[Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

25th of Ashan 721

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Rei'sari
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[Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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25th-30th Ashan, 721



25th Ashan, 721

Location: Order Clinic, Scalvoris Town


Isra Delaris watched her patient sleep as she thought about what she had just learned. It had taken her longer than she had hoped to find something that would overcome the sacrifice that Ari'sora had made that made it impossible for her to recover from emotional trauma. She had learned of the problem last Zi'da, and after a great deal of research and traveling, she had found a member of the Order who lived in Rharne who was as skilled in alchemy as she was in medicine. Perhaps more so. The end result was that she now had an amulet that would allow Ari'sora to recover from emotional trauma if she worked at it once it had attuned itself to her. But the time it had taken for her to get the amulet had taken a toll on her patient.

From what the healers who had been seeing to Ari'sora's needs in her absence had told her, Ari'sora was starting to give up hope. It had been impossible for them to try and work with her to deal with her trauma since she was unable to recover from it. So they had done their best to make her as comfortable as they could. Keeping her in a strictly controlled environment limited the number of choices that Ari'sora was forced to deal with, and keeping her on a regiment of a sedative and ginger tea helped to prevent her from having any panic attacks, and allowed her to make some decisions without getting sick. Since they had been unable to work on dealing with her trauma, they had given her books to read in an attempt to keep her engaged in life. They also spent time just talking with her in the hopes of keeping her spirits up. And at first, it had worked.

But as time passed, Ari'sora had lost the hope that she would ever be allowed to leave the clinic. She had spoken of her fears that since she wasn't able to recover from her trauma, she would spend the rest of her life there since she had been told that she wouldn't be released until she had recovered fully from her trauma. And while the healers had reminded her that Isra was looking for something that would allow Ari'sora to recover from her trauma, too much time had passed, and she had given up hope.

It was understandable in some ways. Someone who was as traumatized as Ari'sora was would naturally have difficulty believing that anything would get better. Even without knowing that something was preventing them from recovering, that would be the case. With that knowledge, it had proved impossible for Ari'sora not to give into her fears of being held in the clinic for the remainder of her life.

Ari'sora responded to that loss of hope by withdrawing into herself at times. From what Isra had learned, her patient drifted in and out of awareness, never withdrawing into herself for longer than a trial. But as time passed, she had started to withdraw into herself more and more often. Currently, it was rare that she didn't withdraw at least once a trial for a few breaks. Once such a pattern started, it was difficult to break, and Isra knew that if it wasn't broken, Ari'sora would eventually withdraw into herself for good.

Isra didn't think that she would be able to help Ari'sora here. But there was a facility on Faldrass that specialized in dealing with mental and emotional trauma. Now that she had gotten something that would allow Ari'sora to recover from emotional trauma, it was Isra's hope that they would be able to help her do just that. She decided that she would make arrangements for Ari'sora to be transferred to Spirit's Rest Oasis as soon as she gave Ari'sora the amulet she had managed to get for her.

**************************************************************

Ari'sora returned to awareness slowly as sleep transitioned into wakefulness. She had been flying in her dreams, and the rush of air around her as she flew echoed into the waking world for a few trills. Ari'sora wished that she was still asleep. She could only fly in her dreams now, and she missed the ability to do so with a fierce ache that never left her when she was awake.

"Welcome back, Ari'sora."

Ari'sora started at the familiar voice, and she turned to face the woman who had spoken.

"A healer will be here soon to give you the next dose of your sedative, and a mug of ginger tea. When you have had both, we will talk."

Ari'sora nodded. Isra was right. Within a few bits, one of the healers who had been treating her came by with a syringe, and a steaming hot ceramic mug of tea. Ari'sora was so used to getting injections now that she barely felt the sting of the needle as it slid into her skin. And it was a relief to know that with the medicine that had just been injected into her arm, she wouldn't have any panic attacks if something happened to trigger one. She began sipping the tea slowly. Its warmth soothed her. Before long, it was gone. Ari'sora set the mug down, and looked at Isra, wondering what she wanted to talk about. Isra waited several bits before she began to speak, wanting to make certain that both the sedative, and the ginger tea had taken effect before she spoke with her patient.

"The healers that have been assigned to watch you tell me that you have been withdrawing from reality fairly frequently. Is this true?"

Ari'sora nodded. She wondered anxiously if she was going to be in trouble for doing so. It wasn't really something she had chosen to do. It just...happened. And once it had started, it was a welcome escape from her reality. She never chose to withdraw, but when it crept up on her, she never resisted it either.

"It is important that you understand something. Withdrawing from reality like this is a coping mechanism. It shields the mind from things that it cannot endure. That is a good thing because it can help to prevent someone from going insane in the face of severe trauma."

Isra paused to make sure that Ari'sora was taking in what she had to say.

"Have you ever experienced something like this before?"

Ari'sora didn't answer immediately. She didn't think that she had ever experienced anything like it before, but she wanted to be certain before answering, so she thought back to see if anything popped up in her memories. It didn't, so she shook her head. Isra jotted something down in her notebook before continuing.

"It is true that withdrawing from reality is a powerful coping mechanism, but it is very important for you to understand that it is also a trap. The more often you withdraw from reality, the easier it will be for you to slip away from it, and the more likely it will be for you to do so. It has also been proved that the more often it happens, the longer it will take for you to return. And there is no guarantee that you will be able to return at all."

Once again, Isra paused to see if Ari'sora understood what she was saying. Ari'sora didn't say anything, but she stared at Isra with wide eyes. That was something she had never even thought about when she had started...drifting. Was that something that she wanted? Ari'sora wasn't sure. When she...lost time, she wasn't aware that she was trapped in the clinic. Didn't know that she would be stuck there for the rest of her life. Wasn't aware of anything at all, really. Was that better than her reality? She wasn't sure.

"Am I right in believing that this isn't something that you are trying to do?"

Ari'sora nodded.

"It just...happens." she said at last.

"It isn't a choice I make, or anything. But...when I feel myself sliding away, I haven't been fighting it either." she admitted.

Isra nodded.

"I am aware that the time that I was gone didn't help matters. You've been her for an entire season, and although it couldn't be helped, we haven't even gotten started working to overcome the trauma that you have suffered."

Ari'sora wanted to say something, but Isra was still speaking, so she stayed silent.

"So if you can, I would like you to promise me something. I won't ask you not to withdraw from reality again. I don't believe that is something that you are in a place to commit to just yet. But when you feel yourself starting to slip away, I want you to fight it. Do you think that you can do that for me?"

