Things That Growl in the Night

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Grounds

Cradled in a cup shaped bite out of the mountain, this wide, grassy flat has become home for Xanadu's weyrling dragons. It's set surprisingly high above the level of the beach, visible from the eastern side of the grounds where a long path snakes its way down the hill to the sand dunes below. All other sides to the grounds are bordered by the hard granite cliffs, two entrances clearly visible. One is merely human sized and leads deep into the mountain, to the Caverns. The other is broad and high, the entrance to the Weyrling Barracks.

It's sometime in the middle of the night, much of the snow has been trampled by the weyrling dragons and much of it has been used up by various mishapen snowman scattered around the grounds. Keziah is leaning on Alosynth under a canvas tarp that has been hooked up to one corner of the grounds. Attached to the rockface by rope connected to eyes. At the moment she's staring up at the glistening stars in the sky. Silent. Maybe she's sleeping? Nah, there's movement and some pointing here and there. That and Alo's eyes glisten here and there in the moonlight.

Lan, the former-sailor that he be, is up again. The hour of the night doesn't necessarily mean that he and his lifemate are sleeping. In fact, they've been one of the pairs that have been up early, every morning, and practicing what they've failed the previous day. Failures have turned into successes. Where he fell one day on his nose, the next he is doing just fine with his eyes closed, walking through courses without a stumble. Tonight though, he's just slipping outside, folding his arms around himself to get some fresh air. There's a heave of his chest as he sighs and a glance back toward the barracks to ensure that Zhaoth hasn't followed. Its a moment that the brown slave-driving dragon is asleep, a moment that Lan can actually get to himself. Be it as it may be dark out, the former-sailor takes what he can get.

Shimmering green eyes shift over towards Ers'lan and Keziah's attention is divereted from the stars. It takes her a little to focus on who's coming out, but then Alosynth is good at providing a visual as well. "Can't sleep?" she asks quietly from where she's curled up on Alosynth. She looks back towards the barracks "He's asleep eh?' she notes and then turns her attention back to the young man.

Lan jolts where he's standing at the voice that abruptly points him out in the darkness, giving away his sulking location near the front of the barracks. The question is thusly answered with a quick and meek shake of his head, pulling himself up against the barrack walls with arms crossed, the toe of his boot kicking the ground beneath his foot. He gives a deep scowl, for a time remaining quiet, until he lifts his face toward Keziah, "Aye. He be asleep. Can finally think fer meself…can have but a moment befer he wakes demandin something of me…"

Keziah nods a little "The first months can be the hardest. Can take time to grow into the bond. Can get easier when he starts to fly. Can get a little harder." she notes softly. "And well, there will come a time when you don't even think about thinking for yourself. It stops being two minds and becomes one heart." She lightly caresses Alosynth's hide and is silent for a little bit before she continues. "It's hard too changing gears. Things that you were shooting for are no longer available to you. You wonder what you're going to do now. Sometimes it seems almost a curse." There's a rumble from the green and Keziah snorts "True dearheart." she murmurs with genuine affection. "And then things happen and you find a new sense of purpose."

Ers'lan thumps his shoulders back hard against the walls of the barracks, arms folded with body language reading that he wasn't especially open to the advice that the star-gazer Keziah was giving him. The reaction from him was minimal, with a slight shift in body weight, a tug at the corner of his lips, but nothing substantial indicating his thoughts. Yet at her comment of things that are no longer available, he grunts and gives an audible sigh to the remark, chin pulling up high as eyes linger the stars and their variations of patterns and shapes. Finally, a response, said with face still seeking answers in the stars, tone not necessarily sincere: "Aye. Sure. T'will find purpose…"

Keziah frowns a little as she watches Ers'lan and then she speaks again "I had myself on a track to become a Master of my craft." she murmurs and trails off a little. "It was something I wanted ever since I was a kid. I could taste it." She's silent again. "Then, there was this terrible storm after I'd Impressed Alosynth. Tornado's and water spouts." she trails off a little and Alosynth croons softly "A good friend of ours was trapped in her weyrbarn. It was then that I had my first taste of Search and Rescue and I knew that was what we were meant to do. Things had become more than about me, but about the people I care about." she looks around "This is my home, my family. The lands that look to this Weyr are under my protection as well. Someone, as little as me has to power to help protect." There's a sense of wonder in her voice. "Me, just a little nobody, could be somebody." She hehs a little and head shakes "Sorry bout that. Sometimes I spout off too much at times. "I am sure you will find a purpose. If you let yourself." she murmurs

The fact that the woman starts to encourage him with small piece of advice, causes the young man to drop his chin down, eyes close and his arms tighten further against his chest. He doesn't interrupt. He doesn't even issue a response to the story, he just soaks it all in for what it was. Eventually his face turns away, his eyes sliding the corner of his gaze, his shoulders pushing off the wall just a bit. Thoughtful, doubtful… whatever it was, he didn't seem inspired by the speech that was delivered. His words bland, "Aye… search and rescue…" albeit, the former-sailor's hand reaches up toward the brass ring still around his neck, fingers playing with it for a time. "Zhaoth be havin a purpose I reckon. I be jus doin as he be wantin me ta…"

Keziah is silent and then there's a snort. "Really? Is that all you gotta say?" There's the sound of sliding and then a thump as Keziah hops her way down onto the ground and then stalks to the weyrling. "Zhaoth having a purpuse? Zhaoth? What about Ers'lan? What do you want?" She asks as she somes up to him, her finger pointing at his chest. "Can you be anymore hard headed? Why not grow a pair!" She rolls her eyes and turns to walk back to Alosynth.

