Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

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Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Ronnie Riley on Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:37 pm

Sweat. Pure Roman sweat. It had been nearly an hour in the Arena and despite the cold weather, Veronica Riley still fought on as if she had only begun. Stroke, jab, twirl… it was more of a barbaric kind of waltz of bloodlust than it was a series of self-taught battle tactics (which would probably be deemed uncouth if others were watching). The girl fought on, unaware that the day was passing into night. For Ronnie, it was easy enough to keep up with the moves and rhythm of a group formation, but she found so much more peace in working and thinking for herself. Taking orders was tiring while her mind was sharp and she could see for herself clear tactics. Stubborn and independent was not a good mix when it came to a fairly new (and newly claimed/caught in the awkward stage of figuring out how her powers worked) legionnaire. It was hard for her to take orders and so, once again, Ronnie found herself practicing after hours, by herself, getting a better feel for her axe and her own capability. Though her muscles were tight and didn’t move in the way she wanted them to (due to soreness of similar previous practices), she was still very much getting used to the new weapon. It was considerably heavier than anything she had ever used before, but having the feel of so much power in her hands made using anything else now out of the question. Since Ronnie had little else to put her efforts into, she now worked tirelessly at perfecting the art of the axe. But there was only so much more she could do by herself – she knew the time was coming sooner or later where she would have to give in and ask for help, however little she liked to do so and admit defeat.
But the next problem was… who could give her help?

Thinking of this, the confusing words her father had left her with, and the questions of her past that her recent claiming had brought up, Ronnie slashed out her anger (cleaving a dummy simultaneously) and blistered her hands. After pulverizing two more dummies, she felt her muscles swollen under the strain and the sweat streak off her forehead. Her hands burned in a fury that matched her troubled mind. But, alas, she was extremely parched and so she headed for her water in the sidelines.

This was the first time that Ronnie recognized she was alone (as far as she saw) – and that the sun was setting. There were others still fighting when she had begun. The hues of pink and orange were beautiful but that cued her in for the first time how long she had really been out there. Had she missed mass? This and other trivial questions of the like plagued her, but she pushed them aside. It didn’t really matter in respect to the many hard questions she was being forced to face in the past week. Even though things had been chaotic, though, some very good things had also come out of her week: she had discovered a new friend. He was kind and willing to help her… which was more than any other Roman that Ronnie had met yet besides her brother.
And then it came: another flashback

Laughing, a girl with bright red hair was the life of the room – a whole source of fire to ignite the souls of fearful adversaries. There were many drunk and drugged teenagers there, but everyone at some point or another was drawn to her. The enigma. The girl who hid behind her walls of secrets, but there she was at a party: not uncomfortable or uneasy, but truly living… truly being. People envied her. The girl had a whole world built around her, no one really knew who she was at all and she took pride in it. Anything she wanted – it was hers. Whatever she laid her eyes on gravitated towards her.
Pulling away from it, Ronnie felt sick to her stomach. The flashbacks came and went, but she was rarely outside of herself. It was hard to try and not think about the memory itself – but Ronnie did her best to think about what it might mean. Perhaps she was just confused. That was the girl she was back home, but did she want to be that same girl here? Was that really a genuine state of being?

However deep Ronnie was going to get with these thoughts, they were cut short as she spotted a silhouette in the dying light. Jumping to her feet, she saw the dark form of another demigod and stated, ”how long have you been here?” What if this demigod had seen her fighting? Was she even allowed to train by herself? A flicker of fear crossed her eyes, but she hid it as well as she could (which was quite well given her perturbed circumstance).
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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Guest on Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:56 pm

Lauren had been one of the best if not the best student in her fencing class. Sure, she was lazy and incredibly stubborn at times, but she could also be very determined whenever she felt like it. For the longest time, she thought that was the way to live. Why bother putting so much effort into something if you can achieve results without giving much effort? That was why before she found Camp Jupiter, she trained at her own pace. She may have had an instructor, but in the end she was her own boss, completely in control of how she spent her time. And more often than not, she wasted the time she had on inconsequential matters. Outside of Camp Jupiter (and the demigod world), you can still succeed with that mindset. In Camp Jupiter, however, Lauren felt the ground shake beneath her. Here, she was under-trained. Here, no one praised her. In fact, here, she was most likely seen as a loser. The worst in class. The one who seems to have been mistakenly sorted into the First Cohort.

Okay. That way of thinking was totally problematic. Instead of letting herself wallow in self-pity, Lauren decided to head to the Arena. She really didn't want the other kids to see her train lest they decided she was a weakling, but there was no other way to get better. And besides, Lauren was only skilled at fencing. She still needed to improve her hand-to-hand combat skills, and she hasn't even tried training with the projectile weapons at camp. Archery wasn't really her thing, but there were throwing knives she could try using. So when she finally got to the arena, she remembered something the Type A Mom kept telling her daughter in the movie Ice Princess. Put yourself inside a bubble. No one else exists. And that's exactly what Lauren did.