Ari'sora considered the question. Would it really be so bad if she simply...stopped being aware of the world around her? That might be better than spending the rest of her life in this room. Well, she would...she just wouldn't know that she was. Never be able to see her children and Ryl'ryn again, never to be able to fly again...could she really spend the rest of her life like that? Ari'sora didn't think that she could. At the same time...it seemed so important to Isra that she promise to fight it. She wanted to please the healer, so she nodded.

Isra smiled at her.

"Thank you for making that promise. I can see that you are questioning whether a lifetime of numbness would be better than what you have experienced so far. But I've found something that will help you."

Ari'sora's eyes widened. Did she dare believe that Isra had really found something that would help? Or was it something that the healer thought might help, but wouldn't really? Was there anything that could help her when she had lost the ability to recover from emotional trauma in a sacrifice made to an Immortal? Isra pulled an amulet out of a pouch that Ari'sora hadn't even noticed she had until she pulled the amulet out of it. The amulet was beautiful. The chain and the setting for the amulet were a very dark purple-black. And the thumb length teardrop shaped was just as pretty as the chain was. Isra asked her if she could put it on her, and she nodded. The weight of the amulet felt almost comforting somehow.

"After quite a bit of research, and reaching out to branches of the Order in other cities, I was able to find a healer who was also a very skilled alchemist. She was able to make this for you when I told her about your case. This amulet will allow you to recover from emotional trauma. It will also act as a mirror to your mind, reflecting images and memories that trouble you. That will allow it to act as a guide in helping you to know what you should focus on working on at any given time. It also suppresses things that will prevent you from dealing with your trauma. Furthermore, it will give you the feeling that seeking help is the right thing to do. That will make it easier for you to accept the help that you need. But this amulet is unable to heal any kind of trauma itself. You will need to do all of the work. This amulet will just make it possible for you to do so."

Ari'sora stared at the amulet for several bits before looking up at Isra. Her eyes were filled with a mixture of shock, awe, doubt, fear, and hope.

"How...? Who...?"

Isra shook her head.

"How doesn't matter. It is enough that you have the amulet now. As for who...she asked that I not tell you. She didn't make the amulet because she wanted your thanks, or anything in return. She just wants you to get better. That will be all the thanks she needs."

Ari'sora nodded. She really wanted to thank the woman who had made the amulet for her, but she could understand why the woman might not want that. She always felt weird if anyone thanked her for anything too.

"It will take three trials of you wearing the amulet constantly for it to be able to attune to you and start working. But after that, it will do what it was made to do as long as you are wearing it."

"Thank you. I..."

Ari'sora fell silent. She wasn't sure what she was trying to say. It didn't seem enough just to say thank you. Not for something like this. But what could she do to repay the other woman for going to so much trouble for her? And why had she gone through so much trouble for her in the first place? Wouldn't it have been easier for them to just lock her up, and be done with it? That was what happened to crazy people, wasn't it?

Isra offered Ari'sora the amulet, and Ari'sora put it around her neck. The slight weight felt reassuring somehow. It was a promise that maybe...just maybe, things might get better. It was hard to have hope in that, but Ari'sora promised herself that she would work as hard as she could if there was even the slightest chance that it might help.

"There is one more thing I wanted to discuss with you. I am going to have you transferred to Faldrass. They have a facility there that specializes in dealing with mental problems and emotional trauma. I feel that they will be able to help you better there than we can here. Arrangements for the transfer will be made over the next few trials."

Ari'sora nodded to show that she understood.

"I have to start making those arrangements now, but when I am finished, I will return, and we can talk about what you can expect with the transfer."

****************************************************************

30th Ashan, 721

Location: Hopetoun


The storm had caused them to drop anchor in an attempt to wait it out. There were repairs to be made once the storm was over, and there was a settlement that the sailors knew as Hopetoun nearby. It was possible that they might have supplies they could trade for that would make making the necessary repairs easier.

Once the freeze started, though, priorities changed. The sailors bustled about getting the few civilians rounded up so that they could be taken to shore. Ari'sora wasn't sure why rhey were being moved, but there were hushed conversations that hinted about a concern over supplies running out if the freeze was a prolonged one, as well as concerns about the cold.

So the ship was evacuated via row boats. Ari'sora was all to glad to let Isra direct her so she wouldn't be in the way of things. When they reached the shore, the captain of the ship went in search of someone he could ask for permission to stay until the storm passed. Ari'sora heard some of the sailors worrying about whether the settlement would have enough supplies to share with them until the freeze was over. She learned that this was a new settlement, which she realized it would have to be, and as such, probably wouldn't have much in the way of supplies for themselves, never mind to accommodate extra people. Ari'sora wondered if it would help if she didn't eat much while she was there. She didn't want anyone to go without food in order to feed her. But she also knew that Isra might not allow her to do any such thing. Maybe there was something that she could offer in exchange for any food she ate. She didn't want to be a burden.

When they reached the settlement, they saw a red headed woman helping a group of other people. Ari'sora wondered if she shuold offer to help as well, but before she could, Isra's eyes widened.

"I know her." she explained when she saw Ari'sora watching her.

"Well, no. But I know of her. Unless I am mistaken, her name is Vega, and she has done a lot of good things for people."

Isra eyed Ari'sora for a few trills.

"Let's go see if we can be of any help." she said at last.

Ari'sora followed Isra over to the red haired woman.

"What can we do to help?" Isra asked.

OOC
The amulet that Isra gives Ari'sora is a renown item. Specifically this: An amulet. The chain and setting for the jewel is made out of Crystalline (tier 2), and Cobalt (tier 4). The cobalt used appears black, and the crystalline appears purple, giving it the appearance of being a very dark purple-black that can appear to be either dark purple or black depending on the lighting. And the cobalt lends its durability to the metal, making it a lot harder to break than crystalline alone would be. The jewel is a thumb length teardrop shaped labradorite (tier 7). This a local renown item with the following abilities: This amulet does two things. When the wearer closes their eyes and focuses on the amulet in silence for several trills, it acts as a mirror to the wearer's mind, reflecting images and memories that trouble the wearer (emotional trauma, fears, etc.). It also suppresses things that would prevent the wearer from dealing with whatever troubles them. This can be a feeling of shame or reluctance to seek help in dealing with their trauma, or in Ari'sora's case, the inability to recover from emotional trouble caused by a sacrifice she made. It goes a step further in that it gives its wearer the feeling that seeking help is the right thing to do. The amulet is unable to heal any kind of trauma itself, but it allows its wearer to recover from their trauma - whether naturally over time (in the case of insults and such), or by seeking help in some form.

