanish as the exchange between Azure and Aurelia grew. Caught a little off guard by the iciness and rapid-fire nature of the questions it took Saffron a few moments to compose herself for a response. ’Aurelia that was uncalled for.’ Saffron exclaimed, although Aurelia wasn’t 100% at fault it was definitely an overreaction to Saffron who would have responded to Azure’s childish remark with a simple shake of her head. Saffron was going to add more but she didn’t want to overstep her bounds by telling Aurelia how she should deal with her younger classmates. Once the conflict had hopefully softened slightly Saffron would try to turn the subject back on topic. ’Actually I was hoping for something a little more direct if you have the time and the temperance maybe we could train together, all together. Hands-on training always seems to stick in my mind the most. You get to impart your personalised lessons and maybe work out any left over… er… tension.’ Saffron finished, it didn’t look like it was going to happen given the rather negative first impressions but that wasn’t the end of the world. Saffron, of course, would still try to help as much as she could even if she spends most of her time on the other side of the world.

As conversation started to die down a little Saffron thought it might be nice to have a little more personal discussion. ’So now that everyone has been introduced how about we get to know each other better? Where did everyone grow up? I was born in Atlas but moved around lot between Menagerie and Atlas with my father and mother respectively but I traveled all over.’ Saffron asked hoping this topic would be less charged than the others. 
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on October 17, 2018, 07:03:33 PM
“Yep. It was... not my proudest moment, I must say.” Maybe some other time she would go more in depth with how she got her vine tattoo, but at the moment she didn’t know Saffron and Aurelia enough to disclose that information. She figured it would be best to wait until some later time, as the story behind the piece of body art was far from something to be shared during a first meeting. Azure figured she would probably never explain the reasoning behind her tattoo to the golden haired horse faunus, though; she could already tell Aurelia looked down on her, and could only imagine how much great that disdain would grow if she heard about Azure’s... less stable side.

Azure shrugged. “I guess, I’ve never really tried to use the blades without the core. I mean, the Dust core is where it generates its power, so I’m not even sure it would turn on without it.” Now that she was saying it outloud, she was realizing how big of a design flaw her Dust core was. She hadn’t been thinking about that when she had made it, she had been too excited by the idea of merging her two favourite things to create her most prized possession. When she had gotten the idea to combine her two biggest coping mechanisms, it had felt like she was finally tying her life together, like before it had been in scattered pieces and now it was wrapped up all nice and pretty and tied with big bow. Of course, not soon after it had all fallen apart again, but that wasn’t the point...

“Oh man, yeah, he definitely got me back for it,” Azure laughed. “I was cleaning glitter out of my hair for a week! And I had to vacuum my bed twice to clean it up!” Sparrow’s retaliation for being hit in the face with a guitar had been several well timed glitter bombs. Which had, of course, resulted in a full on glitter war between the two of them, with the other band members, and back up singers, taking sides. The war had lasted for several weeks, and probably would have continued had it not been for the abrupt ending of her second tour.

“It’s kind of a mix. I’m technically a solo artist, so I don’t have a band, but I do have people I prefer to work with when it comes to picking people for tours and studio work. Like Sparrow, the guy I hit in the face, is my favourite drummer to work with. I met him during my first tour and we became really good friends. He worked on Eclipse with me, too, since I liked him better than the drummer for my debut,” Azure explained. Crim, the drummer for her first album had been much more of a novice than Sparrow. Crim had been going to accompany Azure on her first tour until a car accident left him with a broken arm. Sparrow had been the replacement, and Azure had found she got along a lot better with him and with Crim.

At Aurelia’s comment, Azure froze, her expression hardening. Her navy eyes flashed. A growl akin to that of a wolf rumbled in the back of her throat. “I wouldn’t really call repeated bomb threats an honor,” she said bluntly, hoping to shut Aurelia down with her lack of sugar-coating. Her voice was low in pitch as she spoke, her words sharp. Her tail had bristled, everything about her posture screaming that she was all too ready to fight the beautiful blonde.

As the topic changed, Azure remained on edge, only to quickly throw on her laid back persona once more at Aurelia’s icy tone. She wouldn’t give the horse girl the satisfaction of her seeing her upset by such a comment. Instead, she grinned coolly. “Would it help if I was fully naked?” She swished her wolf tail playfully, it brushed against Aurelia’s ankles. However, it wasn’t enough to hide Azure’s growing dislike of the goddess-looking girl.

The sarcasm that dripped from Azure’s voice was practically tangible as she answered Aurelia’s slew of questions. “No, I don’t know where I’m staying, I just found a random room and claimed it. No, I don’t have my room key, I climbed through the window. Of course I have my uniform, while else would I be wearing normal clothes? I mean it’s not like they give you your schedule upon arrival or anything, that would be crazy, am I right? Given that I’ve only been conscious at this school for like four hours, I’ve obviously had so much time to figure out where all my classes are. Yeah I got a locker and then just chose to carry a guitar around all day. Capeesh?” She rolled her eyes as she spoke, toying with the strings of Renegade.

“Ya know, Saf, I don’t think training together would end too well.” She eyed Aurelia. “I don’t think miss princess here would be able to handle my informality, I fear she might mentally implode if she had to work with me.” A hotty smirk grew across her face as she spoke, as if challenging Aurelia to counter her.

At the change of topic, Azure sat up and re-situated herself so she was against the trunk of the tree. She continued pulling up grass. “Born and raised in Atlas,” she said, “fun times...” She glanced back over at Aurelia. Even if she was wearing a beacon uniform, Azure still reckoned she could safely guess she was from Atlas a well. Or maybe Aurelia had mentioned being from Atlas earlier-- if she had, Azure hadn’t been paying attention.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on October 18, 2018, 05:09:52 AM
The chat between Azure and Saffron continues, and Aurelia finds some of the subject matter to be most uninteresting.  To be frank, she cares little for the subject of body art, piercings, and the like.  If others wish to adorn their bodies with such trivialities, it’s fine by her as long as it doesn’t get in the way of her work.

The weapon, on the other hand, does pique Aurelia’s interest, though not in a necessarily positive way.  Where does she begin?  ”Dust is a finite resource, and field missions could take days or even weeks to complete.  Eventually, your weapon will run out of dust, and a non-functioning weapon is, at best, a glorified club and, at worst, dead weight.  I highly recommend you address that at the first available opportunity.  There is a forge here with all the materials you will need,” she critiques.  Aurelia’s certain Azure won’t want to hear it from her, even more so if the wolf faunus had crafted it by hand.  But a potentially crippling flaw should be resolved as quickly as possible. 

Though, as controversial as telling someone to change the weapon they worked so hard to create is, apparently Aurelia had unintentionally stumbled into a debacle of a different sort.  It seems her dismissal of baseless detractors has met with a surprising amount of resistance.  Azure’s entire demeanor had changed, in fact, to the point she looked like she wanted to fight.  Perhaps Aurelia should clarify.  ”There seems to be a grave misunderstanding.  I do not condone threats of violence or acts of ridicule.  Public figures have always come under scrutiny, no matter their line of work.  Whether it’s right or wrong is irrelevant, it simply is.  And it only gets worse if you try to hide from it.  That creates room for rumors to circulate, which will inevitably further damage your reputation,” she explains.  Aurelia’s no stranger to petty politics.  She’s the adopted daughter of a wealthy Atlesian, which means she had to withstand the scrutiny of the Atlesian elite starting from the age of ten.  Those people actually had more than enough power and influence to take her down, if they were so inclined, but she couldn’t afford to stay closeted in the shadows.

”That being said, if mere music managed to shatter someone’s world view so thoroughly they were driven to send you death threats, that is an accomplishment, even if you never necessarily wanted it,” Aurelia says to Azure.  Yes, that was indeed a compliment, or at least as close to one as Aurelia can get.  It may not be worth much at this point, but it’s something.

Unfortunately, any points Azure might have scored with Aurelia on that topic quickly vanish as the first-year’s sarcasm bleeds through in the form of continued flirtations.  Aurelia has half a mind to stomp on the tail as it brushes her ankles, but she refrains from doing so for the moment.  Her disdain only increases as Azure goes on an entirely unnecessary and sarcastic rant in response to her questions.  And while that in and of itself was obnoxious, the fact Azure continues to show zero respect toward Aurelia is unacceptable.  So, when Saffron suggests some “hands-on” training, a small smirk appears on the knight’s face.  If nothing else, Azure will learn manners.

”’Informality’?  Informal’s certainly one word to describe you.  I’d have chosen ‘arrogant’, ‘childish’, ‘impulsive’, ‘reckless’, ‘disrespectful’…the list goes on, really.  But, no, ‘informal’ works,” Aurelia retorts to Azure’s smart remark almost immediately.  ”Also, ‘princess’?  If you’re going to resort to name-calling, the least you could do is try to make it insulting.  If your lyrics are as creative as your insults, I can imagine why you would look into another career.”     

As Saffron attempts to change the subject, Aurelia is somewhat surprised to learn Azure is also Atlesian.  She embodies none of the traditional aspects that one would expect, but fact can sometimes be stranger than fiction.  ”I am also of Atlas.  I am the adopted daughter of the Lumen family, you may know of them if you’re locals,” Aurelia says.  The Lumens are wealthy, sure, but not to the extent of the Royales or the Schnees.  Still, they do hold some degree of prominence, it wouldn’t be too surprising for someone who grew up in Atlas to know of them.  Their name certainly came up when Aurelia was adopted, that’s for sure.  Faunus don’t get adopted into aristocratic Atlesian families every day, after all.   

Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on October 19, 2018, 07:58:20 AM
’That must be difficult for your accompanying musicians, learning dozens of songs over a short period is never easy, that and building chemistry must mean there is quite a bit more pressure than otherwise. I guess the garage band dream doesn’t really exist as much anymore but it’s good you’ve found people you can connect to. Even if you are in the habit of attacking them.’ Saffron responds raising an eyebrow teasingly, it may be a low blow but it wasn’t something that Saffron was going to let Azure forget quickly. Aurelia seemed to cover most of the weaknesses of Renegade not functioning without dust well enough that Saffron didn’t feel the need to add anything on that front. Too sympathetic to remain completely quiet as the exchange between Azure and Aurelia grew increasingly hostile Saffron instead took up a ‘good cop’ role. ’Your weapon will undergo dozens of changes over your years at At… Beacon and there is no shame in that, only when you refuse to adapt is there going to be an issue.’ Saffron assured Azure knowing how personal her connection would be if something was the combination of her weapons and 12 string.

’Aurelia I think you are oversimplifying considerably. Keeping a subject on the topic isn’t hiding, it’s the opposite of hiding and the reality that people often don’t always see it that way doesn’t make right. You must be the change you wish to see in the world and if you pedantically change things it will take so long you might as well spend your time drinking for all the good it will do anyone.’ Saffron argued again trying to keep her voice passive. There was a lot of disagreement here and it may not be coming from simple misunderstanding rather fundamentally different worldviews and if that is the case Saffron did hope to be able to salvage the relationship even if Azure doesn’t seem interested. ’And people don’t send death threats because their ‘worldview is shattered.’ They do it to enforce their worldview through fear and violence, terrorism is not a compliment.’ Saffron added, stopping just short of condemning Aurelia personally but the words floated heavy but unspoken in the air.

’Well, not every fight you get into will be with your drummer Azure, and as long as you can control yourself in the sparing ring better than you can in friendly conversation there is unlikely to be an issue.’ Saffron remarked facing the horse Faunus’ direction. Saffron wasn’t hiding that she was taking a lot of Aurelia’s words to Azure quite personally, they had been applied to her more times than she could count. ’In fact, it could be good practice for both of you, working with people with different… outlooks is an inevitability for hunters. If you want things to be a little more organised the Specialists are hiring occasionally.’ Saffron continued hoping to gain something positive out of this altercation before quickly realising she may be pushing Azure into a fight she isn’t comfortable with even if she wouldn’t say so herself. ’But we can work up to that, maybe I can play the part of a warming pool, getting you both warmed up and read…. You know what I mean.’ Saffron finished still trying and failing to dissuade the assumptions of Aurelia which she had unknowingly to Saffron discarded already.

’Well we are all from Atlas eh? What are the chances?’ Saffron joked trying to salvage the mood. The question clearly didn’t bring up anything positive for Azure and the reference of being an ‘adopted’ daughter did imply something equally negative behind the stern exterior. The Lumen name did ring a bell though, Avery has probably dueled against some and equally probably lost. Why the most sensible triplet still partook in such wastes of time was beyond Saffron but she still nodded to signify recognition. Regardless Saffron’s expression did soften from neutrality to genuine sympathy, Saffron was hardly from nobility and still, she often found herself treated more like an impossible to remove stain than a child although perhaps that was more her father. ’I guess bonding over difficulties would be too easy?’ Saffron commented before trying a different tact. ’Well being all from the artic wonderland what would you guys do in the scant few summer months? I often found myself too busy studying to do much now I have more control over my time I’m curious what others got up to.’ Saffron asked, hopefully, this question wouldn’t result in the outpouring of bad vibes as her previous did but you never know.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on October 20, 2018, 11:49:56 AM
As Azure listened to Aurelia talk, she rolled her eyes, not caring for what the horses girl had to say. Renegade had always worked, her dust core hadn’t failed her yet, and she saw no hint that it would be failing her any time soon. And she figured if it ever did die she could just refill it, or make a new one. She had made the core a while back, and it had yet to lose power, so why would it die now? If it could last that long, who was to say it couldn’t last longer? That was her logic, however flawed it may be. She just didn’t want to accept that maybe Aurelia had a point-- she was too proud to admit her weapon design was so severely flawed.

“Oi I didn’t do it on purpose!” Azure laughed, taking a handful of the grass she had pulled up and throwing it casually at Saffron. She continued on, happily discussing music. “Well a lot of the time the people who tour with me are the people who worked on the album with me, so they are already somewhat familiar with the songs. And then, of course, it’s not like we just jump on an aircraft and start touring, we rehearse for months beforehand.” Azure wouldn’t even want to form a permanent band, she much preferred being a solo artist. Being in a band ran the risk of them breaking up; if you’re a solo act, you can’t exactly break up with yourself.

“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Azure agreed with Saffron. “And if getting bomb threats is an accomplishment, then hell, I don’t want to be successful,” she scoffed. Azure’s main issue with the resistance people put up against her fight for the spotlight wasn’t that her reputation would be damaged. She couldn’t care less about what bigoted journalists said about her, she didn’t care what the headlines said. But when innocent fans came into play, that was when things became as issue. Azure could handle it if the death threats were aimed solely at herself, but as soon as the risk of a bombing, or any other act of terrorism that would injure her fans arose, that was where she drew the line. She would rather stay irrelevant and unsuccessful than risk the lives of people who just wanted to enjoy some music.

The word princess held more of an insult than Aurelia seemed to catch on. It then became evident to Azure that Aurelia had never heard a lick of her music. “Take your heart of stone, build it to a throne, you don't seem to know you'll be up there all alone. Princess, better catch your crown before it all falls down,” she said, her voice cold as she quoted the lyrics of her most recent single all fall down, a preview for her upcoming album which bore the same name. “In layman terms, you're so busy being a stuck up bitch, acting like you're above everyone else, that you don't realize it's all gonna backfire some day and leave you standing in the ruins. Princess.” Of course, it wasn’t smart to make insults by referencing one’s own content, especially when there was a high possibility of the person being insulted not understanding. But then again, Azure was never good at making good decisions.

Azure’s perception of Aurelia did a near complete 180 as the horse girl mentioned she was adopted. The fur of her tail lay flat once more, her expression softening somewhat. She mindless plucking of Renegade’s strings ceased. So Aurelia was adopted. That meant, at some point, somehow, she had lost her parents. Azure wondered how young she was when it had happened. How much did she remember? Did she dream of them? Did she miss them? Were they dead or had they just given her up? Azure wasn’t sure which would was worse. She debated saying something, adding in her own input (my parents are dead too) but she refrained. She didn’t want to make the conversation about her, she didn’t want to turn it into the two of them trying to one up each other in tragedy.

“Mainly write music,” Azure replied to Saffron. “Summer is always nice ‘cause I can work outside. Also there are more Grimm during the warmer months, so more chance for real combat training.” She picked up Renegade once more, setting it on her lap and playing a few random chords as she spoke. She didn’t seem to really notice she was doing it, it was just instinctive at this point; if there was a guitar around, pick it up and play it. She quickly ran through the intro to Blackbird as she waited for Aurelia’s reply. Not that she really cared what the haloed girl did during the summer, but she polite enough to at least make it seem like she was listening, even if she wasn’t.

She was too busy thinking about what Aurelia had said about being adopted. She wondered if she had had to go through multiple families before doing so, or if she’d gone straight from an orphanage to the Lumen family. Looking at Aurelia, Azure figured she probably got adopted straight away, she didn’t look like the type of girl that would let herself go through multiple families. Not that that was how it worked, but she gave off an aura of determination and perfection that made it seem like she would be satisfied with nothing less than being adopted immediately. Like it would just be impossible to foster her then send her back.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on October 21, 2018, 04:58:24 AM
It seems, despite Saffron’s encouragement, Aurelia’s criticism of Azure’s weapon fell on deaf ears.  The fact that not one, but two fellow students managed to point out the flaw the instant the mechanism was revealed should have been more than enough evidence to convince her that it needed to be addressed.  However, Azure’s reaction fits the profile Aurelia’s constructed so far: her stream of condescending descriptors weren’t merely insults designed to put Azure in her place.  They were that, too, but they were also character flaws Aurelia’s observed in the short time they’ve been conversing.  In this case, arrogance and childishness.

Aurelia keeps her thoughts to herself, though.  No point in wasting her breath if the new student refuses to listen.  Besides which, she felt the next point of conversation held far more importance.  The apparent passivity Saffron and Azure demonstrate when considering anonymous threats will only serve to their detriment in one way or another.  She needed to drive this home, and thus says, ”Appeasement of aggression will only invite more aggression.  Anonymous threats cannot be negotiated with by very definition.  And the fact of the matter is simply receiving those threats places you on the same footing of every king who has ever made a controversial decision ever.”

”For whatever reason, the people sending you threats find you and whatever you stand for important enough to want you out of the picture.  Whether or not they’re capable of delivering on said threats is irrelevant.  What matters is how you respond.  You could give into them, abandon your career, disappoint anyone and everyone who ever believed in you, and most importantly reinforce this terrible, cowardly, and utterly despicable behavior.  Or you could press on in spite of them, and take every precaution available to make sure they never have a chance to hurt anyone.  Men don’t follow those who kneel.”  Despite the obvious differences between the two, Aurelia feels similarly to Azure on this subject: innocent lives shouldn’t be put at risk.  But those with small minds will find and use whatever tactics they have available to push their nonsensical agenda. 

Unfortunately, common ground seems to be few and far between, and Aurelia has to stew for a minute after Azure explains the true meaning behind the word “princess”.  It’s only thanks to her incredible discipline that her face doesn’t contort in anger in response, her pursed lips and momentary silence act as the only sign Azure’s tongue-lashing had any impact at all.  It stung, but Aurelia suffers through in silence, before her lips finally relax.  But then, bizarrely, they curl into a slight smile.

”Hmm, well done,” she says in an oddly pleasant tone, ”you’ve insulted my demeanor, implied I have no friends, and insulted my intelligence by explaining it to me out of meter, rather than letting me interpret it for myself.  A much better put-down.  In respect, I shall rescind my comment on your lyrics.  Though, in return, I’d like to borrow your analogy for a bit.”  Her smile disappears as she finishes, her face returning to a neutral, stern expression.

