High Hopes

Xanadu Weyr - Holding Cell
Out near the stables, far enough away that the smell isn’t too bad except when the wind is in just the wrong direction, there’s a small stone hut with iron bars over the single window. The door is oak with iron braces, locked and bolted from the outside. If it weren’t for the locks and bars, it might pass for a garden shack, but the only rakes here are ones who drank too much and have been thrown into the holding cell to sleep it off. It’s often unoccupied, though kept in good repair in case of miscreants.
Inside, there’s a hard cot and a chamberpot; the essentials of at least somewhat civilized life, if not comfort. This - unlike the stable - is for holding people, not animals.

It's been a long time of searching for the lost Weyrwoman. Days, in fact, since the dragons of Xanadu lamented over the loss of their Queen. The reality of the loss of the Weyrwoman as well has come with the discovery of a locket and goggles. And now, days later, humans lament as well, for it's real to them all. It's been announced. The search is over. The Weyrwoman…presumed dead. Is dead. Ka'el has had a lot to deal with, so the paperwork that's been piling on his desk has been left unchecked until currently. Reports to be sifted through. Riders that have been tended to. Riders that have been …threatened? It's that report that brings him here now, to the holding cell out nearish the stables. The day is mockingly bright, cheerful despite the gloom that has fallen upon the Weyr. He locks eyes upon the guard that's posted, giving a slight nod as he strides up to the cell door, pausing before it. "Mindhealer Cyrus," he calls.

c-rus is resting peacefully on his cot. At least he was until he heard a voice call his name. A voice that he really doesn't recognize. He gets up from his cot to peer outside of the cell to see who is there. He soon enough spots Ka'el. He has met him only a few times and so this is something of a surprise, "Hello." he says to the weyrleader, "How can I help you?" he asks. He hasn't recieved many visitors so any are welcome.

"That's an odd question to ask," Ka'el says to the face that appears from the cell, his brows furrowing for a thoughtful moment. "At least, it sounds odd to me, given the circumstances. In your position Cyrus, I don't think there's much you can do to help me. … Other than, maybe… explaining to me why, of all things for me to discover on my desk, there was a report of you. An 'altercation', it was reported, between you and the Weyrsecond." He shakes his head, brows still gently knitted. "To be honest, I'm hoping that, with all that's happened, the recorder of the report was somehow misinformed of what happened between the two of you. Because what I read … didn't make sense to me. Will you explain?"

Cyrus had figured that was why the weyrleader was here. He probably wouldn't come on any sort of social call. They don't really know each other all that well. He sighs as he is asked that question, "Not having seen the report I couldn't vouch for the truthfullness of it. Altercation certainly seems to be appropriate." he says to him by way of affirmation, "I will try…" he says before continuing, "You of course know Kera. Kera and I are friends…really good friends. She had a flight. Kiena won. I was upset Ka'el. I'm not from here…you know how hard things are sometimes. When I talked to Kera afterward you should have seen the look in her face. I felt I had to defend her honor. It wasn't my brightest moment." he says sadly.

Moncerath rose? Kanekith's non-interest in the greenflight is unsurprising, as is the fact that the green rose. Dragons tend to do that, and the Weyrlings are all graduated now. Ka'el remains quiet as he listens to Cyrus, neither confirming nor denying how much he agrees with hard things are. He merely listens. It's what he came here to do. That and talk, but listening comes first, and he doesn't interrupt him. Even when he trails, he remains quiet a short time after, watching him as his hands clasp loosely behind his back. "What did you say to her?" he says in gentle prodding for more. "To Kiena?"

Cyrus wouldn't have felt good about any flight. He has strong opinions on the whole thing and they are what they are, "I told her that she molested my friend and that I wanted her to stay away. I used several colorful analogies. I was angry. To be absolutely honest I still am. All I wanted was for her to leave Kera alone, but she said she wouldn't and she said it could happen again. Like she didn't even care. She probably felt threatened, but I told her straightforwardly that I wasn't going to hurt her and I didn't. I didn't lay a hand on her."

