What Do They Look For?

Xanadu Weyr - Observation Level
Dark blue seats form a semi-circle around the sands below, the lowest row separating from the sands themselves by merely a railing. The seats climb upwards, each row a bit higher then the previous, and they are broken up into sections by 3 sets of staircases. Lights are evenly spaced along the outer wall, lighting the seats and the sands easily, though they tend to be dimmed unless a major event is taking place. A large balcony looms overhead, darkening some of the seats, providing a place for observers of the draconic kind to watch without obstructing the view for others.
When one looks over the railing, the oddly hued sand below can be seen easily, the circle-shaped area of the sands spread out to the far walls, the sand itself a unique mixture of red and white grains.

Evening has fallen and, with it, M'gaal has found himself — as he so often does, these days — seated at the lower-most tier of the observational level. Hunkered forward, elbows on his knees, and eyes open but unseeing, he's every bit the image of that smoke-and-bronze construct that resides, unmoving and silent, on the sands below. Conversation between the two is, no doubt, the cause for the distance in the man's eyes, though neither man nor beast makes any sound at all for the sake of that unspoken conversation.

Despite the hatching of Kilaueth's clutch freeing Niva from her own obligation to spend extended periods of time in the Galleries, this evening still finds her making her way through the rows of seats, making her way down towards the sands. Pausing on one of the bottom stairs, she turns to look over the few gathered in the galleries, gaze resting curiously on that man, hunkered down there.

Where M'gaal might be oblivious, Zaqalekhth is all-too-aware — and, also, particularly keen on using the man's trio of 'lizards to serve as eyes scattered elsewhere throughout. A single smoke-wrought warning is given and then his presence withdraws, leaving an owlishly blinking rider in his mental wake. He rubs a little at his face, features screwing up into unreadability at some thought or another … and then he half-turns, tipping a look to the newly arrived Niva. "Evening, Weyrwoman." It's amiably offered, if with a tired edge.

Niva looks back to the eggs as M'gaal seems to move and shift, letting her eyes linger on the twelve mounds there before she glances back at him, with a little bit of a smile tugging at her lips. "Good evening, rider.." She pauses, moving to slide into the row of seats behind him. "I.. I hope that you aren't finding yourself unable to keep up your…. obligations.. to Fort, spending evenings here." Certainly, it seems, the Weyrwoman has heard the rumors, if she didn't read it herself. She keeps her voice even as she settles easily into her chosen seat, leaning back.

There's a grunted 'hnh' for the statement, the sound of a man who's been poked with similar things for some time now. Still, he manages a polite-enough smile, even if it might not carry completely over his shoulder when he tips a look back at her. M'gaal replies, "Beyond promising to take the boy back up there when the eggs hatch, that's all the obligation I have." While she leans back, he leans forward again, attention drifing back to the orbs. "Zaq didn't want to leave. He's, ah. Protective of children." From the sound of it, he's also somewhat baffled by the idea.

Niva arches an eyebrow at this response, the corners of her mouth curling up just a little in what's nearly a smirk at his response. "Is that so?" She comments with a nod, shifting a little bit, shoulders rising and falling a little as she studies him from her 'superior' seat, considering his words. "You.. tend to be more protective of your own, than you are of others'. Though, I can't speak for your bronze's reasonings."

There's a shallow nod and a backwards flick of his eyes to Niva before M'gaal's attention is re-centered. "It is what it is. The renegades just had terrible timing, as they always do. That they picked /that/ place of all of them-" He trails, tone souring toward the end; it's a disturbing thought, all in all. For the rest of her words, there's only a slight shake of his head. "That might just be my fault, in some ways. I love kids; always have. He might just finally be warming to them, now that he has some of his own on the way. He, ah. He's always like Mal, though."

It's a rather calloused statement that's then escaping from Niva's mouth, "Better that they're there, than here. Though one would wonder what that woman did, to earn their ire so much." A slight roll of her eyes, and she shakes her head, before she's changing the subject, nodding her head back to the clutch on the Sands. "Better than some - I swear that there are some who want nothing to do with any of them, no matter whose they are."

