==== August 19, 2013
==== Nika, Jedi, Th'seus
==== A mud fight and then some serious conversation.

Who Nika, Jedi, Th'seus
What Nika and Jedi get Th'seus involved in a mud fight. Nika leaves, Jedi and Th'seus have a more serious conversation.
When 1 turn 5 months and 12 days until the 12th pass
Where River Delta

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River Delta
At last! The winding Black Rock River spills into the Sea of Azov through the fingers of the river delta. Small islands form around the estuaries as the deep river rises up to meet the shallower inland sea. Rich in nutrients, this part of the river teems with fish that come to lay their eggs at the boundary where fresh and salt water mix. During the mating seasons, the delta is clogged with seacraft and trader vessels fishing for the best catch of the year. The stirring of silt from the estuaries creates the murkier waters of the delta; a stark contrast to the crystal clarity of the inland sea. A few scattered yellowfish and fingertail fish swim through the waters.

Dotted around the river delta are a few lone docks, during the busier time of the year these are clogged up with little fishing vessels. But now in the winter things have died down and the water sits relatively empty, except for one bronze dragon floating in that murky water. His rider can be seen sitting on the edge of one of the rickety docks, his hulking form slightly lower than usual as he rests with his legs hanging over the edge. Th'seus watches his lifemate of ten something turns bob and dive into the dark, thick currents. His boots and jacket are next to him, pants rolled up to the ankle as he lets his feet soak up the brakish water.

Jedi is silent as she emerges from the jungle - clearly expecting to have been alone - with Llioramasith keeping an eye out overhead. She pauses a moment when the bronzerider is spotted, and then sighs quietly. More out of disappointment that she won't be alone than out of disappointment as to who it is. "Th'seus." The woman greets in a voice just loud to be heard over the water. Llioramasith lands nearby, and greets the bronze not with noise - but with mind. And the brownrider makes her way gradually over to the other dragonrider. "How fare you?" The question has many layers of meaning, but Jedi being the Jedi she is, leaves it for him to guess which.

Vossuth is out in the murky waters of the delta, swimming. His rider sits at the edge of one of the rickety docks with his feet hanging in, a totally calm and relaxed set to his shoulders and appearance. It would seem that he's not the only one disappointed to find they're not alone out here however. He startles momentarily at Jedi's arrival from the jungle, his posture stiffening in surprise but then easing out once again in short time. "Oh, uh. Hello." Th'seus starts, clearing his throat and twisting around to get a glimpse of her arrival. "I'm doing alright." If he recognizes that there's layered meanings, he doesn't show it at least. "What about yourself?" His bronze greets her brown in his short, terse style that doesn't mean to be offensive. But neither is it warming.

There is no lurking or quiet emerging from the jungle for the blue and his rider. They come skimming down the water at speeds far too high to be recommended as the Black River bends and curves. The happy squeals of the tiny Nika can be heard long before Atmanth bursts forth from the jungle covered turn into the delta. Oh but it is occupied! Luckily the ugly beast is known for his moves, and he alights himself over the bronze, and once the living hurdle is passed, his rider jumps from his still moving back with a scream of glee. It is only after she emerges again from beneath the darkened liquid, pushing a piece of aquavegitation from her eyes that beams a smile at the two, "Th'seus! Jedi! Hiiii! Did you see us?!"

Jedi continues her advance, and plops herself down upon the pier. Invitation has neither been extended, but nor has it been asked for, and the brownrider doesn't seem much to care. Sandals are shed with deftness that lingers at least in fingers if not in her responses right now, and a glance slides to the much taller man. "I am…" The brownrider considers her words a long moment before she continues, "conflicted." At least it's blatantly out there? Capris are rolled up further, to just past the knee, and then the brownrider trapses through the mud to retrieve something her lifemate holds. The obviously happy squeals of Nika are heard, and the brownrider pauses for a long moment, but grabs something extra instead. She turns back just in time to see Nika emerge, and smiles briefly. "I saw," She confirms as the dragon himself slips into the water and disappears for a time. "How are you?"

