... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)

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Caoimhe

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PostSubject: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:18 am

Ever since his attempt to stop Captain Thatch, he had been submitted to questioning. He had to be on probation for three sevendays before they would allow him to return to normal duties. Even when he was cleared of having any sympathies or ties with Captain Thatch of the Red Star's Revenge, he had to wait further before being allowed to go back out into Fort Sea Hold. No matter how "cleared" he was for duty, he was still quite frustrated with himself. He did not like that the other man was able to escape the Guard. It mattered little that it had happened many times before. What mattered was he had allowed himself to be distracted. Emberlynn.

Bladen had trouble assigning her as a conspirator. Even if it seemed she was one. And seeing as she had given the Captain an edge over them, he decided it was best if he avoided the Tavern and the surrounding area. This of course lasted a whole three days before he thought to check in on the young woman. He had thought if he put himself through more training drills and worked harder, he would forget her enough. He'd never considered himself to be someone who was unrealistic. He thought he was fairly grounded. But he didn't feel that way now. His sister's counsel would have been much appreciated at a time like this but she was at the Weyr and far from his reach. Lance would probably tell him to either do something about how he was feeling or set aside any feelings he might have forever. He would only live once.

Bladen was not so brazen though as his sister and took to watching the Tavern. He noted suspicious looking characters coming and going. Most importantly he noted Ember met with them at night. He found he disliked that more than anything. What could they possibly be doing until late into the evening? He didn't like where that thought process took him at all.

Finally one night when one of the regular visitors was on his way out, Bladen followed until there would be no one to hear them speaking before saying a word to the man, "Leaving the Tavern a little late, don't you think? Although it seems to me, you arrived well after the Tavern was closed." Bladen didn't need the whole story but he wanted to be sure that these men weren't hurting Ember or forcing her into a situation she didn't want to be in. He was aware that she could take care of herself but he wanted to be sure she wasn't being taken advantage of nonetheless.

His hand sat idly on the hilt of his sword as he waited for an answer.


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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:02 pm




Coming from the Wild Green, Takei had been finishing up a visit with the head barmaid, Ember, having taken several strides in the direction of the apartments he owned and lived in to head home for the night. Usually Takei tried to visit during the daytime, but early enough that the tavern had little to no customers at all, but he'd been busy as of late, tracking down rumours of a woman who could Hear all Dragons, and whom he suspected was simply playing off the fears of people to make her living. Living off of lies. Just like he was. So far, they'd just been rumours and nothing concrete and even the man he usually obtained information from had next to nothing on this girl. Takei was sure then, that she wasn't from the immediate Fort Sea Hold or Fort Hold area. She must be from a rural cothold.

To obtain such information, Takei had been visiting Ember about once a week or so. It was often enough to be considered a regular, and yet not much else had turned up on the girl. Once a week was more frequently than his visits to his official Fixer, because the man typically gave him all of the information he needed up front, and set the price to be paid upon Takei's return. It was rare Takei returned to visit with the man until payment was ready to be taken in. The Fixer was also his mentor and his worst enemy. It was a strange relationship to say the least. Takei hated seeing him, and yet he looked forward to it.

Takei's meetings with Ember went a little differently, though. Ember's information came in in pieces at a time, and sometimes needed a little verifying, but nevertheless, that gave him cause to stop in more frequently. She didn't charge him the same types of fees as his usual Fixer, and sometimes she treated him to a little useful gossip without charge. Ember was also generally friendly with him so, had Takei the mind to make friends, she could probably have been one. But that didn't mean he ever expected anything of her outside of a little gossip here and there.

Watching Bladen approach and then hearing the man speak, he wondered if that's what he'd expected though; but then he wondered why that would be a problem. Though Bladen could have simply been inquiring in order to make sure he wasn't causing any trouble at this hour. The Wild Green was somewhat of a late night establishment given the variety of customer needs it served -and the variety of customers- but Takei figured it was best just to reassure the officer.

"I'm just a regular, and got to talking too long. I was just on my way home."



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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:03 pm

Nothing the other man had said was reassuring. Not in the least. Why hadn't he been more specific? He knew the man was a regular, it was why he was asking about his activities. Bladen didn't like the evasiveness of the answer.

"I'm well aware of the frequency of your visits. This is not the first, second or even third time you've left the Tavern this late in the evening." And personally he didn't like the information, any more than he liked the reason why the man might be at the Tavern. He would rather the man was honest. Maybe he needed a different tactic. If he made it clear he was concerned for Emberlynn perhaps the man would be more forthcoming?

"There is nothing wrong with this, in and of itself. However I am concerned with what this action implies. Not only for you but for Maid Emberlynn. Now I'm going to ask you again and I would like as honest an answer as you can manage." He would not be reporting any of this to the Guard.

He was not here on the guard's business, he was here for other reasons. He was concerned about a person and he was going to allow himself to break rules in order to protect her from what could be done. There were other reasons why men might meet with a woman at night of course but Bladen wanted to believe that it was something lewd.

He would rather believe that working at a Tavern lended her to hearing things other people didn't hear. And being someone to make a profit off the information, she might have people come later in the evening so as not to be overheard. There were other possibilities of course but he rather thought that one was most likely. He also figured it would keep her in contact with low lifes like Captain Thatch and his crew.

Although if it was the other thing he was thinking, he might just have to scare away all the men interested in her and then make a move. Something he wasn't quite ready to do just yet. But he couldn't allow her to be used by the men of the world. She was too kind and beautiful to be used in such a manner.


