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Mikaere had heard about a young Niveis who wasn’t exactly adjusting very well to her new found lifestyle from Keo(Anviva). Mik wanted to check in on the young thing to see how she was fairing; he remembered his first little while as a Niveis and it was not easy trying to remember you now controlled Ice instead of Fire. Getting used to the fact that this was your last life was also not very easy; for someone as old as Mikaere that was still having trouble sinking in. After 50 years of being a Niveis he still struggled from time to time, but without fail Keo was always there, or Rhy and Lyra to catch Mik if he fell. He wasn’t sure where he would be without the circle of Niveis he had made in his new life.
He had recently reconnected with the Celestial he had taken on as his adopted daughter, it was hard for Mik to see someone so young suffering and not to have family around. He tended to be a father figure to anyone and everyone in his life, so it was an easy transition for the elder man. His own child went missing when she was 5 years old and he has yet to find her; 50 years later, he is praying that she is like him and is a Phoenix.
Dragging his thoughts back to the present to the young Niveis who needed him in the here and now, yet again another young woman who needed someone to take her under their wing and care for her and help her adapt. Mik walked towards the cabin where she stayed within the Niveis compound so he liked to think of it.
Rapping his knuckles against the wood with a tap tap tap, the large man waited. He stepped back and stood tall as he waited. He half expected her to open the door and yell at him for waking her, or just generally distracting her. He so often imagined going through the teenage years with his own daughter but there was no way he would ever get that time back with her; so, all he had left was what he could cook up within him own mind.
When she opened the door, he smiled which was rare for him these days “Hello I am Mikaere, I am one of the Tribes trainers, I heard you were having trouble adjusting and may need a guide? Of sorts?” He asked looking down at her.
It's really no secret that Autumn is having a hard time learning the ropes. For as quickly as she tends to adjust to things, it's different when your entire life was thrown on it's head and much of the time Autumn still feels like she's spinning and just trying to find her bearings. Of course that's not saying that she hasn't had help, the parts of her new tribe that she's met so far have all been wonderful... if a bit prickly in a certain Niveis's case.
Even so, Autumn finds routine helps her settle her thoughts better than anything. She's used to waking up early after spending several years at sea and since she finds it difficult to sleep most nights, continuing to wake up early is a tradition she's happy to carry on. She no longer makes coffee in the mornings - there's no longer a cranky fishing crew that's only civil after their morning cup, her grandfather included - but she does make tea and food and cleans and just generally tries to keep herself busy.
She has the radio turned on, music playing softly as she goes about her morning. It's not overbearingly loud, the sound only barely cutting across the otherwise quiet morning, and she'd only just settled down on the couch to try and read a book when she hears knocking at her door. Grateful she hadn't actually gotten into the reading yet she sets her book down and cuts off the radio before padding over to the door and pulling it open.
Contrary to his expectations there's no yelling. Instead she looks up at him with a friendly smile to match his own, though she does allow herself to wonder how everyone in this city is so darned tall. "Hello! It's nice to meet you. I'm Autumn, though I suppose you knew that already." She moves out of the way, motioning for him to come inside if he'd like to. With the door held open the smell of breakfast wafts out. "A guide... I suppose you could say that. I'm pretty new to all of this, so any help I can get would be appreciated. I don't really have any prior experience to fall back on." There's a brief pause as she blinks. "Oh! Would you like some breakfast?"
Stepping inside when she motioned for him to enter, he did as he looked about her home, she had done well to make it her own; very cozy. Mikaere couldn’t help but chuckled when she said he must have already known her name which of course was true. “True.” He stated, “Not all events in life require prior experience or knowledge.” He stated to her hoping she would understand.
“Being a parent for one that is something one can never prepare themselves for no matter how one might try.” He offered her another genuine smile.
Food that was one thing Mik did not often say no to, with the amount of time he spent working out and or taking long hikes he needed the food to keep up his sustenance. “I would be a fool to turn down the most important meal of the day if you have enough to spare.” He said. Figuring she had only made enough for herself.
