Date   

Can you do something? (SA Mendl/Larsin)

Laurie
 

Mendl awoke and for a moment wondered where she was. Then she heard a whuffling and realized she was in Dytha's weyr. And the memory of the previous evening came crashing down on her.

Quietly she arose. It seemed that the small dose of fellis kept Dytha sleeping, and Ponth hadn't moved from her position last night. The only thing she had to worry about was explaining to the Candidate Masters why she missed curfew. Well, that she could fix right away. That, and asking Larsin to talk to the Weyrwoman.

Giving a longing look at the alcove where Dytha's personal bathing pool was, Mendl silently crept out of the weyr and trotted over to the Dragon Infirmary, and knocked on Master Larsin's door.

"Come," Larsin barked.

Mendl crept in. "I need your advice," she began.

"What happened to you? You look like you slept in those clothes," Larsin snapped. "When you work here, you should always look presentable." He glared at her, and she stood there with downcast eyes.

He huffed. "Stop looking like a beaten canine. You're normally professional, so something happened."

Mendl nodded. "It's Dytha sir. Ponth rose yesterday. And I spent all evening tending to Ponth's and Dytha's wounds. Lucily Ponth didn't need too many stitches, but she's not going to be able to fly for a while. And Dytha's going to be sporting some pretty bad scars..." She trailed off at the look of utter disbelief and anger on Larsin's face.

"One of my apprentices was damaged during a mating flight, and you're only coming to me now?" he said.

"Only because I felt it was more important to tend to their injuries than to go telling the whole Weyr that a bad flight had happened," Mendl snapped.

Larsin stared at her, and she stared back. They stood like that for several minutes until she broke and looked at the ground. "Sorry," she mumbled. 

"So, you're telling me that Dytha may not be here for a few days?"

Mendl nodded. "And, can you say something to the Weyrwoman? I don't think a flight like that should be allowed to happen."

"Do you know who it was?"

"Just the dragon's name. Travath." It was burned in her memory. "He came forward from SEF Weyr."

Larsin nodded, and paced the room. Mendl stood there waiting for him to say he would go talk to the Weyrwoman. 

"You go."

"What?"

"You go tell Kassia. I've got a few things I need to do today. But you should go talk to her. But go clean yourself up, first." He went back to his desk and wrote something out on a strip of hide. "And give this to Nayari, so you don't get in trouble for last night."

Mendl nodded, though she didn't know why he wanted her to go talk to the Weyrwoman. Though Larsin could be gruff at times. She grabbed the note and ran out of his office, heading to the Candidate Barracks to do a quick washup and change. And hope that her footlocker hadn't been permanently locked.




Re: Of Sound Mind? (Attn: Torrela/Namieh)

 

Namieh swallowed hard at the question, though part of her couldn't help but to appreciate that she cut right to business. Despite a healthy dose of wariness, there didn't seem to be a reason to keep up the charade anymore. The effort was exhausting, but so were most things while she was recovering. "I.. I'd heard that you could rig a Hatching in your favor if you touched the eggs," she answered with the quiet reservation, fussing with the hem of her gown while her eyes focused there. "If I had a dragon, I.. I could go anywhere. Be anyone. Weyrwoman even."  There was clearly more to this reason, but she hesitated to elaborate.


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 7:56 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
Torrela was amused at the girl's distrust. Not the amused of blatant superiority, but the amused as if she were sharing a secret. It was obvious this girl wasn't going to give her full trust to anyone, but that was fine. Because Torrela could wait. She was in the Weyr, and it would take a Wing of dragons to move her back out.

"Trust me, even if you'd never seen a mindhealer in your life, you'll know how unconventional I am. But, before I even start, want to tell me just why you went running off to touch the eggs? Why you couldn't wait until the whole class was led down to them?" If she told her, great. If not, it would come out eventually.


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 8:59 PM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"I do not want to be yelled at," Nami replied flatly. She had a hunch there would be plenty of that in her future as it was and she hadn't a doubt in her mind that it would come sooner than she liked; her heart raced uneasily with anticipation. She watched the other woman with suspicious eyes, a blatantly untrusting sort of girl if ever there was one. Hearing about Mindhealers was entirely different from interacting with them, but fancy, learned folked were all the same in her view. They had always seemed to have a habit of making Namieh feel less than for her upbringing, for her heritage, for her gender. At least here at the Weyr they were more open minded, from what little she'd seen so far. 

"I've never talked to one of you before," she admitted more casually than she felt. Torrela was not immediately threatening and after her warning, Nami's interest piqued. "So I dunno if I'd even notice." With a pause in the pretense of consideration, though she'd already decided, the girl added with an affected sigh. "You can come in." 

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:11 AM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
"Not unless you want me to," Torrela said. "I'm Torrela, Mindhealer. I thought that you may want to just talk without any judgement." She waved her hand to encompass the whole Weyr. "There are enough people out there judging you, talking about you, even blaming you that I think you need someone non-judgemental." And Torrela was all that. She spent her whole career learning to not judge people. Granted, there were those that she couldn't help it, but this slip of a girl? She wasn't bad, or evil. She just went about doing something the wrong way, and had to learn that actions had far-reaching consequences.

And it seemed that she had. Her lesson had been painful, brutal, and would haunt her for the rest of her life. Which, in Torrela's mind, seemed a bit too much. 

"I must warn you, I'm not like other Mindhealers. Something you may find interesting, or you may find scary."


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 12:25 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Namieh looked up from where she sat in bed at the unexpected visitor, surprised to meet someone who hadn't been in the rotation of Healers tending to her injuries. While she was eager for conversation, after Asheran's confrontation, she felt wary and apprehensive about a stranger. 

"I guess that depends," the girl answered. "You here to yell at me?"

On Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 2:29 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
Torrela had wanted to go speak with the Candidate who endangered the eggs right away, but hadn't. Mainly because the girl had been on pain medications and if the mindhealer were going to work with her, she wanted her to at least be coherent. So she waited several days for the fog to clear, then one day peeked into the girl's--she looked at the chart, Namieh--alcove.

"Hello. Are you up for some company?" Torrela asked.


Re: Of Sound Mind? (Attn: Torrela/Namieh)

Laurie
 

Torrela was amused at the girl's distrust. Not the amused of blatant superiority, but the amused as if she were sharing a secret. It was obvious this girl wasn't going to give her full trust to anyone, but that was fine. Because Torrela could wait. She was in the Weyr, and it would take a Wing of dragons to move her back out.

"Trust me, even if you'd never seen a mindhealer in your life, you'll know how unconventional I am. But, before I even start, want to tell me just why you went running off to touch the eggs? Why you couldn't wait until the whole class was led down to them?" If she told her, great. If not, it would come out eventually.


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 8:59 PM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"I do not want to be yelled at," Nami replied flatly. She had a hunch there would be plenty of that in her future as it was and she hadn't a doubt in her mind that it would come sooner than she liked; her heart raced uneasily with anticipation. She watched the other woman with suspicious eyes, a blatantly untrusting sort of girl if ever there was one. Hearing about Mindhealers was entirely different from interacting with them, but fancy, learned folked were all the same in her view. They had always seemed to have a habit of making Namieh feel less than for her upbringing, for her heritage, for her gender. At least here at the Weyr they were more open minded, from what little she'd seen so far. 

"I've never talked to one of you before," she admitted more casually than she felt. Torrela was not immediately threatening and after her warning, Nami's interest piqued. "So I dunno if I'd even notice." With a pause in the pretense of consideration, though she'd already decided, the girl added with an affected sigh. "You can come in." 

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:11 AM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
"Not unless you want me to," Torrela said. "I'm Torrela, Mindhealer. I thought that you may want to just talk without any judgement." She waved her hand to encompass the whole Weyr. "There are enough people out there judging you, talking about you, even blaming you that I think you need someone non-judgemental." And Torrela was all that. She spent her whole career learning to not judge people. Granted, there were those that she couldn't help it, but this slip of a girl? She wasn't bad, or evil. She just went about doing something the wrong way, and had to learn that actions had far-reaching consequences.

And it seemed that she had. Her lesson had been painful, brutal, and would haunt her for the rest of her life. Which, in Torrela's mind, seemed a bit too much. 

"I must warn you, I'm not like other Mindhealers. Something you may find interesting, or you may find scary."


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 12:25 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Namieh looked up from where she sat in bed at the unexpected visitor, surprised to meet someone who hadn't been in the rotation of Healers tending to her injuries. While she was eager for conversation, after Asheran's confrontation, she felt wary and apprehensive about a stranger. 

"I guess that depends," the girl answered. "You here to yell at me?"

On Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 2:29 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
Torrela had wanted to go speak with the Candidate who endangered the eggs right away, but hadn't. Mainly because the girl had been on pain medications and if the mindhealer were going to work with her, she wanted her to at least be coherent. So she waited several days for the fog to clear, then one day peeked into the girl's--she looked at the chart, Namieh--alcove.

"Hello. Are you up for some company?" Torrela asked.


Re: Harper Delivery (Intro post Attn: Searchrider, any)

Ren
 

Seisilth was sunning on the sands after a bath, hide a bit brighter than usual under the fresh coat of oil Vofali and the candidates she'd recruited had just applied. The green stretched and yawned before she felt the familiar tingle at the corner of her mind. Seisilth looked around for the source and found it in the blue-clad Harper walking to the Haven. Definitely her.

{{Hello,}} the green called out. {{I am Seisilth of Vofali. I haven't felt you before, are you new to the Weyr? It's a lovely place with dragons like me. Who are you?}}
--
Out of the fire comes new life. Telgar Rises!

Are you afraid of the dark? Come play in the Shadow...


Harper Delivery (Intro post Attn: Searchrider, any)

spiritwolf0963
 

 Lyreina looked out at the water as she urged the black runner along the well worn path to the weyr, watching the dragons flying high above her, dark eyes sparkling with excitement.Pausing for a moment, she dismounted and stretched, before remounting and continuing her trip.
   She had been at the Crafthall for several years but had managed to be out on errands every time they had riders stop by and this would be her first trip to the weyr to deliver some newly copied teaching scores to the creche.
   As the path turned and began to climb toward the weyr entrance she smiled slightly, whistling the tune that she had been working on under her breath as she enjoyed the warmth of the sun on her bare arms, the runnertail she had pulled her hair into brushing against the middle of her back, the red strands reflecting the sun like a fall of fire.
  As she drew closer to the weyr itself her attention was pulled to a pair of brown dragons darting and swooping through the clear sky, obviously enjoying themselves. Sighing she guided the runner into the tunnel mouth in front of her, her eyes barely becoming adjusted to the semi darkness before she exited into the weyr itself, a large expanse of green extending out in front of her, sloping down to a large lake in the center. Remembering the directions she had been given she headed toward the stables, where she dismounted and handed over the reins of her mount before brushing off the blue dyed hide of her vest and pants and heading to the Haven, the two hide wrapped scores carried carefully in a leather pouch.
  


Re: Of Sound Mind? (Attn: Torrela/Namieh)

 

"I do not want to be yelled at," Nami replied flatly. She had a hunch there would be plenty of that in her future as it was and she hadn't a doubt in her mind that it would come sooner than she liked; her heart raced uneasily with anticipation. She watched the other woman with suspicious eyes, a blatantly untrusting sort of girl if ever there was one. Hearing about Mindhealers was entirely different from interacting with them, but fancy, learned folked were all the same in her view. They had always seemed to have a habit of making Namieh feel less than for her upbringing, for her heritage, for her gender. At least here at the Weyr they were more open minded, from what little she'd seen so far. 

"I've never talked to one of you before," she admitted more casually than she felt. Torrela was not immediately threatening and after her warning, Nami's interest piqued. "So I dunno if I'd even notice." With a pause in the pretense of consideration, though she'd already decided, the girl added with an affected sigh. "You can come in." 

