Hiding in the forge
Location: The Forge
Timeline: 11.25.2012- Early Morning 06:30
As soon as she had woken up the next morning Cat had scampered off to the forge. She was hiding and she knew it. Once she arrived she changed into a set of her forge clothing and folding her street clothes put them into a locker where they would be safe from the flames. It took a bit of time to get the forge fired up but pretty soon she had it heated up so that she could begin working on the metal raccoon for Isabella. She formed the body out of a soft aluminum, so that it wouldn't be too heavy.
Drake had taken the time to make sure his sister was doing well and settled at breakfast before he stole a piece of her bacon and fled. He had no idea what to do with his time, he'd dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and pulled on his wool pea coat and boots so he could get away. Dinner had been so nice but these kids were virtual strangers, Bennie knew more of the younger ones, but he'd always hung out with the other paying students... Payers, he was a Resident now so to him they were Payers. He shook his head going out the door and into the snow, his feet carrying him on a now familiar path. 'How had only a few brief days made this path familiar?' he thought to himself as he stopped a few feet away from the doorway to the forge. She was the only one of the resident student's he knew better then a name and a face.
She bent the form again before turning and heading over to the laptop that she had set up with a picture of a raccoon on it. She had a pair of earbuds in her ears and was listening to music as she worked. For a moment she stood with her hands on her hips before turning back to the metal frame that she had worked up. She twisted the frame so that it would wrap around Isabella's neck. She had an idea for a way to make fur by fraying some wire but at the same time she didn't want to hurt Isabella or make the other girl uncomfortable. "Maybe, fiber optic fur rather than wire?" She muttered to herself as she tried to think of a way to deal with it.
Drake shrugged out of his coat and set it on the stool she'd had him sit on and came up behind her, "What about metal shavings over a wire mesh? It would be softer against the skin and give that illusion of fur."
"Gah!" Cat yelped and jumped like, well like a scalded cat. She hadn't heard anyone come in, then again she had music blaring in her ears so it was a miracle that she had heard Drake when he spoke. Backing away from him she shot him a death glare for a moment before her brain started processing the information that he had given her. "The problem is that no matter how fine or soft the metal, it's still metal and still..." She trailed off for a second as an idea hit her. "I'm already doing it for the scales, would it work for the fur..." She mused before darting over to her work bench. "Would have to be high temp but something more pliable and then I could form the glass around it to lay like fur. It wouldn't be soft or malleable but it would be smooth and wouldn't prick her neck." Cat threw herself into what she knew best, metal and glass, trying to ignore the fact that even though the start had worn off her heart was still pounding in her chest and her stomach was tangled up in knots.
Drake let her work without interruption, sitting in his spot and just watching while she produced beautiful art that he couldn't even begin to imagine making. Then an idea struck him and his look grew canny, he'd have to wait for just the right moment...
She tapped her chin thoughtfully for a moment before looking at an array of wires that were in front of her. She grabbed a couple of really thin wires and then some wire mesh and wove it into a fur like pattern. She took her time, ignoring the distractions around her until she had what she was looking for. It was a small square of wires that looked exactly like a raccoon's fur. There had been a number of mutterings and more than a few curses as she poked her fingers with the sharp metal bits but she finally had it. She had even managed to forget that Drake was still there. Swearing as yet another bit of wire stabbed her finger tip and drew blood this time she stuck the tip of her finger in her mouth and grabbed a crucible and some glass shards, she went for a smokey glass not the standard clear and put a few pieces into the crucible to melt. Then she set the whole thing down on her table and stared for a moment. "In or out? Pour or dip? Which way would be best?" She muttered again.
"I have no idea," Draco said as he moved his stool so he was sitting where she could see him but also where she'd told him was okay the last time she was working in here, "but why don't you start by telling me the merits of each of those choices, maybe just saying it out loud will help you narrow it down or maybe I'll see some logic you're not because you are so focused on the what and how of it all."
Cat's head cocked as though she heard something and her brow wrinkled for a second. She knew that Hulga was in the forge with them, she wasn't sure how she knew but she knew it, and had known it for quite some time. Now that Cat really looked around she could see Hulga sitting behind Drake, her face holding only interest in what Cat was doing and pretty much ignoring Drake who seemed oblivious to her presence.
"Well, there's the excess to worry about with pouring and with dipping there's the heat and then the fact that you have to hold what your dipping." Cat started, she was in her element and in her comfort zone here, the forge was what she knew best and she knew she was good at what she did. "See first I need to figure out if I am going to just put this in the crucible with the glass, let the glass melt and then once the glass has melted use tongs to fish this panel out. Not really the safest thing to be honest, there's the chance that the crucible will get too hot and melt the metal and then things could go really south. Not to mention trying to fish it out with tongs. So I don't think in is the best option. Then there's pouring or dipping. I'm still not sure which one would be the better choice." She frowned as she glanced over at Drake.
"With dipping I would think you'd run the risk of their being marks on the finished item from whatever you were using to hold it. So it sounds like pouring might be the best option it gives you the most control and the least likely chance of damaging the core piece. And if there is excess couldn't you technically heat the glass again with your torch and then clip or rework it until it's just right?" Drake suggested, trying to think the issue through carefully.