“I am still ‘new’ in the life of a Niveis as well, I am only 50 years into this life, 750 into a Phoenix.” He said giving her his real age of being 800. “I will teach you all I can, if you have questions do not hesitate to ask little bird, I will do my very best.” Mikaere suddenly chuckled as an image of a Penguin crossed his mind when he called her little bird. “kororā” (link to the dictionary) He said softly “It means Little Penguin, that shall be your name” Mik often gave people Nicknames using his native tongue it reminded him of home and gave him a reason to speak his native language.
Autumn isn't used to having a whole lot of space, so moving into the cabin was an experience to say the least. Most of the furnishings were already here but she did rearrange things and there's a notable presence of tiny little cacti in decorative planters everywhere. No pictures are anywhere to be seen. "Well I certainly hope not, otherwise you might as well chalk me up to a lost cause," she chuckles, turning to the kitchen as he gets settled in.
She's making herself busy as he talks, going in the fridge for food and putting on a pot of coffee that soon begins to fill the room with the aroma of roasting beans. "My grandfather always said the same thing. He was always talking about how being a parent means having to make hard decisions that no one is prepared for, but also how it was all worth it..." she shrugs as she turns to him, returning his smile, "though I think that time is a long way off for me."
Fortunately for Mikaere, one thing Autumn has retained from her days on the ship is making a big breakfast. There's more than enough to share, she honestly made enough for three of her. Old habits die hard. "Oh I have plenty, don't worry! I'm used to making big breakfasts and I could never eat all of it on my own." The coffee now ready, she brings the spread over to the table so that he can take his pick. Bacon, eggs, toast, and all the dressings. He probably notices that she has more sugar and cream in her coffee than she does coffee, but she's a teenager so that's pretty normal.
Autumn is attentive as he speaks, watching him with a quiet understanding that is much like a student in a class would. "Wow, that's... a long time. I've only been a Niveis for a couple of months now, so I definitely appreciate the coaching." There's a slight pause as she stirs her coffee, mulling over something. "What was it like being a Phoenix?" The question didn't seem to come easily to her, her voice halting over the words as though they were awkward to get out. She settles when he starts talking again, a smile easing it's way back onto her face as she eats. "Little Penguin huh? I like it. If you don't mind me asking, what language is it?" She doesn't say it, but she actually does appreciate the effort to give her a nickname. It makes her feel like part of the family, something she sorely needs at this time.
Mikaere followed her to the kitchen taking up some food onto his plate when it was offered she made herself a coffee. “Do you have herbal tea? If not a glass of water will do fine.” Mikaere did his best to keep his body pure. Which was hard given the types of foods that were available now, and most people he hung around had some sort of an addiction of sorts, Coffee, Candy, Alcohol. Mikaere wasn’t fond of these habits and avoided them himself; he was always the sober one among the crowds.
“Smart grandfather you have.” He chuckled lightly to himself and took a bit of the food “Tasty.” He said “Very smart it is best to wait to have a family of your own.” He nodded his approval of her choice,
Her question about being a phoenix had caused him to stop to ponder, it was something he had not expected her to ask. “I liked being a Phoenix I was proud to be one, I lived many lives, served in many wars, I made weapons mostly melee and learned to wield all sorts of them for battles. The feel of the fire burning inside was… is something I miss, I miss the warmth it gave me, I miss the fire I created in and instant, now it’s cold ice. He opened his palm and an ice horse formed in his palm.
“I feel like the cold makes me feel… reminded that I am dead that this is my final life, for me that is a tough pill to swallow, but I make the most of what I have got. I train, I hike, I mediate and I help those around me.” Mikaere smiled he was glad she enjoyed her new name he had given her. “It is Maori, Native language to New Zealand where I spent most of my life.”
