Asking the Impossible

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*.

It is evening at the star stones, and one of those rare nights with no rain, where the clouds are clear and stars dance in the sky above, sparkling in their patterns. Briana is sitting against the stones, her golden gaze intent on the sky above. Sahazyth settled nearby seemingly asleep. Her hide a healthy gold, kept well cared for by her rider. Thea may well have been informed of the issue with her between flight, where she was 'delayed'. As for now, Sahazyth did bespeak Seryth that the girl wished to speak with the Weyrwoman. Indeed it must be a matter of such seriousness given the pensive look upon her face.

Having been delayed in one of her hold visits, Thea did receive the message some time ago, the gold relaying the message back to Sahazyth that they would be there when the meeting was finished. Hence the arrival of Seryth is from above rather than below as she pops in from Between, gliding in a silent approach to the Starstones with naught but the screet of claws on stones as she lands. Boo! Well, she doesn't quite intend to startle anyone, it is a long way down, after all. There's the clink of clips as Thea releases her riding straps, then the creak of leather as she grasps the flight strap, swings down, out over the drop and 'round, her skirts billowing in her wake. The quiet tap of bootsoles echoes as she lands lightly on her feet and an easy-voiced greeting of, "Nice to have a clear night for once isn't it?" while she’s striding towards the Weyrling.

Briana has been here since night fell, having finished up her duties in the office. The paperwork something she has actually seemed to be enjoying. Some things she is still working out, the heirarchy of holders and such, but the paperwork itself she does not mind. As the Queen of Xanadu appears from between, Sahazyth lifts her head and warbles a greeting as she rises to her feet, making way for the queen to land. Briana looks first to her dragon then to the sky as she hears the warble. By time Thea is dismounted, Briana is also to her feet and saluting the woman. "Yeah, it is quite lovely. I have always like the chance to see the stars when I could. We always lived underground or under heavy trees."

"Ah yes. So you've said. All the more reason for you to enjoy them then." Her grin is accompanied by a crisp salute, swiftly done so she can undo the fastenings of her flight jacket and shrug out of the thing with a murmured, "That's better!" She pats at the fine beading of sweat already forming on her forehead with the back of her hand and after a quick toescuff of her booted foot to check for moisture, the garment is spread out to sit on. The Weyrwoman pats the spot beside her, tilting her head to quirk a curious look up at the Weyrling. Her question is asked lightly, "So now, what was it you needed to talk to me about, hmm?" Of course she gets all of the reports on the Weyrlings, but she'll let Briana broach her thoughts rather than interrogate the poor girl.

Briana smiles a bit at the first, though there is still a pensive look to her face. She steps out of the way so the woman can get settled then carefully takes the seat beside her as she is beckoned. She is quiet a moment even as the question is asked, her gaze returning to the skies above. "I betweened accidently to my first home. I ..the image I was given…well it reminded me of the first time I rode a dragon…coming up through the trees and looking back down to the field of forrested green. I had this thought, about what would it look like today. I suppose it was strong enough that Sahazyth picked up on that instead. I didn't mean to…I didn't realize how…impressionable such thoughts would be."

Thea listens quietly, her expression, if it can be seen in the semi-darkness sobers. Nodding in an unsurprised fashion as the tale unwinds, she keeps her gaze out over the far reaches of the Weyr while Briana speaks. "That must have given you quite a scare," she offers quietly at last, saying nothing further for a few breaths and at first it may seem as though she isn't going to comment. "You're very fortunate you remembered it so clearly and nothing changed since you've been there." No reprimand or warning lecture spills from her lips. Instead when she speaks again, the question is, "A Rider came to your Renegade encampment in the past and met no trouble?" Her tone and expression is unreadable.

