Who

Kyara, Cha'el, Liareth, Sikorth

What

Slight backscene! Kyara and Cha'el take a break at the Red Butte after a sweep and talk for a bit - partly as wingmates, partly as friends.

When

It is late morning of the twenty-fifth day of the third month of the first Turn of the 12th Pass.

Where

Red Butte, Keroon Plains

OOC Date

 

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Red Butte

Far removed from Hold and Hall, out in the utter midst of the plains of Keroon, sits the unique, solitary dome that every weyrling most likely knows better than any other landmark on the face of Pern - the Red Butte. Rings of eroded bedrock and sandstone encircle this small mountain like long-frozen ripples, worn by weather, upheaval, and time. Valleys and scarps surround and fade into the varied strata of the plateau itself. From both the ground and the air, the strikingly-hued Red Butte remains one of the most impressive and recognizable features of the entire Northern Continent.


Another morning, another sweep…another flight over the now-storied holdings of Keroon. Thread isn't due here again for another three days, thankfully, but it is difficult not to think on what's occurred within these borders in the meantime. Kyara is doing her best not to, and for the moment, it's working; she's just glad to be done with this sweep. Any opportunity to get some things done with Cha'el and Sikorth is welcome, so being paired with the Weyrsecond today has made the sweep less tedious. And since they're done, she decides a small break before returning to the Weyr is in order - if Cha'el is amenable, that is. As the familiar bulk of the Red Butte comes into view, Liareth sends a quick brush of humidity across Sikorth's mind. « Care to take a moment, Sikorth? » the pretty green lilts, even as she drops altitude a little. « Mine would like to, if yours is agreeable. »

Finally over that dratted cold that Thierry had plastered all over him, though still somewhat reserved since the recent Fall over Keroon, Cha'el had spent most of the sweep in silence. Only raising his voice to point something out here or there when it warranted taking a closer now. Sikorth, having lightly sprained a wing muscle during the Fall is more than ready to take a break but he'll not admit to needing one. « Mine could do with one. » The focus shifted to his rider instead. That having been said, he angles swiftly downward, sturdy hindquarters reaching for the weathered surface of the red butte.

Liareth waits for Sikorth to land before finding a spot of her own to let her rider dismount, thereafter padding over to the big brown with a rumble of concern. She remembers - she thinks - when Sikorth got that sprain. « You still hurt? » she questions, the warm steam and fog-muted firelight of her bath house swirling slow and soothing now that they aren't focused on keeping watch. Kyara, for the moment, focuses on pulling off her helmet and pulling burnished hair free from what binds it before going into a deep stretch, watching for Cha'el as she loosens up a bit from their time in the air.

Helmet and goggles removed while still mounted, the moment he's boots to ground, Cha'el is inspecting the thick padding of muscle on the underside of Sikorth's wing. Much to the brown's annoyance because 'Hellooo? Lady present. Messing with the rep here!' Snorting as his dragon sends him as much mentally, the Weyrsecond smacks a hand to his shoulder. "You're all good." « Told you so. » Sniff. And then he shifts away, chest puffing out and wings tucking neatly against his sides to meet Liareth's approach. A deep rumble shows appreciation for the concern while the steady thwump-thwump of his mental brush lends weight to being fighting fit. « It is nothing. We are fine. » he assures, nudging the green lightly.

By now, Kyara is watching the interaction between dragons, slowly wandering nearer and chuckling a bit at Sikorth's apparent discomfiture. The nudge he gives her lifemate elicits a smile; it's taken some time for Liareth to get used to him, but pragmatic as she is, she has certainly come to appreciate how no-nonsense the brown is. The green gives him a gentle nudge in return, rustling her wings to settle them just so as she takes up a spot beside him. « Good. It is always concerning to see one of our best warriors troubled by a wound, however small. But you are fashioned of sterner stuff than most, Sikorth, » she states matter-of-factly, though there's a bit of an arch to her neck as she blinks up at the brown with her last pronouncement. Kyara shakes her head a little as she steps up near the Weyrsecond. "He looks it," she affirms with a small smile. "What about you, Cha'el?" she asks, amber gaze taking a quick survey of the brownrider before settling on his face. "You've seemed a little quieter the past few days."