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:11 AM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
"Not unless you want me to," Torrela said. "I'm Torrela, Mindhealer. I thought that you may want to just talk without any judgement." She waved her hand to encompass the whole Weyr. "There are enough people out there judging you, talking about you, even blaming you that I think you need someone non-judgemental." And Torrela was all that. She spent her whole career learning to not judge people. Granted, there were those that she couldn't help it, but this slip of a girl? She wasn't bad, or evil. She just went about doing something the wrong way, and had to learn that actions had far-reaching consequences.

And it seemed that she had. Her lesson had been painful, brutal, and would haunt her for the rest of her life. Which, in Torrela's mind, seemed a bit too much. 

"I must warn you, I'm not like other Mindhealers. Something you may find interesting, or you may find scary."


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 12:25 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Namieh looked up from where she sat in bed at the unexpected visitor, surprised to meet someone who hadn't been in the rotation of Healers tending to her injuries. While she was eager for conversation, after Asheran's confrontation, she felt wary and apprehensive about a stranger. 

"I guess that depends," the girl answered. "You here to yell at me?"

On Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 2:29 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
Torrela had wanted to go speak with the Candidate who endangered the eggs right away, but hadn't. Mainly because the girl had been on pain medications and if the mindhealer were going to work with her, she wanted her to at least be coherent. So she waited several days for the fog to clear, then one day peeked into the girl's--she looked at the chart, Namieh--alcove.

"Hello. Are you up for some company?" Torrela asked.


Re: This Will Not Stand Att: T'ryn/M'ayen

Jerzy Tobin
 

"Lennaye is your daughter?" He hadn't thought the man was old enough, but then Wingleaders looked younger and younger of late.

He only half-listened to the lecture on what T'ryn found acceptable. Really the matter had been resolved the moment T'ryn claimed Lennaye as his own.

"Fine," he said calmly, once the man paused for breath. "I'll ease off her. But talk to her about paying attention."
T'ryn blinked, caught off guard by the agreement to ease up on
Lennaye. He'd expected a fight, actually, and to not get one had him
reeling a bit. But, he'd take the victory handed to him.

"I assure you, I have, and will do so again, just to make sure it
sticks. Thank you for your time, ACM M'ayen."

--
"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


Re: This Will Not Stand Att: T'ryn/M'ayen

Laura Walker
 

"Lennaye is your daughter?" He hadn't thought the man was old enough, but then Wingleaders looked younger and younger of late.

He only half-listened to the lecture on what T'ryn found acceptable. Really the matter had been resolved the moment T'ryn claimed Lennaye as his own.

"Fine," he said calmly, once the man paused for breath. "I'll ease off her. But talk to her about paying attention."

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 10:07 PM Jerzy Tobin <jerzytobin@...> wrote:
M'ayen was honestly surprised by that, and his face showed it. Of all the people he'd expected the Candidates to go complaining to a Wingleader was not amongst them.

"Garatt, is it?" he said after a startled pause, already readying his arguments for defence.

"No, Lennaye," T'ryn quickly clarified.  "My daughter."  

She had mentioned that she hadn't been the only candidate punished, but she hadn't specified who the others had been, or what had been done to them.  Given that it was M'ayen, he had some inkling of ideas as to what that could entail, but she had stressed that he hadn't actually laid a hand on them...yet.

"I am of the opinion that your so called punishment was far more than excessive for someone caught doodling.  Especially since, given all other reports of her classes and classwork, she's doing quite well.  She is young, and I will more than grant that she was in the wrong, but forcing her to stand at the front of a class holding a book out in front of her for the rest of the class was unnecessary.  Calling her out, having her apologize in front of the class, writing an extra essay or lines, those would have been enough.  But I am very seriously tempted to take this incident up with the Candidate Master if this is the way you intend to keep discipline here.  I will *not* have my daughter scared off from having a chance at Impressing, and I will *not* have her too terrified to actually confide in or learn from her teachers, something your methods are in fact likely to cause." 
 

--
"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



--

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.


I need your help, but I need you to be discreet. (JP Dytha/Mendl)

Laurie
 

IC Date Reference: Set immediately after the events of Greenflight: A dastardly concoction of intent”.



By the time she finally awoke, the hot afternoon was beginning to shift into the cooler evening. The room was quiet and empty. Clearly no one had come in yet to clean it. The throbbing bite of gnawing pain was almost immediately apparent as she carefully sat up. But none of that mattered. Her thoughts scrabbled immediately to Ponth, probing for the green’s whereabouts.


(( He isn’t here! )) Came the plaintive wail, filled with misery. (( Neither of them are! I looked and couldn’t find them! )) 


Oh… shells. No, no they weren’t. He had told her only the day before. R’bor and Vukoth had gone to High Reaches for several days for a training regime he had been invited to take part in. It had been something right up his alley and he had been desperate to go. She had reassured him they would be fine. )) Shh, dearest. It’s okay. Where are you now? ((


(( I was able to get away… eventually. It made me hurt. And Vukoth wasn’t here. So I came home… ))


((I’m coming dear one, can you call Mendl for me? Tell her to meet us there. Be patient for me, I’ll be as quick as I can. (( With a grimace, she pulled her shirt back on, wincing at the scrapes on her spine from the wall’s rough surface. She wanted to sprint across the Weyr as fast as she could, but all she would be able to manage was a pained hobble. Already she could feel that the side of her mouth was beginning to swell. She would send Mimsi for ice, but first, Ponth.


The green was curled in a small ball of miserable hide on her ledge as Hers bespoke and reassured her. Many of the lacerations about her shoulders and flanks had reopened as she struggled away from the blue, dribbles of ichor standing out in macabre fashion against her dark hide. Her wings still ached and her neck was sore from where the blue had wrapped his own about her to keep her from struggling. When she reached out to the Candidate, her normally buoyant voice was as close to a sob as a dragon could muster. (( Mend-a-lee, you must come. Mine says you must come to our ledge and help us! ))


It felt as though it had taken an age, but finally she was climbing the familar tunnel to her own weyr. Heedless of her own pain, of the bone deep throbbing that felt as though it covered her from head to foot, of the sharp spikes of pain with every step that pierced her feet, Dytha went immediately to Ponth, cradling the dark green head as it was thrust into her arms with a mournful bugle “Tell me where it hurts, darling, we need to take care of you first.”


(( Everywhere… )) Came the miserable voice. (( It hurts… everywhere… ))


Mendl’s head jerked up at Ponth’s call. Something was wrong, something bad. Eysis shrieked and went between, hearing Ponth in Mendl’s head. If the dragonhealer had been unsure before, about anything wrong, well now there was no doubt. Even her little green knew something was wrong.


Quickly she gathered healing supplies. Maybe she wouldn’t need them, but better safe than sorry. At least Ponth was relatively small for a dragon, but she still stuffed loads of items into her knapsack. Eysis came back and looked approvingly on. She must have gone to check on the green.


It felt like it took her forever to get to Dytha’s weyr, and when she did she gasped. Both rider and dragon looked like they’d been attacked. Who would do this to them? Why? How?


“Who the feck did this to you?” she said, normally medium-range voice gutteral in anger. She immediately got a bucket of water from Dytha’s bathing pool--still showing signs of a recent bath--and got water to wash Ponth’s many wounds. 


Dytha barely looked up at Mendl’s arrival. It couldn’t be anyone else. No one else knew she was there. Still cradling Ponth’s head her arms, she rubbed the green’s eyeridges, trying to soothe the dragon as best she could. “Bastard feckin’ bluerider,” she growled, pressing her cheek to Ponth’s hide. “I’ll explain in a bit. I don’t want Ponth going to the Infirmary. Too many questions. I need…” Dytha paused, her breath shuddering free from her. “I need you to help me clean her up as best we can. I don’t think she’ll need real stitching, maybe some minor suturing…” The green’s pained groans made her wince. “Feckin’ flights.” It was a bitter growl of sound but the dismay was written all over her face.


Shards, she didn’t know where her own pain ended and Ponth’s began. Her mind itself felt as though it were throbbing with the blurred lines. She didn’t remember it being like this since Ponth had been a small hatchling and had been unconsciously reflecting her own pain back at her. 


“I’ve brought enough supplies that I can get her mostly patched up now,” Mendl said, adding some redwort to the water. Redwort and water to clean, redwort and numbweed to help with the pain. But she needed to clean the ichor off to see how bad the lesions and abrasions...feck it all to the Star, those were fecking puncture wounds! What kind of dragon did this? 


A dragon belonging to a psychopathic rider, a little voice inside her said. Too bad the dragon couldn’t be reassigned to another person. 


“It looks like most of the bleeding has stopped,” she said, gently wiping away the ichor stains. “But I’m going to need to pack these puncture wounds--those are the most likely to get infected.” She knew she’d have to minister to Dytha once she was done with Ponth. 


“Where was Vukoth? I thought he could easily fly Ponth, despite his size?” As with most beastcrafters--whether for dragons or for animals, she knew the dragon before knowing the rider.


(( I didn’t choose him, ))  Came the mournful voice, audible to Mendl as well as Dytha. (( He wouldn’t let go… ))


“Hush dearling, it’s not your fault. You flew as best you could…” Dytha looked up from Ponth and sighed. It was a sigh filled with regret. “He’s at High Reaches. Some training regime he was invited on and wants to talk to Nayari about implementing with the Candidates here… I was sure it would be fine. Shells, I encouraged him to go because he was looking forward to it. I completely forgot when it all started… Only one blasted thing was on my mind but I was still so sure that I could swing it the moment I saw him in the room.”


It was clear that the “him” was not R’bor but rather the mysterious bluerider responsible. Dytha shifted and unwillingly hissed as needle-like pain speared into the worse foot. “Tell me what you need help with. I’ve got a healthy stash of numbweed of my own as well as additional gauzes. From my own kit for my feet but I’m sure we can improvise.” The knot of guilt was growing in the pit of her stomach with every second her eyes stayed on her diminutive green. “I want you to talk to Mendl, Ponth, help her with where it hurts. Try to ignore what you feel from me.”


The hesitance she felt was interspersed with careful self probing from the green before she shivered with a despondent moan. (( I… I can’t tell! I hurt in so many places… It’s too many! ))


“Hush… hush, it’s all right. We’ll go over every inch of you if we need to, my darling. You just try to rest and relax a little. You’re safe with me, now.” Even as her hands smoothed the dark hide, Dytha’s face was dark fury as she turned her eyes on Mendl. She could take bruises and bites and pain in places it was never meant to hurt. But Ponth didn’t have to. Shouldn’t have to. “The bastard enjoyed it. Feckin’ scum.”


“All right, Ponth, we’ll get you taken care of. Dytha, I’m going to look at you when I’m done with Ponth. As Cremsden so eloquently put it once, and I’m paraphrasing here, ‘wounds are wounds’.  But for now, I think your biggest problem is your feet, and you know how to best take care of those.”


She continued washing Ponth’s wounds, mentally cataloging them into “bad”, “worse”, “need stitches”. Luckily the “need stitches” category was relatively low. However, it concerned her that a dragon would inflict this much damage on another during a mating flight. She’d never had anyone come into the Infirmary this beat up. Sure, sometimes things happened; look at Foreth’s last flight. But usually those were few and far between. Here...she frowned.


“What’s this?” she muttered, washing the bite mark on Ponth’s neck. Had the blue tried to kill her? A dragon rogue enough to try and kill another dragon needed to be put down right away.


“Who was this bluerider, anyway?” she asked, forcing herself to be calm.