Cat nodded slowly as she thought. "That's what I was leaning towards too. Good thing about glass is that it is meltable and can be taken back to a softer state. I was just hoping to find a way to do the fur and have it feel more like fur which is why I was debating using fiber optics for it." She sat in her seat and racked her brain to think of a way to do what she wanted with the materials that she wanted.
"If you were going that rout what's to stop you from using real fur? Either from a shed or a tanned hide... something like rabbit fur would be really soft and could be stretched over the metal frame. I know the kitchen serves rabit so I would imagine they have pelts that could be used..." Drake suggested, really getting into helping her with this project, "fiber optic would still be prickly doesn't ever really get soft."
"Yeah, but fur just isn't my bailiwick. So I was trying to stay in my comfort zone, also I don't know if Isabella wants fur or not. I really should talk to her about that, also need to ask her if she wants the critter articulated or not." Cat walked over to her computer and eyed it warily. "I'm just typing a note to myself, you don't have to spaz out and make me call Maus." It was fairly obvious that she was talking to the machine. She opened up an email and typed a few quick notes, then sent it to herself before typing another email to Isabella and asking her the pertinent questions. Straightening she went back to the metal form and looked at it critically. "Logically the coin would need to be about an inch if not smaller to look good. Though I think I'm going to lean more towards an implosion piece." She turned and looked at Drake with a broad grin, forgetting in her excitement, to share her plan of the Christmas present that she had thought up for the Orphan girl, that she was supposed to be upset with him. "I'm planning on making the coin or whatever the raccoon is holding into a pendant to give to Isabella for Christmas, then when she wants to wear Rocky here all she needs to do is put the pendant into his hands and go." She walked over to her glass working supplies. Obviously putting the metal sculpture on the back burner until she had heard back from the other girl about the fur idea. "Have you ever seen an implosion pendent?" She asked Drake over her shoulder.
As she moved around Drake could see Bennie's pegasus, it seemed to be hanging in mid air the wire holding it up was so fine. And beside that was a piece that was two pieces, the front half and back half of a dragon going through what looked like the portal rings from the game Portal. They were sculpted with Cat's usual attention to detail and she had even gotten a little gory on the other side, painting a rather lifelike and realistic look of a dragon's insides before pouring another layer of colored glass to mute the look a bit. Though it was hanging like Bennie's it was obvious that Cat had designed the piece to go against a wall or two.
"No," Drake answered, "I haven't seem an implosion pendant." He looked over the other designs but it was Cat that held most of his attention. Eventually he had a favor to ask her, lessons on what being an orphan meant in this place, but for now he just wanted to be near her to help her get comfortable around him.
Meanwhile, outside Brann walked inside the snowy prints of a pair of shoes about his size and a stride between two and three inches taller. Given a male weight displacement and heading toward the forge, he calculated that Drake cornered Cat in her den. He closed quietly and once Drake's tracks ended at the walk into the forge, Brann hopped to the side, onto the foundation to avoid leaving tracks. He crouched to hide the length of his shadow and listened carefully.
Cat went back over to her computer and pulled up a group of pictures of implosion pendants. She twisted the computer to face him. "Those are implosion pendants." The pendants were interesting, many looking like flowers captured in clear glass. Cat pulled out rods of glass in multiple shades of yellows with a few whites and began to do the prep work for making the twisted cane for the pendant. Slipping on a pair of glasses with violet colored lenses she lit the torch on her work table. Carefully she began to put lines of color over a clear glass center, as she laid the lines down soon they covered the entire clear rod before twisting things carefully and then rolling it along a graphite plate to form a cylinder. She repeated the action time and time again until finally she had a fat cylinder and then she twisted it some more, pulling until it turned into a thin long cane of twisted colors.
"Cat," Drake said in a soft voice as he watched her work, "I need your help."
"With what?" Cat asked as she finished pulling the cane out. Carefully she flamecut either end and set the new glass rod on the table in front of her. Once it was set down she turned off her torch and spun her chair to face Drake and give him her full attention.
"My entire life has been learning to be a society brat, a well behaved society brat. Your world is upside down and backwards from everything I know," he rubbed the fuzz of hair he had in a nervous gesture, "I made more mistakes in one night of trying to be polite and well mannered... Bennie's already got friends among the younger kids, they've already started showing her the ropes, but I'm older and if I ask anyone else for help they'll just see it as a weakness. So I'm asking you and hoping you won't throw me under the bus to the other residential students." Privately he knew he had to figure out his place in this new family before the paying students returned from break or he was going to get chewed up and spit out and have no where else to go.
Cat bit her lip as she thought about how to answer him. As much as she liked Drake now that he was an Orphan she was afraid of what could happen between them. It wasn't that she didn't want it to happen but she wanted him to like her for her not because she was the most familiar face. At the same time she enjoyed spending time with him, he was nice and amazingly enough even though he had been raised to be a society brat he didn't act entitled. He didn't treat her like the other Payer guys and he certainly didn't try to man handle her, it was one of the things that had drawn her to him in the first place. At the same point in time she didn't want to spend time with him because she didn't want to get even more attached to him. She was quiet for about five minutes as she stared at him and worried her lower lip with her teeth. Finally she let out a sigh, in the end she couldn't fight her need to protect those she cared about. "I'll help you." She said softly before standing up and holding her hand out to him.
Drake hadn't exactly held his breath but it had been close, "Thank you."