Two by Four

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.

Settled upon the ridge is a rather distinctive looking building - nearing three stories tall, circular grey walls have carefully been erected, and a large dome is settled upon this solid foundation. Large panels make up the roof, aside from one section which remains open, and from which the telescope the struction houses peeks out. Sitting adjacent to the tower is a long, low building, meant to serve as offices, record rooms and dorms for those who man the observatory, as well as providing a handy platform for those who seek to use smaller, hand-held 'scopes.

Up on the ridge sits D'son, hair wind-tossed, expression abstract and thougtful. His back is resting against Inimeth's side, though the sociable bronze is currently napping, sides moving in and out with each breath but at a slow rate. The rider has a farseer in one hand, his jacket folded up on the ground beside him with a stack of notes on top, held in place by a band across a clipboard.

Over the meadow, low over the trees from the direction of the coast Seryth glides, her intent to land there rather than her usual spot beside the weyrbarn where Siebith reclines. The young queen changes course upon the direction of her rider, likely having seen Inimeth and D'son and so the pair touches down on the ridge instead. Thea dismounts with a rolled paper under one arm and a casually called, "Mind some company, D'son?"

Up come hazel eyes and Dels gives a little wave. "Nope, don't mind at all." He pats the ground beside himsel welcomingly in fact and blows out a breath that disturbs his bangs. "How's things, Thea? D'had …?" brows up questioningly and he shifts the farviewer over on top of his papers.

Seryth settles, flipping her wings closed and rolls on one side, the queen's eyes droop closed and she's asleep almost immediately. Thea gives the gold a loving pat, shifts that roll to her other hand before stepping over to sink down and sit on the grass beside the bronzerider. A small headshake is the answer to that question, the bright sunlight accentuating the dark circles of fatigue under the juniors eyes as she answers wearily, "Still nothing, though he's been flying the Vega Run's route daily. Seryth and I go when he lets us." Her glance falls to the farviewer. "Scoping out the Weyr, D'son?" A faint teasing note to her question there.

"I'm sorry, Thea," D'son says quietly and reaches over to give her shoulder a gentle supportive squeeze. "Um … no. I was out looking earlier too. Not right on the route. Just off it," the bronzerider explains and clears his throat. "You know, I did a lot of S&R so … I was using a technique we used at Ista … to look." His words trail off and his head ducks a little.

Surprised, Thea blinks, then frowns a little, lifting her eyes from the farviewer to D'son's face. "You… were? Huh. D'had never said he had help." A short breath of a laugh that trembles into a half-sob, quickly cut off as her eyes look somewhere over the bronzerider's shoulder and she squints at a cloud or something. "Which shouldn't surprise me, he's barely said two words for the last month."

"I didn't tell him," D'son admits and rubs at his chin, looking sheepish. That note in Thea's voice sees him scooting a little closer and reaching to slide an arm around her shoulders. "Hey … hey you know how he is. He's not really you know, a talkative guy. It'll be okay Thea," he reassures, aims to draw her into a hug.

Sea green eyes widen in surprise, "You… didn't?" Laughter takes on an edge and not liking the sound of that, Thea squelches it, tucks her head and leans into that hug for a moment while she fingers that roll she's got in her lap. From under her hair she sighs, "Yeah. Yeah, I know he's not and I'm getting used to it, but this." One hand lifts to gesture sea-wards, "No one should carry the worry around alone." Her foot twitches like she'd kick something if she weren't sitting cross-legged instead. "Stubborn man!" Affection mingled with annoyance for her weyrmate in the expletive before she raises her head to eye D'son ruefully. "I couldn't talk him into forming a team to search. Do you think you could? He might listen to you."

"Yeah, I know," D'son answers, tightens his arm around Thea's shoulders gently. "I can try," the young bronzerider offers a little hesitantly. "I don't want to piss him off, but I wanted to help at least a little," he explains.