"Yeah, I didn't realize what had happened at first. I just realized I was alone and worried that the others had not made it. Then I looked down and realized that it wasn't where we were supposed to go…but the place in my memory. Though I suppose it could have been any expanse of forest save for the landmarks I remembered." Briana says with a tone tuoching upon memory. "I know …I will definately be more careful from now on." At the last question she shakes her head, "No…it was when Ista invaded our camp and took us all prisoner." She answers to the last.

Thea's head drops to study her foot where it swings gently back and forth over the edge of the starstones. She nods almost absently for Briana's clarification of Ista's involvement with the Renegades, her next comment is offered gravely, "I'm sure there is nothing like a scare to impress how important focusing single-mindedly on your coordinates when *Betweening* is." She flickers a sidelong glance at the Weyrling, her voice mild, "And when you realized you weren't in the right place?" It's likely all this was in the report, but there's nothing like a first hand account.

"Yeah, definately got a scare. When I realized what happened we focused harder on the image that the rider gave us and came to the right place. I got a right telling off." She says with a faint chagrined smile. "Which I suppose was at least as much as I deserved for scaring them." Her own feet kick out a couple times, "Made me think of then and now..and I messeged my mom." She looks to Thea, "I know I promised to report if any renegade types came, but well my mom is different. She aint a fighter and well she wanted to come to my graduation. I told her I would ask you…to make sure if it was safe for her to come."

"I think you need more than a telling off. I'll want you practicing receiving images and *Betweening* this seven with one of the AWLMs and-" She lifts a forefinger warningly, "Before you are allowed to pop off *Between* anywhere on your own, I'll want to see their report on how well your focus is." She smiles ruefully. No way to take the sting of that out and she knows it. At the request that her mother attend graduation, she is silent. "Let me think about that one, Briana. I'll get back to you on that." Here Thea tilts her head to give the Weyrling a long look, almost as if deciding whether to say what's on her mind. "Did anyone there at your former home, ah.. see you when you and Sahazyth popped in?" There's an uneasy undercurrent in her question.

At the directive, Briana lowers her head a bit before nodding, "Yes Ma'am…I really don't want to put people through that fright again." She says in a low voice, truely chastized. She looks back to her lifemate, eyes unfocusing as she bespeaks her. Passing on such directive to her lifemate immediately. She looks back to Thea and nods again. "Anything…I definately got a fright." She says before she listens to her response to whether her mother could come safely. "I just…well I know sneaking her in would just undermine that faith you have in me…and I want to keep my promise. It is…It would be nice if she was there is all. Master Varien at woodcraft can vouch for her if you …need it. No weopons, just watching me graduate and leaving." But for now she leaves it at that, tilting her head at the woman. "No Ma'am…they didn't go back there when they escaped…its well and truely abandoned."

When Briana drops her head like that, Thea reaches, aiming a light pat with her fingertips to the Weyrling's arm. Gently, "It's not a punishment. I don't want to lose the pair of you *Between*. That's more important than whether folks were scared or not." Drawing a deep breath, she leans back, bracing her weight on both hands, head tilted back to study the star-strewn skies above them. "I appreciate that sentiment, Briana, because it certainly would have undermined your credibility. I'll have a word with Master Varien - it will hopefully reassure others - and I'll pop in to meet your mother as well. She's at Ista, yes?" Keeping her voice level, she adds dryly, "I don't want any trouble come Graduation day. You understand, I'm sure." All the while her eyes are locked on the night sky, "Deserted, mmm. I see. There weren't any other… dragons in the sky when you popped in?" She seems to be holding her breath, body tensing as she awaits the answer to that.

"I know Ma'am. I let a memory guide us wrong…obviously I have more to learn on focusing for between." On top of the added fear she could have accidently timed it without realizing. At least she got the sky positions right and had focused on 'now'. "She still sends messages to him on occasion. He sorta raised her when her parents died from what I was told." She gives of her mother's history. At the request of her location, Briana shakes her head, "No ma'am, she is at the new camp. She escaped with the others back then. We could meet somewhere beforehand if you want to talk to her…make sure and all. I …just , well I don't…I want a promise in turn she won't be taken in. Maybe I can convince her in time about weyrs, but she just don't feel comfortable with em, never did." At the question of other dragons, Briana looks up at her curiously and shakes her head, "No Ma'am, why ya ask?"

