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That's *one* thing he hated. The NOISE, NOISE, NOISE, NOISE!

Laura Walker
 

It was difficult to fight the feeling that he shouldn’t have come. 


Attlin was used to being in charge of his own little world. It was a quiet lonely little world but it was his and he kept it orderly. In comparison the Weyr felt like a chaotic nightmare. The Dining Hall held more people than he’d seen except at a Gather, or at the one Hatching he’d attended and it wasn’t an occasion it was just how many people there were


Everywhere he looked there were people. Even a little guard tailing him (Although what use she was meant to be should he actually get attacked he wasn’t sure. And did people often get attacked in the Weyr? Not that it didn’t feel big enough to be believable, and clearly Garatt had been but.. Faranth, what kind of place had he sent his son to?)


It wasn’t as though Garatt had wanted to see him. Or he’d actually managed to see the Weyrleaders. In fact, by the time he trailed back to the Infirmary Attlin was unsure in his own mind whether it was to ask where he should be sleeping the night (dear Faranth, give him a room however small with no people in it) or for a lift home because clearly he was doing no good here.


"Hey," said Cuylar once a young apprentice had informed him that Attlin was back. "Are you OK? You look a little… overwhelmed."


“It’s very busy here, isn’t it?” Attlin still had that crisp politeness to him, but he seemed a little more ruffled now, a formerly big fish drowned in the immense lake that was the Weyr.


"It's definitely always on here. Are you going to stay the night?" Cuylar wondered. Now was a good a time as any to invite Attlin to play cards. After all, the man seemed to want desperately for friends. And if he was anything like his son… maybe a shoulder to cry on.


“..Maybe I should go home.” Attlin sounded as though he was testing the idea for size. “The boy hardly needs me, and-- I tried to get to see the Weyrleaders but they’re all in meetings.”


"Well. I can take you home after my shift is over if you like. Or you're welcome to come join me and my friends for a round of cards. Guest picks the game, if you like," Cuylar smiled broadly. "Plus, I've got matching stoneware now. And I could put together a mean little snack. Smoked meats, pickles, cheese, the whole nine paces. Some ale, maybe?"


It was a kind offer. Attlin looked as though someone had invited him to a wher-fighting match, possibly with the intent that he personally fight the whers. “Thank you, but I haven’t played cards in turns,” he excused himself hastily. Or gone to that kind of gathering in turns either. The thought felt terrifying, overwhelming, as though that type of socialising was a skill long-lost and impossible to recover.


"Come for the company?" Cuylar offered. Then he smiled and shook his head. "I understand, I don't mean to press you. I'll get you home to your own bed tonight, no worries."


“It’s not like-- the boy has the books now, anyway.” Attlin sounded as though he were trying to excuse his own absence to himself. It wasn’t quite working though. “But-- shells, I can’t leave him without talking to someone, can I?” Not without understanding what had happened. Not without knowing he was safe.


"You wound me, sir," said Cuylar, though he smiled to soften it. "I can introduce you to the Weyrhealer or to the Candidatemaster or both, if it would be a suitable substitute for the Weyrleaders," he suggested.


“The CandidateMaster.” That sounded like a workable promise and he relaxed a little. “I just-- I need to know how it happened.” As though if he understood the how it might become more palatable, the truth might wash the horror away. It seemed unlikely but he needed it regardless. “I don’t understand how he missed this.”


"The Candidatemaster has a lot on her plate, and she relies on her assistants to help her," said Cuylar. "That one of those assistants could do something so vile isn't anything anyone would start off expecting. And that aside, as I told you before, the Weyr has been dealing with a field trip, an explosion, and a Hatching…"


"You said it yourself – it's very busy here."


None of which felt like reasons that would prevent it happening again. Attlin sighed. “I know what you said, and I know what he wants but-- he would be safer at home.” Unhappy maybe but safe.


Cuylar frowned and tilted his head as he pondered for a moment.


"Well. It's been easy enough for me to bring you and Sherill here. What if Garatt spent some of his time here and some of his time there? And you could, too."


It seemed to Cuylar that getting out of that Hold all by himself would do Attlin some good, too.


“There are explosions here,” Attlin said slowly, as though Cuylar hadn’t heard himself speak. “They’re too busy to notice if a child is attacked. They gave me a guard in case I got attacked!” Admittedly the guard had been fourteen, but still. “This is not a safe place.”


"There was an explosion here," Cuylar pointed out, though the tone of his voice made it clear he knew this was a weak defense. "And… I noticed. And I did my best to intervene. I'm sorry that I didn't… couldn't do enough to stop it before it got this bad. I've been here for… ten Turns or so, and it's never been… this bad."


Earthquakes and floods and plagues, after all, happened everywhere. Not just at the Weyr.


“You’re a Healer,” Attlin said shortly. “By the time you were intervening the boy was already hurt, by nature. He--” He looked honestly bewildered, a little hurt but mostly confused. “How can he prefer it here?” Because as far as Attlin could see it was a terrible terrible place.


"Did you ask him?" Cuylar wondered. He wished he could tell Attlin everything that Garatt told Elphith. Or anything that Garatt told Elphith. But he could not betray the boy's confidence.


Attlin’s expression shuttered, closing off. “I-- wanted to go find the Weyrleaders.” Garatt had been busy, Garatt had been happy and Attlin had just.. Not been able to stay in that room.


"I think the two of you would understand each other much better if you would talk to each other. And tell each other how you're really feeling," said Cuylar. The sort of thing a Mindhealer might tell them.


Attlin gave him the sort of look that suggested Cuylar might as well have proposed taking his pants off in public. “We talk.” About.. Hold things. Work. Easy stuff.


"But not about why he wants to stay here?" Cuylar asked. "If you want to know, he would be the best one to explain it. And if you want him home because you're worried about him, he might be more inclined to come without fighting you… if he knew that was why."


And yet how to even begin that conversation? The thought made Attlin sweat, made him hot, clammy and abruptly so uncomfortable that even staying in this conversation felt unbearable. “The CandidateMaster.” A quick subject change. “Will I need to stay the night to speak with him?”


"You can try to drop in tonight to speak with her," said Cuylar, correcting the pronoun again. "But I would think you might have better luck tomorrow. It's up to you. And if you try tonight, and she's not in, then you can still try again tomorrow."


“It’s a girl?” He caught it this time and that clearly surprised him, Holder prejudices running unconsciously deep. “For all of them?”


"The Candidatemaster is a woman, yes," Cuylar confirmed. Well, he was bound to run into some Holderism from a Holder sooner or later. "For all of them."


“Ah.” A moment for that to sink in, considering it. “Well, I suppose if she’s the motherly type?” he suggested tentatively after a minute.


Cuylar quirked an eyebrow.


"She is an experienced teacher," he said finally. "And she was instrumental in organizing the search that found and saved Garatt. And arrested his tormentor."


“She-- the search?” Oh, he caught that all right. He looked at Cuylar sharply, eyes narrowing a minute. “Saved him from what?”


"From the rogue assistant who was tormenting him," said Cuylar. He realized he had opened the wrong door, but there was no going back there. He would have learned these things if he had spoken to his son. 


"He didn't come to us when this happened. We found him."


Attlin gave him a long hard look and this time there was little of the vulnerability, more of the very capable Holder who was able to run his hold and order men who had been there since before he was born without turning a hair. “I think,” he said flatly, “you’d better tell me the whole story. Hadn’t you.”


Cuylar sighed.


"I meant to leave some of this for Garatt to tell you himself. I know he's not an adult yet, but I felt a boy his age deserves some measure of… private dignity. But if you insist. You are the boy's father. You deserve to know."


"As I said, I already had my suspicions about the rogue assistant. I treated Garatt for welts on his hand and documented this in a report, which I submitted through the proper channels. But because of the attack and the subsequent Hatching, these channels were slowed."


"I missed an appointment with Garatt, to whom I had prescribed a sleep study. You see, the Candidatemasters sent him to me for trouble sleeping in the first place, and this was when I had occasion to see he was favoring his hand. He was struggling to keep this a secret. He did not want anyone to know what happened."


"I suspected his troubles were due to his proximity to the rogue assistant and was correct that he had no trouble sleeping in the Infirmary. I missed the appointment because of the… the Hatching. More than one Candidate was severely injured by overeager hatchlings, and I was required to help late into the night."