"I don't think you need to worry about pissing him off." Thea's lips pull in a wry smile as she pulls gently back to sit upright, "He's too tired to express any emotion lately." Thoughtful for a moment, she admits, "He wouldn't say where we were searching, so I have no idea just where I followed him Between to." Hints of devilment dances in her eyes, "But Landing had the shipping routes mapped." That roll is lifted in triumph as she cocks her head to give D'son a look that has determination in it, "Tell me about this search method you used in Ista?"

"Yeah he seems pretty … well draggy and down. Like he's got almost nothing left," D'son says with concern. That mischief in her eyes makes his smile quirky but D'son nods. "Sure. I got the same from Landing - shipping routes and then you overlay that with the currents and you grid out the ocean in five mile segments going outward. Then fly across the grid squares in straight lines, back and forth one way and then the other. Go from square to square until you've covered a whole section." He reaches over, and pushes the farviewer aside, picks up his notes and flips the binding cord out of the way, passes her one of his grid maps. "I'm logging all the coordinates I've covered into my computer and I print it out, mark off where I've been and then load up another set in the handheld to take with me along with a print," D'son explains.

"He's… withdrawn. Keeps making comments about we're safe here." Thea's voice has an odd twinge as she continues, "He's not sleeping, barely eating." She listens carefully to the explanation, looking more and more impressed as she studies the grid map D'son hands her. After a long moment, her brow wrinkles, "This… doesn't look like where we were. He took us along a coastal area. Wouldn't say where it was though. In fact, Siebith gave all the directives."

"Huh, dunno then," D'son says, brow wrinkling up. "Guess I'll check with him. Though if a boat's just vanished like that, truth is, could be almost anywhere that made any kind of vague sense," the bronzerider notes thoughtfully. "You wouldn't believe some of the places we used to find boats that got blown off course in the bad storms." The map is set down and he sighs softly. "Should I come over there and hit him over the head with a two by four?"

Thea laughs in spite of herself, tossing a grin over at D'son, "If I say yes, will you come do it? Please?" Her snickering after that finally has the line of her shoulders relaxing and her attention returns to those grids. Almost absently, "He did check for storms and said there had been none, so I have no idea why he was looking in coves and along unsettled coastlines. Unless…" She lifts her head with a blink and unfocused eyes drifting down over the meadow below, "maybe he thinks the Vega Run altered its course like that other ship did." She swings questioning eyes back to him, "Do they do that from time to time?" She really has no idea, being from a mountain hold, what ships normally do, but he's been S&R, maybe he knows.

"If only it'd work," D'son says regretfully. "Probably just give him a headache and make im clam up even more." He listens, nodding now and then. "Well sure, I mean, they don't have to go just one way. And if they were stopping off to do something specific then they could've gone off of a planned route, sure."

"It might knock some sense into him," Thea points out before adding tersely, "At the very least, he'd have to sleep." Her smile belies the tone, though, and she nods to the rest. Slowly, "So they could be anywhere, really. And if things were alright, they'd be back on their way by now, out at sea where we'd see them, but they… aren't." This troubling thought finds the junior shifting to push up with a muttered, "There's so much ground to cover."

"Or all that's left right out," D'son does tease a little though he nods about the sleeping part. "Yeah, unless they logged a definite plan for where they were going before they went," the bronzerider says. "And even then, ships don't always follow the booked plan to the letter." He blows out a breath, nods. "Yeah out at sea … it's a lot of sea to look at."

Thea smirks at that, "We don't want that." D'son's grid maps are returned to him before she gains her feet, "I'm pretty sure they did. D'had mentioned he's flown it several times." That rolled map is tap-tapped in her palm, preoccupied with a sudden thought. Instead of voicing it she gives the bronzerider a brilliant smile, "Thanks for what you're doing to help, D'son. Come over to dinner tonight? You guys can talk then." And with that she's off mumbling something about a rogue wave and another ship.

"Well then if they stuck to a planned course, we should be able to cover all of the possible places they could've gone off of it," D'son says reasonably and turns to tuck his stuff back away. He looks up as Thea rises, nods "Okay, will do." And he watches her go, expression faintly bemused and thumps back against Inimeth's side, looks up at the sky lost in thought.

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