(( He did it so I would stop fighting him… ))  Ponth explained miserably as Mendl carefully probed the bite on her neck. (( Because he caught me. )) And even she knew the rules of the game. She flew, she was caught and that winner was just that, the winner. But the small gasp from Dytha had her own fingers flying to her neck, touching the bloodstains about her collar and turning her face away as she pulled at her shirt, pulled the collar away to expose the “matching” bite on the top of her own shoulder. “They did it at the end. Either the dragon influenced the man or… the man influenced the dragon…”


Deliberately, Dytha had been hesitant around answering Mendl’s question. How much did she want to tell her? But… Mendl was her friend. One of few at that. “He’s one of the Second Pass riders that stayed behind. Came forward from SEF. In a nutshell, that’s about all I know of him. Except the fact he’s a narrow-minded tunnelsnake who, for all his Weyr’s supposeded advancement thinks that these,” And here she gestured at her feet, clad for once in light slip-on shoes, shoes she had grabbed for ease in the heat of the moment. “Are signs of some sort of disease. Filth that I will pass to unsuspecting Riders.” 


Although her movement was limited, in the fading light of day she was able to take a good look at the aftermath wreaked on Ponth and it made the cold coil of guilt twist with raw and ugly anger. “Shells, I thought rough flights were only supposed to affect the Riders. No one said the dragons got involved!”


Mendl compressed her lips and took a couple breaths to keep herself calm. She continued washing Ponth. “I’m not a rider--not sure I ever will be--but mating flights seem to be tricky. On the one hand, the dragon chooses her mate. On the other, whatever is going on, the dragon and rider’s minds are allegedly thinking as one. So,” she hesitated as she thought of something, something that if said aloud, would put Dytha into a huge depression. “So all I can think is ‘like rider, like dragon’ and the dragon is as much a tunnelsnake as the rider is.” That, and she was going to keep a close eye on the dragon infirmary; ask all her friends if they’d had a blue SEF dragon come in with injuries.


“I can kind of see the puncture wounds. Kind of. But the rest...no.” She was done washing Ponth’s wounds and was now coating them with a numbweed/redwort mixture. “Are any of your muscles hurting also? I can put something on those, too,” she asked Ponth. “As well as your cloaca. I’m sure there’s some bruising there, right?”


“Wouldn’t surprise me if they were as bad as each other,” It was a snarl of sound and the angry downturn of her lips suggested that the same thought had already been in Dytha’s thoughts at some point or another. Another sigh, one that would be of many came and Dytha spoke again, this time to Ponth. “Dearling, do you think you could get up for us? Let Mendl and me take a good look at you all over? I know it hurts but we’re going to help take that away.” Even if she had to steal barrels of numbweed from the Infirmary herself and spend the night slathering every inch of the green with it.


With a grunt, Ponth carefully unfurled herself, whimpering as she did as muscles spasmed and complained against the motion. It seemed to take an age but the small green was up on her feet. With her head hanging low in Dytha’s arms, she more resembled a whipped cur than anyone’s idea of a ferocious dragon. (( My wings… because I tried to keep going and…. and…)) When the green spoke to them again, her lilting mind-voice seemed to be wracked with shame. (( … under my tail… It aches… ))


“Well, of course it aches under there,” Mendl said. “You even have some soreness after a good flight. But you just don’t feel it then, because the flight was good.”  She pulled out two large jars--one of numbweed salve, and one of concentrated wintergreen salve. 


“I’ll numbweed under your tail first. There’s willow salic mixed in with the numbweed in this jar; so it’ll take care of the pain and bring down the inflammation.” She ducked under the tail to look--it didn’t look like there were any abrasions, just the usual injuries if the flight had been incredibly rough. Though usually that was the only place that had issues, when the flight was rough. Mendl rolled her eyes. Just let her get her hands on that jerk!


“Then, I’ve got wintergreen salve for the wing muscles. I’ll leave the jar here--Dytha knows, a little goes a long way. It’ll feel cool at first, then it’ll burn, but the burn will also burn the ache away.” Call her crazy, but she loved the feeling. If she was on her feet for too long, she even put some on them.


“So is this guy in your Wing, also?” Mendl asked. She felt like she just couldn’t let it go, but she wanted as much information as she could get, just in case she could do something with it. Like accidentally push the guy off a cliff or something.


In a peculiar way, the matter of factness about it seemed to settle Ponth, only grunting in discomfort as Mendl tended to her. But already the gentle ministrations were doing their job, the soothing fingers of relief beginning to overtake the pain. The little green seemed to be slowly starting to relax, even just a little but not quite as tightly wound as she had been on Mendl’s arrival. (( Is that what Mine puts on her feet to take the burn away? She says it feels peculiar but oddly enjoyable… )) Pulling her head from Dytha, Ponth shyly fixed her gaze on Mendl. The whirling facets were less dominated by the orange and grey flecks of worry and pain and the frantic whirl was beginning to slow.


Dytha had chuckled softly at the curiosity in Ponth’s voice. It was better to hear than pain. “Yes dearling, it is. And you’ll get to see exactly why I like it.” At Mendl’s question, Dytha shook her head violently. “No, thank Faranth! His blue is about on par with SEF’s smallest browns. Something of a beast even by SEF’s standards. So he got assigned to one of the “regular” wings. Shells, I’ve barely run into the man more than a handful of times but he’s got an axe to grind.” Using Ponth for support, she gingerly moved along the length of the green, inspecting the claw marks around her neck and shoulders more carefully as she did. (( He rides Travath. That is all I know. And all I want to. )) The last was said more sulkily than anything, but it was more than Dytha knew. She wasn’t even sure of the bastard’s name, let alone his dragon’s.


Oooh, a name. Good. That was something. “Alright, here we go. This is what Dytha and I like. There are some men out there who cry because this burns, but I’ve never felt that,” Mendl said as she started to massage the wintergreen into Ponth’s wing muscles. “So if it hurts, let me know.” 


It even made her hands feel more energetic. A good thing, since even though Ponth was a small dragon, there was still a lot of musculature to cover.  


Still using Ponth as makeshift support, it wasn’t hard to make her way to Mendl’s side, dipping her fingers into the thick salve and beginning to apply it liberally to the bunched and hot muscles. Her feet and everything else could wait, would wait until she knew that Ponth’s pain was as relieved as it could be. At least for now. The green’s hide shivered under the salve and the green snorted in surprise as icy tendrils seeped into aching muscles, only to turn into fingers as hot as fire.


(( Ohhhh….! ))  She exclaimed, carefully turning her head to sniff at the ointment, only to snort in surprise as the scent made her nostrils prickle. She huffed and snorted, shaking her head  as though to shake the sensation out of her nose. (( It doesn’t hurt it feels… it feels.... I don’t know how to say how it feels. But hurt is not part of that. )) Dytha rolled her eyes at Mendl. “And that is probably as much as an explanation as you’re going to get.” She grunted a little as she rubbed the hide. On top of everything, aching tiredness was trying to rear its head. There was no time for tiredness yet. There was still important things that needed doing. “You’re doing a marvellous job, dear one. I promise you’ll be able to settle and sleep when we’re all done. I’ll even bring your favourite fur out for tonight.”


Mendl giggled a little at Ponth’s surprise. “Right? It’s a good feeling. But we’ll get you all taken care of.” Leaving Dytha on one side, Mendl went to the other, massaging the aromatic ointment into that wing, the shoulder blades, her neck, carefully keeping away from the abrasions. This stuff was not good on cuts. Well, maybe it was, but the pain wasn’t worth it.


She was sure her tail hurt, also, so rubbed it into the tail muscles too. “You’ll need to call me tomorrow so I can do this again,” she said. “Right now it’s too much for one person, even as small as you are.” She peeked over Ponth’s back at Dytha, who looked like she was ready to drop.


“Have I missed anything, Ponth?” she asked.


(( Am I allowed to call for you? I know you are waiting for the eggs. Mine says that is why there are so many of you now. )) Ponth’s tired voice was shy and uncertain, as though to call on Mendl would break some terrible unknown rule. But it was clear that as Mendl and Dytha worked, applying the salve where it was needed, that it was doing the job it needed to, the relief visible as the small green’s legs eventually folded beneath her and dropped her to the stone. Pain could keep you going for a long time, but when it faded, the strength seemed to fade with it.


(( I think… that’s everywhere… )) Already she could feel the throbbing aches beginning to be overriden by the salves applied to her. Now, most of what she could feel Ponth could now distinguish as being only Dytha’s pain,  not her own. (( Now I only feel where Mine aches. It is less… blurry… ))


Dytha hadn’t missed the subtle but friendly jibe and snorted as though highly offended. “I hope you’re not calling me stubborn from over there, madam.” Even in her tiredness, a glimmer of humour touched her eyes but it was wan. “You can call on Mendl whenever you need to, you just might have to wait a little if she’s in classes.” She knew what her friend was saying. Just as she knew that Mendl knew her well enough by now that she would likely try and do it all herself if no one stopped her. Stubbornness had its place.


“You can call on me anytime of the day or night,” Mendl said, rubbing Ponth’s headknobs and hoping those weren’t hurting as well. “Now, where’s that blanket and we can get you settled for the night. Then I need to make sure yours isn’t hurting so she can sleep, too.”  She fingered the small vial of fellis something had made her take from the infirmary. Just a small amount, and she’d tell Master Larsin about it later.


Taking a moment, Dytha made her way carefully to Ponth’s head again where the green gratefully pushed her head into the waiting arms. With every last bit of energy she had, Dytha wrapped her green, her sweet, sweet green in as much love as she could muster and used all her strength to push the cold and ugly sensation of anger away from Ponth. “It’s in the chest on the corner of the ledge there.” With Ponth using such a small amount, even on a damaged ledge like this, she had been able to fold the large fur into a chest and leave it within reach whenever it was needed.


Even Dytha wasn’t so stubborn as to realise that Mendl would have been able to reach the chest and return in the time it would have taken her to get even half way there. Now that Ponth was beginning to settle, she was becoming aware of the deep, pulsing ache that spread up her legs. She knew that pain. The telltale sign of having done far too much and in the morning she would suffer for it. But she would deal with that when it came. “You’ll sleep soon, my darling. I promise. You shall sleep for as long as you want to.”


Mendl brought the blanket over and handed it to Dytha. Though she would have been more than happy to settle the blanket with Ponth, she knew it was something Dytha needed to do.  Meanwhile, Dytha needed some ministrations of her own.


“Have you taken a bath yet?” Mendl asked. She thought that the bathing pool had been used, but the bloody shirt made her rethink that possibly erroneous observation. “If not, we need you in there now. And I know you’re tired, but if you want Ponth to sleep, we need to take care of your pain now.” 


Carefully, Ponth was covered with the soft fur, light enough to prevent overheating but plush enough to provide dense comfort. Almost immediately the green had settled beneath it with a happy sigh, carefully settling herself down. The effort was exhausting in itself but as Mendl had already observed, it had been deeply satisfying for some reason Dytha hadn’t been able to name. But when it was done, she had given Ponth a fond caress to her eyeridge before turning to her friend. She could already feel the whispers of sleep pulling at Ponth and knew that it wouldn’t be long before she was fast asleep.


“Not yet. I ran one earlier. Probably left half a tap on when Ponth went up which is why it’s still running warm. Faranth knows how much went down the drain.” But wasted water seemed ridiculously unimportant at that moment. “I need to clean up.” There was a finality in the way she said it that implied that the “cleanliness” Dytha craved was more about scrubbing the taint of H’lan from her flesh than it was about actually bathing. That and she wanted to roll in a vat of numbweed herself. Carefully she moved from the green’s side, her face a contorted grimace of stubborn pain, her movements stiff and uncomfortable as aching muscles protested at their use.


“Here, lean on me. I won’t insult you by insisting on washing you, but I will sit here and watch to make sure you don’t accidentally drown yourself.” Not from any suicidal tendencies, but from sheer exhaustion.  “Then, we’ll get you that vat of numbweed.” 

She remembered that angry bite on her shoulder. “And disinfect you to within an inch of that bluerider’s life.”  


And even though Dytha had those teas for her feet, with the small amount of fellis, she felt that maybe just the teensiest bit more was warranted. And then...even if it got her into trouble, she was going to sleep here. Her friend was too beat up to leave alone. Candidate curfew notwithstanding.