"When I was not there, a substitute observed him in my stead. He slept very poorly without me. He… did not feel as safe without me. And the next night, he attempted to flee the Weyr rather than be sent back to the Barracks – his tormentor convinced him that would be his fate if he stayed. I presume he cajoled him into running to dispose of the evidence of what he had done."


"And that is the rest of the story."


The control required for Attlin to listen quietly without interrupting, protesting or asking questions must have been immense. He stood perfectly still, his face like stone, only the faint whistle of breath indrawn in something that wasn’t quite a gasp to show a reaction. At his sides his hands curled slightly as though into fists and then consciously relaxed. 


“Thank you for telling me.” And that reply was very much on his dignity, retreating back into formal politeness as though..as though he needed it for a moment or two, as though the formal mask provided safe cover for locking emotions back into place. “I believe.. I believe I should wait to make an appointment with the Weyrleaders.” 


"If you need to yell at someone… I have a place where you can do it, where no one else will hear," Cuylar offered softly.


The boy had been scared, scared enough to run, scared enough not to sleep, and no-one had noticed.. Or those who had noticed had been unable to help. “How long?” Attlin’s question was quiet. “How long was this man.. hurting him before he ran away?” He’d gone very still, but the shutters had come down now, emotions locked firmly back. He needed to be able to discuss this calmly, to find the correct information.


"Physically, it was twice," said Cuylar. At least, the beatings. As far as he knew. Shells. "But the man was bullying him in class for… sometime before the field trip up until he ran. Are you sure you wouldn't rather yell at me?" he asked just as quietly. He had never meant to withhold information. Just to let Garatt be the one to give it. Patient privacy… something…


“I don't see how it would help.” Attlin seemed genuinely confused by the offer, kindly meant though it clearly was. If he was going to be angry, surely it should be used to achieve something.


"I've spent a lot of time lately trying to figure out what I could have done to fix this sooner and blaming myself for not having thought of it, whatever it was," said Cuylar. He shrugged and then turned his gaze downward. "I guess I feel like I deserve to be yelled at. For failing him."


“If I thought shouting at you would keep him or anyone else the slightest bit safer, I’d be raising my voice,” Attlin said plainly. “But I don’t. Shouting for the sake of shouting is just..unpleasant.” He shrugged, a man who might frown because it was the shape his face fell into naturally but apparently viewed a yell as something to be held in reserve. “If anything, I shouldn’t have let him come to the Weyr. But shouting won’t fix that either.”


"This isn't your fault, either," said Cuylar. "I…" He sighed. "I want to help. But I just don't know how. I want to make everything better. And I'll do my best. For now, should I head to get your sister-in-law?"


“Please,” Attlin agreed. Much as he didn’t always get along with Sherill.. This needed her. This needed someone who could do the things he couldn’t.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Taking a break (attn Zy'fen/I'des)

Amy Frazey
 

Zy'fen sat down hard on the bench just outside his weyr, and put the crutches beside him. The past few months of physical therapy was paying off, but it was hard work. He was worn out from that day's round of physical activity, and wished for something cool to drink, since it was afternoon and the sun was beating down. Unfortunately, the pitcher in the weyr was empty.

Zy'fen wiped his hand across his sweaty forehead and looked around to see if there was someone nearby whose attention he could catch, to ask them for a favor.


DragonHealer Checking In (Larsin/Ardeth)

Laura Walker
 

Because Arolos wasn’t Fort when a rider, even a rider like M’ayen, couldn’t take care of his dragon someone took care of it. So, as he got arrested a note had gone from the Weyrleader’s office to the Healers asking whether they could add Ardeth to the dragons taken care of for injured patients -- though R’tal had thought it prudent to add that it should not be by unsupervised children.


And Healers noticed things, even while they were just cleaning and oiling. Notes started to go back quietly to the DragonHealer’s. Ardeth was, understandably, upset. Forgetful. Not eating. Could one of them just take a look?


Because of the man M’ayen used to be; because of the high profile of this patient, Larsin took it upon himself to go and check the former Fortian’s bronze. Because no one was around to tell Ardeth to go see him--and Larsin didn’t want it to be an order, he went to M’ayen’s weyr, where Ardeth should be sunning himself at this time of day.


When he got there, he saw what the reports were telling him. This was another type of depression--Talith was depressed because he couldn’t see, Ardeth was depressed because his rider was locked up. He wondered if it would help Talith to know that just because he couldn’t see didn’t mean he still had no life. Ardeth’s...might be over.


It didn’t matter though. He wanted to talk to the bronze himself.


“So, Ardeth,” he said, putting on the jovial air he wore when he was extremely worried, “how are you doing today? Have you eaten anything? I see they just got a shipment of plump bovines, just for the dragons.”


((I ate earlier. I think?)) It was confusing. Ardeth had been used to leaning on his rider’s memory for the every day minutiae of life. Now M’ayen wasn’t there watching what happened when and things got out of order. He could remember eating at some point, but not exactly when. ((...Yesterday,)) he decided after a long slow moment’s thought. Though that was mostly because he felt as though it hadn’t been today. 


This wasn’t good. He drew out his notebook and jotted something down. 


“Well, are you hungry?” he asked. Full-sized dragons normally ate once a week, give or take a day or two. And M’ayen had only been imprisoned for a few days. So not time to worry yet. 


 ((I don’t feel like hunting.)) Ardeth rested his head on the ground, watching Larsin through whirling eyes. ((If I wait, do you think they’ll let him hunt with me?)) he said wistfully though he surely had to know that the answer to that was going to be ‘no’.


“No, not yet,” Larsin said. “He and the Weyrleaders have a difference of opinion, and they’re working it out. He may be allowed to watch you hunt from a distance one day, but until then you need to keep your strength up.” He scribbled something else on his pad. “Are there any dragons you may be friends with?”


((Not really.)) Ardeth admitted. ((Usually I sleep.)) Even before M’ayen had been arrested. He was old, the sun was warm and he’d snoozed through most of the drama, waking only when things were already very bad.


Larsin frowned. Ardeth was a bit over sixty Turns old. There were dragonpairs out there where the dragon was even older. So why was Ardeth so apathetic? He wondered if the short(er) lifespan of people from Old Fort were shorter for more reason than their cutthroat ways. The Fort Protectorate had never been known to be all that rich. Maybe the lack of decent food had something to do with that. Or, maybe there was something bad in the water. Or soil. Mercury. Or lead. He jotted that down in his notebook.


“Ardeth, I want you to eat something. So, you can go hunt and I’ll go with you. Or, I can have a dragon bring you something. Either way, you need to eat at least one herdbeast. We’ll get this thing between the Weyrleaders and your rider straightened out so you can be happier, but it’s not going to happen overnight.”


Maybe, with his forgetfulness, Ardeth would forget what Larsin said. Though he was going to have to write up a report for the Weyrleaders.


((You’ll ask them to let him go?)) For the first time Ardeth sounded slightly more alert, head raising from the ground, headknobs pricking up. Suddenly he sounded awake, rather than a dragon who could barely gather energy to be bothered with the conversation.


“I’ll ask them.” Little hope there was of that, but it gave the dragon hope. “I can’t promise anything, but I will ask them. And even if they agree, it won’t be for a while. And it will only be for a little bit.” He was already making scheduling recommendations in his head.


((He didn’t mean to do anything bad.)) Given that hope, even the barest grain of hope, Ardeth was ready to talk if only to try to convince Larsin. ((They told him he had to find out information about who helped a bad boy, and then they got angry because he tried. It’s not his fault.))


“I know. But I think what happened was, he didn’t use good judgement.” Larsin thought for a moment. There wasn’t an easy way for a human to explain self-control…


“Okay. You’ve seen a lot of Hatchings. And, you see a lot of hungry Hatchlings. And the only thing they want is to be fed. And even when they’ve had enough, because they are young and ignorant, if their lifemates didn’t stop them, they’d continue eating until they got sick.


“Well, for people, there are people out there who find they like something, and find out they like it so much they can’t stop. And I think that’s what happened to Yours--they told him to find out information, and when he tried, he enjoyed his methods too much. And he went too far. Like a Hatchling eating too much. And now, instead of getting sick, he’s being punished because he’s not a Hatchling, he’s an adult and should have known when to stop.” 


