Unknown Variables

Xanadu Weyr - Beach

The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.

The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

Cold as it is, D'son seems to be taking a break from the never-ending work of a Weyrleader and walks along the frosty beach, hands dug deep into pockets, a scarf wrapped around his neck and a hat pulled low over his ears. Even with these precautions, his cheeks are wind-and-cold-pinked. Inimeth is not in immediate evidence, but a telltale glint out over the water when the sun breaks through the afternoon cloud cover might tattle on him: he's out flying just as his rider is walking. The Weyrleader's boots make crunching sounds on frosted sand and now and then he breaks out in tuneless whistling, something on the jaunty side, counter to the dreary weather.

The cold is something that normally turns one off from walking along the beach, but here Kiley is, making her way out along the frosty shore and bundled appropriately for the winter weather. Hands are tucked into her pockets as she walks, nose downwards and slightly into her jacket despite the scarf. Though she walks in a straight line, her gaze lingers towards the water. Her gaze shifts towards the glint when the sun breaks through; her head tilts upwards as she considers the sky with a frown. Shoulders drop into a slight shrug but it is the sound of whistling that draws her attention to the Weyrleader. Her gloved hand lifts from her jacket and a salute is given whether the man sees her or not.

That bit of movement draws D'son's gaze but it's a friendly wave the candidate gets in answer and as he draws nearer, a cheerful: "Hullo! Getting a bit of fresh air and sun?" the Weyrleader inquires, manner open and engaging. "Inimeth's having fun with the air currents over the water," an explanatory gesture in that direction as bronze wings briefly reflect light once more.

Kiley returns the wave after the formal is done, then her hand shifts to pull the scarf away from her mouth. "Hello, sir." The candidate grins easily, "mostly trying to figure out my thoughts. How about yourself?" Her brows lift with the question, inquiring but her gaze does not linger long on the Weyrleader as he answers and gestures towards the bronze. Her head turns and considers the bronze wings as they reflect the light and she lets out a thoughtful hum. "Don't really know too much about air currents.." Pause, "something we'd have to learn if we Impress?"

"Heavy ones or just the general kind?" D'son inquires of Kiley with a smile, coming to a halt, hand returning to pocket. "Yeah, it's all part of flying. Though it's also something they just manage by instinct," he notes. The pair stand on the beach, afternoon sun breaks free of the clouds from time to time as the waves slowly roll onto the beach. The sand is lightly frosted and it's quite cold out. Now and then the glint of sun on bronze wings over the sea of Azov gives a hint to Inimeth's distant presence.

"The heavy ones. The Hatching and then what to do after." Kiley smiles and lifts a hand to briefly cover her nose to give it some warmth Her eyes linger on the sky in attempts to see the bronze's occasional glimpses before she's looking back towards D'son. "That is good.. I imagine all that is hard to learn." Her shoulders lift to shrug her jacket up further and she considers the man just a moment longer before she murmurs. "Weyrwoman Thea keeps mentioning that I should speak with you about computer things. She says you enjoy tinkering."

"One of those 'unknown' things," D'son says with a low chuckle, tone sympathetic. "Impossible to really plan for the unknown, right?" His shoulders roll a little as hands dig deeper into pockets, probably seeking warmth. "Depends really on what you do and don't like to learn. I mean, if a person likes something a lot, then sometimes it's easier to learn." D'son's face brightens a bit though at mention of computers. "Yes! I do. Like to tinker I mean. It was one of the neat things about coming to Xanadu, so much cool stuff around. What are you interested in?"

With the sun peeking out now and then, Kaede is meandering down the beach with a coat tugged close to her body, hands shoved in her pockets as she goes. Murmuring softly to herself, it seems like a random mishmash of cause and effect, each item in the list differing from the last, shuffling feet in the sand. Her pace slows as her eyes catch a glint of bronze in the distance, drawing her back to her surroundings, and its then that she spots D'son and Kiley after a moment, steps pausing near them, listening curiously.

"Quite unknown." Kiley laughs softly, "I am trying to plan for if I don't Impress, at least that much is known. I don't know the statistics of Impression versus non-Impression, but it is likely low considering all the other Candidates and the amount of eggs." The woman nods slowly for the talk of learning, "mhm. I'm sure there is a way to build interest, though.. Being if the subject is mandatory or not." The talk of computers has the same reaction for the candidate with her expression brightening considerably. "That's wonderful! I haven't exactly gotten the chance to look at everything, yet. However, it is something I'm interested in. I'm interested in all technology, really, but I am in the computer craft. One of my plans for after the Hatching, depending on what happens, is to make a voice activated computer. It'll take some time, but.. What do you think?" Cheeks flush, though the cold plays a good part in this; it is the sound of footsteps that has the former computer crafter turning. Her hand lifts from her pocket to wave a greeting towards the other candidate.

