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RP: Bahram Wing [Bahram Wing Side Story] Two Kindling Minds

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The Pixel Knight
ON, Fort Jarizas, Mazerin
Upper Lounge
Yetsava 22, 935
15:10, Commonwealth Standard Time

Zus Stretched herself on one of the myriad couches in the upper lounge, relaxing after having finished her mandatory Simulation time. She was a abit tired and just felt like relaxing, perhaps taking a nap in the warm lounge.

Oh, it feels so good to stretch my legs! thought Mu'Tasim gleefully as he strode into the Upper Lounge. A few people on their way out trailed their eyes on the Temple Guard for a moment before going out. Apparently, with all the time he spent at the Shrine he was still new to some people. His eyes scoured the room for a moment to find somewhere to sit before hitting up the kitchen, until his gaze found a familiar blonde Eyr Ranr resting on one of the couches. At first, the Guard felt like leaving her to herself, as she seemed to be tired. He pulled out the Book of Dreams that she had been wanting from under his book strap and looked at it. The book seemed to make realize how much he wanted to speak to the woman again. So, he put the back under his strap and walked over giving a warm wave, "Hello Zus!"

The Blonde Eyr Ranr craned her neck lightly to look towards the familiar voice, and, upon recognizing it's owner, she responded "Oh, Hello, Steward" With a warm smile. She remained planted where she was byt put a hand to the cushion next to hers , as if inviting him to sit.

Mu'Tasim took a seat next to her, "So I trust your simulations have been going well?"

"Just finished 'em up" She answered. "I scored fairly well, Better than my training scores by a longshot" the thin woman boasted, seeming happy. She remained relaxed, but turned her head towards the steward. "And you? what brings you out of your cave?"

"Oh, just the exciting outside world!" Mu'Tasim chuckled, moving his hands with his joke. "I grew tired of my restraining work and broke free, and now I'm living on the edge! I'm practically a wild man now, getting fresh air and all that wackiness."

"Wackiness, I'll agree with. looks like you need incense to think straight" Zus teased, chuckling at Mu'tasim's motions.

"I like to call them 'Salcra Sticks'." Mu'Tasim laughed, returning her joke.

"Salcra sticks, Eh? I thought Salcra was Illegal on bases" The girl questioned, mocking sincerity.

"It is! Though, I'm technically in a 'shrine', arn't I?" Mu'Tasim grinned, battling words with the woman.

"Ah, so that's your excuse for breaking military codes of conduct, eh?" She grnned back at him, enjoying the banter.

"Codes are nothing but a list of technicalities. Technically, I'm a steward first, and soldier second." Mu'Tasim answered cooly.

"If that's the case, then I believe you're slacking in both duties, Sir" she jested, spying what appeared to be a book in his lap "What's that there? My book?"

Mu'Tasim looked down at the Book of Dreams put to his bookstrap. "Why, yes it is!" He said, undoing the strap and presenting the book to her. It was light tan covered volume with her name printed on the bottom of the cover. "Here you are, your very own Book of Dreams."

She took the book very carefully, nodding her head in thanks and grabbing the Shrinekeeper's hand to express her grattitude, which would flow into his fingers and down his arm. Her face lit up as well, she looked like quite the happy girl.

Mu'Tasim smiled lightly, his hand instinctively gripping hers. Her gratitude made him feel warm, something he'd feel more of if he could recieve more people down at the Shrine. Yet, the return she would get would be a more fluttering feeling, almost as if accepting her thanks in a warmer way than she thanked him. The Guard would find much to say at that very moment.

Whatever it was he had to say, he wasn't fast enough to say it "Thank you for going through the trouble, Steward" she thanked, enjoying the emotions she was recieving. for no real reason, she left her hand in his.

"Oh! No trouble at all, I felt that someone who is as intended as you to learn deserves to have her own copy of the Book." Mu'Tasim nodded with a short grin.

"Well, I'll be sure to read it as well as I can. I never really did get to learn too much about the book during my childhood" Zus nodded, smiling at Mu'tasim. "So was this your only reason for being up here, or do you have other business as well?"

"I guess you could say that." Mu'Tasim shrugged with a chuckle. "I don't really have any other business."

"well I guess you wouldn't mind hanging out with Lonely 'ol me, would you?' Zus made a mock pouty face at the shrinekeeper before continuing "Reovan seems to be busy with something else so I'm kinda bored..."

"Well! I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day." Mu'Tasim smiled, gestured his hand out to continue, "Did you have something in mind?"

"Hrmmm.... How about we sit down, have ourselves a few strong drinks, and swap stories?" Zus suggested, half jokingly. "Mostly, I just want to relax."

"Sounds good to me, but I've not drank anything strong in quite a while. Though, I think I'd have a good few stories to tell." Mu'Tasim grinned and went on, "So, what would you like to drink?"

"Anything over 90 proof would probably be fine right now" The woman suggested. "So long as you're buying" She added, lightly punching his shoulder.

