10.14.3013: In the Caverns of Bellona
Summary: Beden returns the favor for Aidan's trip beneath
Date: 22 September. 2013
Related: None
Aidan Beden 

The Ash Basin - Red Range
In Log
October 14.3013

Afternoon amongst the Pit of Ignis, the sky is darkened amongst the ash and smoke in the skies. They had already spent a short trip through the Industrial District. Beden realized this may not have been to the liking of his comrade from the Spine, but he'd plotted other routes to no avail. Light peaks through the clouds of ash on the ever hot surface of the volcanic moon. There are indeed a number of active peaks around them, rivers of magma flowing in generally calm and controlled motions around them.

Having donned their atmos-suits, Beden has been leading them on a trek, suggesting that Aidan bring naught but additional supplies for nourishment. Hydration, obviously, would be key to the heat. Their suits have some basic climate control and a protective layer against brief contact with lava. Comm links are in both suits. They've climbed far past the dormant peaks of the Red Range, presumably nearing some location of which the Sergeant Grantham has planned. "Is this what you expected?" He questions his climbing compatriot.

"No, it's worse." Aidan answers, taking his time in climbing so he can look around and get a good feel for it all. "I can see why you developed a culture around death though." So when you die, it's less of a tragedy. "It is impressive though."

Keeping a steady pace, Beden seems infintely patient. Enjoying the journey as much as the destination for today. His grin is clear in his voice. "We aren't delusional folk, that's for sure." There's perhaps just a hint to the end of his sentence that might note concern. They're working their way down the side of long-since dormant volcano. On the horizon are twin active volcanoes. "The one on the right's Hephaestus…and that's Bellona on the left."

How often do they erupt?" Aidan asks curiously. He doesn't sound overly concerned about the possibility, assuming they're monitored closely. "A while ago, Anabethe took me down to see where the lava flowed into the refinery or whatever that building is." Other than big, noisy and hot. "It's impressive close up."

"It varies, multiple times a year, though Hephaestus has been calmer more in recent years." Their descent is taking them towards Bellona, the left volcano." There's some pride as he talks about the landscape and their refineries. "I used to sneak away after classes ended every day and go down to the mines or into the refineries. Most days, it feels like I know that machinery better thaMost days, it feels like I know that machinery better than my own house." He pauses a moment, as if he's looking for something.

"I suppose we all sneak away to whatever's available." Aidan muses. "And if we're not supposed to be there, it just makes it better. So where exactly are we going? Or is this just a general sight seeing tour?"

Squinting his eyes, the screen inside his helmet helps him pinpoint the location. Beden nods at the comment. "Too true." He points in response to the question, there's a hatch in the ground at the base of Bellona, less than a quarter mile away. "There…race ya?" It's a question, though the Grantham's stance is bracing for a run as he turns to look at Aidan with a grin.

"A foot race in these things?" Aidan asks, motioning up and down at his atmosphere suit. "I suspect you have the advantage of practice and familiarity." Though as he says 'advantage', he's already off and running. "So it's only fair I get a head start."

Caught slightly off guard, Beden takes up, remaining a few paces behind Aidan, a quick laugh cut off by the effort of his sprint. "Likely story!" All in good spirits as he follows along relentlessly in pursuit.

Aidan stays silent as they run, as much to concentrate on the sprint as to make sure he doesn't break a leg on the unfamiliar terrain. Once he gets to the hatch, he turns and grins at Beden. "So what did I win?" he asks, slightly out of breath.

Shaking his head with an ever-widening smile, Beden kneels down and enters in a code on the hatch. "Well, my first thought seems rather limited due to atmos suits." He says, quite bluntly. "However I do think you'll quite enjoy the view down there, just make sure to close the hatch behind you." And he starts to climb down the metal ladder into the hole.

Aidan waits a moment to give Beden time to descend before going in after him. Once he's down a few rungs, he reaches for the hatch and pulls it closed as he continues downward.

Roughly eight feet down is a cavern of volcanic rock, filled with artificial lighting. One entire wall is transparent and displays an ever-flowing river of magma, casting a fiery red glow against the cave. There's a pad on a wall that Beden types a few things into and then takes off his helmet. "Welcome to Bellona's base." He smiles, waving a hand around. There seems to be some stone tables and chairs scattered about, and an image of the Crone is engraved in one of the walls. And some stones that look like a drum set. "Obviously, atmosphere is controlled in here." He notes, restating what hopefully is true, considering the removed helmet.

Aidan looks around as he sets foot on solid rock again and then removes his helmet once Beden has. "Impressive." He walks over to the transparent wall, setting his helmet down on the table along the way. "What's the purpose of this room? It would have been a lot of work to make just to serve as a gallery of sorts."

"Multipurpose lair of sorts, I suppose." Beden says aloud. "I've trained in swordplay here, used it as a chapel of sorts. The acoustics aren't half bad either." He motions to the drum set. "This was basically my retreat for days at a time, before I signed up with the Legion. I moved all the trappings of that out, so as to avoid being tempted."

"Moved the trappings of the Legion out? To avoid being tempted to join?" Aidan asks, watching the lava as he talks until he turns away and heads back to the table. "Did you not want to join originally?"

"I meant removed all the trappings of home, my cot, the fridge, all that stuff. I've always wanted to join the Legion." Beden replies quickly, silently apologizing for not being clearer. He moves to the table and pulls out his pack.

Aidan nods, sitting down at the table and taking a moment to look around again. "Why?" he asks, looking back to Beden. "What's the Legion mean to you? And what demands does it make on you? Or does it basically function as your House military, much like the Peake irregulars and the Arboren rangers?"

"It's much like other House militaries, though we've got a healthy mix of recruits from off Ignis too. Granthams fight, the Legion is the way we do that." Beden responds simply. "In the Legion, all are the same. My birth doesn't determine my standing."

