Stormy Afternoon

Xanadu Weyr – Meadow

A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of buildings, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Stables and a smithy are settled on their own plots, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a fence can be seen to the north.

Late summer and the heat it brings with it is about to culminate in one of nature's epic releases of power - a summer thunderstorm. While it's been a pleasant sunny day, though hot, there's been a stiff breeze off the lake, the moisture sweeping inland to the mountains where the air rises and cools building up a massive tower of clouds. It's really mostly hidden by the forests that surround Xanadu, so that when the storm does move, it blots the sun out with the sudden rumble of thunder. And before that has died a way in the distance, the cloud lets loose a downburst, torrents of rain. The meadow had been peaceful moments before, but now, picnic-ers and children playing, all running to take cover in a clump of trees near the center, Thea among them holding a two turn old tot under each arm.

Just prior to the downburst, Amelia had been walking a pony-sized runner from beach to stable, having taken the tiny gelding out for exercise. Still on the move when the rain starts, they make a 45 degree turn to hit the trees. The little palomino paint, once under the trees, gives himself a shake and immediately starts nosing his handler, making funny faces. "Huck!" Amelia laughs at him while wringing out her shirt. She smiles at the others under the trees and stays close to her charge.

Lorit had been wandering through the meadow, looking a little lost and more than a little wistful as she watched happy families frolic and lunch together. Now, she stands for a moment in the soaking rain, actually turning her face up to the sky and smiling a bit. From the rivulets of mud running off her clothes, it's probably the first good bathing she's had in the last few days. Head ducked against the rain, trying to urge his little ones after him, a man bumps into the girl, staggering and nearly dropping his load of toys, basket, and blankets. Startled and stammering apologies, Rit sheepishly helps him gather his belongings, herding the children after him to the shelter of the trees, where it's only a bit drier. "Might'n be nice if'n one'a them dragons was to be 'bout," she mutters as she dodges around a steady stream of rain arrowing towards the ground from a branch above. "I'd be think'n them wingies be nice'n water proof, like."

One of those unfortunate souls out in the meadow when it starts to pour is none other than Eledri, the journeyman holding a canvas bag tightly to his chest as he makes a break for the tree cover, half doubled-over in an attempt to protect the bag's contents from the rain. Having been working with a couple of the Nebula riders earlier in the day, the young man had been using some down time to just enjoy the air outside, and probably looking cranky. Alas, his expression is hardly improved by being rained upon, the computercrafter's hair plastered around his face. Thea is spied with.. tots? That gives him pause, and there's a bit of a stare before he remembers his manners and offers a, "Ma'am," to the goldrider. The appearance of a runner, no matter its size, has Eled moving away just a little, to press his back against a tree trunk, arms clasped about the bag. Still, he offers a faint nod to Amelia, and then Lorit, Eledri mumbling a weakly wry, "That would be nice," about water proof wings, as he stands there and drips a bit.

As if the rain wasn't bad enough… The arrival of a runner, however well-behaved and handled has Thea nervously edging away from Amelia's vicinity with a crinkly sort of smile to her that borders on apologetic. It's not more than a few steps, but enough to be noticeable. While she's peering out into the rain, at the left-behind blanket and toys, the little boy and girl are fascinated with the creature and by their unblinking stare, they've never ever seen one in their lives. Might make one wonder… When Eledri brings his dripping self to their shelter, she awards the computer craftsman a smile, "Hello again Eledri. You're a long way from Landing." Like they could be at a tea party or something rather than in a rainstorm. It's Lorit that holds her attention, or to be more precise, those running brown rivulets on her person, "How on Pern did you get so dirty?" It's curious and kindly, if a little blunt and there's a smile to go with it for her as well.

"He's a sweetheart, really," Amelia says of the runner. He is, after all, the size of a large dog, and while he might be making funny faces, he's standing quietly by her side, rump out catching the edge of the rain. Being a clever sort of runnerbeast, he notices the toddlers' stare and stops making faces in order to peer right back at the, head cocked sideways. "We can make a run for the stables, if you're frightened, ma'am," she offers, and a moment later, noticing Eledri, she smiles. "Fancy meeting you here!"

