[se] climbed right back up the cliff
For Soleil <3
Noe Carpenter
Engineer-in-training

Age: 18 | Height: 5'0" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Stormbreak
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#1
Noe
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Strategy sets the scene for the tale
"It's supposed to be right up - oh."

Noe stopped as she crested a hill, her mouth forming a perfect 'o' as she took in the scene before her. She could tell that the landscape had once been beautiful - flawless, even - but now it was scarred and black, a dark crater left where once flowers and trees might have stood. She glanced over her shoulder at Soleil. "I found it," she announced, a smile on her face that didn't quite reach her eyes. She'd known they were looking for something big, but she hadn't anticipated that it would look so... so... dead.

Maybe she was just being overdramatic. Maybe she just needed a closer look.

So she took a few steps down the hillside, inching closer to the crater. "We should get closer, yeah?" she asked, wavering. On the one hand, getting closer seemed like the more interesting thing to do. But on the other, it also seemed like the more dangerous thing to do. And Noe - logical, engineering-minded Noe - was nothing if not risk-averse. "Or, I dunno - what do you think?"
I'm the wind in our free-flowing sails
And the liquor in our cocktails
Soleil Lovi
Adv

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#2
Soleil
I was born a lover
And I will die that way
As Noe turns back around, Soleil can see the discomfort tight in the corners of her best friend's mouth, and it makes her own turn downward into a concerned frown. Legging up the last few feet to the top of the hill to get her own eyes on the issue - and to be closer to Noe now that concern is creeping in her breast - Soleil falters to a stop in comedic mimicry of the young engineer as she takes in the view before them. "Woah. Uh, yeah, that's definitely it." It's disorienting too, creepy in a not-cool way.

As Noe inches forward, Soleil's hand jerks out to grab at whatever part of her is closest, still frowning down at the crater before the young engineer even asks for her input. Protectiveness more animal than girl has her posturing, shoulders tight and eyes narrowed as she tries to gauge the danger levels of the crash site in front of them.

After a prolonged moment, her metaphorical hackles smooth and she releases Noe slowly. "Doesn't seem like anything is around, and any animals are probably steering clear longterm. Just be careful going down, yeah?" She shoots a grin that is clearly meant to inspire and encourage, but doesn't have the full gravitas of her normal energy as she begins shuffling down the crater herself.
Lavender forever, kiss it till it's better
Honey sticky fingers for life
Noe Carpenter
Engineer-in-training

Age: 18 | Height: 5'0" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Stormbreak
Level: 1 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 6 - Int:
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#3
Noe
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Strategy sets the scene for the tale
Sol's grab came as something of a surprise to Noe, who stumbled to a halt the moment she felt her best friend's hand close on her wrist. She glanced over her shoulder, paused with one foot forward and one foot back, and waited for Sol to either let go, pull her back, or come forward with her. Her long, dark hair, cascading in waves down her back, blew gently in the breeze as she waited patiently. Eventually, Sol released her, albeit slowly, and Noe linked arms with her bestie as they started into the crater - as much for her own sake as for Sol's.

"Soooo, this is supposed to have been some kind of meteor, yeah?" Noe asked, carefully watching each footfall to make sure she didn't trip. She looked up, using the hand not attached to Sol's arm to shield her eyes against the sun. The crater was large, and dark, and dead - but, strangely, empty. "But, like, where's the meteor, then?" There should have been something there, if only remnants of whatever had passed through the atmosphere - unless it had burned up. But, if that was the case, there shouldn't be a crater. It didn't make any sense.
I'm the wind in our free-flowing sails
And the liquor in our cocktails
Soleil


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#4
Soleil
I was born a lover
And I will die that way
Noe always seems to know - and understand, which is a very different thing - Soleil's intentions and needs, and the way she pauses and patiently waits is perfect proof of exactly that. Even in Halo, her peers had often found her strange for having such primordial compunctions, especially without being Attuned. Somehow, Noe has never been daunted by that, and even the easy looping of their arms together has Soleil's hackles smoothing, comforted that her packmate is so close at hand in such dangerous and unfamiliar terrain.