”Tell me, which is better?  To sit among the rubble of your own creation, or standing in dirt not having built anything at all?  Is it better to bear the crown for a moment before the weight crushes you, or to always remain in the faceless mob?”  Aurelia’s eyes are sharp as she takes a step forward towards Azure for emphasis.  ”You may see me as haughty and alone, and I may sit on a crumbling throne.  But I’ll gladly sit if that’s the price of trying to hold myself to a higher standard.  What about you?  Would you face the prospect of ruination in pursuit of greatness?  Or will you stay in the filth of the masses, always afraid of the sky? 

Aurelia held eye contact with Azure for a few seconds to make sure her point was driven home, but then broke off to turn to Saffron and say, ”My sincere apologies.  From the moment I walked up, I seem to have darkened and hijacked your conversation, which was never my intention.” her posture and countenance has softened considerably as she spoke, and she gives a slight apologetic bow before turning back to Azure.  ”And to you.  I should not have snapped at you as I did.  I won’t make excuses, only offer an apology.  I’m sorry,” she says, again offering a bow. 

The reason Azure’s insult stuck so hard this time was because it accurately criticized Aurelia’s actions up to that point.  Baseless accusations and slander can be dismissed outright, and the horse faunus has been called enough names to fill a dictionary.  But if an insult reveals a flaw, then the knight has no choice but to address it.  After all, she holds herself to a higher standard.

”*Ahem!* Anyways, I believe we were discussing the possibility of sparring?  I have no doubt there are still aggressions that still need to be worked out, so perhaps we can move this conversation toward a practice arena?” Aurelia stiffens back up as she changes subjects, uncomfortable with being vulnerable.  ”Let’s see, summers…Well, for the most part, Father would keep me in Atlas to further my education, but on weekends I would occasionally return to my birth-family to spend time with them and go horseback riding.”

Azure (and most likely Saffron) unfortunately had the wrong impression concerning Aurelia’s adoption.  To be fair, the circumstances were notably bizarre, but nonetheless, Aurelia’s birth-family is alive and well.  More importantly, she is in consistent contact with them and on good terms.  Aurelia was actually granted the privilege of joining the Lumen family as gratitude for saving a young Pearl Lumen’s life, where she would have access to better education and a much higher chance of success.   

Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on October 24, 2018, 12:59:41 AM
’I guess beating up your bandmates would cause some conflict but it would have been good practice if you still decided to go to Beacon.’ Saffron continued teasing, it was an unfortunate reality that everything began must end but that wasn’t a reason Saffron would agree with to avoid such relationships. ’I’m sure it helps but I don’t think it’s the same thing as being there throughout the whole process, you definitely make it work of course so maybe it just makes sense in concept.’ Saffron remarked. Like many young people with a talent for music Saffron once dreamed of starting a band, in the end, her sense of justice won out but it was still a pleasant daydream.  Particularly considering Saffron was hardly the most popular child growing up but maybe it wasn’t all that she built it up in her head. ’But it’s good that you’ve got a network of like-minded people to bounce ideas off, which I guess are the important parts of being in a band.’ Saffron finished, although it initially sounded lonely Azure seemed to be comfortable enough with the arrangement.
’Again that is an oversimplification Aurelia. Enduring ridicule passively is as much appeasement as cowering before it. However, due to our overly politicised reality, it is difficult to properly respond without also reinforcing other negative stereotypes. The problem isn’t necessarily for us, a few more obstacles just makes it more fun, it’s for those caught in the crossfire. People just living their lives, going to work every day is hard enough without having to worry about additional harassment.’ Saffron argued, her tone becoming increasingly sympathetic. Aurelia’s words made her position a lot more understandable, valuing her own individual achievements made sense if you lived in a world that seemed to be determined to tear her down. ’It will only backfire if you stumble Aurelia and we will do everything we can to keep your tower up. Just try to be a little less judgemental in the future.’ Saffron assured Aurelia. Although the older student probably didn’t need Saffron’s support it was still important for Saffron that the other third-year knew she had it.

’Or less direct forms of training, sparing is just one route we could go down or perhaps workout circuits or weapon techniques. Or even we could spar first, whatever Azure is most comfortable and feels will be the most beneficial. After all, this is all about your journey not out own.’ Saffron responds before turning back to Aurelia before turning back to face Azure. Now that the conflict between Azure and Aurelia seemed to have faded a bit Saffron was less worried about any training getting out of hand but obviously like she said it was up to her. ’Did you ever compete in horse riding Aurelia? Either eventing or endurance? One of my father’s friends used to do three-day eventing and she would constantly go on about how difficult that was. I guess she was tired of people downplaying it for thinking all the riders do is just sit there. And that’s another advantage of moving to Beacon, longer and warmer summers for longer and better albums.’ Saffron commented thinking how she would incorporate either into her own life. Writing songs wasn’t exactly a skill she had and although she would never develop such if she never tried it still didn’t really seem worth her time. Likewise, with horse riding, Saffron had learned to ride from her father and grew to care deeply for the surprisingly intelligent creatures but that intelligence only made it all the more devastating when the reality of animal ownership revealed itself.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on October 27, 2018, 06:26:49 PM
“Exactly. It’s all the good parts of a band with none of the downsides.” Azure continued to sprinkle grass over Saffron as she spoke. She had once thought briefly of forming a band, but had quickly decided against it. She much preferred to be a solo artists. To her, that meant her songs could be more personal, and she was all about being open and honest in her music.

There was a beat of silence after Aurelia spoke, before the soft click of Renegade activating could be heard. The quiet hum of the core buzzed through the air as the blades slide out, deep blue aura crackling up and down the strings. Azure used her guitar to pull herself to her feet, staring down at Aurelia with a cold glare. Her thick soled boots added about an inch to her already tall frame, enabling her to easily tower over the shorter girl. She was gripping her activated weapon like the battle axe it was, further amplifying her apparent desire to brawl it out with Aurelia right then and there. When she spoke, her voice was low in pitch, a growl, hissed through clenched teeth.

“Perhaps you didn’t hear me correctly. The backlash to my music wasn’t something insignificant like online rants or negative news articles, it was bomb threats. As in, the actual expression of a desire to hurt not just me, but hundreds of innocent people who like to listen to what I play. I am not “giving in” or “abandoning my career”, I am trying to keep innocent people safe.” She stepped back slightly to gesture at the garden around them. “That’s what being a huntsman is all about: keeping the innocent from harm’s way. Trying to do so is not cowardly, nor despicable. Unlike you, I’m not so caught up on my image that I’ll just toss away every threat just to appear “strong” or “resilient” or whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. If you continue on that path you’ll end up putting yourself before everyone else, and people will die because of it.” She deactivated Renegade, but still looked as though she wanted to smack Aurelia across the face with it. “Your words are contradictions of themselves. It is impossible to “press on” and keep anyone from being hurt at the same time. I ended my last tour early in order to keep people from being hurt. Had I “pressed on”, people-- young, innocent people-- would have died. Men may not follow those who kneel, but they don’t follow those who allow murder just to keep a public image, either.”

“Well I had to spell it out for you,” Azure spoke with a haughty smirk. “You’d be too narrow minded to realize it otherwise.” She leaned against the large tree with her arms crossed over her chest, her expression smug. This smugness, however, was replaced quickly with another stern glare as Aurelia used her throne analogy to further explain her side of the argument.

“It all depends on what the throne is built on,” Azure retorted. “If you gain your position through honest work and an attempt to better society, then sure, that moment of power will be worth it. But if your gilded throne is founded on the backs of those you put down just to feel better about yourself, if it is build on the corpses of those who died just so you could appear strong to the media, then I would rather go unnoticed in the crowd. Wanting power and recognition is harmless, honourable, even, but if it requires you to crush everyone else around you then you do not deserve your crown, you deserve to fall.” Azure didn’t look away as Aurelia held her gaze-- a silent face off between a wild beast and a challenger, and wolves were not the type of animal to back down easily.

“Well according to miss tryhard here my weapon is useless, so sparring may be the only route we could go,” Azure said to Saffron, somewhat bitterly. It was clear she took offense to the critiques of her weapon, and she wasn’t the type of person to take criticism lightly. “If, as it seems to be suggested, Renegade will die every time I try to use it then what’s the point of practicing with it. It would be better to train in hand to hand, since apparently that’s all I’ll be able to use in a fight.” Any other time she may have taken the comments on Renegade’s flaws into consideration, but at the moment she was too mad at Aurelia to do so, she would rather push back against them.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on October 29, 2018, 12:47:11 AM
Aurelia is, in a word, perturbed.  She’s very good at hiding it, thanks to an upbringing that rewarded a good poker face above all, but Saffron’s words give Aurelia the strong impression that her ideological arguments are falling on deaf ears.  No refute comes immediately, however.  After making her apology, Aurelia silently acknowledged to herself that she should at least take time to digest their arguments. 

She doesn’t get the chance, however, as Azure activated her weapon and practically snarled in the horse faunus’s face.  Yet, despite the height difference and clear intention of violence, Aurelia shows no sign of fear, shock, or even mild surprise.  She’s faced down actual monsters in deadly combat, it’ll take much more than an angry and naïve first-year to frighten her.  Instead, she looks at Azure with a gaze of disappointment.  It’s always a shame to see someone destroy their argument with their own actions.

