Selaine and Akitith, Zannen, Thesrov, Lenali, Jonaxi (NPCs, puppeted by Selaine)


A rare clear day finds Selaine and her family at the beach, where they meet a dolphineer.

Slightly backdated


It is late afternoon of the twenty-eighth day of the fifth month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Beach, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 05 Nov 2018 07:00


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"I just find that statin' th' obvious works as a conversation starter."



An eerie mirror, the glass-quiet Sea of Azov: the clear waters stretch along the dark-pebbled shores, and along this narrow beach. Here the faintest lap of waves belies the calm beyond; here the rocks have been ground down into finest, softest sand - those observant would mark upon the similarity between it and the sands of the hatching grounds. The soft sand soaks up summer sunlight as a sponge; painfully hot during the warmer months, it is only truly pleasant at wintertime. Rocks rise to east and west, lichen-limned and green against the abyssal darkness of stone.

It's a rare day when Selaine has time to relax and spend time with all her children. Even Akitith is tagging along for some family bonding time as the three children run out onto the sand, kicking off sandals to run to the edge of the waves. Thesrov, being the older brother, keeps a watchful eye on the twins, just as both Selaine and Akitith keep an eye on the children as they stroll slowly behind. Autumn really is the best time for some beach time. « Yes, summer is much too hot for children to stay out here long, » agrees Akitith, settling onto the sand.

What's rare is an autumn day with no rain. The temperature is starting to shift in the Azov's waters, which means the dolphins will be migrating soon, leaving Zannen to deal with the comparative tedium of winter. For now, however, the strapping dolphineer is taking advantage of all the time he has remaining with his aquatic friends for the season, and is just emerging from the water in the wake of a little excursion along the coastline. The proximity of a green dragon surprises him just a little, even though it shouldn't at this point; dragons are a common enough sight along the beach. A woman - the rider, from what he can glean at a glance - and her children aren't far off as well, and he can't help but smile a little at the sight. There's a satchel laying atop a nearby rock, which he bends to and opens, pulling out a towel to start drying himself with. "Good day t'take advantage of," he comments amiably as the group passes within earshot. "The rain'll be back too soon."

Though Thesrov has inherited a bit of that seriousness from his father, around his sisters he can't help but be just as carefree. The three of them can be heard giggling as they start to get mischievous and splash at each other. So focused on them was she that Selaine hardly noticed the man coming out of the water. Not until he spoke up, of course. Her gaze drifts over immediately, knowing that Akitith will keep an eye on the children and let her know if anything goes awry. As her eyes settle on the man's features, she finds them… familiar, somehow. There's a smile in his direction before she glances upwards, "Yes, I'm all too aware of that," she agrees with a soft chuckle. "It's always either too hot or it's raining whenever I want to take them out here."

"Aye, I'm sure y'are, as most Southerners tend t'be." Broad shoulders shrug before Zannen flips the towel up over his head, rubbing at his hair. "I just find that statin' th' obvious works as a conversation starter." The towel clears his face, and he gives a quick grin, somewhat lopsided. "Journeyman Zannen of the Dolphincraft, at yer service," he says with a little dip of his head. "Are ye with this lovely lady here?" He gestures to the green dragon nearby, draping the towel over his shoulders and adopting a relaxed stance, arms folded over his now-dry chest as he discreetly gets a better look at the woman he's run across.

There's a soft chuckle from the greenrider in response to that grin. "I can't say you're wrong," she agrees with a grin of her own before he introduces himself. The name strikes a familiar chord, but again, Selaine can't quite figure out why. "Well met, Journeyman Zannen. I'm Selaine," then she turns to look over at Akitith with a fond smile, "And yes, that would be Akitith." The dragon in question takes her watchful eyes off the children for just a moment to whirl her multi-colored eyes at the dolphineer before resuming her duty. That's when Selaine directs her gaze to her kids as well. "And those are my children. The older boy is Thesrov, and the twins are Lenali and Jonaxi."