"Still a difference between doing something because you have to and doing it because you love it," D'son remarks philosophically, then drops back to the first thing Kiley said. "Not a bad way to approach it really. It's a whole new world if you do, though," he adds with a little grin and pauses as Kaede draws near and Kiley greets her. "Hey there!" he hails in turn, cheery still. Back to the question at hand. "Voice-activated? That sounds really interesting. Didn't they used to have that and don't anymore?"

The teen smiles a bit shyly at the Weyrleader as he greets her cheerfully, lifting her hand and offering a gloved wave to them both in turn, letting them continue their discussion on computers and the possibilities, shaking her head for a moment before she pipes up. "Pyriel tried to convince to me to plan for if I Impress, not if I don't." A wrinkle of her nose, and her eyes linger on Kiley, before she's offering a little shrug as the talk returns to computers, and technology.

"Very true." Kiley nods in understanding before the backtrack and the woman gives another nod. "I don't know what to expect from the change.. But, it's your whole life that changes, isn't it?" Her gaze is full of question before her eyes dart away and back towards Kaede. "They used to, yes. AIVAS was the main one.. I'm not sure if it still talks. Maybe there was some issues with it understanding the accents? It is something to look into, certainly." A smile plays at her lips and then tugs a little wider as Kaede joins them. "Pyriel.. Has an odd way of doing things." A sympathetic smile is given to the other and she returns the shrug. "Prepare for everything, is what some say. I'd prefer to plan for the logical."

"Good idea to try to think both ways," D'son says encouragingly. "Though good for Pyriel for thinking positive," the Weyrleader says with a little laugh. "And yeah, impression changes everything. Priorities … goals … the way you look at things."

"I'm not sure its really… a positive, depending on…. Uhm. Everything." Kaede trails off, coloring as she remembers just who she's talking to about the virtues of Impression, glancing nervously at Kiley, sidestepping to stand a little closer to her fellow candidate. "I mean… There's so many of us, and only those few eggs.. Why plan for the improbable?" There's studying to do! The harper shifts a bit, eyes darting back up to the bronze overhead, lingering on his glinting from for a moment.

Kiley blinks at D'son, "plan for both? Hm." The woman tilts her head in thought. The next comments from the Weyreleader has her considering the man and then she nods slowly. "I suppose that you should try to brace yourself for the potential changes, even if you don't entirely know what's going to happen." She looks to Kaede, nodding her agreement. "It really all depends." The woman takes a few steps to the side, closer to her fellow candidate and offering silent support. "Exactly my thoughts. What are you going to do after? Going back to studying your craft?"

"Go back?" Kaede asks with a bit of surprise, giggling and shaking her head. "That would mean that I stopped.." She answers, perhaps a little guiltily as she glances as D'son, and then back at Kiley. "I.. I can't afford to get behind, really.." And that would explain why at least one candidate has stayed relatively out of trouble. "I have Senior Apprentice to make, I've just my tests to sit, at this point.." And she looks proud, before glancing at Kiley. "What about you?"

Kiley grins at Kaede, "that's true. To stop just because of Candidacy would be rather foolish." Brows lift for the guilty look but then she smiles kindly at the other, "I don't blame you. Reaching Senior Apprentice means you need to work hard. And once you get to Journeyman you can do a bit more of what you want to do in your craft. Good luck on your tests. Barring Impression." When the question turns to her, she smiles brightly. "I've got quite a few plans. The voice activated computer is the biggest one of my plans." D'son draws her attention, and she nods. "That's what everyone is saying.. That you'll have to put everything on pause. But, it's worth it?"

"He.. I think he's banking on Impressing. You know, to… prove himself. But… What if it isn't that black and white, which is better.. Impressing or not." Kaede phrases her response carefully, eyes lingering on D'son's face, trying to judge and make sure she didn't upset the Weyrleader, though at Kiley's question of worth, she glances hurriedly at the Computercrafter, and then back at the bronzerider. "Aye, is it worth it?"

Taking a little breath, D'son considers a drift of cloud for a moment, then refocuses on the candidates. "Most riders would say it is. Pairing up with a dragon is probably the most incredible thing ever," he says with quiet wonder in his voice then he shakes his head and grows serious. "I wouldn't say it is that simple. Even as a weyrling and a rider … you still have to show you've got the goods," Dels says mildly.

Kaede's statement has the computer crafter blinking at the other candidate for her statement of Pyriel. Brows furrow in understanding and Kiley nods, "right.. He probably is. But.." She leaves it at that with her gaze returning to the Weyrleader. His response is meet with the woman looking to the sky in consideration before she breathes out a sigh. "It never is that simple.." Her eyes drop back down to consider the man and she smiles. "I don't think there's anything wrong with having to prove yourself."

"But to some people, it doesn't matter… I mean, if a dragon chooses you.. you have something, even if you don't use it." Kaede dares to argue a little with D'son's comment of still having to prove one's self. And then, a little shrug, and she slouches, toeing the sand, and pushing it this way and that. "I guess… You can't really know if its worth it, until its already come and gone."