She started with some basic fencing exercises, then proceeded to work on her footwork and her disengaging methods (disengaging was always her favourite move). She then proceeded to train using the dummies. When she got tired of practising her lunges, passes and passata sotto on the dummy, she imagined herself to be fighting an actual opponent who was fast and didn't hesitate to attack whenever they saw an opening. Lauren found herself wishing her classmates and instructor were here. What with all the rigorous exercises they were forced to do at camp, Lauren had actually been improving a lot. She was lighter on her feet, and she reacted faster now (parrying quickly and effectively was always her problem in fencing classes, something her instructor never hesitated to point out). Satisfied with her day's work, Lauren left the arena without so much as a glance at the others. No, she won't wallow in self-pity today. She had trained intensively, and she will prove to herself and to everyone that she's worthy of being in the First Cohort.

She was almost back at their barracks when she realised she had forgotten something—she had left her sunglasses in the arena. Oh, she hoped to the gods it was still there. She'd be really upset if someone else had taken it, and she would get in trouble if any of the Centurions or the Praetor thought she was loitering by leaving it there. She hurriedly went back to the arena, and was glad to find that her sunglasses were still there. As she walked back to their barracks, though, Lauren noticed another girl in the arena. It seems they were the only ones left there. The girl looked as if she was deeply disturbed by something. Lauren wanted to walk up to her and help, but she didn't want to invade the girl's space. After all, she looked like she would rather not be disturbed. Lauren understood the feeling, but who knows if their detachment from people had similar reasons. She kept people away from her because Lauren tended to care too much once she started caring. She didn't need that sort of distraction now that she's in Camp Jupiter. With one last regretful look at the girl, she began to walk away. Only to be stopped when she heard the girl's voice call out to her.

“How long have you been here?” The girl asked. The girl didn't sound angry, but she didn't seem particularly happy to see her either. Ah, so she really must have almost interrupted the girl's me-time.

Lauren stopped in her tracks. “Sorry if I disturbed you,” she said as she put her hands in her pocket. “I was just getting my sunglasses. Well, actually, I've been training here almost all day, I think? But I left a few minutes ago, and well ah, yeah, I just came back to get my sunglasses.”

Lauren couldn't see the girl well from where she was standing, although she can see that the girl was tall and had bright red hair. She could tell that the girl wasn't from her Cohort. This is the first time she had seen the girl. It was getting dark, though, so she couldn't see the girl's face clearly. However, even if the girl probably couldn't see her face as well, she smiled at the girl. “Well, like I said, I didn't mean to disturb you, so I'll leave you alone if you want the arena for yourself for now.”

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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Guest on Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:55 am

((Sorry to double post and to disturb the flow, but I realise I had posted there that it was Lauren's first time seeing your character. Since you're the Augur, Lauren would've seen you before, but I had completely forgotten about that ugh. Anyway, can we pretend I didn't write that and instead make it so that it's too dark for Lauren to recognise and see Ronnie clearly? Lauren's nearsighted and wasn't wearing glasses/contact lenses, so that could also be a reason. Really sorry for the trouble. T_T))

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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Ronnie Riley on Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:06 am

((Hey don't worry about it! As of right now, Ronnie is the unofficial Augur - as in, she's recognizing her powers, but she hasn't been assigned yet - so, Lauren probably hasn't seen her around. She does tend to keep to herself. I'm working all day today but I'll reply within the next two. Sorry for the brief wait but I can't wait to respond and I will with haste xP))
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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Ronnie Riley on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:24 am

Most demigods became overjoyed with their claimings and delighted in their new powers (at least the idea of them). It was invigorating to try and master them and adrenaline always had a way of jolting your senses on the first couple of tries. However, Ronnie couldn’t help but question – why Janus? Was it a test? Of all the powers she could have had, she was forced with visions from the past and future and never given a moment’s peace in the present. Janus’ heads looked both ways. Why not straight ahead? After the confusion and annoyance with her past, Ronnie forced herself to stop living there years ago. As far as the future, that didn’t matter. She was a demigod and she was going to die at some point. Sooner rather than later. Life now, as she lived it around her, minute by minute, that’s what mattered. But it was hard to realize that that is what truly mattered with all the confusing images swirling in and out of her mind.

What was Ronnie’s subconscious trying to tell her? Tossing out dangerous memories every this way and that. From the outside, that particular vision would seem like nothing, but the girl Ronnie was before arriving at camp not long ago was a person that gave her power and was fueled solely off of it. Not that she was power hungry, but the manipulation and the mystery gave her a dangerous sort of power that placed her above others. Though she couldn’t care less about how they felt or whatever, the fact in of itself that she used to be so different made her feel stuck, for lack of a better word. To put it simply, it gave her an annoying knot in the middle of her stomach that was uncomfortable and she didn’t know what to do about it or how to make it go away. The problem was (she assumed and deep down truly understood), that she knew how easy it would be for her to go back to that and fall into that pattern again. Yes, she was living, but Ronnie was not as alive as the power made her think she was.

And there she was again; caught up in things she was wasting her time being completely fixated on. The sky above was breathtaking and the cool of her died sweat made the air around her feel just right. This was a perfect moment. Ronnie blamed her powers for getting in the way. At the moment, it felt like she would never get to live her life the way she wanted to again without gaining complete control of her new powers. Why had they never been as much of an issue before she got claimed?

