A Traveling Train

Lemos Hold - Courtyard
The cobble-stoned courtyard is surrounded by high, solid stone walls. The massive iron gates that close off the outer world from the hold propper are nestled between two taller watch towers. The courtyard is large enough for a number of dragons to land in at once. One corner has been dedicated to the practice area of the hold guards. A number of targets are arranged out of the way from the rest of the area. The opposite corner houses several stone benches. In the center of the enclosed area is a found fountain with a sparkling stone statue in the center. The courtyard is usually one of the most busy areas of the hold, with the constant arrivals and departures to the hold.

The turn is progressing steadily into winter, and while dark grey clouds linger low overhead, and a chilly wind weaves its way through the wilds of Lemos and the north, in the courtyard of the main hold, one might think that a spring or autumn gather is due to begin. A full dozen carts, and their accompanying beasts, are settled across the courtyard, while workers busily go to and fro, carrying all matter of items from the Hold to the waiting wagons.

Perhaps the last thing needed at a Hold when there is already somuch activity would be the addition of panic in amongst the beasts. As Oceleth bursts from between and calls out his greeting to the watchwher of Lemos, the wagon beasts beging to protest the large brown predator above them, and even as he is directed away from themain hold and towards the landing field they are already fractious, trying to pull away from the wagons, looking for safety. As Oceleth lands, O'ric lets out a long breath. "Did you see that?"

It takes a long time for the handlers to get the animals settled, though the loud sound of braying continues to drift from the courtyard to the nearby areas of the hold. Nicca, meanwhile, has hardly taken her eyes off the courtyard, having caught sight of the out of place swathes of color and wagon, and her hands tighten on O'ric's sides as they land, hurriedly blurting out the same moment he does. "Someone's going somewhere." And then she giggles a little, nodding. "Wow.."

O'ric doesn't waste too much time in unstrapping and jumping down from Oceleth, holding his arms out to catch Nicca. "Leaving or arriving, either way that's too big a train to just be tithes." After a moment's pause he frowns slightly, "Shaffit, wish I'd remembered to bring my other clothes, if ever there was a time to pretend I wasn't a rider, now would be it."

"Lose your knot.. Can claim you're an independant rider?" She suggests as she slides down Oceleth's back, catching herself in his arms as she steadies, before she's shuffling her skirts, settling them back into place, her hands hesitating on his arms before she steps back with a smile. "Or could just dust you up.."

"Better idea." For a second O'ric presses Nicca back against Oceleth, giving a long kiss and grinning when he eventually break it, "Just had to get rid of the last of my riderness." Stepping away he quickly removes his jacket, stowing it carefully on Oceleth's riding straps. His shirt follows, though this is rubbed across the dirt before being replaced, open. A glance down at his trousers makes him wince, "Can't exactly rip them or anything, we'd never get home. Not taking them off either. Will just have to hope nobody notices."

Nicca lifts her hand to his neck, fingers curling for a minute, blushing a little as he pulls away, leaning to give a quick peck for good measure. "Just don't loose it for good." She teases him, watching him as he tugs off jacket, his shirt is dirtied, and she's grinning a little, reaching up to ruffle his hair. "You look like you've been having fun." She winks.

O'ric grins and nods, "Exactly my plan." His hand is held out to her, "Shame we don't have a convenient haystack for you to borrow some hair decoration from." The comment is made with a completely straight face, even though there's a hint of a chuckle in his tone - joke or not, who knows. "Ready? I think we should go announce to the world that there's a rider from Xanadu on his way."

"It really is.." She agrees, pouting a little bit, even as her hands mess her own hair up a little bit, and she gives a tug, undoing the careful straightening of her clothes that she performed earlier. A crooked grin, and she holds out her hand to him,

"It really is.." She agrees, pouting a little bit, even as her hands mess her own hair up a little bit, and she gives a tug, undoing the careful straightening of her clothes that she performed earlier. A crooked grin, and she holds out her hand to him, ready to lead the way. "Come on, lover.."

O'ric laughs as he grabs her hand, "Care to make a wager on how long before they realise we're not actually one of them?" But there's not really time for her to answer because he's off and running, heading for the courtyard and those still grumbling beasts.