"Hm! I see!" Mu'Tasim chuckled playfully as he stood and walked over to the kitchen. With a quick order he was able to purchase a bottle of Veraz Minok, a 120 proof drink. He came back over with a glass with a clear-looking liquid in it and the bottle from her. "I forgot to ask." Mu'Tasim set the bottle down, "You go directly from the bottle, or do you do glasses?"

"Whichever one someone hands me, generally, though I tend to prefer opening my own bottles when I don't trust my company she said, nodding her thanks fro the bottle and opening it, holding it out as if inviting the Temple guard to a toast before she drank.

"Sounds about right." Mu'Tasim grinned tapping his glass to the side of her bottle. "Cheers."

"Cheers" Zus agreed, taking a deep swigv of the drink. "Once I finish this bottle I'll be ready for storytelling" She sannounced, laughing at herself for no real reason.

"I think after that bottle, you'll be ready to see what you ate this morning in the nearest bathroom." Mu'Tasim chuckled, a somewhat challenging tone in his voice.

"You apparently know nothing of my drinking habits, Steward" Zus grinned, taking another swig. "Why don't you go first while I 'Warm up'?"

"Well, what sort of story would you like to hear? I've got plenty." Mu'Tasim asked, taking a sip of whatever he was drinking.

"How about one that Isn't from the book of dreams?" She suggested, continuing to drink. "Haven't heard any a those form you."

"Well, there was this one time I when I was Vayshirin back in my Infantry days when I served as a Military Enforcer at one my bases. You see, I was told, if someone shows you their I.D. through a closed window of their vehicle, you break down the window of the vehicle and drag them out." Mu'Tasim said, moving his hands to the story. "Now, I was standing guard one night when this one guy comes through the checkpoint. I ask him for his I.D. and he flashes it from behind the window. So I do as my instructor told me, broke the glass, and dragged him out. Turns out it was the same instructor." The guard laughed a bit at the conclusion of his story and took another sip of his drink.

<<at one of my bases*.>>

"Hah! He should have practiced what he preached, would've saved him a window and some humiliation" Zus said, grinning. "Too bad I haven't really been in the military long enough to have much of a story like that"

"Making memories are the highpoints of life, Zus. You should be happy to know that you've got a lot of time to make them." MU'Tasim grinned back at her.

"Well then, let's hope that some day I can tell you some good stories of My own military experience" She responded, taking yet another swig. The bottle was about 2/3 empty, it wouldn't be too long now before Zus was drunk enough to tell stories.

"What kind of memories are you planning to make, exactly?" asked Mu'Tasim elbowing her a moment.

"Good ones" She answered simply. "The kind that you look back on and laugh, or something."

"Mmm, you know, you should try to remember all the swell moments, you can. You never know when a lesson life is instilled in what happens during your day, and when you can use it later." Mu'Tasim nodded sagely.

<<swell moments you can.*>>

"Mmmm. That I agree to, wholeheartedly. And the bad ones? do I try to forget those or remember them too?" She asked, turning the bottle upside-down and draining it.

"The bad ones? You can't forget the bad ones." Mu'Tasim shrugged taking another a sip from his drink, whilst admiring Zus' ability with a bottle.

"Like my last training mission?" The Iroma girl suggested.

"Training mission?" repeated Mu'Tasim. "You mean the simulation in which your superior had you eliminate your instructor?"

"Yeah, the One where That Bastard Sankhur tried to Mess with our heads." she confirmed, a little angrily.

"Yes, those are the ones we never forget." Mu'Tasim nodded lightly.

"Well, Let's hope he never forgets the 'Instructing' I gave him afterwards" She half muttered, the alcohol beginning to take full effect.

"Wait... Don't tell me you were the one who chipped off that horn of his, were you?" Mu'Tasim said with interested respect.

"I don't really remember. All I know is that he humiliated me, and so I retaliated in kind. I hope he thinks twice before talking to me now, it's the least that jerkwad deserves" She clenched a fist and looked angry for a moment before softening again and looking back at the Vaytulri "Of course, the heap he was in when I finished is one of the good memories."

Mu'Tasim laughed, patting a hand on her shoulder. "See! You got a good memory, and he got a good lesson out of it."

"That he did" Zus grinned, cracking her knuckles and ginning at Mu'tasim. "Too bad that's the only memorable memory I have from training." She finished, sobering down a little (without actually being any more sober, of course)

"Mmm, I'm guessing it's my turn now." Mu'Tasim grinned, drinking the last of what was in his glass.

"I guess you're right" Zus conceded, looking slightly morosely at her own empty bottle.

Mu'Tasim arched a brow, "Something wrong?"

"Thirsty"She answered, jokingly "Naw, but really, I might want some more soon. Maybe not a whole bottle again. You were about to start?" she suddenly changed the subject. it was odd, she was being truthful, but the alcohol was making her act like she was hiding something.

"You sure? There not more to the story you were wanting to tell?" Mu'Tasim asked.

"Nothing that I'd feel comfortable telling anyone" She said, thinking on the fact tat she had been naked at the time of teaching Sankhur his lesson.

"Mmm, well, try not to hold too many secrets to yourself, such things have driven people insane." Mu'Tasim spoke wisely.

