Who

Zetali, Xanthee

What

Xanthee and Zetali run into each other for a chat about a bit of everything.

When

It is midmorning of the nineteenth day of the seventh month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Training Grounds, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 20 Nov 2018 05:00

 

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"Of course the pressure on me has just multiplied by a million,"


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Training Grounds

Here, a wide and spacious field, devoid of all but more of the glare of ubiquitous, fine white sand of Igen: not even a blade of grass dares lift its head against centuries of clumsy draconic antics. To one side, ever-present firestone bins are set, kept supplied by many a hand, while agenothree tanks line the curving angle just outside the barracks, primed and ready for use. Very often, a glimpse of classes in session or dragonets at play may be caught under the open sky under the watchful eye of diligent Weyrlingmasters and older dragons.

It is the seventy-ninth day of Summer and 109 degrees. It is hot. Hot, hot, hot. Rukbat bakes the desert. Temperatures soar.


There's no rest for the weary or the wicked, or so the saying goes, and that holds doubly true for the weyrlings! Life becomes an endless whirlwind of cleaning, oiling, firestone bagging, drills, chores, physical training, and drills. There are other things in there, too, but this is what her life has become. Today finds her in the training yard, pantomiming with her hands the positions of a drill, squinting against the harsh glare of the white sand. Odskovith lounges nearby, half-dozing in the sun and freshly oiled, which probably explains why Zetali looks sweaty and disheveled, but there's work to do! There's always more work to do, and Zetali has risen from slightly awkward Senior Apprentice Harper to a diligent, driven, and steel-true Weyrling with a lot more dedication to duty than she originally seemed like she might have had. Drills are a constant! Thread doesn't sleep, after all! …But maybe she probably should, once in a while.

There's always work to be done when you're a weyrling, doubly so if you're sporting a shiny new Weyrling Wingleader knot as Xanthee is doing. Dressed in black short shorts and a tank of yellow, the greenling is jogging in from the North Bowl, raven runnertail bouncing behind her, a healthy sheen of sweat on her brow, cheeks rosy from her exertions. Over her shoulder, Liowyth glides in shallowly, her oversized wings flipping to aid a landing not far from her brown sibling, alighting with nary more than a mild bump as she settles and furls pale wings to her back. With a soft croon, she moves over to Osdkovith to butt his cheek gently with her nose, testing his willingness for a cuddle. For her part, Xan is slowing her pace as she comes upon Zetali, coming to a walk before long and fianlly stopping next to the brownling with a smile. Reaching for her waterskin slung over one shoulder, she takes a deep drink before attempting a breathless, "Hey!"

The brown Odskovith looks like he'd been well on his way to a nap while his lifemadde indulged in more boring things, but at the headbutt to his overscaled jowls, his eyes unlid a little, whirling a contented green-blue, managing a sleepy warble. Dragon hugs! He is totally down for dragon hugs. He is the loveable and huggable Odskovith, after all, and comfortingly squishy to cuddle. Zetali, meanwhile, blinks the glare away and turns, arching brows at the approaching greenling. "Xan!" She even lifts an arm in a half-hearted wave. It's hot. Where's her waterskin? At her belt. She's wearing a loose tunic of screamingly yellow that looks like it's been mended too many times, and shorts of faded but serviceable black. Hot-weather clothing. "Hey. I was just going through the latest drills again. I want to be sure that I understand, even if he doesn't always." She tosses her chin and Odskovith, who manages such a piteous warble that she can't help cracking a grin for her dragon. "Aaah, don't worry, love, you're gonna be the bestest at drills by the time we're out of weyrlinghood." To Xanthee, she offers a bright grin. "I see you have a new knot, there," she sing-songs, grin broadening. "Congratulations. I'm glad to see it on you."