It made more sense than most of the explanations that had been offered, which had mostly focused on M’ayen being bad (and M’ayen could not be bad, Ardeth loved him too much for that to be true). For a minute or two, he was quiet. ((He only used the methods from home,)) he offered. ((He says it is because they do not understand how getting information works. Or-- or they know, but they don’t like it, they just wanted the information to happen.))


“Right. But he misunderstood them--they didn’t want him to use those methods, but he did. And he took it a little too far, and the one boy ran away. If this had been back home, the boy would have known to expect it. But, it’s like when you first came to live here--you didn’t know there could be so much sun, and so much heat. So it was all new to you.


“They weren’t expecting Yours to bring Home here. And that’s all he knew. So that’s why they’re mad at him. And they’re trying to figure out what to do, to keep him from doing things the old way, and they’re doing it the only way they know how.”


((He was a bad boy,)) Ardeth said thoughtfully, having picked that much from his rider’s mind. ((Lazy. He needed to be told what to do. Mine was teaching him to be better.)) He sighed, a deep dragon-sized sigh. ((If I told him to say sorry, would they let him go then?))


Larsin sighed. “You could, but I think that even if he told them sorry, he needs to mean it. He’s like you--he doesn’t understand what he did wrong, but he’s different from you because you now understand. But, if he says he’s sorry, and he means it, they might be nicer to him in a while.”


Kassia wasn’t so heartless that she’d allow a dragon to just waste away. Was she?


((He’s angry with them. He thinks they wanted this and won’t admit it. And that their ways don’t work.)) Ardeth gave another of those enormous sighs. ((But I will talk to him.))


Larsin nodded. “Also, people have things called moods. I’ve never seen a dragon other than…” Another brilliant analogy! 


“You know how Foreth gets with her eggs? Well, the Weyrwoman is pregnant and it’s the same thing, in a way. So she’s always, well, crabby.


“And M’ayen, he’s getting older, like you. And some people, when they get older, get in really bad moods because they don’t like what’s happening to them.


“Now, the two of them are in a Foreth mood right now. So one of them needs to, well, stop being in that mood. And the Weyrwoman is going to keep her mood for another three months.” Larsin looked at Ardeth expectantly. He had a feeling Ardeth would understand this.


Ardeth contemplated this new fact a long time. ((The bad boy made him feel all kinds of different things,)) he volunteered unexpectedly. ((Sometimes when he had a mood that made him stop.))


What? “What do you mean, a mood that made him stop?” What kind of mood would make someone want to stop?


((When he was in class and--)) Ardeth hesitated, but Larsin was helping. ((You aren’t meant to know that he can’t see them,)) he confessed very quietly, a draconic whisper. ((But he can’t, not without the glasses. Only the ones at the front. And it used to give him one of those moods because they would misbehave and he couldn’t see which ones.))


Larsin’s eyes widened. So, M’ayen couldn’t see. That explained a lot. Anyone who was in a position of trust would be upset, and by all accounts, M’ayen was a control freak. And a control freak who couldn’t see was only a freak. He smiled at that.


“So the people he disciplined may not have been the ones doing something? Or he punished the whole class?”


((He puts some of the ones who cause trouble in the front row. Like the bad boy,)) Ardeth explained helpfully. ((Then if he punishes them, the class knows he can see who they are and don’t know he can’t see the other ones. And then they’re sorry and he feels better and his mood goes away.))


So the boy who’d run away had been singled out. But, that was probably how they did it at Fort, too.


“Well, it looks like Yours really went overboard with the way Fort did things.” There had to be some poison in the air, to make people act like that. There had to be!


“I’ll make sure the Weyrleaders know it was a mood thing.” Hmm. He wondered about giving M’ayen some type of medication that would make him...nicer. Maybe the New Fort people had something.


“You need to convince him that he misunderstood the Weyrwoman. And that what he did was not right under the rules here. And he needs to apologize, and it needs to be sincere.”


((He was a bad boy who needed punishing though.)) And if this was leaking from M’ayen as it seemed to be, the chances of sincere repentance seemed low. ((He fell asleep. And helped the other boy when he wasn’t meant to Impress. And.. and.. )) Ardeth searched for other crimes that justified his utter certainty that punishment given was punishment deserved. ((..made him feel wrong.))


“He didn’t help anyone Impress. The people who helped A’shran Impress have all admitted their guilt. A’shran went out of his way to make sure the boy didn’t know,” Larsin said. He had ears. And he had an ‘in’ in the Weyrling barracks.


“What do you mean, made him feel wrong? Because at least on that, he was wrong.”


((...Wrong,)) Ardeth said after a moment. ((Like he wanted to do things he shouldn’t. That was why he had to send him away.))


“Oh.” Larsin still didn’t understand, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to. “Send him away where?”


((Away,)) Ardeth emphasised. ((He wanted to keep him, but he told him he had to go out of the Weyr instead so he couldn’t. Because the boy was bad and kept making him want to do things that would be wrong.)) He sighed, this time as though Larsin was being particularly slow. ((He kept making me chase. I don’t mind chasing but catching is hard work. Greens are too fast now.))


He had to send the boy away, then ask Ardeth to...oh. Oh, Faranth. What was wrong with that man?


“You...probably shouldn’t chase greens who are so much younger,” Larsin said. “You shouldn’t over-exert yourself. It could be bad for you.” 


((They won’t let me now anyway.)) Ardeth was uncertain as to why, and probably wouldn’t have cared so much if it weren’t for the fact that the forbidding implied disgrace for him as well as his rider. ((I don’t know why. They said I was helpful.))


Helpful? Whatever. “I think it’s a good thing anyway,” Larsin said. “You’re not so strong anymore, and you could hurt yourself badly. I would probably have asked for you to be forbidden, just so you could live longer. So, it’s a good thing.”


((I’m strong!)) A flash of buried bronze pride at that, slightly insulted by the implications. ((We can still fight a full Fall!)) Even if he did otherwise tend to nap through a great deal of the day.


“Oh, fighting a fall would be easy for you. You are still strong.” Larsin chuckled at Ardeth’s pride. “But I’ve known young dragons who have been hurt, hurt badly, by a greenflight. And look at what happened to Foreth during her mating flight! It’s not often you see a queen dragon break her leg. And she’s still young. Ish. Her leg mended. Yours would not heal so well.” He stepped forward and patted Ardeth on the jowl. “No, after a certain age I tend to ask that male dragons not be allowed to chase. I’d rather they be hale for Threadfall than hurting from a bad flight. It’s not just you.” He then listed off a few other dragons--blue, brown and bronze--who he’d asked to have restricted from greenflights.


((I could catch a gold if I wanted to,)) Ardeth boasted, and actually sat up for that brag, wings opening slightly, far more lively than he’d been thus far in the conversation. Male pride would apparently do what no amount of persuasion might achieve. ((..If mine would let me. He doesn’t like the golds here. But I could.))


“I have no doubt you could. How many golds have you caught back home?”


((..Some.)) Ardeth’s memory was fuzzy on that point. Golds he remembered. Eggs he remembered. Numbers.. Well, that was a subject he was fuzzier on. ((The Weyrwoman’s gold, last.)) he remembered proudly. ((We were good Weyrleaders.)) In his mind at least. Even if M’ayen had had to swallow his pride and ask a friend to help with Fall after so long teaching the Candidates. 


He shook his wings now, suddenly enlivened at the memory. ((I could catch Foreth here,)) he boasted. ((And then we would fix everything and mine would not be in trouble any more.))


“I’ll bet you could,” Larsin said. What he wanted to say was something like, ‘let me know how that works out for you,’ or ‘a weed’s chance in Threadfall’ but Ardeth was looking pretty good now. Still grey, still skinny…


“Y’know, if you could catch Foreth, why can’t you catch a herdbeast?” he asked off-handedly.


((I could.)) Ardeth considered that now he was feeling more awake, giving himself a good scratch while he thought about it. Alyx had given him a good oiling but it was still easy for an out of condition dragon to develop dry patches and his side itched suddenly. ((I might.))


“Mmm,” Larsin said skeptically. Would the dragon take the ‘dare’ and go hunt? Or would he see 

right through the DragonHealer. “Yeah, usually when I say I might, it means that I won’t, because I can’t. But, I’m sure that’s not true in your case.”


((I can catch a herdbeast!)) That was an indignant yelp as Ardeth spread his wings, testing them. It had been a good few days lying around doing very little; he didn’t particularly want to stumble through take off and embarrass himself. ((Whichever herdbeast you want.))