Nicca is too busy giggling to give an answer away, gathering up the skirt in one hand as she runs, lifting it above her ankles to make it easier to keep pace. As they make it to the courtyard, her face is a rosy pink, from running and from the chill, though given the situation, it lends the perfect credibility to their story. "Aren't they loud?" She says in a perfectly ditzy voice, one hand coming to her chest.

"Ain't half as loud as that rider's gonna be." O'ric replies with perhaps a little too much volume, "Xanadu's incoming." This last is directed not at Nicca, but at the cart hand they were passing. He gets a nod in reply, hand tightening around Nicca's for a second as he tugs her forwards a little. "You needin' a hand?"

At the crooked grins from some of the younger cart handlers and servants packing the carts, Nicca is sheepishly trying to smooth her hair back, even as O'ric is volunteering them. "He didn't look like the time to linger, either, probably don't have long before he's here.." And as such, two more sets of hands really would help, wouldn't they?

A hand is waved towards some boxes, presumably a hint that they need loaded, and O'ric jumps at the chance. "Where y'headed?" Innocence in tone and expression, though there's a slight headtilt towards some of the womenfolk that's meant to suggest Nicca try her hand there, instead it's interpreted as a question, "You've got enough on your plate with that one by the looks of things." The cart hand laughs as he replies, "They're not coming with us though."

Nicca hesitates a moment, but the comment from the boy causes "holder" Nicca to blush, and hurriedly scurries away to the group of women, soft voices directing her to the loading of clothes and other personal goods, including from the looks of it a few quilts and the like. One woman's comment, however, is enough to stop Nicca dead in her tracks, blinking a few times as the woman talks. "She ain't old 'nuff to be sent off half way 'cross Pern, if you ask me. No matter how much she has sent with her."

"Shame." O'ric grins back at the cart hand, openly leering after Nicca as she moves away, "Would make a long journey all the better if they were." The cart hand nods almost immediately after, "Aye, long way to go for anyone, specially if you're not really knowing what's waiting at the other end."

Nicca spares a glance over her shoulder at O'ric, winking at him and offering a little shake of her hips, having far, far more fun at this game than at their normal attitude at the hold. "Is anyone else going with her? I mean.." And the woman laughs a little, shaking her head. "Goodness, child, he'd not make her ride in a wagon all the way there… Her things are just being sent ahead to be waiting." And Nicca blushes, and hurriedly returns to her packing.

O'ric grins, "Unloadin'. That's what's waitin' at the other end." The carthand laughs and agrees, but then comes a statement that takes O'ric slightly aback, "Guess that rider'll be here for the girl, though it wasn't suppose to be Xanadu coming to collect her. Seems they aren't rightly talking."

The woman is saying much of the same, talking cheerfully about Benden riders, and how the Hold hasn't seen so many riders outside of search in turns. "Well, its only fitting for her to go a dragonback, anyway. No reason for her to get bumped and bruised, not with them here." And as a stack of cloth-goods are settled into the back of the wagon, it seems that one at least is done, for the back of it is being closed up, and the woman is offering Nicca a hearty pat on the back, and a loud bit of thanks.

O'ric just goes along with the news, nodding as he moves some more crates into place and pretending that he knows all of this already. With the cart filling up rapidly he backs off a little, giving the others space and looking around for Nicca.

Nicca is slipping away from the group of women who now begin to mill around, talking as the cart drivers are giving a final once over when they're full, trying to get the animals to clear some space in the courtyard. Darting between the carts, she's popping up behind O'ric, with a hand going to his shoulder as he backs up, eyes wide.

O'ric jumps a little as Micca's hand hits his shoulder, though his loud comment is, "Shells, woman. Already?" The look he gives her is almost letcherous, and as he turns back to the carthand and raises his eyebrows the man laughs and waves him away with an instruction to go enjoy himself. Reaching for Nicca's hand he makes to drag her off somewhere else where they can… talk.

"Blame the rider for interrupting us.." She says in a staged whisper, likely meant to be overheard, and as they're waved off, she's sure to make sure her giggles carry back to the group, even as she's taking over, and after a moment to glance up and down the hallway is ducking behind the closest storage room door… Logical place, right?

