the principle of inertia

POSTED: Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:25 pm

[WC: 223]

He did not remember how they had started talking about it, but the tree certainly looked dead now that he had come to see it in person. It was a pine tree, but a scraggly thing only a few feet taller than Grievous. Too small and weak to be used for proper carpentry, it would provide a fast-burning and hot fuel to start fires on these cold days.

Grievous gathered the axe from the storage unit before he made his way to meet Neith at the Feasting Hall. They talked briefly, casually – relatively friendly considering they had practically nothing else in common.

It was a still day, and though overcast comfortable enough for the work they were doing.

Well, the work Grievous was doing. He had begun by clearing out some of the lower branches to give him easier access to the trunk, and they had just finished moving these aside. Neith was breaking down the smaller branches while the taller, burlier wolf paused his work to flex his hands.

He picked the axe back up soon enough though, and made an attempt to gauge the angle. When he felt this was right, he swung – the metal hit the bark with a solid WHACK, and the tree shuddered violently. Dead needles fell atop others already freed by his earlier, smaller cuts.


masks beneath masks until suddenly
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Salsola
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Mel
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POSTED: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:53 pm

Neith familiarized himself with few Salsolans. He knew most by name, including the slaves, and had a well enough grasp of the zones in which they lived. Anything more than that he purposefully neglected to find out: He anticipated there would come a time that he would need to flee Salsola and quickly, and the less he had to leave behind, as well as the less they knew about him to find him, the better.

He did not bask in that sea of paranoia, but he minded it as one with survival instincts and a quiet bias against his home would.

Neith found Grievous simpler than most. Simpler not in terms of intelligence, but in frankness and purpose. Their dialogue was brief and straightforward, with the usual games of deceit either not necessary, or so well done that the Heiwa knew nothing of it. This did not bother him. He felt neither safe nor unsafe in the white Warden’s presence, but like two ships sailing the same direction in still seas.

The Heiwa offered to help in his carpentry task if only to get on the good side of someone paired often with O’Riley and Elphaba, but his efforts were pathetic and he could handle little more than menial tasks like minding the smaller branches. Grievous toiled away effortlessly with axe and muscle, and while they made occasional chatter, Neith found himself not envying the Eternity’s muscle as he looked upon it, but studying how it moved.

Pine needles piled across his hair and shoulders.

“Pardon me a moment, Grievous,” he said politely, and gestured with a hand to request a pause. Dusting needles from his hair, the Heiwa stepped in reasonably close and studied the hills and valleys of the man’s shoulder and upper arm at comparative rest. He considered touching at the muscle, but found it in his best interest not to. Instead, he touched at his own paltry shoulder bumps and mimicked some of the actions made.

He cleared his throat. “Strange request, I know, but I’d like to see something if you could entertain me. Only for a moment.” Neith gestured at the tree. “Could you swing the axe... slower? Very slow. Your muscles react more... visibly than most. I’ve been doing studies of late.”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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THE GOOD DOCTOR

POSTED: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:24 pm

[WC: 282]

In a way, they ran in the same circle – but the people to which Elphaba had made her company were large in number and did not connect beyond her. Neith was an example of this. He was someone Grievous knew by name, sight, and reputation but not someone he was overly friendly with.

Then again, he was not overly friendly with most people. Grievous did his work and assisted when he could, but most of his hobbies were solitary ones. Most of his hobbies were chores, to be frank, and beyond this he excelled at napping. Winter made this latter terribly easy to do, especially with O'Riley now living elsewhere. He was glad for the plentiful hunts, but hunger had never been more than a way to alleviate boredom for him. Salsola did not want for much, except perhaps a steady peace

The wolf stopped at Neith's request, though he found himself unsure what it was his companion needed such a thing for. Distracted by flexing his fingers, Grievous was surprised when he turned and found Neith looking at him with odd focus. His request was odd too.

Why? He asked, confused by what he heard. Though his expression betrayed this, there was no hostility in his question. It was merely the motivation he did not understand.

The guy was one of those learned-type people, Grievous thought. He talked like it. Knowing what he did about the Heiwa family, the Warden supposed this was not so unusual. Beyond this, the way Grievous turned his arm to examine it suggested he was pleased to hear his appearance noticed in such a way, try to hide it by rolling his dominant shoulder casually.


masks beneath masks until suddenly
the bare bloodless skull
Salsola
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Mel
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POSTED: Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:01 am

There was no way to explain this that made the request any less bizarre, as Neith came to find in the seconds that passed after Grievious inquired. The Heiwa stared, trying to word his intentions rationally before they left his tongue.

“I’m training myself to be a doctor,” he said, after several seconds of visible internal struggle. “I’ve been studying herbs and remedies, but I’m more interested in how the body works. We have muscles and bones, but I can’t figure out what keeps everything stuck together and functioning, or what happens and how it heals when something comes apart.”

“You do more physical work, so you have more muscle than say, someone like me.” It was a sincere compliment. Though, Neith made up for his waifishness with intellect and beauty, or so he liked to think. “It’s more obvious on you than it would be on me what your muscles are doing when you’re moving, like swinging the axe. I hoped to get a better look.”

He faltered. “Does that make sense?”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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POSTED: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:09 pm

[WC: 223]

For a moment, Grievous stared back at Neith with that thoughtful, puzzled expression on his face. He believed that healing was important, and that there was more to it than prayer and plants, so what Neith told him now sounded more than reasonable.

That's fine, he agreed. I didn't know you wanted to be a healer. That's what my mother did, Grievous mentioned, though did not elaborate on why Bane was no longer present. She had taken her knowledge with her, leaving her remaining children with the barest of information to build upon. Herbs he understood, and simplistic things, but this greater idea of understanding a body sounded more practical.