Larsin kept himself from smiling. “There’s a nice, plump black and white one over in the corner. She’s been eating the best grass, so I think the others need the chance to get some of the good stuff.” He’d already picked one out for Ardeth--not too small, not too big, but meatier than some of the others. The beefiness would also make the herdbeast a tad slower.


((I’ll catch her. You’ll see.)) And he was off, up and away, powerful wings beating for only for a few seconds before he settled into a glide over to the hunting fields. Pride successfully prickled, it seemed.


Larsin nodded, and noted a few more things in his notebook. Appeal to the dragon’s pride. He hoped that this method worked again, if they had any more problems. Meanwhile, though, he needed to write up a report to the Weyrleaders. He didn’t know if what he discovered would help or not, but he would try.


Not for the man. Never for the man. But for the dragon.







--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Re: Trying to be Subtle atten: Tamalack/Kalain

Laurie
 

Tamalak laughed. "She's had a crush on you since almost the first time she met you," he said. "Though I'm sure she's had other boyfriends since Eglanth started to rise. But, I think you're her first crush."


On Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 5:59 AM sailyn2 <empressoftheworld@...> wrote:
"Why?" Kalain asked, truly oblivious. He never had picked up on her desire for him.

Sleek curled up with Kato, ready for sleep now that Kalain was settled and maybe could sleep.


Re: You look like a match! (Tyne's flits/Sontal)

Nutmeg
 

This one certainly seemed a good match. He was the right size and shape. The correlations made the urgency about the fire lizards increase all the more. They poked and they prodded the lad, chattering excitedly between themselves. An overly enthusiastic blue seemed to be getting into quite the vehement argument with a less opinionated brown. The brown of course, having the better mental capacity wasn't quite as convinced as the others and was querying the differences between the image he had and the Sontal-warped version that the others were sharing between themselves with more and more certainty.

A pair of greens hopped forwards to scrutinise Sontal. Whilst the others were arguing, they were more curious and they shared the image they had that was almost Sontal but had clearly adjusted slightly to try and make him fit. The curiosity wrapped around it was quite obvious, as was its meaning and intent as they stared quizzically at him.

On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 12:57 AM Aaron <cobalt.knight@...> wrote:
In seconds, the group had surrounded Sontal, landing on the table he was at, flapping their wings as they chattered and squawked at him. The image of the boy was being sent furiously back and forth between them as they peered at him. One brown, clearly the more confident of the group grabbed a hold of his sleeve, pulling insistently at it as though trying to urge him to follow them somewhere.

Sontal nearly fell backward out of his seat at the table where he sat doing his book learning when the firelizards appeared. What did they want? It seemed they were after him to do something, but he could not possibly imagine what.

"What do you need?" he asked the brown. "I don't have anything to eat." His voice had strange quality to it. He had not heard much of his own voice in a couple of Turns, and his muscle memory of speech only got him so far.






--
Nutmeg on the Wizzy.
Recluso#6042 on Discord

I'm sometimes slow and have the memory of a sieve at times, so don't hesitate to poke me if you think you've been forgotten!


Re: Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Kasheth

sailyn2
 

Kasheth looked up from where he'd been curled in the sun, surprised at the gold's words. He was used to Foreth who either demanded what she wanted or eshewed other dragons altogether. That the gold was requesting his attention was both flattering and suspicious.

((I don't mind,)) he said politely. ((I have a nice patch of sun and would share it with a beautiful gold.))


Re: Trying to be Subtle atten: Tamalack/Kalain

sailyn2
 

"Why?" Kalain asked, truly oblivious. He never had picked up on her desire for him.

Sleek curled up with Kato, ready for sleep now that Kalain was settled and maybe could sleep.


Re: It's Nice to Have Help atten: I'des/Kassia

sailyn2
 

"You may go in," the guard on the door said. I'des had permanent approval so long as Kassia wasn't in an important meeting or otherwise said no visitors.

Kassia was on her sofa instead of her desk and stretched out trying to get comfortable. She was trying to relax in her own way. Which was to say, barely relaxing at all.


Re: Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Nerenth

Amy Frazey
 

Nerenth was sunning himself while His rested, out in front of their new weyr. The past few moons had been filled with rough winds, but the skies were clearing now. Still, the brown dragon was more protective than ever.

So the sound of approaching wings made him raise his head to look around. When he spotted a gold dragon gliding toward him, Nerenth stretched his head in her direction. {{Of course I don't mind. As long as you don't mind my dusty hide, beautiful Lady.}}


Because he needs to know he has a say. (JP Nayari/Cuylar)

Nutmeg
 

IC Date Reference: Set approximately two days after the events of “Playing the Devil’s Advocate” and “Getting the Truth Left A Taint Inside”.



She had deliberately left it at least a day. She needed that. Needed the time to shrug off the memory of her encounter with M’ayen and turn her head back in the direction where it needed to go. End of the day, M’ayen was now no longer her concern and what was left was the need to pick out the remaining Candidatemasters that tainted her team. She had received word that T’ril was now also under arrest and that would also need dealing with. But not today. Today she was going to try and focus on something far more important in all of this, Garratt.


Marith had quietly and politely bespoken Elphith. The normally demure and lady-like green sounded positively flustered but she had relayed the request nonetheless, that if he could, Hers would very much like to speak to Elphith’s in her office later that day. At least now her office was tidy again, the bedlam of paperwork and files put away and only the few that she still needed remaining. It was easier to manage than boxes and boxes of scrolls. The door that had been officiously kept closed for days on end was today, propped open. A silent invitation for any and all that wanted to speak with her, even as she tried to spend the afternoon occupying her mind with paperwork. Even Vecna, the normally prude and standoffish gold had decided that she needed to sit primly on Nayari’s lap whilst the woman’s stylus scribbled across the page of notes she was assembling.


Cuylar had never spent more time being interviewed by authority figures in his life. But he supposed that was what came along with the promotion. Elphith had told him that Marith sounded… perhaps like she seemed to think she was inconveniencing Cuylar. But this was his job, after all.


"How can I help you, Candidatemaster?" he asked as he arrived at Nayari's office.


The voice came suddenly and the normally austere woman suddenly looked as flustered as her green had sounded as she stumbled to her feet, much to the indignance of Vecna as the firelizard attempted to save face by scrabbling onto the desk where she began to groom herself furiously. “Oh! Journeyman Cuylar!“ It was hard to say if that was a tone of relief, stress or some baffling mix of the both. “Please, do come in. And close the door behind you. Can I offer you some tea? Klah?”


"I wouldn't say no to either if you've already got them brewed up, but don't go to any trouble on my account," Cuylar answered. "Is everything all right?" he asked as he closed the door.


“You’re in luck, I brewed a fresh pot of tea recently. Something I picked up from the Gather - light, refreshing with a bit of zing. I’ve gotten a bit partial and it stops me staying awake until Faranth knows what time…” As she spoke, Nayari seemed relieved to have something to focus on as she went to a covered tray on the sideboard. Despite the heat, a good pot of tea still needed to be kept warm and focusing on the task of pouring two cups seemed to bring her thoughts in order.


As she returned, setting a cup in front of Cuylar with a bowl of sweetener to hand if he so chose, she retreated to the sanctuary of “her” side of the desk. “I’m sure you’ve heard by now that M’ayen is under arrest for the foreseeable future. However, just prior to that I received new information myself - direct from the runner’s mouth if you will - that has shed some further light on the situation.” She paused, taking a sip from the mug and if Cuylar was paying attention, he would have seen the slightest tremor to her hand. “I have asked to speak to you as I know that you are Garratt’s primary Healer and I have a twofold enquiry that I must make of you.” There was something in the tone that suggested she was not asking this lightly or out of any other need than something close to desperation. “The first… as… delicate a situation as it is… but during his time with you, has Garratt suggested or indicated... any form of sexual abuse from M’ayen?”


Ah. There it was.


"I documented the hand-shaped bruises on Garatt's buttocks," Cuylar answered. "And I asked Garatt about what happened. As far as he has told me, there was no genital contact. I would not be surprised if M'ayen had considered it, but it seems that he thought better of it. Garatt also let loose a veritable flood of jumbled thoughts and emotions to Elphith, and I think if M'ayen had assaulted him sexually any more severely than we're aware of as of yet, he would have told her then." 