"I'll keep that in mind" she responded, giving him a look that said 'Tell your story' without actually saying any words.

"Tell me, ever fought bandits before?" The Guard asked her, the question seemingly introducing his story.

"Thankfully, no. Very few bandits learn how to fly that well, and Airships are remarkably easy to defend" The Eyr Ranr girl answered, looking intent.

"Ah, it's not that easy on the ground, my friend, especially when they employ hit and run tactics to wear you down. Though, I remember one funny episode when I was a riding enforcer. I'm out on point of the caravan one day, and a bullet whizzes by my head." told Mu'Tasim, throwing a hand past his head to represent the bullet. "Now, I'm stunned for a moment before I get shot in the leg, about..." He pointed to his outer thigh, "Right here. With a quick glance, I spotted a group of five bandits off to the east, all aim rifles at me. So, I pull out my rifle to fire when I notice one is standing up. I squint my eyes, and think I see a grenade, so I aim for his head..." He made a motion that looked like he was aiming a rifle. "I fire, and miss head, but pin him in the arm holding the grenade. Get this, he 'drops' it, right there, and the bandits start panicking. They get up and start running every which way and the grenade explodes making them all dive into the sand for cover." Mu'Tasim laughed heartily. "Hah! They weren't exactly happy to see me when they pulled their faces out of the sand."

"Well, you can't really say they had too much of a choice after your display of impeccable marksmanship, can you?" Zus commented, smiling. It was a funny story, but she found herself feeling slightly worried at Mu'tasim mentioning getting shot.

"Well, usually, I'm a pretty good shot, but a bullet hurts no matter where you put it." Mu'Tasim chuckled again.

"Bullets aren't all too common on the Airships, though, we mostly use Laiz weapons, less weight, and easier to refill the ammunition up high" The Eyr Ranr girl commented, nodding to herself. "Why do you use chemical guns in the sands?"

"Some of us just use what we can, besides, chemical weapons are more fun to maintain, shoot, and handle." The Sund Wakir responded, wafting his hands. "Besides, the rifle wasn't the only weapon I used."

"Oh? What Other weapons did you use? Eyr Ranr tend to use things that are as simple to take care of as possible, just to ease burdens. Much less resources in the sky, really" She commented, becoming interested in the Sund Wakir's previous life.

"Sund Wakir often believe in 'gifts from the sand'. We find old weapons out on the sand, claim them for ourselves, while mixing them in with the weapons we buy from outposts." Mu'Tasim explained to her, then moving on to his weapons. "My weapons were: the rifle with a mounted beyonet; three pistols, two energy, one chemical; and scimitar."

"Scimitar?" she asked, quizzical. She had heard the term before, but no one had ever explained what it was, and her home airship didn't have any information on it. In any case, she had forgotten about it by the time she had gotten to the academy, and therefore hadn't researched anything on it.

"Hm? What, you've never heard of a scimiatar before?" Mu'Tasim seemed a little suprised.

"Heard Of, but never really knew what they were. I think it's a form of sword, but that's all I know, really." She admitted, ashamed at her lack of knowledge in something.

"Mm, then perhaps you would like to 'see' one?" Mu'Tasim suggested, a small grin appearing on his face.

"You have yours with you?" She asked, looking interested. The closes thing to a sword she had ever handled was a Failraig, but that wasn't a true sword by any standards, although it perhaps did its job better.

Mu'Tasim nodded, delighted by her interest.

"Well then, Let's see it, where are you hiding it?" She said, wonder at the man for possessing such abnormal things. He was a man of wonders, this Mu'tasim.

Mu'Tasim stood from his spot on the couch. "My room, were I seem to just stow things most of these days. I've 'hidden' it where prying eyes or hands won't easily catch notice of it."

"Ah. Clever one, you are. No one would ever think to search for treasures in the room of a Steward" She joked, grinning at the bearded man.

"Exactly!" Mu'Tasim seemed to agree with her, almost seriously.

The Vaytulri and Vayshirin left uneventfully not even bringing any stares that the guard had come in alone and was leaving accompanied. At any rate, they reached corridor E5, to room E58, Habeem Falasur's former place of residence. The corridor smelled somewhat like pleasant citrus. Mu'Tasim fiddled with his key, and turned to look at Zus as he did so. "Please excuse my mess, even with the time I've been here, I've not had the time to actually 'settle in'."

"I'm sure. You always seem busy with the Shrine." She concluded, smiling at him "It's not like messes bother me all that much, They say many of the greatest minds belong to the owners of messy rooms."

"Then I must be Paralov himself." Mu'tasim chuckled, opening the door, to reveal tornado struck looking room. Boxes were littered around the floor, several papers were strewn every which way on the desk, the bed was unmade, and there was a blaster hole in the middle of the floor. "I often wish for a chance to make this place look liveable." The Guard said, gesturing his hand to the enterance allowing Zus the first step in.

"OH certainly looks lived in, though, you must admit" She said with a chuckle, stepping into the jumble of a room. "What's with the hole in the floor? new decoration craze I'm not in on yet?" she asked, amused by the room's state.

"I had to play landlord with the previous occupant of the room." Mu'Tasim grinned, reminded of his tango with Falasur.