Frowning at the astute observation, Soleil hums in her throat, a disgruntled sort of sound. "It couldn't have broken apart enough to completely disappear," she agrees, any fun she'd envisioned having blotted away by the discomfort she feels facing this impossible phenomenon. "Do you think it was like...alive?" It feels stupid to suggest, but given all the flora going crazy in Caido, it doesn't feel like that big of a jump. "Like a giant armadillo?" She tries to put on a lighter tone, hoping to put them both at ease with the imagery. "Maybe its armor took all the damage, and it just unrolled and walked off." She's heard of crazier things being fought during the war, so it's not technically outside the realm of possibility.
Lavender forever, kiss it till it's better
Honey sticky fingers for life
Noe Carpenter
Engineer-in-training

Age: 18 | Height: 5'0" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Stormbreak
Level: 1 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 6 - Int:
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#5
Noe
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Strategy sets the scene for the tale
There had always been something primordial about Sol, but it had never bothered Noe. The way her friend seemed almost bestial at times was actually almost comforting in a way that Noe couldn't quite describe. As the wolf-girl's hackles lowered, Noe began to relax into the sense of adventure that came with their wandering, and she grinned as they started their way into the crater - even as she kept a sharp eye on their surroundings. Just in case.

Despite the discomfort of knowing that something about the crater was off, Noe snorted at the mental image of a giant armadillo. "Oh, my gods, yes," she said with a giggle. Then she sobered. "Actually, that isn't a bad idea. Maybe we should look for tracks." Not, of course, that she had any idea how to track things or what she'd be looking for. "If something was alive, it had to leave somehow, right?"
I'm the wind in our free-flowing sails
And the liquor in our cocktails
Soleil


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#6
Soleil
I was born a lover
And I will die that way
Noe's giggling makes Soleil smile, and though it's not her typical toothy grin it's clear she's relaxing all the same. Enough to nudge her shoulder against her best friend's, mischief lighting up her amber eyes. "Do you even know how to track anything?" It's a knowing tease because if anyone is a sheltered city girl, it's Noe. You'd think the two would be polar opposites given how Soleil had been raised, but somehow they still fit like puzzle pieces.

Glancing around the crater, she tilts her chin toward the flatter end (which of course they hadn't been on the right side and had been forced to climb the higher side). "With how many people have been visiting the crash site, any tracks are going to be muddled unless they're fresh. But we can practice!" And it will give her a chance to teach Noe some valuable skills at that. Marching forward with their arms still linked, Soleil spares a moment to be grateful when the ground levels out, making it easier to walk. "I assume there's not much hunting in Stormbreak, huh?"
Lavender forever, kiss it till it's better
Honey sticky fingers for life
Noe Carpenter
Engineer-in-training

Age: 18 | Height: 5'0" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Stormbreak
Level: 1 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 6 - Int:
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#7
Noe
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Strategy sets the scene for the tale
"I most certainly do..." Noe began, turning her nose up as though offended, but the effect was ruined by the grin threatening at the corners of her mouth. "Not." Sheltered city girl was an apt description. It was strange, that she'd be best friends with someone like Sol, but here they were nonetheless. In any case, Noe had been looking forward to their adventuring for just that reason - time to pick up some new skills!

Fortunately, she wasn't completely helpless, having been taught self-defense from a young age. No Carpenter was going to be left without the means to defend themselves and others, not if her mother had anything to say about it! The side effect of this training was that Noe was in reasonably good shape - something she was grateful for as they hiked through the crater. If she hadn't been training regularly, she probably would have been huffing and puffing by the time the ground leveled out. As it was, she managed with only a little hitch of her breathing.

"Yeah, no," she admitted. "The only place that really has, like, nature is the Celestine, and I doubt Lena would take kindly to hunters."
I'm the wind in our free-flowing sails
And the liquor in our cocktails
Soleil


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#8
Soleil
I was born a lover
And I will die that way
Noe's disposition is one of the reasons Soleil likes her so much, because many would take the opportunity to become offended at a perceived slight to their skills or upbringing, but she cheerily admits to her lack of tracking skills instead of growing defensive. In her mind, it's what will make Noe a great engineer someday.

"I feel like I still barely know anyone in Stormbreak," she bemoans, Lena's name unfamiliar to her. "For such a small city, there's so many of you. I really only know you, Sohalia, and Ellyra." Which is crazy to her given how well she knows everyone (and their mom, and their grandma) in Halo, which is far larger than Stormbreak in terms of land mass.