That’s when she noticed the figure and called out to it.
As soon as Ronnie spoke, she stood and the figure illuminated itself into the form of a girl. The form of a shorter, cute Asian girl at that. The bright haired teenager did have a weakness for slighter girls – and brown hair in general. (What was it? The way it perfectly framed blue eyes and had a simplistic way of illuminating brown eyes?) Realizing that the girl was no threat and that she clearly wasn’t a Centurion (or worse), Ronnie sat back down and took another sip of her water. As the girl continued talking, she slipped out of her shoes only to place them by her water and walk closer to the now less distanced shorter, cute, Asian girl. How about SCA for short. It suited her. SCA was saying that she was leaving – but Ronnie was already invested – and oh, how the breeze felt nice on her sore feet.

All qualms of the previous vision and the thoughts following it were now forgotten.
”Sorry if I alarmed you or caught you on the way to something. If you are, by all means go right ahead. But I was actually calling it quits for the day.” Here, Ronnie paused for a minute. It was uncharacteristic of her to talk to, well, to talk to other people besides the ones she was directly fascinated by (or people like her new brother. Well, even though she was expected to talk to him and she valued having a friend, he certainly was fascinating in his own little ways – but that was another subject entirely). Alas, the deed was already done. Ronnie had spoken to SCA and it was now up to the girl whether or not to walk away. At any rate, it seemed like they might be walking back to the barracks together so she might as well make it interesting. Speaking (in this case; thinking) of, Ronnie then realized that she wasn’t able to read this girl yet. It wasn’t easy for her to spot a cohort. Surely not fourth… unless… ”come to think of it, I haven’t seen you around yet. I don’t get out too much and could be very wrong, but are you pretty new to Camp Jupiter?”
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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Guest on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:27 pm

As Lauren saw the girl more clearly, she tried to not be too thrilled. For one, the tall redhead girl was really pretty. She was toned and had perfect skin. She had an innocent-looking face, but her deep, reticent eyes showed that naïve would be the last word you'd use to describe her. No doubt about it, she was totally Lauren's type. Lauren wasn't sure how, but she saw a bit of herself in the other girl. Perhaps it was the unreadable eyes. Perhaps it was also the fact that, like Lauren, the other girl seemed to have a creative and determined soul. Whenever Lauren met girls like her, she usually saw them as either rivals (if they were really pretty and smart but had a one-track mind) or, well, she hated how juvenile the word was, but if they had a certain je ne sais quoi then she would see them as her latest crush. Lauren didn't see this other girl as a rival. She was too intriguing. Her eyes looked like she had a million stories, none of which could possibly bore Lauren. Lauren felt excitement rush through her. Oh my gods, Lauren, get it together, she scolded herself. Just about a week in camp and you're already interested in someone. You need some serious self-restraint lessons, girl.

But even if Lauren could try to get the first reason to be thrilled out of her mind, there was a second reason. And it came in the form of the other girl actually talking to her and looking like she didn't mind having a conversation with Lauren. The girl apologised for alarming Lauren. Lauren smiled and shook her head. “It's cool,” Lauren shrugged. “I really should be the one apologizing. But well, seems like there's no harm done on either sides, so...” Her voice trailed off as she smiled. No harm done, indeed, the voice in her head leered. But there was harm done. Lauren had originally planned to just retrieve her sunglasses and go back to the barracks (and maybe grab some soda from the mess hall along the way) but now Lauren found herself stalling, as if maybe there was a chance she and the other girl could walk back to the barracks together. She had mentioned calling it quits for the day, after all. If they ended up walking together, maybe they could talk along the way, and well, that would be such a relief because Lauren is new to camp and needs guidance from people who have been there longer than her. Sure, keep convincing yourself you are innocent, the voice in her head drawled.

The redhead asked her if she was pretty new to camp. Oh, was it that obvious? Lauren then realized that the community was just really small, so it would be easy for a newbie to stand out. “Yeah, I'm pretty new here. Actually, I got here just last week. But well, I haven't been going out much as well, and I've been made to clean the baths once because of skipping scheduled training. Your detention style here is rather fascinating.” Lauren realized she was blabbing and chuckled. “Oh, sorry. Bad blabbing habit. How about you? I take it you've been here for quite a while now?”

Around them, Lauren could hear the demigods and Lares walking around and probably getting ready for dinner. Except for their dinner over at the mess hall, the activities for the day were over, so now the demigods were hanging out with their friends and checking out the pastries and other goods from the various peperino brickwork stores around Camp Jupiter. Lauren had heard of how Camp Jupiter was previously in California, and how it was much larger there, with a bustling New Rome full of Roman demigods and legacies who have decided they wanted to stay in Camp after serving as legionnaires. Looking around, Lauren felt like Chihiro in Spirited Away. The beautiful architecture of the stores were enhanced by the lanterns illuminating the camp, casting shadows and giving the camp a soft, hazy yellowish glow. The Romans were often said to be artistically medicore compared to the Greeks, but the artistry of the lanterns, the painted walls and the general design of this new Rome showed otherwise. Lauren could smell food everywhere. There was the smell of marinara sauce, of espresso coffee and other smells that made Lauren's stomach feel ridiculously empty. For all her complaints about the Romans being too straightlaced sometimes, Lauren couldn't help but love the Romans for the beauty that surrounded her right now. Despite knowing it was a cliché line, Lauren gave the other girl a lopsided smile and spoke. “Gorgeous view over here. It makes even an arena look like Versailles, doesn't it?”

