Orry can be found in the eastern camp, a safe distance from the spire's lake, but still close enough to see the crystal and its waters. One can choose to approach him at his tent early in the morning or late at night, at the camp cook fire in the evening, or in the surrounding wilds during the day.
(Edited 2021-11-21 23:59:56)
Alco couldn't exactly say that the expedition had been a place that he necessarily wanted to be. He'd followed some of the reporters from the paper out to it at the urging of his mother, largely to see if there was anything particularly pertinent to their interest to be gleaned here. He doubted it, but he wouldn't deny the request.
That had been what had sent him out here, bundled up likely more than he needed to be to try to mask some of his hairlessness. Looking off-putting as he did didn't exactly help with business. He approached Orry during the day, his tail swishing behind him as he picked his way over to the other rrex in the wilds. It was easier, in his opinion, to get honesty when a whole camp wasn't breathing down your neck.
"Hey. Orry, was it?" he called as he approached, his eyebrows raising slightly. He gestured slightly to himself when he was sure that the other rrex was paying attention. "Alco." He paused and looked around a moment, his whiskers twitching.
"What do you think of how the expedition went?"
Orry turned and tilted his head as Alco approached, the silhouette of the other bundled rrex obscuring who or what exactly was approaching him for the first few moments. The short rrex reached up to draw his goggles up onto his brow, revealing bright blue eyes.
"It was a little chaotic," he replied cooly, apparently having no issues being blunt nor sharing his opinion. "But I would prefer randomness over bias in any survey."
He lowered his goggles over his eyes having taken in Alco's face, then peered off towards the spire.
"Many have thrown caution to the wind, but things are progressing much more rapidly because of it. Or perhaps caution has been abandoned because things are already moving too quickly. What do you think, between the two?"
(Edited 2021-11-26 01:16:33)
Truthfully, Orry reminded Alco of some of the khieraa he had met. There were things about him that were clearly rrex, of course, but his large ears weren't one of them. He flicked his own tail behind him before looking out at the spire, as if he might see what had Orry's attention.
He shrugged, even though he knew Orry wasn't looking at him. "I think it's a bit of a farefowl and the egg situation. S'a bit of both. They feed into each other, you know. I'd guess that it started because people abandoned caution and got results for it but that they keep doing it because things are moving quickly."
He was quiet for a moment, watching the other rrex out of the corner of his eye. He twitched his whiskers and looked away again.
"The abandonment of caution is perhaps a poor idea, though. I can't imagine it's a good idea to delve into the irradiated wilds recklessly," he said, speaking slowly as if he was thinking his words over as he said them. "I am glad that no one got seriously hurt. Do you think most have any idea what they might be searching for?"
"A future." There was no hesitation as Orry replied, large ears turned forwards. Then his eyes and ears turned fully onto Alco, a measure of respect already forming there.
"At least, it is what I'm looking for. Petrel says we've lost it- that it can't be found, it can only be made. I think he's right in some ways and wrong in others." He pauses, and then the tips of his ears blush red, betraying the embarrassment that his hidden halo hides.
"... I try not to be so cryptic. But there's no exacts with people." Then, a little urgently, he asks, "What are you searching for?"
Future. It was an odd, youthful goal, though it endeared him. He didn't know how to take how he looked at him. He wasn't used to respect that wasn't built upon fear of his mother, at least from people other than Lot. It was nice, if embarrassing.
"If there's anywhere that a future might be hidden, I would wager it was in all this." He gestured out at the expanse beyond them. He took Orry's own embarrassment as an excuse to look away, his whiskers twitching.
"Sometimes, I think that people who are intentionally cryptic have other motives behind it, as though they use their words as a test of those they converse with. Seeing how someone else interprets you could be a good measure of their thoughts, I suppose, but it feels like it would drive others away more than not." He didn't trust Petrel and he couldn't exactly tell what Orry's thoughts on the other were. He decided not to pry.
He looked up as he spoke again, surprised with his tone. He was still for a moment, quiet as he thought, before he looked away again.
"Understanding, I suppose." He paused for a moment, weighing his options, before he added, "I tend to not be particularly social--" His tail flicked behind him. "--but it's been something just to be around so many people united by a shared path to a goal, even if the goal isn't the same for all of them. I've never felt belonging quite like that."