Ka'el inhales a slow breath, which is exhaled just as slowly through the nose. He nods once and once only, the expression on his face clouded with thought. Explosive, he is not. Angry? If so, it doesn't show. In fact, he looks very much the same as he did when he arrived. Neutral, is a good word. Neutrality, perhaps, is a good stance for him to have in these types of situations. What has ranting and raving ever done for anyone? Except, perhaps, land them in a cell for days on end. "I understand, Cyrus, that you are not from here. Just where you're from? I don't know, but I can guess that it isn't from a Weyr. I'm not Weyr-bred, either. Which you already seem to know. But our backgrounds don't matter when it comes to Weyr-life. It isn't … unknown that dragons rise. Dragons have risen since dragons came to be. I can only imagine how many times you've heard this since your arrival here in this cell, but you'll hear it once more: A rider can't control what happens when his or her dragon rises and catches. A rider isn't himself, or herself, in those moments. You're a mindhealer. Maybe you can think of how it may be for the mind to .. temporarily belong to something else."

"I'm from Rubicon originally. I have been here for three turns or so…" he says to explain a bit. Not that it really matters all that much, but it can help a bit, "Kera is from there too." he adds. He has heard that a thousand times, but he has also heard other things, "I've done some research. There are times when riders have some control. Like with everything in life it isn't black and white. I'm not saying the control is total, but…." Cyrus sighs, "Ka'el. Kera is the only thing in the world that really matters to me. I did what I did because I needed to protect her…." he won't bother asking Ka'el if he wouldn't do anything to protect Sori, or his son. He already knows the answer to that, "I want to study this issue. Just think what things would be like if there could be more control. It could make everyone's life better."

Ka'el vaguely lifts a brow. "The only thing in the world?" Color him surprised. In the apparent three turns that Cyrus has lived here, he can probably count on one hand how many times he's seen him with his green-riding friend away from the infirmary. "Kera does not need protecting. Least of all from her Weyrsecond. She's a rider. The path she's on now is one that she chose to walk. No one forced her Candidate's knot in her hand, and .. more importantly, she's happy with Moncerath. Do you not see this? And if you do care for her as much as you claim you do, do you not see how treating her as if she is something that needs to fixed could do her more harm than good?" He turns his eyes to the sky for a moment, searching for the words. "A dragon is .. not just a thing. Not like a canine or a feline or tunnelcat. A dragon is a part of who a rider is, and flights are part of who a dragon is. They happen, Cyrus. And for her, they'll happen often. It's something you'll have to accept, not try to change. What marginal control a rider may have over himself comes with experience, but there's no amount of control that will keep a rider away from the one that their dragon has caught, or to keep a dragon from rising." He shakes his head. "You're chasing an impossible thing, Cyrus."

Cyrus 's face falls at his response. He'd perhaps gotten his hopes up too high, but it is no matter. One presses on, "She was too young to understand the implications." he points out, "Even if she did it of her own free will. I don't deny she is largely happy with her, but Ka'el…the look I saw on her face. That wasn't happiness. You weren't there. There is a problem." he says. He isn't raising his voice or attempting to offer insult, "I know." he says softly at his final statement, "I know that is a strong chance, but I want to try. If I fail…that will be a worse punishment than anything you could give me. You have to believe me…please."

“If she wasn’t ready, she wouldn’t have been asked. Cyrus..” Ka’el’s hands unclasp so that he can instead press the tips of his fingers together in front of him. “Happiness isn’t felt one hundred percent of the time. My first flight wasn’t happy. Flights between then and now have been complicated. They cause complications in some way, shape, or form. Any rider who claims otherwise is lying through their teeth.” He pauses again, watching the man behind bars earnestly. “But a flight is one moment in a lifetime of moments. You have been a resident of Xanadu for three turns. In these three turns, there have been countless numbers of flights. Not once have I heard you voice your concern of any other rider that has caught any green or gold. Not a complaint has found it’s way to my desk from you. Your issue isa'eln’t with flights. Your issue is with Moncerath being caught and Kera’s actions because’ve it. That’s your problem, and I’m sorry Cyrus, but that is your problem. How the world works, how dragons work, isn’t going to change. This is a personal thing for you. I wouldn’t even know where you would think to start to change the link between a rider and his or her dragon, but I won’t allow you to experiment with any of mine.”

Cyrus doesn't plan to experiment, at least not initally. Whatever Ka'el may think of him he is a man of science and he does loads of research before persuing anything. For the moment though that is on the back burner, now isn't the right time. Of course its a personal issue. That has been throughly obvious, "It is personal Ka'el. It very much is my problem, and its not a problem that I can solve here. Kera and I are working on things. I know you can respect that. In three turns I have caused no one here a bit of trouble. I've even helped some of the people here stay alive. I have not, nor do I plan to harm Kiena. I plan to stay as far away from her as possible. I am not a troublemaker, and I've witnessed in my time here worse offenses than mine. I'm asking you for mercy. Please."