Zannen gives Akitith a little bow when the green deigns to look his way. "Well met, Selaine and Akitith. And I'd say th' same t'yer kids, 'cept they're rightly more int'rested in the water than the stranger talkin' t' their mom with no shirt on…" He digs into his satchel as he speaks, producing a loose button-up beach tunic that he throws on and fastens halfway up. "Lovely lot y'have," he says of her children, setting his hands on his hips as he glances their way and then back. "Y'know, I'm thinkin' yer name is familiar. Has yer wing worked with us much? For Search an' Rescue an' such, mayhap?"

Indeed, the children are not paying any attention to the talking adults as they continue to play at the shoreline, knowing well not to venture any further. Selaine shifts her gaze back to Zannen, though giving him a little more thorough once-over when he mentions the whole 'no shirt' thing… that she may or may not have been avoiding noticing. "Well, they know to enjoy it while they get the chance, too. And thank you." The smile that she gives him is warm as she looks back at her children. As for his question, that brings her attention back to him once more. At least she isn't the only one! "Well, Ocelot does work with Search and Rescue often… but I'm pretty sure I've heard your name somewhere else…" Her voice trails off as her eyes unfocus. « He reminds me of Kyara. » "Ah!" she exclaims suddenly as her eyes refocus. "You're Kyara's brother!"

There's still a fair amount to see, even with his shirt now on. Zannen just feels a little more polite with it in play. His smile broadens in answer to Selaine's; hers is quite nice, and he's not shy about noticing. He is a little surprised to learn that she finds him familiar as well…though when the reason reveals itself, he beams. "Aye, that's me!" he affirms. "So ye must be one of 'er friends, in which case she's probably mentioned ye. Y'were at Igen once, aye?" Little bits of memory are clicking into place now.

Far be it for Selaine to not notice certain things, especially when a man is visually appealing… And has a nice smile. Though she attempts to be a bit more subtle… but when she figures out that he was Kyara's brother, well! Things certainly get interesting. Especially with the way he beams at her, though she's quick to return it with one of her own. "That I am! I Impressed in Igen… and met your sister not long after. She's one of my closest friends. She's talked about you quite a few times… that's why I thought your name sounded familiar. And of course, you share some similar features."

Zannen, in true little brother fashion, attempts to look properly horrified. “Oh no. Well, first of all, I didn’t do it. Secondly, it’s all only partly true.” His eyes dance as he says all this of course, his expression cracking moments afterward. “I’d be curious t’know what we share, lookin’ as diff’rent as we do. She got our mother’s hair ‘n’ eyes. Mayhap somethin’ around the mouth?” He hovers a finger around his lips, then chuckles softly. “Aye, she’s talked about ye for sure. Tends t’say how much she misses some people; so many’ve come South from Igen over the past few Turns. But she’s got her weyrmate and now the baby, so I know she’s content enough anyway.”

Selaine’s lips curl into a wider, more amused smile at Zannen’s reaction, letting out a soft giggle at his response. “She’s said nothing but good things, I assure you.” Though maybe she should’ve teased him a bit… But as for what he shares with Kyara? The greenrider takes a moment to give him yet another once-over, making sure to not let her gaze rest anywhere in particular for too long. “You know… I can’t quite pinpoint it, but I can definitely see you’re siblings.” She waves her hand in his general direction before throwing another glance in the direction of her children. Then her attention goes back to Zannen, “I’m almost curious as to what else she’s said about me,” Selaine notes with a light laugh, though she knows Kyara would never say anything bad about her. “I’ve come down to visit her a couple times since I’ve left… and I’m happy for her. I’ve yet to meet the babe… so I’m planning a trip down to see her soon. I’m thinking of maybe going back to Igen, myself…”

“Fair enough,” Zannen says with a nonchalant shrug. “Not bein’ able to tell exactly what just makes things easier, in a way.” As for what he’s heard about Selaine… “Ah, well. Kyara’s said ye’re lovely. Which I can’t argue.” His smile goes a little lopsided at that. “Told me about meetin’ ye at Igen, that’d ye had kids an’ came down when yer weyrmate b’came Weyrleader fer a spell.” He nods to the notion of Selaine taking a trip. “I’m sure she’d love t’see ye. Mayhap…I might be able to tag along when ye go? Always gotta ask someone fer a lift when I want t’visit ‘er, anyhow.” Then, a curious arch of his brow. “Meanin’ back there permanent-like?”