"I'm glad I wasn't there then, or the floor may have had more holes than one." Zus joked, looking at all the boxes and papers. "So what all is in these boxes?" she asked, curious.

"My things, mostly, some are issue from the Guard Hall here in the Ghouron Province. I'm supposed to learn more of Diplomatic Etiqutte, about multiple cultures, and other miscellaneous things that you learn whislt you are a Temple Guard. Other than that, I need you to help me find a box labeled 'Weapons'. It's a long and rectangular." Mu'Tasim said, looking around for that box.

"That actually sounds interesting." Zus said, nodding her head at the subjects Mu'tasim was to study. She began to hunt around the room with him, looking for the box. She saw what appeared to be a longer box under several smaller boxes and pointed it out "There?" she said, almost quizzically.

Mu'Tasim looked back over to where she had pointed out and he picked up the longish box, letting the smaller boxes fall off of it. "Ah! Yes, certainly feels like it!" said the Guard, strolling over to his bed and setting the box down. When he opened it, there sat a worn-looking rifle with a beyonet set next to it sitting on a stabilizing foam balls. The Guard picked up the Rifle and set it to the side, reaching into the jumple of foam, searching for something.

"If there's a bladed weapon in there I wouldn't reccomend searching blind" Zus said, looking at the Vaytulri slightly nervously, although she was excited to see what was in there, as well as interested by the rifle he had pulled out.

"Oh, no reason to worry, I've been shot, beaten, and destroyed so many times, I'd think I was tougher than Jafar himself, heh!" Mu'Tasim chuckled his hand stopping, feeling his target. With a bit of grace, he lifted a polished, yet beaten looking blade. The scimitar did not seem to carry any special quality, with the exception that it looked as if it had seen more than it's share of action. Despite it's weathered look, it appeared fairly sharp. "This my lovely friend, is a scimitar." Mu'Tasim grinned at Zus, before flipping the blade around vertically and catching on the blade end, presenting the handle to her.

"Ah!" Zus gasped lightly as the Temple guard flipped the blade, holding her hands out in a concerned manner, but not reacting fast enough before he caught the blade and presented her the handle. Grabbing it gingerly, she said "Thank you" And took the blade carefully, looking over it in wonder. "It's beautiful" The Frame Runner commented.

"I found that out in the desert one day, it was just sticking out of the sand. I picked it up, not thinking twice of who it may of belonged to and it's saved my life several times since." Mu'Tasim smiled lightly, the experssion stunted by the sudden influx of memories. Memories of how many bandits he stalked and hunted with that 'beautiful' blade.

"It's amazing that such things can even survive in as harsh an environment as the desert without care" The woman noted, studying the blade, feeling its weight in her hand. It had a sort of aged grace to it, it seemed much more regal than any weapon she had handles before, despite its simplicity.

"Well, heh, you only need to be 'tough' and 'smart' to survive in the desert." Mu'Tasim chuckled, putting a finger on then end of the blade. "It was pretty battered when I found it, all it took was a little care, and was ready for battle." He pulled out the rest of the weapons and laid them out. "All of these were gifts from the Nuocr."

Zus eyed the weapons, placing the scimitar carefully next to the others. "Do you know what each one of these is?" she asked, looking over the collection of antiques.

Mu'Tasim pointed to two chemical based pistols. "Found these off of a bandit, thanks to that..." He pointed at the scimitar, "...right there." He pointed to a primitive looking plasma pistol, "This was something I found discarded in the sands as well, I would've never found it if Famasir hadn't had mistaken it for a Sandrat." He then pointed to the rifle. "That, is a family heriloom, my father gave that to me, along with the beyonet.

Zus picked up the plasma pistol, interested. "I wonder why someone would simply throw such a weapon out?" she asked looking to Mu'tasim "are you able to find ammunition for it?" she asked as well, turning the weapon over in her hands, as it was slightly different from many of the other pistols she had seen in quite a few respects.

"One of the Mechanists in my caravan modified it to take the usual Laiz batteries." Mu'Tasim pointed to the slapshot design of the gun. Even though, the pistol still looked sturdy enough.

"Quite the mechanist they must have been." Zus complimented, setting the weapon down and moving towards the rifle "May I?" the Vayshirin asked, respectfully.

Mu'Tasim's hand shot forward for a moment, almost blocking hers. He stared at the rifle and then at her for a moment. "Er..." He seemed a little detered about the thought of someone else handling his trusty rifle, but in the same way, he trusted her. "Sure, why not?" The Guard said finally.

Zus raised an eyebrow, but let it slide, it was obvious the man cared for the weapon, and so she picked it up gently, as if it were made from the finest crystal, and inspected it. it was full of dings, dents, and obvious wear of the ages, but was still in nearly pristine condition despite all that. the weapon shone as if it were brand new, and had simply been made to look old, the care provided it was obvious. "If only you took this much care of the shrine, we'd have the Makuori themselves visiting us" she joked, handing the rifle over to Mu'tasim.