Use: The amulet must be in contact with its wearer in order to work, but it must be attuned to its wearer in order to work. It takes three trials of wearing it constantly to attune itself to its wearer so it can work. Once this is done, it will do what it is intended to do. But if its owner stops wearing it for three trials or longer, it will need to be reattuned to its wearer before it will work for them again. The approval for the item is here


Last edited by Rei'sari on Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 3205
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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Vega was going to murder Arlo Creede.

This, she was sure, was his fault. It had to be, really. It was far, far too coincidental for him to be gone suddenly and, of course, they had just experienced a storm which was in no way natural, Vega thought. But alongside that, there was an issue and that was that Darius also wasn't there. So, Vega did what Vega did best and she got bossy. Because she lived on the ocean, because the wilderness was where they lived, and because she had the right skills to deal with it, Vega got bossy. The storm which had absolutely pummelled them not bits before had stopped - suddenly.

And now, it was cold.

Not a little bit cold, breath frosting the air when you breathe cold. But mere moments before they'd been being pounded by hailstones the size of small balls and everywhere was wet. Which meant, Vega knew, only one thing. "A'right, we need to get things covered up, an' warmed up." Looking at the woman in charge, Darius' lady - a woman called Astra, Vega spoke with a calmness which she did not feel. This was not normal and both of their fellas were not there. Glancing at where she'd sent Wren, Vega gave him a wave. "This is goin' to freeze, an' quickly. A sudden frost is bad for plants an' animals, so lets get the orange sand-bags on to plants. That'll stop the water from freezin' them at the roots, yeah?" Astra nodded her head and Vega turned to her cousin, Lily, who was with her. "Lily, get the boys on that. " Lily nodded and scampered off.

Because these boats were coming in and they'd need to deal with them. But equally, they had their own people here. "Our fire is still goin' strong, people can shelter there, an' there's windbreaks an' stuff." Vega said. Hopetoun had houses now, but not everyone lived in one. "Change out of those wet clothes, Wren, an' dry yer hair!" Vega called to him. He disappeared back inside the tent to do so and she smiled.

As the boats came ashore, Vega was happy to be in the middle of things. "No, we need to pull them further up the shore than this," she said, as one of the rowboats seemed content to harbour in a place which was too risky to her mind. "Pull it up, further." These were members of the Order of the Adunih, Vega realised, as she spied their cloaks. She was just about to ask if anyone was injured when a woman walked up to her. Vega looked at the woman and figured that a gold cloak was someone vaguely important enough. "Yeah, that'd be great," she said, with a smile to both her and the short winged woman with her. "I'm Vega. There's a few people with minor injuries, cuts an' bruises an' stuff, so if you've got healers who can help, that would be a big help."

Looking at the pair of them - she continued. "Have you lot brought spare clothes for yourselves? If not, we'll need to get you sorted somehow, because you're soaked through, an' about to freeze. There's a roarin' fire over there, so anyone who's needin' it can get there. I'm goin' to get these rowboats secure, an' then I'll be over." She gestured to where there was a camp set up - somehow the fire was still blazing, there was a large, covered pot of water on it, and places around it. "A'right?" Vega started to walk away, and then stopped. "Welcome to Hopetoun, by the way," she said. "I'm sure that Astra, the second in command for the settlement leader, Darius, will be over in a bit." Vega motioned to where Astra was fully engaged in making the guests warm and safe and welcome, and making sure that the settlement itself was alright.

For a while, there was lots of busy to do. But then, after a time, they had a moment and Vega came back to the camp she and Arlo shared, where Isra was. "I need to get out of these wet clothes," she said. "You want some hot tea?"
word count: 719
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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30th Ashan, 721

Location: Hopetoun


When Vega mentioned that there were injured, Isra's focus narrowed down to the matter at hand. Gather the injured together as much as it was possible to do so. Assess their injuries. Tend to those who had the worst injuries first, and work her way down to the minor injuries. Nothing else truly mattered until that was done. Even so, she paused long enough to introduce herself.

"My name is Isra Delaris, and this is Ari'sora." she said briskly, but politely.

To that end, she began directing the other members of the Order who had come with them, and soon she had the beginnings of a medic center set up where she and the others could tend the injured without being in the way of the others who were working. She spared a few trills to glance at her patient. Ari'sora needed something to do, she could see that much just by looking at her. The question was what?

"Do you have any medical training?" she asked Ari'sora briskly.

"I know a few things." Ari'sora said hesitantly.

"Not much though, and much of what I do know is about what different kinds of herbal remedies are."

So...not much that would make her useful here, then. Isra looked around, and saw the people that were putting orange sane bags around the plants to keep them from freezing. The task looked simple enough for Ari'sora to handle, but at the same time, it was an important task. Isra asked Ari'sora to go help with the orange sand bags, and watched the younger girl got to do just that. Then she returned to her own task.

Ari'sora was happy to have something to do that would be of help. She all but ran over to where the orange sandbags were stored, and grabbed a couple before joining the group who were trying to protect the plants. Ari'sora watched what the others were doing carefully for a few trills. Then she began doing as the others were doing.

Ari'sora heard Vega's question about clothes, and she nodded. It wasn't a lie; although she only had the one outfit that she was wearing that belonged to her, Isra had given her some hospital gowns that had been altered to accommodate her wings. But there was still work to be done, and changing out of wet clothes could wait until there was nothing left to do.

When Vega mentioned someone named Astra, Isra paused long enough to say that the captain of the ship would probably want to talk to her when she was available about staying here until the freeze passed and they could make repairs to their ship. After a while, the injured had been tended, and the plants had been protected. Ari'sora would have looked for something else she could do, but Isra stopped her, telling her to go change out of her wet clothes, and join the others at the fire. Ari'sora obeyed, but she held back from the fire a bit, wary of getting too close to it with her wings.

Vega asked Isra if she wanted some hot tea, and she said yes, thanking Vega for the offer.

"Would it be possible for me to get some hot water in either a ceramic mug, or a wooden cup as well? I would like to make some ginger tea for my patient. She is suffering from intense nausea, and it is almost time for her next dose. The ginger tea helps her curb her nausea."

Isra paused for a trill before continuing.

