Xanadu Weyr - Star Stones

Looming up above the weyr stand the spindly spires called the Starstones. Jagged grays and brown are stately, if a bit dull and uniform. These rocks have stood for as long as records stretch, being used by millions of dragons across time and space to come home, or to herald the coming of Thread by the circular hole drilled there by the first people of Pern. As the Red Star creeps across the sky, an enemy still very real, if perhaps just a memory now, to line up with the circle and sing of the Pass' beginning.

There is room here for a few dragons to land although there is no shelter for man or beast. It is a magnificent prospect out over the weyr and across the lake, the sky often occupied by dragons and firelizards, many flitting in and out of *between*.

Spring in Xanadu, often a time for festive rejoicing that winter has lost it's grasp on the land. The air is balmy and folks are outdoors. The clearing and the meadow, even the woods dotted with folks having picnics and walks, playing games or simply hanging out. Only the starstones seem deserted, which may be one of the reasons Thea has come up here this early evening as the sun reddens in the west, throwing peach and purple into the sky. It isn't the sunset that the junior watches, no. Her back is towards the colorful display, for she faces the lake, her eyes upon the far distant shore of Black Rock Hold as she sits with her back to the stone and her legs swinging over the edge.

Spring. It's baby season! That means next time Thea turns around everyone at Xanadu that's of age and not looking to stand will be pregnant. As for K'ael, he's just wandering around, and Xanadu seemed as good a place as any really. He was getting tired of walking the same paths at Ierne, and there was only so much building one could do by himself in a day. He is watching the sunset, not really noticing the goldrider at the present moment. After all, she was sitting on the wrong side of the rock! "Mmhm." He answers outloud, even though no one's asked him anything audible to anyone but himself.

It's hard to miss the landing of a bronze dragon, claws screeting on stone, flapping wings tend to give that away. Thea leans around the rock to peek at who is arriving, noting only that it is a bronze and not Xanadu's watchrider. The rider himself, she doesn't take the time to note who it is before she ducks back around the rock with a small grimace and a very softly muttered, 'Shards.' Since Seryth is back on the sands, perhaps the Rider will think he is alone. Shep, on the other hand, hears the man's 'mmhm' and cheeps a greeting, whereupon Thea darts a hand up to clamp his tiny muzzle and dips her head to give the lizard a slight glare.

True. Hard to miss the landing of a bronze. And even harder to miss the landing of Azaeth, he whose wings blot out the sun. K'ael runs his hands over the time-worn rocks. He's lost in conversation with his dragon until someone cheeps at him. "Hm?" He peers around the rock to spot Thea and her miniature brown. "Ooh, hello. Sorry, didn't think anyone was up here. This place is deserted, I wonder if it was like this years ago when Thread was still around?" Rhetorical questions really, as the bronzer works his way around to look at all the surrounding area.

Thea's head swings 'round at that hello, her face a tad sheepish, her fingers still clamped round Shep's muzzle. There's a bit of a muffled cheeping of protest coming from the brown, her fingers belatedly loosen to release him, freeing him to crawl grumbling back under her hair. "It was deserted," the weyrwoman comments dryly as K'ael walks around to her side of the 'Stones. She merely shrugs at his question, "I dunno, you could probably could find out if you searched the records room." One hand gestures towards the hold proper, perhaps hopeful he will go there to find out. As he moves about, a glimmer of recognition clouds her face, "Oh, it's you." It comes out sorta flat-sounding before she adds with a bit of humor, "Fake Arm-on-Fire Man. Never did get your name." Is that a bit of a smirk on her lips? It is!

K'ael reaches into his pocket to pull out his little sack of flitter treats. Bits of jerky that he's dried himself and keeps on hand to give prizes to his army of kitties and firelizards. "C'mere buddy. I got a treat for you." He reaches into the sack to pull out a nice little chunk. He grins to Thea. "No it wasn't. You were here." He chuckles to her. "I'm surprised that's the thing you choose to remember about me. Then again I walked away from a proddy goldrider without any bites or scratches or broken bones so I guess I ought to be counting my blessings." He shakes his head a bit. "Ah what's in a name? Seems that everyone either already knows it, or no one cares to know it. I'm just another bronzer, right?"

"I meant it was deserted when I got here," Thea clarifies. Shep just stays under Thea's hair, curled around the back of her neck. She shrugs, "He rarely leaves his spot, unless he needs to hunt." As to the rest of K'ael's words, the weyrwoman shakes her head, "Not much else -to- remember. Bit of a silly stunt, that." She is smiling, however faintly as she says it. "Count your blessings, sure I guess. I've never injured anyone ye, though I've been tempted. Could always make it a first?" She tilts her head at him, the ice green eyes flashing irritation just a wee bit at his disinclination to introduce himself. "I see." She doesn't argue with him, merely returns her gaze towards the blue-hazed shadow of land across the lake.