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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:41 pm

"Unless there is some real concern, I'll be on my way home. As a public venue, there's nothing wrong with the time I choose to come or go, simply personal preference. I do appreciate your concern for public safety however, so thank you. I will consider being more considerate in the future as to when I pay my visits so as not to cause worry." Takei started walking again, but paused when Bladen grew more insistent.


"There is nothing wrong with this, in and of itself. However I am concerned with what this action implies. Not only for you but for Maid Emberlynn. Now I'm going to ask you again and I would like as honest an answer as you can manage."


So he was worried about Emberlynn? Why didn't he consult the lady herself, if he was worried? Did that mean that this Guard was afraid to go to her directly? He was shy? or concerned for her but didn't want her to know? After all, there were many other ladies in the tavern working there, whom he might have wanted to be concerned about as well. But he mentioned only Ember by name.


Ah, so this was all about the lady Ember. Turning back to face the man squarely, a smirk of amused manner spread there across his features. Takei shot Bladen a knowing look with one brow quirked as he tried to confirm those suspicions, "Ah. So your concern is for her? It seems as though your reasons then, for questioning me are personal, and have no basis in regards to my breaking any law, nor being otherwise suspicious." Takei was not being aggressive or rude in his accusation, but it was apparent to him that there was no other reason for Bladen's approach. He simply found himself continuously amused.

Takei chuckled, glancing the soldierborn over and then meeting his gaze, "Well, not to worry. I don't have the same interest in her as you do. If you're that worried about her, you should go speak with her yourself. Now if you'll excuse me." For Takei, that was enough said. A brief farewell, and the man started back toward his home.



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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:50 pm

Bladen wasn't a coward but he did have concerns about talking with Emberlynn so late in the evening. If he tried to meet with her during the day though one of his Guard friends might come with him, even if he went directly after a shift they'd probably want to come to the Tavern. And who was to say they wouldn't be there when he got there. It might be a good time to speak with her, since he had just confirmed she had been there, doing business with this man. Whatever that business might be, he was still quite unsure.

"Be careful with whom you do business. Suspicious activity of all kinds is being monitored since Captain Thatch's most recent theft from the Barracks." Bladen was giving him a warning. If the man continued to look suspicious he could potentially be brought to the Barracks for questioning by his commander. However he was not arresting him now and nodded as the man departed. There was no reason to keep the man out even later.

He walked away from the other man now and toward the Tavern. The doors were still unlocked despite how far into the evening it was. He walked in, hearing the large door creak a little as he opened it. He was still wearing his uniform and his weapons though he took very little notice of them. Bladen was looking for Emberlynn and everything else seemed to be blurred into the farthest recesses of his mind. She was working so he leaned against the bar, not acting in anyway other than how he normally would.

Just like the first time he had seen her, he felt himself staring and flushing in his cheeks ever so slightly. No amount of time away would erase her image from his mind. "Maid Emberlynn, I hate to bother you but I wanted to speak with you, privately if I may?" He did not want to bother her but he also wanted to warn her to be careful.

If she had any connection to Thatch or any other illegal activity she could be in trouble. And he wanted her to be aware of the increased danger because as much as he wanted to believe she was innocent of what happened in the Tavern with Thatch, he knew she had known what was going on from the beginning and had chosen to help the vagabond instead of the Guard.

If she was then she might be caught up in other things that may get her into trouble later on. "I understand if you don't have time right now but I think this is something best discussed when none of the Guard is present to hear it save for myself."


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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:02 pm

Emberlynn glanced up as she spotted movement near the doorway-- attentive as she was to cleaning the bar and joking with the other barmaids, she still noted who entered and exited the tavern.  Her lips curved just the slightest bit more as she laughed at the story one of the other girls was telling about a patron.

So the guardsman was back, was he?  She'd half expected him to return and question her further as soon as Thatch escaped.  But he hadn't, nor had any other member of the Fort Guard.  She wasn't sure if that meant they believed her innocent of aiding the captain, or if they were simply biding their time for some other event to occur.  

Given Bladen's presence, it was likely he was here to finally interrogate her.  She doubted he was here for a simple social visit, but then again, it was always possible he'd decided he needed to do a bit of unwinding after a shift, or he could no longer resist the allure of her beauty.

Rolling her eyes at her own thoughts, Ember replaced the mugs she'd just dried on their shelf below the counter and used the rag she held to wipe down the wooden surface on top.  By the time she finished, Bladen had been leaning at the counter for a moment or two, much to the interest of a couple of the other girls who were deliberately trying to catch his eye by leaning a bit too far one way or the other.

Glancing up when she heard the shifting of the guardsman's boots, the young barmaid met his gaze when he called her name.  

He wanted to speak with her privately, did he?  And what he had to say was best discussed away from other members of the Guard, was it?  Odd, that-- was he here to warn her of someone else coming?  Amused at the thought that maybe she hadn't been too far off in assuming her looks had in fact drawn him back after all (of course, she knew it was possible-- it wouldn't be the first time-- but despite the fact that he was blushing, he was clearly loyal to his profession and less likely to allow himself to be ruled by a lack of logic, from what she could tell), she gave him a wide smile.  "Of course, Sir Bladen, I would be happy to speak with you.  Is it not something we are able to discuss in front of other members of the Wild Green's staff?"

She wanted to tease him about simply wanting to get her alone, but she'd hold off for now.
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:38 am

Bladen didn't notice the other women and paid no attention to their attempts to catch his eye. He wasn't really used to women who would throw themselves at a man. He was more cautious in his attentions to women, usually anyway. Having made only one exception before now, his close friendship with his sister. He had given her help, training her as a Guard behind his father's back.

