Who

Diya, Zalene (NPCed by T'ral), Jedi, T'ral

What

Diya and Zalene go exploring along the river. Alone. At night. They find a ship. Jedi and T'ral, flying sweeps, spot the ship too and land to check it out.

When

It is night of the fourth day of the third month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Lower Black Rock River

Closer to the Sea of Azov, the winding Black Rock River's water turns darker, greyer as the riverbed itself drops lower forming a wide, lazy river that slowly makes its way towards the inland sea. Through its winding path, Southern's hills rise up on all sides, providing only a few spots down the long length of the lower river where ships may dock and the river's bank touches at water level. Otherwise, towering cliffs provide high vantage points to see across the length of the lower river, towards the Caspian lake and beyond. As the water encroaches upon the river delta that marks the entrance to the inland sea, the waters change yet again, providing a deeper blue hue as the depth only increases.

It is the fourth day of Autumn and 91 degrees. The recent rains have left everything wet and muddy, but the moons shine brightly overhead.


NEAR THE THREADSHELTER

Freed from candidacy without the bladed blessing of a lifemate does not mean free from Thread-preparedness drills: the weyrs still need ground crews, and Thread shelters still need to be prepared and stocked. Which is why Diya's with the small crew out in the hills along the Black Rock River. The afternoon's ground crew drills got postponed due to rain; the rain has finally cleared, but it leaves the night humid and wet, the ground around the Thread shelter muddy. Not the only former-candidate on the crew, Diya has been coaxed some distance away from the shelter itself by one of her former compatriots, a taller and slightly older girl more familiar with the weyr itself. "I do not see what the point of this-" she starts up again, only to be hushed by a, "Hsssst," and a, "if you're not quiet then they won't come out."

The moons are high making visibility good, even in the lush growth along the river. The area is crisscrossed with narrow tracks and, visible through the canopy, a shimmering light that flickers and fades. Blue-white and bright, but fey. Elusive. Zalene, her shushing complete, grabs Diya's hand and pulls her along one of the narrow paths. She murmurs, "They live by the water…" Diya?! Adventures! "Come on! They'll miss us soon." Candidacy. Seven after seven of grueling chores and restrictions. Zalene is clearly glad to be free of all of it.

Thank Faranth for good visibility: Diya may be good at getting around on her own little river, but Southern's lush jungles would be a bit much if she didn't have the advantage of the blue-white light. It washes her out, save for her eyes: they are dark as she frowns, clutches Zalene's hand more tightly, and allows herself to be pulled headlong into ADVENTURES, free once more of the supervision of these last few weeks. "I am trusting you," comes over the snap-crack of a stepped-on branch, "that this is going to be very good, yes?"

Zalene looks over her shoulder, tripping as she does over a root in the path. She yelps and tumbles forward, landing in noisily in the undergrowth. Her eyes go wide and she claps a hand over her mouth, wincing. She waves off any help getting up, looking chagrined. "Well, they're pretty. And you can only see 'em at night. By the river." She beckons Diya along, setting off once again, stepping carefully over the roots in the path, "And how often are we allowed away, at night?" Which begs the question of how Zalene knows about these… these whatever they are in the firstplaces. She leads the way along the path, the glimmering ahead resolving into moonlight reflected off of the river.

"Only at night by the river - my mother would say you have no good for me on your mind, but," this time, at least, Diya's smile is quick-bright in the moonlight, "my mother also told me to be watchful of young men, and also my mother is very-" much not needed to keep being the subject for discussion. Once the older girl has regained her feet, Diya tucks back in behind her with an, "Are you sure you're alright?"

Well. Diya's mother is a wise, wise woman. Because it was a boy showed Zalene the… whatevers. Not that Zalene minded. Technically the two girls aren't allowed away at night right now, but 'away' is so much closer than it normally is. Zalene smiles at Diya, hurrying (carefully) along the trail which has turned along the river. She ducks under a tangle of vines and straightens, stopping in her tracks. "Oh."

Diya doesn't crash, but she does bump into the back of Zalene somewhat abruptly, distracted by her own ducking so that she doesn't immediately notice her companion has stopped. "Oh?" is somewhat trepidatious, as Diya ree-eeaches out to clutch the back of Zalene's shirt while leaning slightly to one side to see around the taller girl. "What is 'oh?'"

Zalene points. There. No words. Moored along the bank, a shallow-drafted ship. The sails are furled. Zalene presses against Diya. All around the ship, near the water's edge, tiny blue-green lights drift, winking on and off.