At that moment, Lauren would've considered everything to be perfect, if only... no. Lauren decided she wouldn't think about her still unanswered questions. However, it was embarrassing to introduce herself as Lauren Natsuki, unclaimed demigod. The one thing she was grateful for in Roman demigod culture was how, here, they cared more about your skills and contributions than who your Olympian parent was. Knowing she'd eventually have to introduce herself anyway, Lauren decided to just get on with it. This girl wouldn't think any less of her, would she? Lauren found herself really hoping she wouldn't. Lauren flipped her hair and held out her hand. Lauren normally wasn't into formalities, but she had started to observe them after entering Camp Jupiter. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. “I'm Lauren. Lauren Natsuki. Daughter of some Olympian. I don't really know who, to be honest. First Cohort's resident new girl. And you are?”

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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Ronnie Riley on Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:47 pm

It was absolutely breathtaking and maybe even a little formidable how quickly the light in the sky faded. It seemed like only a few seconds ago that Ronnie was twirling her instrument of death in a bright sunset. Really, it had been minutes, but there was still an unexplainable feeling of awe when Ronnie looked around for a minute again, and realized that night had fallen.
Just like that.

Once she had approached the girl, some of the first words out of her mouth suggested that she had a laid back nature. ”Yeah, no harm at all. Where were you on the way to? I’m going to head back to camp in a minute. If you’ll wait for me to gather my weapon, why don’t we walk together. Make use of this chance, not-so-alarming meeting. To be honest, I was worried you were one of the Praetors. I have a very… different way of fighting and after blowing off most of my duties I don’t want to bring any more attention to myself.”

After her previous comment, SCA easily brought a chuckle to toy with the corners of her lips by noting the detention style. ”Agreed. That’s why I find it in my best interest’s to keep my head down… so to speak.’

‘Well, first weeker, huh? I’d be happy to give you some pointers, show you some good places to get away when the chaos of so much order starts to eat you, and help you with your weapon choosing, etcetera. Mind you, I might take offence if you decline. This isn’t an offer I give up to just any old noob.”
Even though Ronnie’s humor was of the driest variety, she figured that the girl would notice it. After all, she seemed to act and think in similar ways to herself from what Ronnie had gathered so far. ”And yehh, I’m nearing year one I believe. Nine months? It all kinda runs together after a little while. Time doesn’t really move here.”

SCA or S.C.A. (like SZA, one of Ronnie’s new band interests; quite the coincidence,) was looking into her eyes. On first glances, most people looked away if they found each other’s eyes for more than a few seconds (especially if the two were strangers), but this girl held her gaze. The thought never crossed Ronnie’s mind to look away briefly out of “politeness”, but it seemed for a moment that the two were in a trance just from one look. The light of the moon perfectly found little nests in her hair to light up. However, though Ronnie assumed that SCA was finding something in her own eyes, she couldn’t see further because a full moon was reflecting brilliantly off of her eyes. Breaking the connection, Ronnie twisted her bare feet in the soft grass and turned her body to the moon behind her. It was full ((true story, go outside tonight)). It was brilliant. A halo of yellow, orange and purple seemed to ripple out of the center of the moon onto the surrounding clouds in a circular dark rainbow. ”Woah,” Ronnie stated simply. ”Hate to break the flow of introduction, but look at the moon…” She wanted the girl to appreciate it’s beauty for a moment before she turned back and said calmly, ”as beautiful as that is, I preferred seeing it reflected off your eyes.”

Well, that took the mystery out of things. It was much more uncommon these days for Ronnie to be forward, but she had nothing to lose. The warm touch of passion was one she had been craving, and Ronnie wasn’t interested in any new friendships. She had given the girl a lot of leg room. It would be easy enough for her to be ‘in a hurry.’ She could be unable to stay another minute for Ronnie to retrieve her things. Or, she could have felt something with that stare and be curious for more. Seduction by the iris was the most deadly.

As Ronnie spoke of the beauty of the sky, the cute Asian brought up the beauty of the architecture. How similar were they? Following her gaze, Ronnie saw what she was looking at and smiled. It was beautiful but something she grew to take for granted months ago. That was something she was constantly afraid of. Beauty was everywhere and immersing herself in it was what filled her lungs with life at this place – not smoke and touch, power and alcohol… but the moment she took it all for granted… the moment she stopped getting goose bumps from the starry skies (the milky way was visible tonight) would be the moment that control was lost entirely.

Torches lined the far wall. The flame danced up it, bright and alive and crackling with energy, then in less than a blink, it turned to the black of the night. The shadow of it was red. It wasn’t as alive, but it danced in the same way that the pure energy did. The past was like that shadow.
Breath coming out quickly at the beginning of her words to express appreciation, Ronnie said, ”yeah. It’s something.”

Slowly she turned back to beauty before her, and saw an outstretched hand. Taking it, Ronnie shook. She liked the warmth and softness of this girl’s, Lauren’s, hand. But her shake stopped abruptly and Ronnie repeated, ”first cohort? Well, well.” This made Ronnie think that there was an untapped strength and power inside this girl that she didn’t show outwardly. Now Ronnie was intrigued.