But they were always close, even before that. On occasion his sister had told him about some of the girl's eying him and had encouraged him to show them some interest but he was so focused on training then, he didn't have the time. And now he had only one purpose for being at the Tavern. It had very little to do with what the women may have come to the conclusion he was there for.

"I apologize if I'm putting you in an uncomfortable position but this is probably something you'd want to keep to yourself. If you would prefer it however, we can speak in front of them." Odd that she would willingly speak in private with some much more seedy characters than himself but she was concerned about speaking to him alone. It almost made him angry but he would not allow emotion to rule him. He never had before.

Looking around at the people surrounding them then, he said, "I hope you know I would never compromise you in any way, if that is your concern." He didn't doubt she had concerns about being alone with a man she barely knew. He hoped though, however brief their acquaintance, she could see what kind of man he was. He would never harm anyone unless necessary for his profession.

His blues eyes rested back on her face, trying to determine what she might be thinking now. He couldn't but then, it may have been an excuse simply to look at her for a little while.



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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:05 pm

Ember would have laughed if he hadn't been so earnest... or seemed so... affronted at the thought that she might fear him, or worry about being alone with him.  He might not have let it show on his face, but she could hear the slightest bit of irritation in his voice, and paired it with his words.  

Really, it was just too much to resist teasing him this time.

Wiping her hands on the rag, she set it aside.  "Good sir, I apologize if I've offended you by implying an upstanding soldier like yourself would ever do such a thing."  The young barmaid bowed her head in apparent sincere contrition.  "I assure you I meant nothing of the sort, and have complete faith that whatever you have to tell me is innocent of any ill intent."

Then she slowly glanced up at him through her lashes, blue-gray eyes twinkling devilishly.  "But, that being said," she murmured lowly, reaching out to lightly walk her fingers up and over one of his hands where it rested on the counter as she slowly leaned closer, "I wasn't promising... not to compromise you."  Deliberately invading what she could of his personal space for a moment, she waited a second or two longer than would be appropriate, then winked at him and drew away, turning to saunter over to the gate in the bar.

"Hey, Vindra, I'll be right back after I go have a little... private discussion with our visitor."  

The other barmaid waggled her eyebrows and laughed at that, but nodded as she went back to wiping down the table she was closest to.

And with that, Ember turned back to Bladen, wide smile in place, and gestured for him to follow her.  "If you'd care to come with me, Sir Bladen, we can go somewhere where we're less likely to be... overheard."
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:48 pm

He was a complete idiot, he thought to himself for a moment before turning his undivided attention back on Ember. Of course she didn't think he would try anything, he was a guard, a trusted member of society and everyone could see he was a very polite and innocent sort of person. He was aware of how foolish he might seem to everyone else in the room.

Bladen knew better than to be looking into her beautiful eyes as she allowed herself to come closer. Breath caught in his throat, he couldn't move when her hand touched his. He could feel his skin tingle where she had touched it. He would never understand why she had such an effect on him, but he did realize that no amount of denying this crush would make it go away. Hearing her words he flushed a little more darkly than before. It would not be completely unwelcome, obviously. There was no way of trying to hide how he was feeling now, which might have been the purpose.

Sometimes he really wished he had spent time flirting with women. He would know how to reciprocate not that flirting would be much easier in the current situation. He had determined not to get involved with anyone till he was back at Fort Hold proper making a better living... because Bladen couldn't in good conscience court any woman without having the best of intentions, which meant being prepared should things go smoothly.

Getting his mind off the side rail it had wandered, He moved away from the bar, nodding at those who were still there and followed Ember to a more private place within the tavern.




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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:13 pm

Just in case one of the Wild Green's inhabitants or guests (or both together) had decided to make use of the private parlor since Takei left, Emberlynn knocked, then pushed the door open slowly when she heard no response from within the room.  She didn't want to shock the poor soldier boy behind her too much, after all.

Finding no one inside, the young barmaid opened the door fully and entered, turning to gesture for Bladen to come through the portal as well.  "No one will disturb us here while the door is closed.  We can leave it open if you're worried I'll take advantage of you, though."

Amusing as it was to tease him, she had to wonder just where he thought she was taking him.  He'd followed her readily enough-- would he have come if she'd actually led him to her shared quarters?  She doubted it, but it would have been entertaining to see how he'd react if she tried.  He'd be more likely to balk and protest that it wasn't proper, she was guessing.

As it was, the private parlor was rather lacking in the bedroom furniture department, so she didn't think he'd have much room to protest its use.  She could even offer him a drink from the small bar inside should she so choose, though she doubted he would accept if he was actually on active duty at the moment.  Surely he wouldn't have waited as long as he did for her to finish cleaning the bar if that were the case, though, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:52 pm

Face set in a serious expression, he continued into the room. He knew he was flushing again at her comment. "Closed would be best." Faranth help them if she did try to take advantage of him. He doubted he'd be able to continue doing much of anything but giving into desire. Maybe she could see that plainly on his face. He would never forgive himself if he did anything that might ruin her for marriage to a good man. He didn't for a moment think she might find him attractive, surely there were many men after her heart and her hand.

Mind set back onto business he realized his concern for her welfare might be completely unfounded but then he had every reason to believe she was getting caught up in things which were beyond her. He was staring at the floor as he gathered his thoughts. The barmaid was probably ready for him to spit out what he wanted to talk about.

After rehearsing what he was going to say for so long in his head he realized, he didn't know how to start. "Would you like to sit?" He asked, being his usual chivalrous self. He wouldn't sit unless she did. Clearing his throat, "Maid Emberlynn, you are clever and have a long ear so I do not doubt you may already be aware of what I am going to say." It was unclear from his tone whether he meant it as a compliment or not.