Eledri just slups back against that tree, bringing one hand up to shove other-long hair out of his face, and then more carefully adjusting his spectacles on the bridge of his nose. The smile he offers Thea in return is a thin one, but at least he's not scowling or anything. Yet. "B'miel.. hasn't shown up yet to take me back to Landing," is his excuse, before he realizes that's probably not quite what she's asking and explains, "Some of the Nebula riders needed a hand with something." There's a blink, and Eledri turns back to the runner-leading Amelia, inclining his head ever so slightly to offer a hesitant, "Um, hey again.." Yep, terribly good at conversation is the Eledri. Despite the reassurances, the animal is given a vaguely wary look, "One of those tried to drown my sister.." He's /heard/ about that incident, though likely greatly embellished. Ahem.

"He's a runner," is Thea's reply to Amelia with a long glance at those hooves that speaks volumes more than her simple and needless statement. "Nono. Please," she swallows, squints at the sky which is darkening even more, lightening beginning to crackle all around them, "stay put? And it's Thea, not Ma'am." That's to the both of them, her own smile a little strained, the silent Lorit forgotten in the chaos around them. The dark-eyed boy she's holding squeals and claps his hands, delighted at the face-making runner while the girl's ice green eyes light up with wonder, her bell-like laughter joins her brother in encouraging the runner to keep it up. Chiming in after Eledri, "After which my dragon ate it," she fills in deadpan and dry-voiced although she does have the grace to wince in the presence of the poor beast's handler.

After frowning quizzically at Eledri's mention of drowning, Amelia shrugs. "Isn't he a cutie?" she addresses the delighted children, and gives the runner a scratch behind the ears in reward for his cuteness. He makes another face, and stretches his soft pinkish nose towards the boy and girl, his lips wriggling around. And she peers at Thea, observant enoguh to understand the long glance. She rechecks her grip on the lead rope and sets a hand on the little runner's poll, fingers holding the mane. "He's actually used as a 'first lesson' pony, so he's not going to flip out like some of the high strung show runners we've got in the stables." She gives what she hopes is a reassuring look.

Eledri adjusts his eyeglasses again, nodding to the goldrider and amending, "Thea," before he does send a long look over yonder toward the stables. Despite the dripping still, the computercrafter frowns slightly, "I don't think I'd want to risk the equipment in making a run for it," mumbled more to himself than Amelia or any of the others taking shelter beneath the trees. Thea does get a blink, though, Eledri repeating slowly, "Your.. dragon ate it." A pause, "I think I remember my sister telling me about that," though possibly he hadn't believes the ending of the tale, judging by the somewhat dubious look on his face, "Your dragon didn't try to eat her too, ..did it?" The children are given a bit of a curious look, Eledri turning his gaze skywards for a moment wit ha nother mumble, "I hope this doesn't last too long."

"Whatsit?" the boy asks, while his sister is quick enough to inform him, "Mur, Cuuuuteeee!" with total conviction in her tone while pointing to the runner. Both children are kept just out of reach of those wriggling lips, while Thea's smile to the beastcrafter is more or less automatic rather than reassured. "I- I'm sure it is. Um, this is Muir and Marella. I don't think we've met? But my brother Tharen works," there's a dry cough and she amends that, "sometimes, in the stables. You may have met him." (in the loft - cough). She hears Eledri, but a long rumble forestalls anything else she's about to say. When it dies away, her grinning answer is, "Seryth didn't exactly wait until we had her wrist free of the tether, but I assure you she would have spit her right back out." There's a dance of mischief in the sea-green of her eyes. "How is your gold-riding sister doing? I was there for the poetic justice." And is that… a bit of irony in her tone? Why yes, yes it is.

"This is Huck," the Beastcrafter answers the boy, and to the pony she clucks. "Come on boy, enough of being silly." The pony must know what that tone of cluck means, and he stops with the face-making and just stands quietly. Amie gives him an appreciative pat with the hand holding his mane, then resumes her grip on the wet locks. "Tharen, eh? I think I've heard the name, might've run into him. I try to stay outta trouble, though," she grins, then, "And I'm Amelia." Curious about the details, she peers at Eledri. "So how did a runner try to drown your sister? They don't tend to have an ounce of malevolence to them…"

Eledri remains slumped back against the tree trunk, mildly frowning at the storm, and clutching that bag tighter to his chest, shoulders giving a it of a start at the next roll of thunder. The computercrafter clearly is not a fan of the ongoing storm - then again, he's drenched and dripping. The young man watches the children and the runner, more out of some odd curiiosity than anything, asking with a vaguely baffled, "They aren't afraid of it?" Well, maybe the critter /is/ cute. Ahem. There's a stare for Thea, at the further explanation of the runner incident, his mouth working as if he might say something, but not quite figuring what. "Spit her-" blink, "..poetic justice?" Eh? Brow crinkling in confusion, his attention, briefly, is taken by Amelia's introduction of the runner. "That's a strange name for an animal," he comments, probably without even thinking, "Uh.. some turns ago, I think."

