take off the training wheels
Noah Olson
Chief of Public Affairs / Hunter

Age: 29 | Height: 6'2 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 6 - Strg: 19 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 18 - Int:
EIRA - Mythical - Griffin (Venom)
Played by: Time Offline
Change author:
Posts: 607
MP: 205
#15
Noah
if there's a reason I'm still alive
when so many have died
The winds changed, and Noah had hardly noticed. His gryphon moved from her spot in the grass towards her bondmate, dodging panicking turkeys as they ran passed her. Eira started to dance beside Noah, trying to pull his attention across the bond. He finished off his turkey, and as it lay limp beside him he shifted back into a man, eyes moving towards Henry. As he opened his mouth to speak, Eira screeched beside him and flapped her downy wings. Simultaneously, the sky opened above them and the rains came down in biblical fashion. "Shit." Noah grumbled, scrambling to grab his turkey with one hand and Eira with the other.

"C'mon!" He growled out, his frustration rising like bile in his throat. The hunter managed to get to tree cover with his companion and his prey, but not without soaking all three of them. Noah grumbled almost inaudibly as he leaned against a tree. Eira, on the other hand, did not grumble so inaudibly. Her displeasure at getting wet was clear as the rain around them. The young gryphon hissed and stomped and shook her body. The only thing that muffled her complaints was the rain pounding around them, and the near-constant thunder.

Taking off his jacket and shaking it out, Noah was silent for quite some time. He could feel Henry with him, but he was deliberately keeping his eyes downcast from the eagle. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally did speak. "I should have set you up better, and done more explanation. In the future, I will not fail you so readily."

then I'm willing to
wait for it
Henry Walker
Advisor

Age: 26 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 14 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 11 - Int:
Played by: Catalysta Offline
Change author:
Posts: 277
MP: 160
#16
This town will never change, People come and go, it's all the same
Henry stiffens as torrential rains pelt down on his wings, smothering him in the wrath of the storm. For a moment, he can only take it, blinking his eyes against the drops that swim down toward them. His ferocity fades into a sharp sadness, even if the eagle is proud and daunts against such sentiments.

He turns after Noah, grasping the turkey in his talons, and chases after him across the grasses on wingbeats that are muted by the roll of thunder overhead. He joins his hunting companions, landing beneath the tree and settling there in his shift for several moments longer. He's starkly aware of it, of his mistake, of Noah's internal frustrations in regard to it, of the way the other man doesn't look at him for a while.

Henry returns the gesture, staring down his beak at the ground, as plops of rain descend upon it. Somewhere in between this moment and the next, Henry has returned to his natural form, his back to the tree. He has nothing to say for himself.

Noah's words are practically an apology, and something Henry doesn't feel he deserves. His neck cranes to look up at the hunter beside him, seasoned and who would've been ready to teach him more, had he been given more of an opportunity to. Henry had snatched that important teaching moment away. "No... it wasn't your fault, it was mine. I'm an idiot," he says, voice dark with bitterness.

"I'm... not ready. There's too much going on in my head," he sighs, letting his gaze fall back down to the ground, "I just want to run away from it all. Not worry about.. anyone except myself. That's all I have now anyway. You hear stories about Attuned taking to their shifts and running off, to live in the wild, and I never understood why until now... Maybe it would be better..."
HENRY
Noah Olson
Chief of Public Affairs / Hunter

Age: 29 | Height: 6'2 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 6 - Strg: 19 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 18 - Int:
EIRA - Mythical - Griffin (Venom)
Played by: Time Offline
Change author:
Posts: 607
MP: 205
#17
Noah
if there's a reason I'm still alive
when so many have died
The pain that gripped Henry's voice was unmistakable. Noah's glacier eyes softened as the Grounder rambled on, letting loose some of the struggle he was dealing with in the moment. Eria still stomped around at Noah's feet, her anger for getting drenched untamable at this point. The hunter took a step towards the eagle, stepping over the protesting gryphon, and placed his hand on Henry's shoulder. It was no unlike how he had greeted the man, but this time the grip was firmer and he turned the young man to grasp both of his shoulders. "No." He said firmly, glacier eyes set seriously.

He stayed quiet for a moment, holding his gaze steady. He squeezed down firmly, before releasing the man's shoulders and stepping back to lean against his own tree. He sank some, crouching on his heels and leaning against the rough bark. "That is not the answer." Noah knew what it was like to sit in Henry's shoes--except when he did, he was a teenager. "The world's bigger than you." He cupped his hands together as Eira rubbed against his legs, trying to dry feather and fur. "Running away does not solve anything. Pushing away hurt and pain doesn't fix it." And while Noah had not yet learned from Aisha that Korbin was living in the tundra in his attuned form, he still knew that was not a wise decision to make. "If you do that, Henry, you will loose even yourself."

then I'm willing to
wait for it
Henry Walker
Advisor

Age: 26 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 14 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 11 - Int:
Played by: Catalysta Offline
Change author:
Posts: 277
MP: 160
#18
This town will never change, People come and go, it's all the same
Henry's eyes lift up to meet Noah's, though it's a shaky hold. Tears form in his eyes and he doesn't bother trying to hide them, but he does tilt his head away to watch the rain. Eira's adorable shenanigans aren't enough to rein him in this time, unfortunately, though he does vacantly notice her.

