Who

Majel, Tasna

What

Casual conversation turns more serious, then sympathetic, then inquisitive, then speculative. Then tentative plans are hatched.

When

It is before sunset of the first day of the tenth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Pens, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Pens

Here thar be pens, in a variety of shapes and sizes fit for all manner of beastie. The largest pens are those housing plump herdbeast for human or draconic consumption. A few of the smaller pens are unoccupied, though there are remnants of their former occupants still evident on ground and fence. The actual pens themselves are made of wood, stick, nail and twine. It's a slap-shod sort of place, kept together by dreams and good luck to hold fast against the winds. In each pen there are troughs for feed and water, and they appear again by the stableside.

It is the sixty-first day of Autumn and 80 degrees. The night is clear, the wind stirring.


Dyxath is a slow, methodical sort of hunter, the sort who prefers to scout out his prey for at least a half-hour before making a swift, exacting move. To say that he's a quick eater would be a very generous statement; he's an hour about the pens this evening before he's indulging in his meal, halfway through messily tearing his way through what was once a hobbling, if robust herdbeast. Some distance away, Majel's leaning against a stretch of fence that surrounds a largely unoccupied patch of ground, half-watching her blue and half-observing the glowing progress of the sunset as it sparkles over the lake.

Tseylath must be of a like mind, though that is probably no surprise by now. He's been hulking outside the main pen for probably ten to fifteen minutes by now as Tasna finally comes down the path, catching up with her hungry lifemate. At first, she seems ready to just set up camp at the nearest likely place, but spotting first Dyxath, then Majel, she aims toward her fellow weyrling instead, waving a hand in greeting once the distance has closed enough. Tas glances over at the feasting blue as she rests her forearms on the bit of fence just to Majel's left, then glances westward toward the sinking Rukbat. Meanwhile, Tseylath continues to hulk, so Tas goes back to watching Dyxath, which is a little more interesting than a brown on reconnaissance.

"Tasna, " Majel greets calmly as the other weyrling draws near, returning her wave with a little one of her own. Dyxath, meanwhile, straightens somewhat over his kill to give a sheepish rumble as he discovers he has a larger audience than before: please excuse the mess. They ran out of dragon-sized napkins at the buffet. A side-glance takes in the brownrider's profile before Majel ventures, "Your choice of rug worked out, I trust?" Her own moving must be progressing smoothly; she's been spending more of her free time up there than in the barracks the past seven.

"Majel," Tasna returns with a small grin, nodding to her before she crosses her arms on the top of the fence and leans more casually. Tseylath, who most likely sent a brief greeting to his clutchbrother earlier, has been silent the last several minutes as he hones in on one particular beast. He bunches down slowly, then leaps into the air, quickly gaining altitude before he begins a slow arc above, readying himself for a dive. Tas watches him, but glances for a second at Majel again, grin a little wider. "Sure did. Should last quite a few Turns, too. Still need something new to go over the entrance, but…" Tone and shrug say enough. She's in no rush. "How about your curtains?"

Muzzle still rather smeared darkly with blood, Dyxath tilts his head to better observe Tseylath's approach and preparation for diving, gaze keenly trained on his brother's technique. "You'll probably want a cover before the next sandstorm, " Majel says unnecessarily, turning her attention briefly to the other's dragon. "They're just what I needed, " is her approval for the recently purchased curtains. "Both are hanging neatly between his weyr and mine. It's slowly coming together. I was going to go down to the stores for a few small bits of furniture, but Nana insisted on buying me a small set of table and chairs from the bazaar as a gift. If I didn't know better, I'd say she had rigged the outcome of the hatching to match her bets." One hand taps idly where it rests on the fence, but her posture remains otherwise casual, hazel eyes glancing from the hunter in the sky to the diner on the ground. "I didn't mind chopping all of that meat, but I think this is - preferable."

