W'lin, R'zel


Ocelot has a new wingsecond. Cheers!


It is the sixteenth day of the eighth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


R'zel's Weyr, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 03 Apr 2018 05:00


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"Here's to Ocelot."

R'zel's Weyr

Ocelot's been having a busy morning, and with no Threadfall today, R'zel has kept them hard at it, getting some changes to the Wing's configuration tested out and bedded down. All this is standard fare as they adapt to slightly lower numbers brought about by the latest injuries and the continuing sickness of some members, but today in particular, the new wingleader has been rotating various people into and out of the positions usually held by the wingseconds, and a number of dragons have heard Verokanth's in-flight command, « Tell yours that you are to act as wingsecond now. Move there », accompanied with an image of the required slot. In some cases, that was followed by, « We are no more! You lead! » Lucky W'lin: he was one of the favoured few. At the end of the drill, there's a debriefing, and then R'zel dismisses the riders. As he does so, Verokanth bespeaks Khasvith. « Mine asks you to ask yours to stay behind, please. He wishes to talk. »

Busy is good in Khasvith’s eyes - hard work and determination brings the bronze’s admiration, however grudgingly for such a proud dragon. It has been a little harder on W’lin, but they come through like troopers, following commands and dodging obstacles. « Yes. They will speak, » is the brash, heady response from the keyed-up dragon, all fire and fast-moving magma. His rider looks a little less sure once he’s stripped from his riding gear and shoved back a mass full of thick, sweaty hair. “R’zel,” he greets, sidling up to the other man after everyone has left for other venues. “You wanted to speak, sir?”

R'zel smiles as he turns towards the other bronzerider, keeping a hand on Verokanth's flank. "Yes. And it occurs to me that we haven't actually talked as much as we might have, under better circumstances." He glances up at the sky, which is showing no sign of clearing. "Let's not do it in the rain, though. I have sandwiches and a couple of bottles of beer in my weyr: how about splitting them?" With a quirky grin, he adds, "I don't think the bread is going to kill us, and the beer came from my mother at the Harper Hall."

Naturally, W'lin's eyes follow the same path that the other bronzerider's do, towards the sky and the lack of Thread falling from it. "It can't be helped," he says, finally, lowering his blue gaze back to R'zel, "We have plenty of time. I haven't had much time to congratulate you either. It went to the right one," the knot. He has a crooked smile for that and a crisp salute, but that wavers with a cringe - their current state of affairs, right. "I wouldn't mind a beer, but my stomach hasn't been as strong these days. It's fine.. healers say it's a.. I'm nervous, I guess." Followed by nervous laughter. Who wouldn't be? "I appreciate it."

R'zel returns the salute, though his is rather more relaxed. "You and me both," he says in a rueful tone. "I think our resident poisoner has left quite a few of us feeling rather fragile in the digestive department. I've also got a jug of cold peppermint tea up there, if you prefer that - it's surprisingly soothing. Come on." And with that, he clambers aboard Verokanth, and the bronze takes off. Verokanth tells Khasvith, « Follow us up, but it would be better to let me move out of the way before you land. The ledge is large enough for two, but it will be tight with two bronzes. » He's as good as his word: as soon as he's landed and his rider has dismounted and headed into the weyr, Verokanth backs into his entrance tunnel to give the other bronze a clear ledge to land on.

Beer and peppermint tea - two delectable beverages to sip on is enough for W'lin to mull over for now. "Lead the way," he tells R'zel, and follows at a leisurely pace. They are up, up, and in the air shortly, Khasvith taking to Verokanth's directions with ease, landing only once the other bronze has moved further into his wallow. « It is a nice fit, here, » might be a compliment, but who knows, with Khasvith; it's at least another ledge to stare out on his kingd— em, on Southern's bowl. "How's the search going?" That's W'lin, once he's landed and strapped his riding gear to the bronze. "I haven't heard much more beyond the usual rounds."

"Come on through," R'zel calls as W'lin lands, and as the other rider enters, he invites, "Have a seat." There are only two seats to choose from, quite nicely carved dining chairs, both at the small table. "Or, let me take your jacket first." His own is already hanging on a hook, and he's started to assemble the simple fare that he offered on the table. There's a plate with sandwiches, two bottles of beer with corked and wired lids - not such a usual sight around here - and a large glass jug, half-filled with a brownish liquid which must be the promised healer-staple for upset stomachs. R'zel adds a couple of glasses to the table before he answers. "I don't think they're getting very far, though I gather the kitchen has cleared out anything that could possibly contain or conceal a white powder. How sick were you? I was throwing up on and off for days, though I only grounded myself for a couple."

