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Replanting

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Replanting

Post by Shula Brighton on Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:45 pm

The nicest thing about South being South was that even in the chill of winter, it was still reasonably warm, or at least warmer than Central and Briggs were, though Briggs went without saying. The beams of afternoon sunlight streaked through the tall windows on the third floor of South HQ, illuminating the wide hallway. The headquarters in Amestris, despite different layouts, all had the same general feel to them in that the top floor was always living quarters. There were military living arrangements nearby as well for larger families, but when South was being built Shula insisted to put the dorms on the building so that soldiers could get where they were needed quickly. But unlike the cramped quarters that she distinctly remembered Gustav living in when she'd first started at South before it was obliterated, these were much more comfortable and no longer the size of glorified closets.

The long, snowy-white braid swished from side to side as Shula hummed lightly, swaying to the music in her headphones as she took the stairs. There was a potted lily in her hands, but most days she never felt like taking the elevator unless her hands were tremendously full and there was nobody to give her a hand. Too much of the day was spent sitting, and too much energy was unwasted; it was a feeling she'd never tire of. Shula could take deep breaths now, comfortably and freely, her joints not hurting, and no dark circles hanging under bright red-brown eyes. As she had been long ago, Shula was Bright Eyes once more, even if there was nobody here who knew that name. Grandfather was well and enjoying retirement in Meissan with her mother, and Papa was content as ever in Resembool. Even with Aaron no longer guiding her, she held to the hope every day that he was happy and finding his own purpose in life now that he no longer had to live solely for his selfish little sister who refused to die so easily. Their Bright Eyes was running South, and very well, and South in turn was doing well for her.

Despite still being horribly understaffed, Shula was glad to know they had a massive volunteer force, and that Lisbeth was doing exceptionally well as her second in command. The country was practically begging for soldiers, but the academy couldn't just shove them out without teaching them anything, and those that they had were constantly being shuffled and reshuffled. Shula was heading up to the dorm floor because soldiers had been shuffled yet again, and she had someone new on her team at South who actually wasn't a volunteer or recruit fresh from training; this was Shula's new Head of Defense. That made the little Ishvallan very happy. Another alchemist for South, and a new department head to help get a grab on the constant state of chaos things seemed to be in. South was a fluid base, if nothing else; Shula told everyone constantly to expect the most random thing the universe could throw at them because by lunch time who knew what would be on their plate or walking through their door.

The bagpipes in Shula's ear-buds whined faintly, the lead singer of Niveus Corvax somewhere between singing and melodically shouting. She smiled, Letzte Worte still her favourite song. Even if it was attached to so many memories of Hild that she didn't dare voice, she knew that she was probably one of the few people who still held onto memories of the Fuhrer that betrayed them and could still smile. She remembered the Hild she loved having fun with and taking out shopping, or going to concerts with. That wasn't the Hild Aurel corrupted; that wasn't the Hild that told her goodbye in Drachma. Shula rounded the stairs at the last landing before the final flight of stairs. She wasn't in the standard uniform, but that was okay; it was after hours, and this was her kurta-uniform, the long tunic over her pants the same colour Amestrian blue and embroidered in silvery gray as everyone's wool version. This one was just her more Ishvallanly-acceptable, even if the dark henna patterns that ran up the tops of her hands and her palms up her arms showed rather clearly. She never was the sort to wear gloves, and with both sets of her alchemical bracelets, gloves would have only gotten in the way.

Things had changed so much in so short a time. Shula never thought that she'd be the one welcoming soldiers that she had command of, or that she'd take her grandfather's post in running South. The first Ishvallan to have full control over an Amestrian HQ and city. Soft footsteps from tiny feet padded down the long hallway as the corner was turned, stacks of boxes and plastic storage bins. That must be her, Shula thought. She stopped for a moment, pulling her headphones out of her ears and shutting off her music to tuck it away before continuing to Jocelyn's door and knocked lightly on the open door frame. "Welcome wagon," Shula called out cheerily, holding the potted lily in both hands. "From the head office!"
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Re: Replanting

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:46 am

Thank God for elevators. Just, they are the best friends to those that, perhaps, have a shitload of boxes to move into an apartment several floors above the ground. So as of right now, Jocelyn's new best friend was this lovely little lift. She was surrounded by boxes on all sides besides the immediate space ahead of her. She swore, when she was loading the elevator she hit the "hold doors" button at least 10 times just trying to get everything inside. Her hair was being smoothed by her bare, shimmering skin. Why'd she have to pack her uniform? Why was THIS the only outfit she left out? It annoyed her, what was she thinking? She loved the outfit to death but...it just wasn't "moving day" material. It was a tight fitting white jacket with ruffled trim and collar and bell cuffs and a skirt that covered to the top of her thigh which was also ruffled. She had a red and burgundy checkerboard ascot pinned together by a brilliant cut ruby encircled by two small silver snakes. Her skirt and jacket were the same color as freshly fallen snow, appropriate for it being winter, but it was so uncommonly warm here.

