Too Cold For A Swim

Xanadu Weyr - Shore 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.

The day is slowly winding to a close, Autumn has fully settled upon Xanadu, and the trees that will lose their leaves have done so in dazzling fashion. Otherwise, most of the foliage appears to have given up, dusky looking and preparing for the onslaught of chilly weather, the world is in transformation. Clouds speckle the darkening sky, the first stars appearing as Rukbats last rays shimmer over the waves that lick the shores of Lake Caspian. The end of the day sees a petite green dragon landing on the sand, her rider sliding down the shoulders and landing with a soft thump. The young woman is wearing a dark green skirt, an unusual choice for a dragon rider, and more so the garment reaches an inch above her ankle. Her top is a deep amber color, button at the neck and wrists, she carries a messenger bag typical of one in Comet wing. Arriving on the ground, the bold crimson straps are released with a heft of arm muscles upward, getting the buckles undone and dragging the leather off her mount. Without a word, and with a giggly squeak full of childish mirth, she jumps back, simultaneously blowing a kiss as the striped, bright, and oddly spotted one slinks towards the water.

As the twilight hour commences, so marine duties cease. Most sailors and dock workers are having themselves a drink or more either at the nearest establishments or all the way up at the Weyr proper. One of the few who isn't is a fairly tall dark haired girl, who seems happier for a swim at dusk. As if she'd not gotten enough of the water during the day. Aethra jogs down the stairs from the docks nimbly, momentum allowing for a skip of the bottom stair and a long legged few steps of a run on the thick sand. Here she comes to a halt, removing her shoes and carrying them as she saunters closer to the center of the beach before making an approach to the water. The greenrider and her lifemate are observed and, in proper weyr manners she waves a hand in greeting. "Evenin' t'you an' yours, greenrider." She calls as she draws near. She stops not far from them, watching the dragon proceed to the water as she undoes the hair on the back of her head.

Evi is not tall, nor short, she's got hair that wanted to be blonde but is an ashy light brown in the current light. Focusing on her lifemate, she doesn't immediately notice the sailor's arrival, hands running over the leather as a matter of habit and course, checking for imperfections and feeling each stitch. Turning towards the olive-skinned woman, there's a quick head to toe examination, bottom lip landing between teeth with sudden shyness. Exhaling sharply, throwing off whatever emotion she had begun with like an old pair of socks, she nods pleasantly. "Evening, Journeywoman. If you're going out, watch her, she considers anyone going in with her fair game." Swimming with the zig-zagged tail motion of a predator, Neifeth appears more or less innocuous otherwise, making circles and diving beneath the surface. "How is it out there? In the water?" Attempting casual conversation, she's quiet and sweet, voice barely carrying far enough to be heard, and she's not moving closer to make that easier. Instead, she's rooted to the spot, feet planted as her hands rapidly consume and inspect the straps and eyes remain distant, focused on something far off, or nothing at all. It's hard to tell.

Aethra drops the shoes and goes about braiding the exceptionally long hair she'd just loosed. Her eyes go from the rider to the dragon in the water and there's an amused expression that twitches across her lips. Something like a half smile that she'd inherited over a couple of generations now. "I getcha. Well at least she's enjoying 'erself, yeah?" Or so the young sailor hopes. Maybe that will be enough distraction? "Wanted to try an' get a swim in 'fore everything starts gettin' too cold. But I can wait if she likes her space…" She plops down in the sand fairly unceremoniously. "She like t'swim often?" The girl asks as she finishes the braid and throws it back over her shoulder like a thick rope. "I know some of 'em find the fish make good sport."

"Oh, no, you're welcome to swim with her, but- I would never not warn a person." Evi snaps out of her daze and smiles, all her teeth show and there's a mischievous eyebrow quirk that would feel forced on another face but fits her well, settling down on the sand with a level of decorum and natural flexibility. A hand sweeps her skirt to act as a barrier between her backside and the gritty earth. "I have no idea why anyone with skin would want to go out even now, is it not terribly cold?" Head remaining turned even as she pressed her knees up to act as a pillow, pressing her cheek into the skirt, "NeiNei would never eat a fish… Food is a serious subject, and requires a great deal of thought." Reciting this in a sing-song lilt that indicates the thought is not her own, following it with a weighty smirk. "We come to swim after a long day, at times, only to make sure there's no strange dirt brought into our weyr." Yawning comfortably, she stutters out, "You aren't really swimming are you?" Pressing her face forward and tucking her chin all the way into her shoulder in questioning disbelief.

Aethra's brows raise, but with amusement as she pulls tendrils of black hair that didn't get secured back from her face. "No fish, huh? Well I s'pose she could just catch'em without eatin' em too." There's a shrug to this as she makes to stand again, debating the merits of predatory dragons to the desire to feel the water on her skin. But there's a good natured chuckle to the greenrider's repeating of the question. "Well normally'd start wearin' my dive suit. I woulda gone earlier if they didn' keep us sanding all day long. Still…" She casts her amber eyes to the setting sun with a look of disappointment as she nestles herself more into the sand's last bits of warmth. "It's getting cooler much earlier than I'd hoped." The half smile has become a half frown, but she shakes the disappointment from her face, looking back to the greenrider. "I'm Aethra, by the way. Coxswain of the Sea Glass, m'dad's ship. I think I seen you around'n all but y'know, Weyr's so big it's hard to be sure who's who sometimes."