Lemos Hold - Storage Area

Logical for many things, even covert meetings - though likely that would be the last thing expected at the moment. As soon as they're safely inside 'ric closes the door and leans against it. "Shells." Apparently that's his entire initial summation of the situation, because the only other thing he does is shake his head.

Nicca continues to giggle until the door is closed, and she's carefully drawing him away from the door, even as he's leaning against it with no word other than 'shells', wrapping her arms around him just in case someone should happen to open the door. Leaning to whisper softly, she shakes her head. "I.. Too bad they all saw you.. Or we could take her.."

O'ric moves easily enough, it'd be a fairly accurate guess to say that it's partially from shock, though. "If we could get back out we could get dressed and… no that wouldnt' work, they'd see us leaving. The one time we need your mother and we've no way of getting her here to stop things."

"But.. What could she do? I mean.." Nicca murmurs softly, shaking her head. "If.. If they want to marry her off, Can… Can we really stop them?" She contemplates, her hands absently tapping against his neck. "I mean.." She swallows and shivers just a little.

O'ric shrugs a little, but does not concede the point, "Your mother could probably make anyone rethink anything. Faranth knows how much he threatened them or something." He falls silent for a moment, thinking, then offers, "We couldn't really just take her. Could we?"

Kilaueth senses that Oceleth's touch is strong, watery ripples spreadin out in all directions, « I know a secret! »

"But…" And Nicca seems a little nervous as he shrugs, shaking her head. "But.." She repeats again, biting her lip and stepping away, looking over her shoulder towards the door. "Could.. Oceleth tell her?" She hazards slowly, still unsure of what to do about the situation.

Oceleth senses that Kilaueth meets water ripples with waves of fire, licks of lava touching his thoughts. « What sort of secret? » She says drowsily.

O'ric nods, "Probably. Though he's not really the best for getting messages across, he gets overexcited and mixed up sometimes. Unless I tell him not to, then he'll do it without any problems. Can…" he pauses, thinking, "Can you get Destiny? Maybe we can find something to write on in here. Deira's still not good with messages and Cad… well he's Cad."

Kilaueth senses that Oceleth pushes back a little, water meeting fire with a pleasing sizzle that only adds to his amusement. « I'm not supposed to tell you. BUT…. » A pause, though mind contact stays firm, something Kilaueth has experienced before and the last time it was certainly enlightening. « Mine found a girl at Lemos! Only you mustn't tell yours or she'll come looking. »

Oceleth senses that Kilaueth mentally snorts as her fiery hues sizzle and pop, the lava flow turning dark and cold as it hardens. « Yours has a girl, mine says. » The gold seems rather confused, certainly, as the lava flow cools.

"I just.. I don't know if we.. should let her burst in here. How.. How do we know that its where she's going?" She hesitates, stepping back to look up at him. "Or.. What if it starts something with Benden?" Nervous Nicca reaches for his hands tugging on the first she snags gently. "I mean.. I can try to get her.. she's been all out of sorts, lately." Destiny that is.

Kilaueth senses that Oceleth laughs. « A different girl, the one they've been looking for! Not… » And here he inserts a rather watery picture of Nicca.

"But with all that stuff?" O'ric replies, reaching for Nicca again, "Though we definitely don't want your mother bursting in Here, what harm can it do if she comes to visit? Just happens to be at the same time as things are going on."

Oceleth senses that Kilaueth seems rather amused by the watery image of Nicca, though the bright hues of her mind lighten it, and cast light flickering around. « Then why do they not simply bring her? »

Kilaueth senses that Oceleth would whisper if it was possible for him to do so, but under the exciting circumstances he's not even going to try and though the ripples become fainter his reply is clear and strong, « They were seen so now they're in a… um… » Another slightly watery image pulled from O'ric's mind - broom closet. « Mine thinks yours needs to be there too. But I don't think there's space. »

"Maybe they're sending her to Fort. Or…" She shakes her head a little. "I don't know why a dragon wouldn't carry it." She offers with a little sigh, and she steps back to lean against him, thinking. "But, when no Xanadu rider shows up, who knows if they'll even bring the girl out.."