There haven't been any extended invitations, no. But there haven't been any requests to leave either, so maybe the bronzerider recognizes his place out here on the dock. Just another person hanging around at the river at night. "About what?" Th'seus wonders outloud, remaining partially turned in order to regard Jedi. If her arrival caught him by surprise, Atmanth bursting out of the jungle is about twice as startling. He flinches just a smidge and then laughs roughly when he realizes who it is. Exhaling, a rakish smile crosses over his expression. It's something he flashes briefly at the brownrider before turning onto Nika down there in the water. "We did. Are you sure that's water you want to swim in?" Nevermind that he's already ankle deep in it. He splashes his foot in the bluerider's direction.

"I'm good!" Nika calls as her tiny arms work to bring her to shore, she's not slouch of a swimmer, nature just made her with short paddles. When she is finally dragging her silted frame from the water she can only laugh at Th'seus, "Sure. Full of nutrients! Some ladies probably pay big marks for this very bath, but would scuff at it out here where it's free." A waggling of fingers and giggles for Jedi. "I'm good! How are you?" Any previous heavier conversation was missed by the woman who now grasps onto the ladder at the side of the dock and pulls herself up. Fully clothed and sopping wet, apparently the dive was an on the fly descision. "How are you both?"

Jedi might have answered that question, but the Nika approacheth! "They probably would," she agrees with a somewhat cheerier smile. "We could probably make marks off of selling it." And yet she makes no moves to do anything more than—well, she slings some mud at Nika. Mudfight?! And then she slings some at Th'seus, another brief smile but a fierce one, this time, on her face. "I'm…well, me." Sidestepping the question in Nika's presence is probably pretty common when the answer is anything less than good. Is that more mud in her hands? No, no, probably not. Hopefully not?

"Yeah and probably those little crabs that no one wants to eat." Th'seus shakes his head at the idea of beging covered in silt, but then again… he's not a high born lady that likes to lay around in mud. Or a lady in general. "Oh, maybe those tiny red worms too." In fact, the bronzerider just ends up pulling his own feet out of the water. That Jedi dodged the questions on well-being and whatever else, he did notice. But with Nika there he's not about to launch an inquisition. Instead, "Good. Ali-" The mud gets slung at him and he makes a brief growling sound deep in his throat as he holds one arm up to ward it off. "And relatively clean." Except for what's now on him. "

Nika's spidey senses are tingling, like she's missed something, or something was ended because of her sudden presence. A tiny finger is raised to make such a point but her face is suddenly covered in MUD, too bad her mouth was open. "BLEH!" and other similiar noises are all that can be heard from the woman for a moment. A hand attempts to scrape off her tongue but it too is river coated. "OOooooHH, Jedi! You are so dead!" And by dead she means she will gather as much mud to fling as she can, and by Jedi she means whoever gets in the way of her blind attempt to destroy Jedi with silt.

When Nika starts slinging mud back at her, Jedi laughs. It's a real laugh this time, and she lets loose a volley of her own. "C'mon, Th'seus. Nowtimer or not, you know you want to sling some mud." And this is the harmless kind of mudslinging that can't really hurt anyone! "BREAK FREEEEEEE!" Jedi might actually cackle there….and get hit in the face with some mud herself. "Ack! I'm going to get you!" It's a mud slinging free-for-all? Except with real mud, and lots of laughter! And possibly little crabs and little red worms. But Jedi will worry about that part later.

Oh, you've got to be kidding. Th'seus ducks down as much as he can on the wood as Nika proceeds to sling silt literally over his head. Some of it hits him and he groans inwardly, scraping it off with two fingers and flinging it down onto the ground. When Jedi starts to sling back and sling encouragement at him, he exhales deeply before throwing himself to the edge of the dock. Where he lands on his feet and begins to take oversized handfuls of mud in his big oversized hands and fling them at both women. Again and again. Because nowtimer or not, no man wants to be hit with wet dirt full of little crabs and worms.

CRABS AND WORMS! That just makes the mud more exciting, and when Th'seus finally joins in Nika jumps up and down a little in the water. Splashes! She manages to dodge a Jedi throw only to be pummeled by a Th'seus. Commense dramatic dying scene. She clutches her chest where it hit her, stumbles a little to one side, staggers a few to the other. A delicate one leg lifted spin, a death groan and she collapses into the water. "Oh, Th'seus! You have struck your friend dead!"