"But… It's also possible that he may have repressed it even from her in that moment of vulnerability. I've prescribed mindhealing sessions to begin as soon as is feasible," he added. Then he tilted his head and asked, "Do you have other evidence that would change my assessment?"


She paused, Did she say? But then, this would be in confidence she knew that. A professional… consult of sorts. “Dilation of pupils, apparent… discomfort in his… trousers… a certain… emphasis on Garratt being a “good Greenrider”. Even if he did try to claim it was because Ardeth was interested in chasing.” It was clear she found the words distasteful, spitting them out as though they tasted foul and reluctantly her eyes met his own. “I do not know your background, but I am from High Reaches and… of an age where a “good Greenrider” has a very specific connotation. He… also reacted when I played into it and emphasised the… characteristics of a “good Greenrider”, particularly when I emphasised the… biddability.” It wasn’t obvious whether Nayari fell somewhere between anger, outrage or outright distress. It was some sort of hodgepodge of the lot. And it was unsettling to see on a woman who, to all intents and purposes, generally came across as unflappable as granite in a storm.


Cuylar's face showed his distaste for the entire description. It certainly corroborated his assumption that M'ayen had considered it. The old man was gross in more ways than one.


"I was a Candidate at Fort some 20 Turns ago or so," he said. Not quite, perhaps, but close enough to round up if not. "When I examined him, he was very… sensitive. When I applied the numbweed. M'ayen most definitely made him uncomfortable beyond merely striking him. But as of yet, I wouldn't say I have evidence that he raped the boy. It's something I would keep fresh on the mind of whichever Mindhealer will be working with him."


Shells. If Cuylar had to go back to Attlin to admit that Garatt had been hurt like that. If… if Cuylar had been too slow to move, and it had resulted in that. How could he live with himself?


“I… don’t think it went that far…” Nayari admitted, “But I believe it may provide more insight into his motive. Far more than his proclamations of merely carrying out the Weyrwoman’s rules and his “way” being misinterpreted because Arolos is too soft…” In her ears she felt sure it sounded like she was making an excuse for M’ayen, even when in fact her words were damning him. “In a nutshell, I believe, and it is belief only, that M’ayen was beginning to set the boy on the path for… grooming. Had we found this out six months from now? I… I shudder to think how far it would have gone.”


"I think he overdid it on the caning, beyond his own intent," said Cuylar, nodding as he agreed with Nayari's assessment. "Ruined his own plans. Thank Faranth. But I had already started documenting this from the first, when he gave him lashes before the Candidates' excursion. We would have stopped it before it got that far. Even the explosion couldn't have disrupted the process for six months."


Now there was genuine confusion on Nayari’s face. “Lashes? Before the excursion? You’re quite sure?” If she was a Harper, then she would have won an award for acting if it had been faked. But no one could fake surprise that well. 


"Not lashes," Cuylar corrected himself. "Caning. On his palm. And the sleep trouble, remember? But yes, this was part of the reporting I submitted… and even if that was disrupted because of the explosion, I still would have followed up after everything settled down, even if he had not run away."


No, the confusion was still there. And now it was tinged with something perhaps a second away from an explosion of fury. “He was caned?” It came out as a hiss of sound, her eyes wide in horror. Clearly Cuylar was the bearer of bad, unknown before news. Because if she had known, M’ayen would have been out on his ear before any of this had come even remotely this far.


Cuylar winced and nodded.


"Kassia had much the same reaction, so I presume I can conclude that you never got the initial report, either. When the explosion hit, it must have been lost somewhere in transit," he explained. "I'll get you another copy of the report, if you like, ma'am."


“Yes. Please do.” The terse response wasn’t aimed at Cuylar, far from it. But when she got her hands on whoever had been responsible for couriering the report to her, there was going to be a dragon’s wrath to pay. The cold pit of anger in her gut was roiling and churning, an angry beast clawing its way to be free. There was silence for several long and awkward seconds before she took a long and deep breath, clearly forcing herself back under control.


“So there you have it. My suspicions. But that is hopefully food for thought in your dealings with Garratt. But I do have a second request to make. Or rather, something more to throw your way in idea and get your thoughts on.”


"I'm happy to help however I can," said Cuylar. He felt the guilt for the lost report more than anger. It had been his responsibility to see that the report was delivered, and he could have followed up sooner.


Another breath. More calm. When she finally looked up from where she had been glaring into the bottom of her cup as though trying to bore a hole into the bottom, she seemed far more composed. “Now, I’m going to preface this by saying that I wholly understand if you think this is beyond the realm of sensibility. It’s why I wanted to speak to you first before acting on anything.” Nayari paused, “I would very much like you, if you see fit, to broach the subject of me visiting with Garratt. But if you do, I would also very much like it emphasised that it is perfectly fine should he say no, that I do not mind if he says no. If he was willing, I would also like you to be there. So  he can see that there is nothing secretive about it, that people he trusts are present. But, I would also like your thoughts on whether  you think the boy is fit to have such a matter raised with him.”


"I think," said Cuylar as he rolled the idea around in his head, "that he will say no. But I can ask him. He will want to know why you want to speak with him." It would likely be the first thing he asked.


“And you can tell him with absolute honesty that if he says no, that is fine. I want him to feel as though he has control over that. That it’s not an order, not a polite “request” that’s not actually a request at all. That he has the control. And that at his say so, he can and will be left alone.” She couldn’t emphasise it enough. That need for the Healer to understand that she wanted Garratt to be given that morsel of knowing he did have a say. “As to why I want to speak with him, I would like to see him with my own eyes. To apologise. And to beg for any forgiveness that he might have it in him to bestow upon me. Although I would not hold it against him if he had none to give.”


Cuylar was pretty sure he had some idea of how Nayari felt. He already felt lucky enough that she did not blame him.


"I'll tell him," he said.


She seemed relieved that he hadn’t shot her down. But she didn’t know why it was relief she felt. “Thank you. That’s all I can ask.” And indeed it was. All she could was ask and hope. And to not take it personally if Garratt said no. The reality was, she knew that he might never want to see her, might never be able to trust her. As much as that hurt, that was a reality. Picking up the pieces would take time. Some wounds might never properly be healed. If nothing else, Garratt couldn’t be hurt any further. Nayari knew well enough that might be what she made her peace with.


However it came, whatever form, she knew that she would have to live with it forever. Live with the knowledge of failure. And as little good as it would do Garratt, she could make sure that it never happened again. 



--
Nutmeg on the Wizzy.
Recluso#6042 on Discord

I'm sometimes slow and have the memory of a sieve at times, so don't hesitate to poke me if you think you've been forgotten!


Re: Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Nehryth

Alyx
 

Nehryth was about to say something snarky, then cracked open an eye. A young gold. Well he could be awakened for that he supposed. Though old his hide showed him in good weight and condition. He was recently oiled, and letting the sun bake it into his hide, like old soft leather. The other eye opened slowly, and he stretched a little in the sand. 

((Mmm, of course. Please. This is one of the best spots to sun. The sand here is softer than anywhere else.)) The lanky brown yawned once, then scooted himself over to make sure there was plenty of room for the young gold. This also gave him an opportunity to wrack his rider's mind as to the identity of the youngster. There was only one new gold, not counting the babies. Once resettled, and covered in sand, which he'd take back to his ledge to rub in, he spoke again.  

((You must be Nykantiath. I know the other golds around here. I'm Nehryth, it is a pleasure to meet such a lovely young lady as yourself, what brings you down to socialize with a tired old fella like myself? Not that I mind. Indeed it's nice to see, when young ones seek wisdom. At least I hope that is what you are seeking?))
--
Have fun with any of my characters. Alyx, , Vayka (Healers), J'hen, D'vik, Teyra, Cotai (Riders), Rotasta (AWLM), L'rin (Weyrling)


Re: Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Primith

Laurie
 

Primith lifted his head and looked over at the gold sunning herself. Of course a gold would be speaking to him, why wouldn't they want to talk to a bronze as handsome as he? He cast around for O'lar, who was off doing...something. Something that didn't have anything to do with making Primith look good. He should be out finding some oils to make the bronze sheen of his skin glow. He'd seen that glow on a few other bronzes and coveted it. But they jealously guarded their secret.

(These dragons would be surprised that they were jealously guarding a secret, because they didn't know and didn't care what their riders used for oils. They just wanted their skin to not itch.)