"Ah." K'ael peers at the firelizard. It was rare to see them turn down a free snack. "This is hunting, just with less effort." He squats down behind Thea and basically hands the treat to the flit to see if he'll take. "Not much to remember? Ouch, my pride. Unless you think you ended up alone that night. I have to admit I flew the coop rather quickly since I know you don't much care for me." He taps his chin. "Someone said you once shot a bronzer in the buttocks. X'hil I think, actually. He used to be weyrsecond here before he took over at Ista there. Poor guy. His Kinseth helped to contribute to the dragon inbreeding between here and Ista." Fun facts brought to you by K'ael. Dragon lineages that only a crazy weyrleader would bother to track. But still no mention of who he is.

Thea sways just a tiny bit away from K'ael as the man moves closer and thrusts his hand towards her neck. Her face is carefully neutral, but Shep, who picks up on her emotions, pokes his head out from underneath her hair with eyes whirling hints of yellow. "Go ahead, Shep." A resigned permission as her eyes move from the firelizard, who snaps the bit of meat with a tiny growl and ducks back into his sanctuary, towards K'ael. "Don't mind him, he's just really faithful and rather protective." She barely keeps from rolling her eyes at all the rest of his information, "I know you were there." It's all she says about the flight, her words coming out perhaps more terse than she intends. Her next words are almost bored-sounding. Perhaps it is because of the many times she has repeated it, "And though I'd have liked to claim the title as X'hil's personal butt-shooter, that honor goes to Eledri, not I." One eyebrow lifts as if to say, 'Got anymore fun facts for me?' She doesn't ask his name again, instead, "So why aren't you at Ista anymore?"

K'ael chuckles a bit at the brown. "They tend to be. Mine can be protective, too. But he's amazingly good natured, a tidbit he picked up from his mother. Don't worry… Swept, was it? I'm not going to take you home. I've already got two little bronzes and a big one." He chuckles a bit. "Well, I guess that's all I can ask for. You remember me being there, check." He stands back up once the ordeal with the flit is over. "Ah, I see. I don't know Eledri. Or X'hil really. He wasn't around much during our clutch since he lived at Ierne at the time." he grins down at her. "Well, what have you heard about what's happened over at Ista lately with the leadership?"

Thea headshakes, "Shep. He's good-natured, unless he thinks someone's annoying me." It's said ever-so-sweetly. "I have a bronze, who is pure evil, though." She doesn't go into that, instead she exhales and relaxes when the man stands back up, pulling one leg up to brace it on the flat ledge. The other just swings idly. "Haven't heard a thing, for all I spent five days in the prison beneath Ista's Weyr." There's just a hint of wry irony to her words, but no malice. "I recall you saying you were no longer there. So? Going to tell me or not?" Her tone neither pleads not begs.

"Shep. Sorry." He corrects himself. "Thankfully I don't have any evil firelizards." K'ael crosses his fingers behind his head and looks up at the darkening sky. "Five days, hm? so the weyrwoman really has gone crazy. I thought that was just a rumor. In the bad old days they might have taken her to the slaughter. Not literally, but you know." He looks down at her. "I'm not. I'm a rider at Ierne now. Not that that has any meaning really. So? Oh right, you want to know why. Well, your own experiences ought to be reason enough. I was unhappy with the weyrwoman."

"My own experiences… " Thea lets that trail off in a bit of confusion. "I'm not unhappy with my Weyrwoman." She mulls over what she has been told, "I don't know about crazy, I do know Ysa's become an unhappy, bitter woman." Her face reflects how she feels about that; she is sad about it all. She drops her head to peer at the trees far below, pensive in her next words, "I keep hoping she'll decide to let us make amends, start over. I would be her friend still if she'd let me." Her eyes lift to him, "If Ierne is so meaningless to you, why are you there instead of another Weyr?"

K'ael chuckles. "Not your weyrwoman. My weyrwoman. Well, my ex-weyrwoman. Ysa. She is 'inconsolable over the injustices she experienced while at Xanadu' according to my brother. I would be her family, if she let me. But turning away riders that are there to help, shutting out a weyr that I have friends at… She went to Ista to subject others to injustices not unlike those that she experienced here. True at the end she threw me out, but I'd hoped that my leaving would have opened her eyes. Instead she's picked up another bronzer, Xanadu born, and just as meaningless." He shakes his head. "Heh, Ierne isn't meaningless. But being a rider at a weyrhold is. I don't have a wing, I don't really have a job there. No purpose."