Mu'Tasim smiled, taking the rifle just as delicately and then aiming it down the way of the room. "I could never care for the shrine as much as I could care for this. This rifle is my most prized possession, you're probably the first to lay hands on it since... Well..." The Guard lowered the rifle for a moment and looked up, thinking. "I believe your the first person other than me to handle it, other than my ancestors and my father."

Zus smiled. "I'm honored, steward" she said, and meant it, too. "Why is it so precious to you, besides being an heirloom?" the inquisitive girl asked, still looking the rifle over though it was in the vaytulri's hands.

"Because it has never jammed, nor let me down in any way. It was also the weapon I made my first kill with, thus, it saved Famasir's life." Mu'Tasim looked at the weapon with a somewhat mystical interest. "I've had this weapon since I started my life as Riding Enforcer, and I've kept it with me ever since."

Zus shuddered internally at the thought of killing another, but remembered that Mu'tasim had done it in defense, against an armed assailant. she continued to eye the rifle, before deciding to ask another question. "You always speak of Famasir, he was your Gualmayan, correct?"

"Yes, a dear friend." Mu'Tasim smiled.

"What... happened to him?" she ventured, somewhat gingerly, the question rolling slowly off her tongue, as if she was afraid of how the man might answer

Mu'Tasim half-frowned, trying to maintain the smile. "He died in a vicious bandit attack. Something that motivated me to join the guard."

"Oh..." Zus said, looking a little downcast at the thought of losing a good friend. she hadn't had too many friends on her airship due to her and her family's odd behavior, but here in the vanguard she had found several in Reovan, Mu'tasim, and, whether she approved or not, Zalus. "Losing a friend can never be a good thing..."

"Nothing to be wearied over, at least six years down the road." Mu'Tasim smiled again. "I was saddened by his departure, but, I was strengthened by it as well." He put his hand on her shoulder. "Besides, he still fights on with me in spirit, and as my own VANDR as well!"

Zus smiled, glad at the hand on her shoulder. "I will remember that, Steward" she said, looking about the room. "How many memories do you have packed away in boxes?" she mused aloud.

"Not too many." Mu'Tasim looked around the room, and studied a few of the boxes for a moment. "I'm only allowed to keep so much." The Guard chuckled. He looked at a Sun Robe hanging off the wall, it had a few wholes and a bit of blood on it. "That robe was what was given to me at my Ceremony. I wore it all the way up until this assignment."

"And then you discovered that Mazerin was much too cold?" she joked Grinning at the temple guard.

"Well, that and it had a few stab wounds in it." Mu'Tasim grinned, gesturing to the hole in the floor. "Part of my job as being the landlord of this room."

Zus mentally blanched lightly, again, wondering why she seemed so concerned about this, more than the simple concern for a friend. "Well, I'm glad you managed to survive it. Perhaps if Revoan and I have a falling out you could come mediate it" she joked, trying to lighten her own mood.

"Oh, ah... you and her are...?" Mu'Tasim seemed a little surprised, almost dissappointed even.

"Roommates?" Zus finished for the seemingly confused guard "What were you going to say?" she asked, getting a sly look on her face and glaring into his eyes, daring him to answer truthfully.

"Well, for a moment, I thought you said you two were in... well, a relationship." Mu'Tasim said, seemingly unafraid to answer her. "You two seem fairly close," He smiled, trying to win this battle of words and meaning. "I was just a little..." Mu'Tasim seemed lost for a word, "... dissappointed?"

So he had guts, and Honesty. "Disappointed about what?" she questioned the man further, seeing if he would fall into his little hole or remain standing on the edge.

"Well... I..." Mu'Tasim turned his head for a moment, keeping his eyes off of hers. He stepped away for a moment as if thinking, and then looked back at her. "It's just, if you two were in a relationship, I wouldn't want to come between you too."

"So you have Eyes on Reovan, Then?' Zus asked, moving to lock eyes with the steward once more.

Mu'Tasim decided to bounce this back at her. "And if I said I did?"

"You know I'd have to warn her, I wouldn't want my roommate to be caught unawares by someone like you. You're much smarter than that Savitar she seems to have eyes for, and I think you could do more damage to her" She answered, smoothly, not taken off her guard at all.

Mu'Tasim smiled, taken by her charisma. "Well, then you'll be relieved to know that's not the case, then."

"Good. It's bad enough she has that idiot on her hands, and who knows what eles" Zus said, rolling her eyes. It was obvious Zus did not approve of Reovan's 'relationship' with Savitar.

"Oh, let her have her fun. She's somewhat mature for her age, but she's still young, and even the stoutest of Sund Wakir look for someone to share a night sky with." Mu'Tasim spoke poetically.

"I'm just disappointed that her relationship is so shallow, Although my own culture is worse in such regards, But my family was an oddity, and I grew up differently than my neighbors." Zus explained.

"Believe that was a subject we were on the last time we met." Mu'Tasimi smiled, somewhat reminded over her familial troubles.

"Yes, it was" the blonde conceded, returning the man's smile.

The Guard felt like asking of how differently she had grown, but he did not want to pry into her personal affairs. At the most, he was lost at what to say next. His yellow eyes drifted off for a moment, signifying his thoughts. Suddenly, he realized he seemed to be day dreaming. "Ah! What were we talking about before?"