What is Wrong with This Kid? (M'ayen/D'xon)

Laura Walker
 

Later in the day after Garatt’s failed morning detention D’xon couldn’t get off his mind how badly Garatt was doing. If M’ayen had also given him detention, then there must be something consistent going on. He had to find out more.


During a break they shared, he went to M’ayen’s office and knocked.


“Enter!” The call rang through the door after a few moments.


D’xon came in and closed the door behind him. “I need to talk to you about a Candidate.”


“Ah?” Internally M’ayen was ready to go on the defensive. It was only a matter of time after all until the children started to complain. Of course he could justify everything but it was annoying to be called to account. Still, he nodded to the chair across his desk. “Go ahead then.”


D’xon took the seat. “A Candidate named Garatt. He’s been turning in really awful assignments that don’t make much sense. He mentioned that he had detention with you so I assume that he’s been causing problems in more than my class.”


Oh. Well, this was an interesting turn of events. M’ayen paused and tried not to smile. “..Garatt,” he said as though readying his thoughts. “..Yes. He has been rather struggling, hasn’t he?”


“I feel like he’s probably better than he’s showing,” D’xon said. “But he’s definitely not showing it. How has he been doing with you?”


M’ayen sighed deeply. “Garatt is.. Well. We’ve been seeing rather a lot of each other. The boy just doesn’t learn, does he?” he said as though despairing. “I know it’s not said here and not the Arolos way, but sometimes I do rather miss the ability to give children a short sharp shock that makes them decide whether they want to stay or go. There’s only so much that can be achieved with detentions and correctional essays.”


D’xon’s lips thin slightly at that. He agreed on the latter, but not on the first part. But no need to argue, they were at Arolos not at Fort. “Well, at this rate he’s going to get threats to be put out of Candidacy anyway. Maybe that will be shock enough.” Maybe.


“I’ve yet to meet the boy who isn’t convinced the world will always offer one more chance,” M’ayen said. “He’s already had Standing at this Hatching pulled.” A truth, if one with other reasons behind it.


“There’s a difference between the loss of one chance, however painful, and the chance of losing everything entirely.” D’xon shrugged. Their options were limited in some cases, but at least if the Candidate was sent away then they’d not have to deal with the boy anymore. Honestly D’xon was annoyed by Garatt, but he didn’t think the boy was being deliberately a problem. And he’d rather deal with one struggling than one who was defiant and disrespectful.


M’ayen laughed. “Not so much a hardship in this case. The boy’s set to inherit a fairly large Hold if he doesn’t wind up with a dragon. This is where a lifetime of coddling gets you unfortunately.”


“I hope it’s not that big of a hold given how he is crumbling under pressure here.” Boy would that be a disaster. “But maybe he’d do better at that than here. Not that he could do much worse.”


“Berford, I believe.” As far as Holds went, it wasn’t a small one. “Holder’s only son. Faranth knows why he let him go.”


“Well...that’s a shame. Maybe his father let him go because he didn’t think that the boy could manage the Hold. If he Impresses, I bet there’s someone waiting in the wings.”


“Oh, undoubtedly. I suspect for Garatt though, the kindest thing that could happen is if he were to get sent home to be Daddy’s problem again,” M’ayen said. He sat back in his chair, raising a hand with fingers bent to start ticking off a list. “Day-dreaming in class. Outright sleeping in class if you would believe. General slovenliness. Inability to follow basic instructions. Inability to answer questions when called on. The list goes on.” He shrugged disgustedly. “And I’ve seen girls who cry less than that boy at a punishment.”


“I can’t believe he’s been here this long,” D’xon said, acknowledging all the problems. He considered for a moment. “Unless this is a new problem. Even the ACMs here aren’t that lenient. I hear that he had a close encounter with the egg thing and those stupid Candidates. Still, if he’s that easily traumatized, what happens if some of the eggs don’t Hatch or there’s a tragedy in his Weyrling class? Or once he’s graduated and his first wingmate dies?”


“If you ask me, Garatt is one of those children who scrapes by until someone starts to apply a little discipline,” M’ayen said. “Once we were asked to be sterner about picking up minor infringements.. He’s not used to being scolded, so everything starts to slide.”


D’xon nodded. “That’s also possible. At any rate, he’s not doing so great now. I hope with time he’ll improve or we’ll know that he can’t.”


“In the meantime--” M’ayen looked at D’xon a moment, considering. What could he get away with here? “What is he struggling with in your classes?”


“He’s mixing up essays as he writes.” D’xon shrugged. “It’s like he forget what he’s writing partway through and starts a different essay. Unfortunately none of them would be of great quality even if they were finished, but probably passable, I suppose.” He didn’t mention the being sleepy. A lot of Candidates were tired that early in the morning. He was, too, for that matter.


“Well.” M’ayen seemed to be thinking. “There is the Candidate trip coming up, and I have to say, I’ve already said I’m far too old for camping. If he can’t catch up, I don’t mind taking him in hand and ensuring he does them here, and perhaps missing a real treat would get the message through.”


“That might be a good idea,” D’xon said. “In the meantime, any chance I can take the occasional evening or part of an evening to do some of his detentions.” Because there would be more, he was sure of it. “I’m not adverse to making him do morning detention, but that means I have to be there, too.”


That, M’ayen liked less but he looked considering. “You can, certainly, but I feel a little as though he’s getting away with something there. If he’s making mistakes with both of us the penalty surely has to be something more than the same amount of detention shared between us.” Don’t push that too hard, pass it back. “Any thoughts?”


“I’m not talking every time,” D’xon said. “I’m suggesting either we flip and you kindly take a morning once in a while, or you take one candlemark in the evening and I take the other.”


“I can take the occasional morning, certainly,” M’ayen agreed. He paused. “You know, if it helps, I have a low class-load at present as I’ve just returned. If I know what essays you’ve assigned him to do, I don’t mind watching him for the extra hour here and there added on to his detentions with me.”


That made D’xon happier. “I’ll let you know. Maybe he’ll amazingly straighten up, but I’m doubting it. We’ll see how he does with the ones I currently have him doing. I just can’t see passing him with the work he’s doing. Especially not with important classes. He’d just become a liability.”


“How are you finding him with things other than essays?” M’ayen asked, as though it were only a matter for mild interest. “I have to say, his appearance drives me up the wall.”


“Ah, yes,” D’xon had to admit to that. “I’m guessing that there’s little we can do to impact that can fix that any time soon. I don’t understand how hard it is to look presentable. He’s a Holder’s heir, for feck’s sake. Surely his father raised him better than that.”


“Pick him up in class,” M’ayen advised, the voice of experience. “Every time. For day-dreaming as well - and if he tries sleeping again, though I hope I’ve taught him better than that now. Sometimes being pulled up in front of their peers is what it takes.”


“D’xon raised his eyebrows. “I take it you’ve been doing that. Has it stopped the behavior yet?”


“Well, I find he pays a lot more attention if you make him stand rather than sit,” M’ayen said. “Once he’s sat down he seems to go off into his own world.”


That earned him a slow nod. “I will consider using that technique.” After all, having someone stand for a class was a relatively benign punishment. “Though by that standard, I’ll have most of the class standing at some point. Then again, a lot of those manage to keep up with good work. He does not.”


“It’s that or keep an eye on him and shout his name whenever he starts to nod,” M’ayen said. “And between you and I.. my eyesight’s not what it was. I’ve moved him to the front row where it’s easier to see but watching him constantly is a strain.”


“Honestly, I’m not sure why you’re bothering,” D’xon said. “If he needs that much work to stay on task, then why not let him fail out? Are they going to keep this much of an eye on him during Weyrling classes? Or when he’s in the air for Thread?”


“Have you tried removing anyone from Candidacy for anything less egregious than the mess on the Sands the other day?” M’ayen asked. “If I so much as try I have the sharding Candidate Counsellor leaping down my throat, bleating that I’m being unfair and that’s not how things are done here. I’d be highly obliged if someone could convince the boy to drop out but right now it feels as though the alternative to applying discipline is a completely unprepared Weyrling in the future.”


“Ah, yes, the Weyrwoman’s uncle,” D’xon said. “Did you ever hear why he got his current job?” Even turns and turns later, sometimes rumors stayed around.


“I know that back a few turns ago when I had the Candidates he didn’t even go for the job,” M’ayen said. “I was surprised, honestly. I thought the Weyrwoman would have pushed him into it.”


“Actually he had it before. Turns ago.” He’d gotten another ACM drunk one day and got a lot more information than he would have just asking normally. He was pretty sure at least that detail was right and was willing to bet the next wasn’t too far off the mark. “He failed miserably. Probably because for a long time he had a drinking problem. Or so I was told.”


M’ayen gave a low whistle. “That one I didn’t know,” he admitted. “Though it explains a lot. His softness on them couldn’t have helped either.” He considered the other man. “Can I suggest, as outright removing the boy from the program is beyond us, we work together on this one?” he said after a judicious moment. “I know ACM Talena has been having similar problems with him. I feel as though he really needs a coordinated zero tolerance approach. Give him the message that either he straightens up or he leaves.” 


“I honestly don’t see that approach working given how he’s already crying at the drop of a hat,” D’xon said. “But I don’t see anything else working, either. I’m willing to keep an eye on him and press the bigger issues, but otherwise I’m tempted to let him fail on his own merit. He can’t be babysitted forever.”


“If that boy does Impress, there's no way he's getting anything other than green,” M'ayen said. “Which will no doubt impress Daddy no end but he simply hasn't got the strength of character for anything higher.” He huffed as though thinking it over. “While I've more often had this issue with girls I'd say let him cry. Ignore it. He'll do it as long as he learns it gets him out of consequences.”


“You’re probably right,” D’xon said. “I know we need them, but we often don’t need the riders that Impress them. I can let him cry anyway. Maybe it’ll shame him into doing better.”


“I suspect it won't take many occasions of being allowed to cry in front of his peers before they'll squash that particular habit out of him,” M'ayen said.”Talk to Talena as well. Maybe she’ll have a few ideas on more effective punishments.”


“I just might.” D’xon pushed to his feet. “I think that’s settled then.”


M'ayen nodded. “Thanks for this. Always better to deal with the problem kids as a group.” And just like that, for a variety of minor childish misdemeanours, Garatt was a problem child.



--

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.


Are You Sure That We Are Awake? (Garatt/D'xon)

Laura Walker
 

The joy of knowing there was something you were meant to be getting early for was that it made it almost impossible to sleep in the first place. Garatt lay awake, trying desperately to think drowsy thoughts or just not to think but his brain was in full awake mode. If D’xon talked to M’ayen, then what would M’ayen do? If he could just write the essays fast enough, if, if, if..


Midnight and he was still awake, mentally rewriting essays as he fidgeted in bed. Two am and he was awake, by now conscious of just how late it was and how soon morning would be here. Four am awake and almost tearful with the desperation to just sleep and get some kind of rest before he had to be awake again.


And then it was 6am and people were up and moving around him and Garatt lay sleepily in his bed for a moment before it dawned on him like a slow nightmare that there was somewhere he was meant to be.


No amount of hurrying allowed you to dress in no time at all. Garatt threw his clothes on with desperate speed, his fingers all thumbs as he tried to button his shirt and drag a comb through his hair, yanking it through the curls as though it might make a difference.


He was still late - there was really no way to avoid being late at that point - and almost sobbing in panic as he raced in, breath heaving. “I’m sorry!”


“Faranth, boy, can’t you even manage to be on time?” D’xon asked from the classroom desk. He waved at a seat, far from impressed with the Candidate. “Sit down. Get to work.”


Garatt had had entire essays worked out in his head in the early hours. At 3am he was certain, he could have written all three in no time at all. Now though it was difficult to calm from that initial panic of ‘oh crap, I am late’, his stomach still turning queasily.