Jedi cheers when Th'seus joins in, even though it means she gets hit with some more mud. And then Nika's dying, and Jedi gasps dramatically. She's totally going to go along with it, except she bursts into absolute laughter and actually falls over because of it. Laughing. So hard. Jedi isn't quite rolling around laughing, but it's dang close to it. "Th'seus!" She sputters, still laughing, and maybe even crying a little with sheer mirth, "you killed Nika! You bastard!" Jedi's tone is entirely teasing though, and it's clear she doesn't mean the expletive at all. And then there's more laughter.

At least he didn't get his boots soaked in the stuff. Unfortunately his pants and shirt are trashed with the muddy, brakish water. Not that he seems to be concerned at all anymore. He's poised with one more handful of the stuff ready to go when Nika fakes her own death. Th'seus can't even, he drops the mud back down and ends up laughing himself. Catching his breath he leans over with his hands on his knees. "Oh, fuck. You women." The curse, the general 'you all' is affectionate as he slogs through the disgusting water over to the bluerider and holds his hand out for to take. "Rise from the dead, come on."

Jedi's almost rolling is happiness for the woman, but the fact that Th'seus can't keep himself from the merriment, well that causes the woman to fall about in gleeful laughter. It is the little moments in life. And then the giant hand is extended to her and her miniscule little one takes it and she is hoisted up. "My hero!" The exclamation only causing another body to be racked by more shuddering laughter. "You guys are so awesome. You know that? I'm glad I have good friends like you guys." And she just stands there smiling, sopping wet, her curls clinging to her skin, and mud dripping from everywhere so she can beam a smile at one then other.

Jedi is going to regret laughing this hard later, she can already tell, but right now? Right now it matters little. Her eyes are crinkled with amusement that still lingers as she hoists herself up onto her feet, and goes over to join the dwarf and giant. "For a monster," Jedi says teasingly to Th'seus, "you're not that bad of one." An apology for the other night? Perhaps as much of one as she'll ever give! And then Nika gets the squishy sort of hug of those who have been all but COVERED in mud. "Happy to have you for a friend too, Nika." The woman says seriously, although the laughter yet lingers. "Th'seus! I didn't think you had it in you." Poor guy, he's just one for getting teased tonight, isn't he!?

That mud covered hand wraps around Nika's much smaller one to hoist her to her feet. "I'm glad that uh-" Well. Th'seus laughs again and just rolls his eyes up to the sky, shaking his head. "I'm glad that you're happy. Are you ever actually unhappy?" He wonders briefly, teasingly as he flashes a broad grin at the tiny bluerider. "All of us monthers have it in us." He replies wryly to Jedi and her teasing, reaching out and giving a playful shove to her shoulder. Maybe not with what seems like any force to him. But you know what they say about some people not always knowing their own strength? Yeah.

"I am happy. You look happy too." Yes, Nika will call him out on it. Though his other question is simply unheard in the wind, she giggles right past it. Perhaps she protects others, as much as they think they protect her. People need a Nika. "Everyone has it in them." While the giant bronzer speaks on behalf of the monster in people, Nika advocates for the otherside. "Everyone's got good in them, you just have to poke a little harder with some than with others." She wrinkles her nose and up and winks at the name with giggle. She'll teast him too. Good fun. Jedi's hug is returned with a pint sized squeeze. SQUISH goes the gooey mud mess between them.

People badly need a Nika. Jedi grins at Nika, and pokes Th'seus in turn. "Does he have it in him often?" She asks the bluerider playfully. "Or just once and a while?" That's right, they're talking about you, Th'seus, and you're not even in the other—OH WAIT THEY'RE OUTSIDE. Th'seus's little shove has the brownrider stumble a little, caught off guard, but she just laughs and shakes her head with amusement. And then the man is considered, and Jedi whispers something into Nika's ear. Uhoh, poor Th'seus. RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN??

You overhear Jedi mutter, "… looks … he … do with … good … … … … …" to Nika.

You overhear Nika mutter, "… think … … … … mud … … … … cleaner? … be … … … maybe … … … … can get him …" to Jedi.

"I'm generally a happy person." Even if he's not the sort to jump for joy or anything. Yeah, no. All three of them are OUTSIDE and Th'seus can most certainly overhear at least parts of those whispers. He narrows those dark eyes of his onto the two women, eyebrows drawing together suspiciously. The bronzerider begins to slowly back away, slogging in the heavy water back to the edge of the dock. His arms reach behind him for the ladder, just in case.