Autumn pauses at his request, taking a moment to think before turning around and going through her cabinets. She hasn't had a lot of opportunity to stock up yet but she does usually keep some green tea around... "Is green tea okay? Sorry, I don't have too much to choose from, I need to go to the store." Coffee is more of a comfort for her than an addiction, but she completely understands not drinking it. To her, it's another form of schedule that she holds onto to give her life some sense of normalcy. Considering how her entire life has been thrown for a loop, she figures some comfort items like that can't be too bad.
"He was. I miss him.." Her smile turns a little sad at the edges for a moment but she doesn't allow herself to dwell on it for more than a few seconds, instead turning her focus to the present. "Glad you approve. On both counts. I cooked all the time on the ship so I like to think I picked up a few things." Cooking is another thing she's held onto since coming to Evermore, though she has also indulged in the occasional restaurant while out in the city, just for something different. Also to get ideas.
Autumn's attention seems to be focused solely on him as he ponders over her question, seemingly taking this quite seriously. As he speaks of the warmth the inner fire gave him she looks to her own hands, closing them for a moment as though recalling the feeling of the fire in her own veins. "I... I'm glad to be a Niveis now. I suppose I never really felt quite... right as a Phoenix. It was like, I don't know, like I was constantly on edge. I was always expecting to hurt someone or for someone to try and hurt me. I never knew what to do with the fire so I just... never used it. I always felt it there but I couldn't bring myself to use it." He does manage to pull a smile back out of her with the little ice horse, seemingly breaking her out of whatever spell she was in. "That's why I want to learn these powers. So I do appreciate you taking the time with me."
She purses her lips a little as he explains about the nickname and the language, thinking back to see if she remembers ever going to New Zealand. "We actually went there one time. We didn't stay long, but I remember thinking how beautiful it was. According to my grandfather I was born in Hawaii, but I've never actually been. We traveled a lot but there are still a lot of places I'd like to visit. Though, I'm sure you've been all over. Everything you've seen, it must have been amazing."
“Green Tea will do just fine.” He said with a smile, it seemed a little odd that an Icy species enjoyed such hot drinks, but Mik did; it reminded him of being a phoenix the hot feeling inside him. “I could always help you go into town to shop.” He offered her. “Being a Phoenix was a pride for me, my powers I used for good, they helped me in times of war. Being able to revive after being killed the enemy troops never expected.” Mik gave an almost sad smiled at the war memories.
“Being a Niveis I think is something to be proud of as well, at least that is what I have picked up on while being here in this tribe.” He said in a soft tone. “You should never be ashamed of who you are, or what you can do. When you fear yourself others can take advantage of that and manipulate you to do harm instead of good.” Mik never wanted that for someone as young as she was.
The mention of Hawaii and his travels “Aye, I have been all over little one. Not always happy memories, due to different decades. Times of war, slavery, women not being respected as they are now. Times have changed a lot from when I was young. I am happy to see the direction things are going, technology still scares me” Mikaere often forgets his phone but he does know how to use it, but life seemed to rely on the little objects. He much preferred being outside in nature exploring and being face to face with others.
Autumn quickly sets the green tea brewing, leaving the small machine to do its job. It was a gift when she moved in and she really enjoys it, finding it far more convenient than having to brew things the old fashioned way. Plus it does just as good a job, so there’s really no downside. “Really? I’d like that. So far I’ve just grabbed whatever’s cheapest.” She needs a job. She’s been looking, but since she’s also trying to get settled in the city that’s been hard to do and the money left behind by her grandfather is dwindling fast. With the tea finally done, Autumn brings him his drink and then settles into the chair, watching as his smile turns sad from the memories. What he’s telling her now stands in stark contrast to what she’s been told all her life, but beyond a slightly confused look she doesn’t betray her thoughts. It’s just odd to her that someone could miss being a phoenix, but everyone is different and he lived a long time as one. “To be fair, I don’t imagine most people would expect it. They probably thought you were a zombie.” She appears to be hoping to get a truer smile from him with that joke, dorky as it was.