From what Thea can see on the Weyrling's face, she gets where the Weyrwoman is going with all the questions. "Yes, because you could have gone back in time by accident. I've done it and almost got lost Between Times. It's very… disorienting." As the story about her mother unfolds and the facts become clear, Thea drops her chin to give Briana a stare. With a short, disbelieving laugh she says tartly, "Do you realize what you're asking me to do? I was under the impression that she had left the camps! You're asking me to sanction bringing a renegade to my Weyr. Compromise the trust my people have in me." She's shaking her head slowly, "And if you want to convince your mother to feel differently about the Weyrs? Plopping her unannounced into the middle of one hostile to Renegades isn't the way to do it." She makes a swift motion with her hand as if to push the troubles away. "Did you even think through what could possibly go wrong with such an idea?"

There is a slight shock upon the girl's face as the first is revealed, "I didn't even think of that…that is even posible?" Briana asks the woman, her brows tightening as she ponders the perplexities of what that could entail. "That sounds dangerous on so many levels…" She gives a shake of her head, "Wow…" She continues, suddenly wrapping her arms around herself at the thought of what she could have done. As her words bring realization to Thea, Briana almost cringes back from the harshness of her response and lowers her gaze again, "People don't have to know who she is…just so she could watch and leave. Ain't likely anyone would recognize her as my mother." She says before sighing and looking up to Thea, "She is just…I am sorry." Briana starts before seeming to close down and looking back to the stars again, moisture touching her eyes.

Thea nods gravely without commenting further on timing it. Enough said on that subject, besides the distress with the current one is quite enough on her plate at the moment. People don't have to know who she is??? "No way." Said decisively now, her tone almost hard. "You're suggesting I conspire to deceive my people. Which I might add, if they ever found out about, I'd never be trusted again. It's not my way to be anything other than honest with people, Briana, so I'll tell you this truthfully. It's a foolhardy plan, much as I understand you wanting her here." Oh, she knows already this can't be easy for the girl, but the glitter of starshine in the Weyrling's eyes is telltale of her distress. She sighs, softening her tone and offers an arm about the girl's shoulders, "It's not easy being weyrwoman, but you're going to be one. Do you honestly want to jeopardize the trust and acceptance you want here for a risky venture such as you're suggesting? Because you know if it is discovered all hell will break loose - for her, for you and for me."

Briana looks up at the stars, fighting not to let the tears fall right now. Not in front of the Weyrwoman."I am sorry…of course. Of course its silly." Briana says with a heavy note to her voice. She swallows and moves to rise, "I should get back to the barracks." She says as she picks up her own flight jacket. "I will just write her and tell her about it. I don't want to put either of you in distress. I didn't want to plan anything without telling you is all. You are right…I suppose, I don't really think of her as renegade, just someone who lives there, but yeah, not how anyone else will see it." She gives a salute to the Weyrwoman, "Permission to depart Ma'am?"

Regretfully, "If she's living with Renegades, I'm sorry to say, she’ll be seen as one of them whether she is or not. You need to know and understand that." Thea drops her arm, allowing the Weyrling to move away since the comfort she's trying to give is ignored. She stays where she is as Briana gathers her things, her head cocked to consider the girl. "There's another way," she says lowly, persuasively. "We could simply put it to the Weyr and if the majority aren't opposed, invite her here openly." She shrugs, "We can assure the few who might be wary that she will have guards to escort her while she is here. But you have to understand: I cannot sanction sneaking her in here." She nods permission to depart, remaining on the stones for a time after Briana has left, eyes on the stars but not seeing them. It is a troubled Weyrwoman who finally rises stiffly to return home to her weyrmate and children.

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