For that, he grunts, but only to add, "One would. But I wasn't paid to pry." His quirked smile is heard more than seen and he adjusts his posture slightly to get a slightly better look at one of the other eggs. "Haven't heard of a one that wasn't at least a little fatherly toward their own," he responds, chin lifting to indicate the bronze down there, "but, then, I wouldn't figure on him being quite /this/ way about them, either. Not sure if I'd prefer him being indifferent or complaining about their positioning." It's like the latter that he was enduring earlier, gauging from his tone. "How's that girl doing, by the bye?"

"And if you were?" Niva asks in a tone that seems joking enough, though a hint of seriousness lurks in the depths of her voice. However, she's nodding as she looks over to follow his gaze to the eggs. "Dragons, certainly enough, though I've seen at least one or two that would rather ignore the -human- types of children." A wrinkle of her nose, and she nods at the bronze as he lurks protectively over his eggs. "She'll survive. Though the Healers want her on bedrest, and its unlikely that she'll stand for these."

"Then I'd know." Simple as that, offered with a further tilting of his smile. "Ah. True enough. Some just don't like things so small that they can be easily crushed, I imagine. He, ah. He was a lot like that for a long time." A hand is dragged across the back of his neck and M'gaal, finally, just nods for the assessment. "That's a shame. Good that she'll make it, but Zaq seems disappointed that she won't be able to stand." Pause. "Though, I suspect, it's less because of /her/ and more because he likes the idea of there being enough candidates for them to choose from."

"Its a pity that you weren't, in that case." She comments with a wink, even as she turns a little further in her seat, resting her arm along the back of the seats. "Kilaueth is still less than fond of them, despite having seen three of them grow up." She nods a little at his mention of Zaq's disappointment, arching an eyebrow. "He may have to face the loss of one more… I'd not sure what to do with that bloody girl." A grimace and she sighs a little.

There's a snort of laughter, a shake of his head, and then M'gaal is silent for a beat or two with his eyes glossed over in brief conversation. Zaq, below, is finally stirring … but only to examine one of the nearest eggs for some inexplicable reason. Mergie, meanwhile, tips a look back to Niva before turning in his seat to better look at her. "Another one?" Puzzlement creases his brow. "Or dare I ask?" Not much of a gossip, this one.

Its an amused smile that lingers on her face as they fall into silence as Zaq begins a bit of curious examination, before the questionning look from M'gaal has her sighing and nodding. "Hisolda found the girl sneaking back to the barracks -again-. And if you get a good look at her neck, you'll know exactly where she's been." A hand slaps her leg as she straightens up a little. "If -I- could deal with the restrictions, even she can, or she needs not risk a weyrling dragon."

"Ah. /That/ one." Realization registers and he snorts, though the sound is far from mirthful. It might, in fact, be more of a Zaq-sound than a M'gaal-sound, if inadvertently made by the man. His mouth distorts a little. "Doesn't make a lick of sense to me, either. It's not as if they're waiting turns and turns for the eggs to hatch, yet they act like those sevendays are the last sevendays they'll ever have again."

"I.. hope that she hasn't been causing you too much trouble." Niva offers in probably the most serious tone that she's had this evening. "Certainly some of them need to decide what they want out of it." A shake of her head and she grimaces. "If they're unable to wait the few weeks of Candidacy… I don't need anymore panicked weyrlings waiting up the Weyr." The Weyrwoman shifts, sitting up a little straighter then, with a flick of her fingers. "Children."

There's a slight shake of his head, though the glance down to the bronze below might speak volumes. "Left to his devices, he'd cull the weak-willed and fill the ranks with others who /want/ to be there." Which is likely why he's /not/ left to those devices. M'gaal makes a bit of a face, then nods, echoing her straightening, if unconsciously. "Kids, indeed. Makes one wonder how any of us made it past that age in one piece." There's a slight pause, then a wry, "More or less."