Mu'tasim's sudden breaking of the silence seemed to remove the mild amount of tension that had been growing, and Zus was somewhat surprised by it. "Weren't we swapping stories?" She said, thinking back to the lounge and what had brought the two to the guard's room.

"I, uh... Believe so..." Mu'tasim said, seemingly having trouble recollecting the conversation. He twiddled his thumbs, mentally cursing himself. "We came here because of one of my stories. I believe it's your turn isn't it?"

"Is it now?" She asked, seemingly trying to skirt the issue. "Well, I'll have to think of a good one then."

"Well, you don't have to think of a good one." Mu'Tasim seemed trade off in a different direction. "Why don't you just tell me of yourself? Of Zus Storhan?"

"Me? I'm not that interesting, I assure you." She said, clearly not wanting to speak on it, or at least very embarrassed by the thought. "Perhaps I could tell you a story about the people on my airship, instead." Zus offered, looking mildly worried.

"Oh, but I don't even know them remotely!" Mu'tasim exclaimed with a grin, hoping he was prying too much, but he felt enticed by her resistance. "I know you, but again I don't. I'd like to change that."

"What do you know of me, then?" she defended, as if to buy herself time. "I wouldn't want to be redundant, now would I?"

"Hm, your name is Zus Storhan, and you apparently have an odd upbringing." Mu'Tasim said simply.

"And you haven't figured out anything else about me? I guess you aren't as smart as I thought you were." Zus returned, as if brushing him off. "Although I do suppose I owe you something.." she sounded reluctant, which indeed she was, Zus particularly hated talking about herself unless it was relevant to the moment.

"Now wait, wait. Where is this coming from?" Mu'Tasim said in a rather offended tone.

"I had simply assumed that a Steward such as yourself would be smart, and I believe I owe you something, judging by the way you seemed to care for the rifle, and yet you still let me handle it." she explained.

"I-..." Mu'Tasim seemed lost, "Tha-..." Once again, he wasn't exactly sure how to piece her words together. "I wasn't trying to get information out of you, I simply trusted you enough to handle the weapon. As for intelligence, well, I don't go around piecing together people's pasts. I prefered to hear who you were from the lady herself, but, if it is too much, then you simply have to say 'no'." explained Mu'Tasim in return, sounding a bit a hurt.

Zus rolled her eyes. "Can't take a joke either, obviously" She smirked, punching the man lightly in the shoulder "And As for the rifle, It's not that I thought you wanted leverage, it's that I believe trust deserves more trust in return."

"I see..." Mu'Tasim said thoughtfully as his gaze drifted downward a moment, as if he was thinking deeply, or just staring at her non-breasts.

"So... What about me are you most curious of?" she began, moving over to walk across his room and then sitting on the bed, bouncing lightly. "Hm?"

Mu'Tasim shrugged, he appeared in a somewhat thoughtful daze. "I don't exactly want to pry, seeing as you don't seem too favorable about talking of yourself."

"Well, I'm still drunk enough to give you a chance, You'd better take it if you really want to know more about me." Zus said, realizing she seemed to be having an adverse effect on Mu'tasim, something she did not want, and so she decided that telling him something was necessary.

Mu'Tasim looked at her with a somewhat clarified gaze. "I..." He sighed, "... can't really think of anything."

"Bet you didn't know that I sky sailed." She began, just choosing a random time in her life. "it was the closest I came to fitting in, being good at sky sailing. Had my own gear, and everything. The feeling of flying free is exhilarating beyond anything I'd experienced until I first flew a VANDR." She smiled at the man whose bed she sat on, thinking of where to go next. "I know that's not really anything big for you to know, but yeah. That's how I spent most of my days, flying free. I'd fly to other airships, to meet other families and learn what I could, doing chores and things for people in exchange for scraps of knowledge, sometimes even books. Almost everything I know, I learned of my own accord, thanks to my sky board."

Mu'Tasim seemed a little suprised at the sudden explanation. Yet, he just smiled and sat next to her, barely causing any movement to the bed as he gently sat. "So, you spent a majority of your life on your own? Away from youer family?" Mu'Tasim asked, a bit of interest in his voice.

"Something like that. But I'd always come home every night, and I'd always spend time with my family when I could." the Eyr Ranr added.

"Ah, I see." Mu'Tasim said, pulling off his Moon Robe and setting it to the side. He leaned back and placed his hands on the bed. He thought for a moment then asked her, "What did you mean by 'closest way of fitting in'?"

"Let's just say many Eyr Ranr activities are not quite... chaste. My family and I generally shunned such activities, but Sky boarding is a bit too dangerous for people know..." She wavered off, blushing lightly and looking embarrassed.

"I see." Mu'Tasim chuckled, smiling at her. "I can see why your parents allowed you out so much. Though, really, being chaste couldn't have sepereated you that much from your peers..." He arched a brow, "Did it?"

"Not at first, but, as we get older, well, people talk, and it's uncomfortable listening to people you've known a long time blather on about... things... as if it were nothing."