"The Guard is increasing surveillance of the people in Fort Sea Hold. Their interactions at all candlemarks. The Tavern in particular is going to be under our watch. We're looking for informants, spies and sympathizers to the smuggling vessels, most significantly the Red Star's Revenge. I think I don't need to say why this might be of concern to you."

He wasn't sure if she would laugh this off or not. Ember might not realize how serious this was. He knew she had helped the Captain and his crewman previously. He knew she spoke to people in private at odd candlemarks. She listened to people who came in for drinks, no doubt gathering intelligence.

His eyes moved from the ground to her face, grayish blue eyes meeting hers, "Please take this warning seriously." He was accusing her and not accusing her at the same time. Bladen was not supposed to be here, which was quite clear. This was not duty talking, even if it wore the guise.

He sighed, obviously having been dealing with the moral dilemma of telling her or keeping things to himself. Did she understand what he had just done? Did she understand he had gone against everything he believed and what he considered to be right and wrong in order to protect her. Bladen didn't know her well enough to know what she might be thinking now. He hoped though, she wouldn't take offense to his getting involved in her protection.


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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:01 pm

Ember's grin widened as she waited for him to clear the doorway.  "Willing to take the chance, huh?"  Not that she planned on doing anything, but it was certainly more fun to let him think she might.

With a little wave to another maid passing in the hallway, she closed the door behind herself and stepped towards the bar.  Given Bladen's reaction to her, as well as his desire to keep whatever it was he had to say a secret, even from other Guardsmen, she was still doubting this was any sort of official visit.  And he rather seemed like he might need a bit of liquid courage to get whatever he had to say out.

So while he gathered his wits, she set about pouring a small glass of something that would soothe his nerves, hazarding a guess as to what he might prefer based on previous experience.  She was finished and moving back to his side by the time he looked up and asked her if she'd like to sit, and so offered the drink with a simple raised eyebrow.

To his question, then, she replied, "If you'd prefer I take a seat, then I will.  Thank you."  Courteous behavior as he'd already displayed, as well as a possible need to keep himself more in control of the situation by putting her on a lower level-- even if subconsciously, and only temporarily-- were givens with his Guard persona.  Not that he seemed at all the type to deliberately want her to feel lesser, with how polite and chivalrous he'd been, but Guards always seemed to be conscious of the actions of those around them, and seeing her sit first would be a clear indication that she meant him no ill will now that they were alone.

So she settled herself gracefully in a seat and waited for him to speak.

It wasn't really difficult to keep her expression as neutral and unassuming as possible-- she'd had a long time to perfect the ability.  She wasn't surprised to hear him call her out for helping Captain Thatch, nor that he had learned more about herself since his first visit.  Granted, she hadn't necessarily seen him around, but there were other Guards, and as he mentioned, security had been heightened in an attempt to catch the smugglers who had so recently stolen from the soldiers' barracks itself.  A feat she had semi-knowingly helped them pull off by not admitting Thatch was sitting right there in the tavern, even though she hadn't known just what it was he and his crew had taken.

What was surprising was that Bladen had himself decided to warn her that she was being watched.  Was it because she was female, and he didn't want to see her punished for aiding a criminal?  Was it because it was her specifically?  Not that they could do much to her, since she was already branded as Holdless.  They had no proof that she wouldn't have given Captain Thatch up in due time.  Plus, if they would question her, she knew no specifics about what he'd done, save for what she'd heard via the rumor mill.

Not that Bladen knew any of that.  So was he preparing for the worst, just in case she was actually part of Thatch's actions herself?

It was a little amusing, she idly thought, that he'd assume her possibly innocent of men, given his urgency when he'd told her he wouldn't compromise her, even knowing her current line of work, but not innocent of aiding a smuggler.  How that went about in his head, she had no idea, since a lot of men would have assumed she had something personal going on with the Captain, given the evidence.  But, given that clearly someone had been watching her movements, they'd know she had no such possible involvements with the man, and that might have trickled down to Bladen, too.

Still, she needed to give him some sort of response.  Her head was cocked faintly to the side, and she nodded.  "I appreciate the information, and will make sure the others here keep their eyes and ears open and know to aid you and the other Guards as much as possible.  As you could see a moment ago, neither Captain Thatch, nor any of his men are here."  Obviously, that didn't mean they wouldn't show up at some later point, if they so dared.  News that a Guardsman had wanted to talk to her would invariably make its way back to the Red Star's Revenge, and it would be up to the captain and his crew to decide what fates to tempt.

Feeling the need to appease him somewhat, given that he'd taken the chance to tell her what was happening, she added, "As for myself, I am merely a simple barmaid trying to ease the ills of the masses by providing a good drink and an ear to listen.  Or a shoulder to cry on.  Or a song to lift their spirits.  Is that such a horrible thing?"  An admission, and yet not-- it certainly wasn't a lie, but she wasn't giving him the entire truth, either.  If nothing else, it would explain her activities-- there was nothing that said she couldn't entertain a patron in private, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:30 am

He smiled at her jest towards him. Yes, well, just because he trusted her not to accost him, didn’t mean he would push her away should she try. Bladen kind of gathered that she was not the type to go seeking male attention in that way. At least from what he had heard and seen of her. People could surprise you though, he figured and sat down across from her in another seat.