R'zel nods. "And it was in really basic things, like salt and sweetener, so it was hard to see any patterns, at least in the broad run of people who were getting a little bit sick, like you and me." R'zel sounds frustrated at that. He deposits a plate in front of W'lin. "The really ill ones were a bit different." He pushes the plate with food towards his guest. "Sandwich? I can promise you none of it comes from the kitchen, though that's probably safe enough by now. My mother keeps sending her firelizard to tell me there's a food parcel waiting for me at the Hall, and who am I to say no when I can be there in a few minutes?" His tone is light, but there's an undercurrent of warmth. Mother is apparently doing the right thing. "And talking of firelizards…" He ascertains that there's a tiny gold form asleep on his bed before he sits in the other chair. and picks up the other bottle. "So. You were from Telgar."

"I like to stay away from.. things like that," is a tad bit wry. "It isn't good for my form someone told me once, and that.. that may be it. We'll never be able to get the others back." May they rest in between. "I wouldn't want to be rude.." W'lin looks at the sandwich, then looks up at R'zel, smiles, and grabs for the offered sandwich; home "cooked" meal and all. He has a mouthful of sandwich as he listens to the rest, and even leans to the side to have a gander at the little gold coiled up there on the bed covers. "Got on m'self," mumbled, around bread and meat. Eager head-nodding follows, but he manages a drink from the beer bottle before he attempts talking again, clearing the way for a more precise speech. "Yeah. Lemos area, originally, and a bit of time at Harper Hall, but I Impressed Khasvith at Telgar."

"Harper Hall?" R'zel's clearly surprised by that, and any intention he had of talking about Telgar has to wait. "How long were you there? I grew up there - well, we were posted when I was small, but then Mother went back to the Hall and married Master Morcom," who has been around for ever, "and I was apprenticed, and after that we stayed at the Hall. But my father's been at Telgar since a couple of turns before the Pass started - V'zel, brown Saebanth's." V'zel's a sociable sort of guy, and knows most people, even somewhere the size of Telgar.

Both of his eyebrows do some lifting in response. "It's been a while," W'lin admits, and uses his non-sandwich holding hand to count off the turns, "since I've been at the Hall. I was there for about a turn, and then the dragons came. I was at Telgar since I was fifteen, so about.. eighteen turns." As if he doesn't know his dragon age, or perhaps he doesn't, if his puzzled expression is any indication. "You're.. a lot younger than me. It might have been the same time, or.." He shrugs and slants R'zel one of his dopey smiles. "V'zel," recognition, "that's your dad? I didn't fly in the same wing, but I saw him around sometimes. He always had a good reputation, in the wings, anyway. I think he always bested me at cards," brims with laughter.

"That sounds like him," R'zel grins. "He always beats me at cards, too - even after I was old enough that I should have been able to hold my own. I go over every so often to see him, and my half-sisters. Seems a pretty good Weyr." He gives W'lin an appraising glance. "So why did you come here? I know you were a swap, but did you get any say in the matter?" He takes one of the sandwiches and tucks in while he awaits a response.

"Telgar's a fine place," W'lin agrees, taking a bite of sandwich and washing it down with beer, and then he sets the rest of it down and relaxes back into his seat. "It depends who you ask. I didn't get a chance to say no, but.. I wouldn't have said no, if I did. They thought I'd be a good asset for Southern and if it breeds good relations between the two Weyrs, I can't be upset about that. In these.. ah, times.. especially, having someone to have your back is a good thing. I hope to Faranth we'd never need it, but what if Southern needed eggs.. Telgar has enough golds to spare."

"And what does Telgar get out of it, I wonder," R'zel muses, then looks directly at W'lin. "I really hope that we won't be needing to call on Telgar or anyone else, but you must be aware that our only weyrlings are a turn old and due to graduate any moment, and there hasn't been a gold flight since the one that produced them." No eggs on the Sands or due to be clutched. "A good clutch with a gold egg would be very welcome at this point. Still, there's nothing you or I can do about that - golds rise when they rise. And I'm glad you're here - Ocelot can always use reliable riders. How do you think you did today?" All that swapping of positions, and taking a turn at wingsecond and wingleader did rather show who wasn't and wasn't flexible and on top of things during the drill!

"Telgar gets an ally," W'lin comments conversationally, though if he knows more, it doesn't show on his fair face. "Out of me? I don't know anymore. I suppose nothing more than knowing they trained me up well and sent me out in hopes I come back better off, one day." He doesn't sound particularly sure, though. "Golds keep their own schedules. Shards, I wouldn't be surprised if they rose and clutched at the same time," he answers, grinning. Golds, amirite? "I like to think we did alright. I'm used to some of those patterns, and.. I guess, the real answer lies with you, sir. How do you think we did?" Those blue eyes turn to R'zel, inquisitive.

