The past still haunts him.



The thirteenth day of the first month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Galleries, High Reaches Weyr

OOC Date 25 Jan 2018 05:00



Are you going to be alright?


Row upon row of stone benching rises above the Hatching Grounds, seats for those who come to watch the incredible experience that is a hatching. Each individual seat is embellished with a worn cushion, the only concession to comfort in a place that traps heat, holding it within so that those who watch are inflicted with its intensity, though on a milder level than those who must stand and face the dragonets. The expanse of sand that is the hatching grounds spreads out in front of the benches, a huge stage for a spectacular show.

A lull has settled over the galleries at High Reaches and waves of heat practically blur the sands where forty eggs lay hardening their shells. The junior queen rests amongst her unborn young while the clutch father is perched upon the ledge of the hatching cavern. Shalnth’s eyes unlid occasionally so he can keep an eye on things, like the queen on the feather soft sand and R’xim seated in the front row of the galleries.

The bronzerider isn’t alone. A few rows behind him sits a young couple with their toddler and closer to the edge of the stairway is a Harper sketching the colorful display of eggs. There are a few more onlookers on the opposite end of the galleries but R’xim is the only person sitting this close to the sands. Front row, best view.

The heat has him dressed in a short sleeved shirt and in pair of lightweight leathers that help him move around with ease. It’s easier to rest elbows on knees as he leans forward to cast his gaze out over the sands — the same sands he stood upon with F’dan twenty-eight Turns ago and where he Impressed Shalnth.

Shalnth is twenty-eight? That means he's forty-two with a Turnday right around the corner. Which also means that F’dan would’ve just turned forty-three. Fuck. If that doesn’t make him feel old…

R’xim exhales a breath through his nose and keeps his focus on the sands when the memory of his Impression slowly surfaces in his mind. He remembers the moment with acute clarity — the first time he heard Shalnth’s voice gave him an instant headache, yet the pain wasn’t nearly as sharp as the scream that came from F’dan. He had been mauled by Kadanth seconds before they were bonded, and Rix couldn’t help either of them. As much as he wanted to be by his best friend’s side, members of the weyrling staff quickly ushered he and Shalnth off the sands. The image of F’dan lying on blood soaked sand will forever scar the memory of that day.

He felt helpless and overwhelmed all at once after seeing F’dan unconscious. Terrified, even. Shalnth felt the same flood of emotions and the young bronzelings began to panic. They needed to calm down and an assistant weyrlingmaster guided them through the pain and frenzy as best she could, even though she felt just as frazzled. It was one big chaotic mess.

It felt similar to the time when Rixim witnessed Fenordan’s father beat him within an inch of his life. As a young boy only fourteen Turns old, he was shocked and physically unable to keep his friend safe from his abusive father. Rixim was no match for the older, stronger, and bigger man. Having been the son of prominent Seacrafters at Tillek Hold, he couldn't understand how a father could beat his son. His own father, Raxar, never laid a hand on him and his mother, Miliya, was soft spoken and caring. Truth be told, Rixim lead a sheltered life at the Hold until he was Searched by High Reaches dragonriders and brought to the Weyr.

That’s when life took a turn down an unexpected path.

What was considered normal everyday life at the Weyr wasn’t anything Rixim was used to. The adjustment to Weyr life would’ve been brutal had Fenordan not kept Rixim under his wing during the transitional time of candidacy. It would’ve been too much to handle, especially for a young and sheltered Hold boy. Fenordan taught him all about Weyr traditions and Rixim was eternally grateful for this new friend of his.

Fenordan was bruised and bloody after the encounter with his father and when Rixim got him to the infirmary, he had never seen such damage done to another human being. He hardly recognized his buddy beneath the aggrieved and discolored skin on his face — the sight of him was life changing. Something inside Rixim turned dark. Angry. He wouldn’t allow this abuse to happen to Fenordan ever again.

The anger festered.

Six Turns after Impression, R’xim was no longer a young and inexperienced fourteen Turn old weyrling. He had matured into a 6’2, athletically built dragonrider with more strength than he knew what to do with. Strength that unleashed upon F’dan’s father when he made another attempt to physically harm his son.

R’xim sits up and rolls his shoulders to help loosen tight neck muscles after that particular memory is acknowledged. The intensity felt on that day still inflicts a physical reaction and it’s not something he allows himself to feel very often. It’s been Turns.

And yet High Reaches Weyr seems to be dragging all of these ugly memories into his consciousness no matter what time of day or night. At night he dreams about certain people in his past. During the day, his memories are triggered by something someone says or by something that he sees from his past. Just sitting in the galleries has him feeling heart sick and nostalgic for his life as a young dragonrider with the one person that truly got him. Both hands scrub down his face and then rub at his eyes in an attempt to focus on the present moment rather than the pain of the past.


It’s that voice again. R’xim lowers his hands and glances up at a shadowed figure holding a missive in an outstretched hand.

It’s F’dan.

Without saying a word, R’xim accepts the note with an air of normalcy. “Thanks.” The figure nods its response and then takes a seat upon the same stone bench as they both look at each other — he isn’t afraid, nor is he angry. Unlike the encounter with F’dan a few nights ago, this time he feels at ease with his best friend sitting beside him. There is a sense of relief that washes over everything around them and for that brief moment in time, R’xim can’t feel the deep ache in his chest.

He grips the missive a little tighter when F’dan dips his chin in its general direction, and when he finally looks down at the note in his hand that ache slowly returns. It feels stronger this time. The handwriting scrawled upon the hide is familiar and elegant, the line simply reading:

Are you going to be alright?

“Fuck.” R’xim rasps to himself. The missive is folded in half and when he looks up again, F’dan is gone and the burden of reality settles heavy on his shoulders. A drudge with the knot of an inner cavern staff member catches his attention just before they descend the stairway into the bowl, bringing the last few moments of quiet reflection with them.

He should write Kyara back or risk losing an opportunity like he had with Catryn.

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