"It is a ship," Diya's voice is quiet, steadfastly unimpressed — but she is pressing back against Zalene, and her fist is still tight in the hem of Zalene's shirt. She watches the lights, though, and bites her bottom lip before adding, in a whisper, "Is it not supposed to be a ship?"

A night bird's call splits the air, harsh and loud and close. The blue-green lights wink out.

Diya startles, jerking closer to Zalene. "I think - maybe we should return to camp, yes?"

Zalene jumps too, spinning to throw arms around Diya. Squeezing tight she shuffles her feet, slowly turning the both of them so she can see the ship. "Um." She swallows, voice squeaking, "Probably."

Diya, who is the baby of a family of three and whose next-closest sibling is an older sister, totally totally totally ducks her head and buries it against Zalene while they shuffle-shuffle. "Um," she repeats, pulling away just a bit to duck her head out and peek at the ship without staring it down directly. "Yes, okay."

Slowly, slowly the drifting blue-green lights return. Zalene eases up from squnched, heart-thumping startlement, "Huh," says Zalene, arms loosening as she blinks towards the ship. No sign of movement. What's her deal?

Diya is, okay, maybe a little bit intrigued, and maybe a little bit bolder when she has company than if she were all on her lonesome. Which is why, when Zalene doesn't start moving back toward their camp, Diya offers a quiet, "Unless."

Gears are turning nearly visibly in Zalene's mind. She still hasn't let loose of Diya, but is watching the ship and the lights with mouth slightly agape. The moons are high and bright above, shimmering on the sluggishly flowing water of the delta. No movement on the ship. It lists in the water, creaking. The blue-green lights continue to wink on until they are as dense as they were before the night bird gave everyone apoplexy. "Unless what?" Zalene breathes.

"If we - report," that's one of those super grown-up words in concept more than usage, and Diya says it carefully. "What we have seen - it is just a ship, right now. But if we get closer, we could — see. If there is anything else," she takes a deep breath, slightly shuddering, "to report."

Zalene nods very slowly, then faster. Totally. Because this is the smart thing for teenage girls to do. Next up: LET'S SPLIT UP. "I… think that…" she shivers, "It's been quiet here for a while. Or those little lights would, you know," she makes a gesture of 'poof' that is largely ruined and hidden by having arms thrown around Diya. She looks at the ship. At Diya. At the ship. … At Diya.

Let's totally NOT split up, okay. "We should be - very quiet," Diya declares, voice hushed. "Careful. So that the lights do not," she makes a similar poof gesture, also muffled. "I will go if you go."

Zalene nods. Just slowly. Then shuffleshuffleshuffles forward, never letting go of Diya. She squeaks when a bird - presumable He of the Terrifying Squawk warbles. Nearby drifting lights wink out. But not so many. "Wha-what do you think it's doing here?" Everyone had heard stories of bodies in the Weyr. Madness. Cannibals. Felines. And strange lights in the jungle. Not shy, pretty floating lights…

"Being shipwrecked," Diya says, tiny little scaredy-ass pragmatist. "Maybe someone was trying to transport - things. Then got stuck." She is very DETERMINEDLY mundane, isn't she? While she talks — still quiet — she shuffle-steps carefully along in Zalene's wake, more careful this time about where she puts her feet.

And, of course, ghost ships… empty vessels adrift. But they hadn't all been empty, had they? "Uh-huh. Shipwrecked." She nods. Shuffling further. The ship is still far away. The moons have shifted. Clouds drifted in. Out. "Maybe we… should just…" ulp, "Walk." Zalene croaks, her throat dry. Diya first. Totally Diya first. ZALENE has lead the way thus far. She stops, peering around.

"Maybe this is-" Diya starts, then stops again when she ends up out in front. Shuffle-step. Shuffle. "-a bad idea." Step step creep step.

"Uh-huh," Zalene agrees again.

SCREEE-AWWWWWK! agrees He of the Terrifying Squawk.

Zalene yelps, hands clutched to her chest. All the pretty, drifting lights wink out. Diya and Zalene are amidst them now. They aren't so luminous as to cast light, but drift, zigging occasionally as they fade in and out on the night air. On any other night, they'd be lovely. Mesmerizing.

"OKAY NO BAD IDEA BAD IDEA BAD IDEA," comes out WAY LOUDER than Diya probably intended it to, and boy howdy she is in the LEAD this time - trying to drag Zalene back toward the treeline. BAD IDEA. "Wecancomebackinthemorningwithmorepeople."