Tasna nods once in agreement regarding the cover, then glances at Majel when she mentions the new furniture. After a short laugh, she shrugs, turning back to the pen in time to see Tseylath fell his chosen meal with a rush of air and a whomp of landing. Poor thing never saw him coming. As it should be. The remaining herdbeasts scatter farther away from the feeding dragons. "I'm glad some people other than us came out ahead after all those impressions," Tas comments, turning to lean sideways against the fence now. No need to watch her 'mate eat, though she grins in further agreement to the chopping. "No more scrubbing under our fingernails for the umpteenth time to make sure all the raw meat is gone?" The setting sun begins to glint more strongly off the lake, drawing her attention for a long moment. "I think I lucked out with my weyr. Still a few bits of furniture to get me by. Need a new mattress. Hadn't thought of curtains, though. Bet they'd help in winter."

Dyxath approves of his brother's method of hunting, letting the sense of a curl of fine cigar smoke drift his way before he sets to finishing his own meal. "No more lingering odors of raw meat all over our hands, either, " Majel replies briskly, leaning similarly against the fencing. "I need a mattress, too. The bedroll is adequate for now while I'm still moving, of course, but I think it might be nice to eventually be able to stretch out a little." Dormitory and barrack cots are hardly the roomiest of beds. "I admit my first thought for the curtains was for a stronger sense of privacy more than weatherproofing, but I'm confident they'll suffice on both fronts."

Tasna laughs softly, nodding again. "There's that, too. You know, I've never lived in a space all my own, or even shared with just one person. Probably why I've been in no hurry to leave the barracks," she muses, adding a beat later, "then again, those are getting pretty sparse, too. Time to grow up, I guess." There is a very brief glance toward Tseylath, just as he's dealing with some entrails, cueing a quick look away again. "Besides, imagine having a full sized mattress just for yourself. That's luxury, man," she drawls, giving Majel a crooked smile.

"I haven't, either, " Majel shares after a moment, "but I've always recharged best when left to my own devices - and the two nearest me in the barracks snored dreadfully. It's still a little too quiet in the very back of the weyr at night, even with the murmur of the bazaar sometimes audible. But I'll take that over the snoring any day." There's a half-shrug for the observation that pairs are steadily leaving the barracks, expression matter-of-fact. "I don't see why riders couldn't share living quarters if it were amicable to everyone involved. People can be roommates without being betrothed or handfasted, after all." Amusement plays briefly at the bluerider's features, turning up the corners of her mouth just slightly. "I think it rather would be luxurious, given what we've been used to. I don't know if I'd know what to do with so much space, besides the obvious: sprawling out comfortably to chase as many z's as I could." A shadow briefly passes overhead as Dyxath takes off for the lake to rinse, full and content.

Tasna points at Majel and grins. "Now that is a very good point. Always been a light sleeper, myself, but I guess I just got used to it." Hence the dark circles? "And I think the single weyrs are mostly because of those guys," Tas adds, nodding her chin toward the dragons in time to see Dyxath take off. Then she grins. "It's probably silly, but I can't wait to see what all of them look like full-grown." While she continues to ignore her own, who's now muzzle-deep in raw sirloin. Majel is far easier to watch. Or Dyxath! Baths are good. "Though that means finding out where we're all going to get assigned, too. Also kind of exciting. Still so much to look forward to, you know?"

Majel lifts an eyebrow, attention lingering for a long moment on Tasna's face. "Or you're hoping you've gotten used to it, " she counters wryly after clearing her throat a little. "Wearing us out every day must be part of the plan to ensure we actually get some sleep while we're training. If we weren't waking up every three hours to feed and muck a baby dragon, we're struggling to sleep in a room with thirty-nine other pairs and the smell of raw meat crawling up our noses." There's a speculative, measuring look for Tseylath, then one shaded toward Dyxath's happily bobbing form in the lake. "Large, " she deadpans carefully, borrowing some of her blue's sense of humor. "It seems logical to conclude that they'll both be pretty solid and sturdy. They seem to be well on their way, at any rate. And you're right - there is a great deal left to experience." Including flying Thread for real with the totally realistic possibility of serious injury or death.