"I think you were a lot more on top of things than some," R'zel says, picking up his beer. "You didn't go to bits when I told you to take over and put the wing through those manoeuvres - and neither did the Wing. And you hold your position very steadily - that's rather important, in Ocelot. You and he can anchor a formation reliably. Those are all good qualities. You weren't ever a wingleader or wingsecond at Telgar?" He raises his glass to the man opposite him, then drinks.

"We've also fought Threadfall the whole time it's been falling," W'lin retorts, pointing out his advantage without malice or bragging. "It takes time and experience to figure it out. I can't think how terrible I would have been in our first five turns." In true W'lin fashion, there he is, to bail his wingmates out from their flaws, even in the face of their wingleader, who likely knows all. He accepts the compliment with a timid head nod and reaches for his bottle, to have another slow sip before answering the last question. "I never have been. In Telgar, my wing was.. exceptional? You might say, and, ah, I was one of many.. well-trained under our wingleader. I might have eventually, but I wasn't ready for it when it came open."

"But you are now," R'zel states, then lifts his eyebrows, making it a question. "Don't you think?" Perhaps to give W'lin time to consider that, he goes on, "Southern has often gone for… rather young leadership. I'm a case in point, and I have moments of wishing that I had another five Turns of threadfighting under my belt. But I think you're right; now we're this far into the Pass, there's going to be a difference between the people who've been around for longer and the ones who are newer in terms of sheer skill in Fall. But time doesn't often create leadership ability if the potential isn't there to start with, I don't think - and someone can be an excellent wingrider without having what it takes to lead others."

The bottle is arrested on its way to his mouth and his eyes flicking towards R'zel again, this time in shock. "Uh.. are you.. you're saying.." W'lin needs a moment to adjust to this turn of conversation, and a plug or two on that bottle. "You're right about that," he says, cautiously, "and I agree with you, sometimes you can't create that leadership ability in others. You're.. though, you're.." And he has to stop to clear his throat and turn in his seat, setting down that beer bottle. It has been a long time since he's likely wanted to hear those words, so he's cautious. "I am. I have the skill," he's confident of that, "and the experience. I could do it."

"I'm glad to hear that," R'zel says, with a certain twinkle of amusement in his eye. "Because I already had this made up." Setting down his glass, he fishes in his pocket and extracts a handful of cord, complete with long tail and tassles, which he deposits on the table in front of W'lin. See, it's even got a bronze thread, already woven in - and a not-quite-new look that might suggest it was once his own. "That's yours if you want it." He picks up his drink again and sips as he watches to see what the bronzerider will do.

There it is - laid out in the middle of the table - with all its shine and glory. "Shells," W'lin mumbles, eyes glued to the bronze-threaded knot, "that's.." That's a knot, but he can't seem to get that out. "Of course, I want it. A man would be a fool not to want to," he says, after a long pause. "I didn't know you'd think of me for that, but I.. I'm thankful, and I hope to be as best a second to you as a man can be." Then, he's reaching out to grasp it and pull it across the table, hypnotized by the complexity of those knots and what it means. Maybe Telgar was onto something.

"Thank you," R'zel says, and raises his glass. "Here's to Ocelot. And if you're worried it might ruffle some feathers because you're new to the Weyr, rest assured that it's far from the oddest appointment we've seen, even in Ocelot. One of your predecessors was less than a turn out of weyrlinghood, and Lynx's Th'res was promoted even sooner." And we won't talk about R'zel right now. "We'd better talk about duties shortly. And I will be making another appointment at some point, but nobody else is standing out at the moment. But what I desperately need right now is to know that there's someone in place who can pick up seamlessly if anything happens to me, so you've made my life easier just by picking up that knot."

"To Ocelot," comes on the heels of R'zel's words, with the almost-empty bottle raised and the knot twisted up in his other hand. "I think it will be an adjustment. I can see.. some people might have opinions about it, but.. I'll just have to show them otherwise." It's a rare show of backbone for W'lin, and one that he follows up with a lean to the side and conspiratorial statement: "I've got a few ideas, if you have some time to listen.." He has a few suggestions for that other appointment, given R'zel's instruction, and a few ideas on tightening up those ranks, that he's more than happy to expand upon to his wingleader. Thus begins the first strategy meeting, there in R'zel's weyr, over sandwiches and beer. Good luck to Ocelot.

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