He stared at the paper, his mind a blank. Different roles inside a wing. What did he even know about that? Right now it felt like nothing at all. But D’xon was watching so he picked up his pen, trying to think. He could do this. Would do this.


His eyes hurt. Too little sleep, too long awake and they burnt, dry and sore with tiredness. He blinked and blinked again, fidgeting in his seat as his pen scratched at the paper, trying to move enough to stay alert.


But if he just closed them a minute they would hurt less. Just for thirty seconds, and his hand knew what it was writing anyway, though his usual neat handwriting became more of a scrawl, the line he was writing sloping abruptly downwards.


D’xon had saved some of the sharding homework to grade for the morning so he’d have something to do. He half kept an eye on the boy while he worked. If he was going to be up that early, then he was going to make sure that Garatt at least did what he was supposed to.


The eyes closing and pencil running down the piece of paper didn’t go unnoticed.


“Wake up!” he snapped. 


Garatt’s eyes snapped back open, hand jerking in startlement. He stared in dismay at D’xon, and at the mark the pen left across the half-completed assignment.


“That’s better,” D’xon said in a less harsh voice, but still was obviously unhappy. “I’m not here to watch you sleep. I could be in my own bed for a few more minutes if I didn’t have to be here. I’m doing you a favor with doing it now. So stay away, feck it.”


“Yes sir.” The line across the paper probably wasn’t going to make it worthy of handing in. Garatt tried not to sigh and started again.


If you couldn’t remember anything about a subject and wanted to stay out of trouble, write big and be wordy. It wasn’t a way to write good assignments but time was already running down and he had three (three!)  essays to write. So he worked diligently, copying out the last attempt and adding in every extra descriptive and bridge word he could think of.


“I’ve done the first one, sir.”


“Hand it up here,” D’xon said, sounding bored as he held out his hand without bothering to look up. He wasn’t expecting much from the paper.


Garatt got up to hand it over, returning back to his seat. Next paper to start...


D’xon read the paper and grew angrier by the second. “Didn’t I say not to mix in different information?” he asked. “Do you need to go back to the remedial classes for Candidates that have never learned to read and write before? Because I’m pretty sure even they would do better than this. You’re next essays had better be better and you’re rewriting this again tonight to be handed in first thing in the morning.”


“I--” Faced with an angry ACM Garatt went red again. “I couldn’t remember anything else,” he said in a small voice.


“So use your notes.” Feck this boy was dumb. “This isn’t a test. But don’t talk to others. If you took good enough notes, you should be able to use this on your own.”


“...I didn’t bring them.” He hadn’t thought to snatch them in the panicked dash first thing this morning. There were two more essays to write and it couldn’t be that long until breakfast. 


“Then. Do. It. Tonight.” Was this kid deaf, dumb, or just feigning oblivious? Either way, D’xon was less and less convinced that Garatt was a good choice for Standing. “Hurry with the other two or you won’t get breakfast.”


There were two hours detention already tonight, and then all today’s work and-- he was just never ever going to catch up. With anything, ever. Garatt ducked his head to start the next essay but his shoulders were shaking and he was blinking back tears. There was a sniff, and then another one as he tried to make a start.


And weak, too. What was so hard with what he was asking. He rolled his eyes. “Fine. Do it in detention tomorrow morning. If you can do a better job on the other two essays.”


Another detention tomorrow morning now. Already Garatt could see another rolling series of detentions stretching out in front of him, filling the mornings as M’ayen stole his evenings. The sniff turned into a gulped sob and he pressed his hand over his mouth, trying to muffle it, trying to make it stop. 


D’xon sighed. He didn’t want to watch or listen to a boy cry over his work. “Go back to your cot. If you can get your other two essays done today, I will let you get your other essay done tomorrow morning at your cot. No breakfast unless you get it done. Get one of your friends to bring back a roll or something.” He wasn’t a complete hard arse, but he didn’t want to let the boy out of the work either. “And get over this crying stuff. You’re supposed to be a man. If you think this is bad, you’ll be sorry if you ever Impress.”


“Y-yessir.” He hadn’t used to be the type to cry so easily. Suddenly though it was as though the slightest thing brought on uncontrollable tears. He gathered his stuff together, still trying to sniff them back.


“Very good,” D’xon said. “I think you can do this. You just have to work at it.” At least he hoped that the boy was capable of better if Garatt had any chance of staying in the program.




--

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.


What Kind of Homework Is This? Garatt/ D'xon

Laura Walker
 

D’xon hated reading homework. It was the worst part of the job other than pain in the arse Candidates who couldn’t behave. Both were reasons that he didn’t generally make being an ACM a full time job, but with everything going on he’d been pulled from his wing and put back to work. And now he was stuck reading homework.


It seemed like every essay was worse than the last. None of them were so bad that he could say anything, but feck, where did they get these Candidates these days?


Then he came to Garatt’s. The paper was nonsensical and looked like it was a patchwork of multiple essays put together. How was this boy even still a Candidate?


Quite annoyed, he found the nearest Candidate outside his office and sent the boy to go find Garatt and send the boy to his office.


There was a point where you just stopped fighting the fact that you were going to be in trouble. No matter what he did, Garatt was going to be in detention with M’ayen for probably the rest of his life. Talena was going to be angry with him. Probably other people were going to be angry too. Things were...just going to be awful, probably forever.


You could only manage actively horrified for a few days. After that, your brain absorbed that this was just how life looked now. There was a resigned slump to Garatt’s shoulders as he trudged to the office, not particularly in a hurry to be in more trouble, not knowing what he was in trouble for just certain that he was. For something. That was what happened now. 


“Garatt, sit.” D’xon gestured to the chair opposite him over the desk. He slapped down the latest homework assignment from the Candidate. “What is this?”


“It’s..my essay?” It looked like his writing anyway, and Garatt could vaguely remember trying to finish it early one morning before anyone else was awake.


D’xon shoved it at Garatt. “Tell me what it’s supposed to be about, because I have no idea from reading it.”


Despite his attempts not to care, Garatt flinched a little at that shove, hunching in on himself. Tall and skinny, he seemed to shrink, pulling in on himself. He looked at the essay, reading only the first couple of sentences again. “The.. different roles in a Wing?” he said, making it more a question than a statement, as though he had himself forgotten. He eyed D’xon anxiously, aware the ACM wasn’t pleased but still not sure why.


“So why do you mix in how to tell knots apart and how to present yourself on Hatching Day?” D’xon pushed it further toward him. “Go on, have a look.”


“I don’t..” Garatt skim-read it quickly, biting his lip as essay jumped from one topic to the next. One  hand crept up to his curly hair, already messy, twiddling a curl around one finger unconsciously. “I.. don’t remember.” 


D’xon crossed his arms as he looked at the distraught child. What was going on? Was he folding under the weight of being a Candidate?


“What were you thinking?” the ACM asked. “You can’t stay a Candidate if you keep up work like this.”


“I don’t remember,” Garatt repeated. Still tugging at his hair, he squirmed in his chair; there was something about being in trouble that made him need to wriggle like a fish on a hook. “I just-- I forgot, I guess,” he suggested miserably after a moment. After trying to explain to Talena there was no way he could explain why he had forgotten, how tired he was, how little time there was left in his day.


“There must be a reason,” D’xon pushed. “Because right now you look careless. Do you want me to think you’re careless?” 


“...No, sir.” Though he looked careless in more ways than one; curly hair standing out madly at all angles, shirt creased, hands clean to the wrist and then.. Not. You could probably write a page on dress code violations right there. “I can.. Rewrite it?” he suggested, trying not to think of the building pile of undone work he was already accumulating.


“Absolutely you’ll rewrite it,” D’xon said, taking back the already written paper. “And then you’ll write a paper on how you mean to prevent this in the future. And how you plan on keeping a neat appearance. You can do all this in detention with me. And if you don’t want more detentions, you’ll actually fix your appearance. You look like a lazy slob. What kind of dragon do you think will want you when you look like that?”


He’d looked just miserable until that point. Now he looked actively horrified, mouth half-opening in protest at the list. “But-- but I can’t!” he said, almost a wail. 


D’xon narrowed his eyes. “You can and you will. Or do you not want to Stand this time?” 


“No. I-- I mean--” Garatt flushed, and ducked his head, already guessing the reception to his next confession. “I’m-- already in detention with ACM M’ayen,” he told the floor in a mumble.


“You already have detention?” D’xon didn’t look pleased at that. “What’d you do to earn that?”


Garatt swallowed. How did you explain the laundry list of minor crimes that seemed to add up more with every day that passed? “..Stuff,” he admitted after a long pause. “Untidiness… messy hair… not paying attention…” There was a long pause between each one, as though the words were forced out. He sniffed, feeling the ACM’s disapproving look. “Not.. not answering questions right… Not doing as I was.. As I was told.. Not..” His voice was starting to wobble. It was too easy to cry at the minute, as though tears were always only a moment away.


“So this isn’t a new issue,” D’xon said, templing his hands as he looked at the boy. “Very disappointing. I will talk to M’ayen. We’ll find a time for your detention one way or another.”


And M’ayen would-- he didn’t know what M’ayen would do, but it wouldn’t be good, just like Talena talking to him hadn’t been good. “I’m sorry!” If he’d seemed dull at first, at the point of apathy about his scolding, now he was abruptly terrified as though only just realising this was something to take seriously. “I can-- if you let me I can write them -- uh, uh--” He gulped air, trying to find a solution. “I can-- write them before breakfast?”


“If you have time to do them before breakfast, you have time to do that detention then.” D’xon tapped the paper. “This is unacceptable and this needs to improve. If you weren’t getting detention from other ACMs, you wouldn’t have to be finding time to do this.”


“I’ll do better!” The promise was frantic, edged with panic. “I’m sorry!” As though that could maybe make it go away, as though he were still a small child and a sincere enough apology could erase mistakes.


“You’d better do better,” D’xon said. “Report to me tomorrow before breakfast and get that paper done. We’ll see if you can keep your promises.”


“...Yessir.” He would be exhausted. He was already exhausted. But it meant keeping D’xon away from M’ayen. Garatt swallowed down the acid sting at the back of his throat at the thought, still red-faced.


“Good. Dismissed.” D’xon gave a wave of his hand and then went back to grading homework as if Garatt wasn’t there. One problem sort of taken care of. Hopefully no more to come.




--

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.


Detention Sucks (Lerian/Garatt)

Laura Walker
 

There had been no shouting, no raised voices, nothing that would cause alarm outside the office. Nevertheless when Garatt appeared at the door to his dorm just before curfew - the new lowered curfew - he was moving stiffly and with a care that suggested quite a lot of him hurt just now and his eyes were again red-rimmed.


He made it to his cot and just about collapsed on it, flopping down and pressing his face into the pillow. Clearly detention had not gone well.


Lerian’d been waiting for when Garatt got back. He knew enough about M’ayen to know that the other boy was gonna be hurting. He’d planned ahead for that. On the table next to Garatt’s bed was a cup of hot tea with mint in it to help clear his head from crying, and as he flopped down. Lerian picked up a basket he’d had waiting, in it were several socks filled with grains that were surrounded by warm rocks. May not be healer grade heater, but it would do in a pinch.


He pulled the first one out, and laid it over Garatt’s leg while telling him, “You should drink the tea, it will help unclog your nose. Also I made a copy of all my notes for you. They’re in your bag.”


Garatt sniffed and pushed himself carefully back into a sitting position. “Four more detention marks left from this morning,” he said miserably. “Two for uniform violations. One because my hair was a mess. And another five because I couldn’t stand to attention properly. That’s another two hours already, and it’s not even tomorrow yet. I’m going to have to go to detention my whole entire life!”


“Nah we’ll get his attention off of you somehow.” Lerian wasn’t quite sure how that was going to work but he’d be thinking about it, maybe Asheran would have an idea. He started handing the warm socks to Garatt to put where the pain was worst. 