Tasna arches a brow at Majel's first wry comment, then laughs, nodding as she accedes the point. "Again with that whole 'what doesn't kill us' motto?" she asks, grinning at the other weyrling before giving Tseylath a glance. Again, though, she's just as quickly looking away. In fact, she turns her back on the pens and leans against the fence. Still training her stomach against this particular scene, apparently. Back to the theoretical! "Large," she agrees all too happily before she starts to grin again. "You can say that again. I mean, experiencing a gold flight just from that whole… in-the-vicinity perspective is one thing, but from what they've been telling this, that's nothing compared to being linked to one of those involved." Who needs injury and death?

"It's held up pretty well historically, " Majel answers, glance following Tasna's to Tseylath. Unlike the other woman, however, she doesn't immediately avert her eyes, watching for a minute more before turning away to continue their conversation. This variety of flesh and blood doesn't seem to bother her much. Being weyrbred and factual, she doesn't blush at the mention of participating in flights, but her shoulders nonetheless hunch inward slightly as she casts another look over toward Dyxath. "I'm glad I didn't end up on a female dragon, " she states evenly. "At least with him, we might get to choose whether or not we'd like to be involved. It won't be a definite occurrence every single time." Her tone says that she really hopes it'll be an occasional inconvenience.

Tasna's own background has remained largely hazy thus far, entirely by her own design, though she's not one to blush and cringe from anything over than the gore fest going on in the pens, and even as far as that goes, there's still the human dinner hour to follow. She hasn't missed one yet. At the mention of female dragons, she laughs easily, eyes widening. "Shells, no kidding. Can you imagine? I do not envy some of our clutchmates, that's for sure. Especially Mayte. Faranth." The last word is quiet and accompanied by a slow shake of her head. "I'm honestly a little afraid to ask her how she feels about all that. Not to mention the idea of coming home smelling like agenothree after every sharding Fall."

Majel can't imagine, says that look that she gives the brownrider, all incredulity and raised eyebrows as her arms fold over her chest. "It'd be worse than going through our courses every month, " she says dryly. "It's challenging enough to navigate that without another constantly fluctuating set of hormones in my head, thanks. I'd prefer to have some say in when - if - how we choose to engage in, " a hand waves between them. "All of that. And inexperience may yet be on our side for a while. The probability that their first attempts will be successful isn't very great." Lips purse faintly when Mayte is mentioned, gaze narrowing consideringly. "The rest of us will come home reeking of firestone. I'm not sure that either is particularly desirable."

Tasna looks amused. Quite amused. "All that," she echoes lightly as she hooks her thumbs into the front pockets of her trousers. "I don't mind that. Not exactly. Could be fun if you let it be, but I don't know how much better it'll be to have their hormones in our heads instead. Just… yeah. The choice thing," she finishes lamely, narrow shoulders lifting in a slight shrug. "I mean… shells. That's just kind of scary to me." Tas is just stock full of confessions today, it seems, followed by, "Firestone isn't so bad. At least it seems to wash off easily. Have you smelled Sadaiya's leathers she wears for Falls, though? I bet that leather would go up in flames if she got too close to the hearth after."

Majel's nostrils flare slightly as she shifts her posture so that one boot can toe lightly at the ground. "I can't draw a conclusion yet as to what that'll be like, " she says at length. "It's a rather daunting concept." Whether she means sex itself, lack of self-control during a flight or what the balance between human and dragon hormones will be like could be anyone's guess. Perhaps it's all of the above; after all, there's really no predictable, orderly set of instructions for these types of interactions. She'd study for it, if she could! "I've had dye stains take longer to wash out than firestone, " she admits. There's a measuring look for Tas: "I can't say that I've sought out her flying leathers up close, no. Do they make them in a flameproof variety, do you think?" Just in case combustion by hearth proximity is a viable thing.