The jacket was making her hotter than she needed to, her forehead beading slightly underneath her gold bangs. Her heeled boot, white just like her outfit, clicked on the floor of the lift in anxiety; she was surrounded by several large boxes and felt like she was about to run out of air. Then the doors slid open and fresh, cooler air flooded in. Jocelyn let out a sigh she felt like she'd been holding it in for hours. No time for relaxation, she thought, boxes need to be moved. As she started the unloading of her cardboard and cargo containers, Jocelyn's thoughts drifted to the future of what would be in store for her at this new position. She ultimately knew one finite thing: she'd be working in league with her militaristic inspiration, Brigadier General Shula Brighton. She, from what she had heard, was incredibly forth-front, a great alchemist, and dedicated to her position. Three points Jocelyn had enough cause to see her as a person of respect, but news from the front-lines had cemented the impact. What was she like in person, she wondered. She'd most likely see her tomorrow during work hours, but even then, it did make her a tad excited. It showed as she thought about it as well, seeing as how she had already unpacked every box from the elevator in a matter of minutes. Her mind shut down the day dreaming immediately as it went searching for her dorm number. Twelve, she recalled. Dorm 12.

After an extensive time of lifting, dragging, and occasionally throwing, Jocelyn collected her boxes by the door and reached behind her ruby pin. With the flick of a wrist, a key was between her fingers and into the doorknob. She hurridly unlocked the door and flung it open. The space, to Jocelyn's surprise, was incredibly nice. Very basic, yet homey: consisting of a kitchen, a stove, a fridge, small bed and couch, but other than that, the room was bare. Still marveling at the room, Jocelyn secured the nearest box in an iron vice grip and dragged it in. She looked inside the brown and battered cardboard and found, what else?, her punching bag. She'd almost forgotten she packed it. Well, might as well put it up, she thought. She took out the old, decrepit thing with a careful pull. This bag held memories for her, for it was the same bag her and Papa had when it was still in the house. She hoisted it to standing by it's chains, peering at the duck tape wrapped leather bag with soft eyes. She drug it to the corner of the room, she'd install it later. Inside the bag were an old bag of boxing gloves, her father's. She slipped them on over her skin, so grungy and disgusting compared to herself, but to her they could've been the Crown Jewels by the way she stared at them. She swung once, then twice, then started her jabbing combinations. She felt ten again, could hear her father screaming encouragement, could feel her small hands slam against the bag. The smell of the basement, wet and dank, flooded her nose like the scent of a rose. She strode over to the bag and started again with her combinations. Oh, god, it was a fantastic feeling, but her eyes were so focused and so far away. She was intent on the memory, not on the now.

That was until a knock smacked against against the doorway and the memory swirled away in a cloud of dust that settled from the punching bag. "Welcome wagon" she heard. It was a woman's voice, to be sure, though she couldn't tell with her eyes closed. Dust, those evil little particles, had found their way into her eye and mouth, causing a light coughing fit and watering eyes. She was walking towards the doorway and once she was there, her eyes and throat had settled. She looked out into the hall and saw only boxes. Then another chirp sounded, "from the head office". It came from...below? She looked down and her heart nearly seized up on itself. The hair, the eyes, the skin, they were all impossible to deny who they belonged to. Shula was at her door. She was shocked at how short she was.

She wanted to scream in excitement, but her body was ram rod stiff. Do something, she said. Her hand flattened and found itself to her forehead, ruffles flowing in the breeze of the move. "Good evening, Brigadier General. Lieutenant Colonel Jocelyn Gregorevna Veska reporting" Her face immediately was tinged in crimson, what the hell had she'd done. Her emotion was inward of course, her face displaying nothing. She slowly and shakily put her hand down and noticed the potted plant in Shula's hand. A lily. A beautiful one at that. She wrapped her hands around the plant and nodded, "This wasn't necessary ma'am, but it's greatly appreciated. A...pleasure to meet you." Ok..so far so good. She walked with a sort of nervous stride to the window and lightly placed the pot on the sill. "So..." she swallowed, still gazing at the sunlight blooming off the flower, "It seems I might've come with a few too many belongings" Jocelyn had no idea where she was going with that sentence, but anything to make her feel less awkward at the moment. Where had her confidence gone?

