Who

A'dan, Veresch

What

After a tense meeting in the Cantina, Veresch goes looking for A'dan and an explanation.

When

It is late evening of the sixteenth day of the third month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

North Bowl, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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North Bowl

In the quieter spaces of the Northern Bowl, there is less activity; all is kept serene for young, forming draconic bonds. Beneath the sweep of skies' ever-changing colors, this round little panorama hosts the short distances between the Hatching Cavern and the weyrlings' ultimate destination: the barracks and training grounds. More packed dirt and tiny little hillocks than clean white sand, the floor is an uneven thing, a startling trap for the unwary and the clumsy. Further onward, the Ground Weyrs beckon, a haven for those who may seek medical attention.


Narloth is a dark mass, indistinguishable from the rocks and drifted swells of windblown dirt and sand, save for the luminescence of deep blue faceted eyes slowly blinking in a head settled atop folded paws. Stars glitter above, moonlight bright enough to see by. A'dan is sitting bundled on a tumble of rocky boulders, staring into the distance off towards the Barracks.

It's some time since their earlier meeting at the Cantina, which makes it even later for the girl to be out and about. It took her some time to track down a dragon in the dark, okay? Nevertheless, Veresch's steps are crisp and her posture straight as she wanders in their direction, cuddled into a thick cloak and with her eyes slightly narrowed. "Good evening," she greets the pair; though her eyes can only see A'dan's profile, it's a fair guess the bronze is around here somewhere.

Picked out against the sky, A'dan's profile is clear. Narloth's, less so, but the bronze's senses picked up the girl long before A'dan's. The crisp steps carry well in the cold, dry air. A'dan tilts his head as if to hear the approaching steps more clearly, but doesn't turn his head to see. Narloth shifts, a soft rasp as wingsails shift and realign. "It's later," rumbles the bronzerider.

A man's steps are as distinctive as a face sometimes, and there's no mistaking the girl's identity for anyone else. "I know," she says calmly as she crosses the last few strides to be at his side, and sinks down on the rock a little bit away. It's then that she sees the bronze, and utters a courteous "Good evening, Narloth" before her attention swings back to the assistant weyrlingmaster. "What was going on in the cantina before? You seemed really offended by something. Surely not just a Candidate?"

A man's steps are as distinctive as a face sometimes, and there's no mistaking the girl's identity for anyone else. "I know," she says calmly as she crosses the last few strides to be at his side, and clambers up the set of boulders - in the dark! - to sink down a little bit away. It's then that she sees the bronze, and utters a courteous "Good evening, Narloth" before her attention swings back to the assistant weyrlingmaster. "What was going on in the cantina before? You seemed really offended by something. Surely not just a Candidate?"

A'dan is silent as the girl clambers up. Narloth rumbles a greeting. A'dan, not so much, "Do your parents know you're out?" He shifts, turning his head to look briefly at the girl where she's settled. An intent blinking regard under a furrowed brow that shadows A'dan's eyes - eyes visible only as hard, glittering glints. And then his gaze is slewing away, back towards the barracks. "'Just' a Candidate? They are Candidates." His tone imparts the title with resonant gravity.

It's the tone of voice that gets her, really, dismissive and then glorifying. "As hard as it might be for people to understand, I do have a job that I do, and whilst I'm sure my parents … care that I'm safe, they do not give me a curfew any longer." Veresch breathes in, breathes out. "A Candidate goes to the lavatory like anyone else," she finally gets out. "Are you … oh, Faranth, are you sitting out here watching them? Are you, like, on guard against one of them sneaking out right now?"

"Who. Who has you out running this late?" There's a narrowing of eyes and another brief glance. The ponderous head turns, "Have you been to a Hatching, Veresch?" He shifts in his perch, pulling the blanket closer.

Veresch's lips press into a thin line and her head bends a little. "I'm out here this late because I'm worried about you. You were a snarly runt back there in the Cantina, and I was worried something might be wrong." She sighs and pinches her nose. "Yes, I've been to a Hatching before. Why do you ask?"

A'dan skips right over the first, because all will be explained. "And have you ever heard keening at a Hatch. Do you know what that would mean?"

"That is unkindly asked," the girl says after a while. "I know what it would mean, of course. I know what it means in general as well. That one of them is dead, right? A dragon, or a dragonet. I get your point that it would be a tragedy, but I don't see what that has to do with you sitting out here staring at the barracks the whole time, and being rude to Pim and myself." Not that bronzers tend to explain themselves at any time, really. "Are you afraid someone's going to knife a Candidate because he's out for a drink?"

"They're born knowing their names." Non sequitur time. Well… weak sequitur time. "Dragons. They have voices and amazing visions to share with one person. One." He holds up a finger. "So. Yes. I do worry that a Candidate might get hurt. I do worry that they might be out for a drink." This is against the rules. "Because I never want to see a little dead body on the Sands again." He turns away, there's a tension in his frame that speaks of clenched jaws, and tight pronuciation that follows supports this, "They're too young to go ::Between::," he explains, "They just croon and stumble and shiver and cry until they give out and collapse." He sniffs, swiping at his face, "No one ever hears their names. No one ever experiences their minds." So. Yeah. He's watching.

For a moment, just a moment, Veresch is massively confused. Hatchings are celebrations of great joy where she comes from, not tragic. Then, as if her mind unspools, the knowledge of the last seven spent snooping in the Archives clicks, and it's as if understanding pours in. "I'm … really in the wrong time, aren't I," she manages to get out as she turns towards A'dan, reaching to swipe at the wetness she suspects is there with her thumb. "I sometimes forget, you know? How hard you guys had it before." She swallows. "If I see a Candidate out, I'll let you know." There's another pause. "I guess that I'm a bit jealous too. I've just about been of age for the past few Turns, and no one's ever asked me." Another touch. "It'll be okay," she soothes, ignoring the fact that it's silly, a girl trying to soothe a man more than twice her age. "It really will be, you'll see."

An oldtimer. For no good reason, A'dan had a model in his head that oldtimers were, well, older. He tips his head away from that testing thumb. Very quietly, "Go home, Veresch." He blinks at the girl, still tilted away, considering. He nods at her admission of jealousy. Rather, it's a single lift of his chin. He understands that. To her assurances, he simply replies, a quiet gravelly rumble, "I'll see to it."

"I can't," Veresch says hoarsely as she stands, perhaps wilfully misunderstanding him. "This is my home now, not Ista anymore." She gets to her feet and, carefully stepping forward, reaches out to hug his head and shoulders to her scrawny body for a long, intense moment. "You and Narloth stay here and watch." With a quick scramble, she turns away and climbs slowly down the boulders. There's a turn of speed the moment she's on the bowl level proper, and soon she's out of sight, trotting to the resident terraces.

Narloth rumbles at Veresch, shifting in his silent shared vigil. Not Ista. Not oldtime Ista. Veresch is a long, long way from home. A'dan reaches from within his bundling to squeeze the girl's shoulder. No words of farewell. He withdraws, settling back into his watch, listening to crisp footfalls until the night is silent again.

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