Maybe he shouldn’t tell her. Well he knew he shouldn’t tell her but he felt compelled to explain to her the seriousness of his information. This wasn’t just about smugglers. Of course it wasn’t. The Lord Holder had known about Captain Thatch for a long time and made no move to truly inhibit the man’s smuggling until now. The political climate on Pern was changing. There was an large amount of unrest in Telgar Hold, especially since the kidnapping of Lord Rihan’s fiancé a few months prior to his being stationed here.

His eyes settled on her face, somewhat stonily. No matter what she said, he obviously wasn’t falling for the innocent act. “I hope they believe you when they question you but even if you are beautiful and a talented actress, they will not treat you any differently than a smuggler if you aid one.” And yes he could see she was clever and manipulative. Even now she was playing innocent.

“Do you not think it odd, the Lord Holder has a sudden interest in catching Captain Thatch? And is it not also strange that he and his crew smuggled weapons from the Barracks? Where were they taking them? Who on Pern would need to buy weapons off the black market?”

Let her come to the realization slowly, he thought although he couldn’t help but say what he was thinking. “Captain Thatch may be involved in the Holdless unrest in Telgar. I strongly advise you and your friends to be cautious. It is not a problem if they come here for entertainment, we expect that, but if they see you aiding or think you might have aided the Captain or his crew, you will be condemned to death for treason against the Lord Holder of Fort.” Maybe now the gravity of the situation would sink in.

“I know full well if any of the other Guards knew why I was here I would befall the same fate. So I need you to understand the seriousness of your situation and that I was not the only person in the room when you aided Thatch and his crewman last time. The Captain is paranoid, even the smallest whisper that you may be involved will send you to the Barracks…” A place he would not be able to completely protect her, at least not without ruining his career. He was ruining his career now. She probably wouldn’t appreciate his involvement any more than those he worked for would.

Why did he have to like the one girl who could easily ruin his entire life? Like wasn't a strong enough word to describe it. Infatuation was more honest. He was infatuated with a woman whom he would give up everything for and it was completely unfair. Love was pain and agony, Lancelle told him that when they were younger. He should have known by now his sister was almost always right.


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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:59 pm

Ember tilted her head as she met his gaze squarely.  "Believe me, or not, but what is passed to my ears here is naught but rumor.  Hearsay.  And yes, I've heard the suggestion that Thatch may be aiding someone in Telgar.  However, there is also the suggestion that he simply wanted to push the limits, and see just how easily he could take something important from the barracks.  Someone else put forth the idea that perhaps he has a personal vendetta against one of the soldiers, or even your Guard Captain.  Any one of those stories is believable."

Clearly, the Guard, and Fort, believed otherwise, and from the sound of it, had further evidence that tied Captain Thatch to Telgar-- unless Bladen was simply fishing for what knowledge she might have.  "The Captain himself comes here for a drink, and nothing more.  I've heard nothing of what fate befell the items he stole from the barracks, so I would presume they were still on his ship, or perhaps distributed among his men."  She gave a small shrug to say she really knew nothing further.  "If I am to be condemned for knowing such things, or for offering a mug of ale to a smuggler to ease his thirst just like any other person, then the Lord of Fort is not the man I've heard he is."

Death was certainly not something she wanted to face any time soon-- she had yet to find her siblings, and there was so much more of Pern to see.  Then again, she would do just about anything to ensure her siblings would be safe and secure for the rest of their lives-- but neither Bladen, nor the rest of the Guard, knew that.  If the sacrifice would be her life to ensure they would be free, full citizens of Pern, she'd gladly pay it-- but that wouldn't be the case here, and if they discovered she was Holdless as well as potentially aiding a smuggler... she knew she might have a more difficult time arguing that she knew nothing of what he was doing.

So long as her status remained hidden, they'd have no real reason to doubt her.
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:00 pm

“I believe you.” He said, his voice coming across more kind than it had before. “I apologize if I was… abrupt. I find I don’t know myself very well at the moment.” Bladen was used to approaching things with a just moral code. One that never faltered. He believed in truth, justice, honesty…and what he was doing here completely bent his own beliefs. Not that he really expected her to understand that much about him, at least not at the moment. They didn’t know each other at all, really. Although that had not stopped him from making assumptions about her based on what information he had gathered.

“Forgive me.” He said, his blue eyes were resting on her face, hopeful that she would do just that. He had not meant to accuse her only to help her realize how the Guard and their Lords were thinking at this moment. “I hope you don’t think I came to accuse you.” Bladen truly didn’t know how to handle his situation, where it concerned her. He didn’t trust his own feelings because they were foreign to him.

Swallowing hard, he looked away from her, “My sister always said I try too hard to help people. Especially if they don’t think they need help but then she always seemed to need help when we were young and resented anyone who gave it.” He smiled. “I haven’t been able to talk about family much. It comes out sometimes when I don’t expect it.” He paused, “Do you mind if we talk for a bit? I promise not about the political climate of Fort Sea Hold or any risk there might be there for you." Trying to make it more enticing for her he said, "I can pay for our time here, in case you are missing out on marks from manning the bar? I understand if you don't want to.”

He was hopeful actually that she might be able to talk for a little while. It would be nice to talk to someone who wasn’t a Guard and who he wouldn’t have to worry about telling other people. Ember might be good at retelling tales but he wasn’t going to say anything to her about the Guard or his work in any way. He wanted to talk to her about family, about life, travel, things that he wanted to do, things that she wanted to do. If he couldn’t start off as her friend then he didn’t know where to start.

He wanted to go slowly, so that he could potentially ask to court her if there was any guardian to ask before he asked her himself. He was getting ahead of himself again but honestly he could not help it. Every time he saw her, he imagined how their lives could be together. Even if she rejected him, he wasn’t sure he would be able to give up on her.