"Huck!" This is Muir's triumphant rebuttal to Marella, who insists, "Cuteee!" This, for the uninitiated, is a precursor to one of their arguments. Aaaand the rain is now coming down in between the branches, picking up with a roar. They're all three already soaked with dark hair plastered to their heads, the dubious shelter not really helping much, is it? Over the din, Thea makes the sounds of nice-to-meet-you, but it's more lip-readable than audible. Amelia might barely hear the snickered, "You might but Tharen doesn't." Her smile is fondly tolerant for that brother of hers but that fades with the word 'malevolence'. "I've met two…actually." And poor Huck is again eyed while she slides a glance Eledri-wards and shakes her head like she's rather the twins were afraid rather than delighted. "Oh! Her impression of Nziekilth?" If he doesn't get it right away, she adds, "If you knew how much sleep I lost over her antics…" He should be able to connect the dots.

"Agh," Amelia shakes her head to get rain out of her eyes. "You know what, I'm going to make the run for it. Not like we can get much wetter, eh?" The Beastcrafter gives a chuckle that's likely lost in the thunder. "If you'd let'em learn from someone sweet, come by the stable when it's not storming," she calls over the storm, then turns around to face the rain in the direction of the stable. She frowns and gives Huck a tug to turn around with her. He gives the younglings another cute face and turns to join Amie, though his body language says that he would rather stay under the tree. But he's steady as they come, and waits as Amie mentally maps out her path.

Eledri suddenly hunches his shoulders as doplers begin to splatter along his shoulders, the young man trying to shift so he isn't getting it down his neck. It's unsuccessful, and eventually he has to move, scooting sideways away from the tree, attempting to find a non-dripping source of shelter - with little luck, apparently. That bag is still clutched to his chest, the crafter trying to keep it, at least, from getting too wet. He stops though. And Thea gets a STARE. "…What." It's not ..really a question. He mouths the word 'impression' with an absolutely blank look on his face, which quickly turns to suspicion, totally not noticing Amelia planning to make a run for it there. Which is a shame, as the computercrafter might be looking like he'd be willing to do so, with the rain coming down on him a bit even under the trees.

Thea visibly blanches at the word stables, or it might be the idea of teaching the twins to ride - or both, for most of the color drains from her face and her inarticulate answer to that is, "Uhhn." There's a bright flash, a sharp crack of lightning just as Huck turns and both tots burst into tears. By the way they're staring at the pony, the lightning has nothing to do with it. "If Rider's still there- the Weyrleader's grey? Give him a pat for me, Amelia? And I think we'll make a run for it too." Here she turns and catches Eledri's look. "Cenlia. She… didn't tell you?" Her lips make a soundless 'wow' before she explains, "She's a weyrwoman now. In Ista. Shells, don't the two of you talk?" But the din from the storm - both above and in her arms is just too much finally. "See you two later!" And she makes a run for it.

Amelia doesn't catch the words between Eledri and Thea, and she misses Thea's response to the offer of lessons, instead, just after the crack of lightning fills the sky, she and Huck make a run for it. The pony, for being so small, has some serious pick-me-up. But then, he's got plenty of motivation to make it to the stables. She's shouting like a banshee through the rain- possibly out of glee more than anything else. They make it to the stable, where another apprentice is throwing open the door for them and swinging it shut behind.

Eledri snaps out of the staringness at the childrens' crying, glancing first at them and then Amelia and the runner as the two make a break for it. Blinkblink. Thea's explanation has his gaze snapping back to her, and the computercrafter chokes out a, "/What/?" though it's more an exclamation than a real question. He sputters, just.. standing there. "She.. what," is uttered weakly before Eledri just shakes his head and slumps back against a tree trunk, frowning to himself. Yep, sliight shock there. Cough.

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