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Do You Remember What the Stars Looked Like? (Harebourg and Sylargh)

By Deviched#4401 - MEMBER - August 11, 2016, 03:22:03

What up dawg. I wish I could write faster, but have an old favorite of mine! All forms of criticism is encouraged!

Ao3 link for easier reading: Click here

Word Count: 2434

The Count rushes his engineer, quickly wrapping a thicker coat around them and buttoning up the garment before the imp could even fit in his arms. "We mustn't dally, Sylargh. It's rare for us to have weather patterns like this." Raising from one knee, Harebourg circles around the imp to further inspect if the jacket was enough for tonight, not that it was as cold as he's aware Frigost could be, but he had to make sure it was suitable for starting outside in long increments.

Frigost had never seen a break from the eternal winter such as today, which was all the more reason for him to get the mechanic outside as fast as possible, to share the phenomenon.

Stifling a muffled grunt, Sylargh shakes down his coat to align an arm in its proper place in the jacket. "What are we going outside for, boss?" The engineer bends over to tighten his boots for outside travel, though unsure of what the venture may lead to, especially this late at sundown, he's not one to doubt his master.

"Think of it as a breather from your usual line of work-- now come." Harebourg pats the imp forwards when he returned to a standing position to further encourage them to move.

Though initially without hesitation, Sylargh realizes that there would undoubtedly be snow outside, and inevitably, snowflakes. The child whimpers and shows resistance against Harebourg's hand, horrified by the prospects of facing his fears once more. "But what about the snow?" his voice raises in pitch in the middle of his sentence as his anxieties grew. He's missed a word, but hopes that the man would understand his concerns anyway.

"Snowflakes are at their lowest in spawn at 'dusk', especially today, Sylargh." Harebourg reassures the distraught boy.

Though time was no longer a working element of Frigost, they still had a day and night cycle just as the rest of the World of Twelve, if the clouds that bury Frigost in its isolated dome would allow such a sight.

He steps aside and strides over to the exit, awaiting near the door with his foot tapping on the wooden floor with a need of haste. "You have my word, you need not fear."

With a huff of anticipation, the boy finishes clipping the remaining the series of buttons up to his collar and props up his hood to cover his head before trotting over to the Count, prompting the man to push the door open and step outside onto the icey ground. He holds the door open until the engineer also exits the workshop and stands on the snow covered floor, letting the door reel itself back in place as the boy idles by his side, awaiting for further orders. "It's to the north of here, near the Water Tower," Harebourg stated as he began walking, not adding any further information.

The engineer follows suit, sinking his feet into the snow that reached up to cover his entire foot, cringing slightly upon each step in the ice that was loud enough to crack, but he'll pull through under the guidance of his master. It's been literal ages since the boy had stepped outside, not only he preferred it, but he never had to leave the safety and warmth that his workshop offered with open arms, surrounded by his precious robots that would chirp as they detected his mechamulet.

Sighing at the temporary loss of such comfort, he thinks about their destination instead to distract himself from the tundra. Things were nearly exactly as he's remembered it since the first signs of winter, completely white, only with less of a breeze. "Boss, exactly where are we going?" he inquired, his curiosity growing as they gain more ground, doing his best to keep his gaze fixed on his gloves that were clasped in front of his jacket.

Harebourg lets out a breath of air to warm his throat before answering, "To the dock that jets out of a hill, the one that used to be a fishing area with the array of water turbines."

Sylargh's expression remains scrunched in confusion, to a lesser extent than before how that he at least has the general area. He vaguely remembers helping designing such turbines, but it was one of many. "Why are we going there?" he automatically responds, hiccuping at his tone after he's realized how he sounded, not meaning to speak to his boss in such manner.

"I want you to observe something with me," Harebourg answered, not turning around once as he kept pressing through the snow, unwavered by the boy's desire of enlightenment.

The engineer takes a moment to look up and towards the sky, much to the disdain of his conscience telling him not to. The atmosphere remains foggy as usual in Frigost, but faint orange rays of light still managed to break through the mist. Even if he didn’t know what source the light may be from, it remained a sight that he hasn't seen for as long as the winter started, lifting up his spirits lightly with the reinforcement of the absence of snowflakes. Though he rarely much as even looks outside from within his workshop, the weather today was, as Harebourg had said, extremely rare, calm, compared to the frequent snowstorms that he would see and hear through his windows each day.

With new invigoration, he picks up his pace to stay close behind the Count, but returned his sights low and onto the Count's footprints once more.

The stroll was quiet, neither party saying a word as they trudged through the tufts of ice. Sniffling from the cold, Sylargh wipes his nose with the cuff of his jacket, catching the scent of the chemicals used to make the leather underneath the cotton, a partial comforting smell that reminded him of the oils he would deal with in his workshop. When he returned his eyes in front of him again, he fails to notice the pattern shift of the indents in the snow by Harebourg's boots, accidentally slipping into the deeper crater and losing his own footing.

Harebourg pauses his tread at the sound of the sudden crackle of snow behind him and immediately turns around. "Sylargh?" He stares at the small figure whose face planted into the snow momentarily before backtracking to their aid.

Gently tugging the mechanic off the ice by the base of their hood, Harebourg pats the snow off the boy's hair as they grudgingly regain their own balance. Sylargh groans as he brushes the ice off of his sleeves, his good mood diminishing as he's reminded of the bitter, cold heart of the continent. "Boss, how close are we now?" Sylargh asks with a tone of annoyance, rubbing his eyes and pressing his hands on his face in a meager attempt to both control of his growing irritation and to stay awake. There were days that he would be able to stay up all night, prioritizing the statuses of his machinery over sleep, however, today simply wasn't his day for such disregard of rest.

