08.16.3013: Past Behind
Summary: Balius and Demos meet on Detritus, hoping for the best, looking towards the future.
Date: 16th August 2013
Related: None
Balius Demos 

The Garden of Light (Detritus)
This public area boasts a play of light, stone and sand to draw the eye. Following the natural curve of the terrain, there is a depressed bowl at the center of the garden equipped with a pavilion that is at the height of the landscape around it. Several walkways spiral downward in complex patterns of stone, meandering and snaking into the bowl. The twisted, half-walls that separate the paths bear ledges on one side adorned with smooth rock spheres at even intervals. The pavilion is oval in shape and nearly fifty meters across with a twenty-meter square opening at its center to allow in light. Beneath the opening, rays of sunshine fall upon an untidy cairn with no entrance. It rests atop a knee-high pool of water whose rippling waves powered by a pump sparkle with reflected light. Comfortable benches encircle the sculpture and are set along the pathways. From these seats, one can view the never-ending beam of energy surging from the Light Temple of Detritus.

The degree of illumination within the pavilion alters with the time of day: sunrise brings in natural light to warm all the benches invitingly; and when the sun is setting over the horizon, the energy transference from the Light Temple to Ring provides a striking contrast of light and shadow. At night, inlaid lights into the pavilion and under the water at the base of the cairn offer a multi-colored display of vivid blues, pinks, and greens. The colors are programmed in various patterns depending on the day of the year.


Unlike the usual, Demos contacted Balius and asked that instead of going to the lab for his usual hours, that Balius come to Detritus with him. The desert moon, like elsewhere was under attack, but the news indicated the walls were having a hard time holding. Balius may have picked up, this was Demos' home and there might be some sentiment in the scholar to visit in case the walls do eventually give and the moon must go the way of 4th World. Meeting the young man at the Ways, Demos would lead him towards a Light Garden in the heart of the city. He would point out various buildings and sites along the way, a few buildings and structures including his own imprints as a stonemason. It culminates in the Garden of Light, one of his more ambitious stonework projects that incorporated his own artwork. It also offered a good view of the main Light Temple and the constant transference of energy from the surface of the moon (Inculta) to the Ring. Along the way, most likely, the sounds of defending the walls could be heard. Despite shields there probably was blaster fire ringing through the streets of the city, clear evidence of the war that was on-going. Sometimes forgotten when one was far enough away from these fronts - but this front was on the city itself not out in the wields.

Once there, he slowly walked with the young man and turned away from the tour finally to more serious topics. "Thanks for coming Balius, in case I need to say good-bye to my home." Sentimental at first, he proceeds, "Have you had any messages from our mysterious friends of late … I'm curious as I did some field work with Lady Viannea Peake and had a surprise visitor in the lower caverns of Khar-Mordune."

Wearing shoes, Bey seems to be trying to catch his bearings the whole time they are there. He's worried about his friend's home. Bey shivers thinking if Arborenin were in the firing line, and with the way things are going on the Spine. He focuses on the discussion at hand. He doesn't seem as tired as he usually has recently, but he certainly has been a serious version of himself all morning. "I do hope it won't come to that, Demos." His smile is forced, even though the concern is genuine. He'll cling to his full satchel. "And no, luckily I have not. On a positive note, I was able to effectively put into practice some of my medical skills the other day…"

"Ah, this is good," says Demos, that Balius got to put some skills to practice, "Hopefully nothing too serious and all is well? You weren't attacked by Hostiles were you?" There is concern in his voice, despite the occasional echo and ring of skirmish beyond the walls of Detritus, they are safe here and close to the ways should they have to retreat, but he knows the stables are probably closer to wandering bands of skirmishers just the same, and the other is prone to horse rides. "No one was seriously injured that is?"

Nodding, the young intern will be recalling the event. "If the party hadn't been so ill equipped, I volunteered last second. I shudder to think what might hsve happened. There's a certain fulfilling thrill to being a combat medic" He smiles slightly, though his mind seems occupied. "So what's our assignment today, Dem?"

"Good thing you are allright as is your party. Also, the combat medic thing, that could be beneficial to getting scholarships and a House sponsor come to think of it," Demos sort of smiles in pondering that like a new realization, better than the horse connection. Then he stops, "I wanted to warn you, in the caverns with Viannea, we were confronted by some mercenaries. Not hostiles, I don't know if they simply wanted to mug us, or if that was a visit from our mysterious mutual gift giver. Just be careful, not only from hostiles, but malcontents." Which is about all he can say about the mysterious gift giver at this point, with little else known. "As for assignments, I've got all the cannisters ready to go. Those atmospheric samples, I want you to deliver them to Lord Brigham at the Academ, make his acquaintaince, I want him on our radar for future collaboration, but it would be good to meet a student like him I think."

On the mention of scholarships, he'll give dismissive nod. "Perhaps." At the mention of the Peake, he'll look up. That mountain fortress was full of stale air and no plants. "That should be feasible, my brother is squiring for Lady Sir Agnes Peake." He'll be jumping ahead to scheduling in his mind.

Grinning, Demos offers, "If you catch him at home. I imagine much of Lord Brigham's free time is spent in the labs at the Academ, taking free reign of the offerings there. It might be easiest to go to the campus and following the sound of explosions." A chuckle at that, then a shake of his head, "If you don't wish to start applying now, you'll have to before the onset of next term. Its the best chance at getting a good sponsor. It could take years for you to finish, especially graduate coursework, they'll want to sponsor a younger citizen over an older one, no matter how smart they are. Have you thought about pursuing any specific sponsors, or still curious about the Crown Scholarship?"

