Who

D'ren, Kyara

What

Two visitors to Southern run across one another in the jungle, then head to the beach to swim while their dragons go fishing.

When

It is afternoon of the twenty-fifth day of the first month of the second Turn of the 12th Pass.

Where

Jungle, Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Jungle

As the clearing is left behind, a deep silence permeates and soaks into the very ground that towering trees grow out of, accompanied by the humid heat of the enclosed rainforest. The silence is broken by the chittering call of wild firelizards, the chirruping of distant avians, and the ominous rustling of large, feline predators that stalk the deeper, heart of the jungle. Vines drape from the trees, falling to the jungle floor, which carries the hint of decay. Water drips from the canopy above, the soft sound almost musical against the echoing call of the jungles denizens. Westward, with the tangled overgrowth and the shadows of the deeper rainforest, the forest looms dangerous.


It is hot. Hot and humid, but the jungle gives shade and the occasional breeze keeps things at least tolerable. Through this jungle path, hiking back towards the Weyr (he's not that far into the wilds, truly) is a sweat soaked male. Loose clothing breathes in the heat, while long pants and long sleeves protect him from cuts and the occasional bug buzzing around thirsting for his blood. Pausing, he gulps from a water skin and looks around, a slow grin on his lips.

Kyara was cold, and Liareth wanted to hunt somewhere other than Igen's pens - and somewhere warmer, too. Therefore, there was really only one option. It is, of course, probably not the best idea for a lone woman, even a confident one carrying a couple of spears on her back - and a dragonrider at that - to be out in feline-inhabited Southern jungles with no one else around, but here she is anyway. Liareth is there, obviously…though gliding above the canopy since she can't land easily anywhere. Kyara, following the trail that runs through this area as she heads for a clearing, is about as soaked with sweat as anyone else wandering around out here is bound to be, in spite of the gold-colored tank top she wears. Flight leather pants and sturdy boots don't help, but they do protect against the underbrush. Footsteps reach her ears, and she stops for a moment, glancing about. There's someone up ahead…but she can't quite see who yet and so wanders forward a bit more, cautious.

D'ren finishes drinking from the skin and belches in satisfaction, taking a deep breath and looking around. Other than a few daggers the man is unarmed, which is either reckless or confident. Something has him halting though, tilting his head. "Hello?"

Well, the belch gives the 'someone' away as a man, at least. One brow rising, Kyara ducks slightly to pass under a few broad leaves drooping down below her eye level and straightens as she hears that 'hello.' A half dozen more steps forward and a little more ducking, and then she sees the man. "Hello!" she returns, a sharp amber gaze quickly taking him in, evaluating… He doesn't look like wilds folk, or a bandit - so not a potential threat, she hopes. No, he rather looks like another rider, even if she can't see a dragon around. "Someone else out for a stroll?" she surmises, propping a hand on one hip and giving a small smile.

D'ren grins, leaning against a tree and stretching his arms, rolling his shoulders when he sees that it's a woman and not a feline. "More of a hike, I think a stroll implies easy," he says with a crooked grin. "D'ren, bronze Aikuonath's of Ista Weyr."

"Oh, this isn't easy?" Kyara asks flippantly, grinning broadly as she leans up against a smooth-trunked tree for a moment, going after her own waterskin. "Kyara, green Liareth's," she says, glancing up as the brief shadow of Lia's circling overhead makes the light flicker. "From Igen." And now that she can see his face… "I feel like I've seen you briefly around Igen. Recently. Were you visiting there not long ago?"

D'ren chuckles, running fingers through his short hair. "If this is easy, you Igen riders are tougher than I've given you credit for. Well met, Kyara. Ah, yes. A little bit. My son's mother lives there so I was letting him visit until he got Searched here…" He waves a hand. "But I haven't been back since."

"The winds of change don't allow us to be anything less," Kyara declares with a wink before running the back of her wrist across her forehead. She nods as he confirms having been around the desert Weyr, and her both eyebrows rise when he reveals that his son was Searched. "That would explain you being down this way, I'm guessing. Congratulations! Is he doing well here so far?"

