Logs:Could Have Beens
|RL Date: 15 August, 2016|
|Involves: High Reaches Area|
|What: In an Alternate Universe, Alida...is rather different, though the same.|
|Where: AU: Pern|
|When: Sometime in an alternate universe past, present.|
|OOC Notes: An AU vig of a somewhat different road for the Grumpy Blonde.|
Though it'd been a rough labor, 5 Turn old Alida's mother had ridden it through, Melinda giving birth to a strangely-silent son. Arvan was utterly beside himself the labor, pacing about like a preoccupied madman, while his daughter was kept distracted as possible in Pars' creche of children. She was perceptive, though, and often turned away from lessons, play, to stare at the door that separated her from her parents...far away in some private Healer area.
Arvan was nothing but pleased that his beloved wife had never quickened again after her harrowing second time of childbirth, the tall and tough Guard still offering most of his brand of love to Melinda, while Alida and Velin received only the occasional bursts of such. He was tough, sometimes cruel, fun when in a good mood, and encouraged independence and strength in his offspring...the harshness of his personality at least partially tempered by Melinda for the sake of her much-beloved daughter. Velin, the 'least' of the group, learned to hold his own...though he remained often taciturn, sometimes angry, and rather distant as time passed.
Not often given to putting his boot down in regards to Melinda's wishes - Arvan was practically infatuated by his unlikely Harper wife - he finally did such when his daughter was caught not only fighting with a fellow young teen over who'd get to play the Hold's guitar first, but nearly breaking the boy's arm in the rowe. She had her father's basic temper, sadly, though her mother was whom she adored. No matter how Melinda snapped, begged, and finally wept, her unlikely musical prodigy of a daughter was sent off to the Harper Hall within the month, where she discovered the 'unpleasant' realities of learning cooperation, having to fend for herself, and never having the 'cover' of her well-respected parents - Journeywoman and now-First Lieutenant of the Guard at Pars. But it was more than worth it, after many months, when the world of music her mother couldn't stand to completely introduce her to (Melinda had kept her daughter subtly close, unwilling to part with her for any reason) opened up to her innate talent like a bloody rose. Bloody, because she was also still her father's daughter, and had learned more than the basics of fighting.
After a few serious threats from Journeymen and Masters to kick her out if she didn't keep her rather pugnacious ways well in hand, Alida bit her lips shut, and put more effort into at least being quiet, if not truly approachable by most. Oh, she had a couple of true-blue friends - loyal through thick and thin - but finally the girl-woman started learning that Harpers - even the most curmudgeonly of them - had to learn how to at least *fake* some charm and good will. As her distant father wrote her, it was a GOOD thing. She could get ahead more easily utilizing a 'mask...' and Melinda would be less fretful over those stupid fights she could do nothing about, now.
Turns passed like a bumpy road strewn with hints of blood in the lush greenery of her life, and Alida found that her great talent with the guitar earning her guarded laurels from enough. Velin fared worse, the now 10 Turn old boy refusing to take to his father's choice of avocation for him - Guard, of course - instead stubbornly attaching himself to the Journeyman Beastcrafter at Pars, and learning the ways of tending, raising, growing, riding runners. Only the intercession of Melinda - upset and even angry at the harsh treatment Arvan gave to her youngest child over this refusal - made it truly possible, though father and son rarely ever spoke or interacted much any after that. His only positive links with his former life was the support of his mother, and the occasional letters back and forth from his maturing sister. Somehow, she understood Velin's situation, feelings...even his deep resentment and anger. She had her own - though more in her past - to give her a few nightmares now and again.
Now well-practiced with a keen, edged tongue, a sharp wit, the ability to shut her mouth most times when being politic was required, Alida found herself walking the tables at the age of 20. Even great talent couldn't speed her past her own personality 'bumps,' and the guitar prodigy hadn't made her own path smooth. It rankled a bit (and she took enough shit from fellow Harpers on how she was held back because of her 'charming' personality), but the moons were the limit in the mind of the blonde now-woman. Melinda was fit to burst her seams in her quiet pride, and even Arvan was smiling brightly at his 'little musical genius' of a daughter... who still carried a strong set of fists and a sizeable knife or three hidden about her person... and knew how to use both very well.
Another five Turns of not much but practice, performance, continued learning, and a fervent *need* to play the guitar like nobody else ever had before her matured Alida more quickly than much else in her life ever could. She was a rare Journeyman: one who was not posted, but kept at the Hall to live the life of a professional performer (and sometime songwriter) who continued to grow in talent and expression with each Turn that passed...her presence requested more and more often first at Minor holds, then at Major ones. All of her life was falling into place (if not perfectly, then well-enough to please her)...
...and then came the chance to perform at High Reaches Weyr's upcoming Hatching festivities. Alida had barely tickled the strings of her seven-stringer before climbing the stairs of the Galleries with other Harpers and taking her seat - thinking of the performance to come (and the food and drink) with a rash grin before eggs started popping. She'd seen a couple of other Hatchings before, but she was in one of the best seating places with her Masters, this time, and everything was so up-close and immediate that the plaited-headed woman kept having to keep herself from leaning out over the railing to oggle even closer.
And then came what nobody - most especially Alida - never thought would've happened. A boxy-bodied, greyish blue dragonet stomped, snorted, forded his way along the steamy Sands right up under the very railing the Harper retinue sat at. After a few wing flaps and growly sounds from the hatchling, the Weyrleaders (all four of them. Weird!) finally had to introduce from afar each human face under the age of 25 in the Harper 'box' to the stubborn little blue dragon. And when faceted red eyes finally met clear, mirthfully-snapping clear greens...it was all over. And all just begun.
No more would Alida's songs grace the Hall, all the places the Harpers wanted her to be. For she was the new, proud 'puppet' and 'mother' of Ilicaeth, who forthrightly announced his intentions to the stunned blonde, and finally sat up on his hind legs to insist she get her butt *down* there on the Sands and help him find some food. Alida's mother and father didn't know whether to groan and faint in disappointment, or gasp in wonderment. They settled for some of both, while the Harpers all around the now-departing Alida simply thinned their lips, sighed, or shook their heads. Done was done.
And now, ten Turns after their unexpected 'meeting,' Alida finally was level enough in her experience of Weyrlife (and yet another long time in adjusting to it) - and still keen enough not only in musical talent, but in teaching, thanks to Ilicaeth's guidance and support...and his intercession with the more obnoxious weyrbrats) to accept the position of WeyrHarper...another something to make her parents and even her former Hall quite proud.
It was a good life, really, and would hopefully only get better from now on, even with the occasional interference of her family, the Hall, and the unexpected.