“Well he won’t be able to ding you for a messy cot, I cleaned up in here earlier so we’re all set. Sandy told me you didn’t get much dinner. If you’re hungry, I brought a basket of stuff that wouldn’t go bad fast back with me from dinner. I’ll get it for you.”


“I’m not hungry. Thank you.” Garatt was polite, still slightly stiffly so when he remembered he was meant to have good manners, but his stomach was still twisted into knots after an hour with M’ayen. He took the socks and tried to move to put them on but.. Everything just hurt. Arms hurt. Bending legs hurt. Moving hurt. Getting his feet to the right place felt impossible.


“He’s not going to stop unless I quit,” he muttered thickly, and there were tears behind that again.


“Bah that’s just what he does. He bullies the ones that are scared of him. Someone else will mess up next time, you watch.” He grabbed one of the pillows and sat it up on the headboard. “Here, just lay back on that, the heat will help your muscles not cramp up so bad. You should eat a little, even if you don’t think you can. But drink the tea first. No one else is gonna treat you like him. The others are good around here. Sometimes...M’ayen forgets this isn’t Fort. But..he won’t get away with it for long. He never does here.” With that, Lerian got up and went over to his side of the room, grabbing a basket with lid. He sat it on the table, it was filled with stable things, some bread, cheese, a couple dried sausages. Nothing fancy but enough to let him sleep with a full tummy. Plus one special addition, a small cake, just big enough for two boys.


“I didn’t know you knew Healer stuff.” Garatt looked at the food warily. None of it looked like it would feel good if it came back up, but maybe the bread might stay down. He reached for it and started to pick at it cautiously. “How come you know so much about M’ayen?” Maybe he’d gone for Lerian first. If he had and Lerian had survived that could only be a good sign.


“I got a friend, see’s healers lots cause she was sick all the time. Things they told her, she told me. So I know a lil. Just enough not to have to go unless I really get sick or something.” He paused, and couldn’t help a little smile thinking about his big ‘sister’. Then after a moment’s pause.


“Well...ya know M’ayen’s from Fort right?” Lerian hoped so, that was common enough knowledge. “Well..Fort was real Bad about some things. That’s what drove it down in the end. But...well I was there too. I was born in Fort, when it fell I came here. I was..uhm..4-5? I think? But it’s better here. I promise. Do what you can, get past M’ayen’s attitude and he’ll let you be. He’s a bully, it’s only fun for him when you get upset.”


It sounded simple. Just ignore him, let it go, and it would go away, and maybe if it was just name-calling or something he could have done that. But the pain in his legs -- and arms -- and the rest of him -- wasn’t imaginary. It was there, it was real and it was..apparently going to continue until M’ayen got bored of him. Garatt picked at the breadroll half-heartedly but swallowing made it feel like it had to make its way past a giant lump in his throat and he couldn’t seem to get it down.


“So that’s it? Just.. don’t get upset?”


“Pretty much. When you show him you’re ‘strong’ enough to not get upset at what he does. Well seems like he gets bored and decides you’re worth teaching. He doesn’t like whiners, or quitters. He want’s boys to be ‘strong and manly’ whatever he thinks that means. If you want, I can help you with some conditioning stuff, so when he Does go for you, you’re stronger and it won’t hurt so bad. That’ll really annoy him.” Lerian couldn’t help but grin at that idea. Everyone liked to see M’ayen flumoxed, especailly since it didn’t happen often.


“But man, did you see the Look on his face when Ash started breaking his desk? He looked so confused! Gave you enough cover time to get up again too.”


“I don’t have ti-- shards, I need to do that assignment!” Garatt looked panicked at that, forcing himself to sitting up again and reaching for his bag. “He’ll kill me if I haven’t done it.” Probably not literally but then again maybe.


Lerian grabbed the bag for him and set it on the bed, pulling out a stack of neat notes on everything that had been covered in class. 


“Here these are for you, I made copies of mine. You can use them to do it. Then we can have some cake before bed. Always makes me sleep better.” Lerian knew that sweets before bed wasn’t ideal for health, but it always made a bad day seem better when there was cake at the end of it.


“Thank you.” Right now Garatt was thanking Faranth for the practice copying from the Harpers, it made trying to hastily reword and copy out that much quicker, and at least his handwriting would be neat. He started work quickly, pen practically flying over the paper.


“No problem. Figured you’d need notes from someone, cause you didn’t get to take any. M’ayen, I guess likes to do that so you get into more trouble when you don’t have the work.” Noticing that the glow basket was getting a little dim, Lerian stood up on his cot, and pulled the basket down, putting it next to the work. “There that should help.” That done, he pulled out the small cake, and carefully cut it in half, a red layer between two white layers. He’d filled it with berries. 


“Thank you,” Garatt said again And he went quiet, frowning, trying his hardest to rush through and finish before the shout came for sleep.



--

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.


You Need to Know JP T'rif/Nayari

sailyn2
 

After T’rif dropped Garatt off at the Candidate trip, T’rif went in search of Nayari. He hated to interrupt her at such a time, but this wasn’t something that could wait.


On the one hand, she was sure it would be a good idea to send the Candidates off for a few days. Not to mention it might encourage them to keep their hands off each other if they were too tired out from gathering numbweed. But with the Hatching looming, she was trying to keep on top of all the files, the Healer notes, the class notes and at the same time, keep half an eye on her office door for a furious Weyrwoman to burst through it again. But, she needed a break. And more klah. And to stretch her legs. So as it happened, she was just stepping out of her office, empty mug in hand when she saw T’rif striding through the corridor towards her.


“Sorry, ma’am,” he said. “We need to talk again. But if you want to get your klah first, I can wait that long.” He’d just be glad to catch her at all.


Nayari’s expression at her empty mug was almost amusingly mournful. Instead she sighed and stepped back towards her office. “It can wait. I have a feeling I’ll be needing it after we’re done. I still have juice so don’t mind me busying about a moment. Come on in.” She held open her door and waited for T’rif to settle himself.


T’rif stepped inside and took one of the chairs. He hated that he was back in here to complain again so soon, but his duty was to the Candidates. He wasn’t going to hide away just to not cause a problem and let a Candidate keep struggling. If nothing else, it was his duty to let her know that Garatt needed to be referred up the chain.


“Can I get you anything?” Nayari asked as she carefully removed a small pitcher of juice from the cold storage box she kept. “And why do I have a feeling that this isn’t a social call?”


“No, ma’am, and I wish it was.” T’rif got right to it. “I’m really concerned about a Candidate by the name of Garatt. When he was in my class previously, he was an average student who didn’t like doing more than he had to, but he was never a troublemaker. I was concerned about him after the thing at the Caverns which he witnessed rather closely, but since then his behavior has deteriorated significantly. And I don’t think that it was caused by what he witnessed at the Caverns.


“He didn’t show to my scheduled appointment with me, which isn’t usual. I went looking for him and he was a gibbering mess. It took me a long time even to get back to my office. He kept saying he needed to get his papers done. When I finally got him back to my office and convinced him to part with his papers, half of them were nonsense papers about how he wouldn’t do some minor issue that all Candidates do like daydream or fidget and he was talking about a lot of detention. I wanted to find out who he was getting in trouble with so I could follow up, but he was nearly panicked and refused to tell me. 


“I get that he was afraid of not getting to go to the trip, but it seemed more than that. Either way, the boy’s not sleeping and needs a break, so I took him to be on the trip anyway so he can maybe relax and start over.”


When Nayari returned to her desk, she brought with her the pitcher and an empty mug that was set in front of T’rif in a silent gesture of “help yourself if you want”. She didn’t interrupt as he spoke but the frown on her face deepened and the tight set of her lips drew them into an even thinner line as she listened. “And did he say anything to you about what might have caused this level of distress?” 


“No,” T’rif admitted. “The closest he got was talking about how much work he’s getting. But I’ve been at this a long time and lived through Fort. This just isn’t normal even for a kid that isn’t used to getting in trouble occasionally and is now getting in trouble with us being more firm. I couldn’t even get him to tell me how much time he’s spending in detention. Every time I got close to finding out anything, he’d get panicked again. I’m all for getting these kids in line, but there’s a difference between occasional day dreaming when the kid is still learning the information and one that’s stopped paying attention entirely, let alone one who is being actively disruptive.”


If it was at all possible, the frown deepened. The name was already niggling. “Garratt. Isn’t that the boy you came to me with that note about? Getting all the detention marks? As far as I’m aware the Candidate homework schedules haven’t changed.” She paused a moment, clearly deep in thought as she sipped at the juice she had brought with her. “Are you thinking that all this extra work has come from M’ayen? I’m still making enquiries into that matter.”


T’rif shook his head. “I don’t think so. At least not only from him. There were two different assignments in there for him to stop fidgeting. So either he got it twice or he got it from two different people. Either way, there were quite a few assignments in there and only one was actually about a real assignment. D’xon’s class, I believe. I’m not saying that he’s not day dreaming or fidgeting or whatever other minor annoying thing he could be doing, but every Candidate does those things and yet he’s the only one getting assignments and detention for it.”


“Fidgeting…” And the flat note and questioning look on Nayari’s face seemed to suggest that she was waiting for the rest of the sentence to follow. But when it didn’t, she seemed… baffled. “I know I told the Assistant Candidatemasters to crack down on nonsense and tomfoolery, but I don’t expect to see punishment for trivial matters.” Sitting back in her chair, she rubbed the bridge of her nose and seemed to be thinking hard. “What are your thoughts about all of this?”


“Look, this kid was having trouble dealing to start with, so I can’t be entirely certain but my suspicion is that this kid is being singled out. This kid hasn’t been sleeping, which I know can be a part of the problem, but I think the number of assignments and detentions is part of this. He as much told me that. He lays awake thinking of it and then can’t sleep which means that he’s going to be more tired and do more of what they think is wrong, especially if anyone is looking for a reason to think he’s a troublemaker. The only concrete thing I got out of him is that M’ayen is making him stand to stay awake which I consider on the line of acceptable, especially if it’s a frequent thing. My gut is that he’s being picked on, whether consciously or not, and that’s really not good if it’s the ACM’s.”


“Mph… not to mention the incident in the Caverns likely won’t be helping with his sleep either. Which reminds me, has he been referred to the Mindhealers yet?” Nayari had by now put down her mug and pulled out a small notepad, jotting a few notes down as T’rif had talked. “At this moment in time, do you believe that it is more than one person involved? I can easily see how there might be an inclination to “follow suit” as it were if it’s picked up on that he’s being singled out by one person - for example M’ayen.” The more snippets of information she was getting about the “M’ayen Situation” as it had become known in her head, the more her instincts were starting to prickle. “And I agree, it’s one thing if a Candidate appears to be nodding off in class now and then and… coming up with harmless ways to keep their attention, quite something else if this appears to be deliberate in order to make an example of him.”


“No,” he admitted. “I was wanting to give him a couple of days to see how he did before I referred him to the Mindhealers because I was hoping that it was something not too bad and less likely to end his career. I definitely have to now.”


He ran his hand through his hair. “He kept saying ‘them’, not ‘him’. So, yes, I think it’s more than just one. I just don’t know who beyond D’xon. I...don’t think that D’xon is the original culprit here.” That was as close as he would get to expressly implicating M’ayen again without having more evidence. “I just know that I’m not seeing a lot of other Candidates getting excessive amount of work to do. Some extra, certainly, but not like this. I wish I was running the classes he was in to see how he’s doing, but I doubt it’s that bad.” And maybe then the poor kid could have a class where he wasn’t getting in trouble for breathing.


“Would you class Garratt as an easy target? Someone it might be easy to make an example of to say, make the others fall in line? You’ve probably had more direct dealings with him than I have.” Sadly the sheer amount of administrative work meant that her opportunity to deal with classes directly was significantly limited by comparison to the ACM’s which meant that a lot of the time, they would know the Candidates better than she did. She didn’t begrudge them for it, it was just a fact. 


