"Now I can get behind a drink," Sahari said, mistaking the flask immediately, and once again quietly praised her dragon's excellent judgement. His ability to - and only at a glance - pick out people who had The Right Stuff (whatever that stuff was, Sahari didn't know) had made him an excellent search rider in his time at Ista Weyr, and now it seemed to be paying off in dividends here, too. A drinking buddy. Maybe they could gripe together about Wingleaders and how they kept unfairly playing favourites, and how the status quo sucked.
Who is she, anyway? You talk to everybody around here. Maybe I'd recognize the green.
The uncertain pause before Oachayth replied set off alarm bells.
<<She rose against Farlith.>>
Gears cranked in Sahari's head as she processed that statement, even going so far as to turn her head and glance back toward where Oachayth now lounged in the shallows. One of his large eyes was open, watching her like she was a particularly clumsy hatchling meandering along the cliff's edge. Then: a sudden flicker of realization. She stiffened with her arm outstretched, hand held out toward the flask the other, younger woman carried.
Oh shit, it's that former gold rider. Her dragon is dead, you know. She killed someone.
She could feel the weight of her dragon's quiet sorrow, and felt her own rising anger match it. Stupid gold riders and their stupid machinations, fighting over empty halls. She almost turned around and left right there.
<<It was not her fault.>>
But she didn't.
"Oh." was all she said, caught out and no longer certain how to talk to her.