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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:13 pm

Nodding in response to his apology, the young barmaid smiled.  "There's nothing to forgive," she reassured him.  "I assure you, I'm quite difficult to offend.  And it's clear to me you take your job seriously.  I appreciate the warning, and as I said, will certainly pass it along."  The other girls wouldn't care much, though the owner of he Wild Green would appreciate the information, just as she did.  But he wouldn't worry much, either-- he catered to all kinds, and so long as fishy business couldn't be tied to him or his establishment, cared naught for what went on.

Standing, Emberlynn gave a little stretch.  "It's certainly nice to know we have such dedicated soldiers watching over us poor, defenseless barmaids."  Her tone took on a teasing note again.  "Especially those who are asked to meet in private with young men whose intentions are... questionable," she winked, the curve of her lips becoming a little more wicked.  Because she couldn't resist teasing him again about wanting to get her alone.

But she wouldn't push too hard-- scaring him off wasn't her intention.  So she left it at that for now and sashayed over to the bar.  "Sisters," she told him over her shoulder as she walked, "are like that.  Especially older ones, which I'm guessing yours is, or was?"  Well she knew how protective of younger sibling older ones could be.  And how independent they often became.  "We tend to think we know what's best for the younger boys and girls in our families."

As she spoke, Ember went about pouring herself some light cider.  "Would you prefer something else to drink?"  She indicated the glass she'd left on the table earlier with a nod of her head.  "On me.  No payment necessary-- there aren't many people here this time of the night."  Most had headed home a while ago, though a few stragglers still hung on past the usual hours.  "And interesting tales are often payment enough."  Stories were certainly something she liked to hear.  And she wouldn't pass up the opportunity, especially when at this moment, his request said he wanted the chance to unwind, something he probably didn't do often.  If she could provide the avenue for it, she was happy to do so.  "I'm sure you've got some fun ones to tell of this sister of yours and yourself.  Or of the places you've seen while on duty?"  And she smiled encouragingly.
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:16 pm

Bladen flushed at her teasing but he found he wanted to let loose a little more around her so the teasing was actually taken well. In good humor, he tried not to sound like an idiot or a fool, or anything too completely stupid, “I don’t think the soldier can help it if his intentions are questionable when faced with such beauty and charm.” That he wanted her was obviously clear but he wanted to be honorable. He wouldn’t risk too much right away and he did truthfully want to know her much better before he began proposing anything like courtship.

“I do have an older sister but she is much more…matronly than sisterly. She is rather bossy but then so are all the women in my family. My mother being the worst.” He laughed. “Which is probably why my sister, Lance became my shadow. We’re only a turn apart really and had so much fun in our childhood. I think the two of you would get along actually and Lance is not an easy person for anyone to get along with.”

He wasn’t sure if this was the stimulating story she wanted to hear. Bladen shook his head at the offer of a drink. If he didn’t have to work in a few short candlemarks he might have taken her up on the offer but things being what they were he would have to get by with water. “I blame myself for spoiling her.” Bladen shrugged, because he truly wasn’t that upset for having done so. “I miss her more than words can express. I always felt that family was part of one’s soul though and to be parted from them leaves one feeling less than whole.”

This was nothing like a story. He should probably tell her a tale if he did want to keep her interest. “I hate to disappoint you, but this is only the second place I’ve been stationed. I grew up in Fort Hold as my family has done for generations. We’ve been guards to the Lord Holder of Fort Hold for as long if not longer than the founding of Fort. I had never thought to be sent here.” Quite honestly he had been angered when he had been told he was being sent here. Now though he found himself glad not because he particularly enjoyed his work here but because he had met Emberlynn and that seemed to be the more important of the two things to him at the moment.

“I’m not much of a story teller. Perhaps you could tell me one?” The sound of her voice might relax him further.


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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:00 pm

So, the soldier had more than one sister, and potentially more, Ember mused.  It didn't sound like Lance and his older sister were the same person, the way he described them, but she could be wrong.  He sounded more like the older brother to Lance, protective of her, as she was of her brother and sister.  It was also interesting that Bladen thought she and Lance would get along, however, and she wondered just what the young woman was like.  "Was your father a Guardsman?  Given the names and all," she added, to clarify what would make her ask the question, aside from the fact that the young man before her was a soldier himself.

Pouring a mug of juice instead of water-- cold water would quench his thirst, of course, but juice would be far more pleasant, she thought-- she found her smile shifting to nostalgic.  "Rather poetic words, coming from a Guard."  The sentiment was rather appropriate for how she felt about her own family.  "It is hard to be separated from those we love, isn't it?  How long has it been since you've seen her?"

Of course, her first question was answered when he started talking about his family history.  "That sounds like quite the reputation to live up to," she said, placing the juice within his reach on the table and settling back into her own seat.  "A long line of soldiers, with the Lord Holder depending on you for protection for both himself and his territory."  Was the young man before her somehow deficient compared to others of his kind, to be sent here?  It would explain his surprise, but at the same time, she'd seen no evidence that it might be the case.

Well, not that she'd seen him much at all outside of his visits here to the Wild Green.

Still, she couldn't imagine someone who seemed so dedicated would be lacking in the skills necessary to make him good at his job.  Then again, perhaps he was simply far too sympathetic to the plight of pretty girls?  That she could certainly believe.  But he clearly had a good heart, and was maybe just far too easily taken in by said pretty girls...