”I’m Ronnie. If you must know, fourth cohort, daughter of Janus Praeditos. To me, titles are of the least importance. Luckily I've never been used to being around like-minded people.”
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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:25 pm

Fortuna or whoever must have been on Lauren's side tonight, because it turns out the redhead was also on her way back to the barracks. Lauren chuckled as the redhead said she was afraid Lauren was one of the praetors. ”The day I become a praetor is the day Camp Jupiter falls to ashes or something worse,” she said. She may know how to fight and like being a leader, but Lauren didn't think she could handle the responsibility of praetorship. That was a job best left for demigods who can sacrifice fun things, like running into really attractive girls and striking up a conversation with them. ”I'm curious about that fighting style of yours, though. Mine's kinda different as well, but I'm also trying to get used to the Legionnaires' fighting style. We should train together one of these days.”

The redhead offered to show Lauren around camp and help her adjust to the life there, and talked about how she would take offence if Lauren declined. Lauren smiled, her eyebrows partly raised as she listened to the redhead's offer. As if she would decline an offer from such a hottie. “Well then, I'm definitely taking up your offer, and I'm honoured to be shown around by you. The good places for getting away would be particularly nice—I've taken to just chilling in my bunk, but I bet you would know much nicer places.” Lauren had almost let on about how she had taken to hanging out at Camp Half-Blood sometimes, but as nice as this redhead seemed, she wasn't exactly sure how Roman demigods reacted to their fellow legionnaires liking the other camp a bit too much. She figured they wouldn't exactly be thrilled about it.

Lauren found herself distracted from her distracting thoughts (if that was even possible) as she realized the redhead was holding her gaze. The redhead turned to look at the moon for a while. She commented on its beauty then said something that made Lauren smile that half-smirk, lopsided smile she had been copying from the great Natalie Dormer. The redhead had just straight up flirted with her, just as she had used the “gorgeous view” line. There was no going back now, they've definitely made their intentions clear. It was as if the referee had said “En garde. Prêt. Allez!” All that's left now is to see how this bout goes. Lauren internally swatted thoughts of fencing as if they were flies. Quit waxing philosophical and focus on the hottie in front of you, she scolded herself. And then she found she couldn't not pay attention anymore, because as they introduced themselves, the redhead suddenly stopped shaking her hand. “First cohort? Well, well,” the redhead who introduced herself as Ronnie looked at Lauren, as if she was now aware of something she had not noticed about Lauren. Meanwhile, Lauren kept thinking about Ronnie's name, and how much she liked it. She had a feeling it would be a name to add to her mind's favourite topics.

”Glad to know you don't care much about stuff like that. Well, it is a pleasure to meet you, Ronnie,” said Lauren as she pushed her hair back from her forehead. She wished she had run into Ronnie wearing a better outfit (and not drenched in sweat due to training), but she figured she could maybe just make the most out of the sexy after-training look. Ronnie had the same look on her, which Lauren found she really liked. She didn't mean to stare again, but she couldn't help admire just how fit Ronnie was. With her height and great legs, she really could be a model if she wanted to. Lauren remembered her huge crush on Amy Pond from Doctor Who, and how in a way, Ronnie reminded her of Amy. Redhead? Check. Tall and long-legged? Check. Natural charmer? Check times ten. And this gorgeous girl happened to be flirting with her, which was something Lauren found difficult to wrap around her head. Maybe genders and all that stuff didn't matter as much anymore in Camp Jupiter, but back in Japan Lauren had to be careful with her crushes on girls. It just wasn't normal over there. For once, Lauren felt like she was really allowed to be herself.

“About those places you said you could show me—would it be too early to take you up on your offer as soon as, say, now? Dinner tonight's smelling particularly good, but I could honestly do without the noise of the mess hall.” Lauren winced as she thought of how, despite being arranged into different cohorts instead of letting them sit with friends, the demigods still managed to make some noise. Then again, maybe that only annoyed her because she had yet to make friends with the people from her cohort. They seemed to be training most of the time, plus they didn't have anyone like Ronnie. Attractive people were a dime a dozen, but Ronnie certainly was a rare jewel. Despite their similarities, Lauren found Ronnie quite unpredictable. And though that should've been daunting for Lauren, she liked the thrill of getting to know her, and probably knowing that she cannot and never will figure Ronnie out. But if she did? Well, that will still be surprising, and a fun ride nevertheless.

“Anyway, the sky's looking really great tonight. It would be a shame to eat indoors when you can enjoy tonight's full moon, don't you think? Life's too short for dining the boring way,” Lauren's eyes twinkled with a hint of mischief as she looked at Ronnie.

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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Ronnie Riley on Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:55 pm

Though Ronnie knew very well that this younger, short and quite cute Asian was only implying humor with her comment on becoming a Praetor, a similar thought ran through Ronnie’s mind: ’yeah, and the sky will start falling if I ever become Augur’. This created a lump (that felt like the size of her fist) in the bright-haired demigod’s throat. Precisely that was why she took precautions that a Centurion or Praetor wouldn’t see her fighting even though it probably didn’t matter to them. This is why Ronnie had started to become much more attentive to her duties and started attending the masses. If possible, she was attempting to do the bare minimum that she needed to do that would result in her staying under the radar and would keep her separated enough from the rest of camp that if she would have an uncontrollable Janus power vision, a make scene wouldn’t be made of it. The images she saw involved darkness, a woman in white, death, and a small boy. But what did it mean? These thoughts led to another dilemma that Ronnie was faced with: what if camp really was at stake and by keeping this to herself, she was putting the camp in more danger than it would be if she fessed up? Even though having this foresight was something she wanted nothing of, Ronnie would hurt people if she didn’t learn to control it. And that’s why she spent sleepless nights in the library trying to find a word, sentence, or paragraph that would help her. Now, she was beginning to think that there wasn’t anything out there. For the first time, the thought of trying to talk to her father came to her mind. This was something she had never even considered before. Would he be able to help her?