{{Hello, beauteous Nykantiath,}} Primith responded. The ladies loved being complimented. He knew that because he loved being complimented. {{Mine is off doing something boring, also. I would love to join you.}} He launched himself off his ledge, knowing what a magnificent sight he was. All the ladies said so. His perfect wings picked the perfect updraft, and his tail, longer than most, helped him corkscrew around to a landing.

{{I am Primith, dear lady,}} he said, bowing his head. {{And how may I serve you?}}

On Sun, Oct 11, 2020 at 10:48 AM Jerzy Tobin <jerzytobin@...> wrote:
Nykantiath was lying on the ledge of her weyr, taking full advantage
of the sunny day to soak in the warm rays.  Hers was, as usual, busy
with work.  Hers was almost always busy with Work, more so now than
she had been before.  And while the gold was of the opinion that this
did in fact mean that their star was rising in the Weyr - more work
for hers meant they were more responsible, after all - that didn’t
mean that Hers should spend all of her time working.  Even the
Weyrwoman had mates, after all!  Why couldn’t Nykantiath’s Andronda
have someone?

Of course, the gold knew that Hers couldn’t be bothered to go looking
for someone herself.  She didn’t have the time, or so she told
Nykantiath.  It was one thing to make time to take care of her dragon,
but she couldn’t be bothered to go and try to find something as silly
as romance when she had so much else to do.  Foolish human.

Well, if Andronda wouldn’t go looking, then that just meant that
Nykantiath would have to do it for her.  And there were plenty of
eligible bronzes and browns around for her to choose from.  A few
ledges away, there was a very handsome bronze indeed.  She had noted
him before, but hadn’t actually spoken to him before.  Large, with
handsome features, he was what one thought of when one thought of a
bronze dragon.  Was his rider just as handsome?

((Hello!)) She called out to the bronze.  ((I’m Nykantiath, and I am
bored.  Would you care to keep me company?))


--
"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146






The Dragon Is Not The Man. (Alyx/Ardeth)

Laura Walker
 

Had M’ayen and Ardeth in fact been at Fort it was unlikely anyone would have given the bronze another thought. The dragon of a man that deep in disgrace could fend for himself, or not, as the case might be.


But they were not at Fort, and the dragon was not the man which was why R’tal sent a quick note to the infirmary to request someone make sure the bronze was kept washed and oiled. And after a moment’s thought he added a note to the effect that the person, whoever it was, should not be an unsupervised child. The dragon was not the man but there was no reason not to be careful.


Alyx was just coming on for the evening shift when she saw someone posting up a note. She wandered over just to see what was going on. So many rumors had been flying of late. She looked and it felt like her heart fell in her chest. She knew that the rider and man were separate, and separated at the moment. Without another thought she signed her name to the note as one of the volunteers.


It didn’t take long at all to gather up the supplies. They kept some on hand for injured riders after all. Then she set out. Once away from the Infirmary she was joined by her two flits who would be assisting. She set out for the lake, wondering how to call him, but, he was already there, and obviously alone. Even the other dragons seemed to be keeping distance. Alyx ignored the stares, and muttered comments and walked right up to Ardeth. 


“Hello again my friend, I’m sure you have plenty of itches by now. Would you like some help?”


He opened his eyes to look  at her, and then look at her more closely. It had been a while. Usually there was M’ayen’s memory to lean on when he forgot things, but M’ayen had never been friends with Alyx and so searching through his mind did nothing to dispel the brain fog. And it had been particularly foggy fog of late. Ardeth had been quite content with his thoughts slowing to molasses to the point where people had expected he should have been watching what his rider was doing.


((I..knew you once,)) he said slowly, doubtfully, questioning that. ((I think?))


“Of course you did my friend. I haven’t seen you in a while. Life took me away from being a candidate. But I am still your friend if you’ll have me.” She paused a minute looking him over for a long moment. He was thinner than she remembered, and his hide seemed dull. She felt horrible for him, and it didn’t take much for her to step closer. Others might be afraid because he was M’ayen’s but he was still a dragon, and her friend.


“You poor thing, let’s get you cleaned up, and then maybe something to eat? That will make you feel a little better. It will help your rider too. Knowing that you are staying strong.”


((I ate earlier. I think.)) Ardeth hadn’t, but that was foggy too. It had been a long long time since he’d needed to think without relying on the easy back-up of what his rider knew. He focused on her, still trying to recall who she was. ((Were you friends with mine?))


“Not exactly. But we never fought either. But come, I know you must itch. My small friends and I can help with that. Come on now my large friend, into the water with you. Must get that dull hide shining again.” Alyx tried to stay upbeat, but her heart hurt for him. She made a mental note to check in on him more often and gently patted his hide, grimacing slightly at the dryness. Yes, a good bath, some oiling, and if she could convince him, a good meal.


Ardeth stood with a sigh, as though it were an effort, and lumbered the few steps to flop back down in the Lake, sending a wave towards Alyx. ((They won’t let him out,)) he confided in her. ((They say he’s bad. He’s not. He’s.. mine.)) It felt as though that on its own should erase any amount of sin.


Poor dragon, she knew he wouldn’t understand human morals, there was no point in trying to convince him. But she hurt for him. She followed him into the water, not minding the waves at all and started scrubbing at the worst looking areas.  


“He did things that weren’t so good. Dragon riders are supposed to protect people, not hurt them. He was misguided. But you’ve done nothing wrong my friend. And while yours is punished. I will come and help you as much as I can.” Alyx promised the large bronze, patting his hide gently.


((He only hurt them because she told him to,)) Ardeth was insistent on that point although he lay passively under the washing. ((She said they were behaving badly so he was going to make them behave.))


Though she’d heard some of what had happened, she knew that’s not what the weyrwoman had meant, and M’ayen had too. But she didn’t want to hurt Ardeth more. Instead just continuing with the scrub. There was much to scrub,  no one had been caring for him, and it showed. But little by little Ardeth looked cleaner, and even began to get a dull shine again. Which would be better after the oiling too. The back was a little harder and she had to climb up his side to get it well. 


“I’m sorry Ardeth. I wish I could change things for you. But no one’s likely to listen to me about it. But I will talk to some people. See if I can’t at least get him a little time to spend with you everyday. Not for him, but for your sake. Alright, out of the water please. Let’s get you oiled and looking your best. Then we can go get you something to eat. I can hear your stomach growling.”


((They say we can never fly again.)) There was grief in Ardeth’s voice at that, not even anger because who could get angry at a Weyrwoman? Just grief. He stood up with a groan; it seemed to take more effort that time. ((I don’t want to hunt without him.))


Shaking her head sadly, she grabbed the oiling brush and got to work. There was so much to oil, and she was very careful to give the places she’d had to scrub a bit more oil, they’d need it. She was careful with all the joints and folds in his wings, even rubbing the oil in with her hands massaging muscles gone tense in the days with out his rider. Once that was all done she stepped back. Other than the dullness of not eating and stress he looked a lot better.


“We should get you to the feeding grounds. If you aren’t up to hunting I am sure there will be someone there that will bring you something. I’ll go with you Ardeth. I’ll help take care of you till yours can again.”


((I really think I ate earlier.)) Ardeth seemed reluctant to move again once settled. ((Do you think they’ll let him hunt with me later, if I wait?))


Alyx sighed and sat down on a rock near his head. “I don’t know. But I will see what they say. This isn’t fair to you. If nothing else I will have someone bring you something here. You need to eat Ardeth, and stay strong for him.”


((They don’t feed him properly.)) Ardeth’s eyes whirled anxiously. ((They don’t let him sleep properly and they’re going to hurt him. They’ll make him sick.))


A legitimate worry for sure. Especially in an aged man. But what the weyrwoman decreed..she didn’t know if she could do much to change it, but decided, for Ardeth’s sake she would ask. She didn’t really think M’ayen deserved much better than what he’d gotten. But she was still Ardeth’s friend, and that meant she would do what she could for His sake.


“I’ll talk to them my friend. I promise you that. I’ll see what I can do to get him more comfortable for your sake.” It was a big promise to make in some ways. But she’d do it for him.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Nerenth

Jerzy Tobin
 

Nykantiath was lying on the ledge of her weyr, taking full advantage
of the sunny day to soak in the warm rays. Hers was, as usual, busy
with work. Hers was almost always busy with Work, more so now than
she had been before. And while the gold was of the opinion that this
did in fact mean that their star was rising in the Weyr - more work
for hers meant they were more responsible, after all - that didn’t
mean that Hers should spend all of her time working. Even the
Weyrwoman had mates, after all! Why couldn’t Nykantiath’s Andronda
have someone?