Thea listens quietly to K'ael speak and when he finishes, she is silent for some time. She shifts to drop her leg, her feet hanging over the edge of the stones idly swing. "I've heard hate does that - the focus of their bitter mind causes them to become the same as the hated one." She turns to cast her eyes out over the lake, there's a moment where she winces at some unvoiced thought, "Having a place and a purpose. Important in life yes." She glances up at him, "We don't have a Weyrsecond since our meaningless Weyrsecond went there." Some not so subtle irony in that hint. A job opening! Not that it's her place to offer it, but… It's a thought?

K'ael chuckles. "Sorry for the speech. But I can say that's true." He goes back to running his hands over the cool stone. "I wonder if the last dragons to see Thread felt like this after it was gone. Lost without a purpose. What do you think?" He laughs. "I hear your weyrwoman is just as crazy. Plus I'm enjoying my vacation. I can torture Dels some other way." How did one go about becoming weyrsecond? It had always been sort of… a situational thing as far as K'ael could remember. He had inherited his. "Man… to be alive in the bad old days of fighting Thread. That would have been exciting! Azaeth and I, we'd be big time heroes. Azaeth, the biggest dragon ever to breathe flame! We would have been legendary, too bad we're a few hundred turns too late."

Thea snorts softly, a soundless whoosh of air through her nose, "I've no idea if the dragons did. Their Riders on the other hand…" She shaking her head over that as his next words reach her. She's pushing herself up to her feet. From down below there is the flapping of great wings in the dusk nearing the starstones. Her voice is cool as she steps past him, "My weyrwoman is not crazy, nor is she a drunk who passes all her work off on her juniors. No one is perfect, but I've no complaints." As Seryth lands, brightly greeting Azaeth, Thea pauses a few steps away from K'ael, "Hmm, legendary." There's dry amusement in her tone, "That's a mighty brag from a man who's never fought Thread." The corners of her lips curve in a teasing way.

"Well dragons, their riders. You know. Same thing. I mean, over something like that. It must have been rough at first, once the celebrations end. Two sides to the coin, I suppose." K'ael watches her get up, raising a brow to her. "Heh. All weyrwomen are crazy. There are just different degrees of craziness. Trust me." Then he grins at her. "Legendary." then he scoffs at her. "Brag! Shards no. Can you think of someone better to fight Thread?" Azaeth give Seryth a polite, if terse, greeting. The bronze is… not really known as being good company.

Oh to be given such an opening! How -can- Thea resist? "Uh, yes, actually I can." She says it crisply, but doesn't name the pair. Instead she shakes her head, "It's a pointless conversation, really. You were born to this time. Fight the 'Thread' we have. Be something you're proud of, something that makes Pern a better place, rather than feel sorry for yourself that you've no purpose. Find it!" She shrugs as if she thinks he'll laugh her off. Seryth seems not one bit bothered by Azaeth; she's content to just be out in the evening air, although she cranes her neck, head snaking curiously towards the pair.

K'ael blinks at her. "Oh? I see." He doesn't as for the name. But she seems sure that there was at least one pair more suited. He just sighs. "Yeah. It is pointless. To talk with a goldrider about position. That's like asking Azaeth if he's worried that someday he'll wake up and be blue instead of bronze. Anyways. It's not so much sorrow that I feel. It's guilt." The bronzer moves back towards Azaeth, adjusting his straps a bit. "It wouldn't be fair of me to subject another weyr to my shortcomings as a leader. My chance to fight Thread has passed me by."

Thea's voice shows she's striving for patience, "You're not really making any sense, K'ael. I may ride a queen, but I am not really much more than a glorified Headwwoman. I can understand the wish to make a difference on Pern!" There's a bit of a growl in the next words, "Why do you think I ended up in that prison at Ista?" She moves to Seryth, pulls herself up to sit astride her. "Guilt is a useless emotion for weak men who cannot focus on anything but their failures." It is tossed out there almost bitterly, but K'ael cannot know it isn't aimed his way. "If you even did fail. I doubt it! I know Ysa." The flash in her eyes sputters out and her voice is tired as she utters the last words, "So just give up, huh? Like Ysa has?" Seryth, poised to drop over the edge at Thea's command, suddenly does so in a soundless glide, Thea's voice floats back, "Only if you think it so."

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