Physically jolting out of her thoughts, something she hated (why was she so out of it today? Right now she was being the opposite of present), Ronnie heard Lauren ask to train with her. ”I would love that,” the young woman replied, all too quickly. In that situation, she should have at least pretended to think about a reply. ”Yeah, I get you. I participate in unit training but I can’t stand parameters. Fighting isn’t something you read in a book or an instruction manual and translate onto the battle field. Fighting is…” Here Ronnie stopped herself, thankfully. That was about to take a sharp turn down hippie lane. ”…Fighting should be exclusive per person and adjusted to what they’re comfortable with - - as long as it’s effective enough that they can both defend themselves and meaningfully attack.” The last bit left her in a shrug of the shoulders. As a first cohort legionnaire, Ronnie didn’t expect Lauren to understand, but she wasn’t searching for anyone’s approval so that didn’t matter to her.

Unsure of what Lauren was trying to imply (if anything) when she was talking about where to go in camp, Ronnie didn’t allow the confusion show on her face. ”Well, that will soon change.” Ronnie wanted to voice that she would show her to the rope swing that she made by herself in order to get her brother outside for once and get a glimpse of the world from Ronnie’s perspective. But she was able to contain herself. It would prove better as a surprise.

”The pleasure is mine, Lauren.” Well okay… there was a phrase she’d never said before. Even if saying her name out loud felt nice against the back of her teeth. It was true, the phrase. If she got it right… Was it the pleasure is all yours? Maturity and prudence were things that Ronnie thought highly of, but speaking like she was sixty was something entirely different. From Lauren’s tone, the daughter of Janus assumed that she didn’t care about titles either. How peculiar! It was delicious. This girl didn’t fit. She wasn’t like the others. Given, Ronnie wasn’t either (and neither was any of third cohort, but they all seemed to fit with each other), but she wasn’t expecting it from this ’legionnaire of the first cohort.’ She must be experiencing a very similar change to the one that Ronnie had when moving into and not-so-adapting/fitting into Camp Jupiter 2.0. Most of the time she found solace on the Greek side of camp. There was much more land and places to get away from everything. After a few months of this, Ronnie had become very comfortable with silence, something she never really understood prior.

What Lauren said next caused Ronnie to think for a moment. ”Well, the places I was intending to show you are much more satisfactory in the daylight. Though,” Ronnie had no intent to pass up the offer, ”I could show you to some of the places I go at night. I’m sure you’ve been to The Sound already… but with a full moon like this, the water will be breathtaking. I spend a lot of time in the library at night – not necessarily even reading – it’s just a nice quiet place to be. Must nicer than attending evening mass. My brother and I go there often just to get away and talk or joke or, just, do whatever. But since I just finished The Return of the King, I need another project to start.” Realizing she was rambling slightly, she tried to think of somewhere else that would be nice at camp. But Lauren interrupted her thoughts by suggesting a nightly picnic; at least, it seemed like that’s where she was going with it. If Ronnie’s dive was too shallow, she was certainly eager to correct it.

”Actually, there’s something I’ve been meaning to do. Not many people go there because apparently the Greek’s stables are much more extravagant, but we have stables too. Fancy an evening ride?” Thinking of a particular Disney song, a hidden chuckle morphed into, ”sounds fairly Aladdinesque don’tcha think? We could bring food there – it’s in the outskirts of camp. It’ll be plenty quiet.”  ’Maybe set up camp on the roof?’ Ronnie almost voiced. She could already scope out a memorable evening in her mind. As she turned to see a particular glint in Lauren’s eyes that Ronnie desired to see more of, she speculated that maybe this evening would take a steeper dive than she thought. The Asian had turned her flirting around to ’hey, let’s get out of here.’ If that wasn’t a good sign, she didn’t know what was. At any rate, she seemed like a fun person to keep around even if those weren’t her intentions. It would be foolish of Ronnie to push her boundaries too quickly.

((To procrastinate writing a three page paper, writes a 1000+ word reply instead. Classic.))
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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Guest on Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:44 pm

As if Ronnie couldn't surprise her more, the girl spoke about how your fighting style should be more suited to your individual strengths and not according to a rulebook. It was very reasonable, very open-minded, and also very graecus. Though surprised, the Asian was definitely pleased to have found someone who shared her opinion. She had been very careful about it (and most of her opinions in general), being from the First Cohort. But while she respected the Roman discipline and sense of duty and honour, she also thought some things needed to change. For instance, she thought that Romans should have fun as much as they work hard. After all, there was that proverb about all work and no play. Sometimes Lauren felt as if everyone in Camp only cared about getting better at fighting and being part of a legion, and that reminded her of the overworked kids who ended up getting depressed in Japan. The discipline system can be extremely harmful when followed too rigidly. She wondered if Ronnie was a safe person to voice her opinions to, then she decided someone like Ronnie wouldn't really bother with backbiting. Lauren didn't know why she thought that, maybe she was just being either biased or hopeful. But she gave it a shot anyway. ”You're right about fighting,” she said. ”I mean, that's why we have different fighting styles and martial arts. Unity in fighting is cool and all but, it's not like we chose who our parents would be, and if we'd end up Greek or Roman.” Lauren was surprised at the hint of bitterness in her last sentence. Maybe she was just tired and needed food.