"Daunting, yes," Tasna agrees as she dares another glance over her shoulder at Tseylath. He seems to be getting down to the bare bones by now. Literally. Makes it a little easier to stomach. "I do think, though, there are a lot of things we stress out about in life when… there's little point," she adds, frowning a little when she turns back to Majel, then shrugs again. "I mean… they're going to chase. We're going to end up in 'all that', as you put it. What's stress going to do other than make us miserable along the way?" She stops to grin. "Which isn't to say I'd want to trade Tseylath for Inayalinaeth or something like that," Tas adds quickly. "Just… shells. Life is life, and this is our life now." And after that dish of philosophy, the brownrider clams up finally, squinting against the setting sun to watch Dyxath. Apparently she's come up dry regarding the topic of flameproofed leathers.

"Standing was daunting, but it turned out well enough in the end, " Majel says reasonably. "It was easier the second time. I suppose other experiences might present themselves similarly." More logic, less emotion. Hopefully it continues to stand her in good stead. "Or Faenwyth, " is added if they're compiling a list of dragons they wouldn't trade their lifemates for. "It's strange, but it seems like we really were - meant for one another, as odd of an concept as that is. Dyx and I - I just can't imagine what it would have been like with anyone else." Deep affection warms her tone and expression, particularly as the blue in question wades out of the lake and glides back toward them, dark hide glistening.

Tasna's expression might hold a hint of amusement at Majel's steadfast logic, but she doesn't comment until she nods after the other's statement about being meant for their lifemates. "Same. Absolutely," she readily agrees, glancing over her shoulder once more at Tseylath. The brown has left little behind for the herders or drudges to clean up later, though there's been enough time for certain aromas to begin wafting over from both Dyxath's and now Tseylath's kills. The brown takes his brother's place in the lake, dutifully rinsing away the traces of carnage. "For that matter, I don't think I can really imagine or remember anymore what it was like before. Not really. Like… impression reached back through my memories and entwined him there." Tas? Not a poet.

"It's a complicated venture that really can't be explained to anyone who hasn't experienced something like it, " Majel says slowly. "I'm starting to understand why I've always been told that." Surely the people she asked as a child didn't use quite so many words to say that it's a mystery best discovered on your own. "I had thought about leaving the bazaar after, " she admits, "even if he hadn't tripped and looked up at me when he did." Those pre-Impression turns are strangely hazy for her, too, if her subsequent frown is anything to go by. "I think I know what you mean. I try to remember what it was like without him being in my head, and I can't. I can retrieve memories of things I did beforehand, of course, but he's right there reliving it with me, injecting his own impressions into the feelings associated with those events." Definitely not a poet, either. She's too precise.

"Exactly," Tasna replies quickly. Poetry or not, she's right there. So much so that she leaves it be while watching Tsyelath scrub at his muzzle. She could be helping him, of course, but it's not like he got beef guts on his back… hopefully. After several seconds, Tas turns back to Majel and asks, "Why were you thinking of leaving? If you don't mind sharing, of course."

Majel's arms uncross, posture unfolding a little; this topic, at least, has already been talked out some time previously with others. "It's a valid question. I don't mind, " she replies briskly. "The tailor I had worked with for a while - who I was almost partners with, I suppose - wasn't pleased that I had accepted Dhioth's endorsement for a second candidacy without consulting him first. I couldn't have continued there even if I had been observing the proceedings from the galleries next to Nana for the umpteenth time anyway; he wasn't the best sort to work with. A few more turns of working there and I probably could have bought him out or set up my own stall, but other occupations seemed infinitely more useful for having a helpful impact as we're in the very early part of a pass." A shoulder lifts in a half-shrug before she raises an eyebrow at the other weyrling. There's her reasoning.

Tasna takes all that in with a silent, studios approach, nodding once or twice during Majel's explanation. In the end, though, Tas is just full of more questions, and after a brief glanced toward Dyxath, she turns back to the other weyrling to ask, "What sorts of occupations? I can relate on… some tiny level, I guess. Used to bartend, but…." She trails off, shrugs after a moment, and grimaces. "It all kept feeling like I was casting my net in the wrong ocean and coming up empty. No purpose to it. Or… not enough is what I really mean. Maybe." Her jaw works a moment as she mulls over some of the other things, boots scuffing against the sandy soil. "As for that tailor, screw him. I'd guess he's the sour guy who was watching us when we were in the bazaar the other day?"

