Post by Aegle Verdant on Jan 19, 2020 20:47:10 GMT -5
Aegle checked her wraps one last time as she stepped into the pool bathing the lecture theatre's floor. She heard soft murmurs from the gallery, three strides above her head, where row upon row of her fellow trainees were poised to watch the exchange. Before she'd come to haven, before these combat classes had become a fixture in her life, she might have worried those indistinct whispers were for her. She might have worried that her audience was wondering, rightly so, what someone like her was doing at a huntsman academy, of all places. Barely a stride and a half tall, she looked more like a broken doll than a fighter, all awkward joints and ill fitting clothes. Her uniform was two sizes too large for her, blazer and pants needing to be rolled up at the cuffs to keep them from covering her hands or dragging under heels. Her head sprouted from its overlarge collar, pale as milk glass, and was topped by a thatch of messy, uneven, and exceedingly thin brown hair. Her face had a sickly pallor to it, while her eyes were feverishly bright. She limped when she walked, which gave her the appearance of someone always hurrying but never quite able to catch up. Then there was her hands. Gnarled, twisted things, they poked from her rolled up sleeves like a withered briar's roots. Like white spiders, all bound up in gauze, they twitched and trembled whenever they weren't drawn up into fists.
As much a spectacle as she was, as out of place as she may have been, Aegle was not the center of attention today. Rather, it was the red haired woman striding purposefully to meet her. Near two strides tall and weighing twice as much as Aegle did, Brigit Akane's name had been on the tongue of many a trainee since the end of winter break. Since the attack, which had left half the campus burned and one teacher dead. Seeing her now, face to face, Aegle understood why. Even without the details which had milled through the student body, Brigit was intimidating to look upon. It wasn't merely that she stood a couple of heads taller than Aegle, nor that she was about twice as wide as Aegle to boot. It was her hands and feet or, more appropriately, what stood in their place. Even through her uniform, there was no missing them, the prosthesis, one for every limb. Bulkier than the rest of Brigit, the lethal tech gave her body strange angles where there oughtn't have been any. They were like Aegle's brace in a way, which bulged unevenly beneath her own uniform, but with one obvious difference. Where Aegle's brace was a tool, a means for giving someone back the mobility of an able body, Brigit's implants were made for one purpose, and one purpose alone. To hurt, and to kill.
Strange to think that Aegle had never considered that part of being a huntress. She'd always thought of huntsmen as hunters of Grimm, but they fought bandits, criminals, and terrorists nearly as often. They fought men and women, human and faunus. She didn't like to think of huntsmen as killers, despite her brother being one. Despite him having made a name for himself by being unstoppable in human on human combat.
The attack on Haven had changed that. Not with the death of Van Sange, but with the ascendance of Brigit.
Aegle didn't need to hear what was being whispered in the galleries, as Brigit and herself took up their positions across from one another, because she could already guess the things their mutual classmates were saying. They were things she had wondered herself. They too had been confronted by the reality of what they were learning to do, a reality tacitly recognized but now, as Aegle prepared to defend herself, brought into sharp focus. Because Brigit, if the rumors were to be believed, had been attacked during the events of winter break. She had been attacked and forced to defend herself, and she had killed her attacker. Aegle's skin prickled with gooseflesh, and she wondered if she was afraid or in awe of these cool, red haired girl. She wondered if it was something else altogether, which filled her wish such excitement, such anticipation. All huntresses trained to kill; There could be no quarter against the creatures of grimm. Yet what did that say about these sparring matches and training exercises, where two or more of them were pitted against one another? Would Brigit have some especial insight into the contest now?
She wasn't sure and, for whatever reason, that uncertainty was electric. It held her transfixed, watching Brigit's steely eyes for some hint as to the answer.
"Hey," She said, her shrill tone strangely discordant against the dull murmur of competing voices from all around them, "Don't reckon we've ever been introduced, not all formal like anyways. M'name is Aegle; It's a pleasure t'meetcha."
Somehow, she kept the excitement out of her voice, but she couldn't keep it out of her smile.
"I ain't much of a fighter. Hope y'won't hold it against me, aye?"
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