Sikorth doesn't nudge just anyone but apparently those in his wing are now being afforded these little displays which amount to a draconic version of a fistbump, or a clap on the shoulder. However, he is very much male and thus when afforded such a compliment by a lady, the big brown does his best not to preen. « You flatter. » he accuses in a tone touched through with a lick of amusement. « We are all only as good as the sum of us. » He responds in a decisive tone. As for the human half of the pair, Cha'el lends the greenrider a short smile. "We," as in his gender, "don't like to come across as needing help. It's a male thing." While Kyara's gaze shifts to his face, his sifts out over the view either deliberately or as a means to ducking her scrutiny. "Aye, I'm fine. Just had a lot going on lately." A pause and then sea-blue eyes flick sideways to finally meet amber. "And you? You're coping after that last fall?"

« Only when there's truth to it, » Liareth returns with a snippet of a croon, the muted voices hidden beyond the walls of her baths fluttering with amused chuckling amidst the soft hiss of steam upon coals. « But of course, you are correct. And we are growing stronger. » Kyara, still watching Cha'el as she is, doesn't buy it…but she's not going to press him to divulge things, either. "I think most everyone needs help," she states with smirk. "It's coming across as being accepting of help that guys are so good at avoiding. And some of us, too," she tacks on, taking a moment to grab something off of Lia's straps. As is her habit on morning sweeps, Kyara carries a thermos of klah, which isn't exactly hot by the end of things, but manages to stay mostly warm in this particular container. She fills the lid of it and offers it over to Cha'el with a small shrug. "I am. It's never easy, dealing with the losses and the injuries afterward, but…it was our best yet. Maybe not on ground level, but we came out fairly well, didn't we?" With a sigh, she looks out over the vista from here, sipping at the thermos itself. "You're sure your fine?" she questions once more, quietly, glancing at him sidelong and smiling a bit lopsided. "'Fine' can be such a dodgy word."

Tendrils of the mist that lingers about the monoliths of Sikorth's mind reach out toward the muted amusement and then sift away again. « We are. Stronger and faster. Each battle that we wage, we learn more about the enemy and how to defeat it. » Folding his arms across his chest, Cha'el flicks his wingmate a wry look, tracking her path over to Liareth and back again. "Asking for, or accepting help doesn't come naturally after so many turns spent fending for yourself as an adult." The lid of klah is however, gratefully accepted and the Weyrsecond downs it and hands it back so that Kyara can pour herself some too. "What else do you keep in those magic carrysacks of yours?" Cha'el asks, quietly teasing and then frowns lightly. Another patch of silence and then broad shoulders shift in a short shrug. "Fine is a fine word," he evades, flicking her a crooked grin. "Things are getting worse down in the bazaar. We're going to have to do something about it soon."

Liareth gives a snort of agreement, her tail undulating decisive and slow as she considers that enemy that transforms her from cool nobility to berserker in the blink of an eye. « We must do better to keep it from the ground next time, » she muses, crystal waters roiling subtly before the steam rising from them thickens, gently swirling and mingling with the mists around Sikorth's monuments in careful curiosity. « Mine thinks yours hides, » she states, subtly bemused by what she catches from her lifemate. « She is concerned. » A fact that Kyara isn't exactly trying to hide, but isn't letting fully out, either. She raises an eyebrow slightly at Cha'el over the issue of help, then grins over the bit of teasing. "Habits," she answers, "from being a Journeyman, kept from weyrlinghood, from just…being the daughter of my parents." She shrugs, giving a small shake of her head. "Anything I can do to help where that's concerned, just let me know," she says of the Bazaar, nearly reaching up to rub the scar above her eye and catching herself.