Shaking her head at his request for the moment, Emberlynn countered, "I find that everyone is a good storyteller at one time or another.  It's simply a matter of finding the right subject to speak on.  I'd certainly be interested to hear more about this sister you're so fond of, and think I'd get along well with.  Surely you have some fun tales to tell of your adventures with her.  Or perhaps something silly to tell about her antics?"
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:33 pm

((sorry took so long. Hopefully this works for you. Story is Bleh.))

“My father is a Guard. He trains younger Guards now, but he still reports to the Lord Holder of Fort regularly. Yes, apparently he thought naming us after weapons to be fitting.” He shrugged mostly because those who did make the connection between their names and professions it seemed to fit just fine. No one had ever found his name odd. That they were all associated with a profession that involved fighting made it fit. Although technically Arrowva wasn’t practicing any form of fighting, she was married to a Guard.

The weyr had stolen his sister from him, just as it had their cousin. Being close to the Weyr did have its downsides. “She was Searched over three Turns ago. That was the last time I saw her. I’m just glad my cousin is there to watch out for her. Her class was in a horrific accident. Of her wing, she was the only survivor and from what I’ve been told by our parents, she has had to remain grounded for a long time while her green heals. I wish I could be there though, S’dric , my cousin, seemed pretty concerned for her for a while there. I suppose she’ll come out okay though. She always has. All I know is that dragon is lucky Lance thinks for herself or they’d both be dead too.”

He couldn’t go to the Weyr when he was on duty and assigned this far away. It was unlikely that she would come to Fort Sea Hold but if she did, he would be ecstatic. “If she ever comes to visit, I’ll introduce you. Or maybe I’ll get enough leave to visit the Weyr. Heh. You could come to if you wanted. Have you ever been?”

He sighed. Bladen didn’t much like being sequestered out in the middle of nowhere. And this wasn’t even a small hold but it might as well be the other side of the world. No matter how upset the idea of being here made him though, he knew he had been sent for a reason. He was perfectly capable of guarding the Lord Holder. He’d passed the exam to get into the Guard with flying colors. He should be there now, so something had to be pretty important for him to be here at the Sea Hold.

“I’ll live up to it.” He said with determination. “I’m not here for the fun of it. I was sent for a purpose. I only need to find that purpose and fix the problem. Once I have, I’ll be called back.” That was unless he was caught aiding or in any way compromising himself, with regards to Emberlynn.

“I suppose there are some stories…” He thought about them. Bladen went on to describe a particularly cold day at Fort Hold, where it had actually snowed. He and Lance had taken on some neighborhood children in a snow fight. Of course Lance had insisted on building up a proper Fort first. Bladen was relegated to snow ball making duty. Of course he and Lance won because neither of them were willing to give one inch of their fort to the other kids. Eventually the others gave into the fact that their feet and hands were frozen. He and Lance had gone home when they were no longer being challenged. It was a rare snowfall but very much fun. He didn’t recall another Turn where it had snowed that much.


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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:21 pm

Three Turns was a long time to have not seen his sister, Emberlynn thought, thinking she knew just how he felt.  All that time spent wondering how a sibling was doing, where they were, whether they were being taken care of…  But in his case, he at least didn't have to worry as much about his sister's welfare-- she was at the Weyr, and clearly he'd been in touch at some point, even if it was through messages relayed via their parents.  Unlike herself and her own siblings, whom she hadn't been able to track down in what felt like forever…

"It sounds like she's quite smart, and able to take care of herself.  I understand your worry, but if she managed to survive an accident that claimed a chunk of her classmates, then she and her green will make a fine addition to the wings."  Of course, he clearly already knew that.

"No, I haven't," Ember responded, her smile forming again at the thought of his invitation.  "I appreciate the offer, though-- for either case.  But I'd certainly enjoy the chance to see a new place and experience so many dragons in one place first hand.  Have you been very often?"

Raising her mug as if toasting Bladen's devotion to his profession, she then said, "Just given what I know of you, I believe you will.  And wish you good luck in finding that purpose.  Once you do, I'm sure it won't be long before you achieve your goal."  Hopefully his purpose wouldn't be rounding up the Holdless workers here at Fort Sea Hold and sending them on their way.  Or arresting her for apparently aiding a known smuggler.  She wasn't so sure he'd appreciate having to take care of that task, unless he truly believed her guilty of treason against Fort's Lord or some such thing.

Of course, Ember had to chuckle at the thought of the snowball fight.  She was particularly amused that Bladen's sister had mostly taken charge, and stuck him with the rather uninteresting part of creating their projectiles.  "I'm sure your fort was fairly large and blocked your opponent's snow balls well, too."  He couldn't imagine anything less from such a practical-sounding pair of siblings.  Her own, of course had been far more creative in their fort building-- or more to the point, lack of it.  Flynn and their brother had preferred to sneak up on the other Holdless children and ambush them with snow or mud from some hiding place than be so fair as to build a fort to hide behind.  Not that they saw that much snow, anyway- when they did, it was a rare treat, despite the cold that accompanied it.

"Do you prefer the snow and cold to beaches and summer?"
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:35 pm

"Fort Weyr? Not often. Maybe a handful of times. For Hatchings and the like. Never have been given leave to go since my sister Impressed. So it has been a while." He thought about it for a moment. Bladen did take work quite seriously and for that reason he had less time than ordinary Guards to take leave. He wanted to climb the ranks more quickly and be able to do what his family had always done.

There were some things he might put above his duty to the Lord Holder of Fort. Perhaps that was another reason he was sent here. Could he truly be trusted? He would choose family over his duty and obviously he would choose love over it as well. And while he would not scare Emberlynn off with any such protestation now, he thought perhaps gradually he could reveal more into how he felt, over time. He wouldn't dare say anything more about is obvious crush.

