Catching Up
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Xanadu Weyr - Meadow Ridge

The meadow continues its gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes. Each hill seems to grow a bit higher, a bit steeper, as eventually, the meadow works up to a large ridge, the top flattening out at its new elevation.

From the top of the ridge, the view is certainly something to be admired - higher than the majority of the trees, one can look out over the rest of Xanadu Weyr proper. The houses in the lower meadow - each roof a different color - and the clock tower peeking upwards from the its forest surroundings are all visible, as is the cliff that houses the Weyr Caverns themselves. And yet, the ridge also holds an amazing view of the night sky - horizon to horizon - unaffected by the light pollution of the more heavily traveled regions.


There's been a break in the steady rains that have plagued Xanadu's area throughout the spring and with summer half gone they've at least tapered off somewhat to give a few clear-skied days. It's perhaps unsurprising that most of Xanadu's population is out soaking up that rare sunshine even if the ground seems to have become permanently soggy. The playground is abuzz with little ones made extra-energetic from being cooped up inside, heedless of the squishy ground beneath their little feet and the resultant stains it's sure to cause. With the ground too wet for picnicking, others simply stroll or find somewhere dry to sit. This is likely what brings Xanadu's Weyrwoman to the ridge today; high ground and fairly remote, giving her a moment's respite from the demands that fill her days. Seated on a large, flat rock with a journal open on her lap, pen held loosely in her fingertips, Thea's gazing out over the Sea of Azov rather than writing, perhaps mesmerized by the glittering water and her own thoughts.

It's truly amazing how similar Ista's early winter is to Xanadu's early summer. So much so that on first arrival, M'nol questioned whether or not he was in the right place. The lack of sheer rock face was a dead give away, though. Faraeth was more than happy to find himself a nice, somewhat muddy hollow to rest in while his lifemate did… whatever it was Morl had planned. The brown really doesn't care. Morl has spent easily an hour just wandering the Weyr, visiting memories, perhaps, or maybe just poking around. With him it's hard to tell. It's purely by chance that he stumbles upon Thea in his wandering across the meadow and, obviously, up to the high ridge she occupies, his booted feet squelching some in the damp earth as he comes up from behind, "Those things don't write themselves, you know."

Squelching boots may well have been heard, but possibly ignored in the hopes she'd be left for a bit of peace, for Thea hadn't turned to greet whomever was walking nearby. There's nothing to give any indication of irritation, however, when she turns a look over her shoulder with a coolly polite smile. "I know. I'm- M'nol!" That small smile widens into a genuinely warm one the instant she recognizes her friend. "What brings you to Xanadu?" And that rock gets patted in an invitation to sit if he wishes.

M'nol grins easily, having lost none of the boyish exuberance she likely remembers despite having aged several turns, "Thea. Good to see you're looking well." He moves, taking the offered seat without a second thought. "I'd honestly meant to come sooner when I heard about your promotion… but with the Weyrlings growing so fast at Ista I hadn't had the chance. Especially with the class from Nziekilth's clutch getting held back because of what happened with Tal." He lets his eyes turn out to the view of the sea, "I'd forgotten how beautiful the view was here." He's quiet a brief moment before asking, "How's the shiny new knot treating you? And D'had and the twins?"

Thea's eyes crinkle with humor as she watches the brownrider settle. "I'd imagine they'd keep you busy, yes. My son-" She self-corrects, "Well he's D'had's son, but he's my boy- N'shen has his hands full with ours." Her journal is flipped closed without regret, that pen capped while a bemused smile quirks her mouth. in answer to his question, the dangling tassel of her new knot is given a negligent flick with one fingertip, sending the thing dancing. "I never wanted it, honestly. It's a big adjustment for all of us." She sends a curious sidelong look at him, "I'm afraid I'm not up on all of Ista's doings. Heard about Cenlia's gold and that chicken coop, but Tal? What happened there?"

M'nol nods, "Busy busy. Always something that needs looking at with Weyrlings." He smirks slightly with another quick nod, "Family can be like that. I didn't actually hear how Seryth's last clutch fared. Well, I hope." He watches the tassel dance for a second, "Who does, really? But someone has to keep the Weyr running. Now Seryth's ruling the roost and you're stuck with the day to day." He can't keep his eyes from sparkling a bit in laughter repressed to just a smile. It doesn't last, though, fading a bit When Thea asks about Tal, "Shards… I figured most everyone knew, really. Zeek laid a gold egg her first time out, Niktuckuth. She and Tal made good progress through weyrlinghood. Or so we thought. Something went wrong when they were learning /between/ and she got lost. I wasn't there that night. C'dy was teaching that lesson, but it's cause a lot of problems for the rest of her class and Ellamariseth's brood that followed."