Though it’s been a while since anyone’s managed it, Zannen’s comment brings out a light blush on Selaine’s cheeks. “Oh. Well, thank you. And I’ll have to thank her when I see her next…” While Kyara’s assessment of the greenrider sounded like her friend, the fact that Zannen threw in his own opinion threw her off. The mention of her ex-weyrmate has her looking over at her kids again. “Ah, yes… and then I decided to stay while they were still young… didn’t want to keep moving them around too much.” Then back to Zannen. “Oh, of course! I’d be more than happy to.” Since she’s going down that way anyway… and how interesting it’ll be to see her friend again with her brother tagging along. “And yes, though I’m still currently debating it.”

Zannen tries not to grin too much for having gotten a blush out of Selaine but can’t really help it in the end. After that, it takes him a bit to piece together why the greenrider words things the way she does. “Oh. Well, aye, that’s understandable. And…I’m sorry,” he says with a little clearing of his throat. But she’s agreeing to take him along when she visits Igen, which brings his smile back to life. “A big choice t’make when ye have a family t’bring along,” he muses aloud over the matter of actually moving. “Why would ye want t’leave, if ye don’t mind me bein’ nosy?”

There’s a flicker of a smaller smile when Zannen apologizes, though she certainly doesn’t look sad. Clever of him to figure things out without her even saying much. “But yes, it’s why I’m still hesitating…” she says in response to his musing. “And not much keeping me here, other than my children. I have family back in Igen… and it’s home, really. Not that it’s hard for me to go back when I want, of course. A quick trip between and all… But I can have my parents take care of the kids for me rather than leaving them to the nursery… not that there’s anything wrong with that but, family’s better, no?”

Zannen nods to Selaine’s answer, his expression thoughtful. “I suppose so,” he concedes. “Igen doesn’t have the sea, though.” He tilts his head toward the water with a smirk. He’s a Seacrafter; his life is the water and all that is in and on it, so living in a sea of sand again isn’t something he can rightly conceive of anymore.

Selaine looks back out at the water and her children as they’ve now moved to making sandcastles. “No, it doesn’t at that. Igen is probably a lot less entertaining in that aspect for the kids… they’ve grown up here. Which is why I’m still reluctant to take them away from it all. It’s mostly selfish reasons for me wanting to go back, but they’re the reason I’m staying.” She lets out a soft sigh and shrugs. “The things I do for my kids.” A soft chuckle escapes before she turns back to look at Zannen. “Speaking of… I think they’d love to meet some dolphins if given the chance. Do you think you could arrange something like that?”

“A hard choice, for certain,” Zannen says again, chuckling a little at Selaine’s next. Sea blue eyes brighten at mention of the dolphins, but his expression is immediately a bit apologetic. “Aye, that could be arranged. But…they’re about to swim north for the winter, to warmer waters,” he explains. “So it’d have t’be in the spring. Hopefully ye’re still here around then. Not that ye couldn’t just take a quite flight back down here if ye aren’t.

“Ah, I’d completely forgotten about that…” Selaine’s expression drops just a bit, frowning as she looks over at the kids, then past them to the sea. She glances back at Zannen with a soft chuckle, “True enough, and I’m sure I’ll still be around.” Especially if the kids have anything to say about it. “Did you want to meet them?” she asks, her gaze returning to her children. “Then we can tell them all about the dolphins. It’ll give them something to look forward to through the Winter.”

So goes nature. What can you do? The offer to meet Selaine’s children is met with a blink of surprise. “Well…aye, if ye want,” she answers with a somewhat sheepish rub at the back of his neck. “I just met you, but if ye’re comfortable enough with ‘em meetin’ me, I’d be glad to.” His smile is crooked again. Maybe that is a little of what matches him to Kyara.

At first, Selaine thought his reaction to her question might mean he wasn’t fond of kids, but his words and the crooked smile that follows tells her otherwise. She chuckles softly. “Kyara’s brother that works with dolphins… can’t be the bad sort, now can he?” A quick wink is thrown his way before she calls out to the kids. “Thes, Lilly, Jo! Come over here for a moment, won’t you?” The trio look up at the sound of their mother calling them before getting up and running over. “Don’t run.” She calls out loudly, slowing them down effectively into almost skipping until they get right up to the pair. “Meet Uncle Zannen, he’s a dolphineer. You guys remember what dolphineers do, right?”