She takes a moment after he speaks to consider what he’s telling her. It makes sense. Being unsure of herself would leave her open to someone manipulating her and she gives a slow nod as his words sink in. “You’re right. That’s why it’s important for me to learn. If I learn about my abilities then there’s not as much to be scared of. I do know I don’t want to hurt people.” Just looking at her could tell someone that; Autumn just seems like a gentle person at heart and she’s still very trusting of others. “Rhydian showed me a couple of things, but he didn’t have time to really go into any detail. Other than that, all I’ve ever done has been on instinct.”
Most of what he’s referring to having experienced is nothing more than a history lesson for her. Her grandfather taught her about all of this of course, but most of it felt so disconnected from her actual experience that she had a hard time picturing it until she was older. “I read that the superstition used to be that women on boats were bad luck. Apparently if sailors caught a woman on board they’d throw her overboard. I mean even today sailors can be a superstitious bunch, but that’s hard to imagine… but I guess better doesn’t mean perfect.” She remembers her grandfather’s warnings very well. Never let anyone know what she was, because there are those that would hunt her down and kill her just for being born a phoenix. “I’m still learning about technology too. Nothing too fancy worked in the arctic, the cold was just too much. Being able to look up anything at a moment’s notice is cool though.” She’s found she quite likes modern technology, even if she does still prefer being outside herself to watching things moving across a box.
Her comment made him chuckle he wasn’t expecting it, “Aye they probably did think I was a Zombie. Rwah” He smirked. Mikaere found it easy to be slightly goofy around the younger generations. When around older generations he tended to be colder, firmer. Autumn like Artemitra reminded him of his daughter; though Autumn seemed lost in a world she knew nothing about. Artemitra was a determined young woman, he just hoped the same could be said for young Autumn.
“What has Rhydian shown you so far?” He asked Rhydian was one of Mikaere’s closest friends, and the pair often mentored other Niveis together; they shared the workload basically. Rhydian had gone through many hard life experiences much like Mik had and the two became close over their ‘war’ stories.
“Reacting on instinct isn’t such a bad thing, after all, it helps you figure out what your triggers are to using your abilities on command.” Mik gave the woman a gentle smile. “I still forget sometimes that I am using ice now and not fire.” He admitted. “So, I think I am about to use fire and ice comes out instead sometimes it shocks me for a moment and I need to rethink how to approach the situation. It is a learning curve for me.” Reach his hand out her pat hers softly. “It is not something to be feared though. In time you will hold your head high and be proud of what you can do little one I know you will.”
Autumn laughs at his rather unexpected zombie growl, the gesture surprisingly goofy. For someone who might initially come across as stern that was funny. "Well, I'm sure you can credit yourself as the start of some zombie superstitions then. Part of me wishes I could have seen their faces." At the same time, part of her would find being on a battlefield to be way too distracting in a very bad way. She's never so much as thrown a punch before, she can't even imagine what a genuine battle would be like.
She takes a minute to think back to her meeting with Rhydian before she answers him, going over everything in her head. "Mostly it was just demonstrations, stuff like melting snow and making things out of ice like you did with the horse. I had only just gotten here so he was more concerned with helping me get settled in." As well as getting her paperwork settled, since she was considered dead before showing up in Evermore. It's really only thanks to the tribe that she's managed to get her footing at all and she realizes she has a lot of learning and work ahead of her. "I managed to figure out my wings on my own. Everything else is... a bit lost on me right now." Considering she drowned in the arctic sea, that means she flew from there to Evermore, a tiring trip for anyone.