Balius will ponder the many options briefly and distractedly, his mind clearly elsewhere. "I should be abke to find him. He hardly had a reputation for subtlety." Thinking of applications versus his various responsibilities, he'll seem quite burdened. "What's the process for the Crown Scholarship?" His confidence seems low at the moment for whatever reason. "I suppose I can start applying for sponsors?"

"This is the best part," says Demos as if this is all great stuff, then again, as a scholar errant who does a lot of research, writing in general is one of those things he likes most likely. "The most important thing for any scholarship is your personal statement. It was 2 pages minimum and 5 max when I applied. The shorter the better, helps to give it focus actually, 2 to 3 pages. It can be adapted to other Scholarship applications. As well, you prior transcripts and two letters of recommendation. You will have mine, it will carry some weight, it will be a professional recommendation. I would also recommend your brother's, as a more personal recommendation."

Thinking on all this, he'll ponder recommendations. "I'd much prefer to not use family." He says honestly. He'd earn the letters. "I wonder if I can perhaps serve the Vale in a few other missions, I might be able to find one." He seems to ignore the personal statement idea for now.

"Is this Cindrevale we're talking about, or House Rovehn," ponders Demos, not wholly aware of the mission, other than what Balius has just told him today. Finding a seat outside the pavillion but with a view of the closed cairn, he offers a seat if the other wishes, he is planning to take one for himself. His eyes sweep out to the center of the garden and then towards the main energy stream floating up to the Ring.

Balius says, "It was a contingent to break down a group Red Eye dealers. Also rescued a Cindravale Sergeant's husband who'd gone missing." He'll sit with a bit of a sigh. "So you were born here?" He'll ask curiously."

Turning a moment, Demos looks up and around, at the sky, the work in the light garden. "I was, born and raised. As a young boy I imagined nothing more than working here in the warmth of the sun while building with my parents. I had no idea where I would end up." As if off the topic, but he seems to recall where he was going. "If you're certain Cindravale would sponsor, I'd recommend submitting an inquiry to them. I would not rule out Rovehn, simply because of your background. Just understand, taking a sponsor comes with an obligation of working for them in some context post-graduation. Whether as a retainer or for a contractual length. Make sure its where you think you might want to be then."

Balius is trying to be committed to the moment. This was important information. "Demos, shoot straight with me, how likely is it that even the smartest person gets a Crown Scholarship if they lack connections?" It's a bit more abrasive than usual and he'll seem apologetic at the frustrated comment. He was sick of being at the whim of nobles…their arbitrary string-pulling on not just his life, but all of the Quelltons. He wanted freedom, not further servitude. "I'll consider all fair options." He nods at the mention of houses. If there's anything Bey did get from his brother's sense of honor, it was his wariness of not achieving something based purely on merit.

Considering that a moment, Demos responds, "The Crown Scholarship is designated solely for citizen's. Connections help, but being the smartest person carries weight. However, its a feirce competition. Every citizen that dreams of the Academ will enter, only the best will be selected. Taking into account good transcripts and good statement, they recommendations will be weighted. I had a good mentor and a strong recommendation from House Dalton for my service to the city as a young stonemason." Looking more directly at Balius, "It is hopeful, but stiff competition. As my mentor told me, a back-up plan in place doesn't hurt. I don't want to recommend loans, unless you really want more debt on our shoulders. I think a sponsorship from a house would be better for you as opposed to one of the citizen entities that can offer it - more obligations to your fellow citizens, some approaching lifelong with stipulations of service that make it near impossible to achieve freedom, similar to the loans."

"No loans, Demos. The whole concept is a form of modern enslavement." He'll weigh all these statements. "It seems that each plan seems like a long shot. What do you think of military service? I'm sure there's demand for medics? And there'd be mostly practical training…" And no opportunity to research or to further knowledge. He doesn't like that plan either. Balius struggles with identity, independence, and duty are all converging today to bring a thinly veiled teenage angst.

There is a nod at that, Demos returns, "That would be the same as taking a sponsorship. If you go into the medical profession with a term of service to a House after you're doctorate, most likely you will see some combat. Then again, if you're good enough, you could be retained in service to the house and whatever medical facilities they retain the rights to. You could serve those injured in service to the House while avoiding combat." He pauses a moment, looking to the ground, then taking another approach. "You decide best what you think you might want. I know obligating oneself to a long length of education and then service to a house seems dreadful, but if you want to be a doctor, its the safest bet. There are certain freedoms we all give up, its part of our system, even amongst the nobility. The only difference between us and them, is they have money to throw at foppish clothes and extravagent houses, that makes them no better or worse than us."

…and the fact that nobles apparently expect their citizen partners to love them exclusively while they ignore them in public. Leaving that thought unsaid, he'll nod. "In your experience, which houses tend to favor funding research?" Certainly not those of his home.

"Depends on the research," says Demos, as if ready to give a philosophical, rhetorical answers. "But, Orelle and the moon Vassals favor research. Science is quite welcome here, even while some of the children of the lines favor tradition and even mythology, the romance of the old, science is always welcome on the Ring. Just understand it is taken seriously, results are expected depending on contracts accepted or grants taken. There is always a deadline approaching, but there is freedom to conduct the research as one sees fit here. Most of the work I do for the Houses on Imperious involves locating resources but out here, is the Music of the Spheres Balius."

Taking mental notes on this that mirrored his earlier assumption. "Away from the claws of the Chantry as well…" He'll say. He didn't know what he wanted anymore…except to study his passions.

"Indeed, away from the Chantry," responds Demos with a nod, "But religion exists out here just the same. Its left to personal choice though, not practically enforced to the point one needs to accept it simply to be recognzied amongst ones peers." The serious topics seem all touched upon, "Take some time, decide what it is you want. If you need my help getting it, Balius, I am here for you."

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