Jonaxi is the first to have her expression light up and say, “They work with dolphins!” Then with a look from her mother, she adds, “Well met, Uncle Zannen! I’m Jonaxi!” Then she furrows her brows as her sister pipes up, “I’m Lenali! I’m her twin! Uncle Zannen, are you going to show us the dolphins?” Thesrov waits his turn before chiming in and even holds out his hand, “Name’s Thesrov. Everyone calls me Thes, though.” Selaine can’t help the amused smile on her lips at her son’s introduction of himself.

Zannen just shrugs again, a little grin answering Selaine’s wink before she calls out for her children. He watches with quiet amusement as they answer their mother’s summons…and winds up having to hide a wrinkling of his nose at being called “uncle” to the children of a woman he’s been leaning toward flirting with. He masks it with a scrub of a hand over his face. A full grin and a nod greets Jonaxi’s pronouncement about what dolphineers do.

“Twins, aye? Twice the fun, then!” he beams at the two girls, and then give Thesrov a nod, taking the boy’s hand and giving it a solid shake. “Well met, Thesrov. Or Thes, if ye’d rather. Now. The dolphins…” He turns toward the water and points out toward the horizon. “They’re out there jumpin’ around, if ye look real careful-like. They just had dinner, so now they’re havin’ a bit o’ fun. But.” He straightens again, sandy brows arching high. “They’re gettin’ ready t’go north because it’s about t’be winter, and they like t’stay where the water’s warm. Kinda like we like t’stay inside when it’s cold out, aye? So they’re gonna be gone a while, but when spring comes, they’ll be back. Then we can go fer a swim and ye can meet ‘em then!”

Luckily Selaine’s attention was too focused on her kids to notice any change in Zannen’s expression in response to how she introduced him. Though her gaze does shift back to him to see his reaction to the kids. “That’s what momma says, too!” Lenali replies with a wide grin before looking at her mother. Selaine nods with a soft laugh. “That’s right.” Then the little girl’s attention is back on Zannen as he mentions the dolphins, then out to the water like her brother and sister when he points in that direction. There’s a slight frown on Jonaxi’s face, one mirrored by her sister before Thesrov pipes up, “I heard that’s called mitagrating… is that what they’re doing Uncle Zannen?” The greenrider can’t help but wince internally at Thesrov’s attempt at the word but he’s learning! “And spring will be here quick, so we can meet the dolphins real soon,” the boy assures his sisters.

“Close!” Zannen says with a bit of a chuckle. “Migrating. But aye, that’s what they’re doin’. And spring’ll be here before we know it, like yer brother says.” That said to the girls. “Yer mom’ll tell ye when, I’m sure.” There’s a wink aimed at Selaine for that, and he folds his arms easily over his chest again. “Did ye know the dolphins can talk?”

Thesrov frowns as he’s corrected. “Migrating…” He repeats. And then it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the twins squeal in delight at the prospect of meeting dolphins. Selaine’s quite used to them… but poor Zannen. She chuckles softly, “Yes, I’ll be sure to tell you.” Though she’s certain the girl’s will constantly ask about it. Then all three kids’ eyes go wide. “Dolphins can talk?!” asks Jonaxi.

Zannen is actually quite used to people squealing over meeting dolphins, children and adults alike. He nods to Jonaxi’s question, grinning again at the expressions from all three children. “Aye, they can!” he answers brightly. “Just like I’m talkin’ to ye. A bit diff’rent because their mouths aren’t like ours, but they can all the same. ‘S why some of us can work so easily with them. We can talk about all the stuff that’s happ’nin’ out in the water.”

“Do they talk to you like momma talks to Aki?” Lenali asks, eyes still wide as she looks up in awe at Zannen. Selaine’s lips curl into an amused smile as she glances over at her lifemate, though the green’s eyes display something similar. Thesrov chimes in, “Momma uses her thoughts to talk to Aki. Except sometimes she talks out loud too so we can hear her. But we can’t hear Aki.” He says matter-of-factly.