« Arroyo is quick and agile. Perhaps they should fly lower. » That’s Sikorth’s considered opinion on how best to cover the gaps left in Mirage. However, when Liareth then goes on to question a little closer to home, mists retreat and the green is put under tight regard. « It is a matter deeply personal. » Is then quietly revealed with a shimmer of blue and green overlaying Sikorth’s mental touch before he falls back to silence. “Good habits,” Cha’el commends. “Especially the one where you carry that medical pack around. If not for it, Erissa might have been a lot worse off than she was.” Flicking a glance to the scar sketched above Kyara’s eye, the brownrider’s expression draws tight at reminder of how she’d gotten it. “Up for a bit of hunting?” he goes on to ask, a cold smirk twisting into place.

Where Sikorth’s mists retreat, Liareth’s thicken and settle closer to the ground, a hint of lavender mingling with the ever-present scents of candle wax and sweetsand. « She will not press him, » the green assures with a rumble, once again touching her nose to big brown’s shoulder, « and I will not ask more of you. » Though that shimmer of color is discreetly sent across to her lifemate. « Mine wishes to be someone yours can trust. She cares. But she is careful. » When Kyara gets that bit of color communicated to her, it takes her a moment to pick out the possible significances of the hues. The mention of Erissa attaches a name to the blue, and she stifles the immediate desire to question Cha’el about her. The green…she can’t decipher, only knowing that it can’t signify her. “I just carry basics,” the greenrider demurs over the healing kit with a smile, rubbing her neck to ease the nagging the repressed questions cause. “I’m…glad it helped.” The question of hunting brings a raised eyebrow, and the glint in her gaze meeting his is of a temperature to match his smirk. “Of course. What did you have in mind?”

Lowering his large head, Sikorth nudges Liareth lightly in return, appreciative that she doesn’t push . « He attempts to blend oil and water. » He cryptically divulges. « It eats at him. » is added with a sigh sifting through the sentinel monoliths of his mind. « But he attempts to keep confidences. » In the distance, above the steady thump or rotor blades and the whine of engines, waves crash upon a shoreline while between the upright monoliths, flutters the edge of a ribbon. Unaware that his usually astute and often less than sociable dragon is busy dishing up private concerns, Cha’el turns a smile onto his greenriding companion and then shifts his attention to the view spread out below them. “A raid. Though don’t let Sadaiya know I called it that, she seems to have an issue with the word. More like a purge. That needs to happen soon. I’ve spoken to various shop owners and we can count on them not to provide refuge to the bastards refusing to work and causing trouble when we sweep them out of their rat holes.”

« Why they continue to try such things when they know it never works is beyond me, » the graceful green states coolly over the matter of oil and water as she settles down beside Sikorth and crosses her forelegs, the sigh she huffs strong enough to catch draw Kyara’s attention. The ribbon is examined curiously, white tendrils of steam playing along that fluttering edge. « That is new, » Liareth observes. « Nadeeth is ribbons. You think of her? Or is it something else? » The greenrider eyes her lifemate curiously, not really being tuned in to the dragons’ conversation but strongly suspecting Liareth of edging into meddling mode again. When the green insists she isn’t, Kyara gives a small nod, turning her gaze back on Cha’el once more. “Yeah, ‘raid’ has a bad memory attached to it,” she murmurs, sliding onto a nearby outcrop to sit. “But I think it’s a good idea, at this point. Round them up and then…what? Ground crew duty? Draft them into crews to expand the Terraces or make the abandoned caverns safe again?”

Where Liareth settles herself gracefully, Sikorth remains smartly seated, his long whip-thin tail curled about him and head angled in such a manner so as to suggest a general in full dress uniform. When the wily green pounces on the fluttering ribbon, the brown, realizing he’s revealed too much, withdraws. « Nadeeth weaves intricate tales of bravery and courage. » He decides to observe instead. Much as their dragons, where Kyara sits, Cha’el remains standing, hands shoved into his pockets and features set about a tight line of determination. “Train them as groundcrews and drop them into the Holds. A token of the Weyr’s appreciation for their support.” The Holds not the refugees. As for the other options his wingmate offers, the Weyrsecond turns a contemplative look onto her. “They refuse to work and that sort of delinquency is like Thread. It spreads and burrows, infecting others with its destructive ways. No. We need to remove them entirely from the Weyr.”