Lan's shoulders come up at the sound of Keziah dismounting, squinting his eyes against the darkness to see her silhouette breaking the more solid of shadows. His back is up against a wall, literally, when she points a finger at him. He seems afronted by her sudden charge at him, her demands of him to answer. The former-sailor can only watch as she turns from him, his eyes shifting to the side, humiliated and shamed, certainly disappointed. "Whar ya want me ta say?…" he does take a few steps away from the barracks, suddenly throwing an accusation at her, "I be narh knowin whar ta aspire ta. Me craft is over. I can narh do it as a dragonrider." He half snarls, "I jus be letting Zhaoth do as he pleases. Whar else is thar ta do?" Ah-hah! Likely the reason there has been a lack of passion from the ex-sailor, the young man at a loss for what to aim for.

Keziah turns around and snaps "Be a man. Stop letting your dragon lead you around by the balls!" she snorts "What I'm trying to say is you can't just let him do ashe pleases. The rider has to be in control. Not the dragon. Shards, it's a good thing you're not a goldrider." She turns and stomps away again and then stops and turns back to him "What else is there to do? Learn. It ain't like yer going anywhere anytime soon and just cause you've got a dragon doesn't mean you can't go sail on a ship. Or even participate in a race or two. Sweet Faranth, I've even had my hand stuck up a carpine or several helpin' 'em birth since I've been a rider. Life goes on and so do we." She throws her hands up in the air in frustration. Enough so that there's a rumble from the green, almost a curious tone and then Keziahs turning and pointing at her. "Keep out of it." She snorts and then gives a little laugh. "Honestly."

Ers'lan reacts by bucking up his head, his jaw flexes and his one eye squints nearly closed at the first retort from the weyrlingmaster. There is silence from him. His chest does expand to fill his ribcages full of air, as if sucking in and restraining himself from spewing off a few things to Keziah in response. He holds himself in control, the very control he didn't have with his dragon. His teeth just clench as she rounds on him, announcing what life was to be like, that he had the chance to learn and to still participate with his craft if he wanted to. The frustration that the woman shows makes Lan shake his head softly, running fingers through short spikes of hair, clenching teeth shifting and jaws flexing. Finally, a word or three, tone hard and cold, "Fine. T'will learn." Then he turns his back and makes for the barracks doors, sputtering back over his shoulder, "Yer narh will hear another word from me!"

The green warbles again and Keziah turns in time to watch Ers'lan leaving back for the barracks. Her jaw just drops a little and then she gives another growl of frustration "Of all the stupid, idiotic.." she falls into unintelligible mutters and stomps over to her dragon. "Idiot. Idiot. Idiot!" now whether or not she's talking about herself she doesn't say. She slumps against her dragon and then there's another mutter "Oh just shut up." The green just whuffles in amusement at her rider "I'm just going to go tell V'dim that this isn't going to work out." The green yawns and then Keziah mutters under her breath and then calls out to Ers'lan "Don't be such a girl!" Honestly. Hmmph.

Lan makes it to the front doors of the barracks, his hand on the frame, pushing forward to open it a crack. He's about to really leave the situatioon before he says something uncalled for. Still, her own response has him sharply looking back over his shoulder. "Shells! Ya expected me ta know whar ta do?! Yer suppose ta teach me. And iffin all ya can do is ta mock me, sharding ta Timor with ya!" Ahh and the wall has begun to be built, higher, with a vast army placed behind it. There's only a disgruntled noise from him before he shoves the door aside, regardless of the 'crashing' sound it makes when it bounces off the wall, likely waking up some of his fellows. The door is thusly kicked shut, rattling off its hinges as it slams closed. If the brownling was having a hard time before, it was likely only to get worse now.

"I knew I should never have agreed to this." she mutters and then she turns and eyes Ers'lan "Expect you to know what to do? No. But I certainly expected you to not let yourself fall into a state of ennui." she grunts a moment and runs a hand through her hair. "You should have expected this. You accepted the chance to stand. You went out onto the sands." she pauses as she fishes for words. "You've made your bed, now it's time to sleep in it. You have in there a dragon who is so new to this world. He needs you to guide him." A pause and she says softly "Just as you need him to guide you." As he kicks the door she groans. "Real mature. Wake everyone up because you don't know your purpose right here, right now. Leave that aside for now because your purpose is that dragon in there and yer new mates. You're all going to have to be a team or someone will be hurt during formation training. I expect better from you. You're older than some of those kids we have in there. You're more experienced in the ways of the world. And your throwing a temper tantrum is niether good for you, your dragon or the other weyrlings and dragons. You need to learn to control your emotions." She closes her eyes at Alosynths remark on that latter bit. "And I'm going to go now before the young dragons get too worked up. Good night."

Ers'lan stalls after the door has been kicked open and there's groans from the inside, protests from those sleeping too near the door to not be disturbed by its abrupt noise upon opening. Her words are not ignored. He stands there, listening to them, back turned on her. The words parry him as any blade would do, hound him like any storm wind would, leave behind a mark or two. In the end, he doesn't add anything to the conversation. She does get the last words, however degrading they are. She might be right. But as it is, he disappears back into the barracks to look after the brown who is suddenly wide awake and alert to the emotions of his new rider. It would take some time to calm the brown and get him rested, only a few short hours away from when they'd wake to start drills more or less.

Keziah walks on past her green as she heads down to the beach. She pauses to look up at Alosynth. "Not a word. Not one single word." she mutters and then disappears down the path and is followed by the green who takes off aloft to land down near the water.

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