====January 7th, 2014
====Cha'el, Vashae, Sikorth, Jovianth
====« What do you plan? » « Our victory. »

Who Cha'el, Vashae, Sikorth, Jovianth
What « What do you plan? » « Our victory. »
When There are 0 turns, 3 months and 6 days until the 12th pass.
Where Star Stones, Igen Weyr

Chael9.png vash5.png


Star Stones
The climb up here on foot is steep, narrow stone steps carved high into the sandstone, and from the top the precipice-drop to the jagged-craggy stones far, far below is treacherous. It's a wide sweep of ledge, a dragonlength and a half jutting out from a rough cliff wall. The wind here is ceaseless, dusty-dry during daytime and biting at night. But for those who brave the climb to this lookout perched high above the Weyr's bowl, the view from these sandy-red rocks is breathtaking. Igen stretches wide-wide-wide around, a vast expanse of deep blue lake and lush green swamp and the myriad rust-rich colours of desert and rock. The real purpose of this spot, though, is highlighted not in its view of what is below but its view of what is above. Three tall rocks stand, one balanced across the tops of the other two, at the focal point of the ledge, perpetually framing one slice of the desert sky beyond.

Late evening with a blessedly cooler breeze than has been the case since Cha'el's arrival at Igen, finds a solid chunk of brown dragon colored to blend in with the rocky outcrop posed still as ancient monolith as he surveys the darkened landscape below. Off to his right, taking advantage of the light afforded by the rise of the twin moons, is his rider seated with his back to a rock, large hands working together an intricate set of knots in black twine, the strand disappearing into the uniquely woven satchel at his side. Every so often, he glances upward at his dragon and then back down again as if to suggest a conversation is being held.

A dragon much smaller than the brown monolith wings in for a careful landing upon the area nearby. The blue pauses only long enough to rumble a greeting to the large brown while his rider dismounts, and then wings off to find perch somewhere else nearby. Vashae takes a moment to run a hand through her short, but still windblown hair before looking around. Spotting Cha'el, she pauses a moment longer as well. "Weyrsecond," the bluerider greets with a salute just loud enough to be heard, in case he's preoccupied thinking at the moment. "How fare you?" The errand that brought her here is clearly not an urgent one, as she's content to make some idle chatter even while examining the horizon with steady curiosity.

Having noted the blue's approach, Sikorth's attention trains on Jovianth as if perhaps he were assessing his landing technique; the greeting given is returned though the brown doesn't move a muscle. As for Cha'el, he glances up at the arrival of another, fingers still deftly working the triple lengths of twine as he does so. "Vashae." The young woman's name remembered from his time in Arroyo. He doesn't salute. Busy hands and all. Though he does offer a short smile. "Well enough," he supplies cryptically to her question. "You've come to relieve me on watch?" He asks, fingers slowing as he fits an assessing look to the bluerider.

While she waits for recognition, Vashae takes in the star stones with quiet seriousness, her eyes examining even the shadows briefly before turning back to Cha'el. A small smile crosses her face at his greeting, and if the lack of salute bothers her, it doesn't for a moment show. "I have. M'swen fell ill earlier, so I was asked to step in instead." Which is just fine by her, it would appear, as she continues waiting in what some consider parade rest. Maybe she's been spending too much time studying the guards lately. Jovianth doesn't go far, choosing to perch upon a ledge with - to his eyes - a clearer line of view for now, than if he stayed near where the big brown is. Vashae ignores her lifemates antics for the moment, since she's on duty and knows he'll come rejoin her soon enough.

« The chorus of Jovianth's mind is a quieter one tonight, the disembodied voices almost, but not quite yet, singing something that could almost be a battle march. The roiling grey mist that covers his mindscape parts here and there, revealing gravestones without prejudice. « All is well? » The blue asks, curiosity coloring his question, if nothing else within the grey. »

« The steady thwump-thwump of rotor blades approaching can be heard. Louder, closer, then hovering a short distance off to inspect the gravestones inspected with military precision. « For now. » Sikorth replies moving slowly through the mists of the blue's mind, his presence as steady as a heartbeat. »

« The mist recoils initially from the foreign sensation of the brown's rotor blades, but soothes back into place soon enough, keeping everything that ought to be covered covered. Not flashing his true nature here, no way Ma. « Good.. » The blue is strangely talkativeless tonight, a sharp contrast to his normal character. »

Catching that parade rest stance of Vashae's, the Weyrsecond's hands finally still, wrists to drawn up knees and lengths of twine and knot-woven strip dangling between them. "It's Cha'el, to you." He notes first and then chuckles. "Take a rest, Vashae, you're not on duty yet." That he apparently is but indulging in what appears to be a hobby, is glossed over. "How are things with Arroyo," he goes on to ask.

Vashae smiles a little again, a spark of amusement catching in her eyes - or maybe it was just a trick of the light. "Better not to presume to call you as such without permission…Cha'el." And them impishly, because she's Vashae, "sir." The Weyrsecond's antics are noticed, but not commented on as it's neither the time, place, nor authority to call such things into question even if she wanted to. "They go well, I think. Trek, N'cal and K'vvan are good leaders." If there's a moment of softness when speaking of N'cal, it's probably just because he's so nice. "How are things as Weyrsecond?"