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Re: Replanting

Post by Shula Brighton on Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:45 am

Moving was exciting. Packing and unpacking sucked. That was a universal truth as old and deeply-ingrained as the principal alchemical laws that almost every child could tell you at least one of. Over the years Shula had gotten good at the whole moving thing, but it was annoying as hell every time she'd moved in recent years, but largely because she had been forced to move due to her home being blown up. First apartment in South City when she was everyone's running gag: vaporized by RIOTE. Her townhome in Central City with the beautiful garden and the room redone just for her dancing: collapsed, again, due to RIOTE. There really needed to be clauses in home owner's and renter's insurances against national acts of terrorism.

But there was a distinct smell of cardboard boxes and that weird twangy smell of packing tape and dust, and Shula could hear light coughing within the apartment. Well, someone was home at least. Shu stood there at the opened door, potted lily in hand as she waited for the coughing to subside, not stepping in unless she was invited. Nobody ever seemed to give vampires enough credit for being polite. As the small coughin fit passed, Shu saw Joce there, looking rather shocked as she hung up a large punching bag while wearing something far dressier than Shula would have ever picked for just unpacking. It seemed Lisbeth may have a contender for the style champion's belt at South, though secretly Shu'd make one hell of an exchange to be half as gorgeous as Lisbeth was for a day.

This woman was also something ideal for Amestrian beauty; very tall with long blonde hair and feminie features that the little Ishvallan would never be graced with, even with the assistance of a pushup-bra. And then her hand suddenly snapped into a salute, the blonde's face unsmiling in a way that didn't suit the dress at all. "Good evening, Brigadier General. Lieutenant Colonel Jocelyn Gregorevna Veska reporting," Joce stated. Shula sighed inwardly; Joce hadn't started at the office yet, so she hadn't been briefed on the tiny General's rules yet. "This wasn't necessary ma'am, but it's greatly appreciated. A...pleasure to meet you." And she did it again as she reached out to take the plant from Shula's hands. Right, Shu'd have to let her know.

"No trouble at all," Shu replied warmly. "I know the dorms aren't the the best-decorated, so I thought a housewarming gift might help perk it up, and South's pretty well-known for its flowers." Shula smiled as she glanced around at the boxes still crowding the hallway and the ones that had been shoved into the dorm apartment. Hm. Maybe an extra set of shelves would help her move in a little easier; they were certainly something Shu always needed more of, but she couldn't help that books just happened to be kind of like Tribbles and just tended to multiply when nobody was looking...

"So... It seems I might've come with a few too many belongings." First there was a blink, and then a soft laugh. She knew the feeling; presently the loft Shula roosted in had been filled with all sorts of mis-matched furniture and oddities and cozy little things that she didn't know how she'd just walked away with one duffel full of clothes and necessities from the ruins of her old home, or how Shula would possibly pack it all when she finally moved to Central to live with her husband.

Shula gave a soft shrug, arms folding over her petite chest as she glanced to the boxes once more and then back to Joce. "Nah. Boxes just make it look like a lot more, and you're allowed to shove in extra shelves if you need." She reached into her pocked and pulled out her phone, checking the time and her appointments. The rest of the afternoon was cleared, and even though it wasn't as necessary anymore as it had been, she'd still make a point to send Spade a message to say where she was. Sure, Shula knew that with Raistlin gone nobody could really hurt them, and technically she wasn't anywhere more dangerous than usual since this was her own base, but sometimes that little extra connection, just little things like those messages she'd send him during the day to let him know what she was doing or to send him a terrible joke, or take a picture of herself wearing a dozen pair of sunglasses at once and sending it to him... It was those little things that she knew they had both come to love so much. "How about I give you a hand unpacking? It'll make it go faster, and I can fill you in on anything about the area if you're not sure." Because four hands would make unpacking easier and more cheery, and maybe it'd coax some of the rigidity down from her new Lieutenant Colonel.
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Re: Replanting

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:16 pm

The shock still remained just moments after seeing Shula, though slightly diluted as she stood facing the window. Her fingers drummed nervously on the sill, her breath breezing the petals of the lily. In all her years in tight situations, bullets flying, the rumbling of explosions, the imminent threat of death, Jocelyn never felt this kind of anxiety. But why? Was it the fear of judgement or was this a side effect of excitement? She figured the latter since her mind had broken into a fan-girl fan-fare, squealing and all; though, her face did not betray her inner thought as she peered at Shula's translucent reflection in the window. She saw a hesitant blink then her shoulders bounced in a laugh; the sound was unmistakable. "Nah. Boxes just make it look like a lot more, and you're allowed to shove in extra shelves if you need." Jocelyn would not tell her of her packing methods; how she shoved so much into each box that they could burst just if you LOOKED at it funny, or how she committed box-ception, large leather suitcases and briefcases within the cardboard. Then there were the boxes of automail components and tools, some boxes reaching 80 lbs.

