Solo Over the Moon

Star-gazing at the Observatory

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Over the Moon

Postby Baiya on February 4th, 2021, 9:05 pm

29th of Winter, 520 AV

"Aren't you going?"

The merchant's voice seemed absolutely shocked, as did her frozen posture. Baiya, on the other hand, was unperturbed. Sure, she had heard the rumors of the shooting stars and their beauty, but it simply didn't seem to be important enough to cancel her night of relaxation.

"Well, I don't know. I'm usually rather tired after work and-"

"Oh, you must go!" The woman leaned back dramatically, holding the purchase just out of Baiya's reach. This might have been taken for an absent-minded mistake had the merchant not pointedly avoided Baiya's glare.

"It will be so beautiful." She lectured, "And it's important to honor the Gods when they provide us with this beauty you know. Zintila gives us this gift of a show and you say, oh, I would rather be at home? For shame!"

"Yeah, I suppose. May I have those now?" Baiya pointed to the toasted chestnuts she had been planning on enjoying at home in her pajamas.

Unabashed, the merchant pressed the bag into Baiya's hand and looked directly into her eyes. "I'll see you there."

Without responding, Baiya took her purchase and scurried away from the stall as quickly as she could, disappearing into the evening rush of the Azure Market. And though the merchant was soon out of sight, the encounter did not escape her memory so quickly.

---

By the time the 19th bell had tolled, Baiya begrudgingly found herself at the steps to Iraltu's Observatory in her pajamas clutching her bag of chestnuts. Ignoring even the most blatant of stares, Baiya made her way past the clumps of people and into the first floor of the building.

Inside, she sat herself down at one of the wooden desks skirting the room. The people on the first floor were chattering excitedly while passing off skyglass scopes to one another. They took turns going up into the second floor to view the skies under the careful watch of several employed astronomers.

Baiya, on the other hand, simply crossed her legs beneath herself and opened her bag of treats. The merchant may have ruined her plans to have a relaxing evening at home, but she'd be damned if she wouldn't have a nice, relaxing evening at the observatory. And when that old crow finally stopped by, well then they could see each other there and Baiya could finally go home.

Ledger- 1 Kina for half pound of toasted chestnuts
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Last edited by Baiya on February 28th, 2021, 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Over the Moon

Postby Baiya on February 22nd, 2021, 4:27 pm


Baiya sat impatiently for nearly half a bell. She popped chestnuts one at a time into her mouth (even though they were much too large to be doing so) and chomped down on them loudly. Although strangers gave her looks, she ignored most of them. A choice few that were too judgmental to ignore, she returned with a sharp scowl. One group of girls walked past, pointing to her table and whispering. They giggled giddily, hardly even noticing when Baiya gave them her best tongue-sticking-out look. It's like they're not even looking at me. What-

Her thoughts were interrupted by a firm hand coming down on Baiya's shoulder.

"Are you waiting to go up?"

Baiya turned slowly, embarrassed at being caught during her childish display. But all thoughts of herself were lost as she became seized by the man's beauty. The man had golden hair which fell in waves down to rest upon his shoulders. It bounced gently when he tilted his head to meet her eyes with blues and golds she thought not possible in humans. He grinned at her, and it was a lopsided smile exposing just a few teeth out of place in a perfectly imperfect array.

"Sorry." He chuckled, removing his hand from her shoulder. "Didn't mean to scare you."

"No, no!" Baiya quickly stood up, realizing too late that this brought her very close to his face. "I mean, you didn't. I was just, uh, focused." She shoved the bag of chestnuts behind herself to hide, as if they flakes on her shirt and mouth were invisible.

"Oh, good." He took half a step back. Silence weighed heavily on the conversation for a moment. "So, are you?" He prompted.

"Am I what?" Baiya asked dazedly.

"Going up to look at the stars?" He raised an eyebrow and gave her a smile. "I'm ready for the next group."

"Uh, yeah, sure."

He never stopped smiling, but he rolled his eyes and shook his head at her. "Alright then. Follow me."

He helped her up the stairs to the second story, politely introducing himself and the observatory as they went. "My name is Luke. I've been working at Iraltu's Observatory for about 3 seasons now, going on a fourth and my specialty here is navigation and mapping."

The darkness of the second story was temporarily overwhelming. There were no lights, save for Leth's, and it took her eyes a moment to adjust. Afraid of crashing into something expensive, Baiya stopped where she was until she could see again. Luke carried on, used to the short interruptions.

"If you're curious about the history of the constellations you'll have to talk to Amber, and we have someone talking about the religious aspects of the cosmos, too, although I'm not sure who's on right now.

"And of course, if you just want to see the shooting stars, I understand that. They are marvelous."

Still partially blind, Baiya waved in the direction of Luke's voice. "No, I think I want to learn about the navigation."
Last edited by Baiya on February 28th, 2021, 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Over the Moon

Postby Baiya on February 23rd, 2021, 10:48 pm


As her eyes adjusted to the low light conditions, Baiya was able to take in her surroundings. She found that the second floor was beautiful, in a horribly intimidating way. Gadgets lay on many surfaces, with interlocking bits and complex moving pieces she couldn't begin to imagine the purpose of. Looking glasses were passed around in careful hands to view the stars through skyglass pieces. The floor was quiet, except for soft-spoken explanations by the astronomers and the occasional gasps of awe as shooting stars rocketed by.

Baiya took Luke's hand and allowed him to guide her closer to the window. In his other hand, she noticed a stack of oversized papers. He handed one to her to hold, and gestured to her to unfold it. At its full size, it was almost difficult to hold. Luke hardly noticed, instead beginning to explain the functions.