As they approach the other end of the crater, Soleil begins eyeing the tracks. The rain has washed most of them away, leaving only the most recent, so she points out the clearly human bootmarks. "So, obviously the shoe treads are human, which is a start. But canine and feline prints can actually look very similar to the untrained eye." The first little nugget of information as she begins looking around for anything in the vicinity. She's not hopeful given the impact must've scared off most of the nearby wildlife, so she frowns slightly when she actually does spot canine tracks leading away from the rim of the crater. "Like...those..." Sol trails off in a murmur, pointing at them and frowning at the small size of the prints.
Lavender forever, kiss it till it's better
Honey sticky fingers for life
Noe Carpenter
Engineer-in-training

Age: 18 | Height: 5'0" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Stormbreak
Level: 1 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 6 - Int:
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#9
Noe
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Strategy sets the scene for the tale
Noe started to laugh, then stopped short, her face a stormcloud at the mention of Sohalia. She still couldn't stand how everyone seemed to like the so-called Heart of Stormbreak, not when she could see what everyone else clearly could not. "Ugh, Sohalia," she said, rolling her eyes. "She broke my brother's heart by going out with some other guy, and then - get this - she couldn't decide between them and ended up breaking up with the other guy, too. If you ask me, she has some serious issues, and she's leading us?" Okay, so maybe it wasn't the fairest assessment, but hey. Noe was angry.

The lesson on tracking derailed the seething girl, and she looked around with interest at the sheer number of tracks. "Jeez, how do you know what tracks belong to who? There's so many!" she said. At least she could tell the difference between human and animal prints, even if she didn't have a clue how to differentiate between canine and feline. Then Sol pointed out some small canine tracks leading away from the crater, and Noe tilted her head. "How come they're so small?" she asked curiously, sure that her bestie had an answer.
I'm the wind in our free-flowing sails
And the liquor in our cocktails
Soleil


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#10
Soleil
I was born a lover
And I will die that way
Soleil is surprised by the vitriol to say the least. Noe is prone to dramatics, sure, but rarely ever hostility. Loyal as she is, Soleil is inclined to jump to Sohalia's defense, but that same loyalty is what halts her tongue, because Noe is her best friend. Plus, what she has to say is rather concerning. Teenage dramatics that Soleil can't envision herself being caught in, sure, but still concerning in regards to the morality of the Heart. Frowning and deciding to give her friend a chance, she squeezes their linked arms slightly to encourage her to continue.

"Really? I didn't know about Koa, I'm so sorry." She has met him a few times in passing, usually after rolling out of Noe's bed in the morning after a sleepover, but never anything deeper than surface-level interactions. Still, it makes her skin prickle at the idea of someone she considers to be a packmate to have had their family member so slighted. "She is really young to be leading. I thought she seemed nice when I met her," she interjects quickly thereafter, forestalling any arguments Noe might bring up, "but I did only meet her once. Is she only like that with men?" It certainly sounds like it, which is bewildering to say the least. Why a lovesick teenager would be leading a country is beyond Soleil, especially when she has grown up with the examples of Evie and Deimos as her Wardens; steady, reliable, and enviably put together.

She's inclined to actually answer Noe's question, but she's too busy thinking about the size of the prints too. "Well, it usually means it's a pup," she admits. "It is Flowerbirth so there are a lot of newborns. But it also doesn't make sense - there are no prints from other pups, the mother, or the rest of the pack." Gnawing at her lip, she debates whether she can safely bring her best friend into the woods to hunt down the answer. Had its den been destroyed? Was it alone?
Lavender forever, kiss it till it's better
Honey sticky fingers for life
Noe Carpenter
Engineer-in-training

Age: 18 | Height: 5'0" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Stormbreak
Level: 1 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 6 - Int:
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#11
Noe
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Strategy sets the scene for the tale
For a moment, something akin to jealousy spiked in the young woman as she felt Sol begin to defend Sohalia. Really? The Luminary had gotten to her, too? But then Sol admitted to only having met her the one time, and Noe relaxed. "Yeah, she seems all nice and innocent," Noe confided, leaning closer as though sharing a secret. "But I've never seen Koa so upset about anyone before, and the other guy, Jude? He was a fucking disaster when I met him, and from what he told me, the whole situation just seemed really fucked up." She sighed, frustration clear in her knitted brow. "I don't know, Sol. It's just - do we really want somebody who can't even sort their personal life out leading Stormbreak? I mean, with Safrin gone and everything, who knows what's coming?"