Though the shelves bit she didn't think of. She could put in a few shelves; it would keep her floor from being cluttered like all her previous apartments where she'd normally wade through piles of bolts, books, and wires. She remembered all the times she stepped on washers, like a parent bringing his foot down on a child's Lego brick. She turned around and faced Shula who was currently going through her phone. She eyed the phone and noticed....some sort of tattoo? It was very...swirly to say the least. Very beautiful. Then her eyes snapped to Shula's face as she spoke again.

"How about I give you a hand unpacking? It'll make it go faster, and I can fill you in on anything about the area if you're not sure." ...Jocelyn didn't know what to say. She'd never been one to accept help, but this was Shula Brighton and not only would it be rude to say no, she could really gain some information on the area. And a Head of Defense needs to know the area. "Of course, Ms. Brighton. If you could, my books should be in..." She looked around with her cerulean eyes, trying to find the big brown box among several other big brown boxes. Then she spotted one with a scroll sticker on the corner. "that one. With the sticker on it. I'll get this one." The term "this one" referred to the 1 of many boxes containing automail parts and tools. If she was correct, she wondered as she dragged the damnably heavy box, this should contain....she took her manicured nail and cut a slit into the box, then pried the lid open with ease. Inside were four separate suitcases, leather with gold locks, a couple of feet long.

"I'm so glad I invested in these cases." She said to herself. She pulled them out one by one, revealing monograms on each side. A L.A, R.A, L.L, R.L, each weighing about the same. She didn't speak of their contents though, as she leaned them against the wall and returned back to the box, retrieving tools and cloth-wrapped objects. She'd have to finish them, she repeated in her mind, before she'd perform any field work. It'd be safer that way.

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Re: Replanting

Post by Shula Brighton on Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:58 am

Stacks of boxes surrounding them, Shula glanced around, following the line of Jocelyn's finger to the box she wanted brought in. Books, huh? Shula couldn't help but smile a bit there, knowing the wonderfully familiar heaviness that came with a box of well-packed books. Sure the heavier boxes of books were best left for useful guys to move around, but this one wasn't super bad... felt like maybe textbooks, from the weight. She would certainly admit to having had a box of just manuals, dictionaries, and a few old encyclopedias before they all kind of exploded. Hm.

Box in her arms, Shula stepped into Jocelyn's new dorm and set it over by the wall, following her new Defense head in, glancing around the apartment. Yeah, could definietly do with some shelves. When she'd approved the plans for the dorms she'd insisted they be slightly roomier than pervious versions, simply because living in a closet always seemed claustrophobic and had made any late nights studying with Gustav feel awkwardly cramped. These ones were bigger, and there were even two and three-bedroom dorms available for families moving in, but you still had to be a bit creative3 with the space. "Have you been to South's Bazaar yet? You can find just about anything under the sun there." Shula placed a henna-patterned hand on her hip, looking again at the walls. "There's a few stores that sell those little shelves you screw into the walls, and a few used furniture stalls if you'd want like a bookcase or something."

From her tone it was easy to tell that the Bazaar was like a second love for the little Ishvallan. As she looked around back to the stacks of boxes, she couldn't help but notice Jocelyn unpacking the large and rather heavy-lookig box she'd pushed into the apartment. She was pulling out leather suitcases, from the looks of it, and they wee quite nicely made, too. Four matching cases and bundles of things wrapped in cloth that made soft clanking noises. Shula's head dipped to the side slightly. "Those are lovely... " But they seemed heavy, and empty, decorative suitcases weren't heavy usually. "Whatcha got in them?"