No trouble, eh? Ka'el coughs … or, rather, the sound that comes out of his throat is very cough-like, and a fist is lifted to his mouth. Mercy? "What happens to you rests in the hands of the Weyrwomen, Cyrus. Punishment of citizens is their territory. They're the judges of whether or not your offense is 'any worse or better than' what they've dealt with before, not you. Threatening Xanadu's Weyrsecond and … from the reports I've read, your voiced thoughts on dragon riders .. may not help your case. You likely won't spend your life behind those bars, but what you can do once you're out may be very limited. By now, Healer Hall likely has heard of your behavior here, and what they decide to do is out of my hands. … My advice to you, if I were to give any advice at all, is for you to think long and hard about your residency here. Is this the best place for you? Moncerath will rise again. Kanekith may catch her. What then? Is that something that you can handle? And what of the next time she rises? Is your plan to distance yourself from everyone? How would you be serving this Weyr as a mindhealer and healer in general, if that's the case?"

Cyrus is honest. Almost to a fault. He hasn't lied to a single person since he came here. He might have been better off if he had. Lying seems to get people farther in life than telling the truth, "I don't have an answer for you Ka'el. I didn't want to be assigned here. I've begged multiple times to be let off my assignment and be reassigned. They've denied me each time." He does blame the hall for some of this, but that is neither here nor there, "But I don't want to leave. I love Kera." he says softly, "I do. She's the only friend I've ever had. She promised we'd find a way to make it all work. I have to believe in that. Ka'el whatever pain I've caused I am sorry, but I'm in pain too."

“Really? I’m sure the Weyrwomen can work something out if truly that is the case. After this incident, it may be the best thing.” He stops for a moment, his brow furrowing faintly. “You’ve begged to be gone, but you don’t want to leave? I’m no mindhealer, but it sounds as if your mind is conflicted. Realize, Cyrus, that my duty is to my riders. Kera is one of Xanadu’s riders now, as is Kiera. If I feel that either of the two of them are unsafe because of you, steps will be taken to ensure that is resolved. If you love Kera as much as you say you do .. be sure to figure it out sooner rather than later, or unfortunately, it’ll be figured out for you.” His hands move behind his back again at this point, and he takes a step away from the cell. “This will be the last time that you threaten a rider of this Weyr. The last person that I know of who did the same found himself locked away, far from here, for turns, then banned from the Weyr.” Different circumstances, but eh, details. “For your sake, I do hope you find a way to accept what life is for a rider. If you can’t, I suggest you let her find someone who can.”

Cyrus is learning some hard truths. The first being that if he was looking for justice he is in the wrong place, and that these people are so set in their ways that anyone who rocks the boat or presents a different idea is met with a certain level of hostility. Its a position that he has fought against first as a young child and now as an adult. He has, from the time he was small, always believed in possibilities. That if you just worked hard enough or studied enough a solution would present itself. One by one doors have slammed in his face, almost gleefully it seems. Malice in some. He just nods his head. Losing a certain amount of energy to continue this conversation. There is very little point, "Conflicted doesn't begin to describe my mind Ka'el." he says. He knows that these people want him gone. Hell he wants himself gone. But he can't do that without leaving his friend. Its an impossible position to be in, "I'm no threat to any of you." he says honestly, "Even if I wanted too…which I do not…I haven't the power to offer any meaningful resistance. You have all the power, and I know how you will use it."

“I hadn’t any clue that you were a mind-reader as well, Cyrus,” comments Ka’el, his brows lifting almost imperceptibly. His attention drifts to the guard on duty, giving him a nod in signal that he is done and his post is his to take once more. Nothing else can be said. Nothing else needs to be said that hasn’t already been spoken. At least now Ka’el knows that the report did speak the truth. Cyrus is … well… He’s always been a little different. Different doesn’t mean ‘bad’ or even ‘outcast’. But there’s something notably different about this mindhealer’s difference, and it’s concerning to Ka’el. But, this is something that the can walk away from and come back to later after conferring with the Juniors. There are other things plaguing Xanadu now that no amount of walking will allow him full escape.

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