”Forgive me, I didn’t realize I needed to qualify my statement.  Very well, you may assume anytime I use the word ‘threat’ to mean ‘bomb threat’.  You may assume when I say ‘threaten you’ to mean ‘threaten you and your fans’.  Do I need to clarify anything else?” she begins, dispassionately staring back at the wolf faunus.  ”Now then, you are correct in saying a huntress’s job is to keep people safe.  So, how did ending your tour early address the threats—excuse me, bomb threats—against you?  I’ll concede that without a tour, there would be no chance for harm, however what do you think will happen if you ever decide to tour again?  Do you think they’ll simply forget and leave you—pardon, you and your fans—alone?  Worse, what do you think will happen when another artist inevitably draws their attention?”
”I won’t fault you for your intentions, but your actions did not consider the bigger picture.  By ending your tour early, you’ve proven to them that you and others like you can be silenced with intimidation tactics.  They’ll continue to use those tactics against you, because small minds will use whatever they can to silence voices they disagree with.”  Aurelia pauses for a moment here, sparing a very unsubtle glance toward Azure’s battle-axe.  It should be noted that Aurelia is currently unarmed, in a school uniform, and has her hands behind her back.  This has been the case since she joined the conversation.  Furthermore, they’re standing in a public garden in full view of every student and faculty member that happen to be near-by.  Azure may say she doesn’t care about projecting an image, but Aurelia wonders if that’s really the case.

She continues, ”My words are not contradictory in the slightest.  If I say I’m going to protect someone, I don’t let them get hurt.  If I say I’m going to press on, then there’s nothing on Remnant that will stop me.  There is no compromise needed.”  That may have sounded like a boast, but to Aurelia, they were practically an oath.  She wanted to be known as a defender of the people that stood steadfast against the forces of darkness.  If nothing else, she would back up those words or die trying.

She’s still not quite done with her rebuttal, though.  ”Furthermore, if you think men wouldn’t follow a strong image, regardless of its origin, then you know very little of leadership.  You need only look to the Great War for evidence to the contrary.  To the public, image is everything,” Aurelia says.  Note that Aurelia does not actually condone fear-mongering as a method to rise to power, she’s merely trying to make a point.  Though, she doubts Azure will see it that way.

As Azure attempts to pontificate on the “throne” analogy to clarify it as an insult, Aurelia simply listens.  It’s clear that Azure is trying to imply Aurelia is an uncaring tyrant who tramples on other people to further her own goals.  That observation couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Aurelia’s actions are merely the result of her attempts to fulfill her duty, both as a huntress-in-training and as a member of the Lumen family.  So, it might be a surprise when Aurelia responds, ”I don’t disagree in the slightest.”

”It makes no difference, you may pick whatever form of training or terms you wish, but perhaps this conversation would be best moved to the training arena?” the cavalier asks the two, taking a step towards said arena.  ”As for your question, Miss Saffron, I’ve only ever competed in one such event, thought I do know quite a bit about the sport.  You’re correct in that a skilled rider is absolutely necessary, but the most difficult part is raising and training the horse.  Keep in mind the objective is to urge an animal with no situational awareness to jump over an obstacle when it would ordinarily make far more sense to go around, and that’s simply one portion of the trials,” she explained with a surprising bit of enthusiasm.  It’s apparent Saffron had stumbled upon a passionate topic.             
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on November 01, 2018, 04:45:19 AM
Saffron was on her feet before she even knew she was moving, positioning herself between Azure and Aurelia. It appeared their ‘discussion’ wasn’t calming down after all and in fact had magnified in intensity many times. ’Azure stand down. Ignorance is not malice and it does not deserve this kind of response.’ Saffron begged Azure, her hands raised at both Azure and Aurelia. ’But it is still ignorance Aurelia, aside from the pettiness you are saying proving a point is more important than protecting people's lives. Which is made only more ridiculous by the fact the people you are trying to convince aren’t the type to care about evidence in the first place. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try of course but it should be balanced against the cost.’ Saffron argued. It was clear that this had gotten under everyone's skin and wasn’t exactly the best basis for building positive relationships so Saffron hoped that the halfway point she offered was satisfactory even though it heavily leaned towards Azure’s position. ’But on to the matter at hand as long as you are comfortable with it Azure and are aware that you can step out at any time sparring sounds like it’s a good way to start, I made some of my best friends trying to cave their head’s in.’ Saffron joked as Azure depowered he weapon and Aurelia started to walk off, following the latter but still staying between the former.

Normally Saffron would have been hesitant at ‘allowing’ a spar, not that she could really stop it even if she wanted to, the heightened emotion that everyone was feeling would make it easier to do something stupid whether accidentally or on purpose. But rather overt threats of violence had already been made and the situation was likely to only escalate further even if it started out as just words. And of course Saffron would be there to watch over, she wasn’t genuinely worried about Aurelia as she was sure her fellow third-year could hold her own but mistakes can always happen when one party is going all out and the other is holding back and the pair don’t need any more bad blood between them. Twiddling away with her bass Saffron hoped the music would do something to calm everyone down before trying to keep the conversation going. ’So I guess it’s like us really, the training week in and week out, rain or snow or sun… well not so much the second one here, unfortunately. But regardless training so hard that even the fiercest Grimm is a downgrade if anything is more important to success than natural talent. So yeah, do you do any other competitive horse riding or just don’t have the time? And what kind of horse do you ride, my father took in an old Destrier when I was young. She was a gorgeous thing, clearly had a hard life but still kept up such a wonderful spring in her step until the end. What about you Azure horse riding yay or neigh? Probably doesn’t fit in with the whole punk rocker thing.’ Saffron asked her smile dimming slightly at the mention of her old horse but brightening up again when she did her horse impression.

’We should also talk a little about the specifics of the spar as it appears everyone is interested. What aura levels will you stop it? Semblance usage allowed? Weapons limitations? Any specific terrain? That sort of thing.’ Saffron quizzed hoping both to make sure everyone was informed about the current fight but also to make sure Azure understood the severity of what she was getting into. This wouldn’t be like any fight she had in her previous combat schools, Aurelia had a powerful semblance and was a very competent warrior. The point wasn’t for Azure to win obviously but she needed to put up enough of a fight to learn something if she wanted to learn something after all. With a poor personal experience with sparring being used for cruel ‘lessons’ Saffron was definitely going to be keeping a close eye on the proceedings, tough love is fine but it still had limits. Dropping back a little to get mostly out of Aurelia’s hearing Saffron started playing a little louder to mask the sounds as she whispered into Azure’s ear. ’Are you sure you are up to this? It’s not bravery to throw yourself into a situation you aren’t prepared for.’ Saffron whispered to Azure.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on November 03, 2018, 03:36:14 PM
By now Azure had realized she couldn’t let her anger get in the way, as hard as that was to do. She was naturally a very emotional person, she listened to heart instead of her head, and Aurelia was the exact opposite. If she wanted a chance to win this argument, she needed to aim to match Aurelia in poise, something that would probably be impossible to even come close to; she was doing herself no good by lashing out like she had been.

Azure leaned back against the tree, regarding Aurelia with a cool gaze. “Oh, please, clarification is entirely necessary. If all you say is threats, how am I to know you don’t mean that time someone hung around outside my apartment with a gun, or that time someone jumped on stage with a knife. Now both were easy to get rid of, and didn’t really pose much of a danger-- what’s a knife against a battle axe-- but it would count as a threat, would it not? What you don’t seem to realize here, is that I have continued on despite threats, the only reason I “backed down” from the bomb threats was because I needed to save lives. Ending the tour gave authorities time to hunt down the people sending the threats, and dispose of them while also keeping everyone else safe. And if someone else was threatened-- injured-- I would do everything in my power to hunt down the whoever, or whatever, was responsible and make them pay.”

Azure didn’t fail to miss Aurelia’s glance at her weapon; this prompted her glare to harden more. She silently dared Aurelia to comment on it, dared her to challenge Azure’s informality more than she already had. The girl’s composure only annoyed Azure even more. How could someone just be so calm and perfect in this kind of situation? Azure herself had always been one to easily fall for taunts and prompts from people who just wanted to get a rise out of her, and this wasn’t that different. Aurelia was keeping calm and collected, a simple argument that, to her, probably didn’t even seem like an argument. And then there was Azure letting herself get worked up and angry and emotional, letting Aurelia’s words get under her skin enough that she felt the need to draw her weapon! She didn’t understand how the horse girl could do it. The best she could do in this situation was try to conceal her anger a bit more, put on her stage persona. She smirked as she gnawed at a hangnail.

“Girl,” she said, slipping into her “interview voice”, the attitude she used to appear fun yet casual, like any good rock star should, when on TV. “I thought it was pre established that History is my worst subject, how do ya expect me to remember how specific leader were treated? An’ believe me, I know all about public image, and putting down a whole bunch of people for selfish reasons? Well, I’d say that’d ruin your image pretty well.”

Azure tuned out as Saffron and Aurelia discussed horseback riding. She had never gone horseback riding, and had no intention on ever doing, she figured she had nothing to add to the  conversation. Instead, she resumed picking grass out of her tail, the long, thick white fur making it all to easy for the green grass blades to get caught in it. She pushed herself to her feet, grabbing Renegade and storing it away on her back as she followed Aurelia and Saffron.

“Semblance usage won’t matter to me. Weapons... we can use them, then I’ll be able to show you how useful Renegade actually is. Aura? Why not fight ‘til it’s gone? In a real fight Grimm aren’t gonna stop just because your aura ran out, we should be able to fight even without it.” She spoke without looking up, have continued to groom herself while walking. Even if the two girls decided on a limit for how low aura should drop, Azure knew she wouldn’t listen to it. She had to be able to keep going without aura, she had to prove that she could fight without it. She knew was being ridiculous, going into a match against a third year who without a doubt had had far better combat training that Azure ever did, but Azure couldn’t help herself, she needed to prove that she could do this, that she actually belonged here at Beacon. She knew she had given off all the signs of not deserving to be a part of the prestigious school: the informalities, the recklessness, slave to her emotions, her lack of uniform or of caring. And Aurelia, flawless, golden, looking like the perfect student, like she belonged nowhere else but where she was. And Azure felt the need to prove that she, too, deserved to stand where the golden girl stood.