Liowyth takes the brown's warble as her cue to snuggle right up next to him, her own fluffy (never chubby!) build matching his in snuggeable factor. With a heavy sigh, she drapes her head over his neck and tosses her tail overs his as her own lids start to droop over softly whirling eyes, her mindscape plush with pink clouds in thanks to Odskovith for being so accomodating. Xan has to chuckle at that and shakes her head a little bit, wondering at her green's preference for her brown brother and what it could mean with mating flights quickly becoming a soon-to-be reality. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I could do the drills in my sleep by this time, but I'm still practicing every single day. It's not like we cal be too prepared when the alternative is the unthikable." She shoots a sympathetic glance at the brown for his piteous warble, before turning her attention back to Zetali, cheeks reddening further as she blushes when her fellow weyrling points out the knot, "Thanks, it came as a bit of a shock, but super proud to be chosen. Of course the pressure on me has just multiplied by a million, but I'm sure I can handle it."

The brown dragon heaves a sigh of his own, stirring up dust and the finest of white sand. His mindscape is the contented plush of velvet and the brush of silk; bright colours a little muted in his sleepiness. He tosses a wing over the smaller dragon and lets his eyes lid again, half-dozing in the sun and warmed by the sand. It's the perfect naptime formula. Cuddles, warm sand, hot sun. Zetali only shakes her head. "Lazy," she sighs, but the admonishment is pure affection. He certainly hasn't been lazy in drills and in weyrling work; his enthusiasm is bumbling, sometimes, but one can hardly fault him for that enthusiasm. He tries, and he tries very hard. Also, very awkwardly. "I think I am doing them in my sleep most of the time," Zetali mumbles, though it's good-natured. "Yeah. Point is, we can do it in our sleep if we have to. If we can't think our way through it, it'll be instinct." That doesn't make it any less boring, but oh well. She grins in the face of Xanthee's furious blush. "Aaah, you only have to look after all us bumbling weyrlings and make sure we don't get eaten up by Thread." She shrugs, elabourately, good-humoured. "No pressure, right? And if there's anything you need, you know I've got your back. And Liowyth's, too!" Odskovith unlids an eye, just a little, and rumbles his own acquiesce. It's a little like sitting on top of the resonant chamber of a drum, the way he vibrates. He probably has a fantastically loud roar at this point of his growth. "And Odskovith, too. Right, dear?" The brown huffs a contented sigh that… might be an acquiesce? "He does. Really. Anyway, congratulations. We should celebrate later, you know? When we have two minutes." Ha, ha. You're a comedian, Zetali. "I just hope I can keep pulling my weight. I feel like I've barely had time to catch up with anybody." She grins. "I see drills when I close my eyes. Not that that's a bad thing, I guess."

Liowyth only cuddles closer when the brown's wing folds over her, eyes completely closes as her body heaves against Odskovith with a contented sigh. Xanthee chuckles when Zetali calls her brown Lazy, shaking her head, "Nah, I've seen you too. You work as hard as the rest of us. And they're still growing. As big as they are, they still need that extra sleep to deal with that." She notes in a tone fairly reminiscent of the one their AWLMs like to use. The smile on her lips brighten as she nods at Zetali's next, "I think that's the idea, drill it till every reaction can be made in a split second." Exhaling heavily, Xanthee can almost feel the weight on her shoulder the new knot brings and she hasn't even led her wing in Fall yet. "Yeah, right…no pressure at all." Running her hand through her hair, she snag the tie for her runnertail and shakes out raven locks, "Thanks though. I'll need all the support I can get. Vosji mentions she leaves the choice of Wingseconds up to the Assistants, so she couldn't even tell me who they are yet." Tilting her head to one side, she smiles at the brownling, "How's the weyr? And I know what you mean, the only people I see are you guys and Mal, but that's only cause he's moved in." She'll drop that little bomb with a coy smile.

"He's not really lazy, no. Oddy earns his naps, and he's been doing so well with the drills. I have to prompt him sometimes but he knows right what to do once he gets moving." Zetali folds her arms, glancing over her shoulder. "He doesn't do anything in half-measure. I guess that includes sleeping, too. If dragons didn't know their own names I'd almost think he's the Sforzando, not my fire-lizard." She shakes her head, reaching up to rub some life back into her face. "I wish I could sleep with his enthusiasm. There's a lot to do… but don't worry. You've got this. You can't fail with a big lug like that pulling for you." The former harper grins, thumbing back at the dozing brown. How's the weyr? "Quiet," she admits, disgruntled. "And lonely. It's so quiet I'm having trouble sleeping. I think I got used to Ja'un's snoring." Was he actually snoring? Beats her, but he's a convenient target to pin it on! "I guess I have to make do with Oddy shuffling around in his—what?" Up goes one brown brow, and then the other, vanishing into her ragged bangs. "Really? Oh, I'm so happy for you!" She even bobs on the balls of her feet, clapping her hands gleefully. "Heehee, that's great! What's Mal think of Liowyth? And vice-versa?"