O'ric hugs her close, but nods as she speaks and falls silent for a little while as well. "Think we can skean back out and get Leth to land in teh courtyard long enoughto shelter us coming in again? Least then we can find out where she's to be delivered to."

Oceleth senses that Kilaueth quiets for a moment, as she seems to be in discussion with Niva. « Mine says she does not wish to know what yours does in the closet. »

Kilaueth senses that Oceleth apparently does not have an off switch as Kilaueth is treated to a slightly watery image of Nicca and O'ric's current position in the cupboard - thankfully nothing scandalous. « I still don't think there's space. Yours can meet them outside maybe? Only don't tell her I told you! »

"We'd be better off just waiting, and asking if they can take a message, ask where they're going." She suggests slowly, thinking it over. "I mean.. Maybe.. Maybe the other weyr isn't even coming for her today. I don't know if I'd want to go somewhere my things wouldn't get to for sevendays.."

Oceleth senses that Kilaueth snorts at the image, hurriedly pushing the view away. « Mine says she is busy. That they should bring the girl or not. » The lava sparks a bit in amusement. Clearly, Kilaueth has no issue telling Niva the situation at hand.

O'ric nods, seeing the logic but still fixated on the kidnap idea. "Either way we need to arrive again officially, they won't talk to us looking like this and your mother would skin us if we tried to claim to be official representatives and were… well… like this." he cearly intends to say more, but there's that faint awayness crosses his eyes signalling that Oceleth is adding his opinion. "Shells." Seems to be the word of the day. "Your mother isn't coming, but says we've to bring the girl."

"What?!" Nicca practically squeals at the statement from her mother, shaking her head hurriedly. "Oceleth had to have got it wrong.." She hurriedly says, shaking her head and backing away. "We can't just bring a girl with us.. what if she doesn't want to go!" Nicca yelps, before hurriedly remembering to keep her voice down, looking foolish.

O'ric mutters something about eavesdropping and telling tales, but nods. "That's what he says. We… I'm not kidnapping anyone! Not even for your mother. Not big on tricking people either. Need to think." He pauses, silent for awhile until offering, "We could take her to wherever she's going, and just happen to have to stop in at Xanadu on the way." He sounds, and is, reluctant.

"I… Maybe… Lets just tell her that we couldn't find her. Or…" She comes up with some excuse, scrambling for ideas as for why they shouldn't do what they're told. "If she wants her, she can come get her." Nicca finally offers, quite definantly, hands going to her hips.

O'ric nods, preferring this idea overall. "Could at least find out when she's supposed to be leaving and then if it's not today your mother can send someone else to intercept?" he pauses a second, then adds, "Someone whose dragon can actually keep their mouth shut."

"Maybe they don't know when she's suppose to leave.. It seemed as if they thought you… Well, Oceleth.. had come to get her." She ponders, and then there's a bit of commotion in the hallway, and she's wincing. "We… should go.."

O'ric freezes at the noises outside, "Wait." His voice is a whisper, but the ahnd on her arm is more insistent. "Let them go past and then we can sneak back to Leth and… shell I don't know. Why did your mother have to say bring her."

"Maybe she wasn't thinking." Nicca ponders, lingering until the voices go past into the hold, and she's peeking over her shoulder at him, nodding a little before she leans to give him a kiss, reaching to ruffle his hair again. And then with a gulp, she's reaching for the door.

O'ric makes a grab for Nicca, intent on messing up her clothing a little before she manages to open the door.There's a brief second of uncomfortable flashback to his last hurried exit from a cupboard, but he pushes the thought away before it lingers and Oceleth blabs that too. "Straight out, soon as we can run back to Leth."

Nicca is caught and ruffled just a bit before she's reaching for his hand, grabbing it and tugging as she bolts back the way the came, though with no giggles as she runs, hoping - and thankfully getting - a clear courtyard and a clear path to Oceleth, as the carts have departed, leaving the area empty as those packing returned to other tasks.

Nicca catches her breath for a moment as they reach Oceleth's side, hidden from view even as she offers him a long pat to the side. "Home.." She finally decides, glancing back to the courtyard. "But.. not til we can figure out which direction they're headed." South, of course, when they do find the train, probably just as they expected.

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