D'ren chuckles. "Thanks, but he's up - down? - at that new ice hold they're building now. They moved all the Candidates that way, out of the weyr after the flight." And the murder. He smiles though. "Thanks. He's really enjoying himself. Being on his own is good for him I think. I had some free time in Ista so I thought I'd hop down here. See the scenery. You?"

Kyara stoppers her waterskin again and pushes away from the tree, resettling the spears on her back a little as she comes D'ren's way and stops a few steps from him. "They sent them…all the way down there?" She shivers at the memory of her recent visit to the Ice Fields and quickly switches to a new mental image. There are hot springs there; those are warm! "Faranth! Why?" Disbelief, which quickly shifts. "Well, we dropped our last round of Candidates off on a volcanic island, so I guess I shouldn't think it's too strange." She gives a light snort about the flight. "Yes. They stole our Weyrsecond. Though that's not the real tragedy," she amends, her brow furrowing slightly. Yes, it's gotten around what that flight was marred by. D'ren's question quickly brightens her mood again. "I wanted to warm up, and Liareth wanted to hunt. Plus I have a brother and few friends down here to visit, so plenty of excuses to choose from."

D'ren pushes upright off the tree when she approaches, and he gestures. "Walk with me?" he invites. "Yes, all the way down there. To keep them safe I'd guess, while the weyr tries to find the murderer." He shakes his head with a frown. "I saw the dead man. I was there. Saw the knife in his back, felt the dragons keen." He shakes his head again, sighing heavily. "Went to fetch the Healers but it was already too late." There's a small shrug and then a small smile. "Excuses are good to have."

With a nod, Kyara walks beside the Istan bronzerider, listening solemnly as he speaks of the murder. "No suspects yet, then?" she questions, her mind going into investigator mode - needlessly. It's not as if she knows enough to make any deductions, or as if she's got any right to, down here. "It wasn't another of the chasers? No, that would be too easy to figure out, wouldn't it?" she rattles of, answering her own question and dismissing her thoughts with a flick of her fingers. "Well, whatever happened, I hope it gets solved soon. Southern's had it's share of problems." Over the matter of excuses, she smirks. "Sometimes. For some things."

D'ren shrugs. "I don't know, I'm not from here. Not privy to that information. And if I'm a suspect they haven't come to find me yet." Not like he's hiding. "It was chaos. There was a brawl with a few of the chasers…it was chaotic." He frowns. "I hope it's solved too. Baby dragons are coming."

Idly, Kyara wonders if the brawl involved K'ane. Because usually where there's a brawl, there's a K'ane, right? So it's seemed to her, whenever word of one has managed to reach her. A bit sidelong, she examines D'ren's face as if to see whether or not he might be bearing signs of a scuffle…but she doesn't see any. No, just sweat-soaked, green-eyed, dark-haired bronzerider, which is far better than bruised and scraped. "Where is your lifemate, anyway?" she questions suddenly, one brow quirking curiously.

"Down at the beach, sunning himself and swimming," D'ren answers with a crooked grin. "Which is where I was going to go after the hike was over. Nothing like a dip in the sea after a long hike, wouldn't you agree?" He turns and flashes her a warm grin.

Kyara nods and grins back, peering up at the thinning canopy for a moment. "Down here? Absolutely. Lia wasn't going to let me forget about it." She gives her arms a long stretch overhead, a few joints popping quietly with the release the warmth has given chilled muscles. "If you don't mind the company, I'll follow you there."

D'ren smiles widely at her. "Excellent! Always glad to have the company." Especially one as easy on the eyes as Kyara is. The bronzerider sets an easy pace, ambling through the rest of the jungle until it thins, and he takes a turn for the beach, whistling to himself when they're free of the jungle's cool canopy. "Shells it's hot…" Unnecessary, but still true. "Feels like the life is just getting sucked out of your body."