Xanthee listens intently, nodding at appropriate intervals as Zetali goes on about sleep of the lack there of, and grins brightly at her reaction to her news, emerald eyes dancing with obvious glee for the situation herself. "Thanks, yeah. It went about as I guessed. Got my weyr, off the Lake Shore," Thank Faranth for having connections in high places for that one, "Got the basics, a dresser, a chair from stores, and this really neat bed I got a great deal from a woodcrafter in the Bazaar. Had him over that night, seeing him for the first time since I was Searched…." She sighs heavily as she slips briefly into that sweet memory for a moment before returning her focus on Zetali. "I will be honest, his meeting Liowyth, had me in tears. It was like the two halves of my hearts finally meeting." Her green eyes are brigtening just thinking about it and she fans at her face in hopes of drying them. "She spoke to him! Said that is he makes her happy then she's happy." Now her voice is choking and Xan hold up a finger cause she needs a moment.

"Oooh, I'm so happy for you! I wasn't too picky about where I got put, now that we can fly, so my weyr is over the North Bowl. I can't really complain too much. It's peaceful up there. Sometimes I like to sit on the ledge with Oddy and watch the sun go down, or come up, if I'm not busy at dusk or dawn." Zetali gestures as though to indicate the sky. "Nice to see it go down when it's this hot, too. At least there's some relief from the heat when it's dark." She tilts her head, though, folding her arms and grinning at Xanthee's recounting of the two halves of her heart meeting. "That's great. Really. .I'm so happy for you, Xan! And Mal, too. And Lio. One big happy family, huh? I guess it's just me'n Oddy, for now, but that's okay by me." There is, from the pile of tangled dragons, a soft sleepy warble and the soft brush of the richest, most sinfully soft velvet imaginable. Happy dragon is happy, and maybe he even lets some of that velvet brush the edges of Lio's mind for Xan's behalf — not really bespeaking the raven-haired rider so much as offering comfort through her dragon, because being a big squishy source of comfort is hard-wired into Odskovith. Zetali even manages an awkward pat of one of Xan's shoulers. "Heehee. Well, I haven't really had anyone, before, so it's just me'n Oddy. Nothing wrong with that, though." Reaching up, she laces her arms behind her head, doing her best to ignore the sun beating down and smiling brightly. "Threadfall's pretty horrifying, I won't lie. But I feel like I can take on all the Thread in the world when it's me'n him together. I mean, not… uh… not taking crazy risks or anything, just… confidence, I guess. I feel like I can do it. No matter what 'it' is."

Xanthee finally manages to compose herself without completely falling to pieces, as she chuckles, "Thanks, As you can see, I'm pretty happy about it myself. And you're right, we are a family, and it's the sharding best feeling in the entire world." Ok, enough gushing now Xan. Liowyth passes on Odskovith's touch to her rider in her half-slumbered state even as she creates out of her rosy clouds a stuffed animal version of Oddy which gets cuddled into a nest made of clouds with a cloud blanket to cover him. Xan grins at all the warm feelings eminating from her green although she cranks the intensity down a few notches because it's starting to make her want to cuddle up with someone and nap. "Well you never know, now that we're free to actually look at each other as more than fellow weyrlings…" she trails off impishly before adding, with a lazy flick of her fingers, "And mating flights are right around the corner. Might as well find someone to practice with. I know some of us have already paired up…" Xan loves to dangle a juicy bit of gossip to see if she gets a nibble. She does sober though when the talk returns to Threadfal, nodding with a heavy sigh. "I know what you mean. It still amazes me that I'm actually doing it. It…kind of makes me feel closer to my mom in some way, like we have something connecting us and for that alone It's one of the best things I've ever done."