She remembered Alex, and how angry he was at his Olympian parent when she met him at the Sound. The thought of Alex made Lauren feel a bit guilty, but it's not like they were already in an exclusive relationship just because they comforted each other and ended up making out. They were what Lauren called makeout buddies. The Asian waved the guilt away and tried to focus on Ronnie. Here she was with a gorgeous girl. Lauren was technically single, and she was young. Why worry about stuff that complicated life and hindered you from enjoying it? At the thought of Ronnie showing her around, Lauren smiled. It did feel rather Aladdinesque. She tried not to think too much about how that technically meant Ronnie would be Aladdin, and Lauren would be Jasmine. It wasn't a bad analogy though, considering last week she had just been comparing her and Alex to Season 1 Buffy and Angel. That affair didn't end up well. At least Jasmine and Aladdin had a happily ever after. Lauren knew that there was no such thing, but the hopeless romantic in her still wished she could have it someday. For now, she decided she'll enjoy this moment with Ronnie.

“That is très Aladdinesque, indeed,” Lauren nodded. She looked up at the sky for a bit, making sure it was as clear as ever. Weather was technically controlled at both Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-Blood, but since they were going to the outskirts it could be different there. When she saw no signs of nimbus clouds or even just the slightest bit of thick cloud formations, she took that as a go signal.

”The sky seems clear tonight everywhere, and as long as you're okay with not hanging out at the library then I'm totally up for that. Although, we should hang at the library sometime. You just said Return of the King, didn't you? Gods, I love that book. Well, The Lord of the Rings in general.” Lauren realized she was geeking out now, but she didn't care. She hadn't really been able to geek out with anyone since entering camp. Since life was so different at camp, Lauren sometimes felt as if no one bothered to read about adventures because they were all busy having adventures themselves. But while things still seemed to be relatively peaceful at camp, Lauren thought it was important to keep being updated on literature and pop culture. Pre-camp, she listened to audiobooks to deal with the dyslexia problem. Her gadgets were long gone now, but thankfully the library had Latin translations. There were also older demigods who sometimes helped them cope better with dyslexia so that they could enjoy books. Fortuna bless those demigods, she thought. ”So, what did you think of it? The Two Towers was epic, but Return of the King broke my heart. Hmm. We should totally exchange book recommendations lists. You have excellent taste in books, so I'd love to know more about what you read. Have you ever read Ursula K. Le Guin's stuff? She's my favourite author.”

The thought of an evening ride now sounded like the best idea ever now that Lauren knew she could flirt with Ronnie and geek out. Those two things usually didn't go together in her experience, although perhaps that meant she was flirting with the wrong people. It felt really nice to know someone who appreciated good books as much as they appreciated having a good time. As much as Lauren cared for humanity, she had a low opinion of them most of the time. People were always trying to one-up each other and lived their lives thinking only of trivial things. Now Lauren began to understand why Ronnie was such a breath of fresh air. She was smart, but not snobby. She also looked like she could keep up with fashion and all the trendy stuff, but she wasn't superficial. She was also really honest with herself, which is something Lauren really liked. Even if this flirtation ended up as nothing but just that, she was glad to have met Ronnie. She found herself really wanting to become good friends with this girl at least.

Realizing the praetor or the centurions might find them there, Lauren thought it was probably best to leave soon. She didn't want to be caught there and made to clean the weapons and armor as a punishment for loitering. This Asian had done enough cleaning for the Romans, thank you very much. ”So, shall we leave your weapons at the barracks then get food? I really don't want the praetor and centurions to find us her.” Lauren gave Ronnie and sidelong glanced and smiled mischievously. Hoping the other girl would get her reference, Lauren did her best Snape impression. ”We ought to be more careful. People will think we're up... to something.

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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

Post by Ronnie Riley on Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:25 am

As if seeing the girl mentally take a step back, Ronnie could sense the hint of surprise on her face as the cute Asian mentioned fighting. Yes, Ronnie knew that she was different from any other Roman and that it was a terrible choice to share this information with another, a higher up one too. Huh, image that. Even though Lauren had only been at camp for about two weeks, others already viewed her as higher than Ronnie. Though the “cohort stereotypes” had allegedly blown over in the past few years, Ronnie could still see it with everyone. The difference with Lauren was that she hadn’t grown into her title yet. The beginnings of a smile pursed the demigod’s lips as she heard Lauren agree with her about fighting. Part of Ronnie had no doubt that she would, at least to some extent, but she wasn’t certain whether or not the girl would address it. But so it seemed, she continued, and further disproved Ronnie’s premonitions. Clearly standard and title didn’t matter to her either. This meant that the two of them could be free of it when they were together. That was a nice thought. ”Can’t say I’m surprised, but if I may be so bold: you also seem like the type that would fit in more with the Greeks?” She posed it as a question though the both of them knew it really wasn’t. ”I felt the same way when I first arrived. It took me a few months to get over, but I’ve long since accepted my fate. And demigods like us get a unique perspective – we have a foot planted in each camp. You’ll probably make friends as close here at Camp Jupiter 2.0 as with a Greek or two.”