Moving back to the stacks of boxes, Shula scanned them for labels or initials or anything useful to mark where they might be designated. Sure, the fancy expensive moving boxes had checklists on the sides to mark what room, which contents, and all those lovely organized moving details that never happened in real life. Even the most OCD person moving didn't have moves so precise and checklisted that each box would be carefully marked and cataloged- if you tried, life would happen just to spite you and get a good laugh and hide the box that had the remotes, or your socks. "Any of these destined for the kitchen?"
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Re: Replanting

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:22 pm

A Bazaar, hmm? Jocelyn contemplated this as she moved the luxury cases against the wall, listening to her commanding officer's every word with interest, golden hair bouncing with every step. She looked around the room for a minute as Shula mentioned shelves. It would be a good investment, shelves, if she would use them. As organized as she could be, Ms. Veska's military neatness quit in two pivotal places. The battlefield and her living spaces. Usually bolts and screws and wrenches and hammers and screwdrivers littered every available space of her home. They were never organized on shelves, but she would try harder. If Ms. Brighton were to visit again, trying to clean THAT mess would take a 10 person crew.

Then Ms. Brighton took interest in the cases. Jocelyn turned once she heard the words, "Those are lovely...", her head turned on a snapping pivot. Then came the obvious next question, "Whatcha got in 'em?" Jocelyn went about it the way she normally did. As directly as possible. She laid out the cases side by side and crouched down to unlatch each. Then, with a almost spring in her step hinting at inner excitement, she took her manicured hands and lifted the lids on each one by one. Inside each was a limb. An automail limb, a left and right leg and a left and right arm. They looked very similar to her own in terms of shape. They appeared to be made of some sort of steel. On the hands were transmutation circles. As she looked up, she stared into Shula's eyes. They denoted seriousness but pride. Her voice was similar to her gaze. "Replacements. They're not yet finished, but they will be. I especially like the leaf engravements on it. That took forever, though, but...it still looks good."

As a militant, Jocelyn knew the risks. During a border skirmish, she saw one of her companions laid up in the hospital facility. His legs were blown off. Jocelyn realized how easy it was to lose a limb in her line of work, even though she had sustained no injuries herself. So she began works on the beauties they now beheld. Jocelyn was lost in an old memory until, "Any of these destined for the kitchen?" Jocelyn looked up in a daze then her eyes flashed with her return to reality. "Um...actually yes. I have my pots and such in those boxes behind you. The ones with black duct tape." Jocelyn used all manners of symbols to identify her boxes. Scroll stickers for books, black duct tape for kitchen stuffs, and so on. It was effective for her, so she was fine.

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Re: Replanting

Post by Shula Brighton on Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:30 pm

With gentle snapping noises, each case popped open to reveal what could only be described as spare parts. That, or Jocelyn was planning on attending an automail expose. Shula peered at them carefully, looking at the engraving details and the arrays placed on the hands. The details were immaculate and intricate, and inaruably lovely. Yes, automail was apractical thing and had so many uses and an endless need in a war-ravaged country, but at least these were aesthetically pleasing to go with function.

"Replacements," Jocelyn answered. Replacements? For whom? Herself? But she didn't have any... "They're not yet finished, but they will be. I especially like the leaf engravements on it. That took forever, though, but...it still looks good." Shula nodded with understanding, noting the look of pride and satisfaction in her newest officer's eyes. This was her own work, and most likely either for her in case of emergencies. Planing ahead was good, even when itw as for the bad things in life.

She smiled warmly at Jocelyn. "Beautiful work! We have a few people at South I think you'll really like, like Dr. Anton Hosenfeld down in the basement. He's.... unique." Shula laughed lightly, turning to look at the other boxes for the ones meant for the kitchen.

"Um...actually yes. I have my pots and such in those boxes behind you. The ones with black duct tape." Black duct tape. Ahh duct tape, what didn't it do? Shula turned, moving to grab the first of the kitchen boxes and tote them to their destination. Oh moving... it was so easy on paper, and so exhausting in person, even when it was only a few boxes, or in Shula's case many times, just a duffel bag and a satchel. It was emotionally draining, and soon she'd have to do it all over again.

Two kitchen boxes made their way in before Shula glanced at the cabinets. "Do you want these in the cabinets, or want the cabinets wiped down first?" Shula glanced around, looking for a roll of paper towels. She knew she personalyl hated putting clean dishes onto dirty shelves, even though these ones shouldn't be too dusty. A small smile graced her lips as she moved, instead, to get another of the small kitchen boxes. "Moving's always such an event. Hopefully you'll like it here at South! I shouldn't, but I've been putting of packing my own things to move..."

Soon, she'd be moving once more, leaving South and the wonderful life she'd built for the one she wanted, and as soon as she was married she'd give up control of South entirely to Lisbeth. She'd make a formal announcement to South HQ and South City soon enough, but for now she still had a million other things to worry about, like getting new soldiers familiar with everything before she handed the reins over.