"Lancelle would have it so. She could never bear to lose." He said with a smile. He was sure whatever man fell in love with his sister was going to have his hands full. And he meant that in the nicest possible way but his sister was a little demanding and hot headed.

"Neither. I prefer a crisp morning, with the sun coming up over the trees to warm the world. I don't want it so warm that I would sweat under my gear but I also don't want it so cold that my hair stands on end. Comfortable weather, maybe with a slight breeze." Maybe that was a little more detail than he had meant to give her but he couldn't help himself. His eyes were resting on her face again, gauging her emotions.

"How about you?"





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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:59 pm

"I'm sure those few times left a lasting impression on you.  No pun intended," Ember grinned.  "Are Guards not given much leave to visit family, though?  Surely some of your number have their own wives and children.  And siblings whom they're allowed to visit?"

Nodding in recognition of what she'd guessed to be the case, the young barmaid noted the more relaxed look on Bladen's face as he clearly very fondly recollected on his and his sister's exploits.  He was loosening up a bit, taking the time to unwind for a few moments.  Doing so now would allow him to be sharper later, she thought.  Everyone needed a little time to let go now and then, after all, and the soldier before her was clearly one who probably did not take that time often enough.

"Comfortable, hmm," she then mused at his description, thinking how very practical he was to think in terms of wearing his uniform and gear, and how the temperature would affect his body.  Clearly, a guardsman through and through.  "I confess, I'd prefer it a little warmer than that.  Not necessarily hot, but warm enough that no cloak is necessary.  Perhaps warm enough to swim.  But not necessarily for the entire turn.  I am definitely fond of the seasons, especially the changing colors of trees in autumn."  Something she'd seen in her travels north, even if there were few trees to be seen in some places.
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:35 pm

"Guards are given leave." He said, "Some of us just have different priorities. Lance would understand. In order to get promoted I really have to devout more time to the Guard than the average person."

He was surprised to hear that, though perhaps he should not be, "Oh well then what are you doing in Fort Sea Hold. The wind comes off the ocean. I'm sure its bitter in the winter with that wind and the seasons are not so pronounced." He knew she wasn't from Fort Sea Hold.

"Not that Fort Hold is much warmer but we do get all of the seasons." He was looking at his hands, which were on his lap. Sometimes Bladen didn't know how naive he might sound. Her admission though made him wonder if she would reveal more about herself. She didn't seem overly forthcoming about her own childhood. "Is there a place you'd prefer to be?"



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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:36 pm

Ember certainly understood having a different set of priorities.  It was why she'd left her siblings behind and went in search of a place they would be safe and taken care of, despite knowing how hard it would hit them when they'd just lost their father.  Unlike Flynn and their brother, she'd known exactly why their father had chosen the depths of the sea over his family.  She'd known what sort of trouble he'd gotten himself into.  And rather than sharing with them what she knew, she'd hidden it all from them.  Allowed them to continue on as innocent as they were.

But keeping those secrets had come with a price.  And though she might hope otherwise, she doubted her siblings would be as understanding as Bladen claimed his sister was.

Still, she was glad for him that his situation was different, in both that he had no reason to hide the reasoning behind his priorities, and that he had a family who was supportive of his decisions.

"And that's where you see yourself, climbing the ranks and becoming Captain of the Guard, or maybe more?"

The young barmaid laughed, conceding the point that the weather wasn't necessarily ideal at their current home.  "Obviously, I'm here so you'd have the opportunity to find me.  Why else would I be here?"  Her lips curved upward and she winked.  "Maybe my… destiny, if you will, is to return to Fort Hold with you some time.  Truthfully, I simply hadn't traveled that far before finding this lovely establishment and the opportunity to put my people skills to good use that it offered."  It was true enough, after all.  Though she wouldn't add that Fort Hold would be less likely to offer her employment, given her status as one of the Shunned.

"As far as preference goes, though, I'd have to say no.  I'd honestly just like to see more of Pern.  The cold, barren landscape of High Reaches.  The heat of Ista.  The vineyards of Benden.  Things I've heard others describe with such fondness and awe when they visit me here."  Of course, that would all have to wait until she'd found her siblings, reunited with them, and gotten them settled and making their own way.  Which would likely be… Turns from now, at the soonest.  But it was nice to dream, wasn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: Watching over you (Tags: Takei, Ember?)   Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:03 am

"I think I'd like to actually become a personal Guard to the Lord Holder for a few Turns and then maybe instruct new Guards." He did after all teach his sister everything she knew. He was a little ambitious but he was not someone who couldn't be happy doing things that were not considered glamorous.

Bladen laughed, "Is that so?" He didn't believe it for one second, even if he wanted to believe it. She didn't know him though, not really. How could she possibly think he was serious if he said something in agreement. However, there might be some truth there, hidden behind her teasing. Maybe she did find him attractive? He was afraid to find out.

"Well for that kind of travel, it helps to know some dragonriders." Seeing as he had dragonriders in his family, he could certainly make that dream of hers come true. If she wanted him to. She might be too independent and not want any help from him. Even to see the world. "I see no reason why a person can't live one place and go and see new places for a short time, here and there."

Bladen didn't necessarily think there was any reason she would want to live in Fort Hold. Except as she'd teased him, he did kind of wondered if she would go to Fort with him. Would she? He didn't know. She didn't want to reveal too much about herself.

And he wasn't sure if she was simply teasing or if she meant some of what she said. It would have helped perhaps if he had allowed himself to flirt more when he was a teenager. None of the girls he knew then though were anything like Ember.


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