He knows running wouldn't solve anything, but it seems that nothing ever really would. Not truly. "Why does the right thing always have to be the hardest?" The pain of this question wracks each word as he airs them. His shoulders slump and he leans heavier against the tree.

"I already lost everything else," he snorts contemptuously, "to Longnight, to the Sparkbird, because I left - it doesn't really matter," the words are a bitter whisper on his tongue. "My family is gone, Noah, and I'll never get them back, not even if I begged for their lives," he's barely able to hold back his seething frustration and hurt, but he's trying. "It's too late."

He turns his shimmering, sad eyes towards Noah. "What am I supposed to do now?"
HENRY
Noah Olson
Chief of Public Affairs / Hunter

Age: 29 | Height: 6'2 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 6 - Strg: 19 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 18 - Int:
EIRA - Mythical - Griffin (Venom)
Played by: Time Offline
Change author:
Posts: 607
MP: 205
#19
Noah
if there's a reason I'm still alive
when so many have died
Noah didn't have all of the answers, but he knew what needed to happen to press on. He knew what tenacity in the face of adversity truly looked like -- he felt it in his bones. For a teenager to be orphaned and to raise his younger brother, in a world colder and more unforgiving than this. A godless world. A world of hurt and pain and toil. Noah knew it. It was hard, grueling, terrible work. But it was doable.

"What's your purpose, Henry?" He asked, a question for the eagle to think on. "You have to embrace what you're made to do. How does that look now? Different than before, surely." Noah took some string from one of the inside pockets of his jacket, and as he talked he worked on tying up his bird for easy transport. Eira took to cleaning herself, preening at we feathers. The rain still drenched the earth around them, the constant drumming making it so that Henry would have to focus on each of Noah's words.

"People die." Glacier eyes looked up to Henry, his stare hard but honest. "It's the way of Caido. We're here to do what work we can until it is our turn. What's your work? What can you do?"

then I'm willing to
wait for it
Henry Walker
Advisor

Age: 26 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 14 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 11 - Int:
Played by: Catalysta Offline
Change author:
Posts: 277
MP: 160
#20
This town will never change, People come and go, it's all the same
On the surface, he's a farmer. It's what he's always known, how to build and foster life, how to keep a community strong by feeding and sheltering it. He's also apart of the Grounds' council, which is a position he had a lot of motivation for. Now, though, his motivation has run dry. If he has a deeper purpose... he's never known, but he'd always wanted to search for it.

"I've never been on my own like this," he says, "I thought it's what I wanted, to be independent and have nothing holding me back, but..." it wasn't, not truly. He sees that now. He needs people that need him, too, or else what purpose does he truly have?

People die. Isn't that just the sad, dark reality. You never really think it'll happen to the people you love, though. Not until it does, and nothing could've prepared you for it either. No amount of knowing, of understanding that this is just the way it is.

Henry shuts his eyes, fingers curling against his palm and tightening into fists as he listens for Noah's words. His gaze flickers open when he's asked what he can do. He shakes his head miserably. "I'm a farmer, my family were always farmers," he scoffs, "and I can build... I'm good with my hands, but..." an aggravated sigh tears through his lungs and he shifts restlessly in his seat, "I don't know. My father always wanted me to take over the farm when he passed," he settles now, looking down at the puddles forming around them, "carry on the 'Walker legacy'," but there's bitterness edging his tones, "I never wanted to," he looks up at Noah with furrowed brows, "I wanted to be an explorer. Get out, see the world. But that's what everyone does... everyone leaves, and the Grounds..." Well, the Grounds need people.
HENRY
Noah Olson
Chief of Public Affairs / Hunter

Age: 29 | Height: 6'2 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 6 - Strg: 19 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 18 - Int:
EIRA - Mythical - Griffin (Venom)
Played by: Time Offline
Change author:
Posts: 607
MP: 205
#21
Noah
if there's a reason I'm still alive
when so many have died
The rain continued around them, making leaves heavy in the canopy above them and dropping leaf-sized buckets of water on them as they sat under the tree. Noah stayed silent as Henry went on and only moved to keep himself as dry as possible. Eira grumbled and made her way up into the tree, finding it better to nestle within a hollow part of the trunk than stay on the ground with the two men.