You overhear Jedi mutter, "… think … … … … a lot … so he … be … … cleaner." to Nika.

There is a bit of muttering back and forth, and Nika is eyeing the man like she's up to no good. Because it's more fun to strike when the prey knows it's about to get it. And as he starts to back away she starts to stalk. She's little but fast and as he makes a grab for the ladder she flings herself at him, with a fake little warrior cry. Hopefully Jedi is following, because there is no way the little woman will get him down on her own. Then she'll just be sitting here clinging to him way off the ground. Awkward.

Oh yes, you know they're up to no good, that's what makes it fun. The brownrider has been eying Th'seus this entire time like he is dinner and dessert, and when Nika moves? Well. Jedi is following right after Nika, and when the other lets out her warrior cry, Jedi channels her own inner warrier, and lets out a battle cry of her own. And well, here, have that awkward moment where two girls are trying to tackle you. YOU SHOULD HAVE RUN AWAY WHEN YOU HAD THE CHANCE!

Okay, well. Th'seus has made it to the advanced age of thirty without dying or being seriously injured. So he knows predatory when he sees it. But even with that, he's not moving fast enough tonight. He does manage to turn around and begin to climb the ladder, which doesn't help when suddenly two women are throwing themselves at him and trying to drag him down. And it works, somehow. The slick mud and the damp rails work against him and with a growl and yell he's suddenly falling back into the disgusting water. "Damn it!" He's a flailing, sputtering mess of long limbs. "Oh. I'm going to get both of you." Whichever one he can grab first. Once he gets his bearings.

When tangling with a bronzerider one does not have to be fast, only faster than their friends. And hopefully Nika recovers fast enough to clammer to her feet in the thick muddy water and slosh away. Pros: there is less distance for her to get up from. Cons: No matter the depth of water it is always significantly higher on Niks than anyone else. Still her power-walk-esque water sprint is completed with a, "Wheeee!!!" As she flees.

Jedi is a bit slower than Nika in skating back to her feet, but somehow manages to get to her feet all the same. And then she's taking off in the same direction as Nika, laughing like a maniac all the while. She's not particularly tall herself, so uh, Th'seus will probably manage to catch up to the two women pretty quickly. Once he's back on his feet.

Th'seus begins to emerge from the soup of the river delta, with mud and grit clinging to everything on him. He's not a creature of grace by any means right now. Especially not with the way he lurches after the fleeing Nika, one long arm reaching out snatch at any errant bit of clothing that might be available. But… with Jedi being just a smidge slower than the bluerider, it's her that ultimately makes a real lunge for at the end. Given that by now, he's managed to find some footing in river bed. "Oh, no you don't!" He tells them with a rowdy burst of laughter.

The Swamp Thing is after her! But ultimately she will escape unscathed, minus the vast amount of mud she's aquired. Well this unexpected outing has been quite fun, and as she turns to see the two riders … well it isn't long before Atmanth comes to pick her up. "Bye guys! Have fun! Thanks for playing!" And with a giggle, the pair are off as suddenly as they showed up.

Jedi eeps in surprise both as she is caught by the bronzerider, and as Nika is suddenly whisked away by her lifemate, and just can't help but to laugh giddily. "She does it on purpose, y'know." She says conversationally, still laughing as she plops some mud right on Th'seus's arm. Right. There. BECAUSE. Well, let's face it, because the Nika Influence hasn't quite yet fully faded!

Atmanth is there and gone again, his rider off with him. Th'seus stares up after the departing pair and exhales with a ragged breath, laughing again. He reaches deep into the water to grab a wet handful of the softest mud ever and hold it over Jedi's head. Then he lets go. One. Finger. At. A. Time. Just because. He doesn't release that hold he has on her quite yet, "What does she do on purpose now?" He wonders, glancing after the departing rider.

"She probably — eep! — has Atmanth listen for people who are too — ack! — serious." The brownrider squeaks a bit each time mud is dropped on her head. And then a handful of her own is grabbed, and stuck right there on Th'seus's now already pretty muddy shirt. "Mud fights are good for the mind as well as the body." That sigh? That sigh is literally almost content. "About fifteen of Igen's Weyrlings went ::between:: and didn't come back out. You heard about that, right?" The question is quiet, and sad. The time for unexpected merriment has ended, even as Jedi smooths out the mud on his shirt. On purpose.