“Nope! They talk t’me like I’m talkin’ t’you right now,” Zannen answers, crouching down so he’s at eye level with the twins. The dolphineer nods at Thesrov, smiling. “My sister rides a dragon, too. Liareth. But I can’t hear her, either. They only talk to their riders, ‘less they’ve a good reason t’ talk t’ye, too. But my dolphin friends’ll talk to whoever’s kind. I think the lot o’ you’ll do just fine with ‘em.”

If the twins’ eyes could get any wider… as it is, they’re almost popping out of their sockets (not really but, y’know). That paired with open mouths is the epitome of fascinated children. “Yea, momma told as that dragons choose who they talk to.” He’s trying to stay calm and composed but there’s no mistaking the excited glint in the 8-Turn-old boy’s eyes. “Momma, we’ll be able to talk to dolphins!” One of the twins says as if Selaine hadn’t been standing there the whole time. The greenrider grins, “Yes, we’ll see. You have to be sure to be nice to the dolphins.” More squealing. “Alright, you can go back to making your sandcastle now.” Now with all that excitement built up, they need to go spend the energy. “Ok! Talk to you later Uncle Zannen!” The twins grin up at Zannen before grabbing Thesrov’s hands and going back to their sandcastle.

Selaine chuckles as the children walk away before looking over at Zannen. “Thank you for entertaining them. I know they can be a handful, but I figured it would be good for them to meet you before you go about introducing dolphins to them.”

There may be a lot of squealing involved, but Zannen is always willing to tell whomever wants to listen about the dolphins. “Later, you lot!” he calls after them, lifting a hand to wave before he turns his attention fully back to Selaine. “Ye’re welcome. Always a good idea, that. An’ this way, I can let Tiro an’ the others know there’s some who’ll want to meet ‘em when they return.” His head tilts subtly, one brow arching slightly. “That’ll include ye, too, I’m assumin’?”

Excited chatter floats in their direction as the trio start talking about their anticipated meeting with dolphins, even pointing out at the water when one thinks they see the dolphins playing out there. “Tiro? I’m guessing that’s the name of your dolphin?” Selaine had heard that dolphineers develop somewhat similar bonds to dolphins as dragons and their lifemates. “Oh, yes, I’ll definitely be there. I don’t think I’ve ever officially met any of the dolphins here, for as long as I’ve been in Southern.”

Zannen nods, his grin fond. “Aye. My partner. We’ve been workin’ together almost as long as I’ve been here. Eri will like ye. That’s his mom, an’ she tends t’warm up t’women who’re also mothers. Anyway…” He unfolds his arms again, his hands planting on his hips. “Any thoughts on when ye’ll want t’be visiting Ky?”

Selaine’s interest is even more piqued at the mention of Eri. “Oh? I look forward to meeting her then. I suppose the kids aren’t going to be the only ones excited for spring.” A soft chuckle escapes as she turns her gaze out to the horizon for a moment. His question has her thinking for a moment, expression turning thoughtful. “Probably in a sevenday or two when I’ve another rest day. I can send you one of my ‘lizards to let you know when that’ll be when I know for sure if you’d like?”

Zannen nods, though it’s more of a nod to the overall situation than Selaine’s last. “Aye, sounds good to me. Though mayhap I’ll run across ye before then.” There’s the barest hitch of a shrug again. “Winter means more time at th’ Weyr proper, after all. Helps me avoid gettin’ roped in t’helpin’ with the winter fishin’ hauls.” He shudders a little at that, then reaches down to pick up his satchel, shutting it and slinging it over his shoulder. “S’pose I’ll leave ye to it, then, greenrider Selaine.”

“If that’s the case, we may very well run into each other again beforehand,” Selaine agrees with a soft chuckle. Her gaze follows his movements before nodding, “Until then, Journeyman Zannen.” A smile and a wave as he walks off before she goes to join her kids in their attempt at anything that might resemble a sandcastle.

Zannen gives Selaine a little bow, watching her walk off toward her children with a little smirk lingering on his lips. Then he goes about packing up his satchel and slinging it over his shoulder, turning to make his path back toward the docks and the Seacraft complex, a leisurely stroll drawing out his enjoyment of the warm winter day as much as possible.

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