"And what's your rank within the Legion?" Aidan asks curiously. "What's the command structure, for that matter? Knowing what rank you are won't tell me anything without knowing what they all are. That's also how the irregulars work, to a degree. Being a noble doesn't grant one any authority over the troops. You need to prove your ability for that."

"I'm a Sergeant, and the command titles for the military parallel those of others, at least from what I can tell. Lieutenants and then Captains move on up. Mainly heavy infantry, with a few archers." Beden responds. "We're not much unlike the Khourni, at least from what I can gather."

Aidan nods. "So did you just want to be a soldier in general or was it the Legion specifically? Would you have been so eager to join your House military if it had been more like other Houses'?"

"Well…" Beden ponders. "It was the Legion moreso than just being a soldier. Even outside of military combat, there's a unity, a cohesive understanding. There's technical ranks in other Houses, and then…there's the reality of the matter. It's all nice in theory until the dust settles after a fight. Some other houses are similar, but I prefer the Legion's training."

"Yes, Peake's ranks are earned but then our fighting style is a bit unusual compared to other Houses'. They're called the irregulars for a reason." Aidan notes with a bit of a grin. "But terrain shapes us all including our forces."

"As is true for us all." Beden nods with a smile, pulling out some bottles from his bag, taking a long gulp from one of them. "Have you ever studied classic weaponry? I'd imagine there'd be less impetus to do so."

"A bit. It helps to know the basics to defend against them." Aidan notes. "And while I try to stay out of melee combat if at all possible, the Hostiles have been very unhelpful in letting me do that. But generally, I leave that kind of thing to my Aunt and sisters." Pause. "Sister."

"My brother was the one who gave me my first swordfighting lessons." Beden offers empathetically, trying to convey his understanding of loss. "May I ask about your abilities? I confess myself rather ignorant on the subject."

"I'm an archer and scout." Aidan answers. "I'm also a druid. So between the two, I'm best fighting at a distance. I never really studied the more unusual methods of fighting the irregulars use to use them myself. There's only so many hours in a day."

"Too true." Beden grins in response. "And yet you've chosen to spend some of those choice hours under an active volcano on Ignis." He smirks before glancing back at the almost hypnotic flow on the wall of magma.

"I never claimed to be smart." Aidan points out. "Just curious. And who knows, maybe someday I'll need to come and help out here against the Hostiles. It's best to get some experience with the environment. Besides, it would be rude to turn down an invitation from a good looking guy."

There's a nod from Beden. "All valid points, certainly true." He smirks teasingly to Aidan before shifting in his sit closer to the Peake. "I helped build the wall myself, mined the meltproof ore that makes up the edges."

Aidan glances at the wall before looking back to Beden and grinning. "So you can actually do something useful in addition to swinging a sword. That's good to know." The grin shifts into more of a smile as he considers Beden. "So, a question for you. You know well the obligations we have to our Houses. Are you adverse to marrying into Peake?"

Beden freezes, as if he didn't hear correctly. He gives a gulp and cough, obviously a bit uncomfortable, but he regains his composure quickly. "Marriage, Aidan? Ummm…" There's a pause, though Beden starts smiling again. "I honestly hadn't thought about it. Frankly, I have yet to determine just how I feel about you." There's a smirk, attempting to deflect with humor.

"Oh, I'm not asking you to marry me." Aidan is quick to say and now the smile becomes a bit of a grin again. "But marriage is a duty I'll have to fulfill sooner than later, especially with Yolanda gone and no longer the Heir. And noblemen interested in men are not exactly common so I'm merely finding out if that is something you are definitely not interested in. And if you are not, then I will enjoy your company in whatever form it takes and make sure things stay casual."

"Well, I also will have to marry someday, and there would be worse places to have to ship off to than House Peake." Beden retorts, good humoredly, but he drops the sarcasm to note. "I can't say much for certain right now. I'm…open to the idea." He lets the statement sit for a moment, feeling awkward about the exchange.

"Then that's all I need to know for the time being." Aidan says with a nod. "It's just something I have to consider. Now if you were… a merchant, for example, it wouldn't matter and we could just have fun with nothing looming in the background to be a distraction."

"Of course." Beden nods, trying to be understanding. He quickly returns with a smile though. "You have fun with merchants often, I take it? I much prefer a soldier. Nothing like near death experiences to bring folks together." It's a smirk and a tease.

"Whoever happens to be interesting and interested. I don't discriminate. Though a mere sergeant…" Aidan trails off on a dubious note as he eyes Beden.

"Oh the scandal…" Beden grins as he moves off the chair and leans on the table, leg bumping into Aidan's. "Though I'm among the youngest Sergeants in the Legion." He winks.

"Hmmm, yes. I know." Aidan agrees. "Not you being the youngest sergeant but just being young." Period. "It might even be considered a scandal too given the difference in our ages. You're even younger than Brigham. While it's not a Nitrim level scandal, one of the tabloids might be having a slow day." Cocking his head to one side, he regards Beden thoughfully. "On the other hand, bagging a young buck might enhance my reputation."

"It'd certainly not be somethin' anyone on Ignis would read about." Beden laughs, resisting an urge to roll his eyes. "I'm certain that they'd get over it, and I've been known to enhance a reputation or two in my day."

"No? People on Ignis don't read tabloids? Well, we'll just need to do something to make the regular news then." Aidan decides. "I'm not sure quite what but I'm certain we can come up with something if we try hard. And we have this nice, secluded chamber of death if that wall ever gives way to practice in."

Beden laughs, enjoying the jest. "Not much space for tabloids among the ash." He looks to the supposed wall of death. "It's made to withstand all the things I could think of at the time…so there's a good chance at any moment it could indeed turn into a nice pool to swim in."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License