"There's not much distance left," Harebourg reassures his weary mechanic, pressing a hand to the hood of his coat to urge him to walk again.

Within a few minutes, Sylargh spots a familiar dock up ahead, one that he used to feed the fish (which are no longer present) on his lunch breaks when working on the Water Clock. "Is that it?" he asks while pointing to the peer, needing confirmation that his assumptions of it being the same area that he remembers it to be were correct.

Harebourg lets the hand behind Sylargh return to his side. "Yes, that is our area of observation," the man spoke with a hint of excitement, a tone that Sylargh hadn't heard in a long time now.

Slightly perked with enthusiasm, the engineer begins to step in front of Harebourg, only slowing down when he realizes that he never asked what they would be observing from a place like this. "What are we looking for again, boss?" he asked as he waited for the xelor to catch up.

Picking up his cloak to avoid it dragging on the mix of dirt and frost that resided on the slope down to the docks, the Xelor presses onwards past the child and to the spot he wanted to occupy, just before the wood that jetted from the ground out to the frozen pond began. "We will observe the Krosmoz, my dutiful engineer," he announced as he stands on a rocky, snow covered bedding with strays of dried up, crumbling grass that sprouted in-between the cracks.

Sylargh lets out a sound of bafflement, stuttering at how to start his statement now knowing the journey's intentions until now. "Krosmoz? But boss-- I'm a mechanic, not a... krosmo-star-seeing guy?" The engineer looks up, seeing nothing but more fog blocking the 'Krosmoz' that he was supposed to be perceiving.

"Versatility is never overrated, my boy," the xelor halfheartedly comments, knowing full well that Sylargh was meant to be a specialist in machinery. "Now come down here and see for yourself."

Sylargh gradually made his way down the slanted ground, the snow was shallow in this area, making it easy to keep his traction with the boots that were built for this environment, but he still tried to be careful on the loosened dirt that laid under the ice. Once making it to the bottom, he skips over to the Count's side and looked skywards in the same direction as the other. In this particular spot, the clouds had a break in-between them, revealing its true colors behind.

As a moment of silence passes by the two, only the sound of the occasional breeze moving the feathered cloak of the Count could be heard. Harebourg hums to himself, relishing the peace of the young night.

Noticing the muteness from his engineer lasting longer then what he would've expected, he briefly tilts his head down to check on the boy next to him, awaiting and expecting for some sort of comment from the opinionated imp by now.

Sylargh stood wide eyed at the scene before him with his hands relaxed and draped by his sides, slightly extended out by resting on the bulk of his coat. His gaze constantly shifted as he finds a new collection of lights in the sky to admire. With only a faint smog of frost in his way from this angle, he could finally see the purple sky with gradients of orange, the colors that he'd forgotten existed on Frigost ever since the Eternal Winter. Among the gentle swirl of colors, there was a light blanket of stars that made themselves known the darker their backdrop became. The contrast of light and dark in one scope made him remember how fast time would've passed by on Frigost due to their location in the world compared to those along the equator.

"It's been said that the stars we see as darkness shrouds over the world are Kirlita's work to put pressure on her rival, to constantly survey them even as her day has come to pass. Some may see her actions as selfish, but to some others, her works among the horizon is art-- a gift for us as the day ends," Harebourg spoke with a sense of pride. Though his audience may not be interested in such trivial information, it was a refreshing feeling reciting thoughts he's had when life was more straightforward.

Sylargh slowly averts his attention from the scenery to the Count on his left. Though he was distracted in his own immersion to fully listen to the brief commentary, he finds himself appreciating Harebourg's casual side. "What do you think it is, boss? For herself or for us?"

"Knowing the nature of those that watch over us, it is most likely the former," Harebourg answered impassively, sighing as he recollected the memory of looking towards divinity for aid, just to see his pleas remain unanswered.

Harebourg shakes his head slightly at the pained feeling in his chest, disregarding it, seeing no reason to remain in the past. "Is this the first time you've stopped to indulge yourself on the skies of Frigost?" Harebourg had always known the child to be fast paced, a trait that shined in their profession, but as currently, all he needed from his engineer is his sense of child-like exploration.

Sylargh takes a moment to think, his gloved hand resting under his chin, trying to remember any instance of where he's slowed down enough to become mesmerized by the space above him all this time, ultimately shrugging and answering, "I don’t know, boss—I can’t remember that last time I saw stars even."

Harebourg nods at the answer, the aftermath of the Eternal Winter beginning to dawn over him. "Frigost may not be the same as we originally known it as, but at least--" Harebourg turns back to face the world above "--we remain under the same celestials as the past, along with the rest of The World of Twelve.”

They spend the next few minutes in a comfortable standstill, both letting themselves become lost in their own thoughts. It was until Sylargh yawned that Harebourg realized how late the engineer was staying up for this trip. "I believe it may be an appropriate time for you to return to your workshop, Sylargh. The clouds are returning." Their hour of vacancy has ran out; the fog that lapped around Frigost slowly filled the breach that let the stars seep in. Sighing at the finale of the event, Harebourg was still satisfied with the moment of twilight that he was able to witness, the spare minutes that was granted to Frigost, even if it was just the illusion of time.

Rubbing his eyes, Sylargh makes a small whine in agreement. "Yeah... this was really cool though. Will we see something like this again soon?" With a lingering gaze at the ever growing cloudy sky, Sylargh steps backwards and adjusts himself to face to the south, the direction of where they came from and where they will head to return back to Sylargh's workshop, and waited for Harebourg.

"There is much to be discussed in regards to if we'll be seeing an event of this stature once more, but for now, I will escort you back to your lab and we can take the discussions at a later time." The man walks to the side of the engineer and held out a hand behind him, motioning the boy to follow along with him.

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