Dyxath, who's been sitting a short distance away during the most recent change in topic, whuffles in the humans' direction, radiating the languid sort of contentment that follows an excellent meal. "Not enough of a purpose, " Majel agrees quickly. "That's quite accurate, in my case. It wasn't feasible to do something like apply to Healer Hall at that stage, but I figured pulling extra rotations in the infirmary as a candidate would at least let me pick up some fundamentals." It's just as well the career didn't pan out when she was younger: her bedside manner would probably leave much to be desired. "I did consider asking Prineline if I could work with her, too." The no-nonsense style no doubt appealed. There's a sharp nod; "Neb still hasn't quite forgiven me, " she confirms. "I've been meaning to go see him and try to reconcile so that he doesn't try to cut me off from all of the suppliers. I can't let my fitting skills go to waste, whatever my future role here."

"You could always help out some from-the-bottom-up weyrlings who are just trying to get started in the big, bad rider world," Tasna drawls, tone teasing though her expression is too sincere for her words to be entirely in jest. She shifts her lean against the fence as Tseylath climbs out of the water, proving once again that not all his dusty look is truly dust. "Infirmary, huh?" she asks musingly a moment later. After another second's thought, she asks, "Have you asked Yukie about that? I'd think they'd want all the riders they can get with even just the basic skills learned. Kind of want to touch up my old first aid training, myself. Or did you mean more than that?" Again, full of questions. "Or did all that change once Dyxath found you?"

"I'd have to be qualified in big, bad rider world navigation, first, " returns Dyxath's evenly. "That's something that time will have to cure." There's a small grimace in answer for whether or not she's yet consulted Yukie. "That's actually what I spoke with the headwoman about while doing those extra rotations, truth be told. It was, and still is, my opinion that candidates and weyrlings alike would benefit from the additional training. We can all scrub a fresh scrape with redwort and wrap it up well enough to get by, but it seems sensible to know a little more than that to be prepared for when we're out in the field. It could take a little while for a healer to get to us or vice-versa depending on the scenario, even with between to factor in." There's a look shared with the silent, dark blue before she continues, "Learning how the different types of formations work has been equally fascinating. The sheer amount of strategy that has to be involved is impressive and has increased my respect for what wingleaders and their seconds have to understand to be efficient at their jobs." And she doesn't use that term lightly, as the large bundle of notes back at her weyr might attest. Flying Thread: the ultimate game of chess.

Tasna worries her lower lip for a moment, again needing a few extra seconds to take in Majel's statements and information. Once she does, though, she gives the other weyrling a long, speculative look, though whatever the reason, she keeps it to herself and pushes away from the fence at long last. A couple tugs here and there have her uniform sitting nicely after the slouching. Wouldn't do to get chewed out for looking shabby. "I might bug Yukie about the first aid stuff. It was part of my apprentice training, uh… a long time ago." Try centuries. "Could see who else has training, and go from there." She stops to grin. "Maybe we could get the whole class on the up and up and be big damn heroes, and all that. But for now, want to head back and grab a bite to eat?" Tas asks, hooking a thumb unnecessarily back toward the Weyr. Tseylath shares a single, quiet thought with Dyxath to the tune of digesting his own meal up on his ledge, then takes to the air without his rider. By Tas's expression, she was expecting it.

Majel catches that speculative look with a silent eyebrow arch; she wears it often, herself, so it pings in her consciousness as something of note to be filed away for further evaluation. Likewise, she steps away from the pen they've been chatting against and gives a crisp tug or two to the bottom of her uniform shirt; much better. "I think she'd like that, " the bluerider says of Yukie, dusting her hands off with measured movements. "If we make it back alive from our first time actually flying in a fall, I think we'll already fulfill that requirement on some level. The dragons aren't exactly small." Why yes, she just took that concept literally. As the brown retreats to his ledge, Dyxath curls a tendril of foggy farewell his way before getting to his feet. He lingers, though, blue-green eyes turned onto his own rider, who gives Tseylath's a nod and a simple, "Surely, " for the invitation.

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