"There is no need for you to worry though. Ari'sora is not contageous."





word count: 625
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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Things were getting sorted, but Vega had to admit that she really - really - didn't like this cold. She worked with Astra as much as she could, and she got busy. They worked together well, as a community, and there were lots of busy people. Eventually, though, they sat down and Vega got the two of them, Isra and Ari'sora, a drink. "I've got ginger tea here, an' all we have is wooden mugs, so you're good there." She looked at Ari'sora and gave a slight smile. "Yer gonna freeze in the knees if you wear that," she said, of the hospital gown. "Here you go, have a blanket. I've got some skirts you can borrow if you'd rather, but we all need to keep warm." With a slight frown she considered that she had to take her own advice and rummaged in a small dark wood box. Of all things, she pulled out a leather thong necklace on which hung a very small piece of wood. "It's a chicken peg-leg," she said with a smile. "My husband brought it back from some wild adventure, an' it stops me from feelin' the cold." That slight delay aside, she didn't hesitate or seem at all concerned about Ari'sora being contagious and, when Isra said it, she smiled and shook her head. "I'm nauseous myself a lot at the minute, an' that's not contagious either." With a grin, she fussed around the hot water.

In their small camp in Hopetoun ~ although some people had houses, Vega and Arlo preferred to sleep under the stars ~ there was a very clear sense of order. Making the tea all happened with things from one specific box. The pot with the water in it was nestled in orange sand, keeping it warm so that it just needed a moment on the fire; each of the types of tea were in sachets in small drawers at the bottom of the box, and wooden mugs hung on small hooks which were on the inside of the lid which had been flipped open. There were spoons in a different drawer. "I didn't offer it, but we've got mornin' savior, if you need any," Vega said. "I'm gettin' mornin' sickness which is all-trial-long sickness an' that, with copious amounts of mint an' ginger tea are all that's keepin' me movin'."

Rummaging in the drawers, Vega reeled off a few anti-nausea herbs which they had, which she'd tried and had not touched her morning sickness. "Any of them any use to you?" She made sure to speak to both of them, since the healer seemed to be speaking for Ari'sora largely. Vega had watched, just a little and just out of the corner of her eye, as they'd arranged thing. The young winged woman had been keen to help - and she'd been eager to be useful, Vega thought. Vega observed people and formed opinions based on actions, it was her way. So it meant that she was used to watching.

"Where were you comin' from an' headin' to?" she asked Isra, sipping her own tea. "You're Order of the Adunih, yeah? I owe you a lot, your order. I were in the docks when it collapsed, an' my legs were shattered. Your healers worked for hours on me, an' I had surgeries an' things. An' now, I'm ok. Scarred, but every line tells a story, don't it?" She nodded then, to Ari'sora. "You worried about getitn' too close to the fire?" Gesturing to her wings, Vega assumed that having feathers probably meant that fire bothered her. "Here, use this." This was a particular blanket. " We keep blankets wrapped around heat stones. So, it'll keep you toasty without bein' too close. Use that one." Vega had no idea about Ari'sora, or any of her conditions. Thankfully, though, she was rather prone to telling people what to do at the best of times.

She didn't ask what was making Ari'sora sick, it wasn't her business. But, as it occurred to her, Vega asked Isra. "We don't have medics here, or anythin' we're a relatively small settlement. Have you got like any recommendations for herbs or stuff that we could be usin', or any advice?" Vega knew that they, as a group, were only as strong as their weakest link and, while they were all strong and healthy adults, that wouldn't always be the case, if Hopetoun was going to thrive, so she would rather they were prepared. Also, there was the whole 'there's a bunch of people coming' thing which meant that she knew they were about to be stretched. Maybe, in fact, this was a blessing in disguise. If the Order of the Adunih were stranded here, maybe they could help when the ship Xiur had told her and Doran about arrived.

Basically, though, Vega was sure that things would be alright.
word count: 846
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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30th Ashan, 721

Location: Hopetoun


Ari'sora thanked Vega for the blanket, and wrapped herself up in it. It was a welcome relief from the icy chill of the sudden freeze, but it did not offer as much warmth as it would have had she dared get close enough to the fire to take full advantage of it. When the red haired woman showed them the necklace with the small piece of wood and explained that it kept her from feeling the cold, Ari'sora couldn't help but wonder what it was, and how it could do what Vega had said it could. Could alchemy be involved somehow? And if so, was it something that she could learn how to make some trial? If so, it would be a very useful thing to have. Especially if she could also figure out how to make one that would keep her from feeling the heat.

"It sounds like it must have been an interesting adventure." Ari'sora said softly.

"Is it something that you would be willing to tell us about?" she asked a few trills later.

A story would be a welcome distraction from her own troubles, and with any luck, it might distract the other woman from asking about their own journey. Ari'sora didn't think that Vega would be happy to hear that one of their visitors was insane, and needed to be locked away for her own good. Then again...maybe that wouldn't necessarily have to be the case now that she had the amulet that Isra had given her. At least...maybe she wouldn't have to be locked away for the rest of her life. But it was hard for Ari'sora to have much hope in that. She knew that Isra was certain that the amulet would work...but what if it didn't? It would destroy what was left of her completely if she allowed herself to believe fully in the amulet's ability to help her only for it to fail.

Vega's offer of morning's savior distracted her from her dark thoughts. Ari'sora wasn't sure what morning's savior was, but she was able to figure it out when mentioned that she was suffering from morning sickness. She made a mental note of it. Having been pregnant before, she knew what it was like to suffer from morning sickness. If morning's savior could help with that, then she wanted to know more about it in case she was ever pregnant again. It wasn't something she was expecting to happen...but then again, she knew from experience that anything could happen. For the same reason, she made a mental note to learn more about mint. If mint was also good for nausea, she wanted to learn more about it as well. Perhaps she could drink mint tea as well as ginger tea in order to manage the intense nausea that made making decisions impossible without something to control it.

"Congratulations." she said in response to learning that Vega was pregnant.

Ari'sora sipped the ginger tea she had been given, savoring its warmth.

"I'm not pregnant right now, but I have been in the past. What's in morning's savior?" she asked curiously.

She wondered if morning's savior would work as well as ginger did on her nausea, or if it was only for morning sickness. Vega asked if a number of herbs would be of any use to her, and she glanced at Isra uncertainly. The only thing she was certain of was that ginger tea helped.

"Fennel is better for stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation than it is for nausea, though some healers would say that it can be used for that as well." Isra offered when Vega mentioned that particular herb.

"I haven't tried any other herbs for Ari'sora yet since ginger works well, and it is vital that we stick to something that works. But chamomile and peppermint should be just as effective." she added.

Ari'sora made a mental note of that as well.

"We are from the Order, yes." Isra said when Vega asked.

"We're from the Scalvoris Town clinic, and we were headed to Spirit's Rest Oasis near Haven when the storm hit."

Ari'sora tensed, hoping that Isra wouldn't say much more than that. As Isra had explained it, Spirit's Rest Oasis specialized in mental issues, and emotional trauma. If Vega knew that, what would she think of Ari'sora, knowing that she was crazy? When Vega asked if she was worried about getting too close to the fire, Ari'sora nodded.