"Well, you make it sound as if you neve-..." Mu'Tasim coughed, suddenly realizing what he was about to say was likely true.

"Never what?" Zus asked, looking mildly peeved. "Just because I'm an Eyr Ranr does not mean I participate in all of their traditional activities."

"Well... I..." Mu'Tasim stumbled, cursing himself inwardly for such a mistake. "Of course not, b-besides... He-Heh... There are even Sund Wakir who have never experienced... er... things... even as far down the road as... uh... heh... me." Mu'Tasim stuttered, not exactly recovering well as he attempted to find a way to make the situation slightly better.

Zus would have been mad, but Mu'tasim's mumbling Turned from him feebly attempting to get out of his hole to what appeared to be a muttered confession of something or other. "Some Sund Wakir.. What?"

"Well... uh... Some Sund Wakir share that trait similar of your family." Mu'Tasim said with a little more clarity.

"And you? Not to pry or anything but, which trait do you hold?" she asked, looking the man in the eyes.

"The same trait as you have, I believe." Mu'Tasim replied, his yellow eyes returning her gaze, somewhat more confident now that he had a straighter subject to speak on.

"I would have been disappointed if you didn't, for it isn't really fitting for a steward to be impure that way, in my mind." Zus answered

"Well, not all stewards are 'pure' as you call it. Some of them have found people to be with, and of course, some just feel the urge challenge their chastity. Even so, I'm not one to toss it aside." Mu'Tasim said, looking up at the ceiling.

"Well, It's admirable that you remain chaste, then, Steward" Zus commented, smiling at him.

"It's not that hard." Mu'Tasim chuckled, "I just have to keep my pants on during meditation."

"Also an admirable skill to have" The Runner joked, smiling at the Steward.

"Well, not as easy as it is admirable. From what I hear in some parts, It sounds like I'm in high demand." Mu'Tasim responded scratching the back of his head. "Honestly, it's as discomforting as it is flattering."

"It's discomforting to be in high demand?" Zus joked, grinning at Mu'tasim. "Perhaps we can do something that embarrasses you so that people won't want you as much, Hehe"

"Eh..." Mu'tasim groaned, rubbing his temples with his fingertips, smiling lightly, "I think I've had my share of embarassing moments this season."

"Oooh. It's too bad I had to miss it, then." The Eyr Ranr commented, mocking a hurt tone.

"Be glad you did miss them, I would't like you turning your cheek to me every time I came around." Mu'Tasim shrugged.

"Who's to say I would do that If I knew?" She asked, crossing her arms and putting on an upset face. It was about then that she began noticing how long she had been spending with the temple guard, but she kept her mouth shut about it for the moment.

Mu'Tasim seemed to think on that for a moment, a finger going up to his chin. "Hm." He thought with a comical expression, and then replied to her simply, "Me."

"Heh. Perhaps you are as clever as I had assumed you to be." Zus Joked, chuckling at Mu'tasim's silly expression. She uncrossed her arms and planted her hands on the bed behind her, leaning back into a more comfortable position.

"Oh ho, If you had known me before my induction into the Temple Guard, you would have known that I am extremely clever." Mu'Tasim said proudly, and grinning.

"So the guard took away your cleverness, then?" She asked, chuckling lightly.

"More like, imposed on it." Mu'Tasim said thoughtfully. "Though a Temple Guard is not trully held to any strict code, there is an etiqutte of behavior that makes us seem a tad stiff."

"Ah, I thought you just had a stick up your ass." the Vayshirin joked.

"For some Guard, that is the case." Mu'Tasim chuckled, returning her joke with another. "Though, I can see reason behind some of it. We are usually tasked with defending the most influential people of our time, so I'd believe that they would like us to seem more like wise sentinels, than barbaric walls."

"And Here I thought the guard only had Wise Walls and Barbaric sentinels." Zus countered, playing on the Vaytulri's words, with a grin.

Mu'Tasim smiled at Zus, and looked at her for a moment. He shook his head, chuckling, "Strange, you're much more comical than I took you for."

"Just goes to show that one should not judge on outside appearances." Zus agreed, Smiling at the guard.

"Mmm hmm, this coming from you?" Mu'Tasim chuckled again.

"Of course. I try not to make assumptions until I know enough about someone to make an assumption." Zus said.

"Oh?" Mu'Tasim said with a little intrigue on his tounge, "Some books show as much story as the cover tells, until you get to last chapters."

"Then I guess that book just have to have a good hook in it or I won't read that far." the blonde commented.

"I'm guessin' mine had a rather good hook?" Mu'Tasim chimed playfully.

"Either that or I was drunk when I started reading it." She countered.

"Perhaps it was the hook that led to your drunkeness." Mu'Tasim recountered.

"Might explain why I forgot the hook. I must have wanted to be rid of it." the girl chuckled.

"Oh, now that was just mean." Mu'Tasim pouted, sounding positvely hurt, in a rather over the top way.

"No." Zus said, quietly, before continuing, "This Is mean" and flicking one of the man's horns.