Thea's hand settles back to her lap after that flick where her fingers play idly with that pen. A short laugh from Thea, "Keeping the Weyr running. Hah! Understatement of the Turn." Her pale green eyes dance as she notes wryly, "You know what took the most getting used to was? Having the older Juniors under me instead of the other way around." Her mild amusement and resultant smirk fades as she slips a glance over to Seryth, making sure the young queen is still asleep over where she's been sprawled. "Oh Niktuckuth. Yes, I remember. Tal's name just didn't ring a bell." Mention of Ellamariseth has Thea's brow twitching slightly, her face unreadable as she asks formally, "How is… your Weyrwoman?" Only the briefest of pauses where a name might be used and the title substituted.

M'nol nods, working to banish the sadness that always accompanies the telling from his features, "Seryth rose first. That's just how things are and I'm sure most of the other goldriders are just glad not to have inherited the responsibility that goes with that… monstrosity seems as good a word as any, really." He indicates the knot of the senior, always a shiny, overdone affair. He's quiet for a moment longer before he nods, "It was hard on everyone. Some of the candidates for Ellamariseth's clutch were there in witness, as well." He shakes his head glancing down at the muddy ground for a few moments, then back up, "Ysa? Truth be told I rarely see her. I presume she is working too often to simply be out and about."

Noting that grief, Thea reaches to lay a hand lightly and briefly on M'nol's forearm if he will permit, giving a gentle squeeze as she withdraws it. She remarks not on the past loss, but on the future, "Well, I wasn't seeking it, but I wouldn't call it a monstrosity. I think of it as… a friend once put it." Her eyes lift towards the distant shore across the lake where Black Rock Hold lies. "A chance for dragons and their riders to be what they were meant to be." Ice green is soft gold with the sunlight carried back to M'nol's as she adds softly, "Enkavir wanted to believe they could be. Not… at odds with one another." Which is as far as she goes to refer to the rift between Weyrs. Mention of Ysa's name draws a sad smile to her lips, "Working hard. Perhaps so. If you do see her… no, it wouldn't-" She shakes her head, thinks then makes a decision, "Give her Xanadu's formal condolences on the loss of the young queen, belated but sincere, will you?"

M'nol accepts the show of sympathy with a slight nod of his head before a small smile manages to fight its way to the surface of his expression, "I meant visually. The responsibility that comes with it.. while, I'm sure like the one that came with my own, it varies from person to person." Though his eyes turn back to the waters as well, they're glazed in quick, silent conference with his lifemate. It's a slow moment before he speaks, "Enkavir was a good man. It's funny how nearly ten turns later…" He sighs gently, "He was a good man. It pains me, how little I manage to see of other riders and other Weyrs anymore. Outside of hatchings, it's like there's no visitation any more unless a rider makes a strong effort. Remember how many were there from so many Weyrs when my class graduated?" It's a sad sort of smile that graces his visage for a moment, then he nods, "Should I see her, it would be my honor. How likely that is, though. That's hard to say as I report to B'ky."

Thea's glance down at her own knot is a touch puzzled, but she makes no further comment in that regard. Her silence about the missing man could be construed either as agreement or not. "Ten turns." Her voice carries dismay, "Hard to believe it's been that long." On the heels of her friend's next words, she nods slowly, eyes hazy with recollection, "I vaguely recall there being a lot of folks there, though I was… preoccupied at the time. Visits did taper off after that." Her manner becomes brisk, "Perhaps it's time we changed all that. How hard can it be? We're all a hop skip and a blink between away. A party for no reason but to welcome visitors." The thought is certainly one that appeals to her, but set aside in favor of a solemn nod at his last comment. Her attention is firmly affixed on the cover of her journal when she murmurs, "We were friends once and I'd rather have a friend express the sentiment, but I won't press you. I… should write up something but that just seems… impersonal." She shrugs, lifts her head and laughs lightly over at him. "Don't worry about it, okay?"

