Rielle, Va'os


Rielle investigates a hunch and discovered trail. Va'os is summoned and three thieving kids get a wake up call of their lives…


It is midmorning of the twenty-second day of the third month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Waterfall, Cave Entrance, Thieving Kiddies' Camp

OOC Date 14 Feb 2018 05:00





The lush Southern rainforests hide snake-like rivers that wind through the thickest part of the underbrush; it is one such river that provides a view that must be seen once in a lifetime. Powerful, the waters spill over the edges of the cliffs, falling from high, high above to land in a large swell of water that feeds into the Black Rock River. On a sunny day, a kaleidescope of colors can be seen as the light of Rukbat is refracted in a rainbow array of vibrant hues. At the base of the waterfall, where even a dragon would feel dwarfed by the towering cliffs and thick plume of falling water, the swell of water is surrounded by greenery of all kinds: trees, flowers, ferns, moss, lichen. As the point where the waterway narrows into a feeder stream to the larger, Black Rock River, a tiny little bridge spans. All around, water roars, eclipsing even the sounds of wildlife.

With all the rain that's been happening, most people wouldn't want to go somewhere that will have them ending up more wet. So it's a safe bet Rielle and Obhaeroth aren't hanging about the waterfall to take in the scenery, lovely though it may be. Standing beneath the shielding drape of her lifemate's copper-scrawled wing, the Serval wingleader is studying a path that wends its way to a point almost behind the waterfall. Or perhaps she's watching. She's also waiting, having sent for Va'os via Obhaeroth and Tsiroth to see if the Weyrleader might be up for a little…reconnaissance.

It won’t take long for Tsiroth to arrive once Obhaeroth relayed the summons request. The bronze will circle low overhead before folding his wings in as nimble a landing as his size will allow. Even so, he’ll be a bit cramped, but the intrigue will be enough to keep him from grumbling too much. Va’os dismounts, dressed in waterproofed gear though he won’t linger long in the rain if he can help it. “Hey!” he greets warmly, smirk-smile already in place. “So what’s this that Tsiroth is telling me? You find something? … not a dead body, I hope?” Ha ha, not funny.

Obhaeroth makes as much room as he can for Tsiroth, but he's not about to give up his own vantage on this little adventure, either! Rielle gives a rueful snort for Va'os' last and gives him a prod in the stomach, her own cheekiness on full display in the lopsided little smile she gives him back. "I did find something, actually. Or Z'bor and I did, yesterday. Probably the source of all the things that've been disappearing from the stores." Gesturing toward the shadow of the cave peering out from behind the cascade, she explains, "The Headwoman asked us to see if we might be able to find something where her own people wouldn't go, so we took a trip through those dark back rooms beyond the stores into the catacombs and found some footprints to follow. Just in there, we found a little camp set up, though no one was around. We did see some of the things that've gone missing, but we decided to leave them so that we wouldn't give away having found the thieves out right away, maybe catch them red-handed later. So…" She tilts her head back to look up at him. "I think they might be kids. But even if they're not, having a couple of dragonriders pop out at them will probably make an impression, especially if one happens to be the Weyrleader." Then, with a shrug, she gives him a little grin. "Plus I thought it might be fun."

Tsiroth will make due! At least for as long as his interest holds out. Likewise, Va’os just grunts and swipes Rielle’s hand away for the literal prod she gives him. “Hey! It’s a legitimate concern here, okay?” Southern has a reputation! He will sober however once Rielle cuts right to the chase. Listening carefully, his expression turns grim. “Kids? You’re sure about that? Because if we’re wrong…” Then popping out on a few well seasoned thieves won’t end well for either of them. Scoffing for her idea of fun, he’ll level her with a look. “Or this is how my tenure as Weyrleader ends.” Grim jokes ABOUND today! Still, he’ll step forwards a bit to peer closer at the entrance to that cave. “So, what? We’re just going to sneak on in and hope to catch them off guard?”

Rielle isn't put off by the grim jokes, considering they're sort of Va'os' thing and she's used to it by now. Over the matter of the thieves possibly being children, however, she nods. "The footprints we were following were too small for adults, I think. And the camp is pretty simple and, apart from being out of the way, not really something seasoned thieves would set up, I think. It's too obvious. Come on, I'll show you." Rielle starts forward, giving Va'os a "come hither" look that's of a different variety than she'd normally be turning his way. "Catching them off guard was pretty much my hope, aye. There are plenty of places in here to hide and watch, and it's close enough to the entrance, so we have plenty of room to backpedal if we need to."

“I dunno. There are short and small adults, y’know…” Va’os is just going to toss that one out there before he follows Rielle’s lead. For all his joking about, he doesn’t question or protest when they start to investigate! “So long as we don’t go too far in,” he mutters, keeping his voice low and pitched in a manner so that it doesn’t go echoing and giving them away. “Tunnels have a nasty way of turning you around. Dunno about you, but I haven’t the foggiest idea on where any of this leads!” But he could probably figure it out if he’s not running for his life!