"SHe won't drown you, she can't officially be caught thinking about doing that again." Evi is the picture of content when speaking of this, treating the subject as if it's perfectly normal. "I do not envy you, what part of a ship do you sand? Or, are you applying sand to the ship? DO ships need to be sprinkled with sand?" Musing out loud with a wiggle of booted toes, a showing of excited happiness that lights up her entire face even as it remains tucked between knees. Awkwardly and far too quickly, her hand shoots up to wave back in greeting, tucking up into a ball and nodding in fast, jerky motions as she receives the other woman's name. "I am Evi, rider of green Nei. She prefers Nei, the th is silent. Sort of. It's a pleasure to meet you, Aethra. I have only been here a few turns now, though my Nana has lived here 50 turns. My da was born here, well not here, but here as in Xanadu. I assume he was born in the infirmary… though you do never know." Considering the WeyrWoman is widely known to have had a child on the beach if Aethra is a rumor person. "I hope you do not mind, what is a Coxswain? Does it hurt?" The more Evi talks, the more awkward she gets, lips pressing out, and eyes bulging as she tucks closer as if a child waiting for a neat story.

"Drown, eh? Y'know from whatcha said she reminds me a'one of my grandad's friends' dragon. He was, I guess, really, ah…" Aethra looks for the right words. "…particular," And she pronounces each syllable of that word, " about people n' stuff. Really, ah… in touch with his predator instincts." Though it may be said it was more than that. There's a flash of that half smile again for which her family is so known, not enough to show any teeth but a definite upturn to her lips. "We sand, well, all of it at some point. T'day it was the hull, uh, the sides of the ship." She gestures in the air of a ship shape, not like the greenrider couldn't figure that out. "Best t'do when it starts gettin' cold but before it gets so cold there's ice n'such. Then you're just scraping ice off and some of y'knuckles if you ain't payin' proper attention." An expression that wrinkles her nose while still keeping the mirth of amusement in her eyes and face. "Oh, so'd you get brought back by yer family? Most'a my family's from here, even my grandad, though he's at Ista now." She leans back, allowing her hands to push into the warm sand and watching the swirling shape that is the green dragon as she mills about. "Coxswain?" She laughs at the question, but it's not at all malicious toward the younger woman. "Nah nah… it does sound weird tho, don't it?" There's a merry dance in her eyes, well aware of the innuendo. "No it's… well sorta like a navigator. I control the ships wheel n' our headin' when we've set out. I mean the captain, my ma now, controls where but I control sorta… how we get there. If that makes sense?"

Listening with a rise of cheeks to eyes, the young greenrider shrugs a shoulder into an ear in general agreement with the dark-haired seacrafter. "No, people aren't prey. She gets bored easily, she views things differently than a person." Unable to articulate the complicated world of Neifeth, the dragon emerges covered in seaweed and kelp worn as a draping, long, slimy wig. Nose wrinkling at the description of sanding, lips turn down in distaste. "Noo, that's horrible you even have to do it when it is cold?" The woman with a 20-meter herdbeast and oil absorption sponge has missed the parallels between what she does and sanding the hull of a ship. Rising up in a fluid motion, legs tucked underneath she shakes her head sharply, braid smacking sun reddened cheeks. "No, I was searched as a refugee in Monaco Weyr. My family would not have dared to search me; they knew how my ma felt." Humming quietly and stretching both arms straight up, hands clasping and arching backward. "My grandfather was in Ista for a long time, and then Half-Moon bay… L'ton, rider of bronze Dhonzayth." Offering up the name with a mild blush, staring upwards as she backbends to avoid eye contact. "What an- interesting name, for something we already had an um, name, for." Squeaking before sighing heavily, "I uh, am, um, well, please excuse me. Nei needs me to detangle her… weeds." Pointing out to the dragon covered in stringy sea gunk. With that, she's off, in a skirt, in the cold, to sort through sea junk.

Aethra chuckles and shakes her head. "Nah nah… we don't have to do it when it's cold usually." But as the green comes out of the water so adorned she gives an actual grin. "Love th' accessories." After all, they sorta go right? They also sorta smell, but not a smell that ever bothered Aethra. She looks to the kelp-adorned dragon with brows raising, this time with the weight of the name showing on her face. "Yeah, I have heard'a him. From m'grandad." She actually smirks a little at this, "S'funny sometimes the places life takes ya huh?" But as the dragon communicates with her rider, Aethra nods in understanding. "A'course. Nice meetin' you both!" She offers a wave then stands and ventures towards the water to test just how cold she's looking at here. Brr… Hm. Well, what doesn't kill you…

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