Kyara gestures for D'ren to lead on and contents herself with listening to him whistle most of the way, trying to pick up the tune. She nods at his observation, obvious though it may be, and makes a bit of a face. "I think I must finally be getting used to the heat at Igen," she supposes. "It's not like this - not…humid. The heat has weight down here. And to think I used to think Big Bay was humid…" Glancing over, she asks, "Doesn't it get like this at Ista?" Her own memory of the place has gotten a little vague, it seems.

D'ren nods, "It does, but I can still complain about it." He gives her a crooked grin, shoes thumping on the boardwalk as they approach the sand. "Ah, there's Aik." He points to the golden hued bronze resting in the waters, half dozing with the water almost up to his shoulders. D'ren smiles. "Join me for a swim?" he invites, kicking off his shoes by what one can assume are his straps.

The boardwalk. Now Kyara feels like she's in a bit more familiar of an area. Not that the jungle made her feel lost - just more at risk. Liareth swoops in overhead, low enough to cast a draft down on the riders from her wings as she trumpets a greeting to the drowsy Istan bronze and circles out over the water to come back. "Sure!" the greenrider agrees with a smile of her own, unslinging the spears from her back. "Just give me a minute…" Liareth lands a short way down the strand and pads over to crouch near Kyara, who looses her from the riding straps and folds them together as the pretty green takes off for the water. Kyara starts shedding layers, either folding them away into a pouch on the straps or laying them out to dry a bit, as the situation may demand. Soon enough, she's down to the wrapround swimsuit she favors for such things, clearly having planned on ending up here at some point, bronzerider companion or no. "Alright," she announces, pulling out a towel and laying it atop the pile of straps for easy retrieval later before grinning over at D'ren, "let's go."

Aikuonath's head lifts and he rumbles a drowsy greeting to the green, his thoughts extending with a wash of sea salt and sand. While Kyara gets ready, so does D'ren, stripping down to knee length swim trunks before he races towards the water with a happy "Whoooo!" and dives in.

Liareth doesn't even try to coax the bronze into coming out into the water to join her in frolicking - too much effort, and she probably has too much energy for him right now! Even if she is curious about him; she answers that sandy saltiness with the brush of an inquistive tendril of steam about as humid as the Southern air itself. Then she's preoccupied with swimming and diving and snapping after fish again. Maybe she'll bug him later. Kyara laughs as she watches D'ren run whooping to dive in and jogs after, launching into a dive of her own that sends her under a nice depth before she surfaces with a gasp, automatically pulling her hair back. She really needs to come down here more often for this. Looking around for D'ren, she swims near. "Nice form, island boy," she comments, slowly treading water and grinning.

Aikuonath is already in the water anyway, but when the green begins to frolic the large bronze does rouse himself. « Hello, beautiful. » Turning fully, the bronze pushes into deeper water. « Catching fish? Shall I chase them towards you? » D'ren emerges a short distance away and grins at Kyara, splashing at her. "You too, sand girl. Didn't know they taught Igenites to swim." It's an easy tease as he paddles backwards and vanishes once more.

Oh, now the bronze is paying attention. Pleased with herself for drawing Aikuonath from his rest, Liareth surfaces, rearing up to shake water from jade wings before pinning them at her back to glide over to him. « Hello, yourself! » she returns, more presently wafting the steam of subtly scented baths across the bronze's mind as she gives a coy arch of her neck. « If you would like to, I certainly wouldn't object. They are as good to eat as they are to play with, after all. » Kyara chuckles, squinting and turning her face from D'ren's splashing before acting in kind once or twice. "Oh, they don't really," she counters after the bronzerider re-emerges. "I was born in Big Bay, with sailors for a father and brothers, so I had no choice but to learn." She glances over at Liareth and the bronze and smirks, giving a little sigh. No surprise there.

Aikuonath is captivated by the green as he paddles through the water. « Certainly. Go out that way a bit and I will round some up for you, » he promises with a mental splash of sand and salt. D'ren laughs, ducking his head away to evade her splashes. "Ahhh. A sea-going gal after my own heart. Tell me, how do you stand it in Igen? So dry…no sea."