"I could believe-" That hand comes out and she sticks mud right onto his shirt. "…that." Th'seus ducks his head down to look at her for that one. But on the heels of her next statement, it seems that the playfulness about drains out of him as well. He releases that firm hold he has on her arm, even as he goes to snatch at the hand smoothing mud all over his already filthy shirt. "I heard about it." The bronzerider answers, his voice dropping to a more serious pitch. The look he gives her now is something close to expectant or maybe it's more careful observation. "I'd ask if you want to talk about it but- there's nothing to say. It's senseless loss." He closes his mouth for a moment, thoughtful. "Are you pissed at all? Do you want to hit me to get it out or?" Because no, he's not awesome at this kind of thing.

"It's a stupid, idiotic, if they end up coming back I'll kill I'yn-" The words burst out of Jedi like a dam, and at the moment rank doesn't matter anymore. Nowtimer or Oldtimer, it doesn't matter. The brownrider walls the dam back up, however, and the words cease, except for "sorry. It's just- You never heard of this sort of thing happening back in our time. Ocassionally someone was lost but it was rare unless it was intentional and I just…" She exhales, and pulls her hand away from his after a moment, to run it through muddy hair. "I…no. If I was my almost-cousin, I'd say yes, but.. I try to limit my violence." The smile she gives him is a ghost of the one from earlier. "It never turns out well." She trudges back to the pier, and apparently not wanting to get it muddy she leans against it. "It just makes me worry about the days to come. Thread isn't that far off, and I just.." The brownrider purses her lips, and even through the silt all over her. "For a moment, thinking about it, it made me wish I hadn't left home. But logically, I know we made the right choice. Mom needs us here, and we need us here." She turns a fierce look on him. "Mom flew Thread. I know the nightmares it causes, the devestation. And that's why.. We have to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. Though how-" And then her rant is cut off, the brownrider sighing and shaking her head. "Sorry, I shouldn't be letting all of this out on you."

"We've lost a lot." Th'seus doesn't try to cover it up, he doesn't try to soften the blow or make it sound like things during this time are great. Just one little mistake, no. He gets it. As she trudges away and rants, angry about the state of the world he follows behind her. He doesn't have any qualms about making the underside of the dock dirty, after all, it sits in this water all the time so he leans against it. "You make sure this kind of thing never happens again by ensuring the transfer of knowledge. Everyone coming forward was a huge boon for everyone here during this time. You brought with you all of your experiences. If the people in charge of things are smart, they'll take advantage of that." He takes a breath and shakes his head quickly. "That's part of the reason I left Benden. Damn hard headed ignorance." Unable to deal with the disgusting shirt anymore he grabs the bottom of the hem, "Don't worry about it. I won't tell anyone that you plan on killing a bunch of people or one person. Or whatever."

Jedi smiles crookedly at the man, and slicks back her hair again. "Chances are they aren't coming back." She says quietly. "But if they do…I know a few people who'll be more happy about it than mad, if only because it means they survived." The comment about her killing people gets another crooked smile, and she shakes her head. "I might say it in anger, or threaten it even, but I never could. Nika's had a long time to influence me, and even before I Impressed, I was a Smith." Implying she likes knowing how people work, perhaps? Or just that she isn't capable of murder? "Benden was a good weyr, back in the day. Not as good as High Reaches was, but well, we didn't hold that against you guys." She winks, with a semblance of playfulness, and prooobably doesn't bother to look away from him when he starts fiddling with his hem. Oldtimers weren't shy about such things, after all! "What did you do, before Vossuth?" A safer topic, and a valuable one if one is to know her wingmates better.

Quietly, "I know that." It's spoken soberly just before he lifts the shirt clean off, balling it into a wet lump and throwing it onto the dock above them. "And I didn't think that you were really going to march off and go killing anyone if they came back. It's just good form to not go around repeating someone saying that is all." Th'seus grins down at her, a little rakish in his pocket of amusement. If she's staring at any part of him, the bronzerider is certainly playing it cool about noticing. Even if he is a Nowtimer. Mention of Vossuth has him gazing out in the direction of the bronze, floating still some distance away from everything. "I lived with my family in a cothold outside of Benden. The Hold, not the Weyr. We scraped a living out of the land and lived in general squalor. Then I was searched. That's the short version." Implying that perhaps there's more to it. But then, "What did you do before?"