T’rif nodded. “Even before the Caverns thing, I’d say he’s an easy target. He’s quiet, keeps to himself, seems a bit timid. His biggest class faults are that he does exactly what is asked for and not any more. Not to be rude about it, but I don’t know that thinking is something he’s as good with, but he’s never been a troublemaker.”


Nayari nodded, following where T’rif was going with it. “Easier to pick on a quiet Candidate with perhaps, a little less drive than optimally desirable than a known troublemaker with enough gusto and self-inflicted confidence to answer back and challenge any punishments they’re presented with, wouldn’t you say?” Not that she knew of any outright troublemakers but she knew that of the ones she had encountered in the past, they usually had so much confidence in themselves that they were almost impossible to even remotely fluster. “So you think it’s about marking territory as to who is in charge or something else to it?”


“There could be a lot of reasons,” T’rif said. He hesitated and then decided to just go for it. “I haven’t seen this happen before M’ayen came on. He’s caused problems in the past and I don’t think he ever lost his Fortian side. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe these particular ACMs are just misinterpreting what you meant when you had to crack down. I don’t know. A lot of the ACMs are careful not to talk to me or around me because of my role as Counselor and/or being the Weyrwoman’s uncle, so as far as to what the ACMs are thinking, I’m on the outside and can only guess.


“I do know that it can easily start out as wanting to prove a point and then escalate.”


“Hmm…” The thoughtful sound matched the expression of intense concentration on Nayari’s face. “Whilst I do think that to an extent, the Candidates need to be made very aware of the fact that this Candidacy is not an all expenses paid trip to the Gather, I do not expect to hear of specific and targeted cruelty that is designed purely to use a Candidate as a means to scare the rest into submission.” The stylus was moving deftly across her notepad, more and more notes appearing under it. “Tell Garratt not to worry about his assignments and that he has been given my permission to attend the Candidate trip. Regardless of what else he might be told, unless he hears it from me and only me, he is still attending. I think getting him out of here for a few days might help him.”


“Absolutely,” T’rif said. “Whever’s going on, I think he’ll be better after a couple of days to relax. If I thought he was a troublemaker, I wouldn’t be suggesting it at all, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. And I’ll talk to the Mindhealers in the meantime. I’ll keep tabs on him, but between everything, I don’t think I can handle it here. Maybe he’ll feel better talking to someone who’s not also an ACM. And I hope that if there is any bullying going on as I’m afraid, that they don’t move onto someone else.”


“As I will be remaining here during the trip, rest assured that I will be spending some time looking into this matter further - taking full advantage of the limited staff and Candidate body. When everyone returns, I intend on calling a staff meeting where in all appearances, it will appear to be an innocuous catch up on what has been noticed so far and if there are any particular concerns I need to be aware of. What I will actually be looking for is who brings up any names and what they’re raising. I will also be politely reminding the staff to keep me informed of any Candidate that has been issued detention or other disciplinary measures - likely under guise of my considering whether to forbid them from Standing all together. I want to see who speaks and just as importantly, who chooses not to.”


T’rif nodded. “Thank you for taking my concerns seriously, ma’am,” he said. “It’s fully possible that I’m wrong, but I couldn’t leave without addressing this with you. I’ll watch Garatt personally while we’re on the trip to make sure that there’s not something I’m missing and I’ll keep you apprised. Is there anything else I can do for you before I go?”


“Obviously you know nothing of this meeting and will look appropriately surprised when the instructions to attend are issued. Keep your ear to the ground during the trip too. You’d be amazed at how loose tongues can become when guards come down.” Internally Nayari was filled with an ugly mess of conflicting feelings. She didn’t like having to look into her staff, to potentially undermine them. But even so, sometimes it was called for. “Other than that, nothing unless you want to add anything further. If necessary, I’ll send Vecna to you.”


“I know nothing.” T’rif stood and half bowed. He was glad he wasn’t one of the ACMs leading the trip. He wouldn’t be needed until a bit later, so he’d been able to slip off. Now he could quietly slip back in. “I’m sorry for such bad news, ma’am. I hope the rest of your day goes better.”


With that he slipped away into the Barracks, the place quiet for once.


Re: This Will Not Stand Att: T'ryn/M'ayen

Jerzy Tobin
 

M'ayen was honestly surprised by that, and his face showed it. Of all the people he'd expected the Candidates to go complaining to a Wingleader was not amongst them.

"Garatt, is it?" he said after a startled pause, already readying his arguments for defence.

"No, Lennaye," T'ryn quickly clarified.  "My daughter."  

She had mentioned that she hadn't been the only candidate punished, but she hadn't specified who the others had been, or what had been done to them.  Given that it was M'ayen, he had some inkling of ideas as to what that could entail, but she had stressed that he hadn't actually laid a hand on them...yet.

"I am of the opinion that your so called punishment was far more than excessive for someone caught doodling.  Especially since, given all other reports of her classes and classwork, she's doing quite well.  She is young, and I will more than grant that she was in the wrong, but forcing her to stand at the front of a class holding a book out in front of her for the rest of the class was unnecessary.  Calling her out, having her apologize in front of the class, writing an extra essay or lines, those would have been enough.  But I am very seriously tempted to take this incident up with the Candidate Master if this is the way you intend to keep discipline here.  I will *not* have my daughter scared off from having a chance at Impressing, and I will *not* have her too terrified to actually confide in or learn from her teachers, something your methods are in fact likely to cause." 
 

--
"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


Re: This Will Not Stand Att: T'ryn/M'ayen

Laura Walker
 

M'ayen was honestly surprised by that, and his face showed it. Of all the people he'd expected the Candidates to go complaining to a Wingleader was not amongst them.

"Garatt, is it?" he said after a startled pause, already readying his arguments for defence.

Virus-free. www.avg.com


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 3:41 PM Jerzy Tobin <jerzytobin@...> wrote:
"Wingleader," he greeted. "Please, take a seat." Not that he had any idea what T'ryn might want. Better to be polite anyway.

"I prefer to stand, thank you," T'ryn said, remaining upright.  Partly because he didn't expect this to take long, and partly because, somewhere in the back of his mind, a little voice was screaming to use absolutely anything to his advantage in this 'fight', and height was one of those advantages.

"I'm here to discuss one of your candidates, the ah, punishment, you gave them in class today."

--
"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



--

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: Is it ok to be happy and sad and mad? {Fellan, E'lis}

Aaron
 

I just...:: he
explained, unable to help fumbling a bit as he kept trying to 'talk'
faster in his rush to get everything out before his hands just dropped
as he couldn't find the words to explain.

Sharp, who didn't like the turn in her Pet's thoughts, but also sadly
couldn't exactly do anything to save him from his own thoughts was not
pleased with this. She hunkered down on his shoulder trying to comfort
him as much as she could, but well she wasn't sure what was wrong just
that it had to do with the recent eggs and he big ones.

E'lis did not hide the sympathy on his face. His eyes even misted. He understood, or at least, he could try to understand where his son was coming from.

::Feelings are complex things,:: he signed. ::Sometimes we feel lots of different things at the same time, and it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. It's not your fault that the eggs didn't hatch. It was the earthquake. I know you want to be out there Standing with the others. And if I made the rules, I would give you the chance. But I don't... I'm sorry.::


Re: Is it ok to be happy and sad and mad? {Fellan, E'lis}

Kouga
 

::No, my son,:: said E'lis. He had answered the question as such as many times as Fellan had asked. ::You are good enough just the way you are.:: He offered a hug, if the boy wanted one.<<
Fellan considered the hug, he did, and it was very clear he wanted it,
but he had to understand first. He just had to! ::Then PapaE'lis. Why
am I so happy and sad and mad? Hatchings are happy and I am happy for
all the new baby dragons, but we had lost baby dragons too and that's
sad, and PapaE'lis I still want to be out there. Is it wrong to be mad
that they didn't hatch and come find me? If they didn't want any of
them they could have me. I would take one of them PapaE'lis. If the
candidates weren't good enough why did they have to die? I don't want
to be mad about it makes me sad and mad at myself that I could think I
am better than them, or that maybe that was why the baby dragons
didn't hatch. I heard about it happening before back when the
candidates couldn't get to the sands and the little dragons couldn't
find their riders so they died after hatching. I just...:: he
explained, unable to help fumbling a bit as he kept trying to 'talk'
faster in his rush to get everything out before his hands just dropped
as he couldn't find the words to explain.

Sharp, who didn't like the turn in her Pet's thoughts, but also sadly
couldn't exactly do anything to save him from his own thoughts was not
pleased with this. She hunkered down on his shoulder trying to comfort
him as much as she could, but well she wasn't sure what was wrong just
that it had to do with the recent eggs and he big ones.

*Kouga*

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Painting a Memory SA Kassia

sailyn2
 

After M'gal had to leave, Kassia decided to get her project started. She sent the Harper Hall for the things she'd need to get going and then took up a spot in the Stands. There she had an easy look on Foreth and the eggs. Kassia put brush to the large canvas and started painting. Foreth, for once, was very cooperative, moving each egg into view as needed.

The Weyrwoman put all her attention into the project, focusing on getting the details as well as she could. Every once in a while she needed to take a break or someone interrupted her, but for the most part her attention was on that canvas and getting everything accurate.

Finally, seven days after she started, she put the last stroke on the painting.

The painting was of eggs piled on the Sands with the two gold eggs prominent, but all the other eggs features as well. Admittedly, some of the uglier eggs were put into positions where they were less able to be seen, but egg was there in detail. Kassia was no harper, but she was definitely a good painter, just most people didn't get to see it.

When the canvas dried, she carried it over herself and made sure that it was put where everyone could see it.


We Don't See Each Other Enough JP M'gal/Kassia

sailyn2
 

OOC: 8.28.8.15

With everything going on, Kassia had cleared the Caverns as much as possible. That meant nights to herself and not enough time spent with her lovers. Now that K’ren had given her the things to calm her down more, Kassia was starting to miss spending time with her lovers. With less work on her plate, she had a bit more time as well. So she wanted to spend time with her men.


“Mine, can you contact Ozayith for me?” she asked. “I want M’gal to visit.”


If the Queen objected, then she’d be out of luck so she hoped that Foreth would agree.


After a moment Foreth relented and reached out to Ozayith. ((Mine wants Yours to visit.))


Ozayith relayed the message, then took pity on the queen. She’d been cooped up on the Sands for much longer than he’d have liked for himself. {{He’s on his way. How are you feeling? Do you need me to bring you anything?}} he asked. 


M’gal headed over, his young blue wher whelp on his heels. It felt odd having this little blue companion with him every day. He’d never had a firelizard, and Mitzi, his calico,  wasn’t in his head like the wher was. He also needed to make a conscious effort to keep the whelp with him. 


When he got to the entrance of the Hatching grounds he realized he hadn’t asked for permission to bring the whelp with him. She knew about him; hopefully she’d be amenable. 


Just to be on the safe side, he went around using the Stands to walk to the temporary weyr. “Hey,” he said, greeting Kassia with a kiss.


((I am fine,)) Foreth said, a touch gentler than usual. ((I just need my eggs safe.)) At that there was a note of worry and anger not aimed at the bronze.


Kassia was sitting and reading on her sofa. She was trying to take K’ren’s advice and keep her mind off her duties for a while.


She looked up as M’gal arrived and smiled at the blue wher. Brogan was lying next to her and got up to greet the whelp. 


“I’ve missed you,” Kassia said, rising to meet him.


“I’ve missed you too,” he said, hugging her. He buried his face in her hair, not realizing until now how much he’d missed being able to hold her. “How are you feeling?”


{{If you need me to come help guard them, I will,}} Oz said. Though the gold could compel the bronzes to do her bidding, and though it would be instinctual for them to guard her eggs, the offer still meant more being offered rather than coerced.