Of course, the gold knew that Hers couldn’t be bothered to go looking
for someone herself. She didn’t have the time, or so she told
Nykantiath. It was one thing to make time to take care of her dragon,
but she couldn’t be bothered to go and try to find something as silly
as romance when she had so much else to do. Foolish human.

Well, if Andronda wouldn’t go looking, then that just meant that
Nykantiath would have to do it for her. And there were plenty of
eligible bronzes and browns around for her to choose from. She
scanned around, looking above, to the sides, and down below. Looking
for a dragon that looked awake enough that she wouldn't be disturbing
them with her visit or one that wasn't getting ready to leave for
drills or sweeps or something else. Down below, at one of the ground
level weyrs, there was a brown dragon who looked like he would fit
what she was looking for. With a flip of her wings, she glided down
to where he was, crooning softly in greeting.

((Hello. Mind if I join you for a bit?))



--
"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146


Please Forgive Him

Laurie
 

Flashes of his past went through T’ril’s mind. Bathing in his weyr at Fort. A dark shadow. Pain, unending pain. Garanth almost going between. And he’d been alone. So, so alone.


No one should live or die alone. 


But the Weyrwoman--there was a reason Garanth hadn’t won any of Foreth’s flights. T’ril didn’t want him to, though Garanth was totally willing to fly the Sun, even if it would burn him.


Garanth had promised Ardeth that he would talk to the Weyrwoman. Oh, he could talk to one of the Weyrleaders--preferably N’shen. After all, N’shen was younger, and possibly more swayable. But he’d go to R’tal and Kassia anyway, so he, T’ril, may as well get the worst over with first.


Swallowing convulsively he made his way to Kassia’s location. Of course guards stopped him. Of course he had to be searched, and vetted. 


“I’d like to speak with the Weyrwoman, please,” he said, more submissive than a bronzerider should be. “It’s a matter of...dragon health.”


One of the guards looked at him a moment and then disappeared into the office. After a moment he came out and left the door open.


“You may go in,” he said, though he didn’t sound happy about it.


Inside, Kassia sat behind her desk. The top was less overfull than usual with her reluctantly passing on some of her work. Next to her desk was Brogan, laying, but on watch. There was no doubt he’d be on T’ril in a breath if need be.


“Have a seat,” Kassia said, already guessing what the topic was going to be and not thrilled.


Tentatively, T’ril sat. He had a hard time meeting her eyes, but eventually he did. His hesitance probably wasn’t helping his case any, but he couldn’t help it.


“Ardeth’s hurting,” he finally blurted. “He’s afraid that M’ayen’s going to get sick, because he’s old. I know he’s healthy enough, but you can’t stick him in a dank cell somewhere and let him fade away.” No matter how much they wanted to. 


“I just...yes, we were wrong. But can’t you have some compassion for his dragon?”


Kassia raised an eyebrow. “We?” she asked simply.


Oh, feck. Yet he’d be a fool to think no one knew that he had been one of M’ayen’s lackeys. So, may as well own it. “Yes, we. M’ayen and I talked. And, well, he and I go way back--Fort, you know.” He vaguely remembered Kassia being there too. “And, well, I’ve always looked up to him. And when those Candidates tried to touch Foreth’s eggs, and he came back on board as a Candidate Master, he...he’s very persuasive. He makes good points. So it didn’t seem to be so bad to bring some of Fort’s methods into Arolos. It worked there--tear a person down, and then build them up in the image you want.” He looked down at his feet. “It worked for me. Until it didn’t.”


Kassia’s mouth tightened. She didn’t remember T’ril specifically, but she’d known M’ayen and had been a fool to think he’d changed. 


“You never thought what the results were at Fort? Not even knowing what happened to Fort? How people were hurt to “build them up”? That only bronze riders were built up and the rest were walked on at best?”


He was ashamed of the man he’d been. He was also ashamed of the man he’d become. He was ashamed.


“I...never thought about it when I was there. Then I almost died, because of the unrest at Fort.” He shivered, images of his experience flowing through him again. His back hurt, where the knife had gone through him--sometimes it felt like the once it had been, sometimes it felt like several times. 


“Then I came here. I...changed. I understood that Fort was--diseased. I was happy here. 


“But M’ayen is persuasive. And no matter how wrong or right I felt, the compulsion to agree with him is always there. And he got into my head. But,” He held up a finger. “He is a product of his training. He’s got thirty years on me. Thirty more years of Fortian conditioning. Thirty more years of becoming the man that he is. It’s a whole ‘nother person of life experience.” 


T’ril bit his lip. “I may have been stabbed right at the turning point of whether I could be redeemed or not. I’m not sure that he has that same ability. And...Ardeth. A dragon is the product of his Weyr and his Rider. You may think that he could have made a better choice, but he had no choice in where he was born. M’ayen was the best choice for him, in this lifetime.”


He fell silent, afraid that he might actually--cry. Which was unheard of.


“A man can be a product of where they spent their time,” Kassia said, “but he can also learn. He’s not fresh from Fort. Does a person ever entirely leave behind what shaped them? Perhaps not. But that doesn’t mean they can’t grow and learn from what they went through. Maybe even use it to become a better person. I didn’t spend as much time at Fort, but I spent enough. And the personal target of Masena. Will I always carry a part of that with me? Yes. But am I a better person for coming to Arolos and learning there is another way? Yes. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it is possible.”


Change had happened overnight with him. But not everyone got a wake-up call with a knife in their back. 


“Yes, it is possible,” he agreed. “But there are other circumstances that bring it about. For instance, my attitude had changed because I almost died. That’s a huge wake-up call. You, you were young, and, well, still malleable. Unless you had fought very hard against it, you were bound to change.


“M’ayen is struggling with, well, advanced age. His eyesight is failing. I didn’t want to notice, but I did--when I went to talk to him about--the boy,” he couldn’t bring himself to say the poor lad’s name, “he snapped at me, and took a few moments to recognize who I was.”  He thought back. “I think I surprised him--he may not have realized I was in his office. Maybe his hearing is going, too. I don’t know. But that has an effect on a person.” He gestured at her arm. “How helpless do you feel with a broken arm? And you know that will heal.”


His stomach gurgled, he felt sick. He was defending the man--a man who had picked out a boy who came from a better background than he did. Could that have been a part of it? Was he regressing back to the drudge he used to be? No. He wouldn’t say that.


“Maybe...would you allow me to visit him? So he had someone to talk to?”


Kassia’s eye narrowed further. “There. Is. No. Excuse. For. Abuse. That is the poison that brought down Fort and I won’t have it here. I won’t have my people suffer that here. My Candidates suffer that. Those that I’m meant to be protecting. He knew what he was doing was wrong. I’m sorry that his dragon has been indoctrinated enough that he thinks that what Ma’yen was doing was appropriate. M’ayen earned every bit of his punishment and he will have to endure it. That means for the time being no visitors.”


She shifted to tap her fingers on her good arm on her desk. “As for you. I’m interested in exactly how you’re involved in this whole disgusting endeavor.”


He wasn’t stupid enough to think he could get away with telling her it was a misunderstanding. She didn’t get to be where she was by being stupid.


“Like I said before, M’ayen’s persuasive. And,” he closed his eyes and sighed, “I’m easily persuadable these days. He made good--well, they sounded good at the time--arguments that,” he swallowed and choked out the name, “Garatt was a troublemaker. Let me start at the beginning.


“In class one day, I caught Garatt doing homework from another class. I couldn’t find...didn’t look for Nayari, instead going to M’ayen about it to find out if he’d noticed anything about the boy.” He remembered how it seemed that M’ayen had jumped on that bit of information. In retrospect, he should have known better. But M’ayen was...M’ayen.


“He said Garatt was a rich Holder’s son, and had everything handed to him. He said that the boy thought he could coast through Candidacy. He said--a lot. Then, he urged me to be harder on everyone; that because of the egg fiasco the Candidates thought they could get away with anything. He made a good argument. So, I became harder on the Candidates. I--reverted to Fort ways. I gave out detention for tiny transgressions and increased the homework. I was never physically abusive, but verbally--” He cringed at what he’d been turning into. Some of the things he’d called the students were shameful.