"Certainly, some of the choices that the dragons make baffle me to no end… More so when they end up finding a lifemate on the Sands. Though, C'ian tells me often that it takes all types." And there's a face as she mentions the insight her weyrmate offers. "Strict expectations, and plenty of training to occupy our days and evenings." She declares, punctuating it with a nod, though her serious attitude suffers a hiccup at his wry comment.

A see-saw motion is made with a hand as nothing more than an ambivalent gesture. "Seems like it, though it doesn't seem to click for him. Come to think of it, he never searched any candidates at all for the entire time we were at Igen." Huh. M'gaal shrugs it off. "It does take all kinds, though. Diversity is good, as long as, ah, the diverse types work together." While there's a somber nod for the rest of her words, he can't /quite/ keep amusement out of his gaze. "Was Kilaueth a perfectionist? Or were you, in those days?" he wonders mildly.

"Perhaps he at least has common sense to not take those who are merely.. passable rather than truly deserving." Niva says dismissively, shaking her head with a little bit of a hmph, one that's echoed at his question and that slightly amused look. "In all days." She says with a a little bit of a frown, the wrinkles gathering at the corners of her eyes. "Without structure, you turn into… You turn into my daughters." She says with a bit of exasperation.

"Of course," is mostly a personal utterance, though she might well pick up on it. M'gaal rolls a shoulder in a half-shrug, remarking, "It's not common sense. He's looking for something specific, I think, though I'm not sure he knows what it is. He's, ah. He's the perfectionist of us. Weyrlinghood was, for lack of a better word, torture. But we both turned out better for it, in the end." There's an absent rub of his palm at his temple, smile fading a bit and going slightly lopsided with sympathy. "Are they that bad?" It's probably not the wisest question to ask, but … there it is.

"Do any of them know what they look for? Do -we- know what we look for?" Niva asks quickly, challenging his statement a little, though she keeps her voice low out of respect for the clutchparents on the sands. "A good Weyrlinghood can straighten most of them out, though it seems that from time to time, there's always one that makes it through without learning what they need to." A gentle flick of her fingers pushes a strand of her hair back from her face from where its come loose. "Vivian, at least, has seemingly found her calling, even if she sulked for months that Kelioth was green, and not gold. Nicca.." And at the mention of her younger daughter, she just trails off with an exasperated sigh.

"I'm sure we know what we're looking for, even if we can't articulate it. I found it once, but-" That thought ceases abruptly and M'gaal offers nothing more, simply letting his shoulders sag just a little with a backwards look to the beast. Of course, there's nothing but an agreeable nod to her mention of Weyrlinghood, "Of course. Always one or two, though they sometimes pick it up along the way after a few hard lessons." Or never at all, but he'll not go that far. "Hnh. Maybe she's just a bit slow to bloom into her own," he figures, but … young women are, clearly, not something he knows much about.

"I would be downright shocked, if what you looked for was the same as that which I looked for." Niva offers, slightly sitting forward, stretching a little bit before rising to her feet carefully, being sure to not move too quickly as she does so. "Certainly, there are disadvantages to the girl who thinks that she deserves the world simply because her mother is the Weyrwoman, and her father was Weyrleader." With an inclination of her head, she's turning to leave. "If you'll excuse me though, I should make sure that my youngest is finishing his studies.. Hopefully I'll succeed with at least one of the three." And then she's turning to go, but not before pausing to look back at him. "If.. there's anything we can do to make you feel more comfortable, most anyone can tell you where my office is." And that seems to serve as her goodnight, for she's climbing the stairs to the exit row without another look back.

"Which is how it should be. If we all looked for the same thing … what's the good in that?" But, he'll leave it there, with M'gaal merely lifting a brow slightly for the rest of her words until she appears to be leaving. "Clear skies, Weyrwoman," he finally offers when she starts to make good her departure, a hand lifting in some sort of salute before he's back to playing the role of human gargoyle, at contrast to the draconic one below.

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