"H-h-h-Ow!" Mu'Tasim cried as he grabbed his overly-sensitive horn. "Wh-what was that for!?" A small ringing began to start in his head.

"To show you just how mean I can be" She answered, chuckling. "At least I didn't do anything permanent., you big baby."

"Oh?" Mu'Tasim grunted, pointing to the chip in the very same horn. "You've caused plenty of damage before."

"Never on purpose though." she defended, feigning hurt.

"Mmm, hmm, I'm beginning to think you're keeping me around so you can get your horn chiping fix." Mu'Tasim mimiced her hurt tone.

"Well, You have such big horns, it's easy for me to do." The blonde joked.

"I..." Mu'Tasim didn't expect that response, "Well... Thank you... I think..."

"Honestly. I think I could build a tree house up there" The girl joked, lightly punching Mu'tasim in the shoulder again.

Mu'Tasim blushed, chuckling embarassedly, not sure if it was praise or not. "Well, Zus... I didn't think you... thought that much of it..."

Zus grinned, Mu'tasim was adorable like this, and she didn't exactly know what to do or say. "When something sticks that far out of someone's head, it's bound to catch the eye of someone who pays attention" she finally let out.

"Well, they're not 'that' big..." Mu'Tasim chuckled again with the so-called flattery. "You... well..." The Guard could really say anything about her body, as that would be lecherous and untrue. "You are very pretty." He said finally.

"Oh?" Zus was taken off guard, having expected a joke. She looked away and blushed lightly. "Thank you, Steward." she muttered, embarrassed.

"Well, it's nothing but the truth." Mu'Tasim continued, feeling confident, he moved on. "As I said before, your mind is just as pretty."

Zus' blush only deepened. Why did she seem to always end up blushing around Mu'tasim? What was it about this man that had such an effect on her? she couldn't tell really, but could only answer "Thank you...", quieter than before.

"At the same time, you seem to have an underlying strength that isn't easily detectable until comes out and surprises. Honestly, you're a unique woman, Zus." Mu'Tasim chuckled, resting his hand on her shoulder.

"Am I now?" She said, nearly jumping as he placed his hand on her shoulder, but letting it stay there, enjoying the warmth. "The same could be said of you, I suppose." She said, trying to joke, while trying to compliment the man simultaneously.

"Oh, I'm a million in one. There are several Sund Wakir Temple Guard with experience ranging into the past of military and desert work. But you, oh, I highly doubt that there's another Eyr Ranr quite like Zus Storhan." Mu'Tasim smiled, scooting over next to her, resting the shouldred hand on the bed, on the side of her opposite of him.

Zus drew in a breath at the movement, but forced herself to calm down. "You seem rather unique to me." She commented, attempting to brush off the man's compliments, which was beginning to be rather difficult for the young woman.

"Oh? You think so?" Mu'Tasim sounded intrigued and leaned his head closer her to her's to listen better. "How so?" His benign comment sounded almost like a challenge.

"You have really taken your charges to heart, and you genuinely try to be what you are supposed to be. I can tell that you enjoy the fruits of your labor, and that is a gift not many are graced with." the Eyr Ranr observed.

"Well, I'm glad you think so much of me." Mu'Tasim smiled again.

"I only think as much of people as they deserve." Zus commented, lening slightly closer to Mu'tasim, without realizing it.

"Well, I don't know how I deserved so much, but I'm glad either way." Mu'Tasim smiled, putting his arm around her. He enjoyed the closeness between them.

"Well, Just be glad you haven't pulled something like Sankhur did" she answered, feeling safe under Mu'tasim's arm.

Mu'Tasim chuckled, "Sankhur just simply lacks the finess to express himself. Something I'm grateful for at the moment. I don't think I would've had as good a day off as this.""

"He'll lack more than finesse if he does something like that again" Zus growled, glaring at a wall and instinctively drawing closer to Mu'tasim.

The Guard shook her a little bit with a chuckle. "Now now, let's not do something we'll to have get Amari's experience. Besides, he's the base commander, so he's probably just trying to be cheeky."

"Being base commander should not give him the right to do what he did. Besides, he isn't even commander of the base it was at." the Eyr Ranr pointed out.

"Well, if he gives you any more trouble, then let me know. Perhaps I can influence him to give you some peace." Mu'Tasim nodded, resting his head on hers.

"Thank you, But I can handle myself. If it comes to that, I will let you know, however" Zus answered, glancing over at Mu'tasim for a moment before sitting up slightly straighter. "Are you tired, Steward?" she asked

Mu'Tasim yawned for a moment, "A little, I usually get some shut-eye mid-day, so I guess I'm feeling a tired right now for it."

"Well then, I guess I should head off now, then? Let you get your rest. I should start reading the Book of dreams, anyway" Zus said, starting to get up.

"Ah, speak to me if you have any questions on it's passages. I can always make time." Mu'Tasim smiled and nodded to the woman.

"Of course" Zus nodded, standing straight. "Dream sweet, and perhaps we shall meet again soon, Steward."

OFF, Fort Jarizas, Mazerin
E-5 Corridor, Room E-57
Yetsava 22, 935
16:21, Commonwealth Standard Time
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