It's quiet at first, the rustling. Then louder. Louder. A crashing through the brush! The night bird's wings snap and flap as, startled, it flies away, screeching. And Zalene… Diya… the crashing's not coming from back towards the Thread shelter…

MEANWHILE - ON SWEEPS

It's not often that the wings combine sweeps, but when they do, they do it epically. Tonight is one such night, bringing together old and nowtimer, brown and bluerider, Lynx and Serval. At least so far the sweeps have been uneventful! Since they met up to get to work, most messages have, of course, been relayed via dragon or handgestures used to communicate during threadfall or drills - an exercise, Jedi may say, to make sure every gesture is understood cross-wings! As they turn back in toward the Weyr in the humid heat, all seems well, all seems fine. No sign of Thread, and no indication of Threadfall - a good night, all said, it seems!

The desert of his mind lays hot and humid as the moons lay far above. Night is nigh, light is little, and all is silent as it mostly has been between communications. Except for the breathing. Oh, the breathing. « Mine says you and yours are to take the lead. Good practice. » The tenor that is Llioramasith comes out of nowhere, interrupting the breathing, if only for a moment. »

Nowtimer, bluepair, Serval. Southerners. At least as much as anyone (save the mountainfolk) can be, T'ral and Esanth. Rider and dragon trade off watching skies and darkened canopy, following the silver band of the Blackrock back towards home. T'ral signals to Jedi that he'll be taking the lead.

The starscape over the desert is hard and fixed, glittering. Brittle. In response to the brownpair's suggestion, Esanth's wingbeats strengthen. In truth, it's been a long sweep for Esanth, sturdy as he is, he's young yet and not grown fully into his strength. Plus, with Serval's focus on agility, endurance hasn't been a focus. The steady thrum of his mindvoice is fluttery around the edges. « On it. »

The brownpair fall into secondary place without much ado other than an approving signal, eyes kept sharp mainly upon the horizon, but also the foliage below every now and again. The darkness means that dragon-eyes, of course, are the best indicators. But with Belior rising, that will soon change for the dragonriders as well. The water below is etched with dragon shadows. It would be a prettier effect if it were more visible.

Whereas Llioramasith has had turns to work upon endurance, and indeed is even better built for it. « Mine asks if you tire. » A rote question, especially when it comes to dragons that are still working on endurance. A wind whips desert sands into a brief flurry of a sandstorm, and then settles down quickly. »

Grateful for the cooler temperatures and Esanth's keen sight, T'ral is happy to spend the sweep high above the jungle swelter. But it's not to be. The long-eyed blue has spotted something. T'ral and Esanth drift so that the bluerider is visbile to Jedi, silhouetted against the moonlit river. He's signaling. Something vigorous. Descend.

The starscape hard above the desert flickers. Skips forward. Reels back. Shivers. Settles. Cold leaches into the thrumming of Esanth's sending, « Yes. » a spidering frost, clipped and harsh. A signal blips into view, « Spotted something. Taking a look. »

Jedi is quick to acknowledge the signal affirmatively, curiosity piqued by whatever it is Esanth has seen that warrants landing, the brown follows right after. « We follow. » Jedi, once they're below the treeline, doffs her helmet and goggles. "Everything alright?" What was seen is second, making sure all's good with the bluepair is first. Alas, they were so close to being done. Except not really, it just seemed like it from dragonback. The brownrider might be subtly grabbing for her spears, as well.

T'ral peels of helmet and goggles, twisting on Esanth's neck to fish out a hooded glow. A night bird squawks in the distance. The bluerider slips from his seat and pauses briefly in communion with the blue whose sides are heaving. A hand outstretched to the muzzle, Take a moment. Breathe. We'll look around. Esanth keeps his head angled away from Llioramasith and Jedi, but they might have caught the anxious yellow glare of the blue's faceted eyes. It's not hard to see that he's tired. Really. Take it easy. T'ral opens the glow, it's basketed to focus light in a direction. Held aloft in his left hand, the glow illuminates a trampled area along the riverbank. He draws the machete at his hip. "Esanth spotted something." T'ral looks at Esanth, whose head is still angled away.