“Of course I’m up for this, why wouldn’t I be? What makes you think I'm not prepared? It’s not like it will be that hard,” she flashed a grin at Saffron, wanting to convince her she was capable of taking on the far more talented student. She hated that Saffron seemed to doubt her combat abilities. Surely, if she had made it to Beacon, that meant she was at least capable of something. Now she just had to show everyone that she was.

Maybe, going into a match, any other huntress in training would be planning, weighing the abilities of her opponent with her own, trying to determine the best course of action. Azure wasn’t, though; she never was. Her plan was to not have a plan, as always.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on November 04, 2018, 04:19:54 AM
”Igno—"” Aurelia bit down on her tongue in an effort to keep from snapping at Saffron.  She has to take a deep breath, but she ultimately retains her composure.  Still, being called ignorant and petty, in the same sentence no less, did not sit well with the horse faunus.  Those were terms she would use to describe would-be terrorists that try to cow innocent people with bomb threats.  If Aurelia were to accept that comment lying down, she’d essentially be admitting she’s no better than the common criminals she’s been denouncing. 

She’ll dismiss petty insults for what they are, but she’ll be damned if she’s held in the same regard as terrorists.  ”If you honestly think I’d outright ignore a serious threat against innocent lives in order to merely ‘prove a point’, then it’s clear you haven’t listened to a single word I’ve said,” she begins, her voice just barely betraying a hint of anger.  ”The goal isn’t to send a message to those who sent the threats, it’s to prove to others who might try similar methods that it won’t work.  It’s to inspire others to outwardly denounce such behavior.  It’s to make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else.”

”Furthermore, this notion that I would recklessly endanger the public is a blatant falsehood.  There are protocols to handling such a situation.  Receiving a threat—of any kind—“ Aurelia glances at Azure, ”is enough evidence to convince law enforcement that you have reason to believe your life and the lives of others are in danger.  Even from the most cynical of viewpoints, the potential cost of property damage from a bomb going off in a public venue is more than enough reason to provide security.  There would be checkpoints, evacuation plans, drills, I would do everything in my power to make sure not a single hair would be harmed,” Aurelia’s eyes, voice, everything about her practically screamed of a deep-rooted resolve as she finishes, even if it is still tinged with a small amount of anger.  She might be iron-fisted, she might even be tyrannical from a certain point of view.  But to insinuate she isn’t trying to save as many lives as possible, both in the present and the future, is disingenuous.

Still, she does have to concede one point.  She takes another deep breath and deflates slightly, and her voice loses the bit of fury it held up until now as she says, ”However, if local authorities deemed it unsafe to continue, then so be it.  Who am I to argue with a government on how to best protect its citizens?  Even if I would disagree with their philosophy, it is the right of law enforcement to decide how to handle these situations.”

Unfortunately, it appeared Azure, at least from Aurelia’s perspective, simply wished to continue bickering for bickering’s sake.  Her casual tone and her dismissal of history in general irritated the knight, and the fact the wolf faunus was attempting to refute Aurelia’s position based solely on conjecture earns a slightly exasperated sigh.  ”Unfortunately for you, I have no current desire to tutor you.  Just know if you don’t learn from History, you’ll have to learn from Experience.  I can assure you his lessons are far stricter,” she said.

This argument is…starting to get under her skin.  Her poker face holds, though.  She’s been through worse, had viler comments hurled her way.  Technically speaking, this discussion was still somewhat civil, despite Azure’s attempted threat display.  The first-year seemed to recognize her outburst was out of line, at the very least.  Still, the discussion of horsemanship is a desperately welcomed relief from the argument.

”As much as I would have liked to continue participating, my duties and studies left me with little time to compete.  Even now, I have less than adequate time to tend to a horse’s needs.  Though, when I go home to my birth-family, I make sure to spend as much time as possible with my Morgan horse.  She’s getting up there in years, though, she’ll be nineteen in a few weeks.  And if your horse was truly a Destrier, then I can imagine what kind of life she may have led.  I’m happy to hear her final years were in comfort,” the horse faunus prattles as the trio walk.  Saffron might want to be careful: Aurelia can and will talk her ear off about equines.  She’s very enthusiastic about the subject.

She’s much less enthusiastic about Azure’s terms for sparring, however.  As it stood, it would essentially be an unrestricted practice match.  In other words, a no-holds-barred beatdown.  Azure clearly has no idea what she’s getting into.  Even without her semblance, Aurelia holds a clear advantage in both mental strength and physical defense, based on casual observation.  There’s an obvious experience gap, too.  A two-year difference in combat training is massive, and while Aurelia knows a talented and prepared first-year can take down an unwitting senior, she’s fairly certain this is not one of those cases. 

But with Noble Steed?  The few possible advantages Azure may have held go out the window.  The added horse power and size would let Aurelia overpower Azure easily, and the cavalier seriously doubts the rock star could outrun a horse running at 40mph.  This wouldn’t be a fair fight.  It’s doubtful it would even be a fight.  Based on what Aurelia’s seen, it would be an accomplishment if her aura fell below 90%.

Still, Aurelia did say any terms were fine.  She also did just say that Azure would have to learn from experience, albeit in a slightly different context.  Although, even this might be a bit overboard.  ”Denied, I won’t open myself to accusations of bullying.  If you truly wish for a practice match with no limitations, then I would at least suggest the cut-off point be 15%.  Those would be in line with Vytal Festival Tournament rules.  I would also recommend we head for an outdoor practice area, they tend to have more room.  Is that alright?” she ultimately responded.  Aurelia will leave it up to Saffron to talk some sense into the first-year.  It’s become quite evident she won’t listen to Aurelia. 
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on November 08, 2018, 08:02:13 AM
But that is exactly what your all or nothing way of thinking will lead you. You can’t always both stand up for others and keep them safe. I only hope you will learn that before it is too late. Saffron thought to herself, continuing the argument in her head. It had become completely apparent that there would be no full agreement and therefore no real reason to continue discussing. Although Saffron was very confident in her position she has experienced not being able to convincingly make her point before with both genuine debaters and people just trying to waste her time making her very sympathetic to Aurelia’s position. The Atlas student had enough experience with hard headed people to be happy with the small concession Aurelia gave them and who knows? Maybe some time alone to think will cause her to come around. One can always hope. But regardless that was going to be all from Saffron on the topic which had almost turned violent once, the last thing she wanted was to be involved in an altercation while she was a guest at Beacon. She didn’t exactly have a stellar reputation back at Atlas and there was a lot of pressure to disallow Saffron this opportunity. Some of that poor reputation wasn’t without justification, Saffron was a lot like Azure with being quick to anger in her early years. Such a temper never truly goes away but it was definitely something that Saffron had spent a lot of effort in correcting.

It did also make Saffron very sympathetic to Azure as well, only augmented by her personal experience in people doubting her abilities. It’s telling that for many Faunus consider being dismissed or being condescending to was one of the better interactions they would have with humans but that was never the case with Saffron. Becoming that same thing that caused her so much frustration did sadden Saffron greatly but she still tried to prepare Azure for her fight as best she could. ’You won’t win Azure, if that is why you are fighting then you might as well not bother. This is to learn; learn your limits, test them and feel comfortable at them. Because of that having some sort of barrier would be ideal, you never know, if you pull the upset of the decade you would lose much of the credit if you break that pretty face of hers.’ Saffron replied hoping the little savage joke at the end would soften her words somewhat as well as continuing to talk softly to hopefully avoid Aurelia detecting what exactly she was having to say to get Azure to agree. Smiling inwardly Saffron was enjoying her budding relationship with Azure as much baggage as it came with and it’s apparent downward trajectory at least in part because she saw so much of herself in Azure’s bravado. It stung to be on the receiving end of it, although karmatically justified, Saffron also knew how valuable it was to have someone stand up to her. And Saffron was going to do that regardless of what it cost their relationship.

Saffron was happy to have found a topic which Aurelia seemed to open up more within horse riding and would be perfectly willing to have her ear talked off on the subject but unfortunately, it seemingly wasn’t a topic that interested Azure. Maybe Saffron would have more luck looping it around to something surely everyone has had a little experience with, pets. ’Nineteen huh? Then she must be almost as old as you. Was she raised by your family? She should have a few more years left even if she is starting to slow down but that’s why I’ve always shied away from pets, can’t bear the thought of losing someone close to me. Maybe I should get a parrot, then it should be more worried about me dying and leaving no one to take care of it rather than the inverse. Actually out loud that doesn’t sound much better… Atlas has been working on some robotic dogs to help with the military, maybe I can ask nicely and get a prototype… a nice prototype… maybe not. What about you Azure? Have any pets growing up? Or something you’ve always wanted now you are free from our homelands arctic embrace.’ Saffron asked her jokes tinged with more dry bemusement than genuine annoyance even in regards to her homeland. It wasn’t like Saffron wasn’t wearing her school literally on her sleeve anyway, might as well have some fun with it.

As the trio continued to snake their way through the Beacon grounds towards the outdoor sparing rings Saffron was continually overwhelmed at how different the experience was from Atlas. The more casual nature of everything might be what everyone immediately thinks of but it was more than that, it was sheer chaos. Attracting a fair amount of attention given her Atlas uniform Saffron was the subject of quite a few stares and not all of them positive but many simply curious. ‘Why are you here?’ ‘How are you finding Beacon’ ‘Differences between Atlas and Beacon?’ Even offers to show Saffron around for the promise to do the same in Atlas, it was flattering in a way but it was also telling who came up and asked such. The sideways glances at Azure and Aurelia were subtle, far more subtle than Atlas but still present and still suggestive of darker intentions. Saffron could probably pass for a human more easily than almost any other Faunus and that combined with her uniform made almost everyone assume she was human as well as following several other worse stereotypes of Atlas. As a representative, Saffron could hardly dissuade them of these notions without making a scene and instead bore the boars as well as could be expected.