I don't know how slow I can do this. These thicker parts of the wood are harder, so I need to hit them with more force, Grievous indicated the tree trunk to illustrate. If I go too slow it won't work. But I'll finish with the smaller branches first.

That said, he hoisted the ax again and moved back to where he had stopped. Grievous waited for Neith to move to wherever it was he thought might be the best view, and then resumed his work. The slower motion made him used more force in the swings, though the smaller branches on the pine tree were hacked away after only a few chops.


masks beneath masks until suddenly
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POSTED: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:20 am

“Your mother?” Neith visibly browsed back a few months, back as far as his early membership once returned to Salsola proper from the outpost. “Oh, Bane! Right? I never had the fortune of getting to know her. I’m... not too familiar with most of your family, unfortunately.”

Was it by choice? The Eternitys were the ruling family of Salsola, and a majority had always served within the tighter circles where Neith had no business. His loyalties to the Thistle Kingdom were tattered and marred, but one is safest when one knows their enemy. If he was to survive, at least for as long as it took for him to abscond, perhaps changes needed to be made.

Granted, he was not without some share of acquaintanceship. O’Riley went without saying. Indra and Elphaba, both of which he called friends, one way or another. Salvia and Osrath had both shown him kindness in a time where they could have passed him by. And now, though nearly strangers, Grievous agreed to serve as a model.

Stepping out of the Eternity’s range, Neith made a face given Grievous’s grievances and nodded. “You’re right. Do what you have to, perhaps it’s better this way.” A thoughtful hand at his lips, Neith watched a moment, analyzing the flow of the muscles—the way several parts of his body seemed to lock at once, while others surrounding flowed in and out of activity. Given a few beats, he chuckled. “Did your mother ever do anything like this? Ask relative strangers to flex and move around?”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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POSTED: Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:53 pm

Grievous yanked the ax free from where it had bitten into a tough piece of pine.

I'll do it, he said quickly, thinking Neith might take his complaints for a show of dislike or worse, weakness.

THWACK!

Each time he brought the sharpened head of the ax down he put an extra force into the end of it, no longer able to rely on speed to do the work for him. He became aware of this difference and how it felt in his upper body the more this went on. It was a slow burn, for his muscles were working harder now to control his speed and this made Grievous do this differently. How curious it was, that speed should provide so much.

It was a lesson he tucked away without thinking too deeply on it, though some part of him saw a familiarity in what he was doing and would recall it later.

Right, you didn't live here, he stated flatly. They were both Salsolans, even if Grievous was native-born on their homeland and this was supposed to count for something extra. She did many things when she healed. She made things, he explained between each THWACK! Knew all about plants. She taught me a little.

His shoulders were starting to ache. His expression soured and be brought the ax down fast and hard.

But she's not here anymore, Grievous grunted, and with a second, faster swing, chopped the tree in half. He stopped to flex his shoulders, and rolled his neck. One of his hands rose and scratched at his throat, and he indicated the ax with a glance before looking back to Neith. Did you want to try?


masks beneath masks until suddenly
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Salsola
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POSTED: Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:36 am

“But she’s not here anymore.” “I’m sorry to hear it,” said Neith, sincerely. “Has she gone to the Outpost? She sounds like a very intelligent woman. I hope she is well, wherever she is.”

How Neith wished he had his journal and charcoal to sketch or take notes! Upon closer inspection, he found the body had a ripple-like effect as it made each motion, like a wave of the ocean flowing up from the hip and down over the shoulder and arm. How many muscles were there, he wondered. What happened is something went wrong in one muscle—would the others that assisted it suffer as well?

He found this thoroughly fascinating, and visibly snapped from this period of staring when the axe was offered to him. At first, Neith hesitated; his training with Lilia and general hesitation with horses meant the young man was sufficiently built, but his muscle mass was not one of a laborer and he feared (as he so often did) embarrassing himself. The last thing he needed was for his humiliation to worm its way back to O’Riley, whom Neith found Grievous often tied at the hip.

But, he shrugged off these concerns as exaggerations, and thanked the Eternity as he took the axe. He positioned himself to mimic the technique as Grievous performed, then swung it at the wood with more of a thud than a THWACK. He found despite the speed he went, he struggled to experience that same ripple effect in his own body; no matter how he tried, Neith could focus on little more inside his own body than his grip or the quick arrival of burning and soreness from exertion.

He handed back the axe. “That’s enough, then,” he breathed, having stopped just short of becoming a sweating, panting mess. “I think I’ve gotten some good information, Grievous. This was extremely helpful. You have my gratitude.”

Collecting branches from the ground and snapping them, he laughed, “I’m much more apt for this work than that, I think. Once we finish up here, I’ll head back home and take a few notes, I think.”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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POSTED: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:19 pm

She could be dead, he thought horribly. Bane might have lost her life out there, and his father and brother too, and they would never know. Until word came from the mountain called Khalif, until his brother returned cured and whole, Grievous doubted that they would ever know what truly happened out there. His other siblings had gone elsewhere to find answers.

This place felt like it was more important, and that someone needed to remain. He was an Eternity of the founding line and deserved the right to live on the land he had been born on.

It was his now. All of the things left behind were his.

I'll help you bring it back, he offered. And next time, I'll teach you how to cut it down. Doing this will make you stronger, he offered, and spared a friendly look to suggest this was – remarkably – not meant cruelly. Neith was a member of Salsola. He deserved to become stronger, even if he was a curious and strange sort of person.


masks beneath masks until suddenly
the bare bloodless skull
Salsola
The Equinest
User avatar
Mel
Luperci Mate to Idrieus
supernova
the fire rises

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