The brownrider slips off of her dragon quickly, and eyes Esanth even as he’s turned away. “You two are pushing him too hard. Or maybe he’s doing most of the pushing, but either way…” She says quietly. “Lli can keep an eye on the skies, and Esanth can rest for a bit.” The short redhead may not be a dragonhealer, but even she can tell when a dragon’s been working too hard. After a few moments hesitation to grab a pair of spears for them from Lli’s straps, Jedi hands one to T’ral. “I know you don’t know how to use one, but it doesn’t hurt to have one in hand…just in case. Go ahead and lead the way to what he saw..” They’re not the only ones out doing joint sweeps tonight, so the skies are still at least being watched. A good team-building exercise, is that how they referred to it? Then cross-wing team-building they’d do. Llioramasith settles into the mud easily, and keeps a casual eye on the younger dragon.

"Yes, ma'am." T'ral nods and looks with some consternation at Esanth. "Runs himself ragged 'keeping up' when we sweep with browns." Esanth rumbles indignantly, but settles, breathing heavily, steadily. The blue still keeps his eyes trained on the sky. "He'll be okay in a moment." Stubborn runt. Rest, you. Esanth rumbles again. T'ral squints at the dragon, appraising eyes roving as his mind tests Esanth's 'scape. Whatever he finds appeases him and he turns back to Jedi. T'ral sheathes his machete and takes the spear from Jedi, "Pointy end goes thattaway," he gestures forward with the hooded glow held aloft. At Jedi's direction to move ahead, the bluerider pads quietly towards, light spilling ahead of him. Headed seaward, T'ral comes upon a disturbed patch of ground. The undergrowth is cleared away in a small area. He kicks at the ground and churns up ash in the mud and dirt. "Campsite." He peers up and around, swinging the glow back and forth. There's a thicket ahead, and stones. Some sort of game trail that leads away.

“Well, it’d be better if he not… I’d rather we have to go a bit slower than he run himself ragged.” The redheaded firecracker directs a small frown at the younger man, and gestures at the sky. “We need every dragon when Thread comes, and if he’s run himself into the ground trying to keep up..” That statement doesn’t really need finishing, so she doesn’t. At spotting T’ral’s machete, she nods once in approval. Having a machete and two spears along will definitely be an asset should there be need of them. “Can you see anything?” Jedi asks as she follows close behind, her eyes trying to pick out anything in the dark.

“I’m watching him close, Ma’am.” At her concerned look, he peers into the darkness at Esanth, “‘Ragged’ is a bit of an overstatement.” T’ral lowers his voice, looking back at Lynx’s Wingsecond. “It’s more… uh… embarrassment than anything. He gets like this sometimes.” T’ral shrugs, “We don’t get much endurance training in Serval, so this’ll be good for him.” The young bluerider clears his throat, “A path. Pretty narrow. Here,” he hands Jedi the lantern and, assuming she takes it, lowers one of the spears as he moves carefully forward along the narrow track, senses trained ahead. Listening. A night bird screeches again and then… T’ral hisses, holding up a hand, “That was a scream!” He looks over his shoulder, “A woman-” Without waiting for backup, because he totally knows she’s got his back, T’ral charges down the trail, spear at the ready.

"It may be, but I hope you understand my meaning." Jedi chides lightly. "What I said still stands." The Wingsecond seems ready to say something else as well, but the scream cuts her short. What it is is obvious unto itself, and she charges forward to discover just what the source of the sound is; right on T'ral's heels as he knew she'd be. The basket is held high in one hand, and the spear is held at an angle - to avoid spearing T'ral by accident! - in the other. Surprising how short people can run just as fast as the taller ones when it's called for. Crash rustle OUT of the foliage the pair runs….almost right into Diya and her companion. Jedi stares for a long moment, trying to catch her breath. "Are you two alright?" Lucky they didn't skewer them!

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE SHIP

Diya is making her best attempt at booking it, with Zalene's hand clutched tightly in hers and she is in the lead and she is — almost getting run down by Jedi crashing through the bushes behind them. (So, okay, the girls' headlong flight is somewhat less SPEEDY than it would have been on clearer ground.) Zalene shrieks, and Diya comes to an abrupt and undignified stop and stares, wide-eyed and panting (okay maybe hyperventilating. just a little.) "…thereisashipandtherearelightsandtherewasaBIGNOISEandwearebringingbackgrownupsinthemorningsorry."

T'ral pulls up, eye widening, scanning the area for threats. Nothing obvious spotted, T'ral keeps an eye on the strange ships. Jedi asks his first question, but Diya's word salad is near indecipherable. "Whoa, whoa. Wait… Diya?" And the other girl looks familiar too. "Slow down, it's okay," he steps forward slowly, a wary hand put out. "What happened?" Dark eyes keep scanning the area, catching on the ship.