"Family is pretty great." Zetali manages a fond half-smile of her own. Out of seven siblings and supportive parents, it's nice to know she'll always have a place to go back and visit, someday, when she isn't drowning in weyrling duties. "I used to get so aggravated, sometimes, having my older sibs always nosing into my business, but you know, I almost miss it a little. I can't wait to go home and show off Oddy and tell them all about life in the weyr." Not yet, though. There's just too much to do! Mention of mating flights makes it Zetali's turn to flush, and not just from the heat. "Oh, Faranth. I forgot all about that." Not that the Weyrlingmasters would have let her forget forever. As Xan confirms, they're right around the corner. "Yeah…" And as Xan dangles that impish line in front of her, her head twists a good ninety degrees, squinting at the greenrider obliquely. Given how collected and competent Zetali tries to come off as, her complete and blatant bafflement is probably pretty comical. "…Ugh. Wait. Some of us are already paired up?" Why yes, she is going to leap upon that bait like a half-starved dragon on a nice fat herdbeast. "Who's already paired up? Aw, c'mon, Xan, you can't leave me hangin'…!" Threadfall, however, is a dash of cold water. "Yeah. Makes me feel… I don't really know. Like I'm doing something that matters. More than just plucking strings or shaping wood." She manages a half-smile, a little melancholy. "I'm glad you get to feel closer to your mom, though. Really. I know how highly you think of her… I think you said she was a brownrider, right?"

"I'd welcome some siblings nosing into my business actually," Xanthee comes back with a grin. "In fact, that reminds me. I need to visit Southern as soon as we learn how to between there. I gotta show Amani and Evka my new knot! They are going to freak! And I'm going to try and see my half-sister there as well, Elonoora, she's this AMAZING journeywoman baker! She introduced herself…with a cake!! Maybe, now that I have Liowyth, I should finally go and meet my other siblings. Would be nice to meet them finally. I know there's a lot. Of course, I have Maize here, but he's just a toddler now." Uh oh, she's babbling, has she forgotten the gossip she so taunted Zetali with? Not a chance. Her lips turn up secretively at the corners, as she leans in close to the brownrider and whispers just for her ears along. "Ja'un and Khali! They kissed shortly before we got our weyrs and I would bet all my marks that they've been spending a lot of time in each other's weyrs. But you didn't hear it from me." she warns as she presses a finger to her lips. At Zetali's last, she nods, her smile retreating to one more wistful. "She was. Iyrith was his name. I still have vague flashes of him. That's why browns are my favorite." A disgruntled grumble rises from her green, as she quickly back peddles, "Besides Liowyth, who is the best green on all of Pern." She recites with a chuckle, although it does soothe Liowyth back to her nap.

"You'd welcome it until it starts happening. Then it's like the thing that wouldn't go away." Zetali waves a hand dismissively at the topic, although her amusement seems to be mostly good-natured. "I don't mind too much, though. I'm sure they'll be all over Odskovith once I go back. I'll have to ask them not to try to climb him…" The brown dragon gives a sleepy rumble that might be a draconic 'whatever,' and knowing him, he probably wouldn't mind too much anyway. "That's a lot of siblings," she adds, whistling through her teeth. That's okay. The wild Zetali can be patient about certain things, waiting for a juicy tidbit like a patient tunnelsnake hunter… and there it is! Zetali folds her arms, canting her head to one side. "That so? I guess I'm not that surprised. Those two always spent a lot of time around each other, and Khali practically hangs on him when they're in a room together… oh, I won't tell anyone, don't worry about that. Who am I gonna tell, anyway? I'm up to my eyeballs in drills. Odskovith is up to his eyeballs in drills, and he's a fair bit taller than I am!" Zetali spreads her arms for emphasis, letting them fall to her side, one hand resting at a hip. At her statement that browns are Xan's favourite, there comes another sleepy rumble from Odskovith, and he opens an eye to fix those slow-whirling, sleepy eyes on Xanthee. «I like being brown, too. I'm the bestest at being brown.» Zetali giggles. "He says he likes being brown, too. And says he's the 'bestest' at being brown. Yes you are, dear heart." Her smile turns a little wistful, though it may be more sharing in Xanthee's mood than anything else. "Iyrith, huh? That's a nice name, too." «But not as nice as Odskovith.» "Not as nice as Odskovith, no." She glances back to the dragon-pile, grinning more earnestly. "Hey, for what it's worth, I think Liowyth's the best green on all of Pern, too! You know what? They're all the best. All colours, all dragons. Because without any of them, where would we be…?"