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Re: Replanting

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:13 pm

"Thank you for the kind words, Ms. Brighton....I take...great pride in my traditions." Her voice...was a combination of mystification and sadness as she looked down onto the limbs. Past the compliment, Jocelyn didn't hear much of what she said as her mind began to wander. These limbs...they were a tradition, in a sense. Papa made his own limbs, Mama did too. If her sisters had shown interest in the business, they would have as well. She didn't start these, however, until she started her military life and the idea came crawling back. After Papa...had.....she didn't really remember it. It hit her as a stroke of an idea at first, until the memory of Papa's replacements rushed back into her mind, choking a tear out of her eye. Then Shula's voice cut through the silence. "Do you want these in the cabinets, or want the cabinets wiped down first?"

Jocelyn quickly got the sadness out in a heartbeat, looking towards Shula, then to the plates, then to the cabinets. Her hands were placed firmly in front of her waist, one rubbing the other's wrist. Something about that memory chilled her. Her voice was only a fraction wavering as her eyes stared heavily at the plates to avoid Shula's look. "I suppose the counters are fine, Ms. Brighton, no need to wipe them down. I barely use them to begin with." In fact, she had never used them. Always MREs for her and furthermore, they were a parting gift from her squad. They thought she deserved something fragile and pretty, "to contrast herself". The laughs echoed in her mind of that day. What were they doing now, she wondered...

"Moving's always such an event. Hopefully you'll like it here at South! I shouldn't, but I've been putting of packing my own things to move..." Oh? Jocelyn looked up to Shula, eyes focused and large. Her first day and Shula was already arranging moving out? Did Jocelyn's reputation precede her, she had hoped it hadn't. What happens on the battlefield doesn't necessarily STAY on the battlefield, but her conduct on it was...less than lady like, to put it in kind terms. She walked over to a rather large box...marked for clothes by the clear packing tape and lifted it in both hands with little difficulty. She had to crouch in the outfit instead of bending over, as was the nature of skirts. She began to speak as she walked into the space she would make her bedroom.

"Really, Ms. Brighton? I'm not that big for off-base housing, but I suppose that you like much more...space." Why was she moving, she wondered. Jocelyn didn't pry much, but her rules on that might be...bent...just for today.

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Re: Replanting

Post by Shula Brighton on Tue May 07, 2013 2:50 pm

Pots and pans were stacked within one another in neat piles on the counters, higher cabinets opened for dishes and cups. Well, as high as the petitie woman could manage, anyway. Her own cabinets had been designed with tiny step-stools that came out of the lower cabinets along the floor in order to help Shula step up to whatever she couldn't reach, but that had been a special request she'd given to the builder. The military dorms were much more standard, and better-suited to the soldier who lived there whose heights were more... standard.

Oh well. She'd just find things to step on at Spade's place, or just surrender and let him giggle watching his tiny woman climb onto the counters like a child. It got the job done, and at least she didn't burn dinner. Shula glanced at the set of plates and bowls, idly tracing the light floral patterns with her eyes. These looked so new and pristine. She smiled, half-wondering if she and Spade would be given dish sets as wedding gifts. Dishes and linens were popular things, her mother had said, and even in the trunk of her own special things for Shula were the very same dishes and linens her mother and grandmother thought she would need now that she wasn't going to spend her life devoted as a temple maiden.

Shula had so much packing to plan, and then there was the case of moving it all into Spade's place... And dear Ishvalla she hoped Fro's cage was cleaned lately. "Really, Ms. Brighton? I'm not that big for off-base housing, but I suppose that you like much more...space." Hm? Off-base housing? Oh. Shula laughed lightly, pausing in unpacking the dishes to look at Jocelyn.

"Oh, I don't live on base at all," she said with a gentle laugh. "Never have, even when I was new at South before it was destroyed. I lived in town then, and this go-round I have a loft on the lake." Shula rose up on her toes, putting a few more plates in the cabinet. "My house was built while South HQ and pretty much everything was under construction... And parts of Central. I'll be moving back to Central City soon as we're married, so I'm having to plan things and pack."