« Khhhhh… Pfffffff… Khhhhhh… Pfffffff…. » Heavy in and out breathing sounds in all four of the group's mental ears suddenly as a large brown (pretty much black in the darkness) head emerges from the foliage as far as it can with a heavy RUSTLECREAKCRASH. He's as far as he can get from this direction, but the brown was having NONE of this nonsense of leaving his rider alone after that screaming. Whirling yellow eyes are the most visible of his features in the darkness. "Lli, you idiot, get your fat ass outta there. Go keep Esanth company." Jedi turns and shoos him…with the basket and her spear. "We're fine. Just…another…ship oh Faranth's fucking flaming crotch of fucking crackdust and fucking shells and fuck-it-all-between-forever." A hand is run through her hair, and she scowls menacingly in the light of the glowbasket. Really, it looks menacing. "We really shouldn't be checking it out at this time of night…it never goes well." She speaks with the force of EXPERIENCE. "Diya, girl. You're both alright, right?" If Llioramasith didn't scare them both to death.

Diya yeeps just a little yeep, because WOAH hello Llioramasith out of nowhere, and Zalene is clutching her tightly and shaking a little, but at least Jedi's all on board with what's going on. Because ship. "There were lights, Zalene said she could show me, the things, they you have to be quiet, but then there was the ship," "We were going back," Zalene pitches back in, and Diya nods. "To the camp. To - tell someone, and come back in the day."

T'ral is still surveying the area when HOLY CRAP! "Stars!" T'ral springs back, "JEDI." Your dragon. The brownrider shoos her fierce 'mate and then is swearing like a Seacrafter (not Nathanael). T'ral recoils a bit from Jedi's swear-barrage, catching her startlement and dismay, turning the spear to and fro as he further surveys the surrounds. "Jedi's right. This isn't a good time to check that out." He flicks a glance towards Lliormasith, "Forbidding dragons or no."

"MEW!"

A muffled, shrill little sound.

"I fuckin' hate these fuckin' ships like fuckin' no one has any fuckin' idea." Jedi's clearly in touch with her pseudo cousin from all this distance. Because channelling swearing…or just how she used to act normally, perhaps, is go! "That fuckin' better have not been a Southern fuckin' feeline." G's are officially dropped. "Fuckin' shards." Jedi doesn't move. An inch. Llioramasith doesn't either, despite the shooing.

"MeeeEEEW!"

"BAD IDEA," is a little bit shrill from Diya, "really really bad idea can we leave on your dragons now please. Instead of. Walking. Back to the shelter?" LOOK AT THOSE BIG SCARED BROWN EYES. Also look at Zalene, nodding EMPHATICALLY behind her.

T'ral pales visibly, even in the darkness. He swallows, backing up and pressing Zalene and Diya behind him, towards those dragons. "Walk, slowly." He gestures down the trail next to Lliormasith's head. He shares a look with Jedi, "That sounds like a baby." Babies mean mommas. Mean mommas.

"MEW!-EEEW!" Two plaintive cries on top of one another. Coming from the ship, of course.

"I've fuckin' met two of those fuckin' beasts up close and personal before. No desire to do so again without proper back up." An apologetic glance is cast at the three. "No offense." But then there's the third mews, and Jedi looks conflicted, being the mother that she herself is. "They sound hungry…" She says hesitantly, exchanging another glance with T'ral.

Diya will just move. Very slowly. Back toward Llioramasith. Not bolting. Nope. No sudden movements here. "If there is enough room in the river, one of the dragons could - land. If you are. Worried." "Diya-" Zalene hisses, and Diya shrugs, eloquent. As long as they can make a clean getaway, man.

CREEEEEEAK. The ship shifts at its mooring.

"MEW!" Louder this time, and a movement on the deck.

"JEDI," says T'ral. Your dragon. "He can totally fit. Lliormasith." T'ral moves to the side, pulling Zalene and Diya with him.

It's the movement at the deck that has Lli moving, and it's not to aid anyone in climbing onto his neck. No, the brown pulls away from the group, and moments later lands a few lengths away from the ship to peer at it. And then he starts crooning. "LLI. THIS IS NOT THE TIME." Jedi hisses loudly. "I DON'T CARE HOW PRECIOUS IT LOOKS IT IS….a baby, really? Awww, poor thing…" CROON goes the brown.

Two babies. The fawny-gray furred cubs tumble onto the deck mewling piteously. Three babies.

