Pushing her hair back over her shoulder, Lydia stared at the building before her. “The Fortress of the Light,” she whispered to herself, somewhat unaware of the flood of humanity jostling her as she stood outside the gates. When someone started shouting for her to get out of the way, she very willingly jumped back – she was not in the mood to get mowed down by a returning patrol!
Her eyes drifted back to the structure again. Why is it that on the day she finally decided to find out if she could become a Child like her father, something she had wanted all her 18 years… was she standing outside the gate gawking like some foreigner? Taking a deep breath, she willed her legs forward, and beyond the outer gate.
Crossing to what looked like the main entryway, Lydia took stock of herself. She wasn’t that much to look at – long dark hair and normal dark eyes. Calloused hands from a life of beating other peoples’ clothing clean attempted to smooth large wrinkles out of her ill-fitted dress… how she hated having to wear dresses. Her mother had always ignored her desire to follow in her father’s footsteps and had tried to make a lady out of her. Besides, she couldn’t see any man wanting a plain thing like her, soldier to-be or not…
Shaking her head, she entered the building proper. Her footsteps echoed through the cavernous entrance chamber before she stopped moving to openly stare. Why, this fit into those stories her mother told her of kings and queens as she was a child; was this the world she was entering?!
“Hey now, what are you looking at?” a man stopped in front of her and inquired. Blushing slightly, Lydia managed to stammer out a reply, “G-g-ood Day, sir. I w-w-was… that is to say… where do I sign up to become a Child of the Light?” The man laughed slightly, eying her with mild incredulity. She lowered her head slightly, before raising it back up to meet him in the eye. Curiosity dawned in his face, but he politely explained that she would have to meet up with the Head Clerk, and gave directions to his office.
“Thank you, sir,” she responded politely before starting in the direction he had indicated. Yes, she could understand his response. She didn’t look like soldier material on the outside, but on the inside… who knew?
It wasn’t long before she found herself before some door with scribbles on it. She didn’t know how to read, so as she knocked, she prayed fervently that she hadn’t come to the wrong place.
15 January 2009 (2:02am GMT)
“Healer?” Lydia exclaimed, “N-nn-no, sir, I’m not a healer…”
She trailed off, blushing. This was the man that the other people in the office seemed to indicate was the person she needed to talk to, but she had thought the smirking was because she was a frail girl. And while she might not be the brightest, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that they were smirking at the misfortune of anyone that had to deal with this man personally.
“Well then, what do you want?!” this man, this Roudal barked at her, “Make it quick, can’t you see I’m trying to have a cup of tea?” He glowered at her, and she felt yet another blush creeping up her face.
Taking a breath, she took a step closer to his desk, “My name is Lydia Gerig sir, and I want to be a Child of the Light, like my father before me. He told me about the joy of serving a higher purpose and defending that what is good in the world, and I have always wanted to take after him. And now that I’m a woman grown, I intend to do just that… if you’ll have me, that is.”
Lydia bowed her head, and hoped that she hadn’t been overly bold. She had no idea what she would do with herself if they wouldn’t take her, but she knew one thing – she was done with being a washerwoman like her mother. One way or another, she would make something of herself in this world.
19 February 2009 (8:14pm GMT)
Blushing slightly, Lydia took another step closer to the desk, “Why under the Light would he think I’m a healer? Was that.. was that a test?” She shuddered momentarily before speaking again, “My full name is Lydia Gerig, as said sir. I was born and raised right here in Amador – my mother is a washerwoman for some of the officers here in the Fortress, sir.”
Biting her lip, she wondered if she was being too forceful in tone, but she was serious about her desire to serve. She thought he wasn’t toying with her, but this might as well have been a different country on this side of the Fortress walls.