And then it dawned on her: Jocelyn was new. She might not have been keeping up with something so silly as the gossip chains of Central and South and the whispering fax wars that went on between them beyond knowing that South HQ had a whole department for helping handle Central's work overflow. A henna-stained hand moved to her mouth, Shula's smile bright as morning light. "Oh, Sun bless me, you might not have heard... You know General Aeries of Central? He and I are engaged. So after that, I'll be moving back to Central and leaving South in the capable hands of Ms. Lisbeth Holmes."
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Re: Replanting

Post by Guest on Sat May 18, 2013 2:23 pm

Jocelyn was half expecting to see her commanding officer, one of the most idealistic women in the military, climb on top of the counters to put away the dishes. Jocelyn only noticed the height difference when they were side by side, but seeing as how much a hindrance it could be was almost concerning. After coming back from her bedroom, she saw this display but chose to let Shula handle it; she'd either get them up there or no and it didn't make much difference to her. She seemed to be eyeing the decorated dishes with some sort of interest, but Jocelyn barely seemed to notice as she opened another box, this time filled with bubble wrapped items. She began to unwrap one, walking over to the kitchen counter to place them down, when Shula started to talk.

"Oh, I don't live on base at all. Never have, even when I was new at South before it was destroyed. I lived in town then, and this go-round I have a loft on the lake. My house was built while South HQ and pretty much everything was under construction... And parts of Central. I'll be moving back to Central City soon as we're married, so I'm having to plan things and pack." ...Jocelyn stopped everything she was doing and looked up from the package. We? Married? Who? What? Why? Jocelyn's eyes scanned over Shula's hand and besides the elaborate stain, there was no adornments, no ring. Jocelyn raised an eyebrow in confusion, the same few questions rotating in her head like a tightening wing-nut. It felt very similar to when she heard her sister was getting married, through a letter no less. She still had it too somewhere, but due to the border skirmishes she was unable to attend the wedding. They had fun, so she heard, even though the dancing was awkward since the groom was without a leg. WAS. Jocelyn's profession as a mechanic produced the most practical wedding gifts. He hadn't heard anything from them lately except that her sister was now a mother. Good for her.

Shula's smile brought a glow into the room that raised the temperature at least ten more degrees. That beautiful design stained her brown skin, which was smooth and unblemished. It had the appearance of a very light chocolate. Her hair, shock white against the dark skin, fell very beautifully around her face. Jocelyn never exhibited jealousy, but she always...wanted that kind of look. That look where one could be attractive and not have to work for it. Her morning ritual was an adventure of itself. Her showers took forever and her hair twice as long. She usually wears no makeup, but when she does, god, it feels like hours just to get it on right. Shula just looked like she woke up beautiful. Jocelyn stood in that daze, before she remembered she was trying to unpack. She put the object on the counter and realized what it was. It was her when she was 5...and Papa. She had to go directly back to the box; she couldn't stand to look at that picture for too long.

"Oh, Sun bless me, you might not have heard... You know General Aeries of Central?" Jocelyn was digging in her box, but nodded to the question in response, moving a lock of gold hair behind her ear. "He and I are engaged. So after that, I'll be moving back to Central and leaving South in the capable hands of Ms. Lisbeth Holmes." Well...that put a damper on her plans to know Shula. But that doesn't mean she couldn't show good faith. Maybe her skill with metalwork could produce a wedding gift, she thought, rubbing her chin as she looked in the box. But...General Aeries? How...Jocelyn's voice piped up as she put down more framed photographs on the counter, pointed toward the cabinets in Shula's view.

"I didn't know you were engaged, I didn't see a ring, sorry. If you do not mind if I pry...how did you two meet? How'd he ask? I'm sorry if that's a bit too personal, it just...it intrigues me that's all." Jocelyn's interest in her idol was starting to bubble to the surface as she began asking questions. She was rubbing dust off the large photograph of her family, her four other sisters, her father, and her mother. This was the only time she remembered the whole family together. Did Shula want a family too? Jocelyn's bank of questions reloaded as she cleaned the frames.


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Re: Replanting

Post by Shula Brighton on Tue May 21, 2013 11:39 am



Jocelyn was in and out of boxes, cleaning picture frames and putting them away as Shula attended the dishes. Picture frames were such a lovely thing. Trivial to some, and a pain in the ass when you were the sort that took nine thousand photos of the same thing in one go (why parents did this of just their children's feet she'd never understand). Shula loved photos since they had the ability to hold onto a moment in time from your memory forever, but at the same timeknew that they were something too easy to get attached to since if something happened to those photos there was nothing left but the ones in your head. How many had she lost through the years? She hadn't been able to save much after Central was obiterated, and everything she'd had at her first apartment in South was destroyed completely.