"That is - no that is not - where is Esanth?" Let's be PRACTICAL here, because Diya would very much like to be NOT ON THE GROUND FLOOR HERE ANYMORE. "That baby will grow up very large," she adds, hopeful, while Zalene, the traitor-faced traitor, edges around her to ask, "Babies?" because that totally, totally makes it any less of a BAD IDEA. Diya hisses her fellow former-candidate friend's name, disapproving.

"Incoming," says T'ral, by way of warning to the others.

CRASH-KER-CRACK-CRASH-SSSHHHHHH-CRASH.

Esanth has arrived. The starry blue-gray dragon landing close to the group and dipping to offer his neck and shoulders to the girls. He cants a look at T'ral. « Sorry I'm late. » T'ral steps up to the blue, feeling a little better now that Lliormasith is taking an active hand. The brown could munch any danger they might face, even an enraged mother feline. And Esanth here now too. No worries. Right? Right. He thumps Esanth on the chest, a resonant meaty thunk, "You're right on time, pal." He offers a hand up to Diya and Zalene (if she wants to take it), and then steps up next to Jedi, wary still, "Um. What can he see?"

"Three feline kittens." Jedi frowns again, then, and glances at T'ral. "He says they smell…" Her voice drops to a for T'ral's-ears-only murmur, before her eyes turn back to the ship. "Lli. Do you want to get grounded because that's what's going to happen you know." The brown ignores his lifemate, which results in her sighing, and glancing at the other three. "Diya. Girl. You saw lights?" Because apparently this only now registered!

Jedi mutters "He … … smell … firestone." to T'ral.

DIYA will scramble aboard Esanth without any prompting; Zalene takes a little more ENCOURAGEMENT, but ends up onboard too after Diya concedes, "We don't have to leave," because, apparently, being on the dragon himself is enough to allow her curiosity to surface again. "There were lights along the river, and - around the ship? I thought that they were what Zalene was taking me to see."

"It is! They are! It was!" Zalene, sitting behind Diya because TALLER, jabbers, "Tiny blue-green glows that float around." T'ral nods, "Yeah, I've seen 'em. Pretty little things. Shy. Spook at a noise?" He looks at Diya and Zalene. Zalene nods. Stepping forward the bluerider says, "I'm guessing this ship or maybe those lights are what Esanth saw," the dragon rumbles, it shivers up through his hide to the girls. T'ral shakes his head, "But we've seen those lights before, it's nothing to stop over. Oh." T'ral pauses, "Mmmhmm." He nods, "It was the ship, but he wasn't certain."

T'ral mutters, "… … … world would … … … firestone?" to Jedi.

It takes a bit longer for Jedi to mentally pry her curious lifemate away from oogling the kittens, and she looks very frustrated by the time she has. "We'll let the Guard know, and it can be dealt with when there's light outside." She says firmly, more to the brown dragon than to the rest of them as she mounts up on him finally. "Will Esanth be able to carry them both alright back to their camp?"

"Yes, those," Diya adds her voice to the agreement, as well as an enthusiastic nod. It isn't until Jedi TOTALLY AGREES with her about coming back in the daytime that she finally relaxes, though. "That is a very good plan." Less scary.

"Yes, Ma'am." Now that they're slipping back into normal operations, T'ral's propriety reasserts itself. He salutes the Wingsecond and turns to Esanth, clambering up the straps and, fishing spare belts and rings for his passengers. When they're settled, he climbs aboard as well, buckling in, "With your permission, Ma'am, we'll stay too, in case there are felines about."

"MEW!" Thud. There's only one cub visible. Gray-brown fluff disappearing out of aboard the ship.

"We've sweeps to finish first, T'ral. When you're on your own time…" The Wingsecond leaves that wide open. WIIIIIDE open. "Drop those two off," finger wiggles before she jams her helmet back on, "and rejoin us. Ladies, nice seeing you. Try to stay out of trouble."

"Yes," Diya says, and Zalene's "Of course," is nearly right on top of it. There is an attempt at some combination of salute-or-wave from each of them, and Diya's, "You should come back, after your duties are done," is ALMOST but not QUITE lost in the noise of take-off.

Feeling better? Esanth's eyes are back to their customary blue-green, like large version of the floating lights. The thrumming in his mind quiets, « Yeah. » T'ral nods acknowledgement to Jedi, salutes. Esanth trundles forward plotting a path to the skies. To the girls, "This'll be a short hop, but if you want to land, tap my leg three times." He drops Diya and Zalene off at the Thread shelter, reporting ot the groundcrew what they'd seen with a promise to return on the completion of sweeps.

Firestone smelling feline cubs on an abandoned ship. Sweeps were usually boring.

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