Always Go with Knives

Xanadu Weyr - Shores of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

It's a hot, sticky day at Xanadu. The air is heavy, and the sky is grey and gloomy with looming clouds that seem to promise rain and yet offer no relief. Unsurprisingly, there are some who have sought shelter in the ocean, hoping the water will offer a respite from the heat, while more still choose to stay indoors entirely. It's an appropriately miserable day for at least one person who happens to have found herself seated on the sand. Innes is not among either crowd, precisely, although she is down by the beach. She successfully located a patch of sand some distance from any kind of commotion and has claimed it as her own. Though she's in her regular day clothes, her boots have been kicked to the side and socks removed so that her feet can dig into the sand, half-buried from view. Her generally stiff demeanor and removed location have done a fair job of keeping people at a distance, although there have been some that dared to venture close enough to greet their newly-minted Weyrwoman.

Another will dare to venture close to the newly-minted Weyrwoman only Kiena's happening upon her is half by chance (and maybe half bad luck). The bluerider has been haunting Xanadu for several days now and ever since Kalsuoth's injury landed him as a patient in the Infirmary and grounded Mur'dah with him. Not that she's been idle — oh no. She's been doing as much work in her old place of business: the forges. She's got to pay the Weyr back somehow! Just not on a hot and dreary day like this. She sought the refuge of the coast, choosing to pick her way along the 'hidden' paths and as she steps out from what little cover there may be and onto the sands she'll stop, hands on her hips and inhale deeply of the ocean air. Kiena still looks the part of an Ierne rider. Eccentric and half-wild, from the odd clothes she wears to her ever messy hair now sporting a few tiny braids with beaded accents. "Same old, same old…" she breathes, unaware that Innes is not that far from her side.

It's a bit of a miracle that Innes is at least sitting on the beach sober, without the bottle that has been her constant companion the past couple of days. That was pre-flight, knowing what her fate was going to be. Now the flight has come and gone, and she's just luxuriating in the misery of her new position. She's so wrapped up in self-pity that she doesn't immediately notice Kiena's arrival, not until the other woman speaks. It's not a surprise to her to see the bluerider again — she has enough eyes and ears around the Weyr to hear of their semi-fortunate return — but it's the first opportunity she's had to see either of them since their arrival. "Ierne looks good on you," she comments after a quick glance, her gaze soon focusing out toward the waves again as though not quite certain whether or not she wants to engage.

Kiena may have delayed visiting or saying hello to Innes for many reasons. One being that her focus had been on her weyrmate while he dealt with the repercussions of Kalsuoth's injury. Two… she's learned just not to be around proddy goldriders. Upon hearing Innes' voice beside her though, the bluerider will tilt her head and look down, only to grin. "Thanks. You should try it sometime. Don't have to be actually Ierne to do it… or so I was told." She shrugs her shoulders and tosses her hair back over them though it's not long before it falls forwards again. Blue eyes do a quick look over of the Weyrwoman and then the beach around them before she feels secure enough to linger. Not quite approach, but she's not taking off either. "Big change, huh." Kiena goes on to say and forgoing the usual canned greetings, as is her usual habit.

Despite reports to the contrary, a proddy Innes isn't all that different from the regular sort… just a bit more inclined to bad moods and stabbing things. So perhaps it's for the best that Kiena stayed away, safely out of harm's reach. "I think it's my natural state," she admits. Although her clothes might be less odd and more toward the utilitarian side, and her hair may be lacking in braids and beads, she certainly has the wild, untamed look down. That air of freedom about her is part of what makes this whole thing so difficult to accept. It's much harder to escape with an entire Weyr depending on you. "Hm?" is her quiet response, even though she heard Kiena's words perfectly well. "Oh. Yeah. Big change. Not very surprising, though." She grimaces as she speaks, giving a little shake of her head before trying to turn the topic elsewhere. "So, how does it feel to be back?"

"Then there you have it, you're already a step ahead." Kiena muses and if she had any inclination of Innes' struggle with maintaining the air of freedom, the bluerider would sympathize. She's had that struggle most of her life though she's never been truly thrust into a position with no way out. Unfortunately for the Weyrwoman, Kiena's also not the type to allow an easy escape from touchy and awkward subjects. "No, not surprising. Not… exactly desire either, huh? Don't seem to be jumpin' for joy." she drawls as she flops down onto the sands and stretches her legs out before bending them at the knees. Picture of relaxation here! Only she's far from it. "Feels strange? Good… but strange. We'd just been getting the trick of Ierne and our new home built and settled… and now this. Not that I'm griping about being here. If anything, I'm glad it was Xanadu. At least this was home…"

Innes might be inclined to growl and walk away from the conversation - not that it's entirely off the table - were someone else to attempt to be so pushy. But Kiena was once Weyrsecond, which means she likely has some inkling of the situation Innes is in even if the circumstances are vastly different. So instead of completely icing the bluerider out, the Weyrwoman simply fidgets awkwardly in the sand while attempting to make it look like she's just finding a more comfortable position. "Does anyone jump for joy when it happens?" she questions with dry humor, darting a glance at the other woman out of the corner of her eye. Apparently she has company now, as unexpected as it may be. "Are you in your old place, then? I'm assuming no one snatched it up while you were gone. If they did, I'll have a word with them." There's a brief lift to her voice at the thought of threatening someone. "I assume you'll be returning to Ierne when Kalsuoth is better, yeah?"