 ((I will let you know.)) For Foreth she was being downright pleasant.


Kassia held him tight and for longer than normal. He was warm and steady. Finally she pulled away and went back to sit on the sofa. From there she could see Brogan and the whelp. Brogan was already trying to play with the little guy. The sight made her smile.


“I’m feeling a little better. Finally. K’ren stopped by and gave me some things to help me sleep.”


M’gal nodded. “Good. You need your sleep.” He glanced at her belly. “And while I can’t help relax you in the ‘normal’ way, there are things I can do for you to help.” He waggled his brows. But that wasn’t why he was here...at least, he didn’t think that was. He was here to see his weyrmate, and hopefully make her feel better.


“I know things have been extraordinarily stressful lately. I hope K’ren’s remedy will help relax you.”


“It’s supposed to.” She wrapped her arm around him and leaned into him. “He has a healer that specializes in pregnancy checking on me just to make sure that everything is going well. We’re hoping with reduced stress things will...go better.”


“I hope so. I know the chances of the baby being mine is very low, but I’ve never been a father before.” He glanced at Laston. “I’m not sure I’d be any good at it. Laston’s been hard to get used to. But he’s taking to his training very well.”


“It’ll be all your babies in a way,” Kassia said. “But I want to name it after you. And maybe Sh’ain if we can come up with something.”


She turned to look at the baby wher playing with Brogan who was being so gently toward the whelp (she always made an effort to use ‘whelp’ instead of ‘pup’ to make sure people knew they weren’t like dogs) and smiled. Smiles were rare these days. 


“He’s so cute. It’s been so long since Brogan was a whelp, it’s hard to remember. But between yours and Sh’ains...it’s been fun to watch. And thank you for agreeing to take him on. It’ll mean so much to me. It’ll be worth it once he’s full grown and trained. You won’t need guards as much.”


~~’ston be good guard, ‘tect ‘gal~~ Laston said laying down by M’gal’s feet. M’gal smiled and scratched his headknobs. 


“Yeah, he still sleeps a lot. I’m apprehensive of the ‘teen’ years, where he’ll be into everything with no break. The other day he was playing with a ball, and fell asleep over it. I couldn’t help laughing.” He smiled and hugged Kassia closer. 


“So how bad has it been, being stuck in here?” he asked. In previous Clutches, she could leave more often. But this one it seemed that she never came out of her weyr.


“You’ll have your hands full,” Kass agreed.


The smile fell and she looked around the room. She shrugged. “It’s hard,” she admitted. “Foreth is more bearable right now than when she was gravid. She’s really worried about the eggs, which makes my worry over them even worse. Having to give up my work is a double-edged sword. I don’t need the stress of all the work, but otherwise I’m stressed by being bored. I guess I should get some of my art stuff down here. Maybe I can be nice and paint a large painting of the eggs and then I’ll have it for later to put in my weyr. But otherwise it’s making me...I haven’t been myself. And it’s affecting the Weyr, I’m afraid.” She knew he’d never say anything or she’d never have admitted it to him.


“You have a lot of responsibility,” he said. She did. And she took on more than she needed to, because that’s who she was. It would do no good to tell her to relax--she already knew she should, she just didn’t know how. And while she’d told him about her past, he didn’t know her then, so there were nuances that he knew he was unaware of.


“I think the art would be good. You should do that with all of her Clutches--paint them. I’m surprised you haven’t.” Or maybe she had but had never shown them to him. 


“Usually I don’t have this much time,” Kassia said. “But maybe I should make an attempt now. I know the Candidates will appreciate it...at least I think they will, and I’d love to have the memento. I can’t bring in anyone else, but I should be able to do a decent enough job.”


She gave a derisive snort. “The Candidates think that they can’t wait for the Hatching. They’ve got nothing on me. On the other hand, that means two golds I’m responsible for. I can give some of the work to the junior golds, but they’re not experienced enough.”


M’gal studied her. Yes, the weight of the Weyr on her shoulders.


“So they’re not experienced enough. Were you experienced enough when you started taking responsibility for the Weyr? If you give them more responsibility, at least they have you to fall back on. And R’tal. And, well, any of us previous Weyrleaders, though I’ll admit I only have a small idea of everything you do. But it’s not like there’s no one else with experience who can guide them.”  He wondered, was she insecure in her position? She needn’t worry, she had more champions in the Weyr than she knew.


“I guess I wasn’t when I started doing my first gold training,” Kass admitted. “But I still had the Weyrwoman over my shoulder. And now there are two.” As if he couldn’t count and also that the number was something like ten instead all at the same time. “The last time we had two golds, it went very badly. They were arguing. Tyne went through Impression Anxiety. Then we have one dead goldrider and a dragonless one.”

She shook her head. “I’m trying as hard as I can to give an idea of what a gold Weyrling goes through to prevent Anxiety Impression, but something about golds seems to bring it out. Why do you think I was testing the girls? I was trying to limit their chances of Impressing. I mean what if Shalia Impresses? I have no doubt she’s strong enough for a gold if she wants one, but she really hates the idea.”


“Then keep her far away from the golds. If…” He realized who he was talking to. Another who didn’t want a gold. Or, rather, didn’t think she deserved a gold. That was different. A lot different.


“When you Impressed Foreth, did you actively not want gold, or did you want her but feel that you wouldn’t get her because you were bisexual?”  Not that he’d seen that part of her. Maybe she was still attracted to women, but couldn’t that have been a young, sexually experimental time of life? He was no Mindhealer, but even he knew that everyone had an experimental phase in their lifetime, even if they didn’t act on it.


“I actively thought I wasn’t worth Impressing, let alone a gold,” she said. “That I like women, maybe not as much as men, but I definitely still do, was just another factor.” She left off the part that her first love was a woman and would probably always be the one she loved the most, deep down. He didn’t need to know that.


“I’ve told you about my time at Fort, right?”


“M’gal nodded. “Weyrwoman Masena did a number on you. But Fort was not a good place to be for anyone. And those that have come here, from Fort...some are very resilient, and some I believe are ruined for all their life. You, I think, are in the resilient category. But a place like that will always be with you.” And he wished he had been there to hold her and comfort her during that time. Something she probably would have refused.


“I don’t mean to belittle what others have gone through,” Kassia said. “But between that and...my parents...I didn’t think much of myself. When I Impressed, a lot of people thought I’d get gold, more than I realized at the time. They thought more of me than I did. Plus I was still reeling somewhat from my miscarriage. I never thought I’d Impress, let alone gold. 


She took a breath. “We never quite bonded in the beginning, but really...I think it was Foreth that saved me in the end. She was too determined, too strong, too...Foreth...to let me go. We might not have a normal bond, but without her I don’t think I’d have made it. She helped me find myself. Believed in me. For all we fight sometimes, I think we’d both be dead if she was a different dragon.”


M’gal didn’t quite believe that. Oh, he believed she felt what she felt, but he thought that the human-dragon bond was more than that. Foreth was strong, as a gold should be. But Kassia was strong also, and when they bonded Foreth reached in and used Kassia’s strength for her own. Maybe Kass was right, but he had his doubts. Which he’d tell her at some other time--right now she was too vulnerable.


“You’re both strong,” he said instead. “You helped each other. I’m glad she saved you from yourself--I do believe that a green or blue would not have been able to.


“The point I’m trying to make is that you didn’t feel worthy of Impressing at all. You had no real preconceived notions of what you wanted or didn’t want. Shalia does. She doesn’t want gold. She does want blue, or green. Faranth help us if she actively wants brown or bronze. But I think that with her mindset, she won’t Impress gold. I do think she will Impress once she gets on the Sands, though.  As for two golds, I didn’t know Tyne or the other person who Impressed, but if they didn’t like each other to begin with, then of course they would still fight. You’ll have to assess how the two girls who Impress get along. If they don’t, then you’ll need to sit them down, with their dragons, and just beat it into their heads.” He thought about what he said.


“Well, not physically,” he added, probably unnecessarily.


“You’re right,” Kassia said, relenting a bit. “I bet Shalia will get a blue from this Clutch. If ever a Queen could will a dragon to Impress someone, it’d be Foreth for Shalia. Even if she does want it to be a different color. Foreth doesn’t even like my other daughters the way she does Shalia. Maybe Sarati, but less so now that she Impressed a green elsewhere.”

She shrugged. “I think that if the girls have issues to start with, that doesn’t help, but the gold dragons themselves won’t help. Especially Foreth golds. I doubt they’ll be relatively soft like Ormanth or especially Wendeth. They’ll need really strong riders and I have no doubt they’ll be competitive. There will be trouble even if neither has Impression Anxiety. But yeah, I think we’ll talk to them as soon as the dragons can handle it. “


“I haven’t seen too many of the Candidates to make any good observations,” M’gal said. “Not that it matters. How often do you feel the gold dragon has picked the right candidate?” He thought about the last Clutch.


“Actually, Delysia was a good choice. For this clutch, I’ve seen Sehrael in action and like her. I think Ysolde is strong-willed enough for a Foreth gold, but she could be trouble too.”  He tried thinking about the other females in the mix.


“I don’t really know any of the others. Not that it matters. The dragons will decide.”


“Probably never, to be honest,” Kassia said. “Maybe Delysia, even though I don’t like her much. She’s too ambitious. Andronda’s not bad, but she’s not from here. She hasn’t shown it, but I think she’s too ambitious as well. Part of the reason that I’m scared to give over any power. I don’t want to have to have a power struggle over either of them.” Faranth knew, Kassia never liked to give up even an iota of power.


“But, goldriders are ultimately needed and we can only hope that it works out well. Each of those golds are worth hundreds of dragons over their lifetime. I can’t not want them.”


Her assessment had M’gal thinking. “Kass, how many girlfriends do you have? Not lovers. Just, well, female friends? Actually, how many non-bedmate friends do you have?” He should know this. But he didn’t.


“Uh...” Kassia had to stop and think. “There’s I’des and N’shen, he was a friend before he became Weyrleader. And uh...not many else that I haven’t slept with outside of a flight. Wygelle was a friend, and rival. But I really don’t have friends. It’s hard to have friends when you’re Weyrwoman. Too many are intimidated by the rank and the others just want to take advantage of the rank. Plus, I’m hard to get along with.”


“Well, a true friend wouldn’t be phased by the hard to get along with, but I do see your point. And I see why you sometimes try to go out disguised as a general nobody.” Which was how he met her, actually.


“If there is anyone who you think you could get along with--maybe they’d have to have some rank to not be intimidated--but you need that. I think that if you could go join a game of poker without people letting you win, or if you could have a cup of klah with someone without them feeling pressured into it, it would help you a lot.


“I just don’t know if you could do that.”


“It’s very hard for me to let down the Weyrwoman mantle as well,” she said. “That requires a vulnerability that I can’t show most people. Even when I go out pretending to be Sar, I never completely let go of the mantle. There are very few people I can just be Kassia with. Sometimes I’m not even sure who she is.”


M’gal hugged her close. “To me, she’s strong and willful, with an underlying sweetness and caring that she will only allow those closest to her to see. She hasn’t had any fun in a long time, and needs it. And I would love to see her laugh without any worry holding her back.”


“She gave a laugh even as tears sprang to her lips and she clung to him as tears fell freely. The list of people who got to see her cry was very small.


He hadn’t meant to make her cry, but he also felt that it was something she needed. Maybe she hadn’t realized the depth of his feelings for her; after all she did feel that anyone she met as ‘Kassia’ wanted something from her. 


So, he chose to stay silent and let her cry. Anything he could say right now would seem inane.


The tears flowed for a few minutes before they slowed and eventually sat back, wiping at her face.


“Sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to cry all over you.”


“I don’t mind,” M’gal said. “You wouldn’t have cried if you didn’t need it. How are you feeling now?”


“A little better,” she admitted, managing a small smile. She leaned into him. “I love you.”


He bent his head down to kiss her tenderly. “I love you too.”