Wily? Well, it’s true Liareth is that, and she doesn’t really make much effort to deny it. However, she has also learned not to get too nosy, and she does rumble light apology to Sikorth. « That she does, » she agrees about the older, smaller green. « And she is a good friend. » To Cha’el’s words, Kyara finds her own lips settling into a somewhat grim line, and she nods. “Time was,” she murmurs, drawing up a knee to bring her foot within reach and idly rubbing at a scuff on her boot, “I wouldn’t have agreed with you. I like giving people the benefit of the doubt. Second chances. I still do, but…it doesn’t always work. I know that now.” Add Liareth’s influence to a few firsthand experiences, and her perspective simply couldn’t have remained the same forever. “If they have any sense, any fear, they ought not refuse anymore. But if they keep refusing, and we have to remove them…whose problem do they become?” she wants to know, eyebrows taking a slight upward tilt in concern as she studies the Weyrsecond’s face again.

« A good friend, » Sikorth agrees before slipping into quiet contemplation, his faceted gaze slipping back and forth across the landscape below. Ever vigilant. Rocking back on his heels, Cha’el slides a sidelong look the greenrider’s way. “Benefit of the doubt is wasted on those that are just gonna piss on it.” He states bluntly and then shifts his focus to the question put to him. “Ours, until they’re trained up. Probably going to have to lock the lot of them in the brig, letting them out every day under guard while they train. Those that shape up have a shot at a future, a final chance to redeem themselves. Those that don’t,” broad shoulders shift in a shrug, “will find themselves acquainted with an island paradise.” The sarcasm in his baritone outlining plans for exile.

“I know that,” Kyara counters, frowning as she turns her gaze on the rusty-hued ground below. “But you can’t always tell who’s going to piss on it - or not - unless you try first.” Prizing a flake of rock from a crevice just to her left, she sighs. “And I can’t help but try.” The bit of stone gets tossed away, a hint of pique infusing the motion as she goes silent for a moment, her frown deepening over…something, though whether it’s from Liareth or within herself is unclear. Presently, she rubs her forehead, and slides her gaze back up to the brownrider. “The Western Isles,” she states flatly. “I think that’s where the men that attacked Sienna and I ended up, ultimately. Sharding idiots.” Wrapping arms around her bent leg, she rests her chin on her knee, amber gaze far off and a bit shadowed. “I hope they see sense. Faranth, I hope they do. But in the meantime…I’ll do whatever you’d have me do.”

Perhaps its that frown that Kyara wears or maybe its what she says about giving benefit of the doubt that finds the Weyrsecond answering the way he does. “Aye,” a quiet sigh exhales. “That would make two of us. Probably to our detriment.” Wry yet pitched in such a way as to suggest he’s not talking about the troublemakers in the Bazaar. That Cha’el addresses with his next. “The Western Isles would be the best plan for those that refuse their last chance.” He agrees.

The bit of wry commentary from Cha’el brings some light back into Kyara’s gaze, which she slips back up his way with a rock of chin upon knee to aid it. “Sometimes,” she concedes quietly. Pleased to have gotten that much out of him, her lips curve into a small, somewhat lopsided smile before she’s letting her leg go again and dangling it off the edge of the rock. “For the really hard cases,” she muses more loudly, peering out over the plains beyond again, “I wonder if it might be fitting to train them up for crew work at the Swamp Hold. The terrain this is a nightmare, and with all that green…” She shrugs. “Anyone going in there will need some extra work and knowledge to be effective.” Now she slips off the rock, brushing off her pants as she wanders over to stand in front of Cha’el again. “What do you think?”

A half a smile is turned out for Kyara, fashioned about gratitude for the fact that she doesn’t push. “I sometimes wonder if I’m not a closet masochist.” Wryly spoken before Cha’el turns to the matter of those lurking in the bazaar, his gaze following her as she uncurls from the rock and moves to stand in front of him. “Swamp Hold, eh? Sounds putrid enough.” He remarks unpocketing a hand to scratch at bearded chin in contemplation. “We could drop a team there and check in on them during sweeps.”