"This is a star map, or a star atlas if you're talking about the larger collection. So we see in the corner here we have written the timeframe." He pointed to a tiny hand-scrawled note in the corner which designated the map for early winter. "And it will show us what the night sky looks like for the date! This one isn't as exact as others, but it will give us a good idea.

"Now, in the observatory, we mostly use these to identify constellations and guide guests through the sky. To do this, we look here on the map and choose a direction. Our window is facing north, so let's look in the northern sky." Luke placed his hands over Baiya's and rotated the map gently until the 'N' was facing out the window. For a moment, she forgot to listen and was instead occupied by the feeling of his rough hands over hers. She watched his face as he explained and she was rendered speechless by the faint starlight catching in his eyes. For a moment his words were lost on her. He pointed at the map and the sky, guiding her through the process with a specificity that would've been difficult to follow even if she had heard what he was saying.

When she tuned back in, she realized the conversation had come to a pause. He beamed at her expectantly. Assuming he had given her an interesting fact, she nodded encouragingly and gave him a thoughtful, affirmative noise in her throat. She realized after his look turned hurt that he had probably made a joke he was waiting for her to laugh at. Stupid, She thought, Just listen to him!

"Sorry," She ventured slowly, trying to find the right words to say. "I guess I don't get it. Uhm, how does finding the name of a constellation help you navigate?"

"Oh!" Although his expression still seemed hurt, he recovered his professional demeanor quickly and returned to his lecture. "Well in order to use the star map to navigate, you have to use it in reverse, see? We knew our direction, so we can use it to see the stars. But if we know what stars we're looking at, we can find the direction we're facing!" His enthusiasm was contagious; Baiya smiled.

"Do you want to try? You can use the constellation we found earlier."

Ah, damn.
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Over the Moon

Postby Baiya on February 28th, 2021, 7:36 pm


Baiya squinted nervously first at the star map, and then at the night sky. The stars were so much more numerous in real life than they were on the map. There were a million tiny stars, too small to earn a mark on the paper but plenty large enough to dazzle her eyes and confuse her. Almost comically, Baiya pointed to a star on the map and tried to follow it directly up to the sky with her finger. It was no use. Her finger was pointing at everything.

"Uhm, is it there?" She asked.

"Well, it's hard for me to tell what you see," Luke began. He suddenly interrupted himself, though, as a blue streak shot across the sky. "Oh, look! Did you see that?"

This time, Baiya didn't have to fake her interest. Her breath caught in her throat in excitement before she finally choked out a reaction. "Holy Zintila! That's...wow. That's cool." She laughed in amazement. "Are they all that fast?"

"Yeah. It feels like you can never see it straight on. It's always in the corner of your eye somehow. But they tend to come in groups, so there should be more if you just keep watching that direction."

Baiya watched with baited breath, the star map forgotten by her side. It only took a chime before another star streaked across her field of vision. This one had an odd green hue to it. "Oh!"

"Did you see one?" Luke asked, leaning closer to peer over her shoulder. Baiya simply nodded. Emotion fluttered in her chest at his closeness, made all the worse by the beauty of their surroundings and the hush of the night that covered them. They watched silently for a few chimes until a lull passed. At that point, the other groups began to murmur and file out, with new groups being led up by the other astronomers. One of them upon leaving handed Baiya their looking glass.

Putting the glass up one eye, and squishing her other shut, Baiya found an entirely new sky to view. All the small stars which had littered her vision before were not small at all. They were rendered in detail now, with their own shining formations. How can they possibly chart all the stars? She wondered. It's like as long as you keep looking, they just keep popping up! She swiveled the glass around her to gaze at a new sky. Then again, she spun around and around, taking in the cosmos. More and more, everywhere you look!

Hearing a soft gasp, she pulled the looking glass away from her face. "Damn it, did I miss one?"

Luke winced. He reached out to take the instrument away from her gently. "Uh, not exactly. Just be careful with that looking glass, alright? It's not cheap."

Baiya noticed the wide empty circle she had created around herself and blushed deeply. "Sorry. Uh, maybe I should get going anyway."
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Over the Moon

Postby Baiya on March 1st, 2021, 4:50 pm


In her imagination of the conversation, Luke had said 'oh no, please don't go', and she had said 'oh why don't you come with me?' and they had had a wonderful night together. What she hadn't taken into account was the fact that she had not really been flirting with him at all. She hadn't expressed any interest beyond gawking like a schoolgirl. Now she was expecting to reap the fruits of her labor, but she hadn't done any of said labor.

And so, instead of working like her fantasy, Luke nodded understandingly when she announced her intent to leave. "There are a lot of people who want to see the stars," He agreed.

Despite understanding the logic, Baiya bristled instinctively. "I'm going to look more, though. At home." She could hear the defensiveness in her own voice. It was ugly, but she couldn't stop it.

"That's good." Confusion warped Luke's brow and he shared this look with another astronomer across the room briefly, before returning to his professional demeanor. "I look forward to seeing you again."

"I'll see you some other time when there's not so many people." She concluded.

"If you just want to see my projects, you can come during the day. We don't need to have the stars out to work on organizing the atlas." He offered helpfully.

"Maybe I will." Still feeling rather miffed, Baiya crossed her arms and gave him a fat-lipped pout.

Luckily for her, Luke assumed that this was playful. He laughed and elbowed her with a wink that sent her organs into somersaults. "You better be an expert by then, though. You gotta help if you're gonna be hanging around."

Again, though she logically knew this wasn't serious, something stubborn dug its heels into Baiya's mind. She wanted to be better at navigating the wilds anyway, so if she was able to seduce this man (or some other rugged, wildness types) in the meantime, perhaps all the better. Yes, that's exactly what she would do. Wiping her sweaty hands on her soft pajamas, she then held one out to shake in farewell.

"It's a date."

"Sure."
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