Finally, the trio made it to their destination, an outdoor sparing ring. A pair of fights was just finishing up leaving the ring empty but an audience nearby. ’Do you want to see if I can chase these guys off?’ Saffron asked, there was obviously no rule against watching sparring matches but there is a surprising respect for privacy present among most students and Saffron can be quite convincing when she wants to be. Stop laughing. Although initially, a fairly boring open plain the stadium did have the capacity for generating impromptu terrain by raising or dropping the cubes. ’Do you guys want some verticality or do you what to give each other as much room as possible?’ Saffron asked walking on the ring with everyone. It lacked the pristine gloss Saffron was used to associating with these fighting arenas but what it lacked in technological elegance it made up for in utilitarian durability making it the perfect ground for a rock star to fully unleash, or a knight.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on November 12, 2018, 02:16:22 PM
Azure cast Saffron’s advice aside with a roll of her eyes. Of course she would win. She had to win. She had to prove herself, prove she knew what she was doing. She had to prove she belonged here. Azure had failed her first attempt to get into Beacon, and it’s easy to imagine what that would do to someone’s confidence in combat. Azure, upon failing, had grown skeptical of her skills, then, upon meeting the requirements asked of her, re-enrolled despite that. The fact that she had barely scraped by, barely gained entry into the academy, furthered her skepticism. She had taken said skepticism and used it to fuel herself. Maybe she wasn’t the best, but she had made it in, she had achieved one of her two life goals (the other being making it big in the music industry, which, while yet to happen, didn’t seem like too much of a stretch. Hopefully.) Now she just had to prove to everyone around her that she deserved the achievement just as much as they did, and winning a match against a girl like Aurelia, she thought, would be the perfect way to do that.

“Of course I’ll win. I’m a rockstar, I can do anything,” she joked. When needing to prove herself, she became a little too cocky and assured for her own good, even if was just an act; inside she was still uncertain she even deserved to be in the school, and therefore had to win to prove to herself above all others that she did. But she knew she couldn’t let her uncertainty show, thus the cocky persona she threw over herself. “And I don’t care what happens to her gorgeous face.” Gorgeous? Had she really said gorgeous? Great. It would be so much harder to fight someone when she was attracted to them. But damn the horse faunus looked like a literal angel. Sure, she was a snobby, stuck up angel, but an angel nonetheless.

As Saffron and Aurelia continued to discuss horses, Azure began debating whether or not she would actually manage in the match. Aurelia was a third year, clearly much more advanced than Azure herself. But Azure was hoping Aurelia’s formality would be a weakness. That was the main reason Azure shrugged off proper technique as much as she did, she found it limited what one could and couldn’t do. If she had to stand in a specific position to do a particular move, then would she really ever be able to use that move? What if a situation in which said move was necessary arose, but she had no time for proper footing or stance? Perhaps this wasn’t was using proper technique was really all about, but that was how Azure viewed it. Back in her old combat school, she had quickly grown sick of practicing moves over and over again, especially when a sparring match required that they only use the moves they had been taught. Azure had always found it much easier to improvise what she was doing than follow a set sequence. She hoped her spontaneity would throw the odds in her favor. If you can’t predict the next move of your opponent, it becomes that much harder to react to their attacks, and Azure liked being unpredictable.

“Alright, alright, we can have a limit of 15%,” she relented. Though she knew she would fight passed that limit, but she had to agree with the others to please them. Unfortunately for her, if her aura was to drop below the limit, she would be disqualified, even if she still wanted to continue. Any attacks she made after that would probably not count towards the match. But if Aurelia and Saffron didn’t have a way of reading her aura level, then maybe she could get away with continuing to fight...

Azure pondered Saffron’s question for a moment before answering. Yes, she had occasionally lived with families that had pets, but did she consider them to be hers? Not really, they’d just been one more member in a family that she was passing through. “No,” she answered, “I’d like to have one. Maybe a dog. But I’ve never had a pet before.” She looked around at the arena as they entered, it was a lot more simple looking than the ones she had fought in back in Atlas but she didn’t mind, it was practical.

“I think physical obstacles could add a nice challenge,” she said, eyeing the ring. Her fighting style wasn’t meant for any specific terrain, but if she had guess she would assume that Aurelia, with her perfectionism and formal nature, had a very specific fighting style, the type meant for certain types of situations. She was hoping adding in the uneven levels would throw off whatever Aurelia’s formal style was.

"And don't bother chasing them off," Azure added, "I like having an audience." Azure's desire for spectators was more than just her love of attention. While yes, she did enjoy people watching her and paying attention to her, and, given she fully intended to win this match, wanted as many people watching as possible when she did, she also had ulterior motives. Azure was an extrovert to the literal sense of the word. Someone who recharges energy by being around other people. For Azure, this was more than metaphorical energy. Her semblance let her draw strength from crowds; the larger the crowd, the stronger she was, especially if the crowd was interested and had high energy. Sometimes, the strength of energy and emotion mattered more than the actual size. A smaller cluster of enthusiastic people could have and equal, or perhaps even greater, effect on her than a large lifeless crowd milling about on the street. Azure knew Aurelia would have the upper hand in experience, she she had to manipulate the arena to play to all her strengths, and that meant keeping as much of as audience present as she could.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on November 13, 2018, 02:24:40 AM
(I heard y'all liked long posts)

It’s a long walk to the outdoor practice arena, made even longer by the frequent stops by students wishing to speak with Saffron.  It’s understandable, of course, an Atlas student in Beacon is a rare sight.  Aurelia has no problem with the interruptions, and patiently lets any student briefly converse with the foreigner.  She does notice the subtle glances directed towards her, the looks of petty racism and other such trivialities.  But she dismisses them, for they are meaningless to her.  Whatever opinions those looks hold, they were founded on nothing more than her heritage, something completely out of her control.  As such, the horse faunus would consider any complaint they might have as invalid.  Besides, she’s dealt with far more pointed stares back in Atlas, the looks in Vale are practically complimentary in comparison.

Still, those brief moments do put this recent “civil” discourse in perspective: not once did the subject turn to faunus civil rights.  The argument overall was on the matter of public security.  The discussion never veered towards anti-human or anti-faunus territory.  Sure, the threats that fueled the argument were most likely anti-faunus in nature, but the subject of discussion itself was how to handle it, not whether it was justified.  Aurelia ultimately disagreed with her compatriots, but the disagreement was founded in differing ideologies, rather than close-minded bigotry. 

That being said, she still finds Saffron and Azure’s viewpoints to be short-sighted and naïve.  She stands by her point that appeasing aggression will only invite more aggression.  That statement can be applied to everything from schoolyard bullies to international politics.  By ending her tour, Azure had shown that bomb threats were effective in silencing her.  The culprit may have been apprehended in this scenario, but who’s to say that will be the end of it?  What happens when someone of a likewise mindset sends a similar threat?  Will she end her tour again?  If so, then there’s a chance she’ll never be able to finish a tour in her lifetime.  Worse, it would encourage others to send threats to other artists in order to achieve similar results.  The culprit may have been caught, but his goal was ultimately accomplished.

Aurelia will admit her method would involve greater short-term risk, but she would take that risk seriously.  Besides, from the limited amount of information she gathered, she wagers she could build a fairly accurate profile of the perpetrator and plan proper security measures accordingly.  However, she decides not to pursue the subject any longer, as both other parties seemed to have dropped it for the time being.   

Instead she diverts her attention back towards horses, which seemed to be a much less divisive topic.  ”Indeed, she was born a short time after me.  She’s getting up there in years, but last I saw she was as lively as ever.  And, yes, my family raised her since she was a foal.  I’ve been riding her since she was old enough to carry me,” she says with a small smile, her tail flicking idly as she walks.  Reminiscing about her horse Little Lady brought a small degree of comfort.  However, her smile fades as Saffron shifts into the darker discussion of death.  ”I can relate to the sentiment.  I most likely won’t be there when she finally passes.  I can only be grateful my family will be there to take care of her when her final hours come to pass,” she says sadly. 

She remains silent for the remainder of the journey to the arena.  Fortunately, there was little distance left to traverse.  As they entered the amphitheater for the rings, Aurelia was surprised to find they were currently in use, though the fights seemed to be finishing up.  That was fine, actually: Aurelia still needed to change.  She wasn’t about to fight in her school uniform. 

”Let them finish,” she responds to Saffron.  ”I still need to gather my weapons, after all.  In the meantime, the console is over there,” she points to a podium off-stage, ”You may use it to alter the arena however you wish.  I assume it operates similarly to Atlas’s facilities, however if you have any questions, I’m sure another student will happily help you in my absence.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll return shortly.”  And with that, Aurelia about-faces and heads towards the lockers.

As she does, she considers the conversation Saffron and Azure had behind her.  She didn’t hear much of it, and the parts she did hear made it clear that it wasn’t meant for her ears.  However, Aurelia is not deaf, and she couldn’t help but overhear one line that will invariably affect her mindset going into the bout.

“Of course I’ll win. I’m a rockstar, I can do anything,”

Azure clearly intends to fight to win, not to learn.  As such, Aurelia must respond in kind.  She was never intending to hold back, of course, but there is a difference in mentality.  A fight for supremacy is ruthless, as combatants will use whatever means at their disposal to achieve victory.  A battle intended for teaching involves building upon strengths while exposing weaknesses.  There is overlap, of course.  A ruthless combatant will still take advantage of weaknesses, and practice matches are still meant to be won.  However, before hearing Azure’s bravado, Aurelia intended to charge headfirst against her in order to gauge her capabilities in order to provide criticism.  Now, however, the cavalier intends to pick apart every perceived weakness without exposing herself to any danger. 

That being said, perhaps in her absence, Saffron might still convince Azure to reconsider her feelings on the match.  Aurelia will give the first-year one more chance to decide what this bout will be for.  However, if Azure still decides to fight for victory above all else, then Aurelia will crush her with everything she has.