"My father raised me to be a hunter. I've always done it because it brought me closer to the memory of him, when he passed." Noah leaned against the bark of the tree, a flash of his father's face dim in his memory, but still there. "I thought it, too, my purpose to fulfill the Olson legacy. I didn't realize until a few years ago, long after my father died, why he wanted me to be a good hunter." He shifted, Eira's cooing trill catching him off guard for a moment as the gryphon found comfort in her hiding hole.

"He didn't just want me to be able to survive. That was part of it. The other part was that my father fed a lot of people with what he hunted and harvested. I fed a lot of people, too. I helped sustain a lot of families who's heads had other duties to fulfill. I fed the children of guards and warriors, of healers; I fed the elderly..." He paused, looking to meet Henry's eye, "and I got to know a lot of the people of Halo on a personal level. When our Citadel was attacked by cultists, and members of our guard fell and people were lost, I had a connection with them and was able to help bring closure because I guided the government in connecting with the families that suffered loss. Now, I sit on our council and deal with public affairs. I help the people."

"There is no way in knowing that my future held that. My father couldn't see it. I couldn't see it. What I did was latch on to what I did know and could see, and I did the next right thing. Every day."

then I'm willing to
wait for it
Henry Walker
Advisor

Age: 26 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 14 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 11 - Int:
Played by: Catalysta Offline
Change author:
Posts: 277
MP: 160
#22
This town will never change, People come and go, it's all the same
"Exploring, adventure... it doesn't seem so important anymore," Henry admits, those vivid motivations and desires for the unknown suddenly feeling so far away and foggy. Grayed out by matters of the present. "It feels naive and selfish now. I should have stayed here during LongNight. Helped. Kept my family safe."

Deep down, he has a strong sense of duty toward his home. Whether it was engrained in him by the teachings of his father doesn't matter. It's a part of him now, like salt in the sea, and because of Noah's wisdom he can see that there is nothing else for him to do but carry on his family name.

"There's nothing out there waiting for me," he says, perhaps more to himself than Noah, "everything I needed was always right here all along. A home, a family, a purpose. And I took it for granted," he lifts a hard blue stare up to the hunter beside him, but it shakes with emotion as it settles on his rugged features, "I won't make that mistake again."

He sighs heavily, letting go, and gets to his feet. "Come on, let's get out of the rain," he reaches to grab the neck of the turkey he killed, straightening and waiting for Noah's ready. "I don't think Eira likes it." He glances up to where she's hidden in the tree.
HENRY
Noah Olson
Chief of Public Affairs / Hunter

Age: 29 | Height: 6'2 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 6 - Strg: 19 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 18 - Int:
EIRA - Mythical - Griffin (Venom)
Played by: Time Offline
Change author:
Posts: 607
MP: 205
#23
Noah
if there's a reason I'm still alive
when so many have died
The hunter softened and smiled as Henry detailed for him his thought process. He did not dispute anything the man said, did not interrupt him or command him. He had given enough guidance and wisdom for today. The rains still fell around them, and the sky rumbled. Eira chirped at the mention of her name, and popped her head from the hole in the tree trunk. Noah stood and gestured for the creature. "I think that's true." He chuckled some, finally realizing how displeased his youngling companion had been. She slunk from her hiding place and dropped down on his shoulders. He opened his light jacket for her, and she crawled in and pressed against his chest. Red images flashed in his mind, and he laughed. "She's threatening me." He gave to Henry, the corners of his eyes wrinkling.

Grabbing his turkey and slinging it over his shoulder, Eira propped with the other arm, Noah set out into the rain. He stayed with Henry enough for the eagle to show him the way. "I meant what I said before," Noah called out just before a clap of thunder, "that you could join me out on a larger expedition. I'll teach you more, if you want."

then I'm willing to
wait for it
Henry Walker
Advisor

Age: 26 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 14 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 11 - Int:
Played by: Catalysta Offline
Change author:
Posts: 277
MP: 160
#24
This town will never change, People come and go, it's all the same
The storm isn't over yet, not even close judging by the state of it, but that only means they must find better shelter before it gets any worse. Henry tries to focus on that ideal, and on Eira. He offers a half-smile at Noah's lighter mood, feeling tentatively... better. Things may be hard and the path ahead unclear, but at least there are people like Noah, like Aisha, to remind him there is a future here no matter what they've lost.

"Well, we'd better get going then," he says of Eira's threat, watching as Noah tucks her into his jacket and collects the fruit of their hunt. Henry is good to lead the way. In spite of the way this place is war-torn and barren, he knows it well. In fact, this is the state he knows it best. What a depressingly dark reality.

Noah's invitation holding true catches him off-guard and he looks over with a stunned expression. So his mistake hadn't ruined things then. He nods once. "Of course," he says, adding sharply, "and I won't disappoint you a second time."



fin!
HENRY


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