Offhand, Ronnie noticed that presence had lost Lauren for a moment. Surely thinking of something, her eyes were slightly downcast. Wanting to see those deep brown eyes again that the daughter of Janus knew held some deeper meaning, she commented without thinking about it, ”hey, chin up.” Further surprising herself, Ronnie lightly grabbed the smaller demigod’s chin between her thumb and curled forefinger and slowly lifted up until she met Lauren’s eyes. ”We’re going to make tonight one to remember.” Cracking a smile, she held Lauren’s face there for a moment before lightly moving her thumb to the bit of skin right below her bottom lip. Blithely, she moved her thumb slowly left and right, outlining Lauren’s lips with her skin and painting it into the canvas of her memory. To be honest, Ronnie didn’t know why she did this or what motivated her to, but as soon as Ronnie brought her hand back to her side, she missed the softness of Lauren’s skin. After pursuing Scar, the 6’4 burly legionnaire from Lauren’s cohort, smooth and soft made Ronnie’s heart beat a little faster. Scar – Saarpedon’s skin was hard. Muscles rippled beneath her hands when she touched him, but people like Jan… females like Lauren… their taste, their feel would tantalize Ronnie’s mind for days to come.

Though Ronnie heard well what Lauren had said, she found herself mumbling, ”hmm?” Oh, Latin. It seemed so natural and indistinct that it took Ronnie a moment to hear that it sounded different. ”Indeed. Totus novus orbis terrarum.” She chuckled and then left it at that. Anything more and she could foresee them bursting into Disney songs.
Foresee.
Why did that word have to seem so bitter? It was harmless. Just that – a word. Seven letters. And yet Ronnie hated that she thought it. Though it wasn’t a serious thought, she had accidentally touched on a topic that was admittedly very serious in her life right now. When would it all be over? Would it ever be over?

As Lauren mentioned a clear sky, Ronnie tipped her head up to the stars as well. This was one of her favorite nightly pastimes whenever her eyes weren’t strained over a pointless book about bird flight patterns or zodiac symbols. Unfortunately, it seemed that her search for clarity had hit a stand still. The young woman prided herself in being able to name forty-two… no, forty-four constellations now confidently. Albeit, the book she had learned them from mostly gave the Greek names of the star patterns, though both stories were the same. Once they got to the outskirts of camp and the light faded into that of only the bright full moon, Ronnie made a mental note to dazzle Lauren with some of this knowledge.

But that knowledge would definitely be saved for later, because she could not pass up the opportunity to talk about The Lord of the Rings when it was presented to her. ”Woah wait, you’ve read it? Most people are just into the movies and are incompetent when I try to discuss the book with them. What’s your favorite part? “The Return of the King” is my favorite of the series. I know, it’s a strange one – most people think that it’s too slow.” She thought of “The Two Towers.” It was hard to find a place to start talking about that one… it was so packed with action. An inordinate amount of it was left out from the movie. ”Actually… come with me. We might as well start walking because we’ve literally burned daylight.” Turning on her bare heel, Ronnie walked back to her weapon without an explanation. Quickly, though, they reached her things and she stood her axe up on the ground. ”Check it out. Had it custom made. Most of the weapons you see around here won’t be too much like this unless you go to the Greek armory. A Vulcan kid got angry with me for toting around a Greek blade, so he customized this Roman one.” It was tall and slim for an axe. Lighter than one a dwarf would carry, but taller than both (the dwarf and the axe). The design wasn’t flashy, in fact, most of it was just carved in the wood, but it looked like something Gimli and Legolas would have gotten together and created. It had the perfect mix of elvish (of Mirkwood) and dwarfish.  

”Can’t say I’ve heard of her, but I’m looking for a new book, so I’d love to check out some of her works. Currently, I’m hooked on David Mitchell. On this later visit to the library that we speak of, I would love to exchange favorite titles. It’s nice to talk to someone about what you’re reading every once in a while. I haven’t gotten this chance in a while.”

Grabbing her water bottle and shoes, she did her best to keep them as far away as possible from either of their noses. Why had she worn them in the first place? ”Yeah, I think you’re right,” Ronnie stated awkwardly as she swished water back to empty the bottle and toss it.
Just as she had grabbed her axe, Mithrandir, and began walking out of the Arena, Lauren’s impression of Snape had her laughing, honest to gods laughing for the first time in ages. It was a sound she hadn’t heard in a long while. It wasn’t the playful laughter she and Dante tossed at each other whenever they spent time together; it was the unexpected kind that found its way out from your stomach. ”I would try and throw in a sly and “coy” comment about the probability of us actually being …up… to something, but maybe it’s a little too late for that?” So much for coming across as cool, calm, and collected.

The time passed quickly on their walk to the fourth cohort barrack as Ronnie asked questions about both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings such as, ’who are your favorite characters' and tossing in, ”mine are Faramir and Gollum, Snape and the Ginny from the books(!), of course.” Before she knew it, they had arrived and her shoes and weapon were tossed onto her bottom bunk. Unfortunately her brother was not at his normal resting space above her. No matter. She quickly grabbed a blanket to lie out on and headed over to the Mess Hall. ”I think most everyone should be gone by now.”
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Re: Where is my mind? ((OPEN))

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