"Feathers are flammable." she said quietly.

Vega gave her a different blanket, explaining that it had been wrapped around hot stones so it would help her get warm even without being near the fire. Ari'sora thanked her as she took the offered blanket, and gave the first one back before wrapping herself up in the new one. Vega was right; it was a lot warmer than the first one had been.

Isra watched this absently, her mind clearly focused on something else for a few trills. But Vega's question about herbs and advice quickly brought her back to the present.

"Feverfew is good for treating fever, migraine headaches, toothaches, stomach pain, arthritis as well as for increasing breast milk. Catnip can be used to treat fevers as well, but it shouldn't be taken by pregnant women. Lavender oil can be used for pain relief as well as easing anxiety and helping you get to sleep. Rosemary oil can help with pain as well, but it is also good for relaxing muscles and reducing inflammation. Peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil are also good for easing pain and reducing inflammation. Willow bark is also good for relieving pain. Basil can help reduce fevers and relieve the symptoms of colds, coughs, and the flu. A tea made by simmering echinacea roots in water for 10 bits is very good for treating colds. It is the most effective if you take it as soon as the symptoms start. But anyone who is allergic to ragweed may also be allergic to echinacea. Elderberry syrup is very good for treating both colds and the flu. It is also safe for children."

Isra mentioned a number of other herbs as well before breaking off with an embarrassed smile.

"I'm sorry. If you get me talking about herbs, I can go on for breaks. Herbal remedies are a keen interest of mine even though I specialize in dealing with emotional trauma and mental issues."

Ari'sora paid close attention to each of the herbs that Isra mentioned. She too was interested in herbs and herbal remedies, but she was also curious to know if any of the herbs the healer had mentioned could be used in alchemy. If she was ever able to use alchemy again. Which was not at all certain.

Isra hesitated for a trill as she looked at Vega thoughtfully.

"I've heard a lot of good things about your ability to give people hope. Normally, I would not discuss a patient's problems with someone who wasn't family, or at all without their permission."

Ari'sora tensed again.

"We're making the trip to Spirit's Rest Oasis to transfer Ari'sora there in the hopes that the specialists there will be better able to help her than I am. But even then, her recovery is uncertain, and is dependent on a number of things...including not giving up on the hope that she will in fact recover. That is something that she has been struggling with for quite some time now. Is that something that you might be willing to help with?" Isra asked.



word count: 1310
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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"Well, honestly, I weren't there with him," Vega said, of Arlo and his strange items. "So, I don't really know the story other than the fact that there were ghosts of pirates an' he came back a different colour for a few trials. " Vega rolled her eyes and smiled. "I'm married to Cassion's chosen, an' as such my husband is often pulled into adventures an' things by one or other o' the Immortals." She grinned, pride on her face. "It's what's happenin' now, I think. He got some kind of feelin', right in the middle of the storm. Grabbed his bag an' disappeared." She didn't mind, not in the slightest. Far, far from it, in fact. "Arlo an' I have all sorts of adventures together, it's jus' our way."

They talked about herbs and sickness and Vega smiled when Ari'sora asked what was in morning savior. "It's the name of the plant," she said. "So, it's jus' the berries of that, I think. I guess someone named it that because o' mornin' sickness, or hangovers. Probably hangovers." She grinned. When Ari'sora congratulated her, though, Vega's face lit with delight. "Thanks!" Everything about her spoke of just how pleased she was. "We believed I couldn't have kids, so it's a right lovely thing." She didn't look, physically, pregnant yet. But she was more than delighted. Isra answered her about herbs and Vega listened carefully. "That's useful, thanks," she said. "We're a pretty healthy lot here, but not havin' a medic of any skill is somethin' I know Darius is worried about. Especially with me stayin' here till I've birthed this one." She grinned. "Somethin' about a pregnant woman scares menfolk, I think."

Ari'sora explained that feathers were flammable and Vega quirked an eyebrow. "Well, yeah. But so's hair. Or skin. Or clothes. Be careful an' not cold, or be cold seems like a fair choice. But still, there you go." Living in the wilderness, or on a boat, Vega knew, had shaped the way she thought about things. But, equally, choosing guaranteed discomfort or worse because of a risk that could be mitigated against seemed, to her, rather stupid. Isra rattled off a list of oils and Vega thought that it was almost emotionless the way that she did that. This does this, that does that. These were, she decided, strange people. But then, most people were strange to the redhead, and that was just the way the world worked. When Isra broke off with a smile, though, Vega understood suddenly, why the woman had been like that. "That's alright," she said with a grin. "I'm much the same about things far less useful." That simple thing endeared Vega to Isra just a little.

And so, when Isra said that she'd heard of Vega's ability to give hope, the redhead looked at her with a small, slight, smile of her own. She had become well-known, she knew, though in all honesty she didn't really know what for. But as Isra spoke, asking her for her help, Vega considered the woman's words. When she spoke, she made sure that she did to them both. "The thing is, I'm not any kind of therapist," she said and added with a grin. "Anyone who's met me more than half a break, probably don't need tellin' that. I don't bring hope." She smiled slightly. "An' I don't give hope. It isn't mine to do. I jus' remind folks that hope is always there." That was very true as far as Vega was concerned. "Hope is a choice, an' it's one only you can make," she said to Ari'sora. "An' despair is the same. No matter how dark an' hopeless it seems, hope is always there. They've both got voices in your head, an' the one that's loudest is the one you feed more, the one you listen to most. "

Thinking about it, Vega sipped her drink. "So, as far as what I do? I mostly turn up an' jus' make sure that my voice is the loudest," she said, with a grin. "But in terms of abilities an' stuff? With the exception of one, which is well extreme, nothin' is permanent." Vega felt like she wasn't really explaining herself well, so she tried again. "I mean. I've got abilities what'll work short term, an' will make you feel better. Hopeful." She said that to Ari'sora. "But like, Storm's Edge. I think most folks have heard of me for that." That was probably true, she considered. "I didn't bring hope with words, but with actions. I jus' got on an' did an' didn't ever give up." Her eyes swirled in all sorts of colours as she spoke to Ari'sora. "An' that's what you need to do. Get on, an' do, an' don't give up. It were hopeless there, completely hopeless. When I got there, there weren't walls or water - children were dyin' in fights. I didn't fix that alone. I jus' started pickin' up stones an' buildin' walls. Warmin' places. Fightin' every time we got attacked. People still died, children did." Vega's smile was melancholy at that. "An' there's some that I saved, one that I resurrected. But others died, still. Because the world is messy."