Cave Entrance
The stifling, stale air of the catacombs opens up into this lush rich section of the jungle. It's too densely populated by plantlife to be reached by dragonback and secluded enough that it likely hasn't been heavily traveled by hunters. Cool blue waters pool in front of the caves opening, tumbling over age worn stones into an active stream that leads down into the river below. The expanse of Southern's bowl wall looms overhead, contributing to the shadowy atmosphere of the area. Mossy rocks cluster around the water, soft and inviting to a person that's just spent too much time underground in the dark. An enterprising person has begun the work have chopping a path around the wall, leading to the main drag of the weyr's territory.

Thieving Kiddies' Camp
Here's a tent, though it seems to have been made from a couple of bedsheets and slung over a rope between two trees, with pulled-up grass on the floor inside. There's a little fireplace outside the tent. The kids that made it have been creative as well as busy: there's a table made from sticks, and a rack to store their goodies. They've equipped their home-from-home with tools and supplies: a knife, plates, spoons, a cooking pot, bottled fruit, jars of jam… and a number of other things that have been missed from the Stores recently. If you're in luck - or maybe out of it - you may also find the little villains themselves, a trio of angelic-looking nine-turn-olds called Verika, Biffon, and Suzie, whose innocent appearance belies their inventiveness in mischief and skill in making adults feel totally helpless.

"I promise, it's just here. No tunnels." Save for the short bend that brings them into the shadow mouth of the cave. Rielle also keeps her voice down and crouches down to the level of the plant life that grows so prevalently here beyond the veil of the waterfall. Leading the way forward, she hugs the wall as much as possible until the light grows ahead, the stretch of a couple of bedsheets over a rope suspended between two trees becoming visible. "There," she whispers, and stops, kneeling on one knee and looking back at Va'os. "The little fire wasn't up like that when Z'bor and I were here. Can't see it from this angle, but they've got a little table and a rack, and we saw some of the jam and bottles of fruit, plus plates and things they clearly didn't make…" She goes quiet for a bit, simply listening. The hiss of the waterfall behind them is muted but not gone, punctuated by an occasional pop from the fire…and nothing else obvious for the moment. "It doesn't sound like anyone's around." Unless they're sleeping.

As far as plans go, ‘surprising sleeping thieving children’ wasn’t on Va’os’ list. Still, he’ll follow Rielle into that cave and crouch down as she does. Even when he moves on his own, to edge a little closer, it’s evident he’s got experience lurking and skulking about. Maybe this is trip down memory lane for him? “It’s just like you said,” he mutters as he shifts his way back to her side. “A camp but definitely… child like. And if they’ve been pinching Weyr goods… Weyrbrats on the lam, you think?” It’s possible!

"It wouldn't be surprising," Rielle whispers, a corner of her mouth quirking upward as she looks back at Va'os. "Kids get bored, they start making adventures for themselves. Zariel's been starting in on that herself, lately." Slender shoulders shrug as she glances forward again. "Unfortunately, they don't consider how taking things might affect others; they just know it's thrilling to get away with it." She settles back to sit on her heel with a sigh, quirking a gently-angled brow at Va'os. "We could be reading it all wrong, too, but I doubt it. I know what I'd like to do, but what do you think would be best here?"

“Just how young are you pitching these kids to be? Cause I dunno about you, but I learned stealing was wrong pretty damn early on!” Va’os exclaims in a hushed voice, but there’s a crooked smirk to follow that. Half serious, half humour! Always his style. He frowns, looking back towards the location of the camp even though it’s now out of sight. “Doubtful we need to go back and fetch the Guards or bring any sort of backup. Just a matter of making sure they don’t escape and get themselves lost or hurt…” Now he grins. “Up for routing out some misguided kids? Maybe scaring ‘em straight?”

"Did you really?" Rielle teases, her grin wholly impish at Va'os before he's actually answering her question. "Oh, definitely," she replies, only just refraining from rubbing her hands together in anticipation. "If they were to try for the exit, the dragons will handle them. The other way, though…" There are parts of that warren that she and Z'bor didn't bother with. "Do we want to wait on them, or did you have something else in mind?"

Va’os holds the facade for a whole three seconds before he scoffs and there’s laughter in his voice. “Fuck, no!” No, he was not a good little boy growing up! As for the rest of their plan? He considers the option, then snaps his fingers. “Firelizards? Yours trustworthy? We can have ‘em chase any runaways. Tag ‘em and contain them.” Because nothing would be more frightening to a child then a few firelizards playing herd-the-kid, right?

"Thought not," Rielle grins. "I'd be sorely disappointed to hear otherwise." Va'os mention of firelizards earns an emphatic nod. "My three are good." And on cue, they pop into the air overhead, two browns and a green, hovering curiously as the brownrider silently implores them to stay quiet. "They can check the camp first, then watch in the tunnels, maybe? And then we can…gather up what they stole and wait for them to come back around." Unless, of course, the camp's residents are on their way back right now, in which case simply waiting might be better…but there's no way to know for sure.