She had a few photos now, but not nearly as many as she had a few years ago, choosing instead to keep the moments that were precious to herself. She'd take a few to share the big ones, but the box that held her favorite pictures was one she'd stashed away. Shula reached up, putting another plate or two away. There were a few copied photos in there of her and Aaron together as kids, but the original one he'd sent her in his Amestrian uniform. That first photo that declared a teasing "Nya nya!" that got her into the military in the first place... it was long gone. There were just a few important ones now of herself with her family (separately, for everyone's safety), and a handful of herself with friends in more recent years, Acra, Csilla, Spade, the really cute boys at the House of Pi... So few of Aaron, though, and not a single one left of Gustav. Not even a grave left to visit.

Another cup made its way into the cupboard. There'd be pictures of her wedding, though, even if in the end it was just the two of them. "I didn't know you were engaged, I didn't see a ring, sorry." Shula let out a soft laugh, looking at her left hand. Oops, haha. All the dark patterns that colored her hands and arms were about engagement, sure, but that wouldn't really register with non-Ishvallans.

"It's okay. The ring's being resized smaller for me." Shula smiled, pulling the tape off the empty box to fold it in gently onto itself in case Jocelyn wanted to reuse it. "And we only just announced it pretty recently."

"If you do not mind if I pry...how did you two meet? How'd he ask? I'm sorry if that's a bit too personal, it just...it intrigues me that's all." Shula's cheeks flushed slightly over her smile as she paused in being useful. Nobody'd really asked how she'd met the famous Playboy General; she was a woman working at Central at the time, so meeting and being hit on by him was like assuming a duck would swim. But as far as how he'd proposed... Her parents had asked, and she'd rather glossed over it and put it to Spade asking her at breakfast, which was the truth, just not all of it.

Shula turned, leaning against the counter lightly. "Well... After South was destroyed, I was displaced for a bit." Displaced and under observation for stability with the few other survivors, but who was keeping record? "In the end Central command said that I'd be put to best use at Central HQ carrying on in the Adjutant General Corps and dealing with housing and such, but you know how Central is with paperwork." She laughed again lightly. "I ended up working in my department and somehow being everyone's gopher at the same time! General Aeries hates paperwork, so eventually I started doing the paperwork I was bringing up for him from everyone else so that all that was left were the easy things. So I had my job and unofficially helping him with his."

Her own CO didn't care that she was doing the extra work, and for the longest time, she didn't even think Spade had noticed until it got to the point where Shula was the one that was greeting him at his office with his booze-laden coffee. They'd grown close without knowing it. She'd hear about his exploits and adventures with the beautiful woman of the week while completely disregarding Spade's lopsided grins and teasing winks. Neither of them noticed anything at all, even when Spade had asked if she'd had someone while dragging her out to clubs he'd accidentally set on fire. She'd told Spade he couldn't handle her- Shula's role was a balancing piece.

Shula lifted a hand, tucking a runaway strand of hair back up where it belonged but inevitably not where it would stay, and paused to look a the henna patterns detailing her hands before looking back to Jocelyn. "He asked me months ago, over coffee. I never knew how much Spade really cared about me until I saw how far he was willing to go to help me through anything." No need to mention he'd proposed after Shula had confessed to treason and murder, or that she'd spent the last several days kidnapped, tortured, and was about to be tortured to death on a live broadcast, or that at the time she was the sole property of the devil himself and he was the only reason she'd lived for Spade to find her. No need to mentionshe'd been crying her heart out, terrified for her life and telling Spade she wasn't as strong as he was, or that he'd put his fist through the wall in his rage and told her to marry him and she'd see what strength was. Was she marrying him because he was strong and made her strong, or were they marrying and both strong because they loved each other? "But he asked over coffee and we sat and watched the sunrise together and planned the next steps." None of those steps had really been about their marriage, but they had been the next steps to living long enough to get there.

She laughed again lightly. "And don't worry about too personal! I really do try to make a point to be as open as possible with my staff. I'll be holding a meeting for all of South when it's a bit closer to the date so that everyone will be aware of the changes, so don't worry about me vanishing next week or anything."
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Re: Replanting

Post by Jay Furor on Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:10 pm

~BUMP~

.....................................................................................................................................


Spoiler:

Jay speaks Rouenian (Gelemortian), Amestrian, Ishvallan, Aerugese, Cretan, and Esparian

Daidara is a big, fat, unsexy, b00b! Fan Club

Darky In A Mini! xD
http://darkamaru13.deviantart.com/art/Who-loves-Midgets-In-Minis-204690506
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Re: Replanting

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