« Undetermined by the retraction and subsequent re-emergence of Jovianth's mists, Sikorth completes his inspection of the graveyard and comes to a halt, the gentle purr of an engine at rest, filling the circle of monoliths that make up his mind. « It is wrong to mourn those that have left us. Rather, we should be grateful that they ever lived. » That his assessment. Silence and then: « Why so quiet? »##

« I do not mourn them,» Jovianth rejoins, a trace of his wordiness finding him again. « Rather I give due to their sacrifice. » The mists of his mind swirls briefly, and then the blue adds, « The gravestones are always here…because there is always death. Always a sacrifice to be remembered, and thanked for. There will be more, in coming days. » Some might call that pessimistic; Jovianth calls it truth. « I am quiet because I plan. » And then wryly, as if in admission of some kind of guilt, « and worry. »

"I was Cha'el, wingrider in Arroyo before I was Weyrsecond," the brownrider reminds with a smile. The 'sir' earns Vashae a chuckle and shake of head - imp. As to his apparent 'distraction' from task, Cha'el would probably offer rather unusual insight but he's not about to offered it up simply for the sake of conversation. Dropping his gaze back to his hands, fingers slowly pick up where they'd left off, his mouth curling about a lopsided smile within the neat frame of beard. "Aye, that they are." Good leaders and nice, even although the latter hadn't been verbalized. Broad shoulders then shift a shrug at the question put to him. "Busy. Interesting. Frustrating sometimes." Honest the reply.

Now Vashae actually grins, relaxing a hair now where she didn't later. "Sometimes big promotions change people." She points out quietly. "You can't blame a girl for worrying; it's been a while." Where Cha'el won't offer it up for the sake of conversation, Vashae doesn't pry. While she might be behaving friendly, behavior and actuality are two separate beasts, and trust and friendship alike are tokens not easily parted with. "It was a shame not seeing you the other day, at the Oasis. The transition of riders always leaves things feeling…different." But then he's talking about how being Weyrsecond is, and she tilts her head to the side a little. "Because of the Weyrleader..? Or simply other things?" It's a question anyone would ask, isn't it?

« There's a skip of beat in the thrum of blades, a gap that allows for a glimpse of approval to show through for Jovianth's opening words. Slowly, ancient mists part, revealing the circled monoliths and beyond them, cradled at their very center, a tall black slab of granite upon which is scribed the names of each and every one that had fallen along with a delicate strip of ribbon with a name embroidered across it. Sikorth remembers too. Interest has the brown drawing the curtains about the scene and turning the brunt of his attention back to the blue. « What is it you plan and worry about. Mayhaps I can help. Two minds are always better than one. » »

« The near-silent chorus of voices whose source are never revealed picks up in volume a little. What exactly they're singing is harder to hear, but it's at least audible now. « I plan for the days mine and I will fight. » Ever brutally honest, is Jovianth, except when he's not. Ah, there's where his wordiness went. « I worry about the return of Thread, as much as I am excited to battle it. I worry the perhaps silly thing of characters I deem potentially unsavory stealing her time. » A flash of blue-green interrupts the mist mingling the gravestones, importing a color relating to the one responsible for his worry. « I worry she will become…distracted, or that it'll come to mean unpleasant things for her. » Jovianth's like the big brother sticking his nose in everywhere! « Do you worry, Sikorth? »

"If I start to get too big for my britches, you have my consent to give me a swift kick to the rear," Cha'el retorts with a crooked grin. Ah trust. Such a tricky, treacherous beast. One the brownrider himself yet struggles to tame more often than not hiding behind guards of glib replies or simply none at all. Friendliness however, that comes easily. The patterns of his lips next, are quietly wry and once again ocean-blue hues drop away. "My presence might have…changed things," the Weyrsecond returns. "Most forget the man and see only the knot." As she had come close to doing. Moving to the next topic, he shakes his head and begins carefully rolling up the woven length of twine, wrapping the three strands about it in such a manner so as to keep them from tangling together. "W'rin's a good leader," firmly asserted. A pause in which he stows the evidence of time spent in the seacraft, the satchel is closed and Cha'el pushes up to his feet. "My mother would say that with great power, comes great responsibility. She forget to add how it sometimes complicates things too."

Vashae grins a little in reply, and tilts her head to the side a little. "I'll keep that in mind, if you should." Where the brownrider hides behind his glibness, Vashae hides behind a polite mask that rarely slips…except for lately, where it has on more than one occassion. "It was still a shame. But I understand…and find myself glad I don't have the same predicament on my hands." The smile here isn't a mean one, it's simply an honest one. She would rather be where she is, how she is, than anything else right now. "He's seemed one, in the time I've been here." Vashae agrees, "he cares about his dragonriders." He cared when the 'Reachians seemed to be turning them into nothing more than Thread fodder. That sort of thing tends to steep respect into a Weyrling. His comment about his mother earns a wry little smile. "The advice is good even so, I imagine.." And then suddenly, the bluerider asks, "do you think we're ready? For Thread? Not…not like you or I, or our lifemates, but…we as a whole. The Weyr." It's a question that has weighed heavily on more than just her mind since the freak Threadfall.