Vega sighed slightly. "I don't have any permanent ability to bring hope, other than my inability to give in." She smiled. "So, in terms of willin' to help, I always would be. I am. But able to? Able to is different. An' honestly, for me, the first question is a different one." She looked at Ari'sora intentily. "What are you doin' to help yourself?" Gesturing towards the fire, she explained. "Because 'I won't hope it succeeds, in case it fails' when you're needin' therapy is about as sensible as 'I won't get warm, in case I catch on fire,' when it's suddenly below freezin'. Or, come to that, as sensible as 'I can't save all the children, so I won't bother fightin'' would have been."
word count: 1055
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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30th Ashan, 721

Location: Hopetoun


Ari'sora blinked, startled by the fact that the Immortals might be the ones behind the storm, and the freeze. That was something that simply hadn't occurred to her. She ha thought that it was just...well...weather. Or Scalvoris being Scalvoris. Or a combination of both.

"Ghost pirates and changing colors...it sounds like quite an adventure." she said simply.

Ari'sora listened carefully to what Vega told her about morning's savior, adding it to the knowledge about other herbs she had learned from Isra. She just hoped that she would be able to remember it. The haze that filled her mind from the sedative that she was on made it hard to remember new things sometimes. In an effort to combat that, she recited the information several times in her head in an attempt to make it easier for her to remember.

When Vega mentioned the way that men seemed to be afraid of pregnant women, she chuckled and nodded.

"I would have to agree with that."

But the mention that the settlement didn't have a healer gave her pause.

"If you'd like, I will ask that someone be stationed here once I get back to Scalvoris." she offered.

If she didn't have Ari'sora to deal with, she would offer to stay herself. But she couldn't make any other commitments until Ari'sora had ben safely transferred to Spirit's Rest Oasis.

What Vega said about skin, hair, and clothes being flammable too gave Ari'sora something to think about, distracting her from her mental recitation of herbs. Were feathers more flammable than skin, hair, and clothes? She wasn't sure. She had been taking precautions by staying at the edge of the fire, but that seemed silly to her now. So she took a few tentative steps closer to the fire.

When Vega spoke of hope, Ari'sora listened carefully. She had never really thought of it being a choice before. But it did make sense...for the most part. Ari'sora wasn't sure where Storm's Edge was, but from what Vega said, it sounded as if there was a war there. Children dying in a war was a horrible thought. But she was quickly distracted by Vega's question.

"Until a few trials ago, it wasn't a matter of "if" it fails." she said quietly.

Isra nodded in agreement, but didn't say anything.

"Do you remember what happened in Ashan of 719? When people were falling asleep, and not waking up? And later when no one was able to dream for a while once they did wake up again?"

Ari'sora paused, gathering her thoughts.

"I was a part of that. The Twins...Jesine and Kielik were asleep. I don't know why their being asleep meant that people couldn't wake up once they fell asleep, but I was one of a bunch of people who were trying to wake them up. In order to do that, we had to make sacrifices that were somehow related to fire. One of the sacrifices I made was my ability to heal from emotional trauma. The sacrifices we made were supposed to wake the Twins somehow, I think. But someone killed them instead, and something else was born from their deaths. Even so, the sacrifices we made remained."

Ari'sora wasn't sure how much sense she was making. She felt that she barely understood what had happened herself, and she had been there.

"So when things got bad enough that I had to be committed...it wasn't a matter of hoping that I could get better in the future. Not when I knew that I was unable to recover due to the sacrifice I had made."

"It didn't help matters that I had told her that she would not be released until she had worked through the trauma she had suffered." Isra added.

Ari'sora nodded.

"I was able to find someone who was able to create an amulet that will allow Ari'sora to recover from emotional trauma now that it has been attuned to her. But it took me over a season to do so, and she spent that time in a heavily controlled environment where she had little control over her life...believing that the rest of her life would be more of the same. That has added to what was already a severe amount of trauma that she needs to work through; trauma that was prolonged enough, and severe enough to cause a number of serious conditions that leave her unable to function outside a strictly controlled environment. And while I believe that Ari'sora wants to get better, and is willing to do the work it will take for that to happen...I am uncertain that she is strong enough to believe that she can recover long enough for it to happen when she is currently incapable of making decisions involving more than two choices without being utterly dependent on ginger tea to manage the intense nausea that overwhelms her when faced with complex decisions."

Isra felt uncomfortable revealing so much of her patient's issues, but Vega had mentioned an extreme ability that would have permanent effects. Without knowing what that ability was, she couldn't know if it would help Ari'sora or not. But she did know that there was a strong possibility that it would take something extreme to help her patient.

"We have started working on my issues, but it's too soon to tell if it's helping at all or not. Isra gave me the amulet on the twenty fifth, and it took three trials to attune to me, so it's only been the past two trials that I've been able to recover from emotional trauma." Ari'sora said quietly.





word count: 985
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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Vega asked questions, and some of them were answered. Not all, and not the most important one, in her mind.

She listened to the story of what had happened with the twins and she nodded. "My husband, he were marked by Jesine," she said. "So, I'd heard about what happened." But after that, she listened, she didn't speak until Ari'sora and Isra had both finished speaking. After they had, Vega was quiet for a moment longer as she gathered her thoughts.

Then, she spoke. "Ok, easy bit first, yeah, that'd be great, I'm sure Darius would be amazin'ly happy," she said to Isra. "But it will be Darius' say so. He's the leader here." Then, there was the rest of it. Vega looked at the two of them and her voice showed how much she was thinking about her words. "I'm not a clever person," she stated it as fact, there was no self-depreciation there. Simply statement of what was. "Not in a book-learnin' kind of way. An' so, I understand that maybe I've missed somethin' here." Vega's eyes were swirling in a range of colours, the speed of their movement was much quicker than her words, which she was obviously considering carefully. "So, I'm sorry in advance if I've got any of this wrong."

Frankly, she hoped she had.

"So, firstly, an' I'm right sorry, but as a therapist, if you're tellin' her that you don't think she's strong enough, how in the deep brown skid marks on Faldrun's knickers can you expect anythin' else?" Vega looked at Isra with a very level expression. "If you've given up hope on her, then say so. If you can't, then frankly you may as well hang up your faintin' couch an' stop askin' people about their feelin's." Vega had never heard such nonsense in her life. "You are strong enough, an' don't you let anyone tell you different. It might be bloody hard work, an' it might be difficult an' there will be times when you think you can't do it, but you can." That, of course, was spoken to Ari'sora. Vega had a frown on her face at that point, and she was clear with Isra. To sit here and say that Ari'sora might not be strong enough in front of her was, frankly, bloody awful and Vega wasn't having any of it. "An' frankly, it's only you what can. Other people can help you, but you need to choose to get better. To run at it an' work at it, an' not stop for one trill. You prove her wrong."