And judging from what she’s seen and heard, that will almost certainly be the outcome.  At full strength, Aurelia outclasses Azure in every relevant category.  In defense, Aurelia has her shield and aura technique, allowing her to defend against heavy blows.  On offense, Noble Steed provides power and mobility as well as an additional “weapon” under certain circumstances.  If Azure is a melee heavy opponent, then simply dashing around in a circle and taking shots at her with Dusk’s rifle form will easily be more than enough to cripple her.  If she prefers ranged attacks, she’ll have to outrun a horse or otherwise be stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.

There’s more to it than that, though.  Aurelia’s no mind reader, but if she could read Azure’s mind, she’d criticize the first-year for dismissing formal training.  Formal training isn’t for specific scenarios, it’s something to fall back on in pitched battles where there’s little time to think.  The purpose of practicing one strike over and over again is to make the stance and movements reflexive, so a fighter wouldn’t have to waste time thinking about it.  And that’s not even mentioning that Aurelia’s career choice involves facing off against monsters that come in every shape and size imaginable.   

Furthermore, Aurelia’s first opponent in the Vytal Festival tournament also relied on surprising and catching her opponent off-guard.  Airi’s methods worked, mind you, but there’s a few differences that need to be considered.  First, Aurelia had to fight dismounted.  Second, Airi is also a third-year student with much more experience than her current opponent.  Third, Aurelia made a critical mistake that match in tossing her sword away, a mistake she does not intend to repeat any time soon. 

So, to sum everything up, Aurelia’s more experienced, has higher “stats” across the board, and has a better strategy prepared than “hope Aurelia’s formal training doesn’t give her a concrete base to fall back on”.  If Azure truly wants to win, she’s going to need to do better than relying on spontaneity. 

 As Aurelia finishes donning her armor, she places her shield on her back, straps her sword to her waist, and leaves the locker room.  As she soon as she steps outside, she stops and starts the process to summon her semblance to her side.  The construct whinnies, as it usually does when it’s summoned, but Aurelia takes a moment to observe it before riding back.

The armored unicorn glitters in the sunlight, its golden features attracting quite a bit of attention from surrounding students.  Aurelia pays them no mind, though.  She’s not interested in the beast’s appearance, but it’s behavior.  Judging from the casual way it tosses its mane and the way it paws the ground with its hoof, it’s agitated. 

No, that’s a silly observation to make.  It’s a construct of aura, it doesn’t have feelings or thoughts.  Its actions are simply the manifestations of Aurelia’s thoughts, both conscious and otherwise.  If it’s displaying agitation, then that means Aurelia’s agitated.  The cavalier sighs from behind her helmet, and takes a moment to get her thoughts under control and still the unicorn’s actions.  She won’t let herself be ruled by emotion. 

She takes just a bit longer to make sure the construct is completely under control before mounting it and heading off toward the arena. 
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Kingnoname1 on November 16, 2018, 04:36:22 AM
(Inversely my post but feel free to skip Saffron, for now, I’ll jump in if I think there is a reason)

Saffron thought to herself if she should give Azure advice. It wouldn’t do much to even the odds and she felt bad about sending someone into a fight blind regardless of their enthusiasm. It wasn’t her place and if this was truly to settle Azure’s nerves about attending Beacon, she would have to earn her place without Saffron eventually. Win or lose it was going to be down to Azure. Regardless Saffron couldn’t stay completely quiet and after setting up the arena. ’Remember any AoE orientated attack could hit both her and her mount but don’t be in a rush to bring it down. Being mounted is a big advantage in many ways but it leaves a few gaps, it’s harder to fight front facing meaning she will have to struggle to bring her entire sword arm around if you engage her shield side and vice-versa. That also means you can aim to reduce her attacks or defences by choosing which side to engage on. Keep light on your feet and out of the way from any charges. Best of luck.’ Saffron advised Azure taking advantage of the time Aurelia left to get changed. It was clear that nothing Saffron said would get Azure to reconsider this bout so might as well give her as best a chance. That’s not quite enabling, right?

As for the arena itself, it was a mostly flat affair with tall but thin pillars blocking sight lines and charging avenues. Although a person could easily fit behind on them would be difficult for Aurelia’s mount side on. To add some variety the centre of the arena was a raised flat area if the fighters wanted a more direct confrontation. As Aurelia comes back out Saffron finds her job mostly finished, offering the knight a warm smile before adding. ’Don’t go too easy but don’t go too hard, best of luck out there.’ Saffron remarked before standing off to the side clearly ready to launch into action if that was what was demanded but for now left the launching to Azure and Aurelia.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on November 22, 2018, 08:07:37 PM
Azure didn’t need to change, she was already in her combat gear. That was one reason why wasn’t in uniform, she wanted to be combat ready at all moments. That, and the fact that she had always despised uniforms. Uniforms lacked one of Azure’s most valued traits: self expression. People couldn’t be themselves if they all dressed the same, it just forced everyone into an unrelenting sameness-- expressionless attire that left room for individuality. Azure had been given her uniform earlier that day, and had immediately discarded it. She wasn’t going to submit to the oppression of school uniforms anytime soon.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Azure mused, grateful for the advice. She didn’t want to feel nervous, she didn’t want to doubt herself, but when Aurelia came out on a horse, she couldn’t help it. Sure, she had gone up against Grimm three times the size and three times as deadly by herself, sure she had never been nervous during those fights--she was always too consumed by a dangerously large need for revenge to feel nervous, but this was different. Fighting people was always different. She had to hold back, she had to actually be careful, that would make it harder to win. Harder to prove herself. Maybe Aurelia was stuck up and annoying, but she was a person, as Azure had no grudge against people. Well, no grudge strong enough to yield results like that which could be seen when she fought Grimm. When sparring, Azure had learned to be more careful, make more precise strikes. Because when sparring, she had to make sure she didn’t actually hurt anyone; while their aura could protect them until a point, there had been multiple occasions where her and her opponent had decided to fight until aura levels had dropped to zero; or they’d gotten so engrossed in the match that they hadn’t been paying attention to their aura levels, leading to real injury as either her or her opponent’s aura completely depleted in the middle of the fight. She had a feeling that, despite the 15% limit that had been set, this fight would end up like one of those; with them too engrossed in the combat, too stubborn, to pull out when aura dropped beneath the limit. She had to be careful no accidents happened. Not again.

So when Aurelia came out on a horse--no, not a horse, a unicorn-- Azure realized that the only way she would be able to win this would be to give it her all. And she refused to give it her all in a match against another person. Needless to say, Azure was getting somewhat nervous about the match, only just now realizing what she had gotten herself into. Yet again, not thinking of the consequences of her actions until the hit her in the face. Typical. Her tail betrayed her steely façade, swishing slightly despite her efforts to keep it still. It was highly possible her semblance was leaking her anxities out into the crowd of other people in the arena, including Saffron and Aurelia.

It did give her some satisfaction, however, to be proven right. Aurelia’s fighting style was meant for specific situations, seeing as she seemed to revolve entirely around her semblance. It would be a lot harder to act as cavalry in a dense forest or deep snow, Azure determined. Aurelia was built for open plain fights. Azure glanced back at the pillars coating the floor of the arena with a smirk, she had been right to request the modifications. How rewarding.

Keeping her person layered over her nerves, Azure scoffed as she regarded Aurelia. “Knew you’d be terrain-specific. You may mock my informality but at least I can fight in any setting. A horse ain’t gonna be all that helpful in the ocean, eh?” As she spoke, she activated Rock and Roll before withdrawing Renegade from her back. The guitar jumped to life, the blades sliding out and the lights lighting up across the body as the faint black energy of the gravity Dust pulsed around the edges of the axe. A small beep indicated the axe had been paired with the bracelets. Azure spun the axe in her hand, before settling it into position as a guitar. In preparation, she slid a fire Dust crystal into the weapon. The strings began to glow red. Azure placed her fingers on the fret board and began plucking notes, charging up an attack as she stared across the space at Aurelia, daring her to make the first move.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on November 23, 2018, 07:58:07 PM
(Goin' a little off-script here)

Those within the sparring area would hear Aurelia before they see her.  The sound of hooves galloping would echo inside the amphitheater as she makes her approach, signaling the others of her arrival.  Clad in her shining silver armor and riding atop a glittering, golden unicorn, it wouldn’t be unfair to say she resembles a fairy tale hero.  At the very least, her appearance is very eye-catching.

As she finally reaches Saffron, the armored cavalier acknowledges her remark with a simple nod before returning her attention to the arena.  From an initial glance, the layout is somewhat inconvenient for Aurelia.  Pillars scattered about the arena serve as obstacles to her preferred methods of fighting, however it’s far from crippling.  She may not be able to directly charge her opponent in an environment like this, but this layout could be easily compared to the Emerald Forest. 

An open plain would have been the ideal battlefield for Aurelia, obviously.  Noble Steed’s speed would have been an overwhelming factor, as it would give Aurelia the ability to engage and disengage at will.  However, assuming her semblance is only effective in limited scenarios would be disingenuous.  After all, she would have been forced to train within the Emerald Forest, Forever Fall, and other such areas during her tenure at Beacon simply as part of the standard curriculum.  And then, when adding on her own over-dedication to training and self-improvement, she would start routing obstacle courses through the forests, aiming to traverse the densely wooded areas in as little time as possible.  She wouldn’t use the same course over and over again, either.  She’d route several courses and rotate through them throughout a given time period.

In summary, Azure’s scoffing only further shows her inexperience and naivety.  So, as Aurelia circles around the arena to map out potential charging lanes and cover, she turns toward her prospective opponent and says, ”Oh, is that what you think?  Perhaps a demonstration is in order.”

And without waiting for any sort of permission, Noble Steed hops into the arena on Azure’s side and races past her.  As it nears the first set of pillars, Aurelia and her mount lean hard to the left to make an incredibly sharp turn at speed.  The two zig-zag through the forest of columns, going from one side to the other over and over and barrel-racing through obstacles until they reach the center platform.  As the unicorn gallops to the top of the slope, immediately veers off and heads straight for a cluster of pillars. 