“I know you won’t let me near the Candidates again, and am ready to accept whatever punishment I deserve.”


“Unfortunately I’ve learned my lesson well on letting Forters who are willing to fall back on their past,” she said. “You are correct that you are no longer to be an ACM. I won’t make that mistake again. Nor can I let you off entirely for what you’ve done, though I do appreciate your honesty. I need to know if you’ve done anything more. I know that excessive detentions and extra exercise were also an issue.”


“I can honestly say that extra exercise was not one of my punishments. I did the verbal abuse and extra detention. And, extra essays.” He liked reading essays. He liked being able to mark them up and show--no, no longer. That was no longer something he’d be able to do.


Kassia watched him closely for a moment. “I believe you are telling me the truth and will spare your dragon and interrogation. For your transgressions I believe a week in confinement on bread and water can give you more time to think about what you’ve done. And a formal apology.”


That was all? T’ril felt even more ashamed now than he did before. He didn’t deserve this treatment.


“Thank you, Weyrwoman. Do you want the formal apology written, or spoken? And, should I write one to every student and former student, or just one apology?”


“Both,” she said. “To me, Nayari, and every student you injured. If they Impressed, you’ll do it after their dragon is old enough to be okay with it.”


Fair enough. He nodded. It would give him something to do during his confinement. He stood. “I’ll go begin my confinement now then, by your leave.”


“Present yourself to the guards,” Kassia said writing a quick order and handing it to him. “I’ll be checking later, so don’t try to duck out.”


T’ril nodded and left, stopping to give the guards his order. One of the guards immediately took him to the cells, which he obediently entered. He did request paper and stylus; only time would tell if the Weyrleadership would allow him that minor distraction. 

All in all, he felt that he got off easy. And he knew he’d done wrong. But M’ayen still had no idea. And, knowing the former Fortian, he probably never would.


T’ril sighed and leaned against the cell wall. And waited.






Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Sunstreath

Jerzy Tobin
 

Nykantiath was lying on the ledge of her weyr, taking full advantage
of the sunny day to soak in the warm rays. Hers was, as usual, busy
with work. Hers was almost always busy with Work, more so now than
she had been before. And while the gold was of the opinion that this
did in fact mean that their star was rising in the Weyr - more work
for hers meant they were more responsible, after all - that didn’t
mean that Hers should spend all of her time working. Even the
Weyrwoman had mates, after all! Why couldn’t Nykantiath’s Andronda
have someone?

Of course, the gold knew that Hers couldn’t be bothered to go looking
for someone herself. She didn’t have the time, or so she told
Nykantiath. It was one thing to make time to take care of her dragon,
but she couldn’t be bothered to go and try to find something as silly
as *romance* when she had so much else to do. Foolish human.

Well, if Andronda wouldn’t go looking, then that just meant that
Nykantiath would have to do it for her. And there were plenty of
eligible bronzes and browns around for her to choose from. Nykantiath
scanned the area around her, before settling on the pale, lean bronze
form of Sunstreath. He’d do for a start.

((Sunstreath, would you be a dear and come lay next to me?)) She
called out to the bronze. ((I should like some company.))



--
"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146


Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Zeligeth

Jerzy Tobin
 

Nykantiath was lying on the ledge of her weyr, taking full advantage
of the sunny day to soak in the warm rays. Hers was, as usual, busy
with work. Hers was almost always busy with Work, more so now than
she had been before. And while the gold was of the opinion that this
did in fact mean that their star was rising in the Weyr - more work
for hers meant they were more responsible, after all - that didn’t
mean that Hers should spend all of her time working. Even the
Weyrwoman had mates, after all! Why couldn’t Nykantiath’s Andronda
have someone?

Of course, the gold knew that Hers couldn’t be bothered to go looking
for someone herself. She didn’t have the time, or so she told
Nykantiath. It was one thing to make time to take care of her dragon,
but she couldn’t be bothered to go and try to find something as silly
as romance when she had so much else to do. Foolish human.

Well, if Andronda wouldn’t go looking, then that just meant that
Nykantiath would have to do it for her. And there were plenty of
eligible bronzes and browns around for her to choose from. Rising to
her feet, the gold took off from the ledge to glide down to the lake,
where there were dragons sunning themselves on the warm sands. One in
particular caught her eye as she looked around - a small brown; very
small, in fact. She had never seen such a small brown!

((Hello,)) she greeted the small brown. ((May I lay next to you? I
am bored, and looking for company.))



--
"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146


Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Quelenth

Jerzy Tobin
 

Nykantiath was lying on the ledge of her weyr, taking full advantage
of the sunny day to soak in the warm rays. Hers was, as usual, busy
with work. Hers was almost always busy with Work, more so now than
she had been before. And while the gold was of the opinion that this
did in fact mean that their star was rising in the Weyr - more work
for hers meant they were more responsible, after all - that didn’t
mean that Hers should spend all of her time working. Even the
Weyrwoman had mates, after all! Why couldn’t Nykantiath’s Andronda
have someone?

Of course, the gold knew that Hers couldn’t be bothered to go looking
for someone herself. She didn’t have the time, or so she told
Nykantiath. It was one thing to make time to take care of her dragon,
but she couldn’t be bothered to go and try to find something as silly
as romance when she had so much else to do. Foolish human.

Well, if Andronda wouldn’t go looking, then that just meant that
Nykantiath would have to do it for her. And there were plenty of
eligible bronzes and browns around for her to choose from. It’d be
good for her, too. Looking around her, she spotted a tawny colored
brown who looked like he had a lot of character to him. He’d be a
good one to try!

((Hello, you! Handsome brown! Care to come lay next to me? I want
company, if you don’t mind?))


--
"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146


Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Kasheth

Jerzy Tobin
 

Nykantiath was lying on the ledge of her weyr, taking full advantage
of the sunny day to soak in the warm rays. Hers was, as usual, busy
with work. Hers was almost always busy with Work, more so now than
she had been before. And while the gold was of the opinion that this
did in fact mean that their star was rising in the Weyr - more work
for hers meant they were more responsible, after all - that didn’t
mean that Hers should spend all of her time working. Even the
Weyrwoman had mates, after all! Why couldn’t Nykantiath’s Andronda
have someone?

Of course, the gold knew that Hers couldn’t be bothered to go looking
for someone herself. She didn’t have the time, or so she told
Nykantiath. It was one thing to make time to take care of her dragon,
but she couldn’t be bothered to go and try to find something as silly
as romance when she had so much else to do. Foolish human.

Well, if Andronda wouldn’t go looking, then that just meant that
Nykantiath would have to do it for her. And there were plenty of
eligible bronzes and browns around for her to choose from. It’d be
good for her, too. And there were plenty of dragon about, sunning on
ledges, down by the lake, up on the rim. A large bronze with no other
dragons currently around him seemed a likely fellow, and Nykantiath
winged her way up to where he was, settling down a polite distance
away.

((Hello,)) she greeted him. ((Mind keeping me company a bit?))



--
"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146


Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Att: Nykantiath/Nehryth

Jerzy Tobin
 

Nykantiath was lying on the ledge of her weyr, taking full advantage
of the sunny day to soak in the warm rays. Hers was, as usual, busy
with work. Hers was almost always busy with Work, more so now than
she had been before. And while the gold was of the opinion that this
did in fact mean that their star was rising in the Weyr - more work
for hers meant they were more responsible, after all - that didn’t
mean that Hers should spend all of her time working. Even the
Weyrwoman had mates, after all! Why couldn’t Nykantiath’s Andronda
have someone?

Of course, the gold knew that Hers couldn’t be bothered to go looking
for someone herself. She didn’t have the time, or so she told
Nykantiath. It was one thing to make time to take care of her dragon,
but she couldn’t be bothered to go and try to find something as silly
as romance when she had so much else to do. Foolish human.

Well, if Andronda wouldn’t go looking, then that just meant that
Nykantiath would have to do it for her. And there were plenty of
eligible bronzes and browns around for her to choose from. It’d be
good for her, too. And there were plenty of dragons, sunning on
ledges, down by the lake, up on the rim.

Down at the lake, she settled down near a brown whose hide was a
patchwork of old scars from Thread scores. He’d survived a lot over
the turns, it was clear. He’d probably have a lot of stories, him and
his rider. Perhaps His would be interesting to her Andronda?

((Greetings. May I lay down next to you?)) She asked the brown politely.



--
"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146