« The thwump of blades silenced, Sikorth listens intently, analyzing, strategizing, always trying to problem solve. « You and yours will fight well. » He tells the blue in a considered tone. « You have been well trained to do so. » As for the rest, there's soft blow of amusement that strangely carries the scent of a spring meadow littered with flowers. « To hold her back from she wants will distract her more. » The brown notes, having recently undergone such a battle with his own rider. « Better to let them burn their fingers and learn the lesson for themselves. And catch them when they fall. » A pause and then: « I do not. Worry is futile. I plan. »

« Jovianth is silence, except for the chorus of voices that almost always sings. « We push ourselves to make sure of it. » The blue adds to the brown's comment. « Mine knows our limits, but we always push them. Just enough to prove they can change. » At least with his lifemate's past, they're not doing it recklessly…which is what they would be doing if she didn't have that past. « I don't like it. » The blue admits, his protective tendencies flaring slightly. « I don't like the thought of her falling, but I will always catch her. » Then, tentatively, « What do you plan? »

There comes a quick twist of a smile, a motion his mouth appears capable of making whether the sentiment is there behind it or not for the matter of rank and how it can change things. But Cha'el says nothing more on the matter and instead turns thought to Vashae's last. With his attention turned out to the view afforded over the Weyr below, hands gathered behind his back, the Weyrsecond is silent for many long moments. Eventually his baritone breaks the elongated tract of time in a cautious timbre. "What happened over Keroon was unfortunate." Understatement of the century! "But we also learned a lot from it, especially those of us from this time and are making the necessary adjustments." Hence the shuffling of wings and new formations they're being made to drill over and over again. "We're as ready as any Weyr can be at the start of a pass."

Vashae doesn't break the silence following her question, instead turning her gaze to the Weyr as well. Comet scarred though it is, it is durable, and it's people have proven to be the same.. She's almost lost in thought by the time he speaks again, dark eyes snapping quickly back to him. But she stays quiet for moments after he's done speaking, before finally nodding in agreement. "All we can do is drill and train until it begins in earnest. Then we can prove ourselves ready." Or fall if they fail, but she doesn't say that part. The Healer in her spurns the thought.

« Unaware of the bluerider's past and not one to meddle even if it had been mentioned, Sikorth takes the general's approach. « In order to fly high we first need to determine how well we bounce when we fall. It is the same with our 'mates. » What does he plan? Now Jovianth's gone and done it for with a flourish, the brown tosses out hide upon hide of wing formations, lines of attack, start charts, weather reports both ancient and present day. One after the other they spread out until his mental landscape resembles that of a war room. « Our victory. »

« Jovianth is a drawn out sigh; not of annoyance, but of reluctance to allow such a thing for his rider. « I suppose, » he says ironically, « there's always the chance it could buoy her instead of causing her to fall. » He waits a beat, his mists swirling emphatically…but anything he might have added is stopped in it's tracks when the brown shows off his war room. The blue croons his approval and appreciation, the mental chorus thrumming the beginning strains of a victory chorus. « To victory, then. » As if they were proposing drinking toasts rather than a five decade long war. »

"Aye," Cha'el gives in quiet agreement, gaze tracking the scoring left behind by a comet that is to him and many of this time, shrouded in harperlike mystery. Unreal and yet so very real at the same time - Real enough that 'riders had come forward from so many turns in the past. "What was it like?" He asks in a low tone, slipping a sidelong look to the young woman at his side. "Back then." Back when she'd come from.

Vashae slants an appraising glance at him briefly, as if assessing if he really wants to know or is just asking. "It was…so very, very different, Cha'el." And then the once Healer now Bluerider will speak, telling him of how things were back in the Old days. Of how, while she didn't know Igen as well, there were still things that were different. She'll talk, and answer, and pose questions to him until he tires of the conversation, eyes always moving. Sometimes looking at him, sometimes at the sky, and sometimes at the weyr and the ground far below. But until he's heard enough, she'll tell him as much as she can…or as much as she knows.

« Not one lent to random bouts of amusement, there does come a low wisp of amusement from the brown at the blue's reaction. « If it buoys her then it is good. But sometimes a fall is needed to check reckless enthusiasm. » Jovianth's approval of the plans and tactics contained within those many scrolls of hides, earns him a rumble of endorsement from the brown. « To Victory. » He agrees, talons clacking against the surface of the rock he's posed upon and a thin sliver of anticipation rippling through the very tip of his tail. »

« Jovianth becomes louder and more talkative while their lifemates speak, asking questions of his own of the brown. Some of draconic things, other of other things. But if the brown lets him, he'll talk his ear off until Sikorth either tells him to stop, or until he escapes from the blue's verbosity in some other way. »

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