“It’s actually rather beautiful there, in it’s own weird way,” Kyara says of the Swamp Hold. “If you ever get to visit down at ground level, that is. There’s just…so many bugs.” She shudders a bit, her expression chagrined. “That was my least favorite part about Ista, too. Anyway, I agree. It’ll have to be a substantial team though - in more ways than one. But that shouldn’t be a problem, I suspect.” With a sigh, she looks up at Liareth, who eases into a sitting position and casts a patient gaze down at her lifemate. Time to head back in a bit, apparently. “Cha’el?” she asks suddenly, though quietly as she distractedly tugs on a clinch on her left glove. “Do you…consider me a friend?” Only then does she look back up at him, a little sidelong and cautious.

“Citrus balm,” Cha’el idly notes of bugs though he doesn’t seem too enthralled with the idea of visiting Swamp Hold any time soon himself. A nod is given to the size of the team that would be needed. “Chain gang. I’m not trusting those slimy bastards to stay put out of a sudden fit of honor and duty.” Turning from the view at a chuffed reminder from Sikorth on the heels of the one Liareth delivers to Kyara, the brownrider pauses at the sound of his name. He’s a quiet a few moments before answering and then nods. “Aye, I do. What’s up?” Sure that the greenrider means to ask a favor or needs to talk about something.

That’s what he thinks! “Lia’s trying to meddle; I know she is,” Kyara sighs, scrubbing a hand over her face and peering up at the pretty green, who conveniently chooses that moment to avert her eyes by preening a wing. “As usual. But, um…” She clears her throat a little, fidgeting a little before stilling her hands by clasping them at her back and catching Cha’el gaze with hers. “Look, you’ve listened to me plenty, and helped me through things, and…well. I don’t know whether or not you have anyone you can do that with, or if you even want to, the whole not wanting to come across as needing help thing and what not…” She shrugs, wryness appearing more around her eyes than anything for a moment at that. “Anyway, if you ever need someone to talk to or just be there…there’s always me. If you like.” With a small smile, she pulls a small, sealed tube of hardened hide out of her pouch, one end of which is stoppered with a cork. “This is for you,” she says, reaching for the brownrider’s hand and slipping it into his palm, quick to clasp her hands again to keep them still - in front of her, this time.

Cha’el turns a narrowed look onto his brown at the greenrider’s admission to which Sikorth merely slow-blinks and continues to stare off into the distance - Innocent until proven guilty. Back to Kyara the Weyrsecond’s attention slides. “What did he tell her?” He asks a little more stiffly than he’d intended and then frowns when she follows up with an offer to be a sounding board for which a faint smile disappears into the neat frame of beard. “I’m not someone that easily speaks of personal things,” he confesses wryly and shifts his gaze away. Lips part as if he might indeed reveal there to be something weighing on his mind and then close when the slender tube is handed to him. Breaking the seal, Cha’el upends and frees the roll of parchment within. Tucking the tube under his arm, the parchment is unrolled and dark brows hike in silent query when the music written on it is parsed. “I don’t get it?”

“She’s being vague,” Kyara answers in a dry drawl, “though she gives me colors. She knows how to keep confidences, too, so I don’t know what he’s said. But…blue. Erissa again?” she ventures carefully. “And green…but I can’t guess that one and won’t try.” She casts a resigned and slightly irritable look at Liareth before shaking her head and return her gaze to the Weyrsecond…only to find his turned away. “You’ve made that pretty clear,” she says quietly, though there’s just as much wryness to the chuckle that her words are couched in. “Still. The offer stands.” When he opens the tube, she outright smiles at the confusion she’s caused him, though it’s a warm expression. “It’s just something I do,” she explains. “I don’t know if you read or not, but that’s beside the point; I can play it for you sometime. I wrote it for you. I only write for people I care about. To keep them close.” She taps a finger lightly to her temple, then gives a little shrug. “Since I don’t know when someone may suddenly be gone from my life.”