Kiena given how spectacularly she lost her rank as Weyrsecond… she may not be the best to look for advice wise but for an understanding sounding board? You bet. No judgement there and if she notices Innes' fidgeting there's nothing said on that either. "Nope. Not a single one I know of yet who's thrown a big party. Y'know what my brother did? Locked himself up in his weyr apparently, all hermit recluse like. Took his weyrmate driving a knife through his desk to get the message across… though I promise not to do that to you or E'tan." Though the way she grins seems to say otherwise. It's okay to joke, right? Kiena's not settling in too comfortably. At the first hint that her visit is overlong, the bluerider is booking it! "We are. Or… more I am and the girls and 'Thien are with their original foster families. Sadly, no words needed. Sorry," Just in case Innes is sincerely disappointed. "Mur'dah spends most of his time with Kalsuoth and… I dunno," She shrugs her shoulders and for a moment her mask slips and there's genuine concern flickering in her eyes. "Depends. Right now it's even up in the air if Kalsuoth will ever fly again — if you ask Mur'dah. Dragonhealer's haven't given a definite yes or no and only a 'it'll take time' sort of time frame."

It's (mostly) guaranteed that Innes won't lose her rank provided she doesn't destroy half the Weyr, so really, how bad could Kiena's advice be? And judging by the generally disgruntled state the new Weyrwoman is in, she'd probably be thrilled to be ousted from her position. "I like your brother. He has the right idea." She squints contemplatively, before adding, "And your brother's weyrmate. The knife idea is a good one, just in general." Is that a hint of a smile? Woe betide the rest of the weyr administration, apparently. She digs her toes into the sand, seeking out the cooler grains underneath. The top layer may not have been baking in the sun, but that hasn't kept it from absorbing quite a bit of the heat. She does look mildly disappointed by the lack of people to threaten with her newfound power (there has to be some perk to it), but it's quickly shaken off. "All the same, better for you that they didn't. At least it's still home." No extra holes in the wall thanks to someone else. "Well," she starts, haltingly, "My grasp on dragonhealing is minimal at best. But it'd probably take a lot to keep Kalsuoth from flying again. You know. Because it would upset Mur'dah." Consoling isn't her forte, but it's at least an awkward attempt.

Kiena chuckles under her breath and pushes her hair back over her shoulders again for all the good it'll do. "It certainly makes 'em focus on what you're trying to get across. Nothing like a knife to the desk! Lesson learned and never forgotten," she adds with a hint of that grin again. "Plus they're less likely to disagree. Don't forget that either." She shakes her head, looking out over the beach and towards the water. "All the same yeah, it's home." Minimal grasp or not, Innes' halting attempt at consoling does bring a faint albeit crooked grin from the bluerider. "You're probably right," But? Kiena exhales and lifts a hand to scrub at her face and run her hand up over her hair. "Though it's not Kalsuoth I worry about. It's Mur'dah. He seems dead set that Kalsuoth's done, y'know? It's all just…" Said hand now waves vaguely through the air and she grimaces. "Sucks. Anyways… Won't bore you with those details. Just be assured neither of us are freeloadin' on your Weyr. And speaking of…" With a played up groan, she'll push to her feet and brush the sand from her clothing. "I best be off and I'll let you enjoy your solitude while you can." Now there's a bit of a wink and Kiena's back more, or less, to her sassy self. "Best of luck." Try not to go insane?

Innes snorts, a little huff of a laugh that dies quickly, but the humor still lingers in her expression. "No one will disagree with me," she assures with her usual confidence. Because… knives. They're very effective, as Kiena has helpfully pointed out. It may also be because Innes is generally frightening when angry. "Just…" Her eyes screw up as she searches for the right thing to say. "Just tell him if he's ready to give up on Kalsuoth, then I expect him to be earning his keep by being my personal assistant and he can show up at my office tomorrow morning. And if he thinks Kalsuoth's still got some fight in him, well… then he's welcome to do whatever he'd like." It's the Innes method of persuasion. She wiggles her toes around in the sand, glancing up at Kiena with a faint smile as the other woman stands. "Thanks," she mutters, and the words are perhaps meant for more than just the opportunity for solitude. "But you know, worst case scenario, I've got knives." What a grand future for Xanadu! "Good to have you back, Kiena."

Kiena's chuckle gradually shifts to a low laugh, "I'll be sure to pass that on to him. Ought to scare him straight, I'm sure…" she muses with another crooked grin. As for the thanks, she'll just dip her head to acknowledge that. "Worse case," she echoes and the grin fades to something a little more genuine as a smile. "Feels good to be back, Innes. Clear skies," And yes, she'll salute now but it's so carefree it could hardly be considered proper and with that she'll fade back down the same paths she arrived upon.

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