"Mm, you'll never be alone again if you impress. But it's not your total worth, just /being/ a rider," D'son points out further. "It's not really the end game, impressing. It's just the beginning of a whole new one." Then he nods. "Yeah. I could try to explain it but it's one of those things that kind of defies being captured in words."

Kiley looks to Kaede for what she says, furrowing her brows thoughtfully. "That's true. We've all got something we don't really use at all." The computer crafter presses her lips into a thin line at the thought, her gaze easily shifting back towards the Weyrleader as he speaks again. Silence lingers as she considers his words, "there's a whole new life for you.." No more questions come for his final statement; a deep breath is drawn and her gaze returns skywards. "It's one of those things.. The more I learn, the more I question and there is no answer."

"I mean… have you me-" And then Kaede remembers D'son's presence and is hurriedly shaking her head and clearing her throat, the thought going unvocalized as she inches a step closer, and a step behind Kiley. "I guess.. Its what you make of it, then?" She questions with a tilt of her head, the Harper's curiosity getting the better of her as she picks the Weyrleader's brain. "Even… Even with everything else that comes with it?"

"Yeah. It is, generally," D'son agrees with Kaede. "What you make of it. There's hard parts and easy parts and some of them are easier or harder depending on who you are. And the dragon … it's a lot of variables." Math-speak.

The look Kiley tilts in Kaede's direction is curious for whatever she doesn't finish saying, leaving it at that and smiling to the younger girl as she takes a step behind her. "That's a good way to put it. It is what you make it, whatever happens." Questioning, her gaze turns to D'son for an answer to the other girl's questions. The mention of variables brings the woman's features to visibly relax. "Then it is really hard to calculate possible outcomes with as many variables as there are. The first one would have to be if we do Impress or not."

"Shards." The younger candidate murmurs after a moment, shaking her head. "I never though of what each one might be like, beyond what color.." She says softly, voice barely above a whisper as she stares at her toes, digging them into the sand as hands go in her pockets to think. "I suppose I… just need to see what happens." A pause. "And I'd better take my tests, just in case, so I don't forget it all!" She looks a little panicked at this realization.

"Yeah that'd be the first," D'son agrees with Kiley. "And that's not a formula I'd want to try to put together," he adds laughingly. "They're like people more than animals," he offers helpfully in answer to Kaede. "Very distinct personalities." A little pause follows. "I think it's a good idea to have a fallback option, definitely. and not to lose your interests even if you do impress."

"Each dragon is different, they say.. Well, beyond the colors." Kiley smiles towards the younger candidate, "just ask if you can take your test during your next day off? That way you don't forget everything you've been studying while you are a Weyrling. And, maybe if you decide to become a craft rider you can go on to become a Journeyman." Her gaze flickers towards D'son in question of her statement but lingers when he responds. "It would be quite the complex formula, wouldn't it? To be able to calculate Impression." Her own laughter joins in and she shakes her head. "It'd be very complicated and there's so many things that we can't even see that would have to be added in. Impossible, really."

As the conversation dissolves into formulas, calculations and predictions, it begins to go right over the head of the poor, law-student Harper Kaede, who is rather distracted with her own planning. An idle nod at Kaede, and she glances up, judging the time, before she's backing away. "I.. I gotta go find my mentor." She offers as an excuse, bobbing her head at D'son with a mumbled sir, and a smile at Kiley before she's turning and running off, a bit wobbly on the shifting sand.

"Lots of former crafters who become riders do," D'son answers encouragingly then laughs. "Yeah, it would be pretty impossible. Just too many variable to take into account, too much individuality," the weyrleader opines. As Kaeda excuses herself, he offers a nod. "Good luck with the tests."

Kiley beams a smile at D'son for the encouragement he offers, nodding along with it. Though the younger of the candidates is dismissing herself, "right. Good luck, Kaede. I'll see you later." She turns to watch her go for a moment before facing D'son again with the same beaming smile still upon her lips. "It would be something if someone could figure out.. But there is no way to tell what the dragon personalities will be.. Aside from the glimpse that the touchings give. I was told what you feel when you touch the egg is just a small sliver of what the dragons inside are like." Cheeks flush a darker shade of red, "did you touch the ones on the Sands?"

"Would be at that, but I think it'd only every be an exercise in probabilities," D'son says and lets out a breath. "Yeah, just a … taste. If you feel anything at all," the Weyrleader concludes and squints up at the sky where bronze glints are turning into the shape of an actual dragon. A few moments later, Inimeth lands, disturbing frost-strewn sand and the bronze streeetches out then trots over in their direction. "Time for some oil," he declares with a little smile. "Hang in there, okay? What'll be will be."

"An exercise in possibilities." Kiley repeats, "sounds like a fun exercise, at least." The woman considers it a moment longer as her gaze drifts upwards towards the bronze in the sky. And then as he comes to land, her eyes follow. Her gaze lingers on the bronze as he trots over and she jumps when the man speaks again. "Oh! Right. Thank you, I will… What'll be will be." She repeats once before lifting her hand in a farewell before she makes her way back to the Weyr, repeating the statement to herself.

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