M'nol nods as well, "Hard to believe it's been ten turns since I first came to the Weyr. It seems like a lifetime ago and just yesterday all at once." He glances up at her and nods, "The whole beach was filled with people. Don't think I've seen a graduation so large since. Or any event for that matter. Ista's had a few parties and things, but very few people have come." He shrugs, "The Weyrs seem to be getting very insular." The silence settles again, not uncomfortable so much as thoughtful, "I'm more than willing, I just don't want to promise when I may not get the opportunity." He smirks, shaking his head lightly, "It's quite awkward to realize that you're not sure if you've actually /met/ your own Weyrwoman."

With a roguish grin, she leans in an attempt to nudge his shoulder with her own, swaying back to her own space right after. "You were just a wee scamp then. With a biiiiiig, long name, ditching chores to run off to Healer Hall banquets where Journeywomen Healers flirted with you!" Thea was nothing if not well-informed back then. Her long breath out fills the space during that silence of his. Of insular she reflects, "I suppose that's true. With all the troubles - Ista's earthquakes, Western's floods, our forest fire. I think people just got… tired." Having never met his own Weyrwoman draws a blank, but only for a split second. Her sense of humor rises to the fore and she quips facetiously, "It… would give you an excuse to meet her?" So not serious with that one as her subject change indicates, "So how about you, M'nol? Do you have a family yet?" Since it's been ten turns and he's allll grown up.

M'nol giggles, likely with a hint of surprise, as she nudges him playfully, nudging her back with his own shoulder, "I'd right forgotten about that banquet. Shards, completely forgotten." One hand comes up to run easily through his hair, "That was some good food that night, though. 'S when A'ven got his senior's knot, wasn't it? I wasn't really paying that much attention, I'll be honest." And he was just too darn young to notice the flirting then. He gets a slightly far away look, then nods, "I think that's part of it, yeah. There was so much all at once… And you and Sig and D'son getting arrested certainly didn't help inter-Weyr feelings any." His brows furrow, then he smirks, "It would, wouldn't it? Not like it's /hard/ to just walk into her office and say it, I suppose." Except that she's sharding scary. Her next question draws a slight blush, "Well… ah, sort of? I've got a girl… former gardener, ironically enough. Ariadne. She impressed the same clutch as Cen. No kids yet, though. I mean, we've talked about it, but such things come in their own time."

Thea's snicker follows as her shoulder is jostled, a reminiscent smile tugs at her lips as the memories pull at her. "I think so, yes." She wasn't there, so likely only knows that due to the fact A'ven is Western's Weyrleader. Mention of their arrest and subsequent incarceration at Ista sees a mixture of emotions chase one another across her face. "That was… really a strangely confusing event, I'll be honest. It certainly didn't help cross-Weyr relations at the time, but my personal feeling is that it's pointless to hold a grudge. With S'gam as Ista's Weyrleader and D'son still going home to visit his family there… " She shrugs leaving that hanging in favor of giving her friend a wide, teasing grin. "I hope she hasn't got Cenlia's talent with the shovel. Or was it a bottle?"

M'nol grins, shaking his head easily as his jostling jostles him as well, "I remember mostly being angry, then. But we were still Weyrlings and all I really knew was that Ista'd locked my friends up. I've learned a lot more about how things work since then… not that it doesn't still seem a bit absurd. You guys were just trying to help. I'm sur Sig'd like it if you visited more, though." He smirks more, the blush creeping dangerously towards his ears, "No, she's a gentler soul than Cen. Though quite distressed that I seem wholly incapable of keeping any sort of plant alive. She and Cen're good friends, though."

With a snort and firmly spoken, "Well, that's not how things are supposed to work, so your anger was quite appropriate." Carefully not placing blame on any one person, she notes, "The falling out beforehand and what went on after it was unfortunate. Someday maybe…" She shrugs futilely. She doesn't have the answers yet, though she does assure him, "Oh I intend to. I have to see Cenlia more often too. If only to give her the impossible challenge of trying to get me drunk." Her attention turns to that blush of his, but she's kind enough not to tease too far. From down in the meadow someone calls her and she rises hastily. "Well you have her to do the gardening, hmm? Tell her she's your tender plant to nurture and keep alive instead. I've got to run. It was so good to see you again, M'nol." And she trots off with an easy wave.

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