“Perfect!” Va’os will summon his own and a gold and bronze appear. For obvious reasons, he keeps brown Zoinks with Tsiroth. “I’ll send Filly and Colt down the tunnels. They know what to do.” Don’t ask how or why he named them that (it actually should be obvious). “Send yours to scope the camp. Better to know our space before we just jump in there…” Not that they’ll have much to worry about. One fault of over confidence? You get cocky. And right now those little imps are all snuggly curled up and fast asleep. Probably feeling all safe and full of themselves! Oh, how that’s going to change~

Indeed, the names of Va'os' firelizards earn a knowing little smile from Rielle before she sends Donn, Dair, and Altra forward to do their bit of scouting with a nod. Sure enough, they let her know about the sleepers in short order, finding some high perches in order to continue their watch. "Three of them, two girls and a boy, all about nine or ten. Sound asleep." She sighs softly, looking over at Va'os. "Shouldn't be too hard. After you," she says with a wink. Oh yes, she's noted just how easily her Weyrleader moves about. Just one more reason to be appreciative of it!

“Alright! Time for some rude awakenings!” Who said rain-days had to be boring? Va’os flashes a quick grin to Rielle, while his two firelizards quietly zip down past the camp and to the tunnels. He’ll set into a sneak, managing to get to that camp without incident. Gesturing for Rielle to take her position (of her choice!), it’s obvious that the Weyrleader has something up his sleeve. A third firelizard pops in, this one being a brown he’d named ‘Bad Boy’ for a reason too. Bad Boy slithers his way into the tent, coiling himself just above where the three kids lay. Va’os? Has drawn a utility knife and is going for that rope holding the bedsheets-tent up. One… two… three… Many things happen simultaenously. One, Bad Boy lets out a scream that’d make a Porg proud. Second, the startled corus of screaming children. Third? A snapping rope that proceeds to drop the whole tent on top of them. Va’os is CRUEL people! Because he’s LAUGHING his ass off while the kids go into full blown panic (and so does Bad Boy). “Faranth, listen to them!” he calls to Rielle over the chaos. “Wanna bet who pops out first?” If Pern had a Hell, Va’os is the first one on that train ride…

Rielle slips forward on the opposite side of the tent from Va'os, watching him curiously and putting all the pieces together just before Bad Boy decides to start shrieking. Not that she would've stopped Va'os had she been able to read his mind. Scaring them had been on her mind as well. And she really can't help laughing right along with the bronzerider. "Oh Faranth, Va'os!" Who's she kidding; she might just love him a little for this. "One of the girls," is her guess, and she's soon proved correct as a little slip of a thing finally extracts herself from beneath the fallen bedsheet, right in line with a good place for Rielle to stand, reach out and catch her by the scruff. "Alright girlie, that's enough! Fun's over!" Such spoilsports they're having to be.

“Look at you go!” Va’os is completely impressed that Rielle just goes right on in to scruff the girl! No softies here, right? Good. Because he’s going to do the same for the other girl who manages to thrash herself free. The third, the boy, tries to make a run for it, ends up tangling himself again and falling hard on his face. Which… of course means a split lip and crying now amidst the whines and protests from the other two. “Ahh, kid you’re fine!” No, really. He is but you know how kids are! “Come on. Up you go — hey! No kicking!” That’s for the kid he was holding, which he is promptly put in a hold. Nope! Bad kid. Bad. No biting the Weyrleader! As for Mr. Split-Lip? He gets righted and then shoved towards Rielle since she’s… a teeny bit more maternal and oh, a Healer too. YOUR PROBLEM! “See? Easy peasy!” he says oh-so cheerfully. “You three ever ride a dragon before? Cause you’re gonna now and you better damn well not piss me off or I’ll tie you to the outer straps!” Cue a big wolfish grin which sets the one he has pinned to his side to renewed howling protest. Something about being sorry and not wanting to be dropped Between? Sheesh. Kids!

Being a mother and sometimes surrogate of the sort to Z'bor and H'ris' little boy? Nope, Rielle is not afraid to do a little scruffing! The girl she has hold of looks like she's trying not to cry, trembling lip and all, but the brownrider doesn't loosen up, observing as the other girl tries to actually bite Va'os and ends up in a hold for her trouble. The Healer in her does immediately holler when that split lip happens. Banking on the fact that the accident probably rang the kid's bell a bit, too, she takes charge of him by the arm and steers the lot toward the way they came in. It gets a little harder when Va'os mentions the dragons, but they get there eventually. Rielle even takes a moment to clean up the boy's lip before they all end up on the backs of dragons.

Va’os won’t actually strap a kid to Tsiroth’s straps, but he will take one of them from Rielle or both the girls and leave her with the only “injured” one to worry about. One plus of the dragons is that any remaining fight has gone out of the trio and even the bronze is poised menacingly (he’s laughing on the inside). Poor kids are going to be traumatized! “We’ll hand these guys over to the Headwoman, alright? Tell the others were this is to pick up the goods?” Not that that is the MOST important part right now. Once he’s sure the girls are secure, he’ll give a quick salute and gesture to Rielle. “Nice job.” Time to head home! He’ll make sure that the trip back to the Weyr is as painless as possible. Those kids have been through enough and Faranth knows they’re gonna face further repercussions for their actions!

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