"Had to say it," is the brownrider's answer, smiling faintly at his remark about her not killing people. "With how this time seems to be, sometimes, felt like it ought to be said." After a moment she adds, "and normally I don't go around saying it. This whole mess, it just.." She exhales again, and shakes her head. Some mud might escape off of her curls - sorry, Th'seus! - but she doesn't really seem to notice. Okay, let's face it: she's probably totally eyeballing him. Because who wouldn't? When his gaze shifts to his lifemate, hers shifts to the bronze as well, before slipping to the brown that calls her his. "I grew up at High Reaches Weyr. Then I was a Smith. They dragged me back, and he sunk his talons in me." She grins faintly. "I was just glad not to get tapped into Mom's wing, at the time. Also the short version." He doesn't tell her more, so she doesn't press. Not yet, she doesn't know him well enough. But perhaps someday. "We're lucky. Some people wouldn't agree, some would say we're doomed, or that we should feel honored, but I think we're lucky. Whether we die because of Thread or because of old age.. We get to share our minds with them." She raises an eyebrow (not like it's really that visible, but) at him. "What do you think?"

The mud flying off of her hair does land in little flecks on him. To which he just sighs quietly before raking his fingers through his own, cleaning out some of the larger clumps and sending them into the water. "That's a good way of putting it. I do feel more lucky than anything else. I don't know that we're doomed and I don't think it's an honor to possibly die a truly horrific death. But I could have been in the wrong place and not been searched. I could have been picked up for the wrong clutch and never impressed to Vossuth. There's so many ways that everything could have changed. I could have lived my whole live at that sorry little patch of dirt. So yeah, I do think there's an element of luck to it all." It's now finally that he breaks his gaze away from the bronze, turning to glance down at her. He catches the glimpses she's been taken of him, but well. He's quiet about it except for the arching of one dark eyebrow. "Life is a lot less lonely with him."

You can't blame a girl! He's kinda cute, in his own way. At least in this girl's eyes. Even if he is technically offlimits. His eyebrow is met with the raise of one of her own, and a brief, little smile from the woman. "Most people in this day and age would argue with me." She says quietly, with a tone that says she agrees with what he's said. "I wondered before, when I had lived at the Weyr for so long, why I hadn't gotten Searched before. But none of it mattered anymore, when he chose me." And then, as if not wanting all of their conversation to be dark and dreary, "we should probably really wash all of this mud off." It's said with a chuckle, not a laugh, but even Jedi has her limits for mud. Wink.

He meets that smile with his own, suddenly laughing quietly and ducking his head. It's almost sheepish or maybe it's just an appropriate amount of modesty from the former Holder. "Most people in this day and age, well." Th'seus shrugs his shoulders and turns on her, climbing the ladder up onto the dock. "The dragons know when it's time, usually." Except for all those times people wait around for clutch after clutch, but that's another theory for a different day. "You're right, before it dries to our skin forever." The clothes he's lost or strewn around up here by now, so while he waits for her to join him he picks up the pieces.

Jedi laughs when she has to look up even further than usual to look at the man, and climbs up to the dock not long after he does. "That's true enough," she agrees, looking over at her lifemate fondly. "And the dragonets know even better than anyone else who. Whether anyone else likes it or not. I hope I'm alive if the day ever comes that a bronze Impresses to a girl." The thought is absurd even to her, however, and the laughter that comes from her only enforces it's absurdity. "We'd look like mud people. Not sure it'd be a good thing." She can't help but to giggle again at the thought.

"I think you'd see quite a few old men drop dead in their tracks at the sight." Th'seus comments back, scooping his things up. He tries to keep his jacket seperate from the mud soaked items, but really there's probably no helping it in the long haul trek back to the weyr. Vossuth doesn't seem to be in any hurry to join his lifemate, out in the river he continues to float. The bronzerider tips his head in the direction of the path back, "Yeah, being a mud man isn't exactly a look that I'm trying to cultivate. I don't think it'd be very popular." He laughs with her giggle, raking his hair back before beginning the walk.

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