"Yeah, Pa's around somewhere, haven't seen him since before the Hatching. He didn't understand why I wanted to stand if there wasn't a gold egg. He's never had a high opinion of women on fighting dragons. Although he seems to take enough of them to his bed." Woah, rein in the snark there Xanthee. "Maybe it's just his daughters he objects to riding. I don't know. We're not what you'd call close at all. And enough of that topic…" the greenling drawls as she dismisses it with a symbolic wiping of her hands. "He knows where to find me." And it's dropped. "And yeah, I wasn't surprised either to be completely honest, the way she would get soooo annoyed about every little thing. At least they have each other to practice with." Her voice drops again, with some sympathy, "If you can't find someone to practice with, I know of some highly recommended escorts in the Zingari who are experts at helping the inexperienced in that way." She'll just put that out there, not judging one little bit. Zetali's last has her grinning again as she nods, "It's so true."

"I guess I never really thought much about it, myself. I never really had time, and since I never had any family in or around Igen Weyr… well." Zetali shrugs. "Da's always been pretty reasonable, though, so I don't think he would have a problem with it. But you never know." Most of the time, though, she just didn't pay much mind to the issue of dragons. It's not an issue that ever came to her, before she came to the Igen Weyr. She folds her arms and watches Xanthee dismiss the subject, both figuratively as much as literally. "Yeah. Honestly, it was a surprise to me that she Impressed… I mean, far be it for me to gainsay what they think is right for them, but I never thought she had it in her. Weyrlinghood is brutal!" That, with feeling. Which leads into her tilting her head at that ninety-degree angle again at mention of escorts. Her expression slides into something more dubious. "Y…yeah?" Is she blushing? She's totally blushing. "Well, sure. I'd… uh… meet them, I guess, if you think it'll help…" Nice save, on the all colour dragons comment, there! Oh yeah. Diplomacy. It's the best. "Some more than others, I guess. Isn't that right, Oddy?" …One can practically hear little heartbubbles in her tone.

"Well i guess you'll find out when you go visit them. But I can't see them being anything but proud of you," Xanthee replies with conviction before taking another draught of her water skin before she pours some over face to cool it in the afternoon sun. "Who Khali? I don't know. I was more surprised Ka'ge impressed to be honest. I still haven't really talked to the guy. And then there's I'dre…" she whistles softly as she trails off on that subject. "I think I'm going to be in for more than I bargained with this new knot of mine." She remarks with a bit of a weak chuckle. "I'll ask around for you and see what exactly the process is. I think some just like to talk and get to know you first, or so I've heard. But I've never heard anyone have a bad experience." Canting her head in the direction of Liowyth who is soundly asleep now, happily twined with Odskovith, Xanthee makes a decision, "Well I'm going for a swim. I need to cool off before afternoon classes and drill. You wanna come with?" She asks with a querying brow hiking up her forehead.

"Aw, thanks." Zetali grins, genuine, folding her arms in front of herself. "I really missed harping while I was in the barracks, but I didn't want to introduce him to the lute until I could keep it somewhere he couldn't get to it. Those things are delicate." Discussion turns to other clutchmates, and Zetali's grin turns a little dubious. "Ehhheheh… yeah. I'm not sure what to make of I'dre, either. He seemed nice enough the night we all Impressed, but I just don't know. And Ka'ge…" Her expression outright sours. "I'll work with him when I have to, but that's it. Something about him really sets my hackles up, if you know what I mean. I don't know how he Impressed." A shrug. "Oh well. Swimming?" Zetali's turn to arch her brows. Is she… quailing a little? "I… I guess these two will be fine, here." She jerks her chin toward Odskovith. "And, uh. You, uh, you know I can't swim, right…?" Poor Zetali. There's a first time for everything…!

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