She'd watched Ari'sora. And, when Vega had pointed out how illogical her "feathers are flammable" nonsense was, Ari'sora had moved forward. The woman was meek and obedient. Took it all in like a pawn broker, as Vega's father would say, and that meant that she was sensitive to what people said. Which, to Vega's mind, meant that she needed straight-talking optimism, not passive aggressive 'I doubt you but I'm trying' nonsense.

"An', while we're on the subject," she said, firmly. "That thing what happened in 717? Let me clarify, you chose to sacrifice your ability to heal from emotional trauma?"" Vega looked at her with an expression of utter confusion on her face. "Please tell me I'm misunderstandin', cos if I'm not then you're twenty shades of stupid." She shook her head. "Had you been outside in the world when you made that sacrifice? Because unless you'd been locked in a tower with your every need met, you'd have to know that trauma happens. Always. To all of us. To willin'ly sacrifice it. That's the worst kind of self-harm I've ever heard of." Vega shook her head, firmly.

"I asked you a question, an' you didn't answer me." Vega said. Her gaze was entirely on Ari'sora now. "An' in light of the fact that your therapist is sabotagin' you before you start, an' especially since you knowin'ly an' purposely did that to yourself, it's even more important." Her eyes had stopped moving, and she frowned. "Havin' sabotaged yourself so spectacularly, three an' a half arcs ago now, what - exactly - are you doin' to help yourself?"
word count: 745
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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30th Ashan, 721

Location: Hopetoun


Isra considered Vega's words carefully before responding. Had she given up on Ari'sora? No, she didn't think that she had. She believed that Ari'sora would do everything that she could in order to get better. She would participate actively in her own healing, and cooperate with her healers. She would do the work she needed to do in order to heal. But at the same time, she had her doubts. For all that Ari'sora was willing to do everything she needed to do in order to recover from her trauma, she had to have the strength to do so. And that where she had her doubts. She didn't believe that Ari'sora would give up. But she wasn't certain that Ari'sora had the strength to do what was needed.

Still, Vega was right. She shouldn't have said as much in front of Ari'sora. Especially when she knew that Ari'sora was very sensitive to such things. And when she saw the look in Ari'sora's eyes as the younger woman watched her intently, body tensed as if expecting a blow, she regretted her words even more.

"I would not say that I have given up hope on Ari'sora. I do believe that it is possible for her to recover." she said carefully.

But just because something was possible, it didn't follow that it was guaranteed. Or even likely. She hoped that Ari'sora would be strong enough to recover from her trauma. But it was far from a certain thing, and she wasn't in the practice of promising something she wasn't absolutely certain that she could follow up on.

"You are right in that I should not have expressed any uncertainty I might have in front of my patient, though. And for that, I would like to apologize to you, Ari'sora."

Normally she wouldn't have expressed such doubts in front of her patient. She supposed that she was hoping that the ability that Vega had mentioned might help Ari'sora, and in her eagerness to learn more about the ability, she had said more than she should. And what did that say about her? Vega wasn't a member of the Order. She had no business asking the woman for help in dealing with her own patient.

As Ari'sora listened to Isra talk to Vega, she wondered if Isra truly believed if she could recover from her trauma. Isra had said that she wasn't strong...was she right? Ari'sora didn't think so. She knew that she wasn't worth much. Her value lay in what she could do for others, not in any quality she had herself. And yet...someone who wasn't strong wouldn't have survived Ren'zar. Or her mother's hatred. Or a season of being held captive and tortured. She might have suffered a great deal of trauma from all of those things...but she had survived. And she had never once given up trying to live her life as best she could.

She nodded when Isra apologized to her, but she was quickly distracted by Vega's words.

"I do choose to get better." she said softly.

When Vega questioned her about her decision to sacrifice her ability to recover from emotional trauma, she wasn't certain how to respond. She wasn't even sure what she thought about her choice now. At the time, she hadn't thought that she had had any other choice. A sacrifice had needed to be made so that the Twins would wake up and people could wake up again. Who was she to refuse to do her part to help others? Others who were worth more than she was? Would another sacrifice have been better? Maybe. Probably. But what else could she have chosen to sacrifice in its place? She didn't have a lot to offer. And at the time, she had felt that any trauma she might suffer after losing the ability to recover from it would be better than allowing all those people to sleep until they died of thirst or starvation.

"I did choose to make that sacrifice." she said softly.

"People were falling asleep, and were unable to wake up. Thousands of people. If we failed to wake up the Twins so they could wake up again, they would have died. That was what I believed at the time."

Even if they had failed to wake the Twins, and everyone had woken up anyway, Ari'sora had not known that would happen at the time. She suspected that something about the birth of whatever was born from the Twins' death had caused people to wake up.

"Sacrifices were needed on more than one occasion. And it probably was stupid to sacrifice my ability to recover from emotional trauma. I knew that I would suffer for it...because you're right. Trauma happens to everyone, and I knew that then from personal experience. But at the time, I couldn't think of anything else I could offer that might be accepted than the sacrifices that I did make. I am not more important than the people I believed would die if we failed to wake the Twins because I refused to make an appropriate sacrifice. If I had to suffer so they could live, it was worth it. I know that none of that happened...now. We failed to wake the Twins, and people still woke up anyway. But I didn't know that that would happen at the time."

Ari'sora wasn't certain that she understood Vega's question. But she thought about it carefully before speaking again.

"If you mean what have I done since I got the amulet that will allow me to recover from emotional trauma...I've been trying to work through some of the trauma that I've suffered. We've talked a lot over the past two trials. It's too soon to know if it will help or not yet though. Isra has also told me about the place we're going to. She feels that they are better able to help me there because they specialize in dealing with emotional trauma. Before I was sent to the clinic, I tried to live with my trauma as best I could. I couldn't recover from it...but until things got really bad, I was able work around it somewhat. I was on Faldrass when the volcano erupted. I tried to help when Baron Smooglenuff asked for help...and I failed to be of any use to anyone. Instead, I wound up needing to be rescued. After that, I couldn't live in the Sweetwine woods anymore where trees could fall and crush my family if the ground shook again, so I bought a house where there wasn't any trees that could fall on it. I tried to help the refugees in the aftermath of the eruption because I failed to help anyone when it mattered before the volcano erupted. When things got really bad...it happened quickly. I was brought to the Order because I had a panic attack that I couldn't recover from when I touched a glass. After I woke up from that, I found out that I couldn't make complex decisions anymore. Isra is the one who helped me with both of those. She found that ginger tea manages the nausea that makes making decisions impossible for me, and she keeps me on a low dose of a sedative to keep me calm enough that I won't have panic attacks. She helped me figure out what was causing the panic attacks too. But until she was able to get the amulet she gave me, it was impossible to work on the issues that caused them."