Just before the platform starts to slope back down, Noble Steed leaps into the air.  Meanwhile, Aurelia hops out of her saddle and lands on the unicorn’s horn, the creature itself bowing its head to make it level.  At the apex of its jump, the construct flicks its head back up as Aurelia jumps off of her semblance entirely, launching herself high into the air and landing on top of the 4-meter high pillar.  Noble Steed, in the meantime, immediately breaks off and averts colliding into the towers as soon as it lands and continues its zig zags around the arena.

Aurelia, now on top of the pillars, begins hopping from one pillar to the next, all the while tightly controlling Noble Steed’s movements.  Her movements are smooth as she traverses the battlefield, almost keeping in perfect concert with her semblance.  As she nears the opposite side of the field, she dives for the last pillar, drawing her sword.  She stabs Dusk into its side and uses it to start sliding down back to earth, before leaping off once again straight for Noble Steed, who at this time is charging straight for her. 

At the last minute, Noble Steed spins around, its hooves sliding in the dirt and kicking up dust, in order to receive its master.  Aurelia reaches out her hand and uses it vault over her semblance’s hind quarters and gracefully lands back in the unicorn’s saddle, as the beast rears up in the air and whirls back to face Azure.  When the hooves fall back to earth, Aurelia’s voice cuts through the air like a knife, saying, ”So, do you still believe my semblance is only useful on an open prarie?  You may claim ‘informality’ as your great virtue, but all you’ve demonstrated thus far is a severe lack of discipline.  Tell me, what do you hope to gain from this battle?  If it is victory, then walk away now.  You will not find it here.”

It was an intimidation tactic.  Aurelia wanted to show Azure exactly what she was getting into with this fight.  Quite frankly, the horse faunus did not want this fight, at least not under the current circumstances.  Azure has potential, she made it into Beacon in the first place.  That’s more than enough evidence to convince Aurelia she’s earned her place.  However, the most important lesson the first-year needs to learn right now is which battles to pick.

Of course, that kind of display wouldn’t work on someone who’s adequately prepared.  Saffron, for instance, would notice a few things about Aurelia’s performance.  For starters, while her movements on the tops of the pillars were smooth, they weren’t necessarily quick.  Rather, they were deliberate, fairly slow (compared to others of her level), and, frankly, predictable.  A particularly nimble and acrobatic first-year could easily outshine Aurelia in a contest of agility.  Even the unicorn’s speed wouldn’t come off as particularly surprising.  It’s definitely fast, racehorse fast even.  But all it did was dive in and out from some pillars and make a few sharp turns, nothing that would be considered extraordinary. 

However, the impressive part is that she did both of those things at the same time.  She ran two obstacle courses simultaneously.  She essentially demonstrated she can attack from two places at once, and that the two can separate and reunite at a whim.  Yes, a lot of her power stems from her semblance, but Aurelia is no one-trick pony. 

The real lesson, though, is that the terrain did not truly hinder Aurelia, but simply gave her a different set of opportunities.  By jumping on top of the pillars, Aurelia would gain a significant height advantage to use her rifle from.  With clever movement between the pillars, she can cover for Noble Steed as it makes its approach to attack.  Azure will come to realize the value of this way of thinking in time as she goes through Beacon.  But given that she assumed her opponent would have no way of negotiating the obstacles, it should be obvious to everyone present the first-year is, at the very least, severely underestimating her opponent. 
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: Azure Blair on December 07, 2018, 11:05:06 PM
”I think I’ll find what what I’m looking for,” Azure replied, dusting an imaginary speck of dirt off herself as she leaned against Renegade, which was planted in the ground.

Azure had watched Aurelia’s spectacle. She had already accepted that the third year was much more skilled than her, but that didn’t mean she was going to give in. And she sure as hell wasn’t going to let anyone know of her hesitation. So instead of backing down, she kept her face impassive, a trick she’d learned from interviews. She may not be a international name, but she was faunus rock artist in the most conservative kingdom in Remnant; people found that rather interesting, and needless to say she’d been through quite a lot of interviews. She always had be careful when on live shows, or in front of a live audience; she had to maintain a certain image, a careless, laid back, cocky image. And now that practice was coming in handy. With her face unimpressed--almost bored--she arched a single eyebrow to regard Aurelia. “Showing off, are we?” She mused. And exaggerated sigh escaped her lips. Well if Aurelia felt the need to be flashy, she might as well, too. What could she say? She was born to entertain, born to be flashy, to keep eyes on her. And to be petty. Very, very petty.

Aurelia’s little performance had given Azure one specific advantage. All eyes were on the blonde girl, the attention of the audience focused intently on her, intrigued by her performance. That meant Azure didn’t need to focus the attention of the crowd onto Aurelia--she was already their focus, all she had to do was mess with the energy.

Azure clicked her tongue once, and the dragon ear cuff that resided on her right ear spiraled out into what looked like a headset, with the tail curling down to hover near her mouth. She adjusted a few dials on Renegade. “Alright,” she spoke, the same energy and fluctuation in her voice as if she were speaking to a crowd at a concert, the sound of voice much louder than it was usually as Renegade amplified it. “We making scenes, now? Well,” she laughed, “it appears you didn’t make much of an impression.” With that, she played a few chords from a song that gave her the emotions she was looking for. “Let’s hear the applause,” she sang. While singing did nothing to amplify the effect of her Semblance, it did make it work faster, as emotion was conveyed more easily in words than in instrumentals. “C’mon show me how much better you are. See you deserve some applause, ‘cause you’re so much better.” But the words were sung with a taunting sarcasm, with malice. Azure’s headset curled back into an ear cuff as she finished, her brief display enough to twist the energy of the audience, warp it, flip it. They would no longer be captivated by Aurelia, but annoyed with her, displeased. It was evident in the shift of attention, in the near palpable emotional environment in the arena. “Looks like they don’t like you.” Azure spoke with a smug, satisfied smirk.

She knew gaining the interest of the crowd wasn’t Aurelia’s intention; she knew her intention had been to intimidate Azure to some degree. But even so, she had to give her own performance. Aurelia had showed off her semblance, this was just Azure showing off hers. She knew it wouldn’t do much in the actual fight, but it was her way of showing Aurelia that the people sided with her, that her Semblance was more than a horse show. Azure knew she could be powerful-- or at least, had high potential to be. As soon as she could learn to use her semblance without the aid of music, she would be able to do just about anything she wanted. So she was showing Aurelia some of that power. Perhaps not specifically to be an intimidation tactic, but simply to show Aurelia who she was dealing with.

Her current goal was to give a warped vision of her Semblance. She had swayed the hearts of the entire audience, so how hard could a single person be? How would Aurelia know her Semblance worked solely with crowds of people? For all Aurelia knew, Azure could twist the emotions of any person she chose, and had been able to do it to all ten or so people in the audience at once, which would mean she would have no problem toying with just Aurelia.
Title: Re: opening act [Open]
Post by: ReaperJoe on December 08, 2018, 01:51:48 AM
Aurelia is an introvert: her favorite pastimes include horseback riding and reading, activities generally considered “a-social”.  She generally dislikes crowds, finding the hustle and bustle far too noisy for her tastes.  That isn’t to say she’s unsociable or an ineffective leader.  In fact, some might say the opposite, that she’s diplomatic and a natural commander.  However, these traits stem from a sense of duty and a desire to get things done and done properly rather than any extreme desire to connect with people.  She’s far from a politician, put simply.  She generally ignores the idle chatter of the “peanut gallery”, so to speak.

So, when Azure begins to sing, the resulting hostility in the atmosphere catches Aurelia off-guard.  There’s a general rule of respectful silence during spars like this; this isn’t Amity Colosseum, after all.  But even then, the cavalier can feel the disapproving stares on her.  Combined with her own reservations against this fight in the first place, Azure’s performance leaves Aurelia more than a little insecure for a brief moment.

Key word being “brief”.

For the exact same reasons as before, along with an emotional “mirror” in the form of Noble Steed and a general background of dealing with veiled displeasure, Aurelia has plenty of tools to shake off the effect.  A simple stiffening of the ears pointed towards the crowd is all it takes from her mount for her to identify an emotional imbalance.  From there, all it takes is a bit of introspection, rationalization, and her general dismissal of public opinion to regain any lost composure. 

Given that Aurelia’s armor comes with a helmet that obscures her visage and that Azure has nearly zero experience dealing with horses, the first-year would most likely see zero sign of the crowd’s disposition having anywhere close to the desired effect.  Quite honestly, that’s a shame.  Had Azure saved her semblance for a more opportune moment, she could have exploited an undefended vulnerability.  However, as it is now, she’s merely tipped her hand to no real benefit.  It doesn’t help that Azure’s first instinct after her “demonstration” was to taunt, rather than make a move.  Had she even attempted to advance, Aurelia would have been forced to focus on the battle rather than analyze the situation.  Just another example of naivety.

Still, it’s not like that display alone explained the intricacies of Azure’s semblance.  But there are a few tip-offs to be seen, if Aurelia rationalizes carefully.  She does gather that Azure’s semblance is at least partly aided by music, and that it has an effect on disposition or emotion.  Since Azure’s entire appeal was to the audience and not at Aurelia specifically, it’s not unreasonable to think her semblance affects groups rather than individuals.  However, it’s also possible Azure was simply responding to Aurelia’s “show-boating” with a display of her own.  More data is needed before making a decisive conclusion.

With that said, if the knight’s suspicions are correct and Azure’s semblance involves manipulating crowds, then the first-year will find her opponent particularly resistant.  A hostile crowd might as well be home turf.

And since Azure seems determined to see this battle through, Aurelia’s course has been decided beyond a shadow of a doubt.  So, after an extended period of silence that bordered on uncomfortable, the armored cavalier responds to her opponent’s taunting with a simple provocation. 


It seems she’s unimpressed.