Oh, Liareth can wrap the boys around her…talon?…so very easily. With an appreciative croon and the light echo of quiet laughter echoing through to the bronze from between the carved walls and columns of the steaming pools of her mind, she slips out across the rolling water where Aikuonath indicates and waits for his word. Kyara just grins at D'ren, eyes demurely flicking down to the water for a moment. Not after his, unfortunately - but she doesn't say anything to that effect for the moment. "Being adaptable," she replies with a slight shrug. "Just learning how to wear the right clothes for the weather, making good use of the lake… But I do miss the sea, quite a bit. Good thing it's only a few heartbeats away, now."

She is a pretty green after all. Aikuonath paddles back and forth, searching for fish, and when he finds a school he settles his wings into the water and spreads them, swimming slowly forward to guide those fish right for her. D'ren treads water a short distance away, chuckling. "True, but…" He shrugs. "I couldn't live where I couldn't smell the sea. Tried it. It didn't work for me. I applaud you that flexibility."

Liareth disappears under the water once Aikuonath is about a length away, surveys what's being sent her way, and darts forward, getting a good few in her mouth and surfacing to toss her head back and swallow them up. Snack time! Humming happily, she ventures a gentle bump to the bronze's neck in thanks. « Shall I do the same for you? » she offers. It's only fair. She's smaller, so can't do quite the same job of fish-herding as him - but that doesn't mean she can't. After ducking her head again to slick her hair back, Kyara nods, giving D'ren a thoughtful smirk before her eyes take on a bit of a far-off look. "There have been…a couple of times," ONLY a couple, "when I've missed it enough to think about transferring down here, but…" She shakes her head, the smirk becoming a smile. "There are people at Igen who mean the world to me. I could never leave them."

Aikuonath rumbles happily, arching his neck and trying to nuzzle her back. « Please! » D'ren's smile is slow, and his breath deep. "I know how that feels. I stayed in High Reaches after being left standing for that reason. I wouldn't trade Aik for anything but looking back now I wonder if I wouldn't have been happier if I'd gone back to the sea."

Liareth only lets Aikuonath get away with just brushing her in his attempt at nuzzling before slipping away with a teasing warble, searching for her own school of fish. She finds a certain wisdom in his methods and, upon finding her own school a fair few lengths away, spreads her wings beneath the water and slowly starts making her way toward Aikuonath with them, doing her best to remember not to grumble as a few escape her so as not to lose more. Kyara gives D'ren a curious tilt of her head. "Reaches of now, or the Oldtime?" she questions, though she thinks she can tell the answer just by his demeanor. "Is there anyone keeping you at Ista? You seem to like it down here pretty well."

Aikuonath isn't disappointed when she darts away, more amused than anything. He ducks beneath the water to grab his catch, thoughts extending with happy gratefulness to the green. "Oldtime. Anyone at Ista? No. I'm considering moving down here, depending on what happens at the hatching and what my son wishes to do."

"I thought so," Kyara says with a lopsided smile. "You don't act like a Nowtimer, much less a Reachian one." She glances back at her lifemate again, watching Liareth make a show of fanning the water from her wings again before she glides up beside Aikuonath again, chuckling softly before turning her attention back to D'ren. "Well, however things turn out, I hope you're happy wherever you land, D'ren," she tells the bronzerider, leaning back to float a little bit, though she manages to keep her ears from being submerged.

D'ren exhales softly, shaking his head. "Sad what that Weyr has come to. Not that it was ever warm and fuzzy, but still." He shrugs, then he smiles at her. "I am slowly getting better at being happy wherever I am, but it's been quite the process." Closing his eyes, he shifts to float on his back, slowly treading water while Aikuonath warbles happily to Liareth, with some fish in his belly. Yum.

Liareth is happy enough to keep on flirting with Aikuonath as their riders lounge around in the gentle waves and afternoon sun. And Kyara is content to linger with her new acquaintance as well, simply talking about whatever comes to mind until the time comes to head back home. If she can help it…that won't be for a while.

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