"We also kept her as comfortable as possible in a strictly controlled environment once she was in our care, though that caused harm as well as good." Isra added.



Last edited by Rei'sari on Thu May 06, 2021 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1353
Rei'sari was formerly Ari'sora, but after getting a fresh start in life and a new appearance from Vega, she changed her name to Rei'sari.
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Re: [Hopetoun] Searching for Hope

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Isra, Vega decided, was worse than rubbish.

But again, she listened. She didn't speak. She let Isra answer, and then Ari'sora explained, and then Isra spoke again. It wasn't Vega's business. It was nothing to do with her, and she shouldn't get involved. This numpty was not Vega's to deal with, and she was not a trained therapist. Not at all. So, it was not her business. And - if she'd learned anything in Storm's Edge and the trial and the punching a senior officer, she had learned to keep quiet.

Yeah. Right.

"Did you get dropped on your head as a child, an' now you jus' want to hurt people who're already hurtin'?" Vega's frown deepened as she listened to Isra. "You've obviously said totally the wrong thing, an' you can't whip up a bit of va va voom or passion? Just a rubbish apology for voicin' any doubt 'you might have'? Are you havin' a giraffe?" Shaking her head, Vega looked at the woman from the Order with an expression of pure irritation in her eyes. "You can't promise her she'll get better, I get that. But if I hear the words 'carefully controlled environment' out of your mouth one more time, I'm gonna throw up myself. If you don't believe in her, then you have no right treatin' her, an' you bloody well know it."

She gestured to Ari'sora, but she spoke to Isra. "You have done, in the three bits we've been talkin', more damage than a season of therapy could. An arc. I don't know her, but she's obviously got major issues in terms of her self-worth." She looked at Ari'sora, then, "Sorry to talk about you, love, but you do. You're scared of fire, an' you've been in this 'carefully controlled environment' for however long, but no one's thought to tell you that you're ok, as long as you're sensible?" The minute that Vega had told her, Ari'sora had scooted forward like an obedient little mouse.

And the look on her face, as Isra had said that she wasn't strong enough? It made Vega's blood boil. Add in to that a half-assed apology and she wanted to punch the healer in the face. Frankly, Vega thought that she was showing remarkable restraint in not doing. "You know," she said to Isra. "You know what damage you're doin', an' you're still doin' it. Strictly controlled environment what does harm as well as good? Ginger tea helps, so we won't keep tryin' new stuff, to see if there's somethin' even better? Abandonin' her for a season, but not involvin' her or informin' her in the decision or anythin'?" Vega shook her head. "Your job is to make her better, an' at best you're jus' in a holdin' pattern. She needs to fight for herself, of course she does. But she needs to know you believe in her, you're fightin' for her. An' you're not, an' when you say you not, you haven't even got to the good grace to tell her you believe in her, believe she can. Because you don't. The reality is, you're hurtin' her more an' more an' you bloody well know it too. Shame on you an' your carefully controlled environment. You need to do better, an' be better." Vega said it how she saw it, always. Whether it was to senior officers in the Lightning Knights, or a healer who, for all Vega knew, ran the whole Order. She didn't care, not one bit.

Turning her gaze to Ari'sora, Vega spoke more gently. A bit. "An' you. You're right flibbertyin' my gibbet, so you are. So, you're tellin' me, in response to 'how are you helpin' yourself', you're tellin' me you're not? In fact, you're tellin' me, bottom line, that you did nothin' until you couldn't cope no more, an' then you got 'sent' to the clinic? Tryin' to live with your trauma means doin' nothin' about it." Vega shook her head. "It's not none of my business, an' I understand that you know me as someone what brings hope, but let me be clear. No one brings you solutions to problems you made for yourself." Vega fully believed that. "An' if you sit around an' do nothin', you're not helpin' yourself, not one bit. "

She sighed.

It wasn't her business. Not one bit of it was her business. This woman had been self-harming and damaging herself deliberately and purposely, all her life as far as Vega could tell. And the therapist would be more used cooked than she was as a therapist.

It wasn't her business.

She should just walk away. But, this storm had happened and, Vega believed, it had happened for a reason. Maybe this was the reason.

"I do have an ability," she said, quietly. "What might help you. But it's extreme. An' I've got no interest in makin' your situation worse." She wondered whether she could. "But honestly, I reckon that what you've got goin' on right now isn't helpful, an' carefully controlled environments are to your mental health what a chocolate teapot is to makin' tea. Useless." She sighed again. "I can give you a do-over. A fresh start. But it really is that. It's no memories, no magic, nothin'. You physically change so you're eighteen arcs old. Mortalborn of children, see, an' it takes you to the moment you're not a child, but the very first moment." She sat back and looked at Ari. "But it's not somethin' I'm goin' to do if you're goin' to sit on your feathered ass an' do nothin' with it except contemplate your victim complex." She was, it has to be said, entirely serious. "An' I'm sorry that you've had bad stuff happen to you. I get that it's hard. But you've let it define you, you've let it beat you. You've invited it in an' offered it a cup of tea with a nice slice of cake." Vega was - as always - straight-talking and without apology. "An' I've got no intention of offerin' a second chance to someone who isn't goin' to use it. I can't do this often, an' I'm not goin' to waste it." It was important that they were clear. "An' it's extreme. Takin' away your life. But she's already doin' that, an' you're doin' it to yourself. The difference is that her way, you get the carefully controlled environment, an' you get to be the victim. You try, but don't fight." Vega considered it. "Her way, you get to keep sufferin', an' do nothin' about it except give lip service. If that's what you're happy with, then at least admit that."

Shrugging slightly, Vega considered her words much more carefully than it might seem she did. "All I can offer is a re-start for someone who's not jus' willin' to let others help them, but who'll actively help themselves. Not someone who chooses to get better, but someone who fights every minute of every trial to achieve that goal. Not someone who always succeeds, but someone who always fights. Someone with isn't content to live with it, but who will live every minute, full on. Not a self-destructive victim who seems determined to suffer, but a person who is determined to live their best life. I don't know if that's who you are, but if it is, I've not heard any of it from you." She looked at Ari'sora and her gaze was both unwavering and unrelenting.

She didn't ask again. There was no more for Vega to say now, she knew. Instead, she sipped her tea.
word count: 1354
Image

Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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