The sun had just started to dip below the horizon by the time Andrei clambered off the back of a rented vexmyth. Even with a hint of lingering snowblindness it’s easy to find Orry’s location via the plume of smoke that wafts off of the campfire, as is the smell of something other than wet earth and stale pemmican. The fire’s heat is so pleasant compared to the frozen wastelands near the mountains.
He sits right in front of the fire and warms his numb hands, attempting to look casual- even if the rrex’s progenitor is no longer around, the resemblance between him and his father is enough to command respect. The urge to scratch his unshaven face is so great that he wants to break out his knife and shave it off right here, but he composes himself.
“It’s not every day that an expedition of this magnitude happens. In fact, has something this massive even happened since the early return years? Must be something important that you’re searching out there for, Orry.”
Even as Orry sits, his posture is rigid, his gaze is focused. The quivering tip of his tail is the only sign of immaturity as he observes the bustle around the camp-- the crowd is much larger than what he's adjusted to, and he hones his attention in order to keep from being overwhelmed.
The smallest flicker of a halo betrays his surprise when Andrei addresses him, as if one might be surprised if a chair spoke. But the rider was much more important than furniture-- no, he was the perfect picture of a rugged and experienced adventurer. Orrys' ears tilt forward, attentive to Andrei.
"I suppose it would not be remiss to consider this a milestone." He agrees slowly, as if every word is to be considered carefully. "Though, apologies as I must correct you in that it's not what I'm looking for, but what I'm not looking for. Or, it is more accurate to say, it's not what I'm hoping to find, but what I'm hoping to find none of." His teeth scrape together gently in irritation at himself, like he's not quite satisfied with how he expressed himself.
"I can imagine that you've had your share of run ins with wild daemons, Migaras?"
Explorers and researchers scampered to move aside as the sunrise-orange vexmyth landed in the eastern camp early in the morning. A large battle-worn Rrex dismounted from it’s back, patting the creature’s side before making his way to Orry’s tent.
With a scratch at the tent’s canvas to make known his presence, the large Rrex entered.
“Glory, Son of Aelius? My name is Gervask.”
Gervask gave a short bow of his head as a polite gesture before straightening to his full height once more, glowing red wings and horn halo proudly displayed.
“I’ve heard the search goes well, that you’ve succeeded in traveling quite a distance.” As he continued, Gervask’s eyes discerningly scanned the interior of the tent. “You’ve been quite successful in garnering attention around your searches… Gathered many allies.”
After appraising the tent’s contents, Gervask’s eyes fell back upon Orry. “Tell me, what benefit has your alliance with the prophet Petrel been during your search? It seems a strange choice of companionship considering the prophet’s history.” An almost quizzical smile crossed Gervask’s face, as if he found the concept of Petrel in general amusing to some degree.
(Edited 2021-11-24 22:25:55)
The formidable and draconic rrex looms over Orry's smaller stature in the tent, and his halo casts a red glow over the pallet, desk, and pack, among other things-- a small clothing chest, a few stacked notebooks with numbers pressed into the leather of their spines, and not just a pen but a small stand of chalks for colored sketches.
Orry himself stood as Gervask entered, giving a stiff half bow himself before canting his head to the side as he listened. He was quiet for a moment after Gervask poised his question, obviously attentive but apparently chewing on a response.
"I can't help but have the feeling that even if I'd said no, he'd have gotten involved anyhow." He considers saying more, but shakes his head and turns his eyes down to the floor. It's not abashment-- he still stands with back straight, hands clasped behind the small of his back, but he seems to not want to rise to aggrieve the larger rrex.
"You make it sound like there are better choices I could make, choices that are closed to me in choosing to align with Petrel." He says carefully.
“In my humble opinion there may be better choices, yes, but I wouldn’t say you’ve burned the bridges for other options, not yet at least.” The larger Rrex answered, still peering down at the younger Rrex before him, his gaze intense, but not aggressive or threatening. “Besides, I can’t say I’ve spoken with the prophet, but I was one of many who took up a line of defense at Ichorrai when he threatened an attack… He just seems unstable. Unpredictable.”
Gervask faded his halos slightly, softening his expression strategically and appearing much less intimidating for a moment. He came here for information and for connections after all and it seems that displays of strength were not necessarily the style of the younger explorer, not in the typical Rrex fashion anyway.
“I just advise caution...” Gervask starts again before trailing off for a moment, considering his words carefully before continuing. “We all have our selfish goals, I am no exception and I’m sure neither are you, but are you sure his goals align with your own?”
(Edited 2021-12-13 00:04:19)