The moment Erissa’s name comes up followed by the mention of green, Cha’el shoots his brown a look. Which still continues to be ignored. Move along people, nothing going on here. With lips pulled into a flat line, the Weyrsecond mutters a curse under his breath and then casts a hesitant look Kyara’s way. “You ever gotten close to two people only to find out they can’t stand the sight of each other?” Exhaling a sigh on the matter, the Weyrsecond turns his attention back to the sheet of music in his hands, a smile appearing at the explanation provided. “My mother insisted that I learn, so I can read it, I just can’t play it.” There comes a pause as he carefully rolls it back up and returns it to safety in the tube. “But I’d sure like to hear it.” Gravity peels into place next and he nods at her last. “Aye. Gotta live each day like it’s your last and appreciate everyone in your life like it might be theirs.”

With a quiet smile and a slight dance to her eyes, Kyara nods. “I’d be glad to play it for you sometime. But as for the first thing…” She has to take a good moment of serious thought before she’s able to answer. “Not as far as I know,” she finally replies, “though I think I might be one of the two on someone else’s end…” Thinking about Sienna being close to her and K’vvan, while she’s reasonably sure K’vvan can’t stand her. “I don’t know for certain, though. But to be in that position… I’d want to try fixing what’s going on between the two, but I know I’d eventually have to let it go; they have to make the change themselves, if they even want to. And I’d get frustrated and wonder why I even bother, but the answer to that would be because I care. I’d always hold hope that it’d work out eventually.” She shrugs, her expression one of amused resignation. “I always hope. Even when it seems stupid to do so.”

Appreciation warms the Weyrsecond’s features for the offer made before they take on a wry cast in response to what Kyara says next. “Get outta my head, woman!” Cha’el dryly chides. “Aye, all of that.” He goes on to add averting his gaze to where he’s rolling a rock beneath his boot. “And more. They’re each of them really good people in their own ways but put them in a room together and they make a pair of golds going up at the same time look like child’s play.” Broad shoulders shift beneath the soft leather of his jacket in a helpless gesture.

Kyara gives Cha’el a rather impish bit of a smile and a wink for the scold, though it diminishes fairly quickly as he goes on. His analogy gets a bit of a wince; a little close to home, that, though whether or not he knows why is unclear. Still, it’s just a blip, and she’s back to being thoughtful. “There’s no mixing oil and water,” she murmurs as she moves to stand next to the brownrider, “no matter how hard you try.” She didn’t even need a relay from Liareth for that one; it’s just a very apt metaphor. “If they could at least agree to be civil, though, that would be something. You’d think any mature adult could handle that much.” She folds her arms, then gently nudges his elbow with hers, her smile returning. “Maybe that’s as much as we’re meant to do, hmm? Encourage civility, and keep hoping…and things will end up where they’re meant to eventually.”

Brows dipped toward one another in a frown, Cha’el breaks from the thoughtful silence he’d fallen into at that nudge and fits Kyara with a small smile. “Aye. S’kinda my own fault in a way,” he states but doesn’t elaborate for Sikorth The Monument of Stone, suddenly shifts and exhales a rumble though his comment is directed at Liareth « We should return. » His rider of course, isn’t sent the same message and so squints a tight look onto the brown, assuming he’s making a rare indulgence of gossip.

« Agreed, » Liareth replies with a quick rush of humid warmth, and she lowers her head toward Kyara. “Well, that’s a story you don’t have to go into, of course - especially with these two getting impatient. Yes, I know.” That’s directed at the warm green nose bumping her lightly from behind, which she gives a quick rub with a chuff that’s affectionate and irritable all at once. She sends a smirk Cha’el’s way, then reaches an arm around his back in a side-hug. “Thanks for the break, Cha’el,” comes a little quietly, and then she’s stepping back and checking over Lia’s straps. “I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of clearing out the Bazaar,” she adds, then easily hoists up onto her lifemate’s neck, pulling on and adjusting her helmet as she waits for the brown pair to take point on their way back home.

There’s appreciation in the look Cha’el sends his wingmate, her one-armed hug returned. “Any time,” he tells her of the short break taken and then more somberly on the matter of the Bazaar as he draws away and heads back over to Sikorth, “Only time will tell.” Mounted, flight gear back in place, goggles are pulled down into position and the signal is given to lift off, the slender tube gifted by Kyara safely tucked inside his jacket.

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