She quieted as Sol examined the prints, watching her friend with curiosity. A pup sounded cute, even if she didn't love the idea of meeting the rest of the pack - but if there was no pack? She frowned. "But if there's no pack, and it's just a pup, what's it doing alone?" she asked. That didn't seem right. Noe may not have had the primal instincts of her best friend, but even she knew that most wild canines ran in packs.
I'm the wind in our free-flowing sails
And the liquor in our cocktails
Soleil


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#12
Soleil
I was born a lover
And I will die that way
Soleil - a little too logical of a young woman - can't help but privately think that perhaps Koa and Jude were so broken up because they were young men going through their first heartbreaks (and thus prone to dramatics), but it's true that both of them being emotionally devastated at the same time while Sohalia remained comparatively unscathed paints the Luminary in a nasty light. "I think it's a valid concern," she reassures, using her free hand to squeeze Noe's arm where it's linked with her own. "And I support you if you want to make changes. But Halo has had leaders killed and deposed in the past, and it really messed up the region - you'd need someone else in mind to step up." Though she does frown and turn her eyes skyward, considering. "Although, she does have a council though right? That's more stability than most!" And would hopefully have Noe feeling a little less hopeless about the idea. "I honestly might have read her wrong. If you don't like her, then I'm on your side," she agrees easily, because she'd met Sohalia all of once, and had already thought she was too young to be leading. The rest is just icing on the cake of having Soleil disapprove of her childish tendencies.

"Its den might have been destroyed," she admits, not wanting to upset Noe despite her own persistent frown. "Maybe we should check it out? From a distance of course." Although she's always armed, she wants Noe to feel safe in her presence, and having a game plan will certainly help with that. "While we walk you can tell me more about Sohalia." It seems like the younger Carpenter has a lot to get off her chest, and Soleil has shoulders enough for all her worries and anger.
Lavender forever, kiss it till it's better
Honey sticky fingers for life
Noe Carpenter
Engineer-in-training

Age: 18 | Height: 5'0" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Stormbreak
Level: 1 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 6 - Int:
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#13
Noe
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Strategy sets the scene for the tale
Noe was relieved when Sol took her side, and she squeezed her friend's arm gratefully as they continued to examine the prints in the mud. She hadn't voiced her concerns - her totally valid concerns that had nothing to do with sisterly protective instincts, thank you very much - to anyone else, and it felt good to get things off her chest. If roles were reversed, she'd do the same for Sol - anyone Sol disliked, she'd hate on principle, and it made her feel better to have the young woman firmly on her side.

"Sure, let's go!" she said of the pup's prints, looking expectantly at Sol and waiting for her best friend to lead them onwards. Noe could see the prints in the mud, of course, but where the ground was drier, she knew she'd lose them in a heartbeat. As they walked, she sighed. "I don't know how much more there is to tell, really. It just seems like everyone loves her, but I just - can't figure out why. She's not even from Stormbreak and yet she gets to decide what's best for us? And, yeah, she has her council, or whatever, but then why aren't they leading? At least they're from there!"
I'm the wind in our free-flowing sails
And the liquor in our cocktails
Soleil


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#14
Soleil
I was born a lover
And I will die that way
Hating someone on behalf of your best friend is the pinnacle of female friendships, so of course Soleil is going to side with Noe! She might be older and more removed from the situation (and thus sprinkling a few grains of salt on Noe's information) but that doesn't mean she thinks Noe is wrong. She trusts her friend's estimations of others at the bare minimum, and as someone who lives in Stormbreak and has met Sohalia more times than Soleil, she's willing to let Noe take the lead here.

Too concerned by the solitary pup's tracks, Soleil lets training take a backseat as she guides them onward, instead using the time to let Noe talk. "Leading is a big responsibility, maybe they were reluctant after the war?" But introspection doesn't help Noe in her vendetta, so she tsks her tongue and considers. "Maybe that's where you should start - talking to the council. Ask them if they have any interest in leading, or any complaints about Sohalia." They might not be inclined to speak negatively about Sohalia, but it was worth a try. "Otherwise, you're going to need to find - or make - good evidence against her." Here, her amber eyes slide sideways, trying to gauge how serious Noe is about this, and how much brutal, Halovian-style revenge she should instill in the younger woman.
Lavender forever, kiss it till it's better
Honey sticky fingers for life


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