His mention of figuring out what triggers her powers working actually causes her to think back. That night isn't one of her best memories so she hasn't revisited it much and she was already moving through the water by the time she fully came to. She can remember causing the ice and snow to move, allowing her to force her body out of the water, but for the life of her she can't recall how she managed it. Her head was fuzzy at that point and she couldn't concentrate well. "Yeah, if only I could remember how I did it," her soft chuckle is almost sad sounding, but she doesn't let the smile fall from her face. It is relieving to hear that even he sometimes finds it odd, it gives her a bit more confidence that if she messes up - and she's sure she will - it won't be a strange thing. She seems a bit surprised when Mikaere reaches out to pat her hand, finding the gesture comforting. While she never doubted that her grandfather loved her he was never one for hugs or anything of the sort. Being an Initia, she could only ever figure that he did it to keep her from accidentally hurting him. "That's a relief. But before I can get to that point I have to start learning, right?" Something about Autumn just seems determined not to let herself get down. She may be lost about the way things work, but she certainly doesn't seem the type to let it deter her. "In that case, I'd love to start. Baby steps toward becoming part of the tribe."
The Elder Niveis laughed as she commented that he likely could credit himself for the start of the Zombie fade that this culture seemed to know and talk about often. Mikaere had never really thought about it that way, just that when he died, he would come back to life; it was just his way of life. “It was a little something like this.” Mik tried to replicate the horrified looks when a man they had killed came back, right before he killed them so no one could tell his tale.
“That is impressive, did you use your Phoenix wings much?” He asked trying to gauge her skills. So she really was starting at ground Zero with everything ability related, he nodded his head and committed that note to memory. So, he would need to start off small and work up to the harder more complex aspects of their abilities.
“You are already one of the tribe, your powers do not determine that they just determine what level of help you can offer. Who knows maybe you will surpass me and be able to help teach some of the newer members in years to come.” He offered a smile. “Well How about we finish eating first and then we can go outside and try to find what your triggers are. The training.” He said with a smile towards her.
Though Mikaere had a feeling her trigger was being scared and alone which was hard to replicate, so he hoped she could master something smaller on her own. Maybe he would start with weapons training and see how well she adjusted to that and add in skill training as they went along. Mik enjoyed using his Staff that was his weapon of choice he was quite lethal with it and most wouldn’t expect that from him.
“Oh so the movies had it mostly right then,” her comment is accompanied by a giggle at the face that he pulls. Actually, movies and games were some of her only company back in their travels besides her grandfather. So long as she didn’t connect to the internet he didn’t mind her playing games or watching movies so most of her afternoons consisted of something like that while he was out doing something that she could never know. Other than the afternoons she’d followed him but that got boring too after a while.
His question brings a wistful smile to her face and it takes her a second before she answers him, her mind having temporarily gone back. “More than any of my other abilities for sure, but no, not much. We were always worried that flying would allow someone to see me so I could only use my wings when we were in the middle of nowhere. It was my favorite part of being a phoenix though.” Because of that, even her niveis wings come more naturally to her than her other abilities. Perhaps because she doesn’t have any negative associations with them? She can’t be sure.
He’s being kind in his assurances but he can see in her eyes that she doesn’t quite believe him, her smile not reaching her eyes. In her experience belonging to a group depends on how much you can help and she despises feeling useless. “Maybe I will… I am interested to know about all that we can do though.” The smile returns to her eyes finally and she chuckles a little. “Ah, right, sorry about that. Go ahead and finish up.” She hadn’t fixed a very large plate so in the time they’ve been talking she’s mostly finished eating and she has a habit of getting carried away.
Considering that she’s never really ‘trained’ before, she has no idea what to expect. When she finishes with her plate she carries it over to the sink to be washed later and then stands, sipping the rest of her coffee. She knows well enough that she’s not a violent person but she also understands the need to be able to defend herself and, more than that, to protect the others. She doesn’t want what happened to her family to happen again. Getting those doubts and anxieties out of her head is easier said than done though and she finds herself chewing on her lip as her thoughts run away from her. Ever the problem solver her head goes in other directions, trying to figure out a solution to her dilemma. “Hey Mik? Is there any way for you to teach me something that wouldn’t hurt someone? Like, a way to protect myself and use my powers that wouldn’t… well, cause permanent injury?” She looks at him over the rim of her coffee cup, partially hiding her expression from him.